Page 1

Centrique Carthage College Volume 43 Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Table of Contents Visual Section 5. Through Her Eyes Edward Fernandez 6. The L Aaron Morris 7. Fall Flamingos Ericka McCammon 8. Higher Aaron Morris 9. Last Light Stephanie Zimmerman 10. A Strange New World Amber Ericksmoen 11. Falling Abigail Smallwood 12. Not All Who Wander Brianna Hill 13. A Carthage Winter Amber Ericksmoen 14. Escape Andria Bowlsby 15. Leopard Magazine Danielle Fiarito 16. Chicago in the Fog Brianna Hill 17. Woodland Edward Fernandez 18. Into the Unknown Amber Ericksmoen 19. Hardboiled Carolyn Griffith 20. Fear Andria Bowlsby

21. Lend Me Your Hand Edward Fernandez 22. Canopy Ericka McCammon 23. Lights Andria Bowlsby 24. Body Image Carolyn Griffith 25. Fall Ericka McCammon 26. Rain Flower Liza Lanum 27. A Second Home Carolyn Griffith 28. Love Andria Bowlsby

37. By All Means Alone Hunter Sandidge 38. Bill Johanna B. Heidorn 39. Seasonal Tree Karen Chin 40. Cherry Sunburst Kaylie McCormick 41. Doggie Hunter Sandidge 42. Hand of God Hunter Sandidge 43. Watching the World Together Marissa Gardner 44. Cozy House

29. Bell Hannah Hathaway 30. And We Carry On Hunter Sandidge 31. Determination Jacqueline Schultz 32.Six Mugs Carolyn Griffith 33. Brothers Hunter Sandidge 34. Guitar Hannah Hathaway 35. Imgoingtopunchsam Hannah Hathaway 36. Back to the Drawing Board Carolyn Griffith

Matthew Krause 45. Perspectives Hunter Sandidge 46. Feathers Johanna B. Heidorn 47. Nap Time Matthew Krause 48. Harmony Marissa Gardner 49. The Strings Johanna B. Heidorn 50. Truth Hunter Sandidge 51. Sls Amg Mercedes Matthew Krause 52. Bowl of Fruit Meghan Johns

Table of Contents 53. 6 Shelby Louviere 54. Under the Lights Johanna B. Heidorn 55. Chess Piece Jena Thomas 56. Suburban Home Matthew Krause 57. French Crowds Meghan Johns 58. 7 Shelby Louviere 59. Thunderbird Matthew Krause 60. Jellies Meghan Johns

70. Maddening Loss Manar Mohammad 72. Among Andrea Beguhl 73. Move Kasey Dallman 75. Injustice Maura Atwood 76. Canvas Patrick Lambdin 77. Outside of My World Manar Mohammad 78. The Atmosphere Maura Atwood 79. Image in My Mind Manar Mohammad

61. Blushing Sky Stephanie Zimmerman 62. Peanut Butter and Jelly Jena Thomas 63. Colored Picture Karen Chin 64. Window Pain Aaron Morris 65. Observation Kimberly Pellikan

81. Idle Manar Mohammad Max Dinan 104. Halloween Story 85. Ending Where it Began Walter Gascoigne Kaylie McCormick 107. A Talk in the Garage 86. Nightmare Patrick Lambdin Manar Mohammad 87. Autumn Maura Atwood 88. What Writing Means to Me Manar Mohammad 91. ...And Soon It Will Snow D.T.F. Wolf 92. Someone Not Me Manar Mohammad

Written Section 67. All I Know How to Do Manar Mohammad 69. Sometimes Maura Atwood

93. Walls Patrick Lambdin 94. My Place Manar Mohammad 95. Acting Manar Mohammad 96. They Know It Manar Mohammad 97. Bird Maura Atwood 98. Addicted Walter Gascoigne 100. His Mother the Librarian D.T.F. Wolf 102. Safe Haven

Visual Section

1st place winner of the Fall visual contest Through Her Eyes Edward Fernandez

1st place winner for the Spring visual contest The L

Aaron Morris

2nd place winner for the Fall visual contest Fall Flamingos

Ericka McCammon

2nd place winner for the Spring visual contest Higher

Aaron Morris

3rd place winner for the Fall visual contest Last Light

Stephanie Zimmerman

3rd place winner for the Spring visual contest A Strange New World Amber Ericksmoen


Abigail Smallwood

Not All Who Wander Brianna Hill

A Carthage Winter Amber Ericksmoen


Andria Bowlsby

Leopard Magazine Danielle Fiarito

Chicago in the Fog Brianna Hill


Edward Fernandez

Into the Unknown Amber Ericksmoen


Carolyn Griffith


Andria Bowlsby

Lend Me Your Hand Edward Fernandez


Ericka McCammon


Andria Bowlsby

Body Image

Carolyn Griffith


Ericka McCammon

Rain Flower Liza Lanum

A Second Home Carolyn Griffith


Andria Bowlsby


Hannah Hathaway

And We Carry On Hunter Sandidge


Jacqueline Schultz

Six Mugs

Carolyn Griffith


Hunter Sandidge


Hannah Hathaway

Imgoingtopunchsam Hannah Hathaway

Back to the Drawing Board Carolyn Griffith

By All Means Alone Hunter Sandidge


Johanna B. Heidorn

Seasonal Tree Karen Chin

Cherry Sunburst Kaylie McCromick


Johanna B. Heidorn

Hand of God

Hunter Sandidge

Watchimg the World Together Marissa Gardner

Cozy House

Matthew Krause


Hunter Sandidge


Johanna B. Heidorn

Nap Time

Matthew Krause


Marissa Gardner

The Strings

Johanna B. Heidorn


Hunter Sandidge

Sls Amg Mercedes Matthew Krause

Bowl of Fruit

Meghan Johns


Shelby Louviere

Cover Image Under the Lights

Johanna B. Heidorn

Chess Piece Jena Thomas

Suburban Home Matthew Krause

French Crowds Meghan Johns


Shelby Louviere


Matthew Krause


Meghan Johns

Blushing Sky

Stephanie Zimmerman

Peanut Butter and Jelly Jena Thomas

Colored Picture Karen Chin

Window Pain Aaron Morris


Kimberly Pellikan

Written Section

1st place winner for the Fall written contest All I Know How to Do Manar Mohammad

