All throughout high school I have found myself longing for a space to share my artistic endeavors with my peers, and when I discovered that The Maroon used to have a Literary Magazine I immediately knew I needed to revive it. During the creation of this magazine, its purpose has gone from simply a space to share art and writing, to giving a voice to the creative personalities of the school. It is so important to appreciate the arts and young artists, and this magazine is my small contribution, showcasing the incredible work that New Paltz High School students have done both in and outside of school. I am endlessly grateful to all the talented students that made this magazine possible with their contributions, and I hope that you all enjoy reading the Literary Magazine as much as I have enjoyed making it!
Maggie Heenan, Editor
Nora, a senior, is majorly inspired by capturing fleeting moments, with many of her photographs being candid shots of people mid-action or mid-expression.
Veda takes inspiration from other portrait painters, the books she reads, and the world around her. She is constantly evolving and using new art mediums. In terms of poetry, she likes to write narrative poems that evoke emotional responses.
“I have been passionate about creative writing since I was young and have read all the old poetry that I’ve been able to get my hands on – which possibly explains my old-timey-tragic-poet style.”
A Poet’s Voice
I have a poet’s voice.
Sad, and low – a melting pot of accents and tonation poached from literature.
My pitch never raises above a soft drone, as if I am trying to avoid waking a sleeping child.
Listening to me, you cannot tell where I have come from; only where I have been.
I have been laying in the pages of Poe, Frost, Ginsberg – anything but my own thoughts.
I have left behind all origin, for it does not matter where I have come from, only what I have read.
I have reached into my chest and torn my voice from its chords and replaced it with the essence of others, my insides a haphazard patchwork quilt of similar suffering.
I am an echo of words already spoken.
My voice is not my own.
I have a poet’s voice.
“Why are you always so afraid?” The locust asks me, its horns twitching.
“The same reason you are so feared,” I respond. “Because a very powerful being decided we would be this way and we were helpless to stop it.”
The majority of Henry’s art is in a landscape style, preferring to render scenes rather than people. He likes to experiment with both 2D and 3D art, sourcing ideas from literature (the piece above is an example of this, as it is based on Lewis Caroll’s poem The Jabberwocky) and other forms of media.
Anna Goodman, a junior, finds inspiration for her narrative poems in many languages of music, classic novels, and love of nature in her own backyard.
My father told me once to beware the butter yellow pinpricks in the field,
He told me, stay still, eyes narrowed, don’t look at the skinned lemon peels,
Well, I was five, and in my eyes, the only thing a little girl could want to try
Was to spend her days sighing on the wings of a dandelion,
My father sighed too but acquiesced when I begged for nothing less
Than a shooting star’s wish,
Closed my eyes, raised a hand to the sky, and thus the match was lit.
My father watched to be sure ‘til I knocked back on the door at 11:59 pm.
Afraid, it seems, I’d be raised feral by weeds without his agreement.
Well, I was ten, and then again, the little girl journeyed to the forest glen,
And couldn’t help herself smiling in the lap of the dandelions,
My father tried to dissuade from the hours without shade,
But I didn’t care if the burns didn’t fade with a wish,
Bided my time, tore my gown in the climb, and thus the match was lit.
My father walked there with me once, and through the spyglass of love, he tried to understand
But I knew if he could ever choose, he wouldn’t have come back.
Well, soon I turned fifteen and the silver screen held far more promise for me,
And I couldn’t picture lying in the grasp of the dandelions
Traded my winter boots and yellow-golden roots for stiletto shoes and the color blue, replacing my old wish.
Tasting drinks of lime, but forgetting my rhymes, and I thought the match extinguished.
My father said one day when I was twenty three, like a song, “Do you know how long it’s been since you’ve been gone?”
So he took his cane and he took my hand, and I wasn’t sure if either of us could stand
Bare feet to the humming and strumming of copper violins,
To the loving and wondering about flowers in the wind,
And for a moment, I am a little girl who thinks she’ll never die in
The arms of a dandelion, her lips twisted in a wish,
My father shook his head at the playing pretend and all of this,
But with two grins and two pockets full of flint, together, we made sure the match stayed lit.
