BeanSwitch Fall 2012

Spring 2012

BeanSwitch Staff
Executive Editors –
Misty Dunlap Sheila Scott

Visual Editor –
Kalsey Stults

Supporting Cast -

Eli Anderson Eric Brand Dave Chambliss Jonathan French Rocky Holland Zack Nabors Jennifer Parrish Madilyn Peay Beth Reed Lyndsay Riggs Crystal Springer Marah Vogt

Faculty Advisors Chris Hill – Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages Jeffery Longacre – Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages Tomi McCutchen Parrish – Department of Communications

Art Table of Contents
Ballet Dancer Mystic Moon Not Ready to Leave Here Tearfall Drops of Jupiter Distant Places Bring Lonesome Faces The Calling The Little Things Wish Right Now Sadness Gaze Tree Woman Cries Dance It All Away To be Unmeasured Waterland Blooming with Hue Another View of the Eiffel Tower Abstract Painting Center Wine Bottle Alone at Last Memori DePriest Zachariah Dickson Cody Speed Zachariah Dickson Cody Speed Cody Michael Williams Mary Jean Hall Lauren Whitaker Cody Speed Zachariah Dickson Alexandra Stover Zachariah Dickson Beth Crocker Cody Michael Williams Zachariah Dickson Jocelyne Barchet Kara Kidwell Lauren Suiter Melanie O’Neil Aaron Burks Megan Schwab 1 3 9 11 13 15 16 19 20 23 26 24 28 31 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Curious Aquarium Nighttime Gilt and Crystal at the Louvre Night Sky Dreamscape Blackhole Sun Oil Into the Dark The Companion Tilted, Twisted, and Worn Wonderland Feather Stone Deadly Substance 12:30 Timeless Cover Art

Jocelyne Barchet Melanie O’Neil Kara Kidwell Jocelyne Barchet Zach Johnson Alexandra Stover Cody Speed Diane Shaw Donna Hacker Zachariah Dickson Cody Speed Jocelyne Barchet Aaron Burks Kait Scott Cody Speed

40 41 43 45 46 48 50 54 57 59 60 69 70 73 74

Literary Table of Contents
The Wedding Dance The Visitors These Shoes We Buried a Boy Today Benefits In God We Trust A Sideways Glance Wonder Lust Colorful The All Powerful Hairy Hand The Question Ephemera A Modern Pyramus and Thisbe Rotting Teeth The Gremlin of All Hallow’s Eve Should I Do This? The Shakes Family Photographs Road to Recovery Please, Professor Belinda Barker Sonny Taylor Belinda Barker Belinda Barker Brittney Reed Ashley Burton Kristin Brooks Rachel Hurst Jami Miller Jonathan Lucas French Cody Jarman Brittney Reed Misty Dunlap Rachel Hurst Eli Anderson Regan Ward Toshya Leonard Belinda Barker Rocky Holland Kathleen Alford 2 4 10 12 14 17 21 25 27 29 32 42 44 47 49 51 55 58 61 71

Ballet Dancer

Memori DePriest

Graphite Pencils 11 x 14 Wanted to try a technique the class had done earlier in figure drawing while it was fresh on my mind.

1

The Wedding Dance
the wedding dance of dreams yet untold a ballerina I am! grace and beauty to behold a dress of organza or leather or lace and the joy of completion ripe on my face my Papa in earnest showing his prize and me in his glory reflecting his eyes the wedding dance of dreams now told a woman I am! grace and beauty to behold

Belinda Barker

2

Mystic Moon

Zachariah Dickson

Graphic Design 2170 x 2996 pixels Capturing the eye of the viewer with the many aspects of the night and provoking the same mystified emotion that one has when looking at the moon.

3

The Visitor

Sonny Taylor

Sitting in the hospital waiting room, a little girl swings her legs slowly. Her hands are braced on the semi-soft plastic of the chair cushion as she looks around the sterile, dimly lit room with soft brown eyes. Hospitals are nothing new to this four-year-old, though for once she’s experiencing the waiting room as a visitor, not a patient soon to be ushered back into a room. Still, the nurses are familiar to her. Her gaze halts its exploration of the off-white walls as the squeaking of shoes reaches her ears. Glancing in that direction, she smiles hesitantly at the woman walking towards her, a nurse she knows from her countless visits here. This nurse, she remembers, is particularly gentle when drawing blood. “Hi!” she chimes sweetly, giving the woman a delighted smile, revealing teeth that are just crooked enough to be charming, along with deep dimples. The nurse stops by the little girl’s chair, the squeaking of her typical white shoes coming to an abrupt halt. “Hey, sweetie,” she answers warmly, her voice low and soothing. To the little girl, she sounds like what a nurse should sound like, comforting, gentle and friendly. Reaching one calloused hand into the pocket of her hot pink scrubs, she pulls out a prized piece of candy for the girl, a small red lollipop wrapped in clear plastic. Smiling, the girl takes the lollipop and opens it, popping it into her mouth with a soft lip-smacking sound as she mumbles a polite, thank you. The nurse laughs, reaching out to ruffle the little one’s dark curls. “Are you excited about meeting your little brother?” Gazing up at the nice woman’s angular face and pretty green eyes, the little girl rolls her eyes. “Not really. Babies are ugly. But, Momma says I ain’t gunna thank that when I see him,” she answers honestly, knowing that it isn’t right to lie. The nurse laughs, shaking her head slightly. As the tip of her long blond ponytail brushes against her back, she gives the girl a conspirator’s grin.

