title. Edition 01

date. 2017

PHOEBE ZHENG

I Was Born in the USA,

Where I was born
the prisons are not gray.
Where I was born, the inmates do not pray.
Where I was born, the flowers bloom in May,
Inside the prison cells.

Where I was born
we love convicted souls,
For we know they are our children.
And the prisons are not jails,
They’re sanctuaries.
Where I was born the prisons do not
Keep the spirit captive,
No
Prison is where wings are sewn together—
Prison’s where we set the spirit free.
Where I was born the prisons are not sad;
The inmates are not poor;
At every turn we open doors;
Years come and go,
The inmates know
We fight for something noble—
We believe.

Where I was born
the prison hallways lead to freedom.
We don’t have locks for we don’t need them,
We spiral ever higher, toward the stars,
Toward fancy cars,
Dear Lord, when the dream is perfect,
Please don’t wake me.
In prison I fell in love with a mirage;
She was as beautiful as the American Dream,
As sweet as the injection after 50 years of waiting.

 

Where I was born
the prisoners are fools,
And in that place,
We call the prisons "schools."

By Jean Pineapple 

CYNTHIA WU 

Memories

 

When the heart has been torn

And the wrists scarred

and the body burnt to ashes

 

            It is hard not to look back

 

When the shutters close

And darkness brushes against the skin

and the jaw aches from clenching

 

            It is hard not to think back

 

When the venom returns to the blood

And the car rides through the mind

and your ears throb from the crash

 

            It is hard not to wish… back

 

the naked body

      cries

The backbone no longer

carries the pain

But hunches in remembrance

 

The fingers no longer

comb for blood

But are tinted red

 

And the soul no longer

yearns to escape

But still makes friends with the dead

 

With time the dagger sinks deeper

And strains the torn heart

and scratches the scarred wrists

and smokes the body’s ashes

by anonymous 

ANDREW CUNNINGHAM

“The World’s Gone to Shit”: Opinion Piece by Sarah Flynn

 

“The world’s gone to shit.”

            Beginning in June of 2017, hurricanes have torn through the South and mid-Atlantic. On September 2, over 1,500 acres of land in Los Angeles burned to nothingness. On October 1, 59 were killed and over 489 injured in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival. On October 2, the mental repercussions of Nevada put the whole campus of the University of Southern California on lockdown. On October 9, ash drops from the sky as Napa and Sonoma flame.... 

it’s a Sunday night and the silence

is so pure that I doubt my heart still beats

and I stand with her, next to her,

hold her hand as we look over the cliffside

 

each of those five fingers cling to my hand

and we are still as we wait

wait for a sound, wait for the rustle of wind

to shatter the numbing quiet of this moment

 

and we are six, we are six years old

and she asks me if I am awake and I say no

each of those five fingers clings to my hand

and our eyes are squeezed closed and I smile

 

and the magnitude of the silence

imitates the vast expanse of distance to the water

but together we are fearless and together we jump

together we plummet, our hands tangled

 

and the house is dark and the walls

of our childhood keep us safe as we sink

into the pillow, into a world of subconscience,

into the place without limits, where we belong

 

and as I fall and as the walls fall around me

I look down and ten small fingers,

ten small fingers are intertwined

as we fall towards the water on a Sunday night

by Renee Ferguson 

OLIVIA MARWELL

Big Lies

 

I hate you

I’m a writer

I enjoy science

I enjoy learning

I practiced violin for a hour

I’ve already emptied the dishwasher

I’m in love with nature

I’m a germaphobe

I’m a neat freak

I hate getting dirty, wet, or sweaty

My dad’s a doctor

My dad didn’t come with us because of work

He performs heart operations at Marin General hospital

He had an emergency patient

I’m 100% certain that I’m straight

I had a thing with this girl over the summer…

I had a thing with this girl named Alyssa…

I had a thing with this girl.

Music and poetry keep me alive

My friends are everything

My homework’s done

I’m a nerd; I’m not athletic; I’m in love with Star Wars

I suffered from extreme anxiety and depression

I don’t really have any mental or emotional problems

For the most part I can always get out of bed

I like having 2 moms

I’m passionate about politics

I’m not a communist

I honestly don’t give a shit

I haven’t cried since 8th grade

I’m sensitive

I’m comfortably numb

I didn’t put gas in the car because you didn’t tell me to

I didn’t break the glass

I’m going to kick his ass

I do a short meditation everyday

My mom is a bitch

I hate my parents

I can’t wait to leave

I don’t love you anymore

I don’t need you

I like lettuce

The Doors are my jam

I’m working on Spanish

I don’t want to run away

Every second of every day

We are in it together

I did it for you

The bags I have to carry are too heavy

I am strong enough

I’m broken hearted

I’m feeling good about it

I’m happy

I’m sad

I’m an arrogant fuck

You’re perfect

I love you

by Jean Pineapple

Confrontation

by Sarah Flynn

hey

it’s me

            how are you?

I’ve just been thinking

            no, i-

I’ve been worried

            no, its just-

 

            are you okay?

 

what gives me the authority, right?

            Who am I to-

            I just mean-

 

            is it okay-

after my collar bones carved steep valleys across my shoulders

after my cheeks hollowed and my hair fell like petals

after my skin stretched tightly upon my ribs

and the black underneath my eyes darkened

            -to wonder?

 

            is it okay-

PHOEBE ZHENG
STRAT TOLMIE

It's Not Easy to Say I Love You 

it’s not easy to say I Love You

a triangle of words that mean everything but safety

colonized by the man, the same man

always seems to be the same man

 

when the warmth peaks at sundown

the phrase squirms between the lips

begging to see the world,

wrong You.

 

maybe one day it’ll make sense

why eagerness can so easily be stolen

when a muscle is ossified

 

don’t think about the world

don’t try to rationalize how all

the colors on body

and the urges between legs

 

glossy pages know best what is best

the barrels know where to aim

whiteness knows what assimilation means

take off the white polo and be safe

 

the ensemble of words doesn't sound quite right

and won’t understand systems for many years

the depth of the promise can’t be realized

if the boat is anchored to the sky

 

one cannot break a promise

 

fathers can tell when the man

will always be the same man

even when he’s just a boy

 

but one day it might make sense

even if she makes her home in a cage

even if the words are never whispered

holding her hand might be enough to make you see

who You is really supposed to be

 by Isabelle Khoo-Miller 

OLIVIA MARWELL

STRAT TOLMIE

Where’s My Soul

Where’s that God-damned

Thing

That used to be my soul

Where the fuck did I leave

It and why the hell do

Veterans pay toll

 

The monster sucked

Them down its throat

And barfed them up in Hell

Many revenants

Imbued with many graces

The blood that pours off all

Their dying faces

Fills the ocean

Below that

Bridge they can’t afford

 

You have been lying

America

Growing up is just

A stage of dying

 

I can never keep

The envelope nice

If the truth were only

Tattered

On the edges.

by Jean PineApple 

VIOLET BORDIN

*all doodles by Andrew Cunningham and Olivia Marwell