archives spring 2009



I want to introduce myself, not quite human

Before any conclusion, he’s a boy
up & down some private pier—
to cluster & shock
from the gas-shallows:
up the leg of his shorts
property & resort to
I want to prevent—
to keep bad words from coming into
his possession? How to excise with a volt
from his tremendous frame
Act-O tongued precision
I mean the cell words which will
yoke every mote of him to revolt—
this bleached body: his
form caught deep
in bleached jean shorts, running
Before my girlhood’s even begun
I wave an eel’s embodied ‘hello’
from that shy, bilious space
I borrow every conceivable alchemical
medieval remedy. There is so much
What sort of entity must I inhabit
the terrible acumen of
these toxic suggestions
of reference? With an X
I clean him of ringleaders—
spirit slaking from
damp shorts on a dock, my elver
in the gut of a roller


The thing in the middle which has no corner

and no handle
a sick animal
nose nudged
of apple blossom
oil I couldn’t use
a sound dropped
a swarm of seeds
a large grey moth
a hash-marked door
something moved
an old rotary phone
three stump-legged
tumors got under
mine to move then
a tall black something
loitered in the median
against a low bower
its eye ran over with
my hands from above
it was a lead blanket
dragged beneath my shoe
stuck inside my windpipe
flapped back there then
a heavy smell rang like
full in the face and then
sheepdogs covered in
the house which wasn’t
by god they moved it


la parc darque but you can only magnify it

I just wandered up there
for a moment
a hide mitten sodden
in a high gate
a moment something
where it once
boiled egg lay peeled
it had a cake
already salted there
in the frame 
and none could be
anyway you
its topside with 1
eye spotting
life more fully
            so many times
& it only fluoresced
            the canopy made
    stretched, half torn
            the leaves stilled
               moved in the fence
            was warm a hard
    under a beech tree
            of dirt its topside
      were no animals
            to snuffle it out
            could only spot
      eye closed, 1
            itself in another
    exposed  bug


Karyna McGlynn was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and received her MFA from the University of Michigan. Her first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, won the 2008 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry from Sarabande Books.  She has published several chapbooks, including Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007), Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008), and, forthcoming, Small Shrines (Cinematheque Press, 2009). Her poems appear in Fence, Typo, Denver Quarterly, Octopus, Anti-, LIT, and Ninth Letter. McGlynn currently teaches at Concordia University Texas and will be the Claridge Writer-in-Residence at Illinois College this fall. She edits the online journal linelinelineline with Adam Theriault.  Her website is karynamcglynn.com.