4

“I thought my little brother was ugly when he was born, too. And he sure did annoy me. But, I loved him, and when he woke us up in the middle of the night with his crying, I’d always try to help my parents get him back to sleep.” The little girl wrinkles her nose, her pale lips turning downwards to form a serious frown. “I sure hope he don’t keep me up all night. I gotta go to school, ya know.” “I’m sure you’ll be able to get plenty of sleep, sw--” The nurse’s response is cut off by the sudden voice booming in the air, the intercom speaker almost visibly rattling from the sound. She lets out a startled sigh and stands quickly. “You be good now,” she calls as she rushes off, her shoes squeaking again, much faster this time. Nearly an hour later, a painfully long amount of time for the little girl, a doctor comes out and leads her back into a room. She skips along beside him happily, her tiny legs working overtime to keep up with his long strides. Once in the room, the girl lets out a delighted cry of “Mommy!” before rushing towards the woman. She half climbs onto the bed, struggling slightly with its height, to plant a loud cherry scented kiss on the dark haired woman’s sweaty cheek. Then she freezes, her brown eyes locking on the bundle in the baby bed next to her Mommy. “Is that him?” she asks curiously, not looking away from the bundle to see her mother’s smile. “That’s him, alright. You have a little brother, possum britches. His name is Nathan,” the mother answers weakly, obviously more than a tad tired from the hours of labor. The little girl hops off the bed and walks slowly over to the baby’s bed, stretching up on her tiptoes to see him better. As her mother and the doctor talk, the girl stares at the little thing in the bed. It doesn’t look completely human; its head is big, its body is too long, its hands are chubby, and its fingers are so tiny that she isn’t sure they’re fully formed. As she stares at him, the little thing blinks slowly and then gazes up at her with squinty blue eyes. She reaches over slowly to touch his puffy little hand, wondering why his skin is so red that when she touches it the spot around her fingers goes all white and weird looking. The baby wiggles his fingers slightly, barely a twitch, and she slides her index finger

5

against his palm. As he closes his tiny little stubs around her slim digit, a delighted smile breaks across her innocent face. Practically glowing with happiness, she gazes adoringly at the little boy until he closes his eyes again and releases her finger. Finally, she looks towards her mother again. “Mommy?” she quips quietly, not wanting to disturb the baby. “Yes?” “I gunna call him Bubba,” she answers, as though this is the most simple, and highly important, thing in the world. For around six months the little girl goes to school when she has to, but otherwise she stays home, practically attached to her brother’s side. In her mind, the rapidly growing baby is the most precious thing in the world. She doesn’t mind when he cries. She patiently allows him to pull on her long brown curls. She giggles at how much noise he makes when he’s happy and how he smiles when he sees her. Life is perfect. One night, at her grandma’s house, Bubba is lying on the couch while Momma gets ready to change his diaper. The girl prances into the kitchen, opening the door to the large white refrigerator and looking around in it. Not finding what she wants, she shuts the door and heads towards the back porch to ask her Pa if he can help. However, before she can cross the distance, she hears an alarmed cry. She rushes towards the sound quickly, hearing her Bubba’s wail start up. Before she can get to him, she’s scooped up in her Daddy’s arms and carried in the opposite direction. Daddy takes her home, without Momma or Bubba, and for hours she paces the house, whining impatiently and demanding to see her brother. Finally, Momma comes in the door, Bubba in her arms. The little girl rushes towards them, rambling on a mile a minute wanting to know what’s happening and why everyone’s so upset. “Bubby just hit his head,” Momma explains quietly, as the strapping baby boy reaches impatiently for his sister, making grabby hands. Satisfied with this response, and seeing that he’s okay, the little girl reaches up and slides her own sun-kissed hand into his chubby paw. Things go back to normal, for a few days.

6

Three nights later, the little girl stands in the waiting room of a hospital, yet again. This time, tears streak down her cheeks and she clutches her jacket closed around her pajamas. A Beanie Baby puppy is firmly squished between one arm and her chest as she sobs quietly, pleading with anyone who will listen, to please tell her what’s wrong. She can’t understand why her Bubba was shaking so badly, or why her Momma and Daddy are crying and they aren’t allowed to see him. As they cart the little boy out of the hospital on a stretcher, into the awaiting helicopter, the little girl rushes after him. She stands in the hospital doors, watching the massive blades slice through the air, practically cowering away from the terrible sound. She watches with wide, terrified eyes as the giant metal beast takes her brother away. Then, she’s rushed off to her grandma’s house while Momma and Daddy go to take care of Bubba and bring him home. Not a week later, she’s sitting in the miniature rocking chair in the middle of her grandma’s living room, clutching the same stuffed puppy to her chest. Her face is still streaked with tears, but she’s smiling up at a man in a dark suit. This man, his light brown eyes warm and welcoming, jokes with her. He asks to sit in her chair, and she squeals in protest, informing him that he’s too big and will break it. He asks to see her puppy, and she clutches it tighter, her bright smile suddenly fading. He sighs, his dark skin lacking in a certain glow that shows someone is enjoying his activity. Brushing his lanky fingers through his short brown hair, he crouches down in front of the girl, giving her a very serious look. And then he asks a round of questions that range from just plain silly to absolutely devastating. Finally, she’s in tears again, glaring up at this man. His eyes are no longer warm but full of sorrow. He smoothes over his dark suit nervously, unsure as to how to face the wrath of this tiny whirlwind. “My Mommy and Daddy are not mean. You are mean. Stop bothering me. Go away. NOW!” Her voice rises with each word, until she’s shouting at him, her cheeks flushed and her eyes nearly black with fury. “They never hurt us!” she adds in a softer tone, the words broken by a sob, before she rushes out. The man in the suit thanks her grandma for their time, shaking her hand and apologizing for upsetting the little girl. Then he turns to his partner, a man with a

