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HELM Volume 19


PRISM

2018 A student publication of the Harker School in San Jose, California Showcasing the Upper School literary community’s writing and artwork Member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association


PRISM

2018 A student publication of the Harker School in San Jose, California Showcasing the Upper School literary community’s writing and artwork Member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association


Contributors

From the Editors

Editors-in-Chief Emily Chen • Gwyneth Chen

Welcome to HELM!

Junior Co-Editors Rose Guan • Alexander Young Piece Curation Kathy Fang • Sophia Gottfried • Jessica Jiang Melissa Kwan • Audrey Liu • Andrew Lu • Annie Ma Amla Rashingkar • voting HELM members Club Members Prerana Acharyya • Praveen Batra • Vijay Bharadwaj Eva Chang • Deb Chatterjee • Kathleen Cheng Swapnil Garg • Ashley Gauba • Sophia Gottfried Darren Gu • Ellen Guo • Kaitlin Hsu • Julia Huang Allison Jia • Jessica Jiang • Vivian Jin Anamika Kannan • Naviya Kapadia • Nikhita Karra Sofie Kassaras • Sumer Kohli • Prameela Kottapalli Sejal Krishnan • Melissa Kwan • Taylor Lam Mona Lee • Joanna Lin • Emily Liu • Serena Lu Enya Lu • Annie Ma • Vani Mohindra Tasha Moorjani • Sonal Muthal • Jason Pan Annabelle Perng • Amla Rashingkar • Ashna Reddy Andrew Semenza • Tanvi Singh • Riya Singh Andrew Skrobak • Michael Tang • Katherine Tian Nellie Tonev • Jin Tuan • Mara Tucker • Shania Wang Jessie Wang • Anya Weaver • David Wen Fiona Wiesner • Justin Xie • Derek Yen Alex Zhai • Kat Zhang • Cat Zhao

Since our publication’s birth nearly twenty years ago, we have existed as HELM: Harker’s Eclectic Literary Magazine, give or take a possessive form. This year, we have transformed into HELM: Harker Eclectic Literature & Media. This subtle change demonstrates our commitment to remain inclusive and to promote student creativity of all forms and mediums, even as technology transforms the way we think, write, and forge art. This year’s theme, PRISM, reflects—or, rather, refracts—this very idea. The prism itself is nothing but a chunk of cut crystal, yet it can reveal the rich spectrum of color hiding within every ray of light. Thus, PRISM is only the conduit through which we share with you the boundless nuance, brilliance, and ingenuity of our artists and writers. We hope you will enjoy this collection of works— featuring a broad gamut of original art ranging from poetry written in the International Phonetic Alphabet to multiangular digital paintings—and come to appreciate one more facet of Harker’s student community.

—Emily Chen & Gwyneth Chen, editors-in-chief

Special Thanks Dr. Anne Douglas, advisor Upper School Department of English, sponsor

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Contributors

From the Editors

Editors-in-Chief Emily Chen • Gwyneth Chen

Welcome to HELM!

Junior Co-Editors Rose Guan • Alexander Young Piece Curation Kathy Fang • Sophia Gottfried • Jessica Jiang Melissa Kwan • Audrey Liu • Andrew Lu • Annie Ma Amla Rashingkar • voting HELM members Club Members Prerana Acharyya • Praveen Batra • Vijay Bharadwaj Eva Chang • Deb Chatterjee • Kathleen Cheng Swapnil Garg • Ashley Gauba • Sophia Gottfried Darren Gu • Ellen Guo • Kaitlin Hsu • Julia Huang Allison Jia • Jessica Jiang • Vivian Jin Anamika Kannan • Naviya Kapadia • Nikhita Karra Sofie Kassaras • Sumer Kohli • Prameela Kottapalli Sejal Krishnan • Melissa Kwan • Taylor Lam Mona Lee • Joanna Lin • Emily Liu • Serena Lu Enya Lu • Annie Ma • Vani Mohindra Tasha Moorjani • Sonal Muthal • Jason Pan Annabelle Perng • Amla Rashingkar • Ashna Reddy Andrew Semenza • Tanvi Singh • Riya Singh Andrew Skrobak • Michael Tang • Katherine Tian Nellie Tonev • Jin Tuan • Mara Tucker • Shania Wang Jessie Wang • Anya Weaver • David Wen Fiona Wiesner • Justin Xie • Derek Yen Alex Zhai • Kat Zhang • Cat Zhao

Since our publication’s birth nearly twenty years ago, we have existed as HELM: Harker’s Eclectic Literary Magazine, give or take a possessive form. This year, we have transformed into HELM: Harker Eclectic Literature & Media. This subtle change demonstrates our commitment to remain inclusive and to promote student creativity of all forms and mediums, even as technology transforms the way we think, write, and forge art. This year’s theme, PRISM, reflects—or, rather, refracts—this very idea. The prism itself is nothing but a chunk of cut crystal, yet it can reveal the rich spectrum of color hiding within every ray of light. Thus, PRISM is only the conduit through which we share with you the boundless nuance, brilliance, and ingenuity of our artists and writers. We hope you will enjoy this collection of works— featuring a broad gamut of original art ranging from poetry written in the International Phonetic Alphabet to multiangular digital paintings—and come to appreciate one more facet of Harker’s student community.

—Emily Chen & Gwyneth Chen, editors-in-chief

Special Thanks Dr. Anne Douglas, advisor Upper School Department of English, sponsor

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CONTENTS Photography 2

Contributors

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Letter from the Editors

Prose 12 19 29 35 40 44 52

Glass Walls Amla Rashingkar Portrait of the Iguazú Falls Emily Chen The Angel and the Man Kathy Fang Desserts, French Food, and Questionable Decisions Jessica Jiang Kinabalu’s Jewels Alexander Young Blue Amla Rashingkar Oddity Jessica Jiang

Poetry 7 10 15 17 24 27 47 49

Delicate Ishani Cheshire Untitled Gwyneth Chen A Tragedy of Skin Prameela Kottapalli China Is A Ladybug Jessica Jiang Into the Labyrinth Alexander Young Flightless Gwyneth Chen A Myth with No Name Derek Yen Flower Emily Chen

TNETNOC

Annie Ma Crowning Moment Annie Ma Looking for Signal Andrew Semenza Impending Storm, Mono Lake Andrew Semenza Tuolumne Mule Deer Annie Ma Canoe for Two Andrew Semenza Upper Yosemite Valley from Clouds Rest Annie Ma San Francisco 1st Street Rose Guan Leaves Rose Guan Gold Annie Ma The Quiet Anmol Velagapudi Untitled Anmol Velagapudi Untitled

6 9 11 13 18 28 34 43 45 46 50 51

Visual Arts Katrina Liou Figurative Studies Serena Lu dragon lady Susan He Shell Elizabeth Yang Unfocused Raymond Banke Rhythm Rose Guan Wings Susan He Flight Katrina Liou Those who shape us Serena Lu poppy Elizabeth Yang Order nathaniel melisso static Raymond Banke Reconstruction Susan He Decomposition

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CONTENTS Photography 2

Contributors

3

Letter from the Editors

Prose 12 19 29 35 40 44 52

Glass Walls Amla Rashingkar Portrait of the Iguazú Falls Emily Chen The Angel and the Man Kathy Fang Desserts, French Food, and Questionable Decisions Jessica Jiang Kinabalu’s Jewels Alexander Young Blue Amla Rashingkar Oddity Jessica Jiang

Poetry 7 10 15 17 24 27 47 49

Delicate Ishani Cheshire Untitled Gwyneth Chen A Tragedy of Skin Prameela Kottapalli China Is A Ladybug Jessica Jiang Into the Labyrinth Alexander Young Flightless Gwyneth Chen A Myth with No Name Derek Yen Flower Emily Chen

TNETNOC

Annie Ma Crowning Moment Annie Ma Looking for Signal Andrew Semenza Impending Storm, Mono Lake Andrew Semenza Tuolumne Mule Deer Annie Ma Canoe for Two Andrew Semenza Upper Yosemite Valley from Clouds Rest Annie Ma San Francisco 1st Street Rose Guan Leaves Rose Guan Gold Annie Ma The Quiet Anmol Velagapudi Untitled Anmol Velagapudi Untitled

6 9 11 13 18 28 34 43 45 46 50 51

Visual Arts Katrina Liou Figurative Studies Serena Lu dragon lady Susan He Shell Elizabeth Yang Unfocused Raymond Banke Rhythm Rose Guan Wings Susan He Flight Katrina Liou Those who shape us Serena Lu poppy Elizabeth Yang Order nathaniel melisso static Raymond Banke Reconstruction Susan He Decomposition

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Delicate Ishani Cheshire ‘19 and you hold their porcelain home in your palm and the thick glass warms to the touch. and the life arcs beneath your fingers, that soil that scars and roots that crawl from their enclosures and stretch into open air, searching, searching— and those Petals, like hope, thin enough to see veins— fragile and shimmering and translucent and strong. Roots, pale like frost. Packed earth, and New bulbs, on the verge of blooming, bursting forth slowly and suddenly.

Crowning Moment Annie Ma ‘20

the grains of dirt crumble beneath your probing fingers, between knotted Roots— dry, like an endless Desert. vast and empty and full like so many lives. and so the flowers sprout like Desert Blossoms, low and winding and rough. the leaves are stiff and they scrape softly across your skin.

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Delicate Ishani Cheshire ‘19 and you hold their porcelain home in your palm and the thick glass warms to the touch. and the life arcs beneath your fingers, that soil that scars and roots that crawl from their enclosures and stretch into open air, searching, searching— and those Petals, like hope, thin enough to see veins— fragile and shimmering and translucent and strong. Roots, pale like frost. Packed earth, and New bulbs, on the verge of blooming, bursting forth slowly and suddenly.

Crowning Moment Annie Ma ‘20

the grains of dirt crumble beneath your probing fingers, between knotted Roots— dry, like an endless Desert. vast and empty and full like so many lives. and so the flowers sprout like Desert Blossoms, low and winding and rough. the leaves are stiff and they scrape softly across your skin.

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they smell like Dust and feel like Waiting. like the promise of rainfall. you bury your fingers in hot sand, and believe in things invisible. change slow enough to kill, and those strong enough to wait for it— strong enough to fight for it. Desert Blossoms which dare to live in a world which abhors them. nevertheless, surviving— through history, and persistence. despite— brittle ground and cracked Foundations, Weaving roots like twine or drying Pools which heat and arc and shimmer beneath the ancient weight of a distant Sun. Yet, remain— woven in air dripping from cracks. caves encased in earth— cracked walls, slick with forbidden substance. aching softly —feeding old life.

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Looking for Signal Annie Ma ‘20

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they smell like Dust and feel like Waiting. like the promise of rainfall. you bury your fingers in hot sand, and believe in things invisible. change slow enough to kill, and those strong enough to wait for it— strong enough to fight for it. Desert Blossoms which dare to live in a world which abhors them. nevertheless, surviving— through history, and persistence. despite— brittle ground and cracked Foundations, Weaving roots like twine or drying Pools which heat and arc and shimmer beneath the ancient weight of a distant Sun. Yet, remain— woven in air dripping from cracks. caves encased in earth— cracked walls, slick with forbidden substance. aching softly —feeding old life.

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Looking for Signal Annie Ma ‘20

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Untitled Gwyneth Chen ‘18 Someday, I will understand why you so abruptly appeared and bared me your shadows— though perhaps it was even then another façade— and I, I devoted a permanent piece of myself to dreaming you in. Then and there, I fed myself upon drifting dust motes redolent with unseen memories ensnared within the mellifluous tap of hammer against string. the flicker of glances slipping through fingers, soft— tracing delicate tattoos of indulgent impatience at your own, my own stilted silence.

The number of words I ever spoke to you aloud could be recorded on a single hand— one by one by two by — Someday, I will understand why you so abruptly vanished, leaving me to my silhouette and my paper façade— that piece of myself still dreaming you in.

Perhaps, you counted as I do now— those weeks which we spent on spun-sugar glass— fair-trade and handcrafted, they promised us— so we bartered our time for our happiness and thought it good. the seconds of next summer’s sunlight melting on our tongues as we languished in the fallow dandelion-fields, watching ice-white tufts drift like moths toward the ember horizon. the promises we refused to make to each other for an oath impossible to break is impossible to fulfill, and the others—more fragile than peace of mind. I listen now for cracked reticence murmuring sweetly of melancholia, all the more viscous for having been left untouched. cautious smiles I imagined you lent me because I could not bear to look— and, in doing so, resolve you to reality.

Impending Storm, Mono Lake Andrew Semenza ‘18

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Untitled Gwyneth Chen ‘18 Someday, I will understand why you so abruptly appeared and bared me your shadows— though perhaps it was even then another façade— and I, I devoted a permanent piece of myself to dreaming you in. Then and there, I fed myself upon drifting dust motes redolent with unseen memories ensnared within the mellifluous tap of hammer against string. the flicker of glances slipping through fingers, soft— tracing delicate tattoos of indulgent impatience at your own, my own stilted silence.

The number of words I ever spoke to you aloud could be recorded on a single hand— one by one by two by — Someday, I will understand why you so abruptly vanished, leaving me to my silhouette and my paper façade— that piece of myself still dreaming you in.

Perhaps, you counted as I do now— those weeks which we spent on spun-sugar glass— fair-trade and handcrafted, they promised us— so we bartered our time for our happiness and thought it good. the seconds of next summer’s sunlight melting on our tongues as we languished in the fallow dandelion-fields, watching ice-white tufts drift like moths toward the ember horizon. the promises we refused to make to each other for an oath impossible to break is impossible to fulfill, and the others—more fragile than peace of mind. I listen now for cracked reticence murmuring sweetly of melancholia, all the more viscous for having been left untouched. cautious smiles I imagined you lent me because I could not bear to look— and, in doing so, resolve you to reality.

Impending Storm, Mono Lake Andrew Semenza ‘18

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Glass Walls Amla Rashingkar ‘20 I’m going to remember moments like this. In a hundred years, when there are more lines on my skin from age than there are rotations I’ve made around the sun, I won’t remember the faces I spoke to or the mark my generation pressed into the earth, but I will remember myself in this moment, standing in this field and staring at the stars above me. My abilities of sight and sound will fail me, but my mind will replay this moment like a movie I’ve seen a thousand times, and I’ll see and hear everything as it was, like listening to an old favorite song. I’ll remember the breeze tickling my neck and the cramp in my left calf and the quiet awe settling into my mouth. I’ll remember trying to spit my teeth into clouds soaring overhead and pretending I’m flying through the stars as my fingers draw lines between them. I’ll remember standing in this openness, with no fences and nobody around me for miles, and feeling trapped. I’m trapped. I’m the tallest thing around in this field, and rumbles of thunder tell me lightning’s coming soon, but somehow, I can’t make myself shrink to a lesser target. I feel like I’m in a glass prison, except when somebody shines light at me, my shadow will fly out the other end instead of a rainbow. The image of the outside world is crystal clear, but I can’t reach it. The prism’s closing in on me, folding itself into smaller and smaller squares till my legs bend in ways I didn’t know were humanly possible. I feel like feet forced into shoes far too sturdy and compact for their size. The same pain rings in my chest, the very weight of my existence pressing onto me like a skeleton’s handprint. At this point, I can’t tell if my breathlessness is from the light of the moon or the compactness of my lungs. See, at this exact moment, in this small bit of space and time, there’s someone halfway across the world, at the snowiest place they’ve ever been, staring as the northern lights paint a pretty picture against the sky. They’re fighting hypothermia while I need three jackets to protect myself from an evening breeze. There’s someone else flying over the half of the world that’s on fire, squeezing their eyes shut when they look out the window, partly because the heat’s so bad it makes their pupils sweat and partly because they’re too scared they’d reach into the flames lingering in the pits of hell. I can try to reach for fire and grab its warmth and feel it sear my fingers black and crumbly, but whenever I stretch my arm, my palm’s only greeted with glass as cold as ice. There’s a thousand possibilities for me. There’s a thousand sights to see and places to visit. God spilled a bottle of ink on this world, and I could go anywhere to try to see it in all its glory. I could see it how I felt, use his ink to mark my words. But for some reason, the ink rolled right off this prism. I can’t feel something I never had the opportunity to touch. I could run right now. My mind can trick me into thinking I can. I know I won’t get that far, but I can picture my feet gliding over rocky roads and gravelly pavement until I reach a place I’ve

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Tuolumne Mule Deer Andrew Semenza ‘18 never seen before. Not another city with people whose names I’ll forget the moment I hear them, but somewhere as quiet and isolated as this field. From there I can walk to the coast, and then I can bury my face in foam and seaweed until I decide it tastes better than oxygen. I’ll swallow waves of sea spray so it can carry me somewhere, far, far away from here, salt crystallizing me into a statue and sand climbing to my hips. But I’m not going to run right now. Sand scratches glass, and I don’t know if it sinks or floats. My thigh’s too stiff and my calf ’s still cramping. I wouldn’t know where to go. A prism wall jabs my rib cage, cursing my mind for being so reckless in a body that can only stay still. I want to see the world around me. But I can’t. I just can’t. There’s too much at stake, there’s too much in my life rolling itself into an anchor to tie to my feet. The smallness hiding inside me won’t be enough to propel me forward. Moving’s too desperately difficult at a time like this. More than anything, I want to drift into the sky and dispatch myself bit by bit, sending every part

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Glass Walls Amla Rashingkar ‘20 I’m going to remember moments like this. In a hundred years, when there are more lines on my skin from age than there are rotations I’ve made around the sun, I won’t remember the faces I spoke to or the mark my generation pressed into the earth, but I will remember myself in this moment, standing in this field and staring at the stars above me. My abilities of sight and sound will fail me, but my mind will replay this moment like a movie I’ve seen a thousand times, and I’ll see and hear everything as it was, like listening to an old favorite song. I’ll remember the breeze tickling my neck and the cramp in my left calf and the quiet awe settling into my mouth. I’ll remember trying to spit my teeth into clouds soaring overhead and pretending I’m flying through the stars as my fingers draw lines between them. I’ll remember standing in this openness, with no fences and nobody around me for miles, and feeling trapped. I’m trapped. I’m the tallest thing around in this field, and rumbles of thunder tell me lightning’s coming soon, but somehow, I can’t make myself shrink to a lesser target. I feel like I’m in a glass prison, except when somebody shines light at me, my shadow will fly out the other end instead of a rainbow. The image of the outside world is crystal clear, but I can’t reach it. The prism’s closing in on me, folding itself into smaller and smaller squares till my legs bend in ways I didn’t know were humanly possible. I feel like feet forced into shoes far too sturdy and compact for their size. The same pain rings in my chest, the very weight of my existence pressing onto me like a skeleton’s handprint. At this point, I can’t tell if my breathlessness is from the light of the moon or the compactness of my lungs. See, at this exact moment, in this small bit of space and time, there’s someone halfway across the world, at the snowiest place they’ve ever been, staring as the northern lights paint a pretty picture against the sky. They’re fighting hypothermia while I need three jackets to protect myself from an evening breeze. There’s someone else flying over the half of the world that’s on fire, squeezing their eyes shut when they look out the window, partly because the heat’s so bad it makes their pupils sweat and partly because they’re too scared they’d reach into the flames lingering in the pits of hell. I can try to reach for fire and grab its warmth and feel it sear my fingers black and crumbly, but whenever I stretch my arm, my palm’s only greeted with glass as cold as ice. There’s a thousand possibilities for me. There’s a thousand sights to see and places to visit. God spilled a bottle of ink on this world, and I could go anywhere to try to see it in all its glory. I could see it how I felt, use his ink to mark my words. But for some reason, the ink rolled right off this prism. I can’t feel something I never had the opportunity to touch. I could run right now. My mind can trick me into thinking I can. I know I won’t get that far, but I can picture my feet gliding over rocky roads and gravelly pavement until I reach a place I’ve

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Tuolumne Mule Deer Andrew Semenza ‘18 never seen before. Not another city with people whose names I’ll forget the moment I hear them, but somewhere as quiet and isolated as this field. From there I can walk to the coast, and then I can bury my face in foam and seaweed until I decide it tastes better than oxygen. I’ll swallow waves of sea spray so it can carry me somewhere, far, far away from here, salt crystallizing me into a statue and sand climbing to my hips. But I’m not going to run right now. Sand scratches glass, and I don’t know if it sinks or floats. My thigh’s too stiff and my calf ’s still cramping. I wouldn’t know where to go. A prism wall jabs my rib cage, cursing my mind for being so reckless in a body that can only stay still. I want to see the world around me. But I can’t. I just can’t. There’s too much at stake, there’s too much in my life rolling itself into an anchor to tie to my feet. The smallness hiding inside me won’t be enough to propel me forward. Moving’s too desperately difficult at a time like this. More than anything, I want to drift into the sky and dispatch myself bit by bit, sending every part

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of me to the sphere of the universe where it belongs. I want to be the aurora borealis and the first spark of a forest fire and the shadow of thunder blanketing entire cities when the sky blackens. I want to be the first star in a galaxy and the taste of a rainbow after a drought. I want to run till my legs turn into burning bags of lead and I can’t hear my breathing because of how loud blood sings in my ear. I want to watch the prism around me shatter into the pieces of a puzzle I would never have to solve. But I can’t. I’ll die before my confinement ever will. In a hundred years, I won’t be able to think about my adventurous escapades. I’ll just have to settle into this prison and hope its walls will thin instead of thicken. I’ll be left to memories of instances that never happened, but somehow I know I won’t forget. Δ

A Tragedy of Skin Prameela Kottapalli ‘19 Dark. Earth before the morning rain. Red is a tragedy, apples that never soften my cheeks, cherries that never brighten my lips. But blue is a holy river, a tapestry spun by my great-grandmother, the sky away from the city. Flame-tongued lamps and kohl-lined eyes, four-armed-gods with burnished knives. Fire-kissed altars, incense and smoke— the heady white breath of lingering ghosts. Faceless deities, ancient names— women in the sky. The darkest corners of the world are also the oldest, the most sacred. Pin-up models and poster queens, pale-faced angels in magazines. Blood-lipped, narrow-hipped, lovely white lies—have they met the women in the sky? But maybe the sky has no women, and maybe there are no ancient names— only old ones. Maybe there is just this— my burnt-brass eyes and barrel boned hips. Not molded from wet brown clay, the rib of a four-armed goddess. Not whispered to life by my mother’s prayers. Even the darkest corners cannot escape the razor-blade glare of the stars.

Figurative Studies Katrina Liou ‘19

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I strip the color from my body—the blue dress from my back.

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of me to the sphere of the universe where it belongs. I want to be the aurora borealis and the first spark of a forest fire and the shadow of thunder blanketing entire cities when the sky blackens. I want to be the first star in a galaxy and the taste of a rainbow after a drought. I want to run till my legs turn into burning bags of lead and I can’t hear my breathing because of how loud blood sings in my ear. I want to watch the prism around me shatter into the pieces of a puzzle I would never have to solve. But I can’t. I’ll die before my confinement ever will. In a hundred years, I won’t be able to think about my adventurous escapades. I’ll just have to settle into this prison and hope its walls will thin instead of thicken. I’ll be left to memories of instances that never happened, but somehow I know I won’t forget. Δ

A Tragedy of Skin Prameela Kottapalli ‘19 Dark. Earth before the morning rain. Red is a tragedy, apples that never soften my cheeks, cherries that never brighten my lips. But blue is a holy river, a tapestry spun by my great-grandmother, the sky away from the city. Flame-tongued lamps and kohl-lined eyes, four-armed-gods with burnished knives. Fire-kissed altars, incense and smoke— the heady white breath of lingering ghosts. Faceless deities, ancient names— women in the sky. The darkest corners of the world are also the oldest, the most sacred. Pin-up models and poster queens, pale-faced angels in magazines. Blood-lipped, narrow-hipped, lovely white lies—have they met the women in the sky? But maybe the sky has no women, and maybe there are no ancient names— only old ones. Maybe there is just this— my burnt-brass eyes and barrel boned hips. Not molded from wet brown clay, the rib of a four-armed goddess. Not whispered to life by my mother’s prayers. Even the darkest corners cannot escape the razor-blade glare of the stars.

Figurative Studies Katrina Liou ‘19

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I strip the color from my body—the blue dress from my back.

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I wash the ink from my hair, thread my braids into silk. I tie my now-smooth hair back with a red ribbon. The mirror holds the coldest truths— there is no such thing as a dark angel. Nature is not impressed. My hair curls at the ends, darkness dots my roots. What are the women in the sky thinking as they look down upon this tragedy? Some things I cannot change: the burnt-brass eyes and barrel-boned hips of my mother and her mother and every blue-robed, brown-skinned woman with ink-black braids.

China Is A Ladybug Jessica Jiang ‘20 A ladybug that made me scream and shriek, One six year old, a room in New Beijing, Its dots red, shell black, an inside-out freak Irrefutable, undeniable: Armageddon. Father pares his American carapace like dried acrylic paint; Mother trades lipstick For nostalgia, her eyes afire They throw the room into bright exactness Strangers recognized by forgotten gestures, Relatives I know only from stories Send us off at the airport with treasures, Ground us in a hidden mess of lovely roots. Strange ladybug, strange country too, you are The home of many, and what to me?

Maybe the angels are just dolls. The poster queen is foreign to me before she returns to her magazine. I wrap the red around my finger, the blue around my shoulders, and step out to meet the night.

dragon lady Serena Lu ‘18

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I wash the ink from my hair, thread my braids into silk. I tie my now-smooth hair back with a red ribbon. The mirror holds the coldest truths— there is no such thing as a dark angel. Nature is not impressed. My hair curls at the ends, darkness dots my roots. What are the women in the sky thinking as they look down upon this tragedy? Some things I cannot change: the burnt-brass eyes and barrel-boned hips of my mother and her mother and every blue-robed, brown-skinned woman with ink-black braids.

China Is A Ladybug Jessica Jiang ‘20 A ladybug that made me scream and shriek, One six year old, a room in New Beijing, Its dots red, shell black, an inside-out freak Irrefutable, undeniable: Armageddon. Father pares his American carapace like dried acrylic paint; Mother trades lipstick For nostalgia, her eyes afire They throw the room into bright exactness Strangers recognized by forgotten gestures, Relatives I know only from stories Send us off at the airport with treasures, Ground us in a hidden mess of lovely roots. Strange ladybug, strange country too, you are The home of many, and what to me?

Maybe the angels are just dolls. The poster queen is foreign to me before she returns to her magazine. I wrap the red around my finger, the blue around my shoulders, and step out to meet the night.

dragon lady Serena Lu ‘18

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Portrait of the Iguazú Falls Emily Chen ‘18 That Mark was home late was no surprise. He had to take the old white bus on the seventy-five, then the Greyhound to the other end of Fayette, then another bus to the blue-dimpled station wilting at the corner of Second and Meridian. It was fine, Angela thought, as another chipped china plate slipped into the soapy-suddy mess wrinkling her fingertips. He’d be back soon, maybe before Gramma snorted awake and blinked for the sooty glasses tucked inside her blouse. He’d be back before the sun fell and she laid the hickory table with day-old beef and sweet potato mash. Polly let out a bleat, and Angela glanced at the mop of red-gold curls busily employing itself with unraveling Gramma’s second-best woolen rug. No, Polly dear, let’s not play with Gramma’s rug, and doesn’t she want to run along with Spot and Ginger? Polly dear did not, and she scrunched up her baby face with her baby tooth and howled. Angela swiped a stuffed rabbit from the floor, slicking it with the wet of her blotchy fingers, and plopped it in Polly’s lap. Gramma let out a heaping, honking snore, and Angela looked westward out the kitchen window. When Mark bought this house six years past, it had shone in the softness of morning, a new oyster-yellow coat freshly dabbling its squarish-solid walls. Now, a dilapidated oak crutched itself against the eastern side, scratching at the dirt-worn paint, and a perennial family of crows nested above the porch. But Mark would be back tonight, and these two years would blot themselves dry, Angela knew. The angry ache in her hip would dissolve as soon as he touched it, nearly bruising her with the thick smoothness of his hands. They would be the same, his hands, Angela thought, even after two years. The door thudded shut. Angela’s chest tightened as she rushed from the kitchen, duct-taped apron unwinding at her waist. He was so tall, even with the slope in his spine. His frame bulged beneath the worsted suit, shifting ever so slightly. She would need to rip the suit and turn it out; it sported the sheen of burnt charcoal. She was largely conscious of the dangerously loose curl beside her ear. She touched it with an embarrassed fingertip, twisting it around the cracked nail.

Canoe for Two Annie Ma ‘20

“Mark,” she said, and that was all. He wasn’t the same, how could she have thought he would be? New grooves lining sandpaper skin browned by too much sun. New heaviness in his step, in his eyes. New silence in place of stillness. He was not gentle, he was good. He lined up his mud-caked boots at the door, entered the kitchen and found his mug, washed, where he had left it so long ago, downed two gulps of tap water, went into their bedroom, and shut the door with a soft click. Dinner was a messy, silent affair. Mark bounced a cooing Polly on his knee. Gramma laughed about the tattoo she’d gotten while hammered with her bingo birdies last Saturday. Mark smiled and cleaned out his plate, handing it to Angela with a nod and a grunt. From his tattered olive duffel bag, he retrieved a thick black book. Mounted against the crystal white pages were black and white

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Portrait of the Iguazú Falls Emily Chen ‘18 That Mark was home late was no surprise. He had to take the old white bus on the seventy-five, then the Greyhound to the other end of Fayette, then another bus to the blue-dimpled station wilting at the corner of Second and Meridian. It was fine, Angela thought, as another chipped china plate slipped into the soapy-suddy mess wrinkling her fingertips. He’d be back soon, maybe before Gramma snorted awake and blinked for the sooty glasses tucked inside her blouse. He’d be back before the sun fell and she laid the hickory table with day-old beef and sweet potato mash. Polly let out a bleat, and Angela glanced at the mop of red-gold curls busily employing itself with unraveling Gramma’s second-best woolen rug. No, Polly dear, let’s not play with Gramma’s rug, and doesn’t she want to run along with Spot and Ginger? Polly dear did not, and she scrunched up her baby face with her baby tooth and howled. Angela swiped a stuffed rabbit from the floor, slicking it with the wet of her blotchy fingers, and plopped it in Polly’s lap. Gramma let out a heaping, honking snore, and Angela looked westward out the kitchen window. When Mark bought this house six years past, it had shone in the softness of morning, a new oyster-yellow coat freshly dabbling its squarish-solid walls. Now, a dilapidated oak crutched itself against the eastern side, scratching at the dirt-worn paint, and a perennial family of crows nested above the porch. But Mark would be back tonight, and these two years would blot themselves dry, Angela knew. The angry ache in her hip would dissolve as soon as he touched it, nearly bruising her with the thick smoothness of his hands. They would be the same, his hands, Angela thought, even after two years. The door thudded shut. Angela’s chest tightened as she rushed from the kitchen, duct-taped apron unwinding at her waist. He was so tall, even with the slope in his spine. His frame bulged beneath the worsted suit, shifting ever so slightly. She would need to rip the suit and turn it out; it sported the sheen of burnt charcoal. She was largely conscious of the dangerously loose curl beside her ear. She touched it with an embarrassed fingertip, twisting it around the cracked nail.

Canoe for Two Annie Ma ‘20

“Mark,” she said, and that was all. He wasn’t the same, how could she have thought he would be? New grooves lining sandpaper skin browned by too much sun. New heaviness in his step, in his eyes. New silence in place of stillness. He was not gentle, he was good. He lined up his mud-caked boots at the door, entered the kitchen and found his mug, washed, where he had left it so long ago, downed two gulps of tap water, went into their bedroom, and shut the door with a soft click. Dinner was a messy, silent affair. Mark bounced a cooing Polly on his knee. Gramma laughed about the tattoo she’d gotten while hammered with her bingo birdies last Saturday. Mark smiled and cleaned out his plate, handing it to Angela with a nod and a grunt. From his tattered olive duffel bag, he retrieved a thick black book. Mounted against the crystal white pages were black and white

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photos. A lightning-struck tree stretching papillary boughs to swinging clouds. A foreign-looking man, newly shaven, with dimples in a clean work-shirt. A woman singing atop a bar, cocktail spilling in shimmering spatters. A rabbit shot at the side of a dirt road. The same man, shirtless on a motel bed. The Iguazú Falls, rushing mirrors glazed with spring rain. The same man, mid-laughter in a stopped car. “Who’s he?” Angela licked a bit of dried mash from the corner of her lip, wet a finger to comb back a curl, avoiding Mark’s quiet, kind eyes. Heavyset and aged, they looked her up and down, resting at the new grey in her hair, then at the blue vein splicing her throat, then at the country-bred roundness of her waist. Deep in the night, Mark rolled over with a grunt. He laid a sympathetic hand on her belly, for purchase and remembrance. In that moment, a closeness severed by absence twinkled. The house groaned with his pulls and pushes, sloppy and insistent, and caved to quiet as he gasped with climax. Warm light fisting through the dusty windowpanes, Angela steamed buckwheat pancakes on the yesterday-blacked stovetop, limply greeted the milkman, and washed up Mark’s luggage after breakfast. Gramma walked Polly down to the river to catch butterflies. Mark kissed Angela’s neck once, purposelessly, and she didn’t shiver. He cradled the yellowed phone between a reddening ear and the swell of his shoulder, and Angela didn’t tell him they’d already maxed the monthly phone bill with all the mornings and evenings she’d tried to phone him to hear the slow churn of his voice. His throat was strange when he thrummed in Spanish now, the soft flow integral and wet on the tongue, an orchid language watery and languid in pale Wisconsin sunshine. “Who’re you calling?” she asked, stirring the beefy, brothy lunch stew. Why would he miss her? Why would he miss the nights with her head against his chest, his hand stroking her spine, the simple barrenness of grown, tired losses seeking solace instead of sweat, love instead of lovering? Mark returned to the downtown paper that afternoon. Gramma said he called to say he was going to grab a few beers with friends that evening, and Angela rocked Polly to sleep as the streetlamps flickered on, weak and marshy orange. Erratically, the phone glinted in kerosene mockery, and, with a hefty sort of anger, she longed to cut the cord. She would not lose her husband, not after two years of babying this daughter and sitting this skin-and-bones grandmother, not after pulling shift after shift at the laundromat and grocery store, not after begging for just another day. That night, Angela rocked sedately, waiting as the stars winked and thawed into the wild north, splintering every bony silence she hated. Mark let himself in noiselessly, dropping his rusty key on the peeling linoleum countertop. He seated himself with the photo book opposite Angela, cleaned his glasses, and held his breath. As if nothing had changed.

Shell Susan He ‘19

“Few months after you left, Steven stopped by, you remember Steven with the gold tooth from the drugstore on Third and Solomon?” Angela stared at the sleek cover embossed in silver: Argentina,

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photos. A lightning-struck tree stretching papillary boughs to swinging clouds. A foreign-looking man, newly shaven, with dimples in a clean work-shirt. A woman singing atop a bar, cocktail spilling in shimmering spatters. A rabbit shot at the side of a dirt road. The same man, shirtless on a motel bed. The Iguazú Falls, rushing mirrors glazed with spring rain. The same man, mid-laughter in a stopped car. “Who’s he?” Angela licked a bit of dried mash from the corner of her lip, wet a finger to comb back a curl, avoiding Mark’s quiet, kind eyes. Heavyset and aged, they looked her up and down, resting at the new grey in her hair, then at the blue vein splicing her throat, then at the country-bred roundness of her waist. Deep in the night, Mark rolled over with a grunt. He laid a sympathetic hand on her belly, for purchase and remembrance. In that moment, a closeness severed by absence twinkled. The house groaned with his pulls and pushes, sloppy and insistent, and caved to quiet as he gasped with climax. Warm light fisting through the dusty windowpanes, Angela steamed buckwheat pancakes on the yesterday-blacked stovetop, limply greeted the milkman, and washed up Mark’s luggage after breakfast. Gramma walked Polly down to the river to catch butterflies. Mark kissed Angela’s neck once, purposelessly, and she didn’t shiver. He cradled the yellowed phone between a reddening ear and the swell of his shoulder, and Angela didn’t tell him they’d already maxed the monthly phone bill with all the mornings and evenings she’d tried to phone him to hear the slow churn of his voice. His throat was strange when he thrummed in Spanish now, the soft flow integral and wet on the tongue, an orchid language watery and languid in pale Wisconsin sunshine. “Who’re you calling?” she asked, stirring the beefy, brothy lunch stew. Why would he miss her? Why would he miss the nights with her head against his chest, his hand stroking her spine, the simple barrenness of grown, tired losses seeking solace instead of sweat, love instead of lovering? Mark returned to the downtown paper that afternoon. Gramma said he called to say he was going to grab a few beers with friends that evening, and Angela rocked Polly to sleep as the streetlamps flickered on, weak and marshy orange. Erratically, the phone glinted in kerosene mockery, and, with a hefty sort of anger, she longed to cut the cord. She would not lose her husband, not after two years of babying this daughter and sitting this skin-and-bones grandmother, not after pulling shift after shift at the laundromat and grocery store, not after begging for just another day. That night, Angela rocked sedately, waiting as the stars winked and thawed into the wild north, splintering every bony silence she hated. Mark let himself in noiselessly, dropping his rusty key on the peeling linoleum countertop. He seated himself with the photo book opposite Angela, cleaned his glasses, and held his breath. As if nothing had changed.

