Jennifer van Alstyne, a Peruvian America poet and scholar, has been featured in Crack the Spine Review, The Foundling Review, Paper Nautilus, Yellow Chair Review, and Whiskey Traveler among others. She holds an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School where she was the Jack Kerouac Fellow. She is currently a graduate fellow in linguistics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


     Restitution & Revision

Jennifer van Alstyne


CD318 has multi-sized strings which crisscross, overlapping gold

to bronze. Felted hammers, white hammers, blue-covered

hammers lift & fall – a direct cause & effect encased in

hardwood. Open, sound reverberates through empty hall, but for

the lone man in row five. He stares at his lover, her shine &

timbre, memorizes each line & grain. Her whiteness. Her


But he will no longer touch her, will not sigh at her frame.


Process (3)

Jennifer van Alstyne

stock & wound, black tape circles

between levers & dials, low bent

technician repeats & rewinds, perfectionist’s orders. studio:

soundproof room which breaks

gaze & awe of audience, where

his word is law. two things exist:

microphone & chickering.



Jennifer van Alstyne


I sometimes wonder about the inner lives of polar bears. 

this slow-motion room where stale air is filtered through tubes

& travels through them, through clear plastic, before

being pumped into a ¼” slit, a transition from mechanical

to organic – keeps you. This is your personal cocoon,

your cotton woven blanket cocoon, cold like time.

skin wrinkles & bloats in this state, yellows too, but this

is just the transformation, your final metamorphosis.


   From “Trouble,” All-American Poem, Matthew Dickman 2009.