Carjacking in Foreign Films

Who wants to wait one extra minute? That’s why I am a poet

I want to breathe in so much beauty I can only waste and blow it

A page full of words that may as well been written in crayon

I’m forced to borrow to hide how shallow I am

I relate to Belmondo as he plays Michel

That stealing cars staves off consuming hell

Everything looks better in the rear-view mirror

The frailty is tethered, the past becomes clearer

I write designs to rebuild my impoverished perspective

I write inside Truffaut’s dialogue that eludes detectives

I want to know who designed Death’s costume in The Seventh Seal

Without looking at the credits. I only seek to peel back why Neal

Dying from exhaustion on the tracks is mythical

My grief in line for the value-menu, grief in the drive-thru is elliptical

All my friends with Fine Arts degrees are pretty snazzy dressers

Out of work and canvases they don’t know why I get arrested

Impatient no time for psychic hygiene only instant genius

Put my imagination in the microwave when I’m dreamless

Daydream in synchronicity with my ex-girlfriend

Word worn, heavy head causes skin to turn red

Everyone gravitates to a camera so they can express it directly

But in my universe words are the best way of connecting

The rubber meets the road, the juices flow in my head

I got the Beat soul, they got the girls in their bed

My ex hated the way I inhaled from a cigarette

Took a drag and sucked in my lung with a second breath

Hold a roll-your-own deep in the corner of my lips

Let the tobacco fall out and get soggy with spit

That flash of contempt always seemed to ignite her lust

Romance from her gut the only place she could trust

My goal was to play out parts from black and white screens

To get all my beliefs to fit inside this one piece

I’m naïve, when I thought she was joking, she was fishing

Using humor to manipulate and control my position

It’s cool, I don’t want to get honest because this car is stolen

Waitin’ for man, 26 in my hand and I know that he’s holdin’

I know a lot of shit that put together is irrelevant

Insignificance grips so I steal for the hell of it

And recycle lines that have an air of eloquence

Because I am only a sophomoric delinquent

Yeah, you’re good lookin’ but you’re no Anouk Aimee

I’m no Fellini but I make believe and that’s what drives me

I’m a poet in my mind when I pull to the next window

Because I synthesize my world and its cheeseburger soul

~Benjamin Champagne

A Glorified Thief

I am as black

and nimble

as a cat

whose fur is made

of the middle of the night.

I studied under Ellison

in the art of invisibility,

under Holmes

in the art of deduction,

under Joyce and Wilde

in the art of art—portraits

specifically, and under

Obi-wan in the art of

light saber swinging,

(believe me, I can make

that oversized glow stick dance),

and under Iago in the

art of breeding villains

who were really once

just lovers, and under

Hamlet in the art of

crazy or was it in the art of

pretending, playing

dress up, or acting that

the madness seemed

to germinate?

I am able to steal

people like the

proverbial bad boy

steals one’s kisses,

one’s innocence.

My only weapons—

sight and the


I find in the

existence, in

the weight,

in the space,

of writing


So when you

laugh at this



you are not safe

from any of my

thieving ways.

I will not hesitate

to make you one

of my characters.

~Morgan Troxell

In the Lecture Hall

Free radicals

will destroy your DNA

and oxygen from

the atmosphere

will feed the process


Please, focus on this

there are poetics

pumping from the

pulmonary valve to the

edge of your fingertips, but

these ideas do not

supply gas money

until week’s end

or a reason to the landlord

but only food for

insight into why your hands

are stained in ink

a free radical

will destroy your DNA

in other words,

you are a poet

and your DNA is

the low-income life

styled by genetics;

a free radical

destroying yourself

for an art that

is to be dead

and you are dying and

buried in the ground

and a poet

because you breathe oxygen

A living text that

speaks to the

young optimist

with like DNA

But, please, focus

because you are learning

the ways of a dead living

~Hayley Durham

A List of To-Not-Dos.

I haven’t drunk coffee

since you left

or slept with a crooked pillow.

I haven’t been to IHOP at three in the morning

or counted all the Iron Man comics at an antique store.

I no longer spend any time

contemplating this shade of black

over that one

and I’ve stopped believing anyone’s hair

could be spun from gold.

I can’t look at the number 7

without seeing the other three digits

of your old apartment

and I don’t care to tread softly through the snow.

I’ve figured out that the only thing

that separates one moment from another

is whatever division we make inside our heads

and that, now,

the only thing that separates you from me

is that I don’t want you,

I don’t want any of this


and I haven’t

since I stopped doing it.

~Kayla Grose

This poem earned an honorable mention in Delta’s local competition for the Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND). LAND provides a network for the development of the liberal arts in Michigan’s community colleges.

Thousand Empty Windows

The weary warehouse

gripping the corner of

Ring and Wheeler

has a thousand empty windows


stars above that I followed

parade the sky in jest,

good-natured elves—they favor these

tired bricks, chipped and dusted with labor;

its windows coated in thick fog

reflect faces of ghost-men,

men who gave better portions

of days to unforgiving metal,

patting the foundation with torn boots,

their laces tied tight in a knot

like their belts below their stomachs

but, a neighbor’s cat passes my heels

while an overcast night

blows the playful notion of the stars away

I too forget the men’s faces,

only impressions left in dust

and head home to get sleep

that I lack

from a long day’s work

~Hayley Durham

This poem earned first place in Delta’s local competition for the Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND). LAND provides a network for the development of the liberal arts in Michigan’s community colleges.

The People I Have Hurt

That boy I stole crayons from in the first grade,
That girl I told I didn’t like her dress,
The women I cut in front of at Forever 21,
That girl on my swim team when I hit her on accident,
The stranger I cut off driving down Park Avenue,
That man I puked on in the airplane to Atlanta,
The boy who was in love with me in eighth grade,
The girl at Meijer who went to grab the scarf I bought,
My neighbor when I left my dogs shit in his yard,
My coach when I refused to swim,
My dance teacher when I wouldn’t point my toes,
My 7-year-old cousin when I told him he smelled bad,
My great aunt when I rolled my eyes at her prayer,
My grandma when I wouldn’t play cards,
My brother when I called him a jerk,
My sister when I told her she looked fat,
My aunt when I called her ugly,
My grandpa back in 2000 when I wouldn’t help with the garden,
My mom when I called her a freak at church this morning,
My dog when I tell her to shut up,

~Keygan Galloner