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Ramblings Volume V 2015-2016 ram·bling (răm′blĭng)

1. long and muddled speech or writing; 2. a walk without a definite route, taken merely for pleasure; 3. the trilingual literary and visual arts magazine of The Weber School “Do You Trust Me?”

The Weber School 6751 Roswell Road Atlanta, GA 30328

Ramblings Staff— Editors-in-Chief Sydney Gelman Mattie Rosen Copy Editor Rosasharn Brown Layout Design Jessica Seagraves Isaac Weissman Magazine Sketch Artist Blake Rosen Marketing Rebecca Adler Blake Rosen General Editors Isabelle Ariail Eliya Brog Maya Horesh Emily Kurzweil Raffi Oquendo Fiona Neidorf Quinn Rabinowitz Rebecca Simonoff Lucy Singer Matthew Sidewater Adele Stolovitz Faculty Advisers Leigh Herman Olivia Rocamora

Editors’ Note: “Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.” ~ Agnes Martin This quote reveals the essence of Weber’s Literary Magazine: we strive to create a voice for the students in our community through a safe, self-expressive space. This year, Lit Mag Meetings were reinvented through a new protocol we cultivated. Through this process, every piece that was submitted to the Magazine was carefully reviewed, and we gave ourselves sufficient time to be fully present for each submission. Weekly lunch meetings stood out as respites from hectic days, a calm in the storm of college applications, tests, and athletics. This year, the poetry, prose, and tranquility brought in a record number of members, attendees, and submissions—we had more voices than ever to discuss the nuances of everything from poetry inspired by Exodus, to sketches, to haikus. Now more than ever, it is crucial for Weber to embrace the young voices that populate its campus; civil rights, political engagement, and self-expression are vital sources of inspiration for the meaningful Magazine we have created: this is the fuel that keeps Ramblings rambling. Literary Magazine is the united voice of Weber students—each piece, anonymous or not, reverberates throughout our community. It has been a privilege, an honor, a joy to be the conduits through which our fellow artists can reveal both shouts and murmurs to our community—as Editors in Chief of the Lit Mag, we are proud to have headed our fellow literary liaisons in this demanding process. However, we didn’t make this accomplishment alone, and we would like to thank all of the members of the Lit Mag team for making our experience as Editors in Chief so rewarding and wonderful. In addition, we thank Ms. Rocamora and Ms. Herman for stepping forward as our faculty leaders through the grueling production of constructing the Literary Magazine. We would also like to thank all of you who submit to, read, and support our Magazine: without you all, this publication would be very short, and most likely, an impossibility. Finally, to those who write prolifically, and to those who don’t write at all, continue to seek means to express yourselves in such positive ways. By embracing the artist within yourself, you have the ability to etch lasting impressions into your high school experience and your life at large. Your voice is the most powerful tool, or weapon, you have to carve a path for yourself in a world where young people have more to say each passing day. Here’s to the future, our generation (lost or not), and to the minds that make Weber an intellectual powerhouse in the unexpected locale of an office building in Sandy Springs. Your Editors in Chief,

Table of Contents Reykjavik

…………………………….... Rosa Brown


…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein

Peace of Mind

…………………………….... Blake Rosen

Spare Change (Two Cents)

…………………………….... Harris Helberg

Reality Check

…………………………….... Isaac Weissman

And in that moment

…………………………….... Izzy Jacobs

A Glossary of Terms for Surviving Childhood

…………………………….... Zavi Feldstein

Edgar Allen Poe the Panda Tweet #1

…………………………….... Daniel Whitesides ‫…………………………… קבּיות‬.... Karin Videlefsky


…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein

On Reading Dante’s Commedia at Weber

…………………………….... Sydney Gelman

The Terror of Forgetting

…………………………….... Zavi Feldstein

Love Is

…………………………….... Blake Rosen

The Running Life

…………………………….... Isaac Weissman


…………………………….... Mattie Rosen ‫…………………………… רגלים יחפּות‬.... Jael Azani

Pink Rose

…………………………….... Adele Stolovitz


…………………………….... Izzy Ariail

Edgar Allen Poe the Panda Tweet #2

…………………………….... Daniel Whitesides

Una Carta Para Usted

…………………………….... Anonymous

New Things

…………………………….... Rosasharn Brown


…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein


…………………………….... Jessica Seagraves

‫…………………………… זמן‬.... Isabel Berlin Eye

…………………………….... Blake Rosen

Backbone of Reality

…………………………….... Lucy Singer


…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein

Pink Flower

…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein

Excerpt from Spirit Awakening

…………………………….... Izzy Jacobs

Alone in a Crowd

…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein

Animal Skull

…………………………….... Adele Stolovitz

Life as a Pool Railing

…………………………….... Ayelet Bernstein

Flashback to Love

…………………………….... Anonymous

On Manhattan

…………………………….... Sydney Gelman

A Change in the Tempo of Love

…………………………….... Mattie Rosen

Why I Became a Minister

…………………………….... Daniel Whitesides

Boy with Blue and Purple

…………………………….... Adele Stolovitz

___’s Divine Comedy Syllabus

…………………………….... Sydney Gelman

Flowers and Fish

…………………………….... Rebecca Adler

El Mate

…………………………….... Rebecca Adler


…………………………….... Sydney Gelman

Reykjavik Rosasharn Brown

Driving away from the airport, the landscape struck me as something out of a dream; dimly recognizable, yet uncanny. The sun was rising over an open, still-shadowed plain, and toward the horizon weathered mountains were cast golden in the early light. There was a pervasive stillness to the place, and a quietness that followed us from the wilderness into the city. The sky was different here—a gloaming sky, chill and pale even at midday. Later, as I settled into the hostel, all I could think was how nothing here felt quite real. Gloaming sky, chill and pale even at midday. Later, as I settled into the hostel, all I could think was how nothing here felt quite real. It was difficult to believe that I had arrived. Months before, the city had been little more than a point on a map, a pure hypothetical. Situated in the middle of the North Atlantic, Reykjavik seemed fantastical, an improbable city that had withstood centuries of sea and storms. I had never been to Europe before, and I longed for history, for a sense of place. I wanted to escape the undistinguished Atlanta suburb where I had grown up, which felt numbingly blank. It not only lacked possibility, it discouraged me from envisioning the existence of possibility elsewhere. Going to Iceland, I couldn’t imagine that it would be any different, any better from home. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The feeling of the unreal faded after a day, but a stronger feeling of strangeness lingered. Everything was unfamiliar to me; I was unaccustomed to the city’s hushed atmosphere, its spareness. I had never traveled apart from my family before, and the feelings of independence and contented solitude this inspired in me were remarkable. Walking down a city street, it was wondrous to know that most of the people I passed spoke a language different from my own, one that I did not know. I felt free to be alone with my own thoughts, and for the first time, I truly understood the fundamental isolation that existed between people. My experiences were mine and mine alone, and no one else would ever fully understand them in the way that I did. I was a world unto myself, and so was everyone else.

The foreign nature of Reykjavik was illuminating. It offered new perspectives and encouraged me to reevaluate ideas about the world and my relation to it that I previously held to be immutable. In Atlanta, I would never have believed the world to be wider than what I knew from direct experience, but Reykjavik was a direct refutation of that. Cold rooms, new food, the dark expanse of the North Atlantic on an autumn day; everything was a surprise, everything defied expectations and brimmed with unconsidered implications. It shook me from my discontent, shattered my belief that the world could be nothing more than mundane. For me, Reykjavik was an opened door— it left me with more questions than answers, made me hungry to see more of the world, to know more of what it had to offer.

Ayelet Bernstein

Peace of Mind Blake Rosen

Peace of mind. Piece of pie. Share with those Who compromise. Giving love, Keeping hope. Don't forget, That you broke. You cried And you let out, All the anger They say about All the danger In the world, And in your feelings, So you curled. Into a ball Without a noise. Who's to say what Brings you joy. Feelings of joy, Feelings of peace, Is what I hope To release. Into the air, For friend and foe; I'm here to help, But that you know. Just not forever— Keep in mind, There's something larger

We call Time. In time we can Learn to laugh. And laugh and live. And live and cry. We will die, But don't be nervous. All is nigh. We all have purpose. All is peace and All is joy, As long as time You don't avoid. You can't escape it, Bear in mind. So make life count As days go by. Minute by minute, Dusk to dusk, Days go on and pass us. Peace comes From understanding These simple facts, Like when to be happy. When to be sad And when to love. When to give love, a hug; Love yourself And do your best, And don't be scared When laid to rest.

Spare Change (Two Cents) Harris Helberg

I’m asking for a leader to arise, From a terror-stricken population that seems to deny That danger may soon arrive. No one will take sides; people turn their heads and close their eyes, Hoping that threat will not be present in their children’s minds, But don’t try to make a sacrifice. Society tends to create society’s demise, So I ask G-D, he doesn’t reply; I told him, “I don’t want my fellow neighbor to be crucified, please reveal your guise!” Silence followed, my voice echoed through the eerie sky; I woke up my whole block, and apologized, But realized I should be louder to help them unify— And when I lose my voice, it’s up to you, not I. Give the media something positive to advertise, Ignorance creates many lies, Taking measure just to stay alive, Who am I? An average guy with a movement; Spreading love tonight.

Reality Check Isaac Weissman

We die. We grow, we progress, we develop, we earn and we learn, but we all still die. Every single one of us—every reader, every learner, every teacher, every lover—will die. We are immortal atoms coalesced into mortal bodies. Yet, we find ways to outlive ourselves. We build monuments and carve faces into mountains, but all of our attempts at permanent continuity are fleeting. Those monuments and faces and statues and great works will erode to dust. Later, the dust will be destroyed by an expanding sun, which will die too. The universe will eventually spread everything out among itself, creating a unified body of nothing. That, however, is not the type of nothingness we will encounter. We will find a true void—one that we cannot imagine. We will rush into it and disappear, our hopes and dreams pursuing us. Our accomplishments, our morals, our thoughts, our acts, our lives will vanish into nothing within a century. Everything you and I have done will enter the void sooner or later. Your failures will follow too. The mistakes, the scars, the burdens will all be washed away. So don’t plan on living your dreams tomorrow, for tomorrow won’t always be there. Don’t worry about messing up, because mistakes won’t last. Don’t delay, don’t waste any time. Every grain of sand in the hourglass of your life is valuable. Get moving, you’re running out of time.

Izzy Jacobs

And in that moment, I truly believed in Hell. For it had arrived.

