BOOKS OF POETRY
Goldbeater’s Skin (Fort Collins, Colorado: Center for Literary Publishing, 2003); The Batteries (Grand Rapids, Michigan: New Michigan Press, 2005); Disclamor (Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2007); One Way No Exit (Grafton, Vermont: Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008); Archicembalo (Dorset, Vermont: Tupelo Press, 2009); Your Father on the Train of Ghosts: Poems (Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2011); Testament: Poem (Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2015); Feast Gently: Poems (Dorset, Vermont: Tupelo Press, 2015); The Earliest Witnesses: Poems (Dorset, Vermont: Tupelo Press, 2021).
╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
What Is a Metaphor
A humorous joke at the expense of this month's endangered species. Walking by the lagoon it seems improbable: that we laugh? That we remain silent? That we walk at all? Mud clinging to the reeds which cling in turn to the cuffs of our pants which are not actually ours: proximity vs. resistance.
A colonial language which becomes the official language of the post-colonial state which becomes the price of admission into the metropolis.
Onward Xian soldiers. When I was a child the Baptists stood up when the accompanist pounded the opening chords of "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus," but the Methodists remained seated. This was a neater division than class, one we repeated every summer in the orchard between the roots of the damsons.
Asphalt poured over disturbed ground—it appears solid, but it's not.
An admission of doubt, which is not the same thing as an admission of guilt but will suffice in most kitchen recipes. Our own traces, for example: in June dust. In June dusk. At the length of its tether desire comes bounding back. A whistle will do it. The right word, spoke in an even, conversational tone. Though it brings a death. The crust shot through with its leaven.
Boys, dikes, wooden shoes. Vast sibling rivalry. A lisp affected in criminal court. Someone or something has been burning.
Reprinted from New American Writing, No. 24 (2006)
Copyright ©2006 by G. C. Waldrep