Her body is frail, pale, pasty. Her eyes are hollow and her lips are so thin I can hardly see them anymore. Her hands are skinny and white, and it takes me a while to convince myself that they aren’t just bones, that there is a layer of skin covering them, no matter how thin it may be now. Her breathing…can I call that breathing? They are raspy gasps for air. Are they cries for help? Should I do something? I can’t. I am immobile, standing a few feet from the bed she is lying on, trying to understand how a woman as strong and brave as she is could possibly look like this. Look so vulnerable. She would hate to hear me say that, so I shake that word from my head. My father tries to pull me away-my expression must show my fear, shock, misery, despair, I don’t know what to call it-but I refuse to move. Once upon a time, this woman had a laugh that echoed off the walls in our house, a laugh that was louder than the music in our car. She had a heart that steadied my breathing when I was stirred awake by a terrifying nightmare. This is the woman who held me in her womb for nine months. She is the closest person I’ve ever been to. She understands me by an expression on my face, no matter how hard I try to appear expressionless. Once upon a time, she had a beautiful smile. Once upon a time, she had a glowing face, strong hands, a sturdy body that held itself up even when times were hardest. Once upon a time, she had the power to say my name, to yell it across the playground as she tried to find me. Once upon a time, she had the strength to hold me against her so tight that I can still see the place where her body curved to fit mine. Now, as I look at her in this hospital bed, that’s the woman that I see. I run up to her and her raspy breaths become louder. Was she scared? Was this her nightmare? I owed it to her to give her back everything she’d done to me in my life. I owed it to her to be here, to make her not afraid. Maybe right now, I was stronger than her. Did that mean that she wanted someone to hold her the way I needed her when I was sad?

Now, as I look at her in this hospital bed, that’s the woman that I see. I run up to her and her raspy breaths become louder. Was she scared? Was this her nightmare? I owed it to her to give her back everything she’d done to me in my life. I owed it to her to be here, to make her not afraid. Maybe right now, I was stronger than her. Did that mean that she wanted someone to hold her the way I needed her when I was sad? Slowly and cautiously, I crawl onto the bed, despite my father’s whispered objections. Careful not to break her, I drape my arm over her and rest my head right over her heart, so maybe she’ll understand what I’m trying to do and it will steady her breathing. As I am lying there with my eyes closed, for a second I think that we are back at home, and I’m lying next to her in bed, trying to stop crying and go back to sleep. And for a second, I think that it’s working, because everything’s gone quiet and we may as well have been asleep. But then a monitor wakes me up and I realize that I am still crying. I realize that I cannot hear my mother’s heart beating anymore. I realize that her breathing is not raspy anymore, not because she’s better, but because she is not breathing. She is not breathing. I cannot breathe. Without my mother’s heartbeat, my breathing cannot be steadied. Without my mother’s warmth, I cannot be warmed. Without my mother’s arms, I cannot be held together. Without my mother’s glowing face, her laugh, her smile, I cannot imagine laughing or smiling. Without my mother, I cannot live. Without my mother, I am not me. So how do people live without their mothers? Instead of trying to come up with an answer, I use my most valuable tool: my imagination. I use it to block out what’s happening, to shut my eyes and do the best thing I can do. I go back to sleep in my mother’s arms, and pretend I can still hear her heart beating, and pretend that her arms are wrapped around me like mine are around her. Why? Because that’s all I know how to do.

1st place winner for the Spring written contest Sometimes

Maura Atwood Sometimes I just want to go into someone else’s house pass like a ghost through the windows or sneak in the flesh through the back door. I don’t want it to be a grungy house Don’t want my veins frazzled by the torn papers of retreat, lying around like white flags Don’t want to touch the dirt that has sunken as a tarnished self-image onto the corners of the furniture I should like to go into a house that is a house a house that has been lovingly crafted into what it is for its own sake a house that can tell my Sherlock Holmes hands what kinds of minds smile there how quickly the feet go up the stairs what kinds of hearts react to the light switches and I will wander through the rooms touch the furniture, breathe the books, and lie on the carpet, smelling their lives.

2nd place winner for the Fall written contest Maddening Loss

Manar Mohammad You were such a small child So young So beautiful And I was so excited when you came All the countless nights I dreamt of the things we’d be able to do together All the times I snuck to the side of your crib to wake you up For the sole purpose of seeing that innocent laugh Time wasn’t nice to us Especially not you You were a mere child when you lost your mother And I was too young to make a promise, but I still made one to you. Do you even remember her? If not, I’ll tell you that you learned your laugh from her Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved that soulful sound That makes the sun shine brighter And those incapable of hearing to listen to that unforgettable melody Your eyes proved that eyes were windows to the soul They were proof of the motherless childhood you endured They shaded away your pain But made people unable to peer away Because in some way, it was as if they knew our story And they knew of the promise I made to you. People said you were unforgettable People said you were smart and bright Your kindness almost contagious Your silence nearly tangible Your strength envying And your character unbelievable But your heart wasn’t as strong as we thought It made you weak and put you down

Fate stood in our way and didn’t let us help you And as soon as you were here, you were gone And the promise I made to you, that promise was broken. I wonder how I am supposed to walk into the house without you I wonder how I’m supposed to go to school in the morning without you to drop off I wonder how tangible the silence will be now I fall asleep to your laugh, a sweet memory serving as a lullaby In the back of my eyes are your eyes, boring straight into mine But in my dreams, are the most wonderful images I see you with our mother and am given the relief I need to sleep through the night I see you smiling, finally been given the chance to be with her And I realize that I’ve kept my promise all these years I’ve taken care of you Now I’m just left to deal with the loss of my brother, and the maddening silence that comes with it.

