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The PSC Poets & Writers would like to thank the Following people/groups for their support: Wayne Stokes- for the cover art The Student Senate The Hartman Union Building Staff The English Department

Extra Special Thanks to Paul Rogalus- without his guidance, energy, and motivation this literary journal may not have been. and of course, all the contributors

Contents: Amy Weaver Cara Losier John Kessler Brian Silvernale Paul Wolfe Hester Stark

Untitled Portrait of an Ice Queen Tough Enough Untitled Getting Sand Out of my Shorts HAHAHAHAHAHA Conditioned Through Conjunction

Morpheus Unfocused Dana DiMarco So How Does It Feel Untitled Jason McKenzie Dirty Jazz Ink Bleed Percentile Erin Plummer Filing Cabinet Caskets R Us Tanya Berger Untitled James Miller I See Myself Conforming Emily Kelley An Empty Memoir Vanessa J Peters moment... sought... Undesired love Stephen Pink Untitled Dustin Siegel On Energy Nikole Snover Lonely Mountain Top Daniel Singer Summers’ Eve Explorer: Committed The Rub Nina Patrice Livellara Corruption Late Night

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Nora Toomey Crystal Lavoie Rebecca DuBois Robby Binette Tracy Smith Nicky Ross

Jonathan Link

Here Antipodes Coming Down Determined In My Head Ferdinand the Collector Untitled Untitled (pt.1) Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled i thought id buy you this onion maybe if you bought yourself a dead crow

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Amy Weaver The Drum beat bounces between & among the ribs of my cage the heart of my home it thunders inside my muscles & bones and I begin to Understand. In the darkness, in the spaces between words& silence, it slips, slices into seems a sin to... Suppress it. I wondercould I know you without it? Could you, be you without the rhythm? without the taste for Tone and Bass? No, I think, No. It’s in your soul & slowly, it unfolds beautifully, It shows the power within you. And I’m proud of you- to know you & grow with you. And I have but one hope for you, one prayer to hold on to: May Heaven be so tidy, may life be as souldfully, fulfilling & joyfully, the strength in your strum, the blessed beat of your drum will echo in the ribs of cages to come.

Cara Losier Portrait of an Ice Queen A single tear cracked the hardened heart Of the crusty old man A single, solitary crystal, cascading down A silky cheek Witness to the breaking of a much younger More tender soul The knowledge of the frigid pain that is only yet to come Grips his heart To be left loveless, alone, in the madness of this place As all existing faith lowly slips through her fingers Slicing, ragged, torturous pain, not imagined But felt Before all feeling ceases As the battle against numbness is lost

Cara Losier Tough Enough In the darkest night of this evening day Is where I break my stubborn path Sowing seeds in rocky soil where The wretched work to weed me out Resenting, for I have shattered The pristine perfection that once dwelled there Acid-tongued monsters lash out To assail my offending form But their wasted efforts leave My soul unharmed My mind fears not, for I know I know, I will rock this world off its hinges I will leave my mark on this neverending night So that it will remember me I will make them see But they will remember me As I reach for higher ground

Jon Kessler Untitled ―How quickly the sun can disappear‖ Couldn’t bring your little broken heart to work I even brought a stapler With delicate hands we pieced you together Like a funky tweed jacket, that would compliment Steve Buscemi. You can keep the jacket and use the arm patches To replace the hole he left with you with. Did he promise you a place on Shore Drive? You couldn’t abscond When your fingernails imagined their own home.

Jon Kessler Getting sand out of my shorts Sat down next to weathered sea glass on someone else’s ocean front property. Spoke with a seagull But he couldn’t carry A conversation as well as the wind. With waves soft blue and green flirting with sand. Couldn’t forget lilac breeze floating around her ears, clinging to neckinto fingers between hairs, And on to me.

Brian Silvernale HAHAHAHAHAHA I normally dont write with music, I actually don’t write... I hate spell check, consistently changing my lowercase to upper without permission I hate writing ―I‖ over and over Motherfuckers.

Paul Wolfe Conditioned Through Conjunction Two pulses, one stomach. Children are hungry. I sit like a stale bishop watching siblings cry onto their own shoulders. Two yearning mouths. Food is scarce, making due with what is given to us. Rations are relief, not fulfillment. Four hands, four legs, one screaming stomach. Less waste, productive feed. Still: overcrowded corridors. Repugnant odors linger through seemingly infinite expanses of tired faces. Knowing no outside, I cannot comprehend solitude. Tension: two heads are not better than one; hypothesis never had the form of a gaunt, twisted arachnid. They conditioned us at birth…never lonely. Two mouths to eat one meal; not as appetizing as privacy. Never lonely. Evolution forced adaptation. Siamese survival: science. But how have we evolved? Sex in the shadows. Conjoined at the stomach, separate in spirit. Gluttonous tyrants tossing scraps to destitute peoples. Maintaining our sanity in vicious cycles of malnourishment and syntho-pop. Remote enclosure. I watch two brothers haggle over dice, one stabbing the other and both dying. Consciously imprisoned and without choice, succumbing to the institution. Is there no beyond? The vacant steel of Third World is all we know. Extinction was never an option, even when crops withered. No one is lonesome. We live and wait for a day beyond walls, beyond the range of weeping echoes and vacant stares. I turn to my twin, nibbling his ration. Our stomach mildly appeased, my soul threads dismal reality and imagination. Awaiting redemption, I relapse: Third World, wondering why my brother is eating for the both of us.

