Welcome to Profound Lettuce, 4th Edition

Image result for Mixed lettuce salad

Welcome to Profound Lettuce.

These are the works of members of the Fall 2020 English 30AB Creative Writing Class, Sections 4093 and 4097, at Santa Monica College. These new writers share singular visions with us. Do join them again as I invite to a literary meal of Profound Lettuce.

Copyright is held by the authors and Santa Monica College.

“depth” by Jahmel Ian Fields

Image result for School Bus on the road

That summer day, my face was as bright as the sun
No butterflies in my stomach, no being displayed
A joyous occasion, as if it were Christmas
We rode the big steel yellow monster for a time
I begin to smell the air as it races past
The promised land, was in my boney little hands
I erupted out of my shackles and moved on
locked on the greatest wonder the land had produced
transparent to my glare, but lively to my touch
as if I were an old man’s hairline, I recede
my heart has the rhythm of a drum, who can hear
a symbol of hope, clasp my arm, I breath again


さむい ですね。

“Til It’s Gone” by Bresha Jones

Image result for Black Teen girl sillouette

Stay out til midnight

Just didn’t care

Take away my phone

I’ll just go somewhere than here

So, what if I decide to waste away my life

You told me I was the worst daughter that anyone could ever like.

But I know that you never cared.

You call me names cause your hurting from deep amounts of pain

You put me down because you can’t stand up to your own weight.

Do what you want

Im done

I try and try

But it wasn’t never enough

You’re the parent here and now I’m the long lost one.

“puff puff pass” by Ziggy Farrow Walker

puff puff pass 

all the others niggas

shuffle past

on their way to join the 

upper class

but fuck; fuck that

we don need that crap

let them race on back

we’ll sit here and ghetto relay with a

puff puff pass

there’s not a cloud in the sky 

the weather alright 

mighty fine

so im 

not sure why 

i feel like 

comin over 

for shelter

but still

would you let me in

if i did

would you let me sleep over

though we no longer kids

would you hug me

even tho its bigger than this shit

please would you hold me snugly

even if my hands be shakin

cant roll up those buds for buddies

no trees to bake in

no ease for takin

would you still call me kin

would you still me take in

to together be creatin 

a puff puff pass 

puff puff pass

puff puff pass

move to the music

to articulate the pain i hum

you shake your ass

we know what we sayin

we know what we wrote

with or without that grass

theres a mass in our throat- 

share the burden with our 

puff puff pass

you know what they say

its another friday

shit another high day

shit when is it your or my day

we come together 


on yet another friday

so yay

its another friday


its another friday

hey say 

whats with the tongue in cheek

tell me

what jokes helped you walk through the wreckage this week

what folks or whose memories made this time the path less bleak

please we weak

i’ll make us laugh till we weak

sharing jokes that helped us this week

you know in retelling 

we can make each other shriek 

it pretending forgetting 

of the journeying searching seekin’

that again we still aint quite there before the weekend

come on for i really tweak

with them jokes that helped you walk through this week

that helped you puff puff pass

puff puff pass

puff puff pass

we mime cheers

guess its halfway glass 

we laugh quicker

but the healing not that fast

process through that inner impasse

turn to a puff puff pass

makin art and care together

to pull in to pick up from there

never set it there

detangle our histories and our hair

get through whatever



its sunshine or stormy weather

art and care together to get together

your hearing not so good

you hum you wonder

what that note wants to sing

i’m nearsighted; let

my glasses fall

paint my portrait; wonder what 

they think about it all 

have the younger ones now

we get them through the worst

its love beyond words

and well 

all i can say is i hope i die first

go out easy not rough not tough

we been through that stuff

no more raggedy huff 

jus breezy catch our breath

no more weezy 

go out easy almost cheesy

please jus a puff puff… pass

“Celebrating Book Fair” by Ziggy Farrow Walker

Even the kids who don’t like reading are excited while waiting outside this morning. It’s the book fair, which always feels a little like a holiday. So many colors and sounds and smells, so many new things, and not having to go to class. And even without class, the day is so full! Definitely some type of holiday. The bell rings. That means it’s time to go in!

