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VOX POPULI spring 2013

VOX POPULI spring 2013 2


table of contents Cover:

table of contents

Taylor Tomasso

2-3 Photograph Tudor Craciun

13 Border Line Luis Rodrigo Castillo

23 Another Day Maurizio Cremi

5 Photograph Tudor Craciun

14 Nine Standards Sabrina Putnam

24 Hades James Siegel

6-7 Sand Andrew Bone

15 Here’s Looking at You Giorgia Bruni

25 Old Beauty Aidan Brooks


Chicago Police Officer Max Lehman

16-8 The Hermit Max Lehman

26 Memories Gavin Muenzberg


Sheik Zayed Mosque Gaby Cova

19 Painting on the Bridge Sami Hercules

27 Journey Angela Locatelli

10 The Brightest Star Deborah Russo

20 Self Portrait Marie Yamamoto

28-9 Velavaru, Maldives Roman Khudoliy

11 Fading Light Jonathan Huntenburg

21 Jackson Pollack Homage Anahe Arevalo Poincot

30 Just Dream Maria Montes de Oca Arena

12 Fantasy Portrait Savannah Renauldi

22 Fantasy Portrait Alexandra Krasnoperets

31 Man and Woman Yu Kanumaru

Sand Andrew Bone

We tend to forget the sand We should never forget the sand The first instruction to first man Who came to the end of land

I heard us as blubber rocks Brailling the algal shore Barnacle sure and hungry We bray for ever more

Perhaps it was a promontory Of the kind I remember when Toying with bucket and story I dabbled in the invention of men

I saw how man first strode the sands Drawn like venom through dishabitate lands Turning his face to the copper-headed sky In case vipered lies relearnt him why

But the sand The sand it rained inwardly And in sea-scribed haste Soon laid waste to the short-reigned effigy

And with the air newly cavernous The aquean rock descended And shaped the eddies in our cellular sea To play host to loves offended

And all the while the valley lofted sea Clapped its chasms at the sky And seagulls staking territory Flagged phantasms from on high

And ever since the hollowed sand Carves cavities for beasts And boats of travesties by heroes manned Course venal paths to rivered neaths

Suddenly there were cloud shards Conspiring to rivulets of light Thundercliffs of luminance Which drove sand rivets on my sight

We should never forget the sand How can we forget the sand The last instruction to last man Who comes to the end of land

chicago police officer Max Lehman

Sheikh Zayed Mosque photograph Gaby Cova

A man in blue tells me what to do Yet this man in blue does what I do The city is beyond comprehension The city has a mind of its own Ever working, ever churning To boil down what is sought after in life And sell it to the poor who cannot tell the difference That old man in blue, Perhaps he is blind too. Perhaps he does not know his role as a puppet, To this city, and to those he is employed to seize. The breath that The same breath The same breath Full of carnage Whose hands are

comes through the bars is soaked in gin that croaks for its liquidation that comes from the mouth torn from those cut and calloused

Perhaps those hands were cut from gears of machinery Perhaps the tracks of this machinery are to blame, Or maybe the tailored coats and shined shoes who lay these tracks are to blame, For what has happened to this city For what has happened to me, For what has happened to the man in blue.



The Brightest Star Deborah Russo

It’s my favorite moment of the day right before She silently descends, the dark cool veil that will always end up obscuring the luminous day. As Hemera reluctantly surrenders her spot to her mother, I watch; the sky is dyed in soft shades of pink, orange, purple and blue, the hues fusing together in a melodic symphony that echoes for a regrettably short period of time. The first bright stud of light makes her presence known, nestled in peaceful loneliness, delighted by its own uniqueness. But then Twilight is replaced by Dusk, and under the watchful eye of the caring milky moon, her siblings shine forward, just as anxious to show off as she is. She is but one pebble in the pile, and yet she will always remain the first and brightest star in the night.

Fading Light Photograph 10

Jonathan Huntenburg


Fantasy Portrait pastels

Border Line Luis Rodrigo Castillo

Savannah Renauldi


Lovers! It may be seen but never felt, Our country may be claimed but never seized. The kings and queens will not dismay our end. Our fight for shade beneath the sun will not Be clear but rough, will not be faint but bright. Our eyes shall not behold our dull decline, Remark an old oration, mend our plight. Shall you decide, unite beside raised arms, Do not assess the blood, which sped, disgorged, But feel the mighty air coursed ‘tween our palms. Our hands will be distinguished, yet our pack Admired. Let us yell in unisón Feared as the country we defend, in hand, And heart. As we reserve the name, Deutschland, We heed the light, raging the stars and sun. By day, by night, illumine in banal Terrain. I stand before ye to endorse Pain and our grit, for our degree of great Freedom is held in the eyes, of our foe. Affray the land, move heaven, altar hell For righteous flame upholds our name, Deutschland.


