November’s Poet: Maggie Munoz ’16

THE POET

I write with the intention of balancing both honesty and creativity. Poetry is my outlet for the people and images that are burned into my memory so clearly, that I am compelled to put them into words. Each individual poem is simply a snapshot of an attempt to reconcile  with both the people and memories that haunt and excite me. There are certain people and images that I can’t let go of that keep finding their way into my poems over and over again, whether I make the conscious choice to include them or not.

THE POETRY

CS 59

Fried bird lies on the counter

next to a half eaten kiss and a frosted box of pizza.

The soup pot is drowning in muddy water

and there is a film of cheap champagne,

slowly boiling on the front eye.

There is a quick rap tap tap on the front door

but no one stirs from a drunken stupor.

Her dress is crinkled with blood and dirt,

drifting above her waist under stolen

double stacked men’s blazers.

She raps on the door again and again

until neon clad officers hover on the stoop

asking her question after question.

They finally let her in, stumbling

past Bean boots and Sperrys as she stutters,

“The president is BAN-NACK O-BAM-MA…”

she is missing one shoe like Cinderella,

blood gushing from her knees, as she sits

bare butt on the counter waiting for her cheese fries.

The timer begins to sing as she lunges,

her uncovered hand disappearing into the dark oven.

She balances a ketchup bottle on a mug of water

and reaches the foot of the stairs where she perches

to gather the courage to begin climbing.

She dives face first into her pillow, bits of fries

tucked snuggly into the duvet, and falls

into a deep sleep it takes days to awaken her from.

Beauty Marks

Rainbows and purple unicorns
were plastered on the technicolor walls,
and the red plastic slide was calling my name.
I ran, my chubby legs rubbing together,
racing to be the first at its ladder.
There was a flash in time as my heel caught
the smooth center of a red and black poker chip, sending my feet flying higher than my tiny face. The unforgiving metal was cold on my lips
as my skin grazed the rim of the blackboard. Warmth filled to the brim of my bloody mouth with the taste of pennies and old chalk.
The kids around me howled as blood flooded
the puzzle piece carpet, drowning the mermaids dancing in the seersucker blue of my ruffle dress. Minutes passed as I lay there,
but I was alone
with a gash so deep that it would never leave me.

Northam Windows

A glimmer from the Christmas lights

   on the balmy leaves in his window signaled

      he was up waiting. It was my gauge.

He wallowed in seasonal depression,

   refusing to abandon his cave with red candle wax,

      racing down whiskey bottles and gray brick.

His neon green fridge held Brie and peach yogurt,

   the kind everyone always tossed away.

      The dinosaur duvet he bought to keep me

from snowfall and open windows,

   lay at the foot of his twin bed.

      It was as if he was waiting for me to slip under

green and purple dinosaurs and solve all of his problems.

   I would trudge by day after day trying to avoid the magnetism

      of the shimmer on the adjoining brick,

I never really could.

It still sends little shocks through my spine, begging me

   to run up three flights of stairs to its cave

      and dance under the dim shadows in his fireplace.

It begs to be noticed.

On the Yellow Brick Road

Therapy and horse tranquilizers

numbed her from the fame

and misfortune. She loathed pictures

taken by adoring fans and agents.

She was trapped in cycle after cycle

of pills and pep, pills and pep.

Panting was all she could muster up,

while hurling herself onto the stage.

She was stuck, staggering back and forth

from dressing rooms and stages,

leaving everything she stood for the moment

she signed on the dotted lines.

Her charisma was simply a mask

sewn to a broken marionette

that singing and smiles could not patch

after years of drugged isolation.

She left five husbands, three children,

and adolescent stardom that night

on her bathroom floor in Belgravia.

Her daughter was Liza, arguably

a bigger star than she ever was

or ever wanted to be.  She was too shy

for that even with the liquid courage

MGM constantly drowned her in.

The gashes on her wrists were ironic, really,

she was just giving them the blood

they so outrageously demanded of her.

Poetry by: Angela Pitsoulakis ’16

The Green Comb

My mother sets me free.

When I run in Greek air or when I try on my big sister’s clothes

She smiles a black and white smile.

But now she is behind my back

Untangling the knots that transform lines

Into curves and question marks.

“Sit up straight.” My mouth stays shut.

Straight teeth bite into patches of matted hair.

I yelp and shriek as my mom robs me of my knots.

They are mine! I made them!

Badges and ribbons for my hard play,

Surprise trophies handed to me through my adventures.

I crawl between static branches in blanket tunnels.

As I tumbled away from clawed pillow case hands,

My hair lumps together like a tight hug.

I make bike tires buzz and the wind snatches my hair back like a bad friend

Mother nature tied these knots yesterday,

They want to grow with me.

My birth mother chops through laced hair

And I feel myself getting smaller.

But at the end

Of my tears and thoughts

About how much dirt tumbles through wired hair

I know I’ll get a bow.

Poetry by: Kylee Mattox ’18

“Cedar Lane”

It’s that moment that you and I talk about

Where you feel, whilst you are in the present,

That this very moment is a pure one, an eternal space.

These moments happen often, could be a different time, a different place,

With a different person, a different you, but it is always the same feeling.

I promise.

It is Cedar Lane after your best friend has walked away from you

Without knowing that this would be the last time.

It is sad now, but it was beautiful then.

Someone could’ve told me right there,

The last thing I’d ever want to hear,

And I would have made it the best thing I had yet to hear, so far.

I condense these moments, (though they don’t deserve it)

Spread ‘cross time and place and space, into one melody

That plays continuously in my memory: “Cedar Lane.”

It sings me to sleep, hushes my cries, and picks me up in

Moments of realization that appear to me, too late.

It is the thick of my cheek forcing the crows feet out of my eyes when

I realize that life is so much more than we expected.

It is fall, and dried leaves, and warm colors,

And the space between the daring summers

And the winters of regret.

It is the reason that somewhere,

Between the tragedy, between the high,

I can move on, I can forgive, I can forget.

I promise.

I see you on Cedar Lane,

Treading yellow lines ahead of me.

You look over your shoulder,

to make sure I’m still watching,

before you vanish into the gold

of a November dusk.

“The Break”

I can hear you.

And as if the right words could save us,

You winced as each syllable left your lips.

You waited for my reaction,

But I, with wet eyes

Bowed my head down and

Tilted to the side,

Jaw tensed, nose pinched,

For your voice held an uncertainty

My ears could not bear.

You exhale.

Some things can’t be saved.

“Open Eyes”

When you ask me to sing

I say, “Please, close your eyes.”

You chuckle, turn your back

So as to not laugh,

‘cause this is ridiculous,

but you close them anyway.

As you listen,

Your jaw relaxes toward your chest

And I watch your eyes move around

Under your eyelids, back and forth,

Side to side.

It’s cute,

What you look like when you listen to me,

As if this were it, the voice

You heard in your dream

That you hadn’t been able to place.

The voice that made you wonder

About the memories you swore

To yourself you’d forgotten,

And brought them back into the light.

Okay.

Now, open your eyes.

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