THE PHOENIX - GONZAGA FINE ARTS REVIEW
THE PHOENIX 2017
Dear Gonzaga community, Welcome to The Phoenix. No this isn’t a sign on the border of a city in Arizona Though it may give direction Nor an ad for an online university Though it may teach you something Nor Dumbledore’s pet Though a scraggly bearded guy might be looking at it Nor a mythical regenerating Arabian bird Though if you open the book facing down and wiggle the cover it kind of looks like a bird flying Nor a Southern constellation between Sculptor and Hydrus Though its contributors may shine bright Nor the foster father of Achilles Though it may make some bad jokes Nor a long range radar-guided missile retired by the Navy Though it could blow your mind It’s our annual arts and literature review And we hope you’ll see that’s way cooler. Sincerely, Quinn Aitchison ‘17 Tommy Boyce ‘17 Editors-in-Chief
THE PHOENIX 2017 - Volume XXXII Editors in Chief Quinn Aitchison Tommy Boyce
Editorial Committee Patrick Gallagher, Rylan Madison, Lucas Scheider, Collin Sundsted
Moderator Dr. Harry Rissetto
Special Thanks Ms. Jennifer Carter, Mr. Joe Ross, Mr. Matt Duffy, Mr. Joe Sampugnaro, Mr. Rick Cannon, Mrs. Helen Free, Ms. Mary Kate Kimiecik, Mr. Allan L’Etoile, Mr. Bill Pierce, Mr. Andy Shea, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. John Kilroy, Mr. Randy Trivers, Mr. Patrick Welch, Mrs. Shelly Farace, Ms. Kylee Piper, Luke Allen ‘16, Holden Madison, ‘16, Chris Hrdy ‘15, Kevon Turner ‘15, Matt Buckley ‘14, Joe Dahut ‘14, Christian Forte ‘14, Matt Druckenbrod ‘13, Dominic Plantamura ‘13, Andrew Richard ‘13, John Morabito ‘12, Aaron Clark ‘12, Daniel Sweet ‘12, Tom Robertson ‘11, Matt Weider ‘10, Johannes Schmidt ‘09, Will Felker ‘08, and all those who submitted art and literature for consideration.
Table of Contents Poetry & Fiction Thomas Vasquez Reyni Arbutiski Will Rock Ignacio Mata Cordero Fawzi Beidas Miles Brown Oliver Shackley Brian Doolan Kenneth Carter Matt Gannon Jirhe Love Deion Williams Sam Gonson Will Jervey Chris Lykes Chris Lykes Connor Joransen Lucas Scheider LJ Koi Larbi Brian Doolan TJ Gletner Cliff Wallace, Jr. Patrick Kelly Charles Magnetti TJ Gletner Roberto Dâ€™Angelo-Cosme Eddie Scott Kevin Thompson Kassahun Beyene Matt Warden Stephen Ponticello Thomas Vasquez Matt Feller Cover Art: Matt Fronda
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Reyni Arbutiski Charlie Adams Ignacio Mata Cordero Zach Kanyan John Cardellicchio Ben Plant Ethan Carven Page MacKeigan Kevin Newell Ben Plant Will McCann Ryan Bell Liam Creamer Jirhe Love Myles Washington Miles Brown Micaiah Paige Jirhe Love Patrick Kelly Micaiah Paige Jomah Bokai Eddie Scott Kevin Newell Lucas Scheider Landen Buckson Cliff Wallace, Jr. Mike Smolskis Deion Williams Brendan McCabe Llew Dortch Trevor Louis Alex Gomez PJ McMahon
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 73 76 79
Rylan Madison Alec Dubois Jack Chesen Rylan Madison Matt Fronda John Colucci Rylan Madison Rylan Madison Collin Sundsted Will Boram Jack Chesen PJ McMahon Rylan Madison Rylan Madison Christian Oliverio Landen Buckson Matt Fronda Matt Fronda Henry Middlebrook Jack Chesen Christian Oliverio Rylan Madison Harry Monroe Landen Buckson Jack Chesen Matt Gannon LJ Koi Larbi Matt Fronda Ben Hong Matt Fronda Andres Rivas Ignacio Mata Cordero Matt Fronda Jordan Colbert Rylan Madison Rylan Madison Landen Buckson Jack Chesen Nasir Phillips Alec Dubois
82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121
Matt Gannon Henry Middlebrook Brian Gill Harry Monroe Duncan McDonald Landen Buckson Michael Davis Harry Monroe Landen Buckson Michael Davis Henry Middlebrook Lucas Scheider Rylan Madison Will Boram Will McCann Connor Mulcahy Michael Davis Joshua Love Daniel Lavarte Rylan Madison Landen Buckson Duncan McDonald Will Boram Harry Monroe Samuel Sweeney John Colucci Andrew Irvings Ignacio Mata Cordero Michael Kerns Nasir Phillips PJ McMahon John Rehill Collin Sundsted Thomas Pollack Nasir Phillips Lucas Scheider James Waddell Peter Rizzo In Memoriam: Allan Matthew Hopkins â€˜82
122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160
Dedication Mr. Michael Pakenham
We dedicate this 32nd Phoenix to Mr. Michael Pakenham. He was a leader within the Gonzaga community, an outstanding teacher, and a loyal friend to all. He will be missed. â€œYou just gotta know it.â€? - Mr. Pakenham Rest in Peace
Poetry & Fiction
Thomas Vasquez Where I’m From Have you ever learned a lesson? Have you ever learned the truth? Have you ever been asked why are you… you? I have And teacher asked in Kung Fu I learned Math I learned science History and some English too But I never understood until Bruce Lee and Kung Fu Enter The Dragon Lesson number one Never stop fighting until Evil’s day is done And you still ask Where am I from? I’m from nunchucks And yellow Jumpsuits too Never lose your balance Always strike through Oh but Lee taught me more Ip Man too From them I learned Crouch like the tiger hide like the dragon Serenity in fire
What we admire? They only sought Form before power calm over strength The hard way, no easy trick And although I never Mastered a judo flip These men were my teachers I am nothing but what I have learned what I have learned is true I was never good at it but I am from Kung Fu
Reyni Arbutiski Iâ€™m From Iâ€™m from a place of hell and heaven Where streets laugh during the day And cry at night Where sunshine is music And moonlight riddled with gunshots Where the neighborhoods are numbered But 13 and 18 are never mentioned Where the kids play soccer on the streets hoping to get picked by a club While other kids on the streets get picked by 18 and 13 Where the day brings new friends And the night takes them Where laws are few And gangs are law Where the name of the country means The Savior But actually needs to be saved from itself I am from El Salvador
Will Rock 2007 Tahoe Others do not enjoy stepping into my 2007 Tahoe, But for me, it is a highlight. Memories spanning from middle school with my father and brothers, to now, with my new brothers. I love my car. It may be worn in, but so am I. It may have suffered damage, but so have I. My car is a reflection of me, but I can see it in you. Worn in and damaged its value raises to me. The more damage, the more memories, not only for me. My car may not look appealing, but it is reliable, and thatâ€™s all anyone needs to escape from the fakeness of this world.
Ignacio Mata Cordero Backpack he sits Slouched a home to memorized mathematics and forgotten fiction weathered water bottles reside in his grasp an overdue lunch reminds me of his mandatory maintenance he is Thrown Dropped Slung and Shaken but he does not retaliate he sees what I see and hears what I hear I carry him unbothered by the weight for into this productive parasite I pour my livelihood
Fawzi Beidas Maryland SoccerPlex - 5 November 2016 Part II The Sequel. 363 days later Eagles vs. Stags Back for revenge Hearts pounding Adrenaline pumping Fans screaming Friends, Parents, Coaches With high expectations Game time. Finally in control of Myself Body Mind My teammates and I Defend as a team, No As a Family Regular time ends 0-0 Empty tanks Desperately searching for reserve fuel Sudden Death. A loafing ball hangs in the air For what seems like minutes One flick with the head Sends the ball to rest In the back of the net 12
Game Over. Mission Complete.
Miles Brown 100 Yards of Freedom Fifty, forty, thirty, twenty ten, five TOUCHDOWN! As thousands of eyes, watch me in my natural element. Protect this house. Protect my house, the Mecca of peace and chaos. With every hit, block, and route a wave of peace and love show. My peace found in this rough environment. An addiction like no other, numb to the pain, And drunk from the taste of Victory. I do it for the love and not the fame. In front of fans, or on the playground, itâ€™s all the same.
Oliver Shackley Ode to Home Cooked Food Done yet? Finally. A distinguishable aroma, tip-toes into my nostrils. I can sniff the difference, in spices, seasonings. The trotting Garlic catches my nose. Scents of an evil onion catch my eyes. Tears turn to wide-eyes, as my nostrils become an expert. My taste buds are massaged. There is no comparison. going out? Letâ€™s stay Home. Take-out, fast food, steakhouse? My house.
Brian Doolan Ode to the Mini Hoops You are the foundation. You are the battleground and the home of the Treaty. You have caught blood and sweat from the brows of small children, and the weary backs of young men. After Your asphalt was scorched black from the sun, You were reborn in royal blue and soft gold, the colors of the school You labor for. You have given birth to friendships, sparked competition in tame souls, and You made me fall in love. You are a part of me, the Staples Center of my childhood. The hours I gave to You I need not back. Your surface fades, but not in our minds. You will live forever.
Kenneth Carter Home You drive by me everyday And what do you see? Probably a homeless bum Someone with no family But lemme tell you something There was once a day When I too had dreams Dreams of being a success Dreams of being the boss And having my own desk I dreamt of having a family of my own Being able to have a place Of my own to call home Everyday dreams That everyday people have So next time you drive by I want you to remember That I am no different from you Because the same place I call home now Could be home for you one day too
Matt Gannon Broken Justice for Justin “They told me, ‘Fend for yourself.’” Left on the street, Broken by one mistake. Kept broken by ours. Blankets and melancholic, Metallic clangs from A half-empty coffee cup Are the only warmth On a 14-degree day.
Homeless because of jail Not because of a crime. He served his time. But now he serves a life sentence As a homeless man. Why
Bleak white sky. Bleak tattooed future. Jail broke. Jail didn’t heal. People don’t often a sk his name. It’s Justin. People don’t often look him in the eyes. They’re blue. People don’t often care. He does. He cares. He wants to turn his 33-year old life around. But he is borne ceaselessly back By stigma. By hatred. By frustration. By our criminal justice system. By us. 17
Jirhe Love In Peterâ€™s Voice These are my blues Flesh of my flesh Blood of my blood Each note in agony Synthesize my wounds Let the keys play My pain Blessed midnight blues The essence of ragtime Shiesty hazel noons Spent marching for the man I think To myself what is life Without my blues Stand by me blues For youâ€™ve always been there Let the drums rumble Through every grimace Let the wind weave Through the sax, as my wounds mold Into formation, as my blues Hit every note
Deion WIlliams Pac Forever engraved Indebted in the heartz of men Thatâ€™s just the way it is. The bass behind the weightless air that comes from the mouths of youth Fountains of coins wishing youâ€™d come back Pac? No answer. Body gone But words present, gifts to the world Forgotten by no man who understands What strife comes from everyday living Bridges built because you died The messiah to inner city youth Because you preached the Ghetto Gospel Performed miracles By being that one who Rose from the concrete
Sam Gonson Immigrant Song I fled home as a chorus of Godâ€™s wrath rumbled closer, bellowing a hymn of fissured families My song became rhythmic migration. I longed for a breath of freedom beneath the light of a golden lamp. It is here, where the refuse take refuge, that my symphony begins.
Will Jervey The Greatest Man I Never Knew World War II you stole some stuff off a dead Nazi. I still have it in my room You blessed me with more than just a father, you shackled me with my natural athleticism and simply perfect hair I am reminded of you every time I look in a mirror. You gave me a wicked forehand and cheek bones that are magnets for grandmothers I feel like Iâ€™ve met you through the anger management and passion I am your vessel for those who did WWII you stole some stuff off a dead Nazi. I still tell that story like I lived it yesterday.
Chris Lykes Casting Back Into Time 7 years ago, sprinting into my favorite store, shoelaces untied, not a care in the world.
But my schedule stole that love. Time was cut short.
Walls of rods, line, baits, and a waterfall flowing into a massive fish tank.
Basketball took over. The love faded, and the passion diedâ€Ś it was cast into those Richmond waters, Never to be reeled in but I still remember those times.
The annual two weeks with my grandparents had come. Without asking, my eyes told them where I wanted to go. Bass pro shops. My place of freedom. My love for fishing was second, only to basketball. My brother couldnâ€™t explain it, and neither could I, but my Grandfather knew. He knew exactly where the passion came from. Within him The adrenaline rush of launching plastic replica organisms into the deep waters of Richmond, excited me. Accurate casts and speed reeling techniques mattered to me. Sharing vision with the fish I held in my hand, interested me.
Vsits became less frequent.
Chris Lykes Hoop Dreams From a toddlers shaky steps, till hair growing on my face You, the orange ball with grooves never left me. When times were hard, you gave me distance When games were lost, you gave me a second chance
You became a drug to me. Even though you cannot speak, I hear you loud and clear. Me and you, against the world
When I was stressed, you gave me relief. There’s never a time when those hoop dreams didn’t cross my mind You’ve always been there for me Always. You never minded sharing those soft blankets with me. Which often led to late night talks about our future together. You never complained those early mornings before the sun even came up In workouts, You were pleased when my sweat engulfed you That meant I was working hard
Connor Joransen Night Clouds A long day is silenced. I take a break before the break of day the night illuminates my room daylight shielded by blinds, blind as darkness binds my head to the pillow as I find sleep, as I catch the jumping sheep, alarms begin to beep, beep, beep A cloud between my ears carries dreams delivered by the cloud beneath my head, my ears can barely hear the beep, beep, beep. My pillow a cloud in night. Hospitable to my dreams.
