Kersten Christianson


A full martini, a toast to Monty
my daily drunk neighbor;
a tribute to living in the trailer
with the Chia Pet moss roof,
the back ass sliding,
sliding into the slow muddy creek behind it.

Lift a glass to Monty
for not running over my kid
after Happy Hour at the Moose
when he blasts up the cul-de-sac
in his shitty, serial killer van.

On warm May evenings,
Monty’s music drifts like spruce pollen:
Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
and wouldn’t you love to love her?

What do you call beauty
in the darkness of addiction?

So cheers, Monty,
to booze that kills the pinprick
of living from one job’s pay to another.
To booze that balms the working grind
of refrigeration, fiberglass, the bottle
that props you upright even when sober.

** This poem was previously published in The Broken City, Issue 19, Winter 2016


Used Goods

Welcome to the online garage sale,
the second hand shop of your mind
where the fertile eggs of white elephant

gifts abound. Welcome to the place
you can find the treasures you never
knew you needed: the 1970’s bathtub

Jesus for the yard, the friend of Barbie
to cure her loneliness on the shelf,
the flaming tiki goods for patio

parties. You, too, can live the reclaimed
life of a retired queen, a repurposed
existence adorned with rhinestone bling,

the shuffle hush of non-recyclable grocery
store bags filled with the turquoise sky
of potential, filled with your salvation.


Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon Territory, she lives in Sitka, Alaska with her husband and photographer Bruce Christianson, and daughter Rie. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry through the University of Alaska Anchorage (2016).