top of page


BARE has interviews with Ohio poets:

Bill Abbott

Marcus Whalbring

  NEW WORK ON BARE/ Summer + Autumn 2022  

Bee Talarzyk / 10



Each life is like a spool of yarn,

different lengths,

different colors,

different sizes


And the yarn gets tangled

Gets wrapped up and mangled

When you meet someone

and the knots get all tied


So sometimes it’s easier,

to pretend we were never friends,

to untie all those secrets from me

Easier than trying to hold them together


But it also hurts,

to let go

Because you forget

You forget that you attached yourself

to me

To remove all those knots between us

Is painstaking

Because I’m forced

to untangle each bit of you

from me


Watching the yarn slip through my fingers

Because if I don’t,

I risk you ripping my soul out

when you take yours back

from me

Bee Talarzyk / 10


If people were buildings,

I would be rubble

Because you were my structure

Without you I stumble.


Nora Will / Alum


Tala Ojjeh / 12

The Cycle of War


A vicious cycle of wars

and it has menacingly befallen you

from a daunting game that never ends

and you are one of the pawns used too.


An overbearing power descended

their tanks rolling onto your soil

and you prayed for hope, for eager help

yet you knew the world watched the turmoil.


In a moment’s thought, you knew you were alone

and the humanness you had once enjoyed

slowly oozed away like the blood

that was staining the earth with its life destroyed.


A burning war, yet you still struggle

grappling with fate in a shaky persistence.

A sky, smoky gray, from the rain of the shelling

as you sense the weight from the wearing resistance.


A gas of fear poisons your air

suffocating and sickening within its core

but sadly, through time, it become a norm

as you scramble for safety from the chaos of war.


And you resist, in the ruthless heat of war

you doubt but hope for the world to awaken.

Again, the world, entangled in games,

is silent, witnessing your cities be shaken.


trying to find the right face to show you in return 


i stood at the edge
suspended and i
waited and i
felt a weight off my back
until a nervous apprehension crawled right back on
and i peered into the mirror and found my face blushed a deep vermilion
a million years go by
a million more
radio silence
i finally breathe out when i see that three-dotted bubble
pulsing, pulsating, beating like a heart
(but whose?)
and then the cricket calls
it takes me a while to understand
and i spend a long time trying to find the right face to show you in return
but i think that's ok
because for the first time i am at ease.

Elise Love / 10

Pink Sundays

It used to bore me.

The minutes dragged on

and I’d wonder when I could leave. 

We’d talk about the little things. 

Thoughts of sharing strawberry shortcakes

at a place I’d never been. 

Pictures of the cotton candy skies

from inside your patio screen. 

Messages of my latest art 

that you’d always keep.

Roses and azaleas that grew in your yard.

Peonies and cherry blossoms 

that are still growing in mine.

Soft sands of beaches I’d felt

even though you’d never get to see.

Jewelry with butterflies that

I’d never have the heart to wear again. 

Ice cream and frosted treats

eaten days before.

I’d slowly sip on

bitter herbal teas.

You’d have berry pancakes every Sunday. 

Then show me pictures of 

a young me in ballet tutus 

that I had already seen.

The last look I gave before

I turned and left your street.

The blush still hadn’t left your cheeks.

Now all I have left is memories.

I feel so selfish for 

ever having 

wished away the time.

If only I knew back then

what I know now.

Without you in it, the world 

is a little less 



Nora Will / Alum


Jane Doe


Lucky rabbit’s foot

Little Women

The Witch and the Broomstick

The shouting and hitting

Too many mouths

Tiny, little toes

Eating too much cereal

‘Till the bellies are full

Wood Saws and cutters

Dirt and mean fists

Singing with the sisters

We run 'till we can’t

The knife is sharp

Sister, I love

Hate the dark nights

All we need is luck

Butchering cows

And rabbits, in the woods

It got caught in a trap

So we took it back

The rough wooden table

Neck snapped, blood-red

We cut off its foot

And hung it ‘round our skinny necks

Jane Doe

Under the Poplars

Falling to nothing

Find there is something

Under the Poplars

She sleeps the days

I lie awake

Don’t touch the bread

I don’t mean what I said

My mouth burns

Jaw shut

My fingers bleed

I curl them in

Invisible friends

They hold me too tight

Please, let me go

I lie awake in the night

Under the Poplars

I play dolls in the sun

Dark shades, holidays

Candy books, hidden shelves

Where do they go?

Why have they gone?

Fires of smoke

Too loud, too quiet

Whispers I wait for

In the dark, I pray

But not to Gods

To stars, to suns

Tired, always

I wait till morning comes

Under the Poplars

I laugh with her as one

But where do they go?

Why have they gone?

Skunk Cabbages.jpg

Nora Will / Alum

Skunk Cabbages

Ashley He / 11

second-grade social


it is peculiar, to be in your body,
but not quite, existent,
feeling thick finger pads picking away the
undone, frayed edges of the old church dress my mom made me wear
and knowing that they are my hands, the ones that play music and write
and destroy clothes like a stranger;
To feel so aggressively, every thump of the speaker through
scuffed gym floors, standing stock-still as the
air, it is buzzing;
but I, me! I am a stubborn dandelion, rooted
in the cracks of the floor,
watching through my not-eyes,
the people I know zoom past,
and I believe I am still,
though perhaps I am the moving car,
and they are the sloping telephone lines,
and I have always just been orbiting in place.
Here, the people move too quickly,
the music is too loud, and the people
lack faces, and I wonder if they are as much
as intruders in their own bodies
As I am.

Lillian Wagner / 9

with only the moon’s fleeting company

The carcass lies on the sidewalk.

Eyes like olives that never grew,

     looking back at me through a tinted window.

A tongue hanging out of its mouth.

It will never taste again. Never again

feel the wind against its body, pushing.

     As if to warn it of what’s to come


Preparing its fleshy tan body of a never ending darkness.


Its soul running, dancing with the wind —





Its face laying on the cold sidewalk

     with only the moon's fleeting company, its dim light

can't reach it.

Everything it saw with those olive eyes

green trees

yellow flowers

luscious berries.

Never Again.

bottom of page