Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Marauders at the gate

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


The rancors of their hemless robes rake havoc in the high couloirs. Nothing will pass this way tonight. Die Eisheiligen have their imprecise appointments to keep; pageless hours strewn scattered on flurries of tempest whip and black Lawine.

Doubleyews degrade to vees in the chattering mouth. One hears them at the window, the plaintive knock of glaced alms wickspent in trembling candles on the sill. Nothing will push this night to pass. Brew dreg tea then to steep your fear.

Even die Bäume call out in shriek, their needled limbs frantic and useless as tinder. Nothing can save them but the locked fire behind your door and you are not about the misventure of succor.
This is the night of the ice saints,” you whisper to no one.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Burning to sit the hearth of your mortared dread, die Eisheiligen assail with alarm and persistence. You cup the cup tighter, wait for them to go away. They return some moments later, deeper in earnest, as if they have pressing business with you.

They may well be emissaries from ancient Helvetia with news of marauders at the gate. Forgive them their gifts of fruit-barren frost from fields of infertile snow. Theirs is a fury torn of sky, a windborne tale of holy woe. Nothing ever wishes to surrender its season.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is March in the mountains and April has yet to accrue its armies. Leave nutmeg and marrow wine by the farthest fencepost and pray they see it on approach. It may serve to slow their bleak pilgrimage, dull the unsettled hungers they would bring to your table.

This is the night of the ice saints,” you muffle yourself again. Their drifts may swallow a man to his eyes, lash him to the pall of his will to live. This is as it is with all things. In time you will grow accustomed to this rich uncertainty, share meat, have children.

Joseph Gallo
March 9, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In the space between evidence and faith

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When The Wind Comes
For Diane Holland

When the wind comes for me, let me gaze out a window
to see it bring trees to kneel, praise water into horsetails,
send sand to scrub the sky for all your blue tomorrows.

We will step into it together, when yellow flowers erupt like suns
in spring grass and kites calibrate the weather. Should you see two
hawks circling, trailing silent fire, think of me beside you like this.

Let promise become a celebration in grief and let the ache
become as holy as solitude. There is a kind of joy in this I
would wish for you and ask that you keep kindled for me.

When the wind comes for you, I will be at your window.
Look for me there in the space between evidence and faith.
We will step through together and you need not be afraid.

Embrace me there where most your senses deceive you.
Honor me in this way as you would live your lives as
tribute to whatever I might have once meant to you.

Eat for me common fruit and the sweet succulences of ripened
music. Wear fabric woven of light within and succor all who would
find comfort there. Wash yourselves in the wind that comes for us.

Lastly, sing by the window that your psalm might find me rapt and
swooning. In this way shall tomorrows without number amass and
draw near. I will think of you circling beside me in song like this.

Joseph Gallo
April 20, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In Loving Memory of Diane Michelle Holland
March 13, 1951 - April 12, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stars lift their skirts

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Vonnegut Five

My work has been far too serious of late. Sentence after
sentence, the loss of Vonnegut, five soldiers killed in one
day in the filthy cradle of civilization, another psychopath
to wend our collective ways through yet again. Nature and
mirth have evaporated leaving only the lizard glinting in
his spring mating colors dangling limp and broken from the
beak of a shinebuffed crow, blue as black in the gentle sun.

In the evening, I hear the yawning of new blossoms outside
my window and misidentify them as night-blooming jasmine,
nebulous moonflower, petaled archaeopteryx or some common
fossil of my great and storied ignorance. This does not dull the
scent and I sway like a drunken curtain before the open glass as
the stars lift their skirts to show me what they’re truly made of.

There’s a white dog been laid up on the side of the road now
six months, hit by a car and left to stink like catted-on carpet.
His black eyes are still open and this poem wants to ascribe
Egyptian dimensions and metaphorize him as Osiris’ flat
watchdog in some vigilant afterlife. But that isn’t light either.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Seriousness has so many colors that seem to overrun all the others these days. Life becomes a stain and the only way to get it out is by copious amounts of laughter. But such lathers are expensive and unavailable to those who have too much. It seems only the poor know how to laugh anymore and they’re not laughing much either. This piece is fraught with seriousness and there’s no way out.

Let’s try this: I came across this marvelous quote attributed to Dorothy Parker. It goes like this: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. That isn’t ha-ha funny at all, but it holds a kind of serious light-heartedness at the core of its condensation. I hope to see a rainbow this spring so I might have something radiant to write about. I’ve written many rainbow poems and nearly every one got serious by the second stanza. Any new one won’t stand a chance.

Now I’ll have to make a title for this piece so I can be done with it and it with me. This is how it goes every damn time. The poem and I reach an impasse and by the end of it agree to halt linguistic hostilities and reconcile towards some mutual truce wherein I cease teasing it into what it wants to be in spite of whatever I do. So I’ll go up and sit with that dog on the road, warn Osiris when the pungent moonflower crests.

Joseph Gallo
April 18, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The fragile nature of the object

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Center Of The Earth
For Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

And so gravity takes another star. The center of the Earth wants to give you a hug. In magmanimous embracings it does so a little every day. Bones and cradles rock us into its arms as the pull of milk and marrow commences before we’ve barely known mother from the inside out, before even she has held us to her ripeness, her empire of flesh and love.

