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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Girls and Horses

Girls and Horses

My father’s stone agenda
did not include horses for girls,

or playing pool, or going shirtless
at the age of four, even though

my brothers could. I somehow knew
writing could get me that horse.

A redwood fence contained my world,
so in my backyard I wrote a letter.

Dug a hole with my mother’s
silver serving spoon,

bent to the chore in a crinkled cotton dress,
with my knees in dirt and sun on my neck.

I couldn’t spell,
but felt certain my hieroglyphs

would be deciphered.
Words folded into white paper.

I thought, "when people are buried
they shoot right up to God like bottle-rockets,"

so I planted my letter, shaped a mound,
and placed a handful of dandelions on top.

Photo Credit, Stewart Ferebee


  1. Really lovely rhythm in this one.

  2. Matthew Castillo
    English 22
    March 3, 2010


    He Let Love Down

    We smoked in the car that sat in my driveway. The air was thick, warm and sticky. A faint buzz, a couple of clicks and he had to go. It must have been an important text message.
    I sang him a song (a song that I wrote myself). He said that he liked it. He said it was nice, and that it reminded him of some girl.
    I made him a sandwich: grilled cheese with no crust. I know how much he loves them. He ate the whole thing without saying a word. Not a thanks. Not even a nod.
    I tried to say it in so many ways-- with a bowl, with a song, with a sandwich-- but he always let me down.

  3. Running my hand along barbed wire fences - I pause - long enough to lift and skip the pain of gripping barbs. Rusty stains are left in the creases of my fingers. I place a well worn boot on the lower wire and push it down as far as it can stretch, then bowing low and lifting with both hands the wire above my head - I measure my fit. Head first, then arching my back, prepare the rest of me to enter into the neon green world of animals so large they cause butterflies and bees to come alive inside my ribcage. The first leg through lifts unnaturally high above my head and my body tucks lower to the ground - its not enough - a barb catches my shirt and I tumble half caught - then torn - into the muddy green sea of daunting monsters who sniff me with their curious eyes and start their motors of flight. One hand sinks into the mud, face follows, earth spits from my lips and grinds between my teeth. I breath in very slowly so I don’t suck the muck below my mouth, and blow out quickly expelling. That smell - that familiar smell - it's not the mud I'd hoped it was, it's worse.

  4. People I have hurt

    As I look through my life at all the people I have hurt--
    The list includes all the people I know
    In truth, I have hurt them all in some way
    That is the risk of getting to know them on a personal level
    The problem is--
    We often place people on such a high pedestal
    when they fall it
    Is similar
    To dropping an antique piano on your foot
    It’s painful and real
    Do you take the risk
    Or play it safe
    And never reach your full potential?

  5. Repressed Memory

    I was raped when I was nine. For a long time I forgot about it. Doctors say I blocked the memory out because it was so traumatizing. But I remember-- I remember everything:
    His hands rough with callous violently rub up and down my legs, my flat chest, his fingers rip at the blue dress my father sent from the U.S. for Christmas. His beard scratches at my tender skin as he fidgets and holds my small wrists on top of my head. The stink of alcohol in his breath still wakes me up some nights, as that unwanted episode plays again in my sleep. The weight of his body on my fragile figure pressures between my thighs and I wake up screaming like I did back then, a piercing sound that echoed him. And I weep, not because I remember but because I am alone.
    By Christian Briano

  6. Jonathan Fordham
    English 22

    As a child I used to watch Peter Pan.
    I tried to fly every time I got a chance.
    I jumped, a second later I was back on land.
    I thought happy thoughts I didn't understand.
    When I watched batman I got a towel for my cape.
    I wanted to fly to cousin's house, then fly out of the place.
    In my mind I flew like 10 times so now it seemed like fate.
    But the lesson that was learned was learned in a painful way.
    My cousin said ,"of course you'll clear the fence with that cape."
    I'm looking at the gap, the fence is pretty far away.
    As soon as I jumped from the rail I knew made a mistake.
    That's when I learned that most things on TV are fake.
    Once I realized it, my flying dreams were done
    as I land on the rail I had started from.

