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Spring 2008 Volume XXXI A Student Publication of Midwestern State University

Israel Barron - Gallery - Digital Photograph

Editor..................... Christian McPhate Assistant Editors.....Elizabeth Hawley & Adam Bell Front Cover Digital Photograph.......Adam Bell

Advisor..................Sue Henson Art Advisor.......Gary Goldberg Back Cover Digital Photograph......Adam Henson


Dedicated to Dr. Thomas Hoffman Dr. Thomas Hoffman continues to touch the lives of many students at Midwestern State University and across the nation from the Boomer Sooners of Oklahoma, the home of a heavenly team that he loves to promote during football season (irritating his Longhorn student fans), to Ball State University, a place that helped shape his wonderful mind and acting abilities. Dr. Hoffman teaches his  classes  with  a  passion  and  dramatic  flair  which  breathes  life  into  the  characters  of  his   American Literature novels. He is a scholar, a teacher, a family man, and one of the wisest professors to grace these halls. We dedicate this 31st issue of Voices to its founder, the man, the myth, the legend – “The Kindly Old Professor.” The staff of Voices would like to express its appreciation to the jurors who made this year’s literary selections, to Gary Goldberg for his coordination and preparation of the art entries, to Abigail Carter for the history section, to Jim Henson for his valuable help with pre-production, and to Sue Henson for her management of the team. Views expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect  the  views  of  the  Voices staff or the university.


“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.”

A History of Voices by Abigail Carter tion from MSU President Dr. Louis J. Rodriguez saved the almost-sinking ship, and Voices rose back with a vengeance. Student editor Jean Hall rose to the challenge of  assembling  a  fine  publication  in  half  the   usual time. Voices has had to wrestle for funding for several years, often coming in at the bottom of the list of priorities when the Student Allocations Committee  faced  difficult  choices  of  where  to  invest  the   students’ money. Despite this fact, Voices remains the only permanent forum for students on campus to express ideas freely through their artwork, writings, and other artistic endeavors. In  its  first  fifteen  years  of  publication,  Voices won twelve state awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association for overall excellence and for individual categories of student entries. Professor Gary Goldberg, the faculty advisor for all art contributions, selects and photographs the outstanding student art work that has given Voices its stunning visual appeal for several years. Dr. Hoffman was the founding father and faculty advisor for Voices in 1975 and from 1983 to 1992. In 1977, and from 1979 to1982, Professor Jim Hoggard was faculty advisor. From 1993-2004, Dr. Robert Johnson continued the publication’s tradition of excellence. Assistant Professor Sue Henson has been faculty advisor since 2005, helping guide Voices into the digital age and keeping it vibrant with her passion and dedication.

O-Wa-Ki-Ya is a Native American term that means “to cause to write.” In the early 1930s, MSU’s Writing Club, composed of aspiring journalists and, to quote a 1934 article, “other varieties of scribblers,” created the Owakiya, an annual publication sponsored by MSU that contained the best of the feature articles, short stories, one-act plays, poems, informal and formal essays written by the members of the writers’ club. The Owakiya had fallen by the wayside by 1965 and was replaced by the Midwestern State University Quarterly and eventually the Ahimsa, which was published between 1965 and 1969. In 1975, MSU’s Press Club brainstormed and created the  first  issue  of    Voices. Editor Kathy Weber and faculty advisor Tom Hoffman combined student art and literature, faculty essays, and newspaper  publications  in  this  first  issue,  which  honored   the inauguration of the new MSU President Dr. John Barker.  It  featured  art  and  literature  from  fifteen   different departments on campus and was sold at the university bookstore, as well as other bookstores in the city. In 1977, Voices began its current run as a student-funded publication, but it faced a crisis in 1992 when funding from the Student Government Association was halted, and Voices was threatened to be relegated to the dusty shelves of archives. However, in 1993, corporate contributions from Dr. Jim Lonergan, then publisher of the Wichita Falls Times Record News, and a personal contribu-


VOICES VOICES VOICES Jessica Johnson Silver Print

Poetry and Prose The Honesty of Sound Heart Strings The Moment Our Father The Sleeping Willow Every Day Is Like Sundae The Sounds of Work A Day No Bullets Shall Be Expended Choiring to the Preacher The Story of the Whole World Life A Day at the Beach Caterpillar The Voice of Me Murda Style

Rosalie Saenz Frank Patin Anjanique Sampson Tristan Browne Rachel Tompkins E.J. Redding Elizabeth Bourland Hawley Jill King Adam Bell E.J. Redding E.J. Redding Rachel Tompkins E.J. Redding Carolyn Telesford Carolyn Telesford

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2007 Vinson Award Winner Elizabeth Bourland Hawley

High School Poetry and Prose Breanna Lacy - Burkburnett HS Adam Henson - Wichita Falls HS Adam Henson - Wichita Falls HS

Moving Military Greenwood Power of the Moon


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Art Jessica Johnson Ashley Lindsey Destiny Guerrero Ashley Lindsey Marsha Hofbauer Ashley Lindsey Katherine Eppler Stacy Loudamy Saschelle Anderson

Silver Print Archival Print Digital Archival Print Ceramic Archival Print Digital Digital Digital

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Katherine Eppler Marie Neudorf Marie Neudorf Johnathon Thompson Stacy Loudamy Destiny Guerrero Destiny Guerrero Samantha Smith Samantha Smith Cody Mason Casey Meuer Jimon Welch Ashley Lindsey Cody Lee Mason Lauren Miller Brittany Hunt Chance Gibbs Ashley Lindsey Ashley Lindsey Tuwana Gildon Catie Lerew Hershel Self Israel Barron Ashley Lindsey Adam Henson

Digital Silver Print Silver Print Archival Print Archival Print Digital Photograph Mixed media Digital Graphic Digital Photograph Silver Print Ceramic Ceramic Archival Print Steel Archival Print Ceramic Silver Print Archival Print Archival Print Ceramic Archival Print Archival Print Archival Print Archival Print Digital

