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Winter 2018/19

Nicholas Samaras


How strange the sensation
to recognise my own handwriting

from a different life—
sensory to marvel

at the innocence of the letters,
the wide and trusting ovals.

“MUST read this book . . .”
I’ve never heard of the title.

“Must write to . . .”
I don’t recognise the name.

“Need to apply by September 1st . . .”
Did it ever happen?

I love the urgency of intention,
the notes for self-improvement.

“Must contact . . .”
“Sunday:  PROPOSE . . .”

 “Write this essay idea . . .”
“Must move to . . .”

How good I wanted to be.
To read every Russian novel.

To take care of my father forever.
Look around myself. How much

did I follow through, to remind
myself of my own handwritten life?

NICHOLAS SAMARAS is the author of “Hands of the Saddlemaker” (Yale University Press) and “American Psalm, World Psalm” (Ashland Poetry Press). He is currently completing two new manuscripts of poetry.




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