2nd place winner for the Spring written contest Among

Andrea Beguhl I sit among you Though you do not see me, I’m the one who went quiet The one who looked away; You say don’t support But don’t attack either; Hate the sin Not the sinner; Don’t act like saying It’s not your place to judge, Is going to stop the stigma Is going to stop the pain; Everyone wants to belong Everyone wants to be saved; So just because there’s difference Please don’t decide to hate; I am the one who went quiet I am the one who looked away, You say you don’t judge That everyone’s okay, So think very carefully, And please tell me honestly; What would you say If I told you I was gay? 3/14/13 8:30pm For a friend who suffers in silence.

3rd place winner for the Fall contest Move

Kasey Dallman Dear God, she prays. Please help my fingers move. Just this once. Her physical therapist pushes her wheelchair across the room. Past the other hopeless cases. Until she comes face to face with a small keyboard. Not even close to the giant grand pianos she is used to. The pianos that at one time danced under the weight of her fingers. I’m trapped. She screams on the inside, echoing through every fiber of her body. The body that betrayed her. She wishes more than anything that she could lunge out of the wheelchair. Out of this prison cell. She would do anything to fight it. To not let it win. You could have let me die. The accident. It is something she will never forget. But something she still doesn’t fully understand. The way time stopped on that warm May night. The way the truck came out of nowhere. Skidding through the red light, slamming into the passenger side of her car. The way she smacked onto the asphalt. Her body, limp as a doll. Flipping over and over. Out of sync. Without rhythm. And all she could think about was the music. The music that was no longer playing inside of her. You could have let me stay with you. She remembers it in a hazy blur. As if it is an escaping dream. The moment all the pain from the accident left. All the honking horns and mortified screaming stopped. And she knew she was home. With a familiar glorious music returning to her, like a long lost lullaby. But they don’t understand. In their world, they live in silence. Where a piano is just a toy. A machine that produces sound at the push of a button. To them it is nice. Pleasant. But that’s all it will ever be. To her it is much more. A whole new universe. That speaks in many foreign tongues that only she can understand. One that brings together all the harmonious elements into a masterpiece. One that whispers into her fingers, long after she has stopped playing. One that never stops beating through her.

You gave me this gift. She remembers the first time she touched a piano. What now seems like centuries ago. Back when she was only a kid. The way her fingers brushed across the keys as if they were an old friend. Prodigy. That’s what they called her. But now she is nothing. All those years of becoming the best have all gone to waste. The therapist pulls down the breaks on her wheelchair. And he lifts up her hand. Setting it on top of the white keys. Please give me a miracle. He warned her that she shouldn’t expect anything. That this was the first of many steps. And there was a great possibility it would lead to nothing. But yet, she waits for her fingers to regain their life. Hopes they will spring into action. And grace over the keys as effortlessly as they once did. Paralyzed. She used to not understand the word. How a part of her could be alive one second and dead the next. But now she does. Please don’t let this be over. She lets out a cry. Hopeless. It shouldn’t be like this. In music the end is signified by two thick double bars planted across the staff. But she never saw this one coming. Everything has been left suspended. And she craves for resolution. In a moment she never saw coming, the therapist presses his hand on top of hers. And forces her fingers down into the keys. A weighty sound lifting out of the piano. Something she only dreamed she would be able to make again. It wakes her up. And even though it isn’t the glorious masterpiece she craves to play, it is movement. Her fingers are moving. By someone else’s doing, but moving nonetheless. The spark lights up her world once again. The double bars have been lifted. And the song has resumed. Dear God, she prays. Thank you.

3rd place winner for the Spring written contest Injustice Maura Atwood Sometimes when my blood gets really hot with the freezing intensity of wrath I yearn with all my tensed muscles to be a mangy alley dog who could pull back his metal garbage can lips, threatening the terror of his dirt polished teeth and SNARL body rigid and screaming to spring to make that flesh-rending attack that he would be so capable of. But what I really want is that snarl.


Patrick Lambdin Stepping into a place familiar Is like rereading your favorite scene. You’ve been there so often, You’ve forgotten the details Only an impression Can be seen, it seems. The memory at first a quilt Distinct. Her hair The car Upholstery All in summer’s gleam— Then in time a painting Munch Distorted like a scream. Time and memory bled together On the canvas of your dreams And the old familiar hides there smiling Crawling out A creature born from the seams.

Outside of My World Manar Mohammad

I see a world that others don’t To me, it is moving It is alive and breathing The hearts in it beating as fast as mine I see people’s arms move forward and back With every step they take I hear every child’s laugh That echoes in the street Before it is covered with the sound of hooves hitting the pavement I see the tightly wrapped fingers on the horse’s rein Of the man in control of the carriage. Others don’t see this world To them, it is a painting on the wall A blur of people who the artist didn’t feel like giving detail They see the painting as an unmoving image Hearing only the sound of their own heart They don’t notice that the dark sky is not painted black That it is actually a deep shade of purple They notice the specks of bright gold

Yet don’t care to see that it isn’t the only color That brings life to the image They don’t see the smile of the child in the distance Or that it is raining They don’t feel like drops of water on the tips of their fingers Because after all, it is only a painting. I see a world that others don’t A world beyond the frame Gripping the wall for dear life To me, it is a window of opportunities I long for I see the eyes of the man on the horse drawn carriage Winking at me under his hat Inviting me to join him for a ride As tempted as I am, I am too terrified to reach for the window Afraid that I might be sucked in It’s not that I wouldn’t like to live there I just don’t know if I’d ever want to come back.

The Atmosphere Maura Atwood

What is the sky? Immortalized by so many people, it seems a simple thing to me. I’d like to take its corners and push them away to see the blazing, gazing, red-sprinkled, golden-boned galaxies. So seductive in their power as to make you feel the sway of your own heart like a planet and the lifting of your forehead like a star But the sky is like the earth tied down to a moral symphony of colors an immortal memory of clouds So fragile made of nothing and yet immovable It makes me wonder what we’re made of.

