In the dead of night,
you wake to find a snake,
coiled in your head.
You see the curve of scales
as the snake raises its head,
spreads its hood, wide,
see the fork of its tongue,
watch as it flickers,
flickers inside your brain,
testing its folds for prey.
You know that snake,
but you cannot remember
the name it goes by.
No consonant, no vowel
sits on the tip your tongue.
Boa Constrictor, do not
squeeze out the name.
Copperheads and Diamondbacks
kill with different patterns.
does not stir your memory.
You fear the snake
struck while you were sleeping—
venom already slices
the connections of your soul.
poetry and haiga have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various literary and poetry
magazines such as Concho River Review, Eastern Structures, Failed Haiku, Harbinger
Asylum, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Poetry24, The Legal Studies Forum, The
Lift, The Wild Word, and Visions International; as well as in several
anthologies, including contemporary haibun (Volume 17, Red Moon Press, 2022),
Faery Footprints (Fae Corp Publishing), Lifting the Sky: Southwestern
Haiku & Haiga (Dos Gatos Press), Texas Poetry Calendar (Kallisto Gaia
Press), Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston (Mutabilis Press), and
His poem “Viewing the Dead” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two of his
poems appear in
Silent Waters, photographs by George Digalakis (Athens, 2017).
He is the author of two chapbooks, Standing Inside the Web (Bear House
Publishing, 1990) and Fire and Shadows (Legal Studies Forum, 2008)
Selections of Gary’s poetry and photography can be found at his website,
4P Creations: http://4pcreations.com
Out of the Haze, collaborative haiga by photographer
George Digalakis and poet Gary S. Rosin, which was nominated by MacQ for the Red Moon
Anthologies, and selected for publication in
Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).
Crossing Kansas by Gary S. Rosin in The Wild Word
(7 February 2020); includes audio of the poet reading his poem
Two Readings: “Apparition” and “Black Dogs”
by Gary S. Rosin for Texas Poetry Calendar 2015 at the Blue Willow Bookshop in
Houston, Texas (20 September 2014)