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Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz was born on a US Air Force Base in Germany and grew up in Northern California. She received a BA from Mills College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Cruz is the author of How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016), Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012), and Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006).

Brenda Shaughnessy writes, “Cruz exposes that glorious hell that is having a history, having a body, remembering everything and trying to make something good of it.”

The recipient of a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in German at Rutgers University. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York. 


Bibliography

How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016)
Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014)
The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012)
Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006)

By This Poet

4

Final Performance

I crawl along the wet floor
Of my mother's childhood,

A serpent, or a long-buried secret,
In my mother's bisque
Chiffon gown with small stars

Stitched in silver, a crown
Of tinsel pinned into the dark
Blonde knots and dreads of my hair.

I follow a sequin thread of dead
Things, stop when the moon clocks out,
Polish my long nails in the sun.

Hotel Berlin

In the rooms of a rundown palace
You said, Ruined. You said, Princess.

You said nothing to me
For three long weeks.

The color of that room
Is eel-black.

When I was a girl and still
German, I stood alone

At the end of the sea.
You may have loved me then

I sent a message through the cages
Of a great whale’s teeth.

For three weeks, I did not sleep.
I set jars of sweet milk and baskets

Of bright berries and red
Marmalade outside your door

In the dream
Where you come to me

I kiss your mouth
Tasting the secret

Letters of your history.
I swear

Somewhere in Siberia
A godly ocean of bison

Still roam free.
You, kneeling before me,

In this,
The last and final room.

Guidebooks for the Dead

Mother’s crimson leather bags
Crammed with saint cards
And tiny glass bottles of liquor.

The bright stitch
Of God’s final coming.

Dirt and dregs, silt and stars.

The sweet song
Of poverty

Rinsing through me
Like the memory
Of a dream.