Saturday, April 16, 2011

"East of North" Now an E-Book

"East of North" on Paper

This blog offers a sampling of some of the previously published work you'll find in East of North. (All work is copyright Kathryn Good-Schiff, 2008.)

Rooted in a deep sense of place, these poems draw on images of travel, relationships, and home. East of North is my first chapbook and was published zine-style in 2008. Get 18 delicious pages of luscious longing and satisfying arrival for just $5 (postage included) by mailing a check and your address to Kathryn Good-Schiff, 6 Mount Tom Avenue, Easthampton, MA, 01027. Or

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Advice for Persephone

Accept what is given:
hot chilies and rice on a steel plate in India
mizuna leaves, salsa, tomatillos in Santa Fe.

The locals will smile and nod
if you eat with your hands.
You will feel alien only at the airport
where they suspect skin like yours.

Even in Hades
savor the six red seeds.
Every place you eat becomes home.

*Originally published in Eclipse

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Plants and Stones

Twenty one years old, I’d found
someone, an inappropriate man
with an unpredictable temper.
We planted tomatoes and sunflowers.
I hoped our love would grow.

His Italian grandmother
introduced me to artichokes.
His niece drew weddings
on luminous summer evenings.
Everyone admired my ring
its band of gold, its tiny stones.

What a lovely idea to be a wife!
A smiling doll, a ceaseless piece
of sandpaper to his roughness
cooking rice with peas and salmon
while he poured concrete.

Part of me dreamed while part of me dreaded.
I wanted to leave but had no excuse.
I teetered away from him at night
on a too small, borrowed bicycle
a blue stone in my pocket that he’d carved.

When my chance came, I took it.
Botany was my ticket north.
I memorized phyla, diagrammed nuclei,
was too busy to visit or phone.

I returned the ring to him.
The stone I returned to the ground.
The pretend I returned to the
dark place it came from.

*Originally published in Kalliope.