Elysium Literary and Arts Magazine 2012

Page 1

rcila rio A a M

Mario A rc il a, R ob ert, C harc oal and penc il .


C ov er art: Mario A rc il a, S tep hen, Waterc ol or and ink. r Ma

a, rc il A io


te Wa , e her

d r an ol o




p on

Coral Reef Senior High School 10101 S.W. 152 Street Miami, Florida 33157 Phone: (305) 232-2044 Fax: (305) 252-3454

Leather or simply spiral bound, the notebook contains the artist’s true self. We begin our notebooks tentatively, afraid to soil the crisp void of the virgin pages. As the artists become more comfortable, they explore themselves within their notebook no longer hesitant of the blank spaces but inspired by them. Pens scramble to find words; brushes dance on the edges of pallets ready to engage in a waltz with the perfect color. Raw emotions are thrown onto paper: sadness over the passing of a friend or family member, musings over aspects of life, a treatise on technology, a remembrance of things past. Each painting, each photo, each word, tells a story about the person who commits it to paper. Each notebook tells the story of the artist.

Rebecca Jennifer Raskin Editor-in-Chief

Rodes Printing Miami, Fl


Editor in Chief Rebecca Raskin

Literary Editors Isabell Manibusan Julian Martinez

Art Editor Caitlin Ryan

Layout Editor Walker Paulsen

Promotions Manager Christopher Spencer

Faculty Supervisor Amy Scott

Literary Staff Tanarut Chaisuesomboon Alejandra de la Fuente Barbara Jerome Josephine Lobello Hannah Pustejovsky Annmarie Raskin Nick Reed Tausi Wadutumi

Art Staff Mario Arcila Carolina Beguiristain Ana Chang Emily Dabney Martin Gargaglione Michael Leyte-Vidal Caitlin Lopez Diana Wynne

email: amyscott@dadeschools.net

About Us: The 2012 staff consists of 22 students (grades 10 -12) from 4 academies. They stay after school 2 hours every Wednesday as well as two full weeks at the end of March. All staff are involved in the production process: selection, matching, layout, and proofing.

Editorial Policy: Elysium, Coral Reef High’s annual literary/arts magazine, showcases the creative work of students grades 9 - 12. The literary and art staff judge the submissions anonymously. The staff selects pieces based on their style, distinctiveness of theme, and overall quality. The art and literature are then matched based on thematic relevance.

Colophon: The Elysium 2012 staff created volume 11 using Adobe® InDesign® CS2 and Adobe® Photoshop® CS2 on 24 Dell desktop computers. The staff selected Constantia for the front cover and inside page titles; whereas, Goudy Old Style was used for the text, artist credits, and back cover. The 2012 edition consists of 124 pages with inside pages printed on 80 lb. glossy white paper and cover pages printed on 100 lb. white linen. Rodes Printing Inc., located in Miami, Florida, published 200 full color copies of the magazine all of which were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Special Thanks: We would like to extend our appreciation to Mr.. Scott McKinley, Coral Reef’s visual arts teacher, for his artistic guidance and to our principal, Mrs. Adrianne Leal, for her continuing support.

Awards: NCTE’s Highest Award: 2008, 2009, 2010 CSPA: Gold Medalist 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 NSPA: Pacemaker Finalist 2006; All American 2006 -2009

Member of CSPA, NSPA, and NCTE’s PRESLM Program

when life gives you babies Isabell Manibusan; Prose

10 -11

Strangers Annmarie Raskin; Free Verse


Skinny Legs And All Annmarie Raskin; Free Verse


Remains of the Exploited Elizabeth Bierschenk; Poetry


When the Lights go Out Crystal Beale; Poetry


The Republic Hopeton Wellington; Free Verse



Broken Tongues Tommy Chaisuesomboon; Poetry


Evolution is a Cliché Ashley Canady; Free Verse


The Cool Kid Mishal Afzal; Prose


Embedded in Memory Cards Jonathan Medina; Poetry Color Coordination Hannah Pustejovsky; Poetry


Newton’s Brakes Katie Brockmeyer; Poetry

22 We no Longer Talk but Chat Julian Martinez; Free Verse


Soup Daniel Monteagudo; Poetry


Great Divide Fabienne Cherubin; Poetry


Hello? Katie Bennett; Prose


Haircut Hannah Pustejovsky; Poetry


Telephasic Workshop Nick Reed; Poetry


The Mulatto Barbara Jérôme; Prose


Zephyr Danielle Coogan; Prose




Over (th)inking Matthew Henao; Prose

64 - 65


Language of Crayons Mary de Laosa; Prose

Sonnet: The Sun Doth Shine No More Lucia Baca; Poetry Nectar Josie LoBello; Poetry

Interview with an Artist Rebecca Raskin; Interview

52 - 53


, {cc



10:24 Sophia Shoulson; Poetry }





The Classroom Heidi Batista; Poetry


Tears of Rust Barbara Jérôme; Poetry


For Emily Rebecca Raskin; Prose



Cleats Caitlin Ryan; Prose


Pareidolia Nick Reed; Poetry

this is an apology addressed to the being ; floating in my womb /', - :' Isabell Manibusan; Prose ;


Portrait of an Artist as a Dead Man Oscar Hernandez; Prose


Second Rose _,, Morgan Owens; Poetry


,J - -


-· \


White Blank Page Rebecca Raskin; Prose


72- 73


Hippos Danielle Coogan; Poetry Phalanges Annmarie Raskin; Poetry


Interview with a Writer Rebecca Raskin; Interview

96 - 97


Lucifer Janay Blakely; Free Verse

104 - 105


His Greatest Masterpiece Derek Abella; Poetry

106 •{


78 - 79

Two Worlds :,. Rebecca Raskin; Prose



,.. 108


In Response to Merological Nihilism Nick Reed; Poetry


The Sailfish Richard Villaverde; Prose


Great Expectations Jeremy Mathurin; Spoken Word


Squids Swimming Sideways Rebecca Raskin; Prose

The Lovers Lynn Fan; Prose


84 - 85


86 - 87

The Horror of Frozen Time Lucia Baca; Prose


88 - 89

The Love of My Life Hannah Pustejovsky; Interview Sunset is an All Day Process Nick Reed; Poetry


,.Rush . Lynn Fan; Poetry Death in the Family Julian Martinez; Poetry The Art of Sandboarding Renoli Huauya; Prose .-


110 - 111



I Think It’s Somewhere Kristen Figarola; Acrylic


Notra Dame Caitlin Ryan; Spray Paint and Stencils


Intricate Metropolis; Lee Pivnik; drawing 42 Shadow, Natalie Becerra; Digital Photography Building Bridges, Natalie Becerra; Digital Photography


Clownin’ Kristen Quintana; Digital Photography

44 46

A Splash in Time Dylan Alvarez; Digital Photography


Giraffe Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic


Paper Forms Lee Pivnik; Digital Photography


Couch Potato Isabella Rodriguez; Acrylic

The Melting Hands Dani Quintero; Ink


Fae and Shiver Imani Campuzano-Guevara; Ink on Photo


Powerlines Lee Pivnik; Mixed Media


Self Portraits, Shoes 18 - 19 Sydney Meiklejohn, Cellini Kim; Acrylic and Oil Xanthous Nick Espinosa; Ceramic Sculpture


Variation Copper Stuart Coleman; Digital Photography


Cactus Horses Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic Paint


Monoliths Lee Pivnik; Digital Photography


Man in Fog Kieffer Carracedo, Digital Photography Loqui, Videre, Audire Michael Leyte-Vidal; Digital Photography

11100011, Intimacy, Patchover, Red Tide, New Generation Mario Arcila; Pencil and Charcoal City Streets Kristen Figarola; Acrylic Lonely Soul, Evil Soul, Busy Soul Walker Paulson; Ink on Matte Board

52 -53

54 56 - 57

Naturally Me Dani Quintero; Acrylic and Ink


I Like to Read Carolina Beguiristain; Ink


Woods Dani Quintero; Ink and White Out


25 26 - 27

Self Portrait, Just Keep Walking, Bridge 28 - 29 Lee Pivnik, Natalie Becerra, Luis- Torres-Munoz; Digital Photography Dream Austin Morales; Digital Photography


Chicken Soup Camila Lohezic; Photographic Collage

Collage Cellini Kim; Mixed Media


Battle Martin Gargaglione; Sharpie Marker


Catching Fly Yeslien Garcia; Digital Photography


Atheist Mario Arcila, watercolor and ink


36 -37

Cleats Caitlin Ryan; Digital Photography

68 - 69

Relax (don’t think about it) Nick Reed; Collage

64 - 65

Unbalanced Cellini Kim; Oil Spring, Ornamented Limbs, The Woods, Winter Scene, The Seagrape Tree, The Forest Holly Jy, Pen and White-out

70 72 - 73

Cosmic Noise Drifter Nick Reed, Collage Bench Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic


Richard Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic


Self Portrait: A Series Sydney Meiklejohn; Acrylic on Paper



Tree Caitlin Ryan, Acrylic Girl in Bathroom Dani Quintero, Acrylic,


Sick Daddy Isabella Rodriguez; Oil


Natural Dani Quintero; Acrylic


Red Elephant Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic


Exhibition Dani Quintero; Acrylic


Free as a Bird Gabrielle Rivera; Mixed Media



Sister of a Ghost Nick Reed; Collage


Bare Dani Quintero; Acrylic


Ghost Nick Reed; Collage


Blurred Directions Walker Paulson; Ink


Perception Natalie Becerra; Installation


Morning Fog in the Pinelands, Dylan Alvarez, digital photography

Any Type of Bird Ana Chang; Digital Painting


Abstract, Hidden Diana Wynne; Ink

84- 85

Steam Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic


Simplicity Lynn Fan; Charcoal and Pencil


Board Elijah Shama; Digital Photography


Storm and Sea, Duck, The Skies Martin Gargaglione; Acrylic

90 - 91

YOLO Dani Quintero; Acrylic


Figure Cellini Kim; Chalk Pastel


Feel the Beat Nick Reed, Collage


Man in the Moon Cellini Kim, Oil Painting


Not So Little, Boy Problems Carolina Beguiristain; Ink


Notre Dame Caitlin Ryan; Spray Paint and Stencil


Watching You Grow Gabrielle Rivera; Mixed Media


Mountains, Walker Paulson, Digital Art Burned Natalie Becerra, Digital Photography


Seacats; Ana Chang, Digital Painting Verre Couleur; Kristen Figerola; Acrylic


Memories: Xionara and Gonzalo Family photographs

120 - 121

Ellipse; Lee Pivnik; Digital Photography


w h en l if e g iv es y ou b ab ies, m ak e l em onad e

I s ab el l Manib us an

the birds were rushing on in run-on sentences. (they couldn’t stand the stagnant silence that had settled upon us.)

“marianne, please come back. we need to talk about this...” “i’m cutting lemons.”

you just kept staring at the faded coffee stain on the couch. a small island stuck in the middle of a sunflower patterned sea.

i could feel his drawn out sigh crawling into the kitchen. it took a seat by the trashcan and looked at me with big sad eyes, demanding attention.

my diaphragm stretched to embrace my ribs.

“marianne...” “i’m cutting lemons.” “what in god’s name for?”

my feet were playing an awkward game of tag. (as any two-player game of tag is)

my knife stopped cutting. silence. tag, you’re it. tag, you’re it. (the game never does last too long...) my knees were in a health binge and began to do jumping jacks. my stomach did step-aerobics when it shouldn’t have. it had yogurt just ten minutes prior. i abruptly stood up. i nearly kicked the cat as i took a mechanical step forward. i didn’t know what i was doing. his eyes followed me. [where are you going?i have so much to say.] i ended up in the kitchen, rifling through the fridge. i grabbed two handfuls of lemons and stopped. before i could finish reasoning why i grabbed them up, i closed the fridge and began to cut them. 10

“look, marianne...i didn’t mean it...i’m sorry. i just think--” “lemonade.” “what?” “i’m making lemonade.” he let out another sigh. a man cradling his head. i spooned in my concerns with the sugar and watched both sink to the bottom. i stirred and watched it cycle lazily around the bottom of the pitcher. i served him a glass. the ice crackled. it was muffled by the sound of a topic being avoided. (shuffling feet and clinking glasses) the lemonade was tepid. the concerns gripped the bottom of my glass. they refused to dissolve.

