Thursday, December 21, 2017

How to make a vortex

Place a clock on a shelf for a least two weeks

Look at the clock and trust that it knows time

Allow life to continue, forget about the clock but continue to glance its way: make sandwiches, fill glasses with water, scatter and gather toys

One night, remove the clock

You will find yourself turning your head and searching for the time
The clock wants to get back up on the shelf but is locked in the closet
Now the missing clock wants your gaze

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Maybe the poem can be

the prints skittering across the snow-skinned yard

and the wondering about the small body who produced them

The melting artifact with the teeming forest breathing in its ear

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Interview at Word Carver

Hello, friends. How are you? It's fall, and I'm ready. As many of you know, one of my favorite projects is Paging Columbus, the reading series I run. Amy Dalrymple and Cynthia Rosi of the Word Carver podcast were kind enough to post this recent interview with me about Paging Columbus and poetry.

Hope you'll take a listen and enjoy here. You can also hear the enormously-talented Barbara Fant read at our last Paging Columbus event.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


This was one of my all-time favorite videos as a child...we constantly borrowed it from the library, and I watched it so many times I think we wore the tape out. My dad recently sent me the link to it, and I laughed when I heard this song, which features prominently in Kill Bill (also one of my favorite movies). Fascinating how aesthetic and sound embed themselves in us...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Three New Poems at Gold Wake Live

I have three new poems up at the beautiful Gold Wake Live (a brand new online publication from Gold Wake Press!). Here's one of them. Hope you enjoy the poems--the whole issue is great. The design is lovely. Also, writer pals--they are open to submissions! Send them some beauty.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Arwen Donahue's Sensitive Storytelling

I'm currently obsessing over Arwen Donahue's work. I especially adore her new graphic stories at The Rumpus--here's one posted just today, "The Hungriest Color."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kelly Popoff's Collages

 I can't get enough of Kelly Popoff's gorgeous artwork. This stunning piece is called "First Grade (O Children #00039)," and I just keep looking at it, into each child's face, at the images projected/revealed there.

I hope you're writing, or reading, or making art. I am! Sending you creativity and gentleness and the energy to keep going.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Revising Toward This

Things are quiet here on the blog, but I'm bee-busily revising. This image has been helpful for me, and maybe it will be for you, too.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cross-Pollination and Book Trailers

This week, I received a beautiful gift. My friend Amy Monticello (who is a wonderful writer and teacher) had her students choose books to read whose authors agreed to be interviewed. I was happy to do so, and her student Kristen Sallaberry reached out a couple of months ago with some fun questions about my book, In the Kettle, the Shriek. Yesterday, Amy shared that Kristen made this gorgeous book trailer to accompany my book. I absolutely love it--I found it so touching to see how sensitively Kristen translated the mood and images from the poems. I loved the way the camera treats landscape and details of scenery, the dreamy atmosphere, and the introspective music (I didn't know the "Lanterns Lit" song before, but it is right up my alley).

What an absolutely beautiful and inspiring surprise. What a gift writers and readers and artists are to one another.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What youth is

is the gift of unaccounted for time

What to make of our unremembered times
Rinsing my face
Pulling a loaf of wheat bread from the grocery shelf
by its twist-tied piggy tail of cellophane
An elevator One elevator in a lifetime of elevators
All that has happened in one minute fed
forever to the meter

What will it mean if I enjoy these or not

Youth doesn’t ask

Thursday, March 30, 2017


"Somewhere outside some village," by Prashant Prabhu

The eye hurries and hurtles and rolls downhill to gobble it all up

It: the green proof that places
are alive and that we can trim and locket up
their tendrils

All: the Great Sweeping Up
the room that the broom invents
with wishful walls

Up: down
inside A secret-clasping place
which we know is called a safe

There is beauty here and I am anxious to claim it
There is pain here and I am anxious to reject it
but not by pretending it does not exist

Where has my disembodied voice gone
Now when I speak all I can say is baby boy
and ache and love and worry

Voice what has happened to you
Flower sounds like terror and power
just like it always has

and more than it ever has before

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Woods by John Muir

The Woods by John Muir

In the dream this is a poem
I am failing to memorize

Each time I lift the page
the lines have shifted themselves

It is becoming a different poem
because I am trying to memorize it

It wants to elude me a reader
who wants to own it Like every poem

Every song's running faucet
Every skypatch of canvas with

its shoulder braced against a door
of pigment and crushed minerals

Like the woods Definition
Clusters of trees whose edge

you cannot see Whose ending
mercifully you will not reach

Friday, February 10, 2017

Google Query Subtexts

"Colonies We Wanted to Make," by Michael Vincent Manalo
Google Query Subtexts

Am I a horrible person
Am I selfish
Am I dying
Would my grandparents say
Where did my grandparents come from
Where did their beliefs come from
What will I regret in twenty years
Am I dying tomorrow
Am I lazy
How can I help another human with all of their interiority
Will my child learn how to live without me
Will he feel loved and know how to locate happiness
and how to reach for it
Will my child be ok
How long do we have together
All of us who love each other what do we get to keep
What portion Any of it
Using what I already have what can I eat
How does one prepare this strange vegetable
Can I ask an imaginary great grandparent how they would do it
What crucial step have I forgotten
Why haven’t I learned this yet
Can I prevent regret
What will stop the world’s insistent imploding
Does how I look become a portal into my self
Am I accurately communicating my values
through my home
How is this other human doing
How do other humans live
Am I doing this right

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Every Poem Has Three Chests

"Heart-Ants," by Songmi Heart

Every Poem Has Three Chests

and so three hearts
Yours, reader/breather,

and then that mysterious third one

belonging to
these lights-on-a-string,
these very words
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.