Poetry by Kirsten Ihns

i feel the beauty like a hairspray
sometimes i like to stand close enough
to my air conditioner to turn                   it on
i like to make things



flexile, textile, and delight/(textile change operator/operator/orderly cream)








know the hinge of your inclination

                                                                                       wrack it out

wrap it around
the set up the video

original, all of this is original

of a cloud: driven before the wind




          does yours sound like that


throwing the look of a solid area
know the fences of it

by encounter

know them w elastic gladness
/wrap o.s. around them

yea tho the hours would unyoke me

from me
have me
be instant

i wanted to be
                           a diachronic kind of picture
i repeat my hinges

tell me more facts?
born up and raised
in the big yard

of expectations, i’m just waiting for my display
:it smelled like lunch in the inside room
& i had only the other idea about it:
knowing how to use the door

for instance

i want to believe i am
the shapes i make with my life
it didn’t seem to have “sprung” or to have come
from anywhere but its suddenness
and its suddenness

            was in there like a quality





what is                          i have ?

just out here sieving peas
cork voice going out on the nice
the night                      it peace
it flash
it me
it lash
it does
it lash and lasts

i regret
refresh the page

cork voice going out on the night-
saturated sail          in the dark to have arrived
before the candles
chandelle, mortadella, amanita, xx was huge
tige de suif                    we stuck it out we lit the room we flash
we flash
we very nice refresh the page


we lash we do!

we                  through and through
               i was trying for the we, you write, you’re right
like that
you read me right like that

too red me in my room
sundayed pastry costume
sun clayed
to be so fresh you get a cold
walls sleek cornure, untorsioned
/that’s the dream

that hatch, dirt cordant
/it ripped the sound in two

i was
into it
it was a toss-up
it really was
perfectly as good

as easter green
slick as grace
as grass

cold supple
frischer coffee
task! task-task
but…i like some structure in my task!
                                        under the blows of the whip of pleasure              wipe
foo-weh! foo-wet!
:to hear the thwack
o to hear it in the very skin
i hear it in the easter grass
they zigzag leave the bow rubans!
the note out here, it gets so flat
:field god sudden act

…then my life did that thing i like with its eyes
a thing
any thing

-you drew down night?
-yeah, i drew down night

/i refresh the ice
refresh my nice

we did it to me very casualty



-can you tell me the name of the distance
between any thing identical with itself


                                                      becomes pictorial
                                                                     when viewed through pain
so they say


sooth, they say






where it tends






/they are there. phare
thy eye is where it tends:


i looked around and all i could swas partitioning

/i looked around and could not see that all i could see
was partitioning

                                                                                                               but felt i knew it?

/know your fences like a sweetness
run up against them
/the love is in the iteration
/the heart becomes engorged
& wraps around the fence
t                               he heart becomes


                  trying for the we, you write



& would make a little drawing there

when there is not finally plus light
the illumination is not to be borne
they lets themselves go in the poetry
splashing in its four jewel eye
that’s too cute

its fourth july
four july
i’m being cute
i’m being really cute
on the fourth of the july
the artifices of the fires
fell in the pool
feel in the pool and then get out
well go on
                who did you think was in this knock-knock
mouse. mouse-mouse.

the kind of light the sound can’t leave
it is getting meanwhile
very late in here
it is just ha. it is ha-ha.
it, you want to know what the /it/ is
what is the it of the poems? nobody knows
               with greatest concern it is working it out
it was making
new consciousness
that the economy can!
for live in
& sell
dame thing
big house
tho it really only sulks and pouts
i sulk and pout i silk it out
she shops for dinner at the local sprouts
my thoughts arrange it radial
my empathy it makes a square
i cut the corners
off before it sandwich, meanwhole
this was on my nicest plate
i was trying, ok

i was trying
i try and then i make it friends
i show my flag my white
i show it off my nicest lens
i try to get the outside in
but it’s having none about it
things i do best: sorry and
things i do best: again
no matter how much news there is
i always want it more
i refresh the entry bin, i wipe it clean
i sanitize the gym machine before i mount
i post
i like that post
i’m posting up and down
around the ring the horse will spook
umbrella!       someone opens in the rain
and throws you off
we are with me at the twelve
years old
i bleed some minor blood
there in the expensive dust i rent
i waited for my mother
but she didn’t come, she had
gone home, so i got back
on and loved the horse again—
it took me home
i took its saddle
and it got dark but didn’t rain









