Carly Onnink

    “Holding Back” by Brenden Barraza


Lock Up the Louvre

Someone has got to admire 

the artwork that is my bare body.


Otherwise it would be like

locking up the Louvre; like tying


back the hands of Picasso

so he can’t create, can’t express,


can’t paint the colors, curves,

and conflict coursing


through us, running as raw as

creatures crafted by a God–


a God with an eye for the beautiful

and a heart for the romantic.



Fuck the F Word

“So Long Before” by Fabrice Poussin

I don’t want to run from Failure.

Or hide scared under covers

with my eyes shut. I don’t want


to hold it at arms length, looking

anywhere but it’s large ugly

face on it’s little disfigured body,


like someone who’s ashamed, 

like the mother of a monster,

like I’m the friend of someone pitiful


who’s just strong enough to stab

me when my guard goes down.

I don’t want to run from Failure– 


but I want to call him by name.

I want to give him a space to sleep;

I want to listen when he cries


and I want to wash his face–

even though it’s always messy

the next minute. I want to sift through


the dirt he tracks all around the house

and cherish the joy that can sprout

from some of the sorriest soil,


when the right amount of rain

falls down from the same clouds

that blocked the sun in the morning.



Carly Onnink is an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Morehead-Cain scholar. Her creative writing has been featured in Carolina Arts and Sciences Magazine and the Health Humanities Journal of UNC. She hails from the mountains of North Carolina and is passionate about poetry, mental health advocacy, and climbing.