Issue #8

Bear fails the Looney Tunes audition (1958)

The situations vacant advert read


A master of mimetic rhetoric
who can bend an exclamation
mark into a question,
then sharpen it into a scythe
before self decapitation.

But it started with the meaning
meaning something else.

The first chase,
where my mind was fixed
on the fleur-de-lis
of the roadrunner’s tail feathers,
was cut short
by the crack
of a clapperboard
when my body refused to synchronise
to the simultaneous cacophony
of a drunken brass section,
a flame thrower,
and a washing machine’s
final spin cycle.

So, they sent me
ACME traps, consisting of
inflatable boulders,
dynamite roller skates,
peyote laced bird feed,
instant deus ex machina
constellation starter pack.

When the dynamite blew up in my face,
it was not Schadenfreude they felt, just pity.
They ask ‘Have you ever heard of Grotowski?
It is not enough to say
“You wear your heart on your sleeve.”
We must see its outline bulging through your wrist.’

As I pucker up for the photo shoot,
they say ‘Give me emaciation.
Shake that stubby tail.
Give me that rage
of you finding some stranger
in your child’s bed,
but funnier.’

Gary J Hughes