Forthcoming Late 2023
Dancing Girl Press
mundane objects: a chapbook
mundane objects traces a capture, a polaroid snap of time as it moves through and away from itself. In this work, the narrator, and by extension the reader, experiences a series of day in and day out moments in a world forever changed and overrun by a pandemic. The basicness of the “objects” operate as placeholders for the unraveling and then recreation of the narrator that is palpable for the reader. Each poem performs through the space of the work, building and inviting the reader deeper and deeper into what it means to survive, and then finally, to thrive. By meshing, and in some cases mashing, imagery and words together, this work creates a path where the reader is able to walk alongside the narrator through the hills and hollers of neurodivergence. mundane objects endeavors to provide a kind of insight on loneliness, disconnection, and the grip of mental illness as we flow through uncertain and chaotic times. This text echoes the burial and bloom cycle we all must pass through to live a life, full.
Inverted Syntax: Fissured Tongue Volume 4
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.
mundane object: the sink
"mundane object: the sink” is a fractured piece that captures the confining nature of the mind gripped by a bipolar hypomanic episode and what it takes to break the cycle. The poem begins with the narrator “speaking” to themself/the reader as they begin the descent. Please note that the use of the pronoun "we" was a conscious choice, as neurodivergence is not a one size fits all topic, and as such how one writes about it cannot be simple or conventional. I chose to write this piece in the first-person viewpoint of ‘we’ because my neuro-landscape often leaves me as two parts in the skin of one whole. 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 their face into a sink full of frigid water and breaks the spiral cycle to resurface, ready to face whatever comes next.
*Please note this poem is best viewed on a computer for formatting reasons.
Inverted Syntax: Issue 4
the landscape of the river
“the landscape of the river” echoes how it feels to live with two sides of yourself, an interior voice of “i” and the exterior voice of “you,” talking at once. This piece showcases an interior and exterior voice trying to break free from the pulls of depression and suicide that [still] have their claws in the narrator. The river runs through the poem, a cold reminder to be careful with your edges.
*Additionally, I am honored that a portion of this poem was selected for display on Issue 4's back cover, and was nominated by Inverted Syntax for a Pushcart Prize.
Inverted Syntax: Issue 4
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. In a way these two voices are talking to one another, but they also are speaking with the reader, engaging them. As these selves recognize the limitations of what they know [or don’t], the photograph bordering the text reminds us that what haunts us can occasionally hold some light.
Alice Says Go Fuck Yourself Arts & Lit Magazine: Issue 01
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.
New Note Poetry Magazine:
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.
Poetry Northwest: Volume XVII, Issue 1-Summer & Fall 2022
Winner of the PNW Presenting series, Chosen by Senior Editor, 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 neurodivergent 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. This poem is about the grief of continual [and unavoidable] loss, and the strange texture of reality when backed up against the fluid expanse of our minds.
The Food Store Diaries: Hunger
On The Run Fiction
“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 grocery 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.
decomp journal - The in-house Journal for the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia
Issue 5 E-zine: (en)visionary futures
In this piece, the primary thread of the essay is that of the female narrator 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. While it is easy to assume this piece is about one thing, the braided pieces 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.
*Please note that decomp was unable to match the intended formatting of this piece on their website. If you are curious about the original and intended formatting, please reach out to me to discuss.
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.
Heavy Feather Review: Haunted Passages Series
mundane objects: the therapist's office
“mundane objects: the therapist’s office” is a detailed description of the mundane object of falling into a kind of ruin and the questions surrounding salvation. 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.
Anti-Heroin Chic: Issue 25
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. The 35mm photograph coupled with this poem speaks to the undercurrent of desires and only being able to see that which is in front of you, while so much else lives in the wash.
*Please note that this poem is best viewed on Anti-Heroin Chic's website via PC rather than on a mobile device.
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.
Ghost Heart Literary Journal: Issue 1
"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.
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.
The Pitkin Review:
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.
Blue Agave Literary Journal (Defunct)
To Have and Not To Have
This poem plays with repetition and the shrill violence of words and the imprint they can leave on a life. In this piece, the narrator is navigating her Jewish heritage and an ongoingness of bigotry, while simultaneously obsessing on the colors of the two stones in her Star of David necklace.
Unfortunately, this journal is now defunct and this piece is no longer accessible online. If you are interested in this piece, please contact me.