Shade of Blue Trees
Author: Kelly Cressio-Moeller
Publisher: Two Sylvias Press (2021)
"The poems of Kelly Cressio-Moeller’s Shade of Blue Trees offer up an intimate surrealism, earth-born, deeply shaded, and tinted the deep blue of solitude, memory, and myth, turning 'yearning’s blue fire / into a dreamscape fugue.' Nowhere is Cressio-Moeller’s virtuosity more apparent than in the sequence of 'panels.' These pieces function as lyric poems, language-paintings, fairy tales, and compressed novels, somehow removed from time, with a lushness that reminds me of Flaubert—without the meanness.
For instance: 'A wall-eyed jay cracks a cherry’s / skull against the cheekbone of dusk,' and 'Cornflower satin, heels on parquetry—she orders / nests for her hair to keep skylarking near, wears the / clouds on her finger to be swallowed in vapor.' There are poems that walk the territory of the actual, from mother-loss, which winters the tips of the speaker’s hair, to embodiment: 'without my cervix I am no less queen / open me, see there’s nothing left to give.' Indeed this collection is evidence of a queendom that has been cultivated via solitude, loss, and time. 'For years,' she writes, 'her poemwork involved dipping arrows / into tinctures of monkshood. Beneath her shawl of / suffering, she yearned only for two gifts: to be seen, to be understood.' With the unveiling of Shade of Blue Trees, those gifts have been delivered."