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The Literary Magazine of Saint Peter’s College

2012

The Pavan


IN MEMORIAM Katheryn Kovalcik White 1947–2012 Beloved professor, prolific writer, past advisor to The Pavan for over 15 years, and mentor to many. Your calm and inspired instruction brought so much confidence and warmth to your students. You will be dearly missed.


Acknowledgements Another year, another great issue. We’re pleased to present to you more of our college’s extraordinary talents. Sublime, sexy, sweet, simple, sincere – all fitting descriptions of these pieces, composed with heart and wit to engage imagination and intellect. From literature to life and the places in-between that blur fiction and fact, there’s much to experience and enjoy in the pages ahead. We extend a special thanks to Sidney, Anthony, and Amanda for their handling of the magazine’s art and layout. Your efforts have been greatly appreciated. To the students who have helped craft this issue, thank you for not just lessening the load, but beautifying and adding more of our college’s artistic eye to The Pavan. Our gratitude also goes to Jan Reimer, for her generous support and understanding. As always, we thank Dr. Cynthia Walker for her continued dedication to the magazine, her instrumental guidance over the years, and her faith in us. We are happy to have Professor Susan Chin on board this year as she has once again proved an invaluable asset to The Pavan’s production. Their combined efforts have made the magazine an absolute success and a joy to read. Sincerely,

Sofia De Pierola Assistant to the Editor

Virendra Goolcharan Editor-in-Chief

Ayonnah Garcia Assistant to the Editor


Table of Contents Poems and Stories Wonderland by Joe Quinn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 StoryBook by Rosemarie Driscoll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Don’t Overthink It by Rosemarie Driscoll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 My Mirror Image by Julie Obregon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Lost at Sea by Julie Obregon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 To Fear Nothing by Virendra Goolcharan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Stranger by Cassandra Iverson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Baby, I’m a Bird by Cassandra Iverson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Phaeton by Rosemarie Driscoll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Habla con ella by Sofia De Pierola. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Fantasy by Jose Gomez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Midnight by Jose Gomez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Eternal Snow by Rosanna Nguyen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Artists by Luzmary Bonilla. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Room Spoke to Me by Ariel M. Foy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Nothing But a Whisper by Kael Gil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Disillusioned Love by Rosanna Nguyen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Winter Plumage by Will Heyer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 It Could Have Been You by Will Heyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 On John Dix’s Lighthouse Heights by Chris Walker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Saint Jackie by Will Heyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Sleep Sense (The Walk I Make) by Virendra Goolcharan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Remember Home by Marichka Milord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Leigh by Ariel M. Foy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 An Unaccomplished Charity by Prajwal Niraula. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 I’m Leaving by Ariel M. Foy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Artwork and Photography Honeydew by Sidney Montanez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Keep Following Your Dreams by Amanda Jaikissoon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Las Noches de Madrid by Jessica Marquez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Aquarius by Dakota Santiago. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Cookie Thief by Sidney Montanez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Leaves in the Sky by Alexander Oren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Hiding by Howell Villamayor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Flushing Bound by Dakota Santiago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Silo by Adam Hirsh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Noche Morada by Sidney Montanez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Sunset on the Highline by Dakota Santiago. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Kovu by Sidney Montanez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Remnants by Adam Hirsh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Out on a Limb by Alexander Oren. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Singing by Amanda Jaikissoon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Light Cola by Sidney Montanez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Parking View by Sidney Montanez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Galeries Lafayette by Jessica Marquez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Green Beetle by Lindsay Tagliareni. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Saint Peter by Cristina DeCisneros. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Fierce Peacock by Binh Nguyen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60


Credits Cover Design Amanda Jaikissoon

Editors Virendra Goolcharan Sofia De Pierola

Creative Design

Ayonnah Garcia

Amanda Jaikissoon Sidney Montanez Anthony Marulanda

Communication Advisor Dr. Cynthia W. Walker

Art Advisor Professor Susan Chin

Graphic Design Staff Sidney Montanez Anthony Marulanda Amanda Jaikissoon Lindsay Tagliareni Kelly Wybraniec Gustavo Guarino Adam Hirsh Cristina DeCisneros Jessica Marquez George White

