Lesson from Trees


an enemy land its a common thing for stars to

form a cross over our dead faces.

from INRI by Raul Zurita, translated by William Rowe

They let each other just be, peacefully bound

by root, by bark.  We—not being


trees—take all things of green

signifying the glitter of gold from each


other.  The only shade of green left is

envy—an emotion


which always has negative consequences

to personal well-being.  Every single thing suffers


for it.  This large village off Misery Bay has

forgotten what a village is.  We let


words denoting its place on a map define

everything it means to people


without trees.  This is a place where the sunsets

could never be done justice:


the nightly ceremony of a glowing red

reflection, bleeding


into the sky.  The hot glowing ball of our

celestial star hides,


so other stars form patterns

over the sounds of gun shots.

Tracie Morell


Amanda Gowin’s interview with me.

Originally posted on Curiouser and Curiouser:


Curiouser and Curiouser: My notes say “boobs” but I know that’s my way of reminding myself to ask about your tattoos…

Tracie Morell: Everyone asks me about my boobs. They are quite lovely and purposeful. I did nurse my children and would whip out a tit anywhere when my little ones were hungry. But I think you aren’t asking about my mammary glands function. The tattoos have a beautiful story, not as beautiful as breast feeding, but close.

Across my chest are two lotus flowers and a Chinese ideogram for “courage.” The ideogram came first and years later I had the lotuses etched into my skin on both sides of the ideogram. When my oldest son was just a little baby (he’s 18 now), I went to Florida to stay with family for a while after a nasty and abusive breakup with the baby daddy. There was this amusement…

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Everything in Five Minutes


A new poetry blog. I am grateful to be included.

Originally posted on THANK YOU FOR SWALLOWING:

He says, Everything. After she asks,
What’d ya want? Confused, she just leans over

giving him a better angle. A good angle can mean
everything. There are a few things

Chica knows: what men see in her is not one of them.
What does he mean everything? She grabs the sides of the grimy,

greasy locker-room bench which was once light oak, but now
is stained a dull grey from motor grease to give herself

some leverage. With each thrust she squeezes her eyelids
tighter to clear the mind so she can concentrate

on cumming. Each thought moves like a haunting. Ghosts
from the past appear showing that secret friendship

between the small girl she was who loved
playing on swings at the playground and that man

who showed her what little death means, before she grasped
the word sex. Behind her closed eyes she sees herself

waiting all day…

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Tracie Morell and Claudia Rankine: Better Than Beach Books


A wonderful review!

Originally posted on Five Writers:

*Contributor’s Note: To all, my apologies. I allowed my emotions to get the better of me the other day and I dashed off something political–my Charleston post–in place of this one. Here is what was supposed to be my regularly-scheduled post for this month. Sorry again for the soapbox moment…

by Ron Hayes

Almost a lifetime ago I worked at a small independent bookstore here in my hamlet of a hometown called Erie, PA. It was a great gig. I miss it. One of the fun things about working there was having some say in the displays we’d put together when the time of year called for a change, and I remember the first “Summer Reading” display I set up in the Used Book section, where I spent most of my time. The owner had a problem with it. Where she was thinking Harlequin Romance and mass-market paperbacks, my display featured folks…

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My book is finally released!

Thank you to all of my loyal readers.  I want to let you all know that I have a new book that was just released yesterday and is available for purchase.  Here is the link if you are interested in purchasing the book:


Fundamental Manifestation of Something Called the Self

for Margo

Each one of us, you even and me
too, we are our own

topographical map of emotional
landscapes: the memories of flesh and bone

existing in the rolling emerald fields of feeling. We are
refractions of moonlight reflecting who we really are. Our voices,

stretch out to call, and sometimes even
to scream or weep,
~          ~        ~      at the waxing

shape which fades into itself in lunar cycles. Daily ritual
sometimes becomes smudges on the stage

acting as the world would. The movement of fingertips
gliding along the delicate surface of paper is the record

keeping of an unseen interior space beyond bones ascending
to descend in a single respiration.

The Dark Dancer in Shadows is Called Lizzie this Time

for Margo and of course Shawn

Love can be tuned to a frequency of sound,

a rhythm measured in Meters,

in Hertz.  I just have a different vocabulary

from yours, but my tones are honest,

they are genuine.  Sometimes me getting lost

in myself: that infinite fiction growing up

like walls around me.  Inventing question after question

because she forgot how to listen to now, in a silence

speaking no sounds within the head.


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