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Creative Writing

Caught in the Grip Unyielding

As I’ve experimented with creative writing throughout my high school and college years, one inescapable truth became quickly evident: my writing just drips with melodrama. Everything is overblown and grave, with overwrought adjectives and intense mood. (This is probably why I love Florence + The Machine so much.) With that fact firmly kept in your minds, I present my latest piece of poetry, inspired by a throbbing headache yesterday that I could not shake.

Caught in the Grip Unyielding

My very being resounds with its insistence
A dark clarion call throughout my body
thump-thump, thump-thump

My heart beats with its steady time
While vision blurs and hearing swells
thump-thump, thump-thump

I am an unwilling slave to its ferocity
As it thunders through me, unharried, unbound
thump-thump, thump-thump

I fight back as best I can
With my feeble energy
My half-hearted focus
My thump-thump, thump-thump


I daydream:

I am a hunter, long and lean
Stalking through the jungle
In search of elusive prey

It escapes me yet again
thumping through the undergrowth
Like some tell-tale heart gone wild

I never see its shape
Only hear its crashing call
Amidst faint laughter on the wind

From the corner of my eye
I see a shape twist and crawl
My spear thrusts, quick and quiet

I pull it back and examine the tip
To find only empty air.
thump-thump, thump-thump


I snap awake, my neck jerking painfully
It recedes, tempting me, taunting me
Yet soon it screams back to full strength

I seek solace in little white pills
But today is not my day
thump-thump, thump-thump

Instead, I give myself to it
I swim in its fathomless waters
And drink in its tempting poison

I give it life:

A tiny evil gnome
Hammering away inside
Cackling all the while

Or a bumblebee,
Driven mad by captivity
Stinging everything it can

Or even a defensive bird-mother
Fighting back against her enemies
With razor-sharp pokes of her beak

But no matter how hard I try
I cannot put into words
The life it already has

The life it steals from me.


thump-thump, thump-thump
thump-thump, thump-thump
Unrelenting, it throbs away

And here I stand, caught in the grip unyielding
Praying for the end, however it may come.

About Cory Hershberger

Neurotic/eclectic critic obsessed with pop culture who enjoys good food, good company, and, most of all, good books.


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"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

-Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own"




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