Welcome to Profound Lettuce, 2nd Edition


Welcome to Profound Lettuce.

These are the works of members of the Fall 2018 English 30AB Creative Writing Class, Sections 4167 and 4170, at Santa Monica College, poets, storytellers, witnesses, visionaries. So please, take another stroll through our garden of Profound Lettuce, food for the imagination.

Copyright is held by the authors and Santa Monica College.


“Tired Girl” by Schuyler Myvette

L.A. Dawn

6 a.m. and the sky resembles a perpetual indigo. Gene’s eyes are wide open, she closes her lids slow. Every morning begins this trend again, where her dry eyes click more times than she could count on anyone who once called her a friend. Repetitive, are the clicks of her lids, dried eyes from always on watch as a kid. She mistook herself for the hoot she’d never find in the wilderness. She’s been quietly observant throughout her development, she managed to always know where she has been or is.
She mistook herself for the hoot in the wilderness, regardless if helicopters were the closest thing to what heaven sent. Alone she rests, uncomfortable again in two years the consistency of her neighbor’s lover’s moan, were counted as her only friend. Insomniac she may be, but her grandmother constantly mistook her silence as a raging flame. In truth, Gene is the cause of the rain that’s flooded her old school, in which the student’s that day many years ago would dance in. Wheels of skateboards and bikes, road through the rush of droplets falling from her sky.
To come from a unclear past, she looks to the place she must love to be, unless she wishes to rebel and list herself as truant. School bells were the melody that got her to this morning, like all others. Whether she finishes homework late in the night, she returns from the numerous jobs she had. She has her options within this choice or lack thereof. She popped her vertebrae unintentionally, her grans sleep pattern as light as a feather falling from the street pigeon shedding in the sky. Did her toes pop so loud, her gran mistook its for her alarm to check if she’s run away from the spiral world her mother readied her for?
Can she remember that through the process of dreaming of today’s outfit, will she remember to speak for herself today? Does she have a choice? In the Smog City of opportunity, will anyone mean what they say? Residing in the middle of Paradise insisted by those who put her in her place, stuck where many wish and come to perpetuate a plastic product of Sincerity.
She mistook herself for the hoot in the trees she has not seen for years. This Winter she’s wishing to be back in the place most inviting, not considered exciting by those who’ve rushed the desert. She closes her eyes, let the click of her dried eyes lull her to sleep. The perpetual indigo was covered in by pink and orange clouds, bringing contrast to the repetition of her daily.
In her REM she dreams of the mystery of the oasis of her ancestors, wondering if when she wakes, there will be storms to wash away the smoke and chemicals, bringing unknown cousins to their undoing. Will she wake up to the helicopters and sirens in the sky and the streets? Or a notification of her place of work being burned down with the rest of what gives beings like her hope?

“The Craving of a Monster” by Taylor Wheatley

pale blue eyes

I worship a monster. He has beautiful pale blue eyes and soft lips. Every time he speaks, I hang on to every word he says. Like a spider on a thread. I know what I am doing isn’t natural, I know I’d be labeled a monster too if others knew – but now it is addictive. He is a killer with no remorse. Even though he has the face of a man, after the sins he committed no one can call him that. A mother’s love is supposed to be the strongest bond there is but even she cast him out.
I worship a monster. I want to be exactly like him. Whether it is obsession or infatuation doesn’t matter. So, the more I go to visit him. Through those cold and iron bars the more I learn. The more I understand his desire. His desire for blood has now come my own.
Tonight, I became a monster. A picture-perfect monster. My hands are painted red, the innocent bystanders are looking at me in fear. So, when you ask me officer, if I have a statement to make. If there is anyone you can call for me. When you plead to tell you it was in self-defense, all I can say is – “I worship a monster.”

“Chango” by Alex Boyd

Stuffed Gorilla


by Alex Boyd

It was mid-December when I accompanied my mom to the greeting card store. Christmas music was playing, and the entire store smelled like scented pine cones. I followed my mom as she zigzagged through the store, and gazed longingly each time we walked past the aisle with all the stuffed animals. As a six-year-old, stuffed animals were my obsession. I had about 200 at home, but I was always looking to add more to my collection. We walked past the stuffed animal section one more time, and to my surprise, my mom stopped walking. My heart started beating with excitement. Was she really going to buy me one today? I looked at all the pairs of teddy bear eyes looking back at me, and smiled knowing that I might be taking one of them home. “I still haven’t bought a Christmas present for Emilia,” my mom said, still looking at the stuffed animals. All the excitement in my body stopped, and was replaced with burning jealousy. Emilia was my cousin; she was a year younger than me. Because of this, I was always jealous when my parents bought her something because it was always something that I wanted too. “I need you to pick out the cutest stuffed animal for her,” my mom said smiling at me. She had no idea how much I didn’t want to do that. I wasn’t going to let this be another time when Emilia got a better present than me. I went and picked up the worst stuffed animal I could find. It was a very small, plain looking teddy bear.

“This one,” I said, handing it to my mom.

“That’s too small, this is for Christmas. I want you to pick out the best one. Which one is your favorite?”

I looked through the entire aisle for a stuffed animal that was ugly enough to give to Emilia but special enough to pass as a Christmas present. Finally, I saw a fluffy stuffed gorilla. He had a grumpy looking face, but he was big, and his fur was nice. I handed him to my mom.

“Oh my gosh, he’s so soft!” My mom exclaimed as she put him in her basket. We left the store, and I was happy knowing that Emilia was getting an ugly stuffed animal for Christmas.

Weeks went by and I had completely forgotten about the gorilla. I woke up Christmas morning and ran to my sister’s room to wake her up. Together we sprinted to the tree and started tearing open any present in sight. I was finally down to my last gift, it was a big box that had “from mom” written on the tag. Since it was my last present, I took my time opening it, peeling off the paper as neatly as I could. Then, I opened the box and looked inside. Looking back at me was the grumpy face of the gorilla from the greeting card store. I looked up at my mom in confusion. Why did she give me Emilia’s present? I thought she must have made a mistake. My mom started giggling.

“I had no idea what to get you this year, so instead, I tricked you into picking out your own present!”

I felt horrible. If I hadn’t been so jealous, I would have picked that I actually liked. But now, I was stuck with the gorilla. I didn’t want my mom to know how upset I was, so I pulled him out of the box to look at him. He wasn’t that ugly; he was soft, and his grumpy face was kind of cute. I named him Chango, and he eventually became my favorite stuffed animal.

Fourteen years later, I have gotten rid of all my stuffed animals, but Chango remains. Every Christmas, my mom laughs when she remembers this story. She told me that when we were in the greeting card store, she knew exactly what I was doing. At first, she said she tried to stop me, emphasizing that I should get my favorite one. But she soon caught on to how jealous I was, and she purposely let me get the ugly gorilla so I could learn my lesson. I did. Every time I look at Chango, I am reminded that jealousy is futile, and it hurts you more than the person you envy. And every year after that, my mom never took me with her when she bought presents for Emilia.



Old Flickerings by Alex Raske


Old Flickerings

by Alex Raske

The night I met the demon was a night like any other. I was on a midnight walk, I was avoiding my roommates like the plague, and my friends and I were listening to ghosts.

Wherever I went they called to me, flickers of emotion, a candle kept hidden under someother-worldly bushel. The campus was full of them, energy left over from moments of extreme joy, pain, and isolation. It started suddenly, inklings of unexplained feelings blossomed into my awareness like so many spring chrysanthemums. At the time that I met the demon, I was just becoming aware of other…flickerings. Emotions and images I couldn’t understand, so mired they were in darkness. Old flickers. I met with a friend, Brian, who felt similar things and had for years.

We sat in his cluttered single, him on his bed, me on the space of floor I had cleared for myself. In the dim glow of his string of Christmas lights, he regarded me.

“I want to take you on a spirit walk” he said. It was like he suggesting we pick up lunch at a new café or sit in on some professor’s class.

“What would that entail, exactly?” I shifted where I sat, trying to avoid touching the pile of laundry that had built up in the corner.

“Simple,” he said, “You, Anthony and I will walk in the woods and you tell me what you can feel.” Anthony was another friend of ours who could feel ghosts. He was incredibly sensitive and in tune with people, I couldn’t fathom the depth of the connection he had to other people’s pain. I nodded; it made sense that Brian would invite him.

We ended up chatting about our weeks while we waited for Anthony to finish his seminar, which got out absurdly late at night. Brian talked about how many meals he had forgotten to eat (stress and Prozac are a hell of a combo) and I bitched about my roommates, two jocks who treated their queer roommate with as much humanity and civility as you might expect. Brian started rummaging around his room for things, he threw some books and a flask of what I later learned to be holy water in a bag. He grabbed his phone from where it was charging in the wall and we left to pick up Anthony.

How exactly the exorcism started, I cannot recall. We were ambling in the woods by the South dorms, I would describe whatever spirits I was feeling and Anthony or Brian would nod or comment if they felt the same thing. There were a lot of old, lumbering things in the woods, things that radiated a dull malice. Anthony and I were discussing one such entity that felt particularly strong when we realized that Brian was reciting something in Latin.

He was reading something on his phone and gesturing into the dark, fumbling over the Latin like someone tying a shoe for the first time. And then. We felt it.

