The Trillium Spring 2008
The Trillium is the official arts publication produced by the students of Trinity College. The ideas expressed herein are not necessarily those of the faculty, staff, or administration of the college. Entries are judged on the basis of creativity, thoughtprovoking ideas, and freshness of style. The student coeditors do not know who the authors of the entries are. Managing Editor:
Samuel Cocar Bethany Crocker Joshua Held Stephen Hull Jamie Smith
Forgotten by Hillary Jones
Title Page Artwork:
Trillium by James Allen
Copyright ÂŠ 2008. This material may not be reproduced by any means, in part or in whole, without written permission from the authors. April, 2008
CONTENTS KIRA DEPA
Willow in the Wind
Still, Silent, Serene
Brothers in a Boat
Diamonds on the Lake
Going to the Yukon
Portrait of My Mother circa 1847
The Insomniac and the One-Eyed Toad
KIRA DEPA WILLOW IN THE WIND The wind flirts with slender boughs. Whistling, coquetting, alluring, charming The breeze seduces the fragile dancing figure. In the faรงade of wrinkles reflected within the hoary lakelet The tickled counterpart guffaws. Wailing, undulating, echoing The terrestrial sieves descended tears of clouds. Wringing the precipitation Wringing the lamentation Wringing the heart of temptation The thistle weeps for bliss.
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TAMI BURKE STILL, SILENT, SERENE
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DAVID RO CHAMBER There’s the hallway prone to least persistence. There’s the debris spoiling licitly in corners. There’s the someone to invite, except there’s nothing to fix into presentation— there’s no time. Come, sit, leave without remembering the room, pieces of the day falling off, the clutter symptomatic of the immediate. It’s so easy to turn— the thought groping like an oiled hinge— to some other side door, some other vacancy where all the vagrants used to live.
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ABIGAIL SEELAND DINER LISA Lisa with her large hands Reaches for a pot of strong. Itâ€™s half gone, no matter. Her job is to brew, not speak. Her hair, parted down the middle, Lays plainly on her pallid cheeks. A trucker requests another danish. Does she smile? Faintly, so faintly. The bright lights of the diner Distort what could have been Delicate chiaroscuro around her All seeing, never weeping eyes. Off her shift at three a.m. Lisa walks alone to her car. Behind the wheel her sigh Sounds like a repressed moan. What could have been Will never be known.
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TAMI BURKE BROTHERS IN A BOAT
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D.J. STOCKTON DIAMONDS ON THE LAKE The wind nips at the exposed skin on her shoulder as the wooden swing that was just put up rocks to the rhythm of the shake, rattle and roll of the full-bred summer leaves. This will be the last time she will sit together with him on any kind of resting spot. His heart is still with hers, but hers is somewhere in another guy’s dorm room 5 months from now. He know she will leave him. “It’s only a matter of time” her grey eyes that were once blue say. Her mom is passed out in the master bedroom after a deadly graveyard shift at the bar across the diamond lake. There is a churning in the water, not a churning from a boat, but a churning from an unknown animal that just wants to be loved. The animal will survive firecracker blasts on the 4th of July as some say, and live to churn for another day and annoy her when she sits on the wooden swing that is right next to the lake that is shaped like a diamond. And leaves will fall because the shake, rattle and roll will come to a halt and be silenced for the winter.
