Featured Student Poet
Disassociating— eyes fixated on
a ceramic elephant.
Designed with and american flag,
pointing to the open door for luck.
Front and center chromebook opened to
hours of definitions from a cursed
Stimulating my sympathetic nervous system into
override as he suanters towards the
dented filing cabinet.
Conditioned us to be petrified everytime his
fingers graze the metallic handle.
Forming new neural connections
as I learn about neurotransmitters.
My limbic system— activated by his words.
I’ll never achieve serotonin this way
with him— ever again.
Snapping back— with the consciousness of
where I am—
By Kimberly Cruz
Poet of the Month
Louis Jenkins is one of the contemporary masters of the prose poem. Born in Oklahoma, Jenkins lived near Duluth, Minnesota, for over 30 years. The author of many books, his late poetry collections included Where Your House Is Now: New and Selected Prose Poems (Nodin Press, 2019), In the Sun Out of the Wind (2017), Before You Know It: Prose Poems 1970-2005 (2009), European Shoes (2008), and North of the Cities (2007). His work was regularly featured on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. His brief, accessible prose poems use humor, wry observation, and hypothesis to tease out the absurdity of everyday situations. In his poems, Jenkins maintained a tight focus on the mundane particularities of ordinary existence, using deliberately flat language to comic and often heartbreaking effect. He died in late 2019.
I take the snap from the center, fake to the right, fade back...
I've got protection. I've got a receiver open downfield...
What the hell is this? This isn't a football, it's a shoe, a man's
brown leather oxford. A cousin to a football maybe, the same
skin, but not the same, a thing made for the earth, not the air.
I realize that this is a world where anything is possible and I
understand, also, that one often has to make do with what one
has. I have eaten pancakes, for instance, with that clear corn
syrup on them because there was no maple syrup and they
weren't very good. Well, anyway, this is different. (My man
downfield is waving his arms.) One has certain responsibilities,
one has to make choices. This isn't right and I'm not going
to throw it.