Elysium Literary and Arts Magazine 2006

Page 1

u s y El m Volume V


Elysium 2006 Cover artwork Chose My Weapons by Michael Suarez

Elysium Staff 2006 Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief Layout Editor Literary Editors Art Editors Technology Editors Promotions Editor

Stephen Palahach Francesca Contreras Yuna Park Klara Scharnagl Carmen Guillen-Casal Ashleigh Fata Armando Locay Blake Suárez Nivedita Bhat

Layout staff Patricia Arty Francesca Contreras Carlos Gomez Bonnie Goss Carmen Guillen-Casal Katherine Holmes Caitlin Karrenberg Matthew Leslie

Megan O’Connor Javier Ortega Stephen Palahach Martine Powers Klara Scharnagl Blake Suárez David Tarafa

Literary Staff

Javier Ortega Art House Digital photograph Conclusions don’t come from a destination reached. We gain knowledge from the ways we get there. The inbetweens and the transitory states become the only times to find solace; the only places we can synthesize experience. Our bodies have no natural filters to the white noise that haunts us through the blue glow of TV sets and the faintness of bullets whispering behind news reports. It is said that dreams exist to resolve the problems of the day. If this is true, some residue has to remain. We continue to find ourselves plagued by something as elusive and fleeting as our own ideals. Without warning, we are no longer very young. And without justification, we still fly. This shifting chaos in chaos is our own refuge and asylum. In the same way that we lose the weight of words drifting in from news broadcasts, about wars we don’t understand in places we’ll never visit, we also allow our desires to permeate our expressions. It fully forms into canvas, into paper and film. Our actions, words and images are willing companions, lighting our escape.

Stephen Palahach

Francesca Contreras Ashley Gallagher Tiffany Hamm Matthew Leslie Marcos Mills Esteban O’Sullivan

Yuna Park Mauricio Pérez-Rosas Taylor Prochnow Klara Scharnagl David Tarafa

Art Staff

Technology Staff

Ashleigh Fata Carmen Guillen-Casal Caitlin Karrenberg Greta Martinez Allyson Jones

Oreste Guisti Armando Locay Blake Suárez Leyla Torre Mohammed Uddin

Promotions Staff Nivedita Bhat Bianca Fernandez Carlos Gomez

Sponsors Susan O’Connor Amy Scott

Nicholas Kallergis Zachary Witlin Coral Reef Senior High 10101 S.W. 152nd St. Miami, Florida 33157 (305) 232-2044

e-mail: ascott@coralreef.dadeschools.net website: http://coralreef.dadeschools.net/Elysium

Kourtney Gillett Converse Mind Trip Oil on canvas

Table of


Hopeless - Bianca Fernandez

Contents Artists Dizzy Tree - Stephanie Machado


Broken - Scott Victoria

Self Portrait - Morgan Tinney


Iron Oxide - Damien Carracedo Inner Rage - Dominic Thomas

Train Car - Damien Carracedo Inner Rage - Dominic Thomas


Shame - Maria Bonilla

Pocket Troll - Adrianna Arintok


As We Lay - Terrance Harvey Eye to Eye - Lillian Rodriguez

Weekend Nightmare - Adrianna Arintok Weekend Nightmare II - Adrianna Arintok


Extension on the Necessity of Evolution Before Proper Practice Alina Balaguero Closure to the Day - Taylor Prochnow

Garage at Sunset - Morgan Tinney Surface Flow - Christine Peters


Good-bye - Tiffany Hamm this is a quiet explosion - Matthew Leslie

Counterpart of My Soul - Ashley Fundora Peggy Sue Faces Oblivion Carmen Gillen-Casal


songs amidst the fire - Matthew Leslie

Burning Brown - Stephen Palahach


man-made chasm - Francesca Contreras

Red Hair is Better - Alina Balaguero


Never Again - Martine Powers

Decapitated Doll - Michael Carey


Terrorists - Matthew Leslie

New York - Larry Floyd


Zombie Politics - Stephen Palahach

Zombie AZN! - Sarah Schloss


Colored Mirrors - Husam Wahdan

Marker - Rough 4 - Blake Suárez


christian Nation - Matthew Leslie

45 Egret - Michael Carey


THIS IS NOT A TEST - Emma Hudson

Streets - Cristina Jay


Preposterous nots Am I - Blake Suárez When I was Black and White Caitlin Karrenberg

Dukizzle - Caitlin Karrenberg and Alma Haase She Was Right All Along - Blake Suárez




My Eyes are Windows to My Soul - Lisa Berges

Johnny Rocket’s Experience Adrianna Arintok


Monkey Politics - David Tarafa

Tree Dwellers - Blake Suárez


Controversial Calamity - Sean Morin and Nick Lasante


Kelly Maye - Yuna Park

Maycee - Ashley Fundora


Clouds (short story) - Zachary Witlin

Clouds (photo) - Zachary Witlin


Musical Blues - Patrick Rabulan

The Bassist Attitude - Leticia Guevara


Memoirs (poem) - Iris Zhang

Memoirs (book) - Iris Zhang


Your Yellow Dress - Martine Powers

Blow - Gabriella Mclntyre


A Piece of Straw (poem)- Alex Dubisson

A Piece of Straw (book) - Alex Dubisson {50-51}

Sister Seizure - Klara Scharnagl

Brain Scan - Ashley Gallager


Classical Apocalypse - Madeline Zardoya Penance - David Tarafa

Cathedral - Carolina De Varona


Deafening Silence - Stephanie Jerome

Life Experiences - Jose Berrios


Hospital Hallways - Axelle Zemouli

RISD Hallway - Adrianna Arintok


These Hands (poem) - Allyson Jones

These Hands (photo)- Allyson Jones


Tmesis - Yuna Park

Keep it secret - Sarah Schloss


Theft Lines - Stephen Palahach

Balloon Man - Nicholas Kallergis Red Balloon - Greta Martinez


Solitude is Under-rated - Marcos Mills

Key in Door - Nelson Santovenia


Rodin’s Nightmare - Stephen Palahach Virginia - David Tarafa

7:41 a.m. - Antonio Vargas


Beeswhacks - Alina Balaguero


Manic Routine {3-14} Bombs {15-31} Nots & Tics {32-43}

{44-51} {52-63} {64-70}

Paper Yesterday Backflash Ruin Almost Exits


Elysium Literary/Art Magazine Awards


Honors and Awards

2006 Gold Medalist Columbia Scholastic Press Association & two All Columbian Awards 2006 Superior Ranking NCTE PRESLM (Program to Recognize Excellence in Scholastic Literary Magazines)

Individual CSPA 2006 Gold Circle Awards Nicholas Kallergis for Culture and Cristina Jay for The Leslie II

Awards listed below reect only those pieces selected for printing in Elysium. The actual list of award winners is much more extensive.

Gold Key Portfolio Arintok, Adrianna - Grade 12: Lean PF-Painting / Scott McKinley Florida Governor’s Award Fundora, Ashley - Grade 12: Counterpart of My Soul PF-Painting / Scott McKinley

Gold Key 1st Place Balaguero, Alina - Grade 11: Red Hair is Better; Painting / Scott McKinley Guillen-Casal, Carmen - Grade 11: Peggy Sue Faces Oblivion; Painting / Scott McKinley Peters, Christine - Grade 11: Surface Flow; Painting / Scott McKinley Vargas, Antonio - Grade 12: 7:41 a.m.; Photography / Colette Stemple

Silver Key Gillet, Kourtney - Grade 10: Converse Mind Trip; Painting / Scott McKinley Suarez, Michael - Grade 11: Chose My Weapons; Digital Imagery / Colette Stemple

Juried into District Competition Carey, Michael - Grade 11: 45 Egret; Digital imagery / Colette Stemple Schloss, Sarah - Grade 12: Zombie AZN!; Drawing / Scott McKinley Tinney, Morgan - Grade 12: (untitled) Drawing / Scott McKinley

Drama Award Sean Morin & Nick Lasante - Grades 12: Controversial Calamity / Ana Mederos Superior & Critics Choice Award for playwrighting at the Florida Thespian District 8 Competition 2005-2006

and Art

Coral Reef Senior High School District Scholastic Art Awards 2006

Stephanie Machado Dizzy Tree Digital drawing



Bianca Fernandez

Through the streets of empty dreams And passions of good-bye

These are no streets, she said to me, Only webs of grey

I feed the nature in my beat To travel to the skies

These are the trees, she wept to me, That tomorrow couldn’t save.

