194.1: Sara Vander Zwaag:: [Nothing comes into view.] & [There’s been a lot of Jupiter on the wall;] & Which Witch
28 September 2015
Outside, all the people are looking up. The blood-red super-moon eclipse has everyone transfixed. When I walk to the bodega for a fizzy water, the guy behind the counter asks if I saw it. Without caring about the answer, I text all my friends to ask if they saw it. I text a lover about it because it seems like the sort of thing moons are for. If I had Sara Vander Zwaag’s number, I’d text her, too. I’d apologize for being so wrapped up in the moon while I’m trying to put into words what I like so much about this set of poems. I would accuse her of asking me to look up at it, “the moon we have killed by loving it,” as she writes. I would text her because I feel invited to do so; these poems feel like a conversation with someone I love: “I’m bored. The moon is a crescent shape. This morning I had eggs.” My friend Colleen texts me back: “I think it looked spooky and neato.” I tell her about Sara’s poems. (Normally I’d use a last name to talk about an author, but I feel like Sara and I are old friends.) I tell Colleen I want to say something about the moon because I think Sara is into the moon. But really, I tell her, all I want to do is quote these lines over and over: “When did I decide / that I am the one who loves more always? / What a stupid way to remain empty.” The first time I read them I wanted to call Sara up on the phone and say something stupid like, “How true!” But really, how true! The voice Sara creates in these poems makes me feel okay writing that. Intimate, quirky, intelligent, silly and rough around the edges, these poems are like catching up with a friend over dinner. You can’t wait for the life updates and every now and then she drops a bomb of wisdom that, if you can nod your head and think How true!, makes you feel like part of a very special coven. Good catching up with you, Sara! Next time, the check’s on me.