Category Archives: Poetry

Ellen Weber

Ellen Weber

 

Escape

 

We stood in the yellow light

whispers spread to close companions

Fenced into bubbles, timid as a tulip’s bud

 

We saw the potions being poured

the amber and teal and sunset pinks

liquid gold encased in red

 

We laughed as joy poured down our throats

and watched the cool dew descend

and the moon starts to breathe

 

We danced out of unison

in the pulsing lights to the

melodies that leeched off our blood

 

We remembered our origins

when each of our earths was sent on a

crash course into each other and rejoiced

 

We turned our heads and shunned

the temperature’s rising in our fellow revelers,

from hearts to heads to fists

 

We closed our eyes

when we saw the river girl’s eyes set aflood

as they do each springtime celebration

 

We brushed off the quiet smoke and whips

so carelessly flung at us from

her sneaking, smiling maw

 

We refused the shadows

as they tried to slither through our eyes

to slip ice in our veins and consume our minds

 

We ran away from the orange light that

stretched over the concrete

 

We resented the stars

for falling asleep and leaving

their shadows in our eyes

 

We wanted to return

to the heights of separation

of flesh and cloudy hearts

 

We were not done with the noise

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Aliyha Gill

White Wash 

          After Sylvia Plath’s “Face Lift”

 

I sneak in a bottle of skin-lightening oil from the drug store,

tucked behind my back, discarded box and directions

in the parking lot: I found my new night routine.

When I was four, a woman

stood behind me and my mom in line. She was shocked

by my mom’s white hand holding my tan one. Told Six Flags security

that my mom snatched me from my real mother.

O my mother was sick.

Things didn’t change. After swimming

pale as Snow White in my suit of sunblock,

dizzy from the stench of sunscreen,

I dry off under an umbrella while my sister

basks in the sun. She makes me feel something shameful

peeks out from my Banana Boat cloak. At a quarter past two

she flips onto her belly like a pig on a spit…

She doesn’t know a thing.

For five months I apply whitening treatments in secret,

pinch rubber bulb, drip serum onto skin, its excess stains sheets and pillow.

Even my peers think I’m adopted.

Complexion doesn’t reflect my roots, chemical peels do a better job of that.

When I shower, skin cracks. I grow sensitive. I’m fourteen,

flaky and in immense pain in my childhood bathroom, my cheeks

screaming as I slather more whitener on them;

I hadn’t self-love yet.

Now (six years later) she’s done for, the judgmental bully

I heard shouting, day and night, in my ear—

Family outcast, tried so hard to lighten me that she erased herself.

She’s trapped in my teenage diaries.

Let her collect dust, or catch fire in a blaze,

writhing and howling as flames eat her paper-skin.

To my younger self, I wish to cradle you in my arms,

brown and beautiful as can be.


Aliyha Gill is a psychology and English (creative writing) double major senior at SUNY Geneseo. She is the opinion editor for The Lamron and the copy editor for MiNT Magazine. She appreciates all forms of art and aspires to publish her own poetry collection one day.

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Aliyha Gill

The Freshman 15

 

Skin stretched too thin

ripping at the seams, begins to fray

Encased in lard, O gluttonous sin

Barcode engraved next to belly button

says product is near its expiration, watch it decay

Skin stretched too thin

Oakwood-grain contrasts against cheerio-sand skin

Gelatinous stomach fat scored like clay

Encased in lard, O gluttonous sin

Jagged zig-zags, ragged pin

stripes go every which way

Skin stretched too thin

  Puckered, inflamed ribbons

shorelines torment a beached castaway

          Encased in lard, O gluttonous sin

Inner thighs a page of wavy symbols foreign

hips enthroned in withering bouquets

Skin stretched too thin

Encased in lard, O gluttonous sin


Aliyha Gill is a psychology and English (creative writing) double major senior at SUNY Geneseo. She is the opinion editor for The Lamron and the copy editor for MiNT Magazine. She appreciates all forms of art and aspires to publish her own poetry collection one day.

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Aliyha Gill

The High Place Phenomenon

 

Rushing water carries logs down the creek. I force myself

not to shout out as the reservoir soaks up my reflection.

