Artwork by Jacob Stentz
Spring Issue 2012
Table of Contents
Artwork by Jacob Stentz Cover Untitled Poem by Sara Kaehler 5 “A Night in December,” Fiction by Zachary McCoy 6 “You Just Missed Her,” Poetry by Kristina Brodbeck 13 Photograph by Emily Fultz 15 “Oh My God, You Killed Censorship,” Creative Nonfiction by Sara Kaehler 16 “The Heart of James Cameron,” Poetry by Grant Nolte 21 “Rubber Hits the Road,” Poetry by Neil Kelly 22 “Bicycle,” Photograph by Sara Kaehler 23 “Today, I Learned How to Spell Frappuccino,” Fiction by Kristina Brodbeck 24 “To My Psychologiest,” Poetry by Alaina Hartman 27 “Theories, Fantasies and Fables,” Creative Nonfiction by Matthew Kohlmorgen 28 “More Than the Old Kitchen Table,” Poetry by Kristina Brodbeck 32 “The Long Walk from Your Door to My Car at Three in the Morning in October,” Poetry by Zachary McCoy 33 “East Jesus Nowhere,” Fiction by Matthew Kohlmorgen 34 “At Wits End,” Poetry by Jacob Stentz 41 Drawing by Evan Lolli 43 “Heart Attack,” Fiction by Grant Nolte 44 “Life Amongst Death,” Photograph by Catherine Adams 55 “Neverland,” Poetry by Zachary McCoy 56 Untitled Poem by Sara Kaehler 61
Poetry by Sara Kaehler Your first look was the wrong one, bruised eyes & fresh freckles, meeting mine from far away, I thought you were a writer, a painter, a lover. Before I knew you kept thimbles in your pockets or used your ashtray to stick used gum, I dreamed what you were like. I thought I could look at you from across the room & know you would read to me in bed or bring me tea. My first love was a con artist. Your hands were rough from crafting lies. Lines from poems went unfinished; one side of the bed stayed cold. All I wanted were those lips like walls to come crashing down on mine. Is there anything left of the boy who liked my wrists or did you take him away with your saxophone case? The biggest lie wasnâ€™t I love you. No. The biggest lie was Nice to meet you.
A Night in December Fiction by Zachary McCoy I shove my hands deep into my jacket pockets trying to find a small ember of warmth within my shallow pockets. Shuffling through snowy sidewalks on my way to the bus stop, I begin to think of a night in December last year. Winter seems to come sooner and sooner each year in this city; before we all know it, there’ll be snow in July. Walking to the bus stop is something I have always disliked, but my job does not exactly pay for a Porsche. So, I take the bus; it’s not very glamorous but it is cheap and allows me to meet a plethora of exotic and interesting people. I am going to tell you a story. It will explain why I am walking through this blizzard to a bus stop at eleven o’ clock at night on a Tuesday. It’s all for a girl I met a year ago today. *** My feet were wrapped in the coziness of a brand new pair of boots, yet still felt the fatigue of walking from my work to the bus stop. The wind whipped through my wool jacket, despite it being the best my money could buy. I was thinking about how nice it was to be out of the hot and humid hell-of-a-dish room and letting the cool wind soak into me. I walked the half mile to my bus stop. I mostly looked down at my feet, impressing upon the snow. To my right and left there were the usual businesses that surrounded the area, but in the wintery mix the buildings lights began to change. The buildings had hung up Christmas lights that glistened just as brightly as lightening bugs in a warm July summer. Yet, it was not summer. It was ten degrees. There was snow sneaking its way into my waterproof boots. Still, the lights warmed me up a bit in their own way, the way a mother’s voice calms a baby, or the way a whiskey bottle warms an alcoholic. I am addicted to the innocence of the holidays. I felt myself become rejuvenated thinking of the holidays and the lights the glistened on either side of me. It was then that I first saw her. Well, at least I think I saw her. The snow was blowing harder than it was when I had first left the kitchen, which made seeing harder than usual. Trust me though, she was there, if she had not been I would have no story. I arrived at the bus stop. I could feel the hair under my hood becoming frosty with the cold. The humidity of the kitchen had left water on my hair, which had begun the freeze. I did not really appreciate this very odd sensation at the time as 6
my attention was suddenly and irrevocably drawn to the girl that I now sat next to at the bus stop. I sat in the small enclosure of the bus stop bench and glanced at the Plexiglas that separated me and my new companion from the bitter winds that were beginning to blow through the streets. I shivered. My hands drew my wool coat tighter across my chest like it was a blanket. My head swiveled and I caught sight of the girl. Her hair was the color of firewood and it jutted from beneath a white crocheted hat. Her outfit was light for the weather: a simple blue jacket that came down past her hips like a flapper dress, white tights, or leggings, or whatever the ladies call them, all ending in a pair of floppy soft brown boots. It was not her outfit that really caught me, but her eyes. One eye was of the coolest blue I had ever seen, like a lake covered in ice, it peered out, piercing the cold evening with an even more frigid gaze. The other was of such a lovely brown I could not help but feel as though it were ready to burst into a lovely warm fire that could melt the snow with a simple look. They were stunning. They were enchanting. They both made me shudder with cold and sigh in warmth. They were— “It’s called heterochromia.” I jumped at her voice. It was the same as the winter wind that whipped against my ear, and at the same time it was the roar of a warm fire that waited for me at my place. I looked away. I could not believe I was caught staring at this girl. I had probably been staring for hours before she finally was so freaked out she felt she had to do something. Yet, I could not help but ask, “What’s that, that wahdidyasay, het-ar-oh-kromia?” “Heterochromia. It is having two eyes of different colors. I was born with it.” I looked back at her and she was looking into me with those wide, crazy, and beautiful eyes. “That is what you are staring at. Well at least you aren’t looking at what must guys look at on me.” I blushed, and she grinned. “I guess your eyes were enough for me.” Her smile widened and I saw her teeth. Her smile ripped through me. They were so cold looking though, they were a bear trap hidden in the snow, as if they could capture you and leave you to smile on someone further down the road. “Wow, what a killer smile.” Her smile stopped with a bite of her lip. I gave her my own small smirk in hopes to weasel her wonderful lips to curve upwards again. They did not. She turned her head back to the iced-over street, and gazed past where I could see. I looked down into my lap. Silence permeated the scene. 7
I sat there in silence for what seemed like centuries. Then I heard silver bell laughter. I looked over to see the girl giggling. “I am sorry,” she said, “I have been sitting here wondering if you were some crazy rapist or something and if I should just leave, and I just had thought that you were a little too cute to be a rapist. Also, I was thinking if I had left the light on in my bedroom. I didn’t.” She giggled and her laugh melted the snow. “I suppose it is funny.” I laughed. She looked over at me now in earnest. “You aren’t a rapist, are you?” suddenly serious. “Wha—no! Of course not.” “Okay good.” “Good.” I was starting to feel a little embarrassed, but then she said,“My name is Noelle. By no means am I the first though.” I stared for a minute and then chuckled. “My momma told me never to talk with strangers, so give me your name, or I am going to start walking and you’ll be just another lonely guy at a bus stop on a night in December.” “A—Alex.” I stuttered. “Good, now we aren’t strangers.” She smiled genuinely and asked, “Where are you headed Alex.” “Home I hope. If this bus ever comes. What about you?” “Home.” Simple, short, and sweet. I searched my head for small talk and everything I came up with seemed so, well, small. Luckily she was the next to talk, “So where did you come from?” “Like, originally? Or just now?” “Both.” “I was born in this city actually. And I just came from my work.” At this point I was just hoping that the cold was killing any of the nasty smells that were lurking inside my jacket. “What about you?” “Oh I come from up north a ways. I am coming back from my brother’s house where I spent my holiday.” “I like that about the holidays. People stick around their families around this time of the year.” “I don’t know, I am always traveling so it’s hard to keep in touch with my family. I just needed to see if my brother would help me move.” 8
“Oh, you getting a new place?” Yep.” “Where at?” “Texas. It’s where my family lives. Well not my brother, but the rest of them” “Oh. That’s nice.” I did not know what else to say. “It’s really magical looking this time of the year. Not in Texas, but here.” She was looking at the snow piling in the street and sweeping across the empty boulevard. I felt a sudden warm flame begin to spread from the center of my chest. I thought that it could be from this new woman’s company, or maybe it was simply my blood pumping harder and hotter to warm me against this December chill. It was hard to tell at this point. “It’s the only month that can be covered in snow and can still make you feel so warm” I said. She let out a bell-like laugh. “I miss flowers,” she sighed. “You like flowers?” “Oh,” she gasped with excitement, “I adore flowers. Granted I adore anything beautiful. I suppose that’s why I like myself so much.” She giggled and gave me a grin. I could not tell if she was joking but I laughed anyway out of politeness. I looked over her body the way only a man could. Taking in it all, sizing everything up individually, then as an entire package. It was about that time I felt warmth spreading through me that was most definitely the cause of Noelle. “Well I can’t blame you for liking yourself, you’re very likeable.” “Why thank you.” I swear she was blushing. “You’re welcome.” I was smiling from ear to ear. “So, do you like this time of year?” She was changing the subject. “I do. Do you?” “I feel as though people give it a cursory glance.” I felt a test coming. “What do you mean?” “I mean people see it at face value.” “Explain more.” “Uhmm well. Let’s see…” She bit her lip in thought. “It’s like how people view women.” Oh shit, I thought, this is a test. “O—oh?” I stammered. The panic of a student who has not studied and the exam is in front of them seized me. “It’s like this: Men look at women and know that they are supposed to see something deeper. They are supposed to think women are deep and mysterious, but 9
men don’t really think that anymore. They think women are as shallow as they are. Sure, there are some men who look at a woman and still see she is more than makeup, high heels, and a thirty dollar dinner. Who we are gets distorted in viewing, because men don’t want to see us as something larger than we are. All women smile like Mona Lisa. Snow on Christmas is more than precipitation on the twenty-fifth. December and women are meant to be looked at deeper. This,” she reached over and grabbed my hand in her mitten, “is more than my hand on yours. This is me holding your hand.” For a moment I forgot how to breathe. “I am holding your hand.” “You are holding my hand.” I suddenly felt as though I was somewhere far above looking down on two young kids on a deserted street discovering each other as the first real people on earth. “Oh,” she blushed, “I am holding your hand.” Her hand slipped away from mine, but it did not seem to matter so much. She was still holding me in her eyes. Poetry rushed through my head. “All that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and in her eyes.” I whispered into the wind. She smiled. Everything seemed so simple. Everything was translucent and bright and beautiful. “It’s so strange,” she said “to meet a stranger in the night and to have known them for so long.” “There is more to you than what people see.” It seemed the thing to say. “I don’t think the bus is coming.” “It’s past one.” “The buses stop running at eleven thirty during the week.” “Baby, it’s cold outside.” I was being clever. “Would you like to walk back to my apartment with me?” She asked. “It is only about a thirty minute walk from here and to be honest I could use the company.” “Yeah, sure.” I said and we began to walk together. The wind was biting into us and we leaned against it trying to beat it back into submission by sheer force of will. It was a moment of the click. You know what I mean when two people meet and a few words are exchanged and then—click!—you simply know you like them in that moment and that’s all that matters. I felt like I could say anything and it wouldn’t be silly. I felt like I could walk this girl home and that was okay. I felt like it was all going to be okay; those are the moments you 10
don’t give up no matter how crazy or unexpected, they always seem to come more often in December. “What’s your favorite flower?” I asked as we walked on. “The rose, for sure: What about yours?” “I don’t know. I never really knew the names of flowers.” I racked my brain. “I like the flowers that grow and speak to Alice in Wonderland. The little tiny ones that end up hiding behind their mothers when talking to Alice.” “Tiger lilies? Those are beautiful. I will make sure to have rows of them in my new greenhouse.” She gave me a quick smile and then quickly looked into the distance letting out a long low sigh. “I miss my family. I hate being stuck here when I could be home.” “Why are you stuck in Illinois then? Instead of being home?” “I actually just go to college here. It’s my last semester. Horticulture is a four and a half year program. Now that I am finished I am going down to my new place in Texas to start a greenhouse.” I felt something more than the wind pass through me then. “Well that’s cool.” “I agree.” There was some silence as we turned a corner some blocks away from the bus stop. “My apartment is just up ahead.” Her gloved finger rose and pointed to an apartment frosted with icy snow. We walked to it in silence and I held the door open for her after he neighbor buzzed us in. We climbed the metal staircase together as she rifled through her purse for her keys and I scrambled through my brain for something to say. When we finally arrived at her door she had let out an exasperated sigh and lifted up the welcome mat that lay in front of her door for her spare key. I chuckled and she grinned sheepishly. “Here we are, home sweet home.” Her arms gestured to a series of halfpacked boxes and furniture without cushions. “Wow, you’re ready to leave then huh?” “Yup, I am leaving within the month. I have to go back to Texas after this month to help out with my family.” I nodded and looked around as to see where I would be sleeping. Seeing nowhere to sleep I thought it may be time to ask the question. “So, where am I sleeping?” I still can’t believe the answer I got. She looked into my eyes and they shone brilliant blue and burned deep brown. “With me.” 11
*** The next morning I awoke and got dressed. She was already in the kitchen and rushing to get her books together for class. I checked her wall clock to see the time was eight thirty and knew of a bus that swung by those parts at around ten till. We were rushed. So I did what I thought I should. I walked over to her and she turned to face me. I leaned in and pressed my lips against hers. Her lips parted and crashed back down on me like an avalanche. We talked for a moment. She gave me her number and I promised to call. If I couldn’t reach her she had said, we should just meet a year from now at the bus stop. I laughed and agreed. She was leaving for Texas in a couple weeks so I said we should get together before then if she had enough time. She didn’t. I called her a couple times though. We talked for a while and learned more about each other and I was sad that I was going to have to wait a whole year to see her again. She left for Texas but promised that she would be here, a year from that day we met, which coincidently is today. I walk up to the bus stop and start to wait. The bus arrives and I look around and see in the distance a woman looking from down the street. I can’t see what she looks look like but I know exactly who she is. I look away and step onto the bus. I find my seat quickly and quietly and the bus pulls away. The bus drives past the woman; a beautiful brunette with striking green eyes gazes up at me. I look away as we pass. I knew that Noelle wasn’t going to show, but I could still hope. It’s okay though. She wasn’t the first person I fell for in a day, and she won’t be the last. Besides, December comes every year, and it’s never the same.
You Just Missed Her Poetry by Kristina Brodbeck If I could go back in time and hug myself I would find me in nineteen ninety one when I had my first nightmare and woke crying. I would say don’t cry; mom is coming soon. I would want to protect me from me. I would find myself in two thousand. Being ten is hard because no one understands. I would say just wait; soon you’ll see that life can be so much worse than being weird. Soon being smart will work out for you. I would find myself in two thousand six. Sweet sixteen, but you hate us now. I’d say just wait; you will learn to cry soon. He will let you cry. He will make you eat and say you love us. It will change you. I would find myself a year after that day In a Target bathroom with a positive sign. I would open my arms and hug me. It’s okay. Just wait, because everything will be okay Don’t be scared; he has your eyes, his smile. I would find myself when the screen was still, no heartbeat. It’s okay, tomorrow really does come. In six days Christmas will be here. He gets his bike, rides it down the hall. You will laugh then. In six days. Just wait; it’ll be less painful soon. I’m here, I would say.
I would find myself tomorrow. Maybe we can finally catch each other. You always seem to be missing me. If I could catch up with myself today I would open my arms, give me a hug. Smile. Iâ€™d say stop loving you from twenty, ten, two years ago. Itâ€™s the same you.
Photograph by Emily Fultz 15
Oh My God, You Killed Censorship! Creative Nonfiction by Sara Kaehler Cartoons aren’t just for kids anymore. Ever since its debut in 1997, South Park has been a hit amongst teenagers, but more impressively their parents. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have generated a phenomenon, spoon feeding culture and political commentaries masked behind crude language and vulgar images to eager viewers tuning in every Wednesday night. Some criticize the show, revolving around the outrageous lives of four preteen boys, for being offensive, overly eccentric, and “nothing but bad animation and fart jokes” (Parker). But, the content of South Park is chosen meticulously, throwing the notion of political correctness out the window. By using foul language and real-world events, South Park and its creators effectively entice the viewer while critiquing the world around us. Since the first episode where one of the boys named Eric Cartmen gets abducted by aliens and receives an anal probe, the show has been under scrutiny from more conservative groups, especially the Parents Television Council founded in 1995. Founder L. Brent Bozell III has even gone so far as to accuse the show of being “dangerous to the democracy” (qtd. in Fagin). The show revolves around the four boys, Stan (recently diagnosed with cynicism in season fifteen), Kyle (whose blood is tainted with the three “J”s: Ginger, Jersey, and Jew, according to the episode “It’s a Jersey Thing” in season fourteen), Kenny (famous for dying in almost every episode), and the aforementioned Cartmen. These boys are all in the fourth grade and colorfully curse like sailors. While the show is entirely aimed at mature audiences only, some are tugging nervously on their collars at the idea of their own ten-year-olds asking their teacher, “How would you like to suck my balls?” as Cartmen does in the film made in 1999. South Park consistently pushes the limits of what is allowed to air on television. In the fifth season, Parker and Stone were surprised to find out they would now be able to say the word “shit” when given the appropriate context. So, they based their entire season premiere episode, “It Hits the Fan,” on counting how many times they could get away with saying it, with the final tally coming to 162 times. (It occurred in print an additional 38 times, making for 200.) However, this episode caused very little controversy. “It Hits the Fan” made the cut into the list of 10 South Parks that changed the world, along with “Red Hot Catholic Love” and “The Passion of the Jew” (“Comedy”). 16
Parker and Stone defend their usage of profanities adamantly as the portrayal of how kids truly behave when not under the careful watch of their parents, perhaps maybe slightly exaggerated. Yet, there is a glimmer of morality for the show’s average 3.5 million viewers per every new episode. Frequently, earlier episodes, before the show made the shift to satirical, concluded with one of the boys stepping forward to say “You know what? I’ve learned something today…” then proceeding to relay an important message. While over the years the show has changed, nixing the trademark ending along with the reliable death of Kenny, the sentiment is still the same. While the boys and other children speak earnestly, there is the innocence of children as well (McFarland). Along with vulgarities, South Park is also known for their shameless mockery of celebrities, politicians, and events. One of the key factors in what makes this show stand out from others in respect to what is happening outside the fourth wall is how it is produced. What seems like effortless animation done choppily is actually intentional. Additionally, episodes of South Park are produced in one week. This short time frame allows references to occur within the same week as the object of parody, such as the United States Border Patrol's raid of a house during the Elian Gonzalez affair, which occurred just four days before it was reproduced two-dimensionally in a fourth season episode entitled “Quintuplets 2000” (Silverman). This sets South Park apart from most animated shows, such as Family Guy, whose tactic is to reference a wide variety of matters, such as Shatner’s “Rocket Man” video from ’74 due to the longer production time, spanning months. Although it may allow for the makers to be less on edge, its humor may not always reach the target audience (MacFarland). One incident that most South Park fans can name where the show has genuinely pushed the limits, both drawing in and shooing away viewers, came in season ten, involving a depiction Muhammad. Two episodes, “Cartoon Wars Part I” and “Cartoon Wars Part 2,” are based on parodying Family Guy for wanting to broadcast an image of the prophet, which the Fox network initially will not allow before consenting in the beginning of “Part 2.” Comedy Central, however, would not permit Stone and Parker to depict Muhammad, so they simply used a large, black rectangle in his place that read, “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.” This caused quite the stir in the general public, as Jesus Christ is a frequent target on the show. The creators were fuming over their limitation, feeling “it's got to all be OK or none of it is.” Colleagues reminded them about Theo Van Gough, a Dutch filmmaker who was assassinated in 17
