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Part of The Mosaic: Fall 2011


Slide around/ your tongue on soft spaces and places/
That create the contact between us/ the red light between us/
Makes the blue of our pleasure more intense/ more dark
Than the dark room / that encases
We created a picture of love

Raven Baptiste
Meg Flannery
Robert Coords
Ryan Crawford
Colleen Haney
Sean McCarthy
James Napoli
Carolyn Rivas
Rachael Shockey
Shannon Sholcum
Jessica Sturtevant
Miguel Vasquez
Special Thanks:
To Dr. Lea Graham for her continuous
dedication and support of the Literary
Arts Society and publications.
Front Cover:
James Napoli
Back Cover:
Jennifer Pugliese
Locks on Doors:
Colleen Haney
Jesenia Sanchez

Table of Contents
Circum. Canticum:
by Nicholas Bolt...
....................................................... 6
Dewey Dell
......................................................................... 7
The Sculptor
Tall Plants
Joe Connelly
......... 16
by Jessica Sturtevant.. ..................................................................................
Drink Me
by Marygrace
Carmel Empathy
............................................................................ 20
by Taylor Foreman-Niko
Fairy Tale
by Thaddeus Grabowy
by Nicholas Bolt.
Red and Green
by Lauren
Hall... .
An Ode to My Grandmother's Diamonds
Marygrace Navarra
Last Night
by Bridget
............................................................................ .46
Gone Indefinitely: 4 Valves
........................................................ .48
Everybody Knows Mr. Social
by Taylor Foreman-Niko ........................................... 50
Hall ............
. 53
Potential Energy
by Jessica Sturtevant.

Citrum. Canticum: A Cento
by Nicholas Bolt
Listen. I'm trying to tell you
a lemon rind is anything but dull.
They taste good to her,
and whisper their little songs.
It's more like a song on
a policeman's radio,
thick in the midnight sky.
Song that mentions two fragile ex-lovers,
Sources: [Kim Addonizio, Kristy Odelius, William Carlos Wil-
liams, Charles Wright, Richard Siken, Sarah Goldstein, John

Dewey Dell
by Victoria Huntsinger
We picked in secret shade
Young, tremulous, sprawling
Something bad has happened
My sack is full
I can see with empty seeing
I feel my body, my bones
A little tub of guts
Beneath my tightening dress
Too soon
Too soon
I wish I had time
Empty with waiting
Life, God, the womb
I couldn't see and couldn't feel
The black void
I cannot be alone
You could do so much for me
you just knew
Kill him
Nobodywould have to know

The Sculptor
by A
My name i
know ... my parent
d m
. P
Straight if you're my friend-Percival Straight III if I want to
ound like
n ass
I live in Florence, Italy, but please don't think that makes me
fancy. I'm not here by choice. Well, sort of. You see, my parents and
I moved here when I was 15 for my dad's job. That's a terrible age to
move, especially to a country whose language you don't speak, where
you can
t blend in
and your palate rejects pesto, and cobblestones
mangle ankles, vendors harass
tourists crowd, ambulances shriek, and
the mosquitoes, pick pockets, and slow walkers drive you insane
was a lot to get used to.
My parents didn't help with the life-altering adjustment process,
tly because, like I said, they hate me
The feeling
s mutual. Maybe
I'm exaggerating; maybe it's not hate and I just have pent up anger issues
held deep inside me that developed from the moment I realized my
name is Percival. Or, maybe my parents are nuts, and I'm mildly nuts,
and anything we ever say or do is wrong in the eyes of the opposing
evil force. There weren't a lot of happy moments in my childhood, or if
there were, they are blocked out by the piercing shouts ringing through
my brain every time I recall the past.
I feel I've moved on. Which is why, when my parents moved
back to America, I stayed here. I was in my late twenties-it was ac-
ceptable. Just because I'm here, though, doesn't mean I like it, or I want
to be here, or all of the above. Florence feels stuffy, like a slow suffoca-
tion; in other words
it is my own little cage, because basically I have no
other option
It's beautiful, don't get me wrong, but how can you appre-
ciate an ornate jail cell? One of these days I'll find something to do with
my life, other than mope around the streets of a city I don't belong.
Until that day, I have a few things to keep my sanity: sculptures,
and Stan my psychiatrist. Art was one of the things I clung to when

moved here
Except not all kinds of art-just sculptures. Renaissance
are nice and all
and I can appreciate Botticelli's work when
walk past
it in
the Uffizi
in front of all
the drooling tourists, but
after a
while it bores me to tears. For
belong to a differ-
ent realm.
I remember the first time I visited the Accademia and saw Mi-
chelangelo's David-it was like a religious experience (minus the hallelu-
jahs and fainting). Mind
never had a religious experience before
because I don't believe in God, but I imagine that is what one would feel
like. He is overwhelming (the David that is) and still makes me shake.
During my first experience, I turned the corner, glancing over a few of the
slaves breaking out of stone entrapments, and my gaze was brought up-
ward toward the serene light at the end of the hall, caressing the muscles
of the largest man
ever seen. He looked so cold, and still, yet so real.
dropped; I'm not sure why I got that sinking feeling, from my
heart down to my stomach, but soon after I felt a touch of ecstasy. It was
anything I ever felt. I never had sex before, but it was an experi-
ence of
and religion
My body rode the
blood shot through every
organ, my
flowed into white and I never wanted it to end.
Once I came to my
I imagined David melting from stone
form and coming to life, picking me up with his disproportionate hand
and flinging me from his slingshot to another place. He was my salvation.
He is my
But now my horizons have broadened and my love
of sculptures pervades every area of the art form. Sculptures still look so
lifelike to me, and that must be what attracts me to them (says my psychia-
trist). They bond with me, more than I bond with any human. I'm not a
not as odd
Even though they
are cold, they
say so
One of
these days, if I
ever get out of Florence,
the first place I'm
is the Louvre in Paris. Pictures are all
I have
seen so
far, but if
I get
the chance,
I might be severely
overcome by
Stendhal syndrome upon
one of the sculpture rooms
Nowadays, the statues
that make my

