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KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2

L IT SP E A K
T H E
DECEMBER 2013

L I T ER AR Y VO I CE O F KU - M AI NE

STORM IS COMING
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

POETRY AND ARTWORK BY ERIN BOOKER

PEACEFUL (PIECES OF) PEOPLE BY BEN LETOURNEAU

TRUE TRAGEDIES BY BEN LETOURNEAU

THE INTRODUCTION BY JOSHUA COFFIN

TODAYS TEEN BY KATE-ELIZABETH WRIGHT

Storm is coming, storm is here. Storm is coming, storm is here. Where do I go from here? Where is home, where is near? Is home with you, is it here? Do you know where I belong? Where I live, where I long? Where I breathe, where I need to see? Is this where I need to be?

FAMILY PORTRAITS BY CHERYL COFFMAN

FLUTTER FLUTTER BY JANE BROUSSEAU

Storm is coming, storm is here. Where do I go from here? Where is home, where is near? Is home with you, is it here?

SECOND CHANCE BY PETER GORDON

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Do you know where I belong? Where I live, where I long? Where I breathe, where I need to see? Is this where I need to be?

THE LOVE THAT FELL BY JENNIFER STEVENS

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HURT BY WENDY NOBLE

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The Hanging Tree

By Robert Wentworth

Finding solace in the most unlikely places


HOST BY RACHEL JONES

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when all else fails it is still there, Rejected by all, it does not judge. The hanging tree is there to comfort, The roots meshing deep into Mother Earth. Creating a stable base to coddle you. No words to degrade your sense of self-worth, Just the loving arms of the hanging tree.

JOHN ALLAN OF RICHMOND BY TYLER PRUETT FINAL THOUGHTS THE EDITORS

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LITSPEAK

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Peaceful ( Pieces of ) People


by Ben Letourneau

Do talk, but please shut up Do walk but please stay still Perhaps you shall be a champion But perhaps you shall fall down below Where the ground does not grow In this land of fire, ashes, wind, and water Fire to burn you away Ashes to mix with your own Wind to take you away As the water isolates you, alone In the middle of bone Where the waking drown And the aching feeling That you have done this before

To tell the truth While telling a lie In this land To lie in a bed as you stand on the pedestal Theres pastures of people lying in the middle of the It is foretold, the telling of the dead and forest The awake are in one body Where the dead walk but do not talk In the end, the foretelling tells how the weird shall Where the flowers burn but grow devour the flowers and eat whole the They wither and rise hither unto the sky Trees they are buried beneath Of ashes But the weirdest part starts now, when you walk forth The pieces of people lie in peace but you are actually walking As the peaceful people lie in pieces Backwards In the pastures of the dead and bones In the endless hallway The pieces of people are alive You turn around and start to burn You burn with desire to get the hell out of there But the pieces of people lie in peace For they cannot go anywhere They cannot think They cannot link They cannot fare thee well Because they cannot do anything The pieces of people are from your own body As you were burned alive By your own desire

LITSPEAK

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True Tragedies
by Ben Letourneau 2013 KU-Maine Poetry Contest Winner

And so we ran for our lives we ran to the rescue boats I was there The colossal vessel is punctured with ice we in the water shall freeze slowly till death the passengers on the plane stood up And fought to their dying breath to the ground we go But some things can never die to be silent forever And so we marched through the street we marched to our death I was there the Jews walked through the street and I, with them I was silent for the remainder of my time with the Jews. To Dachau we go to concentrate and be silent. Even silenced, I cannot die And so we stood up in the planes We marched to our death I was there and so precise. And so we slept in our beds I was there with you in the same room when you wished to die you hoped you would die in your sleep die of old age, so fast, so quick For an idea can never perish I am hope and I shall follow you for a while as you march off to your death many years from now but speak words of great volume

LITSPEAK

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The Introduction By Joshua Coffin


With each new rise of the sun A new day has begun Time to open my eyes And become that prodigal son

You are just trying to be part of my crew Number one rule always fly true Number two never claim red always blue

But dont get it twisted Im not claiming crips Just saying Ive trained well with AKs full clips I never even slip

Haaaa Truth be told I havent even begun You see Im not normal I took a detour And joined the Marine Corps Opened up my eyes And I was a son of a gun Now Im verbalizing so many lyrics As if I had a third lung But for right now just trying to get back to the top rung

You could even confuse me with super grip

For even on ice Im so precise I possess the same initials, so might as well call me Jesus Christ Yup that sure right Im just that nice And for some reason Your lyrical advice Just isnt ever going to suffice

In my days I hate walking through life

But so-called friends always throw so much hate Like an aggravated soul confused about everyday chitter-chatter But pause, whats the matter? Mad because you have to work hard every day And I was born with an unlimited faade, but its ok.

Always weighed down with anger, hate, and some type of overwhelming strife Forget trying to conceal an emotional gun or a bloody knife Im just trying to find a good girl So I hopped on Netflix And hit up the good wife

You see Im not all good So go ahead and claim your own hood As for me Im mister 207 Reppin deep in Maines woods Exactly the way I know I should And yeah even though we are from the sticks We have chosen ones that always throw up our invisible hoods my days I roll with my sis around town I always have a pencil or pen under the fitted Pipin it like the largest jewel in my crown Im not originally from this music forsaken town But Lewiston seems to be all mine now But I do promise this day I will never ever repeat my old past Because now Im on a fast track To becoming Americas most liked upper class So please dont ever forget the name You can call me mister 207, everlast Im just trying to do me To finally, ultimately, set myself free Im tired of the demeans within my family tree I cant bear it They have poisoned me with such shame and greed But thats it, no more will my heart bleed And my spirits drumbeat will never ever recede

LITSPEAK

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Todays Teen
BY KATEELIZABETH WRIGHT

Woke too late, Didnt clean my plate, Dont have a job, Act like a slob. A little too lazy, Drive everyone crazy, Is it too late? Am I sealed in this fate? Sometimes I try, But most times I lie, Do you even care? Are you really aware? Can I have some money So I can blow it on my honey? Maybe if I went to church I wouldnt have to search. No responsibilities, No accountability. Why dont you help me? Or even just belt me? I get no discipline, So I commit lots of sins. Maybe if you cared, I wouldnt have even dared. If I could feel the love, Mortality would fit like a glove. It is something you learn, You would have to be stern. I steal and dont feel So whats the big deal? Have you forgotten the way? Teach me what to do and say. Its not too late, I can change my fate. soon. Im going to be strong And not just go along. I know I can do it, Ill just have to prove it. chance, May I have this dance? Its not too late, I can change my fate. Well dance to the chance of a new moon Things will be changing around here very, very Perhaps I can stand Give me a No consequences. Why should I come to my senses? Show me the way, Should I start to pray? The music, the drugs, The groupies and thugs. They have all affected me And maybe even wrecked me. But if you give me your hand

LITSPEAK

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FAMILY PORTRAITS
By Cheryl Coffman

I would like to tell you a little bit about my family that I have been able to piece together from research and verbal family history. My great grandparents, Washington and Rosalinda Lovejoy were born in Maine but, during the rush to settle the west in the 1870s, they traveled by steam train to Iowa where rich farmland was available for settlement. My great-grandmothers brother, Martin Page, had already settled there and encouraged them to join the westward movement. They successfully farmed a homestead in the large expanse of prairie surrounding the small town of Pomeroy until their retirement from the everyday struggle of farming around 1890. At this time, they moved into town to live with their eldest daughter, Louise and her husband, Aden Saltzman.

(Continued on page 7)

This photo from 1893 shows the surviving family members gathered around the storm shelter that saved 18 lives during the tornado.

