Gloria Frym

Your Life Will Never Be the Same After Trying These Unusual Hacks

Place existence out of time, in the vicinity of eternity.
Drop a medallion in any mailbox.
Reserve the right to be forgotten.
Don’t only go where you are loved.
Believe in hopeless hope.
Consider the violence of poisoned water.
Visit the All-You-Want store.
Take a knife to the pencil and sharpen its moral center.
Watch the blossoms fluttering to the grass like snowflakes.
Capture all of summer in one image.
Build a quiet jackhammer.
Put your demons on a red leash.
Know that more wants more.
Study compelling contradictions.


“An asperity of expression”
may be among phrases you see in print
but don’t use in speech
“her pugnacious contribution”
I wouldn’t say though I’ve used
“penultimate” I’ve never uttered
“eponymous” or “oeneric” but
reading “her pulchritude” in 
The New York Review of Books
strengthens a flaccid and 
diminishing vocabulary
better than flash cards
“adamantine panniers” would frighten
the toughest bike rider 

Be Like

Only I know
if I don’t write
I be like
everyday not dating
the lines
during a timeless time
It be like
makeshift time
time of great art
and great poverty
It be like
democracy shot through
leaking the blood of love
You be like
what’s the law
around here, pardner?
I be like
one country too many
worlds they be like
alternate truth
obedient to a breathless
dictator a sad Cyclops
in a white cave he be like
hiding from another
poke in the eye


Ash turns beach sand black
Scorched leaves fall from orange skies
A continent is on fire

There’s a lot of water between us
but these things tend to catch on
while we were taking a short musical

break   you say you can only make
one bed at a time   wake up
Little Suzie we need the sheet

for the table  we tried kindness
but this plate of global hot cakes is
insupportable    Capital dements

winds up on life support until we
pull the plug   we’re not up for taking
callers but if you come

announce yourself at the door
with your plastic mouth 
take off your shoes

so we can measure
your footprint


Night falls fast in late fall.  
Some crow barks furiously.  
This is the age of fire.
This is the age of murdering 
what is not you.  

We can’t keep up on the atrocities.
We begin to suspect nefarious plots. 
“They upset me and I shot them, Dad.”
Veterans from perpetual war 
mourn through the gun.
Lives stand loaded.  
“Leaderless resistance”  “Lone wolf tactics” 
“I welcome chaos,” 
he says as fear gears up
its fearful symmetry.

Another crow barks. 
A mockingbird imitates the crow. 
Someone paints a red swastika 
on a tribute to the dead 
shot down in prayer.  

Someone paints a swastika 
on a teacher’s door.

Someone paints a swastika 
on the face of America.

What is in this derelict air?
Grief is a dare.   

The Densities

There’s no stopping sleep
or the molten core of the earth

Just stay away from hot lava
solar flare  coronal mass ejection

Such energy turns people to snow
the gods are cold

Feed the homeless
Like us on Facebook

Gloria Frym lives in Berkeley. Her most recent book is How Proust Ruined My Life & Other Essays (BlazeVOX, 2020). The True Patriot, a collection of prose pieces, came out from Spuyten Duyvil. She is the author of the short story collections—Distance No Object (City Lights Books), and How I Learned (Coffee House Press)—as well as many volumes of poetry. Her book Homeless at Home received an American Book Award. She is professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Writing & Literature Program at California College of the Arts.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home