Monday, December 12, 2011
[Ophelia’s Ghost enters on stage]
Oh, Hamlet! Why did you drive me to this?
Why throw me in the abyss of despair?
I loved you and I thought you felt the same.
But was it all a ruse, an illusion?
Did I become like dead flowers to you?
Once you treated me like a fine red rose.
Then you abhorred me like I was nightshade.
Is it my fault for abandoning you,
When you needed my love for you the most?
Should I have disregarded my father,
And ran towards you when I had the chance?
Should I have ignored my dear brother,
And given you my violets instead?
As the rain falls strongly so do my tears.
My tears run like the brook that took my life.
Surrounded by flowers, I drowned and died.
Madness led me to believe that I’d live,
That I would melt into the blue waters,
That I would be restored like the flowers,
Heliotrope, Lily of the Valley
Orange Blossoms and the Forget-me-not
After all, they are most beautiful wet
But instead life is worthless as weeds.
I gave you everything and look at me.
I have no reason to exist again!
Now the king and my brother seek your death.
There is nothing I can do to stop this!
All I can give you now are these few words.
Take care, my dear Hamlet, tread carefully,
Or end up a wandering ghost like me.
Monday, November 28, 2011
by Lucas Olson
Monday, November 14, 2011
A whisp of words,
A tinkling of notes,
The soul's sweet voice raised on high.
The harmonious trails of silence ring in our ears,
And intonations built on emotions
Reproduce their origins in passers-by.
The bottles of screams roll down cheeks,
Smiles squeak and bounce to pull past teeth,
We wiggle and sway,
To the rhythm of our hearts' familiar grace.
The peace of sorrow,
The heights of joy,
A burst of pure life,
No flat sound do we hear.
The colors of sunrise,
The trickling of rain,
A vitality so near,
A pounding in sync.
We vibrate within our shells,
Creating melodies of our own,
Adding to the waves we receive,
And building our song.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
in a chair.
in a perspective.
in the past,
in the present,
in the future.
I'm stuck in the net of the human race.
in the world's norms,
my own goals,
my life's pounding.
Time to break free.
Who but me holds me here?
Who says I can't live with integrity?
Who says what I've done is worthless?
Who says I'm not already who I want to be?
Who says I'm stuck?
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Yourself aside against
The gravity of ages---wrong
An elbow transfers energy
More than a lightning strike.
Drawn in by this community
To drown in dry and drink.
Sweet hyssop I have never known---
It is the thing it is---
Until we candy---to commune---
The plant---you break from this.
As how could we who have not lived
Give lives and love---and leave
The questioning of what we give---
Ascribe not ascertain?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Adored the polished brass
Became the sainted bones
From our hardened lips
We turn marble words
That cannot rise
That cannot take us with them
The wood could not be trained to speak
So she burned the forest down
Walked away with a nail in her mouth, stone in her hand
Found a telephone pole, called the place Sedbo'u
Knocked a For Sale sign
In above her head, her back to the post
From our hardened lips
We turn marble words
That will not rise
That would not take us with them
I passed with vinegar three times
She wanted water, but
That was never done before
Now Sedbo'u is Spatium
The wires were placed underground
Everyone knew this was coming
But nobody saw her go
From our hardened lips
We turn marble words
That will not rise
We polish them
Thursday, March 24, 2011
“Professor Patrick Grangerford,” read the gold letters on the door of room 228, which is where Professor Patrick Grangerford teaches. He has 137 pupils to whom he lectures at nine o’ clock in the morning, and again at four in the afternoon.
His pupils enjoy him and his classes are full. In fact, Prof. Grangerford has just been given a salary raise, but he has yet to learn this; instead, as he packs his things–a favorite pen, or a coffee mug given him by a student–into his bag, he’s thinking about his little daughter at home, who’s just started liking Barbie and who watches Dragon Tales on the TV. Just like on every other Thursday afternoon–it is Thursday, and Prof. Grangerford is flying to New Orleans this weekend–he locks the supply cabinet, shuts off the overhead, and then pulls the shades to.
