Quetzal | University of Waterloo’s Online Arts Magazine2019-11-17T16:01:16-05:00


Poetry & Prose



by Amy Zi Xuan Liou

She dwelled on a lower frequency.

Tuned into the media and heard the voices of crying children. She couldn’t sleep.

The remorse replayed over and over like a haunted serenade.

She took her moody attitude to work the next day.

At night she glared at the excess fat hanging from her waist.

Pretended like somehow it would fly away.

Her reputation fell like a shooting star once so dazzling,

And her parents couldn’t understand the way she was acting.

Then it was screaming inside out with no control,

And a wave of confusion followed by intervals of sorrow.

She looked up into the sky and cried to understand the truth.`

And the universe offered no pleasure,

Because she only gave whatever resonated in her.

So when she began tuning to a higher frequency

Her misery and fears grew feathers and were set free.

The world flourished with life and love to all,

At work she didn’t miss a single call.

Laughing with her friends and surely having fun,

Got home and went on a run.

Now there’s no more restricting calories.

She anticipates the life tomorrow brings.

So at night by her window she felt an overwhelming wave of hope

And her cheeks radiated an effortless glow..

For the universe smiled at the child she could never hurt,

She would forever give her whatever resonated in her.

My Alter Ego

My Alter Ego

by Ayooluwa Solaja

My alter ego is everything I’m not:

She’s not second-best at anything,

She’s artsier than I am,

Loooovvves math,

Is never rude,

Comes up with the best comebacks,

Is comfortable in her own skin,

And is nothing short of a genius.

Now you see, I could strive to be better, 

and make myself into a version of this “perfect being”

But what’s the fun in that?

I’d rather be me

You’d think I’d hate her for having all the qualities I wish I had,

But what’s there to hate? She’s pretty likeable, and has a killer smile;

Her words never get jumbled up in her mouth

She was never nicknamed “fart-queen” by her taunting classmates

And never had to deal with a look of disgust or pity

She has the world spinning around her pinky,

Epitome of charisma by day, and probably running the olympics at night.

She takes it all in a stride

The irony of it all is

I don’t know what demons she’s dealing with…

Well, I guess I do, since she’s MY alter ego –

But maybe her pinky gets cramped sometimes;

Hoisting the world on your finger can do that to you.

Or maybe she wants someone to defy her or contradict her sometimes…

I know I have enough of that

Step One

Step One

By Alexandra Tranc

I don’t think homesickness is just missing home.

Homesickness is feeling imprisoned in the most glorified places: places that spoonfeed you unnecessary amounts of hope…for success, growth, prosperity. But, hope can easily mean you’re emptyhanded.

And then you feel guilty for feeling all these feelings and you start believing you’re unthankful and unambitious, but you’re counting your wages and you feel like you’ve got nothing but loneliness and failure and wasted opportunities and you don’t know where to go to no longer feel like that.

But then,

something happens, and you realize homesickness is


a feeling:

Like anger and discomfort and excitement and jealousy and exhaustion and stress…

Feelings that are temporal and spin a few lies now and again.

Realizing that is the first step.

I don’t know what’s the next…



by Varun Batta

Always thinking against it
Despite all the praise
Always thinking otherwise
No matter what they all say

Receiving compliments all the time
Searching for the flaws I perceive
Listening to them with a thankful smile
Yet never will I actually believe

These thoughts continue to come and go
Sometimes keep me in complete denial
These feelings go both up and down
Other times make me consider retrial

Hearing admirations from many a person
Disproving right away, always naturally
Handling them all like that, until
Just one person voices them casually

Suddenly these new notions take hold
Perhaps there is some reason for why
Every time someone offers ovation
Potentially there is a purpose to apply

Observing how that one person sees me
Noticing their smile whenever their eyes
Gazing upon me and now I see
That in all reality, there’s more to me.



By Jessica Van de Kemp

As we speak, the veil is lifting

between worlds. Spirits are coming in

contact with us like prank calls

from a fake friend. The night

is sleeping with one eye open,

winking at thousands of crows:

the black veil worn by nuns

in marriage. A candle is slipping out

of the jack-o’-lantern’s mouth,

as if from a vending machine,

white, warm, flying

sugar, can you give me my skull?

And the dream of your teeth

falling out comes true.

Note: A calavera is a sugar skull gifted to children on the Day of the Dead

Modern Day Berlin Wall

Modern Day Berlin Wall

by Jacob Kechichian

I liked walls. I liked my walls 

high, intimidating, and unbreakable. 

No one entered my walls and no one got out. 

Futility was my middle name. 

One curious evening, I let them fall. 

They crumbled under the curves of her hips and the accents of her eyes.

I watched in awe while she brought them down 

With the patience of a nun and the kindness of an angel. 

But her stay was temporary 

and my luck had ran out. 

She left as she came; 

with a golden heart and a caring smile, 

Taking a piece of the rubble with her as a souvenir. 

A modern day Berlin Wall; forever left in ruin.

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