7

similar appearance but no fondness or sympathy for children. This man had been ignored by the little girl during the entire meeting, as she’d heard him telling her grandma that they didn’t want her seeing her mother or father. “I think she made it pretty clear,” the nicer man says as they take their leave. Days go by, the funeral passing in a blur that she doesn’t even want to remember. She cries almost constantly, wanting her brother back, wanting to see her parents, wanting to know why God is being so mean. The days turn to months before she’s allowed to live with her parents, only seeing them when supervised. During this time, the only comfort to her is her dreams. Every night, she experiences the same dream. A soft glowing white light surrounds her, and soon enough she isn’t alone, but in the company of a beautiful woman with long blond hair and comforting green eyes. This woman, however, isn’t dressed in hot pink scrubs or bringing lollipops. A white dress that seems to flow and flutter constantly covers her willowy form in a demure fashion, the sleeves falling well past her hands. Large white wings sprout from her back, a source of interest to the girl even though she understands what they mean. The feathers ruffle occasionally, in response to some movement or action, creating a comforting sound that soon becomes the little girl’s new version of her brother’s laugh. And a thin ring of gold hovers above the woman’s head, glowing with the same bright white light as everything else in this dreamscape. The woman brings news, her voice somehow holding every happy memory the little girl has of her brother. The news is always the same. Bubba is okay, he is happy; he is with people that love him. He is not gone. As much as the little girl may want to stay in this dream with this woman who reminds her of happiness, she cannot. Soon enough, life returns to happiness; though, there are moments of great sorrow. She returns to her parents. She grows up. She never forgets the visitors of her youth: the nurse that told her it was possible to like her brother; the man in the suit that tried to gain her trust, simply so he could question her about her parents; and the angel that visited her dreams to help her find closure. But most importantly, the adorable little boy, who was the most amazing Bubba in the world, while he had the time to be, the little boy that changed her life, and left a deep mark on her heart, soul, and family.

8

Not Ready to Leave Here
Cody Speed

Pen and Ink 8 x 11 Leaving behind someone you love.

9

These Shoes
these shoes never worn in my youth stiff and unyielding perched high on their lofty place waiting these shoes brought down with halting purpose alien and new beside a dress the color of mourning waiting these shoes creased with maps from my tears scalloped and hot fallen from downward eyes that cannot turn away waiting these shoes rediscovered broken and pliant hidden beneath the silent stories of my life waiting

Belinda Barker

10

Tear Fall

Zachariah Dickson

Graphic Design 1384 x 3648 pixels Represents the sadness of losing a loved one through the heart of a grieving child.

11

We Buried a Boy
we buried a boy today a beautiful boy the sound of a mother’s silent mourning the sound of your own child’s grief unimaginable sounds unanswerable questions unthinkable answers the sound of each heart rending joining all the others desperate to make sense of the beautiful boy’s death the sound of young men in unison their cadence crushed and strong singing the swan song of the boy the sound of love we buried a boy today a beautiful boy In loving memory of Jacob Cole Nunley (September 22, 1993--September 10, 2012)

Belinda Barker

12

Drops of Jupiter

Cody Speed

Acrylic on Canvas 20 x 16 Looking up and seeing the one you lost in the stars.

13

Benefits
You sit across from me and tell me about my retirement options. Even you know this is ridiculous: the tiny giggle bubbles from your lips at the end of each sentence. You were running late— I’m twenty-three. I must make you feel awkward. You tell me about my new life insurance policy, and I wonder if I died how much money my parents would get, if it would be enough for even one round of my father’s chemo. If it could gather each hair from his pillow, weave it into something other than an empty bank account and a line of zeros.

Brittney Reed

My face is pale but unfair, unlined. They call me sweetie on the phone, ask for my superior. The little I command is too much. They want to know where I hide my incompetence. I must keep it in my tiny pocket of years, sewn into the hem of my thrift store skirt. You push pages across your desk and I sign each one with my name but also with thank you, with I’m sorry, I don’t want this, I have no place in my life to put it.

14

Distant Places Bring Lonesome Faces

Cody Michael Williams

Acrylic on Wood 31 1/2 x 12 1/2 Using color combinations to create harmony so the viewer can interpret the image as they see fit.

15

The Calling

Mary Jean Hall

Digital Photography Capturing the beauty of nature.

16

In God We Trust
It all seems the same Justification for a game Reality for a peace A color of a painting for which we might be The same God in a different land Holding the same hands Leading people to understand Yet you hate and migrate And won’t seek face of Anyone who looks differently Than you Who speaks with more slurs than you do? And we sin and say only God can judge me Like it is ok to be a slob of whom we teach not to be It all seems the same Justification for a game Reality for a peace A color of a painting for which we might be Wars based on differences And we neglect what is significant For prized possessions that fade away And say we want a piece of heaven Yet don’t search for righteousness Or pray to understand what needs to be understood This is a land where people look at your shoes Before they speak to you And ask what you do Instead of asking about you It all seems the same Justification for a game Reality for a peace A color of a painting for which we might be

Ashley Burton

17

We base our trust in a government we distrust And take from the poor Knock if you may on murderers’ door And we claim that every hard working person is evil We belittle if they don’t meet the standards of everyone else We have forgotten about the collective good And only think about self We say Amen Although we don’t agree We get on our knees to do everything but pray So I say It all seems the same Justification for a game Reality for a peace A color of a painting for which we might be

18

The Little Things

Lauren Whitaker

Digital Photography with a fish-eye lens Bringing appreciation to seemingly normal things. The little things in life are often the most beautiful.

19

Wish Right Now

Cody Speed

Acrylic on Canvas 20 x 16 Saying goodbye to all your dreams and wishing for a reprieve.

20

A Sideways Glance

Kristin Brooks

Beth quietly retrieved her coffee from the counter of the coffee shop, and retreated to a corner seat in the back of the supposedly warm, and welcoming café. She couldn’t help but enjoy the warm rays of the sun that, regardless of the bold orange blinds, seemed to be drawn to her like two magnets, that had found themselves in the bottom of the cluttered kitchen ‘catch-all’ drawer. She seemed to be surrounded by warmth: the friendly waitress behind the counter who had smiled, as she had unknowingly given her the incorrect change; the rays of sun passing through the windows; and the appealing sideways glance of the handsome young gentlemen, sitting across from her sipping, on what appeared to be a latte, covered in rich cream. Wait, this last entry in the never-ending lists of her mind was one that had not been noticed, or logged mentally, before. She found herself out of her comfort zone, being one who usually melted, unnoticed into the scenery. The man reminded her of Steven, her ex, who had broken her heart, just a few months before. She had fallen in love with him, and the year that they had been together, had been wonderful. Beth had always been a quiet person, who never said much, and was always in the shadow of others. Steven had the uncanny ability of making her forget about her self-conscious nature, and could draw her out of herself enough, that she could enjoy life. She had finally learned to trust him, and had started to picture their future together, just as her world had come crashing down. He had sat her down at the kitchen table, in the apartment that they shared, and bluntly told her that he had met someone else. He left shortly after that, and she hadn’t seen him since. This had propelled her back deeper, into her painfully shy world of self-consciousness, and withdrawal. Seeing this man, Beth thought to herself, that maybe this was the start to a new beginning, a second chance at a life with someone else. She held her breath as the man smiled, rose to his feet, and started to make his way to her table. Her heart fluttered, as his shiny black shoes waded through what

