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Michael Magee

Michael Magee

Michael Magee’s plays and poetry have been produced and published in the U.S., England, and Greece. His chapbooks include: Ireland’s Eye, A Trip to Jerusalem, and the recently published Dementia: Love is a Blur and Vanishing Points (Beaux Arts Press, 2017). His play Shank’s Mare was produced at Northwest Actor’s Studio and later became a movie which won a best actor award at the Bare Bones, Script to Screen Film Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A Night in Reading Gaol With Oscar Wilde was produced here and in Derby, England. He was co-editor of 2020 Tacoma: In Images and Verse and is editor and publisher of Beaux Arts Press. Recent work has been published in Cirque and Journal of Wild Culture.

He has lived in Seattle, San Francisco, London, Nottingham, England and now lives in Tacoma, Washington. These poems are a culmination of work dating back to the 1970’s when he was a student of David Wagoner and Bill Matchett at the University of Washington. He has written scripts for radio and dance, won first prize in the Dancing Poetry Contest in San Francisco and second prize in KindofaHurricainePress’ Editor’s Choice Awards. Michael has read at Shakespeare and Company, Paris and on BBC Radio 1, as well as being a participant in the Jack Straw Writer’s Program for radio in Seattle. He wrote several songs for the CD Vaudeville. He has been an Artist-in-the-Schools in Washington, Seattle Artist-in-Residence with the Seattle Arts Commission and Arts and Aging Team.

Terra Firma How We Move Toward Light Cinders of My Better Angels

Link to Michael's poem " Odysseus in the Land of Lettuce Eaters" on The Writer's Alamanac

"Out of Season" from Terra Firma: Sacred Ground was featured on Verse Daily.

Michael reading from Terra Firma: Sacred Ground

also featuring Glenna Cook

Review of Terra Firma: Sacred Ground by Barbara Lloyd McMichael, the Bookmonger.

Terra Firma: $20.00

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How We Move Toward Light: $15.00

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Cinders of My Better Angels: $10.00

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Poem from Terra Firma


You will see people at a distance
but no one will answer your prayers,
you rest at the Door of the Dolphins
on the steps of the cathedral,
wind moaning some old lullaby.
Your mind is your temple.

It keeps saying, “Don’t make waves.”
Only the ghost of the carthorse
making its rounds, an empty dungeon
echoes of plague and inquisition.
Where the moon guides your path,
love has no word for death.

Poem from How We Move Toward Light

Chagall Dreams

He is carrying his beloved Bella
above the village green, tilting
her sideways like the prow of a ship,
while he paints with the hooves
of a cow. Using the chimney steeple
as his nib, he writes down the hour.

A fish with wings flies by,
violins play with their own bows,
a pendulum clock is swinging above
the sun with the aura of a candle.
O, if you could hold it, encircling it all;
it’s a world you could put your arms around.

A gouache of never-ending sky,
sea urchins in trills, rising into the ether
where women grow like Russian nesting dolls
and roosters crow to their glowing wives,
while everyone sings to the windmill of nature
in notes only a poet or a lover could decipher.

Poem from Cinders of My Better Angels


Today in the waiting room, a photo:
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers hoofing it
his knee bent impossibly back
at a 90 degree angle, she covering him
with a billowing starfish dress.

What angle will I take?
Prone to the world in my hospital
dressing gown, open at the back
while they explore my colon for tumors
Cyndi Lauper’s singing “True Colors.”

In the lobby, they even have a small
screening room—here I imagine re-runs
when I look at the dailies it’s not pretty.
I could use a top hat, walking stick
kicking up my patent leather shoes.

I trip the light fantastic while the camera
tracks me up the derrière, a dazzling
view in full-tinted grainy color stills
spectacular as Venus setting though
I could use another ending.
Michael Magee at Kings Books

Cinders of My Better Angels book launch at Kings Books in Tacoma, WA on May 7, 2011.