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.
By Tara Walker
BIO 185 Entomology
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
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
They’re called Asian Beetles
these little orange samurais
armies by the thousands
vibrating clouds of hissing wings
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
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
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
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
By Kit Timmerman
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,
Leaving a gash of color
On an unstained soul.
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-
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.
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 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.
By Nicole Arp & Thad Sentman
By Barry Vaxter
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.
By Alonso Avila
La voz de la gente
Habre tus ojos y tus oidos…. y Escucha!!!
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
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.
By Audrey Flemming
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.
By Kathyrn Eberle
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.
By Kayla Goodfellow
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.’
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