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Danielle Pafunda reads from The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

I went to the poetry reading at KGB on Monday night, April 9—Susan Lewis and Danielle Pafunda were reading—and the place was packed. KGB is a jewel of a place so they had to get more chairs. Luckily, I had gotten there a little early and perched myself at the bar close enough to the podium so that when the time came, I pulled out my cellphone and recorded what turned out to be a great reading. Danielle Pafunda has a new book out published by Bloof Books called The Dead Girls Speak in Unison. Her poems are compelling and capable of giving you the creeps in the way that Baudelaire’s Une Charogne or Browning’s Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came can give you the creeps, good creeps for those who do not scare easily and are very willing to open the envelope that has been pushed, and look. Danielle Pafunda will tell you that she’s a Gothic feminist who wants to make something beautiful, and she does. I’ve just become familiar with her work and am looking forward to reading more. Here are two poems that I’ve just typed out. Enjoy.


I felt a funeral, we whisper.
A shiver as the procession
marches cross our graves.

Such grave robbers
we take the spunk
out of the cemetery

and the blush off the urn.

Take heart, and boil it clean
like a beet. A grief of baby mice.

Under our nails flesh.
Vicious viscous pink
a rivulet runs to the elbow.

Everything tastes dirt
in the companionable ground
where we lie open-mouthed.

And dirt means nothing,
just like day used to do.
Or life.

When it wasn’t something
you could get a speck of it
on you.


We sound almost chipper
this flock of dun-colored birds.
Broken-beaked maracas.


Supine, we roll our eyes back
like the doll’s, and the night
is a starry dome. The tarry

nightlike inner crust
of earth, and the stars
each one a salty maggot.

A murder of ghosts appears
on the hemlock; it’s extra deathy
but don’t be stupid, human cylinder.

There is no near death.
There is only yes
or notyet.

The Dead Girls Speak in Unison is published by Bloof Books. You can check them out here:


Danielle Pafunda

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