Literary Arts Magazine Feature!

Hello, fellow bloggers! I have some exciting news!

The 2014 spring edition of my university’s literary arts magazine was released yesterday, and I was fortunate enough to have all three of the pieces I submitted accepted and published in the magazine!

I also had the pleasure of attending the release party last night, which included readings from the contributing authors and an open mic for anyone who wished to read their poetry or prose. To say it simply, I was blown away by the quality of the pieces read. You would think that submitting to and reading this magazine for a few years would get me used to the talent of my fellow students, but I am always pleasantly surprised! I daresay this is the best one I have been a part of!

Of course, I also appreciate any opportunity I get to read my writing in an open mic setting.  I feel like many poems have a greater impact when spoken with feeling, and I enjoy the chances I get to try and “find my voice” while reading my poetry aloud. I also had the fortune of being greatly supported by a good number of my close friends who were in attendance, and their sincere compliments, high fives, and words of encouragement were very nourishing to me as a writer.

Okay, have I got you feeling depressed that you were not exposed to this glorious outpouring of literature? Well, feel depressed no more! The magazine is online and free for anyone to read, so take a look and support some writers by going to: http://aulitartsmag.tumblr.com/

The theme of the magazine was “bildungsroman” – a German word meaning “coming of age.” I contributed two poems and a prose piece: Slaying Monsters, No One Comes of Age, & Introduction.

I hope you enjoy what you read!

Slaying Monsters

Composed 2/11/14
Description: Something I put together today, and my last entry to AU’s literary arts magazine for this semester. Got to say, I think I’m the most proud of this one.

At six she hid under pillows and sheets
And let out whimpers building to screams
Her mother, with weary tired grace
Arrived to soothe the crying face
She plucked the monster from her door
And stowed him in her sweater drawer

Sixteen brought parties, boys, and fun
And a punch bowl spiked with too much rum
But a monster crawled from the upstairs bed
And grabbed her wrist til it was red
But her other fist was free to crunch
And with his cool he lost his lunch

At twenty six the doctor called
And posted grim pictures on the wall
With heart on sleeve and urgings great
She prayed to God and all His saints
So He swiped the monster from her chest
And allowed her health and blissful rest

Introduction

Composed  ‎2 /13/13
Description: Another lit art’s mag hopeful. It’s strange; I wrote this almost exactly a year ago, and here I am looking at it again! When I wrote this, it was originally part of a “100 Themes” challenge. The theme was “Introduction.”

She remembered Frank’s words.

You know, they say people make first impressions in as little as half a second.

Half a second. That is how long it would take to decide her fate.

The sequins on her red, fitted jacket burst forth in sparkle as the strobes flashed. She barely had time to catch a glimpse of the man in the long-tailed suit coat throw his hands up and jump into an exuberant stance of victory before the fog machines released another cloud of red and purple smoke. Confetti in colors of the rainbow rained down from the balcony. The audience’s roars were deafening.

He was good. He had tigers. How was she supposed to compete with that?

Thalia tugged on her stark white, elbow length gloves, the only object visible backstage. She gulped and glanced down, focusing on every crease and imagining doves spilling out of her fingertips.

Her heart was beating faster than it ever had. It all culminated here. If she failed, it was over. She had been lucky to get this five minute slot; so many other venues had refused her. Frank, the owner’s son, had only given her this chance – one chance he said – because he’d wanted to take her out to dinner. If she failed, there would be no way he could convince his father to let her have another try. She’d have to drag her feet back to Romano and meekly accept his offer.

Thalia shuttered as she imagined joining Romano’s league of sleazy showgirls. That’s not what she wanted. That wasn’t her dream. Her dream was to make her own way in the world, to do what she loved – magic.

Her guardian had been a lover of magic, and that kindly old man with the wrinkled hands and pale blue eyes had her entranced the first time he pulled a flower out of her ear.

All at once she was in a small, cozy apartment, spread out on the ugly blue and green rug with the tattered edges. She squealed in glee as she picked out a two of hearts and the man nodded.

“I’m going to be a famous magician one day!” Thalia announced with the kind of happy arrogance only three year olds are capable of.

“You certainly are,” said that man in his warm, wispy voice. He was smiling. “And you are going to make me very proud.”

The ferocious roar of a giant cat, and then the audience, broke Thalia from her daze. Her black eyes narrowed, and her slender hands clenched. No, magic was not just a way to make a living, not just a passion to her; it was also her sole connection to the only person she had ever loved.

She would do this. She would live her dream.

The slender man in black took a bow. Only seconds now. Seconds until her name was called.

And then half a second. Half a second in which the audience decided her fate. Half a second would determine her future, her survival, her pride. The loudspeaker squeaked; an announcer called her name.

In a half a second, her whole life would change.

She stepped onto the stage. They cheered.

No One Comes of Age

Composed 2/4/14
Description: Sorry for the hiatus. School is, as always, a killer. However, this semester’s literary arts magazine has a deadline soon, so here I am, pumping out hopefuls last minute. The theme for the magazine this semester is Bildungsroman, a German word for “coming of age.” So here is one literary arts mag hopeful. Feedback is always appreciated!

There are no sacred journeys
Or evil beasts to slay
We achieve no mastery over
The movement of our limbs
In rituals
Or tame the lion in our bellies
In holy fasts

Instead we burn our trails
And hide each beast under our bed
Go to sleep
Pretend they’re dead
And gorge ourselves on
The pleasures of babes

Now
We measure age
In cigarettes and alcohol
And the scale keeps on slipping
To sex and rental cars
DUIs and jail time
Marriage, drugs, divorce
And even our children
Never see
A man come of age