Look again at the dictionary. There beyond a doubt
lie plays more splendid than Antony and Cleopatra; poems
more lovely than the Ode to a Nightingale; novels beside which
Pride and Prejudice or David Copperfield are the crude bunglings
of amateurs. It is only a question of finding the right words and
putting them in the right order.
Broost [verb] To make new words, I have to use old words. The old are
not inept. But I object. Or they demur. What are we good for, together
or apart? Well, at my very least, I can broost new words.
Misters [noun] Clouds are clouds, I know. Yet I prefer to believe they
tinker a species: one of a fulsome tribe summoned not only because we
might wish it to be, but actually also made of wishes and no more. Wishful entirely.
Clouds of the Mister menageries would be given the right to make choices
about musculature, the charm of eyelids. Tails. Portals. Unlike others
in nature, this one of mine would be silent as the sky.
The point is to be invented a bit, by the one you were meant to make.
My cloud becomes me after dinner, when the other clouds have lunged
away someplace—left to bloom in doorways or lean upon a spire.
Others have wafted out to ago. They wrap Edwardians. They crowd Cannes.
They can sneak around bossy rectangular clocks and never get caught.
They chase after summer sleighs, sighing with light.
Inkfrit [proper noun] A new dessert of Baltic origin, the inkfrit came to beset a
modern-day Persephone when she opened the icebox one day and found the
following ingredients: a cuttlefish; cloudberries (a pint);two dozen brown eggs;
cellophane noodles; mint jelly from the Appenines; one cup of ground roast almonds.
The cuttlefish conferred a billow of unreadable blue, dark, what another would
probably call “black.” The almonds gave transportation to the mint.
Once she had separated all the eggs and beaten the wiles until stiff, she could give
the cloudberries a roost. Although unpopular as an ingredient of sweets, the cellophane
noodles could serve a purpose, too. What? Oh, tie it up.
The name of the dessert, when looked at from the other end of a telescope:
“Spotted World.” And yet.
When Persephone tried to package it for restaurateurs, she found thefare rebuffed.
Since then, she’s retitled it: inkfrit.
Coggle [verb] To think for the short term is better than to think for
the long term. The long term may not last. “Never.” “Near.”
“Perhaps.” My antique lexicon is filled with speculations.
The absolute stroke of “maybe,” and the doom of “next”:
all such define our midden earth. Coggling means to think sharp in the moment,
then drop it.
Iffema [noun] A fray that dares not speak its name; the underside of
heard. Stray grouping. Will it disperse? Soon?
Lennigan [adverb] “Do it lennigan.” So goes the advice she
received from Uncle Luke. You can grill anything!
Molly McQuade has been writing nonsense for some time. Her prose
and poetry have appeared in Parnassus, The New Criterion, Fence, BOMB, Poetry,
Mississippi Review, and others. She is writing something now called Not a Dictionary.