KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Ekphrastic Poem: 213 words
Visual Art: Photograph

The Animal Inside

by Ellaraine Lockie

The Animal Inside, photograph by Alexis Rhone Fancher

The Animal Inside
Photograph by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Copyright © 2017 by the photographer. All rights reserved.


When the sun goes down every day
the dark of guilt rises
As impossible to repress as the moon

It might be the squirrel jerking by the road
that you didn’t stop to finish off
The curt call with your mother
Or the fact that you didn’t go to her deathbed
The sister to whom you gave bad advice
contributing to her breakdown

It could be as unreasonable as responsibility
for cousins placed in an orphanage before you were born
Communal guilt for a town that wouldn’t house
the Harlem Globetrotters in a Montana snow storm
Or a school massacre after you didn’t
do your part about gun control

You point your finger at someone else
At ignorance or lack of time, energy
You look in another direction
At cell phones, computers, sports, work, sex, drugs
You seek Hail Marys from a priest
Or lashing from a dominatrix
You finger a rosary or maybe even a gun

Or you put the animal inside on trial
and issue sentence yourself
You adopt an old person who is alone
Donate to a home for wayward boys
Sponsor an immigrant family
You will never compensate completely
It’s still dark as hell some nights
But one eye is raised upward toward the heavens

Ellaraine Lockie
Issue 10, Fall 2018

is widely published and awarded as a poet, nonfiction author, and essayist. Tripping with the Top Down is her thirteenth chapbook. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, and the Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award.

Ellaraine has been awarded multiple residencies and fellowships from both Centrum and Summer Literary Seminars, and thirty of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She also teaches writing workshops, frequently judges poetry contests, and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine Lilipoh.

Her pollages, which combine handmade papermaking, poetry, and collage, have appeared in juried art shows around the country and have been the subject of a one-woman gallery art show and several online essays and interviews. They also exist in several private art collections and have appeared in: The Centrifugal Eye, Rio Grande Review, Homestead Review, Sein Und Werden (England), Prairie Connection, Ascent Aspirations, and Alchemy. Ellaraine’s book The Gourmet Paper Maker (how to make paper with the inedible parts of fruits and vegetables) is published in six languages.

[See also Pollage Number 77 here in Issue 10 of KYSO Flash.]


Alexis Rhone Fancher
Issue 10, Fall 2018

is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart-stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014), and two books published by KYSO Flash Press: State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015) and Enter Here (May 2017), a full-length collection of photographs and erotic poems. Her fourth poetry collection, Junkie Wife, was published in 2018 by Moon Tide Press.

Rhone Fancher’s writing has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and appears in more than 100 literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2016, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Hobart, Cleaver Magazine, Poetry East, Fjords Review, Rust + Moth, Pirene’s Fountain, Askew and KYSO Flash.

Her photographs have been published worldwide, including spreads in River Styx, Heart Online, and Rogue Agent, and on the covers of Heyday Magazine, Chiron Review, Witness, The Mas Tequila Review, and the KYSO Flash Anthology 2015.

A lifelong Angeleno, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo-essay, “The Poet’s Eye,” about her on-going love affair with Los Angeles. From the S-curves of Topanga and the sprawling beaches of the Westside, to the stunning views of downtown L.A. from her 8th-floor loft studio, her beloved city can be construed as another character in her work.

alexis [at] lapoetrix [dot] com

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