Poems + Stories


by Joe Quinn ’15

9

5/ 3

Won’t you fall down the rabbit hole, So I can laugh and make you my own? It’s time for tea down under the tree, The table’s ready and it’s set for three. The rabbit’s sitting on the edge of his chair – Have you heard the hatter’s new despair? Tweedle-Dee has gone and lost his mind, Tweedle-Dum says “It’s time to dine.” The King decided to try on some dreads And the Queen yelled “Off with his head!” The mock turtle’s story put me in a trance And the gryphon demands you to dance. The place for me some call “Wonderland” Was made of dreams and no man’s lands, A place to laugh, and be on your own, A place to love and to call your home. But real life’s cruel and that’s exact, Life’s a bitch, and that’s matter of fact. “Who cares for you? You’re just a pack of cards.” You got me tangled in your hair like barbs. Your eyes are stars, and that’s where it’s at, Or so says the Cheshire Cat. I guess it’s time to go to life’s back door, Wonderland taught me to think no more. A knock on the window, a tug on the leash, Imagination is my release.


Story book

Don’t Overthink It by Rosemarie Driscoll ’14

by Rosemarie Driscoll ’14

I know a hundred thousand stories, so which one are you? Kind and sweet or harsh and complicated, some mix of the two? Will you tell me lies, keep other girls in your bed or in your mind? Do we share years and months or just a second and a smile? Is there music in the background when we fight or touch or kiss? Do you smile when you think about me, when you think about this? I said I knew the stories, but only from my end, I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m omniscient. All I am just yet is smiling, smiling though I’m tired Because I don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t say I’ve tried To figure out your ending or – hell – your middle or your start. I can wait to get there, I can wait for that part, I can slide a bookmark between the pages, close the book, I know I should be sleeping but I may steal a second look.

. I never w ent in for happy poems or songs I thoug ht, to be good, they had to document Some p ainful struggle, some horrible wrong, T t h e helpless c ries of a soul in tormen But my pencils are lonely and so are yours. Pick on e up and tell me what I want to hear, Smile as you scribble down a few words And smile when you think about me Life isn’t

so bad as we sometimes think: T , h ere ar to read e new things t s d r o w e r o o learn, m T , h ere are young men to kiss, coffee to drink Friend o lea d s to have, s ongs to sing, a whole life t Beds to lie in and think, alone or together, Do wh atters. at makes you happy; nothing else m 11


Lost at Sea

by Julie Obregon ’13

My Mirror Image by Julie Obregon ’13

I’m crying but no one hears me, I’m screaming but no one fears me, A world with no real people, everyone wanting to be someone else No one is happy with what they have, but no one can be perfect Do you have to be perfect to be happy? People obsess over the image, but there is a person deep inside I’m learning, but not becoming I’m learning that you have to believe in yourself, and not pay attention to anyone else Don’t believe in who you want to be, but who you are. Look in the mirror, who do you see? The person you are, or the person you want to be? When I look in the mirror I see a heart of gold, I see a body that will never be sold, and eyes that see the truth I see a real smile.

Open up your eyes, there’s a whirlwind of emotions Dive into tragedy, drenched beneath the deepest oceans Can’t help but fall again, falling from this plank unsteadily Drowning in the darkest waters, getting lost at sea so early Lost through your eyes, can’t see the hurt I’m feeling Neglect, desire, and lies The pain’s not worth revealing Live, learn, and die Get lost amidst the waves Neglect, desire, and lies Keep what the current saves Drifting further away from sure, uncertain of my whereabouts Beyond the undead universe, no way to turn around Live, Learn, and die, before it’s too late Relax and close your eyes, Let your body drift away

When I look in the mirror, I see the person I am, and the person I want to be, I see a person full of life, I only see me. 12

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Stranger by Cassandra Iverson ’14 by Virendra Goolcharan ’12

Sparrows fly unafraid of black banisters, land freely on pointed gates. One sinks into the sidewalk, another bathes in a pothole, wings occupying the future space of a whirling tire.

