Leslie Marie Aguilar: Coven

on this sixth day of national poetry month we are delighted to share some beautiful words by our friend Leslie Marie Aguilar! her writing prompt, Ordinary Magic: Mythmaking in the Miniature, gives us some beautiful insight on the ritual of writing life and how we can better appreciate and utilize the poetry that surrounds us. she also leaves us with her own vision of this process with her poem Coven. for more of Leslie's stunning poetry, you can find her chapbook, Mesquite Manual, Winner of the New Delta Review 2014-2015 Chapbook Contest, here.

Ordinary Magic: Mythmaking in the Miniature

The everyday minutiae that assists our day-to-day rituals may seem ordinary at first glance, but there is something magical to be made from these miniature aides. Think of the silver spoon you use to stir your coffee. What might happen if it turned into a wand mid stir? Or if your laundry room suddenly transformed into an alchemic laboratory? What a sight it would be to see your laundry detergent pour from your hands as copper coins.

These are absurd examples, of course, but the idea centers around domestic fabulism—incorporating magical element into everyday situations, specifically domiciliary situations. For this prompt, think back to your childhood home. Locate yourself in your favorite room and fixate on a small object. It can be any object (pencil, fork, shoe, thimble, etc.); however, the smaller the better. Now, give this object a magical property. Maybe the object turns back time, allows you to read thoughts, or transforms your body into an animal of your choosing.

Write a poem about the adventure that results from your encounter with this ordinary (magical) object. Let your mind wander. See what happens when the miniature opens up a larger world just waiting to be explored.



A matchbox left

too close to the radiator,

I am humming. Cruel

in the snow. Made bright.

My hair grows while

sisters sing of scissors.

Tell me they are keeping

journals. Crafting books

of wood & brass buttons.

I want to kiss the beauty

marks on their faces. Tell

each she is a mirror. I don’t.

I need to be stronger than

the frame that carries me

across oceans. Away from

their desert. I am cruel—

the musty end of a broom.

Unwilling to be touched.

Unfit role-model. I bury

wishbones in my garden.

Clean crystals in the sun.

Kill chickens with one hand.

Unkind bitch with no regard

for tradition. A solitary

woman left wandering.


Leslie Marie Aguilar originally hails from the heartland of Texas. She has served as the Poetry Editor of Indiana Review and received her MFA from Indiana University. Her work has been supported by the National Society of Arts and Letters and the Fine Arts Work Center. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Hobart, Ninth Letter, Rattle, Sonora Review, and Washington Square Review among others. She is the author of Mesquite Manual (New Delta Review, 2015).