I forget their paper names
And the glass cuts on my ankles
I remember hot asphalt
With the stench of fresh cut lawns
Looking at old photos is like
Salt directly into a scraped knee–
Salt from the lake I swam in–
Right before I drowned
In Skittles and lemonade
While being set aflame
By the heat of the sunshine

Rory McBrady’s poem “Neighbors” won first prize in the Eighth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. His poem “Rest” won second prize in the Seventh Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. His poem, “Heaven/Hell/Here” was published in the Fall 2019 issue of The Match Factory. Rory is a junior Animation student at SVA who is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. While his main passion is visual art, he is heavily inspired by the surreal, avant-garde underground.

Judges Jeff Beardsley & Timothy Leonido had this to say about Rory’s prize-winning poem: “Neighbors” is a poem that enjoys the risk of remembering. In its eleven lines of subtly varying length, the poem inches out into the abyss of memory. Old photos are both a pleasure and a pain, drawing out a sublime sensory mix: the “stench” of fresh grass, the excessive sweetness of “Skittles and lemonade,” and the “heat of sunshine” which sets the poet aflame. In “Neighbors,” it seems as though the bright and the dark memories live right beside each other.