THE ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL SCHOOL
20 West End Avenue New York, New York 10023 212/246-7717 • www.heschel.org
Dedicated to Explorations ○
He stumbled upon a door.
The knob was gold and encrusted with strange silver letters. The rich colors moved him forward. On the other side of the door, the sweet, moist scent of fall. The orangeyellow leaves crackled the most wonderful sound when he stepped on them. Just past the leaves, a house overflowed with laughter, memories and an ocean blue. He was entranced and glided towards it. And beyond the house, There was his own beating heart and the echoes of distant laughter.
Editors in Chief Jessica Appelbaum, Dana Bronstein
Creative Director Elisheva Epstein
Associate Editor Emma Goldberg
Photography Staff Jenna Merrin, Hugo Uvegi
Art Staff Janet Rubin, Aliza Rosenfeld, Hannah Weintraub
The Abraham Joshua Heschel High School 20 West End Avenue New York, New York 10023 212/246-7717 www.heschel.org
Head of School Roanna Shorofsky
High School Head Ahuva Halberstam
Dean Judaic Studies Rabbi Dov Lerea
Epitome is dedicated to the waves of our imagination that sail us through the depths and heights of our past, present and future. To the map of our souls that directs us to explore the unexplored. To the mysteries, memories, and magic where we find beauty. It is dedicated to our hearts and souls, to the colors and the visions, and to the voices and the laughter. Dana Bronstein
Special Thanks to Tri Star Offset Corp. and the Goodman Family: Daralynn, Barry, Sasha and Zachary Goodman AJHHS Alumni Class '08 for contributions to defray costs of Epitome. Gabe Godin and Dena Schutzer
Memberships & Awards Member, CSPA, 2006 – present (Columbia Scholastic Press Association) First Place Magazine Cover – Black and White, 2009
Gold Medalist, 2007, 2008, 2009
By Design Communications Printing Tri Star Offset Corp. Paper Graphic Paper, New York
Gold Circle Awards, 2007, 2008, 2009 Silver Medalist, 2006
COLOPHON The pieces in this magazine emerged from both class projects and outside writing. Teachers, students, and grade editors submit material and the editors make selections and suggest revisions as part of an extra-curricular activity. Epitome represents a cross-section of the literary and artistic talents of our students and seeks to showcase as many of their works as possible, reflecting Heschel’s commitment to inclusion. This magazine was produced on the Macintosh platform. Font families: American Typewriter, Optima, Swing, Times New Roman (body text); Eras, MarkerFelt, Peignot, Stencil (titling); Present, Nonce, Kramer, Helvetica Condensed (decorative text, subheads, credits, page numbers). 600 copies, printed on a Heidelberg Speedmaster 102SP 6 Color with Inline Coater. Paper stock: 100# Montauk Gloss Recycled Text-FSC Certified and 111# Montauk Gloss Recycled Cover-FSC Certified (promoting sustainable forest management). Front and back cover printed 4 colors CMYK with double hit of Black plus spot satin coating and spot gloss coating over 1 color Black; inside pages printed 4/4 CMYK (all inks used are vegetable-based inks).
TABLE of Opening Pages Dedication .................. Dana Bronstein Covers, title page, dedication/staff spread, table of contents pages, page 120: Photograph ............ Harris Mizrahi / Digital Alterations ............ Elisheva Epstein
Poetry Keep the Now in Your Head ........... Adam Bresgi................. 9 Letter to My Future Daughter ..... Rachel Weisberg ......... 10 Viewpoint ................... Tobias Citron .............. 18 Ode to the Monster that Lives in My Closet .. Roger Kleinman ......... 19 found poem ................ Jenna Merrin .............. 19 The Corner of 104th and Lexington ........ Jenna Doctoroff .......... 22 Family in Colors ......... Maya Liran ................. 23 The (Colorful) Family Jennifer Katz .............. 25 To Wonder and Wish .. Leah Kahan ................ 34 Conversation with His Father ............... Tobias Citron .............. 36 Manhattan Circle ........ Matan Skolnik ............ 48 Taking the Train ......... Nadav Pearl ................ 49 A Little Help .............. Rachel Zeuner ............ 50 Life Support ............... Benjamin Heller ......... 54 Nest on My Window Sill ........... Ezra Ellenberg ............ 58 My Victory ................. Adam Bresgi............... 62 Sonnet of Youth .......... Max Black, Samantha Brandspiegel, Janet Datikashvili, Jeffrey Federmesser, Marisa Heringer, James Khaghan, Julie Koenigsberg,
Aviva Maltz, Alexandra Maron, Avi Raber, Tohar Scheininger, Zachary Stecker, Beth Weinshank, Steven Wolff ................. 63 Ode to Technology ..... Dana Bronstein ........... 64 Would You? ................. Jenna Merrin .............. 65 To the Generic Teacher. Amber Tuthill ............. 66 My Teacher is Small... Dana Bronstein ........... 66 Voiceless Sounds ........ Dana Bronstein ........... 72 Bare Trees Are the Saddest Trees of All ............ Avishai Afek ............... 73 Runwalking ................ Daniel Kasman ........... 73 Why, Dad? .................. Anonymous ................ 74 Birthday Blues ............ Ariel Abecassis, Jacob Abudaram, Sharon Amir, Raphael Astrow, Margalit Cirlin, Tomer Domb, Sarah Epstein, Elisheva Epstein, Jacob Feld, Samuel Gatan, Ross Gitlin, David Kagan, Gabriel Klausner, Rachel Krakowski, Hannah Laytner, Esther Lenchner, Anna Rothstein, Alec Rudin, David Yitzhari ...................... 75 What If? ...................... Maya Maor ................. 77 Questions .................... Aaron Ladds ............... 78 What Were We Thinking? ............... Rachel Weisberg ......... 78
CONTENTS Poetry (continued) Probing Questions ...... Alexander Goldberg ... 79 Thoughts ..................... Tobias Citron .............. 80 The Yells of Pain ........ Brina Breitbart ........... 81 A Memory .................. Leah Kahan ................ 81 I Matter ....................... Adam Bresgi ............... 84 Dreams ....................... Roger Kleinman ......... 85 T I Me.com ................. Skyler Siegel .............. 88 I Am the Movement ... Adam Bresgi ............... 90 Is There? ..................... Marlena Hymowitz ..... 96 Pocket Full of Marbles................... Avishai Afek ............... 97
Fiction Crayola Family Tree ... Emma Goldberg ......... 26 Mollyâ€™s Story .............. Sarah Gottesman ........ 39 Dear College Admissions Board of Princeton University ............... Emma Goldberg ......... 67 Monologue ................. Harris Mizrahi ............ 82 The Seven Chairs ....... Nico Ravitch ............... 93 Ilana ............................ Maya Liran ................. 98 My Voice .................... Adam Bresgi ............. 111
PLAYS You Actually Use Your Desk? ............. Lauren Finzi ............... 12 Stairwell ..................... Amber Tuthill ........... 106
Hate is a Thing with Scales ............. Aaron Weil ................ 102 Ten Years Ago We Were Seventeen ............... Dana Bronstein ......... 103 Two People ................. Dana Bronstein ......... 104 Hellâ€™s Angels .............. Avishai Afek ............. 109 He Is ........................... Nadav Pearl .............. 110 My Mother Has .......... Charlotte Wild, Grey Hair ...... Marx-Arpadi ......... 112 Dirge of Myself .......... Sarah Epstein ............ 113 The Journey ................ Jessica Appelbaum ... 114 Song of the Subway ... Aaron Freedman ....... 117
Essays You Will Recognize Him By His Scarf ........... Adam Bresgi ............... 35 Jewish Hazzan: The Sounds of Music ................. Michaela Hearst ......... 38 Ants ............................ Charlotte Marx-Arpadi ........... 45 MetroCard .................. Talia Niederman ......... 51 My Sketchbook .......... David Kagan ............... 53 Watermelon Wars ....... Jessica Appelbaum ..... 59 Yoga ............................ Dana Bronstein ........... 91 Your Time is Not My Time ................. Adam Bresgi ............. 101
TABLE of Art Oil ............................... Rachel Zeuner .............. 8 Oil ............................... Ilana Goetz ................. 11 Sculpture .................... Max Lippman ............. 19 Oil ............................... Amber Tuthill ............. 22 Watercolor & Marker .. Maya Liran ................. 23 Oil ............................... Zoe Glaser .................. 27 Oil ............................... Sarah Gottesman ........ 28 Watercolor .................. Michaela Hearst ......... 30 Digital Photo Collage .. Hannah Kober ............ 33 Mixed Media .............. Miya Liran .................. 34 Craypas ....................... Rebecca Schwarz ....... 35 Ink ............................... Asher Mandel ............. 36 Mixed Media .............. Ninth Grade ................ 37 Pencil .......................... Sarah Gottesman ... 39-44 Acrylic ........................ Rebecca Mack ............ 52 Mixed Media .............. Ninth Grade ................ 53 Sculpture .................... Talia Niederman ......... 54 Sculpture .................... Avishag Ben-Aharon, Elana Meyers/David Levy, Elana Meyers, Maayan Eldar ..... 55 Oil ............................... Talia Yaakobovitch ..... 56 Oil ............................... Michele Kaplan .......... 57 Oil ............................... Rachel Zeuner ............ 60
Oil ............................... Aliza Rosenfeld .......... 61 Oil ............................... Zoe Glaser .................. 61 Oil ............................... Benjamin Soffer ......... 65 Oil ............................... Sarah Gottesman ........ 66 Digital Photo Collage . Liz Chernoff ............... 71 Digital Art .................. Benjamin Heller ......... 72 Digital Art .................. Rebecca Schwarz ....... 72 Digital Art .................. David Kagan ............... 72 Mixed Media .............. Lauren Finzi ............... 79 Charcoal ..................... Kayla Joyce ................ 81 Digital Art .................. Rebecca Schwarz ....... 84 Oil ............................... Janet Rubin ................. 85 Oil ............................... Amber Tuthill ............. 90 Digital Art .................. Ari Sebert ................... 96 Watercolor .................. Esther Lenchner ......... 97 Mixed Media .............. Benjamin Heller ......... 99 Spray Paint ................. Brenda Escava .......... 102 Pencil .......................... Julie Maschler .......... 103 Sculpture .................... Ethan Finkelstein...... 110 Craypas ....................... Andrew Udell ........... 111 Craypas ....................... Rachel Seidman ........ 112 Oil ............................... Rachel Fell ................ 115
CONTENTS Photographs Shayna Hertz ................................................ 17 Maya Liran ................................................... 18 Rebecca Mack .............................................. 20 Maya Liran ................................................... 20 Anonymous .................................................. 20 Joshua Zipkowitz ......................................... 20 Harris Mizrahi (2 photos) ............................ 21 Tzvi Tannin .................................................. 25 Rebecca Mack .............................................. 38 Rebecca Mack .............................................. 45 Hugo Uvegi .................................................. 46 Tzvi Tannin .................................................. 46 Shipley Mason ............................................. 46 Leah Robinson ............................................. 47 Sarah Levine ................................................ 47 Hugo Uvegi .................................................. 47 Daelin Hillman ............................................. 48 Natan Tannenbaum ...................................... 49 Jessica Sion .................................................. 50 Maya Liran ................................................... 51 Maya Liran ................................................... 58 Sasha Gayle Schneider ................................ 62
Sasha Gayle Schneider ................................ 63 Rebecca Mack .............................................. 64 Tzvi Tannin .................................................. 73 Anonymous .................................................. 76 Harris Mizrahi .............................................. 77 Tzvi Tannin .................................................. 80 Tzvi Tannin .................................................. 82 Leah Robinson ............................................. 86 Harris Mizrahi .............................................. 86 Aaron Shaiman ............................................ 86 Harris Mizrahi (2 photos) ............................ 87 Tzvi Tannin .................................................. 87 Sasha Gayle Schneider ................................ 89 Harris Mizrahi .............................................. 92 Sashe Gayle Schneider ................................ 94 Hugo Uvegi ................................................ 101 Harris Mizrahi ............................................ 105 Harris Mizrahi ............................................ 109 Leah Robinson ........................................... 113 Jenna Merrin .............................................. 116 Harris Mizrahi/ digital alterations by Elisheva Epstein .. 120
Keep the Now in Your Head S ometimes we are down, frustrated indeed, But don’t worry my friend I have just what you need. The Zinks have assured me that it will succeed, And the Yuberts concur, “Yes and with speed!” Listen up closely young friend and maybe you’ll learn, Perhaps with my message you’ll have some concern. This secret I could sell for millions in gold, But you can have it for free, lend an ear and behold. I will say it right out; I’ll make it short, make it quick, One sentence I need, this is no trick. Look forward and experience the here and the now, For there is no going back, no way and no how, As hard as it is, there’s no way to make mends To things that happened in the theres and the thens. I promised one sentence and to the promise I’m true, And now all the rest I leave up to you. Take my good thoughts, keep a clear head and be happy, Or wallow in sorrow and stay angry and snappy. The right choice is clear and if you decide it, There’s no need to forget your feelings or ever to hide it. You felt how you felt, and you said what you said, But that’s in the past — keep the now in your head. By Dr. Seuss…just kidding Adam Bresgi
Opposite page: Rachel Zeuner, oil Pages 8 – 9
Letter to My Future Daughter D earest Unborn Daughter, I have to warn you. Life is tough. At times you are going to want to give up. I have to warn you again, I’m not going to be the best mother. I’m apologizing for all the times I seem to give up on you — all the times I freak out over the minuscule things that you do wrong, or even that I do wrong. You are going to be better than that, as long as you don’t give up on yourself.
Happiness from shoes, popularity, good grades. I want you to want more from yourself. I want you to question the world — questions that can never be answered by anything other than your own imagination. I love you, dearest unborn daughter. I only hope that you will grow up to love yourself as much as I already love you. – Your Mom
Don’t let assignments get you down. Don’t let annoying girls get you down. And most importantly: don’t let yourself get you down. Don’t beat yourself up for each mistake you make. We all make them, and although that doesn’t seem to make them okay, it makes them acceptable. It makes them normal. And even though you may want to pretend you are better than the norm, you aren’t. You’re only human. All humans mess up. Your life is not a measure of how intelligent you are. Let change in. Embrace change. Change is, from what I’ve learned, what supplies excitement. I spent too many years bored. I wasted years sitting around, hiding from change, Running in fear of something that wanted to help me. Don’t run in fear as I did. I’m going to let you experience the world. I want you to see every culture, To visit Israel, Morocco, Alaska, Italy, France. Every world the world has to offer, I want you to experience. I’m not going to force you to believe what I believe. I’m not going to force you to love anyone. I want you to learn how to do things for yourself. I want you to learn what it means to be your own person. Lastly, I want you to learn how to think. Thinking might make you miserable, but it provides the point of life. I don’t want you to settle for superficial happiness,
Pages 10 – 11
Ilana Goetz, oil
YOU ACTUALLY USE YOUR DESK…? ACT 1: SCENE1 - A divider is placed in center stage. On the right, the scene is of a teenage girl’s room. The room contains a shelf overflowing with
Brunette Haired Girl: Fine, you’re so annoying… You are such a bad influence on me… Curly Haired Girl: Ha Ha! Yeah, I really am...
books ranging from ACT study guides and other college materials, to piles of magazines and
Brunette Haired Girl: (mumbling under her breath sarcastically)
other novels. A completely bare desk stands next to that; it is clear of anything other than a
picture frame, a study light, and a notebook. Next to the desk on the floor lies a guitar, half inside its soft case, and some papers on the carpeted floor next to a pile of folders, books, a
Curly Haired Girl: (sarcastically) No… you love me…
calculator, a charging cell phone, and a jacket. A girl with dark brown hair sits in her pajamas on
Silence. More time passes, both girls continue working, focusing on
her bed with her night-table light on, a computer in her lap, and a phone held between her head
their computer screens.
and shoulder. Her bag lies open on the floor next to her and the room is filled with soft, melodic music coming from her computer.