Manic Routine {3}

Morgan Tinney Self Portrait caran d’ache

{4} Manic Routine

Broken Scott Victoria Think . . . Unsheathed from conformity.

Open, illuminated, burning eyes Revealing truth

Pain, suffering, longing world.

G-d, G-ds, Gh-sts Empower, fulďŹ lling, tormenting Truly lies?

Broken by knowledge


Iron Oxide Damien Carracedo

Iron oxide covers once-gleaming sides of train cars. Locomotives that once pulled hundredcar trains sit waiting, here in this place where machines go to die. They seem to whisper to one another, to me. We were young once, and mighty. Once the pinnacle of design, now we are silent and without purpose. Walking between the dusty tracks, I see some in advanced states of decay. Some still work, their corrupted copper wiring straining to light their deteriorating interiors. Without purpose, outmoded, these rusted shells impart a nostalgic aura of former glory, gone.

Relics of the past, cemeteries around the world stand guard on human memory, sentries against the human capacity -effort- to forget. Walking along the dusty tracks where they remain, they continue to remind: We were young once, and mighty.

So they whisper, and so we will forget what their message implies:

. . . one day you will join us.

Damien Carracedo Train Car Digital photograph

{6} Manic Routine

Inner Rage Dominic Thomas

Dominic Thomas Inner Rage Gelatin silver print

Modern day society deals with rage in many ways. Some individuals express it daily. Some conceal their rage. It’s a reminder of their common façade, a lucid smile.

Those left outside of society’s concern express rage, as it were, in the dark, shouting and screaming for aid, yet their screams go unanswered. Their unhappiness creates an uneasy aura around them, a negative energy that clings to everyone like an unhappy memory or a disturbing image lurking in the mind.

For the common man, an empty smile creates a comfortable conformity that is often society’s deciding factor about individual happiness, a mask stamped on a vacant face. It is what, in the end, offers the security of acceptance.


{8} Manic Routine

Adrianna Arintok Pocket Troll Oil on Canvas

Shame Maria Bonilla

She’s got my face and I hate her for it. How she uses my eyes, my lips, my hair, my nose-And makes the world fawn at her feet. Watch how she bats my eyes and makes others Ohh and Ahh . . . Listen to her words from my lips Telling them to roll over and brake. She’s flipping my hair using slight-of-hand. She’s a magician, a trickster, a liar, a fake, a fraud. Everything in her gait screams, “The world made me,” and “I live for what the public wants.” A walking reality-TV-show that can’t get enough, she’s an entertainer. And I hate her for it. Not because she’s using my face But because she can – and does. Because she’s not afraid of the world’s critique, Because she’s not scared at the pain I could feel. She can have my face. I don’t have what it takes to show mine.

Shame {9}

As We Lay Terrance Harvey Here we lie together, Neither one better than the other. You with your golden locks of wisdom, Me with eyes that stare into eternity. Together We are interlaced in thought, Not merely the physical. I learn of the struggles We are sure to face, You with the skin of white And me the heart of black. Blackened because I’ll never Have this again . . . We lie in peace and solitude Complete in every thought. Forced to recognize Grey skies Ahead. They say we’ll never last. My textured hair And yours So straight! Your nose is narrow Yet mine is broad. Your smile innocent-Mine so full of lust. Is it that my skin Is black And yours is white? We lie . . . You with me . . . And I with you . . . .

{10} Manic Routine

Adrianna Arintok Weekend Nightmare Oil on canvas

“You and I” holds no logic Yet somehow you are the only one Who tolerates the “me” And makes me love my thin lips, My wide hips And doesn’t tell me That I’m beautiful. You accentuate my eccentricity.

Lillian Rodriguez

You and I identify. I don’t know why. You are day; I am night And together we are sunset trapped Between dark and light. Yet somehow you complement me, Fill in the blanks of my tragedy Turning it to comedy. I despise your optimism!

Eye to Eye

You and I see eye to eye Every furrow, every detour on my face The pink hue of your cheeks A marriage of frivolity and intensity.

You and I see eye to eye When we laugh, when we cry And this is why I have no shame To rest my chin on your Indifferent shoulder And admit that I rely on this union that is known as “you and me.”

Adrianna Arintok Weekend Nightmare II Oil on canvas


Closure to the Day Taylor Prochnow

Morgan Tinney Parking Garage at Sunset Acrylic on canvas Beams of sunlight cascade down Peaking through the clouds Bathing the morning in light. He sits on the cusp of thought, Pondering each course And the path to which they may lead. High above the earth, Our choices are plentiful. Paralyzed between worlds Caught between the sun and the moon One smirks at his uncertainty While another relishes his pained indecisiveness. {12} Manic Routine

The moment is at hand. A decision must be made Crossroads will be encountered Evasive tactics and questioning Will not resolve the debate. Night falls and the sun recedes To its sanctuary, Allowing the moon to frolic Amongst the stars. Bringing closure to the day.

Extension on the Necessity of Evolution Before Proper Practice Alina Balaguero It was at that time, at exactly 8:17 in the morning that we gazed over the shoreline. Just the two of us, a duo of parakeets throwing our stare out to the horizon. Black faded to blue to green to yellow as waves chopped and crawled along itchy sands about to be micro waved by the toasty onslaught of the Vernal Equinox. The Pacific wind ruffled our feathers as we rotated 130° to view the abandoned city behind us. Blue windows decorated the empty skyscrapers towering above as ripped documents tore down dusty streets of tar, bleached white from the constant abuse of the sun . . . . Hours passed and

still we stood. Solitary. Glorified. Two parakeets. Sensing the

awkwardness of an island with no signs of life. No pulse, no heartbeat, no familiarity. A speeding newspaper smacked the graffiti off of a nearby STOP sign right before it hit my fellow bird in the face. She died then, yet I did not weep. I knew what I had to do. I waddled over to the water and began to swim. Gaping waves crashed over my face and into my lungs as I fought to float, jerking between air and saltwater. Eventually, the strain grew to be too much and I had to let myself drift down into the black abyss of a small sandbar, upon which I laid myself to rest, knowing there was no hope of swimming without first evolving.

Christine Peters Surface Flow Acrylic on canvas {13}

Ashley Fundora Counterpart of My Soul Oil on canvas

Good-bye Tiffany Hamm The time is coming for the curtain to fall. Say goodbye as today becomes yesterday. They say the sun will always rise again. But just in case, say goodbye as the sun traces its ďŹ nal resting place. Wish your lover sweet dreams and tell life how you’ve loved it. Close your eyes, Say goodnight, And just drift away. . . And as the curtain comes down. Make sure you take your bows. Say farewell as tomorrow becomes today . . . {14} Manic Routine

Carmen Gillen-Casal Peggy Sue Faces Oblivion Acrylic on canvas

this is a quiet explosion Matthew Leslie this is a quiet explosion this is a soft-spoken suicide bomber this is a red-hot, punctuated rebirth this is a molting phoenix one night as I looked in the mirror one night as I brushed my teeth swooshed through doorways turned on lights urinated turned off lights one night as I sat awake,

I heard it: subtract from me these extraneous layers distill my blood, shave my bones highlight my core standing, illuminated by yellow artiďŹ cial light I heard a quiet explosion it heralded a great change that I do not yet know

Bombs {15}

songs amidst the fire Matthew Leslie

when you say morality, you mean the retaining of the nuclear family. when I say morality, I mean valuing all people equally. when you say, “teach our children respect,” you mean respect for the white, hetero, christian, proto-male. when I say, “teach them respect,” I mean respect for the human race.

I propose a compromise: you may have all the white, rich, hetero, christian, proto-males, I will take the fags, dykes, the gooks, the chinks, the spics, the niggers, the bums, the outcasts,

our camp will be far from yours. we will sing songs and cry tears amidst fire

through the din we will not hear your silent compliance, we will not hear your isolation.

Stephen Palahach Burning Brown Digital photograph

{16} Bombs

you may hear our singing, our loud voices, you may hear our, ‘free at last,’ our ‘we shall overcome.’ you may hear our feet stomping, our hands clapping, our hearts beating, through the din, we will not strain to hear you.


Alina Balaguero Red Hair is Better Acrylic and gouache on paper {18} Bombs

man—made chasm Francesca Contreras

a cardboard box filled with empty books. a wheel, a handle, a seat. hangers with indifferent hooks.

her shadow falls on apathetic concrete. catatonic mannequins. victims of deceit.

tick-tock, tin man a pumping liberal guilt. no solace in her surroundings. disdain for all that is built.

hollow man-made cages. artificial unrealities prevail. evanescing eyes freeze...

and they whisper— “humanity for sale.”

Martine Powers

“Never again,” we say Hands over ears, louder and louder To drown out the screams of those who’ve been slaughtered We comfort ourselves with our self-righteous banter While their lives are too short to consider philosophy “Never again,” we say As the dogs and the birds and the rats savor the remains of their flesh We display our remembrance on a grayscale pedestal While butchering continues in vibrant red, blue and green “Never again,” we say Because we try not to notice the stench of bloated, rotting bodies Filling the barracks, the ditches, the apartment complexes, the marketplaces, the churches mosques synagogues, the train stations, the prison cells, the office buildings, the tents, the farmhouses “Never again,” we say Because we will not hear The thud of an ax as it hacks off a limb The pop of a rifle as it silences a baby The scream of a man as gas fills his lungs The roar of a fiery beast unfurling in a subway tunnel The whimper of a woman with a man pounding in her thighs and a pistol pointed in her face

{20} Bombs

Michael Carey Decapitated Doll Digital Photograph

“Never again,” we say Because we close our eyes and refuse to see The mounds of Zyklon-B canisters, machetes, machine guns, nailstudded clubs, short-range grenades, Diet Pepsi explosives, dynamite knapsacks, 3-ton H-bombs Stacked up to the sky Reaching up to the heavens And discovering that they’re not there “Never again,” we say Again and again and again


Larry Floyd New York Photograph

“Yes, we have our terrorists, but too many have died for us to not live freely�

{22} Bombs

Terrorists Matthew Leslie

Yes, we have our terrorists they are named neither ahmed nor osama they are neither dark nor Arabic they are named timothy and Eric and Robert they are white they are protestant they do not strap bombs to themselves but they do throw them they will plant them they are not promised houris though they may imagine 72 women (minus their ovaries) greeting them they target buildings they target churches they target clinics they target bodies we have our terrorists some of whom rule with a pen some of whom would blow up neither a bus nor a building yet they terrorize yet they use fear manufactured to their advantage

we must stand ďŹ rm in their faces as if the very earth beneath our feet was exploding. despite the lack of bombs, the very earth beneath our feet is exploding in their faces we must demand that our rights not be rescinded that our people not be terrorized Yes, they died in Israel, in Iraq, in Palestine. Yes, they died in Waco, in Oklahoma City, in New York. Let us not forget Let us not forget they died in Birmingham Let us not forget they died in Harlem Let us not forget they died in Selma, in Montgomery How can we do justice to one by slighting another? We must protect our bodies, we must protect our minds. Oppose fundamentalism oppose hatred oppose the bloodshed oppose the bombings. Yes, we have our terrorists,

theirs is a war more discreet there are no explosions only exploitations

but too many have died for us to not live freely {23}

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and rise above the rest of the terrain. The soil was sensitive and responsive. Luxury and excess became daily practice. Isolation was the town’s muse.

started when a venerable and bald elephant stumbled I watched all of this happen. I into the river and died. It watched the town change from a mess stayed there, rotted, and wept of huts to a collection of steam breathing long after it stopped breathing. turbines that licked the muddy streets It wasn’t the constant wailings forcefully. The town was satisfied with how that drove the town mad, but the it had changed over time, and as a result, became oblivious to the fleshy smell that piercing smell. Soon it began to resided in the river. I watched the outer ridges downpour for months, and the of the town rise and set in exhaustive motions town, which once had access to as town folk hurried down the hills and bathed trade outposts and farmlands, was in the water. Everyone let out a prolonged sigh shut in. The good townspeople as they drifted into the wastewater. In breaths began to see the rain and their and days the stench worked its way into the town isolation as a positive. The river, and stitched its presence into every surface. It was which once ran along the docks putrid and made walking outside unbearable, yet it on the west side of the town, now seduced everyone to lay their faces into its mist. encircled the entire populace. People in the town began to I should say now that maybe it didn’t start with realize how much time they had, a dead elephant, but the real change began with me. I and how little they have to worry should also mention that while the duration of the rain about the outside world. They should have been months, the sun rose and set only thrice. Three times the day chanced, three phases they had a history of being pestered by would endure before I would knock on their doors. I kept bag-pipe toting rat-men who threw my mind pure. I was brave. I didn’t involve myself with the apples at them for some reason or excess and sin of the town. I stayed with the elephant, in the another. Their worries abated, river. Its bronze rib cage became my home during the rains. It and the wet vortex of a town they protected me, until the rain stopped and it seeped into the mud. inhabited began to swell up

{24} Bombs

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Colored Mirrors Husam Wahdan

Look in the mirror! With your perfect eyes, perfect hair, and perfect skin. Blue eyes, blond hair, and light skin Look again Your deep sea eyes ďŹ ll my lungs depriving me of oxygen drowning me Your bleached hair entangles my body Suffocating me Your bright skin deprives me of color Pilfering me

Look again!

You have insulted my culture Attempting to erode the very thing I long and cling to You have degraded the faith of my religion Attempting to destroy the foundation of my belief You have stereotyped me Attempting to steal my uniqueness Take one last look!

{26} Bombs

You have created hate The emotion that promotes violence You have created discrimination The institution that promotes violence

Look in the mirror!

