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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,

Mayan Godmaire

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

Contributor

“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

Contributor

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

couldn’t walk.


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

my grandma.


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

Plastic love

By Olivia Helguero

Contributor

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.


SEASONAL SOUL

By Jasmine Goncalves

Contributor

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

Bites me.

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,

As debris.



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