Gail White


For Louise Bogan

“Women have no wilderness in them.”
Really? Not to bore you,
But I have jungles, forests, steaming swamps…
Here’s a tiger for you.


Why did the bread refuse to bake?
Why do I have this lingering cough?
Why did my headset have to break?
Why do I wear the letters off

My keyboard after just two months?
Why is it so damned hard to find
The cat? What about love, just once?
Why do I lose? Why do I mind?

Where did the money go, I ask,
And Echo answers blithely “Where?”
Why am I talking through a mask?
We’re blowing up. Why do I care?

Some Christian Rulers

Emperor Constantine

Against what seemed enormous odds,
You raised the church and sank the gods.
Therefore we hope your soul may thrive,
Although you boiled your wife alive.

King of the Franks

King Clovis frightened everyone.
He sacked and murdered just for fun.
But when the Church had tamed his pride,
He sacked and killed the other side.

Empress Irene of Byzantium

To guard the Church’s feasts and fasts
And save us from iconoclasts,
The Empress had her own son blinded—
Tough on him, but no one minded.

Gail White has been part of the Formalist poetry movement from its beginning, has outlived some of its journals, and still submits to all she can find. She is proud to be a contributing editor of Light and also a frequent contributor to Lighten Up Online. Her book Asperity Street and chapbook Catechism can be found on Amazon. She is the resident cat lady of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.