Hooking Up

Civilization writ large shouts “all roads lead to Rome.” Civilization writ small builds the roads. The paper clip’s one of the latter, a civilizational bit player that resembles all the other clips swimming in the jar. Its thrill-seeking kin—safari cotter pins, mountain climbing pitons—aspire to great heights, but the paper clip rarely ventures beyond the bureaucratic pond. Occasionally, though, some DIY fool experiments, tries to make it a star.

An old man enters a pink bathroom, arranges his tools just so on a yellow towel: reading glasses; bailing cups; an uncoiled paper clip. He stares into the void before plunging his hands into cold tank-water. After considerable sunken wrestling, the old man successfully loops the paper clip, bowties handle to ball chain. It’s what he can still do to bring a smile to her face.

shotgun wedding . . .
wild horseradish spreads
barbarian roots



Maureen Kingston’s poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in B O D Y, Akitsu Quarterly, Contemporary Haibun Online, Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, Gone Lawn, Gyroscope Review, KYSO, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, and riverbabble. A few of her poems and prose pieces have also been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart awards.