Ed Zahniser

Three Poems from The Ultimate Double Play

Volume 17:1, Winter 2016
Some Of Us Press Issue

Christ Sonnet

for John Berryman

the discipline is this/sit to the keys,
Perhaps the hands begin to dance, the fingers
find their keys and work the magic out. He said
“The Word is in us,” laying down the discipline
so breathe it out against this smog – each mantra’s
like a new breath all its own. The Word
is in us. But sweet Christ what’s the invocation
brings it forth? These fingers stumble on
the keys so calcified, so haltingly. Oh talk
not lightly of the word and walk in darkness
like babes stuck out there in soft limbo
with cotton candy placards, but
Stagger the green day down the tulip rows
weeding out the word from dark intent.

Ed Zahniser SOUPThe Public Library


looking between dead volumes just
yr eyes below the empty shelf


a book about design


yr hair
in the reference section


Architecture w/o Architects


reading lips is the privilege
of a few


yr feet don’t touch the floor


Zahniser, March 1985The Sign

at the edge
of my world
at that spot
where if you listen
to everybody else
you might fall off –
there is a sign which says

“Columbus Discovered Himself”


Each Some Of Us Press author was responsible for the design of their own cover, which allowed each book to take on its own personality. Zahniser recalls: “I did the artwork and the type and laid the cover out sort of Bauhaus rigid-alignment, but things popped off—hot wax, repositionable adhesive!—at the printer’s, and they pasted them back on in a much more loose style, which was okay, too.”


Ed Zahniser was born in DC, raised in Hyattsville, MD, and served in the US Army in the US and Korea (1968 – 1970). On his return to DC, he co-founded Some Of Us Press, was poetry editor of Wilderness magazine and an associate poetry editor of Antietam Review. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines in the US and UK; he is the author of four full-length books, most recently At Betty’s Restaurant Thomas Shepherd Loves Danske Dandridge and The Shepherdstown Sonnets (Four Seasons Books, 2014) and Mall-hopping with the Great I AM (Somondoco Press, 2006); and three chapbooks, most recently Slow Down and Live, a collaboration with artist and designer Heather Watson of Pernot & Tatlin (2011). His Some Of Us Press book, The Ultimate Double Play, was his first published book, released in 1974. Zahniser lives in Shepherdstown, WV, where he is the co-founder and poetry editor of the all-volunteer community quarterly The Good News Paper. He edited the anthology In Good Company: 27 Poets Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Shepherdstown and has hosted an annual fundraiser for his local public library for multiple years. With Karen Z. Bettacchi, he published the nonfiction book Ways to the Wilderness (Atlantis Rising Communications, 1998). Zahniser recently retired from the National Park Service Publications Group in Harpers Ferry, WV after 35 years of service. In that capacity he lectured widely and led seminars on wilderness preservation topics.