anthology 2007

Brain, Partly Cloudy: Brain, Partly Cloudy: Swimming, We Could Be (Instead, Here Are We)

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Teen Writing Workshop anthology put out by the Western New York Writing Project.


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Brain, Partly Cloudy:Brain, Partly Cloudy:Swimming, We Could Be (Instead, Here Are We)

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Brain, Partly Cloudy:Brain, Partly Cloudy:Swimming, We Could Be (Instead, Here Are We)

Cover photo is of Gabriel Fontanez’ foot. Title page illustration (above) unclaimed.

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Brain, Partly CloudyAnthology of Poetry and Prose

Volume XVI

Western New York Writing ProjectWriting Workshop for Teens

July 23rd to August 3rd, 2007

WNYWP Director............................................................................Dr. Suzanne BorowiczNumero Uno & Numero 1a..............................................Jenn Meka Ratka Genevieve WebsterInspector General....................................................................Joel MalleyQuality Control Supervisor...............................................Franklin AquilinaGaffer................................................................................................Frank FlisBest Boy/Grip..............................................................................Matt Pavlovich

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Published by The Western New York Writing Project at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.

For more information about the WNY Writing Project, enrichment opportunities for students, and professional development for teachers, call (716) 888-3134 or go to Or, dude...check out our blog at

Copyright 2007 by Western New York Writing Project. All rights reserved. Individual authors and artists retain all ownership rights to their respective works. We are fairly confident this anthology has been printed in the United States of America.

Anthology Design and Layout - Joel Malley

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Joel Malley is an English teacher at McKinley High School. He loves the phrase “faux pas,” is a celebrated carnivore, claims late presi-dent James K. Polk as a close spiritual advisor, and is willing to bet that somewhere out there is a mouse named Fievel who is longing for a place to truly call home.

Matt Pavlovich is a middle school reading teacher and a graduate of St. Bonaventure. Hobbies include reading, sports, and listening to Dave Matthews. He loves spending time with his new son John and watching The Muppets and Mickey Mouse with him.

Frank Flis teaches junior and senior English at Lackawanna High School. He enjoys woodworking, gardening, and reading. He has come to the realization that fewer events in his life relate to Seinfeld episodes than to Twilight Zone episodes.

Jenn Metka-Ratka is a teaching consultant with Ruby Payne. When not being the head toe of the WNYWP Writing Workshops, she stays busy foisting flash based internet games on an unsuspect-ing populace.

Franklin Aquilina is an English and Theaterteacher at Clarence High School. When he’s not reading or playing a mean saxophone, he’s plotting the demise of prime-time television, virtual reality, and internet abbreviations. With his trusty red pen, he hopes to save the world from bad politics, miscommunication, and poorly written greeting cards.

Writing Workshop StiffsGevenvieve Webster teaches English and film at Hamburg High School. For fun, she enjoys teaching public speaking to college students and breaking her toes.

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IntroductionWell, as Freddie Mercury sang in his 1980 hit, another one bites the dust. This is itself is interesting, because if you play this record backward he sings tsud eht setib eno rehtona. Anyway, as I was saying before Frank inter-rupted me, another year is done. I can’t believe how fast the two weeks ran by. It’s like someone upped and bought Father Time some roller skates. This year we added new some new twists to the equation. You folks posted some writing on the new WNYWP Teen Writing Workshop blog and were nurturing and constructive in your advice. You also showed remarkable technological versatility in self recording your pieces for the audio anthology. Why don’t you stop right now and give yourself a hearty slap on the back. Ok, easy...don’t hurt yourself now. The poet Liz Mariani visited with us this year to share from her work. Hopefully you’ll saunter down to Allen Street Hardware some Sunday night for a little open microphone. Just don’t call it a slam. We were also visited by Bridget and her enraged husband, and we were deft in our collective handling of the resulting hostage situation. That is, until we got blowed up [sic]. The fun didn’t stop there. Two thirds of our group made the annual trip down to Forest Lawn looking for some creative whiffs from the stiffs. Alex completed his getting lost trifecta (three times in three years!). Rumor has it Frank Flis is still driving aimlessly through the neighborhood searching for him. Hope he filled his gas tank. Derek was again moved by the unmoving, later doubling us over with the Finale Lacrimosa of his Forest Lawn Sympho-

ny. I have reprinted the first two movements in this anthology so that you can witness the evolution of his madness. Speaking of Derek, this year we insti-tuted Offbeat Hat Day to capitalize on Senior Schultz’ fondness for fedoras. There were many lovely hats. Franklin and Matt chose not to wear offbeat hats, and were punished severely for it. Of course, as always, wonderful writing emerged from our little community, much of which is captured in this anthology. Meredith’s historical fiction piece shared during the morn-ing reading was insightful and moving. Alex was poignant as always. Qina’s audio anthol-ogy piece on gender roles is both disturbing and funny, and who will ever be able to forget Matt’s deep voiced accents in his evolving tale of espionage and treachery. This felt like our best year thus far. The teen veterans set a wonderful example (thanks Alex, Gabriel, Kelsey, Meredith, Grace, Amelia, Jordan, Kassie and Anna. And we can never remember having such strong first tim-ers. You’ve made this year a success, and we thank you for it. Remember, we mentors are just pylons and mile markers on your highway of storytelling. (Yes, I’m aware that’s a horrible metaphor.) You pound the pavement. Lastly, remember, writers write. Don’t become complacent. Whether you scribble down thoughts in a journal, publish a blog, or record your own stories, it is important that you continue to weave your tales. People need stories, and there has never been a time in history when they have been easier to share. Keep writing, and we hope to see you next year.

- Joel Malley


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Jackie Flis is a junior at West Seneca West. During the school year, she dances and is involved in many activities and clubs after school, such as student council, science club, and key club. During her free time Jacki obsesses about box cars and watches comedy movies.


Family, there is so much to say about them.Family will never nelegect you, they will be therfor you through anything. Family can often be very crazy, idiotic, embarass-ing, rambuncous, and loving at the same time. Just remember, every family is extraordinary and will forgive you, no matter what obstacles you have to cross.


What is the true meaning of love? Is it a game young people play? Or is it when two people have deep feeling for each other? There are many definitions of love, but which one can you really relate to? The definition I follow is thaty you care deeply about someone and devote yourself to them forever. That’s love.

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1Victoria Hender is a student at Lakeshore Middle School. She enjoys playing soccer and softball. She has lots of friends, and loves watching TV and sleeping until noon.

Who are you.?

You are nice to meAround your friends, you act like I’m no one!I thought you were my true friend?But I guess I was wrong!

Who are we.?

Who are we to judge other people?Who are we to that isn’t right?Who are we to say to people you are a dork?Why do we say those hurtful things?Is it the way we were raised?Who are we?


Create a world all your ownCreate a memorizing memoryCreate something you love

Mittens and Ronee

Once there was a black cat. She was about 8 years old. Her name was Mittens.She was a very nice cat. Mittens had silky black fur. The greenest eyes you have ever seen. A couple days ago, she was strolling streets. Mittens found a dragon named Ronee. He was very nice. The next day Ronee offered Mittens to fly with him. Mittens never flew before, so she said yes. The next day they were flying, it was July Fourth 1996. It was Mittens birthday. Ronne met her at the ocean. The ocean was sparkling in the blazing sun. They flew over the ocean,they saw many beau-tiful things. they saw high grass swaying in the wind. they saw a crystal clear pond. Mittens and Ronee enjoyed these sites. It was almost sunset. Mittens had to get home. They went flying at least three times a week. Mittens and Ronee always had fun together. Mit-tens loved Ronee’s red eyes. they reminded her her of red roses and tulips. He also had these bulging eyes. Mittens thought they were cute! Three years later Mittens fell sick. She couldn’t talk or move. Ronee was terrified. He didn’t want her to die. One day, weeks later, she felt better. She went to go see Ronee,and then she never came back! Mittens and Ronee went to explore the world. They had fun before, and they wanted for fun. They did have more fun they ever had in their life time! They lived together and they were happy together!


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Emily Schutte is homeschooled, but if she was in school she’d be starting at Amherst High School. She Irish dances twice a week and reads/writes religiously.

The wind howled through the air, tearing through the mountains of snow and whipping them about like waves on an ocean. Snow rained heavily down from the sky, everything lost from view in a forever shifting sea of white. There was nothing in this subzero world but cutting winds and heavy snow. In the middle of all this was a man, hunched against the cold. He was fighting his way through the storm, making very little progress against its angry gale. No face was exposed for the wind to bite, but bare hands peeked from under a heavy but inadequate coat. His fingers were black with frostbite. The man in the middle of all this madness was me, so what you are reading is the exact truth, not some horribly mutilated interview. Being in that storm was like nothing I’d ever experienced. The only sounds were the angry roar of the storm and my own labored breath-ing. Every intake of breath brought a fresh wave of a sharp, stabbing pain; my throat and lungs felt afire with it. Each gust of wind drew tears from my squinting eyes. I could see nothing but the curtain of snow that was drawn across my vision, and I began to lose sight of the one thing that had kept me alive: hope. I was out in the blizzard looking for some-one who would help my people. My people are

well adapted to extreme cold and heat, but this storm was unlike anything ever known. There was a shortage of food, and the water was frozen in its wells. I hated to see them suffer so much against Mother Nature when she was once our friend. I hadn’t been sent out to do this, the choice to fight the storm entirely my own. I wasn’t the best suited for it; being neither strong nor of substantial size, the cold and wind bit into my very bones. Exhausted, I fell to my knees. The snow was surprisingly soft, like a bed of pillows. It was so very tempting to abandon my mission for the inviting blanket of pure white snow beneath me. I sat there for long minutes until finally I forced myself to my feet once more. More agonizing minutes passed, the ground under my feet filling my eyes with its alluring white layer of snow. Finally, my will to go on broke and I once more fell to my knees. Noises from somewhere close by echoed strangely in my ears, like a chorus of beautiful copper bells. Smiling at the pleas-ant sound my chapped lips split and bled. I was somewhere beyond pain though, and suddenly my head weighed too much for my neck to support. The last thing I was aware of was the coppery tang of blood on my tongue, and the wonderful sound of those copper bells. When I woke, there was a man standing over me. He was wearing a black suit and tie with a

Fateful Acceptance

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light red shirt underneath. His eyes were dark gray in color and very intelligent and blonde hair sat closely cropped over a lineless face. His smile revealed straight white teeth that seemed to glow in the half light which filled the room. “Welcome to the world of the living,” the man said, laughing at his little joke. I didn’t know how it was funny, but it was a friendly laugh and I joined in. Mine was small and weak, the sound almost in-human. “Where am I?” My voice was hoarse, barely above a whisper. The man smiled again. “You’re in a hospital in Washington D.C. You’re lucky my soldiers found you hen they did. A few minutes more and you would’ve frozen to death.” Washington! My people had learned to fear the great city with its garrisons of soldiers and ware-houses full of the tools of war. My people are essentially human like the rest of the population; but for some unknown reason out thought processes are more advanced than that of our countrymen and woman. We live separate from the rest of the country because they drove us out. The rest of the people thought our speeches about why the weather was changing and how we could try to stop it were tricks. The government had con-ducted research already. They had said everything was fine, so why should they believe us? And now I was talking to the man at the heart of it all. He’d always supported the evidence his research teams had found, saying that we were trying to take control of the nation. “You’re the president,” I whis-pered, staring at the man who’d helped make my people an enemy. The man said nothing, looking down at me with his cold gray eyes. “I came here for help,” I said after long moments of silence. “My people are running out of supplies because of the storm.” The man nodded. “It has been given. The storm ended five hours ago. Your people,” he spat ‘your people’ out as if the words hurt to say “Sent someone to see if you’d made it.” I smiled with relief. They were all right. “They said

you are a scholar,” the man continued. I nodded and he went on. “You’re an expert on the different cul-tures and ethnic groups in America , right?” I nodded again, adding “I know of the cultures of other coun-tries as well.” The man’s face remained expression-less, but something flashed in his eyes for a brief moment. It was gone before I could name it, but it was something that made my stomach plunge. “You’re an expert of foreign peoples as well?” The man asked, a hint of eagerness in his voice. I frowned and said quickly “No sire, my knowledge of other countries and their people is limited.” The man smiled and said in a falsely gentle voice “My chief of human affairs has recently been forced to give up his position. Would you like to take it?” I don’t know what I’d been expecting, but that wasn’t it. “You’re asking me to become the chief of human affairs?” The man nodded. “You sound like just the right man for the job,” he said. “I cannot abandon my people,” was my reply. “Your people will be allowed to return to Washington . If,” here he paused, looking me directly in the eye “You will ac-cept my offer and by my chief of human affairs.” This was bribery, but the offer was too good to pass up. After a moments hesitation I gave my answer of acceptance. The man smiled, and again something in his eyes made me ill at ease. “I’m glad we see eye to eye. What is your name?” “Jamey Drake.”


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Anna Guzda will be entering her junior year at Amherst High School. She enjoy’s playing with her kitty flower, shopping, writing (obvious-ly), watching horror movies, chilling with her bff’s, tennis, watching baseball games, flirting, singing in the showrer, and going to church. God rocks!

Crossbones or Roses

A rose garden’s not the place you would think to go, When your town in attacked by an infamous foe. In this flowery haven to girls go to hide, The last time they’d be where the roses reside. The morning there afterit seems like a dream,An awful experienceis what it would seem. A friendship will blossomfrom an unlikely pair,But never the lessthere comes great despair. Unhealed from the daythat scars her for life,marries a manand becomes his wife. A miracle happensto bring her much hope,Falls in loveand goes to elope.

Crossbones or RosesIs what she must choose,No matter which one,Once husband will lose. One husband gets nervous,won’t accept defeat,Goes out of the wayand decides to cheat.

One thing is certain,one thing she knows is, The life she wanted had Crossbones, not Roses. Her husband will comeand battle her lover,Which life will she choose,Its one or the other.

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The Story of Johnny Guz This is the story of Johnny Guz,a man who thought he could not lose.This story will show that the things you don’t knoware the things that are best left unsaid.It takes as much courage to have tried and failed,as it does to have tried and succeeded.Unfortunately for valiant sir,a brain is what he really needed. Our story begins where the Guz makes his waydown the street with a gun by his side.Strutting along, so cocky, conceited!A man who is self glorified. From the opposite way, comes a man with a limp;no weapon or cordite to his name.But yet, when he comes to our friend Johnny Guz,he’ll defeat the Guz all the same. Johnny’s a man who will look for a fightwith many a man big or small.Yet Johnny will find that this oncoming manwith no armaments would soon beat them all.The Guz draws his gun and yells“Hands up son!” expecting an easy job.With out flaw, the man freezes uponly daring to move his large gob. “Please don’t shoot!” the man exclaims, sweat beading down right away.“I know who you are, the man who can’t lose,but I think that I know a way.”Shocked and confused describe Johnny Guzas he’s startled by the quiet man’s plea.What was he thinking, what was he saying?This man couldn’t harm a flea.

“I have no muscle, strength or grit,but knowledge I can conquer with!”He pulls a book out from his sack,(The Guz best watch his conceited back!)

“Haha!” exclaims the arrogant Guzpulling his gun back.“You really think that fight is fair?I doubt it sir, but -” WACK!! Johnny Guz falls backwardsand hits the concrete like he’s dead,those who know the truth knowhe took a novel to his head!So when it comes right to the factssmarts are weapons dignified.It’s just the little matter ofhow knowledge is applied!


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Alex Holt lives in Williamsville, New York with his parents and sister and will be a junior at Williamsville East High School this fall. This is his third year at the Writers Project. His interests include spending time on the computer, reading, listening to music, playing guitar, accu-mulating useless trivia, and writing.

Glam Music

Glam music’s got this buzz to it. Maybe it’s all the fuzztone on the guitars and the basses, maybe it’s the fact that the former David Jones and co. used up most of the world’s eyeliner supply, maybe it’s the fact that their bodies were always naturally or artificially juiced: whatever it was, subtlety just wasn’t a part of glam. Even the harmonies weren’t quiet: glam records fre-quently feature the bands singing along with all the coordination of fans at an NFL game (it’s not a coincidence that two of the best known glam anthems are “Rock’ N’ Roll, Pt. 2” and “We Will Rock You.”) There’s never any uniformity to the lead vocals either: screams, shrieks, throaty growls, swoons, nasal whines, the demented begging of madmen down on their knees, down to their last legs. Everything from the platform shoes to the feathers to the mascara to the amplifiers un-leashing ungodly noise out of the guitar is com-pletely oversized and competitive. In “Queen B**h”, David Bowie sneers at the title woman “with her bippity-boppity hat” and half sneers, half brags “God, I can do better than that” and just listening to his sheer over-the-top bragga-docio, not only do you know he could, you know he is doing better than that this very minute. The glamsters all had their different methods of do-ing things. Marc Bolan of T. Rex oozed out his

vocals to the tune of neo-Chuck Berry guitars with lyrics singing the praises of Bolans’s favor-ite cars. Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople chronicled the downs and, well, even further downs of life in showbiz with a gloriously wrong voice that was this unearthly combination of David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan. His American coun-terpart, David Johansen, who later changed his name to Buster Pointdexter and made oodles of money from the amount of times “Hot, Hot, Hot” has been played at bar mitzvah parties, paid tribute to the same subjects as Hunter with an unbelievably throaty voice frequently com-pared to Jagger but probably closer in sound to Eric Burdon from the Animals or a makeup wearing version of Tom Jones. Gary Glitter sang about well, nothing that actually meant anything, but he did a great job of getting the backup sing-ers to sing the tunes for him. Noddy Holder of Slade shrieked with the kind of glass-shattering intensity that makes Brian Johnson, A.K.A. the Screaming Guy From AC/DC, look like Tom Waits. Not surprisingly, Slade’s songs, which featured titles with an average of 30 “Zs”, were heavily covered by 80’s metal bands like Quiet Riot. And then there was Bowie. All I can say is that any-one with the chutzpah to paint makeup all over his face, including a lightning flash that predated Harry Potter by about 25 years, form the best backup band since the early days of Elvis Pres-ley, and proclaim himself to be Ziggy Stardust, an alien from Mars come to Earth to save rock’

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n’ roll, deserves to be acclaimed every inch the rock hero/god he’s hailed as. Glam music was always a much bigger deal in Britain than it was on the Western side of the Big Pond but it’s still found its more-fashhionable-than-thou way into today’s music. Not every glam hero’s done as well as Bowie (Gary Glitter was recently released from a Vietnamese jail) but most of them have found cult niches and the makeup and over-the-top sense of humor live on in groups like Green Day and My Chemical Romance. Why? I can’t really give a scientific explanation but the best way I can explain it is that just as Bowie and Bolan took a look at punk and progressive rock and just didn’t click with it, people like Bil-lie Joe Armstrong and Gerard Way take a look at crunk and neo-grunge, turn to face each other, and exclaim “God, I can do better than that!”

Global Warming

Once upon a time, thee list of famous vacation resorts was set in stone and located squarely near the Equator. Cancun, Rio, Miami Beach, Malibu, the Bahamas: all attracted thou-sands of tourists with their exotic wildlife, fa-vorable currency, and startling lack of climate diversity. But in the wake of global warming, the modern resorts of the 2020’s are a very differ-ent breed. They are listed as follows

1.Buffalo-oh, sure there are some hazards to va-cationing in the Queen City: Lake Erie is much smaller than it used to be and swimming in it is still not advisable but otherwise, vacationing in the Rust Belt these days means nothing but fun in the sun. The city’s days as a snow capital are commemorated by posters paying tribute to the city’s hockey team. 2.New Death Valley-formerly known as Salt Lake City, this resort offers lots of rewards for any-one who dares brave the 212 degree heat.3.The North Pole-this damp locale is the north-ernmost point in the world but you’d never know it from the exciting, lush climate. It’s like a tropical resort-except it’s nowhere near either of the Tropics.4.SeaWorld New York-the most popular aquatic park on the East Coast.5.Western Nevada-there’s some beautiful oceanfront property here.6.Syracuse-come see the sights of the new U.S. capital ever since the mosquitoes took back Washington.7.Washington-explore the wonders of our na-tion’s former center of the government and the new “Everglades of the Potomac.”8.Alaska-the new Hawaii.9.Hawaii-the new Alaska. 10.Canada-everyone who’s anyone has a sum-mer home here. Formerly known as the “Land of Ice and Snow” but it’s since melted into the “Land of Milk and Honey.”

Go East, Young Man

Go north where there’s still a frontierAnd mounds of snow still fall on the forests and the cities alikeThe prairies and the dunes and the mountains are still thereThe garbage trucks and the shopping bags are still larger than lifeTrees are still in the cities and gift shops in the for-ests The Grand Canyon of Arizona is gone; the Grand Canyon of New York is still thereThe beaches of California and the shores of Florida and the sands of New Mexico are no moreThe beaches of Maine and Lake Erie and the sands of Jones Beach still live onRising from the asbestos and carbon monoxide ashes, the North shall rise againAnd damn but it plays a good game of hockey


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Gabriel Alejandro Fontanez is a student at Amherst Central High School. He’s a...(fill in as you please).


Leaves fallWhilst I bleed with crushed rosesThorns dig in but the small priceTo pay to see a smile5 bits of cowardice lost to the worldWhere war holds no motherly bondTo feed her childrenI smileHear my mind cackle and crackleAt the red that feeds my thoughtsThat kills nocturnes in its nightly fashionBut the light of Church Glass WindowsFollows not too far behindWhile a God whispers:En Nomani Patri, Et Fili, E Spirirtu SanctiWhat fortune will my Cards hold?And when will I see a perfect Hand again?How long before the Tea Kettle runs out?How Long before the Sun bleeds dry?Bread of Life and the Salt of the SeaAnd Bubbles popping in my mindImpossibilities at reachWhere Bare Knuckles, lacerated, have meaningDown to their very Bone MarrowSo when the Ace of Hearts comes around againWill you be ready?To see that Chocolate MeltsAnd Suns bleed for you?Will the world be ready?To see that there is nothing

That a fortune can’t fix?That...Peace hath her Victories, no Less renowned than WarOctoberDoes not shed its wishesIn a timely fashion to coincideWith a Raven’s twitchTwisted memories of the darkIn Ravenous eyesLives it nowSimply, for its dying wishWhere the time to say goodbyeDoes not hide itself in the Twilight lit hallwaysUnder the staircaseNor at their feetWhere you might find yourself

I’m from the Rest of it all

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I’m From

I’m from thoughtsThe realization that the world turnsWhichever damn way I want it toBut it’s gotta turn in the way no matter what

I’m from waking up at 6 on SaturdayJust to watch the Disney ChannelI’m from wondering why no oneJust said Hello to ArnoldAnd the fact thatWhen I found out that the DIn Disney was actually a D...My entire concept of realityAnd my own psychosis was com-pletely shattered

I’m from having sandwiches at lunch timeAnd having Chuletas y PastelillosAnd “God, why are we having Ar-roz con gondules, again...I don’t want rice anymore!”“Well mira you gotta eat what we put in front of you!”“Well I ain’t gonna be Puerto Rican if gotta eat rice!”I also happen to be from the realization of who I amWhere I came fromAnd that rice really ain’t that bad

I’m from learning my first words in SpanishFrom people cutting off my parents on the highwayOoooo you can imagine what those words were

I’m from my motherWho taught me that you get nowhere without hard workI’m from my fatherWho taught me to follow my artistic insightSo I’ll never have to regret as he does nowI’m from my Abuela, my grand-motherWho taught me that life is tough, and you better realize itBefore it’s too late

I’m from smilesHugs, loveTe AmosAnd I love you’sRomanceLifeHappinessAnd the rest of it allAngel wingsFrom my own kingdoms of solitudeFrom music that burns in my soulFrom Piano Keys and Bass ClarinetsFrom Salsa, Merengue, Tango, BoleroFrom Rock, Rap, Reggae, Pop, AlternativeFrom Chevelle

O.A.R.Los Trios PanchosFrom meSitting at my pianoAnd my fingers moving over the keysLike water would move over rocks

I’m from thisFrom ink and paperFrom pens and pulmonary arter-iesPounding with ferocity

I’m from quiet neighborhoodsAnd I’m from Majestic Cities

I’m from my first kissAnd I’m from my favorite kiss

I’m from JazzSpanish guitar So sensual and sweetAlmost eroticLike European Sex on sheet musicI’m from the reality of loveLifeTruthLiesAnd the rest of it all in my prefect littleCircle of insanity

