This week the stacks of books got out of hand which is definitely something I fear. To top it off I couldn’t find the one I’d been reading that I was totally sucked into, The Seas, by Samantha Hunt, one of those novels that is so fluid it reads like an epic poem (also check out Yume no hon: The Book of Dreams, by Catherynne Valente ), so I took a chance with a new poetry collection that had been forgotten about on the shelf for some time, The Pajamaist, by Matthew Zapruder. I couldn’t have found this collection at a better time. I’ve been totally stuck writing in a sparse, Zen-ish style for the past year and since adding fatherhood to my list of PT jobs I’ve been unable to cultivate the mental and creative peace to compose in this style and so feared that I’d neglected my work for too long and had lost some spark. Zapruder writes using long phrasing like i’d expect from a jazz saxophonist, his lines never ending quite where you’d expect them too which gives the effect of leaving the reader feeling a bit dizzy from not knowing where to stop for breath. All in all the work is surreal largely because of the subject matter but also partly because of the structure. After reading half the collection my head was singing in a different voice than I’d ever heard so I sat down and tried to capture a moment from earlier in the day in verse that plays with line breaks and continuation of thoughts through undercurrents. Not sure I really pulled it off, but the game was fun and in the end my fear that I had come to another dry period in my creative life, no time for reading or writing or daydreaming, was tamed, if only ever so slightly.


hoisted skyward
biceps and forearms
shunning loose linen sleeves
rippling muscle and fabric
brushing from wrist to elbow falling
from elbow to smooth pale
arm flesh above
muscle fist
working, raising
playing with pajamaed
baby smiling
lips and cheeks spreading
topography of rosy
milk scented
new to this world
face transforming from
bewilderment at every nearer ceiling
and lights to smile
of gummy joy
at long day’s end
day’s long end
stretched out on couch
snug on day’s horizon line
her son risen above her
light through windows
somewhere fading
while growing in eye-smiles
and mom bliss
inside at day’s end or night’s
beginning son setting when
lithe arms begin shaking
singing, “don’t you try to hold my world up”
from hot tired muscles
settling down on mom
horizon and breast bone
mountain valley
where rise and fall
keeps him warm
with love and arms and
eyelid blankets close

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