Poetry: Grant Kittrell
There’s a Man with a Hemingway Inside
His chair is shrinking beneath him on the coffee shop patio. I should grow a mustache, a full-blown beard. This brisk November means nothing and everything to his smoky sail of hair. He runs his fingers through it like a god. His wife hasn’t said a word since they arrived. He is one with the beagle at the next table over, casts a pensive gaze to stroke its head. I need to reassess the legitimacy of my sunglasses. He fingers the lip of his favorite shotgun, the eye of his father’s fishing rod, bearing the sway of experienced hands. She is watching the pedestrians. She does not look at him. He is kissing the muzzle of his French roast. I have known a woman who loves the thick and curl of my chest hair—button down, button down. The lioness of his dreams comes bounding up Center Street. He drops all but his gun to chase her. A woman stands naked at the bathroom sink, light and dizzy, contemplating the man who holds her in the mirror. I am floating among the leaves of his contrails, kicking his empty can of fishing worms down the sidewalk home. She is waiting there. The wind is picking up.
Don’t Let the Caterpillar Eat Your Marbles
They take the livewire route and suck’em in. This is a place we come to find peace. I am not in a mood to suffer. Things get murky in the down-low. It’s a cheap thrill to know that things are perfect just the way they are. I am not the way I am. Are you the way you is? You is, in singular portions. I can only take one at a time. Otherwise, I fill up like a catapult cushion in the summer time. Where were you when the blowfish lost its blow? On the coast near Bermuda, sinking your toes in the sand like the chickens we had as a kid and buried cause they let us. We are a peaceful crowd. We are the everlasting fundaments of the non-political political grass root bursting from your bubble bath. It’s a dirty place, cause we let it. A rusty goo creeping around the corners like monster blood. We like monster blood. It is our especially special nutrient. Keeps us catching the bus at the right time in the mornings. We are fated to forget. I forgot to brush my teeth today. Maybe tomorrow I will floss. It is less a matter of time, and more a matter of when the time is right. I am a right time, all the time. Press the button here. Red is for go.
I Am Thinking of All the Ways I Could Marry Myself
I could marry my earlobe and talk to it. I think it would understand. I could marry my foot, buy it all sorts of comfy shoes. It could walk around with a loving man till death do us part. My belly button. I could marry my belly button. What good it’d do I am not sure, but I could do it. I have to say I am not married to the idea of being married to only one part of myself. If my eyebrows called longingly, I would come. So too would I come, with open arms, to my toenails or genitals, if they called. I am not married to the idea of only being married to parts of myself. If at once, as one body, all my parts called longingly with open arms I would spin around in one place till I was dizzy. I have to say, once and for all, I am not only married to the idea of being married to parts of myself if at this moment, with open arms, something else called.
Grant Kittrell is a writer, illustrator, and the Poetry Editor at Flock Literary Journal, which recently received CLMP’s Firecracker Award for Best Debut Magazine. He was the winner of the 2018 Phillip Booth Poetry Prize. His collection of prose poems, Let’s Sit Down, Figure This Out, is out from Groundhog Poetry Press. He received his MFA from Hollins University in 2014, and he currently lives and writes in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he serves as the Director of the Academic Services Center and the Writing Program at Randolph College.
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