week of March 13-19, 2006
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Kenneth Barnes splits his time between Fayetteville and Wilmington, North Carolina At present he works with at-risk children at the elementary school level, teaching math, reading and spelling with computer software programs He holds a creative writing degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and worked as a journalist for several years before turning his attention to education In 2005 Kenneth returned to writing, focusing on poetry as a creative means of expression Since then Kenneth has published three poems He is planning to return to school to receive his MFA in poetry.
The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Kenneth Barnes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Talk of Tragedy and Childhood
Over breakfast we talked of the space shuttle
explosion — ’84 or ’85 I can’t remember,
but it was in January As a little girl you cried for hours, you said,
until daddy came home and promised
no one suffered much You must have loved him, sitting
on his lap in a green vinyl recliner,
his aftershave a sweet assurance
that tragedy was no match for fathers Stirring my coffee, I can’t help
thinking had America been 11 Old Spice
could have spared our grieving flags
over empty caskets Then the tears would have meant
nothing more than dry salt on our cheeks We, too, would have run in the front yard,
our arms stretched out as we dreamed
From the bench outside
this general store I confess
I can’t smell the ocean.
You find that absurd
bothersome but the sand gnats
have made you irritable.
We’re surrounded by water
you can practically lick
the salt from the air, you say.
practicality has never been my strength.
I change the subject; the one-room schoolhouse
where sailors‚ children learn stories
My words swarming mosquitoes,
you swat them aside
and leave to buy salt-water taffy.
Cast away, I check
the ferry chart once more
for reassurance of escape.
The brochure said nothing
of isolation A souvenir
we never planned buying.
Kit Kennedy lives in San Francisco Her work appears/or will appear in Animus, Bayou, Bombay Gin, Blades, Buckle &, Clara Venus, The Comstock Review, Defect Cult, fulva flava, HALJ, Karamus, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Pearl, Phoebe, Rogue Scholars (online), Runes, and Van Gogh’-s Ear.
The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Kit Kennedy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Lesson in Declension
cherry balanced between
two monks‚ robes
in Spring wind
Latin can’t save you
Erase All You Know
that they exist Now
for breeze Trees rustle
by their own