Gene Tanta


back you go to the handle-side of the knife blood-brother
braid of hair to spell in water hissing out in blue cords
bugle calls to maiden tongues blaze
boundary deviled in book-learning
brag of such roughshod beauty coiling out of bombers

gaga war is a story about Armistice Day gaff
greathearted do not cry to change the TV channel gay
grinning war isn't all goodbye-kisses
grief the war over what'll I ware gaiter
gravedigger rainfall against my skin gloss
grenade war stories take to their heels heading for the hills glowing
grizzle the war over who shall I kiss glottis
greatness I shall kiss strangers the day the war ends glisten

ornamental you search for the shoelace caught in a pulse oh
orator beneath the death-bringing flowers oh
opaque rainstorm blackened onlookers oh
out and out a last embrace between scorched mattresses oh
of tutors and favored pupils oh
ours 12 acetylene torches on Babylon express oh
ornate tornado blinding the patrolman with debris oh
or else the fuselage is burning oh
orbits in pit waste orbits in coal waste oh
outfits the body of my son outfits the body of his guard dog oh

Born in Timisoara, Romania in 1974, Gene Tanta immigrated to Chicago in 1984 with family at the age of 10. He earned his MFA in Poetry from the Iowa's Writers' Workshop in 2000. He translates contemporary Romanian poetry. His publications include: EPOCH, Ploughshares, Circumference Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, Watchword, Columbia Poetry Review, The Laurel Review (forthcoming) and two collaborative poems with Reginald Shepherd anthologized in Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where he also serves as Art Director for Cream City Review.

(author retains copyright)