Kelly Schirmann


KELLY SCHIRMANN is a writer, musician, ceramicist, and visual artist from Northern California. She is the author of Popular Music and The New World, and the co-author, with Tyler Brewington, of Boyfriend Mountain and Nature Machine. Her music projects include(d) headband (solo), Sung Mountains (with Jay Fiske), and Young Family (with Sam Pink). She is the founding editor of Black Cake, a record label for contemporary poetry and other experiments, and the co-creator of OMO, Public Access, and Americans for Responsible Technology (ART). She currently lives and teaches in Missoula, Montana. Source

[I feel to porous to read, and too empty to write]

I feel too porous to read, and too empty to write. In bed, I picture my whole body as a sea sponge— foamy and yielding, with big soft holes. I get angry with myself because this is not how a poet should be. A poet is emotional, yes, but rigid, too—they make their mess within a form, which is the only way people can stand them. I don’t know any forms and am drained of my feelings just from being alive. Still, supposedly, I want to be an artist. I eat buttered toast at the coffee table, thinking this over. When a tree is too slow to fruit, scientists invent new trees with quicker apples. This thought makes me scared, and emptier still. Who are the scientists? I wonder. What did a quick apple taste like?





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Doubt & Fear

Poetic Form

Literary Devices:


written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered