poem with ( ! )

By Kevin Barrett Kane

for Jack Dillé

the hitherto unknown—a couple of

stray letters—someone’s lost shoe

now a beacon—the cat toy I almost

died tripping on—days just a

kaleidoscope of greys—the hither-

to unknown, the HITHERTO UNKNOWN ( ! )

I want to walk through walls, pucker up and

kiss the dirt, I want a window I could

jump out of and not die—dramatic irony

could be cool again

“I don’t want to know anyone who”—died—

got laid off—thinks God will help—plays

cribbage like that’s a thing—left New York—

doesn’t mute their microphone

here’s what I think you’re thinking right now—

goddamn we were smart to get this cat—

what does toilet paper look like under

a microscope—when will I die—how

will I know—what would my version of

heaven look like

suddenly the world is a full-on jungle—the

birds are wild (they’ll fucking eat you!)—

songs are now a menace—you could wake

the Great Ape, and then—and then—

part of the sun died and became my hat

Kevin Barrett Kane is an analog designer specialising in books and typography. He is the in-house book designer at Stanford University Press and is the co-founder of The Frontispiece. He lives in San Francisco.

for M. Gomes

i keep telling 

myself

i could 

have died

but that’s not relevant 

anymore

what does scare

me though is

is this the right 

typeface

for poetry?

_____

i miss the windowpane 

whine

the 

it’s-all-about-me-for-a-while

thunderstorms

that shake the 

whole street

i miss 

disaster stress

drinking in the 

basement

with the water

pouring in

_____

this is

to say

i’m/we’re/they’re 

stuck

 

and

i’m bored 

with being a

“poet” who

doesn’t write

“poetry”