NaNoPreWrite #1 (Oct. 24)

Outside, it is getting colder. The air is crisp, breakable on my skin, and it’s almost as though my clothes grow stiffer with cold. The leaves on the sidewalk are red and brittle, and they shatter under my feet. I collect the remains in my hands and plan to later separate them from the fibers of my jacket pockets.

I spend part of my afternoon licking sea salt from a cup of Wendy’s french fries until my chapped lips are numb with cold and the all-too-familiar burning sensation of salt. I feed the fries to birds, collect loose feathers, take pictures of gray and brown birds against a background of dull green grass and decomposing leaves.

Today after school, I left everything in my locker—including my backpack and spare gloves—everything except my notebook. When the main door opened, the muddy-yellow walls and tiled floor became bright, and then it was as if the whole world had wandered out into the open…

I later found myself in a park. There was salt on my hands.

Earlier today, my English teacher introduced a new unit: an exploration of the unfamiliar genre, she said; presenting ideas without writing anything down, she taunted. Apparently this is the project for the rest of the year: finding ways of writing or “visually presenting” (as she is fond of saying) our ideas without using “academic writing” (whatever that REALLY means). Without giving into the Canon, she said. Maybe my teacher’s a little bit of a rebel after all. Heh. A rebel teaching rebels. Imagine that.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana, where she works as the Departmental Secretary of English and World Language Studies at Indiana University South Bend, and remains closely affiliated with 42 Miles Press, New Issues Poetry and Prose, and Wolfson Press. She previously received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Editor of Poetry for Third Coast. Her poems have appeared in Encore Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Rogue Agent, Thank You for Swallowing, Whale Road Review, The James Franco Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Analecta; and her book reviews have appeared on her website and on The Rumpus. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and three cats. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

2 responses to “NaNoPreWrite #1 (Oct. 24)

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