Rewrites LITERARY AND ART MAGAZINE Volume XXXI, Spring 2013
Rewrites welcomes poetry, fiction, art, and photography submissions during the fall semester. Please note that only students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Atlantic Cape Community College are eligible for publication in the magazine. Please limit submissions to five per category. Rewrites is a non-profit literary and art magazine published annually in the spring by the students of Atlantic Cape Community College. The editor and staff are solely responsible for the content and layout of the magazine, and reserve the right to edit any submitted copy. The ideas expressed in Rewrites do not necessarily reflect those of Atlantic Cape Community College. Please address all inquiries/submissions to Rewrites magazine Atlantic Cape Community College 5100 Black Horse Pike Mays Landing, NJ 08330 firstname.lastname@example.org All rights revert back to the author or artist upon publication. Reproduction of any material must be authorized be the author or artist.
From the Editor Read. So many of us take for granted what a gift it is to be capable of deciphering what these symbols mean. Letters, combined to make words, which translate into sound. You, dear reader, are capable of translating these symbols into a language you recognize and I urge you to keep reading, to cultivate a love and appreciation for this gift. Picking up this magazine, be it because someone forced it upon you, because you genuinely look forward to our annual publication, or for the first time, shows that you at least take some pleasure in the act of reading. I work in a library, and every day I try to find a child who does not yet know the joy that reading can bring them and to introduce them into a world that promises opportunity, that promises adventure. With this magazine I hope to do the same for you. In this magazine you will find forty-one works all created by students, staff, and alumni of Atlantic Cape Community College. I welcome you to read through each work; it was a labor of love, by the staff and the contributors to the magazine. We decided for the theme of Crescendo, one I hope you find, as the works increase in sound, and then slowly settle back into a world of quiet. I will take this time to thank you, the reader, for supporting this publication, the staff who worked hard to insure that the best works could be found in this magazine, for my co-editor Isaac, and for the friends I made this semester. I also want to thank Lauren M. Fonseca and Rich Russell for their help and support these past semesters, and for their good faith in me, however foolishly it was placed. I hope that you, the reader, continue to pick up this publication in the years to come and that the binding is well used and frequently creased. Thank you for reading, with much love Erica Villani Co-Editor of Rewrites 2013
Magazine Staff Co-Editors Erica Villani Isaac Zumwalt Managing Editor Cheryl Werner Art and Layout Editor Erica Villani SGA Representative Nicole Agosto Secretary Chel-lei Twyman Staff Brian Edmiston Barry Edwards Kaitlyn Feldbauer Jacob Hillman Josh Hillman Steven Johnson Tempest Rose Jessica Tewell Faculty Co-Advisors Lauren Fonseca Rich Russell Technical Assistant Meghan Oâ€™Donnell
Table of Contents Cloistered â€“ 1945 Spectator to the Deer Home Cats Donâ€™t Care Smiles, Happiness and Memories: Terza Rima Boulders and Bones a comma splice The End of Mother Earth Snickelfritz: The Racing Hermit Crab (a true story) Little Sister Fish School Dropouts A Puddle of Blood Blasted Bongos: A true story of growing up sixteen Eff this Helipad! I am I love you Daddy Emotions and Men Untitled Untitled Dance of the Wind Bromeliad Flower Post Sandy Stairs And then... Untiled Untiled Mordor Tiny Wonder October Morning
Helen Cooke Christa Planko Nicole Agosto Christa Planko Alexa Custodio
7 8 9 10 12
Stephanie Vannello Agnes Fisher Stephanie Vannello Carole Dieterly
13 14 15 16
Lauren Fonseca Daniel Sanchez Brian Edmiston Carole Dieterly
18 19 22 25
Daniel Sanchez Jessica Tewell Jessica Tewell Jessica Tewell Agnes Fisher Kaeyatu Harris Olesya Sentypal Bob Benner Elinor Mattern Elinor Mattern Kaeyatu Harris Kaeyatu Harris Elinor Mattern Lisa Apel-Gendron Bob Benner
31 33 35 36 37 38 38 39 39 40 40 41 41 42 42
Table of Contents Venetian Alley Mike Stirm Spider Web Lisa Apel-Gendron Anthea John A. Guttschall Lily Robert Dulaney Mama Geraldine Jasmine Allen The Sweetness of Dreams Jill Richman-Heller The Minister of Cats Rich Russell Eye Opener Eden Atty The Downpour Stephanie Vannello Jaian and the Ghost Joel Ollander Hummus Helen Cooke The Alcoholic Melody Riddle Dissembling/DisassemElinor Mattern bling Silence Cover art by Agnes Fisher
43 43 44 45 46 49 50 52 53 54 61 62 66
Cloistered -- 1945 Helen Cooke The scents and sounds soothe me – frankincense in the ancient chapel soup over low flames in the kitchen shoes clopping on worn marble wooden rosaries clacking softly strains of Ave Maria constant in my mind. This is a fine life. When the missionary came to our little church in Kilmovee, I realized this was my future – much better than going to England for work. I’d spend my days praying and doing pious good works in the States. I have a new family – novitiates and Mother Superior, much better than staying home, alone, with my father’s ghost. I imagine the convent bursting With hymns and laughter and remind myself to focus on prayers. But I miss my voice, I crave hearing voices. I know that Sister Michael also has a brogue. We mostly smile as we garden in the courtyard or toil with the laundry and general upkeep. Do we grow even closer to God by not speaking? I’m not sure I’m doing this right. I reach for the stiff cotton wimple covering my throat. I long for the infirmary (nurses can talk there). When will my tonsils flare up again? I bless myself and worry my beads.
Spectator to the Deer Christa Planko Where the wood’s edge opens to a clearing, there appeared, to my delight, a gentle doe, through bushes, peering. So, I crouched low, lest she take fright. As she entered Nature’s stage— an Autumnal bed of red and gold— her graceful form ‘mid wild sage bowed sweetly, splend’rous to behold. A rustling sounded from the brush, and then emerged a spritely fawn, playful, prancing, startling thrush perched nearby on this early dawn.
The rush of wings as birds took flight alarmed the peaceful deer. And off she leapt, ‘til out of sight, with fawn in tow, white tails arear.
Home Nicole Agosto I only want a home. Be it Victorian or a shanty out the road. A place with no tears and a welcoming
Cats Don’t Care Christa Planko Lazy Sunday, lolling limbs sprawled languidly across the chair. Approaching noon, and sleep’s been lacking. So, why get up… My cats don’t care. My hair’s a mess, my clothes unkempt. But no plans to go anywhere. Today I’ll sip my coffee slow, and savor it… My cats don’t care. Computer froze, can’t save my work. Expletives ignite the air. My laptop has just taken flight. It’s just as well… My cats don’t care. Looking glass, see dark eyes sunken. I’ve found today my first grey hair. 10
Age and stress just make me moody. But it’s all right… My cats don’t care. Their feline eyes see past my flaws. They grace my side through foul and fair. Restless, aging, moody, stressed, swathed in sweats… my cats don’t care.
Smiles, Happiness and Memories: Terza Rima Alexa Custodio Memories like this will last a life time All of the worthy times have flown right by We think that the ‘picture perfect’ smiles was our prime Happiness doesn’t always make you question ‘Why?’ You just hold strongly onto what you have got Because laughter works as the perfect high And no, I don’t mean from crack or pot A smile, laugh or memory must all be candid They should come through at the sound of a chime Never should they be faked or demanded Smiling, in anyone’s book, will never be a crime And that is it for this happy little rhyme
Boulders and Bones Stephanie Vannello The rock in my chest drops to the sandy soles while swallowing gravel becomes easy with an experienced steel throat. Brain matter changes into a boulder when it isnâ€™t in use and words become the axe to chip through. Shards of rock peek out from under my finger nails, just to get a glimpse of their natural home. Out by the ocean, I set them free on the shoulders of their stepping stone ancestors and watch the large blue tongue steal them away to their new home in the deep bottomed mouth.
a comma splice Agnes Fisher a comma stood once between thoughts of you and me between parts of speech silently uttered in air ending the grammar of us sending broken messages
The End of Mother Earth Stephanie Vannello The blanket over her is thrown off, revealing the wrinkles of fault lines, the sagging aftermath of quakes, and the acne of volcanoes all over her body. Baked sand from the desert springs forth, the oncoming storm cries out from the silent space, ignoring the consequences of collision, and striking head first. Salty tears collect in the air, pimple popped volcanoes spew blood onto the peaceful land, and taint the lush fields. Bones shiver and crash beneath the surface from the unknown impact, winds fuel the fire that swallows the greens, firm warts melt beneath the strength of the destroyer from space, and the woman cries beneath the pain.
Snickelfritz: The Racing Hermit Crab (a true story) Carole Dieterly
I have had a single overwhelming dream since coming to veterinary school: to own a hermit crab that I can spoil to near death and race on Wednesday at “The Owl.” This creature’s name would forever be Snicklefritz in honor of one of my favorite classic movies “Stalag 17”. Depicted in the film are prisoners of World War II that have made their lives in a prison camp more interesting by holding mice races. The principle winning mouse: you guessed it. Snicklefritz. So with this delightful thought in mind it was my hope and dream to find a delightful hermit crab frolicking on the beach with which to bestow my love. If only life were so uncomplicated. It should be mentioned that Grenada hermit crabs are nearly the size of a man’s fist. Much greater in diameter then the delightful little critters often sold in every corner store on the New Jersey Boardwalk (of which I am more accustomed too), finding one tonight left me with mixed emotions. On one hand I was desperate for this future pet, on the other I was plagued with guilt that I could, perhaps, kill him with kindness. After all, I know nothing of this large crustacean’s life cycle and therefore it was possible to kill it just as quickly as I loved it. So in the ocean he stayed…or so I thought. In fact, for a little over a week I had already been the proud owner of Snicklefritz. A frequent seashell hunter, I often collected my favorite kinds, shapes, and sizes up along the beach night and day. Even snorkeling provides the opportunity for shell grabbing. One particular snorkeling trip I was just fortunate enough to find a beautiful conch, only the size of my palm, buried in a sand bar. I was delighted with the find and hurriedly excavated it then left the conch on the dock for later investigation. As with all my shells I spend a meticulous amount of time picking them over, sorting out their shapes, and arranging them in a way that they are best preserved and displayed. This was just small enough to fit in the large box
I have designated for shell collection and after a thorough cleaning I deposited it inside. In retrospect I should have seen this coming. There was a â€œmysteryâ€? smell in our dorm room I now see was erroneously blamed on the mold growing from our air conditioner leak (which has since been cleaned and repaired). Day after day we entered our apartment, wondering over the dubious and deadly odor that would dissipate after only a few minutes. After some days, it went away entirely and we thought no more of it. Only a few days ago a strange and equally nasty odor seemed to emanate from my closet (at this point in close contact with my box of shells) and I attributed it to my back pack or bathing suit wet bag, or something else of the sort. The sad reality was at last revealed tonight, after setting my first potential hermit crab free. I had already owned, and murdered, Snicklefritz. The smell was obvious the moment the box was opened for my new shell deposit. One by one I overturned my treasures, wondering with horror over what I may find. Then suddenly, the worst occurred. Here is what I saw: A once living hermit crab left to rot in my sealed box for over a week. I am afraid to say I have no idea when I initially found him. I never did see the creature beyond today as he lay shriveled like a tarantula poking out of a shell. Freaked beyond belief I did what any logical person would. I screamed bloody murder, and shoved the shell away in complete horror. I checked and double checked every remaining shell in my box, even resorting to smashing one to be sure its occupants had been long passed deceased. But there was no saving poor Snicklefritz. Doomed as he was, there was little left to do then learn from his death. As veterinarians in-training it was our duty to pursue knowledge. So, with me squealing like a girl, I forced my good friend to grab my multi tool and excavate poor Snicklefritz. Deceased and beyond medical treatment, poor Snicklefritz was committed to dropping into our trash bag, being bundled up tight, and deposited in the dumpster. I must say if there was one good note in the evening it was this: no more mystery smell. 17
Little Sister Lauren Fonseca “I have come with my mustard seed I cannot accept that she will be taken from me.” Tori Amos, “The Beekeeper” Tori sings on the radio And offers her mustard seed To save her mother. Her mother lives. I offer only mustard And cheese sandwiches. Maybe some pickles If they haven’t gone bad. You will not live. One hundred people will come To the internment In the snow. I will change my shoes And sing Amazing Grace. Mom says you will turn Into a butterfly, Some symbolic Metamorphosis.
But there is snow on the trees as I drive through the pine barrens And I know what happens To butterflies in the snow. They fly to Mexico Or die. And I know you hated Mexico.
Fish School Dropouts Daniel Sanchez If our lives were an acrobatics act, I guess it got me tired when you grew so small sometimes that you fell through one of the holes in the net I set up. Oh, how I wished you were invincible. Every time your glass body shattered against the floor, I had to sweep it up with my hands, and the shards wove themselves into my palms. I’m sorry that sometimes I lost so much blood that I didn’t wake up the next day when you called, which you always did. I’m sorry. And some days when the Sun stopped by or you were feeling like a kiln your frail body would be blown into shape again, and sometimes I would catch my reflection and it would look like I was trapped inside you, like you were a glass sarcophagus printed without emergency instructions, and I didn’t want my breathing to depend on your breaking, so I went away to the Library of Alexandria for a few months. I’m sorry I didn’t leave a note. I’m sorry my doppelganger was quickly considered cardboard. 19
At the library, I read a story about a warrior named Achilles who was dipped in the River Styx as a kid and granted invincibility. And I had heard that story before, but I never really had a reason to look for the river. I thought, maybe you could go for a swim and maybe then some nights you would be okay without me for a blanket in case an errant, destructive gust wandered by. I’m sorry for all the times I said I didn’t know what I was doing or where we were going. I was only unsure if you could swim. I’m sorry. And I’m sorry that when I held you in the river, it felt like you were drowning, And I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong enough to fight the current and to hold onto you. I’m so sorry you got swept away. When that happened, I had no choice but to dive in after you. I had never swam before in my life, but like hell I was going to let you float away to the Land of the Dead. My fear wasn’t going to be a life jacket for either of us.
Iâ€™m sorry it took almost drowning to be here with you. But on this beach, around this bonfire, in your arms, I feel stronger. I feel warm for the first time in a while.
