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Elm City Review




Volume 7

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation

^ TH'L T.LM CirCf H^'EI^I'EW ^



A Celebration of Human Diversity

Volume 7


is a publication


The University of New Haven Literary Club


The Sensations Of Unused Flesh

David Cahill (poem) 1

Little Miss Queen Of Hearts

Katy Juliano (poem) 2

The Bougainvillea

Hana S. Huran (story) 3

Nature's Conspiracy

David Cahill (poem) 7

A Soul's Journey

Katy Juliano (poem) 8

If I Had My Druthers

Florian Folger (poem) 9

Eviction Warning

Stephanie Ciccone (letter) H)

A Brush With Him

James Smith (poem) I 1

Not Fit For Show

Lauren C. Adasiak (poem) 12

A Change Of Season

David Cahill (story) 13

The Marionette

John Clancy (artwork) 20

Barren Rituals

John Clancy (poem) 21


Lauren C. Adasiak (poem) 22


I'loiian Folgcr (poem) 25


John Clancy (poem) 26

Why Look At The World...

Kaly Juliano (poem) 27

A Letter To The One Removed

David Cahill (poem) 28

Letter To My Sister

James Smith (poem) 29

To My Dark Self

John Clancy (poem) 30

My Demon

James Smiih (poem) 31


John Clancy (story) 32

Borinquen Breeze

Lalenya Lopez (poem) 46

Triolet The One Who Plays Out Perfect Dreams

David Cahill (poem) 47

o r^T: 'llM ciij 'R^Vi'eW ^




by David Cahill
Your eyes cast in slraiizhllbrward desire
as llie hair cascades down your back covering
pale shoulders and swirling down lull breasts.
Our bodies united in movement
reborn without guilt, sorrow, or foolish expectations.
Dark hair slicked darker with sweat;
thrusting into the darkness being each other's first partner.
If only I could throw back the tattered quilt
which covered our explorations in the dark
you've gone on to new conquests and so have I.
Searching vainly to recapture
the sensations of unused llesh.


by Kaly Juliano

Little miss queen of hearts, so gallantly she walks by
with ginger locks curls, and piercing baby blues.

A sweater-wearing bitch, she was her only world.

And I, standing in the shadows to hide my masturbating ways,

would watch this queen dance in the sunlight.

Oh how I wish to invade that royal box,

and defy thy queen of hearts.

Fill her with all the hate she's bestowed on me.

She once laughed at me, but I am no joker.

My request was pure and simple.

But little miss queen stuck with her own.

So off she goes, with sunlight in her eyes.
But soon my shadow will stretch,
and she'll meet my joker of clubs.


by Hana S. Huran

Scvcn-lhirly sharp. 55 Maple Drive. Julie arrived just
Iwo minutes before Melanie did. Both of them were anxious
and nervous because of Mrs. Ang's weird punishment. The
previous day the two girls were caught trying to skip her
chemistry class. They did not gel any detention for that, but
instead Mrs. Ang had asked them to come over to her house
that Saturday morning.

Mrs. Ang's house was a pretty little cottage, with
landscaped trees of roses, all white. She had a little swing by
the corner of her modest garden that was surrounded by wild
daisies. Sweet would be the best description for her collection
of greens. But there was only one strange thing. In the middle
of the garden stood a messy and shapeless bougainvillea, the
ugliest tree there. The leaves grew so thick and dark that they
nearly covered the pale white Howers. Its branches stretched in
all directions, making it look like one indecisive tree. After
staring at it for a few seconds, Melanie thought that it would be
belter if the tree did not exist at all.

Mrs. Ang came out lo the corridor of her house and
greeted her students. In her hands, she had a tray with three
cups, a carton of Tropicana and some toast on it.

"You ladies are on time. Come and sit here for some
breakfast," she invited the two girls to her garden set where two
odd chairs Joined the only matching chair there. Melanie and
Julie sat on the odd ones.

"You didn't have to fix us breakfast Mrs. Ane, we
came here to be punished," Melanie's lips were covered with
bits of crumbs.

"I don't see it as a punishment. It's more of a
favor.. .for me," the elder lady replied.

"Okay, sure, what kind of favor?" Jules asked as she


poured her second cup ol'Tropicana.

Mrs. Ang smiled and pointed al the untidy looking

"I want you ladies to landscape that tree for me. Just
make it look neat. I've been meaning to trim it, but I couldn't
make time for it. Jim used to do all the landscaping, but he left
to join the army a year ago," said the aging chemistry teacher.

"You son?" questioned Julie.

"Yes. His father left us for other commitments, you
know," she added.

"We're sorry to hear that Ma'am," said Melanie.

"That was a long time ago. So since the men aren't
here, I figured I get the girls to do it instead," the lady grinned
and directed the girls to get the garden tools near the garage.

The girls finished their breakfast and got to work.
Slightly relieved that the punishment or favor was not loo

"Mel, can you believe this is what she wants us to do?
It's a bit silly isn't it?" Julie whispered as she watched her
teacher disappear into the house.

"No kidding Jules, but I'm not complaining. I prefer
cutting this ugly ass tree here than detention anytime! I mean,
Mrs. CO2H2O lady there is a bit too nice, if you ask me,"
Melanie chuckled, grabbing a trimmer.

"Yeah, hey let's skip her class again!" Julie cracked a
joke and began snipping small branches off.

The two girls giggled their way through the whole
morning gossiping about their teacher and friends in school.
The branches of the tree dropped one by one. Soon a collection
of branches and leaves piled up around the tree. The girls

succcssrully cleared up the messy tree by exposing the paper-
like riovvers lo the sun.

About nine o'clock the girls decided that they should
stop trimming, their sweat trickled down their skin. They left
the tools to the ground and helplessly threw their exhausted
bodies to the earden tabic.

"Phew.. .I'm tired!" Melanie cried wiping sweat on
her forehead.

Julie only managed to reply with a big sigh.

The girls slouched on the chairs looking at the work
they had done. Not bad, they thought. The tree looks alive with
a more rounded shape. The little ilowers look like little lights
hung around it. They were so busy admiring the tree that they
didn't hear their teacher come, this time with bottles of
Snapple lemonade.

"You ladies did a wonderful job," she complimented.

"Thank you Mrs. Ang, those branches were kinda
tough, but we took care of it," Melanie reported, gulping her
way through her drink like it was the best stuff on earth.

"Do we have to do anything else? Because I think I
need to go home and shower," Julie cried fanninu herself. Her
hair was tied up so lightly that the roots pulled her forehead

"No, no, you ladies have done enough work already,"
she replied as she circled the tree smiling. "I'll rake the leaves
and branches myself."

"Thanks for the lemonade," said Melanie.

"Hmm-mm," was the brief reply.

"Well, we're leaving now. Ma'am. You have a nice
weekend!" Jules cried. With a sudden burst of energy Julie

stood up and began walking out lo the driveway. "We did a
good job, didn't we? I'm glad she likes it. Look at her. She's
cireled the plant four times already, notiee?" Julie whispered lo

Melanie gave a little laugh to agree. She turned to
Julie and asked, "so are we gonna skip elasses again?"


by David Cahill

The brce/c touches my skin

e\er so hghlly

as to remind me

of the way that you

gently brush your fingers over my body

as I sleep beside you.

Nature's conspiracy plays on
as a small drop of rain falls
gently upon my lips and
silently slides between them
as do your moist lips
when we wake together.

I escape the How

of running memories

inspired by mother earth

and run to the solace of my bed

where you wail for me

upon a bed of roses.


by Katy Juliano

The longest journey will always be

from the onset of sleep

to the break of day.
In between the stars spell out the roads

and the moon lights the way,

but no path should be traveled alone.

I remember when you were in my arms

and we drifted together.
At first I didn't see your way,

though it led through my dreams.
Yours was the last evening embrace

and the first mornin^z kiss.


I have ventured off many times before

and settled back with my own tears.

I have danced before the moon and seen
my face in the dark.

But sharing this journey with you

I share the moon and the stars.



by Florian Folgcr

II" I had my druthers

\\\ lake down ihc pictures

remove the furniture,

turn my home into a vacant house-

and quietly move away

Remove the curtains, the rugs-
wax the floors, make the walls and ceiling white.
Take everything.

