Mouse Offers Advice as Fish Adapts

after the print by Lisa Kaser

If you wants to impress guppies,
why’d you clamber up the beach?
So, your mother couldn’t love you.
You is ugly as a leech
flecked with eczema and scabies.
Sowhat’s pretty, but deceit?
Anemones is predators. Somesay:
peacocks rarely scream
‘cept whenever they is waking.
Swans is vicious, nasty things
that would sooner gut than greet you.
So.  You got no pedigree,
and you hasn’t any thumbprints,
and your knees is capless. Teeth
and lips for bottom feeding
is tremendous aids to speech.
Though your barbels looks like whiskers,
and your snout’s less sharp than cheese,
you’s a species in the making.
Least you isn’t obsolete.

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Brenda Mann Hammack is Associate Professor of English at Fayetteville State University where she teaches creative writing, women’s studies, and Victorian literature.  Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Toe Suck Review, Gargoyle, Mudlark, Caveat Lector,Otoliths, A capella Zoo, Bull Spec, Steampunk Magazine, and Arsenic Lobster.  She currently serves as faculty advisor and managing editor for Glint Literary Journal. Her contributions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Ms. Nasturtium Had Run Out of Halibut

after the print by Lisa Kaser

does she fink we was brung up on kibble-dried beans like them long-snouts that don’t taste nuffink?  them’s not evolved, s’wot.

boss, twitchy, cobbleface, and me was brung up on halibut, cream.  make that:  holy fish. heilagfiski.  somefink looks back at a body what eats it.

two-leg’s got no taste culture sympafy.  whatif:  boss mistook kneecap for white meat.  whatif: poo pods got snuck into capers, peas.

we are what we eats.  what makes for more-than-human is delicacy of palate.  when reaching high octave, a body needs digestive balance.

we needs halibut.  we feels more than long-snouts.  oh, gravel skinned soul-fish, oh, succulent livers, make them lessers swim you into our bowls.

* * * * *


Brenda Mann Hammack is Associate Professor of English at Fayetteville State University where she teaches creative writing, women’s studies, and Victorian literature.  Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Toe Suck Review, Gargoyle, Mudlark, Caveat Lector,Otoliths, A capella Zoo, Bull Spec, Steampunk Magazine, and Arsenic Lobster.  Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure are here.