The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Trick Rider” by Jen Tynes


We  are  exacting  like  furs

are  exacting,  we  are  narcoleptic

like  furs  are  narcoleptic,  we  are  dead

language  like  furs

are  dead  language,  we  are  black

holes,  we  are  still  full

of  blood,  we  line

the  wood’s  edge,  we  hold

the  shape  of  the  edge

of  the  woods,  we  remember  what

seasonal  flooding  smells

like  on  the  third  and  fourth

day,  along  the  vertebrae  we

turn  into  hard  timber

sound  that  carries  inside  out

40 of  it,  unexpected  rings.  We  are  a  trapper

arm  full  thrown

in  a  hole,  use  pronouns  this  way

to  aerate  the  residence.  Hollow  where

the  body  has  rested  is  full  of  false

dragon  head  (the  obedient

plant)  and  slender-stalked

guara.  Braided  from  the  back  we’re  still

attentive  and  rising,  vestigial

partners,  ba-bum-ba-bum  goes  the  birdsfoot

violet  when  we  grow  too  close

to  the  highway.  A  half-inch  further

and  we  would  have  been  decoy  instead

of  demonstration.  We  feel  our  modes

of  transportation  migrating  deep

into  the  offal  thicket  and  we  know

exactly  how  we’ll  be  covered  come


This selection comes from Jen Tynes’ poetry collection Trick Rider, available now from Trembling Pillow Press. Purchase your copy here.

Jen Tynes is the founding editor of Horse Less Press. She is the
author of four full-length books of poetry–Hunter Monies (Black
Radish Books), Trick Rider (Trembling Pillow Press), Heron/Girlfriend
(Coconut Books), and The End Of Rude Handles (Red Morning Press), and
the author or co-author of eight chapbooks. She teaches writing and
lives in Grand Rapids.

Jane Huffman is a current MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a staff eDior for Sundress Publications. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Moon City Review, Radar Poetry, PHANTOM, Word Riot, The This Magazine, RHINO Poetry, and elsewhere in print and online. She lives in Iowa City, where she teaches literature in the University of Iowa English Department and serves on the poetry staff of The Iowa Review.


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