2006 – 2007
W. C. MEPHAM HIGH SCHOOL
2006 - 2007
Editors-in-chief: Julio Perez, Sarah Vignola, & Linda Zhou
Steve Albers Sara Hashmi Matt Sable
Laura Anzalone Eric Hatt Max Sanacore
Liz Balas Mike Lawoo Simon Schwartz
Kristin Bauer Dylan Levene Leonard Sery
Lisa Bernstein Diana Lipman Val Shapiro
Anthony Brienza Riana Mahmood Jason Seligson
Matt Brescia Matt Markakis Julie Sternbach
Brandon Brociner Sean Martin Mike Tully
David Brunton Amaurry Navarro Victoria Varsos
Gina Buccellato Katie O’Brien Matt Wasserman
Margaret DeLauter Chris Parker Derek Widmann
Sasha Fine Michael Pawlowski Rachel Wolin
Alyssa Gobetz Stephanie Rosen
Emily Grazia Jessica Rubinstein
Original Cover Design: Eleni Giorgos
Special thanks to Mrs. Netto and all contributors, without whom this
publication would not be possible.
Board of Education
Dr. Matthew Kuschner, President
Nina Lanci, Vice President
Janet Goller John Pinto
Andrea Messinger Diane Seaman
Mary Oporto Ted Tanenbaum
Poetry & Prose
Title Author Page Number
Haiku Julio Perez Jr. 4
That’s Life Rocco Giamatteo 5
I’m Forever the Pessimist Jessica Rubenstein 6
I am Porcelain Cream Danielle Taylor 7
Silent Night Eric Hatt 7
Mirror of Change Lisa Bernstein 8
The Rift Derek Widmann 8
Rays of Hope Rachel Wolin 9
The Shore in Gray Anthony Brienza 10
I Wonder Amanda Kanarak 11
Regret Paige Chirco 11
Supernova Julie Sternbach 12 – 16
My Mind is Shaped Through My Voice Riana Mahmood 17
Only Once Sasha Fine 18
The Silence of Memories Jonathan Gimpelman 18
IT Hurts Martha Parker 19
Leaving My Heaven Dan Lupu 19
Change Kristen O’Leary 20
In Hopes to Fly Kelly Butterworth 20
The Balcony David Dixon 21
O Father Julio Perez Jr. 22
Unseen Robyn Macy 22
Coming to Terms Anonymous 23
My Perspective Robyn Macy 24
How Do You Make Change? Jessica Rubenstein 25
My Soul Screaming Out Loud Sara Hashmi 26
The Forest Alex Bendernagel 27
Look up … Rachel Wolin 28
Me vs. Society Riana Mahmood 29
It’s Not That Long Dean Kaufman 29
A Million Little Pieces Lisa Bernstein 30
Night Vision Dana LeBlanc 31
Loss Anonymous 32
Captivated Leah Haimson 32
Misguided to Echo Eric Hatt 33
The Light Anthony Brienza 34
Perspective Katie Wolgewuth 34
This Poem is Not Written in Japanese Dean Kaufman 35
Through His Eyes Stefanie Lugassy 36
Life Anonymous 37
Little Man David Brunton 38
Opposite Danielle Ippolito 39
The Sinatra Pirates Rocco Giamatteo 40-41
Bliss Anonymous 42
Dance Break Humanities Tim Mahabir 42
The Remote Lake Tom Trousdell 43
Cadence Aurora Parlagreco 44
Artist Medium Page Number
Julio Perez Jr. Drawing 4
Jackie Sarfati Photograph 5
Radhika Koyawala Drawing 6
Brianne Pepe Photograph 7
Anthony Brienza Photograph 7
Robyn Macy Drawing 8
Danielle Taylor Photograph 9
Evan Jackson Photograph 10
Radhika Koyawala Drawing 10
Radhika Koyawala Drawing 11
Kristen Bauer Drawing 16
Melissa Dwyer Drawing 17
Eleni Giorgos Photograph 18
Kristen O’Leary Photograph 20
Anonymous Drawing 21
Jessica Bruni Drawing 22
Julio Perez Jr. Drawing 22
Eric Lewis Painting 23
Kerri Brienza Photograph 24
Eleni Giorgos Photograph 25
Kristen Bauer Drawing 26
David Dixon Painting 28
Aurora Parlagreco Drawing 29
Eleni Giorgos Drawing 30
Chelsey Sanes Photograph 31
Mary Fox Drawing 32
David Foldes Painting 33
Anthony Brienza Photograph 34
Beth Zink Photograph 35
Tara Donlon Drawing 36
Courtney Carroll Photograph 37
Jessica Bruni Drawing 38
Aurora Parlagreco Drawing 39
Robyn Macy Drawing 42
Leslie Harper Photograph 43
Julio Perez Jr. Drawing 44
Floral prints flutter
On running summer dresses
Brown stroked bare shoulders.
Wet breath whispering
Among the hot shadows in
The ending of days
Raindrops in my wake
Rest is nothing but release
I am coming home.
-Julio Perez Jr.
Julio Perez Jr.
