Literature 6-30-2008

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Cindra Halm

"The Act" by Cindra Halm is this week's What Light winner, selected by poet Bryan Thao Worra. PLUS: There's a new What Light call for poems by MN writers (submission deadline is July 19)


The Act

Inside the gesture, a riven wound
winds toward the river, a gestalt
as large as bloodstain on snow.
Show the trick; open
the palm of the sculpture
on which ravens wait. For the crying,
for the soon. And the salt creates
structure, impregnates water; saline
rehearses the way the world makes.
Birds spit glass winter, craving
hunger. Glint gesticulates jasper,
irrevocable noon.


Why write? Because words call; I hear words first, in their sounds and rhythms, in their textures. Ideas need to be shaken and stirred; they need bodies with which to dance, to sing, to move. I write to make worlds; I’m interested first and foremost in compositional elements, in feeling and revealing patterns. My job as a poet is to populate the specific world I’m attending, to understand what kind of flora and fauna live there, what laws of physics and forces of nature function in that world. To move ideas through imagination through medium to embodiment.


Cindra Halm ‘s poetry chapbook, Inflectional Weather, was published in 2003 by Press of the Taverner. Her poems, prose poems, essays, and book reviews can be found in The Bellingham Review, Say…, Paragraph, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere. In 1998, she was one of three winners in Border’s Flash Fiction Contest. She is also an instructor at the Loft Literary Center. She loves rhythm and sound, Lake Superior, and dance in all forms.