Canvas

for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

Negation (or living between the lines)

rebecca tseng


the world floats inside our words;
hidden between the long, thin lines
and the footnoted, dog-eared pages
are patterns,
                      hints, 
                                                   clues
on how to break the rigid structure—
bend it on its back, and bind it to beauty

We are heaped onto each other,
a
queue
of
tedious
optimism,

marching ahead to fulfill the 

steps of those
          in front of us
                  to complete
    
                  the sentence.

mindless morphemes and pathetic phonemes

but I want to
quarrel with the queue
argue with the assemble
wrangle with the words

turn them inside out and upside down until
only fragments of undecipherable anagrams
remain; they say
to devour a book, one has to measure each word, 
scrutinize it to decode the meaning

but I say,
trace your fingers along the negative space.
pages of inky black words—there is space
for you to fit between them too


Rebecca Tseng is a junior at Taipei American School in Taiwan. Her work has received national recognition by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Rebecca loves all sorts of writing, from to-do lists to biology lab write-ups. She will be the editor-in-chief of both her school's newspaper and literacy magazine next year. When not writing, she is probably sitting on her roof, eating doughnuts and reading a cheesy YA novel.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY