Listening to Neil Young in California
is like throwing away the old pills

that used to cure something and turning
your face towards the day, i.e. the ocean

filling the window with grey boats
floating in totally bright present aloneness.

For several weeks on my lap top
I had a picture of the space shuttle docking.

Then I replaced it with the ravenous
wooly adelgid covering a blighted eastern hemlock.

One branch looks like a limb
destroyed by an improvised explosive device.

Friend whose father is dying,
let us exchange dreams.

I am strong enough for yours
and you can move

down the long boring beige literal corridor
and replace the batteries in the thermostat,

fingering a diamond hair clip.

TAGS: , ,

MATTHEW ZAPRUDER is the author of three collections of poetry: American Linden, The Pajamaist, and Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon, Fall 2010), as well as co-translator from Romanian, along with historian Radu Ioanid, of Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu. He has received a William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Open City, Bomb, Slate, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Tin House, Harvard Review, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, The New Yorker, McSweeney's, The Believer and The Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in many anthologies, including Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll; Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century; Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything; and Best American Poetry 2009. In Fall 2010 he will be the Holloway Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. An editor for Wave Books and a member of the permanent faculty in the low residency MFA program at UC Riverside-Palm Desert, he lives in San Francisco.

One response to “Journey Through the Past”

  1. Beautiful, Matthew. It’s been a real pleasure to work with you, my friend. Welcome to TNB.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *