Archive for June, 2015

I still don’t wanna grow up
so it makes sense that I wanna end it
(I mean turn off these thoughts, this confusion), but how weird is it to think:
like, my mind wants to shut down but then
my body is fighting to survive. I’m just so tired,
but there’s never a reason. I think it’s in my mind,

where exhaustion has made its den, its cave home, where something is wrong, in my mind,
where I don’t wanna leave childhood. Christoph brought that up,
actually, when we were doing some cheesy exercise about the timeline of our lives (it was
late-night at our retreat, oh I was tired),
he said when he was 17, one of his classmates Saskia threw herself in front of a train, and it
killed her instantaneously. She didn’t want to grow up, he said. Christoph didn’t think

it would affect him so much, didn’t think
little brown-haired Saskia had tsunamis in her mind,
that her Peter Pan urge would toss her in front of a train and then
the entire class would talk about their feelings for a week, dredging up
emotions that weren’t even related. It
was a story that made me feel devastatingly tired

of being suicidal, or having been suicidal. The tiredness
gets so penetrating that it’s like an urge to die. Because to outsiders, I think
there’s not too much distinction between “being” and “having been”. This misunderstanding, it’s
like failing. Christoph told us about Saskia somberly, because certain things are indisputable in
his mind,
and I used to tell him it was the German in him. He was always very rational, thought growing up
was something that happened with or without freaking out, so then

why freak out? Why be troubled? He felt that way about making sandwiches, and art, and then,
I discovered, long-distance relationships. It still makes me tired
to think about being Skype-dumped, about how Christoph would put his back up
against what was rational, what was logical, and never think
that it could be changed. Nothing is indisputable in my mind.
What cannot be disputed? Think about it.

Love? Hope? False. Everything is tremulous. Growing up? I still don’t want it.
Saskia didn’t want it. It was fine for Peter Pan to stay frozen, but then
all his friends used time to leave him. I wish adulthood didn’t bring death to mind—
like, if you grow up, and there’s nothing to hold on to anymore, it’s tiring
to keep swimming. Life is fluid and easy to drown in. Christoph didn’t think
like Saskia did, didn’t feel like giving up

about growing up. Sometimes it seems like life is a well, like it’s
dark and open, and you can’t see rock bottom until you’re too close. I thought about dying as a
way to finally rest, and then
it was so hard to get the tiredness out of my mind.

G. Shay Douple is a current grad student at Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches Writing and Rhetoric. She is an AmeriCorps alumna and a Virginia transplant living in the vivid city of Chicago, IL.


Embrujada by Donna Snyder

Posted: June 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

she seeks truth in a boy’s flesh
he has none
nothing promised
nothing given
nothing subtle nor redemptive
a flame between her eyes
fire at the tip of a spotted nose
burning bush splinters and ash
disconsolate night gives birth to fate

ancient house of cactus and brick
she howls there in the shadows
a starved dog on a hot night
dystopia present tense and here to stay
decay accumulates with every breath
nothing borrowed and nothing new
honest blues buried in the back yard
a stone grave
a brass bowl
an angel carved from a dead tree
her self caught in bad retro porn
The Devil in Miss Jones
no satisfaction to be had
grace and wisdom another myth

the only truth found in a drunk tattoo
ugly monkey
frog beauty
frantic ache
sad tequila spit of rain across her face
language no more her gorgeous cloud
no mermaid symphony
no siren song
no wild sweet echoing in the dusk
gentle oasis gone dry too damned fast
his warm flesh now snow cold soon old
a foul shadow left behind to tantalize
time chained and drunk in a pine cave
universe dancing to night’s song

In 2014, Donna Snyder released two books of poetry, Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press) and I Am South (Virgogray Press). NeoPoiesis Press will publish The Tongue Has Its Secrets in 2015. She coordinates free weekly workshops for the Tumblewords Project, which she founded in 1995. Her blog is poetry from the frontera.

Matter by Vanessa Moody

Posted: June 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

My brain, constantly humming
and whirring with the same noise
and inanity of lint whipping about
stuck in an old air conditioner,
jolts and lurches with the dirt road
doldrums of an expansive cycle
of knee-scabbing pain, unsticking
duct tape from the broken urn,
letting fall the china scraps in a
clatter to the ground, a sound
of washroom wailing disproportionate
to the true whalesong of my membranes,
that reverberating hell
that cannot be unstuck.

Also disproportionate: the frequency
with which I consider shaving my head or dying
my hair a fuchsia shock, the frequency with which I consider
driving to the airport and leaving the country
instead of shopping for groceries, and
the frequency with which I consider applying to jobs
in fields—space travel, let’s say—for which I am wholly unqualified.

There are four states of matter.

My mind is a gas trapped
in my solid brain, trying
to control my liquid self.

Gas is either flammable
or inert.

I do not understand plasma,
but it is abundant.
These qualities—
mystery and abundance—
pair well together.

An important word is stasis.
In science, it means equilibrium.
In politics, it means strife.
I like the integrity of a word
that can conjure two polar states.

My brain is in stasis.
My brain has been in stasis
since at least 2010,
according to my doctors.
That’s when the tumor began.

Vanessa Moody is Brazilian-American writer and illustrator living in Baltimore, where she shares a home with her cat and her human. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Eunoia, The Leland Quarterly, and Outstare Lightning. She is a Stanford graduate pursuing her MFA at NYU. Twitter:

I wait another minute, two,
before I give myself permission
to picture her again.

I’ve beaten her down, buried her
in a nest of glass boxes, and when
the lock clicks she tendrils out
like ink poured into the sea;
I watch the water change color,
taste the stain along my tongue:
this is permanent.

Like the proverbial frog,
I dip in my toe with the heat
turned low. I can tread water
through her dreadful spelling
and off-color jokes, I can
lift my lips to the sun
despite her favorite color.

Before her cat sweaters
trickle in, I start to wonder
if I have learned to swim.

The look in her eyes when she
talks of undiscovered planets
tugs at my ankles, throws me
off balance, sends me drifting
in the wake of cold currents
where weeds slime my feet
and I choke on the time
she climbed eight stories
to tell me she wasn’t leaving
and then the flood begins.

I lose my breath remembering
my head on her shoulder,
her hand on my face;
she laughs like a child
and it’s roaring in my ears

I could let her pull me under
below the tide, below the crash
deep in dark waters where
the salt doesn’t sting;
I’ve burnt away my skin
and all along I was the one
turning up the heat.
Rachel Schmieder-Gropen is a rising sophomore at Mount Holyoke College. She has published a collection of poetry and short stories and plans to release another this summer.