The Drumlin Dexter Southfield Spring 2020
The Drumlin staff would like to dedicate this issue of the magazine to the class of 2020. Thank you for all you have done for the Dexter Southfield community over the years. You have been fearless leaders, athletes, artists, and students. You will be missed. A special thanks to Andrea Gosselin for her assistance making the digital edition of The Drumlin possible.
DEXTER SOUTHFIELD MAGAZINE OF THE ARTS
THE DRUMLIN SPRING 2020 VOLUME TEN ~ EDITORS Winnie Cho Lily Rozzoli Clara Cahill-Rogers FACULTY ADVISERS Mr. David Bligh Mr. Nicholas Sirianno Ms. Deirdre Burke Adobe InDesign CC Belmont Printing
Poetry Fly Molly O’Toole Midnight Terror Elizabeth Werner Silent Pleasure Melina Kapourelakos Glowing Bodies Lily O’Neil The Water Lily’s Death Jayne Rathbone Balloon Dog Danny Satterthwaite “Saint Roch in the Hospital” Lily Rizzoli The Game We Love Andrew Leigh The Escape of the Goats Kenley Buchanan Home and the Family Katelyn Hamm In a Loving Family Kevin Rutowicz Love and Happiness Christopher Colon-Sanchez Where to Fish? Michael Cashell The In Between Stella MacLelland Superman Bruno Epstein The Airport in the Jungle Emma Felger The Sun Lily Chase The Snow Man Jackson Hoogasian The Persistence of Memory Jameson Liljedahl Expulsion from the Garden of Eden Jenny Smith Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm... Jack Folz One Starry Night Victoria Lumley 5 Senses Jessica Macphail Lord of the Lines Jackson McKersie The Great Wave off Kanagawa Sofia Tosi Irene Emily Hohmann Great Grandmother’s Portrait Winnie Cho What I would not give Winnie Cho Elijah in the Desert Daniel Silva Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night Lauren van Veen Quarter to Three Cate Clancy His Tragic Eyes Clara Cahill-Rogers The Golden Man: A Mock Epic Eric Steinberg
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Images Front Cover Back Cover
Optical Reflections Karma
Needlefelted Self Portrait Yellow Flowers Roadkill Streaks Happy Tears Untitled Durer Rhinocerus Batik Collaboration Makes My Head Spin Untitled Foot Christinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Friends Broken Glass Dead Seahorse Moon Space Shuttle Self Portrait Beach Untitled Untitled Shadows Fiat Untitled Wave Untitled Goldfish Untitled Octopus Wolf
Rebecca Murray Lauren van Veen
Christina Oates Kenley Buchanan Amelia Tucker Christina Oates Lily Hanifin Paublina Damigella Evelyn Kearney Margaret Thompson Kaitlyn Murphy Lauren van Veen Zac Thomas Amelia Tucker Christina Oates Amanda Gardner Christina Oates Amelia Chase Jacob Deveikas Christina Oates Herbie Kopf Eloise Binder Sofia Nogueira Sanca Amelia Tucker Carlo Hensch Leo Thomson Baird Robinson Abby Enselek Lauren van Veen Lauren van Veen Amelia Tucker Luke Wilson
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Houston Spaceship Spiderweb and Flowers Untitled Web Moose Untitled Untitled
Carlo Hensch Katelyn Hamm Stella Mac Lelland Margaret Thompson Sully Weidman Emma Felger Jack Huang
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Fiction A Light Full of Darkness The Box Pole Town Kobayashi Aimiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Indoctrination A Dinner Date with Fate
Maddie Doyle Shelstie Dastinot Jack Mills Lauren van Veen Aris Doganis
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Needlefelted Self Portrait wool
Yellow Flowers digital photography
Fly Inspired by Kehinde Wileyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s John, 1st Baron Byron By Molly Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Toole In and around the body of the black man, the whimsical flowers intertwine themselves. The lustrous red of the background takes a stand. His eyes compel. The whimsical flowers intertwine themselves around the branches that are linked by love. His eyes compel. I see birds, but there is no such thing as peace without the dove. The lustrous red of the background takes a stand. There is a language spoken here, but it is not with words in and around the body of the black man. He flies like the birds.
Roadkill Copic marker, ink, acrylic
Elizabeth Werner Midnight Terror The child is not gone. She is struggling. Struggling in this world That has fallen apart. The angel of darkness Beyond the field. His ring of heat Storming around the ground. He put the sound Back within her With a soft bang. Then she was released of her sins Like we all can be. Every night I lay outside Begging for the cold to release me, But the cold chilled me But never hurt me. If they say I am numb. Then fine: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m numb. Life was not real, anyway..
Melina Kapourelakos Silent Pleasure based on The Swing by Jean-HonorĂŠ Fragonard A lady in a clump of pink, Sitting on a cushion of gold and red velvet, Held up by two long and narrow, yet sturdy strings. She oscillates above the twigs and flowerets, Revealing cream-colored, silk stockings. From the swirl of her hat, to the toss of her rose-colored slipper, The damsel swings blissfully in the wind. She looks mischievous, Concealing herself away from her reality. An elderly gentleman yanks the strings to guide her through the air. Her eyes glance downward, To a suitor hidden in the foliage, Who leans on his right arm and leg, Destroying the fence between the two lovers. She runs far away from her quarters, Into an overgrown garden, Filled with misplaced statues of affection. Cupid raises his fingers to his lips, While angels cover the pain of love. She swings effortlessly towards her lover, Risking her superior life and duty. Her pleasure characterizes that of the aristocracy, Decades prior to the 1789 Revolution. Placed in an overgrown garden, The swing breaks her far away into a life of havoc, As she follows her true infidelity. The daylight brightens up the foliage behind her figure, As she chases her disobedience into the Enlightenment. 10
Streaks Copic Marker
Christina Oates 11
Glowing Bodies Desperate for Ascension By Lily Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neil Glowing bodies desperate for ascension Idealized beauty like the faith portrayed Chiseled figures righteousness chipped away Facades of false modesty in exchange for tickets above Idealized beauty like the faith portrayed Sins hidden behind muscled armor and gilded skin Facades of false modesty in exchange for tickets above Rising toward the light on clouds of impiety Chiseled figures righteousness chipped away Putting on the act for one Last Judgement Glowing bodies desperate for ascension Skins of sinners rising to the hands of God
Happy Tears digital photography
Untitled digital photography
The Water Lilyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Death By Jayne Rathbone As the pond stood slowly, quiet like a lily, The flowers surrounded the stand-still bridge. Somehow the flowers slept in silence While the virus was the source of violence. The flowers surrounded the stand-still bridge And their livesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ending stood near While the virus was the only source of violence, And the world was ending since Somehow the flowers slept in silence While the untouched nature lay in perfection. As the pond stood slowly, quiet like a lily, The sickness overcame and made it quite busy.
Balloon Dog By Danny Satterthwaite Based on Jeff Koonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Balloon Dog Simple yet so complex Shiny and round Ten distinct sections A dog? Balloons? Joy itself? We are all animals But have we evolved? Are we any different than a dog? Are we any better than other animals? Are all animals the same? Are we worth fifty-eight million dollars? No! Our differences are reflected by the mirror finish We have different Hair Faces Bodies Clothes Yet our similarities are symbolized by the sculpture We are Happy Creative Joyful Imaginative And in our hearts, we are all like wide-eyed puppies waiting to see what happens next. 16
Durer Rhinocerus drawing on scratch board
Batik Collaboration batik on fabric with burning and mixed media.
Margaret Thompson and Kaitlyn Murphy
Lily Rizzoli “Saint Roch in the Hospital” Based on the painting by Jacopo Tintoretto They begin to pile up on top of one another, some limp and gone Some shallowly breathing. Humanity is lost, they are numbers now. Brothers lie side by side, Searching in vain for their voices But the voices are gone, and fear takes over. He stands there above them, waiting for them To shut their eyes and sleep. That’s when he will take them When they finally feel release. Some of them will think he’s forgotten them That they have made it through But he lingers And when they think he’s done, He strikes again And they become the limp and gone.
Makes My Head Spin Digital drawing
Lauren van Veen
A Light Full of Darkness By Maddie Doyle My name is MJ Maxx. My life is pretty much the same as those around me, although that isn’t very many people. Since my father is such an important person (he’s the crowned head of our society) my life is heavily guarded as much as possible in our society. Our world is safe and happy, a place where extreme measures are taken so that no one ever feels too different or not needed. Feeling these things is rare, but if you feel this way it may lead to a mental illness. An MI. That’s what we call them because no one wants to talk about them. They are too scary and unpredictable. If you have an MI, you are a Mun. Muns are sent to Liveries across our world where eventually they die. At least I am assuming you die because I haven’t heard of anyone coming back from the Livery, and I hear a lot with my father being who he is and all. I live in a tall white house in the outskirts of London with my mother, father, and brother Jack. Bron Maxx is my father. Cara Maxx is my mother. Jack Maxx is my brother. I’m MJ Maxx. If you haven’t heard of us, which would be surprising as the press features us a lot, we are part of the upper class. You can tell that by looking at our last name. Maxx. Two “x”s. All families in the upper class have two of the same letters at the end of their name. My best friend is Lucy Brann. Two “n”s. She’s also part of the upper class. If you are in the middle class, you have only one letter at the end of your last name. Such as Ted Leno. He’s a boy I know who lives in downtown London. He’s middle class. The lower class just has one or two letters for their last name. Such as Nor W or Ken Jh. I don’t know if those are real people or not. I don’t know many people in the lower classes, but that is how our society is orchestrated. Today is Thursday. I woke up at 6:30. I rolled over and my LightCard lit up. It knows that I am awake. I picked it up and filled out the same questions that I fill out every morning. 21
“What did I dream about?” “How many times did I wake up during the night?” “What was the first thing I thought of when I woke up?” The usual stuff. I answer the questions and roll over, so I am facing my ceiling. I turn my neck to look out the window. I can see our lawn and that’s about it. I get up and walk over to the window. Our street is long and quiet, one of the few streets that make up my neighborhood. There aren’t very many people who live in my secluded neighborhood. It consists of large white houses and black government cars; everyone who lives near me works for government. Since our neighborhood is gated and we aren’t allowed to drive any other cars than the ones our drivers drive, I rarely see any other type of car unless I go into London. The nearest house to mine is across the street and down to the left. It’s big and white, just like ours. That is where Lucy lives. Down a ways is another large white house where the Dunbarrs live. I don’t know them very well. I hear a knock on my door. “MJ, breakfast is served.” It’s Cima, our housemaid. I turned and picked up my LightCard and walked into my bathroom. Hanging on a clothing rack was my school uniform. My LightCard lit up again. It asks for my fingerprint and then a question pops up. “Now that you have been up for 10 minutes, how do you feel?” I answered that I feel fine. I changed into my uniform which consists of a blue skirt and a grey school shirt. I brush my teeth and hair and head downstairs. School is about five minutes away. It’s at the end of my street. It’s a large grey building. Since each neighborhood has its own school, all grades go to school together. School is fine, the class sizes are small to prevent anyone from getting what they call “social anxiety.” That is an MI and it is dangerous for you and those around you. We don’t talk about them very much except for the fact that they are dangerous. Periodically throughout the day, we all update our Light Cards. All five of us in my class. We get asked how we feel, 22
what we ate, if we feel tired, do we feel on top of our schoolwork? The usual questions. And we all answer all the usual answers. Our teacher, Mr. Daw, also updates his card regularly. So do the groundskeepers around the school and our neighborhood. Everyone does. In the morning we did the usual subjects: mathematics, science, happiness, English. Those are the classes that we take every day. Then we had lunch. At lunch, Lucy turned to me. “MJ look over there.” She pointed her finger across the room. Meg Lunn was crying. Meg is in my brothers’ class, she lives down my street a bit. I looked at Lucy, her eyes were huge and staring with a hint of nervousness. “She’s probably fine, just got too excited,” I responded. But I was not sure. Crying is something you do at home in the privacy of your room, it is not for public display. A teacher walked over, whispered something in Meg’s ear, and they both walked out of the room, Meg was still crying. We are taught that feeling sad is okay occasionally, but we should pay attention to how much this happens. If we feel sad multiple days in a row, we need to put our symptoms into our LightCards and it will alert the Services. Then the Services will come to your home and monitor you for a while and run some tests. I am not sure what happens after that because no one I know has ever had that happen to them. I do know though that if you don’t get better, you are taken to the Livery. After school that day, Cima picked up and Jack and I from school. She was given special permission to drive one of the government cars because school was just down the road. “Your father just got home and he’s excited to see you both,” she said. Jack and I looked at each other. Every time father was gone for work, he always came home with stories and souvenirs to show. I personally think he’s just trying to get us interested in what he does for his 23
job because Jack and I will be taking over I do know though that if you don’t get better, you are taken to the Livery. After school that day, Cima picked up and Jack and I from school. She was given special permission to drive one of the government cars because school was just down the road. “Your father just got home and he’s excited to see you both,” she said. Jack and I looked at each other. Every time father was gone for work, he always came home with stories and souvenirs to show. I personally think he’s just trying to get us interested in what he does for his job because Jack and I will be taking over his role one day, but maybe that’s just me. “He was in Africa, Madagascar, and the Maldives this week you know,” Cima said looking back at us through the mirror. “Oh, I know,” Jack responded, “I saved the newspapers.” Cima smiled. Father was sitting in his library once we get home. He looked up as we entered the room, and his face lit up. “Hey guys,” he said, getting up to hug us. “I missed you both.” His hair is light brown, and he has stubble on his chin. It’s rare that he is home for more than a few days, but today he’s home for the week. Jack ran off to grab the newspapers featuring Father while I sat and talked with him. “So, MJ,” he said, “I was wondering if you would like to come with me to the Livery tomorrow. Jack won’t be able to come, he’s too young. But I think it would be a good thing for you to see.” I looked up at him thinking I had misheard what he said. The Livery? Did he just say Livery? That’s where Muns go. “The Livery?” I asked. “Are you sure?” He nodded. “I know that seems a little scary to you, but you are getting older, and it’s a good thing for you to see. You need to understand it.”
I sat there silently. He tilted my chin up so I was looking at him instead of the ground. “MJ,” he said, “You can do this.” I nodded. My LightCard lit up and I filled it out. “Okay,” I said. The next day, we went to the Livery. I got a special excuse to miss school. I put on my best pants and coat and Cima brushed my hair extra well. The Livery is about an hour and a half away. It is also on the outskirts of London, but opposite from us. We could have either driven around London or right through London, we chose to drive right through. After Jack went to school, father and I got in the car with the security guard. I did not know his name, but he was scary. Mr. Js was our driver. We drove down our street, past the big white houses and sprawling green lawns. It took us six minutes to get to the entrance gates. The entrance is just a little house with a worker and a gate in the entrance lane and exit lane. Mr. Js waved to the worker, and the gate opened. We pulled out onto the road. “Here we go,” said Father. “Are you excited MJ?” I nodded slightly. Inside though, my stomach was doing little flips, and my palms were profusely sweating. I hoped Father would not try to hold my hand. “Here we go,” said Father. “Are you excited MJ?” I nodded slightly. Inside though, my stomach was doing little flips and my palms were profusely sweating. I hoped Father would not try to hold my hand. Father’s LightCard lit up in his pocket. He took it out and filled out the questions quickly. I started to get more nervous because I couldn’t remember the last time I had used mine which made me nervous because I didn’t want to have to respond that I was nervous again. I answered that I was nervous the afternoon before after Father had invited me, the previous night before dinner, then again when I was going to bed, and that morning when I had woken up. That was a lot of nervousness to have been recorded on my LightCard. 25
As we started to get farther from where we lived, the gated communities started to disappear. Instead, there were houses that were built right up next to the road. At first there were just a few but then they started to get more and more frequent until they were right next to each other. Then, the tall buildings of London started to shoot up out of the ground. We drove past Big Ben and the House of Parliament, one of the oldest museums in London. Then past Buckingham Palace, another old museum. The streets were crowded with all types of people. I hadn’t been into London in a while, so it was a little overwhelming. Every so often I saw someone filling out their LightCard, and I wondered when mine would light up. Soon enough, the tall buildings started to fade away, and we were back in the countryside. Mr. Js looked back at Father and me through the mirror. “About 10 minutes until we arrive,” he said. My heart started beating faster, the circus starting up again in my stomach. I was going to the Livery, where Muns were kept. Maybe I would see one, I wanted to. Just to see what one looked like. They were dangerous though, so I was going to have to be careful. The other side of London was bare, there wasn’t much there. Just fields and old fences lining the streets. Ours was the only car. Then suddenly there was a sign that read “Livery Government Center, 1 Mile.” We were getting close. The building was large and grey. A barbed wire fence ran all the way around it. Mr. Js pulled up to the gate. He handed his ID to the security guard. “The Crowned Head,” Mr. Js said. “Yes,” replied the security guard, “We’ve been expecting you, welcome.” Father nodded at him, and we pulled through the gate. Inside the Livery was grey, grey, and more grey. All concrete and empty. Father and I walked in the front door to a large hallway going to our left and right. In front of us was grey concrete desk. A lady was sitting behind the desk typing on a screen. Father and walked up. 26
“Good morning,” she said looking up and smiling, “Someone will be with you in just one moment, Mr. Maxx.” She turned her chair to a phone behind her and dialed. “They’re here,” she said into the phone. A moment later, three men entered the front door. “A pleasure, Mr. Maxx,” said one of the men. He and Father shook hands, and then Father shook hands with the two other men. They seemed to have met before. Father gestured towards me. “This is MJ,” he said to all three men, “She will be accompanying me today.” I smiled, and inside me the circus started up again. We began to walk down the hall to the right. The echoing of the shoes was the only sound. I stayed in the back of the group because Father was quietly discussing something with the men in the front. Along the hall were lots of doors, all of them were closed. All of them. We turned down another hall, there was still nothing else but concrete, the sound of our shoes, and our group. There wasn’t anyone else to be seen. I was starting to get tired of the Livery. We had walked for a while, and I needed to go to the bathroom. I didn’t know where a bathroom was, and I couldn’t have asked Father or any of the men because they were deep in conversation, so I decided to find one myself. I made sure the security guard was focused on Father and not on me. The moment he turned away from me, I snuck down a hallway and waited. The footsteps faded away. I didn’t have much time before they noticed I was gone, so I had to be fast. I ran to the nearest door I saw, opened it and went in. Before me were ten metal cots, five across from five. There was a small mirror on the wall across the room from me next to a bare bookshelf. On four of the beds were people. My heart shot up in my throat. Those were Muns, they were right in front of me. I let out a small scream. All four bodies jumped a little. 27
The Muns turned and looked at me. I was surprised to see they were all girls my age. Without turning, I tried to grab the doorknob. “Who are you?” one of them asked me. I was shaking. I started to stammer. “I- uhh- I-,” I couldn’t speak. The girl started to laugh. “Come sit,” she said. “We don’t bite.” I just stared. The girls looked at each other. “Are you okay?” another one of them asked. I still couldn’t move. “I- uhh- I’m not- uhh- supposed to be here,” I stammered out. I turned to go. “No wait,” the first girl said smiling, “Please don’t leave, it’s awfully boring in here, and you’ve just arrived. Come sit.” She patted the small space next to her on the cot.” I still stood there. “Really,” she said, “We are friendly, we don’t bite.” She smiled again. I didn’t know what to do. “Fine,” she said, “At least tell us your name.” The other girls nodded enthusiastically. “MJ,” I whispered. The first girl smiled. “Hi MJ,” she said, “Where are you from?” I wasn’t supposed to answer that question. “Uhh- London,” I replied. “Really? Me too!” She clapped. “MJ’s from London too! How exciting,” she laughed. Then her smile disappeared. “I haven’t been home in a while though,” she turned away. I thought I saw her wipe a tear away. Then she turned back. “I forgot to tell you my name, I’m Carson.” “Hi Carson,” I answered. I walked over to the bed they were on. “I’m Del,” said the second girl. “I’m May,” said the third. “And I’m Jan,” said the fourth girl smiling. On the bed were a deck of cards. They were playing a game I didn’t recognize. It was then that my LightCard lit up. They all flinched at the noise. 28
