Katrin Talbot

Australian-born Katrin Talbot’s collection The Waiting Room for the Imperfect Alibis is forthcoming from Kelsay Books and she has seven chapbooks, Wrong Number, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, The Blind Lifeguard and Freeze-Dried Love from Finishing Line Press, Attached—Poetry of SuffixThe Little Red Poem and noun’dverb, all from dancing girl press, and St. Cecilia’s Daze, published by Parallel Press. She has two Pushcart Prize nominations and quite a few chickens and also makes noise in the viola sections of the Madison Symphony and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

Hemming Caesar’s Trousers

We all know she’s going to 
die in the first scene of act three, 
but she can’t die tripping on 
her Savers’ trousers, so
I snip, press, and stitch

And as I hem with the stitch
my grandmother’s hands taught me,
life tightens up a bit
with each slipping 
of needle
Forward, with reverse stitches
to hold, like a dance step,
like a step towards 
the building of 
an empire

The Bathtub of Coriolanus

Blood and muscle,
it’s a scrubbing of so much,
a lingering as he 
recounts, counts
the battles, the wounds,
the Tribunes,
the very nature of Win
as the drive to kill
fades for a moment with
the hot soak,
as the tub holds,
until the draining and 
toweling,
the fight tight

Today You are a Museum Wing

Gilded frames hang around each eye,
catching the glare of your gaze

Today, your nonsensical nose 
sports a 17th century dark Spanish frame
You smell, smell like,
saffron, garlic,
good intentions

Your cheekbones have
a wall unto themselves,
hung high and inaccessible

For this exhibit,
smiles have been put in 
storage, wrapped and cloistered

And your mouth today has
no frame, in its gallery of
humming and chanting,
lips parted with suggestions of 
snarl, good will and
edged benevolence

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