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Dynamo
Bronx Science's very own literary magazine!
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22nd-Dec-2010 12:39 am - For 22 December 2010

 

The Coney Island Vignettes

I. Coney Island

the Sirens they tell me,
to bury my love underneath the
boardwalk,
to stay with them,
as so many have done before

be wary, my darling
they will steal your heart away.

II. Boardwalk

memories we trample on the boardwalk and do we ever notice we leave
behind our imprints and do we ever realize they will fade away and
only we will have them. the others, they'll have faded them away,
trampled them with worn sandals and childs' feet, and leave behind,
lingering, like smoke, their laughing children and their weary ankles
and their zeppole sugared fingertips, and we are things of the past
now, love.

III. Sailors

In little boats
and the swelling of the sea!
And we can hear-
but Odysseus had
beeswax
and rope
And we have none. And why return to a battle-
the thought is growing in your eyes-
when there are such lovely Sirens
calling out instead.

IV. Wonderwheel/ Cotton Candy

We are calling out to you
Brooklyn!
We are clasping the protective cages
of the Wonder Wheel ferris wheel!
We wish we could yell
until our love pours out from our throats
and spreads like melted butter over the city.

We are calling out to you
Brooklyn!
We are singing from the tops of the Wonder Wheel!
We are swinging in our rickety Wonder Wheel carts!

And we are having SUCH
a VERY GOOD TIME
and couldn't it stay like this forever?

Sticking like cotton candy
to the backs of our throats,
is nostalgia foreshadowed:
Our Brooklyn
and the sepia tones we will create in
our minds.

V. Coney Island (reprise)

Bury my love underneath the
boardwalk
As we have done so many times before

Be wary, my darling,
They will steal your heart away.

And do not desert me
For the Sirens are cruel
And would we stay with them
As so many have had before?

Would we stay, darling
(As lonely sailors often had)
Beauty is a lovely disguise
But pasts cannot sustain
us for
very long.

 
________________________________________

 

They promised us soldiers good pay

Thirteen dollars a month, they would say

You can feed your families while you’re away

It would only last a few months

 

They gathered us ‘round and they took the volunteers

Claiming that our hummin’ was music to their ears

Every soldier was given the Union navy blue

And we were whisked away to the camps

 

Soon we realized that this battle would not last a few months

The Rebs would not surrender anytime soon

As our troops began to thin after every battle

Our happy camps turned to a depressing gloom

 

The food was neither palatable or nourishing

'twas as if bricks were placed in our bowls

Not even the protein was encouraging

Each meal released from us a groan

 

As well as the food was terrible, the housing was too

With six to tent, sickness spread without difficulty

More died of disease than of bullets

Yet both the numbers were still high

 

In between battles we tried to show joy

We attempted to sing songs and chat and have fun

But these attempts were so feeble we shouldn’t of even tried

The very next day could have been our demise

 

After the war we hardly got no pay

Years had gone by, yet the battles all felt like they were yesterday

We didn’t enjoy being reminded of our victory

It only brought memories of death

 

____________________________

 

14th-Dec-2010 06:55 pm - For 15 December 2010

 "Paean"

Have your young women sing of joy to us:
a lilting tune, giddy, merry, fast-paced--
Ceres and Mars will both lead men to dust.

Who cares if children's tears will soak and crust
salt where plows fell scatt'red in reckless haste?
Have your young women sing of joy to us.

Though doves starve in barren fields, we are just
and feed battlefield ravens in their place.
Ceres and Mars will both lead men to dust...

Swallow your quav'ring fears, breathe deep, and trust
that we'll crush the evil that we'll come to face.
Have your young women sing--of joy--to us.

We find whetstone to bare our blades of rust
in foe's vile bone, caught in foe's flesh's embrace;
Ceres and Mars will both lead men to dust.

In the shadow before dawn readjust
uniforms, gift kisses--depart with haste--
Have your young women sing of joy to us!
Ceres and Mars will both lead men to dust.

