ISSUE 2
September 2009

Inklings is the teen literary magazine of the Associated Libraries of Monroe County: Barrett Paradise Friendly Library; Clymer Library; Eastern Monroe Public Library; Pocono Mountain Public Library; and Western Pocono Community Library.

Poetry

Artwork

Shorts
Animal shorties

Manipulator

A requiem for a villain

Steeples and guardians

Of fragile and unshakable origin

Manicured fingers of savagery

Background graphic from: www.grsites.com

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Questions or comments? Please send an e-mail to: teenlibr@yahoo.com.

All submissions are the property of the writer or artist. Inklings is designed for teens ages 13-18. Submissions are subject to the discretion of Inklings'editorial staff. Work is presented exactly as it was submitted; we do not correct spelling or grammar errors. The content of Inklings does not necessarily reflect the views of the Associated Libraries of Monroe County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Artwork

Shorts
Animal shorties

Manipulator

A requiem for a villain

Steeples and guardians

Of fragile and unshakable origin

Manicured fingers of savagery

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Artwork

Shorts
Animal shorties

Manipulator

A requiem for a villain

Steeples and guardians

Of fragile and unshakable origin

Manicured fingers of savagery

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Artwork

Shorts
Animal shorties

Manipulator

A requiem for a villain

Steeples and guardians

Of fragile and unshakable origin

Manicured fingers of savagery

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Artwork

Shorts

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Inklings

For teens, by teens.

For teens...
... who want to inspire others and establish a voice in our community.
... who want to be published.
... who are aspiring authors.
... who are artistic, creative, and have nothing better to do.
And because, let's face it-- Inklings just rocks!


SHORTS

Animal Shorties by BW

A Snake's View on Humans
I am curled up on my favorite sunning rock in the midday sun I look like a part of the rock. I look over the sand, various cacti, and occasional rocks, as I spy a mouse running from rock to rock I lay very still waiting for it to come to me. A sixth sense warns me as I wait for the mouse, there! A shadow falls over me I look up it is one of abnormal bipeds, even stranger then the occasional arachnid I see that use their tales to kill their prey. These bipeds are so confusing they cover their skin (for these poor, weird mammals do not have scales, poor things) with what looks like animal skins. It comes near me not seeing me (they are blind too, how do they survive?), I start rattling my tale to warn it, it looks down startled I allow myself an amusing thought; how scared would it be if I strike at it? I bite but do not release any of my venom, as it falls over itself in fright (clumsy too eh?). It runs as I settle down, I had my fun for the day now I must find a mouse or a flying creature’s chick to bring to my children. Soon they will leave the nest and start hunting for themselves and then I can find some more of the weird bipeds to amuse myself with...

A Hawks View on Hunting
I am perched at the tip of a dead tree watching, waiting for my prey to show itself. As I wait for my victim, I take in my family’s territory; my nest is atop the biggest tree in the forest, surrounded by dead trees. At seventeen weeks, my brothers and I are still nesting near our nest; soon we will head south toward Mexico. Since I am getting off subject, I will return to the matter at hand. There!!! I suddenly spied a rabbit in the brush. I take off from my perch climbing higher and higher in the air; all of a sudden, I flip in mid-air and dive from the sky like a speeding bullet. Dropping suddenly on my surprised quarry, instantly killing it with a snap of its neck, as my brothers swoop in to try to take my prize, I screech at them telling them to back off; it is my food.


Manipulator by KW

I watched conscientiously from behind the iron judgement that barred me from unconfined freedom. The situation was beginning to aggravate me greatly and I had bent most of my hours devising a method of escape.

It wasn’t that I was fleeter, or stronger then anyone else who had been caged here before me, but perhaps I was a little more desperate then some. I didn’t mind playing the “Nice” card if it would preserve my life. I knew how to curb my mock empathy and tenderhearted pretense.

I know how to receive exactly and precisely what I want, it’s worth telling people what they want to hear. I’ve arrayed myself a few dozen masks, contradicted myself a hundred times over, and sworn a thousand things I never meant. I guess it is evident why people tend to dislike me. I won’t play honest with you if you harbor something of value, I won’t turn a cold shoulder if your in a position of general power.. Something of you in trade for something of me, a lie or two in between


A Requiem for a Villain by KW

A ventricle of blackened blood, a vein, a filament of passionless fluid.
A current so cold, it might divulge the self-centered heart that pumps it’s icy life.
Deduce that the vision that steers this specters passage, is skewed and warped, relinquishing at last to the ruthlessness which it imposed upon itself.

For every blow inflicted mercilessly upon his victims, he strikes himself severest of all.
He numbly yields to his own blade, which he steadily works into the muscle and tendons of his consciousness. It is not in the theory of him unfeeling, it is the fact he has felt too much.

