poem index


Joseph Massey

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Joseph Massey was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

He is the author of Illocality (Wave Books, 2015) and a trilogy of poetry collections set in Humboldt County, California: To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014), At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011), and Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009).

Of his poetry, Rae Armantrout writes, “I find it refreshing and somehow also sobering to observe the way Massey sticks so closely to the perceptual world. Like William Carlos Williams, he challenges us to see the value in putting things in words.”

Massey lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts.


Illocality (Wave Books, 2015)
To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014)
At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011)
Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009)

by this poet

Rain decays dawn— 
everything in the yard 
leaning, beaded, broken in. 
A lucid dream 
            the weather 
assembles; a pain particular 
as light seeping 
into an alley 
narrowed by
outside sounds
double the day's

indoor confusion.
How to untwine
noise, to see.

There's the bay,
highway slashed
beneath; water

a weaker shade
of gray than this
momentary sky's

widening bruise.
The page turns
on the table, bare

despite all
I thought was
written there.

After eight days of rain
what isn’t overwritten
under sun. These

asphalt cracks
pushed further apart.
Eight days without

definition: gray walled
the room in, and I
thought I found a way

to stop thinking—to allow
gray to become a sound
I couldn’t hum myself