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Volume 22


George Mason’s Literary and Arts Journal

CONTENTS POETRY Amna Tahir Laurel Feretti


Joseph Mcguinness Caitlin Herron Michael Galfetti Elizabeth Vana

Sanctuary | 5 Lookout, Gay Head Beach | 6 July 6, 1944: Earn This | 11 Implied Perfection | 13 If Everything Was Perfect | 23 The Voyage of Time | 19 Childhood Comforts | 21 Family Portrait | 28

PROSE Kelly Foster Michael Galfetti Rebecca Sponga

Snow-day Contemplations | 17 Menagerie | 24 Part I | 26

FALL 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY Rebecca Sponga Kelly Foster Mari Baz Lauren Soriente Jordan Ingram Annamaria Ward Alexandra Teccox Jie Zheng

Untitled | 4 Untitled | 8 Another Day | 9 Delicate | 30 The Calm Before the Storm | 10 Graveyard of Empires | 20 Untitled | 14 Safe to Shore | 16 The Curious Case | 18 Harmony at the Great Eastern Mosque in Xi’an | 23 Frame of Benny | 25

ART Jordan Ingram

A Head Full of Dreams | Cover

MISSION STATEMENT Volition serves to elevate the creative capacity of the Mason community by fostering freedom of expression across diverse mediums.

FALL 2016



Untitled | Rebecca Sponga | digital photography

Sanctuary I have wandered from place to place to find my sanctuary. And I have found it in the warmth of his hands. I have found it in my sister’s bubbling laughter, With the pile of books that hide under my blanket And in the quiet listening ears that, perhaps, never understood. I have found my sanctuary in the name of the One who created me And I have found it in the unchecked boxes of my To-Do List. I have found it under the tree I call mine And I have found it in the clouds that remind me of sea monsters. I have found my sanctuary in the smell of ground cumin And in the smiles of those I can’t claim to know. I have found it with the moon that lights up my night And in the fragile seeds of dandelions that carry my wishes. I have found not one, but many sanctuaries. Yet I often find myself homeless. I always forget to look within myself.

| Amna Tahir


Lookout, Gay Head Beach


Stop the tears from falling little brother the way control cautioned you on your flight toward family, a headstrong sandpiper propelled by adventure until you were caught by nature’s unnatural wrath. You were ready for the blithe shower of rice instead caught blinded by the storm. The wet covered you, its own commentary on that brooding boyish daring against the injustices that shot holes in the idea of normalcy, but now I’m trying to be normal.

allow a deluge rain into her petite breast that isn’t in the wash of wreckage yet fills a drained sea and refused to reckon to the surface what is within to be normal that isn’t enough.

| Laurel Feretti

Sweet boy, it’s not normal to see you warmth that holds you to enough to recover that fits in a man-made compartment of all you have lost as yours, letting the weight float in order to identify the truth. I’m trying now for you



Untitled | Rebecca Sponga | digital photography


Another Day | Kelly Foster | digital photography

July 6, 1944: Earn This “Earn this.” –Captain John H. Miller, Saving Private Ryan Smoothed and sanded. I am choicest, refined by the battering and breaking. You turn me over: your hands enticed into the emptiness I indulge. 10

I am simple, yet nourishing as a last meal, ready-to-eat. My digestion never empties for I am often in concert with waves. In their chorus, I fall silent. I may be your last form of pleasure—behold me as such— your final dispatch from creation. You spy me, spare vessel, gulping saline. On the beach

Of Normandy, I am your constant fixture. Clawing against the sediment, to return its ordered contents to familiar territory. I cover All your skull has missed in its race to conscript itself before the matter is sanctioned. I refuse to shield you from straight shooters; the strays are no preoccupation. I make contact, yet they never stay to settle the account. The steely eyes of the enemy are enthralled by my mystery, searching me out without an envisioned victory. You wouldn’t survive to see me empty. Couldn’t grasp how in the present moment, I earn this.

| Laurel Feretti



The Calm Before the Storm | Mari Baz | digital photography

Implied Perfection

I’ve never been to the sun Still I know it’s hot And I’ve never kissed your lips

| Joseph Mcguinness




Untitled | Lauren Soriente | digital photography


Safe to Shore | Jordan Ingram | digital photography

Snow-day Contemplations

I didn’t think I would feel this way. Hung over on the shadows of a snow-day and the progression of scenes from my living room window. On my own I discover brilliance in white sheeted snow twisting into its black night bedspread for slumber. I am swayed by the idea of artists across the world who are hopelessly over-entranced with creating beauty. I will make peace with the waffle-cake moon and its swollen stars tonight. Tomorrow more words are waiting for me and I wonder who will say them. If I can become the night, or my human self without the worry and confusion in my mind, then in the morning—in the blank snow—littering between footprints, are the spaces left to tread just for myself. I will try to reimagine silence.

| Kelly Foster


The Voyage of Time Time breaks off from the now old man. She falls into the sea. She drowns along with other clocks to graves of those deceived.


