Poetry & Visual Art: Josie Gallup

So only 20 minutes left

what the hell is time
that I throw it away reckless
of curves in the twisting cliff road
my son terrified
we drove alone cross country far as
the rocky mountain national forest
in a thunderstorm we sheltered
in the tiny yellow VW
the cat and the matted stuffed toys
food and no place to turn around for miles
he had to be scared for us
I refused knowing I wouldn’t have gone
to California at all knowing I would barely get
out of bed and have no money for food
no money for the house

the dog having died three months before

school ended for the summer
and we left I wanting so much to be
the good he needed

why so sad today
the old crashing against what I know
but didn’t know

and the only thing that comes along
intact is the way watching him
go into the kindergarten class in his superman cape
made me wrench trying
not to cry and now

my friend Jo from across Jane Street
the thrill to find her
here on the desert coast
once told me she thought me
brave but that is not true
just running was more like it

Math Issues

about infinity in high school
you once told me first of all
there are many

an infinite number in fact
of infinities

infinity between each number
and each infinity contains multitudes the tea guru
says about this

love is one of the infinities

I guess that is about the time
and space infinity

the one that gathers the loose ends
into a bundle and draws us each
to each other loose end
even the dead are pulled
in together

why do we say the infinite
as if there is only the one
the long and the never ending

and that sudden thud at midnight when
the apple loosed from its mother
tree in the yard next door falls
the tree planted by the woman who may still
be looking for her unraveling mind
or she may have left the search

but I battle it all
each night in protest I shoot

killing the next day’s dawn
I refuse to accept now
or that infinity of never

even the tea guru’s infinity
I fight

In her ‘nature journal,’ Josie Gallup, a poet, visual artist, and psychoanalyst,
writes and draws about the people near her and about the most ordinary things in life—a teapot, her child, making jam, a ball of yarn, looking for the collision between the ordinary and the deep internal of experience: the “inside weather.” Her work includes: Water Doesn’t Know It’s the Road, Beyond the Reach of Mourning, and a collaboration with the painter Thekla Hammond, The River: Inevitable and Ineffable. She has an MFA in poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California, a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a PsyD From the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She volunteers for Omnidawn
Press in various capacities.

Josie Gallup reading: “So only 20 minutes left” & “Math Issues”