Sometimes, I Climb the Ladder…


Sometimes, I press my forehead against the sky
and wait.
Sometimes, I am to blame
in the dream-life of horses
for our trouble with the boarder hounds.
Sometimes, we step on a sunken grave.
Sometimes, we blink slowly like a manifestation
falling off the bone.
Sometimes, the spanking river passes.
Sometimes, the river wears a hat.
Sometimes, in the hand-holding light,
we pile the gutted corpses high.

Born in Timisoara, Romania in 1974, Gene Tanta immigrated to Chicago in 1984 with family at the age of 10. He earned his M.F.A. from the Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop and his Ph.D. from UW-Milwaukee in creative writing with a literary specialization in twentieth-century American literature; European avant-garde; and in films, essays, and poems of protest. He translates contemporary Romanian poetry. His publications include: EPOCH, Ploughshares, Circumference Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, Watchword, Columbia Poetry Review, The Laurel Review and two collaborative poems with his late mentor Reginald Shepherd anthologized in Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. Looking ahead, he will chair a panel at the 2010 AWP titled, Immigrant Poetry: Aesthetics of Displacement.