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The Cast Brittney Engelland-Gay – Buggins Lindsey Foster – Lady Fox-a-Lot Jana Gibbs – Kanani Sharon Grimaldi - Saharron Kyle Mey – Keyser Söze Tricia Robateau - Tree Cindy Shove – The Herder Dominic Sroka - Chutney Hailey Winnen - Hails on my Hails

Cover Artwork by Jennifer Lucas

NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR UNIVERSITY The Bohemian publication is sponsored by ASNDNU.


Contents

Mary Rose Arellano

Cameron Seagraves-Kimball

Patti Anderson

Deanna Mesa

Eduardo Beltran

Nicole Manina

Ben Schmidt

Mehran Massoumi

Kerry Breuer

Vicki Silver

Saleh Aljumah

Melissa Sarabia

Drew Durham

Sara Contreras

Sharon Grimaldi

Michele Yoskovich

Tina Jo Orban

Meghan Lloyd

Brittney Engellend-Gay

Jana Gibbs

Lisa Baker

Patti Anderson

Meghan Lloyd

Jason Pierce

Rebecca Corteza

Zeeshan Ahmed

Abagail Link

Lawrence Lujan

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Untitled Untitled Inauguration Beautiful Dreamer Untitled The Art of Story Telling A Drowning In The Andes Untitled Iconic Ironic Landmark Web of My Imagination Mom, I need you Abstract Beauty To Thrive Untitled Untitled Wing Grazes - Haiku A Target The White Ribbon Untitled Cross Breathe Me Downtown, 1936 Untitled Dominion When the Good is Gone Teenage Corpse Chocolate Cake Haiku


Lisa Baker

Kerry Breuer

Jennifer Lucas

Jana Gibbs

Nan O’Neill

Eduardo Beltran

L. Lujan

33 34 35 36 37 38 39 41

Double Layered

Christine Jarc

Ink Flows

Mehran Massoumi

Chingu

Tricia Robateau

Untitled

Darth Cabrol-Easton

The Elevator

Mary Rose Arellano

Lilies for Lily

Deanna Mesa

Dead Again

Sharon Grimaldi

Excerpts from “An Ambiguously Arbitrary Abyss”

Patti Anderson

43 44 45 47 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 63 64 65 66 67 68

Untitled

Jennifer Lucas

Chandra Bomben

Stephanie Biehl

Melissa Sarabia

Mehran Massoumi

Justin T. Lotspeich

John Velcamp

Drew Durham

David Shoup

Meghan Lloyd

Patti Anderson

Brittney Engellend-Gay

Lawrence Lujan

Nicole Manina

Deanna Mesa

Sharon Grimaldi

Melissa Sarabia

Gabriel Ronquillo

Meghan Lloyd

Melanie Montoya

Kerry Breuer

Jana Gibbs

Saleh Aljumah

Brittany M. Dray

Jennifer Lucas

Lawrence Lujan

Untitled No, the Lanterns Made All the Difference The Awful Grace of God Tangerine Untitled Reality Fall Drowsy Dancer Haiku Did You Know? My Little Monkeys Untitled Mexican Pride Pending Adulthood Untitled The Boy Gargoyle Renaissance Untitled My Mysterious Night Heartstrings Untitled Haiku

69 70 71 73 78 79 80 81 83 84

Nelle Luce: Inside the Light Untitled False Delusions Baby Envy Untitled Drugg Untitled Grandma Carnival Buddha

Biographies 85


Untitled Mary Rose Arellano

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Untitled

Inauguration

Cameron Seagraves-Kimball

Patti Anderson Something’s shifting in the angles of the architecture, in the columns and the corridors of a crumbling country. Statues are stirring stepping forth from shadow Whispering the protocol to children, the future.  Captive buds burst forth from bondage, blossoming too bravely in the drizzling afternoon. A day, like any other. Yet, huddled in the arches Backs, long bowed slowly start to straighten. A flutter of ancient acanthus gives rise to birds...or angels.

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Beautiful Dreamer

Untitled

Deanna Mesa

Eduardo Beltran

Beautiful dreams she sees the world in color but her heart is trapped her raw emotions dwell inside her. Beautiful dreamer is left to fight her demons in black and white no color to save her no light to awaken her. Beautiful dreamer dreams of love, for her prince charming dreams of beauty, for the world but forgets herself. Broken hearted and shattered dreams The beautiful dreamer is caught between black and white what is right and what is wrong. she needs to return to color. her home. Where being neither nor is okay. Where the middle is the safest. Beautiful dreamer smile again life is wonderful your smile is hope your dreams are free to be bigger than you and most of all beautiful dreamer the only color you need in life, is you. 4

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The Art of Story Telling

A Drowning In The Andes

Nicole Manina

Ben Schmidt

Her hands float through the air rhythmically swaying to their own beat The words dance off her tongue like drops of rain And Her eyes, convey nothing yet she radiates wisdom

I am lying on my back, deep under water. The water is freezing cold; my body is responding slowly. I look up through the water and see the surface far above. I feel the strong urge to breathe as my lungs begin to burn. I start to swim to the surface, but my arms won’t move. I begin to panic and thrash my arms in the water, willing my body to the surface. The water is too deep and cold. I know that I’m not going to make it. The urge to take a breath becomes overpowering. I make a last effort to swim upwards. My only thought is of breathing air, of breaking through this water prison.

A teller of tales you’ll find no better It’s an art not many are so inclined Not many can capture the attention of all in a room With one glance or word She stands on Her own The words speak for themselves Enticed and delighted Her audience demands more Her hands float through the air rhythmically swaying to the stories beat The words dance off Her tongue and fill the air so fine And Her eyes, so enchanting Where wisdom has met love

I don’t make it. As my instincts take over I breathe in the freezing water. I awaken disoriented and claustrophobic, like I am being pinned down. I rip open the zipper of my down sleeping bag and sit up, my head brushing against the ceiling of the nylon tent. It is completely dark. The wind, which has been howling all night, pushes against the fabric, and my head bounces off the wall. I still can’t breathe. I automatically begin to assess my body: rapid pulse, unable to catch my breath, headache. I quell rising fear and panic, forcing the sourness back down my throat. Although my conscious mind is still in denial, my unconscious, the paramedic in me, is already working on a diagnosis. “No,” I say aloud. I take a moment and breathe out, long and forcefully. I immediately cough uncontrollably. I hear the telltale sounds of fluid in my lungs. I fumble for a small bag. I turn on my headlamp and pull out an Albuterol inhaler and Diamox. I make a tunnel with my hand against my mouth and inhale the Albuterol, then take the Diamox. Some of the suffocation I had felt lessens and I lean against my elbows. “Larry,” I say quietly. “Larry, can you wake up a second?” Larry, my climbing partner, is also a paramedic. “I need you to listen to my lungs.” In this last minute I’ve accepted the fact that I have HAPE, high altitude pulmonary edema. I breathe out forcefully, and the fluid in my lungs is obvious to a person used to the sound. I cough uncontrollably again. “Shit,” Larry says, “motherfucking shit, Stefan.” It’s 2:30 AM, we are in a desolate part of Ecuador, and my lungs are filling with fluid. Within a few hours we are to leave for advanced base camp, at 16,500 feet. The day after, the summit at 19,000 feet. Yesterday, I had reached 17,000 feet on an acclimatization climb. I had felt in perfect sync, my body responding to the altitude well. And now this. I decide to get up and go out of the tent to urinate. I unzip the door to the tent and put on my heavy mountaineering boots. As I stand, dizziness hits me like a hammer, with my

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sight turning into a small point in front of me. I reach for a tent pole to stabilize myself. I then walk slowly along uneven terrain. I catch a crampon on a tent stay and fall forward onto the hard snow. The icy snow feels cold, but somehow refreshing on my face. I stand and slowly walk with small unsteady steps. My feet are leaden, I have no energy. I feel fear and disappointment crowding through me, burning a hole in my chest. Exhausted, I return to the tent and crawl into my sleeping bag. I take another hit from the Albuterol inhaler. I pull out my portable Sp02 detector. Yesterday I was at 85%, which at this altitude would be considered normal, although if I were to have a patient with that reading at home, he would be driven with lights and sirens to the emergency room. The red LED glows in the dark tent: 69%.

