Full text of "Voices"
EDITORIAL STAFF (from left): Matt Welch, Paul Mannone,
Randal T. Schultz, Lena Schultz, Allison Thompson, Ed Rader,
Pat Benedict, Devin Henry, Erin Monette, James Dewitz,,
Anousone Panyanouvong, Paul Redel, Rachel 'Ray' Manis,,
Toy Lambert, Kristi Fane, Sarah Reed, Sandy Allen,,
Megan Shepherd, DeAnn Reynolds, Brooke Funfsinn, Peter Gulatto.
^0(C^y accepts fur consideration submissions of poetry and
fiction, as well as artwortc in any form. Send submissions, along
with a short biography and a SASE to: Editors, Voices, Division
of Composition and Literature, Rock Valley College, Rockford,
IL 61114. ^0«Ccr assumes no responsibility for unsolicited
contributions. Voices' is published twice yearly by Rock Valley
College. To become an editor, enroll in JRN 139 - Small
Magazine Production. This 2-credit course is offered every
semester. I or inform.ition, call (HI S) 921-3324.
Cover Art by Rise M. Powers-Johnson
I could feel the de\'il
^', ;' in all his sharp-clawed madness
screaming and tearing
biting and sliding
slowly towards my ego
My eyes rolled
and I could feel god
pushing upward on my sparkling
and sober feet
So there I am stuck in a holy sandwich
swirling somewhere in the middle
when the thought comes to mind
that I feel
like a child
caught in between two parents
a very sloppy dix^orce
Kind of a funny thing to think
about while being
pressed in a godwhich
and I realized that
the devil wasn't pushing
I was pulling
The devil only set down
things in front of me
that got progressively heavier
god was lifting
I was pulling away
I gripped harder
he pushed more
Now my soul sits in ashtrays
and on the lips of smokers
lips that cover
the yellow coated teeth
Grunting and laughing
smiling and shitting
at my soul
They sucked it all
and I was left with nothing
They smoked til their fingers burned
and broke and bleed.
They mixed it with my ashes and drank
My boots sat emptied in the corner
my feet suckeci
like wet spaghetti noodles
from my now
It was tragic,
the way they
looking up at
nails and hairs
nails and hairs
I cursed and then
The long legged
of the trucker's ^__^^^^^^^_^^_^_
mugs Raven Johnson
Sometimes one would pull
on the arm of a slot machine
at the end of the table.
The little wheels would always think
Why did I end up on this side of the glass
instead of that asshole pulling the lever?
— Randal T. Schultz
eventime i pick up my pen
i fear i will write just another cliche
i don't think i've ever written
anything of meaning
and it's a pretty sad day
when you realize
that yf)ur work e\c)kes nothing
not like, not dislike
do i keep writing?
Maybe i write
to piss you off
Maybe i write
to keep my hands busy
Maybe i write
to loye my grandma
Maybe i write
so they'll laugh at it and not me
Maybe i write
to get women
Maybe i write
to have just one god damn
Maybe i write
Maybe i write
so they'll shut up about me
Maybe i write
to hear myself talk
Maybe i write
to stop these urges
Maybe i write
to prove i can
In your head
all ideas are clever,
you have to write them down
to realize how mixed up you really are.
— Randal T. Schultz
Do You See a Fool?
The twilight pierces my eyes
Is it over or has it just begun?
East or West
The road lies before me
A choice only 1 can make
East or West
Am I a fool to stand at the cross
If I stand still will time do the same?
East or West
Darkness versus light
Is the easy path always the
East or West!
Each road, destination unknown
Am I a fool at the cross roads?
No I am not a fool ^
I'll just turn around ^
No I might
Just my insides rumbling thunder
I can't eat
Can't think while looking in his eyes
Into the soul
Inside deeper there it lies
In pools of water with no sides
I'm overwhelmed and drowning in surprise
Because it is all here in his eyes
No need to look any further
You were so sweet to me
1 just couldn't take it
You were there I didn't want to see
You told me the story of your life
I didn't let you see me cry
You said you could make it rain for
You said you would die for me
You did in my mind
I'm sorry because
I did pay attention to everything
1 watched you every day
Not looking at me
Even though you did out of the
edge of your eye
And in your dreams
1 cried at home from your sad story
Because it was my story too
And now my eyes are flooded
Because I didn't say these things
He was a little dorky
And a little weird
I could hear his imaginary fans
As they cheered
He tried to make it sound casual
Just a little date
But he had asked a little late
Thank goodness my schedule was
But I tried to make it sound sincere
I was sorry I was busy
And that would be for the rest of the year
,v-^ v'^ -o^ ,-- ,<c-
I cry out in the night,
louder, louder I scream when
bluntly awakened I seem to be
in the dark, a hazy dark.
is this a dream, can it be real?
tedious is this feeling, I wish to complain,
when 1 open my two eyes precariously,
I envision the source, the dam
how could they let it get so clogged?
let me purify you, come come with me
Pour me into the glass of grace.
As if I were water in its purest form
and don't ever clog again.
