ISSUE FOUR
August 1998

Gian Lombardo

Gian Lombardo Gian Lombardo is the author of two collections of prose poems: Standing Room (1989) and Sky Open Again (1997) both from Dolphin-Moon Press. His latest collection, Who Lets Go First, is a series of quasi-narratives based on the I Ching, the Chinese book of divination. He also edits the quarterly magazine key satch(el) dedicated to the prose poem.
The Emperor's Comet    Read Along with the Author


The star’s slept so long and peacefully that its beard falls well below its waist and a mane of hair trails along the floor.

A regular Rip Van Winkle, they say. With all that hair, it could go around naked and no one would be the wiser.

If it were riding a horse, it’d be another Godiva. But it’d better not yawn. Rather, it should gallop off.

Just look over there, yes, lurking in the shadows like a bad novel, isn’t that Delilah?

 

 

Shore Leave    Read Along with the Author


It was not something we usually did, but we managed to shipwreck a hundred miles from the sea. Without water, it was easy to move from stern to bow even though our craft had split in two.

I did so want someone to pat me heartily on the back and exclaim, good show! But all I heard was, looks like two jagged cups of shell here.

I couldn’t help wondering where the egg had run off to, now that it was ready for the omelet. It was that or peer into the fore stateroom and watch a fat couple madly humping in their last embrace.

It’s not that we’d choose to watch, but we feared the vigorous rocking was about to set the bow rolling down the hill, slowly then more quickly picking up speed as it disappeared in a cloud of dust like the gulls and so many other things that whizzed by. Whereupon my brother,our navigator, who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at two paces with a howitzer, affirmed, what we really need is a mockingbird that can whistle an SOS.

 

 

The Track of Water Over the Dam    Read Along with the Author


It was a very pleasant dinner that was becoming an even more pleasant evening.

So this is true happiness, one of the guests said to no one in particular.

Another guest replies, Contentment, at least. A wonderful contentment.

The guests purred among themselves like cats and the last few twilight birds formed their farewell speeches.

Eventually the guests reluctantly excused themselves to retire for the night.

One couple was turning down their bed. Both were intent on watching each other’s movements, full of admiration and desire.

One of them said, If there was a spot that was at the end of the rainbow, I suppose this place is it.

The other answered, Now if only we could paint a new rainbow.

 

 

Gian Lombardo: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue FourThe Cortland Review