Except the small square table that Vd
leave in the center of the big room
with a phone plugged in...

in case you should try to call
one day.



by Stephanie Cieeone

Dear George,

Your living situation we must review. Do you not like
the friends I have provided you? Does your problem stem from
uneonlrollable hate? Is that why you decapitated your
roommate? This isn't your first attack. There were Lucy,
Gilbert, Pompie, and Mack. I have attempted separation, but
you destroyed the net. I have no alternative but to disown you,
my pet.

Every morning I must disregard the scrapes of a
friend, a victim you ferociously picked at no end. Your
dwelling was furnished with live plants, the prettiest corals,
and bubble machines. But I have stripped your home of these
luxuries; they will not be replaced!

I have given you five chances; now this is your last.
You must stop this mania and fast. If you choose to ignore my
warning I'll be forced to provide a piranha as your next



by James Smith

Old familiar town:

a road

a curb

stores that were never entered.

People slide by:

(never make eye contact)
police looking for the perfect crime
a boy in the distance,
familiar from years ago:

two boys walking this very street

smoking their llrst cigarette

bad asses on the prowl

ready for action

a team that would not split...
the fmure fades as it closes in:
a L'host of what was

(or may have been.)
fix on the gray face:
lines of pain
a map of worries.
k)st eyes:

broken windows of companionship,
limp and weak

(once had a death grip.)
what would be said?
careful not to stare,
nothing but a cold breeze passes.
he has been lost in ashes
with spoon in hand
he just doesn't care.


by Lauren C. Adasiak

take up this dress of mine gently
for it's been ripping at the seams
its silken strands, tattered and torn
the ribbons and lace not there at ail

this is a plain and cotton jumper i'm giving you

untlounced and unribboned

no hoop skirt or bustle, darling

and no servant to help me with my coat

but this is no dress to be laid away

boxed and tied for shipping

this is delicate and enduring

in need of your aid only sometimes

though it is falling thread from thread, my costume
my split shawl, my security blanket, my shroud
it is still glamorous and pretty, scented with orange (lower
if you look upon it for what it once was

then seek beneath the flowing tattered robes

beneath outward appearance: neck line and slender waist

i'm sorry, for there you will find only a body

with eyes so different from yours, and reaching hands

a victim of some horrific crime, this dress was, you see
perhaps more than one; it's hard to keep it all straight lately
when the hems are crooked and sewn in zigzag
repaired so often, it might have been twice today

this dress of mine in your hands
offering complete touch to your soothing fingers and
searching eyes in need of a tissue paper cushion
and two fabulously talented seamstresses

for the heart and soul of this fancy suit
were torn out long ago, and i'm hoping
you're able to help me find them again
if you take up this dress of mine (gently)



by David Cahill

'i think wc have a lol lo talk about."

That was the last thin^i I heard as the sound of the
answering machine made that awful clicking and rewinding
noise that never failed to get on my nerves. I was trying my
damnedest lo play dead today, a frequent hobby of mine, but
she was not going to let me get away that easy.

"This is Jeff. I'm not here so leave a message." The
sound ol" my voice echoed in my head as she was about ready
lo leave her fifth message within a two hour period. I think
she was doing this primarily because she knew how
hermit-like I am and how much this incessant calling would
break my tolerance till I picked up the phone and answered
her voice.

"Hi," I said with a non-enthusiastic tone.

"Hi, I'm sorry I kept calling but I really didn't think
you would want to talk to me after what happened last night,"
said Shannon in that naiiiziniz tone.

"I didn't say that. I've just been busy doing things,
you know. Sunday is my day."

"I know you usually like your privacy on Sundays,
but I think you have to consider the situation here. It's not
every day that a woman leaves her husband and has to move
in with her best friend because of... well, you know." She said
this with a kind of maddeniniz insinuation that made me
want to dismember her.

"Yeah, I just really don't want to talk about this right
now. I'm screwed up right now and feel that I can't think
about what has happened without a day or two to work it out
on my own." I knew what I was saying was a big lie. I knew
exactly how I felt but v\as too scared to show someone my


real dark side; I didn't want to be the bad guy in this
situation, but I knew what the outcome would be.

For a little while. Shannon continued to ramble on
about her thoughts and feelings. I guess I would be lying if I
didn't admit that I blanked out about half of her conversation.
She was pouring her heart out to me on the other end of the
phone but, as stupid as she could be at times, she didn't
realize that the worst place to exchange the most intimate and
moving feelings to someone is on the telephone. You never
can tell what their reaction really is: are they bored, are they
rolling their eyes, are they watching television or
masturbating to some picture out of a magazine?

After the long telephone conversation, I knew that I
would have to give in and see her. Feeling bitter, I hung up
the phone and angrily walked to the blue Volkswagen parked
on the side of my driveway. The vehicle coughed as I drove
across town to the apartment where she was staying. The
local jazz station poured through the stereo speakers, easily
the most accessible and attractive part of this vehicle. Nina
Simone sang her heart out while I managed to Hip the fnst
cigarette of the day onto the rusted lloor of the car. The
cancer stick slide under the brake pedal as I nervously tried to
reach for another.

How dare she makes me the cause of all this misery.
Okay, she is in love with me. Fine, like that's my damn fault.
Like I put some kind of voodoo spell of love and stupidity on
her. Like I am responsible for the dysfunction of her brain
that she falls in love with someone so obviously gay that even
my parents knew about me and came to terms with it before I
did. Hell, it didn't seem to bother them so why does it bother
her so much: love, I guess that's the reason.

Driving along and listening to the radio. I took in a
lung full of smoke that mingled with the crisp fall air. I
pulled into the driveway of the apartment Shannon was
staying in; the cracked pavement leading to the back of the
house was murderous on my tires. Exiting my car, I took a


look al ihc sky overhead, it had an ominous and dark tone for
this early part of the evening. Between the darkness of the
sky. the chill in the air, and the smell that the air look on in
an atypical New England fall, it was obvious the summer was

Once entering the apartment my senses were
assaulted with the odor of cat urine. What is it about every
young person I know that has that smell in their house as well
as those creatures that are only good (or allergic reactions or
suckimi the breath out of infants. Shannon was sitting in the
corner of the living room; she looked moody and pathetic.
She walked over to me and gave me an uncomfortable smile
that begged for a hug. I look that as a hint to nod back and
look out the window into the darkening sky of the early

Much to my dismay, her friend, and now roommate,
an attractive young guy named Michael, said that we couldn't
smoke in the apartment because he had recently quit; having
custody of his four year old daughter was another reason. I
talked to Michael for a few minutes, it was a mildly pleasant
conversation in which I had a tendency to drown out his
voice and notice how the fading sunlight hit the left side
profile of his face, giving a soft and almost effeminate quality
to his appearance with his long silky brown hair and
marble-like skin.

"Are you izoinu to sit there all nieht and bullshit
about movies," Shannon chimed in with obsessive clarity.

"Haven't I always talked to Michael when I come
over?" I said with faked innocence.

"I like talking to Jeff. He's the only person I know
who confuses me with what he has to say," Michael spoke up
in my defense as Shannon continued to stare at me with an
authoritative, yet still pleading, stare.

"Well, we need to be alone," Shannon said while


reaching for a cigarette, "I need a cigarette anyway, so why
don't we go outside, Jeffrey." Shannon said. I looked at her
and wondered how it could be so easy for her to make
Michael feel like a hindrance in his own home. After all,
Michael was her soon-to-be ex-husbands' best friend; that
alone couldn't make this situation any easier for him.

Because I really needed a cigarette, I suggested that
she put on a jacket and we continue our conversation outside;
she reluctantly agreed, probably realizing that her need for
nicotine far surpassed mine. I sat for a moment in the kitchen
watching her put on her jacket and getting together a few
items to carry along on her journey. I started flashing back to
the events of the night before: the massive consumption of
alcohol leading to her confessions of not loving her husband
and wanting to leave him. The confessions turned into a tidal
wave of emotions in which she drunkenly slurred her undying
love and commitment to me. Being scared and not wanting to
hurt her feelings, and being drunk at the time, I told her that I
felt strongly and cared for her deeply. Okay, maybe I'm
crazy, but I wasn't prepared to have to acknowledge my
sexuality when it was apparent when we became friends over
a year ago that she knew what and who I was. I almost found
it insulting that she took my sexual identity as something as
trivial as a generation's style of fashion. Like being gay
wasn't part of who I was, like it was something that could be
changed with the attention of the right woman.

