Tag Archives: Poetry

Who Will Perform the Rites

It has only been three nights since I decided that you didn’t love me                                              
   enough. Tonight, trenched in silent anger we feign sleep in some alternate universe,
      some parallel hell where we stare dead-eyed at the same ceiling, the same
   eggshell white. Laid to rest in separate rooms, I swelter under winter blankets 

left on the bed too long; it is April now. You shift on three inches of air,
   which slowly leaks from the blue inflatable mattress in the living room. Odd
      that you chose that room as your campsite, since what we’ve been doing
   can hardly be called living. I’ve felt bound up in my own body, like those Egyptians

whose souls still managed to slip out of yards and yards of cloth. They packed
   their tombs with amulets, statues of gods, took every gilded thing 
      into the afterlife; once you're gone, this small apartment will become 
   an exhibit of our love. I will have an empty bed, not grand, but engraved 

with the unyielding shape of your body. I will have the gaping closet which held 
   your shirts, a shadowy mouth shouting now what? I will have pictures 
      of us, which I will peel from the frames I picked so carefully; I matched 
   the fake-gilded scroll work to the gold sweater I wore, the dark faux-wood 

to your dense hair. I will remove the pictures, and in the hollow frames I will place 
   my organs for safekeeping, ceremony: intestines, bittered with the dinners 
      I will eat alone. The stomach in the blue acrylic frame will hang grey against 
   the pop of color, riddled with ulcers. The fear that you may never want children 

left my tenderer parts in disrepair. The lungs have shrunk, wasted with the cutting breaths 
   of wails, the shallow panting of questions unanswerable. I will put those 
      in the small oval frame we purchased from a run-down highway thrift-shop, 
   now a memento mori, an anatomy-theatre attraction. In the darkest frame, 

my liver, my poor seat of passion, my other heart which I now drown in elixirs, 
   wrap in linen, sprinkle with perfume. How odd that once they thought 
      it was a place of humors; I would rather have it on the wall where it cannot pump 
   its heat into my blood. I wish to sleep the sleep of the embalmed. 

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Amanda Williams is currently in her first year of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. She received BA degrees in English Literature and Theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL and spent a year studying Early Modern literature abroad at the University of Oxford.

A Late Night Thought

What a dangerous thing a late night thought can be. A late night thought can torment like a leaky faucet, dripping endlessly. Our eyes widen to reality as it slips slowly away from us—our dreams slowly become the newer, richer world. It is stripped and stretched and mangled, the once calm thought. Thinking of an almost. All those almosts, so close. Spread out like a cadaver, the original intention dies, and taking its place comes a mangled Frankenstein idea. That Frankenstein thought, unlike the original, is misunderstood—fearful of a fire like truth. But what is the human mind but a warehouse of incomplete thoughts put together by some monkey while the big boys upstairs smoke their cigars and laugh about their success? We are slaves to the late night thought. Do you not believe me? If not, then you’ve never had your enchanted life bursted by love–or so we call it. A late night thought is like an itch, that, no matter how hard you scratch, will always be an incessant step mother to that infinitely small point on the back of your head, nagging at your closing eyes. Your eyes slowly become pebbles drifting to the bottom of a river—vision distorted, along with your thoughts. A cloud drifts by in the night sky and you believe it was sent to rain on you, but maybe you aren’t the only one that cloud is there for. As if there is a center to anything but ego. Shall we move away from this cardboard “big” picture and climb back into a smaller, more concrete understanding? I know we could, but the late night thought is stubborn; it won’t face facts; it just drowns it itself in a pool of imagination. In a weird way, that’s what makes us human: a late night thought strips away logic and replaces it with a stain glass sphere of emotions. It is the true nakedness of a sleepy driven drunken human spirit. No other being can feel the way we do with a late night thought. Let us at least admire for a moment the idea that our complexly trivial emotions are Gods, immortal in lieu of the bane harsh reality we view…So what do we do with a late night thought: let it run rampant through the streets, or silence it before it gets too cocky? Like a crackling fire, we must be careful with a late night thought: let it grow too fast and it will burn everything, but if left unfed, then there will be no splendor to keep you warm. The answer, I suppose, is lodged somewhere in our hearts between each gushingly boisterous beat: Buh boom, buh boom, buh boom.Late night thought, I envy and hate you; I admire and scorn you. I wish my mind could control you. But for now, I’ll let you wander about my mind and my heart….Buh Boom, Buh boom… buh…boom….

Colin Aslay is originally from Southern California and currently attends the University of North Texas. This is the first appearance of his poetry outside of social media.

There’s No Place Like

I’ve seen a hermit
crab make a can of Sprite home,
and she seemed happy.

