Aerie 2021: The Elephant in the Room
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Letter from the Editor
Letter from the Advisor
Dear Aerie Staff,
Last year at this time the Aerie Staff was navigating crisis learning, learning how to work from home, and figuring out GoogleSites in order to publish Aerie 2020 on our brand new website. It was definitely an experience (not always good, not always bad). When the National Council of Teachers of English Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (NCTE REALM) committee honored that issue with a First-Class designation, I'm not sure the new staffers understood why we were so proud to have earned that award. After the past few (hectic) weeks, I'm sure you all have a better understanding of things.
This year, you decided you wanted to publish both a book and a website. And (as with everything else), pandemic guidelines tried to thwart our efforts. The second semester started with all students remote, AND seniors graduate weeks sooner than the underclass year ends. You opted for twice the work with half the time! I always tell the Aerie staff that they can choose to take the magazine in whatever direction they want as long as they are willing to put in the work. And, work you did: You circled after school, published during lunch and mornings of off-days. You took editing and plagiarism checks home and you delegated web responsibilities to next year members. You created new ways of organizing submissions, you helped each other make layout decisions, and you advertised submissions, scheduling and sales.
So now I say this without a hint of sarcasm: I hope you're proud of yourselves. You should be. Thank you for dealing with The Elephant in the Room. It wasn't easy but the good things usually aren't.
Mr. Jared Parker -- For being our art hero. You made sure our art was in its best form even during our crunch time (which meant giving you deadlines for volunteer work)!
Oliver Santos -- For designing and creating the cover for this year's Aerie
The Firebird English Department -- For promoting Aerie throughout the whole year
Joseph Broaddus, Chloe Burke, Anna Gustin, Arian Ineza, and Lillee Vest -- For a little help getting the website organized and published
Mrs. Jessica Stickel -- For giving us unlimited access to her room and InDesign insight
Authors & Artists in Order of Appearance
Abigail Harold -- Sunset
Will Tschirhart -- If Only You Knew
Trace Olow -- Untitled
Charlie Cute -- Hope is a Ray
Graham Glovka -- Untitled
Sierra Grubb -- Summer Daze
Charlie Cute -- Colorful Fragments
Corine Cannarozzi -- Roses
Keri Masters -- School From Home
Brice Runyon -- Feeling Tired
Hannah Wilt -- Untitled
Liesl Kuschnerus -- Goodmorning
Ian Kelly -- The Beauty of Tennessee
Sierra Savage -- Capture the Beautiful Moments
Anonymous -- Forbidden Stranger
Grayson Fogel -- The Journey
Mallory McCall -- A Storm Brewing, Colorful Beach Sky
Trace Olow -- Ex-Husband
Diego Valadez, Eric Ruiz, Adam Lynch -- Gambit
Chloe Burke -- Impressionistic Landscape
Jessica Parsons -- Don't Fly Away
Toby McElwee -- Untitled
Madison Thorn -- Chihiro (Spirited Away), Rin (Blue Exorcist)
Sophia Toth -- A Mirror Image, Escapism, The Milk Bar, The Trial, The Color Green
Kathrine Hill -- Day Trip to Columbus
Anonymous -- crushcrushcrush
Payton Probasco -- Untitled, Untitled
Abigail Beach Knox Perkins -- Untitled
Ashley Reents -- Isla
Chloe Burke -- Beautiful Scenery
Addison Peters -- Worm's Eye View of Flowers
Corine Cannarozzi -- A Pretty Tree
Hannah Wilt -- Untitled
Makayla Turner -- Untitled
Olivia Rose -- Two Ghosts
Charlie Cute -- We Are Here
James White -- Flower Power
Anna Grace Galle -- Ballad
Darcy Tipton -- Untitled
Sierra Grubb -- Welcome Home
Charlie Cute -- Peanut Butter Pancakes with Chocolate Croissants
Keri Masters -- Quarantine Hobbies
Jordan Ritenour -- Bullpen
Ashley Daniels -- Museum Exhibit
Isabella Drozd -- Lost
Madison Thorn -- Untitled
Sunset - Abigail Harold
Hope is a Ray
Hope is a ray
That shines from the moon,
And cannot be weighed.
Hope is a beam
Shimmering from the sun so soon,
Sea to shining sea.
Hope guides us all
To a gleaming boon,
A future of awe.
Summer Daze - Sierra Grubb
"Yet his golden muse glowed bright"
But she went pink
When she saw White
To a challenge
They didn’t want
A love life
Having friends is enough
And loves his life
With Green and their cats
Though he glowed,
Green was the light of his life
He loves his husband Green
Whenever he could
He loved his black cats
And wrote daily
To share it with others
Yet his golden muse
Like water and
Though he was sad
Dealing with mental health issues
He could depend on
His husband and his wife
Purple and Teal
Happy in his little
Roses - Corine Cannarozzi
School From Home - Keri Masters
"Waiting for good news to arrive in desperation. Desperation seems to be my only feeling"
"He pushes us further into the plush. Mind filled with fantastical dream."
New days start with the death of another.
A solemn end to your time awake.
Yet, in the morning our minds are reset.
New and fresh, like the dewy grass.
Yesterday’s son lifts us awake.
Clear and quiet, he rises unnoticed.
Completely still and silent,
He lays his sights upon our noses.
All of our brains sweetly blank
In his presence.
His soft light caresses
Through the thin slits of the blinds.
He touches our skin,
“Wake up friend”
Head thick with him,
We feel our hand and our fingers,
Our stomach and chest,
Undulating with breath.
