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,

Is this thing on?

The only evidence she’s
Said anything at all
Is a frosty nebulous loose form
That hangs in the air just beyond
Her lips

She’s got embers the color of blood oranges
In her vocal cords
Red irons spark in her mind, land on her tongue
But she’s found…

Sometimes the inside of his ears
Are caked chocolate wax peanut butter
Doesn’t matter his mother fed him as a child
He won’t claw it away

What about the ones
That fell into the dirt
Before she could catch them?
(She insists to this day that her
Doughy arms had been strong enough
To hold them)
What about the one that fails to send
Her cards
Though he knows her address? 
(It may have been scribbled scrawled
on a coffee stained napkin
but he’s got it and he knows does)

He knows he does


Yeah, sure he’ll guide her
By her honey hair, his palm on the back of her neck
Toward the zipper of his pants gleaming like
Metal teeth a beast’s jaw
But he doesn’t know who she was named after
And that’s the hammer that smashed the glass
So it fell like ice on the floor
A distraction
Just in time so she could run away…

Catch me if you can…

She’ll hide in a Venus fly trap
You won’t get her now
The fleshy innards of petals encase her
But she trembles when an insect hovers near…


It wasn’t that she didn’t want to play
She just couldn’t be the toy
He grabbed at her like a spoiled child
Her throat caught and though she stuffed
The pebbles of fear down into her belly
With fistfuls of newspaper
She turned
And there was the rock face…

Climb.  Out.