Hester Stark Morpheus Deep, low down. Slow down, go down and across with me. Fingernails, tongue, breathe. Sweep my skin with fast fingers – feel my shape (this curve, and that) with hot hands – Hugs. Hold me. Happy skin, dry smell of you – your breath on my neck; cheek… falling asleep.

Hester Stark Unfocused Breakfast with friends – and friendly others. I’m filling bellies – full hearts and after-meal sleepy-sighing. Nothing is, like being dangerous This gives like an out-reach sustains like a comet. How comely, how lovely and beauteous she becomes who feeds and warms fill, caresses, and weeps.

Dana DiMarco So How Does It Feel? It’s like this sister. It’s like you’re on top of this cloud and you look down and there’s this giant sink. When it hits you, it feels like someone takes a huge sponge with warm water and squeezes it over your head. Then the warm water goes through every part of your body – From the top of your head Through every muscle fiber Any place you can imagine… even your eyelashes. Then, any of the excess water that’s going to drip off takes with it Any problems you have Any hurt Any pain Anything you don’t to want to feel and It goes into the sink. Then, when you open your eyes and look down into the sink – That pulls the plug. The problems are gone, you’re warm and fuzzy, you’re on top of the world. No one can touch you. No one can hurt you. You’re safe here. You’re safe.

Dana DiMarco Untitled There was a girl I once knew – Every morning she’d wake up and choke. It would eventually pass – but all day long she’d think about It. Her thoughts would always revolve around this problem. Is it the air? Is it karma? Is it stress? Then one day she woke from a dream and everything made sense. She kept choking because she didn’t have Lungs. She was different – she had gills. Running to the water praying this would be her redemption She tripped on a rock and hit her Head.

Jason McKenzie Dirty Jazz Dirty jazz wafts on the swirling smoke of sometimes cigarettes Disrupting earwaves grey Coffee milk licks drift with no hint of originNot to be tamed by frame of reference Tom-Toms speed caffeine rhythm over my lips Rock-a-bye rainy day rhymedrive An audible ride for sliding spines The lube our joints need to boogie free Bass strings like sinews reverberating cool Bumpin jumpin jammin free On a lick riff G clef trippin spree Rocked back to the womb vibe In a foggy float of first kisses Dancing on the eyelids of a velvet night Falling slowly In love with the dark A hand-in-hand meander with the notes of nothing And (me being) sweetness We shake a boogie 2 step To a ragtime tune I know for the soul piano Our fingers each dancing on the dark keys of the other’s domain Palms transporting heat in the dark Palms like skins where beats begin Palm 2 Palm body song Blown saxophone Rock a beat to my body bone Breathe staccato flow slow to crescendo Then rock a solo Like igneous Cold like Coltrane In the style of Myles Till the lava cools

Jason McKenzie Ink bleed You’re a baby’s cry cloaked in the warm ravages of a swampgas night Fresh off the bayou- never intended to leave I’m the scared dog chasing confusion through two feet of marshof course there’s mud on my feet. You’re the boiled bones voodoo stew that ignites caverns of the skull/ the powerful mojo that only old ladies are privy to know their torch blazes your path over water moccasin’s bellies and crawdads/ You’re a sailor’s tattooa sweet, raised flesh reminder of acquired taste an old Rosie cross legged pinned up over a one man dinner table

Jason McKenzie Percentile sweet mean sex and death interrupts blood pulse hiccups first words on the wall that fall into a sea of automatic robot fists till your mouth becomes a night frost and u tongue the [pattern of a thousand fires fingernails pull back past the line working towards your first goodbye lovers and mirrors cut like scissors and none of it stops some days the sun/ some nights the moon shines off other people’s smiles/ other people’s eyes or the stern crumbling of another’s demise all of it yields to dustindistinguishable atoms on bootheels and accompanying lungfullsdivided amongst 6 billion plus formers turn futures in the body machine’s revolving trap door where some unknown mystic rations life’s force to a line Russian long, punctuated by periods of nothingness; of dying time flashes in the pan, melting pots, the eternal us: yours and mine/ structurally dissipated skeletons rotting flesh protein aminos/ and blood soaked sinew communally bound under a common skin that comes to hang like ribbon off the bone// lifetimes are accumulated grains, which, when rotated, pour back upon themselves

Erin Plummer Filing Cabinet White lies, black lies, downright lies, Plausible deniability, national security, National defense, national lies, Communist ties, Leftist ties, far-Leftist ties, Black ties, Black Hawk, Black Ops, blackmail, Scorched earth, prohibition, desecration, devastation, Annihilation, black secrets and numerous pieces of black, wanton trash Filed away in neat little rows in neat big boxes with huge neat locks With government symbols and government shields Plastered all over them like rashes: FBI, CIA NTSB, FASA, USMC, White House And every other cabbalistic organization in the government Of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands One nation under the almighty dollar wielded by American corporations And shaken in the faces of those in the halls of power Who drool like hungry gods at the open pork barrel As their faithful constituents are left to rot in the dark Of silence and lies that would make them twitch If they knew the kind of shit their government is pulling Overseas, under seas, out of season, out of state, out of mind, and out of reason Save only for the societal clutches of blind and blinding patriotism That rose from the 3/11 smoke where fear and rage Rolls around I the backseat of an American made car And spawns propaganda that’s sweet like candy for the shaken masses Who clutch their teddy bear bombs for comfort and cling to the leg Of Uncle Sam as he tucks them safely in bed as he kills The big, bad monsters of civilians in foreign lands Who look too much like the real enemy to live. American justice, American Dream, American peace

Erin Plummer Caskets R Us Channel 7 on the huge-sized TV Is playing a commercial for a casket showroom In which a sleazy young man in a well-tailored suit Shills out all kinds of coffins below funeral home price And leaves me wondering why the fuck they would advertise A casket showroom in the first place. Is it a store where you can look around and check out the Comfy lining which you would probably not notice If you were using it properly or if you are a vampire, a vampire wannabe, A sicko freak, a necrophiliac fuck, or were buried alive And wanted to use those last few moments of suffocating existence To feel comfortable to be in this fine plush casket Sold below funeral home price Where they probably have generous financing, But what the fuck do they do if you can’t make the payments? Do they dig it from the ground; load it into a truck; Dump grandma on your doorstep with a notice of repossession Stuck in her freshly embalmed hands With the Rosary beads and that little lock of Fluffy’s fur? Then they would sell it at the used casket lot with other repossessed caskets And caskets once owned by zombies, vampires who wanted an upgrade, Or fetishists who thought it was too hard on the bare ass And wanted to sell it back and advertise it on Cannel 7 As the prefect model to use for your final resting space That they market to vampires, vampire wannabes, sicko freaks, And college students, whose brains are fried at 10:30 AM And they try to wake up with noses in their coffee And the comfort of a nice warm sesame seed bagel And watch this twisted shit for the sake of amusement.

American Way, American freedom, American Way All packaged up nicely and locked away In its own special filing cabinet and stored away for centuries From the fragile eyes of those who desperately need The entire, history book truth.

Tanya Berger Untitled Yesterday I considered what I would do with my 24 hours to live. This did not include to give to another or embrace a lover or connect and discover. I was consumed with my self and the wealth of repression and depression that caused severe introspection and misconceived interpretations of who I was and am and have become the feeling dumbfounded at the contradictions of love and forgiveness with hate and dismissive actions against the other who has violated my spirit and left me in flee of reoccurrence and my memories are of pure disturbance as my fear of testosterone has convinced me to stay alone and his essence has filled my home and nowhere is safe from a jerk who wants to bone whether for fun or to cum or to feel the power and take the cowards that do take the soul and whats new is a hole where the center and peace once resided Now I hide in my image and flesh and books and angry looks and my life is not life it is floating along if I feel joy it is wrong and smiling at a male entails more than I care to give and I realize that with 24 hours to live I must mention that my apprehension to reveal my experiences is a result of societies reappearing appearances of what is killing the warmth and the willing to trust and no lust can excuse the abuse that occurs. What I cant get out of my head is that now 6,000 people are dead and the nation embraces but what about the numerous cases of Americans of all races who kill, rape, mutilate and hate each other and no one seems to shudder or even care like its not the same and we should naturally prepare to accept the is and dismiss a woman who tries to resist and persist and dismiss being a statistic on a list so in my 24 hours to live scenario I have decided that although I breath and eat and sleep and weep, I died a long time ago.

