Sunday, July 10, 2022

this is an excerpt from my tribute to Callie Gardner in The Poetry Review (((REST IN PEACE Dear Poet ❤️)))

PLEASE Click HERE for The Poetry Review issue

PLEASE Click HERE for Callie's book

Callie Gardner, I Want to Keep Speaking with You

by CAConrad                                                                             for Gloria Dawson

Poet Callie Gardner’s sudden death on July 8th, 2021, is still difficult to believe. What follows is a conversation with Callie’s extraordinary collection, NATURALLY, IT IS NOT: A Poem in Four Letters. They were among the finest poets I have had the privilege to know and read.

                                                if there would no longer 

be anything but differences, in that final term

of fragmentation, where does persistence of desire go?

(page 8)


Dear Callie, is desire still within each fragment, and is it that very desire where the strength lies to call the shards back home? Could desire itself end its given forecast of scarcity? We say Isis put Osiris back together, but She had much help from Nephthys, Thoth, and Anubis, working their delicate magic to stitch the beloved’s body back to wholeness.

with wind blowing in the same bare place

they can find a spirit within themselves

of the eye and location

(page 69)


In an essay about breaking your grandfather’s reading lamp handed down to you from your grandmother, you wrote, “When we attribute a particular relation to objects, they embody the success or failure of that relationship.” Regardless of the blowing wind, how still would we need to stand to become a location? What success would the spirit have in not abandoning us but insisting on filling us, being part of us until the location that is us disappears?


we were larval once

but without exchanging a cell

somewhere in this circumnavigation we became

in the creaking ancient timbers of shipped steel

just worms

(page 61)


(I light a candle, read this stanza aloud 3 times, “we were larval once….”) Thank you, Dear Poet.

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