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HOLDING PATTERN PAGE

a complete showcase

 
skulls in the bedroom

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list

 

 

Fall 2022

Miracle Monocle
Issue 19

mundane object: the sink

"mundane object: the sink” is a fractured [yet structured] piece that captures the confining nature of the mind gripped by a bipolar hypomanic episode. The poem begins with the narrator “speaking” to themself/the reader as they begin the descent. The spiraling of the narrator’s mental state echoes the splintered and chaotic style of the text, moving faster and faster until, finally the narrator hits the high note by submerging her face into a sink full of frigid water and breaks the spiral cycle to resurface, ready to face whatever comes next.

?? 2022

Inverted Syntax: Issue 4 or Online

the landscape of sound: the highway

“the landscape of sound: the highway” is a meditative conversation between the two sides of the brain, “i” and “you,” about hearing sounds throughout the day and night, and the questioning of one’s sanity. This poem vibrates back and forth with a Charlotte Perkins Gilman “The Yellow Wallpaper” vibe to it. 

?? 2022

Inverted Syntax: Issue 4 or Online

the landscape of the river

“the landscape of the river” showcases two sides of the brain trying to converse about a moment in time where the narrator is struggling with the pulls of depression and suicide that still have their claws in her. The interior voice  of “i” and the exterior voice of “you” are telling a similar but different story that echoes how it feels to live with two sides of yourself talking at once. 

?? 2022

Inverted Syntax: Issue 4 or Online

the landscape of waffle house

“the landscape of waffle house” is a three-part piece that performs as poetry while retaining the narrative space of a memoir-esque essay. The narrator relives for the reader (or herself) three memories, three competing moments, at the iconic, southern, fast-food restaurant, Waffle House. This piece plays with the idea of safety and the violence we enact upon ourselves by simply being. The images embedded in, and in some cases mashed into, the text serve as the placemat from which the reader ingests the words.

October 2022

New Note Poetry Magazine:
Autumn 2022
(Digital Issue)

mundane objects: brunch

“mundane object: brunch” processes the inversion of emotion through a short window of time as the narrator goes to brunch with their lover and watches that person shift and change in front of them. The text moves the way a body does while playing witness to things we can’t control; it squirms, it tries to escape, it attempts to flip flop away from feelings and fears. 

November 2022

Alice Says
Go Fuck Yourself Arts & Lit Magazine
Issue 01
(Digital Issue)

mundane objects: the porch

mundane object: the porch captures a bright moment of spring as summer guts it. While the world likes to think of spring as a joyous time, this poem takes a peek into the darker more insidious side of the season of renewal. This poem operates as a performance, a dance between what is and what isn’t. It begins so softly as so many days do, full of promise and allure, only in the middle section to begin to deteriorate. The photograph that the poem ends itself in, asking the reader to question for themselves what is missing / what was taken, echoes the violence subtly mentioned in the earlier part of the poem, showcasing an image that has been violated through the inconsistencies of 35mm film development. A reminder that not everything works out. 

July 2022

Poetry Northwest: Summer & Fall 2022
Winner of
Presenting series, 
Chosen by Xavier Cavazos

mundane objects: the evening walk

mundane objects: the evening walk” is, in short, a cacophony. This poem explores the fissures in the mind when the stress of living a mentally different life during a pandemic wears the narrator thin. Juggling the potential future of a parent with cognitive issues and her own mental pathway complications, the narrator leads the reader through something that seems as simple as an evening walk is anything but. The space of this poem is interrupted constantly by gray matter, as the brain of someone with cognitive issues – whether from aging or mental illness – is similarly marred. 

July 29, 2022

On The Run Fiction

The Food Store Diaries: Hunger

“The Food Diaries: Hunger” performs as the memory of a fracture. In this piece, the two main characters, a young man and woman, share a moment while picking out semi-prepared food in a food store. While they both are there at the counter together, the two could not be further apart, a fissure that builds through the text chronicling both desire and defeat. Through this short piece, the main female character is hungering, but not for just the simplicity of skin, but something deeper, to fit into something/someone, to belong while retaining the independence which makes her feel important. With her final words, the piece just ends, dropping off into the oblivion of so many quiet, unseen lives. 

June 2022

decomp journal - The in-house Journal for the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia

ECHO

“ECHO” traces a capture, a polaroid snap of time as it moves through and away from itself. In this piece, the primary thread of the story is the female narrator is processing in real time the invasive experience of receiving an echocardiogram from a male technician. Her mental spiraling and shame ebbs and flows, as the fascination with the procedure is in direct contrast with her desire to have the whole thing end. As such, she moves through two other threads of memory instead of staying present in the experience. The first strand the reader encounters is a running route the narrator enjoys, in which she moves through a tunnel painted into an extensive mural. This braid of the story, while a kind of running away from the procedure, ends up being a contemplation of a sonic echo, which in turn brings her back into her body. The second thread is a rumination on the “echo” command in computing, which allows the narrator to think of herself halved – the part of her lying on the table and her ghost self which keeps trying to escape the body. While it is easy to assume this piece is about one thing, the braided stories invite the reader into the deeper question of the trajectory of one’s life and how we approach living within the self. The word "echo" throughout this piece is more than just test being performed, more than a delay of sound, more than a command; it is also a call inside for the narrator (and out to the reader) to investigate the embodiment of fear mashed up with a kind of hope, which is in a way, a love note to survival. 

