ISSUE SIX
February 1999

Daniela Gioseffi


THE CORTLAND REVIEW

INTERVIEWS
 
Henry Taylor

POETRY
 
Mark Bibbins
  Sharon Cumberland
  Philip Dacey
 
Daniela Gioseffi
  Brent Goodman
  Mark Halperin
  Ben Howard
  Stellasue Lee
  Linda Lerner
  John McKernan
  DeWayne Rail
  David Rigsbee
  Peter Robinson
  Terry Savoie
  Joseph Stanton
  Mary Winters

REVIEWS
 
David Grayson

TRANSLATIONS
 
Lloyd Schwartz

FICTION
 
Rosa Shand
  Daniela Gioseffi

Daniela Gioseffi American Book Award winner, Daniela Gioseffi, is the author of ten books of poetry and prose: the latest, Word Wounds & Water Flowers; poems. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Nation, and Prairie Schooner, among others.  She is the editor of the women's literary magazine: Wise Women's Web
Divorce or “Corrasable Bond”    Read Along with the Author


Your skin is translucent in the still air of this room.
Clay is prerogative; eyes are derivative.
We live in the shadows of immense hands
like death that will take our sex away.

Bridal days and wedding nights of grace and youth
and doors opening in women.

Music is a child of the grass
and teaches us the cost of frostbite.
We can't separate the misunderstandings
or wash dishes in the music-box.

We talk too much and spend the word on our burning hands.
A cinder of a joke catches in our throat
and you laugh to hold onto the hurrying waters.

A fern is a fan that resembles a rainbow
and the last ghosts of Indians are asking for food
in the amber waves of dying grain.

 

 

Ready for Spring Blooms    Read Along with the Author


Psychiatrists' offices are places for the well
in pocket, poor in heart, and here I am
waiting for the doctor to understand
my poet's art—
undo my artifice. The face I put
out to society’s trivialities

Joy begets joy;  sorrow;
sorrow,
and so I've gone on cheerily
since you hit  me
and I ended here
shedding woman's tears
to the doctor. Two months have past
since I last waited beneath
the potted tree
to see if I should go or stay.
This is the way we work it out
—with civility.

Since we nearly killed each other
have we been happier?
The doctor’s dynamics explain to me—
your hatred of women, of me for needing me
too desparately,
my lack of understanding for your greater age
and vulnerability
hidden—as if it were a deformity—
beneath proud masculinity.
You have treated me more gently
than before the rage that bruised me.
I've been more courteous of your overindulging          
your adult and able children—denying me
the alien wife—courtesy and affection
you freely give to them to prove your love,
and fault their mother for divorcing you.

The last time we were here,
the vase was full of dead flowers,
petals stiffened in rot.
Now it's empty, cleaned out.
Ready for spring blooms.
How wonderfully we
heal our wounds.

 

 

Daniela Gioseffi: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue SixThe Cortland Review