Pamplemousse

The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

Spring 2023 Issue

Caitlyn Alario

Sapphics IV | As Any Foolish Woman | Sapphics with Fragments from Simone Weil Sapphics IV may, not quite rural indiana. summercoming for us—june bugs, cicadas screaming.we ordered gatorade margaritas &     ...

Ryan Aliapoulios

not so good at substitution remembering the purple piecesof abandoned puzzle on the sidewalkI rearrange celestial bodiesbecome once again the nodding center ofthe world and its bougainvillea overhangallowing every idea, every iterationits own infinity Ryan Aliapoulios...

David M. Alper

The Other World | Quit Quoting Your Chapter and Verse The Other World I’m versed in insecurities Icannot get used tostrung out behind a loneliness Icannot changethe evening to comeI’ll picture wildest performancesI will rage against my injusticewith pencil in...

Nicholas Barnes

june watches ballgames in heaven you used to watch cubs gamesfrom your living room.wearing your pinstriped jerseywith the big red c for chicago.you and your trusty pup, sosa,would cheer for every run.   then you fell sick.you’d spend your time sittingat the kitchen...

Wendy Barry

Gloria, In Excelsis Deo Home for the Aged | The Word for Pepper Gloria, in Excelsis Deo Home for the Aged ‘Domine Deus,’ (Lord God) she says, herlips quivering, as they did. It didn’tseem sadness or fear. They always quivered,as long as I knew her, but maybe itwas...

Noah Berlatsky

NOAH BERLATSKY (he/him) tried being a poet some twenty years back and failed miserably. So he’s trying again. He’s been published recently in several venues, including New Feathers Anthology, Orchards Poetry Journal, and Five Fleas. Also he won an Honorable Mention in the 2022 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest. So that’s all been encouraging. He tweets too much at @nberlat and scribbles longer at Everything is Horrible! https://noahberlatsky.substack.com/

Ace Boggess

Service Call | Haircut | Examined Life Service Call Three-month backlog to buy one,he says. Because of the pandemic,factories have shut down. No one’s making pool heaters these days.When he opens it up, green waterlike a straight-piped stream collapses out of the...

Lindsey Bryant

Bedtime Story | Hedone | Glyph BEDTIME STORY  Sensing the bough’s break I’d thrown myself trustingly into the windHappy thoughts— you can fly, you can flyTurns out Tinkerbell was full of shit so I began growing down After the fall I’d spend mornings picking...

Roger Camp

Statue on Balcony Pioneer Town Rat Destroyer California Old Ford 2 Beatty NV Roger Camp is the author of three photography books including the award winning Butterflies in Flight, Thames & Hudson, 2002 and Heat, Charta, Milano, 2008. His work has appeared in...

Erin Carlyle

News Story | Cat Guide News Story I saw a news story: three young girls, shoplifters, caught.Wanting is not a crime.I would steal anything I could,at sixteen—eyeliner, candy, homework,boyfriends. I helped steala toilet from a construction site,and I kissed a boy I...

Yuan Changming

Love Lost & Regained | I/我 as a Human | Lesson One in Chinese Characters Directory of Destinies Love Lost & Regained: 2 One-Sentence Poems for Qi Hong 1/ Love Lost: a Rambling Sentence How I sometimes wonderWhether it is because you wearYour years so well or...

Callie Crouch

Career Day I borrowed her teal scrubs in second gradeand for career day I went as a mother,inspired by the free toothbrushes and boxesof latex gloves she brought home from a jobshe wouldn’t choose a second time around.Pushing a baby stroller and carrying...

Cat Dixon

Don't Stop Dancing | Buried Alive Don’t Stop Dancing The music isn’t to your taste, but you’re a good sport—a twirl, a smile, a bouncy sway, back and forth. There’sno DJ tonight. The playlist spins without taking requests.Everyone must accept what’s given—not throw a...

Matthew Ellis

Are We Not Human? | Empire Are We Not Human? As civilizations fall to ruinAnd empires decay We can cling to that oh-so-precious hopeOr maybe you’ll despair as I tend to do When the poor are left to the rising tidesAnd wars are waged over water Who will we blame?Are we...

Lynn Gilbert

Shanghaied | Rescued SHANGHaIED I’d rather be dozing off in a walled garden of fragrant roses; instead, I’ve been shanghaied onto a leaking privateer crewed by the Seven Deadly Sins, the worst of whom is a smiler with a knife under his cloak, who, swearing friendship,...

Paweł Grajnert

Agains, Again I got those agains, again.No wonder agains, again.The story agains, again.The ending agains, again. That ending agains, againInflicts its agains, again.All losers agains, again.Infernal agains, again. What to do?What not to see?Who to admit?Who not...

Maya Jacyszyn

Fire | Married “Fire—Adam Taylor” (from S3E6 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’) I spoke,albeitregrettably,kneeling undermemorial ruinsof some abolitionist.The former Capitoldrowned in red likerows of holly berries,taint to tongue.Look at our          Birthing Bitches...