2004 for exposing the treatment of women in Islam, and urged them not to air the episodes for fear of a similar fate (Tapper). In an interview on 60 Minutes, the pair was asked if they’re ever found a line they would not cross. Stone affirmed “No… we haven’t found one yet.” Parker and Stone pride themselves on touching the taboo. By going where no one has dared to go, they have an original voice (Stone). Comedy Central eventually admitted to Parker and Stone that they did not restrict them out of religious reasons, but concern the building would be blown up; therefore, the creative minds behind the show harbor no ill feelings towards their network (Tapper). This is not the only example of South Park turning on a particular religion. In season nine, Scientology was the new target. The 2005 episode, “Trapped in the Closet” depicted Stan as the reincarnated founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. By the end of the episode, he condemns the religion as nothing more than “a big, fat global scam.” Also in the episode, Tom Cruise finds his way into Stan’s closet and refuses to come out, playing on rumors circulating about Cruise’s sexual orientation (Tappper). The episode itself was greatly successful, being nominated for an Emmy in 2006. Along with the previously discussed “It Hits the Fan,” “Trapped in the Closet” is also on the list of 10 South Parks that changed the world (“Comedy”). Throughout the developing process, Stone and Parker kept in contact with their legal staff. Never could they directly call Tom Cruise gay; instead, they literally put him in a closet, with his former wife Nicole Kidman urging him to come out and his colleague John Travolta eventually joining him in the closet as well. The team’s wit with over a decade of experience behind them permits such blatant, yet legal, caricatures (Stone). Another celebrity subjected to unforgettable, unfavorable imitation is Jennifer Lopez. In the seventh season episode, “Fat Butt and Pancake Head,” Cartmen advertises a special guest for his project on Latino culture. However, his promise of Ms. Lopez is merely a ventriloquist act with his hand. Via Ms. Lopez, Cartmen presents racist stereotypes as facts, much to the dismay of his foil Kyle. South Park never shies away from a joke, no matter how racist (“Comedy”). Television is not the only medium Parker and Stone are using for their eccentric wit. Less than a year ago, in March of 2011, their hit musical The Book of Mormon hit the Broadway stage. This was the not first time the duo used song and dance; the movie adaptation of the show included 12 original songs, including the Academy Award nominated “Blame Canada.” Working with the mind behind Avenue Q, Robert Lopez, the friends since college crafted the religious satire 18
musical. The plot follows two Mormon Elders sent to Africa where they attempt to convert the locals inflicted with poverty and AIDS. Praise was given to the hit by both the fans and the critics. Book of Mormon has 9 Tony awards, including Best Musical, and has sold out for months. Recently, an episode of South Park aired which followed a plot themed with Broadway, making references to their sensation along the way. While the film version of their TV show concerned parents and brought media attention, a decade later, their humor is accepted as a refined art (Stone). Parker and Stone are an enigma for understanding that by ridiculing everything, they are being fair. Their show is full of offensive content, which is exactly what makes it great. Every viewer of South Park has at one point put their hand over their smile to stifle laughter, turned to their friends and said, â€œI should not be laughing at this!â€? The ability to ridicule everything free from bias is truly a gift. Todayâ€™s world is so dominated by black and white, right and wrong, that sometimes this cartoon is exactly the harsh slap back to reality the public needs. By being able to judge everything, South Park attracts an eclectic audience, no matter political or religious views. Now that Parker and Stone are here to stay, the tone for what is acceptable or not on television has shifted entirely and irreversibly.
Works Cited "Comedy Central's Lift of "10 South Parks That Changed The World" Wikianswers. Web. 29 Oct. 2011.<http://answers.wikia.com/wiki/Comedy_Central's_list_of _%2210_South_Parks_That_C hanged_The_World%22>. Fagin, Barry S. "Goin' Down to South Park." Reason (2000). Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://reason.com/archives/2000/05/01/goin-down-to-south-park>. MacFarlane, Seth. Interview by Peter Sagal. Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! NPR. 12 Nov. 2011. Radio. McFarland, Melanie. "On TV: Social Satire Keeps 'South Park' Fans Coming Back for a Gasp, and a Laugh." Seatlle P-I. 1 Oct. 2006. Web. 30 Oct. 2011. <http://www.seattlepi.com/ae/tv/article/On-TV-Social-satire-keeps-SouthPark-fans- 1216014.php>. Parker, Trey, and Matt Stone. "South Park Studios Chat with Matt and Trey." Welcome to The South Park Scriptorium. 10 May 2001. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. <http://www.spscriptorium.com/SPinfo/010510SPStudiosChatWithMattAndT rey.htm>. Silverman, Stephen M. "'South Park' Salutes Elian." People. 25 Sept. 1998. Web. 28 Oct. 2011. <http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,617720,00.html>. Stone, Matt, and Trey Parker. Interview by Steve Kroft. 60 Minutes. CBS. 25 Sept. 2011. Television. Tapper, Jake, and Dan Morris. "Secrets of 'South Park'" ABCNews.com: Daily News, Breaking News and Video Broadcasts - ABC News. 22 Sept. 2006. Web. 28 Oct. 2011.<http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Entertainment/ Story?id=2479197>.
The Heart of James Cameron Poetry by Grant Nolte The boy would write and he would dream of what was possible in far off places and what worlds might harbor alien races. The thought of floating and being free inspired the poor boy to write reams of fiction. He would read up on cases and piecemeal tales of worlds teeming with vastly different beings in far-off spaces. Earth is his prison, so he turned to the waters, an alien world here, a gift of Godâ€™s graces. So he dives and gazes upon diverse faces. His eyes and childâ€™s spirit gleam with the help of his production team.
Rubber Hits the Road Poetry by Neil Kelly Self-deprecating they say I am. I don’t know, but I like Spam. Meat’s irrelevant But I wrote it for the hell of it. You may ask, “What’s the deal, Neil?” See, this poem’s ‘bout how I feel on wheels. People stare, but I don’t care; It just a f-ing motor chair. I wheel, with cheer and glee Not caring one bit who sees me Rubber hits the road Like a fly hits a toad. Engulfed in the tile streets, I soar. My chair lets out a mighty roar, Or a soft hum. Like a little bumble bee Seeks the next flower I roll on hour after hour… Endlessly, like the Energizer bunny. God, I wish this poem was funny. Anyways, I sit in a chair Who cares? You are too. 22
Bicycle by Sara Kaehler
Today, I Learned How to Spell Frappucino Fiction by Kristina Brodbeck So, last night I was sitting in my therapist’s office. I spend a lot of time there. It’s a great time. I talk, he pretends to listen; then my parents shove hundreds of dollars at him. He tells them that I’m becoming normal. I pretend to be becoming normal. My parents pretend to think I am becoming normal. They go to work and I keep being me…not normal. I might have switched up a few of the steps in that process. It’s just, I’m so bored with these sessions at this point and honestly, the steps kind of get mixed up as life goes on. Anyway, I was sitting in Dr. Wong’s office last night. I secretly call him Dr. Bong, because it brings comedy to a serious situation. You see, I bring comedy into serious situations to avoid reality. Bong’s words, not mine. So I’m sitting in his office and I realized that maybe I am not a complete screw up. Maybe I just screw up. I think there is a difference. Maybe when I was thirteen years old and I skipped school because I was so sick of reading the f-ing To Kill a Mockingbird again and talking about Atticus and Boo Radley and how he was so famously misunderstood and all that crap that I just screwed up. It’s just that I read that shit already and the teacher had no idea what she was talking about. I should have gone to class, pretended that the teacher was teaching me something new about life, about mockingbirds, and a guy named Boo. But I didn’t. I was just thirteen and hey, Oprah or Dr. Phil, or maybe it was Maury said that it is okay for thirteen year olds to screw up. But no, they sent me to Bong again. They sent me back to Bong and told me that I would keep seeing Bong until I straightened my life out. I’ve been seeing Bong on a regular basis now ever since. I wonder when my parents are going to realize that they are wasting their money. From the time I first had to come see Bong after my teachers said I had a “social discomfort” and a potential anxiety disorder to the last time I dug that needle into the folds of my skin until I felt the smoothness of the heroin flood my veins, I have never taken my time here seriously. I really lost all respect for Bong when he couldn’t see that I loved me some heroin three nights a week—sometimes ten minutes before I walked into his office. When I kicked it last year, he didn’t see that either. I think when you start writing the letters M and D after your name, you are certified as a f-ing genius who doesn’t have to really be accountable for anything. Maybe I should go to med. school. But still, I sometimes get out of 24
school to come here. And when I am not getting out of school, then at least I don’t have to be home, so that basically keeps me from complaining too much. Today I walked out of my high school an hour early for a meeting with Bong. Except, I did not go. I just kept walking past his office when I arrived. I decided I was finished with being shrinked. I kept walking towards the center of the city. I’d had enough of this. I’ve had enough of my parents shoving what they called my “problems” off one someone else. They would rather shove out cash than deal with me. In my opinion, I can be a pretty awesome guy at times. I’m just not like them, and that never works for them. Bong was their emotional prostitute. It’s not like I wanted my parents to hear my when I spoke. I gave up on that long ago. But I am done with them thinking I am a nuisance that they can pass off to the first doctor who will take their money. I simply decided that I was not going back. So I kept walking past his office. Eventually I looked up and saw a Starbucks. I went in, got a venti coffee and a copy of the Times. My parents never knew that I read the Times. They looked down on me as such an immature self-centered kid that they never knew that I cared about politics, world issues, and the economy. I want to be a journalist. If I ever make it out of that crap high school I go to, I want to be a journalist for the Times. Maybe I will become a foreign correspondent and go across the globe to cover the story of a famine. I want to show people like my parents that there are far more important issues in the world than having a kid that doesn’t want to hang out with your preppy, phony, friends’ kids. Your kid could have been hooked on heroin for a bit, and you didn’t even know it. He could have kicked it alone, without you or your Bong noticing. Wouldn’t that be a shame? I sat in that Starbucks until it closed. I hung out with the Baristas. Some pretty f-ing awesome people work at Starbucks. I learned how to make a latte, and a frappuccino. I learned how to spell frappuccino. After I mopped the bathroom, the manager handed me a shirt and told me to come back tomorrow, with my ID and a worker’s permit. When I walked out of that Starbucks I realized something changed since this morning. When I woke up today and thought I probably wasn’t going to go to Bong’s office today, I thought for a minute that I might walk to the parking lot right after the Starbucks on Walnut Street, call up Eric who I hadn’t talked to in a year, and have him bring me some powdered heroin. This new powdered stuff that Eric got right after I quit last year apparently is much easier to hide. No needles, you see. So when I left the Starbucks that day I decided I should probably stop skipping classes when they are reading Mockingbird just because I read it ten years ago. 25
That teacher probably won’t teach me anything new, but if I don’t suck it up and go to that class, I can’t get it over with and go on to a new lit. class where hopefully the teacher won’t be full of shit. I definitely wasn’t going back to Bong, but I was definitely not going to be a screw up, just because my parents say I am. I might even stop blaming them too. They are full shit too, but shit happens. I turned my phone back on. Thirteen missed calls, seven voicemails. It rang instantly. “Hey mom.”
