Kathleen McGookey ~ Workshop

Once I offered a poem that con­tained the phrase “mist shim­mers” to a table full of peo­ple. One man said, Mist can’t shim­mer. Fog shim­mers.  Mist drifts. His name was Paul. I said noth­ing but thought many things. Paul had dark bangs cut straight across his fore­head, clean fin­ger­nails, and a cardi­gan that smelled like char­coal bri­quets. He sliced an apple right on top of the grow­ing sheaf of poems, and he didn’t share. He count­ed the rings of the apple’s life. Paul said crows didn’t live in Antarctica, because they couldn’t cross the ocean. He seemed to know a lot about weath­er and birds, but lit­tle about wish­bones and the kind of moss that sprouts ten­drils wear­ing tiny tri­an­gu­lar hats. The ring­ing in my ears shift­ed from side to side, then grew loud­er and fad­ed, like some kid was play­ing with the con­trols off­stage. I don’t remem­ber what Paul’s poem was about.


Kathleen McGookey’s most recent books are Instructions for My Imposter (Press 53) and Nineteen Letters (BatCat Press).  Her work has recent­ly appeared in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, December, Field, Glassworks, Miramar, Quiddity, and Sweet.