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EDITOR’S NOTE. box · under · the · bed: noun, a place where memories come to hide. This year, the Poolesville High School Literary Staff envisioned a different direction for the magazine. With a maturing staff, even more imaginative submissions, and the ability to publish online, the members of the PHS Literary Magazine have chosen to revamp Loci, pulling the magazine into a modern age. Loci signifies the importance of various milestones or turning points in the life of an individual. For this year’s magazine, we were inspired by the spontaneity in these milestones. Seduced by the mystery of these hidden memories, we began to create this idea of the box under the bed, a place where a person’s memories come to hide. The topics touched on in this magazine are both fantasical and real, sensitive and lighthearted, structured yet scattered. It is this contradiction that makes the contents of our magazine beautifully human. We hope that this issue of Loci will prompt readers to explore their own boxes under the bed. -The


Table of Contents I. Adventure - Wendy Zhou II. Hiding Behind Reality- Toni Rose San Miguel

Hoax- Photograph by Wendy Zhou

III. Caroline Kraegal Spread IV. Black Bed

V. Dissolve VI. White Window

VII. Laces: An Imitation of William Hazlitt-Toni Rose San Miguel Shoes- Photograph by Stephanie Zhang

VIII. Social Media - Isaac Jackel

(Cover Graphic) Contact - Justin Tabatabai Hidden Decay - Photograph by Emily Burr

IX. Note to Self - Fangfei Yin

Tired Typewriter - Photograph by Isaac Jackel

X. Seasons - Wendy Zhou and Alison Gaynor (Left Photo) ... - Ana Vlajnic (Right Photo) ... - Ana Vlajnic

Table of Contents (Cont.) XI. Infinite Possibilities - Nathaly Aramayo

Tapioca - Photograph by Nikhil Tangirala

XII. Peppers - Photograph by Nikhil Tangirala XIII. An Excerpt From Grief - Alison Gaynor Breadth - Photograph by Isaac Jackel

XIV. Through Fire and Flames - Chance Worthington

Fractured- Connor Pike

XV. Escape Into The Night - Christina He

Run Away Prince- Painting by Christina He

XVI. Flow- Painting by Christina He XVII. Warped - Christina He

Adventure - Wendy Zhou

Hiding Behind Reality Toni Rose San Miguel Sometimes all you can do is smile Muster up a laugh Or the utterance of a word Gather the courage to step out of your front door Mask your sadness in a powdered blush Keep your voice hushed to subtle tones Hide your stress in the wrinkles on your head Put up your hood as you walk to and fro Fidget with your fingers, sleeves, and shirts Nibble the fraying ends of your hair Snack on the leftovers from the days’ measly lunch Paint a picture in a variance of blues Sit quietly in the corner of a chaotic room Hunch your back as if you beared the world Retain a glossy stare in the blankness of your eyes Lock your emotions in a unkempt mind Fake interest in the gossip of the times Turn your attention to the dirt on your shoes Let your hair fall and cover the paleness of your face Cloak your neck in the embrace of a scarf Let your thoughts wander to places unseen Stare at the far end of your bedroom Hide behind reality Sometimes all you can do is smile

Hoax - Wendy Zhou




When there’s a will, there’s a way – I said to myself staring at the fresh white laces on my feet, trying to contain my utter frustration, determined to make the next step into boyhood. I was resolute in my decision to beg my mother for a new pair of shoes and resolute in perfecting the art of tying my new white shoelaces. Mothers! It is to you I dedicate this tale, for don’t belittle a child’s aspiration or ways of thinking, because what may seem of no importance to you, may be the biggest event to the little one.


Glancing down at the cold floors of elementary school, one witnesses the abundant variety of fastening choices for transportation: velcro, elastic, slip-on, pull-ups, maybe some combination of these; but only the real traveler sports the shoelace variety. I had spent a great deal of time contemplating how I would convince my mother. It was a hard thing to do; careful maneuvering had to be performed. If for some reason my mother was to become angry, I would suggest backing away by at least the span of an entire room or perhaps even an entire level would be the safest assurance. I quietly, almost in a faint whisper, posed the question of new shoes to my mother, “Mother may I have new shoes please?” “What?” she responded. I tried again, but this time a bit louder than before, “Mother I would love to have new shoes…Please?” and perhaps with a bit too much assertiveness. Brows furrowed, lips pursed, cheeks reddened, you could almost see the smoke coming out of her ears and a fire had set ablaze in her eyes; and all this steam erupted in one blow. The impact of the high-pitched screams came in slow motion as I braced myself for the worst. Afterwards, I was sent to my room to think about what I had requested. The fire-breathing dragon calmed down after a few days; and after a few quiet breakfasts, I tried once again: “Mother may I please have new shoes?” I cringed; ready to curl up into a protective ball formation, as she reached behind her, brows still furrowed, looking as if she was ready to slap the words off my mouth. But instead, her hand returned with a box. A box of new shoes. Shoes with laces. The next day I watched my mother carefully perform the act of tying the white laces, and as I walked out the door to step onto my school bus, I felt renewed and ready to face the other travelers of the school hallway. I have written this account on the purpose that adults, having lost the mind of a juvenile, can renew their old childlike ways and come to understand the quirks of their children, at a time when they themselves were constantly growing and developing mature minds, and when even the smallest of advances seemed like leaps.



