Friday, January 9, 2015

Ben Mazer

Gradually the house across the way

grew dimmer and brighter, appreciating the stars,

as languidly dropped the words they would have it say,

long in the lucubrations of new lovers,

who sat outside, all hours of the night,

to watch the seasons pass and sense the feelings

of being, divinity untangled from the light

squeezed by the tabula rasa of its ceilings.

Gradually, grown troubled and vexed by poison,

that could not go unnoticed or unencountered,

the fiend undid the gossamer thread of reason,

and the whole season panicked as it floundered.

Desperate with disappointment she duly countered,

breaking her pact with the sun, and moon, and stars.

Tried without sentence, the heavenly funeral biers

shed disapproval crashing where they sauntered.

Now she goes, alone with her cats and fancies.

Her final word has dealt them a fatal blow.

No more of dances, dresses, or of chances.

And God has folded up to see them go.

Then as he changed, for each was forlorn and broken,

he marvelled at the fierceness of her reply,

that she should truly wish to let them die,

saving no shred or scrap of any token,

and their flush season never more go spoken.

BEN MAZER was born in 1964 in New York City. Lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Studied with Seamus Heaney and William Alfred at Harvard University. Studied with Christopher Ricks, Geoffrey Hill, and Archie Burnett at the Editorial Institute, Boston University (MA, Ph.D.). His poetry has been published widely in international literary periodicals, including Harvard Review, Verse, Pequod, Fulcrum, Stand, Salt, Agenda, Boston Review, Jacket Magazine, Harvard Magazine, Poetry Wales, Horizon Review, Warwick Review, Van Gogh’s Ear, Vallum, The Brooklyn Rail, Poetry Daily, and The Wolf. His most recent collections of poems in the United States are Poems (The Pen & Anvil Press) and January 2008 (Dark Sky Books), both published in 2010. His new collection of poems in India is Tales of the Buckman Tavern (Mumbai: Poetrywala, 2012). He is the editor of Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (Harvard University Press, 2010), Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005 by Landis Everson (Graywolf Press, 2006, winner of the Emily Dickinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation), and a forthcoming critical edition of the Complete Poems of John Crowe Ransom (Boston: Un-Gyve Press). He is a contributing editor to The Battersea Review, and to Fulcrum: an Athology of Poetry and Aesthetics, to which he contributed the anthologies The Berkeley Renaissance and Poetry and Harvard in the 1920s. He has, in addition, published several chapbooks including, most recently, two verse plays.

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