Lucas Scheider Watch We say time takes its toll, it truly does. sitting at its booth, taking more and more As we grow heartless, The tax must still be paid In the end, when the toll takes its greatest amount, Emptying out our feeble bank accounts, lined with 88 years, 88 Christmasâ€™s, New Years, Easters, birthdays That is about all we have here. It truly flies Away from you, me, us, Carrying its weighty bag filled with bundles of years, stacks of days, and some scant jingling hours. We waste lavish amounts, a critical resource, Will we cause our future to be filled with remorse? Remember We are bound by its clutches, we temporal beings, Do not live out those precious moments locked in the clutches of vanity, pride, and vice Be free of these burdens, sacrifice for others Remember Him Above, also your brothers. For why gain the whole world but lose your Soul, where the constant ticking loses it control. Towards the End, Recall Those fleeting picture frames that fade Those blissful senses which no longer stay. For as life fades to gray Time will not delayâ€Ś
LJ Koi Larbi No More Side by side we stand. Face to face we look, but words spoken no more. My ears filled with silence so loud. Who knew a rose gold 8 megapixel gadget could be Satans favorite weapon. Because it kills, it kills what we once had. I miss the times when we talked with our mouths, not with our fingers.
Brian Doolan Innocence I remember the days of freedom when the only times I knew were breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The sun was the only clock we needed. I remember dangerous journeys down the stairs intrigued by the glow of a screen that my parents watched, and confused by the beeps, not yet knowing the Morse Code of censorship.
Now I try To remember all the friends that are no longer. Years weigh me down, and I forget faces, places. The times when I was A kid.
I remember I trusted my friends because why wouldnâ€™t I? I was what they were, and they were what I was. A kid. Now I try to remember clear skied summer days, but they are clouded with time. A schedule crams my head, forcing out times too simple. Now I try to remember the taste of soap when I hear those words. But my tongue is numb to the words I never heard. 27
TJ Gletner Quest for Stanley Stanley, You shimmer so miraculously sitting under that spotlight, as childrenâ€™s jaws drop at your stunning magnificence. Your maker used a silver and nickel alloy, but to the players you are 35 pounds of solid gold. Each engraved name has a story. Blood on the ice, tears in their war torn eyes, they hoisted you triumphantly over their heads, drenched in sweat. Smiling ear to ear, their missing teeth, not wounds, but medals of honor worn proudly. Stanley, To those who won you, you evoke elation, joy, and satisfaction. But to those who fell short of your glory, you evoke despair, and a reminder of a lifelong pursuit shattered.
Cliff Wallace, Jr. Five Seconds of Fame As we exited the bus, passing through the dark cemented driveway, we stormed onto the decayed grass. Pinpointing victory in our sight. I placed the compressed purple jersey on my chest and prepared for adversity. The screeching whistle sounded, and the game began. The overcast sky blanketed the spacious complex, shadowing the two remaining teams. I cheer emotionally as I tower a pool of mud. Nervously awaiting my time, while biting into my crisp purple mouthpiece. With mere minutes remaining my moment arrived. I stand on defense across from my opponent. The moist, mud stained ball glided through the air. I approach my defender to make the tackle but as I rise out of the moshpit of mud, the loud screech returned. My head whipped around baffled at the sound. The ref called my number and approached me along with my coach. In his hand held a bright yellow card. My stomach churned as I knew my fate.
Patrick Kelly Internal Compass A single sound, of a single heart rests deep inside my core Repetitive beats spark life in my body. Two legs sprouted, primed for adventure, force me to explore this Earth. Intricately crafted are my hands, the power to touch and to feel. The pink puddy of brain controls my body. The puppeteer to my puppet I live by my brain My body controlled by my deepest muscle One tuned and aged like wine My life is formed by this faux muscle I am guided through life by my soul 200 million miles-- the surface of my world 200 inches-- the surface on which my feet brought me to I am placed here by unknown reason Is it God, manâ€™s doing, or chance? I am put on this Earth just like everyone else I am here by my own demand My body sewn up in flesh and bones brought me into this state But by stoking the embers of my soul, I grew warmer and ended right here
Charles Magnetti Blank Canvas Etched from a childâ€™s dream stepping through the frame of an old room supported by a ragged rug stood art a dresser carved of oak a closet molded into the wall , sitting across a bed sewn into a corner
TJ Gletner Room 209 I step through the wooden doorway as a rush of scented candles swept its way through my intrigued nostrils. Wait. I stop myself short, examining the space and pinching myself. Not a dream. Foosball tables, two of them wooden, worn from decades of harsh play. The Simpsons? Oh my, they’re everywhere; flooding the room and spilling into a glass showcase in the hallway. A heaping tray of Twizzlers directly to my side, a delectable breakfast fix at 7:53 AM. An ancient, scrawny, and gray man dressed in Ralph Lauren sits there at his desk silently, watching, smiling. A man of 83 years. “Gonzaga’s King,” Brother Jon King.
Roberto Dâ€™Angelo-Cosme Vulcan Black Soot envelops the Blacksmith in Black Robes. His heart a piston engine. His lungs a vacuum. He coughs ferociously. Grit under His nails, His calloused hands tenderly A malleable hunk of metal, hammer me into His image. Not all swords are for killing, nor axes for lumbering. Iâ€™m from an Inferno. The Blacksmith set me free. Without having told me much of His plan, I forge my own purpose, and become my own man.
Eddie Scott Ethel Price Dedicated to my grandmother My grandma meant a lot to me, My grandma meant So much to me. Projectile baby teeth sling-shotted by slammed doors. My teeth were once connected. Elementary afternoons, and extensive help with homework, that reminiscing upon, was so easy. The sweet savory smells, of authentic southern soul food. How could anyone forget? Swaying side to side across the back seat at every sharp turn... I miss the old station wagon. Soft grey pleather, with an absence of legitimate seat belts. How could anyone forget?
Kevin Thompson Ode to Uncle Chuck Uncle Charlie has been through hardships in his life, but these hardships washed away after speaking at his wifeâ€™s funeral. Charlie cried on my shoulder the night his wife died, he slowly broke down like an old bike left out to rust, but he had to keep it together for his children. Charlie fought, just like Michelle, to get through the day. Days leading up to the funeral, the pain and sorrows swallowed him whole, but on that day, he delivered like a charismatic politician. Laughs were shared throughout the church, but at the end, while I pushed the casket out of the House of God, only Kleenex and hugs were shared.
Kassahun Beyene FĂştbol The city was no challenge to me. The enclosed lot within an enclosed lot was nothing to us. Day after day, while our size grew and shrank, as often as we lost our ball behind the gates and fences of the crowded city, we lost ourselves.
Matt Warden St. Mary of the Assumption The arched stain-glass windows scream as I gaze at the displayed names of those no longer with us. The vandalized wooden pews coincide with the spongy kneelers that deteriorate daily. The menacing Tenth Station resides directly above my right shoulder. While my dad goes to usher, I hunch myself down thinking he wonâ€™t volunteer me to help with the collection.
Stephen Ponticello Why am I Here? The universe boasts the gift of free will, However selective it may be. No choice to be born No freedom in genetics No option to select a nationality. Donâ€™t mistake my criticisms For ungratefulness. Just one of billions Pointing out the hypocrisy Of the self praising universe. Some choices I have; Choices the universe chooses to give me. However small and insignificant it may seem, The choice to be in poetry Was mine, all mineOr so the universe has told me.