Golden streaks of summer’s dim afternoon
blanketing the endless street
The sky painted atop a wondrous blush
The pavement glazed with luster
Mercedes convertible reeling through
gleaming in perfection
Sinatra sailing along
Papa and his grandson
Showered with the sun
Streaks of August swimming with them
Reveling in the breeze of the topless Mercedes
Papa lights up a cigar
The world’s majesty projected through a dusted speaker
“Drift though life
Sail on a balloon
Your eyes open for more
Smile in this moment”
And as funny as it may seem
I get my kicks
Floatin’ on a dream
And if there’s nothin’ shakin’
I’ll wrap my self in a big ball
They drive off under a sky painted to a wondrous blush
The world dangling on a string around their fingers
Jackie Sarfati -Rocco Giamatteo
I’m forever the pessimist
Always have been, probably always will be
But you be different
Different in a way I can’t possibly describe
You argue that the world is black and white,
And expect me to rebuttal and say that the pastel pallet is all
But I actually don’t see that either.
I see the world as white.
Plain; open; innocent; blank;
Just wait ing for ME to add the color.
You erase your words over and over again,
refusing to accept them until they spill out just right.
But I don’t see the point in dotting my “i”s
and crossing my “t”s to perfection anymore,
because the imperfection is what sparks the rhythm.
So let your pulse beat out of sync.
Because even though you say it’s dangerous,
It’s really the only thing that sets you apart
In this world full of
I guess you just see things your OWN way.
You can see me,
Speak of me,
However you please.
Your perspective is your prerogative.
But for myself,
I realize now
that I am not as pessimistic
as I thought.
I AM porcelain cream
Auburn hair blowing off steam
Chapped eyes bruised lips oversized
Don’t look again, probably lied.
Silent façade, but awfully loud
Don’t know my name from a crowd
I’ll just chew my teeth into my gums
Listening while the radio hums
I’ll draw and draw until my fingers bleed
I dare to be different but follow the lead.
Searing pain threading up my head
Take those pills ‘til it’s back again
I’m in love with the love that I’m in
Given a heart like the man made of tiin . tn
Curl up in my curves of fabric
a silent night,
common to the week,
yet when blinding lights
cut through darkness,
I did not see their follower
a stalker, hailer,
driving through darkness
blinded by his own light.
when the lights forced me
to scar the street,
I did not see the drive. Anthony Brienza
Mirror of Change
The little girl looked in the mirror,
Pink flurries everywhere
And she realized what she wanted to wear,
a pink feather boa, and two diamond rings -
one from a prince and one from a king.
And twenty years later she looks in the mirror.
She sees who she is
so different, but so sweet
She’s changing, yes it’s true.
Everyone does and so do you.
Why do we change?
To better ourselves and grow
into the people we want to be
The little girl looked in the mirror,
and that is what she said to me.
A swelling gash
For an honest man
The disregard of all destruction
A wound that would not heal
A love to drive him
The will to make it in a harsh time
The lifeless flesh of man surrounds him
The air of sickness and disorder all around
In his exhaustion
He has won.
Rays of Hope
Somewhere only we know, Murder Transaction
Lays that guardian angel She must want to die.
Anticipating the true birth of life Angel of death’s trust competition
To have believed before They must be unworthy.
And stalked since You must be careful.
The introduction that sends You must conform.
Fireworks of pride Be better, Be different,
We were right. When being isn’t good enough
It’s real. It’s that time
Existing as natural magnetics to Flying toward the light
What has always been. Who will tell us when she is gone?
Ode to defying the odds Life continues, but makes the headlines
Memories set in the stones Worried from the shadows of protection
Of embarked territory Even behind enemy lines
Finding the person that Fake reality having to cross the border
Can decide who you are between what we are supposed to know
Because she is you too and the stories of the corpses next door
Farewell my sister We were wrong to send her.
I’ll be home soon. Somewhere only we know.
The Shore in Gray
Summer is no more, upon this winter shore.
Alone, buried in the common recesses of high January,
Summer is dead, but the shore survives
Covered in a blanket of gray.
The waves crash yet, like the fragmented memories of a flourishing time.
The lone sounds echoing in the distance bridge the soul and mind.
Alone I walk, sand mixing with snow,
The footsteps to follow in are mine alone.
The gulls have been silenced, the air stagnated.
The climatic uproar wraps around like antique blankets.
Partial to a whole I stand, high above the snow and sand.
Loneliness, I pray to be my guide, like white to fog gently I hide.
The silence rings as futile speeches,
Unknown to the world’s harsh teaches.
I stand alone and to all I pray
That no other may discover, my shore in gray
- Anthony Brienza
I wonder what will happen
What will be next
What won’t be anymore
out of place
It doesn’t feel right
No more comfort
No more control.
Regret is what I’ve been pondering for the last four days.
I have lied and cheated and hurt the ones I love.
I have said “I’m sorry,” but that doesn’t matter.
If I could go back in time, I would speak how I feel,
even if the consequence was negative.
Nothing will ever be the same because we’re not friends anymore.
You don’t care anymore; I don’t blame you.
I was never honest, and I know you are sick of me.
If I had one last time with you, it would last forever.
There was a promise there that I ignored and should have kept.
The worst part is that it’s all my fault.
I ignored them, lied, and talked about them.
Now everyone said their last words to me.
They’re all friends and I’m not.
I regret that day when I lost the best friends I had.
By Julie Sternbach
"Chris is a nice name."
"How do you know it's a boy?"
