Friday, May 8, 2015

Moonrise Press Publishes "Clocks and Water Drops" by Marlene Hitt

Moonrise Press is proud to announce the publication of

ISBN 978-0-9819693-5-0, 118 pages, $15.00, paperback
Los Angeles: Moonrise Press, 11 April 2015
Distributed by

The first reading will take place at Bolton Hall Museum, in Tujunga
on May 24, 2015, 4:30pm.

Clocks and Water Drops is the first full-length collection of poetry by Marlene Hitt, the first Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, a former Director at the Bolton Hall Museum, a local historian, poet, and community activist. The book of reflections about her life, family and neighborhood changing through the decades, includes 73 poems in sections dedicated to: Children, Marriages, Portraits, Neighbors, Seasons, Small Things, Passages, and Farewells. The title captures the poet’s fascination with the flow of time, as relentless and powerful as drops of water that can shape rocks and move mountains. Poet Jack Cooper praises Hitt’s “astute and thoughtful voice” while Kath Abela Wilson admires her “confident and consistent phrasing, and exacting vision.”

Marlene Hitt at Pasadena Lit Fest, 2016.

Marlene Hitt is a Los Angeles poet, writer and retired educator with local history as an avocation. She has served for many years as Archivist, Museum Director and Historian at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. She is a native Californian and a graduate of Occidental College. She also studied at CSUN, USC, UCLA, Glendale College and Trinity College, Ireland. As a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland for nearly 30 years, she has worked with this small group of poets from whom has sprung readings at the local library, the Poet Laureate Program of Sunland-Tujunga, and the currently popular Village Poets.

Her poetry received several first place prizes in annual competitions of the Women’s Club, San Fernando Valley, and many awards from the John Steven McGroarty Chapter of the California Chaparral Poets. Her work appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, two Moonrise Press anthologies, Chopin with Cherries (2010) and Meditations on Divine Names (2012), and Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate. She published Sad with Cinnamon, Mint Leaves, and Bent Grass (all in 2001), as well as Riddle in the Rain with Dorothy Skiles, and a stack of chapbooks for friends and family. 

Ms. Hitt, elected Woman of Achievement for year 2001, served as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga in 1999-2001, at the turn of the century. She has published several books on local history, including Sunland-Tujunga from Village to City (Arcadia, 2000, 2005) based on columns written for the Foothill Leader, Glendale News Press, North Valley Reporter, Sentinel, and Voice of the Village newspapers since 1998. Over the years, she taught in elementary school, worked in a pharmacy, chaired committees, tap-danced, and played English handbells, autoharp and ukulele. She dedicates her successes to her husband, Lloyd, her children and grandchildren, her biggest fans.

You can find out more about her in a wonderful interview with Kath Abela Wilson on

Threaded Thoughts

Around this hand I wind
a yellow quilting thread
thick and strong
over and over, back onto itself;
Around my hand goes
the Bad Man thread;
with scissors I cut him out.
Mr. Barker’s store 
when I stole a pin,
I tie in a knot.
Tommy, whose thread 
had snapped, whose death
changed the world.
Through my heart
winds a thread around kindness 
and a doll from a stranger, one with
eyes that closed and real hair.
Around and around I wind
the men in the drug store
who teased this child,
I tie them tight, choking them
below their lidded eyes.
Around and around their 
smoke rings, cigarette burns 
on the tables, smoke
blown into the eyes 
of little girls sent to buy
“Wings, two packs for a quarter”
as they clutched their father’s coin 
or ration stamps for their mothers 
who yearned for sugar, butter. 
Around my hand, thread, 
thick like a tumorous growth, 
thread so many-colored 
as to turn brown with the winding
into the brown of your eyes, 
you, who saved me from one world 
to place me into another
where we dragged ourselves
dreaming about bright kingdoms
and robes of kings.
One fine day the needle, threaded, 
pierced my flesh. I bleed 
easily and long, spill red 
onto the thread around my hand, 
the honest cotton through my heart 
and around my arms. 
With the threads knotted 
and frayed I stitch my words 
for you to see.

(c) 2015 by Marlene Hitt, from Clocks and Water Drops

“Clocks and Water Drops” is a book of treasured gifts packed in memories and reflections as tasty as homemade bread, fanciful as a rose petal salad and healing as warm camphor oil on a child’s skin. Marlene Hitt’s astute and thoughtful voice paints a world as gentle as lamb’s wool and precious as a girl’s fisrt pony. Open this cedar chest of poems, don its knitted socks and prepare to chase the moon through love and time.
~ Jack Cooper
Author, “Across my Silence”

“Marlene Hitt is a poet beyond measure… she holds each thing to her eye and finds inner correspondences. She finds in the mind- an empty glue a “back alley” and wonders what words to write, as we all do, on a blank page, or “the bronze grave marker” she buys for herself. Each of her poems works on several levels, and almost always ends with a very interesting surprise or revelation. The significance of each detail is stunning and inspiring. She sees objects as possessing uncanny power. She recalls her feeling that the clock pendulum in the house has captured time with its sound, and stolen it from her own grandmother. By her confident and consistent phrasing and exacting vision, she follows her own life from early childhood to now. She calls upon us as readers to look at her life, and back into our own for the metaphors inherent and active… alive, in all of us today.” 
~ Kath Abela Wilson
Poet Artist, founder of Poets on Site

“Marlene Hitt is an attentive poet, an inspired poet. She listens to the sounds of the past, disappearing from our electrified, virtually connected lives:  the “plodding of beetles,” the ticking of the grandfather clock, the tapp8ing of rain on the windowsill.  She watches shifting hues in the sky and the mesmerized faces of children “glued” to their TVs; she sees how the children still brighten at the sight of the Christmas tree. Marlene shows her readers what a life well lived could be; she makes her poems from family stories, community celebrations and discoveries in the back alley. She portrays her grandparents and her children, yet she does not forget her neighbors, the homeless, the lost…

Clocks and Water Drops, her first full-length poetry collection, is a gift of “small things” – a gift of remembrance and affection, a whimsical and wise offering of carefully calibrated images and reflections. We are thankful for the talent of Marlene Hitt, the first Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, a historian of local communities, and a treasure of poetry in the Foothills.
~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
President, Moonrise Press

Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
President, Moonrise Press
818 384 8944