The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett


This selection, chosen by guest curator Addie Tsai, is from Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, released by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2021. 

Notes Toward Softness

First, dismount the mattress.
Your grip slackens until one
finger clings. Upon release,
pray the skull’s cardamom
pod crushes to fine powder,
sweet marrow drains from
limbs. Once a sieve, be run
through by woe. Darn what
baffles. What chafes, lift
to light. As necessary, cup
a loved chin or chew pastry.
Don’t let blowflies alight—
their buzz of angel-flanked
gates, sealed caskets is only
noise. When tongues loosen,
stand motionless as the doe
of words noses its clearing.
Know when to dissolve,
like a salt lick, to tears.


Luiza Flynn-Goodlett is the author of Look Alive—a finalist for numerous prizes, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press—along with seven chapbooks, most recently The Undead, winner of Sixth Finch Books’ 2020 Chapbook Contest, and Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize. Her poetry can be found in TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She also serves as editor-in-chief of the Whiting Award–winning LGBTQ+ literary journal Foglifter.

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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