This entry is part 36 of 42 in the series Antiphony: Paul Zweig


I’ve been reading Paul Zweig, and responding to his poems with poems of my own. This is the twentieth poem in the third (“Eternity’s Woods”) section of Zweig’s Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details on this experiment in responsive reading. I’ll remove Zweig’s poems after a week or two to prevent egregious copyright infringement.

Early Waking
by Paul Zweig

Again the ashen light,
A tiny spider swinging on its pendulum thread
Against the pane.

* * * *

Waking Up Dead

Lost the letter I in a card game
& wake up still a little drunk.
The sky looks like the proverbial world
of hurt, scarred by contrails that fade slowly,
much too slowly.
Laundry flaps on the line, & I can make out
every word: Red. Black.
The dark wash.

But where is everybody?
This old light bulb is fresh out of ideas,
even bad ones.
This body wants to be thumbed through
like someone’s bedtime reading.
The kind with covers of broken-down leather,
dog-eared pages edged
in ineradicable gilt –
the sun through closed eyelids.

This would be a damn sight easier
if I still made sense.

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