Image in My Mind Manar Mohammad

I awaken every morning Fall asleep every night With the same image in my mind An image that soothes my soul Glues me together when I’m in pieces An image so dear to me it could be from the inside of my heart Inside every artery and vein In every blood cell that circulates in my being An image that is hard to describe Maybe even harder for you to understand Maybe you’ll get it if I tell you it is my morning and night It is in my dreams and in my reality A dream so real I try reaching for it A reality too far to reach It is my past and my future It sleeps soundly in my memories, Breathes slowly and softly As if it’ll only come to life When I am there once again If I wanted to paint this image I’d paint the green olive trees With leaves that are soft yet rough I’d darken their roots, To show you just how strong their bark is I’d paint the brick houses That have withstood every rainfall and every dry summer day I’d paint the scraping paint on the fences Because my hand brushed that fence every day And every day I watched the pieces sink down the drain As I washed my hands of them I’d paint every stone in the ground and every inch of dirt Because they aren’t filthy

They’re pieces of my home Like my fingers and nails are pieces of me I’d paint the silver doorknobs that have been there for decades And show you the rusty metal key in the palm of my hand The key that stays the same with every door it opens The same key my great-grandmother hid in her breast pocket For her heart to keep safe When she had no choice but to leave her home years before In hope that they’d return one day I’d paint the cracks in the streets The old cars that rattled past our house every day The young children playing in the same house their grandparents lived in And most of all, I’d try to describe the scent of fresh air I woke up to every morning Mixed with the sweet fragrance of morning tea Tinted with mint leaves plucked from our garden I’d describe the cooing of the mourning doves as we ate breakfast every morning Because those are all the things that make this image mine Its memories alive in my soul Its scent still the same one I wake up to every morning And fall asleep to every night


Max Dinan The engine idled. His hand was still on the key, the other halfway thru shifting to reverse. Grandiose images filled his head as he tried to wash away the pain that was currently residing there. The idea of showing up at her door…What would her face look like? What would she say? Oh, damn, did he even have her address? He pulled out his phone and tapped the messages icon. “She sent it to me the other day...” Scrolling through the list of conversations, he finally found her name. And that was when his gut twisted and his heart cracked anew. Those two letters, white on black, glaring up from the screen. “no”. That’s all. To be fair, he’d only asked for that much information; Whether or not she’d be back. And she gave it to him. But he was hoping she would at least expound on that. Or, hell, apologize? But that would be too much to ask. He slumped back is his seat, one hand running through his already messy hair. It was his own damn fault. He’d gotten his hopes up. His first mistake was responding to her text in the first place, all those months ago. But his second mistake was hoping. “Stupid... why am I so stupid?” he muttered to himself as he shifted to park and turned off the car. It was a ridiculous plan anyhow. He was stuck here, his only real means of transportation being a beaten up minivan was nearly 120,000 miles and half a tank of gas. All he had as far as her location was a state, miles away from his. He could vaguely recall the city, but that was all. He’d be lucky to make it that far without breaking down or running out of gas. But was it really wrong of him to hope? She’d texted him, telling him she’d be happier with him. He then questioned about her boyfriend, and the fact that she lived in a totally different state. “I’m probably going to leave him anyway,” she replied. “And once I do, I’ll be moving back.” But, she had promised her boyfriend they’d try, and try they did. But it was in vain. She ended it and made plans to move back. Then she called and told him the news. He was happy, but only because he felt she was. Something was finally going right. First she said she’d be back by January, then by Halloween. He couldn’t wait. To finally see her again, standing in front of him, after all these years…it would be like heaven. True, they were

different people, but she was his first love. Unless she had grown a second head or some equally massive change had occurred, he didn’t think it would matter. They would have to become reacquainted, though. They had grown up, and they needed to become comfortable again, and she would need time to heal after ending a serious 3-year relationship. He understood that. He was ready to wait. But not this long. Not indefinitely. He saw the Facebook post one night, that she was back with her ex. He had hoped it was some sort of mistake, someone hacking her profile and playing a malicious prank, or maybe she had accidentally changed it. But no, a few texts later and he had his answer. But then he wondered, is she still moving out? How would that work? Will they try long distance? Is he coming with? So he asked, and in due time, that heartbreaking answer was delivered as well. He fell forward in his seat now, head-butting the steering wheel. “Why would she even go back?” He knew why, though. It was because she was scared. She didn’t know what the single life was like anymore. It was horribly foreign to her and she couldn’t cope. Plus, she had said herself that she felt guilty for ending it like she did. Her boyfriend was without a place to live after she had detached herself, and she felt responsible. But she had been so happy that night on the phone. She was finally moving forward, she’d said. She would be living with her sister, who willing to offer financial support, and that meant she could spend less time working and more time going to class. She wanted to start her own business. She had dreams. She was gonna do something with her life, and this was her first step. And now he’d watched her run all the way back to square one out of sheer fright…and it killed him inside. And that was when he had the idea. Drive out there. Maybe that will show her how much she means. Maybe then she’ll listen. Maybe she’ll see the mistake she made and come back with him. He’d help her pack up her things and they could make the drive back together. His parents would be out of town a while longer yet, so she could crash with him while things were arranged at her sisters. And they could use that time to get reacquainted. It all played out like some stupid movie in his head. But he knew it wouldn’t work like that. Life isn’t a romantic comedy. Even if he managed to get there and find her, she would probably laugh in his face. She had made her choice. He had to live with it.

His head rested on the steering wheel still, his thoughts buzzing around inside his skull, weighing the options, trying to piece it all together. Then something broke through the silence of the evening. “BZZZT! BZZZT! BZZZT!” His phone started buzzing, rattling in the cup-holder he had tossed it into. He looked up slowly, wondering who it was that wanted to talk to him. He wasn’t exactly a popular guy, and most everyone had class in the morning, so it couldn’t be someone wanting to hang out. He had hoped to see the contact info without having to pick up his phone, but its vibrations had turned the screen away from his view. He picked it up and peered at the pixels that scrolled across the display, spelling out her name. His heart skipped at least one beat, probably more. Perhaps this was his relief. Could it be that she had changed her mind? He speedily unlocked the phone and tapped “View Now”. The text materialized, and he scanned the words, clicking through the multiple pages. “I know this can’t be easy, and you probably think I should apologize or something, but you need to see this from my side. I never promised you anything. I made that very clear from the start. Please try to understand that I didn’t do this to spite you or something. You make your own happiness in this world, and this is what’s best for me right now.” He hadn’t thought his heart could sink any lower, but he was deeply mistaken. The last nail had been hammered into the coffin. He hung his head once more and felt the tears welling up behind his eyes, and that knot in the pit of his stomach tightening as he read the words over and over. But then they disappeared, and were replaced by a window, once again bearing her name, and the words “New Text Message”. His thumb moved to open it out of habit, but he hesitated. What was the proper course of action here? Chances are this was just a continuation of her previous point. Could withstand any more twisting of the blade buried in his breast? Should he leave it for later? Or should he just get it over with? His thumb hovered as he weighed his options, and then finally it touched the screen. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and opened them again. “That being said, know that I’ll always love you. I always have. You’re an amazing man who will do wonderful things in his lifetime, and you deserve the best in everything. And that’s not me.”

