Cover Artist Stephanie Paula Ebbing charcoal and linoleum letters 14â€?x17â€?
SAeSense Capturing the Imaginative Essence of SAS Using Our Senses
The School for Advanced Studies - Kendall Campus Dr. Melissa Patrylo, Principal Miami Dade College 11011 SW 104 Street Miami, FL 33176 http://www.mdc.edu/main/sas/
“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” – Paul Strand
C O N T E N T S Fiction/Nonfiction
On the Water Michelle Rubin
scatology/eschatology John Paul Gonzalez
Writer’s Block: The Bane of Writers World Wide Trinh Lien
Fall Valentina Barrera
Letter to Toni Morrison Heidi Martinez
Take Your Eyes & Divisible by One and Three John Paul Gonzalez
For Under $10 Tamara Smith
Paradox of Progress Jessie O’Connor
A 15’ Commercial with Surround Melody Hernandez
Destiny Tamara Smith
The Forgotten Yaniris Negron
Veronica Diaz Woman Figure
Rags of Rape Trinh Lien
Veronica Diaz Slave Woman
Toot My Horn Yesenia Rey
Veronica Diaz Keep Out
Veronica Diaz Childhood Memories Sleep
Strange Fruit: A Response to Art Judith Payen
Wings Michelle Garcia
Trinh Lien Beloved
Automatic Poem John Paul Gonzalez
Trinh Lien Mourning
Chamber of Dreams Rachel Milbauer
Stephanie Paula Nono in His Vineyards
Lugo Avenue Katherine Miles
Veronica Diaz Pollitos
Insipid Valentina Barrera
Angela De Armas Untitled
Pop Who Tamara Smith
Trinh Lien Mountain Landscapes
9 Months of Liberation Ivan Flores
Visual Arts 7
C O N T E N T S 34
Scrounging for Safety Michelle Cardona
When I Went Back to My Room Mei-Ling Rosario
Chant of One Fooled Carlos Salazar
This Made You Happy Trinh Lien
The Assist Alexandra Gentry
Together Ivan Flores
My Grandfather Ella Arnett
Spider Michelle Borro
Credits Volume I 2006
Sounds of SAeSense
Trashcan Lives Chris Cano
Poetry Portfolio: Katherine Miles
The Butterfly Michelle Cardona
Art Portfolio: Stephanie Paula
My People, Mi Gente Stephanie Maestre
Writing Portfolio: Kristina Pazos
The End Angela De Armas
Awards & Portfolio Quotes
Megan McCurdy Room Wall
scatology/eschatology by John Paul Gonzalez
A dirge for the weak hearted A dirge for the faint A wish to be departed From an is, an in that ain't Bring me the head of a saint lain lurking Fear not Armageddon It's the feeling, you've quit cold turkey Sliding...sliding...now shuffle again Father is coming, but no one knows when Noone knows when to shut off the lights to lock the doors firmly, to slink out of sight They said they were coming, who wouldn't want to visit their planet But no one has called back in weeks Could be maybe we're no longer invited I haven't checked the mail in years We've all been drunken wrecks? Who are you kidding I never had a sip not since the womb Anyway The tables are turning The world winds are churning Attrition has taken its toll Nothing to do but wait and laugh As slanderers dig their holes...
Veronica Diaz Woman Figure Charcoal on paper 24‛x 41‛
Fall by Valentina Barrera
I amble along the ocean’s fringes, scrounging for The lustrous, glistening treasures of my youth. Inexplicably, they seem to be Missing, lost amid the sands And eroding wet ash of sea foam. Then, suddenly, like a God-send, Familiar lights begin to flicker and fall from the sky Into the soft expanse of sea and sand. Not knowing where one ends and others Begin, I carry them by the handfuls Marveling at how lightly they land At my feet. I return home, and Before she can even ask The words tumble from my mouth ‚No mother, nothing tonight. Only this bucket full of spent stars.‛ And she watches the moon, crying Calling out for its celestial young.
Take Your Eyes by John Paul Gonzalez
Take your eyes from a bleeding headwound and you will see that there is no such company as keeping alone despite you fear the gavels the bills the bowies of outrageous phantom there is no but respite to keep through keep through the precious night keep morning out of sight. We aren’t taken upside down grabbed up by one leg tossed into boiling potwater feeling first boiling bubbles wiggling through our toes we built this city on rock and roll and we can put it on wheels. Paint on the walls beat your M-16s into ploughwordprocessors don’t wear your kissings on your sleeve and remember first and foremost there never was a time when you ever had to listen to anybody else’s everyone’s a salesman but we can all grow our own tomatoes. I can’t believe I even let myself under those wheels it seems so obvious even until there was a signing breath telling me I had to be angry be strong beat up and down the wall until there’s an ending so fast it flies by you and it’s still there but keeps getting farther and farther and farther away until all you can see it little eidetic puke spots like static on channel aaaaaannndd gone.
Divisible by One and Three by John Paul Gonzalez A dead bird holding cheap scissors Brought back; in accord with MAxwell's laws/Shelley's bogeyman This is what you are I kneel, trembling, as you squawk and peck like a heart-calloused doctor groping a child-conscript; last time he'll ever feel that one you begin cutting, clipping, pruning will you take will you what will you take? the wheat from the chaff or the pearls from the swine? pick at me, pick at me I wait on the table I'm waiting there still
Paradox of Progress by Jessie O’Connor
The lone, anorexic palm sends pleading messages in bottles. The stars read these letters and weep snowflakes that never make their way to hard gray Perpetual Paradise Don’t be scared. Tomorrow is here. Someone is coming. He holds a cold gust on a leash, by his side, drives into a tall edifice. He’s handsome; he adds to the aesthetic appeal. He walks past the shadow less trees And flies on micro-wings into the embrace of a steel faced woman Like a lost bee who swiftly thanks God and then Drowns into the last blossom for miles.
Joshua Kaplan Harmony
Veronica Diaz Slave Woman acrylic on cardboard 36‛x24‛
Destiny by Tamara Smith
God always had a plan for AFRICA the foundation of the world we conquered, dominated, and spread like sap. We fell from grace to be renamed toby and isabella to the master’s wrath and his wife’s scorn sick from ‚yessuh, mastah‛ and ‚yessuh, boss‛ high skies, round pale moons, black backs bent beneath. beat in the streets hosed down, worn out, washed up thrown in the back of buses, police cars, alley ways feeling like the child in Rockwell’s painting I have a Dream on every black lip and tongue. We can’t live the white man’s dream hiding in the shadows We were born free and meant to be DESTINY.
The Forgotten by Yaniris Negron
She returned to weeds three feet tall Around the storm-beaten house, a tire swing Swaying gently in the old salty wind, begging for company, Any company. Time trod in pasts, there were no Strolls in beginnings nor trails at ends, just the in-between of empty Spaces. Memories of a life, a love, a death, floating in The bitter-sweat ocean breeze. Rolling hills of sand, Abandoned piers, run-down shacks like lost dreams A glimpse of could-have-beens. â€šWill you remember me?â€› The whisper came from the receding waves. She wanted To say yes but she knew that this life was long Gone. There were shells scattered in the yard like dejected toys Carrying the faint smell of time past. She eyed them curiously Barely lifting her foot through each crushing step. The destruction of her past. She walked beyond the gate closing it behind her Took one more look back at that life, the one she had Cradled for so long and leaned forward. It was a life too Soon forgotten and its rush had left her Dry.
Rags of Rape --inspired by Varley’s ‚Bones of Hunger‛ by Trinh Lien
It started with the tears of the women after the militiamen swept through you gathered their tears crushed them into black pigment for ink dipped your pen in --to show empathy for their violation wrote the women’s stories on old rags --to unburden them from shame you smuggled them out bundled in an old box hidden in a passing truck you prayed for their justice, and several weeks later someone stumbled on it read and passed around from nation to nation until the rags ended up displayed on auction on Ebay cleverly remade into a ‚Rags of Rape Purse‛ marked ‚Handmade from Rwanda‛ the blinking red bullet ‚Buy It Now‛ a paparazzi followed celebrity was pictured with one fashionable consumers clamored to bid the box returned with orders for more you didn’t understand and couldn’t explain it to the women you had meant it as a call for justice, not a business proposal.
