Rooted by Thirst
by Tina Mozelle Braziel
Rooted by Thirst, Tina Mozelle Braziel’s chapbook of poems, is meditation and journey, a circumbulation of this plot of land that reveals pieces of speaker and landscape—a sense of place both had and longed for. Each poem yearns; each page deepens, roots curling into ready loam. The final poem of this book is one of the strongest we’ve yet chosen—it closes and opens at once, spiraling off like light slipping across a field to flash over all that’s hidden in the rest of the day. In the gold, all things are possible. (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
limited edition, 500
AN EXCERPT FROM THE CHAP, “CLAIMS”
Everywhere we walk, orange signs warn
Private Property or Posted. Still dented cans
rattle in ditches and campfire rings,
claiming “No, mine too.” And something
in the surveyor’s talk about tramping over ridges
and steeping himself in briers to sight the division
between neighbors, that thinnest of lines,
a spidery net he casts across the county—that,
he claims, is his. All the while, at the far reaches
of our property, the burr oak swells its bark
over pig wire and a sign more rusted than orange
reads: NO SING.
And that fawn curled in the wood,
throat laid down beside side-turned hooves,
never flinched when our dog sniffed her.
She held her ground, or it held her.
Her dappled fur marked as belonging
to sunlight and fallen leaf.
ABOUT THE POET
Tina Mozelle Braziel, a graduate of the University of Oregon MFA program, directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Poetry South, Main Street Rag, and The Raleigh Reviewamong other journals. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building on Hydrangea Ridge.
ABOUT THE COVER ARTIST
Kathleen Piercefield is a painter and printmaker whose work reflects her lifelong interest in nature and literature. Originally from the Chicago area, her current home and studio are in Northern Kentucky. She majored in studio arts at Murray State University, studied watercolor at the Baker-Hunt Foundation in Covington, and earned a BFA in printmaking from Northern Kentucky University. She’s a member of Tiger Lily Press and Northern Kentucky Printmakers, and is passionate about keeping the “archaic” practices of traditional printmaking alive. Her work has been exhibited regionally and nationally, and is in a number of public and private collections.
The cover image is by printmaker Kathleen Piercefield (kpiercefield.com) titled “On the Edge.”
Known by Salt (Anhinga Press, forthcoming)**
**winner, 2017 Philip Levine Prize
interview at Live Your Poem with Irene Latham