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.

late addiction

When the woozy realized the earth had broken fissures,
members of committees grew snouts, hooves ad hoc ad hominem…
the room shook. We did not look, we took for granted
whoever chaired the meeting was an embarrassment of
paws disturbing paper. We might have left but we forgot
the vertical of strategies, the calculus of chalkboards. The sky
bulb, smart phone, access to the data. It was as if a truck
had made the building sway but nowhere was a truck…
as if a finger pointed to the lip was thoughtfulness.
We did not use the stairs, we did not use the elevators,
we did not use the wings we had inherited, though useful.
We might have left but napping in the seismic rents, the tremors,
we did not recognize the nature of containment.

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.


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