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n: a sudden, intuitive grasp of reality
East Islip High School
Literary Magazine 
1998-1999 Publication

ADVISORS:                  Teresa Avila
                                       Lisa Lopez

Last updated 8/31/01
L. Lopez
Authors and Their Works:
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Jessica C
Shannon D
"You taunt"
Diane D
Fatty's Message
Untitled Short Story
Tian H
China Roses, Baby Doll
Legend of the Pomegranate
Faust No. 2
The Strongest Chain of Heart is Made of Glass
Elizabeth H
"i am not a poet"
"forget for a moment"
Jillian J
I'm Thankful
Lola L
Perfect Kill
Dane L
Never Cry, Just Hi, and Sometimes, Goodbye.
Josephine M 
Heart of Gold
The Gamble
Heather M
"My soul did die 3 years ago"
May 23, 1999
Virginia N
"I know you were never mine"
Kristine O 
"When I hear your name"
Elexius R 
Loneliness Dream
Rainy Month
Joanne S
Darker Than You Think
Midnight Reverie

                                  Heart of Gold

                            Your aura, your words,
                            can sometimes be as cold as frozen steel,
                            but I know beneath your armor you have
                            a heart of gold.

                            I hope someday you can forgive my insecurity,
                            for I realize I am the one at fault.
                            Just bearing the thought of losing you chills my soul.

                            I long to see you smile & her your laughter once again,
                            as it rings through my ears like sweet music & warms my heart.
                            Your eyes, the windows to your soul, betray you.
                            For I see in them
                            we are destined to be forever paired.  Soul mates.

                            You know the one I am speaking to,
                            the one donning the suit of mail and speaking through
                            clashes of thunder.  All the while keeping
                            hidden from the world their
                            heart of pure, untarnished, solid Gold.

                            No crevices, craters or holes.  Just shine, lustrous shine.

                                                                                        ~Josephine M

Fatty’s Message

The day my best friend took his life was cold.  I remember that vividly for some reason.  Just as I remember those moments of anger, sadness, hate…all mixed making my stomach flip, my heart pounds, and my head swims.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? To know about those moments, you'd have to know what led to them.  Here goes.

They always picked on Russ.  Since as early as I can remember, Russ was the segregated one.  The one everyone hated.  For a long time, which I now look back on in shame, I was one of those kids that made fun of him.  They joked about his weight, hair, looks--everything an elementary school kid finds embarrassing about the other kid.  They called him Fatty.

But I changed.  Once we hit Junior High, I grew up.  Once or twice, I did stick up for him.  Each time, the others, sadly the ones I called friends at the time, would stop.  Not because they were afraid of me, but because maybe for those brief seconds they realized they were being hurtful.  That's what I like to think anyway.  Sometimes, most times, I know I was wrong.  They stopped because they didn't want to upset me.

Slowly, Russ and I became friends.  After all, I had hurt Russ in the past too.  After about a month, he finally broke his thinking of the way I was, and realized what I had become.  After that, we were inseparable.

High school was worse than elementary school and junior high put together.  Sadly, one friend was not enough.  I tried, believe me, I tried so hard to be supportive.  I was, as you may have guessed, facing the same discrimination by then.  But, I knew that I was the right one and that kept me going.  Russ was such a great guy; it angers me so much that none of them knew it, or ever will get to know it.

The final insult, the one that pushed him from quiet sufferer to a mess on the stage floor, wasn't that great.  I don't know exactly what was said because I wasn't there.  We both had the same gym period, but for obvious reasons, we didn't have the same teacher.

Russ flew out of the locker room, red faced and looking upset.  I asked him what was wrong, and he told me that they had pushed him around, saying the typical insults.  There were a lot of names called; some of them Russ wouldn't repeat, and those that I heard, I wont repeat.

Together, up until right before that last incident, we had joked about leaving our high school and coming back for the reunion.  We had said many times that we were going to be the ones to come back to the reunion with smiles, telling all the idiots what we had become.  Smiling when they told us that they only said ‘paper or plastic?’ in work.

Russ is never going to that reunion.  And I don't plan on attending.

Russ missed school for the rest of the week.  He didn't return my phone calls.  Then, on the following Monday, he showed up looking grim.  I said hello in the morning; he answered with good-bye.  At the time it didn't click what he meant.  Now I know.

A school assembly.  The whole school piled into the auditorium.  Not enough seats, students on the floors.  All teachers and personnel were in attendance as well.  The point of this mass assembly was some stupid thing for the jocks.  Normally, me, Russ, and half the school cut such events.  But this one, no one waned to miss.  They were also announcing who was to become the new principal, since the current one, Mrs. Roy, was retiring.

