The Poetry Snapshot: Parallel Lines

New York City, New York

I sat with the uncertainty of landing to a reality
I’d never seen with my own eyes.
I kept adjusting my economy seat.
I sit with the anxiety of finally returning,
after trying so hard to get back on my feet.

I was once eager to arrive
and dissolve my wistfulness with an embrace.
Now I’m nervous to see the empty space,
only filled with memories I still can’t face.

Back then I wanted the minutes to go by faster.
Folding time to reduce distance and see you again.

Today, I can wait.

I can be slow to get where I’m going
and make the destination farther away.

I am flying the same journey again,
but on parallel lines.

I can’t seem to balance this cheerful anticipation
with my fear of noticing the signs;
that times are different and things have grown
in ways I’m not familiar.
But perhaps returning to change is what I need
to finally get some closure.

Bits and Pieces

I’ve had a rough week or so in terms of writing anything good enough to deem worthy of finishing. So instead of posting a full song this week, I’ve decided to post a few bits and pieces I’ve written down in the last few months.

Some are sad, some are happy. The styles are all different, and I’m not sure exactly what the tune to some of them are yet. But there is a certain beauty in an unfinished song. They’re in their ‘poetry’ stages. So, here you go:


#1: (a song for the seasons)

Wake up blanketed in white
stars like tiny twinkling lights
and I’m finally home
porch is dusty striped with snow
air is biting bitter cold
and I’m finally home

And I open shutters wide
should I run, should I hide
Is it finally time

It’s another barely merry Christmas


#2: (a song for fading feelings)

What do I say when the feelings all fade
But I promised you my forever
What do I do when I said I’d stay true
But in all my dreams I’m not tethered
You’re all I have, and I know that
What my heart wants, is what it once had
How do I stay when I feel I must stray
Is my only choice now or never

Every new night I add to my lies
And I weave a new stupid pattern
With every word sent and every word meant
My bond to you has but shattered
You’re who I’ve got I want whom you’re not
I need to hold on but everything’s wrong
What do I say when it all fades to gray
And everything’s gone that once mattered


#3: (A song for the towns we call home)

Small town small minds
Not too many passersby
Crazy girls simple lives
Its home
Big fields bigger dreams
Everything is as it seems
Stuck there till seventeen
That’s home
Then we leave and we see what the real world says
About us small town home grown women and men

You tell em where you’re from just by naming a state
All they’ll nod like they know but they don’t what to say
And everywhere you go everything is strange
Like what are you doing here?
You try your very best to be a part of this place
But in the end you’re 2000 miles away
And deep inside a part wishes you’d stayed
Home home.


#4: (a song for MY town I call home)

I was born in a town
where the greatest place around
was the Culvers on the side of highway sixty
And our idea of a getaway
Was a 40 minute drive away
To the shores of the Great Lake out in Milwaukee


#5: (religious, but my attempt at a song of lament)

Oh Father how I feel like old Jerusalem
Once full of people and the vibrant lives they shared
Now like that silent city I will weep away my sorrows
and it’s more than one small single soul can bear

The tears are streaming faster as I count the names of friends who’ve turned their backs as they have carried on their ways
Now like the silent city I will find no rest tonight
for my mortal heart is once again betrayed

Looking Forward: Writer to Writer

Hey arts, ink readers!

I hope exam season is treating you well and you’re finding ways for self-care in the midst of all of it. This week, I spoke with Aylin Gunal, Editor-in-Chief for Writer-to-Writer. I asked her about the publication, how the organization has adjusted to this semester, how she perceives creativity on campus this semester, and how students can get involved. It was a wonderful conversation I’m excited to share with you all!

If you don’t already know, Writer to Writer is a student publication that began in the Minor in Writing program. The twice-yearly collection is open to students across campus and encourages multi-modal writing submissions (videos, photo essays, etc.). The organization’s staff is made up of students, many of whom are in the Minor in Writing program, though others are welcome. 

Thanks to technology, not a ton has changed for Writer to Writer this semester. Aylin told me that they’ve been pretty successful adjusting their regular programming to be online, including their weekly meetings. Additionally, they’ve begun to incorporate more events like writer’s workshops, which have served as community-builders within the organization. This has been especially important, as Aylin realized how valuable the small chat before meetings and between discussions was once it was significantly reduced due to zoom. In order to address this, they’ve been incorporating more intentional community-building activities this semester, including a minor-wide book exchange for the holiday season! Although it’s not quite the same as hanging out in North Quad every week, it’s a way for writers to expand their skills and make friends during this crazy year. 

When I asked Aylin how she saw creativity on campus adjusting this semester, she told me that she really missed the chance encounters that being on campus in typical semesters allows. You can walk through the Diag and see a group of students playing handmade instruments, pass the art museum and see a new exhibit, or walk by a pillar filled with fliers and learn about an acapella concert happening that weekend. Now, the information you get is much more based on following the right people or being on the right newsletters, which can limit what you’re exposed to. Hopefully, however, we find ways to bring some of these simple reminders of “normalcy” back to campus next semester. 

If you’re interested in getting involved with Writer to Writer, you can submit your work to their blog or publication here. If you’re interested in being on the staff, you can email and attend the next weekly meeting. You can also stay up to date with their activities, including a soon-to-be-announced campus-wide writing competition, by following their Facebook or Instagram pages. 

That’s all from me this week! Good luck to everyone on finals and remember to take some time to take care of yourself! I’ll technically be on hiatus until classes return but keep an eye out… you may get a special post or two 🙂


The Poetry Snapshot: Moments of Warmth

Pan Macmillan Photography

I try to collect moments of warmth in the winter.
I hold a cup of hot chocolate,
and the fire begins to glow.
The sun breaks through a hazy dawn,
and glimmers into my window.

But I can only find fleeting moments of warmth,
with pastel ice shining in the sunrise,
and frost gripping onto everything in sight.
I can finally bundle up now,
and my layers can hug me tight.

Scarcity turns warmth into luxury.
I search for it all around me.
But no one’s beside me as I run down this trail;
hot water runs down my spine to no avail.
Alone and silently,
I crave moments of warmth in the winter.

Giving Up

Am I the story with broken chapters 

Riddled with typos 

Contradictions and plot holes? 

Do I have creased corners 

On crinkled pages? 

Molded over dusty desks 

Marked by finger swipes 

Do spiders make their homes on my surface? 

Stretch their webs around bookshelves? 

Bending by the weight 

Of my words

The Poetry Snapshot: Waking up to Yesterday

Rushing to begin my digital day.
Music on repeat continues to play.
Rushing to begin my digital day.
Music on repeat continues to play.

Chicago Union Station, Illinois

Déjà vu turns into routine,
my life becomes one movie scene.
Every day is the same,
there are no surprises.
Eventually, this monotony normalizes.

I go to sleep and wake up to yesterday.
I tell myself to find joy in the little things,
but I’m a city bird with restless wings.
And as the holidays approach,
I need one little miracle.
One escape. One adventure.
One more thing to hold onto forever,
as we continue to live life like clockwork.