Arts & Literature 2018


LITERATURE


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Literature




La Llorona


Fernando Antonio Martinez, Grad Student

I
Once I dreamt I was nine years old, stuffed in an eight-seat Chevy Astro with nine other people
Cruising down the empty streets of Guanajuato in the dead of night
A moment of relaxation we so desperately needed
See, we just spent the last 10 hours exploring the two most famous pyramids in this desert state where people were honored to have been sacrificed
But sacrifices weren’t enough so we took a stroll through El Museo de las Momias
An underground freezer that holds the mummified bodies of the Guanajuatenses who perished during a cholera outbreak 189 years ago I cannot begin to describe how ominous this day has been

II
I am nine years old, stuffed in an eight-seat Chevy Astro with nine other people
Cruising down the empty streets of Guanajuato because we did not expect to stay out here this long and home is three hours away in a different state
We’d rather find shelter in a semi-decent hotel that won’t upcharge because we’re from Michoacan and not Guanajuato
But see, shelter is 20 kilometers from the city, across El Puente de Santa Ana
A bridge that the locals have told us is guarded by a short pale-skinned woman en un camison blanco
A woman whose only words are “O hijos míos, a dónde los llevaré? // My children, where will I take you?” You cannot see her face but still … you can tell that past her long, dirty, disheveled hair … this woman is in pain
Crossing that bridge means that your empathy will heighten
See you’re afraid of this woman but you do not want to leave her on the bridge alone
Crossing that bridge means she steps into the eight-seat Chevy Astro stuffed with 10 people to make sure she gets home safe
Crossing that bridge means that when you finally cross over the bridge, she is no longer in the car with you
You do not know where she is

III
I am nine years old, having found my way back to Los Angeles
I am walking with confidence to the front of the room of my fourth-grade class because I have the story of a lifetime
It feels as if I came back to the first day of school for this moment and this moment only
I know it is not a competition but for the first time I will have the best thing to show
Except I don’t
See, that woman en El Puente de Santa Ana … well she has a lot of names
La Llorona, La Malinche, La Siguanaba, or the Weeping Woman
I guess we all have the same stories




Once they dreamt…


Noemi Tovar Terrazas, Grad Student

Serene days and a night gone by.
So much to say, yet I find so little time.
Watching the birds on a sunset cold and steep,
She lost hope and fell blindly to his feet.
What was he, if not the tears that fell from her eyes.
What was he, if not her strength falling helpless to his lies.
No! No more!
Come and rid me from this wretched place.
If not you, who else to take me away?
Do not save me,
For you cannot save what’s already dead.
What are you, if not my wings to fly away.
What are you, if not the night lighting my day.
Misleading wounds tear me breathless from your side.
My dearest do not forgive, to judge I had no right.
What am I, if not a man without a fight.
What am I, if not the moon no longer bright.
Her eyes closed, resting soundly in bed.
He pleaded guilty
To the tears she once shed.
If you hear me, let me shout it to the sky.
Do not forget,
All my promises,
Please do not cry!
Darkness showers
Dreamers dreaming based on lies.




Neither Toil nor Spin


Christian Barragan, Screenwriting Major, Sophomore

Resist the weight so grudgingly defined; To stand alone is not upon our will. Hold firm, with steady hands upon your mind.
The proud, with none to fight but them, confined in hubris faults left stagnant to distill; Resist the weight so grudgingly defined.
The hopeless, is existence so designed? For no one’s soul was forged with greater skill. Hold firm, with steady hands upon your mind.
The recluse, with frail arms and input blind From shying from the only One to fill; Resist the weight so grudgingly defined.
The weak, who only live by help assigned. You testify to painful lives yet still Hold firm, with steady hands upon your mind.
Do not reject the help of mercy’s kind, For torment has yet one last strength to kill. Resist the weight so grudgingly defined. Hold firm, with steady hands upon your mind.




Ferris Wheel


Betsie Gracia

I watched a Ferris wheel spin at night
Watched as the lights flickered and danced
As people kissed at the tallest height
I watched carnival bubbles float in a hypnotic trance
I watched as the seashore came crashing in slowly
And watched as a man jump off the Ferris wheel boldly
Smashing his head against the pavement
That’s when I woke up and screamed.




What Could Have Been


Maricruz Ramirez, Sociology Major, Senior

In a dream I had last night, I found myself walking down a hallway with numerous doors — reminiscent of the scene in “Beetlejuice” when the main characters search for their afterlife case worker.

