The Telescope

Featuring content from 40 years of Galileo Press

The Four Wheel Drive Quartet by Robert Day

The Four Wheel Drive Quartet by Robert Day

It is Sunday. Where I live you get the New York Times at a tiny filling station whose habit it is to change brands of gasoline every so often. George's Exxon a few years ago. George's Texaco last summer. At present it is George's Co-Op Gasoline. George is a portly man...

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Jim Simmerman: Then Again

Jim Simmerman: Then Again

suppose the soul is a stoneand not the holy cellophaneI've fancied it,and thus -- like the bodyshort of heat, strippedeven of the heart's flimsy flam--does not hover, waft, ascend,breastroke its wayinto a panoramic hereafter(flourish of French hornsand the multitudes...

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Stephen Dobyns: Old House

Stephen Dobyns: Old House

So much death in the room but no people--the candles burned down to their stumps,the food untouched, the meat growing coldin its grease. Under the couch, the cat playswith a mole it dragged in from the barn,The mole crawls off. The cat drags it back.If cats could...

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Dennis Hinrichsen: One Wing

Dennis Hinrichsen: One Wing

Darkness, then, was the dark wool to my nestof light. I would tip back intothe emptiness beyond my rim of pillowsand let my head drop, my vision weave--a narrow stalk brushing back and forthacross the ceiling. Then, as now,I'd sift the risky valence the room's corners...

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Mark Irwin: The Invention of the Snowman

Mark Irwin: The Invention of the Snowman

Somewhere beyond the bounds of sleepmy bones undressed, rising from their fleshto become this selfless, falling dust. It was then I wanted earswith which to hear the familiar criesof those children building me. And of course I had no eyesonly this unfailing bandage of...

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Dennis Hinrichsen

Dennis Hinrichsen

Poem of Mercy No one poem is enough. Noone poem contains the mercyI seek, the forgiveness. There are nowords that can approachthe tufts of fine black hairon the backs of doctor's handsas he dialed my home that nightfrom one of the side rooms,then choked, looking out...

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Joan Colby

Conservation I write to you on the stationeryof the chairman of the board of a defunct company.Tell you how I'm tryingto assemble my life with the simple logicof electronic components. Everythingcomes apart in my hands, I can'tcomprehend schematics. What works must...

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Lynne Cawood Howard

Lynne Cawood Howard

In 1982, Lynne Cawood Howard wrote the perfect coronavirus poem. The Miner's Son My father died in his fortieth winterwhen the black scars that were his lungsgave in with one final breath.Though I have not reached thirty, I wake up coughing and hear the rattle in my...

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Joe Bolton

Days of Summer Gone It's too late to go back to that apartmentIn Bowling Green, Kentucky, where we slept togetherSo many nights. I wonder if whoever lives there nowAnd fucks in that bed ever wonders about us? If memory's any good gauge, the placeMust be ghosted with...

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Joe Bolton

Joe Bolton

The Distance As seen in Days of Summer Gone, Galileo Press, 1990 Two women are hugging each other goodbyeOn the sidewalk in the tree-shadowOf a late spring afternoon. It is notSexual, though both are beautiful.And though both are tall and litheUnder their dark hair,...

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Jennifer Key

The Horizon Has a Horrible Way of Disappearing "You probably weren't going to get pregnant anyway." He meant it to be reassuring but it was a horrible thing to hear—the finality of her husband's statement. What was the point, after all, of announcing a thing that...

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Pat Rushin // First Two, Last Two Series

Pat Rushin // First Two, Last Two Series

Man Stabbed in Heart Runs 3 Blocks Somebody died out there. Right there outside Morton's window overlooking Georgetown across the Potomac where he and Emily will be moving this coming weekend into a $900-a-month townhouse that Emily claims they can well afford now...

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Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter

This lunatic atom bomb has succeeded in rousing the people of all nations to the highest point of unanimous moral dudgeon; great numbers of persons are frightened who never really had much cause to be frightened before. This world has always been a desperately...

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Stephen Dobyns

Old House So much death in the room but no people--the candles burned down to their stumps,the food untouched, meat growing coldin its grease. Under the couch, the cat playswith a mole it dragged in from the bar.The mole crawls off. The cat drags it back.If cats could...

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Lived Life, One Good Book

Lived Life, One Good Book

The Geography of HomeMatthew GrahamGalileo Press (South Carolina) 2019 Reviewed by Roy Bentley Excuse my needing to begin by saying, and bluntly, that some books are just sage-calm. Matthew Graham’s The Geography of Home is such a book. It maps Imagination’s...

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National Poetry Day to Drake’s Birthday

National Poetry Day to Drake’s Birthday

 October 3 to October 24, when the beach rentals are price reduced, and the municipal pool is closed but not covered up, and it’s still a month before Thanksgiving, and the threat of new syllabi is long gone, and it’s cold then it’s warm and if it’s cloudy it...

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Steven Cramer

Steven Cramer

To Francis Jammes In a manner, we all pray. So I've walked out at 6 a.m.into the sound and look of things.Arc lamps hum in the city park,and accepting resistance,swallows lift in a sudden breeze.What presses against me now?Francis Jammes, you prayed to be...

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Texas Crude: A Realistic Portrait of Gay Rural Life

Texas Crude: A Realistic Portrait of Gay Rural Life

by Derek Berry Texas Crude, the debut short story collection by Thomas Kearnes, offers an intimate portrait of gay lives in East Texas. In equal measures erotic, heartbreaking, and rousing, the collection invites us into his characters’ inner lives, whether they be...

