preloder

Samantha Hotz

Hi everyone!

My name is Sam Hotz, and I am a student from Ramsey NJ. This fall I will be attending Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where I plan to study English literature and creative writing. Below is a piece I put together in place of a bio, as I feel it’s a better format to explain who I am as a writer. I included lines from various poems I’ve written, so some phrases might look familiar.

We call ourselves poets: mull over blank, college-ruled pages, pretending we’ll all be the next Bukowski; but we don’t have enough pills and booze and welled up tragedies for fame, as we fall asleep in bathtubs filled with lukewarm coffee, our noses hovering just above the drowning line. I’m only a writer, spilling thoughts onto napkin poems, to make at least one person somewhere feel something. I’m as raw as cheap vodka on a parched throat, and my work is too well-crafted for splotchy cheeks and watered-down apologies in comment sections.

Cruentamque Fortitudo

I see the world as fractions of a whole, through windowpanes divided by bars, and I swear, the sun shines brightest in the darkest corner; my shadow is entombed in that sliver of collapsing space, sacrificing 4am to pen and paper on a loop. I watch as varicose veins contort into arthritic fingers, strangle the ceiling. I bow like a willow, whimper as eggshell walls bleed red: vacuum- packed beneath rippling paint. But my roots have always run like watercolors — deep into the earth, deeper than his touch, deeper than the sympathetic arms of strangers, than the durable legs of my old hospital bed.

There’s nothing more inspiring than the mundane: the days I want to squash my metaphors like horseflies and toss my loose screws down a sewer grate. The process is timeless; I sit at my desk, hunched over my laptop, pull out my hair like I’m grasping at straws. Think in the third person. I have every book filed away in my library — those cliche “she” poems scribbled in braille, by fingertips that branded hips — but I can’t write my story, yet; my hands instinctively cramp before the images in my head can be translated into words. Like the small child who’s instructed to pick just one item from the grocery store’s toy aisle, I’m miserably thoughtful and destined to leave with nothing.


Pity is the toilet paper dragging on pain’s heels, and the result is soiled poetry; so I dry my Crayola tears, garbage-bag the windows, and let my words fall like oak trees. We all knock ourselves out on the bars that are set for us; the difference is, I raise mine anyway. I smile, even with chipped teeth, and relish the battle to stand once more.

I said I'd marry you

I said I’d marry you,
as the pills and booze and welled up tragedies
escaped my burning lungs, burning
like a paper trail, burning
like the bridges I know you’ll cross without me.
I’m your
secondhand smoke, secondhand
flame.
That’s why I garbage bagged the windows.
To contain such sweet atrocities and smell the roses rot.
One petal
at a time,
one breath
at a time.
Until I’m nothing more
than fingerprints on your half empty bottle,
the wrong color lipstick stains on my pillow case.
I said I’d marry you. I broke down last night.
Collapsed inside myself like a heroin addict’s veins,
stabbed and jabbed,
but you turned me into a patient.
To get me well,
get me better,
make me
good
enough.

Ramsey

My dad would say
we were from a
small town
up North, so
close to
New York City
that we didn’t
live in
Joisey.
Beaches of fake tans,
boardwalks of fake people —
Like the homeless man
stumbling through town
in work boots,
pushing his house in a
ShopRite cart.
I
didn’t belong.
Herds of mothers in
painted on spandex who
drove to Starbucks in
Range Rover Audi Lexus
top down Prius in sunglasses,
Jersey girl’s don’t pump gas
bumper stickers
and gossiped about
someone else’s
daughter.
They only had my name and
their twisted version of what
did in the woods.
(which was
partly true)
Strangers:
pitying my mother,
scratch out our insides.
I sat back in the corner and listened —
The witch cackled,
twirling
hag hair around her
manicured finger
like it was someone’s
husband —
Until the high school boys
showed up,
threw cash
in my face,
and chased me
home.

I don’t reflect on the world’s misgivings or express political opinion, as my peers can bleed the pen of war and unrest; I recount the devastation I witnessed throughout my childhood: the death of my younger brother, the abuse I suffered as a preteen, and the decline of my own health, as well as the depression that followed.

My spot in the poetry community is merely a dusty corner of the internet, but I leave those who stumble across my “allpoetry” page with more than just a fraction of my own thoughts and personal heartache. I’ve received hundreds of comments with essentially the same message; my virtual pile of napkin poems instills a sense of hope, survival, and victory beneath its layers of smut, grit, and gloom. My inbox is flooded with phrases like “I feel this,” and “I thought no one could ever understand me, but… you do.”

One thought on “Samantha Hotz

  1. SunDazeDead says:

    Sam is clearly a very talented writer. She also strives to improve herself both artistically and academically. Check out more of her work, and share this post to help Sam get the recognition she deserves!

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