To Villa Pamphili

woman in red dress standing on gray road

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on

To Villa Pamphili


Start running

from the door

up the steps

urine smell

of cats

to the corner.


spills to gutters

and the sidewalks

stain with grease.

Run past the curb

to the other,

up the pavement

to the station

where the boxer

growing old,

and now retired

pumps his gas,

flatters men

he doesn’t like 

yet bows a formal


to a woman

running forward

wanting back

all the body

 she once had.


Rhythm though


she knows she

must stay with it,

jog to find

an equili-

brium and make it

past the stores

with their trinkets,

and the cars

buzz like gnats,

shrill her ears,

fill her lungs

with veils of fumes.


packed with bodies,

bunched up stems,


of stinking weeds.


And run

past the church

that is empty

always empty

save for hefty


rosaried women,

stub hair back,



slide in shoes

worn from shopping,

cooking, cleaning,

stooping, taking

care to serve.


to the villa

up ahead.



shot with holes

of cannonballs

from the time of Garibaldi.


That’s the outside.

And the ramp

will take her inside


through the portal.


to the open, to the garden

that has been here while she was running.

Feel the pulse receding as she leaves what’s

outside, slowing breathing, walking over bones sedate

in their rest, birds, squirrels, chipmunks.

Water flows over rocks, obedient to no

force but their own. She lies down with them.


Cincinnati Millenials Die-in and Protest in 1991 . . . and the beat goes on

photos by mickey morgan

1991 protest A


1991 protest B


1991 protest C


1991 protest D


1991 protest E

A Die-In,

sponsored by students of the Univ. of Cincinnati’s Center for Women’s Studies


1991 protest F


1991 protest G


1991 protest H


1991 protest I


1991 protest J


1991 protest K


1991 protest M


1991 protest N











Willing Loss . . .

building vintage bike monument

Photo by Gratisography on

Willing Loss . . .

We agree at the top of the hill

and swing into place on our seats

of a blue-fendered Huffy two-wheeler.

You flatten flush on my spine,

your chin bonily leaning to see down my shoulder.

You have to hold up your feet.

I put one of mine to the down pedal,

scuff-hop twice with the other

trying the double load but ready.

I lift up my paddling foot, depress the up pedal, one

mighty shove and we’re off down the hill.

I push into wind as my legs

propel in–your trust so firmly

with me–insert our forms to cut

the scene of house, arport, street

and curb in half as we wheel past.

I throw us through, increase the speed,

nostrils shrilling with air.

We ride by shove

of loose limber legs that pivot

knees and thighs looser and light

till the bike takes us down

the hill of her own accord;

the pedals takes over control

of my soles, pushing up, lifting till

I do nothing, carried to madly pedal

against my will, then soles flung up and astray

and you sound it for us, one long coo

as handlebars figurey-eight

in my palms, hollow of force

and it has us–bodies

scintillant, time


–by mickey (Michele) morgan

The Original Living Dance Company Tucson, c.1977

Living Dance 2

(from left to right) Diane Cross, Executive Director Deborah Brockman, Bill Sterner, Emily Sayre Smith, Evan Donaldson

                                                                      –photo by mickey (Michele) morgan

Living Dance Co. 1

(lt to rt) Bill Sterner, Emily Sayre Smith, Evan Donaldson

                                                                      –photo by mickey (Michele) morgan

Living Dance 3

(lt to rt) Evan Donaldson, Emily Sayre Smith, artistic dir. Michele (mickey) Morgan, Bill Sterner, executive dir. Deborah Brockman, Diane Cross

                                                                                                —photo by anonymous

“One of the richest times in my life with extraordinary people”

mickey (Michele) morgan


This Was Dance Was Not

Sankai Juku

unknown Japanese Butoh dancer, member of the troupe Sankai Juku,

performing “Kinkan Shonen”; photographer unknown


This Was Dance Was Not

                                    —mickeypamo, Aug. 1984

“There is nothing between you and hell but the air.”

–Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

A slice of dark solidity

Carving life lines in empty space,

lines of definition.

Say it again. Definition.

Air parts as she cleanly

cuts and swirls


through time.


Soon the air is pulling her,

as if to squeeze her to resolution,

Pushed by air to dissolution

Of definition.


It never stops.


There is no sound.

Her ears are full.

There is no movement.

Her body surges.

Her vacant mind sees

The First.

For one moment, I am air.

I hold all in me.

The cage dissolves.