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The Honesty of Sound Rosalie Saenz “Honesty sucks, kid.” He was my mentor, the only person I ever truly respected. When he told me that, I understood what had happened. I wanted to cry. “Then don’t be honest,” I replied coyly, damming up tears sure to spill over once I left. Their house was like a sponge that leaked the very sound of her in her absence. He heard, every laugh, every scream; he heard. The most recent screaming echoed the loudest, reverberating in the cold  corners  of  the  family  room.  I  watched  him  flinch  as  he   listened over that evening’s events. “What did she say?” I knew but I had to hear it. “She didn’t say anything. She just left,” he lied. “When I said, ‘Don’t be honest.’ I didn’t mean to start now.” The  terse  snap  flew  to  join  the  rest  of  the  noise  before  I  could   catch it. Now, it was out there, never to be caught again. It existed in the air and would never die. Ever. “I know. I’m sorry,” he recanted shamefully. It sung. “She said she wasn’t happy. She hates me, apparently. That’s old news,   but   she   finally   said   it.  When   you   hear   the   words   ‘I   hate   you’ come from the woman you’ve spent over half your life with, you don’t control what you say anymore. I was honest; she was honset; now she’s gone.” His shame-coated explanation of our family meltdown was too bitter to swallow. “Just lie. Just tell her you love her and make her come back home.” A likely plan. Very simple but I had little time to contemplate why he hadn’t thought and done so already before he replied. “That’s the problem. I wouldn’t be lying. I told you I was honest. She said, ‘I hate you.’ If I still had the will to manipulate my speech, I would have told her I hated her, too. It would have been so much easier to feel the same as she, but mutual feelings are hard to come by. I told her ‘I love you,’ and she laughed. It would have hurt less if I hadn’t laid my heart out for her to eat. That’s why honesty sucks, baby.” “So all this time, she pretended to love you and you feigned hatred for her, when really it was the other way around?” (Hearing you’re the bastard child of deceit can cause one to state the obvious.) “Our marriage had been arranged by our wealthy families. She  hated  me  the  second  she  saw  me.  It  was  love  at  first  sight,”   he began the tale, eyes glossed with nostalgia. “How do you know she hated you?” He could have just assumed the worst. I always did. “She came to me the night before the wedding begging me to call it off. She confessed a love for another man and said I was the only one who could stop this ridiculous marriage. I knew then I  should  have  agreed,  but  love  can  make  you  selfish,  remember   that. I thought I was best for her and wanted her for myself.

Knowing she didn’t return my amorous affections, I purported to disincline out of malice. I felt that I had something to protect.” Regret has a very hollow sound made at the back of the throat, like the very emotion empties you through the mouth. He wouldn’t have let that sound out, if he could have helped it. Pride is disgustingly dense glass to speak through. I sat there as he fell from some conquered mountain, not even screaming, just accepting his fate; it worried me that he didn’t scream or cry or beg or   pray;;   there   is   so   much   significance   in   silence.   Millions   of memories were invading my ears – my brain – from the large room we spoke in. This is wrong, I thought. I know I heard genuine laughs, saw sincere smiles. They had grown accustomed to each other, there had been happy times. How do you throw that away on a whim? How could she leave? How dare he let her go? Thirty years of marriage don’t just disappear because you say so, woman! They leave scars, scorch marks in the wood of a house. They leave people like me! In the course of the night, I had become a twenty-seven yearold child, or so it felt. I couldn’t let it all go; I wouldn’t leave him to wither away in pain. At that moment, I should have seen it coming. “What are you going to do now? Where did she go? How do   I   find   her?”   I   was   livid   with   the   fear   of   death,   anxiety   and   adrenaline sticking to my heart like heavy mud. I was going to fix  this.  I  had  to  fix  this. “This  is  out  of  your  control,  baby.  Neither  of  us  can  fix  it.  We   are manipulative, controlling creatures, you and I. You have to see when not to meddle, when not to sink your pretentious claws into the situation. They’ll be ripped out if you’re not careful.” I remember praying for his eloquence as a child. Years of public speaking as a politician. I was never such a quick, thoughtful speaker, just a thoughtful writer. In our day and age, people are quicker to listen to what they hear rather than what they read. The voice made all the difference; sound is a powerful device. An intrusive jingle slashed through the clamoring, heaping a noise so violently, I jumped. My cell phone was ringing. “Hello?” He was near startled at how quickly my tone switched from distress to curious contentment. Near thirty years of observational learning and genetic heritage and he didn’t expect me to be a good actress? “Where are you, Love?” She feared the worst. “Where  you  left,”  I  flicked  the  switch  to  resentment  so  cold,   I was sure her ear was frostbitten. “Please meet me at your house. Hear my side of the story,” she said, unable to mask how taken aback she was by my quick flash  of  anger. “I’ll be home soon.” “I love you,” she expectantly replied.


“Call him.   I’m   sure   he’ll   tell   you   he’s   fine.   He’s   stronger   than you think.” Damn. “Fine,” I said, defeated. It burned my throat in shame. I dialed the number and waited impatiently. He answered the phone like a secretary: expectant, annoyed, and fake, like I had interrupted something. His voice wasn’t appeasing in this manner. “Hello?” “Hey, Dad. I was calling to see how you were doing.” “Never better!” I’d never heard him like this before. His voice was like a gun cocking. “You know what? I think I’ll come over. I don’t like you being alone.” He was making me frantic. I wasn’t hiding it; he was ignoring it. “Don’t think you want to do that, kid.” Oh, Christ! He maintained that horribly content frequency. He was so much better than me. “Why not, Daddy? What’s wrong?” Maybe I was just assuming the worst again. “Just don’t. Tell your mother I love her. I love you, too, you know.” My chest sunk in from the sound of such words, death words. “No, Daddy! Don’t lea…” He hung up the phone, the click like a gun shot. “What did he say? What’s the matter?” The concern in her tone was more for me than for him. She really did still hate him. Eyes burning, ears ringing, I didn’t even acknowledge the question. I dropped the phone, got in the car, and drove. “Dad? Dad?!” I was running for the door, screaming in a selfish  panic.   I was turning the doorknob, hearing only my own hysterical thoughts of abandonment. The sharp, sudden blast of a gun stopped every thought, every movement. The brutality of it tripped me. I didn’t even look around, blinded by the realization the sound had produced. Tears shed like blood as I sat there in the doorway, dying. The pain piercing my senses was indescribable. It felt as though the sheer shot had stabbed me. I wanted to die with him, seeing self-­sacrifice   an   optimal   choice   for   redemption   of   my   self-­ centered behavior. “Love  can  make  you  selfish,”  I  whispered.  That  was  what  he   had said. His love for her, my love for him, her love of freedom, all of these loves had destroyed us in one night of honesty. The truth had been more destructive that the lies. “What happened? Where is he?” What a sight for her to come across. “Call an ambulance.”

