Author: webforumccsf

“This would be the perfect emoji for today.” (Kate Steinheimer)

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Strangers by Dimas Arellan, charcoal

Sardonic Face

by Kate Steinheimer

I’d like to invent a new emoji. One that says, “I can’t believe you just said that.” Or something like that. I could use it a lot, although I’m not sure exactly what it would look like. Maybe eyebrows slightly raised. Mouth pulled slightly to the side to look a little bit disappointed and maybe a little bit mocking. This would be the perfect emoji for today.

I use emojis in all of my texts and Instagram posts. A bunch of emoji key chains clink around on my backpack. I have an emoji rug, emoji pillows, and 20 pairs of emoji earrings, each with a different expression. Although they make my ears hurt if I wear them for more than one day, all of my friends are jealous of them. The main problem with emoji earrings, though, is that my emotions change so quickly that the pair I picked in the morning is never the right one by lunchtime, and sometimes not even by my first period advisory class. I have emoji leggings, too, but I haven’t worn them since Chloe told me they looked like pajamas.

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“Its body grew small and yet, it towered before us” (anonymous)

Visual Arts – BUGSUR – THOTH – Acrylic on Canvas

Thoth by Alex Nizovsky, acrylic on canvas

Alex Nivosky is a designer, and biologist who is focused on the beauty of living organisms. His art expresses his passionate engagement with the beautiful forms of insects and their relatives. His new art project WWW.BUGSUR.COM is devoted to creation of the fantastic worlds of surrealistic creatures which are all based on natural forms.

Day of the Dark Sun

by anonymous

It was late at night
A dark sun illuminated the black sky
Pulsing waves coming from the dark sun

First wave came with a flash, making us see the light of day while the rest remained in dark
Ominous wind came next, damaging our hearing
A blazing beast followed them, set free to burn and crumble as it pleased
It’s growl heard everywhere

We got our hearing back; we wish we didn’t
The blazing beast grew quiet allowing us to hear the screams
The screams that were muted by the air and fire were now clear
Finally, they came
On the fourth and final wave

Their Presence, the ominous wind became docile
The fire looked merciful
The dreadful presence that was engulfing the town
By instinct we embraced each other
They moved as unison no place left untouched
A single mind, many bodies
Wherever they walked, a death miasma was left behind
Whatever was loud in front became silent behind

Those of us that were alive didn’t move, simply looking at the destruction before us
Many ran away, but we didn’t
Frozen within that fire
One approached, silently
Her shadow cooling us off
A young girl stood before us
Blonde hair and yellow eyes
She was young, yet mature
Docile, yet dominant
Beautiful, yet terrifying
She wore a black kimono with a white lotus pattern
She glared us down, with curiosity glimmering on her eyes

Some of them came to stand behind her
With their black robes covering their bodies, and white skulls hiding their faces
She stopped them in their tracks as they approached
Like predators in front of a prey stopped by fear
With a simple wave of her hand, she dismissed them and they vanished into the black sky
She returned to glare at us once more
She smiled and with another wave told us to follow her
We did as such
The miasma of death and destruction parted ways for us

We left the place we called home for so long
We entered a dark forest
Dark embraced us, the light of the dark sun was no more
A different light illuminating our path
The black night parting ways for us
Her presence illuminating our path
We walked through the night, reaching a clear field
She made a wave to the sky

A shadow moved from the dark sky
It fell making a graceful descend
It touched the ground causing a comforting breeze to engulf the field
It was like the night itself stood before us
A creature with big wings, long arms, body covered in feathers and a bird head
She talked to it in a different tongue
It looked at us with those big yellow eyes

They moved toward us
Its body grew small and yet, it towered before us
He wore a black robe that looked to be made out of feathers
It moved the bird skull hiding its face, revealing glaring yellow eyes and a human face
The glaring eyes became merciful and comforting
They spoke to us in our mother tongue like it was natural
That was how we met our parents

“Can’t substitute a milkshake, sorry.” (Jackie Davis Martin)

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Diner

by Jackie Davis Martin

You would have lied, too.  You would have promised the manager to work the entire summer when you applied for the breakfast shift at the diner which had you arriving in the parking lot at six in the morning in a brown nylon dress and white oxfords, to set up the creams and sugars and ketchups, shine the counters, all the easy part until the doors opened and people demanded their eggs over light, over for at least a minute, poached firm, scrambled soft, egg whites only, hash browns, home fries, bacon, make it sausage. You stand there, pen in hand, smiling at fat women who want extra gravy, stringy women who cringe at butter, sliding into padded booths, hour after hour so early –- where do they all come from?

