Andrew Zitcer's poem read at the Writers House "Mind of Winter" program

January 31, 2002

slowly, pro-cessionally climb the covers up
from the ice carpet

in that pinching-slightly, orange comfort moment--
that SHOULD BE comfort moment where
a mouse is. a mouse is in!
in truding on you.

lift the draped-up, from the floor up
onto the word sofa, on a plushed gingerly/angle
of comfy (careful!) upward. not to get the mouse up.

up, into your convalescence. a mouse is up.
you are up.
in the secretly yours hours of confinding.
healing, con sofa--what should you do?

you tap sharply. three times wood--three times wood,

scurry is the only worry, wordy charlie.


at night later, all is quiet. "Frost at Midnight."
an infant's gentle breathings, "hhleh."

mock study on my swimming book
the sole unquiet thing
is swimming--in my swimming pool

whose puny flaps & freaks the idling spirit
with all the numberless goings-on of life
the love. the property.

property holding. the pursuit
of past due dates
on little bright books
you got over.

tufts of snow on the bare branch.
while the nigh-thatch smokes
in the sun thaw.


What a century for hands!
What usury! I hate, (I realize)
all forms of trade

One must...enter politics, be saved.
I could reel it off--
I have the whole thing by heart.

Up late nothing!
Nothing of the logic of madness--
the madness that gets
locked up

Go to it, demon!
Go to the palm fronds.
Go to the wind in 'em.

What, is he doing it?
One or two-more?

No, now I am cursed,
I'm in trouble I hate my country!

Better to sleep it off
on the beach, dead drunk
like a carrot-toter,
like a dirty rat.