PoetryIssue 16 | October 2012


by Lizi Gilad

After gallbladder surgery

a plastic container filled
with what had been taken:

pebbles, round and black,
solid as obsidian. Stunning,

this new failing,
not the hushed

decay we brace for,
but excess of creation,

a pile of clinking bullets,
a collection of angry bits

forged in churn and burble.
In the hospital room a tv

suspended from the ceiling
was telescope to the world outside.

I hid in the sharp, bright teeth of stars,
I turned the volume up

instead of spelunking down
into the caverns of my body

with a flashlight and butterfly net.
History drawn upon the earthen walls within

would not be deciphered.
I refused to swim the arterial channels.

I would not rest on a rib and listen
to water lapping, acid’s cranky drip,

troglobite heart pumping blood,
wanting, wanting, wanting.

No, what I wanted was to silence
the body’s breath-constant mysteries,

to exit myself,
to speckle a path with my crag,

tiny cobblestones in the park
where a couple might stroll

with their muddy sneakers,
holding hands and

talking about the weather.

 1 2 >

About the author

Lizi Gilad’s most recent travel adventure involved zip-lining in a redwood forest. She screamed like a madwoman the entire time. An MFA candidate at UC Riverside’s Low Residency program, Lizi’s work is published or forthcoming in Amethyst Arsenic, The Country Dog Review, Foundling Review, Melusinee, and Thrush.


Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok