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VaCC/ Winter edition

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation

The University of New Haven's
Journal of Arts and Literature

Volume 1

The Elm City Review

is a publication of the students of the

University of New Haven

* Above logo designed by Craig Thomas


Stephen Acevedo

Molly Seely
Madison Soldano

Sarah Gostin

Matthew Heath

Sara Malmlov

Asia Chea

Judy Costa

Rachael Montgomery


Jeffery Foster

Cover by:


Special thanks to Terry Recchia, Donald M. Smith,

Ruth Somers-Phillips, the Undergraduate Student

Government Association, the Bartels family, and the

University of New Haven s English department.

The contents of this publication do not necessarily

reflect the official views or policies of the

University of New Haven.

All rights reserved by the artist, 2009

Printed by

Royal Printing Service

Guilford, CT

Table of Contents


Euphemia Tse


Ashley Johnson



Sam Claver


Winter Love

Maxine Morency



Allen Boitz


The Cafe

Stephen R. Acevedo



Stephen Hegedus


Fall in New England

Michael Lefebvre



Euphemia Tse


A Private Parly

Melanie Rovinsky



Shun "Susan" Yu



Madison Soldano



Shun "Susan" Yu


Scenes from a Winter Landscape

SC Bemadette



Ashley Johnson


The Final Drive Home

Melanie Rovinsky


Autumn Air

Katie Kennedy


Snow Melt

Kirsten Surdej


The Crispness

Joshua Camins-Esakov



Allen Boitz


The Battle

Shannon Velasquez


Cold Air, Warm Hearts




Kirsten Surdej


From Day to Night

Asia Chea



Stephen Hegedus


Death's Best Friend

Sara Malmlov



Shun "Susan" Yu


One Winter Revived

Raymond Ng



Allen Boitz


A Sudden God

Terence Dew



Madison Soldano



Allen Boitz



Allen Boitz



Kaitlin Kennedy


But Ghost We Conceive

Jessica Negron


Attack ofthe Hell Beard

Phillip Duchesne


I Am Seeing Beautifully Autumn

Ashley McDowell


The Grasping of Change

Matthew Heath



Allen Boitz



Emily Boelsems



Asia Chea


Christmas Trees and Flashing Lights

R.J. Montgomery



Ashley Johnson



Kristine Olli



Kathryn Onorato


Early Winter

SC Bemadette


Shy Kitty

Molly Seely



Kathryn Onorato


A Fantasy

Jessica Negron



Sam Claver


Winter Snow

Madison Soldano



Shun "Susan" Yu



Elyse Bezarro


The Resurrection

Ashley Ventrone



Shun "Susan" Yu


Remnants of Transition

Kirsten Surdej



Shun "Susan" Yu


"Drip Drip"

Jessie Simpson


Weeping Ghost

Maideline Sanchez


Autumn Breeze

Mike Lefebvre



Allen Boitz


l^fie ^Cm City ^view


By E up hernia Tse


By Ashley Johnson

Time is unforgiving

It changes like the seasons

And mehs through our hands Hke snow

From one fading photograph to a briUiant memory

Time shows us all no mercy in its hazy hold

So as the leaves grow and change and fade for a new

We must all follow in the footsteps of the seasons past, and change

For time consumes all and leaves us all wanting to turn over another leaf

So in this changing season, follow the earth and time's natural sway

Turn over a new leaf and seize the day

Take the time




Life is

Really about


By Sam Claver

Winter Love

By Maxine Morency

The night is cold

Flakes are falling

Memories of you run

Through my mind

Reminiscing on times

When your hand would be over mine

My heart with yours

In this cold weather, I can still feel warm

Within your arms

It warms my insides

More than a cup of hot chocolate can

Just something about this weather

Brings our love closer together

You bring more warmth to me

Than my wool coat

I can rest within your presence

And not fear for a storm coming

I can let my hair loose

And let go of the chilly air's frustration

We can both concentrate on us

And the minor details that make us

It's more than just you and I

It's a feeling

It's an emotion

That takes over

When those first few flakes

Fall from the sky

And our lips begin to quiver

We look into each other's eyes

And remember that it's winter


By Allen Boitz

The Cafe

By Stephen R Acevedo

The night was dark and cool- the moonhght Ht his
face as he walked through the eroded sidewalk, the wind
quietly whipping past his ear giving him a sudden chill. He
held his chin tight to his chest in hope to provide some type
of warmth from the unforgiving cold.

