Found Poetry: Katelyn Romaine



Comedy in America

I have only the courage for a perfect life
That’s how my sex life started.
When it comes to believing in God, I really tried
And as I listened to him I realized one of us was nuts
I can’t listen to love songs
We need something stronger than warnings.
Overnight, I became a sun worshiper.
I was saved by the buoyancy of citrus.

Don’t you think conscious neglect is the equivalent of perpetration?
I’m getting older and I’m trying to accept who I am
I was a God
I was out of my skin, I was becoming someone I didn’t recognize
People walking around all day every day worried about everything.
We get all our wisdom from songs
And weirdly I’m not getting off on this.
The last year and a half is by far the toughest time I’ve ever spent as a comedian,
It’s this or a lot worse for the rest of my life.

The answer is: senility.
Well I know certain people don’t want you to mention those things:
At one point I wanted her to lick her palm
I’m tired of fucking Earth Day
Compared to the people, the planet is great.
I should have known when he said
When it comes to evolution the jury is still out.
Jesus Muhammad and Moses all went to the same high school
There will never be peace there.
Are there any Canadians here?
There has to come a point where we all just agree on what the fuck reality is.

All lines are taken from the stand up and humor columns of Louie CK, George Carlin, Mitch Hedburg, Maria Bamford, Demitri Martin, John Stuart, Lewis Black and Dave Barry


Our Last Meal

Of course, if I believed in narrative,
we wouldn’t be here, would we?
Of course I could be out buying socks
because that is part of a larger narrative of being.
I have never in my life been in love
with a man, and I am completely in love
with men, but scratch that
what I know is that Ted Bundy’s
last meal was a bowl, a giant bowl
of mint chocolate chip ice cream
in fact I know a lot about the last meals
eaten by murderers because it somehow moves me,
imagine a man sentenced to death
sentencing himself to a single black unpitted olive
for his last meal, because this was done by a man in this decade
Robert Anthony Buell,

who killed an eleven year old girl
and god knows what kind of kick he got out of that olive
and god knows what kind of kick we get out of that olive
I have never in my life had confidence in the census or the president
My father said watch out for people who start stories
from the beginning so I’ve dated a lot of flounders
I like them floundering, me a sort of whale
bewhaling the flounder I devour
telling them about the signs I like to post in the ocean
telling the flounder where to fish. Imagine
Robert Anthony Buell buying socks for fish.
Imagine him dressing the fish.

I imagine the ocean is dark inside
a place where no one wears socks,
in the 20th century Chicago was a giant timid ocean
that took women away
the way I’d like to disappear into books about Chicago
Jack the Ripper disappeared and so did the women he killed
no one can even blame some John Henry Bob Lewis
or take out a lawsuit on the Gomez familia
no one knows who to blame

Do not blame God, it’s not his fault
And god knows who else’s fault it’s not
We like the stories who doesn’t?
I hate black olives, even stuffed,
but my sock collection is haphazardly ridiculous
a single white Dickies, the brand
stitched in black across the empty toes
a single comfortable red wool one
I like to stuff both hands into and rub across my face
and over bleeding wounds
an athlete’s sock, striped at the top
that sings about American soccer
when you cry into its flag colored stripes
the sock with the hole in the sole
the sock with the tear tattoo.

I have never been in love
but God knows about the socks
one time I drank wine with a man who disappeared
and I still can’t muster the kutz pah to care
A twenty-one year old man on death row
ordered 20 tacos and 20 enchiladas two double cheeseburgers, a pizza with jalapeños, fried chicken, spaghetti with salt, a small fruit cake, half a chocolate cake, half a vanilla cake, cookies-n-cream ice cream, caramel pecan fudge ice cream, two Coca-Colas, two Pepsi-Colas, two root beers and two O.J.’s
for his last meal. The twenty-one year old’s story
involves his friend and thirty-nine stab wounds
and surprise surprise a bit of cocaine.
Imagine a Dr. Faustus exposition on socks here,
imagine a woman bent on love for men,
imagine that I am and you are
forced into a kind of submission to a kind
of love. Imagine that inventory of loss and red thread.

All facts taken from The Huffington Post, and


Jesus Said, Takes 1-3

You see, he said. I am no part of this world.

You see, he said. I am no part of this world.

You see, he said. I am no part of this world.


Talking About What She Found: Katelyn Romaine

(Interviewer: Ashley Maser, FP Editor for SPACES)

Ashley: Is there a particular source that you return to for your found poetry?

Katelyn: Not really. I love stand-up comedy and, and literature of all kinds. Most of my work comes from pretty arbitrary research on things that intrigue me.

Ashley: Do you work with any other creative arts that you feel influence your work?

Katelyn: I have played classical piano music since I was young, and I can say with certainty that most everything I learned about sonics and pacing came from that. The sound correlation I like to use most often is Beethoven’s use of rests or brief silences after a recurring motif, and in poetry this means a well placed period, where to make the reader stop or pause and realize the importance of a crucial line. I often think of different poetic forms as having a musical correlative: longer poems are like symphonies, with lots of recurring motifs or themes where the challenge is weaving them together, shorter poems are like nocturnes or rondos, compact sound circles where the challenge is saying one thing, and saying it well.

Ashley: Why do you feel found poetry is the best genre for these particular pieces?

Katelyn: For me, poetry is the best place to make sense of the milieu of information available to us now. It is both a mirror of that chaos and a way to make sense of it. I believe the most successful found poems create both a feeling of chaos, with a constantly changing reference to current topics, and a feeling of grounding from a voice outside of pop culture which can in a way make sense of things and can speak intimately to a reader.

Ashley: Can you tell us a little about your creative process when it comes to poetry?

Katelyn: Good poetry writing happens after a few days of ‘brain stew’. Lines occur to me throughout a day, but I need time to make sense out of them, to sleep on them to try them out with other lines. The actual process of writing is like weaving for me, taking those lines and weaving them together with a single voice. I was told in college to identify and love this process and I believe that’s the most important part of writing poetry, knowing and loving it.

Ashley: Who are your two favorite poets?

Katelyn: Adrienne Rich and Robert Hass.

Ashley: Of the two, who do you think would win in a fist fight?


The line-up:

Robert Hass:

Residence: California

Occupation: Poet

Poetic Themes: Troubled Childhood

My Favorite Poem by Him: Shame

Adrienne Rich:

Residence: Abroad

Occupation: Feminist Poet

Poetic Themes: Civil Rights

My Favorite Poem by Her: Diving into the Wreck

So yeah.   


Katelyn Romaine has studied classical piano, creative writing and Spanish literary translation.  She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Spanish literary translation and hopes to always use the influence of arts in her writing. She has been published in various literary journals and magazines including The New Delta Review, Knock, Birmingham Arts Journal, Other Poetry and The New Welsh Review.