PICK OF THE WEEK: Matthew Zapruder

Last night, Stephen Elliott explained that comedy and literature go well together because you give people some serious things to think about and then you let them relax. It’s like working out (and why wouldn’t it be?). Matthew Zapruder‘s poetry is deep without being overwhelming, and his reading like a man making wry cynical jokes while teetering over the great blackness.

Here are some excerpts:

She was singing about how she felt always full of emptiness. He could almost physically grasp what that meant. Then he did. Then he knew he would never be happier than when he was living in that medium-sized mid-Western city writing stories about the lives of the inhabitants of its highest skyscraper.

O this diet coke is really good. Though, come to think of it, it tastes like nothing, plus the idea of chocolate. Or, an acquaintance of chocolate speaking fondly of certain times it and chocolate had spoken of nothing. Or nothing remembering a field in which it once ate the most wondrous sandwich of ham and rustic camembert cheese, yet still wished for a piece of chocolate before the lone walk back through the corn, then the darkening forest, to the disappointing village and its super creepy bed and breakfast.

Come to the edge, the edge beckoned softly. Take this cup of darkness and stay as long as you want, and maybe a little longer.

Today, the unemployment rate is 9.4%. I have no idea what that means. I try to think about it harder for a while, then try standing in an actual stance of mystery and not-knowing towards the world, which is my job, as is staring at the backyard and for one second believing I’m actually rising away from myself, which is maybe what I have right now in common with you. And now I’m placing my hand on this very dusty table and brushing away the dust. And now I’m looking away and thinking for the last time about my pocket, but this time I’m thinking about its darkness, like the bottom of the sea, but without the blind florescent creatures floating in a circle around a black box, which along with tremendous thunder and huge metal shards from the airplane sank down and settled here where it rests, cheerfully beeping.

“Frankenstein Love”

I think there was a movie once where Frankenstein fell in love with a vampire. A small mummy at first interfered, but later provided the requisite necessary clarifications. “He can only meet you at night. Her face is scarred in a permanent expression of doom, but her bolt glows whenever she sees you.”

The rival for the vampire’s affection was a vaguely feminine zombie. Frankenstein felt not very mysterious. Many feelings cycled below whoever’s skin she had been given. Did they even belong to her? In the many pages of the book of love this is only one story, but everyone goes through it once. The main question is, Will you be the one unable to control your temper, sewed together as you are from the past, or the one who always ends up turning away, in search of another likeness?

I had started to take a few excerpts but then remembered how much I liked pretty much most of what Matthew said. Check out the video for everything I left out.

This coming week » M.G. Martin throws a not-to-miss release party for his first book One for None at Space Gallery this Tuesday, with (in addition to M.G.) special guests Charlie Getter, Alia Volz, funny woman Janine Brito, and the songs I can’t stop listening to. On Thursday be sure to check out InsideStoryTime, where you can see Matthew Zapruder along with Matt Stewart, Karisma Rodriguez, and WWAATD‘s very own D.W. Lichtenberg (!). Also, Friday brings the return of Anger Management, with readings by so many people you would enjoy I will only refer you back to the link.