Visions & Voices Special Feature: Showcasing Student Creativity

Chris Neefus

This week, Visions & Voices, one of our campus literary magazines, has brought a special feature section to the Maroon News. In an effort to showcase Colgate’s brightest and most promising writers, the V&V editorial staff has selected the three strongest pieces of writing submitted during the 2006-07 school year from the Poetry, Nonfiction and Fiction categories. Finalists in the three categories are writers sophomore David Kusnetz, sophomore Megan Foley and first-year Nicole Beletsky. Two out of the three categories — Poetry and Fiction — are represented in the following special feature.

Aspiring writers or editors should check out Visions & Voices online at New work is posted on our section of the site monthly.

Thanks to all the writers who’ve submitted so far for making this new literary venture a great success!

The Secret

By David Kusnetz Class of 2009

The air is silent, save our beating heartsLying next to each other, perfect strangers, perfect loversI study her eyes and see nothingNo love.No hurt.No lasting judgment.

Our intimacy is transientFor the dawn heralds our partitionOur paths crossed and shall diverge in this hotel She to the azure Adriatic I to the snows of New York

Oh gluttonous Sun, stay thy hungerLet the dark blanket our bodies and our fearsLike the night; a stranger obscures insecurityAs in the shadows, I can do what I wish without being judgedIn the dark, she only sees what light I choose to reveal

The silence is broken Her lips open and a soft light emergesA gentle, but confident question distills the night airShe beckons me to tell her a secretOne that is deep, veiled to all who know me

A shiver seizes my bodyThe cold felt when a blanket slips off in the nightThis chill is the fear of judgment,An innate fear that bids me to put up my guard.

Stay your guardWhy must you care?For you shall never see this woman again We met and shall depart as strangers.

I will not spin tales There is no need to seek venerationFor it is a rare circumstance to be freeFree from love.Free from disappointment.Free from lasting judgment.

With a slight pause and a faint smile I replyHer eyes sparkle with intrigue And her soft lips form a Cheshire grin

My response: I will not tell you, For we are no longer strangers.

A Spell

By Nicole Beletsky Class of 2010

Two glowing embers hover in the blackness; the only clue to their blatant disregard of the rules. They sit in silence, absorbed by the nicotine and the paranoia, huddled in the cold against the sea of snow covering the fields. The campus lights cannot penetrate their well-chosen position; they are masked from the prying eyes of the Dean by a screen of trees to enjoy their few moments of rebellion and relaxation. Her mind seems empty, calm — a change from the usual barrage of thoughts. Only the empty sky, the wind in the trees, the warm tip of fire between her fingers seem real, significant.

A crunch of footsteps in the snow startles them from their soundless reverie. A soft whistle tells them it’s safe — only Smarty come to join the pair. A snap, a flame illuminating a face, and a third red glow interrupts the dark. His deep voice grumbles excitedly about the brilliance of a professor, an introduction to the beatniks, a poem by Ginsberg. Ana urges him to remember, always eager to live literature, and the deeper voice pauses, then begins to recite: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo…” His voice trails away to inhale, the ember no longer spinning wildly from his gestures of emphasis.

The words hang in the air, eager for meaning, crying out to be understood, appreciated, by more than the three teenagers smoking tiredly behind the trees of the school. The spirit of Ginsberg, flitting among the distant, reticent sparks of light forever spying on our world of men, finds his place in the universal angst of the young. They seem unable to avoid the frustration of the inhumane, the lack of empathy of the “starry dynamo,” but can a fix really contain spirituality? Tonight, they will leave it to Ginsberg for proof of his escape.

Another rush of adrenaline as footsteps warn of an approach-only the Spaniard. It seems the cold clear sky has forced a search for company in the face of apathy. But no words sever the vow, only the gentle distant lap of waves and steady breaths mark the passage of time. Each is lost in the annals of their own meager thoughts. The camaraderie provides little warmth from the cruelty of the wind, eyes stung by smoke and forced to a vision of blurry, transparent shapes.

He breaks the spell. His harsh voice cuts against their hushed trance. As they trudge downcast, squinting toward the streetlights, she indulges in a glance against the treetops, a quick search for that spirit of poetry. Only shadows seem forever black against the lights of the sky.