D yl an A l v arez , S p lash in T im e, P hotog raphy

i took another sip. (my tongue clicked at the tang.)

and i laughed. and he laughed. the birds outside the window startled and fluttered off.

he was watching me.

we laughed for a long time.

the ice shifted down with a clink. finally, he gave in and took a sip. his face contorted into an uncomfortable grimace. he choked out, “needs more sugar.�





He hated skinny legs. They gave way to thigh gaps in conversations and he simply did not have the patience or time for stories told by feeble knees. Skinny legs converged into skinny arms and skeleton fingers could not trace hearts on his chest like artists’ strokes on canvas.

They met in Latin (the original language of love) She, loud and boisterous, elbows touching, pantomime concave couture. Cheshire grin and everything else disappeared. She was well versed in invisibility. Newspaper ink fingers touching a long svelte neck. The definition of gracile all the way down to two matching twig legs. He imagined her snapping in half. Sliding into seats. Verb conjugations. Past, subjunctive, actions. Transition (words) into a conversation. Speak softly, carry a big stick.

close to the sky.

Fingers held pens like lovers’ hands. Legs lost in pages Tongue tied, tangled hair, fragile fingers suffocated bronson’s bottlenecks. She’d sip and talk as he smoked a cigarette: Posterior symbols: widths were mutual. He figured he could learn to love her


Martin G arg al ione, Giraffe, A c ryl ic

Skinny legs like roots, holding her down to the ground so she doesn’t grow too

L ee P iv nik, Pap er Form s, D ig ital P hotog raphy 14

B y C rys tal B eale


h e n the L i g h t s go It’s only when the lights go out that I find myself walking dark Gotham like streets soaked from rain. Not a soul in sight as I stare up at these lifeless skyscraping buildings. It’s only when the lights go out, that I find myself back on the corner of Religion and Liar. You told me I was the reason you believed in God. “Cause baby, beauty like yours has just got to come from a Creator.” Well call me a traitor. My faith’s been swept away with this nonexistent breeze.

There’s a hurricane brewing inside me. It’s only when the lights go out, I can recall looking into your eyes and seeing this sad little boy that seemed to travel from hell and back. I’d watch your nose flare as sweet poison shot up inside, and wondered, how am I supposed to save you? It’s only when the lights go out, that I enjoy the silence between us. The sound of our synchronized breathing.

You keep me up at night.

A love struck insomnia. Cigarette stained lips had me so addicted to every touch. It’s only when the lights go out, that I recall tracing the black Latin script across your chest with my fingers. Running my nails down your spine. You told me you’d write me poetry. I was perfect. Do you think I really fell for all those lines? Maybe . . . well, most of the time. 15




T ommy C has iues omb oon


Tongues twisted; malformed

Oh broken Babel,

into rattlesnake kisses

burnt in the pyres of division,

Teeth burnt from cigarette ash

we now speak the language of broken tongues;

and lips that touched the fire

our words, triggered guns

of every primal desire

Jigsaw lips broken apart,

Throats that seized the smoke

lost from whence they had begun

of every bone it broke

for grime and litter and detritus and rust

And whose tongues could scarcely speak

composed and decomposed into

any words: choked.

two lovers loathing lust.

D ani Q uintero, T he Melting H ands, I nk


Sydney Meikl ej ohn, S elf Portrait S eries , A c ryl ic on P aper 18

C el l ini K im, S hoes, O il 19

T h e C ool K id Mis hal l A f z al As I took a deep breath, the

rather than spend my time playing a few elderly ladies were in

smell of sawdust and carpet cleaner

with Barbie dolls. I was that girl

sight. I didn’t think there

remarks when they were

filled my nose. My brother’s sweaty

always watching out for her older

would be many women in the

directed at me. Never

palm was tightly pressed against

brother because of his autism.

bathroom; so, I went for the

before had they ever directly

risk. I took my brother to the

addressed my brother. They

women’s bathroom.

weren’t just hurting me

mine. I wanted to pull away, but I

My brother could not help

knew I could not loosen my grip.

making an enormous mess as

Not because my brother would

he ate. He could not control his

There they were, gossiping

anymore. They were hurting

get lost if I did, but because I was

random temper tantrums which

in the corner, the cool seven-

my brother. I could tell from

scared of the whispers that followed

annoyed the other children at the

year-olds. They watched as I

the look on his face that he

me to every corner of the mosque.

mosque. To complicate matters, he walked in, hand in hand with

recognized his name being

“Oh my god, her brother is so

could not convey a message without my brother. They continued

said. He also recognized the


me having to decipher his garbled

watching as I took my

tears streaming down my face

“I know, right! Her brother is

speech. He could not understand

brother to the stall. I walked

as an expression of sadness.

already nine years old and can’t

the difference between a stranger

to the far corner of the

That was it. Nobody had

The whispers never came.”

any right to treat my brother

even speak properly.” “I heard he has a contagious

disease. Let’s all stay away from Mishall’s brother.” My mosque had a little clique of seven-year-old girls following me and my brother everywhere. They


I endured their snide

the way they did. I marched right up to the clique formed

and a familiar face, nor could

bathroom to wait for him to

in front of the sinks. For the

he go to the bathroom without

finish. I was expecting the

first time I told somebody,


rude whispers to begin.

“Shut up and stop laughing.

One day, at the reopening

“Oh, my god. Mishall is

My brother is not stupid; he

purposely whispered cruel words,

ceremony of the mosque, I was

so dumb. Why would she

is smart enough to call his

loud enough to make me feel

given the responsibility of caring

bring a boy into the girl’s

family when lost. My brother

inferior. They were the cool kids,

for my brother, Nabeel. We cart


does not have a contagious

who always had matching nails,

wheeled across the green grass in

“I know, right? She

the coolest pens, and the newest

the back. We mischievously stole

probably caught retard

harmful than your laughter.”

Barbie doll. They were also the

cookies from the kitchen. We

cooties from her brother.”

Just like that, my trembling

kids who had an older brother who

sat in the corner together with a

could pick them up from school

picture book and flipped through

Rather, a loud outburst of

and we marched out that

or take them to the park without

the colorful pages. All was well

laughter echoed throughout

bathroom door.

any parental supervision. I was

until Nabeel needed to go to the

the bathroom. I turned and

never part of their clique. Yes, I was

bathroom. I couldn’t just waltz into saw that Nabeel had left the

seven years old, but my nails never

the men’s bathroom, and I couldn’t stall door open. They began

matched, my pens were never shiny,

let him walk into the women’s

shrieking with joy, “Oh my

and I preferred to read books

bathroom. I looked around. Just

God. Nabeel is so retarded.”

The whispers never came.

disease. His disorder is less

hand grabbed my brother’s

That day, I was the cool kid.

N ic k E s pinos a, X anthou s, C eramic Sc ul pture Sc hol as tic G ol d K ey Winner


N ew ton’ s B rakes

K athl een B roc kmeyer

Stuart C ol eman, V ariation C op p er, D ig ital P hotog raphy



Like a walk down a deserted, silent road With a car rolling into your imminent path And life stops by Newton’s brakes. A mountain, A red light, A stop sign. Right before the windows of the soul


D aniel Monteag udo There once was a man from New York, who would eat all his food with a fork so, wanting to dupe we gave him some soup

now all that he uses are sporks.

Martin G arg ag l ione, C ac tu s H orses, ac ryl ic paint


ie e


a a e o Man in Fog,


hotog a hy

T he G reat D iv ide

F ab ienne C herub in

We emerge on different poles North — South But Never connecting Searching for the lost key Funny You and Me Dragging our sleds and camels Behind us. Searching for something Humanity perhaps. Ironic how On different paths we Cross But not over. Search But don’t see. Time passes Surely this is our destiny The others stare Closer than we think But still humanity cannot breathe


T he H airc ut

H annah P us tej ov s ky There were ribbons in her hair. The colors slipped and twisted Into tangles. The ends had been fighting, Caught in a tumult Between silk and strand. The war was getting old. The soldiers were getting weary Dragging their knives in patterns. The walls would fall Knot by knot would crumble. The pieces spread across the floor Swept away from the battle.




L uis T orres - Munoz , B ridge D ig ital P hotog raphy

N atal ie B ec erra, J u st K eep W alk ing, D ig ital P hotog raphy

L ee P iv nik, S elf Portrait, D ig ital P hotog raphy


T h e M u l atto B arb ara Jér ô me The shadow moved past his chiseled blade, that natural endowment that caressed the length of his

her unfurled ribbon now bleeding its maroon dye into the muddy abyss of the sugarcane field.

back. The languid droplets of sweat coursed down the curved arch of his neck. His hair, matted into a coarse

His rich skin, no different than the tainted light of a

tangle, sloped lazily onto his face, reaching to touch the

dusk shone bright, trespassed into the moon’s gaze and

invisible whispers of an opaque surface.

became her prisoner. Where is he now?

The fumes undulating slowly to the pattern of the mist, veiled the intruder razing through the grass

The willows now wonder. The blades of grass now

blades, the withered arms of the unclothed willow now

caress his rotting corpse and grow within him as he lies

the accomplice of nature’s injustice. The stain of the

beside his lover’s living image in a maroon puddle at

water stirred in the silent breeze of a green dew.

the edge of the sugarcane field.

Why should I be the one to watch?

The shrieks of a newborn babe efface the sounds of papa’s murderous haste. Now papa looks into its muddy

Her shrill whisper broke the silence of the forest

eyes muddled with the sweet taste of a dirtied brook.

now regaling in the image of the disturbed reflection of

Now papa frantically looks down at God’s creation

a glassy arctic brook.

for him, but only sees la mulatresse (the mulatto). Papa claims now it cannot be mine.

She must go to school her father had said. Papa had banned her from this section of the estate. It was not fit

“Ce n’est pas ma petite fille” (“that is not my

pour une jeune fille (for a young girl) to bathe in the same

granddaughter”), he uproariously whimpers as he

brook as the dark figure that mingled with the night.

brings his pale eyes to his daughters’. She raises now the tainted blue brooks of her emancipated stare.

Her thoughts sliced through the light whistling of the wind; she imagined that they would vanish just like


A us tin Moral es , D ream

, D ig ital P hotog raphy


Sonnet: the Sun D oth Shine N o More L uc ia B ac a

The sun doth shine no more, the brightest days A blur, a remnant, fading across skies Of scarlet rage. Reflecting upon bays That glow of golden crescents, where there lies Serenity of profound ocean blues. The deepest night, petal by petal, wilts, The prickly thorns that bleed and fade the hues. The sea unfolds the shadows sweet of guilt, Pallid shreds of light become shards of glass, The brilliant stars no longer blaze—all’s bleak. The night so dares to whisper echoes, pass A stifled sorrow claws of misery seek. If yet the world could bear a day in bliss, Forever, I would keep thy smile, thy kiss.


C el l ini K im, Fac e , Mix ed Media


N ectar

J osie L oB el l o Start at the roots a lover’s climb transpiration of a sweeter kind

Leafy tangles of breath and twine water to honey water to wine

Our vineyard’s ripe you drank me in with toxic embrace nature’s own sin

Sun licks the bud of baby’s breath blossomed the night of innocence’s death


Y es l ien G arc ia, C atc hing Fly , D ig ital P hotog raphy


Strang ers

A nnmarie R as kin

We could fight. If you wanted to. About nothing. About why I won’t sleep in the same bed, or grow my hair out. “Turn off the lights.” He’d nod and crawl on to the couch, and when I was comfortable, I’d let go of his hand and let his breathing be the sound track to my sleep.


