Rachel Kessler: “59 Goodbyes”



While the tang of resolution still hangs in the new year air…

Poet Rachel Kessler shows us how to let go.

She reports: “This poem was written during a Vis-√†-Vis Society¬†experiment. The Vis-√†-Vis Society¬†is a group of poet-scientists dedicated to the analysis of the everyday.”






59 Goodbyes


Goodbye serious

Goodbye writing overly serious poems

Goodbye taking everything so seriously

Goodbye making everything into a joke

Goodbye shame

Goodbye dog poop in the basement

Goodbye talking shit while doing naught

Goodbye plot

Goodbye pee in the wrong place

Goodbye credit card debt

Goodbye hip-hurting shoes

Goodbye cold feet

Goodbye shed dog hair drifting

Goodbye drinking wine too quickly

Goodbye dehydration

Goodbye hoarding thriftstore clothes

Goodbye feeling sad about being fat

Goodbye fitness fantasy

Goodbye falling asleep while driving

Goodbye too-tight pants

Goodbye taking it personally

Goodbye impulse control

Goodbye confessionalism

Goodbye yelling in the morning

Goodbye Romney

Goodbye worrying about silences

Goodbye explaining

Goodbye smiling reflexively

Goodbye waking up at 2:00 a.m.

Goodbye waking up at 4:00 a.m.

Goodbye fear of the internet

Goodbye cussing out technology

Goodbye rough draft

Goodbye subsequent draft

Goodbye messy desk

Goodbye disposable contacts worn for 5 months

Goodbye Sunday afternoon blues

Goodbye tired all the time

Goodbye talking about tired all the time

Goodbye busy

Goodbye busy business

Goodbye drama-dona

Goodbye telling stories with no point

Goodbye old bra

Goodbye mindless mastication

Goodbye panic attacks in art museums

Goodbye search for authentic self

Goodbye fashion identity crisis

Goodbye terrible, overpriced cheeseburgers

Goodbye composite French fries

Goodbye uncurated piles

Goodbye IKEA storage solutions

Goodbye giant to-do list

Goodbye broken turntable

Goodbye muddy sound

Goodbye never-worn sweater

Goodbye single sock heap

Goodbye pitying narrative




Rachel Kessler takes inspiration from everyday occurences. She is a founding member of the Typing Explosion and Vis-√†-Vis Society. For more than a decade, these critically acclaimed groups have been writing collaborative poetry and presenting their work in the form of text-based art installations, interactive multi-media shows, and collaboratively written handmade books. Her collaborative poems have appeared in Tin House, TATE, Poetry Northwest,¬†and USA Today. She recently launched her ‚ÄúPublic Health Poems‚ÄĚ interactive hand-washing installation in public restrooms throughout the city of Seattle.