Current Creative Writing Minors

Student Showcase

Rex Bone

Major: Computer Science
Minor: Creative Writing
Year: Senior

Tell us about yourself!
Rex is a Senior in the College studying Computer Science and searching for its intersection with the humanities. He enjoys poetry, essay, and pushing boundaries.

Arbiter

The glorification of binge drinkings been
contributing to the glory filled sex competition.
The girls in shorts shorter than shirts and shirts smaller than sleeves.
The brown and black outs; to shout ‘I don’t remember!’

It was ‘lit’:
there was a house fire in your brain.
It was probably something we all regret.

That being said let’s appreciate the judge‐
ment free zone. Letting kids be kids and
people be people. Lambs are sheep.

Snowflakes said individuality
is the realization of today’s dream,
but they forgot to decide, if it’s what
everyone sees when they sleep.

The sky bathes in orange cream
popsicles, and the vendor on this
street charges a discrete nickel,
his neighborhood counterpart a dime.

Time will tell the truth, but
history is written by the victors.
Cliché is a tool of the masses;
by the masses, for the masses.

In God we trust,
the land has a law,
rain falls.
Dandelions grant wishes,
wind kisses,
pollen sneezes.

Sensitivity is not scientific.
Senses might be.


Alexandra Brunjes

Major: Neurobiology
Minor: Creative Writing & French
Year: Senior

Tell us about yourself!
Alexandra is a Neurobiology major and Creative Writing and French minor. A Senior in the College, she’s pursuing a minor in fiction because she hopes to be a novelist in the future, regardless of her profession.

Weathered Wood

The last of the walk was always the hardest: the hill was steep, dusty, and studded with rocks. The man paused to catch his breath. Dust stuck to his damp skin. He pushed through to the top, weaving through scattered trees and finally breaking into a field. The grass was sprawling and lush, sleepily swaying in golden light. After a few breaths, he raised his eyes towards the barn. Backlit by the sunset, rays of filmy light filtered through the degradation and made its dilapidation almost romantic. The sight of it made him feel a joyful sadness.

As the man grew closer, the barn’s ruin came into focus. He built it to be strong, but it couldn’t seem to exist without rebellion: it pushed against the ground until it sloped; it fought the wind until its planks were stripped; and it even let in the rainwater, a trickling whisper that invited rot and inward decay. With each new blow, the man would come nail a patch or pack fresh dirt down. But it’s hard to fix something that doesn’t want your help.

A few weeks earlier the roof had given way. The man faced the barn and gently pushed open the door. He looked up and saw sky where there should’ve been wood. He stayed there until the sun set and watched it wash the barn in colored light: orange, then rose, then violet. He walked away surrounded by the darkening sky. When he reached the trees, he turned back for a final furtive glance. A gust of wind whistled and the barn shuddered; it would collapse any day. He turned back toward the hill for his last descent of its rocky dust.


Amanda Chu

Major: Science, Technology, and International Affairs
Minor: Spanish & Creative Writing
Year: Sophomore

Tell us about yourself!
Amanda is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. She is studying Science, Technology, and International Affairs with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing. Basically, she can’t figure out which subject she likes the most and hopes life will never make her decide. On campus, she writes and edits op-eds for The Georgetown Voice. Amanda hails from Queens, New York.

A Night at the Concert Hall 

No one makes her feel like the tenor sax. 

It is a feeling like no other. 

Its voice trembles down her
spine. She inches forward in
her seat. 

Its sound mahogany,
honey but not as sweet.
She licks her lower lip.

It runs down each note quick, but
lingers long enough to stir. She feels
it teasing her. 

It calls her name. She blushes
and crosses her legs. 

She goes four nights now. 

Excerpt from a short story:

“Drive safe.” The doctor told Karen these words on her way out of the free clinic. Drive safe. Not that it mattered. A few moments ago, he had told her she had Stage IV breast cancer and weeks to live. The cancer had moved from her breasts to her blood and her bones, and even to her brain. There was more tumor in Karen than Karen. When she left the clinic that afternoon, the sun had decided to come out after a week of constant Florida rainstorms. The world didn’t grieve for a person like Karen. She didn’t expect it too.

