Three Poems by Jessy Randall (featuring Dan Shapiro)

Thank-You Note to the Supposed Lesbian Who Stole My Boyfriend
(first appeared in Slow Trains)

You and your
clingy shirts with
girl cartoon characters,
your funky glasses
and super-short haircut.

You and your
broken heart,
knowledge of diners
and flea markets,
vegetarian recipes.

You took him,
and forgot to say

But then,
I forgot to say
thank you.


The Seductiveness of the Memory Hole
(first appeared in The Magazine of Speculative Poetry)

“He crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.” – George Orwell’s 1984.

We have an invention. We
invented it. What you do is,
you email us the thing
that you want to forget.
You list every detail. You
describe in full. When we
get the email, we delete it.
We don’t just delete the email.
We delete the thing. The thing
never happened. No one involved
will remember it; no one
who heard the story will
repeat it; even you yourself
will forget it.
We have done it already.
We are doing it right now.


Or Not
with Daniel M. Shapiro
(first appeared in 42opus)

We could get married. Have children. Be happy. Or decide
not to have children. I could marry your best friend.

I wield a potent vocabulary. You’re pulchritudinous. I napped
through English class. You know. Like. Um. Ah. You’re hot.

Do you remember what I said, that night in the car?
You don’t? Me neither. But at the time, it was true.

You loved how, tuxedoed and boutonniered, he squeakily asked
you to dance. But he might’ve just nodded. At somebody else.

She told me things about you that I already knew. I pretended
I didn’t and gave her away. It was easy. Or not.

Well, you know I would never try to stop you. Just go ahead.
You’re probably better off doing that, anyway. Wait.


Jessy Randall‘s collection of poems A Day in Boyland was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2008. Her 2009 young adult novel, The Wandora Unit, is about love and friendship in the high school literary crowd. Her newest book is a collection of collaborative poems, Interruptions, written with Dan Shapiro and published in 2011. Her website is

Daniel M. Shapiro‘s chapbooks are Teeth Underneath, Trading Fours, and The 44th Worst Album Ever. He and Jessy Randall have a collection of collaborative poems, Interruptions, now available from Pecan Grove Press. He blogs at


Doesn’t matter, so long as you call me.

Melissa is what I’m typically known as, but I’ll respond to many things. My imaginary friends often call me Ryhn. Feel free to use that name, as well. I usually do. I’m straight-forward with my writing, and I often debate whether this is a good or bad style. I draw a great deal of my inspiration from music.  A song can be interpreted in many ways. My writing is how I view them. Don’t expect fancy poetry.

“But you left me, you don’t own my soul. You’re a hoe, girl. Yeah, you’re a hoe.”
– Don’t Get Lost in Heaven; The Gorillaz

“I ain’t happy, I’m feeling glad. I got sunshine in a bag…”
– Clint Eastwood; The Gorillaz

One line gone.

Don’t expect me to miss you.

Two lines gone.

Maybe even white isn’t pure.

Three lines gone.

You were my heat. My only remaining sunshine is in a bag.

Four lines gone.

This bag that you left me.

Five lines gone.

My soul is free for rent.

Six lines gone.

And the shaking starts. And we lie down together.


A Reptile Dysfunction

So, welcome to the MARKS literary journal where we begin every blog post with so. So, we consist of Melissa, Ana, Ryan, Kym, and Sam. We all have unique personalities so don’t expect everything to be as clean as cornbread on this here blog. Here you’ll find a multitude of knick-knacks, paddy-whacks, and dog-bones. You’ll find poetry, stories, sweaters, cannibals, Scottish fold cats, chicken noodle soup, tiger-skin rugs, essays, garlic bread (you need to have garlic bread), fond childhood memories, Clint Eastood’s frown, art, Five Guys’ fries, catacombs, combs, Honey Combs, Chocolate Lucky Charms (. . . sometimes), Frida Kahlo’s eyebrow, puke, reviews, powdery straws, old Christmas Lists, John Hughes, Wes Anderson, your mom’s high school picture, opinions, twirly moustaches (otherwise known as knobs), Spanish muffin-tops, problems, movies, thrift store shopping lists, rants, submissions, and possibly where the wild things are. So enjoy the view. – MARKS