Melanie Browne

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by Ian on February 2, 2011

Melanie Browne writes fiction and poetry in a secret Bunker no one knows about. She lives in Texas but don’t ask her about the rodeo or who shot J.R. You can ask her about Mexican food though. That’s ok. She is the Boss over at her new joint The Literary Burlesque.


Chekhov isn’t laughing any more

The old man
at the next table
discusses with

every last detail
of his recent
dental surgery,

he talks and talks
about it, and he
the rice on his plate,

Is this what it means
to be old?

I stare at the
Christmas tree
next to the register,
its limbs in
a post-Christmas

the old man
is laughing now,
on to a different topic,

but I have already lost
interest in his

my margarita
is too weak,

I worry
about a
vague pain
in my shoulder.

Despair is the Sweetest of Plums

I had to water the porcelain, but
something was terribly wrong,
someone had stuck the queen’s
head in the crapper,
she was still wearing her crown,
looking very fetching,
I pulled her from the water
and she lectured me about
discretion, she told me
she was thirsty,
asking for a lemonade,
but I told her I was busy,
I set her in front of
a painting of a woman wearing
a black beret,

the queen just rolled her eyes,
I’m not a fan of socialist realism,
she said,

she called over the waitress
and ordered a lemonade,
I watched as she drank it,
how it brought her cheeks
back to a cheeky red,

the disco lights began to
flicker, couples began
texting messages
about lost Ray-Bans
on their Blackberries,
a woman calling herself
lady Jane announced
her wedding using morse
code, and the room faded
to a pale pea green.

Writers in love

what’s your fetish, she asks him

you know, your juju,
the bee in your perviest bonnet?

dogs that read Henry Miller, he says

you are a sick and twisted individual

you like dogs?


you just said you like it when dogs dress up like Henry Miller

no I didn’t, he says.

yes, you did, she says

no, he says,
I like it when I’m fucking a woman,
and I’m getting really excited
and her dog runs into the
room and pisses on the carpet,
sort of marking his territory,
but he stops and looks at me,
and picks up a copy of Tropic
Of Cancer and starts reading it,
I just explode, theres nothing like it.

you’re still a sick and twisted individual, she says

also, I’m fairly certain that’s not a fetish,
more of a delusion from too much codeine,
you had swine flu last year, remember?

he feels
shame for being so
for making his fetish
so problematic,

but later
they make barbaric

then rush back
home to molest
their keyboards.

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