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Gail White - Second Place, Able Muse Book Award, 2014

Gail White
Gail White


2014 Able Muse Book Award
for her poetry manuscript
Asperity Street

Selected by final judge, Molly Peacock

Coming soon from Able Muse Press - Spring/Summer 2015

(the contest winner, finalists and honorable mentions are listed here)



Gail White has edited three anthologies and published three books of poetry, the latest being The Accidental Cynic. She is widely published and her poetry has appeared in such journals as Measure, Raintown Review, First Things, and Mezzo Cammin, and in anthologies such as Villanelles and Killer Verse, both from Pocket Poets. Her latest chapbook is Sonnets in a Hostile World (White Violet Press). Gail received the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award for 2012 and 2013. She lives with her husband and three cats in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.


Sample poems from Gail White's Asperity Street


Brother and Sister

Cat-quick and scalpel-sharp, the wit
that flashes out between these two.
Each knows the tender spot to hit,
which made-up memories are true.

The family learns to bob and weave,
letting them keep the ring alone,
knowing that not a guest will leave
until their mocking scrapes the bone.

Explorers venturing undismayed
to meet these two as man and wife
will fmd their bodies ready flayed
by love that wields a hunting knife.

    (previously published in Chronicles)


Anecdotal Evidence

My aunt who brought her kidney function back
By eating grapefruit seeds for fifty days
Makes no impression on our local quack.
It's anecdotal evidence, he says.
There are no reproducible results.
Another person might eat grapefruit seeds
For fifty days and cease to have a pulse.
Cause and effect's the evidence he needs.

The evidence is all in favor of
The proposition that the dead are dead,
Despite our bitter hope and wistful love.
Yet when my mother died, my father said
That just before the chill that would not thaw,
Her face lit up with joy at what she saw.

    (previously published in Measure)


How I Spend My Time Since You Died

Mondays, I start a letter. I read through
my notes on everything that happened last week.
I skip the sports news, which didn't interest
you except for Manchester United.

Tuesdays, I brood about
the existence of God and the soul.
If I didn't limit this to one day,
it could take over the entire week.

Wednesdays, I do the week's shopping,
buying foods I couldn't get you to eat.
Afternoons, I watch movies you'd have hated.
Evenings, I work on the letter.

Thursdays, I visualize heaven.
It's partly the gold mosaics of Saint Mark's Cathedral,
combined with an English village
and a dash of Mardi Gras.

Fridays, I deal with my rage.

Saturdays, I go out to dinner,
learning to be unafraid
of a table for one.
I'm not a recluse, after all.

Sundays, I deliver my letter. I place it
among the twisted roots of an oak tree.
An armadillo there, a friend of mine,
will bring it through the roots to you.

    (previously published in Crab Creek Review)


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