We’ll call it a friendship.

With all the money saved from an absence of records, we’d buy food; a full stomach is the key to a good friendship. Because good friends don’t leave.

And when I’d tell him about a radio broadcast about a woman who left her fiancé, he’d chuckle,

N ic k R eed, R elax , D on’ t T hink A b ou t I t,t, C ol l ag e

pour a cup of coffee, and kiss my forehead when he left me alone for the rest of the day.


K ris ten F ig arol a, I T hink it’ s S om ew here, A c ryl ic


R emains of the E x pl oited E l iz ab eth B iers c henk On our knees we seek promise On our knees we plead for security On our knees we are exploited We are civilization, determined, yet deteriorated A massive force of destruction Made to unite the world in a sepia haze of emotion The remains of vengeance coincide with selfish fate. All that is left is Silence, Rocks, and Geometric shapes.




T he R epub l ic

H opeton Wel l ing ton

Read the story of mankind for what it is. Some the captor, some the slave,

Those working are discontent; Those forcing work still wear the troubled scowl Both feel the harsh treatment of the wind’s persistent howl.

In death there’s democracy for the master and slave

What Ingalls wrote so long ago is true, “There is neither rank nor station . . . in the republic of the grave”

C aitl in R yan, N otre D am e, Spray P aint and Stenc il s


N atal ie B ec erra, S hadow , D ig ital P hotog raphy

L ee P iv nik, I ntric ate Metrop olis, draw ing


N atal ie B ec erra, B u ilding B ridges, D ig ital P hotog raphy


K ris ten Q uintana, C low nin’ , D ig ital P hotog raphy


E v ol ution’ s A C l ic hé A s hl ey C anady

Mama didn’t raise no fool. Snake around your lies and deception Talk like Jesus finna have another resurrection But I don’t have a pretty complexion, so I couldn’t make a connection. Tryin’ to tell the people, Stop being so xenophobic, afraid of foreign ways Try to learn something in your days Stop trying to cover up, you’re not a cover girl Stop living in this imaginary world. Ethnic cleansing, genocide, Haiti’s a wreck but we’ve still got pride. Grandfather clause, Fugitive Slave Laws, The history’s transparent, there’s no Harabee “Let’s all pull together” because birds of a feather Still flock together! But his words of wisdom knock him down And the truth that was once loved is left on the ground Profound! Statements of lust and political trust Never been in labor but he can see C-sections, in the third trimester, still not ready for resurrections – It’s because his timeline is covered in male erections, And rejections for his food for thought tell him to carry on Don’t pawn the dime bag, relive the scares you’ve had. You mount that wall in an effort for change But let them keep their coins because the composite is blame.


I s ab ella R od rigu ez , C o u c h P o t a t o , A c rylic


E m b ed d ed in M em ory C ard s Jonathan Medina Memories are flashbacks, Movies played simultaneously in that one immeasurable moment before death, The point where time freezes and the final credits play.

Although you know the ending, you watch it anyway, The completion of all flashbacks, the snapshots, and the frames.

Memories are the final rewind the moment before you’re gone.

Sent via your Blackberry from your T-Mobile phone.


I think we are but empty shells, Unfilled cups and all alone. I have an ache to be quelled, So I add color to my home.

It started with a sunrise, That glinted off of cars. I dreamt of being a surprise And running with the stars.

My life became shiny red With blue dusted on the edges. I tried to hide and run instead, And I stayed away from ledges.

I left the library and never went back, For I envied all the books. I wish someone would paint me black And leave me in the nooks.

C ol or C oordination H annah P us tej ov s ky


And when you took me by the hand, As if you knew my sorrow, The colors swarmed up unplanned, The facade that I had borrowed.

I mani C ampuz ano- G uev era, Fae and S hiv er, I nk on P hoto


W e N o Longer T alk b u t C hat J u lian M artinez We no longer talk, but chat Choosing to starve ourselves, or get fat We cheat our way through school And tweet our “thoughts� to look cool And it gets me thinking... Whatever happened to the generation fascinated with the moon? Looking past the Windows that occupied the room When Neil Armstrong defaced it with some footsteps The whole world took a deep breath Because that imperfection made its beauty all the more enhanced. And it was all done with a computer less advanced Than the phone in my pocket Or the charger in that socket We used to gaze longingly at rockets Reach down to study lockets... So we no longer talk Because when it comes to the extra mile who ever has time to walk Why seek out the friendly face at the store When Facebook tells me so much more Whatever happened to being Bent over rulers and calculations Making do with paper and stipulations. Sharing the news and frustrations Across a table in conversations


Now we arch our backs over keyboards in our lairs Combing the wireless out of our hair Pushing buttons on a device To find our friends by dragging mice As if it were only natural No longer will we converse But bite back words in messages: terse As if we were charged by the character Indeed, it seems character has become the cost

Lee Pivnik, P o w er lin es, M ix ed M ed ia


N os tra F u tu ru m

Interview of Mario Arcila Rebecca Raskin

Mario is a sort of modern day artistic oracle. He absorbs and then reflects the current state of the world through his almost dystopian artwork. His work is like a Philip K. Dick novel come to life, but so much more potent and emotional. The bright colors and attention to detail leave the viewer scanning the paintings desperately trying to uncover their secrets, of which there are many. Could you explain your concentration statement?

Alteration, Charcoal and pencil on paper

Sure, it revolves around the theme of technology. An excess of technology is bad for humans in the long run. Each piece has a letter hidden in it. I arranged it so one person is in each piece so you can see how alone you are. You can’t have a face to face conversation now. What do the letters mean?

If you put them in order it spells “Nostra Futurum.” There are reoccurring thematic images in your works. How does that play into the concept?

Mario Arcila,

Each piece has a melted eye in it, to show how technology has an imprint on us; it’s like the apple icon on iPhones. Technology has turned us into something amorphous; someone can be on Netflix the whole time and his life just passes him by. There are wires in every work to show that technology has ensnared us. Quite literally, then. Yeah, like in the one with the woman. She has wires coming out of her back. Mario Arcila, Intimacy, Charcoal and pencil on paper.


Mario Arcila,

New Generation, Charcoal and pencil on paper.

Like in The Matrix.

Mario Arcila,

Red Tide, Charcoal and pencil on paper.

Yeah. Even when you’re being intimate with someone you’re not really close to them; there is all this stuff in the way; you talk through screens. The yellow one explains the eye thing. It’s called “Patch Over”. It’s the movement from human to technology. You’re less human now. And all the letters are slanted and hidden; you really have to look for them. I want people to think. “Red Tide” is named after the oceanic red tide; when it happens everything dies. It kills all the fish. That’s what’s happening to us. The final piece in the series shows that future generations are going to be worse off.

The work itself is really eerie; I feel a little uncomfortable looking at it.

Mario Arcila,

Patchover, Charcoal and pencil on paper.

The kid is being dragged away and is looking at you for help. The kid is locked in; he’s behind bars; he’s already in prison. No social class discrimination. It’s all of us. And the N is right at the door. It’s the end of the line; once you’re addicted to technology that’s it. Technology becomes us; all that information is looking to plug into someone else. Eventually there will be no eye, no letters; it’s all technology. There aren’t any humans left.

Are you planning any new projects? I’ve been working on something a bit similar. I’m doing a two by two thing based on how the government lies through media. Some of the pieces actually say “lies.” At the end when you connect them all it makes half a dollar bill. You’re stuck in your social class; the government just keeps you there. Money depreciates the value of art.

So how do you feel about people who create solely for money? Creativity is always good. Regardless. But one of the major problems is contrast. People do these really subtle things and it’s amazing, but if you do two blocks of yellow and black and everyone loves it, that’s c*#&@. We don’t deal in intricacy anymore. I think art is heading in a good direction, but only for the people who actually put the time and detail into their work. Do you rely on technology with your art sometimes? I listen to music when I draw. I can’t draw in complete silence. Music inspires me, but I don’t draw to it. I may try it out though. I’m thinking about it. I like Tupac, and I may start doing things with that.


K ris ten F igerola, C it y S t r eet s, A c rylic


K atie B ennett “Text me later.”

Martha Stewart, but I take that as a

“I can’t text you; I don’t have a cell phone.”

compliment. If being “old at heart” means that I will

“You don’t have a phone?”

not be spending hundreds of dollars on the latest

This conversation seems to happen every time I

gadget only to ignore the friend standing right next to

start talking to someone outside of my immediate

me, then so be it.

family and friends. People just don’t seem to

When I moved into a new house in third grade and

understand how I have managed a phone-less, cable-

no longer had cable, I had to find some other way to

less existence. I am not “technologically savvy”, but I

occupy my time. I found the answer in the library,

seem to get by just fine. As far as I’m concerned, birds

which was and is my constant place of refuge. And yet,

tweet; I am not quite sure how computers do as well.

along with communication skills, libraries are simply

Everybody embraces “progress” with open arms, yet their eyes are fixed on their phone/computer/iPad screen. True, I do not have a cell phone. You will

another thing to be forsaken in the name of “progress”. Today, technology and instant gratification have

not be able to text me in the middle of the night, or

infiltrated almost every aspect of life.

distract me when I do not want you to. For me, this

No longer will we look out the window, waiting

isolation seems a good thing; I am not so wrapped up

impatiently for the mail to arrive. Instead, we wait

in technology that I am oblivious to the world around

upon a computer screen, but does that still have

me. I don’t have a problem starting a conversation

the same effect? It seems difficult to believe, but for

with a cashier, or saying hello to a bike rider as he

millions it is enough; their phones slide back into

rides by. People miss so many of the simple joys of life,

their hands as they text their friends the news.

and I sometimes wonder if they won’t end up like the

As for me? I hope that come fall, I have not yet

humans in Wall-E: so absorbed with themselves and

been consumed by the masses. I hope I will still be

technology that they literally do not know what else is

me, holding my breath each day as the mail comes,

out there.

but not nervous enough to forget to smile at the

Sure, maybe I am old-fashioned. My friends call me

mailman and wish him a good day.





W alker Pau ls en, T h e L o n ely S o u l, I nk on M atte B oard

W alker Pau ls en, T h e B u sy S o u l, I nk on M atte B oard


(fJ O




Do 0

{[) 0 p


W alker Pau ls en, Ev il S o u l, I nk on M atte B oard

Dani Q u intero, N a t u r a lly M e, A c rylic and I nk

.. 58






-掳! -







T ele p h a si W or c ksh o p N ic k R e e d

Like watching ice crystals form under a microscope Like walking alone during a blizzard Like the paradoxical phases of sleep— blurred and deep Like a kid drenched in fever—a strange release (like fireworks) Like an invitation to dream and lose yourself in reverse I woke up, looked outside, and saw this today— only inverted, Lifting me up somehow. A surging murky choir. An amorphous signal from outer space. Sounds like…the weather in the washing machine Translated through tiny exploratory decisions: Perfect globs of sound (listen for the color yellow) —The screeching of the sky being stretched when it’s touched. Like being a kid and hearing adults talk and everything is so sublimely detuned: Plosives and fricatives, plosives and fricatives, plosives and fricatives… It gives me goosebumps— Speaks to the part of me that can hear trees talk.


