Performing at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC in 2019 photo credit: Kat Georges, Three Rooms Press
Kathleen Florence has performed poetry with such notable luminaries as Canadian legend bill bissett at the Poet's House, NYC in 2019, and has shared the stage with New York City Maintenant poets Steve Dalanchinsky, Yuko Otomo, David Lawton, Bibbe Hansen, George Wallace, Kat Georges, Peter Carlaftes and Kofi Fosu Forson at Le Poisson Rouge (Three Rooms Press Launch, NYC, 2017, 2018, 2019 and virtually 2020). Her first feature was hosted by Great Weather for Media, NYC in July 2021. The poet collaborates with California Beat Poet Laureate Rich Ferguson as Wave Up. Kathleen has performed with Wes Rickert as Burning Iceberg, following bill bissett and Adeena Karasick at Versefest (Ottawa, 2019), opened for Canada's Poet Laureate George Elliot Clarke and legendary sound poet Paul Dutton at The Secret Handshake Gallery (Toronto 2018, 2019) and performed in the Montreal’s longest running spoken word poetry show Words & Music (Casa del Popolo, Montreal, 2018) and Kingston's Artfest Poetry Reading Series curated by Bruce Kaufman, 2017. Kathleen Florence (Reichelt)'s poems appear in Suitcase of Chrysanthemums (great weather for Media, NYC, 2018), Otoliths (Australia, 2018, 2019), Arteidolia's swifts+slows (Brooklyn, 2018) and forthcoming in Poemdemic! published by The Secret Handshake Gallery.
summer night in brooklyn was first published as high jinks in issue 52 of Otoliths, February 2019
summer night in brooklyn
rattling tin can collects echoes on a narrow street of buildings three stories high face to face she is counting beats between each kick distracting her heavy pause reply fingers suspended over keyboard eyes scanning moonless night wind too tired to pass through this room the small window propped open with last night's tomato can metal rings of jupiter bouncing back the street light spell summer buzzing metal boxes dripping on the sidewalk below she counts kicks for ten blocks at least makes a wish hears a dog bark woof waits for it to break
the thing about alice was first published in Suitcase of Chrysanthemums, great weather for Media, NYC, 2018
the thing about alice
the thing about alice other than her name is the way she stays out of it at the table flying potatoes green beans apple pie hot sauce for uncle michael who might be a liberal in some circles but not here alice is the only name that doesn't come from the big book where cousin rachel john peter got theirs it couldn't be why she isn't like us thinks her mother before pushing back her chair pouring gravy quietly fidgeting fingers under the maple incapable of saying the things she does when she is with her friends about them how they don't understand could never see how unfair it is to be outside unwanted dismissed as if rachel john peter michael were not - hold that - table swinging old man up to bat he's gonna say something to send it through the window rushing blood love this game made simple two teams and only one can win history is war, pass the gin! alice looks down carpet patterns peace her eyes in lines colour weaving her teeth tight with being right mother returns with baked bird in its own juice everyone eats but alice someone refrains from asking what is wrong with you? this is so delicious
neighbours was first published in Arteidolia's swifts+slows, Brooklyn, 2018
our likeness ability to reply say we’re fine say lots of things in language we understand from habit demand repetitions beliefs conditions conditional signed on invisible lines gravity stringed around our necks pulling through the porthole of agreement attracting what we know what we grow up in grow sideways lean into the likeness next door
covering extremities, our costumes test weather patterns in case it rains, in case it snows repeat what someone else said what someone else knows rearranging words into delicate holders of flowers asking why they were picked what is fair who are we to care for those who disagree who want to change me rearrange me govern me reject me connect relate debate rename explain me hand me over pass me under adjust pose sit stand order me demand obey?
obey formula for sadists to advantage their fortunes fortressing pacifist opposition applications congregations any position on the spectrum ordering bodies that don’t belong to anyone bodies that are not free
and who is to say what we should be, like? insert computer chip into upper lip speak the future language of repeat? forget the past with delete? is there autonomy? do we challenge what is free? abandoned books written by dead lull in the conversation while digitalization squeezes softness from our necks pulls our eyes into spies censoring quietly hush hush ushering in new masters we slaved hours to buy
water boils slow we can’t know resistance unless we insist ourselves out of uniform reject rulers fascists who have multiplied moving under our hidden lines right here in our hands right next door
bluebird was first performed at sound one two, Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre, Kingston, 2017
minus 30 is deep diving first kiss territory what will happen next is this going to last? white a flash of teeth smiling through slow dancing my chest a freezer delivering a letter twenty 5 years later stepping into snow holes made bigger by boots before mine my eyes flood with marriage sigh of horses highway 2 curving rounding repeating confusing love songs with a blue bird's wing what it means to be forty, fifty, seventy 9 i take your hand swallow your fingers in mine understand better these bare trees this salted road our chosen place where sonnets grow while sleeping bulbs turn to light where brooms gather up corners where longing passes unnoticed under bridges currents travel below ice you dare to tread all the while holding steady always arriving always returning the shape of your face against my lips i can retrieve it on the coldest day in winter, here