When Orbital Proximity Feels Creepy

Peter Gizzi

Right now there are teenage microwavesscreaming through your bodywhile you are having text with me.This is the moment I'll need you to sing        with me.I am making my way in some dark roomlooking for other structures to love.From the left something speaking        I can't identify.The floor goes unfixed and movingand this doesn't happen only at nightbut during the day when I don't want        to think on it.That I saw a blood-orange ball caught        out my window.That I'm listening to light and it said time.I'm listening to time, it says, ha.You need to be howling at bloody torn space.Need to be spooked out of your hidey-hole        and its glowing mess.But I love this ball I'm riding on.The strange hunk of metal and rock whizzing        around my loves and my loving.The fact I spin and it spins and everything        is spinning close up.From far away it's so cool.I guess they call this physics or they call it laws.If they're so well-made, why do we suffer?I thought the day was openingbut now I see it's already gone.Outside the cruel dove has a broken window.The day isn't friendly.Who are you to me?A way to understand the floor?The floor that holds me up and leaves me        standing.I don't know where to go.Me, Tuesday at 5 p.m.What does it mean to be in a room,        any room.The wind banging against the clapboard.I know enough to see the cracked paneisn't going to be fixed anytime soon.Who has time for such things in the song?Breaking. Blooming.The wobble of light on wood-grain late        in the day.In the loneliness of orange.In the loveliness of orange.

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Peter Gizzi is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently, Sky Burial, just out in the UK from Carcanet, other recent titles include Archeophonics (Finalist for the 2016 National Book Award), In Defense of Nothing, and Threshold Songs. A new collection, Now It’s Dark, will be published by Wesleyan in the fall. He works at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

"The poems are continually arresting and expansive, containing Whitmanian multitudes. The result is enjoyably overwhelming... There is so much interesting foam flying off these poems, that read like light glinting off stacked objects in an opened storage unit stuffed to the brim with salvage from the car boot of American poetry, or like Emily Dickinson listening to bees; 'Like trains of cars on tracks of plush'."
—Lucy Mercer, The White Review

"This collection superbly represents a body of work spanning over thirty years that assembles from the ether a whole history of the lyric tradition."
—Matthew James Holman, Poetry London

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