|Issue 6:||January 2021|
1. The grackles have found my backyard, the nuts and seeds; they splash in the old white basin I fill cleanly every day, trill water into the air with each chiming, heads an oiled peacock, glossed bodies a darkening carmine in this false summer light. I count forty pairs of crabbed, clackety feet before a squirrel drops insouciance into their midst. When they explode upward in a glittering, my own wings unfurl, my toes unclaw the earth. 2. In Sicily, four donkeys peer over a stone wall, winter blue powder sky scattering away. They want only your hand to find the velvety softness between their eyes. Behind them, inside the house, an old woman sits out of sight, her thick white bowl of Settembrina peaches so ripe, they weep to be eaten, sliced into a confetti of basil, a silken mouthful of burrata, two blood-dark drops of the balsamico she made when her hands were still young and smooth, her hair still chestnut, her husband still singing, strong-hearted, in the kitchen. There is no season you cannot endure, if you have the mouth for it. 3. Bohr declined the false certainties of Heisenberg: he knew not to drink mercury or try to hold it in his hands. A reconciliation and a coincidence of well-defined events may yield to unsharply defined individuals within space-time regions. The coral-tooth mushroom proves that we can be made of milk and still hold our shapes; a cascading sweetness, a melting belied by our transparent skins, a crossing over. Release your hold on certainty; become unsharpened. Let your position and momentum become observable in the soft imprint of a kiss, the tender inside of a thigh. 4. From this distance, the Yunnan rice terraces layer and nest, a blue-smoked landscape, a charting of lost kisses, the touch of hands in sleep, a map drawn on the inside of my skin, a mirroring into the world. Abstract painting of ripe figs, pomegranate jewels: I cloak myself in the smooth, blue glass of it, in the dark roads lacing into the unknown spaces between forests and houses, where the water buffalo chew, placid, into the gloaming, the silvering of time stealing upward, toward their hearts. 5. In this photo you are shucking oysters, blue-gloved, a sharpness in your hand: inside your palm, a falling open, a salty-sweetness. Behind you, in the falling dark, masts blur gently with the pull of tides. Only tiny blue lights announce their presence, constellations come to earth. On the farthest boat, I await you, blue dress of seawater pooling at my feet, my hands filled with cherries so ripe, they lean into the tongue.
1. To learn more about the genesis and rules of this new poetic form, see:
Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor.
2. Paraphrased/quoted from a paper by Neils Bohr, “The Quantum postulate and the recent development of atomic theory,” published on 14 April 1928 in Nature 121, Supplement (pp. 580–590).
[The original quotation: “At the same time, however, the general character of this relation makes it possible to a certain extent to reconcile the conservation laws with the space-time coordination of observations, the idea of a coincidence of well-defined events in space-time points being replaced by that of unsharply defined individuals within space-time regions.”]
is the author of Cloudshade: Poems of the High Plains (Sastrugi Press, 2015) and Voices at Twilight (Sastrugi Press, 2016) and the editor of Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers (Sastrugi Press, 2016). She is a co-creator of the new poetic form, the cadralor, and Editor in Chief of Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor.. Her individual poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as The Meadow, The Owen Wister Review, Pilgrimage, and Red Hook, and her educational research appears in publications such as The Journal of Poetry Therapy and Qualitative Inquiry.
Lori Howe holds an M.F.A. in Poetry and a Ph.D. in Literacy Education from the University of Wyoming, where she is a professor in the Honors College. She lives in Laramie and is a guest poet on Wyoming Public Radio.
⚡ New Poetic Form With Wyoming Roots Goes Viral by Micah Schweizer at Wyoming Public Media (4 December 2020); includes audio of Lori Howe reading her cadralore (Numbers 9, 5, and 4)
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