It is in the imploding of his constrained heart that his gaze empties into little more than fragments of frozen glass. That he does not serenely observe, but rakes with violent and brutal scrutiny.
By what fate does his path diverge upon the innocent and the guiltless?
By what web does he reel in his victims with illusions of empathy?
Faceless but for his trenchant mask, an overlord of pretense, first of crow-skin then of sheep, he weaves among society with ever increasing disdain.

Within his waxen soul, there pounds a rhythm of hymn. A Psalm perhaps of the Principalities, by this verse and the next. They reverberate eternally an anamnesis to a former differentiation between the powers of the spiritual realms. Even in the Earthly Empires, there are foundering angels amongst men.


Steeples and Guardians by KW

Leaning on the wings of this mighty Gargoyle, a symbolic protector and guardian of this Church, I feel strongest of all tilted in the direction of defense. I strike against those who threaten something so stoic. I will never see Heaven, nor have right to kneel before God. Here atop the spires of this steeple, this is as near to Heaven as I’ll ever be.

I like to believe it is the way I am, my sharp judgement, and hollow emotions, but alas, it came far before that. There is, on occasion, a soul that passes through the spherical boundaries of this world. One that only steps halfway into flesh.

People are disjointed, broken down into three separate congregations, that I can infer. Those that don’t believe, those that say they believe, and those that do believe. All, save the last category finds itself in a position of extreme weakness and like all weakness they are to be purged. Fragility and doubt breed and spawn more uncertainty and that, in turn, gives birth to sickened and frail individuals with limited notions.

I know that in my purging, I have ensured that I too have become one of them. It is something that I both detest and see as necessary, though I know it is not ethical It is my fault therefore that I take this position, and I comprehend that I will be ever titled as wicked and malicious in the eyes of more theological beings.

Unlike some, all my life is bent of the verse that lays after. More then often those around me seem temporal though it is a common trait amongst us. Then why am I so inclined to find consolation isolation, musing on the spiritual forces, and unraveling the delicate clockwork of the world.

Is it not better to be as this church figure? Solid, unfeeling, ever watchful in the changing of decades, a symbol of something that doesn’t subsist in these evil seasons. There was a time maybe when those people down below, would look up towards Heaven and venture a thought on fate. These winged creatures are frozen entities of those times. Stoic, Constricted... but soulless... as soulless as I feel.


Of Fragile and Unshakable Origin by KW

I have lived too long.

The landscape passed by like an apparitional spectacle just outside the obscured windows. I could feel the train lurch beneath me, and for a moment or so I closed my eyes and let my mind stray to its metal heart beating, beating, crawling it’s way across tarnished tracks, guided, but without caution. What I might give to be this metal snake. It perceives nothing, it anticipates nothing, it detests nothing, it is nothing. Nothing except steel, automation and mechanics. We had something in common.

I don’t understand why I can draw similarities between myself and the machinery of this devastated world. We were both designed to perform a singular task given to us by our creators. I was not meant for the life of other men. I know this because if God finds one kindness to grant me, it is that He told me.

I never felt my age more, the injuries were throbbing away at my mind, eating away at any sanity I had left. Freedom... the souls of the dying can be free of this imperfect, flawed, miserable excuse for a corpse. Why must I live forever in this prison-cell of flesh. I could feel the blood warming the front of my jacket, and loathed my own fragility.

Anything weak or with the disposition of weakness was incapable of domination, therefore wasteful. I fell back onto my own perceptions because they were solid, unchanging. The only person worth my trust was myself. I would soon leave. I have no illusions of staying bound to any one individual. This wasn’t any different from anyone else I have journeyed with, I was always condemning her sins and her own malfunctioning heart.

“You are soulless...” My sister told me, before she lured us to our deaths, “Soulless and incapable of human conduct.” She said that because she needed to rationalize her actions, if I was soulless, it was acceptable to deceive me. But I didn’t have to be soulless for that to be justified. No one had justified it before, and no one since.

There are some people who don’t journey back from that place of glacial detachment. The only way to save themselves from self destruction is to erect solid walls and bury one's self under cold judgments. I never felt like digging my way out, even now, I have no intention of it.

Here, I don’t feel the days, nor the hours, nor the minutes. Here, I flaunt emotions that are not my own, wear a dozen masks, and act many parts to a stage, but beneath I am a void of hollow thought and empty ideals. Maybe I am soulless... and it is justified. The warmth of my own blood, cold in it’s disposition, oozed with steady resoluteness to drench my dark attire. It saturated that which I hold closest to my specter heart... a justification for this Hell.


Manicured Fingers of Savagery by SH

You with the manicured fingers, the polished shoes, the cleanly trimmed hairstyle, the glistening white teeth. You with your alarm clock-centric existence, your three caloric-balanced meals, your morally-charged judicial system and your rationally-charged science system, your Bible and Torah and Koran, your Eightfold Path to nowhere. You are searching for the monster in all the wrong places.

