The Poetry Distillery is an online literary journal established in 2018 publishing poems sown at the Poetry Barn, a Hudson Valley library and literary center.

Queequeg’s Tattoos

My finger follows the elephant to the edge of you
The swirls and scales balanced, beheld by me

I laugh at the line that leads to your fortune and happiness
Sidle straight up your serpentine spine, slowly, then

Cross over the line of the sun—setting and sure—
I count the scalloped shells you collected with Ishmael

And linger where the pony springs forward
Stepping over fish, lanterns and fleur-de-lis

I uncover your inked-sailor self, the mysteries that
spelled the why of the Whale that led me to you

I count concentric circles, Queegueg, and
trace them from tip to mound, and they echo

The bracelets, love, that name your troubles,
and tell me, indelibly, your future, my fortune

 

—Kate McGloughlin


Kate McGloughlin is a painter, printmaker and newly minted poet who lives in Olivebridge, New York. Her first chapbook, Requiem for Ashokan, was published by Davis Corners Press in 2017. She has studied poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and at the Poetry Barn in West Hurley, NY.

The Grapefruit Juice Mechanic

Forgive Me, All the Words to Describe Glass-Blowing Were Illegal