Thursday, July 26, 2012

Guess You Have to Be There

Guess You Have to Be There

In the Icy Deadlands,  
they will uncover a frozen city,
mummies in pizzerias,
mummies holding cell phones,
one perfectly preserved hot dog vendor,
red-shirted, holding tongs.

You’re not laughing
yet, because you are frozen,
but also because you don’t live
here now. You don’t know
the Deadlands like they do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Indoor Cat

Indoor Cat

All her life, the indoor cat has been trying
to get outside, to go through the hole
that the door suddenly becomes
when we open it.

And before her, the indoor cats of my childhood
were always trying to get out,
into the the street, under the porch,
under a car if it was snowing or raining.

Outside, the indoor cat would feel abandoned,
wouldn’t she, by me. It would be all
my fault. If only I had been more careful,
more worried.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Storialist Turns Four

It’s strange and wonderful to think that I’ve been posting every weekday since July of 2008:

July 2008
July 2009
July 2010
July 2011

I wanted to you let know that you (readers, writers, artists, creative thinkers, bloggers, supporters) are part of the reason I’ve kept at it. Making art is not very glamorous. It is dirty and painful and tedious and frustrating and scary and draining. But, as we also know, it is also transcendent, generous, compassionate, healing.

Thank you for reading.

To my fellow makers of art (in any medium or genre): thank you for the beauty that you put into this world. Keep doing it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Text Art: Those Places

You know, those places.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for reading this week!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Do You Have in That Headlock

What Do You Have in That Headlock

How do we know
what now is

if it’s always passing
through us

before we can get a good
grip on it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Old Jewish Proverb

Old Jewish Proverb

Mouthfuls of moon dust
still taste like dust.

Why scrub the dishes, when
they can soak.

After a great flood, if you
are alive, you

should say, Well, it could have
been much worse.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Text Art: Tell Me


The floor provides helpful suggestions sometimes. From one room into another!

A happy weekend to you, and thank you for looking here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Outfield Wall

The Outfield Wall

When the left fielder
smashes into the outfield wall

cranium-first, the medic sprints out
and crouches next to him,

close, studying the player’s face
like he loves him. Maybe the crowd

goes away for the men, and the game,
there is only the green wall,

the red dust, the green field,
words, and pain. We can’t hear

the player but we know what he says:
here’s how it happened,

and here’s how it feels. What it is
and then what it is like.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In What World

In What World

If you want to know what
happens to a dream deferred,
open up the crisper. This is
who I want to be, asparagus
and grape tomatoes and
cucumber. The fridge is
responsibility, and the pantry,
resourcefulness. In what world
will I ever use up a whole onion
I remember thinking, ten years
ago, and this morning, it’s hmm,
almost out of onion
. Groceries
are tarot cards, we can read them
like they are. You can be good
here, you can be your intentions.
If our civilization falls while we
are still alive, the Giant Eagle
is where we’ll hide. The apocalypse
gets filmed in the neighbor’s kitchen,
the mall, and the supermarket.
We will brace the doors with
whatever we can find, carts, crates,
lobster tanks. Hunger returns,
writes alive across us, flees,
approaches. Whose hunger could
we banish to the outskirts of
our village. There can be joy
in opening the crisper, finding
a third of a sweet potato on
the brink of mold or dessication.
There is still a way to save this.

Monday, July 9, 2012

If It Please the Court

If It Please the Court

The honk and scuff
of furniture being

rearranged without
concern for the floor.

Help me with this
table, one of us on

each end. I can walk
backwards if you look

out for me. The chairs
next, to the edges of

the room. I’ll show you
my trick for the witness

stand: push your palm
into the molding here,

see how it folds. This
courtroom is collapsible.

I’ll deflate the jury box
or we can leave it up

and bring in the lid to
make it a bouncy castle.

Your Honor, those robes
were made for dancing.

Here comes the klezmer
band. “Hava Nagila” is

inevitable, it always is.
You don’t have to get lifted

in the chair if you don’t want
to, but you do have to dance.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Text Art: Stormless Life Insurance Building

May your weekend be lovely and stormless. As always, thank you for reading this week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Not One Mean Bone

Not One Mean Bone

Best thing to do
with hail is to find
a non-terrifying thing
to compare it to,
size-wise. And to
cover your head.
Describe it. Draw
from food or from
or golf ball or marble.
Photograph the hail
and look at other
pictures of hail from
across the county.
Let’s name the storm,
Doreen or Sandy
or Wilbur or Abe,
and then give it
a pet name when
it gets close enough,
Dorie, Wilby-poo,
Hurricane Babycakes.
It doesn’t know it’s
hurting you, even if
you tell it. It can’t
understand us. Not
one mean bone in
its body, no bones
at all. We can’t stop it,
but we can decide what
to call it. No such thing
as a stormless life.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How You Know It’s a Nightmare

How You Know It’s a Nightmare

You cannot stop forgetting,
but every minute, you remember
you are forgetting. You are letting
them all down. You were trying
to go to class, to feed your dog,
to call your friend. What were
you just doing.

You need to run. You need
to scream. But your energy
is gone. Your voice can’t
climb up your throat.

You are late. The sidewalk
gives you stray kittens,
abandoned toddlers to collect
and distribute. You do not
know how to prioritize.

You never learned how
to drive this kind of car,
all the instructions in German
and a handbrake and knobs
in the dash.

You need to save
whoever you love most.
Even when you save them,
you aren’t safe.
No one is.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Charm Bracelet

Charm Bracelet

When we re-encounter an object
from a memory, and find it exists
exactly as we picture it, why do
we feel triumphant.

The little gold piano on the charm bracelet
my mom was given for her 16th birthday,
that my sister and I played with as children,
opening and closing the tiny hinged lid
of the piano like a locket.

Yesterday, when I saw the bracelet again
my impulse was to slide my fingernail
between the seam of the piano, to lift
its lid. Before I could, my mom told me
The piano won’t open, your sister already

Even when no one else is challenging
what we recall, we feel like shouting,
I knew I was right! One part of us doubts.
The other clings.
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.