gatherings FreeLancer Shawnee Mission East 2010 edition 2
Edition 2: Gatherings
Shawnee Mission East Literary Magazine 7500 Misison Road Shawnee Mission, KS 66208 firstname.lastname@example.org
From the bottom up We have torn down society And rebuilt it brick by brick Ink as our mortar Page as our stone No obstacles to block our path Let it rest on my shoulders My pen is full and poised The world is as blank as it will ever be And I think I’ll write something -- ‘Masons’ by Wil Kenney
Reunion pg 6
Table of Contents
Section Cover by Shauna Kenton Rain Dancers by Rachel Arnold Art by Paul Mackender
Only a Dream by Tessa Corazzin Art by Alyssa Jolitz
Untitled by Ford Miller Anglo-Saxon Riddle by Jayson Williamson Art by Rachel Arnold
Kansas by Katy Westhoff Art by Sarah King Time for Healing by Alex Moskowitz Art by Sarah King
Rave pg 18
Section Cover by Sarah King Aspirations by Nathan Goldman
Peace of Mind by Wil Kenney
Uncertainty by Rachel Arnold Art by Jamieson Edwards
Concert by Bob Martin Art by Paul Mackender
Mrs. Luke Holsinger by Jamieson Edwards z Art by Keshav Ramaswami
Gala pg 12
Section Cover by Rachel Arnold Wind by Grace Boehm Art by Paul Mackender
An Ode to Amy Bonds by Anonymous Art by Keshav Ramaswami
You Think by Mallory Fisher Art by Beth Capps
Confessions of a Shag Carpet by Jamieson Edwards Art by Kat Buchanan
Spoon Man by Brendan Dulohery Art by Rachel Arnold
Road Trip pg 27
Funeral pg 41
Section Cover by Paul Mackender
Section Cover by Rachel Arnold
Where am I? by Cap Welsh Art by Jamieson Edwards
The Comedian by Bob Martin Art by Rachel Arnold
Birds by Wil Kenney Art by Nathan Simpson
After the Battle by Caleb Hayden Art by Sarah King
No Title by Ford Miller Art by Amy Cosgrove
That Fur Coat by Brendan Dulohery Art by Duri Long
River's Edge by Libby Cloud Art by Amy Cosgrove
Sailing with Wind by Jordan Brown Art by Kat Buchanan
His Fingers Die by Ford Miller Earth by Tanner Williams Art by Rachel Arnold
Birches by Andrew Ryan Art by Rachel Arnold
The Present by Rachel Arnold Art by Nathan Simpson Untitled by Angela Clem
Art by Rachel Arnold
Bottle Cap Friend by Jamieson Edwards Art by Graham Stevenson
Tea Party pg 34
Section Cover by Duri Long The Movie Pitch by Riley Watson Art by Keshav Ramaswami
A Love Poem by Connor Creighton Art by Keshav Ramaswami
Ode to Horrace and Gertrude by Annie Haynes Art by Adrienne Morgan
Roy the Plumber by Jordan Brown Art by Sarah King
Sensical Nonsense by Lauren Erickson Art by Amy Bonds
A Poem for Shaggy by Connor Creighton Art by Sarah King
The FreeLancer is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Edition! Please send poems, illustrations, short stories, photographs, etc. to:
smefreelancer [at] gmail.com DISCLAIMER: This publication may contain controversial material and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Shawnee Mission East or its administration, nor of the FreeLancer staff (though we may wish otherwise).
Art by Paul Mackender
Rain Dancers Rachel Arnold
The stinging-sweet silence I lay alone and old and young dancers on the melodicrooftop hopscotch-racers wind-wild chasers reverberating violet red the sound of solitude in my head rushing clean the world in the rain of midnight
Art By Alyssa Jolitz
Only a Dream It is only a dream the moments when we walk hand in hand, when only we exist, the day we can see all eternity and the universe exactly how it is meant, times when were filled with infinite laughter. It is only a dream the moments when everything is calm, when there is only peace to be seen, the day that is cool but we only feel warm, times when life is blissfully endless. Is it only a dream?
Ford Miller I could just sit for a long time Content to do nothing Watch cars go by On the highway next door Watch the leaves try to bud Murdered by tomorrow's frost The children play The clouds move, shift, change
Anglo Saxon Riddle
End of the story Of my meaningless memoir From last Saturday When nothing special happened.
yR to b o h P
l rno el A
My mind is the sharpest, piercing the air, It makes the bravest men cry out in pain. Some find this surprising, for I usually sit silent, Only speaking when my body has been exposed. The manner my commander carries, determines my own, Yet I am always well tempered. Iâ€™ll faithfully follow my master, always at his side, But when needed, I can watch his back.
