A Letter From the Editors

Middle Name Mag - Friday, June 24, 2016

a letter from the middle name mag editors regarding the recent hiatus:


hello friends. it’s us. we know has been a long while, but we’re happy to say that the magazine is returning tonight with new content, new contributors, and new ideas. as always, we aim for honesty in our words - so, honestly, there’s no real explanation for why we disappeared. a combination of stress, medical issues, and a need to really figure out where this zine could take us all contributed to our long hiatus. we have taken the time off to heal both physically and mentally, and we are beyond excited to see what you all have created in the meantime. it’s good to be back.


lots of love,


maye hadley and kaitlen alexandra

editors, middle name mag

I Would Be a Poem

Middle Name Mag - Tuesday, May 17, 2016


people have begun to ask me
“What is it that you want to be?”


Simple in composure and projection,
it’s a question I have yet to find an an answer to.


You see,
I’ve been asking myself the same thing
since I began counting the stars clustered together in

Picasso skies,

since I could see words in the way the waves
crumpled against burnished shores,
since I noticed the similes and stanzas
hanging from willow trees and
the ones sitting beneath
squeaking swings on sun-dusted days.


I guess I could please them by saying
cardiology calls to me
just like it did for my father, his brother,
and my papou.


I could lie and say the way
hearts contort and beat,
simply trying to keep us and our
optimistic dreams upright and existing,
fascinate me,
but in reality I’ve only ever been able to see
the poetic symbolism in its contractions and pulsations.


I could claim that medicine sparks a need
for more knowledge and learning in me,
a thirst for intuition and understanding,
but I'd always be lost in the brain,
in the way it creates contorted similes and
poetic irony in our already circumvented beings.


people have been asking me what I want to be.


How can I explain the way poetry calls to me,
the way I see potential stanzas blooming in the wrinkled petals of
magenta azaleas and
in the linings of scalloped palms
stained from countless afternoons pressed against
corrugated tracks?


Once upon a time,
I wanted to be a doctor, an inventor, an engineer,
wanted to be a first, a legend, a woman of science.
Fascinated and invigorated by the mechanisms of the physical world and
the multitude of ways our bodies are tethered and held together,
all my desires, hopes, and dreams were held in the belief
that I would be a Madame Curie, a Montessori, an Anning.


But now,
I’ve lost myself in a love of words and their origins,
the way they slip from my tongue easily, effortlessly,
how they stain countless untarnished pages,
the way I can simply step into a world of another’s creation,
forgetting the scars and worry criss crossing and corrupting my mind.


When people ask me
“Well, what do you want to be?"
I ache to tell them that if I could be anything,
I’d be a constellation,
a star,
a sea of cosmic beings illuminating a need for poetry.


In a world with countless possibilities and
without terrestrial limitations,
I would be a collection of well-worn pens
or a furrowed sheet of unused paper,
the lines waiting to be filled with thoughts stemming from
lazy May days or
clever comparisons conceived on evenings
watching heat lightning arch and scream across skyscraper clouds.


When I think of the rest of eternity,
everything I hope and wish to be
lies in the pages and pages of poetry
littering my bookshelves and
In the way book pages fill me with a sense of fulfillment yet to be found
in any other aspect of my existence.


I always seem to feel the antiquated words against my raised skin,
the centuries of history and possibilities encapsulated in their print.
I want to be them,
want to leave this earth
even if it was just for a thimble of stolen moments,
to cease being a tarnished collection of decaying supernovas and exist
in the words of others’ stories and poetry.


When people ask me what I want to be,
I want to scream at the top of my indecisive lungs and describe how
I want to be the words Dickens, Collins, and Neruda painted on
corrugated pages.


I want to be the similes buzzing beneath
moonlight as it's cupped in puckered palms.
I want to be the metaphors and symbols synchronizing with the prayers of young girls
still yearning for a sense of security and prosperity,
want to be the novels carved from a need for reform or


people have begun to ask me
“What is it that that you want to be?”


Instead of lying and claiming a false love for cardiology or neurology,
instead of walking down a path well-worn and trodden by the
family of doctors who raised me,
I want to be the words
slipping form muddled tongues,
the letters penned in the wavering liquid light of dawn,
the dialogues and soliloquies consummated between star-crossed lovers.


If I could be anything,
I would be a poem.
Because maybe
is the only thing I’ve always believed in.


- emily johanna




Middle Name Mag - Monday, May 16, 2016

Hi, it's me.


I just wanted to write to tell you that I’ve made a horrible mistake and I’m sorry. For the most part of the past couple of years, I have regarded the beautiful anthology of stories and love you have collected for me as a car manual as opposed to the fairytale which you describe to me as the best sixteen years of your life. You carried these memories like prized medals, and I wore them like pieces of string messily tied around my fingers. Now your medals have faded from age and my strings are starting to unravel due to my lack of upkeep, and I have realized that I might never forgive myself if I let this part of our lives disappear. When people ask me where I come from I want them to know that this is it. So, from me to you, I think our story is worth telling.


I don’t remember when you moved to be here with us. Maybe because I wasn’t alive yet, maybe because I’d like to believe that I was special enough for you to shoot yourself however many miles down south to be with me. Regardless, I’m sure that Auntie Marian threw a fit, probably assuming that you chose Conner and me over her kids. The thing I do know for sure is that you were here when I popped into the world on June 18th. I can see you standing next to the hospital bed holding me in your nimble hands, calloused from countless hours performing extensive surgery. I’d like to think that you said something reverent and beautiful, and knowing you, there is no scenario where you did not thank God or my parents, or maybe even me, for allowing Grace Eliene Olson to be a part of your life. I didn’t understand this part of you for a long time, the part that was endlessly gracious and grateful. Perhaps I was too young and self-absorbed to comprehend the beauty of your selflessness. I wish that I could go back to that hospital room and respond in kind, whisper in your ear how lucky I am to have you, but you can never go back, only forward.


- grace eliene



motel blues

Middle Name Mag - Sunday, May 15, 2016





- kaitlen alexandra



Middle Name Mag - Tuesday, May 03, 2016

see part one here




- isabel mercedes


Copyright © 2016 Middle Name Mag. All Rights Reserved.