Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Among the small and settled stones

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Be careful. God isn’t alone out there. ~John the Baptist, The Last Temptation of Christ


Into Desert

Do this: run your hand among the
small stones, stones in which the
sun sleeps during the night to shut
its ears against talking snakes and
the scorpion’s heartless lament.

Do this: sit alone until dawn dies
in the dusk’s bruised arms, until the
sun steals your tongue to speak salt
from sand, until you are quenched by
a pillar of fire that promises the sea.

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Do this: stand before the trembling of
your own flesh, your hands holding
whatever holes will have them, your
eyes pulled into a caravan of fever
where the prophet’s gift is made ready.

Do this and pass by the last window
of my house, turn not, look not, press
toward whatever horizon presents itself
to your wander and do not turn back until
you have reached it again, and again after
that, until it leaves you where you began,
here in my arms, here in this resting place
among the small and settled stones.

Joseph Gallo
December 5, 2007


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5 Comments:

Blogger Joni parried...

I like this one. It speaks to my inner wanderer very clearly.

December 14, 2007 5:51 AM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Your mercurial inner wanderer, eh? I like that. I also like that there's more than meets the eye in this one. I wrote both this and the previous poem, Lazarus Arisen, back to back. They just jumped right out.

Must be a holiday thing. ;-)

December 14, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger James parried...

Sweet.

And very funny.

James (Mystic-lit)

December 15, 2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Torrey parried...

Joseph,

Just wanted to let you know that I thought your piece on Christmas Eve at Mystic Lit is outstanding.

I finally had a chance to catch up on my reading, as things have settled down and I'm not constrained to an hour of breathing room in which I do little but write and go insane.

Coming back to your comments, which I greatly appreciated, on my long harangue about self-doubt:

Indeed, pain is a necessary part of the process, and I commend you for embracing and occasionally mainlining it. I do the same, however, living in a constant state of such quickly leads to mouth fucking a .357 magnum.

So I oscillate between the two in fine roller coaster style.

I dig your perspective, and I'm obliged to have made your acquaintance.

December 27, 2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Thanks for your comments on the Mystic-Lit posting, Torrey.

I couldn't agree more on the merits of building a penthouse suite on a dragonwhirler as opposed to giving head to Smith & Wesson.

And folks, if you didn't read Torrey's excellent piece called Self-Doubt over at Mystic-Lit last Sunday, December 23rd, get thee behind me and give an eyeful to some very clever and funny writing patinated with a professional's perspective.

Thanks for the visit, Torrey, and best to you in the coming new year!

December 27, 2007 4:32 PM  

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