From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Zapruder's third collection of hip, quirkily haunting yet surprisingly earnest poems is his best and most beautiful. He spans the major genres--love poetry ("I admire/ and fear you, to me you are an abyss/ I cross towards you"), elegy ("I have been coasting,/ but from this forward Grace I vow/ I shall coast no more"), ode ("my friends ordered square burgers/ with mysterious holes leaking a delicious substance"), friendship tribute ("Dobby lives/ in Minnesota and seems basically happy"), to name a few--updating them for the 21st century. He even proves himself to be a charming nature poet: of a fox he says, "it held a grasshopper in its mouth,/ which it dropped when it saw the small carcass of a young javelina." These poems are still full of quick jump-cuts, seeming tangents, and almost adorable imagery, but all more focused on subject matter. In the spooky but also companionable titular long poem that closes the volume, Zapruder communes with an array of unseen presences, from the reader to the shades of his family and influences: "Come with me/ and I will show you/ terrible marvels.// The little cough I heard in my mind/ was one I remembered/ my father made just as he died."
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*Starred Review* Zapruder’s poems are ordered by dream logic that melds the familiar with the mysterious. Yet as brain-teasing as his wonderfully strange yet exactly right imagery is, the formal elements of his poems are so liquid and magnetizing as to be invisible. A poet of both respect and resistance, Zapruder has a penchant for disarming opening lines, such as, “I hate the phrase ‘inner life,’” or, “I like the word pocket.” The latter launches a poem in which contemplation of a pocket—how peculiar and gravid the word becomes with repetition—leads to a vision of a wrecked airplane at the bottom of the sea. Zapruder writes with compassion and bafflement about loneliness and the broadcasting of war and other catastrophes, and he remembers his dead with candor and tenderness. Zapruder also ponders the unnerving juxtapositions of our world of earbuds, “sad crushed plastic,” and giant particle colliders. Of abundance and impoverishment, relentless connectivity and isolation in plain sight. “I am never / at ease.” “I feel like a mountain of cell phone chargers.” “I examine my feelings without feeling anything.” And yet these are deeply felt, exciting, and caring poems, droll and wistful, obliquely affirming, phosphorescently beautiful. --Donna Seaman