GRANDMA MOSES PRESS, the parent organization of CACTI FUR, is proud to announce they will be publishing 4 books by esteemed performance poet, Pamela Hirst. The books are Forgotten Graves, Personal Agendas, Ghost Town of My Soul, and One Dozen Lifetimes. This highly anticipated, powerful 4 book series is a work of recovery and discovery: recovery from grief and discovery of joy. Here’s a poem from each book to get you excited about these upcoming releases from Grandma Moses Press: one of the oldest and most trusted poetry micro presses in North America.



Mexico City, Plaza of the Mariachis

Avenida de la Revolución

My memories come

in colors of red and green.

Red dirt in the dusty box canyons

of New Mexico, green of piñón needles

on a path to Bandelier.

I have visions of walking the red path,

the good path of right not wrong

taught in Native lore.

Choosing green chile from Hatch,

or make it Christmas, red and green chile.

Kachina dolls do hulas on the bookshelves

at Carol and Tony’s house.

A Southern childhood of green lawns, trees, moss

and red lips of young girls

quivering for a kiss.




She called, she screamed:

“Call the police,

he’s trying to kill me!”

And my ten-year-old body

was paralyzed still as stone.

I lay there, helpless, ashamed.

I didn’t do a thing

to help Mama.

Debbie never woke. Next morning

Mama walked into the bedroom.

Blythely she trod

as if it was all over.

“I hate him!” I screamed at her.

“I wish he was dead!”

Genuinely hurt, she whispered,

“Oh, you should never say that.”

Two days later

she woke up Debbie and me.

“Your daddy’s not coming home anymore.”

He had died in a car crash at 1:30 a.m.

Debbie cried,

I was scared

amazed at my power.

I just got rid of Daddy.





after publishing Gary

for ten years

we arrive in his

affluent habitat

the red rocks of Arizona

he identifies me by

a split twig figurine

on my ear representing

the Archaic period

we visit his vault

where he archives

magazines eager

to feature his byline

we find a cache of

Beatlick News on

the Paleozoic layer of stacks.

he guides us away from

the gaucherie of the

commercial zone

onto the West Fork off

Oak Creek Canyon

where he tweaks

the nomenclature

of flora and fauna

the yellow tanager

bobolink, red crested woodpecker

he introduces us to

a poet and director of the

Alzheimer’s poetry project

who recalls meeting us

twelve years previous

while on a spoken word tour

together we ransack our

memory to recreate the event

the beauty of Sedona

is dominated by

the prosperous

the workforce lives

in affordable outliers

after an extended

commingling of

literary and historical anecdotes

Gary returns to his

Vishnu basement rock cellar

we celebrate our


and hang on to his

every word




I visualize six-inch stilettos

on five-hundred year old cobblestones;

the zocolo plaza

obscured by blue tarps

sheltering teachers

protesting inequality by day,

sleeping on cardboard by night.

Six years before

striking teachers were machine gunned

from overhead helicopters

sent by the governor. Bravely

they march shoulder to shoulder.

I recall Santo Domingo de Guzmán

a majestic Mexican Baroque temple

built in 1575 and the beggars

outside, alongside

the  most expensive tour guides in town.

Along the Ruta de la Republica

many generations are represented

by this Parade of Heroes, glorified men

honored with concrete statues in their images,

all adorned by scarlet-eyed pigeons.

Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada

Mariano Escobedo

Ángel Albino Corzo

Ignácio Ramírez

General Ignacio Pesqueira García

Ignacio Zaragoza

Francisco Zarco

Imperiously they gaze down upon me.

I feel insignificant.

Tuesday night at Café Babel

Juan Gonzales hosting open mic;

my beautiful yoga teacher Laurie Thompson

smoking cigarettes, downing mezcal;

me, too.

“I never get a hangover,”

Laurie tells me.

“It is all in the espiritu,

she said.

Alejandro on the bongos, guitars

Late in the night I stand in the doorway watching

fat raindrops on wet streets

as  I wait for a taxi to pass by.

Here I feel significant.

I remember  the market, the shops,

me carrying bags

as I pass by an old beggar women by the church.

She is tiny with her twig arms outstretched

“Tengo hambre,” she pleads.

“I am  hungry.”

I scurry past her

my bulging shopping sacks

brushing past her rags and bones.

I am far too encumbered

with my purchases

rugs, vases, linens;

my hands are too occupied

to dig out any change I might have.

It would be too awkward.

I am awkward as I hurry past her

with no eye contact.


have I felt so small.

I am the ugly American.


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