Untitled Mehran Massoumi

“This is unacceptable,” I say aloud. I take out the expedition stethoscope and listen to my lungs. I hear fluid filling over half of my lung area. My anxiety increases. Isn’t there some way I can overcome this? I’m still trying to rationalize a way to salvage the climb. But descending to a lower elevation is the only treatment for HAPE. There are no exceptions. I close my eyes and fight back rising disappointment. Larry grabs the stethoscope and listens to my lungs. “Jesus Christ,” he says. I smile in spite of it all. It’s strange to hear him cussing, something he never usually does. The expedition gathers a few minutes later in the mess tent, a large tent with a foldable table and chairs in the middle. Drying gear lies throughout on all sides: loosely coiled ropes, Gortex shells, polypropylene underwear. As I walk into the tent, the eyes of the group on me, I feel embarrassed and vulnerable. I am not used to being in this position. I am never the one who gives up, or gets injured. I cough as I sit down, punctuating the moment perfectly.

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Iconic Ironic Landmark

Web of My Imagination

Kerry Breuer

Vicki Silver

That Golden Gate How it twists and shakes A crimson sunset By the waves and the breaks Welcomes you to a new place

Walking out to the point on the headlands where the land meets the sea I found a spider web and wondered if the spider was a he or a she, big or small. Was it a black spider, a brown spider, or maybe one of those translucent spiders you find with the long skinny legs that aren’t visible until you come upon one and I wondered does that matter in the spider world the way it matters in my world.

Art deco arching its back Over your car In the mist and fog In the midst of turbulence Sympathetic vibration A suspension gyration Towering in cabled elation That iconic landmark Ruining my vacation

The web was enormous strung from one rag weed to another spreading out like wings displaying many peaks and valleys. In the center was the most intricate of designs seeming like many rooms in a medieval castle a spider castle, a citadel with a variety of watch towers, meutrieres, and joists. Perhaps the spider had a large family and needed all those rooms but I saw not one and imagined they were fast asleep after their evenings work since weaving a web must be very tiresome. Among the thistle and coastal scrub the morning light gave the web the appearance of spun glass as it glistened in the sun that would soon move leaving the spider castle unseen and safe from intruders.

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Mom, I need you

Abstract Beauty

Saleh Aljumah

Melissa Sarabia

The entire planet evaporates in my eyes, The whole priority is left behind, The sweetness of life is no longer honey The enjoyment of sleep is not delectable I could see you in my imagination as an alternative planet. I could see you whenever I have a daydream, I could see you when life opens its hands for me. I could see you when I indulge comfortably in my bed. Still I need to hold your hands when you talk, Still I need to clasp your warmth when I am sad, Still I look for your presence when loneliness haunts me Still I trace out your scent when fresh air disappears My mother, you are away in my country “No mom,” you are actually sitting with me Sharing my day, sharing my night You are living in my mind Stimulating my pen To write my thoughts

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To Thrive

Untitled

Drew Durham

Sara Contreras

The ivy and the oleander Meander up the neighbor’s house And I am climbing up from my bed like an aphid Up one of those vines Slow, careful, thoughtful, and precise The storm clouds gather For another deluge Like many others, I refuse to be drowned After all we have been through What is one more tempest But another reason to thrive

Oh the questions. Think about your direct bodily experience in life. No one can lie to you about that. How many hours do you spend in front of a television screen? A computer screen? Behind an automobile screen? How much of your life comes at you through a screen, while you vicariously sit and watch? Is watching things as exciting as doing things? Do you have enough time to do all the things you want to do? Do you even have enough energy to? Do you think for yourself, independently, or do you take others’ word for truth? How often do you find yourself repeating something you heard another say without it bearing on your personal experience; your personal truth? How many hours a day do you sleep? How are you affected by standardized time, designed solely to synchronize your movements with those of billions of other people? How long do you go without knowing what time it is? Who or what controls YOUR minutes and hours? The minutes and hours that adds up to your life. How do you feel in large crowds of anonymous masses? Do you find yourself blocking your emotional responses to other human beings? Can you put a value on a beautiful day? How many dollars an hour does it take to stay inside and sell thing or file papers for someone else? What will you get later that will make up for this day of your life? How many days have you given to such things? (Years!) Do you have ideas or do ideas have you? Who prepares your meals? Do you eat by yourself? Do you ever eat standing up? How much do you know about what you eat and where it comes from? Do you trust it? Of our time and labor saving devices, do you find yourself with more time or ironically less than ever? Is it possible to “save” time? They’re buying your happiness from you. Steal it back. How are you being affected by being moved around in prescribed paths, in elevators, buses, highways, subways and sidewalks? By moving and working in 2 and 3 dimensional grids? How are you affected by being immobilized organized and scheduled? Instead of roaming around freely and spontaneously? How much freedoms of movement do you have—freedom to move through space, freedom to move as far as you want, in new and unexplored directions? How often are you waiting? Waiting in line, traffic, to eat, for the bus, for the bathroom- learning to punish, ignore and control your spontaneous urges? How do you feel when you suppress your desires, when you delay or deny yourself pleasure? Do you ever need to be around nature? Have water, leaves, foliage, and animals been replaced by your pet, aquarium, and houseplants? Do videotapes of yourself and your friends fascinate you, as if somehow you are more real in image then in life? Would a movie about your life

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be interesting? How do you feel about the nonstop barrage of audio, visual, print, billboard, computer, radio, and robotic voices that guide you through a forest of advertisements? What do they want from you? How often does your happiness come in conjunction with buying something? Do you feel like without the mainstream stimuli you will miss something? Will you? Does it make you tired reacting all the time instead of thinking on your own? When was your last true moment of silence? Not white noise but pure silence? Have you ever asked yourself these things? Do you feel violent impulses? Do you feel inexorably lonely? Are you really happy? Do you ever feel like you are going to lose control?

Untitled Sharon Grimaldi

Do you have the energy to create change?

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Wing Grazes - Haiku

A Target

Michele Yoskovich

Tina Jo Orban

Wing grazes a tree Flying in my dreams again May I never land

The hand was gentle with much care and precision, I am flying through the air On a resolute trajectory With much direction, A crisp azure sky A whisper only birds can hear, Higher and higher, With my flat surfaces— Shimmering as I project ever upward With direction, momentum and determination CRACK! And with speed and incomparable unfaltering determination of its own— It strikes and the impact shatters me; Bits and dull dust at my center blow and disintegrate Beautiful shining fragments begin to feel the gravitational forces beckon In a new direction My pieces plummet toward the earth from where they land and scintillate Just a bit, Then begin to settle as they rest And grow dull.

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The White Ribbon

Cross

Meghan Lloyd

Brittney Engellend-Gay

She wore a white ribbon Embroidered with lace One day the wind took it And gave a great chase She scrambled to catch it And fell in the snow A stick scratched her hand But she knew not so Her white-blonde hair flying She ran and she ran Until she got tired From the blood on her hand Laying down in the white She hardly sees the lace The wind had let go But she had lost the race

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Untitled

Breathe Me

Jana Gibbs

Lisa Baker breathe me to the forest floor breathe me to symbionts’ ancestral door breathe me to the humus home of cryptic fungi, sporling, loam breathe me to orchidaceae’s bloom and bioluminescence of the bowled mushroom breathe me to the fertile soil of my imagination midnight me to the Milky Way midnight me to the Via Lactea the silver river, the luminous swath midnight me to the rosette path of clusters, spirals, halos, more midnight me to the celestial door midnight me to the galactic light of my imagination dream me to the Moorish shore dream me to the flowering door to the sound of cymbal, lute, and drum dream me to the land of the amydaz and the milhun dream me through the dar’s narrow passageway into the dormiria of kumquat, citron, bay dream me to the interior refuge of my imagination amydaz/poet; milhun/sung poetry; dar/home; dormiria/upstairs greenhouse-like reception area

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Downtown, 1936

Untitled

Patti Anderson

Meghan Lloyd

Cracks in sidewalks sing of Sunday strolls chocolate and spumoni, Grandpa, Sam the barber whose shop (on Third) percolated Carmen, Rigoletto Sounds so sweet the clouds paused overhead pregnant with waiting rain shrouding the scene in shadow. Summers of endless Sundays echo in the intersections. They skip and skate, Navigate their way around angles, down alleys Scribbling the streets with hieroglyphic hopscotch. A cryptograph, a cipher readable only in retrospect. They race along the railings rattling in the rooftops Sounding: “Sunday!” through the telephone wires. Listen— Can you hear them?

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Dominion

When the Good is Gone

Jason Pierce

Rebecca Corteza I’ll go with nothing in my hand I’ll go without my books and my bag I’ll leave those shoes and that dress Don’t worry, I’ll try not to leave a mess. I’ll go without my jewelry and my make-up I’ll leave the light off and my bed done I’ll shut the blinds and the closet door Don’t worry, I won’t leave anything on the floor. I’ll put the pictures and mirror away I’ll hide the medals and trophies from those days I’ll close the drawers and clean the shelf Don’t worry, there won’t be a trace to tell. I won’t write a letter or leave a note I won’t paint the hurt my heart spoke I won’t tell lies of what is true I’ll close my eyes and leave that up to you.

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Teenage Corpse

Chocolate Cake

Zeeshan Ahmed

Abagail Link

as it says in the movies “when the fat lady sings” i take my place in earth at least pretend to cry but it doesn’t matter worms will eat me soon

My sisters knew they could never do without their childhood home, but I knew I could never do without my mother. So when my parents divorced, my sisters stayed in our home with my father while I, nine years old and loyal as a puppy, packed up my Barbie dolls and followed my mother to a nearby apartment. I suppose my loyalty was not necessarily the product of more love so much as of my innocence. My mother’s depression had been one of the factors in the severe turmoil which had manifested itself in our family over the last few years and my older sisters had understandable reservations. Being nine, I simply said to myself, “My mother is sad. My job is to stay with her and make her happy again.” And, for several years, I did my best.

at the end of the ordeal return home to your net and don’t write R.I.P. on my facebook wall nor my twitter feed, oh and one more thing undertaker, please bury me facedown, for the pretenders “kiss my ass”

We moved into a small one-bedroom apartment about three minutes from our former home. It was an upstairs apartment and I always remember it as being spacious and full of natural light. Our back porch overlooked a forested section of the apartment complex which we simply called The Ravine even though it wasn’t technically a Ravine and we probably just had a strong liking for the word Ravine. There was a board blocking off the entrance to The Ravine but it was doing a pretty half-hearted job of it so, naturally, I ignored it and played there as I pleased. A special little group of blue jays liked to land on our porch and say “hello” during the afternoons. We read that cat food was okay to offer to birds if you didn’t have bird food, so we would sprinkle some on the railing each day and watch them flock about. There was one blue jay who I fondly named Reggie because he was plump and had a stubby neck. I imagined him as a pudgy human fellow, wearing a tweed suit with buttons straining. My mom went along with my little game and we would giggle as we pictured all of the birds as people and named them, dreaming up romances and quarrels they might be experiencing in their world. We did the same with the squirrels who, with their fluffy tails and excitedly squeaking voices, hopped in to swipe some of the bird’s food for their own. Two of the squirrels, we imagined, were madly in love. There was a third squirrel who seemed less popular and we imagined that he must be in love with the female squirrel, who clearly had no serious interest in him. Their problems seemed much easier to solve than ours did. We couldn’t afford to buy beds at the time, so we laid some pads and blankets on the floor of our big, bare bedroom. Each night, we’d read from a book together before bed. My mom is wonderful to listen to when she reads aloud. She treats each word like it tells its own story and gives each voice a certain sweetness so that you can sympathize with even the most rotten characters. Sometimes I would read, too. As a rather smart child, my arrogance caused

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me to try to race through the text, testing my speed. My mom was constantly telling me to take my time. “Slow down, Abbers, I haven’t got a clue what you’re saying.” After reading, we’d turn off the lights and claim bedtime. But some nights, we’d lay together and dream up stories taking place on the expansive, empty ceiling or reminisce on my childhood. My mom and I loved to talk about my childhood. She, because it reminded her that not all of her parenting had been a mistake and me because, well, I was a child and loved to talk about myself better than anyone else. Sometimes I would serenade her with a show tune. In retrospect, “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” was probably an odd choice of lullaby. One of our bedtime books was “The Singing Hill.” It told the story of several children growing up in a rural area in during the forties. The one thing I particularly remember is that, each day, when one of the little boys arrived home from school, his mother would give him a slice of chocolate cake and a glass of milk for a snack. To me, this was remarkable. Chocolate cake was the sort of thing you had on your birthday or when you brought home a good report card. How strange and wonderful to think nothing of just eating chocolate cake in the middle of an ordinary day! My admiration and desire was audible. One afternoon after school, my mom met me at the door, grinning like a schoolgirl and told me she had a surprise for me. She brought me into the dining room and, on the table, was a big slice of chocolate cake and a glass of chocolate milk in a cup with ladybugs on it. She had even put the cake on one of her favorite antique plates. I was thrilled and I sat and ate happily while she watched and smiled. She did this for me each day until the cake was gone. While it was nice, I don’t think it occurred to me that I would treasure that moment so much later.

My sisters are still close with my mother. My sister, Holly, claims that she “understands” my mother’s illness better than anyone else because she claims mental problems of her own. She claims this just as she claims she was once anorexic and none of us noticed, that she is allergic to strawberries as a result of a freak vaccine accident, and that she has photographic memory on the same day that she forgets half of her stuff in the trunk of the car. But I don’t think either of my sisters will ever understand what life was like for me and my mother in that first year after the divorce. I don’t think they can even begin to picture the two of us curled up together each night, not knowing how to love anyone quite as we loved each other. I don’t think they can understand the burden on a small child who only wants to fix all of the things that have been broken. They can’t know this world that we had at that time because we never let anyone or anything else in to our most intimate moments. Fighting off our own little demons was all we could handle without everyone else chiming in. But mostly, I don’t think any person can imagine the joy of a piece of chocolate cake in the middle of the afternoon with the sun shining in and your mother smiling as she simply watches you eat. No one can understand the excitement of something so small but so out of the ordinary. Because all of the mistakes and wrongs and hurtful things can nearly be forgiven when I remember that most special moment in the best year of my mother’s love.

For that first year, we lived in our own world. My mother’s life, devoid of suitors or even many friends, revolved around me and I was never so loved as I was then. At times, sharing a room with me was difficult for someone who wanted to be so heavily emotional and still protect her daughter. More than one night, I crept down the hallway to find her lying on the living room floor, sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t say anything. I was starting to understand her better; she had left our bedroom for a reason. But, thinking about it, we could laugh at so many things back then, before everything started seeming so much more difficult. One night, my mom left a roast in the oven while she came to pick me up from Girl Scouts and, talking to one of the other mothers, completely forgot about it. When we got home, the smoke alarm was screaming and the roast was charred. At another time in our lives, she would have been hysterical, especially considering neither of us had a clue how to turn the shrill siren off. This time, we sat out on the front steps and simply laughed about it. We lived in this little world until my mom met her future husband, Mike, and things changed quite a bit. 30

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Haiku

Double Layered

Lawrence Lujan

Lisa Baker

May rains and off-white Mushrooms … what, are elves using Them for umbrellas?

My Great Aunt Ada couldn’t have known that the twin bed in my room was new or that it had taken the place where my bed first stood. She couldn’t have known that my mother and I had chosen the yellow and white daisy coverlet from the department store days before, bringing it home and removing the plastic wrap and tags, giving it a cold wash before hanging it on the outside line to dry. My Great Aunt Ada couldn’t have known we’d brought it in from the sun and the breeze before floating it above the new mattress measuring for fit laying it just right over the pillow and sheets which disappeared under the cotton field of flowers and the ironing-like motion of our open palms. My Great Aunt Ada couldn’t have known how long she’d have the view of the fluttering silver-green leaves on the aspen trees outside or that the postman’s bundle of cards and letters and brown-papered boxes, heavily taped and tied with string would slip away as the bare limbs began to scratch against the window. She couldn’t have known that the radio on the dresser was specially dialed for Saturday opera, and that while we listened I measured my hand to hers. My Great Aunt Ada couldn’t have known that the box of chocolate-covered cherries she’d tucked away unopened on the nightstand was in full view from the pillow on my bed against the wall and under the window. And she couldn’t have known how long I had my eyes on what I knew to be a doublelayered box.