Back in her red Honda Civic, Karen was careful not to burn herself with the shiny seat belt buckle. In the driver’s seat, Karen was able to breathe. She hadn’t been able to in the clinic. The car smelled of spoiled milk and cigarettes. Karen had spilled a box of milk in the car years ago when she first came to Fort Myers. The scent never seemed to have faded and had become a hallmark of her time there. The cigarette smell, that could be either from Karen or her husband. She had been working on quitting, but figured there was no point now. Karen searched through her bag for a pack of Marlboro and her cellphone. It must have already been well into the afternoon.

Three missed calls from Dan. A sigh escaped Karen’s mouth as she typed the code in to return his call. Dan was a former high school geography teacher who now managed the diner Karen worked at for reasons he didn’t say, although everyone knew. The diner was a small diner, something you didn’t see in a place like Fort Myers, where suburbia had taken over after the second world war. On her drives there, Karen passed the Walmart and the Sears and the endless rows of gated communities, and she wondered if this was what Ponce de León had in mind when he landed in Florida.


Aluwet Deng

Major: Finance & International Political Economy and Business
Minor: Creative Writing and Entrepreneurship
Year: Junior

Tell us about yourself!
Aluwet (Lula) Deng is a young woman from South Sudan who uses writing to empower and heal others. She has been writing since she was seven years old. Coming to Georgetown from Salt Lake City has been a monumental change in her life. Adventure and self-discovery are among the journeys she has embarked on while being at Georgetown. Apart from being a writer, she also enjoys entrepreneurship and leading a Christian life aimed at empowering young women.

They say the Night has ears, and Children talk to God.

        Deng was born in the remote outskirts of a village named PanNier. His father was a carpenter and his mother a farmer. He had two older brothers and a baby sister named Achol or “shu shu” for short. Deng always dreamed of going to a big university in Londun or Amberica and one day becoming the president of his country. His family was poor, but he didn’t let that impede his ambition and hustle; he begged his parents to enroll him in school although none of his older brothers had been to school, for they had to help their parents with carpentry, farming, and herding the small cows they had. Their family had no time for school and dreaming. They had to face the realities of their world: hunger, poverty, war, and living in a world devastated by the aftermath of colonization and power vacuums.

        Deng was 8 when he was enrolled in primary school. He was in reception with some five year olds, whose parents were a little better off and worked as traders in the city, and some kids his age, and even with a 15 year old named Jamis, who sold ceegaras, stolen gum, and old tea bags to enroll himself in school. The school was run by teachers sent by the city government and were trained either at the university or in Londun or Amberica; some of the teachers were amazing and loved the students, they always stayed after school and helped students learn more Englisi vocabulary and writing. Some teachers hated the school, and they complained everyday “no money, no money.”
        Deng always stayed after school before going to the market to help his mother sell fresh vegetables and fruits. He learned the Englsi alphabet and basic forms of conversation so fast that he skipped the reception material and was already learning the multiplication being taught in grade 2. Because there were too few teachers at the school, Deng could not leave his class and advance to grade 2. Instead, he received separate lessons from the grade 2 teacher, Mr.Wani. Mr. Wani was an upstanding man who looked upon the world with eyes so full of hope that it would blind any pessimistic sentiment. Mr. Wani was Deng’s role model: he went to Oxford in Londun and he had a very beautiful wife with a pretty smile and smooth chocolate skin. Deng wondered why Mr. Wani didn’t want more for himself, like being a businessman or even president. But no, he wanted to be a teacher.
        Mr. Wani taught them about power structures. He explained that the white man was able to gain all of Africa’s land and wealth by tricking them into feeling sympathetic for the white man and then turning against the African man. The white man was the biggest thief mankind had ever seen. Mr. Wani then said once the African man gained strength and power and slavery was banned, the African man then fought the white man off of his land. But even though the white man was physically off of the African man’s land, he had left behind his evil spirits and his evil ways. The white man left Africa in a mess. He created borders and moved people around and birthed ethnic genocide. The white man birthed tribalism. Deng asked Mr.Wani, “ Teacher, is this why we have greedy politicians who only care about power and feeding the people of their tribes?” Mr. Wani, then carefully replied, “ Deng, this is one of the manifestations of the white man’s evil spirits. He wants the black man to fight his fellow black man. The white man wants Africa to always be in conflict because he knows that a United Africa is a dangerous force that he dare not reckon with. He is afraid of our potential. He knows with all of our resources and land, we could rule all the world. Africa, the black man, can rule the white man.”
        Deng thought deeply about Mr. Wani was talking about. Mr. Wani was right. The white man had stripped Africa of wealth and turned Africans against one another. Deng believed that school was among the only ways that one could ever reach the status of the white man.

