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Kalamazoo College Student Poets


Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College prepares graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world. Founded in 1833, Kalamazoo College is among the 100 oldest institutions in the country. The campus is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a mid-sized city just 35 miles from Lake Michigan and approximately 140 miles from both Detroit and Chicago.  Known for the "K-Plan," which includes some of the country's first and most extensive study abroad programs, Kalamazoo College offers a liberal arts curriculum that fosters creativity in thought and expression.


On this campus is a creative writing class taught by writer-in-residence, Diane Seuss, this issue's feature poet. The poetry below is from a selection of Diane's students, a new generation of poets.

Maggie Baillie


Grandfather’s Granddaughter Blues


This is what I know of you, though my mother’s shame.

Paranoia wrapped in pills and lies, the country club ashamed.

I hate myself for carrying your name.


Your mocking words cut your children to the bone.

Four men and women haunted by your bones.

I speak like you, and cry when I’m alone.


Now, empty my pockets and my coinpurse for another bag

Clear out my checkingssavings for another sweetsharp bag.

You pay my way towards looking like a hag.


This damp and sticky basement breathes like sickness

You killed my family’s spirit, lost inside your sickness.

Ate it away from the inside, pulsing like an abscess.


I see you out the front door, standing in the street.

Staring at my windows, you can’t hide out in the street.

Your eyes look like my mother’s. I retreat.


Like history, you wait for me, your opiates and insanity.

Like family, you live in me. I suffer your insanity.

Feel you creeping through my dreams, slick with profanity.


You’re still whispering, in my head you see, say that they’re following me.

I shake with fear but no one’s there, it’s only you that’s following me.

I’m sick inside my mind you see, your legacy is swallowing me.




Maggie Baillie grew up in Minnesota. After 13 years in one small private school, she moved 500 miles away to attend a small private college. Currently an undecided junior at Kalamazoo College, she works as a bilingual teachers assistant in a first grade class, has five cats, and enjoys baking, procrastinating, and art in all forms.



Paloma Clohossey



Valentine Delivered


This time of year, armies of grass blades march

in damp circles, hold up crowds of skin undulating

to the addictive thump the speakers spew. 


Jellyfish moving in packs, we stick to each other,

sea sweat thick with salt, we love the hiss and burn of our

tentacles whipping back as we detach. 


I was going to call it love, but it is not love, or is it:

we are strangers meeting, strangers intertwining our

gelatinous parts. Squeezing, squishing our flexible


backbones to fit against one another. 

We are loving how we feel together, the movements

we know to make, how we know to clasp hands, match pointer


to pointer, to feel hair and graze arms.

We know to throw silence around like a weapon,

we know to be ashamed.



There Is A Dance


When the night eats the sun, my body is a shy yolk, thin skin

shaped round over my young moving insides. This milky yellow dances

back and forth like a small ocean, a handful of waves wrapped in membrane.

In the black, I am the fragile weight of an egg, threatening to spill,

cowering under the unknown, the quick crush of what I cannot

see. Fear is a stranger who visits, rubs his dirty feet on white knotted carpet

and curls into my bed. To battle the dark, there is a dance whose steps I’ve

read about in myths, a full body thing, feet firm on the dirt and arms around

the moon. Brave skin naked in the air. It goes like this.



Paloma Clohossey is currently studying and living in Nairobi, Kenya for six months. She will return back to Kalamazoo College in February armed with journals filled with memories.  Originally from Menlo Park, California, Paloma loves dear friends, live music, photographs and poems.



Rachel Dallman



Icarus From Above


And you think you’re like him sometimes,

that boy,

waxy wings,

melting candle arms.

Flying too close,

wanting too much sky,

bursting into star and flame;

what a way to leave this world,

what a way;

a burning hole where you

used to be.

You think you’re like this.


You pretend to let life go;

unclench bone white fingers,

knuckles red with trying.

You, suspended in air,

think you can watch life fall,

like a solid thing,

slip through sky to break

into water below;

a ripple capped in white.

Soaring, unweighted by

breath or heartbeat.

What a way,

and you, already so close to heaven.


And you think you’re like this,

that boy,

bird boy, frail bones,

and feathers sewn on;

climaxing at the end of life,

climaxing at the end of



And maybe you’re tired of crescendoing

through clouds, trying.

And maybe you fell,

when you were nowhere near the sun.



Rachel Dallman is a junior English major with a writing concentration and a minor in Women’s Studies at Kalamazoo College, currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, at the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija. She is hoping to do her Senior Individualized Project in poetry, and has looked to Di Seuss for brilliance, humor, and refreshment for the past two years. Wherever you go, Di, bring those leopard print leggings with you; they will take you far!


Jared Devitt



Alone at river-windows

Great lighted faces

Dream that there is nothing that dies

In their carnivorous landscape.


Paul Auster



Calliope strains in search of a music box,

playing forever on the shores of the stream

that feeds into the lake that feeds into the sea

that empties its boats and nymphs for the great ocean

where brave conquistadors go to die, where armadas

drop over the lip of the horizon and fall up into the sun,

one after another, like dominoes. Or walnuts. Or sisters.

We watch them sail past, jigging to the steam pipe music,

throwing us boxes of Morpheus cigars, to be smoked

alone at river-windows.


We put the river valleys behind us, to find

the city made from flint and cathedral glass.

Belfries grumble for all hours, for every ailment,

and we cannot make ourselves heard in the boulevards.

We ask if they have been in the city long,

as we are ourselves very fresh, very afraid of noise.

Between bell tolls, the strawmen look at us

with lonely stepfather eyes, hungry for a nip at our cheeks

before vomiting lungfuls of red clay across cobblestones and

great lighted faces.


The city kneels into the ash tree’s roots,

and we can believe that we have been sleeping longer

than we have drawn waking air; but there is no way

to be sure when the moon refuses to set,

babbling with its lunatic teeth instead. A finch

lunches on a fox, and we remind the bird that

he owes us a birth-debt. ‘Hardly,’ replies the bird,

‘for are you so sure that you are imagining me?

I’ve been known to dream of lost boys, to

dream that there is nothing that dies.’


The cigar boxes ride up onto shore, but never enough;

they wash back, and try again to make it up

the tideland. Angels nibble at ticks, asking each other

where the meat of their wings has come from.

We pinch ourselves, and can feel our fingers working

through our robes, and the straw of our skin,

but never the barb. Where are the stairs down from sleep?

From their ships, the conquistadors poach the angels

with fat blunderbusses, laughing at us poor flotsam caught

in their carnivorous landscape.




Jared Devitt: Writing, running, wasting oxygen:  repeat, ad infinitum.



Claire Eder





As he drew near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. With that, Moses’ wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain. Taking the calf they had made, he fused it in the fire and then ground it down to powder, which he scattered on the water and made the Israelites drink.

—Exodus 32:19-20


The river shimmers with our sin:

scraped off in curling flakes,

then grated into dust so fine a film


clung to the prophet’s skin as he pinched

the product with thumb and fore-

finger. Satisfied, he gathered


the offending powder in a pile,

swept it onto a cloth, and bundled it

over to the water’s edge. We held


our breath as the cloth unfurled

and for a split second the wind

showed itself, gold.


Now the solid, hoofed and horned

is only oily sheen, drifting,

a misplaced libation. The sunlight


fails to penetrate the brilliant barrier

screening the water’s depths, like the veil

between the ark of the commandments


and the people in the temple.

We cannot touch the cold flank

of this God. We tried to shift out


from under the shadow

of His mountain, tried to find Him

in the way we knew: in ourselves,


melting down the gold we’ve worn

around our wrists for decades,

the rings passed down from those


we’ve lost. A god from the pendants that rest

between our breasts day and night,

warmed by our skin. Now, forced


to our knees, hands cupping, we bend

again and again: our lips coated

in light, we bend to drown the thirst.



Judas Iscariot to His Mother




This shouldn’t be about you.

Yet when I think of judgment, when I think of the end,

you are there.


I’m the merchant in front of the temple and you’re tipping over my table.

The doves flap and blunder into each other as their cages tumble

and the coins are rolling, rolling, wobbling on their thin edges, circling, flat.


I’ve got to hide my golden calf from you.

Got to hide that bag of silver

behind my back, with my crossed fingers.


You’re the cock that crowed in the courtyard;

you’re the salt and I’m the pillar

and oh, I am looking back.




I want to tell you what I’ve done.

To warn you. Woman, behold

your son. Would you take me

in your arms then, let my body

drape your lap, would you wrap

me up in linen, roll the stone

across the gap? I could hand

him over with a kiss. I could turn

my back. But I could not lose you.

I am not brave or coward

enough for that.



Claire Eder is a senior English and French major at Kalamazoo College. For her thesis work, she is writing a collection of poems in English and French. She recently invested in her first house plant (a pothos). If she could have one superpower, she would want to speak every language in the world.



