eliot – a selection by Jordan Shoop

Jordan Shoop is currently a junior attending Samford University, majoring in English. His poem “Tire Swing” won third place in the Northeastern Region of ASFA’s Aspiring Minds Poetry Contest, and another poem “The Chamber” was released in Live Poets Society of NJ’s “Inside My World.”


I always see them.
I always see them with you.
Your hands are physical, touching, 
upon the holding of my hand,
but as I look downwards again,
the feeling has moved, lost,
only now as a ghost.
Even your kisses suddenly
change into the gone.
I feel your softened lips, powerful,
and as I clasp mine to yours,the kiss wanes,
and I stand kissing alone.
I can still picture when you first glanced,
now as I sit next to you,
I look over and there’s you,
but I look away, stray away,
and you are gone,
the glance is gone.
You question,
Why are you holding back?
My answer:

Walking Through the Fire

“Imagine once more, I said, such a one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?
To be sure, he said…” -Plato; The Allegory of the Cave

I walk through the fire.
The dark embers rise,
Engulfing me.
At first, I am lost.
The light succumbs,
To the smoke,
I succumb
I am not sure how I arrived,
Possibly, I was just placed here.
Raging red fire
Ghosts in hollow spirits
I follow through,
My footprints masked in
The mirror—
My reflection scares me,
Cheek bones hollow, eyes unflickered, face so pale as if over-burnt
Raging red fire
Ghosts in hollow spirits
I think that I have died
I pinch myself—ouch!
Opening the door,
I reveal the true exit,
The white mast masked
Under a pale blue.
I look backward, the
Mirror had followed, or never left.
I don’t terror, I don’t tremble,
I stare.
Out of the raging red fire, 
I have been left unblemished,
My hair the fire,
My eyes the roaring flames.


give me that liquor 
give me that poison
I see it lingering, passing
it to me in your sight,
just give it to me,
we dance with our
hands tied, clinging,
our hearts magnified,
our love as fireflies,
but then you walk away,
it still lingers,
and yet, we sit afar,
you pass it to me
through your eyes
you can’t control it,
stop controlling it.
give it to me,
let my lips caress yours,
every fire burning,
every spark alive,
that liquor, that poison.

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?

The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)
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