The next Chance Operations reading will be held on Monday, October 25, at Duff's, 392 North Euclid, in the Central West End.
Featured readers will be Ken Brown, Colleen McKee, and a reader to be determined. An open-mic will follow the featured readers. Learn, Artist! will provide musical interludes. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; cover charge $3.
Colleen McKee says:
I am the author of My Hot Little Tomato, a chapbook of poems about food and the erotic, published by Cherry Pie Press. It has a real fishnet flyleaf.
I am also co-editor, along with Amanda Crowell Stiebel, of Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak About Health Care in America. This is an anthology of personal narratives, mostly from the perspective of being a patient. It's not exactly a policy book or medical textbook; it's more the human face of the the women trying to navigate the system. It's published by PenUltimate Press.
I write poems, essays, and a little fiction, and do some freelance editing. I also teach writing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Lindenwood University. I write most of my poems on public transportation; I dream frequently and in color; I spend a lot of time in Portland, OR; and I can probably kick your ass in Scrabble. I write every day and try to be a nice person. When that fails, I try at least to be honest.
The most recent places you can find my work are the current issues/editions of the following: Criminal Class Review; Women Artists Datebook 2010; and Untamed Ink.
The Letter Opener
As I peruse the Black Cinema
postage stamps, a woman
with an everywhere Afro
and gold lame tunic rushes in,
a fistful of mail, to yell,
“God loves you ladies! I
love you ladies! God bless you all!”
then runs away from the darkness of the p.o. boxes
into the urban summer sun.
“She does that every day,” sighs
the matron in blue behind the counter.
The skinny girl ahead of me in line,
a butter knife stuck in her greasy blonde hair,
says, “Some people just got the sunshine.”
That’s when I notice, she does,
and I smile up at her on one knee
as I hold up the line to pick up the mail
she drops like a white handkerchief.
-- Colleen McKee