Ode to the Wolf (of Wall Street)

O Leonardo Dicaprio, 

How does one become you?

A scam artist, a genius, and addict, a wolf.

Yet, your skies are so blue.

 

Your wife married you, a man

Who could not rub two nickels in his hand.

Yet, you left her for white elephants,

Mysterious women, and fancy pants.

 

You remarried a Jersey girl,

Who only loved you for your pearls.

But when the feds came knocking,

It was no surprise she began talking.

 

Into the slammer you went,

And did time for the many dents,

You punched through.

Michaela Clark '14

Quietly Running

Quietly running in between the trees

The stream yields to nothing, forging on

It portrays the mood of the forest

Record the stream and everything around it

Just for a day and you write a story

The river flows like time, smooth, never stopping

Faster and slower, depending on the weather

 

A stream journey must come to an end

It will come to meet a larger body

Lakes, rivers, ponds, and small pools

The stream is the lifeblood of these things

The veins, connecting to arteries, then to the heart

 

In haste or slowness, it reaches an end

James Uccello '14

Serene

The reflection of the moon on the surface of the lake resembles a pathway leading up to the stars. In the dark, the water is navy, like it’s spring and the ice has just melted, yet as it laps around our feet, it’s warm. There’s a silence hanging around us. Far off, the laughter of families sharing stories around their campfires can be heard, and the air smells like smoke and pine trees. The leaves and needles of the woods around us rustle gently in the night breeze. 

    “Okay, your turn,” Kyle murmurs. There’s something about darkness that makes people feel like they need to be quiet. 

    Haley and I say nothing, thinking.  “What is your biggest fear?” she finally asks. 

    “Bees,” Blake answers. “I hate those things.”

    “You’ve got to be at least six feet tall, and you’re afraid of bees?” I laugh. 

    “They’re scary,” Blake digs his hands into the sand around us, dissatisfied over not being taken seriously. 

    “What about you, Kyle?” Haley nudges him with her shoulder as if to push an answer out of him. 

    “Probably clowns.” Even in the darkness, I can see his cheeks flush. 

    “Clowns?” Haley says, trying hard not to laugh.

    “I must have watched too many scary clown movies when I was little,” he explains. “I’ve always been terrified of them.”

    A comfortable silence falls over us again. An owl hoots somewhere off to the right and a bat darts after invisible insects high above our heads. This is always what it’s like when the sun sets at Acres of Wildlife. It’s as if the campground drains away all of your worries. It’s my perfect place, a place where I can make new memories and new friends each year. I run my fingers through the sand and watch moths flit around a lamp nearby; its creamy glow casts a small, solitary pool of light in the sand below.

    I hear Blake begin to stand up, and before I know what’s happening, I’m being thrown over his shoulder and carried down the beach. I laugh and squirm and tell him to put me down. I hear Haley cracking up behind me as she chases after us. I laugh harder and pound my fists on Blake’s back, suddenly worried that I’ll soon find myself in the lake. The rest of the world disappears until all that remains are Haley, Blake, Kyle, and me. Nothing else matters but family, friends, and the perfect summer.   

                                                                                                    Jennifer Cole ‘15

Untitled

East Wing, third floor? I’m going to be late. Inside the doors of the North Academic Center, I lose my bearings for a moment. This headache is killing me. Up, I remember up. I dash up the nearest escalator, bumping two girls and blurting out a “sorry” as I rush off. I look left and right to check where I’m going as if I have some clue. Was I supposed to take that left? Oh well, it’s too late, so I just continue on my path. I’ll find the classroom eventually, right? 

Maybe I just want to feel like I tried. I check my watch and give up on getting to class. Econ will have to wait. I slide down the wall in the empty hallway.  I look at the ceiling, fighting tears. Hugging my knees, I close my eyes and try to ignore the ringing in my ears. I’m tempted to fall asleep right there. The hallway is empty right now. It would be embarrassing to scream myself awake in a crowded hallway. The school is big, but I’m sure word would get around that I was possessed or something. After a few minutes I take a deep breath and force myself to stand. I don’t want to go back to my dorm; after so many sleepless nights a place can lose its comfort. 

I make my way to the library; books remind me of home. Not the place where I grew up, but that romantic idea of bedtime stories by a crackling fire. I find a worn- in reading chair in the stacks away from the traffic. It takes me no more than three minutes for me to realize I won’t be able to fall asleep. I stay suspended somewhere between consciousness and daydreams. I’m so exhausted. I don’t want to sleep. Most of the time I don’t even remember what my dreams are about. All I remember are frantic fragments that I struggle to piece together. The details don’t seem to matter, it’s all the same, really. 

    The student library attendant startles me a little before lock-up. It’s gotten dark. I guess I fell asleep. Okay, so that means more absences. If I’m lucky, some will go unnoticed in crowded lecture halls. I gather myself quickly, and mutter “thanks” as I head for the door. I don’t look at her. I don’t look at most people these days. My stomach reminds me that I need to eat, there’s got to be some food in my room. 

Left, right, cross the street, second door, left, stairs, where are my keys? What day is it? My watch says Thursday April 14th 7:38 pm, like it’s supposed to mean something. My room is a mess. I should do laundry. I scrounge up a Ramen square, two granola bars, and half a Gatorade. I stare off for a few moments after devouring the granola bars. When was the last time I ate? I wonder where I’ll be in a year. In a month. Maybe I’ll run away to the circus. Maybe that way I won’t have to explain why I can’t function. “What do you mean, you don’t know?”  In that judgmental tone my dad loves. I was never going to be some Sigma Nu like you hoped. 