21

had once been a cup of coffee strewn along the floor that had carelessly and inefficiently been cleaned up. Her mind flew to the possibilities of what he might say to her, and what she could possibly say that would keep him from running in the opposite direction. She always had been able to say just the wrong thing that would cause a guy to quickly excuse himself, from her presence, but maybe she had learned enough from Steven, to keep this guy from bolting. He grew closer and closer, and time seemed to pass slower and slower. Time was jolted into what seemed an endless Hades, as he passed by her and reached for the decorative handle of the exit door, she had unknowingly placed herself beside, as she felt her hopes diminish and her dream for a normal life disappear, along with the handsome stranger, around the bustling street corner.

22

Sadness

Zachariah Dickson

Graphic Design 2265 x 7681 pixels Emotions are meant to be seen, not held in and thought on.

23

Gaze

Alexandra Stover

Watercolor (landscape) Acrylic (characters) on Canvas 18 x 24 Putting my original characters in their natural environment for the first time.

24

Wonder Lust
I want to take this world And crack it within these trembling hands. I want to take it And press its fractures to my lips So that I can drink deeply of its Wonders and secrets.

Rachel Hurst

25

Tree Woman Cries

Zachariah Dickson

Graphic Design 2264 x 3046 pixels Even when the world around you is beautiful, it does not make up the grief within oneself.

26

Colorful

Jami Miller

Blue lips, Red eyes Violet patches on my skin Reluctant apologies Mean nothing when Released from those lips And then I hear him Whisper “you are my favorite fragile thing” And I am in love again.

27

Dance It All Away

Beth Crocker

Permanent Marker and Sharpie 9 x 12 Expressing joy, youth, and freedom in the use of the figure and the colors.

28

The All Powerful Hairy Hand

Jonathan Lucas French

He was lying there in the rank smell of urine and shit, stiff, like a fish you left in the back of a pickup too long on a hot day. With his pants and underwear at his ankles it was almost surreal seeing him there, in the basement of the church, where my family knelt and prayed, sang and danced. With an open mouth and eyes wide open, stuck, frozen in time, his face was mashed against the cold cement floor. It was so much to take in, standing there seeing him. I didn’t dare move nor make a sound. I just stood and stared, listening to the music and the people I knew to be good, dancing and celebrating Jesus in all His glory, in the sanctuary above. It was Willard, the retarded boy, who didn’t like to be touched by anyone he didn’t know. He was Mrs. Dowdy’s grandson and she had taken him to every church service I ever been to. His beard was one of wonder, one that could never be groomed, due to his erratic violent movements. He sat often in front of me and my family, and I would peer at him and ponder as to what he was thinking, as he moved his head as if flies were all about. He was unique, gray haired at an early age, with yellow and black teeth that were usually clenched. He had aged eyes that seemed to look beyond this world and into another. I admired him, admired his blood vessels that ran wild, standing out on his arms like markings on a map. I admired his strength for throwing people about when they would try to place hands on him. He was almost a super hero in slacks, Willard, the retard. Now he was beneath me, dead in a puddle of his own piss, with people dancing above unbeknownst to his new form. A hand was placed on my shoulder, coming from nowhere, startling me, almost like it was a hand of God himself. It was Brother Rick, dressed in black as always, holding me, reassuring me. Standing there we looked at poor Willard. “Dear Lord, what in the world was he doing?” Brother Rick said calmly, clenching me close, my elbow at his waist.

29

Staring at Willard, it was a thought, his words, though none of real reason. I was young and knew not a lot, but I knew it wasn’t what Willard was doing, rather what had been done to him. With tears in my eyes waiting to fall, my body tensed up with every movement of Brother Rick’s big hairy hand, working its way up my neck, as I looked at the last of my mindless super hero. I thought I was special. I thought I was the only one. I thought if I could’ve been Willard, I would’ve been strong enough, mindless enough, to fight back; I wasn’t, and neither was he.

30

To be Unmeasured

Cody Michael Williams

Acrylic on Wood 31 1/2 x 12 1/2 Using color combinations to create harmony so the viewer can interpret the image as they see fit.

31

The Question

Cody Jarman

This is not a poem nor is it a short story nor a play nor a dance, painting, or sculpture It is present merely to raise the question Just like you or I The universe is wide it is an eternally silent plane but if a being gives a voice to the void is that not meaning enough?

32

Waterland

Zachariah Dickson

Graphic Design 1930 x 3804 pixels Showing the fluidity of both ocean creatures and humanity, and our ability to change and warp to the changing of the world.

33

Blooming with Hue

Jocelyne Barchet

Acrylic Paint 18 x 24 Showing a full spectrum of color centered on flowers.

34

Looking up the Eiffel at Night
Kara Kidwell

Digital Photography 4320 x 3240 pixels Showing an angle of the Eiffel Tower that is not normally seen.

35

Abstract Painting

Lauren Suiter

Acrylic on Canvas 11 x 14 An abstract piece that contains no recognizable forms yet depicts an overall happy mood.

36

Center

Melanie O’Neil

Photograph Capturing the beauty of Mother Nature.

37

Wine Bottle

Aaron Burks

Charcoal on Paper 18 x 24 A study of still life with light, shadow and tone.

38

Alone at Last

Megan Schwab

Oil on Canvas 28 x 22 Endeavoring with oil paints for the first time.

39

Curious Aquarium

Jocelyne Barchet

Pastels 11 x 14 Representing the curiosity of a young person’s mind. (Notice the child in the bottom-left corner.)