As I walked down the hallway in my dream and went door by door, I realized that each room led to an alternate dimension revolving around pivotal moments of my life. Once I awoke from this fantasy, the images remained vivid in my mind and I found myself without qualms about why I dreamt this sequence in the first place. It was no mystery because lately, I had been falling asleep to scenarios and imaginings revolving around what I consider to be a truly tragic sentence: what could have been.

For the past decade, I have found myself falling into patterns of self-destruction regarding my “love life” because of the one who got away. There was never a true conclusion for us and definitely no sense of closure or acknowledgment of the feelings we had once shared. Whenever the opportunity to fall for a new person came up, my heart found itself crawling back into the question of “what could have been.”

Every time a new man walked into my life, I destroyed the potential for a true relationship by envisioning the “what could have been” scenarios and dream sequences revolving around the boy who was never truly mine. Because of this, nobody could compare. Nobody was ever going to be good enough. Nobody could be him.

It took a decade for confirmation that I had not been romanticizing things in my head and that the boy who was never mine perceived me as his own girl who got away. It took a decade, but in a note, he included these haunting words: “Our lives have gone very different paths but we can always share thoughts of our teenage years and what could have been.”

And there it was: what could have been. In an unnecessary form of self-torture, I have found myself falling asleep to what I envision to be the life we could have had together. It could have been beautiful, really. It could have been sheer euphoria and pure bliss. Sadly, it will never be more than an image made up in my mind.

In the dream I had last night, I found myself walking down a hallway with numerous doors that led to alternate dimensions. I assume that some of those doorways led to places with happy endings and fulfilled love. For now, I have to accept that I have neither … and may always yearn for both.




Land of Fantasy


Laurenze Dela Luna, Psychology Honors, Senior

Are we dreaming or are we awake, every single day of our lives?
Or are we simply living in a world with deception and lies?
In my dreams I can be mistakened just like in real life I can
I can see, smell, touch, taste and hear in this reality
That we tend to encounter everyday
As well as in the dream or otherwise known as fantasy land
I can feel myself awake every morning and look in the mirror and see who I am
But in dreams we are also capable of doing this
As every action and feeling can be reciprocated
Making these dreams somewhat a reality duplicated program
I can see myself exploring areas that I have been to before
Walking through sidewalks and streets
And into various recognizable doors
But I can see myself also being introduced to places that are unfamiliar and strange
With made up monsters that talk and chase after me
With the settings in a constant change
I can hear an alarm clock and awake from either the non-drastic or drastic dream
But what if that is not yet the reality of it all
Even though how good it may seem
As I am now introduced, to another sound of a loud alarm clock ring
Waking me now to the reality we all know of
And no longer the awaking dream
But what if me awaking is another dream of it all
I can pinch myself to find proof but yet in this fantasy land
We are still capable to hurt ourselves and rise and fall
As although I claim I know I was sleeping and claim I was dreaming when I was awake
How can I define the truth of reality and understand this is not another dreaming state?
But within the nights and days hours we claim to dream
Our bodies and true concentrations surely halt to a break
Now what if it is our souls leaving our bodies and entering another dimension
Making this other world reality-based and not considered fake
And what if it is like the concept of death and the places we may encounter
But yet in dreams, it is just considerably a temporary transfer
As even if we claim our brains are just awake day and night
What if it is our souls who are really awake just in the other dimension?
Which can not be scientifically proved wrong or right
Allowing us to see ourselves as whole and utilizing our brains
To just create the concept of being alive and the term’s structured frame
As with death we learn of ghost and hauntings whose souls never left the earth
But yet they see reality the way we do and still believe they are alive
Even without no physical functioning brain
Still trying to reach goals and continuously discover their multiple worths
Just like humans they can and are described to communicate, speak
And provide signals of strength
It seems they are still alive in their perspective
As they can still see us and go through humanly lengths
Now, with us being awake and alive
How can we be sure we may be in real life or a dream?
As everything is still capable to transfer upon the dimensions as it seems
Just like ghosts who roam the earth and their perceptions that they are alive
And still find the world to continuously be true
What if it is the same to us but with physical functioning brains?
It rather is described as dreams upon me and you
So welcome to this land of fantasy
Where we can not distinguish the truth of it all
Maybe we are like ghosts but instead labeled as humans
In this dimension of “reality” that we call
As even though we may be awake for hours of the day
And sleep through hours of the night
We can not distinguish dreams
As with being awake may just be an illusionary sight




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