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TREE. volume 1. issue 8. Memories

Merced, CA


Living For Today Amreen Shaikh

2 First Time Heather Bolton 3

You Never Said Goodbye j. corseau

4 If You Can Leave Dayle 4 A Catalyst For Your Crimes Elizabeth B. 5

A Future's Memory Drew H. Abney

8 Memories Steve Baba 9 Consumed Josh Lilly 11 Testimony Less 12 You'd Never Let Me Liza Palmer

Spring Water L.R. Wood


Glance L.R. Wood


Conflict Reflection Lucy Walden


In Memoriam Seared Brad Hachten


The Temporal Lobe Rachel Ongpin


Completed Mindset


Contributors 18

THEME OF THE ISSUE MEMORIES : Think back to our history. Times, sepia-toned, rose-colored, terrible, beautiful--innocent and crushing. The contents of our memory influence both the way things are, and the way we think things are. This issue has poems written in light of MEMORIES.

THEME OF THE NEXT TRAGEDY : Life is chaotic. We all know tragedy. It shapes us, and provides profound lessons. For TREE 9, feel inspired by TRAGEDY.

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Special Thanks.

Editors William Benjamin St. Clair Melissa Eisner Graphic Design William Benjamin St. Clair Front Cover Art Melissa Eisner TREE. Logo Melissa Eisner Publishing Assistance Steve Baba Patrick Walker

Justin Duckham Marcia St. Clair Ara Casey Omar Chowaiki Frank Cowman Loretta Cash Denise Burkhardt Jason Liske Adam Trelatsky Mike Burton Eleni Valas ...and everyone else who backed TREE. on Kickstarter!

If you're in Merced, and would like to submit to TREE visit

Everyone is welcome! You will be the last to know you're any good.

TREE. editors

Living for today... I feel a barrier when I touch my past no moment to relive it as it no more lasts... Beautiful times etched in the diaries of gone times dried roses yet exists to ponder and the lost melodies of tinkling chimes... I own just few faded memories to live on blush with happiness as jovial moments slip on... My today can still build me castles of mirth which will be washed away by the waves of time and gift me its soft remnants to live on... So my heart wishes to live for today love its presence  and indulge in the making of blissful reminiscence... Amreen Shaikh


First Time First time I opened my eyes I saw my mothers face and the tears in her eyes were they tears of joy? or tears of pain? First time I woke up in the middle of the night I heard my mother scream was it a scream of fear? or a scream of pain? or a scream of joy? First time I woke up and saw my reflection in the mirror I heard myself cry was I crying for fear? or was it tears of pain? or was it tears of disgust? First time I woke up with a man in my bed I heard myself sigh was it a sigh of relief? was it a sigh or boredom? was it a sigh of disgust? First time I came home from running away I saw my mother crying was it tears of joy for my return? was it tears of agony? was it tears of despair? First time I was beaten I heard myself whimper was it for the pain? was it for the agony? or was it simply for the fear? Heather Bolton


You Never Said Goodbye                                It is the part about being apart                                  That tears at this ragged heart.                                The time passes slowly each day                      While my mind seems to wander away                                    to the time before I knew you,                              or about your wish to die so soon.                        If only I’d seen the signs in your eyes                      Of the torment of your darkened pain.                                   But you never told me any lies                         And I never asked you for the truth.              If you had, I would have suffered with you                   And listened more closely to your words.                 Now I remember the tears in your caress                 Which I thought were my own in distress.                   Somehow I believe you can still hear me                      As I shout these verses into nowhere.           Now I know there’s no way to say I love you            When we’ve said goodbye for the last time. j.corseau


If You Can Leave If you can leave, Then I can too, And I will walk, Far away from you, Memories follow, In the morning dew, But if you can leave, I guess I will too. Dayle

A Catalyst To Your Crimes A catalyst to your crimes, Was my inability to lie, But when you saw the truth, You fled far from me, I still wonder why, The shifting cycle of memory, Turning forward in my mind, But I don't miss you, I will remember you fondly. Elizabeth B.


A Future’s Memory Perception of patterns is nothing of luck. Inspiration influences, when it is what you need. In a place, I now understand, Language, a pattern, a social band, Running and growling, I am not the same. My future, My future’s memory. A line oscillating in the sand. Vice and victory are not indistinguishable. Lucid dreams, reality’s prison. Eyes are open, sounds and listening. Above the moor, I did growl, legs crossed and mood not altered, I then ran down, And passed a future memory. |||||||||||||||||||| A future memory, He was there. In the air and on the ground, Going up and never down. A future memory, a shackle released. A future memory, an instance of relief. A future memory, another feeling replete. A future memory, a commitment now complete. |||||||||| An open eye, my hand, my gait, the movement.


