Saturday Oct 20

Dorianne Laux Rachel Mangum writes love poems, quietly bold, stripped down to bone, skin, lips.  But even her poem “After the movie, Friday night”, about a group of Twenty-first century kids standing in line outside a movie house is a love poem, with its generous descriptions and lingered over details.  Magnum’s is a poetry of the body-- clothed, or unclothed, public or private-- the human form in all its manifestations is what she praises, preserves and adores.   Dorianne Laux



Rachel Magnum Rachel Mangum is a North Carolina native from the town of Garner. In December, she will graduate from North Carolina State University with a degree in English, concentration in Creative Writing. She hopes to write children’s literature and continue writing poetry in the future. Aside from writing, she loves reading, knitting, and clogging with her dance team. Rachel’s favorite writers include Ted Kooser, Sonya Sones, and Megan McCafferty. Right now, the poem folded up in her wallet is Charles Bukowski’s “so you want to be a writer?”
It wasn’t like
bright flashes against a black sky.
It wasn’t like
a lightning strike,
electric streak shooting from thick clouds.
It wasn’t like
a warm glow
spreading slowly through my body
into my limbs
filling me with sweet heat.
It was only
your soft lips
pressed against mine,
calloused fingers stranding
through my hair.
After the movie, Friday night
Outside the movie theater, thin teenagers huddle
checkered shoes shuffling
scuffing ballpoint pen sketches off the soles
leaving scribbled skulls on the sidewalk.
From under a sweetly pink skirt, striped leggings stand out
against the others’ black skinny jeans, cuffed at the bottom
to show the light blue of the undyed inside.
Two bent-shouldered boys share headphones,
the cords disappearing into similarly shaggy haircuts
side-swept bangs streaked with bottle blonde
sloping over heavily lined eyes.
A girl writes angry lyrics in dark red ink
on the inside of her arm, pressing slow strokes
into the soft skin below the pushed up sleeve
of her dark jacket, printed with bright green bones
replicated rib cage echoing the lines of her curved back
dripping heart stamped over her chest.
Homage to Your Sternum
Hollow at the crux of your chest
solid bone
strong basin
I rest my lips against.
when it pools with sweat
I’ll lick you clean
linger there
where my tongue fits.