I hung up. “I’d love to go talk to her, but I’ll be back.” I told him, flicking the  switch  to  comforting  and  soothing  tones. “Don’t hate her. She did nothing wrong.” He really did still love her. The love in his voice broke my heart into splintering shards soon to puncture and protrude to visibility. I had to get out of here. “I love you, Dad.” “I love you, too, kid.” His sound of returning composure was reassuring. He was better than me. There she stood in watercolor glory. I wasn’t going to let her see the breached tears. (For future reference, I don’t suggest working out a list of arguments during the following: driving a car; losing your mind; working through a series of emotions so potent, you almost feel drunk.) As I stumbled out of the car in a blur, the sight of her face erased all trace of a processing brain. I was speechless and blank. “Hello, Love.” She anticipated anger, an argument, anything other than what I did. “Why, Mom? I don’t understand,” was the pained reply that rushed out simultaneously with the rebelliously condemned tears. “Oh, baby, it’s okay. It’ll be alright.” Her consoling tone sparked  another  unpredictable,  undeserved  flash  of  anger. “No, don’t say that! It’s not going to be okay unless you go home, go back to him. He feels like he’s nothing right now, or less. He needs you! I need my family to stay together.” My young home wasn’t as stuffed with the noise of a family as theirs. My demands bounced back and forth through the hallways, doorframes, letting me hear twenty times over how pathetic and selfish  they  were. What was it Dad said? “Listen, Love, I wasn’t happy there. I couldn’t do it anymore. Don’t you want me and your father to be happy? Now we have a chance at that. We can start over.” ”But what about me?” Where had my will gone? Dear God! I wasn’t even thinking about him anymore, or her, just the fact that my world that I had known all my life was threatening to no longer exist. “I know you feel like I’m abandoning you, but I’m not. I love you. I thought maybe I could stay with you for a while. We never got to spend much time together when you were growing up. This will be good for us,” she replied with a little astonishment to my outburst. Her mention of my childhood snapped my conceited thoughts back to him. “But he needs me there. He’s all alone. He didn’t sound very well. I’m worried.” My voice sounded half real, just as the message was. I was reaching at other aspects of the situation besides my greedy need for consistency to make her go back.


Heart Strings Frank Patin Half my  life  ago,  I  first  drove  on  two  wheels   past Razor Creek Dome into the Gunnison valley. I,  who  had  already  lost  the  firm  ground  of  my  youth,   knew there was an enchantment in the peaks above Crested Butte. Little did I know then what I know now— how life is weaved daily into a fabric: sturdy  or  fine  or  gaudy  or  bare. I met the homesteading stock, honest men and women, who kept their weavings mended. The cold tends to weed out the ones bent on an easy life. The cold can freeze over your soul before  mud  season  leads  to  summer  flowers. Some people are not designed to stay woven in place. I guess I am an unraveler leaving behind stray threads. Funny, I still spend my time building a legacy with boards and nails and paint and concrete— things to weather the test of time. When you see an old mine or a cross-buck fence and look at the mountain, you have to chuckle at our attempts of longevity. I learned from weathered hands and weathered men in Gunnison. As  winter  passes  down  south  in  the  flat  lands,   I remember the snows, pull on some Carhartts, and move on. Destiny Guerrero Digital Ashley Lindsey Archival Print


The Moment Anjanique Sampson Do you remember, The Moment When you honestly did not care what other people said? Do you remember, The Moment When the only voice you heard Was the voice that was in your head? When all about Just faded Into a silhouette When curtains Were drawn closed And with your Soul you met? Kiss the ground you walk on. Taste a sincere tear. Mimic words you’ve spoken. Dance around your fears. Stare blankly at the mirror; Look beyond the glass. Standing in that moment There is No Standard There is No Class Do you remember the last Moment You smiled at being you And left the world confounded Wanting to Feel To know To do The very thing that scares them The very thing That’s you !

Ashley Lindsey Archival Print Marsha Hofbauer Ceramic


Our Father Tristan Browne Then all I heard was: “Shawn get up! Boy get up!” All I could think was: “Thank God it was a dream.” “Mommy what happened? It’s just... it’s just 1:00 a.m. and I just went to sleep about three hours ago.” “Uncle Jordan is dead.” The room was suddenly silent as I heard her take a deep breath. “What? When?” I questioned as I jumped out of bed. “Charmin just called and says her daddy died and you could hear Cindy in the back wailing. I’m going there now so put on some clothes and come with me!” “But mommy...” “That’s not a question. It’s a command, and it requires no but, okay?” “Yes, mom.” It was the middle of the night, and we had no car to drive to Uncle Jordan’s house, but it was only ten minutes away walking. Outside was chilly but still relatively bright. Full moon night and stars in the heaven sparkled so brightly above us. I remembered Uncle Jordan telling me some time ago that when he died the moon would be full and it would be a beautiful night with a clear sky. Well, he certainly got his wish. Uncle Jordan was an uncle for all seasons – no matter what was happening in the family – Uncle Jordan would be present and without having to ask him, he gave his opinion, which was respected by all. He was very passionate about everyone in the community getting an education. He believed that all work and no play was not good for any young person, and he was famous for having end of semester parties for the children of the church congregation. Uncle Jordan went to church every Sunday and made sure his entire family attended. Last Sunday  was  the  first  time  I  could  recall  that  he   didn’t go to church and now he was dead. As we made our way through the bushes, I heard the chirping sounds of crickets and other insects and Uncle

