Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 46
autumnal equinox, 2022

Featured artwork, The City, by Koss

New Works

Koss

The Dictations of Cabbages


My name is Carrot. I live in the moon's shallow bowels where that man smiles and frowns into the sun's inferior mirror.
My defining feature is I'm cadmium orange without lead, plus I sport meaningful (expressive, even) creases. Am safe for juicing, California, steaming, and raw salads of all varieties but dangerous when mixed with purple, red meats, and liquor. Yes, I have a temper.
People say I'm lucky and stubborn, but what's lucky about white rock, the scentless expanse, black space, and pits big as craters breaking my face? And the occasional visitor who always seems to miss me as he stoops to collect moon rocks, as if they might be more interesting than me, a jabbering miracle vegetable who lives without water or living companionship.
Right now I am chilling and contemplating my green tufts of matter worn high and low, ‘though no one out here notices much. Hair can be such a private thing. Especially on the moon. Yesterday I struggled to read poetry—Anne Sexton, as I imagined her sweet creepy death voice that could not hold my phantom ear. Her sneezing was unnerving, high pitched—a missile-like hiss. What an orange brain conjures.
I then flipped through YouTube, tuned into some of the moon poets I've known. Familiarity, too, could not hold my attention, and I woke in late afternoon to my own muffled snoring, my verdant pompadour unraveled and matted in my yeasty skin folds.
I wish I had the concentration of cabbage, so monolithic, impervious to meteor showers and the chatter of wireless devices. Cabbages devour libraries and have great retention. Plus, they write great speeches.
Look at Churchill, for instance, his pouty cabbage jowls blubbering for endless hours. He, steaming in the lion claw tub and his poor secretary next to him, frantically noting each utterance while hunched on the toilet, shoulders turned away from the stew of pale green petulance. Not a funny note in this scene. Macabre man. Pervy. Inappropriate. But that cabbage plowed through his own foul temper and got shit done, leaving the other vegetables in his wake.
Sadly, there are no cabbages on the moon and so, few opportunities for great speeches—or happenings—or even platonic dates where each participant pays for their own coffee. Just pitted rock and a fleck of orange with sap green tresses that look mighty fine on a good day.
See, here we just have small miracles, all ordinary, all the time. Magic, static, and lunar. Just a bit ago, I saw a shiny silver phallus stuffed with money shooting slow, coming my way, then it abruptly switched directions, moon mooning and heaving minute dust bits into space. Amazon doesn't deliver up here. USPS is slow. We learn to be patient.
Orion is lip syncing "We Will Rock You" tonight, and the long shadows of moon stones are slow dancing to some other song—their whispers incremental.


Koss has work in or forthcoming in Diode Poetry, Five Points, Hobart, Gone Lawn, Scissors and Spackle, Bending Genres, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Chiron Review, SoFloPoJo, Spillway, San Pedro River Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Bull, Westchester Review, Kissing Dynamite, Schuylkill Valley and many others. They were also included in Best Small Fictions 2020 and won the 2021 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Award. Koss received BOTN nominations in 2021 for fiction (Bending Genres) and poetry (Kissing Dynamite). Keep up with Koss on Twitter. Website: koss-works.com.