Social Networking

By Isaac Jackel


has come to my attention that in recent years it has become quite fashionable to have on display, for any and all, the most intimate, inane, and perverse details of one’s own personal life. This is the phenomenon of social networking, a title that seems far more benevolent than its true meaning. There was a time, not so long ago, when the fact that one may or may not be having a bagel with lox and cream cheese for breakfast was not cause for alarm, but now it is a fact that others must so desperately know that it is necessary to stand atop a mountain of egotism and narcissism and proclaim unto the heavens “I have partaken of this toasted treat most delicious that all throughout the land shall know,” and although it is a proclamation unto the heavens, it would seem only the heathens hear or care. The concept of Social Networking is an ironic one, though “ironic” is a term so overused and bastardized in this present age that for it to truly be such it would have to wear brightly colored denim leggings and a flannel shirt while listening to its neo-Cuban Jazz collection on vinyl. The only thing that I have seen Social Networking teach is how to be anti-social and narcissistic. We live in a society where we don’t have friends; we have “followers.” We are not liked, we have “likes”; there has been an attempt to quantify the most personal qualities of our lives, and in doing so we have inflated he egos of those who have little to be truly proud of. A student, a plumber, or truck driver, all completely unremarkable and of humble means,

might honestly say, “I have 1000 friends.” I maintain that any man who can balance 1000 honest friendships ought to have a run for the ambassadorship, for this would be an accomplishment of such wild diplomacy that to rob the world of his peacekeeping expertise would be truly criminal. No one has a thousand friendships, only a thousand reasons why they believe themselves to be of greater importance than the average man. Never before have I seen so many men and women outside the field of statistics become so infatuated with numbers

to use social networking for the betterment of others. If I asked strangers to donate whatever drachmas or liras they might spare to help raise awareness of my cause I would

No one has a thousand friendships, only a thousand reasons why they believe themselves to be of greater importance than the average man.

while still being so ignorant of their true meaning. What does a “like,” mean in truth; what hidden value could make such a thing so sought-after? All it truly means is that someone looked at block of text or a picture with a name attached to it and clicked a button That it is the magnitude a “like” carries, that of a button being pushed. I’ll take a laugh, a chuckle, or a genuine smile over the vapidity and emptiness of a hundred thousand “likes” any day; it is this vapidity and emptiness that so harms those who attempt

surely be called a madman, and yet organizations the world over clamor for them without anyone calling into question the steadfastness of their mental health. Charities and interests all asking for “likes” to raise awareness of their cause are dealing in a useless currency. What these organizations, and perhaps all of us, desire is support, awareness, and perhaps a monetary contribution, yet all anyone gets are button-clicks. How truly, painfully ironic it is that in quantifying something of such grand importance we have reduced its meaning to nil. Contact (opposite page) - Justin Tabatabai Hidden Decay (above) - Emily Burr

Seas By Wend

Photo by Ana Vlajnic

Harsh lik Soft as Like leaves i A flee The tempera The mono Like Summer The freedom to live

sons dy Zhou

ke winter s snow in November eting show ature spikes, otomy breaks, r’s enticement, e the life she makes

Photo by Ana Vlajnic

Infinite Possibilities Time.

Nathaly Aramayo

If it could be preserved, What you would do with it? Roll it up, Compressed to make the most of it? Or compacted, To store it somewhere safe? And Love? Would you store it in a bullet proof enclosure? Incapable of being damaged, But incapable of being expressed? Or would you let it be? Free to consume, Free to run rampant and chaotic? What about Life? Placed in a glass jar on a picturesque window sill, To be looked at, admired, but never used? Or tossed into rapid white waters, Hurled to and fro, senses on edge, Experiencing absolutely everything? How do you regard these objects? These things of insurmountable value? They radiate simplicity but hide their inner complexities They are capable of tearing apart the strong And building up the weak They can turn the sane mad, Or perhaps give peace to the restless They can divide They can conquer But strangely enough‌ They are left to be used at our whim Such powerful weapons, such amenable peacemakers Laced with all things yet made of nothing Untouchable yet felt harder than any storm‌ So do tell,

What do you do with them?