C arolina B egu iris tain, I L ik e t o R ea d , I nk



Danielle Coogan There is a breeze to whom I talk. She’s nice. A good listener. I’ll sit outside and I can feel her presence. We usually meet in the gnarled tree in my backyard. It is old and secluded; so, we don’t worry about eavesdroppers or those other, harsher winds. I talk, and sometimes she laughs — warm, quick gusts that carry the scent of apple blossoms. She lets me vent. When I feel under the weather, she’ll caress my cheek with a mild, gentle wind. When she feels light, she’ll snatch my hat clean off my head, and I have to chase after her to get it back. She’s not much for returning belongings. But, then again, she’s only a breeze, and sometimes she’s a little bit of an airhead.


O ver( th) inking M atthew A . H enao I used to think that one day I’d wake up as a bird that could soar up abyss high. I’d ride the passing winds till the sun stopped and never pay a thought to the worries below. Not ever did I expect to mutate into a centipus. That’s right, a centipus. Not a regular octopus; I’m not that lucky. I become this wriggly monstrosity with a hundred tentacles. So here I am stuck-sucked to my bed, freshly awoken from an unsettling dream about me being a petite seahorse in a swarm of jellyfish. Relieved from the dream just being a dream, I wake up to this squishy qualm. If only I could sail away on my hardships and capsize them over the Mariana Trench to never have to even think about them again. These burdens, always wrapping, writhing around me, always threatening to drown me in the echoing puddles of worry. These tangling tentacles run down my length. How they’d drag like ropes through the Reef, getting caught in the cracks. These overwhelming, overlapping, dividing, coinciding, swirling, twirling, twisting, gripping tentacles of a bluish orange holding me back. What’s that beam of light? That sharp gleam? A knife. My tentacles. I begin to cut. I begin to ink. Inking and cutting. Cutting and inking. I notice the ink gradually lessening. Each cut a soothing pain. Then the watery veil spills from my glands. And look at me: Ninety-two gone and then there were eight. My life sucks.


Dani Q u intero, W o o d s, W

hiteou t on B lac k Paper


L ang uag e of C rayons M ary de L aosa

S c holas tic S ilver K ey W riting A w ard The first day I met him, I was terrified. He was so much taller than I and had piercing green eyes behind thick-rimmed glasses that seemed to solely focus on my black, glittery headband. His name was Alex, and he is severely autistic. We had just been matched up through a program called Best Buddies. The first thing A.J. did was look at his paraprofessional, Carmencita, and yell “No!” I instinctively backed away, but Carmencita responded in a Cuban accent, “Alex, this is Mary who is your new best friend. We shake our friend’s hands.” Avoiding eye contact, Alex obediently stretched out his hand, and our journey of weekly get-togethers began. Every Friday, in preparation for Alex’s arrival, I would get white paper from the printer in room 76 and bring down the box of colored pencils. Alex would stomp his feet in protest if I was not ready with the coloring materials or if I put the supplies on a different desk; he always used the same desk that had a blue smiley face on the right corner. Alex never let anyone touch or help him with his artwork. The few times that someone attempted this, his eyes got smaller, and he would stealthily move the paper away. On Halloween we colored in the classroom and decorated it with bright orange pumpkins, black streamers, and a haunted house. I told him about my princess costume, and suggested that he “might dress up as superman since he resembled Clark Kent so much.” As usual, Alex was simply smiling in my direction as he drew cryptic lines on his paper. As the weeks passed, my frustration grew as we could not exchange thoughts. His monosyllabic language only allowed him to say, “No.” “Alex, look at the pumpkin I just drew. Can I help you trace it on your paper?” I asked. “No.” With time, I grew to consider Alex my friend, and it bothered me that he could never voice any sign of reciprocation. The only reason I knew he enjoyed spending time with me was because he would say “No” whenever our weekly meetings ended. It soon became incredibly obvious that Alex had room in his heart for everyone he met. Every time one of his friends would get in trouble, Alex would smile at them for support as if to ensure that they were still aware of how much he loved them. Also, he


would always give his artwork to either his mother or grandmother. Alex infused his love and presence with such simple, selfless actions. The more I looked into his eyes, the more useless I felt since autism was depriving him from having a voice to share his feelings. My whirlwind of exasperating emotions came to a halt when I felt his hand on my shoulder. Without saying anything, he rifled through the crayon box with great precision as if looking for buried treasure and took out the sharpest, brightest emerald crayon. He held it in front of my face, and I smiled and told him that he had excellent taste. He remained focused; his hold on the crayon absolute: I realized that the crayon was for me. I took the crayon with disbelief, as he pointed to his paper. This was more than a few strokes of crayon on a sheet of paper. The emerald crayon was an invitation that unlocked the chambers to his world. It was the most emotional moment of my life. Without using a single word, he had spoken clearer than the untouched river water flowing softly down a mountain. Alex had removed the barriers prohibiting our communications, inviting me to hear his voice through art. Unspoken words are the strongest expressions of friendship. I signed up for Best Buddies hoping to help Alex socially, yet Superman uncovered my desire to help children with autism discover their own voices.

C am ila Lohez ic , C h ic k en S o u p p, Photograph C ollage 65

M artin G argaglione, B a t t le, S harpie M arker

It’s ten twenty-five. 66

10 :2 4

I solve the Arab-Israeli conflict in my head. It’s ten twenty-four. The students around me disappear, and everything else soon follows. It’s just me and the clock now. I earn a college degree. I reach nirvana. I discover the final digit of pi—it has an end after all! I look at the clock.

S ophia S hou ls on

It’s ten twenty-four. It has been for thousands of years, and it shows no sign of changing. I doodle in the margins. I twiddle my thumbs. I look out the window. It’s ten twenty-four. The words on the board blur into so many colorful squiggles. The teacher’s voice becomes an annoying buzzing in my ear. I write a book. I contemplate the meaning of life.

T he C l as s room H eidi B atis ta

A few immaculate systems, Reflecting daunting deformity And some kind of renewed destruction, An objective of annihilation. Gnawing on fingernails, Desks, thoughts, life Passive-aggressive, all around you; They’ll play the same way. Filthy desks, uninterrupted darkness, Rearranged to confuse, literate Into the computer screen, Game Over Please sit down, Hold on, You’ve been brainwashed for the day.

Mario Arcila, Atheist, Watercolor and Ink

Take a seat and, Welcome to the game of, Cross-eyed dysfunction Internal corruption, Fearlessly insane Weighty, and lagging behind . . . Filled with indefinite lithium, Or maybe hassium, Perhaps cadmium, And simple poison lead Brain shaken, anesthetized, Twisted up, And tumbled down, Inside-out, how?


It’s hard to remember it all. The bruises fade; games won and games lost seem to blend together. Friends and enemies seem to change places and connections are lost and made. But they remember every girl, every trip, every slide tackle, and every step on the field and off. They hold these memories in the folds of their leather bodies. In their tears, their distressed fabric, grass stains (visible or otherwise) and crusted mud from those intense rain games; they remember it all. It started with Charlotte; she caught my eye with her smooth, cherry exterior. She was my last pair of synthetic, the pair I wore when I got kicked off my team for petty reasons. I found a team last minute that wanted me and wanted me to actually play rather than be a bench warmer. That’s when I started naming them, a new team and a new player. With more playing time, Charlotte retired quickly, then it was on to Rafael. He was my first pair of leather, and the best I have ever worn. He gave me a chance to be a first string, with a perfectly executed defensive shuffle in a nearby tournament, and I was a starter every year

thereafter. He was my break out, like a struggling musician signing their first contract. (That’s probably the same out of body feeling that they feel too.) Soon after came Patrick. I wasn’t particularly fond of him, and he was my first and last pair of Nikes. Although he helped me into the high school varsity team (first string as well), he also landed me in physical therapy for the first and second time. He definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. I quickly had enough of him; so, I retired him before his number was up. Kelly was a handful; I was ambivalent in buying her. She had a pristine white exterior and strategically placed blue stars that I knew would end quickly. I purchased her regardless, and her white innocence conned me into another injury. It was the first time I have ever been carried off a field, and into the surgical room. But those stars granted me a few months in the desired position of team captain. Though she only sees rainy games, I keep her sitting on a shelf in the garage knowing what she did to me but keeping her as a reminder of my goal

C aitl in R yan, C leats, D ig ital P hotog raphy


to lead the team the way I know I’m capable of. Now I’m with Jacob, 9 months later, starting from the basics, but continuing with as much composure as intensity. I haven’t had him for very long, but he fits me, even around the dreaded brace that acts as a reminder to play with my head, he gives me support. I name them to help me remember. Like the grade numbers in school, they mark off different parts of my life; different journeys and different struggles, and even different growths. Even when I don’t remember, they always will.


Caitlin Ryan

C aitlin R yan, W o o d s, C harc oal



this is an apol og y addres s ed to the being floating in my womb I s ab el l Manib us an

small, inconceivably small, fingertips softly caressing the silk of my stomach. a pinky grazes my tenth through twelfth rib. eyes that see darkness, hands that emptily grasp at -nothingnothing- nothingness, and a set of ears that can only hear the ba-dum ba-dump of my own heart. these eyes will never see a full round moon; hands, will never be tangled in a lover’s hair. ears that a countless number of ‘i love you’s and ‘i’m sorry’s’ will fall flatly against ears that are barely a centimeter long

you, my unborn, never will be born, apollo. this is what day feels like. this is what life feels like. i will play you mozart and trace words onto my belly that you’ll never come to understand. i’ll give you a lifetime you’ll never come to have. so that you’ll never have to live the life genetics dictate you would’ve had. l-o-v-e. that’s the one i trace most.

no, james or alexander or a healthy maximillian can’t come out to play. he was stolen by fate. i lay out in the sun and embrace the heat lavished upon my face, my arms, the marrow in my bones and hope you can feel it too.





W h ite B lank Pag e

R eb ec c a R as kin

In the chill of the room her body was like a furnace. She had been keeping the apartment cold ever since she had returned from the hospital. She was used to the arctic temperatures she explained, and the last thing he wanted was to make her uncomfortable. She was so warm; maybe she had a fever. It was something he was constantly worried about now, her temperature. Too high and they had to go back to the hospital. She was thin. Really thin. She had lost so much weight in the last few months. At the beginning she had joked about it. I’ll be like a model now she had said. And he laughed, even though he didn’t think it was funny. He had liked how she looked. Before.

Holly Jy, Spring, Pen and Whiteout

When her hair fell out because of the chemo, he wasn’t upset. At first. The less hair the more uncomfortable he became. Cancer. Six months to a year the doctors had said. Lung cancer. He had asked if there was anything to be done. Just the usual, chemo and prayers. Will I die? she asked. Oddly it was him crying, not her. We’ve seen miracles, they said uncomfortably. Six months to a year. They said. Lung cancer. She didn’t even smoke. But he did. They said that second hand smoke was the worst. Their eyes were accusing. Quit, they said, or you’re next. So he quit. Well, not really. He quit for a little while, but he started up again after the second trip to the doctor He smoked when she was staying at the hospital, out on the stoop, so the air would wash away the smell. He made sure to wash his clothes and scrub the smell of his skin before he went to visit her.

Holly Jy, Ornamented Limbs, Pen and Whiteout

Her bony arm brushed his and he shuddered. He was cheating on her. He had been since the second doctor’s visit. Well, not really. He met the other women while he was in line to buy cigarettes. He was holding a book about cancer and she apologized. Her mother died of cancer the year before. Breast cancer. They got coffee. And then they went to her place. She was almost twenty years older than he was. And he felt horrible that he was with her, but how do you leave someone with cancer? After six weeks the cancer had spread to her right breast. So they cut it off. They didn’t want it getting to the lymph nodes. She cried for days. After they cut it off she replaced it. He tried to explain that she still looked beautiful with only one breast. And he was being honest, she really did. She was being vain, he said. He hated the fake breast. He wouldn’t touch it when they made love. It felt 72

Holly Jy, The Woods, Pen and Whiteout

different. Alien. Disgusting. He would put his head on her stomach, the upper part and imagine that the cancer was a big black mass growing towards him, like leaves grow towards the sun. He felt sick.