A Puddle of Blood Brian Edmiston Knock Knock “Who’s there?” “Police. Have you seen the bear?” I cringed “The bear you say? I wouldn’t know, I’ve been inside all day! Now please leave if you may…” I didn’t hear them leave “Excuse me sir, but we’ve gotten complaints of a loud roar, and we noticed large paw prints leading to your door.” How did they see those?! “Uh…those tracks were from…my son! Yes, he plays in the mud just for fun!” “Your son is a bear?” “Of course he is…NOT so please get out of my hair!” “Sir, we still need to know more of the whereabouts of the bear. Please open your door!” Then I did. With all of my might, I held back any sign of fright that appeared on my face. “May we come in?” “No that would be sin!” “It’s a sin to enter this place?” 22
I began to stutter
“No…I-I uh, need to speak to my wife.” I ran inside “Dear, will you please put down the knife? Help me really quick. Go get the stick, and get the bear out of here!” I walked back to the door “Hurry, remove that runt!” “Sir, did you just call me a-“ “Honey, the bear is unsteady!” I slammed the door, quickly I fluttered to my wife; and I then muttered: “Put the bear away before they see it!” “Why don’t you handle the bear for a wee bit and see how you feel!” Knock Knock “Who’s there?” “Still the cops. Let us in or else we’ll begin to break down the door and take you in.” I hesitantly walked back and opened the door up. I noticed the rookie cop was staring at me, “…sup” “Get down on the ground! We heard the bear!” “Officer I swear, we don’t have one in there!” “Honey I need help! The bear isn’t too happy!” “Aha! A confession! Boy sir, your luck is just crappy!” Suddenly I heard screaming. My wife ran away. The bear came in roaring and began to…maul the cops. Yeah, I’m out of here. Sigh I thought kidnapping a circus bear would barely bring trou-
ble, but I was wrong. My house was reduced to rubble along with two mangled cop bodies left in a puddle, a puddle of blood.
Blasted Bongos: A True Story of Growing up Sixteen Carole Dieterly Her name was Mara. Her father was Krueger. Her mother had a name I do not at this time remember. She was surprisingly small for her age, only about three feet high and a total of six months old. Not that large at all which was half the reason I suffered so greatly at her disposal. The other half: she was incredibly curious. A terrible combination it is to have a wild animal small, young, and curious. Her hide was brown, vertical stripes of white creasing thinly down her sides. Two stout horns erupted from her skull, hardly grown. She walked on four hooves with back arched like a frightened cat. She frolicked with mirth at the sound of her name. I describe this strange creature in such detail to better your understanding before it is named. Surely few people within reading distance will hear the term “bongo” and comprehend the image just described above. But that is indeed the reality of it. The bongo is a strange spiral-horned variety of forest antelope. Rare, and natives of Africa it is somewhat unknown that the Cape May County Zoo has one of the most successful breeding programs for the creature. The curious, frolicking, brown, young, creature that became my first experience with dangerous wildlife. I suppose you are wondering why you are reading this. Perhaps someone told you it was to be funny, or perhaps even enlightening. I am flattered. But understand this is not written for you. So sorry. It is written for me. There is a certain freedom that follows the written memory. Perhaps I will be forever free of this now. Perhaps. I was just a kid about sixteen years old. It’s the age in which one is old enough to understand what it is he or she would like to do with their lives. It is also the age in which one is much too young to be covered by most insurance plans and so they are reduced to minimum wage jobs with their futures staring at them through looking-glasses. My minimum wage job: selling animal-shaped drinks
in the middle of the African Savanna (of the Cape May Zoo) to less-than-interested children between the ages of five and twelve. I decided that summer never to breed. I also learned how to say dolphin, monkey, lion, and hippopotamus in three languages. I spent between eight and ten hours six days a week under the hot Savanna sun. I learned to entertain myself. I knew the names of those trapped with me: three Giraffes name Holly, Azizza, and June. Five Zebras. Zelda was my favorite. Sarge was the only male. Three bongos. They were hardly ever seen. Usually hiding beneath the sloping grass. Five Scimitar-Horned Oryx far out in the distance acting as lazy cows. Responsible to no one. Then the ostriches, both better than the others, and the stem of all things terrible in the world. All things except baby Mara. The new product of the zoo’s booming breeding program, Mara was to be the next generation of releasable bongos. At the appointed age she would be crated up and sent to the wildlife preserve in Africa. The time didn’t come soon enough for me. The fences surrounding the exhibit were only a foot off the ground and another three feet high from there. The bottom rung and a foot above the top were wired with electricity like one may do for a horse pasture. The voltage was somewhere in the range of 10,000V. To some it would seem overkill. Currently it was not nearly enough. The baby bongo enjoyed adventure about as much as her parents enjoyed lying in the shade and chewing their cud. The baby liked to frolic along the fence line, looking longingly at the fresh green blades neglected on the other side. The little wheels turned like cogs in a clock. It did not take long for her to work out what she must do. Going over was an utter impossibility. The fence was just taller than she was. Underneath was the only other option. “Dauphin?” I asked a little rose-cheeked French child. In my hand I held an overpriced dolphin shaped bottle. It was full of sugary lemonade. An absolute delicacy. In my left hand was a purple monkey. “Singe?” last a brown tiger trapped upside down in the ice. I wiggled a pinky at him.
“Tigre?” The parents, far more excited than the child drooling over their arms repeated my selections. The father looked surprised that I knew French. I replied, in French, that I only knew a little. Even more excited was a group of onlookers standing to my left, hanging over the boardwalk railing and looking straight down. It was six feet to the ground. The height of the boardwalk was apparently to add to the viewing pleasure of the public. In my experience it was a convenient excuse for countless toddlers to lose their ill-fitting shoes to the grass below. I naturally assumed that was again the case. To my disappointment this was not so. I distinctly spied the tips of two little horns traveling the length of the boardwalk at random zoo-goers feet. Forgetting the dauphin and singe in the tub of ice I half hung over the railing myself to get a clear picture of the happenings. The baby bongo was loose. Technically. She was no longer in her proper place of residence. A series of gates made it impossible for her to go farther then she already had. But that still didn’t resolve the fact that she was misplaced. It was the most exciting thing to happen at my post since a white-tail buck got into the giraffe pen last summer. I snatched up my radio, making change with one hand as the purple monkey was whisked away. “Savanna to the front office.” I radioed over. “Mara the Bongo just flew the coup. I need some zoo keepers out here to put her back.” The excitement had drawn an impressive crowd. Larger then I normally drew myself when I whistled for the giraffes to come up for a close up. A particular favorite among patrons who enjoyed tipping a poor minimum wage drink attendant. “Well, put her back.” I starred incredulously at the radio. Occasionally the signals crossed and I ended up with the tail end conversation of some zoo Keeper. But that sounded oddly like my boss.