The flame in his heart sparked and smoldered. Here was his chance. This was his sign. He knew now what had to be done, despite everything in his path, despite all the odds stacked against him. He hit “reply”, typed out “I’ll see you soon”, sent it off, and tossed the phone back in the cup-holder. Another deep breath, a quick wipe of his slightly damp cheeks, and he was ready. His hand grasped the key in the ignition and twisted it forward. The engine coughed to life, and he grabbed the gearshift, throwing it into reverse. A glance in the rearview mirror showed a clear driveway, and clear eyes gazing back at him.

Ending Where it Began Kaylie McCormick

We sit as awkward as we did that first day together, Not knowing any of the right words to say… And I wonder if you’re thinking about her. Are you positive that this is what you want? You’re sure? Leaving me to decay to nothing in this café? We sit as awkward as we did that first day together. My mind races thinking of all that we were, You picked me up and led me in the right direction like a child run astray… And I wonder if you’re thinking about her. I referred to times with you that I used to prefer, You just looked out of the window to watch some children play. We sit as awkward as we did that first day together. Looking back, those four months seem like such a blur, From the coffee to the car to the walls of deep gray… And I wonder if you’re thinking about her. You looked down at your coffee cup and gave it a quick stir, Got out your wallet to pay, or rather, as a means to get away. We sit as awkward as we did that first day together, And I wonder if you’re thinking about her.


Manar Mohammad “Don’t leave me here alone” A saying I’ve heard over and over One I can’t stop saying either Fear flushes my veins Fear of being left alone Of having no one to run to Fear so powerful it makes me wonder how I can live If my nightmare was to ever come true “You’ll be alright” I can’t say that But you can tell me that You don’t know of the terror I feel Of the constant fear I taste Imagining life in my worst nightmare And doing as everyone tells me to Prepare for the worst “Just close your eyes” I do as you say And the dreams arise Images of us together Smiles and moments carved into our hearts But they soon turn into shadows And become as if they were never there That’s when the nightmare begins And doesn’t end until my eyes are open

And I feel the relief of knowing what it really was Only a nightmare But I wonder For how long will that nightmare be just a nightmare? “But I’ll never let you go” Time will pass But the fear won’t Fate will prevail And the pain will come I’ll cry for you to not leave me alone But you’ll still believe that I’ll be alright Soon every time I’ll close my eyes, The images will still be a mix of dreams and nightmares They’ll dig their way into my memory And they’ll make it deep enough So I’ll never let you go


Maura Atwood It is in the autumn that my fingers are the most awake. They feel the pulsing death-song of the rusty yellow world and they pick up the piano music of the Cinderella-ing foliage and start composing Beethoven in my mind. How silent he is compared to the scents. See, the leaves have sold their blood to the wind and he rushes around trying to sell it like popcorn while we watch the singular puppet show of their grand finale. Eternally motionless fireworks until the sparks come down as an afterthought And the only bang they make is the one in my soul.

What Writing Means to Me Manar Mohammad

Every once and a while, These doubts run through my mind, Chasing after each other, Biting each other’s tails off. When this happens, My dreams try to soar but their wings get cut off by these doubts. They’re left stumbling on the pavement, waiting for their wings to grow back. They won’t grow though unless I tell them too, Unless the doubts go running away and out of my mind Leaving my dreams to fly on their own again. But this feeling is clouding my judgment It’s making me give up Because I sit here and wonder if any of this work is worth it If any of this effort, Will ever do me any good So what if I just give up? Who cares? Would I? That’s the thing; Only I would care. I try to picture my life without this gift Which honestly, I sometimes call a curse It ties you up to a pen and a paper When your mind starts throwing words together on its own Until they become sentences, poetic phrases, Even just titles It makes you crazy with people’s voices in your head Some with brown hair Some with green eyes Some are even stupidly in love with someone you’d never be with yourself They make dumb decisions Or they’re so much better than you

And happier (probably because they don’t have these darn voices in their head). I’ve tried to detach myself from them Tried to stop some of them from crying Or laughing Or telling me another joke they want me to add on page 152 But I can’t. When I do, it’s like I’ve peeled away a layer from myself And another layer unravels One that I’ve pushed away for so long That I wasn’t even aware I had It carried memories and thoughts that had sat in the back of my mind They were of me at age 12 The first time I ever grabbed that paper and pencil And told myself to write about a girl named Jamie Who had a crazy family Amazing friends And made mistakes Jamie was my escape from the bullies at school As she told me her story, Told me her sisters’ names Her favorite song, She showed me that I was capable of more than just getting good grades And being hated for them She made me feel like I was more than just the oldest child Who had to be perfect. Then came Elle, Ella, Samantha, Audrey, Thea, Jade, Emily, Seraphina, Pamela, Paige, Penelope They told me who I was And what I could be They lived in the back of my mind Even while I was sleeping And woke me up when they found a new friend, Fell in love, Felt sadness, heartbreak, joy, and anger

I grew up with them And the list of names grew with me As I got to know more characters, more personalities, and found more escapes. On the pages, Audrey’s tears echoed mine at 16 When I moved halfway across the world Miles and miles away from my friends Thea taught me to never give up on my dreams, Even when they were just getting harder and harder to achieve Jade was there when I couldn’t make new friends And she made friends just as I did And Paige showed me how to be strong When people made judgments about me based on how I look. Those are the people I know just as much as I know myself They live on pages 200, 36, 5, and too many others. Some are younger than me, some are older Some are stronger, some are still gaining confidence And as I sit here with this pen and paper I notice I’ve just learned something about another character Her name is Manar She’s 18 Not very tall She’s insecure at times, even though I tell her not to be She has these dreams she’s trying to accomplish But they’re not as easy as they may seem to be She has these characters in her head That have bled their characteristics on a lot of pages Sometimes she gets tired of them Finds road blocks and can’t see them for a while And other times she can’t get away And when she spends too much time away from them, She feels like she’s losing herself. Most of all, I know this: She hasn’t let her doubts get to her, Her dreams are soaring through the clouds again, And writing about these characters Means as much to her as it does to me.

