The Cumulus Effect
J. Mae Barizo
The sequential poems in The Cumulus Effect map how the intersections between geography, memory, and desire weave personal, unavoidable history. The book’s structure alludes to “method of loci” or “memory palace,” the ancient mnemonic technique of spatial memorization. Minimalist, but insistently mercurial, the poems move through American and European cities: seduction in an Neoclassical palace in Saint Petersburg; a “hindsight of blood” in New York City; late-summer longing in Berlin’s Senefelder Platz. Like the erratic sky of the book’s title poem, these verses are laced with an uncanny delicacy; The Cumulus Effect sets on the page a prismatic and complex topography of the body forever en route.
Excerpt from “Berlin”, from The Cumulus Effect:
Wire mesh, poplar, that strange dance. Body by which to bend must move so delicately like a dull minuet. And you were magnetic field, voltage against the eye of sun and bones that grated one against the other. O motor of my limbs, coiling through the monotone days. How young then, guarding me against every ruinous thing.