James Miller I see myself conforming ―Good morning‖ And you wake remembering. ―Does all fit today‖ Because time becomes—things do not matter ―Do you still want to be as big as big‖ This is what happens with the large nothing ―Will it change if I can’t climb‖ Eyes can not see everything—(the mind tries) ―But maybe it’s my turn for climbing‖ And thoughts some how make it like switching boots ―That’s for hungry time to digest‖ Stomachs must sleep for breakfast ―Are you a well slept tiller‖ And the sleep embrace ―It’s out of my control‖ Just two clothed bodies ―Did we decide last night‖ Was it one decision or many decisions deciding ―It was the nerves I had for there being a next week‖ The curtain collects some of the wind ―Can I remove that hair from your eye‖ And does it instead ―It is mine—it’s done‖ This stirs ―Will anything I say touch someone‖ The hair falls back into place ―Of course‖ You wake up remembering ―Are we asleep now‖

Emily Kelley An Empty Memoir Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse that sends me down to the river though I know the river is dry? ----Bruce Springsteen There is a vertical corridor between two towers. A passage way up and down, to the sky and to the earth. There is a plane. There are two planes. There is no tower. There is no in between. There is only above and below. There is only earth and sky. *** There was a girl and another girl. One was shy with no friends, the other was not shy but still had no friends. With one thing in common, the two met and became each other’s friend. 1+1=2. *** It hadn’t rained at all this month. Wells were drying up, leaves were turning and the golf course I worked at was not doing well. With so many days of no precipitation, the grass was burning up, the rivers were running dry and the birds gathered to make plans to head south. *** Years went by and one girl moved across the country. Very little contact was maintained between the two. One day the girl that stayed got an aching in her head that linked to her heart, not a bad aching, more of a soft throbbing. It was an unwritten letter delivered through mirrors and moons that brought the two girls back together. With the new-found ability to communicate with out words the girls found their callings as super heroes. With the ability to speak with out talking and hear without listening, the girls set out on their voyage to conquer the world and the next volume of comic book heroism. There were so many things to be done before they could rule the world. *** I got home from work and played my answering machine. My sister called to say my aunt is getting married. My

landlords call to say that my toilet is running and I need to jiggle the handle. MCI has a new great plan that would fit my calling needs. My landlords again saying they came into my apartment to fix the toilet. Alison is drunk and she loves me. She needs to tell me something but she is drunk and she loves me and Zak is there and she is drunk and that’s all so I should call her back. I don’t call her back. We are super heroes and talk with out words and she understands why I don’t call her back and I know she has already passed out. *** In my yoga class we use an English mantra. We breathe in reflecting I am. We exhale considering I am. It seems like I am always exhaling, never being able to complete a thought about my empty memoir. Never having the knowledge or separation of me from existence. *** The boys said that they were going to float down the river. They said there was about a mile stretch without anything too rapid or waterfall like. Alison and I knew that they would never do it. That would require motivation on their part. We would do it. We have all the motivation in the world; we are superheroes always looking for our next adventure. We floated down the river and ended up downtown toting sand in our shorts and shirts tied around our stomachs. We walked, soaking wet, with our sandals squirting water from our ankles to the street and became part of the Independence Day parade going through the center of town. Kids stared because we looked like wet dogs trampling through a church service, but we didn’t care. We glided up that hill like we were soldiers fighting for democracy, fighting for America, fighting for independence. We marched right up to the boys, dripping on them, proving we made it through all the bends of the river. We spent the rest of the afternoon squeezing cherries into bottles of hard lemonade and picking tassels of wildflowers on the fringe of the river. *** I dream of rivers and ghosts haunting the banks. I know the demons and the seraphs that stay on these shores from summers gone by. I dream of wild flowers and sweat lulling me back to a time before schedule and routine and waking up

to fall asleep. I feel the water rubbing each slab of rock’s back like a mother with a sick child. I envision the communal baptism of every rock and rusted beer can. I see the waters pulling me lucidly and then insistently further into the arms of Morpheus. I wake to a tomb of gray-blue light. *** The morning sun is pulling her inhaler off her nightstand, looking outside and deciding to take it easy today. It will rain today. I will go to school and I will write about nothing and I will say; ―This is the story of my life.‖ I will meet Allison today and drink coffee and talk about books and art and what she has bottled inside of her that she can’t tell me on my answering machine. I already know though, I have seen the signal through moons and mirrors and now I feel the dull throb in my stomach and my head. *** I stood in the outdoor hallway of the plaza. Inside were garish florescent lights and outside was a pins and needles rain. I waited for her to tell me what I already knew and breathed. I concentrated on my breath so that I did not have to react. I thought about the milk in my refrigerator going sour. I thought about the empty memoir. I thought about the baptism of rocks in the river. I thought about the flowers that blossomed on the sides of the river being weeds to most people but being beautiful grand flowers to us. I wanted to say; ―I know, Alison, and I think it is okay.‖ I felt awkward out in the hallway. It reminded me of high school when snippets of banter worked there way into our dialogues and the silent imposing vibe from passers by radiating judgment of us. Maybe it was just cold dampness of the rain. *** Over the years I have acquired baggage. I have fish, a job at a golf resort to pay for bills, reports and portfolios, a GPA to worry about. I have responsibilities and so does Alison. She has a commute, car payments, student loans, and a 9 to 5. We have routines. The river is a special mid-way for both of us. An escape from routine. A haven from the cold gray world. ***

