Kelsey Shwetz, Presence Like a Bruise, Oil on Canvas, 24”x24”, 2019

Kelsey Shwetz, Presence Like a Bruise, Oil on Canvas, 24”x24”, 2019


Dead Fathers Club

by Donna Spruijt-Metz


I have poor
depth perception. I can’t thread
a needle, can’t get through.
You crossed over
long ago. I’m still on this side
of your death.
I raise my arms

to block the next
blow. And it will come.
I predict it with this
ruined machinery;
the punishment
for remembering is
another truth.

I am the patchwork woman,
my heart a low-
grade inflammation.
my skin a dated map, mottled
record of breakage,
no guide for this dark walk
towards God or blindness.

I eat my own hands
so as not
to touch another’s.


Published September 1, 2019

Donna Spruijt-Metz is a poet, translator, and Professor of Psychology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her first career was as a professional flutist. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as the American Journal of Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, Juked, Poets Reading the News, and Poetry Northwest. Her poem Tiny Hammers won Third Place in the Beullah Rose Poetry Prize and is forthcoming at Smartish Place. Her chapbook, Slippery Surfaces was published by Finishing Line Press in March of 2019.

Kelsey Shwetz is a Canadian born painter who lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. She completed the Advanced Painting Intensive at Columbia University, and has been a guest lecturer at UCLA, Pratt Institute, and Laguardia Community College. Shwetz has exhibited in New York, Miami, Germany, Slovakia, Toronto, and Montreal and was awarded fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and CanSerrat Residency in Barcelona. Publications featuring her work include: Maake Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, Whitehot Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. Her most recent solo exhibition was in the spring of 2018 at Brethren Gallery in New York.