The gym is sparkly clean. This is the cleanest it will be all year. It’s never even this clean to welcome the kids to the first day of school after summer break, but it always gets this clean for the book fair people at book fair time. Must be a holiday. Now to walk around and explore!

Jeremiah and Zophiel are one group of explorers. They met in the waiting room outside the Principal’s office when they were going to get consequences. They each get in trouble a lot. Now they are good friends, and sometimes when they get bored in class, they make trouble together to have a good story. 

Now, they are running around the gym playing tag because they don’t have money for books. Run playing is what gyms are for, right? They are laughing and having so much fun, making sure not to run into people. All those extra twists and turns make it extra fun. Jeremiah swings his arms  in narrow shapes. Zophiel does a cartwheel between two tables.

They hear a whistle and start giggling and running faster! They are in trouble! This is exciting! Now, even though they can’t get any books, they will get a good story. 

Both of them get taken outside. Trouble! It’s happening! The teacher talks about right and wrong, but they don’t pay any mind until she says she will call their parents if it happens again. Oh. They don’t like that. 

Both Zophiel’s parents and Jeremiah’s parents take trouble too far, so much so that it hurts to remember. They don’t talk about it, but maybe it’s part of how and why they’re friends.

They go back inside, thinking about right and wrong, and focusing on not getting in trouble. Jeremiah doesn’t like reading but Zophiel loves it, so he lets them read him the titles of the books as the two of them walk around. It’s so sparkly and clean everywhere. Ideas of right and wrong go round and round in their heads.

Zophiel reads the title of a little book, and Jeremiah smiles. He likes that one. Zophiel looks around to be careful, picks it up, and puts it in their backpack for later.

“Zophiel!” Jeremiah says. “Stealing is wrong!” Both of them start to get a weird heavy feeling in their hearts and in the backs of their eyes, which start to get wet. But neither of them know why. Jeremiah wipes his eyes. Stealing is wrong.

Stealing is wrong. They think about the watery apples and expired pastries they always bite out of the plastic packaging at free breakfast. 

Stealing is wrong. They think about the sixty night limits at the family shelters and the distracted case workers who smile funny.

Stealing is wrong. They think about everyone fighting at lunch recess over who gets the ball because the school only has one.

Stealing is wrong. They think about the time Zophiel got taken away by child services for two whole days.

Stealing is wrong. They think about how old man KT who lives across from school in the tent on the corner got arrested for robbery after he picked an orange from the tree in the mayor’s front yard and has not been seen since.

Stealing is wrong. They think about the families who moved into the empty buildings and then got beat up by the police.

They are crying now. Stealing is wrong.

Stealing is wrong. They think about their parents hitting them after they got in a fight to show them fighting is wrong, and how the two of them never got in a fight after that.

Stealing is wrong. They wipe their eyes. They need a break. Stealing is wrong. Zophiel zips up their backpack. “Zophiel?” Jeremiah says.

“Yeah?” says Zophiel.

“Can I give you a piggyback out of here? And then you can read us the book outside?”

Zophiel nods and jumps on his back. The book fair is always a full day.

“Monkey Woman” by Zipporah Pruitt

Image result for 45 rpm records

Just another ordinary day of opening up my laptop and typing http://www.youtube.com to listen to
music that feels so familiar of a time I never lived through.
I’ve been told I am an old soul. Consuming the music of 60s and 70s, over the years. I wish I
could experience that time where music was so rhythmically beautiful and so conscious
distorted at times.
“Monkey Man” is the song I search on the site, by the Rolling Stones. I watch the lyrics shuffle at
me on my screen, and am enamored by the casual message. A married man looking for a married
woman, who is just like him to fool or ‘’monkey’’ around with.
Though, I cannot not relate or condone the message of the lyrics at all. However, I can’t help that
I find this song so fucking awesome, and myself drawn to it for some supernatural-like reason.
Underplayed and underrated I find this song in the catalog of the Stones music. When I close my
eyes, I imagine myself wearing a striped dress with a nice blouse underneath and cowboy boots.
I am dancing on the grounds of a festival up north, perhaps in San Francisco, feeling out my my
mind, but free and happy.
It is the summer of love by the time the song came out in 1969, much more enjoyable to think
about living then instead of living the summer of 2020.
Despite my life not being too differently now than before, this virus could make one go crazy
being trapped inside. Rather than getting high with drugs, I let myself get high with music.
Wishing it would transport me to that era. Oh what a stunner I would be, maybe I would be more
fashionable, maybe I would be outgoing. Maybe I would even be a star!!!!!
Oh golly gee, oh my…. Damn would that be something else! But I can’t change things, I’ll
make use of this time to feed my soul as my brain absorb these lyrics and encourage me to put
some words on the paper to figure out a story.
A story of a girl like me, wanting to achieve her dreams and be a musical ‘’sensation.’’ A tale of
Cadence and Decadence.. She might like to monkey around too.