"Well, if it's a girl, we can name her Christina."
"What if it's a hermaphrodite?"
"Katherine. Jennifer. Barker. Our baby is not going to be a hermaphrodite."
"You don't know that."
"Yeah, I do."
a time to die.
Lights, flashing insanely. Screams I am deaf to, but I can feel them
reverberating in my broken bones. Fire, licking the street in front of us. Blood,
meandering down the steering wheel. Crash. Accident. Explosion.
This is how the universe started. There was an explosion of nothing, and
then there was us. That’s what we are, I think. A nebula of nonentities, a
plethora of nobody. And then we made a somebody.
There is another blast in front of my eyes, and I see the sun, the moon,
the earth, the stars, our baby, and then I see nothing.
I am still jammed in the car when vision comes back to me like an old
friend, and just like a reunion, it is forced and awkward. Everything is coming
back in shades of red. The cross on the ambulance. The car, smashed and
broken against the one I am in. The blood, thin and watery, narrowing between
my legs like a trail of dead roses.
That’s when I begin to scream. I scream and I scream and I scream, and I
scream until I vomit, and that’s red too.
This time, when I pass out, my thoughts are perfectly coherent; I do not
want to ever wake up again.
a time to rend.
The funeral for my fiancé is two weeks later, on September 26. It is not a
funeral, not really. His remains were cremated before his mother could fly from
Venice to tell the hospital staff to do otherwise. Today, when the over-the-top
mahogany coffin makes a dull, hollow thud against the Earth that is six feet too
deep, the only thing inside of it will be ashes, and I like to imagine they flutter
gently against the impact. I hope they do. I hope they scatter and fly away,
because he could not be contained.
Twelve days ago, Dora, his mother, came over and demanded to know
exactly where her son was.
“An urn,” I replied, and tried to close the door.
But she thrust her parasol through and shoved herself in. “Where is the
urn?” she asked impatiently, her dark, beady eyes darting from side to side.
I led her very slowly, because I was on crutches, to the closet in my
bedroom where, sure enough was his urn. It looked very important there, amidst
papers and old shoes and miscellaneous items existing in anonymity. So
different. So beautiful.
“You stashed my dead son in a closet?!” Dora immediately wailed. “How
could you? How could you?”
Her mood changed abruptly, and she lashed out at me. “And really,
Katherine, really, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. This is exactly the sort of
immature, selfish, thing you do. He was going to be a surgeon! A surgeon,
Katherine, a surgeon. And then you had to go and get--knocked up and oh, and
now he’s dead! He’s dead, and it’s all your fault! Oh, my son, my baby, my
baby…oh, Katherine, why did you have to go and be so G-dam babyish?!”
That word; I hear it and my lungs hollow out. Don’t think about it. Don’t
even think about it. “Get out,” I told her tersely.
“Not without my son!” Dora screamed shrilly and gathered up the urn,
clutching it tight to her chest.
“Take him,” I relented without second thought, and my voice began to
strain. “Just get out.”
And she did. She left me alone, holding desperately onto my crutches, my
knuckles a ghost white. If only. And I didn’t cry.
I’m not crying today, either. Even though my fiancé’s getting buried
today. Even though I’m all alone today. Even though I was supposed to get
married today. I still don’t cry.
a time to cast away stones.
Two days after The Dora Incident, as I have come to call it, I wake up
with my head full of brute, unbridled determination. What this grit is for, I don’t
know. My schedule is full of nothing. I consider going to work (mail won’t
deliver itself, you know!), but that might give my boss the impression that I like
my job and want to spend more time doing it. I rack my wits for things to do,
and even though I don’t expect to see images of activity in my mind’s eye, and
even though I have had nightmares of it, I still gasp when all I can see is dust
and ashes and blood.
I don’t feel like going anywhere anyway.
I grab a bowl of dry cereal and flip on the news. There is some mad
scientist-type on, jabbering about Omega Point Scenarios and Final Anthropic
Principles, and the end of the universe in general. He counters those theories,
says that The Big Crunch can be halted by the intelligence of the universe. The
catch is, we are not the intelligence.
This is my theory: the end of the universe is entirely irrelevant. Whatever
we live in is a cell, a small pocket of life. We’re just a tiny fragment of a network
of cosmos, and we don’t count. Maybe we did, once, but that doesn’t matter
now. Nothing does. We must have gotten swallowed up by a black hole or eaten
away by dark matter, or something of similar gloom. Humans were created as
afterthoughts, a “lets see what happens” species. We were given thoughts as a
joke to see what we could do with them. Choices, to see how bad we could screw
up. Emotions, to cancel both of those out anyway.
Eventually, I wind up in the bathroom. I’ve showered, but it wasn’t as
much a shower as it was water somehow running down my body, and I’ve
brushed my teeth, but it wasn’t so much that as it was half-heartedly shoving
bristles against my teeth, and I’ve brushed my hair, but it wasn’t so much that
as it was dragging a comb through it, and skipping over the parts where there
Now, shaving cream has somehow applied itself to my leg, although I
cannot remember putting it there myself. But I pull out a razor and begin to
shave. I’m too sloppy, though, and find myself watching thick red blood running
down the stretch of my leg. Fascinated, I cut myself again. And again. And
I don’t feel anything. It doesn’t hurt, not one bit. And it’s not that I’m
looking to feel something, it’s that I’m looking for something. Anything. Proof of
It’s there, to my surprise. A small puddle of blood, collecting on a floor
tile. Undeniable evidence that there’s still something inside of me. Whether I
want it there or not.