I’m From

I’m from thoughtsThe realization that the world turnsWhichever damn way I want it toBut it’s gotta turn in the way no matter what

I’m from waking up at 6 on SaturdayJust to watch the Disney Chan-nelI’m from wondering why no oneJust said Hello to ArnoldAnd the fact thatWhen I found out that the DIn Disney was actually a D...My entire concept of realityAnd my own psychosis was completely shattered

I’m from having sandwiches at lunch timeAnd having Chuletas y PastelillosAnd “God, why are we having Arroz con gondules, again...I don’t want rice anymore!”“Well mira you gotta eat what we put in front of you!”“Well I ain’t gonna be Puerto Rican if gotta eat rice!”I also happen to be from the realization of who I amWhere I came fromAnd that rice really ain’t that bad

I’m from learning my first words in SpanishFrom people cutting off my parents on the highwayOoooo you can imagine what those words were

I’m from my motherWho taught me that you get nowhere without hard workI’m from my fatherWho taught me to follow my artistic insightSo I’ll never have to regret as he does nowI’m from my Abuela, my grand-motherWho taught me that life is tough, and you better realize itBefore it’s too late

I’m from smilesHugs, loveTe AmosAnd I love you’sRomanceLifeHappinessAnd the rest of it allAngel wingsFrom my own kingdoms of solitudeFrom music that burns in my soulFrom Piano Keys and Bass ClarinetsFrom Salsa, Merengue, Tango, BoleroFrom Rock, Rap, Reggae, Pop, AlternativeFrom Chevelle

O.A.R.Los Trios PanchosFrom meSitting at my pianoAnd my fingers moving over the keys

Like water would move over rocks

I’m from thisFrom ink and paperFrom pens and pulmonary arteriesPounding with ferocity

I’m from quiet neighborhoodsAnd I’m from Majestic Cities

I’m from my first kissAnd I’m from my favorite kiss

I’m from JazzSpanish guitar So sensual and sweetAlmost eroticLike European Sex on sheet musicI’m from the reality of loveLifeTruthLiesAnd the rest of it all in my pre-fect littleCircle of insanity


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original artwork by Hannah Wilson


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Alyssa Henline is an 8th grader at Mill Middle. She enjoys reading a book as she walks through the school halls, and somehow manag-es not to run into anybody. Alyssa is fascinated with anything that has to do with dragons, and enjoys hanging out with her bff Claire.

I watched as a horse raced across the plains. His charcoal colored mane billowed out from a strongly built neck, looking like the sail of a boat caught in a storm. I could see muscles rip-pling under a coat the color of burnt toast as the horse heightened his speed from a canter to a gallop. His hooves sounded like the boom of a firecracker as they collided with rocks buried in sand the color of a sunset. I watched as his gait slowed and he trot-ted over to stand in front of me. I held out a hand for him to sniff and he bowed his head as he delicately inspected it. His breath on my hand was as soft as morning mist, as gentle as a lover’s caress. I stroked the beautiful head that was as soft as silk while he watched me from intelligent eyes the color of melting choco-late. I led him over to a rock half-covered by sand. It felt warm against my bare feet as it was heated by the midday sun’s golden rays. The horse, knowing what I intended, edged a bit closer to the rock and pawed the ground. It too, eagerly awaited the moment when we both could run freely across the sand. Then I was on his back, sitting as though I’d been born there. We charged across the desert, jumping over cac-tuses with spines sharper than a grandmother’s sewing needle, dodging clumps of grass where

a snake could be lying as it waited to strike with fangs deadlier than daggers. Our ride was cut short as my horse abruptly stopped at the edge of a cliff. Below us, a herd of wild horses looked up, ears pricked forward as they listened, nostrils flared to catch any scent that indicated danger. We stood there for a few moments, a dark silhouette against the setting sun, watching the horses and the raging river they stood beside, before my mount made his way down the cliff with steps as graceful and as careful as a dancer’s. I dismounted at the base of the cliff, and my horse and I mingled with his herd. The wild horses were beautiful, with coats ranging from a white lighter that freshly fallen snow, to a ma-hogany the color of the vanishing sun. Their manes ranged from a black darker than that of my horse’s to a honey brown the color of my own hair. Finally, a dark shape nudged me from behind. I turned to see my horse, he was almost invisible, but I knew it was him, I could see the moon reflected in his melting chocolate eyes. He climbed back up a part of the cliff by the river, and I followed him. The steps were slip-pery from droplets of river water, and my feet slipped and slided as though I was on an ice rink. I made it up eventually though and mount-ed the shadow that was blacker than night, my

Freedom For A Moment

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horse. We galloped back across the desert under the stars, each like a miniature sun, stuck in a blue darker than the worst nightmare. The journey back from the herd seemed shorter than the one to, and I cried as we hopped the fence that surrounded my house, the tears looked like pieces of the moon. I found myself wishing I could capture the wild horse standing in front of me. He stretched out his neck and his magnificent head brushed my palm. In that in-stant, that sliver of time smaller than the point of a needle, I knew what it meant to be him. I saw the world through his eyes, and we became one. I lived his life, from when he was a colt gazing in wonder at a snowflake melting on his nose, to very recently, when he and his herd ran along the oceanside as blue-green waves flecked with foam brushed their hooves. I was him a few hours ago, going against his instincts, when he allowed me to ride him, to meet his herd in its secret place by the river. That moment of time seemed to last for-ever, though in truth it was no more than a sec-ond. But in that second, I realized I could capture all the wild beauty and spirit in this horse, but I could never truly tame it never make it my own. If I kept it, the horse’s wildness would slowly fade; dying away until the horse that had once ran freely across the desert was only the shadow of a memory, as empty as a wordless book. And so I watched as the horse I would never be able to call my own galloped away, his twilight colored coat silver in the moonlight, running freely under the stars and sun for all time.


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Jen Adcock is going into 9th grade at North Tonawanda High School. She frequently lives in her own fantasy world, populated by vam-pires, elves, dragons, and much more. She enjoys riding the dragons and making friends with elves, but she knows to avoid the vampires.

The First Year

The Tree of Life was one and all. From it, all other life had spawned. Its sap could heal even the gravest injuries. Its leaves would be better protection than tempered steel. Ever since the dawn of creation the Tree of Life was inspiration for writers and artists, invoking rich and wild dreams. But times were changing. An eternity of life was coming to a close. The leaves withered and fell, poisoning all they touched. The sap went cold and brittle and eventually stopped flowing. The many worlds brought into being by the branches were cut off as a deep cold enveloped the Tree of Life. After a bright and beautiful summer, winter wrapped its icy ten-drils around all creation.And yet, every life in the Tree fought to keep it alive, whether they knew it or not. As new gen-erations came and went, the Tree grew stron-ger, and after the harsh winter, it was finally able to shake off the soul-deep chill of death. A time of new life was brought forth. Prosperity abounded and lush growth took over. Spring destroyed the last scars of winter. The healing sap flowed in generous supply and the leaves protected all life. Spirits soared as the Tree of Life glowed with beauty. But the Tree knew what its people did not. The cruel shroud of winter would come again. The tree also knew that it would survive.

Its people would grow stronger with each pass-ing era, knowing that they had withstood the treacherous First Year.

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Summer Love Look skyward my darling, and see hope in the stars.Watch as it erases all of the scars.Breathe in the scent of cool summer rain.Feel as it washes away all of the pain.Come hold my hand and I’ll take you away,And together we’ll spend this glorious day.Feel the warm welcome wind on your faceAs it removes the memories without leaving a trace.But whatever happens remember this true:

I will love you forever and love only you.

Mistakes Who do we continueWhen it’s killing us inside?What are we supposed to do?All I can say is we tried. I guess there’s nothing wrong with it,But I never thought I’d get over you.Finding that together, we just didn’t fit.I really believed our love was true. “It’s better to have loved and lostThan never to have loved at all.”And yet I don’t care; no matter the cost,I’d give anything not to fall. No matter how many miskates I make,I can’t quite figure it out.What was I supposed to takeAway to decide what this is about? Why do we continueWhen it’s killing us inside?What are we supposed to do?All I can say is we tried.


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Claire Kirby is in 8th grade at St. Benedict School. Her favorite food is potatoes (she likes them baked, mashed, or any other way). When she isn’t reading and writing, Claire likes to swim, listen to music, and act crazy.

The Sounds of the Night

My white and brown cat meows.The neighbor’s big black dog growls.In the distance, a coyote howls.

The sheets rustle as I toss and turn. Outside, I hear and smell a campfire burn.And when will the neighbor’s black dog learn??

These are a few of the sounds of the night,The things that I hear when there is no light.They’re comforting, soothing. These sounds are just right.


Who? What? When? Why?I have so many questionsEven when I don’t try.

Why is the sky blueAnd not yellow, red, or green?It’s just blue!

Why does summer have so many daysBut they go by so fastThat it’s just a blurry haze?

And how many times must I askAll these questionsBefore they are answered at last??

Smelling Summer

A whiff of cut grass reaches my noseWhile the feel of the little blades tickles my toes.Across the yard, I see pretty begonias.I can smell them, too. They’re my neighbor, Antonia’s.I can also smell my pool’ s chlorine That makes my eyes burn. Chlorine is so mean!I sip my drink, and some drips down my chin.Now, I, too smell like it: kiwi melon.These are the things I see and hear.

These summery scents that are all so dear.

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God’s Specialties

When you watch fireworks do you go beyond the flashing lights, really beyond them? When I watch the beautiful creations I look around. I look at my family and friends who are watching with me. Have you ever no-ticed that when you see something as amaz-ing as fireworks, that it doesnt matter who your with, your weirdest aunt, your worst en-emy, or even your sister who you recently got into a fight with the day before, you just seem to forget about everything in the past. Like you need to share this moment with anyone you can get ahold of. Do you see what God does to us? He makes us see all of the beauty that he created for us to inhale. you really do ex-pirience all of the great fulfillments in life. No matter how young or old you are, you can still see the beauty that was meant to be.

The smell of flowers fills the air as I enter the dark, dusty church. The door seems to have shut behind me, as if she was trapping me in there. The air in the large, bright room was slightly limited. Everyone dressed in black looked like mere strangers against the wide, iridescent windows. As everyone cries and says there goodbyes, I stay for a while. Not doing anything, except sitting, wonder-ing when I will ever feel ok to enter the world without her. I take the flowers that have been tightly clenched in my sweaty palm for over an hour, and I gently place them upon her faded, yet beautiful, skin. As I simply repeat the words that she has once told me. With every end, is a new beginning.

It was the first time I’ve seen one of such radiant beauty before. How the white spots upon her glistened in the mid-afternoon light showing through the already crescent moon. It’s withered bones looked haggard as she ran past us. The brown shown cover-ing her flesh was not just a brown, it was a creamy sensation waiting to be forgotten. Her hoofs stumbled as she passed, leaving only the memory of such indescribable feelings behind her. The car screeched to a halt as all we could do was gaze at this lovely creature. Then as if by magic she slowly disappeared into the darkness.

Rachelle Kelchlin is going into the 8th grade. She loves to read and write. Her favorite colors are blue, purple, and green. She loves Disney and hot summer days. She loves standing in the rain with no umbrella. She also listens to music daily, and she pre-fers sandals rather than sneakers. Rachelle had fun at WNYWP.

Similarity’sButterfly’s are like children,They come differently than the other.Some are big some are small,and there may be different colors.Different variety’s, shapes and sizes,they are unique in there own way.When they grow older they fly away from there home,they spread there wings and prepare to take flight for the future that lies ahead.


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Voices My friends,My family,My loved,My departed,The bells areRinging,It’s timeToo seeWhat liesBeyondOur vision.Is it ourDeath?Is it ourFuture?Is it ourLoved?Who is calling?Whispering myName,So omniously.But I knowIt is a fimiliarVoiceYet it’s soMysteriousI think it isMy own.

Spinning They sayLoveMakes theWorldGo ‘round,But when yourWorldComes to a halt,How do youGet it toSpinAgain?What if?

What If?

What ifTh sun exploded?What ifThe world ended?What ifThe troops never came home?What ifThere was no technology?What ifThere was life on mars?What ifYou fell asleep and never woke up?What ifYou were a superhero?What ifIt rained blood?Would it heal us?Would it destroy us?What if?