I take a little too long doing every task that could have waited, partially to avoid sleep and partially because moving is difficult. It’s well past one a.m. Thinking anything complicated makes me dizzy. I need to sleep now. I prepare for the struggle, counting each breath like it might save me from my subconscious. Maybe there wont be nightmares tonight. Just blank dead sleep. I can only wish. I toss and turn, despair creeping through the sheets. There’s no hope for tomorrow. 

I wake up late in the afternoon. And I think I got to sleep around four thirty, light was starting to come through the shades. My shirt is sticking to me. I drag myself into the shower. I breathe in steam and zone out to the water pounding on my head. Soap, rinse, and linger. I finally get out when the water gets cold. I throw on jeans and a sweater and wander without direction. Everywhere I go is empty. I know there are people just out of sight,but I feel like the last person on earth.  

I find myself at the library again. This time I don’t linger in one place. I read sentences that deteriorate into words that deteriorate into letters floating in space. My eyes are open, but I don’t see much. I gave up trying to keep the world in focus. Maybe next time I fall asleep, maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe I’ll befriend my demons. Maybe they’ll let me sleep. I stop picking out books because it’s difficult for me to put them back properly. 

I guess I fell because everything is sideways I think. I try to move but give up quickly. I can just rest here. I’ll just rest here. I’ll… It’s ..  ..

 

When I emerged from the calm darkness. I hear them say I was unresponsive for seventy-two hours. It felt much longer. I find myself in a hospital room. I was admitted to the ER, I guess. They tell me that a student noticed me on the floor and couldn’t wake me up. They said the library’s student worker was concerned because my heart was beating really fast and irregular, but my breathing was slow. He called an ambulance, for liability reasons, I guess. Some EKGs and EEGs later my heart was stamped “stable” and I was issued intraveinal tap to treat my sleep deprivation. 

They don’t actually know why we need to sleep. Nine days without any sleep will kill a person. With slight naps, someone can probably last fifteen. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night. I guess I had a lot of catching up to do. The quiet hum of hospital machines lulls me in and out of consciousness. They check my heart at intervals I can’t make sense of. My parents came to visit, I think. I heard my mom crying in a dream. I guess it was a dream. For once it wasn’t a nightmare. 

Everything is suspended in shades of grey and I feel more rested than ever. It still isn’t enough. I guess I won’t stay awake long enough; they put an uncomfortable tube in my throat for food. My dad must have visited because I heard Mom talking to him about possible options, I don’t know for what.

 

My condition is improving. I think it’s been a little over three weeks. My mom visits most days; I think I felt her holding my hand. They tell her I should wake up any day now. I want to tell them I’m awake but I can’t seem to figure out how. 

 

Mom has been visiting less. I keep trying to open my eyes but I can’t. It’s quieter now. Someone comes in and moves my limbs around, and it’s the strangest thing I’ve ever felt.  For the first time in my life I’m not exhausted. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I used to play mind games, and then I counted prime numbers. I can finally sleep with out pain but the trade off isn’t worth it. 

I heard Dad’s voice today. He told me it would be okay and wished me luck. I don’t think I understand. Mom cried a lot today. I’m scared. I know what they’re doing. How can I show them that I’m here?  I just wanted to sleep. 

                                                                                                          Rachel  ‘14

Obey

This thing they call life 

Never ceases to stop

On a rollercoaster going up and down

When no one including myself can be found

Sometimes it seems fun

But I carry around a pound

On my shoulders everyday

Why can’t I just obey?

Reilly Fallon '14

Having a Choice

My grandfather was a really good storyteller, and I remember how much time I spent listening to his stories. We used to talk for hours at his kitchen table in his farmhouse in the mountains of Quebec. Perhaps it was a little unusual for a twelve years old child, but I felt attracted by his past and what he had to tell me. As a child my grandfather really liked school, and he was actually the only one in his family who was interested in learning. He wanted to go as far as possible because he felt passionate about improving his knowledge. 

When my grandfather was old enough to work, he felt the need to help his family, because his father was not able to support them. His family was poor and large in number, so there were many mouths to feed with his factory salary. When he was fourteen, he decided to drop out of school. He found a decent-paying job, where he started at the bottom in the biggest cigarette factory in Quebec City. There were no windows, so he couldn’t see the daylight; my grandfather worked seven days a week, often at night. When he was working there, he breathed a lot of chemical products used to kill bacteria in the tobacco. Back then, no one knew the bad effects, so the workers never wore masks to protect themselves. The conditions were horrible, but my grandfather had to keep this job because he was, by then, married, and his wife was pregnant, and it was the best job he could find in order to be able to feed his own family. I can remember him telling me that he used to throw up every single morning before going to work. His job made him sick, but he kept going because he had to. 

My grandfather once told me that there is nothing worse than having no choices and to be obligated to follow a predestined path. He always encouraged me to stay at school in order to find the job that suited me best. My grandfather believed in hard work, determination, and the pursuit of happiness, and this is what my parents believe in, too; they have taught me these values throughout my entire life. When I decided to come to the United States to study, I had goals and dreams, and I was looking for the best education possible. I knew that I could find what I was looking for and that I could open my mind on the world. This comes from my grandfather’s influence on me when I was young. He made me understand that education can bring happiness, because having the chance to choose what really attracts one in life is a gift. I know that my grandfather would have liked to continue his studies when he was young, and I have promised myself that I will respect his dream.  

  Olivier Frenette ‘14