“Velvet, velvet, velvet, knife” by E. Kristin Anderson

“Toppled Tree 10-16″ by Pat Zalisko, 64×47, Acrylic on canvas.”

(after Prince)

Some carry a stiletto in their garter
along with everything else – Stevie Nicks

We put things in our shoes that sometimes
should not be there. Secrets or even feet,
jammed into the toes, our ankles swelling
turning, falling with every song we play out
with our toes.     We let the swell rise to
our knees and refuse the pain refuse
the scream because we know
what is most important.

I press the button on the radio and reach
for my thigh where I carry invisible weapons.
I press the button on the radio and reach
for my thigh where the fat was where
I have wasted away, not eating, not eating,
not feeling, waiting for comfort
and I press the button on the radio.

These days the sun shines but my ankles
feel wet like leaves left in the rain
for days and days and I watch
for your birds and see only
chickadees, everywhere, everywhere.
And what does it mean, these tiny,
tiny birds, hopping over cracks
in the sidewalk that I myself
trip through and worry for?

I reach for a weapon, lost to up-all-night
whimsy. I reach for a weapon and turn off
the radio and the light and close the shades
and wait in the dark for a sign.



E. Kristin Anderson is a multi-Pushcart-nominated poet and author who grew up in Westbrook, Maine and is a graduate of Connecticut College. She has a fancy diploma that says “B.A. in Classics,” which makes her sound smart but has not helped her get any jobs in Ancient Rome. Kristin the co-editor of Dear Teen Me, an anthology based on the popular website and her next anthology, Hysteria: Writing the female body, is forthcoming from Sable Books. She is currently curating Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture for ELJ Publications. Her poetry has been published worldwide in many magazines and anthologies and she is the author of eight chapbooks including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray Pray Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), She Witnesses (dancing girl press), and We’re Doing Witchcraft (Hermeneutic Chaos Press). Kristin is Special Projects Manager for ELJ and is a poetry editor at Found Poetry Review. Once upon a time she worked at The New Yorker. She now lives in Austin, TX where she works as a freelance editor and is trying to trick someone into publishing her full-length collection of erasure poems based on women’s and teen magazines. She blogs at EKristinAnderson.com and tweets at @ek_anderson.

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  1. Pingback: Contributors Winter 2017 | Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal

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