Grey Bird

Sarah Flynn

The grey bird beckons me to join him

    Follow me! he says

    Follow me!

 

A nest sprinkled with

Crumbles of ash

Built upon marlboro sticks

and poisonous leaves

    Follow me!

 

Feathers grey, turn grey, turning grey

Feathers with knotted ends

Dipped in black  

Feathers rough, turn rough, turning rough

    Follow me!

...

 

 

Phoebe Zheng
Violet Bordin
Violet Bordin

Written Ever After

Jean Pineapple

In the dream to own,

In the thrill of dominance,

In the cooling of the blood

There can be pleasure.

As black as the Saharan night,

As pale as the moon

Of the Southern Hemisphere,

Was the paint God used—

For Africa.

In the spirit of Europe

There is written a story:

Of loss without mourning;

In the spirit of Africa,

There is only the morning—

Oh, civilization is so cruel a master:

Your boot is on a brother’s neck

As you crush him,

You cannot say to yourself,

“I’m an evil Machiavellian motherfucker,”

It is sweet to dream of philanthropy

As you beat that bitch with a bat;

And blood is less bright on blackness.

Some humans crave heroine,

All humans crave pain,

And the canyon between now and then.

Between twisted, poisonous civility,

And beautiful, sweet, perfect barbarity;

“Child, we need never be ashamed of our tears

For they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth;”

It beckons from the jungle; screams Kilimanjaro;

So we rise up in our pride and we sing:

“If God took a form:

The limp body of a squirrel,

Drowned in acid rain—”

 

Is tender;

Tender is the African night.

why i write

Melanie Kessinger

       My world is a web of bedtime stories and English class revelations and essays written late into the night, of well-worn novels lining my bookshelves, of sticky notes haphazardly stuck to my bedside table filled with middle-of-the-night scribblings, and of the sound of my fingers striking my computer keyboard. Literature, storytelling, writing: all are the elements of my world. All are woven into the core of my identity.

       When I was younger, I was was extremely reluctant to face the impending transition from the naive little girl that I was to the empowered woman whom I aspired to be. I found that books, from the likes of Ella Enchanted to Sense and Sensibility, allowed me to pretend that I was a brave, self-assured heroine with indomitable strength of character. In books, I became confident. I became tenacious. The reality of my cowardly seventh grade self could be cast aside. Books were a reprieve from the mostly mundane, occasionally daunting parts of my life; they were the foundation of my ambitions and dreams for the future. I aspire to craft these lands of heroism and fearlessness -- to interweave tales of love with those of hardship...

    

Olivia Marwell
Abigail Stover 
Renee Ferguson

Crazy Girlfriend

A.W. Lion-Cleaver

I want you to spread your magic touch

across my shoulders

and transfer your black energy into me

and touch my internal black

I want you to light me into flames and

drench my tongue with your hurricane

and breathe your hell down my neck

I want you to falter at my rhythm and

go down on your knees at my beat

and feel me like I wish I felt you

 

I want your dreams to be my dreams and

I want your thoughts to be my thoughts and

I want you to recognize me

...

Violet Bordin

The Diversity Question

 

Aidan Niles

In your search

Your quest

For flesh

There are some things that do not mesh

 

Your vaunted objective

Your lofty goal

Hoping the answer might make you whole

 

The truth is somewhere in between

Flesh matters

We haven’t forgotten

Past so darkened

Lore so shameful

...

Pierce Sanderson
Sophie Devincenti

The Distance a Table Takes Up

Jill Roberts

this way—

no that;

(you always had such sad eyes, you know)

and i’m so, so sorry

for the tears in your coffee---

I had seen my partial reflection

and I suppose cognizance is a terrifying rumination,

but you merely laughed at the skeletons

hanging in my closet

and opened my clenched fist, finger by finger

before placing your esoteric love within me

how sad I was to have such faith,

and how sad you were to have none at all

naked hands clutching stained, white sheets

and my palms,

                   so heavy,

have no release

so instead I leave them on the stained sheets,

and

like you,

release what burdens so heavily.

Every Wed. Thurs. Fri.

Melanie Kessinger

       The girl drives to school and she glances at her bleary eyes in the rearview mirror. Her hair is long and often slips in front of her face. She looks at the road, at her reflection, at the road and at her reflection. Her boots click on the pavement as she listens to passerby students recite words they do not understand, memorizing stories and existences that are not their own. The girl tucks a headphone into her left ear, hoping the beat of the music will drown out the clanging of car keys and swishing of ponytails. Everyone else sees bright sunshine and emerald mountains, but the girl sees fifty-one days. She bickers with her sister about blue jeans and turns up the volume of the music. The classroom is awash in snow-colored light, but the sky is aegean blue. Puppets and porcelain dolls sit at desks: a pretense of purpose. The girl watches a young couple outside the window. He reaches for her hand; she pulls away. He looks through her and she looks at the ground, his fists clenched and her knees wobbling. The girl fiddles with her bracelet and imagines she had seen something else. Chipped nail polish and bare feet on grass and a plastic crown. The man at the front of the room wears detachment and a burgundy sweater. He instructs. The girl listens. She brushes past a stranger in the hallway. Pencils tumble to the floor. Smiling faces approach her, but she turns away from them and clutches her cell phone close to her side.

...

Violet Bordin

Green Days, Green Daze

Sarah Flynn

       She picks me up in her grey acura, calls me baby, gives me a kiss on the cheek. She says dude, I have the most insane story to tell you. Cars and sunsets and weed and cops. Bob Weir and Jim Morrison and rhythmic psychedelics. Scarlet begonias, Pablo the Blowfish, vomit, paranoia.

      She wears a tie-dyed Led Zeppelin shirt, can’t name many Led Zeppelin songs, thinks that Led Zeppelin is just one man. If it was bought in the Haight, it’s authentic. Sweatpants, birkenstocks, toe ring, extra large hoodie- it’s more than an aesthetic, it’s an identity.

      Her car smells like flowers and old milkshakes. Crumpled homework assignments and empty nicotine containers and half-eaten burgers obscure the floor- not much to look at but so much to see. A dreamcatcher hangs from her mirror.

      She drives along Ocean Beach, singing to the Rolling Stones, pausing only to imagine what the world would look life if it really was painted black. And who was Angie? Mick Jagger sure did have some sick bars. And Jerry Garcia played guitar, right? No, wait, he was part of the Beatles… right?

    On the rare occasion that I correct her, she blushes slightly and whispers under her breath that she knew that, the Grateful Dead and the Beatles just sound pretty similar. 

...

Sophie Devincenti