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  August 2006
volume 4 number 3
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Arlene Ang
  Theresa Antonia
  Hayley Berariu
  Beth Cheng
  Jeanette Clough
  Amélie Frank
  Nelson Gary
  Gretchen Keer
  Collin Kelley
  Kamuran Kelly
  Adam Lowis
  mailing list
Collin Kelley August 2006



photo by kevin berger

    Collin Kelley's debut collection of poetry, Better To Travel: Selected Poems ( iUniverse 2003), was nominated for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Lambda Literary Award, and the Georgia Author of the Year Award.
    His spoken word CD, HalfLife Crisis (produced by Collin Kelley and Denton Perry), was released in Fall 2004. MetroMania Press released a limited edition chapbook of his work, Slow To Burn, in April 2006.
    Kelley was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Terminus, New Delta Review, Chiron Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Blaze, Lily, Poetry Super Highway, Welter, The Harrow, Subtle Tea, Offerings and Red Light: Superheroes, Sluts & Saints anthology.
    Kelley also hosts the Internet radio show The Business of Words at Leisure Talk Radio Network.



To Margot Kidder, With Love

I spent the summer of 1980 with Margot Kidder,

made her my surrogate on those hot Friday afternoons

when my mother would dump me at the movie theatre,

flying off to her other life faster than Superman.

They all knew me at the counter, asking

for the same ticket every week. I smiled,

perfected my act of being a comic book geek,

but even those indifferent teenagers must have known

what was going on.

I sat in the dark, mouthing the dialogue I learned

like a Shakespearean tragedy as Margot Kidder

beamed down at me from the undercarriage

of an Eiffel Tower elevator commandeered

by terrorists, jumped into the raging Niagara River,

hung from wires for hours as she pretended to fly.

I pretended not to care what my mother was doing,

but I was cashing in part of my childhood to keep up

the charade, as she tucked money in my pocket

for popcorn and a strange phone number

where she could be reached in case of an emergency.

Margot Kidder eased me through rising panic

every Friday at 1 p.m. as I was deposited

on the sidewalk and mothers car shimmered

like a disappearing mirage, moving bullet time

away from me.

Margot Kidder was Lois Lane.

Feisty, brave, stubborn, in perpetual need of rescue.

Her dark hair, un-pc cigarette dangling,

whiskey voice, in love with the one man

she could never truly have.

Years later, when she had her publicized breakdown,

was found dirty and wandering the streets,

I cried in front of the TV, wishing I could give her

even a fragment of the comfort she gave me

when I was ten and in need of rescue.

copyright 2004 Collin Kelley



Cross Country Practice

Here come those four oclock boys,

shirtless and dripping, all wearing shorts,

pounding ghetto street in staccato rhythm,

every stomach flat, every nipple hard,

every hair flying perfectly out of place.

Cinematic in their leanness and forward motion,

they are a pride, a pack, a herd,

an Aryan nation wet dream, every one a prom king,

despite their color and height,

they all become big blonde muscle boys,

vivisected from neck to knee.

I see where all the eyes go, where tongues
cannot follow.

Not at this distance, not in this lifetime, mister.

Better pick a favorite, better catch a fantasy,

theyre doing the minute mile.

I glance around for the knowing looks, a few leers,

a lewd gesture, but all I see are slack jawed men,

so ordinary in their sedans, so old, so out of shape, so married,

taking no joy in the beauty that sprints off the curb.

There is sadness and resignation, and no heads turn,

only watches those boys disappear in the rearview

mirror, each one summoning a loss, drowning there,

until the light turns green again.

copyright 2005 Collin Kelley



War for Oil (Darfur, Africa)

The skies over Darfur are quiet,

save for the wind in wings of vultures

waiting for that almost meatless child,

clinging to its mothers shriveled breast.

The gunfire is sporadic, off to the east

where soldiers of misfortune round up

those who ran from the camp.

There is no fear of bombs, this place

barely exists, offers no kickbacks

to presidents, their kin or commanders.

Theres only scrabbled ground

wet with blood as women are raped

or a skull is cracked.

No liberation force is coming,

no toppling of statues or searches

for weapons of mass destruction.

Here is famine, genocide,

dark skin pouring black oil

that holds no currency.

copyright 2005 Collin Kelley