Tapioca - Nikhil Tangirala

hil Tang k i N y b s r Peppe


An Excerpt from Grief Alison Gaynor

Maybe I didn’t want to leave my house just now. I knew it was risky. My senses were over sensitive, a common side-effect of shock and grief, and any encumbrance of overstimulation from the outside world would have landed me deeper in the laps of the sympathizers inhabiting the house I once shared with my family. I knew I couldn’t leave. The rational part of my brain whispered to me, muffled and

estranged, calling to me from beneath layers and layers of confusion: “It

would be worse out there…” I strained to hear it speaking to me, and decided that it was right; I’m better in a place where at least I recognize things. Once the sun went down, and my house started to empty, I attempted to convince myself that a long day of emotional


and-tear has made me

so fatigued that any soft surface would do. I tried, concentrating hard on any hint of lethargy. But ultimately it had to be the Nyquil that put me out.

Drug-induced dreams would come like a sip of ice cold lemonade on a sizzling summer day, rescuing me from this uncomfortable and sticky place. I can’t remember what I dreamed about. Maybe I was smiling from underneath a wide brimmed hat as I watched my daughter play in the Cape Cod waves. I woke up with a whisp of the dream in my conscience, the sweetest memory. I legitimately felt, for a fraction of a moment, that my life was once again whole. That miniscule instant of absolute bliss and ecstasy was a

fleeting flash of lightning, beautiful and natural. But then I felt the inevitable: the thunderous crash of a tsunami, my trachea inching off air supply,

pressure and pain mounting in my chest as I struggled to take

like I too, was about to lose my life. in every breath;

Through Fire and Flames Chance Worthington I open my front door and walk inside, The smell of my house rushes through my nose, I’m home. I watch my family scream as my home is engulfed in flames, My eyes pouring with tears as the fire eats everything I have ever known, It’s gone. I kick my shoes off, walk to the kitchen and greet my mom, I run to my room, jump into my bed and lay down my head, I’m home. The fire takes over the night sky with a mean glow, Embers float through the sky and land at my feet, “That’s my house” It’s gone. My dog jumps on me with excitement as I come downstairs, We find ourselves wrestling on the living room floor and then falling asleep by the fireplace, I’m home. I look at my house as it begins to collapse, Everything I have ever known, in a pile of ashes, It’s gone. I hug my family in need of comfort, I look at my dad with tears in my eyes, he looks down and says “It’s okay we have our family, we’re safe,” I’m home.

An Escape Into the Night by Christina He

Down the stairs in the middle of the night, Out the door, Into the field, Into the forest, That swallows men whole There are thorns And spits out their bones, That pierce your skin You will find a home. But not your heart, And you trudge on, Lighthearted, lightheaded, To the anthem of the wild. Under a canopy of leaves and stars You will find a bed.

Rest your weary bones. Let your doubts and worries Seep into the soil And be reborn. Rest your weary bones. Let your fears and lethargy Transpire into the air And rain down pure. Let nature hold you As its beloved child, For love of nature Is a love requited.

Rejuvination- Christina He



Poolesville High School’s Literary Magazine Editors and Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STAFF Ankita Jain Logan Weir ASST. EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Fangfei Yin Neel Kaul Rosalyn Xu Emily Burr LAYOUT EDITORS ADVISOR Toni Rose San Miguel Mr. Stephen Swift Alexi Worley POETRY EDITOR Alison Gaynor LITERARY EDITOR Wendy Zhou PHOTOGRAPHY EDITORS Julia Belenky Christina He SECRETARY Elim Cho BUSINESS MANAGER Neel Kaul

COLOPHON Loci is Poolesville High School’s annually published literary magazine. It is composed entirely of student produced work, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, artwork, and photography. Loci is a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) and the Maryland Scholastic Press Association (MSPA). The magazine is distributed online through Issuu.com and shared through online social media and the high school’s homepage. Members of the staff meet weekly to discuss theme ideas, edit submissions, and design layouts. All artwork, photography, and page layouts were edited using Adobe InDesign CS6. The final magazine was both published online and printed using Issuu.com.

Profile for Stephen Swift

The Box Under The Bed  

Poolesville High School proudly presents the 2013 Literary Magazine: The Box Under The Bed.

The Box Under The Bed  

Poolesville High School proudly presents the 2013 Literary Magazine: The Box Under The Bed.


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