Ryan Kees

Ode to Crawdads Crawdads, those brown bastards of backwater and burrows. With a face from outer space and two sharp pinchers, you’re something only a devil could love. You walk around on spindly little legs, eating whatever floats your way from minute minnows to...

Fredrick Livingston

Dawn is a Place in the Sky | Endemic Dawn is a Place In The Sky above all of thisdawn is one ongoing phenomenon I saw itfrom airplane windows as salmon honey spilledover a cloud meadow - looking down at Earthwhere night and day are consideredseparate ephemera I saw...

Nate Maxson

Smoke and Sign | Intelligent Design Smoke and Sign The story about the manWho played pianoFor the lyrebirds in the scrubland, perfect mimicsAnd how to this dayYou can hear his casual tinkeringHundreds of lyrebird generations later, thousandsFragments of the songs like...

Ken Mootz

Prayer for the Dying In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen. Thank you God for giving me this day. Please help me be a good person today who says and does the right thing at work, and help me drive safely to and from there without getting into an...

Adeniyi Odukoya

Mouth of Motherhood | M Mouth of Motherhood My dying baby has eleven fingers— the last of the eleven is the tomb where I buried her the last time. Two times a day, I dance at the market square. I dance until the gods are mere onlookers fading into the softening of...

Sean O’Neill

Amphitheater | Romeo and Juliet | Palazzo Canossa Amphitheater  Field of sand, you sprang like one unblinking eyefrom old Verona’s bedrock, built for spectacles,where gladiators came to dice their wagered blood,clawed by the jagged shouts and blunter moansof...

Kieran Orndorff (Topsy Turvy)

One Day | 24 Hour One Day There will be a day the sun retreats into the cave from which it was bornA day the moon will hide her face behind the hands of GodA celestial divorce and we the scattered childrenThe balance, give and take, fractured in 6, to heal on the...

John Piccirillo

A Week in April with Harper | Advice to Job Seekers a week in april with harper every night dog sitting I dream goblinsemerge toes first from drains and from between floorboardsappearing as bright grins and pairs of glinting eyesto enact petty mischiefs all throughout...

Paula Rodriguez

RApunzel’s Daughter Her small bodycast in a red swimsuitis bent by the spine.She is in the sandyheart of the hopscotch,writing a messagein the strange tongueof the ancestorsthat lie at the feetof the Tower. Great-grandmotherwaits in a housethat smells like onionsand...

River Rozum

Kill Shelter | I Bit the Hand of God... Kill Shelter kept in a crate in the back corner of the kenneli am little more than a man in need of mercyi tend to bite the hand before it has beenremoved from its glove;the irony of surviving is finding yourselfflinching at a...

Eylie Sasajima

Self-Portrait as Eris | Self-Portrait as Medusa by Caravaggio Self-portrait as eris when i looked back there was a trailof golden apples denting the ground did i leave them there i don’t remember and i followed them back to high schoolsaw the bite marks in the shapes...

Noel Sikoroski

Bananas | Expected Deprivation Bananas Random isn’t itWho gets to liveTo peel a bananaDrop the skinOn the sidewalkEat the fleshThe internet saysIt takes two yearsFor the skinTo decomposeThe skin I meanOf a banana Expected Deprivation what I foundwas an abrasion my...

Kelly Vance

The Ways We Kill Each Other | To the Glory of Untamed Places The Ways We Kill Each other With a look or a laugh we might have held backon a better day, a less selfish moment when we consideredwhat it feels like to be the outsider,utterly othered and unbelonging, or...

Kory Vance

Cork they made my bones out of cork doctors say i’m a floating thing scientists say the world is made of water spiritualists say follow the water and you'll follow your heart politicians say they own the northern star business says it's my job to preserve these songs,...

Diane Webster

Abandoned Building Windows are the first to gobecause rocks enjoy the impact,the crack before the burst through,shards crashing on floor boardsand scattering multiple reflectionsof the rock lying like a mousein the corner awaiting safetyto venture across the...

Walter Weinschenk

The Story of the Universe | On the Beach The Story of the Universe Billions of yearsBefore you were born,The cosmos wasA tiny ball;One day, it exploded,The world was formedAnd has been growingEver sinceBut a year ago,Your mother diedYou were neverQuite the same....

Wyatt Welch

Sphinx | Commonwealth Sphinx If youmean freedomlike you holdpolice departmentsaccountable,offer water or mealno more illegal where you find borderor animals along the roadwho never make it homeno longer warming their dens with us on the earthbut backwards and in...

Chloë Williams

Deviated Septum | Overused Viewmaster Deviated Septum You said you wanted to try organized religion and I said okay, let’s make one. I said Ihave heard about the language of the flowers—they say it’s quite nice. You said youhave a deviated septum and could not bear to...

Molly Zhu

November 7, 2020 I remember that morning because the champagne was sold out from every corner store,we woke up in accidental bliss,although we didn’t realize this until we were halfway to Fort Greeneand all the cars were honking up and down Fulton street in...