Fantasy magazine

From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Magic Carpet

Did anyone think about cleaning advice
for carpets stained with enchanted detritus
the silt from a thousand journeys
discarded crumbs from clandestine trysts
jetsam from unloading secret treasure
flotsam of flying too high in the jet stream
or the occasional queasy passenger’s ejections
vertiginous from a magical evening

When it comes to upkeep of charmed relics
one must use caution and skill
shampooing can dilute the power
bring bumpy rides flying under the radar
vacuuming out gritty particulates
may cause sudden buoyancy, send the carpet
whooshing into power lines
short-circuiting its utility
except for causing blackouts

Beating the rug brings a certain backlash
where one finds themselves burrito-rolled
into a ride, jettisoned over a cliff
vigorous shaking out initiates ripples
shock waves that eventually propel riders
into the sky to make it on their own
or find authorities knocking down doors
for clear abuse of sentient rugs

For this reason are magic carpets rare
caution and thaumaturgic finesse
often an equal toil between taming
fibers and washing out blood spills
splashed wine, dried mud and esoteric effluvia
that infests whoever does the cleaning
with frayed enchantments, sticky charms
and rashes cursed to never leave

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson lives on Canada’s west coast and has been nominated for the Aurora, Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards in poetry, and longlisted for the Stoker Award in fiction. As a freelance editor, she co-edited Tesseracts 17 and Aurora nominated Playground of Lost Toys. She edited Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland (Exile Publishing) and guest edited Eye to the TelescopeShe has served on both Stoker Award and British Fantasy Award juries, and received BC Arts Council and Canada Council grants for her writing. Her works have seen print in numerous venues, including Polu TexniThe Pulp Horror Book of PhobiasThe Beauty of Death, and Cemetery Dance. Her fiction collection, A Body of Work was published by Black Shuck Books, UK and her poetry collection will be published in 2021. Learn more at