The fatty acids,
will eat you alive,
they tickle you,
and itch you,
then crunch, bite, and
gulp you're gone,
to the acids of inside.
- Torn apart by the thoughts that make mi' thi' individual I dm - Mangled in the despair of my intimacy •
Devouring everything natural, biological, and neurotic in my path to find fate - Defy fate, defy fate,
understand it and appreciate its beauty - Voyaging to a better place with true people where i can evolve
Tears released from my eyes.
In remembrance of my lost love.
I'm being embraced by the cool chilly
I can no longer feel the warmth of my
For him my heart weeps.
If I could have a glimpse of his angelic
Or perhaps inhale the musk but sweet
Scent of his cologne.
Just once more.
Oh my continuous heart-felt hopes and dreams
Must be put to rest at last.
So much lost because of one night.
Why did I put myself in such a plight?
I must learn to think before I act.
It's hard when your niind is not intact.
From my mistakes I have learned.
Actions speak much louder than words.
I do not like what my actions tell me.
I am what I claimed not to be.
Am 1 just the same as the rest?
My strength has been pvit to the ultimate test.
I have an inability to focus on but one thought.
For my peace of mind I've continually fought.
What do you thinl<?
What do you think about you and me?
Walking hanci in hand for all of eternity.
Promising to love each other now and forever.
The two of us inseparable always together.
Vowing to share love until death do us part.
Never betraying the love in our hearts.
Sacrificing all, to be by the other's side.
Starting a life that'll bring such pride.
As I'm gazing longingly into my angel's beautiful
I promise to be honest, never to tell any lies.
I'll offer nothing but the best.
While expecting you to put my fears to rest.
Falling asleep in your arms peacefully
When I awake your face is the first I see.
My love for you I'll always cherish.
I pray your love for me will never perish.
Where I lie inadequate,
-ragment, puzzled pieces.
I love you.
End of Eden
What is said to have happened to Adam,
When he lost Eve
Why did Eden turn to dust
Why do names become forgotten
And will it ever happen to me
Since when did cloud nine.
Come before cloud one
Who put the me in alone
Why do kings die
Why is history forgotten
And what ever happened to Eden
Alone in the dark.
Afraid of what's out there
And why do we forget
What we've lived through
And what ever became of me
What happened to Eden
Will it happen to me
What happened to me
Happen to Eden
— John Arn
You tell me the click clack of my shoes turns you on.
How you know what my footprints sound like right
outside our door.
But cio you know what my thoughts sound like
right before I knock?
If I took off my shoes, wovild you know it was me
on the other side?
You tell me it's like an echo,
my minci, not my shoes.
It starts off quiet, building up frequency, noise.
You tell me my minci is noise,
but what a beautiful sound that noise makes.
You tell me they're like the sunrise,
my eyes, not my mind.
They start off St. Tropez , end in the sun.
You tell me I'm like the sun,
I burn you with my gaze.
You tell me the click clack of my shoes turns you on,
not my mind, my body.
My intensity that rivals that fiery ball rotating
to which you worship,
on your knees ,
to which I dream,
in my sleep,
with our legs tangled, and our eyes closed
so the noise won't escape from my head,
and interrupt your dreaming.
Rip up the rose petals you gave me,
with the tears that shred my cheeks into your image,
of my heart.
You have no reason
to love me.
But you do.
Kiss away my memories, with you as all 1
I love to start over with you, again and again and
Whoever said we were perfect?
Except you, late at night, when you whispered my
name, which sounded like confusion.
You have no reason
to love me.
But you do.
Graze my arm with your eyes,
that warms my body with chills, not knowing what
your vision will hit next.
Whisper my name with a heated breath that echoes
its way through my body, sending me over.
You say you're falling in love with me,
but I've already landed.
PEARLED DEW DROPS, DROPS
Pearled drops of you
melt into me.
wasted on a bed
— C. M. Flal
The Unbreakable Glass
Somewhere in my cabinet
Sits an unbreakable glass
I try to overmedicate it
But it just won't break
I throw it to the floor
But not a chip breaks apart
And even though
It is the ugliest color of green I have ever seen
There it rests on my shelf
Because it reminds me
That 1 am not always beautiful every day
1 do have my bad moments
And 1 can take my wrath out on the glass
It doesn't talk back to me
I feed it aspirin and advil
It gets headaches a lot these days
Mainly from disuse
Just sitting and passing the time
Like I will when I am old
But hopefully I will not get headaches
And who knows if my skin will turn green?
— Linda Backeberg
IN YOUR ABSENCE
In your absence,
I'm tormented by words
that hang around my neck
Like a noose
bearing no meaning,
— C. M.Hall
My Friend Anna
Once upon a time, when potato chips with ridges were
only one man's vision, there was a young girl named Leonard.
Leonard's parents had been told they were having a boy, so
when Leonard was born a girl they decided to still call her
Leonard, even though they named her Anna.
Leonard was truly a beautiful girl, despite her name. She
had rosy cheeks and a smile that nearly took your breath away.
Her teeth were evenly spaced and she had tight ringlet curls
that covered her perfectly shaped head. Her giggle was so
precious that people would make funny faces at her just to hear
her laugh. Even her elbows were beautiful in their own way.
