Sunday, October 27, 2013

Accidental Bookmark Art, by Cynthia J. McGean

Found bookmark art at the Albina Branch of the Multnomah County Library

Flotsam and jetsam spin from the library ceiling
Dangling doodles of identity
That once saved a place
In an epic, a thriller, a tale of crime, 
Pausing the story for the sake
Of life -
A phone call, an oven timer, the doorbell.
Tents pitched and left behind,
Beacons to light the way home, 
And measure the journey.
A grocery receipt, a baseball card,  
An envelope marked addressee unknown.
A colorful splashdown of junkmail art.
Accidental bookmarks
Rescued by careful caretakers
And resurrected as 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Two Wines and a Lemon Drop, by Cynthia J. McGean

It started with the caprese.  You couldn't just order it.  No.  It had to be a certain style, a certain size, a half order.  Gluten free.  Was the balsamic from Italy?  What region?  And what about the basil?  Locally grown?  Full leaves or those pathetic little sprinkles?  Then the wine.  A house red wasn't good enough.  You had to indulge in the whole indecent ritual of interrogation all over again, a fly hovering over the banquet table before finally lighting on the bottle.  And that pretentious display masquerading as tasting - as if you really were a connoisseur!  What is it you're afraid of?  What consequence do you think will befall you if every last detail isn't just so?  What cataclysmic global catastrophe could possibly result from the wrong kind of basil leaves.  What if I were that bottle of wine or that caprese?

It started with the caprese.  I like a good caprese.  A GOOD caprese.  Not some wannabe prepackaged, marinated in the store, cherry tomato, mozarella ball pretender.  I want tomatoes thick as steak slabs, fresh from the garden, ripened in the sun, red and sweet and just this side of watermelons, with hunks of mozarella to match sliced off a round big as your head.  And fat, wide basil leaves that say "Here is a salad!"  The wrong olive oil or balsamic can ruin the whole thing, and then what's the point?  You only get so many capreses in your lifetime.  A bad caprese is a theft, a little death.

It started with the caprese.  The two of them watching each other, the one biting a lip, the other desperately pressing his suit with the waiter, justifying, excusing, rationalizing, with a belligerence born of a need nobody else could fathom, maybe not even him.  I wanted to rise above it.  I wanted to be anywhere but there.  I wanted to fend them both off and make room on the plate for myself.  I didn't want to be the bridge, the mediator, the translator.  I ordered a cocktail and marinated in my own juices.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Marvelous Pursuits by Suzanne LaGrande

Eat an ice cream cone, upside-down
Bite a the tip and slurp
Sweet cool juices, through the pinhole, stop
the milky dregs,
with your thumb, then press
your finger-prints in a sticky row
along the shiny chome edge of
a pharmacy counter.

Sail  a fat bicycle, red
with gearless hips to a distant neighborhood,
get lost
ask for directions,  then
peddle backwards
until you arrive at  a map.

Trade broken earrings for wilted lettuce
Antique mirrors,
 and your most precious
fourth-generation family heirloom
for empty gum wrappers
while singing
the chorus for a deaf symphony
out loud,
in the words
of a foreign language.

Try, everyday to cheat
at chess
using strategies developed by the top Russian scientists
in the park
where old men challenge children
who invariably win
by chasing pigeons
into flight.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Zombies Learn Grammar, by Cynthia J. McGean

"The zombies ate my brains."
Subject:  Zombies.  Which Zombies?  The zombies.
They are doing the action.
Predicate: ate my brains.
The action is "ate."
The object is "brains."  Which brains?  My brains.
Why are my brains the zombies' object?
Do the zombies object to my brains so very much?

Perhaps because they have no brains of their own.
"Because they have no brains of their own" is a sentence fragment.
It has no action.
The zombies are fragmented.
Their only action is to eat that which they don't have.
The zombies ate my brains.
Then grammar ate the zombies.
Then the wolf ate grammar.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let's Play!

Forget the pressure to publish,
the search for an agent
the drive to sell.

Plunge into metaphorical fingerpaint.
Grab a glob of literary playdough.
Explore ...
Discover ...
Splash around in words!

Come play with us ...