A Glossary of Terms for Surviving Childhood Zavi Feldstein

Run: from all you are and all you have been because none of it is you. Run from your brother coming at you with a bat, run from your Mom telling you to “get over it and be happy,” run from your father removing the hinges of your door because you yelled, screamed, cried for Help: Ask for help because it is the only way. You mental illness will not cure itself. Learn: to be free, to be careless, to be strong. Learn that it is you who is in charge and that your illness isn’t a burden. Learn that parents will abuse and decide not to tell you of your sickness, and brothers will torment with taunts of “Medusa” and “bitch,” and love will fade before your eyes, but that you are stronger than any turmoil—you can paint the sky outside as beautifully as Van Gogh, and you can write a future as concrete as the densest history textbook, and you can sing like Hannah in your favorite Disney show, and live as freely as the bird pecking at your window. Watch: your parents learn to hate each other as a 10-year-old girl, hiding in a corner, picking out the angry glares in their eyes, separated by an island counter and shaking in revulsion. Watch twenty-two years disintegrate because they hate each other, and they hate you, and remember that time you were sitting in a dim restaurant booth and your Mom told you she never wanted children, not even hiding the regret on her face. And remember that time your Mom told you she never wanted marriage, not even hiding the regret on her face. And remember that time she told she was leaving, not even pretending there was regret on her face. Try: not to be jealous that she can. Stand: your ground and if you run then make your family hurt. Leave a letter and make sure they know it’s their fault. Hurt: the family who killed you with spite. Attack: the family who stained you with animosity. Cry: behind a locked bedroom door and contemplate how easy it would be to just climb out that open window and jump through the torn screen; how if you hanged yourself from the ceiling with the faded belt beside your bed it would take hours for anyone to notice. Hide: from the past if it hurts too much. You are allowed to Lie: to yourself until your body can take rejection no longer: when you finally let the pain of your past wash over you, let it fully and utterly encompass all you are and all that you can be, because your future is the one thing you control. Write: papers for the grades you get back and take standardized test for the score that will save you because the hours spent studying are your tickets out. Shield: yourself from the scars and burns pushing at the wall you built yourself as a four-yearold, cuddled crying in a corner because your brother shoved you to the ground for a laugh and your parents said nothing; or as a ten-year-old girl when your brother threw a chair at you because he knew it would hurt and your parents said nothing; or as a fifteen-year-old when your brother forced a knife-clad hand towards your face and your parents said nothing. Shield yourself from the hurt because you don’t deserve it. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are kind, you are everything your parents never told you you were. Deny: everything. Deny that your parents could exhibit such negligence, deny that a family could be so dysfunctional, deny that you are anything other than exactly what you are supposed to be, because you are Strong: This one you can define for yourself.

Comedic Relief The journey from this point on will be long and more difficult than anything you have undergone to this point. So take this moment to relax and laugh. Enjoy. Edgar Allan Po the Panda Tweets Daniel Whitesides

A mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe and Po the Panda “I'm not a big fat panda; words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.�

Karin Videlefsky

‫הַ חַ יִּ ים הֵ ם קֻ בִּּ יָּה הּונְ ג ִָּּרית‬ ‫שֶׁ אֲנִּ י ַרק ְמנַסֶׁ ה לִּ פְ תֹּר‬ ‫אֲנִּ י ְמסֻנְ ו ֶֶׁׁרת מֵ הַ צְ בָּ עִּ ים‬ .‫כָּל כָּך ְמ ֻעּוָּתֹות הַ ְד ָּרכִּ ים‬ ?‫הַ ִּאם ִּאי ַפּ ַעם אּוכַל לְ שַ ּנֹות אֹותָּ ן‬ ?‫הַ ִּאם אֲנִּ י צְ ִּריכָּה לְ הָּ ִּסיר אֶׁ ת הַ מַ ְדבֵּ קֹות‬ ‫ י ִָּּמין‬,‫ ְשמ ֹּאל‬,‫ י ִָּּמין‬- ‫ הַ קֻ בִּּ יֹות הַ קְ טָּ נֹות זָּזֹות‬.‫ קְ לִּ יק‬.‫קְ לִּ יק‬ ‫וְ עַכְ שָּ ו לְ סֹובֵ ב—סִּ יבּוב וְ עֹוד ִּסיבּוב‬ .‫אֲ בָּ ל הַ צְ בָּ עִּ ים עֲדַ יִּ ן נִּ ְשאָּ ִּרים ְמע ְֻרבָּּ בִּ ים‬ ‫אּולַי אֲנִּ י כְ בָּ ר נִּ צַ חְ ִּתי‬ .‫וְ אּולַי הַ ְתאָּ מַ ת הַ צְ בָּ עִּ ים ל ֹּא הֶׁ כְ ֵרחִּ ית‬ Translation: Cubes Life is a Rubik's Cube I'm just trying to solve. I am mesmerized by the colors… So distorted are the ways. Will I ever be able to change them? Do I need to remove the stickers? Click. Click. The small cubes shift—right, left, right, And now turn, spin—and turn once more. Yet colors are scattered across the cube. Maybe I've already won, And perhaps this color matching is without meaning.

Ayelet Bernstein

On Reading Dante’s Commedia at Weber Sydney Gelman

A response to “On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High” by D.C. Berry Before Our arms grew laden with the bound words of Dante Alighieri I felt as though I were melting through the seams of my clothes. I was dragged through the depths of Hell and began my ascent until Paradise did not seem so far. I saw bodies propelled by winds of lust and spirit trees decorated by their own corpses and I heard the monastic hymns at the beginning of each day and Virgil and Dante allowed me to wake up from the course of my life as it was before. My teacher and those following in her wake, trekking through all one hundred cantos, found not an apocalyptic flood but rafts for our burdened minds. Six vessels ascend the mount of purgation Until the rooms is filled with chimes and six souls go in five different directions each clinging to different tercets as though their lives depend upon it. This pilgrimage does not end as six bodies hurtle out of a classroom door; I am haunted by the words of both the poet and the pilgrim, leaving the room does not puncture my raft of sanity.

