Mr. Chinaski

Rebecca Cox crafts a dialogue with Bukowski’s alter-ego.

Visual art by Dana Field.

My bones would wait an eternity
for breaking, exposing themselves

to you. Waiting to have muscle
stripped and marrow sucked.

The sallow skin leeching urea,
an excuse to tempt you

towards me. Would you shatter
a violent work, with calcium

deposits sculpted for your pleasure?
I would willingly divide my

heart, section by section. If
you so desired, I would

flay myself to be served on
a silver platter. Kissing your

toes with my eyelids, I would
weep and dismantle myself.

Sonnet # 7

The voice in Rebecca Cox’s poem saves a disintegrating lover.

Even the stalest of tobacco tastes
sweet as I hold your wounds shut. Waiting for
the blood to clot, ill with the thought of
a possible entanglement, startled

by pirouetting brass. Your winking flesh
remains unsown, parting for your eased
consumption, each chipped tooth pressed with
force against my humming tongue. Thin human

claret has filled our open palms, the
stale wool of a lamb removing your stains
from curdling floorboards. It was honey which
leaked from your pores, evaporating

into smoke. Golden lattice, I walk your
spine with my fingerprints.

Dewdrops

Rebecca Cox’s lyric takes a dive farther than you’ve ever gone before.

Visual art by Shutsu Hsu

Within dewdrops I do see your green eyes,
reflections of your dilated pupils,
unevenly so. They drip from the sun
and into the mouths of the lost children.

You quench the thirst of my adolescence,
its inconsolable tendencies, the
endless cold in which dewdrops do form and
sit upon my blushing cheek. If you were

to be smashed upon cold ocean cliffs, I
would pray to be eaten by see moss, then
pressed into sentimental remnants
of sediment, and consumed by unnamed

and undiscovered creatures of the blue.
To become a dewdrop upon your cheek.

Bloody Hell

Blood and love mingle unpleasantly in this poem by Ruth Ruiz.

Visual Art by Caleigh Birrell & Samuel Lee
Red and silky
Starts out slow then refuses to stop
The scent of rusting nails invade my nostrils
I take slow deep breaths
Apply pressure,
“Oh dear, are you sure it’ll stop?”
Fight back those tears,
Not from the pain,
But from the
Shock of it all
Apply pressure to it
Sweet
Sweet
Pressure
Make a bubble and then
POP!
Let it trickle down my skin
Leaving a river across the hairs and bumps
More goose bumps, the good kind
Remember Valentine’s day? The day for
Love the sensation of blood flowing through and on you
Hate the smell of rusting nails
Red the color of romance, so come on, show me a good time
Another place, another time, alas, another scar
“Please oh please just let this stop”
Crimson, burgundy
Black
Time is of the essence
I should’ve tended to this before
More pressure
Soap and water
Creating lather I bring the solution to my leg
Slower and lower yet never easier
Stinging
Remember all memories include blood

[box]Ruth Ruiz is a Creative Writing student at Idyllwild Arts Academy.[/box]

Evening

Michelle McMillan weaves a dreamlike state of longing with haunting words in her poem, Evening.

Visual art by Chelsea Gribble.

Sunlight piercing through eggshell eyelids, resting only momentarily on the fragile membrane before bursting through to expose the cerebral malfunction beneath.

Old cars, piled up on the side of the train tracks pleading “take me.” but no one comes,  leaving them to crumble, self destruct with pointless longing. Mouths agape, seeming always to plead “goodbye” such brutish words sloppy in this golden wash, an angelic sunset over some excuse for habitation.

It’s to easy to ignore what happens on the other side of the glass. I miss you, so I made tea and cookies, but the majestic clouds insist; its the other way around.
Day after tomorrow, tomorrow if the sun would only quicken in its pointless chase after the edge of the world. Lethargic, please slow down you, claustrophobic that sense of insecurity so crippling it knocks your knees out, unsatisfied. Reverberating all the way up and plucking the hairs right out of the top of your head. Hello again.

[box]Michelle McMillan is a junior Dance Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy.  Her prose poem, Evening, was short-listed in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest. [/box] 

Larger Sizes

Maddie Marlow’s sensual prose poem explores a young woman’s subtle insecurities.

Visual art by Luke Sherman.

I draw from edges of the foreign, full of uncertain creatures teased by the mouth. Ten minutes ago he came back, abrupt and territorial. He only pays visit once a year. To wars, towards, in two words he whispers without saying a word those two words. A little closer he gets each time, and that’s what counts. He can count well, but it is different than the impersonal.