Thomas Vasquez Mule Variations and Honda Odysseys An Ode to Tom Waits With a drunk blues rhythm and a voice like a furnace He doesnâ€™t make music, no, music is pretty, his art is offending intonations and gravel poetry. Yet how could I not find beauty? His grimy voice filtering through that old `93 Honda Odyssey. Many road trips slept through sung to sleep by lullabies of back-alley women and irreputable men. What is a blues-man without seedy people and Jesus? He sings characters wrapped in sin yet finds himself praising his Lord in a junkyard Gospel. Did Jesus not wrap himself in sinners? His hymns please the Lord with a coal tongue, and a symphony spelled in ugly magnetizing notes. Perhaps Iâ€™ve heard his song too many times to shun, but it is the master artist who serenades attraction from a forgotten cacophony of blues melody tossed aside. 39
Matt Feller An Elegy to Love In memory of the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre June 12, 2016 Men and men alike bounce to the beat of bass and drums. Love seen as lesser blossoms and swells. Love seen as lesser bleeds onto the dancefloor, hoping to be snatched up by another man of similar womanness until the door opens. Gunfire punches the air to the beat of the music. Hate marks love seen as lesser and penetrates the heart. Triage declares green, yellow, red. Fifty black tags Love seen as lesser gasps for life. Love seen as lesser screams for justice.
Reyni Arbutiski Love from the Womb Her heart beat inspired yours It began with you in her arms and ended with her in yours the ambulance was called for your beginning And now for her end The red lines on the machine look like mountains turn into flat lands of plateau The memories of happiness change become regret of times not spent with her All the words to describe her become past tense all the memories become treasures The 4th commandment always shown and it only takes 4 words to say how you feel â€œI Love You Momâ€?
Charlie Adams To Childhood Misconceptions The excitement of staying up all night on Christmas Eve. Every year I believed I would see Santa, until I realized I never would. The adrenaline rush while frantically searching for pastel colored eggs on Easter. Every year I believed I would find the most, until I realized it was of no importance. The belief that the tooth fairy wanted to make me richer to reward me for my braveness quarter by quarter. Until I realized It was all a lie. The Joy to finally grow up birthday by birthday thinking adults had it the best, until I realized I was wrong.
Ignacio Mata Cordero Basement hardened hits of five year old tears are heard on a colorful carpet
He is their creator their leader Their god
Weirdo was one of many they called Him
“dinner’s ready” is heard from a distance
and they continue to roll as He reflects on His daily experience with humanity but He finds comfort in the soft smile of a plush turtle and therapy at the touch of a Danish brick
He rushes up but not before turning back He looks thankfully at a thousand little plastic eyes and He likes to think they are thankful for him.
He hears music in the piercing tone of plastic bricks clashing He builds Cars Castles Cities Homes for the little plastic people He calls friends
Zach Kanyan Dom we never spoke, but it felt like I could speak a thousand words to him. we never hung out, but it felt like that was all we knew. we never bonded, but he bonded my whole school together. we never had class, but it felt like we learned from each other. we never met, but it felt like we spent a lifetime together.
John Cardellicchio A Friend of Fort DuPont Buried in red bricks of southeast DC lays a fortress on 3779 Ely Place Sit atop a hill watching over the risky life on 37th
I stop to soak in the beauty surrounding me. An array of windows each with their own tint, their own shade act as picture frames capturing the Districtâ€™s skyline
The steps rise to thick double doors, heavenâ€™s gates As the doors say ahhhh Immediately a brisk, cold gust of air slaps me straight in the face True beauty awaits. Directly in front of me a fresh, clean sheet of ice sits caged in by fog covered glass separating me from paradise and reality My idea of heaven I carve my steel edges deep into the fresh canvas My reflection broken by the panes of glass disconnects me from the outside world. I leave my mark with every cut I make Seeing my breath with each one I take 45
Ben Plant John Lennon october 9, 1940, son to a soldier and waitress, but a brother to the world. moving to aunt Mimiâ€™s meant the beginning of music and the precursor to a new world order. who knew arthropods sounded this fantastic. the united kingdom never felt so united. but one island wasnâ€™t enough. onto america, where beatle mania surged through veins like heroin. then the rest of the world delightfully fell to the enchanting spell. to this day i canâ€™t get enough, and never will.
Ethan Carven #20 His skill on the gridiron and character off it, made him my favorite player. Then, now, and forever My first jersey, number 20 in purple. His name, Ed Reed. Once a kid from Louisiana Once a young man from the U Now, a face on footballâ€™s Mount Rushmore. Big hits pick six Half of the double-edged sword that was the Baltimore Ravens defense. He put the Charm in Charm City, etched his name in the history books, and won the most unmanly item in the most macho sport, A fat diamond ring. Alas, He has left the game Only a few years and heâ€™ll be in the Hall of Fame.
Page MacKeigan Whimsical for the Win For the beloved sports reporter, Craig Sager, who fulfilled his happy career with smiles and crazy suits. Patterns of question. whisks of whimsical wild color filled fashion statements violating a black and white game. Mellow voice, smirkish smiles, sideline stories for the books, with those writing their own of sport’s history. Sidelines of battling for Victory Change to sidelines of Survival. Terminal, a word pessimists sweat about. But Craig Sager, where perception of time is a fourth quarter comeback in game seven. Seconds left on the clock. a buzzer beater of hope, faith, and love, polka dot, stripe, and gingham, leaves the crowd in tears… “Craig Sager for the win!”
Kevin Newell Ode to Gonzaga Squash One by one names are announced followed by original handshakes It’s time to play as my clammy hand grips the 27 by 8.5 inch black and blue racket The racket I so dearly trusted becomes neurotic as I strike the ball What has happened? I thought I was good. My opponent strikes the ball back but I am blind and cannot find the ball. My body has turned off but there is no on switch to be found. It does not matter. Winning does not define this team. Matches will not be vividly remembered but the laid-back practices, gym’s jacuzzi, imposing coaches, and rollicking bus rides will be lucidly recalled. Gonzaga Squash realizes this, So win or lose we exclaim, “Put em up,” “Put em up, for the Purp.” 49
Ben Plant Tour de Argyle Terrace gunshot, and they’re off. first gear, now second, now third, we take turns playing the game of 1st place. at a 45-degree angle, my peddle trims Mr. Gill’s corner grass. gasping, we zoom into Foxhall rd. with victory in mind and defeat in our legs. we bolt past the Smiths, then the Dolans, then the Taylors. onto the final turn, melting our three-inch tires, we round a pole with “Argyle Terrace” above our heads. a winner, then a loser. barely able to stand, we abandon our bikes and drop on the normally itchy yard. 50
Will McCann Joy We long for it We love it Some of us have had it, But lost it. We know we could possibly close our eyes and never have it again, so we never stop reaching for it.
Ryan Bell On Johnanes Vermeerâ€™s A Lady Writing a Letter She sits with her fragile hands on the blue cloth, one holding the quill, the other flat. Suddenly, she hears a noise, and turns. She stares right at depression. It looks back at her, mocking. Each letter she writes is to herself. She tries to hide it with her forced smile. She wears the gold coat to soak up her tears, knowing no one will be there to do it for her.