 

“Scratch”

Here it stalks its prey
The great white Bengal tiger
In the wide green grass

He has two choices
He can corner one at right
Or he can go left

The right seems easy
While the path at left is blocked
The tiger ponders

He wants a challenge
So he shoots toward the left
Bouncing back and forth

He almost makes it
The kill seems to be quite close
But he’s mistaken

He thought he had it
But missed all possible prey
It is just… a scratch

 
(Untitled)

 

They promised us soldiers good pay

Thirteen dollars a month, they would say

You can feed your families while you’re away

It would only last a few months

 

They gathered us ‘round and they took the volunteers

Claiming that our hummin’ was music to their ears

Every soldier was given the Union navy blue

And we were whisked away to the camps

 

Soon we realized that this battle would not last a few months

The Rebs would not surrender anytime soon

As our troops began to thin after every battle

Our happy camps turned to a depressing gloom

 

The food was neither palatable or nourishing

'twas as if bricks were placed in our bowls

Not even the protein was encouraging

Each meal released from us a groan

 

As well as the food was terrible, the housing was too

With six to tent, sickness spread without difficulty

More died of disease than of bullets

Yet both the numbers were still high

 

In between battles we tried to show joy

We attempted to sing songs and chat and have fun

But these attempts were so feeble we shouldn’t of even tried

The very next day could have been our demise

 

After the war we hardly got no pay

Years had gone by, yet the battles all felt like they were yesterday

We didn’t enjoy being reminded of our victory

It only brought memories of death

 

30th-Nov-2010 07:34 pm - For 01 December 2010

 

I sit inside, looking out

The world’s murmur

Quiet, unyielding power

I am separated from its glory

 

But

For a moment

I gaze out and watch

and listen

and feel

 

and

 

for a moment i feel peace.

 

But rubber squeals on the pavement

And people argue in the street

The moment slips from my grasp

 

I am cut off.
________________________

Essence

Walking through the mist of reality

the smell of flaws fill the

room, with ignorance.


the butterfly, its wings so

full of emotion,

begins to grow

weary, lifeless

the light grows dim

all is gone,

 


for good.

 we all wait, for the time

to find, that thing we all desire


hope;

 it’s the grace in the flows of the wind

that brings that butterfly

to a new beginning.

is it too late?

I’m afraid so.


but nothing is lost.

______________________________________________________________________

The lake pallid and bright,

As we lay floating by boats,

Side by side like two eyes

Embedded in an unlined face.


Birds circling overhead

Their sable wings extended

And stark silent outlines,

Imprinted on a shoreless sky.


Like a knife,

You rend the dense water,

A thin needle flickering

Once, twice, then pulled under.


A shell-shaped fingerprint

Left by the distant shore.

Then nothing.

No boats, no birds.


 

 

15th-Nov-2010 06:53 pm - For 17 Nov 2010
"Me and My Own Thoughts"

This is a poem about my thoughts
I know it's grammatically incorrect
But I don't care
Because I'm in my head.
With just me and my own thoughts.

They're nice and fine
But they leave me wanting more
It's a lonely place
All dark and quiet
Just me and my own thoughts.

I'd like some friends To hang around with

And tell my stories to
But i can't trust them
The way I trust my thoughts.

It's funny though 
When i look around, I see my guests
They are my faults
They always watch us from a distance
Just me and my own thoughts.

They say misery loves company but three's a crowd.
So I think I'll leave them
For them to talk amongst themselves.
My faults and thoughts
And then just me.

Just me and me alone.
___________________

See the day burning
Acrid is the smell,
of hours to ashes turning
silently, in the hearth of eternum they dwell.
Wrought before mine eyes, the flames,
you my ken, to the  heavens reach they higher.
Annum before the courts of time, this male factress shames
quoth, "Burn shall thee, thy curage, in wretched funeral pyre."
10th-Nov-2010 05:09 pm - For 10 Nov 2010
"Complete Freedom"

