Untitled by Ella Macdonald
Piercing: a play with words by Hannah Blauer
like a lost boat on a stormy night,
any moment you’ll lose grip and fall into the stormy waves that will grasp you and pull you under without warning,
you’ll gasp for air but choke on cold water,
not letting you have what you need most,
the waves will play with you,
smack your cheeks and spit in your face,
and toss you around until you’re turned into a pulp.
She cut it, and the blood rushed from her finger and stained the unpeeled orange. It traveled to the core filling it with red. She smiled, her hands trembled as she picked it up from the cutting board and dropped it into the blue salad bowl.
The general came in. He came often. Troops love oranges! He always said. He crossed the room and came up to the counter. “So, what you got for me today missy?”
She handed him the blue salad bowl and he looked at it with content. “That’s one beautiful salad missy! Thank you very much!
“Your welcome” and she nodded and smiled.
A true blood orange.
i'll be god by Nada Fawwaz
A Soft, Shapeless Mass by Jenna Mihalchan
Orange juice by Ella Pegan
Pulp by Liam Jones
You beat me to a
Pulp and the blood flowed down like
Sweet, fresh, orange juice
My mom is going to kill me. My lips are split, they peel like a popsicle. Fresh saliva glazes my neck like the sheen of sunscreen. And look, already swimming pools of blood are already filling beneath my checks. But at least the nose bleed has stopped.
The Pulp Manifesto by Toby Walma
Coconut Pulp by Ada Huang
Pulp by Brooke Sullivan
Matches by Sarah Ryan
My ears were ringing as he talked to me. His face was glowing red with anger, steam was pouring out of his ears. I imagined he thought I heard every word, but it as all drowned out. He often told me I was useless and cheap, like the pulp in orange juice nobody wanted me. Cheap like pulp fiction magazines. I never understood his need for glossy papers. I could see them falling off the shelves, pages flipping rapidly. I could see his typewriter broken into pieces, his body laying cold on the floor. Was this a fantasy?
Each word he spat was a waste of energy, I no longer cared. He yelled so much, he made it so apparent that I was a failure, that there was now nothing left of me to hurt. I had given up even trying.
I thought about how sad his life must be, divorced three times, five of his children successful but bland, all he had left was his job and the memory of his own deadbeat father.
I was ashamed to be his daughter. All the money in the world couldn’t buy him happiness, so he substituted with alcohol and fancy cigars, while I drank juice and smoked cheap cigarettes. His voice was now raised so high that the “water” in his glass was vibrating. Blood started dripping from his nose, highlighting all of his worst features, and he had so many of them. I decided it was time for me to leave, as he continued on with his evil doings I turned and walked away, away from the house, away from the town, away from this family, away from him.
And for once, I was happy. I would find people who drank their orange juice with pulp, and who only bought pulp fiction, even though they could afford so much more.
“There was a fire at the farm!” Yelled one of my brothers as he stuck his head through the glass doors that opened to our well maintained backyard that trailed off into the woods all the kids played in. I heard gasps from my siblings, the farm was a landmark for us, the place where kids went to play after school.
I followed my brothers and all the other neighborhood kids towards the woods that seemed quite large when you were little but got quite small as you grew. We ran towards the usually old, abandoned barn that had remnants of red paint on the outside and lots of places to climb and hide on the inside. Now it was barely recognizable as a barn.
The fire had been put out by the time we got there.
“I bet the ghosts did it!” yelled one of the older kids, climbing through the ruins to the center of the wreckage. The other kids murmured agreements while other kids hurled disagreements and other theories.
I stood watchful. Observant as I picked at the loose threads on my shirt. It felt like a piece of art to me, what the fire had done. The flames had peeled away an outer layer, leaving the skeleton as a gravestone. I shifted my weight ever so slightly from my right foot to my left. I could only hope people didn't see the small burns on my fingers, where the flames had kissed me from the match.
Place Thing by Grace Randall
Butterflies by Emma Breton
The tall white fences bordered rows of houses, each one the same as the last. The street was tranquil, ordinary, wrapped in a deep sense of calm. Each yard had a porch, decorated with tables and chairs, and perhaps a little personalized touch. A barbeque, a flower bed, a small pond maybe. But both ends of the street were oddly sinister. An old abandoned mansion rotted at the very end of the street, across the road from the rows of houses. The building’s walls were battered and damaged, one wall covered in obscenities written in bright orange spray paint. The windows and doors were boarded, though not very effectively, wood stuck on with rusty nails, some weak and broken with age. There were spots where the thatched roof had given way, and you could see the rotted furniture inside. No one in the town knew how long the mansion had been there, or why it had been abandoned. At night, you could sometimes hear wailing from inside. Most said it was just the wind, or stray cats, but some said it was haunted. But No one wanted to check. On the other side of the neighborhood was an alleyway. It’s narrow path was obscured by scraps of garbage, trash cans lying on their sides. It’s walls were coated in spray paint, and it smelled like cigarettes and trauma. There were rust coloured spots on the ground, that people chose to ignore. No one wanted to know what happened in that Alley. In the far back corner, you could see the dead branches of an old tree. The branches were bare, and some were broken. It was a mystery how anything could grow there, especially such a large tree. No one bothered to check. The people of the town usually chose to ignore the things they found unpleasant, so much of the town was unknown. But of course, they chose not acknowledge that either.
