UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND WRITERS
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND WRITERS
ELEMENTS Senior Editors: Maureen Inouye Stephanie Landis Editors: Cori Anderson Heidi Busath Erin Callahan Julie Franks Ashley Hight Bethanie Peterson Avi Saban Beth Watje Laurel Yecny Advisor: Dr. Lars Larson Cover Photo: “Paris Rain” by Mary Miller
“We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” — Henry James (American Novelist, 1843-1916)
Welcome to the 14th edition of the University of Portland’s literary magazine, Writers. Writers is a publication designed to showcase the writing and photography of undergraduate students at the University of Portland. An annual publication, this magazine is traditionally published in the spring by student editors. We, the editors of this year’s magazine, would like to thank our advisor, Dr. Lars Larson, and the entirety of the English Department faculty for their support. The editors would also like to thank all the students who submitted pieces — this publication was created to exhibit your art! Each of these pieces is exceptional and brilliant. Indeed, each is made up of the poignant ELEMENTS that coalesce to make our lives beautiful. Elements, therefore, is this year’s subtitle. We are proud to present the writings and photography of the University of Portland’s students. These pieces represent many different majors and pursuits, and show a keen understanding of the world in which we all live. So sit back, relax, and enjoy. — The Editors
Table of Contents Editors’ Choice Awards: Best Poem: Litany Revisited by Bethanie Peterson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Best Photograph: Rainy Tuesday by Meghan Veiga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Best Short Story: Cells by Tyler Gulyas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Reasons Not to Read This Poem by Julius Calasicas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Does Thirty Cents Take You Far in Delhi? by Stephanie Landis . . . . . . . .13 Trees by Adrienne Jarvis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 I’m Sorry by Sydney Syverson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Walking in the Rain by Deanna Kishel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Paris Rain by Mary Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Bad Weather by Matthew Tongue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Bore by Ilsa Lundgren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Show and Tell by James Mahoney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Lead Me by Katie Hargett . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Fourth Grade by Anna Tivel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Peter Pan by Tyler Moss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Chess by Alli Wong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Dangle a Heel Over the Dock by Megan Osborn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Mirror by Christopher E. Gamenthaler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Two Lights by Avi Saban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 To Manon by Lucille Rollins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Sailboat by Ben Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Beauty by Ashley Hight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Cycles by Amy Oliveria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Living by Shakespeare by Grace Lane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Portland Chick by Maryanne Berger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Misadventures in Downtown Portland by Lilian Ongelungel . . . . . . . . . .40 Motion by Lilian Ongelungel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Reflection by Jen Luetkehans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 The Body Problem by Zoe Zuschlag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Look Fast by Leah Ingram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Forgiveness by Danielle Schwanz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 The Art of Bullfighting by Rachel Morenz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 The Slow Motion War by Ingrid Hannan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Concerity by Emma Tomaszewski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 She Sells by Laurel Yecny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Farm and Beach by Emily Dermann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 The Plot by Cody Dollowitch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Political Rally by Doug Franz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Biographies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.” — John Lubbock (English Biologist and Politician, 1834-1913)
Litany Revisited -after ‘Litany’ by Billy Collins By Bethanie Peterson You are the weathervane and the chimney, the fire and the burning coals. You are the door handle that slams into the wall and the car speeding through unknown depths of puddles. You are the forgotten apostrophe before the s and the bright yellow post-it on the mirror. You are the coaster, wet with rings and the orange peel beside the trashcan. I take you. It is possible that you are the squirrel, steady on the power line, the boy’s pet snake, emerald and open-mouthed, Or maybe even the wave’s crash but you will never be the coffee, freshly pressed and brewed. To have and to hold. You are the empty gas tank and the chipped grey tile. You are the steam that fogs my glasses and the chapped skin on my lips. For better or for worse. You are the clouds covering the stars and the neuron that misfires causing my thumb to jump. You are the chessboard that’s been laid aside but you cannot be the hop in my step. In sickness or in health. You are certainly not the words spilling from my pen or the smell of rain’s first drops on hot asphalt. You could never be the voice of my song or the notes in my fingers. Until death do us part.
By Meghan Veiga
Cells By Tyler Gulyas In a haze, Shelby Britt, with a universe tucked away inside her, began making calculations. She could finish school for sure. There were only three weeks until graduation. She wouldn’t be eighteen for another two months, so her parents couldn’t kick her out. There was no way to support herself on her job at the feed store. Chris would almost certainly want a paternity test and in one week he would be back in Iraq. Fuck. That word and all its different meanings sloshed back and forth in her head for a moment. Lost in conflicting universes, her mind went blank and a glazed look rose on her face. Her dad said she looked like Bill Murray from Caddyshack with that face. She was so torn by recent revelations that her mind could not settle on anything. It had taken four blocks for a measure of the fullness of what had just been revealed to her to sink in. She found third gear, knowing that if the light at McBride and Edmond stayed green while passing the Dairy Queen, she could make it through the intersection and could shift up. So automatic, so second nature, her life had been like driving down McBride Street. Hadn’t this all been fun? High school had been one big party. Luckily for her she had her mom’s brains — but she also had her dad’s insatiable appetite for thrills and “fun.” It was hard to view a human life as a liability, but at this point, as her old universe broke free from its old orbit, old habits and old inhabitations she found recompense in her new universe’s struggling to stay alive within her. *** Sitting on a stump in the back yard Horace fired his pellet gun at anything that moved, a half empty Keystone by his foot. On Guadalcanal, this is how the Nips had done his platoon until there was just him, Al, Howey, Buster, and the annoying kid from New Jersey left. The only thing he took from the war (besides the clap and two Nip bullets) was an Army nurse from Fort Bragg. Her old man got him a job at a garage in Laurinburg, but he could never leave his hillbilly bootlegging behind. Lucky for him, Sally left in 1960. With the kids and the wife out of the way, operating ran a lot smoother. He caught a mocking bird in the wing as it was trying to fly off. He put another pellet in it as it flopped around on the ground. Placing the gun across his lap and resting on his cane, his mind drifted. What ever happened yesterday might as well have never occurred. But his memory could perfectly remember that time that he, his second oldest boy Buddy, and Duke Smith outran that Sheriff down by Maxton. And so his mind stayed as the sun began its slow early summer tumble toward the arbor obstructed horizon. *** As roads tend to do in North Carolina, a long sloping bend brought her to a familiar fork. There was not the slightest sign of stress or anxiety, merely disbelief tinged with disappointment. She had seen pregnant women before. To her, it was a moderately hideous sight. A bit dirty too. A human life ambling about another human’s insides. Now such a phenomenon was afflicting her. Nothing had changed, though. Not a thing. ***
