All these poems come from a suite-in-progress called Old Sayings. They are based on English clichés, bromides, idiomatic locutions, &c. Actually, “based on” is not correct; sometimes, a phrase is the starting point for a poem (e.g. “What Do You Want for Nothing?”), but at other times, a poem begins from the usual dark source and the title comes later.
William Zander has published poetry in many periodicals (e.g., Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazy Horse, Defined Providence, Light, New Letters, New York Quarterly, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Rattapallax, South Dakota Review, Yankee, et al.) and one book of poems, Distances, from Solo Press (long out of print). He is a contributing editor of The Literary Review and has retired from teaching at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.
Through Zander’s phenomenal images, the outside lives in the inside. No matter the poetic platform—and he is accomplished in many: wit, rhyme, and parody among them—his theme is this: Everything is in us. He has always, it seems, understood that the outdoors, and those natures that go wild there, are ours as well, intrinsically, and a part of those internal natures of human physiology and intelligence, of philosophy, of God, and of human entanglements. Oh, he is fully present in his poems, but his presence is osmotic; the visible world has been absorbed,
—Renée Ashley, author of Basic Heart and The Various Reasons of Light
Reading Gone Haywire reminds me of discovering a favorite junk shop—in this case, one that seems lit by the light of a refrigerator door a man’s son just can’t quite be convinced to close: one can find there, with a sense of joy and melancholy mixed, both one’s past and one’s future: all our pasts, really—and all our futures. And one can hold them and turn them in one’s hand. Where else will one find “penicillin” rhymed with “Dylan”, then a beautiful, troubled son’s nightmare entwined with the nightmare of 9/11, then tenderness in a beheaded deer’s eyes, or those of a railing lover? If this is a junk shop, it is one of the heart, and Zander’s wise and witty heart contains much and many—and the light that shines there, strange as it is, is illuminating indeed. I will be coming back often.
—David Daniel, author of Seven-Star Bird
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