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Chicken Corset

28 April, 2018: Chicken Corset


by Juliet Cook

Chicken Corset

I’m sick of being related
to you who want to impregnate
and birth as though that’s the main purpose of life.

I’d rather wear a chicken corset
and watch you watch me jerk around
after you cut off my head.
If it all boils down
to life and death and birthing
offspring and trying your best
to convince them there’s a heaven
and a hell, then I might as well toss my chicken
feed inside a cracked flask
and chug it, attempt to convince myself
that I can create my own
heavenly demise that has nothing
to do with the red leaking out
of my egg.  You’re ruining someone else
because you want them to be another you.
I want to pitch myself through
the chicken breeding pen.

“Chicken Corset” by Juliet Cook from NEO Goddesses. White Stag, 2016. Used by permission of the author.
Juliet Cook‘s poetry has appeared in a multitude of magazines. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, most recently a collaboration with j/j hastain called Dive Back Down (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). Cook’s first full-length individual poetry book, Horrific Confection, was published by BlazeVOX, and her second full-length individual poetry book, Malformed Confetti, is forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press. Her most recent full-length poetry book, A Red Witch, Every Which Way, is a collaboration with j/j hastain published by Hysterical Books in 2016. In addition to poetry, Cook creates visual art.


Write a poem in the form of a letter from a famous poet that explains something everyone has gotten wrong about a poem or some aspect of his or her work.

Before I go gently into that good night,
I finally realize what it means
Maybe not your intended words
But what I value them

Art is subject to interpretation
I heard many interpretations of your words
Then, I had the time to read them myself
And form my own opinion

Sometimes it pays to drift gently
Others when you got
To stand up or say
Do not go gently
4/29/2018 6:21:41 PM

N. K. Hasen
Letter From Walt Whitman

You say I don’t write my poems in the conventional way
Of poets that have gone before me.
That my first work of twelve poems, Leaves of Grass, was in a jumble.
That there was nothing poetic about them
Except each line began with a capital letter.
You saw that there was no rhyming or meter.
My lines varied with wildly uneven length.
I wanted to free my lines from strict verses that had become archaic.
I experimented with the art of writing from the normal way that I saw around me.
I used my line breaks based on the way it would be printed.
You still say it is not poetry at all.
My poems having no pattern in their sights.
But, did you take the time to read them?
Did you ponder what was there at all?
Do you see the energy and individualism that I write my poems?
I wrote about the working classes.
The major events that shaped our time.
I talked about things you dared to talk about in public.
You critics of my time won’t understand the way I write my works of poems.
I hope our future will read and understand what I wrote.
4/28/2018 10:41:12 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.