sweet destined end: a dream I can’t repair.
i’ve always been drawn to the terrible,
i take shit to the furthest possible
extreme, without a thought toward consequence,
embracing the paradox: dynamic
sweet strain between the pain and fantastic.

which goddess treads the path of fantastic
temptation to tear down (and then repair)
and still breathes; lives, inside this dynamic?
show her to me, glorious, terrible.
show me a frightful beauty consequence
can’t mar. if only it were possible!

resistance? just theory. impossible
and hypothetical. a fantastic
ruse dreamed up by a god of consequence
who punishes his children to repair
done damage. who settles each terrible
score with an arithmetic dynamic.

i try. i flat deny this dynamic,
denounce this god, decide it’s possible
that fearmongering has done terrible
permanent damage to my fantastic
potential; my faith that i can repair
my soul through pleasure sought in consequence.

this is perspective versus consequence.
reality is slick and dynamic.
a fluid is not worried with repair.
and why? because it is not possible
to harm what will not shatter fantastic;
will only flow. then, there’s no terrible.

if i am to be written terrible,
remembered always for the consequence
i wrought, then tell me: why such fantastic
lush packaging? why tempt the dynamic?
my hands agape with crave? all possible
restraint torn down in shreds of disrepair?

how terrible, your god. what dynamic
makes this tragic consequence possible?
breaks me fantastically? beyond repair?


RACHEL KANN’s writing (poetry and fiction) appears most recently/is forthcoming in Eclipse, Permafrost, Quiddity, Coe Review, Sou’wester, GW Review, and Lalitamba. Her work appears in several anthologies, such as Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution from Seal Press.

She’s performed her poetry with acts including daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, Sage Francis, Saul Williams, and Rahzel, at venues like Disney Concert Hall, the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, and the Vans Warped Tour.

Accolades include the James Kirkwood Fiction Awards, Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story Awards, LA Weekly Awards, Backstage West Garland Awards Critic's Picks, and the International Slam Idol. She's the winner of various invitational slams, including the “Different Type of Groove” slam and the "Urban Graffiti 4" Slam. She's been a member of the Los Feliz Slam Team, the Long Beach Slam Team (West Coast Regional Champs) and the Hollywood Slam Team.

NewTown Arts commissioned her work, along with Guggenheim Award-winning artist Lewis Klahr, for the creation of an animated poem, “Pretty Talk”. She was also commissioned by Golden Bridge to create a spoken word performance based on the chakra system.

She's released three cds, "PoeTTrY MOUTH" “word to the WHY?S” and "ptomemaeic complex", as well as appearing as a guest poet on the two latest daKAH cds, the two latest Enduser cds, the latest Tack-Fu cd, and numerous poetry compilation cds.

She produced the four-year success, "co-lab:ORATION" at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood and The Temple Bar in Santa Monica, CA, with the sole purpose of bringing musicians, poets, painters and artists of all kinds together to perform in concert with each other. Her intention was to provide an alternative to Hollywood style self-aggrandizing and allow the artists to share the love that comes from knowing that you are part of something larger than yourself.

Rachel received her MFA. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She teaches poetry and fiction workshops at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and is guest faculty at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA Program. She has lead workshops in poetry for High, Middle and Elementary Schools, Youth Detention Facilities for both males and females, and Rehabilitation Centers for teens. She was recently commissioned to create poetry curricula for K-5th graders that were implemented at over 40 schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has brought poetry to the elderly through Gary Glazner’s Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.

Rachel’s also an award-winning performance artist and mixed-media collage artist as well as a budding DJ.

Rachel wants you to know you are wonderful. She wants you to feel good, and to smile, and to know that you are not alone. If you are feeling sad, Rachel will do all manner of foolish things just to see you laugh, because laughter really is healing. She’d even do an armpit fart for you, if all else failed.

5 responses to “Pandora Sestina”

  1. milo martin says:

    classic, baby…
    arithmetic dynamic…
    structural form by an x-slam poet, what?
    you are unusually good…

  2. rachel kann says:


    Thank you soooooo much.

    I am very grateful.

    And you too, are unusually good, my friend.

    In every which way!

  3. dennis cruz says:

    love it. i denounce this god too..

  4. […] Rachel — Pandora Sestina [The Nervous […]

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