Cloud Cantata

Cloud Cantata

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Author: Carla Harryman

Publisher: Pamenar Press (2022)

Carla Harryman’s canny Cloud Cantata puts before us a set of inexhaustible, unhurried conversational moments into which diverse quotidian and increasingly pressing topics arrive. Perhaps the moments are sequential—it seems to be morning, though “morning” here is a relative term. Breakfast seems variously either underway, in preparation, or just finished, and repeatedly one or the other of the conversants mentions something about a dream of the night before. And, too, the phrase “January to September 2021” appears on the title page. Or perhaps, as I prefer to think, they are vivid alternative versions of a long, multifaceted moment of emergent dialogue, each iteration of which refuses to be hastened to some end. It is morning, after all; incipience is in the air. And for that moment—for the sake of that moment—it is possible to greet the world, even in the throes of its tragedies. Cloud Cantata enacts that possibility, summoning onto the scene bravery and play. It’s magnificent.

–Lyn Hejinian