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Three poems by Cameron Morse


from stylus

writing utensil 

once applied to wax 

tablet incises

its blunt end rubs out

an endless erasure


Gary Snyder:

the human psyche remains at best a kind of Paleolithic thing


Electric fish jam each other’s 

signals, mating calls 

sing electric 


When Dylan goes electric

the guitar vibrates

a frequency

of sex


The forensic scientist can’t quite make out 

the letter tops of TATTLER

Will Graham’s home address


The foot soles of elephants 

say hello in another 

sensory domain


Other vocabs from Brett 

Ratner’s Red


sundowner, chinwag, gumshoe


We cross the tracks 

reminded of the cross

shale sliding us down 

into the understory

of rusty thorns


a quantity possessing both

direction and magnitude

represented by an arrow

by a sere vine in sunlight


the shattered green

pieces of a toy 

assault rifle



Dog collars tinkle 

in the blinding 

light paw 

prints in the sidewalk

wet cement down

to the toenails

clickety-clack, moveable type


Woodsy interstice

train tracks

between the back 

yards where

Theo forages a rail 

road spike

a strikethrough



Every time we pass, 

the same white cotton yellow 

grass bird’s nest

Theo collects another plastic shard

of the pellet gun

as if gluing it back at home 

resurrecting the original


Magnetic Moments

The Survivor Tree holds the sheet

on Enforceable Statements

to the refrigerator door

I’ll be glad to discuss this 

with you as soon as

the arguing stops 



Leaky pineapple blood

vessels and hell

I’d settle for a cup 

of salami and cheese

cubes from the hospital cafeteria



New growth not 

encased runs 

too deep for full

removal, 16 yo son

my baby but forceful

adult enough

to make some decisions


Surviving a downfall 

of volcanic debris

the tree transported 

back to 9/11


Bad enough 

to have to watch

rhinoceros beetles 

wrestle for mating rights

from a movie studio 

in the Cotswolds


The inverted tree stands upside

down in a field 

of magnets

This occurs to me too

late to make a 


Cameron Morse lives with his wife Lili and two children in Independence, Missouri. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is Far Other (Woodley Press, 2020). He holds and MFA from the University of Kansas City—Missouri and serves as Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and Poetry editor at Harbor Editions. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.    

Three poems by Cameron Morse
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