Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Frank X. Gaspar


So make a gift for them now. Go,
show them if you can this dark place
where each heart lives, where
your heart lives, beating its secrets
against the intractable stillness.

Do it in your quietest place.
Take your most silent moment and move
as the spirit over the waters. Surely
you have something for them: the witchery
of language, the sound of a petal falling.

Make them a dance then, or a march
properly slow. Give them fruit
for one hunger, and for the other
give them problems for them to bend
toward, their heads inclined, together.

Or give them what you will, what
moves you: the gathered voices
of the old poems or the best from your hands
or the dreams from your fine head. One day
they'll carry your unbound heart for you.

Frank GasparBIO:  Frank X. Gaspar was born and raised in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and now lives in Southern California. He is Professor of English at Long Beach City College. He also teaches poetry and novel writing in the summer program at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and at Antioch University, Los Angeles. He served three and a half years in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict and attended colleges and universities after his discharge, receiving an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Gaspar is the author of four books of poetry and one novel. His short stories and poems have been published widely in literary journals, including The Nation, The Harvard Review, The New England Review, The Sewanee Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, Provincetown Arts, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Antioch Review, The Tampa Review, The Denver Quarterly, and others. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies including, The Beacon Best Poetry of 1999, The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, and others. Gaspar is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and his work is included in the 1996 Best American Poetry and in Best American Poetry 2000. He is the recipient of three Puschcart Prizes for literature, and the Edgar Stanley Award and a Readers' Choice Award both from Prairie Schooner. He is currently working on new poems and a new novel.