Photo: Hard iced tea, beige walls; by Sam Grinnell

This year, the team at The Phoenix would like to reimagine the arts section as not only a platform that brings awareness to the multitude of artistic and cultural happenings at UBCO and in Kelowna, but also as a space in which our talented fellow students can showcase their personal work in an unrestricted manner. As such, we welcome students who wish to publish their creative writing to email Jayme ( with short written pieces that they would like us to feature. In the first volume of this series, we present three poetic pieces titled Lorelei, Pandemic Vacations, and My Face an Eyeless Mask by Rachel Macarie, our Opinions Editor and a fourth-year English major. Rachel’s work was published in UBCO’s Papershell Anthology this year and she recently worked on a chapbook this summer titled Deadbolt Latch, with acclaimed Kelowna Poet Heidi Garnett, author of Phosphorus and Blood Orange.


My father’s mind is an abandoned museum. Stained-glass windows, high ceilings, empty hallways. Rooms with coats of armor, the Venus de Milo, marble statues of Romanian Soldiers. A room full of hand-carved Grandfather clocks that tick counter-clockwise. A door opens into German poetry, a room filled with leather-bound books. Laminated pages flip open to his most recited poem, Die Lorelei. Another room reveals guitars and harps, flutes and lyres. His well-used chemistry, physics, and biology textbooks are all locked away. He runs around and bangs on doors until his knuckles bleed. Ich weiss nicht, was soll es bedeuten, Dass ich so traurig bin. His face holds an unconvincing, frail smile. My mother calls me crying. She’s put a lock on the fridge. He’s threatened to divorce me and cut my throat again. He was a gentle man.

Pandemic Vacations

Hard iced tea, beige walls.

Entertainment for the week.

Go on a trip.

Take acid and watch Alice in Wonderland on Netflix.

Marijuana edibles, milk chocolate, double

the recommended amount.

High out of your mind, deja-vu,

it’s all a simulation. Smores by the stove-top

campfire, white wine, and angel hair spaghetti

at the Italian Restaurant in your kitchen.

Read Fight Club until your knuckles bleed,

Drop coins in Plath’s Bell Jar. Next year, Italy.

Do whatever you can to escape.

My Face an Eyeless Mask

I secretly wonder if people would be happier

if I was gone, scratched out

with the dull end of a scissor-blade.

I cut pictures in half

to see what the future would look like

without me in it.

I burn myself out of polaroids

with the tip of a cigarette and blacken

my face in photographs with sharpies.

My nails splinter and stain as I peel back

layers of fat revealing tendon and bone,

dust and wallpaper, my hands

speckled-brown bananas left too long

in the sun.