Kristen Hanlon

Lost in the Supermarket, or, Late Capitalism

The advert promised farm-to-plate freshness
but your heart’s a bag of frozen pleas
closing in on irrelevance & irretrievability.

Fodder for the scrap heap, nearer
my applesauce to thee.

What does your monosodium gluten-free heart desire?
Jell-O that jiggles in thirty-seven combinations?
Hello Kitty cakes or Classic Caesar croutons?

Adjacent, an aisle with island sauces
& round-the-bend a pop-out
stocked with Tylenol PM.

My dressed-to-kill salad will drown
baby lettuces wiltingly organic.

The cart holds two days’ wages
but it won’t last the week.
Haul it home, coasting on fumes.

Bordering roses, a box
where worms are invited guests
& ladybugs gobble aphids
with aplomb.

If something’s gone rotten, cut it out.

This Week Can Go To Hell

The ties that bind are now links that shrink.
At the appointed hour, the academy may applaud
but only if by correct degrees obtained.


In a backwater of nuts-and-dolts
how many undercut?
Undercurrent of cut-and-paste

a brilliance like mica,
a stubbornness like gum.


The scrappy few / the scraped-up many.
Imagined nation in ruination,
when others are phoning it in
it’s hard to show up.


On a sick day / watching / a wattle / of senators / on TV / until / I have to / turn it / off


After a week of this
the can’t / won’t welling up
& the urge to shout
“fuck it all” from the open window


From unincorporated towns
pleasant and suited to life
we see the world other than it is.


What if the last chance to set things right
came and went without our noticing?


Continuity still seen as unmitigated good
& calamity a thing to be avoided at all cost.


Meanwhile: “choices” & the USA thrives
on “choice” — unless you’re a woman,
or not-white, or poor
& all three? Good luck, friend.


How the sun beats down
& I have no hat—
somewhere I have constantly travelled,
haphazardly among.


What we make good
is gone by breakfast.

Kristen Hanlon’s poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Volt, New Orleans Review, Puerto del Sol, aspasiology, and elsewhere. A chapbook, Proximity Talks, was published by Noemi Press. During the first decade of the new millennium, she edited XANTIPPE, an annual print journal of poetry and reviews of small press and university press books. She lives with her family in Alameda, an island city off the coast of Oakland, California.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.