Brunette Haired Girl: Hang on, I’ll BRB... I gotta go pee.
On the left side of the stage, a curly haired girl lies on her stomach wearing jeans and a purple hooded sweatshirt with her computer open on her right side and a stack of books and papers to
Curly Hair does not respond, and Brunette Hair gets up and leaves
her left. The queen-sized bed stands next to her mini couch which holds her backpack, jacket,
the set. She returns thirty seconds later and picks up her phone
scarf, a wallet, ‘brownie mix’, leather gloves, and a bunch of pillows matching its upholstery.
She, too, is speaking on her cell phone, which is lying on the floor, in speaker mode.
Brunette Haired Girl: Hello?
The two girls sit in silence typing and working.
Curly Haired Girl: Yeah, (she focuses away from her papers
Curly Haired Girl: Phew! I’m done coloring this,
and asks) so when you think of heaven, do you think
I kinda want to show you this.
of the clouds and sun or just clouds?
Brunette Haired Girl: What?
Brunette Haired Girl: (without moving her eyes away from the screen or changing her facial expression at all) I don’t think of
Curly Haired Girl: I said I’m done! I wanna show
you this. Curly Haired Girl: Ha ha, I know, but if you had to Silence again
pick one, which would it be?
Curly Haired Girl: Urg... I think I broke my hand,
Brunette Haired Girl: Clouds.
I kept it in the same spot for like seven hours, and now it’s broken…
Curly Haired Girl: Okay, nice.
Brunette Haired Girl: Oh my God, I have so much
She continues to work on her project. More time passes, and the
work, I can’t deal with this.
girls continue to write and type. The brunette haired girl slowly begins to doze off. She accidentally drops the phone and her head
Curly Haired Girl: Oh come on… whatever! Last night
begins to drop.
of this stuff! Cherish your last time as a stressed out high school student with me EVER!
Pages 12 – 13
Brunette Haired Girl: (whispers) Damn it! I am so tired…
Lauren Finzi 1/7/10 10:15 PM Comment: Girls are less ladylike when they are with each other.
Lauren Finzi 1/11/10 10:25 AM
Comment: Emphasizes a strong theme of my play — the adolescent’s egocentric nature.
Curly Haired Girl: (raising her voice) NO! Stay up! You
have so much to do, remember! You always do this;
Brunette Haired Girl: (humorously) But you know that
leave me to work until four in the morning alone!
this isn’t our last all-nighter... We are just pretending
Brunette Haired Girl: (now awake) Okay, okay, I’m
like we aren’t going to work next semester, but it’s
going to get a third espresso.
totally going to be as much work.
Curly Haired Girl: Yeah, and I’m starving too.
Curly Haired Girl starts laughing really hard.
Brunette Haired Girl: Okay, it’s 2:29, meet me back
Brunette Haired Girl: (continues to work on her project,
here at 2:35.
unresponsive to Curly Hair’s laughing) Oh my God! This guy
Lauren Finzi 1/17/10 10:24 PM
Comment: Illuminates the incoherent nature of this phone conversation. There is a lot of silence, not because of awkwardness but rather because of the lack of need to constantly make conversation.
is so annoying. I don’t understand why he always Both girls leave and return, Curly Hair with a peanut butter
IMs me. We don’t have anything to talk about.
sandwich, and Brunette with a cup of coffee in her hand. Curly Haired Girl: What? Curly Haired Girl: Hello? Brunette Haired Girl: Urg… he is so annoying. Brunette Haired Girl: Hello? Curly Haired Girl: Whatever, just don’t respond. Curly Haired Girl: Yess! Perfect timing! Brunette Haired Girl: Should I respond hey to him Silence
with two y’s at the end or three y’s?
Curly Haired Girl: I feel like I work more efficiently
Curly Haired Girl: What?
at night because you feel more pressured to get it done since we only have a few more hours, ya know? Like at six in the afternoon, I feel like I have all night, but now, at like two in the morning I only have like three or four more hours ya know? Brunette Haired Girl: (focused on her computer but still engaged in the conversation) Ya, I actually totally agree
Lauren Finzi 1/17/10 10:18 PM Comment: Theme of procrastination that so many teenagers experience. It is only the actual pressure and ‘fear’ of what will happen if it doesn’t get done that makes us do it. However, until one feels this fear, there is no motivation to get it done.
with that. The only sound is that of tying on the computer keys. More time passes. The Brunette finishes a sentence and then looks up.
Lauren Finzi 1/17/10 10:19 PM Comment: Multi-tasking, a very strong theme of life in the twenty-first century.
Curly Haired Girl: …Urg I just broke my foot.... um what?.. yeah!.. me too.
Pages 14 – 15
of my hey to him... Lauren Finzi 1/17/10 10:30 PM Curly Haired Girl: Two. Brunette Haired Girl: I’m putting three. Curly Haired Girl: NO! That’s overly excited looking. Brunette Haired Girl: Yeah you’re right, I’m putting two. The two continue to type. Brunette Hair gently hums to the song currently playing from her computer.
Brunette Haired Girl: (randomly) Urg, I miss this; you and me and our all-nighters!
Brunette Haired Girl: I said, how many y’s at the end
Curly Haired Girl: When should I do my nails? Lauren Finzi 1/17/10 10:23 PM
Comment: Self-centered adolescent behavior. Curly Hair was not listening to her best friend comment to her that she missed her.
Lauren Finzi 1/17/10 10:29 PM
Comment: Theme of incoherent dialogue. Curly Hair just told Brunette Hair not to respond, and then Brunette Hair is already deciding how to respond.
Brunette Haired Girl: What? Curly Haired Girl: (in a very low voice) I said; when should I do my nails?
Comment: This line symbolizes the obsessive personalities that many adolescents have over minor details that are of very little importance. Self-consciousness of teenagers, especially with boys.
Brunette Haired Girl: (distractedly typing) I can’t hear
Curly Haired Girl: (nonchalantly) Yeah, all the time…
Curly Haired Girl: (does not raise her voice at all) When
Brunette Haired Girl: (surprised) Really?…You do? I’m
should I do my nails..?
always on my bed or on the floor.
Brunette Haired Girl: I thought you’re getting your
Curly Haired Girl doesn’t answer.
nails done tomorrow.
Lauren Finzi 1/11/10 10:29 AM
Comment: Brunette feels embarrassed by her unusual habit of avoiding the use of her desk. This represents the insecurities that teenagers experience on a daily basis. Teenagers often feel that there is something ‘wrong’ with them when they execute things differently from those around them.
Curly Haired Girl: Yeahhh, but they’re so ugly now, I
need to do them for school. Brunette Haired Girl: Why? Curly Haired Girl: I have no idea. (pause) Wanna write my English story for me? Brunette Haired Girl: (not taking her eyes off of the computer
Shayna Hertz, photograph
screen) No. Curly Hair doesn’t respond nor do either laugh in the acknowledgment that it was a slight joke. The two continue to type and work with the music in the background. Brunette Haired Girl: Wow… I have sooooo much work! …So bored! (pause) Hmmm… let’s see who is online…You, me, a random sophomore, and the school chef. Haha, I’m sending an email to the three of you. (She reads her ridiculous email out loud slowly, humorously, sarcastically.) “Hey there, you cookin’ up a storm?” Culry Haired Girl: Ha ha, send it… Brunette Haired Girl: (chuckling gently) Ha ha, no I can’t. Too awkward… Silence, the music continues to play Brunette Haired Girl: (looks up and stares into space) After a minute or so of gazing in the direction of her empty desk she asks. Do you ever use your desk?
Pages 16 – 17
Lauren Finzi 12/22/09 4:35 AM
Comment: This line is a brief representation of the adolescent’s desperate search for meaning in life. The brunette girl’s wanting to randomly email people came from her desire to experience something interesting and unexpected.
Viewpoint A window into an alien view:
Ode to the Monster that Lives in My Closet: T he thing in my closet is dark and hunched over,
A stone is a penny, and a penny is a stone. A ballpoint pen turns into a stick covered in ink. The water in a lake is morbidly polluted, It is ridden with disease. A metal gate keeps the sane in and the insane out, A travesty of the system.
It’s slimy and grimy and furry and sober. It’s got two arms for its legs, and two legs for its arms And if you were to see it, you’d be quite alarmed. The thing in my closet is prickly and haired But unlike most children I am not scared. You’ve made yourself a home in the back of my closet And each night I wait for some sort of deposit. For I am your landlord; you live on my land And I’d like some cash or a check in my hand. You owe me the rent that you should be paying But you’re not listening to the words I am saying.
A picnic is ominous and dark. A fragile snowflake falls in the most gruesome of contexts. Seemingly paradoxical, And yet My eye is not surprised Because is there really an alien view? Tobias Citron Maya Liran, photograph
Each night you come home and hide in the darkness Holding your dinner: some sort of dead carcass. You’re years overdue, and it’s making me mad — You’re the worst monster tenant that I’ve ever had. Roger Kleinman
Jenna Merrin, found poem
Top: Max Lippman, sculpture Pages 18 – 19
Rebec c (digita a Mack, lly alte red)
Pages 20 â€“ 21
The Corner of 104th and Lexington Lip lined,
Family in Colors The home stands on a see-saw, and often topples over.
Curvy – we watch you from afar, Juicyfruit popping, blowing besos – I wonder what went wrong. Crowds of tan and navy, yet your aura flashes scarlet While our lids droop, the streetlamp shines, the janitor mops And you stand, fishnets surrounded, Waiting for the skittish stranger.
Inside the structure is a meadow of colors Filled with all the hues of the reflection of the sunbeams.
Just as you judge, I judge. Just as you seek to ignore, I gaze onward. This one went awry, Wisdom and renewal come next. Jenna Doctoroff
Amber Tuthill, oil
Pages 22 – 23
His gray insides are swollen Cut Scared. The plum blood drips down the lumps of his heart. He is broken He is hurt He stays quiet. She shouts, “Get out!” His gray becomes gray-er His plum becomes plum-er His cries become quieter.
Maya Liran, watercolor and marker
The (Colorful) Family The patriarch sits at the head of the table
She is a deep bluish purple bruise Waiting for the healing ice. But I have no ice to heal her wound. Her purple turns yellow as her wound ages. Her wound does not heal And I cannot heal it.
Cut sharply from a piece of steel He radiates a silver light that is harsh at first But your eyes become adjusted to it. As your eyes take in the gleaming brilliance The sharpness gets less intimidating The glistening light only deepens And then you get to his soft spots. The deep knotted orange stress that gathers at the back of his neck The light pink spots that surround his heart. They are concealed by the suit jackets and ties But at the end of the day, When he is a man, and not a businessman You can see that they are still there.
He stands on the side like a referee Not afraid to make a call Not afraid to raise his voice. He is a scarlet atomic bomb Waiting to be stepped on Waiting to explode Wanting to escape. But he cannot escape And I cannot escape.
The wife is deep red. She sits at the opposite end of the table. Her fuchsia rays match his silvery emissions in a syncopated harmony Scarlet emotions ooze from her pores
And then there is me. A white canvas, splattered with all the different paints Struggling to clear my canvas. My color changes each hour A scream splatters navy His glare splatters scarlet Her hug splatters gold His kiss splatters ballerina-shoe-pink. With the tears from my cry, the colors drip off Leaving a blank canvas to paint again. We are blank slates. Allow our canvases to be splattered Allow our tears to wipe off the paint Because we are all blank slates. Maya Liran
Opposite page: Tzvi Tannin, photograph
Pages 24 â€“ 25
Her heart beats ruby on her sleeve. You think she is too approachable But it is only what she presents to you. Inside, her reds combine with the greens of confusion, the blues of sadness, the indigos of mystery, and the yellows of contentedness. Inside, like all of us, She is not completely sure of what color she is The boy is a mess of colors He is more polka-dotted than a painting by Jackson Pollack. It is puberty, That’s what they tell him. One minute he is a nice primrose, He asks for homework help. The next he is bright red, He yells at you for trying to help him. Then he can be navy As he sits frowning with his arms crossed. And sometimes he is aqua Wondering how everyone can be so un-cool. There is always an aura of indigo that surrounds him An air of deep purple mystery. He is finding his own colors.
Zoe Glaser, oil
Crayola Family Tree When I was six, I spotted a girl in pre-school whom I believed would make
The little girl sits next to her mom, She shines beautifully. She encompasses both her silver father and maroon mother, Glimmering gold. But she is only a child So her colors are fleeting Her happiness lacks a counterpart Her gold is a fool’s gold The fake gold that turns black after a few days. Once her gold turns black, Her childhood innocence and youth will disappear. She will begin to seek her true colors. Jennifer Katz
Pages 26 – 27
an ideal best friend. Her name was Abigail; she was a slightly pudgy girl with tangled auburn curls, our classroom teacher’s least favorite, who jabbered away incessantly and enjoyed eating Crayola crayons. I found Abigail in the dress-up area, a “tangerine orange” crayon dangling from her lips, and, wrapping my arms around her wide-set hips, asked her to marry me. Abigail’s beady little eyes studied mine for no more than a moment before she burst into hysterical tears, the crayon dropping from her mouth. Disconsolate, I found our classroom teacher, Esti, a bulky woman who wore a dark wig—“for religious reasons, it’s called a scheidl,” she told us— and wore bright pink lipstick and heavy perfume reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe and the glamorous actresses of the ‘50s. I climbed onto Esti’s lap and tearfully told her of Abigail’s refusal to marry me. “Listen, Millie, sweetie.” Esti leaned close and her smell of nail-polish remover, Starbucks Cappuccino, and Chanel No. 5 was overpowering. “You know, honey, what you have, two moms, isn’t exactly…well…normal.” Esti paused, nervously picking at her nails, which were painted a violent shade of red. She wrapped her arms around me and I sank into the polyester of her torso. “See, most children have a mommy and a daddy, one girl parent and
one boy parent. But you’re lucky! You get two mommies! Abigail just doesn’t know that, sweetie. For now, why don’t you just ask Abigail to be your friend?” The rest of that afternoon I puzzled over Esti’s words. Someone had left The Cat in the Hat lying open on the shaggy violet rug of our reading corner. I flipped through the pages, reading of that silly cat who stained mom’s dress and ruined dad’s necktie. The cute little girl all smocked up in pink and her adorable buttonnosed brother had a mother and a father. Normal. The next day in class when we were going in a circle and announcing what our parents did for a living, the other students followed a pattern. “My mommy works in a makeup store. She brings home free lipstick for me. My daddy works at a newspaper. He’s the editor-in-chief, so he’s really famous.” I was next in turn. “My mommy…” I hesitated. I wondered what the kids would think of me if I told them that one of my mommies, Eleanor, worked at the National Democratic Office, and the other, Amelia, was a surgeon. “My mommy works… at a Sarah Gottesman, really, really fancy clothing store. She brings home beautioil ful pink dresses for me. My daddy works at a candy store and he always brings home chocolates.” Esti raised her eyebrows but said nothing. I named these imaginary parents Susan and John, the most conventionally boring names I could find. They were to follow me throughout my childhood years, gracing the ruled lines of school assignments and classroom tales, whispering of normality in the chaos of my family. Amelia used to have an old 45 of Aretha Franklin singing “Respect.” She would pick me up and swing me around the living room as Aretha’s swelling alto vibrated the air of our living room like a tuning fork, every particle of air waltzing and spinning and shaking. “What you want, ooh baby, I got, ooh what you need, ooh do you know I got it? All I’m askin’ is for a little respect when you come home, hey baby just a little bit when you get home just a little bit mister just a little bit.”
