April Lindner

A Spell for Auspicious Beginnings

Bring something from the earth: a sprig of thyme
to spark your memory, a branch of sage
for clarity. Does this sound too New Age?
Maybe so, but light a candleflame.

Bring pebbles from the sea, a flask of air.
Then bring yourself, the human element.
Take one long breath, to banish bad intent
and sloppiness. Consider this a prayer

or an experiment. You need believe
in nothing but the objects close at hand--
tokens of the world of fern and wind,
of forest fire and pond. Try to perceive

in each dull thing its own peculiar spark,
quotidian and strange. Let it repay
your interest with something new to say
when bending to the desk, you start your work.


I want to write his last days down
not artfully but true,
because the words I write will stick
hardening like glue

in my mind and to the page.
No, not like glue-like bone
they'll hold his shape a while on earth
approximating stone

while memory decays like flesh
and melts away, precision
illusory, the things I know
all subject to revision.


photo courtesy of
Jude Giaramita
April Lindner's debut novel, Jane, is forthcoming in Fall 2010 from the Poppy imprint of Little, Brown. A contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre, the novel features a Sarah Lawrence dropout-turned-nanny who falls in love with her employer, an iconic rock star on the brink of a comeback. Lindner's poetry collection, Skin, received the 2002 Walt McDonald First Book Poetry Prize from Texas Tech University Press. She is an associate professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Other earlier work in Mezzo Cammin: 2007.2.


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April Lindner
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Mezzo Cammin is proud to announce that The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, which will eventually be the largest database of women poets in the world, was launched on Saturday, March 27, 2010, at 6:00 PM at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Tom Field)
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Jo Yarrington: I've always been interested in liminal places, areas of the mind or reality that blur definition, that exist somewhere in between. When first reading Swann's Way, I instantly identified with Proust's ruminations on the space between sleeping and waking. Suspended in that glide from consciousness to unconsciousness, he seemed to find a threshold to unfettered freedom and clarity. In Brontë's Villette, when faced with the harsh realities and social restrictions of Victorian England, Lucy Snow could slip into her shadowland, an interior place of refuge and boundless possibilities. And, in Atonement, McEwan spoke to the fertile pause between stillness and motion when he wrote "the mystery was in the instant before it moved, the dividing moment between moving and nonmoving, when her intention took effect." It is these elusive, shifting planes, these fluctuations in our psychic core and physical being, these changeable and charged arenas that I explore in my visual art.
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