Emmett Michie is a writer, a teacher, and a very happy man on a true life adventure: he's left behind his former home and friends to take up a new life on the other side of the country with the woman he loves and her children. He's one of the most animated and expressive poets I've seen onstage, as well as one of the most genuine. He slides effortlessly from moments of humor to tenderness to outrage to contemplation... As the former co-host of our local Pure Kona Poetry Series, he is deeply missed. But we wish him well, and I'm glad to still be in touch with him so I can bring you the following examples of his work, which include some of my favorites.
I am a fugitive from a chain gang.
I am curious (blue).
I am curious yellow.
I am the law.
(I became a criminal.) I believe in you.
I bombed Pearl Harbor bury the living.
I can get it for you wholesale.
I can't give you anything but love, baby.
I changed my sex (see Glen or Glenda). I confess.
I could go on singing.
I died a thousand times. I dood it. I dream of Jeannie.
I dream too much. I even met happy gypsies.
I heard it through the grapevine. I know where I'm going.
I know why the caged bird sings.
I led two lives (see Glen or Glenda).
I like money. I love a mystery. I love a mystery.
I love Melvin. I love my wife. I love trouble.
I love you. I love you again. I love you, Alice B. Toklas.
I love you, goodbye.
I married a communist. I married a monster from outer space.
I married a witch. I married a woman. I married an angel.
I met a murderer.
I, mobster. I, monster. I never sang for my father.
I ought to be in pictures.
I passed for white. I remember Mama.
I sailed to Tahiti with an all girl crew.
I saw what you did. I sent a letter to my love.
I take these men. I take this woman. I'd rather be rich.
I'll be seeing you.
I'll cry tomorrow. I'll get by.
I'll get you.
I'll never forget what's 'is name.
I'll never forget you. I'll see you in hell.
I'll see you in my dreams.
I'll take Sweden. I'm no angel. I'm dancing as fast as I can.
I thank a fool.
I, the jury.
I wake up screaming.
I walk alone.
I walk the line.
I wanna hold your hand.
I WANT HER DEAD.
I WANT TO KEEP MY BABY.
I WANT TO LIVE. I WANT TO LIVE.
I WANT YOU.
I wanted wings.
I was a Communist for the FBI.
I was a mail order bride. I was a parish priest.
I was a teenage Frankenstein.
I was a teenage werewolf. I was Monty's double.
I will, I will... for now.
What I Last Had To Say To My Father
what we most had to say was unspoken
because it was better that way.
Words were too flimsy and exposed too much for him.
Always came too easily to me.
Cleaning up the dogshit, dealing with the bank, shaving
was a language we could beleive in.
The one he always trusted and I guess, in the end,
maybe the only language I couldn't deceive myself in.
It was better. We tried.
everything be thy name.
Thy love is one.
Thy will is done everyday
-we just don't seem to notice.
Get us this day
out of our stupid heads,
and give us some chances
to see just a moment
of anything like beauty or trust.
And lead us not into the temptation
of imagining that anything about us
makes us better than anyone else.
For you are the bedrock.
You are the mountain.
You are the soul.
And there's no door I walk through
that don't lead me home.
This collection was posted here in January 2002.
All poetry and other artistic writings are © their authors and reproduced here with their permission.
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