Russ was next to me, right until the end.  Then he was on his feet, pulling something out of his pocket.  Mrs. Roy, the only one that had a good view of his front, screamed one word--gun.

All at once there was panic.  Not me--I knew Russ would never shoot me.  At the sounds of the screams, Russ fired the gun in the air.  Silence.  Thousands of eyes were focused on that gun.  In my chest, my heart was going fast.  Not out of fear of Russ, but for Russ.

I eased out of my seat, standing next to him.  He looked at me for a brief second.  I shivered at the mix of anger and pain in his eyes.

 “Don't let them win,” I whispered, only the people closest to us heard me.  Knowing them, they didn't know what I meant.

 “Let me by,” Russ said, his voice holding all the emotions his eyes did.

I stepped to the side--not out of fear of the gun, but out of fear that my friend was no longer my friend.  The others students in
the row moved without comment, almost falling over the seats to get out of the way.  I silently followed him.

Halfway to the stage, he realized I was behind him.  He spun, and pointed the gun at me.  My heart went even faster.  Around us, the auditorium was silent.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe he would shoot me.  My mind still screamed no.

 “Sit down,” he told me.

Not trusting my voice, I shook my head no.

“Don't make me--”

“What?  Shoot me?  Come on, Russ. You’re not doing this to kill me, you’re teaching them a lesson, right?” My voice tried not to betray my own increasing fear.  It was even, without a hint of fear in it.

Russ turned away.  The whole room let out their breath together, me included.  I followed him again up the stage stairs and to the podium. Russ spoke into the microphone.  “I’m not going to kill any of you,” he said.

Then he did it.   A motion I’ll never forget in my life.  I still see it when I close my eyes.  As he finished the last word of his sentence, he turned the gun to his head, and fired.

The audience was still silent, not believing what they saw.  I was on my knees, amid his blood, crying.  His blood was soaking into my pants as I kneeled there.

I’ve never felt so much at one time in my life.  Hate.  Hate so strong I was tempted to pick up that gun that was in my friends’ limp hand and shoot as many of them as I could.  Hated them for driving a person this far, hated them for hurting my friend, hated them for being the reason for my loss, hated them for their closed minds.  Anger too, God, anger for all the reasons I hated them, for my inability to help a friend in need.  There was anger that Russ had given up, that he let everything consume him.  Above it all was sadness.  Sadness because the shocked onlookers didn’t know what they had done; my friend was dead and no one but me knew about the real person.

I don’t know who started it first, but a collective scream of horror filled the room, pulling me back from my haze of emotion.  Above it all I heard “call an ambulance”.  That angered me more than anything.

“He’s dead!” I screamed.  Silence again.  I was shaking, holding his lifeless hand.

“You let them win!” I whispered over and over.  I kept saying it, on my knees, in his blood, holding his hand.

After a while, gentle hands pulled me away.

At the moment, I am back in the auditorium.  There’s some shrink onstage, rambling about suicide.  They called him in to help the students deal with “the tragedy,” and they chose to do it in the place that he killed himself.  Almost funny.

“…if you see a student in danger you should--”

I laugh before I realize I am.  The sound is out of place in the room.  Everyone turns to stare at me.  Anger rises again, taking over.

“Do you honestly think anyone in this room cared about him? Besides me, he talked to no one.” My voice is harsh, loud.  “You guys alienated him since kindergarten.  Is it a surprise that it all became too much?

“So lets all have a good cry and pretend that we would’ve done something if we had known.  It’ll make you sleep better, but it won’t bring him back.  It won’t take his death out of your hands.

“You’re all upset he died, but you didn’t give a damn about him when he was alive.  Just because he did it in front of you, you’re traumatized for life!  If you are traumatized by anything, it should be your own consciences.”

Silence as they all gape at me and think about what they’ve done, what they should’ve done.  They think about Fatty’s message.

