An Uneven Sestina About Food

Caroline Morris

In response to the twitter prompt, “write a sestina with the words fried, fingers, pot, wing, drive and way”

We don’t believe in eating out; the pot
is filled with roast, it simmers out of the way
so we, on passing by, don’t stick our fingers
into the heat. On special nights we drive
down thirty, getting shrimp and steak and fried
rice. An occasion—not something we wing.

Of course, I’ve housed a honeyed chicken wing,
the Tyson bag in shreds. They had a pot,
betting how many, brains just getting fried
from calculating how I eat this way,
can’t fathom how my shame becomes a drive
for more. I lick the sauce from off my fingers.

Alright, it’s not like I can count by fingers
the meals we didn’t cook. A Casey’s wing
is a common app, we’ve done a Wendy’s drive
through as a treat. But Mom, she loves the pot
or pan or tray above it all; a way
to show us love at home, and it’s pan-fried.

It’s not as though we’re nuts, the fat and fried
and sweet are all familiar to our fingers;
I’m not the only one who finds my way
to the end of a bag or the bone of a chicken wing,
especially when my brother smokes his pot
and needs a snack, which I then have to drive

and get. The smell of pizza fills the drive
back, and my stomach growls for something fried—
just not my brother. I, without the pot,
already crave around the clock, my fingers
gripping the fleshy, pasty skin on the wing
of my arm. I battle weight. I need a way

to see my food anew. I need a way
to lose the symbol, just accept the drive
as human, know a wing is just a wing,
A meal is not a family or fried
humiliation. Food… it moves my fingers,
the pen. A gift that lets me write about a pot.

Respond to one of our prompts on @TheBeaverMag on twitter or to a prompt below for a chance to be our next blog featured poem! Reply directly on social media or send in your work to our email ( with responses to any of our prompts! Here’s some fresh prompts for you to ponder…

  1. Write a cento using a poem from Issue Four (or from the fourth issue of any other online literary magazine you enjoy. Let us know which one if so!)
  2. Write a poem about being in a graveyard where you find your name on the headstone
  3. Write a decapitated sonnet about something familiar and make it as strange and new as possible
  4. Write a prose poem about the happiest things you’ve seen lately. Try to sneak in some sound work within the paragraph–internal rhyme, meter, whatever makes YOU happy 🙂
  5. Write a hermit crab flash piece inhabiting the form of something you’ve come across today (whether it be a receipt, a billboard, a bad tabloid magazine near the grocery store checkout…)

Caroline Morris is an aspiring writer based in the Philadelphia suburbs and currently works as an editor. She received her B.A. in English literature with a concentration in writing at the Catholic University of America. Her work plays with the feminine, the familial, the interpersonal, the psychological, and the physical. Morris has previously been published by Vermilion and Silent Spark Press. She can be found on Twitter @Lean_Writer

Beav Broadsides

Hi Beaver Family!

I hope you’re all having a fantabulous start to your September and are getting ready for a funky fresh fall.

First and foremost, thank you all (readers, contributors, my co-editors) for bringing this dream to life. Our inaugural issue launch couldn’t have gone better… and we have a little surprise for you!

Here’s three different poems from our first issue as downloadable, printable, postable broadside collages with lovely contributor poems for your pleasure. Please send pictures of this poetry in the wild!

Take care and keep writing, we can’t wait to see more of your submissions soon.


Ellery Beck

Current Cover Image and Closing

Photography by Andrew Haines

A big thank you to one of our upcoming Issue One contributors, Andrew Haines, for providing the photograph currently heading our website! With submissions closing in just a few days, we want to make sure everything is looking perfect for you. Head over to our “submit” tab or submittable to get your last minute submissions in so we can give them the time and attention they deserve!

Andrew Haines is a Maryland based photographer and artist. If you’d like to support their work or check out more of his art, head to his website or Instagram. In Issue One, we’ll be publishing more of Andrew’s art!

I cannot express how grateful I am for every single submission and all of the time that our contributors and our editors have put into getting the perfect work weaved together for your enjoyment. I hope to see more of your work before this issue closes and in the future!

Yes, Send it ALL

With submissions closing for the inaugural issue on July 15th, 2021 there’s less than a week to get your work in! Our team is really excited to see what last minute submissions you have for us and to share this video with you.

By Ellery Beck

We’d love to receive more art submissions that stay from the standard. Music, multimedia art, videos, visuals; we’re into it all. We adore your poetry and short prose but would love to branch further into experimental hybrid art as well.

Hopefully you enjoyed this little clip and are getting excited for the issue launch and blog roll-out next month. Much much love from The Beaver Team, always!

Closing Soon!

With submissions closing July 15th, it’s time to get your last minute work in! We can’t wait to see all the art, poetry, flash and other work you have to send!

Our editing team is beyond grateful for the few hundreds of readings we’ve had to do for this issue and can’t wait to see what else you have for us.

August 15th is our Issue One launch date!

After launch, you can expect plenty of activity on The Dam Blog! We’ll be featuring interviews and other special content. You can also check the blog for updates (like this one).

We can’t wait to show you the tail-slapping submissions that are shaping up to become Issue One.

Inaugural Issue & Logo Reveal

Don’t forget we want to see your work! Submissions close on July 15th. Be sure to check out our submissions page & then head on over to the submittable to get us your dam good art!

Our inaugural issues comes out August 15th, 2021. We hope your work is able to find a home here.

A special thank you to our editor Haley Winans for free drawing our lovely logo! Stay tuned for more about our logo and possible merchandise/giveaways!