Meet Zach Mueller!

Sprious’ new Content Writer introduces himself in his own words

Hello from the clearest blue sky in America

 

That’s a line from “Patterns of Excitement,” a poem by Wendy Xu that I adore–so much so that I’ve carried a hand-written version of it around in my bag since I moved to Nebraska six years ago. It’s not so much what the poem says, but what it does that makes it intimately meaningful to me. When I first moved here from South Carolina, I reached a point on the drive half-way across the country, maybe in Illinois or Missouri or Kentucky (I can’t even remember)–that I felt an overwhelming sense of simply being somewhere purely in the middle or on the way. I remember feeling like I was nowhere and yet everywhere all the same. I have an image in my mind of driving down some interstate in the middle of the hot summer, that big, faded blue openness stretching above me, around me, and beyond me. It was comforting, scary, big, with a feeling of wideness and propulsion. It’s a feeling I’m fond of and living in for as long as I can. 

 

So. Hello from the clearest blue sky in America. I’m Zach Mueller, new to Team Marketing at Sprious. This is new territory for me, and yet this new role as Strategic Content Manager allows me to expand on the work that I’m proudest of in new directions. My background is in literature, poetry, and teaching–but mainly writing. In my role, I’ll be working on, working with, and managing the various limbs of our marketing blogs at Sprious. The thing I’m most excited about: getting to work alongside other talented writers, thinkers, developers, and designers in ways that have already propelled me forward and challenged me in ways that keep me excited about what I get to do every day. What I appreciate most about my job: the spirit of thoughtfulness and sincerity that’s embedded in our work and our culture. Sprious feels (and is, in actuality) both local and global, big and small. Evolving and growing, while staying grounded.

 

I think my inclination (and perhaps this is true of most of us) in the way of introduction is to present what I care about most in the form of objects. In some sense, I believe we truly are a composite of all of the things we favor. But what I always wonder is what is it that I truly value? For me, the truth of someone is what they notice without knowing. I could tell you that “Streetcar Named Desire” is my favorite film, but really, if I think about it, maybe it’s the way Marlon Brando wears a white t-shirt and stares from beneath a cloud of smoke in black and white. Is it “Round about Midnight” that gets me right in the gut, or is the truth somewhere closer to the space between the notes–how their perfectly imperfect dismissals of expectation feel like rain against a window. Or perhaps the way the melody conjures an image of Thelonious wearing sunglasses in the dark, the way he sits crooked in the arms of the piano. I could tell you my favorite novel (anytime if you ask), my favorite song (I won’t, but maybe with time), or my favorite coffee shop (Kudu, Charleston.) I wear my personal affinities and cultural affections (mostly) on my sleeve. But I think those things only make one kind of sense about us, and as much as they might speak for us, I believe it’s really the way we notice what we love–the noticing about that counts. 

 

We’re nothing if not noticing what makes life interesting, always in motion, in one hand over to another. What I hope to bring to Sprious is an affection for curiosity, an attention to detail, and a passion for making connections through my work. I hope to always ask not what a thing is, but how it works, how it moves, and what it does. “Hello from the clearest blue sky in America.” It’s my favorite line in the poem, but not because it’s the prettiest line or my favorite image (“When I give advice I can feel myself choking on a mouthful of apples”). It’s because the line sits perfectly in the middle of the poem, having left already and never quite arriving–and that makes a kind of sense that tells me everything I need to know about how to see something for what it truly is.

 

Wendy Xu’s “Patterns of Excitement”

 

How many sentences do you need to sink a kayak

Welcome to my list of necessarily unanswerable questions

Dear person I am writing this for your morning urgency of light

For whatever questions about the future come into your bed

This is just to say that in fifty years we will not be fossils

Do you believe me when I transmit a certain fearlessness

When I give advice I can feel myself choking on a mouthful of apples

I am bad with money and clumsy with language

I believe that birds are not sandwiches waiting to happen

Hello from the clearest blue sky in America

It is so perfect to watch the river slowly braiding its milky hair

To feel confidently inclined toward kindness

We are living inside a thing someone said to someone we will never meet

Please ask me how I am honest

What I mean is: between sleeping and waking I find myself intact

I do not want to compare the sheets to anything except themselves

Dear person I like your attention to clocks 

Mine roll their eyes and I move forward in time

I would like for any other human to understand why that is gorgeous

DO YOU HAVE A SHAPE is what I have been yelling at stars

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