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growl issue #4

hofstra english society campus feminist collective

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4/16/19 11:20 PM


STAFF Editor-in-Chief Cecilia Gray Senior Advisor Hannah Ruth Aronowitz Managing Editor Catie Pfeiffer Design Editor Claire Helena Associate Design Editor Lauren Sager Copy Editors Sabrina Josephson Emily Ewing General Staff Members

Olivia DeFiore Sophia Fox Isabelle Jensen Natalie Koontz Kira Kusakavitch Brook Sokoloski Sam Whitman Olivia Wisse

THANK YOU TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS Kat Anderson Hannah Ruth Aronowitz Megan Byrd Olivia DeFiore Sophia Fox Cecilia Gray Claire Helena Isabelle Jensen Sabrina Josephson Cenna Khatib Catie Pfeiffer Sharon Rus Lauren Sager A.R. Sheppard Olivia Tu Sam Whitman Maria Zaldivar ISSUE #4


CONTENT WARNING The pieces featured in this magazine contain themes that may be uncomfortable or upsetting to certain readers. DEDICATION This issue of our magazine is dedicated to Hannah Ruth Aronowitz. Without her, Growl would not be here today. From the staff to you: Hannah, thank you.

A.R. Sheppard & Hannah Ruth Aronowitz SPRING 2019


boobs

BOOBS ISSUE #4

Maria Zaldivar


How to Fold

Isabelle Jensen

1. Always imagine one voice is a chorus. That way you will always feel outnumbered. 2. Remember that groups will judge you and steal your tongue before you can use it. Let it change the way you hear your own voice. 3. Use passive statements in a debate. Pretend facts are simply how you feel. This way you will sound less bold. 4. Let them interrupt you. Not calling them out is taking the high road. 5. When they explain something you already know, Nod. 6. You can’t be wrong if you never say anything. Don’t risk it. 7. Be the compliment and the interesting yet not controversial opinion. 8. Make sure to let these things make you feel small.

After all, that is the point.

SPRING 2019


Alien

Olivia Tu “Where are you from?” “What are you?” Why, sir, I have come from somewhere far away. I came in a rickety rocket ship and landed in a cloud of dust in the middle of your suburbia. I have shaved off my horns and removed my third eyeball so that I may blend in, for I have come to eat your food and speak your language and watch your movies and learn all about this strange place in your schools. I have come to vote in your elections and appear in your photographs and march in your protests and work in your local fast-food restaurants and make myself at home, because I have been told time and time again: “Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.” I am not so different from the rest of you. Please, won’t you take me to your leader?

ISSUE #4


THREE EYED GAL

Sophia Fox SPRING 2019


Parking Lots at Night Catie Pfeiffer

I’m just walking, walking to get home at night But I’ll pretend to be on the phone And I already am clutching my keys in my hand Why? Why do I have to be afraid? Some people don’t have to be afraid to do simple things Like walking across a dark parking lot They don’t have to worry Everyone assumes they could fight back People don’t attack them The several streetlights provide light But they also make multiple shadows I feel my heartbeat race, making sure all of the shadows are mine I glance over my shoulder and sigh with relief It’s just me Maybe one of these days it’ll actually happen Someone will see a young girl, walking completely alone In a dark parking lot at night And think: what an easy target They won’t know that I’ve been trained to defend myself But just because I’m short Because I don’t have broad shoulders Because I have short legs not meant for running Because my arm muscles don’t bulge like theirs I’ll be an easy target

ISSUE #4


If men stopped assuming we’re easy targets If they stop deciding to make the wrong choice Maybe (hopefully) someday I can walk across that dark parking lot Blasting my music Snapping my fingers Head held high

Catie Pfeiffer SPRING 2019


ADVICE FROM MY GUY FRIEND Lauren Sager

“Just keep your head down, they won’t bother you.” Of course I’ll try that next time Why didn’t I think of that before?

boys in color ISSUE #4

Hannah Ruth Aronowitz


Let’s Dispel the Rumors

Sabrina Josephson

There seem to be some misconceptions about What it takes to be a feminist That the minute you take on that title You need to be out on the streets Freely bleeding In Protest But that isn’t the case It isn’t in the fine print Of the contract we signed Straight Outta The Womb All there is Is the fight for equality And to make our own choices You get to decide What it takes to be a feminist For yourself There aren’t many requirements, Just like there aren’t many To Be A Woman. So dispel the rumors because Just like there are many types of women, There are many types of feminist And we’re all doing it right.

SPRING 2019


If A Body Could Talk Megan Byrd

And yet, at the same time, it feels disingenuous of me not to acknowledge that on a literal level, having a small body, a slender body, has long been related to my sense of self, even my sense of freedom. Maggie Nelson, “The Argonauts.”

I weigh 275 pounds, a number throat like an unchewed piece the normal amount a woman is then some. I am a mammoth of a

that gets caught in my of meat. I weigh twice supposed to weigh, and woman.

I’ve been eating at night again. I’ve begun to notice that if I don’t eat in private it’s like I didn’t eat at all. I’m only satiated when eating large quantities of food all alone. When I lived in the dorms on campus, I would take a tote bag with me when I went on fast food runs. I did this so I could hide the amount of food I’d purchased. A taco box from Taco Bell, a sandwich from Jimmy Johns, and Oreos and chips from 7-11. Sometimes I fear that I pretend to struggle. Once, when I was romantically seeing a woman who was only slightly older than me but much wiser, I fibbed about not being able to afford healthy food. I was embarrassed that my parents pay for all of my groceries. I did it so that I would come off as more honest. My clothes don’t fit me right anymore. I’ve edged into those few extra pounds that make everything just a bit more uncomfortable. Walking through airplane aisles, sitting in a classroom desk for two hours, walking in boots my fat feet no longer fit into. I’ve begun to feel lonely with these experiences. For the first time, I am the fattest woman I know.

ISSUE #4


My mother would talk about the summers she spent at home with her two sisters. They would make one meal a day of Kraft Mac & Cheese and lie in bikinis in the backyard holding mirrors to tan their chests. The heaviest my mother has ever been is when she was pregnant with me. She gained a staggering 80 pounds and shed it quickly after giving birth. She’s not an avid dieter, or even a health fanatic. She just doesn’t eat that much. She doesn’t possess the insatiable hunger I’ve felt since I was a child. Sometimes of course, fat is a form of individual protest in a world that valorises thin. Sometimes fat is a result of emotional hungers perceived to be too difficult to express any other way. Sometimes fat is a result of absorbing a family preoccupation with food and then contesting it. Sometimes fat, like anorexia, is an eating difficulty that shows. Most don’t, but fat does. Susie Orbach, The Guardian.

I didn’t start dieting at eleven or twelve like a lot of peers. I was very passive about my weight and the feelings it harbored. Often I would dream that I had woken up and I was skinny, that it had all been a nightmare the whole time. Some of the most fatphobic things I’ve ever been told were from other fat women. I started puberty prematurely and had to see an endocrinologist. As if it wasn’t humiliating enough to have to sit in a doctor’s office at eight years old and be told that I was growing hair in places that my classmates wouldn’t be for another good two-three years, my doctor, who was fat, also blamed much of these phenomena on my weight. She made comments about the poor foods she assumed I was eating and the exercise my generation lacked. At the end of the appointment, she suggested I get blood work done to see if I had a hormonal imbalance that could

SPRING 2019


be making me gain weight, she said it was a very slim chance that’s what it was, but we could see. When I grew unruly leg hair in the third grade, the doctor explained to me that there are cultures of women all over the world who do not shave their legs or armpits, and that since I was too young to shave, I would be just like them. From then on, I never wore shorts. When other kids asked me why I was wearing sweatpants to run in on a 103 degree summer day, I said I didn’t like shorts; pants were more comfortable. I never raised my arm too high in class with the fear that some of my armpit hair would stick out of my sleeve. I was always fidgeting and uncomfortable. Always aware of where my fat and maturity showed. I was a sophomore in college when I threw away my razor. I let my armpit hair grow out first, and then my leg hair. I’d never hide it, I would wear capris and dresses, and swimsuits without shaving. Sometimes I rub my hands over my legs, I embrace my body hair like it’s a new friend. I’ve listened to the say about bodies like acceptance. But I feel And mine is this. To to exist.

