03 October 2007

Matthew Zapruder

[from Matthew Zapruder's The Pajamaist, 2006]

Andale Mono

Today I walked past my door in the rain
and put an old key
in a lock from which gold light shone.
Gold light through the keyhole like didactic
material below a painting glows to explain
the nineteenth century and other things we must know.
In the poem we want to try to set off a light each time
the door of the closet is closed. And to be
for the reader a mechanism attached to a string
the poem pulls. And piecing together
as desperately as we can. By fragments we mean
pieces of things we thought we have heard,
and when we say them mean though we cannot
see you we love you. By light we mean light.
Fear is a mechanism thinking too much
and not enough about the closet
holding something. The light in the closet
is on, the garments are thinking,
the door to the closet opens
into a long empty corridor we fear
for verily it like a torch
in the british sense through a dusty room
pervades us. When we are walking
with our torch meaning flashlight before us
reaching for the long poem inside us
one door explains how to read for both meaning
and pleasure. Another shuts.
The poem Andale Mono begins.
When I was a child I used to give speeches
into the mouth of the dishwasher open and gleaming.
When in a private language I said
ritual laughter mother and father
without knowing commit transmits
a kind of anger it understood,
though they were not.
Today I walked right past the face of a woman
I was sure was in Andale Mono.
Today I walked right past the poem
I knew and looked
into a lake which is now my wife.
My wife has entered the room. She is
a finger lake. In one hand she is holding
a sweater, pink, in the other a cream colored
spatula. Which one do you like best?
The poem is now my wife. For the first time
today in Andale Mono I drew my shoulders
back and looked straight forward and slightly
up. All day for the first time things were
true size. Droplets hung from my lashes
strobing at times the warehouse
next to the elevated, at others the brand-new
cathedral from which small people were streaming,
lugging large black musical instrument cases.
Large black chambers hold the delicate
wooden chambers for making chamber music.
In Andale Mono things are both breakable
and strong. In Andale Mono just out of reach
of my dangling hand the lock was a tiny door.

The Pajamaist

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