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2 poems

by Marlo Koch

Marlo Koch is a writer based in Chicago, IL, where she received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was a writer-in-residence at the Wassaic Project in February 2019, and recently performed her poetry at Gallery 400, North Pole Exhibitions, and Chicago Artists Coalition. She is the Donation Coordinator at Open Books, a literacy non-profit. Two of her poems are forthcoming from Sobokta Literary Magazine.

I always carry the bread

hmmmmmmm is the sound I make

when I’m pretending to think about something

hmmm is applicable in every situation


Eating dates dipped in peanut butter is like hmmmmm

Trying to fit all of your groceries into a small/medium sized tote bag is like hm


I think hmm when I’m arranging my expired condiments

I think hmmmmmmm when I am asked what time I am arriving


I write hmmmmm on the PAY TO THE ORDER OF line on my rent check

I get little h’s and m’s tattooed all over my arms and legs


hm mm m m h h hmmm hhm


I commission a pink neon hmmmmmm sign

to display at my combination co-working space/coffee shop/bookstore/bar/blood bank

Greenies for my dog named Speck

ya i’m an alter ego of everyone I follow on instagram also of my neighbor who consistently has 2.6 more people sleep over a month than I do


I start a month long challenge of cutting back on cutting back, I track my progress in my bullet journal


I lint roll the peeling sunburn skin off my shoulders


I distribute sour peach rings threaded onto floppy cactus spines to my coworkers on my first day of my new job


I catalog every time the cat in the window across from me winks at me


Green juice green juice green juice green juice great joints


I keep a tally on a notepad in my kitchen of how often I think about windchimes and chandeliers


I write a novel about a person who has a ceramic bowl-making practice and houses several ducks in a kiddie pool


I do several crosswords every day and start to write my own only using words that remind me of the color yellow


Sunsets sunsets sunsets sunsets sunsets sunsetssssssssssssnake tattoos


I swallow a tiny red spoon from a doll’s house so that I feel concave


I start a project where I tell people I’m working on a series of conceptual talks during which I tell people I am moving a chair around a lecture hall


I go dancing, and my friends give me many compliments on the snakes popping out of my pockets and my ability to catch myself before falling


I do a poetry reading on a saturday at 7pm at the Open Container of Cottage Cheese Lounge and it’s transformative


I write down my goals and achieve them all within a reasonable amount of time

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