cover image Daybed


Zach Savich. Black Ocean, $14.95 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-939568-23-6

In his spare sixth collection, Savich (The Orchard Green and Every Color) crafts vibrant images of the natural world and stirring reinterpretations of the everyday. He manages to lend an air of profundity to such banal observations as “Even inferior fruits are improved by ripening.” The poet assigns names and meanings, such as “Birds eye view: a term for meeting a sparrow’s gaze,” or “A pitcher by the bed means it is a guest room,” defining the terms of his world. Savich’s verse also enacts a Buddhist-like detachment: “I say spring is our first evening together and if there are no others all right.” As in meditation practice, thoughts and observations drift by with the poet’s brief acknowledgment and polite dismissal, resistant to the formation of a narrative. The speaker is above earthly concerns, or perched on the edge of some finality: “Teeth, I won’t need you// Still, eternity can’t get over us.” Savich allows and encourages readers to seek their own interpretation of the philosophy he develops, writing, “You have to follow this thing to see if it’s a compass.” Savich’s relaxed idylls are an effective balm against the rigid narratives and literalism of the real world, and his conviction is reassuring: “Beloved, the world/ is still around. I’ve seen it/ in a threadbare blouse.” (Dec.)