The Continuous Horrible Spectacle
Daniel Gallik

The assonance question is never resolved,
said the English teacher

to her class, seventh graders in
the inner city. One child raises
her hand to get a pass to use the lavatory.
All seems right with the rhythm of the universe.

The little girl looks in easy majesty.
Her mother’s severe beauty does not hinder
her. The boy sitting next to her
does not know why he smiles. Just
as the teacher does not know why
she teaches. There is inequality here.

In the meantime, the principal
hits another boy. In the face.
His office is taped. The tape
gets on the news because the secy.
hates her boss. Something then is made
of nothing. Quis multa gracilis te puer.

No one knows how to speak in the neighborhood.

The most fascinating girl is unwritten.

The mother wakes every morning to the memory
of being a child. She decides every morning
that she must not. That she must be almost
male in her moods. That her child must be
perfect every minute of every day here in OH.

The little girl is beautiful. But does not
know she will lose her beauty just as her mom
has. One month at a time.

This story is one of the most exquisite lyrics
in American life. Long poems are written about
these stories. But they do not resolve a thing.

The story continues to its sad end always. And
so what? says the men who loiter on the block.

There are twenty-two incomparable people who
live in one big house. If the house was
located in the suburbs it would be worth more
than the mayor’s salary. More than these kids’
ambition. More than what the President of the
UNITED states does in four years. Yes, do not
forget God, do not hesitate to yell at him
about all this. Ye, be rewarded in fiery hell.

One woman said the salvation of God is his glory.

Concede the sublimity in the minds of children.

Go back at once to this female child.
And see her look into your eyes.
Briefly. Notice how she disarms you
and knows it.

The conception of grandeur is her essence.
As she becomes a numb mother she loses it.
Her children will have it again and her kin.

Intelligence is a shadow created
in a feeble emanation of what should be.
Beauty IS the eye of the beholder.

The shadow of truth is story telling.
The little girl speaks and we listen.
She says, I am a resemblance of God.
As I age I am a resemblance of Death.
I wish I could merit truth when I am
this beautiful, but I cannot. I just
look like the truth, and God, and what
is heaven in an unreal world of essence.

Find an allegory that is finer than me.

Then she stopped talking, and ate, and

ate. And ate. Her poverty away, away.

Her mother started to speak, then quickly
spanked her own behind, I, by no means,

am a grandeur. I am a negative quantification of life
in America, as it never changes, never gets better in
certain parts of towns. Yes, I want to feel final and
impeccable, and real. But I know that can never be.
Never. I am Black and holy and irreversibly stupid.
Yes, my child is an essence. But she will change to be
me. I am irreducible to a white person’s form. Because
I am a Black woman. My daughter will be. And so cram it.

At this moment
the speech

She leaps into her rusty car.
The child giggles.

Little boys still look and gape.

The harsh climate in the ghetto
interrupts this scene. A fire

is started.

Many, many people die in one house.
The news reports the mess. Nothing,
I mean, nothing

is done. Ever. And ever. Because
Shakespeare and white people like,
I mean, truly love, love

In ghettoes.

And so do little girls.
And boys, and teachers.
and schools, and whatis whatis.

Go forth and forget. You bastards
of Jesus Christ.

Return to Archive