A Poem by Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen’s collections include Meet Me at the Bottom, The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin, and Umberto’s Night, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, her work has appeared widely in such journals as Arts & Letters, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, New Letters, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, and Witness, among others. She is the recipient of the poetry prize from Washington Writers’ Publishing House, the Thomas Merton prize for Poetry of the Sacred, and prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review.

trigger rhymes w/

something rat-infested?
something about borders?
Kanye West?

rough adjusting cuffs
the will to power

I said that consciousness is
prison I said that I admit
there’s nothing better than a little

at least from the perspective of
the Kremlin

to those who stunt with flags, who mask the self-

a view he rented at the Ritz
with kompromat of hookers—each
more beautiful than the next

A complement to strange obsessions
I submit
that doesn’t look good

that knee that doesn’t bend
that doesn’t recognize
that life is limb, that

gender doesn’t mean
I am his sister