For trips to bookstores and people lending books have become increasingly scarce, Twitter became a lifesaver with two tweets that linked downloadable PDF files of two poetry books: elsewhere held and lingered and Dark Hours, both by Conchitina Cruz.
Poetry is good when the answer is yes to all of these: did it make me think? Did I have to read a line or a verse twice and know that it was to haunt me for nights on end? Did I feel a weight that made my heart seem heavier; was I breathless because of incoherent emotions? Did I wish I had this writer’s hands and mind; did I wish I was the poem’s creator instead?
With Conchitina’s poems – all of these questions were answered with a resounding yes.
I was literally whispering the words under my breath as I read, and felt entirely enraptured by them. Instant imagery forms itself in your mind as you read her poems. What concept I spend sentences and paragraphs on to fully embody she does in a few spare lines and I am entirely blown away by how powerful it is.
In Dark Hours:
You never know when somebody will walk away from you on a bright day on a busy street, never looking back and you cannot believe the slow disappearance, cannot believe what is moving away from your reach until the busy street no longer needs its presence to look the same, because it is the same.
And the city offers you its fruits and fish, and the churchgoers lift their veils as they step out into the open and you know the picture is incomplete but it can stand for itself
and who are you to ask for more, who are you to insist on hunger?
In elsewhere held and lingered:
It should be enough
It should be enough to wake
from the dream
the doors still opening
into the wrong rooms,
the keys still hanging
like tongues from keyholes, the staircase still
leading nowhere, the shelves
with indecipherable titles. It should be
enough, the eyes
in photographs restless,
the birds tugging themselves
off the surface
of teacups, the curtains
poised for migration, the roaches gone
to the neighbors. And still, we insist
on staying, flicking the switches
on and off
in the dark,
heating the leftover rice.
Stay we must,
nodding our heads,
our fingerprints on every object, our signatures
on every page.
Passages where I am held breathless; passages that are like gossamer strands of spider webs that lure you in and traps you inside it. All I can say is that I cannot wait to discover more of her work.
In frame: Conchitina Cruz