On the Water ‚Where has that boy of mine gone this time?‛ Crack! The man hit a fly ball. He was running, running, Santiago’s mother asked herself. Strands of hair fell lightly running on the hope that the outfielder would not catch the over her cheekbones. Her dark brown eyes drowned in ball, that he would make it to first, to second, that a scout worry lines. ‚He’s always wandering off by himself, never was watching, that he would score the winning run. He tells anyone where he’s going.‛ Santiago’s mother left her spotted home plate through his sweat-stung eyes and slid. house determined to find her son. He had been lonely for Crack! The man looked down at the bone jutting from his the past few years, after they left Africa. There, he would skin. He would never run like that again. His dreams of the watch the lions lying along the beach with the local boys. big leagues vanished through that hole in his skin. So, he Now he just wanted to be alone with his thoughts and turned to his other passion… these fresh feelings that were brewing inside of him. It was Santiago’s turn and he gripped the bat Dinner was cooking on the stove; it would be ready for her tightly. The ball flew fast and steady straight into the husband when he came home from his work with the catcher’s glove. Another strike, then another... One being, the force, the thing he loved more than anything in more strike out to add to his collection. He would tell this world: the sea. He was a fisherman through and his father he had made a run, and his father would be through. She had turned down the flames and dashed out pleased. He might even decide to take Santiago the door. fishing on Saturday if he The woman found “Santiago soaked up every word. The boy was in a good-enough her son with other mood. looked down into the clear water to catch a children, which she was Saturday came and not expecting. Santiago Santiago and his father rose glimpse of the fish they would soon bring could usually be found the sun. This would aboard to join the other fish they had caught before sitting on the pier, ensure that they would catch that morning. The water was turning gray, plenty of fish. Santiago watching the fishermen at work. He loved the way reflecting the clouds. Santiago saw the fish; made sure the bait was they were one with the prepared and that they had he could not imagine that these creatures water. He loved that their enough line for the day. act was an act of The water was would end up on dinner plates.” communion. For him, rough that day. It was these men had been allowed to catch these noble creatures tossing and turning as if in a restless sleep. ‚You must of the sea. He realized that they, as humans, were no better be careful, Son.‛ than the fish, that they were all equal in the eyes of God. Santiago was eager to please his father. His The woman was glad he was with the other children, father was wise, kind, and knowledgeable; everything and she knew he would be safe, so she hastened back home he hoped to be in the future. Santiago stared at his with the same eagerness with which she had left it. father regally casting the line out. Santiago sat on a bench, surrounded by the yelling and The day grew older and the sun rose in the sky shouting of boys and the giggling of girls. He hated it. Why and the clouds floated in overhead. Santiago looked had he promised his father he would play baseball this up at them and felt the anger of the powers in the sky afternoon? He had promised because his father loved in his bones. ‚Do you think we should head back to baseball and he wanted nothing more than for Santiago to shore, father?‛ love it too. Santiago did not want to disappoint his father. ‚Not now, my son. Do you see this string?‛ His father’s dream had been to make it big in the baseball Santiago nodded. ‚We have a hooked fish.‛ Santiago world and move to American to play in the big leagues. He soaked up every word. The boy looked down into the was playing on a hot, sunny afternoon. It was his turn at bat. He clear water to catch a glimpse of the fish they would was concentrating with all his intensity; all that existed was the soon bring aboard to join the other fish they had pitcher and the ball. The ball was coming at him, fast, racing the caught that morning. The water was turning gray, surrounding air molecules, trying to beat them to home plate. reflecting the clouds. Santiago saw the fish; he could
by Michelle Rubin
not imagine that these creatures would end up on dinner plates. ‚Must we kill it, Father? It is so graceful. I cannot bear to think of it dying.‛ The man was understanding. He used to have thoughts like this too. ‚Yes, Santiago. We must kill the fish. We will beg its pardon and butcher it quickly. The fish will provide food for many people over many days. This is how the world works. One beast kills another for food. Then another greater beast kills that beast. Life is a cycle. We just need to be careful that we do not take more than our share.‛ Although Santiago could not fathom a greater beast, could not comprehend the impact of Time and Age, he stared at his father in silent reverence. The clouds grew into thick masses. The world darkened around Santiago. He was scared, but he did not let it show. He wanted his father to think of him as a brave and worthy fisherman, as a man. The clouds leaked lightly at first and then burst with gulps of water, beating down on both the father and the son. ‚Father, please. I think it’s time for us to go in.‛ The rain was heavy now and the boat was rocking fiercely. ‚Patience, son, patience. This is the kind of storm that gets rough quickly and dies out as quickly. We must wait for the big one. It will soon be ours and we will go home celebrating.‛ Santiago trusted his father, but his stomach started to churn to the rhythm of the waves. The surf began to pull and push at the boat, twirling it around like a windmill. Water started to build and collect along the haul. ‚Take the water out, Son!‛ the man yelled over the roar of thunder and the howling wind. Santiago did as he was told. He was concentrating on doing the job well enough to earn the praises of his father. He was concentrating so hard in fact that he scarcely heard the faint yell of a man and the splash of heavy water. Santiago looked up. He did not see his father through the curtain of sea and rain. The boy’s eyes searched over the side of the boat, and he saw his father there, struggling, the large fish, the big one, baited beside him, the line tangled and stretched…
jerking at his father. He reached over the boat, grappling for his father’s hand. ‚Father! Father! Grab my hand!‛ His father slipped further out to sea. ‚Come back, Father.‛ His father’s forehead dipped into the deep. He was pulled under. ‚I need you!‛ The man had succumbed to that greater force, that being he loved, the unforgiving sea. Santiago never saw his father again. But, Santiago’s father had been right. As soon as the boy made it to shore, the storm had passed. He rushed to the market. He was soaked in salt and rain water; his eyes were flushed and swollen. ‚My father! My father! You must help me.‛ Everyone at the market knew his father well. A wave of growing concern enveloped the men. ‚Where is he, boy?‛ ‚Out there!‛ As Santiago pointed to the northwest, a half a dozen men set out to search for the missing man, who had been more than a simple fisherman; he was their friend. The boy ran home to his mother. As he recounted the details through his sobs, he slumped over her lap, limp at the thoughts and painful emotions that consumed him. They wept together for the man they had loved, for the man who had loved them. Santiago knew that he would have to inherit his father’s responsibilities and he vowed to inherit his father’s dreams. He stopped playing baseball, but every passing day he bought himself a newspaper just to read the sports section; then, he would curve all the pages along the folds and carefully prepare a wrapping of sorts to envelope a portion of the big fish, the elusive one, the one his father had meant to catch that fateful day.
Priscilla Urra Cemetery
Toot My Horn by Yesenia Rey
I was a little ball of flesh straight out of the womb and fresh my father was nowhere in sight it seems that he had taken flight He was a devil, a knave, a rogue, a scoundrel GOOD-FOR-NOTHING-HEARTLESS monster.
trading toys for boys.
even though I had a lack for smiling I always had a knack since June the 4th the day I was born I was never afraid to TOOT MY HORN!
Along with today’s sunrise has come my epiphany. My ‚Yes sir‛ has become ‚Oui monsieur‛ ‚Mom can you buy me a bike‛ became ‚When will you get me a car?‛ My future is on the horizon Mirroring my journey towards the Court.
I started Standing and Crashing and Falling and Crawling and Rolling and SUDDENLY Walking and Running and Racing and facing the joys of being a toddler. My mother had a reproving finger But I was armed with a heart melting giggle. I would sing on a stage as big as the world I had now perfected the act of TOOTING MY HORN! Slowly my childhood drifted away Along with the smell of cotton candy in ’98. There are now mountains on my chests And a hidden valley under my dress. Boys refused to look me in the face. Hormones: flowing, gushing, rushing through our bodies Making a fool of everyone.
Now my train of life rounded Miami With an ear popping, nerve wracking ‚TOOT TOOT‛ The train has changed directions.
The seat on the bench of the Supreme Court does not know the revolution to come: Justice YESENIA I am an independent, self-sufficient, indestructible, determined WO-MAN And I WILL make it because I have always been willing and able to TOOT MY HORN! Tomorrow will bring graduations, wedding bells, big bellies, laughter, tears, and class reunions. I will be proud to be Cuban. Proud to fight against the odds. Dare you get in my way? I will push you, shove you, make you want to cry.
I would NOT be overcome! I swung my hips and I licked my lips Only for the pleasure of seeing men act clownish.
Life will be my canvas I will make a masterpiece worthy of Michelangelo. And YOU will NEVER forget my face. I will be engraved in your mind.
My mirror NEVER lied. I had God given grace And an angel blessed face. The joy of being a conceited teenager:
I will TOOT MY HORN around the world I will make a name for myself And I will make my happiness a twentyfourhour DUTY!
Veronica Diaz Keep Out color pencil on mat board 36‛x48‛
Top: Veronica Diaz Childhood Memories mixed media on cardboard 24‛x48‛ Bottom: Veronica Diaz Sleep Mixed media on cardboard 24‛x48‛
Strange Fruit: A Response to Art by Judith Payen
You, young one, are oblivious to her dark past, to the dreary places she’s been. You are naïve, tickled pink, blind to all the horrors she’s seen. Child, you know no pain. Stay close to me, dearly beloved; pay no mind to the frightening ivory winds. I will protect you and keep those rosy cheeks bright. See? You will know no pain. Apple of my eye, my sturdy branches will keep you, the fruit of my womb, tart and delicately sweet. Sleep tight; you will know no pain. Poor baby, Beulah’s baby, let that hope burn deep in your eyes. Poor baby, Beulah’s baby, you are in for a cruel surprise. Soon, you will know pain.
Writer’s Block: The Bane of Writers World Wide There is nothing quite as frustrating as having writer’s block just hours before a deadline threatens to trample over me. Sure, I admit that the compulsive T.V. watching and the infectious music from my favorite bands playing on a nonstop loop may be a part of the equation to my measly concentration. But, of course, the real culprit to my inability to decode what the electrical impulses surging through my brain is straining to express is my lack of inspiration. I just can’t string a half decent sentence together let alone an entire essay on how two poets use stylistic techniques to convey the speakers’ state of minds. However, those essays are not half as creatively draining as those pesky college application essays. Unlike some troubled teenager given to melodramatic tantrums, I can’t think of a noteworthy moment in my life that constitutes a time when I had an unpopular opinion that resulted in ostracism. Unfortunately for me, I have lived a rather uneventful and sheltered life. If you condensed all of the major, dramatic, daytime-soap-opera highlights of my seventeen years into a single day and then simmered it with some spicy and succulent seasonings, then maybe I’d have something interesting to coherently rant about. After all, those powerful, life-altering Gatekeepers of the University Admissions Office do enjoy reading the occasional sensational essay written by the Helen Kelleresque girl who not only invented the panacea to all cancers, but also did it while blind and deaf. The only hindrance I can claim to have is—well, I have
nothing remotely comparable; I had asthma as a child. I’m quite cursed in the athletic arena. Oh, and I’ve got extremely poor vision and an antistrangulation reflex that causes my shoulder and neck muscles to tense up at the slightest touch from another being. I can’t exactly write an essay about those ‚obstacles‛ and expect to be taken seriously. Who would want to admit a scrawny girl on the basis of an essay all about her anti-strangulation reflex? Another area of great writing related stress is the one where the Scholarship Awarders of the United States occupy. Like many other studious seniors determined to round off thirteen years of schooling with at least another four years, I have gone online and sold part of my soul to a website devoted to finding scholarships and grants for somewhat desperate students like myself. I have scrolled down the list of generous money givers only to see scant opportunities. Although there are likely as many deep-pocketed groups out there as there are feral cats, I can’t seem to find one that I’d be or want to be a good candidate for. I’ve heard about this stupendously amazing scholarship offered by Bill Gates. According to a fellow nerdy friend of mine who may or may not be accurate, Bill Gates—the richest man ever—is willing to cough up enough money to pay for all the schooling I could ever humanly want to subject myself to:
by Trinh Lien
All of it! Of course, there’s a catch. I’d have to write Aside from my obvious under-qualification for about nine essays and be nominated by two people just these scholarships, I can’t bring myself to even attempt to to get my foot in the door. Nine essays! I can’t even con these would-be-benefactors into bestowing that kind of finish the two essays I have left to complete the two award on me even if I could somehow climb out of my college applications remaining on my list. So my writer’s block ditch long enough to paint myself in such a daydream of winning all of that financial security is rosy way. Those scholarships should go to the kids who just that, a daydream. have spent hundreds of hours doing something more That brings me to the selfless than tapping less demanding category of “If you condensed all of the major, dramatic, away at a keyboard scholarships won through complaining about daytime-soap-opera highlights of my seventeen something as trifling as a brilliantly crafted essays. These scholarships require at years into a single day and then simmered it perceived writer’s block. least a small mountain range What this boils with some spicy and succulent seasonings, then down to is the creative of community service to win. maybe I’d have something interesting to brick wall that every Let’s just say I’ve got an ant pile’s worth of commitment aspiring or professional coherently rant about.” to improving humanity. It’s writer will face sooner or not that I’m against feeding later on multiple the homeless and the orphans and poor children in occasions. There are just some good days when the planets some distant, famine-stricken land. It’s just that I’ve have seemed to align for several hours and everything is never gotten around to it. The pressure of academics inspiring. The heart warming giggle of the little baby has gotten in the way most of time. And even when I across the street can send you into a writing storm about did want to venture out and adopt a beach to clean up the miracle of life. Perhaps the smell of your mother’s or an animal shelter to volunteer at, I lacked the cooking can set forth the flood of sweet childhood transportation to do so. Both of my parents worked all memories of holidays spent gathered around family and of the time and my siblings have lives of their own to fine food. Or maybe the imbecile who had the audacity to attend to. Although I can drive now and have cut you off in traffic will be the beginning of a chip in the committed to service, the gas prices consuming my wall. Then the wall no longer becomes an issue; it’s just wallet are discouraging. Why must the cute little plain ol’ thin air. And who knows, maybe the wall itself homeless cats and dogs reside over forty minutes away will become the focal point in your next piece. from my house?
Wings by Michelle Garcia
I see the Sun Stretching its arms For a leaf and petal Shimmering with life. I see a little girl Gazing, Reaching, Touching One of these glittering pieces Of divinity Where trees and skies Open And the light floods through Almost blinding And the girl Tilts her head And seems to leap towards the sky. I see the hint and flitter of wings As I stand there Motionless And she floats away Into wondrous oblivion.
Megan McCurdy Eagle-Lighter
Automatic Poem by John Paul Gonzalez My execution / cabbage satellites overlook A solemn repose: crowned squids, phallic gods Central nervousness hemmorhages a beautiful view through the barbed window Kites struggle through the thunder and rain; indian picnicsbeneath the 3rd war rages around, scurvy dragons in the Garden of Delights Bleeding love from a stone Divine Defecation and the Invisible Hand, punch in process package punch out punch in punch
Chamber of Dreams by Rachel Milbauer
She casts herself into the bed (Her chamber of dreams) And listens to the darkness With cascades on her cheeks Heavy flow. The dead silence Shoots into her heart and She is still With him Hovering above her. She dares not breathe For fear she might lose sight of Him For fear the sky might break and fall Under her heavy breaths Shattering her only love. She scrapes the night sky And there He watches her intently On her bed Dreaming of what was Once theirs.
Lugo Avenue by Katherine Miles
Grandma’s Pall Malls Asphyxiated by mother earth’s sempiternal succulent soil crusty banana swings rot into radioactive fragmented ashes Acres of sacred foliage abducted Fields of concrete SmotherIng Every pore Every orifice Every hope ‚One more time!‛ echoes amongst the pavements She swings higher and higher streaking the omniscient skies with her jovial cries resonating through the sands of concrete time Supreme Smoking tiers of desolate concrete raiding the succumbed skies with their rusted robust metallic digits Volatile memories evaporate like seconds of unvisited rhyme Arrested by faith in order Hostage of smoking barrels Victim to calculated soundbites Prisoners of Mundane. and the buttery slice of moon Sinks into the marred illusions of skye Slipping away. living by the marrows of his teeth Diseased with despair. Desperation. and defeat.
Joshua Kaplan Manhattan Bridge
Trinh Lien Beloved graphite on paper 8.5‛x11‛
Dear Toni Morrison,
“After reading your novel, the colors in my house will never look as vibrant and the things that I love in this world will never seem big enough, not anymore.”
After reading your novel, the colors in my house will never look as vibrant and the things that I love in this world will never seem big enough anymore, not anymore. The empty, dull lives of slaves like Baby Suggs who ‚never had the time to see, let alone enjoy‛ simplicities, like colors, opened my eyes and made me acknowledge and appreciate all the beautiful aspects of the world we take for granted. I realized that I don’t have to suffer greatly to get excited over the color blue. It saddened me to think that the characters in the novel, in addition to being slaves, were being imprisoned by their own mentality of lost dreams, colorless walls, and a hopeless tomorrow. In fact, when you defined freedom as getting ‚to a place where you could love anything you chose – not to need permission for desire…‛ it redefined the way I thought about the word freedom and what it really meant to slaves. More than simply not having a master and being property, slaves saw their liberation as the means to loving without boundaries or limits and enjoying everything life had to offer without fearing what the white man would do. The tacit understanding between Sethe and Paul D as two ex-slaves suddenly feeling invincible once the physical weight of slavery was lifted beautifully depicted the sublime feeling experienced when one is free to live big and love bigger. Reading your book meant sharing many intimate thoughts with the characters in Beloved. Because the characters were all representative of the black population, it gave me a look at the world through the eyes of others. I was intrigued with Paul D’s insight on protecting yourself as a slave, especially psychologically, like when they ‚picked the tiniest stars out of the sky to own.‛ Again, you emphasize the everyday limitations that blacks internalized and adopted in order to survive, remaining detached from essential bonds, like family. Since one never stops to wonder how the personal lives of slaves were affected and infected by the inferiority that branded them, your novel gives realistic perspectives that reveal the raw truth about their shrunken life and suffocating conditions. The theme of past and present and memories and flashbacks was a consistent theme throughout Beloved, as you substantially demonstrate to your readers how much the past is a major part of a former slave’s everyday life. The surprising memories Sethe had of being milked, beaten, raped, of giving birth with the help of Amy, of being called an animal by schoolteacher, of escaping Sweet Home, and of being the source of the infamous slaying in the shed, all bring depth and substance to this woman who is essentially haunted by her past and trapped in these horrific memories. You even capture her frustration at being able to remember or ‚rememory‛ so much of her past that she even envies her husband, Halle, for losing his mind. The backbone of the novel is Sethe and her extraordinary fight for a right to live and love. Turning the past into the present with the reincarnation of her baby girl, Beloved, is the magical element of the piece that draws us in and symbolically reveals the chaos that persists when we do not make peace with our past. I feel that the character who was most flawed and yet most real was Sethe herself, who was utterly convinced that the best part of her was her children. The choice she made to end her daughter’s life was the one act that most marred her. This act not only made her a social outcast, but also, ‚outcasted‛ her from herself. She wanted a part of her to be pure and clean, yet she was dirtied by this act. In the end, it was essential for Paul D to tell Sethe the very thing she needed to accept: ‚You your own best thing, Sethe. You are…‛. These small words of wisdom end the novel with a hopeful and universal message: love yourself. Overall, your book taught me that the world, as heinous and destructive as it might seem, is always balanced with the good in life, the good that you make from the scraps you have. And I will never forget that for every schoolteacher, there is an Amy. Sincerely,
Insipid by Valentina Barrera
This bondage is not as sweet as it once was My P R E T T Y mouth frames insipid words you don't want to hear Shut up? Shut down Shut out How much more can you take from me? I am already
I am certainly not here for your whims at you beck & call in a love-induced coma tied up with the dollar store ropes (what, am I not worth the extra ten bucks?) But this bondage is not as sweet as it once was You attempt to control my words It's not romanticism It's a mockery I speak nothing (S I L E N C E) I merely steal your voice
Mary Rubin My Wanted Punch Out
Trinh Lien Mourning graphite on paper 8.5‛x11‛
Pop Who by Tamara Smith
Offers me all the change he can spare and doesn’t know who is there who is slippers and socks who is old westerns and Colombo whose hair is prickly sliver quills is in his room surrounded by TV guides and unworkable TVs all these useless novelties who salutes me with a ‚Hey, Grandma‛ in his native tongue whose wrinkles dance along his throat when he smiles whose hands shake as he speaks isn’t feeling well might not remember me next visit who used to make fun of my beads is fading is an accident waiting to happen is mad talk to him doesn’t fill pots to the brim is joking about where I lay who recounts his childhood days as if he were savoring sweet licorice is king-sized beds and pillow cases and cardboard boxes who shuffles in and out and in and out and in and out again like a rundown train is still offering me all his change for ice cream not knowing who is there who is there who?
9 months to liberation by Ivan Flores
9 months to liberation 365 dollars to desperation slow walk with a double stride pride sinks so low that, blow, wont, flow, another mistake 9 months to liberation 1 gram to condemnation 365 dollars to desperation slow walk for 2 or 1 depending on the alignment of mind body and soul desperation condemnation liberation stride for 2 soon for one then none as condemnation clouds the future
Scrounging for Safety by Michelle Cardona
The darkness of the forest scampers The bare winter trees groan Flee quietly. Hide. There they are, earthâ€™s children, trying To escape. Between trees, the Gestapo shoots a silhouette Of himself, and now marches into the voiceless ground, Now he is gone Completely, beneath compounded muck I crouch underneath a stripped tree, I do not shiver Or dare to speak. I freeze. The tree scrounges for its own safety, And I scrounge for mine.
When I Went Back to My Room by Mei-ling Rosario
My desk is cluttered, my clock ticking impatiently, tauntingly, sticky notes tease and twinkle along the wall my book chuckles and to my dismay my folder has gotten sick and thrown-up papers across the lazy carpeted floor the folder excuses himself and then saunters shut the carpet could care less â€šI miss you,â€› says the bed as he yawns into the cuddled sheets my hands know that the mountain of work is impassable the bed is flirting with my eyes again and my eyelids flirt right back a blatant disregard for me being in the room they are under the spell the ticks yell out threatening and the mountain grows distant as I fall into Tomorrow.
by Tamara Smith
For Under $10 I love to read. At the age of four, I proudly pronounced, ‚I wanted to learn‛ and was intent on doing just that. Growing up I was teased because I would rather read a book than play ‚red light, green light‛, ‚Red Rover‛, or other childhood games. I would stay up late at night, with a flashlight under the covers and read the remaining pages of a book I could not put down. My ‚unhealthy‛ interest in reading, as some would say, arises from my mother’s obsession with literature. She always tells me ‚a good book carries you into its world, but a great book keeps you there.‛ When my mother was single and free from the responsibility that comes with marriage (kids, taking care of the house, juggling between her work at home and on the job), she would plan an all day trip to visit the local Barnes and Noble Bookstore. She would order a cappuccino and hunt until she found the ‚perfect‛ spot, where there was enough sunlight to warm her arms as she sat in a corner almost enclosed by bookshelves on every side, but spacious enough to allow her to extend her legs. With her coffee in her left hand and a moderately sized book in her right, surrounded by the greatest and most influential writers of all time, she threw herself in the book of her choice and explored the realms of its world until reality set in and she had to attend to her various errands and tasks. She would indulge in this sweet guiltless pleasure as many times as she could, which was more often than not. To her reluctance, after acquiring a husband and a family, she has not had the time to feed the fire for her literary passion and relish in her favorite pastime. If I had ten dollars to plan a day’s escapade, I would take my mother to her beloved niche. She would not have to worry about what she would make for dinner or how many loads she needs to wash or if the dog has been fed. For once, it would be about what she would like to do, not what she has to do. I would order two cappuccinos at a $3.95 each for my mother and I and we would both hunt for the ‚perfect‛ spot. We would spend our day curled up beside one another with a good book in one hand and coffee in the other. We would peek over the covers of our novels with eyes brimming with the satisfaction that mouths can never speak, and then my mother would bare her entire face and wink while she mouths a ‚thank you‛. The value of the smile in her eyes and the expressions of ecstasy on her face would be worth much more than the ten dollars (with a little left to spare) I spend on ridiculously expensive coffee or the time spent in the bookstore. For her, it would be more than a trip to Barnes & Nobles; it would ignite her spark for reading and allow her time to, simply, relax. I know at times she gets tired, but she never complains about the tasks before her, but attacks them head on and finishes with a certain finesse that few ever master. I know how much something like that would mean to her. She deserves more than ten dollars could ever provide, but for her and me this small trip would be priceless.
“ The value of the smile in her eyes and the expressions of ecstasy on her face would be worth much more than the ten dollars (with a little left to spare) I spend on ridiculously expensive coffee or the time spent in the bookstore.”
Chant of One Fooled - inspired by Sylvia Plath’s ‚Mad Girl’s Love Song‛ by Carlos Salazar
I twirl away but memories still remain. I gaze on you and relive every moment. I sense it has been my worst blunder.
I’m swallowed by the dazzling ocean blue, And when your lids close I’m shut away and I twirl away but memories still remain,
I was bamboozled by your grab, rough, And kept blind with rags for eyes; (I sense it has been my worst blunder).
Absently you flaunt all helpless innocence, And leave me stripped of wings in weeping pain as I twirl away but memories still remain.
I fancied to be the treasure you claimed, But I see how untrue you truly were and I sense it has been my worst blunder.
I should have kept my heart safe and locked away, Until a truer one would come my way. I twirl away but memories still remain; I sense it has been my worst blunder.
This Made You Happy by Trinh Lien
You harnessed the sun to grow daffodils from your Prozac pills and gave the seraphims a new woe to shed tears for and this made you happy but when the old morbid whims returned like they always did, you marched down Lincoln and pick pocketed passing souls to inflate your own and you flew! Majestic and graceful like an eagle above the clouds, past the troposphere, within seconds of kissing divinity, and then SPLAT happened against a Boeing 787 so you fell back to earth worse off then before, but fortune had your back and you stumbled upon a magical spring promising uninhibited euphoria and greedily bottled the spell, charged a couple of hundred per pop in the hottest clubs and financed your thousand dollar a day habit bought off the seedy side of downtown and oh man did you feel groovy! Until someone stole your collection and the spring ran dry and you convulsed thinking you would die, but Luck was your friend and he took you in under his wing, nursed you back to health and then you met all kinds of shady personalities willing to shell out and you sold out and said you felt empowered, stronger than superman, but you got reckless and kryptonite knocked you down so you spiraled south and met Hades, now Hades was one cool cat and you guys chilled and he gave you a second chance and back up you went, but you didn’t learn a thing so you went back to stealing strangers and scrapping them for parts on the black market, but one day, one got feisty and you lost an eye, but an eye was an eye and you were too manic to care so you ran head first into Bacchanal’s orgy and got smashed! You thought life could not get any better and wished your friends Luck and Hades were there, too bad you didn’t read the disclaimer because now the debauchery was turning into a butchery and you were up next, so you screamed and raced away but the bastards were persistent and they snagged you, so you pleaded and begged and even gave reasoning a try but they were just too determined to have a rockin’ time and they shackled you up tight and gave you the blade and you spent your last moment alive wishing you weren’t so damn self-destructive but then you remembered Hades, and man was he one cool cat.
The Assist - inspired by Alicia Ostriker’s ‚The Exchange‛ by Alexandra Gentry
I am watching a man who walks on the Other side of the window, his powerful body erect, Dominant, his large shoulders staggering Like a Greek statue made to be revered. He does not need To look back. He faces Upward, solid like tangible divinity Strong, stern, white, his flawless Skin knows no shame. The oak trees Cast their vote. A colorless dove flutters Above the fearless mammoth-man. His children smile. If I break away, if he enters this house, Daring, dignified, he will defy my master And cast stones at his cheek. Skin, glistening, he will find my children, bring them back to me. When my master arises and sees that I am gone This magnificent white man, bits of sunlight Glittering on his shapely back, his muscular Arm will break my master’s neck, one crack for each insult Endured. My master will see the lion in his eye, His keen eyes incapable of fear, And I, having escaped, will run Away, through the cool forest, forever out of reach.
Together by Ivan Flores
‚Your drunk and disgusting Skid marks Jack Daniels All of you I’m crawling out of my skin‛ ‚I’m not drunk I’m hung over‛ ‚IT’S THE SAME DAMN THING‛ ‚It means I was drunk yesterday‛. She ran to her room Crashed Cried Changed I got another bottle Took the cap out with my teeth Another chipped tooth I spilled on my tattered undershirt Lined with cigarette burns ‚YOUR DISGUSTING‛ I spilled beer on myself ‚no I’m not, disgust is relative‛ the door slams I don’t feel alone.
Cliff Poker Street
Cliff Poker Fair
Top: Stephanie Paula Nono in his vineyards oil pastel on paper Detail 18‛x24‛ Bottom: Veronica Diaz Pollitos Acrylic on canvas 48‛x42‛
My Grandfather by Ella Arnett
At thirteen he started working With instinctive precision and ease, He sharpened his skill, His street smarts. He watched with a careful eye And learned The mix drinks in seconds People knew how to find him And intently, reverently he would deal out The remedies he sold Nudging the bottles seductively Across the smooth surface Before they could even ask for their Prescriptions His knowledge was unmatched And those he did business with Grew loyal Dependent on his unique brand of Advice. When he grew older still It was said that wherever There was bloodshed or a broken heart His service could be Counted on. Ever the workaholic Though the tools of his trade have changed As has his appearance My grandfather still Provides for the unhealthy The afflicted, the uncertain A passionate Pharmacist.
Spider by Michelle Borro
I watched as the spider spun Its web in the shadowy dark, Its legs working—conniving--- to Spin the silver silk Staying in the corner It laced its strands Weaved its web Finished quickly and disappeared Crimson rushed beneath my skin Desire welled to be Eight spindly legs of trepidation within That spider I may be, some day
trashcan lives by Chris Cano
the sun burns bright today and it’s a somber summer’s day ‘cause I think about the piglets in the factories who can’t see the light and won’t ever feel the warmth of a vibrant summer. it’s when you see the factories that you realize that everything is owned and that there’s a price tag on everyone. this is the way capitalism works: those who have no voice will be broken, used, and sold for profit it’s a somber summer’s day as I think about all the piglets in our factories.
A Fifteen Foot Commercial with Surround Sound by Melody Hernandez The sweet artery-clogging smell of buttered popcorn beckons you to the movie theaters, and you answer. You pay your 6 dollars and wade through the huddled masses. You grab your cavity-causing soft drink with that special someone and pick out your ideal seats: close enough to the big screen so you can spot every wrinkle on Tom Cruise’s forehead, but far enough so you won’t suffer any permanent neck and/or spine damage. You expect, nay, you deserve to watch a great movie in the ambiance only a movie theater can provide. The lights dim and you are ready to fully enjoy your movie-going experience. But instead of watching this summer’s blockbuster, you are assaulted on all sides by ads selling everything from Toyotas to the Winter Olympics. Your eyes are taken hostage by a 15 foot screen, your ears are hijacked by Dolby 5.1 surround sound, and you are at the complete mercy of a menagerie of companies, each trying to brainwash you into buying their latest product. It feels like torture now, but hopefully after about 15 minutes of this sensory overload you’ll develop a healthy case of Stockholm Syndrome and feel that sudden urge to go out and buy an SUV.
“Movies are in essence a fantasy, the pinnacle of centuries’ worth of storytelling techniques and traditions. Suspension of disbelief is required, something hard to achieve with the echoing of a commercial jingle still fresh in your mind.”
In the golden age of movies, back when a movie ticket would leave a hefty nickel-sized crater in your pocket and a ‚talkie‛ was still a novelty; a feature film would usually be preceded by a news reel. Many things have changed since then, but the tradition of having some sort of pre-show entertainment has remained to this day. Up until
recently, movie theaters would play sneak previews to upcoming movies twenty or so minutes before the feature film and only that. Present day movie theaters still do the same -except for the little fact that sandwiched in with every 30 second teaser trailer is a 60 second commercial trying to sell you a Nikon digital camera. Playing ads before a movie detracts from the escapism that audience members feel during a movie. Movies are in essence a fantasy, the pinnacle of centuries’ worth of storytelling techniques and traditions. Suspension of disbelief is required, something hard to achieve with the echoing of a commercial jingle still fresh in your mind. But movie theater companies still air these full length commercials in the hopes of augmenting their own cash flow. As of 2002, ticket sales have been steadily plummeting, with the one exception being the stellar 2004 movie year (which can be attributed to rising ticket prices and not actual theater attendance). By airing these commercials, movie theater companies may actually be deterring potential movie-goers instead of gaining more revenue. Why bother going to the movie theaters when you can stay at home and rent? Even TiVo allows you to fast forward through those pesky and persistent commercials. Why would you ever leave the comfort of your own home? That is a question movie theater companies such as AMC and Regal will struggle to answer as a growing segment of savvy movie patrons continue to learn that the 15-foot screen simply provides too much worthless bulk for their hard earned buck.
Care to liberate your captive mind? Fight for the cause by checking out www.captiveaudience.org. And remember only you can prevent commercial overdose.
Priscilla Urra Spinning Edge
Priscilla Urra Mistaken River
The Butterfly - modeled after Elizabeth Bishop’s ‚The Fish‛ by Michelle Cardona I caught a vibrant butterfly And held her in my hand Somewhat in the air, with my fingers Enveloping her large wings. She did not fly away. She hadn’t tried to fly at all. She stood in my palm Worn out and revered And uninviting. Here and there Her red wings rose up And went down With its pattern of rainbows, Stained and trembling with the wind’s weight. She was speckled With bottomless black holes That peered into a dismal future. I looked into her eyes Or what I thought were her eyes Deeper, and darker than my own Full and filled With an overcast of floating rhythms. She moved, but not to fly from me. --It was as if to catch The daylight on her fine fluttering wings. I respected her frail form, The apparatus of her antennae, And then I saw That from her lower body --If you could call it a body Grim, tired, and limp, Hung like old drapes, Worn and underappreciated A dark patch stretched Where she had been touched, Two larger smudges Like sand prints And she still captive in my prison-palm Suddenly rose Like a venerable flag Torn and dithering With the strength of two gods Emanating from her thin body. I watched and watched And triumph topped The glowing skies Where a sign of promise spread Into the clouds -until everything Was a flutter, a flutter, a flutter! And I witnessed the butterfly soar.
My People, Mi Gente by Stephanie Maestre
I. Felicidad i dance gracefully la cumbia from lavish little havana rich with living laughter, white and black dominoes swaying, playing to the rhythm of the busy calle ocho, filled with n.w.’s mi hermano, te la comistes ‚my brother, you ate it‛ and guava pastries barranquilla’s excited green tropical lands, exotic glistening seas, rejoicing in living with their ¡eche! ¡ajo! ¡no joda! jubilant jokes triumphant– the other version of my land mi costa i will also take miserable malignance, cold-bloodedness exhausted poverty – a growing greed that disrupts la felicidad of my lands let it drown deep in the blue-black sea where it can’t come back where i am a colombian cubanita clutching my colors – blue, red, yellow, white – my blood, my roots to plant them deep in the heart of the wet earth where they can sprout, branch, bloom, loom in love and liberty
II. Orgullo Pride is to step onto the orchid-white square block Pride as i curve into a starting position, curled like an upside-down U Pride is to be born ready like the black uakari the pool is my flooded forest where i swim ¡Representa! to intrude ¡Representa! to protrude my hispanicness rushing and roaring kicking my american feet dive! swim! win! sinking into the vast water victory divine
III. Libertad now as I swim unyielding mass I am steadfast gonna make papi proud from California to the New York islands my heritable avidity no whether or not I’ll weather the severe tornadoes, The heavy hurricanes hurling at the foot-heels of my people and plunge through the solid wet walls sprouting feisty wings into a foreign scintillating sky soaring with newly formed wings, for P. A. Z. for my people Mi Gente
To End by Angela De Armas They wink and tear up Weeping The glistening drops dangle Down Fighting the fall Finally dry The stars hesitate â€Ś And wipe their eyes The meadow waves and beckons And light hides From what was A sigh ensues As the world whirls a welcome I sigh in turn Resigned to welcome The world.
P O R T F O L I O
Angela De Armas Untitled acrylic on paper 12‛x18‛
Trinh Lien Mountain Landscapes white clay and glaze
! control Freak Take back these scars. you`ve inflicted −ihidenothing− Inspect my poignantly soggy corneas. Critique my lurid breath of despondency. Scoff at my sheared scalp. Degrade me to the Marrow.
-Or Lack Thereof-
craving accursed venomous syringes chemical romances eat through my corroded veins Nothing can revive my flatline. Take me by these frigid tube infested hands. Give In. Give Out. Give Up.
Spirit absconded from this Carcass in which i am imprisoned technically surviving; according to these absolute incongruent omnipotent plastic contraptions
blatantly wishing upon the obliteration of my soul existence imposturous. transparent. commas of empathy. drooling down your shameless mask fail to ensconce your lying eyes false words don’t irritate Your Throat like the way They char the Devils Insides ‚A jellied chest and jolting paddles‛ No time. No Will. No Way. Reverent Mister Rigor MORtis beat you to this lost cause.
hallelujah prescription. The ding of the iron clad elevator Stench of senile bodies slowly decomposing The blurs of pacing, racing white coats Squeaking of rubber soles of the strategically patterned tile floor time wait kills me if time could be faster if time could be rewound Name so dreaded and sinfully desired chairs perpetually imprinted with human waste embalmed in abandon never relieved even after Name is called and Stand Up. Prove life still lingers crippled lights flickering in the left cornerâ€”aching silently, consuming the pitiful grey silt of the omnipresent Ceiling epileptics cringe, crumble and collapse Forest Green faux plant, knows all She wilts with pity for us all burrowing Her face in the humiliating corner Sighing to the the trafficking gurneys and sweat ridden green ensembles posing as the uniform of a soothsayer soaked in Reality behind those green caps and masks I see no shadows through the dim and dusk of your souls everything merges to O N E.
The Door never ceases knowing no holiday here protected by sheets of metallic film eying us stalking His prey licking His splintered lips as His growing appetite for human suffrage rages for these grounds are impregnated with mortal disasters Name is called like a bell prior to a Pavlovian feast salivate: with open arms and a hollow chest For this Name. Familiar Name of Mine Echoes Immortally. The hellacious metaphor of a Tongue constricting around by waist Look back Such a damned sighting. Surrendering to the inevitable Luring me to the back of his mucus-lined throat Transformation: Limp my Vital tubes, carnivorously ripped out of my bruising flesh Break the Cycle: I dare You another ding of the iron clad another tear shed another IV bag famished Name called ridden in wheelchair laggardly rolling Down the Tunnel of No Return.
Break Out bolt through the cobwebbed slightly cracked door like Zeus’ parched, dry, ponderous lips Sprinting down the venom-glossed lonely roads vacant, dimly lit by the erratic road lights glistening pavement shocks of my feeble body shin Splints broken hearted drowning in excruciating pain calves burning like gasoline under a Lit Match
cant look back pumping my arms failing about haphazardly sweat embalms my decrepit body Fear stings down my back Terror rolls down my cheek Hope cascades down my engaged fists past the horizon frigid body
My calloused dirt laced bare-feet shatters the silence echoed by your lagging behind, quickening like my plangent heart
torn soul lost incentive surrender what is left of my mindbodyandsoul your pace ceases i feel your humid malicious breath on the base of my battered neck What more do you want? these damned tremulous knees Smack----the pavement one last look up at Your ruthless coal set eyes thrusting my debilitated, diseased knobby knuckles down this eroded gagging throat regurgitating your conquered possession --the hancock of the Devil— My exploited four-chambers. your perverted laughter --echoes immortality— perpetually burning my icy flesh six feet under.
Wreck on the Rocks his back facing A world inconsequential
The jays breached on those sliding Boulders Sigh with inebriating indifference.
Nested in Divinely Sacrilegious Acquired Cathartic Ritual: Burlesquing his state of sobering tolerance. ‚It is not five o`clock Anywhere.‛ His neck−Girth of a prehistoric Oak Bellows With supercilious indignation ‚ Civility and merit are not analogous‛ Six Feet and Three Leathery Inches of Solemn Presence Solidifies his unprolific case. Naïve ascetic bystander intervention: Caustic Pseudo-Imperial Moralistic Megalomaniac Sans a gram of Altruism Feed your needy ego else where. Amidst Active parasitic Turbulance; Baneful Sea of Self Deconstruct. He Wanes. this is his place a place to himself forever lost. ‚Another round, On the rocks.‛ Mastering the Lucid art Of Loss.
‚God, Losing comes easy.‛
Bottom: Fun at the beach conte crayons and pastels on paper 14‛x17‛
Top: Skewed conte crayons and pastels on paper 14‛x17‛
The Tramp mixed media 14‛x17‛
Marriage of Ophelia and Icarus A daughter drowns in the river of Forget-me-nots, memories, surrendering Her beauty and innocence to the madness Six feet underwater. The son, disillusioned by dreams the happily ever after that seems always slightly out of reach, His wings ascending to the bright light brighter, too bright fluttering into fits of fire.
Or will they love Only to burn like moths in the line of fire.
If they join for better or worse would she quench his fire would he quell her dry
Your Body Came From Ash Ophelia, Why did you drown? The forget-me-nots will never remember your Beauty, will not whisper to the poppies to let You wake from the deep. You could have been a queen, Had your Hamlet. Instead you surrendered to the Earth; You came from ash and to ash you sunk. You made women pansies, modern-day Whimpering leeches, Mastering attention from men only long enough to Drown themselves in the madness You created. Cover your breast, Bottle those tears! Woman, S T A N D U P! Dry the salt and stop frivoling in petty flowers.
The Weary Star Gazer I am weary and my middle finger on my left hand has a blister from writing. It is 8 o’clock at night, and I sit outside on the porch with the December breeze rustling the pages of my black leather-bound journal. The red sparkly ink, my holiday trademark for hand-made Christmas cards, is standing out on the crème colored custom-printed personalized paper that my journal encases. Everyone loves my Christmas cards. I take a fresh breath of air, which is salty from the rain. Whenever it rains the salt mingles with the humidity on the Florida coast. I am only ten minutes away from the grandeur of the Atlantic. The thought of that makes me smile. Many memories are engulfed in that vast expansive water. I hear my puppy Rory scratching eagerly on the inner wood of the French doors. I decide to go to her before she ruins the curtains; they were just fitted and sewn last week, right on time for our annual Christmas party. I open the door carefully, so as not to let Rory out. I turn off the lights on the porch and the brightness from inside radiates – I squint. It always looks like Jesus is coming; the lights are far too bright. I wonder about the electric bill and the caterers and how long it will be before we take down decorations, as Rory wags for my attention. Her tender brown coat shines in the light like a golden halo; she springs towards me. I know that if I put out my arms she will leap into them, she’ll let me carry her like a baby, let me cradle her to sleep; it was always like this. She’s an angel. I bend down on the way to my room to pick up a piece of pine that seems misplaced along the
delicate, white-tiled floor. I hate the tile. My parents work late and my sisters don’t clean, and I am particular about how I must have the floor; it has to be immaculate. Perhaps it is because grandmother always told me that a clean home makes for a happy home. Once in my room, I ease onto my bed. It is swimming with lace-adorned soft pillows and has an extra-fluffy feather lining. I waited two months for Bloomingdales to deliver the brown and pale blue Kate Spade sheets in from a backorder before redecorating my bedroom. But even its comforts cannot quiet the suffering of sleepless nights. I miss my beloved. I glance over at a picture of the two of us on my desk. I look happy. It looks radiant in the shiny, polished Tiffany & Company frame he gave me for our two year anniversary. I think every young woman should be as lucky as to have love or at least the still shot. I stand up to look at myself in the mirror. I’m more pale than normal, but I am not sure why. I cover my face with blush, even though it is late. I think that if I’m kidnapped in my sleep, at least I’ll have a nice flush. My curls are far too unruly. Alex has been gone for a month. I put on Chap Stick. At least my lips will be soft for his return. I close my eyes. I hear a knock at the door and Rory growls and her pearly whites reflect the light flooding from the mini-chandelier hanging above my bed. I put on a thin sweater and stroll into the hall. Alex knows where my spare key is. I gawk awkwardly as he stands there with his beautiful smile and a small robin’s egg blue box with a white ribbon wrapped in his arms. He embraces me tightly and I feel that I don’t need to breathe.
‚Where did you come from, stranger?‛ My mother stands stoutly below the doorway to ‚I missed you, angel.‛ my room as I clutch the charm bracelet Alex I look into his blue-green eyes and am gave me. reminded of our outings on and in the ocean‚I don’t know mother.‛ boating, snorkeling, jet skiing, diving. I kiss him ‚Holding it won’t make him come back passionately, longingly, you know. I don’t even whisper ‚I love you‛ into “I’m thinking that if I keep the star know why you kept that his ear and let his tight, thing after what he did to close it might grant me a wish. I’m round curls brush against you, leaving like that thinking that it’s funny how when without a word and then my newly-rose-flushed cheeks. you’re hurting, you can make anything having the nerve to break ‚I’m so glad you’re things off after so long.‛ seem real. I’m thinking that even back, when did you get She dares not move. through the open maple Venetian in?‛ She looks so firm along ‚Six o’clock. I the lining of my door. blinds I cannot see the stars.” would have been here ‚You don’t do that sooner but I had to pick up a little something.‛ to people you love. Stop sulking. Real women ‚I was worried something had happened.‛ don’t sulk.‛ ‚You worry too much.‛ I kiss her goodnight, the only agreement I He knows me so well. For the first time in can muster and wipe away the tears. My fingers weeks I smile. dabbed with powder and water and salt feel like We walk over to the couch, leaving no smudges of clay. I flick off the light and crawl space between us. He still has the box. into sleep, placing the bracelet under my pillow ‚I have something for you.‛ as I always did. I’m thinking that if I keep the He hands me the blue box; I love silver star close it might grant me a wish. I’m thinking from Tiffany’s. I unlace the white bow carefully, that it’s funny how when you’re hurting, you opening the box. Inside, there is a velvet pouch; can make anything seem real. I’m thinking that its bluish-green enticing. I sink my fingers into even through the open maple Venetian blinds I it and remove a star-shaped diamond charm. I cannot see the stars. I know it’s childish, but I had a feeling that I knew what it was; he always hate being alone. I call out for Rory in the dimly brings me charms for my bracelet. lit room; she comes over and I wrap her in my ‚Kristina, why are you crying?‛ arms and rock her lightly. I am weary, but then again I suppose all real women are.
White Light - inspired by Virgil Suarez’s ‚In the House of White Light‛
When my grandfather died of leukemia, my grandmother veiled her face with a smile, for my father and his twin sister.
she took up two jobs, being abandoned by my GreatGrandparents’ money; which never really wanted her anyway. bro ken hearted, penniless, she worked daily, 8 hours as a secretary and 8 in laundry; got paid ½ as much as men, and ate yucca, boiled, for weeks on endIt was all she could afford. my father and his twin sister spent that summer with their aunt and uncle, my Grandmother returning daily, bro ken, to the tin house in the small village of Camaguey, in Cuba, alone. one night she ran to my grandfather, his ashes immersed in the Atlantic, and standing on the beach crying, she stripped naked and leaped into the frigid water. shuddering, she floated, a r m s ou t , belly up, howling, crucified by her own pain; the loss of her soulmate & her country falling to communism; salt, tears, and ocean becoming one. desperate and yet somehow very deserving, she looked up at the stars, and cooed ‚D i o s Mio, has un milagro!‛, My G o d grant me a miracle-
...The stars suddenly handed themselves closer... She raised her hand up to the heavens and plucked one star from Godâ€™s canvas, then two, then more, placing them around her like Stepping Stones. she rose gracefully, mesmerized, walking on water like J e s u s, the starsâ€™ Glittering Magnificence illuminating her unwavering homebound path.
placing the bouquet of stars on the table, she blew each one like a Dandelion; their particles turning into a flurry of glowing dancing Butterflies, Fluttering in swirls around her.
once on the grounded beach she plucked more stars, creating an ethereal bouquet of Bright beauty, as she whisked back to her lifeless tin village house.
She laughed wildly as they purified her; enlightening her, enveloping her in light, giving her hope for a new beginning; fanning her pain just long enough for her to understand that in the end we all become one free of sorrow, anxiety, politics, complexity; surrendering to the simplicity of Pure, Brilliant, Radiant White L i g h t.
A Daughter’s Resemblance I have always been the daughter that closely resembles my father. My entire life at parties people have evaluated my twin sister and older sister and then examined my features to reach this conclusion. My mother would shrug when they would say ‚Oh Maria, she looks nothing like the other two‛ and confirm with ‚Well, she looks just like her father.‛ My father would wink at me and raise his wine glass my way, as if toasting my mere existence. Clearly, I was daddy’s pride and joy, though I felt badly about the fact that I was not a boy. After having my older sister and trying for four years to conceive a boy, my parents struck gold…with twin girls. When I was older, I imagined what my mom may have said upon hearing the news. I envisioned her swelled up like a blowfish on bed rest echoing, ‚Story of my life.‛ She always said that.
Nonetheless, bearing her news like a mythological goddess, my mother told everyone in the family that twins were a surprise: something you never knew you wanted until you got. Meanwhile, my daddy, the only heir to the Pazos family name, realized his namesake was deteriorating as he painted the future nursery pink while my mother made arrangements to have my grandmother- my mothers’ mother whom my father hated- come and stay with us in Georgia for a year to care for the two new additions. Poor daddy. I realized the potential of being the favorite at an early age. Both my parents deny that they participate in favoritism; the three of us girls knew how things really worked. While they said they loved us all the same, which very well may have been true, they liked us all differently. My daddy liked me more. As a child I would tag onto him like white on rice, always wanting to visit his work or climb on his shoulders and pretend to fly in the backyard surrounded by the five acres of dogwoods that my father’s job afforded. My twin sister would sit rocking with my mom on the second floor deck as I laughed wildly, my daddy spinning me around and around on his shoulders until I saw four people rocking on the chair instead of two and felt like a pinwheel. It was great fun. My father never had the heart to punish me; I was the only one with his nose. My mother would never hit me, but she would put me in the corner with my nose to the wall and draw a line in red pencil when I misbehaved. I had to stand perfectly still, statuesque for five minutes, which was approximately 3.73 eternities for a five year old. Every move was an additional minute, approximately 0.746 parts of that eternity. My father would see me there, my nose to the wall, and plead, ‚Maria, por favor,‛ please, and my mother would shorten my sentence – only two minutes. What a wonderful, wonderful man.
At a frail eight we moved down to Florida to be closer to my family, and my dad hated it. He loved my mom, so when she said she missed the entire population of Cuba that we appeared to be related to, we packed our bags and relocated. Unfortunately that meant downsizing to a different quality of life, where five acres became ½ an acre and a swimming
“Nonetheless, bearing her news like a mythological goddess, my mother told everyone in the family that twins were a surprise: something you never knew you wanted until you got.”
pool had to compensate for a porch. So, instead of flying in loops around my father and stretching my arms towards the tall tress, my daddy let me leap from his shoulders in the deep end of the pool. He really tried to make me happy, my daddy.
the couch watching television. My dad would come home, scoop me into his arms and place me in bed. He’d sing the same song he sung when he was painting my nursery, the one his father had sung to him and his fathers’ father - the fishy song. ‚Aya en el fondo del mar salado, un pescesito estaba bailando…,‛ down there in the deep salt ocean the little fish was dancing. Although the song was marred by his deep, rusty Spanish accent and his breath smelled like cigarettes and peppermint, it was perfect. I always made fun of it, but in secret I loved it. I suppose I treated my father the same way.
He’d also sing to me. At night I would wait up for him to come home from work and fall asleep on
By fourteen I was a know-it-all, with no time for daddy. I had grown into his features; his nose, then his eyes, now his skin. All I had from my mother was her height. It was middle school and my daddy became my dad, as my southern drawl melted away in the Florida sun and I was sizzling in the discovery of embarrassment. It was not cool to call your male parental unit (as they became referred to in middle school) your daddy. In fact, when I was upset he was referred to as ‚father dearest.‛ The older I got the more he worked, his company was expanding and there was work to do. Instead of coming home at five he came home at eight and then at ten. I was already too busy wish scholarly and extra curricular activities, so I didn’t really care if I saw him or not during weekdays. On weekends my mom chauffeured my friends and I around town, to lunch and shopping and movies, so I was effectively distracted. The only day my father never worked was Sunday. He still had that in him from Cuba. Sunday was church, the Lords day. Nobody messed with el dia de Dios. You did nothing on Sunday. My dad was as stubborn as ever.
Somehow the years merged with change and by seventeen my world cracked open. Already in high school and waltzing around like a prima-donna, my father arrived home at five o’clock one day… ‚Did you get fired? Because senior year is expensive.‛ As you age, your innocence slips away and you embrace the idea of needs. And in my world, you needed a prom, and senior brunch, and grad-night and yearbook. ‚Ay que malcreada,‛ what a brat. I never thought to ask him if he felt well, but then again my father was my iron man. The only time he was in the hospital was for our births and then that one time he fell while inspecting a four foot roof, and landed on his feet like a cat, but startled and surprised. The only problem had been that he landed on an open
tool box, and a long tapered nail went right through his ankle. Even then, once discharged from the hospital on crutches, he said that ‚los hombres no usan palitos de caminar,‛ real men don’t use crappy wooden sticks to walk with. Que Cubano. He took four days off and returned to work with a limp. My dad always won his battles. It wasn’t long after that that my father began to arrive early, everyday. I was surprised he was not engulfed at his desk in over-time work, a slave to his American dream. I was also surprised when our ‚onlyin-emergency‛ relatives began to call; every family has them, those few relatives who only phone in time of extreme distress or death. They always asked me how my dad was, which prompted questions. My father… my father, of course was absolutely well. Until, the day my mother and father sat us down for our first and only family meeting. My mother did the talking. Her voice was dry like the well of her soul. ‚Girls, we have something to tell you.‛ I did not have the time to listen because something kicked in and shut out her words. I inhaled loudly and could hear my heart beat through the cotton, as if it were a mumbled desperate screech. There was this sudden lump in my throat; I thought I had swallowed the world and could not wash it down. My head thumped and my cheeks flushed like a child in the Georgia snow. I closed my eyes to something scratching from the inside like nails and I became an ocean. Water, flooding, flowing—I was drowning. I saw trees, my daddy’s shoulders,
“I closed my eyes to something scratching from the inside like nails and I became an ocean. Water, flooding, flowing—I was drowning.“
porches, bedtime, nights, and little fish dancing to my father’s voice, lost in a swirl of cigarette and peppermint. How could his lungs give into the darkness? How could they not protect him?
In months, my daddy disintegrated before me. His jolly Cubanaso manliness surrendered to the coughing fits, the doctor visits, and the disease that clung to the back of our minds. The priest from church came to the hospital at my daddy’s request; it wasn’t even Sunday. My mother gathered us around her. The priest moved to the foot of the bed. ‚Do you renounce Satan and all his forms and believe in Jesus Christ…‛ My father never cried. The priest, God, and the world seemed lodged in my throat, and I was waiting to exhale. *
There were colorful Mylar balloons with well wishes from my family. The model sailboat my father built when he first married my mother was drooped sadly on the table to the left of his bed. Its white flag
perfectly timed intervals. My father had a private room with a bathroom, his friendly, brown leatherworn slippers, which he owned for as long as I could remember, sat next to the bed waiting to be used again; just like they did at home. For the first time the leather appeared dull, almost lifeless as if finally giving-in to time. I started crying uncontrollably. ‚I’m so sorry I wasn’t a boy.‛
was raised in defeat and anchored in front of the machines that pumped and beeped noisily, constantly in
Where did that come from? I had wanted to say ‚I love you.‛ My father chuckled lightly; his chest heavy with wires and tubes. ‚Ya Kristina, ya, mi amor‛, enough Kristina, enough my love. ‚You know I love you… you have my nose.‛ His thick Spanish accent seemed soothing. He pulled me closer to him and I laid my cheek against his broad chest, trying to salvage his heartbeat, somehow bottle it in my mind, my face, my skin— remember his scent, his hair, his nose, his breathing. I inhaled, making memories over his white, crisp, cotton blankets. ‚I love you daddy‛ was all that I could manage as I closed my eyes to the stinging of salt; an ocean that was beginning to surround us. My head was spinning. I was nauseous. My father whispered the song he used to sing to me, ‚Aya en el fondo del mar salado, un pescesito estaba bailando…,‛ and the notes in his voice formed the fish in my ocean. I will always be the daughter that most closely resembled my father.
Georgia Rain I am 5 feet 2 inches, an original Georgia Peach, Short, round, sweet; current Floridian, Cubana with heavy brown eyes that recall Red clay, Georgia rain and Cobb County fairs, nights where I sat TALL on Daddy’s shoulders, 6’4 inches closer to the Stars, the carnival FIREworks stretching a Canvas of bright black beauty
In a land where y’all accompanied BoUnCy brunette pig tails and Colorful Oshkosh overalls little did I know that by 5’2 my luscious, BoUnCy brunette piggies would be Slaughtered for Shiny, Tamed, Jet-Black locks; Miami palm trees and schooling consuming American Beauty Splendor, kidnapping the southern Belle inside me; replacing now-embarrassing southern drawl for OVERpriced denim and Well-to-do social mingling at places my Father works OVERtime to afford his Short, round, sweet peach. No more imaginary friends; No more Chewin’ the fat; No more roaming acreage, farmland, Secrets hidden in the clouds, dogwoods or RedCheckered-cloth picnic blankets on hot summer daysN o longer carefree, careless, N o room for simplicity, child…
I am 17 going on 33trappedBetween my inner-child-country-gal and Adult ponderings: Fate, Policy, Wealth, Wisdom, Poverty, Diversity, Payments, Family, Authority, LegalityThe Temple of Towering Responsibility, L o n g i n g
for the time when I was 3’2’’, simpler, poorer, Where Laissez-Faire and Louis Vuitton were Foreign Words, Foreign Worlds, Where Wealth was measured by what you gathered from Sunday Service, Looking homely and living humbly was acceptable And Wisdom was the stories coming from the 80 years of life that Sat R o C k I n G away on The front porch singing Amazing Grace watching the Georgia R A I N.
Editor’s Note: We began our voyage into SAeSense with a faint idea of what would come our way. Conceived from the need to capture the imaginative essence of SAS using our senses, SAeSense emerged. Boulders of abstractions and uncertainties yielded to the waves of time revealing the treasures in the sands of SAS held in your hands. We have shed the façade and penetrated the skin of the everyday ordinary to reach the personal rawness and fantastical gossamers waiting in the crevices of familiar minds and souls. We ebbed from the social bleakness of ‚9 months to liberation‛ and flowed to the progressive feminism of ‚Toot My Horn.‛ From the tragically bitter ‚Strange Fruit‛ to the light hearted Writer’s Block: The Bane of Writers World Wide. From the wounded introspections of ‚Chant of One Fooled‛ to the inspiring cultural pride of ‚My People, Mi Gente.‛ From the irate ‚!control Freak‛ to the sweetness of ‚Georgia Rain‛ that washes us back to shore. Although this odyssey has left us travel-stained and bare-boned again, it has given us an experience worth holding on to. Thank you for daring to venture forth with us into the unknown, the novel, and the fantastical with your senses wide open. -- Trinh Lien
This magazine was made possible through spectacular contributions from a wonderfully talented student body & the unflinching support of our amazing teachers… Thank you.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Dr. Melissa Patrylo Mrs. Kathy Glickman
Mr. James C. Coats Mr. Tim Kelly
You were our ship, our compass, our wind, our sail…
Trinh Lien Editor-in-Chief
S T A F F
Jessie Oâ€™Connor Executive Editor
Stephanie Maestre Layout & Design Editor
Kristina Pazos Public Relations Manager
Valentina Barrera Visual Arts Editor
Ivan Flores CD Coordinator (Left to Right) Front to Back: Jean Rodriguez, Michelle Rubin, Melody Hernandez, Mary Rubin, Jared Leichner, JP Gonzalez, Kat Miles, Megan McCurdy, Patrick Kaimrajh, Ella Arnett.
Belkis L. Cabrera Sponsor/Advisor
S O U N D S Track 1: Long Live the Queen Track 2: Ghost of the Railroad Track 3: Postman Track 4: All’s Well That Ends Well Track 5: Sazareishi Track 6: Evil of Your Love Track 7: Moment of Fulfillment Track 8: Stella’s Stellar Moment Track 9: Rain and Pity Track 10: Joey Vee
of S A e S e n s e
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine & at last you create what you will.” -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
A School for Advanced Studies production - a high school literary magazine...