Look again! Look deeper! Blake Suรกrez Marker - Rough 4 Digital Media

Michael Carey 45 Egret Digital media

{28} Bombs



n istia

esus Christ, the man not the exclamation. The Ruler of the Free World. In the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit We Trust reflects in my eyes from the back of a defunct dollar bill recovered from the bombing of an abortion clinic. Because this is a christian Nation, right? All of these men and women claiming Christ as their lord, savior, protector, and tax collector. I feel sorry for the man-- Jesus that is. I thought Voltaire was misquoted until I read the bible. That’s a lot of hate for a christian Nation. I’ve lost track, swimming through the decades, of who we are supposed to oppose today. Are we fond of blacks yet? The Japanese? Can women vote? What class of citizenry is afforded by immigrants? Do we have labor laws? Union’s rights? Is Joseph McCarthy dead yet? Do Muslims walk safely in the streets? What about queers? I forget today’s battle, today’s crusade. I can only catalogue so much hatred. You see, for a christian Nation, we devote a lot of time to ostracizing. We are not too hospitable towards prostitutes, lepers. We keep a narrow mind and a narrower dogma. Like the thin column of smoke that rises from that abortion clinic. Those dead women-workers with their fertile wombs exploded. In Jesus’s name we pray/bomb/fight/ kill/?. Give them a day, give them an inch and they will run with it like so many crusaders on a fertile lawn in the land of Eden. Show me a war for which Jesus does not appear in the by-line. Two-thousand years old and they won’t let the poor man retire from fighting for causes I doubt he understands. I wonder if Jesus smiles on this christian Nation. The climate does not remind me of a smile but of the heat of a grimace, the heat of war, of global warming. What arrogance: assign a savior, choose his battles, eat his fruits, plunder his riches, expect his redemption. He was a bodhisattva. He is an old, exhausted, Jewish carpenter who would sooner abandon this crazy race than absorb all their hatred. Walk on, Christ. Change your name, take a vacation from this christian Nation. Take a walk on the ocean floor, I hear it is quiet down there. Rest; you have been mistreated. There is a hole in my dollar bill. It reads, “In we trust.” Now, that is fitting.



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THIS IS NOT A TEST Emma Hudson In wilderness we were born In cities we now live Wandering down rain-drenched roads Following the cautions they give Simply follow the laws, the rules The signs tell the rest Human nature gone? Shall we put it to the test?

PLEASE CALMLY MOVE TO THE NEAREST EXIT Herd is startled They know this song And look up through the grass Once they could graze placidly That time quickly passed

DO NOT TAKE ANY OF YOUR BELONGINGS WITH YOU Female, A mother to the end Young, A thing the herd can spend Male, A leader to us all Herd, The only family we recall

PLEASE STAY CALM AND REFRAIN FROM RUNNING Prowlers stalk left and right The herd knows they’re in its sight Time has come to run without care Will we live? This hope we share.

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE IN ANY VIOLENT CONFRONTATIONS A stifled cry from the rear The first casualty spent They run on Shed not a tear Time can’t be lent For the good of the herd they must persist For the good of the whole they must resist

PARENTS PLEASE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CHILDREN, THIS ASSOCIATION IS NOT ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY DEATHS, MAIMINGS OR DISAPPEARANCES Calf doth struggle in the mist? Cannot match stride with stride? Tell me this Why have you left your mother’s side? Unaware of the horrors that await youThere in the wake of the herd Those stories of stalkers in the night Those stories you have not heard?

{30} Bombs

Cristina Jay Streets Acrylic on canvas CIVILANS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ASSIST IN OFFICIAL RESCUES. ALL THOSE FACILITATING THIS CAUSE WILL BE TRIED AND PROSECUTED The mother looks Sees her young Teetering on the brink of death Nature looks Sees it now And weaves a weary trick Mother slows her worried pace Leaves safety of the herd Takes her place at his side An act of love has occurred For the mother there is no option For the father there is no care For the weak will need protecting We all are dealt our share

WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION Stalker sees his meal Mother sees her death Young knows no evil Nature at its best



Preposterous nots Am I Blake Suárez I am no shadow cast by a tree I am no shadow No blur No faded thing.

I am not some inconceivable thought either. I am real and you know it.

I am not these things, save for the last. I am not…

Yet I am. I am because you believe me am and this makes me am them until I trick my own self into believing the ams are me.

Soon enough I am all of my am nots, and what I am is of no importance because I have am’d what you believe me to am,

This is not what I want to am.

{32} Nots & Tics

Alma Haase and Caitlin Karrenberg Dukizzle Sculpture

When I was Black and White Caitlin Karrenberg

Remember when I told you I was trigonometry?

I’m afraid I might have lied. (Not that I wanted to.)

Oh, I am still math, not numbers, but shapes. But I am still math. It need not be so black and white.

Blake SuĂĄrez She Was Right All Along... Digital Media


Adrianna Arintok Johnny Rockets Experience Oil paint

“I peer into their souls And they move on— too quick to leave a stereotype in my head.”

“ Then I rise {34} Nots & Tics

My Eyes Are Windows to My Soul Lisa Berges Look at me brother; I sit next to you. I am scared, scarred. Real words, I hide. “Here, wipe your chin, and don’t look at me like that.” You ask a question that catches me off guard. “Why are you. . .” you begin. “Why am I what?” I ask hauntingly, staring. I look at those faces walking by. Their eyes meet mine. I peer into their souls And they move on— too quick to leave a stereotype in my head. I take a bite of my sandwich, contemplating my answer.

“Because,” I hear myself saying, “eyes are the windows to the past, Even if they are foreign to you and I, brother. A stranger who sleeps on the streets has a story. It is their story I am after.” I see you, with a wide-eyed stare, squint and look to see if you can see what I see. You blink, and tell me it’s impossible. I sip my coke and sigh . . . “One day you will learn to see other people’s stories.” You look at me with eager eyes that shine with determination and hope. “When?” you ask “Brother, when you are old enough to understand That eyes are for peering into the past.” e windows w “Finish up. I have ha a project to finish,” I say, grabbing my napkin.

and walk away.”

I thinkk to myself, My eyes are windows to my past, my present, and my future. Then I rise and walk away. {35}

Monkey Politics David Tarafa

It was March when Gorilla returned to the monkeys. He’d brought the Yeti as he’d promised, and that early on, nobody was sure that he’d survive in the jungle. By that point, Dereck had been living in the Grip for four months, having stumbled onto the tribe after he ran from the city. Gorilla took his first days back to rest, but it wasn’t long before Tiki and some others approached him with the questions and suggestions that’d built up during his absence. The other monkeys all thought of him as their leader, but he always reminded them that he wasn’t, and that he didn’t want to be. “I just don’t like it,” he’d tell them. “It doesn’t feel right…” So when Tiki asked whether Dereck could stay, Gorilla shrugged and nodded. Humans had never been allowed in the Grip, but nobody was very serious about the rules, and Dereck thought of himself as a monkey; Gorilla figured that was good enough. For a while, Dereck had thought of himself as a “born-again” monkey—but that was before he lost track of language. In those earlier days, everybody was sure that the Yeti would die before long. He’d sit in the shade, an enormous pile of white fur, shedding, perspiring, eyes always unfocused. By the end of the first week, Tiki’d set up a hydration system, and from then on, he, Orangutan, three of the gibbons and Dereck would take turns tossing buckets of water on him at every hour, more or less. Gorilla appreciated the gesture, but he didn’t express his gratitude well enough or often enough for the Tiki’s liking, and his feelings were hurt. Gorilla, exhausted from the journey into the Canadian north, spent his days watching over the Yeti from then on. He’d struck out in September of the previous year, following several reports of sightings of his childhood friend. When he’d finally reached the Yeti’s cave, which he’d found through a series of tips and guesses, he found his friend with an arm around a pile of frozen mud, looking off and mumbling; “Let’s not talk about that now. Let’s just think about the good times…” He’d hoped that the Yeti would adjust to the climate in the Grip, which was a large plot deep in the Venezuelan jungle. He remembered their adventures in that same jungle almost twenty years before, and he prayed that everything would be okay. Around the beginning of May, Tiki became very serious about his position as head of the hydration team, and Gorilla was sleeping no more than three hours a day. By then, he’d started to accept the possibility that Yeti might not ever be able to adjust; he also knew that neither one of them could survive the trip back

