Come On All You Ghosts
In his third collection, Zapruder taps into the intimate lyrical voice of his previous works with poems that have a keen awareness of the reader. His engaging earnestness is tempered, in this volume, with a sense of aging and loss. In the poems, Zapruder examines his position within a chronology containing those younger than himself—in "Global Warming," he writes "The young. / Maybe they'll let us be in their dreams."—and older luminaries, some of whom are now gone (Grace Paley and Kenneth Koch both appear in poems.) This collection shows a skilled range—from more reflective poems, such as "After Reading Tu Fu, I Emerge from a Cloud of Falseness," to poems that have an instantly magnetic hook, such as "Schwinn," which begins:
I hate the phrase "inner life." My attic hurts, and I'd like to quit the committee for naming tornadoes.
The last section of the book houses its title poem, a long elegiac piece invoking heroic figures such as Neil Young, David Foster Wallace, and Zapruder's father. The poem, which addresses the reader often, provides a spare and intimate closure to an expansive collection.
This book review originally appeared in American Poets.