...And Soon It Will Snow D.T.F. Wolf

November cold has come November cold has come but the trees still wish to sing and the rabbit did not leave where have the birds all gone voices still ring, feathers? Violent breeze, ripping breeze sharp cold chilling breeze whisper to me please. There goes a wolf dreaming of a lynx There goes a lynx dreaming of a tiger There goes a tiger dreaming of a swan December is near December is near but she is not yet hear voices crying out in joy It’s almost time It’s almost time …and soon it will snow.

Someone Not Me Manar Mohammad

Expensive clothing Straightened hair Covergirl and Maybellene What is the result? Someone fixed and pampered Someone fake Someone not me. Restless night Nerves tingling Sweat dripping It’s the first day of school And I’m the new girl No expectations, but one condition I won’t be someone not me. 180 days Days of many kinds Of fun and joy Of stress and tests Of loneliness and sadness Because I wasn’t like them I wasn’t someone not me. School dances, school lunches Long dresses, long conversations Some interesting, some not A loss I’d feel without a dance Without an invitation Because I was different Because I wasn’t someone not me.

Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga On their playlists Do they really listen? They sing of moments for life And being born this way Do they really listen? I do, but I’m still not someone not me. Heartbreaks and tears Young love I do not know it But here’s what I do know Family love Tears over family, not tears over boys I do know, but I’m still not someone not me. A headscarf A welcoming smile Summer-colored clothing What is the result? The new girl With no expectations, but one condition To never be someone not me.


Patrick Lambdin The walls of any house whisper— Memories hanging there, Glowing eyes and smiling faces Fading photos of what used to be. Rattling like insects filling the hall Smoking under the door Like a fog of chattering bees They echo inside The comforting sounds of a home, But their whispers sound like screams to me.

My Place

Manar Mohammad I used to know this place This place I grew up in This place where my memories lived And my love grew This place had the only family I knew This place had my roots Roots so deep it would take years to unravel This place was the one place I knew by heart This place was my place. I don’t recognize what I see I don’t understand what people tell me What they describe to me They tell me of the disaster that has struck Of the battle that is ongoing They paint me a picture A picture they say is one of my place But this picture looks nothing like it This picture has bodies scattered It’s splattered with dark red It’s covered with a veil of smoke On a black canvas With white dots scattered on it An indication of the people who want to fight But can’t

Who are against the war But can only watch I draw myself as a white dot Because my hands are tied behind my back My voice not strong enough to carry through the currents To reach those who are destroying my place To save those who are dying for it. I used to know this place This place I grew up in This place I carried in my heart across the sea This place that taught me what true love felt like This place showed me who I was This place was every winter, spring, and summer This place was where I buried my secrets This place was Palestine Palestine, not just any place, but my place.


Maura Atwood I should like to be an arsenal of a child’s [magic] art box and yet be fully versed in Poe and be able to sing Sweeny Todd on my fingers to be a rat catcher of the pieces of soul that fly like gauzy bats in the wind like the colors of the wind leaves brief as a life but eternal because they will always be imitated. I want to be able to paint the jaw-tilts, the lusty eyes, the dusty noses, the reddened sensitivities that can only speak through the ears; I want to paint like smoldering words the smiles of masterpieces tucked away in minds, the quick eyelashes of a purer fire than ours, and the blood that burned too brightly. I want to take it all and give it away back to the seething mass of veins and beauty that gave it to me in the first place.

They Know It

Manar Mohammad Sun beating Head pounding Chest closing Their eyes glaring.

Courage so easily imagined But never felt Bravery so euphoric But never experienced.

I’m on the ground Down below them In status but not in smarts And they know it.

Reality too difficult to accept Dreams too unrealistic to be real I want neither of them And they know it.

My voice taken I have no words to say No power to stand And they know it.

Sun gleaming Air refreshing Lungs gulping My thoughts no longer existing.

Hallways crowded But never crowded enough I’m not big enough to be stronger but not small enough to hide And they know it.

I’m up on a hill And won’t let them bring me down Faith in a better future is what keeps me And they know it.

Talk spreading around Words never spoken put in my mouth An image I never earned created for me I wished I was actually as bad as they made me.

Hope ascending Patience is keeping me from falling I don’t hold them as my weakness And the problem is, they know it.


Maura Atwood Bird too many poems have been written about you But I’d like to say that flash of wings you have that sudden silver fire in the singing sun and the way you teach the trees to wink and your swooping (sighing) darting body that is all heart and your unconscious children’s song of dry leaves in the green rain - well, you are the one who lets us know that the woods are alive.


