Some students spent their Valentines Day evening at the Open Mic sponsored by Pacific Review, the English Department and professor Chad Sweeny.
THROUGH THE COUNTRY OF MY MOTHER
By Stephanie Segura
i inherited beginnings where
the sun devotes itself to native soil
my exterior reflects shadows on the other side of the moon
generations before me
tormented by war
foundations of a wall bounded between
hell and home
hell is home
hell is the misconception
imagining me in a room of death
the Glass Ceiling dripping with remains
of my murky mango skin
blue rain bleeds in the privacy of my eyes
in the face of dark laughter in the streets
through the despair of injustice
with a paper bag over my head
in the language sisters and brothers
we catch the light
in the music of divergence
By Sarah Sikora
it’s snowing blue flakes onto the other side of this dirty window the fluorescent pink lights hurt my eyes from inside but i’m finally here i finally have you on the other side of a table it feels good to have your attention it feels nice to see your face and hear your laugh because your laugh does this thing to my face where my lips move upwards and my teeth show and noise comes out of my mouth and then i too am laughing like you but you look disappointed, i feel inadequate i wish i could be what you want me to be something beautiful something mirrored something that you can desire but it feels too late sometimes i can see it in your face with your smile through your touch i can feel that you love me but now a love like you give to your aunt sammie because you don’t touch me anymore like you did that night underneath my dress on the bus filled with drunk friends and your gestures and language feels like we are circling been going in circles so long i’m afraid you or maybe it’s me that hasn’t jumped out i’m still here left spinning left nauseous but this is so difficult to tell you because i really don’t know what voice what gesture to use to make you stay to keep you here with me i’m afraid i got so lost in what the word love means basing love on films i watched as a child and the way my parents behaved because i allowed you to tell me shut up i forgot how to speak but he told her that so many times i never felt like i was worth more to stop you to tell you to stop treating me like i’m disposable so i’m still here on my lavender sheets where you left me last august when you held me and told me that we’d be okay not to worry not to cry because in one year this would be us packing our uhaul with my things inside the same box as your camera equipment but then you drove away and i don’t think you ever really came back here i don’t think i’ve seen you since last august underneath the black sheet i think you forgot about me in a box duct taped and left with other things that you couldn’t fit into that uhaul.
By Michelle Gil
—Dedicated to Gabriela Franquez: 3/6/1991 – 10/11/2016
A small city cradled between Riverside and Fontana,
Sometimes quiet but often needy.
Like a child running back and forth
Between two noisy parents.
I drive through constricted and dusty streets
Where two lane highways and meek residents meet.
Trucks haul cargo while horseback riders and taco carts
Bloom amidst the smog and haze.
Deep within a maze of modest and tired looking houses
Rests a quiet sanctuary of trees and man-made lakes.
Green Acres, my destination.
Home to many, peaceful refuge.
I drive through industrial roads
Below while warehouses and trucks
Glare at me from all sides.
As cruel but as natural as ocean tides.
In the hills above, towering and luxurious houses
Pierce the smoggy air and
Frown at a pearlescent sky.
These houses cough while the sky breathes
Pale pinks and bright blues
Down on my Bloomington.
In Green Acres, flowers bloom in abundance.
They grow in well-kept gardens
Kept alive by the families from the tired houses.
My best friend lives in Green Acres.
In Bloomington, the steely hub buzzing with
Taco cart bells, fresh grilled corn smells,
And Flowers which bloomed and fell.
I’ve arrived at my destination.
Rolling green hills smile at the pearlescent sky.
This is where the industrial closes its eyes.
A place for those who lived to die.
I bring pale pink lilies and bright blue roses
To bloom on my best friend’s grave.
Thank you for being my blooming flower
Amidst the cold, the gray, the steel frowns of life.
Rest in Peace in Bloomington,
Bloom forever with my love within.
CALL ME WHAT YOU WANT
By Allison Turman
What’s the deal with looks?
Okay, I’m not a size two
But I’m healthy, why would I want to be a size two?
My hair is simple, dark brown, subtle highlights, a little flat
My skin is pale; I’m naturally hairy and have scars on my back from acne that did not heal Properly, along with a hormone imbalance that makes hair grow in unnatural places
I despise makeup . . . okay a little biased, I wear some on special occasions
But it’s superficial
And I don’t need it to feel beautiful
But my best feature are my blue eyes . . .
Does that count for something?
Here’s the thing—
I love anime
The way two dimensional figures portray as human
Every personality reminds me of someone that I know,
The fact that they are not afraid to show naked bodies at certain moments
Although some always look like a model type, they are so much more . . .
They laugh, cry, share, love, embrace, think—they’re happy, sad, angry, frustrated,
Cheery, surprised, they feel good about themselves
They are the ones that never have to worry about what they look like
When they need to save the world . . .
I am a Disney geek
I know every line, every word to just about every song and every movie scene
If taken the time I could replay most Disney scenes
I could go on about animation all day
I dance decently
When my song is on, I sing, even though I sing horribly
I am emotional and sensitive . . . and no, that is not every girl
I have terrible sense of direction
I have a slight hot-headed temper
I have a huge sweet tooth
I could keep going, but where’s the fun in that?
While you keep guessing about this incredible mystery in front of you, think of this . . .
Did you know any of that just by my looks?