C.J. Opperthauser

Photograph by Matt Valentine

C.J. Opperthauser co-edits Threadcount, a journal of hybrid prose, and blogs at thicketsandthings.tumblr.com. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Cloud the Shape of Bedroom is his first chapbook.


Praise for cloud the shape of bedroom

C.J. Opperthauser is an inscape painter, looking inward to see outward, outward to see inward, what Rilke's angel might play on a trumpet woven of hyacinth and wire, the letter Emerson might write to the Queen of Hell to plea for the eye bones of the prisoners. The letter says, "What the fuck is a soul, this hole in me, filling and full" and "on the wet side of my eyelids I see the dripping mountains of Atlantis." Opperthauser's world is transforming, becoming and dissolving, entirely subjective, boiling with color. The moment of waking constructs a delightful continent of bees with the mind as epicenter of the trembling, an epic intimacy, the whole universe alert to its breathing. "The wallpaper is a mirror blackened with age; if you can picture this you’re already there." Well, are you there yet? Read this book seven times and call me in the morning.
—Chad Sweeney, author of PARABLE OF HIDE AND SEEK

In C.J. Opperthauser's heady, love-drenched poems, interiority blows up into weather and the beloved is the earth and its atmosphere, roiling, specific, and beautiful. This chapbook's color is silver, its spirit is flesh, and its storm is sonic pleasure.
—Catherine Wagner, author of NERVOUS DEVICE

“The scape in the distance is a magnet," says C.J. Opperthauser's Cloud the Shape of Bedroom. The prose poems of this chapbook face the weather, the shifting texture and space of land. ‘I've lost the ability to control my surroundings.’ Opperthauser wonders what this movement has to do with language, how it infiltrates it. "However many shades of black or crystal." We often feel our landscapes, the weather, our language are not malleable no matter how many times we change them, experience the radical contrary. Cloud the Shape of Bedroom insists on this capability to observe, to alter, to transform, to dream while pushing itself to risk, to push deeper into what's possible when it comes to shaping and exploring the poem. Here: "The most diamond of waves to swallow."
—Carrie Lorig, author of THE PULP VS. THE THRONE


Online Publications

Flood Saucer” in Sugar Mule

Thru the Landscape” in Hot Metal Bridge

Landscape with Waterstain” in Pieces of Cake



Chicago Review of Books: C.J. Opperthauser's Poetry of Place