Finding Family Ghosts In My Neighborhood

FM 88.5 KNKX interviewed me about Yesler Way and the Kesslers on it. Listen to me read an excerpt from “Profanity Hill: A Tour of Yesler Way” (anthologized in Ghosts of Seattle Past) and talk about gentrification and uncovering lost history.

Herman-Leo-William-Harriette Laurie

(Herman “Pop” Kessler, Klondiker and my great-great-grandfather)

“At the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder”

Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall selected my poem to be included in WA129!

Inspired by Moomins Feelings Flashcards, and partially written on a Path With Art “Writing Around the City” class I led on visit to the Locks, this poem about a giant squid’s documentary voice, the sadness of salmon and real estate shares book space with Sherman Alexie!

The Gods’ Funniest Home Videos

Thank you, PANK, for publishing my prose poem “The Gods’ Funniest Home Videos.” This poem was inspired by Sandra Suarez, a woman who ripped off her clothes, rampaged through a McDonald’s and guzzled soft serve straight from the nozzle. Her rage resonated with me. As I watched, I felt such kinesthetic empathy with her actions. Both the power and futility of tearing up an evil place with bareskinned strength. She was having a bi-polar episode and some asshole employees videotaped it and now the whole world has watched and laughed at this woman in crisis. Every report describes her as “mother of two.” Female rage and motherhood, capitalism and nutrition, surveillance and Shadenfreude, oh human mammals and the stories we weave to keep safe. Read it here:



THE END Video Poem

Just a few ways to end.

This video is a collaboration with Sierra Nelson. Together we are Vis-a-Vis Society, a group of poet-scientists dedicated to the analysis of the everyday. This excerpt is from Vis-a-Vis Society’s much longer video poem/instructional video of 1,000 ways to end. Premiered as part of Vis-a-Vis Society’s interactive installation piece “Registration” at NEPO 5K Don’t Run 2015. Written and performed by Rachel Kessler and Sierra Nelson. Director of cinematography: Britta Johnson. Editor: Britta Johnson. Sound: Britta Johnson. Studio Recording: Kent Kessler.