Leonard's only imperfection was the abnormally sized
pinky toe on her left foot. It was huge. This was rather
unfortunate because she thoroughly enjoyed running barefoot
through the meadows and often found herself tripping on her
rather large toe.
One spring day Leonard woke up and decided to put on
her favorite dress. The dress was light blue with a purplish
haze. Along the hem was white eyelet lace, which brushed
lightly across Leonard's knees. The dress was Leonard's
favorite because it accentuated her adorable knees.
After buttoning up her dress, Leonard put on a pair
of white sandals. All she could wear were sandals because
of her large pinky toe. This made walking through the snow
a difficulty, but luckily this story took place in the spring.
As Leonard walked out of her room into the hall, she
found her two-year-old triplet brothers playing with their
pet squirrel named Puffy Cookie. Her brother 's names were
Violet, Rose and Gerald. Violet was an impressive tap dancer
for a toddler. His parents had him start taking lessons when
he was only three and a half months old. Rose had quite the
knack for journalism at his young age. His role model was
Tom Brokaw, and the family often found little Rose taking
notes throughout the evening news broadcast. Gerald also
had a talent of his own. He could shoot a spark of fire from
his earlobe, but only while he was eating pancakes.
Jumping oxer each of her brother's heads, Leonard exited the
house and entered her backyard. The first thing she encountered in
the massi\'e backyard was the small water park her father had built
in the corner of the yard. The water park had a wavepool, a large
slide, kiddie pool (for the triplets), and a bright yellow slip 'n slide.
"Too bad it isn't summer yet," Leonard thought with a deep
sigh as she glanced at the daytimer that was in her pocket.
Leonard continued to walk the perimeter of the yard. She
stopped at all the various attractions her father had built in the yard,
such as the petting zoo and ferris wheel. She even paid a nickel to
see four midgets and a dancing bear perform her favorite song from
"The Phantom of the Opera." Above all, Leonard's favorite part of
the day was eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch
under the large oak tree right in the middle of the yard.
After playing in the yard for nine hours and about seventeen
minutes, Leonard decided to return home for dinner. The family ate
macaroni and cheese with hotdog chunks while watching Tom
Brokaw on the five thirty news. They sang the latest commercial
jingles together as they cleaned up the dishes. Then the children's
parents called out from the hallway that it was time for bed.
.All four children grabbed their beloveci blankets and walked toward their separate rooms. Each child
had a tent that fit on the mattress of their beds. It was their mother's idea to get them tents so that they would
think going to bed was fun--almost like camping.
Both the mother and father went into each room to sing a John Denver song to their children. As Leonard
listened to her father playing the auto-harp and her mother singing "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" in a
baritone voice, she drifted off to sleep. Her last thought
before finally sleeping was "ahh, this has been a lovely
day and I can onK' hope that my dreams will be just
And that is the story of Puffy Cookie, the first
squirrel to become a domesticated house pet.
Sarah E. McDonald
['hotos by Andrea Saladino
I wanted to write you a poem
to celebrate the day
But as the words began to form
some tears got in the way
Please don't think I'm sad
or angry, or depressed
Please just know I'm happy
tor you cause me nothing less
I've made my friends my life you see
it's silly some might say
But nothing makes me prouder
than when they shine like you today
For 1 like to think I helped you there
that my love took some effect
Or that my presence makes you stronger
as I also seem to suspect
Since that's what my friends are to me
a guiding force like no other
Strong arms when my soul is weak
words warmer than the thickest cover
You are this kind of friend to me
always have been, always will
And I know that I can count on you
help me over any hill
The distance does not matter
it only draws us near
For in that space we realize
the ones we hold most dear
So I give to you this poem
to celebrate the day
All I ask is next time
help wipe the tears away
Every time I forgive
Try to reconcile
You wound me all over again
No satisfactory explanations
But I deserve them
At the least
I should be mad
mad because you used me
as your sounding board
as a shoulder to cry on
as the butt of your joke
as your work break companion
as a rescue from boredom
You used me as your friend
but wouldn't let me use you
1 should be mad at you
not miss you
I'm tired of looking at you,
tired because all 1 do is look,
since you won't let me do anything else.
No talking, no whispering, no laughing,
no secrets, no jokes, no fights,
no singing, no slapping, no tickling,
no staring, no sharing, no driving,
no lunches, no concerts, no shopping,
no anything we did when you cared, t^ ,, -i ..
- ^ :; Don t smile at me
no anything we did before her,
no crying, no hugging, no kissing,
maybe a little missing.
still mostly just looking.
But I'm tired of looking at you.
Don't be nice and pleasant
Cordial and courteous
What gives you the right?
You forfeited it long ago
Around when you burned
1 see no reason to smile at
me over ashes
Why do you touch me so softly, when my hands are
And why do your lips caress my eyes, when I can't
look at you?
Why do you answer me when I whisper I love you,
when that's all you've ever said?
And why can't you see through me when I'm so far
away from transparency?
Why do you say you understand me when we have
nothing in common?
