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August 2016
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Poem of the Week: “Midnight Office” by Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz


“I’ve been thinking more about the brokenness of the world, and also that a poem is a way of putting the brokenness together in a new way,” Cynthia Cruz said about her poem “Midnight Office.” The poem marks a shift in her work, moving from a style that is very “athletic, very chiseled, there are these perfect lines,” to one that consists of “fragments, but not fragments for the sake of fragments.” Hear Cruz read and discuss “Midnight Office” in the latest episode of PoetryNow below.


Midnight Office

The child is not dead.
She is sleeping.

Gone from this world
Which is broken.

The angel of Michael
Outside the garden
His circle of fire
Maddening around the tree.

He put the word
Back into her:
A heavy kind of music.

Then she was free.
As we all are.

All night I stood in the icy wind,
Praying for the storm to destroy me.

But the wind blew through me
Like I was a hologram.

If you say I am a mystic,
Then fine: I’m a mystic.
The trees are not trees, anyway.

Source: Poetry (October 2015)


American poet Cynthia Cruz is the author of Wunderkammer(Four Way Books, 2014), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012), and Ruin (Alice James, 2006).She has published poems in numerous literary journals and magazines including the New Yorker,Kenyon Review, the Paris Review, and the Boston Review, and in anthologies including Isn’t it Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger Poets (2004), and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (2004). She is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and a Hodder fellowship from Princeton University.

Cruz teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She has previously taught at the Juilliard School, Fordham University, the Rutgers-Newark MFA Program and Eugene Lang College. Born in Germany, Cruz grew up in northern California, where she earned her BA at Mills College, her MFA in Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and her MFA in Art Writing & Criticism at the School of Visual Arts. She and has published essays, interviews, book and art reviews in the LA Review of BooksHyperallergicGuernica,The American Poetry Review, and The Rumpus. She lives in Brooklyn.



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