Friday, July 30, 2010



Where would we search for the impulse.
In the pulse, the solar plexus, the temples.
In the inner itch of fingers reaching for
a pen, or other fingers. Abruptly.
How does it happen, without warning,
unexpectedly. Out of nowhere, from
where do you derive this inspiration.
You find your mouth moving,
words rushing out, winged. An impulse
enters, instantly materializing.
Has it always been there, implanted
at the molecular level and waiting
to detonate, all of a sudden.

Thursday, July 29, 2010



I know you,
I want to know you.

I recognize you,
your mannerisms comfort

me. We must already
know one another, for I

expect the skin
on your face to behave

as it does, your
vocal cords to resonate

like they do,
as cables stretched by

an elevator’s
weight. See how we are

each other’s
authors. As choreographers

create on a dancer,
I observe your musculature

and movement
to show you what I see in you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

That’s No Moon

That’s No Moon

That’s no moon, that’s a
searchlight, beckoning superheroes,
criminals. That’s no earthquake,
that’s a helicopter grabbing hold
of the windowpanes, rattling them
as you would a collar, transferring
urgency from fist to fabric.

That’s no ditch, it’s a hole
set in the lawn like a dark gem.
That's no dog. I don't know
what kind of creature that is
shaking the evergreen's petticoat.

Normally, it's not this tough
figuring out what is what.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Iced Water

Iced Water

Water cradles ice,
expertly carries this other phase
of itself.

All the while,
water softens the cubes’ surfaces,

ice, coaxing it
to release, to be integrated within
the liquid.

So elegantly water
has been designed, infused with
so much give.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Off Days

Off Days

Days when something is off,
not as in switch not flipped up
but off a track, a spine misaligned
or stuck zipper with fabric shoved
down its throat. Or maybe as in
a sick day, an appointment cancelled
by your better self, unable to perform
the customary whatever. You are cautious
on your off day, creeping up to examine
your own moves and motives. Better to
hang back, wary, a dog sniffing at a stranger.

Thursday, July 22, 2010



The wings we make
make use of this basic rule:
Flight depends on tension.

To harness force from air
we need a thing for wind
to rush against. Flight

is filtered. We fashion
a kite, a sail, a parachute
to be freed from the body.

We keep hoping our skin
will turn aerodynamic,
will lift us up as would wires.

It won't, so we charge into
one another, cold and warm
fronts meeting, making storms.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You’re Like Me In That Way

You're Like Me In That Way

A grappling hook of comparison
or an even trade, an emulsion.

You’re like me in that way,
you and I are the same.

Two reliefs: in reflection
or reduction.

Bowling ball rolling,
capsized pins.

What are you like,
what are you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Storialist Turns Two

The Storialist turns two today (never fear--there will be no tantrums!).

I am so happy to celebrate two years of writing every weekday, of challenging my process, and of connecting with artists, writers, and readers.

Thank you to everyone who has paused here to read my words; I write for you.

Onward! Shall we?

Monday, July 19, 2010

By Now it Should Be Obvious

By Now it Should Be Obvious

By now it should be obvious
that appliances want a firm hand,
that we are used handling them

with roughness and a small amount
of irritation. I rev the blender
like a motorcycle’s engine, punch

the highest setting on the fan every night.
The blow dryer expels its hot breath
whenever I demand that it does.

They are compliant, our appliances,
so useful. And with every use
we push them towards death.

Friday, July 16, 2010



Full of forgetting,
for getting unfull

not through emptying,

and dump, not that
heaviness at all.

Where does it go.
What is forgotten

is never fully gone,
not a true departure

or evaporation.
Every last thing

you have forgotten
is present, has just

ducked under or
slipped behind,

integrated itself in
you as water sipped

from a glass and
then topped off.

Thursday, July 15, 2010



On the pillow, while transitioning our bodies
into sleep via immobility, we must confront
the ceiling, the seams and streaks of paint
suddenly noticeable as the edges of an ace bandage.

If you were a baby, and your bed a crib,
this would be the spot for a mobile, for stars
or clouds to be strung up, suspended
in slow orbit and bringing the galaxy in from outside.

