Al Rocheleau, Gale Farm

Al Rocheleau

When you are gone
my hurt comes back
as if in season, a replayed reel
that amplifies to howl,
a horse whinny, wild,
hogs in the slop, milling
without elbow room and wondering
in the black and white dust.

I run with it, gate to tree
calling out
and kick the slant-door
of the root cellar
like a girl.

No one to help me.

The worst of it twists
like special-effects, muslin
on a lazy-Susan that passes
for sinuous pipe of tornado,
that pretends to rip the door
from the little house and do it through
and through, and me inside
(and do me, too) in my
lonely disorient without
the semblance of healing, without you
on my trip of missed paradise,
no emerald, poppy-red or blue,
wiped off another Kansas map

at half-past three
in the afternoon.

Author’s Comment: “Gale Farm” places that feeling of missing in a context we all know. It is disorienting in its way.Others are elsewhere; the one you need may indeed be thinking of you but just then you can’t connect; maybe you can never connect again. The feeling is the same for a man or a woman. So Dorothy in this case can be me or you or another. Missing can be erased by a new challenge or fantasy, at least for awhile, but unabated, it comes back. We never get to Oz in this case; we just hope to wait out the storm, hope to find each other, or another, again.

Bio: Al Rocheleau’s work has appeared in more than sixty publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Confrontation, Illuminations, Van Gogh’s Ear, Evansville Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Nedge, Pig Iron, Outerbridge, Pennsylvania English, Nebo, Slant, Sahara, Revelry, Iodine Poetry Journal, and Poetry Salzburg Review. In 2004, he received the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize, offered by the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers’ Association. His manual, On Writing Poetry: For Poets Made as Well as Born, was published by Shantih Press in 2010. He has lectured at various colleges and universities and for writers groups, including the Florida Writers Association and the Florida State Poets Association. In 2012, he launched the Twelve Chairs Advanced Poetry Seminars, a 180-hour, 30-seminar program available to private students of all ages. The program also offers scholarships to high school students, and is accredited by the Florida State Poets Association. Al lives in Orlando, Florida.

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