the poetry that matters

Gregory Stapp

Gregory Stapp is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he worked for the Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives, was a Puterbaugh Fellow in World Literature, and won the Tomas Rivera Student Writing prize in Short Fiction. His poems have appeared in World Literature Today II, qarrtsiluni, Cuento Magazine, and Eunoia Review. He lives in Oklahoma and pines for Colorado.


The Bromide



“He has stolen each of his words from unnamed dictionaries –

he admits it; a plunderer's whetted dream...”


“This poem is... the prototype incarnate... a blowsy bagpipe...

the outward upstart of immutable transparency.”


“...[He] mumbles emphatically his iconic demands. A voice

fresh from the sea, free of the froth and spume.”


“This poem leaps from the page... like a swollen miracle... waits

in the alcove of prison vocabulary like a 100-watt bulb in a cell.”


“He is a natural, brighter than his pig iron potency. A pilgrim

roundly hammered by his locution, a ringing blacksmith...”


“These dynamic markings remind one... of kaftans on a table...

sings like furious bees fresh from the chapel hollyhocks.”


“The poet notes his unsurpassed ubiquity. A Warhol-rollercoaster

of replacement cants or impeccable Marilyn substitutes...”


“A poem that mimics... blinks brushfire... what transpires

in a moment is a lifetime of belligerency like a prayer.”


“...[He] suffers an emigration of his words. He detains

some for their crimes on the page, forces them to labor at his wall.”



Before Mirrors



in the world before mirrors

the sun plays

            narcissus in the mouth

                        of the Sierpe


a litany of ghosts

a handful of old

            poems scattered to rest

                        in the river


the Sierpe vomits up

a mouthful of ancestors

            spume of paper songs mached

                        on the banks


a pastiche on the sand

before mirrors

            we regurgitate memories

                        faces with petrospheric eyes


swimming in crepuscular

reflections of each other

            in the river swimming

                        in the eyes'


reflections of each other

            these wine dark pools

                        less the depth of rivers



Still Life



restless kids emphatic limbs     school of fish aquarium hum     open window


                                                                                                the curtain’s sway


cracked-glass vase plastic daffodils     lilac horizon twined fireflies     empty teacup


spotted saucers     glaring glass pear patina-brass apple     bored books     weather-worn wood



twitches of eyes a light that limns     the TV static from pandemonium     bouquet in your step


                                                                                                            the pocket of coins in your sway



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                                                                                                                      October 13, 2013