Gone Lawn
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Gone Lawn 54
worm moon, 2024

Featured artwork, Capitol Reef Wash, by Kathleen Frank

new works

Meg Tuite

Runaway Pronoun for Grief

“After that, there was nothing but our voices between us and everything that voices always seem just about to say and never do.” –Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Runaway pronoun for grief

There’s an art exhibit in Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky. I’m nostalgic for a final, ceremonial road trip. Decay permeates airports. Hissing and spitting clouds of people line up to get juiced by every vendor, while stench stupefies air vents through food courts. It bellows of spectators yet to be coffined, and a legacy of bioluminescent lunacy. My unreined placidity of cancer cells obliged months of online purchases and pickleball. Activities facilitated the non-existent gap between languishing in bed or not. Teeth brawled and snapped acid over my gums all night to satisfy anxiety when I awoke to those damn frothing porcelain dolls peeking with a wink out of half-open doors. Vandalized childhood with jaded adenoids blown up by a specialist, while he belted out Build Me Up, Buttercup, kept “The Foundations” on my playlist for years. None of us ever knew what an adenoid was, but Dad said “Hack it!”

Decadent Dust of the Daunted

When I lived with the family who birthed me, our vacations were campgrounds. They were cheap. So was Dad. We set up tents. All tent rods reacted and rejected the dirt no matter where we landed. Dad’s face turned motley, like the bologna sandwiches Mom had packed the night before we left. “Goddamn it,” he snarled, as he studied the instructions. “Bunch of goddamn monkeys.” I paid homage to orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas watched on film. They were multilingual, harmonious beings. Dad didn’t forage either of those areas.

“Don’t look at me, you idiots. Grab a pole and stake it!” There were five of us and four corners, so I sided with Morris, my older sister who could take Dad down in a punch. Morris had her own toolkit strapped to a belt. She took an orange pellet hammer and beat the shit out of that stake. It clung to the edges of the dirt by its teeth. It was Mom who told us on her deathbed that Dad would hiss in her ear every trip, “I wish it was Morris lying on top of me instead of you.”

Build me up, Buttercup, baby, just to let me down

Pathology is a desire to create mosaics in unknown regions within a framework of relishing old films that should have been burned. I drove the similar highways with bucket seats and cops at every exit. I just drove. What was called a get-away from grim dealings of yesterdays, became a vaudevillian attempt to grapple with the goddamn tent at campgrounds. The destination was Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky. Diners, truckers, gray, yellow, beige sky, drive-thru meals and gas stops to save my ass from sludging into its own extra-large blue slushy.

Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky

I’m sure if nothing else was accomplished in this life, Monkey’s Eyebrow would uplift the eyebrows of my obit. I found a basement apartment for rent. My ashes would drive-by through the town at dusk with all the locals whispering, “Who the fuck was she?” It would cascade in a parade. I couldn’t be nothing or nowhere I didn’t want. Alive surely hadn’t done much for me.

Meg Tuite’s upcoming collection, “Planked By The Abyss” will be published by “Whiskey Tit” in 2024. Her latest published collection is ‘Three By Tuite’ in 2023. She is author of seven story collections and five chapbooks. She won the Twin Antlers Poetry award for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging and is included in Best of Small Press 2021 and Wigleaf’s Top 50 stories for 2022, 2023. She teaches writing retreats and online classes hosted by Bending Genres. She is also the fiction editor of Bending Genres and associate editor at Narrative Magazine. megtuite.com