Kate Partridge




In these hypotheticals, something is pointed right at you but it won't ever land.

She is always singing that song about the moon watching. It wasn't meant to be a lullaby, but that's how she's using it.

The tomatoes are world-famous, depending on what world you're living in.

Like the peacock throwing out its feathers. Nobody knows what to do with extremes. 

The last owners took everything except the portraits of Jesus in every room.


In an effort to transmit his energy to the children, he would throw his baton into the woodwinds, where it would clatter down through the rickety stands.

It's not the same as performing. More akin to rapture.

He poured gasoline on the trash pile in the field nearest the house and lit it.

You'll take your eye out.

And then what to do with it.


Missiles and people all move the same on maps, in arrows.

The soil is changed forever. Half-lives and all that.

You can do nothing or confront. You can lay out your choices on a little table.

She's covering her eyes again to sleep.


I don't care much for the racing, but I do like walking through the stables as the horses all get dressed.

The crickets either mean everything's fine or it's not.

My job in the clock tower building was to call people and renew their life insurance. They always asked me if something was wrong, as if I'd know.

Out in the fields at night, that's when you'd see a ghost.

Just the one, leaning up against the shed like a potato sack.


The bullets come up in the swamp. Everybody stole them, but I wasn't one of those kids.

Is anything approaching, or is it just the language coming at us.

He rented a log-splitter out at the river that kept catching fire.

There's no sense being too specific about the kneeling to be done.




Is it the people or the land
the land or the people
the peopled land the landed people

The lawyer says a baby in the city is yours

One coast rolling in at us pauses

When you cross into the mountains
no one keeps

even the hairs of their head
from the wind




"Theory of Engagement" takes after the poems in C.D. Wright's Deepstep Come Shining, and the two italicized lines are paraphrased from the book.