My Van Without A Name


When I was two my parents bought a van without a name.
We were fast friends, the three of us- my car seat, van, and I.
When physics reared its ugly head the van let no one die
Despite the rude attempts to passenger and driver maim.

The van liked California’s clime so it began to curse
That fateful year we moved to Utah in the driving snow.
It said to us “This awful climate is my greatest foe.”
But it was wrong. The moniker-less van would soon see worse.

I got my learner’s permit on the day I turned fifteen.
I punched the gas, I stomped the brakes, I jumped my share of curbs;
I played that I was Ottoman and bicyclists were Serbs,
But even lacking in a name the van let me play mean.

It went away to school with me without giving a fuss.
So maybe its repairs cost more than all my textbooks’ sum.
I didn’t care, I had a car! So what if it looked dumb?
That unnamed turquoise beast could fit more students than a bus.

As an adult I didn’t learn, so really I’m to blame.
Two hundred thousand miles later, a U-turn was too hard.
For thirty silver coins I sold you to a salvage yard,
And so, adieu, my fearsome friend, my van without a name.

Julia’s Demise


Julia’s Demise

Julia loved spending time on the net
More than she loved playing with her pet.
She could surf the web for hours on end.
Everyday she added a new online friend.
She loved telling all the people at school
The things she had learned online that were cool.
At first people loved it! She “Shared” and they “Liked.”
But shortly thereafter her classmates went “Psych!
“We’re tied of your tweeting and blogging and posting.
We want a friend who’s not always ghosting.”
But give up her internet? She knew she could not!
So Julia blogged where she wouldn’t get caught.
She hid in the stairwells and skipped her math class
So often there was no chance she could pass.
She said to herself “If I can’t pass this course,
I might as well learn all this straight from the source.”
She subscribed to PBS and The Washington Post
And took to Twitter to brag and boast
That her education was leagues above theirs,
So they unfriended her and she hid in her lair.
Alone in her room, Julia gave up rest.
Why sleep when there’s a new Buzzfeed test?
She stayed indoors, never venturing outside,
Watching videos instead of sports played worldwide.
She saw no point in eating real food
When over her Pinterest recipes she could brood.
One day she stood up and felt weak at the knees.
“I should probably eat,” she managed to wheeze.
Her voice all but gone, she went back to bed.
“I might as well watch one more show,” she said.
But those were the last words from Julia’s mouth,
For despite WebMD, her health had gone south.
Her computer lay faithful as always at her side,
And with the next episode loading, Julia died.
Internet stars lost one follower that day,
And it was decided her tombstone would say
“Here lies Julia, who neglected to eat.
If you love the internet like she did, retweet!”

Liz Gabbitas

Your Nightmares Are Real

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Trumpet. 1984.

Your Nightmares Are Real

You live in a world filled with sunshine and joy.
You think that you’re safe from your fears that annoy.
You brush aside dreams so you’ll sleep. No big deal!
Now I’ve come to tell you YOUR NIGHTMARES ARE REAL.

You tell Mom and Dad you’re not safe in your room.
They smile, pat your head, and leave you to your doom.
The fears come at night when you’re tucked in your bed.
They growl in your ears and they wait in your head.
They hide exactly like you think that they will,
Within every doorstep, behind every hill.
Are you scared of spiders? Their eight nasty legs?
They’ll suck up your blood. They’ll finish the dregs!
Are you scared of creatures that transport disease?
Some rats carry sickness that kills you with ease.
Some people hate snakes and the way that they slither,
‘Cause poisonous bites can cause you to wither.
Your body succumbs to the fire in your blood
When snake bites leave you writhing, dead in the mud.

And there’s more than just creatures to make you feel scared.
You’ve dreamed some before but there’s more than you’ve dared.

The monsters with claws and sharp fangs and bright eyes—
Your dreams with these beasties aren’t foolish, but wise.
One hides in your closet all day and all night.
It waits for the lights to go out for its bite.
Don’t leave the door open: it sees when you sleep!
And don’t leave it closed: it can still hear you weep!
Your terror is food for those under your bed,
But it’s not enough; they want you when you’re dead.
Their long purple tongues lick their bloody black lips
As they dig for your entrails until the flesh rips.

Those nightmares are still only partially true.
The nightmares that hurt most are very real, too.
They don’t hurt your body; they leave you alive,
But they cut through your heart like a thousand hot knives.
These fears you’ll remember the longest and best.
You’ll never escape them, not North, East, or West.

These dreams aren’t extraordinary, they’re just bad.
They make you feel gloomy or lonely or sad.
People laugh in these dreams, but not ’cause they’re funny.
They’re laughing at you ’cause you’re dressed like a bunny.
Or maybe they laugh ’cause you’re doing a dance,
Or because you forgot all your clothes but your pants.
You know you can’t face all your friends the next day.
If it wasn’t a dream, then they’ll make you pay.

And what about when Mom and Dad disappear?
Alone in the world, you have real things to fear.
And what if they don’t come back? What if they can’t?
You’re stuck in a dumpster with hobos who rant.
You’re left all alone without family or friends.
You can’t escape loneliness: it never ends.

So whether you dream about monsters or snakes
Or losing your parents or drowning in lakes,
Your mind knows reality better than you
And it creates dreams meant to tell you what’s true.

When lying adults tell you not to be scared,
Ignore them and face the world, claws and fangs bared.

You’re up against monsters. It’s time that you knew:
I’m telling you kid, ALL YOUR NIGHTMARES ARE TRUE!

Liz Gabbitas

First Post Experiment

T.S. Eliot

Hello to my zero readers! This is my first post and it’s an experiment because I’m still just formatting this blog. I’m including a lovely little bit of writing from Mr. Eliot below so the post has some length to it.



By T. S. Eliot

As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden …” I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.

Source: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1920)