The Terror of Forgetting Zavi Feldstein

Watching my father die was the worst part of it all. As a child, I remember Saturday morning strolls, sweaty palms guiding me down Main Street, shoe soles rubbing at the trodden ground. “Good Shabbos, Mr. Kleinstein,” passers would exclaim, shaking our hands. My father was a strong man, his weak stature completely overridden by the courage of his past. I knew my parents were older than the others; my mother’s wrinkled eyes shone of wisdom beside the plastered faces of the other mothers, my father’s arched back set him lower than the tall postures of the other fathers. Death camps had taken their tolls, but my parents were living, breathing bodies. My father would wake me up in the morning crouched at my bedside, hand grazing my forehead, easing me into wakefulness. I would rise soon after to see his body silhouetted against my mother’s in the kitchen, hands resting at her hips behind the stove, the piquancy of breakfast wafting through the air. My parents grew up in the same town in Poland, a small community all but demolished by the war. Upon learning of their mutual survival shortly after, the two reunited, finding peace in a shared past, comfort amidst shared pain. Growing up a product of that love meant being wholly unprepared for it to be stripped from me. High school came and went and I was out of the house for college before any of us really knew it had happened. No more were the Saturday morning strolls; now it was only the blazing beeps of a bedside alarm that goaded me awake each morning. Sunrises came and went, and I was alone. A product of such love, I got my first taste of what life was like without it. The call came on a Thursday evening, the ringing phone blaring through the stale silence of a dorm room stacked with textbooks and scattered with pens, concentration so obviously elsewhere. Stumbling from the couch I grappled for the phone, lifting it to my ear in time to hear my mother’s sobbed confession that my father was too ill to live at home. I assumed this meant he was on his deathbed, began mentally preparing myself to sit by his side until his last breath, but the call for help did not come. “Your father does not remember you,” my mother gulped. “That’s how I know it is time.” Denial is a funny thing: you can sit motionless, encompassed by an absence of thought, or you can move, move so much that there is too much thought circulating your mind, leaving no room to truly consider that thing you so desperately want to avoid. When I saw him as he was, an old man crumpled by the terror of his past, in that instant I forgot the father who had been so strong. His arched back was weak, he was trembling, screaming for help because “they were coming;” and the piles of snow outside could not hide them because they were not children; and the shoveled snow was no longer a game; and these men had guns and they were coming, coming faster and faster and he had to run to the woods; and no his brother could not come with him but he had to go, NOW. He was going to die

Love Is Blake Rosen

Love is complicated. It can mean nothing or it can mean everything. But, really, when it means nothing, it means we are talking about sports, and if there is one thing I do not love, it’s sports. Sports can have my love, as long as it is in sports-terms. So, basically, sports can just eat it. I want love to be something great, not something I’m afraid of ending up with, not something that means I lost. I want love to be my success. I want love to be someone I can share my success with. This could mean a boyfriend, but it doesn’t. I want friends, family, and, like, a million dogs. Dogs? Love? Loving dogs. Now that is something I love. I love to love. Loving to love is complicated, like Inception. Well, kind of…it just doesn’t include Leonardo DiCaprio. But loving to love does include dreaming. I mean, dreams inspire me to make them real, and when I do, I love it. I love being myself and achieving my goals and smiling and laughing. I love laughing almost as much as I love loving. Nothing feels as good as laughing really hard—Steve Carrell said that. I love him. I don’t know him, but he makes me laugh, so I love him. I make people laugh and they love me and I love myself and I love it. I love loving because my heart feels big and that means it pumps more blood, so I can live longer. And when, not if but when, I live longer, I can have more time to love and to live and to love.

The Running Life Isaac Weissman

Dashing, jumping, dodging, racing. A runner must do all of this and more. She must be patient, careful, moderate. Needing to conserve energy, a runner must choose when she sprints and when she runs. Dodging the opposition and jumping through and over hurdles are both job requirements of an athlete. Racing is an art that takes time to perfect. The practice is grueling and nearly impossible. Calling the payoff “worthwhile” would be a lie in the eyes of most. Practicing is terrible, running is terrible, and everything in athletics is terrible. It takes a special type of person to derive proper enjoyment and fulfillment from running. True runners do not think ill of their love. How could they? It’s their passion. I write like they run. Shaking, deleting, creating, and enduring. A writer must dodge comma splices, hurdle over the limitations of words, and run with ideas. This process is tiring and destructive. It hurts the hands and aches the mind. Writing is an imperfect art—at first. With time and practice, a writer will fine tune her ability to a specific style that tends to be both eloquent and inviting. Like any other skill, writing takes practice. Steinbeck did not start with East of Eden, Fitzgerald did not start with The Great Gatsby, Poe did not start with “The Raven,” Proust did not start with In Search of Lost Time, and Huxley did not start with Brave New World. Every writer has a beginning, and that beginning is ugly. The first words I wrote were misspelled and poorly chosen; however, with time, my ability improved. Just like the runner, whose beginnings are slow as well, the writer’s roots are bumpy. A writer starts out with a passion for her own work, causing the artist to be ignorant to her own piece’s problems. A writer must develop her ability to critique herself and to delete the unimportant, the redundant, and the poorly phrased. At this prospect, many quake. How could she bash her own work, which she has cared for more than a mother cares for her child? The thought of hurting her loved one is blasphemous. The unfortunate reality is that the harm the writer is inflicting onto her fledging piece will improve the work dramatically. This inability to critique her own work used to be her downfall. The ability to damage the work that she invested hours and thoughts and her own life into is not innate—it is developed through practice. Just as the writer nurtures her writing ability, she must also nurture her editing skills. A similar problem arises in running. How can a racer critique herself accurately? The truth is she cannot. She must train her mind to carry out the improvement process, or have a coach. A coach must train his up-and-coming prodigy. He must act as a mentor, and the runner, the mentee. My writing coach is my English teacher. My past coaches pulled the best out of me and my mind. Together, we managed to write about Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and about Weissman’s Inner Turmoil. My teachers dragged my mind through the mud in order to clean it. From Fields to Bennett, my coaches treated me like a mentee—they made me run with my hands rather than my feet.