March 2022

Heavy Feather Review: Haunted Passages Series

mundane objects: the therapist's office

“mundane objects: the therapist’s office” is, in short, a detailed description of a building and a room falling into a kind of ruin. The narrator paints the room of her therapist’s office and the building in which the therapy center is housed for the reader. But it isn’t as simple as just a room, just a building, just a space in decay. The poem itself calls into question the value of oneself as a mentally different/mentally ill person, the subtle fears lurking around every wall bend, and the ultimate question of what is worth being saved both inside and outside of the self. 

Link To View

February/ March 2022

Landing Zone Magazine: 2021 Novel Excerpt Contest
1st Place Winner

Chapter from The Living Room, The Dying Room

This excerpt from my in-progress novel, The Living Room, The Dying Room, blends prose-fiction, poetry, and snippets of my photography to showcase the slow degradation of a body, a mind, and a household that is centered around a young girl and a golden elk. This chapter meshes, and in some cases mashes, imagery and words together creating little deaths within the main character that slowly bubble to the surface of her being. It chases across the topography of mysticism and harsh realities, ethereal connection and tremendous violence, until coming home to roost in an unexpected space.  

February 2022

Anti-Heroin Chic: February 2022

the landscape of a dream

“the landscape of a dream” uses the space of the page and line breaks to funnel the reader into a specific spiral of thoughts. It channels the wild, strange texture of our nightmare/dream life while speaking to the cyclical and swift –building nature of mental illness and survival within the thin bones of the poem. The reader is left wondering if the title word “dream” is an utterance of hope or the depths which our minds go when we close our eyes, and maybe if they are one and the same. 

Link To View

August 2021

Inflections Magazine:
Summer 2021 Issue

the landscape of the alpine - voyages two and three

“the landscape of the alpine – voyage two and three” are two hybrid poems that blend 35mm film photography with text to evoke that sensation that the wilderness holds something deeper. Something each person must seek and find on their own. Each 'voyage' traverses areas in the alpine, all above 10,000ft, where beauty is ample, even teeming, but simultaneously deep danger and defeat lay in wait. Through each trip the narrator is navigating her own internal dangers, her mental illness brewing in the subtext, while recognizing that these wild spaces are also where she feels the most safe inside her skin.

May 2020

Ghost Heart Literary Journal: Issue 1

rumination three

"rumination three" is a look at the complications of communication at dusk. The photograph of a house dilapidated by time speaks to how we related to others over years of disintegrating emotion, while in the poem, a narrator is telling you how to behave while simultaneously offering themselves up for the feast. Published under the name: Emma Arlington M.

March 2020

Polemical Zine: Issue 12 - Love

[we have our most important conversations on the way home]

This hybrid photograph-poem is about when the love part of a relationship begins you find yourself torn, how to show your new partner what you want to, what you need to, while also remembering that you are your past experiences. The life we have led, the loves we have felt guide us forward toward and through the new ones. Published under the name: Emma Arlington M.

March 2020

Polemical Zine: Issue 12 - Love

whispers

This hybrid photograph-poem is an intimate look inside the nighttime mind as it navigates, learns to trust, and grows through the experience of loving another. 

Published under the name: Emma Arlington M.

September 2019

Aurora Poetry:
Volume 2

Counter

"Counter" is about the emotional undertow created when things go unsaid during tense times between lovers. Published under the name: Emma Arlington M.

June 2019

The Champagne Room: Issue 01

Point-and-Shoot

"Point-and-Shoot" is a hybrid piece done as a sequence of Polaroid-poems about the evolution of an abusive relationship. Published under the name: Emma Arlington M.

May 2018

The Pitkin Review:
Fall 2018 

Dear Arizona & Echoes

"Dear Arizona" is about falling in love with more than just a person, but their lineage and spacial history."Echoes" is about mental illness and making the same emotional choices over and over in relation to a failing/dangerous relationship. Published under the name: Emma Arlington M.

favorite place

current     projects

 

landscape of the interior

In life, most of us are seeking and searching for “home.” Home, of course, means a great deal of things to a great many people at different periods in their life. For some, it means our birthplace, our origin story. For others, it is the landscape that we find ourselves absorbed in through our middle to later years. And for others still, home is something more elusive, more ethereal; it is something like being content in the shell of our bodies, in the husk of our mind. landscape of the interior uses the landscape of hybrid writing to blend free-form poetry, photography, and art into a space that traverses and explores a series of landscapes: expectations, cities and buildings, people, and the untended wilds of nature, searching for something that resembles that fluctuating idea of home within the mind of someone living with a complicated list of mental disorders. This work plays with the space of the page, the maneuvering of personal pronouns, and conventional story-telling mechanisms to relay to the reader the mental illness/mental health journey of the narrator as she works toward finding a cyclical kind of self-acceptance in the nest of her mind.