Riddle answer: a sword 9
Katy Westhoff Standing here, seeing the plains stretched across for miles and miles, Straight into the future, see straight into the past. a need for escape of this constant plane of time, where all is visible. it stretches so far, but not far enough: I want to know more about past and future, of the answers frantically, while terrified of whatâ€™s to come, of what is done. but with mountains abound, with mountains around thereâ€™s peace.
Time for Healing Alex Moskowitz
Take refuge in a novel Solace in a poem Relief in a song Distraction in all three Tire of them in a moment, or a year Leave time for healing Learn something new But when you wake up, and you will wake up Listen for your call Pick up your roots, Leave your books, your tools of distraction For the next tired soul Find your own song Whether you invent it or stumble upon it Do what feels right Face facts, and act Photo bySarah King
Grace Boehm I hurl to space A spiral of twists Flying through the air And suddenly Iâ€™m there Free as wind, Walk with me. Breeze through my mind, Let me see nuances tonight And gliding through cosmos, I pass light blue ice The color of his eyes Pick me up. I stride with my air stream In my wind there are secrets Catch a sound of it; What a beautiful silence.
Paul Mackender 13
An Ode To Amy Bonds How I love thee, Amy Bonds, With your chestnut hair, Your thick silky, beautiful mane. It defines our love affair. The way you look into my eyes, Before you punch my face, The way your skin moves against my own, I never want to leave this place. Amy, Amy, Amy, Is all that fills my head, As I watch you every night, When you get into bed. -Anonymous
s app C h Bet
Mallory Fisher You think you know what’s best for me, As if you know my fate. But you know no such thing, you see. And that is what I hate. You try to put words in my head. As if they were my own. But I won’t agree to what you’ve said. I’ll make my feelings known. 15
Confessions of a Shag Carpet Jamieson Edwards
My terrain harbors fleas and roaches Like the Middle Eastern mountains Harbor Osama Bin Laden. I cannot remember the last time That I got a good shampooing, And I grow ever larger as Scraps of food fall to their demise From atop the tables of Dastard's Diner. "Wow," you may exclaim, "A shag carpet does not seem ideal For fine eateries, or any eatery, For that matter;â€? And I must agree with you there. And believe me, It wasn't my brilliant idea. All the employees, myself included, Did there best to convince Mr. Dastard Not to put me on the floor. But Mr. Dastard was incorrigible. "It's the 70's," he said, from behind The authority of his handlebar mustache, "What other option do we have?"
photo by Kat Buchanan
Brendan Dulohery "I love spoons." So lovely are my spoons That vanquish all doom and gloom And liven up my bedroom Whats this? A new spoon? It fell from the sky! Maybe from the moon How lucky am I? To have continued my collection Now I stare at my reflection Distorted in the dip of my spoon So happy is this man With spoons a-plenty Who whispers so gently "I love spoons."
Aspirations Nathan Goldman The intersection is rife with them, tall girls in short skirts, shins bronzed by the sun, anklets glittering like electric billboards. On the drive to lunch, Mr. Mossotti tries not to stare at their thighs. If he were their age such an act would be considered flattering, but because he is forty-seven and these girls are maybe twenty-three, this is called ogling, not desire, and he is not love struck – he is a creep. But he always hits this light when it’s red, and because he cannot not look at them, he avoids the leg area. Instead, he reads the designer brand names on their shopping bags. Some days this takes the whole night; it depends on how long they’ve been out. Sometimes there is only a bag or two to a girl, and on these days Mr. Mossotti needs more reading material. Their faces. Faux natural, the sort of crafted look that makes romantics extol the times before makeup, because they’ve forgotten that this is not nature – nature is primordial and ugly. Their lips swell like just-ripe tomatoes. From their eyelids drips desire, shadow-black and beckoning. The car behind Mr. Mossotti shrieks like a distressed harpy. Mr. Mossotti reclaims his gaze and slams on the gas. At the restaurant Mr. Row has already ordered a plate of chili fries. While Mr. Mossotti drapes his suit jacket around his chair, Mr. Row deposits a cheesy fistful on Mr. Mossotti’s plate. “Or I’ll eat them all,” he explains. “Thanks.” Mr. Mossotti sits. He takes a bit of a fry, savors the grease. “Where’s the damn waiter,” says Mr. Row, though he shows no sign of searching. A pudgy index finger itches his engorged caterpillar of a mustache. “Told him you’d be right here.” “How did the merger go?” Mr. Mossotti asks, examining a new fry. 19
Mr. Row shrugs. “Fine, fine. Kept my salary, kept my coverage. We get new dental. Marge is thrilled. Hey, hey, that’s my water!” “Sorry,” Mr. Mossotti says. “I thought just the wine was yours.” “She’s gonna get those cavities filled right up now. So excited. Okay, stop me, stop me, you have the rest.” “I’m not that hungry, really.” “Yeah, yeah. We’ll get the waiter to box them up for you. Hey, there’s the guy. You! Tommy! Tony! Hey, yeah, we’re ready.” On the drive back to the office Mr. Mossotti has two doggy boxes in the passenger seat – one with the fries, the other with half his salmon filet – and they are both open. Back at that intersection, his intersection, the light is red again. Sometimes the girls are still there. But he has resolved not to look, so he keeps his focus insular, staring at the fries. He hears a tap on his window and hits his head on the car ceiling. Breathing frantically through his nostrils, he risks a glance. It’s one of them, young and blonde and apparently bent at the waist, ninety degrees. She smiles sheepishly. Mr. Mossotti rolls down his window. “Hi,” she says, see-sawing her shoulders, “thanks, is Park Street east or west?” She gestures each way with her bag. Mr. Mossotti doesn’t catch the name on it. “It’s east,” he says, and he regrets it. Park Street is east. And Mr. Mossotti wishes he had entertained the possibility of lying, not because he wants to lie, but because he wishes desperately he were the kind of person who would consider doing such a thing. Her lips stretch into a tightrope smile. “Thanks!” she says. But she doesn’t retreat immediately. Mr. Mossotti sees she is eyeing his chili fries. 20
Peace of Mind Wil Kenney
12:09 p.m. They call it pity, ha! I’d rather be burning in some dark hole surrounded by all the other “murderers” that they’ve sent away. I’d rather be stung by thousands of needles, sitting in a sterile room with only a generator as company. If even to be sent to solitude, to be thrown into white-washed walls, with only one toilet and less than a blanket over me, what a paradise. Here I sit, watching vases vibrate with the passing of cars. I paid my dues. Still they call it pity, ha! They say I am innocent because I shed no tears, not even a drop. Well perhaps there are more reasons; maybe I don’t regret… it. 12:31 p.m. The walls are closing in, slowly creeping when my back is turned, scraping along the tiled floor to snatch at my neck. These walls mean to strangle me. I set chairs against them all, to brace against their murderous grabs. Escaping to my bed I stare again at jiggling vases, ignoring the walls I know are stalking their way to sit behind me. When I turn, they slide back as silent as they had come, seemingly still, but I know otherwise. The chairs have betrayed me, they move to let the walls pass, dodging around like hellhounds, stopping in their tracks at my glance. 3:37 p.m. The phone rings in the kitchen. Do I dare pick it up? Is the phone allied with the devious walls? A woman’s voice leaves a message, something about a counselor. She is coming to sedate me, to feed me to the dogs. The vases on the shelves shake more violently now. They say things like, “for daddy”, and my eyes are wet, the vases have diseased me. I smash them. On the ground lies a glass shard of the vase, crinkling into the carpet as I walk past. “Daddy,” it reads. 4:17 p.m. Drawings float in paper, birds in my home, flapping their billowing wings that are pictures of trees and ballerinas. They sent me home. What home? I wanted no riches, I wanted no reputation, and all I wanted was a home, for me, for my girls. Now look, the burning sensation tears at my chest. Screeching fills my ears, the walls are closing in, I spin around. My fist is red, crunching against the floral paper that is glued to the wall. They gave me a house, to cure me, to fix me, and then they fill it with birds. I will never fix, these wings carry me too far away. 21
4:49 p.m. All hell has broken loose. My “home” is eating my fingers whole, strangling me quietly, slicing at my face and arms with flying knives. Screeching fills my ears, the chairs run circles around my stumbling feet, the paper cutting holes in my cheeks, the walls squeezing tighter and tighter. And then it stops. My doorbell rings, a mournful peal from an ancient house so unfamiliar to my ears. The fiends around me scurry into hiding places, soft creaks replace the screeches from moments before. Knocks follow another clang of the bell, muffled shouts filling my head with a new terror. Wiping sweat from my brow, the rattling of keys from the doorstep empties my mind. Soon the door swings inward and a long-heeled foot steps in, framed by the burning sun. An angel, blonde hair and almond eyes that saturates my heart with an immediate and dripping love enters my domain, keys in hand, fingers feeling for a light switch. I can hear the walls growl with envy, no longer are they the center of my existence, the focus of my struggles. “Mr. Anders, what is wrong with your hand?” she asks as she sees me. “Are you all right? I’m your new counselor by the way…” Her words mean nothing, they slide over my thoughts like slippery eels, falling to the ground with the shard of the vase, “daddy.” “What is this?” she says, seeing the mess at my feet. I look down guiltily to the pile of debris, the torn cushions, “You are under house arrest Mr. Anders, in fact, this is your first home, now why would you want to go and destroy it like that?” She is angry, her arms spread in a pleading way, searching for acknowledgement in my burning eyes. “Why am I not dead?” I croak, feeling my way towards her, ignoring the glass I step on underfoot. She backs up, eyes widening. “You are clinically insane, you killed your wife sir, don’t you remember? Now let’s sit down and talk it over, it’s only been a few days since the trial… don’t you remember?” I leap at her, grabbing her legs and tripping her, she lands on the glass. She screams, pushing and kicking. “Did I? Did I kill her? If I did, why am I not dead? Answer me!” My voice shakes with the last few words, her eyes are filled with tears. “I… don’t know…” she whimpers, her beautiful face is stained with makeup, her almond eyes reddening with panic. Suddenly I roar, feeling as if I was torn from my body. I see a man ripping the heel from a struggling woman’s foot and raising it into the air, hesitating like a viper waiting to strike. The man gasps and brings it down in bloody strikes. The killer’s eyes are red, his mouth foaming and face splattered with snot, saliva, and scarlet splotches. And then I am myself again, sucking in huge breaths, spinning my head around in an attempt to gain my bearings. I look down to find a heel, shining with wet spots. I realize that its blood. The world revolves; the 22
And then I am myself again, sucking in huge breaths, spinning my head around in an attempt to gain my bearings. I look down to find a heel, shining with wet spots. I realize that its blood. The world revolves; the chairs again sprint around me, taking glorious leaps over this unnamed woman’s still warm body. I grab her hands, clasping them to my chest, “where are my girls? They sent them away. I don’t want things, money, not even a reputation. You must understand that,” I clench her hand even tighter. “All I wanted was four walls for me, and my girls. Tell me why… why.” She lies silent, her quiet is mocking me, laughing at my confusion. The walls scream in my ears, the chairs run orbits around me, the paper birds diving at my throat. With a yell I drop her shoe, letting it fall next to the shard. “Daddy,” through the maelstrom I see my reflection as it looks back at me, but I see no mirror image, only the man that killed this poor woman. He is dirty, his nose wet and eyes stricken with tears. Roaring again, I dodge the demons that are trying to kill me, punching through paper and wooden seats, racing up the stairway. 9:00 p.m. The world is dark. I see the city laid out in front of me, like the woman, mocking me. While cars pass by below, my feet grip the eaves, my toes wrapped around the edge of the roof. The sky above is black, the stars all but gone, blotted out by the lights below. Red and blue beams flash in the streets below, and I see people pointing. My legs shake, swaying in the wind. Through the window behind me I hear the walls whispering and the patter of galloping chairs. Suddenly my legs grow confident. I can feel the silence already. My girls are waiting. Here I come. Mr. Ander’s Counsel Journal: Day 1 Two days after the trial. I am visiting the patient this afternoon. He apparently has shown signs of schizophrenia, yet during the trial he remained perfectly calm. The sentencing contained five years of house arrest with regular counseling and daily check-ins. The jury voted down the death penalty due to insanity, even though he pleaded guilty. When they announced the sentence he seemed, sad, almost disappointed. The family’s apartment was foreclosed on after he lost his job roughly a year ago. Testimonies from his extended family revealed that tensions had run high, and his wife had mentioned putting their children up for adoption, and he snapped. He murdered his wife by tying her to a chair and subsequently slitting her throat, all in front of their children, two girls. Later he turned himself in at the police station downtown, bringing the knife as evidence against him. Throughout his testimonies he constantly repeated, “my girls, where are my girls?” Our appointment is scheduled for later this afternoon. I can see hope in his future; one day he might just be with “his girls” again. 23
Rachel Arnold Amsterdam oh Amsterdam, Trains and foreign chaos An empty street A city block Running when they chase us Brooding corners with A shadow duly earned For secrets and For lies Forgotten whatâ€™s been learned.
