Learning to Love the Music (Rose Rock Press, 1999) is a limited edition chapbook of early work. A few copies are still available. Order direct from John
is a full-length collection of dramatic monologues and lyric pieces in various forms (accentual-syllabic verse, free verse, and prose). It moves from an initial sense of pessimism about middle age, mortality, and the vagaries of love, life, nature, and language to a sense of greater possibility in a Western setting.
“With a bow to recent masters like Justice, Wright, and even Nemerov, John Morris’ poems explore the uncertain footing of middle age. The characters we meet are clear-eyed, straight-faced, occasionally nonplussed” (Richard Terrill, author of Coming Late to Rachmanioff and Almost Dark).
“This is the new West—harsh, sunlight shining onto office complexes and strip malls and—just past the purview of respectable people—onto pawn shops, Indian casinos and meth labs too. These elegiac poems describe the loneliness of eking out a decent life in an inhospitable context, keeping lassitude at bay, the depleted sense your recent last shot at joy, your grief over someone’s death by natural causes, the meted out unhappiness that is our human portion, constitute problems too small, too merely ordinary, to matter” (Debra Monroe, author of Shambles and On the Outskirts of Normal).
“[T]hese sometimes elevated and lyric voices are both true and memorable” (Norman Dubie, author of The Insomniac Liar of Topo and The Volcano).