When I was fourteen—
all I needed to do to feel like myself
was listen to Bowie.
Until the sickness
of my summer of blue lipstick and heart shaped balloons
melted into mush—
Left in the pocket of new and ruined jeans in the dryer.
Before the boredom of high school settled—
and before the mystique that hung like incense smoke
was revealed to be only tea kettle steam,
poetry was just strings of flowery words—
that had no purpose but to sound pretty to me.
But on that first day,
before we noticed the houseflies—
and before we realized how early 7AM really is,
the rising sun replaced floodlight fluorescents—
and amidst their sundresses and stiff grandmother-bought polos
I noticed you.
Gliding past me in slow-motion—
wearing jeans and a much loved black hoodie I knew
that you didn’t spread out your outfit the night before like a gallery piece.
Not because you did not care but because
you didn’t need to.
And from looking at your shoes I knew that you had lots to say—
but that this was not the audience you wanted to say it to.
And when I caught a glimpse of your face—
a baby face
but with such old eyes—
And when your lashes caught a ray from the window—
for a moment
glistening in gossamer gold—
I swear that in the splitting of a second
I saw my future.
And I couldn’t wait to turn seventeen.
* ignis fatuus: Latin term for will ‘o the wisp. Literally translates to “foolish fire”
Thank you for arriving!
By Julia Crapanzano
Photo By Salma Laraki
Our Dear Cool Father
Wonderful to see you.
Our magazine prides itself on diversity amongst its artists. We are a publication run by students, for the student body. Here you will find lifetime creators and students who have built and shared something for the first time. We like to include all things that might inspire more creation. More voices.
Just take a walk around our gallery and you will be dazzled. Truly dazzled. Read a few poems and prose pieces and reflect on the voices and craft. Visit the art section and disappear into the oils and acrylics, the water colors and charcoals. Imagine the eyes of our photographers and love what they have shared. Go to the media page and listen to the TSDC live performances. Enjoy the raw, softly produced spirit of those musicians and spoken word poets.
This is a good place. A place that believes creation is activism. That the more we create, the more we exist. Walt Whitman wrote that a "kelson of creation is love." Yep, we agree. We are steered by it. We believe that a community of thoughtful sharing is a strong and beautiful place.
Want to read more about our team here at Xanadu? Head on over to our about page where we discuss our history and talk about our plans for the future.
2020/21 PTA Reflections
The PTA Reflections is an annual contest that honors the creativity and arts within the Whitman community. Students were encouraged to write and submit poetry based on the prompt: "I Matter." Below are the winners for this year:
Award for Literary Excellence
Award for Literary Merit
Congratulations, to the Xanadu community for the 2020 Silver Crown Award, one of the highest honors granted to digital publications this year by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. This award honors the top online student publications chosen from those of its members. Xanadu was one out of two online magazines nationwide to receive such prestigious recognition. The only gallery in New York. Much thanks to the many hands and hearts who contribute to the magazine.
Want to know more? Click here.
Over 200 years and there is plenty of evidence that Walt Whitman is very, very alive. And yet, there is plenty to reveal he is sadly absent. These days, we need his spirit and his funk more than ever. 200 years. Pick up Song of Myself and read one section a week (there are 52 sections) and we will bring him back- To Stay!
The "Father of the Free Verse,"- our town's very own Walt Whitman was an extraordinary essayist, journalist, and poet. Whitman was a controversial humanist who brought aspects of both realism and transcendentalism into his works. Whitman struggled to receive both recognition and compensation for his works when he first began writing, specifically his most famous work, Leaves of Grass. His writing was considered to be extremely controversial due to his mentioning of sexuality and broad thinking. Whitman fell in love with the written word at an early age through reading classic works of Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer, along with the Bible. Other than just being a writer, Whitman made a living through teaching and journalism. He continued working on his writing within newspapers, constantly developing his unique style. Whitman was praised for his non-conformist way of writing, as he was known to have little to no form, meter or rhyme. However, we know now that he did indeed have a wild new exciting and free and democratic way of exploring the human experience. We are so, so proud he is our father.