Subscribe To Our
Poetrybay Blog on Facebook

Fall/Winter 2017

M.R. Pelletier


No matter where you begin, form is there
before you: the number of keys is fixed, but you choose
a melody from the palette of music crowding out
any other type of thought inside your head.
Any truly conscious movement disappears
into the background—like an old gray-haired usher
with nothing to do, head nodding sleepily
in a dark corner of the auditorium. The hands
play what they feel, pulling from the full repertoire
of what they know, snatching a phrase from Monk,
layin’ it out smooth, down on the groove, the blue
notes bridging, soft and low—real cool—shifting
from tone to tone, so easy, like Oscar Peterson, ticklin’
‘em sweet, then slapping ‘em back to life,
before the melody carries you too far away
to return to the line of sound your fingers
are throwin’ down, one hand tossing out rails,
the other hammerin’ spikes, that locomotive
coming, horn blaring, close behind…

M. R. Pelletierís poetry has appeared in Tittynope and his reviews have appeared in Flint Hills Review. He is an MA candidate in English at Emporia State University where he is both a Writing Center tutorand the assistant to the Poet Laureate of Kansas, Kevin Rabas.



Poetrybay seeks fine poetry, reviews, commentary and essays without restriction in form or content, and reserves first electronic copyright to all work published. All rights to published work revert to the author following publication. All Email submissions should be in body of email text.

To submit poems write to:

PO Box 114 
Northport NY 11768
or email us at

send comments to

first electronic copyright 2004
©2018 poetrybay. 
all rights revert to authors

website comments to