by Carson Sandell.
“menagerie II” by Arielle Tipa is a short, yet gutting piece. In the space of six lines, they paint a picture of a grim menagerie. The poem depicts screaming and dying animals kept in containment. At first glance, the piece is nothing more than that—however, reevaluating the lines, you may discover another layer. What if the animals were humans, and the menagerie us, being contained by our government and other oppressive systems? This is a mesmerizing piece for its careful use of language and commentary on current events. A poem so delicately crafted, it should be studied.
“orchis italica” is another poem Arielle Tipa knocked out of the park. This piece captures a feeling we've all experienced at some point in our lives. The speaker wants to shrink into nothing, but still yearns to feel the lips of a lost lover one more time. This poem is clever with its title. Orchis Italica, or commonly known as the Naked Man flower, is supposed to produce virility in people, yet the speaker feels powerless. There are a lot of levels operating with this poem. And even without breaking all of it down, the emotions it elicits are always worth the read.
In “silk moth”, the speaker anthropomorphizes themselves as a moth, a pest the receiver of the poem was warned about. The speaker says they have “tapped the lightbulbs without forgiveness” which suggests they are unapologetic for the fact they have seen a brighter future. To me, this poem encompasses a relationship gone sour, but the speaker knows that they are all the receiver of the poem has. Even saying, “eat me and there will be nothing left.” The speaker stays out of sympathy or some wicked reason, even though they’ve seen how amazing escaping the situation would be. This poem can be read as a lover staying with someone they fell out of love with, or it can be read as a lover, the receiver was warned about, finally coming to terms with who they dated. Either way, this poem is mind-blowing, beautiful, and leaves a lot of room for interpretation.