Natalia Holtzman



Bees at the Window


we caught insects

all spring what i like

is to watch them or

keep them in jars

in fact i study

their wings i don’t

care now for books

anymore, only

to touch here

and there, say

who but the walls

of this house stand

for me, the doors

most of all

with their bursting

applause and a bloom

in my skin, bees

at the window,

parading the halls with-

out any clothes but

that damp in my hair,

brilliant moisture,

salient crown, still

my name doesn’t

ring like it’s mine



Natalia Holtzman is a senior philosophy major at Kalamazoo College.  She is currently doing research at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois.



Maghan Jackson



A Primer


After Bob Hicok


We call Montana the Last Best Place. It’s a name

we’ve given it specifically for its misleading qualities.

Like the western boundary line, which, to the untrained

eye, might look like the graph illustrating climbing

prison populations (entrepreneurs exploring the

lucrative methamphetamines business), but

what is really the profile of the last great American

cowboy having a stare-down with Idaho. Because

potatoes are worthless without steak.

For those who do not know it, who have never really

experienced God (who lives in the Bob Marshall Wilderness

with Peter and Paul, his pack mules), ‘last’ is qualitative.

It is last best, and therefore it is worst.

The most-played song in the juke box in the roadside bar

in a town that is only a pit-stop on the way to anywhere else

is the wind. Sometimes it sings bass and rips shingles

off of roofs. Other times it murmurs a lilting soprano and rustles

the wheat and the poplars. The indigenous phobia is micro.

Big sky. Big mountains. Big prairies. Big.

(Imagine waking up in New Jersey and finding your world—

yourself—so insignificant). A Montanan will know you

without ever having met you. It is your smile, your eyes,

your build, your laugh that will give you away. And he will

know your grandfathers from the hospital in Malta, the

telephone company up in Scobey. He will have danced with

your mother once at their prom and seen your brother

play on the O-line at Memorial Stadium. And he will inquire

after your uncle’s dog that he knew had been feeling  sick over in

Missoula and tell you what an incredible woman your

grandmother was. And then he will say it’s been nice

talkin’ with you and pay for his groceries and leave you to

small-talk with the cashier and treasure the feature of your

face that holds so much history. It is impossible to carve the

mountains out of words. You can’t write the sun or the

rivers down in ink. The dictionary has not yet thought up a

word for ‘sky’ that would fill up its space. The most popular lawn

ornament here is a rusted-out truck with crabgrass growing up

through the engine toward a sky that feels like flying

when you’re driving fast enough.




Maghan Jackson is a junior Art History and English major who is currently on study abroad in Rome, Italy. She is originally from Montana, and her upbringing there has been a big influence in her writing, as have the personalities and biographies of the artists she studies. Diane Seuss was the first person Maggie met at Kalamazoo College, and her Introduction to Creative Writing class was a defining course in Maggie's educational path at K. Along with Di, some of her favorite writers are Lynn Thompson, Miley Maloy and Patricia Smith.


Marianna Johnson



[Say something good]



Say something good to me.

Say something good to me.

Say something good—



Once let delirium walk for days

between sidewalks

and duck covered ponds.


Let it run past coke dealers

and hooded men

and suburban kids with guns.



I’m pretty sure 

I asked for a hair tie then

and water.


Time I said

Time is ridiculous

Time is so




Once was a cliffside,

melted and hardened

through one bic lighter

and two large front teeth.


Once picked up your hand

and rubbed it on glass.

heard it melt

while you were asleep.



I wanted to hear your hair, then

            and feel it brush against the floor


I wanted to break your groans in half

            and suck the marrow from the core


Say something good to me

            I cut my bangs when I’m bored.




Marianna Johnson is a junior at Kalamazoo College.  She aspires to explore her passions in science and writing while still maintaining some semblance of sanity. Aside from academics, she is involved in Kalamazoo College's womens empowerment group and green energy advocacy group. While not at school, Marianna lives with her parents in Southern California where she has a vegetable garden and enjoys spending quality time with her cat, Peter.