“What?” I asked. “Put her back in. We called the Park, they said its fine. Just climb over and scare her back.” I looked at the railing, judged the distance with respect to my weak upper body strength. “You’re sure?” “Absolutely.” Was this truly my dream? I only took the job upon actually expecting to work for the zoo, not the local drink company. Since then I had experienced much disappointment in that regard. Even my attempts to correct such a blunder were met with stale eyes of those reiterating the simple facts of life: I was too young to ensure that should my finger be eaten off by the giant tortoise the insurance company would cover me. But here was my opportunity. Here was a chance, sanctioned by the zoo itself to prove a sixteen-year-olds worth. I said nothing back on the radio. I knew what I must do now. I closed the lids to my carts and hoisted myself up (somewhat like an elephant attempting to mount a sapling) and over the railing. The crowed watched, aghast. Too many little cameras to count were trained on my every move. I knew they were hoping for disaster. Great fodder for YouTube. The antelope was across from me, passed a small bush. Much too small to offer any protection should she charge. I could be gored. Or tossed in with the zebras. Or trampled, killed, maimed, bitten, or kicked. Anything at this point was likely. “It’s just like Steve Irwin!” someone shouted. A few others laughed. Camera phones flicked out of pockets. I approached the baby bongo, shaking the shrubs, beating the ground with my sneakers. I wanted to appear like a fearsome creature, much more frightening than any creature she would wish to fight over fresh grass for. Frozen in her tracks, a glob of green hanging from the side of her mouth she eyed me. Two ears pricked forward to me. We waited, her and me. Who would make the first move? Who would run for cover? Whose courage could hold
strong? Like a coil of movement her body jutted down, then up, twisting in midair like a cat pouncing after a bird. The frightened bongo leaped through the air and vaulted over the highest rail of the exhibit. Her back legs let of the sound of sparks as they grazed the fencing wire. Two legs hit the ground. First the front, then the singed back. The baby sprinted, to where she did not know, but just running was freeing enough. The zebras stampeded out of her way. The large male looking at me with pinned ears. Back to the top of the railing I scrambled. The search for footholds was much more difficult going up then down. Halfway to the top I met with the cheers of a thirsty crowd. Two weight lifters spirited my suddenly tired body over the railing and planted me on the artificial terra-firma. I smiled, waved and bowed to the accolades and picked up my radio in triumph. “The baby’s back in.” I said. The smile was hard to hide. “Oh, she go back on her own?” “Nope,” I beamed. “I did just as you said!” There was silence, or the white noise equivalent of it. Then suddenly my boss was laughing. I did not get the joke. “What are you talking about?” “You told me to put her back.” I replied. Suddenly I felt very hot, flushed. “Yeah, funny wasn’t it. You didn’t believe that did you?” Uh oh. “I…” I lost my words, unable to form a correct response. “Really, did she go back? We’ll call off the zookeepers.” I didn’t hear my boss any longer. I stared out over the field. That blasted baby bongo sitting there licking her wounds. I saw the John Deer Gator parked in the distance harboring two keepers intent on rounding up the beast. They were just sitting there. Watching the whole time. Darn that bongo. I said to myself. Darn it, darn it,
darn it! I knew my feat would not go unnoticed. How could it with so much evidence? No doubt the keepers themselves saw the whole event unfold. What I did was against regulations. It was against the insurance waivers, my age, my rank, and every other law they could come up with. I would be fired. I would be kicked out of the zoo. I could never return. I would never work with the animals. All because of the blasted baby bongo. Then why did the keepers just stand there and watch it all? Why didn’t they intervene? Time seemed to speed up all at once. I was serving my drinks. Ashamed of my act. Ashamed I had dared think myself good enough to return the bongo. I waited for the reprimand. With lamentation I came to the end of the day. I knew what would happen to me. I’d seen it all before. First with a visitor who decided to jump in with the ducks. They were bounced immediately, never to return. Then my coworker racing back and forth around a cage, enticing the tiger to pounce. He was fired three weeks ago. As I pushed my drink stand back to the café, I passed the many green-shirted keepers that had been my idols. Until this day of the bongo, that is. I looked down in shame, not wanting my official discharge before it was due. I never got so far as the front gate before a keeper appeared at my elbow. I was forced to stop. “Not bad.” The voice said. I looked up, trying to distinguish a face, but unable. My mind was too full to comprehend his features. “Bongo tamer.” He finished. Then was gone. I tried to watch him leave, tried to understand who he was. But nothing came. Bongo Tamer, he said. Bongo Tamer. I wondered how many class-lines I crossed. I wondered what the French word for bongo was. I think it’s just bongo.
Eff this Helipad! Daniel Sanchez I saw you in the waiting room at the hospital, a stroke of fate, maybeyou were so quiet, so ghostly, and your dress was covered in dead flowersthe same pattern as on the walls. You were as still and still-life as the ferns waiting around you. But still, I saw you, because as quiet as you were, still as a birdhouse on Christmas Eve, I could still hear your firestarter heart, buried, but giving the middle finger to “still” and pounding away under your floorboard skin like you were a drum set. So why pretend you’re an earth girl? Why pretend you’re a fern? Why pretend you need to live your life with your feet already buried in the dirt? You’re no winter, miss. You’ve got that spring fireyou’re a sunflower watered by the promise of waking up each day. You’re an air girl- I can feel it. So be like me- a helicopter trapped in a human body. When I get going, I know how to be LOUD, and when everyone with ears can hear my heartbeat, that’s when I’m really flying. And you? You could join me.
We could start a dynasty in the sky. We could be loud and fly together, we could be a volume beyond the reach of numbers, we could make The Bloop sound like mute, and we could really soar! So let’s tear the duct tape off of our hearts, let’s take out the thumbtacks piercing our propellers and clipping us onto a corkboard called courtesy because we could be so LOUD, girl. We could be sex before walls were ever built, before there was ever any reason to stay quiet and concealed. Now, being airborne could be dangerous. That’s why we met in the hospital, it’s why I’ve got this bandage on my head. But you couldn’t get more ghostly, girl. And hey, maybe the next window I jump out of will be the right one, then everyone will know I’m the king of the helicopters, everyone will know I can fly! So what do you say, girl? Do you wanna fly out of that waiting room? Do you wanna be the loudest queen this world’s ever seen? Do you wanna shatter all the glass ceilings? Do you wanna be a helicopter with me?
I am Jessica Tewell I am from beer cans, from cigarette butts and Ajax cleaner. I am from a field of wild sunflowers replaced by concrete, and the dogwood tree where I turned my skin into a tree house. I am from the taunts “Leash Kid! Leash Kid!’ Fugitive from the leash my mother made me wear, I am from being chased by strangers. I am from the fistful hair I left across that parking lot, the blood and skin I left scraped across the cement. I am from the tooth I abandoned in cross walk. I am from the swing set I never reached. I am from a long line of people known for trouble. I am descended from blood feud holders, horse thieves, gamblers and holy war raisers. I am from a last name anglicized into ‘dick’ instead of ‘devil’. I am from running, a family escaping every place they’ve called home. From the torches and pitchforks in a genetic rear view mirror, I am from wandering. I call everywhere home and live with strangers I call mom and dad. Transient by nature I belong more the roads then I ever did to my bedroom. Leaving must run in my blood. I am from ashes where I’ve burned memories
of backseats and no escapes I am from underage drinking, pregnancy scares and not coming home for days. I am from screaming matches with ghosts. From knowing I am the only one ever listening. From you turning the radio up because I will always be less important than your favorite song. I am from the rock bottom of being your greatest disappointment. I am from knowing someday you will be mine.
I love you Daddy Jessica Tewell When I escaped into the night like a thief I stole nothing. Took only what was mine, took only the things I thought I needed. I’ve always traveled light and it isn’t that I wanted to leave you behind Dad You made your choice long ago and I’m not in the business of thievery. Who you love has never been a secret. While we may share genes and family plan that doesn’t equal love. And we both know you don’t make empty threats. You told me to leave and I left.
