Gale Nelson

Gale Nelson's most recent book is This Is What Happens When Talk Ends, a portion of which first appeared in The Offending Adam. His other books are stare decisis and ceteris paribus. Each of these four short texts culls words from a public reading given by the author to whom the particular poem is dedicated.

A Little Modal Erasure

          for Victor Wildman

Is it like the zoo after
hours, or is it more
like turning the pagoda
when she was done?

Perhaps it will be,
strangely, a surface,
but then how will it loop?
Scale is another handmade

matter. Great plates
summoned according
to ruined unison.

Migration Ache Stolen

          for Amish Trivedi

Not mine. The science
of desire will achieve —
drown the lake

in the woods. Rather
than the middle
consequently. Reflecting

back scuttles a second
feature. Saturated
gesture of burdens.

Where the Thin Rail Ends

          for Sarah Madsen

Mutual if unsolicited,
the patterns of her
life warranted

my hands in
tenderness. Unlit

self-regulating, a failure
written in descending
questions of night.

Punished for Vanity

          for Evelyn Hammond

Render the sympathy
when illusion
reels thought

departed. To know
the way is to
manipulate the other,

to cede allusion
with severed braids
of desire.