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

3 tiny haibun

through the silence clicks from the central heating ticks from the clock

black against black
in the car park a crow
pecks at the frost

*

strings and a bow that’s all it takes though maybe a hand would help and a shoulder to cry on

snowman plays Bach
a scarecrow Vivaldi
who cares

*

all my best work thrown out with the rubbish this sea of troubles

corrugated iron
a crow silhouetted
perched on a wave

 

Diana Webb

3 tiny haibun

The Specialized Evolution of the Mutated Ant

With undisclosed sources of funding, our project was going quite well. The objective was to develop a secret society of super-ants which would combat terrorism, cause humans to hide underground like sand dogs. Within a large container supplied with piped in air, we grew several colonies of mutated ants. We observed and noted their daily behaviors. They built cities and highways, erected small pyramid-shaped monuments. Over a period of time, many grew bigger, stronger, could even stand upright. According to Heiseman, Fletcher, et. al., a scenario was outlined.
The ants rose from their cities, climbed along the walls of the glass and ate their way through the black rubber tops, which they must have mistaken for a betrayal of sky. Several must have hid in the back rooms of the lab and it was theorized that one of these killed the night watchman and escaped. The night it happened to me, I was in a sound sleep. Perhaps it located my whereabouts by gamma-Ga radiation.
I heard the clomping, something climbing up the steps, a slow, heavy rhythm, the sound, I imagine a serial killer makes to let his victim know what is in store. I awoke to the giant ant, pinning my arms to the bed with its virulent pincers. This mutated ant, I remembered, was one of my most fascinating subjects and we spent hours studying each other from either side of the glass receptacle. Staring into my face with its gleaming marble eyes and in a low, clear voice resembling my own, it now asked, Who is your god?

Berkely’s solipsism
i said wing dings, junior,
& no bugs in my bugles

Kyle Hemmings

The Specialized Evolution of the Mutated Ant

3 miniatures

miniatures: 6

a flush in the hand you are holding still enough to compensate for the death that waits due north of this death

your pulse
syncopates—
scag clouds

miniatures: 16

taking the chance the thrill the not knowing the him the her the me or any of this dank matter held together by the weak forces that will inevitably cause our decay

twilight—
waiting to be picked up
by the blockchain

miniatures: 30

anyway take my trade tiny cop imposter and mute the bond yet smelted warm to the slob touch of a grasshopper

midnight sun—
grooming the coats
of roadkill

 

Brendan Slater

3 miniatures