tingle to the most
sensitive extremes are of women with their draped
clothing caught in the wind
They fascinate me. My gods are sculptors,
my Jesus has
breasts and linens of
stone; no mortal can so
delicate dance
lightest pieces
marble. I
wish I were
that gifted.
The only trouble
statues ever
gave me happened
the other day.
I visited
the David again, as I do, at the very least, twice a week. But this
entranced by his ringlets and the unusual depth of his eyes,
some deranged thief stole my wallet while I was unaware. After finally
realizing this I fell into a severe panic attack and needed to see my psychia-
trist immediately.
"So you didn't have money in
wallet?" queried Stan the psy-
chiatrist, sitting a few feet away.
you didn't have any credit cards, debit cards, anything?" he
asked, staring yet distracted.
I didn't:'
you had was your museum pass and
intense, what do
you call them? Love letters?"
I can't have anybody see them. They're private. They're for
someone. I need them back so what I really need you to do is call the po-
lice again and make sure they're finding that stolen ... "
"Deep breaths,
Percy:' I hate when people say my name. "What
you're really trying to say is those love letters are explicit, sexual, and you
are embarrassed by them, isn't that right?" I could feel his eyes move
not what I'm saying at all! I'm not embarrassed-I just need
them! What don't you ...
And he moved closer to me, his ass now sitting
next to mine and his hand on my chest.
"Just pay attention to your breathing. In, and out
.in, and out.
Now watch my hand move up and down while you breathe:' He said this
while his eyes pierced mine, making me press further back into the chaise


lounge. He had never come this close before, and my body tensed.
"Now tell me again what you find so arousing in the David. Speak
freely, it will relax
One could almost see a grin in his microexpres-
"I don't really want to. It's almost time to go
isn't it?"
"Don't worry about the time, " as he pressed his hand harder into
my chest, "just tell me. Do you like the curls in his hair? You like his
muscles? Or do you like his sloping back leading down to his shapely ass?"
The psychiatrist's breath shot torrents out of his nostrils, and now both
hands were digging into my chest. The room seemed to get smaller, darker
as he suddenly closed in. I tried squirming away, fear gripping me, but he
only became more aggressive. "And tell me;' he spat, "do you stare at his
package when you go in there every week? Does it turn you on?"
"Get off of me!" I screamed an unearthly tone. My shocked body
convulsed with unnatural force out of the chair and threw the psychiatrist's
body into his desk, crushing a few bones as the desk penetrated his ribcage
and he crumbled to the floor. My eyes couldn't focus, but I ran so quickly
out of what looked like a door and down the maze of stairs.
My mind was ablaze. My body cringed. And I felt something die
inside my creeping skin. A million thoughts and colors and pressures and
nauseous feelings bombarded the inside of my skull, bouncing off the rot -
ting tissue that was not there before. No word could explain it, and there
was nowhere for me to go. I must have looked like a madman plowing
through the streets of Florence; but my body knew where to take me.
Eventually, in my disgusted daze I recognized the Piazza del Duo-
mo. Crowds harassed the cobblestone with a thousand walking feet, and I
needed to get away; I needed more fresh air even though I was outside-I
needed wind, space. As my mind still pulsed, I walked around to the side
of the Duomo and began to climb its claustrophobic steps. I went quickly,
or what seemed to be quick at the time, because my body couldn't handle
the stone walls invading my space for long. As I aggressively trudged, a
vision suddenly flashed past my eyes of the psychiatrist caressing my chest,

making a bolt of pain flash through my body from head to legs; I screamed
p the spiraling staircase in a distraught attempt to eject the demonic rec-
ollection. I was alone.
Walking slower then, I realized I was more alone than I had ever
een. I had nothing. No human contact. Even the David abandoned me
once the psychiatrist turned him into a sexual joke. The walls seemed to
ose in, and the dank, chilled air from a thousand years crept into my skin
d made each follicle stand on end. I was alone, but I still climbed.
Eventually I felt air gently pulsing against my face; at first a tease of
awakening, but once I made my way through the opening I was pushed
e by an oncoming thrust of invisible motion. It was cool, probably icy
o the tourists around me, but it was what I needed. I made my way over to
abandoned side of the Duomo and stared out over the edge toward the
at expanse of Italian city. The wind brushed hair back and forth across
y brow, a comforting mother. Each force of air cleansed me, and I wel-
med the cold. I looked down, and I must admit the thought of jumping
ssed my mind, but instead I let the air wrap me up and I continued to
ze at the tiny people. Then I saw her.
It was undoubtedly her. I have watched her many times and there
was n
o mistaking her black and white dogtooth jacket and long, flowing
ette hair, with her large orangey purse placed gently against her side
her knit scarf nestled around her slender neck. Never had I spoken to
her, b
ut I felt refreshed and alive; I needed to speak to someone, have some
an in my life, so why not speak to the woman I love? She was walking
y, but taking time to stare and examine the crevices of t
e Cattedrale di
a Maria del Fiore
I ran-practically diving down the stairs and passing the huge
rayal of the devil ea
ing a man alive. I was nearly down t
e entirety
of th
e Duomo when my foot clipped an uneven stone and I fell forward,
g my arms up from my sides in slow motion as I saw the ground
h in jagged lines. My arms could only do so much, and my jaw
ed into the rock staircase, sliding my skin off as the motion contin-

ued. I felt the pain, but it didn't matter. Standing, I wiped off the blood
from my face, leaving a red stain on the ancient step, and I continued to
run. She wouldn't escape me.
reached the
and stopped a moment to search
crowds for
entrancing figure. There were too many
Too many
blocking me
from what I want.
want to give
her those
letters. I
to be a
I want to have
human in my life. And now
a few hundred ignorant tourists
in my way. I moved
the crowd, wild eyes scanning every inch of the piazza-until I
her. She was beautiful in the light, as I'm
she is beautiful in the
dark. She was paused, looking at a large statue perched on the Duomo.
Slowly, I approached her. Sweat began to slide down my forehead
I felt my hands start to jitter, but there was no turning back. I needed
her. She was my salvation.
"Hi there" I blurted.
"Oh, hi:' Her brow furrowed into a twist of confusion and slight
fear. My heart sunk, but I didn't blame her.
were looking at that statue. Beautiful, isn't it? You
see it at night, the statues really look like they can come alive-
maybe even pop out at
... yeah I was just passing by. I really need to go though:'
name is PercY:'
Percy, well nice to meet you" she said as she walked away. I
hate my name. My eyes followed as her elegant legs slid past each other far
the distance. There was no choice but to let her go for now.
From that moment on she did not escape my thoughts. Each day,
even in my dreams, I visualized her body in front of mine; her scarf
thin blouse quivering in the wind.
Each day, I sat in the Piazza del Duomo, hoping to catch a glimpse.
My body felt the frost of nature's chill, but any discomfort was worth it. I
needed her. She was my salvation.