The gentle snow glued itself onto his navy blue
pea-coat as he walked past the familiar dingy laundry mat,
ancient comer store, and the chipped brick pizzeria which
held some of his best childhood memories. The pizzeria had
been a piece of history in that neighborhood for years and it
never seemed to change very much. Walking past, he could
sense the welcoming vapors from the cheese and tomato
cuisine, and understood the joy of smiles the children had
as they bit their innocent teeth into the warm juicy slices.

Continuing on, he could feel the warmth of the
cafe embrace his presence around the comer. When he
tumed the comer he was not surprised to see that nothing
had changed. The outside of the building was coated with
dark red and black graffiti, which at one point in his life
he called art and creativity. The shingles on the roof were
desperately holding on against the fierce winds of the

The cold of the night brought a thin layer of frost
over the large front window of the cafe, keeping the inside
a mystery. After a few cautious steps up the weak brick
stairs, he opened the old flimsy door only to be greeted
by an acquainted sound; it was the msty copper bell
that guarded the building with a surprising screech. He
had always thought of it as a low budget substitute for a
security system.

After the ringing in his ear had calmed, he began to
kick the hard-rock pasty snow off his genuine black leather

boots. Then he patted himself down, causing tiny specs of
snow particles to disperse off his long coat. After wiping
his jacket clean, he walked over to the counter where he
called out to someone in the back.

"Hey, I heard you guys have the best coffee in
town," he called as he removed his black leather gloves,
stuffing them into his pocket.

''Oh, I think you must be mistaking us for the Retro
Cafe a few blocks down," a sarcastic voice replied.

'The Retro Cafe? Please, you'd never find me in
that dump," he said with some laughter escaping his lips.

"Good answer," a woman said as she came out from
the back of the kitchen.

"So, how you been mom?" He said as her figure
came into view.

"Well, you know, same old same old- nothing really
exciting around here," she replied as she took off her white
stained apron. She made her way to her son and gently kissed
him on his cheek. Her warm, tender kiss brought some
relief to the frozen side of his face. "So what's the special
occasion? You haven't visited your poor mother in a while."

"I have some business to take care of down here, so
I figure I'd stroll through the old neighborhood," he said as
he made himself comfortable on the torn red leather chair.
It made a slight squeak as he applied his weight on it. "I
see this place could use a little remodeling," he said to his
mother as she went on over to the coffee pot. He couldn't
help but feel anxious as she gently poured some hot smooth
coffee into an elderly white mug, displaying a little old
house with trees and snow around it on the front.

"Oh, this place is just fine. Maybe it's not as hip as
the Retro, but we get by nonetheless," she said handing him
the hot fresh cup. The fumes from the coffee soon swam up
his nostrils, quickly passing and splashing through every
part of his body.

"Mom, I know you love this place, but wouldn't it
be better for the community if this place was torn down?
I mean, have you seen this neighborhood lately, it looks
like a slum. Who in their right mind would ever want to
pass by here? Let alone live here?" His eyes dilated and
he placed his thin brown lips around the edge of the mug.
"Mom, I could always get you a job at the firm. You could
be a secretary, even earn double what you get here," he said
with a drop of volume in his voice.

"Honey, I'm happy here. That's like me asking you
to leave your job to come work here. Plus, the people here
need me."

"C'mon mom, do you really want to be working this
late shift? Serving people for the rest of your life? Have
you ever wondered about leaving this place? Starting new
and fresh? Living a different life?" He slowly sipped the
coffee, and as it flowed down his throat, his stiff shoulders
had dropped and his neck let loose. His body fell into a
relax state, causing him to sink deeper and deeper into
his seat. His back no longer stood up right, but hung and
slouched over.

"Son, this is my home. I would never fit into a nice
fancy place like you do. This is my home, and I have grown
to love it here. Maybe you should too," she replied.

'Mom, I'm just looking out for your benefit."

'Boy, you know me. I'm as strong as an ox." She
dunked a dry rag into a pail of water beneath her and
began to clean the counter. Her frail skinny hand moved
in a circular motion slowly around the table. It was a long
day for her and she was accustomed to the late nights, and
though she had been working there for years, her eyes still
grew weary each and every night. Her hair tied in a bun,
her sleeves rolled up, with dried sweat running along the
top of her brow.

He knew his mother was tough, but he noticed that



her face did not have that wonderful bright aura that it used
to, and it made him feel a bit uncomfortable. He stood quiet
and continued to drink his coffee. There was no point in
arguing. He was never going to get his mother to leave, and
he knew it.

"Don't you remember how excited you used to be
to come here as a child. You loved to come to the back
with me and watch the chefs cook. You loved to follow me
around to each table and help me take orders," she told him.

"Yeah mom, but back then I never knew what this
place really was. Now I know, it's nothing but an old,
broken down building with no type of value at all," he said.

"Sometimes I just don't know what goes on in that
head of yours boy," his mother fired, nodding her head.

Just then, the bell had let out another scream which
caught his attention yet again. Looking over to the door he
found himself greeted by a familiar face. It was Lieutenant
Gomez. Lieutenant Gomez was about fifty years old with
a thin face and a large belly that hung flabbily over his belt
buckle. It wasn't unusual to see him around the cafe; the
neighborhood called for it.

"Well what do we have here, a ghost from the past,"
Lieutenant Gomez yelled out loud.

"Hey there Lieutenant, how's it been?" The son

"Same old thing, just patrolling- you should know
better than anyone how these hoodlums are."

"Yeah, but look at me now."

"Yeah, you did good for yourself boy. You went to
school, got your degree- can't say that's what most kids
from here go on to do. But let me ask, if you never lived
here, grew up here, you think you would be where you are
right now?

The question caught the son by surprise, and after
a few seconds of chewing his bottom lip, the son said,



"By the way, how's the attorney Ufe treating you
these days?" The Lieutenant interrupted.

With a lost look on his face, the son said with
hesitance, "Great, can't complain."

"No special lady yet?"

"No, not yet."

"Well, can't wait too long."

Lieutenant Gomez then directed his attention to the
mother. By this time he was leaning on the counter still
standing. "So how you been Rosa?" He asked.

"I've been good, how's everything on the streets?"
She said.

"These kids I tell ya, they're getting worse and
worse by the minute. This neighborhood isn't what it used
to be."

"Well as long as we have people like you doing
their job, we'll be fine," she said.

"Always the one to cheer someone up, that's why
people still come here. You always know what to say, now
how bout a cup for the road?" The Lieutenant asked.

"Anything for a long-time customer," and she
poured him a fresh batch.

As the two continued to converse about random
issues, the son took a good look around the cafe. It's once
peak conditioned physic was no longer the same. The
cracked floor tiles bore crooked smiles upon their faces, the
fans above the tables no longer spun with the graciousness
of a ballerina's, the wooden tables could no longer stand on
their own and could only do so with the aid of a crutch, and
the comers of the cafe no longer remained pure, but rather
were tainted by the yearly build up of mildew and bacteria.

After observing the cafe with the mentality of a
critic, he could no longer bear to remain in the decaying
building. He grabbed his gloves from his pocket, stood up

from the chair, and guzzled down the rest of the coffee in
the mug. He then wiped some remaining coffee smudge
off his upper Hp and told his mother he was going out for
a walk. After a brief warning from Lieutenant Gomez to
be careful, the son made his way to the door. He opened
it only to be startled again by the concealed irritating bell,
which caused him to instinctively rub his ears in order to
release the vibrations rattling in his canals. Then he walked
down the steps and stood outside of the tiny cafe.

Outside, he gazed up at the moon embracing its
light, allowing the soft cozy snow to fall upon his face.
And though the night's piercing wind stung the tips of his
ears, his attention was focused on the beautiful night sky.
// was lovely he thought to himself. The stars were brightly
shining, and they all took turns winking at him as he stood
there- with the look of an abandoned outcast. The night
stood silent, and all that could be heard was the changing
voice of the wind.

