Projects

[End of the Year Road Trip]

by Katy McDonald

We were driving in the car, well I was driving, they were yelling at each they way they always do.  Screaming every brilliant topic into submission.  The back seat fell into a compatible quite.  Jamie and Sasha must have run out things to say, for the time being.  My shotgun rider, Margaret had miraculously drifted off half an hour ago.

The car passed a sigh, Marfa ½ mile.  Marfa that was a weird name for a town.  

My thoughts were echoed from the I assumed was asleep girl next to me.  “This seem a great place to spend the worst year in the history of… the history of what.”  She yawned.

“Time.”  Jamie.  “It was the worst year in the history of time!”

“Yeah.”  Sasha giggled.  “Twenty sixteen was one hundred percent the worst year of all time.”

I didn’t say anything.  Personally, I thought that was a hard statement to make, I mean we had only been around for twenty-two years out of history and we didn’t know about the years we had no written record of.  I had a feeling that some of the years from 1914-1945 were pretty rough.  But I was tired.

Marfa, Texas by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

Photo by by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

“Okay just hear me out,” Margaret said.  She must have seen the look on my face or something.  “So Britain left the EU!  Alan Rickman, David Bowel, Prince, and a bunch of other people who we all loved died.  Hurricane Matthew happened.  There was no snow like anywhere.  There were the attacks in France and Belgium.  Organ had an army control presence there for a bit.  There were wildfires everywhere, did I mention the snow! Oh, and America failed at the whole democratic thing we have pumpkin for president.”  (more…)

[MMXVI RESIDUE DISPOSAL]

by Abigail Munson

  1. Denver is crying, and tangled goodbyes stick to the street like dusty black gum.
  2. You still wear the same army boots your Dad bought you in ninth grade the day you said you wanted to be just like him. Then you decided that camouflage wasn’t for you. You would rather be seen. You would rather be heard. What happened to you toy soldier? You’re so hollow now, I hear the wind in your bones.
  3. My dog died and I didn’t cry until 3 weeks later.
  4. I met a God defined by disaster and I loved him. He lent me his favorite books and left poems and dirty jokes tucked in the saddest parts.
  5. BIG MAN WALKS ON TINY FEET
    HIS SHADOW BOMBS EVERY STREET
    NOWHERE TO GO
    NOWHERE TO HIDE
    BIG MAN’S SHADOW STRETCHES NATIONWIDE
  6. You grew mushrooms in your basement like you were some wacky moribund Ray Bradbury character. You spent weeks in the dark “finding yourself” you never left your house, you rotted away living through the veil of creation. You danced and licked at the heel of being erratic and played into it like sick puppy needing a fix. Maybe Bukowski will send you a gorge of red wine and some audacity. Keep drawing your spirals and huge eyes honey, keeping loving your bathroom floor and the way you mother just walks past your door knowing she can’t save you. On August 12th you called me from the hospital for the 14th time this year. (more…)

[The Apocalypse or My Life So Far]

by Madeline S. Dean

  • I was born eight days after Y2K caused all of the planes to fall out of the sky, all computer programs to spontaneously crash and time itself to stop.
  • I was eight during the Great Recession. I remember all of the graphs of stock falling down, down, down, into a deep hole of an economy that the country would never return from.
  • I remember the time the United States went to war with Russia over a crashed helicopter in Syria.

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

  • I was twelve in two-thousand-and-twelve, and I remember when the super volcano at Yellowstone erupted, causing all kinds of natural disasters.
  • I remember when Russia took over Crimea and Ukraine and then kept spreading, all over Europe until the United States had to step in. With nukes.
  • I remember when Iran got a nuclear weapon.
  • I remember when the Ebola epidemic devastated the United States, and everyone was afraid to get within a foot of each other.
  • I remember the Zika epidemic that followed, and how it made everyone lock their doors and windows and not leave the house.
  • I remember the apocalypse, the world ending so many times and in so many different ways.
  • And so, looking at all of this, I can’t help but feel that the future is bleak. All I’ve ever known is one end of the world after the other, so how could the future be any different?

