The Purposeful Mayonnaise

May 13, 2022: Erin Lorandos (poetry), Andrew Lincoln Nelson (drawing)

first snow

silence surrounds her
straining ears -
all the colors of the world
have fallen away

she waits,
just one more moment

then breaks through
with those first footprints -
and it feels monumental 

the chrysalism of youth

when the gray skies opened
up, and cried cold tears
we did not yet understand –

I used to relish sitting
just a moment longer,
in the front seat of your car

it was parked at the far back
of the lot, almost all the way
to the bleachers

the only spaces available, once your name
was finally pulled in the lottery junior year

we would sit there listening, as each drop
of rain hit the metal roof, each
a muffled voice, calling to us

you, with your emotions bare
and raw on the seat between us –
your face searching mine for understanding,
needing just one more moment…

and me, nervous of missing the second bell –
my fingers playing over the handle,
still trying to resist the urge to break the silence,
made deafening by the occasional crack
of the far-off thunder of reality

Erin Lorandos

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin Lorandos is a librarian and writer living in Phoenix. Some of her recent poetry can be found in Drifting Sands, The Avocet, the 2021 Poetry Marathon Anthology, The Purposeful Mayonnaise, and The Bluebird Word.


Plantimal 2

Andrew Lincoln Nelson

Andrew Lincoln Nelson is an artist working in Tucson Arizona.  He produces detailed semi-realistic and surrealistic drawings of futuristic or exobiological landscapes.  He has a background in academic research and fine art.  His work has been shown at Biosphere 2, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, the University of Arizona and was the subject National Arts Program Spotlight. His art has also been included in numerous juried publications and on-line venues, receiving best-in-show in several recent shows.  He also does occasional commission work, recently including a book cover illustration (The Book of Stranger Vol. 2) and several music score cover illustrations (The Butterfly and the Ocelot by composer A. M. Guzzo).

   Phytotessel Lost

My work includes detailed graphite pencil drawings of landscapes containing machine creatures, plant-animal hybrids and other conglomerations that might be found in the distant future or on other worlds.  Many of the landscapes are drawn from southwestern deserts waterscapes and mountains but others reflect a less Earthly aspect. 

These drawings focus on post-technology ecosystems containing self-sustaining technological artifacts.  What would feral technology do if it were left to its own devices to spawn and reproduce long after its biological creators had passed away, maybe millions of years in the future here on Earth or perhaps on some alien world with unclassifiable fusions of biology and machine? These drawings give speculative visual answers to the question above.  Are there commonalities among all possible forms of complex life? Art though the ages has explored the unique nature of human experience.  But is our uniqueness really our most important aspect?  Maybe what makes us alive is more important than what makes us human.  When we look at a natural object with a complex structure we often feel some kind of affinity or fascination even if we don’t know exactly what we are looking at.  For instance, a close-up image of a bone fragment or of a complex fungus is mesmerizing, somehow compelling to the eye.  These drawings depict objects or things that are un-named and unknown to the viewer but the underlying structures are familiar in a complex organic way.



Osteo-Rhizophor Surreal Tree

Using Format