To My Psychologist Poetry by Alaina Hartman Voices enslave my mind. First one, then two, three, seven… Silence of the Lambs, The Bone Collector, and Hannibal Lecter are on my top playlist; Provoking the question: “What will be my signature?”… As you may see, I'm surrounded by an abyss, with no escape. Constant strikes of command slice my rationale, while intriguing whispers provoke acts unspeakable. Their shrill desires cloud my every action. I cannot fight the mouthwatering temptation. They taunt me. "Kill the girl." Even though "Kiss the girl" seems more appropriate. Yet, my hand twitches at the yearning of death at my feet. Watching life flee from horrified eyes seems fascinating. Even more so by my own doing... Yes. Power to decide the fate of another: that is my high, what sets me off. I ache for the touch of hot blood dripping from my murderous limbs. I crave for a stolen, ear erupting scream. The hunger to end what has yet to begin feasts in the echo of my voices. Terror festers in my mind. I am overcome; left in solitary darkness, operated by a stir of forceful secrets… I think this may be a problem.
Theories, Fantasies, & Fables Creative Nonfiction by Matthew Kohlmorgen H.L. Mencken wrote a brilliant play on his firsthand account of a dispute between the “Rock of Ages and the age of rocks”. This play brought to light the right to teach evolution in schools alongside creation to offer both ideals that deal with two different spectrums of belief. As Mencken wrote his play, the voice of Darwin was still vibrating into the corners of American society and education and had not resonated as strongly as it does now. In the shadow of all the evidence (yes, evidence) that lays with the scientific community in defense of evolution as a requirement to be taught in science classes in public schools, the creationist movement still takes up its wands and waves them in the air and fights vehemently to prevent this factual and hellish doctrine from being spewed to their children. The Creation Theory is not science; it is not factual. Rather, it is a fantasy derived from a-thousand-year-old fable that has since lost its relevance in biology, astronomy, and in our children’s schools. In my original draft of this essay, I very often mentioned the wayward inoculation of the ‘religious right’ in regards to the creation of all things. Upon further inquiry and research, I was forced to omit the phrasing. Omitting the phrase, I found, actually strengthened my argument. I found, and honestly have known anyway, that members of the most dogmatic organizations support evolution in American Public schools. The Archbishop of Canterbury has no problem with evolution, nor does the Pope (or at least the previous one, John Paul II), nor do educated (I stress this word) priests and professors of theology. Famous Dr. of Philosophy and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins expatiated on the subject of believers supporting evolution well: They may think that God had a hand in starting the process off, and perhaps didn’t stay his hand in guiding its future progress. They probably think God cranked the universe up in the first place, and solemnized its birth with a harmonious set of laws and physical constants calculated to fulfill some inscrutable purpose in which we were eventually to play a role. (Dawkins 6) However, grudgingly, many cases, many of these deistic evolutionists accept the truth happily and thoughtfully understand that they cannot turn away from the overwhelming evidence that stands in the name of logic and science. The most annoying validation for belief in the absurd claim that the Earth is less that six thousand years old is the old maxim “Well, Evolution is ONLY a 28
theory”…Only a theory? I loathe this statement and it never ceases to amaze me how often I stand (or sit) bewildered and saddened that I can speak, face-to-face, with an educated and literate person and hear the words “I do not believe in evolution. * Nearly all the support of their paltry arguments is derived from old scriptures from ancient Mesopotamian texts. Occasionally, I will encounter an individual who attempts to utilize scientific argument. However, nearly every individual will concede and say, “Evolution is only a theory”. How sad that there is such poor opinion of the word ‘theory’. The Oxford English Dictionary gives two meanings (actually more, but these are two that matter here) of the word “theory”: Theory, Sense 1: A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed. Sense 2:A hypothesis proposed as an explanation; hence, a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture; an idea or set of ideas about something; an individual view or notion. (Oxford Dictionary 89) Obviously the two meanings are incredibly different from one another. And, scientists are using the first sense of the word, while creationists are using the second sense. Darwin’s theory of evolution is indeed a system of ideas and statements. It is a hypothesis that has been confirmed and established by observation and experimentation. Scientific inquiry has hoisted this once made hypothesis (distinguishable from a theory) to a theory and nearly to a fact. Evolution is a theory in the same way that the Pythagorean Theory is ‘only’ a theory. The word only should never be used in saying “evolution is ONLY a theory”. I am not against presenting both arguments in the classroom. I love arguing (hence my penchant for speaking out in my own classrooms) and I love understanding those who present an opposite case from the one I am presenting. I believe that the argument of evolution vs. creationism would allow all of the scientific blemishes to be brought to light. Christopher Hitchens has a similar opinion: *
I should note that there are highly intelligent and highly intellectual people who do not believe in evolution. There is a theory (albeit less famed or supported) of punctual equilibrium which deals in “big step evolution”. Only a few years ago there was a famous debate between Professor Richard Dawkins and Professor Steven J. Gould about the slowly evolved versus the quickly evolved origins of humanity and mammalian creatures. 29
Why not make schoolchildren study the history of the argument? It would show them how to weigh and balance evidence, and it would remind them of the scarcely believable idiocy of the ancestors of â€œintelligent design.â€? The tale is both amusing and instructive, and it is a vital part of the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. How could intelligent scientific secularism lose if it were part of this curriculum? (Hitchens, Slate Magazine). I am open and willing and endorsing public debate for an argument that has shadowed our education for such a long time. The parties of God have proven that they do not desire to usurp education. They wish for our children to be educated, but at what price has their dogma preyed on the minds of young children in biology classes and how many potential biologists and physicists have been turned away at an early age? Evolution is a fact just as much as 2+2=4 is a fact. Creationism resides in the confines of a hypothesis. Evolution is and will always remain the victor, so long as the intellectual and logical take the reigns of education and science.
Works Cited Dawkins, Richard. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. 1st ed. Great Britain: Free Press, 2009. 6. Print. Hitchens, Christopher. “Equal Time.” Slate Magazine. (2005): n. page. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_word/ 2005/08/equal_time.html>.
More than the Old Kitchen Table Poetry by Kristina Brodbeck More than your closet, your drawers, your car, and more than the old kitchen table. The goodnight kiss, the sound of your voice. The sound of the lawn mower three days a week, The sound of your voice at nine a.m. on Saturdays making eggs, bacon, cheese, on bagels for us. Iâ€™ll miss that. You used to tuck me in, and ask me, Can I dance with you at your wedding? Now that youâ€™re gone, how will you know to dance with me on my wedding day? You took so much more than your closet today.
The Long Walk from Your Door to My Car at Three in the Morning in October Poetry by Zachary McCoy Silence is screaming from the black streets. Fear sets into my throat; imagined Footsteps follow behind me. Shadows meet In damp darkness planning demise destined For me. I dread the drive home from here. My destination: so close yet too far. The darkness is chasing, drawing near, My feet carry me fast to the car. Safe within my moving citadel I race to my home where monsters would dare Not roam. Imagined ghosts follow. I tell Myself to be calm. No goblin should scare A Man. I have my rationality, But from crafty creatures can it save me?