You need the money, driving in the next morning in your washed brown nylon dress, your polished white oxfords, ready to ready the counters, wipe the menus.  More coffee?  Decaf?  Juices? Can’t substitute a milkshake, sorry. They slide in, slide out.  It’s almost mid August, six weeks you’ve done this, and your boyfriend who doesn’t love you as much as he once did is impatient.  Are you coming with me or not?  You’re going to London with him, but you’re also going to the diner, morning after morning.  He’s paying for London; you are paying for your kids’ food and clothes and rent.  You tell him yes, yes, I’ll be quitting any day and you arrive again in your limp brown nylon dress and scuffed white oxfords thinking I must tell the manager I won’t be back, that – that what? – you’re scheduled for three more weeks, maybe tell them you have to have surgery, or you’ve contracted something contagious, anything but that the man you love who doesn’t love you the same will cancel your trip, will return to the woman he had an affair with, tell them anything but that your life will be over if you don’t quit tomorrow. You need time to pack, to please him once again, yes, okay, eggs barely flipped for you and sunny-side for you, I got it, no muffins, just three kinds of toast, and all the while, what will you do, what will you do as you gather quarters, sometimes dollars, from under saucers, wipe down the tables, take off your apron and say to the boss with the oily scalp, I’m sorry I won’t be back tomorrow: my uncle needs rides to the hospital and I’m the only one – I’m so sorry – but, you don’t have an uncle, and you walk to the car, tears streaming with humiliation, a job you cannot return to next summer.  You say to the boyfriend, it’s okay, I’m ready, and he says good then, let’s go, and even though you don’t know where you’re going beyond London, you say yes and never go into that diner again, not even for a cup of coffee.

Jackie Davis Martin’s work has been included in print and online journals and collections, including Modern Shorts, Love on the Road, and Road Stories.  Prizes were awarded by New Millennium and On the Premises. A memoir, Surviving Susan, was published in 2012.  Jackie teaches at City College of San Francisco.

Fall 2017 FORUM Magazine Launch Party

launch party

CCSF’s literary magazine Forum invites you to their Fall 2017 launch party! The night will feature an open mic, as well as readings by contributors and local poets, including San Francisco’s own Poet Laureate, Kim Shuck. We will also be announcing the winners of our nonfiction and visual arts contests. Jazz accompaniment will be provided by CCSF’s Jazz Musicians Club. Copies of our new Fall issue will be available for purchase. 

All are welcome to enjoy refreshments, readings, and music!

Forum Magazine is a student-produced publication of the City College of San Francisco and is dedicated to providing a platform for the contemporary, urban voices of our community.

“The Day After” by S. K. Lee

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The Day After

by S. K. Lee

“Here you go, Cristina.” said Agatha as she handed me a cup of coffee. “Thanks, I could use some caffeine. I only got a few hours of sleep last night.” I said as I took a sip. The coffee was nice and hot, perfect for a cold and cloudy autumn day. “I don’t think my parents got any sleep at all.” I said as we began walking down the street. My parents and the millions of undocumented immigrants in the country had a rude awakening the previous night. A man who promised to round up and deport all of them, had been elected president.

“How are they?” asked Agatha. She had that familiar worried look on her face. I had seen it before when her daughter Annie had the flu. It warmed my heart to know I had such a good friend that cared about my family. “They’re scared.” I said as my voice began to tremble. “If he keeps his promise, my parents…my aunts…my uncles…they’re all going to be rounded up…and then…” I couldn’t finish the sentence. I didn’t want to even imagine what would happen to them. As I started to tear up, Agatha wrapped her arm around my shoulders to comfort me.

“Everything is going to be okay, Cristina.”

“How do you know that? You don’t know that, Agatha!”

“I know if he tries anything crazy, the people won’t stand for it.”

“The people? Are you fucking kidding me?! The people are the ones who just elected a racist, sexist, xenophobe as our next president! What the fuck is wrong with our country?!” I shouted as tears began to roll down my cheek. Agatha pulled out a tissue from her pocket and gently wiped away the tears on my eyes and cheek.

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Photos from Javier Zamora Reading

We want to thank all who attended our reading on Tuesday at the Mission Campus with poet Javier Zamora! I think the students really appreciated meeting someone who they could see themselves in—young, down to earth, funny, casual, uncertain, honest—who is also an accomplished writer and educator. Thank you, Javier, for coming and we look forward to the next time!