Action, action, perception, touch, away goes the pattern. My eyes are closed, but yet, still exists the images, but de-coupling from me, I later posed. The patterns are distant, but not as far as they believe, you see, these experts are nothing without their belief. But belief can be nothing more than what we agree, happens, they say, only in our seas. But yet, deceit you will see, is a mechanism for belief, they say memory is nothing more, but a fish in a sea. ||||| If a fish can swim further than one believes, than maybe, just maybe, a belief is only but a belief. If a future’s memory, a tired fish in the sea, Is nothing if not for the sea, Maybe that growl, that shackle. If a future’s memory, a darkened sea, is nothing if not for seeing, maybe that growl, that shackle. Is more than a fish, more than the sea, maybe that growl, that shackle, is the fish and the sea. The future memory . A future memory, existing only, if acted upon, by what encompasses all, and thus, me. Drew H. Abney


Memories the friends gathered at the funeral remember the time when he impaled himself on the fence at 4 am in the morning? he was drunk on jack daniels he was trying to turn on the fire alarm and he succeeded but then his leg slid into that piece of metal the pain like a thousand bee stings the pain like a hot iron put on a naked piece of flesh now he would be buried with both scars and the laughter died down when the casket was closed Steve Baba 8

Consumed As many people wonder, sit and contemplate their life, determined to discover, uncover what is right I gaze into the depths of me to find some holy truth. Through mazes of deception, at the end - My place of youth. It's to the untrained eye, a show who boasts beauty and bliss, but those who stay, you know you have to take a closer look at this. There's criminals, that's understated, and no, they're not the best. Though many undereducated, merciless non-the-less. Such evil, marinated schemes have flood these people's wicked dreams. Whose eyes glow bright upon the sight of cost, mouth frothing in delight. Though vicious in their ways, don't worry. Perspicaciously their plays I bury for they are victims themselves, gentle as a snowflakes flurry,


tainted by the place they dwell; The true demented are the hurried. Surely clever, in disguise these average people live their lives. So secretly destructive, even they don't know they've done it. But oh, in time their deeds are shown and grow far fiendishly than known. Their blind consumption seems so rash by the assumption things will last. You see, I've tracked their trailing trash to find the world behind them ash. When dwindling supplies fall short, I'm listening for cries, "Abort!" Their fault, but maybe they are sane and stingy Earth is all to blame for holding back what's rightfully ours. How dare deny you humans powers! At this I'm frightened, forced to stop my pondering for truth was sought. As sun will light, my eyes can see this evil lies in You and Me. Josh Lilly


Testimony I lived in Poplar California and my mother lived in Tulare with her boyfriend. And I hitchhiked from Poplar to Tulare three or four times a month. I caught a ride down by the flea market. There was a wreck out in front of me. And about thirty people came from the flea market to come be looky-loos. There was this little girl and this older lady, the older lady must have been the grandmother. There were two off-duty paramedics. They came to see if they could help anyone. They worked on this little girl for about forty minutes. Something drove me to go over there, so I walked over and about the time I got there, the paramedics threw up their hands and walked away. I went up to one of them and said, "Is she dead?" And one said, "Yeah, I'm afraid so." I looked up and said, "God, show me a miracle," and the little girl started gasping for air. There was a lady in the crowd who started to praise me. And I shushed her. Less 11

You'd Never Let Me Trails of things that once were, Haunt me like newly fallen snow, Because I remember all of the good, And all of the good we'd never know, You'd never let me, if I pleaded, You'd never let me, if I tried, You'd never let me go away, Even if I've said goodbye - a million times, It's not as if I hated you, It's not as if I didn't care, Perhaps my longing for some closure, Is why I am listening impaired, You'd would never let me, if I pleaded, You'd would never let me, if I tried, You'd would never let me finish the story, Like we have - a million times, Now there is a balance, thrown far off, Now the scales are tipped, Now we struggle just to avoid each other, And neither of us really know why, Because you'd would never let me, if I hoped, You'd never let me, if I'd lied, You'd would never let me walk away, Without taking all of our goodbyes, Leaving empty in their wake, all of our precious times Liza Palmer 12

Spring Water Water sprang from the rocks on the side of the mountain. we cupped our hands to catch it and took a drink. It was cold, and it tasted of earth, and rock and ice; yet pure and clean. It tasted like freedom.  A taste never forgotten and never again found. L.R. Wood

Glance Glance up to find your eyes drawn to the eyes of another across the way. To see a person who instantly enters your being, your soul, without a word. With only a look you both know, each of you is frozen in a moment. A moment of astonishment, a moment of honesty, a moment of acknowledgement. In an instant love, forever and always love. Time, distance, death does not diminish forever and always love. L.R. Wood 13