Walter Gascoigne It was three AM when Crystal got out of her Jeep, she walked around to the other side and opened the passenger door. Her son Jacob was fast asleep in his car-seat, his tuft of blonde hair sticking out from under his winter cap. She hated bringing him out into the cold at this hour but she had burned all of her bridges with the sitters. There was no one left to hear her excuses for why she hadn’t shown up for two days, or not called to let them know when she was coming, or if she was even alive. So Crystal grabbed Jacob keeping him close to protect him from the cold, and headed for the side porch of the old house. The neighborhood was nothing but a slum, most of the windows were just plastic coverings, the glass smashed long ago, window blinds missing slats and bent at wrong angles. As she stood on the rickety steps A dog started barking from somewhere nearby, she knocked loudly and waited for someone to open the door. No one came. She heard the sound of children playing from within and knocked louder. Eventually a haggard looking women in her twenty’s opened the door and without saying a word turned around and went back into the house. Crystal followed locking the door behind her. She went through another set of doors which entered into the kitchen and locked those behind her as well. The only things in the kitchen were a card table and a refrigerator, she doubted anything was in it. The wall paper was peeling, the one light bulb overhead made the place look gray, dismal, and dreary. As Crystal entered the living room she collided with a four year old boy who was running around naked with a fork in his hand. His younger siblings were also nude and clutching various kitchen utensils, jumping up and down on a tattered mattress, giggling with delight when one or the other would fall off. Still holding the sleeping Jacob, she went into the only bedroom in the house. On a mattress on the floor was the haggard looking women, sitting next too her a skinny, depleted man in his thirties. Neither turned around, they only kept typing and staring at the blue glow of the monitors. Jacob began to cry, the man took his eyes from

the screen, reached into his pocket and handed her a card, Crystal handed him the money. He turned back to the his keyboard and began typing again. Crystal ran out of the house carrying the crying Jacob, past the giggling children, through the decrepit kitchen, unlocking each of the doorways and finally reaching her vehicle she opened the passenger door and thrust Jacob into his car-seat. She hurried to the driver side, started the car, and plugged in her laptop. She slid the card into place and her connection was complete. She was whole again, never mind the screaming son next to her, she had access to the internet, legal or not, and that’s all that mattered.

His Mother the Librarian D.T.F. Wolf

He asked me what dreams were and I knew I should answer as a father but I had never been that way with him the academic ruled my life, and so I began to search all the neural path ways looking trying to find that cluster of neurons that would explain to my son what a dream one, how it was a function of sleep that allowed the mind to sort through this and that but how do you explain this in a comprehensible way to a seven year of boy with the hunger for knowledge. In all my years of study I had never learned just how to handle this situation, I never thought I would have to deal with something so simple and yet so frustratingly complex. My wife walked in and I looked at her, hair all pulled back and black rimmed reading classes resting on the tip of her nose. She never had to say a world, but the answer came from her though I’ll take all the credit for it in his eyes. “Son, dreams are tear drops of imagination that fall from the thoughts of your days and form puddles of mystical things, dragons and unicorns, wizards and what ever else it is you can think of. When there is enough of these imaginative drops the river begins to form and it flows from one end to the other, from the start of your sleeping time to the end of it when you wake and all that time you spend your eyes closed the river runs and you ride on it, in a sail ship, in a row boat in a hover jet propelled space craft, it will depend on the night. Dreams are magic son, but must importantly they are your magic and you can do what ever you want with them.�

He hugged me and said good night but I didn’t hear anything once I saw that look in his eyes as if the whole universe had just ripped apart and presented him the master key to all things created and all things yet to be. He went to bed and I followed his lead wondering if maybe I could join in on his play and escape once more to the land of dreams.

Safe Haven

Manar Mohammad Blossoms falling off the trees Sun burning down their necks The children hop around the neighborhood Shaking hands with the grandfathers who’ve been raised in the same little town Little in size but big in memories It’s their safe haven And it’s the only home they’ve ever known I watch the sun set over the horizon from my veranda While listening to the children’s laughter And the evening call for prayer echoes in the distance I hear the clatter of dishes from inside the house And the chatter of my mother, my aunts, my grandmothers I smell the familiar bittersweet scent of their coffee And I know that these little moments Make this my safe haven Make me keep calling this place home Everything has a beginning and end though Life begins somewhere and ends somewhere else Moments start out beautiful but end bitterly And feelings aren’t any different It doesn’t take long for things to change For the safety to disappear For home to not be home anymore But instead become a war zone Bombs fall through the sky Screams are on repeat in my head I can’t peer out the window Because everything’s on fire I wrap my arms around the children Because their safety has been taken away And I must become their safe haven now

When someone’s been killed It is as if everyone knows it Feels the pain in their hearts Watches the soil drink up their blood Hears their mother’s piercing cries And notices the sky opening up Welcoming the lives of those who died fighting for their home Making sure that their lives are not lost But instead, marked as a symbol in the sky A reminder that our home will become safe once again Others are telling us to leave They speak of the dangers that are living in the streets Our streets The same ones that the children once played in With the sun beating down their necks And the flowers dancing off the trees Except they aren’t the same anymore Where the children used to play, men are now fighting in Where the sun used to shine, the fog now covers Where the blossoms used to bloom, they are now shutting My mother, my aunts, my grandmothers The children and me We’re all sitting together Huddled in a tight little circle Refusing to look outside to see what has become of our home Instead we feed on the memory of the safety we once felt And hold each other’s hands tightly As if holding on for dear life And close our eyes, In hope that our love will be strong enough to make this place our home again To make it our safe haven once more

Halloween Story Walter Gascoigne

Hello! …. Hello! …. Is there anyone who can hear me? Is there anyone listening? I know the signal is broadcasting, I just heard it on my car stereo. That’s why I pulled in here. There must be someone out there! Anyone! I’m at radio station WKGD, on the second floor, in the broadcasting booth, if you can hear this, please come to the station. It’s located on Hickory Road a half mile East of the Quick Trip on Elm Street. My name is Colin Parish, I work at Merv’s supermarket just up the road as a cashier. If there’s anyone out there, PLEASE! PLEASE! come to the station. There must be someone who can hear me. I can’t explain why this is happening, I don’t know why everyone vanished or where they went to. All I know is that I’m all alone. I suppose I should tell you what happened or rather where it all started. I live in my parents’ basement, I know, sad, but true. At twenty-two years old you would think I would have had my own place by now, but the job pays crappy wages and most rent, even for a studio apartment, is beyond my means. My mom and dad ignore me most of the time and act as if I wasn’t even there. Which is okay by me, I prefer it that way. I was getting ready for work when the phone began ringing. I never answer the phone, it’s never for me, so after the sixth ring when my parents didn’t answer it I picked it up. Hello, I said, nothing but dead silence. I hung up and went to leave for work. As I got upstairs I noticed the television was on my dad’s favorite channel, his recliner was empty. Sitting next to it was his can of beer and ashtray, cigarette smoking away. I thought he must be in the bathroom, it’s the only place he goes besides the fridge. I yelled out to my mom I was leaving for work, she didn’t answer, I thought she must be cleaning, it’s the only thing she does besides cook. Hello.... Is anyone listening? Does anyone care? It’s me, Colin Parish and I’m waiting at WKGD for anyone to show up. Can anyone hear me? I’m going to go on with my story, just in case this may help someone out there who is listening. Is that okay? Yeah, I thought so. `So I was on my way to work when I noticed Shelly a girl who I had a major crush on from high school was standing on the corner waiting to cross the street. I did a quick U-turn in the street

