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Before you begin your freewrite, very quickly draw a three-panel cartoon. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw. Just have 3 panels, with at least one human being (this can be a stick figure) and one speech bubble in each panel. Now, consider your cartoon as a very long story you must describe in as much sensory detail as possible, in ten minutes. What’s happening here? To whom? Fill in the details. Before you begin to write, decide if your story is a tragedy or a comedy, and then fill in the details with your freewrite accordingly.

Alpenmoon
By Meghan Prindle

The sun glows and the moon merely a ghost.
         One in the west; one in the east.
The sun begins to go while the moon grows.
        Orange & magenta to the west;
        Blue & lavender to the east.
The sun sinks, "You got this?"
The moon doesn't. even. blink. "Yeah, I got this."
The sun is now gone and the full moon brilliantly shines.

And so sets the scene
On a cosmic high five.

Mapquestionable
By Logan Corey

Happyness is a small red car
scuttling
on a thick, black highway

Happyness is an empty exit coming up
on your left

Happyness is a narrow strip (SCENIC
OVERLOOK) stretching a thick taff-
pull of space, pocketing

the exact frown hanging from your rearview mirror

Drawing Steps
By S. Atticus Olivet

I sit down with my pen
Black ink barely paints
The page remains empty
Aside from my name, when
I am supposed to draw.
Three bare boxes complain.

“I can go anywhere
Right, my little crow?”
I call my brain names
Sometimes he’s called sorrow.
“Take me somewhere lil man,
Where we off to today?”

Oh, inside the mind to play?
For a moment dark flush
Before a flash of light -
I’m tiny now, in a mini grey-
Fucsia network of waterslides,
Brain tubes abound whoosh.

 

My slide tube is clear, I’m
Looking, see others winding
Around a below clearing,
From which thought pictures,
Live drawings of memory,
Rise to an above opening.

As I am carried by a thought
Around my mind toilet bowl
Around me up soar images
A memory from 2004
Another with my bird hat
A final with Red Sox and dad.

 

A few unclear more drift before
My now tiny eyes, before
All goes dark at end of the slide,
And I drop down into the clearing.
There a man stands at a pot
Dropping gold and black drips

Into its pit - where out pop
Wonderful thoughts. Few drift
As far as the top where they push
Push, push out through the gap
Where they will meet the minds eye
And maybe make it to the mouth.

The tiny man with his teeny beard
Tip toes an easy dance around
The cauldron, knows the steps,
And drip drop plops the thought
Ingredients in, but when he sees
Me he pauses

                          Silence between us.
We know us, though we’ve not met,
And when I see he’s me I know
The crow dance, my beard grows,
His shrinks, we switch, we flow,
We fly, following golden-black

Thoughts rise up to the tippy top
Where we with them pop out
Into view of the massive hazel
Eye that chooses our little fate
Holding each other close we go
On with our steps of flight

In judgement our judgement day
Dance gets green light from brown
Seer and we’re released into the mouth
Where vocal chords bounce together
The flying dancing rhythm out
As we blurt out loud and jot down

Into ink, drawing our steps on this page.

Spring Song

Dandelion bouquet,
tied with a ribbon.
Not yet poisoned.

KINGDOM, PHYLUM, CLASS, ORDER


I wake up too late to take the exam.
Alone.
The school day’s already
half over. The sun has
turned the jar of seedlings
on the windowsill
to ghosted witheredness
in dust and dirt. Death
Valley—remember?—with
the Funeral Mountains in the distance.

Their mystery didn’t interest
me much then, and now I just think
of bloody rocks, purple
shadows, how the air
sucked into my lungs
had to pass first over my tongue
and tasted like stale bread.

But the other citizens have been awake
by now for hours. They file
one by one towards
the front yard
down the sidewalk
until they’re all over the lawn, poisoned-
emerald green by April every year, long
after the snow that kept it hidden longer
than some people live .

Some daffodils, still hysterical with having
just been resurrected, get trampled. But
I’m too still too foggy from
so much sleep
to shout out there to them
about it. I’ve long since lost the urge
to object. That
was a gift I left behind me
on the subway
when I got off at the wrong stop
and found myself beneath
the rusted beams of a building
yet to be built, having
suddenly become a woman after
having been a girl
as long as I could remember.

Then some animal, still
too new to the world to have been
given a name or ranked
among the others
on the taxonomic hierarchy (which
I once believed was just made up by some
scientists with too much grant money and
too much time on their hands) has
been flustered out of the garbage can by them.

It’s possible, isn’t it?, that this wasn’t
my fear, alone. Others, surely, have felt this?


All along. And now.

I see that flea-bitten thing, headed for those
mountains, bounding after the digital
ringing that’s been trying
to startle me awake for hours.
A machine I’m afraid to touch.
Someone with a question I refuse to answer.

But no one else seems to notice—although
it’s enormous. A bit like a lynx, but more exotic.
Bigger. Not anything that ever belonged
to the cat kingdom, in my opinion. No
tail, whiskers, claws.

I ask myself, Did you see that?
But before I can answer myself, it’s gone.
Still, I saw how it ran
off on all fours. But
all four were human hands, despite
the blood stiffened in the tufts
of the fur on them. They

looked familiar to me, I admit.

But what’s the difference now?
It’ gone.They’ll
want me to name it, I know. (This
won’t be the first time they’ve knocked
on my door.) But they won’t be
satisfied by Imagination.
Someone’s hands were stolen. And

you can’t even remember enough about
the license plate
to tell us the colors?

What difference would that make?

Well, then we could at least
take a stab at the state. We’d
know if the driver was from the USA
or had crossed the border from Canada.

But as I’ve said every April for decades—
although I recall I saw, I can’t recall
a thing about it.

I’m sorry.
No, I truly am.
I’d never lie about something this important.
And no, I’ve got nothing to hide.
You have to believe me, please.
After all this time.
I overslept.
But even in a dream, I was
always already prepared
never to be able to provide
any answers to your questions.