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Featured Poem II • June 2016




A.J. Odasso


Londoners, Midlanders all. The helix  has yielded this seed. No need to ask  for your blood, no need to test beyond  your so-called daughters. Carry this,  and we carry both threads. Accident  has tangled this recessive. Undress me  again and ask: at what price freedom  from the sensation of grit-fine glass  when I swallow because toxic drip  has conquered my tongue? Mother,  these twin monsters  have already won.



OdassoA.J. Odasso’s poetry has appeared in a number of strange and wonderful publications, including Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, Cabinet des Fées, Midnight Echo, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Farrago’s Wainscot, Through the Gate, Liminality, inkscrawl, and Battersea Review. Her début collection, Lost Books (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2010), was nominated for the 2010 London New Poetry Award and for the 2011 Forward Prize, and was also a finalist for the 2011 People’s Book Prize. Her second collection with Flipped Eye, The Dishonesty of Dreams, was released in August of 2014. Her two chapbooks, Devil’s Road Down and Wanderlust, are available from Maverick Duck Press. She holds degrees from Wellesley College and the University of York (UK). She serves as senior poetry co-editor at Strange Horizons magazine, and she is currently a teaching fellow and MFA candidate in creative writing (poetry) at Boston University. You can find her online at @ajodasso.

She tells us that “XX/XY,” her poem in this issue, “serves as a kind of postscript to this trilogy of poems in SWAMP Writing #17, but I also hope it can stand on its own. I wrote it some months later.”



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