Jenn McCreary

Best Beloveds:

how to document a catastrophe
communitas while expiration

dates loom— liminality     a limbo
where we claim our rites       light
the fires          fight dirty

Best Beloveds:

performing disaster I’m made
of sugar of blood & salt

all blue-eyed honey & vulgar
tongue tea & sympathy for
the monsters each & ever

Best Beloveds:

tell me more about the finite the dark
sublime in which death is understood

as a woman the click of memento mori
rosary beads the locks of hair
knotted in mourning

Best Beloveds:

staccato signals of constant info & all
of our favorite songs about the end

of the world of revolution &
rapture the dark air vibrating
with autonomous magic

Best Beloveds:

the mother is a phoenix
& the child always rises  

from the ashes      only half
the story is true      the rest
is necessary

Best Beloveds:


Rachel says, stay poised         & I’m
trying      but sanity is consensus &

consensus can change            I make a list
of all of the things that are    & all
the things that cannot possibly      ever be

Best Beloveds:

at the end of the fucking
world intimacy

doesn’t need to be
healthy to be


  • The fourth poem quotes Paul Simon’s The Boy in the Bubble: “staccato signals of constant info.”

  • The fifth poem quotes John Yau’s Scenes from the Life of Boullee: “only half the story is true / the rest is necessary.”

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Jenn McCreary is a Philadelphia poet. Her published collections include The Dark Mouth of Living (Horse Less Press); & Now My Feet Are Maps, and :Ab Ovo: (Dusie Press); A Doctrine of Signatures (Singing Horse Press); and Worrywort, a collaboration with poet Pattie McCarthy (LRL Textile Editions). A 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts for poetry, she currently serves as president of the board of directors for Small Press Traffic, & as minister of information for Tripwire: a journal of poetics