The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Becca Barniskis’ “Mimi and Xavier Star in a Museum That Fits Entirely in One’s Pocket”


From “Act I”


Inside my bones (fine china)
sweet powder and keg,
crackling lines,
thus the long sleeves and lace
at my wrists.
[whispering] But who has not peered
inside her own skull
and found it charred?
I steady my nerves
with a shot—
I may have to set a fuse


When I was a boy
I believed in secret toys
that moved in cupboards
and hissed
through keyholes.
I played under tables in the nursery
with my tin weapons
and read earnest books
on wilderness survival.
I grew up! I studied war!
and how to pick locks:
women, books, maps.

This selection comes from Becca Barniskis chapbook, Mimi and Xavier Star in a Museum That Fits Entirely in One’s Pocket, available from Anomalous Press. Purchase your copy here!

Becca Barniskis’ chapbook of poems, Mimi and Xavier Star in a Museum That Fits Entirely in One’s Pocket is just out (2014) from Anomalous Press and is available also as a musical collaboration with Nick Jaffe in both vinyl and digital formats. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from numerous journals, among them Handsome, The Boiler, Mid-American Review, burntdistrictConduit, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird and the Northwest Review. She teaches poetry and she works as a freelance writer and consultant in arts education for a range of schools, arts organizations and public agencies across the upper Midwest and around the US. Along with her co-authors Nick Jaffe and Barbara Hackett Cox she wrote the Teaching Artist Handbook, vol. 1: Tools, Techniques and Ideas to Help Any Artist Teach (University of Chicago Press). Becca is an associate editor at the Teaching Artist Journal. She also helped launch and develop Artist to Artist, a growing network of artists and educators who meet regularly to develop and share their teaching practice.

T.A. Noonan is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently four sparks fall: a novella (Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, 2013) and, with Erin Elizabeth Smith, Skate or Die (Dusie Kollektiv, 2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Reunion: The Dallas ReviewWest Wind Review, HobartNinth Letter, and Phoebe, among others. A weightlifter, crafter, priestess, and all-around woman of action, she serves as the Associate Editor of Sundress Publications, Founding Editor of Flaming Giblet Press, and Literary Arts Director for the Sundress Academy of the Arts.


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