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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Stories Etc: ‘The Tea Kettle,’ ‘Sitting in a Coffee Shop’ compel readers to deeply observe, experience surroundings

Poems show insights from mundane aspects of life
Greta Zimmermann

Welcome to StoriesEtc, a place where University of Wisconsin students can share their original works of creative writing with the community, whether it be poetry, short stories or anything in between. As a section dealing with the arts, it feels only natural to create an opportunity for students to share their creative talents.

With that being said, lets meet this week’s contributor making their debut for the column, Lexie Graf.

Tell us about yourself. What’s your major?


I am a senior majoring in communication arts with certificates in digital studies and environmental studies. I’m from Waukesha, Wisconsin and use art and writing as a way of keeping myself entertained. I recently enrolled in a creative writing course, which has sparked my forgotten love for writing poetry. In my writing, I tend to use my observations and senses to convey my surroundings and emotions.

How many times have you written for this column?

Never! This is my first go at it. Though, as the semester unfolds, I hope to have some more creative pieces of writing that I can share.

Define your writing, authorship, and perspective.

I would say my writing is playful but still maintains a sense of dryness. I like to be a little bit humorous while also being real, which I guess is being humorous if you think about it. I think it is important to take writing seriously but in order to keep my voice, there has to be some silliness in it (hence the “Björk reference in the coffee shop poem). I tend to write for myself rather than for others so things I find funny maybe might not resonate with others all the time. In honesty, if it makes me smile, I really don’t care.

Talk about your creative process. What inspires you, and how do you get from an idea to a finished product?

Observation tends to inspire me. I take in the world around me and then play around with it in my mind. The little details throughout my day, the odd things that make me smirk and my conversations with friends all are taken into account when I am writing.

I tend to free-write anything that is on my mind and then go from there. Jotting down lists and creating visual thought webs are also helpful too, especially when it comes to writing poetry.

Why did you want to write for StoriesEtc. to begin with?

I had some poetry that I have been wanting to share. It’s scary putting my writing out there, but that’s half the fun of it. These poems were fun to get on paper since they are both about things I rarely took time to think about. Writing my observations down got me thinking about the little details of life.

Here are some samples of Lexie’s work:

The Tea Kettle

I stare at it day after day.

On my way out the door,

as I marinate chicken in oils, herbs, and spices,

when I put my mug in the microwave.

Yet, I continue to stare,

as it aches to be used,

its ceramic bottom charred from accidental ignition.

Why is the handle bamboo anyways?

Why does the rose colored glaze look so fragile?

Why do I feel it will crack with the touch of a flame?

Time. Not enough time.

Ease. Not enough ease.

Laziness. Enough.

A proper cup of tea

has yet to be brewed

and probably never will be.

Sitting in a Coffee Shop

Plates clatter,

As patrons chatter.

The coffee steams.

A newborn baby screams.

A child holds a cheesy fork,

While the speakers quietly play Björk.

Stressed college students conspire.

They plot dangerous ways to make their grades higher.

An elder woman sipping Earl Grey becomes suspicious.

If only she knew their plans were fictitious.

Floral art clutters the walls.

The barista rolls her eyes at outside’s catcalls.

All of the patrons coexist,

While the high pitched noise of a tea kettle persists.

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