~Diane D

All alone in a world unknown.
Lost in feelings of heartache and sorrow,
    with no room to grow.
Hatred engulfs my thoughts and dreams,
    controlling my actions as it seems.
I feel as though I’m an orphan abandoned from the world,
    alone and unknowing which way to turn,
    with no one able to understand you or stop the burn.
The burn which comes from within like there’s a hole
    in your heart and you just can’t win.
But someday hopefully soon the bow in my soul
    will soon be healed.
Then I won’t feel I am lost and alone 'cause I’ll have
    you to hold.
                      ~Kristine O

                                                      I know you were never mine,
                                                        But I always wished you were.
                                                        Something is telling me she’s wrong for you
                                                        Or that you’re wrong for her.
                                                        Not that I would be so right.
                                                        But she’s just so damn wrong.
                                                        She’s nothing that you are.
                                                        She’s weak and you’re so strong.
                                                        But if ever given the chance,
                                                        I’d take it right away
                                                        ‘Cause I think I love you.
                                                        That’s all I needed to say.

                                                                                            ~Virginia N

The essence of friendship
is like a tiny seed,
which first must be inspired to grow,
then nourished,
& cared for,
until it bursts with joy, & blooms
in magnificent love.
Like a tiny raindrop,
as it falls to the earth,
and is pushed back
up & down
by the wind of Fate.
And then it too joins the seed and
In bursting joy & happiness,
in the meadow of life.
 ~Josephine M

                      The Strongest Chain of Heart Is Made of Glass

                        In your eyes
                        I see ripples that are still
                        Believe me when I say,
                        Stay, stay, don’t ever go away
                                    But oh, my precious one
                        What’s the use
                        Of so fierce a mind
                        With a heart this brittle?
                                    An irrevocable flaw
                        Thorny is the rose
                        Cold is the moon
                        The splendor of daylight
                        Is the solace of Tartarus
                        And the shadows of night
                        Always take me away
                        No matter how I’ve wanted
                                    To fly with you in the ravaging north wind
                                    To drown in your laughter and your smile
                        Quietly quietly now
                        You know this is where I belong:
                        With mist and twilight, forever and forever
                        Gently gently now
                        You know I am afraid
                        For, surpassing all metals found on Earth, the strongest chain of heart
                        Is made of glass

                                                                        ~Tian H

Loneliness Dream
The heart beats fast,
Deep sleep,
As the mind goes out.
Into another world,
The shadows cast,
where wishes come true.
You have no doubt.
In the mind of love,
The mind plays tricks on you,
and carefree souls,
You are scared.
Where fun is #l.
You have nothing to do,
As night falls,
You fear the dare.
The world's at peace.
As the danger last,
Waken up is a,
You feel little aware.
Wonderful cease.
It's in the past,
You are in good care.
~ Elexius R

Rainy Month
When the sky gets dark,
And the clouds are gray,
Your car is parked,
In the rainy May.
As the road gets wet,
And the trees sway,
The wind and rain has met.
In the rainy May.
When bright lights flash,
By the ending day,
You hear a boom clash,
In the rainy May.
By the end it rests,
The sky is gay,
The star has set,
In the rainy May.
~Ellie R

The Gamble

I sit here, pondering my past,
Thinking how the cards I am holding are worthless.
Some get dealt a full house or even sometimes a straight flush.

My hand is ace high
That would sound good…
To the novice.

I realize, and almost laugh out loud,
How many times in this situation I've been
Beaten by a pair of deuces.

And this can easily be compared
To my real life.
Poker is life.  After all, it is a gamble.
All of our choices are half chance.
And sometimes we win, sometimes we don't

Personally, I am the type of player
Who remains calm and patient,
Waiting for what's to come my way.
The more I play the better chance for that straight flush to be dealt.

Life is the same.  Persistence will pay off
And eventually huge obstacles will crack, break,
and crumble before you.

So in other words, everyone has the same chance
To learn, grow, and achieve excellence.

Every day I learn more and more how to stop living in the obstacles of my past,
And to look beyond today to the day I deal myself the winning hand.

~Josephine M

When I hear your name my heart tears in two.
Tears fall, imagining the daggers that stab at my soul.
The time had come, but I wanted it all, no more chains to hold me down.
So you set me free and I fell to the ground.
Bleeding cuts, a torn heart, a speed bump in my life untrot.
Loving you endlessly was what I'd known, promises of engagement rings and an unbroken home.
Now you're off “loving” my friend and leaving me to try and comprehend; too bad,
I thought we'd never end.
Losing my love was a heartbreaking experience,
I always had energy, now I am worn,
I always was happy, now I'm torn,
I always talked but the great loss of my love has turned my heart mute.
Thank you, my love.

  ~Kristine O

                                  My soul did die 3 years ago, I cannot tell you why,
                                    But ever since that day did end, all I do is cry.
                                    I tried to talk about my life and all the things I like,
                                    But I still feel the pain in my heart like a sharply pointed spike.
                                    My parents have both gone away, to where I do not know,
                                    But I feel now that I'm all alone dying frozen in the snow.