Those pretty blue-greens and that smile you wore, such a lovely sight, what sweet allure. Hello there, sir of the field at the setting sun, What sword do you wield? What wars have you won?

What wisdom there is in small nature, in simplicity.

Did you run along the shoreline? Have you seen the sea? Are there girls you hope to find? Could you look for me?

(To try to be unique is to flutter dangerously away from yourself. Squash your back. Crush your belly. And to become a mangled pool of disaster-filled, disease-ridden hope.)

Were you new to the town? Are you young to the game? May I tour you around? Would you tell me your name? These buildings are my home, this city is my world. May I take you as my own? Could you make me yours?

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Baby, I’m a Bird by Cassandra Iverson ’14

Phaeton by Rosemarie Driscoll ’14

I am going places, darling — Honey, I am going to fly. I am packing up my life, dear but no need for good-byes. This place is just done with me. I think I need a change. This world is just so big, it seems and I need to chase some dreams. The air keeps calling my name, it is begging me to grow my wings, the land is just too calm and tame and this caged bird wants to sing. Baby, I am a bird and this nest has been worn in. I am going to travel around the world before I come to rest, back where I have been. Sweetheart sing with me, come take the ride and see, this place is just so done with us and we need to chase some dreams.

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We thought it had so much meaning then, Lacing up the spaces between lovers and friends. I grabbed at that but then I ran And ran fast, nursing sorely burnt hands Both drunk on telling, both far too young, Blind from the hearing, counting each touch, So soft and heretofore unfelt, felt much Body and feeling can only be unfused once. I live for the gaps – no – I live in them, I avoid widely both heaven and land, I’m sorry we were never worth retelling When all you wanted was a story so compelling. Kindly do not offer me those reins again, I will not grasp for those reins again.

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Habla con ella by Sofia De Pierola ’13

Fantasy by Jose Gomez ’13

Habla con ella.

Talk to her.

Te quiere.

She loves you.

Habla con ella.

Talk to her.

Te ama.

She LOVES you.

Habla con ella.

Talk to her.

Se muere.

She’s dying.

Habla con ella.

Talk to her.

Make believe that there’s more, More than you can imagine, Let your mind wander the Universe, Unfold to what hasn’t happened, The cosmos has you locked, Dislodge your eyes from the gaze, Unsophisticated thoughts are the escape, Daydreaming will be your haze, Hold onto yourself securely, You won’t want to be stranded Alone in this place for a second, Will leave your soul disbanded. Have faith in the journey, Disclose your audacity, Try to believe that there’s more, More than your own capacity.

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Midnight

Eternal Snow by Rosanna Nguyen ’15

by Jose Gomez ’13

You’ll be the minute hand, I’ll be the hour’s, When we meet at midnight, The night will be ours. We’ll stroll along the images of light and dark, We’ll count the stars and leave our mark. The moon will give me a sign and the time Of when it will be right for you to be mine. Glorious night, A gust of wind, Grandfather changes time, Soon midnight ends. We say goodbye for now, as our time ends soon, But when minute and hour meet, we’ll be together again at noon.

Here I am walking, Down this endless road. Through the winter night, With no warm hand to hold. My footsteps fade away, And won’t ever again show. Again I will lose my way, Deep within this snow. Won’t you please save me From this meadow full of white? I’m frozen by its coldness and I’m buried from your sight. But I know you can find me, In this snow storm that’s so vast Because I know I’m very special to you, Then I’ll be in your arms at last. So here I am waiting for you, Because I know you’ll surely come. But please hurry up, For my body is getting numb.

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by Luzmary Bonilla ’12

Such a masterpiece created by two On canvases of Egyptian cotton. The greatest art the world has ever known, And never shall it be forgotten! Performed by two souls uniting as one, Moving in rhythmic motion In darkness of night, to the shining sun, Becoming one with land and the ocean. Such works have been done time after time But surely perfection lies within this, For others spent years staying in between the lines While these artists do dare to miss.

