The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: In Our Now by Valyntina Grenier

This selection, chosen by guest editor Samantha Duncan, is from In Our Now by Valyntina Grenier, released by Finishing Line Press in 2022.

Pressed Against This Smart Glass

Happen to find yourself a particular afternoon notice a makeshift
floating through the narrow and bounded by steep shoulders

Notice fairies harnessed/ boiled a ramshackle armada of miracles
	from the comparative wilderness caught that afternoon
care evidently distrusting the order ‘wanted alive’

Hollowed out logs lashed to a skinny man w/ a burlap sack deemed
	to be snoozing
A rent in the net under the weight of streams blanketed with moss

The sun already knows my nickname
An arrow shot clean through my ribs
Clock fragmented clots of day

plan/ plant/ drain the fertile forest hills
The wilderness riding me
out across out of print autobiography

w/ a resonance of mathematics learned bargaining sharply
for apples can tease murderers and settlers to domesticate the frontier
	with old world exotics

Disparagement might return a golden habitat
an emblem of marriage
from man’s peculiar craft

Passengers point at a sign
working for food
waiting for the bumblebee to wake up to hover among wide eyed

We give credit the power domestication represents
take to dance
Generations assume naive scenes
Animals sit it out

Nutritious acorns buried any arrangement with us long before
boatloads dependent on bank territory or at least the folk hero
	I figured

Modest our orchard or/
our childlike wishful/ wistful thinking
how lost

We accept fate in the tang of strangeness sweetened beyond
a blemish free plastic dimension
one all-purpose-single-use-just-as-described-cheap-fake-sugar
	substitute for the strong desire to
	live to

lounge in queerness
with no address
Hallow defiance
a night swim

a vegan frontier
do you mind
to ride a horse or punish a worm

Children are not rumors

For some cis-godfearing-rapist-white-men emphasis relies on their
color of skin/ mitigation/ migration/ maps

Some far flung account/ song led to the river
the reality and the pipe littered behind

Valyntina Grenier is a multi-genre eco artist living with her wife in Tucson, AZ. She works with paint, ink, Neon, encaustic medium, recycled or repurposed materials and words. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, the tête-bêche, Fever Dream/ Take Heart (Cathexis Northwest Press 2020) and In Our Now (Finishing Line Press 2022). You’ll find her work in Beyond Queer Words, Genre: Urban Arts, Impermanent Earth, The Journal, Lana Turner, The Night Heron Barks, Querencia, Ran Off with the Star Bassoon, and Sunspot.

Samantha Duncan is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Playing One on TV (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2018) and The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016), and her work has appeared in BOAAT, SWWIM, Meridian, and The Pinch. She lives in Houston.


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