May 1, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Markus Meier photo



Carolynn Kingyens




Of Mice, Of Men, Of Chickens



I come from a long line

of women who can break

a man’s heart,

and a chicken’s neck.


Their gingham aprons,

full of white feathers;

small hands,

full of beating hearts.


Bowls of blood sausage

and stale bread

for days.


Of mice and men;

of men and mice,

of chickens,

it doesn’t matter.


And my father,

a projection of defeat

inside the house he built

with his own hands


Somewhere along the line,

I jumped the continuum.


Not all invasions are Trojan.

Some are innocuous

as a slip of skin

at the right time.






Freakish Accidents



After my move

to Manhattan,

a gust of wind blew down

a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood

from atop a condo

conversion in the West

Village, striking a woman

in the head – killing her

instantly as she walked

on the sidewalk below,

at the clearing

of scaffolding.


In overcast Ithaca,

I’d watched a wind storm,

from the safety

of my living room,

blow down a grand

ash tree; my pitched roof

breaking its fall.

When the winds picked up,

I moved my daughters,

still sleeping, to the middle

of my bed.


The pine trees on Pine Tree

Road swayed in the black

hole wind at night,

their haunting sound


of ceremonious gongs.


Each gong for a loss.

Each gong for a betrayal.








You Can’t Handle the Truth



Tell me the truth,

and I will follow you

through wormwood,

wormholes, to the place

where their worm

never dies.


I’ve looked for Christ

inside the echoes

of St. John the Divine;

inside cerebral chat rooms,

and their theological

debates; in the downcast

eyes of the homeless.


Salvatore – salutation –



I used to believe salvation

was simple until I read

the demons believe

and tremble.


What does it mean

to work out your salvation

with fear and trembling?


The senses lie by omission;

ask any pilot who has

pulled the plane out

out of a graveyard spiral –

spatial disorientation.


The ego, the door

I stubbed my big toe on.


Yet I am to trust

I’ve been born of water

and the Spirit?


Christ says His sheep

will hear His voice;

I am listening.






High Anxiety



Squint into the white

horizon just over the sand

dunes, down the street

from the dive bar,

an F-bomb away

from spontaneous

combustion – exploding

particles – gun smoke,

a sneeze, the way a shaft

of light illuminates

the dust mite; static energy,

neediness, sleep paralysis;

the jump-scares

from dollar store, bake pan

springing inside a preheated

oven; a heart grown tired

of its chronic techno,

house beat; the pet bird

made bald from missing

its master; movie trailers,

sleep-eating, raw juicing;

the incessant meows

of a deaf cat;

fingers gesture a flesh-gun

now pointing to the head,

a thumb hovers

over an invisible trigger,

before the big bang

makes a sound.







Carolynn Kingyens

Carolynn Kingyens lives with her beautiful family in NYC. Her poems have been featured in Boxcar Poetry Journal, Glass Poetry Journal, Word Riot, The Potomac, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Across the Margin, and The Orange Room Review. Her poem, “Washing Dishes” was nominated for Best New Poets by Silenced Press.

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