Emotions and Men Jessica Tewell Like a pitcher plant adept at swallowing whole and digesting
“Untitled” by Agnes Fisher 37
“Untiled” by Kaeyatu Harris
“Dance of the Wind” by Olesya Sentypal 38
“Bromeliad Flower” by Bob Benner
“Post Sandy Stairs” by Elinor Mattern 39
“And then...” Elinor Mattern
“Untiled” by Kaeyatu Harris
“Untiled” by Kaeyatu Harris
“Mordor” by Elinor Mattern 41
“Tiny Wonder“ by Lisa Apel-Gendron
“October Morning” by Bob Benner 42
“Venetian Alley”by Mike Stirm
“Spider Web” by Lisa Apel-Gendron 43
Anthea John A. Guttschall He never used to drink coffee or cared about tossing cigarette butts on the ground But now, touching an empty mold of body in the bed leaves his phantom limb aglow And when Cooke sang “A change is gonna’ come...” He knew Sammy meant it, (but this is ridiculous) He wasn’t an organic man or cared much for well-done home fries Though now, he shaves his face with shredded card stock once folded into paper cranes Only realizing the extent of isolation’s bony fingers swatting when he left the shower with no one (to dry his back)
Lily Robert Dulaney She was covered in axle grease. I was mostly concerned about microwaved appetizers. I mean, I touched her face. I told her that she would be okay, Eventually. I saw her looking at me through the window; Her eyes, struggling to support the weight of her inhibited eyelids. She was hungry, too. I excused myself to the bathroom. She could see right through me; an apparition. My needs as transparent her own. Before we left the restaurant, I looked for her in bushes. Sucking at the back of my teeth, I tried to make a sound that she would understand to mean â€œWe are the same.â€?
Mama Geraldine Jasmine Allen “Good morning Geraldine. Ya didn’t eat ya breakfast today.” She neva eats her breakfast. I call her Geraldine cause she doesn’t like for me to call her mama anymore, says she doesn’t have kids. “I ain’t hungry. I don’t trust the chef,” she said cutting her eye at me. I swear that woman thinks I’m out to get her. She sits in the same burgundy chair that has golden roses stitched throughout it. It doesn’t fit the rest of the house though; my papa bought it a long time ago from a yard sale. Mama was not the one to use “second hand things” but my papa saw somethin special about that chair. He said it reminded him of somethin he saw in a movie with his mama so he bought it. I remember when he bought it home, mama had a fit. She told him that she ain’t neva lived like no second class citizen and she sure as hell wasn’t gonna start today. She made him sleep on that chair too. Nowadays I can’t get her to sit anywhere else. She sits in that chair and stares at the blank TV until I put somethin on. I walked over to the TV to turn it on. I hate for her to stare at the blank TV, just wasn’t normal. “Girl! Come here and look at this.” I sighed. “My name is Jessie”.
She gave me a look like she was piecin somethin together. “Jessie?” she said, “That’s my daughter’s name! She gonna come see me soon.” I got tired of explainin to her who I was. So I just let her tell this big story of how her “daughter” Jessie and I have the same name and how I even got the same long dark brown hair as her and that her Jessie wears her hair in the same long braid like mine. She even tells me that
I favor her daughter, but of course her daughter was prettier. And I just say “it’s a small town we live in” and take away her untouched food and bring her coffee and a butter roll. She gets so excited talking about me—Jessie-- that she forgets that I’m her “chef” and she drinks her coffee, black with 2 ½ tea spoons of pure sugar cane, and eats her butter roll, toasted very lightly so light you’d think it was just warmed instead of toasted. I don’t bring her coffee and butter roll out until after the “Jessie” story. The rest of the day could either be a good day or a bad day. Sometimes she can make it to the bathroom by herself and sometimes she can’t. Sometimes she’ll catch me sleepin and decide to take a walk by herself. After I wake up, I’d find her in the backyard. She’d be scared, thinkin she was lost. Sometimes she’ll watch TV all day. After she had her coffee and butter roll and Jessie talk, she was unpredictable. I just loved her regardless. This particular day wasn’t a good one. She just wasn’t her best. After I gave her medicine, I laid her pajamas out on the bed for her. “Ya want me to help ya Geraldine?” “No I don’t need nobody’s help! I can do it by myself!” “Ok.” I turned to walk away. “Jessie?” I turned back around. Besides her comparing me to her Jessie, she hasn’t called me by my name in 5 years. “Yes Mama.” “Am I gonna be ok?” This wasn’t normal for her to say. I didn’t know what to say back to her. She was starin at me so I had to say somethin. “Yea.” I said with confidence. “Imma take care of you mama.”
“Ok.—maybe you can meet my daughter tomorrow.” She said as she finished dressing herself. “Maybe” I said as I walked away. I went to my room and crack the door. Then I sat on the edge of my bed and cried.
The Sweetness of Dreams Jill Richman-Heller I see dead people, not in the cinematic sense. They come to me in dreams. I welcome their warmth. My mother will always be young, my grandparents wrinkled and worn. I long for their visits but cannot control them. They do not appear by wish or worry. You cannot schedule Earl Gray with a ghost. It started when I was thirteen, with palpable pain. I do not know if it was brain activity like snapping synapses, or dishes like black beans and brown rice. What confused me as a child is now a wistful longing for blithe beauty.
The Minister of Cats Rich Russell In a housing development, the boy ﬁnds a podium left for trash; drags it from the curb into a spare cul de sac; declares, “I am minister of cats; arrived in knitted cap to tell you what to expect from it.” Neighbor beasts amass, incl. 1 confused toddler & a raccoon. The congregation yawns & begins to scratch itself. There are naps to be had, after all. ––What now? The toddler licks the raccoon, which claws at its face. Curtains close & doors lock. The toddler runs back into the woods. 50
The minister raises a hand, then, beginning to purr. Stretching their necks to hear the lavender affirmation; â€œWhat we thought were fireflies were just 2 flickering Christmas lights; the flood, a leaky air conditioner; the locusts, some gummy worms. That smell you smell is not incense, kittens.â€? Absorbing it all: the furry little sponges, their marble eyes glitter in the godless night. They roll over on their backs w/ it; yearning.
Eye Opener Eden Atty The sky as blue as the Caribbean Ocean The grass as green as broccoli The flowers blooming in the gentle breeze The sweet songs of the birds in the trees We go through life without noticing the mini things
The Downpour Stephanie Vannello Julyâ€™s downpour trapped us in metal on wheels, without a working engine. Street lamps lit the dashboard as the tired town went to sleep. Lonely lights burned in homes and storefronts closed their eyes from a hard dayâ€™s work. The rapid rain tossed itself on the roof, creating a deafening sound to sting our soaked ears. Miniature oceans surrounded the rubber, and submerged the vehicle in the deep, dark street.
JAIAN AND THE GHOST Joel Ollander Our extended family’s five-day visit to Rome was coming to a close in the heat of a mid-August morning in Italy. We packed our belongings, loaded them into a huge mini-van, and set off for the next stop on our three week vacation… Tuscany. Upon our arrival in that pastoral setting, we were met and welcomed by the charming and sophisticated Contessa Diana Coda, wife of Conte Nunziante, landlord of Castello di Montalto, our home for the next several days. She imparted information about the abode and the rules for its guests, concluding with an admonition about the ghost and the spirit of its original owner, an apparition that has haunted the 12th Century structure for more than 800 years. “The count who built this beautiful castle and compound was quite a ladies man. Despite being wed to a beautiful woman, he engaged in many ‘extra-curricular activities,’ sometime right here at home where his wife was sure to notice,” she told us. “One day, the distraught and embarrassed lady was driven to separate her husband’s head from his shoulders with the help of a very sharp meat cleaver. Unfortunately, the bloody Lothario’s headless, ghost-like body and ugly spirit continue to be seen and heard on some nights, moaning and floating through the building. So please take care,” the Contessa advised. She then handed us a large key to unlock the heavy wooden front door of the castle…and bid us farewell with a radiant smile and lilting Ciao.
