2019 Anthology Writers

Cadence S. Olivarez

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About Cadence S. Olivarez

Cadence Skye Olivarez has Texas roots dating back six generations. She currently resides in Corpus Christi with her three year old son, Everett, who would legally change his name to Batman should she allow it. She spends most of her time amid the palm trees of TAMUCC while she works full time, studies Creative and Professional Writing, and serves as the Associate Editor of Nonfiction for The Windward Review. She was recently a recipient of a HAAS Writing Award for her work completed in Fall 2018 and is a perpetual student of life. She is an avid lover of Mother Nature, yoga, coffee, and kindness.

my twenty-seventh lap

as my twenty-seventh lap around the great star comes to a close, i am humbled by the beauty earth holds, gentle and cosmic in the palm of my hands; by the fragility of existence in this form, fleeting and weightless; by the binding force of love that resides within each of us, waiting to be awoken; and within all the dreams sung by the hum that my bleeding heart beats i welcome peace and stillness, yet remain open and willing for my soul to be stirred, never shying or shielding from the rain but allowing it to wash over my bones, and flesh, and eyes to pour out the hundreds of paths i chose not to walk, and breathe into the one i plucked, the fruit of what is. this path i’ll water and wander for all of my years to come, for i’ve only just begun the story that has yet to be spun. 

Mesquite Tree

 Mesquite Tree

Heal me beneath the moon and the sea.

May the crashing waves devour my fears

and wrap me in a cocoon of the unknown,

spun like a dreidel of silk and sound

as harmonies of locusts lull this loud dream.

Blood orange moon, mother moon, longest of the century,

gleam unto my bare breasts that have changed shape

in aging and nourishing of my sweet babe;

see me for not the hundreds of versions there are that exist of me within each stranger,

but for who I am. Who I am.

A wandress shifting shadows,

morphing under the wings of sky,

soles of my feet calloused from kissing the red Texas dirt,

pulling the earth toward me as if it were an Afghan in the dead of winter’s night.

An Afghan knitted by the hands of my great grandmother who lived through The Great Depression,

starved through poverty, hunger knowing no race.

She praised her God on a day when she had animal fat to cook in her beans,

trekked across dry desert, cactus country, shielding her cooing infant from the blistering sun,

all to give me this life. This life.

With only the fire cracking and smoldering mesquite branches to warm my bones.

I sharply inhale this vision, and exhale the realization of permanence:

because of her, and the bloodline coming before me,

because of these ancestors who fought for this life,

healing under this moon,

because of them, I am eternal.

Baby Bloomer

Baby Bloomer

Once a speck of stardust, then a sprouting seed,

blooming from the verdant, velvet covered leaves.

Your size a Meyer Lemon, canary and so sweet,

your skin the perfect hue, heart a steady beat.

Gentle in this iris, curled up serenely,

your rosy cheeks and chin, drawn down to your knees.

The beauty of becoming: budding, bittersweet,

eclipsing space and time, when our eyes finally meet.

Petals lending warmth, awaiting your first breath,

an act that will transcend, even my own death.

Writing Sample

Chelsea Brotherton

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About Chelsea Brotherton

Chelsea Brotherton is an unpublished writer in her senior year at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi, and will be graduating with an English writing degree in August 2019. She is a a recent winner of the 1st place undergraduate creative writing 2019 Haas English Writing Awards for a small collection of poetry. A Houston native, she is and enthusiastic Corpus Christi transplant. 

I Relapsed Today

I relapsed today 

into my old ways. 

It’s been five months 

since I left this pit-


I was conditioned to ignore

His words, convinced of their emptiness-

Leaving me just as empty. 

I would be more 

To make up for him. I was sure

If I could make the right meal

Or speak gently enough

Or wear something sexier

That he would be happy

Enough to treat me like it.

 

I’m not sure what made me walk away, 

But I’ve spent five months trying

To figure out what I’m worth

In my independence, my singularity. 

I have been failing, pining

After sweet words and squeezed thighs.

 

But today it happened, a shame

I thought I had forgotten. 

Like when I brought Peter home from the shelter,

The way he auto-cowered at the mere flinch

Of a finger- he still does this sometimes, 

A reflex.


And today your words burrowed

Through my ears, banging around pinball

Style, knocking my stomach over,

Punching holes in my brain. 

Another bitch that cares

about nothing but herself

Fuckin cunt

I hate all you whores

And my reply? 

I was my dog, cowering in a corner. 

I’m sorry


And I am sorry

For you, but it’s not my damn job. 

Mostly, I’m sorry for myself. 

