Kathy Kubik


"This is poetry that not only will make you feel something, but that will make you feel like a firecracker has gone off in your heart. Bold, brutal, beautiful - this is what Chicago poetry is all about."

- C.J. Laity Director, ChicagoPoetry.com

Self Portrait Issue O&S

My poem, "Where I'm From" appears in the self portrait issue of Oranges & Sardines available online at http://www.poetsandartists.com/
It is also available at Amazon.

Aoife's Kiss

My poem, Android Blue appears in the March 2008 print issue of Aoife's Kiss.




I remember the suit you wore,

android blue to match your lava boots.

Without it, your blood would boil.


My hand leaves a green-orange imprint

on your domed cheek.

Heat dissipates from you,

draws me near, creates a sphere

I want to curl into, forever a fetus.


I’m forced into the cockpit,

bowl of the craft.

A canopy lowers;

I become part of the machine.


Your hand taps the window,

muscles stretch against blue vinyl,

piano strings play a concerto

on your strong arm.


Moisture leaks down your face,

your first tear.

Airborne it turns solid, crusting one eye shut,

resembling an extinct albino dinosaur.


I place my own hand

against yours, marvel

at my pink flesh, five fingers

to your three neon claws.


Goodbye is soundless,

a universal bleating.


Air ignites fuel,

I fly where only beings called humans reside.


Weightless, my lead heart hammers,

beats for the first time without you.


Holes are left,

vast craters that will curve, ease

with time.


I near my destination. 

Light crashes on the craft,

gets faster, blinks like static.

I land, blue and green spheres surround

me, pulsating crop circles.


From my firm stance on Earth

I look up towards Mars,

rough and red,

my mother planet

faded, a wink of a star.


Remember the night

I was born out of you.

Wicked Alice Publication

My poem, Somewhere In Sao Paulo, was published in the Chicago edition of Wicked Alice (2006). 

Somewhere in San Paulo

a dog barks.  The owner yells

"Marco, Marco!"


She smokes her Virginia Slim,

the ash an inch long.

Her blunt nails match her hair,

except one is magenta, the other blonde.

Her nail color and lips are cut

from the same shade of red.

She inhales.

Her movements rigid.


Somewhere in San Paulo

it's dark. Doors slam.

Claustrophobia sets in like a loosened belt.

On the edge of the city,

margaritas are served in salt glasses.


The stars match the number of scars on her arms,

legs, face, ears.


The earth curls;

roots twist through tunnels.

Unborn streets split into two cities

both inaccessible.


Somewhere in San Paulo

she thrusts the cigarette

into her mouth often

to avoid suffocation.


It's pointless to expect news

in San Paulo.

Lily Lit Review Publication

My poem, "Ice Canyon" appears in the Winter Issue of Lily Lit Review.

Ice Canyon

Year 2662 - Day - Tuesday

There's a hole in my backyard
where the asteroid crashed last Tuesday.

I should fill it with some nice chrysanthemums,
or perhaps a wading pool complete with orange fish
and gold rocks. We could bathe there
like the Romans did.

Year 2662 - Day - Friday

A sunspot eclipses my eye today,
I can't quite scrape it clean.
I've been looking at those Galilean moons too much.

You're gone. Left for another galaxy.

Year 2662 - Day - Sunday

We're young.
Our lives pass through us at the speed of light,
transforming flesh to ghosts hunting in the night.

And I'm only a filament in your eye, like a billion others
who've traveled the Milky Way to reach you, turned to ice.
While you, a fireball in mine, never melt.

Here.  Take my arm, my leg, take any limb.
Devour it, savor it, preserve it in smelly oil.
Save something from me -  
eyes, knees, lunar mouth, heart.
I won't need them anymore.

Year - 2662 Day - Tuesday, the Day the World Ends

The end is here.

I wonder if we'll be like the dinosaurs,
our fossils burning holes in the sand
the impression they make endless.

First published at Lily Lit Review, December 2005.  Click here to see the issue.

Placed Second in The Mad Hatters' Review

My poem, Throwing Scissors, placed second in The Mad Hatters' Review's Dangerous Alice contest.  May 2006 Issue #5.

We were born in these same walls,

same hands, feet, heart.


The doctor comes in throwing scissors,

the gold shears catching the light

clear as the sky.


She carves.


It is at that exact moment we become two,

gnarled and spiky,

our landscape changed to a vast, level plain.


Like razor wire,

in a prison break,

skin hanging,

left wrinkled.


But no alarm sounds.

Nothing is lost

but an insignificant pool of blood

biopsy-size skin.


And the once matched breathing,

steady with my own,

becomes one solid voice.


Multiple motions,






* This poem was written as a response to the Mad Hatters’ Review Dangerous Alice contest.  Artwork entitled ‘Choose – Voyage Series’ © 2005 Serena Perrone.

VLQ Publication

Below is an excerpt from my poem She Bee, published by Verse Libre Quarterly (VLQ) in their Spring '06 edition

...She fanned her wings.
Couldn't explain that the honey made her feel closer to him,
the pull of the heavy sap, the locking of bodies, if only temporary.
The tacky skin left, evidence of their love.
As if somehow that would make him stay.
The scent of her flower a memory in the sweet honey.

Forget that at the start of winter, all worker bees die...

Click here to read the entire poem.

Total Lunar Eclipse

There's blood on the moon tonight.
It flows over the white, once bright as clean sheets;
now a contagion of raw yellow over a half-eclipsed sphere.

We drink shiraz,
it stains our lips and tongues burnt orange.

The next eclipse is three years away
and I wonder if your shadow will
engulf me then, burn cheeks red,
block the light.

But that would be impossible.
Our orbits would need to cross the same plane of space,
and your schedule is somewhat erratic.