Tori Cybulski attends West Seneca East High School and is entering 9th grade. She enjoys laughing with her friends and family. She likes to make jokes and also enjoys swimming, soccer, hockey, and foot-ball.

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Buried Dead and Alive

I awoke and sat up to see my sur-roundings. It was gray. It was almost as if the world had gone black and white. Fog swirled around in the air allowing me only to see a few feet in front of me. I looked down to see grass but not the normal pretty grass this grass was dead. I cautiously took a step for-ward into the fog, then another, and another. I stopped took a deep breath then took an-other step. Instead of dead grass I felt thin air and seconds later my feet gave out from un-der me and I tumbled into a hole. I groaned my head spinning. I stood up. The hole was large. I jumped up to try to grab onto the ledge but it was no use. I jumped and jumped and scraped at the walls but nothing worked. “HELP! HELP!” I shouted into the fog. There was no reply. I lay down, exhausted. Just as my eyes were closing someone appeared. They looked down on me. At first I couldn’t make him out but then I saw his short black hair and big blue eyes. I realized who it was. “Hey Sam! Sam! I’m so glad you’re here.” But I really wasn’t. He reached out his hand to pull me up. I reached for his. I hesi-tated, for some reason this didn’t seem like

the right thing to do. “C’mon Jack grab on.” He said. I shook the feeling away and grabbed on. “Jack!” I whipped my head around. “Zack!” I shouted with delight. He was holding a large rusted shovel. “C’mon Jack.” Sam said tugging on my arm. I slowly hesitantly turned from Zack. “Jack! Don’t do this.” He said. “Don’t listen to this loser!” Sam said and pulled harder on my arm. I didn’t know what to do. “Jack, who is your real friend?” Zack said. Sam pulled me again. “No Sam!” I said and pulled away. He looked at me for a moment then walked away. I lied down. The dirt came first at small amounts but then became larger, covering all of me... covering all of apart of me. Zack put the final amounts of dirt onto to me. That part of me was buried there, dead, to be buried there dead for all eternity... I awoke and sat up to see my sur-roundings. I smiled. My life had just begun...

Jack Cryan is going into 8th grade at St. Benedict’s. Jack plays hockey and soccer. In the summer he enjoys jet skiing and tubing.


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Derek Schultz, the Red Jester #886, call him what you will, he’s the same guy. A senior at Clarence High, this is (regrettably) his final year at the workshop. He enjoys wandering in quarries, blasting loud music, and memorizing Monty Python sketches. He is cur-rently a “carnie” in the Clarence Comedy Troupe, “Marty Cosra’s Floating Carnival.”

Forest Lawn SymphonyMovement I

Grow old with me, the sundial said.I’d rather not, cuz I’d be dead.In prayer the dead one’s hands are fold, beneath the earth where bones lie cold.

A pot of weeds sits on his headthe flowered Hall is still long dead.When you are gone, I would not thinkyour stone would read, “He sleeps a wink.”

The grave has many Offers, true,I do not think I’d take them, you? Another dial on which are flowers“I count only sunny hours.”

By Ritchie’s grave lie weeds askew,his bones are probably that way too.In the shadows lie the stoneon which the grim name Dark is shown.

A bear tore Kamper’s limbs asunder, now he’s laying six feet under.A chain link on the grave of Westhis mind has found eternal rest.

While wondering past stones, I thinkI’ve found the dead and missing Link.There’s something fishy, I’ve no doubtabout the stone which name reads Trout.

Forest Lawn, or so I saw, I think is named for Forrest Shaw.Lotus and columns of Egyptian lorecover the mausoleum’s door

where Ryly sleeps, and spiders creep.What classy chap could ask for more?A Jolly grave is on the lawn.Jolly sad the kid is gone.

Underwood is understone.I think he should be left alone.The poor man’s given up his life, for Given lies beside his wife.

I pray to God for poor old Bickel.He met the old Grim Reaper’s sickle.And I apologize. I fear for taunting the departed dear.

Requiescant in pace.


Movement II

Beneath the earth it makes its MarksHis coffin lying cold and dark.Heaven Smiles upon this moundthe mason Bury underground.The pig turned Butcher’s blade aroundthat’s why she is underground.The fallen never rise againto leave the Fell and shadowed den.

None like to wait for sleep and stoneyet he will Wait with worms and loam.Something in his life went wrongand so he had to say so “Long.”I hope she’s having quite a Ballhanging out in heaven’s hall.The Brewer tried his homemade beerand that is why he’s buried here.

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The Greek the Roman gods of oldthe Betz are cast in vaults not gold.The family traveled to distant shoresthe ones who lingered live no More.A Lotta Beebe’s pierce her headI think it’s obvious why she’s dead.The fine young gentleman buried heresipped his fancy sherry.Alas, when he was fencinghe forgot to Perry.

Death was price for me he’d robin court he should have shut his Gobb.Half in light, half in darkunlucky Fisher hooked a shark.My heart goes out to her or himwho met a fate that turned out Grimm.The Reading stones are in two rowsI’m writing as they decompose.

The two of them are Dunn with lifesix feet under husband and wife.The second time I quake in fearfor mocking our departed dear.

Good Riddance.


Finale Lacrimosa

A Wolf devoured him flesh and bonehis cross stands on the lawn alone.A Gunn was pointed at his headthe trigger clicked and he fell dead.

A bandit caught the Sherriff nigh,and in the west they saw him die.The sword was Sharp upon his neckhis bloodless body hit the deck.

A Bullett buried in his brainhis eyes will never see again.Greek fell in the Trojan Warshis ship now bound for Hades’ shores.

From Corners of the dungeon gonefrom chains he once decayed upon.He choked upon a grain of Rice

his diet exacted a deadly price.

The Draper’s curtains stopped his breathwith frilly lace that bore his death.The Carrier dropped his heavy loadupon his head, as headstone showed.

He gave his murderer the Fingerne’er insult your own death-bringer.The Burley man lost all his strengthas all three fates cut his life’s length.

His good ship’s Hull smashed on the rockshis body floated to the docks.Of deadly fumes his took a Huffand one large sniff was quite enough.

the Miller was grinded by his stonesand turned to powder were his bones.He struck his head upon the Belland from the church’s tower fell.

For the second Cumming daythey did not wait, they passed away.Impaled upon the rhino’s Hornhis hunter’s role in life forsworn.

the barber with his Shears did cutthe murderess’s hairshe turn’d and stabbed him in the backand left him dying there.

His spine was twisted, cracked, and bentand on the final snap he Wendt.The veteran’s family manned the Orrsand wrecked the ship on German shores.

He dived headfirst, as would a fool,into the rather shallow Poole.They were the Masters of the landnow buried in a tomb so grand.

His Collor was alas too tighthis breath stopped and he saw the light.Thus ends the third and final timeI mock the dead with ruthless rhyme.

Rest, my orchestra.(2007)


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13. Hannah Wilson goes to Perry High School. She will be entering 12th grade. (Aaaaah! She just had a panic attack! Call 911!) She enjoys writing, read-ing, drawing, and thinking. She hates having to read aloud in front of class because she is very shy. (Don’t tell her I told you that.) She loves animals, but hates getting fur all over her clothes. She has five brothers, no sisters, and so is very surprised she hasn’t gone crazy. The end.


Rinec was filled with an urgency that he didn’t understand. Some people had a sort of sixth sense that made them able to detect when something bad was happening to someone they cared about. He hadn’t had that feeling when his parents died. But he felt that something bad was happening now. He HAD to get to Cheyxu. He had to. He had a feeling that he would never forgive him-self if he didn’t. Because Kirin was in trouble. He jumped in his hovercar and lifted off, putting it on autopilot while he loaded his pistol with ammo. It would take less than five minutes to get to Cheyxu.

She knew that he was coming. She didn’t know how she knew, but she did. She could wait. She had been waiting for over four years. But she was afraid. She didn’t want to die. If she did, though, she didn’t want to die alone, or sur-rounded by these people. She wanted Rinec to be there, or to come and rescue her, which would be preferable. She hoped that Leana and Oelin were safe. “Once more, I am asking you to tell us where the rebel headquarters are,” said the stern faced soldier. “I would advise you to do so or suffer the consequences.”

In spite of her fear, Kirin could not help but be annoyed. Couldn’t he see that she didn’t know anything about the ‘rebel forces’? “I don’t know, you blasted idiot! Will you just leave me alone?” She exploded, regretting her words as soon as they left her mouth. “Insolent, eh? We’ll have to fix that.” Kirin couldn’t restrain a shudder.

Finally! He had arrived! He hopped out of the hovercar, looked around. This was where he had dropped off his family-and if he knew Kirin, she would stay close. She’d have an apartment in the city nearby. Only, there was no city. Not what he would call a city, anyway. A few build-ings still stood here and there, the rest was in ruins; camps full off the invading-and winning-planet’s soldiers dotted the war-torn landscape. The urgency came at him again. He headed for the nearest building that looked like an apartment complex. He knew that it w as the right one. Especially when he snuck into the park-ing ramp on the first floor and head someone’s disdainful voice say “Well, that’s over and done with-we’d better continue our patrol before the commander finds out.” Rinec was frightened. He hadn’t been frightened in a long time, but he was. Something was wrong. And he was quite sure why he felt that way. He stood up from behind rubble he’d been using for a sort of shield. He saw soldiers. “What’s done with?” He asked in a low,

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throaty voice. They didn’t miss the underlying, ill-con-cealed threatening tone. “What business is it of yours?” Rinec was smoldering with rage. He wanted them to ADMIT it. To admit they had killed his wife. “What did you do to her?” He growled. The lead soldier gave a start of surprise, then quickly concealed it. But Rinec had seen it. Using one hand, he propelled himself over the rubble and in full view of the soldiers. In the other hand he held a gun. His eyes weren’t steely; they were animal-like with grief, pain, and rage. The sol-diers whipped out their guns, and began shooting. He ignored the bullets as he shot at every one of the soldiers. He was a Lsai, after all, and to show pain or to care was weak. As he closed the dis-tance between the soldiers and he, when his gun had no more ammo, he used his knife. They were no match for him. He tore them to pieces. Didn’t ay heed to their cries of pain, didn’t care. They had killed Kirin, and maybe Leana too. When he was finished with them, he tracked where they had just come from, rounded a group of hovercars, and found her body. It was as though he had no support, as though he had turned into jelly-he collapsed be-side her, touched her bloody, bruised face with his bloody hand. “I was late,” he told her, a lump in his throat, aching pain in his heart. “I was too late-I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”

She could hear him. She knew that he didn’t know that she was the tiniest bit alive. She WANTED to live, wanted to tell him that it was all right, he was forgiven, but she couldn’t. Her body was so torn, so beaten-she could not live no mat-ter how much she wanted to. She could barely feel the pain-she knew she was slipping away. But she HAD to do this one thing, had to try.

She wasn’t sure she had done it, so unaware was she of her earthly body-so disconnected from it.

But she had done it. Rinec heard it, had strained to hear, so quiet it was. “Rinec.” A soft, quiet, loving sigh. A forgiv-ing, goodbye sound. Rinec cried, sobbed. Cried as he hadn’t even cried when his parents died. His love was dead. She would never come back. He would have to live without her for the rest of his life, and he could not picture it. Could not imagine being happy ever again, or marrying another. Never. He wouldn’t ever. For a long, long time he lay motionless by Kirin’s body. Finally, though, he stirred. He had to find out if Leana still lived.


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Amelia Colon is a sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy. Outside of school she studies violin, piano, and voice. This was her second summer involved with the WNYWP and she’d like to thank mentors and peers for their enthusiasm and inspiration.

