Friday, October 31, 2014

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying:

And you, friends?

Happy weekend to you!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Grounds

The Grounds

Is it Cinderella glass
coffin or Sleeping Beauty glass coffin
or Snow White glass coffin If we could
box her up we would but only to protect
her body from its further failure
There is the falling apart in secret
we will all do A rejoining
There are children dressed as royalty
because it is the end of October
and the skeletons in the trees swing
their limbs exuberantly and freely
This park should come with a warning for what
it wants to dig up Warning Playground
of Mortality ahead Too late You have always
been here walking the grounds It is ok
Both of us are in here All of us are

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Longer Leash

Longer Leash

Here is an ink blob on a Bingo card
Let’s call it Beloved
Let’s replicate it all over
and hope that in one of these marks
some devotion will be reciprocated

The novelist tells a room of people
how Charlie Brown
is a cartoon about guilt

This makes me think that inside every cartoon
another cartoon crouches

The cartoon inside of Garfield
is about hunger and unequal love

I rearrange the furniture
but always end up with the same couch
I think of it with irritation
but it calls itself my masterpiece

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



In swooning a tree will tell you
where the light is strongest

A house will tell you
about being a box of material with a hole in its heart
but of course you already know about this

If you see something that terrifies you
you can hold a hand over your face and watch from behind
your fingers

With your own hand you protect yourself from seeing
what wants to wriggle and slice into your brain

A nightmare dares you to escape with your hair beneath its boot

Monday, October 27, 2014

Arm’s Length

Arm’s Length

The great stories of heartbreak and desire
are best performed by comedians

Their longing sounds half a step
lower and thus

closer to some source of darkness
Oh how much lovelier the heart strings

fallen out of tune
In retightening them you hear

the ropes of their voices thrown out
over the hollows

This deep night
just before the day flips over on itself

is of great beauty
but were I to get out there in it

I would only begin to ruin it
It isn’t even a little sad

Friday, October 24, 2014

Radio Conversations and Field Trips

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting with poet buddies Wendy McVicker and Becca J.R. Lachman! (Becca's book, Other Acreage, will be coming out from Gold Wake Press in spring!) They kindly invited me to have a chat on a radio program that they host, Conversations from Studio B. We spent 30 minutes chatting about poems and creativity--it absolutely flew by.

If you'd like to listen in on our chat, it's available here.

It was a refreshing day that I spent with Wendy and Becca--afterward, I visited with Becca's awesome poetry students, and we discussed process, line breaks, and publishing.

Poetry and art field trips are some of my favorite outings. What field trips have you taken lately?

Thursday, October 23, 2014



In a distant galaxy, an asteroid is born.
The asteroid is flung and flies.
The asteroid gains consciousness.
The asteroid thinks it is a large planet.
On this planet, a tree appears.
The tree has always existed.
The tree springs up fully formed in one instant.
The tree is growing upside down.
Its branches are roots.
All branches of trees are roots eating light.
It’s a sprig of broccoli.
A child wants to eat a tree.
A divine person wants to eat a tree.
A boy in suspenders shrugs out of them.
A boy in a coat removes a coat and places it on a fence.
There is a hungry person.
The tree shakes its head to see leaves fall.
The tree cries because all of its leaves drop from it.
The more tears, the more leaves.
The tree has accepted that at any moment it could disappear.
The tree is trying to accept this.
An asteroid admires Earth.
An asteroid sees a tree and falls in love.
An asteroid pursues a tree.
A human opens a window in a house.
A human closes her eyes to hunt a thought.
The noise is so loud it replaces all other sounds.
There is no sound.
The light engulfs one planet.
The light eats the sound.
There is a flash of light and then the normal day resumes.
A woman puts her arm in the sunlight.
The bagged leaves huddle around their tree.
The bagged leaves look down the road.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reading a Map Is a Form of Dreaming

Reading a Map Is a Form of Dreaming

Where can I find a quieter mind
When I hunt it is always in the real darkness

Someone told me to invent a place and then listen to it

What I heard were leaves

In the dark like this a house looks like a mountain
The dog is its own shadow

Friday, October 17, 2014

Collaboration with Rebecca Chaperon and Giveaway

This week on Huffington Post, I was so delighted to share about a collaboration with Vancouver-based artist Rebecca Chaperon. In her new show, Eccentric Gardens, she has paired a few of my poems with her paintings! I am crazy about Rebecca’s art, and just love the way her brain works in general. If you’re in Vancouver, the show will run from October 24-November 15 at Initial Gallery.

In her artist statement, she describes her pieces as “imagined physical spaces brimming with creative energy.” The concept of a garden is a rich one for her--she links this to “her childhood garden in England - a place of her creative origin, where she learned to create, imagine, and play.”

Rebecca has printed up some lovely postcards featuring her images and my poems. To celebrate her exhibit, I wanted to give some of these away! I’ll send out five sets of these postcards (each set contains three postcards with her paintings on one side, and my poems on the other).