Eventually, luck came my way one night. She was alone, and I
tell by her movements that she was slightly tipsy. From behind, I
walked with the most silent footsteps a man can walk, and I took her. She
screamed but I knew she would, so my hand was there over her soft lips to
the sound.
Everything was prepared in my apartment. In my kitchen was a
of water with a lid (the kind Houdini would use), and a new, extra-
industrial freezer. She wouldn't stop squirming. Still, I managed to
complete my task.
These days I feel very peaceful. I sit in my reclining chair, read
sip my coffee, and stare at my own personal statue.
She is beautiful. Her brown hair appears to flow across her face,
and her blouse seems to quiver just as it did in the Florence breeze.
nates me, that even in ice, she is so lifelike. I have her now-always. She is
my favorite sculpture.

Tall Plants
by Joe
unsuppressed by the hand
in the wind
peacefully they stand
the dark blue of the early morning
as dew collects on their leaves
and a sea of mist runs between them

by Jessica Sturtevant
I will not fall for you
But I will walk with you,
hand in steady hand, bounce to stride to shuffle;
I will not strip myself for you,
But I will let you seep into me,
till you become a layer between skin and secrets;
I will not be your baby or your girl
But I will be yours, woman to man,
together revealing a pattern like tangrams;
I will not lavish you with praises or caresses
But I will touch you with gentle words,
and strokes soft as brush's painted whisper;
I will not be your prize,
But I will be your helpmate,
bone of bone and flesh of flesh, treasured:
This is my prayer for someday,
waiting silent on my table
for a morning strong with the smell of coffee
and a whispered, "Beloved:'

Drink Me
funny way to
her dress tore
a little
lacy and
and still blue but torn ouch her head throbbing
down a hole down down compressed lungs and wet rich
smell of
of dirt of animals teenage party animals and tea time
grey with a
little milk or
sort of long island iced tea was that the smell or
maybe it was the oysters the little baby bow-tied oysters the bowls
that salty smell that briny ocean smell and boiling
oysters to be eaten the time has come
my little friends beer beer was that beer
was tasting beer reverse beer with acid? No it was the oysters and the
annoying Jesus Christ like that quirky girl in her physics class with the
and a
white rabbit what a dumb costume and a smoking caterpillar
that creep that always texts about blowing purple smoke into
RU?" rolling Rs and
and lots of talking "I can't explain myself
because I'm not myself, let me smoke:' No more no more, enough beer and
and the Queen is here and she wants to play croquet around
the garden a game for a boy around the corner the Queen
Bitch is more like it, her dress is preposterous here she never wears black or
red at parties
wouldn't hide her ass she notices the roses drip with blood red paint oh
her art project and she insulted the Queen the mushroom

made her do it eat me drink me up and down too much
smoke purple smoke and she ran for the door the cards are coming
aces diamonds
with her head!"
let me outside I am outside where am I fuzzy fuzzy mattress feeling
wake up! Please wake up Alice! Alice! Alice!" best friend
slapping water onto cheeks and rowdy sounds of party and chug! some-
where and
Alice you're wasted, no more" when I
wake up the dream isn't done
a very happy unbirthday to me

Carmel Empathy
by Lauren Hall
Sandbox chatter moves poolside: three sets of Kate Moss legs dipped in
sparkling chlorine. Twice-used incubators flick glances at six pairs of bob-
bing floaties: heads golden, auburn, and sunflower yellow. Mommies that
amass calorie counts next to grocery lists, next to tax rebates, next to their
daughter's depression medicine.
Glue their pupils to Rachel Ray's pixilated image, trying to subvert Mag-
giano's with heritage Italiano, but the children's leftovers-still-never get
eaten. Hand-it-to-me generation instead of hand-me-downs demand trips
to Disney instead of bozo clowns; kids raised by kids raised by the elderly.
Job applications flutter like D-day warnings in the filmstrip repeating
itself behind their eyelids opening and closing softly in summer heat. Not
enough degrees to avoid the interrogation each credit card bill brings, yet
his criticism always ends before Kohl's bag dangle from a Longchamp wrist.
And hopefully hubby forgets the purpose of Zoloft. These three, grateful
that mother left a pill-sized pouch tucked just inside apron's waist. But all of
this melts, glistening, slipping from their tan-tinted outer layer, while they
wade their mermaid tails and images of prince charming forgets to kiss the

By Taylor Foreman-Niko
The glance was magic, sparking and kinetic
mashed together between the lockers, ignited,
filling her face with heat and stirring her heart.
And day by day it repeated during the last vestiges of carefree heat,
with a shy glance, knowing smile.
They passed close in the hall, bells ringing in their ears
As their arms touched, electric, making her hair stand on end,
Stirring her again, lower.
Glances turned to words, mumbled as the leaves brown,
then sweet whispers, and scribbled notes,
All hers, slipped through his locker grille, into his pockets,
frivolous cozy things, overflowing with warmth, bubbly enthusiasm.
longer brushing arms, they embrace and linger together,
he with a smile, she with a swoon.
He pushes the hair out of her face and kisses her ear
with all the words that she wants to hear.
One day he takes her by the hand and leads her off;
Her seat is empty as the roll is called.
his car they kiss and all that was sweet and good begins to tip, slide.
The last warmth fading.
His is not a gentle touch, yet she remains quiet even as the buttons unfasten
Pale skin exposed. They writhe and grunt and she is turned,
Pushed against the fogged glass, tears in her eyes as she sees herself,
Five years old and smiling beyond that immovable pane.
The girl turns and walks away as the car continues to rock.
Snow begins to fall and she is cold.


