Jason Morphew

Jason Morphew started life in a mobile home in Pike County, Arkansas; at UCLA he’s completing his Ph.D dissertation, “Hamlet‘s Petrarchism.”  He’s published the poetry collection In Order to Commit Suicide, he’s been interviewed about it in Quarterly West, and he read alongside Claudia Rankine and Afaa Michael Weaver at the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award ceremony.  His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gigantic, Foothill, Anamesa, Juxtaprose, Storm Cellar, Third Wednesday, and Juked; he’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  As a singer-songwriter he’s released albums on the labels Brassland, Ba Da Bing!, Max, and Unread.

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How to Write a Poet’s Bio

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Love a genre

lyric a throne of leaves

narrative a noose

a bio’s not a poem.

Write that down.  Most things aren’t.

Were you born

someplace?  Slip that in.

Will you die someplace else?

Up to you.  Dress to impress

the robot made of roses

humming like a humanist.

Are your poems high

enough to hangover?

You’ll want to stab

discerning eyes with a dirty edge of that.

Are your poems clean as heaven?

Dark as birth canal?

Then don’t forget

you’re not your poems

you’re so far away

and it’s a reader’s job

to see.

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against trees

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one thing you learn

is to suspect

sentimental objects—

countries deer dead siblings

God stately oaks

the world—

beauty itself

an apology 

for having nothing else to say

in the eye of the beholder

a liar’s confession—

the stark scrub elm

beholding the world through

my brother’s broken eye

may find it beautiful

but that doesn’t make anything

worth saving

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