MAVA [Jennifer L. Knox]

Folks, our entitlement is vulnerable to the diversity of transgendered fetuses in this evidence-based and science-based country of ours. Look: my team’s collected shocking evidence that transgendered fetuses are entitled to our vulnerable diversity, and that’s wrong.

It’s the end of days! Grab ‘em by the fetus!

Honestly, I’m a very lonely man. So lonely, I don’t know how much lone. To know how much, I’d need other fetuses to touch my hands like on “Star Trek” and mind meld their entitlement with me. Then I’d probably tear up. The fetuses wouldn’t. They’d be standing across transgendered street, whipping chicken bones and pizza crusts at me, laughing their developing asses off.

Many very smart people call it an evidence-based, science-based cognitive impairment. They’re on the right track, baby. I was born this way.

Give me an inch, and I’ll take your fetus words, plus all the wordy words with glue on them. The evidence-based chicken bones. The science-based pizza crusts. The vulnerable transgendered cognitive impairment.

Did you know that Skippy Peanut Butter is 99% cold cream? That’s right. Who’s vulnerable now? [points at crowd, mouths “you”]

But hey, don’t cry for me, Argentina…wait, you wouldn’t? You’d [squints at teleprompter] skin me like a giant beaver?

No no no no no—delete “beaver”—we’ve all mind melded—our entitlement’s tight! Trust me: you’re gonna love the vulnerable way you look [take off hair and shakes it like a pom-pom—hair makes sleigh bell sounds. “Are you listenin’?”].

Listen! [points to the emergency exit door at the back of the cafeteria] if you can’t speak the song, it’s a no-evidence dance!


Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems. Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Poetry series as well as in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. The Los Angeles Book Review said of her most recent book, Days of Shame & Failure, “This panopoly of twenty-first century American human experience leaves the reader a different person.” She teaches at Iowa State University and is currently at work on a culinary memoir.

Inspiration: My inspiration for “MAVA” was the raging paranoia and idiocy that inspired this prohibition of language. And of all the words to “ban”! “Fetus”? Really? Parodying this shart geyser is my civic duty.


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