Kristy Bowen (Chicago, USA): Three Poems


As always, I'm devastated by that shade
of blue. The hint of hotel rooms
and anything French. Tend to fall
for the short notes, the staccato.
This seasick vibrato, like the girl
that opened her mouth so wide
you could hear the wind inside.
Her wreckage of trees and wheel spokes.
One dance card, then another.

No one loves a brushfire, or worse,
a dirty blonde. The grotto with a thousand
bones rinsed so clean it was erotic.
You might carry them home in your pockets
like birds with tiny marbles for eyes,
newspaper where their wings should be.
Might cut their tongues out.
might name them for your own.


we walk up the stairs, walk down.
Put too much sugar in the coffee.

Button, unbutton.
It's all very hush, hush.

Like the beginning of a play
where we take out the dishes,

put them away, or the death scene
where the scenery tears at the edges.

He coaxes us with cokes and marbles.
The penny voyeur, his marionette,

the hot pink hibiscus of her mouth.
Shows me a drawing of a house.

Then a house with birds.
A dovecote, a broken key.

I take out the stars then put them away.


Not the bird, but merely the picture of a bird,
and I’m all wound, all wound.

Pensive, pale, pirouetting
in sequins and feathers.
Losing my passport on the train
and inventing my name.

Your seance gives me the shakes,
little eggs quivering carnivorous
in my palm.

I’m a shipwreck in a bottle,
full steam. The part of the painting
where the painting has been taken away.

The balcony. The woman in the boat.
All I know about mathematics:

that it makes a pretty bride, makes a pretty mess.

© Kristy Bowen 2007