Lucia Galloway

Among forms, the villanelle has been a particular favorite ever since I encountered Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art." Relying on the way the two recurring end lines of the villanelle constitute a burden of meaning that circles through the predictable arc of the form, I created a poem that speaks of work and its frustrations.  "In the Groove" sprang from a conversation I had with a friend.  Listening to him talk about the mundane interruptions and delays a mechanic of heavy construction-site vehicles endures, I thought of parallel frustrations in the very different sorts of tasks that occupy my time.  As the villanelle is a form that speaks of loss, I sensed that it could convey the loss of momentum and control that, as workers, we humans so often experience.  I like to think of this poem as a light-hearted yet serious tribute to the perseverance of all those who work. 



In the Groove

          For Jim, a mechanic

It makes me kind of crazy when I try
to read a cookbook, make a menu, list
ingredients. Disaster seems to dog me on the sly.

The automated phone calls multiply
when handling filo puts me to the test.
It makes me kind of crazy when I try

to fix a fine gazpacho to exemplify
my culinary savvy. Don't ask for an assist!
Ingredients for disaster dog me on the sly.

When at your shop, you disassembly fly-
wheels, convoluted gears, you'd best
persist, or risk becoming crazy when you try

to make a mental tally which part lies
where. Come here and have a look at this!
Interruptions dog you with disaster on the sly.

Just let us work! We weren't made to sigh,
betray our tasks, as if they don't exist.
It makes us kind of crazy when we try.
Ingredients for disaster dog us on the sly.


"In the Groove" won a second place award in the Dancing Poetry Festival Competition, Artists Embassy International, San Francisco, 2005.




luciagalloway.jpgLucia Galloway authored a poetry chapbook, Playing Outside (Finishing Line Press, 2005).  Her poems can be seen in journals, including, among others, Columbia Poetry Review, Flyway, Gertrude, The MacGuffin, Poetry Midwest, Spillway, and Thema.  Awards include the Bread Loaf School of English Poetry Prize; first- and second-place prizes in the Dancing Poetry Contest, Artists Embassy International; Honorable Mention in the MacGuffin National Poet Hunt Contest (2006), and a Pushcart Nomination.