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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Prose Poem: 154 words
By Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Tribute to Mary Hatch


“I have a friend who’s a painter, and when she’s stuck for ideas, she squeezes another character into the scene,” said Warming-Her-Hands-By-The-Fireplace.

“That’s stupid,” said Leaning-On-The-Mantel.

“If there was more scotch, we could all be having a good time.” Looking-Pasty-At-The-Open-Bar closed her eyes and sighed.

“Chaos would ensue!” remarked That-Tuxedo-Has-Seen-Better-Days.

“Scotch chaos or character chaos?” asked Speaks-Under-Her-Breath.

Looking-Pasty-At-The-Open-Bar swooned. Her dress fluttered like a rise of butterflies on floral upholstery. Warming-Her-Backside wanted to know if dinner was served since she’d been turned around warming her hands. Lighting-A-Cigarette had admired her backside; her hair smelled like biscuits. Rain was gravel against the windows. The doorbell rang. Two corgies skidded across the floor. Pink descended on a chandelier. Dinner was never served.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske’s
Issue 9, August 2021

first full-length book of poetry, Dominant Hand, is available from Mayapple Press, and she is co-author with artist Mary Hatch of Art Speaks: Paintings and Poetry (Kazoo Books, 2018). Other books by Kerlikowske include The Shape of Dad (a memoir in prose poems), Last Hula (winner of the 2013 Standing Rock Chapbook Competition), and Chain of Lakes.

She has been publishing her poetry and fiction for more than 20 years in such journals and magazines as Encore, Cincinnati Review, Passager, and Poemeleon, among others. Her work is also anthologized in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence (White Pine Press, 2016); The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women (Shade Mountain Press, 2015); two of the annual KYSO Flash anthologies, Accidents of Light (2018) and Earth Hymn (2019); and in the Michigan writers anthology published by Western Michigan University (WMU).

Kerlikowske completed her doctorate in English at WMU in 2007. She also creates visual art and has recently completed the Hester Prynne Chair, first of a series of literary women chairs. An arts activist, she is president of the Poetry Society of Michigan, and she served for 30 years as president of the Kalamazoo Friends of Poetry. She’s retired from a teaching career at Kellogg Community College.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Featured Artists Mary Hatch and Elizabeth Kerlikowske in KYSO Flash (Issue 9, Spring 2018); includes half a dozen of Kerlikowske’s ekphrastic prose poems and micro-fictions inspired by Hatch’s paintings

Three in Prose by Kerlikowske in DIAGRAM (Issue 5.1): “Forty Winks,” “The Girls’ Room,” and “Midway”

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