ELISA GONZALEZ | POETRY

ESSAY ON STORYTELLING

Easy enough to begin—

Once and not now I
parachuted from a daring little plane.

As if shipwreck survivor I crawled onto shore.
Rain clouds above though it wouldn’t rain for days.

Something told me so.
Anemones flirted on the hills.

But plot is greedy, ever urging on
desire. And—however improbable—

it’s true: as if ransomed
you stepped through a gate.

Invited me in.
I never slept.

I lingered among orange trees and lady’s-tresses.
I donned a blue dress.

You didn’t touch. Neither
did you close your eyes.

Almond tree struck blushing, figs rotting wild across stones.
This embarrassing oleander, it petaled my hair.

Where is this? And which of us lives here?
From time to time.

I don’t understand the contrivance of ends: my forever
condition.

But stay here, sit beside me,
let’s talk till the rain comes.

Change—it is the world’s strangest
condition.

So we may abandon
garden for house, and fall asleep.

So we may wake, we may
say, Yes, I see you.

Yes, I think I know
what it is to satisfy a dream.

.

ESSAY ON POVERTY

It saddled
and rode me all my young life,

bought a bigger saddle
for my older.

Harried are the poor
from birth, and by what hand,

one might ask. One might ask,
And what of the kingdom of heaven?

Forget the one
we bend on earth.

From the kitchen window
Mama and I assess the yard

this morning muddied
by silver rains of spring.

When she asks if I need money
I say, I have assets.

Piebald sundress, running
water, dictionary.

Muddy dog digs in the mud a hole
Mama leaves unfilled.

To be precise, unfilled
except by silver rains

flooding
to empty again.

All dictionaried-up
I’m set to unearth beginnings:

In the Rolls of Parliament A.D. 1325,
She is broght in so grete povertee that she has noo gode whereof.

Whereof I can make gode meaning,
meaning god meaning goad (a spiked stick)

landing hot on the neck of the mare
who splashes through mud, who whinnies, who canters on—

Elisa Gonzalez is a writer of poetry and prose who lives in Cyprus. Her work appears in Hyperallergic, Lambda Literary Poetry Spotlight, The New Yorker online, and elsewhere. A graduate of Yale University and the New York University creative writing program, she has received support from the Norman Mailer Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the U.S. Fulbright Program.

2018-06-30T14:27:53+00:00

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