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CAUGHT IN THE NET 82 -  POETRY  BY
KILEEN GILROY

Series Editor - Jim Bennett
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Introduction by Jim Bennett
 

 

Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.

 

You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.
 

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Before she knows I am awake

I creep to the stairs

Clutching the railing

Where I watch her mascara run

Like black rivers

Flowing through the heart of the earth.

 

                 from; Early in the morning by Kileen Gilroy

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CONTENTS

1 - BIOGRAPHY
2 Ė POETRY
 

How to Lie  

I just want to be enough for you,

Feeding Her Mother Grapefruit
Early in the morning

Battle Scars
Peaking

One Hundred and Two Years Later

Potatoes

The Painter

The Names Of All Who Watch 

3 - AFTERWORD
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1 Ė BIOGRAPHY:  Kileen Gilroy

 

Kileen Gilroy is an aspiring poet currently residing in Narrgansett, Rhode Island. She has recently graduated Eastern Connecticut State University with a Secondary English Education degree with a minor writing concentration. She has also been the chief literary editor of the universityís literary magazine Eastern Exposure. She has had previous work published in Eastern Exposure (1, 2, &3), The New Plains Review, Silkword 4, Nefarious Ballerina, The North Central Review, Imitation Fruit, and The World Voice Project: Inspiring a Conscience Signature. At 23 years of age, she is currently developing and finishing her own manuscript. 

 

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2 - POETRY 

 

How to Lie  

 

I tried to forget

the late night prayers,

birthday wishes,

neck sweating,

heart racing,

raspy voice of a little girl begging God-

 

God, make it stop,

the things Iíve seen

and what I know,

which I do not want to believe-

 

the dried up white powder in her nose,

the dollar bill,

the Days Inn hotel room card,

the white cabinet,

the running inside to see her backside,

little girl shrinking away saying nothing-

 

ignoring slurred speech,

annoying babble about this and that,

about how great I am,

how lucky she is to have me,

she wants me to stay,

talk for a while longer,

but I just want to run away-

 

as I once did when we didnít live here

but there,

when I didnít know what it was,

when I knew how to close my eyes

lie under tree boughs looming,

letting in the little light left.

 

 

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I just want to be enough for you,

 

 is what I want to say

each time I kiss the bridge of your nose.

 

You open my gates to lazy days

where sunbeams dance across

my chest like children often do,

skipping along sidewalks

where shadows collide with amber light.

 

You intrigue me

in the ways you can so easily unfold me,

make my insides grow quiet,

blooming in chrysanthemums when you are near.

 

I want to know the ways of your streets,
where they might carry me,

but as much as I want to know,

 

doubt follows me

like a nameless girl who has just slept in your bed.

 

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Feeding Her Mother Grapefruit

When I was too young to understand
My grandmother speaking to her mother in Polish,
I watched her sprinkle sugar

 

Onto the bitter heart of a grapefruit
Stretching across the table to feed her
As the pink juices dribbled

 

Down her chin like rivers carving into bedrock,
Where my grandmother scooped what's left
With a metal spoon.

 

 

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Early in the morning

 

When the sky is still shedding the last shadows of the night,

I hear her voice

Travel in and out of dreams

Like sunrays sneaking through shades

To touch the flowers rooted deep

Within my palms so they will bloom.

 

Before she knows I am awake

I creep to the stairs

Clutching the railing

Where I watch her mascara run

Like black rivers

Flowing through the heart of the earth.

 

Her mother has just died,

 

Uncertain of what to do,

I watch her

As she crashes before me,

Breaking like dawn.

 

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Battle Scars

"Sometimes I just want to go back to Iraq,"
He whispers when neither of us can sleep.

I dont know about him or where he is now,
But I know where my dreams go-

They are inside the breath of a little girl
Who wishes on dandelions

And blows the spores seven years away
Until one boy creeps deep inside her

As if into the heart of a maple tree
To count the rings and watch the sap

Ooze like the blood of the man
He canít stop thinking about.

