Thursday, December 31, 2009



Behind you,
the weird grey graffiti of shadow.
You loom
above yourself, outside yourself.
It's called
projection--casting your darkness
onto objects,
landscapes, people. The good news?
is also a noun, at least when the stress
is placed
on the first syllable. The word leans
its weight
forward, prods you on, invites you
to wear
whatever magical clothes allow the work
to happen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ships Set Out

Ships Set Out

Ships set out to cross oceans
with maps that ended. This was the edge
of the world with saltwater draped atop it,
unbounded as sky. Months of this,
years of this, the heading-toward-ness,
and still, the crew worked and ate
and slept and conversed. If nowhere else,
here was land, an island, a shore.

Monday, December 28, 2009



Halfway through my drink, I notice the stain
that adorns the rim: small, smudged, pink.
All the traditional stand-ins for a lovely mouth
arrive. A petal, a bud, any part of a flower,
really. Coral. The pink underside of a seashell.
I settle on a pencil's garish eraser, which leaves
crumbs and streaks of itself to blot out error.
I press the napkin's edge to the lip print,
and clear what water and detergent had not.
Again, this becomes a glass dedicated to the task
of cleanly containing water and slivers of ice.
Some other woman painted her lips and drank,
quite recently. It is not alarming, this ongoing
exchange of mouths and glasses and water.

Friday, December 25, 2009



A garland, a crown,
a rounded sprig of twigs
and cut greens to lean on the door.

An empty frame,
a mock mirror lacking
kept images, reflective backing.

This is an entrance
that I have circled, a porthole,
an enchanted, perfumed portal.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Key

The Key

Here is the key to the city.
I know, it is heavy. Not the city,

the key. Not to mention gold
and beribboned. I'm assuming the gold

isn't just brass. Should I bite
it? Can't you taste gold to test it, bite

down to see if it puts up a fight
in your mouth, against your teeth? Fight

the urge to brandish the key
like a baseball bat. No, you cannot key

the Mayor's car, nor egg
its windshield, or knife the tires. Egg

me on to fit the key in a lock,
to turn it, a steering wheel that can unlock.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009



Put it inside of something with a handle.
Stow, tote, lug--whatever version of carry
occurs when you bend and reach for it.
Zippered, flap-pocketed, grommeted,
trimmed in leather or tweed--the bag
is heavy even on its own, even without
any of your belongings tucked away inside.
Lift with your legs. Push into the floor beneath
you, the floorboards, the grass, the rooty dirt.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009



An extra face, the outer layer.
The outside hull of a tangible object.
For example, the flat top of a table
onto which we pile cutlery and dishes,
or maybe the mail. The readily visible
and accessible to eye and to skin.
These are our surfaces, our eyes
and our skin. They keep us in.

Monday, December 21, 2009



Tonight, a swarm of crows
hurtling overhead, with the velocity
of sand flung from a beach towel.

As if in response, the train
arrived just then, and pulled open
its doors to reveal a people

dedicated to holding closed
their coats, their scarves. This train
is conductorless, carries itself

North or South, and stops
at the same speed in every station.
How to classify this momentum:

the elevated train, cables
and currents embracing passengers,
the eruption of crows in multiple?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009: White Christmas

White Christmas

Why the preoccupation
with holiday snowfall,

with a landscape blank
or blanketed, all the houses

and hills like the bumpy
outlines of figures in beds.

Why the need for cold,
for a calendar materialized

in weather that lingers
and lingers. Is it only so that

we can look out on it from
a place of warmth, so that we

can glide on top of it as if
our very feet had been recreated?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009: Branches


Branches, do you feel satiated
in the summer, the lush sheen of leaves,
saturation of sun?

It is December. What do you sense
in the river of wind coursing through the spaces
inside of you?

The snow lies on your bark like stubble.
There is a nest on your highest limb,
a bowl of twigs gradually filling with snow.

See how it balances, it doesn't spill,
so well-constructed is it within you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009: Toothbrush


A plastic wand in the mouth, sugared gel
gone frothy from water and agitation.
Attention to the undersides, the backs,
the overlappings, the gaps. There is intimacy
in here somewhere, I tell you. The toothbrush
runs stiff fingers over calcium as a woman
untangles her mussed hair--without faltering
or judging. The bristles lean equal weight
over fissure, filling, veneer. Twice a day
we spit out traces of what's been taken in,
the blunt spikes slipping beneath the gum
as a reminder of how easily we are pierced.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009: Thirst


The wineglass does what liquid wants to,
collects in the flat puddle of the base.

