Skip to Content

My Honors College

Creative Writing - by Lauren James

Over quarantine, I felt it was necessary to try and work through the multitude of my feelings: fear, helplessness, stagnation. Writing was the one thing in my life that COVID didn't ruin- and I wasn't going to let it.

Because I Survive This 

I’m waiting at the juncture of notes untaken and predawn awakenings that shake tree trunks because that is what wind is supposed to do, build strength in the weakest parts of the forest, the silent ones that bend and bend and bend and 

Breaking even hurts worse than caution, searing
over weeks of flatlining, monotonous portrait painting by neat stacks of novels unloved and unread. A summary: bury me under canvas and leather, mark my grave with pencil lead just to save some ink. 

Spent the last of my money on pretty, flowery pill bottles to store the remaining scraps of pretentiousness because really, what is there to keep, am I going to be wrapped
up in paper and folded like a dress in some stranger’s attic? The blood in my mouth isn’t even mine. 

I am going to set boundaries like I did with the last flight
of stairs up to the roof of the revelation that it is unnatural
to pretend to be a bird, even while wearing feathers to soften the landing and a beak to safeguard your health. 

Flagrant disobedience and now look at what’s been done. is this the story i've stared at and knitted with my own stringy, necrosing thoughts? Because I survive this, because there will be so many more of them. 

I taught them to crawl and rob and hide. 

Right now, at my desk, there is not a question
if I would rather die, I already have, and this mutiny is grave robbing, this writing lamentable. 

Progress in C, 4/4, sotto voce. 

My foot catches on the trail of another dreamer,
high and mighty, on an elevator up to God, or
the fifteenth floor of an unnamed skyscraper built so
the clouds wouldn’t feel lonely.
I am a commoner, commissioner, who takes every job you give to her,
running until the streets stop naming numbers.
Another drop of blood hits the snow, of course I am wearing a dress,
the wind needs something to play with and I don’t know how long I’ll be here.
There is another language behind my head, do I turn to listen?
Or let them talk of mystery, mystified by lights the size of my entire life-and I run.
The cars will move, the buildings will falter, and I will be an arm away from the city.
Can everyone see me dying? I am floating on the warm gust of a street vent.
I tried to keep grounded. I tried to keep steady.
I’m tired of my shoes scraping the ground, feeling every uneven pebble through their soles. I pray this wind will send me up; then I am there,
above ambivalence. 

to be golden is to be heavy
enough to crush the air through
my throat, you can’t even call them words. but they tell of a doomed voyage’s rescue, when a top stops spinning and the colors separate back into art that is as beautiful as the first time i saw it.
i’ve never hated something more. 

Two mirrors face each other
and I am between them, lost in a portal to a world that is a reflection
of where I currently am, have always been. Have I always been?
Have I always walked through the same two doorways?
Destinations doomed to dichotomies perk their heads up from
behind the me who meets my eyes, ask me in desperate voices,
How do you feel?
I beg the mirrors to break, their taunts slither under my skin as if I were Eden but even snakes want to live, I cannot blame them.
The reflections crash against each other.
I listen to every voice, frozen in light’s crossfire by the whispering 
that if enough hits me, I’ll glow. 

walked outside today for the last time.
the sun coaxing shadows from the falling leaves was enough to make me stop
dead in my tracks and feel warm. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.