Featured Poetry by M. M. Sunderland


Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a transgender autistic gay man with Borderline Personality Disorder. He’s from Seattle and currently attends the Evergreen State College. He’s been published by University of Amsterdam’s Writer’s Block, UC Riverside’s Santa Ana River Review, UC Santa Barbara’s Spectrum, and The New School’s The Inquisitive Eater. His lifelong dream is to become the most banned author in human history. He’s @Romangodmercury on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

M. M. Sunderland

His work is regularly featured on In Parentheses.


Tea and Coffee

in the morning start with
1-2 cups of coffee
add creamer for taste

in the evening end with
1-2 cups of chamomile tea
plain, no sugar,
no honey.

A Full Carton of Milk

i noticed how
there’s a full carton of milk
just sitting in your bedroom window

and i can’t help but notice
how that is the weirdest thing

it is perched
on the windowsill
right next
to a plastic bottle of water.

the carton is blue
and features
some logo,
some image
that i cannot view.

all i know is that
there’s a full carton of milk
just sitting in your bedroom window.

and i don’t know why
you have been drinking a full carton of milk

in your room
and just letting the carton sit there.

and i probably wouldn’t have noticed this
if your apartment
wasn’t literally just several feet away
from my own

and if your window
wasn’t open.

which is also weird
because it’s snowing outside.

and maybe
that milk carton
is filled with something
other than milk

something that won’t
require
a fridge to store it in

and yet
still requires
an open window
when the ground is covered
in a few inches of snow.

there are icicles
lining the edge of the roof
right above
your bedroom window.

and it’s not like
the carton could get pierced
by an icicle

but i still think
that you’re a weirdo.

all i know is that
there’s a full carton of milk
just sitting in your bedroom window.

But Grass Cannot Leave

the first thought
of all the grass

trapped underneath
a foot of snow

here i am
to die

because here i am
drowning in what

you think will feed me

but i cannot drink
what is frozen

but grass cannot leave
in any way other than death.

so grass sprouts underneath
dormant
and waiting

on tread the feet
of winter boots

crunch the winter’s sand.

here the grass
cannot be seen as green

and when the prison melts
we only say

that we wish it could snow again.

in the summer
grass grows yellow

dying in death
matching the sun.

flood the grass
letting it tear up
with dew

weeping until
they are drowning again.

the first thought
of all the grass

trapped underneath
a foot of snow

here i am
to die

because here i am
drowning in what

you think will feed me

but i cannot drink
what is frozen

but grass cannot leave
in any way other than death.

Heart-Shaped Cupcakes

today i make
heart-shaped cupcakes
for me and you

and my icing skills aren’t the best
they’re messy but
i think you’re sweet

and i know this is just
from an impulse
dollar-store purchase

of heart-shaped cupcake pans
and heart-shaped reusable liners
but money isn’t

how i show
my love language

in dollar-store cake mix
and dollar-store frosting
with

dollar-store icing tools

yet somehow
it smelled so yummy
and tasted so

and honestly
turned out so good

sweet flavor
from improvised ribbons
of sweet frosting

sweet cake
warm and welcome

there is much that
i can’t make
but i’m glad to be

given this joy
to make heart-shaped cupcakes
for me and you.

Ogrephobia
in shrek

fiona hates ogres
even though she is an ogre.

she has internalized ogrephobia
due to her fear

of being an ogre
in a world that tells her to be human.

shrek teaches her
that it’s okay

for her to behave on her ogre ways.

it’s like a metaphor
for internalized transphobia.

.

because fiona was not cursed
she was simply

realizing
how trapped

she was.

a great big tower
guarded by
a girl dragon.

a whole kingdom
who sees her as
nothing but a monster

and shuts her away.

she is to be
a damsel in distress

only to realize
she doesn’t have to be

and so she sings for birds
using her feminine power
to make them explode.

like onions
she has many layers.

a whole kingdom that believes
that she deserves saving

when really
she is right at home.


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.

To view the types of work we typically publish, preview or purchase our past issues.

Please join our community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @inparenth.


In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 1) Summer 2021

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

100 pages, published 7/15/2021

The Summer 2021 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue 1)
In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 1) Summer 2021

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

100 pages, published 7/15/2021

The Summer 2021 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue 1)

Author: Mr. Phillipe

Phillipe Martin Chatelain / @uptownvoice / Phillipe is the Managing Editor of In Parentheses. He is a poet from New York City with a Masters Degree in Poetry from The New School. He writes as someone in the tradition of the urban troubadour or the flaneur–wandering, taking notes. He believes that poetry of our generation has taken on a much more digital definition. Furthermore, it is important for New Modernist writers like those exhibited in In Parentheses Literary Magazine to assume the forms of media available in order to carry on the history of Sublime Art. His series taking shots alone was self-published in 2012-2015. The self-published collection FACETS (2019) is now available.

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