Alyssa is a junior Studio Arts and Art History double major with a minor in Creative Writing. She is currently working on three novels, and has recently started writing poetry as well. When her face isn’t squished in a book, she enjoys playing Quidditch, collecting gemstones, and studying ancient civilizations. “June” showcases Alyssa’s talent for poetic sound devices like alliteration and assonance, making it a great piece to be read out loud. Read it below.
My sweetest June is ending.
Her last few embers emanate a slow, lazy light.
Her honey sunshine burns softly, burns lowly, burns out.
And I try desperately to embrace her dimming, passing nights.
Replenished again, again, and once more by the morning rises,
She is embarrassed, rebirthed, and gone already.
And finally, she closes her shy eyes, her lashes locked tight,
And I am struck helpless as I watch this humble June die.
Her helpless and fleeting form, her impending voyage away,
Until this time next year again, until she is reborn,
Her sleepy face remains, only whispers left of it now.
My dearest June, on the cusp of goodbye,
My darling summertime,
Please don’t die.
Armely Pichardo is a junior English major who likes reading books, ignoring text messages, and long walks in the hood. “Raizes,” a poem inspired by Armely’s experiences as a woman of color at Clark University and other PWIs, challenges racial, ethnic, and cultural misconceptions through powerful lines such as, “And if you ever find out where I am from, / I hope you do not assume I have an hourglass figure / or scars on my back.” Read “Raizes” below.
I will not apologize for the fact that the color of my skin
cannot tell you where I am from.
I wish that you would or could look past my caramel skin,
honey-colored eyes, and my black curly hair.
And if you ever find out where I am from,
I hope you do not assume I have an hourglass figure
or scars on my back.
I will not apologize for my ability to roll my Rs,
for my accent, or for my Spanglish.
Because every time a Spanish word seeps into a sentence,
I feel at home. Continue reading
On behalf of the Clark University English Department, the Clark Writes Board of Editors would like to wish you all a successful Fall 2017 semester! We’re excited to announce that we’ll resume activity this week, so get ready for some contests, forums, and more writing from our talented Clark community. We’d love to see what you have to offer, so send us your work!
Catch us in Red Square tomorrow from 2-3:00 p.m. to learn more about Clark Writes and be featured in this year’s What are you writing? collage!
The dates of this semester’s creative forums will be announced here and on our Facebook page shortly! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of the editors to sign up to read!
Meet the Board of Editors
Jess Hoops, Editor-in-Chief
I’m a senior English and Philosophy double major who drinks a lot of black coffee and wears a lot of black clothing. I work at Clark’s Writing Center and as a reader/editorial consultant for The Robbins Office, Inc. I enjoy Greek mythology, hot sauce, and reading horror novels at night.
Mehr Gunawardena, Editor
I am a senior and I major in English. I am from Sri Lanka, and as time is fleeting, my love for the language and awe for its impact simply grows. I enjoy dabbling in poetry and other forms of creative writing; besides that, I make various natural “potions” and I drink a lot of tea. Continue reading
Clark Writes editor Laura Barker was the winner of this year’s Loring Holmes & Ruth Dodd Drama Contest. Her play explores a multi-racial family before and after the infamous 2016 election. Laura was inspired by how race, sexuality, and gender played into the political environment we live in today. Read 2016 below.
KEVIN: The father. A easy-going man who tries to see the good in everything.
ISABELLA: His Hispanic wife. She’s too busy being pregnant with baby number three to care about the election.
FELIX: Kevin’s son. He’s flamboyantly gay and hell-bent on being a YouTube celebrity.
VALERIE: Kevin’s daughter. An outspoken liberal.
OLIVER: Felix’s boyfriend. Sweet, socially awkward.
CRAIG and FREDDIE: Patrons of Kevin’s bar.
REPORTER: A reporter covering the events.
A Indiana suburb in the year leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election.
ACT I, Scene 1
(Afternoon, the living room of a typical 21st century suburban house. ISABELLA is plays a game on her iPad, a hand on her stomach. FELIX applies purple lipstick and checks his reflection in his phone, taking the occasional selfie. VALERIE does homework. FELIX sighs.)
You know what your abuela would have to say about that.
Yes, yes, “You’re not bored, you’re just boring.” Well, what does she know? Bingo is the most exciting thing in her world. I want to do something. Let’s go out to eat tonight. There’s an incredible little Thai place that just opened up and everyone’s been raving about their dragon berry nom yen. Or we could go for a sunset walk on the beach.
Or you could do your homework.
I wasn’t asking you.
You only want to do that stuff so you can post it on Instagram.
So what? There’s nothing wrong with a little glamour. Not everyone wants to live their life in sweatpants. Continue reading
Christian Farren is a senior English major and Department representative who has “always had a fantasy/supernatural bent” but has been experimenting with darker themes after reading an H.P. Lovecraft anthology last Christmas. The following poem focuses on stories that Christian “started and abandoned” when he was younger, brought back to life by his new inspiration. Read “Opus” below.