ISSUE #4

things Body Positivity has to mine. Beauty at all sizes. Fatwe all have to set our own rules. learn where it hurts. To demand


ghost

Claire Helena SPRING 2019


Gay Haircut Sam Whitman

You are going to the place where your mom gets the gray zapped out of her hair, the place with the beige walls and the cardinal motifs with their beady, all-knowing eyes and the seven different spiraling iron wall clocks and the Sirius XM Satellite Radio playing only Ed Sheeran, always Ed Sheeran, and you are going to ask for your hair short, and the stylist will ask “Like a bob?” and you will have to suffer the indignity of saying the word pixie out loud in reference to yourself like you’re Tinker-fucking-bell because you can’t say what you really want to, which is like a boy. And the stylist will say, “Like Kayley Cuoco did that one time,” and you will say who and she will say “From The Big Bang Theory” and you will say oh and you will say i guess, yeah. And the stylist will get to work and your mom will be crying in the corner, probably, wiping her nose on her sleeve and eating all the red-and-white mints from the crystal dish in the waiting room and saying to herself Where has my little girl gone? And the whole while you’ll try and make small talk and make small talk about how unusually much or little it has snowed this winter. And at the end of it all you’ll look, not like the suave lesbian you imagined, but like the woman who stamps her feet and screams at the employees behind the Kohl’s customer service counter.

ISSUE #4


Cecilia Gray

Hannah Ruth Aronowitz

ALWAYS A RAINBOW

SPRING 2019


Battle of Words and Closets Isabelle Jensen

Freshman year of high school was my own personal war. Every day a word shot through me, A bullet of a thought; I got used to the wounds. I used coming out videos as armor I prepared for the battle in front of a mirror I take a deep breath and listen to my favorite song. Press pause. Look myself in the eye. Build up the courage. I never knew how destructive of a weapon one word could be I call myself a lesbian for the first time in front of that mirror But when the battle comes, my mouth does not remember our practice I send a message through smoke signals instead Hope I do not die of friendly fire from the girl who has always wanted a gay best friend But I was not the kind of gay she was looking for So when she avoids the topic,

ISSUE #4


SIMPLE MATH Cecilia Gray

I fear I am wrong I tell myself this is a battle I cannot win I find a boy who is kind I go undercover My own sort of espionage. Months later, When I remove the disguise, The world does not end. I bring myself to fight other battles. I tell another girl and she enlists in my war. I raise an army. Until my confidence is strong enough to do the impossible: To invade Russia in winter, To tell my family, To hold a girl’s hand, Since then I have won every battle, Outlasted every enemy. I have the scars to prove I fought and a life to prove I have won.

SPRING 2019


GREEN LADY Olivia DeFiore

Shove Your Excuses Sabrina Josephson

Being a father, a husband, a son shouldn’t have been your wakeup call. It shouldn’t have been the reason you chose to see women as human, to awaken to problems ingrained in this patriarchal society. For those who still fail to see it,

We exist.

We are human.

And we deserve to be seen as such.

So take your excuses, everything that prevented you from seeing us, from understanding that we aren’t just an existence to acknowledge when you have a wife or a child of your own. To acknowledge that we need to be treated better because you don’t want your child to be treated as you have seen women be treated in the past. Shove your excuses. But take it a step further. If you have sons, brothers, or even cousins who haven’t seen the light, teach them everything they should know from birth. Because it shouldn’t take them thirty years to understand how women need to be treated.

ISSUE #4


Hands

Kat Anderson Struggle knows every crease In the palm of a young woman with Cross to bare, Child to bare, Problems to bare How dare you Assume I know no hardship When this body is the bow of a boat And the wood you knock on To save yourself from the bad luck you speak into the air you re-inhale Like a dog eating his own vomit Is there something you’re scared to let go of? Don’t call it me Don’t say your hands want to find a home on this body This is home to famine and femininity This body is splinters and mother’s words This body is witchcraft and herbal remedies This body is more than a dirty fingerprint on a coffee mug This body is nurture and nature

SPRING 2019


How could you call it no good? How could you chop me down and forget my roots? How could you turn my palms into bible paper And say a woman should only speak to say sorry? I don’t think you realize You turn my body into less and call it more Because you’ve made it something you can hold onto Like origami Or a small box.

FOLDS ISSUE #4

Claire Helena


A Poem For and About Nice white Folks A.R. Sheppard Nice white folks don’t stare Or gawk Or engage Not like the white folks that scream Cause a fuss in public transit Call the cops (Don’t worry, they’re thinking about it) Nice white folks live in Brooklyn Or visit every Sunday and hold tighter to their belongings “I was threatened” Nice white folks support the movement to legalize But also stop and frisk Nice white folks stop and frisk Are innocent until proven guilty Nice white folks are not proven guilty Nice white folks have white guilt Or not Depending on who and where and when you ask Nice white folks believe in freedom of speech At the expense of the other Moderate enough to Hate or Fear or Well, what do you think?

SPRING 2019


NUDE #1001 ISSUE #4

Sophia Fox


Notes on Desire Megan Byrd

When I was kid I would play this game with my mother, when I was angry at her I would yell, “I hate you.” When she told me to stop saying that I would scream, “I hate myself.” I can’t remember how old I was when I had to look up the word misogyny. When I was a teenager, Cosmo still had the sexy short stories at the back of the magazine, right before the ads for sex toys and your weekly horoscope. The couples in these sexy stories always had protected, consensual sex, and the woman always orgasmed in a dramatic, cathartic way. I remember the first time I orgasmed; it happened so intensely and suddenly that I wasn’t sure that’s actually what it was. I was twelve or thirteen, I was reading a really long romance YA book with two characters who started as friends and then slowly phased into this long, grueling period of sexual tension. I spent two days straight doing nothing but reading this book. At two a.m., I reached the final chapters when the coupled kissed in a non-platonic, completely real, mature sort of way, and my body exploded in a vibrating sensation that started low in my stomach and spread outward. It lasted a few minutes. It wasn’t until a few years later that I read that some women can achieve orgasm through mental stimulation alone. This network is so influential over all the relevant systems of our bodies that if we are neglected sexually –or if we sexually neglect ourselves if we are not partnered–the messages sent from these pathways up the spinal cord to the brain, and the hormonal reactions in the brain, can lead us into depression, or even heighten our risk of injury or heart disease, Naomi Wolf, “Vagina.” I can’t say how many nights I fall asleep wishing there were someone’s body wrapped around mine. Wishing there were someone I could plan a future with, even if it’s a very near one. Each month I remain single, I mark it as some sort of victory over those in relationships.

SPRING 2019


I did it again; I survived completely alone. I’ve always loved how emotional I become in the days before my period, how sensitive I am to the world around me. I always know when it’s the day before I start, because everything feels slightly too difficult to do. Sitting to write, eating healthy, going to all my classes, driving to buy groceries all feel like accomplishments. The very world around me begins to take on this war-like demeanor. When you menstruate, this all melts away, all the sensitivity, the misplaced sadness, the hormonal reactions are gone. I’ve begun to rely on this consistent cycle in my life. Each week is defined by where I am in my reproductive cycle. Carol wanted to tell Dana just how not like an asshole she’d felt. How her body had suddenly surged with a strength and confidence she’d never had before; she didn’t really know when it had happened, but the volume had been all at once turned up very high inside her, and men were able to hear it, sometimes even young men: she’d walked into a bar near Penn Station one afternoon and a young man had said, “Excuse me, but you have such a beautiful face, you are glowing!” He’d offered to buy her a drink and she’d said no, but she hadn’t taken her eyes off the young man until he left the bar and, oh, she wished he hadn’t. If it wasn’t that night, it was a night soon after that that she’d dreamed of a lion leaping to embrace her with its huge paws, showing her its teeth and claws but not hurting her, instead holding her with love in its powerful body, Mary Gaitskill “Acceptance Journey.” My neurologist told me that about 90% of his patients begin seeing major reductions in their ADHD symptoms around the age of 21-22. I hardly take my ADHD medication anymore. This is the first year I’ve been in school where I feel I actually have a good grasp of what’s going on in all of my classes. My freshman year I could sit through entire lectures, paying attention, taking notes, and walk out without a clue of what just happened.

