There’s nothing fishy about the fact that Maria Connors recently got the 2nd place award in the English Department’s Prentiss Cheney Hoyt Poetry Contest. In her piece, “Tidal Eyes,” Maria uses beautiful imagery and diction to create a relaxing picture that is no less enjoyable than a day on the beach.
She dreamed of impossible dreams
and held the ocean in the palms of her hands,
her eyes like the moon,
pulling the tides
moving sailboats from coast to fingertip
with the ease of a blink.
She watched the tidal pools that collected
under the tips of her nails,
harboured rainbow fish
and sea stars,
let the waves take them back out
when the moon so beckoned.
And when the Milky Way stretched the horizon,
and the ocean was drenched in navy
it was the soft hum of her wind
that rocked lonely seabirds to sleep.
Through her original script and storyline, Clark University Players Society Co-President Toni Armstrong creates a simple but beautiful tale of love, understanding, and experience, all with a touch of color.
The Color of Sunshine
VERA lounges on a comfortable red chaise couch, playing with balls of multicolored yarn. She is not knitting, but might be braiding or finger-knitting or knotting the yarn. She is a woman of respectable age, and wears a long robe or nightgown. She is fidgety, can’t maintain eye contact, or look at one place for any length of time.
CHARLIE enters. He matches VERA in age, and wears simple neutral colors. He hangs his coat by the door he enters from, and joins VERA on a chair across from her.
You’re looking very red today.
What shade of red?
Oh, a darling one.
Is it the color of the couch?
No, no, you know the couch is colored like an old potato.
Don’t sound so cross, I’ve told you this a thousand seventeen times.
If not more.
Definitely not more. Continue reading
Congratulations to the winners of the “Out of this World Space Poetry Contest”! All of the submissions were wonderful and fun to read, and the winners were determined by voting and review by the Board of Editors. Thank you all for your participation and for making it a very tough decision!
1st Place: “Phoenix” by Lee Friedman
2nd Place: “Parallax” by Annie Share
3rd Place: “Zodiac” by Sam Marlinga
Check out the galactic winning pieces below…
Lee is a sophomore studying computer science who enjoys dancing, writing, and staring into the empty void that surrounds the insignificant planet we call home.
Blank blackness pushing against her
Suffocating on abandoned air
Age has twisted her
Warping her form like shiny metal clay
Time’s big hands on her frail soul
Pained groans echo through her
Hulls creaking, pipes squeaking
Her whole body aches like a bruise
And she bleeds a steady stream Continue reading
In this incredible piece of struggle and strength, poet Maddie Thomas portrays the battle many face against themselves and the memories held within.
(Trigger Warning: Eating Disorder/Self Harm)
To Ana: At 2 AM On A Wednesday
i have pulled at my skin
and wanted a way out.
my bones can cut diamonds.
my hips are pushing sharp at the walls of my flesh
you can count
every vertebrae in my spine
each rib is a knife
push out, push out, suck in, suck in-
when did my body become a gun?
the faint outline of the word “ugly” is carved into my thigh.
the result of a razor and words.
tell your daughter she is disgusting. tell her she is not good enough. she will always believe you.
i remember the way your words dripped like gasoline. i remember. i remember.
i think of the smell of perfume and alcohol
when my fingers are down my throat. Continue reading
Talented poet Madi Carleton brings together feelings of nostalgia, freedom, and humid summer drives in this piece we hope brings you similar thoughts on Valentine’s Day.
“Remembering Sunday” and Other Songs I’ve Forgotten
We moved so fast back then,
Racing through those summer nights.
The sound blasted
And we screamed with it
Freedom under curfew,
Friday nights we’d fill our toes
Our mouths with kisses
Stolen from another’s property,
And race away up the highway.
The first day of my nineteenth year
You bought the lighter,
And told me I would change.
You were right,
Speeding toward midnight,
But I opened the window
And let the words fly out
Like broken glass
Lining a country road.
I couldn’t tell you
You saved my life
Because I was still too young.
So that night and for several more
I stayed steeped in teenage innocence,
Let it fill the car
Until we were soaking in it,
Swimming in it.
February is a busy month for Clark writers! In the next few weeks, Clark Writes is teaming up with other groups on campus, including SLP and Diversability, to bring some amazing experiences and workshops to a Clark campus near you. We will be having an open mic about love and loss, a workshop to advance our poetry skills, and a performance by the viral slam poet sensation, Neil Hilborn, with a chance to join him onstage as his opening act! See below for details…
Wednesday February 8th: Open for Neil Hilborn Poetry Workshop – 2-4pm – ASEC Room 313
Clark Writes and Diversability want to give you the chance to be the opening act for NEIL HILBORN! Come to this workshop to work on your poetry skills, write a new piece, or just get some opinions and practice on old ones.
Saturday February 11th: Poetry Open Mic (Love and Breakups) – 8:30pm – The Grind
Do you have a special Valentine? Are you looking to use your poetry skills to sweep someone of their feet? Or are you in the corner smashing heart-shaped cookies with you feet out of rage? All of the above makes for some great poetry. Come to this open mic with your best love or breakup poems and feel free to eat your feelings while you’re there (SLP and Clark Writes).
