Talisman Nine: “Fleshy White”

I submitted this poem for the Talisman Nine, which had the theme of “Metamorphosis.” In writing it, I wanted to encapsulate what it’s like to have a bad habit, and the inner conflict that it can cause. They selected it for publication in the online magazine.

Poetry for Talisman’s Social Media: “An Epitaph for a Photograph”

This poem was inspired by a book written by Dr. Tom Hunley, which is full of epitaphs he has written for himself. I chose to write an epitaph for an object that I wanted to rid myself of, and this was the final product. I submitted it to be featured on the Talisman’s social media, and they posted it on their Instagram and Twitter pages.

Create It Forward Poem: “Spiral or Float”

In the spring of 2019, I was recruited for the WKU Create It Forward event hosted by the Potter College of Arts and Letters. This is described as an “all-arts project” where paintings inspire poems, dances inspire short stories, and so on and so forth. Each piece created in this chain of art was then showcased in an exhibit in the Kentucky Museum on campus at the end of the spring semester. I had the privilege of writing a poem inspired by a painting about my inner struggle with anxiety. At the end, I won the fight against it, which is what I strive to do every day.

Read the poem below:

Spiral or Float

The brain is fickle;
it changes its moods on a whim.
Mine simply cannot decide
whether to spiral or float.

It’s often prone to spiral —
twisting in a tornado
of pessimistic whispers that
whirl harshly around my head.

It’s the worst kind of earworm;
“you’ll never be enough”
on repeat.

Those words
penetrate me to my core
until I’m forced to cover
my wind-beaten face
and scream into the abyss. 

But then my brain
remembers it doesn’t
have to get caught up
in the winds of this
downward spiral.
It can float.

It floats up, up, up
and I cling to it,
begging it not
to drop me,
as it is carried away
on a gleeful breeze.