But something happens, and he does not pull the shades (and maybe the janitor would question this, but he wouldn’t ever have an answer for why). Prof. P. Grangerford either forgets to pull them, or else is stopped--prevented physically from doing so–and something has caused this (because it can't have been any fault of his own).
Actually, Professor G. is probably in the act of doing so when, crawling onto the window frame to reach a shade, he looks through a window pane and sees something through it. He cannot understand, at first, what he's seeing, so squints, but something has undeniably clumb onto a high-up windowsill within the stairwell of another wing, and is (probably) clutching its knees (or maybe it's lying prostrate); but, anyhow, that figure in the window is a person–a startling person–whom Prof. G. knows (after he recovers from the sight) is in distress.
After a few minutes’ elapse, he has come through a couple hallways and has found the stairwell and the phantom. She is sitting, and she is dangling a leg where it rubs the glass. She’s oblivious, even though Professor Grangerford knows that his phantom (no longer a phantom, but a person with a thought and a will) has heard his tapping shoes on the polished floor.
“G’deevning”–his words are not so loud, nor so sudden, and are almost expected.
A nod replaces reply. He becomes frustrated.
“Are you all right?”–this time, his words seem to break the atmosphere, and they sound frustrated. The creature, the girl, must know that the words are for his gain, and not for hers–but they are truly spoken out of concern.
She speaks in what is almost a cough. Professor G. hears the dry lips tear apart before the utterance of speech, and it seems the very muscles in that unattuned throat have nearly forgotten their use.
His action has proved ineffectual. The Professor's reaction evoked by this student is useless. Suavity has failed him: he climbs the stairs and his tapping shoes tap down along another hallway around the corner.
Friday, March 18, 2011
and sea form into one.
Let Adam’s feet
return to clay,
Let it d i f f u s e
before it pass the tongue
Into the crumbling man turning earth
Into the black gas, choking,
Into mechanical turning of earth
Into rivers, streams yet-smoking
While some billion counted crowns are fed
Necessity commercialized, electric shocks;
Some billion-dollar industry thanking,
(moments some billion years undoing).
Earth bled, Say, and shrank to nothing.
Say I shrank and nothing bled,
That my lips one dark breath choked
On indecision|Barring Eden
(in my head).
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Volume XXIV includes work by Sarah Zuidema, Madeline MacDougal, Tyler Devlin, Micaela O'Connor, Joanna McKinnon, Wes Dunn, Maryka Gillis, Alexandra Hanley, Hannah Sumner, Pauline Cruz, Elizabeth MacDougal, Kristina Bandoni, Alex Bigger-Allen, Philip Curcuru, Ryan Fulford, Kara Papa, and last year's editors Eric Brown, Amy Carpenter, Hayden Wilson, and Terri Moody.
The preview of volume XXV includes a photograph by Lucas Olson, microfiction by Nicole Dahlmer, and a poem by Elizabeth MacDougal.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Nor wants of limbs they hewed to clear the view
Of that, the breath of this transpired to dew,
Young waterway gone brackish, salt marsh greaves
I could recall from grasses now frost sheaves,
Divert my mind from roads salt-crusted, cracked
That brackish turn the sweeter water (cast
By car tires, trudging, gritty splashes; leaked
To huddled roots corroding froze-bark sleeves
Tucked up, tight, pericyclic; toxin-wracked),
Could overlook, not focus my fault shared,
Or silent tongue, preserving (hushed) the soul,
To know of somewhere's influence yet spared,
That time dispensing which: facile--until.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
And then the rain came.
That's all I remember.
But it might have gone like this:
It was a Thursday evening when I made the decision, as good a day as any to be drastically dramatic. “It's now or never,” I say. And “never” was really not an option at all. The moment was now.
I get in, close the door. No sound, no warmth. It's cold. It's always cold here. Even in the blistering heat of the summer's reign, this town is still cold, cold and unforgiving.
I drive down the hills. The roads aren't smooth, not safe at all, but I go faster and faster until-bump-I almost crashed, I swear I almost crashed.
It was as if my life flashed before my eyes.
And how very dreary it was.
The roads are flat now, better for the brakes they say.