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Ink Flows

Chingu

Kerry Breuer

Jennifer Lucas

Ink flows from your body to mine: Push it deeper in my skin— Feel it drip all down my spine. Make every pigment infiltrate— Let each cell encapsulate; For every drop you have to give one more will I always take. Lines and swirls meander, combine, do a dance upon my shoulder, shout a name for me, much bolder— Stitch and sew my new outline. Trace your thoughts across my body as it flutters and it quakes— Enter the lair of my next layer ’til it hurts, ’til it aches. Inject it sweetly all through my veins— that color you guard so dear; Make my blood run gray for even just a day: Taste my dye, that ink, it stains. Coil a story ’round my hips, etch a tale of thorns and snakes; Rattle my core ’til it is no more as my senses are reborn, awake. The viper strikes— It vibrates, stirs and shakes. I will not fight it—let it go— Venomous bliss…’’til the needle breaks. 34

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Untitled

The Elevator

Jana Gibbs

Nan O’Neill The elevator doors opened and the woman from the ninth floor stepped in. She recognized the man inside the elevator, dark haired with an easiness to smile. This is not normally how I meet someone, he said. How is that? In an elevator, he said. Does that mean we are meeting now with an assumption that there’s more? The man looked at her and paused. I don’t assume anything, he said. Naturally, she said with a grin. But we could, he said. Assume more, she said. Yes. He looked at her. He concentrated on the contours of her face, the fullness of her mouth. She was beautiful. Then let’s, she said. He laughed. Sure, he said. We could learn, love and laugh all in the matter of this one minute ride than exhaust an entire lifetime doing it. You won’t hate me when this ends? No bitter divorce, she said. Exactly. She liked him. Why spoil it? Sounds perfect, she said. No seriously, he said. Let’s try it. Say it then, she said. He tilted his head and hesitated. Now then, he said. It begins now. He reached for her hand. Don’t let go, she said. I won’t, he said. He pulled her body into his erasing all the space between them. The elevator doors opened to the first floor and the couple walked out. Their hands held together. Their fingers comfortably entwined.

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Lilies for Lily

Dead Again

Eduardo Beltran

L. Lujan I’ve often had flying dreams Cyrano had six ways to fly I only have two, but they’ve served me long and well In one I simply hunch up into a ball on the floor Then I slowly levitate I float from room to room just under the ceilings In the other, more exciting way I am running down flights of stairs (Often, in fact, the stairs at the ends of the corridors of my old high school) Or on a hillside by the beach not far north of here Running in bigger and bigger strides Five feet, ten feet, twenty feet in one huge leap Until finally, I flap my arms and take off Sometimes I go two or three hundred feet into the air Looking down at the ant-like people and the tiny buildings There’s always a church with a high steeple Giving an occasional lackadaisical flap But usually just hovering like a big predator bird This afternoon I fell asleep trying to read A sudden, deep sleep I dreamt that I was walking down a flight of stairs I stumbled and started to fall And I woke with a start, my legs flailing What does it all mean? In London I saw Freud’s couch Covered with plush Oriental rugs Looked like something you’d see in a fin de siècle bordello

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Tell me your dreams, Frau Spitzimwasser Yesterday I was murdered In pretty cool blood Ice pick in the heart Hey, why the hell not? I’m thinking of dyeing my hair Want to make a good-looking corpse. “Doesn’t look a d ay over a hundred!” I’m practicing my pitchfork.

Excerpts from “An Ambiguously Arbitrary Abyss” Stephanie Biehl 8.12.11 So, here’s the thing: I’m a human, but I was born to fly. Science says I can’t. My mind says I can. Sure, my mind doesn’t really speak, but it doesn’t shut up either. There’s no switch, but when the switch is on, I dream. Hard. In incepted dreams, I fly without wings. That’s why my mind says I can fly. Look out skies. I don’t need you. I have my mind; I can fly right here. 9.11.11 A heart so strong The time so long A story never dead He never fails to lift his head A tear so vast It’s really not the past A sensation so deep Never able to leap But a heart so strong Sings an everlasting song 11.18.11 I’ve decided that Twitter is for twots…and twits. Twits and twots who need another facet to waste their time with. No one cares what you’re doing every five seconds Kim; we can watch it on your show. To my classmate who posts on his way into class, I know you didn’t study for this test because you’re still drunk. I don’t need the internet to tell me that, though the internet could sure tell you how not to waste your parents’ money on your education. But, you don’t understand the concept of wasting, I forgot. Tweeting doesn’t make you a celebrity despite how many pointless things you have to “say,” nor does it make you friends with celebrities. Yes, “friends,” Zuckerberg. And who are the twots that decided that a post on TWITter is called a TWEET? What a bunch of twits.

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12.17.12 El Torbellino Que Vale la Pena El torbellino que deseo Desea que yo sea un torbellino Ya voy, pero no soy Como se mueve Come me duele Como se hace Pero como lo miro Con ojos brillantes Con una sonrisa larga Como lo admiro Es el torbellino mío Es el torbellino bello No Es el bello torbellino

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Untitled Melissa Sarabia

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Untitled

No, the Lanterns Made All the Difference

Mehran Massoumi

Justin T. Lotspeich The path breaks ahead while I relive tales Told over a lustrum of bright lessons, Tempests concealed in a papyrus globe Spinning ’round gold scepters of chalk and pen, Sliding into cracks on concrete pathways Sprinkled with spring, summer, fall, winter’s rain. What started from a November dream’s reign, A queer passion provoking a new tale Unknown on a young mechanic’s pathway, Evolved plumage that fanned the fire’s lessons, Vehemently scrolling life from a hot pen To scar sinews of a neglected globe. From the precipice, I gazed the curved globe, Its vast demands a torrent of kind rain That threatened to drown this weak author’s pen In inkwells of knowledge with endless tails Wrapping ’round doors latched, rusty, to lessen Burdens of my insufficient pathways. Slowly, behind my age, I trudged pathways, Turning an English hermit’s rusting globe To spin a new world painted of lessons From Sappho to Norris’s brutal rain Of insatiable insight into tales Bloodletting in ideas of pricking pins. I toiled in stygian muck and pens That challenged diligence from the pathway Needed to fasten the flourishing tales Of a life longing for steps on a globe Where ancestors tracked, where meadows found rain Seeping into the fabric of lessons.

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What became learned rarely ever lessened— Heavy burden knowledge placed on the pen. Years passed on rustling oak trees and soft rain While pages turned like slow quiet pathways. Nights swept through rooms; illuminated globes Fought the twilight to revive ancient tales. Bold lessons find shelter on deep pathways That pen and paper stretch out through our globe. The rain forever erodes this old tale

The Awful Grace of God John Velcamp Sister St. Luke sat back regally at a round banquet table in the Sandpiper Room of the Breakers Hotel in Spring Lake, NJ. The old nun was dressed in a dull beige polyester pant suit and sensible tan deerskin shoes that old sisters find so comfortable after decades of scratchy black wool habits and starchy white wimples. Like a Medici or Borgia dowager, St. Luke held court for a few of her more forgiving former students—the nearly 70-yearold graduates of Our Lady of the Valley High School celebrating their 50th high school reunion. Instead of scepter and orb, she wore a bejeweled Sacred Heart lapel pin, and under her fleshy chin hung the gold medallion of the Order of Sisters of St. Joseph with their motto, “Seek the Grace of God in All That You Do,” inscribed in the gold border. Looking at her corpulent spread on the creaking folding chair with her tightly permed white hair, it was difficult to match her now with her mocked up reunion ID badge from The Valiant Yearbook. I remembered well the faint wisps of Titian that slipped from that oppressive headpiece that highlighted her creamy Irish skin. The Sr. St. Luke of those years was one of those rare women whose face displayed a different elegant feature in the varied lighting of Homeroom, Study Hall or Mechanical Drawing. But it was her startling blue eyes that lasered fear into the hearts of awkward frosh boys or bumbling cheerleading candidates, or—God forbid— some cha cha queen from Newark whose uniform hemline had crept above her knee. Now her faded blue eyes scanned the faces above her, a far cry from the old venomous stares. One of the overdressed, seam-splitting matron of the Class of ’59, either a former highstrutting twirler or a has been voluptuous cheerleader, pinned a corsage on her old tormentor’s lapel. They huddled around St. Luck paying homage, hoping for some glance of redemptive recognition. Deferring frequently to her faulty memory, she swiveled from face to face. When my turn came to pledge some fealty, her rheumy eyes scanned my yearbook photo badge and then looked up. Perhaps my reaction came from memories past recollection, but I thought I saw a familiar flash of disdain—just a blink—behind the thick lenses of her oversized glasses. A closer look would reveal more of the vestiges of St. Luke’s vow-bending vanity; the stylish, expensive eyeglasses, the miniature high tech hearing aid, and what looked like a stiff Manhattan on the table in front of her. Whether it was vanity or the accoutrements of control and orderliness, these vestiges harkened back to her regime at OLVHS. The young St. Luke could cut an unsuspecting naïf to the quick with her sarcasm or ridicule. When she proctored our late lunch period as sophomores, a premature rustle of a potato chip bag

