Melanie Kristeen

brutal, a ballet

Bulls don’t care about the color red;

they just hate movement.

— Johnny Knoxville

An elegant lady 

pulled out her hat pin 

& stabbed a man

at the premiere of The Rite of Spring 

in 1913

while hissing aristocrats 

scampered into Paris streets, 

rioting in their silks & satins

there were fistfights & a duel 

the next day —all over ballerinas 

dressed as pagans in flat shoes

ketamine treatment (1 of 8)

A higher power can be a lot of things. 

— John Waters

you can’t seek an epiphany right?

it has to reveal itself to you?

with what eyes?

grey mountain clouds vitreous bodies

like damp grass just before blue morning

remember to tell her no cello

no cello next time

the instrument kicks up sand

can’t find the surface

if I teeter at the hellmouth

I could be gone

like J— W— N—

the IV itches

chartreuse moss dark rocks

manifold of an eclipse

a gray fox that emerges

across the earthrise

As a poet, writer, educator and owner of a small content writing business, every aspect of Melanie’s work—both creative and professional—is steeped in a reverence for communication. She holds an MFA in poetry from Texas State University and was the 2019-2020 Poet in Resident at the Clark House in Smithville, Texas. She was the recipient of a Damsite Residency in New Mexico and has been published by Rust + Moth, Radar, Barren Magazine, Roanoke Review, Burning House Press, The Boiler, Black Bough Poetry, and University of Hell Press. She was also a commissioned, featured artist for Luminaria: San Antonio Arts Festival in 2017.