The Nugget

Creative Submissions for January-February 2018


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Poetry 

 

By Alyssa Plant

 

The Fruitless Explorer

(The Arctic Circle, 1853)

He mounts the sled, fresh with new dogs,

looks to the other men, and yells

for the dogs to go. He travels

over the glacier, feeling it’s pure

enormity, how these men, they are

not in control here. But, it’s hard for

him to embrace the beauty, when

his body aches, he can feel his legs

swelling, and everytime he runs

his tongue over his teeth, he tastes

blood. Yet, he is not scared, no,

he has a mission, and can already

feel his fame.

 

______________________

 

By Salome Aydlett

 

It’s 12:45 a.m. and it’s surreal here too

I find that all life events can be seen as

“Poetic”

Our hearts beat a rhythm

And if we try hard enough, we can come up with our own rhymes.

However we can lose the motion of the poem

It happens in the weirdest of times and the strangest of places

Like a 7-11 after midnight

On the corner of a dark street

With fluorescent lights flickering

Like the blinking of tired eyes

Except they’ve been open so long that when the bulb goes dark for a moment

It’s the eyes finally closing

Only opening again to stare at a display of Ritz Crackers.

 

I feel like if I touched the Ritz Crackers my hand would go through them

Like a cheesy 80’s video game

I can hear the soundtrack behind me

Except that my soundtrack seems to be off brand hip hop music from 2014

No rhythm

No rhyme

 

Sometimes it happens and it’s 5 a.m. on an airplane to Ohio in the dead of winter

I look out the window

But it’s dark because it’s 5 a.m.

The recycled air inside the cabin becomes my rhythm

The flight attendant pushes the cart full of food and drink down the aisle

I would like some coffee

But I can’t have any because I can’t have caffeine.

 

Maybe they have decaf

It tastes fine that way

 

_____________________________

 

By Helen Bovington

 

Over and Over

We have had this conversation before

you know.

Like every other time you say you are

proud of me.

It’s the same flame conference in a different

setting almost but not quite like a book.

A book has an end but I am

made to go through this torture over and

over

and

over.

Sometimes you sit on a red couch

or a green bed or at a

small cafe table with mosaic on

the top so that the decaf coffee

you sip never quite sits

flat. Our bond is bondage.

In this place that we live

a place meant to set people free from their

rotten souls

so that they can refresh and renew,

 

I am stuck like a fish on a hook. Or antlers on a wall.

My sacrifice is your trophy

a sacrifice I had no control over for I only wanted to live

and to live passionately.

 

 

______________________________

 

 

By Melina Scott

The Deer With Blue Eyes

1817, The North American Rocky Mountains

 

I’ve been following him for two long weeks

The deer that will feed me for five

He’s become the only thought I think

The only thing that guarantees I survive.

 

I was desperate when I shot him

Id been hunting him for days

I fired and heard it hit him

But his figure was simply a haze.

 

I couldn’t track him very well after that,

Going mostly by drops of blood.

The winter storms that came in spats

Always hid his tracks in the mud.

 

I ran out of food three days before this

My canteen dry and drained

I’ve started to wish for death’s cold kiss

But for him I must remain.

 

He’s my fervent obsession

The only one I need

If given but one possession

For him I’d surely plead.

 

My other focus is the hunger

My stomach stretched painfully tight

And as I trace him through the lumber

Relief is nowhere in my sight.

 

But finally, I stumble

Over his form under the snow

And to my knees I crumble

And cry thanks to the Lord unknown.

 

But as I brush the snow off of his back

To accept my long sought prize

I feel my smile go suddenly slack

Because his are not deer’s eyes.

 

 

The man that lay before me

A man that I’d mistook,

Had eyes once blue like the waving sea  

But that now no longer look.

 

The most dazzling blue ever assembled,

Framed by lines of red,

Gazed up at the sky they resembled,

Cold and hard and dead.  

 

It was then I realized

Kneeling there hungry and mad

Either choice I had to make

Would lead to something unearthly bad.

 

Alongside him I could die there  

Of starvation instilled

Or I could cut myself a share  

And my stomach at last fill  

 

I live on to tell this tale

What this means should seem implied 

Through my choice I had prevailed

Thanks to the deer with blue eyes. 

 

Photography 

By Hannah Simonson

Honeycomb 

 

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