Alan Shapiro

January 6, 2014 Shapiro Alan



A bead of moisture swelling from black metal,

Black metal of a railing’s underside

between bars swelling into a see-through time-

lapse of an infinitesimal flowering

of solid into liquid, black to clear

to air through which it fell before it formed

again, to swell and fall again, forming

and falling so utterly unaware of me

that it was like I wasn’t there at all,

or there only in my attention as

a residue of sight evaporating

into the seen, the not me that now through me

for a moment was aware of what it was,

just moisture out of metal into air.

Alan Shapiro is the author of 13 books of poetry, two memoirs, a novel, a book of critical essays and two translations. His awards include the Kingsley Tufts Award, 2 NEAs, a Guggenheim and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award. His newest book of poems, Life Pig, was published in 2016 along with a book of essays, That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration, both from University of Chicago Press. He is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina.