Zach Savich

Will is Going To

Waited to send the card. Waiting for the flowers to press. All the
mysteries from the shelf stacked on the violets in a coffee filter
in the Dictionary of American Antiques (1952). An awmry is a pantry,
a bahut is an iron chest, a chromatrope is “a magic lantern’s slide.”
Pressed between marble soap (“reference is not to appearance of
the soap but to a ‘soap’ used to clean marble, a paste of lye and
whiting”) and massicot (“an ocher color derived from lead
oxide”). I’m assuming grief will wait, or still be arriving, or be
something else, whenever dry becomes preserved. Which is
slowed by my looking. And my leafing (“Leaf: Patterns of
pressed glass featuring a leaf with other elements: Leaf &
Flower, Leaf & Loop, Leaf & Dart, et cetera”). Leafing to
diversion, which becomes relevant, that is, grievous, as anything
will, to a point, in time (“Leaf silhouette: A large leaf, bearing a
scene in silhouette on the skeleton of the leaf itself. Such work
was achieved by removing the fleshy part of the leaf not required
by pricking it out with a needle point. This was the method to
1850s. Thereafter acid was used. Few examples survive.”). She’d
been building a bicycle, planning a trip. Had just made lasagna.
How to bear the scene.

Poesie of Defense

Skunk smell in everything freshening, everything coming back
Up at the tree-line, which is where they stop, where we come
from them, up, having been down in them, trees
Upon the vertical meadow
Passable hours
Parsley walls, the deer leave alone
Lest whatever road is down the road once we’re a few roads
down, a few roads out
The name for an hour after sunrise
The admissible sky a simple crossword, simple syrup, simpering
boil lanced
As Caligula made losing orators praise winners in elaborate
speech, they failed and had to scrub their speeches from
stones with their tongues, after writing them there
Employing precious ink, worth the waste, the emperor said, for
its bitter taste, for the look on each loser’s face
Day making its losing speeches, resignation first thing,
preemptive separation priming its pen on the stones
For the pleasure of the look of precious ink on stones, perhaps,
equivalent to the bitter valley of the taste

“Only Connect”

Chances are,
in most situations,
you’ll mostly respond
like most people do.
And feel the insufficiency
and indignity
of that. And in response
to that indignity,
judge others’
insufficiency. You won’t,
mostly, have a choice,
which is fine because
you mostly won’t remember
most things, which is fine
as long as you continue
learning or forgetting
faster. Much as
19th century
naturalists who couldn’t
account for this
beast here and also
there, or companionable
rocks, separated
by seas, explained a lot
with land bridges, you too
should assume expired
links between facts
you can’t recall. For instance,
isn’t it the crossing
that made the land a bridge,
and wouldn’t the water
on either side need to
have been, comparatively,
continuous if cartographers
preferred to claim those once-
divided gulfs remain
one form? Semantically
speaking, a parted sea
precedes the water’s
rise, as from ice
berg chunks sloughing trapped
polar fur onto a water
bottle factory’s grated
floor, while elsewhere
gathered plastics wreathe
a hermit’s floating perch, mangroves
shallowly ballasting duct-
tape strung pallets
camouflaged as trash
to draw brackish garbage birds,
migrating nowhere,
he’s taking his chances he can
live on?

Elegant Regrets

The eye gets wider, in pain. It’s looking for something.

The doorway you shelter in—it could be your house, you could live here, nothing else to be done. Or wait there long enough. It isn’t your house. Go on.

The eye closes tighter. To forge.

Say the storm starts in the petals. Down they go. Is the storm still in them? The storm that starts in the petals—but isn’t in the tree.

Over by the time you see.

Zach Savich is the author of eight books of poetry and prose, including Daybed (Black Ocean, 2018). He is co-editor of Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series and an associate professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.