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  Douglas Kearney
Douglas Kearney
Poet/performer/librettist Douglas Kearney's second, full-length collection of poetry, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), was Catherine Wagner's selection for the National Poetry Series. Red Hen Press published Kearney's third collection, Patter, in March 2014. He has received fellowships at Cave Canem, Idyllwild, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, Callaloo, The Ninth Letter. His produced operas include Sucktion, Mordake, and Crescent City.Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California's Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts, where he received his MFA in Writing (2004).

Daddies! On Playgrounds On Wednesdays



Douglas Kearney
deep in soap hours lovely mothers up in our hairy wherefore wonder
what we do and why come we come and well we'll mutter
used to, gone to or it's summer
so the playground slide'll melt our kids to slumber puddles
that cool our hairy heads. we head off
to not do;
to set to;
to wish we; Wednesday in July, muttering. lovely mothers

wonder what we do we grip sippies to our hairy nipples.
shaved hair cracks microwaved milk skin children drink drink drink to splinter!
our hairy crotches smell like jarred squash.
how we wish our toddlers found this odd
as the lovely mothers who wonder what we

do we plummet under summer sun?
our pockets at our hairy narrow hips are wing-ish.
our fathers yonder, pants jammed with floorplans, hairy balls, and wallets.
our fathers holler: "higher higher" lovely mothers, wonder what

we do we fodder that dream where grain means _____________
and mountains mean ________________ and _________________ is the plain?
and you were there, and you, and you, lovely mothers.
it was but a dream and we're no hairy headshrinkers
yet don't we know what seas means? lovely mothers wonder

what we do, and dare inquire: our hairy nostrils whoosh
their diapers-in-the-dryer sound!
neckties flutter in our mouths
soused with answers, hairy adventures!

A B C D
1 2 3
had
sad
bad
daddies! on the playground, hell of a Wednesday
these days, burn. I used to [MUTTER. . .].
I should've. I will! this! is what we do lovely, mothers
and you?
and you?
and you?


The Miscarriage: A Magic Trick



  1. stash scarlet silks in a lady's skirt.
  2. plant her among the crowd.
  3. call your shill to the dais.
  4. lay her on your table.
  5. conceal her with your bedsheet.
  6. distract the crowd with patter.
  7. apply a sleight between her thighs.
  8. take hold the silk's loose corner.
  9. pull till it pools on the floor.

  10. PRESTO!


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