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2

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FAMILY PORTRAITS

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

Adens parents ran the general store for which he worked as a teamster, making deliveries to the surrounding farms. Louise baked pastries for the local restaurant. Having no children, Louise and Aiden were glad to have her family move into their big rambling house on the corner of Otseego and Third streets. My great grandfather found work as a constable to support the four children still living at home. A constable was usually the only law enforcement officer available to small towns at this time in history. Local sheriffs had to travel by horseback across counties and were only available periodically. This was the time of local marshals like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. Washington and Rosalindas immediate family included Marie, the next to oldest daughter; Ernest and Edwin, their twin boys; and the baby, Luther Neil. My Great-great Grandmother, Britannia Josephine, also resided there with the family. No images of her remain as they were lost in a disaster which changed the dynamics of this family forever. On July 6, 1893. Britannia, the inspiration and teacher for Louises baking skills, was in the middle of preparing a batch of white bread, the yeasty aroma of which could be smelled the full length of Otseego Street. The heat and humidity of the day had residents worried about storms. The uncertainty had forced the family into the storm cellar for most of the day. Britannia had become tired of sitting in the storm cellar and returned to the house to retrieve her aromatic prize from the oven, even though most of the family still felt the potential for a tornado was apparent. Within minutes a twister descended upon the house, crushing her under the falling chimney. Aden and Louise were also in the house at the time of the tornado. Aden received a blow to the head from flying debris and was propelled into the back yard along with Louise who sustained a back injury. Aden was rendered deaf from the blow and never fully recovered his mental stability. Within days of the storm he became physically abusive to Louise.

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2

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Family Portraits continued from page 7


This photo (and on Page 2) shows the surviving family members gathered around the storm shelter that saved 18 lives during the tornado. Aunt Louise sits properly on a mound of dark Iowa earth, her right hand holding the edge of her wide brimmed hat, as if to protect it from being blown away in the same manner as her home. Her dog stands next to her; just close enough to lean against her. Louise reassuringly touches her dogs left front leg with her left hand, which appears to be devoid of any jewelry. It leaves me wondering if this indicates an unwillingness to be married anymore, or the simple loss of her wedding band in the storm. Both survivors seem to take great comfort in the existence of the other. The dog looks off into the distance with his ears at attention like a soldier alert to the possible return of the enemy. One boot shows below the smocked hemline of Louises polka dot dress. The sun shining off the patent leather looks pristine among the piles of house bones left from the cyclones meal. Her twelve year-old twin brothers sit to her left. They are bare foot with summer tanned faces squinting in the bright sun; their tattered, dusty pant legs suggest many hours of horseplay among the rubble. The matching flat caps upon their heads hint at a flair for the stylish. Aden appears in the back sitting alone as if ostracized from the family. Marie appears on the far left, her hand resting on her hip, exhibiting the resilience and impatience of a teenager who wants to leave this moment behind in order to get on with her life. Greatgrandfather, Washington sits on top of the door to the earthen storm cellar with his hands clasped around e knee, as if he is nonchalantly resting on a log in the back forty while taking a break from plowing. Great-grandmother, Rosalinda stands on the far right, her care worn face a testament to the stress of pioneer life. She is holding onto her three year old son, Luther Neil. He is holding a rattle in his tiny

hand as if not wanting to surrender his only remaining toy to anyone. The whole family appears morose and disheartened in this moment frozen in time.

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Flutter Flutter
By Jane Brousseau

On a Friday morn, a passionate kiss, is planted softly upon my lips The heart and grace from a gentle man, who once was a sailor man Flutter, flutter the belly feels, as love abides internally I feel Gracious and eager to see the light, when time reflects the souls delight Streams from heaven from Daddy dear, protect and guide me through this year Flutter, flutter the belly feels, as love abides internally I feel Honesty and forgetfulness is what I need, I fought for this hard, I did indeed I see the light before my own eyes, the twinkle from his soul forever is mine Flutter, flutter the belly feels, as love abides internally I feel Gods grace is pure and surrounds us with his love, like the elegant butterfly that floats above This is a sign sent from Heaven, to give us his gifts, all of our children Flutter, flutter the belly feels, as love abides internally I feel

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Second Chance By Peter Gordon


There was a time when everything was perfect When life was at its fullest Simple things were just that Simple Then that day comes when reality hits When being comfortable doesnt fit Your life changes its adore Mistakes happen I tell you this for sure Everyone deserves a second chance However, not everyone will get it Love was stronger than you gave credit, Just take time Believe and admit it You learn You make changes that need to be made Having the time helps when love is delayed Remember, There are no second chances When you are whole You will see Love is not blind Love is real If you believe, there is hope Then just maybe second chances

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The Love That Fell By Jennifer Stevens

The falling glow of the new morning sun, Sends a message to all from the loved up above. The lost little souls who cared so dear, Lost their lives to a world full of fear. The tears they cry, Their laughs theyve shared, Will always show us how much they cared A peek of sunlight A raindrop on your head Is a sign to you from the love they will always send. Remember your love is never too late To give to someone, in a world full of hate.

