Monday, January 30, 2012

Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker

I need more poetry in my life.  One of my goals for 2012 is to make a concentrated effort to discover new(to-me) poets.  Already, this endeavor has proved worth the effort.

Rachel Zucker speaks my language.  She manages to capture that weird dichotomy of loving your young children with every fiber of your being while simultaneously resenting that dull, repetitive, mind-numbing domestic pattern that they pull you into.  In "The Day I Lost My De Ja Vu" she writes:

"remember when we 
used to
things, every night, say
remember the time...
and the smells of the past and sometimes a portal 
opened up

and we slipped in there, into the past
rose up to meet us we were not
so alone then, our lives had meaning
and we were not born again every goddamn
day but felt it what it felt like to be there 
in those lost places, the gone?

remember? those days? but I can't.
now all of me but this is gone and I was never a girl.
never but mother never

every same day new again."
All of her poems are like this. They truthfully examine the normal, the every day, the routine.

I enjoyed this entire collections, but was reduced a blubbering mess by "Welcome to the Blighted Ovum Support Group" where she recounts the time she was pregnant with a phantom baby.  All the signs of pregnancy were there. The morning sickness, the swelling tummy.  Sixteen weeks, five days pregnant. She told everyone, even her young sons.  Why wouldn't she?  She had managed to successfully navigate that scary first trimester.  I was looking for a section to excerpt, but the whole poem is just so beautiful and so sad and so true that there was no one piece that I could pull out.  Just go read it here.

<I checked this book out of my library but plan to buy it and just bought it.>


  1. I still remember a poem by a friend of mine in grad school title "blighted ovum." What hard things some people live through.

    1. I know. So heartwrenching and yet she can write about it so beautifully. I don't think I could.

  2. You are right, very accessible. I like poetry but really am at a loss to figure out how to translate my reactions into a blog post. SO this challenge is good for me. Plus I get to explore how others do it. Thank you.

    1. I have a hard time putting my reactions to poetry into words, too. I agree, this challenge is a good exercise for us! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  3. I think a lot of us are using this poetry event to help vocalize what we think about poems--pieces of literature that can be so elusive yet so beautiful. I love the one you share here as well as the blighted ovum. Having gone through the experience (though only for 9 weeks), I can relate.

  4. Trish, I agree with you. Poetry is so elusive and beautiful and I love how this poetry event is forcing me to hone in on what exactly I'm appreciating about each work.

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience. I had a miscarriage at 17 weeks this fall and the things I felt were echoed so strongly in that piece. I ran across it purely by chance, but was grateful that that bit of poetry dropped in my lap exactly when I needed it.

  5. I've frequently chided myself at sticking to poets I love and not searching for new voices. Now I have a new poet to read.

    1. I'm the same way--luckily, I've been put in charge of weeding the 800s at my library and so am forced to interact with new poets on a weekly basis. I can't tell you how much my world has broadened in the few months since I started this project! Thank you for stopping by my blog. :)