Summer 2020 Visual Art

Woman on bicycle carrying package, Florence

Poetry Summer 2020


the views are 
better when you sit 
facing the direction of

the train passing 
through one delicious field 
of trees thick as marmalade 

after another spread over 
sweet and sorrow 
but October’s fossil  

infects forgotten fields
untamed or made 
orange by sunflower blood

and because you shoot
through the countryside 
forward-facing with the train

one stretch 
of track after another 

it’s too late 
to brave your head
backwards and

weep over
Redwood’s whisper 
you instead devour 

the majestic verdure 
that sprawls barmecidal:
ahead of you 

lies not a past 
coughing present 
but the future 
Poetry Summer 2020

August Wedding

A boy stands
on his hands. His pleated pants
splay like a tree split
by lightning, still blazing
orange in the evening.

Grass-flecked mud squelches 
between his fingers
while the stitching of his sport
coat strains
his armpits.

Blood floods
his head. Chatter
of birds and relatives
in the drumming sound:

like red-plumed legionaries
marching back to General’s
mercenary throne. Then a draft

of smoke, a flipped steak.
Violins begin.

His hair flicks
falls upward
as he rights himself
to cross the purple lawn

and fill the gap
in line they

left for him
between the men’s

black suits.
Their backs settle

like sand into
one shore: in a wave

at night, the dark clouds of quartz
swirl, then spread 

under the foam, surrendering
to the coast that begot

their grains.
Above the breakers

planets rise from the horizon
red, black, brown, blond

like men who stand turning
together toward the aisle.
Summer 2020 Visual Art


Prose Summer 2020


Summer started when the fair came to town. Bundles of spun sugar, shrieks from rides that twirled and dipped, tents with sharp points, eager faces behind booths, urging you to throw a dart, pop a balloon, win a stuffed monkey. Don’t worry, sweetheart, you’re guaranteed to win!

My sister asked me why I liked the fair so much, why there were stars on my calendar for each day it was in town. Buttery, I replied. The fair felt buttery.

My sister told me that didn’t make sense. But that’s what the fair was to me: indulgent, comforting, like watching butter melt on a warm roll. That buttery feeling left when the fair packed up and moved on, when the second half of summer began.

The warmth of June began to weigh on our foreheads, suffocating and oppressive. My mom would twist my hair into a long, sweaty braid, her fingers lightly grazing my neck. Eventually, we retreated into the shadows like rats, stripping off our clothes and laying wet towels on our chests.

Summer 2020 Visual Art


Summer 2020 Visual Art


Poetry Summer 2020

Mother Keeps Us on a Merry-Go-Round

After living in Miramar Inn for three weeks,
I realize we are not on vacation.

My mother spends days in bed, never
moving, even when we try to shake her.

On this day, like all the others,
my sister and I forage food from

the continental breakfast, just in case
we don’t have the money for lunch that day.

We make off with our haul to the playground in the dusty field
behind the hotel, which is really just a single gray

merry-go-round, and we spin and spin
and spin, morning light barely breaking 

the mountain peaks. This morning, like all the others,
we try to forget what the world feels like.

Our mom runs out to us
screaming about running

off without telling someone, but then she
just keeps on spinning us,

and laughs at our oblivious giggles
and for a moment,

she is not thinking about the hotel we can’t afford,
or the food we don’t have, or money that won’t last.

She forgets too.
Summer 2020 Visual Art


From the artist

“amnesia” was inspired by a silly event: me accidentally swallowing a substantially sized sliver of aluminum from a salmon, barbecued beans, and broccoli plate lunch. I immediately Googled the detrimental effects ingesting aluminum has on the body: Alzheimer’s disease — which may induce amnesia — was the most popular of search results. In my multimedia, digital drawing, I attempted to create a visual description and depiction of what I visualize the experience of amnesia and Alzheimer’s fleeting thoughts to be like.

Poetry Summer 2020

a smoot away

legend has it that he was a stout boy
that oliver r. smoot of lambda chi
stretching all 5 foot 7 inches
of his oliver arms, oliver legs, oliver body
above the enticing midnight water
across the cold harvard bridge
pridefully picked up by his brothers
positioned where his head left off
and his toes began
ticking off the bridge as a measurement stick
each line streaky and chalky
and a smoot.

google maps has it that i’m 1,384,776 smoots
from dorm to home
oliver would only have to lie down a couple
hundred times
hundred thousand times
across neighborhood taco joints
sprinting through know-every-cement-crack back-alleys
by please-let-me-stay-the-night friends’ houses
over no harvard bridge or water
but landlocked panhandle and manmade lake
he’d have to lie under, on, over
that lake where the radio waves of “suburbia”
and “idle town”
and some senior year cry still echo
slowly rippling
as we blink out of red eyes
and sore minds.

rumor has it that it’s only 1,384,776 smoots
of spilled slushies, rushed drive-thrus
last-minute turn signals mowing over highway lines
that oliver would have to endure
interstate miles that all 5 foot 7 inches
of my arms, my legs, my body
the same height as oliver
would have to retrace
tick-mark up, recompute
calculate kundera’s mathematical paradox in nostalgia:
“that it is the most powerful
in early youth when the volume
of the life gone by
is quite small.”

how, i wonder,
can the distance between dorm and home
stretch farther than a million olivers
but also be one short me
one smoot.