Two towers stood on one plane of existence. They were big and bold and important and were going to take over the world. On top of those two towers stood antennas transforming data to satellites that would transmit data to other antennas. Through this process they could communicate without talking. There was a distance between them, a tunnel breached by dull incessant pains. A plane came in and burned one. Leaving its seed there in one tower first but later bringing both towers down. The remnants are still there, the buildings, it is only the corridor that is gone. But there is still earth below and the heavens above. *** On October first I will drive down to Manchester. I will sit in a clinic, rub her back and hold her hand. I will sit thinking of purgatory and if it is any different than being in utero. I will wash the sweat and tears off her face. I will wait while she induces bleeding. I will think of the seraphs on the river shelves howling of summers gone by. She will lie on her bed like she were flying. I will stand, perpendicular to Alison, with my head in the heavens and my feet in the dirt. *** There is talk of rebuilding now. The dust has settled and after the shake up America still stands resolute. We are strong, democratic, and independent. We will not be hurt or deterred. We are the citizens of the United States. We move on but we never forget.

Vanessa J. Peters moment…sought… Breathe in, hold it, hold it one more minute, let it out and relax. Face the warmness, feel the brightness Throw our arms out and spin around. Take our shoes off socks too, feel green Blades springing up between our toes. Fall down into beds of flowers Let the daisies be our pillow. Wrap the warm wind around our legs, Bring it up ton our breasts to warm. Look closely we might view a clown, Beast, or angel within the clouds. Watch or dark clouds come rolling in Shading the stars from our clear view. Now the full moon sets the scene For the moment of perfection sought. Moving closer together, each wanting another’s touch. His hands touching her face, both lips trembling. Inching closer together tongue moistened lips become one. Eyes locked on eyes, noses a mere inch apart Feeling each breath.

Breathe in, hold it, hold it one more minute, let it out and relax.

Vanessa J. Peters Undesired love Your touch Sends shivers up Making me convulse with Sickening unwarranted lust Your touch

Stephen Pink Untitled Put me at the top of a mountain One way or another I will be there My lowest point at nature’s peak With the wind and rain Vegetation clinging onto its existence An apple and a sleeping bag. the time when some finches Dug through old leaves And I was alone Thinking a bobcat was in my midst Silence. No breathing. Walking backwards I saw the birds and laughed out loud Into my ears and the mountain’s echoes.

Dustin Siegel On Energy everywhere and right here ď‚Ž Sharedď‚žtaken, given Mixing from as far away as across the room We gather en-mass, to form and expand that force Why else do we do the things we do That energy, not electricity or power but pure forceful bliss choosing for us, our distinct aversions In choosing it is choice-less

Nikole E. Snover Lonely Mountain Top The journey begins at the end Where on this lonely mountain top, I stand Hesitant to breathe. Inhaling, I taste the sky Enjoy the flavor of raindrops Filled with the burden of tomorrows predestined forecast. Lush grass flattens beneath my feet Forming a path on this carpet of green Littered with fallen branches and rough stones. I wander around this ageless playground The wreck less wind plotting my course, steering me toward something. I listen to the sun move slowly through the clouds A bright yellow circle breaking up the fluffy white. On this lonely mountain top I begin to know myself.

Daniel Singer Sunners’ Eve There was a day, And she came right on in on it, Came riding it like it were a dirt road, Or like stale gasoline, in a sun dress With a straw hat and bare toes. She sat down o’er yonder, on the knoll, And she just cried, and cried, and cried Till all the salts had left her blind and dry As the dust she kept as steed. She wandered then, all over town, Showing up in front of people, eyes all purple And ground up like old beef stock, Smelling of rot, milkweed, and tulip leaves. Late on in the day, she sat down again On her knoll, hungry as we thought she was: See, she’d brought her genius with her, Soaked in a brown paper sac, certainly with an appleWe could not know. And ate, she did. Right there on our damned knoll, tempting usThe harlot, from our houses and shops, Sidewalks and bunkers, bomb shelters and Automobile dealerships spanning asphalt acres, Every imaginable credit rating. And so we advanced upon her, en masse. Came on from every which where, we did, Ripped her lunch sac from her, and lapped and Suckled at her eyes for the salts, trying to Taste back what she knew of us But then the sun was being set, She had gone, and The harvest called from the fields like the master.

Daniel Singer Explorer: Committed Entry being the penultimate objective, Drillings and feelings seams, Being the sills, the Alters on which we prey. Conciliation being the ultimate acquiescion, Lever down the Taste butternut and mahogany, Hack at the early stalks Deep and forward timbers: Draining white and cream, This is the ebony that gets us off.