Liam Creamer Ode to a Single Mother Cries echo throughout the house as a mother wrestles the sheets off her bed. She cradles her baby girl in her arms while the world sleeps. She fights her way through empty baby bottles and fresh diapers. She gets ready for her daily battles while taking the next customers order. Silently she is judged. Their stares sting, but she carries on. To everyone else sheâ€™s a wreck, but to her daughter, she is Wonder Woman.
Jirhe Love Nat Turner: Introduction Look at me, nothing but a byproduct of bondage crawling through your cotton cloud held captive at the gates of Jerusalem God of wrath reveal your rage Swing Low, until the whip unwinds Sweet chariot, recognize your roots kin of Daniel, ignite your heart For that internal fire will carry us home seek blood from he who grins at the sight of rope around my neck. pour salt on my wounds while i grasp for strength each puff of smoke that slithers into his lungs is a pipe dream with the expectation of supremacy over a forever
Myles Washington What You Don’t See Mercy, where are you? You see my hoodie, but not my face. You see my skin, but not my eyes. You hear my music but are deaf to my voice. You see my life but you’re ignorant. The street life has more hold of you than me.
Miles Brown Dreams into Reality This is an ode to President Barack Obama. The 44th President of the United States and the first African American President. Running on a path created by a man who marched. Accomplishing goals from, a man who once dreamed. From the sandy beaches of democracy, rooted in rich African soil and mixed with frowned upon people. Inspiration for southside children, who once looked forward to food stamps more than recess. With the poise of King, he delivered hope, through the belief of overcoming terror within ourselves. The symbol of what triumph over oppression means, by transforming the White House, into a factory of dreams.
Micaiah Paige Roots You look at me, but don’t see me. You assume my merit, but don’t know my heart. What you see in front of you is not 17 years of life, but 400 years of a soul growing deep. I stand and stretch with a high ceiling, while my ancestors suffered from scoliosis. I’m from the long hot days, when cotton fields rang with negro spirituals. I’m from the noose, that deoxidized the success of an entire race. I’m from the sun-kissed queen, who prayed to God while working for the Devil. I’m from the melanined king, who dared to grab the whip and say “no more.” I’m from the suffering black community, whose cries fall on deaf, white, ears. I’m from THE UNITED STATES OF AMERIwait. Am I really?
Jirhe Love Lost Ones for every child born There’s no guarantee for every blessing There’s a storm for every backwood in Mississippi There’s a monument in Washington for every black male There’s a bullet chasing his future for every Medgar Evers There’s a byron de la beckwith for every boonie in the heart of the bigoted south There’s a sweet echo of freedom for every MLK There’s a james earl ray for every Bloody Sunday in Alabama There’s an almost sacred place for every Abraham Lincoln There’s a john wilkes booth for every dylan roof There’s a St Al’s parish for every newspaper published There’s a tragedy in the fine print for every Trayvon Martin There’s a mother 58
for every segregation today, tomorrow, and forever There’s a civil rights act of 1964 For every John F Kennedy For every Emmit Till For every Civil right martyr There’s an America whose declarations Failed .
Patrick Kelly Blue Bandana Red Bandana Black lives in Yellow lines of tape innocent until proven guilty an oxymoron. skin painted on us in infinite Shades unjust justice knows two the Blue man stands off ready to duel As the broken taillight sparks an encounter in a sleight of hand two guns are drawn but wait! no gun an I.D. Black and dangerous now used in unison a justification for a dozen shots tattooing a father in the back an illegal iced tea a threatening bag of skittles leaves a child outlined chalk people become stories stories become names names become numbers now half a century later a man looks down Dr. King inside the reflecting pool his face looks upon our Lady her scales of justice unsatisfied 59
Micaiah Paige Beyond Reasonable Doubt Your honor, we have reached a verdict. We find Walter McMillian guilty: Here lies a man with skin opposite ours. Colored folk, in our colorless country, they have no business here. Does the evidence prove him guilty? No. But he is. Look at him. his brown potential threatens my white country. his brown intelligence threatens my white power. his brown face threatens my white race. So ask me why heâ€™s guilty, and Iâ€™ll show you. his skin.
Jomah Bokai I Want to Choose how I Die in a room where i’m my own worst enemy seconds have become weeks minutes have become months hours have become years they will kill me this is one of the truths i have figured out in life. someone let me out ! i need to breathe, to see, to live, to cry. mr.stevenson my friend i beg of you please i want to choose. i want to live. they’ll throw me in that chair and i’ll be another blackout please don’t leave. i need you to save me because on the day they strap me to that chair i’ll scream louder than pork on the stove save me from that chair, i want to choose when and where i leave this pitiful wasteland we call home.
Eddie Scott Abundance of Melanin What do you mean? “I should be happy.” Does my abundance of melanin make me criminal? Why did you put me in handcuffs? Sitting idle on the curb, when I did Nothing. Why are you disappointed? Would you have been excited if you found anything on me? Reality is unfortunate. Repentance does not exist. Disgust, is the immediate response. Depression follows. I look in the mirror and reflect. I see a deserving man, an equal man, a black man. Why can’t they see the same?
Kevin Newell Eyes I am a white male I deserve no sympathy I am treated fairly I am not better than anyone else So why am I able to walk down a street with no fear? So why am I able to put my hands up without being shot? So why am I able to go to court and receive a fair trial? I see the injustices with my very own Eyes
Lucas Scheider My Brothers and Sisters You hate me because I’m different, I am still a person; aren’t I? Are we not all brothers and sisters, united in our humanity, our corrupted state? Is it because I’m small, Because of where I live, Because I’m not as mature? Am I the genocidal victim of oppression and murder Because I am deemed inconvenient? Because I need others’ help more? Am I expendable Because my mother is poor? Because I have no voice? “Have mercy!” I would cry, But I am buried alive. I cannot speak out, I am a blind victim; My mouth is taped shut, I am locked away in darkness, In a split second, My mind is ripped away, Piece 64
After Piece Each time sucking away a part of me. My neck is ripped in two, My breathing fades Tears would stream down my face, But I am encased in a glass jar, Dismembered Mutilated, Sold For profit For convenience For rights Are we not all brothers and sisters, Despite me not being born?
Landen Buckson Hatred: 50 Years Apart I hollered atA a white woman. We praised God in a church. I was from Chicago. We were in Charleston. I didnâ€™t know the rules. We didnâ€™t know this was coming. I died, facial features bashed away. We died, bullet holes pierced the walls. Bryant and Milam were their surnames. Dylann Roof is his full name. My Cause of Death: Illegal Communication Our Cause of Death: White Supremacy I am Emmet Till. We are the Charleston Nine. Blows to my head for my skin. Shots in our bodies for our skin. 1955. 2015.
Cliff Wallace, Jr. I’m From... This place promotes equality, but lacks the integrity to remain true. A place where the way you look, affects others point of view. A place where anything goes, for the people in control. A place that expects me to be an athlete, or to have a rap sheet. The land of the free and home of the brave? or a place where success was based off the back of a slave. A place where you can’t wear a hoodie without the wish for an early grave I’m from a place where no one can be trusted, not even those in uniform. A place represented by the Red blood shed by innocent young men, White power oppressing the minority race, and Blue ink signing the false declarations.
