you are in the diode archives spring 2010



reality show

The weather determined the light,
the moving car, the open window.
I dreamed a room and a key
in a box.  I carried a carnation
between my teeth.

No one could tell me all the openings
weren’t a sign, an invitation,
because I wore it out, wore
 a red dress for three days.
Wore my nails to the quick. 

There was a woman on a balcony
and a commotion  I was given a
small book and I swallowed it.
Gave up my name when you asked
and oiled every hinge.

I was a good little despot til the horses
came with their endless plodding 
Your hand on my back was disastrous. 
I kept opening the medicine cabinet,
looking for poppies. I was worse,
but no worse than you with your fake
name and your little machines. 
Now you see it, now you don’t. 
Luminous, I dreamed a camera
in the wall where we made it up
as we went along.

I was blurred, determined.


worse case scenario

Tuesday and I can’t stop fidgeting.
Can’t stop the boy in the blue shirt
from opening and opening the cupboards
until his body is a blue, blue, sliver.
When I said shiver, I meant it.
Meant that the meadows were
an awful, grass scented mess.
Unruly, ruled by the trigger happy
and the trite. You were diligent.
The cuts on your hands
tributes, tributaries.
You looked at me like a magician
passing a sword through a woman
when I put my hand in your pants,
put apples, cookies in my pocket.
A little licorice to stop the clicking.
Everything was mine and mine
and yours and yours.
I lost a finger. Lost my wits.
Was possessed by bareback riders
and children caught in the trees.
Heredity, they say, my mother carving
stars in the kitchen table. Heretical.
Hysterical. But I was so good at it.
So good I stole you these matches.
So good I can get you more.



I am all butter cream and lace when
we abandon this house for another
With a picket fence and a tiny door.
Clandestine, destined
to have too many holes we can’t fill.
Despite the flurry of hands, we are drowsy,
playing cards and fucking in the afternoon.
Holding our nostalgia like a cake knife.

Soon, we abandon this car for another
with a blue lush interior that smalls like Winstons.
I  make a flip book out our indiscretions
misspellings.  Finger the upholstery
while we play roulette with beer bottles.
Kiss me, kiss me not.
My hope all parade floats and dancing bears
until I split the infinitives,
spilt the milk, slit the window screens.
Went for the jugular.

My sleep is still white, all paper and milk.
Counting the cracks in the ceiling and
dividing three and three and three.
Outside the amaryllis was ridiculous,
All lewdly red and unruly.
I was counting spiders in the eves when you left.
One and one and one.  


Kristy Bowen is a writer and visual artist  She runs dancing girl press & studio, which publishes a chapbook series for women poets, produces the online lit zine wicked alice, and hosts an online shop, dulcet, featuring a variety of books, art, and  paper goods. She is the author of in the bird museum (Dusie Press, 2008) and the fever almanac (Ghost Road Press, 2006) as well as several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in Western Humanities Review, New South, Diagram, and elsewhere.