Brine Waves


Guts & Poetry

Guts and Poetry: An Introduction

By: Natascha Deininger

January 25, 2017: Celebrating Robert Burns day in Salt Lake City, UT

Long-deceased national darling and poet of Scotland Robert Burns never once used the donut as a metaphor for the human body, an oversight in my opinion. After all, human bodies have been all sorts of things – seeds that grow to trees, systems that develop to machines, and cogs that make up a mighty Leviathan. The donut however possesses the particular property of being hollow: a new oval-shaped window through which to see the world, or ourselves in it, if you will. In fact, our entire alimentary tract could be made up of donuts, glued together by their pink frosting and forming a long hollow tunnel, an altogether fitting illustration of our entrails.  Continue reading “Guts and Poetry: An Introduction”

To God, From the Gut

By: Kate Savage


“The air pockets, the alkali wastes, the crumbling monuments, the putrescent cadavers, the crazy jig and maggot dance [. . .]”

– Anais Nin

scan0002When I stopped believing in a man-god in the sky I took up praying to a very old ewe-sheep. That summer I was living in the Wasatch mountains up above Henefer, Utah with Peruvian sheepherders. I was peering deep into Utah and the cowboy mythos of the West and the Good Shepherd language of Mormonism, finding the strange thing within it and calling it a Master’s’ Thesis.

What was really happening was this: while my friends moved away from Utah and the faith, I saw that ‘leaving’ for me was going to be the opposite direction: inward. An awful movement, without reprieve.

No, and yes: an awful movement, but also something sweet and savory. When you move further and further inside, when you follow the line of blood, peer deeper down at the dirt under your feet, nest in the pages of genealogy books, trace your own words back along the tongue and down into the base of the throat—all of this carries with the pain something delicious. So don’t let me complain.

The sheep was an old ewe, a black face and tattered wool. Her muzzle a bony ridge curving downward. Most people don’t know how big sheep actually are. I rode my horse toward her, to force her with the loud, careening, dust-covered others down the mountains and into an eventual pen, but she planted her feet, lowered her head, and stamped a hoof.

Continue reading “To God, From the Gut”


By: Melissa Jean

As a child in church, she thought the story of the Plagues sounded like Paradise. Imagine a room filled with frogs, their legs strong and firm in your hands. Imagine a blanket of bugs, their sunlit wings singing on your skin. Imagine a glorious parade of nonhuman bodies, living and moving, imagine yourself humming along to the chorus of breath. This was god. Imagine a lion on your doorstep. Imagine a sky lit up with fire and ice, or the long deep calm of a night that lasts for days.

Continue reading “Plagues”

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