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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Student poetry: excerpt from “The Undercurrent”

I’ve been to fringes
Follies and famine and so much worse it goes
The borderlands, the rolling planes,
Seen surreptitious sentience in the waning of light
I have heard privilege, pestilence, posthumous remorse for
A life that was not worth the killing

I’ve traveled from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, seen the sunny and the gold, and the cold and the constipated, the tax cutters and the golf fanatics,
I have heard the whispers of the American man,
Not to say that word just cause, keep your mouth shut about gender, the both of them,
Shoot beers for sport, the bros just the bros this time,
We’re having an all-night revival,
I’ve seen pregames and sports speeches, much too many emotions in sports, are they on their periods?
I have heard the chants of victory, of taking back the election yet again, the brilliance in a stand, lets insurrect and wear Viking helmets, boys boys boys boys,
The chants of Super Bowl and so much rizz,
Dap up for the debauched Econ bro.

The telltale signs, I’ve categorized,
Of what not to say when, scrubbed clean,
Cancel culture to the bones, so we don’t think at all
Drop your conscience, pick it up, all day long
Burdened with no deliverance, just internet brain rot take it all back, say nothing, feel nothing, breath little lies,
Nonchalance, fat chance, don’t let it get to you,
Promulgate conspiracy, buy into easy, consume bupkis, pablum static and swimsuits.

I’ve chewed at the liver, want of more madness and mystic
And the American west, they’re bringing cowboys back, this time with AKs, gnawing on the barbed wire of whatever is left out there, explore, grope and plumage, anything other than eating the heart whole.

You can read more of Axel’s poetry in Poly’s literary magazine, The Polygraph, or in her upcoming debut novel (more details to come).

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Talya Axel, Student Contributor
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