CREDO QUIA ABSURDAM EST--Tertullian
And I don’t believe precisely because
It’s absurd, because the rational mind
Forbids it. How absurd is that,
One preposterous as the other?
I’ll change my mind tomorrow of course
Since absurdity is a two-way street
With no stop signs or red lights
Or runaway truck ramps.
You wouldn't want these old secrets,
dulled by their own patina of sorrow and deceit,
unearthed by prim young technicians who employ
not divining rod nor hunch nor pure love,
like mad Schliemann hungering toward the tomb
of Priam, but the cool precision of gauges
and instruments which can extract voltage from pain:
you want them excavated by craven fool, traitor,
whiskey priest, whore and whore-monger, fallen angel,
trustees of whatever quivers in midnight sweats--
the slit wrist, empty bottles of booze and pills,
gas leaking from unlit ovens--
you want a custodian of secrets like yourself,
knowing in your blood that instruments
tell far greater and more beautiful lies,
measure only what can be measured,
will never glimpse the real Jerusalem
where flowers bloom when gazed upon
and you breathe not air but cream
and no amount of money or pleasure
can ever change your mind.
VIEW WITH A ROOM
I stare from my office window
at the fiery, brazen rectangle
of world, this official view
glowing with insane leaves
A girl in blue jeans
slouches on a bench under one
of the blood red trees. Gold
seeps out of her braided hair.
She reads a book and does not
notice me noticing her.
May her book be of love
and magic, the fate of man,
man evolving into soul,
poetic but whole,
mathematical, deeply comic
yet sad as the sea.
May it prompt her
to turn and smile at me,
come washing through my window
with the sudsy light.
Three volumes of Louis Gallo’s poetry, Archaeology, Scherzo Furiant and Clearing the Attic, are now available. Three forthcoming volumes, Crash, Why is there Something Rather than Nothing? and Leeway & Advent, will be published in the near future. His work will appear in Best Short Fiction 2020 forthcoming. A novella, “The Art Deco Lung,” will be published in Storylandia. His work has appeared or will shortly appear in Wide Awake in the Pelican State (LSU anthology), Southern Literary Review, Fiction Fix, Glimmer Train, Hollins Critic,, Rattle, Southern Quarterly, Litro, New Orleans Review, Xavier Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Texas Review, Baltimore Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ledge, storySouth, Houston Literary Review, Tampa Review, Raving Dove, The Journal (Ohio), Greensboro Review, and many others. Chapbooks include The Truth Changes, The Abomination of Fascination, Status Updates and The Ten Most Important Questions. He is the founding editor of the now defunct journals, The Barataria Review and Books: A New Orleans Review. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times. He is the recipient of an NEA grant for fiction. He teaches at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.