ISSUE #4


phase

phase

Claire Helena

/fÄ z/ noun

1. like a slideshow, i am switching between selves: the self that loves who i love and the self that is looking for attention, sniffing out and basking in the pain of a suffering minority. i do not love who i love. i am seeking out the brand of a marginalized group and wearing it like a second skin, and although it looks exactly like my own, it could not possibly be mine. 2. she is the most beautiful person i have ever met. and for the first time i feel safe in between her arms, or with her head on my shoulder, or when she reaches for my hand. we have never done this before. she, not at all. me, not like this. but we stand in the sun and i pull our clasped-together hands into my pocket and i feel loved. 3. when i told you i love who i love, it was not an invitation for you to debate me. it was my hand, reaching out to you and hoping you would take it or finally hug me for once. but you didn’t.

SPRING 2019


Lying to my Mother Sam Whitman

For years I have lied by omission, orbited the topic of love like a sun-sized black hole, patching the leaks in my space station for one with carefully concocted carelessness: I don’t have time for a boyfriend. If I wanted affection, I would adopt a dog.

Just once I would like to say: I met a girl who had spindly, restless hands and I would like to see her again. Like it were as ordinary as washing dishes on a Thursday evening between the walls of the house where I learned that shame is a small but weighty feeling that sticks to the inside of the carapace of your body like peanut butter behind the teeth.

ISSUE #4


CROWNS

Sophia Fox

SPRING 2019


The Hole

Sharon Rus

I was born a hungry child. No. No, that’s not true. I was born a ten pound baby. With thick capable lungs, capable of alerting the world– I’m here! Look at me! I’m here! I was born so big they thought my mom must have been carrying twins and I had eaten the weaker one. I was a BIG bouncing baby. “Perfect,” the doctor must have told my mother when he delivered me into her arms. “She’s perfect.” So if I wasn’t born a hungry child, I must have become one. A hungry, hungry child with gaunt cheeks and hallowed eyes. Thin lips that rarely smiled. A heart that meekly beat in my chest, afraid to be loud. Afraid to scream out to the world–I’m here! Look at me! I’m here! Sometimes I see her in photographs. That poor shaking thing. My heart wrenches with pity as I see her big brown eyes, and I wonder­ —who were you? Who hurt you? Why were you so hungry and angry and scared? When I was three, my organs tried to leave me. No. No, that’s not a metaphor; my organs prolapsed outta my belly button. And even when the doctors had stitched me back up and filled it in I...I still felt years later that there was a black hole. I still felt like if I turned my skin inside out I’d find that I was empty, horribly empty. There was this hole that couldn’t be filled, and it was swallowing me whole. I was seven when I said I couldn’t swallow. No. No, that’s not a metaphor. I couldn’t swallow. At least that’s what I told my mother when I pushed away my food. The doctors had me drink a chalky milk and took a look inside to find the problem, but they couldn’t see the problem on any x-ray screen. My mother wanted to know–

ISSUE #4


what did it mean? What did it mean? And that’s the question, years later, still on my lips. I have words that I didn’t have before. I have philosophy. I have poetry. I have the power over words, and I’m trying to tell this story so I can understand. What did it mean? What did it mean? There was something wrong with me. The insatiable hunger grew and grew, and I’d fill it with nothing but words. But the kind of hollow ringing words that, like candy, eat away at the protective covering of your teeth. The kinds of words that leave you shaking with more hunger than before, more more more. My body was starving, famished for meaning. Oh, I was mean. Have you ever met anyone on a diet that was nice? No, they’re always miserable. I was young–too young some would say–to be such a hungry, mean, little witch. With one look, I could silence any boy, any girl. They were afraid of me–not more afraid than I was of them, of course, but needless to say... I didn’t have many friends. I hid my hunger behind mounds of books. Those thick, delicious words kept me appeased. The bigger the better. Little did I know that sometimes the biggest words can carry the least meaning. What I mean to say is...if I wasn’t born this way, I became this way. I swallowed up a lie and let it sicken me like the snake slithered tight around Eve and whispered to her to eat the fruit. I too ate, and believed that I was rotten. I let this lie bury itself in the fertile soil of my heart. Deeper than any doctor could reach, and when you believe in a lie like that, it becomes the truth. I thought something was wrong with me, and so it was true. I thought that I was no good. That I was not capable of love. That I was not worthy of love. That I was–

SPRING 2019


WRONG! These words are wrong. Do not believe them. They are words from the darkness. They are words from the sickness. Lies lies lies! How could I swallow such lies? How could I let the tendrils wrap around my heart and squeeze it so tightly that it stole my sacred glow? No, I must take responsibility. I was young, but not so young that I didn’t understand cruelty. Here is the truth. When you take food in, it must come out. When you take water in, it must come out. When you take words in...they must come out as well. Here is the truth: I was born a healthy child, and I thought there was something wrong with me. I believed this lie to be true. I was so powerful I made a lie true. The truth is I was strong. I was capable of love and life, and I am still capable and powerful. And you, listener, are powerful too. Say the words; only words that are true. There is no hole. There is no hole. I am whole.

