Breakwater Review is managed by MFA candidates at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. We're dedicated to finding and showcasing exceptional pieces of poetry and prose.
From "Getting Sloppy with Jill McDonough"
DJP: Do you ever have moments when you hate poetry?
JM: Yeah! I want to make the money. When I won the Stegner Fellowship and showed up at Stanford I was like "This is stupid. What was I thinking? I'm going to be poor for the rest of my life. Who's ever going to buy a book of sonnets about executions?" Josey was like, "Shut up. We're here. Let's do this." But I don't know if that's really about hating poetry, that's more about hating myself. Who's so stupid that they would do something like this in America? I was a smart kid, I had the whole world ahead of me. I could've worked at Goldman Sachs. But then, not really. Really I couldn't do anything else.
by Cary Holladay
So I am that dumb, he thought. The day he quit the gas station was the Fourth of July. He was twenty. Alone in his old car on a hilltop, he watched roman candles burst over the ridges ringing Charlottesville. A great feeling welled up in his heart and he found words and music for it, writing a song called "Fireworks."
It changed his life. First he recorded it himself, on some used equipment. Then a recording company paid him a lot of money, and the song played constantly on the radio for months, all over the country. Everyone was singing it, humming it. He listened to it and could hardly believe he'd written it, that the voice on the airwaves was his own.
It was his only hit, in fact his only recording. Yet what a lot he got out of it, a name change, for instance. His agent said, "Nobody will buy a song by Everard Jones. How ‘bout we call you Hurricane, Hurricane Jones?"
by Angela Voras-Hills
The year our glands began expanding
across our tight-skinned chests,
we stood bare-topped in a line
winding through brown lockers and benches: air
damp with sweat and shared showers
nobody took. Melon deodorant,
musky shoes. We took turns standing,
back to the nurse, front to the mirror,
afraid everyone was looking as we bent
forward, touching our toes, our spines curving
the way they should, appearing
like everyone else’s: a sleek set of ribs
down the middle of the back, a system
stretched like the center of everything
we wanted no one to see.