Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. She has published in numerous journals including Turtle Island Quarterly, Connecticut River Review,Dual Coast Magazine, and Laurel Review; anthologies, The Well-Versed Reader,Heron Clan VI and Kakalak 2018 and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. Her poem, "photo-op" was a finalist in the Poems of Resistance competition at Sable Press and her poem "Cezanne's Apples" was nominated for a Pushcart. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.
Daddy, the day you died, I never got to say I’d have stayed forever, waiting for words to come. I hated watching you reach into your new speechlessness, in the blank hospital room, to find some words swimming vainly in your brain.
Daddy, when you taught me math, I was filled with questions. I got lost in strange equations, in the formulae of givens, unknowns, incomprehensible constants, when all I wanted was your words.
Daddy, that final silence…. After all the spankings; after the turned head when I came to kiss you goodnight. Was it because you owned the shadow at the door? What devils needed such exorcising when I was 8, 9, 10?
Daddy, I beat myself up in your absence. You taught me so well—it all added up: unknowns became constants; givens spelled out the incomprehensible gulf between us.
absence makes the heart
I mourned your passing because I needed your presence needed for you to wake one day and say ah my precious one my daughter but you did not speak when you could and then you could not speak and now you cannot and the moment has passed and I no longer mourn the absence I have always had.
A Mind of Winter
Cold crusts barren branches; the mind of winter comes. What I have known recedes, as trees surrender leaves. Little remains. Names I’ve sworn never to forget, precious words, coveted over a lifetime of dwelling in books, fly out like shadows of birds.
The I drifts in the frigid hour; ice crunches under foot, and the sun which should be here is not; gray of sky merges with gray of mind, and the white outside is not so much white as devoid of color.
the real world takes flightthe way dreams do
breaks up into disconnected fragments as dreams do
haunts our waking hours in wisps of déjà vuas dreams do
revisits us at odd moments sleeping in wakennessas dreams do
lacks continuity and comprehensibilityas dreams do
wants clarity but beggars explanationas dreams do
dissipates in a haze of ambiguityas dreams do
entices with snippets of unrealized promiseas dreams do
fades into dis remembrance oddly justas dreams do
Begin at the cliff’s dark verge, where edge meets air;fall or fly triumphant into the void, without reason or will, wingspan, muscle, or sinew-- trust wind and wonder, as when the musical note leaves the violin, strains towards the ear, becomes desire—or nothing, cacophony—or everything.