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They Promised Me a Cosmopolitan

They Promised Me a Cosmopolitan

We've added The Book Tavern in Augusta, GA--a great Indie bookstore. When I visited to ask if they'd carry Matthew Graham's The Geography of Home as well as our current issue of Free State Review the manager said maybe, but first they wanted to...

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Matthew Graham

Matthew Graham

Our poetry consultant, Edgar Gabriel Silex, says: "Walt Whitman was a racist who called African Americans 'baboons.' White scholars attempt to dismiss his racism by claiming 'everyone back then was racist.' Here's a note to all those who buy into that scholarly...

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Steven Cramer

Steven Cramer

Bitter Exercise Sit up, lie down, sit up, lie down, runaround and around the blockuntil a little of myself is leftat each corner. The dogs know it and try to help,nipping at my feet to speed me up, snarling my path into wider, aching circles.The best pain's...

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Sarah Gorham

Sarah Gorham

Alice in the Rabbit's House I'll call you Alice, unborn childrumbling in my sleep, productof a distant summer's urge. Now I amstuffed to the gills, a house puffed upby someone's mischievous lips.It all happened so fast-- the closing trees,the shrinking sky, the wrong...

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Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin

The Invention of the Snowman Somewhere beyond the bounds of sleepmy bones undressed, rising from their fleshto become this selfless, falling dust. It was then I wanted earswith which to hear the familiar criesof those children building me. And of course I had no...

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Gary Soto

Gary Soto

Occasionally Making Sense When I was twenty, in college and living on a street that was a row of broken apartment buildings, my brother and I returned to our apartment from a game of racquetball to sit in the living room and argue whether we should buy a quart of...

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Karen Brennan

Karen Brennan

Building a House Here are the plans taped to the side of the old house, taped to the wall which will be the last to go. I have a hatchet for chopping; I have a radio for entertainment. Last week they sent a man around with a questionnaire. One of the questions was:...

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David Citino

David Citino

Sister Mary Appassionata To The Ornithology Class Birds can be a mortal danger.If you doubt me walk around downtownunder cooing skyscrapers, brooding statuesand look up. Gulls and crows learnfrom parents how to drop whelkson jagged rocks to shatter their...

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Rochelle Nameroff

Rochelle Nameroff

The Desire to be Personal: 1 The desire to be personal is what gets me:to walk down the street and not to vanish.O I don't know but I'll assume I'm talking to you,talking although that plugto your heart is what I'm afterbut let's take care of basics.Some food, OK, so...

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Elizabeth Knight

Elizabeth Knight

The Drowning Man The manchild wrapped in my armscould be a woman I'm not in love with. Even in these half-hearted obsessionsI get carried away, I can't concentrate. I come down on the open mouthand for a moment the rain comes downoutside a dark roomfar, far away. But...

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Pamela Stewart

Pamela Stewart

Nightblind When the train's headlight veersto kill my right eye, I panicand the road goes black.There are no white-line boundariesas the radio croons "I can'tstop lovin' you," so I askeach truck that passes to rescue meback on course. Aiming for their small red...

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Michael Burkard

Michael Burkard

Black Wing  To have each understanding of the river represented By starry night, the thing by itself.  To have a time when the black glasses sit so silently in the midnight sun the mind may as   well turn away from them as well to them. To have the absolute question...

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Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye

French Movies  In memory of Patrick Dewaere  1. A roasted chicken placed on a white cloth. In the movie it is still sitting there. You forget to eat it. We go outside to find glass bottles smashed behind our cars.  2. In some men, the future is written  with a...

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Ann Snodgrass

Ann Snodgrass

The Inviolate Carolyn, New Orleans seems so far away...tonight  the valley's lights keep a planetary distance...there is  only the shallow comfort of gestures left  like dropping more ice in the gin knowing, as it melts,  that I will fail to make you feel I...

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Dean Young

Dean Young

Twice First Light   New Born Horse In winter before light it's impossible to guess what I'll knock into next. A lamp in the shape of a ship goes down, its lightbulb in a short white passion. I love the frail tintinnabulations of a broken bulb so appropriate for...

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Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland

In Gratitude for Talk for John and Joe The blue-grey steeples of the pines, the lake's cold oval: our perception of these shapes makes us particularly human. Like tourists living on the shore of what really matters, we can lean back and say "Those clouds are marble...

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Martha Collins

Martha Collins

Here’s a poem by Martha Collins called “Waiting.” It begins “Waiting, one feels time/ like space, the way one speaks of a tree,/ meaning not, as here in this yard…..

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Rita Dove

Rita Dove

Here’s a poem by Rita Dove called “Watching Last Year at Marienbad at Roger Haggerty’s House in Auburn, Alabama.” It begins “There is a corridor of light/through the pines, lint from the Spanish Moss./ 
There is the fallen sun… 

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Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson

Here’s a poem by Denis Johnson called “Our Feature by the Waters.” It begins “The tide is out. The sea stinks like a sewer./ An airplane lays itself down like a hand…

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Susan Ludvigson

Susan Ludvigson

Here’s a poem by Susan Ludvigson called “Departures.” It begins, “The dreams accumulate. / In one I see you rowing across / a wide river …”

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William Matthews

Make It New   There it stands, unmade, like a bed or an apology, or a long unspoken sentence   with an apple in its throat. What could be simpler? Grammar urges each sentence   to its close so that grammar may close its files, though each sentence holds...

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