Cutting the Mustard – Hunter McLaren

I’ve been those half-bridges, those stone lions, those jittering 
insect wings too. I’ve been that collapsing barn, forgotten and forgotten 
and forgotten. I’ve been the thing that rules everything, 
or, I’ve been the things ruled, prices paid in full every time. 

I’ve been that stepped-on cigar, gasping for oxygen and enough fire, 
I’ve been the lips that spat it too, breath stinking of eucalyptus and whiskey.  
I’ve been the impeding highways, pothole mouths gaping wide 
for beaver fur and bird shit. Don’t fear, 

I’ve been windchimes, not the gentle kind, the untidy ones that clang and 
clang and clang until someone settles them, I’ve settled windchimes too, 
black out girls falling between toilets, glazed in their own lip gloss 
spit, I’ve been their green tequila drinks, two  

straw shapes cut through me, my thinning blood. I’ve had a mouse trap 
for a tongue, gifted to me by a hunter, I only call to him when I need  
something, but he knows I’ve been something tricky, am still something 
tricky, am still smoothing out snow colored rabbit pelts.




Hunter McLaren is a college graduate from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in English Language, Literature, and Writing. He also has a creative writing certificate and a minor in Ethics, Value, and Society. He is an emerging poet with eight pieces published, passionately seeking more publication opportunities. He proclaims the goal of his work is to unseat comfort and confront surreal or traumatic themes in creative and cathartic ways.

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