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Me o + t oke by Ariel M. Foy ’12 p S om o R The

My pink warmth touched her rose flesh. “I’ll be back soon.” “I’ll miss you.” “I love you” (me too) (Now is the time to be a man). I feel it, I hear it, I see it, I smell it, I’m sure of it. (Ding-dong) This one, that one. The gold one with diamonds. Heart racing, salty beads drip all over my body I....I...ca...can’t....spe....speak. Cleared throat, ready to kneel, ready to grow up, but (wait) the room speaks. he won’t be back ‘til night, (mmm) (ahhh) (ouuu) “I love you” (me too) I loved you.... Digging in the box to protect..... I took the piece and pointed (BANG!) I had to protect Myself from You. (I loved you)

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Nothing But a Whisper

by Rosanna Nguyen ’15 by Kael Gil ’13

For who I am now, I had to rise from the hate of yesterday, Mouths full of poison, deceit shrouding my very eyes, If only something could fill me up, if even just a tiny ray, Some something to free my muffled, crazed and distressed cries. My pain derived from familiars, sneers stabbing and ready for the attack, Suffocated by undead humiliation, motionless in my bundled hole, Digging me a grave, with no means to make my way back, Then came the time for a rebirth of mine, to claim once again what they had swiftly stole, A down of white feathers at my side, shining through with my very pride, No sign of fear, no tears to cry, no reluctance to share the beauty inside, The once profound mark which served to be my crutch, Was but a mere freckle to me now, with the world open freely to my touch, A new perspective of my potential giving me a view that is crisper, Allows me to leave the damage caused to me behind, with nothing but a whisper.

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Deep in the abandoned house on the hill, Where time stopped ticking and shadows stood still, Far past the hallway, in a room filled with dread, Was a small pale girl lying in the bed. Her eyes glistened like sapphire and her skin, beautiful white And her lustrous black hair resembled the dark night. A tall man comes in, baring a smile so wide, Spreading red roses all by her side. Stroking her hair, he whispers in her ear, Sweet nothings to his fragile little dear. Time suddenly started moving and the hand struck nine The man left with his final words “You’ll always be mine.” Time wouldn’t stop ticking and the next day at four, As he was getting ready, there was a knock at his door. Checking who it was, he gasped and was stunned, When he saw a policeman, whose hand held a gun. The neighborhood had spread rumors of how the man snuck out at nights. For kidnapping? For stealing? They’ll find out tonight. Many were suspicious, thinking he kidnapped a girl. They looked at the ads to find some missing in the world. Panicked, he ran, pushing the policeman aside. Running to the house and running inside, He locked all the doors and went into the room. He grabbed the girl and a gun. Then prepared for their doom. He assured her he would follow her to the place that they would go, Where no one could ever separate them. No enemy. No foe. He shot her a few times, then shot himself right after. “Forever together” he said with a small chuckle and laughter. The police barged in after searching every hall To find the demented man dead with a bullet-filled doll. 25


r e t n i W

e g a m u l P

It Could Have Been You by Will Heyer ’12

by Will Heyer ’12

You can change your name And hang it on a sign. You can make the face And shake the hands. You can lord over this, your kingdom, From your perch in the back, But it never suited you. Once, I laughed at you, But now I know better. Once, by chance, our eyes met From across that busied saloon And I saw what I had heard whispered in corners: The closing gates, an untended garden, and a cold bed. I can see you shivering now. I know you: you’re my brother.

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There’s a man in a parking lot, Outside an emergency room, Sitting on a near-empty cooler. He’s keeping watch While his kids sleep In a cramped sedan. In a couple of hours, he knows, The sun will rise, And they’ll be hungry And remember everything. Then, I wish, someone would explain To him that this grand competition, In which he was one of many losers, Yielded a brilliant magician in the Heartland, Or a flourishing artist on the coast, Free to paint her masterpieces Unfettered and undisturbed. I’m sure he would be comforted.

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On John Dix’s Lighthouse Heights by Chris Walker ’15

SaintJackie by Will Heyer ’12

Beneath the earth’s clouded mind And over the raging seas, Stands Lighthouse Heights Between the light and darkness it sees. To the right of the high searchlight Is a washed-up wasteland Fearing the light of the house And the grasp of God’s hand. To the left side is a land with a pink tree Which bears great fruit of the leaf. The house’s light couldn’t try to brighten the dark And to shine on the left side’s spectacular reef. However, this house of duality can shine on A passing ship on the stormy seas, Which pauses for a moment deciding Which side of the house it sees.