Jordan’s dogs howling like a pack of wolves. The dogs started to kick up a storm, barking recklessly as they heard the rumbling through the bushes as we approached the house. As I called their names, the barking was reduced. The door was already open and my mother walked straight in as if it was her own house. We met Aunt Cindy and Charmin in the front room. Aunt Cindy was in the big recliner on one side of the living room, and Charmin was on the phone talking to her sister Jordeen in New York; both of them were crying. Mom went over to Aunt Cindy, hugged her, and gave some words of comfort. She then went to Charmin who was still on the phone, so mom placed her hand on Charmin’s shoulder and squeezed. She then proceeded to the hallway, and I knew that she was heading to the bedroom. Aunt Cindy was my favorite aunt, and I had never seen her sad and shaken up. I sat next to her in the chair, and she stretched out her hand and hugged me the way a mother hen gathers chicks under her wings, and I rested my head under her arm. She cried. Suddenly, an outburst of wailing came from the room, an indicator for all of us that Mommy had just seen the lifeless body of Uncle Jordan. I got up and went to the room. My mother was on her knees at the side of the bed with her upper body thrown across Uncle Jordan, her one and only brother, her twin. As I stood there in the doorway, watching my mother, and seeing  the  body  of  my  uncle,  the  tears  slowly  flowed   from my eyes. After my father walked out on my family, Uncle Jordan was  the  male  figure  in  my  life,  and  now  he  was  gone,  gone  to   the  other  world.  I  found  myself  slowly  sliding  to  the  floor  in   the doorway. Then I felt someone’s hands around me. As I looked up, I couldn’t see clearly the face of the person  because  my  eyes  were  overflowing  with  tears,  but  I   knew it was Charmin. We were both at the door weeping, for our father had just died.


The Sounds of Work Elizabeth Bourland Hawley Her curly hair, gray as the clouds frame her cheekbones and blue eyes She hums as she cleans our home I listen as she approaches to sweep The dog ignores her until she nudges him and he  groans  then  rises  to  find a spot of warmth on a rug between sweeps – she looks into my teacup You need more tea she says as she dusts with a rag now frayed at the edges its thin threads holding on somehow as we all are, here in this house Holding my face in the palms of her hands she tells me You’ll walk again someday And it’s true, you know, she has a green thumb Her sweetie brings leaves and snow inside from a blistery outside In his gloves he holds a hammer a bag of nails and a tissue to wipe his nose and his eyeglasses fogged upon entering the warmth of our home He  fixed  the  leaky  roof  –  this  time  for  good and repaired the faucet – for good this time I  doze  in  the  crackling  of  the  fire  before  me.

Ashley Lindsey Archival Print

The Sleeping Willow

Every Day Is Like a Sundae

Rachel Tompkins

E.J. Redding

The willow sleeps at night Gently swaying in the wind Carrying a lovely rhythm

The world is a sundae, Sprinkled with nuts, And a thin stream of richness Runs throughout. The cream must stay icy, Or else it is whipped; I am slightly bananas, But I endure. And who will be the cherry, The cherry on top?

In the midnight wind Creating a beautiful melody The willow sways Crickets in  the  field Praise the willow’s song As the sleeping willow sways


A Day No Bullets Shall Be Expended Jill King He emerges from the fog on a morning in November. Wearing big black boots and a long trench coat, he looks like a serial killer. I immediately want him, I urgently need him. With maniacal enthusiasm, I pull to the shoulder and offer him a ride. He fills  my  car  with  a  stench  that  will  settle  down  deep  into  my  cloth  upholstery.   I smile, despite this, seductively and make my introduction. I gaze into grey-green eyes and get lost in them, I admire tousled brown hair, oily and unwashed, I am pleasantly surprised by a sexy smirk, each tooth intact, Although each outward breath puffs out halitosis. My  limbs  tingle,  I  am  filled  with  butterflies, All that romantic blah-blah invented for the movies. He asks if I don’t know better than to invite strange men into my car. “Maybe it is you,” I reply, “that should know better, Than to get into a car with a strange woman.” He laughs. I only smile, Like the cat that ate the canary, they say Knowing something he does not. We drive in throbbing silence, The air between us thick with possibilities. Would I initiate this, pull into a rest-stop, Slip my cold hand into the warmth underneath that trench coat, Thrust  my  fingers  through  the  gaps  between  his  buttons, And clutch at hair oily like that on his head? Or would hard metal be pressed to my ribs, Or  the  soft  flesh  of  my  neck,  right  under  the  jaw  line, Forcing me to veer onto some desolate road, Where no one but cows can hear an anguished woman’s screams, Fine,  dirty  fingers  exploring  what  I  hide Underneath an Old Navy hoodie? Anxiously,  I  hope  for  the  first. Upon a sly deliberation, comes to me the conclusion If everything stays cool and consensual, Mr.  Serial  Killer  and  I  can  both  fit  in  that  passenger  seat, Snug and intimate as partners of many years. Just as snug as a pair of bugs in a rug.


