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And the Winner Is
Ellaraine Lockie


--After reading the announcement in the Los Angeles Times


Ms. Culture wins Merriam Webster’s
2014 Word of the Year title
after a year where printing presses nationwide
reached new levels of smeared words
During which the nine runners-up
underwrote mud-covered copy in tabloids

A year that broadcasted the iPhone video
sent to one of the judges by Ms. Legacy
Who wasn’t wearing any ink
And the gossip columns headlined Ms. Innovation
when she had her letters sculpted
to look longer and thinner and her extra “n” removed

Which motivated Ms .Feminism to boycott
the best-body category
And to instigate a Facebook rebellion about
the Chancery font that embellished Ms. Insidious
In contrast to Ms. Autonomy, who eliminated
all electronics when she moved to a Montana farm
Where she refuses to appear in the local newspaper

Not to be outdone, Ms. Nostalgia wrote press releases
on her 1940s Royal typewriter announcing her line
of Country Schoolhouse fountain pens
Whereas Ms. Je ne sais quoi modernized herself
by attaching to a hearing aid battery for a subliminal glow
and occasional wink which mesmerized the media

Until Ms. Surreptitious went behind her back
to discover the device and sued for redress
After which Ms. Je ne sais quoi countersued
for language discrimination
Ms. Morbidity, true to her genetic make-up
drank invisible ink and died right before
the judges’ eyes in the talent competition

Leaving Ms. Culture as the contestant who over the last
year won a regional Scrabble® tournament
Modeled on billboards for English as a second language
And whose memoir My Life as a Sponge was published
She is expected to mop the steam off Ms. Vape
Oxford Dictionary’s 2014 Word of the Year winner
in the upcoming public debate about the effect
of e-cigarettes on society

From Sex & Other Slapsticks (Presa Press, 2019).
Used with permission.



Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Ellaraine Lockie grew up in a Montana farm town and writes at her local Starbucks every morning because it feels like one of the friendly coffee shops where she grew up, a place where everyone knew everyone else who came for coffee and camaraderie. Along with publications in the standard journals, Ellaraine's poems have appeared on broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows and cable TV.
Ellaraine serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, LILIPOH.


Post New Comment:
brilliant and hilarious!
Posted 11/19/2019 07:07 PM
Glen Sorestad:
Has Ms. Interpret read this one yet? I loved it, Ellaraine.
Posted 11/15/2019 10:50 AM
michael escoubas:
I need oxygen, Ellaraine!! Brilliant piece.
Posted 11/15/2019 07:52 AM
two gold stars and two postage stamps for this one!!
Posted 11/15/2019 06:22 AM

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