Halfway through Ohio, Buffy comes down
with Air Sickness—a condition, Dana tells
us, of self-consciousness so extreme you
start noticing every breath you take—noticing
that it’s never enough. The cure: a re-focus
on anything but the mechanisms of the
living body. For example: terraced rice paddies,
roosters, empty cartons of ice cream
re-purposed into paintbrush holders, or
Dana: We need to quarantine her thoughts,
but to do so requires thinking about it. You
see the problem.
Xena, hand tight on the scabbard of her
sword: You’re saying do nothing?
[Dr. Noisewater, in my head: Until nothing
becomes everything and back again.]
Buffy gulps air like a fish, drowning and
thirsty for all that surrounds her.
This selection comes from the poetry book “Mega-City Redux” by Alyse Knorr, which is available to purchase here from Small Press Distribution. This excerpt, “Halfway through Ohio” was first published in Souvenir in 2016.
Alyse Knorr is the author of Mega-City Redux (Green Mountains Review 2017), Super Mario Bros. 3 (Boss Fight Books 2016), Copper Mother (Switchback Books 2016), and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books 2013). She also authored the chapbooks Epithalamia (Horse Less Press 2015) and Alternates (dancing girl press 2014). Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, storySouth, ZYZZYVA, Caketrain, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University. Alyse is a co-founding editor of Gazing Grain Press and teaches English at Regis University.
Jennie Frost is a Jewish, Appalachian poet from Maryville, TN. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Anomaly, Kudzu, Glass Mountain, Sink Hollow, Indicia, Mochila, Stirring, and Political Punch, an anthology on the politics of identity from Sundress Publications. She is a three-time winner of the Curtis Owens prize and beginning in January, she will serve as the Writer in Residence at the Sundress Academy for the Arts.