Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Kate Switaj’

Inside Pre Rup

December 8, 2011 1 comment

by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

Inside Pre Rup by Elizabeth Kate Switaj
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Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cambodia, August 2008


Elizabeth Kate Switaj’s first book, Magdalene & the Mermaids, was published in 2009 by Paper Kite Press. She has also published a chapbook, The Broken Sanctuary: Nature Poems, with Ypolita Press. Her photographs have appeared in GUD and Carpe Diem Review, as well as on the cover of Boxcar Poetry‘s 2006 anthology. Her photograph “Recycling in Zhengzhou” won Folded Word‘s “Freight: What Are You Carrying?” competition. She is currently an Editorial Assistant for Irish Pages: A Journal of Contemporary Writing and a doctoral candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. For more information visit her website.

Categories: Worship Tags:

The First Four Days

September 7, 2011 2 comments

by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

 I thought there’d be bars in here
but the plexiglass pen doesn’t allow
that sliver dream of privacy or shade
                            as if there were a sun 
  where windows aren’t allowed

The window bars drag patterns on the wood
floor beside my futon
                                    that twist and curl.
Soon I’ll know what time of day I’ve woken up
                               by the fatness of the heart.

 I tell the man who sleeps above me
I didn’t do it
                          he tells me
to get a job in the kitchen
so I can eat the scraps
and buy better soap

         My roommate’s making something spicy.
The wok sizzle seeps under my door.
                 I wait to wash my dishes
until she’s asleep.

 I’d rather have a number than my name
tongue-&-toothed in mouths above blue
polyester draped arms that wear the gloves
No one says they’re innocent
          while they’re being searched in here

No one has said my name in nights
“Chinese delivery.” ”Four-fifty-seven.”
                                      is all I’ve heard
   since he said my name
and Shh. 

 I tell the man who sleeps above me what I’m in for 
He laughs and calls me a BAMF
                                                      Why would I tell him I’m innocent?

 Standard greeting back to work: 
what did you do with this long weekend?
                  Tell them:
                                      rest.        Why would I want to explain 
there’s no point in reporting
crimes you can never prove?

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Since completing her MFA at New College of California in 2004, Elizabeth Kate Switaj (website) has published Magdalene & the Mermaids (Paper Kite Press), Shanghai (Gold Wake Press), and The Broken Sanctuary: Nature Poems (Ypolita Press). She is currently an Editorial Assistant for Irish Pages and a doctoral candidate at Queen’s University Belfast.

Summer’s Orders

June 26, 2009 1 comment

                swimming hole or should I say
        concrete hexahedron of chlorine
        water & washed-off sunblock
                                                   was never carefree

        someone didn’t have a lunch
        & deep-end pennies weren’t enough
                                   for candy bars from QFC

girls layered shredding suits
swam a few laps & announced
              you could lose more weight that way

             fatter girls stayed wrapped in towels
             until they plunged in hiding blue

    & when diving board contests of daring
went too far, lifeguards stopped telling
us to walk & strapped the wounded to backboards
for transport we didn’t know
                                          their parents couldn’t afford

by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

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Categories: Economy Tags:
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