My moon will never be completely dark.
I have lingering memories
of settling dust and water vapor.

This poem appeared in Poems Niederngasse (PD4P)

Picking Pomegranates

The blue bowl we carefully picked

and prodded over at Maxwell Street

market, lies empty.


You always bought such beautiful pomegranates,

made sure they weren't bruised.

Your religion to choose the right selection

perfect shade of red, depth, firmness.


You'd place them softly into the bowl

to further ensure their preservation.

Eating was a holy experience.

The juice stained our fingers,

we'd laugh, lick the tart sap off.


It's difficult to go to market now,

I never know which line to enter,

always laugh at the wrong thing

when the clerk attempts small talk.


He sees through me,

knows I am ignorant of pomegranates,

I'll pick any old thing - red, magenta

even purple.


I hide my heart stained fingers,

bruised red from stealing

pomegranate pieces of you.

Published in the 2006 Her Mark Datebook

A Sunday on the Hill

My fondest memory of you, the brother I never met,
the one that was born still

was when you took me sledding on Fairview Hill.

The snow iced the hill like the powdered sugar
Mama sprinkled on hot yeast donuts.
25 inches of snow fell that year.

The view seemed so high from the top,
my mittens cold with packed snow,
you held them tight in your own
like big brothers do.

I wanted to turn back,
watch you safely from the bottom
But you were determined, your sled
polished and all, so I bit my lip; anticipated
the steep drop.

"Get on back!"
you screamed in the wind,
cheeks flushed doll red.

Scared, I hesitated.
You turned your head,
looked at me.

Then a smile creased
as you flipped your red scarf
over your shoulder.

"See you after, loser!"
you screamed in delight.

One last look and you were gone.

You soared ahead, sled quick as lightning
gliding faster than the other children's.

What a sight, the red coated boy
flying his sled like the Red Baron.

I crossed my eyes,
snow pixels turned to dust.

I never saw you again.

This poem appeared in The Hiss Quarterly's Perilous Journeys Issue - April, 2005

Visit to an Unmarked Grave

If it had been you- six feet under,
in the forgotten blended dirt next to the moratorium,
so stiff, at the base it crumbles.

If it had been you, I would have staked ground;
waited until time stopped or you resurrected.
I'd blow cotton off weeds, my wishes striking trees
unanswered except by hard bark, waiting for the wind to set free.

Dirt buffers this world from the next,
weeds plant branches, hidden from sunlight.
Once brought to the surface wind twirls like wet dreams
carved against time.

But it was me. The street next to the cemetery runs empty.
Your light was green, go, go, go.

Every year I feel your shadow's weight,
your light creeps slowly.
You kneel. There is a job at hand.
Dig me out love, clean me up.
Strong, new hands clench dirt.
A clean, gold band covers your ring finger

I sigh, the trees concur.

Plant your feet, stay a spell.
Massage my roots, replant soil over moss,
marry soil to sod.

Reach down, pluck the wide, fuzzy weed,
it's been itching all year. Scrape it clean.
Drink my love, drink.

In the soil you curve hands, etch a heart,
inside it, we live forever. RB + KS.
Only the sky sees the lie as gold is replaced by black.

How I long to be the other half of the equation again.

This poem appeared in The Hiss Quarterly's Perilous Journeys Issue - April, 2005

Through the Fishbowl

Through the glass I see my reflection,
ginger orange fins follow like the fan of a geisha.

When the sunlight shines in,
the bowl turns the fiery orange of a volcano,
the water waves lukewarm. I sunbathe.

I'm a moving silkscreen,
the canvas fragile
my thoughts shattering shards of static.

The Dance

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight.
Make me a child again just for tonight.
  - Elizabeth Chase Akers

The night we find the lump in your breast
we watch those asian beetles
disguised as ladybugs fly to a refuge -

our indian lamp shade,
a wash of purple and violet.
Tiny beads dangle
like the skirt of a loose flapper.

Bare light beckons
like a lighthouse.
The beetles twirl, enthralled
by the potent spark.

We watch, rapt
as they dive deep, deeper
as one by one, each gets too close
to the hot bulb,
clink of hard body on glass,
buzz then silence.

Wings scatter like pixie dust
into the heaven
That is an 8x8 reflection
on our slate blue ceiling.

We are mesmerized by their bravery
each sees the casualties
but still dances onward,
a last dip before autumn leaves scatter.

You fall asleep.
Light shines warm on your face.
I cover you with the afghan
woven by your mother many moons ago.

This poem appeared in Voices Magazine's Special Issue - Spirit of Strength - January, 2005

After the Crash

My thighs bruise a furious purple,
welts explode, then fade away
like thunder on trees.

His fist ricochets, leaves an opaque white mark
like the imprint of our daughter’s slight hand in clay
framed in the front hallway.

Seven years I’ve been here,
lucky number seven.
Lucky for me if his road rage catches my shoulder
instead of colliding with my face.

Seven the age of our daughter,
the one gift he gave,
though at the time she was named
just his hard seed forced into me
a result of icy, wet conditions.

Now she waves a fairy costume wand,
steps forward with question-mark eyes
a witness to the hit and run.

I lie in metal, warped and twisted,
in the tunnel of silence she blinks,
etches on her heart all details to recall later
so she can detour,
outline in yellow highlighter on her map
which direction to take.

Hard lines are formed
A boomerang, I return.

After the crash I stare into hard headlight eyes,
my firm, capable hands,
analogous to my daughter's
hers marked in clay, forever small.

I seize her power and take back my own.
My hands swell and I rise,
we drive away.

This poem placed first in the Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Award in April, 2005 and placed second at the Poetry Board League in January, 2004.