And I begin to think maybe I should get rid of it.
a time to weep.
Six weeks after the crash, I dream of primroses. They’re black, and
dotting the night sky like stars while I, in my pearly-white wedding dress, gaze
up at them from a thicket of thorns. The flowers blend in with the sky, and I
only know they are there because I know them and I know their presence…but
their harsh outline is fading quickly, and I can hardly make out the contour of
their petals anymore.
Before I completely lose sight of them, they morph into change, dimes
and nickels. Perfect little circles, like holes in the atmosphere. The scars that
meteor-bullets have left behind. It’s a harsh transition from something as soft
and gentle as rose petals to upfront metals, but I don’t mind. I even begin to get
used to them. But just as I grow comfortable enough to make out the profiles of
Roosevelt and Jefferson, the details of their faces clear and concise, they burst
into small puffs of smoke.
In my dream, I think, when there’s smoke, there’s fire. And then I wake
up and see flames dancing behind my bedroom door.
Things have changed suddenly, now that I know I am going to die. I can
see Mars winking at me through a barrier of streetlights; Saturn’s rings are
visible even without a telescope, or they are to me at least, and I notice that
there’s a blue moon out tonight.
I can dimly hear a crowd of firefighters telling me to jump, telling me that
the cherry-picker can only go so high, that I’m going to be burned alive if I don’t
do it, but fifteen stories below me, they seem so insignificant. From my
perspective, it’s hard to follow the instructions of a cluster of small red jackets,
stark against the pavement they are standing on, when peace suddenly seems
as close and real as the fire looming behind me.
A chill’s been exploring the length of my back for hours now, but
suddenly a sweat breaks out at the nape of my neck. I’m going to die, I realize,
and the full weight of it hits me and leaves me staggering and gasping for
I’ll be with them, I try and reassure myself, that’s what I want.
But as the flames draw nearer, the idea suddenly doesn’t seem all that
enticing anymore. My breaths become shallower and shallower, until they hitch
at the back of my throat, and tears begin to line my windpipe. I want to think
that they’re just beginning to suffocate me, that I still have time, but already, I’m
choking, I’m choking…
And then I cry. I do want to be with them again, I allow myself to think,
but not at this cost.
There’s a penny on my balcony, looking lost and forgotten. I pick it up
and examine it, and it’s hot in my palm. I sigh, my breath trembles, and I watch
it vaporize in front of me, only to drift away. And I’m scared.
“Heads, I jump,” I vow to the sky, “tails, I stay.” I flip.
It’s tails. I jump anyway.
a time for peace.
Two weeks after the fire, I take twenty-five dollars out of an ATM and
drive to the bank. “I want change,” I tell the clerk simply, and deposit the bills
on the table.
She stares at them for a moment, and I swear, I can see the lines on her
face grow deeper. “Twenty-five dollars worth?” she asks exasperatedly, like she
knew she shouldn’t have come into work today.
“That’s how much I gave you,” I reply. “That’s how much I want.”
She gives me a lingering gaze before beginning to count out the change,
and when she does, it’s very deliberate and measured. She’s taking her sweet
while, but I don’t mind; I have all the time in the world.
In fact, I like that she’s taking it slow. This way, I catch a glimpse of
every coin, and no gram of potential is missed by me.
A while later, I walk down a forlorn street with my pockets full of change.
They jingle and clatter happily, and I can feel their weight rubbing against the
fabric of my pants, rubbing against me. They’re heavy, but I can carry their
weight. It even feels good.
I’m lost in my thoughts when an apparently homeless man approaches
me. “Ma’am,” he says, “could you please--”
I pull a handful of coins out of my pocket, and press them in his open
palm. I walk away without waiting for even a simple acknowledgement. Don’t
look back. Keep moving forward.
I don’t think for a while, just move, but eventually I find myself at the
site of the accident. There’s a bone-white skid-mark in the street, but that’s the
extent of the memorial. The other family didn’t put up some kind of cenotaph
because they didn’t need to; they survived.
I did too, I realize with a smile, and begin to scatter the coins on the
street. Nobody will notice them, and even if they do, they won’t recognize the
colossal meaning behind them, but that’s perfectly ok with me; I’ve got change to
(I swear it's not too late.)
My Mind is shaped through my voice
Every whisper ceased,
Every cry heard by a subtle hero,
Like them, she persuaded herself,
that she would never do wrong,
She would never disobey her beliefs,
Only to grow up and learn,
Not everything seems the same,
When you’re young.
Her future leads to teaching others,
To refrain from making mistakes like she has,
Their minds are shaped through their voices.
My mind is shaped through my voice,
That will never be for me.
My mind is shaped through my voice,
That will never be for me.
My mind is shaped through my voice.
