You with your beady brown eyes,
Prying for some answers to petty problems
Answers that I don't have.
And you think
That I'm stupid enough
To believe I'm the only person you
leave out of your conversations
When I'm not around.
With your soft demeanor
Maybe it's your natural camouflage
To the beast that preys on others misfortunes
With your rosy cheeks
That can't hide your crooked nose
And your pleasant but digging smile
With everything you own--
Everything you hoard
With everything your parents give you
But you can't graciously accept
With your past
That haunts you
With your complaints
So that it haunts me too
With your lies
That I listen to
And let you revel in

Compulsive Liar

by Haley Green

I want the words to move like oil paint
writhing under thin coarse hairs
where color screams and laughs and whispers.
And if you scrub hard enough
you can see all the mistakes.

But the black can't blend with the white
And I don't even know if this is how you're supposed to do it,
There's gold in here somewhere
if I scrub long enough
a grain of accomplishment will surface.


By Lucy Ellis

I once met a man who scoured the skies
Looking for the point where the sun finally dies
He stole the moon to replace the gleam in his eyes
But it just wasn't enough

He followed the stars in the most peculiar of ways
He let them rule his nights because he couldn't see the days
I guess in the end that could be considered fate
If anything ever is

He told me, once, that his ship was made of dreams
But that as of lately it was tearing at the seams
He's replaced it with steel but it doesn't redeem
A plan that's falling apart

I asked him why go on when there's nowhere to go to
He said "it's force of habit, like all forces that move you"
I don't understand but few ever do
It might be a matter of time

When I went to leave he didn't tell me not to go
I said I'd never see him but he said "you never know"
So I waved goodbye as he said hello
In case we met again

I was thinking just how lonely that would be
To know that your body is where no one can reach
If you're searching the stars and you happen to find me
Bring me back to earth


by Emily Weller

The journey

by Jacob Stoebner

On and on we walk
walking into the Valley of Death
together we trudge
one foot after another

Colors fade, sounds die
thoughts darken, eye sharpen
No one dares to take a breath
As we walk through the Valley of Death

Off Course

By Lorena Chiles

It was midnight and the neon colored lights glared through the window. It was raining outside
and the air smelled of salt (even in here, although fainter), but supposedly that was normal
considering I was right near the ocean. I never have liked the beach; it was always too sandy
and washing off all of the tiny stones seemed more of a challenge than it was worth. The place
truly disgusted me. Unfortunately I had to move here for more job opportunities-- after all, the
small town I was from was lacking a need for those in my field.

I attempted to sleep, but the sound of traffic and noises of too many people filled my senses.
Eventually I gave up on the activity. “Ah well,” I muttered, “I’ll sleep tomorrow.”

As I looked around the room I noticed how little there was to do. Not to mention the horrid
sounds of engines still finding their way into the paper-thin walls of the hotel... hopefully when I buy my own apartment things will get better. But my pessimism got the best of me, how am I
expected to adapt from my quiet home to this? It’s not going to be easy, that's for sure. I sat
there for a few more seconds relaying my choices. After thinking about it I knew there was one
truth: I had to get out of here. I changed clothes and threw on my leather jacket, making my way out of the room. I’ve always hated hotels like this, with their crazy patterned carpets and cheesy decorations.

I got a cab outside of the hotel, but I didn't have the faintest idea where I was going.

“Where to, Ma'am?”

I paused for a second, and of course I just had to say the first thing that came to mind. “The
beach, I suppose.” Silently I cursed myself. I hate the ocean, why would I say that?

The man gave me a confused look, he must not get many people going to the sea-side at
midnight. “Alright...?”

We sat through the rest of the ride in silence, the only words uttered was to pay for the short trip and a small “thanks”. Right when I stepped out of the cab a gust of salty air ran through my long hair. Another reason why I don't like the beach: the wind.

And with that I was alone with the land behind me and an endless amount of water before me. A certain feeling filled my senses as I stared out into the dark expanse, like confusion and
hopelessness and sadness had combined. It was like I wasn’t supposed to be here-- like I was
following the wrong path.

