The dragon lady is a coiled spring, daring anyone to tempt fate by wandering too close to her windows. In warning, she raps on the dingy glass with crooked fingers. Small jade curios wobble on her side of the barrier, as if they are waving. You are caught up in your Skullcandy, tripping over dragonflies and sick beats. Sorry, Mrs. Zhao! you call out cheerfully. You still have your last fortune cookie slip from Lucky Peace Diner crumpled in your paratrooper pant pocket: Best way to get rid of foe is make friend. Her dowager glower wags wicked and brittle, but you tap your bent fedora, bow a bit, slip her the same sideways smile that makes all the girls melt. And Mrs. Zhao freezes, breaks composure, flashes a brief keyboard streak of grays and whites. Wrinkles her nose a little. For a second, you see the girl she was a million miles ago. Keep smiling! You wave, flitting past on your longboard. Hop off at the lights, stoop to pat a curious beagle. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you buddy? you ask. Seriously, man, you ever have the chicken gai ding?
—From the author’s forthcoming collection, Winter in June
is from Toronto, Canada. Her prose poetry and flash fiction are widely published in literary journals and anthologies, with recent or forthcoming appearances in Gyroscope, Free Flash Fiction, Bright Flash, Club Plum, Red Eft, and Indelible. A recent story won first place in a contest at MacQueen’s Quinterly, and her work has been nominated multiple times for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her most recent of five poetry collections is Pretty Time Machine: Ekphrastic Prose Poems. Some of her works have been translated into Urdu.
Lorette is founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review (established 2015), a journal devoted to writing inspired by art. She is also an award-winning visual artist, with collectors in 25 countries from Estonia to Qatar. Visit her at: www.mixedupmedia.ca
A Review of Pretty Time Machine: Ekphrastic Prose Poems
by Jenene Ravesloot (4 February 2020) on Facebook
Fresh Strawberries, an ekphrastic prose poem in KYSO Flash
(Issue 11, Spring 2019), nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize