Monday, March 19, 2018

James A. Zoller

James Zoller is the author of three poetry collections, including Living on the Flood Plain (2008, WordFarm), and his brand-new collection Ash & Embers. He is Professor of Writing and Literature at Houghton College in New York State. Previously, he has taught at SUNY-Albany and at the University of New Hampshire. In 2011 he was Fulbright Professor of American Studies at Pusan National University in South Korea.

I am pleased to have served Jim, and his fine poetry, as the editor of this new book — which is part of the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books. The following poem is from Ash & Embers.


One eyed, yes. And one eye
sees the visual organ music
in that rose of nine petals,
nine-point celestial compass, a fine
odd number though not seven, not perfection.

Random, the number of luck,
nine is another math entirely —
a trinity of trinities, three squared,
an image shaped illuminated leveraged,
the mandala, tool of spectral navigation.

So I pulled off its smiling head
its single-eyed smiley-face its life-filter its rose-
colored glasses, only to discover
a petri dish with random shapes and shards
vivid, odd, and polished glass

the kind one might mistake for trash
— the kind one might liken
to chaos of the human soul,
the hit-or-miss of the universe,
the cluttered proofs for God.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.