The fog has yet to lift from the highway, The white shroud providing an atmosphere Like a cemetery from a horror movie. My heart  drops  first,  my  stomach  second,  weighted  with  disappointment, As cold metal catches light, Glinting from the very farthest corner of my peripheral vision. Mr. Serial Killer is pathetic I deduce, as I reach down between my legs, My  fingers  jutting  underneath  the  driver’s  seat,   Grasping a long hard cylinder. “This could’ve been cool, Man,” I say, wistfully clicking inside my left cheek. He turns toward me, asks what I mean, A  deceitful,  silver  crucifix  swinging  on  his  neck. In my mind, I cry out, elated, there’s nothing in his grip, The light of Heaven is guiding me on my chosen path, Drawing me toward his heart. With nothing to protect myself against, I shove my dainty revolver back into hiding, Before he sees what a silly girl I really am. “This will be cool,” I correct myself. I grasp his knee, gently dig in my claws, Slide them up his thigh. His eyes grow giant in their sockets. A mighty wind compelled by the force from between my knees, Swoops in, carries the whiteness from our world. I need no metal sign. The small brick building that houses a gift shop And a pair of restrooms, crawling with the DNA of a thousand individuals, Is  readily  identifiable,  just  a  couple  hundred  feet  from  the  nose  of  my  car. I can even see the bold white word on a blue background -WOMEN- on the bathroom door. We are alone, the parking lot is desolate. Tiny black lettering on the window indicates the gift shop’s been closed all day. Mr. Serial Killer grows nervous. It’s unexpected, absolutely adorable, I giggle. He asks if I have protection, Bubbling, uncontrollable laughter is unleashed upon him.


He doesn’t get the joke, of course, He doesn’t know how close I came to shooting him in the face. I’m glad for this, it would certainly have ruined the mood. I do have protection, against arrogant, animalistic vagrants, Who try to take advantage of the tender gift I am willing to give. I had a blonde moment, forgot all about protection against AIDS and unwanted babies. I send him into the Men’s room with quarters from my ashtray. If I were a normal girl, I would’ve sent with him, My little bag of toiletries, particularly the mouthwash, But I’m not a normal girl. My psychiatrist says I have a dangerous obsession, With a dark, dirty world I know nothing about. I really don’t care what she says, She’s fat and opinionated and stuck in a dull marriage. I watch him walk. He has shed the bulky trench coat. The exciting notion enters my mind, Mr. Serial Killer may have recently exited prison doors. He does not look like other transients. His body is ripped, his muscles nourished. His ass is well-toned perfection. I feel excitement building. Watching his butt shift against the seat of his worn Once-black, now charcoal pants, I imagine what it will feel like, In my grip, clenching as he thrusts. I pant hard, I squirm madly. Some may deem it inappropriate, it most likely Is borderline sacrilegious in my current state of agitation, But I am sincerely grateful, so I say a little prayer, thanking God for small favors, Like gorgeous hitchhikers, Condom machines in rest-stop bathrooms, And a day no bullets shall be expended.


Clockwise from left: Katherine Eppler, Stacy Loudamy, Saschelle Anderson, Katherine Eppler Digital


Top: Marie Neudorf Silver Print Bottom: Marie Neudorf Silver Print


Top: Johnathon Thompson Archival Print Bottom: Stacy Loudamy Archival Print


Destiny Guerrero Digital Photograph Destiny Guerrero Mixed Media


Samantha Smith Digital Graphic Samantha Smith Digital Photograph


Choiring to the Preacher Adam Bell “No one told me I had to install the screen.” Oliver threw down his guitar and walked over to the man. “Do you mean to tell me, that this Easter Sunday my congregation will not be watching the music video that goes with my praise band’s music?” “No—” “So you meant to tell me, that you are going to put that damn screen up as fast as possible, and then – like the genius that you are – you will then install the projector to project on it.” “Okay, I understand.” The man walked away mumbling, “Freakin’ prick.” “Alright, guys, from the top,” Oliver said, frustrated. He strapped on his guitar and turned up the volume. They played for a bit and Oliver stopped. “Guys, let me do a solo right here. Then you guys join back in during the chorus.” The group went through the rest of the songs as Charlie came toward  the  stage  to  see  if  they  were  finished.   “Great job, guys, you are awesome. Perhaps not so much on the drums, though; I couldn’t hear the words on some parts,” Charlie said. “Excuse me, sorry to bother you all again. On the projector—I know you said I should put it up front—did you mean in front of the cross?” asked the installation man. “Yes, in fact, what do you charge to remove it? Our drummer keeps hitting his head on the bottom of it.” Oliver swung the cross away as an example and it came swinging back and almost hit him. “Jesus, you see what I mean? One day that thing is going to kill someone.” “Um, excuse me, Oliver, why do we have to remove the cross?” Charlie asked. The installation man watched the both of them while waiting for an answer. “Did you not just hear me? It’s in our way. I know what you are thinking, and I have already thought of that. We will still have a cross, just a prettier one. I had a new one designed. You see these two blank spots on both sides here?” asked Oliver. The two men looked where he pointed. “I had a cross designed by Rainbow Creations design studio. We can put it there.  It’s  definitely  not  the  eyesore  we  had  before.   “And Charlie, while I have your attention, I need you to add a reference to an Eagle right at the end of your sermon. The song we are singing in the end is about an Eagle. So if you could make some reference that would be great.” The installation man looked at Charlie and said, “I guess you could say he is ‘choiring to the preacher.’” Charlie became angry and walked up to Oliver, yelling, “Just who do you think you are? You are taking this too far.” Oliver looked back at Charlie,

“Monarch Church” Listen well and hear their tale, Of a Preacher who could wail, and the choir director from Hell.