all i wanted from my evening was for it




                    to arrive naked out of the experiential field


not hostile


                 the /what i felt about it/, they were sedimentary


/what got left in their own wake is what they were


                                          to be a lot of people one has known

                                    their order in combination

                                                                          read its riot to it

                                                                         read its reference action






do it


                                                               tape-like wound and wound    /they trade the ribbon




                                                 what would it be to feel with out


a second with its pieces hanging in shreds

                                   how long is its duration

                               a pixel

                                          and centuries, quiet as sand, and then

                                       the strop

                                     of instinct coming up, oh down, sweet leather on the flank


                the body senses by changing


                                                                for hours

                                             in the storm are there then no objects out the window

                             then suddenly can one not remove the window

                                       from the sight

                                          what sight the spirit has

                              /just snow

                to perceive is to take for true, says one who sets out

                                           to take the shirt of the world

                                                            & not put it on, to just remove it


                                           says one who fresh like breezes, bathing, and sports


                     -i want to find the place of the horse, of which the rules of chess would treat

                     -i try to feel the coldness, of the ice cube, when i touch it

                     -i feel i am alone?

                     -i feel the water five feet underneath us


                     -is it like a pain sensation like a pain sensation


or more like the future

and its ranging structure

               oven, oven


excuse me do you think i can


                                                     it was an otherwise kind of time


                                                                  we got through it—

                                as though it were


all the points in heaven


xx that collects like snow

and must be shoveled off

                  like snow it must be shoveled off


                  what you were saying about points in heaven?

                                 i discovered i liked the sound of your voice

the sound of your ear i imagine in mine


                 come out of it thinking i survived time     


lived through it


                              and what other medium did i have

to live through


              and the result was just to be




             further down the hall


                                          i look at my neighbor’s screen and read

             his screen

                                          he is reading about residue and



     i am trying to read the time on the screen

  but from my angle the clock is obscured by a smudge

so i just wait, because what we are in will end eventually anyway—


                            it lasted and was in twelve regular parts

/the universe said it felt it was

functioning perfectly


                                and daffodils




/my cry will always surpass my message


it had the cadence of an opening

               i wanted to enlarge the champ

but it was so late at my beginning

there were a lot of hello nouns

and in this loudness

                                                      i wanted a word with a deep

                                                                                      soil, living in my under


would you offer to organize my vegetal life




would you make a huge reaction, out of it




would you like a lifetime glass


              and the finest spacer system

     would you like      free sensors


three in four households will look through this








have you fallen and cannot

                                                                                                                          have you

                                                                                                                     have you fallen and

                                                                                                                  like to

                                 enjoy delicious expectations

                  and 40 national park quarters

  all the national park quarters issued, to date





                                                           would you like real security

                                                               voice-activated security?


                                                                               now: imagine your home, totally organized






like a quiet package,


            would you like to rely on your winter traditions


and how about to find your shopping


and click on it


                                 like impending airbag failure


would you like to spend that airport cash


                                              would you prefer a safe and healthy loss of weight


                            would you like to pay more

and be serviced immediately



                “i want to be in dialogue with the shopping language


                 /your bath is empty

                                                                but it doesn’t have to be


                  i want to know

                                         what you think i should know






…when the ice cube was not actually cold


it was a crueler deception



                    this metallic moment is discounted

so that you can have it

                                            in your house


i unfurled my pants

                 i unfurled my terry cloth pants? performance pants. sweats.

                                               i had shaken my entire pants out

                               and there it was! everything i was looking for

                                        the shape fell down outside the life that made it


                               pick-up item: wool layered gilet with metallic thread detail”


the thing fell down and clattered on the floor


                                                 on the

                                                                                 last state of when

                                                                  the last state of the thing you want

                                                 can be named



                                                  and can be gotten


/can you dress me


in the body mesh


                                a grid for rays


                                               i spent the afternoon trying to be

a set towards the referent




endless uses throughout the furniture


/i wanted to be as good as an amazon review


as laid bare

                 in my interjections

                              like one name being used by two people


                              like how vowel means /sound that permits/



                                             -yeah, it was just last Thursday

                                             -yeah, i was like

                                            -it’s an open field so you knew

                                           -it was a long time


it was everything i said it was


              when children generate their spontaneous little songs

i was outside what i meant what i said

what i meant when i said

                                                                                    i had to correct that


              it said very plainly that it did not wish to be subject to iteration

and i said then The Things Become Infected by the Rocket-ness Surrounds Them


……………………………and it did!


it went like


i said!



Kirsten Ihns is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is currently a Ph.D. student and Neubauer Presidential Fellow in English Literature at the University of Chicago, where she studies texts that seem to want to be images, and works on the poetry staff of Chicago Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review (online), Bennington Review, The Offing, Cordite Poetry Review, DREGINALD, Yalobusha Review, inter|rupture, BOAAT, Sonora Review, TAGVVERK, and elsewhere. She is from Atlanta, GA, USA.


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