Jacqueline Kirkpatrick

Two Poems – Jacqueline Kirkpatrick

High Tide

My family has perfected the art of keeping secrets
Skilled at telling lies through rotted teeth
Whiskey and loose tobacco spilled on splintered coffee tables
Shuddering at the sound of the tick tick tick tick
Every time a contestant takes a spin on the Wheel of Fortune
Asking the youngest in the room
Without a please or thank you
To find a lighter
Cause this one

The children make it a game
The first one to find it gets a quarter
That will be stolen from dirty jeans
Left thrown about the rooms like a Pollock
Then racing to the corner store to buy a Fireball


Words in My Pocketbook

The sound of my mother’s ghost is silence.
And I am a ballerina when I black out.
The only way to understand anything is to write it down.
We listened to the Talking Heads on a car ride home from New York City.
I’ll die falling through ice.
My father explained to us the layout of the new house. He indicated who would sleep in every room. I was not included.
Panic attack again. Second one in a week between midnight and sunrise.
I’m running out of memories. I don’t want to make any more.
Sometimes listening to the Dire Straits I remember tripping on acid with Howie, Zac and Mike in Massachusetts and singing so loudly wishing the sun wouldn’t rise and that Andrea would make me breakfast if it did.
Seminole has no HDMI cables but it has fires, friends, and lovers.
Will she be happy? Is she happy? Define will and is.
When we practice sobriety I love him more.
Try harder.
Bernadette may have lost my mind.
I’m a doctor. She’s a doctor.
The Catskill Mountains are bananas.
I art this girl.
Vinyl. Hall & Oates. Coffee. Owl mug. Vegas Chris mug. Write. Bacon. Repeat.
Horse 7. Race 7. Bet 7. Lose.
Flea Market – September 19. Not kidding this time!
Always bring a truck to a drag race. Always.
Sometimes when I am a scorekeeper at a poetry slam I draw circles. Hundreds of them. I wonder how many I make in three minutes. Will I lose points as a scorekeeper if I go over time drawing them? Are my eyes like oceans? How many people write poetry on the back of Dan’s fliers? I know of one – do you?
Mannequin is a weird word. I wish I was drinking.
Content vs Form.


Jacqueline Kirkpatrick’s work has been published in Creative Nonfiction, The Rumpus and Thought Catalog. She is a student in the M.F.A. creative writing program at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Check out her work at jacquelinekirkpatrick.com and follow her on Twitter at @thebeatenpoet.