Sunday, April 20, 2008

Always another room


The World Doesn’t Stop

The world doesn’t stop for poems.
It stops for audits, consultations,
diagnoses, and invoices. It stops
for board meetings, annual budgets,
and skewed stockholder reports.

The world doesn’t stop for poems.
It stops for military parades, celebrity
sex scandal, and Papal visits. It stops
for political diatribe, arms deals, and
reckless presidential leadership.

The world doesn’t stop for poems.
Lines strung across a page hang like dead
mistletoe, are passed beneath unnoticed
because there is always another room
to get to on our deliberate ways nowhere.

Joseph Gallo
April 17, 2008


Saturday, April 12, 2008

A place to rest


For Siobhan

She pads through the property as morning
pushes the slow creek down through green
places water drowns itself over and over.

Her thirst eased, it is hunger that drives her
now, hunger and a place to rest the heat of
day. A blue globe turns beneath her trod as


she paws her line in concentric geometries
known only to senses she has no name for.
There is no following her, no slowing her

quest to seize what the day would keep from
her but for this padding, this cresting of hunger,
this interminable press of wet and heavy stars.

Joseph Gallo
April 11, 2008


A large female mountain lion was spotted on our 5-acre rancho earlier this week, evidenced by the tracks she left. This poem came from that and my thinking about my daughter who was born twenty-three years ago today. Happy Birthday, Sio!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Against all our living



It’s always the small things that trip us up,
an undipped heel, a ten-cent relay, the
bird on the runway. Against all our living,
wrought ironies ply their black twists in
what only luck and dreams can embrace.

There was a girl once, tall and young,
and she brought me a piece of myself
I knew existed, but had never encountered.

It was a small thing, like an adornment
one adds for grace or accent, but it was,
nevertheless, essential. That part of me
is who I am in her presence, because she
could see between the spaces in my atömli,
the vast stretches spread through my local
cluster that bleed off the body into bands
of broad emptiness and necessary light.


I watched a boy being fed in a restaurant.
He was about twelve and sat crooked
in his wheelchair. Spoon after slow spoon,
his hunger was dispatched by the paternal
hand that brought him into this place.
Even the most withered of us need nutrient.

It’s the small things that come into play.
One unnoticeable detail after another
missed or disregarded, stepped over
as an ant trudges across the spider’s
trapdoor, never seeing the thin veiled
threshold that leads the last way home.

Joseph Gallo
March 24, 2008