Spring 2014

Page 1


This semester, SOMOS is proud to present our readers with an array of breathtaking student work. We handpicked photography andart that webelieve successfully capture the essenceof Latinoandforeigncultures.Wehaveanassortment of written pieces that will traverse through nostalgic, lighthearted, and a few risque moments. As you peruse through the work featured here, you will travel alongside the artists and writers. Allow yourself to share their experiences by fully immersing in the canvas of creativity and passion that we havepiecedtogether.Wehopethat youthoroughlyenjoy the Spring 2014 issue of the SOMOS Latino Literary magazine.

THE SOMOS TEAM lillian dominguez editor-in-chief marina camim layout editor anaisa quintanilla Spanish co-editor angelica waner Spanish co-editor gabrielle guadalupe english editor billy sanchez art director penelope kyritsis treasurer devika seeraj social chair danalynn dominguez contributing member ellia higuchi contributing member

Valeria fantozzi divya bahtia rudy torres lauren galvan billy sanchez PROSE & POETRY samuel pearce

Retrato, pg 2 Gears, pg 13 Macbeth, pg 26

Reflections Of Hanoi, pg 5 Cycle Rickshaw, pg 7

A Peek Into The Pink City, pg 11 Tata Madiba, pg 14

Walking Home, pg 18 Lanterns In Hoi An, pg 19

The Children's Parliament, pg 23

Sunrise at Griffith Observatory, pg 17 1952,pg 24 National Beauties, pg 17

Eva, pg 1 Preguntame, pg 8

gabrielle guadalupe krisfina acevedo shayna zema yelena bide monica perez

The Steadfast Tin Soldier, pg 3 The Wanderer, pg 21

Clarification, pg9

Nature and Time, P9 12 Untitled, pg 15

O D/'a do Alivio Imediato, pg 25



Me desperte y tu eras el dolor en mi pecho, la ausencia suave precio justo por tu compania manana llena de polen nombre los arboles mientras tu los probabas y tus rayos agrandaron el jardfn de nuevo nos movimos como los ninos que nunca fuimos hablamos como serpientes para que nuestro creador durmiera

casi extrano sus preguntas sugestivas hasta las amenazas, vanas como eran lo imagino con solo sus mascotas: pinchazos mudos, proyecto sin final bebe el aire frio de su altitud, mascando la eternidad: dias sofiando ecuaciones de dolor cierra la cortina apolillada deja la luz prendida

los hoyos en la noche son un mapa al este, nos pasamos el peso manzanas, un libro, dos raciones de dfas con sueno para puntuacion yo, virgen, nervioso, sere mal recordado como hombre mientras tu, valerosa, vistes la culpa, pero ahora no hay nadie cambia tu ropa sin forma por tu piel original entre cardos, altramuces, amaranto desflorame ten estos iris salvajes con alivio cuando te nombre


Do you remember the story of the tin solider who fell in love with the paper dancer?

He saw her prance across a window; saw a light in her eyes and the soft blue of her dress

And when he met her eyes, she smiled back.

My tin soldier, you are strong and determined

My solider, your boots are shined and you've crossed an ocean Looking to protect the people in need on the other side

My soldier, I am so proud of you.

My tin solider, your paper dancer loves you.

She falls asleep wishing your arms were around her

And she knows the music of your laughter better than her own.

But your paper dancer is pawn to the windShe does not march in a straight line, as you do And she cries, as you don't Her colors are running and her lines have blurred. The snow and the rain slide off of you, But they fall into her

In your uniform, my tin solider, You may have forgotten just how fragile paper is, Just how easily it rips and tears

When it is pulled and torn.

And tin solider, she fears you'll return Only to come upon scraps of paper.

My soldier, when you try to cross the ocean between us

You will be carried by the waves

And you are strong enough to swim And you've got sense enough to hold your breath. But if your paper dancer flings herself in, The tide will draw her back-she'll be soaked through

Her edges frayed, her colors wiped clear off.

When you reach her, when you pull her out and tell her to hang on Shell have become transparent A gray shade too weak to cast a shadow

My tin solider, your paper dancer feels alive when she is carried by the wind And if she tries to cross the ocean for you, Her colors will have faded when she washes up along the shore. You had to cross the ocean, and she understands why— But she looks out at a distance and a depth That she cannot cross and come out whole. And she will be here

When you are not a solider any longer.

For now let the wind carry her as it will

For she trusts that it will hold her together, edges and colors intact And that when it places her down along the shore She ll be even brighter Than you remembered.



CYCLE RICKSHAW by divya bahtia
by its owner, this cycle rickshaw provides his livelihood in the village of Bahraich, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.


Senalaste mi ojo preguntaste que paso sonref y dije nada, esta mascara no es nada mas que mi cara se llaman ojeras una sola palabra que da la dignidad a lo que mi lengua solo llama cfrculos oscuros no son cfrculos son alas con mis cejas, hacen una palomilla y tambien son lunas, la mitad sombreada son piel transparente, las ventanas por las que ves mi sangre morada

preguntaste que paso y dije nada habrfa podido decir todo pero no sabrfa por donde empezar. no te averguences siempre, preguntame. veras en mis ojeras las noches que no dormf.


The landscape around Looks incredibly different now. Water. Stretches for miles and miles In every direction, No matter how many times She tries to reorient Her perspective or vantage point, That's all that can be seen. That's all that can be felt. That's all that can be smelt.

She cannot remember when it all changed. It seems like only yesterday that she was Frolicking in the meadow-laden valley That she called home.

When was the last time that she actually felt The blades of grass prickle and tickle her feet? When was the last time she laid her back Lazily against the wise old oak tree, To soak in the sun

As she let her mind run wild and free with Radical ideas, unrealistic wishes, and marvelous dreams That she yearned to paint on a real canvas someday?

When was the last time she allowed the worn and tethered Vines from the trailing nightshade To comfort her with warm embraces During her times of sadness. Or envelop her nakedness during the cold summer nights?

When was the last time she walked the winding dirt paths, Crossing orchards, citrus groves, and forests To find the succulent oranges and berry desserts That satiated her tongue palette With firework explosions of sweet, tarty delight?

She cannot recall. No matter how hard she tries, How her beautifully, vibrant paradise transitioned Into the desolate, bleak nothingness of water. She does not remember Noticing the delicately petite streams Growing into lakes, rivers, and oceans. She does not remember

Noticing puddles of water

Slowly entrenching the oak trees, groves, orchards, or forests

She does not remember When the water started seeping in. How on earth did it invade?

As she stares into the water that now surrounds her, She catches a glimpse of something, Something she must have overlooked before.... The water that surrounds her glimmers

More than that...

She notices, Ever so slightly, The water is painted different hues of color.

Near the toes of her feet, The water gleams a navy, distressed hue.

Farther away, the water has black undertones

Mixed with ruby red and rusty orange.

As she looks out into the desolate distance

She notices the water inherently swishes and sways

At different speeds, At different intensities, And at different times.

Around her plays a choreographed dance, Some of the water undulates rhythmically to a slowly silent beating drum, Other spots create sporadic ripples, And yet others appear to be thrashing waves like an ocean storm.

In the midst of her investigation, she slowly begins to doze off. Something she does often, as she is boredstaring at only water. She awakes to a soft crooning in her ear.

Startled, she lifts her head and beginsto faintly hear Whimpering cries that evolve into heart wrenching sobs. Suddenly something cold and wet begins running down her cheeks. As it graces her lips, she can taste the salty, bitterness of tears. These tears gracefully dance off her cheek into the water surrounding her.

Of course...

She delicately cusps her hand into the pools of never-ending water

With the utmost care, her tongue carefully extends to taste a drop of water That is held in her hands. Her eyes open wide. It tastes like her tears.

The limits of time ceased to exist here, In this new place she found herself.

That is the only way it made sense. How else could it be?

What else could explain how she felt That yesterday she was frolicking in the meadow-laden valley, Laying against the wise, old,oak tree

As her mind ran wild and free, The transition to feeling the desolateness and stillness of water

That consumes her and everything she has ever known? How could she forget drowning in her own tears?

Settled in the hills and valleys of Jaipur (the Pink Gty), Rajasthan.

India, Amber Fort a formidable fort and palace with intricate doors and windows built by Raja (King) Man Singh in 15P2

Palace walls are carved to keep the halls cool in the summer

A PEEK INTO THE PINK QTY by divya bahtia


I'm in a mood andI just can't escape My heart and my mind cannot conflate

I'm in a hole Down deep in the ground Yearning to be found Yet I can't hear a sound Words, actions, people,reverberate against the wa-wa-wall

Who the hell am I? Who the hell are you? Oh no, I sense an existential crisis coming through

What do I do? Who will I be? Well there's no way I'm gonna get up and flee Right out of here. No,no.

I was told fate is a hunter I can't keep hiding I can't keep tempting his desire Because whether I like it or not He will chase me and all will transpire

The good or the bad All has a purpose So am I really sad And in a mood I just cannot escape?

