Poetry by Scout Katherine Turkel

"Untitled" by Janie Stamm / janiestamm.com



Neurosis Tercets

Body magic riles
Our treescaped

Doing the deadening
Thing at halftime
With angel

For seven months
I walk around
Europe with

Your wolf during
This period you
Write each

Day to ask
How I bide my
Time the little

I have left the little
I of firsts: today
We scrape the

Gutterice before
Work her insides
Spill but

Neatly bodied
Boughs rise
Perched in

Each tree
To pay

Rent until
Even that
Feels stale



Gauche Landscape

In the cellar with hands to count, pork for dinner, brine for cider. The salt is gone and it must be the rats. Drawn close to each soft pile by the ghosts that keep warm here humid in their kitsch robes draped over the air vents oscillating in the hum of fir trees of saffron. The window it is open it is summer. You only grow the most expensive spices because you are bourgeois and this is the second house upstate and already of rot. Earwigs in the sheets. Why would I miss you. In absence I make you perform. The last time I ask you for money I keep real caffeinated and never look down because in my public speaking class they prod my spine until I stand straight — look straight — until I project — I read your diary while you sleep! No sweat, your ghosts are all gay but my oratory professor couldn’t care less. Posture. You romp the hillside. Purple flowering licorice buds flirt with your kneecaps. I am an envy. I am your bug killer. I keep your name and your electricity bill though that one not by choice. Try the root of it you tell me lounging on the porch swing entirely costumed in silk. You’re so fucking anxious. You’re right. The hot water cures me and you make fun of my brain for its concerns regarding decay. I read your mind — that always kills you. You’re dead and something smells strange, woody mushrooms cook on the stove of the mildewed kitchen we first laid claim to all those moon cycles ago back when you were still into witchcraft and we were both equally broke. I try to look like some sort of evidence, even with the stutter.


Originally from Los Angeles, Scout Katherine Turkel is a writer studying at the University of California, Berkeley, where she currently serves as an Editor-in-Chief of the Berkeley Poetry Review. Her work can be found in Two Peach, Storyscape Journal, BÆST: a journal of queer forms & affects, and elsewhere.