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Michael Gallagher

of

Dayton, OH, US

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Alterior Motives

by

Michael Gallagher

I feel
What
I like
I love
Whom
I may
and I
change
As they please
but
Something does not fall apart
Somewhere, somehow
the center holds
Or at least evolves
Into something useful
Something
I can hold
nurture
love
All in due time
And in their rightful
Order
Something for someone
Anything for anyone
and nothing for
Nobody
When that
Nobody
Is
someone
Like
Me.


Absurd Notion

by

Michael Gallagher

Dedicted to the memory of JLC.

The pieces fall into place
One by one assuming the position that will be theirs
For eternity
They succumb to my whims
and my commands
and my advances
The absurd are my minions and you will be too
if time permits
She succumbs for a reason
Some reason, dark and distorted in the absinthe
She offers up herself
for my salvation
But I reject her
because she is not my equal. she is my superior
And we both know it
Her wound is bare for me to see
The painless beauty that lies underneath
I overextend but she counters with a hurried notion of love
I advance she defends, never once consuming any of her resources
She simply smiles and calss my name in a way that makes the word seem
important and transcendent
I, lying defeated, succumb to love
I, lying exhausted, succumb to life
I, lying complete,
Succumb
To
Her


Rhyme or Reason, Loyalty or Treason

by

Michael Gallagher

The gyspy kings
and the marionette strings
compel me to sing
The ancient lnds and their tunes of old
The mandolin and the eerie harpsichord
Create one distinctive rhythm
That haunts my brain
As I struggle with this "thing"
This sweeping texture and unadulterated beauty
I feel at once complete
The music, the words, and the aesthetics all cement my grey areas, they
form a completed tapestry
that cannot be mistaken for something else
They accentuate the positive and diminish the negative
They scream and whisper with irrevent grace and force me to search for more
To transcend my place and my face in search of a loftiness
that perhaps is unattainable but altogether noble.
I live and die in enviable ignorance in search of something that cannot
exist but must for me to continue.


Timeless Questions

by

Michael Gallagher

The search for universal truth
has devolved into uneducated assumptions and
personal vendettas
We learn from history
that history isn't worth learning
because of our ignorance
Society has lost touch with the individual
As the individual has lost faith in society
We search for one another with the backs of our eyes
and the pits of our stomachs
We reach for everyone with limp hands
and numb hearts
We look for unity by fortifying the sects
and weakening the coastal outlines
The scales have tipped but once again in the favor
of the
one.
So be it.
Ramifications abound
in this
life
and in
these murky
waters
I will retain
my sanity
by feeding
off those
who cannot
and will not
resign
from their
agenda
I wish
I scream
I lie
and I dream,
A simple, solemn, silent dream
of you and me
and what we were meant to be
once, long ago
in a world
not unlike
this.


Progress

by

Michael Gallagher

Dedicated to JLC

I hope the tintanabulation of the torrents lightens the frost-nipped
impasses of your heart
I hope the thw wind whistles through the child that rears it's beautiful
head only in the best of the worst
I hope that we can dance amidst the dreams of our youth and the realities of our future
I hope that, once and for all, all our visions of futility will be
transformed to exultation of all that is immoral, indecent, and common.
When all is said and done, I hope to live according to the tenets of
history, the dimensions of religion, and the blind faith that resides in my soul
My souls longs for more yet all that I need is present in a kaleidoscope
of whirlwind activity, lust, and desperation amidst creation.
Destruction is rebirth in this chaos, this chasm of unadulterated beauty
and untimely ignorance
Ignorance and bliss, brothers eternal, scream for equal representation in the dark recesses of my conscience
I strive for perfection, but not to judge or criticize for lack thereof
If we could embrace, all the wrongs will be reissued as rights and all
the recession would be construed as paths well chosen, and all the love
we have shared will form a tower of hope, generation, and birth
Ours will be the beacon for the future,
ours will be the remembrance of the past
ours will be the finality of the present
What do you say my equal,
my hope,
my glory
and my love.