I took it out and looked at them. They were all staring at it “I-uhh, have to answer this,” I said. “Okay, go ahead,” replied Carson. “Do you not like these?” I asked. They all frowned at it. “No, not really. Those are part of the reason we are here. Filling those out,” Carson replied. “What do you mean?” I asked. I was confused. Carson held up her arm. I hadn’t noticed how thin she was. “I have an eating disorder,” she stated. “That’s why I am here.” “I have clinical depression,” Del piped in, “That’s why I am here.” “How long have you been here?” I asked them. “Nine months,” answered Carson. Nine months? I couldn’t even think of what I was doing nine months ago. “A year and a half,” said Del quietly, looking down at her feet. A year and a half? My head had started to spin. “But you get to go home right?” I asked. “You get to see your family, right?” “No.” Carson, Del, and Jan replied together. My head started to spin even more. They hadn’t seen their families or friends or homes. May started to cry. “She’s only been here for three weeks,” Carson said, “She’s not used to it yet.” “But why can’t you go home?” I asked them. “Why can’t you go home?” “Because we wouldn’t fit in anymore, everyone thinks we are dangerous, we would be shunned.” Carson stated. Dangerous? They didn’t seem dangerous to me at all. Yes, Muns were dangerous for society because their brains weren’t straight. But these girls weren’t dangerous, they were the same age as me. How could they be dangerous? I stayed with them for a little longer, but I knew Father would start to get scared, so I left. “Bye, I’ll be back soon, I promise.” I said as I opened the door. They all smiled at me as I left. I looked down the hall to 29
left and right, still the same, all concrete with numerous doors on either side. I didn’t know how or when I was going to get back, but I just knew that I needed to. I felt awful for them, stuck in that prison all day on those tiny cots. How could adults keep them like that? When Father found me, he was furious. He told me I should not have run off like that, that I had put myself in danger. I didn’t respond. The next day, I knew that I needed a plan for how I was supposed to get back to the Livery. Father wasn’t going back for a few months, and he would say no if I even tried to ask because he was still mad that I had run off. I decided to ask Cima. “Cima,” I asked, “Do you think you could get Mr. Js to take me back to the Livery? I forgot something there.” Cima looked at me puzzled. “MJ, I don’t think so. Whatever it is we will just replace it.” “No, please,” I begged. “It was my English writing. I forgot it was in my coat pocket, and I left it there by accident. I can’t start over; it is due tomorrow. Please Cima.” She looked at me cross. “Your father is not going to be happy that you are returning,” Cima said dryly. “No!” I shouted. Cima jumped a little and looked at me. “Sorry,” I apologized, “I just don’t want to bother Father, he is probably really busy this week.” Cima raised her eyebrow at me. “He doesn’t need to know. I bet it’s at the front desk, I’ll just run right in and grab it, then I’ll be out.” I flashed her a smile. “Please, Cima. Please.” “I’ll see what I can do,” she said frowning. The Livery looked the same as we pulled up. Large, dreary, and grey. The whole car ride I had been retracing my steps from last time, or at least trying to. Every hallway had looked the same. I would just have to try my best. I walked in the front door, luckily there was no one at the front desk. I turned the same way I had turned before and tried my best to retrace all my steps. 30
I turned down a familiar looking hallway and then another. Finally, somehow, I found the hallway that I had snuck into a few days prior. I heard voices and footsteps from somewhere distant. I peeked out into the hallway that I had just come from. I looked down it and saw people, older boys, walking single file. They all wore the same grey outfit and their heads were all shaved. Three men in uniforms escorted them. On the back of their grey shirts, it read “Departure.” That confused me because the girls had told me that they weren’t allowed to leave, so where were these men going to? I found the room and knocked. It opened and Carson stood in front of , a big smile across her face. I went in. I convinced Mr. Js to take me there next week, and the week after. I told him that I was very interested in the Livery, and since I was supposed to follow in Father’s footsteps, I had a reason to go back. He believed me. One day a week after he dropped off Jack, we went to the Livery, and I went in for a few hours. Then, I would show up to school late with a note saying I had been allowed to sleep in. The system worked, and I became best friends with Carson, Del, Jan, and May. I talked to them about things I didn’t even tell Lucy. They told me about their families and homes, how they had been taken, what they did every day at the Livery. Then one day, everything changed. It started out the same. Mr. Js and I dropped Jack off for school. Then we drove to the Livery. My mother and father still had no idea. When we got to the Livery, I snuck into the side door that I had found and made my way to the room. I knocked. There was no answer. I tried again. Nothing. I tried one more time. Still nothing. This was a first. They were always in the room. I opened the door. There was no one in the room. I walked in. There were clothes all over the floor. Four sets of clothes. I thought that was strange. Then I looked at the third bed on the right. On it was the same grey uniform the men had been wearing the second time I came. I flipped it over. On the back it said “Departure,” just like the other ones said. I didn’t know what departure meant but judging by the clothes on the floor, Carson, Del, Jan, and May were wherever departure was. 31
I stayed in the room for a while, but they did not return. I decided to ask the front desk. I left the room and found the side door I had been using. I exited and walked around front to the main entrance. I walked in and up to the front desk. The woman looked up at me. “Aren’t you Mr. Maxx’s daughter?” She asked me. “Yes,” I replied. She looked at me puzzled. “I have a question,” I said. “What does departure mean?” “Excuse me?” She raised her eyebrow at me. “Why does it say it on the back of those grey suits?” I tried again. “Those are our departure groups,” she said dryly. “When we need room for more Muns, we get rid of existing ones. They are taken away and executed. We only have so much room here,” she said with a laugh. “We can’t hold all of them here. Out with the old and in with the new.” My head started to spin. Executed? Executed? That meant they were killed. They were dead. Carson, Del, Jan, and May. Dead. They were my age, and now they were dead. Dead. The world was spinning. The floor was up, and the ground was down. I was about to be sick. Then everything went black. I woke up in my bed. Cima was standing over me and Mother was lying next to me, stroking my hair. Father was pacing the room, his head in the hand, muttering to himself. “MJ sweetie, you’re up,” Mother said softly. Father turned and looked. His face was furious. “You went back?” He shouted. “You went back because you made friends? Friends with the Muns. Muns for God’s sake MJ. Muns. You put yourself in danger. What were you thinking? And—” Mother cut him off. “Bron! Stop!” She said. “She just woke up.” I lay there silently. It felt like there was a hole in my chest. A big, empty hole. The hole did not go away. I did not go to school; I did not get up. All I felt was the hole. My friends had been killed. My best friends. They had been killed and no one cared. Father was theCrowned Head, he was the reason they were killed, it was his rule. The hole was all that I felt, nothing else. The Service men 32
arrived. They whispered with Mother and Father. Mother cried; Father rubbed his head. I did not know what they said, I did not care. Then I got tired, not from doing anything, just tired. Tired of my house, of lying there, not being able to get up. I wanted it to go away. I needed it to go away. I had tried to explain to Father that they were not dangerous, that they were my friends, that they did not deserve that. But he did not listen. I decided I was done. One night, I climbed to our roof. I wanted the hole gone. It was all that I felt. It consumed my whole body. I stood on the roof and looked down. Down at the grass. The ground was a long way down. I walked over to the edge and peered over. My stomach flipped. That was the most I had felt in a long time. It was something other than the hole. I took another step, then another until there were no more steps to take. I looked down. It was a long way down. All I had to do was take one more step, one more step into the thin air and— “MJ!” it was Father. “MJ no, don’t do this. Don’t do this.” I turned and looked at him. He was five yards back, breathing heavily. Tears were streaming down his face. “MJ, don’t do this. I am here. I love you. Don’t do this.” Tears started in my eyes. “I was wrong,” he said. “I was so wrong. You are not dangerous; they are not dangerous. I was so wrong. I am so sorry. I love you, MJ. Don’t do this.” My eyes were blurred by tears. My heart opened, and I ran to him. He held me. “I am so sorry. I was so wrong. I love you. I will change it. I will change all of it. I promise you. I will change it.”
Untitled wood, paint, adhesive, string
The Game We Love By Andrew Leigh Sweat drips from my forehead down onto the ground. There is no feeling like this. I have been on the field playing Baseball! The crowd is going wild. They cheer and cheer as their friends take the field. All other thoughts are gone. The lights are bright The team is prepared for one thing, and one thing only A championship. Their minds focused, Their bodies pulsing with adrenaline. The crowds are anxious for the game and it starts. The other team does not understand. From where did this power come? They fall. We are a new team. One that cannot be reckoned with. We are the champions.
Foot vine charcoal
The Escape of the Goats By Kenley Buchanan I felt the soft cool breeze of the summer day The vivid green grass collapsed under me to create a soft cushion for my tired body I could feel the heat radiating from the sky-candle on my skin which made me feel at peace I could hear the noises of the goats every twelve seconds which gave order to things I’ve always loved the goats Papa’s farm has over 300 of those daring horned creatures Watching them frolic in their paddock brings a sense of calm to my state of mind I wonder what it feels like to live with my only worry being which grass I want to eat today I envy their lack of responsibility and time they’ve wasted doing rubbish So, I watch them Never knowing how they feel nor what they think Sometimes I wonder if they dream about being set free I think I’m going to fulfill their possible dream I wonder what Papa would think
Home and the Family By Katelyn Hamm The house is tall. The street is happy and safe. It follows the tracks down to the playground. The brown paint is chipped By the weather and wear. I am safe at my home Where I grew up, learned to live, Blocked by the big hydrangea plant. Flowers spread around Causing people to stop and look. Welcoming, with a black and white dog at the front. The word spread by neighbors around. 15 years in here and 15 more, no need to rush. Care, hidden behind the tall brown door and into the entryway.
In a Loving Family By Kevin Rutowicz Oh what a loving family are we, Easy to love and forgive thee; We all are sad at times, But cheered up by our slimes; Then one of my cousins says, “Oh no I’m sad.” Which all of us turn them around into a chat, At night we all huddle around the fire; And inch closer and closer until we are as close as a choir, We all are so warm and happy, Until the games come on and become so snappy: We all are like chimps bantering at the TV, But not at each other which we all agree; In the end we all love each other, Just like a baby and a mother.
Christinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Friends watercolor, ink
Love & Happiness By Christopher Colon-Sanchez Love and happiness Are a state of mind. For some it opens their eyes, And to others it makes them blind. They can last you a lifetime And start as just kids but no matter how young or old everyone knows what it is. Love and Happiness Are both one of a kind But deep down inside It is clear to see, that Love and happiness Are a state of mind.
Broken Glass digital photography
The Box By Shelstie Dastinot In a place far far away that some knew as “The land Of the Free, Home of Brave” and others knew as “Hell on Earth” lived a bunny named Harriet Bunman. Harriet Bunman was born enslaved in Bunnyland and her ancestors were brought from Arribat by the big hard-shelled turtles who called themselves the slowpokes of the world. The slowpokes were very slow and lazy, so they wanted to force others to do their jobs for them as they rested in their mansions. They were big, but not tough so they knew they wouldn’t stand a chance if their workers were to revolt against them. After searching high and low for easily controlled bodies, they landed on the Bunnies; they were speedy, gentle, and most important nonconfrontational. Harriet was a young bunny with big floppy ears that could hear sounds from miles and miles away. She had a brown underbelly with white fur on top,and her black eyes deceivingly gleamed with innocence as she pranced around the field. Harriet was not like the other bunnies who did as they were told. She was too curious about the outside world, and she knew one of the ways to become more knowledgeable was to learn how to read. Every night at 2 a.m. for a whole year, without any other bunnies finding out, she snuck out of her cold little cabin into the slowpoke’s family room and diligently studied. As a young bunny, reading was like solving a puzzle. She knew what each word meant, but just couldn’t piece them together and comprehend the message. Yet every day, she came back to read some more, as if the books were telling her she needed to stay enslaved. When the clock struck 4 a.m., 30 minutes before sunrise, she would place every single novel back the way it was, sometimes even better, and hop on back to her cabin as if she had never left. Or so she thought. Henry “Bunz” Brownie, known for almost getting every bunny killed for refusing to leave his cabin and go to work, was head
over paws for Harriet. The way her ears flopped in the wind: he couldn’t get enough. The blackness in her eyes showed the average slowpokes innocence, but Henry knew she was a troublemaker at heart. He would watch in awe as she did her little hop of happiness by twisting and spinning in the air as she jumped. Henry called it a “binky,” and he loved her buckteeth smile. He liked her so much that he figured out her routine so every night that Harriet hopped into the slowpoke’s house, Henry would watch as her fluffy tail shook the starry night. He knew that she was inside learning how to read because she was a nerd, but he wanted to know why. Henry didn’t know how to approach Harriet, so he talked to his mates and mustered up the courage to finally begin a conversation. “Harriet, are you a library book because I can’t stop checking your buns out!” “Um, what?” “Oh sorry. I meant to say hi, but it just came out the wrong way.” “It’s two in the morning. You’re wasting my time and I need to go read my books.” “Now that you mention the books, why do you do it?” “Do what?” “Do it.” “What’s ‘it’?” “Read the books! Why have you been reading every night from 2 to 4 a.m. for the past year?”Harriet stared at Henry with a creeped-out look on her face. “I’m not a stalker, I swear. I’m just intrigued.” “I do it because there’s a message in there that I just can’t grasp.” “What’s the message saying?” “I just told you. I don’t know, but either way I’m tryna get out of here.” “Oh my God. You hate it here too?”
