The Sunday Poem: Lisa Gill... Shooting Up to Shostakovich

Lisa Gill is the author of two books of poetry, Red as a Lotus: Letters to a Dead Trappist (dedicated to Thomas Merton) and Mortar & Pestle (about medicinal herbs). A third book, titled "Caput Nili: How I won the war and lost my taste for oranges" is forthcoming from Burning Books. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at UNM, with a dual concentration in poetry and creative nonfiction. She is also serving as co-coordinator for 516 Words, the literary series at 516 Arts and she is an intern for the Governor's Women's Health Advisory Council to plan events for National Women's Health Week May 10-16th. In 2007, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.

"The big event I'm terribly excited about is that I'll be doing a poetry reading and syringe painting demo at the MS Walk April 18th in Tiguex Park. I have MS and I also formed a team for the walk to raise money for the MS Society, called Spoke-n-Word as I'm now using a wheelchair. I don't know if it'd be cool to promo that, but it is nonprofit, and close to my heart, and so far my team, which has 16 members, is comprised wholly of people from the literary community. The syringe painting is something I developed in response to having to do daily injections. I refill my used syringes with ink and "paint"--very fun, very fast meditations."

Next Sunday Lisa will be featured in the Church of Beethoven's grand opening of its new location at 1715 5th St. NW.

Shooting Up to Shostakovich

every time I tilt my neck
and push the contents of a syringe
into my thigh I hear the Intermezzo
from the Quintet in G Minor Opus 57
the same each time accept it
I needed to mourn I needed
to sit down nightly with a needle
and inject myself I needed piano
myelin vertebrae and cello
so I arghed a little hum-frum
moped then picked a composer
any composer with resonance
requisite drama because these
days hope hurts formidable
emotion it leaves welts
under my skin so tangible
supposedly medicinal
my daily pang my little
shell fragment my agitated
amygdalae funny except
only in the apocryphal
version of his story
did I already know Dmitri
had a bullet in his brain
when his music lodged
in my consciousness
as what to shoot to really
I simply knew it matters
what headful of melodies
I choose to fit on the tip
of the needle that pin prick
of time so significant
so insignificant
in this century

—Lisa Gill

Submissions to The Sunday Poem are welcome. Send one or two poems with a short bio, any links, and a picture to Past posts are on The Ditchrider's blog page.

Views: 164

Comment by Margaret Randall on March 8, 2009 at 9:20am
Lisa, this is a knock out poem! Thanks for keeping on keeping on! Your voice is always an inspiration to me!
Comment by cc on March 8, 2009 at 11:01am
Thanks, The Ditch Rider --- Duke City Fix is the community net place that this can happen hooray.
Comment by Richard V on March 8, 2009 at 2:36pm
lisa, kickass poem. thanks for all you do...
Comment by Richard V on March 8, 2009 at 2:47pm
comment from lisa:

Hey Richard I need your help. I'm not a member of DCF yet and want to make sure Kris Mills gets credited for the image the ditchrider selected at the top of the page.

Kris Mills is collaborating with me on a graphic novel/illustrated poetry-n-prose memoir (the Caput Nili book) and the black and white image at the top is just part of a piece from the series she is working on for the book--it goes with a poem about domestic violence.

If you could let readers know that, I'd be thrilled.

oh that's on the ditchrider's page...

Comment by cathyray on March 9, 2009 at 1:40pm
Sunday Poetry is such a fantastic idea. Especially since it is now rainy monday. I was really moved.
Comment by JeSais on March 13, 2009 at 2:30pm
chills.... I get chills. awesome lisa!
Comment by Hakim Bellamy on March 14, 2009 at 12:52am
Thank you Lisa.


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