I was reading Agnes Chew’s The Desire for Elsewhere and I found so much of the text that was beautifully written. I wanted to give it another medium to breathe. At first I blanked it out, but then I realized it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. So I took the pieces that were not blanked out and wrote them in the following stanzas. Not really a blank-out poem and I couldn’t find the name of the form I was trying to write this in, so I leave it up for debate. I would like to thank Chew for being a source of inspiration for the work. I own none of the words in this piece, therefore I cannot take credit for the poem. Please approach Chew or her publisher, Math Paper Press regarding copy right use. Enjoy!


from Paris enroute to Marrakesh
the plane, making its decent
images of sun-drenched dunes surfaced my mind

suddenly, the plane plummeted
nose-diving a hundred pounding hearts
we were caught in the heart of a massive storm
no different from that of paper planes
flimsy, malleable and uncertain of its fate

Now I write poetry

When I was in school, I wrote prose pages long, usually as an assignment. I never considered it a chore.

My pen couldn’t keep up with the words my brain narrated to it. A misstep could mean a new spark of inspiration and my pen would have to play catch-up the rest of the way.

I used to like to call these sparks, ‘plot twists’ and the only way to experience them was to let the Train of Thought ride the rails so fast, the tracks would glow red.

Now, I write poetry.
Not because I don’t know how to write prose anymore,
but because I heard a poem
that made my heart hum,
and my lips followed in suite.

I found the melody in words.
I love having single lines move me
so much, it changed my writing style.

I aspire to make hearts hum
moved by the words scribbled in
my moving-out-sale notebooks,
just enough to leave you craving for more.

It is a breath of fresh air,
crafting thoughts with conscience precision,
they would slide into
five words.

I wish I learnt poetry in school:
teach me to wrap my paragraphs
into small phrases,
teach me how to fold my pen
and make origami,
even if it ends up being purely decorative,
occasionally glanced up,
the one worth taking the time
to appreciate and read.

Creative Commons License
Now I write Poetry by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Quarter-life Crisis

In Chemistry Class,
my teacher said to avoid parallax error,
you have to make sure you are reading the measurements at eye level. Bend a little, if you need to. Any well intentioned project can go terribly wrong when accuracy is absent.

I’m not in a Chemistry class anymore,
now, I’m reading my way through life,
finding spaces where I fit into,
realising that everything I was taught in school,
isn’t always useful in life.

I spend days sitting at waterfronts with friends,
dramatically contemplating the few decisions we have made,
and the ones we didn’t;
telling stories like tomorrow wasn’t coming,
laying down the drafts of our biographies
waiting for the plot twists to come,
hopefully the kinds we like,
and in the near future.

I sit in open mics,
and poetry readings,
or pretend to be at my own book launch
when I’m just in my bed room,
making up a speech as I go along,
trying to impress my graduation bears,
and my Sheldon Cooper figurine.

It is a delusional life,
but I like to think it is full of promise.

Unfortunately, there are days
when I sink into the sheets,
not wanting to face the reality
I have been creating.
My mind reminds me to bend a little
and see my mistake
the error of my readings
where life isn’t as good
as my parallax error
made it to be.

Creative Commons License
Quarter-life Crisis by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Perfect Writer (?)

She’d have softer eyes
sitting in a heart-shaped face,
hair messily framing her face,
just enough to keep the fears
tucked in the shadows of her curls.

She holds her pen lightly,
letting the ink find its place
on her pages effortlessly,
as if her body was merely
the instrument for the muses.

There are no scribbles
leading to hard-to-reach places,
like the margins or post-it notes.
The penmanship is smooth,
and perfectly curved, consistent.

Her words taste like coffee.
Her sighs take in the aroma
she imagines coming from the pages.
Her cuppa still sitting on the table,
while her tumbler of earl grey
hides in her bag.

Creative Commons License
The Perfect Writer (?) by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


(Happy Birthday, Mum!)

When I was too young to remember,
my mother stayed home,
left her office job
and turned the living room
into the studio
where she painted
the base coat
of my life’s canvas.

Now, I run over the streak marks,
covering the smooth coat
with thick glossy smudges,
ruining the clean brushes
she didn’t try too hard to hide.

©Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips, January 2017


You can’t say the word ‘happy’
while frowning.
It is not possible,
especially when the word ends
in a smile.

It is easy to get distracted
by the things that make us happy,
that make you say the word ‘happy’,
that make you want to smile.

Like ‘happy meal’.
I’ve never seen anyone upset
while eating one.

Assuming there are no chemicals,
the title must be enough of a drug
to bring us into Euphoria;
we forget the world that sits beyond
the golden arches.

Sometimes, other words
become synonymous with
Like ‘balloon’.

It is hard to be sad while carrying a balloon,
it is a physical representation
of how our spirits want to float,
of a life we wish we had:
carefree and weightless,
nothing but a ribbon to hold us to the ground.

But when we are in our euphoric state
of repeating addicting words
one too many times
we lose track of the ribbon.

It was never important in the first place.

Not really.

The thing about the high is that
eventually it dies.
Even when we breathed happy into our spirits,
we becomes balloons full of hot air.

We get washed up on distant beaches,
or choked on by marine creatures,
taking more life
than we ever had to begin with.

Note: This poem was inspired by the album McDonald’s Balloon Pollution on Blue Planet Society’s Facebook Page.


 Creative Commons License
Happy by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.