Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder’s third book mixes humour and invention with love and loss, as when the breath of a lover is compared to “a field of titanium gravestones / growing warmer in the sun.” The title poem is an elegy for the heroes and mentors in the poet’s life–from David Foster Wallace to the poet’s father. Zapruder’s poems are direct and surprising, and throughout the book he wrestles with the desire to do well, to make art, and to face the vast events of the day.


[Erstwhile means long time gone. A harbinger is sent before to help, and also a sign of things to come – ERSTWHILE HARBINGER AUSPICES]     


(Copper Canyon Press, 11 December 2012, ebook, 96 pages, borrowed from the National Poetry Library)




This is my first time reading the poet. I really enjoyed the poems in this collection. They poems contain some great, vivid imagery. They are unlike anything I’ve read for a while, complex, vibrant and certainly memorable. Many of the poems seem quite complex at first glance juxtaposing high and low diction, switching registers and voices and referencing pop culture, science and technology. At the heart they deal with poems seeped in other poetry – love, death and the passage of time. I really enjoyed Schwinn, Lamp Day, Yellowtail, Ceasing to Be, This Little Game and The Painted Desert.


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