Today's poem is "The Measured Breathing"
from Systems of Vanishing

University of Tampa Press

Michael Hettich is the author of twelve books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently The Measured Breathing, which won the 2011 Swan Scythe Press Award. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Orion, Poetry East, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Mudlark, and The Sun, as well as in many textbooks and anthologies, and he has collaborated widely with visual artists and musicians throughout Florida and nationally. He teaches at Miami Dade College.

Other poems by Michael Hettich in Verse Daily:
June 13, 2013:   "The Colorblind Man" "I drove by a parking lot full of black birds..."
November 6, 2004:  "Forgiveness" "We could wade from that island into clear ocean..."

Books by Michael Hettich:

Other poems on the web by Michael Hettich:
Three poems
"The Stranger"
"The Frogs"
Measuring the Days
Five poems
Two poems
"The Lesson"
Three poems
Eight poems

Michael Hettich's Website.

About Systems of Vanishing:

"These tender, endlessly inventive poems begin in the familiar world, but take us to other realms altogether. Their startling displacements happen so deftly and with such sleight-of-hand that they are nearly invisible. Slowly, as poem after poem reveals 'the sadness at the core of every moment,' the reader comes to see the impossible as ordinary, and the ordinary as numinous. Michael Hettich's authority which is both modest and absolutely genuine, compels us to follow him into some wild what-ifs, which make for an exciting ride. His elegy for a lost daughter brought me to tears. The quiet magic of these poems is stunning and profound."
—Chase Twitchell

"As long-time admirer of Hettich's poems, I am thrilled by Systems of Vanishing, is most profound and intricate collection to date. Like Joseph Cornell's boxed assemblages, these poems assemble ardent language with splashes of imagery verging on the surreal ("as if all the leaves / could fall at one moment, one long afternoon / in autumn"). Line byline, each poem thus constructs a portal into our subconscious living as only the finest poetry can do leading us into that placeless place where we can 'imagine another human / essence than the self.'"
—Richard Blanco

"Mystery, these poems tell us, continues to reside at the center of everything we think know about existence. Splendidly baffling, imagistically engaging, and full of enjoyable surprises, Systems of Vanishing explores that mystery Hettich is an earthy fabulist here, yet the poems' ingenious transformations read as integral to survival."
—Susan Kelly-DeWitt

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