Iowa Writes

FRANCES CANNON
A Dance for Alchemy


She seeks a simple life: roasted rice tea, flowers
and herbs drying on the windowsill. She is as fragile
as these specimens: thin as leaves of labrador tea,
brittle like dried blossoms of yarrow.

She dances to turn the wood beneath her feet to gold,
the oat grass in her hands to gold, the gaslamp to gold.
She makes her body into wind, to pass between
ghosts of her mother's furniture.
She darts her head left and right,
imitating the young doe she envies.

She makes her body into a knot, then rips
the knot, hurling herself through the ceiling.
Thoughts of middle life swallow her insides, she is hollow
and floats from the breakfast deck into the marsh,
catching Spanish moss on her limbs. In the morning
they find her transformed: the husk of a dried bay nut,
washed up by the new moon tide onto Limantour beach.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


FRANCES CANNON

Frances Cannon hails from the coasts, both East and West.  She juggles too many passions for her own good: bookmaking, printmaking, writing, cooking, the art of the garden, puppetry.  She strives toward a certain aesthetic: a mixture of oddity, adventure, and natural beauty.  She recently self-published a handmade book of silkscreened prints and poems called Image Burn, and is in a constant state of artistic production.  She studied poetry and printmaking at the University of Vermont and is currently pursuing her MFA in nonfiction at the University of Iowa.

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