The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Meet Me at the Bottom by Kathleen Hellen

This selection, chosen by Guest Leslie Rzeznik, is from Meet Me at the Bottom by Kathleen Hellen, released by Main Street Rag Press in 2022.


               Leona Theater, Homestead, 1978

Shadow-puppets dancing in this fire trap
this ruined palace, the sign collapsing—The Patti
	Smith Group…Frid y…

she sings inside the belly of a song
the puppets writhing. I was riding on the shoulders
of a single cell, heaving in the swell
Let me in, taunting. The anthem of our discontent
to eulogize the last event—her angel signed to save
Homestead, the ironworks, the massacre of every shining moment

she sings as if she knows me (I could’ve sworn she looked right at me)
her eyes connecting sweat, fist
the history of misery
as if we’d met

under the bridge, under the radar of Carnegie and Frick
these massacres with sticks…this dance with Shiva
tick tick tick

Kathleen Hellen’s latest collection is Meet Me at the Bottom from Main Street Rag Publishing Co. Her credits include The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin, the award-winning collection Umberto’s Night, published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, her work has appeared in Arts & Letters, Cimarron Review, New Letters, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Hellen’s awards include the Thomas Merton prize for Poetry of the Sacred and prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review, as well as awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

Leslie Rzeznik lives in southeast Michigan. She earned her BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and won The Academy of American Poets prize in 2013. Her work has appeared in AlyssBone BouquetSling Magazine, Willawaw Journal, and Bear River Review.

Latest posts by sundresspublications (see all)

Leave a Reply