To enter, answer this question: What is your place of creative origin? What places have helped you learned to be creative and playful?
You can either comment below, like/comment on this post on Facebook, or reply via Twitter (I’ll reply to the winners to get mailing information). You can enter until Sunday at noon--at that point, I’ll randomly select winners and report back!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Life Is Good and Blood

Life Is Good and Blood

For you can be angry at the dog who has muddied you
by jumping to say hello

or you can incorporate mud
into your costume for the day

A bumper sticker told me that Life is Blood
And then as I watched its letters reassembled into the word Good

Life is good and blood
is responsible, I suppose

Valuable messages will arm wrestle you all day
for free

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Circle What We Do Remember

Circle What We Do Remember

We circle what we do remember
in pencil and then in a tearing away
of the paper under the pencil’s pointy

And then in the hand that stops moving
but wants to soothe itself through orbiting

Over and over the bird of the mind
swoops down onto the same patch
of water

Once there was a fish there
and never again

I am sorry that this will never be enough

Monday, October 13, 2014

Creature of the Dark

Creature of the Dark

Creature of the dark
it is not that you create the darkness

Nothing creates the darkness
except the light which won’t interrupt it

They are fond of each other
and you can find the shade nestled up

against what is bright Anyway
creature of the dark you are so important

All between your horns
are shadows You know where your

home is You will never
chase me even when I stare and stare

Friday, October 10, 2014

In Praise of Mail

I adore mail. I love finding cards, writing them, sending them, receiving's really amazing to me that I can put a piece of paper in a box in Columbus, Ohio, and then it magically goes far away and finds its designated human.

I'm lucky to have friends and family who feel the same way. Just this week, I got this card from dear friends (and even better, their adorable little daughter had drawn in it!):

Also, my very talented mom makes beautiful cards (and knits beautiful hats--she is so creative!). Here is just one of my recent favorites from her shop:

  Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Scent Photography

Scent Photography

Smudge of pumpkin touched by fire
in the air and what I want is
to be inside of this minute again
but in the future
I take a photograph of this smell
which means I breathe it into me
while seeing what surrounds us
Like that birdbath behind the fence
and the orange leaves I bring
down the street just by walking
Whatever will be held has decided
to rest before changing
Pumpkin coach you will carry us all

Wednesday, October 8, 2014



Time you are not good or cruel
You are not there in isolation ever
You are not a body or a being
I make you into a monster
for a morning
and then remember you are weather

Friend, the future just wants
to live and then be set free
rushing past us to resolution

To be a real boy
by spending itself until it is gone

The universe wants to unwind
and we are in the way
but only a little

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sky Effects

Sky Effects

To make as a sky is made
and remade and exists only
because the gravity-ridden beings gaze into it

Web spun of what is not there

and moisture pieces and light
and eyeball and brain
and distance
and desire to look up

Oh offerer of meaning
for those crawling low
which we call walking

every day we work to create you

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sitting Still

Sitting Still

Yesterday I complimented myself on my ability to sit still
in a room full of runners

A somewhat decent joke

but I do want to carry the stillness
It can feel like becoming a lake

or like holding a very full tray of full glasses
while maneuvering through the boxes
in a just-moved-into house

Photographers have said that a good time
to take a picture is when you are almost finished exhaling

A heavy sigh even
can coax the light into the cracks of the land

Friday, October 3, 2014

If You Answered Mostly True--Video

Today, I thought I'd share a video of me reading a poem. The video was made by a great local arts show called "Broad & High" which promotes arts and culture news from around Columbus.

Back in spring, I read at the Poetry Out Loud finals for Ohio. This event was incredibly inspiring--high schoolers competed by reciting poems that they'd memorized. These were the finals, so there were some really phenomenal readers there. It made me so happy and heartened to see these awesome teens so passionate about poems.

The poem is called "If You Answered Mostly True," and it's one of my favorites to read aloud. It's odd, and repetitive, and instantly helps me to feel connected with the audience. You can read full text of the poem here, at Hobart.

This week, I am feeling especially grateful for arts communities, other artists, and people who care about art (and poetry--that means you! Thank you!).


Thursday, October 2, 2014

We’re Not Angry, We’re Disappointed

We’re Not Angry, We’re Disappointed

Treeteachers we have not learned enough from you
Treeteachers you told us to read the light
and to speak with shadow

We have fashioned in your image a traffic light
because we thought that in how you blushed and aged in fall
you were giving us an assignment

but clearly we can see how we have displeased you
As you shake your head
your yellow words fall

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lunar Mare

Lunar Mare

Why does the drain want the water
Why does the sand want, for a moment, the pressure of a foot
carrying a body across its back

In the core of every gathering up of what is desired
there is a hole

Music over and over wants to tell us this
The most plaintive instruments keep trying to explain it
in voices full of significant hollows

See, there will be no solving of absence
but if you blow across it listen to that
melodious tone

The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.