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 …

(untitled)

 

“I have no sympathy for gays and lesbians. It turns me off to watch them holding hands in public. That’s not normal.”

“Sorry, but I totally disagree. I met many gays when I worked at the theatre and almost everyone was lovable, sensitive and talented.”

“Okay, maybe you are right. During carnival, when I was young, I was dancing cancan in the ballet.”

“Oh, I remember. It was so horrible. Old men with fat bellies in tutus. That really disgusted me. ”

family secret
in the nearby village
a rooster crows

 

Eva Limbach

(untitled)

(untitled)

Sadly the pepper dies. The debate that follows leaves the olive oil upset. Six days follow
w/ no dawn – so it’s like, twelve nights, for those keeping score. Although painful we scoop the debates into tiny supermarket trollies. Defining us as hunchbacks the debates make it hard for us to live, even though they are tiny – maybe even smaller than ants that live in the gravel in the summer time. And if that wasn’t bad enough the tiny debates overheard what I just said about the ants and are now making sure we have no ants next summer. It’s all a little unnecessary, if you ask me.

warm front
no oneʼs an arsehole
when theyʼre dead

Michael O’Brien

(untitled)