Photo by Jamieson Edwards 24
Bob Martin Con The Lights The Show The Words The Flow The Beats The Rhyme The Sound The Time The Dance The Move The Feel The Groove Cert
Art by Paul Mackender 25
Ms. Luke Holsinger Jamieson Edwards
*DISCLAIMER: “Ms. Luke Holsinger” may contain material offensive to some readers. Reader’s discretion is advised. Characters named after my fellow students (Luke Holsinger and Robert Martin) are not intended to reflect the personalities of those whom they are named after. Permission has been given by each of the previously mentioned individuals to have their names used in this story. -- Ms. Luke Holsinger was a nearly retired, 69 year old First Grade teacher. She had gone through about seven husbands in the last ten years and her most recent one, Bob Martin, had recently perished in an Alzheimer’s induced blaze of glory: in other words, he stepped on one of the land mines that he had placed in front of his house to keep the damn kids off his lawn. Ms. Luke Holsinger enjoyed her job most of the time and she thought of herself as an excellent teacher. But, then again, it’s easy to think you’re doing a great job when you can’t remember the last time you taught your First Grade class sober. Needless to say, Ms. Luke Holsinger had some issues with alcohol. Contrary to Ms. Holsinger’s ideas about her job performance, her students thought she was, by far, the worst of the three teachers they had ever had. Ms. Holsinger’s classes usually went something like this: school started at 8:10 am. About ten or fifteen minutes later, Ms. Holsinger would stumble through the door. After slurring her way through the attendance and making up on-the-spot nicknames for her students ( Joey “Foster Care” Fernburg, Katie “Future Stripper” McNeil, Bobby “White Trash” Simpson), she would then move on to what she called “lessons.” Lessons were essentially Ms. Holsinger’s drunken rants in front of her class. Common lesson topics included JFK conspiracy theories, last night’s episode of Glenn Beck, why dinosaurs never existed speeches, and what symptoms to list for you psychiatrist to get prescriptions for Ms. Holsinger referred to as the “good s**t.” Ms. Luke Holsinger came very close to being fired one day when one of her students went home and asked his parents what “Goddamn Jews” were. I say “got extremely close” because, before the principal could actually utter the words, “You’re fired,” Ms. Luke Holsinger had a massive heart attack and died. The End...
Art by Keshav Ramaswami
Where am I?
Cap Welsh modeled after the works of e.e. cummings where am I? can I stay?
am I here?
Come here No here
Right here oh here Thank You
where? Yes here
Photo by Jamieson Edwards
Wil Kenney My mind wanders to unwanted Things but I refuse To float But every second floating Is another away from here Flying is only falling Up Prudent floating Birds are my passersby And they are the only ones Who know how to fly My dream might end abruptly Against the ground to dry But when I finally land My wanderings, will die
p hoto by Nathan Sim pson
Ford Miller pho
to b y
In a lot off the highway Sits a whale of a big blur near a lamp post, Scribbled into cracked pavement By you and me and us. And by them by now. In the back lays My favorite, Nostrils burnt. I am scared. Is that fear I smell? Is it? Poor dancer. Maybe she is lost, maybe. I cannot find her soul. Maybe I need to look harder, maybe.
Riverâ€™s Edge Libby Cloud
photo by Amy Cosgrove
As I walk along the rivers edge I notice a figure in the distance, the soft water curls around his ankles then moves along its never ending travels through the earth. He examines the small life beneath him and watches it as it develops right in front of him. He stands in a position that can only be interpreted as protective towards this microscopic habitat. Simultaneously his face is caring, calm, and loving. There is a tense pause as though he is beginning to realize he is not alone. With one gliding movement he glances over to me and gives me at first skeptical eyes and then the smallest smile that is a permit to be there, that he is aware that I am present, and welcome, if my intentions are the equal to his. He doesnâ€™t own this land but cherishes it as his own. He seems to gradually realize that I am there for the same reasons as he; to observe, and to embrace the minute system of life before us. He has not moved but once, so I was surprised when he disturbed the silence to bend over and gently pick up an undersized animal; it seems to be a turtle. He raised the animal to his face and told it something, like some sort of secret, he said it so quietly and to the rhythmic rush of the river that it was as if he had said nothing at all. He bent back down and put the turtle back into the strong waters where it sped off. He swam right by me at a lightning speed as I watched the animal disappear in to deeper waters. I turned back around to see what he would do next, but he was gone.
