Gravitational Tug / Susan Kelly-DeWitt


Gravitational Tug

poems by

Susan Kelly-DeWitt

ISBN: 978-1-59948-817-2, 84 pages, $14 (+ shipping)

Release Date: September 15, 2020


Susan Kelly-DeWitt is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and the author of Spider Season (Cold River Press, 2016), The Fortunate Islands (Marick Press, 2008) and nine previous collections. Her work also appears in many anthologies, and in print and online journals at home and abroad. She has been a reviewer for Library Journal, editor of the online journal Perihelion, Program Director for the Sacramento Poetry Center and the Women’s Wisdom Arts Program, a Poet in the Schools and in the Prisons, a blogger for Coal Hill Review, and an instructor for UC Davis Continuing Education. She is currently a member of the National Book Critics Circle, the Northern California Book Reviewers Association and a contributing editor for Poetry Flash.

Susan Kelly-DeWitt is a poet who finds the marvelous in the everyday, who finds in our silent moments a music, who finds wisdom in our fears and passions, and teaches us to slow down and see ourselves in ourselves. I love her work. ~Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa


In Gravitational Tug Susan Kelly DeWitt gives us fifty-one exquisitely crafted, lyrical poems which are part Buddhist, part Pagan, and part Christian, yet which reach beyond conventional religious categories to create a living Nature that stares back at us as we look at it. There is nothing sentimental in this collection, no wasted words, no excess. These poems move quickly, escaping the tug of gravity like a sudden flight of birds. ~Mary Mackey, author of The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, winner of the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for best book published by a small press

Ode to Brother Roach


Little polished rump
of mud, your wings are
useless as the old

All night the rain
pelts down on
your fumy house.

You are the garbage
heap’s midnight eye,
all dark oil.

You are the dirty jewel,
the cursed black pearl
hidden in the opalescent
walls of morning.

Slippery brother!
You are the secret bead
in the rosary of reviled



July Sunset


Here I am. I’ve been retooled.
My leather’s hammered on the inside

to look like stardust, jewels
or firechips strayed

from a metalsmith’s ignited hand.
Outside I’m cool and smooth,

sopped in light, propped here
in the glare before dark.

My father’s gone
under yesterday’s rain.

My mother is climbing her frayed
rope to the Milky Way.

She’s hoisting her sails
for the dry-eyed galaxies.





My geography is spread open before you—
the map of stones, the gutted hills.

Don’t call me flood of moonlight or great calm pasture.
I am the train that rattles your windows all night—

the crowded tunnel leading to the empty
passageway; the black labyrinth of forgetting.

I am not a bouquet of white lilies today, or a vase of Polar Star
roses. No. I am the coldest morning—the longest, frostiest

night in Hell. I am an old flag today, faded glories.
Call me Mr. President, or Inmate Number 999.

I weigh like evidence—
the nuclear warhead praying ardently for peace,

the cooling towers, the toxic dump site.
An omen, a warning, a sign.

A river rising silently, nervous tongue of water.
Don’t label me an amateur naturalist of suffering.

I am the round seed of mystery with murder at its center,
the House of Convicted Laments.


SKU: 978-1-59948-817-2 Categories: , Tag: