TALKING OUT LOUD
Nathan J. Reid & Kathryn Gahl
Kathryn Gahl is a writer, dancer, and registered nurse. Born to an Irish nurse and German farmer, she grew up with seven siblings in a farmhouse located at the end of a half-mile gravel drive. She earned a B.S. in English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a B.S. in Nursing at Syracuse University (NY). After 25 years in nursing and nursing management, she became a full-time writer, studying at Bread Loaf, Stonecoast, Sewanee, Iowa Writers’ Workshop Fiction Intensive, Iowa Summer Festival, Vermont College, and Taos.
Her poems and stories are widely published in small journals, including Eclipse, Hawaii Pacific Review, Permafrost, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, and Willow Review. Twice a Glimmer Train finalist, she received honorable mention from The Council of Wisconsin Writers andWisconsin People & Ideas. Margie named her a finalist for the Marjorie J. Wilson Award. Other finalist awards include poetry at Lumina and Chautauqua , the Arthur Edelstein Prize for Short Fiction, the William Richey Short Story Winner, and the Flash Fiction finalist at Talking Writing .
for the eighth-grade girl writing love lyrics
Description of new work
There is a line you will cross
in the ninth grade or the tenth
quick slip of judgment, addling after
The Boyboy you wrote about in eighth grade. That
boy or a different boy will stir you if you
let him tell you what you want to believe. Study his
rhythms and those of the agent, coach, or music
marketer telling you how to dress, who you ought
to be between the measures before your body
becomes someone else's body
not the bright-eyed blessed and
testy one you need for your first album
and all the ones thereafter
-- Kathryn Gahl
Nathan J. Reid is a poet and spoken word artist whose work has appeared in several journals, including the Penguin Review, Fox Cry Review, and Binnacle. He has a background in theatre and regularly performs his poetry at art events throughout Wisconsin. His chapbook, Thoughts on Tonight, was published this year by Finishing Line Press. He currently lives in Madison with his partner, Ashley, and their endless supply of books.
From a small-town blizzard
are born two angels in the snow
whose powdery irises
bear young witness
to a truth such as this:
Paradise melts at the touch.
Every breath drawn in this town
flies shackled-wing flight
under Sheriff John's throne,
his icy yardstick
bending with command
to score another feathered pair
to force another tasty angel down.
And there is no sound
as snow pushes out
another clipped love.
There is no sound
as two angels watch crystal clumps
paint dying dreams
that keep their brilliant purity
their untouched white
even though pollution
has begun to stain their wings.
When You Wake
you hear distant rumors about what it will be like
to go to sleep and never wake up
about a time when all vibrations cash in their casino chips, take the red-eye home
when the biggest number is again smaller than the smallest number
when your mind is a wilting flower
and an hour yet pending returns you to the realm that fed you into birth
you hear these things happening someday
but today you breathe fire and music as if fire and music, like yourself,
were somehow separate from this collapsing dream of time trying to remember light
you have always been light
light is the reality beneath the dream
as you are breath you are the nothingness
a photon knows not its own existence
so why fear the wilted flower?
if the color has gone pallid
the leaves too brittle to touch
then cheer the fragrance
it is still so incredible and lovely
From Thoughts on Tonight; Finishing Line Press, 2017