I am whole.

ISSUE #4


Nightmare

Isabelle Jensen Her hand in mine We walk down the street Perhaps after seeing a movie Perhaps just a dinner out We are holding hands Swinging our arms It seems peaceful. Suddenly we are in an alley. A man yelling slurs Fucking queers He shoves her against the wall I try to fight him To get him off her Nothing works I can’t scream anything but her name Annoyed by my crying, he turns to me instead He hits me Over       And over Shoves me against the wall Hand around throat My ribs are broken I’m sure of it The pain is terrible, but the fear of us both dying here is worse I can feel the blood dripping out of my mouth The tears that haven’t stopped flowing My girlfriend screams for help He shoves her against the wall Again And again And again

SPRING 2019


Her skull is a part of her I never wanted to see She is closer to death than I am The worst part is not being able to do anything The worst part is being helpless I watch, only able to stay sitting because of the wall behind me Falling in and out of consciousness He does not stop hurting her All I can do is watch and hope someone finds us When I wake up, I wonder if she survived Then I remember that this was just a dream That it probably happened to someone else at some point but not to me I’m grateful it never came true I’m grateful that I have no real experience that would lead me to this fear But when she kisses me on the sidewalk, I wonder how she can be so brave When I’ve seen her brains on the side of a brick wall

ISSUE #4


APHRODITE

Sophia Fox SPRING 2019


Born Roaring Sophia Fox

I wasn’t born afraid. I worry for myself for my cousins for my half sister for my step brother’s ex-girlfriend Last year, a man broke into her apartment If she was home at the time, she would have been with her roommate and I would have attended another funeral She taught me that you can make an ugly shirt cute by tucking it in. I tuck everything in. My mother is beautiful She tells me that in grade school, she was the envy of the other girls She always got the most valentines. When it was snowing, the boys would hide and hit girls on their way home with snowballs But never mom She tells me They ceased fire when she walked past She tells me When a boy crushed on my mother’s best friend, he showed his affection by sitting behind her

ISSUE #4


Pulling on her braids Mom stood up for her friend She tells me she yelled at him She tells me scared him She grew up in Ukraine She was never assaulted Until she came to the States. She knows that abuse exists, But she remains unaware about the smaller issues The ones that can grow and manipulate themselves into the big kahuna After living in America for 20 years, she does not know what catcalling is I remember walking with her from a parking lot into a building and a man said Is this your sister? No, I am her daughter He called her hot momma As if he had some kind of right to say that I was standing outside a parking garage downtown with my mom and my best friend It happened to me In the presence of my mother, I didn’t say what I wanted to say She didn’t notice a thing I went to the mall with the same best friend Where two men sat outside the entrance and harassed women When we got inside, she turned to me and said

SPRING 2019


Kat Anderson

scraps

They were here last weekend and I’m going to say something to them on the way out When she turned to one of them and said something along the lines of a psychoanalysis that contributed their tomfoolery to their micropenises She was nervous She talked too fast And one said simple-mindedly what? We walked away and they started shouting They didn’t stop and neither did we My best friend and I walked around her neighborhood A man rolled his car window down to catcall us We were in middle school That was my first time Not hers

ISSUE #4


Another friend of mine was in a shopping plaza when a man pulled up next to her and asked for directions He was new in town She helped him Then he asked if she could show him around town someday. I’m 17 Oh, shit And he was gone At the movies my friends went ahead I filled drinks A man at the next machine turned to me can I ask you a question? I gave a tentative okay how old are you? My age is not a pickup line. These things don’t make me angry Not immediately I feel worried Tentative Firm in my heart but weak in my mind The more I think, I realize If I was a house cat, you wouldn’t treat me like you do now I am no house cat I am a jaguar A tiger A lion

SPRING 2019


The Secret My Skin Keeps

Kat Anderson

My nipples are brown and my skin is not It is white Like silence Like snow Like clean slate Tells no stories of hardship As white skin rarely does where I come from But sometimes I tell my biggest secret To people who need not know it I tell myself it is no secret But “brown� has always been an overheard whisper, like wind Never thunderous, Never proud Even then it was scary And I never knew this body was meant to be a hiding place But I always retreat into it When someone asks what kind of storm I am I mutter like the creek behind my old house I am a mix of water and mud I am everything nature could offer But everything she was scared to give

ISSUE #4


She...

