by Gina Marie Bernard

Published in Issue No. 194 ~ July, 2013

I happened upon this generator

while trailing bread crumbs deep into

the vast emptiness of online ennui.

Dubious, I entered my name.

A wake of portent sluiced instantly

down the screen. Deeply affected,

I could not shake the prescience:


Marinara being red was too obvious a sign.

Bare maid earn grin, while improper—

both politically and grammatically—

positively made me smile. And though

I’ve never been to an area barring denim

or read of an Indiana bra merger,

they certainly are no more atypical

than a hostler’s rare mane braiding technique.


Not that I concurred with everything, mind you.


There is, after all, something sordid

about Anna Reamer Brigid and

Armenian Bag Rider—like DVD titles

shelved behind seedy, vulgar curtains.

Equally offensive was the marriage

of the Arian German bride to her

Arab-arming denier.


That night I awoke from a vision

wherein I was being served

upon buttered crackers

paired with a costly wine

at the Anagram Brie Diner.

Consider the irony: A nightmare of

Beaujolais, stone wheat, margarine and brie!


Grappling this dreadful dream—drain

meager brain—I saw signs everywhere:


Bad inner marriage (I am divorced.)

Rabid anger remain (I repeat, I am divorced!)

Bare drag earn mini (But at what price? Or cost? Poor queen!)

Air bed near margin (Too ominous to consider.)


Like any brave gabardine mariner, I vowed to weather

this bitter storm of thought in tightly-woven garments—

the remainder bargain a mantra to ward off my anathema:

Drama rare in being. Drama rare in being. Drama rare in being.


But I have been infected, anagrams burning all around me.

Their charred remnants rise, not like a game bird near rain,

but instead like a murder of wrathful crows.


And they’ve eaten all my bread crumbs.

account_box More About

Gina Bernard’s work has appeared in Red Weather, Minnesota Monthly, Lake Country Journal, Wisconsin Review, Prism Quarterly, Defenestration, The First Line, and Front Street Review. She won Minnesota Monthly’s 17th-annual Tamarack Award for short fiction in 2002. Her young adult novel, Alpha Summer, was published by Loonfeather Press in 2005. In December 2012, she was a featured reader at Intermedia Arts' Queer Voices reading series in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the longest-running series of its kind in the nation. She currently live in Bemidji, Minnesota, where she teaches high school English. When not writing, she slips into her alter ego, wicked vixen, a blocker for the Babe City Rollers roller derby team. She is the crazy-proud parent of two beautiful daughters, Maddie and Parker.