Confession Mattie Rosen

Shall I profess my feelings to you once more, My lovely true companion? My loyal partner who shan’t leave my side— ‘Tis not you who will betray me, ‘Tis not you shall I stare longingly at Without some kind of reciprocation. I feel as though I should give up And leave this thing to them. Yet without my letters to you, How will I ever cease to explode With emotion and angst that only Teenagers know? I wish you could help me, My lovely journal betrothed.

Jael Azani

‫ַרגְ לַיִּ ם ְיחֵ פֹות‬ .‫ְמיֻבָּּ לֹות ל ֹּא מֵ עֲבֹודָּ ה‬ .‫מֵ חַ יִּ ים‬ ‫ִּמצְ עָּ ִּדים בַּ ִּמ ְדבָּּ ר‬ ‫מֵ הִּ ְרהּור עַל הַ חֹוף‬ ‫ִּמ ְס ִּריקַ ת הַ שָּ דֹות‬ ‫ַרגְ לַיִּ ם ְיחֵ פֹות שֶׁ קִּ פְּ צּו וְ ָּרקְ דּו‬ ‫עַ ל עָּ נָּן ְמ ַרחֵ ף בַּ שָּ מַ יִּ ם‬ ‫אֹו שָּ קְ עּו בַּ מַ עֲמַ קִּ ים הֲכִּ י ֲאפֵלִּ ים‬ . ַ‫לְ ל ֹּא פִּּ קּוח‬ ,‫זֶׁה ל ֹּא ְמשַ ּנֶׁה מָּ תַ י אֹו אֵ יפֹּ ה‬ .‫הֵ ן תָּ ִּמיד חֲשּופֹות‬ Translation: Bare Feet Bare feet Calloused—not from work, But from life. From pacing in the desert, From reflecting on the beach, From exploring fields. Bare feet that have skipped around and danced On a cloud suspended from the sky. Or stepped into the darkest abyss Without any care. It does not matter when or where; They are always exposed, there, bare.

Petaless Izzy Ariail

When I was a child I saw the beauty of the weeds. Despite not being planted, they grew. Despite not being wanted, they grew. Despite. In spite. I gave a bunch of them to my mother, Because beautiful people deserve beautiful things. But they met their death at the bottom of the garbage can; Apparently, strength isn’t beautiful. Would I be thrown aside too If they knew I was a weed Looking up at the magnificent world While the world looked down upon me? It matters not, for I am deeply rooted to the soil, Rooted in my beliefs. I am a tough weed, A weed that persists, that insists I have a right to be here. I am poison ivy, A tangle of stems underneath, A complicated, intricate weaving of emotions. Nerves that stem from emotions that stem from thoughts that stem from nerves; Endless thoughts that seem to go nowhere, Yet in a period of florescence, Blossom into delicate leaves. I am everywhere. Hidden in the shadows of nowhere, Reaching for the golden drops of sunshine That are life. People fear my resilience, The spirit in my veins. They think I poison them Even though they Are allergic to me. My truthfulness gives them hives, My perspective makes them itch. I am poison ivy, A reflection of the attributes people can’t find within themselves, Sheltering the grass and the flowers amongst me, My companions that don’t fear me, And acknowledge my strength.

Many wish to be a weed, To be alone And free And different. But when it comes to be the last one standing, They wilt into the sameness of the flowers Blending into the same Old Routine. I have had my troubles, The rain has not always blown my way. But through the droughts, the doubt, The fear of getting clipped away, I have grown to love being the last one standing. Exposed to the madness of the fiery world, I find my strength and hold it close. Let me be identified As the little weed that couldn’t. That couldn’t fit in, That couldn’t keep up, That couldn’t go on, But could grow from those adversities. Let me be The little weed that is.

Adele Stolovitz

Comedic Relief Whew, you must be exhausted. You’re about half way to the end, before you continue I must recommend that you take at least minute to let your weary mind recuperate form such an arduous journey. Good Luck. Edgar Allan Po the Panda Tweets Daniel Whitesides

A mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe and Po the Panda “Suddenly a corner was turned, a blaze of light burst upon our sight, and we stood before one of the huge suburban temples of AWESOMENESS.”

Una Carta Para Usted Anonymous

Estimado Señor Trump, Quiere construir una pared, Tan grande, tan fuerte, En una línea invisible, Para evitar la muerte De un “sueño americano.” Pero no se da cuenta, Señor, De que ya existe esta pared, Y es grande y es fuerte; En la televisión y la red, Con ladrillos para palabras:

Translation: A Letter for You Dear Mr. Trump,

Es usted. Cordialmente, Anónimo

You want to build a wall, So big, so strong, On an invisible line, In order to avoid the death Of an “American Dream.” But what you don’t realize, Sir, Is that this wall already exists, And it’s big and it’s strong; On the television and the internet, With bricks for words: It’s you. Sincerely, Anonymous

New Things Rosasharn Brown

Inspired by Genesis 48:1-9 Standing before you, in the dim light of evening and of age, Perhaps we appeared stranger than we thought, And it was merely a moment of confusion; But that does not explain The dark look in your eyes. What else did you mean, we’d like to know, When you said, “Who are these?” To reach this land we’d heard so much about, We scaled mountains, crossed deserts, Hastened our journey whenever we could. We left Egypt, we left many places That we now pretend not to miss. Traded motherland for you, Grandfather; Surely that must count for something. True, we were not ushered in By those cold, now tarnished hands. But you have been known to take no idols— Why do you hold this one up? If you ask us, “Who are these?” (A question you already know the answer to) Then forgive us when we reply, “Who are you?” “Who do you think you are?” You are old, have lived a long life, Have seen many things both good and ill And we stand before you now, so young and small— Why are you afraid of us? Why do you refuse, against all reason, To recognize us? We have heard what you’ve said, So let us be clear. We have not come to replace Reuven, or Shimon, Or anyone else for that matter. We do not seek to, do not wish to take anyone’s place. Only to be accepted here, to belong, To be a family once more. You may ask, “Who are these?” But you cannot ignore us. We are not some other, some foreign thing, Deserving of being kept out;

Quite the opposite, really. Though we are new, we have every right to be here. We ask only for your blessing.