The tale of ‘the ghost of owner past’ was viewed as pure Montepulciano (1) folklore by the five adult members of our
little traveling band, and not to be taken literally. But to my eight year old grandson Craig and his friend Jaian (pronounced Jay-on), this was very serious business, indeed. So, while we older folks smiled and shot knowing glances at each other, the boys were quiet, downcast, and kicked nervously at the gravel driveway. To divert their attention, I put my arms around them and said, “Let’s take a walk around the area before we unpack.” The estate was situated in the town of Castelnuevo Berardenga. It consisted of several buildings composed of stone and hard, sturdy wood, some with colorful stained glass windows and solid oak doors. Built on a 1,900 foot high bluff, it overlooked a valley teeming with huge yellow sunflowers and tall, stately cypress trees. The landscape was a sight to behold, as it shimmered in the blazing afternoon sun. The twelve acre site also included a deep, cool lake holding carp and catfish, a series of walking paths among and between the various buildings, and – in a nod to modernity and tourism - a large swimming pool and an asphalt surfaced tennis court, both well maintained by the resident groundskeepers. The interior of the castle featured three bedrooms of varying sizes on the second floor; a living room, dining area and a kitchen with room for a breakfast nook on the ground floor; along with a pantry and laundry facility abutting the kitchen. The tower of the castle served as a small fourth bedroom. The living room was quite large with a series of French doors that opened on to a patio at the rear of the building. It contained a huge fireplace, two sofas and three oversized chairs, and an upright piano. The walls of this comfortable sitting area were decorated with a series of dark-framed paintings of dwarfs, a popular artistic subject among the wealthy in twelfth century Europe. 55
Craig and Jaian were best friends, classmates and neighbors in San Francisco, sharing experiences in their young lives as only eight year old boys can do. There were many similarities: they were smart and inquisitive, mischievous, athletic, and full of life. Physically, there was a significant contrast: Craig was blonde and fair; Jaian was dark with black hair, reflecting his Jamaican ancestry. The two youngsters were assigned the small, tower bedroom. It stood atop an extremely narrow stone staircase. It was, we subsequently learned, the room to which members of the original family could retreat in the event of an attack by marauding bandits or soldiers from a warring principality. The narrow staircase would permit access to just one intruder at a time, thus making a successful defense more likely. On the fifth day of our stay, Craig, Jaian and I went fishing at the lake on the estate, each of us catching several catfish. I later watched as the boys played tennis, and then joined them for a lengthy, most refreshing swim in the beautiful tiled swimming pool. We had a fun-filled afternoon. That evening, tired from the afternoon sunshine and physical exercise, I opted to remain at the castle with the boys while the other four adults drove to Siena for dinner. There was some material that I was looking forward to reading, and so a quiet evening at home seemed just the right thing. As soon as Craig and Jaian went off to bed, I put away the left-overs from our dinner, washed the dishes, and sat down in a comfortable arm chair with my book and some cheese to snack on. Ah, great joy and quietude at long last. But no sooner did I get settled then I heard bare feet sla ping against the stone steps leading to the tower. The boys, in full panic mode, burst into the living room. They were wearing their pajama bottoms, and no tops. It was, after all, Italy in August in an 800-year old castle that had no air conditioning. 56
“We just saw the ghost and heard the spirit near our room. The ghost looked like it was floating just below the ceiling, getting ready to attack us,” Craig declared in a shaking voice. “And it was moaning real loud!” “Are you sure about what you saw,” I asked, reluctantly putting down the book I had just begun to read, “or were you dreaming?” “No, no way! We saw and heard it just now,” Jaian exclaimed, hands trembling and lips quivering. “And didn’t the lady tell us about that ghost that lives here? She owns the house, so she ought to know.” “Yeah, it was white and thin, like a bed sheet…and ten feet long,” Craig continued breathlessly. “No, it was twenty feet long,” Jaian exclaimed, swaying back and forth as he spoke, “and it’s gonna kill us!” “And that moaning sound you heard, could that have come from outside, below your window, like the sound of that wild boar (2) we heard a few nights ago?” I asked. “It wasn’t any wild animal…it was the spirit,” Craig stated emphatically. No matter how hard I tried, I could not convince Craig and Jaian not to be concerned with whatever it was that they thought they saw and heard. They knew the ghost and spirit were about to inflict serious harm, and they begged for assistance in fighting their nemesis: their ‘ghost’ wouldn’t go away; their ‘spirit’ was out for blood; they were near tears; and clearly scared to death. Now how should an adult – a grandfather, no less – respond? I decided to switch tactics and address their fears, rather than to try to prove there were no such things as ghosts or spirits. I acted very calm but clearly concerned. Then cut
a piece of the provolone cheese I was munching on, offered some to the boys who refused it with vigorous shaking heads, and told them, “I’ve never seen a ghost. But I’ve read that they’re able to float near the ceiling because they’re lighter than air. They fly something like the way a kite does. If we can make a ghost heavier than air then it can’t float and won’t be able to harm anyone.” “Yeah, but how are we gonna do that?” asked Jaian. “And remember, Chief, (3) there’s also the spirit that moans,” said Craig. “Stay here while I check out some stuff in the kitchen that might be helpful,” I said, smiling at the nickname that grandson Craig bestowed on me when he was four years old. Truth be told, I was going strictly on instinct, and had no real idea of how to counteract a ghost or a spirit. (But we must get the kids to sleep, right?) So I rummaged through the few utensils, pots, shakers etc. offered by the castle’s kitchen Sure enough, there were two anti-ghost/spirit defensive weapons available. “I found some great weapons to use on the ghost and the spirit,” I said, returning from the kitchen with as much bravado and assurance as my voice could muster. “Jaian, you’re in charge of fighting the ghost. So, here’s a big pepper grinder. Always keep it in your hand. When you see the ghost, start grinding out the pepper as fast as you can, and make sure it falls on his tail. That’ll weigh him down, and will force Mr. Ghost to leave your room.” “Hey, that’s neat. I’m gonna shoot that sucker with a ton of pepper!” Jaian rejoiced.
“Craig, you get to defeat the spirit…and that’s gonna be a real tough fight. So, here’s a large-handled scrub brush.
