Open Letter On My Wasted Years


The days bright
as odd
useless coins.


The white
shininess of wishes.


The shelf of useless
things full.


So I made


So the unplaceables
thickened the


the gnawed cobweb
maze of the brain,


In the gnawed
cobweb maze
of the brain.


Will any
of this


I said this
to someone


In an auditorium
with echoes.


Glass chimed
to glass.

How long
can I remember
what wine
was like.




I could not see
his eyes. 

More Notes On Not Yet


Failed April left to sort itself from itself.

This month my friends are gone: left to butterfly-chase

ideas. Leave behind all us the slumpers. 

I belong here if could be said anywhere.

In a house of old slumbers not quite scrubbed out.

With all that could grow not quite grown or quite lost.

With the moment and named face peeled off.

What to keep from the scum of a mind if anything.

All futures might lean away from you. Let them. Leave

dusk to trickle to dusk.

I have a day with all the ever scraped out.

The door shut on the box of work.

The rest of the evening with its torment of green.

Half the town up and leave

come some season

where are they going

what was there in the dregs of this season

not anymore there

Shamala Gallagher is the author of a chapbook, I Learned the Language of Barbs and Sparks No One Spoke (dancing girl press). Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review, Verse Daily, VOLT, Copper Nickel, The Offing, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman fellow and a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers, and she lives in Athens, Georgia, where she is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.