The sand of her hourglasses mingle with her numbers. They swim together in somber dance dissolving in the water. The bubbles rise, the old man breathes these vapors of her death. She smells of salted rose water and aches to live again. The old man no longer kept by Time breathes in undying earth. Then Angel leads him to the sky where Time was never born.

| Caitlin Herron


The Curious Case | Annamaria Ward | digital photography


Graveyard of Empires | Mari Baz | digital photography

Childhood Comforts I flew away tonight. Frantic and grey-eyed. I flew past you, past me, to find inner peace? To flee, in search of something pure. I flew on the back of a beautiful monarch beyond questions; pre-complications, un-learning my awareness, forgetting modernity. I landed on a sunny inlet beside an oak dripping moss. I saw my Papa pouting towards his car. Ya see, no one wanted to ride into town with him. I ran up to say “I’ll go!” And then His face become the morning’s first light. His eyes deep blue like the ocean, His teeth puffy white like clouds, His lips thin and pink like the horizon. Pure Papa. Pure and simple good-hearted child.

| Michael Galfetti


If Everything Was Perfect


If everything was beautiful would all the sky be blue? Or would sunsets cast forever down their reddish orange hue? If everything was wonderful would clouds ever drop rain? Or would we lose the thunderstorms in sacrifice of pain? If everything was perfect would there only be one song? It would only be one note and it wouldn’t last for long If everything was harmony would we still ache for love? Or would we fly around forever in the skies above, And never have to wish for things that we’re all dreaming of ?

| Joseph Mcguiness


Harmony at the Great Eastern Mosque in Xi’an | Alexandra Tecco | digital photography



I want to keep all my memories inside a big glass house. I want to feel awe seeing the variety of my life experience flying all around me–like butterflies. I imagine myself surprised by a memory, a small monarch, plain enough, from that time I was laying by the river under a tree, sandwich and book in hand. It won’t matter that it is plain, the commonest kind, that its beauty is not exotic. Because the average life span of most butterflies is a month, but the Monarch lives up to 9 months on average. My memories are like the butterfly; the simplest of moments stay close to me. The exotic and beautiful memories fade in my glass house, they can never reclaim their original character and so are born to die in a single month, only ever really living once. People are like glass houses. If you look at a person from far away all their memories flying inside them can create an overwhelming effect, a blur, of white, brown, and tan; however, once you get inside you see they are nothing but a collection of memories, strange and beautiful, alive and dying, flying, at the same time.

| Michael Galfetti


Frame of Benny | Jie Zheng | digital photography

Part I


She’s not the kind of woman who accepts stagnancy. She’ll wander aimlessly, just to let go of herself and forget the concept of time. You won’t hear from her for hours and please don’t take this personally. It’s not her intention to make you worry. She’ll question everything, from why she should do what you ask to how best to love you. This may come off as your word being worthless and I hope you’ll forgive her for that. In her mind, truth is relative, but you are not. While her pride is bigger than her head, it’s not bigger than her heart. Wait for the moment where she admits she’s wrong and you’ll notice her need to be understood, not demoralized. She’ll be vulnerable. Hold her. You’ll feel her muscles give. Let them. She’s a headache, the human form of a migraine but don’t forget: she’s also the painkiller, a cool cloth against your forehead, an IV running fluids through your system. She’ll rearrange her day if it means

she gets more time with you. She’ll pay attention to every detail about you, like the hardness of your eyes when you take on your worst fear or the gentleness of your voice when you speak of your mother. She’ll listen to you. You’ll feel comfortable to talk about anything with her, like 90’s rap at three in the morning when she’s lying naked with you, her chin on your chest. You’ll piss her off and her, you. She’ll lose her temper because losing you by remaining silent is a mistake she can’t afford to make twice. Her love constantly evolves as you become the person she knows you to be. Let that sink in. So when you feel she’s gone from you, when you think you’ve done the worst and she won’t be there, ask her about the moment she fell in love with you. That memory will prove her loyalty is unparalleled and no other woman will be there for you the way she is. And by she, I mean me.

| Rebecca Sponga


Family Portrait


The Aunt Her smile is the biggest in the frame. The blue eyes and blonde hair seal the deal of picturesque Americana, the kind of neurochemical physical perfection that alienates the blemished people around her. The five year plan speaks of quiet sanity. We will never understand, because we cannot organize our red-circled calendars by priority. When I was a child, I used to brag about how much we resembled each other. It wasn’t until years later reality told me I never looked like anyone but myself. The Mother What did the man say when his wife said she felt like being run over by a bus, and he wasn’t doing anything to help? “Here’s the bus schedule!” The Father When I turn the picture back and forth, he reappears and disappears depending on the lighting. He is only present when he benefits. A shadow crawling through the hall, an endless maw that devours the fridge. Dutifully, the appliance is replaced

in the morning like the liver of Prometheus. He could teach that titan a thing or two about stealing someone’s fire, about taking all the light for himself. The Sister What did the perfectionist say to her left-handed mother? “You’re the worst! Why can’t you ever do anything right?” The Grandfather Let me tell you the story about the boxes of cereal. No, let me tell you about the spoons. Spoons are required to eat cereal with, this is known and widely accepted by the scientific community. Known and widely accepted by the family community is that two boxes of cereal cannot be open at one time, do not finish the first second, time is of the essence, all the spoons must point north. If not, proper lab procedure dictates they will be thrown on the floor next to the yellowing pools of Agent Orange. Now, do you see why everyone hides when the electrician brings his power home?

| Elizabeth Vana



Delicate | Kelly Foster | digital photography


In Association with the Office of Student Media

Executive Editors Jodie Custodio Gia Primerano

Faculty Advisor Jason Hartsel

Prose/Poetry Prose and Poetry Editor Mary Cuccio

Taylor Davis Fizza Fatima

Art and Photography Art and Photography Editor Mary Cuccio

Karolina Blaziak Caroline Cho

Graphic Design Design Director Miguel Ventura

Public Relations Public Relations Officer Ayleah Hanton

Maria Brazao Anya Cooke Ayleah Hanton


Get published! Submit your prose, poetry, art, photography, and short screenplays to: Visit us online: Open Mic Nights For a schedule of events, performance videos, and pictures, like/follow us on:

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Volition - Fall 2016  
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