The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Blood Box by Zefyr Lisowski

Ingredients for an Axe Girl

Insert girl.
Insert wet.
Insert family hurt axe hand.
Insert locks.
Make a box—kindness, hunger, etcetera.
Insert pear tree, juice dripping over the chin.
(Increase hunger. Increase doors.)

Insert tooth insert tooth insert tooth
She is lonely, and covered with blood.
Her flesh her body taut with thirties.
She is older.
Increase wealth. Increase grief.
I am not trying to build sympathy
but empty beds terrify me,
a thing howling and encrusted
outside the window. House like a coffin.
Decrease distance.

The summer heating like a firing chamber—
tender appearing in spurts as evaporated milk.
Questions appear:
Do you know the throng of cut, of bird?
Do you know this weight toward becoming?
What to do with all this unfurling—

Insert box, insert hand, insert blood box

This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at zeflisowski.com.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Blood Box by Zefyr Lisowski

Celebrating Another Anniversary, June 6, 1891
Abby

A year past our twenty-fifth anniversary, Andrew’s face settles into a finer granite, boney as the roast I am cooking him for our occasion.

I wait until Emma and Lizzie are out of the house before I serve the food—

someone burgled us of late, and I give no kindness to his children, make them a bed of indifference,

because that was what Andrew showed me in the aftermath. How
to lay a hand with heaviness, keep secrets

in the back of the kitchen where no one looks. Te sutures, coffin nails, buried fishing weights that
hold a family together.

I am so tired. Andrew smacking his lips constantly, eyes roving through the house.

Even before the robbery, I sleep like an ex-lover, wake up panicked and afraid.

I reheat the food. I avoid the daughters when they call.

This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at zeflisowski.com.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Blood Box by Zefyr Lisowski

The Maid Speaks, October 10, 1892
Bridget

And they do keep me in their meanness
And I am not safe
And this summer so hot—
I am molting everyone is.
Do you see the sheets crisping in the wind
Do you see the feathers, falling still from
every single tree
Yes I saw the bodies
Who didnt

This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at zeflisowski.com.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Blood Box by Zefyr Lisowski

If I Did

Lizzie

Then I must sleep in a sheet twisted
tight with blood, stomach heavy through the night. Then I know the scream of the ferry. Then “family” a word that stirs and stirs.
What use are doors in this weather? Of course

we hear everything—Father’s moans ghost
through walls like cheesecloth. Here is a day.
Here is another.
There’s nothing to do but eat,
piling one plate then the next, pears
plummeting from the backyard brown as
blood. Father never
talks anymore, and Mrs. Borden
changes in my sleep to someone

who is still alive. We always lock our
rooms. My nightgown the finest terry cloth
or linen. Look at my face, my flushed cheek,
my lips. Look at my tenderness.

If I told you it was an intruder who did it,
would you take my hand in yours
and touch my trembling back?

It was. It was. Oh God, it was.

This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at zeflisowski.com.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Blood Box by Zefyr Lisowski

Body Wrench

Emma

We wear black veils to the funeral
and the cofns hold light like a basket.

It is August. Our clothes swelter.
Te trees that line their plot are unsavory.

I do not cry and do not sleep.
Beneath the clothes, my body is falling
apart, becoming illuminated

with fame,

and they are not here:

I do not grieve
I do not grieve

This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at zeflisowski.com.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Truth Is by Avery Moselle Guess

This selection comes from Avery Moselle Guess’s book, The Truth Is available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.

Avery Moselle Guess is a recipient of 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and residencies from the Albee Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation. She is a PhD student in creative writing, poetry, at University of South Dakota and assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review. Recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Crab Orchard Review, Moon City Review, Thrush, Rogue Agent, Tinderbox, Glass, Rust + Moth, and Deaf Poets Society and creative non-fiction in Entropy and The Manifest-Station.  Her chapbook, The Patient Admits, is out from dancing girl press, and her first full-length collection of poetry, The Truth Is, was published in April 2019 by Black Lawrence Press.

Krista Cox is a poet, editor, artist, and community organizer based in South Bend, Indiana, but she’s always dreaming of somewhere saltier. Krista’s poetry appears in many fine journals, and she’s presently seeking a publisher for her chapbook How to Kiss a Monster. She’s the Managing Editor of Doubleback Review, a fledgling online journal that features work previously published at now-defunct journals, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection, the longest continuously-publishing online journal on the web. In 2013, Krista founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts affordable, accessible writing retreats and otherwise serves her local writing community. Krista received an honors BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Sometimes she draws fat unicorns and paints cute animals.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Truth Is by Avery Moselle Guess

This selection comes from Avery Moselle Guess’s book, The Truth Is available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.

