Category Archives: Poetry

AM

On the day that I only allowed myself
to listen to AM radio, I cut my hair.
Layers irreparably tangled
collapsed weightlessly.

“I’ll take care of this later.”
The words walked off
faster than I ever could,
before another change of mind.

Horrified we might
become strangers again,
I booked a flight.

With all the money
I did not earn this winter
I want to buy you a gift, something
beautiful, like when too much
alone time has me spinning in the heat,
skirt levitating.

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Fern

There is a fern perched on the windowsill in a white pot,
next to a bowl of pennies and it looks as calm as I’d like to feel next to an ATM.

*

My idealistic young friends have grown up and away.
There’s a song we used to play while driving upstate
We’d say “I never want to not be here.”

The June that we were seventeen, my friend confessed to me
“He gave me money for plan B, I don’t need it,”
She treated us to pancakes the morning after instead.
We laughed and swore never to do this again.

She does not feel she deserves her BFA.
“Bachelor of NOTHING, BA in BOYS IN MY BED,
My mom works her ass off so I can be wasted in this cab.”

Is this moment romance? Candle lit with guilt?
We used to just date whoever worked at the pizza shop.

*

I ran the red light in front of
Asbury Park High School and the policeman
didn’t really mind. Driving and writing a poem on
my iPhone beside New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey coast line.
That was today.

Today was lucky, catatonic, surrounded by
Carefully selected props and noises to embellish
The feeling I’m reaching for and missing.

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Moss

As a lover,
one’s best work
is to unearth
the softness
in another.

Said it would take
a light so clear
to illuminate the
core and begin
shedding moss-
the first layer,
the gentle part.

In time, it happened-
as our softness coalesced,
but scraping stones against
each other, with constant
rhythm creates heat.
Neither of us quit.

Burning, we longed for moss-
its green comfort, could we find it?

Healing hid
along contours until
sedimentary surfaces
met in physical again.

Now, with no
testament carved,
just the certainty
of heat on skin,
we trace moss
and stone
to unearth light.

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Real-sumé

Katelyn Melody Devine
Real Life Lady of 22 Years


Daughter and Sister
1995- Present

Committed to the delicate art of upholding harmony in a six-person household
Acts as liaison between high school aged brothers and aging parents
Expert in bridging gaps of understanding

Friend
1994-Present

Listens closely
Offers comfort
Will collaborate in conversation to decode the mysteries of living
Will never judge your actions or desires
Interested in splitting a bottle of wine
Eager to take off on a road trip

Writer
 1997-Present

Creates poems and non-fiction pieces
Writes to make sense of my perception
Writes to experiment with language
Deeply committed to words
Appreciates a well crafted sentence
Constantly scribbling to share my piece of human contradiction, complexity, and beauty

In Love
2006-Present      

Lover, girlfriend, object of your affection
Experienced in infatuation
Occasionally acts on impulse and timing
Appreciates nothing more than a great love story
Has shown great improvement in choices made in recent years/months

Over Analyzer  

Expert text message decoder
Proficient in reading mixed signals
Able to pick up on notions quickly and accurately
Proven track record of being correct when it comes to reading characters
Experience as child book worm and English Literature major

Dreamer          

Determined to write books
Eager to travel the world
Scheduled to run at sunrise sometimes
Committed to spreading kindness
Interested in learning to cook well
Will look closely at my mistakes and learn from them
Constantly working on living a good, honest, kind life

Can’t Decide    

Whether to take myself seriously or not
Where to direct my energies
Which passions to cultivate today
How to synthesize many ideas and dreams into a sustainable life
What to wear this evening

Understands    

Making something out of nothing is all in the phrasing
Reality is what you tell yourself it is
The universe knows what it is doing

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It should come with a map

It should come with a map
at birth, alongside
the certificate that records
breath and name.
The map would be
baby’s first fine art,
and outline the
aesthetic and precision
of chance.
It would warn
of dead-ends. Left turns
feel safer.
It would hang above a basinet,
someday rest in a dorm room drawer.

The gift of this map
would set free
the tumultuous years
the mapless ones
spend learning cartography
for themselves.

