Category Archives: Poetry

Frances Sharples

placebo

is the path i take to a lover’s house in the middle of the night. is when i get home safe. is the clean cut of nicotine after you’ve gone to bed. is when i loved you in the back of your mother’s car, i pulled your body into mine and you said you loved me. is most of the loves i’ve had, right? that’s what that is? is that lovely feeling. i love you, what a lovely feeling. she’s so beautiful, what a lovely feeling. full moon and i whisper your name to the ashes, what a lovely feeling.

isn’t any number of poems i forward to your school address. isn’t what i promise i can give to you. isn’t driving home from the hospital three towns over, undoing myself in her car.

is the name our children will call me. is your pretty face between my knees. is the classics that you fall asleep to. is cigarettes. god i would love to smoke a pack a day, would love to have an addiction that isn’t yours.

isn’t when you woke up in my arms and asked me for her name. isn’t her name. isn’t my teeth digging into your shoulder. isn’t your shoulder. isn’t my slippered feet drifting up the stairs to bring you your cup of coffee. isn’t the promise you wake up to. isn’t the promise that i press into your sleep-stained skin.

is a man’s touch. is your fingers in my mouth. is lukewarm coffee, some things i can’t endure.


Frances Sharples is a junior English major at SUNY Geneseo and the editor-in-chief of The Lamron and Iris Magazine. Despite their overcommitment to and enthusiasm regarding a ridiculous number of things, it could be argued that all they truly care about is snacks, Wordle, and Dora Jar.

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Mollie McMullan

Daughter of the Irishman and the Honeybee

There are tales of voracious men

Fathers with sharp teeth,

husbands with claws

My mother knew one

He drank her milk from her baby’s mouth,

stole honey from a hive

He saw my hunger and scolded it,

watching as I wept for the sustenance my mother knew how to provide

My father was a fire, all-consuming and vicious

His flames could never be suffocated, only discouraged

He taught me the duality of man,

consuming my flesh while wishing I was whole,

cradling my head while pouring salt into my wounds

He forced me to eat against the edge of a silver blade,

offering bread to soak up the blood on my tongue

Hunger was intimate and shameful

My mother was too busy trying to survive to remember my first word

She said maybe it was momma

like a plea of some sort

Don’t you dare leave me with this man

Tell me I do not share his blood

Does she know I have his nose?


Mollie McMullan is a student at SUNY Geneseo. When she’s not playing with her dog somewhere in Long Island, she’s lip-synching to the longest songs possible and illustrating birthday cards.

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Alexandria Wyckoff

Yosemite, post-knee surgery

The breeze brushes across my

face; a concerned mother’s caress.

Mountains, soldiers protecting

the land, glance back at me.

The sun glints off the metal

handrails—a constant reminder

of human interference. I shift,

and try to emulate the broad shoulders,

sharp jawlines of those stoic

warriors. But I cannot raise

my chest high enough,

for how can one be a fighter

trapped by crutches under each

arm; chafed skin revealing my

soft exterior? I relent, instead gaze

towards deep trenches hidden

among each rank, where

battles continue to rage on—

faint roadways cutting into trees

like scratches on well-worn armor.

Footprints spread slowly like a disease.


Alexandria Wyckoff is a junior at SUNY Oswego, where she spends her time reading, jamming out to music, and coming up with new stories to tell. She is from Gilboa, NY and aspires to work in the publishing industry after graduation.

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Taylor Constantino

Love Needs No Wings

I try not to think

about what happened to the bones of the robin on impact.

“They are hollow, poor dears!”

Old doves titter in their puffed

feathered hats, skitting around the corpse.

“Never learned to tuck enough coins in their empty space,”

goes the tutting of their tongues.

Wrinkled ravens guffaw

as they look down through monocled eyes

from the wire, they walk

“Well, that’s a bloody disasta!”

They light a smoke off scorched tree stumps, kissing stripped wires.

Because no blood means there must be no harm.

But the magpie

kneels down,

and lays a single bottle cap over the robin’s open eyes

and lays there a while in silent vigil.

Loving this stranger

back to the ground.


Taylor Constantino is a senior at SUNY Geneseo studying English adolescent education with a concentration in creative writing. Taylor loves to sing and is a firm believer that cake is an all-the-time food.

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Allyson Voerg

Letting Go of Past Shame and Guilt

I wove words into his hair

that I could not say aloud.

To speak them into existence

would be to awaken a shame

so deep inside me.

To see them hang low in the air,

would be to bow my own head

down with guilt, as I do every time

the memory hits the back of my

throat, where his tongue tried to reach

every time.

He would hold my head down,

a wide hand at my nape,

a slab of concrete that stole

my voice so I could not speak.

Now I hold my own head down,

chin inching towards the stones

sinking deep into my stomach.

Each time I recall that memory

is another pin tacked to

the board of my skin,

each time I dare to imagine

what he will think of me,

what he will see in the story:

that I am weak; I am guilty.

The words come slow, grating my

throat, each one becoming a

methodical blow to my self-esteem.

I begin to cinch myself closed,

but somehow he does not flinch.

He moves only with his words,

which serve to remind me that

my image in his eyes is

unwavering. His love is a

gravity that tethers me to safety

in a swirling storm of uncertainty.

My shaking fingers find

his smooth gold curls, and

I curl and re-curl and recall

all of my past mistakes.

