Two Poems by JoAnna Novak

JoAnna Novak

JoAnna Novak

JoAnna Novak is the author of Something Real (dancing girl press, 2011). She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A. in poetry from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her poems, stories, and essays have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Los Angeles Review, Guernica, Pank, Hobart, and Forklift Ohio. With Thomas Cook and Tyler Dorholt, she publishes and edits Tammy ( She lives in Massachusetts.

Teeth of Nature

I knew no studio
Felt unsure in my tights
I did not recognize my voice
she slunk from my mouth      chrysanthemum

I met no carriage
though mine hand did grip the barre
I sucked my chants and daily
Doing fine very fine

An old acquaintance no longer recognized me
I recognized my finer self
Piaf collar blueline nose
Aquiline I fancied myself      chrysanthemum

Something special special someone
I always fancied myself
Queen                          of politeness
ness                             ness     ness





Self-Portrait in Efflorescence

Lofted and wet, we let
the petals shorten our block—

another blue passage of thoughts.

Once I wore and scored
my mother, now I right my goals,

push them off the curb.

Wasn’t crispness distanced, not just endless
revolutions glass on glance? What I’ve read shouldn’t

sate me, but what of sedation and snaking?