Friday, December 14, 2007

2 Poems by Jennifer L. Knox

Yowl of the Obese Spaniel

I ran away for three days once so don’t think sleeping
on sheets or eating the fat off steaks has kept me soft.
This ol’ boy knows what’s out there: broken glass,
bigger dogs with hair like weeds, bugs that pinch. Eesh.
But it’s not sharp stuff that keeps me off the baby
teetering by, soggy graham floppy in hand. It’s then, old
as I am, I become something else, something I’ve always
been, maybe—a bad thing who’d go all the way for a cookie.
And I could kick myself for shame. Not for shame
at the thought (I know I could take that kid down) but shame
for returning their smiles like a big, fat, automatic, tail-
wagging nitwit—and for meaning it in every loose tooth
in my mouth—not knowing why, only knowing—jeez!—
I’m never gonna have sex, I’d sure like to kill something.

“I Wish My Brother George Was Here”

This is a true story: At 64, Liberace
paid to have his 17 year-old lover’s face
surgically altered to look just like
Liberace’s 17 year-old face so when Liberace
was fucking his young lover he was fucking
himself, the younger self with two
names, the Wladziu from Milwaukee self,
a self destined to be known and adored
at arm’s length by millions, but before
the sequined self, there was the prodigy
self, one of three children, a dreamy-
eyed self, at once naive yet intimately
familiar with lonely Wisconsin winters.

From Drunk by Noon by Jennifer L. Knox, just out from new kids in town, Bloof Books. The proprietor will be stopping by for a word or two later on this week. As you can see from above, Knox is funny, irreverent. Having read with her fairly recently in Williamsburg I can tell you that she is also funny live. There's always a lot of discussion around Knox and the "appropriateness" of the humor, but you know what, make me laugh. I dare you. It's actually a ballsy space for a poet to inhabit. Particularly a woman. More on this in the recent round table on humorous poetry in Jacket.