The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: G.L. Morrison’s “Chiaroscuro Kisses”

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Love’s Perspective (We Are Like Bugs)

We are like bugs who live only a season.
This grass which has been green my whole life
will stay green. Green is all grass is.
The tree must be older than the dirt
which is forever kicked this way
and that; even beetles track or burrow,
push the dirt along.
The tree is a monument to its own immutability.
What could move it?

Stars are young as bottleflies.
They go out every time I close my eyes.
They were born with and will die with me.
Who’s to say they won’t?
You have to take their textbook word that
mountains remember a million years.
I’ve only known them for thirty.
Although Grandma’s always known them,
and she’s almost a million years old,
she’s been wrong about so many things before.

What does it mean to say forever?
How long will I love you?
I am barely old enough to understand
the movement of trees.
If I could I would measure you
out behind me; let’s not count by the days
that have yet to come.
I would love you a whole day in kindergarten.
I remember how long that was.


This selection comes from G.L. Morrison’s collection Chiaroscuro Kisses, available from Headmistress Press. Purchase your copy here!

Born in Utah in 1966, G.L. Morrison was wet-nursed by Poetry whose savage, urgent milk has sustained her all these years. An oracle of knives and wings; an acolyte of reckless gods; channeled by a disabled poet in the Northwest: she is an intersectional feminist who moonlights as a sporadic blogger/writing teacher/freelancer, Oregon Chair of the Communist Party USA, and overzealous grandmother. Over the last 30 years, she has feathered her nest with the contributor copies of hundreds of magazines, a dozen anthologies, and a fistful of writing awards. She has been noted in Ms. and twice interviewed in Mother Jones. Her nonfiction writing stands at the crossroads of racial/economic justice, LGBT issues, and body-politics/fat-activism. Regie Cabico pronounced Chiaroscuro Kisses (Headmistress Press, 2013) “one of the most inspiring collections of poetry I’ve seen in the last decade.”

Mari Hailu is a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University where she simultaneously received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. As a Managing Editor of The Wardrobe, a blog series affiliated with Sundress Publications, she finds fellow poets to read and learn from. She hopes to have the opportunity to share her writing with the world very soon.

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