                                                                                                        ~Heather M

Before you I was no one,
Nothing but a lost soul, drifting through life.
Nothing but a wilted flower
that hadn't yet embraced sunlight.
You showed me a life of happiness,
that I thought was impossible.
You touched my heart,
with a love that's indescribable.
You turned a wilted flower,
into a beautiful rose.
You showed it the light of the Lord,
and the love of your soul.
You have not yet realized
your great impact on me.
You taught me how to live life,
and how love should be.
~Kristine O



They tell me I threw my life away
How could I
            Be such a bright shining show of promise
And let everyone down
So now I'm a hypocrite
            So now I'm a baby killer
                            So now I'm a faceless casualty
And they all shake their heads
And they pray for me
I know what they think
Filling me into the ranks
Crusader in some holy war
            Some pathetic lost cause
And everybody loves their stars and stripes forever
And nobody's a communist
And everybody says make love, not war
And everybody's so secure
Sitting on their bombs

Why do they put the blame on me
Why do things change so fast
I never wanted to lose their respect
I never wanted to go against my principles
            I never thought I had
Could you stop telling me what I want
What a waste
            I had to swallow your discouragement, and what a bitter aftertaste
Keeps coming back to me
Now when I'm most vulnerable
Why couldn't you fainthearted doves try to understand?

I was never in this
            For the desire to take lives
But for the need
            To give my own

And I've spent eight months at the gates of hell
I’ll keep my eyes open, and I’ll walk right through
I swear I’ll be sick when the chopper touches down
I know you're so disgusted
And I’ll do it for you

I also know you’ll sanctify me if I die
            And I don’t want your prayers all wasted
            I don’t want any of your hypocrisy
Keep it all to yourselves
You were so quick to condemn me

Please, I beg of you
For once, just listen
I've got this M-16, and its not a part of me
The truth is, I'm scared as hell to die
And scared as hell to pull the trigger

Because Id rather not have blood on my hands
Because I used to like it when you thought I was innocent
Because I have to fight
                                    To keep my heart inside my body
And I cried when Grandma gave me her rosary
            She knows I know what it means

            I tried that noble warrior myth on for size
                      Found it a little hard to carry with me
                                   It's like chains around my legs
                                                Or shrapnel in my chest

But its all you'll remember, anyway

Please, you know you would've been a patriot
                                        In another place, another time
Another world
I'm trying to tell you

That I don't want to die

But you put me in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

                                        And you spit on my grave

~Joanne S

The sun had set in the melancholy sky-
As we whispered our final Goodbye.
The words we spoke so full of sorrow-
How I wished for a brighter tomorrow.
But tomorrow came with the blink of an eye-
And all I could remember was our final Goodbye.
We went wrong somewhere along the way-
But I still remember that late October day.
A mere stranger you were unto me-
However, my heart knew what I couldn't see
Months had passed and together we grew-
The perfect friends-me and you.
Sharing our laughs not to mention tears.
Knowing each other's joys and confronting the fears.
Helping each other through the occasional trial-
However, we lived in pure denial.
Maybe it was pride that stood in our way-
But he was defeated that wonderful day.
Free became the secret within both our hearts-
And the love for one another was shown on both parts.
The words spoken then were true and sincere-
We forgot the disguise of our only fear.
We were to become closer after all we'd been through-
But here I am without you.
So what happened in the days to follow
Is what lead us to this sorrow.
Confusion, and regret, accompanied by mistrust
That is what turned this relationship to dust
Still I’ll miss you ‘till the day I die
And every time the wind blows I’ll whisper
~Jessica C

Never Cry, Just Hi, and Sometimes, Goodbye.

One can never know when another would want to leave you.  Therefore
one should never know when another would want to be near you.  If that weren't so
then why would there be break ups?  The truth of the matter is people come and go,
and that's the way things are.  If one were to cry over every one they meet and left behind, there would be no land to walk on.

If you come to say goodbye, then turn around and leave, for if you like me you would never say goodbye.

~Dane L

attraction. not lust. not love. attraction. i want to hold her hand. kiss her hair. stare into her eyes. know her bliss. attraction. beautiful her. ugly me. long and blond. short and brown. exotic. average. her. me. this is wrong. this is right. this never happened. grin, chuckle. wry, sarcastic. honey, vinegar. rude, unassuming. opposites, evens. she's better than me. she would never care. i could never be good enough. i would always wonder. i hear you laugh from across the room. my head whips to the sound. i crash from my thoughts. violently unearthed from a fantasy. which meant everything to me. which you will never know. crushing you-losing me. altogether too much. all together too little. really small, really stuffed. really you, really me. not really us. attraction. confusion. neither both.

