Alternates / Alyse Knorr
dancing girl press, 2014
In Alternates, Alyse Knorr’s exquisite sequence of prose poems, the poet deploys narrative subtly, obliquely, and allows the present tense to stand as a figment—a precarious now constantly eliding into a past, into a future.
In these poems, past, present, and future merge, meld, mutate and we discover how a single story can embody a multiverse, an endless archive of alternates, how a story is never told, but always retold. You are hearing this story for the first time. Somehow you know that this story always breaks your heart.
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, Caketrain, RHINO, Puerto Del Sol, The Minnesota Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University. She is the co-founder and co-editor of Gazing Grain Press and teaches college English at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
The bridesmaids at your wedding wear shades of blue and green and the carnations are also blue—dyed a shallow ocean color that drips from several of the petals to the floor, and the bouquet in your hands is mostly blue hydrangea and the earrings that dangle just above the tiny hairs at the nape of your neck are also, of course, blue, and from my aisle seat I can see that we are all underwater and yet I am still breathing.