Streaked wine glasses overhead shadowed the faces of two men. They sat solemnly three stools apart and adjacent to the kitchen’s door. The restaurant’s oval shaped bar had occupied most of the floor, the remaining space filled by fifteen tables and five semicircular booths. At twelve past ten, a pale man with pro-nounced cheekbones entered and took his seat between the two men at the end of the bar. “Bailey’s on the rocks.” he squawked at the bartender. As a menial tip, he threw a few coins on the counter. It was obvious he hadn’t bothered to shave that morning and a ripe odor lingered from his musty cologne. As the pianist took a break, Oscar Peterson’s trio rang through the vintage wooden framed speakers in each cor-ner. The man moved his thumb and middle finger back and forth to the constant downbeat of the tune. To the left of him sat a heavy set Greek and to the right a modestly proportioned Jewish man. The Greek pretended to ignore the man’s tapping. The Jewish man rested his index finger to his temple, and, with the other hand, fiddled with an ash tray. In no time the two empty stools next to the men filled and the scent of shepherd’s pie and fried cod poured out of the kitchen. An hour or two went by, but the Greek, Jew, and sickly looking man hadn’t moved or ordered

anything. Each had lulled themselves into a daze. As the crowd lessened, the Greek awk-wardly lifted his feet from under the stool and proceeded to the men’s room. Shortly after, the Jew followed. The two returned together and took the now vacant seats on either side of the unshaven man. Reaching into his shirt pocket, the Greek pulled out a business card and passed it across the counter. On the back was a local number with the city’s area code 315. “First name’s Anton”, the Greek said to answer the man’s confused stare. “Why don’tcha step outside with us and talk awhile.” Without letting the man respond, the Greek pulled him out of his seat by the elbow and headed for the door. The Jew followed grab-bing his hat off the rack and leaving $20 for the tab. No one had paid any attention to the men as they left. Customers continued their mum-bled conversations in between sips of gin and coffee. A jazz ostinato throbbed throughout the room’s hard wood floor and candle lit tables. Never again were the Greek, Jew, or unshaven man seen inside of the establishment.

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Where I am from

I am from the earth, the dampened soil.The scent of sweet corn, and the burst of crisp apple.

I am from the tesssera of a mosaic and the gloss on granite.The brick hearth of the fire and blistering coals.

I am from the rosin on a bow and the alluring violin.The harmony and left hand of the piano.

I am from the pulse of a heart and the energy of thought.The shadow of my mother and root of my father.

I am from an alter in which bread is shared and wine savored.The balcony in which young eyes intently watch.

The Sunflower

She stands placid as tired roots draw an evening rain. Her leaves compete against the fuchsia sky as herpainted petals ignore the sun.A waning crescent nowhides her auburn face.Emptiness shivers the moistened grass.A tender breeze blows bylifting several mature seeds.No longer does she gaze at Virgo.


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Meredith Jones is a junior at Hamburg High School. She enjoys the-ater and computers, reading books and making music in the small spaces of time when she is not writing. She is passionate about her interests, beliefs, and aspirations, and hopes to make a living writing, doing what she loves most.

Being What We Are

Based on the murder of Mary Phagan in 1913 and the trial and lynching of Leo Frank in 1915.~From the poem, “Eastern Wartime” from An Atlas of a Difficult World by Adrienne Rich:“What the grown-ups can’t teach children must learn/how do you teach a child what you won’t believe?/how do you say unfold, my flower, shine, my star/and we are hated, being what we are?””~

Leo Frank turned down the sheets of his cot in-side of his prison cell at the State Prison Farm in Milledgeville, a trifle he had always been much accustomed to before settling down to sleep. He had done it, Lucille had done it for him. Lucille. He slipped off the striped pants and the dirty prison uniform’s top, standing naked in nothing but his shoes and socks near his cot, not a bit of light on him but that from a window at the end of the narrow, dirty hallway wedged between two austere rows of bars. He closed his eyes, feeling the darkness, the breeze from the window, the peacefulness of the night. Someone who is not quite asleep coughs down the hall. It is not like this here during the daytime. During the day he works. Leo toils on the farm, learned a personal lesson only when he obtained his first wound.

As he looked at the gash in the side of his hand, he thought of the hundreds of girls at the pencil factory. How they had toiled. How much of their tears coated the floors, how their sweat misted the walls and ceilings. Blood caking pencil shav-ings. The blood of young girls, warm in the heat. Mary Phagan, bleeding. Bleeding from between her legs, from her eyes, her mouth, her ears. A young girl. Just thirteen. He can hardly stand the thought of it. But no one is interested in his thoughts. If Leo challenged the jury, asked them why he would commit such a crime if he could not stand the thought of merely seeing her that way on the dirty basement floor, on a slab, they would laugh at him. It would not help nor hurt his cause; there-fore it was no use fighting it anymore. He had worked for nearly two years; now it was set in stone. And just a few minutes ago, he had heard that Governor Slaton had reconsidered his sen-tence. Just a few minutes ago Lucille had come to his cell and had a picnic. He had kissed her. Just a few minutes ago he was sitting in his of-fice doing his accounts. Just a few minutes ago, the girl Mary Phagan had wished him a Happy Memorial Day. Leo took a deep breath through his nose, slowly, emitting no sound, though feeling power-fully. He opened his eyes, kept still, unfazed by the darkness. It had been dark inside his head, and it was no different now. Miniscule matters had ceased to amaze him. He looked down-

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ward, could only see portions of his form in the small bit of light. He knew pitch darkness, and because of the moon’s lighted watch through the high window, this was not pitch darkness. He narrowed his eyes at the sight of his bare skin. He was slighter after working physically with smaller meals than he had been used to. Lucille. Where is Lucille? Why had she not come today? He has changed, character has developed, face has begun to look further mature. He is more handsome now than he has ever been, but tired. Has he exhausted more today than he has other days? No, it only feels that way. Visit me, Lucille. We’ll talk about ourselves, having a family, being pardoned. You may look upon my reshaped hu-mor and may hail my developments; but what did it take? What has it taken for change to occur? Think, Leo. Embed it in your every thought. You must have been able to impede this with some-thing. Rape, no less. How could they invent such a story? About him, about Leo? Did he seem the man to have such thoughts? No, he did not. And that was why he was chosen for this circum-stance. Cruel. Cruel. After a moment, he wet his lips and went in search of his night shirt, the only one he possessed. The best thing about his night shirt was that it was not nearly as dirty as his prison uniform, as it did not see the hot sun day after day. Its threads were not stiff with dirt, and less sweat had soaked into the armpits and back. It seemed clean. This was clean, this was peace. Lucille had brought this for him a few days ago and left it no matter how he protested. Why had he protested? Strength. How he wanted to show his strength to Lucille. Many years he had gone with closed lips, and now, as it seemed, at the last minute, he promised himself that he would make up for that time. Now she brought him clean clothes, gifts, books, things to eat. This was

allowed. It was a prison, not Hell. No, the Jews have been through worse persecution. No, he was a man on imprisonment for life, and this was the policy. It was kind. Many of the prison-ers had not such luxuries. Many had been aban-doned either by death or neglect. Many were not married and most wives of those in prison had been had begun to pretend that their husbands did no longer exist. A man had thrown a fit in his cell a few days ago after finding that his wife had remarried. He had cursed and had sworn that he would kill the man who now slept on his pillow and ate off of his china. The guard quickly took him from his cell. Leo did not see him until the next morning. He had remembered, because the wild-eyed man had given him a look - a look that shattered glass, melted iron. Leo was not sure how he had looked as he gazed back. Leo slipped the shirt over his head, ran a hand through his hair, straightened his glasses, buttoned the buttons that had come undone the night before during his rest. Another deep breath. He couldn’t seem to attain one here. He looked at the floor again, watched a spider dawdle near the foot of his cot. He paid it no mind and sat down to remove his shoes, realizing a blister on his heel, which he quickly ignored. He slipped his feet carefully beneath the sheet Lucille had brought at the beginning of his term and had washed and returned a few months ago, and the rough blanket of the prison, and began to settle down, hearing a soothing whisper be-tween the blankets, the first sound in a time. Nearly comfortable, he adjusted his clothing and at this heard yet another whisper - one of a natural quality. He is being watched, listened to - studied, perhaps. He remained still. Did he imagine it? Propped on the opposite elbow, he slowly placed a hand on his pillow, ready to pre-pare it for sleeping on. Nothing. Imagined. Leo carried out his next adjustment and pulled his


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glasses from his face. “Frank.” He stopped, looked up, toward the direc-tion it had come from. Someone had said his name. “Hey - yo’ not goin’ crazy, man, I’m tryin’ tuh talk tuh you.” Relieved, though he had not believed at all that he was losing sanity as the man had of-fered, Leo brought his eyeglasses back to the bridge of his nose. “You still awake?” “Yes - “ he answered, in a tone louder than he had expected, his voice cracking slightly. “Shh!” hissed the male voice. “You want to wake everybody up?” “No.” “Good, ‘a’cause I don’ need anyone a’hearin’ this. Come here, I cain’t see anythain but a kind ‘o dark smudge d’ere.” Leo cooperated with the voice, realizing who it was and thus feeling more inclined to obey. However this trust did not come from his judgment of the man. The man in the cell across from his was a young to middle-aged man, per-haps in his mid-thirties, black as night, hands al-ways appearing powdered, as if he did not wash them. But Leo knew that because of the color of his skin, the white was more apparent. He re-membered Lucille’s black dresses, showing the white lint. He slipped back out of the cot and fell to his knees, crawling toward the bars. He felt like a child, sharing a secret, sneaking beneath the gaze of a watchful parent. “Ah, d’ere y’are. Now I see you d’ere. Yo’ eyes like two white circles d’way’s d’light’s co-min’ off yo’ eyeglasses,” he chuckled. “I cain’t see too well neither, though’s I cain’t afford no eyeglasses.” A beat. “Don’t you say anythin’? I feel like I’m sayin’ too much, an’ yo’ embarra-

sin’ me. Now, don’ offend me, Frank.” Leo’s breath caught in his throat. This man was there for the very same crime that he, himself had been sentenced for. “I don’t intend to,” he whispered in return. The man must have sensed his nervousness, for he chuckled quietly. “Hey, Frank - You know why’s d’ey don’ put two murderers in d’same cell?” “No,” Leo answered while not giving the answer a thought, being much more concerned about answering promptly. “Well’s, you’d wake up an d’ey’d both be dead. Fiery temp’uh, alwuz a knife stashed away somewheres. I knows you got one somewhere between dh’ose blankets ‘o yo’s.” He seemed to sound as though he were smiling. Leo remem-bered the black men at the factory - those white teeth against that black skin - always seeming to miss a tooth, not able to afford a metal re-placement. “I have.” “What did you want to ask me?” Leo said, ignoring the comment. Quickly, somewhat odd-ly, he realized that both men were in the same physical position. He had been in prisons before, outside of the cells. The men clutched the bars. They always did. They looked desperate. But now he found that it was instinct. Leo sat on his feet, his fingers wrapped tightly around the black bars, his palms moist against the iron. The black man did the same, though sitting on his back-side, as if he were comfortable, nonchalant. “Nothin’, really. It gets lonely, don’t it?” “How long have you been here - in pris-on?” A conversation? “Foh’ ye’uhs next May.” The man was si-lent for a while - a longer pause than he had taken since before they began speaking. Leo was awkward. “Oh?” “Yeah,” he answered, acknowledging the attempt.