Oliver and his praise band had practiced for several days, testing the acoustics of their new equipment in the sanctuary. “Come on, people, we have two days before Sunday. We need to get this right, just ignore the construction,” said Oliver. “Oliver, are you almost done yet, I need to rehearse,” said the minister. “No, Charlie, I am not. You are going to have to wait,” Oliver said. “I have a projector to install. Where would you like it?” said the installation man. “Right there,” Oliver and Charlie said in unison. Oliver looked at Charlie and rolled his eyes. “It’s pretty obvious where we want it. Go ahead and start putting up the projector,” Oliver commanded. “Well, I need to touch up a few things on this sermon, so would you  come  by  and  let  me  know  when  you’re  finished?   Okay, Oliver?” asked Charlie. “Got it,” he responded, looking at the praise band with an annoyed look on his face. Everyone laughed and picked up their guitars. “All right, guys, let’s do this again. Pick up the tempo a bit, this song is fast. It’s not slow and steady, it’s quick and rocky.” “Excuse me, sir, what verses are you singing?” asked the media minister. “Why do you want to know?” replied Oliver. “It’s just that—well I’m making the presentation so the congregation could sing along.” “Fine, like they could keep up. The band and I will be singing all the verses,” Oliver replied and then yelled, “Does anyone else have something to bother me with?” He waited a moment then said, “All right, guys, let’s do this again, from the top.” “Excuse me, sir,” asked the installation man. “God—what do you want?” replied Oliver. “I just don’t know where you wanted me to point the projector. I don’t see your screen anywhere.” “Do you see that big long box over there?” he said impatiently. “Well do you?” “Yeah—” “Well, the screen is in the box, and it should probably go up first.”


“Let me ask you a question now. Do people want you to sign their church bulletin? Do you get asked for advice everywhere you go? Do people really come to hear you? No, this band is God’s instrument for growing this church. You will not get in my way. You will not question my authority. Last I checked, my salary is bigger than yours, and they approved my request for a new sound system and new stage props. Didn’t the board deny your request for a new computer? Who does the church love more? You asked me, who am I? I am the one who works his ass off to make this church a successful business.” “Watch your mouth in the house of God!” Charlie yelled. “I can say ‘ass’ in the church, it even says it in the Bible, damn it,” replied Oliver with a laugh of his own. The rest of his band laughed alongside him. Charlie’s face began to turn red, and he walked up to Oliver. “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and now I am sure of it. This Easter Sunday service, it will have nothing but…” he looked to make sure everyone could hear him, “pre-recorded music.” At that moment there was silence, and Oliver stomped away from Charlie and yelled, “You don’t get it, perhaps you never will, your ways are wrong. You are still acting as if we belong to our old denomination. Get over it, denominations are dead. Don’t you see that? We are independent now, and it’s a good thing... we don’t need any groups of people telling us what to do—it’s our own show now. The new way of worshiping is not listening to long, boring stories. It’s not staring at an ugly piece of wood, as centuries past have done. It’s about giving the people what they want, and DAMN IT, they want music. I think the book of Timothy stated something about raising hands in church without anger. That’s what we give them. We give them an emotion to feel, and they will raise their hands high for the glory of God. How many people raise their hands during your sermon?” “None, that’s beside the point, you’re even taking the verse out of context—” As Charlie kept talking, Oliver packed up his guitar and walked over to the side of the stage where the man was working on the screen. He swung around to say one last thing to Charlie and his guitar case hit the ladder – the screen slipped from its chain and fell toward Charlie. “Watch out!” the installation man yelled. The screen came crashing down as Charlie leaped out of the way. “That was about two inches away from taking your head off,” the installation man replied as he came over to help him up. “Don’t go losing your head now, we would hate for you not

to be able to speak Sunday morning,” Oliver said with a slight smile as he and his band left the sanctuary. The following morning Charlie had called together a meeting of the church trustees, and he explained to them in detail what had happened. The men stared with apathy. Oliver came crashing through the door with his huge box. “I’m glad everyone could make it. I have here our new cross, as well as our logo,” said Oliver. Charlie formed a suspicion that there was something else at stake here. “Gentleman, I present to you the new logo for Monarch Church.” Oliver then unveiled an image that was somewhat cross-like with two moons or boomerang shapes and angles that met in the middle. He smiled at Charlie. “This cross is weak. It’s not even a cross,” replied Charlie in an upset voice. “How is it weak? It’s just a symbol, that’s all.” “Wrong, it’s more than that. Yes, it is a symbol to remind us of his resurrection. But it also shows what a painful death it must have been. Why don’t you get an electric chair upholstered? This cross could never support a person hanging from it, you’ve made it a fashion symbol,” Charlie explained. “Gentlemen, do you see what I was talking about? He wants to keep a grotesque image for people to stare at. He even threatened my job yesterday.” A man stood and looked at Charlie. “For the past 24 years you have done a lot for Monarch Church. It’s just, times have changed. The people want music. Storytelling isn’t what it used to be. You understand, don’t you?” The rest of the men could not make eye-contact with Charlie; they just stared at their hands resting on the table. Charlie knew at this moment he was no longer their senior pastor. He knew he was through. He looked at Oliver and said, “I charge you with this simple question: ‘When Jesus asks us to take up our cross, what will you have to carry, a guitar?’” He walked slowly to the door and left. “What are we going to do about a minister tomorrow?” a man asked. “Don’t worry,  I  will  lead  the  music  and  preach  a  short  five-­ minute sermon, which is more than enough time for my band to rest for their last song.”


