Hemming Flames by Patricia Colleen Murphy

Patricia (Trish) and I went to Arizona State together for our MFAs.  I'm thrilled that we both had our books published this year.  While I've always liked her work, this is the first time I've read 60+ poems of hers in a row.  And, wow!  Trish is writing about some messed up personal stuff, but doing it with such frankness and craft that there is no sentimentality.  It's just powerful, and startling, and all the things that great poetry can be.  Buy here.


From "Song of a Misanthrope"

Here comes the prance cat wearing / his white fur, bright orange swirls / like a frosty creamsicle.  I will take / him into my arms, lick his creamy / forehead, his zesty stripes.  I will / take one bite, fell the deep / freeze inside him.


From "Where Are You, Gravity?"

In this house we found everything that was lost.  Two necklaces--one jade, one lapis; the land, the water.  Shirt in a drawer for 35 years. This house is a 35-years drawer.


From "Crushings"

From the porch / I watch the truck spasm, // its great flap closing. / I watch the things // I did not want / pressing hard against // all the things / no one else wanted.


From "On Being Born"

My mother took // her birthday and ran. / In the womb she was // some kind of stone. / The only daughter // of an only daughter, / as I am an only daughter. // I have their hips now, / their delicate ankles, // their feet the size of hands. / I am wearing the name // they gave me, / last nesting doll.