Alice Stanley holds a BA in English from Principia College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Arizona State University. Her recent play Truth Wars won Chicago Dramatist’s New Play Bake-Off at The Goodman. She currently lives in Chicago performing as an ensemble member with The Second City and Music Comedy Live theatres.

Karyn with a Y

Oh my God, remember that roll of nothing
but the crew pretending to be
more buzzed than we were
from jello shots? No one ever saw those. It was before Facebook.
Aw. I miss that.
And then the next year we were seniors, and we all had
MySpace, and the morning after
prom there were, like, 200 pictures tagged of me
and Greg Poccono. Aw.
It made me miss prom.
And, like, sometimes I just click back a few pages.
My first night of college. Aw. Look
at those little rooms we shared.
Aw. Look
at the caps, gowns, lipstick.
Aw. That shitstain Jenny who was my best friend
at Applebees
before she got obsessed with going
to Zumba every day.
I miss her.
This morning I had time to snag
a white mocha Frap. It was so yummy, and now I miss it!
Work was basic, but me
and Kayla snuck into the storage closet and ate half a gallon of tortilla chips,
and, like,
I miss that.
This screen used to be blank,
and I miss that. Aw.
That last line was deep.
I miss writing it. Aw.
I’m nostalgic for the period
at the end of “Aw.” Aw.

Alice Stanley holds a BA in English from Principia College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Arizona State University. Her recent play Truth Wars won Chicago Dramatist’s New Play Bake-Off at The Goodman. She currently lives in Chicago performing as an ensemble member with The Second City and Music Comedy Live theatres.

How to Keep

“You can’t touch them,”
my babysitter warned
about the bunnies burrowed
in a hole at the corner
of our front lawn.
I’d see puffs of fuzz float
from their home and land
soft in the grass as I drew with chalk
on the driveway.
I’d peer in at the tight-eyed lumps,
barely furry hides heaped
on top of one another.
“You can’t because the mother will smell you
and won’t come back to teach them hopping.”
I listened
but thought Babies, don’t go.
So I reached my hand inside to feel
the puddle of wriggling
smooth skins.
The next morning
half a rabbit hind
lined the walkway to my house.

Alice Stanley holds a BA in English from Principia College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Arizona State University. Her recent play Truth Wars won Chicago Dramatist’s New Play Bake-Off at The Goodman. She currently lives in Chicago performing as an ensemble member with The Second City and Music Comedy Live theatres.

Daily Routine

Walking awhile at night
Each house got personal.
-Jon Anderson

Then impersonal again, in the old style of repetition.
All the houses with their minor domestic differences.
It seemed dishonest somehow to find comfort in them,                                                                                                                                            those gestures: the manicured lawns                                                                                                                                                           with expensive sprinkler systems, the garbage bins
pulled to the curb for Tuesday pick up, the recycling.

Still, I admit, I did find comfort in them, & was troubled
by that. I’d go to coffee shops & talk like a philosopher
regarding death & sex. At home I’d hunch over poems
as though they were important, but then I’d sleep to the hum
of the television. Wasn’t it all…?

I wanted to live without distraction. I became
obsessed with the little deaths of daily routine. I was made
to speak grandly of the mundane things.

J.S. Belote earned his BA in English from Principia College and is an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Simple Life

Paris & Nicole have perfect manicures
and they are milking cows. They look so good.
Nails hard as a spell of hail.

Doctors recommend daily usage of SPF 40,
at least, 60 for extra protection—if things get too bright.

Like contemplating a rhinestone. Nicole’s
all like oh my god, it’s too hot outside.
Palm tree decals almost melting & Paris concurs.

Then udder hanging with a cipher’s weight,
the milk spilling; the girls tan against the grass looking good.

Agreement: the easiest kind of knowledge.
We’re always saying a lot of things we don’t mean
to each other. The book fell open on its broken

spine and it said flos for flower, sol for sunlight.
But meant everything. Paris suffered, sighed.

Rebecca Beauchamp is an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. She will be studying at the Ashbery Home School in New York this summer.

Become a Color

                in the golden light of dawn rising 
                                 walk the woods and become a color

                strip the sinews off your body                 breathe each molecule bare as
                                 the violet breath in your lungs blooms purple algae

robin-egg haze grazes the tips of grass              a blue sun rises in pulses of silver 
                                 while your muscles blend in bass tones of shadow

                let skin explore the icy burn of                snow melt in the brook

     let tendril vines take your vertebrae in         hand cradle capillaries and sink 
                                                                                                      into your soft palate

                wild roots need an anchor body             to become a color

Cameron Price is a poet living in Ann Arbor, MI with his partner. His experimental video poems and text-based poetry have appeared in Small Po[r]tions, Humble Pie, Sixfold, Mount Island Magazine, Written River, The Destroyer, the 6th Cairo Video Festival, and is forthcoming in DIAGRAM. He graduated from Goddard College in May 2015.