insomnia poem #3

her skin is bullet holes and cream chiffon
while his is burn marks and fading leather
and when they look in the mirror
they see the way their carapaces form chasms to let the devil loose
but the world sees only how beautiful their lying forms are
and murmurs oh, how happy they have to be.


but i’m not, and yet you love me anyway

and if i could keep track of time

i would tell you that the stars in your eyes

look like infinities

blinking in and out of existence.


and if i were as smooth an operator as you seem to think i am

all my cheesy pick up lines would make you giggle

instead of shake your head

like i’ve mortally offended you.


and if i were a poet

i would tell you that you dance in starlight

and snore soliloquies

and breathe fire.

the coal burned bowl

you made me a coal burned bowl once

the inside polished after months of work

the outside shining like the sun soaked sky

“here,” you said

“i made this for you.”

and as i gazed upon this beauty that was the bowl

i regretted for just a moment

that i could not craft a similar thing for you

so i branded my words into paper

and shaped this poem for you

you took this poem

and you put it on the shelf next to the bowl

so that we may admire our handiwork

side by side.

just in case -late night poems #1

you bet his lips taste like fruit you’ve never tasted before

and you tell yourself that it would be poisonous

as you do your best not to glance at them while he speaks


you think that his hair feels like the pants rubbing against your legs

rough but not coarse

and you feel your fingers twitch against your palms to resist finding out


you theorize that his hands would feel like water running through yours

cool and fresh and the right side of new

so you close your eyes and strain to dispel the wonder


you speculate that if you wore his jacket and your scents mingled

it would be like carrying around a piece of your childhood hiding space

while you cling to your coat just a little tighter.

dude, i wanted to fuck her like an animal

“dude, i wanted to fuck her like an animal,”

is what I heard him say
sitting on the booth directly across from mine
out of the corner of my eye i see the man sitting across from him
nod sagely
as though his friend has just imparted great wisdom
from atop an ancient mountain
and i find myself wondering
as i spoon whipped cream off the top of my hot chocolate
awaiting chocolate chip pancakes
that will taste just a *little* off in a way i can’t define
exactly what kind of animal this man would like to fuck her as
i wonder if perhaps he would fuck her as a weasel
he certainly gives off the feel of a weasel
or maybe a cockroach
small, insignificant
and certainly not large enough
to hold anyone’s interest for more than thirty seconds
at any rate, i decide
as my pancakes arrive
sans syrup, which i politely ask for
it does not matter what sort of animal
he would like to insert himself into her as
because this man who has cupped his hands
in front of his chest to simulate the size of her breasts
who is so linguistic in his choice of words to describe her beauty
which has no doubt been known to launch ships
will not impress any young lady
with the sentence
“dude, i wanted to fuck her like an animal.”

The Clockwork Girl


She came in a box, delivered to their front door on the Twelfth of November. They didn’t even have to sign for her.

        They took her out piece by piece, little screws that came in little bags, a handy set of screwdrivers to set them in place, gears and little objects that ticked. They took out the instructions and built her the same way, piece by piece. They sprawled out on the wooden living room floor and tinkered, their afternoon project.

        When they were done, the Clockwork Girl dinged and sat up. She turned her glass head from woman to man, mother to father, and knew she was their daughter.


        The Clockwork Girl, whom her parents called Anna, and nearly no one else did, did not play with the other children in preschool. She sat in the corner and whirred in whispers by herself, playing with delicate glass fingers with a doll with Victorian curls and a ruffled dress. She played by herself until one day a little boy with black mussed hair and bright blue eyes came and sat across from her on the carpet.

        “Hi,” he said. She dinged at him, tilting her face slightly to match his.

        “I’m Pietro,” he said. “Can I play, too?”

        She held out her doll to him with a click and a whoosh and they played together.


        The Clockwork Girl and Pietro sat on a log overlooking a stream together, several months after their first meeting. Their parents stood far enough off that their children would not hear their cheerful chatter, her parents always keeping half an eye on her to make sure she did not shatter.

        “I love you,” he told her firmly. “An’ I don’t care about your gears and your screws. They make you special.”

        And he kissed her glass cheek, and her gears whirred a little faster.


        The Clockwork Girl did not like her trips to the “doctor”, as her parents referred to him. Every year he took her body off her head and replaced it with a new one, a slightly taller one.

        “You always look shinier,” Pietro commented one afternoon thirteen years after her parents acquired her. “They must buff up your new body real good.”

        The Clockwork Girl nodded slightly from where she was doing her homework on the floor. Pietro never brought it up again. She didn’t like the subject.


        The Clockwork Girl went through high school without incident. Math was her best subject, ahead of, only slightly, art. She did not play sports (for fear that her glass head would break), but Pietro played tennis, and she watched all his games diligently. The Clockwork Girl got into an art school a state over, and Pietro got into the law school in their hometown. It was the first time they had been this far from each other since they met.