Just one glance
Four eyes staring into
Locked in a moment
Just one word
“Hi,” and introduction
Too late to look back
Just three hours
The outside world a blur
Exchange of experiences
Just fifty emotions
Vying for attention
Wanted to be shared, understood
Just one silence
Distant laughter, crickets, car horns
Just two smiles
Unconcealed and vulnerable
A passageway to feeling
Just two hands
Saving each other Eleni Giorgos
Just one kiss The Silence of Memories
Four lips My memories
Three words. They drift back to me
From long ago
They speak, whisper
Each telling their own story
With the things I have done, seen
The paradox of my sanity,
The rhapsody of my existence
All flows through my memories
and I know that IT was wrong but I did IT.
I did IT because IT was wrong and I knew IT was,
but knowing didn’t stop me because I did IT anyway.
It’s awful because you don’t know and I do.
What’s worse is that no matter how bad IT hurts, I still do IT.
No matter how much I know IT is wrong, I still do IT.
I think IT hurts worse because you told me…
I said it back, I mean I promised it
and I broke that and
Leaving my Heaven
The rays of an early sunrise beam through my paper thin blinds,
catch my eyes and I awake early on this winter morning.
Before becoming completely conscious,
I study my surroundings.
Directly above me is a white ceiling
with a shadowy light bulb in the center of my view.
As I turn, I face my charcoal colored pillow and breathe its
My pure white sheets feel clean covering my skin
keeping me warm.
The bright lime colored numbers on my clock radio
illuminate my vision and I know for sure
there is no turning back.
I have no choice but to leave my heaven and
wait until the night falls when I can return.
In Hopes to Fly
As years go by,
Everything changes Birds are free to fly
People grow older, Touching those who they pass by
Time goes by too quickly. With wings outstretched
Everything changes. And hearts of gold
We sometimes lose They soar through life
loved ones in our lives With lies untold
Relationships are broken
Do good things last forever? So pure of heart and friend to man
Everything changes. That no one can destroy their plan
The trees of spring With dreams and goals
wilt into the trees of fall They always reach
And as time goes by, Bringing life lessons
Everything changes. They intend to teach
Yet the cycle is renewed.
The trees come back to life So watch and learn from those above
Flowers attain their brilliant color Who spread about their gift of love
And as everything changes, Don't hurt don't worry
Some things change for the better. Don't think don't cry
As a comfort for us, Just follow your soul
To know that even Then you too, will govern the sky
if some things get hard,
There will always be some - Kelly Butterworth
good change waiting for us
at the end of that
long and dreary road.
- Kristen O’Leary
In the back, alone in thought
Questioning these gifts you brought
To open them would be a sin
But with ease, I will begin
With permission, from a ghost that
Lingers always by my side
Curiosity at most
Is the passenger
With whom I ride
A ‘happy’ state this put me in
A package that contained so much
I never should have let this happen Anonymous
I’ve lost my mind, my sense of touch
This trip is only temporary Why?
Only I can understand
Jumping is the simplest part You see death
The challenge is just how to land And destruction all
-David Dixon and you ask
but you don’t get an answer,
and then you get
the answer -
O Father, see me fly,
Not writhe in mud below,
But shed my shell,
See me sing,
Stretch my wings,
And rise as does a ship’s sails.
Won’t you say that –
I’ve become –
-Julio Perez Jr.
the smile that stretched across
the idea nothing will replace
his naïve choice
all I have left is a worn out
an excuse of a life
a vision unseen
Julio Perez Jr.
Coming to Terms
Looking up into your endless eyes.
Your hands around my waist.
Pull me closer.
You are staring back at me.
I could stay like this forever.
For soon this feeling will leave,
when you leave.
But for now,
just hold me
The Painter at the Park
She picks up the paintbrush;
the large white canvas waits to be smeared with color.
She sits at the park bench,
and watches as the leaves fall.
She loosens her scarf around her neck and begins.
Everything feels calm and still.
All the colors of the fall day –
red, orange, yellow –
permeate the canvas.
My perspective hasn’t changed
The world has
Naïve and sheltered
The world is a perfect place
Leaves grow and flowers spring
Well that just wasn’t the case
Running out of the gift we had
To b uild cards with eight speed
iPods with phones
All the things we forgot we need
Effectivel y killing everything we own
This nightmare we created
This same old song that has never ended
Has all been stated.
But no one cared to listen
He tried, they tried, and we tried
Is it too late?
To correct the mistake that was defied?
The world hasn’t changed
My perspective has
How do you make change
For this dollar that I hold?
Nickels, quarters, dimes
All seem insignificant
And not enough to equal
What I already have
Right in front of me
But what is change?
Nothing more than just f r a g m e n t s of a whole
That people throw together
As if they had no control
As if destiny had all the power
And we are just innocent bystanders
Along for the ride
But that just may be change
In its true form
Something coming from nothing
A corpse becomes alive
The dollar changes to quarters
Then I thought possible
My Soul Screaming Out Loud
The paper is my sanctuary.
No, consider it a safe that holds
my treasures and my pains.
As soon as the words appear,
which once on paper,
seem like sparkling diamonds gleaming above mounds of yellow gold,
I need to cache them within my inestimable safe, at once.
For everyone knows leaving diamonds out in the open is dangerous.
So is letting my thoughts run wild within my chaotic mind.
I need to discard them somehow,
but not totally terminate them; I want to save them.
Keep them in a way that if and when I want to,
but never otherwise, I can return to them.
Forming the complications of my mind into words
is an excellent remedy to a weary psyche.
And although these words are my soul screaming out loud,
as already mentioned, they seem precious and appealing,
when written down.