{36} Nots & Tics

Blake Suárez Tree Dwellers Ink

to Canada, and the thought of letting his friend rot alone made him worry more than ever. It was around the time that Gorilla began to consider killing his old friend that the Yeti snapped out of his daze. It happened on an afternoon in June, on a Tuesday, when one of the gibbons splashed him with a bucket of water and wound up crushed under his fist. Soon afterward, Gorilla woke and found the Yeti sitting in the doorway to his tree. The two embraced, but they didn’t speak. Gorilla was relieved and more exhausted than ever. The two emerged a week later, one aged and smiling, the other balding and damp. It was then that Tiki began to organize the monkeys—the Gibbons, Orangutan, eight of the baboons and two of the chimpanzees; when Gorilla had failed to turn up at the Gibbon’s burial, Tiki’d decided that he was mad with power. He’d approached the monkeys that he’d thought would suit the movement best—those who were outspoken or dynamic—the ones with the longest fingers. He’d approached the Sugarglider, the lemurs and the Sloth as well, and although none of them were actually monkeys, each and every one was a fierce Gorilla-loyalist. Tiki’d also meant to approach Dereck, as he thought of him as a friend, but he was scarce by then. He was spending more and more time with the Yeti, sitting under his tree or walking along the river. Nobody’d been more surprised by the friendship than Gorilla himself, but Dereck was able to connect with the Yeti in a way that none of the others would ever understand—in a way that he wouldn’t let himself understand. He’d managed to rid himself of his human memories—to deny that they’d ever existed—but he did remember the solitude; in his office, at home, in his wife’s slow “whatever” when he told her that he was a monkey—when he ran off into the jungle. The two had started taking walks together, grunting sometimes, but usually just enjoying one another’s company in silence. The Yeti’s bald skin began to tan, and he stopped crying at the memories of his mud-pile friend at night. It was in August

Blake Suárez Tree Dwellers Ink

during one of their long afternoon walks that Tiki held his first conference. He called it “war council,” and the term made Gorilla’s stomach churn every time he heard it. By then, the relief he’d felt at the Yeti’s recovery began to diminish as the old anxiety began to set back in. He spent less and less time outside his tree as the Tiki became more bitter and more courageous. He ate with the Yeti in the mornings, and he’d always ask about the Tiki, but nothing ever sounded too serious. By the end of the conference, both parties were frustrated and exhausted, as Tiki made demands that Gorilla didn’t consider himself in any position to accept. After four hours, during which Gorilla persistently refused to accept the power that Tiki wanted to take from him, the meeting had been adjourned and they’d both gone home. Gorilla was looking older than ever then. The Yeti found him dead the following week. Anxiety had eroded all that was left of Gorilla, and he’d gone in his sleep. He was buried that afternoon, far away near the waterfalls. He’d been carried there by Yeti, Dereck, three baboons and one chimpanzee. Sloth, Sugarglider and the lemurs attended as well, and Tiki and Orangutan made an appearance; Tiki looked sober and more exasperated than he ever had. He left an orchid and went back to the Grip, but when he left Orangutan stayed behind and wept. The howling ceremony lasted all through the night. When the group completed the trek back to the Grip the following morning, they found a wall with a gate in it. They stood and stared for several minutes, saddened but barely surprised, beforeTiki came to greet them. As he welcomed them, Yeti turned away and the rest of the group followed. Only Dereck spoke. “I don’t even recognize you anymore…” As they began to walk back toward the river, Yeti reached for Dereck’s hand and took a deep breath. Dereck took his enormous hand, and the whole group inhaled deeply; and as they did, the air around them became lighter than it had been. They were exhaling carbon dioxide, but they were inhaling possibilities.


Excerpts from Scene III and V of:

ontroversial alamity

Sean Morin Nick Lesante

[In this modern-day morality play, Morin and Lesante satirize the attempts of public decency advocates to censor radio, TV, and video games programmers. The playwrights’ poison pen does not stop here but attacks the profit-motivated “writers” who opportunistically pander to the public’s basest interests.] SCENE III The office is set up as any regular office would be, desk, chair, picture of wife and kids, coffee mug filled with pencils, etc. It should be almost as office casual as possible, with nothing obstructing like a computer or printer. (Lights up on office, Tim barges in with an angry look on his face and a paper firmly grasped in his hands) TIM: What the hell Gary!? GARY: (Tired but sarcastic) Hi, Tim, . . . How are you? Oh me, I’m just dandy… (Sighs, then looks up from his work) What’s the problem now? TIM: What is this supposed to be!? (Slams memo on Gary’s desk) GARY: (Looks at the paper, not as sarcastic). . . Oh that’s the inner office memo I sent outlining the FCC’s latest guidelines on proper writing content… (As if confused) You have a problem with this? TIM: You bet I have a problem with this! We are writers Gary! You can’t censor us! GARY: (Trying to reason with him). . . Look Tim. . . If we wanna keep our reputation as a respected publication we are going to have to follow the rules. TIM: (In disbelief) Gary . . . We’re Playboy®! GARY: (Very nonchalant, while almost reassuring himself that what he is saying is within reason). . . Well, that may be, but it doesn’t

{38} Nots & Tics

mean that we can’t run a clean magazine! TIM: (Still in disbelief, Tim starts to fume with anger) Yes it does!! We’re porno!!! Our Boss is a man who spends 90% of his time in his pajamas by the pool popping Viagra® like they’re Skittles®!!! GARY: Tim, I can understand where you are coming from, but if you read the memo more thoroughly, you would know that these guidelines aren’t going to affect your “Dirty Letters” column. (Tim’s expression immediately changes from that of confused anger to that of a casual happiness) TIM: Oh, all right, well, sorry to bother you then, see you at lunch. (Tim begins walking out of the office) GARY: All right, bye Tim. (As Tim exits the room, Gary goes back to work, moments later Bill burst in) BILL: (Dramatically) You whore!!! GARY: (Tired) Something bothering you Bill? BILL: (Angry) You’re damn right something is bothering me! (Holds up copy of memo) Since when do we let the “man” push us around? GARY: Well, BillBILL: (Interrupts) I mean honestly, Gary, how do you expect me to express myself creatively with the censorship vulture hanging its ugly head over my shoulder?

GARY: Express yourself creatively?!? You’re not even a writer, Bill, you work in the mail room! BILL: What do you mean I’m not a writer?!? What about that political column I wrote? GARY: You mean the time you snuck the words “Bush Sucks” into the news section? BILL: (In denial) My additions brought that article to life and you know it. GARY: (Tired) Oy Veigh. Bill, I’m going to be honest with you, the only reason you haven’t been fired yet is because you are the only one who knows how to work the coffee machine. BILL: (Hurt but still unwilling to give in) Fine, I’ll be in the mail room when you’re ready for some truth. (Scurries out of room like broken-hearted schoolgirl, and slams door) GARY: Geez, I really gotta start locking that door. (Goes back to work)

(Lights up on podium area) COUNSELOR PETERS: . . . And now the committee will recognize the representative from Mothers Against Video game Addiction and Violence©, Reverend Milton Bradley (pause for applause), Reverend Bradley, you have the floor. (Peters takes seat as Bradley takes the podium)

may say that the biggest threat is gangs peddling crack cocaine, to this I say niet. . . No my friends, the real threat here is Al from Best Buy© peddling Game Boys©! Now you might say (in high pitched voice) oh Game Boys©! Those colorful plastic boxes that keep my child quiet for hours on end. They are a godsend! (in regular voice) And I say that is incorrect! They are no more than glorified pitchers of filth, pouring their contents into your children’s mind. Don’t believe me? Then let me ask you a couple of questions. (Holds up picture of Donkey Kong©) Why is this monkey naked? (Holds up picture of Pac-Man©) Is Pac-Man© really hungry, or does he have a case of the munchies?! (Holds up picture of Pikachu© and pokeballs) Poke-balls (stresses second part of the word), what exactly is Pikachu© implying here? (Holds up picture of Sonic the Hedgehog©) Sonic, super-fast hedgehog, or speed junkie? Not satisfied? Then let me bring your attention to a game called “The Legend of Zelda”© (Holds up picture of Link©). Why is this boy wearing a miniskirt? Do we really want the fate of Hyrule© in the hands of a cross-dresser? Which bring me to my next point. Have any of you ever seen a goomba©? (Slight pause) I didn’t think so. Do you know why? It’s because of this man (holds up picture of Mario©). This little Italian plumber has been hunting this species down to near extinction for nothing more than a few coins and a piece of peach. And now we turn our attention to Kirby©, a character based solely on sucking and blowing (holds up picture of Kirby© inhaling and exhaling). Furthermore he promotes identity theft; here are some of his known aliases (holds up picture of different forms of Kirby©). And finally we have Bomberman©, bomb-wielding superhero, or Al-Qaeda operative (holds up picture of Bomberman©)?!? I’ll let you decide. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a war going on, a war for your children, don’t let Nintendo© be the one having the victory party. Thank you. (Leaves podium, shakes hands with Counselor Peters and takes his seat as Peters takes his place at the podium)

