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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Poem: 229 words
By Ellaraine Lockie

The Hidden Life of a Hat

It’s not about big breasts or a tight butt 
Not Marilyn Monroe-legs or blonde hair 
Not a Platinum credit card 
Nor a canary-mating-call voice 
Or big damselfish lips that open in an invitation 
No size-six feet or fancy dress 
It’s not about a bad hair day either 

It’s about the wide-brimmed straw hat I wore to Starbucks 
A black and white scarf tied at the crown 
Ends swinging just enough to hypnotize the men 
who should be looking at their table companions 
But it̵s not about the come-on scarf 
Because the next day I wore an Annie Hall hat 
that drooped and peekabooed over my eyes 
And I learned you don’t have to be Diane Keaton 
to cause more of a stir than sugared coffee 

The parade continues daily 
with a leather cowboy hat that matches boots 
A velvet cavalier with pinched dome and ostrich feather 
One with worry dolls on the crown band 
A South African safari hat from the wild 
An exact replica of Georgia O’Keeffe’s black felt hat 

But it’s the hand-knit bowl-shaped hat with a silver 
dollar-sized naked woman on an antique button 
that beckons both men and women to my table 
The men pretend interest in the button’s history 
The women want to know where I get my hats 

Ellaraine Lockie
Issue 11, January 2022

is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author, essayist, and visual artist. Recent work has won Oprelle Publishing’s Master’s Contest, Oprelle Publishing’s Bigger Than Me Contest, the 2019 Poetry Super Highway Contest, the Nebraska Writers Guild’s Women of the Fur Trade Poetry Contest, New Millennium’s Monthly Musepaper Poetry Contest, and First Place in the Artists Embassy International Dancing Poetry Contest.

Her newest poetry book is the coauthored Trio: Poetrylandia 4 (Wapshott Press, 2020). Sex and Other Slapsticks (Presa Press, 2019) is her 14th chapbook. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, and the Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award.

Her poems have found their way onto broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee-sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows, and cable TV, as well as into hundreds of national and international journals, magazines, and anthologies.

Ellaraine has been awarded multiple residencies and writing fellowships from both Centrum and Summer Literary Seminars, and thirty-some of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She also teaches writing workshops, frequently judges poetry contests, and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine Lilipoh.

Her pollages, which combine handmade papermaking, poetry, and collage, have appeared in juried art shows around the country and have been the subject of a one-woman gallery art show and several online essays and interviews. They also exist in several private art collections and have appeared in: The Centrifugal Eye, Rio Grande Review, Homestead Review, Sein Und Werden (England), Prairie Connection, Ascent Aspirations, and Alchemy. Ellaraine’s book The Gourmet Paper Maker (how to make paper with the inedible parts of fruits and vegetables) is published in six languages.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Ellaraine Lockie’s page at BookThatPoet!

Pollage Number 92, collage of poetry and hand-made paper by Ellaraine Lockie with watercolor/embroidery art by Phyllis Ross, in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 1, January 2020)

Pollage Number 77, collage of poetry and hand-made paper by Ellaraine Lockie with watercolor art by Phyllis Ross, in KYSO Flash (Issue 10, Fall 2018)

The Mother Tree, Germany 1860s, First Finalist in The DavenTree Writing Challenge sponsored by KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019)

The Animal Inside, ekphrastic poem by Ellaraine Lockie + photograph by Alexis Rhone Fancher, in KYSO Flash (Issue 10, Fall 2018)

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