“life rocked me, ultra-softly”

They should love me.
I mean, maybe they do, but I don't even know what it is.
You spend your whole life thinking you're not getting it, people 
aren't giving it to you.
Then you realize they're trying and you don't even know what it is

Mad Men 

In celebration of Lana’s new album dropping, I’ve decided to make a guest appearance on my own blog — I say this because it’s been ages since I’ve glanced around my corner of the web, but now that I have, I felt the site in need of a pretty drastic update, as I had out-grown the moody and, well, let’s just say it, “emo” look of the past era of “Kateri’s Theories” (for those of you who have stuck around, I hope you like the changes I’ve made to the blog’s appearance!).

Now that I’ve dusted off the cobwebs, I think a brief update on my life and writing is in order:

This past May, I was lucky enough to have one of my poems — and a personal favorite of mine at that — published in The Adroit Journal. You can find the poem here, but I urge you to read the whole issue. They always make real stunners.

From a birds-eye view, however, I haven’t been up to much in my personal life — just running around with friends, desperately trying to drink in my city, my room, who I’ve tried to be these past few years before I ship out to college and grow apart from the Allen, Texas me.   I want no detail lost, and yet I feel I’m missing something, there’s a gap. I need to know what it was we were all chasing, who we were then, what sort of image we were playing at.

There’s something about every space I’ve visited in my city, how it contains a disconnected and jangled mess of the pieces of me from the different eras of my life; I feel like there’s a conclusion about myself I need to grasp before I leave forever, before I grow so far apart from this version of myself, but it’s difficult to realize what “it” is when all my emotions feel glossy and trodden. But I think at the end of any year, I always admire who I was striding into it, when I was free-roaming and less self-aware.

I was jolted recently, however, by a quote from the AMC series Mad Men, pictured at the beginning of this post. I’ve undergone countless exhausting inter-personal and relationship issues this year alone, and through it all, I’ve been left with the impression that I’ll never be loved in the capacity that I want, by the people I love. This quote, in contrast, pushes the issue back on the subject, making me realize that maybe people really are trying to understand, to be a part of my life, and maybe the true problem rests in me relying on others to fill the lack I feel in myself.

In closing, I promise that I’ll have a more organized, substantial post up soon. In the meantime, enjoy the dazzling music of Summer 2017!





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reflections on surgery


I moved through the spring of my junior year as if in whiplash, neck and head shot forward, limp in the hands of the jolt, surfacing slowly through this pause and stale light. I haven’t always felt this mute and still: oceans of noise would reach me, glide feather-soft across my face only for me to nod them away, a kindly gesture to beggars as the car reels off.

I carried on in a dull way, – an effect part sleep deprivation, part disappointment – leaving half-hearted impressions of myself on people I’d already learned. Nothing seemed to shake me, there was no definitive moment from the slew that startled me awake, held me in place long enough to flatten itself into my memory as a definite event, something to be weighed and bronzed until it could be enshrined in a sort of humming permanence. This eternal performance spinning in black matter.

Nothing stuck with me, that is, except for my wisdom teeth surgery.

I don’t really know if pain changes you in the moment, shucks you out of your old skin and leaves you shivering and glossy in newfound understanding, but I know something of its after effects, how it pools out beneath every moment of complete freedom like the eyes of taxidermy. Here I am laughing, and there was the gauze soked with blood, my own fear recorded on the heart monitor. Strange to think that my body was drugged into numbing the incisions on my gums, drugged so as not to remember. Leaving me to wake up afterwards with a drowned soreness, like someone had frantically shouted my name centuries ago but I couldn’t remember who or why.

Now, it is spring of my senior year, and I still know nothing of the aches of my past. There had to have been a space, a skin, a universe for all of those old hurts, right? And yet I will never be able to re-learn the crests and folds of an old wound; the cellar-door, silhouette caught in the corner of my eye. There can never be  sharing of pain. A hurt, a wound, can only be known from the inside out, and only known by the host within its season, its gape and sound a shadow to ligaments and sinew. But now that the pain is out-grown

It is my senior year, and  I let days wash over me with my eyes wide open and I argue less, I’ve stopped trying to make excuses or create loopholes. I’m staring down the barrel of a gun, unflinching, calculating the width of the bullet and the pinhole of skin it will dive through.

And yes, there will be the loud crack and then, of course, the bullet, tearing through skin as precicely as an inhale. Exit-wound filling with a tide of blood.




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evenings from my bathtub

And from the gutted ivory I birthed an immense quiet. In the lateness, the walls and the tiles stretching, sinking into a greater configuration. There were the hollows beneath my tongue, caverns deeper than moons, than the ends of god. Here, there’s always a burial of feeling, the weary moments passing through into the parts of me that span everything, a misty patched space broader than my fingers or the small streams of blood. The body is stunted; most of what I feel and know exists in the air, in the crooks of imaginary space. So many things endlessly tumbling and traveling through one square-inch of skin. All this found through a bullet wound, the opposite side of a name. metro

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publication news / quick reflection

Hello all!!! Long time no post and I apologize for that. My life has been extraordinarily hectic this year – courtesy of that unique comb of schoolwork + college apps – but I just wanted to stop by for a second to update everyone on some publication news and to post a short journal entry I made a few weeks back.