And why do you say I'm hiding something behind
my laugh, when all you see is my smile?
Why do you assume there's darkness in here,
when I seem to be brighter than the sun?
And why do you want to solve me,
when I'm a million pieces of a million
puzzles, and you hate games?
Why do you say you love me, when we've known
Why do you watch me when 1 can't see you,
through my darkness that hides behind the
laughter in my eyes, put together with
different pieces of different puzzles that love
your touch like a thousand kisses landing on
my body, when you say you love me.
— Erin Monette
When the sky was blue
Once I knew how to fly.
It was a time
the sky was still blue
I soared and glided
around and around without even trying
dizzy in thin air
The endings of songs
streaked past in the wind
blinded by old tears
I swam past.
I didn't look back
for fear of falling
The toy people
What were they saying?
as I knew they would
my feet touched bottom.
- Maggie Thienemann
Rachel 'Ray' Manis
I am not a writer.
It is not my strong suit.
I choose not to play it
But the choice is not mine.
It belongs to that other person
Whom I know all too well.
The decision has been made.
The battlefield has been set.
So I close my eyes and let go,
And once again I'm defeated
By our weirds.
— Brenda Brinckerhoff
RVC Ids RVC Kids RVC Kids
RVC Kids ' RVC Kids
"A garden is a house for flowers.'
Friends are great
Friends are fun
There are friends for everyone
Some like cats
Some like dogs
Some like bats
Some like frogs
Some like foods that are hot
Some like foods in a pot
Gotta have friends
They're the best
Friends are great
That's the rest
— Krystal Phillips
— Sierra Blakely
Peace is what people want.
Every single day
Admire the beauty.
Could it be more pretty?
Even v/hen cloudy and dark
— Justice Wind
Remembering Dr. King
Recipe for peace
Overcome lots of setbacks
The dream for freedom
Hero to African-Americans
Every man s brother
Remember Dr. King.
He had a dream.
Dr. Martin Luther King.
— Victor Wind
'When I am sad, I go to my
room and read a book."
— Shawnee Younvanich
A Collection of Artwork and Poetry submitted
r VC Kids
RVC Ki'ds RVC \C[ds
The First Laugh
The energy and yet a sense of peace
How do children do it?
Be at complete peace?
Have complete innocence.
Yet, how does a person of such age become this person?
Think of your first laugh.
Your first laugh was one of your most joyous moments
When you first enjoyed something so much and colored
it 'tickle me pink.'
Remember when you had so much energy as you could
run as what it seemed forever and still have energy?
That was such a long time ago.
You will always have those memories.
Although the time has passed, you will always have
that vibe and energy that you had when you were
I will never feel the same.
Yes, you will. Just remember your first laugh . . .
— Brianne Wolf
Prescription for Earth
Our mother, the earth
has pain in both ears.
It hurts her to swallow.
She's raining some tears.
The earth is sick.
He air is thick.
100 years of rest,
that would be best.
Earth has a fever,
but we won't leave her.
Plant trees and flowers
To help things survive.
Honor the Earth.
It will keep us alive.
— Aurora Wind
the children of RVC students, staff and faculty.
Killing of the Killing
and of course there is this fear i have
with this screen and all these words
and when i know i have too much to say
thats when i know im tilting
and falling, and oh, watch these hands fall from
my eyes (who else hates feeling like jesus?)
as i remember that you are watching me
watching, like everyone else
and they say oh how can you not FEEL and i say
how can you imagine me any other way?
well, yes, maybe my life is a little like someone else's
maybe it's that copy of tropic of cancer i keep in
my pocket (my mouth?)
or maybe is the poetry i find under my pillow,
under your shirt
and maybe im pretending
a sort of killing of the killing
well im FEELING this and you know more than
i could tell you
so maybe i should close this skull
and maybe i wish i could pretend and bend
and steady myself in your skin
after streams and explosions of words and
(did i sound alive? were you nervous?
oh i am amazing sometimes)
pounding on this until my hands ache
well im fallen
and a little useless
oh god, can you touch me again...
oh god, im fallen
— Gillian Zekos
Fifteen hours, stuffed in a seat
Sleeping, squirming, eating
Rice, tofu, and
Shriveled up peas
Snaking over eroded hills
Worn by the thief of time
Stretching miles before my eyes
Soldiers patrolling youth
Workers dancing at dawn
Plowing the farmer's rice paddies
Collapsing in his tracks
Replenishing my food
Fried dog, dumplings, pig's ear
Cat cooked to perfection and
Served with eyeball soup
Surrounded by majestic mountains
Landscape with snow
Lhasa pilgrims in their holy khorra
Rushing through the gorges
Carrying bodies to unknown graves
Soon lost for eternity for progress
Temples, pagodas and dynasties
Terra cotta men
With a multitude of dialects
Overflowing with history
Rich in yellowed artifacts
Permeated in legend
— Pat Benedict
Paul K. Dyer
Oh you're my bone-shaker
stir me up make me all vibed-out nervy alive
I want to lay near you, your cheek against mine
like fine-grained sandpaper
and you are like that too...
gritty but touchable
you smooth away my rough-n-tough
bad girl veneer
I am naked around you,
Even my eyes-
my eyes are no longer veiled
but I'm scared to be
— Jennifer Beksel
Comfortably on Edge
bright white light
blue moon of Kentucky
no such thing.
