ball games

lavender under the pillow
informs me that I’ve learned
a more efficient method
for sound reflection.

puddles at the end
ripple, while nimble
ants peer over the edge
of frayed leaves, dry
and bloodless, like
shells and hollow time.

I am the guest.
you are my keeper.

shadows grow thin
as clocks strike six.

Cats No. 123 and 124 of the 500 Cats Project

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Why Does It Matter So?

My dearest friend is beginning to blog. Let’s give him a warm welcome!

RUMINATIONS IN F SHARP MAJOR

Tommy Cattorneyatlaw ponders; wondering why, feeling….

A rip of the heart,

a tear at the gut,

is it worth it,

as you pick the pieces up.

Maybe not, as they fall back in disarray,

swirling in the blood strewn about as it always was.

Spread about, disheveled as they always were,

a sanctimonious display in a horrid array.

Nothing changes, it just remains,

not trite, but glib, it stays the same.

Not the name and brutality omnipresent,

it’s sick, reality, & omniscient.

A vomit of blood, a resultant finding,

the truth not hiding, it never was.

A slap across the years, trying, never seeing,

not knowing the quest or even why.

How to begin, not whither, not die,

but far from within, so lost again.

A walk across, slain by inequity,

a death that haunts most painfully.

Is there no escape, no sanctuary,

or must it all gut reality?

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in the early evening

steady, I wait underneath
the frightened pecan tree
known to surrender its
grooved secrets as our
sky recalls the clamor
of blind emergencies.

wake me up, slices of
an afternoon snack
are dripping, filling
this vacancy and never
once parting to fall
onto shaken ground.

small town lake laughs
between walls of red cups
splintered, on the edge
of antique tabletops,
without a throbbing leg
to tempt bitter flies.

cooler, almost so still
like ears nearly fried
by the dawn’s alarm,
rogue, set, and ready
to accentuate longing
for minimized calm.

what shook their way
down tangled branches
floats along rivers
white and drained
in time for dinner,
modest and shared.

Cat No. 120 of the 500 Cats Project

Pushcart (2018) Update

I highly recommend you all check out Bold + Italic, and consider submitting as they prepare their third issue. I thank the editors for nominating my poem, “Quarters,” for a Pushcart Prize. This only motivates me as I continue to write, imagine, and explore.

Hope all is well, and have a good day. – Kristine.

Bold + Italic

So to begin with, your little e-magazine here has brought forth its second issue with quite a success, but we had left something a little missing for you — the Featured Poems(s) segment of Issue 02, particularly; and we’ve readied ourselves to show you what we’ve got.

The Featured Poems this time come up from Kathryn Maris’s third collection The House with Only an Attic and a Basement (Penguin, 2018). We’re sure you’ll those as much as (or more than) we did, but never lesser!

Read her featured poems, School Run, and Jesus with Cigarette, here!!!


As for the Pushcart Prize, as the title suggests, let’s tell you that we’ve nominated six items (as is the rule) for the Pushcart Prize, and those are —

from Issue 01:

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conventional nothings

told to pack your bags, I guess.

whatever they contained, no one
remembers. perhaps they’re
lost in a dandelion thicket, paper
airplanes’ missing wings stuck
on the roof, or further broken on
sidewalks leading to a gas station
that grows in its barren longevity.

I feel that everyone already knows
that some books sell without the
last page. coffee stains reveal
more than we’d hope to awaken to
while the rain misses its quivering
targets. we’ll see there’s another
flash flood warning, and agree that
a lot of people shouldn’t be talking
on roads, or water that’s not wet.

doublespeak and jewelry hang from
wrists as you point at the breathing
sky, its grayness so dark. maybe “you”
means “we” in proper sense, etiquette
taught some time ago with too many steps
to follow before ten o’ clock p.m.
only the unseen speaks the nicest word,
but letters never leave closed mouths.

we all need an umbrella.

Cat No. 118 of the 500 Cats Project

enabling the quake

we’ve grown so fat on vitriol, become reluctant on pointing fingers at those

not from our city, one we claim as ours as we look out windows of late-day buses.

pretty parts of town deny cries that echo within our dusty, unchanging hallways.

I’ve wondered what’s to come back for, just how far Scotch tape goes in fixing

cribs with splintered bars, too brittle to hold our discontent that no one could

ever empathize with, although they’re sweating too, palms slightly chapped.

dizzy trips home drop me off fifteen minutes early, spent off the last dime.

someone tells a stranger it can’t feel right to be this angry all the time, to wash your

hair with the same hand soap used to soothe fingers gone cold when it’s over

one hundred degrees outside, bad timing as your fever lives to rise like rude yeast.

protests on sticky notes flutter with pollen across everyone’s front yard, creased.

Cat No. 117 of the 500 Cats Project

our cool Saturday nights

when we set out to
ask gray mornings
questions I wouldn’t
like, even after a sip
of my third Colorado
Mudslide, bitter but
frothy as milkshakes
I pined for at 3 A.M.

these are moments
we’ll sometimes share.

little rewards and
follies in shades of
blue, pink, yellow
happy birthdays I
love and dread to
admit I’ll hold onto
like a pint of cake
batter(y) ice cream.

take my sticky spoon
and hide it for yourself.

Cat No. 116 of the 500 Cats Project