Shell Susan He ‘19

“Few months after you left, Steven stopped by, you remember Steven with the gold tooth from the drugstore on Third and Solomon?” Angela stared at the sleek cover embossed in silver: Argentina,

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1997. For Mark, from H.P.W., with remembrance. Mark didn’t look up. “Steven stopped by, brought a peach cobbler. You know your momma loves Jane’s peach cobbler, and she said his was even better. Anyway, Steven stopped by, started doing it more often. Once or twice a week, bring something cooked, help me fix up something in the house. Saved me a good deal of time. You know Polly ‘most set the house on fire? We thought that stove was lost for sure, but he worked some kind’a magic, got it cooking in a day. Took Ginger to that vet Adams when he ate that yellow spider, too,” Angela steadily rocked, the chair’s hinges oiled shut and silent. Mark was staring, quiet, his hands splayed across jean-clad knees. “Brought back a frosted sheet cake for Polly’s birthday last month, and pink candles he copped from the drugstore. She loves his tooth. A good man, don’t you think?” Mark’s black whiskers trembled, and Angela picked up the mittens she was knitting for Polly. A gunshot in the distance startled the crows on the porch into a flutter of quaking feathers. “Did you cheat on me?” The words hung in the air, browning in the hush of leaves scraping against the window. The stars, barely visible, had never seemed so far away. Angela rocked, knitting needles clean and clacking. Mark stared at a stain on her cuffed trouser. The phone rang, shrill and begging, and neither moved. “Who gave you that book? Who’s that man?” Angela pleaded. His chest rose and fell beneath his checkered shirt, the shirt she’d freshly ironed in the limpid thrall of a man in the house again. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. Mark glanced at the phone gone silent, a missed opportunity. He remembered Steven once lent him an umbrella and danced down Main, possibly homeward, in late November sleet. Heard he’d caught pneumonia; serves that fool right, but his wife? His Angie, with her curls gone grey and her sweet, small mouth? She wouldn’t. She couldn’t. “Well,” Mark said. He heaved himself out of his chair, camera strap at rest on the coffee table. Angela rocked. In six simple strides, he crossed to the porch and into the mouthsucking night, the grey of his shirt molding into tree shadows and the rare truck’s wavering headlight. The crows mused in listless caws. Gramma snored. Polly whimpered, biting her thumb and clutching Spot’s tail. Angela rocked, and rocked, and rocked until daybreak spilled a comfortable square of checkered sun onto the kitchen floor and she got up, ripped Steven’s number from the phone book, and prepped the batter for Gramma’s buckwheat pancakes. Δ

Unfocused Elizabeth Yang ‘19

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1997. For Mark, from H.P.W., with remembrance. Mark didn’t look up. “Steven stopped by, brought a peach cobbler. You know your momma loves Jane’s peach cobbler, and she said his was even better. Anyway, Steven stopped by, started doing it more often. Once or twice a week, bring something cooked, help me fix up something in the house. Saved me a good deal of time. You know Polly ‘most set the house on fire? We thought that stove was lost for sure, but he worked some kind’a magic, got it cooking in a day. Took Ginger to that vet Adams when he ate that yellow spider, too,” Angela steadily rocked, the chair’s hinges oiled shut and silent. Mark was staring, quiet, his hands splayed across jean-clad knees. “Brought back a frosted sheet cake for Polly’s birthday last month, and pink candles he copped from the drugstore. She loves his tooth. A good man, don’t you think?” Mark’s black whiskers trembled, and Angela picked up the mittens she was knitting for Polly. A gunshot in the distance startled the crows on the porch into a flutter of quaking feathers. “Did you cheat on me?” The words hung in the air, browning in the hush of leaves scraping against the window. The stars, barely visible, had never seemed so far away. Angela rocked, knitting needles clean and clacking. Mark stared at a stain on her cuffed trouser. The phone rang, shrill and begging, and neither moved. “Who gave you that book? Who’s that man?” Angela pleaded. His chest rose and fell beneath his checkered shirt, the shirt she’d freshly ironed in the limpid thrall of a man in the house again. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. Mark glanced at the phone gone silent, a missed opportunity. He remembered Steven once lent him an umbrella and danced down Main, possibly homeward, in late November sleet. Heard he’d caught pneumonia; serves that fool right, but his wife? His Angie, with her curls gone grey and her sweet, small mouth? She wouldn’t. She couldn’t. “Well,” Mark said. He heaved himself out of his chair, camera strap at rest on the coffee table. Angela rocked. In six simple strides, he crossed to the porch and into the mouthsucking night, the grey of his shirt molding into tree shadows and the rare truck’s wavering headlight. The crows mused in listless caws. Gramma snored. Polly whimpered, biting her thumb and clutching Spot’s tail. Angela rocked, and rocked, and rocked until daybreak spilled a comfortable square of checkered sun onto the kitchen floor and she got up, ripped Steven’s number from the phone book, and prepped the batter for Gramma’s buckwheat pancakes. Δ

Unfocused Elizabeth Yang ‘19

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Into the Labyrinth Alexander Young ‘19 I had a dream— Of rushing black water flooding a gleaming cavern, Swirling against the stalagmites in a broken shimmer. I grabbed at crusted jewels and swords But they came apart in my dream-blurred hands. My fingers grew stiff and frozen in the cold. I raised my skeleton arms and hollered a Republican cry—Oorah! Children stood from pearl seats and shook scarlet banners. They rolled tanks of welded gunmetal through crumbled brick and sand And Leapt amongst the ruins of silted stone with whoops and howls I mustn’t let my Comrades have all the fun And buried my fist into a featureless face The crunch of soft cartilage shuddered up my arm That thrill of bloodying my knuckles and bruising my tendons His skull folded, and swallowed me up— Twisting hallways, in homely tungsten light Loomed from the darkness with every new turn. I wandered—Forward, Down, Forward, Down— With scarlet yarn trailing behind Until finally an arch stood higher than the rest. A splintered ox-skull lay upon the key-stone, From whose empty eye-sockets Janus whispered, “Cross the threshold, and allow me to show you The Genii of Past and Future—” But my forehead dripped with acrid salt And Present Need clung at my swollen throat. I ran past. There! Bronze doors, hurry and open! I fell down the elevator shaft

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Rhythm Raymond Banke ‘19 But when the lower doors finally swept open The lobby was dark, with only a single sleeping form Slumped in front of the washed-out blue of a broken television My silver knife slipped through the cartilage rings of his larynx, under his Adam’s apple Slick crimson soaked up the blade in a dark sheen Before dripping to the floor Now he’s hollow—the lord of the labyrinth Is thin and small in death. The Furies howl.

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Into the Labyrinth Alexander Young ‘19 I had a dream— Of rushing black water flooding a gleaming cavern, Swirling against the stalagmites in a broken shimmer. I grabbed at crusted jewels and swords But they came apart in my dream-blurred hands. My fingers grew stiff and frozen in the cold. I raised my skeleton arms and hollered a Republican cry—Oorah! Children stood from pearl seats and shook scarlet banners. They rolled tanks of welded gunmetal through crumbled brick and sand And Leapt amongst the ruins of silted stone with whoops and howls I mustn’t let my Comrades have all the fun And buried my fist into a featureless face The crunch of soft cartilage shuddered up my arm That thrill of bloodying my knuckles and bruising my tendons His skull folded, and swallowed me up— Twisting hallways, in homely tungsten light Loomed from the darkness with every new turn. I wandered—Forward, Down, Forward, Down— With scarlet yarn trailing behind Until finally an arch stood higher than the rest. A splintered ox-skull lay upon the key-stone, From whose empty eye-sockets Janus whispered, “Cross the threshold, and allow me to show you The Genii of Past and Future—” But my forehead dripped with acrid salt And Present Need clung at my swollen throat. I ran past. There! Bronze doors, hurry and open! I fell down the elevator shaft

24

Rhythm Raymond Banke ‘19 But when the lower doors finally swept open The lobby was dark, with only a single sleeping form Slumped in front of the washed-out blue of a broken television My silver knife slipped through the cartilage rings of his larynx, under his Adam’s apple Slick crimson soaked up the blade in a dark sheen Before dripping to the floor Now he’s hollow—the lord of the labyrinth Is thin and small in death. The Furies howl.

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Another has joined their list of sinners. I sprinted, I pumped my legs But the tessellations on the walls The hanging lamps Passed by no faster . . . I followed the trail of crimson thread Until finally the hallways opened up With a rush of cool air and bright sunlight. That girl greeted me with a smile. She, who received me from the black-sailed ships Who pressed a silver blade and ball of scarlet yarn into my hands And with wide admiring eyes and pale, trembling shoulders Whispered the maze’s secrets to me.

Flightless Gwyneth Chen ‘18 mother whispered once that only birds knew freedom without restraint, but then came humans, cages, inside bound birds countless. and time released time and countless birds. “bound inside cages, humans came then, but restraint without freedom knew birds only that once,” whispered mother.

But now She seems small. What is a little girl’s effort to the courage of a hero? I pushed her aside And my companions crowded around in an excited chatter. The hot lash of the Furies’ whip Chased the warm haze of smothering memory away I caught a brief glimpse of brother Pirithous Howling in a soundless scream Before the waters closed over my head. Janus sighed, and closed his gates.

Wings Rose Guan ‘19

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Another has joined their list of sinners. I sprinted, I pumped my legs But the tessellations on the walls The hanging lamps Passed by no faster . . . I followed the trail of crimson thread Until finally the hallways opened up With a rush of cool air and bright sunlight. That girl greeted me with a smile. She, who received me from the black-sailed ships Who pressed a silver blade and ball of scarlet yarn into my hands And with wide admiring eyes and pale, trembling shoulders Whispered the maze’s secrets to me.

Flightless Gwyneth Chen ‘18 mother whispered once that only birds knew freedom without restraint, but then came humans, cages, inside bound birds countless. and time released time and countless birds. “bound inside cages, humans came then, but restraint without freedom knew birds only that once,” whispered mother.

But now She seems small. What is a little girl’s effort to the courage of a hero? I pushed her aside And my companions crowded around in an excited chatter. The hot lash of the Furies’ whip Chased the warm haze of smothering memory away I caught a brief glimpse of brother Pirithous Howling in a soundless scream Before the waters closed over my head. Janus sighed, and closed his gates.

Wings Rose Guan ‘19

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The Angel and the Man Kathy Fang ‘20 Mr. Oliver Fox awoke to the dull purrs of the city beyond his bedroom window, and as he turned onto his side, he saw that it was snowing outside. The weather was usually of no interest to him, whether it was coloured blue or gray or orange, and for a brief moment he watched the snowflakes sweep past his windowsill in idle pleasure, before he remembered that he was engaged to meet Miss Daphne Lane at two o’clock in the Park. Only then was he persuaded to toss his silken sheets aside, replace their warmth with a plush velvet robe, and meet the cold air of his bedroom as it closed in around him. Outside his window the city had disappeared. There was only a curtain of gray which had been curiously draped over the glass such that against its dappled surface was projected a ghostly outline of his figure. He met the gaze of this spectre and watched with wonder as the flecks of ice and snow blurred the shadow beneath his eyes. Fatigue melted from his face and left only a radiant flush in his lips and his cheeks. Every worry, every fear, every distress, every grief, and even every sin vanished. What a wonderful sensation came across him then, to stand alone before a window which gave to nothing but his own reflection, to his own form and beauty! In this light it almost seemed that all the weariness and agitation the world had cast over his beauty faded from the lines of his face. In this light it seemed that he could retire from the world and stay in the radiance of his youth for a brief eternity. But once this eternity passed the antique rosewood on his mantlepiece recontinued its relentless ticking and reminded him, once more, that he was engaged to meet Miss Daphne Lane at two o’clock in the Park. He then moved away from the enchanted window and drifted across his bedroom into the bathroom, and as he dressed his mind picked up its recollections of Miss Daphne and began to turn them over, one by one.

Upper Yosemite Valley from Clouds Rest Andrew Semenza ‘18

28

To begin with, she was wholly in love with him. She had admitted it two weeks ago, during an exquisite performance of The Phantom, and he had believed her immediately. He had been sure of it himself for one week prior to her confession—for he, too, had believed himself in love with her. Yes, she was in love with him and he with her; he could feel it in the air around him, a thickening that drummed against his ears and pressed upon his chest. Her love danced in the shadows lurking around his apartment and seemed to play a melody of its own, a soft sweet sound that the night breeze carried to his ear in the dead of night. At times it was a nuisance, something of a moth beating against the light of his candle, but more often was it a queer sort of satisfaction. He had done something right, and she was in love with him. He let that heavy word float on his tongue for a moment before slipping out into the crisp morning air, down the crowded alleys like a siren’s call. In love!

