GUILLOTINE By Linette Reeman

in 1789, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed a less painful capital punishment.
said,     something sharper swung faster
said,     a single blade / a wider jaw


hungry and / glistening

Joseph-Ignace Guillotin did not invent the guillotine /
or the mouth. but his name still arched itself over a
last shook breath. teeth making messy spectacle of
bone. a truth / with no other choice.

so Joseph-Ignace Guillotin unsheathed himself.
said,     technology names itself after riots and
i, too, was born of
lips and would not want to die
the same way / pressed cold flush against
my last kiss
said,     this country has only just learned / how

to swallow / should we

not use our new throat to scream
have we not known
enough / choking
for one / lifetime

said,                 stop killing us


in 1789, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin publically opposed the death penalty in his home-country of France. due to a joke he made at a political rally in regards to his suggestion that less gruesome methods of torture would be the first step to ending it entirely, his name has been forever linked to one of the most popular and well-known death-machines in history. against his will, a device he championed against bares his familial signature.


picture Joseph-Ignace Guillotin coming home.           attempts
to crawl into his lover’s mouth.          wakes up
to a new neck split / open and            starved.
how could anyone go to bed with / a weapon /
and not wake up         dishonest

how to moan a name / sawed / into
a thousand
new     endings

By Linette Reeman


Linette Reeman (they/them pronouns) is a poet from the Jersey Shore who is currently pursuing a B.A. in history from Rowan University. Linette has represented Loser Slam (Red Bank, NJ) at multiple national and regional slams and this is their second year representing Rowan at the college national slam (CUPSI). They have featured at the Philadelphia Fuze Slam and for D.C. Trans Power, have been published by places like Words Dance and Voicemail Poems, and probably want to high five you.

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