He sauntered back to the house and sat on his stool by the sink. He thought back to the day he bought this lot. One of his competitors was arrested and they were having an estate sale. In his entire life he had only spent time in the drunk-tank a couple of nights after a good time that got out of hand. Of course there was the time his old man got popped and he and his mom, brothers, and sisters had to cram into a cell down the row until the state could come and get them. He cut loose his mind’s moorings and allowed it to wander back and forth on a sea of almost 90 years of experience. *** The massively overgrown forests permitted the slightest of visibility. The pink and white of a good cotton crop broke the monotony as she eased on to the well-worn road. Cotton covered the ground for ten minutes until broken by a marshy creek and more pine forest. Impenetrably dense, such woods were holding their own against the town a bit further down the road. Carolina dust created a haze as she jostled down this old cut toward her grandparents’ house. She came to a halt right where the front porch ends, with very little idea how she got here. Perhaps an instinctual move. *** They must still be at church, she thought. So she walked clear to the back door and out into the yard to pay deference to the old man if he was around. He was. “Hep me over there.” “What are you doing?” “I wanna shoot s’more athem birds.” “Here.” She took hold of his arm and led him to the stump. “Which one ’er you…oh.” “You old fool.” “Only you’d have that smart mouth.” “Shut up you old bastard.” “You don’t haf ta wait long fer that.” “Speaking of bastards…” And like a broken seal on a pump, her lower eyelids bulged with tears. “Oh, what in the hell’s wrong with you?” “I’m knocked up,” she said, as matter-of-factly as she had told Chris. “Aw hell.” He always knew she was too much like him. “I a…” She sat Indian style on the ground, looking up at him sitting on the stump with a pellet gun in hand. *** When Sally had come to him and said she was pregnant with Billy, he put on the best show of his life for being happy, and then went out on a two day drunk in Lumberton. “Well don’t get one a them ‘bortions.” “I’m not.” She used her palm to dry her eyes. She thought, up until this very moment, that only drama queens and pussies cried. She had lived life on her terms, it seemed, since childhood. But as her preconceived notions of crying flew away, she felt her essence and love of living right behind it. In all her mini-epiphanies, as she observed her great-grandpa’s yellow toenails she suddenly realized that that inner second universe had bounced out of the mutual gravitational spin around her being. It had consumed her and put to flight the old universe. The cells dividing in that seldom noticed uterus now became her whole life. “Did someone rap’ yah?” “No!” 9
“I ain’t any good at this.” “Pop, don’t worry. I didn’t mean to unload on you like this. I know you aren’t exactly equipped for this sort of thing.” “Shit darlin’, if you only knew.” He felt his thigh where a Japanese bullet had struck him way back when. “Pop you don’t have to explain anything.” This old man before her had never been anything but a pariah and a family amusement. Not particularly loved by anyone, a known bootlegger, and general curmudgeon. Pop, as everyone called him, was the old timer that told embarrassing stories and goosed you every time you walked by as a little kid. All the great-grandkids would get a very old twenty dollar bill every Christmas. Life had been rough on him and he had responded in kind. “Look here. Everything’s gonna be a’right. I won’t let you go hungry. They let us go that way. But don’t you worry your pretty little self, ol’ grandpa Horace is gonna be here.” In all her life, this was never how she saw things going. As her old universe drifted up through the Southern haze, Shelby felt a bond with someone she never would have expected. But such was the order of the day. Scooting close she rested her head on his leg, like she had found a missing link.
“Human life is utterly worth expressing. The attempt to express the worst and the best that is in us — even the doomed effort — is one of the great spiritual disciplines available to humankind. The effort alone is worthy of respect.” — David James Duncan (Contemporary American Novelist)
Reasons Not To Read This Poem By Julius Calasicas This poem will not change the world. This poem does not vote does not Protest does not burn braziers or Demonstrate anything you need To know has no agenda no Manifesto no chants boycotts No picket lines and no pipe-bombs. This poem has the munchies and Sits on its ass while the rest of The world waits to read this poem. This poem is the poem that Your parents warned you not to read. This poem is from the earth like The flowers that were placed in your Hair or painted on your visage. This poem filters out the glam Giggles at descent and has a Difficult time keeping a job. This poem flickers the lights on And off for some reason has a Penchant for twenty minutes past The fourth hour everyday Listens to Sublime and has a Horrible short-term memory. This is a gateway poem to A world that exists in your mind. You can say whatever you want To say about this poem but This poem doesnâ€™t need you and Can survive by finding a culture that values it wants it in Its very fabric to weave an Art that you love so much my friend. This poem can put you in jail. This poem is going mainstream. This poem might be in your next Dessert unbeknownst to your taste. The smell of this poem might gross You the fuck out but this poem Is much too patient for judgment And needs fire to go away.
Does Thirty Cents Take You Far in Delhi? By Stephanie Landis The land of rich colors has a layer of thick dirt settling upon it, dulling the brightness much like the eyes of the poor children of this country. The dullest eyes belong to the lifeless stony stare of the thin baby held tightly to the old woman tapping on my window. I watch the baby’s eyes. They are sunken in and can barely focus on my face, not even aware of the emotions or existence in coming from the slacking skin around its’ body. All I know is the baby is hungry. I freeze and don’t know what to do. The taxi driver does not flinch. And my friends have not yet seen the baby with the dull coal black eyes from where they sit in the backseat. “Cyril,” I call and nod towards the window, “There’s a baby.” Cyril looks out the window and his glance does not change. Not like mine when I see this starving baby. I expect him to wrinkle his chin or furrow his brow deep enough so it needs to be ironed out. I give him a few moments for his dark eyes to absorb the most pitiful image I’ve seen in my life. But his glance doesn’t change. His face is smoothly hard like a marble sculpture and I wish it wasn’t so. “The problem of poverty in India is not something anyone can solve in an isolated case,” he says and turns towards his own window for a different view. Lauren’s green eyes flick out the window and the old woman taps harder. The child’s emaciated arms can hardly hold onto the dusty teal sari that loosely gathers around the mother’s body. I roll down my window a crack and she pauses in front of me. The baby’s breath is shallowly wracking in the small rib cage. I stick my hand in my jeans pocket and fumble for the bills I’ve set aside for the day. I pull out a ten rupee note, printed red with the face of Gandhi and creased from being molded to my body throughout the day. I reach cautiously out the window. The old woman with her brown grape face takes it gingerly and bows her head to me. The baby’s eyes wander like a lazy fly that buzzes around aimlessly and then lands onto a clumsy surface: very confused from lack of food. The woman says something to me I can’t understand and she smiles tiredly, the corners of her withered face forming two lines on either side. “She says thank you,” the driver tells me as the woman backs away from the taxi and slowly sits back down on the sidewalk stained with the betel juice marroon. We drive on along the crowded streets. But I can’t see anything but the cold coal eyes of that baby where the flicker of life is a burnt ember: a sight to shock as something I’ve never seen before. As the image is imprinted in my mind, I know I should have given her more money than I did and the astonishment and selfishness bubbled as we drove on, with me seeing nothing but that baby. We depart from the taxi and the helplessness from my thoughts wells up. I dash to the sidewalk as my friends stand and are waiting for me. There is a man selling pressed lemon drinks with refrigerated water and sugarcane nearby and he tries to persuade Cyril to buy one for Lauren. I see the red arc of India gate peeking out in the background, behind the bushes my friends are waiting for me by. I bow my head and tears spring to my eyes. “I should have given her more, I should have given her more,” is all I can say. Lauren shifts her jade colored backpack and her short honey brown hair is stuck in one of the straps. She pats my arm gently. “Maybe…You did help,” she tries to convince me and her mouth is a wave of uncertainty. The amount I gave wasn’t enough and I know it. I also know I live in a different world now, a world where the eyes of a child are missing the 13
