KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Poem: 241 words

Nomenclature in Montana

by Ellaraine Lockie

As children, there were no body-part words 
for what the cows, horses, pigs, chickens 
cats and dogs were doing 
But we all knew they were making babies 
And that it was as good and happy 
as a 60-bushel wheat crop 

This simplicity moved right into our farmhouses 
where language for bodily functions became necessary 
My father used Pisshole and Asshole 
when he told stories to his cronies 
My mother preferred a more refined Number 1 Place 
and Number 2 Place for my brother and me 
Like they were addresses 

I didn’t know anything about Number 1½ Place 
until its basement flooded red after I turned 14 
Exploration led to the discovery that Number 1½ 
was multistoried and that an entire finger could visit 
And that it would receive and even welcome houseguests 

No one talked about this kind of real estate back then 
I didn’t know the word vagina until Junior Class Biology 
I learned I wasn’t alone when the boy sitting behind me 
whispered to his buddy that it was really a twat 
A word I’d heard before in the halls 
and thought was the past tense of twit 

But I like thinking of it as my little piece of property 
How its value increased exponentially when it served 
as an annex through which two daughters passed 
How it’s slowly becoming an historic site 
Who knows how many men who slept there 
will prove to be famous 


—From Lockie’s chapbook Sex & Other Slapsticks (Presa Press, 2019); appears here with her permission.


Ellaraine Lockie
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is widely published and awarded as a poet, nonfiction book author, and essayist. The recently released Sex and Other Slapsticks (Presa Press, 2019) is her fourteenth 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 Competition, and the Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. Her poems have found their way onto broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee-sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows, and cable TV as well as into hundreds of national and international journals, magazines, and anthologies.

Ellaraine has received multiple Pushcart nominations and fellowship residencies from both Summer Literary Seminars and Centrum Literary Residencies. She teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine Lilipoh.

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