Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Nostalgic Will Inherit the Earth

The Nostalgic Will Inherit the Earth

Oh I had forgotten
until just now that lovely element
of what occurred

and now that I miss it
it hurts a little
I have bruised my own heart

Without these thoughts
what would happen for the humans

The past becomes the beloved

Fainter and more precious

We chase the boats leaving the shore
by setting out in a boat

Monday, April 28, 2014

Alice and Wonderland

Alice and Wonderland

There’s Alice and there’s Wonderland
She can never return

She’s thirty-six She rinses lettuce
for a salad in the kitchen which lets
her mind climb up past the spider plant
lolling in its harness above the window

              Did I dream it

The question always finds her
as a coiled labyrinth hisses out
for those who have escaped

Friday, April 25, 2014

Piece of a Poem

Botticcelli Magazine (the literary magazine at CCAD, where I teach) offered us little rolled-up pieces of poems in the hallway this past week. We were invited to take one to carry around with us. Here's what I received.

It is indeed amazing how so few words can alter our experience of the day (I also loved seeing someone else's handwriting implies a loving act of reading and generosity).

What poem have you carried in your pocket? What words would you offer up in a basket?

Thursday, April 24, 2014



Every closeness that has flown back
from you into darkness, diminishing

Intimate or not intimate

The evergreens belonging to your window
To your former window

That girl

Little boy on the subway in Shibuya
who looked at you and pointed
at the caterpillar-sized trains crawling across his shoes

Brown dog who knew your voice
and when you stood nearby

Over and over,
here is what you love and will never see again

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Volunteer Flower

Volunteer Flower

Flower I am trying to determine
if you are remnant or potential

What made you volunteer
for the immediacy
of life up here

There are nearly infinite
versions of you
yet-unprompted by soil or weather or family line
or some gardener’s willy-nilly work

Your life here flower
is the one night’s dream of the darkest insides
of earth

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Even an Arrowhead Will Soften

Even an Arrowhead Will Soften 

The pocket will be changed
by what it holds

And the object in the pocket
     The ticket stub
     The fist-crumpled tissue
     The keycard
lets the pocket nibble at its edges

You want the memory
to stop fraying

For this you will earn a callus

Friday, April 18, 2014

Watchable Delights

A few delightful and weird little videos for you today.


Street Typography from Tom Williams on Vimeo, found via Creative Review


"Look Over the Watchmakers' Shoulders," found via The Kid Should See This


"Word Avoidance: Words We Love to Hate," by Joe Manning (From Pecha Kucha Louisville)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Song to Slow Dance to

Song to Slow Dance to 

Whatever gestures towards satisfaction
can never fully satisfy you

Think of the slow dance
how its softness and falsetto can alter time
for only three to four minutes

Think of the euphemism

Think of language
which is itself a euphemism

Everywhere there are bodies clanging together
there will one day be no bodies
Every body you give yourself to
will vanish
As will your own body

We know pleasure
because it ends

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



The gardener shows the seeds
that they are embers

There is a flowerflame sleeping inside them

All things being equal
which they are not

All things which come from the same thing
and are also distinct

A large part of the gardener’s work
is also to discourage growing
without remorse

Monday, April 14, 2014

The This Is Your Life Candle Co.

The This Is Your Life Candle Co.

I try to set the mood
but instead I catapult your own memories around you

It’s the candles

A Hardware Store scented candle
and one in Freshly-Squeezed Gasoline

and Rain on Hot Blacktop

and Darkroom Chemicals With the Door Locked

This one smells different to every smeller
it’s called Humiliating Experience in Love

If you can burn through it
you win a prize

The prize is a message
trapped in the base of the candle

A phone number
or an address

or a sentence

It is the clue you have always been chasing

Friday, April 11, 2014

On My Bookshelf...

Some books that I am in the midst of reading/revisiting/planning to devour next....

1. Safe House, David Winter
2. Frankenstein's Flowers, Charlene Fix
3. The Ides of March: An Anthology of Ohio Poets (edited by me!--handy for multiple National Poetry Month events)
4. The Child that Books Built, Francis Spufford
5. Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

What's on your shelf right now?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pilot License

Pilot License

Make of your mind a radio Make of your mind
a flower

Yes it might hurt but allow it

Go searching before sleep
Helicopter over the cake-frosting water

Fill a pinata with rose petals
but never send it

Mayday might be the thing you want to yell
while dancing with garlands and lambs
but what it means
is help me

Friday, April 4, 2014

On Creativity: Kyle McCord

Many of my favorite poems do an interesting dance between funny and sad, cavalier and earnestly wounded. In Sympathy from the Devil, Kyle McCord has mastered this ha-ha/ouch, swing-yer-partner-round-and-round sound. One moment, he’s talking about the Quikstop and werewolves; just a moment (well, a page) before, he drops this bombshell of a line: “Did you know that the best translation of Adam is earthling?” Full of deviousness, mischief, joy, and honesty, McCord’s poems will make themselves at home in your memory.  

Note: After the interview below, read “Lycanthropy and You” and “I’m Concerned You Will be Reincarnated as Office Supplies,” both of which appear with permission from the author. Order your copy of Sympathy from the Devil here.


Q: Sympathy from the Devil is well-stocked with names of places, people/characters, and brands: Hello Kitty, Perseus, Nancy Drew, Sydney, Arkansas, Jenny Holden, Pikachu, Old Man Wilson, Robert, Sarah, even Kyle McCord. What is the power of names, for you (in poetry, or outside of poetry)? What is the magic of the inside joke that the reader can’t know?

A: I was about to start this by mentioning how Nick Courtright and I were just chatting about this the other day.  I immediately realized that I would be falling into the exact phenomena you're describing!  I revised much of this book while I was studying Hebrew and Ancient Greek at Bethany Theological Seminary.  In the Bible, names are powerful.  They invoke, provoke, and even kill (as in the case of God's name, which one can't even pronounce safely).  And while no one can will be smote for uttering the name of Hello Kitty, I'd been thinking about names, and I wanted to harness that power that names have to capture and to characterize.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Flower Food

Flower Food

This is the bouquet falling into its own hands
The pink ranunculus wants to give the heaviness
of its head away

The flowers offer you the robe
their bodies become

Every day at this time in the afternoon
you think of the previous day
and in this way time is a beaded necklace

In all of this that is visible
and all that is not
who’s to say what is adornment

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Doldrums

The Doldrums

Today the bus stop came apart around me
and was hauled away

as unceremoniously as a jacket
removed in the heat

This is no longer a place even though you
are standing in it

Someone will tell you this and they are
clearly and adorably wrong

A kite is not only a kite where there is wind
A kite can exist in the doldrums

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Back and Forth

Back and Forth

The ferry carries the people in its jaw
Before the island you need to see water

all around you The smallness of your
eyeball The smallness of that empty

stroller The large ferry’s smallness
which seemed so large leashed to land

To forget what is in front of you
look through it Another thing lingers

in the hall These shapes are always
faint They want to be seen but only

barely The ferry won’t let you any closer
any faster This test is about distance and

decisions The problem with logic
problems is all the left-out elements

Sure, you’re heading from the mainland
to the island But you’ll get there when

you get there Let the water work on
you This planet is an island
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.