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Poem for Wine

We’re all emerging from whatever reclusive hole we burrowed into after the end of our Writer’s Workshop, facing the light of day with bleary eyes, wondering who these strangers are who walk the streets. When we close our eyes, though, we still see visions of debauchery and beauty in equal measure. We’ll let workshop faculty member Matthew Zapruder explain it, with his poem “Poem for Wine” from Issue 49, The Ecstatic.

Poem for Wine


I don’t drink wine

much anymore

though I love that not

feeling feeling

of not remembering

having pressed

the giant translucent

anxious button

in my chest

that turns

something I don’t

know the name of

off and a pure wise

hilarity vector among

the conversation clusters

I float bestowing

my sometimes speaking

at others just silently

sparkling full of potential

energy presence

and later I remember

I have always been

an exiled prince

who could but has not

chosen yet to return

to govern my fully

adoring people

I’ve also never

taken ecstasy

then sat on a couch

in Peru 14 percent

excited licking

a hot person

dressed like a rabbit

I do remember

analog porn

somehow holding

an inevitable magazine

always feeling

without knowing

how to say it

true ecstasy

would be to stand

above myself protecting

me as I turn

those sudden blessed

horrible corners


Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014). His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Bomb, Slate, Poetry, Paris Review, and The Believer. Currently he works as an editor for Wave Books, and teaches as a member of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.

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Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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