Ayelet Bernstein

Obligation Jessica Seagraves

A mash-up of The Soldier’s Creed, Psalm 23:4, and Otherwise’s “Soldiers” I am an American soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s time to strap our boots on, There’s nothing left for us to do, We are soldiers. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will fear no evil. Let me hear your battle cry. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an expert and I am a professional. You can’t erase us, You’ll just have to face us With our final breath. For you are with me. We’ll fight to the death; We are soldiers. I stand here right beside you— Tonight, we’re fighting for our lives.

‫זמן‬ Isabel Berlin

‫זמן‬ ‫הוא לא דבר מוחשי‬ ‫זה רעיון‬ ‫לא יכולים לגעת בזמן‬ ‫ואי אפשר לשנות אותו‬ ‫הזמן לא עושה משהו‬ ‫זה סתם… רק מתקיים‬ ‫זמן הוא הגבול שמגביל‬ …‫זה דבר שהמציאו כדי לדעת‬ …‫כדי לדעת‬ ?‫כדי לדעת… מה‬ .‫מתי‬ .‫לדעת מתי‬ .‫אבל הזמן לא אמיתי‬ ‫שחררו אותנו מהכלא שבנינו לעצמנו‬ ‫כלא שלא טבעי לא אמיתי‬ .‫מכלא שאי אפשר לברוח‬

Translation: Time Time Is not a tangible thing, It's an idea. It cannot be touched, It cannot be changed; Time does not do a thing, It's just there...just exists. Time is the boundary limit. It was invented in order to know... In order to know… Know...what? When. Know when. But time is not real. Free us from the prison we have built for ourselves— A prison that’s not natural, nor real— But seems impossible to escape from.

Blake Rosen

Backbone of Reality Lucy Singer

Inspired by Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory What is time? Why does it exist? Time is a manmade concept, created to give people a sense of reality, to give structure to an otherwise jumbled mess of space, ideas, events‌ The only things that keeps everything from happening at once is the unreal approach to the problem of fear, called time. Why do we believe something with such little evidence, but whose evidence is stretched to trick the human mind into accepting it? Without time, the backbone of our artificial society would crumble to dust, for the human mind requires patterns, requires organization. The effect of this fault in our nature is the invention of a make-believe system of organization and patterns: TIME Does time exist? Time is a form of perception, different to each living creature. The way our human mind perceives time is a make-believe story; It give us a purpose in life. Though time as we understand it is a made up idea, It gives us a reason to succeed and persevere through life. It give us hope for a better time, the future. If we could understand time the way it truly is, our minds would explode with confusion, Because time as it truly is is unfathomable, incomprehensible, impossible.

Bedtime Ayelet Bernstein

At night I lay awake, I think. The file cabinet full to the brink. The place where all the rejected thoughts go; I filed them away, but now out they flow. The tragic things I’ve come to expect; In a world full of mistakes, I have so many regrets. The times I’ve felt alone, at home, no plans— Into the drawers, each of these memories land. The many things I need to change Within my head are all arranged. As my cabinet locks away those last sweet memory gems, I lay there, slowly drifting into REM

Izzy Jacobs

An excerpt from the novel Spirit Awakening Maybe that’s the downside of stories. They lie. Of course nobody actually falls head over heels in love, or can’t imagine being apart from someone. Sure, she’d give her life for Prince Kane, but who wouldn’t? He’s the prince. The spark that was promised by the old tales of romance seemed, in a shortness of words, lost. So if the stories of romance were, well, romanticised, what about the hero’s journey? What about the one man who would rise against all odds and destroy what needed to be destroyed? That was likely just a falsehood as well. In this world of peace, there was no need for a great hero. With all of these lies, where is the truth? Are stories merely twisted tales told by those who wish to entertain nobility? No matter how far Aeva had looked, there had been no proof of danger, of excitement, of adventure. This marriage was to be her story. It was to be her time. Aeva smiled as her parents gushed over the idea of marriage. As King Aldrich smirked knowingly in the corner, watching what he knew would unfold. As Neveah cheered and threw the rose petals she swore she had on her just for convenience. But it wasn’t because of them. It was because of what Prince Kane had said. Now that she was princess, rules didn’t apply to her. Now that she was princess, she could enter the Wyldwood.

Alone in a Crowd Ayelet Bernstein

People surround me. I can barely hear myself think. Everyone here has a purpose, Mine is get through this night unscathed. When I look around, I see acquaintances. Those people who pretend to like you. They never pay attention to you, But they know who you are. I stand there contemplating a seat. Loneliness strikes me as I watch people interact. They converse, catching each other up on their lives. They don't care about my birthday plans or my new do. I feel eyes on my back; I turn, and there you are. You are staring, I stare back. We sit in our respective corners and stare. Then you get up, and join me in my solitary space. “No one to sit with?� I nod. We sit together, alone in a crowd.

