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Gail Mazur

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Gail Mazur

Gail Mazur is the author of Figures in a Landscape (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Zeppo’s First Wife: New & Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 2005), which won the 2006 Massachusetts Book Award, and They Can’t Take That Away from Me (University of Chicago Press, 2001), among other books. She is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College and the founding director of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series. Mazur splits her time between Cambridge and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

by this poet


Federal style, two small chips
in the gilt frame, found at a flea market
in the Eisenhower ’50s.

19th century American lovingly refinished,
loving gift of my mother:
It’s too good for you, so take care of it!

Some winter mornings here
the taut lit face of Ethel

Sometimes she's Confucian-- 
resolute in privation. . . .

Each day, more immobile, 
hip not mending, legs swollen;

still she carries her grief 
with a hard steadiness.

Twelve years uncompanioned, 
there's no point longing for

what can't return. This morning, 
she tells me, she found a robin

You're the shadow shadow lurking in me
and the lunatic light waiting in that shadow.
Ghostwriter of my half-life, intention's ambush 
I can't prepare for, ruthless whammy 
you have me ogling a blinding sun, 
my right eye naked even with both lids closed—
glowering sun, unerring navigator 
around this