White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
J. A. Gaye
J.A. Gaye is a preschool and elementary physical and special education teacher near Benton, Missouri, where he lives with Alfred, his Siberian Husky. Recently, he has become something of an amateur recurve bow archer. He appears in Super Arrow and Everyday Genius and can also be found in theDIAGRAM and Transom.

Featured Work
Subscribe to RSS     Share

J. A. Gaye

The Cherry Blossom Ball

Ash Wednesday



On the postponed masque’s waxed floor inlay

Our triangles of palm. I modern dollop in air,


Pass sugar in a two-breasted trench coat called

Bower, and parlay matching socks. Mon frère


Mr McCleveland is a mustache and cocksure.

He asks after the mask I wear in your memory


And sighs. Punch please—as the gym’s disco

Constellations on the walls. Ice whiles better


At reflections; men heel for charity; like Romans

We lean, hard, spitting to love. He touches my ear


Where the mask ends, and I take like a midshipman

To mast the ladle’s pull. At heart, I am a jester



J. A. Gaye

For generosity, a bombast, a carl. I think of datum

Lingua Latina. Of things having been given


And the milled ease of the mourning dance.

Boyless dirge. The hall’s sounds like silver. A ball.


And it is no accident: The mask comes willingly.

The fly unfolds. And bathed were their faces and raiment.
















Copyright © J. A. Gaye. White Whale Review, issue 5.1

J. A. Gaye

Speak Easy



The symptoms spun forth in innings.


Notable bones / a cilious hat.

An old wrung rag gone to roll, to rot.

Peas / little beastlies. Our shared


Ace bandage, plum-browned / all a-fray,

Flung, clot-sharp, shod. A stub /

A toe during thought. And the night


Where the brain goes slip-clutch,

When the man goes / anchor to anger. A simple

Vacuum lifted our sultries / a-weigh.


I bought a straw to ward / to coo low

Your sickness / your sweats. Tie one.

As your hair to gospel--a flame. You


Pick one. You peel. You read to me slowly.

J. A. Gaye



I cross myself in a Southern way. The automatic

Vac is blessing itself like a pagan under the armoire


Again. Call it Dumbluck. Numb work. I tie

My hair back like a diva and think of you, pump


Glass full of Windex. And on the television

Uncle Remus chants Walt’s marching song.


Who harpoons / blue knuckles / blue moon—


It is the equinox, and we open our homes.

Bella, Bella, my canary anagram. My magnolia.


And the robot crosses again. St. Elizabeth

On my toasts in the morning. A wet finger


For fishing the afternoon. Such headache-isms,

Such daiquiris. And the peaches this firm, this late—


Plop, plop.

J. A. Gaye

As An Aid / Morning Digest



Evenings at the VFW I lead them in stretches.

It’s yoga night, and like the botanist boy

At the hardware store plies his willow switch to vine


We systemically bend. We ungender.

Ronnie & Carl come unloosed of their socks,

A beardy Ray swings free in sweats, Off-signal—


Our skin and the armor-heavy chain

Of an American memory falling down our necks

To our chest hair in droplets…


I call for radio silence. Heave. Heel. In a doctored thermostat’s

Secret heat, through sinew and uncallowed breath

We mend. — Garland / Goddess / Crow


The skin learns to bend this way—Now Locust / Now Hero—

Open like a palm frond, steady as she goes.

Previous Author Prev Next Author