The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Footnote by Trish Hopkinson

This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from Footnote by Trish Hopkinson, released by Lithic Press in 2017.

My Monkey Grammarian*

This search, this verbal trap of dread
and the ending unknown.

Is this path the poem—the journey
that dissolves into nothingness?

Is there anything after this narrow trail
of howling trees and screaming monkeys?

Is their rhetoric leading us
to nothing but language?

We are both fleeing and falling like footsteps,
devoured and created like fruit,

precarious and perfect like gravity,
like Galta abandoned.

We are driven by our own ceremonies,
by whirling words and dervish skeletons.

Our linguistic corruption stretches out
to the horizon and curves into the atmosphere,

a maze made of metaphors, stuffed in sacks
and piled in rows. Discourse itself, leaps

back and forth, and grammar leans in
to critique the universe

*for Octavio Paz

Trish Hopkinson is a poet and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at and provisionally in Colorado, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets, curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM, and is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal. Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Sugar House Review, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017, and her most recent e-chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and craft beer.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

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