The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Zoe Tuck’s “Terror Matrix”


only look askance at me and you shall
have all three     where did i go so wrong
document testament servility     only look
askance     have you ever been in prison
i am compelled to accept your jabs like
kisses     when did you first speak the
word comrade and where     let me borrow
blood return diluted what does it mean
to be a leftist speak my name     kill me
kill me don’t hurt me what does it mean
to be a girl     don’t stand in my way   do 10
you trust me help me     what does it
mean to assert that silence equals     i’ll
go freely death to the stone table of your
speech what does it mean to use your
life     many contradictory variants for a
figure no torch in my palm speech thrust
at me hiding on the playground reading
in the mine-car     the privilege to move

This selection comes from Zoe Tuck’s book of poetry Terror Matrix, available from Timeless, Infinite Light! Purchase your copy here!

Zoe Tuck was born in Texas, where she first encountered two of her great loves: poetry and breakfast tacos. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2008, she has been an active member of the local literary community, working for several years at Small Press Distribution and co-curating Condensery Reading Series. Her book, Terror Matrix (2014) is available from Timeless, Infinite Light. Some of her recent work can be found in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry, as well as online in issue 18 of textsound and issue 15 of dusie. She is also a poetry reader forHOLD: a journal, a monthly blogger at Michigan Quarterly Review, and an occasional book reviewer at the Volta blog. She is currently at work on a manuscript of tarot poems called Summer Arcana. Find her at or on twitter @oh_that_zoe.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.


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