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Spring 1985, Volume 2


Nikki Hansen

Nikki Hansen is a Professor of English and former Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. She is a lover and collector of exotic animals such as parrots and indigent canines and she sometimes writes unusually original poetry.

The Whistling Artichoke

Let's celebrate the whistling artichoke.
Only once in the corridors of the Cyclopes
in the starved-out light
will the vegetables gossip
and the jello giggle,
while sentimental, crocheted dishrags
caught in a cracked drawer
yelp for help.
The swinging cabinet door
becomes a master of martial arts-
the victim unaware
the distracted perpetrator unaware.
Dog hair garnishes the pastry,
and the spices are gone again,
hidden where no one will find,
while a disembodied voice
counts steps to the stove.
To the seduction of white wine,
to the whistle of the artichoke.
Lady Cyclops stumbles and falls,
but only after Ulysses
has wrung from her
all recognition.