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REBECCA HIGHBARGIN GOING TO THE YUKON
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CAITLIN GREENER PORTRAIT OF MY MOTHER CIRCA 1847
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BRYAN ARNESON THE INSOMNIAC AND THE ONE-EYED TOAD Five degrees Fahrenheit. Ten o’nine. February tenth. Sitting on a park bench across double lanes of West Street from York Bank, I wondered if this was really the most important message the thick electronic banner could think to convey. That was stupid. Electronics can’t think. Who did decide what went up there? The branch manager? Maybe it was regulated by the home office . . . or maybe the mother-ship. Hell, I don’t know . . . I shut my eyes and rubbed my forehead with a groan. I hadn’t slept in half a week. I felt like that little flashlight you keep in your kitchen cupboard. My batteries were drained. True, I was in the “on” position, but anyone could see that the light was out. My hand ran down the side of my face and dragged on some halfshaved stubble. Sleeping pills didn’t seem to be doing the trick and I was very aware of my descent into zombie-ism. I might have sought help if it had interfered with my life somehow; but as it was, I didn’t drive to work, so a stiff unsavory shuffle suited me just fine so long as I left early enough (and not sleeping made that easy enough. Stop trying to sleep around four. Shower; dress; eat breakfast; begin the insomniac shamble into work by six; clock-in by seven. It was beautiful.) and I had always had the suspicion that a crouton could perform my job just as efficiently as me (if not more so—croutons don’t stop for lunch), a theory that was soon confirmed in my mind. “Why so glum, chum?” quipped a bass guitar. No, that doesn’t make any sense either. It had to have been a man—a man with a deep voice. I responded with a false despondence. “It seems everywhere I go; random people keep asking me questions in rhyme.” I didn’t know why my thoughts resorted so quickly to sarcasm. Surprise would have been a far more appropriate response, given that I had neither heard nor seen the owner of the voice approach before he interrupted my mind’s meandering. I almost let it go at that after a moment’s pause, but in the end sighed and added, “I’m sorry. I’m stretched a bit thin, as it were. I haven’t been able to sleep in a few days and” I glanced over to where I had heard the voice. I looked once more, just to be sure. No one was there. “And apparently you’re a figment of my imagination or something . . .” I shoved my hands into my pockets against the chill. “Am I?” I heard a soft thud against the bench seat beside me. I turned my head; No one. Then looking down to the seat I saw a ________________________________________________________________ 12 x THE TRILLIUM
bloated frog examining himself, I could only assume he was making sure he wasn’t a figment of my imagination. “I’m actually a toad,” he corrected. I conceded the point. He finished his brief examination then looked up at me, one baleful eye staring into mine, the other the foggy deluded hue of leftover milk. An indefinite time passed while we stared at each other. He seemed to be expecting something. “You lied.” Oh, right. “I haven’t slept in awhile.” He smacked his lips and grinned. “Why not?” He probed. No, I’m not doing that. It probed. After correcting my thinking I considered the question. HeIt had a valid question. “I’m not sure. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile now, but every time I feel like I’m getting close to something I just get all muddled.” The one-eyed toad scooted a little closer. “Well, how ‘bout I help you out?” I was a little confused what he meant by that, but he sensed my confusion and explained, “How about if you try thinking about it again out loud and I’ll keep track of what you’re saying, that way I can repeat it and keep you from losing your train of thought?” He raised his hairless brow line in an amphibious how ‘bout it? I considered hisits—offer, unsure of just how comfortable I was with this toad being in my head. Finally concluding that I was probably already insane anyway I decided to give its plan a try. “Alrigh“ “Yeah, yeah, I know. Let’s get this show on the road.” After a moment’s glare at what was probably the world’s rudest toad (or amphibian for that matter) I started spilling my guts. The toad was a remarkably good listener, commenting here and there, testing my comments to find out what I meant by them precisely. About five minutes I started to feel it creeping in. A fog started forming between my thoughts. I faltered mid-thought, but to my surprise I heard the toad’s voice through the fog, “Your father . . . You were talking about your father. He told you something. Something when you were young. What was it?” My father? Images of a man sitting on a wooden chair, his impossibly strong forearms resting on a wooden table that he had made with his own hands from a tree he had cut down with power drawn from his own colossal shoulders. He was lining a bit of paper with tobacco while I watched. He was talking to me. His peppered beard and mustache jostled up and down with every word. He finished with a smile and I nodded. He grinned and patted my head. Good! He said “good” when he grinned. What else? What else had he said? “Who was your father?” I looked down a t the table. T h e _______________________________________________________________ SPRING 2008 x 13
deep-throated toad asked again, “Who was your father? What did he do?” “He—” I looked back up, tracing my father’s face with my eyes, “He was a steel worker. Before that, a lumberjack, with my grandfather. Hard workers, both of them. He told me . . . ” “Yes?” I glanced between the toad and my memories. “He told me, ‘At the end of the day only two things matter. Did you work hard? Is your conscience clean? You will never know a better sleep than the nights you can answer yes.’ That was it.” There was a pause, then the toad spoke. “Well, have you worked hard? Is your conscience clean?” I shook my head. “I haven’t worked hard since I graduated from high school. My work is meaningless . . . I need a new job.” The toad nodded. I hadn’t thought of it before, but when a toad nods it actually does a push-up off its forelegs. “Yeah, well, you would too if your face took up your whole torso.” I rolled my eyes. “Well, what of your conscience? Is it clean?” “Too clean.” I nodded then grinned at the one-eyed toad, “I haven’t done the right or the wrong thing in . . . a very long time. I haven’t done anything. All I do is work, eat, and sleep.” I stood up, “It’s time that I did something with myself.” “Yes!” The toad let out a deep and jubilant bellow. “So what are you going to do first?” “Well, I’ll . . . uh . . . uhm. Hmmm . . . ” “Good answer,” groaned the toad. “Well, what should I do?” I asked. Considering the possibilities for a few minute he finally replied, “Well, I vote that we go get a Slurpie and figure out our next move from there.” I laughed. “Sounds good.” “Then I suggest we get a good night’s sleep.” “Naturally.” We walked in silence up the road toward the 7 Eleven for about a minute before the toad piped up again. “Say, I heard somewhere that 1% of the human body’s cells die and are replaced every day. Think there’s any truth to that?” he asked with a conversational curiosity. “I hope so.” I said with a shrug. “Why?” He inquired. “Because at that rate,” I smiled, “I can be a whole new man in four months.”
