Mikrokosmos

Ariel Kim uses expansive imagery in her poem “Mikrokosmos” studying the latin characteristics of the galaxy

I.

It was not a girl but a universe imploding 

on the thirteenth of April. 

Beneath the crushing gravity 

of her own weight, no one knew 

her fuel had been depleted 

as she conversed through the school halls, 

the convulsing core of life 

and light. After all, stars glitter 

on our retinas              millions of years 

after their deaths.

 

Ghost stars. Plato

wrote of humanity as a microcosm

which reflected meaning into the stars; 

thus it was a galaxy that unhinged 

when the girl shook too 

many white pills into 

her trembling youth: small, harmless, ovular, 

and expired. A star collapsed 

and the light 

flickered from the little girl’s eyes

 

although she was but a small screw 

lodged between the clockworks of the universe;

earth but a pebble in orbit ad infinitum¹

 

Adam Smith 

said as supply overcomes demand,

an object’s value plummets— 

But I say

the girl 

was a universe

as those around her

deemed it so.

 

II.

I gagged on your name

fed from strangers’ hands. Today I utter it

the speakers

are heavier once they crackle off, and the silence undulates i

palpable long after the moment of silence. I try  

and conjure your face

as you sink to the challenger deep:

 

_________________________________

¹ A Latin phrase meaning “to infinity” or “forevermore”

 

eloi eloi lama sabachthani²? Your skin is

swirled cookies-n-cream, black contrails

that dare anyone to try

and stop you. 

 

Funny 

 

how it’s only

after your hurt stopped

that I feel your presence.

 

Ariel Kim is a seventeen-year-old artist and writer. Through The Incandescent Review, she hopes to empower adolescents to express their honest, unapologetic identities as heirs to an uncertain world. Ariel’s work appears in or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, The National Poetry Quarterly, and The Apprentice Writer, among others. She is a finalist in the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition, a three-time runner-up for the New York Times Summer Reading Contest, and a double National Scholastic Medalist.

 

Art by Elaine Zhang 

The Grand Canyon

A poem by Rowan Brown.

The Grand Canyon; Some Say it’s Stars and Velvet, but I think it’s More Like Antebellum Wallpaper

In the art gallery beneath the Parthenon in Nashville,

There is an exhibit

consisting entirely of paintings

of victims in a civil war hospital,

And paintings of wallpaper designs from 1863.

All of the paintings are large canvases

with nice frames or plaques.

The eyeless man’s grey

is accentuated his smeary swollenness.

The single pink stripe on a blank canvas isn’t accentuated by anything.

It’s a painting of wallpaper.

This is how I imagine seeing the Grand Canyon would feel.

It would feel like blue and white stripes

and a man rejecting kidney inside a temple of art and science.

 

My father always tells the same story about the Canyon

And finally being able to see the stars

for what they are,

instead of pinpricks on velvet.

He thinks the Canyon helped him see the universe

in all of it’s true dimensional glory.

He says they used to be little lights

on a black dome over our heads,

but now he lives in the starfields.

I’ve watched the stars grow up, he says.

I’ve watched them for light years.

Bullshit, I say, light years are a measure of distance.

 

 

Rowan Brown is fourteen years old, a freshman studying writing at the Fine Arts Center, an arts-oriented, competitive, magnet high school. Her most recent publications include “1over8” magazine and the Creative Communications Young Poets Anthology. She is a reader for Crashtest magazine and has just won three honorable mentions, silver keys and a gold key in the Scholastic Art and Writing awards. Rowan is an avid participant in FIRST robotics and will be attending the World Robotics Championship for the third time this spring.

 

Art by Anastasia James.

The Copper Flora Rain

Arthur Pembrook experiments with the phenomena of synaesthesia in this poem.

From the soundless, listless, whiteless pitch,

the scentless iris of the enmasked reposts as

atmospheric rupture tears away my flesh.

Now arrest from peace to pink barrage

to the rainbow that conceives a burning baby

falling from the ashen sky.

 

I taste the shock as thunder fills my throat,

and in that time I scrape a life away from broken sounds

and rolling holes of monotonous teeth.

 

They see me here, and know full well my aura flows outward.

“It tastes of purple.” I hear them say, in English far surpassing my own.

My softened will can not give in, but crawl,

crawl on bouts of blinded faith and trust,

where not but sanctum can make me rot.

 

I pass up the home, the green, the orange,

and beneath a fungal pillar ripe with fly and beetle,

I rest my nose and let it absorb the flavor of this world.

 

Cradle me under your wing so I can see some hope.

My breath is failing to touch my heart

and the crimson streaks of life are draining from broken dams.

Softly, I will spur this passage home, but today I can say

“I will forever consume the air of Orion’s Belt.”

 

-by Arthur Pembrook