Sailing with Wind Jordan Brown
Looking out over the vast blue sea Wonder whatâ€™s below Let only the wind carry you See where you will go Hear the faded whispers As they peacefully caress your sail
photo by Kat Buchanan
Listen to their stories, Carry on their tale
photo by Rachel Arnold
Andrew Ryan “When I see the Birches bend left to right* Across the lines of straighter darker trees”* I notice the morphing colors of the falling leaves As I walk through these woods with instrenuous ease. Wandering now, with no defiance Side by side with lonesome giants In this palce the seasons don’t change Cluttered with life, like an age-filled range I suddenly notice an outlier here There are no insects, birds or deer A feeling of tranquility with the absence of fear But my goal is close, my objective is near I can feel in my body, my thoughts, my mind This place of peace is one of a kind What am I looking for? What am I to find? Then I wake up, it was all in my mind. *lines taken from “Birches” by Robert Frost
A Love Poem
Connor Creighton Oh, I remember the first time we met I was so nervous, my head drenched with sweat I saw you there, while standing in line And knew for a fact you would soon be mine Up at the front, warmed by your presence I remember the feeling: the feeling was pleasant I remember the words... a dollar fifty And I paid and picked you up; so, so swiftly It was then that I knew it was destined to be Even if this love was with a cookie So this ones for you, Otis Spunkmeyer My love for you is like a raging fire
Art by Keshav Ramaswami
The Movie Pitch Riley Watson
First of all, I would like to say thank you, sir, for letting me see you today; your sweater looks great on you. You look like Mr. Rogers. Ha ha, just kidding. (awkward silence) Anyway, what’s the first that’s an instant cash-in in this business? Sequels. I know just the franchise to keep rackin’ in the dough: Crank. Now, before you force me out of your office hear me out. Crank 3: Gear Shift. You see, Jason Statham gets his soul taken out of his body by the crazy Asian overlords from the last movie and put into the body of an old, beat up Camero. Then it’s up to him and his drugged-out doctor friend driving around LA, leaving a big path of destruction in the way. Budget would be about 100 million dollars for stunt work. What do ya think? No? Alright I got another for you. Mash ups are all the rage these days. Alien Vs Predator: Amazing. Freddy Vs Jason made me change the ways I see movies. Now how about this....Blade Vs Twilight. I mean, vampires are all the rage these days. We gotta cash in NOW. Look at it this way: you got your Blade fans that would love to see Blade wear a fur coat made out of Jacob. But then you have your Twilight fans crying and yelling at Edward to keep fighting the long fight. Sure, with legal fees we would have trouble getting the companies to agree to such a concept, but if we spell the names B-L-A-I-D and T-W-Y-L-I-T-E, then we wont have any trouble... Too ridiculous? I can go all day with these, don’t worry... (Huge bald guy with a goatee walks in) Wait, why is the security guard here... NO! NO DON’T KICK ME OUT YET YOU DIDN’T HEAR MY TYLER PERRY IDEA! ITS MEDEA GOES TO SPPPPAAACCCEEEEE!
Art by Keshav Ramaswami
Ode to Horrace and Gertrude Annie Haynes
Oh, Horrace and Gertrude, too soon were you taken, He thought you were trash, but he was mistaken, I walked in the pet shop, holding my money, There you sat shining, as if doused in honey. I knew you were right, so round like an orange, We were meant for each other, like door and door hinge, Triumphantly I brought you to my place of learning, Placed you â€˜neath the table, to keep stomachs from churning, Oh, how could I forget you? Dashing out so fast, You were left â€˜neath the table, in my race to class. Oh, Horrace and Gertrude, too soon were you taken, He thought you were trash, but he was mistaken.
to P ho
Roy the Plumber Jordan Brown
Art by Sarah King
It was the middle of the night and Roy, a forty-five-year-old plumber, was suddenly wide awake. Unsure as to why he had been hastily awoken, he wiped his crusted eyes and approached the darkened room down the hall. As he entered the bathroom he heard an unexpected crunch followed by a gooey feeling between his toes. Roy’s eyes had not quite adjusted enough to identify what he had just stepped on, and he was honestly a bit too delirious to care. All he wanted was to return to bed and his dream about Denise, the forty-eight year old novelist that frequently haunted his imagination. Walking into the small room and turning on the lights, Roy saw nothing at first other than a smoky, slightly precipitated haze. “This is odd,” he thought, but continued not to care. Fog in the bathroom didn’t seem that out of the ordinary to Roy, for he had seen many unusual things in his customers’ bathrooms over the years. Next, he spotted a net hanging from the ceiling, crawling with large, green praying mantises and grass hoppers. “Gross,” he thought, squinting and rubbing his eyes. “When did that get there?” Shortly after releasing the contents of his bladder, Roy began to notice spiders and mosquitoes of all colors and sizes inching up his legs, nibbling at his flesh and sucking his blood to fulfill their ravenous thirst. Not sure what to do to stop these menaces, Roy hopped into the bathtub to his right. Immediately after turning on the water, vines began to grow from the walls, transforming his bathroom into some sort of tropical forest. It began to rain. “Bloody hell!” he yelled. “How is this happening!?” Then, oddly, it all disappeared. Roy decided that this must be a dream . . . but then where was Denise? No longer concerned about the whole ordeal and growing annoyed that his fantasy had turned into a nightmare, he tried to wake himself up. After pinching himself, Roy realized that he was already awake. This wasn’t a dream after all. “Whatever,” Roy said aloud, as he trotted back to the comfort of his bed. “I’ll call a 38 plumber tomorrow.”
