Laura Hitt in Plain China

We received word months ago that Laura Hitt’s piece, “Grown-Ups,” was selected for publication in plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing 2012 and we  have been waiting excitedly to see it online.

Here’s what they said:

BENNINGTON, VT – Bennington College has launched the fourth issue of its annual anthology of premier poetry, fiction, and nonfiction selected from more than 80 American undergraduate literary journals. The new, year-round production schedule features new work posted monthly from publications of American University, Bard, Bennington, Boston College, Brown, Columbia College Chicago, Grinnell, Harvard, NYU, Susquehanna, Swarthmore, University of Tampa, and UC Berkeley, to name only a few. This is the fourth year of the anthology’s publication.

Issue Four includes work from Colorado, Dartmouth, Emerson, and Prescott Colleges, It also features an honorable mention in poetry—selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith—and artwork from Quinnipiac University, Oberlin, and Colorado Colleges, and the University of Vermont.

 As poetry judge and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith commented, “These young poets make me glad for the work that is in the works, all the poems that will begin, in the next few years, to make their way into wider circulation”— a sentiment that extends to prose writing as well. Check it out.

Congratulations Laura!

Read Laura’s beautiful story here:   http://plainchina.bennington.edu/pieces/grown-ups/

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In an Underground Bunker

Long it seemed to the mechanic

that they had settled on prayer;

but finally the words and their implications loosened,

subsiding into the noise of the buzzing generator.

.

Mutilation, arson, anarchy:

the world was ablaze up there.

Troves of supplies, miles of farmland—sacked, desecrated.

Infrastructure crushed.

.

A red-eyed cousin rose to offer a fractured reflection

of the past week, of the horror, and the generator rumbled on,

twisting in constant energy, trembling anger

that the mechanic hardly understood anymore.

.

The land, the country!

In a war waged on brothers,

families tore themselves from the throng

to find comfort in the removed dream underground.

.

-Blake and Zoë


While Eating Cookie Crisp Cereal

The corn was grown in a plot of land somewhere
To the exclusion of all other life that might have been there
fertilized with imported nitrates, modified genetically
sprayed with synthesized toxins to keep other life away
Harvested, processed in a factory with great energy
petroleum, trees, coal, minerals, pigment consumed
All so that one could have
a box of Cookie Crisp
.
.
-Blake Fisher

A Nomadic Existence

Like our ancestors
We were once nomadic.
We lived off Wonderbread, sunflower seeds and cigarettes.
Nights sleeping in parking lots
when the moon looked
fuller in the light polluted sky.
The impulsive nature
of change,
the static
radio hush or the ebb and
flow of ocean waves,
the clumsiness of
cicadas or rattling leaves.

We were dreaming
Or lost,
when the hours swan by and
days felt no different.

-Sofia Rovirosa


“I left my words on the front step”

I left my words on the front step.

Your kitchen smells of winter,

the bedroom of spring.

.

.

.

-Zoë


Tom Harris

Every morning he woke to his ceiling
briefly losing himself in its white heaven,
empty, quiet, comforting.

Like the wrinkles on his face,
the cracks appeared
growing from the corners of the ceiling,
deepening, and creaking in its’ old age
it began to collapse and gave way on top of him.

Eyes shut tight,
returning to life as he inhaled,
he exhaled out of bed.

Tom lived in a fourth story apartment
with a balcony that bathed in sunsets and sun rises.
Most days he stood a distance away from the railing,
there were few days where he had the courage
to stand close or place his hands on it.

When he did,
Like the decaying bones of a corpse
The rail would crumble apart
And he would fall over the edge.

His limbs dislocating,
his heart convulsing,
his body hugging the pavement
As he hit the ground.

He stumbled backwards into his living room
And locked the balcony door.
After breakfast he went to work.

Upon entering his car he would die once more,
A head on collision.
He watched the steering wheel crush his stomach
Watched his windshield shatter
as his whole body rattled within
The pulverized vehicle.

Looking at himself in his rear-view mirror
He starts his engine and continues his day.

No one knew how the unpredictable
fate of mortality haunted him
So much so that living meant
to die a new death every day.
Every night he drank tea before bed
But this night, as he slept,
The gas from his stove crawled about his home,
poisoning his lungs.

When he awoke to white heaven,
it didn’t creek or crack.
But simply remained blissful.

 

Elizabeth Schwartz


Consequences of Homesickness

This valley is blanketed In layers of green:

clovers, moss, grasses, weeds.

And lilac too – bursts of hydrangea.

I shifted over to the boulder,

The one with a bump for neck support,

The one where had often sat shoulder to shoulder.

There were kisses and fairy tales,

Mudpies, face paint – and a proposal.

But it’s no longer personal.

Brenda Fabig