Adele Stolovitz

Life as a Pool Railing Ayelet Bernstein

The water laps up at my sides. I stand stationary, unable to react. It lashes out, like a cold, abrasive whip. The damp spray from the collision flurries above me. I feel a small hand, timidly sliding toward the thrashing waves. It hesitates before letting go, and as I watch, its owner leaps into the depths below. Oh, how I wish I could know what it feels like to move. To let the wind guide me through life, rather than thrash harshly against my unbreakable metal. To understand that indescribable feeling of freedom that too many people tend to describe. Instead I stay here, a stationary rail. Built for the hands of first swimmers, life-time pros, and everyone in between. I am merely a garnish on the side of a dish or the plastic wrapping on a package; extra protection, or style, with no substance. As the water laps up at my sides, I am fully aware of my insignificance in comparison with its vast and immense beauty.

Flashback to Love Lucy Singer

Inspired by Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks Flashback. Flashback to when they were The sun and the moon. Flashback to when their inseparableness was Tea and honey. Tonight. Tonight they are The sun and moon. She steals his bright rays From the sky to fill it with her white glow. Tonight they are tea and honey; She’s too strong, he’s not sweet enough. Tonight. Tonight she finds a brighter sun, A sweeter honey To hold. To touch. To love.

On Manhattan 2015 Sydney Gelman

Written in the style of Francis Bacon Manhattan is a kind of cerebral salvation, which the more man tries to control, the more wild and confounding it becomes. Although you can fully submerge yourself, Manhattan cannot be vanquished, but can only enrapture any mind composed of idiosyncrasies and curiosities. Certainly, by enveloping yourself in this city, you may feel that it belongs to you; but this feeling can best be described as delusional; for every other vagabond maintains as much possession as you do, for Manhattan owns you rather than the inverse. Walt Whitman has expounded on this predisposed adoration, saying, There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy. The archives of the city are immutable, and sentient; and they walk the streets of Manhattan like ghosts of themselves: therefore they construct the present out of fleeting occupancy, out of moments stolen from the subway grates. There is no being who passes through this city without wanting it; but very few can admit to this rudimentary desire, or lust, or infatuation, or the like. Why should I be agitated that they cannot confess to their exaltation of Manhattan? And if anyone can adore this city more than me, why, I will welcome him or her into my open arms, my heart pulsating alongside this concrete conurbation, because I am glad to have a companion to join me in this madness. The most conventional form of infatuation towards Manhattan stems from those who love this city irrationally, but spend their lives trying to recreate a grandiose history that can never be resurrected; for then Manhattan’s magnificence would be purloined; because the past needs to remain passed, and stationed in every concrete crack of this city. Some, when they tie themselves to Manhattan, want to deliquesce into this city—they know the consequences: they are willing to become casualties. For those who need this city in order to propel their own hearts forward will find jubilation in the chaos and the smoke: they have found this calamity to be the ultimate remedy to their ailments. Frank Lloyd Wright, architect of the American Dream, warned the optimists against their relocation to Manhattan, as if their migration was something less than a propulsion of divine ordinance: New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed. However, the words of Woody Allen coexist with this sentiment: you love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. And so your reality becomes unhinged. This is certain, Manhattan infects you like a disease that would otherwise leave you healthy and whole in a suburban wasteland. The romantics who give into their fate are for the most part intoxicated by this megalopolis; as reflected in the publication of Howl, the publication of The Great Gatsby, and the publication of Leaves of Grass; and many other novels and poems. The inhibition of all senses and rationality is a customary reaction to Manhattan. Rather, the inebriation of the mind and the spirit give this city its sensational brilliance, which no matter how conveyed, can only be defined as magic.

A Change in the Tempo of Love Mattie Rosen

Her cherry dress pressed gently against her vivacious curves, bending and moulding to fit against her thighs, her hips, and torso. Holbrook wore this, expecting to meet her. Vivian. Red was the color she wore during that one get-together—the one held by her boyfriend, Jeffrey. He wasn’t in love with her. In fact, he was cheating. He wouldn’t look at her, because just ten hours ago, he was screwing the bartender’s wife. But, as his grandmother once told him, “Never hide from your lies. If you run too long, they’ll become truths.” And Jeffrey was done hiding. As soon as Holbrook went to the powder room, his hired man would take out the bartender, and Holbrook, if she were back before the two men hightailed it out of there. She got up from her seat at the bar, passively swaying by Jeffrey. Now was her chance. His eyes were on his drink, as if the Manhattan would disappear should he change the focus of his gaze. She held her clutch closely to her bosom, its light exterior a stark contrast from the darkness of her intentions. She pushed open the door to the exit hallway behind the bar, not daring to look back. Holbrook allowed a soft smile to grace her features; she was so close. As the door to the powder room slipped open, Vivian immediately matched the smile of her lover. Holbrook placed her clutch atop the counter, moving longingly into Viv’s embrace. The two held one another for a minute, revelling in the feeling of being loved. The man working the bar had been working half a shift, but his wife, Sue, figured he’d been covering a triple shift. Truthfully, he was dousing his fears and inhibitions with gin. You see, he knew his wife was seeing another man. She smelled like sex when he got home late, late into the night. When he crawled in bed, it was all he could do in his drunken stupor to refrain from shaking Sue awake and interrogating her about her night. Who was he? Did she love him? No... that last one wouldn’t do. For these days, love was a fickle fellow who drove in taxis to avoid getting caught without a trace. Love fell into a pond in the shape of a penny once held by hope. Love was the bottom of a glass. Love was a cigarette. Love was— Lonnie fired. Two women screamed into the shoulders of one another. One man took a discouraging sip of his drink. And one man fell. Hard. The hole in his head bled as a draft does beer. We’ll never know his name, but we do know that he died a loveless, drunken fool who knew better than to duck when a patron pulled out a gun.