A vile thing blossomed in front of us, a sickening fold of malice, filth, and soul crushing despair. I felt it in the air in front of us, the feeling of bad given shape. Anthony felt it too, tensing in the same moment that Brian was struck mute. We looked at each other and Brian mouthed one word.


I haven’t fucked with exorcisms since.

“Two Hours” by Laura Kane

Two Hours

“Two Hours”

By Lauren Kane

April 15, 1912

12:02 am

Forty years. Captain Edward Smith steadied himself, Forty years with not so much as a

minor incident . He could feel the eyes on him but couldn’t manage to tear his gaze away from

the glasslike  chunks that littered the bow.  Finally, the buzzing in his ears subsided enough to allow the muffled words behind him

to become clear.

“That’s impossible,” Smith recognized the voices, but could not focus his thoughts

enough to place them. “This ship can not sink!”

“She is made of iron, sir. I assure you, she can. And she will.”

12: 47 am

“Sir, there is room for you and your wife on lifeboat eight.”

Isador Straus followed the chubby officer, tightening his grip on his wife’s hand. The

crowd moved dizzyingly around them. Most of the passengers on the deck seemed more annoyed

than concerned. Isador’s eyes darted across the deck. First class, first class, first class.. Maybe

second? Where were the rest of the passengers? Shouldn’t more people be out by now?

Isador was so caught up in his thoughts, he didn’t realize that they had reached the edge

of the ship. The officer motioned to help them into the lifeboat. Isardor released his wife’s hand,

but she took it back. He looked at her, begging her to understand. There were still women and

children aboard the ship, he could not take their place.

“We have been living together many years. Where you go, I go.”

1:56 am

The strings were out of tune and the noise of the ship threatened to drown them out

entirely. Wallace Hartley could tell that the other seven men had lost their will to continue on, so

he did not stop them as they put down their instruments and began to disperse.

He took a deep breath, lifted his violin up to his chin and began the first notes of “Nearer,

My God, to Thee”.

The other men looked at each other, silently agreeing, one more.

The ship tilted.


“Gone” by Andy Sul



  by Andy Sul

I knew a decent amount about him. I met one day while he was moving into his

apartment which was next to mine. He hated me for the most part. I hope he did. He

never told me his name either. He said something about knowing a person’s name can

hold a lot of power. I was only able to find out what it was until this lady started to show

up every now and then 3 months after he moved in. She worked at the orphanage he

was at growing up, and she’d check in with him to make sure he was doing alright. It

was only until I met her that she told me a bit of his past. He witnessed his parents die

at such a young age and was completely alone ever since. Nobody during that time at

the orphanage would want to adopt him. I guess that’s the reason why he turned out the

way that he was. Just so afraid of everything that could potentially kill him.

Death was always on his mind. Because of it, he was afraid of everything and

anything. Some of the things he’d be afraid of made sense like crossing the street or the

food he’d eat. Some of them didn’t really make much sense to me like clothes. It could

never be too tight, could never be too loose either. Somehow they could just kill him. He

was always afraid of everybody too. I was even a potential threat to him because he

didn’t know me. For all he knew, I would have taken his life. As I’d see him more often

I’d try to open him up a bit by teasing him about the things he was afraid of that didn’t

make sense to me. That’s how he ended up hating me, because of my constant teasing

of whatever he was afraid of that he shouldn’t have to be. But slowly, he was becoming

more and more open to see things differently and even opening up to me.

One day I was on my way back from work and I found him on the ground in front

of his apartment. The other neighbors didn’t even notice, they just thought it was

another one of his freak out episodes. Apparently he got evicted from his apartment and

it freaked him out so much, it knocked him out cold. But he wouldn’t respond when I

tried to wake him up. Not only that, his body was really hot and sweating like crazy so I

rushed him to the hospital.

He woke up the next day and started freaking out again. Waking up in an

unfamiliar environment. Seeing all these unfamiliar people. It was really not until the

doctor talked to him about his situation that he started calming down. But he didn’t calm

down because the doctor did a good job of calming him down. The doctor revealed he

had cancer.

He never stood a chance. He was uninsured and only had enough money for

rent and food each month somehow. He couldn’t pay for the surgery. I didn’t have the

money then either. And just like that, he was gone within a few weeks after he got

checked in. The cancer had already spread too far at that point. He was so afraid of

everything that he couldn’t even live out his own life. See or experience the world out

there. Never enjoyed anything in life, nor did he have many friends. I think I was his only friend or at least I’d like to think that.

You know I just thought maybe, just maybe I could

help him out. And after all of that, and his constant fear of everything, something out of

his control got him. And now, he’s gone. He’s gone.