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Anabelle Clippinger
Cloud Banner

83 pages
ISBN 1-893541-44-4


Cloud Banner unfurls with stunning beauty. Annabelle Clippinger's poems
illuminate the radiant space of the reader's encounter with them. She
embraces being through language on the path we all take towards "death's
syllables and finds the crucial word to be "abound." Her poems startle with
a profusion of the senses and precision of inquiry. They are word banners
unfolding and streaming through language, making themselves within and
from it as clouds are also made within and from elements of the atmosphere, "arching / and breaking form"..."arranging an idea so intently that the hand moves to touch it"; all of this she passes on to intimate others, including the reader. The various parts of the suite are often composed from collaborations with other artists, but also comprise Clippinger's collaboration with her experience of family, children, her own gaze into mind and world because nothing is separate and all must be named. If so, she asks, what is real? A mind hidden in a tree, lies that may be beautiful, the scrubbing of bones, the way the mind interposes the immensity of the ocean as a kind of ink, then is amazed by the sight of gold flecks in hair? Those who talk of "clinging to detrius and flair" impart a false existence. "We create ourselves through memory / The self goes nowhere, as in death." All is passing as we reach for each other and these poems find us.

--Heather Thomas

Cloud Banner is a stratospheric display, a string of prayer flags "flashed in
wind." The transience that moves through Annabelle Clippinger's collection
is not a contemplative cool but a phosphoresence of loss, difficulty, slippage, and drifitng consciousness. Less a series of meditations, Cloud Banner proposes a thoughtful struggle that nearly always resists the perfect future.

--Peter O'Leary