East Jesus Nowhere Fiction by Matthew Kohlmorgen The bus stopped at the corner and he staggered down the steps, as if he was hoping someone would offer the cash for him to stay on. Of course, no one was so giving. The door rasped as the driver thrust it shut behind him. He could barely make it to the curb before the old Greyhound, still covered in salt from the winter and crusted with dirt, drove off leaving him in a cloud of smelly exhaust. He choked on the fumes and pulled his shirt over his mouth and nose only to be bombarded by the stench of his own body, which had not received a shower in over a week. He walked past the dirty used condom and cigarette buds on the pavement and made his way to the sidewalk. He adjusted the small backpack on his right shoulder, which only contained three dirty t-shirts, a guitar capo and slider, and finally an acceptance letter from a California College. A guitar hung from a strap on his left shoulder. He stood and thought to himself, Jeez, I’m in between the middle of bum ass nowhere and you got a purty mouth. “Well shit,” he murmured to himself and began walking down the street, for no other reason than just to walk. He had no money, no food, and no opportunity. The only glimmer of hope he had as he was being evicted a week ago was an acceptance letter into a college in northern California. He left everything, which wasn’t much, to pursue this last avenue of possibility. The housing blocks began to blur and an old black man in a rocking chair stared as he walked by his porch. The two exchanged a small look. The distance was no longer clear and then the guitar strap snapped and the body of the guitar smashed into the concrete ground and a huge acoustic hum and a soft crackle from the body of the guitar rang in his ears. “Piece of shit,” he growled as he kicked the guitar and it scraped across the ground. Fed up, he huffed and sat down on the curb, shook his head, and folded his arms over his knees. “Ain’t no way for you to treat that instrument,” the old man from the porch said gruffly with a thick southern swale as he picked up the worn guitar from the sidewalk. “Where you going with my guitar, old man?” “You don’t deserve this guitar, boy!” he exclaimed, walking back to his porch. The young man pursued him and swiftly came up behind him to grab the 34
neck of his guitar. Before he could, the old man turned, guitar still in hand, grabbed a handful of his shirt and threw him into the wall of the house. The young man was disoriented momentarily. He shook his head and opened his eyes to see himself face to face with the old man; the smell of un-brushed teeth and whiskey permeated the air. “This here is more than just a guitar, so you best treat it as such.” He held out the instrument for the young man to accept. “Fine, take it; doesn’t play well anyway. Like I said, it’s a piece of sh-” “Play something for me” “What?” “You deaf boy?” “The hell does a relic like you want me to play?” “Whatever ya want. I wanna see why a stump like you would own something this beautiful in the first place” The young man looked at the guitar. Beautiful? I paid 5 bucks for this crappy thing. He could only scoff. “I would hardly use the word beautiful, thing is the ugliest guitar I ever seen.” “Beauty go deeper dan skin.” “How do you figure old timer?” “Well you uglier than homemade sin, but I reckon you still got a bit o’ beauty in ya. To be carrying around somethin’ like this means you got some taste. This here thing got character, a lot of it. This is what make angles sing.” “Character?” With a bit of trepidation he grabbed the guitar and sat down on a nearby bucket covered with leaves. He brushed the leaves off and sat down and pulled a slider out the front pocket of his pack. The old man chuckled to himself and shook his head as he lit a cigarette. He adjusted the guitar and began to play a blues like chord progression. “The hell you trying to play?” “It’s a song called ‘Little Red Corvette’ with a blues element” “I know you ain’t playing Prince on my porch! And blues? Shit, you don’t know anything about no blues. You a white kid from the pretty boy north.” “Jesus Christ who are you B.B King?” The old man harshly slapped the boy across the face.“I don’t want no blasphemy round here. Anyhow, if I am King, then you are Prince.” They shared a laugh and the guitar playing stopped. King stood up and walked inside his house for less than a moment. The screen door screeched open as King walked out with an old worn guitar case. 35
“Follow me Prince.” Puzzled and taken back, Prince did as he was asked. As they exited the porch, King turned around and handed him a new guitar strap. “This one won’t break.” Prince took the strap and they began to proceed up the street. King led them through a series of alleyways and within a few moments they were in a brightly lit downtown area. “What the hell? This came out of nowhere!” “I know; this place is a funky area. This where you goin learn real blues.” “Real blues? I was playing the scales correctly old timer.” “This ain’t rock n’ roll boy; blues got a lot more to it than da scales.” “Whatever.” The two continued to walk down the street and the nightlife was spirited: the lights from the theaters, bars, and shops and the smell of cigarettes, cigars, and weed imbued the air around them. The streets were saturated with people smoking, talking, singing and playing jazz and blues with their instruments. Eventually it became too difficult to simply speak. One was forced to shout amidst all the noise. “King, where are we going?” he shouted and did his best to not drop his guitar as he meandered through the crowd of people. “We going to Larry’s Place” “Who is Larry?” “He owns a bar.” “I don’t have any money for a bar.” “You let me worry bout dat.” The two men ended their walk from the brightly lit main street in front of a small, run-of-the-mill bar. Before King and Prince could walk in, Prince noticed and stared at two very attractive and scantily-clad women coming out of the bar and crossing the street into the nearest building. “Don’t bother son, you know that building those two just walked into?” “Yeah?” King just laughed out loud. “Boy, they just walked into work. That there place is a titty bar.” “Oh…” Prince couldn’t help but smile to himself. “Come on. It’s gonna be a little loud and stay close to me.” The two went past the threshold of the bar and everyone seemed to recognize King and patted him on the back. Prince was never able to make out a name but the general comment made to him was in reference to his guitar and playing. “Playing that ol’ relic tonight? Shred it fer us!” a random man in the bar shouted to King. 36
“Make a way fer the man ya hear!” the man behind the bar screamed to the restless crowd. Prince noticed that they were heading towards the well-lit stage. Are we about to play for all these people? he thought to himself and began to get rather anxious at the idea. Before they reached the stage King looked back to the man behind the bar. “Larry! A bottle of black!” his rough voice shouted as loud as he could. “Two glasses!” King walked past Prince and sat on one of three high stools on the small stage. “Whatcha waitin for?” “You ever heard of stage fright?” “Stage what?” “You go on ahead. I’ll watch from here.” King just leered at Prince, “Fine.” He walked up and the crowd began to cheer. The bartender walked up with a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and nearly slammed the bottle and glasses on the open stool. King opened his guitar case to reveal an old 50’s Les Paul that was missing two strings and a Tone Knob. “You got to be kidding me,” Prince scoffed. “This baby been with me since daddy died. It’s the blemishes that makem’ beautiful. We goin make dem angels sing tonight,” he said as he hooked the electric guitar into the closest amp. An electric pop resonated in the room and the crowd became much more silent. They were waiting for something to happen and this made Prince all the more nervous. King tuned the guitar and proceeded to take the bottle of Scotch whiskey and fill both the glasses with no ice or water. “Here,” he handed Prince a glass. Prince took the glass and couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of drinking it in one sitting. He looked over and saw that King had already finished his glass and was pouring himself another. King glanced over and noticed Prince hadn’t touched his. The exchange expressed desire for him to drink. “You want to play real blues? Then drink up.” Prince looked at the glass. “Cheers,” he quietly said to himself and began to drink the glass. He tried his hand at gulping. It took his whole body not to throw up or spit up the drink he had never tried. He finished the glass and couldn’t help but choke and cough. The smell of smoke, booze, and body odor from the room didn’t help. The crowd laughed at his attempt to drink like King. In the midst of the laughter a strong guitar lick was played from King. He slapped his strings and turned the volume knob all the way to ten. “Boy here thinks he knows da blues!” King drank his cup in one sitting again as the crowd jeered. “Gimme an E-minor Prince”. Prince strummed his e-minor and 37
the entire place was silent and staring. The face of disapproval in the crowd and King was unanimous. “I said an E-minor.” Becoming more anxious and flustered Prince looked at his guitar and double-checked his fingers. He was correct and strummed one more time. Before he could finish the strum, King dashed up nearly kicking over the stool and pulling his guitar chord from the amplifier. “I want an e-minor! Give me my damn E-Minor!” he shouted as he took his pick and beat his strings and the sound of the electric distortion behind his chord vibrated through the whole room. “That’s an e-minor. Attitude is the first lesson of the blues boy.” He took another drink, this time from the bottle itself, now half gone. Prince looked at the bottle and took it straight from Kings hands. They shared a look and Prince took a huge gulp from the bottle. “E-minor, Prince.” Prince did not strum the chord; he took his pick and nearly broke a string with how hard he hit the chord. He used the rock barre chord for a fuller, louder, and a thicker sound. King’s and Prince’s eyes never left. “You ready for this Prince? We ain’t goin stop” “Hell yeah, old timer.” This time Prince took one of the microphones and put it up to the sound hole of his acoustic. He began to slap a beat with his strings. King tore into his strings. A loud and electric rhythmic solo came from his guitar and Prince beat into his own. The entire bar began to undulate and bounce as King returned to the blues and Prince began understanding them. The two men beat their strings and played their music and Prince had never experienced this before. Couples and singles were dancing so close to one another that they might as well have taken their clothes off. There was something dangerous about the atmosphere, but the music kept everyone in check. King wasn’t able to sit anymore; he stood up and stomped his foot to the music. Prince took off his generic black sweatshirt only to be wearing a white t-shirt and denim pants. His image was accentuated with a tattoo sleeve that was without color and appeared to be incomplete. King looked over and began to sing aloud: Born under a bad sign, Been down since I began to crawl. If it wasn’t for bad luck Then I would have no luck at all! Thunder clapped outside and rain began to beat violently against the large glass window next to the bar-top. The thunder and rain only amplified the rhythm of the two players. Bad luck and trouble been my only friend 38
I been down eva since I was ten! The smell of body odor from the dancing crowd stained the room. Prince took the bottle of whiskey in the middle of the song and took two gulps and managed to not cough uncontrollably. The setting inspired inebriation for everyone. No matter how drunk a person was, the electricity of the dance floor and music kept them in a transient ecstasy. The clock hit 2:46 am and people began to filter out. The night had finally matured enough to go home. Prince was invigorated and refreshed. The music had stopped and the bottle of Johnny Walker was completely empty from his and King’s drinking and playing. He sat on his stool staring at the same acoustic that he had kicked on the ground just hours earlier. “You finally know how to respect dat instrument?” King said coming behind Prince with another bottle of Johnny Walker Black. Prince sneered at the idea of more whiskey. “Definitely. I don’t suppose you would want to autograph it for me?” King and Prince laughed again. “Never asked where yews was going?” “California.” “Comin from?” “North Carolina.” “Dang,” he took a long sip of his whiskey, “You in east Jesus nowhere if you comin from all the way up there.” The bartender interjected as he took the bottle from the two ignoring the sneering look from King. “You could say that. Afraid I got no money to get anywhere for a while.” He took off his guitar and got up to walk out the door. King just sat and finished his glass before joining Prince outside. “Boy?” Prince turned around already soaked from the rain shower. “Old timer?” “This your share.” “Of what?” “You really are a stump, aren’t cha? The performance boy. We get tips.” “You didn’t tell me that earlier.” “I wadn’t gonna give you none, but you turned out alright.” Prince was speechless as he counted the money. “This is a lot of money King; I can’t take this.” 39
“A stump!” “Fine! Thank you.” “Will that do ya right?” “Definitely, I think I’ll be alright with this.” “Bus comes round about 6 am” “It’ll be here before you know it.” King took out his guitar and handed Prince his old guitar case. “What are you doing King?” “You a hot mess kid. You goin need this. I got plenty.” Prince looked at King and accepted it by putting his acoustic in the case. The rain continued to beat against them. Prince stood with the case and his pack by the curb. “Thank you King.” “If you ever get kicked off a bus again, don’t furget to holla.” “Of course. I’ll see you around.” King just put his guitar on his left shoulder and walk through the rain and turned left into an alley. He was no longer visible. Prince laid the case on the ground, underneath the awning of the bar, so as to escape the rain a bit, and sat on it as he would a chair. He pulled out a piece of paper from his pack and reread an acceptance letter to himself.
