{Reissue} Transfiguration at the Bottom of Moomaw Lake by Brenda Mann Hammack

After chasing some Zs at the local Sleepeasy,
     Cephus Seymour Clay drove his ‘71 Chevy
into prehistory at the bottom of Moomaw Lake.
     It weren’t the booger sugar, or even the oxycoffin
made him queasy as a grouper snagged by fate.
     He’d told some pretty big lies he could still
‘preciate even as drowning diminished color.
     And though his mother-in-law often claimed
he weren’t much of a catch (even crayfish
     had more use—in pie or étouffée), Cephus
knew his coonhound, Ella-May, would miss him.
     She kept the faith, full of ticks, but pure as grain
alcohol. He’d left her tied up to a stake.  And here
     he was at the bottom of Moomaw Lake,
surrounded by giant snakeheads. Just another
     marinated mistake. Some say: Jesus
were a fisherman, but Cephus ain’t after being
     saved. He’d sooner snort some algae,
turn to tadpole, then swim away.

Brenda Mann Hammack teaches creative writing at Fayetteville State University, the Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, and The Eckleburg Workshops. She is the editor of Glint Literary Journal.  Her  first book, Humbug: A Neo-Victorian Fantasy in Verse, was released by Misty Publications in 2013. Her poems have also appeared in A capella Zoo and Gargoyle Magazine.

Asked what have been some of her best hiding places, she replied, “I used to spend my summers in a log cabin at the base of Catawba Mountain. Hand-built in the 1940s, the cabin had a colorful history as a vacation home, a hunting lodge, then a dance hall before being remodeled and rented as a private residence. The closest neighbors were residents of an exotic animal farm. Walking in the woods, I  came across numerous forgotten objects: deer and possum skulls; halves of horse collars; a dilapidated dog  pen; a detached semi-trailer; a porcelain urinal. Investigating a mysterious light emanating from beneath the cabin, my husband discovered a hidden crawl space with what we took to be a grow light. We did not find a still for manufacturing moonshine.”

Art — kAt Philbin is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She draws inspiration from fairy tales and personal mythologies to create her delicate illustrations with many, many tiny pen lines. See more of her artwork at www.katphilbin.com.

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