Jeanette Lee



The Edge of the World


Through up a volcano, its inner walls well swell, a cone of dusty purple lichen liken to dead moss on ledges. Scientific pulsing pausing grey hearts push heat. Up. To the top, the light, the lithosphere. Suds of liquid grey matter madder form from the valves, halves of veins, violent spurting, spilling, and filling the void of the volcano. Foaming falling up and down dune the sides like suds en route in a root beer float flats over the sides of the glass, gases crash. The volcano canoe implodes like a condemned building demolition demonstration. Spectator’s hard hat hated heads turn upwards swords words. Cheer. Chairman. See a man made mad monolith fall fail inwards. Why. We. Slow motion emotion video void on a bread bed box television screen seen spliced in the museum memo wall wail walk. Darkness. Dryness.




Jeanette Lee is a senior English major at Kalamazoo College. She enjoys art museums, blowing bubbles and barefoot hikes. Her favorite word is “pillow.”



Takira Lytle



A birthday party the summer of ’67


revisits from the photographic grave, four year

reflection smiling back over a black and white

juice party. A million remembrances of a maternal


familiar: “you look just like her.” These kins are so

akin, from their curly ponies to their cutesy Oshkosh.

What they didn’t know was that not everything


is black, and white. There’s also color which shows

a broken heart so much better than it could in any

light. Also don’t forget that a picture’s worth


a thousand words.  But all those words can’t capture

cries from a scraped knee or a divorce. The album

can keep the black and white familiarities, the ones


your friends and pride love to brag on. Over in my

lifetime, I’ll keep the colors your true side could

never quite hide, even on the darkest nights.





Takira Lytle is a junior history major at Kalamazoo College, currently studying abroad in Spain.  She is originally from Dallas, Georgia. 



Jessica Maas





I was doomed the first time I casually sat down to watch and didn’t

notice the end of the bungee cord that snaked out of the television and drilled


itself into my head and wrapped around and around my brain until

none of the organ was visible and I didn’t notice myself getting pulled back to sit


in front of the television a camera thrust in my hands and I took picture after picture

of the images that pranced across my vision and smiled taunting me as I stopped


just long enough to run with the cord back to my room frantic to attach

the images to the walls where I hungrily traced the curve of each woman’s


abdomen around to her hip and down her protruding hamstring that led into the knee

and back out just slightly for the calf. I studied the smiles of the women last the light


in their eyes and faint blush of their cheeks and then I grasped the measuring tape I was handed

and began measuring parts in millimeters hysterically cataloging paying careful


attention to the elevation of the stomach and nook where the hip bone meets the thigh

and the way the flesh of the butt hangs and exactly how much peeks out from under


the bikini and in what proportion until it got to the point where the measuring tape

was surgically implanted into my brain and I was pulled back to the screen


where the camera was eternally super-glued to my hands and I clicked and clicked and clicked.

Soon the walls of my room were covered photo thrust atop photo in a schizophrenic collage


that traveled to the ceiling and the floor and all the furniture and things were taken

out until it was just me and hips and abdomens of the women who stared at me from


all directions and the rope coming from my head was clipped my eyelids sewn

open and the door of my room closed for the last time and vanished behind


the women and I sat in the center of the floor on top of women whose bodies I stared

at while they stared at mine their eyes everywhere smiling smiling always smiling all with


the same smile and I finally reached for the light switch only to find it gone.






Jessica Maas is a senior English/Writing major and women’s studies concentrator at Kalamazoo College. She is also captain of the varsity softball team and an executive editor of The Index, the college newspaper. Jessica is interested in poetry, creative non-fiction, and journalism, and frequently examines the topics of gender, sexuality and the media in her pieces. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend law school with a focus on women’s issues.



Ada McCartney



Poem Without Sex



There’s a hot storm buildin’ under my skin, a

twisting heathen of  movement; you’re north


east and I’m restless, destroying crops in the mid

west, but my bones, my bones they wanna come


from the ocean.  Not enough to be wet.  Gotta be

Vodou— derivative of spirit.  Gotta be sharp coral


and darkness.  Voodoo is touching myself in the shower: 

steam and wrinkled palms.  My Belly’s not land


mass or volcano, just a succession of undertows. And

above it, ribs, my slatted, oar-less row boat.  And breasts,


too.  Small tidepools:  suncatchers jammed with jelly

fish.  What are those hard pearls?  Ain’t no abandoned


clam shells on this beach!  Bodies are just bodies, be they

full of water or blood or both.  They need the same things


and when invaded, they swell with the same incandescent parasites,


the same illnesses.  I bet my milk is thick with that unwant.





Ada McCartney is a poet, an actor and an adventurer, currently studying English/Writing and Theatre at Kalamazoo College.  She spent part of her sophomore year working, doing an internship, and participating in seminars at The Philadelphia Center.  She is originally from Colon, Michigan.