Mike Smolskis Gates Look at my suburbia, filled with sunshine and dressed in Patagonia. The worst crime we have here is me being blue because I think this place is not very true. Here, everyone claims to accept and love, but when someone screws up they push and shove. This haven is not what it seems. There are people who laugh with glee, but turn and judge souls with disabilities. Don’t get me wrong this oasis is great, but I’m not sure Jesus and Muhammad wanted big houses closed off with gold gates. Look at a country club. Can you spot anything different? I can’t. All I can see is the wealthy spoiling their children. I know I’m not Voltaire, but may I dare ask that all you golfers give clothes to the homeless to wear? Wake up, smell the coffee, and take care of the world outside of your gated community. We are no different than anyone else, so please take up this responsibility and be sure to remember the generosity. 67
Deion Williams Two Sides of the Story Of Black Lives Matter, Seems to only be said when it’s cops killing. But yet we don’t say anything to the Flip Side. The flip side where life gets taken by the same side. Yet we only point the finger on the other side.
Those bound by statistical blockades and destined for the penitentiary. Numbers discarded by the losing team. And their hearts desiring to proclaim a statement that lives in such infamy.
Instead of pointing when the mother cries because her precious black boy was killed by the guy who’s supposed to be on our side.
“Free at Last”.
Pointless violence to which we turn our backs. Backs more bloodied than the hands that we need to use, to clean.
Learning from a young age how to slide by and run fast. Screaming black lives matter is hypocrisy. when they ignore the splatter of their brother lying on the sidewalk
The splatter following the gunshots and stabbings of my side has no chatter to respond More afraid of my side than your side. Swallowing fear whenever in a room full of “my brothers”.
Yet the only time they’re free is after they hit the ground from the gun blast.
Hypocrisy on this side allows the other side to send us on a never ending landslide. Protect your guys to fight stronger and smarter. Tell both sides of the story and open eyes to see. what’s on the inside of a black man’s life
Brendan McCabe I Am a Fool I am the authority. Don’t panic, onward. Burglaries? this neighborhood? At least I have a lead, He’s black. I am the cop. this is my damn city. I am the law. Headlights? hmmm... that dim apartment Time to make my move. No robber escapes. I am the crime stopper. I can’t see him this shadowy figure ominously pitch black Alright approach the car, hand on gun, ready to go. I am the end of his spree. I am a fool.
Llew Dortch Like Father Like Son As Mason Shivers walks in the room and sits down at the neat and clean desk, the exhausted teen tries getting in an upbeat mood. He twirls around fast in the chair and a smile comes to his face. He forgot how much fun twirling could be in that chair. “Focus” he tells himself as he stares at the computer and begins to type: October 10, 2015 Hey Dad. Just wanted to let you know we’re okay. Mom’s been really tired lately and cranky, too. She works so hard to make sure me and the twins are taken care of with school and activities that I don’t want to worry her. Seems like I’ve been really tired, too, though. For some reason, I barely have the energy to play soccer any more so I quit the team. Plus, with money so tight I don’t want to be an extra burden when we can use the money for food and water. Yes, I said water. We’ve been buying jugs of water to drink, bathe and brush our teeth with because the faucet water looks brown and disgusting. Seems the Flint River water isn’t so clean after all-- no kidding. Some kids at school claim their skin has broken out in hives after they take a shower or bath. Don’t worry about us, though, Dad. We’re good! Please be safe, okay. And send us an email when you can. Mason sent the message then sat back in the chair and looked at the red rash on his hands, feeling worried and annoyed at the situation they have been put in with the water conditions. The family is poor but, they are not stupid. Iraq As he walked across the tent to use one of the rows of computers, the exhausted Sergeant Shivers tried to feel upbeat and positive. The waiting is the hardest thing. As he searches through the endless spam in his email box, a huge smile comes to his face when he spots an email from home-- it’s from his son. It’s been almost a year since he’s seen him, but he can picture him twirling in that chair. He begins to type. October 15, 2015 Hey Kid. Good to hear from you. How has school been going for you? You should help out your mother sometimes so she doesn’t get stressed out. As for me, we spent today helping to train the people to protect themselves from the ISIS soldiers. You see they are trying to force everyone in the country to be Muslim and to renounce their religion. It is terrible what is happening to Christians here. No other way to explain 70
it but genocide. See, they want to either convert or kill off Christians and Yazidis so they have been killing innocent children or kidnapping them to convert them. These people run away to try and escape the ISIS soldiers, but they often do not make it and are killed instead. Some of the Yazidi women have been buried alive. I don’t mean to say all of this to scare you, but I need you to truly understand the things that have been going on over here. People didn’t know about the genocide in Nazi Germany when it happened, so I want you to know what’s going on in the world and to not ignore it. But, I don’t want to only tell you things about me. I want to know what’s going on with you guys back home. I hope everything is going well and, if you think something is going wrong with your body, tell your mother to take you to the hospital as soon as possible. I hope you’re having a great school year and I’ll be home as soon as I can. Love you guys! Sergeant Shivers returned to his tent and looked at the locket which had a picture of his wife inside. Looking at it, he reminisced of the time he spent with his family before leaving them, giving him a sense of hope about when he will return home to his family. Flint, Michigan Mason reads his father’s email and is filled with happiness, but is also dejected because of the recently released information about the high lead levels in the Flint drinking water. He sits down in his swivel chair, without any desire for twirling around, and begins to type. October 17th, 2015 Hey Dad. Mom just found out that we all have lead poisoning from the water coming from the Flint River. We found out because Mom wanted to stay updated with the latest news, and the news is spreading like wildfire. The water in the Flint River was never treated for toxins, so when they switched to using the water from the river we got lead poisoning from the pipes. As you were talking about genocide, this feels like we’re being subjected to genocide over here. The city government never cared for poor neighborhoods like ours, and never once considered the risks that came with switching the water system. It was all about money and it makes me angry just thinking about it. I understand what you’re saying about the Nazis. We read about them in school while reading the book Night by Elie Wiesel. People didn’t care about what was happening to the Jews, while Elie and his family were suffering. So, I want to hear about your latest story so send me an email when you read this. Love you Dad! It was 10:29 P.M. in Flint and as Mason prepares for bed, it is 5:29 A.M. in Iraq and Sergeant Shivers is just waking up. Before climbing into bed, Mason gets down on his knees and bows his head praying for the 71
people affected by the lead poisoning including his own family, and for the end of global genocide. Most of all, Mason wants to be able to see his father again. As Sergeant Shivers gets out of bed, he kneels and bows his head praying for the same things his son was praying for on the other side of the world. Most of all, Sergeant Shivers wants to see his son again.
