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. 

the future tends to continue.

can a future ever end. was i ever that small. was i ever so small. a violence touches your body you become enormous: a well of feeling you drag along or else it drags you. where feeling used to go: numb blockade, immovable. body becomes mute and enormous, unseeable and impossible to hide from view, the unanswerable question. you fear you might never cease to exist.

eternity is the terrifying and deep plausibility.

forever wakes you in the night pulling back your covers under cover of dark. forever presses its fingers into you by television light. forever stops letting you use the bathroom alone, humiliates you by a variety of lights in a variety of proximities. in the letter, forever offers to take you.

the offer is a threat. the threat is forever.


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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