Holly Jy, Winter Scene, Pen and Whiteout

Holly Jy, The Seagrape Tree, Pen and Whiteout

When she came back from the hospital after her second week long stay, she wanted to make love. He couldn’t unless he thought of a movie star or something. They watched porn together and he almost vomited. He couldn’t stand the way her hip bones poked him. Or the way her shoulders jutted from her skin. The bruises where the IVs were run. And he felt like the biggest ass on the planet. So he met up with the convenience store women again. And they talked. And made love. And smoked cigarettes in bed. And then he cried because he was not with his girlfriend and she held him close and sang songs to him as if he were three years old and had a nightmare. And he wanted to wake up and not have to deal with this, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t wake up. All his friends asked if he were going to marry her. He said no. She wasn’t the marrying type. But in his mind he was afraid that if he married her she would survive and he would have to be with her for the rest of his life, and he just wasn’t ready for something like that. But he couldn’t break up with her either, because he had read something somewhere about people who were dying and how negative thoughts or actions could make them give up hope and they would just die because they didn’t care anymore, and he just couldn’t do that to her because he loved her. He really did love her. Just not in the way he was supposed to. And he figured all of those negative thoughts were just feeding her cancer and making everything worse, and he felt even worse. He felt as if he were killing the one person who had been there through everything. The convenience store woman went to her funeral. He felt cheap bringing her, but he couldn’t do it alone because if he were honest with himself, he was never that strong. Never as strong as she had been. Towards the end she had stopped taking the pain medication and stopped going to the hospital. I don’t want to die there; I want to die at home, she told him. But she didn’t consider how he would feel when he found her dead body in the bathroom, her tooth brush still buzzing helplessly on the floor. He had been out smoking a cigarette. She didn’t consider what his screams would sound like when he couldn’t remember what the boy scouts had told him about CPR fifteen years ago. So he sank to his knees and cried. Because he wasn’t strong enough to save her. And he wasn’t going to be strong enough to save himself.

Holly Jy, The Forest, Pen and Whiteout



Dani Quintero, Girl in bathroom, Acrylic

Caitlin Ryan, Tree, Acryli Acrylic

Isabella Rodriguez, Sick Daddy, Oil


Martin Gargaglione, Red Elephant, Acrylic

H I PPO S DANIELLE COOGAN They live in water, Live in land. They look so tranquil, But yet are dangerous. What are they ? Those hippo-crites. 76


A N N M A R IE R A S K IN BourrĂŠe through your troubles Sissonne across your woes

Whatever hardships life brings you Just remember, you have your toes.

Gabrielle Rivera, Free As A Bird, Mixed Media 77

I N T E R V I E W WI T H When you hear Nick Reed read his poetry aloud, images of Allen Ginsberg and the City Lights bookstore float to the forefront of your mind. He himself is a collage, a collage of words and quarter notes. His music, writing and art all have a sort of ambient quality that almost makes your mind want to pirouette.

As a writer, musician and artist do you feel one medium conveys what you are trying to say more than the other? Music, for sure. The difference with music is that, although it can be changed and tweaked like all else, it is overwhelmingly immediate. With writing you have words and art images. The connotation or denotation of things can get in the way. But with music there’s no lies, no truth, just expression. It’s a lot more collaborative too. It’s not that I like writing less or anything; they’re just different. Why collages? Lack of training. Besides, I like the design element of collages. Poetry is ultimately rebuilt in the readers mind—poetic perception. Collages allow you to directly use the perception in the process. I doodle too but I don’t paint or anything. I have a lot of ideas for paintings though. Your writing has a lot of similar thematic concepts to it; it’s all very you. What draws you to that thematic vein? I guess I’ve written a lot so when I come up with a certain idea, I move it around and see how it fits best. I reuse a lot of similar phrases; I try to find a home for them so to speak. Consciousness is a wall and we just throw art onto it. 78

st, ho

I’m really just trying to express myself. I guess the idea in my mind is ‘to what extent can we feel?’ Whether that be love, mystery, anger, desire. Experimentation also makes up a large part of it, but ultimately I do it because I love it.

G of a ster , S i ed R e ck N i

What is your artistic philosophy?

A WR I T E R R eb ec c a R as kin

What writers or artists have influenced your work? Mostly it’s going to musicians. I’m inspired by ~, -:·back . ..-.,. _;;. Tare of Animal Collective and lyricists. There’s .Avey .l"J · .I·~·-·; .:Clouddead .. Aesop Rock, who is a great rapper. is great too. As for writers I really like Campbell Mcgrath, Albert Goldbarth, Hakim Bey, Stephen Wright, and Donald ...Barthelme are awesome-,.... . too !--· many to name. Hakim . __Bey’s .. _./· really cool though; he’s like this weird anarchist ..· : ·.. , _ ,' . ,• l ......,_ \. r breaking through . ,I., who thinks anarchy as mental .;, ...of .·:constraints. Very confrontational almost. •:_



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Do you every find yourself using the styles of other writers to help create your own style? Well, I copy myself mostly. I started rapping while I was chilling with my brother and after a while you find you have good lines and bad lines; it’s just a matter of emulating yourself at your best. Like with writing to music, you hear their words but you come up with your own. It’s a chaotic self-generative process.

-. J


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N ic k R eed, G host, C ol l ag e '-:'"

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. ; ·:--.z<·... .


You’re really involved in semantics, what about words attracts you so much?

:::;~ "/- . . . . . - ..;, :,.;..... :---:--

......... . .... ~

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Words are really psychedelic. You kind of realize the things that you say bring to mind other words. That’s where a lot of the rhythm in my work comes from. Words with similar sound often have similar meaning. First comes the idea of structure and sound and how that relates to the meaning of the work as a whole and then how that creates the image behind the thought, that final, tangible sense. Where do you find those words? You hear obscure words everywhere. I like to read. I told myself last year that I would read more so I have been. It’s really a combination of reading and the internet. I get caught in a Wiki-loop sometimes or find that certain things get stuck in my head. There are words I haven’t found a place for yet, like hapax legomenon (referring to a word only ever used once). I find words and wait to use them, make them mean something to me individually. 79


I n R es pons e to M ereologic al N ihilis m


Mereological Nihilism is a concept which suggests that objects with parts do not exist; thus, only things that cannot be broken down (those without parts) can exist.

Tree limbs Roots Antlers Skeletons Alveoli Arteries Rivers Ice crystals Lightning Synapses Thoughts Sentence structure Language Art forms Culture Philosophy Religion Political movements Power structures Food chains Information distribution Traffic flow Taxonomy Time Genealogy —“A voice in the branches”


N atalie B ec c erra, P er c ept io n , S c u lptu re S c holas tic G old K ey W



S q u id s S w im

S id ew ays

R eb ec c a R as kin

When the leaves fell off the tree outside her window she cried. The skeleton of the tree swayed and reached

when she danced with Mozart. That winter they were all put on the same shelf.

towards the sky as if asking God for forgiveness. She could feel her breath in her chest. Under the mucus and the wet tissue she could feel her heart stutter. She

In the spring there


only money for

books. Food was always optional. She became a

wore sweaters in the summer and two in the winter silverfish. She slithered across pages in an attempt to and spent her time with a flashlight and a book of

pantomime passion.

twentieth century poetry. She slept with the moon and did not understand how anyone could see her as anything but damaged goods.

Blood turns brown on her sheets. She tastes like rusted pennies. She is the subtle decomposition of an electron. She is both a whimper and a bang. She

And the leaves grew back and the branches nourished their children, holding tightly to their fragile green

hands down her sides in imitation of a lover. The

bodies through the storms of August. When it rained

body of a woman and the cotton underwear of a

she organized her bookshelves but never finished.

child. She gives an experimental moan, a reflection

First alphabetically by author. Then alphabetically by

of a woman in a puddle.

title. And then counterclockwise based on how much she liked the book in comparison to the way she felt


stands almost naked at the window, running her

A na C hang, A n y T y pe o f B ir d , Digital Painting


R u s h

Lynn F an

Rising Crouched atop the cliffs, salty wind kissing their rosy cheeks, two invincible child hearts, inventing heroic fancies.

Claire Just one of the boys, with a splendid knowledge of all things vulgar, and a braveness hardy and chilling like a bucket of winter water.

River They grudgingly let her enter the coven, and all at once, she became their bridge, and the river that divides two lands. Revolution This is Ireland.

Simple Art, Finn.

Games Spitting contests along the lip of bay inlets and collusive smiles on unwashed faces. Lungs Dashing through dirty alleyways, chest— ribs swelling, and the sounds of enraged shopkeepers so holy to the ears. Blood A butter knife cut down the palm, and a shake on the hand, pledged.

War There’s news of battle, of an uprising of the rebels against the English; Art and Claire are ever so interested. Fissure Isn’t she grand, whispers Art. You right piece of gobshite, Finn leers, delivering him a swift cuff to the ear. Rouge She was a smudge of a young woman, lips red like poppies, and a heart of hot blood. Catalyst Bet you was up all night thinking of her, crows Finn, legs ready in position to sprint, but there is only a confessional silence from the other boy. Change Art’s never available to him, and Claire shuns him because every other word that comes out of her mouth is about the Civilian Army, and Finn wants to have nothing to do with it. Green There’s a green eyed creature lurking in Finn, and when he smiles, the creature bares its sharp cannibal teeth.

Diana W 84

ynne, A b st r a c t , I nk

Fervor Finn loves with a passion that melts day J jl J and night, that blends the rights and wrongs. Truth No, he’s not that noble. Sickening He’s only a coward, with a feverish mind, only a coward that fears being tossed aside, and alone.

Three There’s him, her, and him.

ynne, H id d en , I nk

One Art walks, runs, heart beating with some unexplainable urgency, pockets stuffed with rusted treasures, and then something in the periphery stops him.

Diana W

Two Finn holds the beautiful girl’s hand, neck christened in a sheen of sweat, a stiff lopsided grin on his dry lips. Three Claire watches Art as he looks at them, her pale eyes something broken, apologetic, something frightened, something guilty, and something regretful. Four And when Art and Finn look upon each other, it’s across the shambles of the alley, across five thousand meters of distance, and a hoarse whisper of ‘why?’, and yes, yes, there is also them. Empty I don’t love her, if you be asking, Finn says.

Victor Finn has somehow succeeded in severing attachment between all of them, and therefore, no one will ever feel left out.

Why So, none of us will feel lonely, he sings, and it is fearful, the love and possession in his once clear eyes.

Rush A moment where the blood rushes upward to the head and a cry of rage and pain dies out as an individual surges forward, against the rain of bullets.

Morbid Always did like to break the beautiful things, didn’t you, Finn, Claire leaves with a hand on her belly.

Rush A moment where a scream impales the still air and an infant’s wail follows after, high, reaching the pitch of despair.

Fish Art is hurt, hurt in way that leaves no space for words, only a painful exhalation, fish spines raking up his throat. 1916 This is Ireland, 1916. Alone Art leaves for the Irish Republican Army, alone, without Claire, heavy hearted, an invisible splatter of red across his chest.

Rush A moment of reflection, with the salty wind, and crashing waves, and in that moment there is so deep a self hatred that only the winter waters can offer atonement.


Cigar It hung there Between forefinger and thumb in indecision The glow, residual and fading beat like a heart.