Daniel Singer The Rub To properly begin one's earnest rest and effective recooperatory exercise, one must have a forthright and in-depth understanding of the unconsciousness that allows one to properly function in lieu of the meddlesome, though immensely comforting tyranny of common cognizance. Prior to making any primary attempt at slumber, please refer to the National Studies Committee Report on the Brief Nightly Intimations of Immemorial Deceasion and Short-lived, Often Inadequately Fueled Strivings for Subconscious Dominion and Directive Sensory Deception - the November issue. If you, or any member of your immediate affection is attempting this potentially hazardous endeavor, without prior experience or professional assistance, and for the express poetic sentiment perchance to dream, you are strongly advised to contact your local Emergency Anti-Dormancy Association immediately; a registry of supporting organizations may be accessed through any federal listing. If you or any member of your immediate association knows what dreams may come, please contact the aforementioned organization for recognition of excellence in the extreme. If you or any other member of your immediate constituency is unable to wake from this dream, congratulations. Experts have become increasingly numerous of late, though surely you, among all, shall be remembered.

Nina Patrice Livellara Corruption The patter of heads pounding on walls, the sting of politics, The dull ache of a nagging job, The world revolves around 9-5 these days, With people carrying values like pocket change spilling from the ripped seams of their "Calvins", Tell me where does daybreak and dawn begin? The horizon hangs heavy, borderline un-breathable, Dropping like flies in a jar of sweet honey, Children handle guns like yo-yo's, Mother's nurse their babies with breasts slung with hormone tainted milk, The homeless man on the corner rants peace, While the business men trudge by with sex on the mind, And what they'll eat for lunch, The cry of the people gets droned out by the hum of corporate power, GaspingChokingStrangled like new sprung weeds. Faith is an incredible thing, But too many have faith in the material worlds and the synthetic rush of an endorphin binge, You and I? Well, it's been a while, We used to sit talking over coffee, your cigarettes burning my eyes, We pledged not to let it happen to us, Not fall into the trap of being unaware of what we were jumping into, Well...YOU have gone now, and I am still here waiting to stow away, Take my peace, my quiet, The sex in my touch, the kiss waiting to given again, I've discovered beauty dwells in the cradle of simplicity, No gimmicks, fake smile or false "hellos",

Money can't buy your happiness, Love never said "yes" to an ATM, I find I never know when to blink and turn away, Today I stand letting it hit me full on, This cultural shock, this mass media thrill of 2002, I can still find truth hidden under busy streets, Dirty bars and raging highways, I taste it, It's telling me it'll be ok, I savor it in it's simplicity, It tastes like a warm day, sun on my cheeks, A good meal chased by sweet wine, A rocky cliff with a view expanding forever, A good book, A hand in mine, A stretch of untouched beach, Twenty-five bucks and a backpack loaded, I tackle this feat before me, Not fooled by the pre-packaged sample of "life" some asshole trys to serve me from a silver platter.

Nina Patrice Livellara Late Night Eye lids so hung-down droopy I'm tripping on them, A strain in my back, An ache in my calves from walking long street stretches, Mind patterings, mind racing until it tangles, Unwind the knots of a tightly woven net, The twisting, shifting, churning, tying it tighter.

Nora Toomey Here Fixed in a strange empire whose gods are laughing whose children are stoned We wait for innocence but clip the wings of an angel instead. we watch her get high on fumes. An everlasting mecca of reason and peace not here not now she said. ―What a nice group of junkies,‖ innocence files out of a bathroom each a little more soulless than before. It’s nothing we cant handle you know jumbled up corduroys and beads posing for princes slither like snakes and bound a supposed reality round our hearts we play grownups too day jobs and blowjobs round the clock this is where out passion plays raindrops and footprints soothe our conscience battling some sort of elixir We talk of temples and great men we play music, love words poor examples of humanity in a night full of shade paper punched skies whisper tomorrows taste, bittersweet. In a second he’s coming. Wait for an answer but count your blessings before you stay. An oasis of disaster Where shadowed branches wave our nothing hellos and goodbyes we’re new dogs with old tricks here

avoiding the light, stealing our smiles safe in chaos and armed with our lives we walk on a plank So afraid of the waves

Nora Toomey Antipodes so quickly you slid into me with much fumbling and fixing finally we connect and just as urgent now, sex seems so desolate. after the run after the chase after you glide all over my face. so sound he slept soon after although my conscience soared I will not let this beat me I cannot guard the door. again we share a bed this time I’m the better half you fill the air with rum so perfect in your craft. no time for tricks or trade tonight. its your pull this urge my desperate plight. just smile to know it was done with such haste. to feel you. to trust you. to watch you. to taste. a lesson can linger a bed can be warm a Woman can rise. a boy can be torn.

