Thanks for visiting my blog! As you can tell, I haven’t been posting any photos or poems for a few years. This blog was an experiment for me, and I’m not going to continue it. I find that I am simply not prolific enough to create and post entries regularly and frequently. Blogs require regular care and feeding to be successful, and in order to meet that demand for content, I found that I posted poems that I thought weren’t fit for public consumption, and photos that were very boring. And in the end, I simply prefer to make things: tangible objects made of ink and paper and staples. I enjoy the process of making the publication: from selecting and ordering the text and/or photos, to executing the layout in Indesign, to creating printer-friendly PDFs, to making copies at Kinko’s or working with a press to get books printed.
I self-published a chapbook in the summer of 2013 titled Escape Route, and a 4th issue of my zine, Slip Into Something Human. I go to poetry readings in the city (Philadelphia) coordinated by Moonstone Arts Center, usually Wednesdays at Fergie’s Pub. Sometimes I go to Chapter and Verse readings or other readings that can be found on the online poetry calendars here and here.
I hope you enjoyed the poems, and maybe I’ll see you at a reading or the Philly Zine Fest in November. If you would like to request a chapbook or zine, or contact me for any reason, feel free to leave a comment, but your best bet would be to write me an email. My user name is tracykellmer. My provider is Google. You can figure it out if you’re a human being and not a spam bot.
Thanks for visiting!
How easy it is to
destroy a man’s life.
To trade compliments
with witty barbs,
to call his bluff
and meet him at
the hotel, where
while he is busy
snorting your body
on the coffee table,
he misses his
the part and his
How easy it is
to walk out with
a garbage bag of
clothes, a crate of
CDs, and to throw
a particle board
desk and bookshelf
into the back of
a colleague’s pickup truck
with the boxspring
and mattress and
drive into the city,
“selfish bitch” ringing
in your ears.
How easy it is
to swing a gavel
depress a plunger
liquidate a factory
sign a declaration
She lets Peggy wear the bathing suit to the pool,
even though it’s her turn to wear it. She doesn’t mind
wearing her cutoff shorts and t-shirt to the pool—
she doesn’t care what she looks like when she jumps off
the diving board feet first; she can still swim under
water from one end of the pool to the other
in one breath.
She takes a break, and sits on the ledge of the pool,
and gazes at the five Filipino teenagers
she’s nicknamed in her head the lizard, the scorpion,
the toad, the centipede, and the snake, who sits next
to her during the evening sermon and practices
his English in whispers.
She sits on a padded, metal-framed
black banquet chair, in a small white room
over a truckstop bar.
Ty pulls her outstretched shoeless
right foot against the zipper
of his jeans, and rotates her calf
to get a flat surface on which to work.
He says “good girl” when he runs
his orange-and-white disposable bic
over her skin, “you already shaved.”
He wears a blue bandana tied over his dark
hair and drinks a labatt’s blue out
of the six-pack she brought.
He tells her he’s an Indian, “that
Native Americans are the ones
with the casinos.” He smears
Mennen green speedstick deodorant
on her leg, and lays a sheet of tracing
paper on the shiny spot, transferring
a stencil of her seahorse onto the skin.
He takes a needle from a cylinder of
blue liquid, and straps it into the gun
with rubberbands. He steps on a pedal,
and the gun whines like a motorbike.
“Now hold very still,” he says, and
she watches the needle dig into her leg
and fill the gashes with ink: rivers of black,
reservoirs of green, blue, yellow, and orange.
She watches the blood and excess ink
run over the side of her calf, relaxes
her muscles in the grip of his left
hand, and warms her foot in his lap.
She doesn’t bother to lift and push
the metal frame and mattress back into the couch.
She lies around all day, waiting for him
to come home to his studio apartment,
watching un-subtitled Miyazaki films.
She caught a glimpse of the sun
setting over the peir on the evening
of her arrival, when she tried
to overcome his disappointment
by slipping her arm through his.
She is not fine-boned like
the women in the videos. Her eyes
are blue, her face round, her hair
short. She is not shy. But
she waits, napping in the black tights
and black t-shirt he instructed she wear.
Because he bought her plane ticket,
he pulls her elbows behind her,
presses her palms together and lifts
them high between her shoulder blades.
Using a roll of white, non-bruising gauze,
and a series of knots, he binds
her with an elaborate geometry.
He presents herself to herself
in a mirror; together they admire
his handiwork. She is beautiful,
silent, still; a diamond-patterned
snake basking in the sun.