mirabilia | Gail Hanlon

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Gail Hanlon’s poetry has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, CutbankOnline, The Iowa Review, New Letters, Verse Daily, and BEST AMERICAN POETRY, among other journals and anthologies. She won the National Writer’s Union Poetry Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Iowa Review Award and CutBank’s Patricia Goedicke Prize, and long-listed for Cutbank’s Chapbook Award, the Tomaž Šalamun Prize at VERSE, and OSU’s The Journal Wheeler Prize, among others.

Photo credit: Maura Koehler Hanlon



Today’s word is mooncalf
daydreamer, absent-minded

person, fool or simpleton.

Not knowing what words to use
for Simon’s paintings, I’m

stunned into silence like she
was, her pupils shining ink.

In North Sea High Tide
shaky skeletal lines

like a rough ladder of waves or
a trellis of thoughts.

Surf nested in the troughs
suggesting and erasing stories.

What would plein air writing be?
I’m ham-fisted, all my words

backing up. Nothing lost on me.