M. Kettner: 1947–2013

Seattle, Washington

May 11, 1947 – July 27, 2013

Michael Edward Kettner was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 11, 1947. He was the fourth and youngest child of Robert and Geraldine Kettner. Michael started writing seriously in his early 20s, a passion that lasted his whole life. Michael met and married Kathleen McGin in 1979, and he and Kathleen moved to Seattle during their first year of marriage. They ran several businesses, including McKettner publishing in the mid 1980s, which published Catalyst, a poetry and arts publication distributed free of charge. The publication and company lasted until 1997 when Michael and Kathleen parted ways. Michael met Crystal Kiley in 2003 and they spent the last decade of his life together. Michael spent his final years writing poetry and working on two novels that are not yet published. Michael wrote daily until a second stroke, on April 6, 2012, robbed him of the ability. He died peacefully after a long illness on July 27, 2013, at the age of 66, in Seattle, Washington. Michael is survived by his sister Sue, his son Raymond, and his partner Crystal Kiley.

From Haiku Zasshi Zō anthology, Winter/Spring 1989:


sleeping on a bench,

penny in the rain

From Bear Creek Haiku #15:

new year/pencil sharpener needs emptying

nothing to do/gum gone flat

in the motel/your opened blouse

cricket/record player not rejecting

From Infrared: Poems from Another Spectrum:

dawn/a can of spilled paint

evening sun/a quarter painted red sinking into a sea of coins

stark escarpment

heart a bag of rocks

ocean a distant pool table

From Full Penny Jar (Port Charlotte, Florida: Runaway Spoon Press, 1989):

Brussels sprouts the sea turning to autumn

haircut: convertible

with its

top down

quiet afternoon

at home,

full penny jar

time up!

parking meter

flips me the bird

moment/rainbow in a soap bubble

juxtaposition/tailpipe in a flower bed

persistent cough/old sports car

dusk the spray-painted traffic sign

From (moments) (Seattle: emPo Publications, 1988):

daybreak fencepost

cloudy sunset . . .


beneath her nipples

eclipse/coroner’s black suit

death/the silent echo of the ravine