Cody Mason Silver Print


The Story of the Whole World E.J. Redding Oh.... Narcissus,  at  the  lakeside,  likes  to  look  at  his  reflection – admired it always, as it shone in the tears that fell from the  little  nymphs  like  spring  rain,  or  in  the  oceans  that  filled  the   hollow eyes of Echo, whom he refused to love but who could not bear to leave him – but now he is irreparably entranced by this, his own face. And yet, it is so beautiful that he fails to imagine that it might be his own. Echo, her limbs and heart turning to heavy stone, has lost all but the sound of her own voice – with this, she never voices her agony, but simply cries and mimics all those who initiate contact... for she remembers that the moment when Narcissus saw her as more than simply a voice became the moment when he turned away. So she lingers by the lakeside, beating her breast in helpless anguish, as her never-love, questing for beauty, forgets to care for the world as he strives to embrace his own image and drowns.  And  she  will  commemorate  the  shade  with  a  flower,   placing  her  broken  love  in  his  flowery  grave  –  stained  with   purple like a bruised heart – when the light fades from even the new moon. So many others have said exactly what she says now, even her sentiments are an echo... but is she perhaps the only one that truly means it? This is the story of the whole world, darling... and yes, even of you and me. For although we are not of this world, we have aspired  to  bear  its  cold  reflection    –  and  thus  even  those  images   foreign  and  grotesque  to  us  may  now  flutter  across  our  senses.   I was never Echo – but I did long to be faceless, and I do wish now that I had mimicry to save me from saying things that no one else would ever say. You were never Narcissus – but you became so devoted to insisting upon the sanctity of your own visage that you no longer saw the world for its truth, but for only  a  reflection  of  your  supposed  martyrdom. Echo has always been hated for her resistance to love of mortals or gods... but we see now that she cannot love them, whether or not she desperately wants to, for she is doomed to love only the most beautiful one of all. And yet, she is never to be loved by that one, as she is nothing to be seen and barely anything to be heard – she has nothing to entrance him with, nothing to draw him near. What is love, when it causes sorrow, and what is sorrow, if it springs from love? This is the story of the whole world, darling... and yes, even of you and me. Casey Meuer Ceramic Jimon Welch Ceramic


2007 Vinson Award Winner Rigor Elizabeth Bourland Hawley

“I hate to write,” she would often say to me. Sitting at her desk under her lamp’s soft glow, She’d put her pen to her paper, determined to compose in verse – scribbling words that deepened my love to read, to hear, to perceive in them a truth. Sometimes, I would watch her tilt her head aside to study a word or phrase. “Succinct,” she would say of a better choice. When she  finished  her  lyrics,  she  would  cap  her  pen  and  smile, hand me her poem – her eyes looking into mine, expecting me to edit or correct her poetry – believing I could improve somehow the work of the better crafter.

Ashley Lindsey Archival Print Cody Lee Mason Steel


Life E.J. Redding No One says to Someone, “I love you: take me home.” Someone says to No One, “I’m happier alone.” Everyone is watching As Someone falls apart – No One offers comfort For Someone’s broken heart. Someone cries to Anyone, “I can live here no more.” As always, No One answers. Someone falls  to  the  floor. Everyone looks down on Someone Someone never knows why. No One is understanding, As Someone starts to cry. Anyone could save Someone But only No One cares. Whenever Someone stumbles, No One is always there. Someone learns to love No One, And,  doing  so,  finds  peace  – For when No One is needed, The loneliness shall cease.

Lauren Miller Archival Print Brittany Hunt Ceramic


A Day at the Beach Rachel Tompkins The blue sky swirled with cotton clouds lining the edge of the diamond sea. I lay completely relaxed on the coarse deck of an old abandoned ship. The swaying of each sail causes my mind to imagine myself as a young girl running down the sandy sea shore as the rippling waves tickle my toes. If I  found  a  prickly  starfish  buried  in  the  sand,  it   would send my heart soaring to the highest ball of cotton in that baby blue sky. I’d twirl around as if I were the most beautiful and most graceful ballerina in the world. The crisp wind ripped through the golden locks of my hair and eventually it sent my silky yellow ribbon tumbling through the air. I run as fast as I can to catch my soaring yellow tumbler. I jumped and skipped, but it was no use; the wind carried it across the rippled sea. The warm glow from the blinding sun caressed my naked shoulders; as I sat to put my toes into the sand, waves rushed onto the shore. My  toes  filtered  each  wave  into  tiny  streams  as  they   flowed  between  each  tiny  toe. Each wave rushes in bigger and bigger. I lay back, hold my breath, and “Woosh” the wave engulfs my entire body and I have a sense of purity that left my presence so long ago.

Chance Gibbs Silver Print


Caterpillar E.J. Redding Hello, little caterpillar... I’m transforming too – Although I doubt I’ll ever Be as beautiful as you. We have so much in common; Well, a little, you and I... You are  in  a  coffin, And I would like to die. Goodbye, little caterpillar... You’ve no time for me – You’re  going  to  be  a  butterfly, And I... I’ll just be me.

Ashley Lindsey Archival Print Ashley Lindsey Archival Print


The Voice of Me Murda Carolyn Telesford

You see dat mont you callin September, no offence to me neighbor, but is one to gee people fever and raise up dey blood pressure. How you mean, you say? It is de mont of disaster. So you ain’t hear in America when dem dere Terror tricks and dem trow down de World Trade Center and mash up de Twin Tower? Dey say in Grenada, it was same September when hurricane Ganet cause massaca. Well de worse and de recent was September seven, when, not sergeant, but Commissioner Ivan he had just plan to mash up de spice island. Tuwana Gildon Ceramic

Well, ah doh know. Ah could never believe is a hurricane dat do ting so. Wait, nah, let me take me precious time and explain to you what Mr. Ivan put me tru.

Before de words could fall on de ground, Ivan go take it up and pelt it on top of de roof as if he ain’t know we house not water proof: Water seeping tru stone, leaves, everytin coming at you. You hearin noise as if men doin construction, and when you do look sharp, roof gone. Well, now ah could understand when dem fellers say is not Ivan alone dat pass, it musta been Ivan and his partner Ruffas.

It was about say tree o’clock in the afternoon when tings really start to happen. Rain falling, well dat de normal ting, but de galvanize flying,  trees  breaking,  prisoners  what   is prisoners escapin! Now Grenadians panickin, panickin and prayin, but all dat time, me and me sisters in the luvase. What you tink we doin? We peepin. So you tink ah’s lyin?

You don’t  know  by  de  time  Ivan  finish  dat,  he  committed   another act. Ah see one bright light in front of me eyes, ah say was de Rapture, Ivan, capsize half of me murda’s house, mash up and bury all me murda’s furniture.

Den ah hear one loud noise and de sound of me murda going, “Oh Lord, ah tink me veranda gone.”

Well, you know ah could hear de Voice of me murda a little louder, cryin, “Hold, Caro, you hold, hold tight, hold to you sister.”

