Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 2 • Summer 2002 • Poetry

Kate, the Cursed

Ragan Fox

It's a shame, they said, How the amber from her cigarette now burns brighter than the fire she carries within her.

She was once Kate, they quipped, Kate, the Wicked; Kate, the Cursed; Kate, the Shrew; Now, she is just Kate.

However, I fear waves crash behind this woman's eyes, and when she finds herself again, we all shall pay.


And so, Bianca took a shotgun to her sister while she heated up a microwave dinner for the man who tamed her. And when the man who tamed her threw Kate's torn up body out to sea and found a new fire to fuck and put out, Bianca found her sister's scattered pieces on an ocean floor, and scotch taped her back together. All fragments of Kate were recovered with the exception of her heart.

Perhaps, thought Bianca, this is a blessing. After all, it was her heart that led her astray to begin with.

This is how Kate walked, for six days and seven nights. Once the formidable bride of Petruchio, she was now the Post Modern bride of Frankenstein, stitched together with school supplies. Her life became a talk show. She lived in green rooms & smiled when she was told to smile & applauded when the signs telling her to do so lit up & charmed the press in the wake of wicked blowing in. Hurricanes blew in the fleshy hole that once held her beating heart, a mixture of cold and warm fronts in a space now consumed only by air, where fronts are oft born.


Have you seen Petruchio's latest piece of ass? a man at a bar asked his comrade. She was a stripper before he found her. A young black girl addicted to white clouds until the cold man gave her a warm place to stay. She is a fine piece of ass, the man explained, but she's no Kate.

And she isn't
Nor could she ever be:
Kate, the cursed
Kate, the shrew
Kate, the kissed
Kate, the wife
Kate, the suburban homemaker
Kate, the woman who takes it up the ass for her husband's boss
Kate, the GOD DAMN Stouffer's dinner is burnt again!
Kate, the coke addict
Kate, the girl who was blown into oblivion by her sister's shotgun,
and carefully pieced together again


Kate is coming after you Petruchio
I see her now
Walking down the icy street that leads to your house
Adhesive freezing & falling off
Limb by limb she comes undone
An arm
A toe
An ear
A finger
She leaves a trail of carnage, her own
As you and your friend fuck your newer and younger girlfriend
I see her as her sister trails behind her
Scotch tape firmly in hand
Sticking what she can back together

Ragan Fox is a queer spoken word artist living either in San Francisco, Austin, or Tempe. Ragan received his MA in Performance Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of the 2000 and 2001 Austin team at the National Poetry Slam. His duet poem, titled "In the Back," was featured in the 2001 National Poetry Slam finals held in Seattle, Washington. His cutting-edge words have appeared in In Our Own Words Volume 3, Mass Produced Goodness, The Multivoice Showcase CD Anthology, and Birth of Verse. In addition to being one of the premier queer slam poets in the nation, he has written, directed, and acted in two award-winning one-man shows, Raganomics and Penises and Vaginas. In the fall of 2002, Ragan will attend Arizona State University's PhD program in Communications. His Web site is Ragan Fo(XXX) [link defunct].

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