Crystal Lavoie Coming Down It’s seeping through me - enclosing me - embracing me eating me eating me it’s fucking eating my brains out, slowly, gently -slow enough and soft enough that all I feel is a dull aching in my skull - enough that each bite holds its own euphoria – each bite clings onto my sickly cells - eating my brains out and making love to me at the same times, circling sideward and upwards and backwards around my endorphins, loving them, loving me. -- and I can’t decide which is better - the high --the fucking high -- THIS fucking high - I’M FUCKING HIGH and my brains are falling out of my ears, my nose, my mouth, and it feels good. It feels SO fucking GOOD. --and I’m high and my brains are falling out, my mind is thinning and the world is spinning. ...and where the fuck did you come from? my great grandmother is here with us, she’s singing polish folk songs and feeding us moxie -she’s here-- and I’m high and -- she’s gone? my memories melt away in the plasma that is dripping slowly from my head, down my shoulders, to my arms, and off of my fingers... and is forming brilliant pools of sparkly toxic gelatin under my feet. I tap my toes obsessively in it, over and over again – just to make sure that this is real, that this isn’t some fucked up dream. but it is real

and --I want to drink it, eat it, run and jump through it, and suck it back up into my body. instead it captures me and I fall back, back into this luxurious pool of snot and puke and brains and I make love to it all, still dripping from me -- a sickening, thick river of knowledge, memories and muscle control dripping and dripping and sucking at my eyes and ears and it’s eating me THIS SHIT IS FUCKING EATING ME and I’m freaking out and fucking high and – and and the walls are moving now, and you’re here again and a n d a n d It’s all still spinning and I want to come d o w n, you want me to come down but I’m high and I’m freaking out and I’m FUCKING HIGH and I’m never coming down again, but instead coming back p just to sink down u down down and further into this state, this fucked up cubbyhole in my mind...

I can feel myself sinking -- the red gelatinous brain waves cover my head and I fall deeper and deeper until I see you again... --I see me again-I’m fucking high-and you’re staring at me, WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU STARING AT ME. My hands thrash upwards from this red sea of my consciousness -- and I reach up and pull you back under with me and we spin and spin and spin and we’re never coming up again.

Rebecca R. DuBois Determined will the night ever night? my drink can't stay long i must give my word and let it all roll on by i'm taking a step back taking a deeper look making some promises and facing some demons daydreams once so loud it could build a surreal world are now just a display like paint on old canvas if a desire to know is simply a reflection then i'll take the road less traveled and give up with the distractions i'm refusing to remain and refusing to withdraw so that leaves us behind i sigh as my mask is removed

Rebecca R. DuBois In My Head in my head there's trouble a nocturnal resolution the hands will go round until the challenge is met my world doesn't conform it's the storm before the calm if only you know something other than what's familiar in my head there's trouble but I'm starting to resist the damage has been done and I'm the only one to blame move on, beautiful beautifully spoiled, that is get a change of clothes and set out to find yourself in my head there's trouble but this time it's giving in cause I see what's around me and it's starting to have meaning don't sit there and envy i rose to the top all it takes is a battle with whom you know most in my head there's trouble it's panic is for everyone to see i won the battle with myself for a chance and so much more

Robby Binette Ferdinand the Collector I’ll wrap you up in white sheets Then wash you to make sure you’re clean I’ll take you downstairs to the cellar So you’ll be safe for the last time I’ll see you and your innocence fade I’ll close your eyes and kiss your lips for the last time Before pulling the sheet up over your head, No one said you were going to die It was a mistake and I’m sorry it had to happen to you You were so precious to me I loved you so much that you could never understand And this will finally show you that if I can’t you then no one will. I’ll bury you out by the elm tree With a grave stone saying your name I’ll always remember the times I had you Even though they were short I’ll remember them until I can make more A gap that will remain empty Until I catch another one, You made me I’ll always love you I could never get angry at you Even after all the horrible things you did You were my gift You were my most prized possession And your not coming back You’re not coming back to me I still think it’s my fault but I won’t feel guilty Almost as if you brought something out of me.

Tracey L. Smith Untitled You want to know more about me, lover? To see the gears move, to understand the mechanics of my heart, the ticking of my brain? I've been beaten, lover. Raised up, knocked down, nearly raped of all my ignorance and blinded by youths naivety. I've been loved, lover. Satisfied, sanctified, held within the deep recesses of a heart no longer deep. I've been shattered, lover. Torn apart, ripped at the seams, declared unstable by true instability and never thought of twice. I've been craved, lover. Obsessed over, possessed by, owned apart from the material things we own and loved completely, too complete. I've been lost, lover. Misguided, foolish, unwise in decisions that were not mine to make in robotic movements that define us. Lost, lover, until I found you.

