Kenton K. Yee ~ Six Poems


The meat in the pool—
The rodent pecks the cat—
The cat bleeds the bird—
The bird drinks the dew—

We’ve all seen this episode before.
The cook­ie is red, the cook­ie is blue.

The meat is actu­al­ly bread.
The bread’s beet red.
Red para­keets are adorable.
Speaking of doors, who let the dog out?
They make good mops.
Go mop the pool.



A two-legged rein­deer is a sign of progress.
Who can’t use a hat rack?
Even now, I don’t believe
in snow. Reindeer antlers
mount­ed on a pole don’t cascade.
They’re majes­tic though.
Jellyfish look like antlers.
What’s in a jellyfish?
You say jel­lo, I say tomato.
A jel­ly with­out a fish is creativity.
Let’s call cre­ativ­i­ty a star.
When you want a star, make a wish.
Wish for a fish-fla­vored snowball.
It may shoal with you, sway with you.



Alone in the dark
look­ing out the window
down on the lunar surface
for the captain’s return.

Sirens esca­late, fade, and escalate.
The only oth­er signs of life:
yel­low mites pock­ing the sky.
I low­er a plas­tic Jack-o-lantern
on a string out the window
for rock samples.

Only the ultra-light­weight mask
made of Woolworth plastics
stands between me
and instant exsanguination.



She laid me 5 feet
from her bed last night. Her cov­er quakes

with each cough. I’ve bled pages for her.
I’ve entered her ears. She knew with­out counting

the wall out­side the win­dow has 719 bricks.
How? Why? For what purpose?

The maple cock-a-doo­dle-dood. The wind the wind
the dun / the reds / the yel­lows / the shadows

5 pages / 13 coughs / 1 cup / 1 teabag
light steam / no steam.

As always, alone.

At last she low­ers my nib. I bleed
sway / bleed / swiv­el / bleed / blot.

I stare and stare at our blood-wild rage,
drips / blots / scratch­es / buds

branch­es and twigs
worm­ing all over the page.

Fractal frac­tal frac­tal! and I forget
if beau­ty / truth were black­ber­ry or moth.



Get in at four to prep the store.
Toast a muf­fin at six
as they unlock the doors.

Plop a cut­ter on the grill.
Crack an egg into it.
Drop water, simmer.

Pile the egg on the muf­fin bottom,
grilled ham / melt­ed cheese
on top of it.

What’s on top? The muf­fin top.
Wrap the sand­wich with care.
You have this down to a proof

and could repli­cate it a hun­dred times
each day til Easy Street
if you want.

But you’re 58.
Cooking is just your living.
You live to cre­ate!

Your sand­wich has 5 layers.
5 is prime and every
num­ber odd and prime

con­tains the let­ter ‘e’,
like one / five
mem­o­ry / forget.

Feed the bee and bet the beef,
remem­ber has 3.
Your PhD is far / has none,

but primes are unforgettable.
You won’t give up. There’s no
great­est prime, no deadline.



Inside these lines lurk autocomplete
con­stru­ing the vernacular
of my hesitations,

its syn­tax­es puls­ing the blood
beneath my pupils.

Time and light for signs:
line count / turn / backflip.

Ampersands climb a continuüm
of red balloons.

Help Wanted:
wick­er bas­ket provided


Kenton K. Yee recent­ly placed poet­ry in ConstellationsThe Threepenny Review, Rattle, The Indianapolis Review, Plume Poetry, Hollins Critic, and Pembroke Magazine, among oth­ers. An Iowa Summer Poetry Workshop alum­nus and for­mer Columbia University fac­ul­ty mem­ber, he writes from north­ern California.