Saturday, May 11, 2024

Zach Savich, momently


driveway globe

the conditions you need to think about the most make it impossible
have I loved it enough for it to be enough    here    where not even ruin

an ethics of deciding to see    considered meeting you at the station but
remembered the pleasure of finding another’s home in its instances the
music not cued but playing    the rain of blood was dung from passing

forgot to send you the book read it myself again     as in a late sonata not
more beautiful for being late but late and more beautiful    and peace was
a wind from far through the house    the curtains would move from it
but to it the windows are bare

The latest from Philadelphia poet and editor Zach Savich is the poetry title momently (Boston MA: Black Ocean, 2024), following more than half a dozen prior poetry titles including The Orchard Green and Every Color (Oakland CA: Omnidawn, 2016) [see my review of such here]. “you could do worse    than write a poem to summon wind    or to read / one    and notice wind,” he writes, to close the poem “heights hardware.” The poems in Savich’s momently, none of which extend beyond a single page (although at least a couple are missing from the table of contents, oddly enough), extend into a kind of single lyric; a single, ongoing sentence across fifty pages, held in place through poem-titles, repetitions, threads. “I decide coffee alone will not heal me,” he writes, to open “proposal,” “is there sugar    I returned to / earth for coffee    I saw no need to forgive me    I had to do it and did / it nevertheless [.]” The poems extend, stretch out through the possible and towards the impossible; they move across and attend moments, small items set into a kind of ongoing and accumulative consequence or sequence. “harder to write myself a note,” he writes, to open the poem “luna pier,” “on the back of the eulogy    than the / eulogy    it take a long time to tune    and longer to trust [.]” There is an element of Savich’s poems here comparable to the lyrics of Canadian poet Phil Hall, curiously enough, although Savich’s sequence of hesitations and observations run more fluid than Hall’s comparatively-pointillist accumulations. “though sadly a faith in entropy only gets you so far,” Savich’s poem “showroom” begins, “because some things / do last    at least so far as we do [.]” Built as a rich tapestry of moments, this is a dreamy-scape of absolute specifics set across a very fine lyric.

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