Cenna Khatib She She Too the

is young She is human is too young, A living, breathing little girl young to know With feelings and ambitions majority of the things she’s seen

She has aged 15 years in the span of a few minutes She has been to hell and back

She is not just another refugee story Not just another forgotten headline

Her burns tell a story that her words can’t yet speak Her life changed too early Childhood ripped from her grasp And she can never go back She has suffered A lifetime’s worth of pain She was injured

She has a story The same way she lives life The same way that she has limbs And hair And eyes Everyone has a different story, A history of ourselves, A life

And hers demands to be heard It speaks more than pictures on a screen Her life was mangled More than the words on this page In a fight she was not part of She is more than her sob story She is her laugh— Light and innocent Sugar laced into every giggle That escapes her lips, Evidence of her young age Of the childhood she doesn’t know how to have She is funny, Playful and silly Twinkling with mischief

She is an experience, She is real, She is hard to describe And she is beautiful She has been through darkness And still sees the light She has seen the worst And still knows how to smile She is 9 years old And she is incredible She is the strongest little girl You’ll ever meet

She is smart In the midst of picking up her third language At 9 years old She is helpful, careful, and caring Taking care of her uncle As much as he does her She makes sure that you’re fed and comfortable. And she’ll do her best To ensure she doesn’t beat you too bad in marbles

SPRING 2019


Activists

A.R. Sheppard We were activists once. We built soapboxes out of our bones and stood on the backs of giants that came before us, shouted through our hands if they wouldn’t hand us the microphone, I watched my friends peel the skin off their backs and paint protest signs on them, we created to make a difference. We are still made of words but listening to them makes me feel like I’m on a tranquilizer, We were activists once, we got up and spoke out even if our voices shook, shook the core of things, we had the man take us down, shut us up, move us away from the crowds, we come back, we came back every time. We were activists once. We talked about our pain, spat the blood covered cotton out of our mouths and cleared our throats of hate, externalized before we were exhausted, took the kerosene out of our stomachs and burned down an establishment, lit fires, opened up passion channels in the next line of activists. Are you only listening if my fear is beautiful, if my rage is beautiful? I feel like a corpse draped in robes of flowers and put on parades, what is beautiful and dead is still dead, we are activists still but we are tired, poets are the nerve endings of society and we have been overstimulated, another crisis, another generation, lost, lost. We were activists once.

ISSUE #4


Zebra Mussels

Kat Anderson

I am the problem I am the one who makes the water too clean I eat the bottom feeders I steal the things that you need because I’m a living thing, too Call me an invasive species I am the problem I am the one who shouldn’t be here I compete with the better-than-me fish for food I am just doing my best Call me an invasive species I am the problem It is not my fault that all I know is how to flourish It is not my fault that you cause your own problems It is not my fault I was displaced here Call me an invasive species.

SPRING 2019


OUR VISION Growl is a collaborative magazine presented by the Hofstra English Society and Campus Feminist Collective. We believe that there is power in the written word and in artwork, and we exist to offer students a platform on which they may creatively express their feelings regarding social issues and advocacy. Our mission is to uplift voices that encourage equality, inclusivity, and diversity. Our subject matter includes gender and gender identity, sexuality, race, religion, mental health, body image, politics, and social (in) equality in hopes of empowering historically marginalized voices and topics.

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COVER ART rest, friends Hannah Ruth Aronowitz

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Growl Issue #4  

Growl is a collaborative magazine presented by the Hofstra English Society and the Campus Feminist Collective. We believe that there is powe...

Growl Issue #4  

Growl is a collaborative magazine presented by the Hofstra English Society and the Campus Feminist Collective. We believe that there is powe...

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