And on paper,
only those who have such intentions,
can read and begin to attempt to unravel the
intricate workings of my mind.
by Alex Bendernagel
You and your friend go on an excursion through the forest. You’ve never
explored this territory before, and you’re apprehensive to travel through it with
no prior experience. But your friend reassures you and encourages you to try
Holding hands, you both step over the threshold and enter the forest. It
seems darker inside this mysterious place than what you thought outside. Your
friend smiles at you and leads you forward. You follow behind cautiously;
making sure your companion is still in your sight. You take a few moments to
see the beautiful plant life around you; the monstrous trees with their
outstretched limbs, dampened leaves drooping down. The landscape makes you
feel at ease.
And then you notice that your friend has let go of you, and is nowhere in
sight. You look all about you, but the only things you see are rows of trees. You
suddenly become very afraid of being alone. You’re also worried about what has
happened to your lost companion.
You decide to wait for a little while, hoping your friend will retrace their
steps and come find you. But time passes, and you realize you have to move on.
You hope to run into your companion and once again continue the journey
together that you both had started.
As you pass, you once again look at the extravagant trees. At second
glance you notice how their limbs are open, almost welcoming you to them. You
see the dainty birds sitting in their nests, chirping passionately for all the
animals to listen. A squirrel hopping from tree to tree catches your eyes, and
makes you giggle. You soon come to love this unknown world, and leave the fear
of being alone behind.
You finally come to the end of the forest, and a sigh of relief escapes your
lips. You take one last look at the forest and take a mental picture for you to
always remember. You know where to go to find this memorable place, although
in the back of your mind, you know you won’t ever physically visit this forest
You turn around and there is your friend. She looks different - older, and
wiser perhaps. She tells you of her journey, and you retell yours. It dawns on
you that your journeys were different, but in a way similar. You smile at her,
and she smiles back. You take each other’s hand, and walk away.
There will be other places to explore; journeys where you start with a
companion, but finish on your own. Through your separate quests you will
change and grow into different people then you were before. But at the end,
you’ll find each other and reconnect with a story to tell.
Look up into the black sky and let the future know to plant a tree
Unconventional at best?
Since when does nobody give a damn?
I was dead that day;
emotion had done its best,
I’ve joined their cult.
Promises and lies
served with the pleasure of denial,
Collapsing to the weak,
hope will unnaturally rise
from this abyss.
For in the end
the sound is dubbed over
the oldest of sayings.
Me vs. Society
Society changes along with each season,
I will change with the weather pattern’s reason,
Society cries out loud with green,
I will cry when I don’t want to be seen,
Society walks after yelling and screaming,
I will walk when I have no feeling,
Society laughs at other people’s cases,
I will laugh when I see old faces,
As for now,
I am society.
One day I WILL be,
It’s not that long,
but it hurts for an eternity.
And the life I feel is so much less than yours,
but multiplied by infinity.
When hyperboles and metaphors Aurora Parlagreco
force their unwanted existences
into my brain to create an angry mob of mutiny
among all my limbs all my muscles
all my organs all my fault,
it is not my place to put upon you
So now I lay here in my fetal position,
forever filled with guilt
in that small dark shameful corner which you so proudly call happiness
A Million Little Pieces
We fit together like a jigsaw puzzle
You take a look at all the pieces and feel
But once you start thinking about it you
realize it’s not as difficult as you have imagined
The pieces are made so that each one has its pair
Sharing a special bond
That lasts for a lifetime
It’s because we’re brother and sister
The puzzle shatters
It’s breaking apart and is no longer held together
When you go away, I feel incomplete
I miss you
When we meet again, I’m full
The puzzle is almost finished
Then effort and love
Makes the puzzle complete
Amidst the evening sky
Beneath the rising sun
Creating visions while we lay
Dreaming, one by one
Elegant ballerinas dancing
Fierce monsters in our head
Glowing spirits enhancing
Heavens of the dead
Invisible through the streets
Just try to catch me now
Keen audiences applaud Chelsey Sanes
Leaving the stage with a bow
Meeting with the Devil
Never seen a being so dark
Overbearing thoughts with evil
Pleading souls leave a mark
Queens and Kings on cushioned thrones
Reign for just a night
Strudels, tarts, tea, and scones
Teeming with delight
Under blankets and soft white sheets
Visioning a field of wonder
We sleep and dream of joy and fear
eXisting while we ponder
Yearning for the morning dew, or dreading walking from this view
Zoning in and out of slumber, soon we arise to alarms on cue.
I look toward the door to hope you will be walking through
I sit overwhelmed with emotions Mary Fox
Flashbacks of memories fly into my head
I reminisce about the adventures we shared
Staring into the fireplace
Tears streaming down my face
You were like a star that lit up my life
You always gave me hope
I feel now that everything is lost
I can almost see your face telling me it will be okay
I look up at the ceiling
Knowing you are looking down upon me
With that smile of yours I will never forget
trapped beyond barriers,
Holding me back from growing free,
setting standards to which I must limit myself,
stopping me from seeing the winter snow
for I am only around for the summer sun!
Suspending me from seeing the natural beauty of a rainbow,
for I am only permitted to see the rain before it.
