Dear Journo, by Kirsten Kaschock

Dear Journo, 

Today, these things did not happen: I swept no hearth, bought no shoes that failed to fit, highlit no hair falling out.

I did not shy away from asking for a raise today, but asked for no raise. I deserve a raise but today could not ask for one since I report regularly to no one positioned to give me a raise.

I adjunct, but today did not adjunct.

The term “adjunct” failed to strike me today as reminiscent of disease or tooth condition. I was treated today for no type of tooth condition and wore no apron of lead to protect my innards in one of the tiny rooms of dentistry.

Cancers caused by prolonged exposure to radioactive isotopes achieved not my death today. I did not Curie.

I bit no poisoned apple, pricked finger on no deathwheel, laid not with wolf in Marmar’s clothing. I suckled no vampire until half-dead. Nor in such state would I, nor did I, shuffle malevolently towards the living.

Resultingly, I neglected to walk twenty out of sixty miles in the first leg of a three-day stint in pink for a dead or happily non-dead relative or maybe for my own missing breasts.

My own breasts have not yet gone missing.

No latest movie – for which, if I were actress, which I am not, I would’ve gained fifteen pounds of curve and affected an estimable Irish-American accent – opened today. The accent not in actuality affected was not lace-curtain Irish neither but working-class.

I did not recite the opening lines of The Canterbury Tales today in said accent although it might be April and, for once, crossed not my eyes at the ten-year-old at the bus stop who calls my son a lilac — the breeder.

I featured none of my three sons nor their miniature gonads in no longish poem sequence today. When this morning they finished pissing into the toilet in some strange communal ritual, I did not think: Don’t. Think.

No car commercial later found me weeping, despite the fact that the people in those car commercials are always driving somewhere.

They are not, for example, driving to pick up my mother at the airport because after hearing by dint of cell tower my recent “tone” she believes her presence is something I could use. I did not tell my mother today what kind of a thing I believe her presence to be.

The next chapter in my novel did not write itself today, nor were emails I haven’t answered in three days answered, nor women all over my country moved suddenly to plant trees or protest against child-rape.

There was no sex today. Not attempted, involving no silver bullet (werewolf! gun control!). Not in the shower. Not with myself.

My mother, as I think I may have mentioned, is in the fucking house.

Tomorrow, I may think about that — about how I have not recently come or done, or come undone, about how I have managed not much at all — but I shall not feel the need to report it, not here, no way, no how. Know why?

Because that is how much I do not hate you, my place not to say.


dear journo


Kirsten Kaschock is the author of four poetry books and a chapbook: Unfathoms (Slope Editions), A Beautiful Name for a Girl (Ahsahta Press), WindowBoxing (Bloof Books), The Dottery (University of Pittsburgh Press/winner of AWP Donald Hall Prize, and Confessional Science-fiction: A Primer (Subito Press). Coffee House Press published her debut speculative novel – Sleight. She teaches at Drexel University.


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Image (modified) Alexej von Jawlensky Public Domain