Check out One!

I’m honored to have my poem on my intergalactic imaginary godmother in the new publication, One. Here tis!

Sunday Night. Learned “Dark Family Secret.”

Now I know. My godmother is a rogue planet.
You want proof? Her gravitational pull
made me type “rouge planet” (she pretends
to be French.) She visits irregularly, moonless

nights only. She brings bonbons and bon mots.
She has no ball, no chain, no light, no anchor.
She revolts against the fact of revolution itself,
roams on an elongated, hard-to-track course,

pulling dark bodies toward her at their peril.
So few of our circle have ever seen her, ever
known her nicotine kiss, her gifts of glowing
stones, her heady confidings that we form,

indisputably, the universe’s true center. But
when we call her we go straight to voicemail.
Men fly to her for affairs that must never (so
always) be unearthed. Throbbing red, she can

magnify the brightness of any body she glides
in front of, a feat known as microlensing. No sun,
no weather, her temperature stays uniform by inner
volcanoes, by waters thick with never-discovered life.

For each Milky Way star, we can expect to count
one hundred thousand such orphaned nomads,
her sisters, rounded by their own gravity, spinning,
self-contained, confiding, adoring, free. I just wish

she would have children – I would love god-cousins,
naked skydivers saying “hold my beer and watch this,”
formed by collisions with the cardinal-numbered rocks
we’ve found, these earliest seconds of our looking up.

Tina Kelley’s second collection of poetry, Precise, was published in 2013 by Word Press, which also published The Gospel of Galore, a 2003 Washington State Book Award winner. She co-authored Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, (2012) a national bestseller, and won the 2014 New Jersey Poets Prize.

Beloit Poetry Journal Poems

This weekend I read through the entire new issue of Beloit Poetry Journal, and really really enjoyed it. It was the kind of poetry that primed the pump and made me sprout ideas for future poems, and I’m grateful to the editors for 1) having published some of my poems in the past and 2) making them available online, as I discovered recently.

I don’t know what year these were published, as I can’t tell from the site. Here’s the link, and here are the titles:

“Looking Only for ‘Yes” (based on trying to pick up some of the Thai language while in Thailand)
“From The New York Times” (a found poem) and
“The Pornography of Recent Times” (trying to fit bad environmental news in my head, way before bad environmental news became commonplace.)

Hope you enjoy them!


Here’s where you can buy an autographed, inscribed copy of my second book, out recently from Word Press in Cincinnati. $19 plus $3 shipping. Drop me an email if you want it inscribed to anyone, and/or if you’d like to buy The Gospel of Galore, for $16 plus $3 shipping. Free shipping if you purchase more than one book. Thanks!

precise cover





Hum In Me, Muse. No Words, Just Thousands of Arpeggios

Grateful to Disquieting Muses Quarterly Review for publishing this in their summer issue, here!

Hum In Me, Muse. No Words, Just Thousands of Arpeggios

The butterfly book has escaped from the air, doused itself in magnifying brine.
All the pebbles from all the kaleidoscopes in North America are here, darting

between ads for every resort, each kite of each kid in China, spun down the drain.
Pennants and banners, gardens, insignia, the open-air fruit markets in all five boroughs,

the flower shops of Thailand, each pot of clown paint in Europe, every diamond facet.
Wrasses and tangs, threadfins and triggerfish, Picasso, Gaugin, Parrish, and Porter,

humuhumunukunukuapua’a, the fancy-butted eater fish, the rock-hiding daisy fish,
the turtle whose fins hosanna, the octopus turning into a living rock, godbeams, lolling

of surface, drum of my breathing, slap of a wave. Try to paint or photograph an opal.
Iridescence eludes film, can be seen only while floating, not moving, breathing, above.

Grateful to the Journal of New Jersey Poets

I’m so honored to have won the New Jersey Poets Prize from the Journal of New Jersey Poets, which I received this spring at the County College of Morris. Here’s the news story about it. I was glad mom could accompany me, and was glad to see poetry friends from near and far. Thank you!

The Novice Insomniac, to the Crescent Moon

I am honored that this poem appeared in the beautiful inaugural issue of One today. The poem is pretty recent, and is part of my third ms., which is “currently seeking a publisher.” It’s a stack of papers with no eyes. It can’t seek anything. “Currently deserving a publisher”? I’ll settle for “doing the rounds.”

The Novice Insomniac, to the Crescent Moon

No more four inside-out mouths, inconsolable.
They’ve stopped, so I start my coronation anthem
to the future, wedding song for moon and earth shadow,
slimmest sky claw, lid of tight sleeper, more regal

than dawn. The others splay their riffs over sunrise
with that smug pride of early risers, excited by a mere day.
My eyelash, egg-crack, heralds a month, must be coaxed in
with vigor, over pornographic peonies, over other proofs

that the known is never flat, but shaped like song
spreading in resonant dusk, as we, the musically insane,
scribble our songs over the yard. So future, come quick,
come quick. Bring warm branches, shifting swarms,

sturdy fledglings, soft landings, rain, soaring. I sing
until I sleep mid-note, no reason to pause ever, forever.

Fifteen Ways of Looking at a Conference


I went running beforehand, just at dawn,

heard a varied thrush, down from the mountains.

And I could’ve gone home happy then.



I wore my most fabulous garment, a coat,

even when I was indoors. Because every writer

needs a security blanket. And every other writer

needs a companion dog. But I get that.

It is hard to be with twelve thousand people

who all want the two tablespoons of fame

available in our measly genre. Very hard.



I have never heard of anybody. Or met anybody. Or read anybody.

I have never done anything with trochees.

Is it too late? I write down quotes.

  Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers