I’m reading Paul Zweig. This is the first poem in the second section of his Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details.
by Paul Zweig
Advancing into sleepless woods,
Each year the ice getting thinner,
And the trapped waters darker . . .
[Remainder of poem removed 9-05-05]
* * * *
Prematurely grave –
sentences delivered with a note of finality,
syllogisms grasped & held in the mind
the way excess skin from a facelift
vanishes into a crack beside the ears –
I stretch myself over the same
mattress of bone, morning & evening.
I go on as if nothing happened,
as if I were free on my own recognizance
& this growing heaviness simply means
I need more sleep.
I’ve become adept at ignoring
the jagged piece of sky pressing down
on the back of my neck.
Since I stopped following the news,
my dreams supply all the missing details
of earthquake, torture, & mass starvation.
Ask me anything.
Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night
& pretend it’s morning: shower, drink coffee
& look for poems in the ready-made phrases
I think of as inspired, because breath belongs
to everyone & no one
& I am trying not to give undue weight
to the new reports that claim
it is oxygen, stripping the electrons
from other molecules, that slowly
reduces this body to a swamp of light.