Monday, June 30, 2014

Word Problem

Word Problem

An exhausted woman drives home 94 miles
and feels herself inside of a word problem
on a math test She amuses herself by picturing

a girl with a pencil who scratches calculations out
on a page
knowing she has to show the right work

The driver has a sinus infection
which means she can feel the holes in her face
Not every part of us can be awake at once

In what would be the moonlight
if not for the freeway lights
a squirrelless tree gains and then again
loses its squirrel Everything is always

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying:
Happy weekend, friends! What are you reading?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Photographer Recognizes the Photo from Life

The Photographer Recognizes the Photo from Life

She chases it
not knowing it until it is here

The act is between observation and orchestration
She can inhabit the steam

or the light against the dog’s black stitches

I had been thinking about that photo for a while
Sally Mann said
her face still holding the pleasure of making the image
that already existed

of her husband trimming his toenails up on the tub
the wounded dog
saying hello

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hunger and Patience

Hunger and Patience

The glacier is good enough
to know what it is not

but not good enough
not to want
so it grabs
but never in time

Within it a wooly mammoth sleeps
I don’t know if the glacier wants
its alive life or its rest

Monday, June 23, 2014

Oar Shovel Bottle Opener

Oar Shovel Bottle Opener

If you call your tools
your friends

you can feel that the lake wants
you to cross it

and the weed
harbors no anger

and the cap was only temporarily
at one with the bottle

Oar shovel bottle opener
jackhammer pliers

There is nothing
not in pieces

Here is continuity
Enjoy it for a spell

Friday, June 20, 2014

Project List

Current projects, both To Do and Done:

  • Working on mini-reviews of A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies by Doug Watson (what a title!!) and Nevers by Megan Martin
  • This silly musical interlude at Spoonful, "Women Singing Alone in Apartments, from 1993-1998." What a funny trend (and what excellent music!).
  • My first stab at gardening! It sounds a little violent to put it that way. My mom came over this week and is teaching me (since I know almost nothing about gardening). Somehow it makes sense to be pulling weeds and working on revising a manuscript at the same time.
  • Also working on a mysterious prose project. It can be so fun to write something without any goals or knowledge of where it is going...
How about you, friends? What are you tending or proud of? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Cool Place for You to Stand

A Cool Place for You to Stand

May there always be branches

May there always be complicated trees

On the hottest day of the year
may you find something to manufacture shadows for you

Or someone

I can christen this ground A Cool Place for You to Stand

And in this shade you will see
how if the occasion asks it of us
we will become an awning

a tree

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More Than a Snack

More Than a Snack

I kick a rock
This becomes language

The rock speaks on my behalf

The dirt coughs up a potato bug

The ants over and over
profess their dedication
to the peonies

Conversation is the most primitive method
of offering up the self

Tuesday, June 17, 2014



She who lives here can call herself
fortunate for knowing where her body
and sense of knowing begin and end

That is a stick and this is my arm
and that is my hand on the railing
and this is my shoveled-in-there love
This is the city turned away from me
but close A sleeping lover

Most things in this life overwhelmingly
are not my body The body is a crumb
of a crumb

and there are even things
smaller and more complex
For every new bar of soap
a chance to admire
how cleanly it leaves itself
for you

Monday, June 16, 2014

Simple Things

Simple Things

These are the options for the truth
of something small

Either it is small
or it is large and far away

When we appreciate the simple things
it is only because we have erased
so much from them

For instance

how did that flower get here
What carried it

This beautiful pink flower
To see it only as here
and lovely

we must be violently forgetful

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Happy Friday the 13th!

Currently reading/enjoying:

And you, friends? Links to recommend?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On Duty

 On Duty

All who sleep at the same hour share

This cannot be true

All who swim in a lake
share a memory of the cool water

When I yawn it makes you yawn
and the cat yawn

Have you seen mail that you had sent
return to you
Your own writing telling a letter to go to someone else
and a mistake boomeranging it back

If we can clock out
it is due to the belief that someone capable is on duty

and we drift
and settle onto the land

Wednesday, June 11, 2014



How many versions of the self have sunken
to permit whoever you are now to
be out in front, prow to your boat,
lady to your prow.

Part of you prowls
and another part climbs beneath
that part’s table skirt.

There is the hand reaching into the pantry.
There is the jam peering out from the cabinet’s hen house.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014



Magic can only exist
within the preponderance of nonmagic

The welcome mat as hoverboard
but not the whole farm

Not the whole meadow

Not the summer
but an instant that you have
passed through

The man with the slow brown dog
limping along after him
leashless as the man
puts a red watering can
to the pansies beneath the window

This is the place
you learn
so that you can leave it

Monday, June 9, 2014



When it rains
the earth is fraught with time

The future is falling upon itself
The rainwater becomes
the clover

The oldest house on the block
stands with its door open
in the rain

Someone is inside the house
examining what will soon be
ripped out

That which falls
has fallen before

Beauty will return
and the clover falls and falls

Friday, June 6, 2014

Something Lovely

Here's something beautiful I saw this week from my back patio (the same back patio from this poem).

Happy weekend, everyone. What's had your attention recently?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

At the Sink

At the Sink

The dog makes a ghost
on the door of the house

whose back patio presses up
to the fence that splits

our spaces The dog makes
a ghost by breathing

on the door from both sides
while waiting to return

or wanting to be outside
Whenever I see the neighbors

they are doing the same thing
A man and a woman

across from one another
at an island Maybe just one

The woman in her nightgown
or the man reading a newspaper

with the straw-colored dog
in front of the shadow marking

so clearly what he wants
I wonder about seeing the sameness

of their days and know that
for them I must be the woman

at the sink This is not disappointing
Maybe this is a way to dip into

the eternal or the meaningless beauty
of images A dog on either side

of the glass A ghostly dog within
the glass The faucet’s graceful neck

Wednesday, June 4, 2014



Fingertips of rain at my back
I keep walking into dry air

I pretend I am bringing the rain
as my cape

The gray building I walk past
is perfect and smooth Buttery

Last year what a disaster
this place was

The bedraggled skeleton
building wished very hard
every day until it got to become
a real place

Now there’s no telling it to relax

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Survival Tips

Survival Tips

I often think of scent as a disguise
but it can also serve as conduit to revelation

Why does the lemon smell
the way it does

It is just a right-handed orange

In order to survive
it needs to be eaten

The brighter and more fragrant lemons
were eaten more
and so they survived
A story

To make what is better than the self
you can accomplish this
with the self as an accomplice

The other hand on the sword
belongs to
a steadying force

You must find your way to one another

Monday, June 2, 2014



The summer is for coming undone
half of us can start and then the other
half can take their turn

That field of clover Do not be fooled
by how green and placid it looks
It is all by itself a place
and if this were a movie we could shoot
a scene there

A poignant scene The clover and the night
and bodies and blood urged out
of the arm by a mosquito

And the summer lumbers to its feet
This is only the start

The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.