Monday, November 9, 2020

new from above/ground press: a moment in flight: essay on melancholy, by Kristjana Gunnars

a moment in flight
essay on melancholy
Kristjana Gunnars

In the garden there is a bower for melancholy, a hidden garden where I can stay with sadness. Wisteria hangs overhead, lilacs emit their scent and birds wing past at extraordinary speed.

There are fragments of eternity in all passing things.

Saturn is still in the universe with all its moons, Artemis, goddess of the forest, still has green thoughts in a green space.

Tall pines lean slightly in the grey mist of distance, branches tangle with branches against a backdrop of haze, water, sky, overhanging rock.  

I now think love is a story that has failure in it, complexity, something foreign—a story I tell myself when I am at a loss for words.

When the smooth surface of sentiment cracks, love itself enters, through small openings that formed when things broke down into parts until I no longer recognize myself.  He says love took you away from your plans—you lost more than you can bring back.

That is the time you need to be willing to go under.

What you expect to happen is not what will happen. If you need to withdraw, he says, love is telling you, withdraw—

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
as the fifth title in above/ground’s prose/naut imprint
November 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Kristana Gunnars
is a B.C. based writer and painter, author of several books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. She was formerly Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Alberta and is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland. Her last chapbook of poems was At Home in the Mountains from Junction Press, Ontario, 2018, and her last poetry chapbook with above/ground was Snake Charmers, 2016. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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