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Exquisite Fantastic: Anthony Moll

January 17, 2020

What is Exquisite Fantastic? See the full collection of Exquisite Fantastic projects here.

Contributor 6: Anthony Moll, January 17, 2020


Nothing shimmers in the city
winter, and December reveals
the abandoned homes of birds

I’m feeling dysphoric
in a peacoat on an abbreviated
parking lot dusted with salt

trying to imagine a Casa Susanna
a colony of hidden wigs in the chilled
Catskills among eastern hemlock

I hesitate to imagine the woods
as safety— though they are
abandoned or empty

of expectation, and queer bodies
hold a history of exposed knees
in state parks and hideaways

The wilds should be a sort
of home, but I can’t imagine
a dress hem higher than my heavy

thighs outdoors, and the forest
floor reminds me that it’s not

always about you. I guess

Queen Mab’s arrival shouldn’t
surprise me, but I’ve never known
the first name of the wilderness.

Anthony’s Inspiration: I watched and responded to Jim’s animation the week I left Baltimore for a writing retreat in the woods of West Virginia, and it had me thinking about the history of Queer folks in the wilderness—cruising, trysts in cabins, queer communes, etc. When those ideas were paired with Jim’s robed figure revealing a muscular femme, I found myself contemplating perspectives on gender, the goddess, and concealing oneself.

See the work that inspired Anthony here.

Anthony Moll is a queer poet, essayist and educator. Their work has appeared in Hobart, Little Patuxent Review, Assaracus, jubilat and more. Anthony holds an MFA in creative writing & publishing arts and is completing a PhD in English. Their debut memoir, Out of Step, won a 2019 Lambda Literary Award and the 2017 Non/Fiction Prize. It is now available from The Ohio State University Press.

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