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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 10: October 2021
Prose Poem: 208 words
Author’s Note: 32 words
By Elaine Mintzer

It Could Be Raining*

 

If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, let us be thankful

it was not the freight train or the gleaming grill on a Peterbilt

or the neighbor’s ’93 Honda or a kid on a scooter racing down

the hill or a poodle on one of those leashes that extend to 20

feet that the owner forgets how to retract and stands shouting

at Sophie but glaring at us as we walk to the mailbox on the

corner where the now-knotted leash knocks us off balance like

a couple of wobbling pins and we hit the grimy sidewalk:

elbows, knees, wrists, anywhere we pick up an antibiotic-

resistant infection we survive that leaves us with a life-altering

condition like C-Diff—the shits for life. Think about that. In

the face of such a bleak future, we must risk delight. Be glad

for poop jokes. For whoopee cushions and chattering teeth.

For the helpless laughter that strikes when decorum is called

for. For the child who practices all the degrees of laughter:

titters, chuckles, giggles, chortles, guffaws, snickers, snorts,

brays, not because life is funny, but because the unbridled

release is a balm and the words in our mouths are delicious.

 

 

 

*Author’s Note:

Title is from Young Frankenstein: “Could be worse. Could be raining.”

[video clip from the Mel Brooks film]

Italicized phrases are from Jack Gilbert’s poem A Brief for the Defense.

Elaine Mintzer
Issue 10, October 2021

is an LA poet who was a teacher. Poetry taught her how to teach geometry, and geometry taught her to be a better poet. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies including Gyroscope Review, Last Call, Chinaski, Beloit Poetry Review, Panoplyzine, Slipstream Press, Perspectives, Borders and Boundaries, Mom Egg Review, Subprimal Poetry Art, Lummox, The Ekphrastic Review, Cultural Weekly, Rattle, and The Lindenwood Review, as well as in Lucid Moose Lit’s Like a Girl anthology and 13 Los Angeles Poets: The Onthebus Poets Series. Her collection, Natural Selections, was published by Bombshelter Press in 2005.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

On Becoming Birds, from Mintzer’s “My Metamorphosis Series” at Silver Birch Press (28 August 2015)

Equilibrium in Gyroscope Review (Crone Power Issue, Fall 2020; page 56)

Giverny, ekphrastic prose poem (and author’s note re Claude Monet’s work) from Mintzer’s “My Perfect Vacation Series” at Silver Birch Press (1 August 2015)

 
 
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