I felt completely and utterly lost.

The Kinds of People

by Kate Hirschfeld

Let’s go back.
To when the days were counted not in numbers but by discoveries.
Small fingers outstretched to the sky, trying to get a grasp on this world,
one experience at a time.
Asking questions without answers
Your favorite word was always “why.”
Punctuated with intensely curious eyes,
Your head cocked slightly to the side,
Expecting a response even when there wasn’t one to give.
Minds full of fairy dust
Wide eyes of wanderlust
Never knowing what life had in store for us.
Back to when you had perpetually paint stained hands,
Dirt under fingernails,
Hair tangled by the wind,
Mud stains on your new dress.
Don’t tell mom but you always liked it better like that anyway.
Said it reminded you of chocolate milk.
And everyone knows, there's nothing on this earth better than chocolate milk.
Back to when we gazed at the stars so long our eyes themselves began to twinkle.
We took to staring contests during the day to share our galaxies.
We woke up early to watch the sun paint the sky like a canvas.
Pink stained clouds never ceased to take our breath away.
Call us crazy, but thought it beat Cartoon Network anyday.
We stayed up past our bedtimes to wave the moon goodnight.
We searched the sky for the Big Dipper and Orion's Belt.
They were the only constellations we knew,
But the way our eyes lit up when we saw them,
Made them the only one’s we needed.
Back to when wonder was our only motive.
We dived in head first not because we had courage,
But because we didn’t know to be scared yet.
Back to when we rolled the windows down just to taste the wind.
And daydreaming was a common pastime not a waste of it.
When we were more than just people,
We were heroes and pirates and wizards and royalty.
We soared through storm clouds and danced with dandelions.
Our heartbeat was the only music we ever needed.
And every raindrop was proof that magic really did exist.Bedtime stories didn’t seem so far off.
What happened between then and now?
How did magic become merely a device for Disney to make a profit.
And four leaf clovers became so rare we stopped even bothering to look.
We stay up late but keep the curtains closed from the cosmos.
They say money can’t buy happiness but it’s starting to replace it.
We shy away from opportunity because we finally learned what fear was.
Our dresses remain clean and we don't drink chocolate milk
We close our fists and turn our eyes from the skies.
We don't have time for staring contests so our galaxies flicker and dim.
Your favorite word became “Because.”
Except, for a few.
Some people never stopped daydreaming
They still wish on dandelions though some may call them childish.
And wander forests in their free time because their curiosity surpasses their fears.
They seek out the beauty in the extraordinary and the mundane because to them those
words are synonyms.
They love for the sake of loving, their joy does not need justification.
And they aren’t afraid to get wet if it means dancing in the rain.
Most of all,
they still ask questions.

we’ll reach the next sunrise
the next thing to live for
breeze tickling our necks

When I
look into your eyes
I'm reminded that there’s more
to life than its end

Sand clings
to my clothes and my teeth
the grittiest picture
that I will ever take

The sun burns
even in my dreams
fever-ridden blurs
of swallowing lakes

I’ve lost
things I can’t replace
with ragged hand me downs
and makeshift families

I’ve no doubt
that you’ll still know the way
back to our hometown
once we’re finally free

And sometimes
I can't make myself move
Past thoughts of what's gone
And matters of when

But you, dear
You stand as my proof
Despite all the odds
Soon we'll breathe again

Peaches in a Post-Apocalyptic

by Emily Weller

"Damn," he murmured under his breath, right before he lifted the dry chicken into his mouth.
Maurie looked over at her husband, her eyes found his wrinkled furrowed brow. She examined
his pale fleshy skin and the way his hair was thin but still slightly greasy, pulled over his patchy
bald spot in a combover. No matter how she looked at him, she would still see ugly. Maybe she
had been looking at him for so long that she had forgotten what he really looked like. How he
looked to people who had just met him, to people that loved him.
"What is it dear?" She was aiming for a caring tone, but her voice came out flat.
"Nothing." He could barely be bothered with one word. His irritated manner worried her.
"Jim?" He looked up and their eyes locked.
She thought they were about to have a moment, but all Maurie saw was ugly blue pupils and
the minuscule purple veins that ran through his eyelids. She felt her own unattractiveness
reflecting back at her off of his face, she felt her small eyes and dumpy nose and all of the
weight she had gained with her age, and her stomach dropped.
"Jim, do you want to leave me?"

