Krystal Languell

Choreography For Young Clowns

A misreading dull as a retold dream
and a thinly-veiled threat walk into a bar

Embedded sinner chugs and toots
against farmhouse theme décor

Let root death make teachable
how some stamens touch drastically

The threat makes good, treats the mistake
to a cordial bowl of cherry corn cob pipes

Look hon, we’ve entered the wrong room
the most natural thing in the world

Cloud of fluster and sour chords signals
doomsday we are to jump and who’d argue

Class begins and first the gift horse speaks
The prim little baker concerned about dough

Chthonic figures circulating disorder with duck
limestone almanac flung beside bare teeth

Exposure’s tiresome so the trundling wheeler
reads back into the chapter before this shit storm

Discreetly the woman flips the man over
powers him off and back on again



Roast Beast

best future
the impenetrable
the lake rose
looking smart
it didn’t sell
certain people

good for you
chest flushed
the ties all gone
double agency
eradicated pests
it’s a job
laserbeam scorn

invisibility’s passé
file sync massacre
asked to leave
asked to stay
the ice shelf
quiz me
the journeyman

foreign person
the pie shop
collecting debts
violators in line
a blinding fog
range of opposition
longer-term vision

beside the juke
rat pelt
another tile roof
the cables frayed
a long shift
sudden virus
the cart’s bell

known area dogs
the lights blink
no 90º angles
pretty good slop
brave speculators
palm tree bark
pumping station

the help desk
mother, mother
dune erosion
pond scum
remote access
bolts of cotton



Krystal Languell lives in Chicago, where she is the Deputy Director of Administration at the Poetry Foundation. She is the author of three books: Call the Catastrophists (BlazeVox, 2011), Gray Market (1913 Press, 2016), and Quite Apart (University of Akron Press, 2019). She has published six chapbooks: Last Song (dancing girl press, 2014), Be a Dead Girl (Argos Books, 2014), Fashion Blast Quarter (Flying Object, 2014), Diamonds in the Flesh, a collaboration w/ Robert Alan Wendeborn, (Double Cross Press, 2015), Archive Theft, a collection of interviews, (Essay Press, 2015), and The Big Flawed Heart (Essay Press, 2017). New and recent work can be found in Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, A Dozen Nothing, and elsewhere.