Bruno Lieto is a junior English major with a minor in education. He writes a significant amount of poetry, and some of his favorite poets are Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. His poem “Woodsmoke and Thunder” is full of suspense and elemental imagery, just in time for the fall season. Read “Woodsmoke and Thunder” below.
Woodsmoke and Thunder
A bonfire burning now quenched by the
Rains of the heavens, I am one with the
Flames as they hiss at the oncoming storm
And I am one with the drops as they fight
Gravity for their existence.
The wind calls me and I listen,
flashes of light floating menacingly
On the edge of a storm.
The whispers are a warning, a harbinger
Of what is to come. Continue reading
The poetry of Muhammad Kasule (’18) has been a frequent delight at Clark Writes forums and on the blog since Kasule’s sophomore year. His work provides unique and very raw perspectives on human life and the natural world. He was written about a lesbian couple through floral imagery in “The Seeds We Grow,” and about the suffering of an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease in “The Picture Album.” Read editor Mehr Gunawardena’s interview with him, and check out some of his work below.
MG: How did you get into poetry?
MK: I used to write poetry for my mum, when I was young. Then I stopped after my teenage years.
MG: Your angst-y teenage years? [Laughs].
MK: [Laughs] Maybe. But when I first came here, in my FYI, for my final project, I wrote a poem. And after that… I just wrote. For that poem, I tried to embody how the earth feels. In a way, I tried to make the earth animate. Most of the time, environmental issues are because we lack this kind of perspective—we say “Mother Earth” and all, but it sucks, we look at the earth and just see an inanimate object. Which it technically is, in a sense, but not really. In that piece, I tried to make the earth seem a lot more alive, a lot more human. I gave her dreams, ambitions, feelings… being able to connect to earth on that level might change the way we treat her. I want to make things more relatable. Continue reading
This contemplative piece by senior Owen Connell explores life beyond death, and the meaning of our own mortality. With eerie and surreal imagery, this story evokes many emotions and deep questions. Read on if you’re looking for great story to ponder on an October afternoon!
The Man and The Figure
The man was lying on the bed, gasping for air like a fish freshly plucked from a murky lake. Surrounding him were people, all of different nationalities, ages, races, genders and non genders, and economic standings. The man that lay before them had been a hero and companion to them, someone they had looked up to. Someone they had admired.
But none could see the other figure, its form twisting endlessly like a willow tree in the wind.
None except the man on the bed.
The Figure stood at the foot of the bed, its body cloaked in shadow and nothingness. Darkness was its domain, and it refused to remove itself from the comfort and privacy of it. Continue reading
Kate McNicholas is a junior International Development and Social Change major who enjoys writing slam poetry, letters, and short stories. Kate is currently studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, and loving it! Her recent travel journal titled “Love Affair” takes us on a journey of healing and growth. Read “Love Affair” below.
Perugia is my rebound. I have left so much behind. Thank god for that.
I am healing, knowing this is where I have been bound: these shores, this city; they have filled my dreams since I was old enough to describe them. Perugia’s streets have been the sunbaked hands that caught me and lifted me up again. The stone here is warm, not cold. It embraces and breathes with immortal light that has dimmed but refuses to go out. Each morning begins with sanded eyes and the opening of shutters. My next door neighbor is a church bell that greets me with the promise of the best day, but only if I choose to make it so. The light is always a different shade of gold, and it warms my face as I breathe in the perfumes; the high, clean air, and close my eyes to a view that has already taken said breath away. Continue reading
This piece was submitted by sophomore Ruth Fuller, a writer with a talent for using beautiful language to describe everyday experiences and ideas that are truly relatable to everyone. Read on to experience “Phosphene” for yourself.
Phosphene, noun: a ring or spot of light produced by pressure on the eyeball or direct stimulation of the visual system other than by light.
You know those little colors you see when you close your eyes really tight?
Tonight I chased them.
I am still thinking about
the politics and technicalities of his left shoulder on a Sunday morning.
I paid attention in sex ed,
but nobody told me that when I unpin my bra,
dignity doesn’t have to come off with it. Continue reading
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
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. 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