Today's poem is "Undoing"
from Undoing

Little Pear Press

James Cihlar's poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Painted Bride Quarterly, Quercus, and other journals. The recipient of an individual artist fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board, he has placed poems in the anthologies Regrets Only (Little Pear Press), Aunties (Ballantine), and Nebraska Presence (Backwaters Press). He lives with his partner, William Reichard, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Books by James Cihlar: Undoing

Other poems on the web by James Cihlar:
Five poems
Two poems
Three poems
"Lincoln Avenue"
Three poems
"The Last House in Minneapolis"
"In the Name of Husband"

About Undoing:

"What do we know about James Cihlar and his first book, Undoing? That “words are tied up with places,” that colors can stand alone, for themselves, or for an empty sleeve, or the sky in Nebraska, “a white wall... pulsing like a ghost” or 'a blue so near//you can sink your hand in/a tarp you can reach up and touch.' We know 'I didn’t know I could be who I am//until I left my hometown.' We know that 'sometimes a little upheaval is good for a life' and that partners in houses know that 'one of us is in transit, in motion,/ at risk, and the other/ needs to keep our place safe for return.' We know what rises in this lovely book, as surely as cream, is the sweet life in the speaker, a poet, a lover of words, colors, domiciles, cats, his husband, his need to sing and sing and sing from the junk heap of a wrecked childhood the daily pleasures of lives lived at risk. Read “Gertrude Christina in Repose” and be glad we’ve come upon Jim Cihlar’s poems. Here is forgiveness and joy. And the wisdom that comes, who knows how, through the measured language of memory that will not be undone."
—Hilda Raz

"In James Cihlar’s collection, Undoing, we find an emotional richness and range convincingly authenticated by details of domestic disarray—a father’s absence, a mother’s rage, a child’s retreat into the language of his imagination. The result is a deepening meditation snipped into lyrics, measures that mirror the quiet immediacy of their white space, that move with unflinching precision, picking through the difficult remnants, transmuting alienation into lineage, heartbreak into grace, undoing into understanding. Never showy, ever poised and clear, this is a brave, forthright, and moving book."
—Bruce Bond

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