The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alyse Knorr’s “Mega-City Redux”


Black-clad man holds open velvet rope to
a tick-chipped wooden door. You gals look
like you know how to party. Indeed: sword,
suit, stake, and pen—my talisman—flown
from frigid North to this exact not-so-secret

Inside, the men wear sunglasses and the
women wear normal glasses. The Chorus
lurks above us in the rafters, humming a
steady No that changes pitch to match the
song piped over the speakers.

Buffy drinks a Sex on the Beach from a teacup.
Xena holds her beer by its butcher-papered
neck. Dana Scully, a half-empty bottle
of water she bought at the Ted Stevens
(Plane Crash Victim) Anchorage International
Airport Gate A-9.

I scan the Friday night crowd, looking for
the Anchor’s vaguely famous face. This is her
neighborhood. For one distinct moment I
realize the pointless longing of this trip and
recoil into my paper bag PBR.


This selection comes from the poetry book “Mega-City Redux” by Alyse Knorr, which is available to purchase here from Small Press Distribution. This excerpt, “Black-clad man” was first published in Juked in 2016.

Alyse Knorr is the author of Mega-City Redux (Green Mountains Review 2017), Super Mario Bros. 3 (Boss Fight Books 2016), Copper Mother (Switchback Books 2016), and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books 2013). She also authored the chapbooks Epithalamia (Horse Less Press 2015) and Alternates (dancing girl press 2014). Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, storySouth, ZYZZYVA, Caketrain, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University. Alyse is a co-founding editor of Gazing Grain Press and teaches English at Regis University.

Jennie Frost is a Jewish, Appalachian poet from Maryville, TN. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Anomaly, Kudzu, Glass Mountain, Sink Hollow, Indicia, Mochila, Stirring, and Political Punch, an anthology on the politics of identity from Sundress Publications. She is a three-time winner of the Curtis Owens prize and beginning in January, she will serve as the Writer in Residence at the Sundress Academy for the Arts.

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