For this interview, I re-read your “Lines of Flight” (Able Muse Press) and found tears rolling down my cheeks for the sheer beauty of thought and craftsmanship. I admire your ability to create memorable poems—lines that rise in my mind unexpectedly. “Drought,” “Lost and Found,” “Eleven” seem to me to…
Michael, in the foreword of your most recent collection Life in the Second Circle (Able Muse Press), Deborah Warren who, like you, is a top-flight formalist poet, has written:
Michael Cantor uses words to paint and sculpt the world—which I don’t say as an afterthought, since verbal wit is Cantor’s…
purling pouring and we
stopped mid-sentence, one and all, to
Sharp as a trumpet blast,
the April sun
jump-starts the wintry men
to bleary, twitchy motion.
Awkwardly they follow
their sallow, long-nailed fingers
out into the open air,
walk meticulously around the block
as if rehearsing a newly-written play,
Calm yourself, my child, it is gone.
What you see are the remains: the woodland, the smoke, the retreating flames.
Somewhere, perhaps, in a far-away country
the sky is bluer and roses cling to a stone wall,
perhaps there are palm trees and a milder wind—