Pages 28 – 29
Toppling over onto our sofa, we would double over in laughter. I’d wrap my arms around her neck, ask her questions about anything, like why Reagan’s forehead was so wide and wrinkled, or why ladybugs were always red with black spots, instead of black with red spots. “Mommy?” “Yeah, hun?” “Why did that man in Mr. McIntire’s grocery store give us a funny look when me, you, and mommy Eleanor walked in the other day playing the swingy game?” “Hun, some people just don’t understand. Some people don’t get that just because someone’s different, doesn’t mean they’re bad. In fact, it’s kinda nice to be different. Wouldn’t the world be boring if every single person looked exactly alike, and loved the same type of people, and danced the same way and sang the same way?” In the background Aretha warbled the final notes of her song, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!” First grade, we circled in the classroom and announced what we had done that weekend. I slipped deeper into my seat, and, instead of informing my classmates that I had marched with my mothers in a pro-choice rally, I imitated Abigail. “This weekend… this weekend my daddy took me to see Finding Nemo in theatres, and then, last night, my mommy and daddy took me out for dinner to celebrate that my daddy got a promotion.” Oh, John and Susan. Such successful parents. Third grade, our teacher, Mrs. Sweetinson, instructed us to craft Father’s Day cards. “I can even teach you how to fold and cut your cards so that they look like neckties!” Mrs. Sweetinson cried with an excited clap of her hands. For a miserable hour and a half, I watched as my classmates scrambled for construction paper, glitter glue, Crayola twistables, sequins, and scissors, penning poetic messages, “I love my daddy. He is sweet as honey. His nose is never runny.” When I asked Mrs. Sweetinson what I was to do with my time, she crinkled her brow, placed a carefully manicured hand on my shoulder, suggested, “Why don’t you create a card for next year’s Mother’s Day?” I pulled out red construction paper and made a halfhearted card that read, “Happy Mother’s Day!” in silver glitter glue.
After class, I crumpled it and tossed it into the garbage, feeling silly carrying home a card over a month after Mother’s Day. The summer after third grade, we went on vacation to Israel, where my mother’s brother lived with his ten children. “Oh, would you look at this!” Eleanor cried, clapping her hands together excitedly and waving her issue of Maariv, an Israeli newspaper, in the dry hot air of our Jerusalem appartement. “There’s a rally tonight in Liberty Bell Park in central Jerusalem protesting the Tzahal’s bombing of a Palestinian school!” “Don’t you love how your mother’s idea of a vacation is protesting recent IDF decisions?” Amelia chuckled, neatly unpacking our bag of groceries, filled with plums, oranges, tofu salads, sautéed seitan, quinoa with stir-fried vegetables, and, of course, cartons and cartons of Sharon’s chocolate sorbet. I giggled and dug into the grocery bag, pulling out a plastic baggie filled with plums. Amelia’s tongue slipped its way out between the gaps of her teeth as her attention shifted to the untangling of various grape bags. Amelia was always more focused, more businesslike, while spacey Eleanor seemed always to be weaving dreams and plans like picnics and pickets, half of which disintegrated as time wore on and ideas slipped between the cracks of memory. “It sounds nice.” I ripped open a pouch of cashews and shoved a handful into my mouth. “I think we should go.” Eleanor planted a kiss on my head, a slow proud smile crawling across her lips. “Sounds like a plan. We can even head out for a nice dinner afterwards.” Amelia pulled out a knife, began to chop carrots quickly. Knife hit plastic cutting board with a steady beat, efficient, solid. “Ooh, that’ll be lovely!” Eleanor agreed, brushing a wisp of dark hair away from her cheeks. She began to tap her feet to the beat of Amelia’s chopping knife «ta-tum ta-tum ta-tum». “Just the three of us! The three musketeers.” When I was little and my moms referred to us as the “three musketeers,” it used to make me glow with pride. Just the three of us.
Michaela Hearst, watercolor Pages 30 – 31
We used to curl up in bed together every night with Dumas’ novel, immersing ourselves in the fantastical world of Athos, Portos, and Aramis, forgetting worldly worries of obnoxious kindergarten teachers, classmates who chewed on crayons, rallies to attend, unwashed dishes. As I grew older, the term three musketeers came to mean so much more, came to be a wake-up call, that constant reminder of our abnormality. Just the three of us. It had always been a great source of embarrassment for me that neither of my mothers cooked. All of my friends in school used to bring in lunches of gloppy leftover tuna casserole, sensuously delicate and warm oatmeal raisin cookies, and sandwiches of carefully prepared tuna that their mothers had labored over. I brought in strange store-bought delicacies like peppers stuffed with quinoa and vegan brownies for dessert — “I don’t bake, I buy,” Amelia used to joke. One night Eleanor bought a tofu stir-fry for dinner, set the table with an orange tablecloth colored with bright splotches of floral decoration. “How was your day, cupcake?” Amelia scraped a heaping portion of chickpea salad onto my plate. “Fine… yours?” “Really nice. You know, I was reading more about that Iran Contra affair in the New York Times this morning. That Reagan, I’m telling you.” My mothers’ voices fused together, one a soft breathy soprano, a voice like music notes tipping and tapping their way into conversations, the other a gruff and abrupt snap, a whirl of words zooming through conversations, colors and words bleeding into political scandals and work happenings of the day. I had gone to my friend Katie’s house for dinner the other night. Her mother had cooked a pot roast and tossed up a salad, her father returned from work in a whirl of smiles and laughter and lollipops he had bought at the nearby grocer’s. Her mother asked how everyone’s day had been, her father had turned on the radio and the voice of Diana Ross filled the kitchen, “Upside down, boy, you turn me, inside out, and round and round.” Crammed around their portico kitchen table, I kept waiting for someone to bring up Geraldine Ferraro’s nomination, the Keating Five Scandal, the Iran Contra affair, something political. But no one did. Topics were restricted to school, work, areas where everyone could feel secure in the mundane-ness
of their lives. In my vegan-human-rights-activist-abnormal family, conversation never confined itself to secure issues. “Bubaleh, you seem a little quiet tonight. Anything wrong?” Eleanor rested her hand on mine. “I’m fine.” “Are you sure? You seem—“ “I’m fine, okay? Could you just leave me alone?” I shot up out of my seat, letting my fork drop to the table with a clang. “Millie! What’s wrong?” My breath caught in my throat and I felt like I was choking. “Nothing. I’m gonna go to my room. I should… do my homework.” I remember the night when we read the scene in The Three Musketeers where the Musketeers disbanded. It was around November, cold, wrapped up in patchwork quilts and drowning in purple polka-dotted pajamas. My head falling to rest in the nook between Amelia’s head and shoulders, the inner curve of her neck that seems to have been created for the sole purpose of cradling my head. “Lucky thing that’ll never happen to us,” I murmured, as Eleanor’s voice lulled me to sleep. “We’re better Musketeers.” “What about the motto of the Musketeers? All for one and one for all,” D’Artagnan said. “Wake up, Boy,” Athos responded. “The Musketeers are just a dream.” In fourth grade, our teacher assigned us the project of creating a family tree. Snacking on slices of apple dipped in peanut-butter later that evening, I pulled out the already stained and rumpled assignment sheet, bearing the soil and toil of five hours spent in my backpack. Eleanor clapped her hands with childish excitement, pulling from our cupboard stacks of old dusty family albums with fading sepia photos of stiff adolescent boys in bowties and khakis, petite young ladies arrayed in various graceful positions in immaculately ironed housedresses. Amelia dug through her old file-boxes and came upon a leather journal, ripping at the seams, covered in the familiar scrawl I recognized as the handwriting of the grandfather whom I had never met. Excitedly I pulled from my desk cabinets colorful construction paper, stiff oak-tag,
Pages 32 – 33
shoeboxes stuffed with sequins and patches of denim and shoelaces. This family tree, I felt, was the ultimate act of defiance. Tracing the roots of my family’s utter abnormality, creating this map of the absolutely ordinary chaos of my life. Proud, for the first time, of the love and wonder that I had been steeped in from the day I was born. I brought the tree the next day to school. Eleanor had carefully rolled it up so that it wouldn’t get scratched or rumpled at all, and Amelia had cautiously wrapped the vinyl record of my grandfather’s favorite song, which I planned to play for the class, in tissue Hannah Kober, paper. I proudly sat in my seat, waiting anxiously digital collage for my turn to present. After an excruciatingly long mathematics class and then a forty-minute grammar lesson, the teacher announced that the time had come to present our family trees. Elizabeth was first, a petite girl with long dark hair and soft grey eyes, like rainwater. John was next, and told of his grandfather’s adventures in crossing the Atlantic from the Old Country, told of how his mother met his father when they crashed into one another in a subway station. Next came Sarah, who told of how her mother, a poor girl from small-town Louisiana, had run away with her father to the North, to Chicago, to begin a new life with their precious little girl. Elizabeth, John, Sarah, Thomas, Emily… I was next. I stood up on shaky legs. “Mrs. Giovanneli?” I called. “Yes, Millie?” “I… um… I didn’t do it.” I kicked the brightly colored oak-tag as far into my book-bag as it would go. “What’s that, then?” John blurted out, pointing a pudgy finger covered in boogers at my project. “Oh, that? That’s nothing.” Mrs. Giovanneli looked shocked. “Ok, Millie. Well… are you ready to present, Kenneth?” Maybe tomorrow, I thought, zipping my bag closed to hide all evidence of my efforts. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell her the truth. Emma Goldberg
To Wonder and Wish I wish I had gotten to know you. That is my biggest regret so far – never trying. That is my biggest fear – never getting the chance. I wish I could have treated you like a friend. I wish I could be my true self around you – so you would not have to struggle to figure me out. I wish I knew what I looked like in your eyes. I wish I knew what thoughts my presence created in your mind. I wish I knew if you cared. And if you didn’t – I wish I knew how to force you to care. Why is it so that I sit here wondering, and you stand there immersed in a different world? Why do I care? Leah Kahan
You Will Recognize Him By His Scarf
You will recognize him by his scarf. I know it’s weird, but you will. Yes, of course I know it’s the beginning of February and other people will be wearing scarves, but trust me you’ll know him. It’s the way he wears that scarf, that multicolor scarf that never comes off his neck. The cloth wraps around his shoulders, drawing attention to his eyes. His eyes are clear, well, almost. At least, they are blue-gray I guess, but they seem clear. You’ll know them when you see them. You look at his eyes, and they make you wonder. They have this mysterious pull, but you can’t quite put your finger on it; he knows the Rebecca Schwarz, effect of his eyes, and he loves it. He loves that something that craypas came so naturally to him confuses and amazes everyone else. That’s why he wears the scarf. He wants everyone to know that he is an undeniable hippie intellectual. He walks confidently, just daring someone to look into his eyes and confront him about that stupid scarf. Now, if there were someone who cared enough about this twenty-something-year-old kid who walks around with a stupid scarf and always looks you right in the eyes, to confront him, the young man would undoubtedly, in a tone that makes you think that he knows a particular secret, some profound tidbit that he is unwilling to share, rant to you about class warfare, and world hunger, and intimacy, and Martin Buber, and a whole load of information that he would love to enlighten you about. He won’t smile when you approach him, but just introduce himself; he is too refined, too much of an intellectual. He’ll introduce himself, and then you’ll walk; he’ll be courteous and kind, but he won’t let you lead him to the car, or anywhere for that matter. You see? He’s independent, or at least he pretends to be. He will be the first to admit that he needs people, because people need people and this was of course once posited by Marx and therefore it must be true and so on and so on, but he will do whatever he can to fight this “natural law” that he speaks so often about. But of course don’t confront him on that because you know what he’ll say, don’t you? He’ll make some broad statement about some jaded philosophy and follow it, in a sarcastic tone, comparing himself to those who wrote the texts, which he reads and memorizes and recites. But, all of this aside, this guy is special. I mean, even in all of his entitlement, and his scarf-wearing, and his inescapable eyes, and his philosophy, and his idealism, and his sarcasm, he’s great. He’s noticeable. When you see him, you’ll know him. Don’t believe me? You’ll see. Adam Bresgi
Maya Liran, mixed media Pages 34 – 35
Conversation with His Father My father tells me I have to go to school My father tells me it’s all a part of being successful, Of making something of my life. But I ask him: “Why is school a necessity? Why should I conform To the expectations of my peers?” I look at him with a blank face: I aspire to be individual In a world of such diversity, why must we all be the same?
Asher Mandel, ink
“I am held to expectations, Father,” I say While staring at him sternly, “And I do not know how I can go on in this world where I do not feel free.” And as he stares back at me with piercing eyes, I know just what is coming. “Our ancestors were not free, Your father’s father was not free, But you, my son, are free, so stop complaining Would ya?” “But their slavery was different. It was physical, palpable. Mine, on the other hand Cannot be detected. My soul sits calmly, Unable to do what it wants to do. Isn’t that slavery, Father?”
Pages 36 – 37
“I don’t think so… I know it isn’t so… Son: Society has standards Society has rules Annoying or reassuring as they may be. And in having freedom In this country, We also agree To make some sacrifices, So stop complaining, Son. We don’t like or agree with Everything. Sometimes Maybe We just have to Deal.” Tobias Citron
9th Grade Figure Drawings
Jewish Hazzan: The Sounds of Music “Barchu et Adonai Ha’Mevorakh...Blessed is the Lord who is to be praised... Baruch et Adonai Ha’Mevorakh le Olam Va’Ed...Blessed is the Lord who is to be praised forever,” the entire congregation in the small room repeated. I clutched the Magen-David (Star of David) around my neck. I paused for a few seconds and I bowed. I could feel the tears in my eyes, but they weren’t coming out yet. ”Baruch et Adonai Ha’Mevorakh le Olam Va’Ed,” I sang, my words reverberating through the room and through the hallways. I began to cry. I had hit the note better than I ever had before, the notes of the same words that echoed through my soul every single day. Something was different this time. I could feel it as I began to sing again: “V’Culam potchim et p’hem bkdesha v’vitara, be shira uve zimra…And all opened their mouths in holiness, in song and rejoicing…” I could finally understand what I was saying. My mind was open, the tears were streaming down my face; I laughed, I cried. The congregation began to rock back and forth, and I danced with them. I saw the white hand, coming down towards my face, and it took me away, out of the synagogue. I flew through the service, guided by the direction of the musical notes on the sheet of paper that is the background of my life. Then, I saw the darkness. Was it over? I felt myself being pulled down. “Come back! Come back! Michaela! T’fillah (morning prayer) is over!” There I was, sitting on the red chair at the front of the small room where I led the service, and everyone stood to leave. “It’s your day for cleanup.” I woke up, and I felt it, that hand still inside me as I kissed the Siddur (prayer book) and left the room. Michaela Hearst
Rebecca Mack, photograph (digitally altered)
Pages 38 – 39
This book is dedicated to the hope that one day everyone will know about the horrors of the Holocaust and to the hope that on that day the saying ‘never again’ will no loner be merely a mantra of hope but instead a depiction of reality.
