KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 179 words

Postcard from Brussels

by Kathleen McGookey

Dear Mother, I like it here in the dark where everything is black or white. My babyself has wrapped her arms around my knees. We are practicing saying “Bruxelles” the European way, with flair. I just gave her a sucker and she stuck it in her ear. Would you say it’s too late for advice? She holds my hand all the time now. Her cheeks are sticky and her knees are dirty and still anyone passing exclaims quelle ange! and pats her head. Even the rain is more refined here. You’d barely recognize me, Mother, with my dark lipstick and slick black umbrella. Lion gargoyles stick out their glossy tongues at us from the sky. Every clock in the Hotel de Ville shows a different time. We are not worried. You taught us minutes are lizards and dropped coins all at once. And no one has thrown eggs from the bridges for days: we are counting, me and my babyself, here in our comfortable dark. In our ledger, we tally every hour that passes under “kindness.”


Kathleen McGookey’s
Issue 9, Spring 2018

most recent book is Heart in a Jar (White Pine Press, 2017). She is also the author of Stay (Press 53, 2015), October Again (Burnside Review Press, 2012), 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 is reviewed by Derek Emerson in the chilling, enduring odor of bear (23 April 2017), and by Michael Levan in American Micro Reviews (3 April 2017).

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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