Tuesday February 14th: Performance by Slam Poet Neil Hilborn – 7pm – Jefferson 320
(DRUM ROLL PLEASE!) Who better to be your Valentine than famed slam poet, Neil Hilborn? The performance, provided by Diversability, will include opening acts by Clark students and will make you laugh, cry, and think about mental illness and many more topics worth writing about. If you want to brush up on your slam or learn a bit more about our special guest, check out Button Poetry on Youtube or Neil’s latest book, Our Numbered Days.
We hope to see you at all these awesome events! Sometimes it’s great to be busy!
Asir Arif creates music and lyrics for all who need a fight song, an inspiring anthem, or just a good dance. With his fellow musicians, forming the band 3-Piece Meal, he sends out messages that are not only empowering, but also come with a beautiful bassline and a daring drum beat. Below are the lyrics to one of the band’s latest pieces, more of which can be found on their debut album coming out next month! The songwriter states that ‘Keep Moving’ is a song meant to inspire those who experience hardships each day, and to remind them that all will be well again soon.
The world wasn’t made from the truth, just from the dust
And honestly this place could use a sweep or two
But don’t let it mess with your health, cover your eyes
Take a swing, see what you hit, and who you miss the most
Darling you’ll never know
Whether your smile it glows
If you don’t turn the lights off when you’re glad
The sun might be set in its ways, lifting the moon up
‘Always on time’ is better than ‘never on at all’
I know that perfection’s your thing, and we all love things
But give yourself a break, staying whole is hard
Darling you’ve got it all
A knack for the rise and fall
I know you’ll rise again
You’ll be fine
When it’s starting to pour
Like a moth in the light
I may fly too close to the sun
But don’t waver in fear
I know it may hurt
But the world doesn’t just burn
It also shines
This past week, Clark Writes held its final forum of the fall semester. Many incredible readers took to the stage, including Celine Manneville. In her essay, she presents a unique perspective on feminism, learned through the love and friendship she has with her brother. Read it below.
Everything I Learned About Feminism, I Learned From My Brother
November 15, 2016
My brother taught me a lot about feminism. You read that sentence correctly. My brother helped me become the strong woman I am today. I learned how to be a strong woman through a man, which sounds hypocritical and ironic, but hear me out.
Before I was 13 years old, my brother and I fought. All. The. Time. We would bicker until we couldn’t anymore. By doing this, he taught me how to stand my ground.
Growing up, we would wrestle. It used to end when I started crying, but as we got older, he would end them at an appropriate moment, before I was crying, with a hug. I would always try to take him down again, but was never successful. Then, these wrestling matches would end mutually, with smiles on both of our faces. I never “won,” but I will never forget the time I almost defeated him. By wrestling, he taught me how to fight and protect myself. Continue reading
During Clark Writes’ first forum of the semester, Kate Summers took to the stage with a heartfelt poem dedicated to the newborn son of a dear friend. Read “A letter to Berman Jafet” below.
A letter to Berman Jafet- who came into the world just two days after Abuela Justina left
My friendship with your mother began at the age of 13 on the steps of the basketball court turned soccer field.
She was wearing a green 80s-like shirt that said “hip hop don’t stop.”
My anorexia was wearing off.
The fluorescent lights shined on the “field” as we sat in the shadows.
My father, and his lack of Spanish, tried to translate our conversation.
It didn’t work,
But in that silence-
our friendship blossomed.
I noticed her cheeks.
Shining. Continue reading
This past Friday, Clark Writes held its first creative writing forum of the semester in the Little Center. Lyndsey Hawkes, a talented actress, humorous friend, and Massachusetts local took the stage. She proceeded to make everyone laugh and gain a new perspective through a piece on what it is like to live with Achondroplasia (the most common form of dwarfism). Read her captivating essay below.
Overcoming the Stigma
I can’t decide if I love or hate kids. It depends on a variety of factors- how old they are, where I am when I see them, whether they’re in a pack or not, if I’ve had coffee that day… The point is that kids can be my favorite type of people, or my biggest bullies. For example, I was at a coffee shop with my boyfriend a few weeks ago and there was this cute little girl in a high chair eating breakfast with her mothers. My boyfriend was frustrated because I couldn’t hold a two-sentence exchange with him without getting distracted and making faces with this kid across the room. I kept making her laugh, and it was probably the best part of my day. But sometimes, kids are unintentional assholes.
I do a lot of theater, and two years ago, as a Senior, I was playing Peter Pan in our high school’s musical. For the month leading up to the show, I drank a gallon of water per day, exercised multiple times per week, and went on a big health food craze. I was strong, prepared, and excited to fly in front of three audiences of children. But then… I went to the mall. It was February break, so everywhere I looked, there were kids with their moms and dads, roaming around JCPenney, at the food court, and the shoe stores. And so, my personal Hell began. Continue reading