by Thaddeus Grabowy
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a prince that didn't
quite live up to expectations. He was a decent swordsman and he was cer-
tainly handsome with his long, wavy hair and his mysterious blue eyes that
changed with his moods. However, there were a few things that he was not
that detracted from his princely-ness. His hair was not blond but instead
a rather common brown, he read books for pleasure, and he rarely went
about the countryside killing monsters or rescuing damsels in distress. This
last was particularly of concern to the king and queen, because as their
only son and child, they had expected him to do a great many things. Ad-
mittedly there were very few monsters in the kingdom and most damsels
were too busy working the fields or learning the harp or living their own
lives to spend much time being "lost" in the woods or captured by the odd
giant. Still, they wanted royal grandchildren and at 20, the prince was get-
ting a little old to be single.
So the king and queen decided that they would send their son on
a quest and hopefully he would return victorious with a potential wife and
perhaps some riches for the royal treasury. They called him to the throne
room and laid out their plan.
"Son, it is past time for you to be married and certainly past time
for you to rack up heroic exploits. You've killed fewer monsters and saved
fewer damsels than any other prince in the nearest kingdoms with the ex-
ception of that one prince who is cursed to sleep for a hundred years!" said
the king who added in a whispered aside to his wife, "I would hate to be
that prince's father; curses are for princesses:'
"Your father speaks truly. You should think about the kingdom's fu-
ture and your part in continuing the family line. It worries the people that
our son is unmarried and childless:' said the queen, consciously worried
about unrest among the peasantry.

"So we have decided to banish you from the kingdom until you
complete the quest we put before you now. You are to find a princess,
suitably guarded by a number of monsters and spells, rescue her from her
imprisonment, win her undying love and gratitude, and return here with
your bride-to-be;' said the king.
"Father I have some questions;' said the prince, "about my quest.
What ifI can't find a princess? What if she doesn't want to come with me?
What if I don't want her to come with me? What if I don't want to get marr-
"You ask too many questions, my son, and that is why you are still
single. You ask about things you should already know the answer to and
seem disappointed when that answer is given. It's no wonder that no local
girl has gotten herself in trouble; it would be a greater punishment listening
to your inane questions than being a giant's prisoner or witch's ward. They
at least know how to treat a girl!" said the queen, very much exasperated
with her son.
"There is no more need for talk. Go;' said the king.
"But my quest-:'
The prince decided that discretion was the better part of valor and
bid his parents farewell. He gathered what he would need for the indefinite
and ill-defined (to his mind) journey; his sword, some clothes, a bow and a
quiver full of arrows, travelling food, and a guide to curse-breaking, plac-
ing all of these in his saddlebags
He set off the next day at dawn on his
favorite horse (a mare named Blodwen), heading west with the sun at his
back. It was a rather fortuitous beginning.
The prince was quite pleased to find that after only half a day of rid-
ing, he had come across a forest with a town at its edge. Surely, something
would be going on here; stolen children, mysterious lights in the woods, a
tower from which the most beautiful music fell. Here, he was sure, any-
thing could happen. He rode into the town and spoke to the first person he

saw who happened to be lovely young woman with her long red hair pulled
sensibly back into a horsetail.
"Miss, has anything strange happened in this town recently?"
"Yeah, something real funnY:'
"What was it? Does this town require aid? I am travelling the coun-
tryside looking to help and if something has happened here I would be
terribly pleased to help out!"
"Well you see sir, this very day an odd man rode into town and
asked about how he could help me without ever asking for my name:'
"That doesn't seem so strange to me. Has anything monstrous hap-
"I'll say. He continued to talk to me even when I tried to shame him
into asking what my name was. But he still went on, stubborn as the nag he
rode in on, refusing to be decent and trade names!"
"Miss, are you sure nothing has happened that would require the
involvement of a prince?"
"Look, prince, let's try this nice and slow. I'm Gwendolen Miller.
You can call me Gwen or Gwennie if it pleases you, and it'd please me if
you told me your name:'
The prince sat on his horse stunned. He was a little upset that he
had missed the peasant girl's point and further upset that he couldn't seem
to think of his name. What was it? He couldn't remember; he was always
referred to as "the prince" since he was the only one just as his mother and
father were the only king and queen in the kingdom and of course he never
bothered with servants' names because you didn't address them directly
and the only reason he had named his horse was-
"Is it really such a tough question to answer? You'd think
you to answer why it is that there's a glass hill in the woods all of a sud-
den as though no one'd notice. Do you still not know your name? Huh?
glass hill you said? Appeared suddenly? That sounds promising;

how do I get there Gwennie?"
"Don't dodge the question; what's your name?"
"I know I have one I just can't seem to remember what it is. We
don't use names much at home. There's just the king and the queen and me
and the servants-"
''And I'm sure you don't know their names for reasons different
from your parents. Well I have to call you something so for now your Cot-
"Cotton? Why would you call anyone that? And why do you need
to call me anyth-"
Cotton 'cause your head is filled with fluff and nothing else.
That or for its suggestion of clouds since you seem to be very thoughtful
outside of being rude and forgetting your name. And I need to call you
something 'cause there's no way you'll be able to find your way to the glass
hill and back to town without a guide like me. Forest is magic of
"Of course it is, why have things be simple? But I really object to the
"Do you know your real name yet?"
"No but-"
"Then Cotton is really as good as anything else. Now let me on to
your horse and we can get going:'
The prince, Cotton, shifted back in his saddle to allow for the girl,
Gwennie, to ride with him. He felt he hadn't done well in their conversa-
tion but at least he had a lead to go on for his quest. With Gwennie firmly
planted on Blodwen, they set off into the woods to find the glass hill. It
wasn't long until nightfall, strangely, since it had been noon when he had
arrived in the town (what was ITS name?) and surely they hadn't been trav-
elling long. He was about to ask Gwennie about it when she took the reins
from his hands and halted the horse rather expertly with her knees. Sliding
off the horse she began to rifle through the saddlebags.
"We should stop now since, as you've noticed, night comes early

here in the Night
"What a fitting name;' said Cotton, trying to make conversation.
"Simple folk, simple names; makes it easier to know what to ex-
pect;' said Gwennie, "Do you have a tent in here?
doesn't look like it ... "
"I had planned on staying at inns most of the
"Even when you'd be in a place with no inns? Well at least it isn't
raining. We'll sleep under the stars tonight. Let's build a fire. Also, I'll take
first watch and your bow. Can't be too careful in the
"Monsters? Witches? Brigands?"
''.Animals. They like to get into the food stores or sometimes they
just want to eat you. Either way, best to be aware; with that glass hill ap-
pearing maybe those things you mentioned will be appearing as weU:'
Though he was reluctant to let Gwennie take first watch ( or any
watch) Cotton was tired and he was nothing if not practical. Despite this,
he was still a bit peeved to be awakened with the sun not yet up.
"Your turn to watch. You have some hours 'til dawn yet so don't be
going back to sleep:'
as Gwennie began snoring however, Cotton began to be
restless. Thankfully not sleepy but restless was just as bad. He had banked
the fire, counted his arrows, patrolled a little bit but still there wasn't much
to do if nothing was there. So he paced, he sat, he whittled, he whiled away
his time. Finally the woods began to lighten and with the light came the
most beautiful music he had ever heard.
was an abnormally loud harp
for the sound seemed far away and yet he could hear it clearly but it was
beautifully played. Cotton was so entranced that he started walking away,
leaving Blodwen and Gwennie to wake up without knowing where he had
It took him an hour or so, since the sun now was fully into the sky
to find the source of the music in a strange clearing and wonder of won-
ders, it was coming from the top of the glass hill that Gwennie had men-
tioned, specifically from a stone hut on top. Thinking of Gwennie made

