Category Archive The Kuzma Files

ByKevin Kuzma

Foreign fantasy

It is foreign to a man
how a woman will keep a fantasy
and not want to live it out
To her, it’s a dream
An illicit one, maybe
the idea of which is fun to entertain
but forbidden to pursue
‘Fantasy’ is merely a label
a categorization
for the idea to be shelved
turned over and over
in the mind
then put away

For a man,
a fantasy is
a dreamed reality
An experience not too far removed
from the realm of possibility
An experience to pursue
A feeling to
With every part of him
that makes him a man
His quest is to turn it
alter it
from dream state
to something real
To have a fantasy is to possess
a mission
to achieve it
And when he finally does,
when the barriers are broken
when it’s all there before him
he makes it his
drowns himself in it
what kind of man
he is
Usually …
which leaves him
in the same state
as the woman

ByKevin Kuzma

Poem for RR

They have likened many women to Marilyn Monroe
But they go off of the most superficial of comparisons
Hair color: blonde
Breast size: large
And to a slight degree, facial structure: baby doll with a touch of sex in the eyes
Those are the cheapest connections to draw
The easiest to come by
Those features can be bought
and soldered
onto any woman
Tonight, I am thinking of a new Marilyn
Not yet with a following
she would not fancy me (for obvious reasons)
because she fancies women
I don’t know what Marilyn’s private sexual persuasions were
but this woman has all the sex appeal of the great Norma Jean
Raw and spilling off the screen
In her voice
The slit of her eyes
The raise of the chin
and in the slight absence of
give a fuck
about other women
or men
and what they think about her
Tonight, I am thinking of a new Marilyn
whose aesthetic is nothing like Ms. Monroe
Short-cropped black hair
Leather jacket
And from what I remember
No breasts
And yet
There she is
in all her glory
Walking sex
Talking sex
Living sex
But not one sees it
The legend
of the silver screen
The conqueror of presidents
and ball players
and writers
Maybe, just maybe
I have a shot after all

ByKevin Kuzma

The poet endures

The poet endures
While morning birds swoop and dive
The world collapsing
To their glorious birdsong

The poet endures
While dry spring flowers
Sob in a plastic cup
On the breakfast bar

The poet endures
While the lonely housewife
Longs for feigned love
On the empty bedroom set

The poet endures
While the lights shut off
The pilot goes out
When the old house must be shuttered or sold

The poet endures
While romance strains
Standing naked in the bathroom mirror
Admiring its own flawed form

The poet endures
While natural light seeps in
The beauty of a rising star
Warming the paint on the walls

The poet endures
While the summer novel sells
And the true artist starves for the craft
In complete anonymity

The poet endures
While the poem loses its danger
Overrun by studious lines
Absent the raw hunger of the tortured

The poet endures
While searching for a single thread
A loose but divine connection
To an immortal soul

ByKevin Kuzma

A poem written in my bathtub

Of course, it depends on the woman. But generally speaking, it’s not looks or money or anything material. The desire isn’t a certain lifestyle or destination, the aptitude or potential of a man. The longing is for one different than the others. Who knows what no other man knows. She wants a man willing to exchange souls: a man stripped down to his core. Keeping no secrets, dedicated to her heart. And when she finally finds it, she passes her soul on—to the man whose window light clears her morning fog. He hears her. Available and near her. This all runs contrary to what a man is. The brute at his core who savages. Collects bodies. Conquers prey. We were devised this way. Both, one born from his rib. A Creator’s hands shaped us and we set ourselves at odds. But when the impossible aligns and souls go floating, the perfection He intended cannot be broken by any man, especially the commoner.

ByKevin Kuzma

Poor penmanship

Better than a padlock
or security alarm
is the garbled handwriting
with which I keep my journals.
Printed in faint pencil lead,
the words go
from margin to margin,
(crossover margins)
to the edge
of the notebook page.
Front and back,
the hard-pressed words
push through
to the other side
of the paper.
My dreams lean
on blue lines.
Each entry
tells a fantasy.
Gives confession.
Each entry
arranged by date.
You are welcome
to come read
them sometime.
You are welcome
to try
to make them out.
But you can’t.
They are hand-written
with intent.
A soul poured out
on paper
yet still cannot be read.
Any decent writer knows:
you give it all away,
day after day.
But there is that one bit
no one can get at.
No one can reach.
You keep it for yourself,
whether it is worth something
or not.

