Thursday, November 29, 2007

An old tale of light

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You looked inside me. ~Griet from Girl With A Pearl Earring

Deep Vermeer

Catch me then looking at the light
in solemn acts of perception, the supple
cherish of how the moment slips and slips
away into longing, into the sacred ache
of misembracing what eludes an eye to
settle as a ghost upon a heart, vanishing
it little by little until absence overwhelms.

I cannot stop this looking as I cannot cease
this longing. It is an old tale of light, this,
how objects find their pure caress before
the presence of what endures in time yet
ungiven to itself. I would hold you thus,
immeasureless and expansive as whatever
ages to come might confer in failed attempts
to diminish or subsume by a weather of brush.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Seized in the thrum of time, time uncrippled by
our sense of it, time thrown from the washbucket
of a maid across the night sky, a swath of soft
pearls spilled in hard gas, you will endure
until enduring no longer matters to itself.

Catch me looking at the light then, until the looking
receases me from this endless doing so. Catch me
looking then until the last of the light looks back.

Joseph Gallo
November 22, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Withers of brushed pearl

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thus, horse helps hawk to fly, twitter take wind, the wren her place in the sky. ~Aucassin Verdé


Not the white spread of plangent adoration
unfurled from withers of brushed pearl, not
the miraculous whip of godmane tearing devils
from the very heavens, not dawncaper and flankstorm,
but the smallest threads of tailtress laced through
the warbler’s bed, crownthorn cushed from the
inside with the neighing of clopdown and larkspur,
the sown dressage of spring hay halted by a hoof
in a tree, the stable that keeps the sky for the running
beneath when to take wing means to do just that,
to claim quill and meadowsong as one’s own, to
canter along bridled arcways that pass through
fallen cloudbolt, the distant vespers of svaha,
the rootless pooling of the heavy thundered sun.

Joseph Gallo
November 21, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Silences only the wind dare speak

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Middle Nights

We crossed the vast Nevadan empty
filling it with our own—the broken
backs of hours left strewn across
silences only the wind dare speak.

There were small enclaves, towns no
bigger than the few grains of sand it
took to mark them as a small dot on the
map. We passed among unseen beings,

heard God’s almighty jets tear blue from
trembling desert skies, wandered like Jews
through great plentitudes of nothing. Black
roads pulled horizons together by stretching

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

themselves like vipers of asphalt, spacing
them out one after another. Aimless strands
of cattle crossed ribbons of shimmered rain
that pooled in mirages of unkept promise.

Into this we went, realmless and raw,
ferrying the fleshes we made anew in a
silver hurtling through vacant desolation
on our way to Rachel and Lee Vining.

We would stop to see a saucer snagged
by a tow truck and the tourist sign for
UFO Self Parking. The Little A'le'inn
would be closed that day and it would be

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

perfect, our being all alone there, for the half
hour we were. Gasoline was three complainable
bucks a gallon, but necessity ensured our coursing
through this infertile quadrant of bleak lack.

I think of these things, this time with you,
here in the middle nights of my life,
when I cannot sleep and the immensity
of solitude presses down in a relentless

weighing of everything such enormity
cannot grasp. Depthless pools of broken
water no promise can raise to rain; these rich
visions that hold us thirsting and dearly there.

Joseph Gallo
October 26, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, November 12, 2007

A far and distant landmass

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Bad News Travels At Night

It arrives at three am with its bags unpacked,
doesn’t bother knocking, and asks for money.
It is a stranger whose first name is known to you,
but one you’d rather forget. It pushes past you
and dumps out all the drawers, rifles through
cabinets you were sure were locked. On the floor,
all the intentions you’ve had since last spring lie strewn
in neglect, their abandoned excuses buried beneath.

As you watch it move from room to room, you
realize there isn’t enough food in the house. Such
naked hunger is almost beautiful to observe, so
you do. And in doing so, you watch yourself watching
as if from above, as if some clever cinematographer
placed a camera to catch every perfectly framed nuance.

Someone has quit, or died, or run away with your gardener
who promised he’d trim that front hedge by Thursday.
Someone doesn’t love you anymore, or does still, in spite
of what you truly are. Someone has fallen out of a window
that leads to the same question of what were they doing there.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There is not enough coffee in the world to keep the cup full
during this interminable time. It will root in your attic and
drag everything up there down to the cellar and everything
in the cellar up to the attic. China returns to being a far and
distant landmass on a map that’s just been torn from the wall.

Phones you didn’t know you have begin ringing and telegrams
appear at the open door. Messages are being wired through
your central nervous system and every one demands a signature.
When it leaves, there isn’t a single fingerprint in the house.

You try to describe the intruder but cannot keep the sketch
artist’s interest. You want to be a victim, but realize that would
mean everybody. So you slowly begin packing away what it left,
trundling it back up and down, rearranging the semblance of
routine and intention until you can live in your new digs again.

Joseph Gallo
November 12, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Neither held nor lost

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Somewhere In The World

Somewhere in the world we
share opposite ends of the sky.
There was the leaving you and
before that, the finding. How these
things come about, I cannot say.

How many the times you thought
of me, or I of you, and neither ever
knew it. There is a singular tragedy
in this, holding and losing a beauty
that can neither be held nor lost.

So I take water, sip the common
things that make us alike as if hovering
before the swollen pistil of a flower:
snow, pollen, dust, the grieving stars.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Somewhere in the world you
are looking out a window. If it
is night, you are staring back at
yourself. If morning, the rising
blinds you enough to cause you
to believe you might have seen
something that reminds you of me.

It may be the missing part in a fence
line, or the withered tree among a
colted stand of saplings driving the
sun deeper into their willing roots.
Whatever is or isn’t, we share
opposite ends of a same sky.

It is enough.

Joseph Gallo
November 4, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sit and make silence

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Solace Of Solitude

First build a wall that runs along
the root of a lone tree, stone on
stone, preferably, cracked with
mossy patina and the erosion
that being alone provides.

Next, set random rocks and weeds
along a barely noticeable path that
vanishes in the distance far too early.
Wash the scene with textures of light
sifted from overclouded skies. Here
sit and make silence your temple.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

After the voices fade and the murmurs
of the night commence, stand and move
towards the star that leads home. Some
part of you will follow, some part of
you will remain. What stays with you
is what is left of that which is no longer
part of you. Be with it as you heat water,
cut bread, make the mutable signs that
mark your tenuous presence in two worlds.

There is a lasting comfort in this division.

Joseph Gallo
November 2, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket