Two Poems, Charles Kell

James Schuyler Keeps a Pet Cockroach called the Dalai Lama

& they stare endlessly
into each other’s eyes.
The ceiling fan squeaks.
Water drips from the half-
open freezer door. Jimmy
blows smoke over the Lama’s
black shell, which it 
seems to enjoy. The gin
is warm & the ice
is melted. No one cares. 


Half skiff, half sky,
broken lines

jut from a dark crack
in the cave’s wall.

Supine in a fever heat,
attached to 

the wooden oar,
animals caught who

slowly acquiesce.
Bright orange light,

a sour taste
in our mouths, hair

blowing yet there’s no
wind, no

words, throats full 
of insect


Charles Kell’s poetry and fiction have appeared in the New Orleans ReviewThe Saint Ann’s ReviewKestrelColumbia JournalThe Pinch and elsewhere. Recent work appears in The Brooklyn ReviewLaurel Review, and Hobart. He is assistant professor of English at CCRI and editor of the Ocean State Review. He recently completed a PhD at the University of Rhode Island with a dissertation on experimental writing, criminality and transgression in the work of James Baldwin, Rosmarie Waldrop, Joanna Scott and C.D. Wright.

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