Issue 93: Liana Roux

Liana Roux

About Liana Roux

Liana Roux has an MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her work appears in Salamander, Hole In The Head Review, The Experiment Will Not Be Bound anthology (Unbound Edition Press, 2022), The Rupture, The Queer South anthology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014), and elsewhere. She lives in North Carolina with her wife and two sons. You can visit her website here.

A Profile of the Author

Notes on “81/2 Mariana “, “Gnash”, and “Spring, Loring Pond”

“8 ½ Marina” is a poem for my friend Risden. My girlfriend and I were staying with him in Atlantic Beach, at a condo that sits on a long slab of concrete, surrounded by water on either side. A true ecological nightmare, something the sea ought to reclaim. I loved it. This was years ago now. We were trying and failing to catch a fish, while an actual fisherman was out in the water in his boat. I wanted to capture that moment, our gay melancholy and joy, meandering like the tide.

“Gnash” is such a great word, one of those words that sounds like what it is. I did eventually go to a real dentist and get a mouth guard, which my dog ended up eating a week later. Apparently that happens all the time, something about how your mouth guard smells so much like you, it’s irresistible. They’re compelled to consume it. I also learned later that the divots in my teeth are actually caused by acid reflux, not grinding. Another of the body’s little revenges.

“Spring, Loring Pond” is about living in Loring Park in Minneapolis. What a joy to move to the gay neighborhood, to live on the same block as one of the oldest gay bars in the country. And then what a shock to read, in old newspaper articles, that a gay man was killed in 1979 in the park around the corner. His name was Terry Knudsen. I don’t know what duty, if any, public spaces have to acknowledge the horrors that happen there, but it made me uneasy how that park, where I would walk every day, seemed able to shed the past. I kept coming back to the water, and what it might or might not remember.

Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.

My toddler will listen to nothing but ABBA, so that has become the soundtrack of our lives here. I was in the top .005% of ABBA listeners on Spotify last year. My wife was in the top .01%. That does not include the ABBA records my son puts on our record player every day. I don’t want to exaggerate, but I do not think many other human beings are listening to as much ABBA as we are.

All that said, Super Trouper? A perfect album, no skips. “Me and I” should get more love.


Three Poems by Liana Roux

Gnash I’m grinding my teeth straight through the enamel. The dental hygienist asks if I’m experiencing any stress. Has my wife noticed anything?Does she hear tumbling rocks? Gnashing, from Middle English from Old Norse,may be onomatopoeic, grown—ground?—from sound. On the tip of my left canine tooth is a divot,a deepening pit that catches my tongue. … Read more

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