Killarney Clary: Prose Poems

My friend Lisa, a poet who also speaks fluent visual, sent me a book, By Common Salt, a collection of poems by Killarney Clary. “She’s a quiet poet, but one of my favorites,” L wrote on the card inside the package.

I sat down immediately and read the entire book cover to cover. Clary is a find. These poems are written in short prose form, something that is deceptive in its simplicity and flow. These feel strobe-like in their quick capture of an unforgettable moment, impulse, emotion.

Thank you for this introduction, Lisa. Now I’m on the look out for a visual artist who I can bring to L and knock her out.

Here are two by Clary to give you a taste.

What can anything stand for if to promise is to freeze circumstances? The illusions that growth is a sacred map, the way a member of the meeting will say, “Wrap it up,” the ticket line that stretches out—each points to spending life, and the few huge drops of rain dry away in seconds. I am someone else now. Try me again.


Where light falls between the door and frame onto the polished floor, where I put my hand at dusk in the grass while birds tune their orchestra, louder, more players until the air is all sound…

If I don’t have time, I feel the shadow swelling and desperation in song. Come to me when I am. I am not enough.

2 Replies to “Killarney Clary: Prose Poems”

  1. WOW…I love the first one! Charged with defining poetry for my class tomorrow night…these “prose poems” really gave me something to think about. Poetry’s lure for me is that it is a portal into another human’s being – an intimate moment to touch and feel their world with no filters applied. Almost as if just the right combination of words will fire the same sequence of neurons in my brain as in the author’s and send me to the same place if I just let them flow through me…These poems really feel like that….THANKS!!!

  2. Pam, So glad you connected with these works. They are like exquisite sculptures, delicate and yet built on an armature of strength. And good luck with your class.

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