At Wits End Poetry by Jacob Stentz Scared, alone, I lie in this bed Darkness consuming, fear in my head I go to a place in which, I adore Golden ceilings, walls, with marble floor My inner sanctuary is where I hide No lies, no problems, all demons outside Nothing can enter my fortress of gold My hopes and prayers it does hold Bashing, clanking, sounds from all around Banging, smashing, then not a sound Peering out the window, all I see is black An army of fear, at the ready to attack Millions of problems, I have pushed away All surfaced together, on the same day I catch a faint, growing whistling cry At that they advance and with a tear, I sigh My fate will result from this coming battle But confident that my castle will not rattle At the ready I stand to fight They just keep coming, no end in sight Wave after wave an endless cascade They break down the door and start to invade Frantically, I run through twisted corridors Slamming behind me my sanctuary door
Pushing holding my door in its place Sweat, now rolling down my face Attempting to win, with all my might As I fail and cry into the night The flood of shadows rush into the room Washing over me, my mind they consume Beating, stabbing, tearing, leaving a hole As they subside, they’ve taken my soul In darkness I lie, with pain and fear They took something else, but what? It’s not clear I search obsessed with screams of despair Myself, my me, is gone, it’s not there At that, in a corner, I rest on the wall As reality takes root, I curl into a ball A deep sadness approaches, I bask in its wake Exhausted, spent, I give into my fate I open my eyes, it was all a dream All in my head, it’s not as it seemed As I get up and lock the darkness away I prepare for another burdensome day Depression is such a taboo subject Especially when we need to be so perfect But, if you live with it just like me Speak out and force everyone else to see
Drawing by Evan Lolli 43
Heart Attack Fiction by Grant Nolte The window behind Troy’s headboard was frosted; frigid air poured off of it and rolled over Troy’s face. He rolled sideways, tucked his down comforter up under his chin and nestled his face in the residual warmth in the pillow. The room began to turn a sleepy blue as dawn neared. The sun had risen when he woke. It peeked through the venetian blinds of his windows. He was rousted from the contentedness of his linen womb when the floorboards began to hum. They had a man’s voice. Now they had a woman’s voice. They were talking. She was frantic. Troy opened his eyes and glanced at the analog face of the frog clock whose wiry arms and legs wrapped around the bedpost: 9:58. He whimpered and turned over, school in an hour. The floor spoke like a third person, another man. He was frantic as well. Under the bass of these voices, Troy heard his parents murmuring. He could barely hear his mother say, “Micah, go get him.” A moment later, Troy heard the stairs squeal in the hall outside, muffled thumps sounded step by step. The large, dark figure of his father blocked out the light from the hall as he pushed the door open slowly. “You’re up,” said his father, “Why is the TV on, daddy?” Troy asked. His father stopped mid-breath and made his way to Troy’s bedside with tremulous steps. His complexion was pale, muddled by unshaved scruff. He looked outright sickly. “There’re things on the news,” his father’s voice was very muted and distant, “you don’t need to go to day school today, bud,” Troy’s eyes lit up. “Really?” “No, we want you home,” his father said with a halfhearted smile. Troy flew into overjoyed convulsions. His father sat on the edge of the bed and laid down a thin, stapled document on the comforter. Troy calmed and looked at it, puzzled, “Troy, I want to read something to you.” “A story? It’s not night time, daddy.” Troy said with the hint of a giggle. “I know, bud. I wrote this, and I want to read it to you now. I’ve been saving this story for a day like this because you need to understand what is happening,” “Is that why you and mommy have the TV on?”
“It is,” his father picked up the document again and scooted further onto the bed, leaving one leg over the edge and sitting on the other, “Would you like to hear the story now?” “Okay,” Troy grinned, curious and still overjoyed at having a day off from school. “Okay. Watch your eyes.” Troy’s father reached over and twisted the knob on Troy’s bedside lamp. Troy cried out as his eyes burned from the incandescent light that flooded the room. Micah sat back, “Ready, bud?” Troy nodded. Once upon a time, the world was populated by many animals, great and small. It was a time after the great and mythical Phoenix, Pegasus, Dragon, Minotaur, and Gryphon, whose powers ruled the world. The many animals strove to attain for themselves the power of their ancestors. They coexisted and lived together, but not happily. Fox then gave birth unwillingly to Eagle, the great mediator and voice of reason. For years, Fox, Rooster, and Elk fought with Wolf and Pheasant. They fought in the land of Deer, who wished only to be left alone. Elephant argued with giraffe, Lion with Lemur, Cheetah with Camel. The world was tumultuous and it shook with the animals’ fury. Eagle had its say in all of these disputes, and all of them were solved. Eagle cast down two great fires on Pheasant, who finally surrendered. Eagle then offered gifts of food and logic to Lion, Cheetah, Wolf, and many others. They took the food greedily and continued to fight. Still, in its majesty and good graces, Eagle persisted. The other animals were arrogant and grew jealous of Eagle. Many years later, Horse and Wolf fought ceaselessly, demanding the others submit to them. They began threatening one another with violence and death, but as with all conflicts before, Eagle had its say and their dispute subsided for some time. In this era, however, Eagle had grown tired. Its wingspan was great and it could fly high, but it could not oversee or give gifts to all the animals of the world. Its limits came into view, and the animals, who had conspired for some time, took the opportunity. Rat and Bear created insects that bored into Eagle and made its vision unclear. They hindered its judgment and choked its power. Soon, Eagle began to suffocate and called to the other animals for help. They all looked on helplessly as Eagle died before them. Rat then stepped forward and cast down a great fire on Eagle’s heart, killing it. The other animals were riled into frenzies and tore Eagle’s body 45
apart. They fought over its head, wings, legs, lungs, and stomach, but nothing gave them Eagle’s power without the heart. The animals began to fight and steal Eagle’s parts and this dispute erupted into a great war. Troy’s father turned the last page back and set the myth back down on the bed. Troy stared blankly and asked, “How did the war end?” “I don’t know yet. The story isn’t finished,” his father started, “Troy, I wrote this for you and for everyone of your generation. Your mother and I have been watching the news and trends of the government, the economy, the world. Things have not been looking good. Today, worst of all,” “Why have things been bad?” Troy asked. “America’s government doesn’t have its wellbeing in mind. They’re more concerned for their careers and making political bargains. Other nations are fighting one another, and America is so concerned with taking care of everyone else’s problems that they can’t see what’s happening here. People don’t like the idea of individual freedom. They would rather have control of the people and to do that, they’re suffocating the country; they’re essentially pushing the reset button. It’s all really complicated; you’ll understand when you get older.” “People are fighting? Over what?” asked Troy, bewildered. “You’ll learn. My point is, Troy, something’s happened that I think is the start of the snowball that all of this stuff pits on.” A lump formed in Troy’s throat that he did not understand; his face drooped long and fearful. “Come on, time to get up.” *** Troy leaned against his mother sleepily and stared at the television. The sky outside was a brilliant, rich blue spattered with cirrocumulus clouds. We’re still awaiting word from the White House as to what caused the explosion this morning. For those just joining us, the blast occurred this morning at 9:56 a.m. in Manhattan’s financial district… Troy watched puzzled as the television snapped to footage of what looked like a giant, dark mushroom. The shaky footage made the mushroom nothing more than a grainy, blurred shape. …This footage is from an eyewitness report from Union Square posted on YouTube. The cameraman said he woke to a flash that lit up his apartment bedroom. Moments later, he said he was terrified when his windows were 46
suddenly blown out by the shockwave. It was then that he looked out to see the cloud rising from the borough… “Anything new?” Micah asked flatly over his second mug of black coffee as he walked in from the kitchen. “No,” Troy’s mother replied. She sighed and tightened her grip on Troy’s arm, “Any word from Emily?” “I haven’t seen any messages,” said Micah. We’re just receiving word that President Obama is set to address the nation five minutes from now. Some time later, there was the sound of the front door creaking and a heavy bag dropping in the hall. Troy’s mother called out, “Emily?!” Emily dashed into the family room,“Oh my God, I’m sorry, they locked down the school. I had to sneak out.” “It’s okay, honey. Oh, thank God,” said their mother. Emily plopped down on the other side of their mother from Troy. “Mommy, I’m hungry,” Troy whined. “Not now, Troy, be patient,” said his mother. Troy sighed in irritation. “Daddy?” Micah didn’t look at him, he simply growled, “Troy, what did your mother say? Hush.” Troy sniffled and tears welled up in his eyes. He knew his father’s rage would flare if he began to cry, however, so he simply fought back the tears and the hunger cramps and turned to watch the television. “I’ll get him something,” Emily said as she bounced to her feet. Troy watched his sister as she started for the kitchen when the reporter on the television said, …President Obama is taking the podium in Washington D.C. to address the nation. Let’s go there live… The camera had been fixed on a White House podium for a few moments when the president stepped up and murmured with his advisers. The camera snapped to a close-up on him and he glanced at it momentarily. His eyes were glazed over, lids drooping. He seemed to have aged a decade in a single morning, “The nuclear blast that occurred this morning at 9:56 AM wiped out the financial district of Manhattan. The blast wave extended out approximately one mile in every direction. Death toll is estimated to be nearly four hundred thousand…” “Jesus Christ…” Micah whispered. He and his wife looked at one another, expressionless, but both seemed to communicate the same thought, “here it comes.” 47
“My fellow Americans, this is the worst disaster in American history…” “Tell us what’s obvious,” Micah groaned. “We would ask that everyone remain calm and stay where they are. New York National Guard and federal troops have been dispatched to the mainland of New York and Long Island to quarantine the area. Again, I cannot emphasize enough the importance that you remain where you are. We will be updating the nation from the podium. Please, remain calm in the meantime.” *** Micah flopped onto the couch with his third cup of coffee and threw his legs up on the couch and reclined on the armrest. Emily ate at the kitchen table next to Troy who chewed on a tough Eggo waffle drowned in syrup. Troy bounced in his seat; the morning was no different than any other. Mom and dad were just in bad moods this morning. Everyone else was sick with fear. There was not a word exchanged except occasionally about the news. They were waiting. How crazy would it get? Micah ran through the food stockpile in the basement in his head, Emily fiercely texted with her friends, consoling one who had just lost a mother in the explosion. No air conditioning or furnace, no footsteps or running water, the only sounds were the television and the chirping of late-to-migrate birds in the bare walnut trees outside. We’re back live as President Obama is set to take the podium again any minute now. There are a lot of questions on our website and circulating on our Twitter page about how the country will move forward. People are worried about the looting that has ensued in the wake of the explosion and what the President will do to combat the panic. In fact, here he is… Micah turned his head from the sunny backyard to the television. Troy slowly entered the family room again, trying to clean dripped syrup from his chin but only making it worse. “We have confirmed that the explosion was a planned attack. We have hazmat response teams examining the blast site. We will broadcast an update as soon as we are able to isolate the source of the material used in the bomb. In the meantime, we will be dispatching the National Guard and Army in all major cities. To best contain the situation, the state of New York has issued martial law. We ask for everyone’s cooperation.” Micah instantly rose and stormed heavily into the basement without a word. 48
