The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Uncertain Acrobats by Rebecca Hart Olander


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Uncertain Acrobats by Rebecca Hart Olander released by CavanKerry Press in 2021.

College Cathexis

My girlfriends all seemed to hate their fathers.
		I, too, wanted to burn with righteous fire.
Stoking remnant embers, how mine could have been
		better, I smoldered in my dorm room,
carefully curated with posters of Rosie the Riveter
		and Frida’s unapologetic eyebrow,
listening to Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville on repeat.

Fathers represented patriarchy and restrictions.
		Chain-link fence. Stuffed shirts. Scarecrows.
Some fathers were active volcanoes, and after eruption,
		their daughters dressed in ashes,
were like Pompeii, held static in their becoming—
		that running girl caught in pyroclastic flows,
that child forever frozen in her small chair.

Thinking of my father that way,
		I fanned my modest disappointments
to try and catch a spark. It didn’t take.
		I doused the sputtering flame,
let time transform that old terrain.

Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Massachusetts Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere, and her collaborative visual and written work has been published in multiple venues online and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). Rebecca’s books include a chapbook, Dressing the Wounds (dancing girl press, 2019), and her debut full-length collection, Uncertain Acrobats (CavanKerry Press, 2021), which was given a “Must Read” distinction from the Massachusetts Center for the Book as a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. Rebecca teaches writing at Westfield State University and Amherst College and works with poets in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. She is the editor/director of Perugia Press.

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.

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