Why I Became a Minister Daniel Whitesides

1. I'm on a flight from America to Japan (because that's what I'm doing at this point in time), and there's an American man and a Japanese woman sitting in the two seats next to me. Over the course of the twenty hour flight they fall madly in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together living with the woman's grandmother in Hokkaido. However, tragedy strikes as the man only has a tourist Visa and can't stay in Japan with the new love of his life. I can now save the day because while over international waters I can marry them and they can live together happily ever after in the Nippon (Japanese word for Japan). 2. I'm on lifeguard duty at my local pool (I'm also a certified lifeguard), and two men fall into the water and start drowning. I jump in heroically to save them and as I pull them out both men (each around 30 years old) have a midlife crisis and realize they are each latent homosexuals. Both so thrilled with their newfound identity they are starstruck with each other and fall desperately in love. I marry them on the spot in my bathing suit. 3. I've always wanted to wear the cool minister neck-thing. 4. The power of Christ compels me. 5. Animal marriage is finally legalized and my dog, London, bolts across my yard to the neighbor’s yard, where she trots back with her long lost forbidden love, the neighbor’s dog. Filled with joy, I officiate the wedding and look forward to an adorable litter of puppies.

__________'s Divine Comedy Syllabus "Here, one must abandon every suspicion, every cowardice must die here." —Dante Alighieri Sydney Gelman

Prerequisites: Animosity towards some sort of hierarchy, a sense of what's right and wrong, the ability to hold conversation with those under duress (yours or theirs). Required Materials: Walking shoes, intimate knowledge of a few historical figures, a compass (moral or otherwise). Course Reading: Dante's Divine Comedy, related poetry or prose of your choosing (monastic hymns, biblical passages, New Yorker articles, etc), work composed in class. Course Description: You do not need to speak Italian, nor do you need to be familiar with the intricacies of medieval figures from Florence. You do need to be willing to drown in the deluge of the written works of Dante Alighieri. I assume all of you finished The Comedia before the first day of class. We only have a week. Dante plunged into Inferno, trudged through Purgatorio, and ascended to Paradiso in three days—there is enough time. This journey represents an awakening—we are going to write our own cantos for our own Comedia. Rather than allowing your "hell" to drag you downwards into bolgias of despair, we are going to address our demons face to face. Let's talk to them. Explore the Freudian fears that plague our subconscious minds. Together, we will ascend from Inferno upwards into Paradiso. Choose a few cantos to rework. Who would you place in the mouth of Lucifer? Who is your Virgil? Your values define this afterlife—each level can be ascribed to your own moral senses. Course Aims: —Discover the quirks and quixotic urges that compose the core of your character. —Appreciate the value of 800 year old texts to depict the tragedies of modernity. —Gain a greater understanding of your political, social, and interpersonal persuasions. About the Instructor: I have read Dante's Divine Comedy on a canto by canto basis, and after trekking through the text I fell in love with figures from medieval Florence, found embarrassing bits of myself present in the protagonist, questioned the Papacy as well as all religious structures, and found that the depths of Hell have already frozen over.

By reading Dante, I was driven to write myself. To write everything down—who would I condemn? What is a punishable offense? I found myself striding through Hell and coming face to face with William Faulkner, a man whose work I have revered for years. I saw shadows of myself in perpetual hellfire. I was scared, but my teacher and my Virgil, Ms. Rosenblit, carried me through the terza rimas alongside my peers. I am ready to bear the brunt of this burden: I want to ascend through a dozen different journeys. I want to see the different facets and alternate means of Purgation. I want to see different figures suffusing the center of the heavens, the lynchpins of Paradise. I want to find my place in Dante's universe as well as in this one—I cannot make the pilgrimage alone.

Rebecca Adler

Rebecca Adler

Mate is a traditional hot drink from South America made by steeping dried yerba leaves. It is often consumed in social settings with family members and close friends drinking from the same cup.

IOTP Sydney Gelman

My mental map of the metro-Atlanta area is freckled with coffee shops. These islands of calm and caffeine have tables upon which I pour books and conversations. At Octane they know me— Andrew and Caroline always ask me about my classes. At Condesa, they recommend different teas for me as the skyline fills the window frames. At Hodgepodge, the walls are pasted with local artwork, and I look through used books when I take a break from studying. I do my best work when the thoughts of others cloud the air around me. Surrounded by strangers and coffee, poems stream from my fingertips and the prose I read grows illuminated. Diversity of thought becomes tangible, and I become encouraged: the caffeinated mind is the perfect host for quixotic ideas. Here, I join the ranks of the philosophers besides me, drinking espresso while discussing the trivialities that compose all revelations. My fondness of the familiarity of these coffee shops led to a new realization: I was unaware of my attachment to this place until I reached the precipice of my exit from Atlanta. There will be less traffic. The highways will most likely not peak at sixteen lanes across. Baristas will come and go. Teachers will mention my name to students who have never met me. My classmates will live in different states. I was unaware of the home I constructed out of urban sprawl until I was faced with the possibility of its decline. Stretching from Dunwoody to East Atlanta, I created an empire. I constructed monuments from the physical landscape, compounded by recollections and revelations. I remember where I had pho for the first time, the roads on which I learned to drive, the look of surprise on Mom’s face when she tried a lavender latte. I was eager to leave until I realized that I had no replacement, no network of viceroys to convey my commands—as my closest friends vacate the city, it will grow wild. A new reality will overtake these ruins.

Ramblings 2016  

The Weber School

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