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By Shaela Vilar-Oliveira May 1, 2018


Illustrated by Muriel Smith

The following poem was written in an unusually entropic way, using a deck of 100 words that the poet chose themselves and wrote down on individual index cards. We may think of writing as proceeding from idea to words that can express that idea, but here, the process begins with the words and explores what they might be able to express. Using their word deck, the poet experiments with different combinations, trying out one, then another, searching more for evocative pairings than for any particular kind of sense or meaning, although sense and meaning often emerged.


Reeking of whiskey,

Your sharp whispers

Resonate when you kiss me.

Your flavor, holding on,

Leaves a lasting bitter trail.


A murmuring connection;

You are the static sound of crackling music.

Your vibration is alluring;

I shy away when your uttering stare

Examines my stillness.


At the whoosh and beat of my pulse,

I cannot help, but brush past your gaze.

On other days, you begin to fade;

You are a witnessing burn,

Savoring my flesh with every bite.

About the author

Shaela Vilar-Oliveira is a 2nd year student in Arts and Culture. In her time at Dawson she has played around with and has been exposed to art in its diverse forms, and she particularly enjoys telling her story through writing. Whether through poetry, song lyrics, or journaling, there is no greater feeling to her than finding the right string of words to encapsulate her travels, her transformative experiences, and her emotions. 

About the illustrator

Muriel Smith is a first-year Illustration student.


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