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March 04, 2009 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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Ceerprddsign Agela Chih
Cover ilustation:Laura Garavgia

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Letter from
the editor

Every year around Hopwood
Awards season, students rush a
small room in Angell Hall in a mad
dash to enter their painstakingly
edited and neatly foldered creative
writing portfolios into the contest
before the 12 p.m. deadline.
Every semester, even more stu-
dents endure the anxiety, frustra-
tion and bared emotions of fiction
and poetry workshops across cam-
pus, scribbling criticism in margins
and hoping that their peers won't
be as harsh.
Sometimes, these students
actually go on to publish - Arthur
Miller, Adam Herz ("American
Pie") and Jeff Marx ("Avenue Q"),
for example. More often, they
do not. But they do realize the
opportunity to express themselves
through a time-honored craft - to
delve into depths of their creativ-
ity and, often times, their psyches
that they would never otherwise
explore.
Student prose and poetry can be
rough. It can be off-putting. Non-

sensical. Gratingly ungrammati-
cal. Just way too much information
about a random classmate in your
3 p.m. lecture. But it also holds
an essence of humanity, an inti-
mation of the reason why people
continue to read the literary giants
and then venture to pick up the pen
themselves. Occasionally, a novice
work will display real talent and the
promise of great things to come.
For the annual literature issue
of The Statement, I've compiled
a selection of that last variety -
prose and poetry from students
whose propensity for writing could
very well take them far beyond their
undergraduate creative expres-
sion requirement. Here you'll find
the desperate longing of a young
would-be mother for her miscar-
ried child, a meditation on the fate
of old maids, a poetic send-off to
former Michigan football coach
Lloyd Carr and much more. Enjoy.
-JESSICA VOSGERCHIAN,
MAGAZINE EDITOR

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ee,
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NOMINATE
SOMEONE FOR THE
STUDENTS OF THE YEAR
ISSUE
The Statement is soliciting nominations for a special
issue profiling students whose personal achievements
or contributions to campus communities deserve
recognition. Send a brief description of your nominee to
vosgerchian@michigandaily.com.

I HAVE READ WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO DROWN,
and I try not to think of it as my feet edge to the
beginning of the sea, to the beginning of a uni-
verse that offers free will to the most fanatic of
men, connecting me to those I would not know in
any other circumstance. I am prudent; I care too
much. The sea is cold and unwavering, and I dare
not look into its bounds, for it warns against the
selfish acts of men, it forgives only after duty, it
finishes what it starts. Now, Ithink of whether the
mistakes I have made, the women I have kissed
and abandoned, and the illusory restraint that
confines my action would justify my descent into
the water.
I am not unlike the sea, and as my knees feel the
frozen breaths of fish beside me, I call to it, bless-
ing its waves as a priest would bless bread. The
night forsakes most, taking the shells of light bit-
terly to their break, giving me the chance to fault
and turn around. I am wet, now. I am cold, now. I
am alive, now.
Each step is unstable as the wet sand faults
under my soles, the soles of expensive shoes and
the souls of the accidental dead. I wish to know
them, to know melancholy as if Hades was my
home; to replace indifference with the reverence
of death, for life has forgotten my eyes and lips. I
want to believe in God.
Perhaps the night pushed me to this. I prefer
to antagonize over the abstract, for it feels safer.
That my lover had broken my heart or that I could
not sleep did not seem like reasons important
enough to end this existence, and I think of what
the Romans had said, that it is better to be a slave

on earth than to rule in the underworld. Is it not
enough tobe a man, to feel my strong body work-
ing? I cannot overcome the idea of death, andI
crave it each time the dawn approaches. Living is
tiring, and now all I dream of is sleep.
The water sits at my breast. Slowly, as with
things of importance, I bend my head into the
oncoming wave. It is light, and I pretend I can
breathe underwater, as our ancestors did so many
years past. It must feel welcoming, to belong, and
as all the men sat in circles, dying for causes not
yet realized, they must have thought themselves
brave. But I am not brave, no.
I know sadness. The water is not still, but the
waves are not ripe. They break on my body in cou-
plets, and the current pulls me forth, breaking for
seconds at a time, then returning to its cadence,
rhyme, mission. I was taught to survive these situ-
ations. I have no want of that. The sun's weight is
on my brow, pushing, pushing me deeper into my
grave. Or maybe it was not the sun, but her words,
her dismissals, her departures.
It is almost dark. Though my purpose is death,
my body is paralyzed with the fear of sharks, and

I hesitate in my steps, because I do not want to die
in a violent manner, but in one of nature's simplest
designs (perhaps warm and asleep in bed). My
pleas of both death and survival become louder,
cupped in the hiccups of the night. I cannot decide
whether I want to live or die.
Soon each wave hits my mouth, and I swallow
the water when no more can fit. The salt burns,
and I taste regret. I see the unattainable repen-
tance before me, and I imagine my family above
the waves, smiling as if I had never existed. I feel,
but lack power. My back is covered with the bodies
of men lost at sea; I lean back, into the waves that
have passed, and my hair flows out from me, grasp-
ing for the land I left behind. Breathing becomes
difficult, I am so cold, and my chest has the weight
of the entire ocean on its bow. My parents never
warned of the harshness of death, and how it takes
all of you before returning you to an origin, the
place where your body grew, plunged, stretched.
Such conception always comes too late.
My eyes are covered and closed by the water.
I pray as Neptune pulls me out to sea. I want to
live.

STORY BY MEGAN BERKOBIEN, LSA SENIOR

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