Wallflowers / Easels – by Matthew Mutiva

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Cupid packs a punch pungent enough to

look inside your yogurt for more strawberries,


chocolate covered kisses twirl in spirals

of pink, magenta, bluish-purple & bluish-green


sundresses and sunflowers that smell good

show you it’s okay to smile, thawing a frozen heart


An immoveable iceberg with a frigid frown

struck deep by an arrow that braved the cold


cracking it’s thick, icy armor with a magic

that broke the spell, spilling an emotion

no one knew, that drifted so far away


A broken heart irreparable, incapable

of putting an “I’m sorry” casting over it


The love he tried to hold in,

but every time it crept inside,


he shook away the sensation of oncoming tears,

avoiding love like the plague


An anonymous flower was sent to him

and all he ever wanted to do was

make it bloom


her voice tender, unmet with love, Aphrodite

with an Afro, hunting for a resting place


Once the ice finally melted, her eyes fill up with water,

and he jumped in that lake to cool off




Sometimes the days are so long and

drawn out, that we sketch nothing for

your art gallery. It is not because the

image resembles no one, though

we love constructing this artist rendering.


It is because to be published, one must split atoms, recite the alphabet backwards, beat the shot clock, hit the buzzer beater, turn water into wine, and synchronize our watches whilst using GPS satellites to find the exact words.

O’ elitist club of all things writing, what “open sesame” password will open thy doors? I grow tired of lamenting the edits in my rough drafts. These 3AM revisions and workshop gauntlets. I too seek to be knighted as the recipient of a literary award by your monarchy.

Am I not avant-garde enough for you?

Is it the analogy you are allergic to?

Shall I increase the dosage in my

extended metaphor? Does 500mg sound good?

Yes then, right away!


Many a star was dimmed your highness. Each rejection letter read “Close, but no cigars.” A quartet of simultaneous “No’s” permeated throughout my inbox, however, encouraged me to submit in the future, and so I have. Here I am. Again. Hi.

Never mind that I can distinguish between the discard pile and the draw pile. If, I were like Warhol, or painted you like one of my French girls with waist trainers, would you permit me entry, or would you refuse to hang my portrait in your gallery?


Matthew Mutiva is that feeling you get when your favorite song comes on the radio, but when you listen to it, you realize you just caught the end of it, and now you’re pissed. In his senior year of college, he is a Professional Writing major with a Creative Writing minor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is a former Assistant Editor for the literary journal The Driftless Review.  His poem Hood Superheroes won first place in the 2015 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Awards Contest. His poem What’s your favorite color? won first place for the poetry portion of the 2013 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest, and his other poem, Offended, was awarded second place for the poetry portion of the 2014 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest.

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