Alyse Knorr

The Death of the Waynes


And how to write of it? Make a joke of Bruce—
his overwrought rage cresting to a black mask and bladed

gloves—a caricature of grief so thickly lacquered it slips away
beneath our rubber hands. The walk from opera to opera, the rose

and the pearls, the gun and the alley, the boy and the man and the bat:
is grand the word, or spectacular? How even now I twist back to myself,

to my origin in shattered plates and crushed fruit. Make a joke—
my father in the kitchen, whispering mi amor into the phone,

building a new and shadowless world. I made an oath
to the grandfather clock, and I intend to live forever

cloaked in what I most fear. He’s standing in the spotlighted
rain. “You can’t offend him because he isn’t real.”


Alyse Knorr is an assistant professor of English at Regis University and co-editor of Switchback Books. Her most recent book of poems, Mega-City Redux, won the 2016 Green Mountains Review Poetry Prize, selected by Olena Kalytiak Davis. She is also the author of the poetry collections Copper Mother and Annotated Glass; the non-fiction book Super Mario Bros. 3; and three poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, and ZYZZYVA, among others.