Paula Cisewski guides us through a landscape that resonates with the fugitive and far-gone, the ghosts of what Whitman calls our “go-befores.” A brother vanishes, and gives rise to a second city of the mind, in which “the dead and the missing” remain citizens, in which Keats’s negative capability is the sheriff in town. Cisewski constructs a swaggering, tender, Carneyesque Fargo of the mind (“Do we love Heaven more than God?”), a place that relentlessly arrests and releases our loved ones. This is a book of poems that fares forever forward, quixotic, in the fullest sense of the word: picaresque, curious, errant, and hilarious. In a midwestern odyssey at once metaphysical and emphatically real, Cisewski confronts (as Nancy Cunard once wrote) “every windmill in a landscape of windmills.”
Paula Cisewski loves language. Language and metaphor in the face of human heartbreak and desire.
While raising her son and earning her BA from St. Catherine’s University and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Paula worked in warehouses, mentored Minneapolis teens in …