Well, now tings start to get serious for we. We take clothes from bags under de bed, on de side of de bed, and what was hanging over we head, and place it in de refridgerator, waiting now for de next instruction from we murda. She say, “All you oye, come from dat dere and go to de next.”

An hour later, we by de neighbor, soakin wid water, hopin dat dis ting would not continue no furder and dat next mornin tings will be a bit brighter and we could advance to de future. De voice of me murda under pressure!


Style Carolyn Telesford Everyting now-ah-days is style. Ah don’t know if people turn seamstress or tailors in de Spice Isle, but dey inventing and cutting style. Ah talking ‘bout every Monday morning, a young girl reproducing – no home to stay in or healthy food eating – but a ti-ti band of friends following, cause why? Dey have to be in de Style. Not forgetting de young chap who wants to show he has power, or as de young people say, “He is a Dappa,” to de other gang partner: wearing pants on third waist and if you look at him too hard is a blade you getting across you face. ‘Cause why? Dey want to be in de Style. And dere are some parents, if you see dem jouvet morning, dey have on close to nothing. Drinking and partying, leaving dey children alone in de house till Ash Wednesday morning. ‘Cause why? Dey have to be in de Style. When de  party  over  and  dey  finish  squanda,  no  money   now to buy books for dey son or daughter to return to school in September. Dey now looking to beg from de neighbor. Children now lose respect, giving teachers back cat and you talk to dem, dey stupsing, making a set of monkey tricks. ‘Cause why? Dat’s de new Style! Lazyness! Well dat one is a masterpiece. Who will you get now to put dey hands in de soil? Is either “I don’t want my nails smerged or my shoes spoil” – Dat an all is Style! Tell me why can’t Style be going abroad to study, coming out with your B.A., M.A. or PhD in Business Management, Science, or Psychology? Is time we open up our  eyes  and  see  that  it  is  not  profiting  us  nothing  to  be   ignorant in this country, but simply walk with some pride and dignity, with the knowledge that we are from a royal family and ought to leave behind a legacy, and that should be considered ‘Style’ for the next century.

Catie Lerew Archival Print Hershel Self Archival Print


High School Prose and Poetry Competition Winners Moving Military Breanna Lacy - Burkburnett HS place all the time, but think about everything you have because of that. You get a normal childhood, lifelong friends, and a place you can call your hometown. And although I am in no way discouraging anybody from joining the military, I think that people should take what I have said into great consideration when considering the military or moving. Like I have said before, moving has many effects, and although they are not all bad, they are consequences that need to be thought about.

For the past twenty or so years, my dad has been in the United States Air Force. In the past fourteen years we have moved four times, and we are about to move again on account of the military. Moving is not abnormal for military families. In fact, there are a lot of families that move many more times than we have, but knowing this never seems to make moving any easier. Moving can have many effects, and the older I get the worse these effects tend to be. Each time my family moves, I’m reminded of the stories my mom tells me about her childhood: She tells me about all of her neighbors, and how she grew up with the same kids all of her childhood, and she can also show me the exact house that she grew up in. Well, that is the exact opposite of how my life has been. I haven’t grown up around the same kids or neighbors, and I couldn’t show you only one house that I have grown up in. So when you think about it, I haven’t had a “normal” childhood. Since living in Texas I have met some amazing people. They have been so incredibly great that it is almost unbelievable. So the fact that I am going to have to leave them in a  few,  short  months  is  very  surreal  and  very  difficult  to  think   about. I don’t want to move and lose contact with them. It is the sad truth that that is usually what happens. So even if I do make some remarkable friends, what is the point of having them if I’m just going to move and never talk to them again? The thought of leaving my youth group at church is just as appalling as leaving my friends. They have helped me through just about everything, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that they are a second family to me. So what purpose would it serve for me to leave them? It isn’t fair to me, and it makes moving just that much harder. By now you are probably wondering what is the point of this tirade? Is it to discourage people from joining the military? Actually, no it is not. The point of this has been to show you how living in one place all your life is not as bad as it may seem. Sure, you probably may get tired of staying in the same

Israel Barron Archival Print


Power of the Moon


Adam Henson - Wichita Falls HS

Adam Henson - Wichita Falls HS

Miakoda is what we say Just one of many names She rises up beyond the stars To slowly wax and wane

Greenwood, shelter fae and nymph House them in your labyrinth Spirits, dart and Shadows, drift Betwixt the worlds, between the rift

And from the vantage point below Arise, a steady hum Of footprints dancing on the earth To fingers  on  the  drum

Step into this forest green Where calls are heard and visions seen Earthen scents do bid you on Through darkness to the coming dawn

Circles ‘round  the  flame  we  go As one we call her name Miakoda, in all her love Will answer just the same

Lose yourself in mystery Among the vines and elder trees Feel the  spirits  flitting  by  and Touch the shadows far and nigh

Softly drawn, she comes to us And settles at our core Her passion washes o’er us Her waves upon our shores

Breathe the moist and musty air Be taken by the magic there Close your eyes and walk the path Whose untrod turf no malice hath

From the night we hear her voice Carried through the trees O’er the sands and salty mist She speaks within the breeze

Be guided by the forest’s kind, The blackbird, fox, the hare and hind Feel your heartbeat’s stirring drone As closer you become to home

She tells us of the times to come And times lost in the past That she rose o’er and will again Through which her power lasts

Unrestricted, race the night As darkness slowly wanes to light Salute the moon and greet the sun As with the Greenwood you are one

In the wind she tells us all That times are turning sour With the rise of nations new, The fall of ancient power But no man houses strength enough To dull her presence true For in our hearts and in our minds Her spirit will renew She’ll rise within us, in our souls And also in the night As long as we have faith for her Her love will bind us tight And we will dance and drum and sing And swim within her tides Her voice returns upon the wind For in us, she resides

Ashley Lindsey Archival Print



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Adam Henson Digital


Voices 2008  
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Voices Magazine 2008