The poetic gigans

For me, writing in form in poetry is a way to may things happen that wouldn’t otherwise. This form, the gigans, was created by Ruth Ellen Kocher, named after her favorite fictional monster. You can read about form and a little about her here. The basic rules are a poem made of couplet, tercet, couplet, couplet, couplet, tercet, couplet, in which the first line repeats as line 11 and the sixth line repeats as line 12. This one is my favorite of those of hers I’ve read, published in From the Fishouse:

the gigans: v.

i will not write you an elegy
big-mouthed woman whose breasts

hugged the microphone stand like some breadfruit dream
of nippled clouds, woman whose arms winged softly
into her armpits in a billowing flourish of skin’s bounty,

thighs and ass enveloping the world
with their musked satin, whose teeth

tunneled through the closets of angels
revealing their gilded garments,

whose eyes blinked back the salty spray of sea.
i will not write you an elegy,

though your voice encompassed the world
in a raspy under-song’s embrace, a diamond glare
of c-notes crowning you each time you walked on stage.

listen to the cardinal cutting a racket through my neighbor’s pine.
hear his salutation, his winged confirmation of music un-stilled.

Ruth Ellen Kocher