Kirsten Thrope at the Kelly Writers House
Kirsten Thorpe, four poems (1998)

Kirsten Thorpe reads "In the Red," "Definitions," "The Morning," and "Reciting Lines" on "Live at the Writers House" aired on WXPN-FM 88.5 on October 13, 1998.

Click here for a RealAudio recording of the reading.

in the red

i am the smeared white light
reflecting off cars
panting in the street
i am in and out not moving
more tea?
with my eyes and lips closed
am I singing the blues?
wasting my time
dime wine
the camera's on the porch 
waiting for a story to roll by
but it ain't rollin'
the heat is sudden
then stopped
thick, tick   tick
everyone is shining, wiping their necks
do they suspect
an ulcer growing in my heart
things are spilling into my stomach
seeping down to my toes
where the asphault gets sticky from sun
iced-tea boils
we are laying in the orange and red
something like sunset
or a house burning
and we are missing
it is 
to think



old men on tricycles
touring the city
business district skyscrapers
back alleys
through a jazz café
in one door, out the other
little bars
big lights
broad street
pot holes
singing r&b
they are pedaling as fast as they can
what   is   hip?

seven hundred blue balloons
silently simultaneously
in a room that sounds 
like a bathtub
drip  drip
and the sigh
of a sultry naked woman
what   is   cool?

reflections of 
the green light
on wet
at night
grooves and glitters
with the rain
brighter than 
the light itself
hanging on its wire shelf
what   is   slick?

the pen 
cuts through
the page
cuts through
the table
strikes the ground
and shakes the moon
down from a tree
what   is   fresh?

i am
waiting for the water to boil
for cherry jell-o
it will make
tomorrow's breakfast
good for nails
and hair 
i think
what   is   real?


(reciting lines)

i went outside and it was hot and cold
and the green leaves were
stuck to the pavement steaming

it was a poem

and i was walking and reciting lines
outloud to myself
and people were watching my lips move
and thinking i was crazy

it was a poem

there was a woman in a business suit
smoking a cigarette at the busstop
and a cop on the corner
with his hands behind his back

it was a poem

the cars were lined up 
single file so nicely
waiting for the lights to change

it was a poem

my legs squealed and ached
as i walked up the apartment stairs
i sighed

it was a poem

at his door he was ready to go
so we left soon after

and, it was a poem.

the morning

we stepped out into hot fog and thick rain
stepped out into awake
you were a white robed angel 
last night
you turned a page
you pricked my eyes open
wide and wet
taking steps in those new shoes
tall white shoes
your snapshots will soon be in perfect order-scrapbooked
you will take flight
sweat, dream, drink
your life
we talk so seriously sometimes
we love so big
did you have fun?
let's stay a little hungry
a little hungry after all the night
i'm watching you from a height
only a little higher m
my eyes are bright
wide and wet
because you are coming fast
into the morning
stepping into awake
but, still yawning