Molly’s Story Before Molly left for school, her mom gave her a big hug and said, “Be a good girl today, Molly”. Molly smiled back, ran into the big, yellow school bus and waved goodbye to her mom. But, that day, when Molly got to school, she noticed that something was different. None of her friends was playing with Emma. On the playground, Emma asked her friends to play with her on the seesaw, but they just laughed at her and shook their heads. In the classroom, when Emma asked to borrow a yellow marker, Billy ripped up her whole drawing. During free time, when Emma asked Molly if she could play cards with her, Molly said “no way” because that’s what everyone else had said. At lunchtime, Emma sat all by herself. She had never felt so lonely before. She did not understand why her friends decided to be so mean to her. The teacher, Ms. Flowers, saw Emma sitting by herself and came to talk to her. Emma cried and told Ms. Flowers all that happened that day. Ms. Flowers was very disappointed in her students’ behavior. So she called all of their parents and asked them to talk to their children about bullying. When Molly came home that day, she saw a black book sitting on her mother’s lap with a big yellow star on it that she had never seen before. “Today is a special day,” Molly’s mom said, “It’s called Kristallnacht.” Molly had never heard that word before.
Pages 40 – 41
“And I’m going to read you a very important book about it,” her Mom said as she opened the black book. In a country called Germany lived a little girl named Rivka. Rivka had four older brothers, and her father owned a candy shop down the street from their home. Even though Rivka knew that there were very bad people in power, called Nazis, she was a happy girl. But, soon, Rivka could not even remember what happiness felt like. In school, her classmates called her mean names. Even her teachers called her these names. When Rivka asked her mother why everyone was so mean to her, her mother said that it was because she was Jewish. She told Rivka that the Germans did not like the Jews even though the Jews had done nothing wrong. One autumn night, the Germans destroyed Jewish shops and burned down Synagogues because the Nazis told them to. They stole all of the candy in Rivka’s father’s store and broke its windows. There was broken glass everywhere. They also burned down the synagogue where Rivka’s family went to pray. We call that awful night Kristallnacht, which means the night of broken glass. “At least we are all safe and together,” Rivka’s father told the family. But Rivka could tell that he was scared. Months later, Rivka’s mother sewed big yellow stars on the family’s clothing. “Why are you doing this?” Rivka asked. “The Nazis want everyone to know that we are different, that we are Jews,” her mother said. Her mother looked scared too.
Rivka’s classmates and teachers became even crueler. Strangers on the street also yelled mean names at Rivka when they saw her yellow star. Rivka always felt lonely and scared. Rivka and her family moved to a place where only Jews lived. All seven members of her family were forced to live in one room. One day, the Nazis
took away Rivka’s father and her four brothers. “Where did they go? When will they come back?” Rivka asked. Rivka’s mother did not know the answer. Then Nazis took away Rivka and her mother. They went on a train with many other women to a faraway place. Rivka never saw her father and brothers again. There were many stories like Rivka’s in Germany and in other countries in Europe. The awful time when these stories took place is called the Holocaust. Molly’s mom closed the book and asked Molly what she thought about the story. “I’m scared,” Molly said, “I’m scared that the Nazis are going to take me away from you and Daddy.” “I didn’t show you this story to scare you,” her mom said, “The Holocaust happened many years ago and it was a terrible time. But the Nazis are not in power anymore and we are safe. “Molly, can you tell me why the German kids called Rivka names at
Pages 42 – 43
school?” Her mother asked. “Because she was a Jew, Mommy, and everyone else was being mean to the Jews.” “But does that make it right?” “No,” Molly said with certainty. “Molly, why were you mean to Emma in school today” “Because everyone else was,” Molly said. “But does that make it right?” “No,” Molly said again. The next day, Molly’s mom gave her a big hug and said, “Be a good girl today, Molly.” Molly ran onto the bus, excited for a new day at school. In school, Molly played with Emma on the playground and sat with her at lunch. She did not want Emma to feel lonely and sad anymore. But the rest of the class still called Emma mean names, which made her cry. When Molly came home, she told her mother, “I don’t understand! Why were all my friends so mean to Emma? Don’t they know what can happen if everyone is cruel to someone?!?” But Molly had an idea. The next day, she brought in the black book with the big yellow star into school and asked Ms. Flowers if she could read it to the class. While Ms. Flowers read the story, the class became angrier and angrier with the Nazis. They could not
understand why the Nazis treated the Jews so horribly. The book helped the students understand that what they did to Emma was wrong. They all hugged her and said that they were sorry. Emma no longer felt lonely and sad.
We are merely ants. We do not realize our miniscule size in the grand scheme of things, of the world. We stand next to vast oceans, looking at what we can take from its resources for our own benefit, but not realizing we are mere specks against the big blue. We are merely ants. We burden ourselves with loads, ones that look impossible to carry. We try to prove to others, and to ourselves, that we can carry them. That we are capable. We tell ourselves that people rely on us to do this, that doing this keeps order, and everyone likes order. We build up our kingdom, our colony, with those loads that are double or triple our size. We place it all on our backs, afraid to share
We place it all on our backs, afraid to share the profit or responsibility.
Story and art (pencil): Sarah Gottesman
the profit or responsibility. Only when the load itself breaks do we start to share it; only then do we start to share the blame. And when our bodies start to crumble under the weight of it all, and when we start to crack, we do not let them see â€” afraid to let them see our failures, our flaws. We are merely ants. We look towards the superiors of our colony, idolizing and worshiping those whom we labeled as better than us, greater than us. Too focused on wanting to be them, we do not realize they are only how we make them out to be. We are the ones who named them superior, we are the labelers. We are the source of our own jealousy. We are merely ants. We take away our own freedom, tie ourselves down, and shackle ourselves with our attachments to the people and systems we think need us, or the people and systems that we need. We create lives in which we cannot pick up and leave at any given moment, on any given day. We dress ourselves in restraints as if they are clothing, accepting and adapting to societal expectations. We are mere creatures of comfort, needing the structure of our lives, the structure of our colonies. And passively, we allow each day of our lives to pass in this matter. Rebecca Mack, photograph
Pages 44 â€“ 45
Charlotte Marx Arpadi
Sarah Hugo Uvegi , (digitally altered)
a Tsvi T
Hugo Uvegi, (digitally altered)
Pages 46 â€“ 47
Manhattan Circle Manhattan Lights Buildings Offices Long hours Family Commuting Trains Walking Streets Alleyways Darkness Hunger Desperation Necessity Struggle Gashes Empty pockets Hospital room Chaos Unpredictable Matan Skolnik
Taking the Train The cement steps, Daelin Hillman, photograph
Grey under brightly colored shoes They do not realize, do they That every step they take Is in that same spot someone else has stepped People all around me Hundreds Thousands Clustered and squished In all shades and colors There’s Whiteblackorangepurplegreenyellowred Lemonlime Magentapink They’re all here All so different In so many ways They do not realize, do they That though they look different to me And to each other We’re all on the same, hot, sweaty train
Natan Tannenbaum, photograph
Pages 48 – 49
A Little Help I stand against the door, half asleep but aware.
Aware of all those around me: quickly meeting eyes then looking away. We stand, we sit, we are jostled and pushed, and we sweat in the summer and freeze in the winter. We continue our routine systematically, not thinking about those around us. But unknowingly, we improve another’s day. Perhaps with a smile, the swipe of a MetroCard or holding open of the door. These gestures bring light into this underground world of darkness.
the sound of my feet hitting the pavement adds to the music of the station around me. A smell I can never quite identify permeates the muggy haze, a mixture of old ketchup and something sweet. The commuters dance around me, twisting and turning in a rushed ballet, on which even the harshest critic would bestow glowing praise. I join them as I head for the turnstile. I rummage through my pockets and pull out the thin piece of plastic that allows me to travel the city at ease. As my turn comes, I swipe my MetroCard through the slot while the internal mechanisms of the machine read secret codes the card sends out. The expected fluorescent green “Go” appears and I push through the turnstile. I don’t know where I am going, only that I will take the next train to wherever I please; a stark contrast to those around me, who check their watches every few seconds fearing they’ll be late to their respective destinations. A woman next to me speaks in loud Spanish into her rhinestone-encrusted cell phone. She drums her dark red nail decals on the metal as she impatiently taps her foot and glances down the subway tracks. To my right, a group of well-dressed businessmen speaks of their trophy wives and overly perfect homes with a detachment that slightly disgusts me.
Jessica Sion photograph
On my way to school I am thinking about the day, about my tests, about my friends. What else is there to think about on the subway, with its dirty floors and broken air-conditioners? But without you, crazy lady who yells bible in Spanish, high-schoolers with their heavy backpacks, boring business men in suits staring with glazed eyes into their Blackberrys, young adults on their way to their nine-tofive shifts, professors and teachers traveling to feed young minds and mothers worried that their small children will not make it on and off the train. Without you, my day, my tests, my friends would not be the same. The acknowledgement of a fellow high-schooler of the hard day ahead brightens my morning. The crazy lady who yells bible in Spanish makes me and my friends laugh. The boring business men remind me what “ebullient” means for my vocabulary test, because your blank faces are surely not that. We don’t know each other, but secretly, without admitting it, we all help each other survive our boring days. We will continue to see each other, every day for years to come, forever improving the days for each other. Rachel Zeuner
Pages 50 – 51
A hot wall of air hits me as I descend the steps to the subway. I walk quickly, and
Maya Liran, photograph
As I look up, a tall girl walks onto the platform. Her platform boots make a dull thudding noise on the dark gray pavement bejeweled with decades of chewing gum. The chains on her skirt rustle quietly as they clink together. Although she is translucently pale, her eyes are outlined in dark charcoal and her hair is a dark hue of blackish blue. My attention is drawn away from her as a young couple catches my eye. The two stand slightly apart, yet at a quick glance one can tell that the small space really stretches for miles. The woman’s eyes are tinged red, yet she holds her head up proudly and refuses to meet the eye of her partner. Just as he reaches out for her hand, the Number One train roars into the station and I step on. The doors shut and the world of the platform looks back at me through the dirty windows. Soon the scene disappears completely and I’m left looking at an eerie reflection of myself staring out the black window. I ride the train until it slowly empties, and get out on Christopher Street. As I walk out of the subway station, the crisp autumn world bustles through the streets and I know that once again my MetroCard has taken me on a new adventure. Talia Niederman
You get off the subway and your eyes fight the sun as you look up to the top of the Time Warner Center. You turn to your right and see the Trump building and that gigantic new apartment building. Some of the greatest modern architecture in the world is on your morning commute. You want to inspire someone the way these buildings inspire you. That’s why you dream big and that’s why you always carry your sketchbook. Inspiration can be a crack on the sidewalk or 9th grade figure studies the way your soup spills at lunch, but you’re not going to be able to document it. There it is; it pops into your head for a split second and it’s perfect, its curves, angles and overall awe. You can see it as you turn to your left and see Central Park South.
…keep it in your mind… until you can draw it so it’s there forever.
Rebecca Mack, acrylic
Pages 52 – 53
As you walk on to school you keep closing your eyes to try to keep it in your mind. Just until you can draw it so it’s there forever. You imagine drawing it. Showing the ramp-like building that leads into the gigantic skyscraper. You don’t see the streetlights that tell you when to stop and go, but you can feel them. When you execute the same activity so many times, you don’t need to concentrate to do it. On your walk to school, you can let your mind run free with the air of the city. When you get to school, you can still see the building from every angle. You sit in the nook and go to pull out your sketchbook. It’s not there, it’s lying uselessly on your desk at home. You pull out your math notebook instead. You feel wrong putting an architectural masterpiece in a book of algebra and trigonometry. You think that the canvas doesn’t matter and that the art speaks for itself. You deny this. As an aspiring architect you take pride in paying attention to detail and this just doesn’t look right. David Kagan
And you too, like a flower, will bloom and wilt; like the sun, will rise and fall; I see people everywhere: blooming, wilting, rising, falling; As different and as similar as the virgin clouds in the vast sky, ready to be plucked from their perches like luscious fruit from the tree; These people are living, and so, too, do you live! So, too, have I lived!
Talia Niederman, sculpture
Life Support (with apologies to Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman)
To breathe! To beat! For more than this I cannot wish; My wheezes are proclamations of my existence and my silence a testament to my life; And I fear not the inevitable, for life is not contained within my mere self; My heart may stop beating, but the reverberant drum of life never will. Benjamin Heller
My life is not a Life My life is not a Life My breath is not My breath I am a black snake biting outlets In the dark jungle of death. The Drone of labored in and out Is surely not My voice ‘Til the end of somber life takes place My choice is not My choice. To Breathe! To Beat! My body fails, but my heart beats on! I breathe with the world for one more day – and I feel the ebb of sea, the growth of grass, the spin of Earth; The movement of people keeps the feather of my soul afloat – just above my eyelids, which twitch in meditation and in silent gratitude; My soul rises with each breath, each beat, and each pulse of the universe. The world slumbers with me; Its snores are my lullaby and its movements my massage; And I may drift to my permanent sleep soon, but the tides will still shift and the grass will forever sprout, and indeed the world will turn; Although I may not feel it, you will feel it – somewhere.
Pages 54 – 55
Sculpture, clockwise from top left: Avishag Ben-Aharon Elana Meyers/David Levy Elana Meyers Maayan Eldar
Talia Yaakobovitch, oil
Pages 56 â€“ 57
Michele Kaplan, oil
Nest On My Window Sill T here is a nest on my window sill
Where a couple of mourning doves sit Perched atop their eggs, Which remind me of life’s new beginnings.
unfamiliar culture and language. One of those weeks was spent in an impoverished rural tea-farming village called Tuan Jie, located in the Szechuan province. I stayed with a family composed of a grandmother (Nai Nai), grandfather (Ye Ye), and a little sister (Mei Mei). The family embraced me with open arms, yet there was one major obstacle we had to overcome: we spoke no common language. Throughout my travels in China, I took Mandarin lessons and was capable of holding up meager conversations in the language. However, in Tuan Jie, the villagers did not speak Mandarin, but rather the Szechuan dialect of Chinese. Our lack of an ability to communicate verbally left us no choice but to pantomime and gesticulate largely whenever we wanted to communicate something. Despite our language barrier, I felt as though I had been accepted as a member of the family. Nai Nai and I became especially close — we cooked together, did laundry, and often just sat together, in silence, watching the villagers pass by. My home-stay family lived in extreme poverty, but still fed me well, gave me a nice bed to sleep in, and provided whatever they could for me. They treated me with unprecedented generosity which I never felt that I could reciprocate. On my second to last day in the village, my group took a trip to the nearby rural market. I went to the market with the intention of buying a gift for my family; although I could certainly never repay them for what they had done for me, I wanted to provide some token of my gratitude. The rural market was a loud, colorful place filled with vendors selling every imaginable fruit, vegetable and meat. Children ran around with pinwheels while mothers carried wooden baskets filled with food on their backs. Shopkeepers yelled out, “Aye! Ni megou ren ma?” (Hey! Are you American?) and laughed as I struggled to speak to them in a language of which they only spoke a dialect. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw villagers taking pictures of me, the first American they had ever seen, on their cell phones. I sorted through the fruits and vegetables before I finally settled upon one that I thought would make a nice gift: a ripe, juicy watermelon. It was a hassle to carry back to the village, but I didn’t care. Once I finally arrived back at the house, I proudly walked up to Nai Nai and presented her with the watermelon. “Liwu!” (Gift!) I said, handing her the watermelon. She smiled and accepted it, and though I was not sure if she had understood what I’d said, I knew that she had at least understood my intentions.
