Poetry by Kelsey Kerr; Foreword by Marc Blanc


In January, Jettison’s poetry editor Kelsey Kerr released her third collection, RIFT. Its 16 pages offer vignettes that appear disconnected from each other, yet there is a prevailing sense of the young speaker’s environment. (Somewhere between home and independence; the settings frantically alternate as if the book’s voice is unsure—and uncaring—of where it needs to be.) Kerr crafts a tone that is at once passive and commanding, utterly distinct despite the lowercase “i.” I have selected the following three pieces because they exemplify RIFT’s eclecticism. To get a physical copy of RIFT, email the poet at kelseykerr7@gmail.com.


on the ambiguity of being

everyone leaves but no one goes home.
the ropes around my spine pull taut in every direction.
my body – that feels like something else –
in clothes that smell like they’ve been slept in [too many times].
it’s hard to imagine it any other way.
i don’t know why.

a small bug lands on the page of my book
and i press my finger into it
and brush the residue of a life off on my jacket.
i should not have killed it but i did
and wonder why it was so easy.

{tenderness} recoils in the grips of apathy.
there is nothing to apologize for –
i have learned this from the scars
that dress my arms and legs.
skin – that may, or may not have forgiven me.


my feet split the ground

sometimes it is still may
and i am in the doorway
of a room in my mothers house
long hesitation before stepping,
because that was the place
i remember him best,
in the morning with coffee
and smokes, and enough quiet
to split the day into pieces.
my skin is still humming, warm
sometimes, from
ephemeral spring,

but it is january;
a different year,
and the sun
falls in splintered light,
wrought with
cloud and doubt.

my fingernails still dig into skin
the same way they did 8 months ago.

           to everything you have ever lost:

                   it’s all perfect in hindsight,
                   just as you left it there.


in blue sheets on sunday

she sits up,
her soft glow permeates
the loose air.

she puts her hair up
just for it to come back down.