REVEREND BRADLEY: (in southern accent) Thank you, kindly Counselor Peters (pause) ladies and gentlemen, children today face many perils. Now some of you might say the biggest threat to our youths is gangs, to this I say no. . . (Looks around), some of you might say the biggest threat is crack cocaine, to this I say nay. . . (Looks around), some

COUNSELOR PETERS: Thank you Reverend Bradley. And now we will be hearing from Kitty and Debbie from the Coalition Against Electronic Gaming. They have a PowerPoint presentation on how to cure video game addiction with some T.L.C. and a little shock therapy. (Lights out) End

(Lights fade to black) SCENE V Front of a conference room, very clean, probably in a hotel. The space is occupied by a podium that stands at the very front and center, and a chair to the right and slightly to the back of the podium.


Ashley Fundora Maycee Acrylic on canvas

{40} Nots & Tics

Yuna Par Yuna Yu ark k There was a time when I knew this girl named Kelly-Maye Louise. No one liked her but me. We would sit out on the grass and suck on the sour ends of yellowed clovers, or poke at ants with knurled sticks, or sit out on our front porches selling rocks for 10 cents apiece. We spent a lot of afternoons at school building what we proudly called “cockroach houses”. It all began with digging a hole in the ground, which served as the home. Then a winding driveway, marked with pebbles, led up to the front door, usually a leaf held in place with several stones. Dandelions and thistles were yanked and replanted, swimming pools were filled up with apple juice, a hole poked through with our fingers became windows. Then came the drastic mission of finding a cockroach to live in it. We usually found the jewel-shelled crawlies meandering between stalks of grass sparsely shot with dampened mushrooms. I always made Kelly-Maye pick them up. With gaping smiles on our faces we would put the roaches in their newfound homes and close the doors shut.


Clouds Zachary Witlin

a kid, did you ever just kind of stare at the clouds and try to figure out what they looked like?”

She turned towards him slightly, her eyes still fixed on the notebooks in her lap, and said with a soft, apathetic tone, “Yea… I think most kids do.” He was still looking at the gray skies above him with an innocent fascination that belied his thickening beard. He scratched his chin a bit, took a sip of his brightly colored can of iced tea, and seemed to enter a state of deep thought. A few moments passed before he turned to her and said, this time more quietly and with a hint of excitement that almost made it seem like he’d discovered some long guarded secret, “It’s a yeti. See, over there is its claws. And there’s his body, with all that puffy white fur. It helps him blend in with the snow, you know. And you can’t forget the horns. That’s what really distinguishes it from the sasquatch, at least as far as sky hunting is concerned.” He sat back with a triumphant air, waiting for her to show some interest in his obviously valuable appraisal of the sky.

{42} Nots & Tics

Zachary Witlin Clouds Photograph

“Hey, when you were

She touched a few keys on her calculator and began tracing lines onto her yellowed paper. Her eyes flicked up from her graph to his face, to the sky, and then just as quickly back to her paper. “Uh-huh. That’s really good.” Scratching his forehead, he stretched out onto the asphalt, rolled up his sweater into a makeshift pillow, and propped himself with his back on the ground and his face staring directly into the cloudy skies. He could feel

himself losing his feelings, his connections, his own thoughts as little more held his interest than the shifting clouds and the soft scratch of her pencil on thin slices of dead tree bark. She had quite forgotten about him when he asked her to lie down next to him. “Look, I’m really busy right now. I’ve got a test later today, and I was up ‘till 3 last night doing a history paper. I’m not in a great mood.” Dejected and upset, he lifted himself up and sat

in a crouched, meditative position. So unexpected and intense was the focus of this young man who only a moment ago had emptied his head of all but yetis and the clouds that an art student who happened to be passing by hid behind a tree and photographed him, thinking that his image would look handsome when positioned next to a picture of The Thinker.

He meditated silently for a few more moments before he smiled, stood up above the girl next to him, and cast a shadow over her workspace.

Looking up quizzically and with a slight air of annoyance, he asked her again if she would care to take a walk. With a hint of poison in her voice, she asked him as politely as possible to move himself out of the sun. “Just do me this one favor, okay? Take a look at the sky right there where I’m pointing, and tell me if you see Cornwallis.” Rolling her eyes, she decided it would be faster to comply than to argue and worsen her already growing headache. She raised her head and focused her attention directly to where her young friend’s finger was pointing. “Right there. Say hello, Cornwallis!” Clenching her fist in pressurized anger, she at last slammed her notebook on the ground and shouted an inch from his face, “Will you just leave me alone already? Shit, you’re like a six year old!” Frowning, the boy looked up to where Cornwallis was gesturing apologetically, attempting to cross the distance from the heavens to the surface through motion when sound failed. Cornwallis tried to motion for him to continue fighting in his efforts to teach the girl to see, but by that point the boy had lowered his gaze to the pebbles that were strewn around the courtyard. He gathered his things and began to walk away. Turning towards his back, she made a half-hearted attempt to apologize. He stopped, glanced at her for a moment, and handed her his can of iced tea. It’s difficult to explain precisely what happened when, distractedly, she took a sip of that iced tea. At first, she didn’t notice anything special, really. It was refreshing, certainly, and the flavor was smooth, yes, but there was nothing extraordinary about either of these traits. Then she had a second slip, taking a bit more time than with the first. It was, after all, tiring work to study the art of passing an exam, and it only made sense for a girl such as herself to keep hydrated. But by the third gulp, the papers in her lap were no longer of consequence. The flavor of the tea had changed in those moments, taking on a host of exotic attributes. She could taste a bit of chocolate in it now, with a few sprinkles of vanilla and cinnamon mixed in to take the bite off the cocoa. In a moment, all of these spices were replaced by exotic fruits, shifting from banana to grapefruit to papaya to mango to a host of other organic products she had never tasted and never would again, since these things were actually long since extinct. Her tongue was burning now, but so intense was this rush of flavor that she found herself draining the can with the passion of a long-departed lover returning to her dearly beloved. And, as the last drops fell from the metal rim to her tongue, she opened her eyes and noticed the full grown north-eastern Canadian yeti looking down at her. Smiling broadly, he opened his arms widely and welcomed her to the skies. Dropping her notebooks carelessly, she stretched herself on the ground and, wide -eyed and gaping, took in the enormity of the realm above her. Across the courtyard, her friend was studying diligently for the test. Glancing up at the sky lackadaisically, he covered his head with his sweater and absorbed himself in colorless graphs, unintelligible equations, and yellowed notebook paper.


