Kathy Burkett lives in Central Florida with her husband and two Dachshunds. She is a high school drop out who eventually earned a B.A. in English. She has published poems in various small press publications in print and online. She makes collages and dolls. She plays kazoo for adoring audiences of odd dolls and stuffed animals. She sleeps, eats, and does other mundane stuff, too. She likes to eat the empty holes in donuts and has begun to lose weight by doing this. She thinks small dogs and sock puppets should take over world governments.
“Break!” he yells, hammer crashing, smashing a flashlight. Trying to see where the light comes from by breaking it apart. The mysterious power of stars and the odd coldness of technological progress. Nothing is illuminated just now. Waiting for light to emerge from darkness. The immaculate birth of an angel. Disembodied songs of sonic rainbows. Hum of pure energy. His flesh vibrates with music so loud he fails to hear it. “What am I?” he hollers hurtling a large calculator into his backwards image across the room. He wants to see what he’s made of. His face disintegrates into slivers of glass. His hands bleed ketchup-red, fingering shards of his former face. Human soup stains his fingers. Licking bloody sweaty palms as he drains out of himself. Iron and salt shocking his tongue, bitter cake batter grossly under done. He gets cold, shivering from too much science. He covers himself with unyielding pieces of glass and darkness thrown together into an awkward quilt. His eyeballs roll back into the comfort of his skull, covering their backsides with twin blankets of skin. Too much light. The sun is a big flashlight forcing him to squint. He’s in a field of pink sheep. He’s a contestant on a game show, and he knows all the answers. All of the questions are bad jokes. There’s a silent laugh track in the background.
Vacuuming the Void
Sir Real has the unfortunate task of vacuuming the void on a constant basis. Any small particle that enters the void has to be removed promptly so that the void's emptiness remains unblemished.
Sir Real is a plain looking fellow with no eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or any corporeal form to speak of. Every moment of his existence is spent pushing an invisible vacuum through the void with his nonexistent hand, sucking everything into invisibility. Every page of his diary is blank and completely transparent. He thinks of nothing all day long. It is this singular thought that sustains him.
A squirrel wearing a moss wig
disappears through a tiny door
in a towering tree shedding its leaves.
I jump up three branches high,
follow her. Find myself inside
a circular wooden room, portraits of
Bloodhounds carved into its walls.
Bowl of broken glass on a low table
Bed made of matchsticks covered
by a quilt of woven tea leaves.
The squirrel reappears holding
a wooden spatula. “You know
you can’t stay here,” she says,
shooing me away onto a branch
thin as telephone wire. I fall
onto prickly green Astroturf.
My skin stiffens into plastic,
hard, smooth and unbruised. I stand
stiffly and wobble through the door
of a purple doll house, find myself
staring at a toy television that
broadcasts invisible news.
The clock is paralyzed at 10:10.
I don’t know if it’s morning
or night. I can’t see through
these painted windows.
I slide into a waterless tub.
My eyes are wide open,
making sleep impossible.
There is no dreaming like this.