40

Nighttime

Melanie O’Neil

Photograph Showing how bright the world can be at night.

41

Ephemera

Brittney Reed

I find my pleasure in cheap things meant to be taken off like the leopard-print slip that slides over the cleft between thighs with a purring, symphony of zippers meant to be thrown away the books never made for top billing on any shelf paperbacks born to die kicked under beds pages still sticky with cherry soda and lust to be tossed aside the thin edge of night and morning when another cigarette forever is never the last and the car tires binge-eat asphalt like they’re looking for love at the bottom of the cookie jar made cheap and easy the lucky can buy happiness from gumball machines, find it in lipstick, unicorn pink glitter stickers on early ‘90s trapper keepers both trashy and inane arraying selves in junk, building lives out of cast-offs from the bottom of the drawer, lighting blonde Jesus candles while radio starlets gyrate on tarnished silver screens They wouldn’t call it tacky if it didn’t stick in your heart.

42

Gilt and Crystal at the Louvre
Kara Kidwell

Digital Photography 4320 x 3240 pixels Showing a chandelier from another angle.

43

A Modern Pyramus and Thisbe
Misty Dunlap
I am having a love affair between the walls knock once for are you there knock twice with a long pause in between for I want to kiss you knock three times for reassurance that everything will be okay we will not wake up in ten years to find we still have not taken that road trip or won a Nobel Prize we sleep as close as we can to our shared wall backs pressed, ribs uncurled a knuckle running against the eggshell white paint as if the color was the soft crook of an elbow whisper all your fears, regrets, plans, likes I will keep an empty tumbler on my windowsill ready to listen

44

Night Sky Dreamscape

Jocelyne Barchet

Oil Painting 18 x 24 Resembling a dream.

45

Blackhole Sun

Zach Johnson

Charcoal on Drawing Paper 9 x 12 Realizing an idea.

46

Rotting Teeth

Rachel Hurst

His fingers sailed across the decaying teeth, lithe and caressing. Each one gave in to his touch hesitantly, and whispered music between the trees and the moonlight. Melodies soared into the night, carried on his breath with each slow exhale. Around him the world hushed. No cry of the birds were heard, no movement of the wind called. All the sounds of the night fell quiet in the presence of him and the long forgotten instrument. The stars, as well, took a step back at the show of his hands’ gentle play. Sour wood permeated the air and foliage spilt forth from its core. The feel of the ruts and scars marred along the keys matched his own on the curve of his lip and those along the delicate lining of her heart. It was an outcast to its owner, just as the girl with shaking hands was to the lover before him. Each groan of an unyielding chord struck him, just as the hardness in her words would. Despite its quiet beauty, abuse had left its scoring mark on the piano, leaving its spirit broken for nature to take back into its bosom. No amount of skill would again beckon its beautiful language. Its love cast away from its owner, just as his beloved had been. No, neither the piano nor the girl would sing for him, as they had for those that touched them before. But still he would remain.

47

Oil

Alexandra Stover

Oil on Canvas Being striking and complementary of the colors within the painting while remaining loose.

48

The Gremlin of All Hallow’s Eve
Eli Anderson
I tell you now of a beast of old Who walked the earth with courage bold. Listen close with fervid ear And lean in close so you may hear. He walked these hills, these plains, these woods And even terrorized our neighborhoods. His figure is ghastly, his spirit you’ll feel And his presence alone will make grown men squeal. His long lanky limbs leave no print in the earth And he is ghoulishly misshapen for lack of girth. He prowls the night with malice entail And he uses the land for his shadowy veil. His hair hangs long from all four limbs And cursed be the soul that catches a glimpse. His long ivory claws stay sharp from use And from them he learned to deal man abuse. His large sunken eyes can be spotted at night, They’ve been known to emit a ghoulish green light. Do not be fooled, he is no boorish brute His mind is as sharp as yours and mine to boot. He is often seen tracing the water’s edge And is occasionally spotted peering from a mountain ledge. We know not where he next will creep But we know that he can never sleep.

49

Into the Dark

Cody Speed

Pen and Ink 8 x 11 Facing the darkness and pain is always better with a friend.

50

Should I Do This?

Regan Ward

Should I do this? What if I’m gonna regret this? John’s pale face feels like it is gradually beginning to sizzle under the scrutiny of the sun’s rays. Kate draws his attention, away from deep thoughts, with the breathless sigh to his right that brings goose bumps to every inch of his skin. He is so warm and so cold; he is incredibly confused but also absolutely sure. Her freckled collarbones slowly rise as the small bits of pollen around her face rush to her pink, slender nose. A few strands of pumpernickel-colored hair slide elegantly across her high cheekbone and strong jaw line, as she tilts her closed emerald eyes towards him. “What?” she says. “What ‘what’?” “You’re staring at me. You can’t hide it from me anymore, ya know?” “So, you can just sense that now or something?” “Yeah, pretty much. Ever since high school,” she says. “Ah, yes, Arlington High. How you loved that place.” “Oh, hush. It’s not like you were having the time of your life either.” “I started to, senior year.” “Now you’re just sucking up.” “No really. Just like right then; your giggle always made French easier.” “Weren’t you just blessed the only seat open was right in front of you, then?” “Nah, first thing that came to mind was, ‘Ew, freshman.’” “Don’t even pretend. I knew what you were thinking the first day of freshman year.” “You’re weird.” “You’re the one staring.” “True.” “So?” “It’s nothing. You just look relaxed is all.” “Wow.”

