Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Invitation to MU Voices

Let your light shine!
We are pleased to announce the publication of the Fall 2011 edition of MU Voices, Madonna University's online literary publication. This semester, we are concentrating on an online version in order to allow our readers to comment on their favorite selections. Contributors were asked to share their poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, song lyrics, prayers, photographs, drawings, and paintings, so readers have a variety of types of writing to enjoy.

We hope you enjoy this collaborative effort. MU Voices is co-sponsored by the Madonna Pen, our campus writing group, and the Madonna University Writing Center. This edition has been lovingly edited by Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior and Frances FitzGerald.

St. Anne's - Southwest Detroit by Joseph Smedo

Traveling Stories by the Franciscan Gathering Space and Take 5 Writers

Our celebrations of the National Day on Writing (October 20) and the Halloween Research/Write-a-thon (October 25) both featured traveling stories this year. Sarah Kosel, Writing Center tutor and junior in the Sign Language Studies Department, came up with the smart idea of piecing together construction paper on three or four windows. We started the stories with a single sentence (or partial sentence), then encouraged (some might say “strong-armed”) students into adding a line or two to move the stories along. The following results may not always be logical, but they do reflect the sense of humor and whimsy that pervade our campus.
Blue Tooth

At the third annual Halloween Research/Write-a-thon, no one expected…to win the Barnes & Noble Edgar Allen Poe $25.00 gift card…However, to her great delight and surprise, Annie heard her name called! Shouting and jumping, Annie ran up to the front, excited to receive her gift card, but then realized she had left her purse in the restroom. She ran back to the restroom only to find a cat living in her purse! The cat turned into a ghost. He flew past Barnes & Noble and went to Panchero’s and had a nice ghoulish Mexican lunch. Afterwards, he shopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and he spied an eerie sight, a cute ghost soap. Furthermore, the ghost bought the soap, and it turned him into a cat again.

During this time, Annie had been in a trance. Her cat came running back…tripping the witch who broke both arms. “Oh, woe is me,” the witch lamented. “Now I can’t hold onto my magic broom!!” She hitched a ride on the back of the Big Bad Wolf to the gingerbread house where she used her one tooth (a Blue Tooth) to call the local witch doctor. And he prescribed a heavy dose of sedatives in the form of chamomile tea, an herbal beverage that made the witch feel decidedly mellow and unwitchy. With mellow thoughts on her mind, she decided to become a hippie. The tree-hugging ex-witch cast a spell on her cat so he would turn into a prince. She kissed the prince. He didn’t like it; he said he could taste peanut butter.
Blue Tooth Sequel

I ask you, what happened to the witch with a single Blue Tooth? And her broom…I hope it didn’t catch fire! I cannot understand the previous sentence, but here is the real story. Once upon a time, there was a witch with bad hair and teeth and a dysfunctional broom. Every time she tried to vroom, all she could do was…SCREAM! (insert mwa ha ha). When she screamed, people were horrified by her bad teeth…They were so scared that they ran right into the haunted castle…The people ran through the castle, screaming, which disturbed the ghosts, who began to moan and groan. “Love Shack” began playing. People started dancing as her figure became apparent.

Zombies Invade Madonna

It was a dark and stormy day at Madonna University, and all around…were zombies! Luckily, Marvin had been anticipating the Zombie Apocalypse, and he pulled out his chainsaw. His chainsaw, however, had undergone extensive anger management training, and was disinclined to be used in this violent manner.

Marvin ran as fast as he could to get away from the zombies, but they were all around him. He had nowhere to run. So he pulled out his iPod and started playing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” As Marvin started grooving to the tunes, he failed to notice one of the undead creeping up behind him. With his iPod turned up to 11, Marvin did not hear the low, gurgling moans and the soft shuffling of a nearly severed foot on the pavement.

Something unfortunate might have happened at this point—but it didn’t. The zombie to whom the nearly severed foot belonged began to groove on the music. He started, awkwardly and tentatively, to dance. Soon, other zombies, noticing the fun, began to join the dance. Before the song was over, a passer-by could observe a whole herd of zombies dancing to “Thriller.”

