Judy Kronenfeld


Whole days made up of intensities
of light--as if the rays that pierce
clouds in Baroque paintings
were gathered in multiple sheaves
and fanned out melting
into that cloudless profound
blue that beams
I am purity incarnate­-

and an excitement,
as if of revelation about to come,
in the basking honeyed warmth
lifted and swept away by currents
of chill, then set down again­-

tumbleweeds bounce up
like girls playing hopscotch,
leaf crumble, small twigs, scurry back
on the sidewalk, like water sucked
into the ocean before the next wave.
And then quiet.

      And isn’t that what
we need--a perfection of contentment edged
by violent change, change edged
by contentment, never to be grounded,
as the body grounds itself to a drug
which then loses its rush, over
and over again to be removed from
and returned to our illusions:

that if only we could stop
doing what we must do now, stop
shunning what we once did, leave home, come
home, burn home, build home,

we would arrive
at happiness.

…Leaf litter lull on the lawns, then
cottonwood gold gyring, like wheat
tossed in the air, revealing the sinuous

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of two books and two chapbooks of poetry, the most recent being Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize (Litchfield Review Press, 2008). Her poems, as well as the occasional short story and personal essay have appeared in numerous print and online journals including Calyx, Cimarron Review, The American Poetry Journal, Natural Bridge, The Hiram Poetry Review, The Portland Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Poetry International, The Disquieting Muses Quarterly Review, The Women’s Review of Books and The Pedestal, as well as in a dozen anthologies or textbooks, including Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California, edited by Christopher Buckley and Gary Young (Greenhouse Review Press/Alcatraz Editions, 2008) and Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease, edited by Holly Hughes (Kent State University Press, 2009). She is also the author of a critical study: KING LEAR and the Naked Truth (Duke U.P., 1998). She is Lecturer Emerita in the Department of Creative Writing, at the University of California, Riverside.

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