Jennifer Funk

2021, Poetry


Don’t look at me like you’ve just come in from the fields
and aren’t I thankful you’ve arrived. Like all the men
who open their wallets easily, you don’t know
what anything costs. I see a man sometimes
and I want to ruin his life just because
I have nothing better to do. Look at the crest
of my lips. I have sunk more than one ship
with this mouth. Perhaps you don’t merit
my attention, but you need it: a good shake
of the old snow globe. Mmhmm, how
to begin? I would rip the doors of your kitchen cabinets
clean off their hinges, smash every glass jar
of cereal and rice and unground coffee
onto your immaculate tile, tear the curtains
from the windows, and break over my knee
every picture in a frame. I would wrest open
every window and ribbon every screen
with your best butcher knife so when I make
for the sports gear—the skis and poles and rackets
and lacrosse sticks—I’d have a ready portal
for them all. I’d stake each one into the emerald
glory of your lawn and with a box of matches
I’d swiped from your very own mantel, I’m no mere
country mouse, I’ll light the tip of every one on fire.
Not for love and just for sport, I’d sit across the street
and toast my work as the sun slips down, and I bet the sky
tonight will be a riot of color in my honor.

Jennifer Funk is native Californian trying to prove her mettle in New England. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers, she has been a scholarship recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and The Frost Place. Recently awarded The Friends of Writers’ Levis Post-Graduate Stipend, she is at work on her first collection. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming at The Kenyon Review, The Cimarron Review, Four Way Review, Painted Pride Quarterly, The Boiler, and elsewhere.

Jennifer Funk

2019, Poetry


You unshuckable masterpiece of conviction and collapse, I shiver
in the light of your particular eclipse. You have a way
of pickling my tongue and rubbing out all my best
learned lessons: now, is when I walk away, now, is when
I knit my lips together and keep myself clothed, oh,
but the plummy succor of your mouth
and the fractured shadow of your breath
raking hesitation from my limbs: here is how
I ruin in a field and flatten the cornstalks. Madman, you call
the full force of my attention into your palms that follow
the swoon of my jaw. I am a foolish animal. I should burn
for this. I do: for mischief and skin and the sight
of the night’s bruised submission to morning. How much
of what I lie down with do I take with me when I rise?

Jennifer Funk is a native Californian, but believes she has enough salt to be a proper New Englander (one day).  A graduate of Bennington College and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, she is currently enrolled in the counseling psychology program at Lesley University (she loves self-transformation…and debt). She has received scholarships from The Frost Place and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee.  You can find her work at SWWIM, Four Way Review and elsewhere on the interwebs.