New Story in Queen Mob’s Teahouse

Hello all,

I wanted to let you know that I have a short story featured in Queen Mob’s Teahouse. It is titled “The Conditional Gift,” and was written in late 2016. You can give it a read here. I suggest listening to alt-J’s “Something Good,” while you’re at it. A big thanks to Jessica Sequeira, who currently serves as fiction editor. I highly recommend her novel, A Furious Oyster, particularly if you are a fan of Pablo Neruda.

I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support of my writing. I’m glad to have grown familiar with just how invigoratingly addictive creative exploration can be.

– Kristine

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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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milk for the cereal, and vice versa

say hello to the girl at the
grocery store.

she grabs the brand of milk
you use :: all-time favorite
frosted wheaties soaking in
a chilled bowl of soy.

you are the boy, avoided.

the aisle persists in its
wide declaration – your
footprints following sighs
and the ragged breathing
one only hears when
the other has stumbled.

she never truly forgot
and regulars could attest
to loud discontent
locked in bent cans
rolling down, down –
further down.

metal rods clanging
against vineyards
on new glass.

the lids disappeared.

regardless, you both
spend every Friday
racing to the corner, a
lopsided box with
creased flaps, eyelids
reproached for looking
ahead and away.

shopping carts collide
and curse in light rainfall.

Cat No. 121 of the 500 Cats Project

letters from North Texas

you promised me letters and yes,
they were delivered.

so much meaning to a girl who
never had a birthday party, as
birthdays near Christmas bring
enough cheer as they come to
recover snowflakes’ edges so
rounded and spliced within life.

you had a point when you said
I could use a spine, and not the
kind between glossy covers with
cherry blossoms, peaches, the
hope that graced my evenings
before you came home to speak
of yet another disappointment
that could only emerge from my
off-white inexperience, marred
further by old crayons I still hide
beneath my almost-bed, these
almost-goals refusing to say they
are done with me, my failures in
following through with plans that
look so pretty on the porous face
of “Thank You” cards I wanted to
send, and for some reason, I did
feel that I owed you one, as well
as the signature that no one could
read in high school; they told me
to re-write it, or simply provide my
initials because we weren’t signing
anything the President reads, just
like I would be folding your grayed
boxers dusting every inch of some
up-to-date gadgetry you felt you
were entitled to, as entitled as men
should be to that perfect woman
I was, wasn’t, but could be if I only
took it easy on that small bright pint
of cookie dough ice cream, and all
the sugar I thought would stay, atop
my tongue that welcomed and asked
you to stay because you said I was
different, and I thought that this alone
was enough to fall asleep, a grin so
wide and hands enjoying the calm
of two admired breasts, awaiting an
admission of your follies and a pledge
to be yourself, to do away with deeds
you’d only distrust as an obligation.

I tore up each and every letter today,
realizing I’ve had enough time.

Sardine in the Middle

they fought over fattened sardines.
a can rolling with summer’s shine.
they fought over an evening indoors.
and I was happy with a pigeon’s demise.

I understand how magnetized
a business card can be,
when squirrels nod and prettily boast
about nuts they gather, three times quick.

my friends, in actuality,
are roommates, smiling widely.
scheming, almost nightly.
glue in a bottle of your brother’s shampoo.

I blink at another brown recluse,
not exactly wishing a viral ill.
but if they scream a bit too loud,
I won’t hyperventilate a minute prolonged.

*Cat No. 26 of the 500 Cats Project

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