poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

“‘real poem (personal statement)’ is part of a series that is interspersed throughout my new book The Pedestrians and investigates, often in light-hearted ways, poetry and poetics, especially simile, metaphor, voice, description, literalism, and confessionalism.”

—Rachel Zucker

real poem (personal statement)

Rachel Zucker

I skim sadness like fat off the surface
of cooling soup. Don't care about
metaphor but wish it would arrive
me. There’s a cool current of air
this hot day I want to ride.
I have no lover, not even my love.
I have no other, not even I.

Copyright @ 2014 by Rachel Zucker. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 28, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Rachel Zucker. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 28, 2014.

Rachel Zucker

Rachel Zucker

Rachel Zucker was born in 1971 in New York City and was raised in Greenwich Village. She earned her BA in psychology at Yale University, then her MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa.

by this poet

poem
When we made love you had 
the dense body of a Doberman
and the square head of a Rottweiler.

With my eyes closed I saw: 
a light green plate with seared scallops
and a perfect fillet of salmon on a cedar plank.

Now I am safe in the deep V of a weekday 
wanting to tell you how the world 
is full of street signs
poem
A mouse went to see his mother.  When his car broke down he bought a bike.
When the bike wore out he bought skates.  When the skates wore down he ran.
He ran until his sneakers wore through.  Then he walked.  He walked and 
walked, almost walked his feet through so he bought new ones.  His mother was 
happy to
poem
Spring is not so very promising as it is the thing
that looking back was fire, promising:
ignition, aspiration; it was not under my thumb.

Now when I pretend a future it is the moment
he holds the thing I say new-born,
delicate, sure to begin moving but

I am burned out of it like the melody underneath
(still