You could tell it in straight numbers, but I count it in cups of tea that have kept my hands warm and mountains I’ve passed, including the where I hide. It happened in the glance of approval at a successful pirouette. It happened when my hands were covered in black dust and the person on the other side of the counter doubted me the entire time as I said, “could you please give me ones in a larger size?”

I waved hello before it passed when I was deep under a thin shirt. It was inevitable that he would appear again. He caresses my ear in the way it would count when I was younger, but this time it is sensual. I’m teased by what it all should be and is. Happy birthday.[box]Maddie Marlow is a senior Dance Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her prose poem, Larger Sizes, won first prize in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest.[/box]

Army Crawling is Hard Enough

Erin Breen gives us a glimpse of her childhood escapades in her poem, Army Crawling is Hard Enough.

Army crawling is hard enough.
We army crawled through the old basement’s crawl space.
Don’t touch the pipes! Jostling them is hazardous.
We liked to use words like ‘jostling’ and ‘hazardous’.
They’re the house’s gas lines. We don’t want anything exploding.
Then we got to our destination,
where the floor dropped and distanced us from the pipes.
We had a weird little club.
It was hippie meets sci-fi,
kind of like that show “Avatar”.
A lot like “Avatar”.
I was sky and you were fire.
Then we switched.
Lizzie didn’t get an element.
She was just an annoying little sister,
but she army crawled with us anyway.
[box]Erin Breen is an Interdisciplinary Arts Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her poems, "I hated being little" and "Army Crawling is Hard Enough," were short-listed in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest.[/box]

I Hated Being Little

Erin Breen reflects on the disadvantages of childhood in her quirky poem, I hated being little.

Visual art by Erin Einbender.
I.
I hated being little.
That’s So Raven and the Friends cast
seemed to have a lot more fun.
I couldn’t do anything.
II.
I hated school.
It was too hard
and it was too easy
and the people there scared me.
III.
I hated not knowing things.
Chaos.
It looks like chow-ous, but it’s pronounced kay-oss.
No Erin, they aren’t two different words.
IV.
I hated not understanding things.
I want one of those pretty swimsuits.
Erin, those aren’t swimsuits. They’re lingerie.
No, they’re pretty swimsuits. You’re lying.
V.
I hated not being believed.
Brandon and I could totally see microscopic organisms.
I definitely did not peel back the wallpaper.
Why would I carve my name into the window seat?
VI.
I hated that the driving age wasn’t ten.
I really wanted a red convertible
that I could drive my friends around in.
Convertibles were the coolest.
VII.
I hated losing things.
I would notice something’s absence really quickly
or it would take months
or even years, like with those purple boots.
VIII.
I hated being told to be careful.
What are you expecting me to do,
throw this baby chick on the ground, just because,
if you don’t give me a proper warning?
IX.
I hated when they were called “grownups”.
It sounded childish and it confused me.
When do they stop growing up, and become “grown”?
And what does that make old people? They shrink.
[box]Erin Breen is an Interdisciplinary Arts Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her poems, "I hated being little" and "Army Crawling is Hard Enough," were short-listed in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest.[/box]

Spring Oak Road

A girl is accosted by a man claiming to be her father in Frida Gurewitz’s Spring Oak Road.

Visual art by Mai Matsubara.

I was walking upon a paved road with lots of cracks when a man approached me. He was dressed in a chartreuse suit with a large valentine tulip in his lapel. He asks me if I knew him.  I said I didn’t believe I did. He shook his head at me.  He told me he was my father. He was not my father. My father lived in a small house on a hill with a wood fire stove and rocking chair.  The man corrected me.  He said I had a sister by the name of Beatrice.  I told him I did not. He apologized, tipped his hat to me and kept walking. He walked up to the next girl and told him he was her father. I laughed out loud.

Sand Screamer

Isaac Dwyer delves into the world of the mechanized mind.

Visual art by Han Byel Kang.
In the barn: 	bare-chested, teeth clenched,
shaved scalp opens to the sky-
	Brain falls out, unraveling yarn
	across the scattered hay.
If I may bother you for a light,
	this dry and dead grass		will become
		the nature of	my chapped body.
										I dig:
	Tearing open my abdomen like a stuffed animal.
Sand pours out of me, tears
of unpolished glass for all the cuts,
		abrasions of delicate songs. Cavalier
			who breathes but has no lungs.
pig blood on the knuckles,
nail varnish for the senseless.
doves of the dirt,
ecstasy for the hurt.
It keeps coming:
		fire-white crystalized		infections
				tampered with by disintegrating words.
	mounds turn to mountains of sand.
	Pucker the whites of my eyes.