The world in 2050 is a world that has changed dramatically to people born before the governments “new plan.” The plan is called The Complete Freedom Act. It isn’t a national act but a global one made by the U.N. Its name literally describes what it means. The plan entails that people would eventually work together and authority would not be needed. This act is a response to a nuclear world war between communist and democratic nations. Complete freedom does not mean people can do anything they want, but most people living under this act try to live by the old moral standards. There are still things such as traffic lights and air traffic control but there are no police, no bosses at work, and no justice system. People can sell property that doesn’t belong to them with out any contracts. There is a license for all property that is supposed to morally entitle you to it but in urban areas, it doesn’t mean anything. The only way to really keep property is by force and violence. Government removed guns from the market when making the act, but they still get around. There are knives, bats, metal bars and other dangerous weapons. When this plan was made in 2022, the government expected years of chaos in the beginning but that gradually, things would work the way they had planned. 2050 is a year of chaos. The streets and outdoors are dangerous; most people look out for each other but a good percent are criminals. For a man like Cory Michaels who remembers the old days, it is a confusing, scary, and dark world. Many people were around in the time before 2022 but most of them have been brain washed by the new system. It seems that they don’t see anything wrong with it.

 

*  *  *

 

            Cory was a fifty-eight year old man living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A cynical man whose mid-life crisis never seemed to end. Scared and lonely in the world around him he seemed to take out most of his problems by drinking. His wife, Barbara was a jolly, unintelligent, yet beautiful woman about two years younger than Cory. She was scared and knew that something was wrong with the world but was not as moved by it as her husband was. Perhaps she was too oblivious to really understand the true instability of her setting. 

            “Honey, I’m going’ to O’Brian’s,” he called into the other room of their one bedroom apartment.

            “Ok. Will you be back for dinner?”

            “Who knows?” he said, half to himself but it was loud enough for Barbara to hear.

 

*  *  *

            O’Brian’s was a run down dirty mess of a bar on 78th and 14th avenue, it was the first bar on the Upper West Side landfill of 2018. Its 2020 style of hovering bar stools made it look even worse and very outdated. He saw Dave, his bar buddy of six or seven years. Dave was quite similar to Cory, but he had a positive aspect of his personality that was unthinkable to Cory. He was the only person to ever tell Cory not to worry and to “live and let live.” Cory took his daily walk to his daily seat and made his daily phone call to his son, Timothy.

            “Hey dad,” Tim said, in a soft reluctant voice. His face showed up on Cory’s videophone. He was sweaty and looked tired.

            “Oh, I’m sorry. Is this a bad time?”

            “No dad. Never. It’s just that I’m working on something pretty big hear.” It upset Tim to see his dad in O’Brian’s. Even though most times he called Tim he was there.

            “Another one of your scams I assume?” Cory knew of his sons work as a con man but he couldn’t resist his patriarchal instinct to love Tim. Countless times he had tried to tell him to stop, he’d tell Tim that it wasn’t helping “the cause.” It wasn’t because it was morally bad that it upset Cory, but because it was a dangerous business. All Tim would say in return was, “It’s just my way.” Cory couldn’t argue with him; not because he agreed with his son or because he didn’t have an argument in return, which he had plenty of, but he just didn’t like arguing with him. Being that Timothy was always on the run after he’d scam somebody, he and his father never got to see each other. He could be in Boston one week and then Japan the next.

            “Dad, I’m not ‘breaking the law’ or anything, I’m just making a business for myself. It isn’t like nobody else does this.”

            “You’re right, I’m sorry. So what are you doing?” Cory was monotonous.

            “Well I’m in Helena, Montana of all places and there’s this rancher over here that wants to buy a huge plot of land in Wyoming. It’s about 600 acres and I had a few drinks with him and he completely trusts me.” Most of Tim’s scams were out in rural places like that.

            “So how are you gonna sell it to him?”

            “Well I got a flawless fake copy of the license to the land. I know this guy in Columbia who is a master at these things. Anyway I’m going to give him the license, He’ll give me the $6,000,000 down payment and I’ll be off to the south of France. My flight leaves at four in the afternoon.”

            “Bulletproof.” Cory was sarcastic.

            “Dad! Stop trying to dispute this. I’ve worked it out. Plus I know who I’m dealing with, the guy’s nothing. He’s just some old rich rancher trying to get some more land.”

“Ok, I believe you it’s just that I don’t want you to get hurt. What if this guy wants to track you down?”