They returned to their food, and never spoke of it again.


by Erin Reichle

Cold as Fire

by Emily Sheffield

On the threshold of death
The flames burn
as an ever fervent winter reigns on

Eleven Million
by the cold hand of the
living, breathing people that,
All too quickly,
The blasé

But never forgotten by those strong enough to remember

But left behind by those who run from the truth

Only the darkness of the night
Knows the smell of burning flesh consumed by heartless flames
Knows the sound of blatant screams of the walking dead
Knows the horror of mass murder
That  took place at

The wind whispers about
The evil there

But many are too ignorant
To listen
They choose to forget

How convenient it is!
to forget the darkest part
Of our existence
Where a human heart is as cold
And as pitiless as fire

To deny
The part of our history
That makes a human
A monster

Words roll off of your tongue
But I cannot comprehend
I am too caught up in how your mouth forms the words
To understand what you are saying
The ideas you speak are merely sounds
Meanings dissociating from them
I cannot follow you
No matter how I try
Your lips are round when you say my name
Biting off the end
You gesture as you go along
Extravagant when you can’t find the words
As though what you can’t sound out with your voice
You can shape with your hands
You are loud
Louder than you think you are
But I can’t mind
Not when you are more passionate than the sun
I don’t know how long you’ve been talking
I don’t remember how long you’ve been talking
I don’t care how long you’ve been talking
Because the sounds you make are more beautiful than any song


by Claire Winters

The fact that it’s almost dark outside scares me.
The fact that it’s night again is terrifying.
I don’t know.
But I just can’t deal with it.
It’s almost dark outside.
So much more to do
So much more to say
So much more
But it’s almost dark outside
The stress of falling asleep
The stress of another day slipping away.
It’s almost dark outside and it scares me
It tears me
Why am I scared
I couldn’t tell you
But right now
It feels like another day wasted
But it wasn’t that at all
I just can’t deal with night again
I can’t deal with the fight again
Asleep or awake
Here there
Up down
It’s almost dark outside and it scares me
I tell myself
The coulda woulda shouldas drive me crazy
And they don’t ever stop.


By Abbey Archer

Fading, is my foggy facade, for It seems I have fallen into a fatal fatigue. Forgive me, Father, for  I have forgotten to forgoe the forseen, the forsaken, the fortunate few filled with faint failures. Forgive me, Father, for I have felt the factious feathers of a fatal foul. None the less, your faith is forever freeing. Frantic fingers feel a fleeting face, my favorite fantasy. A feckless flatline floats into my feeble fever, frozen frowns and fluttering flowers, forbidden fruit... the grande finale. For I follow and follow and follow until my feet can no longer find you. Do not fret, my friend, for this is my fourteenth funeral.  

Fourteenth Funeral

By Lila Denton

A black pen flows quickly streaming from line to line, a young girl swallows the lump in her throat only to say "I'm fine". An old man cries tears each drop a different memory, the black pen writes to get it out to tell a story, a youthful boy with eyes swollen red and dry, their last tear has already been cried, a teenager with knuckles sore and bruised and cut, a bedroom door broken from being slammed shut, a feeling of being trapped in the pouring cold rain, the black pen lets go of it and of all of the pain, papers covered in ink crumpled and tossed, so many different stories let out and then lost, a frustrate stare from two deep brown eyes, a suffocated feeling under a blanket of lies, the black pen is an expression an escape a release, writing line after line to finally reach peace.

Black Pen

By Samuel Ivester