The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: a simple verb by JJ Rowan


This selection, chosen by guest curator Addie Tsai, is from a simple verb by JJ Rowan, released by Bloof Books in 2019. 

was a cloud once collected bodies in parts in living pieces: he hid the pieces mostly woman pieces in the earth the trash the homes of others the cold climates the shallow earth: too shallow: too many woman parts and some other parts too.

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bolts made of wood or wood made of bolts: imagination how many times stronger than reality. nothing made of solid wood. wait for / lean on. some assemblage of tires. some spring to the night air. four bodies on a platform? five? the body keeps count. in the news humanity has been cleared from a wood. the community clenches its inhabitants or else floats them away. or else they float. or else.

parts or parted. the suggestion of form where form’s away.

a strange moment wrote a city into the space the city didn’t occupy. under feet of snow a city chuckles with suggestion. a window shatters, or half shatters, clung with plastic. a bat in a cardboard vehicle. hundreds of books on the floor. the shape of words on paper relative to snow.

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JJ Rowan is a queer poet and dancer living in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, looking for the places where the written line and the lines of the moving body intersect. Their poems, hybrid work, and VisPo have appeared in Phoebe, the HungerDream Pop Journal, and others. Their collaborative sonnets with Nate Logan were recently published in where is the river and in the chapbook mcmxciv. from Shirt Pocket Press. Their most recent chapbook, a simple verb, is available from Bloof Books.

Addie Tsai (any/all) is a queer nonbinary artist and writer of color. They collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She is the author of the queer Asian young adult novel Dear TwinUnwieldy Creatures, their adult queer biracial retelling of Frankenstein, is forthcoming from Jaded Ibis Press in 2022. They are the Fiction Co-Editor at Anomaly, Staff Writer at Spectrum South, and Founding Editor & Editor in Chief at just femme & dandy.

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