[Ten Reasons Why 2016 Was Not Very Good]

by Adam Dorsheimer

-Dabbing
-The presidential election
-Having to listen to people complain about the presidential election
-Brexit
-That one Chainsmokers song that goes like “noh nah nuh noh noh nah nuh noh”
-That incident with E. coli at Chipotle (wait, was that 2015?)
-The Orlando shooting
-My favorite video game store getting robbed
-Denver real estate prices
-One of the digits was not a prime number

 

[CHECK!]

by Madison Hart

Meet Lisa. Lisa is your average woman. Except she makes a ton of lists…on sticky notes…everywhere. But this time, she put her 2016 goals on a nice sheet of crisp notebook paper. Tonight is New Year’s Eve. After a long, tiring day as a barista, she retires to her home office in anticipation of crossing off all her goals…

Let’s see… (rummaging through desk drawer), I know my nice neat list of goals is in here…somewhere (chucks stapler over shoulder, barely missing her cat) Ah ha! Here it is Mr. Fluffy (cat purrs) Now, I’ll just snuggle up in the big armchair by the fire and mark off everythiSticky Notes in Elevator photo by Pekka Nikrus, Creative Commons License
ng I have accomplished (sits with nose in air).

ONE. Baked cookies every Saturday

Oh ya! That was an easy one-CHECK!

TWO. Never missed an episode of my favorite shows

Barely (wipes brow), college almost got in the
way (perks up) CHECK!

THREE. Found Mr. Fluffy a friend

Um…well…Mr. Fluffy, you really should work on your first impressions (Mr. Fluffy hisses). Just saying…NOT CHECK!

FOUR. Remembered to floss at least once a week

They really should stock that near the gummy bears so I remember to buy more…NOT CHECK!

FIVE. Went to the Gym with BFF once per week

Whoops, ya, I ditched her after the first one…(lightbulb moment) That’s why she hasn’t called me…NOT CHECK! (Mr. Fluffy glares) Ya, ya, I know…bad friend

SIX. (Tries to smile and shake off impending gloom) Successfully completed first semester of Acting School. Well, I did successfully land the prominent role of background dancer #1. Oh ya! ( Pencil checks and Mr. fluffy meows) But, but—(hangs head and sighs) UNCHECK.

(Stares into fire for unknown length of time)

Goodnight Mr. Fluffy, I’m too downtrodden to stay up for 2017. (Throws list into fire) I think I’ll resort back to sticky notes. (leaves room)

(White cat with pink bow rubs against Mr. Fluffy) CHECK!

[Buckets, Bubble Gum, and Feeling Lost]

by Sierra Karas

A list, not necessarily having to do with 2016, not necessarily not having to do with 2016:

o   Doldrums

o   Kangaroos

o   Molasses

o   Hard candy

o   Pickled vegetables

o   Arch de Triumph

o   Falling down stairs

o   Lethargy

o   Cake pops

o   Plastic

o   Glue gun burns

o   Vomit on a sidewalk

o   Iced streets

o   Pomegranate seeds (more…)

[An Open Letter to 2016.]

by Lucy Earl

Look, 2016, may I suggest that you just go home already?

I mean seriously 2016? Fear, terrorism, The Orlando shooting, Brexit, hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, floods, climate change, guns, police brutality, sexism, death of idols. I mean Jesus Christ 2016 David Bowie? Alan Rickman? Gene Wilder? Mohamed Ali? Prince? Carrie Fisher? Harper Lee? Not to mention all the months that America had to suffer through for the stupid election and, of course, the results. I mean sure, 2016, you had some good days, like that satellite finally reaching Jupiter I guess? But I think the amount of fear and violence that has emerged this year sufficiently outweighs any of your minuscule accomplishments.