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or the noisy munch of a pickle would bring an ominous halt to our lunchtime Angelus prayer. The starving sophomores and freshmen would scan the lunchroom to stare down or stealthily whack the offending culprit who had jumped the gun on his brown bag repast. St. Luke would begin her inviolate prayer with the absolute power to immobilize an entire cafeteria of sugar-deprived adolescents. Her wrathful stare was a technique that a third world dictator or an NBA ref in Madison Square Garden would envy. A particular insult of St. Luke’s that took place during my senior year has remained with me always. Like all good Catholic schoolboys the world over, I was indoctrinated to always hold a door open for the good sisters. Late one winter afternoon, in spite of being late for basketball practice, I hesitated when I saw St. Luke approaching the door to the courtyard of the convent next to the high school. I promptly held the door open and stepped aside. “Well,” she said, “at least…you’re a gentleman!” Not “Thank you,” or “See you tomorrow,” but “…at least…” I was a gentleman. Not certainly a worthy scholar or even a candidate for the seminary, but also not a complete pervert or a criminal. The typical caustic remark came from the beautiful lips of Sister St. Luke, SSJ. Woody, our still slick class president, after some stale jokes about wrinkles, pant sizes and thinning hair, brought St. Luke into the center of the banquet room. The mic made that piercing screech, startling the old nun. Seeing her standing before us brought back the memories of stomach rumbles, sour cafeteria smells and the flickering fluorescent lights of the basement lunchroom. “Well…thank you so much for inviting me to such a momentous occasion. Your wonderful reunion—such a special time. Our Lady has certainly blessed this class and I am so proud to be part of your celebration.”

Tangerine Drew Durham the fruitful bush beside the window in the dinning room is clearly seen through a classy window, outside, is in fact inside my heart if only today I could scavenge for the pulp so sweet, so natural, so delicious, Then I would, after getting all my fingernails dirty, and after peeling the protective skin off I would be fulfilled by the juice of another fully ripe, fresh and ready tangerine and feel the delectable Union of my mouth and her juice

Soft sounds of music and the clinks of highball glasses drifted in from another banquet room. St. Luke seemed a little lost for words. “We have all learned so much over the years…I know I have. And I have to say…if I ever slighted anyone here or said anything to hurt anyone, I ask your forgiveness. It was never intentional. So thank you again and back to you, Thomas, er, Woody.” Obligatory applause ensued. Woody took back the mic to announce the winners of the “Who Traveled the Furthest” part of the program. Maybe I should not dwell on the past and maybe I should heed the precepts of my erstwhile Buddhist practice, but after 50 years, the words of Sister St. Like, SSJ, had come too late.

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Untitled

Reality

David Shoup

Meghan Lloyd I’m not sure how But I’ve been blind To what I am But do not mind Me when I say I like to be Ignorant of Reality That holds hatred Most foul for me I’m not sure how But it’s all clear How I’ve been blind And now I see All too unwillingly Reality

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Fall

Drowsy Dancer

Patti Anderson

Brittney Engellend-Gay

A drama in four acts, the passing year presents its protagonists. Spring is first to take the stage. The third is Fall: her fearless, fatal soliloquy well-rehearsed.   One whirl of wind and whistle: Fall arrives Self-confident, resplendent, multi- hued. All arrogance and bluster she must strive to dazzle, before Winter strips her nude. Her leaves, broad, brindled fans of fading flame Cling willfully, though raw winds seek to pry them from their branches. Fiercely they maintain their grip, then spiral madly from the skies! Fall flees too soon, but not before one bold last act. Just before she disappears She shivers, shaking down her final gold confetti. She salutes the coming year.

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Haiku

Did You Know?

Lawrence Lujan

Nicole Manina

The sky is drunk with Stars … no wonder the mad moon Reels so stumblingly.

A letter of admiration A note of appreciation Which hat will you wear today? The loving grandmother? Or caring aunt? Perhaps the selfless mother? Or nurturing sister? Every morning when you awake Do you know the impact that you make?   The lives you touch, Or the dreams you help create?   Do you know how cherished you are? Or how your love has helped so many come so far?   If not for you How different are lives would be. In a world filled with disappointment how lucky are we?

You are an angel, A prayer, A wish come true. So thank you Grandma for all that you do.   Love Always, Your Baby Girl

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My Little Monkeys

Untitled

Deanna Mesa

Sharon Grimaldi

Four little monkeys Running frantically around Inside, outside, upside down. The tall one thinks she’s a teen The curly one is a little bit mean. The trouble maker bullies her sisters While the baby screams, looking for her paternal mister. Four little monkeys Causing nothing but trouble The baby, who cannot walk Whines like there’s no tomorrow. The oldest monkey With the same name of a Russian princess Wanders the street Dreaming of J.Lo, her latest obsession. Four little monkeys Plus the big one, running frantically around They are also known as my nieces. I love them to bits and yes I do boss them around.

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Mexican Pride Melissa Sarabia

Pending Adulthood Gabriel Ronquillo I guess I’ll make amends Or just try harder to pretend That I’m more than a kid in a business suit Armed with a degree from a mid-tier school This is what we put ourselves through Follow up calls for a decent job interview Knowing half of what you will earn Won’t pay for all the debt you’ve incurred This choice defines our lives Even if we didn’t decide But still, I will follow my father’s fate And add a 30-year mortgage to my plate I’ll start every conversation with ‘remember when...’ And wish I were 19 again If only for a few Because my story is nothing new I’ve set these goals So that I won’t be a lonely soul So that the space between the sheets Aren’t occupied by statements on bank receipts Is it better to be desperate? Or to work yourself to death? To be stuck in a job you hate Wasting away day after day To be content with life long servitude While maintaining a positive mental attitude I’m told that this is the way things should be American adulthood is an empty shell of me Growing up is what it seems; A culmination of debt and broken dreams.

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Untitled

The Boy

Meghan Lloyd

Melanie Montoya He sat there in the dark Locked in a dark room, He shivered with fear As he looked at the moon. He knew it was time As he heard the car door, It was time to get beat On the blood-covered floor. He closed his eyes gently, As he started to pray, “Help me God please!” Is what he started to say. A nine-year-old boy Who’d get beat every night, Sat in a corner As he only had fright. Bruised up all around From the few nights before, He started to cry For he knew he’d get more. He held himself tight To try to be strong, He opened his eyes When his dad came along. He slammed the door open And looked at his son, He started to smile As he took out a gun. A man alcoholic A man who was drunk, A boy filled with fear Whose heart simply sunk. A man with a gun A man with no shame,

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Who just had a son For everything to blame. The mother had left A couple years back, Ever since then, It was love he would lack. He looked up at his dad With eyes filled with tears, Looking back down at him Was a young boy with fears. He’d start to cry out “Daddy, please don’t!” The man started to hit The boy started to moan. Every second that passed His weakness grew more, His breathing slowed down As he laid on the floor. The man stumbles away The boy’s breathing slows down, His eyes slowly close As he laid on the ground.

