Well, Obviously

The answer is always “aliens.” Every question, every query, every pondering—”aliens.” He is a man obsessed. He watches “Ancient Aliens” every night, says it’s the best documentary series on television. He attends UFO conventions every month, armed with his double-sided lightsaber, ready to spread the logic of the Vulcans to nonbelievers. He even owns a blow-up doll of a green-skinned alien with bugged-out eyes and takes it to bed with him every night. Not that he does anything weird with it.

conspiracy theorist
why is his hair so messy
aliens

 

Elizabeth Alford

Well, Obviously

Buffalo Wallow

Swamp night in frowsty summer. At Kutsu’s house, his great-grand’s three-room prairie villa, smoke sleaves out our tight wet leers. Rosemary royals the hose harsh. Crozzled schwag ashes tongues tin-brined with near beer blech, ponged by blue Solo pyramids. In the morning, church, Welch’s communion to burn off the chaos spirit, the florid bloom of free defiance.

backyard
shadow clowns
mingling dust
Seth Copeland

 

Buffalo Wallow

Not So Wunderbar

I read somewhere that an as-yet-undisclosed brand of artificial sweetener is manufactured by Oompa-Loompas, captured and enslaved by the U.S. Government in the heart of an as-yet-undisclosed location (but I’ll bet my Monopoly salary it’s Area 51). They say everyone is paid in packets, with a few cacao beans here and there as incentive for overtime. Even the little ones labor 18 hour days. They say the Oompa-Loompas are overworked, sleep-deprived, and so strung out from snorting their crystalline rations they can’t even wiggle free from their infant-sized shackles.

And all to compete with the coconut sugar industry. Those poor little Loompa babies. For shame. Won’t someone please think of the children?

intelligent design –
does my wallet look fat
in these jeans

 

Elizabeth Alford

Not So Wunderbar

Instant

By the next evening, it was undrinkable. The heat wave had done its work. I flinched and turned my head. Yes, I thought. Undrinkable.

Still, I fancied, as I stared into the mug still three-quarters full with mushroom coffee, that I could see a new civilization of fungi forming islands on the surface. The coconut oil was nutrient-rich, dense, but of course, limited.

I wondered: might the life forms sprung from this brown ocean be intelligent? Might they walk, dance, sing? Fall in love? Write poetry? Build homes, have jobs, families? Tell tall tales of their heroic ancestors’ deeds around a campfire? Might some fight for rights to the oil as others strike and strike back in protest? Might they slaughter their own without mercy on dark, decaying streets? Might they be the instruments of their own destruction?

I hesitated at the sink for only a moment and sniffed the moldy coffee again—allowed the unique, dank smell of life itself to wash over me one final time—then dumped the mixture, resolutely, down the drain.

suspension —
this place between
atoms & eve

 

Elizabeth Alford

Instant

If a tree falls …

We called ourselves Lucy and Ethyl, always getting into some sort of trouble. Two sisters, partners in crime, been places nobody knows about, done things nobody should. Problem is, time is short. What happens when you’re the only one left, who remembers?

Lost again
the way we laugh
was it a dream, Lucy?
in the candy factory,
mouths stuffed full of chocolate
celluloid

Susan Beth Furst

If a tree falls …