When it breaks

This entry is part 25 of 42 in the series Antiphony: Paul Zweig


I’m reading Paul Zweig. This is the seventh poem in the third (“Eternity’s Woods”) section of his Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details on this experiment in responsive reading.

A Fly on the Water
by Paul Zweig

It is eating me.
It is everything hungry in the world,
And wants me, and I’ll tell you, I don’t mind. . . .

[Remainder of poem removed 11-06-05]

* * * *


It isn’t death I dread, but the lidded coffin
& all that soil coming between me & the sky.

The earth is for living in, or under,
safe between the third and fourth ribs
of the great land whale.

Chewing the fat
with our boneless ancestors,
we could relearn the art of metamorphosis –
from the larval worm, how to wait
in the darkness for a stone
skin to split

& mixing dust & water,
bring clay to life with our own
perilous breath.

It isn’t death we fear, but the pain that precedes it
& this waking, all alone, in a strange bed.

Series Navigation← A beach in hellThe burden of becoming human →
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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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