a poetry e-zine

Featured Poet - Shannon McKeehen

Shannon Ranee McKeehen is a poet, nerd, teacher, and trouble-maker from Ohio. She received her MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California in 2010, and her chapbook, Barbra in Shadow, was available the following year. Barbra is a feminist re-imagining of the femme fatale from 1940's film noir. Currently, Ms. McKeehen is working on her doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition at Kent State University. She continues to write poetry while juggling academics. You can find out more by visiting her website at www.shannonmckeehen.com.

Poems by Shannon McKeehen


With phantom limbs, I wrap
these silent arms around you.
The alarms that you've sounded
are all false, and here
I am, washing
dishes with my imagination.

Suddenly, I'm flung
into your dreamscape,
like a seedling.
You blew the dandelion;
you wondered where
her children scattered.

Well, I'm here,
against my will,
and all I can do
is try to hold you.
Don't take it personally
if I leave before you wake up.




The Incredulity of Thomas

Shrouded in yellow is a little life, its eyes coaxed open. It's a mystery, this clumsy science. With the temperament tattooed on the inside, it doubted itself: The story was new, the membrane freshly exposed. What is there to do? The truth bubbled-up like a bad chemical reaction. "The more I think about it, the less impressed I am."




For Future Reference

My face: the moon, pocked,
less knowable, less explored
but don't forget me.
Forgive me: I'm present.

Here, there is water.
Here, there is a reminder
of your past, of your future,
of landing softly
and writing your name
on my cheek.

Look here, for future reference:
I am in your sky,
a female stereotype,
visited by shells but not by you
for a long, long time.




And these untitled pieces are from Shannon's chapbook Barbra in Shadow:


Curl a foot under.

A toe, a city.


I hide your stories, feed none,

write new ones in the dark.


Heel grazes Nevada, I

tumble over Colorado.


In a hot minute

I am tired of punching.


Jagged state lines

cut my feet,


well-traveled anxiety. You

and I will never get caught.




Can you recall the night? I can, with grasshoppers

on my diaphragm. You, a drugstore

cowboy, me, one of the lucky girls.


We met outside the speakeasy, my slip in static and wrinkles.

It was the next morning

I made a proposal, concentrating

on your five o’clock shadow—

darling, our red hands were caught

in barbed wire, but

this is the last temptation,


dollars stuffed

in waxy bags.

Do you recall the night?

I fumbled with the keys, a tiny fist shaking,

grasshopper stuck in my throat.


Copyright 2014  Chantarelle's Notebook