Sunday, February 2, 2014


by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

those grub jobs
and crud bosses
weren’t more
than a high school grad
could expect
I got to dress up
and show my legs
and buy
my own beers
tell myself I was
on the way

and really
they were
all of them
all of it

a layover
I was somewhere
else where
someone else
the beers

Life in a Word

by Patricia Williams

Stage I
Look at the word, lust, take an unvarnished view: craving, desire, an inordinate appetite, burning fire, a yearning for more than required, an itch that needs persistent scratching. To lust after, to covet, to want, predisposes one, to others of the Deadly Seven, like envy, greed, and gluttony. Lusty sex sins, attributed to mental disorder or concern unbuckled, committed by Hollywood types and alike by pious clerics sniffing perfume mixed with the scent of baby powder, generate psychological thoughts: how magnetic draw fades quickly, how sex without love just makes you sad.

Stage II
A word that defines a form of decay, rust, freezes motion, emotion, is a scale formed from disuse, a condition of oxidation, limitation: observe the person whose pinnacle occurred at age eight on the stage of the Original Amateur Hour. Rusted-shut is rigidity, inflexible and barren, neglect over time, a bureaucratic universe with cliché-filled dialogue, wordplay, and nonsense, byzantine utterances from pale-faced scholars. Find rust in cast-off devices, disintegration, waste from civilized living, corruption, tarnish, decomposition, politicians rusted in place, producing parodies of democracy.

Stage III
When examining dust, a word implying powder, dirt, earth, grime, think Dust Bowl with choking billows of dust that muddied the sky, black blizzards with soil turned to dust. Think loess: pale yellow, buff-color, dusty soil cover, fine particles, ground and pulverized, silt-sized sediment deposited by wind-blown dust. Dust-replacing-the-sea speaks of upheaval, great change, the passage of time, see the dusty world in a grain of sand. Ash, dusty residue, recaps cremains, ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust, all that remains. Blow away, fade away, dissolve, dissipate, scatter; dry and bitter dust.