I’m writing in December. The almanacs call this a cold full moon. I watch it shadow through its veils. My book says of amor fati: want nothing more than what comes at you; love necessity; relive life’s phases in round time, evermore. Pain, unpain, joy, pain, groceries, car woes, plague. Our master plan of repetitions that can’t be planned for. We’ll never want things back. We’ll rush every instant as the last. I say love. I repeat it. I want to drink the lived, absent episodes of any hour, as we drink each other’s words, on the porch, under trees, […]
Issue: ZYZZYVA Volume 38, #1, Spring 2022
The Poetry Issue
“Afternoons” by Buku Sarkar: “If they were in Calcutta, hidden underneath the black shadows of trees by the river—the police would have picked them up. But here, no one else seemed to stare or make a comment.”
Heather Altfeld · Joan Baranow · Victoria Adukwei Bulley · Denver Butson · Chris Carosi · W.S. Di Piero · Troy Jollimore · Ruth Madievsky · Maggie Millner · Jesse Nathan · Carl Philips · Dean Rader · Dan Shurley · Tayi Tibble · Matthew Zapruder
John Wall Barger in conversation with Matthew Zapruder: “It’s always funny to say that poetry is going to solve anything, but I do think the thinking we do in poetry is key.”
And Victoria Chang on how joy manifests in poems.
Tom Bissell (an author’s comeuppance is imminent in “His Finest Moment”), Lynn Coady, Yohanca Delgado (eerie twin babies know more than you could guess in “The Withering”), Carlos Fonseca, Jessica Francis Kane (a well-meaning community’s embrace of a landscaper and his family becomes peculiar in “Sandalio,”) Ingrid Rojas Contreras, and Colin Winnette.
Sylvie Baumgartel, Glen David Gold (on suffering Long COVID and the damage done to all), Daniel Handler (“Texts that have survived for thousands of years, which weren’t typed up but inscribed, memorized, or even carved into stone, are about enormous strange, frightening things.”), and Enid Shomer.
David Avery and Tabitha Soren.
You can purchase a copy of No. 123 here, or order a subscription to ZYZZYVA now and we’ll start you off by shipping you the latest issue.
My Ancestors Send Me Screenshots
by Tayi Tibble
My ancestors send me screenshots of your group chats dissecting me with all the science of your founding fathers and the sympathy of your murdering mothers wanting to know who I am where I’ve been and who I’ve been with. What the fuck is a whakapapa? Do I carry it in my pussy? In a tiny baggy? Like a real 1? Like a down-ass bitch? Do I have a heart? And does it bleed? Like a steak? If it’s brutalised enough? If it’s served? On a plate? With proper silverware? And presented to your queen still beating would she care? […]
The Poetry Issue: Letter from the Editor
by Laura Cogan
Dear Reader, One of the messages we’re most relentlessly bombarded with is the importance of happiness. In so many ways, pop culture cynically suggests that happiness could make us successful, on our own terms. Happiness, it seems, is its own kind of currency. And lack of it becomes yet another reason to punish ourselves. It seems especially cruel that happiness is often elevated as a kind of measure of success that can, theoretically, be achieved, witnessed, and celebrated outside the paradigm of capitalism—as though it’s available to any of us if we only choose it. We absorb the truism that […]