This summer I saw a firefly.
It hit my windshield going ninety.
I recognized it only by its glow.
As I watched that light,
surprisingly bright on impact,
slowly fade to a dull smear,
I remembered death.
I remembered Clara.
I remembered an uncle.
I remembered fur-babies and friendships.
Grief seems to be a forced emotion.
Dramatic feelings painted on the body like a costume.
When the lights go down,
can you see my heart break?
Is it enough to prove I loved you fully?
For an eyes-off-the-road moment,
aghast at my poetic mistake.
‘Tis better to have loved than lost (they say)
Than never to have loved at all
With nothing ventured, nothing gained
But death therein the fall
So too, like winter, this shall pass
the frost of heartache to thaw
Like all on earth; not meant to last
Leaving memory to live on
By wish, by want, what spell you cast
That I never be your own
O cursed knife which pierced my heart
and turned it into stone
I loved you once, I love you still
Though ’twas never meant to be
But worst of all, the salt in wound
you freaking friend-zoned me.
Cars clamored, jacks hammered, citizens stammered through the city streets, which were alive and functioned like a rusty gear, stiff and forceful.
People rushed to and from with technology that works by thumb, and I could see that even some had bags of products that must have cost gold.
Nobody was smiling.
Even myself with optimistic eyes, fiddled with my phone with absolute despise, the warranty that of course implies that should a problem come to arise such as a biker thugs crack the phone in two, perhaps someone cooked it a stew, or a meteor comes crashing down causing an explosion that sends my phone into a burning abyss till its demise.
If you walked into the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center on the evening of Nov. 2, you would have emerged into quite a different scene than the usual hustle and bustle of hungry and stressed college students. Among those waiting in line to get their meals were the excited and enthusiastic faces of those in charge of Exit 109, Radford University’s student-run literary and arts magazine.
For those who didn’t know about Exit 109, the event in the Bonnie was aimed to do exactly that — make students aware that the magazine exists and give samples of some of the creative writing that can be submitted. Hungry students looked on curiously as volunteers from R-SPaCE and Exit 109 set up their equipment and display — complete with an assortment of desserts and samples of the literary magazine. As the event began to take shape, another volunteer went table-to-table, asking dining students if they’d like to go up on stage and take part in the poetry reading.
Poetry books were passed around the tables as volunteers scribbled their names down on the sign-up sheet. The Bonnie was the perfect place to host an event like this, where Exit 109 could reach a wide audience and get publicity.
Things got off to a quick start as the members of Exit 109 took the stage and read off poems they brought and prepared to applause. The stage fright was obvious in some readers, but they mustered up the courage to read unfamilliar poetry with no preparation. One girl on stage swung back and forth with nervousness, as if she was 5 years old again, wearing a flouncy pink skirt and twirling to inflate it with airflow. Volunteers’ searched the crowd for familiar faces, but most stayed glued to the white pages they were reading off of, for fear they’d stumble over the words.
Poetry is the expression of emotion when and wherever it wants to come out. Poems scribbled in hurried handwriting on the backs of crumpled pocket paper, notes from class, table tents from the Bonnie, napkins with holes from a hard-pressed pen; anything can be a medium for a poet’s words. We heard a lot of original poetry from RU students, our peers expressing themselves publicly because, why not? Write anywhere you want to, anytime you’re inspired. Fellow artists out there, you know inspiration isn’t always easy to come by, so take advantage of it.
If you like what you create and want to show it off and get a little recognition, try publishing it with Exit 109 or taking part in their spontaneous and creative readings, it’s an experience not soon to be forgotten.