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The Angel and the Man Kathy Fang ‘20 Mr. Oliver Fox awoke to the dull purrs of the city beyond his bedroom window, and as he turned onto his side, he saw that it was snowing outside. The weather was usually of no interest to him, whether it was coloured blue or gray or orange, and for a brief moment he watched the snowflakes sweep past his windowsill in idle pleasure, before he remembered that he was engaged to meet Miss Daphne Lane at two o’clock in the Park. Only then was he persuaded to toss his silken sheets aside, replace their warmth with a plush velvet robe, and meet the cold air of his bedroom as it closed in around him. Outside his window the city had disappeared. There was only a curtain of gray which had been curiously draped over the glass such that against its dappled surface was projected a ghostly outline of his figure. He met the gaze of this spectre and watched with wonder as the flecks of ice and snow blurred the shadow beneath his eyes. Fatigue melted from his face and left only a radiant flush in his lips and his cheeks. Every worry, every fear, every distress, every grief, and even every sin vanished. What a wonderful sensation came across him then, to stand alone before a window which gave to nothing but his own reflection, to his own form and beauty! In this light it almost seemed that all the weariness and agitation the world had cast over his beauty faded from the lines of his face. In this light it seemed that he could retire from the world and stay in the radiance of his youth for a brief eternity. But once this eternity passed the antique rosewood on his mantlepiece recontinued its relentless ticking and reminded him, once more, that he was engaged to meet Miss Daphne Lane at two o’clock in the Park. He then moved away from the enchanted window and drifted across his bedroom into the bathroom, and as he dressed his mind picked up its recollections of Miss Daphne and began to turn them over, one by one.

Upper Yosemite Valley from Clouds Rest Andrew Semenza ‘18

28

To begin with, she was wholly in love with him. She had admitted it two weeks ago, during an exquisite performance of The Phantom, and he had believed her immediately. He had been sure of it himself for one week prior to her confession—for he, too, had believed himself in love with her. Yes, she was in love with him and he with her; he could feel it in the air around him, a thickening that drummed against his ears and pressed upon his chest. Her love danced in the shadows lurking around his apartment and seemed to play a melody of its own, a soft sweet sound that the night breeze carried to his ear in the dead of night. At times it was a nuisance, something of a moth beating against the light of his candle, but more often was it a queer sort of satisfaction. He had done something right, and she was in love with him. He let that heavy word float on his tongue for a moment before slipping out into the crisp morning air, down the crowded alleys like a siren’s call. In love!

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Four hours later he found himself standing across the old oak tree where they had arranged to meet. He was at the base of a tall bronze statue of an angel, which must have been a glorious sight in the summertime but now, in the dead of winter, was but a mere mockery of humanity. The angel was alone, rising from a vast wasteland of ice and snow bordered only with the skeletons of magnolia trees. A thin layer of frost had arrested her outstretched wings mid-flight. Tears of melted snow traced quiet rivers from her eyes and down the folds of her robes. Her hands, once the magicians of blessings, held nothing but a faded lily in one and a sad puddle of ice in the other. It seemed altogether that the poor angel was walking among the graveyard of her past glories. A boy ran by and, laughing, tossed a peanut shell at her feet. It bounced off and landed near the edge of the frozen pool without so much a sound. A peanut shell—at an angel’s feet! It was a modern form of sacrilege, surely. But the angel herself didn’t mind; she continued her solemn endeavors among the cemeteries of dignity, alone. What a pitiful creature! When Miss Daphne rounded the corner of the path she found him kneeling by the great statue, reaching across the ice for a peanut shell which had fallen in the middle of the frozen pool. She paused and watched him grasp the edge of the shell and crush it between his fingers. After ensuring that any remnant of the shell had been either reduced to dust or carried away by the wind, he looked up and was immediately delighted to find Daphne beneath the branches of a magnolia on the other side of the fountain. “What was that for?” Her words were almost drowned out by the lashing gales which tore through the trees with unparalleled vigor. “Why, the angel, of course! Poor thing, didn’t you see her?” “Yes. What about it?” “A fall from grace!” She laughed. “Let’s go to the Plaza. We haven’t been in a-a-ages!” They made their way slowly through the Park, and as they walked a silence fell across their shoulders. Her thoughts were racing ahead of them, already at the doors of the bright Plaza; his had not drifted from his place at the feet of the angel. He remembered only the quiet grief of the angel, the rash indifference of the boy with the peanut shells, the empty waste that stretched for miles around the poor creature, whose wings were burdened with the heavy chains of melancholy and decay. How beautiful the angel must have been, and how cold the people around her were! An old woman in front of them bent over to retrieve a fallen letter, now soiled by the muddy snow. Why should she take the effort to save a shred of ink and paper, a transient speck of worthless memory, and yet leave the angel at the end of the path a victim of the cold? And the woman herself ! In what position was she to worry about other things? Her hands were marred by the cold, twisted

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Flight Susan He ‘19

31


Four hours later he found himself standing across the old oak tree where they had arranged to meet. He was at the base of a tall bronze statue of an angel, which must have been a glorious sight in the summertime but now, in the dead of winter, was but a mere mockery of humanity. The angel was alone, rising from a vast wasteland of ice and snow bordered only with the skeletons of magnolia trees. A thin layer of frost had arrested her outstretched wings mid-flight. Tears of melted snow traced quiet rivers from her eyes and down the folds of her robes. Her hands, once the magicians of blessings, held nothing but a faded lily in one and a sad puddle of ice in the other. It seemed altogether that the poor angel was walking among the graveyard of her past glories. A boy ran by and, laughing, tossed a peanut shell at her feet. It bounced off and landed near the edge of the frozen pool without so much a sound. A peanut shell—at an angel’s feet! It was a modern form of sacrilege, surely. But the angel herself didn’t mind; she continued her solemn endeavors among the cemeteries of dignity, alone. What a pitiful creature! When Miss Daphne rounded the corner of the path she found him kneeling by the great statue, reaching across the ice for a peanut shell which had fallen in the middle of the frozen pool. She paused and watched him grasp the edge of the shell and crush it between his fingers. After ensuring that any remnant of the shell had been either reduced to dust or carried away by the wind, he looked up and was immediately delighted to find Daphne beneath the branches of a magnolia on the other side of the fountain. “What was that for?” Her words were almost drowned out by the lashing gales which tore through the trees with unparalleled vigor. “Why, the angel, of course! Poor thing, didn’t you see her?” “Yes. What about it?” “A fall from grace!” She laughed. “Let’s go to the Plaza. We haven’t been in a-a-ages!” They made their way slowly through the Park, and as they walked a silence fell across their shoulders. Her thoughts were racing ahead of them, already at the doors of the bright Plaza; his had not drifted from his place at the feet of the angel. He remembered only the quiet grief of the angel, the rash indifference of the boy with the peanut shells, the empty waste that stretched for miles around the poor creature, whose wings were burdened with the heavy chains of melancholy and decay. How beautiful the angel must have been, and how cold the people around her were! An old woman in front of them bent over to retrieve a fallen letter, now soiled by the muddy snow. Why should she take the effort to save a shred of ink and paper, a transient speck of worthless memory, and yet leave the angel at the end of the path a victim of the cold? And the woman herself ! In what position was she to worry about other things? Her hands were marred by the cold, twisted

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Flight Susan He ‘19

31


and deformed into shapes unrecognizable, her face crossed a thousand times over with cracks and shadows. What was in that paper which made it so invaluable, even in light of the stone angel and the aged woman? And suddenly he thought back to the occurences of the morning, when the snow outside his window—the same snow tormenting the angel and devastating the old woman’s letter—had given his features the beautiful illusion of youth. He had been completely untouched by the cold—he had rather been glorified by it, even when it nipped at the feathers of the angel’s wings and disfigured the words of the woman’s letter. He had been removed from the bitter stings of winter, protected from its wrath by a veil of pure snow, and wrapped in silks and velvet while the city raged in a harsh storm outside her bedroom window. He had enjoyed the luxury of comfort and the pleasure of dignity, denied even to the most venerated of angels. On the sole account of that had he been spared the hideous effects of age. Could it be, then, that he had even been out of death’s reach? Was he unaffected altogether by age? The thought of it sent thrills throughout his veins, the invigorating spark of immortal life catching fire in his mind. But it had only been a mere reflection, nothing more than an illusion of youth and perfection. Surely he did not presently look to Daphne as he had looked to himself. It was a fancy he had entertained very early in the morning, when the taste of fantastic dreams still lingered on his lips and thus distorted his perception of the world. Yes, that was all—it was a mere illusion. But was it possible that it may, by some miracle of fortune, one day become his reality? “Yes, it must,” he murmured to himself. “It must be so.” “What, dear? What must be so?” He lifted his eyes to her face, and how dreadfully dull he found her eyes to be! Worn and weathered, a color that was nothing more than copper left to the ocean wind. Had he ever found then charming? Were they also within the power of elegance and dignity to rescue from the wrath of age—a wrath which, as it seemed to him, had already laid its hold on her youth? “We must take a taxi,” he proclaimed rather suddenly. “And we must order the best Cabernet they have at The Club.” He had begun to walk very fast, and Daphne was forced to run a few steps behind. She caught his elbow and pulled at it until he slowed. “Why, what’s wrong?” But he was resolute in his course and answered only, “Here, let us find a taxi at once.” “There are none at the moment, dear.” “We must go to the Plaza at once, and stay out of the cold. You cannot afford any more of it, and

32

I cannot risk anything less. Here comes one now, let us go at once.” His voice had become thick with determination, and she was faintly amused at his sudden turn of temper. It was indeed wiser, she thought, to entertain his fancy while it lasted. After all, a fancy was the most blatant sign of youth and its disappearance the clearest portent of age. In the taxi, they continued towards the Plaza at a frustrating pace. The old woman with the letter passed them and crossed at the sidewalk two cars before them and disappeared into the throngs of Fifth Avenue. Daphne found it faintly ironic that a fancy, a sign of youth, should waste so much time in its fulfillment. He, however, was oblivious to all this, being already too deeply buried in his philosophies of age. At a quarter to three they arrived at their table in The Club, which overlooked a grand lobby of glittering gowns and stiff tuxedos. He was safe there, with the ornate elegance of a plush armchair beneath his fingers and a polished surface adorned with curiously exotic patterns spread before him. He glanced into his reflection in the table. Nothing had changed from the morning—he might have even looked two years younger. There was a flush in his lips and cheeks from the cold and a glow in his eyes which displaced the shadows that had once haunted the hollows of his face. Daphne watched him curiously and wondered what thoughts could possibly be the source of his current caprice. Not that she minded it, for she found his sudden shifts in temper rather amusing to witness. His caprices were usually innocuous and had hardly any effect on either of them after their passing—once he had been utterly convinced that the only way to cultivate taste was by tasting, and he had insisted on becoming a connoisseur of Italian delicacies through strictly empirical means. This one, however, would not entirely be free of harm, for it involved much more financial investment than what caponata and affogato had required of him, but she said nothing of it and instead only gestured at a stray waiter. The Cabernet came within a moment’s notice, and its warmth was a welcome refuge from the cold. Gradually Oliver felt the anxieties in his chest relax. He was vaguely conscious of Daphne’s stare across the polished table as he ordered another glass, but he thought nothing of her silent inquietudes. After all, if he could outlast decay, he must certainly have time later to atone. A beautiful and distant ideal that was, to atone! One day, he thought, he would. Through some glorious manifestation of his inner purity—which, in his fantasy, would somehow be miraculously preserved along with his youth—he would forgive himself of the sins which he had traded for youth. Yes, that was it—he would make amends once he was ready to age, once he tired of youth. But this was more than enough for present satisfaction. To hell with the angel, he thought! Of what importance should good be if it brought no beauty? No, this would do for him—this would do for now. Δ

33


and deformed into shapes unrecognizable, her face crossed a thousand times over with cracks and shadows. What was in that paper which made it so invaluable, even in light of the stone angel and the aged woman? And suddenly he thought back to the occurences of the morning, when the snow outside his window—the same snow tormenting the angel and devastating the old woman’s letter—had given his features the beautiful illusion of youth. He had been completely untouched by the cold—he had rather been glorified by it, even when it nipped at the feathers of the angel’s wings and disfigured the words of the woman’s letter. He had been removed from the bitter stings of winter, protected from its wrath by a veil of pure snow, and wrapped in silks and velvet while the city raged in a harsh storm outside her bedroom window. He had enjoyed the luxury of comfort and the pleasure of dignity, denied even to the most venerated of angels. On the sole account of that had he been spared the hideous effects of age. Could it be, then, that he had even been out of death’s reach? Was he unaffected altogether by age? The thought of it sent thrills throughout his veins, the invigorating spark of immortal life catching fire in his mind. But it had only been a mere reflection, nothing more than an illusion of youth and perfection. Surely he did not presently look to Daphne as he had looked to himself. It was a fancy he had entertained very early in the morning, when the taste of fantastic dreams still lingered on his lips and thus distorted his perception of the world. Yes, that was all—it was a mere illusion. But was it possible that it may, by some miracle of fortune, one day become his reality? “Yes, it must,” he murmured to himself. “It must be so.” “What, dear? What must be so?” He lifted his eyes to her face, and how dreadfully dull he found her eyes to be! Worn and weathered, a color that was nothing more than copper left to the ocean wind. Had he ever found then charming? Were they also within the power of elegance and dignity to rescue from the wrath of age—a wrath which, as it seemed to him, had already laid its hold on her youth? “We must take a taxi,” he proclaimed rather suddenly. “And we must order the best Cabernet they have at The Club.” He had begun to walk very fast, and Daphne was forced to run a few steps behind. She caught his elbow and pulled at it until he slowed. “Why, what’s wrong?” But he was resolute in his course and answered only, “Here, let us find a taxi at once.” “There are none at the moment, dear.” “We must go to the Plaza at once, and stay out of the cold. You cannot afford any more of it, and