Patrick Rabulan


Leticia Guevara The Bassist Attitude acrylic on canvas

{44} Paper Yesterday

The artist prepares his instrument Ready to play out from a world of dull-sounding grays and discordant hot pinks and magentas Into a place where The ears meet the eyes. He shouts from his spirit, Lifting his own Thor’s Hammer Saying, “Come forrth, Ye who have existed for eternity.” You staccato’d yellows, You quarter-note greens, You bird’s eyes blues. At once, the artist begins to paint his next symphony of whole notes of orange. With a steady rhythm of red bass lines mirroring his heartbeat. His brush falls silent. He is finished. He looks at his masterpiece finding that he has moved outside of those black lines of measure paper, transforming those notes into a masterpiece of the eyes.


Iris Zhang China Book Mixed media

{46} Paper Yesterday

Memoirs Iris Zhang

She who lived hidden among the bamboo shoots grew straight And grew, borrowed the dragon’s flight


And turned, borrowed the phoenix’s wings


Carelessly, dipped toes On the tortoise shell, knowledge Devoured like the tiger’s roar.

There were times The tortoise’s yawning jaws Threatened to devour her instead. A Oh!

A narrow miss!


Your Yellow Dress Martine Powers

Gabriella McIntyre Blow Mixed media {49}

a piece

{50} Paper Yesterday

of straw

Alex Dubisson A Piece of Straw Book {51}

Sister Seizure

Klara Scharnagl Klara Scharnagl

A scream In the night By the time I get there Already over Young girl Paralyzed in fright Tells me something that can be Summed up in a nightmare “I was lost World spinning in silence Alone in the darkness I could not move When I found my voice, I screamed To show you my predicament But by then I was moving again” Oh sister, what is happening? You grow paler each day In school you’re doing poorly And always too tired to play

{52} Backflash Ruin

Finally, one night Mom sees you in the throes Of a seizure

MRI ďŹ lm scanned

I think about your brain In pretty wavy colors And I think There is nothing wrong with that

Brain Scan

You’re at the hospital now They are taking a picture of your brain. But I have to go to school

Ashley Gallager

What is that? Have you been seized? Have you been taken? By what?


Classical Apocalypse Madeline Zardoya The world is darkness Lit from afar With only an occasional pillar for guidance

The Titans of time, sculpted With the finest marble In the classical style

Masterpieces are beautiful In the half-light But rarely viewed.

If one peers up, carefully There is some god peering down

With matches, pinpricks Of elementary light Revealed images of those who came before

Spying on those who will soon Be blinded by the dark There are only echoes In this chamber.

(the light can blind, you know)

Penance David Tarafa I listen and listen; I don’t even go home anymore. Sometimes the words stop. The words stop and I think about forever while a hundred stone clocks stare into the saints.

The saints stare back as I rot into my seat.

{54} Backflash Ruin

Carolina DeVarona Cathedrall Photo {55}

Jose Berrios Life Experiences Sculpture

{56} Backash Ruin

Deafening Silence

Le Silence qui Murmure Stephanie Jerome

Lost in thought, We walk past a footprint, An empty trace, In the sand. The tarnishing black images, The undefined patterns, Tangle up And deftly stain the black sheet. One heavy drop conceals The shade of sadness; It spreads a thousand inconceivable truths: The countless echoes of bitter memories. The ardent desire to carve one’s past To induce a spotless canvas of acrid scented black oils. The burning desire to recount An illusory dream. To look in vain for a way to escape, To wipe out and erase, The deceitful dark imprints. A way to break the deafening silence . . .

Percevoir une trace dans le sable Et ne rien concevoir Comme on entend crachoter la pluie froide du printemps Qui arose les pétales blancs desséchés, Sans l’écouter. Une esquisse mêlée de noir, De doutes et de désespoir, Qui ne laisse place à aucun espoir. Discerner l’ombre de tristesse, Dans la tache d’encre noire déposée sur le papier, Sans deviner la pensée profonde Inscrite sur cette feuille tachetée Vouloir graver tout un passé Pour ne pas l’oublier. Un simple regard ne saurait déceler un secret peint sur toile. Elle raconte une histoire… Celle d’un rêve illusoire Dont les images mélancoliques s’envolent au toucher Et répandent des arômes Qui réveillent des larmes enfouies. Chercher en vain à effacer Les empreintes et bavures. Souvent vouloir bousiller Le silence qui murmure…


{58} BackямВash Ruin

Fluorescent light bulbs violate the eye with acrid shades of yellow. A elle Axelle emouli Zemouli

ospital allways

Air vents roar a bitter cold through the flesh. Hallways smell of a silence shattered by echoes of footsteps. The rhythmical sharpness becomes a ritual of final diagnosis, of rubber gloves and surgery masks: at its end stands a doorway to birth, to death, to struggles not in the name of life, but of scientific progress.

Within these walls, the human heart becomes but a blood-pumping muscle caught in a web of veins and arteries, subject to experimentation. Behind these masks, it becomes but a still life, inanimately stared upon.

Lost in the silent cold of the hospital hallways, the human heart forgets why it skips a beat at the touch of a loved one, why it weighs the chest down at an unfortunate event, or why it lifts it up at a marvelous one . . . .

The heart forgets why it beats.

Adrianna Arintok RISD Hallway Oil on canvas


{60} BackямВash Ruin

These Hands Allyson Jones These hands I touch With such soft feel Are the hands That bore me from My mother’s womb These hands I caress With such love and admiration Are the hands That rocked me To ease my troubled mind Are these those Same hands that Soothed my tattered soul? Are these those Same hands that nursed my broken, blood-washed back? Why can’t I unite With these same hands Without looks of ridicule And judgment? Are these hands Not the hands of my brother My sister . . .? Were we not nursed with The same milk? Does not the same blood run Through our veins? These hands of my Dark-hued brother These hands of life And strength Bring unity Amongst my people Through times of Separation and strife.

Allyson Jones These Hands Photographs


Tmesis Yuna Park

You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in. - Author Unknown

Matilde Hewitt had a burgundy-varnished mouth, a long, hooked nose, and two bored eyes that took in everything with a practiced equal lack of interest. No one loved her dearly. Her parents had both died of freakish accidents- her mother’s involving a gruesome revolving door mishap; her father’s, noxious fumes inhaled while trying to melt the silver out of filled cavities.

She had just one older brother, crazy Landon, who had small, piggish eyes and perfect white teeth. Landon was a (not so very) successful dentist who also ran a grocery store, Need. Maltilde had tried to convince him that Need was a stupid name for a grocery store. “But it makes sense, doesn’t it?” He’d whined. “You go to the grocery store when you need something.” Landon unfortunately had a high-pitched voice in the vocal range of a choking goat, which often made it painful to listen to him speak. It didn’t help that he wanted to become a priest, and spent many long hours reading passages from the family’s dusty, leatherbound Bible. The

The pages were wrapped in gold, and showed detailed, glossy images of Moses parting the sea, of Noah and his Ark, of Jesus on the Cross. Maltilde didn’t want Landon to be a priest; because if he did he would probably never speak to her again- under the pretext that doing so was against his religion.

o oneifliked atilde, She often wondered it was her breath. Or was it the a terHer all.toothy tousled, messy unkemptness of her hair? smile? Maybe it was her shoes. Most fashionable girls wore boots that laced up over their shapely calves, in rich colors like butterscotch and toffee. Her own shoes were a pair of dirtied leather sandals, more fit for a man than she. Immediately she felt better; now knowing the source of everyone’s apparent lack of interest in her. Even the

{62} Backflash ruin

Sarah Schloss Keep it secret Acrylic and marker girls with greasy hair or bony ankles or ugly, crooked teeth got handsome men with dark curling hair and pale expressive eyes to fall in love with them, didn’t they? Matilde imagined her own dark haired, pale-eyed man with broad shoulders and strong hands and a deep, husky voice, who had a nice, roundish name like Jacob or Ryan or Samuel and attractive, modest, mini sisters and brothers in various stages of growing up named Susan and Leonore and George. She constantly fiddled with her expensive, ineffective watch, checking the time every minute to make sure one hadn’t snuck by her, unnoticed. Landon, who was obsessed with girls with small, narrow hands or wrists and delicate, carved faces, would often hold her wrist and that watch up to the sunlight and bemoan the loss of such fine flesh to a mere nothing such as his baby sister. And Matilde would snatch her hand back and bite the insides of her cheeks because she felt his eyes burning into her offending shoes, and it wouldn’t do for him to notice what ugly shoes she had. No, it wouldn’t do at all.

