the poetry that matters

Kayla Altman

Kayla Altman lives in Toronto where she attends Ryerson University after receiving her B.F.A. from OCAD University.

Anna’s Attic


There are a remarkable few who warrant total damnation. They gather in the darkest corners of their attics, wallowing, as they will their wretched spirits. Their desolation is their divinity. Cheap and gullible urchins, given the barren, rotted walls that shelter them. The gift of sight bestowed whilst they monitor the movements of the mortals below. They determine when to sever the strands of sentience. It is proven as they deplume my strings, and I can find no redress for the damage. They heat themselves over stoves stoked with my charred bones. A warm reminder in my ribs of what used to be. My dewy wounds offer a peculiar refuge, and I realize that I’m actually already gone.



Malevolent Minors

Her red tongue extends from a black landscape. Juggling two sanguine apples by a velvet curtain. Two children at the elevator wait for the ding ding to let them know when it’s time to kill kill kill while they tickle you. They pay special attention to your calloused feet, with a feather and a nail. They graze on androgyny and the curiosity of uncertainty. Because, who is on the defensive when contemplating the deceptiveness of a mushroom cut? Immediate as panthers. While you continue to contemplate the appropriateness of argyle versus lace, the extension of white fangs, jagged fingernails lunge at your face. Lost between wafts of cherub curls and the hemorrhaging at your throat, you are left with just enough time to decide that they are too young to be wandering these halls alone.


Nonbelievers and Alice’s Departure

I told her that her hair would fall out if. I told her that it was a sinful sun, that it would spite her in wicked ways. I insisted upon it, but she didn’t believe me. She didn’t see the moon for the necromancer that it is. She always used to call me her little liar. But it’s not a lie. The moon watches in wait. It finds you weak, and alone, and it causes your hair to fall out, and you’re nails to crumble too. I’ve seen it. I saw it happen to Alice. I watched her standing out in the fields from my window. She stood there for eternity and a day, and gave the moon plenty of time to plot its malice. It had that blue-grey hue that meant business. I came out to tell her that she should go home, that the moon was looking awful vindictive tonight. But she didn’t. She thought that I was her little liar too. And then her hair blew away with the wind, and she clawed after it while her fingernails fell to pieces and turned to soot. People say that Alice just moved away. I saw the moving van come to her house. But I knew that she was already gone. Alice had gone into hiding the night before, ashamed of her bare head and naked cuticles. The moon had sent the moving men to convince everyone that I was a liar.




They plan to kill me. They consider the logistics of my murder, and whether to serve Brie at the pyre, so as not to go hungry when I’m gone. There have sheets stolen from a Holiday Inn that they intend to wrap my body in and drag me to the curb, by sheer force of will. And strength built on protein rich cheese. The outstretched cold, their dominant phobia, is no match for their bloodlust. Sadistic and world-dominating daisies – I will submit to assassination. Ignore as I do with all things lethal.



Tucked Away


The dirtiest secrets in my ribcage have found their way to bleed through the vertebrae. Impaired decisions, drunk on all the rotten. Past lovers who shoot me in the dark black. All my tiny lies like road kill on the dining room table. I’m bored and I have a curve. Now everybody knows it.

Bookmark and Share                                                                                                January 15, 2012