Literary Loewenstein


by Wyatt Thompson Siporen

Recently, Rogue news interviewed poet and writer Em Loewenstein. In their featured piece, Lowenstein provides a visceral, yet pensive look at different and overlooked facets within people and the world.   Rogue news sought to learn more about what fuels this creativity machine.


Q: What inspires you to write?

A: “Sometimes the urge just hits me, and then I have to write.”

Q: What is your process?

A: “I compose at a key board most of the time and edit after a month or two if I have time.”

Q: Do you remember the first time you wrote something meaningful?

A: “I have been composing stories since before I could write so I am not sure.”

Q: What do you like and dislike most about writing?

A: “I think I dislike editing most because I don’t like editing my own work. I like the experiences and different ideas I have while writing.”

What Yellow Would Say

Lemon yellow.

“Hello,” she says. “How are you today?” Her smiles are the epitome of those clichés having to do with sunshine and brightness, but her emotion is so genuine, and we cannot hate her for it.

She walks slowly and with her eyes wide open, appreciating her surroundings in a way we never thought to.

“The weather is really nice today,” she says. “It’s so beautiful out here.”

Later, she watches a street performer, a dancer, with a wistful look on her face. The dancer is dressed in a black leotard and a yellow skirt that flows around her legs like water. She moves with a fierce joy that we onlookers calculate out to indicate a violent love of life; she is unstoppable in the force of her elation. Many people have stopped to stare, wondering at the strange creature who defies the tedium of existence.

“I’m going to do that someday,” Yellow says to us, quietly, and then keeps walking.

Fluorescent yellow.

She trips over her own feet sometimes. She always has done. Only now, she trips with increasing frequency, and it would almost be worrying if she wasn’t such a cheerful personality.

“Sorry,” she says as she does it again. “I’m so sorry.”

She flushes, smiles apologetically, and keeps walking. We smile back at her.

But then she trips yet again, mere seconds after the last time, and we begin to feel the first trickling of concern deep in our chests.

She catches herself on the side of a building and squeezes her eyes shut. Her hand closes into a fist against the brick wall. The cheap incandescent lights above her leach all colors but yellow from her face, making her look washed out.

“My head hurts,” she mutters, almost too quietly for us to hear. Then she pushes herself fully upright and keeps going.

Citrine yellow.

One day, she snaps at us.

We’re watching her walk in endless circles around the battered foot stool in the kitchen. She’s tearing her hair out, glaring at the opposite wall as she paces. Then she suddenly whirls around to face us.

“YOU!” she screams. “I hate you!”

She turns again, lashing out at the countertop. There’s energy inside her, too wild to be contained, and it’s splitting her apart at the seams.

She makes a beeline for the sink and dry heaves into it. We stand there for a moment, unsure of what to do. Then she’s gone again, stomping downstairs to the bathroom in the basement. When we look in the sink, all we see is bile, yellow and sickly, and we wonder what we’ve done wrong.

Absinthe yellow.

The next day, she’s exhausted. We can tell by the pallor of her skin and by the way her eyes have sunken in. She’s old. She’s old in the way that teeth are when they’ve turned yellow and worn but can’t yet retire because someone still needs them to chew with.

But there’s a hint of familiar clichéd sunshine in Yellow’s smile when she apologizes to us yet again. It’s a brief ray of light, though. Soon, she curls in on herself and disappears from view. We can still hear her muttering, “Sorry, sorry, sorry…” Whether she’s speaking to us or to herself, we can’t say.

In the morning, she’s nearly gray. She can’t hold together anymore. We watch as she breaks apart, falling away into equal parts grass green and sunset red, tranquility and confidence. We mourn the loss of our friend, but willingly dip our paintbrushes into these new colors. We paint a tribute to her, to Yellow, on a white expanse of new canvas.