Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

VSR Digital Archive

2020 – 2021 Art Gallery

Volume VII Art Gallery

Cowboys or JFK

Strobing inkblots upon the houses that host,
running the eye paint in every room
in every town from here to the end posts
of the party scene of impending doom.

I need a mixer on the roof-deck.
Could I get it with cowboys?
Or JFK if you have it?
Jackie O. went to my college
and swept up brain remains;
I went and had my brain pummeled
to a stain
by speaking to them, becoming
too invested in their pain.
In basements in Chevy Chase,
they try to kiss me but
I’m thinking too hard.
Country club patrons running drinks
on the stairs,
and peeling off to the bathroom,
making darkness loud in sweaty pairs.
House parties on Mulholland,
anti-socialites working
rooms of shadowed gogo boys
and daddy’s boys gone murky.
And on a balcony I can see Congress,
and our faces become very close
in the light off the cast-iron dome;
a boy from Bethesda hits me
and now I wanna go home.
The doorman on Lake Shore shoots
looks at the bunch, and in moments
the lake’s breath is another boy’s punch;
the wind is howling with violent
boy-love, shouts;
an intimacy that knocks me out.
And like the women flying like flags
at the bus stop,
I let them pull me parallel to the ground
until the wind breaks, I fall,

They do it to me so well, and,
like the youths at Tessa’s in Manhattan,
we slip into a communal haze
where dining tables are warm towels
on the hooks of date night play-by-plays.
Men, no maybe boys,
the ones my age who wield so much
over me;
boys are the American hypnotic.
It makes me wonder why they do it,
maybe just to faze me,
or turn the world neurotic,
but I think they mean to pull our eyes
in opposite directions,
to disorient us with their lies,
and play us with invites to functions.
They put us in every place,
and open up the skyline with the corners
of their faces.
Events of mass hypnosis from Washington
to L.A. and flashing scenes in people’s
eyes, the size of hotel ashtrays.

Say yes, say no, say moo,
grab another drink, strip off your mesh;
do whatever they say to do;
watching whatever it is they do;
holding the room like they always do;
Man-boy, lover-boy, entrance me,
I’m through.

Light Deer

Light Deer
Molly Berinato

Le fou roux goes to a party

Mascara excesses, cheap delights
Delicatessen plates, Christmas lights
Shrimp and scampi, skirts and ice
That’s what makes up love

Myrtle bushes, heavy with snow
Cobalt blue and painted toes
Long embraces and short hello’s
That’s what makes up love

Piano keys in jello molds
Gravy boats that never fold
Ginger sighs, his hands are cold
We should make him dance

Light a candle, swirl a glass
Slip some sugar in your purple sash
Put your shoes on the mantle dash
We have a famous friend

Scalloped plates and oyster bowls
Margaritas, salted roe
Caviar is on a roll
Kiss him for a drink

It’s our job, it’s our delight
Our party’s now, tonight’s our night
Let’s show him how to make love right
We have a famous guest

Dark Academic

Dark Academic
Maeve Smith


I wish someone would wrap my back within their arms and hold
And place their chin upon my neck and rest it there until
They grew the strength to draw their lips into the picture frame
And never let me hurt myself
And never let me go
I wish someone would lie on top of me and press me down and in
Place their hands upon my skin
Painted ridges, bumps and lines
The smoother part, the part that faces upward toward a looking eye
When I am laid upon my back, open to the world
I wish someone would cup my face within their hands and make of me
A well of water, still and deep like mirror sands and emerald mines
And take a picture of my nose and keep it in their fingertips
And never let me close the world by taking back my back
I wish someone would lie on me and brush my ears with everything
Lips and face and hair and eyes and fingertips not least
I wish someone would hold me still when I am crying in the night
And turn me on my back and hold me, never let me go

Backstreet Royalty

Backstreet Royalty
Maeve Smith


On occasion, the taste of chai dissolves my senses,
Pins me to the world of twin beds, miniature desks,
A bedroom that had not yet been painted blue.
And though I am not sent for long,
My body is unbound by yesterday,
I see in my vision the colors of my life,
And though I try,
I find it hard to believe
That no one exists to be loved.

untitled, Anastasia Nikitina

Anastasia Nikitina



Andy Kasper

Tucked away in the place that will never sink, they play in the land of bedtime stories never told right,
scarves knotted around small sweaty foreheads, every day posturing a new adventure, taking flight in the same familiar skies.
They would whistle their notes into the surface of the clouds, never worry whether they’d fall down,
for the ancient untouched forest floor would catch them. A forever of innocence untainted by the rising tide,
which will never sink their ship, nor bury them with the gleaming golds and illustrious treasures they seek under the sea—
they are the lost boys, always carefree, always without a worry of how terrifying life may be.
Never would they face the tempestuous tempers of parents unrequited feelings of failure
or spawn children of their own. Their family tree became linear, a seed nestled under layers of hand-dug topsoil,
the kind that would never really grow a strong tree, but sprouted iron wood, while their palms remained un-callused.
Peter’s thoughts always remained elsewhere.
He would watch the skies he would soar in the day at night, after his little ones had gone to bed,
and wonder when the stars would fully fade away, and the moon would become too ambitious and swallow the sun.
Ordained to forever run without moving, attempt to escape his very own shadow and never reach the dusk,
he filled his time with hand-lopping fun, cliff diving beach days under the sun, and when they all returned to camp,
they would play the tunes of heroes, the ones who almost always won.
And while the little ones drift to good dreams, instead of counting sheep, his herd begins to wander to her.
How could he up the ante, make his next trick more daring, more gutsy, obtain the hero’s story that would always be remembered.
Make the world love him so much, that even she couldn’t leave him—
when it hits him.
His stories are stagnant, they would never travel across the bay to the green light where she stayed. His death never be untimely,
never grasp the feeling of almost godhood. With no end to the movie reel, no final page, he would forever be stuck,
told as the extraordinarily ordinary boy who would never grow up.
He lies awake, wondering what she thought of her taste of eternal youth.
Youth with no portrait, no corruption, a land solely an escape from modern confusion, where he would hide forever.
She wouldn’t have to worry—she would return to her earth in the morning, when the moon dips into the sea,
and he would have to grapple with what he would never leave.
Grapple with how his kleos would be lost to the Tick Tock, and his tales would never reverberate through the thoughts
of those other than his little lost companions, who were too young to ever feel anything but admiration.

The next day he would go on, let the boys know nothing was wrong,
and stare empty headed toward the horizon, where the fish spit out the sun,
nothing to do but wait for Wendy to return

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