Making me perfect in every way,
When I could be pretty as a mess,
Intermitting myself to experience life with my own two hands,
Setting standards to which I must limit myself,
Holding me back from growing free
Trapped beyond barriers
Misguided to Echo
Jesting to light,
Scolding the dark.
Which do you cherish during the day?
You love clouds during the day,
And lights on at night.
Choose to spend your time this way.
Do you hear this right or do you want it wrong?
Do you ace your day or are you wide of the mark?
Do you want it silent or do you sing your song?
Why can’t we hear you?
You’re the element of the dark. You’re the element of light.
You’re the dark day and the lightest night.
You’re the fourth season, and bless the blight.
You are my everyday.
I don’t know what you call day,
I don’t know what you call change,
But from bed to bed, light to light,
Bay to bay, and night to night,
You are my every sight.
You are me.
The light, pure and clean
overtakes the night at sea.
Light can lead the way
and give a path to the secrets of old and new.
The light gives us thoughts –
new ideas go crazy in our minds.
The thought of doing something defeats the darkness inside.
The soul cannot ever lose.
Keep the light
and never lose
-David Falcon Anthony Brienza
So much depends
boxes, rooms, objects
filled with empty space.
all over the place.
The sound of
Creeping with noises.
BOOM! BAM! POW!
No one in the room.
gone. -Katie Wolgemuth
This poem is not written in Japanese
It instead is written in English
It has no rhyme scheme
The words don’t quite fit
And that’s because
This poem is not written in Japanese
I was going to write this poem in Japanese
However, the rules tell me to write in English
This poem has no melody
The sound of it isn’t really beautiful
And that’s because
This poem is not written in Japanese
If this poem was written in Japanese
It would surely be glorified in its beauty
Men and women would weep in awe
This poem was written in Japanese
This poem is not written in Japanese
Please forgive this poem’s sloppiness
This poem is not written in Japanese
Through His Eyes
In his eyes the world shines different colors
From yours, mine and all the others.
To him, life is regret for things he does each and every day
He simply sees life in a completely different way
Sometimes he feels empty, pointless, and alone
Because of his past life to a different boy he’s grown
The boy, he needs relationship courage and respect
Back to himself he needs to connect
The boy tries to smile be positive and fun
Yet, away from his problems he always will run
The boy he has nothing, nothing for him to live
See now the boy, he has so much to give
He’s full of laughs and times to never forget
Yet he is living his life one big regret
The boy has no family no mom and no dad
The boy his life, it’s just more then sad
The boy he thought he lost it all
He thought his life would soon just fall
He keeps his head up and always is strong
The bond with him and his sisters is surly lifelong
He says life is worth is worth it always in the end
For he would be nothing without all of his friends
If he had the power to change his life the answer would be no
He has lives through it all is what he does show
Tara Donlon Life in his perspective is different form yours and mine
Life in his perspective you might feel it’s not fine
The boy he looks at things in a very different way
To you his life, may seem extremely grey
Life in his perspective is neither good nor bad
Live life the way it’s given to you happy or sad.
You breathe, you eat, you drink.
You taste, you smell, you hear.
Action, desire, question, thought.
It is enjoyable, relaxing, entertaining.
To seek adventure, to make dreams,
To achieve, to succeed
It is questionably, tricky, uncontrollable,
Feel it, enjoy it.
Have fun with it.
What are you doing?
He believes the world must change
The w orld is too big to change
Little man, standing against conformity
Just stand in the darkness like everyone else
How da re you speak your mind
He believes he can do so much more
No one can do what you’re trying to do
Little man, trying to change the world
The world doesn’t want to be changed
Jessica Bruni Little Man
I can sense your fear
He believes his voice can extend farther that his reach
Your voice will be lost within your delusions
Little man, struggling within
I am your voice of reason
I see you won’t listen to me
He knows he can change the world
Perhaps your perseverance shall overcome your fear
Little man, becoming so much more
Perhaps you were always a Big Man
- David Brunton
They say when you believe Because the last time I believed,
anything can happen. I lost someone close to me.
They say when you trust, Because the last time I trusted,
you won’t get hurt. Someone broke my heart.
They say when you lead, Because the last time I stood up,
people will respect you. I was shut down.
They say when you work hard, Because the last time I worked hard,
you can achieve great things. I still wasn’t good enough.
Every day I wonder, Every day I wonder,
how the world really works. why my life is reversed.
Why nothing seems to work.
Am I doing something wrong? Why everything is opposite.
Am I different?
Am I a failure? -Danielle Ippolito
The Sinatra Parties
You rarely live moments like this one in Brooklyn. As I gaze into my son’s
seven year old brown, youthful eyes, with him gazing back at me, the band
begins with the sweet jazz that never fails in placing me in my family’s old
apartment, where I first heard it. There, I stand in young man’s shoes glaring at
my father, and I’m overwhelmed with the splash of reminiscence. What lies in
view during this rich jazz, staring down at my 7 year-old presence, is, simply, a
As a young Italian boy, I spent my days with school and stickball. My
friends and I would play on Brooklyn’s fine-paved streets, using a sewage hold
as home plate. It was truly a game of youth and was only interrupted by the
sound of my mother’s words, drenched in Italian accent: “Mario, come and eat!”
I’d accelerate my little legs, dashing myself home. I had the energy of a seven-
year-old. My mother would kiss me on the way in, and I would sit at our small
dinner table where, sitting across from me, would be my father, with a
newspaper in his face.
