Sunday, May 04, 2008

I'm going grocery shopping today, but if I wasn't...

I'd sit at home, or somewhere with a wi-fi connection and read Coconut 12. I've not read much, but I did read Matthew Zapruder's poems. This small sampling, along with the poems he has in Fou, is a bit of a different voice for him. What's most exciting to me is how his poems, over the course of his first two books, and this new set, have gradually expanded. In "American Linden," the poems are very cerebral, often in the vein of language poetry, and quite dense. In fact, I've read that book three times, about once every other year since it came out, and only recently have I been able to enjoy it for its beauty as opposed to the workout it put my mind through. In Zapruder's second collection, "The Pajamist," the poems do venture outside his head, but only so far as the immediate world around him. The settings of the poems in this book are very urban, very constricting. I credit this to his living in New York, though I could be wrong, but either way, of all the imagery one can gather of NYC, Zapruder's are the scenes that I hope New York to be. Where so many other poets talk of the dirtiness of the city, Zapruder speaks only of the parts that feed into his romanticism. He goes one step further in this new set, however, using lots and lots of natural imagery that to me reads like an old Biology book I saw once that depicted every "known" creature on the planet. There were sea serpents and dragons, merpeople and griffins, side by side with drawings of bears, birds and elephants. This is the kind of nature that Zapruder uses in his new poems: one that is quite real, but not established. There is a dreaminess to these poems that appeal to my senses like none of his work ever has before.

Another thing I'd do if I wasn't going grocery shopping? I'd drive down to St. Louis to watch the first place Cardinals take on the second place Chicago Cubs. The baseball season is still living in the same place as Zapruder's poems, very real, but still full of mystery and wonder.

I'd also watch "Eagle vs. Shark" again. That movie was awesome even though Jermaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords fame, played his character like an aged Napoleon Dynamite. It was funny, very sweet and endearing, and featured two apples on a quest back to each other.

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