ByKevin Kuzma


Waiting on my muse,
Kicking up bedsheets on the first dull day of spring
Waiting on my muse,
After the last one tried to tamp my spirit
Waiting on my muse,
After another lonely night, in another lonely room, getting the word down
Waiting on my muse,
Feeling my coffee high letting go
Waiting on my muse,
With the anxiety of Monday waiting in the darkness
Waiting on my muse,
Still waiting, ready to capture her beauty with words so gorgeous, they make her feel faint
Waiting on my muse,
I know I’d be ravaged on either coast, and maybe in the south, but instead
I’m here
Where are you?

ByKevin Kuzma

On the way somewhere

Ahead, a car flinches as its brake lights slam red.
From nowhere, a hawk comes gliding across the country highway.
First, the two northbound lanes.
Then, the median of dead grass.
Then, the southbound lanes.
And finally, over to the bare tree branches at the edge of the wood.
The branches bend under its weight as it flutters its wings closed and finds its perch.
In a moment, the ruckus is over and the traffic immediately resumes its rush.
I drive on, my mind still in the tree branches and open air with the hawk,
looking down on the strange flow of machines.
Unbridled by laws, by lanes, by time.
Wild and free from the rest of us animals.

ByKevin Kuzma

Drive down to Wichita

On the drive down to Wichita:
The last dead days of February beginning to blossom.
Rolling prairie and mounded hills ready to green.
The surviving winter birds and the first of spring circle over bare trees.
Road going on and on, the entire countryside fenced into fine squares.
So many times I’m drawn to pull over and walk into it all.
Sun-covered hills and not a soul in sight.
Just passing cars and diesels and trucks, going and going to someplace.
I think about Ginsberg and his poetry reading in Wichita.
Pass the home of William Allen White.
The prairie is full of great poets.
The words are riding on the clouds and thick in dusty wind gusts.
I roll down my window and let them glide through my fingers.
No one wants to read anything real anymore.
No one wants to read truth.
In comes the arm and up goes the window.
I have caught enough words.
The last poet on the plains.

ByKevin Kuzma

Altered life

Almost 30 years ago now, it was Truman Capote who spoke to me. The words of a gay southern novelist turned New York socialite somehow reached into the heart of a 17 year-old Kansas boy. I’d made it through middle school and high school without reading a book assigned in class. The Time Machine: Too dated. The Natural: Didn’t interest me. The Outsiders: Wanted to like it, but didn’t. The Accidental Tourist: Wasn’t my thing. To Kill a Mockingbird: Didn’t speak to me. Of Mice and Men (which I later learned to love): Too depressing. On and on. Until one September day in humanities class, the girl who sat in front of me handed a small book over her shoulder. I still remember the yellow spine and the cover with waving wheat and the bold words In Cold Blood. I opened to the first page and read: “The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there’.” That was all it took. From there, I read the true account of the brutal murders of the Clutter family and the tragic background of their killers. I not only felt like I knew the Clutter’s teenage daughter Nancy, but a part of me fell in love with her. As I turned the pages, I already knew what would become of her, but I read on hoping the outcome might turn out different. It didn’t. How odd this all strikes me. If it weren’t for Mr. Capote randomly reading about the murders in a morning newspaper and traveling to the conservative state of Kansas (where he was as inconspicuous as a pink flamingo) to research them, I would have never given my life to writing. In every tragedy, lives are altered and courses shift. Apparently much poetry can be brought into the world after the deaths of the innocent. 

ByKevin Kuzma

Found upon a hike

On a hike this afternoon, I came across this man standing alone on the prairie, painting a line of trees. I found it odd because until that point on my walk, I could hear gunshots and the occasional explosion on the surrounding properties from farmers taking target practice. I suppose when the time comes, there are those who will grab their guns and head into the fray. And others who will retreat into the woods, paint, write, tell stories, love our kids, and sit the revolution out.