I originally wrote this for Ohio Universitys 1963 Athena,
where it was accompanied by photographs. The text has been changed slightly here
and section titles have been added.
UPDATE: In 2010 Ohio University put all Athena editions online in digital form. The link for the 1963 Athena, beginning on the first page, is here. The section with the text shown on this page (in its original form) is here with the PHOTOS that accompanied it. (Actually the text was written to accompany the photos.) A pic of me (with my hair in a beehive and sipping lemonade) is on page 242. Credits for the photographs and for the feature copy are on page 339. Have fun! I know I did.
Copyright © 2002 by Judith LauraJudith Laura:
|Love at First Sight|
drawn close together between blazing hills.
while rushing, that morning brightness divides
shadows falling with absolute clarity
on red brick buildings, sidewalks.
Dark Red. (Maroon? Oxblood? Orchid?)
With splashes of glistening green between the
walks, like a picture postcard. Only more vibrant
because it is a vision
of the mind.
Stepping, without seeing,
almost without feeling, into deep grooves
of Ewing steps.
Whose will be the footfalls that finally
wear the first print into
the Space Art stairs?
Faces, rushing past,
do they see? Flashing
past like the passing of past years: each like the
other. Until magically the veil lifts and the face is
a sunny spot that a cloud has just passed over, smiling,
"Meet you after class for coffee in the Frontier Room."
Is this the place where greetings
and confetti were tossed?
Moonlight flooding through McGuffey elms, mirages
floating between shafts of
lamppost light, whirl (revolve)
and thenfor one breaths
Voices: Hurry! In five minutes
girls turn into pumpkins.
. . . .flour and water make paste. . . on sweatshirt. . .
tweak. . . tomorrow. . . not much time. . . tweak. . . green yellow red
blue English test Monday. . . whos getting up
at 6 a.m . . . tweak. . . "from back here it really looks sharp" . . .
But what if the head falls off before it reaches Court Street. . .
white breath and gray smoke mingle. . . golden mums meet yellow sun. . .
Trumpets drums boom blare so early in the morning. . . "how do
they get it to move up and down". . . bumping along while
working a lever inside a three-foot square cubicle and being
six feet tall. . . roses. . .smiles. . .queen candidates
must feel cold like that. . . one in a most revealing gown
smokes a cigar to keep warm. . . .
Win. . .not a chance
do you know what the odds are. . .
they beat Purdue. . .but maybe. . .ten
more yards. . . cmon. . . just. . .
get that ball. . .and. . .
confetti. . .a touchdown already. . .
yes some coffee no a coke. . .a touchdown. . .
the floats again looking like
oddly covered wagons. . . float placed. . .
joy laughs and cries with
the kickoff. . . show em again. . .yes
another. . . touchdownitlookslikewe
Voice: In the spring I saw all those Beautiful courses and I couldnt
to take so I signed up for 25 hours thinking I would have time to decide over
the suMMer. So this suMMer I couldnt get a job and My parents only gave Me $5 to last til Thanksgiving and a change order is $3. So what do I do now? DO NOT FOLD OR BEND. "Im sorry But youre not registered at thIs University. Youve Been rejected by the Machines."
|Art History 101|
In his paintings Leonardo combined scientific knowledge and poetic
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Raphaels Alba Madonna is a "tondo." A tondo is
a round picture
in which three figures are
arranged in a parallelogram within the circle of a frame. A tondo is
aTonto, quemo sabey hi ho silverwareround picture
or even a square picture, picture
never is the same as
looking up and seeing,
as reaching out and touchingin which
three figuresBill, Tom, Fred
within the circle of a framestanding in a circle under the window
speaking in excited whispers about the latest
planplan for tomorrow night. Call
at five. Dance. The music
swirls and is gone and out
in the lobby see the same people
that sit in front
nine oclock MWF
looking starchy instead of slouchy
which is posing. Starch slouch. Both.
Only alone like this,
looking but not being seen,
But nine oclock Monday Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
one by one.
Footsteps calling backwards
from labyrinth of lost
in not even blackness
sounding like voices
which speaking silences
|Junior Prom Histrionics...|
Its not bad when no ones watching, but all these people
Is it easy
to become a pelican
for one night?
Get the scenery on the line seven minutes dont dragjudges
Never knew old Ted
Most handsomest beautifulest all-American international
universal superb fantabulousaroonie J-Prom Queen and King
(Heres how it stands:
voting date is
with a SQ but
vote for the RT
because of the counter-deal
with the LMNOs
who have a contra-deal with
Yesh, thersh need fer jusht a little in sush a prodheck, prodhic
Thousands all staring.
Is it possible to step
into the spotlight for one brief moment without stumbling
in the brightness?
Excited whispers swell into a roar
Then silence pounding, pulling, holding out
Waiting while guessing ahead.
And the voice announces: Queen, King.
not us (not this year)
its us so happy cant believe it could happen
thank you thank all who helped so happy
laughter bubbles like tears cant believe
Voices: When we get the floor well yield to the Ukrainian
SSRThe first plenary session of the Mock United Nations
will please come
To save succeeding generations from the scourge. . .
Voice: of radioactive dust which blows across Outer Mongolia
we wear these boarskin caps and hip boots
To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights. . .
Voice: for the indigenous people of South Africa who are
suffering under the government-sanctioned policy of
segregation called apartheid (pronounced apart hate)
To establish conditions under which justice and respect. . .
Voices: And now we take you to the floorMr. Chairman,
I have the floor. I move we reconvene Sundaybut we
cant were studentsand we have to study
To promote social progress and better standards of
life in larger freedom. . .
our coming unto
and our going forth
is always lit
by manufactured lights,
scheduled by tradition,
prohibited and permitted by authority,
can be born?
there be a
into the future,
like a foreign tongue.
over and over,
as another voice
is thrown upon
the former silence
world is born
harmonies from within
burst the universe
will others ever hear,
Rushing (cars) crowds
Figaros hide under sofa covers
and dance with trombone moaning out
damned spot out
Crashing (streams) seas
say when the saints
come marchin in
Rushing (cars) crowds
Crashing (streams) seas
Two weekends out of the year its polish shoes
and manners time.
See, Dad, this is the Frontier Room where I live,
take a study break.
old Jack looks just like his Dad.
What a long dinner line.
Choking smoke, blasting jukebox just like the old times.
I raised a little hell in my day too, let me tell you.
Thats Pete out there. Just like his old man!
Look, they passed to him. Hes running. Touchdown!
My son, my
I didnt realize. Out of all these girls to be chosen
to whats-it-called Mortar Board.
How happy she looks in the shadows of the fires flame.
Sitting on the Center patio,
sun warming the lemonade,
feeling like visiting day at an institution.
Voice: Now Mom,
I promise to
Copyright © 2002 by Judith Laura
For fiction set partly at a southeastern Ohio college suspiciously similar to OU, see http://www.judithlaura.com/3PI.html
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