Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Adrift in a white sea

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The Unfinishing Man

1
I was not of this time. I knew it that first night
I slept across the lake from France. The smell
of sweated horses and weeping wine barrels; burled
shadows riding across dim-lit country inn walls;
17th century light stained by an absinthe moon.

All night in Nyon, I heard violins in la Place Pigalle,
kisses shuffling between sheetless lips that sang
laced measures of lovemaking in La Belle Époque;
the musketeered bravado swashed by silkish rogues;
the damask camaraderie of high-booted mistons.

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2
Modernity has finally arrived to confuse me.
I nearly poured cream into the coffee maker.
Boxed cereal does not go into the refrigerator.
Everything needs a key, yet nothing remains locked.
My machines have at last risen up against me.

I begin stories, etch them out in lines and pages,
breathe moments into imaginary people, give them
brief life only to leave them unhinged in their time.
I do this repeatedly, setting them adrift in a white sea.
It is a cruel habit, this penchant for tidal abandonment.

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3
An ersatz wizard once confided to me that I was a tenth
level king. He went on to state that I had befriended Jesus
and was known closely by him, that through the millennia
I had killed well over three-hundred people, had come to
abandon seventy-five others over several sad lifetimes.

And so I take to my form, this, this homage to brevity some
call poetry, a broken lineage of stanzas sketched in verse
and obfuscation, scarcity parsed by sparingness, abstractionism
made flesh for eyes to drink, ears to drown within, the grand
recuse that fails to convince that I was not of this time.

Joseph Gallo
May 9, 2012

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4 Comments:

Blogger mamie parried...

As always, a beautiful and thoughtful post with photographs that compliment the words in every way.

May 10, 2012 12:52 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Thank you, Mamie. I'm glad you enjoyed. :-)

May 12, 2012 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jan parried...

I love the imagery you created in this poem paired with the idiosyncrasies of being human...bravo...great work!

May 15, 2012 4:51 PM  
Blogger Kyle Kimberlin parried...

Another beauty, Joseph!

May 19, 2012 1:26 AM  

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