Spring 2016, Uncategorized

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A song by Olivia Frances



by songwriters Olivia Frances and George Irwin


The sun sets
A breeze blows by
Grass sways
Rivers run dry
bloom in the spring
But my love…
My love is evergreen

The moon moves
From day to night
Stars burn
Out in time
This universe changes constantly
But my love…
My love is evergreen

Minutes pass by
Months turn to memories
And years and years and years and years and years become eternity, so easily
Feelings change
Colors fade

Becomes old age
But I still have you here with me
Cause my love…

My love is evergreen

Listen to “Evergreen” as sung by Olivia Frances here: https://soundcloud.com/oliviafrancesmusic/evergreen

Cincinnati native Olivia Frances is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter and musician with a sunny disposition. She is a freshman at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. This song is from the album Evergreen, the follow-up to her 2013 debut album, Back To Happiness. For more information, go to www.oliviafrancesmusic.com.


Home page photo credit: Jim Corwin / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group / Evergreen trees. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 10 Mar 2016. http://quest.eb.com/search/139_1919150/1/139_1919150/cite


My Projects

Spring 2016, Uncategorized


by Rachel Ravelli




My Projects

My overcrowded black on block on blended tans
sterile hospitalized crystalloid hallucinogens
lead wanderers of my fragmented projects away
in the back of an ambulance I say hello to them,
they nod lightly, greeting me with the same indifference
as the kittens I abandoned because mom and I
were running low on food and they were eating my dinner
I spoon-fed them with empathy, transparent
as translucent drugs in my soul dry uncultivated soil
where sore feet of Spanish Harlem and Ghana tie
into snow and summer salt holding out their palms
saying, thank you Lord Jesus, for bread and for wine
I cannot touch but feel each day in my native projects
where children stalk written streets after midnight,
pearly white eyeballs thick in blood-shining lines
blossom out of their stay-put matter and hair,
the long thick dark hair I use to carefully weave every silhouette
I have loved-–
the dusty roads of my projects,
the winding steps of my projects,
the graffiti marking the retaliation and creation of my projects,
I am a soft sound chasing their midnight, a passerby
in sullen stories of how Danielle failed French,
moved to New York City to do hair
and to escape Donny, her father who sold women for cars
and smoked dope with his son Josiah who punched Izzy
in the humid elementary school cafeteria stale grilled cheese
for stealing his birthday watch and calling him a faggot;
Izzy shuddered, snorted, and shoved him onto the wet napkin floor,
and Principal Ganem who stormed through grabbed them both
with his oversized hairy hands gold in rings,
grappled them until they caved into small green wobbly seats,
pocket-framed their startled brown eyes,
pulled the walkie-talkie out of his black work pants
and slammed it so hard on the chipped wooden table
they both cried in unison, holding hands
as Principal Ganem screamed in silencing
acceleration that they’d work at McDonald’s,
become degenerates like their lifeless off-the-boat parents;
I sat hands neatly folded lips pursed measuring
the exact minutes, velocity, days, kilometers, volume
knowing I’m so bad at math
because Ms. Capanelli never stays after school
because after school was the time to be followed
by two hooded men 2.8 miles through snow
back to my projects
my disheveled
you-don’t-need-no-goddamn school bus
projects, who laughed
as I became more nervous
as they asked why
I’m so scared
as I reply that I am not scared, I am not scared
but please go away I can’t take it anymore
I have real homework to finish,
my mom is making me read The Grapes of Wrath
because she thinks elementary school literature is too immature
but I don’t trust a word she says
because last night she bought furniture she can’t afford
that doesn’t fit into my project’s apartment shrinking away
from dirt, mice, and dust catching on fire in her hair
as she bites her nails till they bleed screaming,
“Don’t let them take me!”
and I know there’s no one there because grandma told me
she makes up stories in her head sometimes,
but The Grapes of Wrath is a story
like my projects the dustbowl my dying kittens the loose screws
in the doorways of my schools and my poetry
are all stories that may be real or something I made up
one day, lying in my projects
cold on a moldy boulder in my projects
in December waiting and waiting forever in my projects
for snow to melt over all of us.

Rachel Ravelli is a fourth year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying English and Psychology. She writes for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and has been featured in multiple publications, including Quick Brown Fox and Caesura.

Political Animals

Uncategorized, Winter 2015-16

by Noah Keates

Listen to this populist politician sticking it to the rich: “[T]hough they abuse their wealth in every possible method, they cannot, with the utmost efforts, exhaust it.  While for us there is poverty at home, debts abroad; our present circumstance is bad, our prospects much worse.”

No, it’s not Bernie Sanders. It’s Lucius Sergius Catiline campaigning in the Roman consular election of 63 B.C.

Cicero denounces Catline. Cicero denounces Catline.

In politics, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Those running for office are always looking for what they think are weaknesses in their opponents, and that’s why we hear so much about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, Donald Trump’s casino dealings, and so on. It was just the same in ancient Rome, right down to the sex scandal. Catiline himself was accused of an unholy dalliance with one of the Vestal Virgins.

But it’s also true that today’s politicians could learn a thing or two from the ancients.

For a start, there was far less passive-aggressive hypocrisy.  In place of the snide pot shots we hear nowadays, such as Donald Trump criticizing Carly Fiorina’s facial appearance, we had Cicero, the great Roman orator, informing Catiline that he was “the root and seed of all evil” and that he intended to “rid the world of the disease of a man that he was.”  Maybe this unadulterated directness would be healthy for our 2016 election; a taste of Roman-style banter would certainly spice up the current race.