Avery Moselle Guess is a recipient of 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and residencies from the Albee Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation. She is a PhD student in creative writing, poetry, at University of South Dakota and assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review. Recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Crab Orchard Review, Moon City Review, Thrush, Rogue Agent, Tinderbox, Glass, Rust + Moth, and Deaf Poets Society and creative non-fiction in Entropy and The Manifest-Station.  Her chapbook, The Patient Admits, is out from dancing girl press, and her first full-length collection of poetry, The Truth Is, was published in April 2019 by Black Lawrence Press.

Krista Cox is a poet, editor, artist, and community organizer based in South Bend, Indiana, but she’s always dreaming of somewhere saltier. Krista’s poetry appears in many fine journals, and she’s presently seeking a publisher for her chapbook How to Kiss a Monster. She’s the Managing Editor of Doubleback Review, a fledgling online journal that features work previously published at now-defunct journals, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection, the longest continuously-publishing online journal on the web. In 2013, Krista founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts affordable, accessible writing retreats and otherwise serves her local writing community. Krista received an honors BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Sometimes she draws fat unicorns and paints cute animals.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Truth Is by Avery Moselle Guess

This selection comes from Avery Moselle Guess’s book, The Truth Is available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.

Avery Moselle Guess is a recipient of 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and residencies from the Albee Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation. She is a PhD student in creative writing, poetry, at University of South Dakota and assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review. Recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Crab Orchard Review, Moon City Review, Thrush, Rogue Agent, Tinderbox, Glass, Rust + Moth, and Deaf Poets Society and creative non-fiction in Entropy and The Manifest-Station.  Her chapbook, The Patient Admits, is out from dancing girl press, and her first full-length collection of poetry, The Truth Is, was published in April 2019 by Black Lawrence Press.

Krista Cox is a poet, editor, artist, and community organizer based in South Bend, Indiana, but she’s always dreaming of somewhere saltier. Krista’s poetry appears in many fine journals, and she’s presently seeking a publisher for her chapbook How to Kiss a Monster. She’s the Managing Editor of Doubleback Review, a fledgling online journal that features work previously published at now-defunct journals, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection, the longest continuously-publishing online journal on the web. In 2013, Krista founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts affordable, accessible writing retreats and otherwise serves her local writing community. Krista received an honors BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Sometimes she draws fat unicorns and paints cute animals.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Truth Is by Avery Moselle Guess

This selection comes from Avery Moselle Guess’s book, The Truth Is available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.

Avery Moselle Guess is a recipient of 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and residencies from the Albee Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation. She is a PhD student in creative writing, poetry, at University of South Dakota and assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review. Recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Crab Orchard Review, Moon City Review, Thrush, Rogue Agent, Tinderbox, Glass, Rust + Moth, and Deaf Poets Society and creative non-fiction in Entropy and The Manifest-Station.  Her chapbook, The Patient Admits, is out from dancing girl press, and her first full-length collection of poetry, The Truth Is, was published in April 2019 by Black Lawrence Press.

Krista Cox is a poet, editor, artist, and community organizer based in South Bend, Indiana, but she’s always dreaming of somewhere saltier. Krista’s poetry appears in many fine journals, and she’s presently seeking a publisher for her chapbook How to Kiss a Monster. She’s the Managing Editor of Doubleback Review, a fledgling online journal that features work previously published at now-defunct journals, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection, the longest continuously-publishing online journal on the web. In 2013, Krista founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts affordable, accessible writing retreats and otherwise serves her local writing community. Krista received an honors BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Sometimes she draws fat unicorns and paints cute animals.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Truth Is by Avery Moselle Guess

This selection comes from Avery Moselle Guess’s book, The Truth Is available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.

Avery Moselle Guess is a recipient of 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and residencies from the Albee Foundation and the Ragdale Foundation. She is a PhD student in creative writing, poetry, at University of South Dakota and assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review. Recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Crab Orchard Review, Moon City Review, Thrush, Rogue Agent, Tinderbox, Glass, Rust + Moth, and Deaf Poets Society and creative non-fiction in Entropy and The Manifest-Station.  Her chapbook, The Patient Admits, is out from dancing girl press, and her first full-length collection of poetry, The Truth Is, was published in April 2019 by Black Lawrence Press.

Krista Cox is a poet, editor, artist, and community organizer based in South Bend, Indiana, but she’s always dreaming of somewhere saltier. Krista’s poetry appears in many fine journals, and she’s presently seeking a publisher for her chapbook How to Kiss a Monster. She’s the Managing Editor of Doubleback Review, a fledgling online journal that features work previously published at now-defunct journals, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection, the longest continuously-publishing online journal on the web. In 2013, Krista founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts affordable, accessible writing retreats and otherwise serves her local writing community. Krista received an honors BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Sometimes she draws fat unicorns and paints cute animals.