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The Secret Meanings of Greek Letters
by Michaela Gabriel
dancing girl press, 2007
$9.00 (includes S&H) LIMITED EDITION OF 100 SOLD OUT

About the Author:

Michaela A. Gabriel (b. 1971 in Spittal/Drau, Austria) wrote her first poem over 20 years ago; she does believe that she has improved since. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, both online and in print, mostly in English, but also in German, Italian, and Polish. Writing poetry unfortunately does not pay any bills, so it's a good thing that teaching computer classes and English does.

Michi has edited the German issue of Poems Niederngasse and moderated critique workshops. She dreams of editing her own poetry magazine some day and believes that the English language has chosen her and not vice versa, and she prefers it to her native German.

She loves strawberries and warm October days, despises beer and tuna, has seen the northern lights, sunbathed on South Pacific islands, and begun love affais with New Zealand as well as Lapland. She's a night owl and there's always music in her head. When she is not writing, she is reading, playing tennis, watching people, blogging, corresponding with friends around the world, travelling or enjoying The Gilmore Girls usually several of these at the same time.

Michi lives in Vienna, a place brimful of history, where she is weaving her own colourful thread into the fabric.


from The Secret Meanings of Greek Letters


Dream is one-sixtieth of prophecy.
-- The Talmud

The woman calls herself Shirley, a name so mundane
there must be something fishy; you refuse to fall for
its curly sound, suspect criminal intent in the snaking S.
There she is, sniffing out incestuous trysts like manna.
She reports to stricken relations in villanelles, sums up
gory details in honey-coated haiku. Swallow; she will
keep feeding you bits of what will turn into your truth.

A sign on weather-beaten wood announces fire
but this will be no gentle flames persuading scented
wax into tame shapes. You think you are prepared.
You think those northern clouds hold enough rain.
But look, the devil's draining them, and you won't
sell your soul to save his hell from drowning. Go,
croaks a raven, gather clay, bake yourself an armour.

Sleep comes in the shape of a fish swimming through
your open mouth. Colours change, a frantic wind cuts
grooves into the ashen sky, nimbus clouds towel down
a rainbow. Your eyes shut, your lips give up: you cannot
suck all greyness from this world. Death has his hands
deep in a sack of soot, draws rings around each life.
In your belly, the fish discards its beginning, its end.