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Cynthia Kraman Genser

From the "Schwartzman and Brightman Poems"

Schwartzman comes to St. Lukes in the dusk

Circumambulating the garden's rim

It worries him that his second daughter

Will make a mess of graduate school

For which he's sold his favorite seascape

Bending towards the spreading sweet apple tree

In the middle of it all, a flower

Arrests him. It seems to float to him. It is

A brown button nose. Golden petals

Rise above oceans (shoulders) of teal bright leaves

Who are you? Asks the absent mouth

But the question is cordial so he answers

"My worries and the painting that I sold" —

Plausible monster, it says, why shouldn't you miss

The beautiful sea unleashing your heart and ours?

The Imaginary/The Angel of Cinema in the 60's

"Little idiot" you used to call me

What strange music you made with my atoms!

I was sure we'd meet again in the course of time

Your angel now a fistula or shell

In other words: a wound or just nothing

The angel of you had departed, done

Lying like a shadow on the ship's deck

Were the wings in which I watched old movies

While cannibalizing the incredible foam

Of silky, photographed experience

You never actually called me any names

It was just your eyes inserting gold coins

Into the machine of me adrift on

Your body I loved so completely

Even when they faded your angel to black

Cynthia Kraman Genser's poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Western Humanities Review, Speechless the Magazine, Poetry Flash, Open City, and elsewhere. Her most recent collection is The Touch, nominated for the 2011 Poets' Prize. She is also the author of The Mexican Murals, Club 82, and Taking on the Local Color. In 1979, she started a band, Chinas Comidas, with musician Rich Riggins. Their retrospective CD has received rave reviews. Cynthia Kraman Genser holds a doctorate in medieval literature from University of London, Queen Mary, and lives in New Paltz, New York.

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