Take up my pen
hoping for solitude
hoping for answers
hoping for peace
Look at the clock
stop golden light
as you wait for a visitor
sunshine of Vermont
hoping and praying
no such thing
for the chance to do
Fruits of the forest
birds of the air
fish of the sea
no such thing
Tweaked to the bone
tweaked to the core
the chaos of destiny
Help on the way
Help on the way
The other day I saw a magnificent sight that made me
wonder about that very fact. I saw a green butterfly fly-
ing towards the heavens. It kept going and I followed it
with my eyes until it was out if sight. Then I kept watch-
ing for it to come back down. I know butterflies are small,
so I kept scanning the sky for any sign of its return to
earth. After several hours of looking, I realized that
maybe that butterfly did make it past the grip of our
gravity. Maybe, just maybe he is populating the moon
with magnificent butterflies that can do anything they
put their minds to.
— Ed Rader
he woke to an unusual sound not entirely unpleasant,
just different, the birds weren't chirping nor were the
crickets chirping, or whatever the hell the sound they
make is called, in fact all was quiet, was this the dreaded
calm before the storm, the peaceful time just before his
alarm clock summons him awake for another shitty day
to trod all over his dreams? or was this the "true peace"
he had been trying to buy by meditating naked in the
bathroom with a dozen candles burning, arranged in per-
fect harmony to the alignment of the planets or some dis-
tant dream of Atlantis, just like the books he bought on
his maxed-out credit card say will align your aura? no,
this was different than anything he had felt before, he
hopped out of bed and literally bounded down the steps
to the kitchen, he made his coffee in record time and when
he placed the cup to his lips, it was the sweetest thing he
had ever tasted, he then noticed his hip no longer hurt,
nor did his fingers feel like they were in a vice while stale
battery acid was dripped slowly over them, in fact he
felt better than he had in years, no he felt better than he
ever had. he ran upstairs at full speed, which was im-
possible for him to do in more than two decades, espe-
cially since he lost his leg last summer to diabetes, he
stopped and hesitated, then looked down at his stump,
there it was in all its glory, his right leg, not swollen or
sore, just there, like it was supposed to be. he walked
into his bedroom with his eyes closed, because he knew
his way since his eyes were cloudy with cataracts and
glaucoma, or at least they were before he woke up. he
stood in front of the bed which had basically been his
prison for many months now and realized he had to open
his eyes to know the truth, he did and he was right.
2 Poems by
The door is finally closed. Thank god for that. My
sunshine fresh attitude about you and all people
is present and accounted for. An expletive to de-
scribe my attitude towards the world would be
proper, yet crass.
But that's me completely, the crude nuisance that
reminds you of an in-growing toenail that drives
you absolutely nuts, the scab on the top of your
head that won't go away because you keep pick-
ing at it.
I can only be me, but you want prince charming
on his gay horse to ride in and sweep you off your
chubby ankles. Sorry mother, but just because you
spawned me, doesn't mean you own me. I am not
So I will go on about my business and you yours,
but we will continue to butt heads because 1 am
your child and we are too alike. The end will come
soon and we will never know that in two bodies
reside the same damn person.
\\ hen the past prevails
\\ hen one compass's broken arrow shoots the regression towards
Flatterv pacing the entire view
A room left to serenit\'
The passing of one life's motives
While spent \ears drip, clutch the splintered walls
Catch to the now fibered cracks left in the dankiiess of basement stair.
Dust, Death caught the dryness
\ot to stir
\ot to stir
Pour the water over the once solidified cracks
Listen to the creaks as wind from another field pours unto the foundation.
Forexer is the thought chasing my breath.
While some crv for the forgi\'ing nature of words,
1 chose to heave my entire soul upon the open hearth.
Stones that lie, graves unspoken, became alive with one flick of a wrist.
Ma\be 1 would walk this eternity away until the smoke that caught
m\ pace before reached.
Ma\ be 1 should have laid upon the floor until my veins strung into his.
^'ou know how the rules get broken,
^'ou shouldn't go to sleep right now.
— Sarah Reed
Another Shattered Being
Three steps forward
Two steps back
Mother May I
Know another feeling
Besides this roller coaster they call life
Does the roller coaster
Ever go up
Or just down to the pit of loneliness
I collapse in the cold basement
I need some help to get up from my knees
1 can no longer see the light
Mother may 1 please
Know any other feeling
Before 1 have to take
Two more steps back?
No you say . . .
Then as 1 wait here in my
All I am asking is
— Christina Valdez
I opened my eyes to a dream.
I looked around and couldn't find anything wrong.
I found myself in a world where opportunity C
didn't knock, but came in for a cup of coffee. ©
It was a world where the truth didn't hurt.
It really did set you free.
I felt like I belonged.
It was my world.
No rules, no limitations.
I understood everything.