Tracey L. Smith Untitled (Pt. 1) I am not an angry girl just frustrated when I'm without a cigarette for too long, or when told to "cheer up" to which, I say, "When I damn well feel like it!" I'm not intolerable, I just say things I don't mean sometimes except when you deserve it (this is up to my discretion) and then, I’ll let you bend over and take it. I have problems with intimacy not because I think sex is sacred, I just don't like seeing myself without a stitch on. And sheets don't help when they're stained 'cause you can see right through to my insatiability. I don't burn couches when I'm celebrating. I don't scream at a touchdown of my home team. I dont' stalk ex lovers with my problems (considering I've left them with plenty to mull over). What I do is simply sit and hope that someday things will get better; that I'll be a rockstar like my brother or a celibate jewish nun like my sister or some high ranking position in the work force to make my parents happy so they won't think I’m running off with a rock star, or a priest, or someone who is smarter than I am. Either way, whether I'm doing what I do or don't, I'm not happy. Because, how can you be happy when all you was is something else?

Nicky Ross Untitled listen to me like music like something that’s pretty because it is without a doubt it is itself but always it should be clear, concise, but long as in poetry as in glances a spiderweb to make the day a beginning a project to feed addiction’s fuel this is not like you said it would be that is, it’s not hard like years, or words stubbornness towards innovation or invention even no, this is natural like mittens on strings tells a story

Nicky Ross Untitled the b l o o m that comes before the storm before the math of its petal is debated into beauty tWiTcheS like mid the dim pl e of



after not yet made to the unimpressed whiteness like a coffee table unconsumed

Nicky Ross Untitled bells curdle in the peanut-butter pre-dawn tables shift on their s~pindle~s uncomfort table with the silent pooling of indigo <&> black porchlights give one yell ow car nation to sidewalk & roofs reject the silhouettes that make them bend & stars sl i p into the silk sheets of a cloud as you, sleeping, become the sex of a flower

Nicky Ross Untitled all this nonsense this alter nate pos it ion the jag s of lag ging posture of procedure of spelling the same things wrong continously the product is always bet ter than the work advertisings just a naked ness we want to see frag ments of per hapes be hind closed lips is all in some absense prove laughter for op posit ion s com paris ion

Jonathan Link i thought id buy you this onion it wasnt till dawn i noticed it caving in the light saying: smell me and cry: like a boy who just found out his mom hates his puppy the onion was solidit was sweet not in a sweet way more like jello without sugar or a horse hoof and i bought itheld it in my hand squeezed because i knew you would when i gave it to you that you would have to squeeze it and i wanted to squeeze the onion first make it fit my palm and then maybe you would have to shape your hand to it so i walked out the store with the onion in my handmy hand in my pocket a bulbous irregularity the kind someone jokes about: are you squeezing an onion in your hand in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me and i reply with a half smirk: a little bit of both

so then the onion becomes funny but not cynical and the onion always good for a pocket joke doesnt even know it and thats why right now i wonder should i give you this onionis it really yoursdid i even buy it for you in the first place or did i use that as an excuse because i wanted the onion but was afraid of its purchase did i need some excuse to buy it smile at the cashier with a not too red face: its not for me- im buying this onion for someone else but is this really about the onionmaybe the onion is real when i rubbed my eyes i knew itthey spilt like goliath but maybe this is more about the words i cant spell for you about how they soundsqueezing them or not as they follow the small tunnel of your ear

Jonathan Link maybe if you bought yourself a dead crow but even then even assuming you could explain color from a prismisaac newton wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make love to youwouldnt hold your hand or share his yeoman farmer childhood because one dead crow isnt enougha hundred crows arent enoughisaac newton of all people would know thismaybe he would scold you shake the dead bird from your hand saying something like: i liked that one better aliveor begin to cry explaining that as a child his only friend had been a baby crow and he had a scar under his beaklooking youd see the very same scar and i doubt youd understand why you never heard from sir isaac againso maybe its better maybe then youd bury the crowmake an honest effort never to buy one again but i doubt iti think in secret you do what every red blooded dead crow buyer does hiding in the bathroomthe shower runningyou wear the crow on your head

hop around and cawusually you turn the lights off so no one can see your crow head dance but tonight youll leave them onperhaps youll even strip naked nothing but a crow on your headdancing and waiting for every neighbor to see its well known in certain circles that dead crow buyers love to watch the look on a facethe nice old couple from two blocks down walking â&#x20AC;&#x2022;smoochyâ&#x20AC;&#x2013; their 20 year old irish setter talking about the good old days when 10 dollars could get you to new jersey and backsuddenly turning pale as they see you in the window and youre glowing imagining a mixture of disgust and desire that only you see then go to bed later snickering

Centripetal Third Edition  

Fall 2001-Spring 2002