        Like ordinary human beings, Deng and his older brothers soon became tired of living poor, so they began looting the market, homes in the city, and even old ladies walking back from church on Sunday. Their father, Nelson, noticed that the boys had started wearing jeans and big sneakers. They even began to bring home devices like small radios and gave Shu Shu a new doll. Nelson and His Wife Aman did not have much, but they were not thieves. They tried to raise their children in the ways of the Lord. Doing bible studies every Saturday morning and going to mass at the big church at the village center and even sending the older ones to big city cathedral on Christmas. So their children will not be thieves in the Name of Jesus. Amen. Nelson warned the boys to stop thieving and gave them a beating they would remember for a lifetime. He roared with anger telling them:

“I am Nelson of PanNier. My father was a poor man, but a fine carpenter. My mother was a beautiful slim and dark-skinned woman, one of the finest women that PanNier has ever witnessed. But still, she was one of the best craftswomen and farmers, among all men in PanNier. They loved God with all their hearts. They had the faith and hearts of warriors. They never took shortcuts. Shortcuts are for weak men. Are you weak men ? Ahh, tell me, Deng, are you a weak man? You cannot be president if you are weak man. Look at the strong warriors, look at Nelson Mandela? Do you think he took shortcuts? Ahh, tell me, Deng, are you a weak man?”

He looked up at his father and said “No Baba. I am not a weak man. I will not do it again.” And from that day Deng tried his best to stop thieving. He would sometimes get caught up and steal some gum, ceegaras, and tea bags to sell at the market so he can make up some of his school fees.
        

        One year, Nelson and Aman had so little money that they had to pull Deng out of school so that they can all dedicate their time to carpentry and farming. Deng would help his father tie up the stringed wood beds and help his mother till the land and plant corn crops. He would then help his brothers herd the cows, milk them, and sell some at the Mulow Market. As the youngest boy, Deng did as best as he could. He wanted to help everyone in his family, in his world. He wanted to help the children whose bums had been so bruised by the hot sand and rocks because their bodily misfortunes bound them to the ground and they scooted everywhere begging for food, money, begging their government to take care of them, begging the world to notice their lives matter too.
        One night, in the pitch black village central field, Deng looked up to the sky and screamed:
“ Why do you hate us? Why do you make us poor and why do you make them rich? Why do you give them big cars and fancy clothes? Why do you give them guns and advantage, when you know in any fight, man to man, fist to fist, we would beat them down to ashes?”
Deng began to lose faith. He was losing faith in what his Baba and Mama believed in. How can God be so loving, and let this much evil into his world?
        What if there was some way he had the power to change his world? Through his own might and power? The educational route he was taking was okay, but it was taking too long. And God, clearly, wasn’t listening to any of Africa’s prayers.
Deng thought to himself: “ I know a couple of guys who have run away to different countries to find money and come back and help their families, I know some guys who took up big big guns and shot at people so they can get money…” Deng wasn’t a man of violence, but he had the mind of a warrior, a protector. He was a lover kinship and lineal blood. He knew that there was something he had to do…

        Days passed, and Deng found himself back at the village central field, but this time playing futbol with some of his old friends from school and his best friend Chan, a lanky boy with light brown eyes and skin so dark he looked like he came straight from a cocoa nut. Chan was not in school. He owned his own cow-trading business. His father died, leaving his mother and 7 younger siblings behind poor and hungry. He was a boy at appearance but in action a man, even the wise, would say, he was not a boy. A young boy who eats with the elders is a mighty man.
        Chan, too, had grown tired of being poor. He was tired of the cow-trading business. He was tired of moving those slow, smelly, cows around in a big herd all day, leaving for Mulow Market at 5 am and returning at 9 pm. He was only 14. And deep down, Chan was tired of being a Man. The toughest people are almost always the weakest.

