Self-Portrait as Pinball Machine
The Poet’s Corner
How-to-Play and Rule Guide
after Stern Pinball: The Mandalorian
You are an aspiring poet. You will work your way through the game completing tasks, submitting
poetry, and working retail jobs. You will face many challenges on your way to become traditionally
There are 4 Tasks:
1. Major in English for Undergrad • Shoot any of 3 flashing pink shots to start a HURRY UP on the
2. Apply for an MFA in poetry• Play two modes in one - complete both “halves” to light the final
shot at the LEFT SCOOP.
3. Complete poetry publisher editorial internship • Shoot the flashing yellow shots to light the final
shot at the LEFT SCOOP to get through the entire Submittable queue • Shoot the LEFT
SPINNER to build your resume, increasing it from PINK to BLUE to PURPLE.
4. Submit poetry via Submittable• by completing 4 flashing purple shots. • ORBITS are flashing
LIGHT BLUE; the RETAIL WORKER will catch the ball and send it into the TOP LANES and
POP BUMPERS. • Defeat IMPOSTER SYNDROME by shooting the LEFT SCOOP.
One-Bedroom Apartment Multiball
You live in the One-Bedroom Apartment, you must hit this target until multiball is lit. Once hit
multiball is activated.
Continue hitting lit targets and juggling multiple degrees and opportunities until you get burnt out
and want to give up, but continue anyway because poetry carries you through the worst times of
digital multimedia zine
community for emerging artists
You licked the tips of my fingers while I licked
the back of your eyelids, searching
My rust-colored varnish
that stains my lips
Tinges your eyelids.
I was taught to suck the salt off
pistachios before cracking open.
Now I use my tongue
to suck the salt off your body
taste your fingers.
There are pebbles in both my socks
in my shoes
discomfort is my sole
I’ve see three bats driving home from yours
passing a ghoulish bikini barista stand
open sign seamed neon.
I eclipse neon
see your eyes emit glints like
wind chimes stumbling on sound.
My skin stretched thin against yours
fitting our bodies like cogs.
Tightly woven fingers
a handmade basket
basking in intimacy
I wallow in the closeness
swallow the oxytocin.
I want to grasp your
My aim to know you
Lily is a bookseller and an aspiring English teacher. She enjoys sailing and flights of IPAs. An aspiration of hers is to cook the perfect tahdig to impress her Persian side of the family. She lives in Seattle with her husband.