It is not camped under your bed, enjoying the comfort of the lush carpet. It is not sprawled in your closet, amongst your redundant wardrobe, full of clothes that are just variations of each other. But the elusive monster - the grotesque antihero you convince yourself is simply the product of an overactive, childish imagination - is always in that room with you, embedded into the crevices of your mind, feeding off your smallest antagonisms.

The monster rolls on the tip of your tongue, pinches the insides of your cheeks, races across your molars, and suffocates into the back of your throat – you swallow the lie, the cruel derision, before you are exposed. It flashes out of your eyes, in systematic spurts of envy and voracious greed, rips down the spine of your back, and pounds your heart into an intense palpitation mode, until you disguise your hatred as a shiver and brush it away. It sears your red-hot knuckles, jerks your wrist, tightens your palm, and slams your younger sibling into the ground at your feet, before you profusely apologize, stunned. You don’t know what came over you.

See, we are all euphemized versions of ourselves. Every thought, every action, every maneuver, every meaningless politeness and civility is only societal provision to disguise our subliminal savagery. Our elaborate law systems give us security from our greatest fear: ourselves. We need protection from the monsters we know we are.

Yet this is an admittance that will never be outwardly verbalized – not in polite society. Gory blockbusters that feature heads chopped off with chainsaws, combat sports like boxing and wrestling whose central purpose is to attack one’s opponent until he is bleeding internally, these pursuits are lightly and unabashedly dismissed as “purely entertainment”. Our game of lodging bullets into helpless birds and deer for no apparent reason is simply “wildlife management” – definitely not a reflection of our incurable addiction to lethal violence. Our constant dissolution into war, brutally bombing and insensately murdering our brethren, apparently serves the greater purpose of “achieving peace”.

And is that not the sickest, most chilling dichotomy? That we evoke euphemisms for what can only be called murder, that we sanction killing with a complex set of legal justifications, that our acts of violence represent not a Darwinian drive, but a form of intellectualized sadism. At least those wild animals that rip their victims apart are submerged by primal hunger within their id. It is their unorganized neurological structures that force them to act like monsters. Our brains, on the other hand, operate perfectly while we commit obscenities. Despite our cruelly flawed persona, we believe ourselves far superior to other living beings. Not children of Earth, but Children of God. The “Divine Species”, whose carefully constructed civilizational graces exempt us from animalistic savagery. Hardly. Instead, they have given us convenient excuses for barbarism.

Throughout the centuries, these excuses have manifested in various disguises. Antediluvian societies practiced an almost perpetual sort of barbarism, killing with no sense of right or wrong. But as civilization developed, so too did validations for cruelty. Ultimately, the lines between right and wrong were blurred by the very same civilized constructions that humans hold in esteem: religion, science, finance, national identity.

Newborn babies were sacrificed on the hills of Megiddo in 500 BC, in the name of the pagan god Baal. The Huns plundered Eurasia in 434 AD, using brutal warfare to murder millions, for the mere purpose of conquering territory. Indians used a combination of genetics, Hindu teachings, and a social caste system to justify a cruel, two-millennia-long prejudice against “untouchables”. Slavery, a barbaric constant of “civilized” society from its beginnings was, in pre-Civil War United States, predicated on scientific racism and a labor-desperate agricultural economy. Genocidal campaigns of the past century have systematically tortured and executed their victims in order to achieve racial and political dominance.

We practice a very high-form of barbarism, cloaked in euphemisms and empty rationalizations. At their core, these acts of cruelty are completely id-driven - based on immediate self-gratification. But the human process of intellectualizing mass-murder has added more advanced layers to the cruelty. All these aforementioned acts of brutality had long-term goals, revealing that humans must have been in a proper state of mind while they were behaving so cruelly. In other words, following a “civilized lifestyle” in conjunction with performing monstrous acts is not only possible, it is mandatory.

Hanging in the Holocaust museum is a black and white photo of a Nazi officer that, at first glance, looks perfectly normal. Suddenly it strikes you that there is something very, very disturbing and just completely wrong with the picture because perpetrators of genocide should look anything but normal. But there he is, Mr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Hitler’s right-hand man. Hours before the photo was shot, he was standing in a killing-field in northern Berlin, leading thousands of cachectic prisoners on a grueling 40-mile death march. But he is now posing with his attractive family, five small girls and a boy, a haughty smile plastered on his face, perfectly convinced that his doctrine is the correct one. He is every distorted contradiction, personified. He has manicured fingers and polished shoes and a cleanly trimmed hairstyle and glistening white teeth. Just like you, he has his alarm-clock centric existence, his three caloric-balanced meals, his morally-charged judicial system and his rationally-charged science system, his holier-than-thou Bible, and his Eightfold Path to nowhere. A true monster.