Before I realized it, we were walking down the
street. I could see the light from the upstairs window in the
darkness, looking at it with some voyeuristic quality as if
Michael would be naked and visible from the street. God.
even if I had wanted to try something out with Shannon, I
could never stop desiring men. Shannon stopped on the side
of the road and lit a cigarette; the smoke blew out of her
mouth in a harsh line as she coughed from the intake of the
chilling night air. She talked about how she hadn't eaten all
day and from the look of her it seemed as if she was telling
the truth. Her skin seemed thinly stretched over her face as


she turned to look al me. I wanted to feel compassion but just
lell contempt and disgust.

"JelTrey, I think that you need to know some things
that I didn't really express to their full extent last night."

"We drank a lot of booze last night, Shannon." I said
hoping that I could blame last night on some kind of alcohol-
induced madness.

"I never loved my husband, you know. I married him
when I was seventeen, and it seemed like a way to get away
from my family and all, or at least to get away from my

"Yeah, I guess a mom who lights herself on fire to
iiet attention from a cheating dad is not the best woman to be
raising children." I felt a pang of nausea as I realized that I
trivialized the pain and sorrow of her white-trash existence.
Jokes of trailer parks that my snobby friends and I would
make became a reality in Shannon. Shannon was the product
of an almost too fucked up to be believed Southern family;
it's amazing she survived without being killed in some kind
of family feud or taking her own life, being too intelligent
and sensitive for her environment. That's when I started to
remember the Shannon I met over a year ago (a girl that I
thought of as attractive, intelligent, and just eccentric enough
to be one of my closest friends). We shared everything over
the past year. I mean my friends from youth didn't really like
her much, but they didn't really care much for anyone who
wasn't part of our elitist circle of friends.

" I know. You're sorry," Shannon said.

"What do you mean?"

" I know that look on your face. You felt sorry about
the way you trivialized the way my family is, oh I don't
know anymore what the hell is going on. In you I found the
first person that I ever truly loved in my life. Sure, I've had


infanlilc crushes on more allraclivc men

"Thanks," I said still palhclically clinging lo the
accustomed compliments she would give out like Christmas

"Will you let me tlnish "

"Sure," I said, but I was still pissed at her but torn
with conflicting emotions that I was the villain in this
situation. I had to keep in mind that she had an uncanny
knack of being able to do that to people; after all, this was the
woman who told her husband that she was leaving because
his premature ejaculation had finally gotten to her. Poor
bastard, being married to her for so long.

.jj ...Ctll •>.,>_. 1.W .IV.! IVyi .JVy IV^Il^.

"We have a very special relationship. I tell you
everything that I never have been able to let out with others.
You listen to me when I talk; you hear my dreams and hopes,
and fears. Maybe you are confused and feel the same about
us as I do."

" I don't know that much really. I sure as hell play a
good game, but I probably know less about life than you do. I
have a very single-sided view to things and I'm a bit of a

"I don't think you arc a snob. I actually think you
are wonderful and we could make one hell of a life together,
you and I," Shannon said with alarming flippancy, almost as
if she had forgotten that I was not interested in a committed
loving relationship with her. After a moment, she continued
to say how I should take a trial run of a relationship between
us. I was supposedly confused so how could I know how we
would turn out if I didn't give us an honest effort.

"There is nothing wrong with one date. I mean we
go out for dinner, maybe a bad horror movie." She had the
amazing ability to know my weak points. She knew that my
eccentric interests in dark fiction and flhii were not shared by


mosi of my gay male counlcrparls. "You arc talking to
someone right now who would be willing to wait for you till
the end of the earth, and you're ready to throw it away
without even a chance."

"You can't make that kind of 'end of the earth'
statement," I said angrily. "You just left you husband less
than eight hours ago and you're talking like some kind of
Romantic poet filled with deep longing and admiration."

"I told you that I knew it was not right with him
from the very beginning. I married for complacency and a
new environment," she said with the warmth of a disturbed
snapping turtle. "You're the first person that I have loved, and
1 have known from the beginning that you are gay, but
sometimes, just sotiietimes., I saw that same look in your

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Online LibrarySigmund FreudElm City Review (Volume 7 [i.e.6]) → online text (page 1 of 3)