KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Prose Poem: 82 words

At the Secretary of State

by Kathleen McGookey

The take-a-number machine hit 100 and rolled over. Four rows of chairs, all full. The spring afternoon carried on its business outside the window. From time to time, a person or couple gave up, rose, and let a white slip drift to the floor like an apple blossom petal or cabbage butterfly. After the door clicked shut, the beige walls swallowed each brief absence like numbers 12 or 20 or 64 had never been there at all.


Kathleen McGookey’s
Issue 11, Spring 2019

next book is forthcoming in 2019 from Press 53. She is also the author of Heart in a Jar (White Pine Press, 2017), Stay (Press 53, 2015), October Again (Burnside Review Press, 2012), and Whatever Shines (White Pine Press, 2001). In 2011, Parlor Press published We’ll See, a book of her translations of contemporary French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems.

Poems, prose poems, and translations by McGookey have appeared in more than 50 literary venues, including among others: Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Indiana Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Rhino, Seneca Review, The Antioch Review, The Laurel Review, West Branch, Willow Springs; and in these anthologies published by White Pine Press: Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence (2016), The Best of the Prose Poem: An International Journal (2000), The House of Your Dream: An International Collection of Prose Poetry (2008), and The Party Train: A Collection of North American Prose Poetry (1996).

McGookey has received grants from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Arts Fund of Kalamazoo County, the Sustainable Arts Foundation (2014), and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has taught creative writing at Hope College, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Western Michigan University.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

McGookey’s collection of prose poems Heart in a Jar was reviewed most recently by Amelia Martens in The Bind (7 September 2017), and Laura Donnelly in the Kenyon Review.

Her collection of prose poems Stay is reviewed by Jessie Carty in The Rumpus (April 2016).

Two Poems by Kathleen McGookey, “The Story of My Life” and “October, Illness,” in Diode (Summer 2013)

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