Grief Map

Fair Day in an Ancient Town: Poems

Greg Allendorf

Mineral Point Poetry Series, no. 3 • Release Date: February 14, 2016

Print ISBN: 978-1-942083-22-1 • Ebook ISBN: 978-1-942083-23-8

Brain Mill Press offers Fair Day in an Ancient Town for direct sale in ebook and in a limited fine first edition printing of signed, numbered paperbacks. Ebook buyers receive access to MOBI (Kindle), EPUB, and PDF files, offered without DRM restrictions. Print book buyers receive a physical copy of the book as well as access to the ebook files in all formats.

"Elegant and raunchy, tender and brutal, musically, visually, and erotically ravishing, Greg Allendorf’s work is everything I want poetry to be, and I will read this volume again and again."

—Aliki Barnstone, author of Bright Body


"With uncommon linguistic acuity [...] and a delightfully original voice, Greg Allendorf offers up poems that speak—and continue speaking—genuine longing, and the insistent ache of love. These are necessary poems for our young century."

—Scott Cairns, author of Idiot Psalms


"The poems of Fair Day in an Ancient Town are for anyone who has struggled to resolve the crisis of heartbreak through art."

—Kiki Petrosino, author of Hymn for the Black Terrific


"This collection is sure to leave you coming back, day after day, for the unique images and emotive quality of the poetic voice."

—reviewer Nicole Pero

It’s April now, complains Allendorf’s speaker, and still no desperate gift of unreturned yearning.

The poems of Fair Day in An Ancient Town subvert the glorious, Romantic pastoral into a voice easy to imagine as Walt Whitman’s darkly clever younger brother. The object of affection is fake-tanned and an idiot but still crashes a dozen lush masturbatory fantasies—or the speaker and his lover meet as shepherds only to eat M&Ms and abandon each other on bingo night. O, the way his mouth confounded me / and folded on my mouth there in the fold, slyly sings one of Allendorf’s shepherd’s songs, O, the glory of his hairy arms, / the way they lit my eyes a little then.

Layering complex form, rhyme, and craft over lush horniness and hard wit, Allendorf effortlessly upends romantic poetry and exposes it to the twenty-first century. This is a collection to make the reader laugh out loud and think deep—and then find a way to be alone under the covers.


Greg Allendorf is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds graduate degrees from The University of Cincinnati and Purdue University. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from such journals as Smartish PaceSubtropicsThe Portland ReviewNarrative Northeast, and Gigantic Sequins. He currently lives in Columbia, Missouri, where he is a PhD candidate and Creative Writing Fellow at The University of Missouri-Columbia.

AN EXCERPT from Fair Day in an Ancient Town: Poems by Greg Allendorf

© Greg Allendorf, 2016. All rights reserved.


The Presentation


This is my lordosis: look: my part.

It wants to feel the syllables your heart

putters.          I want your obsessive pulse

to part with mine only when universe

and starlight disentangle.        Dumb stud, come;

I’ll be the radiator and the heat

it hisses.                      I’ll paint the memory

of you on my closed coffin lid and lard

my arteries with your untamed beauty.

I’ve assumed the posture of a rapt

ocelot:                                I moan my smell to you:

swell with me:            boil with me:   glue

your sternum to my sternum and we’ll do

what blue jays do until Orion snaps.

Share This