How it Happened – Case Duckworth

I was away on vacation when I heard–
someone sat at my desk while I was away.
They took my pen, while I was taking
surf lessons, and wrote the sun into the sky.
They pre-approved the earth and the waters,
and all of the living things, without even
having the decency to text me. It was not I
who was behind the phrase “creeping things.”
When I got back, of course I was pissed,
but it was already written into the policy.
I’m just saying: don’t blame me for Cain
killing Abel. That was a murder. I’m not a cop.
The Tower of Babel fell on its own. The ark
never saw a single drop of rain. I’m the drunk
sitting on the curb who just pissed his pants,
nothing more. I quit my job a while ago.

– Case Duckworth is a junior at UTC, studying creative writing. He plans to become a prophet.

Tess and Jeremy – Karla Evans

We had made up our minds to never be afraid; like Scott and Zelda or Bonnie and Clyde. Jeremy thought we should run away now, to Spain or France. Become writers or actors, spend our evenings with artists on sidewalk cafés. I wanted to wait until graduation or until I got my driver’s license. We had to wait for passports, at least.

Jeremy stood on the outside of the swinging bridge, bouncing slightly like he was too bored to jump. His arms threaded through the ropes that made up the side of the bridge. Jeremy liked referring to his “washboard abs,” but his stomach was more like a soap dish, curving under his ribs. Because he was thin and gangly, he looked tall.

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Toy Story 3: Political Allegory? – Virgilio Gozum

Perhaps I like to make things up. Nevertheless, I’ve seen Toy Story 3 three times now, and each successive viewing further convinces me that this Pixar film can be construed as an American political allegory. First to be discussed are the characters and their representations. Then, I will attempt to synthesize these representations.

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the movie and intend to see it, don’t read further. Continue reading

Instructions for an Exorcism – Hattie Stubsten

1. Recognize that any illness results from evil shifting through your brain like silt through mesh. It enters the body through the nasal membrane or the porous flesh between your fingers. Physiologists will tell you this is paranoia. Don’t believe them. They’ll question your sanity, survey your feelings, ask you to check the relevant boxes. It always ends in lobotomy.

2. Don’t be shy. Muscle’s just meat, and stains can be removed with a mixture of lime juice and calcium. Be sure to rinse eyes thoroughly if fluids are present. It is suggested to ingest the Holy Spirit so that molecules of all the saints can fuse with your blood by way of hemoglobin. Scientifically, this is the best defense.

3. Wash your hands.

4. Remember that Christians, unlike Buddhists, are inherently rectangular. They are framed in the light of creationist theories that promised a god younger than the discovery of corn in the Yucatan. Corn, of course, was domesticated before the dog and slightly after the push of vomit behind your teeth signals a convulsion to expel those demons.

– Hattie Stubsten is a senior at UTC.

Putting the World into Things – Laurel Jones

My solar system is under the couch.
I put it there because the birds
wouldn’t stop complaining about
the change in gravity, the way
the wind has been singing. Tremulous
and low– it has been calmly breaking
the little people, their legs and arms,
the way killers do
in the movies and I can’t look at the
tendons, cartilage. How pain is
scattered around my house
like bright flowers: orchids or dandelions.
I thought about fishes and
golf clubs and little grains of sand.
I thought about what is underground,
and snow. About lemons and that
bright, bright beautiful hummingbird
I found dead under a bench when
the streets were just turning grey.
Little rat bones, no one will see you
rot. No one will sing and hear your name.

– Laurel Jones is a junior at UTC studying English.

Giant Steps – Matt Haines

The owl and I were mutually terrified.
In the midst of hunting we came upon us
My swelling ribcage and his swelling wings
The darkened pavement and his eyes
which I know now were speaking their
language of stillness to me
But to say I understood that ancient stare
is a giant step, like the escaping mouse
who thinks, the way that I move is disgusting.
I have these small feet that stick to pavement.
Nothing of my beauty is mentioned in poems.
I have never been loved the way that I love.

– Matt Haines is a senior at UTC.

The Elbow Tree – Megan Denton

I know now that little has changed about what comforts me. I was sitting on a leather couch in this room that looked like the forest. The hardwood floors, arrogant and shabby. I could try to explain it, but I think it’d be impossible to tell you how warm I felt. I expected I’d be cold, as always, and carried closely an oversized sweatshirt as I walked down a long hallway of cypress stripes and moss. I often use this sweatshirt to hide behind or hug or clench my fists under. Mostly to hide, though. To hide my body from my father. I wasn’t always like this.

***

I told Mr. Steen that I sincerely don’t know what a father and daughter do when they sit on the couch next to each other. He told me he has a four-year-old daughter, and when he sits next to her on the couch, he positions himself in a way so that she can lean into him. And then my heart mourned with the thought of it.

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