Michael Rattee

Mentioning Dreams

Here there is a fine gemlike precision of line and image and a resonance in word sounds that lift the work and make it memorable. Rattee has taken subjects that might have been only quaint and made them into poetry. His frequent references to birds – images that contain the potential for mere sentimentality – in his hands reach a quality of pure delight.

--Santa Fe Reporter

Good poems ... a farm boy throws six grackles in a bag and beats them “into a limp bouquet” against a barn. Rattee knows exactly how to transmute this violence. Other fine poems are to relatives: to a brother who dreamed of being a musician but became a mechanic; to a dying grandmother (this Rattee beautifully underplays); and to an old farmer who stuffs his pillows with hay so as to keep the fragrance of a barn near him as he dies.

--Robert Peters

WHEN GRANDMOTHER DIED

The wind became an anger I walked into
Trying to remember her voice
As my arms raised and lowered
Clouds the color of tin roofs formed between them
In the shape of her profile
And the sounds of animals surrounded my heart
Clawing her stories from me

Intrigued by the possibilities of her own place
She had told me her dreams
Of the visible history of the air around us
Of stairways covered with centuries of sleep
Of birds with songs of coiled light
Secrets only I believed

Selected Works

Poetry
".. sure footed and dazzling"
--Richard Shelton
A one poem, handmade book.
A selection of twelve poems.
"Bravo!"
--Seed-In-Hand
Out-of-print first collection