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HOLLI LEWIS MAZANA BANANAS
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DAVID RABE THE MASSES
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D.J. STOCKTON THURSDAY Here’s Thursday coming into the café, swaying like a skyscraper on a windy day. He comes to wear off Wednesday night drinking over lost Mississippi State shot glasses. He sips coffee with his left eye slid to his upper cheek avoiding eye contact with other diagonal stares, and finally it drifts to the street laughing at a taxi driver with a backward hat swerving on the busy morning. Thursday’s scarred index finger was cut open when he didn’t turn his truck off when he tried to change the fan belt. He raises it to his brow, pondering whether that girl in the tight skirt will brush up against his hand and casually smile. Her one green eye and her one blue eye meet his crystalline blue eyes, “Watch where that hand goes honey.” A smile evolves from a sullen gaze, “I was watching where it was going.” He overhears a police officer describing how dodo birds once ruled the earth. “What idiots,” he mumbles, “Dodo birds had no idea about the calming effects of a bottle of Jack.” Thursday sips coffee to sober him up, only wasting time before the drunken wobble takes him home right into the tiny spot between Wednesday and Friday.
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HOLLI LEWIS NEW BEGINNINGS
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HANNAH CATHEY REDEMPTION It’s cold up here. If the clouds so supposed I’m sure it would snow. Those little ants. They run to people, places. Eyes averted, faceless faces. I do not run. I sit and watch; my feet Swing high above the street. There is nothing To save me from myself, From tumbling off this shelf. I could fall. And fall and fall and fall. I already have. I recall A man hanging, His head dropped down. Silence filled with sound. And so I won’t. Oh how I would have screamed Had I not been redeemed. It’s cold down here.
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JOSHUA HELD DELICACY raisin toast reminds me of grandma. she’d rise before the sun, scorning 20 years of retirement, still sold on routine. I’d wander out, having slept a full nine hours in the guest room’s double bed, ready for a day of doing the few dishes, playing cards, raking leaves, loving my grandma simply, not because of what I thought I should receive from her. I buttered quickly my ragged, raisin-freckled toast, but knew hers deserved better. She was a queen, bent over the stove, carefully guarding the eggs, their sunny side still running years ago, the pan would have been filled with eggs for five boys, my grandpa, and my mom, and I’ll bet she still buttered the toast generously to the edges. She determined they might share her quiet joy, hardly known apart from steadfastness that stooped on wooden kneelers having walked the half-mile to church. That extra bit of butter fueled a body bent on homage to the humble soul within. My raisin toast pops up ready to receive butter. I pause remembering grandma’s eyes, not hiding ambition, but absorbed in the knife’s sweep, rested, seeing both the action and the smile smoothing a care-furrowed face. She looks at me and asks would I like hot chocolate, her voice filled with my name. I butter my toast. I do this in remembrance of her. ________________________________________________________________ 20 x THE TRILLIUM
Published on Apr 1, 2008
The Trillium is TIU's undergraduate arts journal. Founded in 1985 and published each semester, it is produced by students and contains stude...