the beginning

You owe me a poem,
she says, and bats smirky
semi-colon lashes into a wink.
Dang it, I slip. Her memory

is like the fine ground
edge of a kitchen cleaver
honed sharp by a housewife’s

A debt paid in words
overdraws my account.
The details are sketchy but
I spent my last
99 cents at the secondhand
store on a silky flannel shirt
to cover lumberjack arms
bulging thick from swinging
the ax

On second glance I see
the tags have been switched
and it’s just Twinkies
up my sleeve after all



  1. Pingback: Journey Into Poetry: Lyla

  2. Oh my gosh, Lyla. Did you really write it out freehand like that? Amazing!

    • wordadjuster

      Well, if you look closely you can probably still see all the eraser marks.

      It came after a long stretch on Facebook involving kitchen utensils, pent-up housewives, ax murder, Twinkies, flannel, lingerie, and the 99 cent poem I never wrote when Every Day Poems began.

  3. She did, and she posted it on Facebook like that and made me squint to see all the good stuff 😉

  4. Now, what else have you got up your sleeves?

  5. I love this… mainly because I swing an ax.

    (But I haven’t had a twinkie in years and years.)


  6. I’m wanting the silky flannel shirt.

    And the cleaver.

  7. …and I, “the smirky, semi-colon lashes”, so I may bat them at someone, anyone!

  8. I definitely see a facebook thread here – a lovely, fun one. Is this yet another blog space for you, Lyla? I can’t keep up with one – don’t know how you manage multiples. Hmmm…don’t recall that you ever mentioned twins…maybe it’s balancing insurance claims/mothering/churching/and a rich interior life. Thanks for this.

    • Word Adjuster

      Oh, Diana, you’re sweet. It is, yet another space. Not ever really my intention to take over the blogosphere one WordPress name at a time. But both my secondary worlds have their certain purpose, one that would likely cause a mass exodus at my place. But you can expect the cross-posting to continue. I’m already feeling a little bit of personality fracture as it is… Thanks for coming in, friend.

  9. what a fun way you have with words… made me smile from beginning to end…Thank you…came via L.L.’s tweet.

  10. What a night that was–cleavers and knives and chid-cheaters.

    Now I want a Twinkie. Oh, and one of those Sno Balls and might as well go with a Hostess Cup Cake, too. I’m just a desperate housewife with faded memories of school lunches.

  11. That thread, then, pure fun. Here? pure inspiration.

    Love you!

  12. Paul Willingham

    Twinkies, Sno Balls, creamy sweets
    Tooth decaying delicious treats
    Alas there’ll be no snacking heaven
    Since Hostess filed Chapter Eleven


    • Word Adjuster

      Awesome, Dad. You know, I bought a Twinkie the other day when I was on the road, to save for posterity. I figure it’ll still be fresh as the day it was born 10 years from now.

      But then, yesterday, I ate it.

      And remembered why I, as much as I like the concept of a Twinkie, I don’t eat them. My mouth is still tingling.

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