ISSUE FOUR
August 1998

Kelly Cherry

Kelly Cherry Kelly Cherry is a poet/fiction writer and essayist/translator.  Her most resent books include Augusta Played (LSU, 1998),  Death and Transfiguration (LSU, 1997), and Writing the World, (University of Missouri, 1995) a collection of essays and criticisms.  She is Eudora Welty Professor of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Her translation of Sophocles' Antigone will be published later this fall. She lives with the Fiction writer Burke Davis III in Madison, Wisconsin.
She Doesn't Care What you Say About Her,
Just so Long as you Spell Her Name Right     Read Along with the Author


Would she have fame?
Would she take tea and have fame with her tea?
Or roll a joint, famously?

She imagined approval, applause
A man not bored by her voracity.

In the house to be
Furnished in the future,
There would be intricate, quiet rugs,
Acres of books,
Someone playing the cello.

A late supper after the concert or play...
Outside, the people were clamoring for autographs.

The Madonna Syndrome:

Later, they went home,
And the man who was not bored
By the fact that she loved him
Allowed her to write her name
On his balls with the tip
Of her tongue as many times
As it took to make sure
He got it right.

 

 

Miscarriage    Read Along with the Author


Blood clotlet,
Little kindling unlit,
This baby won't tug on my tit.

Hungry tit.

 

 

The Visitor    Read Along with the Author


A dream can be the past
come back for a visit. It waits
for you to open your mind
and then it enters, strangely
familiar. It may be
your brother, who has been
in love with you all your life,
so that no matter what
room you ran to,
he would be there,
in the doorway
entering. And this dream
is time in mind,
this dream keeps coming back,
like a bad dream

 

 

Hansel and Gretel: The Abstract    Read Along with the Author


A story in which a brother and sister, abandoned by parents forced to make hard choices—or no, perhaps they made these choices unconsciously, not even aware that they were choosing or fully knowledgeable about what they chose—find themselves hand-in-hand in a dark hermetic woods, their memory of the sunstruck meadow disappearing into the margin with the last of the light, and now the story turns ugly, it is not a simple Freudian tale of stepmothers and symbolic houses made of sweets, nor a parable of revenge and reconciliation, for the brother and sister, sleeping together under that iconography of black branches scrawled against a broadly discursive background, are like two words, each spoken for by the other.

 

 

Kelly Cherry: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue FourThe Cortland Review