Nobody Likes You Here - Kendra Binney
Pink Bird - Kendra Binney
Pink Bird - Juliet Cook

It's hard for me to clip the creepy/yummy spin -
poisonous frosting seeping out from under fingernails.
I trim the crusts then wish to shellack them blue-black;
hone them into shiny daggers, spiked nonpareils

because I don't want my hands to look like the hands

of a child. I don't want to show them my disheveled cuticle,
scratched knee caps, the woeful way I really look
like a wide-eyed paint-by-number girl, trying to pose
as an adult. I'm wearing strappy, unsensible shoes.

I'm thinking, "They're Saying Mean Things About You".

Shame sublimates into inappropriate giggles;
guilt sublimates into twisted approximations of insouciance.
I curve my own lips. I'd rather look coy
than cry while I whelp another misfit litter.

This litter would consist of three patchy gray kittens
with tongues like desolate pink tendrils,
mewling from beneath a dilapidated back porch,
thinking, "Nobody Likes you Here".

I would gather the raggedy strays. Wield a misplaced bray
to crush the whimpers. Paint blue-black shellack over my shame
until I collapse into a messy muculent mass of something
that looks like red algae. Red algae doesn't purr.

Red algae doesn't scrabble up my arms, towards
my lips. Red algae just sits there cold and limp.
Decapitated. Red algae doesn't make a good paper weight.
"I'm Sorry I killed You".

Because I don't want my hands to look like the hands

of a perverted pastry chef, I'm sorry I used the gray fur
to line my black cherry tart. Maybe if they took a bigger bite,
they'd find out how soft it is inside. As my pages fly
loose, flaky, scattered haphazardly in a magpie's nest.

Underneath the sharp, shiny things,
adjacent to a tiny broken compass.
Underneath the mask of a dark, glossy corvine,
my words have their mouths gaping open
like pink baby birds.

Sometimes I'm lonely. Sometimes I have an invisible friend.
Sometimes my invisible friend embodies herself into poetry
with fine teeth, with small feathers between.
With a hiss that sounds like a slick pink tendril whip.

That kitten looked pathetic until it pounced.

(This poem was inspired by the paintings of Kendra Binney. The title of the poem and the three lines enclosed in quotation marks are titles of four of her paintings.)
Bio: Juliet Cook adores poetry.  Recent poetic projects include 'The Laura Poems', a series of ten titillating poems about Laura Palmer, hand-designed into limited edition, ribbon-bound chapbooks and available for sale via Recent publication credits include 'Wicked Alice', 'Venereal Kittens', and 'POTION'.  Cook's personal blog, CandyDishDoom is at and she also contributes to the group literary/art blog, taking the brim__ took the broom. Her poetry manuscript 'Horrific Confection' is currently seeking publication.
Bio: Kendra Binney was raised in a small mountain town with no shoe stores. Most of her time was spent barefoot, searching the tall grass for spiders, snakes, and other hidden treasures.

She currently spends her days all alone in an 9'x16' studio with no windows. Here she paints, daydreams, and paints some more. You should contact her to see more art, just say hi, or be her new best friend.
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