spark of privilege. And where does that leave me in the land of opportunity? Why should I have eyes that illuminate when I might be quite insignificant? The next day I awake against my shell of a suitcase, all slouched on the blue train seat that is also my bed. The train is still moving and I notice colors of the countryside peeping out of the rectangular window. I step down from my high seat and adjust to walking while the sleeper class car rocks gently underneath my feet. It rocks slowly and comforting like a cradle tended with such care, not like the violent turmoil of waves that prompts sickness. I sit down near Cyril, his face flushed and his eyes dark circled. He is watching the window without expression and then I too peer through the dirt stained glass. We pass a field of high green grasses, with swaying yellow flowers dotting the tops. The window holds landscapes of overwhelming beauty from the country rich in vibrant colors. I see the people starting their day in ways I donâ€™t at home: pulling at a pump handle, hanging up multicolored sheets to dry over a crumbling house, carrying water on their heads, children playing on the paths with no shoes and dirty feet. The human experience is worn into the faces as they stare at me in curiosity and sometimes inquisition. And there are many more children. Many more that play in ragged and soiled clothes as they search for something to eat. There is lost hope and fatigue of the people as they sit on the street and struggle to make shelter for themselves. They are all tired â€” I have never seen humanity so stretched out in a sea of worn and weathered brown faces, faces hidden from the other side of the world by the dirt covering part of daily life in India.
By Adrienne Jarvis
I’m Sorry By Sydney Syverson “I’m Sorry.” it used to be this nice little phrase we would say that seemed to keep the Demons at bay. it would make us nearly forget any Pain that was there in the first place. we were programmed — like a sort of child robot to say — at a moments notice — “I’m Sorry.” Mom would say, in that Tone you never wanted to hear — “what do you have to say for yourself?” “I’m Sorry.” and I was Sorry, and — I am Sorry. I am so utterly and surreptitiously Sorry for — every imaginable event that an 18 year old girl with bright blue eyes and short brown hair — who found herself unfortunately in love — could possibly find it in her being to be Sorry for. I am Sorry for me and — I’m sure as hell Sorry for you. No. let me say it. it must have been awful for you. was it not horrendously, unbearably awful for you? because — I am Sorry to say — that it was unimaginably awful for me. Wait. I am Not Sorry to say it was awful for me. the way you were. the way — we were We. it was not healthy and — I’m Not Sorry — to see it end unavoidably. I am only Sorry — it took me so long to see how dishonestly you were unintentionally — in love with me. and I’m Sorry it became such a postponed wait and see but — we did need to wait and see and — in the end what did the wait and see make us see? 16
that in Reality... in the real Reality we hid in our Fantasy... you were undoubtedly not — in love with me. and you were — not Sorry about the way it ended so immediately. and that was your choice. you chose you — I chose me. and We chose not to even waste our breath with the usual “I’m Sorries.” because — we are not Children. we are no longer in that comfortable blanket of youth and naïveté and— “I’m Sorry” will no longer make the Pain and the Dismay decrease with ease. it will no longer make the Longing and Desire for Answers cease. and all we have to say to each other is — nothing. not a thing. No — “I’m Sorry.” because after everything was said and — nothing was done, there was no need for the usual formalities. but I still miss you. I still think of the way we were We before we turned into a past participle of Regrets and no needs. but I am no longer — in the slightest bit Sorry for the end of — You and Me.
Walking in the Rain By Deanna Kishel Walking in the rain leaves us to cry out loud â€” not silently Do not be ashamed in sorrow, in joy What I want is what I want is what I want I wonâ€™t settle for anything less nor should you, I think That is why you weep in the rain You do I do not settle for less than more than everything It is not greed to desire what has always been yours We are born whole and slowly lose pieces of ourselves Only one person needs give something back One is not so great a thing to ask One and One is One as in the perfect days And it is not you, per se but another who is singular as I am Should one come looking (just one, as I said before) I will be walking in the rain
By Mary Miller
Bad Weather By Matthew Tongue As soon as Walter opened his eyes, he knew it would be a terrible day. He had forgotten to close the blinds last night. The sun glared in at him, framing the disaster of his floor accusingly in the shadow of the window. Look there, it sniffed, a sock. In the middle of the floor. And over here, a heap of paper. Walter should have remembered to close the blinds, but the previous night had been cool and moist. He’d left the windows open and the blinds up to entice the night wind into a visit. Now, the wind was dry and rude: it wandered, uninvited, in one window, played with the papers on his floor and the posters on his walls, and, finally realizing it had overstayed its welcome, left hesitantly through the other window. Walter sighed, and despite the protests of his body, jumped out of bed and hurried to the windows. He slammed them down on the wind, and drew the blinds against the sun. It would be a terrible day. *** As Walter made his way to class, he heard birds: Sex, said one, Sex? Sex! Se-ex. My nest, said another, mine; mine! Go away. He passed a nest with chicks: Feed me. Feed me. Not him — me! I’m hungry. Feedfeedfeed! He crossed a street and stepped in a patch of dead something in the road. It was little more than a red spot with a corner of fluff — it could have been either feather or fur. He scraped his sole off on the curb. The sun was still floating in the sky above, pointing out things he didn’t want to see. Look, there’s a squirrel, it said, illuminating every detail. Imagine the glint of those rat-eyes as those yellow tusks sink into your finger. The squirrel weaseled away. Ah, said the sun, a woman walking her dog. The dog hunches its back, waddling over her neighbor’s grass. See how she glances around. Now see how they hurry past. And the wind would wander by, tug at his clothes, then dash off. It would present him, proudly, with the smell of the dead something in the road, or the lawn the dog had just left. It danced around him, singing the songs of far-off birds and throwing bees at him. Bees who ripped off their thorax to leave a poison needle in your skin. Come on in, flowers coquetted with whorehouse perfume and a flash of petal, the nectar’s fine. While you’re here, could you —? Oh, oh yes. Right — right there! Walter had arrived. He closed a door on the sun and the wind and the birds and the bees. When he got to his classroom, he closed the windows and half-shut the blinds. *** Walter felt a thrill as he opened the door to leave. As the sky had faded, he’d heard the whisper of rain on windows. Clouds had crowded the sun, and the wind was gently rocking the trees. He had wished the blinds were up further, so he could see the tissue sheets of rain as they drifted to the ground. He had wished the window was open so the wind could bring him the gentle shushing of the rain, and offer him the earthy smell the plants released. It had long since stopped raining, but clouds still hid the stars. The wind brought promises of more rain to come. The flowers, with a sheen of perspiration, had closed their petals for the night. The bees droned drowsy in their hives. The squirrels and the birds were rocking gently in the trees. Walter looked around: he had only the worms to share the 20
night with. The worms had come up from their darkened networks to celebrate the rain. When the sun squeezed back between the clouds, they would retreat from its glare into the earth. But they would take the dead something in the road with them. They and the rain would clean it away, and clear the yard the dog had visited. But for now, Walter, the worms and the wind reveled in the cool, dark rain. When he returned to his room, he would open his blinds and windows to entice the wind. It would enter through one window with a questioning whisper, and touch everything with reverence. Then it would quietly excuse itself out through the other window. The clouds would shield his room from the sun, and only the rain would see Walter to sleep.
