Gillian Conoley

Gillian Conoley is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Plot Genie and Profane Halo. Her work has appeared in over 20 national and international anthologies, including W.W. Norton's American Hybrid, Counterpath's Postmodern Lyricisms, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Nuova Poesia Americana, and Best American Poetry. She has received the Jerome J. Shestack Award from The American Poetry Review, several Pushcart Prizes, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a Fund for Poetry Award. Editor and founder of Volt magazine, she teaches in the Program for Writers and Poets at Sonoma State University, and makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Experiments in Patience I

Vale of soul making––

The cottontop tamarind
& the common marmoset

The tamarind eats insects
with quick jabbing strikes
while the common marmoset

must wait for days
for gum to flow
from trees.

Six signs you need to detox–– Patience broods and peacocks

Virtue stirs the pulp

I will wait for the God who saves me     the hosannah     of all I am programmed for
to escape me

Unfiltered sun
an elevator down

A species

of dandelions,   yellow splashes

Experiments in Patience II

Family more
than genetics
and laundry

sweep the earth
in your
cemetery slippers

one foot slipping out

Experiments in Patience III

the speaking machine sits there listening,

a pit and a dungeon.       somebody is not going

to make it in time.    but will see you later.

a promissory.

out the window summer voices of children herded

by volunteers.       see you in ten.

how ‘bout never?

how does never


a frayed stylus

brushes the worn-out record’s

subcutaneous enormities.

look we’ve all heard this a million times.

graveyard boots

outside a white shed.

            I love you

beside a small red plastic fork.

sag         drags and falls,

ministerial flora
near the watercress.

see you.               I love you,

but it spills