32

I cannot risk anything less. Here comes one now, let us go at once.” His voice had become thick with determination, and she was faintly amused at his sudden turn of temper. It was indeed wiser, she thought, to entertain his fancy while it lasted. After all, a fancy was the most blatant sign of youth and its disappearance the clearest portent of age. In the taxi, they continued towards the Plaza at a frustrating pace. The old woman with the letter passed them and crossed at the sidewalk two cars before them and disappeared into the throngs of Fifth Avenue. Daphne found it faintly ironic that a fancy, a sign of youth, should waste so much time in its fulfillment. He, however, was oblivious to all this, being already too deeply buried in his philosophies of age. At a quarter to three they arrived at their table in The Club, which overlooked a grand lobby of glittering gowns and stiff tuxedos. He was safe there, with the ornate elegance of a plush armchair beneath his fingers and a polished surface adorned with curiously exotic patterns spread before him. He glanced into his reflection in the table. Nothing had changed from the morning—he might have even looked two years younger. There was a flush in his lips and cheeks from the cold and a glow in his eyes which displaced the shadows that had once haunted the hollows of his face. Daphne watched him curiously and wondered what thoughts could possibly be the source of his current caprice. Not that she minded it, for she found his sudden shifts in temper rather amusing to witness. His caprices were usually innocuous and had hardly any effect on either of them after their passing—once he had been utterly convinced that the only way to cultivate taste was by tasting, and he had insisted on becoming a connoisseur of Italian delicacies through strictly empirical means. This one, however, would not entirely be free of harm, for it involved much more financial investment than what caponata and affogato had required of him, but she said nothing of it and instead only gestured at a stray waiter. The Cabernet came within a moment’s notice, and its warmth was a welcome refuge from the cold. Gradually Oliver felt the anxieties in his chest relax. He was vaguely conscious of Daphne’s stare across the polished table as he ordered another glass, but he thought nothing of her silent inquietudes. After all, if he could outlast decay, he must certainly have time later to atone. A beautiful and distant ideal that was, to atone! One day, he thought, he would. Through some glorious manifestation of his inner purity—which, in his fantasy, would somehow be miraculously preserved along with his youth—he would forgive himself of the sins which he had traded for youth. Yes, that was it—he would make amends once he was ready to age, once he tired of youth. But this was more than enough for present satisfaction. To hell with the angel, he thought! Of what importance should good be if it brought no beauty? No, this would do for him—this would do for now. Δ

33


Desserts, French Food, and Questionable Decisions Jessica Jiang ‘20 I owe it to Pierre Herme’s macaron posters. Have you seen them? I visited Paris once, a couple of years ago, and went into one of his pastry stops, and there they were. Macarons nestled between exotic plants and flowers, falling, as artistically as any makeup poster, on a black background, artfully crushed. Well, I’m an artist. I like beautiful things. So it isn’t surprising that I came back with a strong desire for macarons and baguettes and beautiful French desserts. I found myself in the kitchen in front of the oven when I got home. Then I stopped. How do you turn on an oven? I had no idea how to operate an oven or bake, let alone make something as intricate as a macaron or a cake. In addition, the kitchen is my grandma’s domain. So as a duke must obey his emperor’s jurisdiction, so too do I have to win Grandma’s approval when I bake. But I’ve gotten better at this. That being said, the vast majority of my desserts and dinner dishes are oddly shaped or strangely colored or burnt. But what’s more exciting than seeing all the things that have gone wrong? 1. Charred food Nothing beats the roasted brussel sprouts at my school’s cafeteria. They’d be the stars at any vegetarian gathering: beautiful, firm but crunchy, and slightly spicy. But my roasted brussel sprouts? They are more black than green, which is definitely not good. This “black death” that affects my brussel sprouts so is unfortunately contagious. Youthful, zestful carrots and beets have ventured into the oven as well, only to return shriveled and spotted with black. They are conspicuously gruesome on the dinner table, and avoided as effectively as if they were quarantined. Even more disquieting is the method of transmission: of course I am not at fault, but between the vinegar, olive oil, or something else, the culprit remains unfound, and I am afraid to sacrifice any more fine vegetables. Thus, the plague and I remain at an impasse. 2. Worrisome desserts Ever heard of “deviled eggs?” The word “deviled”, when attributed to food, means spicy, but in this case, I believe in a second definition. Eggs are a constant thorn in my side: your dessert is ruined either because they’re used, or because they’re not used.

San Francisco 1st Street Annie Ma ‘20

34

Sure, they look unassuming and orderly in that egg crate, but once cracked open, they reveal their true colors. Just like the devil, they are hard to clean up after, not easy to get rid of, and mixed into everyone’s business.

35


Desserts, French Food, and Questionable Decisions Jessica Jiang ‘20 I owe it to Pierre Herme’s macaron posters. Have you seen them? I visited Paris once, a couple of years ago, and went into one of his pastry stops, and there they were. Macarons nestled between exotic plants and flowers, falling, as artistically as any makeup poster, on a black background, artfully crushed. Well, I’m an artist. I like beautiful things. So it isn’t surprising that I came back with a strong desire for macarons and baguettes and beautiful French desserts. I found myself in the kitchen in front of the oven when I got home. Then I stopped. How do you turn on an oven? I had no idea how to operate an oven or bake, let alone make something as intricate as a macaron or a cake. In addition, the kitchen is my grandma’s domain. So as a duke must obey his emperor’s jurisdiction, so too do I have to win Grandma’s approval when I bake. But I’ve gotten better at this. That being said, the vast majority of my desserts and dinner dishes are oddly shaped or strangely colored or burnt. But what’s more exciting than seeing all the things that have gone wrong? 1. Charred food Nothing beats the roasted brussel sprouts at my school’s cafeteria. They’d be the stars at any vegetarian gathering: beautiful, firm but crunchy, and slightly spicy. But my roasted brussel sprouts? They are more black than green, which is definitely not good. This “black death” that affects my brussel sprouts so is unfortunately contagious. Youthful, zestful carrots and beets have ventured into the oven as well, only to return shriveled and spotted with black. They are conspicuously gruesome on the dinner table, and avoided as effectively as if they were quarantined. Even more disquieting is the method of transmission: of course I am not at fault, but between the vinegar, olive oil, or something else, the culprit remains unfound, and I am afraid to sacrifice any more fine vegetables. Thus, the plague and I remain at an impasse. 2. Worrisome desserts Ever heard of “deviled eggs?” The word “deviled”, when attributed to food, means spicy, but in this case, I believe in a second definition. Eggs are a constant thorn in my side: your dessert is ruined either because they’re used, or because they’re not used.

San Francisco 1st Street Annie Ma ‘20

34

Sure, they look unassuming and orderly in that egg crate, but once cracked open, they reveal their true colors. Just like the devil, they are hard to clean up after, not easy to get rid of, and mixed into everyone’s business.

35


For example, I’m in charge of making birthday cakes for my family. Last year, on my birthday, I baked a chiffon cake, which is a light, airy cake that depends on a well-whisked egg white mixture to rise. However, the eggs I used that day were especially unsavory. No matter how hard or how long we whisked, neither my grandma nor I could get them to increase in volume. I couldn’t bear to dump six eggs down the drain either, for fear of incurring my frugal grandma’s wrath, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for a miracle as I placed my birthday cake into the oven. It didn’t happen. I have made a one-inch tall chiffon cake. I have made lumpy pastry cream. I have made eggless peanut butter cookies that fell apart before they went into your mouth. And the moral of the story is: if something goes wrong, blame the rotten eggs. 3. Frankenstein dishes Between inedible and appetizing, there exists a blurry and vague category to which many of my creations, from half-baked, watery lemon-apple tarts to broccoli quiche that jiggles like jello, belong. A mystery that has always fascinated me is how my family was able to pretend that my experiments at French baguette were appetizing, and how they resisted banishing me from the kitchen afterwards. The greater mystery is how they managed to choke it down. The bread was as hard as a brick and almost just as dense. Often I wonder if it is ethical for me to feed my family the results of my fanatical obsessions with French food and soups, despite their hasty assurances to the contrary. No doubt they will breathe a collective sigh of relief when I leave for college to harass my roommates instead. 4. Too sweet My grandma believes in honest-to-goodness unprocessed, all-natural, organic reality. I, on the other hand, believe in the advent of technology, and the triumph of man over nature. Over-the-top excess is all the rage nowadays. Think twenty pairs of high heels for one person or giant billboards advertising Coca-Cola. Think Roombas and very smart calculators and all those Netflix series you haven’t watched yet. Think triple-stuffed oreos and Halloween candy and all that beautiful processed white sugar. I believe in MacBooks and cars and Spotify. I believe in meringues and cookies and above all else, sugar. From macarons to macaroons and snickerdoodles to sugar cookies, I’ve baked them all. And my grandma has denounced them all. They’re all too sweet, she says. She can’t stand it. She still tells me

36

Those who shape us Katrina Liou ‘19

37


For example, I’m in charge of making birthday cakes for my family. Last year, on my birthday, I baked a chiffon cake, which is a light, airy cake that depends on a well-whisked egg white mixture to rise. However, the eggs I used that day were especially unsavory. No matter how hard or how long we whisked, neither my grandma nor I could get them to increase in volume. I couldn’t bear to dump six eggs down the drain either, for fear of incurring my frugal grandma’s wrath, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for a miracle as I placed my birthday cake into the oven. It didn’t happen. I have made a one-inch tall chiffon cake. I have made lumpy pastry cream. I have made eggless peanut butter cookies that fell apart before they went into your mouth. And the moral of the story is: if something goes wrong, blame the rotten eggs. 3. Frankenstein dishes Between inedible and appetizing, there exists a blurry and vague category to which many of my creations, from half-baked, watery lemon-apple tarts to broccoli quiche that jiggles like jello, belong. A mystery that has always fascinated me is how my family was able to pretend that my experiments at French baguette were appetizing, and how they resisted banishing me from the kitchen afterwards. The greater mystery is how they managed to choke it down. The bread was as hard as a brick and almost just as dense. Often I wonder if it is ethical for me to feed my family the results of my fanatical obsessions with French food and soups, despite their hasty assurances to the contrary. No doubt they will breathe a collective sigh of relief when I leave for college to harass my roommates instead. 4. Too sweet My grandma believes in honest-to-goodness unprocessed, all-natural, organic reality. I, on the other hand, believe in the advent of technology, and the triumph of man over nature. Over-the-top excess is all the rage nowadays. Think twenty pairs of high heels for one person or giant billboards advertising Coca-Cola. Think Roombas and very smart calculators and all those Netflix series you haven’t watched yet. Think triple-stuffed oreos and Halloween candy and all that beautiful processed white sugar. I believe in MacBooks and cars and Spotify. I believe in meringues and cookies and above all else, sugar. From macarons to macaroons and snickerdoodles to sugar cookies, I’ve baked them all. And my grandma has denounced them all. They’re all too sweet, she says. She can’t stand it. She still tells me

36

Those who shape us Katrina Liou ‘19

37


about when she was young, and everything was honest-to-goodness unprocessed, all-natural, organic reality. But grandma, I say, this is what everyone eats today. Along with the average diameter of the cookie, the average circumference of the human waist is growing and growing. What defense do we have against the artificial stronghold humanity is walling itself inside, or its refusal to acknowledge the travails of nature? Who cares if the world crumbles if the TV still works? Who believes in global warming anyways? And seriously, what can compare to the dark side when they’re offering cookies? So what can we do? I ask. Simple, grandma replies. Less sugar. 5. Dishes and desserts that somehow turned out pretty good Success should make you happy, right? But let’s face it: despite my love for everything French, none of the dishes that my family likes best are French. They commend my homemade pocky and castella (a Japanese cake), my butternut squash soup, my Mediterranean sole, and pizza. I would like to believe that they cannot comprehend the complex flavor of my French baking, but the more likely explanation is that like my essays in third grade, what I had then thought beautiful and sophisticated now would seem trite and uncoordinated. I remember how when I was four my family and I used to have a Dora the Explorer board game. The rule was that I would always win, no arguments. My experience with baking makes me remember that experience growing up all over again, except now the oven is winning against me, and quite frequently. This is the hard truth: neither my baking nor I is perfect all the time. But is that a reason to be discouraged? After all, Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” So though my macarons will never be beautiful enough to equal Pierre Herme’s, they will definitely get better. And they have always been delicious. Δ

poppy Serena Lu ‘18

38

39


about when she was young, and everything was honest-to-goodness unprocessed, all-natural, organic reality. But grandma, I say, this is what everyone eats today. Along with the average diameter of the cookie, the average circumference of the human waist is growing and growing. What defense do we have against the artificial stronghold humanity is walling itself inside, or its refusal to acknowledge the travails of nature? Who cares if the world crumbles if the TV still works? Who believes in global warming anyways? And seriously, what can compare to the dark side when they’re offering cookies? So what can we do? I ask. Simple, grandma replies. Less sugar. 5. Dishes and desserts that somehow turned out pretty good Success should make you happy, right? But let’s face it: despite my love for everything French, none of the dishes that my family likes best are French. They commend my homemade pocky and castella (a Japanese cake), my butternut squash soup, my Mediterranean sole, and pizza. I would like to believe that they cannot comprehend the complex flavor of my French baking, but the more likely explanation is that like my essays in third grade, what I had then thought beautiful and sophisticated now would seem trite and uncoordinated. I remember how when I was four my family and I used to have a Dora the Explorer board game. The rule was that I would always win, no arguments. My experience with baking makes me remember that experience growing up all over again, except now the oven is winning against me, and quite frequently. This is the hard truth: neither my baking nor I is perfect all the time. But is that a reason to be discouraged? After all, Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” So though my macarons will never be beautiful enough to equal Pierre Herme’s, they will definitely get better. And they have always been delicious. Δ

poppy Serena Lu ‘18

38

39


Kinabalu’s Jewels Alexander Young ‘19

hurling a pair of ants hanging underneath to a watery death, before slinging my wet backpack over my shoulder and stalking away.

