Kathleen McGookey | 21 Things to Do with Envy

By Kathleen McGookey
21 Things to Do with Envy

Buy it a one-way ticket to Iceland; sew it a black velvet cape; tape its mouth shut and shave its head; give it a motorcycle but no helmet, a hockey stick, a chainsaw; tell it, you’re nothing without me; send it to sleep with Whitman and plant sunflowers in the dug-up earth that smells like worms and rot; make it wear bifocals; hand it a sparkler; look it in the eye — don’t look away first; teach it to pray; teach it to say pretty please; boil it with the blackberry jam, then watch it glisten in the pantry all winter; slice it and throw it to the bass; pour it down the kitchen sink, follow with baking soda, vinegar, and a whole teakettle of boiling water; slip it a bottle of sleeping pills; drop it down the sewer, the hospital elevator shaft, off the Sixth Street Bridge; give it a warm bath, graham crackers and milk, and beg it to stay in its own bed tonight; lose it on a field trip to the zoo; heap its plate with bacon again and again and again; pack it with ceramic pumpkins and witch’s feet, then tell Envy if it’s very, very good, you might let it out once a year.

Date of publication: 
March 18, 2014


Kathleen McGookey’s work has appeared in over a hundred journals and twelve anthologies. She has published a book, Whatever Shines (White Pine Press), a chapbook, October Again (Burnside Review Press), and a book of translations of French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems, We’ll See (Parlor Press). Her chapbook Mended is forthcoming from Kattywompus Press, and her book At the Zoo is forthcoming from White Pine Press. She lives with her family in Middleville, Michigan.