Photo by florriebassingbourn, Creative Commons copyright

Photo by florriebassingbourn, Creative Commons copyright

Do you think people still like you? Do you think people are saying. “You know, there were some sucky parts of 2016 but hey, I think most of it was good”? Well guess what 2016? No one is saying that. No one thinks that the good outweighs the bad, no one. Oh wow, the tiger population increased, great, congratulations, that definitely makes the fact that so many people are now afraid of losing their families or being deported from my country so much better. Yeah, the whole police brutality thing has been going on for multiple years. Yeah, sexism has still been persistent. Yeah, things like terrorist attacks happens every year, like 2015 had all those Paris attacks and that was awful but come on 2016, you really sucked.

Donald Trump, 2016. Donald Trump. You have unleashed an indescribably horrible monster that literally represents everything awful about America. And no, the scary part is not that he exists, no no, the scariest part is the fact that so many people are behind him. So many people are saying, “Yeah, I think it’s totally okay that our future president has shown blatant sexism, racism, bigotry, encourages violence, and is so poor with temperament that Twitter had to be taken away from him.”2016, you have let the fate of my country fall into the tiny hands of that idiot.

Look, I’m not here for a fight, and I’m not mad at you 2016. You are just a year. You are a year that I have lived through just like the many years I will live through. You have done enough, you have proved your point. I will move on, I am stronger because of you and now I know that I’m going to do whatever I can to clean up after your mess. But please 2016, do us all a favor and just quietly show yourself out and don’t do anything stupid on the way. I’m done. Just go.

[Untitled]

by Abigail Munson

About Lucy Earl

 

Grown from toe,

To crown

In a house divided

By a titanic orange wall

Like a Clifford Still painting

A garring bloodline shot

Through white

Pink Martini’s booming trumpets

Stick to the wall,

(A welcome stain)

California’s famous sun

Never touched it

The sun was saved for

The elementary school

Across the street

Not her school, just a

Location

A memory-landmark

One summer they redid

The asphalt on the

Playground

A lonely red ball marooned

Between the faded

Swings and

Sticky picnic table

Maybe no one cared,

Maybe no one saw,

But black swallowed

Red and a lumpy grave

Was made beneath,

Sometimes the girl

Would sit on top of

The tomb,

(sun kissing

Her hairline ember-red)

And think about the

World

Could she find

Happiness here?

How long would she

Have to search?

The blessing-curse

Is that life

Is the search

[Combat Boots/Cleanliness]

by Ellen Huggins

About Thalia Medrano

Thalia just seems like a cool girl. Like she should be someone’s cool older sister. Like she gets good grades, but also wears things that makes it look like she doesn’t get good grades? Like combat boots. Not to say that people who wear combat boots are doofuses, but they seem very nonchalant.

I think that Thalia is very organized too, like she maybe has records or something that she keeps alphabetical order. Or she organizes her socks or something, like by color. I could alse see her being very deliberate on what she puts in her backpack, you know what I mean? Like she puts hand sanitizer in it. And her water bottle is always filled, or at least she brings it along so that she remembers to be hydrated during the day. So very combat boot- cleanliness.

[Who Are You?]

by Sierra Karas

About Abigail Munson

 

Black coffee, tar

Big Georgia house, full

Alone moments, stolen

–    –   –   –   –   –   –  –

She stands in front of her mirror self,

Concerned with the future,

Dreams carved out of the wood banisters,

Keepsakes gathered from a forgotten barn—

Life on hold,

Furniture mimicking life,

What does it take for you to get up and leave?

Now she’s established,

Established Abigail

Together, but not too together,

Loves education,

And believes you should never give up,

This you already know,

Maybe you don’t care,

Why do we always make a habit of simplifying people,

You are your favorite color,

You are the school you go to,

You are nothing else,

This isn’t true, but nobody seems concerned with true truths,

We want people to fit into containers,

Always unpacking, not repacking

Do you leave destruction in your wake or do you pick up after yourself?

Many don’t realize that we are just as much the questions we ask as we are the answers.

Name.

Abigail.

Age.

17.

Grade.

12th.

Siblings.

Four sisters, one brother.

Order.

Daren, Isabel, Abigail, Madeline, Lydia.

I will say this once more so you hear:

This is not who you are.

Who are you?