I didn't need anyone.
No more watching the clock and waiting for something
I could exhale and feel my burdens lift.
I could look at myself in the mirror and think 1 was a
I could be happy withovit trying.
I no longer had to fake the smiles for show.
I found myself with no pain.
I had no regrets, no fears, no longings or expectations.
I didn't wonder why it was that 1 was always alone.
I didn't stare into the river and wish that I'd slip and fall.
I stopped hoping for a sudden death to take my life.
For a brief moment, everything was okay.
But, in the next brief moment, I woke up.
— Melody Nimsomboon
Touch your finger to my eye. .Push
1 want to feel what you give to me
Blind me with your hand, kill me with your
As sure as you, it will be uncomfortable
You say this has never happened to you
I say I feel this often
Why don't we just do it together - Make it ours
— Paul Redel
Most won't see through
All this is paying off
Satisfying my desire for space
Keeping my distance will save me
Over and over I attempt
Failure has become a brother
Starting to hide was difficult
Everything was worth the trouble
Laying low is safest
— Paul Redel
These justified poetic words do not fall easily.
The\' seep through slow, slower than stopped time.
1 wish 1 could stop time.
The words hit and hit hard they do.
1 take the frozen breathes you gave me to keep my body "alive."
The coldness travels down my now brisk, shortened throat..
Before I know it this ice sensation
falls into each of my tarred lungs,
making every breath grow smaller, shorter, and cooler.
pretty soon the tingle from the words you breath have struck,
what used to be warm, heart pumping my entire body
with a cold false sense of your being
but maybe you were the one with the false sense of self
now no way to restate the stated, we must turn each a different
direction and direct ourselves away from the other
and begin again.
— Devin Henry
Drunk in Beijing, Pining for My Lover
dear beautiful angel who exists now
only as a silent puppet in the parlor of my mind,
1 dream of \our breath bathing my skin
under the mothering of the moon.
I dream of trembling moments
of shivering grasses and chirping stars,
freezing under the only eyes of a black velvet sky.
The moon broke through like a perfect rash
on the wood under the blue netted walkway.
Its light peppered the flavor of my white belly
as it shone to the prying gossip of the stars.
When in memory, your flesh burns through my skin-
I AM WAX
*^hirk and melting in the heat of your shine.
Observations of an Evening
eyeball meeting marks intersection
in the space below the ceiling
the swirling united consciousness?
giggles rolling round synchronized in space
with the vibrations of sporadic brainwaves
the rumble down from onetoone
like weightless stones.
Listless lounging creatures resting
in ecstacy across the plains of
while memories (distraught)
lull the minds round the room.
existL-nce, delightful existence.
now to now, tonowtonow
I opened the door of a moving car. There was no choice. The windows were glossy with spit, a man was
barking at the wheel, sputtering, brutish. I remember the high pitch of his voice, the jerky diving, my silence
like gasoline to his flame, the thought that I could die because lovers kill lovers in scenes like this. There was
no choice. His words clattered like castanets around the smoky car. He said I was pathetic, I heard "pro-
phetic." Then I heard nothing but my lungs, my chain necklace sliding up and down my skin with each breath,
the shriek of a branch-snapping wind in the woozy black night. I opened the door. I demanded. Stop the car.
Asshole. And Jeremy, Mr. Hyde, put on the brakes.
He said, you get out of this car and it's fucking over.
He said. Baby get back in the car.
He said. Nobody's ever going to want you like 1 want you. I'm sorry I said some mean things. You're
not crazy. Now get back in the car.
Please, he said with a sound like broken glass in his throat.
But I cut loose anyway. I knew that trick, had seen it several times before.
So now it's midnight at the Seven-Eleven. My shimmery stockings are wild with runs, thin ladders
threading up my calves, my eyes are dry anci dusty with mascara flakes. I am reading dog-eared pop mags
like all the other midnight waifs. The man behind the counter — bald, porky, and oddly moist— watches me as
if I will slip candy into my purse. When he's not staring at me directly, he is watching the silver ball in the
corner, then he glances at Saturday Night Live on the little TV on top of the slurpee machine. I want to go up to
him and say. You've got the wrong girl. Mister. I'm a secretary to the CEO of a fucking Fortune 500 computer
company. I could buy you. But I am scared by this. I'm scared I am a secretary, not the euphemistic "assis-
tant," let's get real. Every day I take a memo it hurts my pride; when I bring coffee to his desk it's worse than
spit-shining his calfskin boots.
My heart shudders, then beats like a gerbil's; I lose the rhythm, tense up, then find it again. I am aware
that I started out beautiful and became hideous at some point this evening before I stepped out of the smoky
confines of Jeremy's Porsche. Something snapped, my tawny skin became cracked, and my red silk dress
started smelling sour, like old milk.
Tonight something scratched my mind, ripping zipper-swift to my heart. Jeremy sneered. You are
Teflon Woman, everything just rolls off your back— would you just be honest for once?
At the stoplight I was going to sock him. But I couldn't. I can't hurt people, everything just drives
inward, caustic, burning to my core. It stays in my gut and sears through my pupils. There are so many things
I have never done.