“Hell yah I do. You think I want to slave away my whole life? The “work” hurts my back, and if I slow down even the slightest bit, they threaten to kill me or send me to another slowpoke family that’s even hotter than here!” “I was just making sure cause I was planning on escaping for the same reasons too!” “Wait. What’s your plan? Because if I like it, we can team up and save all of our people.” “All of our people? I thought we were bunnies!” “You know what I mean!” “Anyways, my plan can only house two bunnies max with our buns.” “Two bunnies max? Henry, what’s your plan? I already know it’s going to be stupid.” “Ok. Here me out. What if I... or we! ship ourselves in a box to Philadelphia for freedom.” “That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” “Oh ya cause your plan’s just sooo great right. I just can’t wait to hear your genius idea.” Harriet stared at Henry annoyed at his sarcasm. “So, umm, what’s your plan?” “You know how I’m freakishly good at digging holes.” “yes….” “What if I told you I dug a hole--or should I say a tunnel-underground from here to Philadelphia to help us all escape?” Henry’s jaw dropped to the ground. “Yup. I call it the Underground Bunroad. And unlike you, I thought about all of us and not just myself.” “How is that bunnyly possible?” “Let’s just say instead of reading from 2-4 a.m., I read from 2-2:45 a.m., hopped from the back to the woods and dug until I couldn’t anymore. Bet you didn’t see all of that happen.” “I knew you were a troublemaker at heart,” he said with wide eyes. 45
“Shut up!” Harriet planned on commencing her Underground Bunroad escape in two days, but when the slowpokes saw her make a perfect cake from their recipe book, they realized Harriet knew how to read, which was one of their biggest fears. They were so angry that no one found out earlier, and they were so scared she would rebel against them and start a revolution that they acted quickly and hit her in the head with a heavy pot several times. This caused traumatic head wounds as they tried to erase her memories of reading. Harriet was in so much pain and from then on, her dizziness wouldn’t stop as she experienced weird visions and wacky vivid dreams from someone she described to Henry as God. At first, Harriet was confused by the messages from God, but one day, it all finally clicked. “Howard! Howard! I’m a genius. I know you won’t believe it!” “It’s Henry. What happened this time?” “Guess what? Guess what!” “You better not say chicken butt again or I’ll slowpoke you in the head.” “No I’m serious this time. It’s about the books!” “What about them?” “You know how I could never figure out what they were trying to tell me?” “ya…” “And that I always felt like I needed to stay as if I was meant to be here?” “ya…” “Well, that’s because that’s exactly what they were saying, and it all clicked today!” “Wait keep going. I need to hear it all.” “Well, those are the stories the slowpokes read to justify their actions.” “And how is this connected to your visions?” “Well, I never said they were connected to my visions, but now that you mention it...”Harriet stared into the distance blankly with her left eye twitching. 46
“They’re telling me we need to get out of here!” “How soon?” Henry screamed. “As soon as possible!” Even though the books were calling her name, she resisted that night and instead went quietly around the cabins telling each bunny the plan. Harriet told Henry not to join her because he was heavy-footed and reckless. He would wake up the slowpokes with the crunching of the leaves, his loud “whisper,” and his slamming doors left and right. The next morning, Harriet knew it was meant to be; the stormy weather made sure the slowpokes wouldn’t be outside watching their every move. The bunnies, two at a time, snuck out into the woods, and as soon as they saw the tunnel entrance, they ran as fast as bunnyly possible to freedom. Harriet, with the strength of her vivid dreams, her want for freedom, her hatred of the slowpokes, and the support of Henry, made her plan foolproof. The journey included Harriet’s connecting with many pit stops to temporarily house bunnies or simply give them food and water when needed. The slowpokes would never find out. After several rounds that were all successful and drama-free, it was just Harriet and Henry left. It was a bittersweet moment because this life was all they knew, but they both agreed on what had to be done. They started their walk, reminiscing on the life they were about to leave behind. “Remember when you tripped on the vines right there and got your teeth stuck in the dirt?” “Howard!” “What?” “I chipped my pearly whites from that.” “Nah. It added character. I like ‘em feisty.” Harriet blushed. And so they began their hop. Not even 3 steps in, they heard a gunshot. “Where are all those damn bunnies! I know y’all aren’t trying to escape!” Harriet and Henry froze, not knowing what to do since they’d never seen the slowpokes bring out the guns. It was always 47
just a threat. They had to quickly weight their two options as — “Ow! Ow ow ow!” “Harriet your foot!” “Ya. No duh Sherlock! I can’t believe they would actually just shoot me without a care.” “I know! I don’t want to imagine what it would be like if we just gave up now and stayed. We have to keep on going!” “Howard…um I mean Henry. We have two options. We can either keep hopping in the tunnel and risk them shooting us dead but hopefully make it to freedom. Or we can hop out into the woods. We wouldn’t get far because of my foot and the obstacles but at least we could blend in with the trees with my brown underbelly.” A lightbulb lit in Henry’s head. “Follow me.” “What?’ “Follow me!” “What? To where!” “You’ll see! We just need to leave!” They hopped out of the tunnel heading East instead of North. “Henry, where are you taking me? My foot is getting weaker and weaker by the hop!” “You’ll see. Persevere! Just remember that you’re a troublemaker and we’ve come too far to give up now!” “But Henry if we—oh my God. No.” Harriet had an astonished look on her face. “Yes” said Henry. “No” “Um... yes! Do you want to live or what?” “Both of our buns won’t fit!” “Yes they will. We just need to squeeze.” “Why do you even have it here? We’re basically in the middle of nowhere.” “I know. I built it here just in case I ever decided to make my 48
escape. And here we are...together…” “What if we suffocate? What if we get caught? I know you didn’t think this through!” “Harriet get in! I can hear the gunshots getting closer and closer.” “Henry, I can’t! I’m too scared of something going wrong.” “The postman is coming around the corner right now. This is our only chance for freedom, and I love you too much to see you end like this. Get in!” Harriet refused to get in, but Henry didn’t care so he threw her in, got in too, and off they were to freedom. They were labeled as “dry goods” and voyaged by wagon, steamboat, and railroad. Twenty-seven hours later, they arrived at freedom: the air never smelt so fresh. Life was never this free. “Look at us.” “Look at us!” “Who would have thought that two bunnies with rebellious personalities, but completely different stories would so happen to be enslaved on the same plantation and go on to be the success story that other bunnies use as hope?” “Not me!” And they lived happily ever after. Until the Fugitive Bunny Act of 1850.
Where to Fish? By Michael Cashell To even begin fishing, You must find a peaceful fishing hole Look for a place that makes you warm inside Let the water drift you to your second home Peek at your radio Change the station to country, To get the right fishing mindset Other boats carefully passing by Will have respect for your smooth tunes The bright change of the sea color grabs my attentionThe exotic mackerel Looks to be good bait What will it catch? Big or small? You’re lucky to even catch one The voice echoes in my head, As the glimmering skin Of a mackerel makes its way into the boat “God I’m going to catch some big ones today!” I say as I pull my bait into the boat.
Dead Seahorse Watercolor, ink
The In Between By Stella MacLelland My eyes start to twitch, to flutter. I do all I can to prevent them from opening As I lie there, the blankets still up to my neck, Trying to fall back into my dream, To pick up where I left off. I was on the beach, The waves were crashing, Sun was setting, People still swimming. There I was. Watching the sky morph From blue, To purple, To pink, To orange. The moon began to grow brighter As the sun disappeared over the horizon. The stars began to show themselves, And the navy sky lit up. My thoughts start to dwindle, uncontrollably. Soon enough I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the sunset, Or the night sky. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all gone. All I can see is a bright light shining in my eyes, Regardless of whether I want it there or not. 52
Moon digital photography
Superman By Bruno Epstein I go to the theatre To see a movie I see superman Flying at supersonic speeds He can leap buildings In a single bound I, however, have to Take the stairs He has super strength Can pick up cars and Throw them Regular people just drive them I watch as Superman Tears his opponents to shreds Within the blink Of an eye An average person Only dreams about Having this much power But it is only fiction after all An average person Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do any of these things If such an alien existed There would be salvation or destruction Either way, a superman from another planet Would still be a God compared to us humans 54
Space Shuttle oil pastel, chalk pastel
Pole Town By Jack Mills Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Saturday evening, and my friends are calling me repeatedly, so I know that they want to go out and have drinks. I have to eat first, take a bath and say bye to my siblings - these days, the level of skreet in Pole town is severe. As we approach the local town almost two hours after I received the call, we are wondering what kind of bar to attend primarily because of the high insecurity cases that are today present throughout the district. My friend Harry believes that sports bars are the best places to hang around, especially in the evening, because of the large number of individuals who throng them while being entertained by the high number of sports games that would be aired in these places. I have noted recently that women and girls get home as early as they can. This is because of the skreets who have inhabited this place for a long time. The last time we wanted to go out on such expeditions, Tom chose the place where we would hang out. Today, I have been allowed to choose among three places. We are approaching a slum which is next to the main road that connects to the other side of the town. Notably, the slum consists of a few modern polished houses that absorb the few rich people who live in that place. The government has since stated that the refinement of the area is key, as it has become a significant threat to the peace and the rule of law of the town. Mostly due to young jobless youth who join criminal gangs to make a living. The bar of my choice is a sports bar; this bar is my favorite because of the rowdiness of the people watching these sporting events. Here, many youths are sited down watching a game. Most of them are feeling a sense of excitement and are in a jovial mood because of the instant happiness brought out by the game they are watching. Several other people are standing on the pavement next to the screen pavilion because all the seats are occupied. Inside the bar are several empty chairs that are dusted, and some have weak 56
legs. These chairs have been kept away from the main part of the bar and are heaped in a corner. The bar plays loud music, and most interestingly, the individuals in this place are not very concerned; none of them are dancing, but equally, none of them feel irritated by the loud music. In the right corner of the room, the alcohol table stands where cheap and locally available alcohol is kept. The sports bar is in the west end of the city, a place that borders the central police station. This place is known for acts of violence due to the growth of non-law abiding youths that have formed different gang associations in this place. Also, the area borders a distillery that was established a long time ago and serves most of the city with alcohol production. North of the sports bar is a new leather company that was established two years ago. This company is of great importance to this place as it has considerably employed many people around these parts. The room where the sporting events are watched is dark, I can hardly see anything besides the television. Predominantly this is the tradition of all sports bars since most of the individuals here want to focus on the game shown on the television. This place is a common situation of human socialization that encompasses the nature of popular entertainment as perceived in this place. It is mostly a guarantee of the fact that individuals have to socialize through different ways to make out and look for happiness. Most of the people in this place are happy irrespective of the fact that most of them are from the impoverished slums. This is an aspect of comprehension of happiness that a place and its inhabitants can experience, given the nature of life that each individual in this particular place lives. Also, the place is a representation of the common societal problems that are only solved through the socialization of the members of the society. In this bar, instances of violence erupt anytime due to the kind and nature of individuals who are in this place. The accommodation and participation of most of these individuals in this place, however, defines the morality and societal value that are shared in the society irrespective of the common problems that are seen in the community. 57
The sports bar is filled with a foul smell. The smell of the place is noticeably coming from the alcohol spills and individuals who can not hang. From the look, most of the younger adults here are not clean; most of them are shaggy and undressed. Also, the sports bar owner seemingly has not cleaned this place over a long time. Heaps of litter and other used cans of beer are aimlessly thrown onto the floors of the bar and now house the cockroaches. A lot of noise is coming from the room. With many people standing on the other side and the volume of the television adjusted to reach everybody in the room, you can hardly converse with your neighbor. It is important to note that the environment outside the bar is also full of noise, with several people walking down the road this evening. The loud noise is uncontrollable. Apart from the individuals who have specifically come to watch the games in the sports bar, other people have come to drink the alcohol sold in this place. They are sitting in a corner with huge shot glasses sipping their whiskey. These people are conversing in low tones, not making noise because of the mammoth crowd that is in the hall. The individuals are dressed shabbily, and their clothes are torn and dirty. None of them wear sandals and each of them is wearing a hat. From the color of the hats they wear, one can notice from a distance that they are filthy. The interaction in this place is casual with the use of impolite language all over the place. Verbal interactions and communication analysis of these people show the different use of the words in the area.The interactions can be violent at times, but the mood of the communication through the conversations is positive. From the nature of the interview, the interaction of these individuals given the place of interaction is informal, many talk about their wives, children, and other miscellaneous subjects. The types of arguments are based on common problems that exist between these people here. The nature of the language used in terms of the analysis of the demographic representation of this particular place is unreservedly local intending to reach all the individuals of this place. 58
The individuals in this place are speaking a common language because of the lifestyle that I saw in this place. There are sorts of repeated actions, especially in the place where alcohol is served. It may be because of the influence of liquor observed from the nature of the behavior of the people seated there. To understand the actions ofthese people, one needs to live in this place and interact with them, possibly for some time before comprehending the way they live. The noise in the bar gets me carried away. It’s hard to converse with my friends, and I find myself fading away. I get sleepy and the next thing that happens to me is terrifying. I sit inhaling and exhaling the sweet scent of this strange room. I sit on the solid cherry parquet floor leaning on the dusty brown wall, tears rolling down my cheeks. I take a deep breath of air as I try to calm down. I ran up the colossal spiral staircase of this strange house within seconds. As adrenaline was still pumping through my body, I found a room to get away from my parent’s annoying bickering. Earlier, I had thrown myself against the wall had hurt myself so with a tremendous amount of strained effort, I stood up. I am not even sure why I am trying to escape, but what other option do I have? Even through the grand oak door, which stands ahead of me like a giant, the shrill tone of my mother and father is clear to my ears. This leaves me with no choice but to escape. I go through the door that I located, but to my surprise, it leads to another house. This house seemed to have inhabitants since everything is in place as it is supposed to be. However, the house is so silent indicating that no one else is in the house. Doubt crosses my mind as I realize that this house has been left uninhabited for several months. So I find myself in a confused state. Why is the fire alight? Previous scenes flashed in my mind, and I glance back to the scented flowers, surprisingly fresh flowers. Who could have been in this house, yet I am not seeing anyone? Suddenly I start hearing scary voices upstairs. The voices are not clear, but they don’t sound friendly. I hear footsteps coming downstairs. I become terrified as two 59
cloaked figures come into view. We make eye contact, as the two figures stop moving to stare at me. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m frozen, scared for my life, thinking of what my next move will be. I look to my left and see a glass on the dusty kitchen table. This is my chance. I nervously stand up and make a run for the glass. I shatter some of it on the kitchen counter and charge at the cloaked figures with a glass in either hand. I stab the first figure in the throat, blood spews everywhere, I am in shock, then reality hits me. I no longer see two cloaked figures, no, instead I see a dying Tom on the floor being comforted by Harry. I can not believe it, this has to be a dream, wake up! WAKE UP! I think to myself. But I never did. I hear sirens in the distance getting closer and closer. I always thought that I was better than the other inhabitants of this town, all I wanted to do was change the face of this place. Now, I am just like those that I looked down upon.
Self Portrait oil on canvas
The Airport in the Jungle By Emma Felger That was the morning we flew Into the airport in the jungle. When we got there, I saw hundreds of birds. Red, pink, green, big, small birds flying everywhere. Through the airplane window, Trees, overgrown into the town, bright green, healthy leaves Bringing shade into the small village, Where happiness drifted throughout the place And into the hearts of those visiting. The plane landed and I was ready to run out into the evergreen, Escape society Live with the people of the jungle, happy and carefree.
Beach lithograph on paper
The Sun By Lily Chase 1 Is the sun bright Who made the sun? If I stare Will it hurt me? 2 It makes flowers grow And warms the earth. The sun is hot Glazing over the earth. 3 The sun makes me happy, Makes me joyful I see the sun everyday. 4 Hot, bright The sun comes out Morning and leaves at night. 5 Everyone loves sun No harm happens When the sun is out.
Untitled lithograph on hand marbled paper
The Snow Man By Jackson Hoogasian Everyone must respect the snow to realize the power in it the effect it has on nature You must have lived in the cold to experience this the traffic, the long commutes on a nice snow day without wind or clouds knowing what it is like in a snowstorm the wind howling which is a good sound the only way to understand winter the good, the bad, the average and the person in the South who will never understand the winter is missing out
Untitled digital photography
Sofia Nogueira Sanca
The Persistence of Memory By Jameson Liljedahl Time seems to stand still No longer a solid concept But loose and fluid Slipping through my fingers It covers all, the real and the unimaginable Shapes make images A duck, a horse, a blanket, a face No one knows, yet everyone sees To each, something different To all, the same The real covered by the fake The pocket watch we know Doubletake at the ants that make it Crazy, as if to show Time moves different for all Looking past that which captivates The background, firm and true Something we cannot escape A lake and mountain Our only connection to reality Life out of death A tree from a block Time covers it and all Time is there when we die Time exists before our first breath Time is in the real and not real Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always constant and yet it is ungraspable The intent, not for truth Only to ask the question: Why?
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden Based on the painting by Thomas Cole By Jenny Smith They say it’s where the sun meets the darkness Where heaven and hell are brushed up against one another, All things good See all things bad. Light, happiness, warmth and love turn to Darkness, desolation, and coldness. Beautiful harmonies become dissonant. Once you pass the threshold there is no going back, Say farewell to what was taken for granted. You will feel that feeling in your stomach evaporate The one you didn’t even know was there, The warm feeling of support and affection that is there when you rise and there when you go to sleep. That feeling is gone now. You should hope you are prepared for what you are about to face The fear takes a greater toll than you’d expect, they say. But once you walk in there is no going back You’d better hope there is someone walking in by your side.
Rembrandtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee By Jack Folz Lost deep at sea Rembrandt hidden looking back at me Rocking back and forth Sails pointed to the north Rembrandt hidden looking back at me Rocking back and forth Water coming overboard So much more to be explored Lost deep at sea Rocking back and forth Fate lying in the captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand Or lying in the sand
One Starry Night By Victoria Lumley after Vincent van Goghâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Starry Night In the darkness, the town appears silent, But inaudible murmurs are carried by the winds Like the coos of an owl upon nightfall. They fall upon the town as rain does on a hot summer roof. The murmurs become more than murmurs, But still remain at a tone as calm as the summer rain. Her murmurs become one side of the story, and his another, Yet still both remain at a tone as calm as the summer rain. She cannot be swayed. Neither can he. Their tones become as brisk as the raging ocean winds on a summer night. The people of the town believe he holds the truth, But still a few souls believe she does too. In the darkness, the town again appears silent. The stories return to inaudible murmurs. The raging tones fall back into calm ones. The truth to all stories falls from the sky between the sun and the moon, forming the stars. So on this night, as the darkness fell, the girl tried to rearrange the stars, But the boy knew a starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s light could never go out, not even in darkness.
Fiat inkjet print
Untitled mixed media collage
Lord of the Lines Jackson McKersie The sun sets over the sulking waters Waves slap the beach, And I watch my brothers fight. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a line drawn in the sand That is only deepening as They beckon me To join this fray. My heart beats Quick, sand Sinks Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m drowning. Here we stay arguing; not a single soul moves, Too stubborn, Too uncertain. I throw back my head, scream in rage Wishing a wave would wash away This horrible line Or at least that I could choose a side.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa By Sofia Tosi The great wave climbs The boats below peak out in vertigo Its snowy peak shines The orange sky whines Entertained by the scene below The great wave climbs Mount Fuji sighs Too far away to follow Its snowy peak shines His cold water undermines His curling white fingersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; glow The great wave climbs The calm and the fierce combine As the force begins to slow Its snowy peak shines The moment before the crime The calm before the flow The great wave climbs Its snowy peak shines
Wave reductive woodblock print
Irene By Emily Hohmann The eyes open to White caps rolling, Trees shaking, Rain pouring. “Irene’s here!” Someone yells. “Who’s Irene?” I ask myself. I walk downstairs, Open the door, but It slams shut on me. I read the words “STORM WATCH” across the TV screen And ask my sister, “Who’s Irene?” “Look outside,” She replies, but I don’t see anyone. A branch falls from the sky. Water rises over the dock. More rain and howling winds. But I’m not scared, None of us kids are. 78
I find all the parents whispering outside. “…Irene…” I hear. “Who’s Irene?” I ask with curious eyes. Thunder roars. My hair is soaked The parents tell me, “Go inside.” But I won’t. I’m having too much fun Dancing in the rain, And running against the wind. I go back inside and Across the TV screen Flashes the name ‘IRENE’ I found her!
