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Student Scribes: Three Poems


Doctor Bowtie

Doctor Bowtie blinks at me from his large leather chair.

…Am I supposed to say something?

It’s cold in his office
I take notice
That all the degrees on the wall
Don’t make it any warmer

His usual clientele consists of
Bored housewives and impotent guys
He’s selective,
Catering mostly to white wealthy pill-heads

Plus, he’s expensive.
I pay him with stories
And manic mood changes

His sheepish demeanor tells me
I’m the most excitement he gets all week
So I try to be a good shepherd.

He searches my eyes for ghosts
His question is a spinning compass;
My answer often points north-north-west.
Maybe I’m lying?

That’s why my file says “Borderline”
But there’s no fix,
There’s only medication

So I shake his hand and say goodbye,
And skip off with prescriptions signed “Dr. Bowtie”


St. Michael

St. Michael, the angel, he’s not the same
Does he talk to himself or is he just praying?
‘Says he speaks to angels who know him by name

St. Michael, out on the roof in the rain
Play-fights with demons, but he’s not playing
St. Michael, the angel, he’s not the same

St. Michael, my uncle, they said drugs were to blame
Curled up in a stupor, muttering, what’s he saying?
‘Says he speaks to angels who know him by name

St. Michael, he’s different. They call him insane
Medicated so much, he’s clearly decaying
St. Michael, the angel, he’s not the same

St. Michael, the genius, we all see his pain
His beautiful mind is the price that he’s paying
‘Says he speaks to angels who know him by name

St. Michael, the angel, one day the rest came
They took him back home where he reigns entertaining
St. Michael, the angel, he’s not the same
‘Says he speaks to angels who know him by name



And thus, the Lord spoke to me from an open
Bottle of Jack Daniels: “I am the Lord your God,
Creator of all things—including the alcohol you currently
Drink.” Indeed, one could say I was drunk. But who would try to make such a claim?
Even Jesus wouldn’t drudge up such an issue with me—we’ve had our problems.
For I was only as drunk as a harmonica sings softly from the
Ganges, where one probably wouldn’t hear
Harmonicas. Unless Indians have harmonicas. Which I doubt because
Indian instruments are uncommon to me. Although just because
Justice lies in the bottoms of peaches or maybe their pits,
Keyboards never sound as grand as pianos. While I’m
Lying about loitering down by the liquor store; it sounds like truth to
Me. Maybe I won’t escape alcoholism that runs through my family name like
Nuns running to stop a virgin from a deflowering defamation.
Only God can judge you.
Polonius said, “This above all: to thine own self be true.” Yet Hamlet still
Questions why his father couldn’t go out like Caesar, killed by an honorable,
Righteous man, right? The righteous man will inherit
Something, although I can’t recall the psalms or beatitudes.
Thus says the Lord:
“Until you know why, you’ll never know how.” I made that up. Like how
Virgins get pregnant. Or how Walt Whitman
Weaves together words like water turns to wine. No need for
X-rays. It’s already established I’ve got no spine. Soon no Liver to live. Why ask why I’m
Yellow? From too much booze. Good times turn sour with drinks made of sours. I believe in the
Zodiac, which supposedly makes me crazy. In all fairness, I’m a Libra.


Alanna Dougherty is a junior studying liberal arts at Penn State Harrisburg.


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