Sensical Nonsense Lauren Erickson
Photo by Amy Bonds
Slightly astonishing Welcomed sadness Halfway returned
A Poem For Shaggy Connor Creighton Photo by Sarah King
Carpets... carpets that have been ripped into shreds Laying there dirty like a rasta man’s dreds A shag carpet is sad, nasty, and dull What will you find in it? That’s unpredictable Will it be candy? Will it be change? Will it be dog hair? Will it be strange? Too hard to predict, too hard to know But it’s easy to tell that shag carpets blow 40
The Comedian Bob Martin
Mic in hand, he tells a tale A bored crowd listens, to no avail Clinching his pride, he continues on But still they sit, and only yawn A simple laugh, his only desire To kindle the flame, A comedic fire His perfect timing, his unique style But not a chuckle, or a single smile The show ends, the people leave A comedian watches, and can only grieve
After the Battle Caleb Hayden
After the battles, and we're still around everything once up in the air, has settled down... let the silence find us.
Photo by Sarah King
Photo by Duri Long
That Fur Coat
Brendan Dulohery That fur coat was a jungle cat, Feared throughout the land, His physique was hardly fat, His fur was hardly bland. He hunted and ran and cared for his young, His pack were many together, Not out-strung, For this young cat cared for everyone. And one day, as the tiger was asleep, Basking in the peace that he did keep, He was shot and killed and made into that fur coat.
His Fingers Die Ford Miller
The air was thin and the sky more pale. And every day the earth paled.* the chiseled mountainâ€™s face grinned at the happy folk as his insides were eaten by Hungry Monsters. Poor monkey. He cannot move. flee. the grin slowly fades. contorts. His Fingers Die. *from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath
hel Illustr atio n by R c
Tanner Williams It stands tall, Alongside its Seven companions, Ever so damaged by God's so called creations. Awaiting the end; The End.
For all the history and grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf The battlefield, harsh collision The arrow’s truth lies in precision Of people here and yet to come Empty chairs wait for anyone A crashing tree around the forest Like a lion enraged, in pain, it roars to us History repeating, All the hearts are bleeding The present is the safest place Unless you can erase What will happen when it counts And what you do with your amount.
Photo by Nathan Simpson
Rachel Arnold A response to ‘Ars Poetica’ by Archibald MacLeish
Angela Clem It was another normal Saturday night, playing BS with Mack and Ivan. As if we had anything else to do. We were fairly quiet, as usual, with the screaming music Ivan hated so much playing in the background. Just like every other Saturday night, he was the first one to say something outside of the game. “This game is no fun with three people.” “Three kings.” Mack took her turn, too quickly. It always gave her away. “BS.” She silently took the pile without even looking up at me. I smirked and laid down my cards. --Ivan looked up at me through his blonde hair, bangs in his face, like always. He leaned against the desk, looking at my list of summer books. “This again?” “Yep.” “Aren’t you sick of it yet?” “Nope.” He smiled, and passed me the tattered library copy of Jane Eyre. “Good luck. Again.” “Shut up.” I added the book to my huge stack and walked towards the checkout line near the front entrance. --I woke up with a start, my hand stuck to page 4 of Jane Eyre. “Dammit,” I muttered. I slammed the book shut, losing my place, and threw it across the room. I reached up and turned off my light and rolled over. --“Mack, I can’t believe you.” She glanced up at me from her magazine. “What?”
