a l y s e    k n o r r







pack me up in your covered wagon       your war carriage

wrap me in your guts      like a sausage squeezed through a

tube of inner flesh      keep me safe     when the wind blows

across your face        know that the feeling is not unlike that

of dying on an unusually hot autumn day      if the Bridge of

Dread was a place we could return from      the passport

stamp would be a stack of syringes waving goodbye on a

ginger tide       to compare any of our nights together to

heaven hell or limbo is to misunderstand the     eternal

oblivion that necessitates them      things would be easier if

we did not know where clouds came from       fear & pride

may cure each other      in a loop of waves & synthetic froth

I built a tower & it fell to the ground in a heap of language

hell is a place that always pokes through       the world is a

dichotomy      the alternative is lack of world      an absurdity

as large & heavy as the world itself      a hanger is an object

that hangs other objects       not a person hanging by the

neck      what is the difference between dying & never

having existed at


                                        night a Non-event plays fiddle in

my skull       I brew him a kettle of nuclear tea        noxious

but forespoken & lustrous as the sun       Non-Event      I

say     Tell me about yourself      he forks his forked tongue over fingerling teeth    cut-bite knuckles        on the carousel later we each ride piebald stallions       up & down       their brass braided poles       grief is the hope that when it

happens I will go somewhere  &  so will  you  we can meet

at the corner café & you will have an espresso      while I'll

choose a raspberry lemonade     nevertheless both of us

there     Non-Event's eye comets inside the periscope     he

rehearses his pentatonic scales    a cirrhotic cinematic tune

how terrifying    how impossible     that the world can keep

turning     long after the eyes shut & functions cease     Do

not keel     do not pinch yourself     at this brief caesura

simply step  back  &  admire the craft of the blade rubbed to

a fine bright edge     the point is the mind is a prison with

death as its bars       your life       spent half in half out of

breath until the day your mouth fills with locusts & the last

thing you think of is mermaids      how if you were a

mermaid you might not have drowned to death     & then in

the end the absurdity of this thought rivaling only the

absurdity of death itself




Sat. Oct. 16, 2004: A Georgia teen is charged with killing his best friend; sexual advance cited in slaying.


You lean in, close your eyes and—
what's the worst that can happen?

Star Wars lampshade
maybe the door was shut
maybe open


            model fighter jet
            Xbox cord
            baseball bat with Chipper's autograph

            or ceramic horse figurines
            pair of scrapbooking scissors
            guitar I taught her to play

in the early morning hours
                        Halo flashing on the screen


ALYSE KNORR is the author of Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books, 2013) and Alternates (dancing girl press, 2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Puerto Del Sol, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, among others. She is the co-founder of Gazing Grain Press and teaches English at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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