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Poem with Accidental Memory

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That we go back to life one day, the next,
Some other century where we were alive,

When music spelled itself out to us, often
Incomplete, and nothing was more vague

Than the banality of  whom to love and lose
In line, the doppelgangers in rimless snow,

Or even now, in summer, at day, by night,
When something oblivious, replete, turns

Back at us in idolatrous quiet, so we see
Who in nullified particulars we really are

At a desk of our own making, filling in for
Someone else’s life sentence, blots drying

On a silk tie having no meaning but today’s,
When the loner puts his insomnia to rest.

Source: Poetry (January 2014)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

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Poem with Accidental Memory

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  • Adam Fitzgerald is the author of the poetry collections The Late Parade (2013) and George Washington (2016). The founding editor of poetry journal Maggy, he is currently a contributing editor for Literary Hub where he regularly features and interviews contemporary poets.

    Born in New York City, Fitzgerald grew up in New Jersey and earned a BA from Boston College, an MA from Boston University’s Editorial Institute, and an MFA from Columbia University. About his work, David Kirby in the New York Times Sunday Book Review has written: “his poems are drunk on both word and allusion and are therefore doubly tipsy … The result is a poetry as lush as any of Keats’s odes, as textured as a corridor in the Louvre.” His poems, essays and interviews have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Boston Review, Granta, the New Republic, and elsewhere.

    Fitzgerald teaches creative writing and literature at Rutgers University and New York University, and previously at...

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