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Gazing like a new David On a sea of 20th-century Philistines Roaring and gnashing their teeth, Jackie takes the field. He knows what’s coming: It’s going to be ugly. No one would blame him If he returned the same. No one would blame him If he rebuked the beasts. But amidst the noise, He must have heard music; He must have come upon the diverging road And said, “This is more important than that”; He must have known What every saint and patriot knows, That the greatest thing a man can do with time and talent Is eat shit for everyone else.

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S LEEP S ENSE (

T h e

W a l k

I

M a k e

)

The trees no longer hang on the wires Something or someone has caused them to smash into pieces that lie on the side of the rather cracked and disheveled sidewalk. How civilized things do resemble wild nature, given the time and trampling.

by Virendra Goolcharan ’12

Stench. What on earth are they using on the earth? Filling and burning the lungs as I rush past,

As the synapses slip and snap,

moving to darker pastures of sublime beauty and

My eyes sink like a sunset harriet

flitting danger.

to the merry winding lark of grass,

Hedges of all degrees sprawling along old wooden gates

whistling in circles past my feet

and fences, that hide half-windows from the houses.

as I tread past the corridor of street to a plane of stores drenched in night....

The repeated pounding of a half-sensed voice. Elates my head into strong delusions of power

Walking back, I can imagine some great

and the eternal might of anger. Slinking along,

bestial claw of shadow lurching towards me

in the back of my head, the Lord discourages this

with a speed I can only feel rather than see

placebo adrenaline.

through the blaze of headlights, which I imagine I can split apart and make dance

Apologies are always saved for later.

in a breathless foolhardy.

Slowing. Stopping. Pulling the door handle.

The thought of the claw takes me as my mind watches me

The old worn concierge. Deposed ruler of a chip company.

spit blood and take on the explosion of guttural pain.

Good night. Always engaged with the other old men. There is such an easy swing in the second door.

The white shorts I wear show traces of skin,

But easiness is lost to the stairs, the agreement must be honored.

blocked only by the excess cloth of pockets. Dimensions on the body, Dimensions in the mind

The body must be pained in that winding enclosed space of old paint and grey concrete.

Dimensions in space, Dimensions in time.

A walk to a small wait across the familiar carpet.

A wire of music bounces with my step,

The warmth of the fake ring of pink roses atop the peephole.

in a constant disarray of quick and quicker.

The pleasant rush of ringing a melody out of the two-tone doorbell.

A thin string of thick thoughts.

Home. 30

31


Remember Home by Marichka Milord ’15 Home is where my life was not a foreign language Everything was well-pronounced The lyrics of my melody weren’t messed up I didn’t struggle to make sense of things I didn’t have to mourn transitory things Home is where I was before I got lost Home is where I belong I found the cure for all my diseases I felt iron-like and in-command I felt well-heeled and well-situated I could kick my shoes off metaphorically and physically Home is where I was before I got lost Home is where any wind would take me to the right direction Life was as clear as a crystal I had Sunshine Freedom I discovered the secrets of Life I was reminded of the feeling of growing up Home is where I was before I got lost Home is where life was not a harmless enigma I did not have to give treacherous impressions I was accepted without questions Everything around reminded me of who I was And the path I wanted for the future Home is where I was before I got lost Home is where I was surrounded by vigorous soldiers They taught me the typical values of life They taught me how to use my wings and fly They nourished my spirit with energetic aliments They gave me an indestructible armor Home is where I was before I got lost

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by Ariel M. Foy ’12

You never listen. Why didn’t you obey? Leigh! (I screamed: Shut up! Didn’t you hear?) Now you’ve done it. You’ve stained the pearl white floors, my hands, and clothes. Buckets of red paint spilled. I have to do all the work: • Clean the stained knife, the floors • Burn the clothes • Burn the beautiful lifeless 5' 7" chocolate bar • Move to India • Find a new friend Maybe she’ll listen to me I’m tired of cleaning red paint. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. (Kathy, Laura, Jackie, Mina, Jane, Lilly…..)