Jordan Rickard



Shifting States


Shivering even as I look to escape

my bed and dash the long journey from

bed to shower, from shower to bed,

and I wonder what it is about desolation

that lures me to live in it, through it,

cold after cold day after cold.


Thinking back to Kansas,

the rectangle that couldn’t stop trying

because squares were it, but it wasn’t a square.

Where yokels kept poking at the ground and praying

to Poseidon to make it rain, to grow maybe a single

seedling, but the God of the Sea hadn’t hit up Kansas

since Panspermia.


Even my hot shower is somehow cold

in this state. I never knew a shower’s

head couldn’t keep up with the bit of Michigan

that snuck inside. Managed to escape the vast empty

streets of swirling snow and huddled students

who just can’t stop swearing God damnit God damnit,

it’s cold.


Michigan too is facing a dust bowl

even with the lake rain, even when the lake

must have been frozen to make this rain.

This beautiful and clean wasteland that no one

inhabits but bewildered shivering squirrels.

No wonder cars won’t grow here anymore.

You see no one knew that prosperity wasn’t white

even when the flight flew, but not the workers too

who continued to poke at the ground and hope

windshield wipers would grow like wheat, and

I worry because sometimes it smells like Truman,

like Macarthur, like I know this state would

vote to nuke Japan again. How some little Hawaii,

some Rhode Island plus change can yield

silo after silo of silly rice-burners.

They must be using pesticides.


When it remembers how to rain again,

all the fair-weather flighters will come back,

their great pilgrimage come full circle.

Don’t let them back in like us, they who

never knew what it was like to poke at the ground

with a stick, and know it is just a stick,

and it won’t help. Really.

Sometimes prayers sound like negotiations

when you keep offering more at the silent auction,

but never win anything good.



My People (Ode to My Friends Back at K)


I miss my people.

My wear a shirt until if falls apart

kink in your hair ring in your nose.

Tattoos dove chirping out

how can life be so easy.

Sardonic smile PBR sipping lips

pass a bottle of whiskey like a love letter

you want everyone to read.

Can picking butt flicking poetry reading

always nodding pack

that sticks out like a Marlboro Red.


The scruff scrap and grit

smokers cough ash flecked

grey and blue eyes gleam like grit.

Gin thinning sin singing real cool

who go to class like a coffee shop,

sipping what tastes strong,

spitting out the cream.

Cutting pills cutting class cutting out,

strangled hair old house party basement.

Red keg cups like kisses.

Bite on the neck slap in the face handshake


Sneaky drawer steamy bathroom

long nights exhale cold clouds.

Hand on the face circle jerk smoke breaks.

Dinner cheap wine one fork pokes

beat armchairs long walks graveyard

thin bed lost lighter missing cigarette.

Hand rolled loose tobacco smoke machine.

Heavy-handed musicians pluck heart strings.

Plunge deeply sip away gin and tonics,

pepper spray puns trips long lost.

Save the last drops of the bottle.





Jordan Rickard is a junior at Kalamazoo College. Currently studying in Ecuador, Jordan aspires to be a writer and international teacher. An agnostic liberal from Kansas, he is a voracious road tripper, scribbler, and day dreamer.



Joseph Schafer



Hell on Heels


I read the news today, composed in prose across her face: a bit of rear,

a bitter tear, a glass frame, an unsaid name, a list of things to drop like rain or a bomb,

because she just bought a gun after work and she’s only twenty one but the tee shirt says ’Vietnam


Survivor.’ Yeah, she’s a survivor, not


a victim of rape, but a living shockwave

with a stolen switchblade and all her pain is just

what she wants you to feel under the foot of a war on wheels,


and her mug shot caption reads “hell on heels.”


She didn’t want to be buried; one more forgotten soul of So Cal,

one more true crime whore-shaped shell, instead she dropped his ass down a well,

drifted in and out of desert dreams, washed her face clean


‘til there were no more echoed screams from that Hell’s Angels S.O.B.—then she took his bike.


Dusted, Stoned, on the road, half dead eyes sunk in globes like a zombie;
the jacket says Abercrombie but the underwear say ‘Motorhead


Forever.’ Yeah, she’ll live forever


in the minds of those she left behind,

whose loved ones she ran down with her ride, and while

some ran away, some volunteered to slide their skulls under the wheels,

and her mug shot caption reads “hell on heels.”





