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