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Kari A. Flickinger

A Foundress Quakes

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When the pills (some
handfuls) don’t quite
lend salve to
his mounting arrears

fearful deer graze
inside my thumping
organs. Dollar-short
hold the buckshot.

In a park one night
a stranger offers fig
brandy in a paper
bag—I tell him I take

my tea with milk
with honey. I dip my
hand—out-stretch, leavened
eggshells lull wasps.

The stranger tells me
figs are precious nectar.
Plural figs are borne of
loving, death and rebirth.

Meaty revenants
swarm inside the thin walls
of my head as remnants of
finger-pads past.

A physics-wizard once told me
a fresh egg can be hard to peel.



In this scene I walk with a blue guitar.
The broken pegs are out-of-tune, a man opposite

smiling yells, play it, woman—play it.
So, I oblige.

Thick heat has sealed a wasp along this side
street. Wander off this white-washed path.

Away from the hunched, elegant bone monsters
flagged by bruising winds—green with red.

The bumps of the pegs
are like claiming an old home.

The face of each bystander settles into this
land of blue guitar.



I am a greying undergrad
eating an egg in a Berkeley café.

A frenzied yellow-jacket lands
on my lunchbox.

I let him crunchfeast.

I let him crunchfeast because I have
somehow spun words into eggshells.

A fresh egg can be hard to grasp.
A fresh word can be hard to peel.

I had disposed of the shell—when
yellowjacket, incensed electrical impetus, more

egg more
egg—more egg. I fled.

In the assigned Eighth Century Irish Tale, three stake
claim to the hero’s portion of the feast—two lose heads.

Heads are spinning eggs back into words, an electrical
impetus wafts inside the cauliflower mind. Electrical

impulses range through nerve systems that connect
to the body through the neck. A wasp sting may cause

tightness of the neck, difficult to swallow
swallows seek immediate faint speech slurs.

Like yellow-jacket, I wood fiber. I chew—I sting until
vicious acts render themselves food. It has been this way

since I can remember. As a child. We hoarded canned goods
for when the snows came, or the money stopped. I store for winter.

A yellow-jacket foundress starts a hive that lasts
only one season and dies off—come winter.

The word winter is derived from the word wend, which means to me
ander, amble, wander indirectly, but in a specific direction.



Yellowjacket is wasp is
patterned syllable—express variation!
(—when sucking egg slice from speckle shell.)

Do wasps suck slices up?
Were there medieval wasp laws?
Will they go the way of bees?

In the Fifth Century, Augustine
believed that bees, born
of corruption were sexless birds.

swarm black and yellow—an eyeline
(an eight-syllable structured line.)

Under my fingers, the dirty
words are strings who delve
and dip in reverberating machinations.

Scored—I play that wasp, blue.



Little wasp sows
too much need.

In-our-indifference, we are wasp.

We learn to implement wasp.\ We form a committee of wasp.
We suck like wasp. \ We egg like wasp. \We grow wings.
We sound. \ We beacon, like wasp. \ We become affiliated wasp.

Perhaps, we will be assimilated
into wasp, not

blue guitar
not lute.



In a lecture, I am told the reader is

Reader can


can be sound

unless reader opens
settled in bonehouse.

Reader steps out—breathes
sound perfusion—notation

as the liquid
through a Pisces’ mouth—through
the blundering beard of Neptune.

(Reader, acquire gillwingstrings. Then, imbibe the loud.)

Reader is not marine mammal through a tenuous wave.
Reader is not blue guitar.

Reader is cracked egg
ringshell, tossed to the receptacle

fig—unrequited to wasp.

Steep the Candle with a Bell—Slake Her Fire

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You do not have to spell it out—do you? 35 can sit
as a numeric woman. She is how many degrees out?

The man. Down

a negligible number of floors and a street
over—below—with a sleeping bag-blue-knees bowed—a gaggle
of crows.

I know
it’s not gaggle [and now you know
I first wrote cows.]

It takes their teeth
when I miss
pronounce skeletal

points rearticulated
better look it up
am I on-course?

More correctly.
More—correct me.

The nature of birds as
my nature—as
winged estrangement.

His seeping train floods by
echoes silvery on its tracks down there—five
floors by the man

with the blue sleeping bag
purple mountains
hover. Like a painting. When I am high.

Bob Ross’ hair hovers above his body
his paintbrush—painted on a mug I have
in my kitchen—hand. There is no

majesty in my baking tools
in this alignment—there is tea and Theraflu
in this echinacea—my nose slumps

below my eyebrows—nothing majestic about
flat little hairs—silvery along
the contours of my range they reverberate from side to side

inside—the rub—guided systematically
into the left ear—this sounds just like
Sylvia’s assertion of being.

But you do not have to spell it
out—you 35 can sit as
numeric women. She is
how many degrees

worn out?

There is woman. Down
a negligée number of floors and a sleep
over—below—with blue-knees bowed—a gaggle
of crows will talk.

Stagger [and now you cows.]

It takes teeth
to mispronounce
a grouping of vicious women—their link
nature as my nature—as winged estrangement.

The rain moos by
echoes patterned on tracks
shown floors by the main
blue-purple-mountain lover.

A paintbrush above a body above a wielding scrub-brush
slushes with sudden downpour—compacted ceramic—heated
into alignment—there is tea and there
you are in this mug—echinacea

my nose slumps below
my eyebrows—nothing
majestic contours reverberate
systematically into each bell sounds like


But you do not have
to spell it
35 can sit as

woman. She is.
There is woman.

Blue-knees bowed.
Crows will talk.

Staggering [wars]

Take her

vicious woman
winged estrangement.


Her body is a paintbrush
with sudden downpour

You are in this mug.

Her nose.
Her eyebrows.
Mountain contours.



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