I sit back in the city
and admire the octopus, wise old mollusk.
I myself am an ancient fish
wearing new plastic shoes.
My lungs have been through many changes
breathing water, then ooze' then air.
A tree-climbing fish evolved me,
giving me delicate names:
Ivy, Heather, Rose, Lily,
and a cave of sleep within my body,
a child's room
with a closed flower to guard the entrance.
Out of the estuaries
where rivers come to the sea,
I am born of my mother's waters
and can't find my paternal parent
or give wifely comfort
among creatures that stare from green mud.
by Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi is the Founding editor of Wise Women's Web and Skylands Writers & Artists Association. Ms. Gioseffi is an
American Book Award winning author of twelve books from major presses and two grants, one in poetry and one in prose, from The New York State Council for the Arts. Women on War [Simon & Schuster/Touchstone: NY, 1990] was also published by Frauenverlag in Vienna in German.
On Prejudice: A Global Perspective [Doubleday/Anchor, 1993] won a grant award from The Ploughshares Fund World Peace Foundation and was also published in Tokyo in Japanese.
She has published two books of poetry: Word Wounds & Water Flowers [Via Folios at Purdue University, 1995] and Eggs in the Lake [Boa Editions, Rochester, NY, 1980.]. Gioseffi has published her work in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, among them The Paris Reveiw, The Nation, Chelsea, Choice, Prairie Schooner, MS. and Kaleidescope: Stories of
the American Experience [Oxford University Press, 1993.]. She reads her work and lectures widely throughout the USA and Europe.
Ms Gioseffi taught at New York University's Publishing Institute, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Long Island University and other institutions. She is a jazz singer, song lyricist and painter. Her feminist novel, The Great American Belly [Doubleday/ Dell, NY, and New English Library, London,1979] was optioned for a screenplay for Warner Bros. by Pulitzer Prize Winning playwright, Michael Christopher, and also published in Croatian in Zagreb. Her recent book of stories & novella [from Avisson Press, Greensboro, NC. 1997] is titled In Bed with the Exotic Enemy. She has won a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award for her story, "Daffodil Dollars," aired on National Public Radio, "The Sound of Words."
Daniela has broadcast on many radio and television stations, for example, the BBC at Oxford, National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., Pacifica's WBAI, NY. A widely published literary critic who writes regularly for American Book Review, The Hungry Mind Review, Independent Publishing, and The Small Press Review, she is published on line at a variety of sites and is a member of The National Book Critics Circle and PEN American Center.