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Sample Poems by Gay Giordano


These Little Boudoirs

She extricates herself from this city-silly man
manhandling her in his sleep
Times Square putrid in his mouth

all these ships ashore, sailors ogle even
the cartoon figures dying of humiliation
in their urine soaked costumes

she condescends the way all needful things do
to this poor urban wildlife faking desire
to pose with idiot grins not of their making

banners blurt the news above them
no one cares we are not on earth here
but I have what it takes she assures herself

not to star on Broadway but to stand on it
glowing under a different kind of galaxy
a similar pay scale it's true but in cash

and even in shadows the pallor of cut necks
she assumes like a meat hook the distaste of her trade
the natural categories of beef starting with lips

I may not sing I may not dance
but oh in these little boudoirs
these fabled alleys I am culture itself


This Illusory Room

Homes are more carefully constructed
than we ourselves are

they have an efficiency, a place
for your favorite doll for example

a window to watch the sweating boys
tossing a ball like summer itself

dogs biting air, refusing to acknowledge
the sovereignty of gravity

a grandmother making dough on the counter
slapping it down like proof of Euclidean theory

a stumbledrunk mother's gaudy heels
more seductive somehow than lace

figurines with bitter red lips
gesture like Hamlet to passersby

saying what after all we must
in this room this house this structure

a generation-weary ribcage
I am none of the things I could be


Weapons

Woman of the borrowed drink
sliding hands over counters
an obvious gesture of thirst

I will drink of this glass or of you
it's all the same to me
my bed is in the willows

a simple transaction
amidst the croaking frogs
the whispering seashells

I am not a gala
I am the weary after-party
the confetti that's stuck to your shoe

my childhood dreams
are furry with mildew
bluebirds weep for me

and light is thrown like javelins
into my heart


Memory Of Tides

The sea is cold as a cocktail
a thousand lemon peels
when the sun goes wading

my horse has tossed me
I cut my feet in the air
blood spills a sea star

seaweed in my throat
my voice is bitten in half
young boys are singing

such sweet sirens
sink with me children
princes of kites

in the saffron of twilight


Shadow Puppets

My shadow regards me with indifference
sad velvet dropped from my shoulders
as light as an exile's suitcase

it has, no doubt, better shapes to follow
it longs for its own grandeur - a violin to flourish
a string with its weird mechanics

a ball it can't catch up to
a girl in can-can skirts
but it abides me grudgingly

I have seen it defy light and overtake me
dog to my master without the fleas
but we must come to terms

we both have a fool for comrade