Caribou

Emily Boyle uses her thick and cunning diction to enhance her unique and vivid imagery of a twisted relationship in her poem Caribou.

He, a practiced piper

Poked holes in my windpipe

Teased notes of seduction

From this homemade flute

Caught you with a butterfly net

Weaved from my hair

And locked you in my ribcage

The bone splinters keep you

Still

Check the back alley dumpster

His drive­through graveyard

Take his leftovers

I

Am his leftovers

Give him my skull

So he’ll stop asking for head

He never looks down anyways

Wrap yourself in my hide

To mask your scent

Between subway rides

And under park benches

When he asks for your tongue

And he will ask for your tongue

Cut out mine

Keep yours locked behind

Teeth stained yellow and red

Empty my stomach of the acid

Forced down my throat

Swallowed by bruised lips

Fashion a drawstring pouch

Tie it shut with braided ligaments

Run

In case he catches up

Pull the pins out of my ovaries

Don’t forget to throw

Before they explode

Into ovum shrapnel

That scared him more than me

Bind his wrists with my small intestine

After the explosion

Set fire to the kindling that was my hair

Carve the fat from my chest

Marinate it in the remnants

Of my menstrual blood

And make him swallow

By Emily Boyle

Emily Boyle lives in Beaver Island, Michigan, and attends Interlochen Arts Academy as a senior. 

Art by Jules Ventre

Masi-America

This is a review of ‘Pig Park’, an incredibly relatable novel by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, depicting a lovely summer story about the hardships of a failing town just outside of Chicago, and the families trying to keep it alive after its economic downturn.

Pig Park” by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez

 

“I thought myself into a circle-or maybe a knot–like a dog chasing it’s tail. I arrived at an impasse. Like I said, even if things didn’t work out, at the very least my friends and I would get to spend our last summer together. It was something like my last meal or–since I’m the Cinderella of crumbs–having a fairy godmother grant me one last wish.”

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, of El Paso, Texas, has written a lovely summer story about the hardships of a failing town just outside of Chicago, and the families trying to keep it alive after its economic downturn.

After the lard company left Pig Park, many of its inhabitants left with it. The high school shut down, businesses lost customers, and everything seemed to be going wrong until the last man making money offered up a way to save Pig Park. “A pyramid is little more than simple geometry. Two triangles here, two triangles there. I can lead the construction project,” he said and waved his hand. The grown-ups huddled together. Colonel Franco had hit on it with fewer words: a crazy plan had to be better than no plan at all. They were desperate enough that they decided every girl and boy would report to the park to help Colonel Franco with the construction.”

If you’re thinking that manual labor is not the way you’d want to spend your summer, you wouldn’t be alone. But for Martinez’s protagonist, Masi Burciaga, it was the perfect excuse to get out of her family’s bakery and into the sun with her best friend, Josephina. Unfortunately for Masi, Colonel Franco moves all the girls inside temporarily to write letters telling government officials all about Pig Park and La Gran Piramide. Masi, unsure of how to ask complete strangers for their attention and money, writes dozens of drafts before deciding on the two brilliant sentences that she thinks will save her town:

“So a bunch of us want to hang out, build a pyramid in the middle of Pig Park and save our neighborhood. Are you in?”

Pig Park is an incredibly relatable story that deals with everything from boys to divorce, baking to disease, in the eyes of a fifteen-year- old girl one summer where everyone seems to be getting the short end of the stick. Martinez does a fantastic job bringing up all of the beautiful, tiny, everyday details like burnt toast and melted chapstick to relieve the reader of the intense topic of a failing economy and its stressful repercussions within individual families. Pig Park is a great read with a great message about appreciation and rolling with the punches.

“Are we going to be okay?” I looked at my dad. My dad couldn’t give a simple answer to my question because he was hopeful. He was willing to gamble, but it wasn’t just up to him or my mom or me. Our entire neighborhood was on the line. The Nowaks, the Sanchezes, the Fernandezes, the Sustaitas, the Wongs and everyone else had as much of a stake in this. One thing was clear. This wasn’t MesoAmerica. MasaAmerica maybe. Or even MasiAmerica.”

 

By Kathleen Johnson