Charles Kell, 10/7/2019

Current Occupation: PhD student and instructor at The University of Rhode Island. Adjunct instructor at Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut.
Former Occupations: adjunct instructor; teaching assistant; visiting instructor of English; telemarketer; farm-hand in rural Ohio; Rip saw and cross-cutter in a sawmill; steel mill; furniture deliveryman; furniture upholstery; warehouse at DHL and W.W. Grainger; janitor / maintenance in a nursing home; janitor in a catholic primary school; landscaping, porter, laundry, janitor at a hotel; laborer; private tutor.
Contact Information: Charles Kell is the author of Cage of Lit Glass, chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize (forthcoming in September 2019). His poetry and fiction have appeared in the New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, Kestrel, Columbia Journal, The Pinch, and elsewhere. He is Assistant Professor of English at Community College of Rhode Island and associate editor of The Ocean State Review. He recently completed a PhD at the University of Rhode Island with a dissertation on experimental writing, criminality and transgression in the work of James Baldwin, Rosmarie Waldrop, Joanna Scott and C.D. Wright.



The Nervous Shoplifters


are bored at the movies, green

bottles of whiskey 

between open legs.

Even with May on the horizon

they disperse in silent alarm

through random quadrants of the city.

The one with short yellow

hair sings hymnals under her breath.

The other with black leather

gloves becomes easily jealous.

At first, their reluctance almost gets

the better.

Then a flurry of bees blankets

them in desire.

They grow hungry for unshared passion.

The way after the tour ends, and one

is left looking for extra

hands in pockets,

head down low.

There one goes following the whistle.

Who are you, in your glass piety?

In the morning robins sing on the windowsill.



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