Poems that journey through a tapestry of myths, archetypes and fables; of histories invented and revisited.
Kate Cayley’s is a mind both studious and curious, deeply attuned to the question “what if?” What if Nick Drake and Emily Dickinson met in the afterlife? What if a respected physician suddenly shrank to the size of a pea? What if the blind twins in a Victorian photograph could speak to us? What if we found another Earth orbiting another sun?
Cayley draws on her experience as a playwright to create vividly engaging voices and characters ranging from the famous to the infamous to the all-but-anonymous. With exquisite pacing and striking imagery she draws us into the gaps in history, invites us to survey its wonders, both real and imaginary.
Be the horse. Be patient and simple, blind
to anything beyond this moment, step out
on trembling legs toward the lake, knowing that
there is something behind this, something
that sustains, propels, repeats.
(from “The White Horse Divers, Lake Ontario, 1908”)
“Skillfully deploying a diction both lithe and lapidary, Kate Cayley’s first collection regales the reader with conjurations of psyches diverse as those of Judas Iscariot and Simone Weil, Daguerreotype cameos and cautionary tales, apocalyptic stories and feminist fables – all brimming with revelations and wonder.” —Ruth Roach Pierson