Bore By Ilsa Lundgren We sat on the stoop like pigeons, chests puffed and aloof, cooing unaware of the other, feeling peckish. Was the kind of morning where you might cook your hand, eat it, be skeleton fingers. Like when a bird has a sore foot he just pecks it off. Maybe his wife would peck it for him the ultimate gesture of love as she bore her beak into her loverâ€™s feeble talons. I sit on the sidewalk, bikes and children whooshing past me, wondering if you will chew off my foot when I need it. Would you endure the gore, would you silence my screams if we only had mouths and wings? It becomes such a bore, waiting for you in the sun, the unearthly sound of rubber balls bouncing hitting the ground and flying back. Nobody knows the meaning of boredom like a child does either on or off, out or in, arms legs and feet capable, but made to keep still.
Show and Tell By James Mahoney Show and tell fell on a Thursday in a third grade’s afternoon, Full of kids with grubby hands that fondled toys that made them swoon. Matthias was the new one, he had joined a few days past And had quickly earned the label of the weird kid in the class. His gait drew hawk-like gazes: he stalked awkward when he walked. Soon his steppings and his silence were the things his classmates mocked. The teacher felt uneasy, ‘cause he wasn’t like the rest: He observed instead of acted and his eyes mixed stress with jest. He always had a backpack on like it was life support. All teacher’s pleas to take it off were met with swift retorts. No one knew what lay within, which led to mean surmising. Dirty words from uncouth herds sped further ostracizing. Show and tell, show and tell, how the kids love show and tell! A way they all ignore the fact their stomachs groan and swell! A fling where every child brings a thing that they admire! Each object a reminder we all buy, lie, and acquire! Terry brought a basketball, “I’ll play one day,” he’d sworn. (Now mourn) Mary brought a princess doll; in ten years she’ll do porn. (Now scorn) At last it was our hero’s turn, and turn the students did. They did not know his super ego soon would face their id. Back to the pack, Matthias clutched the sack on his back. With a sigh he turned around started up his attack. “Enough of all that trite shit, I’ve got some heavy things to show, And the tellings that I’ll offer put to shame the things you know.” With a fierce look in his eyes Matthias opened up his bag. His expression quickly changed from one so bold to one more sad. Ragged fingers slowly delved inside: if you looked hard enough You could see he reached inside himself to pull out all his stuff. “This is a bus ticket that yanks my father’s soul to work And the tan tint of my skin hints at his closeness to the earth. If I peel back at this Band-Aid, there’s no way that you won’t shout ‘Cause I’ve had kids jump at the chance to make my humanness drip out.” (No doubt) “Here’s the sweater that my mother made me right before she dashed It’s tattered and unraveling: a metaphor!” he lashed. Again he reached into the sack, “Here’s one last thing I planned.” To the confusion of the class he showed an empty outstretched hand. “The pinky’s what you use to make a promise for a crowd And the ring’s the one your parents snap off once they break their vow. The pointer states the blame and gives the guilty what he’s due The thumb’s the one Life points straight down when thinking about you.” “The middle aims at latter’s polar, straight up in the air. Give it to the manger’s stranger and then seal it with a glare. Ball them all together, clenched tight in mighty fist: Such as statement will be made that even God will know you’re pissed.”
He then took his own advice and raised a fist above his head And quickly followed with a middle finger, put in place instead. It was their turn to be silent: now the mockers had been shocked. Matthias opened up his mouth and deftly gave his final thoughts: “Matthias is my name, and all I am is ‘am that is’ And I truly hate to be the one to bring truth to you kids. But by the looks on all your faces I can tell you can’t believe: (Now heed) Don’t ask for show and tell if you’re not ready to receive.”
