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Lauren Caldwell - Apophenia or whatever you call it

Apophenia— a diagnosis, snow-laden branches snapped in the winter storm.

I pick together a retelling—

sticks painted white with my neighbor’s brush.

I pick apart the bark

white then brown then white again

the peeling bone.

wallpaper curls beneath my fingernails.

I think of the hotel room

the shitty hotel art, the picture frame.

its stern cradle around a scene

of snow and wood

sticks painted white

the paint

crumbling, pebbles beneath my fingernails

I linger on the white cap pill bottle

little white pebbles, palm crease river



damp white pillows

white cap mountains

shitty hotel art mountains

apophenia- the lot of the tired schizophrenic, the finding of meaning when

there is none.

the gathering of sticks painted white into

the funeral pyre

wet with grease, slick liver of winter

the flicking flame

peels the skin from a cigarette

white then brown

little brown sticks

sticks painted


Edited by Jamie Chen.


LAUREN CALDWELL is a queer, 20-year-old poet from San Francisco, California. She attends Lewis and Clark College in Portland, majoring in English and rhetoric and media studies. Lauren explores, through her work, her struggles as a young person grappling with bipolar disorder. She hopes to use writing to promote introspection and healing for all.

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