Harlee Logan Kelly

"From where I am writing the chair is red . . ."

From where I am writing the chair is red. The chair is red and the clock is wrong. The clock is wrong and the wood is stained. A man is disappearing. A man has become a puddle. From where I am writing there is a painting above the headboard. Fourteen women are dancing. I am on the floor and my legs are stretched my feet are pressed against the bathtub. I am in the mirror's reflection above the sink. From where I am writing red paper lanterns are hanging from trees in the backyard. A woman's legs are crossed on a train. Someone is running from a convenience store. From where I am writing there are eight paper cranes on the table folded from newspaper and arranged without contrast how can we see where anything fits. From where I am looking everything makes space for what is outside itself. The city is reflected on the sculpture in the park. The city is reflected on the windows of tall buildings. The city is reflected on a man's dark sunglasses. A bus that passes reflects the city is reflected in a puddle on the sidewalk. It is low down eye level with a dog. A teacup is red with a little gold garnish on the brim. A mannequin is dressed for winter. When I lose sight of things I am less alone when nothing holds its shape. From where I am writing there are six statues of hands with the palms splayed. There are boxes in front of the fireplace. A string of white lights is wrapped around the exposed pipes.  


"I spent the day inspecting circles of various sizes . . ."

I spent the day inspecting circles of various sizes and intensities looking for one that startled me. A large red circle with medium thickness and a small black dot in the center made me think yes I might like to turn a page and see this circle suddenly a perfect shape. Here is a list of things about today: woke around 10:00, tidied up the kitchen, found the right circle, diced jalapeños, everything slow, a new bottle of the old soap, the cat caught the green rubber band in the air. I might take a bath. Today was a good day but I am tired and afraid I will spoil it. I have not cried today but it feels close. When Amber said she wants to run away when I cry she said it growling and I knew then the sound of love leaving the body. She said the word flee. Flee is what you do from danger. What danger am I crying soft and tucked away? Was it Gertrude Stein who wrote against the question mark? I can't remember. Recently I found a note to myself suggesting I experiment with the word stop instead of punctuating the ends of sentences. Where did this come from [stop] Did Lisa say this [stop] Did I read it in a book [stop] Question marks are an unnecessity [stop] Once I watched a movie where a character likened something to the pointlessness of asking questions in a letter but I can't remember what it was or the movie or the character. I disagree so I ask questions in letters. I disagree with things so often I sometimes feel unkind. There are times I catch myself trying to construct my voice so I stop. I start over. Once I rode a train in Italy for 8 hours in the wrong direction.           



Author Bio

Harlee Logan Kelly received her MFA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in Alchemy, Habitat Magazine, and Columbia Poetry Review. She currently lives in Chicago where she is working on her first book.