By Katie Hargett
Everything I Need To Know I Learned In the Fourth Grade By Anna Tivel “Stella is dumb,” they tell us on the first day of school. A few kids giggle, and the others look around uncertainly, wondering if teachers are allowed to say this kind of thing in the fourth grade. We soon discover that “dumb” refers to her inability to speak, not to the fact that a special teacher goes everywhere with her, or that drool often escapes the corners of her mouth to fall unnoticed on her carnation pink sweatshirt. Stella may not be able to speak, but she can make plenty of noise. She clomps through the hallways, gurgling and shouting, strange random sounds stringing from her mouth and surprising her into laughter. We find her awkwardly amusing, and sometimes try to make her laugh by jumping up and down or doing cartwheels. We even share a smile with her from time to time, reaching out across the border between worlds that are infinitely different. In the fourth grade, we learn about our world. We sit in the stuffy classroom, coloring maps and memorizing capitals and locations on the globe. The teacher gives each of our maps a grade based on neatness which, by her definition, correlates directly with the ability to color inside the lines. We dread coloring near the edges of a country or a state, where our crayons threaten to move across the black ink that separates a star from the scalding mark of the teacher’s pen. “Neatness shows effort,” she repeats over and over again to our bent, combed heads. We believe every word. We are all a little jealous of a girl named Ally who always receives stars on her country maps. She has the largest set of crayons in the entire class, and her maps are always an organized rainbow of neatness, each border outlined ever so carefully with an enthusiastic “Well done!” adorning the top right hand corner. Soon, we learn to imitate her tedious borders, earning our own stars and proudly displaying them to our parents. Even Christopher, who had taken such pride in the stripes he drew on the first few maps, learns to border and shade, wanting, like the rest of us, that bright branding mark of achievement. But we don’t envy Stella’s maps like we envy Ally’s. For Stella, it is simply coloring time, and she revels in using three or four crayons at once or turning her map over so she can color freely on the blank side. She howls in her unique way when a broken crayon or a ripped page upsets her, but it is soon forgotten as she moves on to the next Crayola masterpiece. “She scribbled brown and pink over the entire country,” we might giggle, but it really doesn’t matter — Stella doesn’t get grades like we do so she’s free to color however she wants. We watch her, happy as a clam, losing herself in giant orange and green squiggles, but still we covet the teacher’s approval. And when we see the quiet sign, we zip our lips just as we are told, and line up in single file to head for the cafeteria. We are in the cafeteria when it happens. The tables we sit at are covered with plastic that is supposed to look like wood but is too symmetrical. All the knots are in the right places but their patterns appear over and over again down the length of the table, and the whole thing is one uniform color. The students seated here give the same general impression. There is a distinct uniformity to their clothes and haircuts, their attitudes and speech patterns. Like the fake wood, they are all missing something, that unique beauty, the knots that once defined them. The table is full of fourth graders, trading lunches and notes and reasons why their parents don’t understand them. When Stella sits down, no one really acknowledges her presence. She looks excited to see me and squeals when I point out that we have the same picture on our milk cartons. While we eat she watches me, giggling when I catch her, 26
little pieces of food falling from her mouth onto her shirt where they lie forgotten like tiny dead bugs on a windowsill. A boy named David throws a green pea from his lunch tray trying to make it into the garbage can at the end of the table. Instead, it bounces off the top of Stella’s head and falls to the floor. The table becomes very quiet. No one is sure whether to laugh or pretend like nothing happened. They glance around, looking to each other for the right reaction. Stella is the first one to make a sound. She lets out a raucous laugh that reverberates around the cafeteria. Her laughter is silly and loud and comes from somewhere in the back of her throat, gurgling up and out across the room. A few people laugh at the absurdity of the sound, and David throws another pea, encouraged by their attention. The pea bounces off the top of Stella’s curly blond head and she laughs again, filling the room with a ridiculous string of noises and patting the top of her hair. Suddenly, it has become a game. David throws a pea, and Stella does something absurd and laughs. We all laugh too because it is absurd, and because it’s funny, judging by everyone else’s laughter. A few more join in the throwing of peas, and Stella’s laughter changes into a string of strange sounds emitted at full volume. Bizarre sounds and random movements explode from her tiny frame. This is even more hilarious to the table, and now most of them are throwing peas in Stella’s direction, delighted by her reaction and the reaction of everyone else. But Stella is no longer laughing. The game no longer includes her, and the laughter no longer mingles with her own in the air. Peas are being pelted at her head and body, and there is fear in her eyes. Her movements are spastic, and she seems almost animalistic in this moment, strange noises caught in her throat, her hands weaving patterns in the air as if they were an entity separate from her body. Awkwardly, she writhes and rocks back and forth, back and forth, head tilted off to one side, arms jerking away from her. Her body contorts under a hail of green peas which might as well be stones for the pain in her face and the jagged sounds growing weaker in her throat. Like stones, each one hits her hard, backed by aggression that is only partially unintentional. Her terrified eyes turn toward me and for a moment, we connect. Every muscle in her body is rigid with fear and the knowledge that no help will come. She knows about our world; she sees our perfect borders and matching haircuts, feels the placid smiles tossed in her direction as an afterthought. I am naked under her piercing gaze. Her eyes strip me with a thousand questions, a thousand whys and a thousand cries for help. She cannot speak, and I don’t know how to listen. One tear slowly makes its way from her eye to the quivering lip below, and in this moment, I realize how much I have learned in the fourth grade. I have learned about the world, about borders and socalled success. I have learned to be silent in a line, to turn away from the leaves swirling their magical designs on the blacktop, and to zip my lips. I have learned to be dumb. Somewhere in the distance a bell rings and just as suddenly as the game began, it is over. Trays are mechanically emptied into garbage cans: wasted food, forgotten and discarded ungratefully in front of the empty-eyed lunch ladies. In a herd we shuffle to our classroom where our maps sit waiting on our desks. We color neatly inside the lines. No one mentions what has just happened. No one mentions Stella’s absence from the room. In fact, no one says anything at all.
Peter Pan By Tyler Moss I tip my glass to youth: the boy who never grew old. Grown-ups are but corsairs always running from the Tick-Tock-Tick of time. Love is an elusive mermaid that will return to shore by morning, and all you need to fly is a sprinkle of hope and the will to believe.
By Alli Wong
Dangle a Heel Over the Dock By Megan Osborn Rationale listen spin Line tapped neither win Go sink urge to swim Gasp kick alive Fight voice straight dive Eye glare dark ripple Song, so long, blackness Carry on, fail, grip Choke, spoke, kill to curve Rose wrong pale to gone Soft, thin, curve turn Away click second tick Echo moment shout Short wet cross curl Stride collide wash whirl Mean scene bite bone Frown sparkle pain pretty Addict root shuffle stumble None gun spark mumble Flicker drag hope Nod click sick rip Blink meek juggle dear Sigh wave rumble hear Mine little dance shoe Toy vein pic-a-boo Sting laugh sorrow story Blue crack whistle pouring Start sharp petal steel Slip sip crash hang wheel
By Christopher Gamenthaler
Two Lights By Avi Saban Two lights, One flickers: A candle maybe or some other cliché, but you are, well, you tell me. Got a light? No, what I mean to ask is: Can I have some? You seem to take it so well, the burning and etching, watching it devour you, or rather, what you devour; This lack of concern for emergence, you’re bright and everyone knows it, everyone. We haven’t talked much, but your light is all there is to talk about anymore. Not like a flame thrower or long match, only used for being formal or scared, but make me bright shine, twinkle, scar into eyeballs and sockets and souls, like mine, like yours, make me a torch held by the fastest runner, the most honored, the one with the story. I want to start something and have something left to finish. You seem to have enough of it, you, it’s all there is to talk about anymore, though we haven’t talked much since you left.
To Manon By Lucille Rollins you’ll wish his skin was against yours, rough, bare that his eyes weren’t plagued by visions of war that his legs didn’t linger on the soil of forced enemies. you’ll wish that you could tell him “i miss you” not after a dial tone, but after a long hug preceded by small ones. you’ll wish that instead of flying on a plane, he was flying into your arms on top of a king sized bed inside of white clean sheets. you’ll wish that instead of purified drinking water from a small, white paper cup inside of a bleach white office an ocean away, he was taking shots of Baileys -one - - two - - - three, seven, with you? but mostly? you’ll wish you could love him without really loving him. that you didn’t feel torn. that love was easy - - - like making bad paper airplanes - - - - and learning how to run - - - - - and picking daisies from the backyard. you’ll wish not that he would die but that you might instead of loving him.
By Ben Thompson
Beauty By Ashley Hight squeeze tubes and treatments to moisten your skin; weâ€™ll purge out the ugly and detox the shame; sweatbox containment thatâ€™s keeping you thin; rotting together a lovely dame. the way that your eyebrows stay etched to your skull; smile set in concrete with pink frilly chain; a bright eyed contentious and sweet smelling hull; fueling your genius with blush and cocaine.
