Creative Writing November 2021
It’s all it is, really. After the year has culminated in its phantasmal climax, there is nothing… But I joke. It’s time to harvest, can and pickle all the goodies that this year brought for you! And you’ll find that despite all your hard work, a few mushy pickles found their way into your storage jars. The poems and works this month focus on dealing with those sad, limp pickles as they appear. I’d like this introduction to come as a reminder to not be too hard on yourself when something goes rotten in a pretty jar. Don’t force yourself to eat it. And remember, life finds a way.
With love always,
Creative Writing Editor
Dr. Seuss’ Son’s Punishment By Proxy for His Father’s Marital Affair
A poem in response to Isabella Blu Ptito-Echeverria’s “Dr. Seuss’ Drunk Rambling After a Marital Affair”.
By Julieta Lozano-Ramsay
“Knows-pitcher… head-spitter… two-breaker… shh-it-eager...”
I couldn’t understand Ma neither, as Pa took ice from the freezer, slurring for “a strong cocktail, Peter”
Out of place at the dinner, a kid caregiver
I deliver with a quiver, a balloon on a river
A rapid, it happened, Ma admits I “ratted”
Now she’s yelling, they’re rabid
Someone please define “flaccid”
Ma never called me a nose-picker
I’m a big kid I know better, Pa maybe never
Will and still I- yes Ma, I’ll get you Advil
I’m a wise-beyonder, a ten-year-old-father,
An Advil-bringer, a cocktail-zinger
A snitch, who knew about the bitch
Ma is an over-career, an over-sharer, an under-loved-undercover who sees only error
Pa is an empty, 45-year-old twenty, who doesn’t like the food but eats plenty
I’m a future therapist’s financier
Whose hair will be balded by my 18th year
But really, I’m a mediator, Ma-to-Pa translator,
Lunch-money-liquidator and homework-procrastinator
At school I use them, at home I’m the calculator
If Pa is the guitar’s pit and Ma is the strings
I’m the one who plays and I’m the one who sings
I am the playground you play on
Playfully placating your pain gone
Then take it back and play a new song
Your play-offs don’t pay-off, please lay-off
You playboy and play-doll
I don’t say this,
I watch his sleek-grin pull her in
While her red-lips slip above his chin
It’s ugly and it lacks remorse
As there’s no mercy and of course
They finally do me the courtesy
Of a damn divorce
Till the morning
By Jacob “Tyrannosaurus Flex” Flexer
I’m lying in an alley behind an abandoned Blockbusters, bleeding out. It’s not how I
thought my night would go, not that I really had much planned tonight. My shift is over, none of
my friends are throwing parties, I don’t have a girlfriend, and my parents are out for a week
visiting my uncle and his new wife in Omaha. I wasn’t invited but I don’t care. I have a house to
myself so it’s gonna be a night of blazing and lazing. Just as soon as I stop bleeding. In a few
minutes it should stop and as soon as I can feel my legs again I’ll get up and take a bus home. I’ll
go home, put a few bandaids on, order some pizza, and smoke a giant bowl. Tomorrow I’ll see
my grandma, like I promised, play dominoes with her and if it still hurts, I’ll go to the clinic.
It happened quickly. I was smoking a cigarette, taking a shortcut through the alley
between King Boulevard and Nortons to the night bus. I was minding my business when these
two guys came out of the shadows. They were both wearing black hoodies and baggy
sweatpants. One of them came up to me and, in the calmest voice ever, said:
“Empty your pockets.”
I did it. I’d just worked 8 hours flipping burgers, and I was too tired to argue. All I had
was an iPhone 4S and 20 dollars. I handed it to them.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” the other one asked.
“Look, that’s all I have,” I said, “alright?”
Not alright. He smiled then punched me twice in the stomach. I fell down feeling the
wind leave me. They ran off laughing. Assholes. I looked at my shirt and saw blood. I tried to get
up but felt two streams run down my stomach before I collapsed. I put my hand to my stomach
and felt the broken skin. I poked it and immediately felt warmth before I pulled back wincing. It
took a minute until I realized that I wasn’t punched, I was stabbed. Holy shit was my first
thought. I’d just gotten stabbed. It was almost midnight, I was alone, I had no phone, and I
I should’ve taken the week off and gone with my parents. I couldn’t though; my uncle’s
wife, Cassie, has hated me since Thanksgiving when I rightfully called her out for disrespecting
my mom. She was being rude and was absolutely wasted so I told her to shut up. My uncle’s
face, in a second, went from relaxed to furious. I didn’t even say shut the fuck up. I just told her
to shut up and to lay off my mom.
My uncle Mitch went wild and started screaming at me, telling me I was worthless and
should’ve been aborted. My parents sided with him. I didn’t know why. I told him to shut the
fuck up and got grounded for two weeks.
