Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.

Saturday Mix–10 June 2017

So sorry I’m late posting.  I haven’t figured out how to schedule a post, and I’m still busy kidding.  Here it is a bit late…

Welcome back to Saturday’s Mix.  Today we’re looking at that good ole “What if” question.  It’s the genre of alternate history.  How would the world be different if the American Revolution had not been successful?  How would my life be different if I’d decided not to go to college?  There’s an infinite number of “What if” scenarios.  What if the wild west had not been tamed?  Tell us your alternate history story in 250 words or less.


If you prefer,  you might want to try it in poetry form.  The sestina might be a good fit for this type of writing.  It has six, six-line stanzas.  The end word of each line in the first stanza are repeated as the end words of the following stanzas, but in a different order.  The final stanza is only three lines, but it uses all six of the repeated words.  There are two in each line–one in the middle, and one at the end.  Below is the order for the repeated words.

1 2 3 4 5 6
6 1 5 2 4 3
3 6 4 1 2 5
5 3 2 6 1 4
4 5 1 3 6 2
2 4 6 5 3 1
(6 2) (1 4) (5 3)


Following is an example of the sestina.

The Guest Ellen at the Supper for Street People

The unclean spirits cry out in the body
Or mind of the guest Ellen in a loud voice
Torment me not, and in the fury of her unclean
Hands beating the air in some kind of unending torment—
Nobody witnessing could possibly know the event

That cast upon her the spell of this enchantment.

Almost all the guests are under some kind of enchantment:
Of being poor day after day in the same body;
Of being witness still to some obscene event;
Of listening all the time to somebody’s voice
Whispering in the ear things divine or unclean,

In the quotidian of unending torment.

One has to keep thinking there was some source of torment,
Something that happened someplace else, unclean.
One has to keep talking in a reasonable voice
About things done, say, by a father’s body
To or upon the body of Ellen, in enchantment

Helpless, still by the unforgotten event

Enchanted, still in the old forgotten event
A prisoner of love, filthy Ellen in her torment,
Guest Ellen in the dining hall in her body,
Hands beating the air in her enchantment,
Sitting alone, gabbling in her garbled voice

The narrative of the spirits of the unclean.

She is wholly the possessed one of the unclean.
Maybe the spirits came from the river. The enchantment
Entered her, maybe, in the Northeast Kingdom. The torment,
A thing of the waters, gratuitous event,
Came up out of the waters and entered her body

And lived in her in torment and cried out in her voice.

It speaks itself over and over again in her voice,
Cursing maybe or not a familiar obscene event
Or only the pure event of original enchantment
From the birth of the river waters, the pure unclean
Rising from the source of things, in a figure of torment

Seeking out Ellen, finding its home in her poor body.

Her body witness is, so also is her voice,
Of torment coming from unknown event;

Unclean is the nature and name of the enchantment.

Of course, you are free to choose a different poetic form if it better suits the alternate history tale you are weaving.  Feel free to use the images for inspiration.

Once you’ve written your piece please tag your work Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie and Saturday Mix then either ping back or put a link to your work in the comments below.  To make things simpler you can add your link to the Mr. Linky app below so everyone will be able to quickly find your work.


About Teresa

I am a woman with many hats--teacher, farmer, photographer, writer.

8 comments on “Saturday Mix–10 June 2017

  1. pensitivity101
    June 10, 2017
  2. Henrietta Watson
    June 10, 2017

    Reblogged this on All About Writing and more.

  3. flashpoetguy
    June 11, 2017


    Joe and I sat at adjacent desks at St. Oliver Plunkett School in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Sister Ladislau insisted the windows remain shut during her Geography class, not because of outside noise (the whiz of automobiles, especially the strident foot-to-the-pedal roar of the Studebaker Golden Flash), but because of the swirling assault of Coney sands taking distracting pot shots at the closed and shaded windows of our classroom.

    “You know, Winston, I’ve been thinking about the priesthood.” Joe spoke softly. Sister claimed she had perfect hearing, though she was hardly able to prove it and he was not about to test her. The old nun walked, talked and taught with a metal ruler that she sardonically referred to as her longer arm.

    I was taking no chances. I scribbled, “You a priest??” and as clandestinely as a boy averse to donating blood to Sister’s ruler could be, I passed it to Joe. He read it and nodded. I made the face of a very old man who suddenly realizes he’s somehow lost his wisdom. Joe, a priest? A man of God? Why not a comedian? I thought.

    Sister’s booming voice brought us back to attention. “Across the ocean, the Russian Civil War rages on. The blue army and the gray army. We New Yorkers will be drawn in if we don’t know what’s good for us. Let the other thirty states go to war, boys and girls. Not our New York.”

    If only the states were united! If only I were old enough to join the Brigade and help clean the Russian mess! If only Joe and I––“


    “Yes, Sister,” I said, trembling in my boots as she approached me twirling her ruler like a baton.

    “Let me see that note.”

    She stood tall. An angel of death. Now her ruler turned baton was a sickle.

    “What note, Sister?” I asked, hoping a fake amnesia would save me.

    “This note?” asked Joe.

    He handed it to her. She read it, dropped the ruler/baton/sickle and broke into raucous laughter. Then she’d read the brief note again and resume a madwoman’s cackling outburst with the Coney sands pinging, clicking, clinking like hailstones.
    When she finally caught her raspy breath, she turned back to Joe. “A priest, Joseph?”

    Joe smiled and nodded.

    By now Sister had returned to her desk, let herself fall back into her chair, and said, “I can think of more suitable vocations for a boy like you. A union organizer? A bodyguard? A dreamer? No, not a priest. Never a priest, Joseph Dzhugashvili, never a––

    Joe stood now, suddenly brave and unafraid. “Stalin,” he said. “Joseph Stalin.”


  4. Pingback: Saturday Mix – poem by E.B.P. – The Bag Lady

  5. Pingback: Saturday Mix–10 June 2017 – What if.. | Morpethroad

  6. Pingback: Saturday Mix: Poem – Lai – “What If?” #amwriting #dVerse #poetry #saturdaymix – Mandibelle16

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