Trevor Louis Old Man Jimmy Nimmy It was a standard Saturday afternoon in Smalltown. On the surface, kids laughed and played in the park while mothers ran their errands and fathers did some saw work or something. Just as lively as you’d imagine Saturday afternoons in Smalltown could be. Like all Saturday afternoons in Smalltown, it was Joe’s shift at Please Buy Something, the local convenience store, where management insisted the name was a good marketing strategy. To be completely honest, saying all is probably a gross mischaracterization, as it was only Joe’s second week on the job. But as far as he was concerned, his shift would become as much a fixture of Saturday afternoons in Smalltown as mothers running their errands and fathers doing some saw work or something. After all, he had just gotten a girlfriend, and he needed a steady stream of cash flow for as long as his high school relationship was sure to last. Joe’s instructions were simple: ask people to buy something nicely, and if by some chance they did, ring them up at the register. Easy enough a job for a young man, or so Joe thought. Sometime towards the end of his shift, an old man named Jimmy Nimmy entered the store. Jimmy Nimmy is not to be confused with Jiminy Cricket, of whom the old man was different from in all things but style. The Nimmys liked to rhyme. That’s all. “Please buy something,” Joe asked Jimmy Nimmy, whose eyes darted about the shelves. “Do you have some tape? I have a couple of screws loose,” he replied. Joe directed him to the back, where there was an assortment of tape to choose from. “Can I take some time with this?” Jimmy Nimmy asked the young salesman. “Of course. Just please buy something.” Joe left the old man, who now had to decide between Scotch tape, masking tape, electrical tape, duct tape, and double-sided tape, a difficult a choice as any. For the matter of loose screws, the difficulty of the choice proved doubly so. All brought their perks. He needed Scotch to provide him clarity; masking to hide his deficiencies; electrical to provide him sparks of inspiration; duct to hold himself together; and double-sided to grant him an additional perspective. Yet, he only possessed enough change for one. Stealing the tape was out of the question. Jimmy Nimmy had been 73
raised with enough moral sense for that, between his parents’ rhyming pastimes and storytelling of the Greatest Generation. No, old man Nimmy had other plans. Jimmy Nimmy walked up to the cashier with all five rolls in hand. After being informed of the fifteen-dollar price tag, he viscerally set the tape down on the desk. “Surely you must have a veteran’s discount.” “We don’t do discounts.” “This is the thanks I get for serving in Nam? Sticker price on tape?” That was a question for Joe to ponder. No one had ever pulled the Nam card on him before, yet no one had ever asked to buy something from him before, either. He couldn’t begin his sales career as a pushover who gave in to every wandering haggler. That wasn’t the Please Buy Something way. “We don’t do discounts,” Joe repeated. The answer dissatisfied Jimmy Nimmy, who turned for the door, causing a panic. “No, don’t go!” Jimmy Nimmy returned to face him. “Give me one reason not to.” “Please buy something.” “You’re quite the salesman, aren’t ya? I’ll take the five rolls for three dollars.” Joe knew not what to think. Nowhere in his training did he learn to deal with hagglers. His job was simply to be polite and accept payment. Where could he have possibly gained the authority to bargain with the old man? “That tape is worth fifteen dollars, sir,” Joe insisted. “I used to work in sales. You think you’re fooling me?” “Just following orders.” Jimmy Nimmy stepped back for a second. “Taking orders?” he questioned, “From the guy who came up with that?” He motioned towards the store sign overhead. Well Joe hadn’t thought of that. “Take it for three,” he caved. Jimmy Nimmy smiled. “For free?” “No, for three.” “I heard free.” “Your screws are loose!” With that, Jimmy Nimmy turned to leave, his mission almost complete. He hadn’t been this close to winning a deal since all his investments washed out at the local plant. “Wait! Please buy something,” Joe begged. “I’ll take the tape for free.” Joe nervously looked at the clock, realizing that his shift was about to 74
close. He couldn’t go a second shift without selling something. His boss would start to think that he was bad at his job. “Fine.” Joe rang up the five rolls of tape at the register: Scotch, masking, electrical, duct, and double-sided. His first sale. “Thank you for shopping with Please Buy Something. Come again.” Joe left the counter. “Where are you going?” old man Jimmy Nimmy inquired. “It’s the end of my shift.” “But I still have three dollars to spend.”
Alex Gomez Walk Every muscle in my body aches. My head throbs. I open my swollen eyes. It takes every effort to sit up. I smell burnt rubber and gasoline. I am surrounded by a blanket of crushed metal and leather. I had crashed my father’s 1973 Ford Mustang. I try to recall the events leading up to the accident but my brain pounds in response. My clothes are damp. I feel beads of sweat trickling down my neck. “What the hell happened?” I mutter. After stiffly sitting in that tapestry of aluminum for what felt like an eternity, I finally escape. I struggle to unclasp the polyester seat belt locking me in place. I free myself. The door is crushed shut. The windows are shattered. I pull myself out over the driver side door. Broken glass catches at my clothes. I fall out of the car and onto the wet ground. My back screams in agony. I stagger to my feet. I mull over what occurred. Events crawl into focus. I remember stealing the 1973 Ford Mustang and driving away. That must have been several days ago. I remember leaving sudden-ly. I remember not wanting to spend another day in the suburban hell I called my home. I feel no remorse and my face turns beet red. It had been my seventeenth birthday. No card. No gifts. Not even a “Happy Birthday” from my parents. At least in years past, there would be a hastily bought cake from the store, topped with lit wax candles. I walked out through the garage door that morning for school only to find my father dusting his Mustang. My mother had been on the phone in the kitchen, talking with my oldest brother, telling him how much she missed him. Neither parent so much as acknowledged my existence that morning. Not even my friends remembered. That being said, they consisted of my English teacher and my lab partner in Chemistry who I allowed to cheat off of me. Perhaps they weren’t the best candidates to remember something so trivial as my birthday. A desolate road stretches in two directions. I step back and see the car crumpled between two oak giants. It must have rained — water droplets delicately fall from the leaves of the trees only to meet their fate by landing hard on the forest floor. A crude path of dirt snakes its way through the undergrowth. A cool spring breeze breathes life into the scene as if it were stoking a flame gasping for oxygen. Branches crackle like a hungry fire in response. I had always liked forests. My parents sentenced me to the same sleep away camp every summer since the fifth grade. There was a forest for 76
zip lining and hiking. There was a lake to swim in. I found peace in the camp’s languid landscape. On many days I would venture into the forest and sit by a lone stream, listening to the birds warble and the water lick the faces of rocks. Camp was the only place where I felt a sense of belonging. After shipping me off, my parents used the summer months to vacation abroad. My six older siblings had since graduated high school and were all making names for themselves. My mother and father helped them every step of the way. They did nothing for me — their seventh child. The sounds of sirens interrupt. They blare closer. I have no desire to be found. I straight-en myself out and grab a bottle of water from the wreckage with a few sips left in it. I make my way into the foliage. I walk. An image flashes into focus. I see the white hot flames through the rear view mirror, as I speed away in the Mustang. I couldn’t go back home. There was no home to return to. I had set my home aflame and had stolen my father’s prized beauty. I had not only run away from home, but destroyed it all together. Maybe they would notice that. I continue on into the city of towering green. The sirens grow distant and I trudge along. A grumble fills my stomach. I take one sip of water. I walk. Hours pass before I stumble back into civilization. I see cars driving on a road up ahead through the openings of entangled branches. A small shopping center emerges just past the street. I clear the forest only to walk back into the cold, chaotic reality of the real world: the place which I had scorched and driven away from. I get a snack with the little money I possess. Only then could I plot my next move for my hunger had consumed my immediate thoughts. I make my way over to a convenience store in the complex. I buy a slice of cheese pizza. It costs me $3.02. I am left with a sheepish $29.03. The real world hits me right in the gut. How am I going to survive? I have little money, no job, no home. What will I do? I exit the store and eat my slice of pizza, savoring every last morsel of mozzarella I could scavenge. I would have to ration myself if I were to last long out here. I notice a pay-phone right next to the door that I had come out of. I stare questioningly. Did my parents care? Were they even looking for me? I stare at the payphone for 32 minutes and 5 seconds, plotting what I would say. I had finished my meal long before that point. It was just a matter of what I would do. I grab the re-ceiver, insert a quarter, and dial the number for my mother’s cellphone. The furious, annoyed voice of my mother answers. “Is this you? Did 77
you steal the car too? What the hell were you thinking?â€? I found no surprise in my motherâ€™s questions. My parents never cared about me. They did care about the car. They did care about the house. My actions were justified. I place the re-ceiver back into its socket and move away from the device. I walk.
