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The Arts. Sections from the Spring 2003 Saxifrage

Selections from the Spring 2003 Saxifrage student literary magazine

I Am and This Is
R .E.Oakley

I believe titles can make or break a poem

the way purple shoes can ruin the most

impressive prom dress.

I believe that my generation smells different than your generation.

Maybe more synthetic;

more toxic chemicals in our apple peels.

I believe in people who can extract

my whole-body-shaking percussive laughter.

I believe in sucking the life out of

a ripe mango.

I believe my guitar speaks to me in my first language and

my fingers can do nothing but

answer in harmony.

I believe the embodiment of life can come from

a combination of flour, water,

yeast, and heat.

I believe that the little rolls of fat on my tummy

are absolutely necessary for the well-being of humanity.

I believe I would wear droplets of water

in place of diamonds--if I ever wore diamonds.

I believe women who have quantities of fun based

on the color of their hair are

just fooling themselves.

I believe in the raging, roaring powers of caffeine.

I believe I would rather unglue the seeing parts of my eyes

than spill tears for attention.

I believe that escaping from the straitjacket of sleep and blankets

is impossible at 8 a.m.

I believe that everything in life

can be laid out specifically

in an outline with

4 main points.

I believe in holding a saltwater stick in my fist

writing cryptic sentences

in the sand.

I believe in heading down highways

between red rock

and tall trees until

you get to the point

where the earth

and the ocean meet.

This poem is going

no where

I believe you’ll find me


Love, the Gulf of Mexico
John Henry

Dear Itasca,

Even over this great distance,
your waters flow into me,
filling a part of me
that was never empty
you add to me.
Our waters commingling
make me complete.

From a place of cool white snow
you are fresh and different
You feel clean and crisp
compared to my warm salty body
that doesn’t know the chilled calm of winter.

We seem so much alike,
but you’re a spring fed, freshwater lake,
and I’m a big saltwater Gulf.
You’re so petite, pristine, and perfect,
and I’m just a glorified bay whose waters are never still.

Still you add to me
through the waters of the Mississippi.
You don’t ask for anything in return.
I wish I could give like you.
The river only flows one way,
but at its mouth
where we meet,
we are one.


The Gulf of Mexico

Perspective: Associate professor Joanne Lisosky shares African tales from her sabbatical.



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