Monday, October 31, 2011

As it does with everything


I blame the moon for making things obvious. ~Kyle Kimberlin


It must be the rotund starkness against unerring black
that allows for such contrast to swallow both eye and
reason. She was gone from my side a long time before
I noticed and for a long time before that. Standing as
we did there on a cliff, salted light on the sea below us
racing with worry all the way to a horizon that swelled
unseen in the distant darkness, our words snapping off
peaked reflections that brought us to such departure.


Early October and summer gone, she went with it and
that was that. I might have written poems and songs
that tore bits of fabric laid out with love in craterglow.
The scent of hyacinth and lavender, anise rising up
in a coil of chaparral dragon that blew wind from a
desert we could not see from here. I wanted the moon
to lie, to tell me love would continue until sweet ruin
came to take it all back as it does with everything.

Joseph Gallo
October 24, 2011


Friday, October 21, 2011

That's what he's getting


If God Lives Inside Us

If god lives inside of us, as some people say,
then I hope he likes looking at pictures of naked girls.

If god lives inside of us, as some people say,
then I hope he likes hot wings 'cos that's what he's getting.

If god lives inside of us, as some people say,
would it be too much to pay half the rent?

If god lives inside of us, as some people say,
I hope he recycles and keeps the noise down after ten.

If god lives inside of us, as some people say,
it’s probably the reason I can’t lose these extra pounds.

If god lives inside of us, as some people say,
if I say something you don't like, don't blame me.

It’s probably him.

Joseph Gallo
May 6, 2011


Monday, October 17, 2011

Left to the whims of elements


King Of California

It will surely be gone by morning, what I saw
coiled in the road on the way up the hill tonight.
Some owl or coyote will find it, a rat perhaps,
and it will make for a cold small morsel. It was
the first of its kind I’ve come across this season.
Someone in their haste either didn’t see it trying
to cross the road, its marked rings unmistakably
serpentine, a little king of California barely a foot
in length, bleeding out there in the lane, caught
by its own misfootedness as it searched the creek
or tomato field for the smallness of mice along
the glass meridian of its rough belly, scenting by
the minutest quaver, the instinctive twitch, the
scurried rustle, the signature that spells organic
combustion within living biology, the abatement
of hunger that forks the will to do what it must.


I stopped to look down at it, observe if there might
yet be any snake left, but there wasn’t. Too much
had leaked out to glisten under the sweep of my
headlights, would continue to under a three-quarter
moon after I closed the car door to leave it with a,
Poor fella.” So many kings have been left behind
with far less. The one in the temple ruins, the one
on that small hill of crosses. This one will be left
to the whims of elements as all the others were.
No prayer to sweeten the journey, no song to
sugar the tremble of scale or shiver of bone, no
disciple to carry the spirit of a message that was
never left beyond repeating that a snake of kings
was killed tonight, that’s all, a poor king of snakes.

Joseph Gallo
October 16, 2011


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The catch of a kiss


October First

brings you an apple and the stain of a kiss.
The apple is from Cassie, who, realizing
she is running late, plucks a red one from
the autumn basket in her hotel room to give
to the driver waiting patiently for his last
charge to arrive, the others excited to begin
the half-day’s tour in the back of the Jeep.

She appears at last, the round ripeness
of her lips poised and rouged behind the
extended fruit that as I take it in my hand
releases the catch of a kiss as morning sun
clears the trees to light the stain of a scarlet
butterfly that stays ‘til noon on my cheek.


These are the gifts given and received
when the season turns its business to
the ripeness of dying, when all that was
delivered for two seasons comes due,
the becoming given over now to taking,
when bees and sugarwasps feast on the
crush of what swelled so long on the vine.

I take these and keep them for as long as
they are mine, the red feast of eating apples,
the rich banquet of a single kiss, the short
season that gathers in the human heart, the
long season that surrenders it up, the deep
harvest that yields its brief nectar of living
to savor through the winterbearing to come.

Joseph Gallo
October 2, 2011