mantra review

Fall 2018



The churning must be worth something, worth troubling the dust. Often, I wonder if we aren’t all just dreaming together of intimacy. Like the false sense of desolation I might feel after rejection from something I was never into. Joy never made me question my motivations. If I were to be blind with nerves, I’d hope to flinch alongside, to gather what could be gathered. I rode out the storm with all my waves of hair, unbuttoned and perused. What sounds I make in my head can’t be recreated on paper. Or so I believe. The visions I have, only I can see. Nor can I retain them; I am always forgetting and acquiring. No one else can possess: my memory of light hitting the river’s surface, or the sound of the blinds rattling against the glass on summer nights. I imagined intruders entering through the third-floor window. But I misspeak. I want to erode until I am only a core, an unfathomable beginning. I say to myself: Pretend this never existed. Which may not be far from truth. What some might call indictment; enticement for all else. Whatever the delusion, it helped me get to today.

When Evening Hours Quicken

into grainy disquietude,
I remember even as the orb
tips into a pinpoint, douses
its coals, depletes into
a slice, how hungry I
was for everything
in this world.

I wanted not to be wrong
so badly I did
every mirthless thing.
Why follow through
on lofty, unwanted determinations?
Now, I wait for fascination to spread,
like the fruiting bodies from a
vast underground mushroom.

Tell me why as I drift
to sleep I am not
infatuated with a discordant,
siren hum. Even in surrender,
I cannot seem to shake
off possession. I write as if
to curate a dream. Come
morning, I am uncertain if
I have fully awakened.

Maya McOmie is an emerging multicultural poet with a background in editing and creative writing. She currently works at a bookstore and has called Portland, OR home for the last ten years after moving there from Japan.

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