Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Divertimiento by Julian Gallo

Julian Gallo’s collection of poems in Divertimiento detail interpersonal relationships and the less savory moments of encountering old flames, friends, and even strangers.

Cracks In The Paint

Will you be there for me
when the sun disappears behind
tenement water towers;
when the moon sneaks out quietly
from behind factory windows;
when the street lamps ignite over slick,
glistening streets;

Will you be there for me
when pimps release the whores for
nocturnal bliss;
when the nuts and wackos comb
cardboard tenements for smack
and a kiss from dirty chapped lips;
when the dogs pick through the trash,
eyes looking straight
into the urban abyss?

Will you be there for me
when the sun reappears to shine upon
the carnage you leave in your wake?

For I am still waiting,
huddled in the doorway
counting the cracks in the paint

one less button on my coat
one less beat of my heart.

Most poems asking the universal question of emotion “Will you be there for me?” often use much more sentimental imagery often paired with hope. Here, Mr. Gallo takes a twist in using imagery from the grittier sides of life, “nuts and wackos,” and “pimps” who release “whores” while the person in question is described as leaving carnage in their wake. It makes me wonder about the character of the person he is hoping will be there when it is his turn and the imagery leads me to believe that the person will not be there when the time comes.


Narcissism in overdrive—
amazing the lengths some people
will go to make absolutely certain that
things, people & events
will completely revolve around
You are merely a prop
in a film
they are making that
no one is

I share this poem because we can all relate to such people. Plainly spoken, Mr. Gallo points out that whoever you are, no one is watching you as closely or cares as much as you do about your life. Frankly, it’s a poem I’d like to leave lying around for certain other people to find, how about you?

A Sort of Mirage

Shadows in ink.
On such evenings I’m
too tired to applaud the maestro
but a fresh mate’ soothes nevertheless.
War has not been declared
and there is not one fraction
of my life left behind.
There are lots of commas
and etceteras lying about the hallway
waiting to be used, waiting to be set
to dance across the page.
They seem to comfort each other
after these outbursts;
a sort of mirage
these words I cannot grasp

I like the idea of “lots of commas/and etceteras lying about the hallway” as though all that is unsaid is hanging in the air waiting to land as words on the page. I like the imagery in this poem and the message that all that could be said has not yet been officially declared. I think that is what most writing is: That which is officially declared.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you may purchase Divertimiento for $3 (plus $2 US shipping or $3 out-of-US shipping) from Alternating Current (alt-current.com). You can also mail payment to:

Alternating Current
PO Box 398058
Cambridge, MA 02139

Remember that Alternating Current is one of the few presses where poets can be paid for their work so please support the small press!

Thanks always for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

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