Schwinn

By Matthew Zapruder b. 1967 Matthew Zapruder
I hate the phrase “inner life.” My attic hurts,
and I’d like to quit the committee
for naming tornadoes. Do you remember
how easy and sad it was to be young
and defined by our bicycles? My first
was yellow, and though it was no Black
Phantom or Sting-Ray but merely a Varsity
I loved the afternoon it was suddenly gone,
chasing its apian flash through the neighborhoods
with my father in vain. Like being a nuclear
family in a television show totally unaffected
by a distant war. Then we returned
to the green living room to watch the No Names
hold our Over the Hill Gang under
the monotinted chromatic defeated Super
Bowl waters. 1973, year of the Black Fly
caught in my Jell-O. Year of the Suffrage Building
on K Street NW where a few minor law firms
mingle proudly with the Union of Butchers
and Meat Cutters. A black hand
already visits my father in sleep, moving
up his spine to touch his amygdala. I will
never know a single thing anyone feels,
just how they say it, which is why I am standing
here exactly, covered in shame and lightning,
doing what I’m supposed to do.

Matthew Zapruder, “Schwinn” from Come on All You Ghosts. Copyright © 2010 by Matthew Zapruder. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Come on All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press, 2010)

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Poet Matthew Zapruder b. 1967

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Youth, Coming of Age, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Matthew  Zapruder

Biography

Poet and editor Matthew Zapruder was born in Washington, DC. He earned a BA in Russian literature at Amherst College, an MA in Slavic languages and literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
 
Zapruder’s poems employ nuanced, conversational syntax to engage themes of grief, perception, and logic. As Dana Jennings noted in the New York Times, Zapruder . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Coming of Age, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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