I know why he wants to go back,
Itís why I sleep with him,

Itís what we know.

 

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Peaking

 

He opens

my hands

like windows

where the dreams

I have been waiting for slip

through cracks,

slide inside

the curve of the crescent

moon to begin again.

 

He finds

places to fall

between as I sink

into his eyes.

 

Irises inside

burst from my ribs

as his fingers press

into the gardens

of who I might be.

 

I exhale light,

fill the walls with color,

spread my hands

wide like wings

leaving behind

a puddle of stars.

 

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One Hundred and Two Years Later

                        Dedicated to Magdelena Swaja

 

Before we plant the Serviceberry tree to remind us

of my Polish great grandmotherís hair,

I imagine what the heart might look like,

layers of rings within this wood

like that of the boat 

she almost died on.

 

When they went to throw her body overboard

on the way to New York,

a young Czechoslovakian voice stretched across

thick fog and the shipís sturdy beams--  

Sheís not dead yet       I  will take care of her.

 

If it werenít for that woman

to have heard her utter a single breath

and nurse her back to health with beer, 

 

I wouldnít be here

to plant the roots

and touch the little white

flowers budding from the branches.

 

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Potatoes

 

I donít know my grandfather

Or his parents

Or the people who came before him.

 

All I know is that we share the same

Irish name and love for mashed potatoes.

 

On Thanksgiving I am reminded of this,

As my grandmother, his widow

Scrubs the rough skin

Peels the layers back;

 

I only knew my husband for ten years.

 

Sometimes when I canít sleep at night,

I think of how my relatives might have lived in Ireland.

I wonder if they were happy,

If they ate salt herring in three bites

To see a future husband in a dream.

I wonder if they lit candles in windows

On the night after November 1st,

Loving the dead like she does,

Or if they were the ones

Digging until the sun fell into the earth,

In hopes to gather enough potatoes

To feed a family without

Getting lost in the shadows. 


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The Painter


i.
When he leaves me to go paint the church
Down the street from his house,
I  imagine how his hands might look,

Gripping the wooden brush
Dipping inside me like a jar of white paint,
Spreading in the motion of the sun.


ii.
The roads between us grow deeper
Where trees wrap around eachother,
Butterflies burst from the hollows
As something blooms inside me,
Like birds breaking free.

 

iii.

A year ago things were differnet
When you didnt hold back.
I imagine gazing at the steeple,
How I might visit your church this summer to see
The sunlit caked panels
Already cracking and chipping
Away toward nothing.

 

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The Names Of All Who Watch 

For the 9/11 Responders

 

His sleeplessness weighs heavy on my forehead,

his death almost nothing.[1]

It was autumn then,

the leaves suddenly flames,

the side walk burning cinders.[2]

There are days we live as if death

were nowhere in the background.[3]

 

 

Some old men are still alive,[4]

possessed by what we now no more possessed,[5]

haunted by the dead,

reburying their secrets in the bricks.[6]

 

 

I knew little,

and what I knew I did not believe.[7]

 

 

I recognize bravery when I see it,

the way it opens,

the way it enters itself,[8]

all of it going by in a blur,

a jar of ashes,

a jar of bones,[9]

a thousand postcards of a world

he dared not dream he dreamed,

signed with the names of all who watch.[10]

 

 

 


 

[1] Li Young Lee, My Fatherís House

[2] Saul Williams, She

[3] Li Young Lee, From Blossoms

[4] Allen Ginsburg, Back on Times Square, Dreaming of Times Square

[5] Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

[6] Ghassan Zaqtan, Darkness

[7] Sharon Olds, First Sex

[8] Fleda Brown, For Bill, Injured in the First Dress Rehearsal

[9] Len Roberts, The Long Ride Home

[10] Jake Adam York, At Cornwall Furnace

 

 

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3 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -
http://www.poetrykit.org/    

 

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