This summer I spent six weeks backpacking across China, immersing myself in the
The timing of this nest though is peculiar to me It serves as a symbol of teasing For a friend of mine whose egg had just hatched Now lay under the earth. And although these eggs will eventually hatch And these birds eventually fly free I cannot help but selfishly want them To remain faithfully with me In their nest on my window sill. Ezra Ellenberg Maya Liran, photograph
Pages 58 – 59
Rachel Zeuner, oil
That night, I had quite the surprise when I found the watermelon on my pillow. It was then that I realized that Nai Nai would not accept even my small gift. Yet, I wasn’t put off. I was determined to give Nai Nai that watermelon, no matter what I had to do in order to make it happen. The next morning I went to pick tea with my home-stay family, and then came back to the house to gather my belongings and leave. As I packed up my clothing, I left the watermelon on my bed with a note attached, the Chinese characters for the word “gift” written on it. Nai Nai met me downstairs and walked me over to my instructor’s house, where the group was meeting. I was extremely pleased that she’d get the watermelon, even if she wouldn’t realize it until after I’d gone. Unfortunately, my glee didn’t last long. My instructor’s house was located right next door to Nai Nai’s, and as soon as she went up to my room after I’d left, she found the watermelon. My group-mates laughed as they watched Nai Nai march right back over to my instructor’s house with the watermelon. Despite my cries of “Bu yao!” (I don’t want it!) she managed to wrangle the watermelon into my arms and run back to the house. I wouldn’t be so easily defeated. I snuck back over to Nai Nai’s house, watermelon in hand, looking for a place to hide it. I peered into the kitchen to see if she was in
Pages 60 – 61
there, and upon discovering that she wasn’t, I set the watermelon on the counter and placed an upside-down bowl over it to conceal it from passers-by. My logic was simple: that night, after I’d left, she would come into the kitchen to make dinner, pick up the bowl, and find the watermelon. At that point, she’d have no choice but to eat it and enjoy it. After a few more minutes at my instructor’s house, I saw Nai Nai rushing back over to me, holding the watermelon and smiling. As she thrust the watermelon into my arms, I started to laugh. In turn, she started to laugh. The commotion that we were making drew the attention of my instructor, who had grown up in Tuan Jie and therefore spoke the dialect. My instructor asked me what was happening, and I told her about my struggle to get Nai Nai to accept my gift. My instructor took the watermelon, and in the Szechuan dialect, explained to Nai Nai that it was a gift. Still, Nai Nai wouldn’t take the watermelon. Eventually, my instructor’s mother came over and tried to get Nai Nai to take the watermelon. Yet, despite all of our efforts, Nai Nai refused to accept the gift. After some time, the bus came to take my group away from the village, and I hugged Nai Nai goodbye. Because Nai Nai had never taken the watermelon, I left it with my instructor’s mother. Once I was on the bus, she gave the watermelon to Nai Nai. Through the window, Nai Nai tried to give me the watermelon, but I wouldn’t take it. As the bus drove away, I looked back to see Nai Nai grinning, hugging the watermelon and shaking her head. Jessica Appelbaum
Aliza Rosenfeld, oil
Zoe Glaser, oil
My Victory D oes my confidence upset you?
Sonnet of Youth You speak to us as if we cannot hear
Does my poise make you mad? Can you deal with my happiness? Are you angry that I’m not sad?
As if we can’t carry out your orders As if our eyes are blinded by the sun. We taste the sin of our ignorance.
Did you believe that you could keep me down? Did you really think that you would take away my pride? Are you shocked that I did not roll over? Why were you so sure that I’d hang my head and hide?
The first day of school and his socks were too high Ice-cold glares burned holes in his heart. He sat alone watching others strut by Unaccepted, insecure, he was completely apart. So many choices, how to choose Drinking, smoking, things we’re not supposed to do – My friends all tell me I have nothing to lose And yet tomorrow I may wake up in the tombs.
Will my success make you hate me? Does my attitude make you want to scream? What will you throw at me next time? What is the worst that you can dream? Does my strength frustrate you? Does my clarity make you cringe? Am I too straightforward for you? Who is now on the fringe? Are you not in my hands? Do I not have control? Are you too stubborn to admit it? What should I do with your soul? Adam Bresgi Above/opposite page: Sasha Gayle Schneider, photographs Pages 62 – 63
Put those puzzle pieces together – get through that maze Before you even know it, your childhood will be a haze. Max Black, Samantha Brandspiegel, Janet Datikashvili, Jeffrey Federmesser, Marissa Heringer, James Khaghan, Julie Koenigsberg, Aviva Maltz, Alexandra Maron, Avi Raber, Tohar Scheininger, Zachary Stecker, Beth Weinshank, Steven Wolff
Would You? I f I were in the hospital
Ode to Technology To the computers and telephones and televisions Thank you, for destroying me For enticing me despite my utter hatred for you For robbing me and my friends of our intelligence For stealing me away from my hopes and dreams For forcing me to stay inside, suffocated Thank you for pulling me in And letting me reject you For letting me see what is real And what is false Thank you dear technology, For showing me exactly the path, That I want to stray from You have given me nothing And given me everything I only now wish that all my kind, could hate you Just as I do now. Dana Bronstein
Rebecca Mack, photograph Opposite page: Benjamin Soffer, oil Pages 64 â€“ 65
Would you come visit me? Would you sit and hold my hand Or would you feel the need to flee? Would you always make the effort To come see me every day? Would you stay inside with me When all the kids go out to play? If I could never walk again Would you stay and be my feet? If I could never hear again Would you help me feel the beat? If they said I would not wake up Would you just get up and leave? Or if you heard that news Would you just stay, hope, and believe? If I could never see again Would you stay and help me see? If at night I dream of you, Would I wake up to only me? Jenna Merrin
To the Generic Teacher Teach me. Because I’m just dying to learn. Teach me. If you truly have the nerve. Teach me. If you know precisely what to say. Teach me. If your words match your pride Then I will be satisfied. Sarah Gottesman, oil I’ll walk away with a smile and say, What a wonderful thing I learned about teachers today! Amber Tuthill
My Teacher Is Small M y teacher is small She is knowledgeable beyond belief She is strong, and so weak She is confident and more self-conscious than I She is a walking paradox And she is my teacher who does not know she is my teacher at all. She walks on the edge of life and is well aware of her existence. She loves life, and wants to leave it all at the same time She understands, and breathes, and talks, And cries, and asks, and is silent. She makes me happy and makes me weak She makes me cringe and makes me act She knows all that she does, and knows nothing She has my soul and my wisdom in the palm of her hands And she has absolutely no idea. She makes me happy to be alive And makes me want to roll over and die She has the key to the universe And my heart, all in one chain And is terrified to use it. She grows the most delicious grapes on earth And has never had enough courage to make the wine But soon I know, she will drink her own beauty, and know what I know. Dana Bronstein
Pages 66 – 67
Dear College Admissions Board of Princeton University, I am writing to you on behalf of my sister, Jessica Walker (we call her Jess—she’s one of those girls who everyone has a nickname for). I guess I don’t really know where to start, because I’m not really good at these kinds of things… Boy, you should’ve seen Jess’ face when she heard that you guys at Princeton wanted a sibling to write the letter! “Oh, come on now, Jessica,” Mom chuckled (Mom is the only human being in the world who still insists on calling Jess “Jessica.” And the way she says it, poking tongue through front teeth with concentration, furrowed brow—it sounds like she’s saying the name of some dignitary from Saudi Arabia.) “Lily will do a fine job.” But anyway, I guess I’ll jump right in. Jess is a writer, covering every surface of our home in crinkled lines of poetry, “I like my body when it is with your body. It is so quite a new thing. Muscles better and nerves more.” Jessica litters our familial existence with post-its and papers and words whose meanings I never quite understand, but am always afraid to ask about. Jess says that when she writes, it’s as if she leaves her body, like she’s not quite there and neither are we; she’s just floating off somewhere, alone with her words like luscious and luminous and xanthrocroid. Jess also recites poetry when she’s drunk—not that she gets drunk often. Actually, she’s only been drunk one time that I can remember, when she stumbled home at 2:00 a.m. and she was laughing and calling out lines of e.e. cummings, tripping over a stray shoe in the kitchen, lying on the floor laughing. Dad had left us alone that night and Jess made me promise I’d never tell. I guess this kinda counts as telling but seriously, I’m her younger sister—younger sisters are basically created for the sole purpose of tattle-telling. Funny, for a girl who knows so much like Jess to just have no common sense. And besides, its not even really important that she got drunk once or twice—I mean, come on, the girl recites poetry when she’s intoxicated—what an intellectual! Jess really does know a lot ‘cause she’s really passionate about learning. She’s always taking books out of the library to teach herself Swahili, and lacrosse, and meditation, and juggling, and how to swallow knives (though that operation was pretty much a failure). One week Jess decided that she wanted to become fluent in Spanish, move to Argentina and become a revolutionary like Che Guevera. “I am no longer Jessica Walker,” she
announced at supper that night. “I will respond only when addressed by my new name—Esperanza!” Jessica explained later that Esperanza meant “hope”, meant changes and forward and people in the streets demanding their rights. I heard Dad later on the phone that night with his sister, my aunt, sighing over Jess’ crazy phases, chuckling, “she should have been born in 1969.” Dad’s always saying that Jess should have been a ‘60s child, applying her off-the-charts science and logic skills to working for the Weathermen, or working with NASA to get Armstrong on the moon. Jess has always been passionate about science and medical research, and on Shabbos afternoons when we were little she would climb up the huge bookcase in our study and pull down Dad’s medical dictionary, trying to memorize terms like endoscopogram and gastrointestinologist. To this day, whenever anyone in the house has a scrape, or a blister, or sore arches, Jess always knows just how to treat them, with ice, Neosporin, Band-Aids, or homemade massagers consisting of a sock stuffed with tennis balls. Jess wants to be a doctor when she grows up, specializing in cardiology, 'cause she says that she wants to know the geography of the human heart, map out its alleys and crooks and alcoves, aorta and right ventricle. When Jess was in seventh grade she fell “hopelessly and unrequitedly” in love with some freckled redhead in her Spanish class, Eduardo Martinez, and when Jess’ sonnet proclaiming her love—which she had tucked into his autumn bomber jacket—went days without response, she shook her head at me as if it were my fault Eduardo-Martino-whatever-the-hell-his-name-was didn’t return her adoration. “See now if I were a doctor, I could diagnose him with disease of the heart—an inability to feel love! Oh Jesus, love is so complicated!” I’ve always kinda seen Jess as a fairy-princess, half mortal, half magical, a sort of Tinkerbell/Snow White mix up. When I was six and Jess was eight, she convinced me that she really was a fairy, dropped off on our doorstep by a magical flying orc. She even wrote out fake adoption papers in painstakingly neat print, and somehow convinced Dad to go with it for a little. That’s the thing about Jess…you just can’t really say no to her, her eyes that blink up and down really quick when she lies to you, the way she pokes her tongue between the gap of her front teeth when she’s thinking hard. Our grandma, Bubbe, as Jess insisted on calling her, got lung cancer and passed away when Jess was thirteen and I was eleven. I remember when Dad sat us down and told us, holding me on his lap and running his hands
Pages 68 – 69
through my pin-straight brown hair as Jess sat by silently, slowly clenching her fists out and back in. That evening we couldn’t find Jess, and Dad was panicking — looking in all of our closets inside the house, ready to call the police, when finally we stumbled through the darkness of the backyard and found her curled up in the oak out in the front yard. She was asleep, looking kinda like a fairy with her carrot-top hair brushing the branches of the oak with pixie dust. I noticed it, but I didn’t tell Dad, the little letters etched into the crumbly trunk, Jess’ messy scrawl reading, “Bubbe: 1922-2003, a loving grandma, hilarious storyteller, quirky friend, passionate activist, and god-awful cook”. In the weeks to come when Jess lost weight, sprouted deep purple bags under her fluttering eyelids, began to talk even faster and more high-pitched than normal, hands constantly jittering and fluttering around, neighbors would whisper about how tragedy manifested itself in all different ways, about how death can be like the Band-Aid you try to peel too slowly off skin, as if the dullness of gentle pain is easier to bear than the quick sting of a rip. Jess loves to paint. Sometimes she wakes up at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday and she goes down by the lake in Middle-Edge Park to paint the ducks, and the newly planted daffodils, and the way that the sun glints off the water and casts rainbow-ish light on the dusting of fall leaves on the ground. Jess says that someday, nobody will remember what the earth looked like, cause it’ll be so covered up with wires and adapters and extension cords and plumbing and Mac-Book Airs with keyboards that mechanically spit out rows of uniformed letters and words and sentences marching off to their deaths. Jess says that if we don’t capture how the world is now, our grandchildren will never know “true wonder.” So she paints in hues of violent red and fiery magenta that bleed together and form whippoorwills and lapping beach waves and solitary blades of dewy grass. Sometimes when Jess is painting, I look over her shoulder and my vision starts to blur, and if I stare long enough, it looks as if she and the painting and the bleeding blues, and pinks, and dandelion yellows, and ooh-la-la-lavenders are just one neverending conglomeration of everything and nothingness. Jess’ therapist tells Mom that art is good for Jess, “an ideal medium to channel the complexity of her psyche.” So Mom has stopped bothering Jess when the alarm goes off at 5:50 A.M. on Sunday mornings and Jess pulls on slippers and creeps out of the house, oil pastels, canvas paper, and a ripe
glowing breakfast peach tucked under her stringy spaghetti-limb arms. I think she noticed—and I noticed this too (though mostly ‘cause I read it in one of the fat manila envelopes the therapist sends home with Jess every so often)—that Jess paints whenever she’s trying to figure something out. Like when she’s trying to figure out the rumors those girls in her class spread about her, like Amanda McKinley, the tall ballerina blond in Jess’ class who I sometimes see hanging around with George Gershire behind the A&P on North Elm Street. “I hate that I have to see a therapist,” Jess used to grumble. “It’s not my fault the girls in my class have problems.” Problem child. That word must have been used over a gazillion times in my house growing up. “Jessica, couldn’t you just try doing what the teacher says? Even just once?” I remember when Jess was told by her history teacher to draw a picture of the American flag. Taking out her set of 108 Crayola crayons—colors like jazzberry jam, and mountain meadow, and macaroni and cheese, and mulberry—Jess began to outline the form of Old Glory. Fifty tiny comets twinkling light-years away, seven bold jagged bands running the length of the page, colored “Big Dip ‘O Ruby”. Jess’ teacher poked her obnoxiously petite head over Jess’ shoulder, her squinty eyes and glasses perpetually sliding to the tip of her nose, her scent a grotesque mélange of Channel No. 5 mixed with Starbucks Chai Latte and Febreze air freshener. “Lovely, Jessica,” her voice growls, two pitches too low to be a soprano, yet too obnoxiously mousy to fall into alto. Suddenly, Jess whipped out “Outrageously Orange” and began to fill in the spaces between those red bands that were to have been the white stripes. “Jessica, what on earth?” Mrs. Pelowski cried. Excitedly, Jess jumped up on her chair, her body a whirl of clacking sandals and polyester sundress material. She began to speak, in a whisper that commanded more focus than an angry snap. “Well, Mrs. Pelowski, I was just feverishly at work depicting Old Glory… When I realized that there’s a bit of a problem with our trusty flag…” Mrs. Pelowski was almost in tears, desperately pulling at the seam of Jess’ dress, trying to quiet chuckles and chortles from bemused classmates. Jess broke out into an old Pete Seeger poem, whose words used to whisper through snatches of Dad’s bedtime melodies… “At midnight in a flaming angry town, I saw my country’s flag lying