Great Grandmotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Portrait By Winnie Cho Great-grandmother lived in an era when A man's tilted head, with hat in hand, signaled an apology. A time when a handkerchief dropped picked up by a man Blossomed into romance passed on like mythology. Positioned and painted like a porcelain doll, The bidding of suitors was her fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream Or her dancing in fancy French frocks, a masked man at a ball Seeking her name. No joy felt she in a world Where man was supreme. Across a candlelit room, he locks eyes to claim Her then they dance in a peony garden. As the moon falls, his bid entertains Her father as she feels her tender heart harden. Without his choice that eve, my own life has no hue As the legacy, those families gave birth to Descends through my veins, as I seek to claim The freedom she should have had claim to. His fame was such and the marriage long lasted That the painting now hangs in a museum, Her eyes still young, yet hardened and strong The peony I am she gave strength to. 80
Untitled broken plates, wood, gold leaf, glue
What I would not give By Winnie Cho What I would not give to feel the cold flowing stream between my little toes, eyes shut, peaceful. To make a snowman with friends without wearing a coat or mittens, my mom chasing me with my red hat and jacket, her mouth open like The Scream. To go back to the jacketless days, unbothered by the brisk, wind, and I believed everything was possible. What I would not give. What I would not do to feel my halmuniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrinkly hands soft on my face. To have her touch my cheeks as she does up my hair with jade pins and golden butterflies perched atop my black hair. To walk into her garden surrounded by yellow and pink, drinking in jasmine and warmth. To feel her arms, wrap around me, my face pressed into her blue woolen sweater. To apologize for not knowing she was dying, for promising to come, and not coming. To thank her for believing until I could believe. What I would not give to go back to that day hiking with halabugi. To the mountain behind our house dyed red, orange and yellow. The falling leaves radiating under sunlight at the top, my whole town warm and welcoming below, like a childhood friend waving hello. Now, guardians of the city, protected by the granite mountain, we were safe. What I would not do to have my mom carry me to bed from the backseat of the car, my eyes fast shut, pretending. Her arms holding tight, then tucking me into bed as she whispers warm words indistinctly in my ear. To listen to my mom read me Little Mermaid every night in bed and waiting for the happily ever after my stuffed animals surrounding me as I wrap close my pink blanket with tiny flowers listening keenly but always sleeping before the happily ever after comes.
What I would not give for a summer spent dangling from branches, hiding amidst the green persimmons, her smooth lime orbs, perfect missiles. How she embraced us, her rickety limbs had enough room to welcome and hide half the neighborhood while the rest fled into the jasmine vines. Lurking and spying, playing pirates and villains, our innocence intact. In fall, her plush orange gifts flattened beautifully against Na-Won’s face. This girl now, she needs that girl. This girl now can’t meet her parents’ expectations: valedictory grades, club directing, award winning. She can’t land a green card, in spite of being sent across the globe to do so. She does not know what she wants. She cannot stop worrying that she will not get into the right college. She cannot escape from the grasp of social media where everyone radiates happiness and contentedness, and she is uninvited to the parties. Seeing Bridget’s post about her house party, where Martha and Halle pose with fairy lights, deflates her mood, leaving her feeling lonely. She has not seen Bridget in two years. Scrolling to find a family dinner with all her cousins but her makes jealousy prepare for battle and march forward, even though she knows full well that the vast ocean and continents divide them. What does she want? To be successful? Or happy? Are those the same? Are they even compatible? She does not know. She’s told to get good grades and be kind, told to be to be sociable and popular, her teachers tell her to be hardworking and to do her best; to listen to everyone else. She’s tied by marionette strings, so why on earth does the stage engulf me while the audience looks on? She plays her oboe’s sweet longing into the dark audience, but will I listen? On stage, she has dressed as a girl in a red pinafore holding ice cream. 83
She has written through the night, racing the sun; the rings around her eyes grow like Saturnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. She picked up the guitar and learned piano because everyone else played. She joined varsity teams in volleyball, swimming, and tennis for which passion had desiccated like flowers scorched by the sun. And yet, looking for points, spikes, and wins, she plays on. I knew that girl but not this girl; the younger, not the older. I know she knows the way, but I cannot follow her. I see her just beyond the fence, her voice muffled. My tethers here reach across continents to a family who sent a girl with a butterfly hairpin across the tumultuous ocean to live their dream.
Goldfish digital drawing
Lauren van Veen
Elijah in the Desert By Daniel Silva Here I fall in front of the tree. Over the rocks, on my knees, Dear Lord I’m begging for mercy. I pray to God but I don’t seem to make a sound I yell, and I scream but there’s no one around Only the crow responds from the trees. A sign of dissipated hope; In death I believe. The grass is gone the tree is dead The rocks, a guillotine for my head. I pray again, I call for friends But never do I hear A promise from you Or even an attempt at amends Tell me God what am I doing wrong? It must be something, do not string me along. Do I lie? Did I cheat On the wife I’ve never beat? I treat you only with respect, Yet from you there’s just neglect. So, this is where I am. Here Is where I kneel, and you appear In the form of a withering faith. A being without an essence, nor a face.
I beseech thee, hear me pray Or else today is my last day. No food to eat, no water to drink. My brain now numb, I cannot think. this is the end and I’m back where I started Small, scared, hungry,shrunken hearted. Either open your gates or forever I run Away from you and thus away from me. For if I don’t care, why am I on my knee? Perhaps you hear me through the crooked sky Or the distant trees that are still alive. Watching and waiting you never move Hoping for me to finally prove That somehow, I’m worthy. I’m not, never was, never will be. I’m dirty, And like the dust in this wind I shall vanish only to be skinned By your enemy’s deceiving black wings. No more can I pray, for my time has come. Either open your gates or forever I run Away from you and thus away from me. For if I don’t care, why am I on my knee?
Untitled digital drawing
Lauren van Veen 88
Kobayashi Aimi’s Indoctrination to Everyday Life By Lauren van Veen Aimi stood in the Shinjuku station patiently awaiting the train heading into Tokyo. Her usual routine on a regular Tuesday night consisted of strolling to the local bar two doors down from her office, abjectly staring at the drink menu while twiddling her thumbs before settling on the same drink that she orders every night; a glass of Cutty Sark whisky. She had no reasoning as to why she seemed inclined to order this particular drink, yet something deep within her, a warm stream of familiarly, would pool into her stomach along with pungent smells of drain cleaner or burning hair as she quietly sipped on her drink. She hates whisky. And bars in general. But she also felt that this idiosyncrasy was something integral to her person, something that she couldn’t exist without. It also may have been because Cutty Sark was the only drink this bar sold. In fact, it was the only drink every bar on that street sold. No beer, no wine, no sake, just… European scotch. Old habits aside, she was not headed in that direction today. She wasn’t even walking to her destination. Unbeknownst to the crowd surrounding, today was no ordinary day. She had a date. The woman she was meeting with was an old college friend, named Aiko. She wouldn’t necessarily describe her as stereotypically beautiful, but with large, round eyes, and a soft disposition to mirror her even suppler skin there was no one on earth who’d call her unattractive. In fact, Aimi wanted to confess this to her since the moment they first spoke. Sadly, when she finally gained the courage to share her thoughts, Aiko vanished. Rumors were tossed around that she died under “mysterious circumstances,” or maybe she ran off in a vehement act of “self-discovery.” Aimi preferred to believe she just transferred schools. Over time, Aimi had lost sight of her affections, until one Tuesday while she was ordering that alcohol she didn’t particularly like, did Aiko appear next to her. Aiko gestured to the bartender and ordered the same thing. One thing developed into another, and suddenly Aimi had a date
scheduled for the following week. Her heels, colored a deep Veridian, clicked on the polished tile as she walked toward the last train car. Despite the fact it was 6 p.m. on a weekday, no one else followed. Stepping on board, she dusted off her seat before sitting down. The doors closed in unison, and the train gently swayed before leaving the station. As the train entered the tunnel, the floor beneath her feet shook and the lights gently flickered. Aimi clutched her bag slightly closer, and her heartbeat began to drum in her ears. Something clearly felt amiss, yet not in a way she could properly describe, resting on the tip of her tongue, entirely unpalatable. The sound of coughing broke through the soft humming of the moving train. She turned to her right to find an older man sitting in the far corner, a novel to his left, and a notepad resting on his thigh as he diligently began to write. When he began to raise his head she quickly turned away, digging into her bag and pulling out a book of her own, a novel dedicated to the development of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. It was part of her collection of hyper-specific historical novels. She owned dozens, despite the fact they never aided her in everyday life. They weren’t particularly interesting to read either, though she hoped that carrying it around would give her character a certain level of… intrigue. Out of the corner of her eye, she could catch the old man staring. The front of the restaurant gave the atmosphere of some vague Parisian-Italian cultural fusion. When she entered, she spotted Aiko sitting across the way, in a dimly lit corner of the restaurant. As Aimi began to approach, she could see her eyes diligently scrawling across a book. “What’re you reading?” Aimi asked as she sat down, placing her bag next to her feet. Aiko lifted her book, revealing the cover: An In-Depth Look of the Donghak Peasant Revolution. “Is it interesting?” “Not particularly.” Aiko sighed as she closed the cover. She moved on to glancing through the menu. Aimi took it as a chance to study Aiko’s face even closer. Her eyes were colored a deep, dark azure, inches away from a midnight blue. As she blinked, her eyelashes fluttered, long and elegant. “You’re staring.”
“Is there something wrong with that? I think you’re beautiful.” Aiko’s eyes widened at Aimi’s words. Aimi fidgeted with her hands underneath the table. Did she say something wrong? Aimi continued, “I mean… what do you think about me?” “What do I think about you? You mean to ask, whether or not I think you’re physically attractive as well?” Aimi nodded in response. “Well… I wouldn’t necessarily describe you as stereotypically beautiful. But your eyes are large and round, and you have a soft disposition to mirror your even suppler skin. I’d doubt there was anyone one on earth who’d call you unattractive.” Aiko continued, “Your eyes are colored an almost midnight blue and your long eyelashes flutter when you blink.” And with that, she proceeded with the menu. Something inside Aimi felt gutted to her core, and flayed open for display. Yet, feeling talkative, she attempted another approach. “So… when was the last time you’ve gone out?” “By that you mean, when was the last time I went on a date in pursuit of a romantic partner?” “Exactly. I went on a date last month, but it didn’t go that smoothly if I’m being honest.” “Well, I haven’t been on one since getting married four years ago.” “When did you two divorce?” “We haven’t.” Aimi hesitated, dumbfounded. Aiko continued. “In fact, he’s out with his girlfriend tonight.” “Aiko, I’m not interested in an open relationship…” “I’m not either.” “Does your husband know that you know about his girlfriend?” “No.” “And you’re not upset?” “No.” Aimi began to laugh nervously, “I’m sorry, but if this is some kind of joke, I don’t entirely understand the punchline. In fact, nothing you’re saying makes any sense.” “I think it does.” Aimi was wholly at a loss for words. She nervously reached for the drink menu, only to find that the only beverage this restaurant offered was 91
Cutty Sark. Her stomach twisted. “I’m sorry, I need some air.” With that, Aimi stood up and headed to the back door. Aimi stumbled outside, exhaling hard into the cold night sky and watched her breath coalesce then vanish. The bright streetlights burned into her retinas and began to make her head spin, like a spotlight shining onto an actor with stage fright. Something was clearly wrong, and she felt stupid for not seeing it sooner. Well, she did. She just refused to admit it. She sat down on a nearby bench, resting her elbows on her knees. Her last date ended this way too. In fact, all of them had ever since high school. The intrigue she felt towards every potential partner would soon fizzle out upon closer inspection. Everyone revealed themselves to be less human and more of a collection of haphazardly stacked quirks. Aimi ran her hands down her face. Her star-crossed encounters had lost all their charm, the sheer repetition sucking all the surreal magic and life out of every scenario. She heard someone cough, and sitting next to her was an old man, the one from before, with a pencil in hand. A book laid open on one thigh, a notebook on another. She grabbed the notebook, and on it was a list: Large, round eyes.