        The Clockwork Girl made new friends at college, girls that did not party much (the Clockwork Girl knew only how to ballroom dance) and girls that did. Girls that were kind, and girls it turned out were not. She stumbled through friendship as many do: as best they can. She learned how to adjust the wig on her head so it looked prettiest, and how to properly apply nail polish to her gleaming fingernails. She learned how to cram knowledge in short periods of time, how to write papers effectively, and how to make her paintings just right.

        When she was near the end of her third year, Pietro came to visit the Clockwork Girl. She had stopped going in for her “doctor’s” appointments, and was at a fixed height. Pietro was taller than her. They went to see a movie and then had dinner, and then walked along the river. At the end of the evening, Pietro turned to the Clockwork Girl.

        “I still love you, you know, sweetheart,” he told her.

        The Clockwork Girl’s gears skipped slightly. She stood on the very tips of her toes and pressed a clumsy kiss to Pietro’s lips with her own cool ones. He smiled against them.


        The Clockwork Girl looked beautiful in her wedding dress. White suited her, and the veil was as delicate as she was.


        The Clockwork Girl was a painter. She would sit at the window of their tiny apartment and paint landscapes made of interlocking gears, so tiny one could hardly discern them, looking at the painting and knowing only that something was different, something was Not Quite Right, but Not Bad Either. She painted buildings so tall they brushed the clouds, the blue startling against the metallic skyscrapers.

        Her paintings sold for quite a lot of money, and soon the Clockwork Girl was quite famous. She and Pietro moved to a small house in the countryside, as the vibrations of the city upset her.


        When their children were nine and eight, the Clockwork Girl and Pietro sat them down in their living room, which was flooded with sunlight that streamed through the Clockwork Girl, some of it coming out rainbows at the opposite end of the wall.

        “You know your mama is different,” Pietro began, and the boys on the sofa nodded in unison.

        “Well, Mama is different in a way that means she can’t have babies. So we adopted you two. You know what that means, don’t you?”

        The children nodded.

        “Now, that doesn’t mean that Mama and I love you any less. We love you more than we can put into words.” The Clockwork Girl nodded her fragile head.

        “We know,” the boys chorused.

        “Can we go now?” The eldest asked and Pietro smiled.


        The children scampered off the couch, but not so fast that the Clockwork Girl couldn’t give them a careful pat on the head each, glass hands steady, as they left the room.


        When Pietro had to start using a wheelchair, the Clockwork Girl sat in the corner of the room and watched, softly ticking, as he wheeled around the house busily, doing the dishes on the new lower countertops that their sons had installed for them just days before. At the end of his work, he wheeled up to the Clockwork Girl and gently kissed her on the forehead, his hand brushing her cheek, fingers gently touching the gray wig that sat atop her head.

        “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” he said. “I’ll be around for a long time yet.”

        The Clockwork Girl whirred at him, slightly mournfully.


        The Clockwork Girl sat on Pietro’s bedside, her sons with their wife and husband in the kitchen. He creaked his eyes open and a smile lifted onto his face.

        “Hello, sweetheart,” he said to her, and she dinged once at him. He raised a trembling hand and put it on her cheek.

        “You’ve always been so beautiful, darling,” he told her. “I’ve never cared about your gears and screws, you know. You’ve always been just you to me.”

        The Clockwork Girl nodded once.

        “I know you know.” Pietro’s eyes closed, and his hand fell from her face.

        The Clockwork Girl did not leave the bed. Not when her sons came in and found them both motionless. Not when they cried. Not at all.


        The Clockwork Girl knit in her rocker at the nursing home. One of the nurses used to be a mechanic, and therefore tightens her bolts and securely fastens her gears when they break. Kevin, the nurse, liked to say cheerfully “Ma’am, we’ll have you kicking around the place long after the rest of us are gone, the shape you’re in!”

She plays bingo with the other people in the building every Friday night. On Tuesdays her sons come visit her with her grandchildren, who stare in awe at their grandmother, old and scratched and made of glass. They poke her face, seeking to touch the clockwork that tick tick ticks its way through life.

        She doesn’t paint anymore.

        One late afternoon, the Clockwork Girl knit until slowly, she put the knitting in her lap. She folded her hands over her knitting, and relaxed into the rocking chair.

        Slowly, her gears stopped whirring and ticking.




Hi, folks! Welcome to my blog.

My name is Kate Cipolla, as you may have guessed from the rather large header on the top of this blog reading “Kate Cipolla”.

I’m a writer, but not yet an author. I thought I would use this blog to give general updates about my writingy type life, and also to post some pieces. I am also a nerd, so you may also expect discourse (which is my fancy way of saying abject sobbing and having feelings) on superheroes, Star Wars, Harry Potter, any number of things. But especially superheroes.

I also do art type things! I’ll probably post those art type things here, too, with the links to my Redbubble store.

This is my first time having an adventure on the WordPress, so I’m still working out how to do it. Please be patient with me while I stumble through how to use this thing properly.

Thanks for reading, and hope you stick around!