He glared at the grayish sky for a few more minutes
before he brought his attention to the building beside
him. How hideous it looked he thought. In his eyes it felt
embarrassing just to be seen next to it. Then he made his
way on over to the large front window of the building, and
with his forearm, wiped the neat layer of frost off. Peeking
inside, he could see his mother catering to the small amount
of customers that attended for the evening. With the interest
and suspense of a child, he watched his mother refill a
man's drink, the man snuggled into his seat and reading a
small paperback novel. She also took orders from a nice
looking young couple who seemed to be enjoying the
evening, the boyfriend with his arm around the woman as
she fiddled with the button on his collar.

"I was surprised to see you back so soon," a voice
caught his attention. It was Lieutenant Gomez. He was
making his way down the steps. "You usually stay away


for a while after a visit here," he added while fitting a cigar
into his mouth.

"Well you know, I get pretty busy," the son said
with a hint weakness.

Lieutenant Gomez snipped off the tip of the cigar,
then took a lighter out of his pocket and lit the end. "Your
mother works hard you know- she could see a bit more of
you during these times."

"Yeah I know, but it's hard to find the time."

"You know, I remember a time when there was a
homeless man who walked in this building right here," he
pointed to the cafe, "and sat in one of those dusty seats for
hours just to get out of the cold. He sat there all the way to
closing time, and your mother felt so bad for that man she
let him spend the night. She left out some bread and a full
pot of coffee, and she left allowing a total stranger to spend
the night. The next day I told her she was cxrazy, but she
just looked at me, smiled, and said, 'Oh, Roberto, how bout
if it was you?'"

The son stared at the tall round officer with sharp
moist eyes, wondering why he decided to mention the story.

"Well anyway boy, I'll see you later, hopefully
sometime soon. Take care," and after adding some smoke
from his mouth to the misty air, the Lieutenant put one
hand in his pocket, aligned his hat, and turned the comer.

The Lieutenant left before the son could reply. So
there he stood, out in the cold with suppressed words of
farewell. And as the snow scattered and sprinkled lightly
on his slick gelled hair, he looked up to the sky once more,
then back inside to the cafe. He turned around, made his
way back up the steps and to the door, grabbed the handle,
opened the door, and went inside for another cup of coffee.


\ ^




By Stephen Hegedus


Fall in New England

By Michael Lefebvre

The bright sun rises over the roUing foothills,

And the icy frost that stunned the earth slowly melts away.

The cry of a lone loon echoes over the still lake water,

As the white clouds move on east.

Orange is the color of the pumpkins that dot the field;

Red are the plump apples that hang from the orchards.
The farmer wakes for another October morning
And opens his stand for the last time this year.

The wind gusts briskly through the valley

Shaking the brittle arms of the trees

Freeing the leaves of their summer home.

And creating a blizzard of vibrant oranges and browns.

A single birch has lost all of its leaves
And its white bark is only accented by the lively reds around it.

But soon all the trees will be uniformly plain.
For the winter snow will soon grace the land with its presence.



By Euphemia Tse


A Private Party

By Melanie Rovinsky

Far beyond the city,
miles from civilization,
in the thick of the woods,
beyond the meandering stream
glistening with crystals of ice,
next to the towering pines,
behind the falling rock wall,
at the end of the frozen path,
inside the rustic cabin,
adjacent to the front door,
inches from the flames of the fire,
nuzzled in the surrounding warmth,
beneath the hanging mistletoe,
a pair of lips meet.





By Shun "Susan " Yu



By Madison Soldano

I grow strong in spring,

And stride furthest in summer.

I slow in autumn,

And sleep through the winter months.

Come spring I grow strong again.



By Shim ''Susan " Yu


Scenes from a Winter Landscape

By SC Bernadette

Flurries, white and pure falling lazily

Blinding so brilliantly, creating the perfect landscape

Trees, bushes, grass and houses covered in white snow

Winter wonderland so picturesque and perfect

Snow angels and snowmen dotted across the view

Tracks from sleds and skis — nothing beats that feeling

Of sliding at top speeds, winds whipping your face —

Ice skating and snowball fights, winter delights
Not to be forgotten in a picture-perfect snow- scape

Cars skidding across the road, slipping on black ice
Tires squealing as they spin in place, going nowhere

White snow now gray and brown, yellow as well

Wind chills lowering the temperatures to negatives.