“Emily, take Troy,” squeaked their mother, “help him and go collect your things.” Emily jerked her head rigidly to look at her mother. Her face was drained of color; her eyes were blank and wide as coins and tendons jutted from her knuckles as she wrung her hands, “Now.” Their mother spoke softly, but Emily leapt to her feet as though she had shouted. “Mommy,” Troy started. Emily hoisted the small boy onto her hip, “Mommy, what’s going on?” His mother sat languidly; she continued watching the television as Emily trotted upstairs. The president stepped aside and a man in blue officer uniform took to the podium, “Security teams will direct you in evacuating apartments and offices, local law enforcement agencies have been ordered to go to all homes in outlying suburban areas and escort all residents to a designated safety camp. Pack only what you can carry. The duration of this measure should be no more than a day. This may change as things develop. Again, remain calm and proceed in an orderly fashion.” Micah stamped up the basement stairs and threw open the front hall closet. Grabbing a wicker basket from the shelf above the coat rack, he carried it into the kitchen and placed it gently on the kitchen table. “Judy?” he said as he dug through hats and headbands. From the bottom, he produced two worn, sheathed knives, a semiautomatic pistol, and a box of .45 ACP rounds. Judy rose from the couch and started slowly toward the kitchen with listless strides. Micah handed her the shorter of the two knives. She looked at it like it was alien to her and looked back at Micah. They locked eyes for a moment before Micah snatched her roughly into an embrace. Judy threw her arms around him. Micah’s breathing grew heavy, “Judy, listen…” he said over the television which continued talking in the other room. *** Emily sat Troy down on his bed, snatched his backpack from the desk chair and tossed it on the bed next to him. “Emmie?” Troy said fearfully. Emily dashed out of the room to her own room at the end of the hall. Her cell phone rang. She unlocked it to look: her boyfriend, “Mark?” she squeaked, “Emily! Didya get home okay?” “Yeah, I’m home. I got back before they issued the order.” She dried her eyes as she cradled the phone in her shoulder as she listened to Mark. 49
“The what?” “Mark, I’m scared.” “I know, baby. Things will be okay. What did you say though?” “Do they have the news on there?” “They did in the room, but we’re out in the hall now. They said we’re getting ready to jump on buses out front,” Mark said, bewildered. “Mark, you need to get out of there and head home. They’re transferring people to FEMA camps.” “How’d they get camps up already?” Mark asked. “I don’t know, Mark. You just need to get back with your father ‘cause you two are going to get sent to different camps!” “Em, you’re my ears; what’s going on?” “The state declared martial law. Has to be another false flag attack—just go!” “I can’t, there are cops all over the f-ing place. Martial law, you’re serious.” “Yes—” “Emily, get off the God damn phone and pack!” Micah roared. “Mark, you nee’ to fin’ a way to get ou’ of there,” Emily stammered as sobs choked her. “I will, Em. Be strong for me, okay? This’ll be over quick.” Emily breathed deeply. The tears subsided, “What’s your family doing?” “I think we’re leaving,” Emily replied, hushing her voice, “I’m helping my little brother pack right now. I don’t know where we’re going to go…” “Knowing your dad, you’re probably getting out of Dodge. I’ll text you later, if and when I get out of here.” “Alright.” Emily said in almost a whisper, “I love you.” “I love you too, Em. Be safe.” Emily pressed the end button several times until the phone went to its home screen. Nine new text message notices lit up her screen. She reluctantly turned the phone off. Stuffing it in her pants pocket, she threw open the slatted folding doors of her closet and grabbed two backpacks from the top shelf and tossed one on her bed. She hastened back and found Troy staring out the window. “Troy, we don’t have time to dawdle!” she growled. Troy spun around in surprise. He stood there still as Emily sifted through his chest of drawers and made up five days’ worth of outfits. Troy sniffled, his shoulders slumped. Emily stopped in that moment and looked at him. A single tear trail shined on his cheek in the late 50
morning sun. His face bunched up as he fought them. Emily crawled over to him and looked in his puffy green eyes. A hint of snot tickled Troy’s nostril and he wiped it on his forearm with a sniffle. Emily threw her arms around him. Troy lost control and began to sob into the fragile nook of her shoulder, wrapping himself around her neck. “I’m sorry I yelled. It’s going to be okay, Troy,” she said, struggling to believe Mark’s assurances herself. “What’s going on, Emmie? I’m so scared!” Troy cried. “It is scary, Troy. But we’re going to be okay. Bad men want to hurt us, but they’re not going to get us.” Emily pulled away and looked intensely into Troy’s eyes, “They’re not going to get us because we’re fast, aren’t we?” Troy looked past her, his little face still scrunched with a dripping chin. Emily held his cheek and turned his head, “Aren’t we?” Troy nodded. “Yeah, we are. Now, we have to run or else they’ll get us. Can you do something for me? Can you pick out your three favorite toys while I get your stuff together?” “Yeah,” Troy mumbled. “They need to be small so you can carry them in your backpack. Don’t bring anything electronic, we won’t have anywhere to plug it in.” Troy turned silently to his shelf of toys and began to choose. Emily darted back and tore clothes from the chest of drawers. She stuffed a backpack full of clothes for him and gave Troy his small school backpack to put his toys in. She threw Troy’s pack over her shoulder and rushed downstairs. “Here’s Troy’s stuff,” she said as she threw it on the tile hall floor. “… just keep going, okay?” Micah murmured to Judy. Judy gazed at him with red eyes, her cheeks shined in the light from the kitchen window. Neither of them looked at Emily; their eyes were locked. Finally, they separated and Micah loaded the semiautomatic pistol and tucked it in the back of his pants. Judy drifted upstairs, knife in hand. No one spoke, sirens screamed outside. “Thank you, Emily. Go get yourself ready,” said Micah as he started toward the stairs as well. “What’re we doing, dad?” Micah turned. The intensity in his face betrayed his nonchalant tone, “They’re going to be going house to house and round everyone up into camps. We’re leaving before they get here.” Emily shrunk under Micah’s look; it was one she had never seen. She had seen his fury, sure, but this was not fury. There was fear, absolute terror. But most of all, there was such a dogged determination that 51
pushed her backward almost physically. It was something from the basest of human instincts. “Go get your stuff,” he continued. *** Micah reversed their black jeep out of the garage and threw a hatchet, and a large jug of water behind the back seat. Emily and Judy brought out their clothing packs, Troy trailed behind them. “Troy, hurry, we don’t have time.” Micah barked. “I don’t wanna go,” Troy whined. Micah’s face contorted in irritation. “Micah—” Judy growled. Micah looked at her. She glared at him and he relaxed with a sigh. “Troy, c’mere,” he said, “bring your stuff.” Troy trudged around the side of the Jeep with a pouty lip. Micah got down on one knee, “Listen to me, Troy. I need you to cooperate today. We need to leave town, okay? Because if we don’t then the government will make us go to a camp whether we want to or not. So no more whining or complaining; it’s time to be a big boy. Understand?” “Will we ever come back?” Troy asked with a sniffle. Micah’s eyes lost focus at the question, “I don’t know. Here, gimme your pack.” Micah slipped the small pack from Troy’s shoulders, “Jeez, how much did you pack?” Troy looked up suddenly. Micah unzipped the top, it was full of toys, “Troy, we can’t afford to take all this extra weight. It doesn’t matter, get in the car,” Micah groaned as he tossed Troy’s pack in the back. “Dad, why are we taking the jeep? The SUV is faster and more reliable,” asked Emily. “It has GPS. They’ll be able to track it. They can’t track the jeep. Plus, it can go off-road. C’mon.” Emily tossed their bags in the back. Emily jumped in the back with Troy. Judy still had her knife. She lifted her pant leg and stuck it under the sock behind her ankle. Resetting the pant leg, she jumped in the driver’s seat of the jeep and started it. Micah ran back inside the house and reemerged a moment later with a black tote bag. He didn’t bother closing the door and lunged in the passenger seat. Without a word, and without closing the garage door, they started down the cul-de-sac. Police lights flashed through trees from the next street over; sirens whined from all directions. All of it was diffused by the shifting gears and the sputtering, tired, old engine of the Jeep. As they turned off the cul-de-sac onto the larger 52
residential road, an idle police cruiser lit up some distance away and started after them. “Keep going,” Micah said. He and Judy locked eyes again momentarily. Judy’s face was shining with tears again. Emily watched them, a lump formed in her throat. The police cruiser closed in silently with its lights spinning, “Now pull over,” Micah instructed. Judy pressed in the clutch and they glided to a halt, the cruiser pulled up behind them. Troy looked back, bewildered, Emily watched her father. He gripped the black tote bag with one hand; she couldn’t see the other. “Why’re we stopped?” she asked. Neither parent spoke. The officer stepped out of the cruiser. Judy unzipped the window of the rag-top. “He’s got his pistol holster unsnapped,” mumbled Micah. Judy turned back to him and they kissed. “Dad, what’re—” Micah steered his head from watching the officer and glared at her. A chill shot down the back of her head and neck and she was silent. Micah quietly opened the passenger side door, moved his concealed arm, he then produced the semiautomatic pistol with the hammer back. Emily’s heart dropped, “Dad!” “I love you all,” he said, “Good bye.” At that moment, he threw open the passenger door and fired a round in the dirt along the road. “DAD!” Emily and Troy screamed. Troy began sobbing and screaming uncontrollably. Micah slung the bag over his shoulder and lumbered up the embankment and into the brush. The officer stumbled backward in surprise and drew his pistol. “STOP!” he bellowed, aiming blindly into the brush. Judy jammed the jeep in reverse, narrowly missing the officer, but enough to startle him; he fell backward onto the pavement. She thrust it in first gear and the tires chirped as they started down the road again. “No, what the hell are you doing?!” Emily cried. Judy said nothing. She huddled low on the steering wheel, flying through the gears. Far behind them, the officer stumbled to his feet, his pistol retrieved, and proceeded after Micah into the brush “DADDY!” Troy screeched. “They shot Dad! They fucking shot him!” Emily’s breath was erratic; she panicked. “SHUT UP!” Judy roared. Emily and Troy both snapped around and stared at Judy in surprise. The cruiser behind them was joined by two more, one officer dove into the brush and the second remained outside with pistol drawn. 53
“Mom, what the hell are you doing?!” Emily cried. Judy said nothing. She slowed and pulled into the parking lot of a sports park, topped the curb, and ploughed across the football field. Her eyes shared Micah’s same dark, crazed fire as they neared the back tree line. Troy unrolled the myth as they bounced over the curb onto a wooded road on the far side. Emily looked down at it silently. She knew the story. Micah had shared it with her, and now it was coming true. She sighed and rested on an elbow as they cleared the woods. Judy steered hard down an entrance ramp northbound on interstate 95. Troy looked up from the crinkled pages of the myth and stared out Emily’s side window. Emily glanced back at him and furrowed her brow in curiosity. Turning to look out, her chest grew heavy and began to tingle with hopelessness. The eagle’s heart was gone.
