The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2016

All Issues
MAY 2016 Issue




The body of a nude
woman, lying in a ruined
building.  A body in
a frantic surrounding
in motionlessness.

An event continues
with a body in it.
A scene of a fallen building,
next to a sky
as back drop.
The sky casts a memory
of their unity
when the building had both
interior and exterior

She could
walk through the ruins,
and so doing, replace
the sky
with her body.









A loving woman
walks diagonally across
the sidewalk to cross.
She makes a gesture
of herself to cross, catches
my eye, and motions
to me with distant eyes – I’m someone else.
She loves me there.
She moves with
a love that won’t leave.
Yet, her atmosphere is
mine – the same grays
with sparks of light.











Writing About Photographs

I loved you before, and I love you still.

The books I’ve read about suicide
have helped me to understand photography.

Our placemats lay
under plates of scrambled eggs
and toast with tiny chopped onions.

We pull back chairs & we sit
to eat. You
can never be a photograph

if you are inside the moment,
chair pulled back,
A photograph is at
like a television,
a computer screen,
a movie,
or a mother sometimes.
Look at my poem, or sit down.







The Cold Way

A sideways stare,
Cold to start with.
This corporate world
every inch allowed to be inhuman.
Not human is good.

Long ago in the cave
it was learned
that cold was the way
out of the house.
Fight ‘em & beat ‘em to be out there.

We’re still
awfully in the shade,
calling to other trees
for a coat. We are
shoved back
pulled forward somehow.
Tough is cool –
the rock star looks away.





Josie McKee

Josie McKee was a finalist for the Kinereth Gensler Award, and a prose manuscript was shortlisted for the Bellwether Prize. She has held residencies at NYC Writer’s Room, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her writing has appeared in Lungfull! Magazine, and in an anthology, Blood and Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard edited by Scott Gibson. She has lectured on color at the School of Visual Arts Interior Design Department, and taught art in museums. She received a BFA in Painting (and the distinguished Florence Leif Award) from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1986, and an MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2016

All Issues