- Soft skin. - Mitsubishi A6M Zero. - Cutty Sark.
And at the bottom of the page, KOBAYASHI AIMI was written in all caps, circled twice. Aimi turned towards the old man, “What’re you doing?” “Taking notes for my next novel.” He patted his hand on the book next to him. Aimi snatched the book and stared at the cover: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. The old man grinned, “Brilliant writing, truly. So mysterious.” As Aimi returned to her seat, she saw that Aiko had left. Aimi ordered a drink, alone, like every other Tuesday night. 92
Octopus oil pastel
Wolf chalk pastel
Vincent van Goghâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Starry Night By Lauren van Veen Dyed deep shades of blue, The evening spins and swirls, And the stars are staring through, Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trapped underneath a specimen plate. For the stars will never know that we return their gaze, And the moon will never hear our words of praise, With our voices too small to hear, In cities too small to notice And no matter how tall the cypress tree grows, It will never be enough to pierce the sky.
Quarter to Three By Cate Clancy (inspired by Nighthawks) The yellow cabs no longer run Streetlights buzz and flicker, penetrating the night The click of heels echoes Bouncing off brick walls Only three remain awake Lost and lonely souls Sinatra’s voice crackles through Crosley Sitting, drinking, alone, together Liqueur passes silent lips Eyes stare straight ahead Rain slips down the window But no one seems to notice A sound rips through the silence Marking the end of one’s lonely night And as the coins settle on the bar Another’s glass is raised.
Houston Spaceship inkjet printer
Spider Web and Flowers digital photography
Charles Bukowski is My Father By Lily Rizzoli 1. I feel the sun warm my face as I look out the kitchen window. My hand gingerly lathers a pan with suds as I focus on the bluebird perched on the fence that divides our yard from the next. 5124 De Longpre doesn’t seem like the right place for him. Not even a pigeon would be caught dead in this part of town. It’s all we can afford on his salary at the post office, and the little money that comes in from his writing goes to food and every six-pack of Miller High Life and Pall Malls at Ned’s Liquor store. Stumbling into the kitchen, Dad pours himself a cup of coffee and then adds a generous amount of whiskey. The bluebird flies away. I dry the pan and then place a plate of eggs in front of him and go to the fridge to get milk for my cereal. “Thanks.” He grumbles. “Toast?” As if on cue, the toaster dings. The toast is almost too dark, and it steams as I pull it out of the toaster with my pointer finger and thumb. I drop it quickly onto his plate and he smiles up at me, pieces of egg lodged in his beard. I sit down next to him, and we eat in silence. The faucet drips every seven seconds. “What’re you doing today?” “School, Dad. It’s Monday.” “Already?” his eyes widen and he grunts, he’d had a long weekend. He shrugs, stands up and kisses the top of my head, and takes his plate into the study. 2. When I come home three of them are sitting around the table in the kitchen. Empty cartons of Chinese takeout are piling up, an empty whiskey bottle has been discarded into the sink, and the ashtrays are close to piling over. The smoke in the room lingers, seeming to create its own planes of movement and being. “God. ‘it’s not writing it’s just typing’. Who the hell does 99
Capote think he is? He obviously didn’t get the star metaphors.” Jack takes a sip of whiskey. He perks up when he notices I’ve come home. “Hey, she’s home! What do you think, kid? You think your old man’s writing is ‘just typing’?” His words are slurred a bit. Dad glances up at me, waiting for a response. The woman he’s been seeing sits sprawled out on his lap. Linda. I wonder if this one will last. “Not sure, he never really lets me read it.” I respond, grabbing whatever is left of the food. “But based on the time he spends on his work, I’m sure it’s more than just typing. I thought On The Road was great.” Jack raises his glass in thanks. “Well I, for one, have been working on a new poem.” Will states. He takes a drag of his cigar before continuing. “It’s about a wheelbarrow. It’s bullshit. I think it’ll do well.” The group lets out a collective chuckle. I grab a Pall Mall, place it in my mouth, and move to light it, but before I can, Dad pulls it from my lips and places it between his own. “Not allowed.” He mumbles as he lights it. “Rich coming from you. I bet your lungs are blacker than asphalt at this point,” I retort. He returns to the conversation. “Well, my publisher told me I should get into nature to fuel new ideas. Nature bores me.What’s more natural than this? A new woman every night, a new drink every night. Cities and smog are what I want. We’re creatures who adjust to conditions, and we’ve adjusted to this.” Hours later, they are finally leaving. When I hear the door slam, I come out of my bedroom. Linda’s asleep on the couch, a blanket tossed lazily across her body. It’s already 3:30. Dad’s clattering around the kitchen, fighting the alcohol in his system as he tries to clean. He sees me in the door frame and his face hardens. 100
“Why are you up?” “Stop complaining. Go to sleep.” He growls, turning around and grabbing his drink. “Are you coming tomorrow?” “Coming to what?” He brushes past me and settles on the couch next to a sleeping Linda. I stay where I am, but follow him with my eyes. I can feel my blood beginning to boil. “The meeting with my college counselor.” “You never told me about that.” He’s flipping through the channels, barely paying any attention to me. As I’m walking to the fridge, I think briefly about what having an adult as a father would be like. I slap the door, where, written in huge block letters on a post-it COLLEGE COUNSELOR CONFERENCE ON TUESDAY AT 10 is written. “I’ve told you four times. It’s mandatory. Please be on time,” I say, walking back towards my bedroom. “Who’s going to tell me what I do and don’t have to do? Don’t talk to me like that, you’ll be out on your ass.” “Bet the streets would be cleaner than this pigsty.” 3. “Are you sure he’s coming, honey?” 10:30. He’s thirty minutes late. I’ve been sitting in front of my counselor the whole time, watching the clock and willing him to show up. “He’ll be here.” I say it as much for me as I do for her, but I’m not sure either of us believe it. It’s another ten minutes before he finally opens the door to the classroom. He’s got no pep in his step but walks in lazily as if he accidentally found himself here and just decided to stay on a whim. “If you had told me your teacher looked like this, I would’ve been on time.” As he sits down next to me, my college counselor tries to recover from this statement, but before she can, he’s spewing more 101
of his unfiltered thoughts. “You know I’m writing a new novel about women, and it could do with a little more research.” She clears her throat. “No thank you.” She pulls out a folder labeled BUKOWSKI. “Now your daughter has been getting some wonderful grades, Mr. Bukowski-” “Are you sure? I’m sure it’ll be fun.” I silently beg him to stop. “Mr. Bukowski, please, don’t act this way in front of your daughter,” she pleads with him. He doesn’t speak again. He drops me off at home and goes out to the bars. 4. I don’t see him again until morning. He’s in the little backyard we have, pacing back and forth with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a telephone in the other. He’s screaming about book sales in Europe. The bluebird is back today. His eyes seem to follow where Dad walks. He turns off the telephone, placing it on the patio table. He finds his way to a lawn chair and drops himself into it, nearly missing. He examines the bottle of whiskey as he sits there and decides to finish it off. The bluebird watches him, disapproving. As if feeling this, he gets up and whips his newly finished bottle as hard as he can at the fence where the bluebird sits. It shatters into thousands of shards. The bluebird lets out a shrill call, and flies away.