Cycles By Amy Oliveria Wit wounds the heart Miles apart Where to start? Each word a dart Recently pricked Sufficiently ticked But never licked Don’t like being tricked Word streams unfoldin’ Silence is golden Watch the tone turn cold Mistakes spreadin’ like mold Down we fell Our created hell Complete with show and tell Silently I yell Are you sure the pain Is worth the gain? Small as a sand grain Wax and wane Call me a sinner or saint Careful the picture you paint Connection becoming strained Concern expertly feigned Case of the woes Friends or foes? Highs and lows Ebbs and flows Going round and round Covering the same ground Lost and found No winner crowned Are we conversing Or simply rehearsing Lines from a worn out play? Too much to say Keeping emotions at bay Thinking night and day Blast from the past Descends too fast How long will it last? Same old cast It’s just begun Can’t cut and run Isn’t this fun? Guilt weighs a ton 36
Always keeping tabs Intense pointed jabs Pattern’s the same Who’s to blame? I hate this game A dreadful shame I’m a person too With feelings like you What’s a girl to do? Cry boo hoo? Case of the blues Walk a mile in my shoes Time to choose Lose or lose? Forgive and forget Don’t live in regret But draw a line It’s not all fine Why do I care? My cross to bear Do I even dare? Rip becomes a tear Won’t shed a tear Stand crippled by fear Scream at the mirror Be happy “here”
Living by Shakespeare By Grace Lane He gave me several to choose from, What kind of woman to be, The question is: are any of them me? Katherine, beaten down to obey Helena, crying for one who loves her not, day after day Juliet, whom True Love killed Lavinia, a casualty of revenge, and a good girl, as her father willed Viola, orphaned cross dresser but loved so well Beatrice, tricked into love, her uncle needed an easy sell Ophelia, to whom the water never looked so good Desdemona, killed for love and jealousy, when all she did was what she should, and He had no more to gain Lady M, made Queen and driven insane I choose the witches.
By Maryanne Berger
Misadventures of Downtown Portland By Lilian Ongelungel I. I approached the woman and asked if she had change for a nickel. “I ain’t got no pennies,” she replied. And with a flip of her cornrowed, synthetic tresses, she continued into the horizon of jagged towers and paved streets. I still wanted those pennies. II. The day was September 11th, 2001. My friends and I, known to the rest of the school as the Bus Crew, sat on the #20 and made our usual voyage down Burnside. The silence was beyond earsplitting and the shock more intense than a thousand volts in water. I heard Marcus humming a familiar tune. Julian tapped in rhythm on the metallic finish of the rail. Salom tapped her foot in time. Cary drummed on her backpack. I felt the music and the moment. Marcus quietly let out the first words before the Bus Crew joined in. We looked up from the back of the bus and noted a number of strange voices sang the song as well. Soon, it was a universal song as everyone in the bus united in melody and sentiment. “Lean on me, when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on. For it won’t be long ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.” Even in our own microcosm of America, we found unity and some form of solace. III. Yesterday, I carried along an extra bag of chips from the Pursuit of Happiness Symposium that I attended. On my way home, I saw a man draped in frayed shirts, distressed jeans, and a snarled sleeping bag. He held remnants of a FedEx box that read, “homeless, anything helps.” I offered him the festive pouch of potato chips, to which he asked me, “Are you religious?” I told him yes. “Are you a Christian?” I told him yes. “Do you like Jews?” I told him yes. “I don’t need your filthy Jew food.” IV. I was sad to see Jamie, one of my coworkers, let go from the job. She taught me some vital skills at that place, like how to make cotton candy just right so that its essential fluffiness wouldn’t diminish upon being packaged. Those things are important in a family-friendly place like the zoo. But after clocking out and making my way home a few weeks later, I heard a familiar voice in the square begging for hugs. I turned to see Jamie, unemployed and on the streets. She shot me a snarky grin and asked, “Free hug?” V. One day as the Bus Crew sat on the beloved #20 bus, we reminisced about our most unforgettable moments of 8th grade — the 8th grade musical, the class trips, and being at the top of the middle school hierarchy. We had our laughs about everything in between, but at the cusp of a new subject, a hobo interjected with his own thoughts on 8th grade — “8th grade was the best four years of my life!”
By Lilian Ongelungel
Reflection By Jen Luetkehans A worn wolf clutched in your pigeon-stick arms. His clear, glass eyes un-muddled by fear, cotton-fluff bones unable to twist, to morph, to form a sinister grey smudge on the rustling x-ray, a greasy thumbprint on a record. Bathed in blue-green light, flickering midnight aquarium, I listened to the soft beep-beep of machines. Crayola compositions carpeted the linoleum, un-admired amongst cookie crumbs. Do not test me again. You grew smaller on your wheely bed, squeaking like mice, cat-bait, as you round the corner and disappear.
The Body Problem By Zoe Zuschlag I start with my duck feet, flat and wide, good for pond paddling fringed with stubble sticking out about my ankles, mammalian Velcro, better than garters, fades at the knee etchings, pictogram embroidery of bike wrecks, beach rocks, barbed wire fences painted purple arrows pointing to thighs that rub holes in jeans bulging into hips: check box for female, child-bearer, love-handled domestic tech with this waistline pinched under ballooning ribs caging tar-stained air sacs, lungs bagpipe smoke and benzene through the meat heart, through the vegetable intestinesâ€™ full proteins feed thick blood drumming in beats per minute to the extremities of me, my arms, ball and socket hunched shoulder blades where pimples pop up red polka dots on a white dress colored to match the pasty armsâ€™ jiggle and strain to open things (jars, doors) in hands powdered with a chalky layer of dead skin outlining the winter handle bar squeeze lines to the crusty tipped cuticles and hang nail flips, picked at the third finger wart, half-eaten doctored toxic stink makes my nose hairs curl.
