Table of Contents
A Wedding Toast For Daddy's
_ By Miriam N. Kotzin
_ By Debbi Pless
_ By Rachel Miller
Hearts Without Armor
Angela P. Markham
Mental Constipation and Brain Vomit
My Best Subject
Requiem For An Author
Sometimes It Pours Only Dogs
The Black Tape
A Slave To Time
Death By My Lover
I Am A Pineapple
Lament For the Lost Soldier
Left Silent To Dream of Wine
Ode To Microsoft Spell Cheque
Reminiscent of Society As An Individual
The Raven and the Dove
David C. Clarke
soared. Like birds liberated from their cylindrical cages, they
sought refuge beneath the skin of whatever accidental persons
crossed their paths. Or flowers—yes, they were flowers; smooth
gray petals falling to the ground with a gentle sound of clinking
after the thunderous burst that announced their bloom. Flowers.
was the kind of spring day memorialized in love poems and
lighthearted haikus, with benevolent sunlight and a bright blue
sky. The air crackled with liveliness, crispy and cool-yet-warm.
it was also a day of unrest, with throngs of people flooding the
Kent State University campus. Protest was the most potent of all
drugs going around, and as more and more students poured out of
the buildings, it was evident that the whole school was high on
through the crowd there was the adrenaline of inspired fury,
surging like an electrical current. While some students had been
violent and militant over the past few days, others did not feel
this same hatred. Allison Krause cupped her hands over her mouth
to form a makeshift microphone and shouted, “Stop the war!” It
was the only thing she hated at that moment; she did not hate
Nixon, the soldiers, or the National Guard members stationed
around the school. She hated the Vietnam War. To her it was a
revolting yet intangible beast, bloodthirsty not only for innocent
lives but also for the optimism and innocence she was desperately
trying to hold onto. With every headline detailing atrocities
committed or soldiers killed in combat, she felt herself become
more and more cynical. It was these moments, however, when
strangers came together for a common cause, which restored her
faith in the world. She was part of something bigger than herself.
Perhaps her voice, calling out for peace, would not be heard by
many, but the collective voice of the group would resonate.
walked with the crowd, her arm linked with her boyfriend
Barry’s. Together they meandered forward, reveling in the scene,
soaking it up hungrily as if it was sunlight penetrating through
their skin after a long winter. He nudged her as they walked by a
National Guard soldier looking slightly less attentive than the
rest. His eyes were downcast, yet his expression seemed softer
than that of the other soldiers. “Isn’t that Meyers?” Barry
recognized the soldier immediately, and tried to catch his eyes,
but in vain; he didn’t see her. “Yes,” she said
distractedly. She and Barry had met Meyers the day before, before
an officer had humiliated him for holding a lilac. Meyers had
placed the flower in the barrel of his gun, and the image had
stayed with Allison.
it,” Barry told her, drawing her attention back to him. “Say
what you told the officer yesterday.”
lit up with recognition, remembering her words. She nodded to
Barry, although for some inexplicable reason she was nervous.
Cupping her hands to her mouth again, she shouted in her loudest
voice yet, “Flowers are better than bullets!” and elicited a
few cheers from around her.
simultaneously, an order was shouted into the crowd. The people
surrounding Allison and Barry began to retreat to the safety of a
nearby hill, and Allison watched them despairingly. The National
Guard soldiers were approaching, their guns pointed aggressively
at the crowd. Some soldiers threw tear gas, and as much as she
wanted to resist, Allison was overtaken by a fit of coughing and
sneezing. Tears welled in her eyes, which became bright red from
the gas and persistent sneezing.
was chaos around her. The tear gas affected everyone, and the
soldiers’ sudden belligerence inspired immediate fear in many.
Nearly everyone was withdrawing; some were running. Allison cried
genuine tears as well as she turned to Barry in frustration,
shouting through the cloth she was using to cover her mouth,
“Why are they doing this? Why can’t they leave us alone?”
Fear and aggravation had her shaking, with little earthquakes
rumbling through her body. She didn’t understand what was going
on, or what had provoked it. The little she was conscious of made
her upset and infuriated. She barely realized that Barry was
pulling her away from the soldiers.
she reached the top of the hill with the others, she saw that the
National Guard continued to follow the protesters. Frustration
heaved inside her, no longer a silent earthquake but an explosive
volcano, and she yelled at them, “We’re not doing anything
wrong!” But still they pushed forward, and Allison felt
horrified as she realized that their faces were completely covered
by inhuman gas masks. They looked like aliens, like malignant
creatures from a science fiction novel. “Why are you doing
this!” she shouted, louder now, her voice trembling. Her face
was wet and numb from her torrential tears, and her body shook as
much as her voice. Barry pulled her arm. “Come on,” he said in
a low, urgent voice. He was terrified as well. “It’s okay.
Come on, let’s just go.”
dried her face with her sleeve and tried to catch her breath—the
combination of the tear gas and her screaming and crying had left
her winded. She let Barry lead her away, taking deep rankling
breaths as she walked. She tried to calm down, but seeing the
National Guard pursuing peaceful protestors had detonated a sense
of outrage within her. She could not calm down. She managed to
stop her yelling but she could barely walk due to the overflow of
adrenaline in her. Allison took a long deep breath. Though she
inhaled some of the tear gas, she did feel the touches of fresh
air gently brushing her lungs. For a moment, in the midst of all
the chaos around and within her, she felt an unexpected stillness.
She took one last glance behind her.
in the cluster of soldiers a curt order was issued. Guns were
raised and aimed, and with a bang those metallic flowers burst
upon the protestors. Like a lover’s bouquet arrests the senses,
the scent of gunpowder pervaded the campus. One Guard member, his
face shrouded by the gas mask, aimed more carefully than the rest.
As he was choosing his target, he made eye contact with a young
woman. Could she see his eyes? He was almost certain, for he held
her gaze for what seemed like minutes, though it must have been a
mere fraction of a second. She turned her head away from him, and
he pulled the trigger. A moment later, she crumbled to the ground.