Life Amongst Death by Catherine Adams
Neverland Poetry by Zachary McCoy The Saddest Sound The saddest sound is my own laugh echoed in my empty white-walled room. My hollow haha rushes to the emptiness and drags all of the vacancy back to me. All I hear in my echo is the voice of doom. “You’ll only have yourself to blame for whatever you choose to be.” The window unlatches—a pixie walks in And she whispers in my ear, “Let’s go to Neverland and live in sin.” Straight On Neverland is not the second star to the right and straight on to morning; It’s here and now where past generations are mourning. Neverland is here. Where we deny meaning to our existence, Where we take fools to be grandfathers and deny their wisdom with persistence. Us lost boys do not care if we die from the fire or the smoke That we create. So light a blunt and let me toke. Let’s laugh ourselves silly and hear none of the wise words said. Neverland is here. We simply do not want to grow up, Though most of us do end up growing out. We deny our age and lift the party cup Well past our prime age. We hang onto ironies and sweet songs, We should be fixing the world not adjusting our thongs. “Why should we care?” the Lost Boys shout. “This is not our time; this is not our day.” And they believe their false lives to be true. They prefer to think they do not matter and their parents can’t tell them what to do. In sooth We are all Hipsters who seem to care more about the style and the trend Than listening to others and finding an ending To what has been given to us to finish. We are so sensitive about our fears That when others criticize we draw our knees to our chest. And block our ears. And yet the things we shouldn’t—we hold dear Like our pictures of owls, the faces we own distorted with scowls, the future instead of the now. 56
The Lost Boys - seriously joking all the time yet never confronting that which truly makes us think. We live in denial of our potential and let ourselves to ourselves be tricked. While older generations try to solemnly pass us the buck The Lost Boys laugh in their face, flinging words, “We don’t give a f-ck.” Captain Hook Captain Hook was no crook He was just a man with a plan. Who had his hand taken off by Peter Pan. The youth takes the old man’s wealth And throws it in the sea. Nothing more important to Peter than follow the leader in stealth And not giving a shit what your father wanted him to be. Captain Hook sheds a tear Because he knows his greatest fear Is that Pan never will grow up And no one will ever take up Hook’s place And the cycle will break and Pan won’t take up a sword To defend what needs to be defended. A pirate’s life is not so bad. Though it drives some mad it is more than what it seems. There is peace within sailing the seven seas and growing up That Pan will never see. London Home. The Hallowed Halls are no longer so funny. I know now that to be more I have to be less. Less irresponsible, less of a mess. Neverland is meant for those who get lost But the point is that one day you’re found. Tinker Bell leaves; now to this earth I am bound. But in being lost I am now found. Form is here in these earthly grounds. 57
A simple life of not having to follow But instead being led. Of not feeling so hollow Or so filled with dread Of what horrible thing I will do next in Never Never Land. I sit silently and talk things over and under with fellow men And have no need to shout about the latest hot new band. I simply have a chance to reflect on what I have been And what I will be. No more cheekiness for me. I am beyond that now; I deserve my rest. For me the London Home will never be second best. Crocodile Time slowly seeps into the seams of the story, Like a crocodile creeping slowly in the Nile. Its snapping, snaggly teeth swallowing the river. Time ticks away and the crocodile draws ever nearer And though Hook is filled with fear, Peter Tells us that Death is just the next great adventure. Thimbles Wendy once gave Peter a thimble and said it was a kiss. Porn has changed our perception to this; A kiss is when a man gives a girl a pearl necklace according to how it was planned In the script - And then the camera, done with that debauchery, pans To two women doing anal with a strap on or a double header in both their asses: Now there is no reason to ask What a kiss is. We, the un-innocent, ignorant, choose to ignore All the romance meant to come before. Girls still wait for a Disney prince Boys now long for girls with open legs and heads that are dense. Romance is for the few who find it before it became lost to them. Disney corp. a soulless business is what stems Debauchery. Irony at its best. We skip the thimbles and race to the rest Even though thimbles is what it will always truly be about. 58
There are so few romantics left all we can do is quietly shout, “A kiss is a thimble, here let me show you. It’s where you start not where you conclude.” Peter Pan I wanna be like Peter Pan And spend all day shouting BANGARANG! I wanna be like Peter Pan And never know what it is to be a man. I wanna be like Peter Pan And fly all day long simply because I can. I want to ignore the responsibility of being alive And forget my form and forget the rhyme I want to live in Neverland in sin. I want to settle and never strive. I want to forget that thing called Time. I never want to finish when I can just begin. Wait. The singing stops and the dirge begins I can’t live like this. I want to know love. I want a real life. I need to grow up. I need to move out. I need to whisper, instead of shout. Tinker Bell, take me Home. I once was a Lost Boy but now I see, A pirate’s life is what’s for me. I can still be romantic I can still have fun I can still follow the leader I can still laugh I can still fly But now I will be able to know why. I will have the treasure I will have responsibility. 59
One day Peter Pan you’ll be just Like Me. Lost Boys We are all just Lost Boys trying to follow the leader While following that with a liter of Jack and Coke. We march in step without thinking of where we are Headed. We will follow our last leader into the darkest Abyss and the Silicon Valley, if only to say, “He made us.” Lost Boys we are, lost in Neverland trying to follow Pan The Man. Not knowing that we howl in grief as we laugh Out loud via social media devices. We are lost in the forest Of digital streams and trees made of Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. We are lost in thoughts of the lady that just walked by Wearing those high heels and red dress that went up just high enough To see the bottom of her panties underneath. Lost in our sin heading everSo-slightly off course like words dripping off to the side of the page and becoming Lost in the margins. Witty word play cannot save us as we teeter closer and closer to the edge. Evidently evil evades those who keep their eyes open, but we, Lost Boys, had our eyes shut tight. We sing sweetly like children – the song of Peter Pan.
Poetry by Sara Kaehler 1. There was the sound of dirty coins clanking in our fists. We were greedy children. 2. There were voices in the hallway. Our ears pressed against the wooden door, listening to plates fly. 3. Soon, you were stealing the cigarettes out of his pockets, along with crumpled bills. I never understood that look on your face in the auburn light of a match. 4. I watched you disintegrate. I watched you hate everything. You never looked so beautiful. 5. Nighttime brought you back. You’d sing the blues before you fell asleep. I’d stay awake until you stopped, then check to make sure you hadn’t choked to death on your own vomit. 6. You were the reason I never learned to play guitar. I hope you remember that time I stole your comic books & you chased me down the street until I climbed up a tree. But most of all, I want you to grow up. 7. All the money in the world could never buy someone a smile quite like yours. 8. Big brothers are never supposed to die. Not in alleys, with blood dribbling from their ears, only identifiable by the pictures in their emptied wallets.
Submission Details Initiated in January 2005, Lions-on-Line is a literary collection of works by College of Mount St. Joseph students and alumni published online with the cooperation f the English Department. Lions-on-Line is published online twice yearly, during the fall and spring semesters. If you are currently a student or a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph and you would like to see your work published, you may submit your work to LOL simply by emailing your unpublished poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and/or artwork to LOL@mail.msj.edu. Your contact information: name, email address, and telephone number should be included in the body of your message. Whenever funds allow, Lions-on-Line also goes â€œin printâ€? and can usually be found in the news bins scattered throughout campus. Though we do accept submissions twelve months a year, submissions for the Fall 2012 issue will be accepted now through September 30th. If you would like to be a staff member of Lions-on-Line, please contact the faculty advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Taryn Mason, Assistant Professor in English, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editors and Staff Poetry Editor: Fiction Editor: Creative Nonfiction/Art Editor: Assistant Editors:
Staff Members: Faculty Advisor:
Kristina Brodbeck Kim Asmus Angela Corbett Emily Berning Sara Kaehler Matthew Kohlmorgen Zachary McCoy Erin Rineair Cheryl Shelton Elizabeth Taryn Mason, Ph.D.