PACAC Quarto Fall 2004

                     

A Verse Anthology

Fall Term 2004

            

The poetry printed in this second edition of the PACAC Quarto was submitted to the PACAC Poetry Writing Contest in the Fall Term 2004.  The PACAC Editorial Board selected these 10 poems as the Coe students’ top submissions; “Entymology” by Tara Walker won first place in the PACAC competition.

 

The following are links to the winning poems which are below:

First Place: Tara Walker, "Entymology"

Second Place: Kit Timmerman, "I Am the Paper"

Third Place: Kristy Goodfellow, "History of Economic Thought"

Best Use of Dirty Humor: Nicole Arp & Thad Sentman, "James Joyce's First Date"

Best Poem We Liked but Didn't Understand: Barry Vaxter, "Orion's Infatuation"

Best Bilingual Poem: Alonso Avila, "Untitled"

Best Poem by a Non-Trad: Norbe Boettcher, "Write a Story"

Funniest Poem: Audrey Flemming, "Ode to Confusion in Entymology Constitution"

Most Chuckle-Worthy: Kathryn Eberle, "Untitled"

Best Last-Minute Entry: Kayla Goodfellow, "Marking the Seasons (of Liberal Arts)"

 

Entomology

By Tara Walker

BIO 185 Entomology

 

Family Culicidae

why do mosquitoes exist I asked

if they’re just snack food for birds

and not even a main food group

and he said well

they’re a main food group for fish

and I said but it’s so gross

the blood sucking thing

and he said well

you gotta make a living

 

 

Family Gryllidae

One cricket tonight

a whittling sound

gnawing violin strings

set apart from the rest

 

I imagine its tiny legs

rubbing furiously to make

that small inconsequential

basest most constant of noises

 

 

Family Coccinellidae

They’re called Asian Beetles

these little orange samurais

armies by the thousands

vibrating clouds of hissing wings

a plague

a squadron

a pungent trail of carnage on the ground

crisp shells cracked

minute useless bodies

They came over from Japan somebody said

disguised as harmless ladybugs

flew in an airborne brigade across the pacific

ready to wreck havoc and populate the empty space

between human faces

 

 

Family Cicadidae

These are the dog days they talk about

in the grit and hanging moisture of late August

Tonight I was out walking in that

moment when the final burst

of heat rises up somewhere beneath the sidewalk

there were these hundreds of cicada shells

I watched them

falling and fallen from the bark of trees

some still clinging like ghosts

the hollow claws dug between the cracks

papery flesh seared open and abandoned

below there were two entangled on the ground

claws clasping each other leg in leg

connected struggling in that final moment of change

when they left their shells for the promise of wings

 

 

Family Muscidae

There was this fly caught between

the window and the curtain

buzzing and sputtering

he flew full force at the glass

again and again

and again I guess flies

have nowhere to store memory

conditioning doesn’t seem to

work so well

it’s the same glass window

every time but they just keep forgetting

there is no destiny no purpose

 

little clots of dirt invading

threatening the last rations of

my sense of control

with the friction of their feet and wings

their invasive tiny eyes

little globules of sticky cells

they have no sense of fear

they couldn’t care less about my wrath

 

I imagine the multi-fragmented vision

in my own eyes

and everything is spliced and strange

pulsing and very loud

 

 

Family Araneidae

It’s tricky

this web business

 

mesmerizing here on the outside

to watch the glistening threads

and halves of threads

8 legged delicate precision

within the spiral tunnel wheel

 

but when you’re

the tiny unlucky one

in the unflinching epicenter

it’s your gossamer death trap

           

the more you struggle

the deeper you go into the crypt

buried and mummified

 

the struggle is so awful

futile

and necessary

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

I Am The Paper

By Kit Timmerman

Printmaking

 

Acid etching away my brain,

Scoffing at breathy love songs

On some unnamed station,

Ink running down my cheeks

I’m laughing so hard.

I handle the blade in my hands

With quiet confidence,

Moving boldly,

Striking out,

Leaving a gash of color

On an unstained soul.

No guilt.

No remorse.

Be quick

And move on.

