The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Titania in Yellow by Dayna Patterson

Hecate, as you did for Demeter, do

You didn’t have to be a Shakespeare to play
word god. Everyday speakers in the Renaissance
formed new words like crazy.
—Constance Hale

Let obscene and sacred hobnob (e.g.
obsacred). Portmanteaus will spark a spree
(i.e. reblend your words to blurds). Slipdrop
these newbies, barefaced, in routine talkswap.

Be not afraid to put a “be” before,
besmirch a phrase befeathered and adored.
Try on endings: moonray? moongleam? moonwisp?
Hibiscus tea tastes faintly moonbeam . . . ish.

If dictionaries leave you green-eyed—good.
Let’s feast! Tomeswallow. Wordgobble. Tonguefood.
Follow neolexical twitterfeeds,
and mimic those ab-brief-iating tweens.

Then send what madcap mouthmagic you make,
for nothing less than language is at stake.


This selection comes from the book, Titania in Yellow, available from Porkbelly Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Donna Vorreyer.

Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in POETRY, Ruminate, Sugar House Review, Thrush, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She has been a Sustainable Arts Fellow at Mineral School Artists Residency. daynapatterson.com

Donna Vorreyer is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013), as well as eight chapbooks: The Girl (2017, Porkbelly Press), Tinder, Smolder, Bones and Snow (2016, dancing girl press), Encantado, Illustrated by Matt Kish (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2015), We Build Houses of Our Bodies (dancing girl press, 2013), The Imagined Life of A Pioneer Wife (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013), Ordering the Hours (Maverick Duck Press, 2012), Come Out, Virginia (Naked Mannequin Press, 2011), and Womb/Seed/Fruit (Finishing Line Press, 2010).

She currently serves as a staff reviewer for the journal Stirring: A Literary Collection and Rhino Reviews. Her poetry, fiction, and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Sugar House Review, Diode, Waxwing, Juxtaprose, Poet Lore, Border Crossings, Harpur Palate, and Quarterly West, and anthologies such as A Face to Meet the Faces (2013) and New Poetry from the Midwest (2015). Although she does not have an MFA, she gets an education daily in her life as a middle school English teacher.

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