PJ McMahon Chains I threw down my jacket on my eight-year-old worn out mattress as hard as I could, as if that could solve my issues. It was a rough day; nothing had gone my way. I hate my boss, my shitty run down Honda. Ally, my ex, texted me this morning saying “we should just be friends, work is taking all of my time so I feel like I am neglecting you.” I fell onto my bed and felt something in my pocket stab my upper thigh. I pulled it out and examined the old folded envelope addressed to me. I ripped it open and pulled out a key and a note. My eyes grazed the cursive writing as I whispered to myself. “Mr. McMahon, this key is the opportunity to something more, an adventure. Please visit 2100 Brokelock Drive, NY. Sincerely -A Caring Individual.” Thoughts pounded through my head, what could it be? My own personal mansion, a surprise party, or maybe even money? I got in my car the next morning at 6:15 and drove the four long hours to the house. When I got there, it was bright out, but something did not feel right. My jaw dropped, and so many feelings rushed back to me. The house was a clone of my childhood house; everything was the same, even the single daisy with five petals in the front yard, which is how my sister got her name “Daisy”. I got out of my car and ran to the door. I pressed the key into the lock and turned it clockwise. I heard a happy click. The door swung open, and I waltzed inside. “What the hell is this place?” I screamed as I picked up a photo on the table; it was a picture of my family ten years ago. Everything in the house was the same as I remembered as a child, from the chocolate milk stain covered by the carpet in the kitchen, to the login photos for the twelve-year-old mac. As I crept through the halls examining each photo, I slowly made my way to the basement. That’s when I felt my stomach turn. In the corner of the room was a wardrobe covered in chains. My curiosity took hold of me, and I approached the wooden wardrobe. It was in the corner of the room, and the closer I walked towards it, the darker the room became, and I felt more and more afraid. I grabbed the chains and felt around for the end. I realized there was no way I could open the chains. There was a massive lock holding the chains taught. I tried the key I used on the front door, but it did not fit. I ran upstairs and dialed my sister. “Hello? You there, what’s wrong?” she jested into the phone. I sat down and explained the whole story of the house. “That’s weird, I got an 79
old key in the mail a couple days ago, with a note that said ‘for a friend in need.’” I asked for her to drop the key off at my apartment. I was shaking, so many ideas rushed through my head. “Could this be the key for the wardrobe? What am I saying, of course it is the letter was the same writing style as the one I had received.” I sprinted out to my car parked on the street, and fumbled for my keys. I unlocked the door and started the car, then headed back to my apartment. When I got home it was late afternoon, the storm I ran into while driving home had passed over and I was eager to retrieve the key. I ran up the ten flights of stairs to my apartment, which usually annoys me but the current situation made it even more liberating. I got to my apartment door, room 127, twisted the doorknob and walked in. I found the key lying on my counter. I picked it up without a moment to spare, and rushed out the door, too curious to wait. I put my car in park and hurried down the sidewalk to the house. It was almost ten O’clock at night, and the house had a dark aura about it. I busted open the door and ran past all those childhood memories through the halls, past the rooms where I learned to write and read. Finally, I arrived in front of the wardrobe, with a tick tick tick I pushed the key into the hole and rotated it, until I heard a click then the lock dropped to the floor. Behind the layers of chain, a note was hanging from the dark oak door to the wardrobe. As I unfolded it something felt off. The note read: “Congratulations, you made it this far. Dare to open this door and you will never return, so say your goodbyes if you want to know what’s inside.” With a laugh, I dropped the paper to the floor, thinking it’s all a joke; I grabbed the cold steel handle attached to the dark oak door and pulled. The door swung fully open. He stared back at me with menacing eyes, my own menacing eyes. He opened his mouth to show that devilish grin, my grin. In the dark wardrobe, I saw myself. I was frozen. The man in the wardrobe smirked and muttered one word… “run”.
Photography & Studio Art
LJ Koi Larbi
Ignacio Mata Cordero
Ignacio Mata Cordero
In Memoriam - Allan Matthew Hopkins ‘82 Reprinted below is Allan’s poem ‘Maryland’ which appears as prose but reads as poetry. 1980 was much more analog than the present. Maybe we put that year’s Phoenix together using something called WordStar or Rick Cannon typed it personally before becoming Gonzaga’s poet laureate. Allan had a car and a poetic journeying personality. Troubadour songs deal mainly with themes of chivalry and courtly love and I think his poem is partly that, part admiration for Neil Young / Bruce Springsteen (boys school in the 80s!) and the prototype for a very good independent short film. Allan’s writing is good in that it has [unidentifiable] people and [very definite] places. You can look at the list of Phoenix contributors and see that many were his friends - not just in school - but as adults as well. In 2005, Allan purchased a 27-foot ’72 Catalina and he worked on it a bit with John Orem and sailed it up and down the bay for a few summers. The photo below was taken in July 2007. Brad Delp (lead singer of the band Boston) had just died and the nautical signal flags on the day the photo was taken spelled out D-E-L-P-R-I-P. Some of us recall Allan’s invitation to a jeep trip following graduation to traverse the ALCAN Highway from the British Columbia Yukon to Alaska. You can guess how that story unfolded Allan didn’t have a jeep, and few of us made it farther than Delaware that summer. Remembering Allan we can easily imagine ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ playing, his uniquely stochastic way of speaking, his deep dive into anything discussed, and his incredible intensity when he would look at someone or something and lock onto it. Allan had a great sense of humor and wonderful laugh. With his passing, a gap has been left in the fellowship of our class and the editorial history of The Phoenix. We will miss Allan very much. The Class of 1982 and all the editors / contributors of The Phoenix Maryland Black-eyed Susans that grow on Piedmont Under the shadows of weekday workhorses. Tobacco fields grow three hundred years in Worcester While a Baltimore steel mill molds the world. Walking in falling snow I see endless hills That roll like clouds in a gray horizon. I feel like one man in the Yukon. Only the squirrels and cardinals remind me where I am. On my way to Leonardtown to see a friends’s friend I look at once upon a time plantations With corn stretching to a hot, humid sun. Bluegrass and hillbillies on an AM dial Sound the notes of sultry southern songs. In my white house Where city and farmland crash Like drunken drivers on ribbons of highway, I think about her and me. General Lee and President Grant wouldn’t know what to say And that’s the beauty of Maryland. What is she? I’d like to know.