Frenzied in my state,

Dirtying everything I touch,

Smeared prints everywhere

Congregate in meetings.

Security passing with a suspicious eye;

It’s late in the early morning after all-

The shadows

Playing Ghost In The Graveyard.

With the yawning sun

My genius gives birth.

At last I am done

And left with something finished.

It is my own.

It is me.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

History of Economic Thought

By Kristy Goodfellow

History of Economic Thought

 

It would be maximizing,

Except that the market never seems to be in equilibrium.

Nothing is ever static,

Especially in the short-run.

So why do we have these theories?

In no more than two double-spaced pages.

 

Now it is 2a.m. and I only have one-and-a-half pages.

My time today wasn’t maximized.

I am sick of the stupid theories.

I want my life in equilibrium.

But my mind wants to run.

Hopefully my sleep will be static.

 

The boy behind me sounds like radio static.

I search for the answers in my copied pages.

The professor goes to the board and gives us a run—

Something about maximizing.

The class is never in equilibrium,

Some just can’t understand these theories.

 

And here are some of my theories:

This class is just static—

A formality for equilibrium.

What is on pages will remain on pages.

Studying is therefore not maximizing,

Not while you and I could run.

 

This class will be over in the long-run

And will I remember these theories

about maximizing?

About markets that I beg to be static?

Written by heroes confined to pages,

Who tried to explain the equilibrium.

 

And if we do find equilibrium,

We won’t have to run,

Because the answers will be on pages,

The students will read the tested theories,

There will be no confusing static.

Nothing will need maximizing.

 

For now I am left with theories about equilibrium.

I have to run through the static

To decipher the pages about maximizing.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

James Joyce's First Date

By Nicole Arp & Thad Sentman
Irish Literature (May term)


She whipped out his crank
Gave it a little yank.
He came right in her palm.
His mouth stood a-gape
On their very first date,
As she walked away perfectly calm.

With a flick and a whiz,
Out shot the jizz,
Squirting both high and low.
How she did it so clean
Was a sight to be seen,
And a skill that few do know.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

Orion's Infatuation

By Barry Vaxter

Acting I

 

Yesterday, I met someone--dark skinned and their complexity as their skin--

As lonely as me.

She sat or stood--I don't know--by her self in the shadows of something

Like a belittled tree.

It was raining, but like love, you couldn't see it; only listen for it on the dead branches it trickeled down.

Her eyes, like Orion's children playing in mid-July, mothered dry tears;

A friend of her frown.

 

She whispered something on the breath of wind; soemthing like:

"You grow lonely like an old apple tree on an August night.

"As lonely as an old old dog laying in the boring shade,

"As your candles are; waiting for their father sun in day.

"You're a paradoxial mess, my boy, like the roots growing--as coincidence

They are out of sight

For now, anyways."

 

The whiskey in the wind rambled a story I stumbled over in my head,

Stumbled all day, all afternoon, till dawn and settled over my lonely heart as

I battled in bed.

But, the lonely lady was beautiful--thus she had all she needed.

All day, all night, till dawn, and the circle was repeated.

And once again the wind whimpered it's whiskey soaked sigh.

And I realized why she was so beautiful; she never died.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

Untitled

By Alonso Avila

Poetic Images

 

Voice

La voz de la gente indígena
Aztecs
Sangre única y pura
Spain, Conquistadors, Mexico, Tenochtitlan, gold, greed, fire, swords, small pox, death: epidemic
Muerte a la mano del terrorista
Shields and spears broken into pieces
La corrupción de la civilización continúa a corroer la tierra con fuego: el Diablo despierta
Blood splatters the earth as my ancestors are being scalped and mutilated
Violan la inocencia de mi tierra
They gradually deprive the earth of the life that has birthed my ancestors
Se roban nuestro producto agrícola y la vida de la communidad indigena
Just so that they can take our gold and begin to colonize on our Sacred Land
Nos engañaron aunque les ofrecimos ropa, comida, y abrigo
In the end, the only thing you hear is the voice of my ancestry slowly fading in the simmering fire
No puede ser posible….