Burning your eyes, stinging them and causing

All extremities to freeze and numb; the nose is always first

Back-breaking snow shoveling, layers of slush and ice too

Slippery terrain causes slippage and near-falls

Making you want this winter landscape to melt

God, I hate winter. . .





By Ashley Johnson


The Final Drive Home

By Melanie Rovinsky

She skipped down the driveway, blowing kisses
in his direction the entire way to her car. It was a chilly
October evening, and as Jamie balanced her laptop and
books in one arm, while trying to pry open the car door
with the other, she regretted leaving the warmth of her
boyfriend's bed. The leaves were rustling on the pavement,
and the tree's bare limbs were casting shadows in the
yellow glow of the streetlights. As Jamie turned the key
in the ignition, the thick silence was broken and a cold
wave of fear washed over her - a fear of making any
noise, a fear of disturbing the surrounding blackness, a
fear that she couldn't quite explain. She turned on the heat
and tuned her iPod to her favorite Bob Dylan song. The
windows of her sedan were fogged and the shrill sound of
Dylan's harmonica engulfed her. Jamie was unaware of her
boyfriend waving goodbye at the window and did not hear
her phone vibrate as he sent a loving "call me when you get
home" text message.

As Jamie pulled her car onto the main road, she
couldn't help but question the plethora of dark cars that
she had already driven by. Each time her headlights would
flash on a still car, she would peer out her rearview mirror
- half-expecting the car to start up and immediately begin
following her home. Jamie only lived four miles from her
boyfriend, and she had driven those roads a million times
before. Yet for some reason, driving home late at night
made Jamie nervous. Her knuckles turned white as she
clutched the steering wheel each time she caught something
move in the comer of her eye. The slightest sound caused
Jamie to silence her music and listen in desperation to the
unsettling stillness.

Jamie sped up as she neared her house. As she


came around the comer, she was reheved to see that her
mother had left the outside light on. Jamie parked her car
at the foot of the driveway and filled her arms with her
belongings. She switched off the headlights and took a
deep breath as she pulled the keys out of the ignition and
threw them into her sweater pocket. Finally ready to make
her mad-dash into the house, Jamie flew open the car door.
With her eyes focused on the target, Jamie was unaware
of the black leather boots that now stepped out of the back
seat of her car. Tiptoeing behind her, the black-coated man
smoothed his long gray ponytail with one hand, while
he fumbled in his pocket with the other. Just as Jamie's
fingertips grazed the doorknob, the man lunged and slit her
throat in one fluent motion.

The dark man cradled the girl's lifeless body, gently
resting her on the ground. He slid his boney fingers into her
sweater pocket and pulled out the set of keys. He smoothed
his hair again, turned the key in the lock, and slipped
unnoticed into the sleeping house.


Autumn Air

By Katie Kennedy

The autumn air has such crispness

As we walk through the leaves hand in hand.

Every worry, every fuss and every care

Falls away

Just as carelessly as the leaves

From the trees.

Your presence, the light in your eyes
Is what brings this about.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

And right now

All that's visible in my eyes is




'' <%



Snow Melt

^j^ Kirsten Surdej


The Crispness

By Joshua Camins-Esakov

Can you taste the crisp air?

Can you feel the cold?

Can you smell the leaves?

I can,

These are the days,

Those fall days,

When all manner of things happen,

There is love and hate.

Sadness and happiness.

Crisp air, is so exhilarating.

As is fall!

Come join me on my adventure!

Throughout the fall year!



By Allen Boitz


The Battle

By Shannon Velasquez

I need You in my life again,

I know You know how it's been, everyone's been triff-i-lin,

I tried to do it by myself but I couldn't anymore.

There are some things that I myself cannot endure.

It doesn't help that the weather's so cold,

And every problem around me is just getting so old.

I spoke to some old friends again,

They said that I need to put You back into my life again.

They said that they missed me and when will I be coming


but I didn't even respond, I was too busy listening to some


The ones that were pulling me further away from You,

The ones that wanted nothing to do with You,

The ones that would not fulfill me.

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