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Lullaby of Teeth Anthology
edited by Eric Morago
105 pages ~ 72 poems ~ 18 poets
ISBN-13: 978-0997483727
Price: $15.00
Publisher: Moontide Press
To Order from Moon Tide Press


When Eric Morago took the reins of Moon Tide Press, he decided that—besides
publishing individual books of creative work—he would also try to focus on
poets from Southern California, seeing that as territory ripe with literary ore.
The result is this volume, which I am pleased to be able to have made my
own contribution. I am also proud to share space on the same pages with
established Los Angeles poetry luminaries such as Alexis Rhone Fancher and Armine Iknadossian.

But this volume also introduces the reader to 15 other writers, many from the
L.A. area but also a number from surrounding towns and counties.

There is a goodly share of poetic prose pieces although, unlike most of Lincoln
McElwee's material, his "Crash Landing" becomes a poetic sic-fi story as is
"Origin of Species" from Mike Gravagno. Meanwhile, a conspiracy of cockroaches brews in Boris Ingles's "The Last Drunken Tribe."

Another appealing aspect of poetry from diving into this book is the success in
wordplay that poets try to achieve. LeAnne Hunt reaches this summit beautifully
in "Good God" wherein both the language (starting with the title) and the structure
of the poem invites amused revisits. Ingles also achieves this in his work, especial-
ly in "A Marriage of Eggs Beans & Rice."

Still, it is the human condition that shines through most of the work here: the
dilemmas we face when Michael Cantin learns that his father "was not a BAD
man" or the problems that Charles Harper Webb confronts us with when
"We Know What We're Supposed To Say."  The "conversational" tone in the observations of life from Zachary Locklin and Victoria Lynne McCoy when
recounting events from personal memory connect the individual to the universal.
In Ron Koertge's "Whispering Pines," the reader is immersed in the crude beauty of humanity and art.

Perhaps that universality constitutes the real takeaway of this collection, for
while the writers may be "geocentric," the material is anything but.

— Bill Cushing ~ widely anthologised poet

I love poetry anthologies, and Eric Morago does not disappoint with Lullaby
of Teeth
. Not only do the words hit home, but they dance on the page, becoming
part of the experience in a way rarely seen. I enjoyed the grouping of each
contributing poet's work, and it gave me a real feel for their world, their
lives—and how their experiences closely mirror many of my own. I highly
recommend it. I have read it through, twice, in the week I have had it, and am
certain to revisit it many more times.
— David Russo ~ author Tokin Of My Esteem


Eric Morago is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who believes performance
carries as much importance on the page as it does off. He is the author
of What We Ache For and Feasting on Sky. Currently Eric hosts a monthly
reading series, teaches writing workshops, and is editor-in-chief
and publisher of Moon Tide Press. He has an MFA in Creative Writing
from California State University, Long Beach, and lives in Los Angeles, CA.


First Catch
by Victoria Lynne McCoy

What if I'm good at it?
The hook and gut.

The easy sleep. Can the animal in me kill
the animal I will not eat?

I've managed to keep my palms
clean of god this long. Turned down

every sweet boy with a skeet gun.
If, by name, I've got a finger made

to place a ring on, is another fit to slip
around a trigger, worm down the middle

of a knife's cold spine? Today, I take the fish
in a pair of hands that until now

I recognized as mine, unhook metal
from puncture wound, its fins bristling

in my grip as life struggles out of it.
I watch the thrashing thing fight the bucket

until it is still. I can't tell
if something was lost in me or

uncovered the moment I knew I wouldn't
throw it back, the strange beauty, death

slow-dancing through its little fish organs.
My love applauds me. Slices through the live bait

with a thumbnail, takes my hands in his proudly,
even knowing what they're capable of.


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