29 April, 2021: A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper
Read a Poem
A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper
By Zach Savich
Like any children’s tale
the afternoon begins
with a character you cannot tell
from you. So many beliefs
notable today only
for how one cannot retain them
yet can say little else.
Sawdust remains my signal.
Radios rarely on now
except in unfinished homes.
Meadow in every
leveled plot. Riddle: what’s
moving in the trees? The leaves,
and two birds.
Beloved, you don’t need to know
the language to know it’s language.
Or once a bird sang in the boughs
and you swore a flock lives in the boughs.
“A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper” by Zach Savich, from Daybed. Black Ocean Press. 2018. Used by permission of the author.
Zach Savich is the author of eight books of poetry and prose, including Daybed (Black Ocean, Press, 2018) and the memoir Diving Makes the Water Deep (Rescue Press, 2016). His work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Award, and Omnidawn Publishing’s Chapbook Award, among other honors. Recent poems and essays have appeared in the Cleveland Review of Books, Kenyon Review, the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
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Choose three phrases from a favorite contemporary poet and work them into a poem of your own, agreeing, contrasting, or arguing with their phrases, which you mark with italics or quotes.