Pages 70 – 71
torn upon the ground. I heard a husky voice that seemed to ask: Do you think you could change me just a bit? Betsy Ross did her best, but she made a few mistakes. My blue is good, the color of the sky. The stars are good for ideals, oh, so high. Seven stripes of red are strong to meet all danger; But those white stripes: they, they need some changing. I need also some stripes of deep, rich brown, And some of tan and black, then all around, a border of God’s gracious green would look good there. Maybe you should slant the stripes, then I’d not be so…square.” Dear College Admissions Board. I don’t know quite how to end this letter. Last week we received in the mail our cordial rejection letter from Harvard University. Jess didn’t cry when she saw it, she just nodded her head real slow and curled up in the big oak out in the front lawn. I guess I’m just asking you to think about this, listen to me, because Jess is just extraordinary, like all 108 Crayola colors wrapped up in one human being, Wintergreen Dream, Tickle Me Pink, Cotton Candy, Cornflower, and Atomic Tangerine. Cheers, Lily M. Emma Goldberg
Liz Chernov, digital photo collage
Voiceless Sounds All the mute faces stare in total bewilderment
Benjamin Heller, digital art
Rebecca Schwarz, digital art
David Kagan digital art
They move their lips furiously towards me, Unaware of their inability to speak. People are terrified. Everyone Scared to be wrong, or to be embarrassed. That is why they speak, scream or moan, They wish to explain their bodies over which they have no control. But without a voice, they have no excuses, just their movements. I like them all so much more, We would all like each other so much more, If no one could listen, Because no one could speak. The noisiest ones carry with them the loudest silence, The angriest ones hold a tranquility that I have never seen, But the serene, quiet, confident ones, They are the strangest, For they are now uncomfortable, and insecure. Their silence in the midst of noise is what kept them sane, But now their silence in the midst of nothing turns them into nothingness. They no longer stand out, No longer have something they call their own, No longer own a tall, thick wall they can hide behind. Now everyone is like them, Silent as night. So now, each emits a mind-numbing, body-chilling Shriek, that even I, Though unable to hear a sound, Tremble, so petrified That I rush to unplug my ears and return to the world. Dana Bronstein
Bare Trees Are the Saddest Trees of All F allen leaves floating through the air like our passions floating through our lives Catch the leaves Force yourself to hang onto them We want to feel, to love, to hate, to heal Bare trees are the saddest trees of all No purpose or place in the world Just standing there, exposed Waiting â€™till someday their leaves will grow back Avishai Afek
Tzvi Tannin, photograph
Runwalking r unwalking runwalking in the park on Sunday I chase joggerbikers whizzing on my right While lapping the strollerwalkers with their lazysleepy kids on my left My middlelane travel lets me know who I am not But lanelocks me to the path ahead that seems so narrow In the crowdedlonely park, I want to reachtouch Those who are moving at a different pace They feel so close but are actually under a universeglass Which I see but cannot lanecross to touch Daniel Kasman
Pages 72 â€“ 73
Birthday Blues warren zevon and jools holland burst hollering into the world on
Why, Dad? W hy did you leave? Is it really not your fault Or are you just saying that? Are you afraid that I’ll hate you if you admit the truth? Do you know what you’ve made me ask myself? What is wrong with me? Why doesn’t he love me? Is his new family more important? Do you know how much that hurts me? Do you know that I only put on a face so you won’t be mad? When you left her, did you really have to leave me too? And when you blame me, do you think that feels good? Do you even slightly understand that it kills? What do you think? Why don’t you ever really tell me the truth? Why? Can you realize that it’s you, and nothing else, that makes me feel this way? Do you think you have proved anything to me? Why would you think that? Anonymous
Pages 74 – 75
the frigid day, as people shuffle down the street in their winter coats. I heard the roar of the crowd as randy moss ran past me and skimmed my jersey as he went out for a pass and scored a TD Walking down the dingy alley on way to the gathering, wearing a simple worn out black shirt with the secret badge on the inside of the sleeve, I saw advertising for the new DVD release of ‘Mitch Hedburg – the complete collection’. The bright balloons and perfectly wrapped presents made me smile knowing that my mother’s tasty homemade cake was waiting in the kitchen I opened the box and smiled at the beautiful tie my father bought me. The smell of the candles burning reminded me I needed to blow them out. Rouged pulp and flouncy skirts Legs of leaves eternal Very often on this day, the smell of barbecue looms in spring air, without the soldiers we would be nowhere. Israeli-American actress was viewed professionally in Star Wars dressed in side buns and an unusual dress I AM FINALLY ALIVE. The American women are no longer fettered by their worn-out aprons. on the beautiful day in the burning hot, happy, jolly, waterless, lemonade stand, balloons flying high in the sky, fresh smells of cut grass, tome’s luscious smile and his eyes winking at the girls at the lemonade stand day, make everyone happy.
the mixture of the bluefish sky and the yellow sun creates an almost perfect mixture. The day after the Albanian mother of Calcutta was born, the sun shines, and I am happy as usual. wanting it never to end, swimming in the dolphin-filled oceans with water flowing through my hair. the polo shirt is off and only the water and the dolphins around. today was the best day. As the smell of independence and freedom approaches, my legs tremble my shorts. sweet sensation of icing, as Masayuki Suzuki sings lustrous tunes with tight leather pants gripping his lean, hairless legs The French prodigy of basketball arrives to the world and his black autographed jersey on my wall. on the eve of this important day, the streets are lined with Christmas trees, as the sweet sound of caroling echoes through the bustling city streets. As people gather together on this special night, the warmth of unity is stronger than the warmest jacket
On the cold December day with aviation ready clothing, the Wright brothers took off. Ariel Abecassis, Jacob Abudaram, Sharon Amir, Raphael Astrow, Margalit Cirlin, Tomer Domb, Sarah Epstein, Elisheva Epstein, Jacob Feld, Samuel Gatan, Ross Gitlin, David Kagan, Gabriel Klausner, Rachel Krakowski, Hannah Laytner, Esther Lenchner, Anna Rothstein, Alec Rudin, David Yitzhari Anonymous, photograph Pages 76 â€“ 77
What If? W hat if evil didnâ€™t roam in this world; Would it be filled with happiness? What if the almighty sun succeeded the moon at all times; Would people never go inside? What if death were no longer an escape; What would people do to end their misery? What if suffering were a disappearing mist; Would sorrow not exist? When unfortunately the truths are far from these, How, may I ask, are you not terrified? Maya Maor Harris Mizrahi, photograph
Questions I s this the way to write a poem?
Probing Questions Ugh,
With a myriad of words Bound together by rhythm? But why? What is the rhythm? Which words? Should I just contort my words to sound Smart? Is a poem like a song, Or a book, Or a movie? Is this the way to write a poem?
Why does something so beautiful have to be so worrisome? Why does something so expected have to be so surprising? Why does something so irrational have to feel so right? How can something so comfortable be so uncomfortable? Aaron Ladds
0What Were We Thinking? “What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (Eccl 1:3-18 NIV)
Last Friday, when Mom put the groceries down on the kitchen counter — why did you immediately grab the orange? Why not the apple? What made you want that orange? Why the middle orange and not the one on the left? Did you even realize what you were doing? Or wonder why you were doing it? How much of what we do is just like a sponge taking food dye through its web? How much of what we do is just routine? Are routines just another way we lose control of our own actions? Yesterday, when Mom put down the groceries on the kitchen counter — why did I immediately grab the apple? Was what went through my mind different from what went through yours? Or did nothing go through my mind? Does that mean that nothing went through yours? Rachel Weisberg
How can something so alien feel so familiar? How can something so abstract be so real? How do I trust someone, other than me, with myself? How does something carry so much doubt and so much certainty? How does something so ineffable take priority over all tangibles? How is something so contradictory simultaneously so harmonious? How is something known by so many, still so unknown? Who has taken the reins of my thoughts; kicked me out of the cockpit to my emotions? Why doesn’t love come with any answers? Alexander Goldberg Lauren Finzi, mixed media
Pages 78 – 79
The Yells of Pain W hy does she always yell at me? Did I do something wrong? Do I deserve to be scolded? Is everything that happened my fault? Can’t she control her rage? Why is she always angry? How come her anger is always directed towards me? Did I commit the crime? What did I do to deserve this treatment? Does she know her screams rip at my soul? Does she know I am torn apart within? How can she do this to me?
Tzvi Tannin, photograph
Thoughts W hat is a friend? Someone you look up to? Someone you confide in? Someone you enjoy speaking to? Someone you love? What is love? Something you feel? Something you know? Something you trick yourself into thinking? Something beyond your control?
Does she not love me? Could she ever genuinely despise me? Why can’t she take control of her emotions? When will the pain come to end? Brina Breitbart Kayla Joyce, charcoal
What is beyond your control? What you feel? What you do? What God feels? What God does? What is God? An overblown myth? An underappreciated truth? A supreme being? A universal friend? What is a friend...? Tobias Citron
0A Memory (in the style of Ezra Pound)
T he event has entered my head The smells are imprinted in my mind The surroundings have influenced my recollections The events are a part of me now, like my hair which defines me An event is you The smell is you You are the air which was present You are the child who passed by on that day You are the witness of the past Leah Kahan
Pages 80 – 81
Monologue He said just one drink. I begged him not to. It’s never just one, you and I both know that, I told him. When he starts with that whiskey he just doesn’t know how to stop, and there’s no telling what the hell he’ll do. He was screaming, yelling and flailing his arms at me. He said some things I know he didn’t mean but it was that damn bottle. He couldn’t control himself. He violently grabbed my left wrist, his jagged, bitten nails digging into the soft underside of my forearm. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I shoved him away from me.
The window was open. But I swear I didn’t mean to. It just happened. I couldn’t think straight. The keys to the faded, powder blue Ford with a dented headlight and that stupid ironic bumper sticker of his were sitting there right beside my medium hazelnut, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with two sugars and skim milk. I grabbed my coffee, swiped the keys off the table and drove. I had no idea where I was going. I followed the road for as long as I could keep my eyes open. I stopped at a cheap, run down, mini-mart to buy a cup of coffee, black, no sugar. I drove to escape, to run away from my past, but wherever I went my past followed me. It haunts me. My cramped eight by eight apartment still lies unfurnished, for the reason that I cannot bear to remember what happened that morning. Every piece of furniture, every picture, every little thing reminds me of him. Since I was six years old I owned a brown teddy bear with a small, but noticeable, cranberry juice stain behind his left ear. He had to go; his eyes always fixed upon my every move. His stare mocked my cowardice, and disgust and disappointment penetrated my soul like a dagger. He knows what I’ve done, but it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t mean to. I’ve been thinking about that Tuesday morning for quite some time now, and I, I… I think I’ve found a way to finally forget. I’m done running from city to city, running from everything and everyone that brings back memories. I’m on the twelfth floor and the window is… it’s what got me into this mess. It’ll get me out. Harris Mizrahi Tzvi Tannin, photograph
Pages 82 – 83
Dreams F ar past the realm of consciousness Hidden, lies a place As surreal as a melting clock Or an inside-out orange A place so hard to find But when the night air caresses your cheek And lulls the sound of day Hypnotized, you stumble into the dark
I Matter. The universe is big.
Kites float, suspended in the air Indefinitely This citadel of happiness is all you know No end in sight to the wonders Rebecca Schwarz, digital art
Yeah, I know that. So what? Does that mean that I’m not important? Does that mean that every beating of my heart is inconsequential? Does it mean that the choices I make don’t matter? Sometimes I think so. Sometimes I get to thinking And thinking And thinking Until my thoughts get as big as the universe. Well, I guess not, but they get really big. I clench my fists and my shoulders tense I stop blinking and just stare. I know I can make a difference. Well, I can’t really know, but I think. Well, at least, I like to think I can make a difference. I like to believe that the actions I take and choices I make are important, significant. I like to believe that I matter. But sometimes I’m not so sure. Adam Bresgi
But suddenly — War has broken out in the confines of your mind War influenced by rapid eye movement A fight between consciousness and slumber Sadly, consciousness always wins. Roger Kleinman
Janet Rubin, oil
Pages 84 – 85
THE Wo RLD
Harris M Pages 86 â€“ 87
T I Me.com Time. You would look helpless waiting for the earth to stop
Pages 88 â€“ 89
Sasha Gayle Schneider. photograph
Spinning, For the aged to stop aging, for the withered plants to keep growing. Youâ€™d seem hopeless moving on: watching as the heartycaress of summer And spring Dwindles to become the icy, broken air of winter. A dark yet handsome throne welcomes its frosty, heartless PRINCE With no firm resistance. You may just sitback and fall into groveling submission, Hoping that the intricate gears, Pushing secOnds Forward, Have some fault. Maybe you can try to p u s h. Vowing to struggle against the thrashing current blinding us from Blackness, For buried deep underground lies A curse more deafening than the quivering bonds between predator and prey. A curse than can Shake the very foundations on which you might hope. A curse that can push you to your knees and can pry out that very last Breath from Your once trembling fingertips. You wish that you can face it bravely, and stop Those uneven hands. The latter is normally preferred. Unique. I am my own person. I can be DIFFERENT for once. Let me pick up the pieces of the original sin. Let me Grind the gears and build a hope Machine. Let me see to heaven, so that I can know that I am truly a change. I am unique. I am not just another helpless victim of the ruthless undercurrent. I am not just another Fallen soldier, crawling back from the front, hoping that I Will Not bleed out before I find help. I am a Maverick Fighting the clock.
Perhaps I can be the distinguished Spirit to overcome the fight that man has fought for millennia. A natural alarm does not dictate My day, Rather, I will set my own alarm. Skyler Siegel
I Am the Movement T hey said, “We are dying.”
I mourned. They said, “There is hope.” I dreamed. They said, “We need to change.” I acted. They said, “Our time is over.” I objected. They said, “It is in your hands now.” I panicked. They said, “You’re ready.” I believed. They said, “We’ll always be here for you.” I led. They said, “You can do better.” I worked. They said, “You need to live this.” I committed. They said, “You are now the movement.” They chose my life for me.
world, in a different state of mind. I close my eyes and open them, letting the darkness consume me, waiting for my fear of the dark to slowly vanish. I sway to the music and wait for my body to be ready for the next yoga pose. I breathe in heavily, and I am filled with a sense of stillness that I don’t often feel living in this bustling city. I am filled with a sense of self and a sense of God. All I can feel is the heat from my air conditioner mixing with the smell of the burning incense on my desk. The noise of the speeding ambulance outside begins to penetrate my mind and break my concentration. I fight to keep my mind focused on the plank pose and downward facing dog. I brush off the outside noise, re-focusing my mind on my breathing. Breath in, “HAM”, I say, breath out, “SA”. I do this three more times to bring me back to the darkness of the room. I am now completely captivated by the calming music and the tranquility I feel. I go into the Warrior One pose, and I am instantly
I have found my place of peace, my place of serenity and beauty. I am in a different
I am instantly consumed…I think of nothing else but my breath and my body…I am the darkness… I am the room…I am one hundred years old and I am not born yet.