            “He won’t,” said Timothy, confidently; so confidently that Cory could not say anything. He was speechless. Not because he was shocked but because he realized that trying to convince his son that what he was doing was not only wrong, but also dangerous, was a pointless battle. Now there was a silence.

            “Ok. Send my love to mom.”

            “I will.”

            “Bye dad.”

            “Bye.” Timothy hung up. “I love you.”

            The bar tender brought Cory and Dave a jug of beer each and a bowl of cashews. They didn’t need to ask.

            “How is he?” Dave asked after taking a big gulp from his jug.

            “Eh,” Cory let out a sort of sigh. “Getting himself into another hornet’s nest.”

 

*  *  *

             The next day Cory awoke from a very short night of sleep. He had stayed up thinking about why Tim was doing all this scamming. First he thought about what he had done as a father but within a moment he jumped to the conclusion that he always came to and blamed the school system. Children weren’t free until they were eighteen. Before that they were in extremely strict schools with the hope that they would grow up learning to behave. In Tim’s case, like many others, the second he got out of school he went riotous.

He looked at the clock. It was just before noon. He quickly got dressed and made a call to his son. Every time he knew Tim was in a scam, he got very nervous. The phone rang but no one answered. He tried two more times but it was just the machine. Then he checked his cell phone. There was a video message from someone, not Tim. He opened it.

            At first it was just a video of a man who didn’t seem to know that the camera was recording. He was fat with a mustache and a cowboy hat. He had a humorous demeanor but Cory could tell that he was enraged. This face sent chills down Cory’s spine. The man began to speak.

            “Hello Cory,” his tone of voice was serious and dry. “My name is James Watson. I live just outside Helena, and I’m here with your son,” he said in a thick western accent. The phone’s camera then zoomed out and revealed Timothy on his knees behind the man, bloodied, with his head down. Only his eyes were raised to the camera. There was a man holding Timothy’s shirt while putting a gun against his head. James continued, “Your son hear likes to play games, he’s a trickster! Don’t get me wrong, I love games, but this is no a game.” His voice went from humorous to complete fury. “We found him on his way to the airport, just when he thought he had won. Poor guy didn’t have a chance in hell.” A rage began to build in Cory’s mind. The phone almost slid from his sweaty palm. He could feel his heart beat rising and his temperature boiling. Then the man in the background pulled the trigger and Timothy’s body dropped to the ground. The phone dropped. Then all of the sudden his raging heart beat seemed to stop and the boiling room seemed to turn to a freezer.

            “You’re son is dead. What are you gonna do about it?”

            The world seemed to slow down. Cory didn’t know where he was anymore. He fell to the floor, his eyes closed.

7th-Nov-2010 06:16 pm - For 10 November 2010

My dreams are like fireflies

That come to me in the night

Illuminated by tiny lanterns

They float in my minds eye

 

My dreams are like the flame

That burns in eager anticipation

And throws a glowing light

They bring passion into a passionless night

 

My dreams are like scissors

That snip through threads

And skate with their blades

They fly over the ice with abandon

 

My dreams are crumbling buildings

In the light of the day

Where the lanterns no longer light, the flame no longer burns, and the blades no longer skate

They will not last

 

But oh, the fool I am

My dreams will return to me

Blooming, blossoming, going forth, so that I can wish

They will become reality

25th-Oct-2010 11:06 pm - For 27 October 2010
"Whipped Cream in the Sky ... Ode to Breezes"

