Joni Wallace

Joni Wallace

Joni Wallace is an award-winning poet and musician who grew up in Los Alamos, NM, and Moab, Utah.  She is the author of Blinking Ephemeral Valentine (Four Way Books, 2011), which was selected by Mary Jo Bang for the Levis Prize, and Red Shift (Kore Press, 2001). Her most recent work appears on the website for the Poetry Society of America and in Boston Review, Conduit, Connotations Press, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast Online, Perihelion Review,, The Drunken Boat, West Branch Wired, and The Volta (among other places). She earned an MFA from the University of Montana and currently lives and works in Tucson.


Pox on the living.

Movie prize of some long

ago actress, not me,

and she shall witness

our breaths fly out

in a minor scene,

waxshine of stiletto heels,

fur voltage, radiant

ringlets ringed in smoke,

do you have a light?

Enter Mister Satie

and his cupful of sloe,

enter a room where I lose

you to the plink

of a piano player,

a bar sign scintillating

boite de jazz /

tilt view almost missed

as dusk steels the set

set into blankness,

my exquisite wound.

This the part where the credits roll:

hand of glances,


Please place your headphones in the seatback in front of you.

Please exit through the signs marked EXIT.

Step out onto the boulevard.

It could be this or any city.


From Blinking Ephemeral Valentine (Four Way Books, 2011).

Arizona Board of Regents