Micro Mutant Postcard #129
(listen to the poem, read by the author)
Hades, can’t you spare me a canine? I want my own three-headed dog. Cerberus, come. Vixen can’t share her beastly powers in ways that parables might, forcing me to dream of apocryphal animalistic spirits and Mythic Mutant Multiverses instead, that way I sleep at night.
Image description/alt-text: Black and white illustration of Cerberus, the three-headed dog from Greek mythology. The dog is sitting on his haunches amongst flames and has a row of hissing snakes down his spine. The dog is barking, and flames are shooting out from each of his three mouths. His tail is scaly and ends in a point. NOTE: This image is from Pixabay. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.
Micro Mutant Postcard #155 (a homage to all the Beloved Underwings out there)
(listen to the poem, read by the author)
I almost married you, Mothman; the intoxicating dust you exude is the most beautiful iridescent brown. Your antennae help detect the sappy sonic dissonance I miss but still crave. But ultimately the lure of passionate flames proved too irresistible. You really love Mothra, after all.
Image description/alt-text: Photograph of an Ilia Underwing moth (also referred to as a “Beloved Underwing” or “The Wife”) whose wings are only partially unfurled. She is sitting on a very weathered wooden beam; most of her coloring is in shades of brown or gray with some white specks, creating camouflage to make her appear like tree bark; she is almost blending in with the wood underneath her. She has bright and bold orange lower hindwings, with two black bands across them, partially folded underneath her.
The Micro Mutant Postcard Project is an ongoing endeavor seeking to meld poetry, confessions, memoir, and imagery with pop culture, especially comic books, and identity, including disability, using specific conventions to bring forth creativity and explore intersections the author has perhaps not yet publicly revealed.
Kudos go to Diane Wiener, Stephen Kuusisto, Dan Simpson, Ona Gritz, Minnie-Bruce Pratt, Emily Michaels, and my 2012 Maymester WRT 438 Advanced Creative Nonfiction cohort at Syracuse University, for their contributions to this endeavor.
Select postcards were published as Flash Memoir in the December 2020 issue of Wordgathering; other postcards were published in the Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022 issues of Wordgathering, as well as a Micro flash contribution for the “spooky” issue of Stone of Madness Press.
Some postcards are memoir, others manifestos, and many are confessional, either addressed to pop culture figures and characters or written as self-revelations and larger burning or rhetorical life questions.
About the Author
Rachael A. Zubal-Ruggieri is the Administrative Assistant of the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute. Mother to an Autistic teenage son, Rachael writes and presents about neurodiversity and autism parenting, seeking to debunk and disrupt traditional representations of “the autism mom.” She is a recent cum laude graduate of the Human Development & Family Science program at Falk College, with a Disability Studies Minor, at Syracuse University (SU). Her research interests include Creative and Design Thinking, Technical Documentation and Usability, Technology and Disability, and Parent and Family Involvement in Education. Rachael has dedicated her career to improving the lives of people with disabilities, including broad-based support to multiple disability rights initiatives on campus, in the CNY area, and nationally, through many grant-funded projects and opportunities and via long-term relationships with community agencies and programs. Rachael worked for over 30 years at the Center on Human Policy at SU. She is a founding member of the university’s undergraduate disability rights organization, the Disability Student Union (DSU). Rachael’s current activities include her roles as Co-Advisor of the Self-Advocacy Network (formerly Self-Advocates of CNY), and as a Board Member of Disabled in Action of Greater Syracuse, Inc. Rachael is also co-creator (with Diane R. Wiener) of “Cripping” the Comic Con, the first of its kind interdisciplinary and international symposium on disability and popular culture, previously held at SU. At conferences and as a guest lecturer, she has for many years presented on the X-Men comic books, popular culture, and disability rights and identities.