Whenever I leap to observe the wonder of the bondless blue sky,
I feel the gentle whipping of breezes over the clouds;
over the back of mystic unicorn you ride in flowing speed,
Waving the magic whip, you whip the whips of breezes
that bloom the clouds into endless whipped cream…
I laugh the laugh in your bubbly childhood chasing
when you are tirelessly fooling with your brother...
intermittently you pause with hearts panting
feasting upon whipped cream with sips ad licks
then splattering all over table cloth and walls
like you really would ink-splashing the sky
in light and shine of new moon nights.
then in the sooths of puffs and cream
you blow kisses, whispers and hums
like a lullaby running, rolling and rocking,
Heaven knows that you arouse and stir
the dances of the waves of the oceans…
With every gentle rock, shake, knock,
the earth dozes into unfolding bed-sheets,
while you simply roll up the world
into a dreamland trance with intoxication.
Every sky-joggers is turned into cloud-floaters
in the discreetly naughty smiles you wear
of the big smiles drawn in the sky with new moon.
Sometimes you shift to pillow your head between horns
with your back on the back of your celestial Unicorn “horsie”
as Breezes means to entertain the baby- talks now and then…
‘cause after all you are the eternal little boy in the cradle of heaven
just as much as the Wiseman summons on the rocks of the world mundane,
Feasting upon the flavorful whipped cream with your eyes,
You do ponder upon layman’s term of clouds that sound foggy, dull, tasteless.
When you may be hurrying your licks in haste all the way through
the dangling puffy whipped cream forestry that eternally lushes, feeds, inspires ...



"Parasite"

Unknowingly entered but easily accepted

 Initially unnoticed and seemingly fine

Careless actions and loss of judgment

 

You’re eating away at me

My insides are rotting… what insides?

I’m almost gone

Fragments of what used to be stomach remain

 

Your very nature is to thrive on my shortcomings

The ideal symbiotic bond broken from when you broke into me

 

I have no choice but to succumb to your needs

What I want doesn’t matter anymore

Who am I?

I can no longer discern me from you

You took and took

And now

I have nothing left to give you

 

You said you loved me

Tried to make us one

If you really loved me you would never hurt me like you did

Selfish cover-ups for your grandiose lie

 

You’re no lover

You’re merely a

P a r a s i t e

 

Must rid of you

Lest I’ll be gone forever

It’s time to suck the poison out


24th-Oct-2010 05:49 pm - For 21 October 2010

“My name is…”

 I have no middle name. I don’t need another identity juxtaposed between my first and last. I don’t need to waste my efforts scribbling down such useless appendix when I’m filling out an application, trying to make myself sound good. Another “Madison” or “Elizabeth” will not make me a better person; another “Ms.” or “Jr.” will not give me more importance or carry more family background. I need no middle name.

Howdy, ya'll.

This is a message from one of your editors-in-chief, Michelle. I hope ya'll had a wonderful and inspiring summer. Since I'm entering my senior year, this summer for me has been filled with a plethora of college applicationing. If that wasn't a word, it is now. I command it.

Pratt Institute sent me a brochure last year with this message inside:

"Artists and designers are not 'types.' Neither are writers. They're simply people compelled to create. They make art and design because they can't not make art and design. And they write because they have to in order to be fulfilled."

For the next ten months, you may cry; you may curse your fate; you may make deals with the universe. Life is complex, and school does not make it simpler. But art, whether visually or verbally and regardless of what language, is for everyone's liberty to use. It is expression, and it is therapy. It is an imitation of life, and it is a reminder that life continues always.

“The natural state of life and mind is complexity, …what art can offer… is an absence of complexity, a vacuum through which you are led to a state of complete relaxation of mind. After that you may return to the complexity of life again.”
- Yoko Ono, 1966

So vent your mind out. Rant as long and hard as your adrenaline takes you. Recruit writers and artists; God knows we can always have more of them!

I'm extremely excited for this year's Dynamo. Your other editors-in-chief are Daniel Wittenberg, David Miller, Jared Fishman, and Micheal Gellman. They all undoubtedly possess more talent and intelligence than I do.

You all, I love.


- Michelle Lin
13th-Jun-2010 09:30 pm - :)

The Art of Poetry [excerpt]
by Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux
translated by John Dryden

Gently make haste, of Labour not afraid;
A hundred times consider what you've said:
Polish, repolish, every Colour lay,
And sometimes add; but oft'ner take away.
'Tis not enough, when swarming Faults are writ,
That here and there are scattered Sparks of Wit;
Each Object must be fix'd in the due place,
And diff'ring parts have Corresponding Grace:
'Till, by a curious Art dispos'd, we find
One perfect whole, of all the pieces join'd.
Keep your subject close, in all you say;
Nor for a sounding Sentence ever stray.
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