An Unaccomplished

Charity by Prajwal Niraula ’15

On a mid-winter’s day, Kathmandu – with traffic honking, hawkers shouting and pedestrian shuffling – lay busily lazy. The dusty air was slowly rising up from the streets, dimming the much-coveted sunlight. A usual day it was for most, but for Simrik it was a half-day leave from his job. A lad in his early twenties, Simrik had been staying in Kathmandu for six months and had been working for half that period at an INGO. The city had unconsciously welcomed him, like it had to millions, attracting strongly by the promise of higher remuneration and repulsing by scarcity of water. After several months of training, that repulsion would disappear, resulting in an ever-rising number of new faces in the narrow streets of Kathmandu. Simrik quickened his pace as he saw the queues of parked microbuses. The thought of having the whole evening to himself supplied an extra boost to his appendages. His arms were flying high in the air, consuming the extra energy in their every oscillation. “How blue the sky looks. How beautiful!” he thought. Simrik had learnt to appreciate the beauty of nature since he learned to paint. Initially it had been just a hobby but, after taking some lessons, he turned himself into a professional, selling three of his paintings for a good profit. Today, he was hoping this number would increase. “How badly I require money to buy a laptop. I must have one by the end of this month.” His mind was thinking of various plans once the money was in his hand.

34

Simrik reached near the end of the queue. The conductors were calling names of places with energy surpassing Simrik’s and requesting, sometimes forcefully, to squeeze passengers in the limited space inside the bus. Simrik got into one micro, reading the placard in its front window and confirming the bus route from the driver. After managing to get a seat, he started thinking of the reasons his painting should sell: he had worked hard on its brilliantly exposed hues and was well-lauded by friends and teachers alike. The power of color leaving the brushes of trained artists onto a canvas is incontestably strong. Simrik was one of those artists. The driver pressed the horn and the impudent blare prickled the mind of Simrik and he suddenly became aware of his environment. More people were cramming into the micro. Most of the seats were taken. It was time to leave but the conductor was not in sight. The driver pressed the horn again. The third time he did so, a boy came running to him, delivering some cigarettes and betel nuts. He took some moments to explain the cost, as Simrik overheard it, and started calling names of the places as other conductors were doing. “Almighty! This little boy is our conductor.” Startled at the contrast between the probably-eight-year-old face and harsh job of conductor, Simrik was on the verge of disbelief. But as the young boy got onto the micro, arranging the passengers and making a small room to stand for himself, there was no alternative explanation. As the micro slowly moved out of the queue to join the bustling vehicles, Simrik found himself intently gazing at the boy. His hair was mess. The blue t-shirt and grey pants, which oftentimes exposed the fatless skin of his gaunt body, were dirty with black patches. Blackened, cheap slippers were on his feet. The cold breeze from the window blew his hair away from his face, sometimes piercing his thin outfit and making him shudder. When potential passengers were in sight, his shrill voice would repeat the street names. A moment after, he would look at the packed bus with an air of satisfaction and at times stare at the black pitch road, as though he was searching for the lost pieces of his jigsaw puzzle life.

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The boy had been frequently glimpsing Simrik too, perhaps because that was his nature or because he was being watched. His eyes were twinkling with such brilliance that Simrik thought they alone had remained untouched by his fateful situation. Simrik, overwhelmed by the boy’s bleak condition, could not help thinking about him. “What a tender age to begin working. How unmerciful God, life and fate have been to him. Isn’t it illegal? Well, who cares about the law? No one, at least no one among those who have seen him working as a conductor. But not me.” Simrik had always felt deprived of proper opportunities all his life. If only he could have gone to better school, if only his father had a big business, if only he had owned a home in the city – if only one of these were true, the hardness of life would disappear. Yet, the problem in front of him had momentarily dumbed all his dissatisfaction. He felt more like a savior sent to rescue the helpless from the earth. His mind was wrestling to find out how. The boy started to collect the fare. A passenger passed a hundred rupee note. With alacrity the boy returned eighty-eight, keeping twelve as fare. His quickness stunned many passengers. Yes! They were treating the boy with care and love. But did they not intend to do more? “Perhaps they are all looking for people like me to rescue him?” thought Simrik with a mixed feeling of resentment and pride. “If my painting sells, I will send him the money. No, that won’t do – I think I can talk about him in my office.” He remembered that his office was supporting homeless orphans. Perhaps he could talk on the behalf of the boy, persuade his boss. He would talk to him tomorrow and try to change the young conductor’s life. What a day it would be when this boy could go to a school! Simrik began dreaming of the future. As the micro approached his destination, Simrik produced just the required amount of money in the direction of conductor. As he got the boy’s attention, Simrik spoke to the boy, “Can I know your name?”