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Gargoyle Renaissance Kerry Breuer The spire is high And I’m on my gargoyle perch Watching the swirling, spewing, ebbing mass below With my chiseled eye. No one knows I’m here, No one suspects a thing; A granite figure to inflict fear No longer has a place. The passersby pass me by And I look on, out of sight Out of mind, stooping, staring, dreaming, Foot bound, mouth agape, tongued sigh. No one cares of my plight, No one would believe it’s true: With the kiss of a vampire bite A statue comes to life. The roof is wet And I’m sliding, No where to go but down, slipping, tumbling, plummeting, Stone wings haven’t learned to fly yet. No one hears the scream, No one turns to see A fallen angel a cloud of steam Meets gravity for the first time. The street absorbs the shock And I am caught by a concrete net For a concrete being, smashing, shattering, crumbling, Picking fate’s cursed lock. No one notices the cobblestone rebirth, No one sidesteps the wreckage Of a phantom rejoining the earth Whose soul from body is now free.

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Untitled

My Mysterious Night

Jana Gibbs

Saleh Aljumah What a long night Without your light! How slow time is Without your sight! The sun does not rise anywhere If my night passes without your whisper. When your voice reaches my ear, Satisfy precisely my love hunger Your lovely voice to me As a happy melody, Pervades my veins, Alleviate my pains, Colors my life, O my lovely wife. So don’t let my day pass without Feeling your breath I always think about.

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Heartstrings

Untitled

Brittany M. Dray

Jennifer Lucas

By the stretching of my heartstrings, They bend and break and snap. They played a song of heartfelt love, When not returned, collapsed. Now the only song it can send? Just rattling strings in the wind. In our boxes are objects found: Reflections of our hearts. Standing together we are strong, Alone we fall apart. Heartstrings re-grow and intertwine, This healing of own design.

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Haiku

Nelle Luce: Inside the Light

Lawrence Lujan

Christine Jarc

Watermelon sun: Red crescent being swallowed By fat summer sea.

For a time we played with sweetness Chasing after love’s protection Safely sheltered from our darkness Searching signs to seek direction Reaching toward the light Shelter from the storms Hiding from the madness A fortress made of glass So sure, so strong this time we felt it Cold darkness losing to the dawn Rekindled hope and plans intended Two hearts turned round again as one Safe inside the light Cracks appeared, we fell adrift Of dreaming twilight by the sea Our clashing ways just couldn’t fit Our anger pushed us to be free While seeking out the light Shelter from the storms Hiding from the madness Our fortress made of glass With all my heart I wish you well And pray you’ll find the girl you need Someone whose love will help you see The love you hold inside the light

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Untitled

False Delusions

Mehran Massoumi

Tricia Robateau I see the truth, I see her life; A child adored, a child so loved Protected and cared for, protected, not alone Shattered to pieces, shattered and broken Searching for a home, searching for the truth The happiness she felt, was a false delusion in her head A father who didn’t want her; a sister to replace her A brother who tried, but sometimes didn’t care A mother who was a stranger And grandparents who disowned her A family that drifted apart, no home to go to Her mother said she was a mistake A father who replaced and abandoned her When she’s only wanted a friend Someone to understand her Trails after trials With memories fading to dust Everything she’s known, has shattered before her “It’s a false delusion” words spoken by her mom All her life she’s almost died, all her life was teased by death Almost touching that sweet paradise Almost reaching that sweet escape But everything she’s known has been a false delusion. She’s always tried her best; she’s always tried to care Tried to please, try to embrace Friendship and happiness, the things she yearned for most But happiness was never meant for her Cause she’s tried to be heard, she’s tried to be seen Tried to pretend, that she wasn’t in minority But the truth she’s learned, Is that she’s loosing it, cause it’s a false delusion

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“How much longer?” she asks “Why me, what have I done?” Her tears flows like a broken dam Because she’s lost everything; her family, her friends Her country, maybe even her heart Abandoned and disowned Not belonging to any race Unaccepted at every place She wonders everyday, why she a mistake, was made But slowly she will learn that her life was meant to be hard She’s meant to be alone; she’s meant to be disowned Forsaken by the world, left to face life all alone Because the joys she felt Was nothing but a false delusion, and slowly she will learn That it’s time to wake up!

Baby Envy Darth Cabrol-Easton A warm tear hit the top of Emma’s bare leg and trickled down the inside of her thigh to join the red drops coloring the white of the toilet bowl. Every month there was new grief. Days of unreasonable happiness and hope, thinking maybe a headache or a strong smell meant she was finally pregnant. Then denial, when she woke up with the deep twinges of menstrual cramps. And finally defeat, as the reality set in with the bright red blood—no possibility of implantation spotting. She cried for a few minutes in the bathroom, and then tried to pull it together for the day ahead. She taught eleventh grade history in the county high school. There were two pregnant sixteen year-olds in her class. One more had left last month, moving to the continuation school because of its parenting classes and day care. Teen pregnancy was so normal around here, that the whole process was a smooth and nearly painless transition. Emma had been trying all year not to let her anger and envy show on her face as the girls entered the room. “It’s not fair!” she screamed inside. “They don’t want it, and it’s so easy for them.” Her hands were no longer shaking when she poured her 2nd cup of coffee. She only allowed herself the second one in those first few days after the disappointment each month. The doctor had said no more than two cups when you were trying to conceive, but since she liked it really strong, she kept it to one when there was any chance. “Better be safe than sorry,” she heard her grandmother say in her head. She had cried on her husband’s shoulder when she got her period those first few months, but now she didn’t bother him. Tonight would be enough. He did not need to share her disappointment all day. The two Advil had still not kicked in when she climbed into the driver’s seat. The pain made it feel even more like punishment—her body screaming her failure back to her. She let herself cry a bit more on the way to school, but when she checked herself in the mirror, she only looked tired. The walk from the parking lot into room 9 was not long enough and way too long at the same time. The quiet of the empty classroom waiting for students gave her too much time to feel sorry for herself. The bell rang at 8:30 and the students trickled in, insolently grinning at themselves and daring her to point out their tardiness so they could brag about how little they cared. Emma could not look at the beautiful bellies of the two pregnant girls, Amber and Maya, displayed in the folding chairs because the girls had outgrown the desks, which were still made with an outdated image of a scrawny high school body, despite the reality that there were always a few overweight kids who had to jam themselves in or suffer the humiliation of

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asking for a larger seat. High school seemed to be meant for humiliation. Emma’s own sense of personal failure made this seem more glaringly true. The class seemed to be going alright—she was holding it together. The students were looking relatively attentive, not sleeping anyway. Then she choked and heard her voice break when her eyes passed over her notes and found “Elizabeth Cady Stanton had seven children.” They barely blinked—“Shows they are seldom really listening to me,” she thought to herself with bitter irony. She remembered when she had first learned that detail in college and thanked the stars for the invention of birth control—its power to allow women to be more than brood mares. Now she only wished she were a brood mare. She felt like a barren field, tilled again and again, but never sprouting tender little hopeful buds. A year was long and tiring when you spent two weeks of each month in anticipation and another in grief. Maybe she was ready to get a recommendation for a fertility specialist. Wasn’t it supposed to happen in a year if you were normal? She realized that she had gone silent, stalled out on Cady Stanton and her easy, blossoming motherhood. They were all staring at her. She stammered, “Uh, um, so sorry. Must need another cup of coffee.” No one laughed at her attempt at humor. Amber was resting her overly thin teenage arm on her swollen belly, but otherwise she looked as vacant as the rest of them, and Emma felt resentful again. Why was such a precious gift thrown away on an insipid and uncurious child. She would probably have four by the time she was 25, Emma thought angrily, and smoke cigarettes with all of them. She had seen both the girls smoking behind the building and chided them for disregarding their babies’ health. They rolled their eyes and stepped on the half smoked Camels. Maya had said, halfheartedly, “Sorry, Mrs. Evans. I have been trying to stop, but its’ too hard.” But Amber had just looked at her dumbly. No regret—barely demonstrating consciousness in her pretty hazel eyes. Emma had charged away, trying to look purposeful rather than broken-hearted. She felt much older and more tired than her 33 years when she closed the door to her small, neat house at a few minutes after five. Aaron, her husband, would not be home for an hour. There was nothing to clean. What she wouldn’t give for the clutter of a toddler that her luckier friends whined to her about. All this longing was making her mean. She leaned back onto the second-hand couch and covered her eyes. In a couple days she could look forward to hoping again, but right now the world looked grim. *** Cycle day fifteen. It seemed to hold all the promise in the world. She could imagine fertilization taking place. Visualizing the animation of sperm meeting egg, she felt giddy with hope. And then doubt washed over her. It had been this way so many times before. Imagining it did not make it happen. Still she stepped into the classroom with a smile on her

