--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 is widely published and awarded as a poet, nonfiction book author, and essayist. Her work has found its way onto broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows and cable TV. Ellaraine teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is also a professional papermaker and creates “pollages”, which reflect her loves of papermaking, poetry, and collage. Ellaraine's latest book is Sex and Other Slapsticks (Presa Press), a compilation in which every poem has won a contest award. You can order a signed copy for $11 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Ellaraine, who divides her time between California and Montana, here.
brilliant and hilarious!
Posted 11/19/2019 07:07 PM
Has Ms. Interpret read this one yet?
I loved it, Ellaraine.
Posted 11/15/2019 10:50 AM
Posted 11/15/2019 10:23 AM
Posted 11/15/2019 09:26 AM
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