Forbes and Fifth Avenue

by

Michael Gallagher

AKA Ode to Pittsburgh

I stand between Forbes and Fifth Avenue
along the curb, rocking myself into oblivion
I reach for the trash and I see the sidewalk, split into sections
of shale, concrete, and newspaper clippings
Old as the city itself
My footprint is sanctimonious
My footprint is simply continuation
of the men and women before me
Struggling to get by, and farhter downtown
Perhaps to the Point
where they can feel the river
and it's playful spray
I trace the steps of a thousand steel workers, I feel the pain of the
disgruntled soldiers, I know the degradation of the prostitutes, I
despise the envy of the Carnegies, and I witness the weathered face of
the infant.
I wonder if they stood here and stared at the cracks in the sidewalk
I wonder if it offered them the same reprieve it offers me
I wonder if they praised anything that let them escape
from the smog
and the filth
and the screetching whistle
that reluctantly brought in
the laboring work day
I can hear them counting the money that is never enough
or the cumbersome family
or the personal luxuries
I then retire
to the PAT
out to Mount Washington and wait for the sunset to cover
up all my questions and my lack of answers


In defense of Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women"

by

Michael Gallagher

Nobody criticized this
So reluctant to say anything to the master
The sake of argument runs amuck amid
women who have biological imperatives
such as growth
They are immortalized because of the writer
and not the writings
An artificial mechanicism runs through his work
Undermining any hope of credibility
But no one dares
to refute
The prize was his, Pulitzer by name
The story's rehashed, the dialogue's the same
The man, the myth, the legend or the fraud
No one is sure, reputation is the God
Albee searches for meaning amid his nihilism
The fruit of his labors is nothing, or rather
pointlessness
The end never justify the means
There is more to this than so it seems
These tall, tall women
Taller now than before
Because of their existence
they speak for us all


Dumb Micks of the World Unite!

by

Michael Gallagher

Ode to JFK

" I am a jelly donut"
was all they heard
and they laughed
and scoffed
at the men who would be king
the Germans will never forget
Kennedy's slip of tongue and fall from grace
or the look on his discombobulated face
Or the look Jackie gave the world of TV
when her husband was shot to pieces from some depository
Or the rich playboy Harvardite, who skipped one too many lectures of
language
or perhaps his accent
was simply too much
or his religion, which was lax at best
He was too young to be constantly put to the test
He was brash, bold, and spoke in foriegn tongues
about equality, harmony, and desegregation
John was a step ahead of the game
And everyone since has been the same
But no one can much the magnitude of the retort he made that day
nor the look on the public's faces as they smiled, turned, and walked
away
into history.


Passage

by

Michael Gallagher

She stares at the static beach
through the eyes of hollow men
Has the opportunity passed,
that sweet moment of innocence
and reality fused for eternity
Must love die?
Amid those barren rocks
and those distant
waves
forever imposing their truth
upon the beach and all
that reside there
A brief moment of grandeur
before the tide breaks
and starts anew
A thender moment of solace
for the weak of heart
and the agnostics
As she collects her meager possessions,
she glances once more
at the face of God
And those brave enough to meet eternal life
without hesitation
and resistance


Positive Signifier

by

Michael Gallagher

The light
from the street
silouhettes
the school
that lies beneath
my balcony.
My gasping for air
and the whistling wind that rips through my hair
poses a surmountable
task
that relinquishes
it's grasp
as I drink from my flask
I begin to think
that as I stare at
the perfections of my sink
my moment of gratitude
lies immortal
I thank all that at chance I once met
All that I felt, and all
that positioned me
and all that I simply let be
Could I ever but pose a sore
on all that we are, all that
we stand fore?
Could I ever but make a dent
in that elastic, retractable, philosophical
cement?
Yes,
I feel the answer is
yes,
I know the answer is
yes
Yes!
Would we ever but to embrace
all that remains would be effervescent, humanitarian,
and commonplace


Can I lay with Zora tonight?

by

Michael Gallagher

Tonight I feel a bit broken,
Tonight I feel an adulterated mess
Tonight, I revise the words spoken
all for naught, the words simply persist
Zora, where could you be
In my time of sweet irony?
On the frill of humanity, probably,
experiencing the voodoo of Eatonville, or the
cultural wealth of Harlem
All that I could never experience
lies in yur cup, and you drink
from the wealth of nations, and the pain of
Claude McKay
and those who are meant to shine on a brighter, blinder day
You knew Langston, and you called him a friend,
not too long ago,
Those vows are now broken, came to a screetching, blissful, end
That rocked the underworld, the belly of the nation
That posed and postured, cleaned and whistled, and silently
abhored
You refuse to play
And you can restore my faith in the way
we communicate
I want to soak your brilliant Sweat
I want to run screaming, soaking wet
I want to lay down and rest for a while
Zora, I want an end to this fixed trial
Can I lay with you tonight
Under the blanket of the starry night