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After a puzzled moment, the boy replied, “Ram.” “Where do you live?” “Dumbarahi.” “Do you have a phone number so that I can contact you?” Perhaps Ram understood what the stranger meant. Here was a stranger looking kindly at him, wearing good clothes and asking after his address. Here was the possibility of help and every such possibility was more than welcome. Ram replied, purposefully repeating the number so there would be no mistake, “2-0-2-4-3-5-8.” “2-0-2-4-3-5-8.” Simrik managed to store all this information in his mobile along with a photo without attracting the unwanted attention of other passengers. He got off the micro and hurried towards the art gallery on the other side of the road. The evening went as he planned, save for his painting not selling well. The next day, his mind was full with the reasons he would present Ram’s case to the head of his organization. Ram’s brilliant eye, his impeccable mathematics, his unlimited potential – Simrik just had to make his boss see this and he would soon care for the rest. However, before Simrik reached office, before he could explain Ram’s condition to his boss, before the first phase of rescue would begin, shriller sounds penetrated his ears. In the micro bus-station, he saw more children younger than Ram working as conductors – their condition worse, their faces badly ground by poverty. The enormity of the problem bottled up his enthusiasm and thoughts of the high inflation rate, water scarcity, and dysfunctional government swiftly returned. “How naive of me! How naive of me!” his mind was repenting. Simrik did not remember anything of that day except smiling and greeting his boss. When he sat for dinner in the evening, he noticed Ram’s photo and phone number were not in his mobile. He must have deleted it sometime during his work.

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I’m Leaving by Ariel M. Foy ’12 Welcome, Eeek are those? The pests: the rats, the roaches. The lights? They brighten, they blind, they attract. A rainbow? The people: they are pink blue black white and red, always in a rush. The life? It’s fast, never slow, no time to smell flowers or say hello. The streets? Paved with gold trash and opportunity. The corners? Thieves lovers lawyers shoppers cheaters happiness drugs banks. You like it? I hate it (I love it) The noise the sirens the screams the honks Let’s leave. Your silence is silent but mine is loud. The grass, the wildlife, the quiet I cannot do. I’m sorry, I can’t leave the ______.

Artwork

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y h p a r g Photo


Honeydew by Sidney Montanez ’13

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Keep Following Your Dreams by Amanda Jaikissoon ’12

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Las Noches de Madrid by Jessica Marquez ’13

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Aquarius by Dakota Santiago ’15

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Leaves in the Sky by Alexander Oren ’14

Cookie Thief by Sidney Montanez ’13


Hiding by Howell Villamayor ’14

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Flushing Bound by Dakota Santiago ’15


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Noche Morada by Sidney Montanez ’13

Silo by Adam Hirsh ’12


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Kovu by Sidney Montanez ’13

Sunset on the Highline by Dakota Santiago ’15


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Out on a Limb by Alexander Oren ’14

Remnants by Adam Hirsh ’12


Singing by Amanda Jaikissoon ’12

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Light Cola by Sidney Montanez ’13

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Galeries Lafayette by Jessica Marquez ’13

Parking View by Sidney Montanez ’13


Green Beetle by Lindsay Tagliareni ’13

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Saint Peter by Cristina DeCisneros ’14

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Fierce Peacock by Binh Nguyen ’12

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2641 Kennedy Blvd. Jersey City, NJ 07306 http://projects.spc.edu

The Pavan The Literary Magazine of Saint Peter’s College

2012

Saint Peter’s College


Pavan2012secured