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I am not the principal glosa writer of the 21st century. If such a title exists, it would

woodcut by Gustave Dore, 1883

woodcut by Gustave Dore, 1883

have to go to Alain C. Dexter, whose Dead to Rights: A Circularity of Glosas will be released soon by Greyhart Press, and even Alain, for reasons quite astonishing, would shy from such an accolade. Nonetheless, a few of us, including poet D. Russel Micnheimer, can’t help diving repeatedly into the exotic depths of this medieval Spanish form. Here is my latest, strung amidst the pearls of T. S. Eliot.


There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me.
—T.S. Eliot, “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Who goes there? Oh, it’s you. I thought the fur against
my skin was something new. I’d heard these woods
were cleared of ruffians and such, and I’ve no time
to take the high road. See this basket? Filled with
messages of love I must deliver, though not to you,
so kindly step aside, big boy, don’t make me late.
Say what? You wonder if they talk about you still
in town? They do. Your legendary silver tongue
persuades a certain dreary subset to anticipate
there will be time to murder and create.

I hold my lantern high to see your eyes. Still ringed
with red, I note—no wonder you prefer the dark.
The dark! Our new four-letter word. Everyone’s a fallen
angel, did you know? Black fishnet stockings, tits
pushed up to here, with swollen blood-red lips they
tweet, the little queens—poor us, strike up the bands!
The ranks of the undead (they wish!) have never been
so plush. You ought to leave these woods, get out
& carve yourself some action laced with ampersands
and time for all the works and days of hands.

Do I forgive you for that feast you made of Grandma?
No. You are a beast and always will delight in ravaging.
That doesn’t mean I wish to make a trophy or a rug
of you. Who needs the fleas? But if you would agree
within the bounds of your dilapidating virtues and
your word—such as they are—to hesitate
before you feel compelled to wax sarcastic,
I might share a morsel from this delicacious basket.
Here, fresh memories of a hot and steamy date
that lift and drop a question on your plate.

Why not? You’re progressing with your manners,
good for you! Though slavering and yapping jaws are
all the rage, I’m hoping things will change before too
long. The poems are a help, we’ve quite a crowd
amassing, young and old, wise and wearied, talents
round the world are lifting banners of expectancy.
But now I must not linger, though running fingers
through your pelt, I must admit, compels. One day,
perhaps, we’ll parcel out unhurried ‘neath this tree
time for you and time for me.

© Elaine Stirling, 2013