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face that morning. Maya was gone. She had heard the kids whispering that she had delivered a boy two nights ago. Emma wondered if she would finish high school. The school’s record was not good. About a third of the teen moms came back to school, even with the day care. Amber sat listlessly in her chair, looking hollow-eyed and small, despite the huge belly. Emma let her heart soften for a moment. She was just a little girl, and there was probably no one making sure that she ate breakfast before she came to school. Would anybody help her with the baby when it came? She felt her eyes keep returning to Amber as she taught. There was something wrong with her. She probably needed better nutrition, vitamins, something. She would try to talk to her after class. But when the class ended, several students came up ask her about the last paper they she had returned and Amber had disappeared. The nagging sense that someone needed to look after that girl kept returning to her during the day. At 4:30, after the students went home for the day, she sat at her desk trying to grade papers. But she couldn’t concentrate. She decided to go down to the main office to see what she could find out about Amber’s home situation. The day was brisk and the air smelled of rain. She walked quickly, pulling her sweater tightly around her. As she passed the ladies bathroom, she heard a sound. It was a low, muffled whimpering. “Hello?” She called, “who’s in there?” The crying stopped abruptly. She pushed the door open and went in. The bathroom was dim and cold. Two of the florescent bulbs had burned out and one of the three sinks had stopped working last spring. The widows were slightly open, but let in little air and less light. “Hello?” she asked again. The last stall was closed, but as she got closer she could see that the floor was wet, streaking the dirty floor towards the drain in the center of the cracked yellow tiles. She pushed the door open. Amber lay on the floor. She was holding her sweater over her mouth, and she looked terrified. “Oh, no.” Emma said under her breath. She didn’t know what to do. This girl was obviously in labor, far into labor, on the filthy bathroom floor. She needed to call the paramedics, but she’d left her cell phone in her purse in the classroom. “Amber, listen to me. Do you have a cell phone?” The girl nodded quickly. “Where? In your backpack?” The girl nodded again. Then she let out another cry. “Hold on honey,” Emma said as she squatted in front of the trembling teenager. She dialed 911 and then reached to put her hand on the girl’s skinny knee as she tucked the phone under her ear. “We need an ambulance. The high school. There’s a girl giving birth here, in the girl’s bathroom.” She hung the phone up, wanting to give her attention to Amber. She did not look very strong. Emma tried to be strong for her. “How long have you been here?” she asked, gently helping the girl move out of the stall and towards the bare, corroded pipes of the sinks, where it was just slightly cleaner, and taking the crumpled sweater off of her face. Amber looked confused. “After your class” she finally got out.

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“Damn” Emma thought. That was almost five hours ago. She could be pretty far along by now. How had she stayed hidden for that long? Or had other students just ignored the sounds? She scanned Amber’s cell phone, finding the timer function. “Tell me when you feel the next contraction. We need to see how far apart they are.” She reached for the girl’s hand. Was that a bit of relief that crossed Amber’s face? She probably thought she was going to have her baby alone in the bathroom. There was silence for a few minutes, then she felt Amber clench her muscles right before she cried out, much louder now that the sweater wasn’t muffling her. Emma looked at the phone. Almost 3 ½ minutes. Maybe there would be time for the paramedics to get here. She didn’t want to test her skills at midwifery in the high school bathroom. When the contraction was over she reached her arm under Amber’s thin back and said gently, “let’s try to get you a bit more comfortable, ok She put the backpack against the wall, and laid the sweater on the floor below it. Gingerly, she moved the shaking girl to lean against the backpack. She took off her own sweater and balled it up behind Amber’s head. Tears ran down the girl’s cheek. “You take the baby,” she said suddenly, “What am I going to do with her? My mom’s a loser tweaker. I have no one.” Emma felt her cheeks flush. Was her desperation that obvious, or did the girl really just have no other ideas? Deep in her heart, she wanted to say yes, yes! Of course I will take the baby and love her with all my heart. And why not? Wouldn’t that be better for everyone? Her mind raced. But she quickly squashed the thought. She felt desperately guilty for letting her pain block her sympathy for the fear and desperation that Amber and girls like her must experience. She was just a child herself, with no stable place to go home to and no shoulder to cry on. She needed someone on her side. Emma had to be that someone. That’s why she started teaching after all. Emma took a deep breath. “This is really something you have to think a lot about Amber. We can find someone who can help you decide what to do. You don’t have to do this alone.” Amber kept crying, but she squeezed Emma’s hand. Then she screamed. Another contraction. Emma looked at the phone. 3 minutes. The paramedics should be here in few minutes. The station was just up the road. When the contraction ended, Emma stroked the girl’s forehead, murmuring comforting nonsense. Briefly, she imagined taking the baby home, singing nonsense to comfort an infant, but she quickly banished the image. The paramedics rushed into the room, pushing the gurney. “Her contractions are three minutes apart,” Emma said quickly.

set her on the gurney. Amber groped for Emma’s hand again, “Don’t leave me Mrs. Evans. Please?” Emma took the thin hand, “I’m right here Amber. I am going to ride with you.” The girl clenched up with another contraction. Emma looked at the cell phone. “2 minutes 52 seconds” she told the paramedic. “Good.” He said again, and they wheeled the gurney quickly to the waiting ambulance. *** Emma walked briskly out of the hospital door. Her husband was on his way. Amber had delivered an underweight but otherwise healthy baby girl two hours before. Emma had made sure that the hospital called in a social worker to talk to her. The woman was efficient but kind, so Emma left the matter in her hands. She was confident that Amber would be fully informed of all her options. She’d probably keep the baby. Something had changed in her eyes when she saw the tiny, red little girl. Even though she was just a child, she became a mother when the nurse laid the baby in her arms and that fierce mamma love set in. You could see it. Emma hoped it was something she could experience herself, but if it didn’t happen that way, she could always adopt. It wouldn’t be Amber’s little girl, but there were so many children out there who really didn’t have anybody. There was more than one way to become a parent she reminded herself. She rubbed her chilled bare arms, and looked up to see her husband’s car turning into the parking lot.

“Good. We probably have time to get her to the hospital,” The gray-haired medic said. His younger partner was already kneeling by Amber, taking her blood pressure. “Can I ride with her?” Emma asked. “I’m her teacher,” she finished lamely. “Sure” the grayhaired older guy said, as he and his partner picked the girl up like she weighed nothing, and 76

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Drugg

Mary Rose Arellano

Deanna Mesa My eyes burn As if the rays of the sun strike my eyes like daggers But it is only cause of my crying. I feel my numb chest Carrying the weight of a thousand dreams ready to give way and bring me down completely. The tears I cry I can no longer fight. The call of the blade summons me It wants to kiss the flesh of unbroken skin. I want to swallow the lies and deceit to numb me into oblivion. Of the world, friends, family, happiness The pain is carrying me to my grave Drug of love no longer exists Drug of invisibility takes over.

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Grandma

Sharon Grimaldi

Patti Anderson Her eyes, the sky, all blue on blue like Monet’s garden. For hours she’d pass the cards around our grubby circle Peewee league canasta School out for summer. Nowhere to hide from the searing gaze of Sunlight who peered unmercifully beneath the broad umbrella at kings and queens of hearts (just one ace short)! There were no secrets. Then, lemonade Homemade penuche Gingersnaps fired across the covered tabletop like spicy poker chips: fair currency. “Your grandpa,” she said “was in the U.S. Army in World War I, in France. Look, here he is in uniform. Six foot six. Yes, wasn’t he handsome?” Summer has long since passed blue shadows trading places  with sunflowers and that long-lost afternoon.

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The table now stands empty bereft of its umbrella, the patio in silence. I wonder if she realized, while dealing cards and singing sweet songs of her childhood that in her floral tablecloth I saw a map of the world, heard the whistle in the distance of my great great grandfather as he cultivated grapes in the fields of his homeland before she was even born.