I glared at her. Leave it to her to give me the fewest words possible at a time. “You’re leaving, Mack.” “We never have any special summer plans, so…” There was a long pause. “So?” I said impatiently. “So, I figured that I could go. We only have one more summer left after this one before senior year. Why not get out of town?” “You’re leaving me here. Ivan and I can’t play BS by ourselves.” “You haven’t talked to him recently, have you?” “No.” “He’s leaving, too. A week after tomorrow.” I cursed under my breath. “When are you leaving?” “Saturday.” Shit. I only had three days before Mack abandoned me, and eight before Ivan left. “Where is Ivan even going?” Mack sighed, tossing her magazine to the ground. She closed her eyes and leaned back on her bed. “Washington.” Ha, ha. At least it would be raining there. “And you’re going to…” “Ireland. I have to break into my college savings, but…” Of course. Mack was actually McKenna Riley- very Irish. “Visiting the homeland?” “Yep.” Her hand inched back towards the magazine. I watched her slowly look away from my face, making sure I was done, and then start reading again. I picked up Jane Eyre and flipped to page one. --Ivan and I were lounging around in his basement. He had The Planets turned up on his computer, and I stubbornly had my iPod on, listening to
Untitled -- continued Escape the Fate. “Jule?” “Yeah.” “What are you gonna do this summer?” I paused the song. “Dunno. Nothing, probably. What the hell are you going to do- Washington, Ivan, really?” He looked at me thoughtfully. “I’m not really sure. I just want to get out, you know?” I sighed. “There’s a lot of that going around.” “Why don’t you wanna go anywhere?” “I just want to stay home, I guess.” We didn’t talk for a long time. My Escape the Fate songs played themselves out, and I switched over to Muse. “Hey, Jule, I gotta go pack. If you wanna stay…”
Photo by Rachel Arnold
“No.” I got up and stretched, then turned off my iPod and slipped my torn Converse on. “I should go anyway- try Jane Eyre again. Thanks for the suggestions on the list, by the way. I’ll let you know which ones I got halfway through, and which ones I couldn’t even start.” Ivan smiled, his hazel eyes shining. “I’ll miss you, Juliet. Keep in touch.” “Bye.” I walked up the stairs, avoiding his hug. “Bye, Ms. Kittrick,” I shouted. “Thanks for letting me come over.” I didn’t wait for her reply. After I slammed the door, I realized I had forgotten my jacket in his basement. I paused on his front step, then kept walking. It was summer. I’d be fine.
Photo by Graham Stevenson
Bottle Cap Friend By Jamieson Edwards
It was only a bottle cap, But what can I say? He was my best friend For one whole day. He tagged along in my pocket Wherever up I would end And it was him in the vending machine That I almost tried to spend. I reached into my pocket That night before bed And I looked at my bottle cap And this is what I said: "Dearest Bottle cap Friend, You have served me well. Well, I guess you didn't really do much,
But you've been a great pal. But now the day is over, And now I must say, This is not what I want, But you cannot stay." The bottle cap looked back, As a tear rolled to his edge, He opened his lip And made me this pledge: "I will never forget you, Until my very end. After my bottle mom left me You became my best friend. We laughed and we danced, I was nearly shoved in a machine; These times were the best, You know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean," I looked back and said, "This parting is one million times harder Than a needle is to thread." But I must let you go, I must set you free. You belong with the other bottle caps, You do not belong with me." He seemed to understand, So we bid each other farewell. Parting was hardest for him And I could easily tell. Still, I put him with the others In my bottlecap bin. He was once my best friend, But I'll never see him again."
Flancers Katy Westhoff: Fearless Leader and Friend to Fiends Rachel Arnold: Slightly-Less-Fearless Leader and Fiend Ford Miller: The Sabertooth Chicken Turkey Hawk Duri Long: Bob Sarah King: The Indie Kid Alex Moskowitz: Mr. Miyage Paul Mackender: Switzerland Shauna Kenton: The Yeti (inspires fear) Our sponsor, Ms. Beachy: The Big Fish, AKA Dumbledore
Acknowledgements The FreeLancer staff would like to thank Chris Larson of the SME Library; Rob Meyer, Cathy Everard, and Steve Deatley of the SMSD Print Shop; Adam Finkelston of the SME Art Department; the East Fund; and especially everyone who submitted all sorts of art, from poetry to photographs to the doodles they did on the back of their math homework.
Index Arnold, Rachel: 9, 24, 42, 46, 48 Boehm, Grace: 13 Bonds, Amy: 39 Brown, Jordan: 32, 38 Buchanan, Kat: 16, 32 Capps, Beth: 15 Clem, Angela: 47 Cloud, Libby: 31 Cosgrove, Amy: 30, 31 Corazzin, Tessa: 8 Creighton, Connor: 3, 6, 40 Dulohery, Brendan: 17, 44
Edwards, Jamieson: 16, 24, 26, 28, 49 Erickson, Lauren: 39 Fisher, Mallory: 15 Goldman, Nathan: 19 Hayden, Caleb: 19 Haynes, Annie: 37 Kenney, Wil: 21, 29 King, Sarah: 10, 11, 38, 40, 43 Jolitz, Alyssa: 8 Long, Duri: 44 Mackender, Paul: 7, 13, 25 Martin, Bob: 25, 42
Miller, Ford: 9, 30, 45 Morgan, Adriane: 37 Moskowitz, Alex: 11 Ramaswami, Keshav: 35, 36, 14 Ryan, Andrew: 33 Simpson, Nathan: 29, 46 Stevenson, Graham: 49 Watson, Riley: 35 Welsh, Cap: 28 Westhoff, Katy: 10 Williams, Tanner: 45 Williamson, Jayson: 9
The 2010 Edition of the Literary Magazine the FreeLancer