Marie Lecrivain: “Popcorn Karma” & Three More Poems

Marie Lecrivain is the executive editor and publisher of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, a Pushcart Prize nominee, photographer, and is a writer in residence at her apartment.

Cultural Weekly is proud to premiere these poems by Marie Lecrivain.

Popcorn Karma

Inspired by Brendan Constantine

The last time I ate popcorn was the last time ever.
The inconspicuous skin concealed itself
under my gum line. It unleashed
a flood of anguish from my bucket list
of good intentions: the skyscrapers
I’ve yet to ascend; the one-night stands
I forgot to memorialize in a sonnet,
and the karmic debts I haven’t paid.

My dreams were filled with half-formed rhymes
scrawled on dank walls of monasteries
that clung to the sides of mountains
wreathed in snow and dragon’s breath.
I awoke at 3 am from an absinthe-scented dream
where I tried to apologise to poor Van Gogh
for making fun of his bristly ginger beard,
when the precise ache in my jaw signaled
something was wrong. The problem was solved
– 10 seconds later – with a piece of dental floss,
and a flood of crimson-colored saliva
spat into the bathroom sink. My liberator
now resides in a small box on my altar,
along with a sliver of broken glass
I almost ingested from a stack of Denny’s pancakes,
and a fortune cookie slip stamped with the words:
pater accende intus stupem iterant.


The Queen of Cheetahs: Another L.A. Anti-fable

inspired by Gabriel Tanaka

Twelve minutes equals 65 spins
around the metal phallus.
A handful of ones and fives
scattered at the lucite-shod feet
of every girl who shook her money-maker.
At the apex of the first melody
in a three-song set,
each one would cast aside
her barely-there bra and panties
that left little to the imagination,
and thereby, as I was able to deduce
– reduce – her nightly intake by 33 %.

Then, there was the Queen of Cheetahs.
The Long-Legged Dominatrix;
that’s what the barflys called her.
Legions of flat-bottomed romeos
who roosted by the runway
like a flock of San Juan Capistrano swallows
at 10:56 pm every Saturday night.
She would strut out – stage left –
in front of a line of floor-to-ceiling mirrors
that echoed the graceful back end
of a leather-clad goddess.
Her delicate arms,
encased in black opera-length gloves,
would reach out to a horde
that shared the seductive vision
of her boot-clad thighs
as she twirled around the metal pole
to the strains of Donna Summer’s
She Works Hard for the Money,
and Madonna’s Express Yourself.
Her right eye winked impishly
through an errant lock of red bangs,
and her smile was a beacon of hope
to the souls of the damned.
As she wove her magic spell
into the final strains
of Santana’s Black Magic Woman,
she’d reach behind her back
and skillfully remove her ebony brassiere
to reveal a pair of alabaster breasts,
a benediction burned forever
onto countless pairs of retinas.
Blinded by gratitude, she was showered
with tens and twenties thrown like roses
from a herd of love-sick swains.
She swiftly gathered her spoils,
and disappeared backstage,
while the forlorn masses
drowned their sorrows
in lap dances and stale beer.




There is truth in whiskey as well as wine.
The years ripen our hearts like a fine wine.

We toast best-laid plans met with success.
We wash away failure with each sip of wine.

We search for answers inside the glass.
Finding none, we drown our sorrows in wine.

The deepest and most profound thoughts
ferment inside us like a cask of wine.

Between the first breath and the last exhale,
we’re sure to imbibe a steady flow of wine.

We’re all grapes on the cosmic vine.
There’s truth in whiskey as well as wine.



Your mind inside the bone cage,
atop the meat structure,
marinates for years.

The putrefaction starts
in the 5/6th decades.
As time runs backwards,
all your achievements
and mental constructs
are stripped away.
The unmasked myelin
scream a continuous
subsonic whine.
This farce can only end
in one of three ways;
an ischemic benediction,
a hammer to the forehead, or
a fall off the wall.


Featured image is from Wikimedia Commons.

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