51

“Huh?” “You suck at lying, even with my eyes closed.” “I thought you were sleeping, so I was going to play a prank on you.” “Really? What prank was that?” “No, I’ll just save it for later,” he says. “You weren’t going to play a prank.” “You can wipe that little smirk off your face, smart butt. I did have a prank.” “Then do it. I still have my eyes closed, don’t I?” “You won’t like it.” “Isn’t that the point of a prank?” “Not my prank.” “Then why don’t you do it?” “Maybe, I will.” “You’re too careful about things. You need to buck up, Mister.” “You pick on me now, but wouldn’t you want any boy to be careful with you?” “I’m not pickin’ too bad. And, of course I would, but you’re different.” “You don’t want me to be careful?” “No, you just aren’t anywhere near normal.” “Aren’t we just a pair then?” “I don’t want you to feel like you have to be. I mean, come on, we’ve known each other for about seven years now, right? If I haven’t decided by now that I hate your guts, when will I ever?” “True.” “Seriously, John, I’m only kidding. What is it? You looked like you were about to be sick… but just now you look like you could up and kiss that frog sitting by that half-sunk log over there. What is up with you today?” “I just wanted to ask you something.” “And that’s your prank or…” “Yeah, kind of.” “So, what is it?” “You’re kinda cute, you know that?” “Do what now?” “Will you marry me?”

52

“You are a jerk.” “What?” “You do not ask a girl to marry you as a prank, if you want to live to see the mornin’ after.” “Sorry, I didn’t think it would bother you.” “It didn’t.” “Liar.” “Hey, I do have a real question for you, though.” “What’s that?” “Wanna propose to me?” “I just did.”

53

The Companion

Diane Shaw

Acrylic on Paper 14 x 21 Signifying the universal behavior pattern for those who have the ability to be a loyal companion without the need to be self-serving.

54

The Shakes
All of the fine China Has been put away Since the fateful hour Grandpa got the shakes. Grandma took out the TV And the garbage too, But judging by her expression, It didn’t do much good. There Grandpa sits talking To all of no audience, And all the doctors can prescribe Is a dose of plenty patience. As Grandma’s wrinkles grow, Grandpa’s condition stays the same. The pills; the drugs; the war; the Man; Those are who to blame. He can remember the past As clear as the blue sky, And all Grandma can do Is sit back in her rocker and cry. Grandpa hasn’t been his best Since April of 1965. Grandma is out of mind, But at the same, still alive.

Toshya Leonard

55

Grandpa talks about the bombs And when the missiles flew, But ask him about the kids, And he doesn’t have a clue. He still yells into his pillow And cannot help but weep. It’s probably been a thousand nights Since Grandma’s gotten any sleep. It’s not that she doesn’t care; It’s that she cares too much. No offense to God, But her prayers haven’t had luck. Grandma just wants company, For she can’t drink coffee alone, But it would be just as easy To send Grandpa off to “the home.” Grandma understands that age Is a force that you can’t fight, And with it comes rage, Which Grandpa fights every night. Grandma still claims That Grandpa’s love is there. Even if they are crazy together, It’s a love that they still share. All of the fine China Is still put away, But Grandma remains With Grandpa and his shakes.

56

Tilted, Twisted, and Worn
Donna Hacker

Digital Photography Capturing the early morning light that is reflecting on this quirky old rugged white picket fence.

57

Family Photographs
heart falling first mind scrambling behind searching for a hold to recapture the snapshot before this flash in time family photographs never taken forgotten to be forgotten

Belinda Barker

in the space not yet awake and not yet sleeping even there and even then they awake in dreams of muscles reenacting the slow motions plummeting down into the darkest room where a stopped heart must remember how to beat and a body so plagued with weariness leaves a spirit whose brokenness is its only beauty family photographs never displayed forgotten to be forgotten

58

Wonderland

Zachariah Dickson

Graphic Design 632 x 2616 pixels Giving the viewer a new reflection beyond the looking glass.

59

Feather Stone

Cody Speed

Clay/Metal/Feathers 19 x 22 The higher and brighter the feathers, the closer to the spirits you are. Influenced by African masks.

60

Road to Recovery

Rocky Holland

Russell Russo was a compulsive gambler. Compulsive was a nice way of putting it. Russell needed to feel the exciting rush of betting like a drug addict, needed to feel the high of premium heroin. Lady Luck is a bipolar wasp, uncertain, untrustworthy, and ready to strike at any moment. Russell had been in recovery for half a year. It had been six months since his last paycheck was blown, his last bill went unpaid and his last relative had cut him off. Russell had stopped at Dave’s Gas and Grubb to fill his tank after work. There appeared to be only one clerk working behind the counter and Russell stood at the end of a long line of rush hour customers. The clerk was overwhelmed and the customers were becoming agitated. Russell glanced around the store as he waited, and his eyes came to a flashy purple sign with silver stars, advertising the state lottery. There was a new scratch off game available, Red Hot 25’s,and the sign informed him, that he could win twenty-five hundred dollars every week, for life. He imagined what it would be like to hit that jackpot. He imagined walking into work the next day and telling his boss to piss off; being able to retire early and spend the rest of his days relaxing. He thought of what it would be like to pay off all his loans, the student loans, as well as, the gambling loans. He could have it all, for just the minor, tiny, insignificant, short-term investment of five dollars out of pocket. “Next!” the store clerk said, waking Russell from his daydream. “Pump number three, pack of Marlboro Lights…and a Red Hot 25, please.” Russell told himself not to feel guilty. It was only five dollars; besides, the money

61

went towards college scholarships and new roads. All he had done was donate five dollars to a good cause. This was not a big deal. Russell took a quarter from his pocket and began to scratch the lottery ticket. He absolutely hated scratching tickets one play at a time; he always scratched the entire ticket all at once and looked for the winning numbers after. Russell’s heart dropped to his stomach, as he saw a flaming twenty-five appear. He looked across to the prizes: free ticket. Russell was glad he wasn’t walking away empty handed. It was like he had gotten two tickets for the price of one, which made the five dollar investment, worth it in his mind. He scratched ticket number two. That one was a bust. Russell discarded the ticket into the trash. He started to walk out of the convenience store, while thinking: If the odds are one in three, then one of the next two tickets could possibly have a cash prize, right? Russell busted on the next two tickets he purchased. Thinking that the roll of tickets was bound to pay off at some point, now more than ever, he bought two more. “Hot damn!” Russell said, as he finally hit fifteen dollars. “Would you like to keep playing or do you want the cash?” the clerk asked him. Russell heard his next words, as if he were having an out of body experience. His conscience was screaming at him from some far off distant land, but it was too late; the warning had fallen upon deaf ears, and he lost complete control. “I want a Lucky Horseshoe, Outstanding Aces, Quick $50, 10x The Money, Bingo, Cool Dice, Platinum Diamonds, Cent of Cash, Dazzling 7’s, Flaming Cherries, Hot Slots and Crazy Eights.” “Anything else?” the clerk asked, indifferently. “A one dollar quick pick for the Cash 4 evening drawing, any order.” Russell placed his Cash 4 ticket in his wallet, took a seat at the small table in the back of the store and began to scratch.

