— Cecilia Llompart appears to tread lightly, but her words have laid the staunch foundation of her dazzling first collection, The Wingless. We met with Cecilia at Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, to pay homage and wander the grounds. A more abstract reading follows. Music by Patrick O’Hearn.
Poems taken from The Wingless
Consider, O Lord, how You sit atop the sky; like a man
in a glass bottom boat.
Consider sky elsewhere; worn thin as a mattress.
Consider the women, marbling
in their corners
the men with tongues of bronze; how
you tool the silence around them.
Consider the rolling wheel of Spring
the Summer, a haunt of blue;
How the rivers roll up like prayer mats.
Consider my Lover;
the yellow church of his skin, the clean
wells of his ears;
How the notes of a song come to him
like birds descending
on a power line; How
in his absence I am of two throats
each of them cramped.
Consider, O Lover, my throat
white as cigarette paper.
The crushed lavender of my knuckles.
My heart, a dulled needle threaded through
too many patterns.
Lover, they were stitches of pain
you undid me of;
There is blood gone rancid in me you can not move.
But how we comb and comb the night for jewels
around one another,
to cast in the mold of our love.
That dandy, the sky, enters blue-suited
sun like a scotch in hand
as I consider the brevity of a lion;
How many flies can touch at decay.
Consider the road, long
and forked as the Devil’s own tongue.
Consider the Devil, burning every bridge;
in every tree a black
bird. In every bird a black thought.
What My Loneliness Does
Pace sideways, on
pointed crab feet.
Skin me. Like the quick tongue
of a hunting knife.
Curl the floorboards.
Open like a sail and let the wind
fill it, like a man given to belly.
Migrate through my body,
to it’s warmer parts.
Wear the mouth of a blow up doll.
Father the bees.
Grow roots, then teeth.
Like the snow, blanket
Unfold the days. Fold them
up again into paper cranes.
Where My Loneliness Goes (combined with above)
Beyond the nest of cricket song.
Through the sugarcane fields,
with no machete.
Out of one moment and into
the next, like a person
entering the wrong room.
Before me. Leaving trail,
of fully capsized
In the rain, touching
the cheek of every woman.
Under sky older still
than this one.
In the East, with a suitcase
full of windows.
About the Poet
Cecilia Llompart was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida. Her first collection, The Wingless, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in the spring of 2014. She is the recipient of two awards from the Academy of American Poets, a fellowship from The Dickinson House, was a finalist for The Field Office agency’s 2016 Postcard Prize in poetry, as well as a finalist for the 2016 Tomaž Šalamun Prize given by Verse journal. In 2015 she founded the New Wanderers, a nomadic poetry collective, and currently lives in Paris.