Thinking fast while the zombies were distracted, Marvin jumped into his car and drove to the store, where be bought some ground round that he hoped to trick the zombies into thinking they were brains. However, the zombies were more focused on chocolate toes. Chocolate toes were delicious, but the zombies still loved brains. When they finished eating brains, they left and went to the graveyard to visit their friends.

“Yikes…who ate the chocolate toe jams? They were supposed to be for dessert,” exclaimed a surprise visitor. It was Oprah, giving away her favorite Halloween prizes!
Zombie Allergies

Frances thought she had everything under control until…the ghost went into the forest…then the zombie followed until its allergies led to a convulsive sneezing fit. It was so embarrassing! So the nice ghost, named Casper, brought the zombie a tissue. But it started to rain tissues, like a miracle! And finally, the zombie had a clean tissue, but there was one problem…the tissue exploded. He needed new ones, but where could he get them? Casper must follow the yellow brick road to get more tissue. So he decided to find the nearest drug store so he could buy some more, but once he got there, he chose to spend all his money on lottery tickets.
Invasion of the Goblins

It wasn’t until the army of goblins came crashing through the front door that we realized we had made a terrible, terrible mistake…We should never have let this happen! But how were we to know that these creatures were a so-called “free gift” for everyone who had ordered jewelry that week from the QVC channel? So Peggy Bundy came and brought all the jewelry. As we went around to pass out everyone’s order, we realized we had all the wrong jewelry! What a disaster!

We called QVC in a frenzy, but they told us…nothing because the goblins had overthrown the QVC channel and named it…after the head goblin’s favorite sports team, which was? The Gryfindor Quidditch team. Then the goblins went to Gringotts and ate all the Hobbits. Luckily, the goblins’ reign of taking over channels and eating Hobbits was finally stopped by…
Professor Creature

It was a dark and stormy night…except that is such an overdone way to start a story. Really, it was a beautiful, sunny, sinister day when…the freshman discovered her professor wasn’t human. He mostly looked human, talked human, acted human…but there was a fetid, swampy smell every time he walked into the classroom.

We had to call 911 at 9:45 a.m…because the telephone pole was on fire…When the fire finally went out, the fire department showed up. But they forgot their hose. Now, you may be wondering why the fire department had to be called while we were in class, but when I tell you just what the professor was (other than not human), you’ll understand…He was a vile creature. Are you sure you want to know? Not really!!

Little did we know, his nose protruded from his eyes when there was a fire nearby…then unexpectedly, he was unable to see a thing and fell into a hole. How did he get out? He didn’t; he dug deeper into the hole until he reached…the other side of the world…Peoria, IL. He was greatly surprised that he dug to a different part of the world.

After that, the magma from the center of the earth gushed from the hole he had dug. More fire departments! This horrible accident led to the unmasking of Swamp Man, a/k/a Professor X.
The Encroachment of the Deadly Bronchiactesis

Once upon a time, in a beautiful land far, far away, a bloodthirsty assassin woke up and decided to…stalk a virtuous and kind queen who was loved by the masses, despite her freakishly…large, red nose, which would grow as she told lies…She told the assassin she loved him, knowing her nose would grow, but…the evil assassin was also secretly in love with the virtuous queen—that was why he was stalking her so much.

The evil assassin turned out to be a medical doctor, and he diagnosed the allergies that had resulted in her freakishly large, red nose. She was allergic to masses of people, so she had to move to…Canada, where she contracted bronchiactesis! This is not to be confused with bronchitis. Bronchiactesis is a necrotic infection of the lungs, which causes thick, green sputum. The queen was an unlucky woman. Anyway, I digress.

Lucky for the queen, the necrotic inflection only ate away her…right ear, which was fortunate for her because she had just lost one of her favorite earrings.
Elevator Spirits

Madonna students had heard the dorm was haunted, but they never believed it until…the fire alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., sending everyone out into the cold and rainy night. In the freezing parking lot, Daisy shivered, trying to tell her disbelieving friends that the elevator spirits were to blame for the fire drill.

