Katie Culligan

writings

Recent Publications:

“0:00 Underneath Port Authority” for Geometry
December 2018

“Before we named blue, it was usually mistaken for grey. This is why we must name things, she said in a heavy French accent, pointing out the window at the Pisgah national forest, at the snow piling, the bare trees piercing the clouds. We need the words to say that today, the sky is blue.”


“Homophony” for Muse / A Journal
October 2018

“The Catholic urge is to think about digestion, the Russian nesting dolls we must make of ourselves to live. The urge is to ignore all the bodies except the one cracked and scattered, donated to all of us, all the time. This is a story, words strung together, but it gets muddled with the calories, and soon we’re all in misery. This language we live in means so many things at once. But the sheep is not a metaphor; life gives life not for the poetry, but for the cells. I ate her, and I called her ‘her.’”


“Where All the Chickens Are Going” for Noble / Gas Qtrly
September 2018

“When we finally stepped into the coop, we saw that there were feathers and slivers everywhere. Death is absolute only for those to whom it happens. But really, the body keeps going, at least for a moment. With the body, there can be degrees of death: these chickens were dead a lot.”


“American Girl, Kitchen Floor” for Chaleur Magazine
September 2018

“The tiny cylinder still plays D’Angelo on shuffle. This makes my body think it wants to seduce the pork intestines. This word is a euphemism. My girl-body didn’t create seduce. My girl-body created more bodies. It created hunger.“


”Viscosity” for Columbia Journal
August 2018

“I turn, and every car /
for miles blinks right-turn in sync. /
There is nothing, then menacing red, then /
nothing again.'“


”Different Trains” for American Chordata
February 2018

“April 24, 2002, my fourth birthday: A railway freight train collides head-on with a Metro link train in Placentia, California. Different trains, same tracks. Two people die that day; twenty-two more are left seriously injured, some unrecognizable. I always wondered how two trains, traveling in obviously conflicting directions on a shared path, a zero-sum situation, could ever get to the point of collision. If you see something barreling towards you, threatening your route, you slam the brakes, you make yourself big and loud and known, you protect those that you have on board. It should be instinctive.”

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