~Elizabeth H

I'm Thankful
I'm thankful for my Korn CD
*it got another scratch.
I'm thankful for my blue wallet,
*the Velcro won't attach
I'm thankful for my Rolex watch,
*it broke under the water
I'm thankful for my teddy bear,
*sis gave it to her daughter
I'm thankful for my lego set
*The vacuum ate the pieces.
I'm thankful for my cargo pants
*they are full of ugly creases.
I'm thankful for my brother Jon
*it's true he is a jerk.
I'm thankful for most everything,
…except of course HOMEWORK!!!!
~Jillian J


forget for a moment
Time stood still, but only for a moment. Then the waves crashed foamy against the sands. A breeze wound through the ravens nest. There are no options. I am alone. So do what you must. I am alone. There are no options. So long as waves crash against foamy and there are breezes from the past. Blue green with white flecks draw me in until there are black bubbles in a red glow. There are no options. I am alone. Smooth and pale, longer and longer until the peak. The peak. Birds cry and babies sing, everlasting, ever growing, ever dying. I am alone. There are no options. Sink down, burst your bubble. No more wit, no more holding back, no more oppression, you are gone. There are no options. I am alone. Smiles of death are pretty and mournings of life are not. Red flushes dark, life is over. Birds giggle and babies gracefully call. I am alone. There are options. I am alone.

~Elizabeth H

                                                You taunt, laugh, and make fun of me,
                                                But there are always things you do not see.
                                                The pain and hurt that's in my eyes,
                                                the tears that come until they dry.
                                                Sometimes I laugh, hoping you'll stop,
                                                But these abuses do not drop.
                                                The pain you cause is not skin deep,
                                                It's in my heart where I do keep
                                                The hurt and pain through all the years,
                                                That on occasion bring forth tears.
                                                If you could see the hurt in me,
                                                Would you still laugh scornfully?
                                                Or would you stop, and begin again
                                                As I wipe the tears off with my hand?
                                                But all these things I look above
                                                Because it's you that I love.

                                                                                        ~Shannon D


"Make him go away, Josh," Nikki said, glaring at Adam.

Adam took a step closer, and Josh moved to the left, placing his body between Adam and Nikki.  Josh gave Adam a warning look.  His hands balled into fists remembering what he had seen Adam do to his best-friend Nikki.

Josh glanced around the empty alley.  There was barely any light coming in from the street.  He thought back to the events that led up to them winding up in the dark alley.

Josh had wanted to tell Nikki something (though he now forgot what it was), but she was at work.  So he had decided to take a walk to the newsstand where she worked.  When he got there, he had seen Adam and Nikki -they were going out- fighting.  Josh heard Adam say his name, with other nasty words, directed at him and Nikki.  Josh cleared his throat and walked over.  Adam looked at him, then Nikki.  Without a word, Adam smacked Nikki across the face.  Her eyes went wide, shocked.  She turned and ran.  Josh resisted the urge to confront Adam and ran after his friend.  He caught up to her in the alley.  She was crying, so Josh hugged her, hoping to comfort her in some way.  That's when Adam entered the alley, leaving them where they were now.

"Do you wanna give me another reason to hurt you?  I already have one," Adam said, bringing Josh out of his thoughts.  Adam took a step closer.

"And what reason would that be, Adam?" Josh said, his words dripping with ice.

Adam's face went dark.  "You're moving in on my girlfriend."

Josh stared at Adam in disbelief for a second then replied: "Former girlfriend."

Adam's eyes grew wide before he swung at Josh.  Josh put up his left arm, blocking the punch.  He punched Adam in the gut, letting Adam's arm down.  Adam bent over, gasping for breath, his arms wrapped around his midsection.  Josh went to move forward again, when Adam jumped up.  He caught Josh by surprise, and swung, hitting Josh in the face.  Angry, Josh leapt forward, knocking Adam onto the cold cement.

Josh's fingers snaked around Adam's neck.  He ignored Adam's punches.  He wasn't seeing anything but the face that was becoming red in front of him.  He didn't have to ask if Adam had hit her before.  He didn't care.  Once was more than enough.  He wanted to do nothing more than kill the jerk in front of him.