Nine Standards photograph Sabrina Putnam


Here’s Looking at You acrylics and marker on canvas Giorgia Bruni


The Hermit Max Lehman


s the dusk of mankind came over the horizon, and the pinnacle of man’s own hubris fell, there was a rift in the earth’s essence. It was as if nature struck back at those who lived to alter and taint her beauty. Leviathans swam through the oceans, and the claws of beasts, with skin under the nail and poison in the mouth, began to roam the lands that were once paved. Metal towers toppled from the bindings of roots as wide as rivers. Crops were lit up by the fury of the skies, and the soil was refurnished with the blood of those who were burned, crushed and eaten. From the ground sprung trees and vines that grew taller than the buildings they crumbled, and crept further than the roads that stretched across cities. The hand of Atlas broke through the earth, bringing along the firstborn of Mother Nature, and for the first time in what seemed to be eons, a silence so vast the hum of the earth could be heard again.

Yet there lingered a troglodyte who refused to be stamped out by the rampant vines and beasts. Like every living and breathing animal on the planet, the man fought for his sustenance and hearth everyday. To his credit, he understood the terms of his survival far better than his fallen kin. But make no mistake, the story of the Hermit is not one of triumph, nor is it one of companionship or love. His is a tale of tragedy, and as the only sentient being who has had the pleasure of hearing his voice, I recount his tale through his own recorded epitaph. I suppose it was the smell that attracted me to him specifically. What had brought me to his residence was the smoke rising from the grassy meadow nearby. The crickets and grasshoppers that leapt through the grass were apparently much larger than the ones that predated the extinction of men, as I would later learn from the Hermit. The flames were slowly marching, and the flinging insects hurdled over the meadows away from the fire towards the edge of the forest. Where the grass met the trees, and where the hardened ground met the moss and soil was where I noticed something utterly too deliberate, something that was impossible to have been made by chance. It was his doorway. His doorway was carved into the taproots of the redwood that he lived both in, and underneath. Were it not for the rot that fouled the air of his extensive

home, it would have taken hours to find him, but the stench could not have marked anything but death and decay. Up into the redwood where he had built himself a study, he laid dead in his chair, in a pool of dried blood and flesh with his left arm hanging stiff from the armrest. His right arm sat coiled and collapsed in his chest cavity with the bones of his fingers clenched around a device. In the process of retrieving it, I touched what used to be his heart and broke his hands and ribs, but knowing what I know now, I doubt he would have minded – the device was a tape recorder, and it was the key to everything.

after listening for a second time, the sound of his tears hitting the desk could be heard.

“If anyone, or anything is hearing this, it means that I am dead. Hopefully I have decayed beyond recognition, and my bones are nothing but brittle, white and bare, as my forfeit would have been in vain. I can say the last decades have been quite odd to say the least, and the beginning was not as hellish as it later grew to be. To what may be your surprise, the breaking of the world was nothing to me. I understood it from the moment it started. I saw Scylla on the news, and I knew her name from the mo After taking a good look into what ment I saw her coil through the sea. was left of his eyes, I found the entrance I saw the children of the sky and the and exit of a gunshot to his head. Lisearth return triumphantly, and pertening to the man’s last words was the haps that is why I was allowed to earn only thing left to do. my place in this overgrowth. I salvaged furniture from destroyed houses and “I used to pray for the day where I antique shops and drove them back to my could sit in peace, without the sting of home in these trees until there was no human mediocrity and take in the land. gas left to siphon. I scraped together But it seems that I have prayed for the as many batteries I could find so that worst hell on earth. I realize now that I could continue to listen to the CDs it was naïve of me to envision listenI saved, and I read all the books I ening to Nirvana while I attained it at countered. I built the home of my dreams the same time. Despite having all of the in this forest, yet I still felt the possessions that I hoped to have at the scathing of desolation. It took me some end of the world, I became more dissatistime to understand why, but I finally fied as each day passed – and many did at did. It was because of self-preservathat.” tion. For the most part, we humans did not only act to live. We enjoyed, and we He paused for a moment, and the ravished, and we took part in pleasures sounds of his breath clearing rustled that we created and encountered. But we in the background of the recording, and also possessed empathy. We did things

for others. But I found that I was the most selfish being left on the planet. I could not stand it. The bushels of rosemary that I tended to produced a smell that only I smelled, and imbued the steaks of boars and squirrels I hunted with a taste that only I could enjoy. The feelings I felt when I listened to my favorite childhood albums were only felt by me. The nostalgia was something that the wildlife did not understand, but perhaps it did, and I was just too young. I thought once, that I had broken the barrier when a family of deer as tall as basketball hoops, stopped in their tracks and seemed to listen to the sounds of an orchestra coming through my window. But they were only perplexed by me, and I was forced to watch as the smallest deer tripped over my Chevrolet as it was being chased by a wolf the size of a Volkswagen. The animals grew too large to be threatened by me, and all that were once domesticated were now emancipated. The guilt and the solitude drove me mad, and I forgot my own name as soon as I realized that there was no one left to call it out for me. This is my last cassette, and my final farewell. If luck should ever shine on me once again, then you will listen to the rest of my stories, and you will be the last reason I have had to exist. You will find my records, you will read my books and you will season your game with the herbs I tended, for it could not have been all for nothing.�

I realized much later what the Hermit was after listening to his stories, and reading the works of his favorite authors, and listening to his favorite albums. He was the exception to the flaws of man that the earth had purged; he was everything to validate the emergence of the conscious mind and all that followed, and he was everything worth saving. After the years spent at his home, enjoying the fruits of his efforts, I understood why the flames took the meadows on that day that I met him.

n Painting on the Bridge photograph Sami Hercules


Self Portrait acrylics on canvas board Marie Yamamoto

Jackson Pollack Homage mixed media and photograph Anahe Arevalo Poincot 20


Another Day Maurizio Cremi

It’s another day, Yet continuous flurries of wind Impose upon the tedious daily routine of the City Like enraged beasts. Suddenly, Mother Earth settles down With a definitive, frightful bolt of lightning Which calls upon an authoritative silence. Everything comes back to normality As the City resumes its usual obligations, Just like another day.

Fantasy Portrait 22

pencil Alexandra Krasnoperets


scowls. Persephone’s carpeted her throne in purple nightshade again, those yellow eyes mock

Hades James Siegel

his rule, her girlish voice sings the songs Orpheus sang during his dark descent. Hades waits, knows the long silence that follows. Somewhere above his velvet chasm a blizzard howls. He longs for that chaotic rapture when he first saw her—imagines the clash of opposites, the drop of pomegranate juice like blood that corners her lips and thinks—once more, one more bite! But she will never be anything but a summer teen who throws Christmas parties, strings popcorn, hangs mistletoe, tongues the recently deceased to taste the salty moments of their mortality and whirls across the black granite dancing a tarantella, hair a mess, eyes lacquered to the blur of his beetled face as he watches the weight of her blue hips, her feigned fall against his nocturnal abyss. Her laugh is lonelier than eternity’s eventual end.

Old Beauty acrylics on canvas Aidan Brooks


Previously published in The Modern Review Summer, 2006


Memories Gavin Muenzberg

I watched my mother float away upon an empty ocean breeze She looked like dust but a bit darker and somehow a little more free. Then it began to lead me. Her dust flew east, and I followed it here. That’s when I felt my heart began to tear The strings got caught Maybe in Denver maybe somewhere over Delaware I really don’t care. Now like a favorite sweater, my heart started to unwind, Holes began to appear (here…and here). So I decided to do what anybody would do I would snip the string Then burn the tip so it won’t break

But see it wasn’t that easy. To snip the string I began at my wrist And tried with a razor to cut the wire, But that just made the string tighter against my chest until I realized, This string wasn’t made out of earthly material, It was made from memories. You see, memories are the best material in the universe Because they are alive, They grow and develop and change every time you repeat them. If you try to ignore them they’ll cut into your skin Until you bleed black drips of confusion, That run down your arms like rivers mapping out stages of depression And leave marks as deep as the recession. When I realized this, I turned around so that my strings weren’t pulling at my back any more And I faced my memories. I thought this was better. No longer could they cut into my skin. The only way they could hurt me, would be to pull at my heart strings, So I just waited until the moment they tried, And when they tried they pulled harder than I expected. they pulled my heart out. And I died.

Journey Angela Locatelli

We leave with no luggage And fill ourselves with excitement Like children who see everything for the first time. After losing ourselves in the night, We find our way, Following the distant glowing and sparkling of the city. We don’t know where we’re going, But no doubt, We’ll love what we find.


Velavaru, Maldives panoramic photograph Roman Khudoliy



Just Dream Maria Montes de Oca Arena

When the head and body are at rest, the eyes close, but the mind opens. I wish that dreams could not only be at night, so I could dream even in the daylight. As I go to bed, I think what I will see: a field full of lavender perhaps. I’m just a dreamer, and I can’t wait for the day to end.

Man and Woman photograph Yu Kanumaru



2012-2013 Vox Populi Editorial Board Aleksandar Antelj Ilya Bessudnov Hailey Hibbard Zoe Hunter Aleksa Ilic (editor-in-chief) Gavin Muenzberg Maja Pankowska Nadine Schellekens Todd Matthew (faculty advisor)


Vox Populi, the TASIS Art and Literary Magazine, encourages creativity and appreciation of both art and literature and seeks to publish work from its community of students, teachers, administrators, and staff. The magazine strives to balance excellence and diversity in a wide variety of media.


Vox Populi 2013  

The TASIS Art and Literary Magazine, Vox Populi, is full of poems, photographs, and art created by the TASIS community during this school ye...

Vox Populi 2013  

The TASIS Art and Literary Magazine, Vox Populi, is full of poems, photographs, and art created by the TASIS community during this school ye...