What Holds Her / d. ellis phelps


In stock

what holds her

poems by

d. ellis phelps

ISBN: 978-1-59948-774-8, 80 pages, $14 (+ shipping)

Release Date: November 19, 2019


d. ellis phelps’ work appears recently or is forthcoming in Texas Poetry Calendar2020; The Amethyst Review; The Enchantment of the Ordinary; The Larger Geometry; Poets & Dreamers; & Voices de La Luna. She is the author of what holds her, Making Room for George, a novel and of the blog formidableWoman. She was managing editor for the anthologies The Larger Geometry (2018) and Texas Hills: an anthology of place (2019).

She knows the slenderest of words, lines, contain song, they hold it. In her buoyant, graceful what holds her d. ellis phelps brings a measured, breath-bound, eye-paced voice that resonates. This book is filled with quicksilver moments and lasting revelations. When phelps surprises with an exclamation point, “put your ear to the earth! / even breath / is an echo” we are in Rumi’s wonder and regard, held in the hands of an ecstatic. ~Jim LaVilla-Havelin


D Ellis Phelps’ voice is quiet, but strong—haunting and near-haunted, yet peaceful in her knowing; a great Sufi sensibility guides these pieces, these word-songs, steeped in praise and the keen observation. Phelps is open to what unfolds in her world, as it unfolds—and wisdoms surface in these unfoldings. Here, she nurses the elucidations as they rise out of years of till-now-tucked-away-stories and life-learning. These poems float somewhere between dreams—and prayer. ~Marian Haddad

this poem

is plenty

my camel cannot
carry more—

oil glistens on wood
be content       with that


what if judgment comes
& i have not

the kiss of wings—

the way sage forgives

have we hidden salvation
under     the fig leaves

every      body


maybe    the truth—
is buoyed

& all this
water     is a sign


has anyone seen the dove

take down these fences
surely          we can

share           this bread










mumbling love
what        if this

is true:

(smaller than that)

in between

what cannot be seen





what is this:


hard betrayal

—a kiss demanding



shave your heads

do not look back
or count

the days

between repulsion
and compassion

what you dream
cannot hurt you



my throat opens


flies out
—noise       splitting the sky

my feet       are homeless strangers

thoughts stacked
in sharp corners

what is this fullness
but the bird of desire


the thud
of understanding

most of us      are married
too soon         and die


we are born

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