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Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Sun Bear (2014). Why Poetry, a book of prose, is forthcoming from Ecco Press in 2016. An associate Professor in the St. Mary's College of California MFA program and English Department, he is also Editor at Large at Wave Books. He lives in Oakland, CA.


All day I waited

there was law and there was order
there was craft

no spirits entered

old as a dictionary
that never stops
talking I talked

I said
              once bliss actually wrote me

now evening
wears the radiant
humbling evening

I watch it watch
             me fail
to graduate
with a degree
in filling

the blue notebook
full of clouds

maybe the Chinese poets
can help me

but the book
is way over there

the gold book with all the secrets

I want
in the morning to go
on the wildflower walk

and listen
to the naturalist
drone on
like a human bee

but I so briefly
fall into
the middle
of the dream

the one that could save me

I think I was writing
             on a tree

I felt it cared

I knew what we must do

despite all training
             it all dissolved

now it's morning
only a little coffee

to cheer the shadow
pioneer who must

cross another
valley for no reason

except to lie
down in the flowers


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