Congratulations to the Xanadu community!!
We are 2022/23 Crown Award Recipients. This is an honor presented to our digital publication by the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association.
This award honors the top online student galleries chosen from those of its members. Xanadu was one out of two online magazines nationwide to receive such prestigious recognition. Xanadu is the only gallery in New York selected. Much thanks to the many hands and hearts who contribute to the magazine.
Want to know more? Click here.
A False Fragrance
From a distance
I watched you pick a flower
and smile as you took in its fragrance.
A tiny delicate light purple flower
that I recognized as lavender.
I hated lavender.
Yet I steeped myself in its floral fragrance
every single morning.
I perfumed myself not for me—
but for you.
Every morning I doused myself in lavender.
Its headache-inducing, penetrative scent
flooded my nostrils all the time.
Causing me to forget
my original odor.
Every night I took a long shower
to relieve myself of its painful potency.
You told me I smelled nice.
You picked me like a flower
and smiled as you took in my fragrance.
The same smile I used to watch from a distance.
But little did you know
the fragrance wasn’t mine to claim.
The day I ran out of perfume,
you walked right past me,
unable to recognize my lavender-less odor.
My head didn’t hurt anymore.
The air felt clearer.
And with that I refused to buy another bottle.
I tried to laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Feeling extra ignored by you, I
Carefully pick my responses to be
Extra bitchy in order to passively
But your utter unbothered
Mood penetrates me like a
Searing knife, and a wave of
Relief overtakes me.
Why should I care if you don’t?
This mindset slowly gets juiced
Out of me, as I will always
Care more than you do and the
Relief is gone.
And while I show you I
Don’t care, the tears begin to
Sting my eyes
Art By Joseline Caneles-Lazo
By Logan Needham
I saw you through dazzling eyes,
illuminated amidst the normal.
You sparked my attention
with your glowing pretension.
We went out to watch the sunset once,
and saw the sky shift from blue to orange.
I looked keenly as the sun disappeared
below the horizon—happy and content to be next to you—
but, when my head drifted to you,
you were watching someone else.
Every day was brighter
when I thought you were beside me,
but, it turned out, only I was beside me.
It started with a flaming fury
until, one day, I realized it was only my fury.
My love for you was like the blazing sun
but now it's crepuscled to no return.
Art By Kritz Taku
Coloring of My Youth
Loosely– my green-browning sneakers slipping off,
grasped by the umbering mud.
The scarlet tubed slide
reflecting on my cheeks,
along with the charcoaling pavement.
The marigolding sun, kissing my apricot skin.
A pearling droplet on my forehead
from tom-foolish play during free time.
Young lilacking blossoms,
lacking wisdom, wandering lost in streets.
Unworried, filled with bliss, committing no crime.
Their cherried knees
from falling in the emerald fields,
and cherry-ringed mouths
from their mindless indulgence.
Carefree from the unknowing leathering
they’ve to experience in their porcelain mind.
Those days inked into my memories,
now the affectionate sun does nothing but blind.
Face no longer roseing.
Smiles no longer pearling.
My knees no longer hibiscusing–
healed from my mother’s kiss.
The colorings of my youth have dulled
and my porcelain mind, ebonying.
Jealous of the ignorance that lulled,
aching for the homogeneous reveling.
Photo By Ava Hedstrom
Drive with me
into the night,
the moon and the stars gleaming
like my face and smile did at my happiest,
driving across town
on past lovers
who no longer look us in the eyes
or stick around,
who no longer understand us
care for us
drive across town
no destination in mind,
just the sad songs on volume 22
of prior happiness gone with the setting of the sun.
By Katie Nodell
Clouds stretch across the sky;
below, water stretches an equal distance.
At the edge of the water is grass –
and at the edge of the grass is desert.
Orchids open in the sunlight,
but cease to exist
when the air is bare of hospitality,
white winter spirits flying by.
The many tangles of one’s hair
could so easily be gone
with the simple snip of a scissor.
The bits and pieces dead
and littering the floor.
But would it be cruel to remove
such an imperfect feature?
To end it like the passion
in a child’s eyes after they play and laugh and tumble
I have to make a choice.
To end this and start anew
or stay in the comfortable
You blew glass
around my voice.
Whatever sound managed
to escape confinement was quickly regretted.
The threat of shattering such a delicate
moment of complacent peace,
was enough to vase me
in your flower filled arms.
yet fragile cage made to rule
Every breath (breathed too hard)
was a risk I could not take.
I was painfully aware that shards
may fill my lungs
at any moment.
Our Dear Cool Father.
Thank you for arriving!
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.
By Katie Mondry
2022/23 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: "Show Your Voice." Below are the poetry winners for this year:
Award for Literary Excellence Shelly Chen
Award for Literary Merit
Award Literary Achievement
Art By Jessica Adams
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.