It’s been 20 minutes, the bleeding is slowing down.
“Shit,” I gasp.
My voice is so raspy. Can I yell for help?
“Help,” I half scream and half groan.
“Help!” I scream before I throw up a mixture of blood and yesterday’s spaghetti dinner.
My mom had left it for me before heading to the airport.
I’m still bleeding, and now I’m cold. I’m lying in a puddle of the stuff. I’ll have to throw
away this shirt and take a long shower. I think I’ll pass on pizza and instead just have some
canned soup. I’ll still smoke that bowl though, I’ve earned it. Maybe I’ll invite Noelle over. I
wanna apologize to her. I still miss her. My grandma always liked her as well. She lives in the
same building as her so they see each other a lot. Or maybe I’ll see Noelle tomorrow when I see
It’s pretty dark. My shift ended at 11 and the clock in the liquor store said 11:30. It’s
maybe been an hour, possibly two. Nobody really comes here at night. I used to come here with
Noelle but that’s been over for a few weeks. I should talk to her and see how she’s doing.
A rat skitters past me. It stops and looks at me.
“You have a phone I can use?” I ask it.
It turns and scampers away.
It’s funny. I laugh a bit, but I stop because that only makes me bleed more. Oh, god...
I’m gonna die. I’m actually going to die. I’m not gonna see my grandma, Noelle, my
mom, or my dad. I want them. I want them right now. I wanna play dominoes with my grandma
while we drink lemonade in her living room. I wanna eat dinner with my mom and dad again. I
wanna kiss Noelle, or just hug her. Hear her voice. My uncle hates me and I hate him so much.
Still, I want to see him. Can I make it?
I turn myself over and look up. I’m not religious but I’m still curious. What’s gonna
happen? I know there is no Heaven or Hell, but there has to be something. Right? I don’t want it
to be over, maybe I can scream for help.
“Help,” I whisper, “help me please...”
Copyrighted by random house publishing firm
By Olivia Helguero
She hung the replica of “Persistence of Memory”
Her favorite painting by Salvador Dali
She said the ants were a symbol of mortality
The softness of sleep and the harshness of reality
When she talked about art he adored her commentaries
But that night she had a few too many virgin marys
She went for a drive in their old Jeep Wrangler
But it crashed into another and she felt a cold grip entangle her
He had a kaleidoscopic view of life
A twisting and twirling controllable device
So he custom built her made for his pleasure
Perfectly symmetrical from each and every measure
She woke and laid him down on their bed
And he kissed her lips that were a bit too red
She loved him as she was built to do
She loved him like she used to
She caressed his hair like he commanded
Superficiality was the armor he demanded,
She slabbed on more and more cheap concealer
Masquerading as the deceased art dealer
The painting above their mantel caught her in her panic
To her, the ants seemed grossly organic
The hardest mechanical objects in front of her were wilting
And the lonely landscape around it, melting
She stared in a state of reflexive disorientation
The monstrous fleshy creature in her fixation
The machinery that seemed grotesquely primitive
And says to the man “It’s kind of derivative”
The basis of art is truth, and she was fake
He laughed in his bitterness and agony of heartbreak
The disparity between outward and inner disposition
Was enough to make them question the human condition
“What do you want to eat?”
“I don't need to but if you want I can chew, swallow and repeat.”
As he brushed back her artificial hair
He noticed she missed the scar she had there.
“You’re..... passionless” he stops and says to the plastic
She wanted to cry but her tear ducts were just elastic
Some form of grief to make her capable of sympathy
But was trapped by the trauma of basic existence haunting society
“Technology changes but people don’t”
Her circuitry started glitching, he won’t he won't he won’t
He never loved her, the one she was programmed to adore
Automated shock waves ran through her entire corps
She leaps toward the door without making a peep
But her cheap cord was grabbed by the mournful creep
He looked deep into her eyes and saw the wife he wanted to keep
The artist he fell for that he had lost to that jeep
What he’d sown he’d reap, as he felt tears starting to seep
He unplugged the cord and began to weep
“It's so early to be dark” It says.
And it was put to sleep.
By Jasmine Goncalves
My lips are chapped with yesterday's miscalculations
The guilt following a Sunday storm
But it's calm, nonetheless.
Almost cyclical, and completely reassuring
A series of questions pondering cruelty.
And now I am a sardine begging to be canned
Now the hallway is holding hands with my empty stomach
The sleeves of my sweater attempting to wipe away,
Olive oil and dry bread.
Numbness consuming the arch of my back,
The same perfect spine you used to play in between
Convex, concave, and then again
Pain and pleasure all over again.
Like the fateful seasons
Summer haunts me and you, Winter
When the page grows small, swollen eyes will beg for forgiveness.
Something to cleanse, someone to have,
Myself to hold.
Making each material insignificant as it crumbles past,