White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Born in Timisoara, Romania in 1974, Gene Tanta immigrated to Chicago in 1984 with family at the age of 10. He earned his MFA in Poetry from the Iowa's Writers' Workshop in 2000. He translates contemporary Romanian poetry, including that of Constantin Acosmei. His publications include: Epoch, Ploughshares, Circumference Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, Watchword, Columbia Poetry Review, The Laurel Review (forthcoming) and two collaborative poems with Reginald Shepherd anthologized in Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where he also serves as Art Director for Cream City Review.
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Gene Tanta

from the manuscript "Unusual Woods"





Someone chased a Grizzly through a forest-fire on TV

but I saw as through jewels, a watered view.

Wide-mouth sunlight rimmed the silver etchings.

I told them to find God in the fields

and on the path to overtake me before I reach Segovia.

The birds in the eaves added up to oak, ash,

but little painted furniture survives.

Later, we fathered an argument near the fireplace.

All morning I had gathered chickpeas in the garden.

After sunset, blindfolded by night,

I suffer the sweet cautery of fashionable men.

Beloved, let me neither bathe nor count my wounds

but toil among the aqueduct stones and hillside workmen.

Gene Tanta



Demur as a switchblade, I retract nothing

in the two-way mirror of my itchy eye.

We'll talk

over my footnotes until the pretty flowers

bring flowers. One morning,

the dream crawled down from the attic

into a great scroll of smoke

because a historian has got to eat, write history,

and eat again.

Nodding off at the edge of his deathbed,

lit by the lamp,

he'd like to go upstairs and

shoot you with an antiquated pistol by mistake.

Gene Tanta



Lorine, your faceless dolls await.

In that roadless-dark

the milliner hung herself. The museum photo

fades to black each night.

Black Hawk blood soaked peninsula light,

northern country quite

rides down the river trees

and drinks in the reflection.

Drinks and drinks of it.

In the pilgrim photo

you are all elbows and voiceover

under the passing dressmaker.

I miss you. I carry the longing with me.










Copyright © Gene Tanta. White Whale Review, issue 1.1

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