The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota by Amelia Gorman

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator H.V. Cramond, is from Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota by Interstellar Flight Press in 2021. 

Norway Maple

How funny—
               My name is samara
               just like your favorite tree.

How funny—
I grew up across the street from you and the paper mill,
it closed before I could work there.

Now you and I tolerate pollution
as well as the trees
only a few tar spots on our lungs,
felt gall on our skin.

Platitudes won’t kindle fires
but heartwood will after we take out the spline.

We’ll tell stories about the Crimson King,
his adventures with
Schwedleri and Drummondi
and the Pendulum.

We’ll learn dead hobbies like
turnery and touching.

We’ll get drunk on Norway syrup all winter
it isn’t sweet like the sugar maple—
no, it’s something better.

Amelia Gorman is a recent transplant to Eureka, California where she enjoys exploring the redwoods and coasts with her dogs and foster dogs. Some of her recent poetry has appeared in Penumbric, Vastarien, and The Deadlands and her first chapbook, Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota, is available from Interstellar Flight Press. Her weird fiction appears in the Nightscript series, Nox Pareidolia from Nightscape Press, and She Walks in Shadows from Innsmouth Free Press. Find her online at or on twitter at @gorman_ghast.

H.V. Cramond holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the founding Poetry Editor of Requited Journal for 10 years. In 2018, she helped pass the Survivor’s Bill of Rights as the Illinois organizer for Rise. Recent work can be found in Soundless Poetry, Ignavia, death hums, Crack the Spine, BlazeVOX, Menacing Hedge, Adanna, So to Speak, Thank You for Swallowing, Dusie, Masque & Spectacle, Matter, and at


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