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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Prose Poem: 130 words
By Kathleen McGookey

Inside Out


The girl turns the house inside out. Does it matter what she’s looking for? She turns herself inside out. She turns the lake and the sky and the clouds inside out. Inside out, they are not much different. But the girl is tireless. She has only one assistant, a loyal dog the color of flame, and so much ground to cover. Behind her eyes, two swans drift among the lily pads, dripping with rain. Two more join them, then two more. She blinks away their slick feathers and black bills full of seaweed, then turns toward the constellations and the moon which grows thinner every day. What difference will it make if she turns those things inside out? Dark is dark. And she is caught in its throat.

Kathleen McGookey
Issue 12, March 2022

is the author of four books of prose poems and three chapbooks, most recently Instructions for My Imposter (Press 53) and Nineteen Letters (BatCat Press). She is also the author of Heart in a Jar (White Pine Press, 2017), Stay (Press 53, 2015), October Again (Burnside Review Press, 2012), and Whatever Shines (White Pine Press, 2001). In 2011, Parlor Press published We’ll See, a book of her translations of contemporary French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems.

Her poems, prose poems, and translations have appeared in more than 50 literary venues, including among others: Boston Review, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, December, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Glassworks, Indiana Review, Miramar, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Quiddity, Quarterly West, Rhino, Seneca Review, Sweet, The Antioch Review, The Laurel Review, West Branch, and Willow Springs—and in these anthologies published by White Pine Press: Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence (2016), The Best of the Prose Poem: An International Journal (2000), The House of Your Dream: An International Collection of Prose Poetry (2008), and The Party Train: A Collection of North American Prose Poetry (1996).

Ms. McGookey has received grants from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Arts Fund of Kalamazoo County, the Sustainable Arts Foundation (2014), and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has taught creative writing at Hope College, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Western Michigan University.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

“I Couldn’t Look Away”: A Conversation with Kathleen McGookey by David Nilsen in On the Seawall (22 September 2020)

Sandra Arnold Interviews Kathleen McGookey in New Flash Fiction Review (ca. 2018), about her work in the W. W. Norton anthology New Micro (2018)

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