and went to ask if she needed a ride. When I pulled up to the curb and opened my window, no one was there. She just vanished in less than thirty seconds. There was no way she could have walked down the street or got into another vehicle, I would have seen it. I looked around for some time but couldn’t figure out where she had went to so fast. Know I now what happened to her. What happened to everybody. Shelly if you can here this it’s me, Colin, and I really think you’re cute and should have asked you out six years ago, but I didn’t think you even noticed me. I pulled into work with two minutes to spare, when I walked in the manager didn’t even yell at me like usual. He always has something negative to say to me, Colin your hair is a mess, Colin you’re late, Colin go help clean up isle three. I was glad he ignored me and went to the locker room to change into my uniform. Lenny, my co-worker was in there getting ready for his shift, most of the time he says hello, he didn’t even look at me this time. Most employees around the supermarket never say hi to me, but Lenny was a nice guy, it kind of surprised me that he didn’t even acknowledge me. I went to my register and waited for the manager to come with my drawer. I turned on my light to let the customers know that the check-out was open. No one came to my isle. Can you hear that? Is someone there! I hear a slight buzzing noise coming from the corners of the studio. It isn’t coming from my broadcast, that’s as clear as a bell, I can see all of the equalizers catching what I’m saying and sending it out over the airwaves. So what’s that noise? Maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe it’s better that I don’t know. I better finish my story before it’s to late. I hope someone is listening. Then it happened, that’s when I saw the first person disappear. It was old lady Hensley from house next-door to my parents, the old coot that used to flip me off when I was walking to school in the mornings. One minute she was there, the next, gone, gone like she was never there. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the spot she was just standing in, nothing. I turned to yell something to the next cashier, but she was gone too. As I turned back, people began winking out of existence, one second they were there, and the next, Poof! they were gone. When I finished screaming I was the only person left in the store. I ran for my car, jumped in and sped down

the street. As I was driving I noticed that there was no traffic, no people, and not one sound of any living thing outside of my vehicle. I began to panic. I might have cried. I turned on the radio and heard Steve Greene form WKGD telling me to make sure I buckle up for my own safety and that of others. Another person! I raced to the radio station doing over 80 mph, damn the seat belt. When I got here the building was deserted, not a sign of life anywhere. I found the studio, but no Steve Greene, I guess this is where my story started if you have been listening. Anyone? Can anyone hear me? The buzzing noise is getting louder, it sounds like hundreds of angry bees. Someone please come and help me, I don’t want to disappear too. I want to live, I want to be around other people, I don’t want to be alone. Wait. The buzzing noise is quieting down. I can hear voices now. It sounds like Steve Greene doing his news broadcast. I feel sick. Please God, don’t let me disappear. This is Steve Greene on WKGD bringing you the local and national news stories of today. In local news, another apparent suicide has claimed the life of Colin Parish, a lifetime resident and employee at Merv’s supermarket. The body was found hanging from the basement steps of his parents home this afternoon, in which he resided. No further information is given until the investigation concludes. . . . In other local news, the body of an elderly women believed to be Alice Hensley was found near her home early this morning, more details to follow when they become available.

A Talk in the Garage Patrick Lambdin

There is a flash The smell of tobacco fills the room, But it’s lit only by the soft glow Of that cigar. A man is speaking Telling monstrous things to you The tobacco fills your mouth and nose Like a rag or a water board What he says fills your ears Chokes your thoughts. You wish he you stop, But he’s your friend. Isn’t he? When his story is done You sit still smoking that cigar In the hollowed out, abandoned garage Not knowing what to say. Two hollow people Conversing over their empty lives And that’s how you pass the time. Both sitting in silence Two small gods Covered in moss Standing rigidly in an abandoned garden. He thinks you’ve heard what he’s said. The thinks that you’re a good friend, But you’re just waiting for your cigar To be empty. Then you’ll forget about his words, And find something else with which To fill your time.

Carthage College’s Centrique Magazine Staff Editor: Jacquelynn Glass Assistant Editor: Taylor-Ann Starczynski Future Editor: Sara Wuchte Joseph Schwabe Kimberly Pellikan Kaitlyn Brahm P.J. Sproule Hayley Walbeck Michaeline Perry

About Centrique Carthage College’s Centrique Magazine is an annual student-published art and literary magazine, containing a collection of writings and art works submitted throughout the school year by Carthage students. Pieces are judged by the Centrique staff and the winners receive: $75 for first place $50 for second place $25 for third place The contests are separated into four categories: Fall term visual, Fall term written, Spring term visual, and Spring term written. Feel free to contact Centrique: for upcoming competition details as well as interest in joining our staff.

Colophon Centrique is produced entirely by students of Carthage College. Its contents are copyright of the respected artists, authors, and photographers. Volume 43, 2013 is a limited edition of 300 copies. Further copies may be obtained by contacting Centrique, Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, WI 53140. Text is rendered in Didot, with headings in Helvetica and BlairMdITC TT, and page numbers in Helvetica in various point sizes. Printed by Badger Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form, by means-electronic or otherwise without express written permission from Centrique. Copyright on individual works reverts to artist upon publication.

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013 Cover photo by Johanna B. Heidorn

Centrique Volume 43

Centrique 2012-2013  
Centrique 2012-2013  

Carthage’s creative arts journal brings to the public the artistic accomplishments of some of the college’s most talented writers, artists,...