By Leah Ingram
Forgiveness By Danielle Schwanz There is no forgiveness in this morning Itâ€™s beyond what my cold body Is willing to compensate for So piercing is the wet wind That finds its way into The tiny cracks of the scarf around my neck Cooling me from top to bottom In an overwhelming chill So I wrap tighter, close the cracks And think of your face as the sun And you warm me, to the core Pulling all that is safe towards me I smell you in my shawl And pull it closer to my face So that it touches, like your palm Mustering the strength to absorb Every bit of you out of it Until every drop has touched my skin And seeped into my pores And spread through me like fire That takes away the cold Of this unforgiving morning
The Art of Bullfighting By Rachel Morenz The saggy-skinned, gruff-voiced, elderly Spanish woman sitting next to me, Abuelita, would not leave me alone. “Chica, chica, está muy bueno mi vino. Tómalo. Tómalo. No pasa nada.” She insisted that I have some of her homemade wine. Not being accustomed to sharing leather-covered bottles with strangers, I declined twice. Just as the third “no gracias” was about to slip from my mouth, I tasted a sweet liquid and felt cold droplets dashing down my chin. Abuelita had taken the initiative to squirt her wine right into my mouth. La fiesta de toros, the bull party, as the Spaniards so amicably call bull fighting, had begun. A rickety wooden gate was opened. The first opponent entered the ring — one salivating, sweating, peeing, furiously charging ton of flesh. The first matador bullfighter, El Fandi, his muscles accentuated by his tight yellow pants and petite sequined coat, tossed his black felt hat on the dirt, gave a Flamenco-like wave of his hand to the audience, and then met the bull in the eyes. Black eyes to black eyes, life versus death. He shook his red cape. The bull started to run directly at him; he took one elegant step to the side, remaining untouched by the bull. Life teasing death. Eyes still connected, El Fandi maneuvered the red curtain in sweeping figure eights. The moving mass of muscle sprinted toward him once again. Another glide to the side followed. The bull ran to the opposite end of the ring in shame. El Fandi gave the flash of red yet again. The bull dashed toward him. El Fandi practically hugged the bovine creature, without shedding any of his own blood. A slice of La tarta de la Virgen, a chocolate tart, was placed on my lap by Aubelita’s wrinkled, wine making hands. I hardly noticed. The beehive-like-buzz of the crowd was replaced by an anxious silence, pierced only by a high-pitched trumpet. El Fandi raised a glimmering silver sword and plunged it between the bull’s shoulder blades. Immediately, the bull’s knees buckled, and he collapsed onto the dirt. Instant death. Death to death, the ultimate human achievement. The beehive erupted once again as the crowd enthusiastically saluted El Fandi, cheering “Fandi, Fandi” on their feet and manically flapping white kerchiefs in the air. The ends of Abuelita’s kerchief whipped my cheeks, but again, I hardly noticed. El Fandi took a humble bow then stepped aside. A leather harness attached to two Clydesdale-sized horses was looped around the motionless bull’s neck. The horses clomped steadily toward the rickety gate. Soaked in sunset red blood, flesh as limp as meat hanging in a butcher’s window, eyes dulled, nostrils having no effect on the dust below them, the bull was pulled out of the ring. No one cheered. Silence returned to the beehive, yet this time, it was not laden with anxiety but seeped with mourning. The moment of silence ended. El Fandi and the first bull were no longer visible. Another ton of shiny-coated flesh sprinted through the rickety gate; its energetic hooves making the ring appear as if a small tornado had just hit it. Matador number two, Enrique Ponce, slightly more rotund than El Fandi, stood in the dust, threw his black felt hat on the ground, and flicked his wrist at the crowd. Before he even had a chance to turn his head, the bull began charging him, fire streaming from its eyes. Ponce spun around in one teetering twirl, saw the fuming flesh rapidly moving toward him, and ran. Like a mouse running away from a cat, he scurried to the backside of a thick slab of wood at the ring’s edge, losing one of his slippers in the process. The bull remained in the center of the ring, puffing in confusion. Abuelita shook her head, took a swig of wine, and shoved the bottle into my hand. I obediently drank. After a few minutes of boos and “ándale Ponce’s,” Ponce emerged from his hiding place and approached the bull. He began the dance, 46
sweeping his red cape in front of the bull’s face. But something just wasn’t right. He was afraid. He didn’t want to be in the ring. He didn’t want to kill death. He didn’t even want to look at it. He arched his back away from the feisty creature with each sweep of his cape and leapt almost ten feet in the air when the bull took a step toward him. Suddenly, Ponce yanked his sword from the holster at his side, raised it above his head, aiming for the sweet spot between the bull’s shoulder blades, and plunged. He missed. Blood spurted from the bull’s back; it twitched uncomfortably for a second, and then began furiously rubbing its left back hoof on the dirt. I bet Ponce wanted to run away again. Instead, he took another swing with his sword, deepening the original gouge. The hoof stopped scraping the ground. The bull fell, turning into a heap of bloodsaturated muscle. Still, though, it continued to twitch, like a bug slowly dying in a campfire. The crowd exploded into boos. Abuelita was even shouting, “Aprende de Fandi! Aprende de Fandi! Learn from Fandi! Learn from Fandi!” For years, I had heard the argument that bullfighting is an art. I thought it was a decent rationalization for the sport, but I did not actually think that bullfighting could be considered an art form. With the boos reverberating in my ears, Ponce’s quaking bloody bull in front of my eyes, and El Fandi’s poised performance still fresh in my mind, my opinion changed. The positive cheers at a bullfight have nothing to do with celebrating the death of an innocent creature. They are a celebration of a bullfighter’s successful interaction with a great human fear, death, death represented by a fierce creature, the bull. Being able to dance with death gracefully and conquer it without fear is an art.
The Slow Motion War
By Ingrid Hannan
Concerity By Emma Tomaszewski That’s right. Don’t even doubt it. Don’t doubt my justification. My Imagination. My Creativity. It’s all there, Here, All in this word, My word, The one you deemed not real. How can it not be real, I say. There it is Right here on this page. I created it. Designed it For my own purpose To describe something Indescribable before now. I brought it into this world As a child with crayons Would bring a tree. I took the orange wax And smeared it on this page, I filled it with meaning By bringing it outlines of leaves. I gave it life in branches Hued with brown and green. I gave it stability in the earth Where lines of light grass Touched the spread of dark amber. I even gave it a smiling sun With yellow stretched across the page Just to show you that I could. I, with my mind And the ink of this pen, Created this word To share with the entire world. Wait. Not even the world, But the nothing too, Beyond it. It exists for nothing. It exists for everything. It exists because I say it exists. Don’t tell me it’s not real. How can something, Like this word Which came out of my mind 49
Like a child comes from its mother, Not be real? If I say it’s my reality Doesn’t that make it so? Or do you dare call me crazy. Perhaps I am, Perhaps you are. It can mean what I make it. It can mean what you make it. It doesn’t matter the meaning. Take from it what you will. This word is none other. It means all words It means no words. So, Once again, Don’t tell me it’s not real.
She Sells By Laurel Yecny Your seashell ears swivel to drink in my windy whisper that I keep bottled like a message. “I am thirsty,” I say without words. Your seaweed smile twists downward. Was it something I said? I realize I have only two choices: release you or set you free. Before you leave me of your own accord. Spread your pelican wings and fly to Atlantis. Break my heart like waves on the shore. Ohne dich ist alles doof. The sea anemones in your tide pool eyes look at me, questioning. I take your starfish hands in mine, I could never let you go. I drop your spiny hands, and taste your salty approval as your lips — popping like the eyes of a dead fish — meet mine in swelling ecstasy. Sudden bright, slanting light surrounds us. I bathe in it and emerge smelling like rum. “So soon?” the sand asks. I rest my face next to yours and hear the serenade of the sea.