 

Through the five parts of this work, the narrator builds on some lessons, while having to learn others again and again. Her interactions with the mental-medical community leave her constantly trying to find something to fix her fissures till ultimately she recognizes that finding peace is not the same as being considered “sane.” By creating a space where imagery and words can come together, this work creates a landscape itself where the reader is able to walk alongside the narrator through the hills and hollers of mental difference that this manuscript navigates. Each of us are never just one thing, but a conglomeration of our history, the expectations of others and ourselves, the places we lived and our dreams; landscape of the interior echoes that same experience, holding so many components of a life on its thin pages.  

This manuscript is complete and available for publication.

Note: landscape of the interior was longlisted for the Dzanc Books 2021 Nonfiction Prize. 

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The Burial Plot : The Garden Plot

This hybrid poetry-photography-art collection is a curation of items that span the deep arc of a body as it experiences the [often] gutting nature of connection, and the fruitful space of learning the cyclical natures of the self. As the narrator grows through the space of the work, so do the pieces becoming more and more reflective on ideas of identity and holding a tender space for all the elements of who you were, are, and will become. This work performs as poetry, while being imbued with the tactile textures of 35mm film photography and acrylic paint; this combination, the hybridization of poetics, film, and art, invites the reader deeper into the catacombs of a life. The use of these multiple mediums hopes to articulate a way that anyone can enter the space of the work, and come through the reading of it a little fuller than when they started. For all things, even a body of literature, are more than just one thing, echoing the burial and bloom cycle we all must pass through. 

This manuscript is complete and available for publication.

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The House of M:M

The House of M:M efforts to capture the full breadth of a relationship; the tumultuous but breath-taking beginning, the process of discovery, the narrator's challenges navigating living with her mental illness and sharing that and her needs with her partner, the cyclical working through of issues, and ultimately what goes into the decision to stay with another. The pages of this work are burnt because when writing about the coming together of two humans there is a flame from ember component that we cannot ignore, even when it sometimes sears our flesh. The journey the texts takes the reader on was inspired by conversations between lovers and the evolution of a relationship that survives. The things said / left out / texted / answered / fulfilled / worn away / held dear burnt into what we know of our history.

This chapbook manuscript is complete and available for publication.

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the flood

My hybrid fiction novel, the flood, pools around a literal flood that engulfs a small college campus in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The unnamed main character the reader encounters in the first chapter provides a space for the reader to smoothly slip into her skin, providing an easy entrance into the body of this work. Before long, the reader will find that which made this story comforting quickly washes out into the belly of a constricting undercurrent. Throughout the novel, the water [which we rarely see in literary fiction as a character – let along an antagonist] erodes within every character a chasm, until each of them are drowning in the unstable basin of the mind. This work blends the soft edges of poetics with the filling textures of prose, creating a body of literature that performs as if it is a photograph-capture of a river. 

This project is in progress.

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On The Steep

On The Steep is a collection of poems focused in the alpine and outside spaces where I have spent the last 9 years running and climbing, mostly above 10,000 ft. Each of these pieces ruminate on what it means to be alive and stay alive as a mentally different body in such, often, inhospitable spaces [which is speaking as much to the internal as the external]. The poems in this work request the reader sit still with the barren isolation of the self, and be present with that which is wild - even when it threatens our lives. 

This project is in progress.

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The Living Room, The Dying Room

The Living Room, The Dying Room, blends prose-fiction, poetry, and snippets of the author’s photography to showcase the slow degradation of a body, a mind, and a household. As the main character grows up, she also grows into a quickly fractured mental state that is forever tied to the golden elk who haunted her childhood. This narrative chases the idea of one's sense of self across the topography of mysticism and harsh realities, ethereal connection and tremendous violence, until finally coming home to roost in an unexpected space.  

This project is in progress.

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I Always Say I Love You Before I Go

I am currently working on a project that blends two lives, that of a father and a daughter, to tell the story of family and friendship through a unique lens. It covers the complexities of parenting, growing up through divorced households, the experience of going from parent to friend, shared traumas, and growing old while also growing closer. This work blurs the lines of genre by using interviews and narrative story-scape to give the reader a comprehensive look at two people while they navigate the world together. 

This project is in progress. 

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photography portfolio