Phlegmatic

I thought of including phlegm in this book.
But phlegm is almost exactly like it sounds:
the sticky mucus that coats your throat, choking
you until you expel it with a round

of wet coughs that signals to all around
that you’ve got a cold. But phlegmatic just
means composed, apathetic, abounding
in phlegm, but not in the sickly, disgusting

sense – in the ancient sense of the four
humors, bodily elements thought to
govern a person. Phlegm was the humor
thought to cause sluggishness and calm, imbuing

the person with an evenness of temper. Still,
soothing or not, the word makes you sound ill.

* * * * *

Holly Painter is a Creative Writing MFA graduate of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her poetry has been published on four continents, and in dozens of literary journals and collections, including the New Zealand Listener, Sport, Landfall, JAAM, and the Cream City Review. Holly lives in both Ann Arbor, Michigan and Singapore and works as a copy-editor, a poet-for-hire (adoptapoet.wordpress.com), and a volunteer at 826michigan. Her submssions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Advertisements

Plop

It’s mostly the way the word just drops
from your mouth, over before you even
start, and lands somewhere, like the sloppy
plunging sound of vomit as you heave

into the toilet. If that seems like an
unnecessary image for me to
plant in your head, I wonder if you can
suggest a less repulsive way to use

the word plop. Because most people think
of poo and various other semisolids and liquids you’d never drink
or even want to touch. Really, aside

from the patter of fat falling raindrops
there’s just no polite way to use plop.

* * * * *

Holly Painter is a Creative Writing MFA graduate of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her poetry has been published on four continents, and in dozens of literary journals and collections, including the New Zealand Listener, Sport, Landfall, JAAM, and the Cream City Review. Holly lives in both Ann Arbor, Michigan and Singapore and works as a copy-editor, a poet-for-hire (adoptapoet.wordpress.com), and a volunteer at 826michigan. Her submssions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 35

 

Our first ever poetry contest came to an end this week, but you still have time to go read all of our entries, and to vote for your favourite! Go here to cast your vote, and stay tuned this week when we announce the winners on November 13th!

We also had some great fiction from new Snake-Oiler Milla van der Have, the third installment in Will Henderson’s memoir piece, “Humpty Dumpty”, some poetry from one of our favourites, Brenda Mann Hammack, more about the real life Dr. H, and some art by Todd Freeman, and the conclusion of Luca Napoli’s “Commuters” series. Check out the links below, and remember to go and vote for your favourite sonnet!

Fictional

Visual

Poetical

Non-Fictional

Keep your eyes peeled for our sonnet winners and more this week!

Sonnet: On Absence

Does Absence aching hearts then fonder make,
which in their pain no fonder-making need?
How callous slith’ring Absence as a snake
disguised, or spider-like her web does seed
with bait- a tender gaze or touch of hand-
then springs her trap. She rips the pair apart
whose fate she as a game does play. They land
divided, seas apart- heart torn from heart.
One wanders, wails in pain new-found. Her love
lies quiet, stunned, unsure- then finds the strength
to wait, and to his love his love to prove.
If Absence in her plot succeed, what length
must travel love, her home to find?
O, Absence wins her game unkind.

by Emily E. Jones

* * * * *

This is part of a series of featured entries in our first-ever poetry contest.
Stay tuned for more and get ready to vote for your favorite!

Sonnet: Another Adventure of an Ageing Lothario

Thou art not sweet, though made of mere delight
— Thomas Campion

I am after her, a queue to my groin.
I invite her to a swank restaurant,
We each enjoy a sumptuous sirloin
Before she tells me she’s five months pregnant.
A pause. Do I pay for the repast or
Skedaddle into the Townsville foliage?
I ignore the waitress long enough for
Her to know something’s up, there’s no mileage
Left in this date pudding cold in the bowl
And, I confess, a modicum of cad
Contaminates my sense, so I tadpole
My pants – get the gist – and feign to be mad…
Romeo loved Juliet; a wretch
In my silk boxers, lustfully I stretch.

by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

* * * * *

This is part of a series of featured entries in our first-ever poetry contest.
Stay tuned for more and get ready to vote for your favorite!

A Sonnet by Joe Heidenreich

Soon after we had shoved off from the dock
And sailed beneath the dimming light of day
Along the gunnel, overcome, did walk
A small and timid insect stowaway

He didn’t move, he mostly sat and shook
As if, in fear, he stood there petrified
His eyes a blur, he couldn’t bear to look
At the commotion surrounding this ride

And as he weathered wind and splashing wave
It seems the courage inside him had grown
‘Til ultimately perched fearless and brave
He stared off into destinies unknown

I turned away to heed the coxswains call
When I looked back he wasn’t there at all

by Joe Heidenreich

* * * * *

This is the first in a series of featured entries in our first-ever poetry contest.
Stay tuned for more and get ready to vote for your favorite!