Hylbert Masserdine woke up,
stretched, said, “Mornin'”
to himself in the mirror,
extended one long arm

over the bed until
he found his favorite
shoehorn, the one with
mother-of-pearl inlay

in the shape of his own
mother, or what he imagined
his mother to be. He wrestled
each toe into its location,

his thoughts into the right
rhythm. He always felt like
he could do anything, once
he had his shoes on, once

everything was right again, the
nastiness of sleep shaken off,
all its perpetual quakings, its
cavalcade of nameless want.



Oh, and hey, don’t forget: My chapbook Secret Rivers is available now.



My First Chapbook Is Here!




It’s sitting right next to me on the couch, in fact. Shouldn’t it be next to you — or in your hot little hands? Here are a few ways you can make that happen:

  1. Order it from the fabulous Evening Street Press (where you should also order some of the other chapbooks, and their Review),
  2. Order it from Amazon, or
  3. Email me here: marilyn [dot] cavicchia [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you go for option #3, I’ll even autograph it for you — for FREE. I’ll spring for the postage, too, and then at some point, you mail me $10.

What sort of poetry is in Secret Rivers? It’s made up of persona poems in which the speakers are either driving or riding in vehicles on a particular stretch of highway in Ohio. I didn’t start out with any particular intention, but because of the area I was describing, a narrative thread emerged that deals with fracking (hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas). My opinions of this practice are probably clear, but I tried to be balanced and respectful, and to let all my personas have their say — whether they agree with me or not.

I hope you’ll enjoy Secret Rivers. And if you happen to live in Chicago or Columbus, watch this space for news about upcoming readings.






Our Palm Tree House, Our Hammock

Gilligan, could you bring me a coconut?
I want to make us a whole new world,
one where our rescue doesn’t depend
on a plane, a UFO, a message on the

radio or our telephone wires
made of baling twine and birds.
Gilligan, I’ll wash your red shirt
for you, mend your sailor hat so
you’ll feel like a sailor again,

even though I hope you’ll want to
stay with me in our palm tree house,
our hammock. Look! I made a flower
out of flowers and put it in my hair.


8210 Elmway Drive

When I belonged to you
and you were tall grass
around a boulder and I
made sewing needles

out of thorns and I was
going to live there near
the downspout and you

were mock orange
blossoms and you
were baby squirrels 
and my mother and

the neighbors’ black cat,
poisoned while running
home to see my mother



Dancing Shoes

And that was before it all hit the paywall.
That was before it all went down.
Quad City DJ’s told us to

c’mon, ride the train
and we all pumped our fists:
Choo, choo!

We all danced at weddings; nothin’ wrong
with a little bump and grind. That was before
everything cost so much. That was before

the stakes got raised. That was when
everything was everything, and we all
thought it always would be — that we

could always find our dancing shoes,
or buy new ones, or dance in
whatever shoes we had on.