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Ellaraine Lockie

Tripping With

the Top Down




Click here to see Ellaraine’s other FootHills chapbook Stroking David’s Leg


Ellaraine Lockie is one of the very few poets whose voice has touched me so profoundly that it inspired me to write a response poem. EL is a word surgeon, one who bothers with surface material only because it's in her direct path to the heart, where her work inevitably ends up. Lest there is any confusion, when I speak of the heart I mean the heart of the subject matter of the poem, the heart of how that subject matter might best be expressed, and the heart of the very fortunate reader who has found her work.

—Harvey Stanbrough

Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet, Instructor



In Tripping with the Top Down, Lockie invites her readers into confessional conversations while accomplishing what she does best:  using ironic humor, sharp behavioral insights and a native diction that combines with vivid and detailed imagery to portray a wealth of pithy concepts. This collection fuses unexpected descriptions with sensuality and a thrilling “creep factor,” as with the opening poem, “Anywhere Hotel.” On the whole, Tripping feels like a big daydream, where Lockie’s self-awareness gropes into fantasy and plucks at both pleasant musings and unsightly truths.

—Eve Anthony Hanninen, Poet, Illustrator, and Editor of The Centrifugal Eye



Tripping with the Top Down is a poet’s travelogue spiced with sympathetic tapestries and modern drama. Ellaraine Lockie chronicles her travels throughout the western United States in this new collection of poems.  Along the way, she maps the terrain of alleys and valleys with puzzlement and an ever-present desire for the fresh discoveries just around the bend. Lockie’s keen eye catches the kaleidoscope of characters and situations that await her wherever she gets behind the wheel.

—Tom Plante, Editor of Exit 13 Magazine, author of Atlas Apothecary


Thanks to her observing eye and facility with language, Ellaraine Lockie brings us this stunning new collection. Within its pages lie something for everyone. Not because she casts a wide net in an attempt to speak to everyone; quite the contrary. Because she speaks from her own heart, her own lived experience of the themes and questions of human life. We are brought to consciousness through her powers of observation; and to gratitude for her generosity in sharing them.

—Sarah W. , author of Slow Blooming Gratitudes,

Co-director of Writing Inside VT.


From the book:

Mendocino Morning


A shawl of gauzy gray wraps the shoulders

of this transported old-world town

Tucks into every orifice

when I feel my gravelly way for a walk

while the still sleepy sun rolls out of bed


Water towers blur into windmills

Naked pink ladies in soft focus

shiver their bare stems

And a rainbow of Monet blooms

weave in and out of the ocean air lacework


Immersed in a Wuthering Heights damp longing

I halfway expect Heathcliff to appear

framed by the dry-iced silence of fog


The steel wool of an NPR broadcaster’s

bellow scratches morning’s quiet

a block before the white truck

floats beside me like a ghost ship


That moors and a man cannonballs  

from the helm with me as his mark

Engine running on decibels

well below the broadcaster's motormouth


My Heathcliff wears a metallic pink sweater

gold hoop in one ear, cobweb hair

in a crew cut and a military mustache


He equates NPR exuberance when

he rushes toward me yelling

One for women’s rights

Harvard just froze fifty female eggs


I back away while raising a stop-signal hand

from what could be a hug

He high-fives my hand

then retreats to the truck and drives off

NPR diminishing in the distance

Sun undressing the Mendocino day



Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. Tripping with the Top Down is her thirteenth chapbook. Recent poetry awards have included:the Encircle Publication Chapbook Contest Prize, Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Award, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine (England) and the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest Prize. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh.












Tripping With the Top Down

is a 44 page hand-stitched chapbook   $10.00


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