The Balance of Power

The woman is perfected.
Her dead
Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity
Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.
Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little
Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded
Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden
Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.
The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.
She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.


a new photo narrative featuring Model: Jane Alice
as my LIBRA
for the new series: Personal Universe, an astrological study starring the model stable of Michelle Gemma (2017-2018)
Photograph by Michelle  Gemma
27 July 2018
Stonington Boro, CT  USA
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

featuring the Poem:
Edge      by      SYLVIA PLATH





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“Return From The Sea”

The Captain has been on a long sea voyage to find his fortune, having left behind his beloved.
He has anxiously awaited his return home.
He knows that his beloved has paced away many nights at the Mansion up in the Widows Walk, craning a look through the telescope: hoping to see a ship , any ship, any movement.
Movement is life.
The sea has movement but it can betray the visible truth because there is so much movement in the sea.
The sea waves back at you, is hopeful.
The Captain has arrived at the Mansion.
He enters each room and looks around.
Then he walks upstairs to get a better look. The Widows Walk has the best view. Plus there is a telescope: he will find her…

“Return From The Sea”
a new photo narrative starring Writer: Royal Young
Text and Photographs by Michelle Gemma
25 June 2018
Spicer Mansion
15 Elm Street, Mystic, CT  USA

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It’ll End In Tears

Song To The Siren
Fond Affections
The Last Day
Another Day
Waves Become Wings
Dreams Made Flesh
Not Me
A Single Wish


It’ll End in Tears is the first album released by 4AD collective This Mortal Coil, an umbrella title for a loose grouping of guest musicians and vocalists brought together by label boss Ivo Watts-Russell. The twelve tracks of the album are illustrated here, in proper order.

featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle
all Photographs by Michelle Gemma
Spicer Mansion, Mystic, CT  USA

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Morgan age 18

“Activate”                                                                                                                                        featuring Model: Morgan Vail, age 19
from the ongoing series “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl”—
a timeline of photographs over 19 years with the same model 
Mystic, CT USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma















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Help Yourself

Help yourself
But tell me the words
Before you fade away
You reveal all the secrets
To remember the end
And escape someday

featuring Model: Titus Abad
from the “Seventeen Seconds” series
Photograph by Michelle Gemma
25 October 2016
Eolia Mansion, Waterford, CT  USA

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Excerpt from “Young Offender” by Michelle Gemma, published in Post Magazine, Winter 1994

When the media broke the story on Jeff Poprocks last August (1994), there was already a certain amount of recognition surrounding the fuse phantom. Just days before his arrest, one local paper printed the plaintive demands of an eight-year old for the police “to please catch the fuse.”  Mystic resident Poprocks’   four month stint as a graffiti artist straddled the towns of both Groton and Stonington, common to most Mystical occurrences.  He is currently facing first, second, and third degree charges of criminal mischief as a result of his spray-painting various private and commercial buildings, rooftops, highway bridges and overpasses with his signature fuse. While Poprocks has raised the ire of Mystic property owners, for others, fuse lights our attention like the quick blue incandescence of late night television.


What’s surprising about Poprocks’ case and subsequent effect upon our community is that so many people readily presumed the gang implications of fuse.  Locals talked of the certainty of the fuse gang existence in Mystic, and most never questioned it.  The actual reality of the graffiti text may have frightened some, and perhaps raised again the suspicion of others that town has changed.  The frequent rhythm of the secret coded language marked something of significance, the actual meaning of which we could only speculate upon.  When questioned regarding his intent, Poprocks immediately alluded to the conflict of emerging teenage frustration of private self against expressing public persona in a medium at once visible and accessible.  Similar polarizations have occurred in the face of our society’s trademark television isolationism, except in the case of the latter, the individual sits at home in front of the television machine with the remote control and does nothing.  This may well be an exciting form of communication when taken to the next level of the video game, possibly a convoluted form of an individual art.  Graffiti art has always held the same level of fascination as any other individual athleticism:  the perfection of the individual will in the edge realm of complete self-reliance.  Once the basic technique is mastered, one lives to challenge the self and progress to higher levels of performance.


What the local papers failed to realize and capitalize upon as a positive vibe for town, was the big picture in Poprocks’ case.  Fuse is not a gang.  Any opportunity should be seized to comment on this.  But since most establishment sorts have done nothing to encourage the youth of our town in any real sense, let alone lead them forward into a new era of personal responsibility;  the public indifference is not surprising.  Instead the youth become criminals, and security forces must be hired to keep them down.  Down at home watching television until they go to college, which is not necessarily the most personally challenging option, only the most accessible for those most financially able.  As well, television is the most unlikely to encourage self-growth now so that a permanent commitment to Mystic and its cultural future is a reality.



Poprocks is fortunate enough to use the fortuitousness of cosmic timing to his advantage.  Since his graffiti artistry occurred entirely while he was seventeen years old, his eligibility for youthful offender status looks good.  He turned eighteen days after having been arrested, an occurrence beyond irony and cause for his own personal contemplation and subsequent call to duty.  Youthful offender status is granted upon affirmation of many conditions, one of which is the certainty that all offenses occurred while the individual was younger than eighteen.  And that fortune may well be his wooden cross to bear.  Having experienced the psychological scare tactics in the police’s questioning room after he turned himself in, Poprocks could not bear witness to other graffiti artists.  Primarily his outright lack of knowledge as to the others’ identity prevented him from revealing more than he knew.  The police were most interested to know who the perpetrators of the defacement of the Mystic Academy building were.   Anyone visiting the town-owned building recently is confronted with your more typical adolescent writings on the wall, of local romanticisms and rival town exchanges.  Nothing new really, except the scale and all over saturation of the spray paint due to the building’s current limbo status.  When the Board of education voted to close Mystic Academy at the end of the 1993 school year, the Town of Groton repossessed the building and its surrounding estate, and is presently trying to figure out its best use for the community.


And here we come full circle.  Poprocks’ case moves into its final stages, as he awaits verdict in his application for youthful offender status.  He seemingly meets all of the conditions for approval- he has no previous criminal or drug record of any kind.  He will plead guilty to all charges against him in a trial without media publicity, and no matter what, he will not go to jail.  As long as he is trouble-free until he is twenty-one, his future will not be shadowed by a criminal record.  What he will justifiably get from the court system fulfills the monetary implications of his artwork, which includes his own role in community service.  A role he has already impressively carved out for himself.



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Dark Fantasy

“hey, teacher, teacher
tell me how do you respond to students?
and refresh the page and restart the memory?
respark the soul and rebuild the energy?
we stopped the ignorance, we killed the enemies
sorry for the night demons still visit me
the plan was to drink until the pain over
but what’s worse, the pain or the hangover?”

featuring Model: Kathryn O’Reilly
Mystic, CT USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma

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