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


Problems on the road:

flat soda flat tire flat scenery flat jokes ate the
lemon meringue pie that sat out too long in
the window graffitied abortion clinic billboards
trucker shower billboards abortion
clinics and trucker showers on the same billboard
bug smears bird shit handprint noseprint
smears Xena’s foot-smell Dana won’t
laugh at any of the flat jokes melted things
broken A/C signs that say Men Working
tolls incorrect change for tolls crick in the
neck sleepy eyes The Chorus on the radio
telling us they own our bodies drivers who
don’t use their turn signal drivers who leave
their turn signal on forever tornado watch
tornado warning Cinnabon indigestion
Buffy’s spilled purse

Waukon, IA gas station/bar/diner/rest
stop: we drink Slippery Nipples and Flaming
Nipples, Slutty Temples and Bald Pussys
and Red-Headed Sluts. BlowJob Shots lead
to Sex on the Beach lead to Orgasms all
around. Dana goes droopy-eyed and philosophical,
leans across the table and looks
straight hard at my eyes. Out of the edge of
her bra peeks the butt of her Bureau-issued
9 mm. Or what I call a 9 mm since that’s the
only handgun name I know.

(Buffy: a Glock?)

A Glock! A cock-sure aimed and cocked
clock to the head, sure to rock someone’s
world, or at least rock their socks til heaven

(We’re the kind of drunk when good things
happen to bad people—and it’s all undoubtedly,
ineffably our own fault.)


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, “Problems on the road” was first published in BARED anthology from Les Figues Press, 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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