In his rage he didn't see Adam's hand slide into his pocket and pull out the knife.  He heard Nikki scream and turned his head.  Her eyes were wide.  He turned back to Adam, just in time to see the knife before it plunged into his stomach.

He fell backwards, blinded by pain.  He heard Nikki scream again.  He felt her take his hand, reassuring him that help was coming.  He saw Adam run away.  Nikki's words were becoming more worried.  Then he couldn't hear her anymore.  The world went black...

Josh woke from the dream.  His heart was pounding.  It had been such a vivid dream.  He had to tell Nikki.  He looked at the clock.  7:30 P.M.  She'd be at work...

~Diane D

China Roses, Baby Doll

                        Bring me to see your world, baby doll
                        Let me drift in your seas, baby doll

                                When the red snow covers the crying battlefield
                                             When the china roses are in blooming
                                                          Take me to
                                             Where the cherie regine sits on Her heavenly throne
                                Where the Seraphim are singing the glory of God

                    I want to be the One, baby doll
                    Open your heart to me

                                                                                    ~Tian H


Legend of the Pomegranate

                                    Once upon a time
                                    The Child of Spring
                        Fell into the Realm of Winter Everlasting
                                The Dark Lord that I was
                                                    saw you
                                                        loved you
                                                            craved you
                                Extended out my hands and
                    Took your lithe frame off from the face of earth

                    The seven seeds of the forbidden fruit you did eat
                                A bride of thousand reluctance
                             Darkness dispersed by your light
                                            Piercing though
                                the time-honored dusts of Death

                                          Yes my love
                            Although now they fall no more
                                        I should imagine
                    Your tears tasted like pomegranate seeds

                                                                ~Tian H

                                                                  Perfect Kill

                                                        Perfect… Perfect… Perfect…
                                                        I'm ready for the evening's bite
                                                        'Tis the sweet hour of midnight
                                                        A saloon still lit
                                                        I stalk the door
                                                        A pretty maiden, alone
                                                        Her blood tastes warm and smooth
                                                        As I rape her life
                                                        She is tonight's
                                                        Perfect kill

                                                                                    ~Lola L


                                                        Drops of light enter the sky,
                                                        Drops of ideas enter the mind.
                                                        Drops of rain fill the sea,
                                                        Drops of tears flowing on me
                                                        Goes the sound after it rains.
                                                        Goes the water in a leaky sink.
                                                        Drops of care enter a family.
                                                        Drips of hope enter a community.
                                                        Drops of goodness enter the soul.
                                                        Drips of badness are not good at all
                                                        But... Drops of love are number one,
                                                        To every human being and thing.

                                                                                      ~Elexius R



        She looks like that forsaken angel with the broken halo
                                                                                And sad eyes
        Like she learned to be a cynic from the best of them
                    Like her sins aren't her own
                                            She's not to blame

        Those are bright eyes
        Clear ones, summer’s evening
                    Soft, clouds at dusk
        You can't touch her
        She'll fade with the twilight
                                     Try to crest the wind
                                                Or embrace a shadow.

        Phantasm made flesh
        Real and raw, an open wound
        She'll cut her wrists and write ballads in blood
        She's doesn't understand why the scars won't heal
        She doesn't like to paint still life anymore
                                        And she stopped throwing stones

        Because to her it means death.

        She can dissect your soul without losing a piece
        She makes the heavens break open and cry for her.
        I told you she has angels’ eyes
        Something inside you will shatter to see them
        Save her from those demons
                            That come like incubi in the night
                                                                To rape and to ravage.
        Don't leave her beating those wretched, futile fists in the air
        She cannot make the monsters be still.

        Keep her safe,
        Don't let darkness fall behind those dusty,
                                                                        innocent eyes
        If she breaks her heart upon a crown of thorns
        She can burn like a Phoenix
                                                            In the fires of immortality.

        She's so fragile, she'll splinter like glass
                                                            If your hands are cruel
        She wants to be crucified
                                        So she can show you how she suffers.
        Your soul will bleed for her,
                                        And each drop is like a prayer.
        The maiden lifts her tragic eyes to the tomb
        Her lips apart to sing
                                                                    This life a requiem

            ~Joanne S


        ~Perhaps she stands in the ancient garden,
        A tragedy hewn of marble, weathered by wind and rain
        With Styx flowing from her outstretched hands,
        Or tears, in silent reproach to the sculpture that made her what she is
        Into the pool that becomes a river in a drought
                    The cry of each lost soul that is her very pulse, her very heartbeat,
        If it can be imagined that blood may flow when life has turned to stone.

