Johnson, Melissa Fite.


While the kettle's on.


86 pages ; 22 cm


While the Kettle's On openly, whimsically and originally explores homecoming, whirling its journey through past generations, the present body, making home, unmaking the self, and everyday love. This strong first collection lands on what is, and what is behind what is, from the tree in the present that will one day be gone, to the grandmother once young, choosing "this future, this little life." Melissa Fite Johnson helps us see the large world encapsulated in the gestures and glances of even the smallest moments of this little or big life, including what losses damage even fresh air and what graces give us back all we are. In essence, the whole collection is about love, and how to recognize it when it shines through the moments that matter.

  • American poetry -- 21st century.
  • Poetry.

The things they keep -- Visiting my grandparents' grave -- My parents' wedding day -- Adopted -- 1931 -- New Jersey, 1989 -- My grandmother's garden -- Watching the street performers -- The dead -- Four generations -- Fourth boyfriend -- Revising the body -- True love waits convention, tenth grade -- How to apply black eyeliner -- My father, naked -- Confession -- Light as a feather, stiff as a board -- Elegy for the class of 1999 -- D-cup -- Cover story -- For our backyard tree -- Motherhood -- Pecan picking -- Reading a five-year-old issue of Vanity Fair -- Ode to a mason jar -- Poetry group -- Redding's paint-it-yourself ceramic studio -- Good housekeeping -- Town beautification project -- Ode to washing dishes -- At my student's visitation -- For the woman alone in a booth -- Why she can't be near you -- Vulnerability -- When asked if I write poetry -- Ineptitude -- Emily Dickinson in 2012 -- Fear of -- Our last night on earth -- The poster of Jack Kerouac hanging in my classroom -- The coffee shop, later than usual -- while the kettle's on -- A man who cooks -- Instructions for a day game -- Something about a walk -- The ballad of Marc and Melissa -- A room of one's own -- Prayer -- For Marc, who I hope will not die -- Summer wedding.



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