Throughout his life, my father became very good at not smiling. His
eyebrows never raised, his lips never curved, his teeth never gritted, and his
eyes never shed tears. He never said much, nor looked like he had something to
say. When he did speak, he administered nothing less than discipline in his
clear, harsh, intimidating voice, leaving me in genuine shame. I became slightly
daunted of him, but dared not tell him. It wouldn’t be man-like.
While Monday through Saturday was reserved for my stickball games,
Sunday was a day of food. I would awake to the rich smells of veal cutlets,
baked shrimp, marinara sauce, and warm ravioli. These delights were
accompanied by the smooth, delicious sound of Frank Sinatra. I’d open the sky-
blue, wooden door of my bedroom to see my mother, with Aunt Gianna, Aunt
Rosa, Aunt Maria, Aunt Carmela, Aunt Teresa, Aunt Anna, and Grandma. They
would all look at me and smile at my youth. My presence motivated them to
cook, to feed me. An Italian woman who does not feed a child is not an Italian
Following the delightful music, I would drift to the corner of our
exceptionally small living room, where the men assembled around a polished
poker table. Huddled along the smooth, green table was my father, Uncle Vito,
Uncle Tony, Uncle Giovanni, Uncle Franco, Uncle Vinny, Uncle Bruno, and
Papa, my grandfather. They all had thick cigars in their mouths, including my
father, who never smoked. With smoke filling the air, and smooth jazz floating
with it, I think it was the feeling of class that these men relished.
My father would sit at the head of the table, enjoying the feeling of
dominance among others, with my uncles at the sides, and Papa at the other
Papa defined sage, as he always highlighted the importance of education
and drive. He always smiled at the sight of me and never forgot to invite me into
the battle of the kings. Every Sunday, I would soak in my grandfather’s wisdom
of the game, accompanied with the incomparable voice of Frank Sinatra. My
father always exhibited his disapproval and agitation. His expression remarked,
“now we have to entertain this kid while we play.”
Sitting at this table of kings every Sunday, I was continually faced with a
war against my ego. As Papa would insist on me playing for him, my father
would immediately, and remarkably, speak. “No,” he would say, “He’s not old
Those words followed me as I grew, as my arms stretched longer, as my
legs became taller, as my feet became bigger, as my fear of my father faded, as
my anger towards him strengthened, as I was becoming a man. I was in search
for a definitive moment, a declaration of complete maturity, a clear mark that I
was a man. It came to me when I was 15 years old.
I awoke late one warm Sunday afternoon, with the dim sun ricocheting
off Brooklyn’s walls. Sure enough, Sinatra opened the evening with “You Make
Me Feel So Young” as I softly pushed open the door and looked at the assembly
of kings. Upon sight of them, I sat down on the wooden chair against the wall
and simply watched.
I stared at the empty stool at the end, the one Papa used to occupy. It
infuriated me that he was dead and my father still insisted that I was too young
Everything has a limit, and will explode when that limit is exceeded.
Some people cry, while others grit their teeth and punch the wall, while others
shame themselves. I simply exploded like a man.
I dared to fill the seat of my dead grandfather and gun my father with a
firm look of relentlessness. He flashed me a harsh stare, and I shot back at him
with one of pure strength saying “That look isn’t going to shake me anymore.”
We were silent for several moments. We just glared at each other, testing each
other’s ability to remain unyielding. My realization that this was the definitive
moment came to me when, for the first time in his life, my father looked like he
had something to say. In the midst of absolute silence, and the sounds of sweet
jazz, my father smiled. For once, I was recognized as a man, and Sinatra was
there to join me.
Captivated in this splash of reminiscence, with my young son’s beaming
brown eyes gunning me with their glossy shine, I fold.
A sensation runs through my body –
teary eyed, motionless, mute.
The words I speak –
I try and sneak a word in here or there
Interrupted by an ache in my stomach.
Smiling and looking around,
is exactly, like me –
teary eyed, motionless, mute.
Dance Break Humanities
She was every high I was –
a life in a dorm
a girl like no other.
A full moon
Hear her song in full swing.
The glee of a girl so young
Her eyes play with emotions,
Her dance break humanity
The Remote Lake
When you arrive you know.
All vestiges of man are gone
Solid concrete relinquishes its dominant place
and gives way to green
Nothing is artificial
As you follow the overgrown path,
you catch a glimpse of the crystal water.
Finally, the clearing appears.
You walk to the water’s edge and at the same time,
release a flurry of excitement.
Frogs jump and disappear into the lilies while geese fly out of sight.
The cool water is a shock at first,
but is then welcoming.
It is at this point that you realize that it was all worth it.
A twist, sizzle, crack of static,
Breathe out and wait, a small shift of anticipation
Another turn and – amplification
From the knob through your fingers, a rush creeps in, a melodious
Shoulders go, up
Head tilts, left
Small vibrating hums
Silvery breaths of whispers of sound
A tinkling laugh without the rise and fall
Fingers tap dance,
feet jump, ecstatic
Breathe in deeper
Out leaps a firework of how life sounds.
Background silences out
Another twirl of the knob and
And the music is gone and Julio Perez
It’s over, that Song. You Sing to Yourself.