  7. Andrei Juezan
    prose #4 (revision)

    Mad World

    to be or not to be the man she wanted me to be, but partly because she believes my destination is sadly going nowhere.
    living in a mad world i go there, suffocated breathing nothing because our troubles give us no air.
    world filled with the project buildings, drugs and killings,to his nights out portraying villains, he does it to get what he wants he commits sins to win.
    in this life with the balance of a yin to a yang a darkness to a light that influences the mind between what is wrong and what is right.
    the boy grew to become a man the man she wanted him to be no longer frightened because after she lost her life to his sins he committed only then he became enlightened.

  8. Maria Hernandez
    Eng 22
    Prose Poem 1

    I’m that young girl alone in the dark room, momma at work, brothers outside without a care in the world, and there he is, he sits alone with the remote in one hand and his forty in the other.
    By morning he is Jekyll, by night Hyde; How could this drink alter-ego someone lovable into an evil man.
    As years go by he fights off his daemons and we enjoy life with Dr. Jekyll.
    But how could we be so foolish to think Hyde would just up and vanish, now I’m that young woman and as I come and go, there he is, he sits with a forty in his hand as life passes him by.

  9. George Kurtow
    Eng 22
    Prose poem revision

    We were riding our bikes it was dark there were hardly lights. We laughed because we had so much fun drinking with everyone… getting jaded on the bleachers. Trust me we weren’t creeping down the street we rode fast and hard our heads grinding alcohol in our brains…it was mostly gone… so we departed the night was mostly gone.Then from nowhere everything went wrong, the bike like a loaded slingshot sent him cart wheeling forward. He kissed the vicious sidewalk it was unforgiving. I leaped off my bike to be by his side, the crunch echoed in my mind. I knew I just knew he wasn’t fine. I looked at his face like a doll it had been squeezed in. I yelled “oh mike oh mike I’m calling the ambulance stay still stay still!” The ambulance was coming I saw it pass by I had to leave him for a second to wave them down. They followed me to him. They got there fast thank God the hospital was just a few blocks down. They strapped him down and he told me “take care of my bike”. They left right away I wished him goodbye and I prayed for him so that he would be fine.

    We rode our bikes there were hardly lights it was night. Smiles, delight, we drank with friends, got jaded, we were pretty faded. Alchohol in our brains we almost drank it all the blissful feeling had been reached. We rode fast and hard indeed. Without a warning every next moment went wrong. The bike, a loaded slingshot made him effortlessly flip foreward. He kissed the vicous sidewalk it wasn't a delicate tumble. I leaped off my bike to be by his side. His face had been squeezed in like an angry boy with his sisters baby doll. I yelled in anguish to my friend "Oh Mike oh Mike you need the ambulance stay still stay still!" The ambulance was quick i saw it pass by I had to leave mike for that second to flag them down. Thank God the hospital was just a few blocks down. I lead them to mike and he told me "take care of my bike." As they strapped him down I waved him goodbye, praying to God so that he would be fine.

  10. Arjan G.

    Past is Past (Revision)

    The bond that we shared was unforgettable that it can’t be reenacted, copied, or duplicated. Those times we spent as a couple were the best; in other words, you knew how to treat me right, you were the bigger person when we fight, and slept on the phone each and every night. but i must step back into reality knowing that, that was the past, the past that we'll never see in the future; even if we tried.

  11. Prose Poem

    In the bed room as I watch my sister pack a suitcase I wonder what was going on because earlier that day my brother told me that was going to take me trick-o-treating ; I was so excited. Then I watch and follow with my eyes were my sister was taking the suitcase to a green truck that was my neighbors and as I watch I sit wondering who was the suitcase for and why was it in the truck with other items in there. At this point I see my brother get into the front seat I run out to stop my brother in my power rangers outfit my mother bought me. All I can do is stand in the middle of the road tears running down my side asking myself why?

  12. Jeannette Copas
    Eng 22
    Revision of prose

    It was a day like any other except for the constant ringing tearing through my head like a jack hammer, allowing me no sleep at all. I finally answer it, and a chill ran down my spine, like a piece of ice on a red stove burner. My knees gave way, and I plummeted down to the earth on them. I screamed to the heavens they must be wrong. My eyes searched the room for my children, who were near. The voice, the faceless, bodiless voice told me my husband was dead.

  13. Jehan Valera
    Eng 22
    object poem prose#6

    simple square shape eccentric in ways. Silver smooth surface inside a rubber skin, screen full of smudges. Like a remote to life, pause and rewind time to a place filled with imagination and good memories. Push down on the menu scroll through pictures and songs. Fast forward through the bad parts.