The Stoner’s Travel Guide to Upper Michigan by Gene Check – Limited First Edition Hardcover Books

The Stoner’s Travel Guide to Upper Michigan by Gene Check – Limited First Edition Hardcover Books

The hardcover Stoner’s Travel Guide to Upper Michigan books are here! Written by Gene Check and Edited by Jessica Struzik. There were only 25 first edition hard cover books printed in July 2022. They are beautiful, and are sure to be a collector’s item!

Personalize your copy with a free signature from the author and editor.

If you are a business owner in Upper Michigan, your hardcover book purchase will get you a FREE 6 month featured listing in 1 category at

First Edition Hardcover, Case Bound, July 2022
Book measures 5.5″ x 8.5″
Each book weighs approximately 10.81 oz / .6762 lbs
129 pages: 119 b&w pages / 10 color pages / 46 Illustrations.
24 Chapters

The Stoner’s Travel Guide to Upper Michigan by Gene Check – Limited First Edition Hardcover Books
Stop by PoetryGrrrl

Stop by PoetryGrrrl

Stop wasting your life
wating for people
who never show up,
whether literally
or just metaphorically.

If they really wanted to,
they could not be prevented
by every single circumstance
no matter how big or small,
for all of eternity,
until the end of time,
from being part of your life.
Armed with nothing
but some lame excuse,
and they didn’t even try
to make it sound convincing.

I only want what is meant for me.
There’s nothing I feel is worth forcing.
And if actions don’t match words,
well, the truth is forthcoming.
Why suffer for something
I know is not real?
If I know it’s a lie,
what’s the appeal?

No more squandering precious time
on these one-sided deals.
Move forward instead.
Be happy, and heal.

~Poetry Grrrl

The Truth the Dead Know by Anne Sexton

The Truth the Dead Know by Anne Sexton


Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one’s alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in the stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


The Changeling’s Lament by Shira Lipkin

The Changeling’s Lament by Shira Lipkin

Re-posting this for the 2347th time because this is one of my favorite poems, ever. I feel like she wrote this one just for me. I love it so much!! <3

I have studied so hard
to pass as one of you.
I’ve spent a lifetime on it.

I have tells.
Blisters, tremors, bruises,
all the signs that I was not meant for your world,
was not meant to be contained
in your clothes,
your shoes.
I have this terribly inconvenient allergy
to cold iron.
Hives, really.
I stand out.

When I was little,
I asked my alleged mother,
what’s a girl?

She said
you’re a girl,
and she laced me into dresses
(that I tore off in the school parking lot,
in line for the bus).
Laced me into ballet shoes
that left blisters
and bloodied my feet
until I had calluses.
Which she had filed off,
beauticians pinning me down,
because it’s not beauty
if you don’t bleed.

My dancing was different.
My dancing was swaying treelike,
or launching myself across the room,
spinning madly,
but that is not what girls do,
not human girls,
not ladylike,
not contained.

And everything
is about containment
is about being delicate
and pretty
laced into corsets
whalebone stays digging into your ribs
because it’s not beauty
if it doesn’t hurt.

But I studied.
I pretended.
I hid the bruises
and the tics.
I hid the big dark parts of me.
I tamed my hair.
I watched my mouth.
I hid my magic.
I did not speak of such things
because we do not speak of such things –
not anger,
not homesickness,
not longing.
Not this sense
that I don’t know what the hell
a human girl is
and I can tell, I can,
that everyone knows I don’t belong here.
I laugh too loud;
I am too fast or slow to laugh.
I am an anthropologist in the field of girl.
I study
but none of it
ever comes

None of it is in my nature.

I am something larger,
more fluid,
less constrained.
But I am stranded in this place.
I have had to learn how to live here.
I have tried.
So hard.

Shira Lipkin is a writer, activist, mother, and nexus. She has managed to convince Electric Velocipede, Chizine, Interfictions 2, Mythic Delirium, and other otherwise-sensible magazines and anthologies to publish her short fiction and poetry. She lives in Boston with her family and the requisite cats, fights crime with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, is taking suggestions for her burlesque name, does six impossible things before breakfast, and would like a nap now. You can track her movements at and Please do. She likes the company.

Read Shira’s discussion of this poem over at the Roundtable!

Sylvia Plath – Mirror

Sylvia Plath – Mirror

Sylvia Plath – Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful—
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Sylvia Plath – Mirror

My Love by PoetryGrrrl

My Love by PoetryGrrrl

You’ll never know all of the things I won’t say.

I will never admit you still cross my heart
At least a hundred times a day.

There would be no point to declare
That I still long for you.
That I still crave you.
That without you, I pine away
while other men speak of my beauty,
and beg to be my slave.

I feel nothing.
I am dead inside if not for pain.
It makes me miss you more.

Nothing is a fitting substitute for you, my love
But I would sooner die than say
that You are my whole heart.
That I would beg to be Your slave.
That You are the only person I want to say I’m beautiful.
That I still miss You every moment of every day.

They say “be careful what you wish for”
Well, I know better anyway.

No one could ever pray to compete
with the ghost of you inside my head.
Not even you, my dearest love.
My living, breathing daydream.

This love is so bittersweet.

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