poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Jennifer L. Knox was born in Lancaster, California. She received a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA from New York University.

Knox is the author of Days of Shame and Failure (Bloof Books, 2015), The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway (Bloof Books, 2010), Drunk by Noon (Bloof Books, 2007), and A Gringo Like Me (Bloof Books, 2007).

Knox’s poetry is known for its darkly imaginative humor. The poet Patricia Smith writes, “I cannot imagine what the inside of her head must be like, all tango and blaring and pinball, locked in its relentless churn. I can't believe that mere covers were able to contain this tender, this snorting laughter, these rampant truths.”

Knox has previously taught creative writing at Hunter College and New York University. She currently lives in Iowa, where she teaches at Iowa State University.


Bibliography

Days of Shame and Failure (Bloof Books, 2015)
The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway (Bloof Books, 2010)
Wir Fürchten Uns (Lux Books, 2008)
Drunk by Noon (Bloof Books, 2007)
A Gringo Like Me (Bloof Books, 2007)

The Decorative Airport Fern Is Not What It Pretends to Be

and it takes me a triple-take to realize it's scanning
me, or something near my ear—that must be it. No plant’s 
ever complimented my perfume—wait—there it goes 
again. Did you see that? [Time passes, drinks] "Sure, I 
remember when I thought you were a fern but you were!
Who could blame me?" I tell the what’s now a magnificent
purple tetrahedron, eggplant-sized cilia straining at its corners, just 
a hint of ferniness remains in its fingertips—enough to blush. 
We hug goodbye. The scent of flowers lingers around me 
the next day. Flying home, a decorative airport fern that really 
is a decorative airport fern says, "You smell nice." I don’t 
believe it, but it's still a happy
ending.

Copyright © 2011 by Jenn Knox. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Jenn Knox. Used with permission of the author.

Jennifer L. Knox

Jennifer L. Knox

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of Days of Shame and Failure (Bloof Books, 2015), The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway (Bloof Books, 2010), Drunk by Noon (Bloof Books, 2007), and A Gringo Like Me (Bloof Books, 2007). She lives in Iowa, where she teaches at Iowa State University.

by this poet

poem

 

Before there was the time we see
there was the time we saw through,
when the biggest bear lied down,
exhaled the boundary of herself—
woof!—and rolled onto her side.

Her family followed in a line,
bending like an oxbow lake,
crocheting holes in the land

poem

Dad couldn’t stop crying after Kathy moved him into the facility. 
When she came to visit, he’d cry and say he wanted to die. He said 
the same thing to the nurses. This went on for about a month until 
the doctor put him on an antidepressant especially for Parkinson’s 
patients. The
poem

When my father was nine years old, his mother said, "Tommy, I'm taking you to the circus for your birthday. Just you and me, and I'll buy you anything you want." The middle child of six, my father thought this was the most incredible, wonderful thing that had ever happened to him—like something out of a fairy tale