Rummaging in the Attic

by Constance Stadler 



            … warmth

came the thaw

as it always comes


but through embryonic sight

the death of the icicle

was not mourned


rather, each transmogrifying droplet

was savored in singular rite of passage.

swollen liquefaction.

slow bulbous form, released

burst, leaving  a wake of abundant



and the thing itself,

this shape shift stalactite

of bright dancing water


soft ripples

fading, fading

illumed firm



as all beauty, ephemeral, yet savored

the dénouement is epiphanic


… the heart floods …


I will soon see you, my chimera,

on sparkling, watered



About Rummaging in the Attic

This compilation was written in the months prior to a major life-change. As such, “the theme” is the inner reactions and refractions on what goes through a mind when experiencing shadings of ending and imagined beginnings. Memory and contemplation on the mosaic of being human came to the forefront as readily as a child’s free form association. The reader is welcomed to share this exploration of meaning and reflection in the womb of change.

Constance Stadler

Encomiums for Rummaging in the Attic:

The attic. Repository of memorabilia, joys, sorrows, fears, relics, heirlooms, secrets, truths denied, origins forgotten and the aborted dreams of generations. Pantheon of LATER. Merely opening the door is to risk being swept away. The lure of the attic is undeniable: equal parts romance, apprehension and surrender, it offers promise and peril in one augural exchange of escaping bated breath. Reading Constance Stadler’s spellbinding collection of ‘poems from the attic’ opens a new kind of cognitive door: a transformational revelation that the same void which allows captive ideas and images to escape allows fresh air and light in to reveal a world of buoyant, ebullient healing affirmations. Rummaging in the Attic is a poetic breath of life to fill the sails of the world-weary and spiritually stagnant – a welcome breeze to quell the swelter of the mundane.

Rich Follett, author Silence , Inhabited, co-author (with Constance Stadler) of Responsorials and Featured Artist, Counterexample Poetics.

Constance Stadler is a poet's poet. Rummaging in the Attic had me rummaging through the writer's and my own closets in the dark recesses of internal wounds. And I'm a better man for it...

Nobius Black, editor of Calliope Nerve

This collection is a stained glass soma fountain perfectly remaking itself over and over again. In a lost era of poetry where a collective indolence has led us to a less is more mentality, with its soupçon of imagery and fear of emotional depth; Stadler offers us a viable escape, a prism rather than a prison. And with this sterling invitation comes a new challenging way to freely explore fresh, uncharted realms of light and shadow, impossible to imagine, until now.

William Crawford, author of “Fire in the Marrow” (NeoPoiesis Press, 2010) and recent Pushcart Prize nominee.

Constance Stadler’s latest collection of works is rendered with a silken touch. Her words and thoughts are revealed in a poetic mastery that can only be penned by this magnificent poet. Her articulation of words and verse remind me of an explorer, searching out and finding secret and sacred texts.
She has a way of placing the reader at ease; allowing them to flow through these pages with a calm and serene eye. Each page brings the reader closer to this serenity. Constance is an articulate author with a huge vocabulary, and a well-crafted loved for the art of poetry.
Constance has been writing for many years. The former editor of South and West, she has published over four hundred and fifty pieces of poetry. Her latest two chapbooks have also been recently published, Tinted Stream (Shadow Archer Press) and Sublunary Curse, (Erbacce).

Troubadour21 rates Rummaging in the Attic at 5 stars. We look forward to many more works from this outstanding poet and author, and find it the most sincere privilege to read and review her works.
Constance Stadler is a poet to read daily, for each piece of art that she renders is another gem to be placed into our poetic jewelry boxes. Those of which are of the greatest value.
Rummaging in the Attic is one of those gems. A must read for every poetry connoisseur.

W.B. Burkholder, Content Editor, Troubadour 21

*This review originally appeared at Troubadour 21

Stadler is one of the best living poets today precisely because of her original make-up: her anthropological understanding of the world which enables her to avoid the wishy washy romanticism of much contemporary language; her extraordinary range of linguistic prowess which frequent lunges to the dictionary will only make the reader richer. Structuralism and Psychoanalysis have been taken on board and i almost dare say: intellectually surpassed. Yet the poet is not under any illusions, nor under the influence of some master guru thinker. But in the final analysis, her greatness lies in staying faithful to her nerve ends, to her body, her refined sensibility which may lead her occasionally to deplore her instinctual dislike of her epoch's bad taste. Hence when visiting her attic, up the serpentine stair of her mind, the visitor-reader-poet will oscillate between the poles of intellectual defiance and deep passion, between the unwavering eye of the social scientist and the sea-bound adagio of the violinist, between the deserts of North Africa and Emily Dickinson's garden. Between amiss and bliss, between perish and cherish, Stadler's poems of multiplicity stand proudly under the momentary sign of the rainbow. Nothing stands for long these days. The guillotine of disgust and filth are never far so poets have to provide the tools of resistance within their poems with multiple reading possibilities and escape routes. We are writing in code for an unknown future. Stadler must and should be read now, everywhere as she stands ever proudly within the great heritage of American female voices.

Dom Gabrielli, author, "The Parallel Body" and "Eyes of a Man"

Read a review written by April Michelle Bratten, editor of Up The Staircase, HERE.

Constance Stadler has been writing, publishing, and editing poetry from the ‘prehistoric’ epoch of print journals to modern e-times. She was a former editor of South and West and is currently a contributing editor to several zines. She has published over 1,000 poems and three chapbooks in her ‘first manifestation’ as a poet and has recently released her first two chaps in 20 years, Tinted Steam (Shadow Archer Press) Sublunary Curse (Erbacce) a full manuscript, Paper Cuts (Calliope Nerve Media) and a collaborative work (with Rich Follett),  Responsorials (NeoPoiesis Press).

Her most recent work appears in such 'zines as BlazeVox, ditch, ken*again, Pen Himalaya, Rain Over Bouville, Clockwise Cat, Unlikely Stories 2.0, Hanging Moss, Neonbeam, and Gloom Cupboard. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been ‘Featured Poet’ for the Guild of Outsider Writers, Counterexample Poetics and The Poetry Warrior.

Thank you to Duane Locke, for providing all images within Rummaging in the Attic