Blushed pink cheeks coated in misty air, I

never want to be pummeled,

crushed by the insurmountable weight of the falls.

Nowhere else to go, it releases a saturated

gush of waste and debris. I

don’t speak, just picture myself tumbling in the mix.

Hush, hear a log’s soft whistles and cries.

No one will notice her absence amongst the

brush; many branches take her place.

She’s gone.


Aliyha Gill is a psychology and English (creative writing) double major senior at SUNY Geneseo. She is the opinion editor for The Lamron and the copy editor for MiNT Magazine. She appreciates all forms of art and aspires to publish her own poetry collection one day.

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Kat Johnson

Drink If

 

drink if you’ve fucked someone in the room

you counted the pennies in the wishing well, hoping it’d end up being a sign

you took the wrong exit on purpose because lately you’ve been knowing where you are far too often

you choke every time you see his name written in sharpie on the back of your hand

you stumble down the stairs, always try to keep up

you try to catch your breath when he calls to tell you his mom won’t come home

you never go home

you blame the stars, stare at the constellations just to believe there’s something bigger

something to steal your breath when you wonder where he is

the piano chords feel a little too much like that stairwell by the vending machines

where you cried because he wouldn’t come back

time is suffocating like a bag of sand tied to your throat

like a lipstick stained mug of release and promises

like the way you beg for thirty seconds of euphoria just to claim him as the same damn casualty

it’s something on the low, behind bars and shovels and caskets and all the times it could’ve been

it’s all the cracked mirrors and shards of glass, all of the bleeding out you had to do

just to remember life.

 


Kat Johnson is a junior English major on the creative writing track at SUNY Geneseo, also minoring in women’s & gender studies. She primarily writes poetry. She also loves writing and performing original music, which you can find on Spotify. When she isn’t writing, she loves singing with her all-gender a cappella group, Between the Lines.

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Melanie Norman


Smudge Painting

An oil pastel glides softly

leaving charcoal grey smears across papers

and something of its churning gloom

reminds me of

the twirling smoke of a smudge stick

drifting through the air and fading

away from the sparkling orange embers

and I blend

my blots of ash with fingers

long since stained brown from multicolored oils

remembering grandmother with her russet skin

arms flowing

sinuous smoke trailing after like a salmon through a stream of whirling silver

prayers falling from her lips

warbling joyfully and strong

eddying with smoky wisps gracefully

 


Melanie Norman is in the process of earning her BA in English with a minor in anthropology from SUNY Brockport. She’s in the process of publishing her first novel, and was also the recipient of the Mary Louise White Award from the University of SUNY Fredonia in early 2019 for both poetry and short fiction. 

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Mia Donaldson

tetanus

we saunter through

the suburbs i wish to be reborn into,

glass rattling in our pockets & purses. she is the only one who knows i hate my mother,

yet she cares very little.

 

what i think of her now doesn’t matter.

under that blue evening we are

a single thing

jangling with adrenaline 

as it passes through summer-glazed yards. 

 

it trespasses, briefly. 

my shoe seizes the fence—

i dive, retrieve—

skin catches—i swear i have tetanus.

 

someone i swore i could love had a needle driven through their arm two weeks ago. i

waited by the phone as if they gave a damn, as if my digital affirmations would release

them from some divine bacterial will.  

my own scratch is long, thin. deep as an eraser shaving. i nurse it like a bullet

hole, tear through her cabinets to find bandages for a wound that doesn’t even 

bleed. 

 

i don’t drink. she does. 

when i’m finally satisfied with my medical hand she’s vomiting 

in the kitchen sink. it is 8 p.m. & my friends surround her like apostles. 

i part the hormonal crowd. turn on the faucet.

they leave. 

 

cherry punch sinks into her mother’s carpet. 

i’m kneeling with my wounded leg as i scrub. 

the red spot turns to white. i’ve never been more proud.

 

i climb the stairs to see that someone with another.

i am not surprised. 

i am sixteen, sure yet flimsy, betting on an underlying flaw 

which will make sense of all this. that the talents i harbor 

in notdrinking & stainremoving 

will amount to a whole kind of love.

