Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meteors across a cloudy sky

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As Above, So Below

We woke up after midnight to see the stars, the kind
that shoot and zip by at 36,000-miles-per-hour trailing
white sparks behind them, swelling bright for some
seconds, then settling unseen descending as dust into
meadows and trees, their long untraceable journeys over.

Below, in the coastlands, something similar is going on.
Bright lights racing down asphalt lanes disappearing
into a mist brought on by overcast skies and no chance
to see meteors that end their brief lives in our presence.
Yet, something has ended; some light abruptly eclipsed.

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Sirens move through the darkness as somewhere above
the clouds, planets hold their unswerving positions,
nebulae cloak in obscurity, the entirety of the heavens
unperturbed by the small goings-on in the continental flats
of an unremarkable drop of blue tear we call home.

What it is we will come to find out, though we will not
want to. This is how it is with most things, the persistence
of enticing illusion being the malcomfort it is. To concede
what it is to be down in streets run red with the body’s weep
is to throw meteors across a cloudy sky and call it beautiful.

Joseph Gallo
May 26, 2014

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lost unto themselves

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Four Hawks

Four hawks sort it out—who
will be whose, what interloper
will be run off, whose hunting
acreage belongs to whom.

Talons down and high-whistle
screeches as if someone left
the tea pot on too long scalding
a new-blossomed spring sky.

These are the petty wars waged
every day just above our heads,
skirmishes lost unto themselves
while we busy our time unmattering.

One hawk is very much like any
other—infused with feathers, billowed
with overbearing speed, gazestriking,
much more than merely cloudworthy.

Four hawks sort it out and that is that.
They move on toward other realms too
taken with wind for feet to ever intrude.
Four hawks sort it out to leave me to mine.

Joseph Gallo
April 28, 2014

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Brief blue stars

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Favorite Things

One day, the most mundane thing will be my favorite.
An ordinary black stocking, for example, might flush
in red birds from my bronze cheeks upon finding it
faithfully tumbling in the dryer, not missing at all.

Right now my favorite thing is a line from a poem
by Dorianne Laux about a 12-year old girl, the static
electricity in her socks spawning “brief blue stars.”
Now my favorite thing is Alex reading me good poetry.

The stories he tells about telling the husbands of married
women he has a crush on them, the merits of that disarming
word discussed at some length under patiently laundered
morning sun, barely two days out from my father’s funeral.

And the poems are naked, sensual, filled with the ether
of irony, shot through with the sorry blood of purification
wrung out from the tender bells of breasts we have pealed
by the clappers of our teeth in more torn and tender times.

All these are my favorite things.
Until they’re not.

Joseph Gallo
June 6, 2005

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