Mixed Metaphor for #SampleSunday

“Mixed Metaphor” was originally published in Yandro, the late Buck Coulson‘s fanzine. Buck is much missed. It was reprinted in the Southern Indiana Writers’ 2010 anthology, FUTURE PERFECT (TENSE IN SPACE).

It’s odd, now, to remember a time when it was science-fictiony to imagine changing one’s gender. Also, mind you, I wrote this decades before Firefly.


by Marian Allen

mixed metaphorA bunch of us clones were lapping it up
On Laredo’s second moon.
We were there with Dan,
Our parent-man,
And we’d cowed the whole saloon.

Now, Death-Ray Dan was a western buff,
And he dressed himself like that–
Nine tough galoots,
Eight leisure suits,
One cowboy, complete with hat.

Dan was with Miss Belle LaFleur,
A gal he thought he owned.
She was quite a dish
And she made us wish
That she was multi-cloned.

The door swung wide and a man stepped in
Dressed just like Death-Ray Dan
With the mask and hat
And the stranger sat
And faced Dan man-to-man.

“This town is mine,” he said to Dan.
“It’s mine by fist and gun.
I got eight boys
That’ll make these toys
Of yours turn tail and run.”

“Well, trot ’em out!” Dan growled. Sez Dan,
“Let’s see you back your bluff!”
Us clones spread out
‘Cause there weren’t a doubt
This guy was plenty tough.

His clones came in when he told ’em to,
And we blamed it on the booze:
For every cuss
Looked just like us —
Not a clue to whose were whose.

Dan dropped his jaw. The stranger laughed
And threw aside his mask.
Dan said, “But how — ”
Said the stranger, “Now,
You very well might ask.”

“Us two was twins,” the stranger said,
“And still are, to this day.
Mom changed her genes
And, to save bad scenes,
Dad went his sep’rate way.

“Each took a twin and settled down
And put the past aside
But the story true
Dad–Mom, to you–
Told just before he died.”

So Dan and his twin caught up on the life
They’d never shared before.
The rest of us drank
Till we shivered and sank,
The clones on the barroom floor.

Dated, yes. But fun, I hope.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Mix two genres that are not generally mixed — if you can think of any, in these days of mash-ups. 🙂



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Mixed Metaphor for #SampleSunday

  1. Jane

    August 3, 2014 at 10:04am

    Love Dan the Clone Man!

    You write the best clever nonsense EV-UH!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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