So I may braid them in

to his long hair, hidden within

his acceptance of me.

So I may forget, for even a second,

all that has been done to me.

So I can begin to pry up the

pins and stretch out my neck,

wringing my spine dry of

my shame and guilt,

and stand straight within

my self-sovereignty.

 


Allyson Voerg is a senior at SUNY Oswego graduating in May 2022. She is an English and broadcasting double major with a Spanish minor. You can often find her in the library, working as a writing tutor, and at the ice rink playing hockey. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, yoga, video games, and reading. She plans to one day publish novels and books of poetry.

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Jocelyn Paredes

Little One

Before you, my days were secreted

with gloom. The unruly rituals

and trials were endlessly disappointing.

I desired desperately to spawn

life in my womb.

“It’s a girl,” said the nurse, handing me

your crying vessel. Rich and luminous

you were—my little mount of sunshine.

Wounding me slow, scarring me deeper

is knowing that I must let you fulfill

your destiny of sunning someone else’s essence.


Jocelyn Paredes is currently a sophomore studying English and creative writing at the State University of New York at Fredonia. She is an emerging poet based in New York and her passion for poetry and knowledge of the craft continues to expand on a daily basis. Currently, she adores the poets Misha Collins, Pablo Neruda, and Richard Siken.

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Katherine Welch

There Are Things I Love About Being Home

The sound of plates clinking

just before “dinner’s ready!”

if I’m not the one calling,

already in position

on the countertop, laughing

stirring occasionally.

She is holding a glass of red loosely

The day slipping from her shoulders

A sweater hanging low around her elbows

with a tank top underneath.

Try this for me

does it need salt?

No, Mom,

it’s perfect.


Katherine Welch is a senior studying international relations at SUNY Geneseo. She spends lots of time journaling little poems, and a dear friend of hers from home (Webster, NY) encouraged her to share some with Gandy Dancer. If you ask nicely, she will probably knit you a scarf.

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Alexis Santos

I Was the Moon Stalking a Castaway

I enjoy most how you tan your velvet underbelly

in a pool of my own light.

How long can I watch you

wrestle lizards into rolling papers,

fish scales tangled in a salt pepper beard,

and an understanding that neither are poor decorum.

There was only ever your one prayer

floated to me rolled in a bottle,

silent as memory. Whispered before into sand

for gossip amongst the conch shells,

it was your desire to be one with the ecosystem

that was growing under your waterspout,

fulfilled.

But what is left of your beliefs,

and why do they move like poisonous caterpillars

through the mangos?

When did I begin to hover

just above you while you slept? Weeping

at my lack of mouth

that could be used for tasting your dreams,

gnawing at their core, screaming

you will die here.

So will what was ours.

The fruit, the minutes swathed in pale sunlight

until they showed like lacework,

the lullaby of the waves breaking the shores maidenhead:

Ours, ours, ours. Let me promise

to guide the starlight

through the sand to char your bones.

Then you’ll allow the sun and me

to become the two backed beast

one more time.


Alexis Santos is a graduating senior at SUNY Oswego majoring in broadcasting and mass communications and minoring in creative writing. She has not the slightest idea of what to do after graduation, but she loves reading, dogs, and warm weather.

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Kat Johnson

six of cups reversed

when i was a little girl i used to take baths every day. draw on the walls with bathtub-safe crayons,

etching my thoughts and feelings into something that could be scrubbed away by my mom’s dry, cracked hands. sometimes, my mom drops me off at my dad’s. comes into the kitchen and notices

the walls are painted a different color than they used to be. behind the bathroom door, i can hear her
crying. i used to turn the faucet all the way to hot. press my palms into the water, splash my face with the cold of the sink after i got out. wrap myself in a towel, shivering skin touching the icy tile floor.
crawl into satin pants and slippers and wait by the door.

sometimes, when i was a little girl

when little a girl

sometimes i was a girl

                                                   sometimes        when i was little

i would creep quietly to my

parents’ bedroom door and

              work up the courage to knock.
nothing was wrong

except

my hear

tbeat p

ulsing

throu

gh my

veins

a train

through silent suburbia in the middle

of the night. what’s wrong,

honey? my mom would ask, her love only

can censor so much of the sound of

my father’s hesitancy and she’s fine send her back                            to sleep.

 


Kat Johnson is a senior creative writing major and women’s & gender studies minor at SUNY Geneseo finishing their degree this semester. They are in the process of completing their debut chapbook, how to handle things with care when they are not breakable, under the advisement of Professor Lytton Smith.

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Katherine Welch

The Object Being Crushed Beneath Me

I can sleep almost anywhere.

I can get comfortable in strange positions and

places and I used to find this impressive–

bragging about how little I could rest and eat

and live, but lately, I have been concerned

that my mattress is wearing unevenly

because I can’t take up space on both sides.

And even with this knowledge I feel

bad for the mattress and not myself because

now I am acutely aware of the object being

crushed beneath me. I consider

the weight of my hips and wonder

how much damage they have done by existing.


Katherine Welch is a senior studying international relations at SUNY Geneseo. She spends lots of time journaling little poems, and a dear friend of hers from home (Webster, NY) encouraged her to share some with Gandy Dancer. If you ask nicely, she will probably knit you a scarf.

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