“Have you forgotten to take your psychotropic meds?” asked Daisy’s roommate, her eyebrows knit with genuine concern.

Driving is not my thing during the cold, freezing winter from home to Madonna (40 minutes). So I call that COLD (as in that’s harsh—“cold”—mooaan) TRAVELING. So, the next day I drove to the dorm. It was hard because driving isn’t my thing, but I made it. I was scared to walk inside because rumors of elevator spirits took hold of the campus. I brought some of my friends inside of the elevator, and suddenly, the lights went out…

I heard a voice say, “What would happen if the cables snapped?” And then…they did! Much to our relief, we were already in the basement, so the snapping cables were slightly anti-climactic. Then there was an electric charge pulsating through the cables…like a tell-tale heart. The electric charge shorted out the controls, making the elevator door open, revealing the dark basement, and towards the door came…the firefighters, clad in heavy gear and fire hoses aimed straight at the hapless students.

 The Otherworldly Lure of Buttons

On the spooky, gloomy Monday morning that I decided to take a walk outside in the woods, the haunted woods of Livonia, I came across something horrific—something evil—something deadly. It was a…JoAnn Fabrics coupon for 50% off my total purchase. Oh, my aching checking account! I was so scared I couldn’t control this purchasing power! What to do and buy? Run screaming to my Frankendaddy?

So onward I went, to a place unknown to the common teenager, JoAnn Fabrics. It is not funny to be so very overwhelmed that you pass out like I did! When I came to my senses—such as they were—I felt strangely drawn to the button section. That’s because a button was missing on my shirt. I put on a tee shirt and tore the other into rags.

But it was to no avail. That coupon was still in the pocket of my jeans, and I was powerless to destroy the haunted paper. And out popped the grape pop monster. I love being friends with him. And when I checked my coupon, alas, it had expired. Oh, woe is me!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moon by Cory Taylor

The moon,
Dusty white and full of possibilities.

It serves as a worldly connector.
Never changing.

Its light dances on waves.
It shines on spotlights on midnight strolls.

Rocks and craters cover the surface;
Promises for the future embody the core.

As epithet to the meaning of love.
Perpetual and sweet.

The moon
sings a song known by all.

My Infinite Promises by Annie Rossow

When life has got you nailed to the ground,
You have someone you can wrap your arms around
When life pierces you and steals your hope,
I'll be here to hold you while you cope

When life steals and takes everything away,
I'll fight for you and keep monsters at bay.
When life knocks you down over and takes your breath,
You have someone there when nothing is left.

When life leaves you feeling empty and weak,
I'll be here when times are hopeless and bleak.
When life takes and takes, giving nothing in return,
I'll walk with you through fires and heal their burn.

The House That Forgot Us by Frances E. FitzGerald

The house we moved out
of in 1964
doesn’t remember
us. It doesn’t remember the wallpaper in the dining
room, the stove sitting where the fridge
used to be, the downstairs bathroom
tub where Aunt Betty dunked me
after I screamed my
defiance at getting the
shampoo rinsed out of
my hair.

The pantry doesn’t remember when
I cornered Mom one
December, demanding, Is there a
Santa Claus? and not hearing
what I wanted
to hear: Of
course there’s a Santa
Claus, no matter
what your sisters
tell you.

The house doesn’t
remember the ratty
beige carpet downstairs
where we built our
doll town, or the trays
and chemicals Dad used as he
developed his photos in the downstairs
bedroom. It doesn’t
remember the overstuffed
chair (on the front-porch side of the
living room) that
Teresa and I squeezed in

The upstairs hallway doesn’t
remember Mom and Bill and I pulling
nails out of the carpet in
November of 1963, then hearing on
the radio that John F.
Kennedy was shot. Mom
 made us say Hail Marys. The
house doesn’t
remember our Hail Marys.

We remember
the house in our every pore. But
 now its green siding is
off, and gleaming, naked wood
floors breathe freely again, and
walls are vibrant blues and
pale yellows. It is as though
we never lived
there, even though our
old house has never
moved out of us.

Belle Isle by Joseph Smedo