It’s a good day to read the work of Adrian Slonaker! Don’t miss his fabulous poetry below!
As the sun slipped through mounds of sour cream in the sky the way water flowed through the oolong tea leaves in Papa’s evening cuppa, I imagined iridescent angels frolicking while I lay on bendy grass growing like the waves of whiskers that sprouted years later along with puberty and anxiety and profanity. Now in a front aisle seat aboard a propeller plane jerking and rocking its way towards the Saint Lawrence River, I peer past the burly businessman in earbuds, whose elbow battles mine for the armrest, and out the cushion-shaped slab of window into white wisps like the fog in films featured on Halloween horror marathons. Trying through turbulence not to spill a bilingually labeled bottle of water, I surmise that the seraphim must be on strike.
Creeping out from quarantine on a noiseless Sunday, I spotted a wispy, sable-colored spider refusing to shelter in place, shimmying through shifting sunlight up an imperceptible thread to the awning above my head just how I once rocked to a peak of an Alp smeared with tourism and snow (or was it white Toblerone?) in a fully-packed funicular when I was twelve and not yet terrified of heights. And now I feel as exposed, but not half as carefree as that nimble arachnid in the wind.
Residing near the banks of the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee Adrian Slonaker toils as a word boffin and enjoys rock ‘n’ roll records, opals, iced coffee and ghost stories during summer thunderstorms. Adrian’s work has been published in Ez.P.Zine, Caustic Frolic, The Pangolin Review and others.
A North American nomad and language professional, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee Adrian Slonaker is fond of opals, owls and fire noodles. Adrian’s work has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Ez.P.Zine, Page & Spine and others.
These times are certainly strange, and Adrian Slonaker captures the struggle of it in this poem. Take a moment to read and be validated in the unique quandary we all find ourselves in.
I tap the unquacking silver duck head during quarantine a hell of a lot within the walls of my flat because I can, because busybodies won’t bitch about my choice and because no one will wonder whether I’m walking the wrong way at the supermarket and whether I should be avoiding every sliver of society instead of standing merely two meters from life. When civil liberties are in flux, I can at least flush the toilet whenever I wish, as much as I want, reminded of the rushing whoosh of baseball watchers on bleachers or the pool where I used to bob and glide as sunlight skipped across chlorinated ripples. Lost in the coughing of the crapper are the curve and closures and economic collapse and insecurity and fury and fear and palaver about “unprecedented times,” and I’m left with thunderstorms that sound like the cracking of the Sky God’s knuckles and four puffy pillows and “I love you” texted onto my dumbphone and delivery sushi deposited outside my door like a demented May basket and frolicking fireflies and the floating fragrance of white and violet lilacs and the Merseybeats’ ballad “Don’t Turn Around,” which I warble off-key in the shower that’s like a wet, naked embrace, when other bodies are away, before I pray that soon the ice will thaw and drip and we’ll be able to French kiss and clutch hands and touch and travel, awakening to the wisdom that the weirdness we’re weaving and weeping through now is nothing but a nightmare.
Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee Adrian Slonaker crisscrosses North America as a language boffin when not in quarantine and is fond of profound late-night chats, rock ‘n roll records, spicy curries and ghost stories. Adrian’s work has been published by The Pangolin Review, Alien Buddha Press, Backchannels, Page & Spine and others.
Adrian Slonaker presents to us the picture of a different kind of world. Take a look at his epic poem below!
The Rise of the Coconut
Cravings for coconut meat, cries for coconut milk- Are coconuts becoming the new cows? Will belligerent bikers hog the highways in jackets crafted from coarse coconut hides? Will toddlers toddle into REM slumber to accounts of coconuts leaping over chalky lunar landscapes? Will an unwatchful spouse’s coconut clobber a lamp, beget a blaze, and incinerate the Windy City? Beware, Bossie and your bovine brethren- and sistren- your velvety ears may be tagged for Obsolescence.
Adrian Slonaker crisscrosses North America as a language boffin and is fond of opals, owls, fire noodles and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Page & Spine, EZ.P.Zine and others.
Under clodlike clouds too thick for the aurora borealis to penetrate, the Yukon River crackled a greeting beneath its icy shell while log-cabin skyscrapers and silvery evergreens slept or possibly played possum. The coyote, whose furry ears rose at the terminus of a frosty road, filled the night with its answer: nip-nip-nip. Not a baleful howl or a gritty growl, just the nip-nip-nip of playfulness and pep, the tiny grin in its voice mirrored by the one on my face.
God, I Hate Cleaning the Bathroom
My head heavy from the Scrubbing Bubbles that promise to save me precious labor as I say goodbye to the grime and grout on the unintentionally toffee-colored tiles, I sigh and sit on the hot pink toilet seat cover that looks envious of its big sibling, the fuzzy rug draped over the bathtub. Both were bequeathed by Nana, who’d expired in September after Aunt Nancy’d urged the nurse to pump up the morphine to mollify the pain once the cancer had colonized the bones. A draft of fifty-one-degrees-Fahrenheit/eleven-degrees-Centigrade traces my face as I watch ants hobnob around an errant splash of Kool-Aid on the gravel outside the open window that offers a view onto half a faded ‘Free Puppies’ sign flapping against a leafless oak tree. It must have been forgotten since the malamutes and their masters had decamped in a moving van on the morning of that election day when everyone was so angry. Teasing me from under the closed closet door is the border of the bathroom scale I banished after devouring the entire rhubarb crisp Cheryl had smilingly foisted on me despite my best efforts to follow Beyoncé’s Master Cleanse because boys worry about willpower and weight too.
On Friday afternoon he’d lunched solo, as usual, on the Cracker Barrel fish fry special during which he’d daydreamed he was Dina, the eldest daughter of a doting Neapolitan-American Catholic couple in 1959 instead of a twenty-first-century-middle-aged Methodist of English and Scottish and Swedish descent – according to a hundred-dollar DNA test – flung aside as a flake by his family and whose nagging gender dysphoria drove him to shame his balding pate with mail-order berets. Popping into the gift shop, he strained to make his two-hundred-seventy-two-pound frame in a paisley t-shirt as petit as possible as if to apologize for his plump presence and not bump into the crush of impulse buyers and salespeople or destroy displays of candles and candies and cards and owls and samplers that screamed “Relax and Accept the Crazy” as he bitch-slapped his panic and fed his basket before it puked Dubble Bubble and diet orange ‘n cream soda at the cashier, a cinnamon-scented sixtiesh lady with a Nancy Reagan hairdo who didn’t question the tiny tube of champagne lip shimmer before fondling the fractured tutti-frutti candy stick and cooing, “Oh it’s broken. Are you sure you don’t want a different one?” Insulted by the suggestion to refuse such a flamboyantly sweet, yet shattered specimen, he expelled a plaintive “No!” like Betty from Father Knows Best before inhaling the yellow and red and green and white shards while waiting for the bus.
Adrian Slonaker crisscrosses North America as a language boffin and is fond of opals, owls, fire noodles and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Ez.P.Zine, The Pangolin Review and others.