Amber Tuthill, oil Pages 90 – 91
consumed by this pose. I think of nothing else but my breath and my body. My fear of the darkness or of loneliness has completely vanished and I am no longer myself. I am the darkness; I am the room, the walls, my bed, the floor. I am no longer seventeen, I am one hundred years old and I am not born yet. My mind begins to fall into a deep sleep when I am suddenly brought back into the world by a horrible sound. I feel my body come back down to earth and my peacefulness begin to disappear. I struggle to get back my breath and keep my mind focused; only I cannot. It is slipping away and I am back in this materialistic world that I loathe so much. The loud disturbing sound of the house phone will not cease and I open my eyes. I am
frustrated and accept defeat. Once again, my attachments to the technology of this world have prevented me from reaching the place I long to be. I sit in my room, eyes open now, accepting my failure and yet still unable to stand. I stay seated looking around in the darkness. My mind wanders to the world I one day hope to live in. I picture the woods, and the streams and the vast emptiness of the world. I picture the animals and the trees. And I can see them all so vividly. But the silence is what captivates me. For the first time in my life I have encountered a moment of true peacefulness in New York and I am almost frightened by it. I rush to turn on the lights. It is at this moment that I realize I cannot go into that world, that world of nature and beauty unless I am actually there. I realize then that I will have to be patient, that I will have to wait my turn, and I will have to endure what I do not want to. But still, the question remains in my head; does this place, this Nirvana I dream of, really exist?
…does this place, this Nirvana I dream of, really exist?
Harris Mizrahi, photograph
Pages 92 – 93
The Seven Chairs T he fifth one ended up in France. As she entered the church, the priests seemed to be waiting for her, standing side by side with their hands behind their backs. Blinding rays of sun streamed through the magnificent windows and reflected off the cold marble floor. Stone pillars loomed above the three figures, watching their every move. A chair was situated in the middle of the marvelous hall, a ray of light beaming down right on it. She dragged her long black dress across the ice-cold floor, and then was greeted by the priests. They spoke softly, but echoes of their voices could be heard for a hundred yards in any direction. “Where are your sisters?” one of the priests asked. He was clearly the older of the two. His gray hairs were more than visible, and his many wrinkles and scars revealed that he had been through a lot. Yet somehow he held his seemingly uncomfortable position for quite some time. Only his mouth moved; the rest of his body seemed like a statue. “I wish I could answer you,” the nun’s eyes began to tear, “but I’m afraid we all ran away after they came to our house.” The priest was sorry he had asked such an intrusive question. Clearly if she had any knowledge of where her sisters were she would be out looking for them. These girls were more than sisters; whenever anything bad happened to one of them, they would always be there to comfort one another. The woman who entered the church in her long black dress was the oldest of the sisters, and definitely the most mature. “Let’s see it!” blurted out the younger of the priests. He was wearing a long red robe and a small, round hat. He was a little chubby and had a full head of hair. Being more restless than the other priest, he swayed side to side. He had a big grin on his face; he was always anxious to hear whatever anyone had to say. “Come on, we don’t have all day; the chair isn’t in the middle of this big place for nothing y’know.” He continued to sway and a thin line of sweat appeared on his forehead. The nun took a step back, then nervously turned back toward the chair. The sun shone brightly on her face as she took a seat on the dark wooden chair. Then, without warning, the chair slowly lifted up off the cold marble floor, none of the legs touching the ground. She was clearly concentrating very hard, her lips sealed together and her eyes shut tightly. The younger of the priests had stopped swaying,
and stood in complete shock and awe at what was happening in front of him. His jaw dropped, his eyes bulged. “I don’t believe it,” he gasped. “Be quiet!” whispered the older priest. He showed no signs of emotion, remaining like a statue. But his disciple was not so self-disciplined. “How does she do it? It has to be an illusion. This is impossible…” “If you cannot control yourself, leave now,” replied the older priest in a stern, angry tone. “Three times in a row! I’ve never seen anyone do that before!” By this time the nun had begun her descent back down to the floor. There was a soft, almost peaceful, cracking noise when the bottom of the legs hit the hard floor. The nun slowly rose from the chair and walked back toward the priests. The younger priest looked behind the nun to get a glimpse of the chair. It was in the same position as it was before it left the ground, and at first glance nobody would have predicted it to be capable of lifting off the ground and floating thirty feet into the air. “That is truly amazing,” said the older of the priests. His disciple was speechless; his mouth was wide open but no words were coming out. The nun looked down at the ground, as though she was afraid of what she had done. “Do you want to try the fourth chair? It is only if you want to,” the older priest said politely. He slowly turned his head to reveal a fourth chair, looking exactly the same as the others, with its delicate legs and detailed wooden designs on the back. The nun took a deep breath, and walked over to the fourth chair. As she sat down, the chair made a loud creaking noise that cut through the dead silence. Again, the legs of the chair slowly rose off the marble floor and the nun rose higher and higher. Again, the younger priest was shocked beyond belief, and again the older priest had to threaten him to be quiet. After what seemed like forever, the legs of the chair finally hit the ground, yet this time the nun did not get up from the chair. Instead, she looked around the church and then at the priests. “Where is it?” asked the nun. “What? What are you looking for?” “The chair, the next chair, where is it?” Nico Ravitch Opposite page: Sasha Gayle Schneider, photograph Pages 94 – 95
Is There? Is there heaven? When you die where do you go? If I die what do I want them to do with my body? Cremation? Burial? Or donate my body to scientific research? Why will I die? How will I die? What will I do before I die? Be successful? Start a family? Be happy? Is there enough time? Should I live in fear? When will I die? Repent always? Never do something wrong? Have my soul damned? Will I die quickly? Is it painful? Will I be remembered? Am I still me? Am I reborn? Do I start again? What if I screw up? Do I get a do-over? Will I want a do-over? Do I like myself? Am I proud of myself? Am I who I want to be? Am I a bad person? Do I even believe is an afterlife? Is there God? Are there Miracles? Why Pain? Or chance of peace? Is there hell?
Esther Lechner, watercolor
Pocket Full of Marbles I was wandering around in the landslide known as my mind when you came out of the ground. I didn’t know what to think. Part of me wanted and another resisted — Who knows what to think? The mind of a person is like a pocket full of marbles Always bumping into each other No distinct place Always in fear of falling out. The thoughts of you are the most precious of all. If you rolled into a crevice I would spend the rest of my life trying to put you back into my pocket full of marbles. Avishai Afek Ari Sebert, digital art
Pages 96 – 97
Ilana Ilana was different. It didn’t matter how often her parents told her she wasn’t. She knew she was different. She felt it when she arrived at school and all the students glared at her with disapproving looks. She felt it when she sat alone during lunch, counting the spaghettis in her bowl. She felt it when her legs could not hold her body up during assemblies, because her muscles were too weak. In the spring of third grade, Ilana woke up in the middle of the night with blood streaming out of her mouth and down her cheek. When she lifted her head off her pillow, she felt sharp pains run through her body. Her joints felt stuck. Ilana limped down the hallway, leaning on the walls for support, shrieking with all her might. Her mother used her pink satin nightgown sleeve to wipe the blood off of Ilana’s ruby red lips. Her father stared in shock. Within twenty minutes, the three frightened family members arrived in the emergency room and were being seen by Dr. Rubin. After four hours of blood testing, x-rays and MRIs, Dr. Rubin returned with a face that spoke a thousand words. Ilana had leukemia. From that night on, Ilana’s family was never quite the same. The laughs that used to fill the empty space in their large house were missing. The affection that Ilana’s parents had shown to one another was gone. The love that Ilana’s parents had for her was different. It was a worried kind of love. The I’m-scared-to-lose-you-and-I’m-scared-that-you-won’t-wake-uptomorrow kind of love. It didn’t matter to Ilana that she was the wealthiest girl in her town. It didn’t matter to her that she had bright blue eyes and brilliant white teeth. It didn’t matter to her that when she went shopping, she could grab every item off a shelf, and her parents would gladly buy them all. It didn’t matter. Because Ilana wasn’t happy. Though Ilana was only eleven years old, she knew much more than many adults. She knew that each moment of life was precious and that a Greater Being had the power to end her life whenever He pleased. She learned that money was insignificant, health could not be bought, and happiness was hard to find alone. It wasn’t that Ilana isolated herself. She wanted friends. She wanted to have play dates. But the kids in her class did not understand her. They did not understand why she left class every four hours to go to the nurse. They did not know that she was taking medicine to save her eleven-year-old life.
Her classmates thought that she skipped school every Friday simply because she hated school. Their assumptions were wrong. Though Ilana had no friends, she looked forward to school, because school was an escape for her. In school, she did not have to deal with the too-kind gestures of her parents, or the knowledge that there were always four eyes observing her closely. She went missing each Friday because she spent the day in the hospital, screaming in agony on a sterile bed as an oncologist shot injections into her spine. Ilana’s attempts to make friends in school were futile. But Ilana was desperate for company. When the bell rang at two o’clock each day, Ilana swung her periwinkle book bag over her shoulder and limped out to the grove behind her schoolyard. She lowered her frail body beneath the shade of the same oak tree each afternoon. She placed her bag aside and entered her world of fantasy. In Ilana’s world, she was queen. In Ilana’s world, it didn’t matter that she was different, because her subjects adored her. They were the green caterpillars that lived under the oak tree roots. Each afternoon, she returned to her lieges and greeted them enthusiastically. “I’m back! Did you miss me?” Ilana imagined that the caterpillars’ silent response was a sign of their reverence for her. For two years, Ilana concluded each school day with a visit to her caterpillar friends. When Ilana entered her world, she felt free. She did not carry the burden of her illness, and she did not carry the burden of her loneliness. Each afternoon, when Ilana entered her world, she picked up her caterpillar friends and let them crawl over her fragile, bony hands. Her green friends crept up and down her fingers and across her palms. When they reached the edge of her hand, she flipped her hand over, allowing her friends to continue their journey. Ilana wished that the length of her own journey were also in her control. Ilana continued her subjects’ journey until her watch marked three o’clock and laid them back in the dirt. She then picked up her backpack with dismay and trudged home. Ilana continued her daily visits to the grove and woke up each morning anticipating her entrance into her fantasy world. When Ilana was with her Benjamin Heller, mixed media
Pages 98 – 99
green friends, she was happy. Two years passed this way. During one of her weekly visits to the oncologist, the doctor asked Ilana to sit in the waiting room. Her parents were presented with traumatic news: Ilana’s cancer could no longer be contained. None of the treatments that the doctors tested on her had proved effective. The doctor told Ilana’s parents that she had a matter of months before her heart would fail her. When Ilana re-entered the room and her parents explained the situation to her, she was unresponsive. She did not cry. She did not react. She did not pity herself. Ilana devised a plan, deciding what she wanted to accomplish during her last months and what lifelong dreams she wanted to fulfill before she no longer could. Her illness quickly progressed. She soon became too weak to stand. She was put on bed rest and was set up with IVs streaming through her veins. Ilana did not even have the pleasure of relieving herself in private. She was forced to urinate into a diaper. Ilana was occasionally able to leave the house in her wheelchair. Her mother wheeled her along the street while her neighbors shot her looks of pity. She was in great agony, and though her body ached, her heart hurt more. Ilana was in despair. She felt powerless. She thought of all the things she wished she had done, of all the things she wished she had said, and of all the friends she wished she had made. Ilana knew that her life was coming to a close. One morning when Ilana woke up, she asked her mom to wheel her to the grove behind her schoolyard. Though her mom did not understand Ilana’s motivations, she was not prepared to deny her daughter of one of her last requests. Ilana’s mom pushed her down the streets and over the hills. When Ilana arrived at the familiar oak tree, she asked her mom to help her out of her chair. Ilana knelt down, cupped her hands, and allowed her green friends to crawl onto her fingers. Her mother stood in silence while Ilana observed her best friends. Ilana had never before experienced the deep ache that comes when parting with good friends. Her throat throbbed and swelled as salty round tears rolled down her cheeks. Ilana was not only leaving her world of fantasy. Her heart was pierced not only because she needed to part from her crawling friends. She was leaving it all — her periwinkle backpack, her parents, Dr. Rubin, and her sad world that she had grown to love. Ilana laid her cupped hands in the dirt. She knew it was time to send them back. The caterpillars softly wiggled in her hand, spelling out “goodbye.” Maya Liran
Pages 100 – 101
Your Time Is Not My Time
Time is simply artificial. No one has the right to quantify my life. The choice should be mine! I don’t want my life to be a series of seconds. I want to define my own time — in moments. I don’t want to think in terms of yesterday or tomorrow. I want to experience things, remember experiences and look forward to more experiences. I want to wake up and make something happen. I want to be on my own schedule. I don’t want to be told when to wake up, when to go to school, when I need to graduate, when I need to go to work. I don’t want my whole life to be a template, where some stupid, self-righteous conglomeration of opinions called society just plugs in numbers. No one can put a number on a life, so when we hear that someone dies, why do we ask how old he was? It doesn’t matter. Whether he had good memories; whether she had good friends; whether he accomplished what he wanted; whether she lived life every day; whether there will be people at his funeral; whether there will be people who stay after her funeral — now that’s important, the stuff that transcends time, that transcends the artificial boundaries we set up to shelter ourselves from inadequacy. You can have your life split up into arbitrary little ticks if you want, but why do you have to sever my moments, and mince my experiences with time? Adam Bresgi
Ten Years Ago We Were Seventeen Ten years ago we were seventeen.
Brenda Escava, spray paint
Hate is a Thing with Scales H ate is a thing with scales That tunnels through the heart. It has weathered many storms And many battles fought. Hate speaks fast But its speech is never blurred And it will do all it can To make sure its voice is heard. Hate is the strongest, Stronger than any man. And from its little heart Has come the end of many clans.
We were sad, and only looked ahead All we wanted was to break away from our bodies, From our minds and from our environment. If only, if only, we had a future self to put us in our place. Tell us just how wrong we were. We thought we were taller than all the rest When really, we were short. We were tiny, could not see over the shoulders of any person. Ten years ago, we forgot every day that we were living That we were spending our life, Our moments, wishing we could not live Wishing it would all end. But happiness is the greatest and truest high. We preached peace and love and freedom, When we were constantly at war with ourselves, Hating, and binding ourselves in the cages of our own minds. What is pain? What is happiness and suffering? Is it not just another wound to the body? A feeling we were so sure we could control? We did not feel physical pain, ten years ago. We were stupid and conceited To think that we could overcome the present by only looking at the future. The future does not come to those that reject the present. I wish we were given to us ten years ago, Telling us what to do. But half the experience is in the mistakes. So go ahead, dear friend, feel pain, and make wars, and sorrow, but know that I will be here, waiting for you, once you have decided to wave the white flag of surrender. Dana Bronstein
Aaron Weil Julie Maschler, pencil Pages 102 â€“ 103
Two People H e sees her and runs over, Finally his only love has arrived. His excitement at her arrival, Is as noticeable as a loud noise heard in a small town. I see him running to me With a desperation and hope that terrifies. He hugs me tightly, As though he wishes to whisk me away from the world. I love her so much So much that it hurts sometimes. Why can’t she just love me? And only me? Why can’t we just live together forever? I can hear his thoughts. I know how he feels about me, And it both pleases me, and worries me It intrigues me, and makes me uncomfortable We finally have plans to spend the day together! My joy is as high as a soaring bird! I feel on top of the world! She loves me! I knew she did! I think I love him. He does make me feel loved. But his desperation, His need, and his passion, for just me, Is unheard of, it makes me want to leave him. I hope she is being true to me. I do not know what I would do if she were betraying me. She is my everything She is my light And my air, Without her, I am alone, suffocating in the dark.