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“Sentenced for life?” “Yeah.” Barely a beat. “How long’s you been married?” He thought a moment. “About five years.” “I see yo’ wife come ever’uh couple’a days.” “Yes, she comes quite often. What’s your name, sir, if I might be so bold to ask?” “Henry. Stallin’s. Ain’t no ‘sir.’” “Leo,” he replied, confident that the man knew his surname well. The name was usually accompanied by a pre-nominal title. He felt low being addressed without it, or without his first name. “I know all about you. I am you, Frank.” “Pardon?” “I didn’t murder anybody.” Stallings seemed indignant, as a child who had a lollipop behind her back who would declare firmly against its presence; though his voice seemed small, as though ashamed; but he was not ashamed - if he told the truth, he hadn’t anything to be ashamed of. He resented his injustice. He had heard it discussed for years, was interrogated unrelentingly. He had said it a thousand times. I didn’t murder anybody. Perfectly correct in the formalities of modern grammar. Each time, his voice grew softer. Each time his expectation of the condescension, the snorting, the laughter, the secure doubt increased. “Yet you’re here.” “I’m here, and yo’ here. Why are you here? B’cause you a Yankee. B’cause you Jew-ish. D’ey hate d’ damned Jews. An’ d’ey lost d’war. D’ey ain’t gonna like you ‘cause you fro’ d’North. You Jews got d’money, an’ d’ey work fo’ you. You a rich man, d’ey cotton-pick’uhs an’ metal work’uhs. Why m’I here? B’cause I’m black. B’cause my daddy was here. B’cause my daddy stayed here - he didn’ get out o’ this shit-

pit when he was young. He got married, he had me, an’ he couldn’ leave aft’uh d’at. My daddy lived in Atlanta an’ he was..he was here, too. Here, in this prison. For all’s I know, he did time in d’iss cell - or d’at cell. He slep’ in d’at cot, or und’uh d’at blanket o’ yo’s, o’ o’ mine. But d’at’s why I’m here - b’cause he’s got a rep-u-tation. So now I’s got a rep-u-tation, too.” “What did your father do?” Leo, now in-terested, pulled his feet out from under himself and settled his shoulder against the bars, the side of his head leaned above it, facing and star-ing at the opposite wall. “He raped a woman.” Stallings knew there would be a silence, so he interrupted it before it remained. “While’s he was married.” Sympatheti-cally, as only a son could express of his father, “He was angry about his job. His pay was cut. It was hot. His life, Frank, was collapsin’ und’uh him. And I was hired somewheres else, and so’s was my sist’uh. His daught’uh. An’ his son, too. And we had tuh leave home. My muth’uh was depressed all the time - she was alwuz havin’ fits ‘n cryin’, an’ durin’ service she’d git up an’ yell at the minist’uh. He couldn’ pay fo’ the house. I’ss terrible, Frank, i’ss a terrible thain what he did. But somehow I don’t blame him fo’ it.” Leo looked at the ground again, a shiv-er spreading through his body, excruciatingly slowly, uncomfortably. “You’re his son,” he said softly. “I would’a done more. I should’a done more. I would’a burned d’whoh’ town down if I was him. He killed d’at woman. He killed her an’ she dinn’t have a breath left. I would’a murdered ever’uh soul in Atlanta, and at d’time I would’uh done it myself - but I was twel’ ye’uhs old. An’ I get angry an’ I make a scene ye’uhs aft’uh an’ my daddy’s dead ‘n gone - break a fella’s jaw - d’ey thaink I’m goin’ tuh do what he did. An’ I well would’a if d’police dinn’a come. I thanked ‘em, I


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did, and d’ey just took me fo’ a nigg’uh. Y’know, sweepin’ d’groun’ with they prickl’uh chins. But I meant d’at. I would’a killed d’at man. An’ you dinn’t do nothin’ but look at a girl funny.” He looked up at this, recalling this accu-sation. He had become used to it. “I hear’s you looks at everybody funny. Boy, look at d’wrong fella funny an’ you find yo’self in d’is place. It ain’t right.” “You’re in for murder,” Leo said shortly, though it was a question. He found himself in-terested when his circumstance was related, however discussing the incident was too much to give casual ear to. “D’ey foun’ d’body of a white man next to d’place I’d fought at. D’ey took me fo’ the murder’uh.” “They don’t blame themselves.” Stallings seemed surprised. “No, d’ey don’t,” he said, agreeing, shocked at what he was agreeing to and whom it had come from. “You don’t say much either way, Frank, I thought you fo’ a stoic type’a man.” “I’m innocent,” Leo reminded the black man strangely. “Yeah, I know.” The sarcasm unsettled him, and he raised his head from the bar, turning his head at an uncomfortable angle to look toward the man again. “I’m innocent!” he repeated insistently. “Mist’uh Frank, I believe you. You ain’t convincin’ no one.” Both welcomed the silence. “It’s Monday, Frank.” Leo did not find this proclamation unnat-ural - he had lost track of the days many times. “No, not yet,” he said simply, resting again. “No. Monday. Monday’s I goin’ int’uh d’woods out back, Frank. I got d’word aft’uh breakfast. Frank, i’ss Wednesday. I got fi’ days.

An’ how m’I gonna spen’ ‘em?” Leo took a breath. “But you the Gov’nuh’s nigg’uh. You get tuh stay here fo’ the rest’uh yo’ life.” Although disturbed, Leo grit his teeth. “Unless the Governor re-examines my case a third time. Unless Dorsey realizes he’s a blind fool..” “D’ey won’t. Eith’uh you die o’ you kill yo’self. D’ey don’ see anythain’. D’ey get an idea an’ that idea takes off an’ next thain you know, you’s in d’is cell, here. You’s..clawin’ on tuh life. B’cause it’s hell wakin’ up to d’is every day, but life is..a gift. All anyone ev’uh wants tuh do is suh’vive, you’ll notice. You say you wanna kill yo’self, but you eat d’at piece o’ bread in d’evenin’, you have dh’ose oats fo’ yo’ breakfast, an’ aft’uh you run fro’ fence to fence you look fo’ d’at pail o’ water. Everyone’s alwuz clingin’ tuh life. Somebody dies an’ peo-ple carry o’wun. Somebody dies an’ d’ey looks fo’ somebody tuh blame. Somebody d’at took away d’at life. D’at life o’..worryin’. Worryin’ you won’ have d’at life. D’en wha’ss it worth? Wha’ss d’at worth, Frank?” Leo listened, remained still. He heard Stallings’ throat constrict around his words. “Wha’ss it worth? You spen’ yo’ whole life protectin’ somethin’ you gonna lose - somethin’ somebody gonna take away fro’ you. A little girl dies an’ somebody did it. Somebody did it. D’ey don’t know, but d’ey’s got tuh blame somebody. An’ d’ey see d’at life taken away an’ d’ey think..d’at man deserve tuh have his life taken away, too. B’cause he dinn’t work hard enough tuh keep it. He dinn’t sit with his eyes wide open, worryin’. He dinn’t have a wife, he dinn’t have children, he dinn’t have a house an’ a job. But he had d’at body at his feet an’ d’at’s all d’at d’ey see. D’at’s all d’at matters. He had d’at blood und’uh his fing’uhnails an’ d’at’s all d’ey see o’ his han’s. D’ey ain’t see the scars and calluses

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fro’ work o’ the veins fro’ stress, the softness o’ his fing’uh tips fro’ ye’uhs o’ lovin’ his faim’ly. D’ey see wha’ss bad. And the good..well, i’ss like a streetwalkin’ lady. Like dh’ose ladies fro’ Me-chanic Street. The ones you see o’wun Mitchell now in the ho-tails. It’s dirt when i’ss alive an’ an angel when i’ss dead. But d’ey don’ see d’at d’ey’s doin’ d’at. An’ if you say it, you’s hanged. You’s hanged, an’ you still got words o’wun yo’ tongue. An’ d’at’s put in d’groun’, an’ dirt’s thrown ov’uh, an’ you’s not in the world no more (t’say it). You’s d’ere, but you’s not. You’s a name o’wun a stone an’ d’at’s about it. D’at’s about it.” A coyote cried silently through the flat breath of the wind. And when Leo looked up, he saw the black figure of Stallings, head bowed, hunched over on the floor, his knees pointed up-ward now, a hand on his thigh, the other on the straight black bar - clinging on.

“I heard..d’at death’s like goin’ home. Like sittin’ in d’sun an’ feelin’ it warm yo’ toes, yo’ legs, yo’ arms...An’ seein’ a little girl pickin’ flow’uhs. An’ in d’at life, d’at little girl picks anoth’uh flow’uh. An’ anoth’uh. An’ anoth’uh. An’ when she goes home, she c’n alwuz go out tomorr’uh, an’ pick one more. Not in d’is life. In d’is life d’flow’uhs have thorns an’ if you pick one it bites you.” Leo listened. His eyes open, his attitude constant. Forbearing. And Stallings breathed bat-tered breath and spoke with a rigid tongue. “I’m frightened.” “I’m frightened,” Leo answered. “Good-night, Mr. Frank.” “Good-night, Henry,” Leo whispered, and rose. He stepped across the stone floor to his cot, slid beneath the blanket, and admitted sleep. In the morning, he and Stallings wel-comed life.


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Kelsey Rice is an enthusiastic vegetarian who will be entering 10th grade at Kenmore West High School. She does way too much crafting, writing, and swimming for her own good and really enjoys an enormous Frappucino from Starbucks. She strongly dislikes ground beef, dirty tissues, raw broccoli, fur coats, and small children with enormous egos. Tolling bells tend to make her stutter. She believes that everyone should try tofu at

least once before they die.

An Excerpt from Painting the Silence

The church had been there longer than anyone had remembered, its ominous form a black sil-houette against the horizon. A girl dressed in a red silk evening gown was running through tor-rents of rain, her bright dress out of place in such a dismal location. Her face was blotched with tears as she tugged at the great iron handle to the church’s vast door. It slowly creaked open, leaving a clean trail across the dusty floor. The church had been abandoned for a long time and had fallen into a state of disrepair. Old, crumbling statues of angels seemed to stare at her in silence with their pupil-less eyes. Some were missing limbs and all were coated in a thick layer of dust and cobwebs. Night’s blue light seemed to hold the old church in a spell; the silence was almost deafening. The girl felt conspicuous as her patter-ing footsteps broke the silence, sending echoes to the deepest corners of the old church. She guessed that the building would have been beautiful, back when people still used it. She could imagine the pictures that used to exist in the shattered stained glass windows and could almost swear that she heard a priest’s voice, though it must have been her imagination. She nervously fingered her mother’s beads around her neck and remembered what life used to be like before her mother died. She

had been happy. But after that dreadful boating accident, she never saw her mother again. Her father had grown bitter in the past few years. He wanted to get rid of everything that reminded him of his wife. It had started with her paintings. One by one, he had sold them all. He held on to one the longest, however. It was a picture she had painted of the ocean. It was there, by the waves, where she had met her husband, but also where she met her death. The girl’s fa-ther had sold that painting to a peddler on the street and refused to talk for the rest of the day. Slowly, her mother had been shoved out of her life, except for her beads and an old paintbrush, which had been saved when her father was not looking. This girl’s name was Annemarie Taylor. She had remembered the incident clearly, the incident that led to her leaving home forever. “My daughter Annemarie has been happily engaged to Lord Mondego, a wealthy merchant. She will be married in exactly two weeks time.” He had finally rid himself of his wife’s memory by marrying off his only daughter to a merchant who lived miles and miles away. After all, Annemarie had always looked just like her mother. But she knew that she would live a life of despair if she married a stranger in an unfa-miliar land. The night her father had made the announcement, she had fled and, with her flight, left home forever.

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Jordan Baker is going to St. Mary’s as a junior in the fall. Jordan enjoys Super Smash brothers and other video games in which backstabbing and pupis common, like Lego Star Wars. Hating Mario Cart and cin-ema Gartnix’s works is also part of Jordan. Don’t laugh when he is not funny, don’t clap until its over, and no flash photography or video devices please people. Pardon his arrogance also will be appreciated.

My aspect is Shadow: my attribute is stealth. The combination that I have leaves very few jobs otherthan the one I am now engaged in. Even this job wouldvanish if it was revealed how deep I was able to reachinto myself for shadow and I would be homeless withoutthe opportunity to improve my skills as is the dictates of God. Then I would be damned to try this life again and again until I could get accepted into heaven. I despise this job, but the training that we receive weekly is more than enough: I even learned enough of a cross-attribute to be able to resist up to a fire(strength) blast. I draw no curious eyes as I climb up the apartment build-ing of the target. At the fifth floor I pause, then head up to the sixth floor and open the window of my target’s residence. I set traps for my target, some-thing to stun him and something to root him to the spot as well as seal the door. I wonder how they will react and for the first time today I feel fear, the old familiar feeling seeps into my liver like poison. Mas-tering it I reach into his refrigerator and take out a cola. Sipping it during my wait, I prepare myself for my target’s return to his home. I pack him a change of clothes just in case I don’t have to kill him. Going through his stuff, I find that he has only the bare essentials, no nicknacks or other items of interest. Eating some of his crackers after checking them for poison, I open the window on the back ally in prepa-ration for the drop that I will be making for the sewer holding them. I hear a creak on the door, after de-termining that it is not my target I diffuse my spells and jump out the open back ally window, projecting an illusion of brick and wood for the camera’s ben-

efit. The not-target moves about, cleaning for a little time before departing. I return to the kitchen and eat a few carrots, then an apple and turn up my nose at the stale, grease-covered pizza and wings that appear to be my target’s main diet. I consider myself lucky that he even has fruit and vegetables in the first place, although they are not good fruits and vegetables: the carrots are all slimey and the apples are soft, grainy, yellow and bruised. My tar-get opens the door and I dive for cover. He hits the traps that I set off manually as I don’t have time to reset them. Soon he is bound: his hands behind his back so that he cannot use magic. He has not learned to summon magic without them. I still keep an eye on him as I order him to strip so that I can search for concealed weapons. I cut his fingernails and toenails. Shave his head and search him, this has always been the second most unpleasant bit of my work. Or somewhere up there as Climbing through a sewer and “interrogation” are’nt exactly walks in the park. I let him speak in a second of distraction and he spits out the word “why!?”. “What were you thinking researching destruction elemen-tals like that”? Binding him up again I descend the wall to the sewers and wade into the darkness af-ter defending from the manhole. anding heavily, but silently, on my feet I move swiftly, hateing how good I feel in darkness, knowing everything around me and having perfect sight far better than my nor-mal sight . I arise and climb up an entrance near pea’s state prison for dangerous people. I turn him in to the duty officer and return to my office where I drink more cola.


