Excerpt from Deus Ex Machina, by Jennifer Pilch

We are pleased to announce the release of Deus Ex Machina: A Melodrama  by Jennifer Pilch, the winner of the 2015 Kelsey Street Press Firsts! Contest, selected by contest judge Myung Mi Kim.

The book is now available for immediate shipment and can be purchased directly through our website. Booksellers may order the title through our distributor.

from the section entitled, “Rachel”


Light reveals the back of Rachel’s head and her shadow on the facing wall.


A snuff ideal

Bore entrance to your cave

Shag passed from surrogate father to son

Nightshade for forceps


You said you didn’t need this ignition

Tacky cognac words

An animal would smell the lavender on my neck


Rachel turns to reveal her face, the shadow behind her gone.


It sickens me to be a snuff box

This extinguish, this crush

This shackle full of wait.

Jennifer Pilch is the author of four chapbooks: Profil Perdu (Greying Ghost Press), Mother Color (Konundrum Engine Editions), Bulb-Setting (Dancing Girl Press), and Sequoia Graffiti (Projective Industries, forthcoming in 2016). Her poems have appeared in American Letters & CommentaryDenver QuarterlyDrunken BoatFenceHarp & AltarThe Iowa ReviewNew American WritingSummer StockTarpaulin Sky MagazineWestern Humanities Review, and many others. She studied photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago before anything else. She is founding editor of La Vague Journal.

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