Joseph Schafer is a senior English major at Kalamazoo College. He is writing a senior thesis which combines his two great loves--poetry and death metal.



Jenneva Scholz



Sylvia Plath’s Voice on CD


Can’t imitate it in print, there’s no code of dialect

I could throw down to indicate her,

because it sounds, best

as I can tell, the way English should:

full, resonant O’s, T’s cracking like a stick of celery, unspellably lovely and lofty and steady, as smooth as a cruise ship and as loaded,

a thousand passengers behind a wall of mirrored windows.

It sounds like a scene from the silver screen

but no one

is waiting for a kiss from Cary Grant.

Even reading this aloud I could not shake in some Sylvia like salt

cannot imitate her direct and damning diction.

I would wallow in vowels where she sweeps, I would sound like a sci-fi universe in which every member of the parliament speaks

with a different fake accent. I would sound like I listened to books on tape

but never narrated nothin’. I would sound faux-British,

or a sillier pompouser selfabsorbier version of myself.

I have heard my voice set down in magnets,

listened to messages on my own machine.

 I know the woman

on the radio downstairs begins to merge with me, trained in the “milk” and “car” of the Midwest, a grating openness befitting our stereotype, a beige

sweater- set kind of voice with a pin a kindergartener made.

Sylvia’s voice wears pearls.

Foxfur and raw silk in a tailored dress suit.

A hat with a veil.

It carries a thin goldtipped pipe

for opium

in a satin wrist purse wrinkled

by a tight hand.

Sylvia, mellifluous,

at once invitation and cold shoulder & maple syrup poured down your back

straight from the fridge it makes you


and you want to believe there’s a sweetness and you can smell it,

but it runs down your spine

in that un-itchable place,

slow and cold

and you’ll have to

wash it off in a serious shower

before you can even

leave your house,

but really. Really have you heard?

Have you heard her say the word “snare”?

Ich, ich, ich! I could hardly speak

in those deep drowning blues and trues and yous, pure & bones,

Are you hearing this? Do you feel

the holy sweep of foxfur on your shoulder?

Do you open like bread to the knife

to that which is so beautiful & wracked with horrors?

Have you heard

this dead woman say the word





Jenneva Scholz is an art major and English minor at Kalamazoo College.



Natasha Sharma



Makeup Forever


Looking at the mottled

face transformed pastel

that was seated next to me,

I wondered if I could pour

all the tubes and glasses of

pinked white foundation

into a base at the bottom of the hill.

What ceramic God would I shape?

The kind with two arms

nailed up to heaven

with tiny black birds resting

aloft His broad fingertips


Her foundation held up

those soggy fatigue wrinkled cheeks

into tight balls of Roman Ivory.

They rose stark upon me, asked

 if I had any passion?

 I unbuttoned my collar

and showed her the

scarecrow neck bristling

brown fur. She recommended

nude. All the masks of

pinks, warms, and ivories

around the room nodded

their heads in taut agreement.


I felt a whisper at my side

and turned to look at a

hand nicked with

a few little white scars

that only a deep color

can show. The kind

that doesn’t come in bottles,

the kind that smears.

I really wanted to touch it.

To lick a bold line

through the ash.

I realize that my caramel tan


thirsts for pigment, to always be

surrounded and cushioned

by purples, blues, and chocolates.

This hand recommends

a heavy rosary,

thick, messy, red.




Natasha Sharma is an apprentice poet at Kalamazoo College. She is a junior English major with an emphasis in creative writing, currently doing research at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. She is originally from Middletown, Ohio and she gets off on the smell of fresh-from-the-can tennis balls.



Alice Thomsen



Warrior Princess:

Reflections on Disorder


I am browsing diet pills on

when it occurs to me,

weren’t the Amazons strong

warrior women?

And what am I? No

warrior, that I know—

I am fighting nothing.

And strong, I think not,

because every day makes me

that much frailer.

Even woman seems too much

a stretch; my body grows more

and more androgynous,

prepubescent and gangly.

I am an ice sculpture of classic Greek beauty,

curves melting, limbs shrinking,

femininity withering

under the glaring September sun.




Alice Thomsen graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in 2008 as a creative writing major and is now a second-year student of English at Kalamazoo College. She has attended the University of Iowa’s Young Writers’ Workshop twice, toured England as a bassoonist with an orchestra, and developed an unhealthy infatuation with Tchaikovsky. She was born in Dexter, Michigan, and now lives with two fish and a secret pigeon named Roxanne.


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