Cotton realize he had left her and Blodwen without any notice and how
would they find him and what if something terrible happened to them in
his absence and-! His thoughts were cut off, as was the heavenly music,
when he heard a loud crashing noise behind him and Gwennie and Blod-
wen burst into the clearing and Gwennie looked furious.
"I would have thought you'd at least take your horse if you were
going to take anything but you just wandered off without taking Blodwen
or being loud enough to wake me as you attempted to leave! What, did the
music draw you in? Honestly, did you not stop and think if it was a witch
or some nasty trying to lure people to their doom? Cotton you are!"
Cotton was going to answer Gwennie's tirade and realized he was
exactly as foolish as she had said. So he shrugged and turned to the hill and
wondered how they were going to climb it. Maybe if he stuck spikes in it (it
was only glass after all) he could climb up or maybe he could make some
sort of grappling hook and throw it up to the squat stone hovel on top of
the hill.
"Gwennie how would you go about getting to the top of this hill? I
was thinking sticking spikes in to climb or may a grappling hook and rope
but I don't think I have any of those things:'
"I won't be saying nothing 'til you apologize for leaving me. Us re-
ally; Blodwen wasn't too happy either:'
"Sorry, Gwennie I obviously wasn't thinking and I will try not to do
anything so rash again:' Cotton strode over to Blodwen and began brush-
ing her mane and whispered soothing words to make up for his bad behav-
ior. The horse lipped his arm and snorted; she liked him too much to stay
first off, you can stop calling me Gwennie. I think I might
actually prefer Gwendolen to that. We'll stick with Gwen; I shouldn't try
to switch up my name especially to something so ... childish. Secondly,
whoever put this here was in a rush. You can see the trees the hill crushed
underneath and they didn't clear the area around so we should be able to

climb these trees and jump in or finagle a grappling hook and climb in:'
"Good idea, Gwennie I mean Gwen! I can't believe I didn't notice
the trees were so close!"
"Yeah well I can:' said Gwen mostly under her breath.
Deciding to ignore that comment, Cotton puts his bow over his
shoulder, glad that he had a recurve bow and didn't need to worry about
unstringing it as much, and began climbing one of the trees.
''I'll circle around see if I can find something interesting:' said
Cotton continued his climb and managed to get to a branch that
was both above the hut and sturdy enough to hold his weight. He tied a
rope to the shaft of an arrow and shot into the thatch of the hut. It buried
itself in without going through which was good. Cotton thought it was
strange he hadn't heard the musician make any noise since he had arrived
and certainly he had expected a reaction when he had shot the arrow.
Sheepishly realizing he should have warned the person inside (it's not like
he and Gwen had been particularly silent so the element of surprise had
already been lost) he tied his end of the rope to the branch above him and
began sliding down onto the hut. He landed heavily and tugged until the
knot slipped free then cut the arrow and removed that end of the rope. As
he was thinking about how to get down without falling down the hill he
saw Gwen climbing up a tree that had fallen against the hill and had for
some reason not slipped off. Noticing there was a sort of platform, making
the hill more of a mesa; he jumped down and gave Gwen a sour look.
"I thought you were going to tell me if you found anything:'
"Well you had already shot the arrow so I wanted to see if you could
actually make it. You really are quite graceful:'
"Still, it would have been easier to just climb up:'
'Twould have, surely. Shall we go in?"
"Yes but I'll go first. It's a bit suspicious that no one has said any-
thing yet, especially

Cotton knocked on the door and called to whoever was inside to
open up. When there was no answer he gave his bow and quiver to Gwen
and made sure he would be able to draw his sword quickly. He was going
to kick in the door, then saw the pane-less window and jumped in there.
He was met by an astounding sight; no maiden sat in the hut but a young
man and not just any man but a Saracen! Dark skin like leather with coal
black hair and strangely warm brown eyes. Cotton was starting to note his
loose trousers and his vest sans shirt when the man drew a curved sword
and advanced. Cotton drew his own straight blade and hoped the curva-
ture wouldn't put him at a disadvantage. They clashed and Cotton quickly
backed away, to avoid losing his sword in a battle of strength which he was
sure he'd lose. Seeing the harp that must have been where the music had
come from earlier he hazarded a question in the midst of the fight.
you the one playing earlier?"
should ask his name if you're going to talk in a fight;' said
Gwen from the window.
alright! Sorry, what's your name and were you the one
playing the harp earlier?"
The Saracen looked a bit puzzled by the situation with his opponent
bantering and a strange fire-haired girl casually holding a warrior's bow in
the window. He did manage to answer and continue the fight however
"My name is Zain and yes I was indeed who was playing that harp.
Why do you ask?"
"It was very beautiful, probably the most beautiful music I have
ever heard. I had to know who was playing that music it was so magnifi-
cent. It is good to know that your hands are as skilled with the harp as the
is good that you have said this. May we pause in our bout? It is a
good fight but I do not think we need to battle:'
''And why is that, Zain?" Cotton slowly put down his blade and
sheathed it as Zain did the same.