The center of the Earth wishes to give you a hug. It brought a writer down and did not think about the tectonics of this driftless desire, gave no mind to the thickness of impossibility or the fragile nature of the object. It merely wanted to hold him dearly, as it does all of us, which is why we fall so often to its pressing lure, bruise and kneel to its entreaty to come to solace in a blue sun.

There are cores we will never know, can never express in fathoms or soundings, that resonate only through the membrane of being alive. It is a veil we trail behind us in smoke and song one might easily mistake for art or craft, the pungence of a rare blossom that stains a moonless night but once in the history of a sky.

The center of the Earth wishes to give you a hug and if you let it, it will bring you all the way down to the piston of its red pulse until it savors your rhythm and sips you like a harmonium, humming as a world you’ve barely half-eaten in music and the million waves of silence each sounded thing leaves in its peal.

The center of the Earth wishes to give you a hug and, in time, we all summit to do so, to leave our names in the wind and wanderless ways that pass so pure and effortless there.

Joseph Gallo
April 11, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

And other than this

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lake Luzern

moon parts clouds
like a breeze
that bends reeds

scatters diamonds
in dark spaces between
swans on the lake

ignites their withers
in a bath of pearl
ablaze on black water

passing in slow comets
and other than this
leaves them alone.

Joseph Gallo
April 9, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, April 08, 2007

She knows I am there

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thursday In Altdorf

They’re all shivering in Switzerland and I am in a midnight room in the City of the Sun. The man with the fresh vegetables and flowers for his wife. The woman with the blue umbrella scurrying past a car trying to find ideal parking. Street markets make people into mute marionettes who have no idea I am watching from half a world away.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Webcams make this possible as I fall in love with a girl who stops for no reason and looks straight back into the camera as if she knows I am there. “Who are you?” she seems to be asking. “I am a thief of this private moment and you cannot have back what I have taken from you.” This is no way to start a romance as anyone who reads scripture knows.

She remains nonetheless and reminds me of an unwary woman I knew who lives not far from where she is standing right now in black pants and a hooded jacket. She moves out into the street and I see she is pushing a bicycle as many Europeans do every day. I liked seeing cyclists in Amsterdam zuzzing all about me when I walked the end of a summer to see dear Vincent.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

She moves off now and is gone without so much as a goodbye glance, her shoulders visible just behind the stalls and carts and stands that sell morning cervelat and strong coffee so rich and plentiful on the continent. A man stands hands in pocket, dumbly alone, as we all do when we are easily arrested by the simplicity of deciding where to go, what to do next.

This must be what God does all day long, thousands of cameras trained via millions of monitors, every step traced, every tiny sparrow tagged. The man has not moved and his hands are still pocketed. My lover girl reappears with her bicycle and he watches her pass until she moves out of bottom frame. He looks up at me and mouths something that ends in damn.

Joseph Gallo
April 5, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

You a®e b®eaking the law ®eading this

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch®. ~Ga®®ison Keillor

The Little ® In The Ci®cle

I would w®ite this poem as it is fo®ming in my head,
but the ®ight wo®ds are not available. Ou® language
is being sold, one wo®d at a time. Whole ph®ases once
®eadily accessible have now gone the sad way of
pho®o®hacos and the pygmy ®hino. Soon we will not
be able to call this poet®y. F®ee exp®ession will be
outlawed. These a®e the stopwo®ds of ou® mode®n lives.
They find thei® way into the spoken channel to filte® out
all that is ®egiste®able and ®emune®able. ®ecipe books
will be called Obite® Didactica or Cassowa®y Ga®ble.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Co®po®ations have usu®ped the functionality of o®al
and w®ritten communication. Good luck sending g®andma
a get-well ca®d. That ®esume had bette® be p®ope®ly
licensed and paid fo®. The wo®ld has been t®adema®ked
into oblivion. Eventually, we will need passpo®ts to look
at the moon. You a®e most likely b®eaking the law ®eading
this as I am in w®iting it. We cannot be well, we’®e not
®ich enough to do good wo®k, and eve®y day it is becoming
mo®e and mo®e impossible to affo®dably keep in touch.

Joseph Gallo
Ap®ril 4, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, April 02, 2007

The night beside me

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Night Wakes Me

Night wakes me. It wants something it doesn’t
know how to ask for. What is it? The ragged tabby
who roams the neighborhood moaning in feral orange?
The leaking traffic that shimmers the dewgather with
white noise? What is it you want? I get up and press
a button. Motherboard tells magnetic plates to spin
and the window holds a pregnant moon. The stars
have poured milk onto our quiet little street and
snowlight floods everything. What is it? Is someone
thinking of me six thousand worlds away?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Do you wish the company of unslept poets who might
praise and stroke you back to sleep, tell you you're
beautiful and rub your twinkling skin until slumber
takes you right through to approaching dawn? A
nightbird calls on cue to say yes to all of the above.
Crickets pause, my wakeless gaze settles. I graciously
comply. Returning back to the empty bed, I realize
I too want something I don’t know how to ask for.
I open the window to let the night in beside me.

We can all go back to sleep now.

Joseph Gallo
April 2, 2007 ~ 5:22 am

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket