Poetry by Charles Kell

Read More: A brief interview with Charles Kell

Far Village

The only job is sweeping dirt
over empty streets.
I left my keys there.
Wanted a drink & was handed a glass
     of rocks.
The women carry sick birds in paper bags.
The men are scarecrows with ragged clothes.
I wanted a room & was pointed toward
     a broom closet.
There is no white paper.
I must write on the back of stolen burnt bark.
No one eats meat. There isn’t any.
A cold thick paste is leavened
into bowls twice a day.
My body is growing used to it.
The sky is always grey.
I could tell you in past & present
     tense
about the bathing hole. How we slather
our bodies with fetid mud to ward
off insects. My skin grows hard.
I am seeing things.
Figuring things out.
The world is nothing. We sit at a rickety
table, our small bowls in front, waiting.  

 

untitled

Van Gogh

Hammers fly in the sky,
rain down dust, grackles feasting
on a carcass.
You won’t find the button
at the bottom of the lake.
You will not see the silver bullet
speeding toward a dead tree.
I wanted to kiss every inch of your wet skin.
Stick my nose deep into fold.
Van Gogh crawled through weeds
once, feeling with cracked […]


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Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, The Pinch, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Read More: A brief interview with Charles Kell