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Carnival Jennifer Lucas

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Buddha

Biographies

Chandra Bomben Zeeshan Ahmed is a Senior at NDNU, with a major in Business. In his pass time he loves to play and watch Soccer, Cricket, Snooker, Ping Pong and Basketball. Other hobbies include spending time with friends and family, watching movies, politics and travelling. Saleh Aljumah is a graduate student in the MAE program at NDNU. Travelling around the world inspires her to write poems in English. In the future, she is going to be a professor because she received MA and Ph.D scholarships from Qassim University. In the end, she is very thankful to Professor Kerry Dolan because she illuminates her on how to write creatively. For Patti Anderson, writing is as essential as breathing, eating. It’s her life, really! Writing, painting and music. Like a river, the voice runs through us, speaking its old, wise truths. Just listen. Don’t seek it; it will find you in the silence. Mary Rose (Maru) Arellano is a freshman at NDNU. She started doing photography when she was a high school freshman. She hopes to pursue a career that somehow combines her love for photography and science. Lisa Baker earned a BA in English and Humanities from NDNU in 2006. She has spent much of her life traveling for educational, humanitarian, and environmental endeavors. Her most recent trip was to Iceland where she and a 10-member team helped in the island’s reforestation project, starting over 28,000 saplings and planting 400 trees. She lives in Palo Alto, where she raised her three children. Eduardo Beltran is a senior Art major at NDNU. Stephanie Biehl is a senior at NDNU and is almost contemplating failing all of her classes to stay a little longer. She happens to write not because she thinks it is a decent skill of hers but because she is literate. She is addicted to running, country music, washing her hands, and laughing and is in love with Buster Posey, the color orange, Spain, and sangria. Chandra Bomben is a graduate of USF and currently a student of the Post-Masters Art Therapy Program at NDNU. She has been a chemical dependency/mental health counselor for ten years and is currently a stay-at-home mom to a beautiful one-year-old little girl. She believes in the power of people, and the power that art can have on the healing of the human psyche.

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Kerry Breuer, a class of ’99 alum so notorious, the school had to change its name from CND to NDNU right after she graduated. Her poetry spans the years since then and ranges from topics about tattooing and laboratory work to martial arts and Buddhism.

Artists, a Fellow at the Music Academy of the West, and a Metropolitan Opera Regional Winner. A writer of essays and lyrical poetry, this is Christine’s second consecutive publication in The Bohemian.

Darth Cabrol-Easton has been a Lecturer in English and Humanities at NDNU since 2003. She grew up in a tiny town in the Sierra foothills of California. Most of her stories are set in against this rural background. Although she has lived in some of the U.S.’s most important cities, the country life always called her back. She now lives in a small town on the central coast with her husband, daughter, dogs, cat, rabbit, and chickens.

Abagail Link’s mother wishes she had been an English major. Instead, Abigail is singing all the livelong day in her freshman year with the NDNU Music Department and having a swell time. She keeps her ukuleles close and her book collection closer.

Sara Contreras is from Fresno, California, and is a psychology major. She believes that everyone should live their life to their full potential. Rebecca Corteza is double major in English and Art, and will be graduating in May 2012. (Brittany) Dray is a 1st year student in the Art Therapy Masters Program at NDNU. Immersed in drawing at a very young age, she continues her journey of self-exploration through art. She aspires to be a guide for others seeking themselves via the art-making process. Drew Durham graduated from NDNU in sociology in 2011. Drew loves writing poetry whenever possible. He is currently excited about expanding his poetic repertoire and working on his writing skills and immersing himself in the craft now, more then ever before. Drew loves his New Jersey Girl tangerine dearly. Brittney Engelland-Gay is a Junior Liberal Studies major and an amateur photographer. She spends most of her time happily planning events for Programming Board and navigating the chaos that is her boss’ desk. Jana Gibbs, a senior at NDNU, is both excited and scared to death to graduate in May with her BA in Psychology with a minor in English. She has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up, but she hopes to work with students somehow. She has a passion for photography, getting involved in student activities, being active, and creating to do lists. Sharon Grimaldi is a senior at Notre Dame de Namur University studying education. As an amateur photographer and poet she celebrates her passion for the written word and an appreciation of the simple moments of life. Christine Jarc, an MFA candidate, is a professional operatic soprano whose accomplishments include the New York City Opera/Glimmerglass Opera Young American

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Meghan Lloyd is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and is planning on getting her masters in Criminal Justice. She enjoys reading romance novels, expressing herself through poetry and photography, and singing and talking to anyone who will listen. Justin T. Lotspeich, BA English 2010, currently works toward his English MA at the University at Buffalo (expected 2012), specializing in 19th-century-American literature. He also freelance edits and enjoys homebrewed porter while nestled in his first Lake-Effect winter. Jennifer Lucas prefers to be called Jenn, with two n’s. She is a senior majoring in Art & Graphic Design and Visual Communication and hails from Waipahu, Hawaii. Larry Lujan, a proud and hairy survivor of the Beat Generation, has a doctorate in English from U.C. Berkeley and has taught at NDNU for nineteen years, day and night— anything that doesn’ t involve mathematics or mechanics. His closest friends are Keats, Dostoevsky, and a girl named Elizabeth, and his proudest accomplishment in life is his son Paul. Nikki Manina is an English major in her second year at NDNU. Her fickle dreams and love for life create a chaotic world she cannot live without. Mehran Massoumi is a second-year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. He enjoys traditional, digital, and hybrid art photography as a hobby. Deanna Mesa is an English Major and Music minor. “My Little Monkeys” and “Beautiful Dreamer” is dedicated to her nieces, Magdalena, Ava, Angelina and Kayla; even though they drive her crazy, she loves them to bits. She is a writer by day and a ninja at night. Melanie Montoya was born and raised in San Francisco by immigrant parents. She plans to live in her lovely city for her whole life. She is the last of three kids; one older sister and one older brother. She is a Kinesiology major and also pursuing a French minor. Nan O’Neill is a 2nd year graduate student at NDNU. She looks forward to completing her MA in English and continuing to write.

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Tina Jo Orban is an English Major at NDNU with previous journalism experience at The San Matean. She is a freelance author magazine contributions Planet Muscle, Hard Fitness and a resident of Woodside, California. Jason Pierce is currently enrolled in the Art Therapy program. He is planning on graduating from the program in 2015. He is originally from Southern California and moved to start pursuing a master’s degree. Tricia Robateau is a sophomore English/Philosophy major. She enjoys reading and writing poetry, especially those that deal with a lot of emotion, as she feels that poetry is one of the best form of expression. To her, writing is her lifeline and something she hopes to get better at. Gabriel Ronquillo is a junior studying Sociology and Religious Studies at NDNU. He is active in the Bay Area hardcore music scene, collects records, enjoys vintage cars, and Americana. He is straight edge and has made the positive mental attitude a way of life, while reminding those who do the same to always keep the faith. Melissa Sarabia, a native of San Jose, is an Art and Graphic Design major at NDNU who believes in the unlimited power of the mind’s imagination. Ben Schmidt is a graduate student in the MAE creative writing program at NDNU. For his day job he works on a regional rescue helicopter as a paramedic. CAMERON SEGRAVES-KIMBALL is a Communications Major at NDNU with a minor in Political Science. With both parents in the art field, he picked up the importance of art at an early age. He loves photography and drawing. When he graduates in May 2012, he will move to Beijing, China to work for Red Gate Art Gallery. David Shoup will graduate in 2012, he is a native of Canada. David has always had a passion for travel and photograph both of which he hope to continue to enjoy. Vicki Silver is an Advising Analyst for the Professional Studies Program in the School of Business and Management at NDNU. She received a MA English Creative Writing from NDNU in December 2011. John Velcamp is an alumni of NDNU, MA English, 1998. Also, he is a member of the Cunningham Heritage Society and a former member of the Business School Board of Directors. Michele Yoskovich believes in meditation, exploring the inner and outer landscapes, and is endlessly fascinated by meeting new students and people.

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NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR UNIVERSITY

The Bohemian 2011-2012  

The Bohemian 2011-2012