Pages 104 – 105
I sometimes fear that his love will lead to hatred That his yearning will turn dangerous And he will hurt me. Look at her. She abuses me, She knows I will always love her, And she cares only for herself. She is a monster, not I. I love her, but I need to leave her. I do not love him, I need to leave him. Dana Bronstein Harris Mizrahi, photograph
(Stage director goes off to do this task, in the background, unseen. Audience hears a combination
A single man is walking through a black, bare stage. You cannot see him, only hear his rampant
of “OOHS!” and “awwws!” and “You ************* , you’re burnin’ my eyeeeees!”)
Enter stage director and Man. Man’s eyes are red and teary. But for the first time, there is a
Man: Lights! Lights! Give me light God DAMNIT!
clear view of him.
Director: Give the man a light.
Stage director (proudly): There!
Stage Director: A light? Since when does he smoke?
Director: Excellent! All right, let’s adjust the lighting and get this thing started.
Man: Nooo, light! Light!
This thing gets started, the lights are sorted, the audience sees the stage is a staircase. Man is making a lot of rampant noises up the stairs.
Stage director (pause): Ohhhhhh, righto! Man: Stairs. You’d think a man of my age and my vision shouldn’t be climbing A very bright light turns on, the man blinks, cringing.
stairs. Or maybe you don’t care. Well, obviously you don’t because that’s
Man: Gahhhhhhh. Whatcha tryna do, blind me?
how come I’m climbing these stairs to begin with, apathy! Nobody gives a
Director: Actually, that’s a good idea. That’d be a good additive to the
crap when you’ve got no money. No family, no pack of friends or a girl. Yep.
character’s persona. Aye, Bobby, go over to the deli and get some acid, or
That’s what gives you a marker in society, a little placeholder in the network.
pepper spray, I don’t know whatever you do to blind a man.
Without anyone to recognize I exist, I might as well not exist. I’m not bitter
Bobby: Ha, ha ha. That’s funny, blinding the blind. Stage Director: Yeah yeah, quit mephoratizing ya sissy poet boy and get the man some spray or somethin’. 10 minutes later… Bobby comes back. Bobby (Handing the director a bag of chips): There ya go.
about it, no sir. I just wish I didn’t have to climb these damn stairs. Fumbling with his keys. He can’t find them; it’s taking longer than it should. Director: Cut, cut, cut! Man, what’s going on, what’s taking you so long to find your keys. Man: Give me a break, I’ve only been blind for about five minutes, I’m still getting the hang of it!
Director: What’s this? Salt and vinegar chips! How in the heck do you suppose I blind a man with a bag of chips!
Director: Yeah, let’s go and suppose I give everyone a break, where would I be? Nowhere. Accomplishment comes when things get done immediately. You
Bobby: You told me to go to the deli. You know what’s at the deli? Snacks.
give a man a break he’ll never figure himself out.
Soda. Candy. You want a bottle of acid? Send me to the hardware store. Man: Yeah, I suppose. Okay, I’ll try harder this time. Director: Then why didn’t you use your logical reasoning and go to the hardware store! Bobby: You didn’t tell me to use my logical reasoning, you told me to go to the deli! Director: Jeez Louise, I’m workin’ with a pack of idiots. (changing train of thought) All right, you, take this bag of chips and blind the man.
Director: Good, good.. that’s the attitude. Back on set. The man manages to find the right key and get through the door. Man (removing his coat): I grew up in Virginia. You know what they’re about? Me neither. All I know is way back when the first explorers came here, and we’re the supposed first founded state. Big whoop. Anyways, after that I traveled up to New York City, where lost souls go to get even more lost.
Stage director: How?
Though, perhaps they think they’ll blend with the complexion of confusion.
Director: I don’t know, crumble it in his eyes or something, use your logical
Well, that’s sure right. But who wants to blend anyway? Sure there’s vari-
reasoning... since people round here seem to needa be told to use it. Ha!
ety, but when there’s so much variety it looks like the same color.
Pages 106 – 107
Hell’s Angels W ho said there were no angels in hell?
Director: Cut! Man: What? What’d I do?
Man: Well, I– uh–
This is hell Empty and hollow
Director: No! It ain’t! ‘Cause a blind man don’t know a thing about color.
I need my angels
Director: You really think it’s a blind man’s place to be discussin’ color?
Heck, he’d of not known a thing about shape except for the fact that he can grope around pathetically for an hour, while it takes a man of vision to identify a shape in seconds! Man: Yeah, I guess that’s true. All right, we’ll scrap that then. Director: Ok, ok. Now back in your place. Resumes place Man: So here’s my apartment. Cozy, wouldn’t you say? Yeah right. Cozy. Now that’s a term women use to delude themselves into thinking they’re not livin’ in a dump. Yep, that word’s only used in a heated debate with their working class husbands. They’re bitter. Not like me. I got over my bitterness long ago. I think the key to that is being aware of the way things work instead of pretending they’re fine. That’s suppression. I don’t suppress. No sir. I see the way it is.
These are hell’s angels The angels that go to the depths of your darkness just to raise you up These angels are like no other Where do they come from? How do they know Where to go? These, are hell’s angels. Avishai Afek Harris Mizrahi, photograph
Stage director mouths the word “blind.” Man: I mean, I sense the way it is. In this moment his eyes are even more noticeably puffier, red, and teary. The man walks off stage. Director: What are you doing? Man: I can’t do this anymore. My eyes burn. Frankly, I’d rather see than do this play. Director: Doesn’t anyone know a thing or two about sacrifice anymore? You gotta give some things up in order to be successful and fulfill your dreams. Man: Dreams? I had dreams. They got lost when I saw the reality of life. But I guess I can’t see anymore, suppose I should start dreamin’ instead.
END Amber Tuthill
Pages 108 – 109
These angels aren’t perfect These angels aren’t white black or brown The angels aren’t holy or pure These angels aren’t angels
He Is H is eyes focused On an empty canvas Tender fingers Reaching for a brush A careful mind Making careful motions Portraying feelings Through his hands His body fighting Longing, losing control He will defeat it And victorious will stand He is not man But machine, prepared Ready for a fight Against an unknown foe Quiet, stillness, Shivers run down spines The air is filled with nothing And neither he nor I Know what is lurking in the dark Impatient for the kill Fearful eyes watch carefully Voices whisper Under starless skies Yet they help him And he helps them Find a way to promised lands She holds his hand Standing beside him
My Voice Delighted at the fact That he is winning No longer will he worry About inevitability No longer will she Nervously chuckle About the fear or future Rather, there is a Time worth spending Not alone, but together Eyes focused On a plate of steel Cold, inflexible And yet with just His tender fingers working Hand forces shape Into the unshapeable Still he has it That Superpower Able to portray feelings Through his hands A fight worth fighting So it seemed But victory is far Beyond eyesight He was not man But machine, prepared Ready for a fight But now she stands Before an empty canvas Nadav Pearl
I walk through the center of the city on my way to and from work. My daily path leads me by Huntman Plaza; where there is always the same old man painting these intricately designed boxes red. The man is blind and paints by touch. He runs his rough hands over the patterns, seeing the shapes in his mind, and coloring them before he even lifts the paint brush. And, all the while he sings poetry of his pain and life. Three days ago it was Maya Angelou, “You may write me down in his-tory-y, with your bitter twisted lies. you may trod me in Andrew Udell, craypas the very dirt, but still, like dust, I rise!” The melody of his voice carried his pain, the strain in his voice carried his anguish, but the confidence in his voice carried his pride. He was telling the story of a life shrouded in frustration, an unfair life, a life characterized by a disability, a life of imagined vision, a life that he tried to make the most of. It is always like this. For all the hurt that his voice carries there is always hope and belief. Two days ago it was Cummings, “Seeker of truth, follow no path, all paths lead where, there is truth here.” He was professing his disillusionment, yelling at those who were blind not in practice, but by choice. He was mourning all those who devoted their lives to a non-existent truth. Then, yesterday he sang Carver at me, “Happiness. It comes on unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really, any early morning talk about it.” His voice cracked at the word “unexpectedly”, and his glazed eyes turned toward me. He was screaming at me, urging me, praying that I remember his message. Hoping that I heed his cry. Needing me to understand his happiness, those red boxes, those intricately designed red boxes that were filled by his voice and colored by his hands, and imploring me to improve on his life. Yesterday, I realized that my life isn’t mine at all. I live my life for that old man, and for everyone who does not have his own voice. Just as the old man used the words of others, I will lend my life and my voice and my eyes to those who are not fortunate enough to have their own. Adam Bresgi
Ethan Finkelstein, sculpture Pages 110 – 111
My Mother Has Wild, Grey Hair D espite her own mother’s wishes,
Dirge of Myself I eulogize myself, and lament myself
My mother lets her aging appearance be visible for the world to see. Unashamed of how the natural cycle of things takes its toll, She lets her wiry gray-brown fly Wild and crazy, evoking questions as to what or who she was Previous to the stresses and anxieties of job and family Whether she was as free, defiant and untied down as her hair is now Showing a looser side, one with more frivolousness and laughter.
And what I am, you too shall be For every maggot belonging to me shall soon belong to you And every mite residing in me shall soon reside in you.
Her graying hair teaches her daughters That no matter what Hollywood might say to the contrary, Everyone ages, whether or not they let it show. That no matter what people expect of you, You should feel comfortable in your own skin. That everyone has differently ordered priorities, And one’s important concern might be another one’s afterthought. And that she loves her daughters, no matter what they may look like. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
I decay and dance in death Entreating flies to waltz and dine. I, now seventeen years old in interment end Having deceased in death so dear. Mortuaries and tombs are full of putrefied perfumes, and massed with urns That churn with souls having doubly died so young. The scent of my festering flesh, Gaseous, rots, toll’d bells, pallor-mortis, rigor-mortis, bone and fungi My suffocation and my inhumation, the soil falling upon my skull, the pooling of blood and the ceasing of air to my lungs. Spoiled and sickly is the verdure, spoiled and sickly are my limbs. Expired is every tendon and tissue, expired are the trees. Perish with me in the mounds, chop off the head from your neck And pour your blood, your plasma, your ichor, your lifeforce, as fertilizer for the flowers. Your bone shall serve as lattices for vines, smothering, smoldering, entwining Life over death. From dust you arose and to dust You return. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. Sarah Epstein Leah Robinson, photograph
Rachel Seidman, craypas Pages 112 – 113
The Journey I.
C ome; Join me on this journey through countless worlds and tales! For you see, in many ways, fiction and this great city are quite similar. The fantastic worlds to which fiction transports us are extraordinary and beautiful; And New York — with its starbright lights — it too can be described this way! II. Let us start in Geatland, with Beowulf and the Danes: For we all face our demons, whether they be menacing, like Grendel, or rather small. We all know well the strength which Beowulf had to exhibit in order to earn his honor! I too have had to earn my honor! I too have battled my demons and come out victorious. Americans, from the start, have fought for the causes of liberty and freedom! Every one of us is Beowulf; every one of us is capable of victory. The heritage of our great fathers makes us strong! The trees, the wind, the ocean acquaint us with nature and give us strength! The happy grass sings beneath our feet and we are content. We bless our God for the wonders of the world. III. As we move on, we venture into George Orwell’s perilous dystopia; For the world of 1984 holds oppressions to which we all can relate. We all feel oppressed at times, watched by Big Brother. Yet the wonders of America far outshine the perils which they oppose: Behold the Hudson River, a-sparkle with glinting sunlight! Behold Lady Liberty, warmly greeting newcomers to our land! Behold the shining Broadway lights, beckoning all to a world far away! Behold the taxis, as they zip from passenger to passenger like bees to flowers!
Opposite page: Rachel Fell, oil Pages 114 – 115
IV. At last, we explore the Wonderland, so easily accessed by Alice through a rabbit hole. Here, where all Mimsy were the borogroves, and the Mome Raths outgrabe! So much is common between our world and the Wonderland. This great city is full of Mad Hatters, asinine as any character of fiction! Full of tricksters, grinning ear to ear, sly as Cheshire cats! Just as a caterpillar, sitting atop a mushroom, asks “Who are you?”— Lady Liberty guards our waters, protecting our city from those who mean it harm. Indeed, Alice may have dreamed of a magical, mysterious land, But in truth, New York is a Wonderland, superior to anything imaginable. Jessica Applebaum
Song of the Subway The wind of a passing train blows my hair back, the air is almost as refreshing as a cool afternoon breeze. Who were the people whose smells I inhale? What places have they gone, have they came from? I hear the sound of a man yelling. I look behind me, and there’s a newspaper man, peddling his stories: Of love and hate, war and peace, destruction and creation. O, how numerous are man’s works! The fruits of his labor, heralded on these pages, both ripe and rotten. The train stops at the platform, and I step on board. It’s crowded, my body pushed against a cold, gleaming pole. Yet the living, breathing noise of the people engulfs me. There’s the chatter of friends, the flirting of lovers, the scolding of parents. They speak in so many beautiful languages: Spanish, French, Arabic. I long to know what they are saying, what the complete symphony of New York sounds like. But I can only play one lonely instrument, my beloved English. Yet, with even that, I can experience so much. A man sits on a seat, his head in his hands, his briefcase at his knees. He cries silently, singing a song only he and I can hear. It is one of a lost opportunity. Of a wife and child now scared and worried. Of bills coming in, thirsty for money that isn’t there. Of a single, bright pink slip, its color appears tainted from the blood its text evokes. Who knows where he is going on this Monday morning? Opposite page: Jenna Merrin, photograph Pages 116 – 117
Perhaps to the park, to sit outside with the young children, and cry his song to himself, wishing only for their innocence. But his song is that of us all. Our solos become a harmony before me, I contributing my own part of this opera of dreams deferred. Yet we all go on. Our orchestra is interrupted by a sharp, piercing energy: “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” His voice radiates through the car. People come and go, as if nothing is different, but they all feel it. “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” We try to continue our silent songs, but he persists. “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” We begin to wonder, what gives him the right to shout his praise? Has he not also lost, like us all? How has he been able to avoid that cruel fate that we must all suffer together? “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” We grow angry. Wake up, there is no one listening to you! You are alone like us Here. “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” But, as we realize his cries of joy will never cease, maybe he’s right. Maybe we should shout for joy, Take a look at this great, beautiful world, and smile. Smile at its beautiful wonders, at the great people in it. Oh, you businessmen in your suits, you waiters and janitors, maids and teachers, musicians and actors,
Pages 118 – 119
how great are your works. Whoever said ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ was a fool; it’s just that it is sometimes hard to see the value in our works, like the grin on a baby’s face, or the chuckle of laughter at a friend’s joke, And the warmth of a lover’s embrace. “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” The train comes to a stop. The last remaining passengers depart, yet I linger. Their shoes leave marks on the floor, Their handprints still not yet faded from the metal handles they grasped. Now I, too, exit through those doors. I walk out, past the stores just opening, the children walking to school. Down, past the boardwalk, where the rich aroma of the past night still lingers. I take off my socks and shoes, and my bare feet touch the sand. The grains crunch in between my toes with each step I take. The morning sun comes down on my face, over the wide and open sea. I close my eyes, and stretch out my arms, trying to touch all those I had seen, all those I had mourned with and celebrated with. I can feel them arrive at their jobs, their homes, or just a park bench to sleep on, to find some brief serenity. The wind breezes by, and my hair flies in the air, The glory and suffering of mankind passing by, back to a subway car, where people crowd on, singing their silent songs. Aaron Freedman
Next page: Harris Mizrahi, photograph/ Elisheva Epstein, digital alterations