M artin G argaglione, S t ea m , A c r y lic P a in t

Death in the F am ily J u lian M artinez

O ld F riend s I had always met him by extension My parents, their parents, friends It wasn’t long before everyone knew him We didn’t speak Respect dictated a bowed head on my part He passed unaware I was too young Of no interest or importance How could I measure up? Now he knocks often I don’t open Anticipation had built but I was caught unready I had yet to finish Left with little time Procrastinated preparations But he came in anyway An old friend to collect 86

A heart slowly dying. Puff. Like the blood doesn’t really want to move. Like the neurons don’t really want to fire. Like the liver just doesn’t care. (The lungs must not either) Puff. The bandana that held her hair mops her face, floats over her shoulder Graces the ground A fallen soldier It’s been two years, but you don’t ever forget do you? Puff. It tastes like it always does This one is just stale. It feels a waste to remove it from the lips But it hangs between the digits. Forearm crossed over thigh. Fist punched into knee. Brow bent in frustration .Puff. Forearm raised fist unclenches fleeting relaxation. Then repeat. Puff. Then repeat.








214 1 ),'WC.PS-


A n A s tronau t B orn

Plane He wasn’t going to be seated next to me on the trip back. There were no onion-scented anecdotes to season the air As I looked out the window. I always hated onions but he didn’t. I wasn’t supposed to be upgraded to a " different class. Rushed plans left me alone by the window. Everything is smaller from above. Except the stars. They’re just as small; just as distant.


He loved stars. Regretted never being an astronaut. But that wouldn’t bring them closer, only push us farther away. Like being in a different class.

“He lived a full and hap—” She wanted a light. There was too much black for her taste. Her mind was numb like her body. Life and death waged war in her lungs. ‘Puff’ She wanted it. ‘Puff’ She needed it. ‘Puff’ She wanted to forget. ‘Puff’ ‘Why did you leave?’ ‘Puff’ “...happy life. Those who knew him best—”

When we landed I didn’t see him. The impatient crew nudged him along against his will. he didn’t resist. There were other bags to attend to. The reception was more for him than for me. It always was, but it didn’t bother me.

All I can smell is that foul vegetable that colored his breath. Like it’s rising out of the earth to greet me. Feeding on my mind. He doesn’t understand. It’s easy for him. What else is there for him to do? How about me? Am I selfish in grieving?

Not this time.

“...best knew that he was always strong willed and com—” She let herself out. It was silent. Respectful. He meant more to her than the addiction. It was a cover. She wasn’t weak. Not now. “...compassionate. In his life he was gifted with two beau—”

S ilver K ey S c holas tic W riting A w ard

He’ll get to see the stars now He’s an astronaut Just like he always wanted. He doesn’t have to be bound by this world anymore He deserves it Freedom “...beautiful children that are gathered here with us today...” 87




S ilver K ey S c holas tic W riting A w ard

Slightly panting, the girl pushes herself up to observe her masterpiece. Wiping the proof of dedication off her brow, she sighs contentedly, realizing her work is not yet done. She doesn’t want to finish it just yet, not alone anyway. Looking away from her hard work, she determines it is two o’clock. The confirmation lies nearly 100 feet in front of her, in the form of a small, round, five- year- old girl. A smile runs across her face as she sets her hammer down and begins to walk, in the barren dirt, towards the child. Not wanting to keep her little cousin waiting, the girl breaks into a run, leaping over the occasional ditch while attempting to stay on the small dirt path. Panting a bit more now, she grins wearily to her little cousin, Allison, who returns the grin with a much wider one etched upon her plump face. Walking back, hand in hand, the child’s little fingers intertwine with the older girl who asks Allison how her day went. Her cousin answers briefly, showing much more interest in how the work was going and what still needed to be done. Assured that they could start

painting today, and even start a new one, her small, coquettish smile broadens and her eyes light up. Now standing in front of two thin blocks of wood nailed onto an old plank, they begin gathering painting materials. They are soon joined by a tan, skinny 9 - year- old girl with long, brown hair tied in a messy pony tail. Her name is Maria Alejandra, another little cousin, and through her dark brown eyes she lets the other two know that she is relieved they didn’t start without her. Both young girls grab their old, stiff brushes while the eldest opens a bucket of pink paint with the edge of the rusty hammer. No third paintbrush in sight: so, she decides to start on a second sand board. The weeks that passed were measured in sand boards, three, to be exact. On Saturday morning the younger cousins were on the edge of their seats at the breakfast table, waiting impatiently as the eldest slowly chewed the last of her bread. Finally she shoveled down the last morsel and asked Allison to get the video camera.

Lynn F an, S im plic it y , Penc il on paper


E lij ah S ham a, N eo n F lig h t , Digital Photography Those nearby would have been intrigued by the sight of a 5- year- old, a 9 -year -old, and a 12 -year- old digging their cheap tennis shoes up a sand dune without parental supervision. Using their boards for support, they slowly made their way up to the smoothest area of the dune, set their boards down, and had a mini-picnic, using crackers to scrape the salt off the rocks that edged the dunes. The view was breathtaking; the cliff that had once taken the life of a distant relative, seemed serene now as the water crashed unthreateningly below. All this beauty was viewable from their Peruvian grandfather’s backyard, the largest backyard in the world, equipped with wild dolphins and smooth sand dunes. This was their paradise. The fun lasted until sunset, until their relatives down on Earth started yelling to come to dinner. Sliding all the way down, as endless grains of sand whizzed past

her, the eldest cousin marveled at how her two little cousins were so willing to do such tomboyish tasks. The past week had consisted of nails, rusty hammers, and the overwhelming odor of paint mixed with pig slop only twenty feet away. At the beginning of the week, they were still emptyhanded and jeered at by their cousin, Victor, who confidently climbed up the mountain with his much fancier boogie board. Although it would’ve been nice to have him join them, they were secretly glad it was an all-girl operation. The dedication to the pull-yoursleeves-up-and get-down-and-dirty-work taught them the true value of a sand board, and that the final climb to the top is never the end of an endeavor. Even if they are now experiencing the delicate joys of becoming ‘young ladies’, they will always remember the Herculean task they took on in the last two weeks of that Peruvian summer. 89

M artin G argaglione, S t o r m

a n d S ea s, A c rylic

M artin G argaglione, D u c k s, A c rylic



M artin G argaglione, T h e S k ies, A c rylic

Dani Q u intero, Y o lo , A c rylic M ed iu m


Corrugated lips moving only in mistrust; Dishonesty a slight lisp Telling twisted tales of what is just.

u s t B arb ara J e r of R o m ars e Te

“Frailty” said Truth, “Beguiling and deceiving, Will be heralding and clamoring For the death of thy youth. Beware of Candor’s crisped corpse Reviled in a tear’s withered force. Servile only is it to sly Ruth.”

Blooming in petals of hollow deceit; Wilts it slowly of decay In looming lies with lingering sway; Potency’s feat rusted away.

Will you see what I see And watch as I say that it is so. Certainly not as you will seek A sinuous path, only yours to sow.

Tentative touch, escape me not Delusion’s hand is but a venomous plot; Let fantasy revel if it must. Sanity! Unravel love’s lost lust.


F or E m ily, W

here E ver I M ay F ind H er

The smell of vomit on her breath reminds me of baby powder, somehow sickeningly sweet. Her hair comes out in clumps on my pillow and we lay next to each other, staring up at the ceiling, our arms pressed close and my hip against hers. We pantomime third grade sleep overs. She reaches for my hand and we twine our fingers as if we are ready to skip across the street, pairs were always necessary when we were younger. She is concave. A geometric shape that is somehow unnatural. She does not have the harsh angles of a square or the icy points of a triangle. She is a rectangle fallen in on itself. Next to her the globes of my breasts and the curve of my stomach feel out of proportion and somehow wrong. I am making this about me.

Stuttering heartbeats. Hers tries to sync up with mine. Chronic headaches. I think too much and her brain cannot support her neural activity. One o’clock. As children we would fight our eyelids. All nighters. Coffee in the morning. A treat. Pancakes. “I eat so much when I’m here. It must be nostalgic eating.” Cookies? “Can I use your scale?” It’s not working. Lies.

And so I eat for the both of us. The masticated cookies from an hour ago sit in my stomach, angry. I should not have eaten them. I, perpetually on a diet, respect her will power.

“Isn’t there another one?”

I close my eyes and imagine we are still seven. Our coupling was odd. The screaming blonde and the girl who talked to trees. Indian names. Loud-ScreamingChild. Girl-Who-Talks-To-Trees. Under the careful supervision of Allende’s ghost we practiced magical realism before we were old enough to understand it.

“Do you have crackers?” I remember why I hate numbers. Five crackers. 85 calories.

Potassium deficiency.


I sympathize, I have a serotonin deficiency. IV needle bruise, crook of the arm. I trace my finger along the sinew. Paper skin. Tissue paper. Wax paper. If I press I will create a bruise, a blooming flower. If I press the skin will break. We must compare ourselves; through our stories we compete for worst disorder. She wins.

Two o’clock and we are facing each other. Nose to nose. Her skin is cold.

Potassium equals death.

Please don’t die.

I know the theory: action potential.

In my mind I think about the beginnings of an obituary. I am burying a friend. Selfish. She was supposed to bury me.

My reaction potential (anger, fear, tears, worry, sympathy). I will potassium out of my pores. chemiosmosis. If only we were cells. 94

R eb ec c a R as kin

Upstairs bathroom. Truth. The scale is cruel. 83. And I pretend to have lint in my eyes.

Want a sandwich? Want to bake cookies? “Crackers are fine.”

Please? Please don’t-

C ellini K im , F ig u r e, C halk, Pas tel



apoptotic culture ' apostasy, ulcers ' .'\ Pop and mass media: poltergeist, vultures. a breath of Terminal Death. " .... this collective infection (please dissect its path of convection) is airborne, so administer textbook pages (torn wings) to foreign kings ' ' . , and sing for the scorned things of public access warnings. for here lies morning, adorning the swarming dormancy the years are forming in the convoluted fountains we’ve conjured, pondered, in the places we’ve wandered the faces we’ve laundered or sworn our allegiance to we’ve defaced the currency of concepts and the urgency of Great Blue Yonders so honor the explorers and cast out scapegoats into the void into the noise like scattershot (it matters not) let each ray scrape the edge of a day (cycles of light) and we can number the penumbra (let the blaze approach night) so we colonize the constellations, cauterize our conjugations (no!) the intimacy in infinity \ sounds nebulous to some, nebular to others (so?) so, brothers investigate perception of mothers and fathers (who do we really need to grow?), and lovers and lotteries, gaudy violence (that surreal camaraderie), and bodily fluids which sluice the forms, storm the electric daydreams of norms. ‘doodling’, ‘noodling’, why do we call explorations by names so devolved “life is not a mystery to solve but a problem to fix.” as if, questions are the cancer to answers but dancers are the question posed to the chanting of those in the know in the glow ',

N ic k R eed , F eel t h e B ea t ! , C ollage 96

of the sub-lime-light those who monitor the tightening of rhymes and the lightening of loads when in the mode of endtime prophecy, lend mimed mockery; tend the grime sloppily. philosophy coddles those fossilized bottlenecks of thought genetic bottlenecks mimic such clots and deplete the plots left until The Lost pine for the flotsam and jetsam that the vines impart on the river-rocks as they curve and beach words for the absurd herds to preach, to stir, to reach for the whirring machines and repeat the curdling of heat O, entropy, enter me, scuttle this muddled puddle’s ship and find that the lost vines huddle and web towards the whine of ebbing tides and ancient buried mines lined with the canaries that hindsight gathered and splattered on the ritual stones (and oh the tone varies) and walls are bones onto which we throw our tomes, our poems, our runes, our phlegm-speckled groans, our flumes, as if to scatter ashes towards intended refraction as the dunes become impacted with the comets of dominant views and every grain turns to glass we can see through (darkly) and every particle transmutes the definite articles (starkly) to waves caught in the pavement, a maze (ment) made of papyrus, information, the virus... complacent. phasing in and out (we witness) reflections of the city buses splash onto our pantlegs and dance on murals of radio static as the canvas of the banditry of minds winds the feedback loops into hollers and whoops so that the scholars have something to sift through too so that groups have something towards which they can shift views flip through, peruse but, a nonchalant groove is more like a graveyard blues we can choose: sedimentary metamorphoses ignite under the weight of things, the weight of wings.


