Poems by Zachariah Hauptman 2018

Zach HauptmanZACHARIAH HAUPTMAN is a Reference Librarian at the South San Francisco Library by day, a CCSF student at night, and a gigantic genderqueer nerd at all times (they/them pronouns, please!). With their group, Truth Sans Justice, they run panels on popular culture, misogyny and the queer community, and write LARPs that run in and around the SF Bay Area. In their copious free time, they write poetry, short fiction and snarky blogs about social issues.


sometimes i think
the word ‘boner’ sounds like
it means a really good joke
a prank you fell victim to

wouldn’t it be nice if we  made that happen

hey bro
i’m gonna show you a great boner
a great big one

just follow me
it won’t scare you
it will make you laugh
a boner
between friends

what’s a boner between friends

adult pleasures

sitting on your back porch in the misting rain
afternoon dew drops slow
soaking into your heather grey jersey dress
with a half gallon neon green
jug of bubbles

watching bubbles lift off
the long yellow wand and waver
float only up to the apartment above you
a long goodbye

prophesying their lifespans
by fingerprints of soap-slick spirals
thin magenta fading silver
as the pregnant outlines
shiver away

Rhythms of Tragedy

Jews tap their toes to the steady beat
of violence always barely visible on the horizon
a thin grey whisper of thunder
no lightning to presage its way

just the footsteps below
while we hide in the closet or attic
smelling the dust of our grandfathers’
move from Odessa to New York
and the sharp scent of our own heartbeat

Jews tap their toes to the
half-tick, uneven staccato of other people’s pain
like canaries carrying sour mists
a poisonous splashing hatred
slow and unyielding drops
the water will wear us down too

we roll the danger smell along our palettes
nuanced tasters as well as musicians
the underlying tang of inevitability
paired with the ripe roundness of half-truths
desperate salt and dehumanized umami
and the taste of soil clogs our throats

Jews tap their toes waiting for
the song of assimilation to settle into our bones
it dulls the senses to the rapid tattoo
of blows like rain in our windowless house

it turns down the music so we forget
when we pound the drum skins
like boots and pogroms
beating black and brown bodies

we crack our bones
with the final hit