Alternative Facts

A New Poem by Allison Joseph

January 25, 2017  By Allison Joseph

Alternative Facts


sounds like the name of one of those early 90s Britpop bands
I loved so much, as in “I liked that new Oasis album,
but the one by Alternative Facts is better!”

I guess losing should now be known as “alternative winning.”
Infidelity shall henceforth be known as “alternative dating.”
The raccoons that tore a hole in my house’s roof?

Alternative pets!
That bill didn’t get paid? I’m not delinquent—
I just paid it in alternative money.

Cake shall henceforth be known as “alternative celery.”
Students, don’t be upset if you get an F. It’s just an alternative A.
This chocolate donut I’m eating? Alternative apple.

It’s not belly fat–it’s my alternative six-pack.
The New York Knicks will be the alternative
winners of the 2017 NBA Championship.

That dead tree in my backyard? Alternative gardening.
You can call it sleep—I prefer the term “alternative exercise.”
Jelly stains and milk mustache=alternative makeup.

When it comes to tennis, I’m an alternative Serena.
Gymnastics, I’m an alternative Simone.
That concrete over there=alternative grass.

That pile of dirty unwashed exercise clothing: alternative compost.
How many of us are here because our parents practiced
“alternative virginity?” Doritos=alternative carrots.

When I was a young flat-chested teenager, I had alternative plastic surgery.
I put socks in my bra.
This alternative water sure does make me giggle my inhibitions away….
But I’m not ignoring you—I’m just paying alternative attention.

Allison Joseph
Allison Joseph
Allison Joseph lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review. Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father's Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (Imaginary Friend Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Yellow Chair Press) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble

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