the heavyweight light-bringer made us kings of the faded alphabeta-data-set so we can upgrade our 8-bit palisade so we can hold back the defolding of that moldy map that serves more as a balustrade (be careful! don’t lean too far, enjoy the ornament, salivate at the bars!) towards which we calibrate as we hold up every chalice and clink in the name of ballast-aid so we can sink so we can link brinks and chink caverns whereas the doors of perception are cataracts as opposed to ladders, still there is a chatter that means more than magic-beans aplenty or a score of dreams sent free of their sentries so they can seem more friendly. still, there is an overfilled cup we can tip, and on a related note there is a lip we can split so we can clutch the words at their cusp and watch their milky amber melt until the dam’s burst is felt (though even now it’s not felt much). still, there is the first pelt of rain we can wear or we can watch wear the world down through child’s eyes still, there is a mile-wide mild-wild-side we can defile, and yet, why pile more meaning into life’s leaning towards all that is base and all that is vile (the more we look around, the more it all looks like bile) so graffiti it! graffiti the obedient ingredients: beady eyes and binary (dialectic’s library), graffiti them! conceal the convenient! extinguish the immediate! the key to the lockstep march is an arched back, a good posture, and a parched lack start that first fire, caveman don’t feed the invisible hand, bite the bullets of ‘cool it!’ and stand as if deciphering the patterns in clouds and new lands

N ic k R eed , C o sm ic N o ise D r if t er , C ollage 98

M artin G argaglione, B en c h , A c rylic


A Portrait of th e Artist as a Dead M an O s c ar H ernand ez

I lie, sprawled out on the evening grass. The moon is like a feather overhead. It sways in the cool summer wind, down to earth and onto my chest. The trees melt slowly to the ground, swamping me with their natural essence. My colors mix with the grass below me.

I see the world with a placid eye like the trees above. The birds perch aimlessly on their limbs. I lie with my arms out to my side, the scavengers claw at my skin. My eyes dry in their sockets, my pupils become parched fish. The weight on my shoulders flows seamlessly down my spine and into the soil.

My head bums. It’s agonizing. I know I did well. The flies rush me, committing their lives to the work of nature. The grass grows around me, the moon falls, and I lie sprawled out in the evening grass. My body melts into the world around me, the product of a masterful artist.


M artin G argalione, R ic h a r d , ac rylic


T H E S E C O N DR O S E M organ O w ens

O’ Rose, you have lived! But not for long, For the dark of the light, Has seen your true self, The one they adore, And the spell that it holds Shall bring ruin to you. And so the blight returns, Creeping slowly back to home Unrelenting; never turning ‘Till us two end up alone. But one thought, one strike, And any defense is spent. Attempts to find reason fail, At last, a new one begins: torment.


Sydney Meikl ej ohn, Sel f P ortrait, A c ryl ic on P aper


Lu c if er

J anay B lakely

As a little girl my mother always warned me,

idly by listening to time pass in the form of ticking minute hands, and the sounds of sand sliding through my life’s hourglass.

Beware of silent side corridors and alleyways where shady shifty characters might come, and shove me to the floor and have their way with me.

No, they never came as expected. How rude!

That I was to avoid all unmarked white vans with strange men offering me promises of free candy, when the prize they had in mind would be anything but sweet. I walked around avoiding parks, never did I dare venture out after dark. Hands shielding the world from my face, mace at my waist, so many safety precautions I couldn’t even think straight. Here I am waiting and, my predators never came, I sat

Instead my predator came in the form of silky smooth skin stretched over a 6 foot 2 frame, with teeth reminiscent of alabaster boxes, tumblers, with which I could unlock the magic of his smile and the mysteries of his laughter. No threat of poisoned candy, only tainted promises of tomorrow. I wonder where they are now, because all I have are the phantoms of forget me not kisses to get me through tonight. Dani Quintero, Natural,, Acrylic


I remember that faithful day that he wrapped his arms around me, pillars of love and compassion, as he had done so many times in the past, and asked, Baby do you love me? To which I wanted to reply yes.

Yes I love you, and do you want to know how much? So much that I swallow the bitter sweet taste of blood and tell myself heartfelt kisses feel the same way. Hide black and blue eyes behind designer shades far too big for my face.

Tell the arch angel Gabriel to declare it on trumpets from Mount Zion. If I could I would trade places with Atlas and place the world upon my shoulders so that your Haitian homeland would not shake another day so that you might stand tall and firm for one extra moment.

Love you so much that I try day after day to convince myself that hardwood floors slamming into my face have the same gentleness of a soft caress; that the ringing in my ears and the tightness in my chest are just the remnants of the butterflies I get when I see you.

But these things I cannot say. I begin to wheeze, my asthma slowly getting the best of me because these words are steadily choking me, wedged in my chest and try hard as I might I can’t get them out so we both sit there in silence.

Tell myself that I love the hospital, even though I feel I know those crisp white sheets too well. They try to give me an IV but fail because they don’t realize I no longer have blood; you have sucked all the life out my veins.

Again you ask, baby do you love me, those strong arms tighten like boa constrictors around the most frightened of field mice. I tremble violently because I know we’re about to go through the same thing we always do. I wait in anticipation as I feel your fist collide with my chest, as if you could unwedge my unsung praises from their cage.

All I have is this ink that I let out in the tears that I have cried across this page. I’d tell them to check my heart but you took that too.

My body colliding with the floor, I want to say that I am concerned about my broken heart but at the moment my broken ribs are distracting me. Do you love me, and this time you scream it, no longer my soft sweet angel. Funny, I used to wonder how the devil and a saint could be one in the same, but with you standing there cursing my name I see clearly. Finally, as I hear the ambulance coming and see the flashing blue lights in the windows, I manage to choke it out, lest my words suffocate me and I down in my affection for you.

I remember when I used to dream of us getting lost in clean white sheets of music. Two souls intermingling as our bodies rise and fall to the symphonies created by the crescendos our joys and pains. The metronome I dance my life around and your pulse being one and the same. But our melodies seem to always end the sharp staccato of my scream (Devil’s key). Every time you breathe life into me, set me ablaze, you watch me burn, then turn to leave. But in hell I’d burn in eternity, take your punches and screams, that’s how much I love you. So much so that I’d never tell a soul. So much so that I’d never leave.


Dani Q u intero, E x hib ition, A c rylic

H is G reatest M asterp iece Derek Ab ella

My skin, rough You stretched me out, laid me flat. You try different strokes on me, but you hurt me. Lay fields of blue and purple on me. You wouldn’t do it gently, of course. Drink your wine, or rather, Budweiser, and inspire yourself to add to my colors; Mind you, I fade in time. Throw a lamp across the room; say you’re “playing with lighting.” You’re frustrated, knock me down and paint me standing up, Like Jackson Pollock. Maybe that’s why there was red spattered all over me When you finished.


Dani Q u intero, B a r e,, A c rylic


T w o W orld s R eb ec c a R as kin I live in two worlds; one is my physically tangible every day world and one is a world of books. In my everyday world, I am just another bibliophile. I love the feel of the paper between the pads of my fingers and the soft noise each page makes when I pass it, like a sigh. I adore the new book smell and revel in the way the spine smiles when I open the book, like it is happy to see me. In my book world though, I have experienced much more than I have in my real world. In my real world I am not a social butterfly, rather, a wallflower. I have never been anywhere exotic or had any near death experiences, but in my book world I have created a tempest with Prospero, had shock therapy with Esther Greenwood and looked out the window to see the cherry orchards at the Ranevskaya’s ancestral estate. This fantasy world allows me to experience new things, things that I would not necessarily experience being myself. I have never been a very adventurous person. I have had the same friends since I was in elementary school; I don’t stay out past curfew. I look forward to my weekends not because of the prospect of parties but for the two day escape to my room. For two days a week I shut myself off from the rest of the world and disappear into the dusty pages. There was a book I read as a small child called Inkheart by Cornelia Funke in which there was a character who could literally read someone into a novel. My young counterpart was infinitely jealous of this ability because I wanted to live in a novel. I wanted to be able to play Quidditch with Harry Potter and not have to worry about Monday rolling around. Harry Potter did not have to deal with math homework. As I got older, books became even more of an escape. I flirted with existentialism and it responded with a smirk and feigned disinterest because I am a bit of a solipsist. I have never been in romantic love nor understood the draw of the high levels of dopamine


Silver Key Scholastic Writing Award that comes with it, but I have experienced it when I read Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. Being in love like that makes me not want to experience it in real life because I feel it would be somehow less pure. I have seen love in real life end with fights and screaming. In books there are the happy endings that the non-cynic in me wants to believe in. The thing I thank books for the most, however, is the delivery of writing to my bedroom door. I would spend hours at night thinking about the characters from books and wondering what they did before and after the book. So I wrote my ideas down and started stories with pre made characters. When using characters from books stopped satisfying me, I began to create characters of my own and began to write short stories. When there suddenly was not enough time to read and write during the day, thanks to school work and dance practices, my book addiction took to the night. Very often my mother would walk into my room at six in the morning to wake me for school only to find that I had not gone to sleep that night. With the recent closing of Borders and the constant barrage of people telling me that as a reader I am “a dying breed” I fear for the future of books. My eyes water as I pass by the large, bright yellow “going out of business” sign that plagues the walls of Borders (I vainly wish that Fred and George Weasley were around to yank it down in a final act of rebellion against ereaders). I scoff at my mother’s offer to get me a nook or a kindle. There is nothing better than feeling a book in your hands and falling into the pages. One day I will travel to the places I have read about. Like Oskar in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close I will go on a quest through the streets of a city far away from my native suburban southern Florida and start my own adventure. Whether I pull the sword out of the stone, or not, books will always be there to welcome me into their dusty embrace.


W alk er














R ic hard V il l av erde The rough, pebble- filled driveway served as

grandpa had mounted on his garage wall. It was

my wake-up call. I opened the car door; the smell proof of his victory over the beast. I wanted the of dead fish and diesel fumes assaulted my senses.

same feeling of triumph, the same proof of conquest

Ahead of me lay the weather-beaten dock, its surface

against one of nature’s best.

littered with large buckets of fish carcasses. Amidst

I grabbed a nearby pair of binoculars and once

the din, brown pelicans swooped down to fight for

more peered across the flat, seemingly barren,

fleshy scraps thrown from the cutting board. Most landscape ahead. I had been told to look for birds people would have been nauseated. Not me. I felt

circling over the ocean in search of fish. They

invigorated. The prospect of being on the large

were our eyes in the sky; however, I could see no

charter boat docked ahead made me smile.

movement above me.

An hour later the boat was cruising through open

Somewhere, beneath consciousness, I heard

water, its diesel engine a rhythmic drum cutting

someone say, “If we always caught fish, then it would

through the water. I hastily climbed a small ladder be called catching, not fishing.” to the second level, careful not to look down at the speeding water. The captain sighted me and flashed

My grandpa’s witty comment brought me back

a quick grin before returning his attention to a little from my thoughts. I looked over at him and nodded green screen. He was the classic stereotype of a Florida

humorlessly, staring at my brother who had fallen

Keys fisherman with a red farmer’s tan, bright- blue

asleep in boredom. The heat had made many of us

polarized glasses, and a white Columbia fishing drowsy and my father soon joined him. Only my shirt. The sun was just beginning to rise, lighting grandpa, the experienced fisherman, seemed to be the horizon. At once the whole ocean became a unaffected. mixture of turquoise water and orange fire. I took a deep breath of the salty air and held it in. I felt alive.

