Dear GOD! Here comes that KRISTIN RADTKE!!!! Lock your doors, close up the piano, tell your son to put away his guitar and cover up his tattoos, don't mention sex, religion, music, or art, and for HEAVEN'S SAKE, try not to start dancing!!

Kristin Radtke's poetry writing began back in high school, where she penned the usual horribly sappy teenage girl stuff once every 9 months in a hardbound cat-decorated journal from Hallmark. She was able to live through attending a Lutheran high school by reading poetry (anything but Sylvia Plath) for the forensics team, and kept getting gold medals at the state tournament. She was also one of 4 students selected to travel to area schools and entertain younger children with storytelling.

After safely escaping to the Twin Cities to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she wrote a monthly column for the school's 'zine, Inkspot, and was a regular at student open mic nights. She has been a daily journal writer for over 10 years, and has taught journalling to grade-schoolers in the St. Paul area. Her first book, Been To Myself and Back, handwritten in journal form and highly idiosyncratic, is currently seeeking publication. She had no plans to do anything with her poetry until she joined an online poetry club 6 months ago, where other club members compared her work to Bukowski's and begged her to read his stuff. She is currently compiling her first volume of poetry, Queen of the Silver Dullard, and works as a freelance writer and illustrator when she's not proclaiming the joys of being a receptionist.


No church for me Sundays
I have a hard time
not seeing
God every day.
Whatever God is is in ice cream,
in tiny connections
and gas station clothing.

In the space between
people at restaurants dining.
Flowing out of my pen
just now.
Off my dog's nose
over the driveway
through broken-down porches
dripping out of a paint can
pressed inside glassware.
Life is about God –
bound pages with words.
Hard laughter
soft liquor
red licorice
damp cheekbones
sidewalks and silence.
family dinners
book covers
tree branches and
Movie theaters
tones and
pianos and
If I can see that.

Eric the Waiter

Eric the waiter
works down at Chef Joe's.
Chef Joe and I
used to ride the schoolbus
together in grade school.
Now he's co-owner
of this Art Deco structure
elk tenderloin
fresh salmon
where Merlot is five dollars a glass
on the low end,
soft music
(Loreena McKennitt)
mauve napkins
He's goateed
hemp necklaced
baggy shorted
like this skateboarder
chef who
knows what socks he wants
and knows secrets of
homemade spring pea
all of which delights me,
and he employs these other men like him,
this kitchen of rock stars
in an old-money building
– but enough about him and
back to this Eric.
I don't get it.
Him and his painted-on
black t-shirt
washboard six-pack
it's all out of place
somehow, an oasis
of taste reeking
out of this desert of
three-for-a-buck hot dogs
gun racks
mud flaps
baseball caps.
He should be modeling
Calvin Klein-ish
with Moira's friend raf,
or hanging on the runway
with my former boyfriend Ian
they'l break your art at the knees,
but it was a good time in my
life nonetheless).
Beautiful settings for
jewel-like people –
this food-fetcher with sideburns
too long for this town,
smoking outside this
Art deco oasis,
I've got this John Waterhouse print
of a red-haired
chick sniffing roses.
She looks just like my grandma
and I'm slowly starting to
feel like that too,
in moments you peer through like windows,
pee into like quick
campground toilets.
Beauty that comes
result of what's inside my boxes
It's not easy.
You pay for your setting,
one way or the other, but
keep it in check and
find beauty wherever you are
with skateboarders and
let it get sucked to your clothes
and reek out.