Poems by Chantel Guidry

Poems written by Guidry during her August 2007 stay at the Harveyville Project.


His hands were large-and soft-with a scattering of dark hairs near the knucklesand scars from branding himselfwith red-hot cigarette lighterswhen he was just a kid.The golden rays of sunrisestreamed through the east windowsand fell on his hands busypinching-slapping-kneading-the pliable dough.The French Quarterwas already a sauna-a steam bath-making tourists and locals sweatuntil our juices mingled with the atmosphereand we were lifeless husks.I asked howhe managed to stand so nearthose wood-fired ovens-the hearth- when the very airseemed to shimmer and scald.Hearing  my voice,he turned to meand said with a grin"Baby, when you've got a fire inside you-an inferno for a heart-you don't feel no other heat at all."
Past Event

"Poems From Harveyville" by Chantel Guidry

  • Thursday, September 20, 2007, 6:30 p.m.
  • 4-1-1 Studio, 411 E. Ninth, Lawrence
  • All ages / Free



Today I adorethe wild Kansas wind-the same one I complain of all winter-more fierce than the ice or the snowall alone,it strengthens the cold and pierces layers of cloth,to chill my tender frail skin.But today-today on the prairiein the heart of the heatof the most intense days of summer,I'm glad for the wind,the coolness of breezethat rushes my roomand makes blanket on beda light and pink dancing dervish.

I Don't Want to Date You Pantoum

with thanks to Jane Shore

I think we should see other people.I'm not over my ex.I don't want to ruin our friendship.You're like a sister to me.I'm not over my ex.I'm just not physically attracted to you.You're like a sister to me.I'll call you.I'm just not physically attracted to you.I only have sex with men.I'll call you.I'm in love with someone else.I only have sex with men.My partner and I just got back together.I'm in love with someone else.I'm not ready for a serious relationship.My partner and I just got back together.It's not you, it's me. I'm not ready for a serious relationship.You're too good for me.It's not you, it's me. I don't want to ruin our friendship.You're too good for me.I think we should see other people.

Delicious August

Delicious Augustdry and hot-your incessant sun bakesthe earthyet ripensluscious tomatoes,fragrant basil,and juicy cantaloupewhich grow jungle abundantin gardens all over town.Delicious August,your every raindropis precious,your every breezeheld dear.

Three Short Poems

Random House, Harveyville, KSThe weeds are taller than a grown manon all sides, and I can't even see the front door,much less a path to it.It's been a long time since anyone visited.The peeling paint has faded to a muddy brown,and the windows are empty, vacant like the eyes of the dead.Old BicycleThe front wheel is gone, and the frame is mostly rust.When I touch it, I'm left withdecaying metal flakes on my hands.It leans abandoned against the old high school;weeds grow through it and all around it.No one will take this old Schwinnout for a spin any time soon.Tony in the GardenThe morning sun beats on his head and neck;he's forgotten his hat.He's on the ground,wearing out the knees of his denim overalls.His large handspull the bindweed from the dry dirt.There's always struggle in the garden.


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