Conflict Reflection I had a friend, who was wounded, In a strange war, in a foreign land. They brought him home alive, Or so they said. He says he lives for life; But he lives for the relief of pain. Sometimes the pain fades. But, no matter how numb he gets, he can't forget. It's been several years now, and he still hasn't come home. Sometimes in his most tranquil moments He doesn't know that. Most of the time he knows, and in knowing He feels so alone. Returning to the world isn't easy if the World isn't there when you return. Lucy Walden


In Memoriam Seared One night when my mother had been drinking she looked at my father with narrowed eyes and, in front of we children said, “You know, I used to think you were something special. How disappointing for me to find out you’re not.” This was in the family room when my father, a man who’d been the vice-president of a company one time, but after a long period of unemployment, had been working in a succession of sales jobs, in deliberation, chewed the ice from his dry martini. Is it fair to remember my mother at her worst, a woman who in middle-age went back to work and labored in a succession of secretarial jobs, when my father could be just as mean and just as drunk? Irrespective; I remember. And as soon as I came of age I took to the highway, crossed the continent, headed north, took great steps in time and space, but despite my distance, discovered I, too, can be just as mean, just as drunk. This I carry with me in memory’s back pocket: Because my father looked back at her and said, “You? What about me? Think how hard it was for me when I found out I wasn’t anything special.” This made my mother laugh, and my father smiled, and the searing words cooled to nothing I can recall. Brad Hachten 15

The Temporal Lobe Bits and pieces scattered my mind The words, images, and details Became a blur      and then blank What was once understood clear now hidden somewhere to disappear Possibly in the dark creases between Maybe it stayed there for a reason Some things are just better off lost As a part of the journey Of finding the endless essence to everything I tried to r e a c h further back Yearning for what was once there I looked everywhere and found Nothing So when asked, "What do you remember?" Instead of saying I don't I tell my truthful lie Filling in empty spaces Bending it until i could no more Maybe it's what I wished Or have thought to believe Believe me Rachel Ongpin 16

Completed Mindset points trace to points lines in my mindset dotted along my full connectome, completed being mess of sodium concentrations structures of myelin our thick, fatty soul cabling our thoughts at thirty clicks per second pops of now waves of presence, conscious perception flesh intact, skull, thick braincase, encapsulate my cerebrospinal, my extracellular fluid. my vessels of oxygenation fuel my electrical being oscillating to create my completed mindset


undulating moods of then influencing now with wicked indifference to my present desire. i am many things, contexts essential to my me-ness. strip away my circumstance and watch me become a new person: sometimes dead, sometimes weary, and sometimes, ready.

TREE CONTRIBUTORS Bolded names are featured in this issue. Listed in no particular order.

Ahmreen Shaikh, Kwyn Alice Meagher, K Chico, Dima Medvedko, Chanel Weaver, William Benjamin St. Clair, Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, Wesley Golangco, j.corseau, Moon Trent, A.T. Kirby 13, Bridgette Womack, Kathleen Crippen, Brad Hachten, Rachel Martin, Leslie E, Chris E. Rockas, Thundervoice Halfkenny, Rachel De Vera, Colt Laney, Devon Batey, L.A. Johnston, Christopher Casuga, Tanisha McClain, K Chico, Melissa Rocha, Heather Bolton, Jason Liske, Melissa Eisner, Elizabeth B., Drew H. Abney, Wesley Miller, Sarah Milhoff, Mark Price, Eleni Valas, Josh Lilly, Less, Cameron Switzer, Jocelyn Wagner, Alison Rush, Teena Fultz, Megan Bevis, Aurea Bolanos, Elaine Sachs, Mercedes Gordon, John Walker Beatty, Shannon Aberle, Veronica Cruz, Dayle, Liza Palmer, Meganne Ward, Oscar Torres, Marcy the Poet, Sarah Abboud, Evalina Hansen, Alyssa Haynes, Rosemary Schultz , J.P. Gonzalez, L.R. Wood, J o s h u a D a v i d M c C a i n , J o r d a n C o w m a n , Arron Brian Febres, Liz White, Alexandra Eifers, Vasilisa Crosthwaithe, Lucy Walden, Michelle Downer, Karina, Steve Baba, Raphilo, Cookie Laigo, Salvador Padilla, Ursula Vasquez, Mike Plamann, Ella, Kika Figueroa, Rachel Ongpin.

Thank You! 18


Think back to our history. Times, sepia-toned, rose-colored, terrible, beautiful--innocent and crushing. The contents of our memory influenc...

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