About The Author:
Zach Miller is a graduate of the New School MFA program for Creative Writing and has published in McSweeney's, Red China, Agriculture Reader, The Escapist, Kindling Quarterly and forthcoming in Sea Legs. He was the runner up for the 2008 Richard Hugo House New Works competition and an honorable mention in the 2015 Northern Colorado Writers Contest.About The Work:
Broadly, this is work about light, with its association with consciousness, and how the imagination both imprisons us and set us free. I am terrified of the blind spot, the central thing about ourselves we cannot observe, as well as the slavery created by our own thoughts, memories, and preconceptions. I am also astonished by the ability of language and imagination to shift perspective and therefore our vision of the world.
A sample from the book...
In the center of my chest
where my heart should be
there is a baby.
I don’t like to broadcast these things, it’s embarrassing.
In the winter it’s manageable,
I keep him well swaddled beneath my coat,
apologize for the cooing and burping in the grocery line,
just indigestion I say, smiling broadly.
Summer is more difficult—
his bright blue eyes peek above my t-shirt,
his tiny fists reaching out for ladies,
knocking over cans of beer
placed too close to me at picnics.
At some point you realize
you’ve spent your life covering
for the baby in your chest;
in the middle of the night
your lover asking you, is everything ok?
It’s not me crying. It’s just this baby.
Go to sleep. She says, rolling over.
I must be a terrible father,
because no matter how old I grow,
the baby stays the same age.
Baby, what do you want?
Are you tired?
I’ve rocked you to the gentle hum
of network television
lullabies of talk radio, freeway drives,
I even took an office job,
but you fuss continually.
Are you hungry still?
I’ve fed you as best I know how:
on early morning trains
where the tracks are blinding silver,
on the side of the road where
an apple tree exalted a robin’s nest
I could hardly tear you away.
We’ve roamed seashores,
the seagulls circling,
cracking oysters from the air,
stumbled late beneath orange streetlights,
where garbage men prowled like stagehands.
I kept you warm in bars with pulls of whiskey,
in the arms of long haired women,
but nothing kept you happy long.
Baby, secretly we both dream of being free,
but we just keep going like this, stubbornly,
absurdly proud of our conjoined condition.
Baby it’s been decades of you
wailing, me walking the floors
keeping each other
awake in bedrooms, distracted at work
fogging up car windows with our breath,
moving, bleary-eyed, from apartment to apartment, city to city,
eating peanuts high above oceans,
our movements beating out a slow staccato rhythm,
until our cries become a song,
with all its gaps and breakdowns,
and breathless pauses,
and so, fuck it, we’ve gone this far
we drink, and sing,
and reel deeper into the living room,
breaking the squares of moonlight on the carpet,
and you’re wailing like a dance caller, me following
despite myself, yelling—
Baby, where is it taking us?
and I cannot tell anymore who is cradling who
and who is looking on in wonder at the frost
threading across the sliding glass,
and whether the pounding from my heels
is a beat or a hammer,
or a knock at a door I don’t know how to open,
and whether we are singing or crying
and whether the frost and the moonlight and the sliding glass
are singing back,
or if that is just our voices
echoing from the bathroom tile
as we hum ourselves to sleep.
10% of every book sold will go to support The Pollinator Pathway, a visionary plan to strengthen and reconnect fragmented green spaces by working across existing infrastructure to provide a new national network of significant design projects- each connecting two or more fragmented green spaces and designed to ecological standards.
The Pollinator Pathway is the interdisciplinary design work of Sarah Bergmann, created in partnership with designers, planners, and scientists.
Only 100 handcrafted copies were made. Unfortunately some trees were harmed in the making of this book.
Zach Miller - A Grave of Rain