The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Martin Ott



Wendy snuck out the back door to find a barber to shear her signature red locks. The hunger

surrounding her was a palpitating shadow, a story dribbling on the page like a spilt milkshake

with the secret ingredient of sorrow. Her theme song was no comfort while creatures roamed her

castle with sharp teeth. Her tale to find a path was not new. Her grandmother’s house was rubble

in a faraway land. Her picnic basket overflowed with square chars and famine potatoes. Among

her wolves was a colonel with white linen suit and thousand yard stare, a tired clown with a

posse that included a purple monster and ex-con, and a self-proclaimed king with plastic crown

who yearned to stare up skirts and thrown down shade. Her next journey would be in

camouflage, supplied with leftovers and severed locks. She would swing her braids like blood-

stained angel wings and clear a path to the next big thing. Endless lines would follow her and it

would not be easy to shake her appetite for oblivion. The world didn’t know how much they

asked. How much she suffered behind the flames.




MARTIN OTT is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming poetry book Lessons in Camouflage and sci-fi novel Spectrum from C&R Press. More at



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