All things tender dear.
Forged in dragon bone.
A succubus’s smile
Honeyed venom, demon’s guile.
Pagan paramour, born of dying dreams!
Condemned to the cold,
But I am no stranger here.
Know you are loved. Treasured.
Through the twilight, I will keep you safe.
The following collection of short, insect-themed poems is Sebastian Baker’s “way of trying to dramatize the lives of creatures that we typically think of as insignificant.” He bestows tone, personality, and sensational stories upon everything from a firefly to a roach through vivid scenes that turn their quiet existence into something thrilling and extraordinary. The alliteration and careful diction used to craft these poems made them wonderful pieces to perform out loud at our last creative writing forum. Read the compilation below.
F. Sebastian Baker
I see them sip sweet nectar
And crunch crispy greens.
With envious venom in my gut
I chew my bitter brew
Though I hate the taste.
I know I’m slow and soft and fat
We all are easy treats
But when the hunter hungers
My pestilence protects me.
I’ll imbibe my bitter bile
To survive when others die.
One day I’ll sleep on silken sheets
Inside a coffin, a cocoon
Broken down, dissolved, digested
To be reborn anew.
And all shall call me Monarch. Continue reading
Written by junior English/Philosophy major Sam Marlinga, “A Day in the Life” is a brief but powerful impressionistic portrait of depression. As the speaker goes about his “pale,” nightmarish existence, he develops a troubling relationship with a nevertheless alluring woman – a clever personification that he’s not quite ready to embrace. Read more below.
A Day in the Life
I met her when the world ended. Sure, the bombs hadn’t dropped and everyone just went about their lives in the morning, but as far as I was concerned, it was all over. The infinite and miniscule choices we make ultimately determine the end of our lives. That is where I met her. We’d seen each other before, briefly, and only from a distance. Now we were face to face, and my god she was enchanting with her quiet, knowing smile and grey eyes piercing with finality.
I didn’t go with her then, though part of me wanted to, we just talked for a while. She was the patient type, elegant and kind. Then she left, without a word of when she’d return, but I knew she’d be back. So I kept moving. Life was normal. Just like it was for everyone else. But every once in a while we’d talk to each other, like sending love letters during a war. She came to say hi when my friend left us. I remember sitting with her in silence for a long time, just looking into those grey eyes. Continue reading
The following lyrics are the work of Asir Arif, one of Clark’s most beloved writers, performers, and producers of music. Asir is a junior international student from Bangladesh, a psychology major, and the director of the Music Society of Clark University. On the topic of music’s role in his life, he says, “I’ve been a musician for about 8 years now and I practically live and breathe music – it is both my best platform (to express and communicate) and my preferred coping mechanism. I’ve been playing with my band 3 Piece Meal for almost a year now, and I write all the lyrics for our songs. I mostly write about issues and topics that seem important to a lot of people, and can potentially inspire people, and shed light on certain aspects of this confusing world.”
The lyrics to “And She Was Green” stemmed from Arif’s discontent with Middle Eastern conflicts and the ‘war for profit’ ideology. The song will be featured on 3 Piece Meal’s upcoming album, Tomorrow’s Forecast.
And She Was Green
Asir Arif (3 Piece Meal)
Before these hands, they go to the place that you want
Fallen soldiers all drowned in the taste of your tongue
You like attention, a force of addiction
Everyone persists; no one’s giving you up
Windows are breaking, the hearts they are aching
The force of a storm, foreign puddles are shaking
The ripple effect, we stepped over the edge
We’ve gone too far now, what’s the price that you pledge?
They take, and they take, never give her away
You’re too rich, yes too rich, that’s the price that you pay Continue reading
“Moon Juice,” a short play by Clark senior Raechel Segal, was performed in the final of Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s 10-Minute Play Contest on August 24. From Raechel’s synopsis: “Hippies rejoice! It’s time for the Manchester Radio Show! Will Moon Juice steal the spotlight? Or will a cis, white, and racist man-band show them up? Who is ‘The Real MVP’ in the battle of human dignity? Who knows? But clap your hands, and give it up for Moon Juice!”
Check out a selection from the script below.
. . .
Hey, everyone, I’m sorry, but this guy got our name wrong again. We are Moon Juice! Not like there’s juice on the moon, but was it Jupiter where we recently found some clot? Gotta clean the planets, take good care of them to prevent early onset juice clots. Anyways, we’re actually gonna play on the carpet with you all.
Sexy howls from the audience. Everyone sits on the carpet and enjoys Moon Juice’s jams. Picture the perfect combination of The Kinks, Violent Femmes, and Velvet Underground, or just folk rock. Suddenly, a fake feminist appears.
Busting through the door
Hey, we gonna pump up the party?
This is folk rock.
Doesn’t mean I can’t get turnt. Let’s jam! Everybody, get up! Off the rug, it’s time slam now! Continue reading