and quite plainly understood that it wasn’t really that she preferred her gold hoop earrings to the opal studs; rather, it was a question of seasons and moods and anyway Drusilla wouldn’t notice and anyway heat—the vexing heat of a city’s summer: under the sway, on the Left Bank, across the street from, in front of the corner store, the subway tunnel, the line at the bank, the elegant garden-pause in the boulevard, Midwestern, Atlantic, intercontinental, European tourist plaza-esque, Mexico City cathedral, street hollerings, playground, squinting into the leafy sketch of city time, crumbled comics page, fish smell, and on and on. So she wore a green shirtdress. So she was going downtown to pay a ticket. So she ARE YOU (SHE) READING A NOVEL? DOES IT PLEASE YOU? ARE YOU SIPPING YOUR WATER?







Was that what you came for?
But now that you’ve set that buzzing light bulb,


and the choice-ee concerns about class and taste
and you unfold your hand to a rash of petty scandals and you’re like pow I got you and thick it is
in here
thick indeed.

You’re dead meat baby.
You’re not gonna kill the Internet, and you already missed your chance to sleaze up your thirties.

I’m sure I don’t know what you mean
but that choke of diamonds
is certainly sweetening the deal.







and anyway Drusilla
did you find
my husband in the rain


did you clench your little ring’ed fingers into a bite-fist
                                                                                       and hold it
                                                                                       up to your jaw

and had you
just cut a record
you were were you
wearing a low hat on the rainy street
a jug of wine in the trunk


while I was in the forest’s hard bruising tooth,

while I was in the snap of it letting loose on me
did one finger climb out of the fist and summon my man to a railroad room yes







Olivia Cronk is the author of Louise and Louise and Louise (The Lettered Streets Press, 2016) and Skin Horse (Action Books, 2012). With Philip Sorenson, she edits The Journal Petra.


In Womonster, I am concerned with the (often monstrous and buffoonish) impossibility of a coherent self even as I take great pleasure in the performance of self/selves. The manuscript contains two long-form poems. One of those, “Interro-Porn,” is work in the interrogative mode (both self-inquiry and the mood/tone/syntax of interrogation, especially in the context of film noir scenes, and often in the mere context of the question). I was also earnestly experimenting with merging conceptual and lyric modes (and have allowed this project to “leak” into other media/modes, including my twitter feed and my video project Romero), and thinking a lot about controlling the flow of information (almost in a scatter-effect, an idea kind of taken from reading Tan Lin’s work) for the purpose of a reader’s pleasure. Also, I wanted to write (in my own sloppy way) about fashion and clothing and costume. The second, “Chenille,” was work in merging psychedelic aesthetics and the domestic realm—kind of ripping off Shirley Jackson but also trying to write true/not true family life under the influence of things like Neon Pearl and Peter Max. I wanted to really study mood here—in the most sweeping sense (again: controlling the flow of information in order to achieve a certain effect, but also: the mood of a room/a family/a shared history). And then of course I am interested in how a certain self takes on its performance-duties in a room/family, and how one iteration of performance is observation, and how dizzyingly/nauseatingly/thrillingly psychedelic the feeling of that fact is.