Stamps: Gabrielle Calvocoressi


Village of Ghosts: A Journey in Seven Chapters

By Gabrielle Calvocoressi

1. Yesterday we did drive to the town my mother lived in. After a night full of dreams about ghosts where I kept saying, “I don’t want any more.” 10:57 AM Sep 17th from web

2. When we drove past the red building near the liquor store my stomach turned like when you go over a hill or the first day of a new school. 2:42 PM Sep 17th from web

3. Maurice is the name of the nice, elderly gas station attendant who stood with me and looked across the street and said, “Oh, yeah. Oh, yes.” 4:42 PM Sep 17th from web

4. I said, “She lived in a brown shingle house across from a dump.” Maurice said, “You take a left up there and go down a bit. You’ll find it.” 5:57 PM Sep 17th from web

5. So we drove there. At first I thought “No” but then the road turned to dirt and I saw the junked cars and I knew it was the place she lived. 4:53 AM Sep 18th from web

6. It wasn’t as run down as I remembered. It wasn’t as far from the liquor store as I remembered. There was no real yard. I felt a little sick. 11:29 AM Sep 18th from web

7. Left a village of ghosts for the city of angels. Got in as the sunset lit the ocean and hills orange and then fire from the east sent to me. 10:04 PM Sep 18th from web


Gabrielle Calvocoressi has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner fellowship in Poetry, a Jones Lectureship in Poetry at Stanford University and a Rona Jaffe Woman Writers’ Award. Her poem “Circus Fire, 1944″ received The Paris Reviews’ Bernard F. Conners Prize. Her first collection, The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, was published by Persea Books in 2005 and won the Connecticut Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the MFA program at California College of Arts in San Francisco and in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College. Her second collection, Apocalyptic Swing, was recently published by Persea Books.


“Village of Ghosts” is part of the Stamps project >>


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