semantikon feature literature
Summer 2005
Krista Franklin

VISUAL WORKS

Krista Franklin is a poet, visual artist and educator who hails from Dayton, OH, and currently works and resides in Chicago, IL.

Her poems and visual art have appeared in/on several literary journals and websites, including Nexus Literary and Art Journal, milk, Warpland, Obsidian III, nocturnes 2: (re)view of the literary arts, milkmag.org , ambulant.org, and errataandcontradiction.org .

She has also been published in the anthologies The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order and Bum Rush The Page: a Def Poetry Jam.

She is a Cave Canem fellow, and was a featured poet in the 2000 New Voices New Worlds Series in St. Louis, MO.

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krista franklin, chicago, poet, poetry, performance art, public schools, teacher, visual artist, def poetry jam,
superwoman (for r.v. and anna west)

where were you when I needed you |like right now?
-Stevie Wonder

oh, no one must've told you/ you're supposed to/ bear the weight/ write the poems/ cook/ do the dishes/ clean the house/ read to the baby/ play with the baby/ clean up the baby/ clean up after the baby/ scrub the baby's sticky handprints off the wall/ scold the baby when he does it/ if you do it later/ he won't understand why/ remember that/ you must remember this/ be omnipresent/ you can't take your eyes off of him for one minute

your man/ you can't take your eyes off of him for one minute/ no one must've told you/ you have to stroke him/ ego/ dick/ whatever the moment calls for/ cremate your losses/ place their ashes in the urn/ which was once your heart/ or release them/ disperse them over the wind/ of your children's laughter/ these may be your only choices/ get used to isolation/ be strong/ there is nobility in strength/ this should comfort you/ strength in isolation

your life/ is not your life/ you are the work/ you are the weight/ smile/ listen/ write/ stroke/ comfort/ scrub/ play/ write/ be strong/ ignore the sting of desire/ unfulfillment/ burning the lining of your stomach/ the poems/ you would write/ swallowed by the scrubbing/ the playing/ the stroking/ just pretend/ there is no bottomless pit of longing/no love blows/ to the gut/ no nights/ when life is devouring you