3 Poems by Marianna Hagler

Something more tender than metaphor

I can tell she’s

looking for some

thing more tender

than metaphor—a shimmering

textual cylinder,

a shelf of self-help

run thru a chipper-

shredder, a New York Times

best-seller —


i like any

thing that lights

up on its own—

cats’ eyes, children’s

sneakers, the sun—

when the baby

smiles, it’s not

for you or me

Local on the 8s

wanna talk about the

weather with me—i like

to do it and to watch

local on the eights

on tv—to sit on,

to sink into the couch

at mother’s house

—to sit on, to set

onto porch screened in

with screen—a poem

takes time and staring into

Fists by Diana Richtman

Once I had a fascination with men fighting one another.

Fists hitting cheeks, hitting stomachs. They would be fighting

for honor, theirs or mine — it didn’t matter.

But the animal that wins the dogfight does not curl up next to you

and lick your wounds after it has just decimated a body.

That dry dog food will not satisfy any of its cravings.

Now it hungers for something deeper, bloodier,

something that glows red and whimpers. The old rooster

will always be mean even when its head is chopped off.

Claws are still claws even after you’ve filed them down.

They will grow back.

A god who enjoys his killing is no god at all.

What I’m saying is don’t love the man whose hands

you fell in love with first, whose hands curl into fists

even while you lie beside him.

An Occurrence by Benjamin Scott

The man in the booth thumbed the small box in his pocket. He’d left it out on his desk the night before, and his girlfriend of a year and a half had certainly seen it, as she’d been looking there for a book he borrowed from her earlier in the week. Of course, this ruined any plans he may have had – he was not sure how he wanted to ask her, but now knew whatever he chose would have to be special and truly unexpected.

He’d gone out to treat himself to dinner, in hopes of clearing his mind. But, as that venture fell short, it was time to go home. He paid his bill and hopped in his car, highway-bound.

He drove onward, eyes gradually unfocusing and fixating on some unseen point well beyond the road, beyond the grasp of his headlights. Soon there was just his car floating down the highway, only his car and the rapidly approaching vehicle zooming up behind him. A horn blared and he returned to earth, turning his head to watch the disgruntled driver pass. He looked back to the road just in time to see the deer.

His hands wrenched the wheel. The car, as though yanked on a string, pulled sharply to the left, losing its grip and sliding sideways for just the briefest of moments. Then the tires caught and the wayward traveler flipped up into the air, hovering for a small eternity. Before the car touched the pavement once more, he closed his eyes.

First was the acrid smell of heat and carnage. It wrenched his eyes open, and let him hear the hissing of steam and smoke, feel the queasy vertigo of being suspended upside down inside his car. He unbuckled and suffered a short fall from his seat to the ceiling, which now touched the asphalt. The driver’s side window had already shattered, so with a brief struggle he wriggled his way out of his now-totaled car. A glance betrayed that the upended scrap-heap was a lost cause, so he did not linger at the scene – he simply turned and walked up the road, the way he knew to be toward home.

Though the moon barely shone that night, he did not feel in danger, as the road was well-lit and no cars passed by. The stars did not move and the wind did not blow. Only he moved through the dark, jumping like a child playing hopscotch from streetlight to streetlight, until finally he arrived at home.

The lights on the front porch were off, and when he entered the house was still. Every light inside was also off, but some hidden glow drew his eyes to the table in the dining room, where a note lay. He picked it up, then walked over to his lamp to read.

“I hate to do this to you, but return the ring. I can’t see you anymore. I don’t know if I’m ready to start a family, and I’m not going to make you a part of that dilemma. It’s hardly fair. Maybe, if I figure myself out, we can try again. But for now,


He read it twice, three, four times. The note slid from his stiff hands down to the floor. He did not remember then dragging himself up the stairs, cold and quiet, nor did he remember the fire burning behind his eyes as he tried in vain to drift away. He simply awoke the next morning, knowing he had a different day ahead.

She would never call him back. He waited, waited, waited, did not date for months, years, decades. He felt much more content and comfortable as one who waited. When he would go out, he would not speak, and to him nobody spoke. He lived at home, alone and unbothered. Sometimes, a lonely glum feeling would seep into the edges of his vision, a deep, inky blue, midnight blue, leaking from some inkwell he could not see, but the blotches faded and life would carry on. Nobody knew how he lived, for nobody took enough notice to ask.