Fin de partie/ Repetez

by

Michael Gallagher

(Samuel and associates)

The end is near
yet all is not clear
to search
weighed by his pathos
and claims of restlessness
knight to pawn four
and I feel the knot begin to lose hold
on our humanity
Dead before birth
and loved before lost
A spackling of independence
confronts the fiery gate
and awaits admittance
" A sojourn to the truth, a hold that he will try, but will never
succeed, to break. I wonder why he felt this way. I wonder why?"
Blue eyes stare in repugnance of the one he loved, and detested in one
fatal breath.
Suzanne- A touch of levity from time to time would serve you well.
Samuel- Tis something I cannot afford, for that would destroy our
foundation
Suzanne- Aye, but I will cement all happenings from the onlookers
Samuel- You will try, and for that I love. Love for you only, none left
to spare
As he stares at his revisions, as he gently slides into sleep, the
corners of his taterred ego our soothed by the gallant wonder of the
woman he neglects.
Samuel- Do you have a bit of rope?
Suzanne- We have none to spare. The bonds will break
in due time.
Be patient, my love.


Call to the Reverent

by

Michael Gallagher

People wonder why,
in their introspection,
why we like events out of turn.
"Tis not for us to decide,
we must simply stare and watch"
I don't care for that answer and I let
them know

Participate
Is that too much too ask?
Pull yourself from the proverbial bootstraps
and go.
For no sympathy will be
expended on your
apathy.
At least not anymore.


Untitled

by

Michael Gallagher

Remember Third Street, at that wet bus stop,
where we sat and waited for the 13 that never came.
Why was it always wet?
Why did that man ask us if we could hold his bottle of urine?
Why did you accept?
Mysteries


Mental jargon of the river Siene,Thames, and Mahoning

by

Michael Gallagher

Les fleurs de mal, les fleurs de maird
tomato, tomato,
possibly potato
rhetoric of disciplines of swarthy men with penchants
for disruption, cannot but come and go,
No,
for they shall dictate their cramped emotional endeavours into
words,
so scholars spend their lives detemining what a man might mean
where refereces are made to prostitutes
and gutter dribble,
perhaps the sounds of the words signify more than their
placement
Perhaps,
if I were a particular poet of omission,
I would write my way through these philsophical trifles,
perhaps
my educational output dictates
my encounters with refuse
perhaps
Wonderful is a synonym for ordinary
or gratituous symbolizes truth
perhaps
poetry
is a dead discipline


Style

by

Michael Gallagher

Style
forth forward
stings like a rusty bayonet
in the deep waters of the Atlantic
and the cold presses close
like an imaginative vixen
in a Dicken's novel.

Cry
my beloved,
the injustice is there,
not an apparition,
not an ineptitude,
the pain in my father's back,
bending close to his children
reciting dreams in prayers.

Wander,
the earth,
mosquito bites and bee's wax
leaving an indentation,
leaving unanswered questions.
Wander the earth for me.

Scream,
quietly if need be,
let them, if them be they,
know your pain and triumph
in the robotic rude mechanical
solliloquoy.
Let them
be.
(Carry on Margaret)


Technique of Indentured Servitude

by

Michael Gallagher

Dedicated to Lawrence F. Gallagher- died 1992

My grandfather, deep in drought of throat and mind,
spoke of deeds done, deeds desired,
and pains reimbursed.

Life suckled on salt licks
and he sat hungrily,
biding his time.

Kicking, flailing along
the edge of Dewey Avenue,
the salesman in the cheap suit
knowing the price of family,
ethnics die hard to old beliefs.
But they die all the same.

Deep scar, cut along the military haircut,
repeated for over thirty years,
testiment to stability,
knowing the mark of humility,
begging for provider status
in an eager, discontented, unaware
Gallagher family.

The bed springs bowed under his weight,
sighing a breath of relief every morning,
wandering the town in search of worms
for the nest of European exiles.


Ceramic Siamese Industry

by

Michael Gallagher

The window, dusted to shine
the cat in the window,
motionless for well over a decade,
singing the industriousness of a Maoist renegade.

The Senator's wife,
motionless for well over a lifetime
arrives in time to bid and secure
the antique for her mantlepiece
next to the photographs of her children.


Eamon Caricature

by

Michael Gallagher

Criterion is as might be,
a nickel in the pocket,
trousers zipped tight,
a lonely seaward journey
through Van Gogh's night.