Plain China

September 2016

Secret Meeting Notes

James Trout · Guilford College

Meeting Notes from the Guilford College Secret Council meeting

Sonora

Molly Kigin · University of Iowa

The Sonoran desert is beyond reason. More than anything else, it is a scene stolen from the apocalypse: tan, craggy rock blooming with poisonous scrub; red dirt that is discernable from rock only in color; laugh lines of wire running parallel to whip scars of asphalt. Short fernlike trees look as ancient as red oaks. Palm trees serve as the only sign of burgeoning civilization, nailed to the ground and cemented there in volcanic rock. They are the only species in the area that remains visibly invasive—now, even we Americans look like we belong here, like we didn’t steal this land from other people.

Texas Spiral

Henry Birdsey · Bard College

I remember the motorcycle gang At White Sands— They pawed the dust Searching for something they couldn’t yet speak of In the data fields of Western Texas

Unpalatable

Nicole Lopez · Loyola University

Vivienne warns that the red is too dry. You cannot stomach this, she says. He says, that's a risk I'll take.

The Noon of Thought

Cassandra King · University of Minnesota

It was almost 2:00 a.m., the latest I’d stayed up in years, when I pinched the bridge of my nose and pushed the heels of my hands into my crinkled eyes. I knew I couldn’t yet. It’d been poetry for hours, but I knew I couldn’t. My heart pushed against my bones while the rest of me was still. The seams of myself were straining and tightening. I pressed my lips together in case my lungs came up my throat. Felt like it. Tough.

Secret Meeting Notes

James Trout · Guilford College

Meeting Notes from the Guilford College Secret Council meeting

Sonora

Molly Kigin · University of Iowa

The Sonoran desert is beyond reason. More than anything else, it is a scene stolen from the apocalypse: tan, craggy rock blooming with poisonous scrub; red dirt that is discernable from rock only in color; laugh lines of wire running parallel to whip scars of asphalt. Short fernlike trees look as ancient as red oaks. Palm trees serve as the only sign of burgeoning civilization, nailed to the ground and cemented there in volcanic rock. They are the only species in the area that remains visibly invasive—now, even we Americans look like we belong here, like we didn’t steal this land from other people.

Texas Spiral

Henry Birdsey · Bard College

I remember the motorcycle gang At White Sands— They pawed the dust Searching for something they couldn’t yet speak of In the data fields of Western Texas

Unpalatable

Nicole Lopez · Loyola University

Vivienne warns that the red is too dry. You cannot stomach this, she says. He says, that's a risk I'll take.

The Noon of Thought

Cassandra King · University of Minnesota

It was almost 2:00 a.m., the latest I’d stayed up in years, when I pinched the bridge of my nose and pushed the heels of my hands into my crinkled eyes. I knew I couldn’t yet. It’d been poetry for hours, but I knew I couldn’t. My heart pushed against my bones while the rest of me was still. The seams of myself were straining and tightening. I pressed my lips together in case my lungs came up my throat. Felt like it. Tough.