Month: February 2021

Writing in Isolation

Writing is an activity I prefer to perform in solitude. It is an escape from the outside world—an internal reflection documented. It is a time to focus my mind and silence everything else. The silence brings me to a place where I have nothing but my thoughts. Writing alone requires a certain type of discipline from me. I can’t let my mind wander off too much or too little. Often, I find myself staring at the page for long periods of time, but time is a very valuable thing, and time alone is certainly even more valuable. It seems that with all the responsibilities and obligations that come with maturity means that the perfect time to write cannot always be found, but sometimes it must be created.  Now, I write this some time after waking up early in the morning, an often difficult time for me. I wake up by myself, usually around 3 am, and the thoughts come pouring. In a rare act of discipline, I document these thoughts that are racing through. It …

“Los Angeles” by Brianna Vigil

I long for the loneliness of Los Angeles. I miss its shiny exterior and its hollow core. I always find myself at home in this dangerous labyrinth. And when I get hungry, I crave those small glimmers of hope, the sweet twinkling sustenance fed to me night after night. I know I am so close to the bedside of a corrupted machine. I watch the birth of beautiful clones  and someday  I’ll be part of that assembly line. Brianna Vigil (aka Jasmine Felix) graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a double minor in Creative Writing and Psychology from Antioch University in 2018. She took her first poetry class at Antioch and fell in love with the craft. In addition to being a writer, she is also a photographer, actress, and model. You can view her creative endeavors on her website, jasminesroom.com. Featured Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash

“In Isolation (Drinking Too Much Again)” After Dinah Washington’s ‘Drinking Again’ by Alisha Escobedo

I’m drinking too much again. I don’t get blitzed, but every sunset is a new bottle. Who am I kidding? The caps are torn loose before the sun meets the horizon. “I’m having a few and wishing that you were here…” From my balcony, I hear I’m not the only one. There’s a party in the yard to the right. I wonder how many bottles before they forget to stay six feet apart. “Yes, I’m being a fool, just hoping that you’ll appear…” I’m drinking too much again. I’m on the fritz with the shift of this new world. The silence clamors and nothing aligns except the sun still meets the horizon. “And ain’t got nothing but a memory…” From my balcony, I hear I’m not the only one. There’s a party in the apartment to the left. I wonder how many bottles before they forget to stay six feet apart. “I know you heard me the first time…” I’m drinking too much again. Alisha Escobedo (she/her/hers) received her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. …

“my new psychiatrist” by Alisha Escobedo

i’m waiting to meet my new psychiatrist, hoping she won’t look like my mother. i’ve had that happen before and couldn’t get past it— same sad eyes opened wide to feign joy, same pursed lips that puckered a bit to the left. a few times, i imagined her hiding wine behind her desk.  i canceled the rest of my appointments to spite her  for all the promises my mother broke. this new one doesn’t look familiar. she carries a warmth i’ve only dreamed of. she calls my name and i follow her down the hall. we listen to my shoes squeak like old hinges opening. she smiles at me, says she knows how to fix that, then gives me a prescription for ten milligrams of lexapro— the same pill my mother swallows every morning, with a cold beer to ease it down. my new psychiatrist sends me on my way, says she’ll see me in a month. the next time i see her, my shoes still squeak and when she looks at me, i see …

“Revelation of the Damned” by Brianna Vigil

I found myself  under a hot red light surrounded by smoke, salt in the air as if I were on a ship in the middle of a storm tossed around  by the imbalance of the sea, the hallway  a long passage crowded with people  unaffected I rocked from one side  to the other in suffocating heat my face in flames, hair stuck  to backs of necks, smoky silhouettes danced  to sounds of sex, bodies covered in sweat, spread lips and saliva soaked into skin. I sense the danger in their presence and the violence  of their intent and that’s when a light  goes off, chills go through  my feverish limbs, secrets of our sins are hidden in lives no longer but fresh in memories  of those above. I tried to run to escape the spinning room, outstretched hands, a crimson blur down the hallway, then finally  out the door into oblivion, I found myself  alone. Brianna Vigil (aka Jasmine Felix) graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a double minor in Creative Writing and …

“Rent” by Sen Kathleen

I found home, at first, I was apprehensive, but there you were, ready. I was apprehensive,  but my bags were already in the hall, And then came the excitement— intoxicating— but I had only just gotten comfortable in our bed when the wallpaper began to peel. Two years in: termites made the beams rot and your attitude soured. Year 3: the lights went out. I would search for you by tracing my hands on the peeling walls, but you didn’t want to be found — so I screamed until you came out of hiding. We only made love with the doors locked. Year 4: I patched leaks from the upstairs bathroom  that you denied had overflown the leaks I had to prove were real. Year 5: we stopped pretending we could climb the steps fast enough to unclog the drain. I stopped searching for you in the dark. We didn’t care that we couldn’t see each other in our bed. Then, I tripped over your suitcase. Sen Kathleen is a New Jersey-based Hatha & Trauma …

This is the Day of the Show Y’all!

Hello readers, writers and curious parties alike! Thank you so much for either being an active part of, or randomly stumbling across, Sentience Literary Journal. We are so excited to have you all here for our very first publication! I want to give a special thank you to all the amazingly talented writers who are featured in this issue, as you are the ones who filled it with life and creativity. I also want to give a big THANK YOU to Helen Doremus, co-founder and insanely organized leader of the editorial staff. If it weren’t for you I’m not sure we would even be publishing today. Of course I must mention the remarkable Brianna Vigil and Lisa Croce who are also essential pillars to this literary journal. Okay, fine, I’ll thank myself as well. Thanks, Kelly. 🙂  Isolation is a theme we can all relate to in one way or another, especially as we continue to reminisce on a time when having contact with another human being wan’t such the ordeal it is today. Whether …