it didn’t take much to be persuaded, you always were weak.
nothing but a girl with raven hair pulling you into the darkness.
something about the way she smiled at you, changed you.
or maybe it was the relief of emptiness you longed for, that feeling in which you felt you belonged.
but your heart was like the wings of a butterfly.
bendable, breakable and easily crushed, and crushed it was.
beaten to a pulp like the innocence you once had.
all because a girl with the eyes of a panther tore your butterfly wings and told you you belonged on the ground
and all this time you were terrified of ever feeling empty again.
your heart was open and raw and bendable and breakable.
and so maybe now you’re broken.
because you didn't belong on the dark beaten ground, no matter how much it filled up your emptiness.
you didn’t belong with her.
Sun Reigns By Lauren Reeve
Pink juice draws a line down my chin,
Cries a sticky tear along my throat.
Tacky hands comb through blonde hair,
Streaks bleached white after years on this porch,
Months without sunset.
Throwing orange skins behind us,
I forget about anything that does not cross
My infinite azure sky,
Or my citrus steeped mind.
Juice, Sauce, Little bit of dressing by Alecia Winchester
Ugly Cat by Heidi Elder
I wanted some juice
I got some orange juice
But it had no pulp :(
Grapefruit by Rebecca Kempe
You know, I think grapefruit is underappreciated among members of the citrus family. Barely anyone likes it, really. Can you buy grapefruit juice in the store? Maybe, but I haven’t seen it yet. Why? Because it’s not quite sweet or sour, just an awkward in-between. Well, not even. It’s kinda neither, really. The only way to describe the taste of grapefruit is to call it the taste of grapefruit. And oh, how annoying it is to try and describe the colour of a grapefruit; they’re not even all the same colour, dammit! Are they yellow? Slightly pink? Slightly green? Who they hell knows? Oh right, no one. You know, this is probably why no one picks them up. Grapefruits are being discriminated against by members of the larger public. Why? Because people like clear-cut things, and grapefruit tend to be anything but. Oh well. Their loss.
"575-1" by Bo Doyle
Take a minute and
write a wonderful haiku
it won't take too long."
Assorted Items by Ali Lynch
Filaments and ligaments
An endless stream of compliments
For strands of grey hairs and supplements
That keep the confidents confident.
A daring dream of reputation
Passed off as youth fixation
Leads to elation, sedation and probation
A little boy is left to rot without negotiation
A pretty girl with beauty and refinement
Whos eyes from all the pretty boys have kept her in confinement
She's simply an assignment
She's left to be an object of elegance as such she is a diamond
An abstract assortment of absolute chaos and association
“Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting at all.”
We stare at the half-dead creature in front of us.
“What do you think it is?”
“A cat maybe?”
“An ugly cat.”
“Don’t be mean, who knows if it can understand us.”
“But it’s just a cat—”
“Whatever. My point is, what can be so bad about teasing it a little?”
At this point, our attention turns to the creature waddling around with its snout in the dirt. Its skin is torn in several places and he has a slight limp that slows its pace as it wanders to each of our feet. It sniffs our sneakers before losing interest and moving on to the next one. When it gets to me, I finally get a good look at it. It glances up at me. It’s even uglier up close. It’s like the zombie-like animal can hear my thoughts and lifts up its back leg. I jump out of the way immediately, narrowly avoiding having my shoes soaked. Believe me when I say that I don’t go around smelling cat piss, because I don’t, it’s just one of those smells that you don’t forget. Now, I can tell you that the smell of piss that’s been sitting for as long as that thing has been dead, is one of the worst experiences of my life. Everyone scrunched up their noses and groaned, our eyes tearing up.
“Well, that’s disgusting,” I said in between coughs.
After relieving itself, the thing seems perkier as it drags its bad leg across the cemetary’s salted earth.
“Why was this thing even buried here in the first place?”
“Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Do you think that someone wanted to be buried with their… pet?”
“Maybe, but the question now is; what the hell are we supposed to do with it?”
P-p-pulp by Liam Jones
Deconstruction by Moira Geraghty
Before I am awake I take sugar in my tea
I'm not sure what to make of this odd chronology
It’s nearly quite as logical as words I try to read
I’ve stared at them for far too long, the letters start to bleed
Their senselessness into the world, into the walls and screens
It permeates the darkness, blurs disarray from clean.
It steeps through my reflection, braids chaos through her hair,
Dissects rules with which we arm ourselves against what isn’t there
By nine a.m. the sidewalks are alike to grass and streets,
Then time’s gone too, with rhyme and reason failing to compete with this ataxia of everything and fracturing shattering unspooling string of significance that’s turned the world to pulp that won’t be sculpted into any shape it salts my scrapes and leaches clamor so to salvage my head
I reach for a thread
Of perceived sanity to stir into my tea.
Then I swallow it down
As not to be drowned
In the trivial sound
That has run me aground.
My doubts have been rinsed,
I’m contently convinced
Of whatever I want to believe.