|Standing and Working|
I put these responses aside and then read aloud some list-laden texts: stanzas five & six of Marianne Moore's "The Steeple-jack"; Joshua 18:21-28; George Herbert's poem "Prayer [I]"; and part of chapter 4 of The Great Gatsby. I also played "I Am a Grocery Bag," by They Might Be Giants. [As I'm writing this, I'm thinking of many other possibilities I could have shared.]
|Mostly Sitting and Working|
Daniel & Ashley
poor little guy, carrying the human load
lost wet poverty
white and brown
ugly depending on who you are talking to
the masses scare me
always avoid direct eye contact
you were great in holes
you are dangerous
I miss you
- Katelyn Seitz, Reina Berumem, Lauren Higgins
mall of America
the zebra and the pea
I need anteater tranquility
- Stevi Daniels, Gaven Heim, Aaron Young Smith
Krista had just arrived in the Newark airport for her first trip to America. Her cousin Diane picked her up at the terminal in her red Volvo.
To her sister’s question, “What do you think of America so far?” Krista replied:
There’s a high possibility I could die here! Rite Aid, shinsplints, police tape, sticky hands, sad Shia, desert climate, my lost shaker of salt, mountains on stilts, No! No! No! No!”
“Wonderful,” said Diane. “Did you buy anything in the airport?”
It’s a good place to catch a disease: trenchcoats, humanity, glistening sweat! ‘Where is your extra large undergarment section?’ ‘Give me that blender!’ ‘Meep meep!’ ‘I’m fast, I’m not slow!’ headlights, hair gel, frosted tips, Spaghetti Western, clay, ‘Mom I wanna go home now!’”
“Superb,” said Diane. “What do you want to see while you’re in America?”
Jingle All the Way, beans, yo-yos, 90s-era Justin Timberlake, the south, San Andreas fault, trapezoid, caverns like a cylinder, luxury fur, Shrek 2, the tower of Babel, a pile of bricks, bricks, high winds, tourists and time travel, Molehill Mountain, the only survivor (he knew how to swim!), suntans, javelina!”
“Oh wow,” said Diane. “Your English has improved so much! Have you been practicing any other phrases?”
Hi doctor, you should numb me up! Your teeth are so clean, why are you at a dentist? Hell yeah they’re fake! My legs hurt! Look at these beautiful shapes I can make! Even the whites of his eyes were sorry! Where are you, Mom? P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney! Tumbleweed icing! Ukraine cinderblocks! Checkerboard bushes! Expensive armpit doesn’t seem real! Ants are for kids! White-white! Godzilla!!!”
“Mmhmm,” said Diane.
- Joshua Patch, Nico Hernandez, Lit Odom
Walking majestic through the fog,
Leading down into the abyss,
Magnum opus of fallen angels,
Judged by God, pigs in a pen,
Too bad they don't die.
Black Friday; all clothes match on
The Road to Hell;
A dark chasm leading down;
Conglomerations of tourists,
Manipulated; packs on their backs;
Sexy dentists; youth and beauty
Brigade; children screaming
I transform! I transform!
Love rejects no environment.
Who are you? The travel agency told me: Super Human;
Christ's aura; "God"; I look so
Good running the path to the bottom.
Judgment has no security guards.
- Kent Reister, Jake Anderson, Josué Luna
next to hell
falling saint, deep and unknown power, ancient worshipers,
diverse wreckage, hungry people, precarious king, blue suns,
bristled aliens, dark desert towers; colonnade of korah, stacked
long journey's end
- Katherine Baker, Alison Evans, Daniel Larsen
Is that a Dragon?
Awe and terror
A majestic contrast--white and dark
Warmth in winter
Orange hue; blue saturation
Pearly whites in the dirt.
Fearful paradise. Gold.
Rugged beauty, looks unreal
Crisp eyes. Edges-depth
Perfectly science fiction.
- Victoria Van Vlear, Alyssa Martin, Nicole Rinde
summer in the South
sparse grass, cool sun
pools of sunny water
sad, sad child actor
White teeth, clear eyes
tan sweaty face
contrast strength & health
corny, posed, gloss
long-faced with doe eyes
light & dark, rich & nutty--the middle ground
bottomless broken layers
A little too pleading
a little too shallow
no one knew
can't get full
but still that stare;
L.A. is dying & no one cares
he was hella-pissed
carrying all his worldly possessions on his back
- Olivia Hays, Jeanne Halstead, Allison Winters
Just do it.
Taste the deep dark buried in the dirt, scratchy lava rocks
Paint the very roots of the Earth a new foggy yellow
Teeter Topple up and down
The sirens are going off!
Descend extending angles
Due of starvation in a bottomless pit.
Look mid-stride ahead through desert and waste.
I can see my childhood from here!
Saudi Arabia is a bad place to get a divorce
False while galore shining but with what?
Globalism, materialism, 50% off all Christmas decorations.
Made worse by pretense of perfection.
Hit me with your
Vacant almost smile
And glimmering eyes so welled up with moisture.
Open your mouth and say "That'd be noisy."
Imprecise snuffling, smelling for a friend
Leave the penny
Warm the ears listening thing
Jurassic light caught reflection to walk on
Standing alive but only visually.
How'd you get here?
- Connor Collins, Nathan Fan, Lori Lusk
My neighbors are
sniveling chess pieces in
Satan's crawl space.
They're roadtrip camping,
cookie crumble cocain consumers,
trudging along and left tethered.
Mary: fake spray tan--
caught in the act with
Peter; hunger and crouch.
Joseph, trying not to smile and
acting all grown up:
sunshine hair, garbage make up--
lines up unrequited love and enjoys it too much.
Rats in draw pipes dig
beyond the reach of human arms,
pretentious but lost and narrow.
These are modeling ancient people.
- Brooke Dodson, Michael Asmus, Lisl Ruckert