Spirits hate to be clean, so if one even sees that brush, it will flee in terror. But remember, you must keep it close by and in plain sight at all times, ready to be seen by Sir Spirit,” I instructed. To conclude the plan of defense, and to hasten their trip to dreamland by reducing their anxiety over the apparitions, I tried some ‘reverse psychology.’ “When you go back upstairs, I want you to get into bed, keep the lights on, hold on tightly to the pepper grinder and the scrub brush, and keep your eyes peeled for the bad guys. Try to stay fully awake. OK?” “OK, Chief,” they yelled as they began running up the narrow steps, clutching their new found weapons, convinced that they could now win the war against their other-worldly tormentors. After fifteen minutes of silence from the upper reaches, I returned with a deep sigh to my book and the cheese snack. An hour or so thereafter my solitude was interrupted by the return of the family members from their dinner in Siena. “How are the boys,” they asked? “Fine,” I said, “they’re upstairs sleeping…or at least not making noise.” They all trooped up the narrow staircase, one at a time, and returned shortly with the following report: “The lights in the room are blazing, but the kids are fast asleep - one clutching a pepper grinder and the other with a scrub brush clasped in his uplifted right arm and hand. And, there seemed to be some pepper scattered on their beds and the floor. So, what the hell happened?” they asked. -------------------(1) Montepulciano – a popular tourist destination near the town of Castelnuevo Beradenga - lies seventy-five miles north of Rome and forty miles south of Florence, in south central Tuscany. It was established in the 3rd Century AD,
and became an important and influential venue during the Renaissance when it was frequently at war with neighboring Siena for local supremacy. Now it is a small, quiet, delightful community best known for the wine produced from its Vino Nobile grape, considered among the best in Italy. (2) The many wild boars found in Tuscany are of the subspecies sus scofa majori, known to grow as large as 330 pounds. The animal is the symbol of the city of Milan, Italy. In the United States, these wild boars are generally referred to as Razorbacks. (3) Grandson Craig--now 28 years old--is working toward attaining the Navy’s third highest non-commissioned officer rank--Chief Petty Officer--after just four years of serving and protecting our nation aboard the U.S.S. Maryland, a nuclear-powered, trident-missile firing, Ohio class submarine. Soon I’ll be calling him ‘Chief’!
Hummus Helen Cooke and balsamic on field greens She tastes cardboard She munches anyway nutrition matters Yesterday a hawk flew low, a surprised squirrel in its claws, reminding her of the beast that swooped in to steal her taste buds Waterâ€™s undrinkable, though lemon helps, lattes are wasted Some flavors cut through: cole slaw, gazpacho, vanilla shake Once she drove to Desserts by Design and devoured a key lime tart in four bites she was transported Her taste buds will revive next week, just in time for the next chemo treatment
The Alcoholic Melody Riddle 1. The start My parents were never abusers not of drugs and alcohol not of substances or life. My parents were not abusers, but abusive. My father never hesitated to remind me that we were not worth any more than the dirt under his shoes. He reminded me of my place when he took my step brother on an all-expenses paid vacation but had not invited my brother or me. He refers to my step brother as his son. I am his â€œother childâ€? Valued less for I am not or ever shall be enough.
She reminds me this while Regurgitating what she hears from Fox News. I am destroying her country and her home. Can I baby sit tomorrow? My good grades are a waste of time and money. My forty hour work week is laziness. I am incapable of pleasing her. After a school dance gone horrible my father, in an attempt to console me, told me the story about a boy in middle school. Who was tiny, small enough to fit into a locker My dad frequently locked him in It was all in good fun.
The boy killed himself in highschool As adults my parents could not My mother is fond of telling me understand that I am incapable Why he did that. It was all just a of intelligent, independent game, they thought, would say. that I have been brainwashed by Just a game. the liberal soaked media. 62
2. The Middle Years. At ten I confided in a school counselor. The gouges in my nose and cheeks the skin ripped from my lips, the hairlessness of my face were all what kept me and the knife in the block from having a tete-a-tete
Rumor had it that the river Runs up. The counselor called my mother. This was serious. I needed help. She would recommend a doctor. Enroll me in group sessions at the school with other children labeled troubled. My mother replied that it was all dramatics told the woman to mind her own business. Do not encourage my daughter’s behavior. She only wants attention.
I was running out of things to remove. My eyebrows and eyelashes had been torn by my fingernails from my skin. Lids of my eyes so swollen that I had to ice them before I could finish what I start- That day she picked me up from ed. school early. In the car she told me It was not enough. I can’t trust you I’m disappointed Preemptively I had shaved the Do you want to humiliate me? hair from my arms and legs. I was a bad daughter for disrupting her daily routine. My skullcap was next, now that the hair She dropped me off at home had been removed from my eyes sent my brother to stay and face. with my grandparents that night. There was no more skin to pick and pull She did not hide the cutlery my lips were prone to bleeding. she did not come home after work I said to her my arms were the last place I She left me alone. would pull. 63
4. The End.
Iâ€™m stupid enough to stand up after falling down three times.
The only light I see exist on the end table next to my bed.
I know that by the fourth time I will keep getting up, no matter how bad I want to just stay down. As stupid as it is, I still try to make lemonade. Although life has a bitchy way of giving me cherries when I need lemons I make do with what I have. And in making do, Iâ€™ve done well.
I had fallen asleep mid-chat with a friend who I would see tomorrow When realizing my lack of replies meant I had fallen asleep she wrote good night bby and went mobile. I leave my room for a moment, the house is cold. My mom says the cold makes you strong but she shares a bed with someone And I am all alone. I wrap my arms around my body and return to my bed, pondering What would happen if my lungs just stopped and I force myself to think of something else, afraid that my thoughts are strong enough to will my heart into a cessation.
I think about the day before, and the day
that has not yet come. I think about my brother And my sister. I think of my heart So loud in my chest. I wonder if I can will it to stop beating. I turn on my side, and watch the wall. It does nothing. My heart still beats. Mice are scurrying above my head, breeding. I turn off the light. There are more important things to be worried about. Things more powerful than my thoughts. I breathe in.
Dissembling/Disassembling Silence Elinor Mattern Finally everything stopped. The world and its sun. Where we wander. What’s new. And what it takes. Until you lost your way. And the woods. Everything became a world. A new one. In its stead. Its old way alone. Knowing. Away from God. A way God knows. And does. And goes. The way God goes away. And water. River ways. Between mountains. And later, a new village. Mamaronek. In fog. Your memory. Your family. The wear and tear. And hope. The woods and the way they were. Erasing. And why not? Gaining your religion. Like a stupid person stealing words. For no reason. And you never knew. Told no one. So, it’s about speaking, again. Or not. It’s always about speaking. Until it’s not. And then, an old one. With windows. And so you go to Larchmont again. Where you’ve never been. The train. A new track. Where your mother was born. Port Chester. Rye. You didn’t tell your daughter enough stories. Books, yes. Every day. Every night. But stories of her, of you, grandmothers and cousins. Not enough. Who knew there were so many boats on the sea in January? So many people working on water. It’s always green when it’s not blue.
Editors and Staff Biographies Erica Villani is the oldest of three, enjoys writing poetry and various forms of short fiction. Turning 21 was exciting, and she shall be 22 July 1st. Her favorite things are reading, ruling over the peasants, and managing her tumblr blogs. She’s been known to milk fake cows. She hopes you enjoy the magazine as much as she enjoyed putting it together. Isaac Zumwalt is a 16-year-old computer programming major, an English tutor, an author, and a super-villain. Cheryl Werner is a communications major studying journalism, and her inspiration came from Professor Keith Forrest. A thought from Cheryl: Life is not meant to be perfect, without hardships one would never know true achievement... Nicole Agosto is the youngest of seven and has jumped around so many positions in rewrites that she should be given a medal for the long jump. She enjoys reading, writing, video games and cats. Chel-lei Twyman is the rewrites secretary and has been writing since the fifth grade. She enjoys writing about romance and trying to get the audience to understand life her shoes. Her favorite genre of writing is poetry. She believes that through writing she is understood, if her audience deeply reads. She is waiting patiently to be published. Brian Edmiston is 18 years of age. He goes to ACCC and currently works at The Home Depot. Besides spending time with friends and learning about the “adult world” he enjoys to write and plans on continuing to write until his hands break. Then he’ll learn to write with his tongue.