A cat’s purr curdling in the sun,
A daily countdown to half past one,
A now and then trek to the glen, pulling my dress up to my knees.
A slithering snake and mumbling bumblebees
Amazing, isn’t it, how a simple ballerina twirl, flying
Can make, out of a little girl, a queen of dandelions?
“I’ve never considered myself an artist- and quite frankly I still don’t- but sometimes I like to create art, and when I do, I find myself inspired by the music, or even noises, I hear in my life.”
“I have found writing to be an outlet to express emotions or feelings I would never have been able to talk about otherwise. Most of my writing tends to be more fantastical as that is the genre I enjoy reading the most.”
What if there was a place where dreams came true?
For one night, they waltzed as man and woman,
They held each other close, with not a single care in the world,
Their feet never sore from the hard ballroom floor,
Their eyes never break contact.
The sound of a wistful piano so distant while they were lost in each other,
Becoming one body,
But there is not such a place where this story can happen.
Suddenly, they were torn apart viciously, losing grip of one another and this fantasy.
Sobs began to echo throughout the dark bedroom from a broken girl,
Cold sweat running down her face and back.
Taking a second to breathe,
She felt her heart plummet.
Her fairytale will never happen.
As her eyes began to well up,
She took a long look at the midnight sky,
The shining stars.
And she wished.
She sank to her knees and pleaded to not solely find her lost love,
But to also consume the happiness it once brought her.
However, not all wishes come true.
Not in this place, not in any place.
“My preferred form of artistic expression is painting, and I draw most of my inspiration from the human face. I think facial structures and features are really fascinating and beautiful to depict in art, so they are often the center of what I paint.”
“I’ve spent my entire life being very protective of my feelings, which prompts me to conceal my feelings from the outside world. Writing has served as an outlet and a safe space where I can express myself in a way that gives me a sense of security. “
A House is Not a Home
A house is not a home
A house is a bed, and a furnace, and a tv
Home is two arms and a heartbeat
A house is the shaking voice of my father and an echo of a heartbeat
Home is the viens tarced on a hand and rough fingertips stringing together heartstrings
A house is my mother crying in the next room and my sisters blissful ignorance
Home is a resting place, a safe place, everything that my house could not be for me
But the home is a home is nowhere at all
I am home
My ribcage is the foundation
My heartbeat the bedroom
My mouth the door
I have cracks and leaks and dents but even as the trees come crashing down i will not fall
My mind will not collapse like a roof in a storm
Or like my father’s will to alcohol
I will not fall
I will not break
There is no place like my own skin
A house is a noun
Home is an adjective
I am a verb.
I like to wave to the little girl I used to be
I don’t encourage her to enter
Because I know she doesn’t deserve the pain I carry
But I do like to let myself wonder who I could have been
Had I not been dealt such a bad deck
Would she be waving at all?
Or would she know better than to trust someone she doesn’t recognize at all?
Am I Pretty Yet?
“My art tends to be somewhat experimental, almost combining 2D and 3D to create ‘interactive’ pieces that have movable parts. I love to work in collage and incorporate yarn or string into much of my art, as seen above in this triptych piece on beauty standards for women.”
“I enjoy using a lot of symbolism and metaphors in my writing. I mostly find myself especially inspired by my family, nature, and the local beauty of the Hudson Valley.”
A Grove of Strangers
I can still remember how you felt,
rough as the ridges of a tree,
so similar to your motherseed,
yet unrecognizable to her
I wonder as I remember your strong branches,
if I too will become like her,
the one who planted my seed and watched me grow
or if I will grow out of the ground slanted from grief
the forest of our secrets,
full of mismatched trunks,
some so achingly familiar,
others almost a stranger to their own brother
do you know me? truly know me?
I feel you ghost your fingers on my leaves,
the imperfections on my carvings,
but do you ever stop to notice?
notice the sunlight,
that cuts sharp lines between me,
or the worms wriggling into my bark,
rotting me away?
I feel out of place in this forest,
they tell me to shelter the birds from the rain,
when i’d much rather nourish the squirrels
the longing to be cut down burns painfully within
but you’re inescapable,
I’ve grown not just up, but deep below too,
and my roots are too entangled with yours to ever truly seek freedom