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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: October 2020
Tanka Tale: 151 words
By Bob Lucky

Preface to Canto IV of
The Three Virgins of Rosenberg, Texas

 

In this canto the poet laments his inability to find the virgins. He curses God for hiding them so perfectly that the virgins themselves may have no clue as to who they are. Through a variety of rhetorical questions, the poet wrestles with his failure. Anthypophoria is employed to great effect—“Is virginity the Lord’s sleight of hand?/Invisible it is from where I stand.” Likewise is epiplexis—“Have you no sympathy for the virgins?” he asks the people of the town. Before the poet retires to a Mexican restaurant for an enchilada plate, the focus of Canto V, he asks an erotetic question: “Do I not look like a man who could spot/A virgin or three in a parking lot?”

people pretending
to remember each other
high school reunion
my nametag upside down
so I don’t forget who I was

Bob Lucky
Issue 5, October 2020

is a regular contributor to haiku, haibun, and tanka journals. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Flash, Rattle, Modern Haiku, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, SurVision, Haibun Today, The Haibun Journal, and Contemporary Haibun Online (the latter for which he served as content editor from July 2014 thru January 2020).

His chapbook of haibun, tanka prose, and prose poems, Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), was an honorable mention in the Touchstone Book Awards. His chapbook Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018) was a winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize in 2018. He is also the author most recently of a collection of prose poems, haibun, and senryu, My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019); and an e-chapbook, What I Say to You (proletaria.org, 2020).

 
 
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