“i’d like a little flashlight” is a poem from Rachel Zucker’s collection The Pedestrians. 



A native of New York, she has lived in the city for almost her entire life, which has greatly influenced her poetry.

“Being a New Yorker is very intrinsic to my personality,” Zucker told Art Beat. “New York has always shown up in all my poems, but in [The Pedestrians], I was really interested in being more explicit about it and not just writing about New York, but writing in a way that somehow mimicked the experience of living in New York.”

i’d like a little flashlight& I’d like to get naked & into bed & be
HOT radiating heat from inside these
blankets do nothing to keep out the out keep
my vitals in some drafty body I’ve got in & out
in all directions I’d like to get naked into bed but
HOT on this early winter afternoon already
dusky grim & not think of all the ways
I’ve gone about the world & shown myself
a fool shame poking holes in my thinned carapace
practically lacy woefully feminine I’d like to get
naked into bed & feel if not hot then weightless I
once was there a sensory-deprivation tank
Madison WI circa 1992 I paid money for that
perfectly body-temperature silent pitch-dark tank
to do what? play dead & not die? that was before
e-mail before children before I knew anything
just the deaths of a few loved ones which were poisoned nuts
of swallowed grief but nothing of life
or life giving which cuts open the self bursting busted
unsolvable I’d like to get naked into the bed of my life
but hot HOT my little flicker-self trumped up somehow
blind & deaf to all the dampening misery of my friends’ woes
I’d like a little flashlight to write poems w/ this lousy day
not this poem I’m writing under the mostly flat
blaze of bulb but a poem written with the light itself
a tiny fleeting love poem to life a poem that says
Look here a bright spot of life oh look another!



Rachel Zucker will be joining us on Thursday, February 11th at 8:30pm in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. As always, we’re free and open to the public.