Untitled woodblock print
Stella Mac Lelland
Web wire, hot glue, spray paint
A Dinner Date with Fate By Aris Doganis
Being a lover of prose, poetry, and theatre, I had always dreamt of meeting my literary heroes: Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dr. Seuss. For years I had always marveled over the possibility of meeting any of the three; however, it seemed unlikely, and I doubted that any would ever write back to my request to a dinner party with the four of us. However, by pure happenstance, each of them seemed to have the time to write me back; the first of which, being Sir Doyle. Dear Mr. Doganis, It is with the greatest flattery and the utmost grief that I must report my inability to attend your banquet, given the nature of my present circumstances. Currently, I am preoccupied with a most curious murder in the English countryside. I was attending dinner in Bancroft, a sequestered fishing village, when all of a sudden, the host dropped dead! Upon further inspection, it seems the fish served was laced with a most remarkable poison, a middle eastern tree-root the likes of which I had never seen. Naturally, my first suspect was Lord Nassar, the exotic prince from a faraway land. But he himself was poisoned! I do hope that I am able to report progress to you soon, but I believe that this relatively complex narrative will continue to take convoluted twists and turns until an underwhelming climax leaves the story resolved in a satisfying way for each character (except for the victim and the killer of course). Sincerely, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Naturally, this news was distressing. Not only was the father of modern-day mystery unable to attend, but I had just received another letter from Dr. Seuss, reporting a similar predicament. Hello my good man! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to report how sad I am 105
I am sorry to report, that I am currently out of sorts. Though I would still like to meet you for drinks and for ham. My wife is nagging, my pants are sagging, and I’ve nothing nice to wear. In fact, I’m all sorts of disheveled from my feet to my hair. It’s really impossible to say, how your letter made my day, because I am a bored old man in the west. In fact, if you postpone the date, just a bit more late, I would even buy a brand-new vest. I think to postpone it would be best, but I’m sure you’re expecting other guests, so when I ask you to postpone, I only jest. So, while the other birds are flying, I’ll be there crying, the only bird left in the nest. Sincerely and dearly, Your sad little goose, Dr. Seuss However bizarre his letter, I understood what Dr. Seuss meant to say. It seems my dinner party was turning into a solo mission. But as I began to lose all hope, I received one final letter: Aris, I thanketh thee for thy most cordial invitation, and I am delight’d to report shalt, in fact, be in attendance. In sooth, I am most eager to meeteth thee and look forward to letting thee picketh mine own brain. Sinc’rely, Will Shakespeare I could hardly contain myself when Shakespeare sat down across from me that night at the Olive Garden. He was clad in fine garments and silken hose, indicating his “raiment was meet” for his notoriety. Our waiter came by to take our orders. “Any drinks to start?” “AY! hasten thee to deliv’r me the finest waters this humble establishment hast in its arsenal. I pray thy libations may quench mine own thirst; however, I’ve a haunting humour that mine own thirst is not quenchable by libations of any concrete nature, but rather by the libations of sundry conceits, of which we might speak rather than swill from the mouth of a bottle.” 106
An awkward pause lingered in the air. “And you sir?” “I’ll take a water as well.” As the waiter fetched our drinks, Shakespeare and I became wrapped up in the nuances of modern politics. “And this sir is thy president? hark! an orange daw with neither the intelligence to maketh change and ne’er the desire to do so? And t’wast a decision of the people? Thy state is in a most precarious predicament!” “I agree, but the worst part is that people are considering reelecting him.” “Alas, mankind is not governed by any concrete reason of moral ‘r ethical truth, but rather by the delusions of those whose voices art capable of controlling the crowd.” As we continued our conversation, our waiter arrived with our drinks, but, by unfortunate happenstance, he tripped, spilling both waters all over Shakespeare. “Oh, my goodness! I am so sorry, sir! Let me get you some napkins to clean up.” “Nay! stay in thy tracks, abhorrent villain! who art’ thee to tread with such carelessness?” “It was an honest accident, sir,” The waiter pleaded with him. “Would you like me to get the manager?” “A manager? nay! you believeth thyself so above the law thee would cower beneath yond proprietor’s tailcoat? I would beat thee with mine own hands lest i taint them with the muck of spinelessness. that is wherefore this matter shall beest resolved with a bare bodkin!” It was at that moment that Shakespeare unsheathed a sword that he had apparently been armed with the whole time. “En garde!” He shouted. Without a second thought, the waiter responded, “If it is that way, so be it,” before revealing his own sword. “Have at thee, villain!” Shakespeare proceeded to duel the waiter in front of the 107
entire restaurant and all of its patrons, none of whom protested the quarrel. The two exchanged parries and thrusts as they battled across the tabletops, stomping breadsticks and pasta bowls along the way. As the two shouted at each other during momentary pauses between the clashing of the swords, I was disturbed by the normality with which the two fought. Though this is a situation that could have been resolved with a simple discussion, the two were committed to duel each other to the death, opting for drama over logic. As the battle raged on throughout the Olive Garden, it became clear to me that Shakespeare was not only committed to killing this man but very likely hurting others as well. My mind racing, I decided that I would have to intervene. I seized the waiter’s sword and stabbed Shakespeare in his abdomen. In a most dramatic fashion, Shakespeare collapsed. “Alas, mine own time hast runneth out and at the hands of a cousin! oh, how cruel is Fortune to spite me so! and thee, mine own cousin, doth thee taketh pride in what thou has done? I’m slain!” “You’re not dead! We can still get you to the hospital, in fact, the wound isn’t even that bad.” “Nay! t’is fatal. a most heinous injury. The saber hast cutteth almost two inches into mine own belly! T’is impossible to salve this injury!” “How are you able to talk right now, if the wound is in fact as bad as you say?” “Blinking idiot! T’is well known every fatal wound is accompanied by two ‘r three minutes of expository confession and perchance one last profound statement about the human condition!” “And what might your statement be?” “Hark! trust not thy cater-cousins, trust not thy enemies! thither is but one villain, responsible for the machinations of mine own suffering, Olive Garden!” As the words slipped through his lips, Shakespeare’s eyes closed, and his body slumped over. In tears, I held him.
“What have I done! My own hero, collapsed before me, killed by my own hands! He’s dead!” I picked up the bloody saber and jammed it into my abdomen. “Forgive me, brother!” As my last breath parted my lips, Shakespeare’s eyes opened and he returned to consciousness. “Oh! I am not dead! It turns out two inch stab wounds art not fatal! I am alive!” He noticed my body on the floor. “What is this? Mine own cousin dead! Nay! Wherefore didn’t he check mine own pulse?” Shakespeare proceeded to pick up the same bloody saber I had just plunged into my gut. “Adieu!” He stabbed himself and fell limp, his body on top of mine. Unfortunately, our dinner yielded no cathartic resolution, but it did illustrate everything Shakespeare is known for: a series of convoluted events that seemed to drag on until every main character was either murdered, believed dead, or a victim of suicide. In other words, Art.
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His Tragic Eyes By Clara Cahill-Rogers His tragic eyes told stories of memories past Hidden in the deep blue hues Her essence lay bespoken. Above they seemingly waltzed Captivated and in their own trance His tragic eyes told stories of memories past And the things he would do to go back To hold her small form in his whitened hands Yell to the world that there was no love he lacked. His mouth sparkled in fear That they would never again be near His tragic eyes told stories of memories past And what was he supposed to do with all that he knew gone? Her lovely tones never to be heard She was the love of his life and he was supposed to move on. Her favorite mustard books lay below Her budding plants all ready to grow His tragic eyes told stories of memories past And it was her essence that would forever last.
5 Senses By Jessica Macphail The eyes open to shadows That mimic monsters in the darkness Creative minds think terrible thoughts You hear creaking throughout the house Wondering if it is real Your heartbeat speeds up Anxiety starts to build You can smell the fear in the air Fear roams around the room Surrounding you Stealing your breath You taste the saltiness of sweat, Slowing dripping down your face The walls are caving in The air is becoming toxic You reach for the lights Grasping for relief Instead you get that unwanted feeling Someone is in your house
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Golden Man, A Mock Epic By Eric Steinberg O Divine Poesy Goddess-daughter of Zeus, Sustain for me This song of the various-minded man, Who after he defended from all enemies Foreign and domestic Was made to search endlessly About the coasts of men, For an enemy to fell, While his heart Through all the searching Ached in an agony to redeem himself And find a foe worthy of his venomous gaze: A way to bring them back To a time that never existed. Jonas the Lesser, son of Jonas the Greater, who knows many things, sat up to meet the coming sunrise. He wiped a tear from his sleepy eyes, for on this day, he knew that there would be no return. Today he would face upon the sands of the coliseum a challenge too great for god or man. The one who, it was foretold, would liberate the weak from their wretched oppression. The boatman Chyron awaited him in the rocking chair. He rose to Jonas, there to ferry him to his destined fate. His pale hand reached out to Jonas’s feeble shoulder.Then the specter said, “mighty warrior that you are, Jonas, son of Jonas, we require sacrifice to appease the anger of the god.” 115
And Jonas retorted, “mighty warrior? Fah! No one has called me that in years. I am gray, what good am I for spectacle? My soul is dulled of battle.” Chyron summoned a frigid breeze that lifted Jonas to his feet, “Your wretched form shall suffice.” Jonas drew up his eyes and fired his gaze through the form before him. It was a boy, no more than seventeen years; a police costume draped about his thin shoulders. Fear poured from his sunken eyes. Jonas’s remained wide open. They took across the hearth, pacing to the gateway out to the street. Dawn had yet to stretch her swollen arthritic knuckles across the firmament. The crowds gathered like a violent storm. The banners rippled along the promenade, following the pair as they processed through the street. They bore the images of a great hero, clad in armor, red as the first strawberry of summer, with flowing locks and skin of gold. The Invincible, The Law bringer, The Hero, The Golden Man for liberty and justice for all. Jonas the Lesser, son of Jonas the Greater, assessed the coliseum before him. The light of the stage lights burned his eyes, scorching the sand like the wrath of Helios. The roar was deafening. It was time for our reckoning. Each row of seats stretched out from the core unending. 116
Its great walls enclosed the sky in rings of concrete. Its grand columns stretched into the very stars. Holding up the firmament, Atlas was no longer necessary. Its grandeur was worthy of the envy of the gods themselves. The warrior marched out onto the sand, Prepared to meet his wretched fate at the hands of The Golden Man. He bore no weapon, no spear, or sword. Nor did any piece of armor protected him. Upon the sands floated the remains of the slain enemies, Their blood stained the sand a brilliant crimson. They wore tattered clothes: layers, buttons, lapels, pressed collars Soiled and rubbed raw with white drag marks. Among them were the bodies of Sonlandus, son of Gunthipter, who struck The Golden One backâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with his spear in his hour of greatest struggle, Agamembarr, son of Marius Margretius, an insubordinate comrade who in his zeal sought to steal the glory of battle from him, Achillosi, daughter of Thomas, Glorious leader of the enemy army who brought the wrath of Juno down upon him, Taylorius, decorated warrior and skilled orator, and the Great Clintonius, the greatest foe, who, like foolish Icarus, flew too close to the sun. The harpies circled above and the furies perched, Salivating for the feast which would soon be their own. Ravenous, all observers foamed with excitement. Safe in the shadowy canopy, safe in anonymity. The cameras flashed as light poured from the heavens, a deluge of illumination poured onto a spot in the center of the ring. Brilliant, bright, glimmering, a form appeared. Golden glow of locks lifted skyward, Sweet and light as Helios on his travels across the heavens. So magnificent it seemed as though the Aurai, the nymphs of the breeze, daughters of Okeanos, could not keep their hands away. 117
Clad in armor as red as the first strawberry of summer. Heracles himself could not bear the weight of the great shield this statue wielded. The Golden Man, son of Jove and heir to the kingdom of Olympus, drew closer to Jonas, hefting his mighty spear, made for him by Zeus and infused with their fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lightning, in his great hands, which built the nation from the ashes of those who sought to destroy it. The Golden Man stood within three paces from Jonas, poised to strike. Observing the form before him, Jonas saw that the red of his armor was not some precious garnet, but rust from years of neglect. Peering through his gleaming helmet, Jonas perceived that the Heroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes were empty, pupilless orbs, yellow as spoiled milk curds which float to the top of spoiled milk, exuding their sour aroma. The crowd roared and he raised his spear. As Jonas took a step to the left, The Golden Man remained, pointing his spear at the spot where Jonas had stood. The crowd screamed, he struck his mighty spear pierced through the cold, empty air. The crowd roared, he rotated to face Jonas. His own will was not what made his movements, but the will of the crowd acting through his very form. The crowd bubbled with rabid battle madness. He boiled with their hatred, he echoed with their rage, he delivered their retribution upon their enemies. The Golden Man thrust his mighty spear again, wounding Jonas through the shoulder. Jonas, howled in agony, dropping to his knees. The Golden Man approached, lurching his great form. He poises for his final blow, as a tiger prepared to slash its prey, as a blacksmith readied to strike raw bronze, as Jove with his lightning in hand to smite blasphemers,
as great Achilles prepared to meet each foe on the blood-stained fields of Troy. Jonas dragged his gaze from the wretched sands and rubbed the dust from his weary eyes, lined with decades of battle scars. And Jonas prayed, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Athena forgive me, it is the sorry state of humans that they must fight the gods. For when thy foe is great, and the task unbearable, they should love, not hate. Raise up, not tear down. Give my strength to those next to come to the sands. My weary eyes close for the final time. I walk with Beaunus along the dark banks of the Styx, with only the light of liberty to guide me.