Kathleen McGookey

Cloud Report, 8/1/22

Even more light is the opposite of dawn. Or maybe it’s wind stirring maples and oaks before a thunderstorm overtakes them, the sky a plate of solid pewter. Maybe the opposite is my dog lying beside my chair an hour after the storm barreled through. Now whipped piles of clouds float like placid pale fish, covering up miles of clear blue.


Cloud Report, 1/20/23

Same as yesterday and the day before: heavy gray overlaps mounds of cream, no patches of blue, a few sparse snowflakes fall. The dog is sleeping downstairs. Each morning delivers me here, where a crow lands in a bare oak at the edge of the field and disappears, black inside black. I look away so long a brightness blossoms next to clouds dark as smoke. And now even those clouds curl and drift away.


Cloud Report, 2/13/23

Scattered flat gray patches fill the horizon, behind bare trees. The rest of the sky is quietly blue, lit for the first time in weeks. An airplane glints white, leaving no trail. I could scribble anything up there. The sky is a blanket, a lake, a replacement pane of glass. It’s a window painted shut. It’s a fog machine, a science fair project pinned to a wall. A tunnel, a question, a scar. The sky blinks and flexes; the clouds advance. Their edges swirl and lighten as they erase themselves.


Kathleen McGookey has published four books of prose poems and three chapbooks, most recently Instructions for My Imposter (Press 53) and Nineteen Letters (BatCat Press). She has also published We’ll See, a book of translations of French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Copper Nickel, December, Field, Glassworks,Miramar, Ploughshares, Quiddity, The Southern Review, and Sweet. She has received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.