Suddenly, the captain cried out as a black sail raced towards the trolling bait. Instantly, the rod

Time passed. After futilely patrolling the waters

to my left went taut. I stood there, shocked. I was

for most of the day, my initial enthusiasm waned. ushered forward and ordered to put on the stabilizing Where was the massive trophy fish I had come to fishing belt. It was uncomfortable, but so was the hook? I remembered the blue and grey wahoo my plastic end of a fishing rod jabbing painfully into 110

my midsection. Once the rod was firmly in my grasp, I stared wide-eyed at the creature. It seemed to do years of fishing took over. I steadily lifted, dropped,

the same to me. Its black and silver body shuddered

and reeled, continually repeating this acquired,

for oxygen, and it thrashed once more in an attempt

almost natural, process. Every time I brought the

to break free.

sailfish close to the boat, it gained a burst of energy and sped off, making my line whine erratically. The

“Do you want to mount it in your room?” The

powerful fish soared into the air, uselessly thrashing captain excitedly waited for my answer, not loosening in an attempt to break the line with its sharp bill.

his grip on the dying animal as he removed a large, barbed hook from its mouth.

Thirty minutes later, my shirt was soaked through with a pungent mixture of sweat and saltwater. Empty

Again, I looked at the sailfish, light shining off its

plastic water bottles and coke cans were scattered massive, majestic body. My mind once more strayed around the deck of the boat. My hands were closed

to the wahoo in my grandpa’s garage, its glass eyes

shut and my fingers had to be pried back to release the forever riveted on nothing, its mere existence simply rod from my clasp. I had finally subdued the sailfish,

forgotten. I looked at him and replied,

bringing it close enough to be hauled onto the boat. “Let it go.”

Scholastic Silver Writing Award

D yl an A l v arez , Morning Fog in the Pinelands, dig ital photog raphy 111

Great Expectations Spoken Word

Jeremy Mathurin

A wise friend once told me, “be yourself and the rest will come naturally” But me, myself and I isn’t enough; your actions say emphatically. It seems as though my “party of three” just isn’t satisfactory. You’re yet another girl plagued by men that did her wrong, You’re like a girl that got kicked aside but still rolled on. But as I stand here in front of you, around 6 feet tall; I promise that I’ll treat you like the princess who you already are I’d take you anywhere you wanted to go; the city would be ours, and just because it’s Tuesday, maybe I’d bring you flowers. And you’d never have to worry about wandering eyes, ‘cause they’d be fixated constantly, Solely on you and I And I know it’s premature, but I’d like to picture us together, holding hands while we face this cold world without a coat or sweater And everybody would stop and stare at what we accomplish, I’m a dreamer What can I say? I think positive. But is it only in this figment deep within my psyche . . . Only in the subconscious world, away from reality . . . Is it possible for you and me to coexist emotionally? I don’t understand; sometimes I wish I could talk to you and be more real, but it seems poetry is the only way to express how I really feel. Surrounded by jerks that be pullin’ girls left and right; the size of their little black books just exploding in height. See, for some reason, people in general, but more frequently the female culture, constantly return to an emotional torture, verbal abuse, and their self esteem being lowered Now, I’m not saying to drop your standards, not even for a second, but But Chris Brown isn’t walkin’ through that door, so stop expectin’


This dude, in your mind, has everything you dream . . . To jump from your imagination - to this tangible scheme But ultimately, it’s up to you, how I feel makes the situation no different . . . I never thought Cellini Kim, Man in the Moon , oil painting that I deserved you, or even your feelings Physically speaking, your way out of my league; I’m stuck playing for CRHS, while you’re on A-rod’s team, And when you’re in the room, you just seem to command attention While I gotta’ scream and shout, jumping on a chair, just to ask a question. Compared to your eyes the night sky seems like a couple of flashlights starting to die But I see even past the surface; they say beauty is only skin deep But you’ve got something metaphysical that makes you so unique Like . . . It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had . . . or if I wanna’ put someone in PAIN . . . I take one look at your stunning face and my fire is doused by rain. So I don’t know if it’s dumb luck, lust, love . . . I really don’t care what label it receives. All I know is every night I look forward to seeing you floating through my dreams.

C arolina B egu iris tain, I nk


C aitlin R yan, N o t r e D a m e, S pray Paint and S tenc il


Lynn Fann, S t u d y o n C h a r c o a l a n d P en c il

Th e L ov e r s

Lynn Fan

They waltzed in the darkness of the opera basement, feet stumbling, hands fumbling, and the orchestra played for them day and night. It was a fleeting thought that fluttered across two minds, that it would be quite romantic if the ceiling were to cave in, and there they lie, together, dead, as Shakespeare intended clandestine love affairs to end. And they danced, and danced in the burning opera house.

The sound of fire so loud and furious.

Surrounded by the ravaged beauty of war.


T he H orror of F roz en T im e Lu c ia B ac a

The world was still and frigid like a white velvet virgin, enticed by her first erotic touch. It was swaddled in a blanket of ice, and white doves could see wisps of their breath coil and unwind. Snowflakes fluttered about, marveling at their wings as if they had only just emerged from their cocoons, and angels hummed melodies that grazed soft souls. Doe-eyes were imbued with the sweetness of night’s slumber, and all was excruciatingly pure.

I was blissful, yet wary, wary of the warmth that crept up my spine, that pecked my cheekbones, that brushed my lips, wary that it should take its leave. I think the world was wrapped in ice because I willed it to be frozen. I willed it to stop its chaos so we could be, so we could amble down the alleyways of heaven hand in hand with gaiety.

I wanted so painfully to preserve what should be perpetual in its organic form. So I willed the world to ice over, so that all the rosebuds would never wilt or cease to be. But I left one very red rose for us, dear, so that it could entwine its divine stems around our hands like gold-spun thread and bind us forever. We conquered love, we triumphed over the fickle beast that burrows into the feeble heart and claws it apart, leaving a cavity so mauled up that the wounds can never be sewed. We conquered love, my dear, so I froze us at the height of our passion, because we were meant to walk the Earth alone, immortal, together, like gods.


G ab rielle R ivera, W a t c h in g Y o u G r o w , M ix ed m ed ia 117

W alker Pau ls on, M o u n t a in s, Digital A rt

N atalie B ec erra, B u r n ed , Digital Photography

119 119 118

A na C hang, sea c a t s, Digital Painting

K ris ten F igerola,V er r e C o u leu r , A c rylic


T he Love of M y Lif e I nterview b y H annah Pu s tej ovs ky

X ionara and G onz alo G u erra on their 5 0 th annivers ary I paused a moment before walking into the custodian’s office. How could I, a naïve young girl, understand the depth of love that existed between the couple who awaited me? More importantly, as a writer, would I be able to capture their story? I took a breath and opened the door. There they sat, Gonzalo and Xionara Guerra: him, at the head of the table, her to the right. He held her hand and was murmuring softly in tones intended to calm even the most frightened heart. We exchanged pleasantries, and I thought, “I am asking (perhaps unfairly) for hearts to be stripped bare.” Finally I proffered, “Shall we begin?” He consented and I asked, “How did you meet your wife?”


“I moved to Havana in 1958, and I lived a block away from her. One day, she walked across the street, and I started to flirt with her. She, of course, called me fresh.” I laughed as we exchanged smiles. He kissed her hand. “But I didn’t give up hope. I started being friends with her brother. When I was 17, I told her I was in love with her. I went to her father and asked for permission to marry her. He agreed, so long as we always had a chaperone. We were boyfriend and girlfriend for one year, but I had to leave Cuba and we broke up, but she was just so nice, and there was no one like her. I couldn’t forget her.” I nodded in agreement.

“On March 20th, 1959, I left Cuba for America. At Christmas, I came back, and I saw her there. I knew in that moment that she was the woman I had chosen. We got married in less than a week in front of the judge. I had to go home, but I waited anxiously for her every day, and she joined me a year later in America.”

“Are there any moments that really stick out?” I asked tentatively.

“When did you know you were in love?” I queried, not realizing that there was no one moment.

He paused.

“I couldn’t be away from her. She was all I thought about. She was always happy and smiling. You know, we never argued. She was just so nice and good about things.” Without looking at him, she began to hum a sweet melody. “What is your favorite thing about your wife?” I continued. “Everything. She is always happy. She never complains, even when I was making only one dollar an hour. We would only have 20 dollars at the end of the week, but she would smile and make the best of it. We both worked hard. We each had two or three jobs to bring our family here to America. I have worked with Coral Reef Senior High School for 14 years as the head custodian, and I am proud of it.” Then the moment came. The answer would be delicate but one he seemed ready to share. “How would you describe your situation?” I asked, giving him the opening.

“When my sons were born and later my grandchildren. We pledged love again at the church when we were 62 with all of our family around. I was just so happy.”

“It’s hard. It’s hard after you love a person so much and there is nothing you can do.” He took her hand and looked at her gently. “She is the love of my life. I will love her ever after.” Tears started to form in his eyes. He wiped them away, refusing to cry or to give up. As I watched this man who had worked his whole life for a slice of happiness, his love now enfolded in his arms, I let my own tears come. Brushing them away, I asked, “In a world where marriage is so fleeting, how have you stayed together so long?” “It was easy with her. We never fought. The only disagreements would be about raising the kids sometimes. We were always there for each other. We knew how to be happy with what we had.” At that moment our interview had come to a close. “It has been hard. I don’t know what I will do when she dies. I only hope that I die first because I can’t live without her.” He was walking towards the door and paused to look back at me as he wiped away a final tear. “I can’t live without her. She is my life.”

“She has Alzheimer’s. We have been together for 53 years, and I will love her forever. I said in sickness and in health and I meant it. She has been so strong. She has had so many operations. See?” He opened his wallet and pulled out a yellowing card with a list of medical operations. I counted at least twelve. “I missed 35 days of work when she had an aneurism. But I couldn’t leave her alone.”

Never before had I witnessed something so pure. In this modern age, love has turned into a game or a fashionable statement. It seemed gone, a lost thing. But now, like the silence following a storm, I had been thrown into a belief that was too strong to shake: a belief that the word forever will never end, that hands clasped will never be broken, that love will prevail.

A few moments of silence elapsed before I resumed, “Were there ever moments when you were unsure of your relationship?” “Never. She was always happy and worked so hard. I couldn’t not love her.” He kissed her cheek and his tenderness tugged at my heart.


Sunset Is an All Day Process Nick Reed

And it’s just transposing all the way down And it’s just going chromatically down the scale . . . I recognize something there… Where it feels like trying to translate something that is otherworldly. That’s not about the mundane. Love: the warm comforting sounds And the raw sexual beats A nebula in deep space. (When I look at the pictures from the Hubble, Chandra, and Spitzer I feel like how church is supposed to feel) I feel like if the sun could play music while it rose up out of the horizon It would sound like this. It would poke a droning head out (from behind the speakers) Only to quickly recede once more into silence. I would always play it loud (promise!) Just to submerge myself in it (rather than let it drift up from behind me) So I’m certain when the song begins to coagulate in my mind That I too am sending an encrypted message of an unknown origin Transmitting overcast fragments to the past and future And it would be one of the few songs That actually remind me of internal thoughts and dreams Made of textures to swim in (all deep and mysterious) Such intricate tiny sounds that only reveal themselves on the nth listen Because you don’t have to surround ideas in explosions and neon lights. Because language is about encoding messages: Hacking the syntax, Or merging into a tingling array of electric hexagonal mandalas Within the looped world of multi-layered sound and melody The obscure and the beautiful are typical things to be experienced, In moments that slowly bloom and then explode All the sound you have heard in your life Come encoded. Filtered through.



Lee Pivnik,Ellipse, Digital Photography







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Coral Reef Senior High School

10101 S.W. 152nd Street

Miami , Florida 33157 /. I


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