I stop, even though I don't have to, look, even though I don't have to.
What exactly is the right-of-way anyways?
Which way am I going, how do I have it, and is it really right?
I don't really question, I just think.
I pull out into the street and I just wait, just for a little bit, for no real reason at all.
What if this is my last moment?
What if right now, a car speeding by in the oppressive darkness strikes me dead, cold.
What if a meteor falls from the sky and crushes me into a million little pieces, gone.
A few more moments pass me by and I'm closer now. I'm closer to the shore. I can sense it as I roll down my windows and inhale the scent, the salty, bitter cold of the sea air. It thrusts past me, what else, cold. And just when I begin to think that maybe this isn't right, maybe there is no perfect place, I am here, this is it. I pull over to the side of the road, get out of my car and walk slowly, but surely to the bridge. I walk the planks, they creak, I don't care, it's none of their business. The sand brushed upon the wooden floor beneath me causes traction between it and my shoes. “Don't” it says, “go back”.
But I keep walking. I keep walking.
As I take my first steps into the sand, I nearly couldn't get back up, it pulls me in, trying to engulf me in one fell swoop. Over and over again, I escape. I hate the sand and have no time for it now. No time. I continue the routine until the sand is hard enough and more stable that it lets me go. I am practically thrown upon the beach. I walk little by little to the shore's line. It ebbs and flows in a rhythmic pattern, pushing closer and yet farther away from me. The stars are all I see above, small specks in the massive insignificance. The tide comes in higher now, it reaches my shoes. I paid good money for them. Such a shame. Splash, splash, splash. I'm an obstruction. An obstacle.
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that…
Why think anymore, why bother? This is it, this is the moment. The sea is calling me. I look out for one last moment; the expansiveness of the ocean astounds me and terrifies me all at the same time. I would be just as essential there as I am here. Might as well be. I run. I can't jump, it's up to my ankles. So I run. I run into the sea and I don't stop. I'm soaking wet. I hate wet socks, I hate them. I run until I can't run any longer, until my feet can't touch the ground and until I can't feel anything at all. I float flat on my back and look up. But it was then, that I remember, looking up, that a drop of water hit my forehead. It was dark, and it was cold, and it was quiet. And then the rain came. It poured down unto me and then I realized that this isn't how it's supposed to end, and that I'm not the best swimmer, and the stars were there for a reason, and then I remembered that he said he would never let us perish by flood ever again.
So I got out, I got out of there. I pushed my way back to the beach, and fell down again once I hit the land. I looked up again, still in the pouring rain, and thought this was good enough. So I laid there and waited, and breathed.
When I was ready, I got up, and started to walk back to my car, and back home.
Pretending none of this had ever happened, and that it was all better now.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
They are quiet now. Cold frost cannot nip colder toes. Dead heads of last season’s grass grows thick with the white precipitate. And heaped over still-standing stones in the wall, drifted tall against the slanted slates so old, the snow will inundate the solid turf in time. But now the winter scene that plays upon a stage which should be so serene, does not tell of future thaw–nor does it tell of death.
My life has always been an animated thing untinged by the solemn bodies below the overgrown curvature of earth which composes the grave yard’s bed. Observing now the locust trees grown tall and thorny in their age among the last age’s life, I can recall little foreboding in their imposing form; more memories of them are tense from the dread of discovery as I crouched behind their rough trunks in a neighborhood game of manhunt. The effect of the Dead beneath my feet was no fresher then than now, and the symbolic grievance of the graves seemed a thing unnatural in emotion, yet natural as a response. The yard to me is a human construction that I know to be a cry–yet cannot hear. I have noted, sure, the growth of the stones as the dated centuries changed, as though the deceased feared each other’s fate, and tried to reach high from where they lay. I knew they were no more. As I looked out the window each morning, though, or left the house, catching sight unconsciously of the long cemetery, the tombs became a familiar presence, rather than the tags of absence.
Frost has now obscured the scene, and where I have just pressed my warm palm, its print still dripping, a different churchyard is visible. Hundreds of graves, this time blank, attest to unknown death. In this absent note of absence, I am reminded for whom the bell tolls.