A single Nepenthes rafflesiana upper pitcher hangs in the air, a delicate arched wine glass suspended like a Christmas ornament among the dull verdant Dipterocarp saplings and Pandan brush. The body of the pitcher is long and curved, painted a smooth cream tinged with orange-red spots; a thick, ridged Elizabethan ruff of a peristome, complete with bright red stripes and overhanging spines, rings the wide pinkish maw. The entire thing is topped with a thin neck where the peristome flares out like the bared fangs of a festively coloured viper, and a speckled sunhat protects our lone monarch from the abuse of falling rain. This, as David Attenborough’s suave voice would have us believe, is the most feared member of kingdom Plantae, a fierce and efficient killer that slaughters unwary flies by the buzzing cloud-full.

A trek through Sabah jungle is an unconventional vacation getaway, but I know an in-situ expedition has been a long time coming for my carnivorous plant obsession. The craze began with a sickly

Naturally, I’ve got to pay my respects to this noble ruler. I clamber off the slick wooden boardwalk and land laces-deep in the dark, spongy peat bed. My brutish struggle through the thick bramble of interlocked woody shrubs throws up the not-unpleasant musk of decayed leaf litter and rotted tree roots, sending countless tiny pillbugs and damselfly larvae scurrying for shelter (sorry). Three whips to the face by hanging vines and a mosquito bite later, I’ve made it a whole three meters into the forest, just within arms-reach of the pitcher. But as I come closer, it’s apparent that this photosynthesizing death trap has an undeserved reputation. Instead of being filled to the rim with the putrefying chitin corpses of her victims, Nepenthes rafflesiana is covered with no fewer than fifteen half-centimeter long ants, scurrying about the waxy peristome, neck, and even the underside of the lid, like sun-tanners on a family beach day. They scuttle mere millimeters from certain death, sampling with curled mandibles the glistening nectar that coats the spines, only to return to their fellows with neither a slipped foot nor near fall. Farther inside, floating in the pitcher’s thick transparent syrup of digestive juices, I see more crunchy dried fragments of leaf debris than dead bugs. How could this be? I ask myself. McPherson et al. says the peristome is coated with low-friction, fluid-filled microstructures that cause insects to lose their grip! The nectar contains the paralyzing agent coniine! Downward pointing hairs prevent the fallen insects from climbing back up! That’s, like, a -10 debuff to dexterity! No mindless bug could outwit the king of the flora! The pitcher’s only recently opened, I reason. It’s only a matter of time. Good things come to those who wait—and plants are the best at patience. I, too, can wait. But after 20 minutes of squatting in soaked peat mud, I have nothing to show for my efforts except an uncomfortable volume of grimy sweat stinging my armpit creases. Our guide, Jimmy, reassures me that there are more plants up ahead, so I spitefully flick the top of the pitcher lid,

Order Elizabeth Yang ‘19

40

41


Kinabalu’s Jewels Alexander Young ‘19

hurling a pair of ants hanging underneath to a watery death, before slinging my wet backpack over my shoulder and stalking away.

A single Nepenthes rafflesiana upper pitcher hangs in the air, a delicate arched wine glass suspended like a Christmas ornament among the dull verdant Dipterocarp saplings and Pandan brush. The body of the pitcher is long and curved, painted a smooth cream tinged with orange-red spots; a thick, ridged Elizabethan ruff of a peristome, complete with bright red stripes and overhanging spines, rings the wide pinkish maw. The entire thing is topped with a thin neck where the peristome flares out like the bared fangs of a festively coloured viper, and a speckled sunhat protects our lone monarch from the abuse of falling rain. This, as David Attenborough’s suave voice would have us believe, is the most feared member of kingdom Plantae, a fierce and efficient killer that slaughters unwary flies by the buzzing cloud-full.

A trek through Sabah jungle is an unconventional vacation getaway, but I know an in-situ expedition has been a long time coming for my carnivorous plant obsession. The craze began with a sickly

Naturally, I’ve got to pay my respects to this noble ruler. I clamber off the slick wooden boardwalk and land laces-deep in the dark, spongy peat bed. My brutish struggle through the thick bramble of interlocked woody shrubs throws up the not-unpleasant musk of decayed leaf litter and rotted tree roots, sending countless tiny pillbugs and damselfly larvae scurrying for shelter (sorry). Three whips to the face by hanging vines and a mosquito bite later, I’ve made it a whole three meters into the forest, just within arms-reach of the pitcher. But as I come closer, it’s apparent that this photosynthesizing death trap has an undeserved reputation. Instead of being filled to the rim with the putrefying chitin corpses of her victims, Nepenthes rafflesiana is covered with no fewer than fifteen half-centimeter long ants, scurrying about the waxy peristome, neck, and even the underside of the lid, like sun-tanners on a family beach day. They scuttle mere millimeters from certain death, sampling with curled mandibles the glistening nectar that coats the spines, only to return to their fellows with neither a slipped foot nor near fall. Farther inside, floating in the pitcher’s thick transparent syrup of digestive juices, I see more crunchy dried fragments of leaf debris than dead bugs. How could this be? I ask myself. McPherson et al. says the peristome is coated with low-friction, fluid-filled microstructures that cause insects to lose their grip! The nectar contains the paralyzing agent coniine! Downward pointing hairs prevent the fallen insects from climbing back up! That’s, like, a -10 debuff to dexterity! No mindless bug could outwit the king of the flora! The pitcher’s only recently opened, I reason. It’s only a matter of time. Good things come to those who wait—and plants are the best at patience. I, too, can wait. But after 20 minutes of squatting in soaked peat mud, I have nothing to show for my efforts except an uncomfortable volume of grimy sweat stinging my armpit creases. Our guide, Jimmy, reassures me that there are more plants up ahead, so I spitefully flick the top of the pitcher lid,

Order Elizabeth Yang ‘19

40

41


Lowe’s Venus flytrap under a plastic “death cube” and a copy of the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors remake, and, fueled by six years of online forum posts, mail order plants, and International Carnivorous Plant Society magazine subscriptions, saw no end in sight. McPherson, Robinson, and Lee et al.’s glowing descriptions and sharp photographs of Nepenthes had painted an image of mechanical efficiency and elegant creativity. Millions of years of evolution, of plants and animals locked in a deadly cycle of eat and reproduce, had practically designed a trap to lure the consistently dim-witted bugs into watery pitfalls that extracted every droplet of dissolved insect guts into nitrogen and phosphorus to fuel a greater purpose. These were plants imbued with animal cleverness, what with their unending toolbox of baited nectar, anthocyanin pigments, vegetable spines, hairs, enzymes— even ultraviolet bioluminescence. The studies, measurements, charts, and 10-page long references had led me to a singular conclusion: these plants were badass. What better way to celebrate the last two weeks of summer break than to see them in the wild, where the abuse of Malaysian typhoons and dry seasons made them tougher than any greenhouse-pampered, botanical garden city plant?

rock face. Villosa’s just another vegetable, eaten up by the collectors whose greed rises above their love for these plants, and by the poachers who rip up bits of greenery and smuggle them under their shirts to put enough food on their dinner tables. How can the advanced evolution of Nepenthes possibly compete with the desperation of a Homo sapiens, whose need trumps all others of the animal kingdom? There is no place for the last of this magnificent species to hide. Whether they grow by the roadside or on remote mountain peaks makes no difference; man, the most tenacious hunter of them all, will always find them. Who cares about destroying a few measly shrubs if it means some extra pocket money? The plants themselves certainly have nothing to say for themselves. I shoulder my bag with a shudder and hurry to rejoin the rest of the group. The surveillance camera’s dusty lens stare accusingly into my back until I turn the corner and the crushed brown plantlets littering the soil are out of sight. Δ

Five hours later, I’m wriggling my way down a slope of Mount Kinabalu. It’s prime Nepenthes territory: fog hovers in the air in a cool haze, and I can already see the telltale hairy, spathulate leaves and arching tendrils of Nepenthes villosa peeking out from behind the stunted trees and moss-grown mounds. My first steps into this wondrous offtrail habitat are richly rewarded. Each of the twenty or so Nepenthes stretches two feet wide; their glossy olive leaves are edged with brown fur, and spectacular tumbler-shaped pitchers have lodged themselves in the dried strands of Sphagnum like great scarlet and orange gemstones. The peristome sports enormous raised teeth, all pointing inward like so many spikes lining a Yup’ik fish trap. In the cold white sunlight filtering in through the overcast clouds above, they glow like embers against the pale yellow background of the pitchers. It’s a treasure trove, a paradise of the most noble plants on Earth. I round the corner, eager to see more—Crack. My foot crushes a broken leaf, the first sign that there’s something wrong. There’s a brief moment of panic: did I just flatten an IUCN critically endangered plant? But it’s much worse. Hanging from the dry, dusty soil are scores of sickly, yellowed Nepenthes villosa. The leaves are cracked and jagged, their wounds long withered into browned scars; the newest leaves are stunted, warped into tiny nubs bearing dead, half-centimeter mockeries of pitchers. Some of the plants lie on their sides, uprooted from the earth, as streaks of rot penetrate the shriveled stems. “Dry season especially bad this year.” Jimmy mutters beside me. A pause, and he adds, “And poachers.” He points a finger at the gnarled branches of a dead tree, and I notice a white plastic video camera nestled nose-height in the foliage. “Rangers watch.” Suddenly, Kinabalu doesn’t seem quite as idyllic. The Nepenthes aren’t the kings of the jungle, not really: if they were, the last of their kind wouldn’t be scrabbling to hang on to the sides of a sheer

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Leaves Rose Guan ‘19

43


Lowe’s Venus flytrap under a plastic “death cube” and a copy of the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors remake, and, fueled by six years of online forum posts, mail order plants, and International Carnivorous Plant Society magazine subscriptions, saw no end in sight. McPherson, Robinson, and Lee et al.’s glowing descriptions and sharp photographs of Nepenthes had painted an image of mechanical efficiency and elegant creativity. Millions of years of evolution, of plants and animals locked in a deadly cycle of eat and reproduce, had practically designed a trap to lure the consistently dim-witted bugs into watery pitfalls that extracted every droplet of dissolved insect guts into nitrogen and phosphorus to fuel a greater purpose. These were plants imbued with animal cleverness, what with their unending toolbox of baited nectar, anthocyanin pigments, vegetable spines, hairs, enzymes— even ultraviolet bioluminescence. The studies, measurements, charts, and 10-page long references had led me to a singular conclusion: these plants were badass. What better way to celebrate the last two weeks of summer break than to see them in the wild, where the abuse of Malaysian typhoons and dry seasons made them tougher than any greenhouse-pampered, botanical garden city plant?

rock face. Villosa’s just another vegetable, eaten up by the collectors whose greed rises above their love for these plants, and by the poachers who rip up bits of greenery and smuggle them under their shirts to put enough food on their dinner tables. How can the advanced evolution of Nepenthes possibly compete with the desperation of a Homo sapiens, whose need trumps all others of the animal kingdom? There is no place for the last of this magnificent species to hide. Whether they grow by the roadside or on remote mountain peaks makes no difference; man, the most tenacious hunter of them all, will always find them. Who cares about destroying a few measly shrubs if it means some extra pocket money? The plants themselves certainly have nothing to say for themselves. I shoulder my bag with a shudder and hurry to rejoin the rest of the group. The surveillance camera’s dusty lens stare accusingly into my back until I turn the corner and the crushed brown plantlets littering the soil are out of sight. Δ

