Kendall A. Bell

Kendall A. Bell


A purpose


You are the shrunken ice cubes

melting in the drain screen—

the invisible husk that walks

hunched between trees and over

trash and goose shit littered

suburban side streets. In the

busy air of afternoon, only the

birds will notice your descent

into the forest. Steel does not

make noise, and the ground will

consume what it is fed, will take

even the most useless parasites,

and give them a purpose.


After the clearing


In my closets are all of the ghosts

that stretch their limbs around me

when the lights are out. Strewn on

my desk are half, and nearly finished

books whose words are contentment.

I have the ache in my shoulder that

has outlasted you—my depression still

speaks to me, has drowned out memories

of your covenant. I have the hum through

vents, the snap of my ankle when I walk.

I am not comfortless, and you are vapor

after the clearing.​


Kendall A. Bell’s poetry has been nominated for Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net collection in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. He is the author of twenty one chapbooks. His current chapbook is We Are All Ghosts. He is the founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle’s Notebook, publisher/editor of Maverick Duck Press, and a music and book reviewer with Five2One Magazine. His Italian heritage comes from his mother, who told him that her grandmother was “straight off the boat from Italy,” and makes the best struffoli he’s ever had. Find out more about him at