I go to the counter anci ask for a pack of Camels, though I don't smoke. He smiles at me, sweating. He
asks me where my boyfriend is. I tell him he's in the parking lot waiting for me to decide how to break my
twenty, though I know Jeremy and the Porsche are long gone.
Understand that this was not the first time Jeremy erupted, but it was the last time I could take it. As Dr.
Jekyll, Jeremy was sweet,
humble, and brilliant. He
liked the brat in me. He
was intimidated by my
cleverness. He liked my
skinny ankles and flat
blonde hair. I liked the way
he would whisper about all
the stuffy corporate
shitheads at my Christmas
parties, and the way he let
me trust myself.
He would break
things. He would never
touch me that way. I got a
call from my brother, he
thought it was an ex-lover,
he punched a hole in the
door. You'd think a smart
woman like me would get
a clue. You would also
think, though, that a profes-
sor at a famous college
would be more emotionally
refined. Because he was
smart, he wrote wonderful
letters and atoned for his
tantrums. I let it all slide for
years. Until tonight; the
wrist burn from his grasp,
prisoner in his shiny
Porsche, suicide drive. If he
hadn't braked, I would
— Moriah Peak
Have you seen my little boy? I lost him years ago.
Where he went no one knows.
He used to ride his bike all day. He was carefree,
and loved life. Will I ever see that baby boy again?
What's become of him, this lost child? Has he grown
into a good man, or has he fallen by the side of the road
called life, like so many others. So quick to grow up,
and now wanting to go back, isn't life funny like that?
Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I can see his eyes,
his smile, his hair. Has he changed that much?
As much as I loved that lost child,
I think I love whats become of him more.
— Matthew Welch
For half a fort night the thief came
on the soft, quiet pads of cats' feet.
Without fail, to exact and extract
my visceral fluids.
Night after night, then taking flight.
Drained in the darkness, slowly and methodically.
Once detected and inspected
a single cell was injected, infected.
Replicated, undulated, rapid multiplication,
replacing my life force with empty stain.
Now I am hollow and dry as the quill
of a large white feather plucked and discarded without vein.
Hear me filling up with the echoes of pain.
— Keri J. Shanahan
Were these strings all I had waited for?
The chords easily enticed my ears.
Tasted my skin.
To run would only be so careless;
To stay would be truly beautiful.
This one 1 will stay.
— Sarah Reed
Farewell to Rockford.
Mine the Iron Triangle.
For Miriam Rae.
— Jeffrey Michels
Sugar and Spice
I hide MaxL'd behind Idctor,
Wired and Manipulated,
and e\erything nice.
Here 1 am not... at the finish Une...but
still not quite done...
Then I was standing in a line of people
with no wait...
It is exactly 2. ..but could someone please
tell me the time?
When did I answer the phone
1 know what I'm looking for.. .but I just
happened to forget...
You know.. .it's so hot out. ..but I'm still
'm having a good night sleep, but why
am I still counting sheep
Someone tell me again. ..did I have a
Wow.. .that felt good, how about you
don't do it again
What.. I can't hear you. ..so shut up
We can be friends... but do me a favor
and let's never talk again
Let's just pretend that it doesn't matter
and make things easier for both of us
- DeAnn Reynolds
Where I lie inadequate.
Fragment, puzzled pieces,
I love you.
She would stack up the cups until they'd fall down
She would stand right there to get elbowed in the head
She stared with her lazy eye that drove us all nuts
And would yell because the cups were on the floor
Freakshow didn't have any legs, and only stood 4'11
but she was lucky to have wheels as feet
She couldn't move around since her wheels didn't
work on carpet
I wanted to tell her that we couldn't uncierstanci her
don't stand under my elbow,
next time I will make it hurt
I can't reach the bananas, I'll climb up the shelf
That was dumb since I only needed one bunch and 13 came
I should have used a stool
But 1 blamed it on the new girl, so it's okay
I am Freakshow
I have wheels for feet
I have a lazy eye and I can't reach
A few people belong in my pocket...
I'm out of time so Fll let you know who
First because they are so dear to me
My parents...! want them with me, but minuscule
enough that I can do what I want
My sister.. .so she doesn't get in trouble, but she is
not quite big enough to do what she wants
My grandparents... so they can experience more
things other than bingo and fishing
My friends... so I don't have to ever let them go, they
can see what I get to see everyday
That boy.. .the one 1 tend care about so much... we
can add him in for safe measures. ..besides he's cute
Second, because there is no better place for them
Bin, yes Laden... he is definitely in my jean
compartment. ..as we speak... so I can squish him like
he needs to be... he's not causing any evils, is he...
That stupid broad, Michelle, you know, the one who
kissed my first real boyfriend... I'd like to show her a
thing or fifty... Especially if I put her in my tight-ass
pocket. ..so she can probably just kiss a little of what
The jerks will chill with grandma, she'll use her
superhuman grandma strength and "wallop their
butts." Then we'll see what they have to say...
John Am is j tinit-\ ear <tudent who still isn't sua^ about his plans.
