Photography © Jennifer Matthews


An Incident at Santa Monica High School
                        as told by our Pakistani exchange student

The two orchard villains exiled for treason
Trod east of Eden, chins down and perplexed;
So too were Aman, Squeaks, Miriam, and me,
Pushed from the bleachers and into the fray.

O, black day by the Viking Pride track!
The sea was boiling a maelstrom of hate—
Little we knew of our soon bleak fate.
Mysterious freshmen, perched on the grass:

An eye on the guys, an eye on the girls,
& a distaste for Cheetos flaming hot.
O black day by the Viking Pride track!
Showdown in process, high noon it was.

Impertinent snakes with tongues red & swift,
They questioned Jasmine with vicious intent.
Enough— the Bitch! ball was thrown. O—
Black, black day by the Viking Pride track!

Poor Miriam missed out, adrift on Skype Sea,
But Squeaks and Aman charged fast to defend.
In horror I ran for assistance somewhere—
The peak of my wrath, no hijab on this head!


Candice Kelsey: I’m a teacher whose classroom is the hang out spot for all the theatre kids; at one point I had Cinderella sleeping on my tiny couch, well the 11th grader who played Cinderella in Into the Woods. I am obsessed with the 80s tv show, Murder, She Wrote, and would love to explain why should you care. I just started a garden, and I’m most excited about the okra.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.