Poetry from Jack Galmitz

The Portrait Gallery

by Jack Galmitz


I stumbled in

to the afterhours club

and there stood Herman


In his locker

Joe had a pinup

of Marilyn Chambers


Jerome met Betty

on the rollercoaster

she was retching


Mr. Smith was bald

his students thought

he was always


Mr. Levine

had a dog

then he died


Dunlop knew it

he told it to Humphries

now he’s dead

These poems are conceptual although they read quite straightforwardly. My idea was to show those who were writing poetry that decimated grammar, syntax, and meaning that poetic language was no different than ordinary language and that aporia or uncertainty of meaning could be achieved in the most plainspoken English. The lack of finality of meaning simply accompanied language as a matter of course. The poems, I find, are a bit funny and hopefully are read that way.

2 thoughts on “Poetry from Jack Galmitz

  1. Jack Galmitz writes with a straightforward formality; the reader fills in the gaps of the story. For example, we guess that Jerome marries Betty, amusement park romance by puke. Dog’s have expiration dates like people do, still, Mr. Levine liked dogs, kept one until he died. The short-poem-narratives are told in light, pithy, three-line punchlines.

  2. Thank you Paul. Even seemingly simple poems require an interaction with the reader and never give up their full meaning.

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