Sandy Allen is an R\C student and enjoys hosting fabulous tea parties tor her friends. She likes snails.
Linda Backeberg, an R\C student, plavs obiie and electric guitar, and takes dance lessons.
Jennifer Beksel is an R\'C student.
Pat Benedict iL-t aHumed from 3 w tvks in China and Tibet. She takes classes at RVC for fun.
Sierra Blakelv is the pnnid daughter of R\'C student Xickv Blakely.
Brenda Brinckerhoff has no idea how long she's been at 1\\C, and plans to go to NIU.
Caitlin Derrington is a student at W innebago High School. She eats worms.
James Dewitz is a seeond-vear R\C student who will soon complete his Jedi training.
lohn Donovan is an R\C student and a full time bird watcher. He loves producing his watercolor masterpieces.
kristi Fane is finishing her .A.A at R\'C and plans to pursue a degree in Art History at NIU.
Paul K. Dyer i> a film student at R\C.
Brooke Funtsinn. a 3rd-vear R\'C student, dreams ot w inning a Grammv. She will record a demo this summer.
Keegan O. Goepfert is an R\'C student.
Emilie Gustufson i> an R\'C student and a certified airplane pilot. She enjoys memorization and her cat, Einstein.
Peter Gulalto a second-vear R\C stvident, plans on teaching High School Art.
C. M. Hall is a former k'oicei editor now sti.idying at Rockford College.
Devin Henry, a Ist-vear student at R\C, joined /o?ceJ to share his perceptions of art and help others share theirs.
Raven Johnson, a former R\C student, won last year's .-Xrtistic Achie\ement Award.
Tov Lambert i> a 2nd-\ ear R\C student planning to attend NIU next fall to become a child psychologist.
Olivia Levba i-- the daughter of R\C English Instructor Karen Courtney-Leyba.
Rachel Ray' Manis has a demon in her kitchen. She has no idea how it got there nor how to get it out.
.Me\a Martin i> the daughter of R\C student and award-winning writer, Rebecca Martin.
Sarah E. McDonald, an R\C student, won this semester's prize for Artistic Achievement.
Jeff rev Michels is lea\ ing R\'C with his beautiful wife Lara for Northern California after 3 fabulous years.
Erin Monette i- the President of the RVC Arts and Literary Club.
Melodv Nimsonboon is a Ist-vear RVC student studying to be a psychologist or teacher or writer.
Justin befelein. a >tudent at R\'C, studies graphic design and computer animation, and likes to draw.
.Anousone Panvanouvong is an R\'C sophomore who dreams of being a famous artist.
Moriah Peak i- a former "Xoices Grand Prize " winner.
Kayra Phillips and Krystal Phillips are the proud daughters of Kirk and Hope Phillips.
Jacob Potter, an R\C student, won this vear's Grand Prize for Outstanding Contribution. He's majoring in art.
Rise M. Powers-Johnson is a sometime art student, writer and explorer who loves being outdoors.
Sherrv Pritz i>. K\ Cs official photographer and the most beautiful woman on campus.
Ed Rader is fun-lo\ ing, enjovs walks on the beach and candle-lit dinners. Call him.
Paul Redel is a 2nd-vear RVC student and musician who is slowly becoming a poet.
Sarah Reed I- a Ist-vcar RVC student who plans to major in elementary education.
De.Ann Reynolds is a humble, lovable drifter at RVC onl\ for this semester.
.Andrea Saladino is an R\'C student and a member of Student Commission.
Keri J. Shanahan is a nontraditional RVC student studying psychology. She won a writing award in 2001,
Megan Shepherd is a senior in High School who plans to attend RVC next fall. She enjoys beating up college men,
Lena Schultz, an RVC student, plans a double major in art and educ ation Sht' wants to work on the next laninsia.
Randal T. Schullz wntc-s stuff and edits this magazine. Go figuri'
.Sate Schwerin i^ an R\'C student who submitted his poi'm on a well-worn coffee-shop napkin.
Allison Thompson, an RVC student, is currently applying to |ournalism schools and acci'pts donations
Maggie Thienemann holds both an .MA and MIA in Studio Arts, and is currently taking writing and film at RVC
Christina Valdez is an RVC student who loves Lucy.
Michelle Weis is an RVC student.
Aurora Wind, Justice Wind and Victor Wind are thi' siblings of RVC student Lena Schultz.
Matt Welch, .i Ist-vear R\ ( student, plans to attend the University of Wyoming to study literature,
Brianne Wolf is th<- proud daughter of RVC student, Betti Wolf,
Shawnee Younvanich is the proud daughter of RV( student Sunee Younv.inii h.
C<illian /ckos is an RVC studint.
6219 Estate St.
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Vinyl - Cassettes
Wear Your ART on Your Sleevel
Join RVC's Arts and Literary Club.
Email : voices@ednet . rvc . cc . il . us
This issue was made
possible by a
would like to thank
RVC Student^ Commission,
Rock Valley College Foundation,
Curly's Bar and Grill,
RVC Public Relations,
Rockford Litho and Willie Rusin
Keegan O. Goepfert