But now,
Después de los claros del humo
You gradually begin to see the light
Porque en realidad la voluntad de nuestra existencia nunca se desapareció
We continue to live

Habre tus ojos y tus oidos…. y Escucha!!!

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

Write a Story

By Norbe B. Boettcher

CRW 290 Fiction Workshop

 

The page is blank.

 

Three characters hover,

Write about us, they say in unison,

My pen moves to their bidding,

They take over-

I’m just an instrument

  to manipulate.

I write what they tell me,

They stay, if they have more to say,

Leave as they please to go elsewhere

to nettle another,

struggling writer like me.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

Ode to Confusion in Entymology Constitution

By Audrey Flemming

Entomology

 

I didn’t realize when I made entomology my lab science selection,

that it would require me to make a 50 specimen insect collection.

And I didn’t realize that I would have reading check quizzes each day,

that would dwindle my grade to a C- from an A.

I didn’t realize that amongst our most adventurous labs,

that I’d chop off cockroach heads and pin them to rubber slabs.

No I did not realize in my student of insect life,

I’d be forced to end so many by taking it to them with a knife.

And I did not realize that although we were studying insects,

I’d have to go in fields and catch spiders in my nets.

Never did I realize how many safari field shirts there were,

until I witnessed the brilliant wardrobe of the great Professor Redborg

And I did not realize my dark torture potential,

until I made an insect killing jar that’s an entomologist’s essential.

Finally I did not realize, if you’ll pardon my cliché,

just how much insects bug me and can suck my life away.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

Untitled

By Kathyrn Eberle

Chemistry

 

Chemistry

 

Chemical equations balanced to key

Oh how wonderful chemistry could be.

I’ve learned how to use transfer of heat

Even St. Clair thought that was a feat.

Atomic orbitals and balancing equations

I was quick to pick up on that destination.

Crunching numbers, day in day out

Now my roommate understands why I pout

I gave up my social life

No time to be dating

For now I am in love

With my chemistry equations.

Three hours a week spent in lab

Mixing, stirring, heating and burning.

Too bad I don’t understand what I’m learning.

Lab reports due every Monday

Yes it’s true—that’s how I spend Sunday.

Normally people call me the chemistry geek

Hey it happens—about twice a week.

I guess that’s expected for a science major

However my social life suffered the wager.

It’s not that I regret taking the class

Except now I’m waiting to see if I pass.

So let me give you a little warning.

Re-think chemistry before joining.

 

It’s not that I’m trying to scare you off

But without chemistry—I’d be better off.

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

Marking the Seasons (of liberal arts)

By Kayla Goodfellow

Astronomy

 

I.    Wednesday’s sunset marks my weekly date in Peterson Hall

where the Greek circle of instruction, beckons me

to matters of without which there is supposedly no perfect eloquence.

I tried telling both Quintillian and the Registrar, I’d be okay ignorant

“Then how will you understand the poets? seasons? music?” they replied.

So there I sat myself, wearied with studies which neither mind nor body could suffice

to learn astronomy.

 

II.   By quarter past nine, I’d jet out the building door

but only to undergo mockery from the stars—a brothel of sisters

to whom I would never satisfy by looking up.

regardless, they tossed their voices at me, as if

I were a tiny child playing Marco Polo.

‘What’ya learn in there?’ hollered one, cackling afterward.

‘Hey baby, got a name for me?’

‘Forget that silly book.  I’ll show you a thing or two,’ one winked

‘Connect the dots, dolly’

‘Forget that instructor,’ one whispered. ‘I’ll show you the ins outs.’

I smirked uncomfortably and walked on with an A in hand.

I thought there’d be a night when we’d learn to be friends:

when the instructor commenced with ‘tonight we’ll have a look at the stars’

my sagging body awoke from its desk, stiffened to attention

and I almost catapulted my book out of sight  

but as he turned his back, my hope was dwarfed and stick by stick

he sketched: ‘a look at the stars: life, birth, death.’  

 

Back to list of poems           Back to top

 

 


This web site created and maintained by the Coe Writing Center. Copyright 2005.
E-mail Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.