This trains us to accept stillness and staring
as conditions that allow for sleep, to know
that in falling asleep we are falling into ourselves,
that each of us is a universe, ceilinged and spinning.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What a Camera Means to a Person’s Life

What a Camera Means to a Person’s Life

You can remember less during,
less of the ocean’s hem
settling onto sand, the edge
of a sheet easing itself over the curve
of a bed. In a way, this frees you,
raises your finger from the record button.

The camera has done that,
stuck its head beneath your hand and lifted,
as one might lift a record player’s arm
to stop the sound.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Once Bitten

Once Bitten

As a garden hose cranked shut will still hold
water in its tract, spilling in retraction

As a car clangs and clicks, clock-like, for minutes
after the key is unplugged

Like the memories buried in skin, the burns,
the expansions, the wind

As pillows and mattresses remain depressed
when the sleeper climbs off of them

Like the mouth choosing one corner in which to chew,
away from the tooth already removed

The look toward the open door, watching that
a childhood cat does not squeeze past

The breath you blow over any spooned food
to cool what once seared your tongue

Certain dates illuminated eternally, the reason
for their glowing lost or evaporated

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where Everybody Is

Where Everybody Is

Locatable by description.
Married. Housed. Apartmented.
Working in real estate,
in insurance.
In medicine. In the movies.

Pulled closer by the lapels,
the collar, the belt loops.
With babies. With a dog.
With his band,
with their church.

Inevitably involved. In school.
In Kentucky, in Brooklyn,
in his parents’ house.
In the hospital.
In Sydney, Australia.

Navigational devices.
Happier than she has ever been.
Voice just as sharp.
Softer in the body.
Teeth straightened, glistening.

Hold still.
The company you own,
the restaurant you might buy.
Whose couch you will sleep on,
whose brother you saw.

Your coordinates, trajectory.
The next time we speak,
we will say it again:
how good it is to catch up,
to finally catch up.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Thing for Bags and Shoes

A Thing for Bags and Shoes

A thing, an emotion made into an object
that women have: She has a thing for bags
and shoes. You have known her, or have been her.

An affliction, a desire. It quickens the pulse
of this woman to feel inside the bag, the soles
yet untouched by toes. She lets the leather melt

around her foot or hand, watches her satisfaction
in the mirror. This thing fluttering in her blood
is a safe, strange lust. Pleasure will surely surge

within her during the purchase, as she envelops
her extremities in whatever she pleases,
positions the world at her feet, her fingertips.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Heart Goes Out to You

My Heart Goes Out to You

My heart goes out to you,
this, whispered in corridors,
before drape-shielded windows.

My two hands around yours,
as if gripping a golf club.
Strength and firmness,

I transmit them to you.
Borrow from me, take
all that I am happy to give:

my heart goes out to you,
it exits my body and
beelines toward you.

As knuckles rap a door.
As an eye from the inside
meets the peephole to peer out.

This heart, my own, it lunges
for the ache in yours. If only
you could hand it over.

Monday, July 5, 2010



In old cartoons, the hobo shoulders a sagging,
spotted bundle knotted on a stick. A heavy balloon.
His sadness is clownish. We draw a frown around
his mouth, pencil tears on his cheeks and nudge him
alongside the railroad tracks. The bindle rests
its curved cheek on his back, a sleeping child.
Each day, we hurl ourselves into the unmade.
As we move, we make. We parcel the brightest
and sharpest pieces, keep them hoisted, held.

Friday, July 2, 2010



Gravity, planted. Anchors.
Grappling hooks submerged

in sand or soil, craggy cliffside
or spongy bank. Or even in air,

roots can reach up in air from
water, periscopes not seeking

to see, just keeping the plant
in place, alive. There is a hunger

in roots, a need. They climb down,
branch out, build for the plant

pipes, a stairwell, a basement.
These roots, in the business of

transportation, outreach, intake,
find their work keeps them grounded.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


A List

People who have seen you naked.

People who know your face, but not your name.

Those connected to your tangible body,
but with little knowledge of your life.
They alter your skirts, know the shape of
your waist, the distance between your hip
and the floor. They trim your bangs every month,
know the weight of your hair, how it falls.
Those who have put holes in you,
adorned with metal.

People who immediately place you
under stress by their authority. Driving instructors,
the cop knocking on your window,
the immigration officer.

Those who dream of you,
with or without intensity.

Neighbors who were granted access
into your habits, your reactions.

People who have photographs
with you in the background,
as scenery.
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.