Matthew Zapruder: Three Poems

In the Darkness, Use Me Wisely

Today while saying one of the many
things I don’t know about painting,
I felt a sharp something like an itch
turning into a clumsy needle insatiable
for my blood. A bee sacrificed itself
for the cause of reminding me some
consider my body an intruder. My
personal imperviousness rating
plunged close to its dangerous low
attained when I woke from surgery
performed on an ankle misapprehension
winter surfaces ought to be encountered
via two exceedingly well-honed blades
had broken. It can take far too many
years to learn which instincts you
do not have. In 1998 I decided
to never be happy pursuing just part
of the body of knowledge of laws
that govern regulations for planning
imaginary structures, of which
you of all people will not be surprised
to learn are legion. Too many rulers
never fail to see it’s often best
not to allow others to do what they’re
best at. Like designing systems
for large clock behavior emulation.
Here I am giving advice again
when I should be drawing negative
space! 3:14 just passed with tiny
implacable claws. A bird Roz said
was a peacock seems to have learned
human throes. I didn’t know vanishing
had to be invented to put cities into
the fresco, I guess before importance
determined the size of the figure it
never occurred to anyone looking
at a painting was just like looking out
of your head. On vases Etruscans
left us impassive winged leopards
drawing chariots over cyclical gangbangs.
Which makes me less sure I disagree
with the painter’s wife when she said
perspective is not such a tremendous
improvement. Someone is always
translating Rilke who never said if
you look away for a moment the
moment goes right on being beautiful.
Someone is always marching with
a fabulous homemade banner
soon to be speckled with blood.


Fair Oaks

It doesn’t seem very strange
                                                to be here
in this apartment suddenly living together

                        all the hammering
and fine detailed painting the workmen 
are doing in blue of the front steps we must 
step over as we step out 

into the morning            you are going to work 
in your black suit and I am going 

                                    to sit in a cafe very carefully
blasting my veins with coffee

I remember only vaguely when I used not to know you
I lived in this city it was exactly the same

what can we learn
                        there is a waterfall        
and stars
painted on the ceiling above me
all this peace makes me feel queer
                                    the mysteries

the mysteries
we could never have predicted
they become our lives and less confused
                        calmly in them

we rotate not psychotic or tragic
woken in the morning by your soft sour breath

I could breathe for hours

                                    the fog pouring
into sunny noe valley
from cold twin peaks


Letter to a Lover

Today I am going to pick you up at the beige airport.
My heart feels like a field of calves in the sun.
My heart is wired directly to the power source of mediocre songs.
I am trying to catch a ray of sunlight in my mouth.

I look forward to showing you my new furniture.
I look forward to the telephone ringing, it is not you,
you are in the kitchen trying to figure out the coffee maker,
you are pouring out the contents of your backpack.

I wonder if you now have golden fur?
I wonder if your arsenal of kind remarks is empty?
I remember when I met you you were wearing a grey dress,
that was also blue, not unlike the water plus the sky.

They say it’s difficult to put a leash on a hummingbird.
So let us be no longer the actuary of each other!
Let us bow no longer our heads to the tyranny of numbers!
Hurry off the plane, with your rhinestone covered bag

full of magazines that check up on the downfall of the stars.
I will be waiting for you at the bottom of the moving stairs.

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