LOOKING GLASS: Honorable Mentions

Personified Lightness” by Melissa Renaud; inspired by “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen
The Press of Light” by Paul Weigel; inspired by “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen
So, Glitzy Gals” by Erika Michael; inspired by “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen
Muse” by Feby Joseph; inspired by “Muse” by Jeremy Penn
Façade for Siri” by Jennifer Greenberg; inspired by “Facade” by Elle Schorr


Inspired by: “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen








Her skin is an ornamented network of mixed glass

I gaze

My hand becomes her hand

Her leg becomes my leg

And I imagine what it would be like to stroke my hand across her belly

My belly

To feel the sharp creases between her diamond facets

And disappear within her reflection


My body is perfection within her proportions

Like a fun house mirror

For a moment, it is me that’s the mannequin

But I move too quickly and disappear

Her skin becomes infinity again

Melissa “Monster” Renaud was born, and currently now lives, in the Detroit Metro area. She earned her bachelors of art in creative writing from Eastern Michigan University and is currently working as an event usherette with Retro Girls Detroit. Her work has been featured in Eastern Michigan’s student written one act festival, and numerous songwriter showcases. With art, her goal is to create magic, love, empowerment and understanding in everyday life. When not writing, she spends her free time playing the ukulele, making hand embroidered artwork and roller-skating with the Detroit Roller Derby.

Inspired by: “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen



We thought that after you swallowed it all—

the glass, the sand, the sun—

that everything inside you

would either tear apart or burn.

But it was the pressure of your voice

that closed in to save you.

Your heavy tongue dropped.

Your throat collapsed like an unstable mine

and trapped all the air

within the pink folds of your lungs.


When you finally spoke—

when the rock of your tongue rolled away—

the words came out in bright shards.

Everything was a sharp fragment

that needed to be made blunt.

I gathered them up

and bound them together like chainmail

so that they could be fixed against

each inch of stretched skin.

Everyone else can see

what is mirrored back at them,

but I can actually feel the radiance they gather.

I can touch the underside of all that swallowed sun

reflecting back against the lighted world.

Paul Wiegel lives and writes from his home near the Fox River in Berlin, WI. His poems have appeared in various journals both in print and online, including The English Journal, Hermeneutic Chaos Journal, and Whale Road Review. He has been writing and performing on-demand poems as a “street poet” on his 1957 Smith Corona manual typewriter for passersby at art galleries, farmers’ markets, and festivals for the past six years. He is a past winner of the John Gahagan Poetry Prize and the Lakefly Writers’ Conference poetry award. You can find him at www.foxriverpoetry.com

Inspired by: “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen





SO, GLITZY GALS, by Erika Michael

what’s in it for you at the junction of gallery “come and go” trapping

fractured micro-flicks of tourist traffickers in loco slo-mo culture gone

Samaras — kinda’ like tomorrow’s non-show rad, that bad

blank hall without a mirror mirror on the wall for you svelte fellas

to remix those broken bits epoxied to your ass and — oh, I know, I know,

the rich outré, it’s pay to play! No way you’re just a dazzling expression

of some Willendorf or other mama-magic takeaway.


And therein lies the message — you’re so tame it hardly pays to stay the

game, glitzy chip mosaic pressing whimsy mirror-pics on mannikin fannies.

My mind agitates around the fragments filling this horror vacui —smell of

elephant in the room of my naggin’ noggin as I’m thinkin’ what’s with

all the busted spangle stuck on dummies?


Who’ll glue scraps of kids, grit flushed from gullets, bubbled skin

sluiced with pump spill slumped in mirrors of long lenses. What museum’s

gonna’ stockpile crates of cracked reflections from a thousand pupils.

Who’ll mend shards of icons collected in the endless retrospective of love.

Sulfer-suckin’ shooters scatter fire like a billion glowworms mirrored

on the floor in shadowy lobbies of pachyderms.

Erika Michael lives in the Seattle area. With a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Washington, she taught at Trinity University, Oregon State, and the University of Puget Sound.  She has participated in a number of poetry workshops including those of the late Thomas Lux, Carolyn Forché, Linda Gregerson, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, and Tim Siebles. Her work has appeared in Poetica Magazine, Cascade: Journal of the Washington Poets’ Association, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, Mizmor l’David Anthology, Bracken Magazine, The Winter Anthology, The Princeton Institute For Advanced Study Letter, Belletrist Magazine, and elsewhere.

 Inspired by: “Muse” by Jeremy Penn 





MUSE by Feby Joseph

Take me then

And mold me as you deem

Wow them with your omniscience over stone and flesh –

Over me – how I entice

the stories that call to you out of your rocks.


Take me than

And write your epics

Cast me as your Eve – Madonna – Magdalene

Use my body to climb up

Those steep ladders to the footnotes in history.


Take me then

And compose your Symphonies

Use me to travel from heaven to hell

on an opium leitmotif

Write a thousand lieder in my image.


Leave a little bit

of what is left

of me

For me –

A few bits of flesh in dried acrylic.

For they will never know the one forever stripped off

Of Shadows –

Remolded and painted till

That facsimile of a forgotten original

Is finally forgotten.

Hailing from the beautiful South Indian coastal state of Kerala seeped in green and poetry, Feby Joseph is a spiritual vagabond still trying to figure it out.  Presently Feby is working in a desert – counting other people’s money while words waltz about in my head. Some of Feby’s works have appeared on Café Dissensun, Oratoria, Wild Word and EntropyMag.

Inspired by: “Facade” by Elle Schorr






FAÇADE FOR SIRI by Jennifer Greenberg

In this time

there are only so many things we can let out of their cage:

technology – imitations of natural intelligence,

the great facade.


We make them in our image (and voice)

to wake us up on time,

schedule that appointment

(or help us feel less alone).


We Apple users call upon Siri – orchestrator

of the convenient, omnipotent assistant

to the unorganized animals: us.

We summon Siri


like a digital fortune teller

speaking to the stars,

colorless hands toiling in the invisible ether,

trading algorithms with satellites


in the privacy of our pockets,

never to leave, never to love

(if she were even capable of loving)

forever kept in a glass house


for her to give and

to give and

to give


all until we stop asking

for the answers to existence,

remembering the looking glass

and what Alice found there.

Jennifer Greenberg is a poet and fiction writer from South Florida working on her BA at Florida Atlantic University. Her works have been published in anthologies with The Creative Writer’s Alliance.