Monday, November 16, 2009

a poetfriend

My dear friend, Matthew Siegel, has a new website. I met Matt about three and a half years ago, at the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, which I would highly recommend to any undergraduate who is serious about writing. Matt's poems have always been instructive to me, as a poet who often writes about pain. I love his sense of humor, the simple intimacy of his voice. There is some unwavering clarity to many of his poems, even when expressing that which is most uncertain, most difficult. Here is one such poem:

Blood Work

The white sky is a gauze pad pressed
over my vein as the needle slips out.

The woman who draws from me smiles, she always
remembers me, no matter how skinny I might get.

No matter how dark the circles under my eyes become,
she remembers me and how easy my veins are

so visible, so thick that she doesn’t even have to tie my arm,
but she does, and takes the smaller one

the bigger one too easy. I don’t tell her
the best to take my blood was a different woman

who used to take blood from animals,
part the fur, find their blue tap and drain.

She lets me play with the test tubes of my blood
can you feel how warm they are? That’s how warm you are inside

and I nod, think about condoms, tissues,
all the things that contain us but cannot.

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