The map, be it on
tapestry or scroll,
would shake us free,
so our fibers can collect
more useful lessons.

While learning cartography
My greatest fear has become traveling in circles.

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Excerpt

Resistance holds the hand of doubt.
Structure used to help me cross the street.

Traverse the earth with ungodly fears?
Would you consider breaking back into prison?

Smoke crept out her wrinkled mouth,
“No way, my child,” she whispered to his grave.

While pleasantly rooted in fear, I
blindly trusted the word “always…”

But the strongest flowers grow beside the highway,
they are not sold with instructions or guarantee.

Numbed to the point of thoughtlessness,
foggy insight cracked the bathroom mirror.

Potted plants of your mother’s made me
remember there was something I forgot-

It is naturally occurring.
It cannot be bought.

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Someone’s Garden

Have you not touched your body in so long
that you forgot the
jellyfish quality of kneecaps
and the way they freely slide?
Have you not felt in years
your thigh and shin, smoothly sealed?

The constancy across your face hides
the moist miracle of your Portobello stems.
The depth of your gaze has rendered you blind
to your very own Southern hemisphere.

I see you kneeling in the dirt of loam
picking heirloom tomatoes-
home gown,
from the neighbor’s vines.
Coalescing with earth, your
bare knees on the inside, slide.

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The Veteran

With the sting of pavement
warming beneath us,
you and I ran from the wet sky.

We found a roof to smell its roots
when history found one another.

He broke into your mind
with a hand on your barstool,
bending the image
of that familiar green.

Budding images of bedded nights
flew around our held hands, as I read
“Free Omelet Tuesdays” and watched the taps flow,
blissfully distracted and mindfully absent,
while you heard of places unseen.

The drenched mind spoke from
somewhere exotic and not free.
You looked in an accelerated mirror,
rough like the corners of your
conscience bellowing through
lines and lines and lines of men again.

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Haiku for A Lazy Day

Waiting until two
P.M. to brush ones teeth is
post-grad-limbo-life.

Dinner shifts prove to
Fill my wallet but not my
soul. I get tired.

Perhaps if I got
dressed, more could be accomplished.
But, relaxation.

It’s not as if I
don’t have work tonight, I do.
It starts at 4:30.

Showers are for the
hour just before I must
be somewhere pressing.

Lunch today was cool-
Salad with avocado.
Good tastes all around.

(response haiku from my friend Pip…
Okay now I want
avocado too. Thanks Kate
My fridge is empty.)

At first, humans seem
so permanent. All that stays
is what we create.

(response haiku from my friend Pip after discussing how ridiculous haiku can be…
Haiku are silly
But we need them. In the end,
all is vanity.)

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The last time

The last time you saw him,
you begged for the kind of
forgiveness that expects
nothing at all to change, or
the kind of forgiveness that
will still bring you home
beneath moonlight and traffic lights
of the city where you learned him.
You were drunk and stole his cellphone
and it was the least important
of all that he thinks you have hidden.

You once mastered understanding
what he sees, hears, thinks and acts on,
but the last time you saw him, it
nearly failed (until the morning when
he squeezed you, reminiscent of
him teaching you to find ripe kiwis.)

But in the dark, his face was empty.
There was absence in the eyes that once
begged for yours
(but yours
were out of focus
never could you focus.)
Leaning, becoming one with a concrete wall
In a hot Juney haze you finally felt it- freedom!
Sweet and lonely freedom! It is something that will not
drive across the country and let you choose every song,
or walk to the laundromat when it’s cold in Brooklyn.
It will not worship your body even when you’re putting on shoes,
or cook a grilled cheese when you’re sick in New Brunswick.
No, it will not be kept a secret.
So you left him three times and finally it feels a little real.
You left to keep on moving
to continue growing and going,
to create
the way women do,
yet on these nights
you are so still.
You sleep in beds around the corner if
somewhere strange at all.
You meet moments of deciding.
Do you disrupt time’s remedy?
Do you pick surgically at the scab?
Pry open all that you closed so tight?

Or do you let things be?
There is never any certainty
so you idle, you merely
consider how dangerous both will be.

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