62

Thirty minutes later Russell heard himself telling the clerk, “This is my last round and then I’m done.” Fifteen minutes after that, he said, “A few more, then I’ve got to go.” Finally, the rush started to wear off and the guilt started to set in. Russell’s conscience had caught up with him. After two hours, Russell had lost close to two hundred dollars, including the money from the handful of times he had won. Russell sat in his Nissan Civic staring at a picture of his wife, Renee, and his three children. He kept a photograph of his family taped to his dashboard, his motivation. It had done him no good, today. He was going to have to go home and tell his wife where the two hundred dollars had gone. He imagined sitting down at the kitchen table, and telling her; which, would be followed by the unbearable conversation that was sure to come after. He could already see the hurt and disappointment in her eyes, the worst part of it all. That, however, was a situation he’d had to deal with, time and time again in the past. Tonight, there would be a new one. He’d have to tell his three sons, that they would not be going to the ballpark this weekend. It would have been his youngest son’s first time seeing a live major league game. It wasn’t unusual for Russell to work late, every so often. His boss wasn’t stingy about over-time, during the busy season. He called Renee, to tell her that he’d be coming home late. The lie seemed insignificant, compared to what he’d inevitably be telling her, later that night. His hope was that he could stop off for a night cap first, and stay out just long enough to return, when his boys had gone to bed. He stopped at his usual drinking spot, Tessa’s Bar and Grill. He walked in, loosened his tie, took a seat on a small brown leather stool, and noticed a video poker machine, three stools down from him, sitting at the end of the bar.

63

“What the hell,” he said. He fed the machine a dollar and began to play. He didn’t get the same kind of rush playing the video poker machine, as he got playing the scratch cards; the machine didn’t pay out in anything but points, and if you were lucky, your name on the high score screen. “Looks like someone’s off the wagon,” said Tessa, as she sat down onto the stool next to him. “I don’t really want to talk about it, Tess,” he replied. Russell and Renee had gone to college with Tessa. He and Tessa had even dated briefly. Renee had been Tessa’s roommate, which, was how Russell had initially been introduced to her. Tessa had kept in touch with them since graduation and remained a close friend of the family. It was in college that Russell first discovered the joys and sorrows of his gambling addiction. He had taken up sports betting, and it had gotten serious, when he’d lost a substantial amount of his student loan. Luckily, Tessa had taken pity on him, and leant him the money, that allowed him to pay for the expenses of his final semester. Now, all these years later, when things went wrong he still went to her and spilled his woes over a cold drink. Tessa was a very caring person, his best friend. “How much are you out?” she asked. “Two,” he said, staring at the video poker game. “That’s not so bad, Russ. At least, it’s not like your trip to Reno.” “Tell that to Renee,” Russell said, as he put another dollar into the machine. “She’s very understanding, Russell. You know that. You’re sick, and you’ve been working hard, to overcome this thing. No one’s going to fault you, for a small relapse, this soon.” “It’s been six months, Tess,” Russell said, looking at her now. “Christ, I was supposed to take my boys to the game tomorrow, and now I have to tell them, we can’t go, because their daddy’s a screw up. I picked a hell of a week to relapse.” Russell had tears and frustration in his eyes.

64

Tessa placed her hand on his shoulder, and said “You’re, not a screw up. You’re, human. You put your pants on, one leg at a time, like the rest of us. Is there anything I can do, to help? Would you like me, to talk to Renee?” “Can you lend me two hundred dollars?” Russell asked. It pained him more than anything, to hit people up for money to cover his gambling losses, but it never stopped him from doing it. His pride never mattered, as much as, the shame he felt from not being able to conceal what he’d done, from his family. “Do I really need to answer that?” Tessa said, sounding a little more hostile, than she’d intended. “You know I promised, not to enable you.” “I know. you, and everyone else who matters. How about a rum and Coke then?” Tessa stepped behind the bar and prepared his drink, giving him a double shot of rum, but only charging him regular price. She leaned against the counter and watched the broken gambler play video poker, biting her lip and wanting to do something to help him. An idea popped into her head, and she grabbed a cocktail napkin and pen. She jotted down a name and address, and slid the napkin in front of Russell. “What’s this?” he asked. “I’ll make a long story short,” she began. “I let a guy I was dating run up a tab in here, a little over a thousand dollars, and we had a falling out, last month. He never came back to pay it. I told him I’d involve the authorities and we agreed to settle it for five hundred. I was supposed to pick up the money at his place, after work tonight; you do it, and you can keep two hundred of it.” “Tessa, no, I…” “You’d be doing me a great favor, Russell. I really don’t want to see him again. This isn’t me enabling you; this is me paying you to do a job. What do you say?” “I don’t know what to say. I promise I’ll repay you.”

