While Cellar Roots is only open to submissions for students at Eastern Michigan University (where the publication is published from), if you are looking for something good to read and scouting for up-and-coming writers, it’s definitely worth the read. Filled with art, poetry, and prose, the issue is brimming with words to read and images to view.
“Chicago, August 2012” by Mikayla Beaudrie is a reflection of a train ride home to Michigan from Chicago, sitting alone amongst women and their daughters, whose arms are filled with American Girl Dolls. The sight of it turns her uterus “inside out.” She writes that her “ovaries closed up and super glued themselves shut.” She sits and thanks God that she has remained “fetus-free” thus far. She ponders: what makes an American Girl? And what makes an American Woman? In this piece, she challenges those ideas, determined to form a new image “the American . . . something.”
In Kaitlin Browne’s “Pretty Girls,” six-year-old girls hear the story of Molly, a little girl who has gone missing and has presumably been raped. The little girls are scared, and confused, trying to figure out about rape and what it would be like in Molly’s position.
“What does that mean?” Angie sputtered.
“It means he put her hands on her legs,” Christie explained, moving closer to Angie. “Stuck a knife to her neck and said, ‘do you want me to cut you bitch?’ Then he stuck his pecker in her ears and in her eyes. Poked out her eyes.” Christie began gyrating her hips, thrusting her pelvis against the side of Callie’s waist.
“Gross,” Angie laughed while cringing.
The girls continue to discuss it and act it out, that is until a woman drives up in a “black sedan, with silver wheels that sparkled like diamonds” and sends them scared, running home.
Andrew Lamont’s “Piano Poem” should be read out loud, and while I often find a lot of repetition to be annoying, this piece makes good use of it. Here is a small sampling:
she tore out her piano hair
she sewed piano strings
into her gums
into her piano gums
she tore out her piano breasts
she installed piano hammers
in her heart
in her piano heart
There are plenty more good reads and way too many contributors to even try to mention. There is a monkey named Duncan Clementine (Mads Olsen’s “Day in the Park”), a farmer who makes Facebook accounts for his cows (Andrew Lamont’s “Pastoral Poem”), a clean-out of memories (Bobby Woodruff’s “Thursday, Cleaning”), and many more stories, poems, and pieces of visual art.