Cube Clear and Morality is a Thumbtack We All Need to Master

by | Jan 14, 2023


Her name was Cube Clear, and she was nought less than that. A woman whose womb cracked a churchman’s windpipes. Whose workbooks carried the windbreak.

Her middle name was Clasp.

Management fell on their knees when she looked their way. Childminders forgot about their lost tracheas and flocked to her.

Her eyebrows shone like millipedes of supernova.

“I am contingent,” she said, to no one in particular.

She settled down on a soft hill and calculated her tolerances.

A bird sang in terror beside her.


Chuck Lancet ate the moralist.

Chuck Lancet ate the moralist because he was 47.

Chuck Lancet legislated.

Chuck Lancet remarried.

Chuck Lancet vanished in and out of Hiroshima.

Chuck Lancet had opened his mucosa to merriment and now he was dying, ready to headmistress his way up to the pearly white gates.

Chuck Lancet bought a small housecoat.


  1. Koss (No Last Name)

    Jonathan, I don’t know who Chuck is, but I did find a medical periodical . . . Too bad he opened his mucosa. Every line is humming. Wonderful.

  2. Meg Tuite

    Jonathan, once again kickass brilliance.
    “she was nought less than that”
    “workbooks, windbreak. Clasp” “She settled down on a soft hill and calculated her tolerances.” “MORALITY IS A THUMBTACK WE ALL NEED TO MASTER” And then, Chuck “bought a small housecoat.” I laughed through the entire piece! It’s exquisite, as they always are! Send it out! Anyone would jump on Lancet! LOVE!

  3. Meg Tuite

    “A woman whose womb cracked a churchman’s windpipes.” Has me laughing every time I read it! So grand!

  4. Benjamin Niespodziany


    “A woman whose womb cracked a churchman’s windpipes. Whose workbooks carries the windbreak.” Okay, Jonathan! Killer micro. I also love reversing lines like this (on my own poems) often to the side in my notes, just for fun. So my brain instantly said: “Workbooks carried the windbreak” “Workbreaks carried the windbook” “Workwinds carried the bookbreak” “Bookwinds carried the workbreak” — so fun

    “Childminders” is such a great word here. All of it works. No serious suggestions with this one other than to send it off! It reminds me of Diane Williams or Rikki Ducornet a bit. I’d also love to see it as one block paragraph, but also love it how it is. And maybe for that final final* image, we end on terror, so it reads, “Beside her, a bird sang in terror.”

    MORALITY IS A THUMBTACK (fire emoji)

    Yes! That last line! Winner, winner. 

    Love that each line begins with Chuck Lancet. Eating a moralist, vanishing, buying a coat. Boom. The second to last sentence did throw me for a loop with mucosa (cool word, but had to look it up) as it felt more scientific than the rest. Maybe ‘mucus ducts’? Same syllables. Or even “opened his mucus” sounds wild. Tinker with this one and send it out! Both of these, for that matter. 

    • Jonathan Cardew

      Thanks so much, Ben. This workshop came at just the right time. Needed a new perspective on words and word-craft, and your prompts are wonderful. Having a lot of fun with the N+ generator!


  5. Robyn Schelenz

    These are both great. I love the rhythm of “Morality,” “ready to headmistress his way up to the pearly white gates.” I ditto the love of the opener to “Cube Clear” but also really love “millipedes of supernova,” what an image to savor. Cube Clear and Chuck Lancet are both fantastic characters.

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