Deng (roughly slapping Chan’s Shoulders try to get his attention), “Chan look at those big trucks… look at those men who got big guns hanging off their backs.. those look like the Aaaaye, Kaaay, Fourr, Teee, Sebenns those guys used in that Americani movie we saw at the bar that one night…and uh, you know I’ve been thinking…uh, so..”
Chan(interrupting), “ Deng do you know who those guys are? They are the rebel army trying to overthrow the government…Before you go admiring, be careful.. They’ll fuck you up. They don’t care if you’re woman, child, or oldman. They will beat you, take your money, and loot your house. And if you’re not careful, they will force you to join them to fight our government.”
Deng, “I have heard a little bit about them from Mr. Wani you know: Power structures, the white man wanting the Africans to fight each other. This is why these rebels are trying to go against are tribalist government. They, like us, are tired of being poor and hungry. So I don’t get why everyone wants to protect our so called government.”
Chan (thinking of slapping Deng), “You are such a foolish boy. You still don’t know life. You have to love your government, especially when you come from where we come from. We have trust our leaders. They kill anyone who dares go against them. If you don’t follow the rules, you will get fucked up. You will get fucked up, Deng.”
Deng (bursting out into anger), “ But Chan look at the way we are living. Look at you man. You have to work yourself like a dog just to get a little bit of bread in the mouths of your siblings and mama. My parents are barely making it now as we speak. Do you think I want my sister Shu Shu to grow into a world like this? We have to do something, we have to go Londun or Amberica to get some money and come back and rule this country. To help better the lives of our people.
Chan (moved his pain), “… I know, I know, I hate it too. What do you want us to do? We can’t just leave our families behind. Who is going to take care of my family… and…”
Deng (interjecting), “…It’s okay, Chan… I have a plan.”

        Treading the fine line of despair, Deng and Chan set out into the uncertain night sky. They didn’t tell anyone they were leaving, they just left. Before leaving their village, they looked back and said, “May peace be upon PanNier forever. May the God protect our people until we return.”
        They walked for miles and miles and passed many people and many villages. Chan once complained to Deng, “My stomach pangs of hunger. I’m tired. My heart is with my family in PanNier.” And Deng replied, “Chan, we have to be men. We have to bring change to Pan Nier. We have take destiny into our hands. God has forsaken our land.”
        They walked until they arrived to what felt like the end of the world. When they reached is when all their troubles began. They were trying to cross the border to get on the boat that was taking people to Londun… but prophecies do come to pass….

He who challenges God and takes destiny into his own hands, finds himself in the hands of the enemy.

“Young man… take this bongo, it will help relax your mind when you are shooting at those little fuckers by the governor’s palace..”, said Johnny, a soldier of the PKK.

        Deng and Chan found themselves as rebels killing their own people trying to also get the same power that Mr.Wani had warned him about. Deng was now turning into the manifestations of the evil spirit of the white man. They had become disillusioned with the reality of their worlds and drunk off power. How was Pan Nier or the rest of Africa going to be saved if they let the white man win ?

They can now only turn to God for saving.


Carmen Fendt

Major: Chinese
Minor: Creative Writing
Year: Senior

Tell us about yourself!
Carmen is a Senior at Georgetown majoring in Chinese and minoring in Creative Writing. Her interests include imagining what deep space habitats would look like, creating stories that lie at the intersection of sci-fi and fantasy, and writing inclusive YA fiction. Her interests mostly lie in novel writing, but she has been known to write compelling and evocative short stories and poems with no plot whatsoever.

Most of the cabins were drafty, so the squeals of wind from outside, the occasional lightning, and near constant patter of ash-hail tempered the passengers’ dreams. The captain napped inconsistently in his chair, waking up his co-pilot when he finally wanted to sleep for the night. The boat rocked on upstream, by the dark morning having made it a quarter of the way. The captain awoke to navigate the tricky Chiwapa Canal connecting the East Mississippi Sea to a small inlet of the flooded Mississippi Gulf before returned to a fitful sleep in the midday haze. Boat lights low, the co-pilot puttered through the swampy intertidal waters until they reached the dark mass of the Grenada seawall.
       Grenada had been a mixed township before the Uprisings that tore through the former United States, pitting its residents against one another. After the Treaty of Roswell it had been designated a borderland—subject to neither hybrid nor human jurisdiction. The large frog-hybrid population moved northwards to Tennessee and Alabama, the remaining humans rebuilding Grenada as a trading hub. As a juncture along the route from the food and resource-rich southeast to the scavenger societies of the west and the mixed confederacy of the north, Grenada had strategic significance and good traffic from both human and hybrids as people and goods passed through from as far away as the Mexican Remnants.
       The co-pilot woke the captain again to steer into port. As they got closer to the port’s entrance, the boat lights illuminated the seawall’s famous inscription:

God said He would never destroy us by water again,

He never said we couldn’t do it ourselves.

