Ira Sadoff

In the Vanguard
August 14, 2012 Sadoff Ira

In the Vanguard

For Bill Evans


It takes a few notes, a very few notes, to undo the bare bones of a person. Where formerly we were piecework in a garment factory, we’re now a cache of minor keys: some cerulean, some midnight blue, a few redacted, Re: The Person We Knew: 1961 at the Village Vanguard. Hegel holds that the soul is the form, the essence of any living thing; it is not a substance separate from the body that holds it; the possession of soul turns an organism into an organism; a body without a soul is merely a soul in the wrong body. Our repetitions, our disguises, those cloudy sequences where we’re adrift, will bring us to a neighborhood where tulips are sold, where this season’s dresses rattle down the street on steel racks. To a basement café where his spare melody stitches us together.

Ira Sadoff’s the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently TRUE FAITH (BOA Editions, 2012) and the re-issued PALM READING IN WINTER (Carnegie-Mellon). He’s published a novel, UNCOUPLING, THE IRA SADOFF READER, and HISTORY MATTERS (U.of Iowa Press) a critical book on poetry and culture. He’s been widely anthologized and awarded grants from the Guggenheim Fellowship and the NEA. He has new work appearing in THE NEW YORKER, APR, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem a Day Series. He lives in a converted barn in upstate New York.