Clouds & Intrepid Traveler – Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

July Online Open Mic

It’s a good day to read the work of Adrian Slonaker! Don’t miss his fabulous poetry below!


“Clouds”

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.


“Intrepid Traveler”

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.


Artist:

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.ZineCaustic Frolic, The Pangolin Review and others.

Flush by Adrian Slonaker

Still Shining

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.


Flush

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.


Artist:

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 storiesAdrian’s work has been published by The Pangolin Review, Alien Buddha Press, Backchannels, Page & Spine and others.

The Rise of the Coconut – Poem by Adrian Slonaker

A Dash of Whimsy Series-

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.


Artist:

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.

Adrian Slonaker – Online Open Mic

Encounter in Whitehorse

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.


Tutti-Frutti

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.


Artist:

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.