       As The Snowflower came into the small wharf, the captain snagged a glimpse at the frog-briddie barge as it poled its way off the docks, several manatee-briddies swimming alongside it. The captain gave a quick shudder and focused on steering the boat into harbor. He announced the arrival to the passengers over the loudspeaker, and those who were getting off or wanted to explore port did so, the rest staying in their bunks to sleep. The captain himself went out to meet the harbormaster and collect fares from the new passengers. On shore there was a small contingent of merchants selling goods they had just bought from the disappearing hybrids—natural resources that were too dangerous for humans to collect, as well as building materials and sandbags, some produce and cloth too, from the Alabama crop fields. James woke to watch the scene of commerce from his porthole, while Amelia continued to sleep.
       The hail had ceased for a while, but as the passengers boarded again, a light rain began to color James’ porthole grey, and it was pouring by the time the captain was pulling out of Grenada, having taken a rest while the boat was docked. The trees were thick and close on the banks, but barely visible due to the ashen downpour. The clouds obscured the passage of time, afternoon falling to evening, the deepest dark of the night passing in wetness, the soft drumming on the boat and whishing of the trees whispering ceaselessly.
       As the early morning dawned to render the outside fog in a lighter grey, James made his way down to the canteen; in the center of the room, a loud discussion was taking place between the new faces and some older ones. Amelia was already at the bar, serving drinks to the other early risers.
       “—A band of rogue briddies, runnin around out there. Likely where we headed too. I’m jes saying we should be on the lookout,” a tall man with jerry-rigged glasses and chestnut brown skin said, “Look I don’t usually trust those sumbitches neither, but frog people’s different, and they wun’t talkin like they was lyin ‘bout it.”
       A shorter brunette stood with her flannel-covered arms crossed. “Hmmph.”
       James navigated the scene to the bar, sidling onto the seat nearest Amelia. “Vodka cranberry with some information about what’s going on please.”
       Amelia set about on the drink. “The newcomers are saying the frogger barge we passed had some information about some band of briddies terrorizing the borderlands. The miss thinks they want us to find cover somewhere because they’re planning a surprise attack and want the best haul they can get—some sort of frogger revenge plot for everything people in this area have done to them.”
       “And you think?”
       Amelia looked back at James for a beat, then back at the shaker. “It’s as dangerous to travel in a storm as it is to stay anywhere for too long. We’re getting raided one day, and it’s just a matter of when.”
       “Spoken like a true plier of the Mississippi. Are you sure you’re not a ranger in disguise?”
       Amelia handed James his drink silently, and moved on to the next customer.


Maya James

Major: Government
Minor: Religion, Ethics & World Affairs & Creative Writing
Year: Senior

Tell us about yourself!
Maya is a senior majoring in Government, and minoring in Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs. She is excited to add the Creative Writing minor to her transcript. Her poetry and non-fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Soar: For Harriet, and she was recently long-listed for the 2019 Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize. She is inspired by Afrofuturism, and how resource-poor communities combat climate change and other disasters. She is currently querying her first novel. You can find more of her work here: mayajameswrites.wordpress.com (new window)

Bone, Tide.

Somewhere and some while
along Georgia’s islands,
between Gullahs and Geeches,
fragments of blessings
scar shells and plantations and Bibles.

Rolled into church bells,
a bonafide sweet tea recipe
(sugar-count unlimited),
and the bones of the cook
who innovated from necessity.

Though we do not collect bones,
we read their tracks.
And below these rolling tides,
we count wave crashes
in lightyears.

And though pillars of light 
may carry fissures,
how shadows form
speak futures into existence.

From the Cotton, Al-Najm

Discovery
Rush Yusuf from the cotton,
cleanse the body, leave the blood.
Let the stars see what came
upon Allah’s dreaming man.
White linen cloths
pick out briars.

Burial
No need to investigate the death.
Bathed in blood,
no body left from the whip.
Write Joseph on the grave,
Yusuf in the Book.

Mourning
If only he had not told master
about his dreams and wishes.
And if only we could bear
his blackness upon our
swollen crowns.


Elfrieda Nwabunnia

Major: Government
Minor: Creative Writing
Year: Junior

Tell us about yourself!
Elfrieda is a DMV native, West-African American majoring in Government in the College. She is hoping to position her future life and career at the intersection of art and protest and pursue an MA in Creative Writing after graduation. From a background in competitive slam poetry and spoken word, she is continuing to widen the scope of genres she works with and is excited to keep growing as a writer. 

…that night, I dream of a land, where the lady liberty wears faux-locs and fries up ox-tail for every new arrival at her dock. 
The neighborhood kids, play in the streets
all summer long.
the only purple on their skin taste sweet, like 50 cent grape popsicles from the ice cream truck.
They play till the streetlights turn gold, shine halos onto their scalps
This, is as close to being angels as the black kids will get this summer.
Here, they all learn to dance without bullets at their feet, learn to sing outside of funeral choir. 
Mommas don’t worry about pavement or police uniform swallowing their souls or bloodying their bodies, so 
the tea stays sweet all summer long.


Katya Schwenk

Major: Government & Arabic
Minor: Creative Writing
Year: Senior

Tell us about yourself!
Katya is a Senior, studying Government and Arabic in addition to Creative Writing. She’s focusing on longform journalism, but writes a lot of poetry and short fiction. On campus, she’s a news editor for the Georgetown Voice and has a radio show with WGTB — off campus, she’s usually hiking or taking photos around D.C.

G2 Howard University

On the september bus, with my eyes open,
it reeks of candied walnuts and
the seams of your favorite sweater,
which are always corkscrewing apart

the bus lights, today, are fuschia
and they are slicing, they turn
the paisley skirt of the woman opposite
into a lake of tangerine swans and I can see
lipstick on the bridge
of her nose and we are passing joggers
and inviting in mothers with sagging crying strollers
there are candy wrappers stuck to the corners and
between my toes, and today the lights are fuschia
and they are slicing.

on the september bus, I keep my eyes open, always,
for when I let my gaze lapse the bus slips apart
its tires all unfurled, and we are in
your car, for the second time,
splintered windows, cassette tapes, and ice scrapers
upholstery worn down to velvet
not speaking as we surge shyly down
that curving endless freeway where
only the spotted deer in some roadside wood
could ever see me.

Finch (note: this is an excerpt from a short story)

There is a basement on the corner of Locust Ave., which the landlady paints cornsilk white each year to cover the black mold that crawls relentless across the walls. It’s futile; in March, when the frost thaws and the air gets thick and wet, water bleeds down from the pipes above, and the mold cakes back over the white, turning everything to black velvet.

There is an odor – perhaps from the mold – that haunts the basement, impervious to bleach or lemon air freshener, something more than decay, a kind of zest. It is this, more than the mold on the walls, that has always kept the house’s tenants out of the basement’s back room. That room sits unoccupied, its door closed always, expectant.

It was only Greco, out of the scores of occupants of that house, who saw the basement for what it was, peered down through the corroded floorboards to its potential. Greco looked into that basement like it was a cloudless pool and he counted the grains of sand on the bedrock. These things were always clear to Greco; the world about him was translucent. He saw people’s teeth through their lips. When he visited the house on Locust Ave. with his drummer and his guitarist he had them sign the lease there and then.

Greco’s band moved into the house on a glacial day in January. They were called Phantom Limbo, then; by March, Greco had changed the name to Flamingo. The house was pink, he said, might as well keep it consistent. He lined the walls with foam insulation and invited local septum-pierced bands to play there. On Thursday nights, the basement seized, breathed with music.

There is only one hour a day when daylight floods the basement—around 9:30 in the morning, when the sun is angled just so that it can fall through the crocheted curtains of the tiny patio door—and it makes the cigarette ash in the corners glint. It flashes off the smears on the microwave. It muscles into the moldy back room to fall in a slice across the center.

The light was on Greco’s face, on a morning in April, as he sat in the back room cross-legged, with his face upturned. It fell soft and hot on his upper lip. His eyes were fixed on the pipes that honeycombed the ceiling, watching perspiration condense on the copper and fall in fat drops to the concrete. His guitar lay beside him. Its E-string had snapped and curled up its neck.

There was a song running through Greco’s head. He had been humming it while he sat, snaking the chord progression through his brain until it was so familiar it sickened him. He was trying to find the words to it. They eluded him, although he knew they were there, behind some dam in his mind against which he was beating. He felt as though he were bent precarious over the ocean, trying to grab silver thrashing cod with his bare hands.

Sometimes, he heard the words fully, in his mind, in this exquisite voice that he did not recognize, but as soon as he spoke them aloud, himself, they tarnished and turned perverted. The light grew hotter on his face. The words had won out, Greco decided, after a time of this. They had turned from him.


William Shanahan

Major: Finance
Minor: Creative Writing & Economics
Year: Junior

Tell us about yourself!
Will is a Junior from Rochester, New York in the McDonough School of Business. On campus, he is the Sports Editor of The Georgetown Voice, Treasurer of Georgetown Ballers, and on the Honor Council and men’s club rugby team. Will has three younger brothers and enjoys playing golf, supporting the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, and reading in his spare time. He is interested in sports journalism and also enjoys writing historical non-fiction, mini-biographies, and satirical pieces.

A Formation

Meadow Lane was an innocuous name for an innocuous place. It sat off Allens Creek Road, which itself had been much busier with passengers in the last decade or so with all the new retail stores springing up nearby generating automobile traffic that drew the ire of many longtime residents of the neighborhood. Still, congestion on Allens Creek rarely backed up enough that the homeowners of Meadow Lane made it out to the town board meetings to protest the building of further stores on Monroe Avenue, just up the street. So, life on Meadow Lane continues in relative isolation. There were only five houses on either side of the street, as Meadow Lane and its two cracked sidewalks spanned only one hundred yards.

There were two crown jewels of Meadow Lane. One was a red brick on the corner that celebrated its 100th birthday last year, a quaint place that never seemed to show its age, as its more modern black shutters seemingly revived everything about the house, from the milk delivery slot that needed repainting to the discolored bricks that gave it structure. My house. We kicked our extra points after touchdowns in backyard football over the fence and into Meadow Lane, with the goalposts being the trunk of the big oak tree that loomed over the street and the twenty-five-mile-per hour speed limit sign. Everyone knew, however, if you needed to go faster than twenty-five on Meadow Lane, you were probably lost.

The other notable home, owned by two retirees with grandkids just down the street, was younger than its brick neighbor two doors down, built when the rest of the street was really starting to find its legs after World War II. This couple, the Dillons, frugal spenders themselves, had put a good deal of money into the home only after they were sure they had enough for their grandson Jay, my best friend, to attend college, an accomplishment few on Meadow Lane can attest to having experienced. Their new roof and clean yellow brick were as close to upscale as just about anything got on Meadow Lane. There was a narrow strip of dirt between the trees that marked the end of the Dillons’ property and the fence that bordered the Franks’ next door, which led to a little patch of grass usually littered with candy wrappers and old baseball cards, enclosed from the rest of the world by trees. The Secret Hideout.

The rolling meadow which should feature so prominently on our street is nowhere in sight, another beauty of nature fallen victim to urban sprawl. The meadow is no more, not that anyone these days knows where it was, or gives it much thought at all. The bottom line is, life on the quintessentially American street of Meadow Lane meanders on. The street seems nothing special to those passersby who might be trying out a new route on their morning run or have needed a turnoff after heading the wrong direction on Allens Creek Road. I doubt the reporters and their TV crews thought anything of it either when they came around. They would have had to meet those who call Meadow Lane home, however, to realize the sheer character of those people and, in turn, of Meadow Lane itself.