        Black ivy unfurls its tendrils upon her robes,
        Hiding from the sight of Heaven her foundation,
                    Which has cracked.
        The garden blossoms in shades of gray,
        Willows let down their melancholy tresses to the sterile earth,
        Hanging boughs adorned in veils of mourning,
                    A hemlock nods in mortal promise.

        Such things as may spring from the pomegranate seeds
                nurtured in an infertile womb
                    And fed on virgin sorrow.
        Her sacred temple is violated, devoid of all that is holy
        Left barren and desolate as the winter sky
        Gales from out her lips shall blow
                    A requiem for Death itself.

        ~Perhaps she opens like a rose into the frost,
        Innocence that withers on the vine
                    What is given in vain can never be resumed.
        Yet under the dark cloak of wickedness,
        A soul as pure as new fallen snow.
        Even a whore possesses the power to be a mother
                                Creation is not a virgin undertaking.

        But her vital essence is fled
        All the fruit she bears contain the venom of the serpent,
        For death cannot conceive life.
        To pass between the living and the dead
        Is to know how dying and resurrection
                                            Are the same thing.

        And so she stands until her descent,
        A tormented waif, a shattered maiden, a broken whore
        Weary of the burden of immortality, loathing of its fascination
        And knowing that its mystery has ceased to be.

        Her eyes are sightless because they are disillusioned.
        Her lips are silent because they speak truth.

        Oh, if only one could take her, with her open wrists,
                    And place her in the Hippocrene
        Letting her infected blood diffuse, billow out,
            intermingle and incarnadine
        Letting divine water enter her veins, not to embalm
                                                                                    But to preserve

        ~Perhaps the only reason she exists is to be a part of me
        That which has long since fled to the shadows
        Yet it is ever watching, waiting, a slit in the shroud of night that shows a glimpse
        Of skin, white as bones
        Flesh is the only reality to her, because it is so easily destroyed
                    And what is left
        Has little movement but to dance within the immortal tapestry
            for a time.

        See, she laughs while I ravage myself

        Trying to reflect her, and to escape her image
        So that when I can no longer feel her pain
        I may twist, contort, and pervert
                                To make it my own.

        I am telling you that I have seen the shrine
        I have bowed my head to the idol,
                    And made my precious vessel into the ultimate offering
        Only to know the goddess is never satisfied

        There is no way to keep the waterfall from bleeding
        There is no way to keep the tempest from raping
        There is no way to keep the wind from crying
                                                        Once it finds a lost soul to serenade
        There is no way to heal scars made on the inside

        A belly of stone may conceal a bleeding ulcer
        Still the cracks will begin across her polished face
                    Creeping like vines in the Garden of Hell.

        The defiled Madonna draws a veil across her brow
                                To shield marble eyes that weep eternally

                                                                        But mourn no more forever

                 ~Joanne S


Midnight Reverie

Wisp of incense smoke clings to a night wind
Sinuous, inspiration ethereal
The last thoughts of the day
            Are called to resurrection, and become
The phantoms of the heart, played in my subconscious

Reality is never so incorporeal,
            Nor life enacted as a dream sleepwalked
Give me moonlight, and the midnight hour
The pendulum clock on the wall sounds
                                    The disembodied heartbeat
                                                Of my day, no more than fantasy
Resigned to the shadows,
            Until a crystal finger pricks them awake
For now, let candles burn
            No artificial light shall penetrate this sanctity
If I must remain in this Stygian darkness for a time, then let me
            I would rather know a single dark truth
                                    Than a thousand shining white lies.

I can feel my veins alive with blood
My heart has settled into its primal rhythm
A starpoint of light slips the windowsill to catch my eye
Distorts, transfigures my sight
                                            And suddenly
Darkness loses ground
            Illusion takes hold, conquers all
If these eyes were blind, I believe
            They would still see the mirage
Or else who am I to walk within this dream
            To touch its spider silk fabrication, to understand
That the myth of reality cannot sustain itself
Unless it is forgotten for a little while.
Releasing a sigh into eternity,
I brush other whimsy aside
                                    To think of you.
I cannot help it
There comes a moment
Between the drop of an eyelid
The beat of a pulse
The silence of the wind
When candlelight is not enough to keep the demons at bay,
And I am at the mercy of what I alone control
Silver fire lights my vision
I will stroke my fingers in the flame awhile.

I know that I am tired
And that I yearn for what I have ceased to hope for
But the desire, the joy of wanting
Keeps me walking these shadows
Selene, my only lantern
Yet I would rather
To move in utter darkness,
Than by false illumination.

