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To cook or not to cook: The Maturation of Jack and Jill

1. creative non-fiction

"making the grade"

During 1950s schooling we separated simultaneously into Home Ec[onomics] -- where we girls in our felt poodle skirts and ponytails pinned to pattern, cut, sewed by machine or hand blouses for petticoats and measured to spoon, floured, rolled to pancake, slam-cut to design and spaced on tin cookie plates for the oven desserts divine -- and Shop -- where the boys in crisply creased slacks under loose cardigans and close-cropped coifs handled esoteric tools too dangerously complicated for females to manage, like hammers and saws. No one wore jeans , which we called dungarees, except for sports. Every morning we sat orderly in our assigned chairs to recite together The Lord's Prayer and stood stiffly then in unison with hand-covered hearts to pledge allegiance to the stars and stripes flying from the corner of the room by the teacher's heavily large front desk and her blackboard for chalking mysteries of math and demands of grammar essential to know for growing responsible citizen women and men.

2. free verse

"Natural Rhythm"

Sada South covered her mouth
and pretended not to swear
at stupid birds chirping cheerily there.
Her shoe grazed the frostless pane
in warning and promise.
A scowl howled out in silent prayer.

Bring back your gun, Joe. There's a dare.
The junk don't care.
They're all at the fair with booby queens
lined up for a chance at the greens.
The mall's too crowded this time of year
with beer bums.
They'll buy you and your ditty
for a gross bitty-bit bit sum of
yesterday's beans.
Cards on the barrel
brimming with bloody shards of tomorrow's
leftover tears.
There must be an easy way outta here,
cried the mugger to the sneak
changing clothes to match skins
poached and burnt
at the altar of creeping freeks.

I peeked, Suzie Sue screeched,
covering gilded eyes
to the bared waste
from frayed ends of familes and friends.
You did it -- now you'll turn to stone 
from nose to feet,
they beeped to bleat
from Seconds Street.
Cheats!  she miraged.  I saw you
in the pile for oceana's fill
to hoist barges of bilge over the hill
by fall.

Vince  joins us again
in our paths to swine pen.
Till then,
amigos and senoras,
Swallow it all.
Git them jews spurning heaven
on their knees
and up on the cross to albatross.
They lost Jerusalem,
not you or me.

Noose the obtuse.
Obstruse obstruction is where it's at.
No hats for Gabriel.
Klep the horn for a thorn
in the side of Jesus.


3. satire

"The 2016 No-Bake Cookie Platform via Wellesley Prep School (Dana Hall)"


1. [erased]

2. [retracted]

3. fund low-fee urban golf courses paid for by construction of high-tech design new toll bridges and roads for rural regions. [we expect lotsa lawsuits to ensue]

4. will appoint Liberace as Chief of Staff to telescope balanced and supportive outreach for The Arts.

5. [donor-less]

6. [misplaced under the table, in Iran]

7.TBA March 2031

8. [erased]

8. [erased]

9. [erased]

10. [erased]

11. a chipotle in every.... teapot, or kettle. crockpot?

13. Replace White House Thanksgiving Turkeys (and Bald Eagle) (and Easter Eggs) with Never-Rot Apple to balance national budget by end of HRC executive term.

14. Send Love (staff mynah bird) to Russia

7. [erased]

10. [overdone]

12. Huma will be hospitalized for cure to whispering repeatedly, "The cookies know -- The cookies know....."

direct no-bake suggestions to and indicate how reading fee how reading fee should be billed billed

4. [denied]

10. [referred to counsel]

4. prose poetry

"A Slurry of Silver"

Shimmering ripples tricked and tempted Josey to the edge of Bone Lake. His tin sled flew and arced down ledges of ice, skimming toward the carpet of moss exposed offshore. As he steered toward a pebbled peninsula they'd chosen for picnicking, the words of Clarise's song echoed along crests aligned of sassafras and cottonwood trees. Hairs of dandelions past brushed his face as late fall winds whipped the last of dying grasses on their long ways back to earth home. Winter would be soon upon all of Scale's Mountain.

He slid just in time onto Petie's Rock to see Claire's bottle blonde, slivered of an ill wave, towed under the silver of forelost futures boding in glowering shallows, told then in warning whispers for toddlers rounding Buttonhook Hollow to be gathered by mothers mourning tomorrows that also failed to feel the castoff shells of lizards feeding in the mud primordial that made them.

In a wailing fare-thee-gone, Josey shivered as her shadow sank amidst stakes they'd hammered long ago to keep their rafting home afloat into an age of ages.

The children raged for a finer script etched into their brows from the wavering wall in the hill.

5. exposition

"This is our Life"

Have our most prominent "political" figures become more akin to "pop" entertainment/sports icons hawking a "platform" as if it's a Pet Rock rather than seriously real human beings serving professionally as candidates, legislators, executives in times of high peril and massive national/planetary crisis? Personally I believe Jimmy Carter -- along with his immediate family -- to have been as President, and otherwise, a good and sincere, authentic but honestly-flawed individual. New Hampshire Republican Convention attacks on him now are irrelevantly mean-spirited, ugly and scurrilous from a party that produced in that era Tricky Dick, Watergate, Iran-contra, and voodoo economics.

Can our severed images as party-affiliated Americans and party-shorn America pay the bills, get the children to school, clean the Pacific pool of plastics putrifying the biblically-blessed fish that are our primal food? Will Talking Heads rule true coins of the realm to waste in shoreline waters that are the most essential ingredient for organisms on earth to survive and thrive? Will explicative prose always tumble into poetry to describe fairly and justly the view?

We are all aspects of our Creator God as difficult as that is to fathom and accept.

To paraphrase Luray VA's infamous Paula Price: We are pieces of God. We don't need to go anywhere to see or touch The Elephant. We are the elephant.

And in that sense, there is no God. Other than us.

(1031 words 6083 characters)

its open season on journalists working world's danger zones

VICE News International

resource references






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"The way of the Cross is not easy, yet it is the tuneful, the rhythmic, the beautiful, the lovely way."
-- Edgar Cayce, Association for Research and Enlightenment

Original material c. A Country Rag, Inc. and/or Jeannette Harris, Jonesborough Tennessee, April 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved.