KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 166 words


by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Olinka Vištica watches couples on the carpeted dance floor, not easy to dance on carpet. One couple is simian yet gelatinous; the other, gnarled, maneuvering around mismanaged spines. Nonetheless, these couples both resemble her ex-love and his new lady friend, handsome he and svelte her. Heartbreaking to see them everywhere, especially where they are not. In this year on this day she isn’t the only one with a scotch-taped heart. What can be done for all the jilted lovers, for her friend who keeps old dreadlocks her ex braided, for the one whose marriage left her only with a series of license plates? She takes the box cutter from her purse (because in Zagreb it is always good to have boxcutters) and excises a six-inch of blue stripe from the flowered carpet, inches where all the dancers had placed a foot. The dancers don’t notice, blinded by their exclusive loves. That blue stripe, under glass, becomes the first exhibit in the Museum of Broken Relationships.


Painting: Dancing Class, by Mary Hatch

Dancing Class
Painting, oil on linen
Copyright © by Mary Hatch. All rights reserved.

—Reproduced from with artist’s permission


Elizabeth Kerlikowske
Issue 9, Spring 2018

is the author of several books and chapbooks, including her favorites, The Shape of Dad (a memoir in prose poems), Last Hula (winner of the 2013 Standing Rock Chapbook Competition), and Chain of Lakes. She has been publishing her poetry and fiction for more than 20 years in such journals and magazines as Encore, Cincinnati Review, Passager, and Poemeleon, among others. Her work is anthologized in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence (White Pine Press, 2016), The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women (Shade Mountain Press, 2015), and the Michigan writers anthology published by Western Michigan University (WMU). She also creates visual art and has recently completed the Hester Prynne Chair, first of a series of literary women chairs.

Kerlikowske completed her doctorate in English at WMU in 2007. An arts activist, she has served for many years as the president of the Kalamazoo Friends of Poetry, and she is also president of the Poetry Society of Michigan. She recently retired from a teaching career at Kellogg Community College.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Three in Prose by Kerlikowske in DIAGRAM (Issue 5.1): “Forty Winks,” “The Girls’ Room,” and “Midway”


Mary Hatch
Issue 9, Spring 2018

is an artist and printmaker who received her B.S. and M.A. degrees at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where she currently resides and creates. Her work has been shown in more than 30 one-person exhibits in as many years and is included in more than 300 public and private collections throughout the US and Canada. For more information, see her Artist’s Statement and full resume. To see more of her work, visit her online galleries.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Artist Interview: Mary Hatch in Issue 19 of Triggerfish Critical Review

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   ⚡