Sunday, June 19, 2011

Presenting Gabrielle Le May

I was at a wonderful poetry reading at the Carnegie museum in Oxnard yesterday. The feature poet was Gabrielle Le May.
Here is a poem by Ms. Le May:

To fly into a rage
is to fly...
I am trapped in a corner
of a small, dim room,
glaring at the woman I hate. She hurls
insults you stupid threats you'll never
barbs slut so fast I can't move I can't breathe I can't
stand it anymore--I let out a sharp screech
stretch out my rigid arms then clap them down to my sides
as hard as I can. I feel my eyes expand... grow round...
my trembling lips harden to a deep gash of beak--I
snarl hoot shriek
jerk my arms down with broadening palms
to propel myself up off my feet-
and now I am hovering...
upper back arched toward a corner of the ceiling;
wing-feathers slapping at faded, chipped paint;
bone-sharp talons strained-apart, reaching--
my rounded back clenched like a fist against the ceilin
Ecstatic, I squawk and flap at my prey
as she shrinks to toysize beneath me--
then sinks like a stain into the floor...
... Bluish light leaks through thin bamboo blinds
and oozes through the room, pooling
at the corners of my eyelids.
I am curled on my side, inert,
on a rumpled sheet, my round left hip
embedded like a jewel in the mattress,
my head too heavy to lift--
my eyelids frozen open,
my thundering heart aching with the need
to know adreal sky...
(I must get back up there
I can fly back up there
if I can just push back down
into sleep, lovely sleep--
God willing.)
But this time, please God:
Let there be no ceiling.

Ms. Le May has been published in ASKeW, Big City Lit,
Blue Mesa Review, Confrontation, Poems & Plays, Poetry East,
Poetry London, Rattapallax, River Oak Review, and The Ledge.

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