Anyway, two old poems of mine, “Tennis Shoes” and “Froth skies, bloody snow”, are featured in the 6th issue of Elsewhere, which you can read here. Please go check out all of the lovely works in this issue (not to mention that it was released just this afternoon!!!).

I promise that in 2017 I’ll make a greater effort to post on this blog weekly. Much love xx

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two poems


(you may recognize the earlier versions of these two poems as two separate pieces that I’ve already featured on this blog. I was unsatisfied with them, however, and some heavy edits were in order, so here they are, complete! – hopefully I can finally leave them to rest as is.)

Wild Salmon

Tongues thick, the pink of my elbows, my knees. Sometimes the white tennis shoes leaked, the grass in the backyard ankle-high. When the pavement skinned me I lost nothing. A day swollen and full-mouthed, festering with light. A day with our palms stretched like cow hide on the overpass tarmac, waiting for the sky to birth crows, for the year to tip sideways and spill into clouds of yolk and grey. Low lights at night, something under-tongued and drowned, a year spent waiting for you to turn me small in your mouth. A car slid down your avenue in blue haze, radio blaring, and its meaning fell through me. When will this stop being so heavy? I drop everything I know into the basins of my thighs: years are lost in me. A subtle teething, bright rot of morning: asphalt heat weaving webs around our shins, how this only means something now. And the last night walking home with shucked legs, wet clothes, feeling like something was catching up to me, waiting for it to crash headlong into my back. In memories, I go half-deaf. In memories, I am quiet. Swimming through empty rooms in a body of sight. I see us strawberry picking, laughing from our bones. I watch the super 8 footage of your birthday, every movement an impossibility, everyone shivering in swallowed light, bodies excuses. This is not yet forgetting, this is only a mouthful of blood. Like a startled wait, this yearn wrung through teeth. Like a muscle unlearning itself in whiplash and the slow leaving too. It is simple: only this waiting-room, feathered march of anesthetics, falling through the hollows of a name.

Froth & Pulse

I. Sometimes, blood on fresh snow like an opening. Sometimes, the apartment stairwell back-lit, hallways laid bare for miles, tunneling throat. The woman next door presses her palms to the floor in gold-light, feels for pulses below, comes up empty every time. The dead dogs humming. The rise. Blue movements: telephone static, someone thumbing a bruise. Too much on either end. The glow & pulse of the tongue: my mouth as wide as this room & just as empty.

II. You walk into my dreams in marrow light. A sky froths and stutters over children skating on a frozen pond, spits up ravens that curl and shrink. When we were children, a sled crashed into an oak and blood spilled cotton-soft. Words shatter this type of lightness. But in this dream, it is my body splayed over the ice, palms sacrificing themselves to the sky, an empty threaded pulse. You walk past me and my eyes cloud until I’m blinded and the scene repeats.

In the years afterward, people will stand here without hurting and never know.



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two things related to you


i. Sometimes, the apartment stairwell. Hallways laid bare for miles. A woman presses her palm to the floor in gold light. Feels for pulses, comes up empty every time. Someone listens to phone static, thumbs a bruise. Always too much on either end. The burn & pulse of the tongue. My mouth as wide as this room & just as empty.

ii. You walk into my dreams in marrow light. I see a sky froth and quaking & children skating on a frozen pond. I stand alone & you walk past me and the scene repeats. You leave and take the snowy hills with you, bruise the rims of my eyes, leave me to watch you crashing your sled and maybe I say something, maybe I don’t blink. Maybe it was always my body splayed over the ice, blood spilling, palms sacrificing themselves to the sky.


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subtle teething


Nights spent at the pool, drives home where streetlights pinwheeled through wet eyelashes.These were years broken fingers, sores. Early morning by the garage, so many orange peels and the small spines of fish. In those days, there was tenderness and low, mouths empty. Sometimes pink mattresses, girls waiting outside gas stations, coat pockets deeper than river bank mud, a gallon of milk swinging from their knuckled grip. In those days, I would forget to blink and the land bruised around me, a sky pink and ripping through itself, bleating over the power lines, the snow. All this space yawning past us, and sometimes your voice would reach me from across the parking lot, waterlogged and scratched. Sometimes processions of yellow lights, and when we reached the mouth of the tunnel, a fever of black. There was too much water in my room, too much room in my mouth, my boots dredging through the snow, the black sky hounding. And you, the sore eyes, missing teeth.

And sometimes I knew your name, other times I looked away too fast.


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