* Eugene Gloria & the friday influence

This week on the Influence: Eugene Gloria!

I have only recently become acquainted with Gloria’s work through his second collection, Hoodlum Birds.  Through the collection, he displays an ease and elegance with the line that is both admirable and engaging.

In the poem below, I’d like to point out two dynamic parts (among others) to watch out for while reading.

First, there’s what the word hat does in the fourth stanza, how it embodies a sense of loss, its suddenness and its power to shake us from the day to day.

Second, these lines from the penultimate stanza:

Fugitive as watercolor, 
the short walk to my maple trees dials light.

These two lines could be a poem on their own.  I pored over them when I first read them, engaged with just what the words were doing, what they evoked inside me.  How light can change subtly in even the shortest of walks – having the eye to notice that and then to put it into words is a gift.

More info on Eugene Gloria’s work can be found here.

check out them maples...
check out them maples…

Suddenly October * – Eugene Gloria

His wife had died from cancer. 
There weren’t enough details, 
only this reason to wear a dark shirt.

In February, you would’ve found him, 
hunchbacked, finishing nothing, 
warming his hands over a meager fire.

Then in March, 
pruning the vineyards. By September, 
making wine.

In my dream, I see him as my autumnal
father with a gray fedora, doing his chores, 
and then a big wind comes and steals away his hat.

The world is vast, 
more boundless than all that birds inhabit. 
It is a graspable earth where larks imply the sky

entire cities of breaths and vistas. 
Fugitive as watercolor, 
the short walk to my maple trees dials light.

What is October but the smell of bonfire smoke, 
when fathers leave and carry with them 
their scent of mild decay.


Happy scenting!


* previously published in Prairie Schooner & Gloria’s second collection, Hoodlum Birds.

** photo found here.

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