Poetry: George Kalamaras

Unanswered Left Shoe

It could be as simple as rabbit scratch in an ancient hut.
Simple, say, as a focus that has much verdigris that the troglodytes flock hard.

He is picketed to a nickering drink from the mud-glove.
She questions her tether beneath quite marvelous brown.

Somewhere, donkeys ask one ear at a time.
We are aware of such dimpled questions.

Obviously, I am still sleeping, examining photographs of unanswered left shoes.
It is more glorious to button the top knot than to tie off the hole.

A knife maker makes notches to signify how long he has been shaving knives.
It takes at least a year to clarify onions from the spleen.

Pure white rectangles inculcate a strenuous blade of grass.
There is much singing, even in times of joy.

When the yogi balanced the dead mouse on his left knee, he no longer needed the harmonium for chanting.
The same sense of loss that the mother felt, the father found in the empty   canister of tobacco.

We forgot the divorce. We lived at least one life as Kuma in Kyoto.
We spent it mostly lamenting the loss of the wrong song.


George Kalamaras has published ten books of poetry (including five chapbooks). Recent titles are The Scathering Sound (Anchorite Press, 2009) and Gold Carp Jack Fruit Mirrors (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2008). Two books will appear in the fall of 2009: Something Beautiful Is Always Wearing the Trees (Stockport Flats), with paintings by Alvaro Cardona-Hine, and The Recumbent Galaxy, co-authored with Cardona-Hine and winner of the C&R Press Open Competition. George is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne where he has taught since 1990.