On Sundays we’d go over,
my grandmother and I, to see her ex-husband,
my grandfather, at his apartment a block away from ours.
On Sundays, the typewriter
would be in the same spot, at the head of the table,
covering a yellow smoke stained place mat.
He’d set a papyrus-thin white paper
through its clicking rounded black tongue.
His thick and heavy fingers, made for a military gun,
rolling the paper to just the right spot.
I’d then single fingerly samba across its lettered teeth,
pecking meaning to nothingness
as they sat across the table from one another
and talked about nothing.
My grandmother would hold her
coffee cup close to her lips, cooling it like a faint teapot.
My grandfather would ash at the ends of thoughts,
scattering bits of his life onto the laminated wood tabletop.

On Sundays I wake next to men
with tattoos on their forearms, faded colors and lines
of posed women or lion heads
like my grandfather, hair thinning,
with the same comb-over or aftershave smell.
They offer coffee like him, and their walls
once white, are a pale yellow with a tinge of brown
around the creases from all the smoke, from all the years.
In the middle of their kitchen tables sit bowls,
of hard ruby wrapped candies, with a few spare lighters poking out.
Sometimes when they have slipped into
their nubbed terry cloth robes, rest their feet in year old slippers,
to saunter into their apartment kitchens
I check their bedroom closets for a typewriter,
one that was once used.


Whitnee Thorp was born in the year that The Simpsons premiered on Fox, the average stamp cost 25 cents, Kelly Preston broke off her engagement to Charlie Sheen, and the first release of Microsoft Office swept bulky computersthat’s right, the year was 1989.  Since then Whitnee has recently graduated Western Kentucky University with a BA in Communication Studies and a double minor in English Writing and Women’s Studies.  She was raised in the bluegrass state, Kentucky, by her grandmother and mother.  She currently resides in Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China where she is teaching English at two local universities.  She is the mother to a beautiful cat, Reecie who currently resides stateside.  Two of her poems and a short essay are featured in the new poetry textbook, “The Poetry Gymnasium” by Tom Hunley.

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About The Splinter Generation

The Splinter Generation is a place by and for people born between 1973 and 1993. It's a venue for writers, artists and musicians from all different backgrounds to tell the story of our generation. More on us here.

Meet at the Gate, the web site of Canongate Publishing House, has this to say, "This is how we discover that the youth of today is not all shoot-'em-up gun- (or knife-) totin' hooligans. It’s great to see that there are a huge number of young adults who are seeking each other out - complete strangers - to try and establish an understanding with one another to create a more emotionally- and creatively-connected world."

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