The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Wolf Hat Iron Shoes by Martha McCollough


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Alaina Hanchey, is from Wolf Hat Iron Shoes by Martha McCollough, released by Lily Poetry Review in 2022.

All these omens

comets and a crowing hen
antichrist squatting
		in the seat of power.

the century’s logo:
		goofball dog in a hat
		red tongue
				dangling sideways
		X X for its eyes

trash fire burning
mid street

is this fine

maybe long oblivion can
erase our embarrassment or do I mean shame

I mean
can you tell the ostrogoths
		from the visigoths
		or keep the dull presidents straight
no
just throw us what’s-his-name
the emperor’s           head
in a basket

wild spring
I wish I were with you
		floating like smoke
				through teargas streets

you said
as the dream of every cliché is       to enter a poem
the dream of every lie       is to slither into history

above us
all the home-come chickens
			weigh the branches into downward arcs
			every tree in the park weeping


Martha McCollough lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. She has an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in QWERTY, Bear Review, Zone 3, and Tampa Review, among others. She is the author of the chapbook Grandmother Mountain (Blue Lyra) and the full length collection Wolf Hat Iron Shoes (Lily Poetry Review Books, 2022).

Alaina Hanchey, known as Harley to both friends and foes, believes rhetoric is intensely important and the way we speak can change the world. That belief was shared by her best friend, Quinn Arielle Kerlin, who inspired her to volunteer and immerse herself in those words that matter, and the connections that matter.

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