Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 10 • Summer 2004 • Poetry

Cleopatra 365

Karyna McGlynn

I found my tonsils in a British Columbian bed and breakfast.

Wasn't it quaint the way we quickstepped all the way
and had high tea -- we were ballroom dancers then,

were capping satin shoes with coffee
(it felt like an Arthur Miller marriage),
restless in our starched sheets and iron-on tans --

We almost got detained by the pancake police
for handing out lemon-scented hairspray to a pompom squad.

We discussed splurging on monogrammed towels and,
just for me, permanent make-up: Cleopatra 365.

That's when a donkey clambered out of his mouth
and I got tired of telling him to "think Fred Astaire"
and he kept poking out his tongue in concentration --
some sort of fat cinnamon slug between his teeth.

His soul was a presumptuous Mickey Mouse tux --
what d'ya think pardner? Can I hit you in the shoulder?
Wanna skip out on the check tonight -- we can pretend it's prom.

That whole year full of recovering alcoholic Capricorns
doing their hardheaded little Pan dance
on the way into a Canadian Sizzler.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Karyna McGlynn is a writer and photographer living in Seattle. Her work has appeared in Wisconsin Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Porcupine, Coal City Review, Scrivener, Good Foot, Orbis, Medicinal Purposes, Pindeldyboz, and Blueline. A four-time member of National Poetry Slam Teams from Austin and Seattle and winner of the 7th Annual Superbowl of Poetry, Ms. McGlynn is the founder of Screaming Emerson Press, which publishes chapbooks by spoken-word poets. Her poetry is featured on the Best of Slamchannel DVD and in the movie Rhapsodists, a documentary about women performance poets. Karyna attends the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University where she serves as poetry editor for Cascadia Review.

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