"You were lead here by my music played on that harp which was
created by one of my father's, the Sultan Behar's, djinni. He had me sent far
away to play that harp until it brought my love to me. My father had hoped
that since I was an unorthodox son, this unorthodox method would work
out. But he did not know how unorthodox I am so I do not think he will be
entirely pleased with the outcome:'
you say. I guess I too am unorthodox and my parents
don't know either. Can't say they'd be too pleased.
"Oh for crying out loud! Kiss each other already!
If you keep talk-
ing I'll leave you both here:'
"I cannot kiss him yet ... "
"Gwen. Gwendolen Miller"
"I cannot kiss him yet Gwendolen because I need to know his
"Well that's a bit of a problem. I call him Cotton but that's just be-
cause he doesn't remember his real name so he's
"That's all I needed to know:'
Zain quickly closed the distance between himself and Cotton and
kissed Cotton on the lips, drawing Cotton to him with an arm around the
waist and one about the head. Cotton was thinking that it was good that
they were about equal in height when something clicked in him. He re-
membered that his parents had enlisted the help of his fairy godmother to
forget his "unorthodox" nature by controlling his name. The idea was that
the right princess would inspire him to love her and thus he would be fixed
and his name returned. He remembered the argument he had had with his
parents and the anger he had felt as his memory faded. He also remem-
bered that his name was Dafydd.
name is Dafydd!"
"Daft? I could have told you that!" said Gwen, a smile on her face.
have broken the curse on me Zain and I'm eternally grateful.
Is there anything I can do for you?"

you can think of a way to please my father with this outcome
that might help. On the other hand, I could not care less about what my
father says anymore. Besides I have a younger sister. She will give my father
just what he wanted; a fiery bloody-minded warrior:'
"It's settled then, let's be off!" said Dafydd.
"Where to now that neither of us have homes?" said Zain.
"To our happily ever after of course. We're princes, we deserve at
least one!
And with that, they climbed down the hill
escorted Gwen back to
her town where she would soon become the strongest political power, en-
acting many wonderful changes, and generally having a good life whether
or not she had a man in her life (that month).
The princes got another horse for Zain, named Nuria, and at last
they rode back to Dafydd's kingdom where, Zain at his side, Dafydd sternly
reprimanded his parents for cursing him ("Whether it's a witch or a fairy
godmother, sanctioned by parents or no, it's still a curse!" went one line
in the conversation) and told them in no uncertain terms that they would
reign as King and King Consort. As for the royal line, Daffyd named one
of his favorite nieces Crown Princess and set about establishing a parlia-
ment where the common folk could address their concerns to the royal
and noble circles as well as take part in running the country. And so they
created their own happily ever after
The End.


calls to us.
we do not
to the stars
Ca r
s a
a n
Ryan Crawford





by Nicholas Bolt
A reversal of fortune,
Is measured - proportioned
By what is squelched and squandered away.
Morals adored,
Are thrown overboard
By the sequenced, silencing sway.
Engorging delight,
In the blustering night
That makes the modest - blaming.
A reversal of fortune,
Is measured - proportioned
When the moon of self-worth is waning.

Red and Green
by Lauren Hall
My teacher Ms
Gray says the sky is blue cuz it's talkin back to the water,
tellin him not to be so glum. That makes sense to me. Nobody likes a sad
person, they'se even worse than angry people.
I wish the sky would talk to Uncle Johnnie and tell him not to be so glum.
I wish the sky'd tell him to yell at me. When he hollers I can figure out
what's wrong; he's usually yellin it when he's tellin me, but at least he's say
sumthin. He ain't say nothin when he's sittin off on that crusty old oak tree
stump-the one Nana says our family cut down like fifty sumthin years
ago. He just looks downright melancholy. Ms. Gray taught me that word.
like being sad
but feelin ok about it. She says time slows down for mel-
ancholy people, haze gathers 'round they heads.
Nana says stump-time is Uncle Johnnie's quiet time. I used to think that
meant he got hisself into trouble, and had to sit in time-out. But I figure
that's not right, cuz he sets down on that stump all by hisself.
I used to get real close to him, looking like I was pickin dandelions so I
could make one of them ugly-looking weed necklaces that the other girls
make-I figured that'd be a good idea cuz Nana's always ask me why I don't
act more like them otha' girls. I almost picked a dandelion from right-out-
unda' Uncle Johnnie's flimsy shoe once, but he don't notice. He act like I
ain't even there.
He been melancholy a lot. Nana's friends notice. When they come ova'
theys sittin on the porch sippin and talkin, talkin and sippin, rockin back
and forth in they chairs, tellin Nana it look like he deaf or sumthin. Gretta,
from down the road, say that e'en if a twister come rippin through town,

tearin up houses,
fences, and animals,
Uncle Johnnie
wouldn't pay no
mind, he'd just
on that
and watch
Gretta tells that
joke a
lot. She
just laugh and laugh, and sometime
give Nana a
knee slap, tryin to
get her to laugh too. But Nana don't laugh. She just keep rockin back and
forth, forth and back. I don't think it's funny neither. I think Ms. Gretta is
actin' mean.
I wish Ms. Gray would visit the porch, she would tell Ms. Gretta she sit on
the toilet just like Uncle Johnnie. She says it don't matter what kinda toilet
it is, just
long as you usin' one. That's what Ms. Gray tells anybody when
they make fun of a boy in my class, Jimmy. He can't see colors right. He
can't tell no difference between a red and a green, but Ms. Gray say he just
things different. I can't tell for sure just what she means. She makes a
lot of sense most days, but I think about Jimmy, and I think about the sky
talkin to the water-tellin it not to be so glum-and, it's funny, cuz either
way they talkin, they both is still blue.
But Jimmy's colors is different. He see red and green the same, call
too. Some of the kids make fun of him, but I always thought that it'd
be kinda nice to see red and green togetha, or next to each other, or all at
once. I tried seeing like Jimmy a few times. I took some berries and leaves,
petals and stems, took some rabbit blood and pine needles and
mashed em all together. None of em mixed too well. Maybe I shoulda
asked Jimmy for help, or maybe Uncle Johnnie would know best.

Ode to
My Grandmother's Diamonds
by Marygrace Navarra
Diamonds, their glint in the eyes of young girls
in puppy love, too-young love
expiration-dated college love
short-lived love.
In diamond mines, "look at that rock" -
within the black carbon rock is the shine, it means striking gold in diamonds and
being rich in love and dirt and diamonds
dirty overworked men want them for their wives.
Love, married
at-nineteen love and sweat
at a new job, an electrician. A boss. A paycheck, once
forgetting it was for bread, buying
diamonds instead.
He worked overtime for them, electricity
and diamonds are probably what
love is made from
a young husband, a young husband's love and
a young wife's love of her husband and of this gift, diamonds
which her mother did not have and never saw.
I love you, Mary"

Diamonds sparkle with meaning to young girls
when listening to stories
of their grandfathers -
I'm told mine spent his first paycheck
on diamonds for my grandmother.
My grandmother loves earrings
especially ever-electric earrings
she gave me the ones I suspect she loves most -
they're two diamond earrings
the American Dream bright in two diamond ear-
a boat, an ocean, "Irish Need Not Apply"
diamonds, diamonds are for
ever if I wonder what he was like
I'll know he was a giver of diamonds

Last Night
By Bridget Rasmusson
Last night, I experienced a panicked moment. I was overpowered by a sud-
den and inexplicable sense of loss: loss of motivation, loss of purpose, loss
of inspiration, loss of self. Imagined, invisible bullet holes dotting my life
were proof to me of the irrevocable damage that was done, of the psycho-
logical damage that I was doing to my own person. Five minutes ticked
by on the rounded face of a watch, and panic was still waging war against
proving the decided victor.
what makes you tick? What is your passion?" I stared at my friend's
textual inquiries with a foreign and all-consuming feeling that was blank-
ness. Hollowness. I stared at his brave attempts at consolation. My two
hands, my fingers, one thumb and its twin, proved their anatomi-
uselessness. They mocked me with their refusal to function, their
and cries of mutiny. As did my slowed and sluggish thoughts.
was the post -traumatic stress of eating a banana split sundae in record
was brain freeze.
was pure, unadulterated panic.
Five more minutes, indicated by the journey of the clock hands, their desti-
nation being the next hour. Still winning.
I rallied. Appearing on the laptop screen were a few awkward words, strung
together by my desperate, if self-deluding, hope that something would
right and ring true, even if it was only a fragment of truth.
hope that if I could just kept re-phrasing and re-editing and re-slashing
re-arranging, perhaps I could find an answer to his question that I was
proud-75%, 84%, 93%-to offer. An aged Roman aqueduct some-
where within
the recesses of my psyche had broken and I began
search, reaching
intangible. Something that I inherently felt
longer mine
to have or claim. Maybe it
happiness. Maybe it

I succumbed. Sometimes, it is best. To swim in panic, breaking the riptide
only to put more sunscreen on your blistering shoulders and dive once
more. To allow yourself to be swallowed by darkness, to become darkness
itself, to breathe honesty in through dual nostrils and out through a quiver-
ing mouth. I looked out the window, past the tears of Mother Nature that
clung to four glass panes. Just as the rain was drowning my backyard, so
was panic drowning me.
Last night, I was lost: an emotional Yo-Yo, a seasoned circus performer
who fell off the taut, slim tightrope even though she had made it across one
hundred times, a masquerader who misplaced her mask while mindlessly
"Five-hundred-and-forty minutes have passed;' says the little clock to my
groggy eyes. This morning, I am found.

Gone Indefinitely: 4 Valves
by Tahara Roberts
it's 440am.
clock in for a little schizophrenia.
girl all fucked and interrupted;
troubled without a heated body sleeping
next to her
scraping for something to wrap herself in
but with thought's embrace
broad shoulders weigh all the way down.
this broad is self conscious of her aligning hips,
twisted pinky finger,
a stutter,
a breast bigger than the other.
the marks are stretched and spreading.
girl all fucked and interrupted.
with emotions radiating high
fevers and hot spring tears spilling because
heart valves went missing,
leaving behind just a shell.
sitting still,
breathing into wind-chill filled panes:
terminal her


Everybody Knows Mr. Social
By Taylor Foreman-Niko
Everybody knows Mr. Social. He is the new god, the fresh standard,
an omnipresent technological entity that inhabits both man and machine,
a bifurcated being that exists simultaneously in two interconnected proces-
Behind the aqueous pane of the computer screen, he lounges upon his
throne of ones and zeroes, of hyperlinks and embeds, of pixels and cascad-
ing style
sheets, king to an endless, ever-expanding horde. Behind glazed
gelatinous orbs, he sits erect upon a cranial cathedra of desire, the
bishop of the new age, orating a message of connectivity through a virulent
viral stream.
His visage is multifaceted, ephemeral in its ceaseless expan-
his message transcending both brand and corporation. He professes
the herald for a new time, to which there is no denying. He is the
of modern communication, the courier between forgotten
and distant lovers, he is also the drug that goads the tripper into
of flight, the pistol in the bureau of the inconsolably depressed.
He is
Mr. Social and he is everywhere.
his pixelated throne of interface and code, he manages a
of media. Where once there was "one's space" there is now no
the privacy once possessed long eroded to the powerful potentiation
the ceaseless internet machine that has leveled every barrier between the
individual and the whole. Mr. Social's subjects now occupy a vast field of
personal information, each seed self-planted and cultivated to perfection, a
harvest waiting to be reaped. These subjects exist in every shape
and size,
nationality and creed, every purpose and cause, for Mr. Social's
is inescapable, even necessary to the quickened birth of a new-
born movement, the facilitation of the burgeoning enterprise, or the resur-
of the long-dying company. Mr. Social's reach has grown far, expand-
ing beyond
the domain of the books
the buckets of photos to
the realm of entertainment and
To shop online

to the wish lists of others, to browse the latest cinema reviews is
be asked
to post one's thoughts
the web, to support a cause is
push a
upon a screen.
once one had to search for news, now one receives it,
receives it all, from
the tweeted
musings of
to the
headlines of the
world's largest news corporations.
All of these
from virtual
compacted, redacted,
to a
computer screen, a pure line of connectivity ready to be
the mind. Yet what
one to do when they leave that glorious portal, that
web-way to the world beyond? Mr. Social
not to worry, for he
has breached such fragile confines and found his way into even the small-
mobile phone. His power has muddled associations. Blackberries are
longer fruit. Droids are no longer from a galaxy far, far away. They have
changed just as people have changed, heartened by the ease of Mr. Social's
a personal regression in the face of technological progression.
When one has a
he delivers; satiating that endless yearning for connec-
tion, that need for awareness no matter how miniscule the subject. Now
Mr. Social never has to leave anyone and they never have to leave him. By
his nature, however, Mr. Social is not merely a courier of electronic mes-
but also a mouthpiece, a plenipotentiary, an avatar for all the lonely
There is no I in virtual space, only the representation of I, the
hologram, flickering and two-dimensional, facilitated by the offerings
of Mr. Social. Upon their virtual walls, people post their lives, exposing
themselves upon a vast, public stage. On the web, they are whoever the
wish to be, Mr. Social doesn't care. They can recreate themselves, photo by
photo, comment by comment, a self-made construct of their perfect life.
They can call attention to their whereabouts, share errant thoughts, post
their existential musings, rage about what they hate, pronounce what they
love; Mr. Social lets them do it all. Alone, however, these declarations are
meaningless. As with symbols, they are given meaning by people - which
Mr. Social has in droves. Every forgotten high school friend, every passing