Melting intimately around our body,
He pushes us further into the plush.
Mind filled with fantastical dream,
We arise into the clean air
Greeted by other wiped minds.
Capture the Beautiful Moments - Sierra Savage
Forbidden Stranger Anonymous
A Storm Brewing
Colorful Beach Sky
13 years ago, my ex-husband passed away. The two of us were perfect for each other, both leaning more anti-social, and not having many friends or personal outings besides work and the grocery store. We deeply loved each other, or rather, I deeply loved him. I was never sure how much he had loved me; he never expressed or showed any emotions throughout the time span I had known him. Things wouldn’t have ended the way he did if he just expressed emotion to me once in a while, never even verbalizing the words “I love you” to me.
The two of us got married after we had both finished college, both attending the same university not far from our hometown. To celebrate our marriage, we purchased a house a little ways outside of our hometown in the woods. It was a white brick house, if you disregarded the white paint peeling off the bricks. The house sat plump in the middle of the forest, with a long dirt driveway leading to the main road. The trees surrounded the house, towering over it, silencing any sound from entering or leaving the house.
Eventually my husband’s time had come, and he passed away. No one knew he had passed, and no one really came to check on us. Majority of people, even family, knew the two of us preferred to be left alone, and they respected that. After all, it made it easier on me afterwards. I didn’t have to come up with any lies, hide anything, or worry about anything.
After my ex-husband had passed, I was left alone in the small brick house in the woods. It was quite nice being left alone all day in the house. I sat on the porch, watching the sun beam down through the trees and into the house through the windows. Peaceful, I’d describe it. However, at night, the word peaceful was shattered. Nothing in this psychotic house was peaceful at night. My ex-husband came back to visit every single night, if “visit” is even the correct word to describe the terrifying events. Even if all the doors were sealed and locked, he’d knock on them throughout the night. He’d knock for hours on the windows, doors, and walls, somehow knowing each and every room I was in. For years I had thought the events were just deranged nightmares of mine, but eventually I learned it was most definitely real one night after forgetting to lock one of the door bolts. I didn’t know what he wanted, or what he had found in doing this every night. My deed was done, and revenge was far from ever being accomplished by him. If he had just loved me, truly loved me…
I wouldn’t have had to bury him in the backyard.
Impressionist Landscape - Chloe Burke
Piece inspired by The Loing Canal by Alfred Sisley
Don't Fly Away
"I breathe in, I breathe out. The butterflies fly through me."
I breathe in
I breathe out
The butterflies fly through me
Each exhalation letting them free
Each inhale trapping them inside
It's tiring caging these butterflies
But I'll survive
They want to be let out
They're tired of being trapped
They want to fly free
So I can't breathe
Pouring out my lungs
A beautiful stream of butterflies
My final hum
Chihiro (Spirited Away)
Rin (Blue Exorcist)
A Collection by Sophia Toth
A Mirror Image
The Milk Bar
The Color Green
Day Trip to Columbus - Kathrine Hill
Her smile shimmers like a warm ray of light.
And this golden blade pierces me through the stomach.
Now the steering wheel is choked under my grip and
my knuckles scream and are strained white.
The back of my neck feels like burnt rubber as heat beats down.
Or is it the subtlety of her gaze?
The sound of her laugh dances in the cavern of my ears
and tastes like sweet ice when it rests in the pool of my tongue.
I choked from across the helm because
she didn’t have her plastic so
we sat stationary in the black parking lot of her apartment,
as I fumbled helplessly with the ancient air conditioning.
But I purposely miss spun the dial, and so we baked in the fever.
Cicadas droned from the large oaks,
then fell out of the sky from exhaustion
and neither of us could help them.
Neither of us could give it the slip because
we were desperate and wore long grins stretched by youth.
We were about as cool as pavement.
I prayed that I could glide through the windshield
and embrace the summer breeze.
But the day after, and the day after that, will all fall flat against
This simmering glass cage.
And the bitter sunshine that encouraged me
Had just melted me down like children’s crayons
On a hot day at noon, so shortー
I’ll have to let go of fleeting feelings in order to hold her tight.
Me sentí un sol eternoー
even as summer sells itself away in boardwalk stalls,
even as monarchs send their luggage abroad,
even as her lips purse in the silence,
covering glitter once and for all
Abigail Beach Knox Perkins
Isla - Ashley Reents
Worm's Eye View of Flowers - Addison Peters
A Pretty Tree - Corine Cannarozzi
We Are Here
They say we shouldn’t know
They say we shouldn’t care
But the signs flashed in our faces
The issue was always there
We won’t let them choose our fate
We are here, we can’t wait
So bring out your purples,
Your blues, your greens
Take yellow, my fellow
They‘ll be forced to view what they’ve refused to see
Show your oranges and your reds,
Show that We aren’t dead
We’re here, queer, and in your face
And one things for sure, it’s not a phase
Flower Power - James White
Ballad - Anna Grace Galle
i was lonely
only recently losing who i was
i had no sunshine on the cloudy days
yet, because of you
it hurts knowing i’m not your only
confused on why i stay, because
you are now the clouds that make sure the rain stays
Peanut Butter Pancakes with Chocolate Croissants
***Ice cream can be supplemented with milk, ice cream is just used to add unique flavor.
Quarantine Hobbies - Keri Masters
Bullpen - Jordan Ritenour
Museum Exhibit - Ashley Daniels
Original Art by Sandy Skoglund
Lost - Isabella Drozd