One day, he was older, much older, perhaps sixty or sixty-five years, and a knock at the door echoed around his hollow house. His ears were first unresponsive – they had not heard a knock for ages – but slowly, surely, he understood that someone had come to his door. With relief, with apprehension, with the most excitement he had felt for dozens of years, the man got up from his rocker in the living room and checked the door.

He opened it to find an ageless face in an amorphous coat of indistinguishable color. The shimmery guest hardly looked real. He asked the visitor for a name.

“Death”, it replied.

“…Death?” the man rasped, voice suddenly stale, mind connecting one hundred dots in one million ways. He had so many questions, so many answers, and was unbelievably confused.

“May I enter?” asked Death, to which the man silently, still stunned, stepped aside and let the spectre into his home.

Though his thoughts were awhirl, racing about in panic, one stood out as a mountain peak in fog. “I still have years ahead of me. I feel healthy. It’s not my time.”

Death sighed. “I wander always, and eventually find those whose time has come. I always know. Though about you, I must admit,” it said, hand at chin, “something is not right. I still cannot tell.”

At Death’s hesitation, the man continued to protest, in hopes of convincing the spectre to grant him more time, but time for what? Death heard his words but listened to his thoughts, and interrupted him to ask a question.

“Why do you so urgently wish to live? What would be the difference if I came back ten years from now, or ten years before? What would you do? What would you see? Who would you be?”

He stopped short. He racked his mind, searching for the magic words to stave off the visitor, yet nothing, nothing, nothing. There was nothing. But he was not sad. Instead, his now-blank face, suddenly devoid of feeling, showed only that he was lost.

It was then that Death realized its mistake.

The man did not stir as Death arose from its seat and moved to the door. It looked back to ensure that yes, the mistake had been caught, for the man was still bone-stiff and staring blankly into nothing. The visitor nodded, then passed through the door and left the house behind, which dissolved into a dark and smoky cloud in the distance.

It approached the vehicle, upturned and violently steaming. The spectre wiped a tear.

“Come, and I will show you something different.”

Death reached into the car and gently pulled out the dead man, cradling him in its arms, then took a deep breath before floating off toward something different.

4 Poems by Maxwell Rabb

pass me the remote, click the
button or hand me the
remote—do not point that at
me it is dangerous—i don’t
know my age but i am too young
to change channels
to open up
the attic and find family
portraits family members whose
names disappeared shortly after
they were buried
before their names eroded off their 
gravestones, i hope someone
places my nintendo in my 
suit pocket
i hope someone remember
to charge it
animal planet is on
it is the planet
we animals
i felt distant from the animals and
steve irwin but i still think of
them. lying in the water
how do i survive the ocean – i am not
meant to be there – i am not
steve, i want the remote
i am afraid of the ocean
drinking until my eyes
are bloodthirsty
blood red
head rushing with the
sound of breaking 
clouds red with
hammers shining
reflections of a 
divine furnace
the metal rings in
my ears 
my dad did not
give me earplugs
listening to heavy 
metal ringing
eye drops pour
to close my
i see the forest


tooth chipped on the desk
forgetting how to spell my
            name in class
how can the world spin if
             i can’t feel it
if i can’t feel after hearing
             my name becomes
synonymous with forgotten
incapable of putting words on
the air without a stutter
ripping pages out of my
hair how do i spell
             “the sunlight twitches”
without my name
i can remember my teacher but
her lessons are lost in the 
the sight of snow from
my dog’s eyes
i understand
him for one moment
confused and cold during an
imagined silence
an uproar whispered to 
me directly under
winter, i
hate the cold but love
my dog when he 

The Lust for Freedom by Zachary Bordas

In troubled days when the future of our world seemingly dangles between the forces fighting for freedom versus the possibility of nuclear extinction I might impulsively keep myself busy with jazz and liquor to avoid over-thinking about the current state of affairs we live under. However, these entertainments cannot null the pressing reality of our daily struggle for the right to life, equality, love, and happiness. Questions of whom we are “allowed” to love are still as pertinent today as they were in the 1920 and 1930’s. 

I was reminded this week that one must always remain alert to the political happenings of their time; because, the sad truth shakes us to realize that we could easily awake one morning wondering why everything is falling apart. The University of Georgia Theatre presents Cabaret, which serves both as a delight for the senses, as well as a think piece about not only 1920’s Berlin, but also of present day America. Director Freddie Ashley’s adaptation of this eight time Tony award-winning musical invites you to leave your troubles at the door while you indulge infectiously on the festival of pleasure, drama, and love. Not to mention the show’s costume design by Erica Manzano that had enough spunk, class, sleaze, and period-correct garments to heighten the aesthetic of familiarity with a touch of new vision. This paired with the intricate set design of Julie Ray reminded me of the famous Es Devlin; this, and the mesmerizing/impeccable precision of capturing the mood via the light design of Richard Dunham provides an experience not easily forgotten. 

