ditch,

the poetry that matters

M.J. Golias

M.J. Golias has a BFA from Emerson College (Boston, Massachusetts) and an MFA in poetry from the University of Memphis, Tennessee.  After graduate school, she moved to New York City.  Recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming in journals, including The Aurorean, Colere, Rhythm, Fiddlehead, The Fieldstone Review, and in an anthology, Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry.

A Stone’s Throw
           
for JW

I turn over                     Nerves                                            I didn’t tell him

to you.                             can’t handle                                  this.
I turn                                spicy Gumbo                                I didn’t                    
over                                  Sheraton-Nashville style.       tell him this.

to you.                             Swig that Jamaican rum          I
I                                          silver flask                                    didn’t
turn                                   in the back                                    tell
over                                  seat of the car                              him
to you.                             Memphis-style.                           this.
 
I                                          Hold out your hand                  I
turn                                   take komboloi—bred                didn’t                                 worry beads
over to                             southern man                              tell
you.                                   with Greek                                    him this.
                                            superstition.

I turn                               “Finger these                                I didn’t
over                                   ease nevra                                    tell
to you.                              ease stenohoreea.”                   him this.                           extreme

I turn                                 Crumbles                                      I didn’t tell                      difficulty
over to you.                    stringed beads                            him this.                           lack of space
I turn over                       like a crumpled                         I didn’t                               no English
to                                         letter—                                           tell                                      word
you.                                    perfect-penmanship,               him this.                           for exact
I turn over to you.       unsent.                                          I didn’t tell him this.    translation

I                                         “They’re not                                  I                                            When Greeks 
turn over                          kids’ marbles—                          didn’t                                   leave    
                                             finger with one hand               tell                                                      
to you.                               let the other                                him                                      a miserable
I turn                                  free.”                                             this.                                      situation
                                   
over to you.                     Better yet                                   I didn’t                                they throw
I turn                                  grind                                             tell him                               rocks over
over                                    then toss                                      this.                                     their shoulders
to you.                               over                                               I didn’t tell                       so that they
I turn over to you.        your shoulder.                         him this.                            never return.

Mishap of Immigration

Glows in the dark
where binoculars yield
clear fissure and pyre,
and big
or small
and even smaller,
and what is handed down
are goings-on
like burnt dirt
or murals or
postage stamps
stolen
with eyes closed
that throw me
that throws me
that throw me.

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