Sunday, 28 February 2016

Connie Voisine's Calle Florista (University of Chicago, 2015)

Connie and I are both graduates of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of California, Irvine, and I was glad to have her read to my students Thursday while she's spending her sabbatical in the UK. Here are some favourite passages from her new collection, Calle Florista:

There weren't flowers so much as

cats, at least a hundred, lounging in the neighbor's yard
while the bushes roiled with kittens.

from "Calle Florista"

Maybe the soul isn't a fussy eater--
still, it is ravenous

and expensive, like a defensive lineman.

from "I Admit that I Believe that Ideas Exist Regardless"

The book's perfume lifted as you touched it: must, dead clover, wood smoke. 
Your flesh became silk, limpid, luminous.

from "Annunciation"

The pond wants to be the sun that dumps its sugar on the grass.


The shoe wants to be the buckle that the girl shines with a cloth.
The buckle wants to be the magpie lifting what shines.

from "Testament"

The holy is 
nowhere. Where
the non-fog
waits in the 

end of "After"

And of course night comes on
just as you desired. As do the wild pigs
snuffling in the desert, as do the wolves
spangled with hunger, and the hunger itself 
that lopes through my house.
Your desire is dark,
whoever you are, and igneously
formed by heat.
Cooling, it litters my slopes.

end of "Psalm to Whoever Is Responsible"

There aren't enough doves
in North America to fill
the gondola of you.
Onions are fallible, only
pretending to be infinite....

the opening of "A World's Too Little for Thy Tent,
A Grave Too Big for Me"

This country wakes to turn off the light,
and it's no other dark but yours.

end of "Prayer of the St. of the Hottest Night
in Las Cruces"

Remember, no matter how hard you tried,
there were no proper

shoes for this.

from "In the Shade"

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