T-storm Ghazal

(inspired by Manny Arriaga)


The throbs you throbbed onto my dark skin cried after it was raining.
The moon saw us as the night beyond the seconds it was raining.

I am a woman’s voice in a man’s mouth—shivering in my power,
& I am polyphonic, & electrolyte-focused because it was raining.

In my head, encyclopedia’s leather body closes—a stomp on pine wood
floors. But I can never be a library on a Tuesday, when it was raining.

On Wednesday nights, hard voices of Indiana’s children singe our ears
like bonfire leaves—smoldering, because it was raining.

She told me three secrets four nights ago at five minutes ‘til six,
& grins ‘cause I smile at her raspy voice, ‘specially when it’s raining.




Curtis L. Crisler was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He received a BA in English, with a minor in Theatre, from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), and he received an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Crisler’s new book, THe GReY aLBuM [PoeMS], was picked by Steel Toe Books for their 2016 Open Reading Period and just came out. Crisler has published three poetry books, two YA books, and four poetry chapbooks. He’s received many awards for his writing. His poetry’s been adapted to theatrical productions in NY and Chicago, and he’s been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies. Crisler is an Associate Professor of English at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW). He can be contacted at www.poetcrisler.com.







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