The stem needs fingers enfolded around it
for it to be a tool, an index finger and a thumb

and a ridge of knuckle. When you drink,
you tilt its lip to meet yours, briefly,

and then set it against the table or whatever
surface is in front of you. All it takes to push

an object into its purpose is a set of fingers,
bent like a crane's legs, and thirst.

Monday, December 14, 2009



The strain and drape of clothing against skin,
measurements converted to volume, sensation.

Socked feet sliding against a tiled floor,
a sandpapery whisper deep in the instep.

Numbness sputtering into splintered pain,
a hand or foot reawakening to itself.

The big sting under an eyelid solved
in the retrieval of an eyelash, a tiny fishhook.

The gentle pressure of a cool fingertip
against the throat, percussive, verifying bone

or indentation, the places by which the body
is exposed as tent, frame, drum head.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009: Nicolas Evariste, "The Passenger"

Sea Legs

From land to water,
the body must account for motion.
Beneath the boat,
the sea churns, a roiling, lunar
terrain. Its beat
crawls through you, adjusts your bones
within their limbs.
These movements read as uncertainty,
tremors, the shakes.
But deep inside the trembling is
a trust in the rhythm
of approaching ocean. Lean your weight
against ship against water,
and wade into disorientation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009: Amy Casey, Begin Again (


Buildings, trees, teeth.
All can be wrenched from moorings

with the proper amount
of torque. Leverage and pressure and

the impulse to yank,
and how can surroundings resist? Oh,

let's be honest here,
landscapes are altered everyday. Holes

are constructed in
city blocks, big boxes of earth and space

and beam. Trees keel
over, roots revealed and splayed like tentacles.

And of course the old
string round the open door's knob, tied to

the tooth. Steady your palm,
its innate desire to push and pull. On three.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009: Ffffound! Quoted from:storm.jpg


Rain on its way to becoming
snow. Water in the process
of becoming weaponry.

Droplets flung like darts.
The sting of the in-between.
Transitional types of weather

bewilder and entrance:
pearls of hail loosed upon
the green lawn; the frost

sprung up on leaves
of its own accord, an
internal snow released;

and this, the sleet,
diagonal and digging silver
claws, a volley of arrows.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009: Gwenessa Lam, Curtain & Chandelier:

The Curtain

The curtain's spine is first to wear dirt.
The sheer panel dims over time,

a failing bulb. The edges of the ceiling fan
grow furry with sediment, like petals

recalling pollen. Without movement,
life is present, but only through accumulation,

congregation. Stillness calls out to stillness
in the language of decomposition.

Dust and tarnish will stain anything stationary,
will drape dusky hands on unmoving material,

turn brightness into pallor. The curtain sighs,
content to go on gathering, gathering.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009: Ffffound! Quoted from: All About | :: Dan Shepelavy ::

Strange Beasts of the Present

These days, strange creatures still surround us,
but they are getting harder to identify

because they are learning the best hiding places.
In the hood of a car, in a wallow of oil,

for instance. Or the bottom shelves of libraries,
between pages of books that go untouched

for years. In a nest of leaves in the gutter.
In the mouth of a VCR. We'll need to teach

the children how to search for them, how to
distinguish the sound of their breathing

from the hum of the lights or the fridge,
and to coax them from their dens occasionally,

so that we can remember how good it feels
to be near to something untamed, otherworldly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009: Ffffound! Quoted from: Tumblr


Satin folded in upon itself,
arms bent at the elbow, clasped behind
the back. A fastening, a knot, but not
for function. You are meant to untie the bow,
to pull at one of the ends, to take its hand
in yours and disentangle its temporary
prettiness. It readily unfolds,
a butterfly transforming in reverse.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009: Notcot #26715 (Post number 350!)


This tire came from a tree.
A curved blade shaved
a strip of bark, winding

around the trunk, a whittled
barber pole, a study in
exteriors. Latex seeps

along the cut. And still,
the tree is fine, we slice
it almost every other day.

Latex drips out like overturned
correction fluid, and we
siphon it, keep it, praise it

for its ability to be changed,
its resilience. We wrap wheels
in its buoyant embrace, or

compile and compress it
into an eraser, a marvelous
tool for removing, resurfacing.
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.