Certain contenders have already warmed to the idea of resorting to Roman rhetoric, notably Ted Cruz who stood before the Senate recently and delivered nearly word-for-word one of Cicero’s most famous speeches against his rival Catiline, with slight pronoun modifications to instead attack our current president.

Will quoting of the great Roman orators improve the discourse of our current political arena? I doubt it. The great leaders of the Roman republic, such as Sulla, Cicero, and Caesar, felt a freedom to confidently speak their minds on all matters of the state.  Political leaders led their followers through audacious and inspiring speeches that came from the heart.

Our modern-day candidates pale by comparison. Today it is the parties that mold the candidates, with each presidential contender desperately attempting to be perceived as the ideal Democrat or Republican.  Perhaps in this respect Donald Trump has channeled at least some of the positive influences of Roman politicians simply in his boldness to say whatever he wants, however off the mark these comments tend to be.

This epidemic of modern politicians losing their personal identity to assume the identity of their party connects fairly directly to the problems plaguing our government today.  It is certainly difficult to find national pride behind men and women who struggle to even piece together their own personal points of view. Where Rome was able to construct the greatest empire in history on the shoulders of individualistic men striving to pursue their own agenda, the success of the U.S. falls to 435 representatives, 100 senators, and one president each trying to navigate his or her way into the good graces of the party—not to mention the lobbyists.  While a multi-continental empire may not be a healthy end goal for our nation, a bit of Roman directness and audacity from our politicians would certainly be a welcome change.

Noah Keates is a senior at Bancroft School, Worcester, Massachusetts.  His interests are history and politics, especially concerning Europe, and he hopes to study political science in college.

Photo credit: ROMAN SENATE: CATILINE. – Cicero denounces Catiline (c108-62 B.C.) in the Senate. Line engraving, 19th century.. Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 6 Jan 2016. http://quest.eb.com/search/140_1676740/1/140_1676740/cite

Journal Offers $1,000 Prize

Uncategorized, Winter 2015-16

The Worcester Journal announces the establishment of the Not Man Apart Award for writing published in the Journal concerning the relationship between our planet and humankind. The prize of $1,000 will be awarded from time to time to a Worcester Journal author who, in the opinion of the editors, has produced memorable and insightful writing on this subject.

The purpose of the award is to encourage the young writers for whom the Journal was created to consider the natural environment–our approach to, use of, and duty toward it, how we are both connected to and separated from the natural world,  and what we should take from it and what return. Writers may approach the subject through journalism, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, photography, or art.

The phrase “not man apart” is taken from the poem “The Answer” by Robinson Jeffers. The poem is a consideration of how an understanding of the organic wholeness of nature can be a comfort and a strength in an imperfect world. We seek from submissions the passion and authenticity of the poem, not imitations of it.

We are deeply grateful to the continuing generosity of the Judy and Tony King Foundation.


Dad’s Haircut

Uncategorized, Winter 2015-16

by Joshua Lampert

Hulton Archive / Archive Photos / Getty Images / Universal Images Group

Hulton Archive / Archive Photos / Getty Images / Universal Images Group


Sundown. I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and the October breeze whips the bare skin of my arms, I’m playing with a friend on on the patio of his house. Mom’s outside in her car, honking the horn. I’m eight years old, and I just keep playing. Soon, the clanking knocks on the door and doorbell chimes interrupt our game. “Donna’s salon in thirty minutes,” she says. “We’ll be there in forty if we’re lucky with this traffic.

 We arrive without my once asking, “Are we there yet?” It’s late.  The autumn crescent moon and the luminescent lettering of the salon’s name above the overhead awning are the only diminutive sources of light that struggle to illuminate theblack sky. The stained-glass door pushes opens right to left onto a warm-colored hair salon, and my eyes inevitably wander towards the only occupied chair.

 To my surprise, I recognize my father’s Pierce Brosnan type hair. Letting go of mom’s hand, I eagerly swerve through the chairs in the waiting area and run to my father, who stares into the mirror, patiently awaiting a haircut. I immediately wipe the “good to see you” kiss off my forehead and I scoot my way onto the neighboring seat. My eight-year-old torso sinks into the soft cushion of the pitch-black barber chair. Mom rifles through her pocket book for a pack of tissues. She fumbles with the packet until it opens. She keeps the tissues on her lap, resting on her cross-folded legs.

 Donna the hairdresser reaches into her drawer, grabbing the buzzers instead of scissors. A mistake? Quiet, pinned against my chair, I watch my father swallow his saliva and grip the cold, metal handles of the chair. Donna purposefully  plugs the clippers into the outlet and turns them on. They inch toward my father’s head. My jaw has dropped. I crack a smile. I have never seen my father with any other hairstyle, never mind a buzz cut. I begin to laugh; my mom cries. 

 When I was eight years old, my mother and I went to the salon. We watched as Donna shaved my father’s head and his Pierce Brosnan hair fell to the floor. I had no idea that I was witnessing the beginning of my dad’s journey into a ten-year battle with cancer.

1Joshua Lampert is a senior at Bancroft School., Worcester, Massachusetts, and plans to attend Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, in the fall.

Photo credit: Barber Shop. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 4 Jan 2016. http://quest.eb.com/search/115_2835844/1/115_2835844/cite