Week 5 of Syntax Sundays: Karley Saagi and Quinn Flom

This week’s submissions for Syntax Sundays feature the juxtaposition of violent and soft imagery and sound. The works of Karley Saagi and Quinn Flom capture the tension of raw human emotion in their own unique, bittersweet manner.

According to author Karley Saagi, her poem Birth Eater is about “the suicide of a pregnant prostitute and the ending scenes of her and her son’s life, as the strangling surroundings and judgement of the world have haunted her for too long.” This piece is both shocking and gentle, evident in the brutality of the content within a sonnet structure. The contrast of verbs and imagery has a jarring affect on the reader, especially the almost-angelic lull of the closing line.

Birth Eater

Scarlet cascaded down her paling wrist;
Spread open like the legs of a harlot.
Juxtaposed red on chilling porcelain.
Eighteen years, and the bath is spilling.
Fragile last breaths thrust from her empty chest.
A name never called but two hearts beat inside
Mother, mother, this life put us to shame.
The son from her womb to be the sun of her sky,
Why now? Stubborn hatred drowns her frail mind.
One lonely night when two intertwined,
Two dull drugged minds that should never collide.
Money’s not worth the price of innocence.
He kicks twice, but the end is forever.
Arms on stomach interlace, as two deaths embrace.

In creases, Quinn Flom, a second year Arts and Contemporary Studies student at Ryerson U, is able to utilize the rhythm of alliteration and stark, honest visuals to engage the reader in both the smoothest and roughest moments of the narrator. The hardness of the ‘c’ is nicely contrasted by the lustful ‘l’ sounds, and the lack of punctuation and grammatical precision is both interlocking and diminishing.


my knuckles are raw, cracked red
from nights spent scouring
the memory of your fingertips
from my skin

when i think of my body
i think of your hands
mapping longitudes and latitudes
delving into delicate centers
tearing me open
a fleshy wound
a dimly lit room
fists clenched to reveal white knuckles
as you slip between the cracks
and settle
in the deepest places


One thought on “Week 5 of Syntax Sundays: Karley Saagi and Quinn Flom

  1. […] Quinn Flom is a second-year Arts and Contemporary Studies student currently studying at Ryerson and kind enough to share a new piece titled “collecting fragments” with us. This piece manages to capture moments of a distressed relationship with a technological twist, hurtling a million emotions towards you at once in an eerie, estranged manner. It’s a beautiful reflection of the incessant craving to organize, even when such things are unable to be fully captured; or, perhaps, mean nothing, or everything. There’s a certain paranoia and obsession in such specificity, and this piece is able to capture these emotions. The reader is left to create and reflect on their own interpretations of these folders, allowing for personal and fresh readings each time. The whole concept is poetic and original, and we can’t get enough of it. […]

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