the poetry that matters

Elaine Kahn

Elaine Kahn is currently working towards an MFA in Poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A longtime resident of San Francisco, Elaine graduated from the California College of the Arts with a BA in Visual Studies. Upon graduation she worked as an intern at Small Press Distribution in Berkeley and then spent two years at City Lights Books as the store Poetry Buyer.  
Elaine Kahn has two chapbooks out – Radiant Bottle Caps (Glasseye Books, 2008) and Convinced By the End Of It (Big Baby Books, 2009), a split with Canadian poet Valerie Webber which was recently featured in
Arthur Magazine.  More of her work can be found at shampoopoetry.com, and at moisttowelette.blogspot.com


Creep Show

four squared the sick-maker, flatten / squirm
I am your liebling
am the object of your fatherly derision

                               oh Katie Sims
                               I am a fraud and always was
                               I have defaced   the visage of my ankles

                              raincoat all along

he was always alone and sitting on the shelf
caving in and eating burn
oh some little kid way
becomes a quickie / snack / divorce

one gives me lice and I retaliate black death
: the way it ricocheted, unruly

                             (but then I hear it’s in the air now
                             I hear you catch it like a flapjack on your plate)

a Half-Swan Swam Into my Eye Socket

giant fishpond eyesinks
sinks the seventh day
each hungry hour
beats the dead fish a little deader

no buttons for the lidless
no hope for the unclean
these, our swollen
visits with a groan

you downed the yuck so stiff       
so stuttered
cracks my hip drive
our hands are bowed electric

throw your gray stink everywhere
gray and wet
spitting up coal
your bay-bed on my jacket

rains a beaded horse
I sleep in a chain
a marriage bed is an ark
and pink light falls down stairs

I ferry us home
I ferry us quiet

there was an ocean
in the sheen of our error

at the last of one’s patience
anyone can be so quiet

The Sleep Of My Night Worm

he had his eyes on
my spill, sloppy in a hairspray cheap
all, he was like an ogre-still
slick graze, a slide stand

boasting me on magic
man just wants to see
just, where I come from
cheap just           was my spray

the doorsill cross’d
into me                inlaid different slips
his was                 alright/muted/I could hide
my          slop, some zero load
fingers and fingers
the all hurts

O mymom
burying the blankets
look, I took away
look, I’m on my back
I to wriggle          back to grace

eyes pinned to my indoors
little baby eyes
hallucinate, effort
all that wriggle

try to know—I’s pinned
I’s peeling back

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