A curtain now stirs,
Filmy, fantastic
And is still once more.
Cloudy spectres obscure the moon.
To let my eyes be dark,
It means not that they will rest.
The memory makes more a mockery of sleep
Than all of the nightmares conjured by some
Devastation of spirit.

The orb of deception
Its skill tantalizing, unearthly
Weaves its spell over one more casualty of love.

~Joanne S

                                                            i am not a poet
                                                            i am a girl only
                                                            no greatness runs through me
                                                            no beauty on my face
                                                            i am as the rest
                                                            self-pitying while thinking I'm superior
                                                            i am not a poet
                                                            i am a soul only
                                                            no purity runs through me
                                                            no innocence on my body
                                                            i am as the rest
                                                            self-disgusted while I'm thinking I'm clean
                                                            i am not a poet
                                                            i am I bitch only
                                                            no sweetness runs through me
                                                            no kindness on my hands
                                                            i am as the rest
                                                            self-loathing while thinking I'm absolutely fabulous
                                                            i am not a poet
                                                            i am me only

                                                                                ~Elizabeth H


Faust No. 2

Somebody, please seduce me!
Defy all logic!
Abandon all creeds!
Break the vow of
And destroy the past
with fiery passion!

Do I have to say the words?
Set my wings free from this
            magnificent cocoon
Set my soul free from this
            earthly vision!

                        Nature paradoxical,
                                    The sweet deception.

I've been searching for you all my life, all my very existence
From the lights of Paris to the darkness of Savannah
From the bleakness of Siberia to the crowds of Los Angeles
From the edge of the Aegean to the snowy peaks of the Himalayas
Yet you were never there

I've listened
        To the chattering Zephyr
        Under the roof of morning glory
I've been baptized
        By the untouched raindrops
        Right beside that lonely willow
Yet you were never away
For the true reflection never changes with mirror

I've found you—
        The Sinner, the Saint
        The Poet, the Critic
        My better half and Myself


~Tian H

                                                        Darker Than you Think

                                                        Why are you so proud
                                                        Look like flesh but feel like skin
                                                        Oh, such pain, your angst is bottomless
                                                        And emotion, paper-thin
                                                        A vial of ink, a parchment
                                                        Here's your pen
                                                        No light, douse the lamp
                                                        You're on your own again
                                                        I thought you loved the shadows
                                                        They seem to be your only friends
                                                                    It's always been that way
                                                        Now you can write the tragedy
                                                        The ending where I waste away
                                                        A pause? Your hand's twitching
                                                        Like one that holds a knife
                                                        What's the matter? Can't you bring it on?
                                                        The stroke to end my life?
                                                        Come, let it fall
                                                        Get you out of my misery
                                                        I'm turning now to the last blank page
                                                        And the suspense is killing me
                                                        Ah, but you need not tell
                                                        How it ends, I already know
                                                        This reeks of ancient passion
                                                        Stale as something dead long ago
                                                        So when at last I fall from the drama
                                                        I’ll leave it to you to sob
                                                        I knew you couldn't have done any better
                                                        Such an author of the macabre
                                                                        Blood is thicker than tears
                                                                                Cleansing while it sears
                                                        Should I live a thousand years-
                                                                    No regrets
                                                        I've earned my peace
                                                        But for you, who broke me

                                                                    No release
                                                        Maybe I loved you once
                                                        My heart's black as ink
                                                        More than pages torn from the past
                                                        And darker than you think.

                                                                                        ~Joanne S

                            May 23, 1999

                            I sit alone and watch the clock, which never seems to change
                            I sit alone and wait for something, ironically less strange.

                            I look outside and watch the cars slowly driving by
                            I look outside and watch the eagle's circling the sky.

                            I lay in bed and hear the sounds of rain against the house
                            I lay in bed cold and stiff, quiet as a mouse.

                            I sit at dawn contemplating my ever-changing life
                            I sit at dawn and watch the sun, which stabs me like a knife.

                            All of this that I have learned I never knew before
                            All of this that I have learned helps me even out the score.

                                                                                        ~Heather M


                                                    Just when you think life
                                                    couldn't be better, despair sets in.
                                                    It's the black hole that you don't see,
                                                    It's the knife through the heart,
                                                    It's the past that has come to remind
                                                    you of sorrowful things that hurt the most;
                                                    it's what ends a good day in a hurry,
                                                    it's what turns laughter into cries,
                                                    it's what turns life to death
                                                    and white to black.

                                                                            ~Kristine O