Farm and Beach
By Emily Dermann
The Plot By Cody Dollowitch I am so â€” Her voice, grey Egyptian cotton, caresses My skin to her name. Tess, Summer straw teased cold by a Brush. My raw skin (breasts straining Against her blouse) forgetting the talk of oak, crepe interior, and plot Aches for the feel of naked Flesh and the shiver of guilt to follow: â€” Sorry for your loss. The taste of mint, Flooded by the bitter stale coffee.
By Doug Franz
“The great man fights the elements in his time that hinder his own greatness, in other words his own freedom and sincerity.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (German Philosopher and Critic, 1844-1900)
Biographies Cori Anderson is a junior English major. In three words: books, looks, dance! Cori is an Editor for this publication. Maryanne Berger is a sophomore Nursing major. She enjoys reading, blues and swing dancing, discovering her creative side, and hanging out with friends. Heidi Busath is a junior English major, with a Communication minor. She loves to cook when she is not doing something for work, church, or the English department. Heidi is on the advertising committee and an Editor for this publication. Julius Calasicas is a senior English major. Julius enjoys drawing comics, sub-cultures, ballet, monsters, and hashbrowns; he dislikes ignorance, running out of toilet paper, flakes, most of television, and show-offs. Erin Callahan is a sophomore English major, with a Fine Arts minor. She loves snakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and obscure vocabulary. Erin is an Editor for this publication. Emily Dermann is a freshman Elementary Education major, with a Spanish minor. Her photograph was taken on the Oregon coast during an August sunset. Cody Dollowitch is a senior Communication major, with a German minor. The Portland native is currently holding his breath for the real. Julie Franks is a senior English and German double major. Her advice: Measure your head before ordering. Julie is an Editor for this publication. Doug Franz is a junior Finance major. He is a Western Washington native who has been taking pictures for seven years. Christopher Gamenthaler is a senior Accounting major. He is an active aquarist from Denver, Colorado. Tyler Thomas Gulyas is a senior History and Theology major, with a Political Science minor. One shudders at the thought of the meaninglessness of life while at the same instant, and if the people of the town are [your] people, one loves life so intensely that tears come into the eyes. Ingrid Hannan is a junior Environmental Science and Spanish major. She loves the Earth, and she loves exploring it. Katie Hargett is a senior Political Science major. She is a tall blonde who enjoys long walks on the beach and Brigadoon marathons; if you see her without her camera she probably needs a hug. Ashley Hight is a senior English major. She is a quiet person, with quiet thoughts, quiet words, and quiet steps, yet an entirely noisy mind. Ashley is an Editor for this publication. Leah Ingram is a freshman, whose major is, as yet, undeclared. She smokes a pipe, can break an apple in half with her bare hands, plays harmonica, and one day she hopes to work in an NGO and save the world.
Maureen Inouye is a senior English major, with a Communication minor. She enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, shopping, and coffee! Maureen has been the Senior Editor of this publication for the past three years. Adrienne Jarvis is a sophomore Organizational Communication major. She treasures her parents and grandparents so much, because their love and support give her the confidence she needs to pursue her dreams and aspirations. Deanna Kishel is a sophomore French Major. She likes books and rain, but not together because then her books would get wet. Stephanie Landis is a junior English major. She is passionate about writing and traveling, and her goal in life is to embrace and experience it to the fullest. Stephanie is a Senior Editor of this publication. Grace Lane is a junior English major. Like most English majors Grace loves the classics, but every now and again she needs a little fluff, too. Jen Leutkehans is a junior English and German major. She is a worldrenowned dancer and face-maker. Ilsa Lundgren is a senior English major. She is an enthusiastic senior, who is disappointed to leave the small writing community of UP behind, and is honored to be a part of this year’s Writers Magazine. James Mahoney is a sophomore Secondary Education major, with math and sociology minors. He likes creating art almost as much as he likes art galleries. Mary Miller is a junior Sociology major. Photographing people and portraits is what she likes best, especially overseas. Rachel Morenz is a senior English major. A visitor to OR from the dry Southwestern US, she will be graduating in a matter of weeks with hopes of living in South America for a year. Tyler Moss is a sophomore English major. He hopes to someday write professionally. Amy Oliveria is a senior Organizational Communication major. She is from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and enjoys deep conversations over coffee, dropping it like it’s hot, perfectly pranking her guy friends, and trying to take over the world. Lilian Ongelungel is a freshman Organizational Communication major. She was born and raised in the urban oasis of Portland, Oregon, and hopes to graduate from the University of Portland with a degree that will take her around the world. Megan Osborn is a freshman English major. She is originally from Seattle, wishes to see the world, and publish a book some day; poetry is a way to tell her story a little bit at a time. Bethanie Peterson is a junior English major. She loves books, films (though it’s physically improbable for her to stay awake for a whole movie), and cheese. Bethanie is an Editor of this publication. Lucille Rollins is a freshman German and Communication major. Her secret dream is to someday change a life by writing about people whose stories deserve to be heard. 57
Avi Saban is junior Education and English major. He will be President of the English Society in ‘08-’09 and then will probably return to Hawaii to teach. Danielle Schwanz is a senior Nursing major. Peace, love, and music – that’s what it’s all about. Sydney C. Syverson is a freshman Social Work and German major, with a Psychology minor. She grew up in Vegas and learned, through her closest friends, to love the language that prompts inner peace. Ben Thompson is a freshman Marketing/Management major. He was born and raised in Portland, and loves dabbling in photography. Anna Tivel is a sophomore Spanish major. She enjoys music, reading, writing, whistling, and being outdoors. Emma Tomaszewski is a freshman English major. She is a person who is looking for inspiration in this life – what more can be said? Matthew Tongue is a junior Electrical Engineering major. He actually does prefer rain to “good” weather. Meghan Veiga is a freshman, whose major is, as yet, undeclared. She is currently enrolled in the Introduction to Photography class here at UP, and enjoys taking pictures in her free time between homework, class, and rowing for the UP crew team. Beth Watje is a senior graduating with majors in Secondary Education, English, and French. She enjoys mind-stretching novels, writing poems at 3 a.m., teaching high-schoolers, and attempting to cook French cuisine. Beth has been involved with Writers since her freshman year, and is currently an Editor for this publication. Alli Wong is a sophomore Biology major, pre-med. She is just your average individual, exploring life one photo at a time. Laurel Yecny is a senior English and German major. She is a small town girl who loves the ocean, traveling, and chocolate. Laurel is an Editor for this publication. Zoe Zuschlag is a senior English Major. Word Nerd.
The Editors would also like to thank Bridget Bimrose and Susan Säfve for their help in formatting and publishing this edition of Writers, 2008. 58