Lara Candland

from The Lapidary's Nosegay


Pare this sapphire        (((apple)))

            of s(u)perciliousbl(ue)

& b(o)lts of uns(ew)n watered silk

lodged in          (((Great Aunt’s)))        box of fascicles—

                        & wrapt around garnet br(oo)ches and sleeve buttons

            foreign (((corals)))                   & came(o)s      ((but (((Daisy))) never wears j(ew)els))

(((i)))   conceal                        (((Her)))                       suffering within a stanza’s grey calyx

            or beside a ((h(oo)ting owl))


(((god’s))) pier peeps               (((out int(o) the emerald (o)cean)))

                        that unscr(o)lled wraith of salty br(o)cade

            licks its prodigious will &

horrid tongue               against the       (((Glittering Dowerless Girl)))

                        wh(o)m (((god))) & the ((((o)cean))) had never met



            The Tide/Went past my Simple Sh(oe)—/And past my Apron—and my Belt/ And past my Boddice—

             T(oo)—And made as He would eat me up—/As Wholly as a D(ew).

(((of))) our n(ew) (((pearl)) bodies

            :: afford our waves and their washings

And He [(o)cean]— He foll(o)wed—close behind—/I felt His Silver Heel/Opon my Ancle—Then my Sh(oe)s/Would (o)verfl(o)w with Pearl.



&                     Pauper's slit of silk                  &         g(o)lden thread


            (((She))) wanted (((g(o)ld))) lathings (((She))) got (((dove))) grey gloves




etchings notched in the sparse twig of the insect’s leg—thin enough to thread a pauper’s needle—


            even the tiny gnat—the miniaturest of (((god’s))) (((gems)))


(((a midge’s thimble of beggary)))                  —


—lisped litanies          & lists drowned by th(o)se sharp (((diamond))) tongues wh(o)


                         silenced (((Daisy))) in a cedar chest


                        the cillium in your left ((ear)) felt her breath m(o)ve their fringes



then:  daff(o)dil                       swerveless before all creatures &


            your blistering— j(o)b’s costly             (((r(u)by)))                  carbuncles


& b(oo)tless cries—


tossing yell(ow) gems from (((Her))) sores—


            int(o) the vexed and twining wind—



the (((P(o)et’s))) zephyr angry that her (((j(ew)el)))—

encrusted harp cannot be heard even with


            the perf(u)med gale of (((His))) magnificent (((floral breath)))



(((Our Neglected Lady)))       


            (((Her))) wizardry & bright declaimings         


outvisioning & outranking cr(u)cifixal rank



maddest (((diamond))) scratchings on vellum,             declaimings,                 lathings—

            the antel(o)pe's quick wizardry

(((The Antel(o)pe P(o)et         ::

            (((She))) runs   but she cannot jump the (((Pearly fence)))      & needs (((god)))

 to lift (((Her))) (o)ver           the gate

                                    against the etchings of             (((Her))) (((diamond)))-tongued predator)))

her (((onyx))) alphabet is engraven & (((parceled))) in yell(ow) t(u)lle—

your ((prayer)) a cedar chest of p(o)ems ajar—

& bulbs dropped

into l(oa)my furrows t(oo) early in spring—



 . (((o)))           ringing in my b(o)nes .

            unlest lighted wind(ow)s

—(((shon))) from every evening—




suddenly unbraided stretch of agate r(oa)d      (o)ver machine-stitched bl(u)e felt hills—

even minor (((stars))) adequate ((swinging their cups of (((chrysolite))) goblet))

                & sn(ow)flaked diamonds—

the chill r(oa)ms beside me      glad for (((god’s))) infinity       as it ever were (& and &)

                        & (((Daisy’s Gh(o)st))) is here



Peeps onto that sleeping          (((egg)))           ((()))                (((Our Lady’s virgin (((pearl))))))

            eclipses ((my)) frittered day

the ditties                    &

the crumbs                   &         the toddled hours       

            (((((Daisy’s))) days turn to t(o)paz like a lady’s pin))  

& my tiresome (((r(u)by heart))) that (((She))) sc(oo)ped into her (((pearl basket)))

            sc(oo)ping herbarium’s an(o)dyne

ont(o) my parched tongue                               (((&)))




sleep    &         (((c(oo))))  like (((Daisy’s D(o)ve))

            t(o) w(oo) 

& sleep            &

&         (((molten)))     ((((                                           ))))

m(oo)n (((watching)))




            (((o!)))             (((opulent)))    (((Queen of Heaven)))


                        ((while we play at paste                       till qualified for (((pearl)))))


—& gossamer—


…stilly starry…


                        showers of (((pearls)))             ::::::::::::::




int(o )              jumbled gushing                       midnight





            ::::::::                ::::::::                ::::::::

Lara Candland’s work has appeared in Fence, The Colorado Review, The Crab Creek Review, The Likewise Folio, Barrow Street, and many other journals. Candland is a poet and performer, as well as co–founder and chief librettist for the Seattle Experimental Opera. Her book Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree was published by BlazeVox Books, and her performance with Lalage—poetry, voice, and live electronic looping and manipulations, appears on the CD Lalage: Live on Sonarchy. Her operas Liquid Girls and The Archivist are available from Tantara and Un–labelled Records. Her opera Sunset with Pink Pastoral was a finalist in the Genesis Prizes for New Opera and was presented at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, as well as in Seattle, Vancouver, and Salt Lake City. Candland's next book, The Lapidary's Nosegay, is forthcoming from the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University in early 2018.