Featured Poetry

Holly Allen – Michigan Green

Holly Allen’s poem Michigan Green recalls the summers spent in Michigan with her great-grandmother. ‘She lived in a wooded area right on the bank of a channel. To me, compared to the crowded cities and dry heat of California summers, this felt like a completely different world. I spent most of my time swimming the channel and wandering the wooded areas with my great-grandmother teaching me the names for all the plants and animals- sunfish, for example. I was always curious about the etymology of the words and whether their names really said anything about their character. I guess that idea never left.’

Michigan Green

The waxy paper spouts
     of the sacred thorn-apples in the glen
          had fuzz-covered stalks the color of a frog’s underbelly
               without any thorns at all.
There were no apples, either
     to better that foul-smelling bush
          that made no appearance in the tanglings of the vestibule garden
               of the lonely Saint Francis.
At eleven, it seemed all Michigan green
     had lied to me in this bold-faced way-
          The black-eyed susans, ubiquitous squatters at the asphalt’s edge,
               were eye-less waifs of gold.
Even the animals were fabulists.
     I learned this with my cask of skin
            sprawled face down on a turbid bed of stinking channel-waste
               staring at the sunfish.

Holly Allen

Holly Eva Allen is a writer currently living in California. She has a degree in linguistics and English from the University of California. Her work has been previously published in magazines and sites such as Levee Magazine, Blue Unicorn, The Courtship of Winds, and The Slanted House. She is currently working on a Master’s in English at Claremont Graduate University.

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