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HURT By Wendy Noble

I breathe great breaths of sorrow For there will be no tomorrow I sit and ponder the thoughts that wander In my lonely slumber The air smells of dark madness My lust for you brings godly sadness Wont you ever come back, before I am gone? Wont you come back when the morning shines on? They say to love unconditionally, How does that work when youre not next to me? The thoughts in my head are empty My body aches with envy She gets all your pleasure I am unwanted weather I need a change, let me out of this rain I feel I am unwanted, dirty shame It will end, there will be a new beginning For I will not let myself fall into the darkness that catches all I am done, and I slowly walk on There is light There is sun My heart beats again You do not win.

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Host By Rachel Jones


Have I been invaded? Just a host for you, to come alive in my emptiness. Here I am just watching time go by. Numb inside from the ill surprise! How have I been so inviting. Just letting you walk around in me. It takes its toll you stealing my soul. We both know who I really am. Do you think it would be that easy to take control? No.

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JOHN ALLAN OF RICHMOND by Tyler Pruett

A builder Worked his men To death

And on a bitter Afternoon in Baltimore

Refused to send his workers To the bucket line

As the Old South Church Burned to the ground And fragrance Woe to you then, John Allan John Allan of Richmond Youll live a cold eternity Drove horses Through blinding snowstorm With a whip Thats how Edgar Spent his winters

And sold orphan babies For high profit Inside your soul

Burning the furniture for heat Eating autumn leaves in the stew

Stealing potatoes from the neighbors fields Lives a rainbow devil He is your eyetooth Pour some oil in his lamp, John Allan

Give him light

Get Involved!
This April, to celebrate National Poetry Month, KU Maines Arts & Sciences Department held its third annual Poetry Contest for students, staff,
CREATIVE WRITING CLUB CONTACT INFORMATION Kevin Kelly Chair - Arts & Sciences Department kkelly@kaplan.edu Jan Watson Faculty - Arts & Sciences Department jawatson@kaplan.edu

and faculty. Among the many excellent entries submitted by students and faculty were the winning student and faculty poems included in this issue of

LitSpeak. The many poems submitted to the 2013 contest dealt with a variety
of subjects and themes common to the human experience, including those related to love, family, conflict, literature, and philosophy. Poets often explore these and other subjects in their work, and while some readers may at first find themselves in unfamiliar territory when dealing with some of the more unique aspects of the poetic form, most will recognize and appreciate a poets singular ability to speak to everyday human concerns. - Kevin Kelly The writer Willa Cather once famously stated, "There are only two or three human stories, and we go on repeating them as fiercely as if they had never happened before." At a glance, these words might read as discourage to the writer who asks himself, "What can I possibly write that has not been written before?" Cather's words, however, should be taken as a heartening reminder that the themes and motifs that have reverberated through time-- tributes to nature, reflections on family, explorations of identity, love, and loss-will never exhaust themselves. Each writer who tackles these leaves a mark that is as distinctive as a fingerprint, and the students who have contributed to this edition of LitSpeak are no exception. What is perhaps most remarkable about these themes and motifs is not the ferocity with which they are repeated but our deep human need to share them in the first place. In the case of the Kaplan students showcased in this publication, some are sharing their work for the first time; some selections even represent students' first-ever venture into creative writing. We hope you have appreciated their process. craftsmanship, and honesty as they have attempted to forge connections with you, their audience. - Jan Watson

Write on . . .
LITSPEAK VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2 Kevin Kelly Chair - Arts & Sciences Department kkelly@kaplan.edu

Thoughts On Writing
Jan Watson Faculty - Arts & Sciences Department jawatson@kaplan.edu

You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. Its hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written, but I know its true. If I had a nickel for every person who ever told me he/she wanted to become a writer but didnt have time to read, I could buy myself a pretty good steak dinner. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you dont have the time to read, you dont have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. Reading is the creative center of a writers life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway. Stephen King, On Writing