Monday, October 24, 2011

Topher Hemann

MATERIAL SHIFT                                   

for Matthias Regan

thinking thru things
the material of it
what I thought

it would be was
more solid, more

like this voice is
almost an audible
pressure behind ear

drum—it's a click
thinking thru light

switches the ease
with which faucets
expect water

every thing broken
reveals its utility

a hammer bare to tang
returns to its
unhandleable lump

but not its purpose:
thru new verbs material

shifts as a mind
grapples not so much
with what it is but what

the word for it does
pressing against the ear

Topher Hemann grew up in rural New Hampshire, where he worked as a stonemason, landscaper and gardener.  He graduated from the University of Chicago's MAPH program in 2006. He has lived in South Korea since 2007 and teaches in the College English Program at Seoul National University.  His poems have recently appeared in The Cultural Society