As many will recall, the 1972 film was a wellspring of untapped passion, fear, regret, and romance as portrayed by the genius of Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli. Here, at UGA, much of that early magic is captured by the Emcee performed by Larry Cox Jr. and Sally Bowles performed by Katie Butcher. Cox’s incendiary portrayal of the lustful (yet love-smitten) Emcee blended the charm of Joel Grey with charisma of Alan Cumming. Watching Cox perform was addictive! His ownership and creative spin on this iconic role made him the overall star of the show. Not to be overshadowed, however, is Butcher’s willingness to dive into the depths of despair and brokenness, which was evident in her performance of the train-wreck Sally Bowles. I could feel the crowd hope with her that “maybe this time [she’ll] win”.  

One of the nights biggest surprise stars was Matthew Suwalski’s performance of Herr Schultz. Suwalski captured the innocence of what it would have been like living in Berlin as a German-Jew in the late 1920’s. My heat was breaking as I watched the musical progress from the lively parties of the Kit Kat Club to the historical reality concerning the rise of the Nazi party, and how it tore apart lives that were meant to be together. The poetic truth of this play continues to ask its audience to pause and reflect on the troubles of our time, which they are forced to do while being intoxicated by the fact-paced musical score of John Kander and Fred Ebb.  

In the midst of the characters forming their identity through the sexual nightlife at the Kit Kat Club, there is juxtaposed the reality of life in the daytime where the encroaching ideologies of the Nazi party impose the threat that all their individualism and sexual liberation can be taken away at any moment. The play makes one evaluate what privileges they enjoy and what they would do to protect those rights. Those familiar with the play will love this performance; however, it may be hard not singing along to “Money,” or “Mein Herr”. Still they will find this specific adaptation will leaves a deep question in their mind when they exit the theater. Those who have never seen the film or show I merely say: “Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!” 

The UGA Theatre will perform Cabaret at the Fine Arts Theatre on North Campus until November 12th, 2017–– only question remains: will you “come to the Cabaret”? 


The UGA Theatre 

225 Baldwin St.  

Athens, GA 20605 

(706) 542-4400 



“Eclipse” by Alexander Sheldon

There were no clouds in the sky; the air felt empty but heavy. Brimming with condensed nothingness. Bloated expectation.

“Or, it’s just this heat.”

The thought fell out like a deflated balloon, emitting a flat, softly shrill squeak. The boy sitting on the grass didn’t respond to the noise. His legs lay flat, sprawled in a wide V-shape which jerked up as his back arched in a pose undoubtedly strenuous. His mouth hung open as he stared into what might have been the oak silhouetting the left side of my head, or the empty space around it, or withering grass behind and below it.

I put a hand to my forehead and looked up. Cicadas chirped, and water ran in rivulets down my neck. The sun shone angrily as it shriveled, pressing strands of dark hair onto the boy’s forehead. He closed his eyes as they began to fill with water, then whipped his head to the side. Strands flicked every which way, as beads of water scattered in the dry grass. I turned my head and met the gaze that trained onto my face at the moment the sun died.

I thought about how I expected something more; some sort of emotion brimming to the surface, and swimming through me, flowing out in color, against the darkness. But it wasn’t that dark. I turned from him. I walked a few steps and sat down. The wooden steps on the porch felt cool, and the sky enveloped the dirty white walls in a soft overcast hue. The change was lurid, sharp like the brightness of the midday sun when you haven’t slept the previous night, and your brain registers time and light and reality in discoordinated serial chunks. Similar, but opposite.

I had the glasses his father had lent me, some cheap plastic lenses. I looked up. It took me a few seconds to make out anything through the blue-black tint, yet I could eventually see a small orange circle nearly covered by a white circle. I jerked my head downward, letting the glasses fall into the grass I had walked back toward while peering through the lenses.

A lurid, sharp, piercing feeling was alright, to me.

I stuffed my face into the grass and breathed; my body softly crumpled. I continuing inhaling the earthy, nonsmell of grass, waiting for the sound of fading footsteps before allowing my eyes to sweep lazily across the field. The grass began to take on a brighter, more vibrant tone, and then I could feel the sun slipping through and then breaking past the moon’s cover. The porch seemed more real at that moment. I wondered how long the impression would last, as I picked myself up and began walking back toward the house.