I doubted my father would send communiqués through a
medium. But he turned up right on cue. The medium said Dad
was concerned about the frequency with which I wield “the
sword of injustice.” I knew exactly what he was referring to
having just called my neighbor a bitch. Dad went on to goad
me about my hypochondria. “Well,” I said, “if he’s joking that
must mean the cyst is benign.” The medium used an etch a
sketch. Every now and then I could hear him shaking it through
the phone. My uncle showed up. He was dancing. He didn’t
respond when we asked whether his son had been wrongly
convicted. A former neighbor appeared and reminded me that
I had once coveted her Pottery Barn rug, but, when pressed,
offered no explanation for the suicide. My friend’s husband
wouldn’t reveal whether he’d been poisoned, instead he spent
ten minutes describing his beloved Corvette.
This selection comes from the poetry book, Goodbye Toothless House, available from KATTYWOMPUS PRESS. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Tierney Bailey.
Kelly Fordon is the author of three poetry chapbooks. The first one, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2012 Standing Rock Chapbook Award and the latest one, The Witness, won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for the Chapbook and was shortlisted for the Grand Prize. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, was chosen as a Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist in the short story category. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, was published by Kattywompus Press in February 2019. A new short story collection, I Have the Answer
, will be published by Wayne State University in April 2020. She teaches at the College for Creative Studies, Springfed Arts, and InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit. www.kellyfordon.com
Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Currently, Tierney is an associate poetry editor at Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons, and a freelance graphic designer. Tierney earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney.