TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE PEAL BOARD Fall 2013
Megan Do & Lily George
Claudia Feng & Linh Tran
page 4 Megan Do & Lily George Editor’s Letter page 5 Hillary Aristotle Painting
page 6-7 Davis Leonard “Honey”
page 8 Alice McCrum Magnetic Poetry
Eunice Cho & Grace Song
Humor Editor Alice Ju
June Han, Zoe Meyer, and Jessie Yeung
Nick Grounds & Paul Lei
UNDER THE COVER
page 9 Majestic Terhume “Looking Up” page 10-11 Sohil Patel Dance Photo
page 12-14 Jessie Yeung “DC Cases” page 15 Amanda Li “Piano Girl” page 16 Emily Moore Portrait page 17 Shirley Cheung Painting page 18 Ariel Kim “Grease Stains” page 19 Ariel Kim “Byul”
Painting - By Hillary Aristotle
HONEY By Davis Leonard
Honey I love you but I just can’t smile. I’ve eaten apricot days for you, I’ve pulled wet screamers in your image from my sobbing thighs. I’ve pressed milky fish into folded wheat Squares for you, bound it all in crushing plastic. I’ve carved the forests of your scalp And fought the neon jungle With elbows and wallets, To find for you the lightest, sharpest knife to do The cutting. Honey I help you But I cannot smile. I’ve sliced the goosebumps off birds, Pushed them into the oven, not screaming. For you, I’ve trembled fingers, shut the lights and not said A word. I’ve scrubbed dried death from behind ears, Wrapped growing shriekers in sandpaper towels, Pushed them off to piss-bleached bed.
I’ve wiped running pus from noses, held blood-sticky hands And cut triangle after triangle of folded slaughtered Meat, while straps dug in to my time-sopped breasts. I’ve stared, later, into the starlit mirror while you slept, And my body is no longer mine. The pouch that drips from my ribs is theirs, The marks that wrap my hips and the lines That fold themselves, grizzling me, My face, my silvering hair. Do not run your fingers up my skin as I lie Too warm and away from you. The freckles are long faded. Instead, see me on the street and “hey baby” me. Make me swing for a moment my remembered long hair, Trick me to thinking I am still worth. Lie to me. Honk at me, whistle me something, Hey baby me, say hey to me, just stop me and tell me To smile. I was never pretty, But I was part of things.
MAGNETIC POETRY By Alice McCrum
By Majestic Terhume
behold inspire mystery beautiful whisper s every woman has a timpani heart my rhythm is sweet love fast spirit be quiet passage is rest people can haunt me between grace and suffer ing as though I almost love you love live compose more never appear almost simple ism the salt red lichen wander ing mortal universe quiet ly beneath an ancient winter lake they question the noble warm moon thick fruit has rápid time with wither open up in full bloom for the world always savor the whole salmon the infinite love experiment is no old soul am bitter she is electricity and I am her ghost makes me tremble in my decimal she my spine
Last night I discovered my home. Not really discovered, it had always been there. More like unearthed. I am almost disheartened that my realization had always been so easily accessible, but I will take what I can get. That’s all I can do, isn’t it? From the ages of four to ten, my dad would pick me up on Fridays from school. Neither of us were much for conversation, so the car ride to his house consisted of developing thoughts and muted Metallica songs. Furthermore, my head would often uncomfortably angle upwards. The brightness of the world made my pupils dilate, and I liked that feeling. Sometimes my eyes would get caught on the everlasting power lines, but the blue behind meant so much more. Last night, at seven, I felt wrong. There was a need to be alone, something I seldom am anymore. Yet doing laundry in the refuge of my room would not suffice. Drawing my hair into a ponytail I had never learned to do, I headed into the hustle and bustle of a different kind of Friday. I only stopped my own preoccupied pace at the steps of Phelps Hall. Maybe it was because I was tired, maybe it was because my body realized what I was doing before I did, but at that point I laid across the steps. Even without my glasses I could make out the faint, light grey swirls of clouds that added texture to the ceiling. And just like years ago, I listened to my thoughts with a little help from Metallica. When I scrunched up my face enough, I found that I could peer into the past. Light grey turned to a bruised green-- as it did when I would lie in wait for a tornado to pass. Black turned to ebony and I could clearly feel a bat swooping over my head whilst stars become eager to show off their alignment. This felt right. The sky would always be there for me. Nothing further, nothing closer. It is only smart to give something unstable to something steady. Right?
Dance Photo - By Sohil Patel
DC CASES by Jessie Yeung
DC cases are a part of Exeter life, no matter how unwelcome they may be. We’ve all experienced them in some way – overhearing rumors around campus, realizing that there is an empty seat at the Harkness table, seeing heartfelt “We’ll miss you” statuses on Facebook walls. Whenever I used to hear about cases, I would take it as a sober reminder, not something easily forgotten, but something that I stopped thinking about after the talk of it died down. That changed one Saturday night in the spring. I remember the moment my mother called that night to tell me about my brother’s case. I knew that that her clipped tone meant she was trying her best to stay calm. I had been so overwhelmed and confused and angry when I next saw my brother, that all I could do was throw a glass of water in his face. The situation consumed me for the week or two before his case. My mind was never far from the subject, and I found myself thinking about it in class, at lunch, before bed –the things I could have done, the things I failed to do, the what if’s. DC cases hold considerable power. For the person involved in a case and those close to him/her, it can have more lasting effects. My brother’s case was the last straw for the already strained relationship between him and my parents. It began a struggle that lasted almost two years, although it felt like much longer. I watched my parents and my brother argue and reconcile time after time. I had been optimistic at the beginning – each time after the first few fights, I would think, “there, it’s over, we’ll be ok again.”. But before long, tension would build up, doors would slam, and with each new argument, I became less sure that we’ll be ok.
I remember one night in particular, when I was on the phone with my mother. Winter break was approaching, and we were discussing Christmas plans. At one point, my mother paused, and told me wearily that I should be prepared for the possibility that this would be the last family Christmas we have. Christmas has never held much religious significance to us, but we have always treasured the opportunity to spend time with each other. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are days on Christmas break, cooking with my mother, or studying by the fireplace, listening to the chatter of my family. I couldn’t imagine a holiday without my brother there. In shock, I asked her why – surely, she wasn’t going to ban him from a family holiday? No, she replied, but she didn’t know if he would want to spend Christmas with us anymore after that year. That rocked me to my core. I hadn’t realized the depth of the conflict, the possible permanence of this rift, until then. DC cases change relationships – they shed new light on people, and plant doubts into your mind. How well do you really know them? How much do you trust them? My brother’s case tore away any pretenses, and let the entire truth out. My mother had once said to me, “I never understand why some parents tell their children to stay out of trouble. Why do you need to tell them?” Having grown up in a society where academics was a first priority and jeopardizing future success was never even considered, my parents had always taken for granted that their children would have the same mentality. However, my brother had different goals, had a different view of the world, and my parents had never seen these fully exposed until the case. It was then that my family realized what we didn’t know about each other. Impressions fell away, leaving distrust and guilt. One summer, I woke up to the sound of my mother crying, and my father trying to comfort her. “What did I do?” she kept saying. “What went wrong?”
PIANO GIRL By Amanda Li
Thankfully, my brother won his case and stayed at Exeter. The conflict between him and my parents eventually faded as they both made compromises for each other and began to see things from a wider perspective. Sometimes I’m still wary, expecting something to go wrong and for the fighting to return, but it has yet to happen. When I first came to Exeter, the rules seemed simple, the line between right and wrong clear. If you broke the rules, I thought, you deserved what you got. I was proved wrong very quickly. So many of the people who leave are genuinely good people with so much to offer, real losses to the Exeter community. Their absence is heard long after they leave – it’s loud and clear every time they’re missing in class, in sports, in the theater, in the music building. Every time a joke is told, there’s one laugh missing from the group. After seeing the effect DC cases have on relationships, my first thoughts are to the person’s loved ones whenever I hear of a case. It’s strange and sorrowing to think that at the end of our Exeter careers, there will be people who are missing, who should be celebrating and smoking their cigars with us. We can’t ignore or stop DC cases, but we can keep the people affected in our thoughts. I only hope whatever unhappiness they might struggle through will come to an end, and that we will see them rise back up stronger than before.
Make sure the seat isn’t too high—see those black knobs on the side?; no no, always sit on the edge; check to make sure your feet on the right pedals; this is how to sit with your back straight, wrists lifted— there we go, and begin; this is how to read the high and low notes without getting confused by the lines; this is how to practice two hours every day—to help you become the musician I know your parents are so bent on you becoming; this is how to rotate your hands like you’re kneading dough, not like the typewriter your fingers are today; make sure you repeat everything at least twenty times; don’t be tired; why are you tired?; when I was your age my teacher made me play them fifty times; this is how you play staccato; this is how to make your notes bleed into each other like a watercolor painting; this is how you play long phrases without anywhere to breathe or rest, where you grow and build until you decrescendo into silence, which you will hold for three full seconds; this is how to play adagio, allegro, cantabile, dolce—make your fingers dance; faster!; this is how to play Beethoven; this is how to play Mozart; this is how to play
Liszt; do you even know who these people are?; this is how you spend your nights researching biographies and vocabulary; this is how you analyze chords and how they progress; don’t be tired; why are you tired?; I know you want to be the musician your parents are so bent on you becoming; this is how you voice the music; this is how you sing the melodies in solfege—be sure to say “si” instead of “ti”; I do know the composers of these songs; pieces, they’re called pieces; this is how to play a sonata; this is how to play a fugue; this is how to play an etude ten times a day—to make your hand stronger, not like the noodles your fingers are today; this is how to memorize your piece efficiently; this is how to bow after the competition next month—no, wait and breathe!; this is how to smile at the judges; this is how to smile at the audience; this is how to walk down the aisle back to your seat where you will remain quiet this time; this is how you will courteously accept your awards and shake the judges’ hands; but what if I don’t win any awards?; you mean to say that after all you are going to be the type of pianist that doesn’t win awards?
By Emily Moore
Old man - By Shirley Cheung
by Ariel Kim
GREASE STAINS By Ariel Kim
At the garage, I find a pair of pliers, the clang of metal, the pungent odor of diesel and tires. Everything is dirty, splattered as if Pollock dropped by. Breathing in, I think of Daddy’s strong hands, the scars on his arms from being burnt by his passion, stout legs sprawled as he lay beneath the car and scrutinized like a doctor to his patient. The dish soap in our sink will never scrub away the grease stains, a new layer added every day, grime running down his roughened cheek, his face splitting into a grin that only I get to see.
muffled, through thick trees: whippoor-will, whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will… december’s breeze rustles among leaves: a nighttime symphony. mommy and i, round, pale faces lit by curling flames. one round, pale face peers down at us from the sky. moonlight brightens the bonfire’s glow on mommy’s freckled face. look up. gasp. look, mommy! it’s the byul! a wrinkle between her eyes, questioning me. byul? the full moon, mommy. isn’t it pretty? the wrinkle deepens, eyes light up. a smile. she chuckles before asking, do you mean the dal? Right. dal means moon, not byul. not byul – there are no stars in the sky tonight.
but she’s giving me the same look she gave me when I told her i sprained my ankle falling off of the sidewalk. we laugh and laugh and laugh, until we can’t. mommy’s arm squeezes me through my coat; faded purple fleece tickles my nose. i feel her breath ghosting through my hair. the warm pressure of her lips brush against my forehead. that spot stays warm for two seconds more, before tingling away to the cold night. the night sky is like the dark velvet of an empty jewelry box. i swing our joined hands between us – back and forth, back and forth. i love you, mommy. goodnight, sweetie.
silence settles in with the chill.
S U B M I T T O P E A L @ email@example.com