awkward acquaintance, every vengeful lover, every
cousin, every
mother, father, daughter and son, they exist upon the endless, unicentric
plane of Mr. Social's virtual space, but a click away. For those who have not
yet felt the urge to answer his call, just wait, Mr. Social has faith. The need
for his presence, the need for his designs may one day be universal, as the
definition of human relations morphs into something new, something now
called progress, once called deadening. The old friendship necessitated
continual and direct communication; the new has postulated that one can
have a hundred friends, a thousand friends that exist as nothing more than
a picture and a name. How convenient Mr. Social has made the world!
They can be unfriended, they can be ignored; the requirement for their
continued association is that there is no requirement. Their friendship is
not something to be nurtured or valued, rather a number in a long string
of numbers, the measure of contemporary worth. Mr. Social has both
invigorated and crippled modern communication. He has brought people
together that have never been farther apart. He has changed what is means
to be lonely. He has become the basis for daily relations. Modern youth are
capable of flinging hundreds of messages across virtual space in the space
of an hour, their thumbs moving as if independent of their body, a presti-
digitation daily refined, yet they become anxious and wandering-eyed at
address of an adult, the physical realm disallowing their ability
to delay, to ignore, to speak without speaking. Yet words retain their power
form, the power to rouse, to sadden, to kill.
Mr. Social is a killer, the leader of the new cult, the man in the
bronco. His ubiquitous reach is that of every bully, every inconsider-
ate friend,
every small-minded individual with a superiority complex. With
Mr. Social, there is no such thing as gossip, spread discreetly from person
to person. That private,
information is free to the masses, a
virtual fire that cannot be extinguished. In a world where the
amount of responses
one has to their
update is a measure of worth,
the impact of a circulated
untruth can be disastrous
deadly. Words

spoken through Mr
Social's many mouths are far more hurtful than sticks
and stones; they expose a person, surround
and suffocate them
the unfeeling comments
of those far,
"friends:' Existing
field, there
is no
hope for dismissal; all
revelations are
manent. Through
their digital
no measurable
the pain, nothing to see
hear of the
sufferer's grief.
Mr. Social
the guilty the ability for wanton degradation, both effortless
moved. Yet nothing passes without consequence
for every broken teen
that crawls through the morass of their social life with the hope that there
is something
better, there are those that simply sink. A mother buys her
daughter scarves for her birthday. Five months later she finds the girl hung
by them in the closet, neck livid with color, limp as a marionette without
strings, save
one. A young man, made to be ashamed for his sexuality, ut-
ters his last words not by voice, but through text, pasted upon his virtual
like an epitaph. An hour later he sails off the edge of a bridge, a pale
through the darkness to a watery end. These are the victims
of Mr. Social, that hydra-like being that exists in his multitudinous forms.
Though his intention is not inherently malevolent, it is tainted like all
things by the human presence, the very thing for which he was made.
Despite his crimson, sticky hands, Mr. Social saunters on, invad-
ing and pervading all forms of modern entertainment, wholly unable to be
blamed for the damage he has caused. In the end, Mr. Social is what one
makes of him. He can be an empowering friend, one that allows for per-
transformation, one that can reach across continents, one that can
alert and address instantly. He can be a dangerous agent, one whose per-
dissolves privacy, one that allows malevolence without immedi-
consequence. He can be the reason for a rekindled love. He can be the
reason for absent friends
He is Mr. Social and he is everywhere. Everybody
knows Mr. Social.

by Lauren hall
Of all the questions we might ask,
we know that none of them matter.
A burning ball of light smashed,
destroying earth for the dinosaurs.
But most dinosaurs don't matter;
they lived, died, and will decay.
Earth destroyed the dinosaurs
by giving them heartbeats.
Living, dying, and decaying
describes a cyclical relationship.
Heartbeats birth more heartbeats
with better-practiced-rhythms.
Describing a cyclical relationship,
tells the enlightened story of history,
as it adds bettered, practiced rhythms.
Dinosaurs would tell us to fear light.
History tells us that light burns,
when amassed in a ball that smashes.
But, that doesn't me we should fear,
because dinosaurs don't matter.

Amassed in a ball of light,
new life, new species, live
with the matter of dinosaurs
encoded in their memories.
New life breeds new species
that live life better informed
knowing encoded memories
do prevent the perfect storm.
That life can live better informs
us of all the questions we might ask.
Preventing the perfect storm
can save earth for dinosaurs.

Potential Energy
by Jessica Sturtevant
All matter moves and changes;
all change and movement matter,
especially the movement of us,
dancing in the narrow space of your kitchen.
All change makes movement matter
and uncertainty is the tempo we keep,
dancing in the narrow space of your kitchen
in an accidental waltz.
Uncertainty is the tempo
pulsing behind our casual conversations,
as we waltz around the tension,
and my sleeve brushes your hair.
The pulse behind our casual conversations
is subtle and strange, the whisper
of your sleeve brushing my hair
as I whip milk into cream,

subtle and strange, whispering
of molecular transformation.
I stand, whipping milk into cream,
watching strawberries fly under your knife
Molecular transformation
occurs here, as
strawberries fly under your knife
and stray into my mouth.
Occurring here and now
are all the wonders coming true.
Your words stray into my mouth
as you move close and away.
All the wonders are coming true:
All matter moves and changes
as you move close and away,
into the movement of us.



Devin Dickerson, Rachael Shockey, James Napoli, Olivia McMahon,
Victoria Huntsinger, Kellie Hayden
Carolyn Rivas, Meg Flannery, Raven Baptiste
We are honored to have had the chance to work with such imagi-
native and inspiring pieces of work. We thank the people who submit-
ted their art, and also the dedicated group that helped put this together.
There is so much color, soul and care in here; we hope that as you read
you will be shocked, stimulated, and smitten.
Raven Baptiste
Meg Flannery


Is Format Of