Jennifer L. Knox



Popular Music After the Apocalypse


One chord played on one string strung between two coffee cans.

One of the coffee cans is filled with floury dirt and buried in a bathtub filled with concrete.

The other can is held by some kid you've never met. Over time, you find the kid's really good at imitating the sound of the string. Really, really, really, really, really good. Who sent you, kid?








John Cafferty is not John Fogerty
and an ass is not a vagina.

The lawyer said so.  O!
the slight, subtle distinctions

between perfume and a urinal cake.
Just because something works

doesn't mean everything worked
out.  Hit and run's not hit and run

and back up, forward, back up, forward
and run over some more. "Friends"

don't do that to "friends," friend (please
be friendly and reply if you agree).

We don't have to get up, we get to
get up, every day and decide how easy

the listening will be: jock rock
("Tough All Over") versus vet rock

("Have You Ever Seen the Rain?"),
Xanax versus Ativan, etc.



Bountyhunter of the Year


Bull rider, heels to the horned thing, I drove
the herd on miles in silence then into a tree,
a telephone pole, a desert, sewed their brown
wet eyes shut with a thick thorn and the asphalt
tattoos on the soles of my feet, ate cane toads
of pain piling up under the table with trident
gripped in both hands—one toad was my own
bad face which I hated but I ate it. Do I look full
of hot blood to you because you speak to me like
I'm leaking? The sound of certain shoes coming
home on old linoleum in dreams still makes me
duck and backtrack like a skitterish declawed rabbit—
locked in the trunk, apple junk, hockey slut.





[That's] The Story of My Life


I am the largest BMW ever built, coming
in only one color: California Creamsock

but my sidecar's mouth’s full of sirens—
all along I thought it’d been screaming,

"You want some acid for the bus ride?!"
when actually it was screaming, "You

want some acid for the bus ride?!"  Jeez,
I was only going under the river—ten minutes

tops—so what to make then of the remaining eight
hours?  Turns into eight years?  Turns

around, lies down, gets up, lies down, lies
about some stuff (homework mostly), returns

to Yorkshire, graduates from Fulneck Girls                      
School in Pudsey, learns to hustle

but never The Hustle, speaking of which,
can conjugate the Latin verb meaning "to churn

fruitlessly i.e. spin wheels in a mirrored mudpit"
until everything's flat out of gas.