The hole Down deep in the ground byshaynazema Can be turned upside down To become a hill, tall and round

Escaping may be my choice But I remain with the passive voice As the actor becomes fate,and me, It's willing executioner

Someone posted the Cape Times from December 5th, 2013 on the topof Lion's HeadMountain. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. - Nelson Mandela



This is Santiago: large, loud, and a contradictory intersection of sophisticated and dilapidated. The shimmering financial district stands at odds with the overcrowded orange buses, the buildings wallpapered with bright graffiti, and the hawkers who sell goods off small squares of cloth, spread haphazardly on wide sidewalks. Cars irritably honk their horns and pointedly disregard red lights, causing pedestrians to dart across the street in a legitimate fear for their lives. Santiago is synonymous with smog; the tops of the glittering skyscrapers are often lost in the heavy swath of grey that hangs perpetually below the Andes. This sprawling metropolis feels like it arose from the ground with little foresight; it is a cacophonous clash of multiple cities, multiple worlds. Santiago is New York, Bangkok, Bombay, Maputo and Johannesburg, yet it is also wholly its own.

This is Santiago: concrete, pollution, and an idiosyncratic Spanish. The Visitor arrives, and she feels unsettled,

lost, and unsure what to make of this South American city. She tries to compare it to other cities she has visited, attempts to place it into a clearly defined category. Fails. Abandons this fruitless exercise. Then, she learns to look more closely and finds that it is thrilling to at first hesitantly, then confidently, discard initial impressions. Slowly, tentatively - perhaps without even realizing it - the Visitor falls in love. With the vibrant street art, the crumbling walls and the teetering power lines. With the people who read the newspaper while walking to work, gathering the morning news while expertly navigating the teeming sidewalks. With the tiny yoga studio in the back of a Thai restaurant, the park benches splashed with an artist's bold paintbrush, and the vast expanses of green where the city's youth exchange gossip and neglect their homework

This is Santiago: (self) discovery and vivid explorations. Mornings undo themselves in a tangle of hours spentwandering down tiny alleyways, or huddled over Pablo Neruda's poems in smokefilled coffee shops. Afternoons dissolve into tiny particles of golden light that are reflected off the snow-capped Andes. 3y now, the Visitor has learned to look be-

"Maybe love is always what happens when you move to your first real metropolis"

yond the smog and the chaos.She has realized that Santiago is a magical metropolis, perhaps all the more so because this magic is often concealed behind the grey concrete and the towering piles of trash that gather in forgotten corners. She ambles down the city streets, brushing past her initial perceptions. She stumbles upon an art exhibition in the vast hall of a 20th century train station, where reactions to the works echo between the wide floor and the cavernous ceiling. Rests on a park bench and inhales the sweet smells of spring that swirl around children's squeals. Sits in a fruit market, amid squished bananas and rotting tomatoes, and listens to the soft jazz that emanates from a makeshift stage.

This is Santiago: foreign and familiar, the two sensations overlapping to produce a poignant reminder of home that combines seamlessly with the unknown. The Visitor witnesses Las Fiestas Patrias, a national holiday whenthe cityerupts intoa five-day celebration of everything Chilean. Buildings, gatesand peopleare draped in red, white and blue and the entire city is drunk on patriotism and cheap red wine. Although the Visitor does not fully comprehend this raucous revelry, she inhales

it deeply. She eats empanadas and laughs at the ribald jokes made over excessively large cups of alcohol. She watches and listens. She learns. The Visitor also observes the student protests, when the streets are barricaded by burning tyresand swarmsof people gather to demand radical reforms. It is in moments like this that the Visitor remembers that she is an outsider, unable to understand the nuances of the citizens' loud chants. But she is still swept up in the heady excitement that accompanies these passionate social movements. Foreign and familiar, familiar and foreign - these two impressions combine, intersect and overlap until, finally, the Visitor can no longer distinguish between them.

This is Santiago: vibrant, bewildering, clamorous, exhilarating, magnificent. The Visitor buries herself into it indiscriminately, and slowly loses herself in this golden, smoggy, southern tip of the globe.

The photo shows the sun coming over the mountainside of the Griffith Park Observatory at sunrise. In the foreground, you can see the silhouette of the trees with the orange glow from the sun.


On a misty day, I looked out of our dining area during our stay in Bahraich, India to lush, verdant rice fields and saw this man walking home towards his village for the evening.

WALKING HOME by divyo bahtia
Wing the evening, only lanterns light the streets and marketplace in the town of Hoi An, Vietnam. Whether hand-panted or made from paper or silk, each lantern has its own design.


What do possessions matter to the wanderer?

Why keep anything, anything at all, When tomorrow is a whole new day, Where the light will shine upon new roads

Upon new signs and steps and choices Why tomorrow, the wind may blow backwards Who's to say?

And when the sun falls, The mind will dream new dreams, It might tell him to pack his bags And be on his way, Might tell him to try, to change It might tell him to stay.

What do words matter to the wanderer? He might promise you the moon, And for you, he might rope it in But the moon to you and the moon to him hey might well be two different thingsHe has used words to express, words to hide

llWOr S , T Circumvented, and I'm sure they've lied They ve talked up, talked down, talked true lalked real, talked right, They've tried that too.

What do words matter to the wanderer? A breath and a sound That will fade itself away Even those words that hang heavy in the air Iney, too, cannot stay.

What do memories matter to the wanderer? ey can be smiles, laughs, stories to tell IFs^n h^n °ks t° be forgotten, as wel

Its on|y his eyes that will show Those thoughts his tongue won't leak

A* youl always ^

Just before he turned to walk away; What do memories matter to the wanderer? They don't mean he'll stay.

What does love matter to the wanderer? Feelings are fleeting— They might pass as quickly as steps As quickly as the moon waxes and wanes

Love, he might travel to, might travel from Might travel with, Or from it he might rua

Love might mean freshly laid concrete That will slow your steps and trap your feet.

Love might be the promise at the end of the road It could be in the cards But it might be time to fold.

And it might be time to walk away To see if it will last In a place he cannot stay.

What do dreams matter to the wanderer? To one who doesn't dream at all Dreaming might be building a tower of cards That he can't trust not to fall. For the wind might blow and the ground might shake And all hes built and tried and held Is just too easy for the world to break.

And, as you might come to find The wanderer s already made up his mind His thoughts have traveled across the sky And soon his steps will follow suit It s this decision that matters to him And, I m afraid, all other points are moot. And you know better than to ask An impossibility of someone who doesn t dream Someone who can only hope so far Time has made him too hard and too wise To allow a wish upon a star; And you know better than to ask for tomorrow When he has given you today

When all the hopes and dreams in the world Cannot make him stay.

What does time matter to the wanderer?

I need more time to read, he says I need more time to think.

And the times ahead are a short step away, He s standing on the precipice, Standing on the brink.

To him, time isn't spent,

So much as it just happens—

And where we are as it does Is where we're supposed to be.

He doesn't pause, to find it strange All that time will come to change.

There's a heavy sadness, albeit an acceptance That this will all be gone

He's just so used to moving Used to moving on.

He can be fully in a moment In a moment fully yours

And when it is completely over—

You fear that only you want more. He's just turning with the world, Or is it the world turning with him?

Moment by moment, thought by thought

It's no wonder the wanderer

Cannot be caught.

Only time is certain, And yet it's the most unknown; Time's only keeping track, As he's finding his way home. What does time matter to the wanderer?

It comes, and it goes. And it passes in waves

But there isn't anywhere That it stays.

Led by middle-school and high-school students who greet: me with firm handshakes, this NGO-run student group provid=a platform for leadership for children in the village of Bahrc India, who would otherwise not have opportunities to exercise leadership and voice concerns The best part is, in a regiemarked with gender inequality, these two girls are the fare Minister and President of this Parliament.


This is my grandparents' McAllen High School prom picture from 1952. When my grandfather went off to TCU for college in 53, he wrote my grandmother every week. Their letters are stored away for safekeeping, but this photograph is a constant reminder of enduring and lasting love.

greee: 1952 by lauren galvan provide ohrck;


Barreiras by monica perez Eu tinha, ate voce aparecer. E assim, vou me enconfrando novamente. Em cada momento que passo ao teu lado As palavras viram musicas.

Por mais que eu lute, Os sorrisos, afloram no corapao. Por mais que eu tente, A saudade vem, vem com tudo.

Simplesmente, e dificil enganar o coragao que sente. Alegria, odio, paixao, amor Girando girando girando ao redor.

Juntos justo na confusao A perfeigao arde com ciumes.

De dia, Nem percebemos que o mundo flea vazio Ue noite, Ouase morremos de frio sem o toque mutuo.

Pode ser que sinto falta, Pode ser o elemento etereo. Mas aprendi por certo estar namorando hd quatro anos em 15 horas extremamente impressionante.






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