Although “the natural order may not hold the proper model,” J. Morris explores sleep and death, love and folly, in carefully observed seasonal and human terms. We are privileged to hear the urgent, rueful questions inside his “skull-box” and to admire its craft: how starting to prepare is a silent page-turn from “a sort of prayer,” how someone can hear human imperfection “playing for dear life” and then ask, “What is the sound of one hand folding?” Morris gives us a book full of life that can become “part of the skeleton, the articulation of self” for the gravedigger to upturn, for the reader to let sing.
—Meredith Bergmann, poet, sculptor, Poetry Editor, American Arts Quarterly, 2006-2017
In frank, direct language, J. Morris guides us through familiar domestic realities: marriage and divorce, parental illness and death, middle-age. . . . Unrelenting and honest, and always the poet’s attention to sound. We are called again and again back to the sounds of the world, anchored to them, held by them.
—Thom Caraway, editor, Rock & Sling, author of What the Sky Lacks