My Poem “Torn” in Kin, Republished here as a Halloween treat

“Torn” by Kelly McQuain, originally published in Kin, Issue 3, September 2012.


By Kelly McQuain

At first, it’s only a hoof where my left foot
used to be, and the only inconvenience

is a shoe that won’t fit. But then, overnight,
a nagging migraine builds to a hard nub

that sprouts five inches above my left eye—
worse than teenage acne: a horn

my hairline can’t disguise. Left eyebrow, too,
is acting up—arching, turning black—

to match half a goatee below—I shave it off;
it grows back. And the hair on my left leg

feels coarser, and now my leg is bending back
—goat’s hock curving to fetlock. I try to straighten it.

It kicks back. Tail’s the worst; it’s forked
—a bit furry, a bit skinned—darting now

through a hole in my boxers. I decide
to call in sick. And it’s true, I’m in agony:

left shoulder blade wrenching, a loud snap.
On my back, a black umbrella unfolds

into a leather wing. In the mirror, half a devil
and I wonder whether hope might spring

from my other side: First sign, a feather.

Photo from Wikipedia Commons by Hariadhi


My Video Poem and an Interview are up at Apiary Mixtape

Apiary Mixtape updated their website to add an interview with me about the video poem posted there a few weeks ago. Check it out if you like.

Bookshelves to Dream About…

What is your dream bookshelf like? Mine is one that would dust itself and categorize my books so I can find them more easily. These are just as magical. And spooky.



Happy Hallowe’en Season!

People who know me know that I am a great fan of Hallowe’en, and a big fan of vintage greeting cards too–especially Christmas and Hallowe’en cards. While contemporary spelling has removed ye olde apostrophe from today’s cards when it comes to the spelling of “Hallowe’en”, I like the old use of it as an indicator of the contraction of “evening”. Work keeps me too busy to do much decorating now, but I still enjoy dressing up, heading to friends’ Mike and Debbie’s amazing annual Hallowe’en party each year. My friend Gary does an fangtastic job turning his house into a haunted mansion for his daughter, Gracie–and what year would be complete without a romp through Center City Philadelphia in costume with my friends?