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


not exed just self-sent to another corner
of the empire though i still smelled of
clay and claimed a home in themiscyra
     i fell out of habit into cauldron so i
asked it since i misheard the lyrics are
we done here   drop the scrim it’s time
to introduce the villain which suggests
a victim     is it i presumed protagonist
the shrill and tender bleater if house
presume a plane and sewer no it’s just
as well that ladder we should climb     or
queue to climb or sit and turn within
but given space should we not dance
it through     think this for a moment
when a witch’s spell’s first word is toil
then does a poem mix if backlit penny
and frontlit spore     don’t answer that
my advocate advised me and implicate
yourself i started bleeding     implied
investigators found this troubling as they
had looked my language over     found
no wound

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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