2017 Poetry Contest, Honorable Mention: “Rorschach Test” by Charles Kell

We’re excited to announce “Rorschach Test” by Charles Kell as an Honorable Mention in our 2017 Poetry Contest! A special thank you to our hard-working poetry staff for their work this time around!

Rorschach Test

Blink if you see a pain-devil.
Make a left fist if you notice your ma
slicing bread.
Wipe the wet when you make out your dead
.       father.
Black morphs into blue shadows who ring
themselves around your heart handle.
Your first girl’s red hair.
Third boy’s bruise.
There, see a football softly floating off
the edge of a cliff.
Tap your right toe twice if you catch
the river swallowing a lost boy.
Your childhood dog, Bear, wagging its black
.     tail.
The Amish man who cut his finger off behind
you in the sawmill.
Close your eyes if you can see your jail cell.
Sit up straight if you see the unlocking gait.
Open your eyes if you can see inside
your still-locked cell


Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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