Monday, December 26, 2011

So that forgetting might come


Early Morning Somewhere

Early morning Sedona or Mexican Hat,
the light a murmuration of dragon skin
asleep on your back, your bare arms goosed
with cool flesh an open window allows.

Horses restless in an otherwise empty pen,
wind on chain on a fulcrum globed in black
iron and the absence of everything apparent
like the brevity we keep to share together.


The road endures our lassitude, waits like
the feralbone cat we fed coldcuts to as we
parked just the night before, the crown
of its graceless back purring arched motors.

Coffee, kisses, some shared words, the pulling
moment smeared in the rearview. The windshield
spreads the future before us like a present, torn
and ribboned by our ruthless unwrapping.

So many mornings in the world, every day
so many more. We leave them to others so
that forgetting might come, the endless
reminder that nothing holds on for long.

Joseph Gallo
November 4, 2011


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Across a blue line


Christmas Morning

Low winter angles stoke light in the studio.
Islands spill across a blue line of horizon.
Chimney-smoke ghosts through the dozing houses.
Bees plunder blossoms in wild rosemary.
Roadrunner warms against an ember of sun.
Red straw where the coyote kill took place.
The mouse foot left behind by a stealthy owl.
The miracle of the everyday arrives in the ordinary.

Joseph Gallo
December 25, 2011


Friday, December 16, 2011

On that very day


If I Die On A Monday

If I die on a Monday, make sure
you’ve got enough groceries for the week.

If I die on a Tuesday, make sure
no one mentions I was born on that very day.

If I die on a Wednesday, make sure
you put the trash out on the curb by nine.

If I die on a Thursday, make sure
that little ficus on the patio gets enough water.

If I die on a Friday, wish everyone
in the office a great weekend for me anyway.

If I die on a Saturday, please don’t
be too upset if the lawn doesn’t get mowed.

If I die on a Sunday, think of me
when you drive by that little church I never went in.

Joseph Gallo
December 16, 2011


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This dear and difficult world



No one misses Martha Heckett anymore.
She died years ago as did all of her friends.
My young mother knew her when she
attended Church of Christ, the single mom
with four kids who needed all the help she
could get. Martha and Brother Bill were
there and helped. Brother Bill bought us
groceries a few times, always welcomed
us at the Sunday chapel door. Martha gave
mother a bible. Every so often, I would
have to move that bible to get to another
book and found myself opening it on
occasion. Not to read words of comfort
or inspiration, but to read what Martha
had written inside to my mother, some
small moment laid out in heartfelt cursive.
I can’t recall the words, but I liked reading
them and remembering Martha’s kind face,
a face lost to my recollection now as all
memory of her has left this dear and difficult
world, as my mother’s children have left
to go about their lives. No one misses Martha
Heckett anymore. But her inscription endures.

Joseph Gallo
November 9, 2011


Sunday, December 11, 2011

We lose the world in doing so


The Lies Of Coffee

Tipping the cup back it whispers,
like a clever snake in a perfect tree:
Everything will be alright.

Of course it will, even if we
lose the world in doing so,
says the warm trembling palm.

Liquid pilgrim enter the temple,
throw yourself against ice-marbled
lakes, the mislaid promises left there.


We watch the red wound of the
coming day as the white balm
of the full night falls dead away.

Sip by sip, grounds percolate in
the desert of the soul, leave dunes
to worry themselves unseen.

These are the lies of black coffee
and hashish, the worn paths that
vanished long before you lost them.

Setting the empty cup down to
be washed, it spills all it holds:
Somehow, everything will be alright.

Joseph Gallo
November 10, 2011


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Beneath your knowing



Sun hangs like pelvisbone
in the air, a spongy pad of
butterscotch for color, the
sky whiter than normal.

No ravens, no baubles to
bother with. There is enough
to fuss about in this relative
calm, the thuzzing distance.

Somewhere beneath your
knowing of it, something
tugs at your dread, a loose
sleeve ragged from worry.


Your cuff is a wing for
the wind to strum and you
allow it for no other reason
than it pleases you to do so.

A lone red coyote trolls the
field, hole to hole, where
gophers and ground squirrels
bob and spy like tiny whales.

You look at one another
and there is that knowing
again, the one that says this
is neither sign, nor omen.

Joseph Gallo
November 15, 2011