Photo by John Pinegar
“The lush poems in The Physics of Transmigration have an extravagant energy, forged from desire and the rich music of verbal play. Pinegar is at the top of her game: ‘I want bright colors, deep roots,/ loamy soil, the soak of rain,/ a reign of sun, and the glow/ of a moon garden: Shastas,/ Bloodroot, Goatsbeard, Bellflower.’ These crystalline poems astonish us with a story that transcends time. But it is an old story, perhaps of old souls, and after all, there is at its heart the simple clarity of love: ‘Some nights,/ wind rattled the casements,/ billowed the curtains to a gauzy/ froth. And you–against/ the stark white pillows/ in every kind of light.’ This exquisite book will haunt you!” – Cynthia Hogue

“Pit Pinegar poses an urgent question: what do we do once our ‘spiritual DNA’ is permanently altered by an experience of love? Shakespeare’s Juliet, insisting the lark’s song was a nightingale’s, wanted to prolong her wedding night. Pinegar, in this highly original sequence of love poems, manages through the imagination to stop time. In aubade after aubade, the lovers’ bed remains the center of the world and the heart changes the laws of time and space. Read this book straight-through: these remarkable poems build on themselves like a philosophical treatise written with passion and grace. In ‘Inquiry into the Nature of Desire,’ the speaker is asked, ‘What do you want?’ ‘Everything,’ she responds. ‘Can you be more specific?’ Her answer says it all. ‘That is specific. I’ve left nothing out.’ In this remarkable book, Pinegar takes extraordinary risks and succeeds in putting ‘everything’on the page.” – Theodore Deppe

“Like many a good love story, Pit Pinegar’s The Physics of Transmigration leads me through frenzied page turning, straight from beginning to the end, no pause. Ah, the excitement, the satisfaction, that sense of something inevitable completing itself. But something else, too: contemplation and a quiet noticing of quotidian miracles. It may be that what Pinegar asks of love we also ask of poetry – to ‘[hold] time backward and forward past embodiment.’ These poems give us that, and more. They live their creator’s manifesto – that ‘poetry might be practical, sense made pure and simple’?and go straight to the heart of love, its common, daily wonder.” – Alison Meyers

Pit Menousek Pinegar is the author of two earlier collections of poetry: The Possibilities of Empty Space and Nine Years Between Two Poems, both from Andrew Mountain Press. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Tar River Poetry, The South Carolina Quarterly, Kalliope, Connecticut Review, and The Texas Review. She was featured in the first season of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, again at the Festival’s tenth anniversary event, and reads frequently at schools, universities, and libraries. Pinegar is a teaching artist at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Litchfield Poetry Live, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University. She also directs the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival’s urban outreach program and founded the Cheney Hall Broadside Series, which she directed for eight years. Novelist and playwright as well as poet, Pinegar presented an original monologue, All Available Space, at Womenkind VI, a festival of one-woman shows in New York City. She has received a fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Governor’s Distinguished Advocate of the Arts Award. Her ten-year-old business, A Creative Life, produces a variety of teaching, writing, creative, and consulting services to individuals, schools, and other organizations. For more about the author, please visit her website at

Click here to read some sample poems.

The Antrim House seminar room offers notes, issues for discussion, and writing assignments. Click here to attend the seminar on The Physics of Transmigration.


ISBN: 0-9762091-1-X
Length: 92 pages
Binding: 5/5" x 8/5" trade paperback






Not a day goes by, not a night,
when, before sleep, I don’t think
of the week in winter, in a foreign city,
when I discovered you, as a child
discovers fireflies and lightning.
Snow broke off from clouds,
piled high on the sills,
swirled gold in the halos
of street lights.  Some nights,
wind rattled the casements,
billowed the curtains to a gauzy
froth.  And you—against
the stark white pillows
in every kind of light: bright sun,

made brighter by new snow,
dull, watery slant of late afternoon,
sharp and shadowy pools
of street lamps, gray-wash dawn.
Light was everything, everywhere,
falling upon us,
flickering around us, emanating

from us, as though we’d been stoked
by bread, wine,
and interminable hunger.
Your fingernails,
the tender underside of your arms,
the small of your back,
the backs of your knees all glowed.

And your eyes—too bright to look at,
too close to world’s end to look away.



Mine are often characterized
by what they cannot do.   
They cannot hear birds—
crows, gulls, owls excepted— 
or cicadas, high range measures
of violin concertos, whispers, 
God knows what else.

I didn’t know birds sang
until I was twelve
and my father’s friend 
clamped heavy leather
headphones over my ears,
played birdsong,
bass up, on his new stereo. 

You know not to whisper,
have devised something soft,
with depth and timbre
and when you take the rim 
of my ear between thumb
and forefinger, track it
to my lobe, I forget I can’t

hear, forget even that the ear
has auditory function.
In eighth grade, Karen Tuklas
said, The ear is an erogenous
zone.  We laughed.  We laughed
harder when we looked up
erogenous in Mrs. Prior’s
yellow-paged Webster:
sexually gratifying or arousing
indeed!  But Karen was right.
Eros is well served by
fingers, lips, and breath
conjugated with the tender
receptivity of ears.


Jasmine tea is both scent and taste
making of two, one sense
a merging

that defies distinction,
the way touch and taste,
scent and sight of beloved,

even my whisper, your cry
when we come
right down to perfect fusion

are indivisible.


What do you want?
Can you be more specific?
That is specific.  I’ve left nothing out.
But where will you put it all?
Everything is where it belongs.
I will go to where it is: see all there is to see,
savor what is salty, sour, sweet,
listen to music, rain, thunder, words,
wailing and laughter, loudest crash,
softest rush and rustle,
touch, be touched, touch.
I will let myself be overwhelmed by
scents of lily, garlic, bread, ginger,
wine, river and sea in late summer.
And then what?
After everything, there is nothing.
Nothing left to desire.
And then do you start over?  Or die?
No.  No.  Then you cease to seek.  It’s quiet,
that nothing-left-to-want time.  There’s pleasure
recalling the limitless wanting,
remembering all you’ve received.
Isn’t that dull?
Heaven’s no!  It’s the very best time to fall in love—
with yourself, others, your whole life.
Doesn’t that take you back to wanting?
Not at all.  It’s acceptance without wanting
and especially without needing. 
Imagine how clearly you can see yourself,
see another, without need clouding perception.

I am what I am.
He is what he is.
We are what we are.

And that is enough?
More than enough, it’s extravagant.

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