My older cousin Connor was one of those people, kind of. He lived a block away in a tidy brown house on Creekdale Lane according to his passport, but the truth was he slept just as many nights at my place as he did his own in those days. He had a soft face, one that if you took the time while you were still checking out his passport to glance at his picture you could guess that he still carried his baby fat on him. And he did, possessing a small gut to match the superfluous skin around his cheekbones. He could have grown up to be a handsome man once he figured out his haircut and hit his growth spurt. Little did we know that growth spurt would end with him being the tallest person on our side of the family, and that hair would transform into a well-kempt spike with millimeter-perfect tapering on the sides and back. When Connor takes his seat at Thanksgiving dinner these days, it seems every year there are more bags under his eyes, a prettier girl in the seat next to him, a nicer watch on his wrist. I get to see him kiss my mother on the cheek, talk private equity with Uncle Kevin from New York, and place bets on the outcomes of the football games that day on his iPhone. He knows I’m a fan, too: Jimmy, think there’s any way the Steelers trip up tonight? Meadow Lane, however, does not get to see as much of Connor nowadays.


Alicia Tacoronte

Major: Business
Minor: Creative Writing & Environmental Studies
Year: Senior

Tell us about yourself!
Alicia is a Senior in the Business School. She is majoring in Management and double minoring in Creative Writing and Environmental Studies. She currently has her heart set on a job that allows her to marry her love for group dynamics with creative sustainable solutions to business problems. Alicia has always loved to write poetry and is currently reaching out into more lengthy pieces. Shown are a selection of poems along with the first page of a possible novel.

Deep Recession

I make a wish without hoping it will come true. I still think it is a wish. Maybe a prayer?

I sit and watch my train go by. I don’t flinch when it appears. Only my head moves. I wait for another.

I am happy when it finally rains. I need the smell. I leave without a coat. I am soaked. I dry slowly.

I get up to go. I hear my name but keep walking. I hear it again as I push the door open.

“Hello… How are you?” I respond by handing her my item. We don’t exchange anything else except the grocery bag.

I gaze at a wall. I don’t know how long I have been here. I look down to find a laptop and half a sentence. My fingers rest on the keys and push down.

“Come out with us!” I smile. They haven’t noticed my silence.

I move ahead without knowing where I had gone but I see you hovering. Waiting. I smile. I sit and wait for a train but we both get up when it comes.


The argument

I have no instinct. I remain with my head unsheltered, although battered, arms to my side. My feet can’t seem to run.

Words dig into the sides of my throat, attempting escape:

There is immediate swelling at their inclinations but I am frozen

I feel like I am floating to the bottom of an ice lake. No movement in the water

They will me to scream

The Ice above replaces itself. It gets dark.

Tears come, but do not fall.

I attempt to breath and find fire.

My body rejects all instruction.

A stalemate.

The only thing that moves is my mouth –

Gapping catching flies


Ms. Marcy

When Ms. Marcy called Evaline into her office, the sun had begun its descent into the property’s tree line. Orange hues seeped into the room as the girl entered, her weight resting on the balls of her feet, shoulders un-characteristically hunched. Ms. Marcy stood erect at the front of her desk, determined to stand taller, more stable, than she was feeling.

Ms. Marcy’s eyes fleeted to the empty chairs and Evaline immediately found herself in one facing the desk. The pin-cushioned arm chair was not oversized, however, Evaline disappeared, willingly, into its creases. Aware of her petering status as one of Ms. Marcy’s favorite students. “There are times when the severest actions, with the most irrevocable consequences, prevail without much hesitation.” Ms. Marcy starred at the bridge of Evaline’s nose. Focusing on her own breath. “Reason becomes secondary in nature and it becomes unnatural to choose it.” She spoke in a rhythm, choking down the quivering vocal chords at the base of her throat. Not in front of a student a voice whispered. “A person can hold no blame when this happens. It’s one of our only understandings of insanity.” Ms. Marcy circled behind the chairs and then around the other side of the desk. Stopping at the window. Back turned to her audience. “Have you ever been in a position where your actions didn’t match reason? Where everything in your body wanted to do something that would seem crazy to everyone else?” Dangerous to everyone else. Her voice reverberated against the marble walls. The chair let out a slight creek, Evaline shook her head in Ms. Marcy’s periphery, sustaining eye contact with her impeccably polished heels.

“So then why,” Ms. Marcy continues, “did Lily receive this note indicating her,” she brings the note closer to her face, squinting whilst finding her place in the lengthy letter, “did you state her actions where ‘selfish in nature and therefore, that she (meaning Lily) should have finished the job when she had the chance, saving everyone the trouble of melodrama.’” (…)


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