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Grace Kreher is fourteen years old, and is entering her freshman year at Clarence High School. She enjoys writing poetry, dancing and travel-ing. She is a dog person and abhors ignorance. She likes to argue and dreams of one day becoming a lawyer or a politician. She lives with her parents, brothers (one older than her, one younger than her), her broth-er’s mean cat, and her family’s awesome dog. This is her second year at

the Young Writers Workshop.

Pseudo Tumor Cerebri

the small of mybackso often covered by a shirtso like me often covered by the here and nowbut beneath the fabriclies a sprinkling of scars

eight little red dots on my backtwo spinal taps, lumbar punctures“This won’t hurt much.”ten doctorstwelve needles“It’s just the flu.”one misdiagnosistwo months of anguishtwo green eyesplagued by swollen optic nerves

too many“How are you?”s“How do you feel?”scountless peoplegiving me the face

I don’t want the physical scarsto fadedon’t want to be able toforget

life interrupted,the norm in the emergency room,straight answers given only bythe world wide web

the one dayof uncontrollable fidgeting and shakinganother nighttears rolled silently down my facefacing away from my motherthe bus ridereflecting on my eyesnot wanting to be seen cryingdoctor after doctortrying to get the needles to draw fluidfeeling the pressure and effects ofsedation

sitting in a classroomjust another girlwearing new glasses

“I’m okay.”

The Face

concernlove, caringa little fearwondering,what happened to my insert relation herepitypityfull of concern

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Caitie Ostroswki Martin is an eighty-four year old junior from Nardin Academy with no plans to leave soon. She enjoys singing, playing the violin, and general merry-making. She wishes everyone at the writer’s camp good luck and thanks her abominably wonderful family for all the rides.

Emo Boy

Looking at his reflection in the scummy bath-room mirror, he frantically searches his person for any remaining flaws. Jet-black hair cuts perfectly over his bright green eyes-it had only taken him an hour to look like he had just gotten out of bed. His eyeliner, used not to make his eyes stand out but to make him fit in with all of his tortured-souled acquaintances, is the same color as his tight black jeans-ripped in seven dif-ferent places and newly purchased for $150.Smoothing his eyebrows, also dyed black too match, he decides everything, at long last, is perfect. He then goes downstairs, sits on his couch, and turns up his Pod.

Writer’s Block

Why is a blank page so much more formidable an opponent than one full of words? My mind stretches for an idea, any idea, just something to make that stark white paper stop looking at me, asking such insolent questions like how can I call myself a writer when I have nothing to write about. Alas, (for it is only circumstances such as these that call for alas,) my mind is blank. Stories of people and other worlds float tantalizingly above my, quite empty, head, just out of reach. I guess, just for today, the paper remains victorious.

The Drive-In That Was Not To Be.

I guess if we had been there before, it wouldn’t have had the same kind of magic. Or maybe the magic wasn’t coming from the place at all. It wasn’t our plan to go to the beach that day. We were attempting to go t a drive-in in Angola. After over an hour of circling, map unfolding, squint-ing, and map refolding, we knew we were hope-lessly lost. We had finally given up when a sandy shore came into view on the side of the road.The car seemed to stop of its own accord. In this unknown and foreign place, we seemed to have lost al sense of life beyond us the ridiculous-ness of this place, of us, even who the hell we thought we were, going on somebody’s beach in the middle of the night. But the crashing of the ocean waves drowned out these questions as soon as they had been formed. As we sat on the sand and watched the moon reflected in the water, I realized that was where we had wanted to be all along.

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“THE SUPERMAN: RIDE OF STEEL,” the sign bears. I am, quite simply, terrified. Wondering why and how I had ever agreed to go on this deathtrap, I swallow nervously and wonder if my friends won’t notice if I just leave and go on the carousel now. I miss the carousel. A lot. I hear a few more screams as theroller coaster rolls and costs around the last few turns and loops and finally screeched to a halt rightin front of us. My friend Jen grabs my hand and pills me into the seat, crushing my last hope of es-cape. We pull down the safety bar just as we begin to ascend the largest hill I have ever seen in my life. I squeeze my eyes shut as this death car ascends the mountain. Altogether too soon, I feel it slowing down slightly: we have reached the top. I immediately regret taking a peek downwards as the entire theme park bursts into view. We suddenly plummet straight down the hill. My stomach does flip-flops as we twist, spin, and turn our way around. The rest of the ride is a blur, and it seems like about three seconds later when the ride again screeched to a halt, and we shakily get off. Scared out of my mind and heart drumming in my chest, I hear myself shout, “Let’s do that again!”


Platoons of SAT words scamper antlike in a circle, exasperatingly escaping my grasp

I become a dog chasing its tail as I attempt to dragsome substance, thrashing and scraping, onto paper

Square roots of fractions and multiplication crossesbeat against my throbbing skull

The noise crescendos into a whirling marching band offlame as agony and anarchy twirl their flags

The clock, a wavering anvil dangling precariouslyabove me head, confirms my worst fear-

Only five minutes left.


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Kassie Maser will be a sophomore at Kenmore West. She enjoys swimming, playing saxophone, and making various crafts. She lis-tens to a variety of music, including The Fray, and watches shows like American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and Heroes. She enjoys the movies Alice in Wonderland and Music and Lyrics, and is an “avid Hugh Jackman Fan.” (*cough cough, stalker*)

I am where my heart is

My heart is in my home

What the post office, and schools, and my friends consider my home

But in my real home too

In Time Square

On Broadway

Being carefully examined by curious pigeons in Central Park

It sits on a shelf, by the red velvet cake at Amy’s

And by the sandwich

With the olive bread, and fresh mozzarella, and basil

It’s in Toronto , D.C. , Woodstock New York

It’s in the mall, the zoo, a seat on the viper

It lies in classrooms by dusty books

That taught me to read, and to explore, and to love

It is cradled in the hands of my Mom, Dad, brother

It is kept by friends in a gilded box

Or on a string, dragging through the dirt behind them

Pieces stick like old gum

To the shoes of every boy that has trampled it

My heart is everywhere I’ve been

Like crumbs from Hansel and Gretel

To lead me home

Which is where my heart lies

Which is


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I am born to the morning light

But storms turn the sun

From nurturing to neglectful

C’est la vie

But do I have to live that way?

Can my soul’s flame burn my phoenix heart on

Or will my tail feathers always get singed

Je suis nee du matin

Do I die when the day ends?

Do I ever die?

Does the rain wash me clean each day?

Le deluge.

The flood.

The flood.

I am born once more.

You have dreams

Dreams that float to the top of the clouds

But you have doubts

Doubts that burn like the strongest flame

You’re bigger than those doubts

Spread your wings and you can fly above the fiery tongues

And if you wrap your fingers around a dream

You can fly higher than anyone before you

Your train’s pulled into the station

You’re the conductor and the passenger

‘Cause it’s your time

Hold on tight


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Coute que couteAt Any Cost

The man in the hat studied his hand carefully. He was heavy set, dressed in a black suit with a red tie. The beady eyes peering through his circular glasses bore holes in the other man across from him. “Your move.” He said. The man across the table was sweating hard. He played his hand. “Oh, I’m sorry, it looks as if you lose.” The heavy man spoke. “No! Please, please don’t do it! I’ll do any-thing, anything!” “I offered you that chance before Mon-sieur Bouchard, and I do not give second chanc-es!” From underneath the table a revolver clicked. The man dropped dead.

Ch.1 (A year later)

Colonel Louis Bouchard was an experi-enced military commander in the French army. At least he was; now he stayed at home mostly with his housemaid Marie. Tall and dark, Louis usually dressed in light or beige dress clothes with a single medal. He was given it for saving a general’s life from an assassination attempt. On it there bore a single green stone on a gold star. For a year he had searched for the man who killed his brother. At last he had found him. Now it was time to meet him face to face.

“Marie! Marie! He called to his housemaid, “I will be going out. If anyone calls, say I am at my mother’s,” The Colonel began to walk to the door. “It is late. Why don’t you go to your moth-er’s tomorrow? She is asleep even.” Marie an-swered in her shrill voice. “I have pressing matters to deal with.” “What are you up to Louis? Then with re-alization dawning on her she answered her own question. “You seek the man, Jacques Pierre! He is dangerous, you mustn’t go, and if he killed your brother he may kill you to.” Louis stopped. “That is not in your place for you to decide. I must deal with this man in my own way.” “And that is to kill him!” shouted Marie. Af-ter a pause Louis spoke. “You must understand, that man killed my brother. How can I live in fear and ignorance the rest of my life? The man is evil. I must find out why he killed my brother. After I obtain that knowl-edge I will not rest till that man is behind bars or, yes Marie, dead.” “Then I am afraid that you will go to your own.” “Perhaps.” Responded Louis, and walked out. On the street a cold wind was blowing. Louis pulled his coat tighter. His shoes clacked on the cobblestone streets. As he walked he thought he heard someone behind him. He stopped. Noth-ing could be heard. “Must be an echo.” He whis-pered to himself. Walking a few more blocks he could swear there were clacks that were not his

Matt Forrest is a sophomore at Clarence High School. He is a very good tennis player, and enjoys playing his new PS3 when not writing. He will be famous one day.

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own. Stopping short, he listened. The clacks con-tinued. “Who is there?” he shouted. Only the sound of his voice could be heard, no answer. Briskly trot-ting the rest of the way he eventually came to a dark alley. Two dim lights flanked a door further on. Before going on he looked behind. There was nothing to be seen in the cold mist. Gathering his courage Louis came to the door and knocked. “Who is it?” a gruff voice answered. “It is Colonel Bouchard, I seek a certain Monsieur Pierre.” A brief moment passed until the gruff man returned. “Monsieur Pierre will see you now.” The door opened. The gruff man ushered Louis inside and checked him for weapons. “It is lucky I didn’t find any. If I had, you would now be a dead man.” The gruff man spoke. He led Louis down a darkly lit corridor until they reached another door. The gruff man knocked a certain rhythm, and the light showing through the peephole was blocked momentarily. A bolt was unlocked and the door swung in. Louis looked about him. The room was very large with many game tables and bars. It was filled with smoke as shady characters gambled with their ill-gotten game in this mini casino. From the red carpeting, to the red walls, to the man wearing black with a red tie, red dominated every-thing. Jacques Pierre spoke first. “Welcome to my humble abode Louis. It is so good to finally meet you.” Louis, slightly taken aback at the use of his first name, answered slow-ly. “That is Colonel Bouchard to you, but how did you know my name.” “Your brother told me a great deal about you Colonel, just before he died.” Pierre carried on before Louis had a chance to respond. “And do not try to threaten me with the police and the law. Why, the police chief himself is right there gam-bling with that young girl. Even the Judge is sitting next to the red head over yonder. I have this town under my thumb. There is nothing that goes on

without my knowing. You cannot put me behind bars. What will you do?” “I do not know Monsieur Pierre, but I do know you killed my brother and I would like to know why.” Louis demanded. “Your brother began nosing around in my affairs. He found things that should have been left untouched. It was his own fault I had to kill him. I will also cause you great harm as well if you should get any foolish ideas of revenge. I see in your eyes much hate. That’s good. Hate makes a man strong and gives him the determination to succeed. Yet your hate for me is conceived by the love for your brother. How ironic.” “You are very good with words. But it is not to listen to you speak that I came here. I warn you Monsieur Pierre, if you do not leave France and never return, I will be forced to deal with you in my own way.” The big man’s laughter shook the house. “Get this slime out of my sight!” Pierre ordered. As Louis was dragged out to the street, Monsieur Pierre sat back in his chair and returned his attention to the blonde next to him.The next morning Louis awoke to the sounds of rain mixed with heavy knocks on his front door. Marie was out shopping. He looked at the clock; it read 11:05. He slept late. Getting out of bed he ran to the front door and opened it wide. A man in a tan overcoat and hat stood outside. “Colonel Bouchard?” The man asked in a very British accent. “Yes, but who are you?” Louis responded. Very quietly and sternly the man answered. “Agent Benjamin Dover, Secret Intelligence Service, M16.”


