Kathryn Jacobs

Dan Seriously Considers "Hermit"

Dan shouldn't have to pick a thing to be
when he grows up, but school keeps asking, so
he said he'll be The Dan no matter what:

The Dan will just be bigger. And he thought
that was an answer hard to argue with,
but school's like TV, full of talking heads,

and there are choices, but they have to fit,
and (Dan is used to this), his never do.
They want a different kind of answer? Fine:

his job will have no people in it. Dan
refuses to be poked at all the time;
they can shove questions underneath his door

and he will find the answers quietly,
so they don't have to listen. And his job
will be to break expected answers, and

if they are lucky, they will have to think,
but most of them will simply go away,
which honestly the Dan is fine with. Bye—

Missing Person

Dan’s father is a fuzzy person now.
He pops in sometimes to grow edges, but
he’s gone enough that often Dan forgets
exactly what he looks like. And last night

he saw a Christmas dad in photos, but
the man who drops in doesn’t feel like that,
though both were hard to talk to. So to Dan
his father is a friendly, fuzzy man

who talks too much, and takes us places, and
he mostly looks at Joshua, not him.
Josh didn’t know the striped-pajama man
who called Dan “broken” when he yelled at him,

but Dan did, and The Dan remembers. So
although the nicer man is waving and
The Josh waves back, Dan only looks at Mom
and doesn’t feel like smiling—


Kathryn Jacobs is a nomad who lives in an RV; she is also editor of The Road Not Taken, A Journal of Formal Poetry. Her latest book, A Life Lived Differently, was published in October by Better Than Starbucks and co-written by her daughter Rachel, writing as Dan's mother. She has five previous books of poetry and a schoalrly book, Marriage Contracts from Chaucer to the Renaissance Stage, published by the University Press of Florida. Her poems have been published by numerous journals, from Mezzo Cammin, Measure, Blue Unicorn and The New Formalist.


Jane Blanchard
Barbara Lydecker Crane
Mary Cresswell
Barbara Crooker
Sarah-Jane Crowson
Claudia Gary
Julia Griffin
Mia Schilling Grogan
Kathryn Jacobs
Jen Karetnick
Jean L. Kreiling
Jenna Le
Kathleen McClung
Diane Lee Moomey
Leslie Schultz
Natalie Staples
Kathrine Varnes
Joyce Wilson
Marly Youmans


The latest addition to the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Database is Rachel Wetzsteon by Patricia Behrens. The Poetry by the Sea Conference is scheduled next year from May 21-24.

Maureen Alsop:I often create visual art as a memorialization to the closure of a written work. However, many of these visual pieces arrived as a trajectory while writing a larger 'work-in-progress.' The text within the visual poems do not speak to the content of the larger work but are autonomous, acting as bridge between the written and visual bodies. The original text draws upon ghosts in the hall of battles. It is a glittering solar analemma, an unattested revolution, an infinity reflected in ellipses, omissions, and disintegration. A full collection representing many of these images came to fruition recently in Tender to Empress (Wet Cement Press). Yet the act of creating from text continues, as the digital collages here also include newer works based on miscellaneous notes, old emails, and most recently a short story, "The Unnamed Woman of Mary River" (forthcoming at South Dakota Review). The title to these are based on cargo ships which I pass on my daily commute from island to mainland. These small cities of people, afloat for weeks on end out at sea, are a looming story that embarks and disembarks in my imagination.

The visual poems are crafted under the mechanics of "Écriture Féminine," literally "women's writing." These principals advance a feminine perspective. I write from parallels, cyclical slips through stream of conscious and fragmentary processes. The writing exists as rough erotic. As talisman. Interpersonal in their ruptures and syntax, soft in their discomforts; a splintered narrative. Through writing, I can go anywhere and never be found.

32 Poems
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