semantikon feature literature
June 2009:
Emily Habermehl
1. Fire
2. Banners
3. My Head
4. Mexican Cemetaries
5. Toads
6. A Soldier and an Unmade Bed
7. The Cigarette girl, the Sow and the Mermaid
8. Is This Thing On?
9. Raisins and Prunes (Reduced for Quick Sale)
Emily Jean Habermehl was born in Philadelphia and has called Austin home since 2001.  She has been writing poetry since she was 12 years old and currently works as a licensed social worker for a large non-profit agency.  She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007.  You can read more of her work at:
emily habermehl broadside poster
Download June 2009
Broadside Poster
About Artist:

emily habermehl, poet, essayist, pushcart prize, friscoshoes, brambles, austin, texas, pennsylvania,


She’s got a lot of flags
She’s never been to Tibet
But banners run from pockets of a
Patchwork quilt skirt cinched to her waist
Flowing woven they sweep into her hair
Flood the ground where her feet are anchored
Yes, there are so many banners
Their expanse, their extension - they nearly graze the tenuous sky

Each morning she awakes with desperation
Rattling her bones and an inky fear in her

Still, the banners come like trained soldiers
Stand full attention at the foot of her bed
We’re here whether you like it or not
Her mouth still crusted with all that collects during sleep
She doesn’t greet them, can’t get that far but trust me
They are never ignored


A thousand rejections scrappy rodents that bite at her hem
She kicks them away with her sandal, a solid thud to the side
Of that slight and pointed skull, her heel could smash it
To bits
If only their onset and retreats weren’t so fast and

There is a puppet show she knows she can’t be
A part of any longer
The wax and cloth figures may rot on their strings, perhaps burn in effigy
She’ll be long gone
She won’t smell the smoke, won’t see a fading nor explosion
(Did she ever know who held the lines?)

Just be done