Oyster Boy Review 14  
  Winter 2001
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» Levee 67


Evaporate Again by C. A. Conrad

Jeffery Beam

C. A. Conrad joins Garni, Hamilton, and Edson as master practitioners of the self-ennobling fable, but with a mystical sensual-body feel honed from a Queer sensibility. These seventeen minimalist poems pack a big punch:

I introduce the new hair
on my leg
to the rest of itself

we're so much
water we're clouds
when we die

evaporate again elegizes a loved one gone. It curses the cruelty of death and the finality of grief:

you said
hold your
hand out for my
weight tonight for what
falls from me

my hand cupped could
hold what's left of you

Each of these poems brought me to tears. They carry Queer memory of the Plague with a pungency ever more rich than more formalized poems could—for their brevity mirrors the fleeting path of love, of life, and of sorrow:

sun trapped in
watermelon rinds I eat
lights my head at night

The Jargon Society intends to publish a more substantial collection of Conrad poems. Send them a tax-deductible contribution (P. O. Drawer 10, Highlands, North Carolina, 28741). Conrad's a poet to cheer on, cheer with, and catch on.