“An Overprotective Father” by Yoonbin Ha

“Seriously Dad, you need to calm down. Amy’s eighteen now, she isn’t a naive little girl anymore.”
“Yes, she still is if she’s off with some hotshot pretty boy from school. Those kinds of bastards care more
about getting laid and throwing away their partners after a one-night stand, never mind if he has AIDS or
“Actually, he’s this wimpy nerd she met in computer art class and-What the hell?! I thought Mom got rid
of all your guns!”
“She did. I got this rifle off from a friend back in my old army days and owed me a favor. It was hard
enough finding good quality tranquilizers.”
“No, no, no, no, no, we are not doing this again! Did you not learn after the Taco Tuesday Incident?”
“Hey! I had to protect your older sister from that girly ass Ken creep!”
“Oh my god, you’re still hung up on that? We went over this again and again. His name was Ben and he
was gay. Sarah was helping him set up a surprise birthday party for his boyfriend. The same party you
ruined by barging in with a gun and shot the poor guy.”
“He was perfectly fine.”
“No, he wasn’t and neither was his boyfriend. You scared the shit out of everyone, especially those kids
who still have nightmares about you and set off his pet Satan.”
“His what?”
“You know, that little demon chihuahua that bit me in the nuts. Please, stop while you still have a
chance before she hates you for it for the rest of her life.”
“Now where did I put my keys?”
“Did you seriously not hear what I just said?!”
“Danny, help your old man out before your sister does something she will regret for the rest of her life.”
“Oh my fucking god, I am done with you.”
“I told you your father was too stupid to listen to reason.”
“Wha-Martha?! When did you get here?”
“I was here the whole time dear. Danny texted me that you are trying to ruin Amy’s first date with that
sweet young man I met yesterday. He even asked me for permission to take her to see that new movie she waited for weeks to come out.”
“B-but I-“
“But nothing. Now if you know what’s good for you, you will listen to me. You will leave our daughter be
and let her enjoy her date while you get rid of that damn thing before you get arrested again.”
“Y-yes m’am.”

“Cinderella’s Step-Mama”

In my short marriage, I struggled I labored
To be fair and right, like a maiden fabled
But one day he passed, left me his young lass
And I hate her more than improperly set tables.

I feel ashamed of course, for my hateful heart
But I lust to hurt her, I act so very dark
I fear my cold self, I never wished to be evil
But love quickly turns sour, like milk, I’m unstable

I grow angry when I witness her mysterious strength
Drawn from a source, I too yearn to embrace
I dream to be like her, tough to the core,
Failing, I can’t stand her good temper anymore

When she found love, I grew colder still
I know I hurt her, but I’m not me by will
Life isn’t sunshine, fairies, and white doves,
I do my best, I just lost my true love.

“Factors” by Saher Hajidamji

Image result for Mathematical factors of 8

I remember

Playing on the swings till dark

Falsely promised to be careful when I left

Force my fingernails to pry the quarter from his fist

Wrestling her tired hands with a “thank you”

Still I lack to equate the growing receipt they never let me see

I am a product of love and care 

Added to every other relevant synonym 

But the math didn’t predict the love 

That turns into tenderness leaving you vulnerable

Liquid care solidifying to responsibility only to force pressure

Eight lines about love but you chose to focus on the last two

Consider this poem sad and hurt my feelings

But if you could pass your math class by pretending to understand

Then maybe you should just focus on the first stanza

It’s prettier anyways