65

“Just promise me you’ll stick with the therapy, Russell. You can beat this thing. I know you can. You take your boys to the baseball game and have a great time. Remember, they’re depending on you to get well.” Russell thanked her and hurried to his car. Once again he’d been in a bind and Tessa had bailed him out. But he really would pay her back this time, and he was more determined than ever, to control his vice. This time, he’d let his addiction hurt not only him and Renee, but his boys. Russell truly believed he could be better than that. He was going to do right by his family and was going to do right by his overly generous friend. His car came to a stop, in the driveway of 566 Memorial Street. He glanced at the picture of his family on the dash, as he pulled the napkin from his pocket. The guy’s name was Brian. Russell walked across a gravel driveway, to a white two-story house with a long wooden porch on the front of it. He thought it was a gorgeous place; had a well-kept lawn, two car garage, garden, and a porch swing. It was a nice little slice of the American dream; like something out of a magazine. He rang the doorbell, and a short moment later it was answered by a large, gruff, unshaven man wearing a polo shirt and khaki shorts. The man had anger in his eyes, and Russell wondered for a second if this had been a good idea. Brian was built like a professional football player, and Russell could smell whiskey on his breath. “Who the hell are you?” Brian asked. “I’m a…uh…coworker of Tessa’s. She sent me to pick up the money.” “You work for Tessa?” Brian asked, looking Russell up and down. “That’s right.” “How come I’ve never seen you in there before?” “Just started; got hired on as a floor bouncer,” Russell said, hoping to end this encounter quickly.

66

Brian snickered at Russell and began to laugh at him. “You’re a bouncer? You always wear a suit and tie to work?” “When it’s appropriate,” Russell said, feeling foolish now. “So, were you supposed to come over here and rough me up for the rest of the money, Mr. Floor Bouncer?” “Just what was agreed on.” Russell was getting extremely uncomfortable, now. He thought once or twice of turning around and bolting back to his car. He wished Brian would just shut up and give him the money. “So, you’re here to rough me up, for what was agreed upon?” Good God! Russell thought to himself. The situation was turning ugly fast. “Look, I’m just here to pick up the five hundred. I’m not looking for any trouble.” Brian stepped closer to Russell, chest to chest with him, staring into his eyes and sizing him up. Russell tried to look away and was almost sure, he was about to get punched in the face. “Wait here,” Brian said and went back into the house. “Thank you,” Russell muttered under his breath, relieved not to be lying on the ground, with a broken nose. Brain returned to the door, holding a Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotgun, with pistol grip across his chest. “I don’t know what kind of crap Tessa is trying to pull, but you can tell her, if she wants the money, she can take me to court. Now, get the hell off my porch.” Russell hadn’t even waited for Brain to finish his last sentence, before he’d turned around, and sprinted back to his car. When he’d put enough distance between himself and the house, he pulled off the road and tried to get his breathing under control. He thought for a second, he might have been having a heart attack, but

67

as the adrenalin started to wear off, he caught his breath and calmed his nerves. Russell looked at the picture of his family and slammed his fists onto the steering wheel. He was back to square one. He was going to have to go home, and tell his wife, he’d lost the money, and tell his boys, that they’d be watching the game in the living room on the flat screen. And now, he’d messed things up for Tessa, as well. Russell decided to head home, and get it over with. He started the car and turned the volume up on the radio, to try and concentrate on something, other than what he was about to face. He caught the tail end of some new rock song, and as it faded out, the DJ announced, “Up next, we’ll have tonight’s winning lottery numbers.” Russell suddenly remembered the Cash 4 ticket he’d purchased earlier and quickly dug it out of his wallet. He listened as the DJ read through the Powerball and Cash 3 drawings. “Now for your Cash 4 evening drawing, the numbers are: Three, four, three, and three.” Russell looked at the ticket, and his adrenaline was suddenly pumping, as it had when the crazy man had been threatening him, with a shotgun. Lady Luck had stung him, and he could feel the poison entering his veins. The numbers on Russell’s ticket read: 3; 3; 4; and 3. Russell tried to remember the jackpot for three identical digits, in any order. He pulled into the closest gas station, and asked the clerk to tell him what his ticket paid out. She ran his ticket through the lotto machine, and on the electronic display appeared: WINNER! $1,200! Russell couldn’t believe it. As the clerk handed him back his ticket, he found himself, once again tempted by the scratch-offs. He had extra cash now, more than enough for a couple of go-rounds; perhaps, a quick trip to the casino, instead.

68

Russell thought of his family. He thought of his wife, Renee. He remembered his boys and the game tomorrow. He pictured Tessa standing behind the bar, with the sad pitiful look on her face, and the offer to bail him out, again. He thought of all the people who meant something to him, turned around, and walked out of the store. The next day, he would give Tessa one thousand dollars, and tell her Brian had come to his senses, and decided to settle things evenly. He would take his boys to the ballpark and put the remaining two hundred to use on hotdogs, sodas, and souvenirs. On Tuesday night, the next week, he would go to his gamblers anonymous group therapy session, discuss his relapse, and begin his journey once again, on the long road to recovery.

69

Deadly Substance

Jocelyne Barchet

Charcoal 18 x 24 Looking through the eyes of the artist while sketching.

70

12:30

Aaron Burks

Charcoal on Paper 18 x 24 A study of still life with light, shadow, and tone.

71

Please, Professor
Oh please, professor, please shut up, My head, my brain is stuffed, full up, I know I need to pay attention, But my mind’s gone past all redemption, So please, professor, please shut up. It’s not that I don’t want to learn, It’s not that this class I spurn, It’s just that I’ve my focus lost, And I know not listening will cost, So please, professor, please shut up. I hear you speak, but nothing stays, I know my eyes have got that glaze, I’m sorry I don’t seem to care, About the things you’ve got to share, But please, professor, please shut up. Cut class short, just this once, I feel like such a royal dunce, The others seem to feel the same, Heads ducked low in tired shame, Oh please, professor, please shut up.

Kathleen Alford

72

My hand is cramped, my eyes have crossed, My foot’s asleep and I’m plumb lost, Oh please, oh please, oh please dear prof., Let us have just an hour off, Please, professor, please shut up. Please professor, don’t be sad, And please don’t let us make you mad, It’s not that we don’t care – we do! We just need some time to renew, So please, professor, just – please shut up.

73

Timeless

Kait Scott

Digital Photography Documenting the passage of time.

74

“Fire and Ice”, the cover art, is by Cody Speed. The medium is acyrlic on canvas. The painting’s dimensions are 20 x 16. The artist’s intention was to portray how opposites attract but cannot be together.

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. E05-4030-00-003-11

75

Fire

and ice

Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. Robert Frost

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful