The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Drop Jaw by Rikki Santer

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Stephanie Erdman, is from Drop Jaw by Rikki Santer, released by NightBallet Press in 2020. 

Conversing With Gods

                     after Jericho Brown

Pit perception against cognition.
Keep your ears out for the invisible voice.

            Keep your ears out to the invisible voice.
            Spectral whistling may get you closer.

Spectral whistling will ease you closer.
Talking Bibles with velour tongues.

            Talking Bibles with felted tongues.
            Gospel ventriloquists fortify the Script.

Gospel ventriloquists seduce the Script.
Ancestor belly prophets made anything talk.

            Ancestor belly prophets coaxed everything to talk.
            Testament in statues, streams, perky vulvas.

Testimony in statues, streams, virgin vulvas.
Against cognition, pit eavesdropping & perception.

Rikki Santer’s poetry has received many honors including six Pushcart and three Ohioana and Ohio Poet book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eleventh poetry collection, Stopover, which is in conversation with the original Twilight Zone series, was recently published by Luchador Press. She is also a member of the teaching artist roster of the Ohio Arts Council, a vice president of the Ohio Poetry Association, and a member of the poetry troupe Concrete Wink.

Stephanie L. Erdman graduated Purdue University and received her master’s degree through Indiana University. Her first poetry collection, Pyrrhonic, is available through Dos Madres Press and her second collection, Sankhara, is upcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press. Stephanie describes her style as anything with music and novelty. Stephanie lives in Northwest Indiana and works as a professor of English, editor, and professional tutor. She lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan with her dog, cat, 18 chickens, a transient partner, and persistent impostor syndrome.


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