Barry Edwards is charismatic, fun, and energetic. He loves reading and watching a good movie. Not only does Barry love
Disney, but he has been accepted to the Disney College program (not an easy thing.) He asks the reader to remember this, if nothing else, “difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week” along with “Keep moving forward.” Kaitlyn Feldbauer has a strange affinity for people. She’s a psychology major, likes law, human physiology, art, different cultures, controversial parts of history, music, and literature. She is likely spending her afternoons in the library, or loitering outside of it. Jacob Hillmann is a 19-year-old student, gamer, reader, and thinker. Josh Hillman is a 21-year-old arts student who dreams of making the world beautiful, effective, and efficient. Remember to support his bid for President in about 20 years time. Steven Johnson would like to say that working with rewrites was a wonderful experience. He’s enjoyed reading the many works by the students at ACCC for the past couple years. He hopes the submissions never stop coming in and the writing is better than the last. Tempest Rose is a violent storm or disturbance and a prickly-stemmed, pinnate-leaved, showy-flower. She spends her days as an overachieving student and her nights attempting to tame an adorable monster toddler. She aspires to be a high school English teacher, political speech writer, college professor, the Secretary of Education, and an extremely successful writer. Oh, and the President of the United States. She loves The Backstreet Boys, Axl Rose, salt and pepper shakers, and pens. She hates water and wouldn’t shower if it wasn’t necessary (but it is, so she does). Jessica Tewell only exists in the reactions of other people. A project about this is forthcoming. Lauren Fonseca is an adjunct for the English department.
She is a fan of the Higgs Boson, the Curiosity rover, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Rich Russell teaches composition, literature, and creative writing classes as an assistant professor here at Atlantic Cape. He is a member of the South Jersey Poets Collective and the Great Bay Gallery Poets in Somers Point. meghan o’donnell is in the middle of her second semester as an adjunct instructor at atlantic cape. she appreciates good design (‘when both beauty and usability are in balance’ – d.norman), experimental photography, and poetry. she dislikes titles (too definitive) and capital letters (too loud). her creative goal is to explore the space between dreams and reality through the relationship between art and text.
Contributor Biographies Lisa Apel-Gendron wants to be a writer and photographer when she grows up. Until then, she loves working at the Cape May County Campus and exploring Mother Nature’s wonders on campus and in her own back yard. . .literally. Helen Cooke lives in Haddon Heights, NJ with her partner, two dogs, and two cats. At midlife, she is embracing creative writing. Helen is in awe of both the talent and generosity within the local writing community and is inspired by Howard Thurman’s directive: “Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Alexa Custodio from EHT is 22 years old. She’s majoring in Communication and Creative Writing. Carole Dieterly is an ACCC alumni. Now a student at St. George’s University of Veterinary Medicine, she spends more time studying the pharmacodynamics of amphetamines than working on her creative writing. A story-teller at heart, her work is inspired by those she surrounds herself by, whether they have two, three, or four legs. Robert Dulaney is the author of knitxcore.com. His first book The Knitster will be published by Hardie Grant Books this Fall. Agnes Fisher was born in the Netherlands, raised in New Jersey. Her paintings are signed with her Dutch name, “Akke”. She designs her own book covers. Ms. Fisher graduated from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan with a major in English and minor in Art. She has taught both English and Art on the secondary level for many years, in Michigan, Indiana and New Jersey both in the public and private sectors. She has published two novels with a third in the series in the works. She has also published many po-
ems in small poetry journals. Daughters of Zion (poetry and paintings of women in the Bible) was published two years ago. At the present time Ms. Fisher teaches English at Atlantic Cape Community College. John Guttschall is a literature major here at ACCC. He was the first recipient of the Masto/Silvestro Family Educational Foundation’s Writer’s Award back in 2007, and is also one of the culprits responsible for the Coleslaw Adhesive zine. John spends his spare time touring in various musical projects, putting on shows in the area for national underground artists, and helps host an open mic event every Monday night in Atlantic City. Kaeyatu Harris is a current student at Atlantic Cape. She’s currently studying Studio Arts because she came to realize that it’s what she does best. Art has her heart. Its purity, passion, and at the end satisfaction of perfection. Jill Richman-Heller, a published author of prose and poetry, returned to college to better and broaden her writing skills. She has lived in Ohio, Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Jersey. Next stop...everywhere. Elinor Mattern teaches all kinds of writing at Atlantic Cape Community College and beyond. She sometimes requires her students to wear hats while writing poems, especially crowns!!! Joel Ollander states that life is ‘planned obsolescence’: we come into the world new and perfect; experience a lifetime of pleasure and pain; and then – as the sands of time run out – we exit, stage left. How wonderful to capture a pleasant memory to share with posterity. Thank you, Rewrites, from this seventy-seven year old ‘student’ of life.
Christa Planko currently teaches English Composition I as an adjunct instructor at Atlantic Cape. She also freelances as a writer/editor for the training industry and aspires to do
more creative writing of her own. She has overcome her fear of becoming a crazy cat lady upon realization that she already is…She lives with her 5 feline “mew-ses” whose antics inspire her daily, leaving lasting paw prints upon her heart (as well as her students’ papers). Melody Riddle is a pseudonym used by a student at Atlantic Cape Community College. She enjoys writing, talking, and most of all making friends. She thanks you for your continued support. Daniel Sanchez is a slam poet from New Jersey, and has competed in the 2012 National Poetry Slam on New Jersey’s own Loser Slam team (check them out!). His mostly-unused poetry blog, “Dog and Poetry Show”, can be found at http:// danielsanchezpoetry.tumblr.com/ OR on the first page of Google search results, which is a major point of pride for him. Other competitive hobbies of his include eating spicy foods and rock-paper-scissors, in which he has a very respectable win-loss ratio. Olesya Sentypal is currently practicing Fine Art. She is also an Art Teacher residing in New York City. Is an Alumna of the Atlantic Cape Community College, Rutgers University and finally her most beloved, Graduate School New York Academy of Art. She is a member of Salmagundi Art Club and a participant of multiple group exhibits and art shows including one at Sotheby’s (“Take Home a Nude” in 2010). Art is her love, life and a breath of living spirit in my essence. She loves people, cultural diversity, life, the vibrancy of color, flow of movement in composition as well as dramatic contrasts. She is also a proud single mother of three children one of whom is studying Classical Ballet professionally. Her life is full of change, contrasts and movement, like her art. Michael Stirm II. Has two degrees in English. He’s taught reading and writing courses and currently work as a Library Assistant. If he has any gifts, or an eye for things, it’s from
God and, in his work, he is just trying to capture scenes or feelings, that, for him, have evoked a deeper truth or sacredness. Stephanie Vannello is developing her writing, and exploring life at the pleasant age of twenty two. During her free time, she is modeling for Jersey Lit Photography and anticipating her graduation in May 2013. Throughout the summer and fall, Stephanie will be studying at Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Berklee College of Music.