By Iris Appelquist


i want to go gray early.
i want all my lovers to,
eventually, leave me;
throwing up their hands
with giving up the ghost
of what, early on, i was –
vivacious, caring, funny, 
warm. i want the terrorists
to win against us, the 
brave new world to come
crashing. i want to win
the lottery or become 
homeless. i want, sometimes, 
to be a man. i want to 
continue to throw the

having breached the closing
cusp of youth, i predict mid-
life crisis at 42; the 
days get only shorter in 
length — earlier at the end — 
time becomes irrelevant, 
timing becomes everything. 
i want to wear a mask. 
i want the New Yorker to 
publish me. i want to have 
safe sex, never mention it
to the boyfriend. i want 
to, some day, vote 

it takes more than knowing 
better, more than keeping an open
mind, more than work; 
the requisite resources are 
vast and foreign. i want a drink 
or a sandwich named after
me; the depth of my rumored 
prowess in one thing or another.
i want sheepish to mean something
else. i want amnesia.

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IRIS APPELQUIST, at 27, has carved out a nice enough niche for herself in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her young daughter. Drawn to writing at an early age, she didn’t begin in poetry until she reached the usual age of angst, whereupon she also began smoking cigarettes and staying out until late at night. Sharing authorship of Blunt Trauma (2009; Spartan Press) with Jason Ryberg; having been featured in many, if not a dozen or more, publications on the web and in print (as well as the odd web-based or public radio appearance), Appelquist entered into performing art and spoken word as soon as she was of legal drinking age. Her second volume of poetry, titled A Good Cover, is a collection which implicates itself in commenting on the human condition in total, with an emphasis on the working poor and uneducated classes. It is due to be released by Spartan Press in 2011.

Not busy enough with rearing a child, writing, and pursuing an education, Iris may also be found playing billiards, appearing at open mic readings around Kansas City (also, invariably, appearing as a featured reader), and is hardly well-slept. You may contact her by writing c/o Prospero's Books 1800 W 39th St. Kansas City, MO 64111 or to [email protected]

4 responses to “Hollering”

  1. Iris: I just love this poem. And you, as well. It was a pleasure to work together. Onward and upward, my dear.

  2. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    This makes me want to check out poetry more often. Your words are strong and fluid at the same time and take chances on every line. I’m enthralled, and sheepish in that undefined way you say it.

    (Enjoyed your self-interview, too.)

  3. brittni says:

    I absolutely adore everything Iris writes. She has such a way with words that makes me wish my literary brain could have been born hers rather than my own. Cheers to you, Appel. You are a gem!

  4. Josh Wagner says:

    You have a delicious mind, and a voice to match.

    “time becomes irrelevant,
    timing becomes everything.”

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