Five hours later, I’m wriggling my way down a slope of Mount Kinabalu. It’s prime Nepenthes territory: fog hovers in the air in a cool haze, and I can already see the telltale hairy, spathulate leaves and arching tendrils of Nepenthes villosa peeking out from behind the stunted trees and moss-grown mounds. My first steps into this wondrous offtrail habitat are richly rewarded. Each of the twenty or so Nepenthes stretches two feet wide; their glossy olive leaves are edged with brown fur, and spectacular tumbler-shaped pitchers have lodged themselves in the dried strands of Sphagnum like great scarlet and orange gemstones. The peristome sports enormous raised teeth, all pointing inward like so many spikes lining a Yup’ik fish trap. In the cold white sunlight filtering in through the overcast clouds above, they glow like embers against the pale yellow background of the pitchers. It’s a treasure trove, a paradise of the most noble plants on Earth. I round the corner, eager to see more—Crack. My foot crushes a broken leaf, the first sign that there’s something wrong. There’s a brief moment of panic: did I just flatten an IUCN critically endangered plant? But it’s much worse. Hanging from the dry, dusty soil are scores of sickly, yellowed Nepenthes villosa. The leaves are cracked and jagged, their wounds long withered into browned scars; the newest leaves are stunted, warped into tiny nubs bearing dead, half-centimeter mockeries of pitchers. Some of the plants lie on their sides, uprooted from the earth, as streaks of rot penetrate the shriveled stems. “Dry season especially bad this year.” Jimmy mutters beside me. A pause, and he adds, “And poachers.” He points a finger at the gnarled branches of a dead tree, and I notice a white plastic video camera nestled nose-height in the foliage. “Rangers watch.” Suddenly, Kinabalu doesn’t seem quite as idyllic. The Nepenthes aren’t the kings of the jungle, not really: if they were, the last of their kind wouldn’t be scrabbling to hang on to the sides of a sheer

42

Leaves Rose Guan ‘19

43


Blue Amla Rashingkar ‘20 Blue: An RGB value of #0000ff. An effect of light with a wavelength approximately 475 nanometers. You learned blue to be the shade between violet and green in the visible spectrum. It used to be smurfs among other things between Barney the Dinosaur and Shrek. As you grew older, it sank into gaps between sickly bruises and jealousy. The only thing that can come from that is sadness. The bottom of every amber ember holds a blue spark, a piece of fragile intensity to keep heat in the flame alive. When the moon pulls at the earth, it tugs at blue tides. Stars are so hot they shine right past red and orange and go straight to blue. There are sapphires that same color nestled deep within earth’s rich crust. Blue is mountains and oceans and everything in between, it’s royal maps of blood lingering under tender flesh. Blue is melting ice caps flooding the arctic and ashy, chapped lips breathless in a sea of cold. Blue is the foot on your back and tasting gravelly pavement on your tongue right after. Blue is bruises pressing onto your back like hands of someone you never got to hold. Blue is the wrong person’s glass mouth leeching onto yours and mistakes staining your neck the next day, it’s the ringing in your ears and the whisper of a shadow lingering behind your door. Blue is breaths bogged down by crying and trying to scrub yourself clean. It’s lost reflections of a survivor staring at you in the mirror. Blue is the wave of relief crashing over you when you realize you haven’t broken yet. There’s more to blue than cobalt or cyan or navy. There’s more to blue than simple sadness. Blue’s not just a wavelength between 450 and 500 nanometers. There’s more to blue, just like there’s more to a storm than thunder and lightning, like there’s more to milky webs of crystal tears than meets the eye, like there’s more than flooding and suffocation when you’re drowning, surrendering to Blue. Δ

Gold Rose Guan ‘19

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Blue Amla Rashingkar ‘20 Blue: An RGB value of #0000ff. An effect of light with a wavelength approximately 475 nanometers. You learned blue to be the shade between violet and green in the visible spectrum. It used to be smurfs among other things between Barney the Dinosaur and Shrek. As you grew older, it sank into gaps between sickly bruises and jealousy. The only thing that can come from that is sadness. The bottom of every amber ember holds a blue spark, a piece of fragile intensity to keep heat in the flame alive. When the moon pulls at the earth, it tugs at blue tides. Stars are so hot they shine right past red and orange and go straight to blue. There are sapphires that same color nestled deep within earth’s rich crust. Blue is mountains and oceans and everything in between, it’s royal maps of blood lingering under tender flesh. Blue is melting ice caps flooding the arctic and ashy, chapped lips breathless in a sea of cold. Blue is the foot on your back and tasting gravelly pavement on your tongue right after. Blue is bruises pressing onto your back like hands of someone you never got to hold. Blue is the wrong person’s glass mouth leeching onto yours and mistakes staining your neck the next day, it’s the ringing in your ears and the whisper of a shadow lingering behind your door. Blue is breaths bogged down by crying and trying to scrub yourself clean. It’s lost reflections of a survivor staring at you in the mirror. Blue is the wave of relief crashing over you when you realize you haven’t broken yet. There’s more to blue than cobalt or cyan or navy. There’s more to blue than simple sadness. Blue’s not just a wavelength between 450 and 500 nanometers. There’s more to blue, just like there’s more to a storm than thunder and lightning, like there’s more to milky webs of crystal tears than meets the eye, like there’s more than flooding and suffocation when you’re drowning, surrendering to Blue. Δ

Gold Rose Guan ‘19

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A Myth with No Name Derek Yen ‘18 mak’ aska ka teɪ, teˈmeneɕ a teɪ. a jaː, a jeː, a veɪ o teɪ. praˈʃakan teˈji. i askeɪ ko meɪ i kanu — uku i akan, ak i kan ai ɛ. ak’an i pazan, u eʃeɪ teɪ. aɾɛ reθ meɪku, gawan ɹaðaŋ ɯɬaː, ɯɬaː, kɾa faː ka teɪ.

From the Author:

The Quiet Annie Ma ‘20

Spoken sounds have meaning in and of themselves. This auxiliary function of words is acknowledged by poets through devices such as alliteration, sibilance, and onomatopoeia, but the significance of this function is obscured by the meaning of the used words and the poem as a whole. I believe that sounds alone can construct ineffable meaning, and sought to create a poem that was only sounds—an experiment in sound symbolism. I wrote this poem in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which was developed by linguists to transcribe all languages. I chose to use the IPA to further divorce the sounds of context. Some sounds utilized do not appear in English and have inimitable character—further demonstrating that there is a kind of meaning that poets cannot capture even with sound techniques. Language, therefore, paradoxically becomes a hindrance to communication. So read the poem, and think of it not in terms of words vaguely suggested, or as an invented language foreign to your ear, but as sounds themselves, in the purest form.

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A Myth with No Name Derek Yen ‘18 mak’ aska ka teɪ, teˈmeneɕ a teɪ. a jaː, a jeː, a veɪ o teɪ. praˈʃakan teˈji. i askeɪ ko meɪ i kanu — uku i akan, ak i kan ai ɛ. ak’an i pazan, u eʃeɪ teɪ. aɾɛ reθ meɪku, gawan ɹaðaŋ ɯɬaː, ɯɬaː, kɾa faː ka teɪ.

From the Author:

The Quiet Annie Ma ‘20

Spoken sounds have meaning in and of themselves. This auxiliary function of words is acknowledged by poets through devices such as alliteration, sibilance, and onomatopoeia, but the significance of this function is obscured by the meaning of the used words and the poem as a whole. I believe that sounds alone can construct ineffable meaning, and sought to create a poem that was only sounds—an experiment in sound symbolism. I wrote this poem in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which was developed by linguists to transcribe all languages. I chose to use the IPA to further divorce the sounds of context. Some sounds utilized do not appear in English and have inimitable character—further demonstrating that there is a kind of meaning that poets cannot capture even with sound techniques. Language, therefore, paradoxically becomes a hindrance to communication. So read the poem, and think of it not in terms of words vaguely suggested, or as an invented language foreign to your ear, but as sounds themselves, in the purest form.

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Flower Emily Chen ‘18 who taught me burial by sea is the strongest way to live. foaming at the mouth, she cupped me at my rubber throat. our yellow eyes smarted into the night, a fathom further than photographic silence. who taught me to pounce on the next stone-shaped man, a white collar brining between my legs. he charts the mossy, swimming ends of every infant ribcage and barren body strewn, wide and gorgeous, in her bedside storm. who taught me the ache of lamplight thighs is nothing new, only the pulsing whim of feasting on a girl. at paltry birth, she cleaved my tongue, whitened its peels with hoisin sauce and memory, the gentlest balance of night and feathers. she lowered

static nathaniel melisso ‘20

48

my voices, haunted the highways with a thumb suckling the pickled earth into an open fist, the first signs of an early winter. who taught me to lick, slowly, at the arrival of an unnamed tragedy.

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Flower Emily Chen ‘18 who taught me burial by sea is the strongest way to live. foaming at the mouth, she cupped me at my rubber throat. our yellow eyes smarted into the night, a fathom further than photographic silence. who taught me to pounce on the next stone-shaped man, a white collar brining between my legs. he charts the mossy, swimming ends of every infant ribcage and barren body strewn, wide and gorgeous, in her bedside storm. who taught me the ache of lamplight thighs is nothing new, only the pulsing whim of feasting on a girl. at paltry birth, she cleaved my tongue, whitened its peels with hoisin sauce and memory, the gentlest balance of night and feathers. she lowered

static nathaniel melisso ‘20

48

my voices, haunted the highways with a thumb suckling the pickled earth into an open fist, the first signs of an early winter. who taught me to lick, slowly, at the arrival of an unnamed tragedy.

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an illegal sadness, a spoil. who taught me these visions are knitted lies. now, lips sealed, daylight starved, each pored hurt spills from the dripping maw of my husband’s hand.

Untitled Anmol Velagapudi ‘21 never forget, she tells her firstborn, the world was built from limestone and your dusty death. split histories craned the sand glassing from her mouth, wet and lyrical like a pot of boiling knives. yes, mother, i remember the illicit grey noon you told me to swallow this sorrow, to end the pathetic sympathy of

Untitled Anmol Velagapudi ‘21

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an illegal sadness, a spoil. who taught me these visions are knitted lies. now, lips sealed, daylight starved, each pored hurt spills from the dripping maw of my husband’s hand.

Untitled Anmol Velagapudi ‘21 never forget, she tells her firstborn, the world was built from limestone and your dusty death. split histories craned the sand glassing from her mouth, wet and lyrical like a pot of boiling knives. yes, mother, i remember the illicit grey noon you told me to swallow this sorrow, to end the pathetic sympathy of

Untitled Anmol Velagapudi ‘21

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Oddity Jessica Jiang ‘20 She was born strangely; silently, with her feet first instead of her head first, and that strangeness manifested early on when she started to walk upside down rather than on her feet. That was also when her father, a fast-talking ambitious man, left for the big city. Both his button business and his marriage had gone sour, and the whole matter of the child who walked on her hands perplexed him greatly. The child was an oddity. Mothers toasting bread in the morning tut-tutted silently when they saw her feet in the air beyond their green lawns and picket fences. Children stepped on her fingers and spread rumors that she was a circus freak, a dimwit. We, the children, have grown, and our little town has grown too, into a bloated and ponderous city. As for the girl, I am not certain if she ever talked, but I have seen her smile, just once many years ago, when she was still just a child dangling from the jungle gym. Δ

Reconstruction Raymond Banke ‘19

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Decomposition Susan He ‘19

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Oddity Jessica Jiang ‘20 She was born strangely; silently, with her feet first instead of her head first, and that strangeness manifested early on when she started to walk upside down rather than on her feet. That was also when her father, a fast-talking ambitious man, left for the big city. Both his button business and his marriage had gone sour, and the whole matter of the child who walked on her hands perplexed him greatly. The child was an oddity. Mothers toasting bread in the morning tut-tutted silently when they saw her feet in the air beyond their green lawns and picket fences. Children stepped on her fingers and spread rumors that she was a circus freak, a dimwit. We, the children, have grown, and our little town has grown too, into a bloated and ponderous city. As for the girl, I am not certain if she ever talked, but I have seen her smile, just once many years ago, when she was still just a child dangling from the jungle gym. Δ

Reconstruction Raymond Banke ‘19

52

Decomposition Susan He ‘19

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HELM VOLUME 19 PRISM

HELM Volume 19: Prism (2017-2018)  
HELM Volume 19: Prism (2017-2018)  
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