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by Mackenzie Connellee


used to write poetry in art class

when the teacher wasn’t looking,

but now i don’t take art and i can’t

afford not to pay attention in my

classes. now i write poetry in my

free time but that’s difficult

because words don’t appear like


a dog when you call their name, no,

poetry is anything but convenient.

right now it’s 1:05 A.M. because poetry

shook me by the shoulders and said

hey, this is important but now i’m wondering

if the lack of sleep is worth it. i feel

i am always weighing time by the quality

of poems written, because even when

the words grace me with their presence,

they don’t always choose to step

delicately into the world, pink shoes

treading softly over the white horizon.

usually poetry slops lazily over the couch

of a page and dangles while i remove its muddy

shoes and rearrange the pillows, all the while

muttering something about Frost and how maybe

his comments against free verse* were right

all along (poetry in rhyme always cleans up

after itself) although honestly, you haven’t lived

until the homeless free-verse poem on your couch

decides to stay for a cup of tea and, if you’re

lucky, lets you take notes on everything he says.

*Free verse is poetry that does not rhyme or have a set rhythm. In the case of this poem,

you probably noticed that it doesn’t rhyme,

that the lines just run on into the next line,

and that the poet doesn’t follow the rules of capitalization. Robert Frost, one of America’s most famous poets once said, “Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”

mackenzie connellee.jpg
invitation by Mackenzie ConnelleeArtist Name
00:00 / 01:24

"Mackenzie Connellee-Kozak is a poet living in Asheville, North Carolina. She holds a BA from Wake Forest University and an MFA from UNC-Greensboro, where she served as Poetry Editor of The Greensboro Review. ​Currently, she is an Associate Editor at Orison Books and ​Asheville Poetry Review. Her manuscript in place of a mouth & far flung was a finalist for the 2018 National Poetry Series."

She married Thomas Kozak and is now a licensed mental health counselor. They had a musical group called "Thomas Kozak and the Poets". I think it was mostly his deal; their YouTube channel only has two videos and his personal channel just has one. Mackenzie's not in any of them.


I've yet to find a recording, audio or visual,

of Mackenzie reading poetry, but I'll keep looking.

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