 

& some time later

i will realize that i did get tetanus;

it slithered through me that night, an internal leech, curving my hips into 

something 

worth loving, instilling in me the desire to be desired,

 

no longer craving 

a whole love but the surface of it: a pool of glass under my bare feet. 

 

they will follow me, trailing my intrigue. that someone will call me first. i will 

receive enough love to fill an open wound. 

 


Mia Donaldson is a freshman at SUNY Geneseo double majoring in English literature and political science with a minor in the Edgar Fellows program. She plans to continue her English studies into graduate school, and can typically be found around campus reading or staring wistfully into the vast Geneseo farmland. Their interests include, but are not limited to: women, anything written by Ottessa Moshfegh or Thomas Hardy, Mitski, stompy boots, and matcha lattes.

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Kat Johnson

midas touch 

far beneath the patter of rain on empty glass

are the sounds of a million voices, some who resemble my father more than others, i tell them:

i could have loved you but you left me before i had the chance.

i sometimes think i still love you when you choke me out and never hold my hand.

i loved the way you felt on my body but i never wanted to say the word.

i loved you from so many thousands of miles away but it felt cursed.

sometimes in my sleep i visit with the faces

of ghosts who taught me to love:

in our old haunts, messages in familiar fonts

like hands intertwined hidden behind bleachers

or the warmth of an overpriced latte and clean white sneakers

or cliche stanzas in composition notebooks

with promises to never actually read the words,

just grade for completion &

sometimes i remember the way liberation looked

when it was in someone who never gave me the time of day;

someone who always seems to remain just a face and a name

we kept our secrets beneath our teeth,

each dance with the devil a different shade of greed

eyes gashed [by the daggers of our lost sleep]

and sometimes when i wake up tangled in my own sheets, can’t even

               breathe

i am reminded of the way his breath felt warm on my shoulder

the nights he forgot himself and lay next to me.

cheeks flushed a different color when i tried something new

like i broke through a lock or some sort of cocoon

(she turned the music off so her lips on my body were the only sound in the room.)

but it took countless drinks at a bar i’d never been to: we broke promises

to ourselves and forgot ours to one another / she threw up on my floor while i slept under the covers.


Kat Johnson is a junior English major on the creative writing track at SUNY Geneseo, also minoring in women’s & gender studies. She primarily writes poetry. She also loves writing and performing original music, which you can find on Spotify. When she isn’t writing, she loves singing with her all-gender a cappella group, Between the Lines.

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Aliyha Gill

The High Place Phenomenon

Rushing water carries logs down the creek. I force myself

not to shout out as the reservoir soaks up my reflection

Blushed pink cheeks coated in misty air, I 

never want to be pummeled,

crushed by the insurmountable weight of the falls.

Nowhere else to go, it releases a saturated 

gush of waste and debris. I 

don’t speak, just picture myself tumbling in the mix. 

Hush, hear a log’s soft whistles and cries.  

No one will notice her absence amongst the

brush; many branches take her place.

She’s gone.


Aliyha Gill is a psychology and English (creative writing) double major senior at SUNY Geneseo. She is the opinion editor for The Lamron and the copy editor for MiNT Magazine. She appreciates all forms of art and aspires to publish her own poetry collection one day.

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Ella Pearcy

Signs of Persephone

I was driving and a black ram stopped my car. I almost hit it, and I honked trying to move the creature. The ram stared back as if waiting for me to do something. I have the sudden urge to eat pomegranates. I changed my perfume to a lavender scent because the Chanel I wore before it became toxic, and the lavender became intoxicating. I have the sudden urge to eat pomegranates. The willow tree in my yard and the ivy that grows on my home look like art. I stare at it for hours, transfixed, until my eyes burn from looking for something I cannot find. I have the sudden urge to eat pomegranates. There’s someone in my house. Her hands brush hair from my eyes, torch in hand, leading me to hidden parts of the world. I have the sudden urge to eat pomegranates.

 


Ella Pearcy is a freshman at SUNY Geneseo. She is an English and creative writing major, and a women and gender studies minor. She plans to continue her studies in Europe, and get her masters in creative writing. Her interests include: fashion, archery, Studio Ghibli, and reading everything she can get her hands on. She aspires to be an author, and hopes to one day have a published series of her own.   

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