Congested by Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton


Every time I type the word headcold my
computer corrects me. Headlock, it insists
like Netflix—it’s suggestions that include
a headbutt, puking, and a stripper
whenever my name comes up. I don’t
mind a good typo once in while.
But why does it feel like I’m being published?
I defiantly don’t deserve this, do I?
No, I defiantly do not. Just once, I’d like to
be my own supermarket and not be chaste.
When Larry Davis wrote an obituary,
his beloved aunt became his beloved cunt.
I fear communicating now as much as
braking on black ice on a rickity bridesmaid
while texting. The sign on the credit machine
read, “Penis broken. Sign with finger,” so I
accidentally signed my wife away. I was
up to my highballs in Angie’s List and Chagall
when all I wanted to do was relax, menstruate
in the ashtray. My guru became my gumshoe,
my dreadlocks my Red Sox—and there
I was again: stricken with a nasty headlock.


Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton have been collaborating since the early 1990s. Sibling Rivalry Press will be publishing their book CAPRICE (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New) in the fall of 2015.

Denise Duhamel’s most recent collection Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Ciricle Award. Her other books include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), and Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001). A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.

Maureen Seaton’s new and selected, Fibonacci Batman, is out from Carnegie Mellon University Press (2013) She is the author of numerous poetry collections, both solo and collaborative, and a memoir, Sex Talks to Girls (University of Wisconsin Press). Her awards include the Iowa Prize, Lambda Literary Award, an NEA fellowship, and the Pushcart. Seaton teaches poetry at the University of Miami, Florida.