Lou Gallo, 10/28/2013
Current Occupation: professor, Radford University
Former Occupation: professor LSU (New Orleans)
Contact Information: I was born and raised in New Orleans. I now teach at Radford University in Virginia where I live with my wife and daughters. My work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Berkeley Fiction Review, Missouri Review, Southern Quarterly, New Orleans Review, Mississippi Review, Portland Review, storySouth, Bellingham Review, Greensboro Review, Tampa Review, The Ledge, New Oregon Review, Pennsylvania Literary Review, Rattle, Baltimore Review, Texas Review, WIDE AWAKE IN THE PELICAN STATE (LSU fiction anthology), American Literary Review and many others. Chapbooks include THE ABOMINATION OF FASCINATION and THE TRUTH CHANGES. Poetry volumes include HALLOWEEN and OMENS. I am founding editor of the now inoperative Barataria Review and Books: A New Orleans Review. I have been a contributing editor of The Pushcart Press.
SATURDAY AT THE SHOP
I liked Saturdays because that’s when the old man,
my grandfather, sharpened chisels on the whetstone.
Dad and I would saw plywood sheets into little squares,
for hours we ripped that wood, and the caustic sawdust
laced with formaldehyde blasted our faces.
It’s a smell we could never wash off. And our eyes
sometimes bled. But when the old man stood behind
that stone, pumping the lever with his foot,
and sparks from metal against rock zigzagged
out in a fiery cloud of silent, ephemeral sparks
so primitive time stopped,
we sometimes relaxed and just watched
Grandpa might look over at us and smile.
It seemed like anything but work.
And he always left early,
that sly rascal.