Origin Stories – Alison Stone

Origin Stories for May
    Reverse Ghazal
    by Alison Stone
    (for B.)

    Secrets that lips hold back, the body shows.
    Be gone, Sun. In moonlight, the body glows.

    Rittenhouse sobs he shot in self-defense.
    Entry wound in the back, the body knows

    otherwise. The heart houses love, pumps blood.
    Is illness chance or debt the body owes?

    Top model insists she’s not beautiful,
    just knows how best to turn the body, pose.

    Another face on faded tacked-up signs.
    River thaws, carrying the body, flows

    to the ocean’s mouth. Cow down in a field.
    Cackling and flapping near the body, crows.

    Every religion claims its miracles.
    Awe-struck disciples swear the body rose.

    Reason trumped by a hot butt in tight pants.
    Though tender boys abound, the body chose

    a cad. Where’s the wisdom? So far aging’s
    bringing loss, aches, decay. The body slows.

    So many iterations of hunger.
    The soul craves poetry, the body, prose.

    Stop fighting, the blizzard whispered. Snow’s soft.
    Lie down. Not found for weeks, the body froze.

    Tubes to clean. Broth to lift to grey-tinged lips.
    Final acts of love – wash the body, close

    the eyes. Blue plus-sign on the peed-on stick –
    A new soul settles in. The body grows.

     I’ll stay and haunt you, Stone assures her kids.
     But can she? What’s left when the body goes?

Origin Stories – Reverse Ghazal

I had been working with ghazals for years and was starting to feel that I had exhausted what I could accomplish with the form. Then I had the idea to switch the positions of the rhyme and the refrain and see what that would do. I love the ability to jump from topic to topic and having the form make cohesion. Kyle Rittenhouse was on trial, and I was disgusted guessing, correctly, that is crocodile tears would get him acquitted. I was thinking about bodies in general, their pleasures and vulnerabilities. The poem came pretty easily.


Alison Stone has published eight full-length collections, To See What Rises (CW Books, 2023), Zombies at the Disco (Jacar Press, 2020), Caught in the Myth (NYQ Books, 2019), Dazzle (Jacar Press, 2017), Masterplan, a book of collaborative poems with Eric Greinke (Presa Press, 2018), Ordinary Magic, (NYQ Books, 2016), Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award; as well as three chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in The Paris ReviewPoetryPloughsharesBarrow Street, Poet Lore, and many other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin Award. She was Writer in Residence at LitSpace St. Pete. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. www.stonepoetry.org  www.stonetarot.com. YouTube and TikTok – Alison Stone Poetry.

Gyroscope Review Spring 2023 Issue Now Available

Previous Origin Stories

April 1 – Wanda Praisner

April 2 – Howard Lieberman

April 3 – L. Shapley Bassen

April 4 – Sharon Scholl

April 5 – Stellasue Lee

April 6 – Jeanne DeLarm

April 7 – Virginia Smith

April 8 – Patricia Ware

April 9 – Mary Makofske

April 10 – Ann Wallace

April 11 – Jessica Purdy

April 12 – Lakshman Bulusu

April 13 – Kim Malinowski

April 14 – Anita Pulier

April 15 – Martha Bordwell

April 16 – Anastasia Walker

April 17 – Annette Sisson

April 18 – Shaheen Dil

April 19 – Claudia Reder

April 20 – Cathy Thwing

April 21 – Sarah Snyder

April 22 – Susan Barry-Schultz

April 23 – Laurie Kuntz

April 24 – Maryann Hurtt

April 25 – Yvonne Zipter

April 26 – Jess Parker

April 27thKelly Sargent

April 28thRobbi Nester

April 29thLaurie Rosen

April 30thJames Penha

May 1stOisin Breen

May 2ndJennifer Shomburg Kanke

May 3rdKaren Paul Holmes

May 4thJudy Kronenfeld

May 5thJulie Weiss

May 6thNancy Botkin

May 7thJonathan Yungkans

May 8thGloria Parker

May 9thAlfred Fournier

May 10thGloria Heffernan

May 11thCarol Deering

Previous NPM celebrations from Gyroscope Review

Let the Poet Speak! 2022

Promopalooza 2021

Poet of the Day 2020

Poets Read 2019

National Poetry Month Interview Series 2018

Book Links Party 2017

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