Sunday Jun 23

GylysBeth Beth Gylys, a Professor at Georgia State University and award-winning poet, has published three collections of poetry (Sky Blue Enough to Drink, Spot in the Dark and Bodies that Hum) and two chapbooks (Matchbook and Balloon Heart), and her work has been featured on the Writers Almanac and Poetry Daily. She has had poetry published in many anthologies and journals.

Measure of Normal

Regular is how the neighbors
always described him. “He kept to himself,”
or “He seemed nice enough, waved
from the front porch, even shoveled
my sidewalks once or twice.”
Meanwhile blood stains on the floor
of his basement, a jar of eyeballs
in the freezer, ropes and leather straps
found rigged in a secret room
with a metal table and a dentist’s chair—
the pleasant “seems,” yielding
to the abhorrent known—and suddenly
he’s everywhere, his face turning
from microphones and cameras,
shielded by a lawyer’s clipboard
or his own plain arm. He acted
completely like anyone’s neighbor,
trimming the bushes, a Bud Light
balanced by his feet, or changing
the oil out in the driveway, or closing
the trunk door of his car, maybe
slamming it a bit harder than necessary.