Yvette Schnoeker-Shorb

Clinically Speaking The world is full of depressivescontemplating the easiest way out oremotionally flatlined on prescriptionsor more seductive self-served drugs.I feel the pain of their brain rain,as we walk in our groggy, foggystorms, quiet and humbly challengingstrangers to give us a reason to live—make me angry, no, make me rageful;engage my soul to step awayfrom the shadows where the mindis entwined in its chemical design;how can luminescence be so dark?I can penetrate you with this coldradiance. Do you want to readmy stories of inability to feeljoy? Happiness is for suckers. Justask any of us whom you thoughtyou knew, thought was normalor psychological stable or ableto continue to color the crowdswalking through your life. We arethe ones who suddenly disappeared. Driving Denver on a Cloudy Day Gray highways, growling skies,all defined by faded lines; eventhe rambling clouds seem square.I’m boxed within this grumblingtraffic thick with grimy ground,a high urban pitch, and clickingthat resounds with incessant motionof endless vehicles, fast-pacedthen suddenly red with tail lights.Gaudy, glittery digital screens—one visually screamingBetter Billboards Start Here!promises boredom is on the bill,the swelling sell, sell, sellingcompeting with more humbleless distracting signs for safety,direction, Amber Alerts, weatherwarnings, closures; my attentiongot off at the last exit.
Upon Leaving the Rest Area With Sleeping Spiders She looks so tired, the motherwith the child throwing a tantrum.There’s no reasoning with a toddlerwho has just been set freefrom the car, a youngster readyto run, to yell, to scream, to cry—hours of resentment pent up. I feel so sorry for the womanwith that little girl refusingto take the offered hand,so I place a finger to my lipsand direct my whispered wordsto the young one, “Quiet oryou will wake up sleeping spiders.” I point to cobwebs in cornersof the building behind meand watch her eyes widen,mouth tighten—suddenly silent.Her shocked mother, exhausted,throws me a glance, a quick brewof both venom and gratitude. Yvette Schnoeker-Shorb’s work has appeared in many publications, including Depth Insights Journal, Watershed Review, Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments, SLAB: A Literary Magazine, Kudzu House Quarterly, Concho River Review, Caesura, the anthology Talking Back and Looking Forward: An Educational Revolution in Poetry and Prose (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), and others, with work forthcoming in Weber—The Contemporary West, Green Hills Literary Lantern, In Layman’s Terms, and others. In addition to past Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations, her work received recent Honorable Mentions in 2016 from both Port Yonder Press and Erbacce Press. Yvette has been an educator, a researcher, and an editor, and is co-founder of Native West Press, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit natural history press.