So Matilde worked at a flower shop, and tried to hide her shoes in fertilizer and crusty, dead petals. Landon stopped by the shop often, though he never noticed her, hurriedly tucking her tell-all auburn hair behind ostentatious bouquets of cream and yellow roses. He bought a single rose almost every Wednesday, to deliver to someone named Lorraine. Matilde soon found Lorraine was the girl who worked at the coffee shop down the street from Need, and she was very slim and tall, much like a supermodel, with very narrow wrists, and long, artful fingers, and a face soft and smooth like a carved bar of rose soap. Landon was madly in love with her, madly in love with Lorraine the coffee shop girl, who never knew who kept sending her roses every Wednesday strangely signed,

For you are beautiful.

And though she didn’t know her suitor, Lorraine did love such romantic gestures, loved the thought that some dark, brooding, handsome stranger thought her beautiful. She later thought that maybe it was the butcher’s son, Raul, who had pimples and smelled like blood and meat but was thought to be very smart and handsome and romantic. Matilde tried to tell Landon this, warning him of the rumors at the coffee shop, but he refused to hear it. He didn’t know anything, anyways. Matilde would sometimes sneak in with the roses long, elaborate love letters, letters that Lorraine would read and weep over, letters that made Lorraine fall so madly in love with Raul the butcher’s son that she went over and promptly insisted that he marry her. Raul was so shocked by the sudden wonder that was Lorraine in his life, and quickly married her before anyone else could. For weeks, Landon did nothing but sit on the toilet and make loud, grating noises like crying. Matilde said nothing, but continued quietly working in the flower shop. It was peaceful, sweeping fallen rose petals off of the earthy floor, with no cares for lost lovers or broken hearts.

Theft lines Stephen Palahach

They ring In abrupt pops; Floating and fleeting This collision avoided By a dozen more icons stolen We’re cheating our lines And I’m holding a needle Tie it to the thread Draw both your palms; Take this, And don’t wake up.

Digital Photograph

They see you leaving A marooned yesterday And sing there clinging For tomorrow’s release.

Nicholas Kallergis Balloon Man

{64} Almost Exits

Greta Martinez Red Balloon Digital Photograph


Solitude is

Marcos Mills

The key is mine And she knows it. The lock, however, Is more rebellious, But not this time. She has let me in Everything is Exactly as I left it: Dark, Cold, and Peaceful. The only light on the inside Comes from the outside; A signal of transition. This is how I like it, A room to myself That I strategically arrange To keep others out. Nothing attractive, nothing appealing I am alone; I think by choice. I am not angry: I enjoy silence and Solitude is, in my opinion, Very much under-rated Though just as feared. I swipe my feet on My “Welcome” mat; It’s dirty outside, But that is outside. Here I am at peace And am nagged By only one Subtle question:

Why have I made

The door with glass? {66} Almost Exits

Nelson Santovenia Key in Door Acrylic on Canvas {67}

r o d i n ’ s

n i g h t m a r e

It’s 7:41 in the morning. soon. I’m saying we’ll get out real p dam the to Back by. Places where we rest to get

n. The power goes out two blocks dow bus, the off you, of king I’m thin me sayin’ listen, I’ll show you around.

I said kid don’t show your face arou nd here, Unless you’re with me.

“I said kid don’t show your face around here,

“Unless you’re with me.”

{68} Almost Exits

works You said where are the fire e. her t righ y’re the said I

We thought of our future daughters jumping in jigs. Your lips perked up, stayed solid Like how your eyebrows drape down.

Now, I’m looking at your torn toga Drag its weight down your neck. And I’m thinking, just look at the things That we’re not lookin’ at now.

s t e p h e n

v i r g i n i a

d a v i d

p a l a h a c h

t a r a f a

Between 15 to 16, th ere’

s a gulf

7 : 4 1

a . m .

forever. gelatin on silver print antonio vargas out plug with b a st ju n a c That you That you can just ab

out plug with cigaret

tes and make-up.

And breasts.


Alina Balaguero Beeswhacks Watercolor & gouache {70} Almost Exits

Colophon Submissions


Elysium is Coral Reef’s literary/art magazine designed to

At the beginning of the year, the art and literary staffs sifted

showcase student creativity. An annual magazine, Elysium

through submissions obtained via a school-wide promotional

also hosts a companion website featuring clips of original


student expression in drama, music, and film. Together the

assignment designed by Mrs. Stemple, the photography

magazine and website seek to establish artistic ties with the

teacher. An online link posted prominently on our school’s

larger community, recognize exemplary student work, and

website also helped to generate art and literature as well

provide hands-on experience with publishing and design.

as original music for the website. The artists were assured






anonymity by identifying their work with student ID’s on Special Appreciations

the attached form. The literary staff was then divided into The art

two groups, each of which selected tentative pieces that the

department, the school’s technology department, and

second group had to approve. The art staff functioned in a

the English department were all instrumental in helping us

similar fashion. Those selected pieces which could not be

achieve our ends. The art department deserves our highest

published in the magazine due to space or design constraints

kudos. Under the skillful teaching of Mrs. Adams, Mrs.

were published instead on our magazine’s website http://

Hanks, Mr. McKinley, and Mrs. Stemple, students at Coral


Elysium magazine is a collaborative effort.

Reef High consistently produce museum quality art work and film. This work directly inspired many of the writings

Layout, Design, and Printing

within the magazine and gives our book its unique visual

All images were captured and preserved using

appeal. A special thanks also belongs to our principal,

a Canon PowerShot A95 digital camera and a

Mrs. Adrianne Leal, who fully funded and supported our

CanonScan LIDE500F scanner. Text and images were

efforts. Many high school magazine staffs must spend

then saved digitally on dedicated school server space.

an inordinate amount of time raising money rather than

Using Adobe Creative Suite 2® (specifically Adobe

devoting themselves to planning and production. For this

CS2 Illustrator®, Adobe CS2 Photoshop®, and

freedom we are sincerely grateful.

Adobe CS2 InDesign®) the students created 37 fullcolor spreads on 14 Dell desktop computers. Finally,

Staff Schedules

the spreads were prepared for press by converting

Our thirty-two member staff produced this 74 page

them to Adobe Acrobat® PDF’S and burning them

magazine. The entire staff (literary, art, technology,

to a CD. Three fonts were used: Latino, Opus, and

promotions, and layout) met after school every other

Cassidy. Headlines were fashioned in Latino while

Thursday from October through February. In March the

the body copy incorporated the Opus font. To create

rest of the staff was excused while the fifteen members of

artistic interest, a decorative font, Cassidy, was used

the layout team worked on production and design. For

for the cover, end sheets, and table of contents.

the next month, they met four to five times a week

Inside content pages were printed on 80# glossy

and one Saturday to prepare the publication for

white paper while a heavier 100# glossy white paper

printing. In May the entire staff advertised,

was utilized for the cover. Three hundred and fifty

sold, and distributed Elsyium.

copies were printed at a cost to students of $5. All contributing artists received a complimentary copy.

Elysium is a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.

Elysium was printed by Rodes Printing Corp. 8369 S.W. 40th Street Miami, Florida 33155 Tel.: (305) 559-5263 Fax: (305) 559-5125 rodesprint@aol.com

Coral Reef High 10101 SW 152nd St. Miami, Florida 33157