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Jonathan Girard is a student at Clarence High School He will be a sopho-more in September. He loves to do musicals and sing, and is fairly certain he will be famous.

Sometimes my family takes my father for granted. He is not especially funny like my brother and mother or especially protective like my sister. He works all day and when he gets home he is tired. He doesn’t want to talk or tell humorous anecdotes about his work like my mother. He asks us daily about our grades and how school is, as an instinct rather than genu-ine interest. He comes home every day and watches television, reads his paper, eats his din-ner and goes to bed, all year every year. It is a tedious life that my father leads to support our family, but he wasn’t always a working father of three. I don’t think I fully recognized that until we went to Italy. My father is from Chicago and went to Loyola Chicago University for college. Loyola has a school in Rome, Italy and that is where my parents first met; in Chicago waiting for the airplane to Italy to arrive. He had broken his leg playing basketball. My father playing basketball, an astonishing idea to my young mind. In my most distance memories I don’t remember ever seeing my father run because he had a bad hip that was just recently replaced. My father was an athletic youth without the full lumberjack beard, or short perfectly parted hair. Instead he was clean shaven with long curly hair, and no glasses replaced by eyes that were differ-ent colors in different pictures. His eyes varied from a stunning green, sea blue or a hazel. My

favorite trait about myself is how my hair curls as it gets longer. I had wondered where it came from until I saw his first license. He had such a smile on his face that it radiated through the pic-ture at me. He was a handsome youth. I mean handsome. When I look at I can hardly see the resemblance in us except our hair. My father and mother wanted to go back to Italy and two years ago we had the perfect opportunity. There could not have possibly been better timing in the world. My sister was studying in Rome, the Olympics were going on in Torino and Marti Gras started in Venice. The people of Venice celebrate Marti Gras (they call it Carnivale) much like the people of New Orleans. Crazy. At least at the same scale, but they do things a little differently. They still wear masks as they do in New Orleans, but they dress up in clothes that look like they came out of my his-tory book. My father was more interested in plac-es that had memories for him than the tourist traps. He had already been to all the tourist traps, but none of us had. Therefore we went to all of them: the Spanish steps, the Trevi foun-tain, the Coliseum, the forum and a plethora of others. What surprised me the most was my father. He had taken topography of Rome and two classes about Roman history and gods. He could have written large essays on every loca-tion. Hell after he finished talking I could have written the essays. He was proud of what he

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knew, but he would never tell us anything unless we asked. For fear that he may appear to be snobby. His display of knowledge was an eye opener for my siblings and I. We always new he was smart, but his memory was amazing. My mother took topography of Rome as well and only remembered a fraction of what dad told us. We didn’t just go to the tourist traps we went to where my parents had nostalgic memo-ries. We visited the campus where they lived for a year. We met Ronaldo and Nala who singularly fed my father for a year and now fed my sis-ter and her peers. My parents were one of the first classes that had the opportunity to study in the Loyola campus in Italy. It was founded by a man named Father John Felice. As a young man John Felice studied at Canisius as an ex-change student. The Niagara Falls being such an amazing thing one of his peers took him to the falls. The Canadian Falls. By crossing into Canada he invalidated his visa and had to wait a week before he could get back into America. Now he takes a personal responsibility to meet and help all the students that come through his school. That is an especially unique thing for a founder of a college to do. In fact it is the only occurrence that I have heard of. He is still alive and he not only remembered my father, but ran up and kissed him on both cheeks upon first seeing him. Dad had apparently been a favorite of Father Felice’s. My father neglected to get traveler checks before he came to Italy and they are a necessity to have to travel. The reason for studying abroad is to travel and see the world. He personally took my father to the Vatican bank and got him his traveler checks. Father Felice was the one who organized where we stayed when we were in Italy. To see Father Felice and places that he had been when he was a young man he was not only reminded of what

it felt like to be young, but since we went he has acted like he was a little younger and not so strict and uptight. This vacation was the first time that I saw my father not look tired or old; Which is kind of ironic because he had just started to go gray. He was energized by his old memories and familiar sights. I found that my father was amazingl y intelligent and cultured. It seems that he knows everything about everything. Every building in all the cities that had any historical significance he knew about. The famous tower in San Marco Plaza is not the original tower. The horses on top of San Marco were stolen from the Greeks and the ones that were on San Marco weren’t the real ones. Those were in a museum. Then he would take us to the museum and explain almost every piece of art in the entire building. What surprised me the most was he speaks perfect Italian, passable Russian and English. He was in a Russian boy’s choir in Chicago as a child. I had thought that no one in my fam-ily had ever sung seriously before. My father is the most scholarly of my whole family and not the bland man that I thought he was. I think that that vacation my father talked more than I have ever heard him and it seemed natural. For me just talk with my dad and not worry about whether or not my grades were passable was a new and heart warming feeling.


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Matisse’s Women Matilda servesMatilda worksShe sets the tableShe makes her bread cheesyAnd thinks her job easy Benjamin tills the groundBenjamin worksHe plants the cropsHe deals with the making of lardAnd thinks his job hard So they switch Benjamin servesBenjamin worksHe sets the tableHe rakes the yardAnd knows that this job is hard Matilda tills the groundMatilda worksShe plants the cropsShe takes care of the animals that are queasyAnd now knows the meaning of the word easy

- Jon Girard

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Adam Costanza is a sophomore at Amherst Central High School. Be-sides cars, Adam likes coffee from Starbucks, women from Dunkin Donuts, swimming, sleeping, family and friends. Adam strongly dislikes tuna casserole, American and German engineering, and hot veggies.

The Train Tracks

It was a typical Sunday afternoon until my father told me to get into the car because he wanted to take me somewhere. “Where are we going?” I asked my dad as I got into the Lexus SUV. And in his so familiar jingle said “You’ll see soon enough.” With that he turned key the dashboard lit up and the engine roared into life. I sat back in my soft leather seat and watched my dad start driving. His hands gen-tly maneuvering the leather wrapped and wood engraved steering wheel. We turned onto the highway entrance ramp and I couldn’t help but ask“Are we there yet?”“Not quite” he responded. Being a little child with a short attention span I began to play my Gameboy. After driving for what seemed like forever, we turned off of the highway exit ramp the suspense was boiling out of me and I had to ask the question again“Are we there yet?”“Almost” my dad responded while turning the steering wheel left, then right, and left again. I’m told that as a young boy, still in is safety seat, that I was great with directions, and remember-ing landmarks I had visited once before, but now I was lost. The car stopped moving and I

looked up from my Gameboy. The dashboard went dead, the steering wheel retracted and all was silent.“Get out of the car” my dad said. To my surprise his next words were “We are not their yet.”“What” !?! I responded as I had thought that we reached our final destination, Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart.“You heard me,” he said “now let’s go.” I could not believe my ears. I got out of the car and shut the door in disbelief. My dad took my hand and we started to walk away from Niagara Hob-by and Craft Mart. Curiosity got the best of me because I asked the question“Where are you taking me?” My dad chuckled.“My you are an impatient little boy, it is just up past those buildings.” Now that I knew where we were going I wanted to walk faster. When we finally arrived there were other little boys and their daddies too. My dad had taken to me to a large train yard. All sorts of freight cars were waiting to be collected on the sidings. I stood there in amazement. We could hear a train whis-tle in the distance. Everybody ran to the tracks to see where it was. As it grew closer and closer me and my dad ran away from the tracks and waited for the train to arrive. Suddenly right be-fore my very own eyes an enormous diesel en-gine roared passed us honking its horn, pulling enormous freight cars. We waved to it and the driver waved back. Train after train we watched for hours until my dad said

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“Come on Adam, we have one more thing that we have to do.” I looked up at him with a puzzled face. We walked back towards Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart. My dad pulled open the door and we walked inside. We walked up and down every isle that was in the store at least a half of a dozen times. My dad showed me the big electric Lio-nel Train display that they had in the back of the store. We walked back towards it and my dad told me to push the big red button that he was point-ing at. I walked up to it and pushed it. The trains roared into life. The lights flashing and whistles blowing, some of them even puffed smoke out of their tops! I was ecstatic. I ran around the glass enclosed case that bordered the enormous display pushing every button and watching what different accessory they made come to life. My dad grabbed my hand and said that it was time to go but we had one more thing to do. We walked to the front of the store where there was a Thomas the Tank Engine display. My dad told me to pick out a train and a video and he would buy it for me. I was so excited. After what seemed like forever I finally made my decision. I gave the train and video to the cashier who just smiled at me. He pushed a few buttons on the cash reg-ister and gave me the train and video back in a plastic bag along with a conductors hat that my dad bought for me without knowing.We walked out of the store “Thank You, I had a lot of fun today”“Me too Adam,” he responded “me too”Although we would return to that same spot for many years to come I will always cherish that unforgettable day that I shared with my father. No matter when we go there as soon as we turn on to that old familiar road I know that we are headed to Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart.

Peter and Merry Peter paints pulchritude picturesNone of them sellMerry makes melodic musicNone of the music sellsThey fake their deathsPeter’s pictures sellMerry’s music sellsThey become rich, butThey can’t spend their moneyThey can’t leave the houseThey lose their mindsThey kill each other

Such is the story of Peter and Merry


Long wooden tracks by the country sideSmooth and quiet.Still no movement.A light whistle sounds in the distanceThe tracks start to vibrateStones jumpingWind rushingChildren laughing while running away from the tracksCloser and closer the train moves until...A loud engine roars pastBox cars, coal cars, flat beds, coaches passing byOn and on the train goes, the engine going farther awayThe train finally endsShowing the hidden wild plants growing behind the tracksWind seizesStones landEveryone walks slowly towards the tracks.The train is goneThe tracks are quiet again...Until the next train comes.


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Doodle Unclaimed69

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Track Listing for the Audio Anthology1. Love Poem in a World of a 64.4% Divorce Rate - Frank Flis2. Heaven - Meredith Jones3. Ridiculous - Matt Forrest4. Resorts of the Future - Alex Holt5. Teddy Concert - Jackie Flis6. Untitled, Otherwise October - Gabriel Fontanez7. Flis’s Corollary to the Idea That a Writer Should Write What He or She Knows - Frank Flis8. Perfect Makeup - Qina Liu9. Religion - Frank Flis10. Go East - Alex Holt11. The Story of Johnny Guz - Anna Guzda12. I Am an Enchanter Named Tim - Jordan Baker13. Just Another Day at the Office - Derek Schultz14. Family - Adam Costanza15. The Sunflower - Amelia Colon16. You Have Dreams17. Snail - Kelsey Rice18. It’s Early in the Morning*19. Cheese - Frank Flis20. It’s Time to Choose - Jack Cryan21. The City of Las Vegas - Kevin Guo22. Emo Boy - Caitie Martin23. Lesson #4 - Frank Flis24. Sat Miserably Against the Orphanage Wall*25. Free Fall - Qina Liu26. The Accusation was Startling...*27. Talking, My Favorite - Vikki Hender 28. Lesson #7 - Frank Flis29. Humpty Dumpty -*30. They Say Love - Tori Cybulski31. Matisse’s Women - Jon Girard32. Shuttle - Frank Flis

* Note: A minor mishap occured. My iPod was wiped clean because I mistakenly tried to sync it with a playlist, forgetting that all other files would be erased. I then spent three days trying to get software to recover my files. I finally did, but some files were brought back without artist or album names or titles. So, if I lost your recording, or I didn’t give you credit, or I gave someone else credit for your recording, I am sincerely sorry. It was a rookie mistake.

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