Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Gregory Stapp’

Un Corazón de Cerdo – by Gregory Stapp

En el super,

she places on the counter

a cow’s tongue,

a cow’s heart,

a cow’s liver,

in that order,

the same order,

every week,

while getting the groceries

for her madrastra.

Blancanieves, I call her,

my Snow White de Guatemala.

 

While ringing up her food

I ask again, Blanca, why

do you always place them

on the counter in this order?

She pulls at her hair,

shrugs her shoulders,

and scratches her thigh.

First the tongue,

then the heart,

then the liver.

This is the order.

 

Some days I see her

in town with her madrastra.

While they wait for the bus,

her madrastra jerks

Blanca’s hair

to keep her

from stepping into the street,

or to make her

ashamed of her beauty.

Then she cuffs her shoulder,

and smacks her on the thigh.

Always in this order.

 

I go hunting one weekend,

kill a jabalí and take its heart,

and when I see Blanca again

 

I give it to her

in the store’s packaging.

Para tu madrastra, I say.

Un corazón de cerdo.

She pulls a manzana

from beneath her camisa

and drops it with a thud

behind the liver.

Y esta, she grins.

 

Gregory Stapp received his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His poems have appeared in Outside In Literary and Travel Magazine, Lime Hawk Journal, Shot Glass, The Ekphrastic Review, and Forage, among others. He recently served as the Poetry Editor for Qu: A Literary Magazine.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is President of the Kansas Authors Club. His poetry book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book.

 

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The Doorway — by Gregory Stapp

A door is not always a door.

Understand, for me it’s sometimes a bridge

over the frozen creek or a wall against the wind

propped up against the dumpster bay

like a mean city lean-to.

I slept on a bunch of books once.

Spent all afternoon lining them up:

seven wide and fourteen deep,

about five high, depending,

with a divot in the middle.

They became a warm, firm mattress

where I found a poem called

The Oven Bird and dreamt the night

of Thanksgiving’s past and realized

on waking I’d forgotten how to sing.

I love words for their descriptions of things,

in the way they’re used like doors. I used to be

a man. I love poetry, the leaning music,

for being mattresses, or fuel

for the fire; for reminding me to sing

in a way the city didn’t mean to.

~ Gregory Stapp

Gregory Stapp received his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His poems have appeared in, Lime Hawk Journal, Shot Glass, The Ekphrastic Review, and Forage, among others. He recently served as the Poetry Editor for Qu: A Literary Magazine.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas where he teaches and writes. His poetry and prose have been published widely in such journals as Blue Mesa Review, Columbia, New Letters, and Prairie Schooner. He is the author of two books of poetry, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley, 2002) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth, 2011), as well as a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill, 2009). Retrieving Old Bones was a Kansas City Star Noteworthy Book for 2002 and is listed as one of the Great Plains Alliance’s Great Books of the Great Plains.

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