And I’m writing this down

As a reminder, that the next time a man calls

Me a cunt on a second date

(or a 400th)

To say “I’m sorry

But to follow it with

But you can fuck right off.” 

Prayer to My Ex-Father A pantoum

Here’s to you, and trying to forget

My father, who art in nowhere.

Your face, barely seen, burns in memory,

Damned be your name. 


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Christian Garduno

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About Christian Garduno

Christian Garduno was raised in the Los Angeles area and studied History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the type of writer who works late into the night, most often until sunrise. His hobbies include making mix tapes, playing 9-ball, and sailing. He currently resides and writes along the South Texas coast with his beautiful wife Nahemie and his young son, Dylan. 

On Medium.com

Christian writes regularly on Medium.com Here's a sample:

 you’re a buzz in the hours well before noon
when we’re swimming around in your room
you turn off the lights
we scale the heights...


read more at  https://medium.com/@letsfly2000


Lone Star Lover

Find me some buds before too long in the afternoon,

anywhere you are can make a mighty fine saloon,

when the beach is your backyard, 

you don’t have to look very hard,

so give me a flash, let’s make a splash,

Gulf of Mexico’s always got plenty of room


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Coffee Cat

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About Coffee Cat

Coffee Cat has lived in Corpus Christi all her life and graduated from Texas A & M University as a first generation college student. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree of English in 2016. She currently works as a technical writer for a local business and self-published her first novel in March of this year. The novel is titled Don't Die and is published under the name Cofffeee Cat. It is available in both digital and print from Amazon. 

Don't Die

Description of DON'T DIE:  Anastasia Adira has read, watched, and heard countless stories with the same trope: do anything for love or save the princess. Two formulas that never seems to get old. As much as he enjoys a good romance, he never thought he’d be apart of one. Galaxia knows love as a word he can’t spell or recognize on the page. All it is, is something his clients say to him after a night of business and nothing more. When the two meet, the real story begins. BUY ON AMAZON

At Fault

When I was a Kid I told myself 

I’d never live past 25 

Diagnosed with Demons 

The prescription was church 


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Cory Staryk

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About Cory Staryk

During the day, C.J. Staryk is a marine biogeochemist at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. By night or the wee hours of the morning, he frantically claws at his keyboard to compose short stories, poetry and novels. From his lair, C.J. also manages a website for his photography and stories: https://hauntingachingwonder.wordpress.com

The Haunting, Aching Echo

Here's a sample of Cory's work:


During the winter, I head back home to see the family. I also visit the place that would always give me a sense of calm from the outside world and the theater of lunatics in my head. It is a county park wrapped around the local reservoir.   


See more at 

https://hauntingachingwonder.wordpress.com./ 

About Cory's Writing

I read a Norman Mailer article that played with the idea that God was fully aware of our Doom. That he had made mortal creatures that will still die and be gone. It was a beautiful idea to me and it affected me. 

I'm also obsessed that we just don't understand the vastness of space. Exploration of space is both bleak and absolutely amazing. I want to capture those two sentiments in the future science fiction work I write. Also, there is this idea in ecology that the destination of all species is extinction and I'm curious about how we would want to go out. I was trying to play with those ideas. 

There is this old proverb, which I think is Buddhist, that says: before enlightenment, a shepherd wakes and tends to his flock; after enlightenment, a shepherd wakes and tends to his flock. That is how I came up with the resolution. Originally, I wanted to shut the station down and everyone would die to send the message, but it just didn't seem logical and really cruel. Could be really emotional, but ultimately a terrible ending.

Excerpt from Echoes

Flint flipped through the monitors’ outside views of the station and the gas giant they orbited. Turbulent cloud bands and a wide, vertical icy ring were the only sights. He once imagined the galaxy’s stars full of civilizations waiting for discovery, but most were empty and others were tombs.

Muted laughter drew Flint to the third monitor. A party played on that screen. Ten years ago. A woman with deep blue eyes smiled into the camera. Her shoulders draped with her long, brown curls framing her olive skin. She lifted her hands, revealing a brownie with a single lit candle. She mouthed “happy birthday” and laughed. 


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David Carpenter

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About David Carpenter

My name is David Carpenter: Writer of stories, adopter of cats, player of games. Graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy with a second degree from the university formerly known as Corpus Christi State. After a stint in the Coast Guard I became a computer programmer, a choice that I enjoyed but would not recommend for normal people. I live in Corpus Christi, Texas and write urban fantasy with a touch of humor.

The Epiphany

"Monica and Jerry are assholes." 

It had been two weeks, and I was still muttering about my feud at work when I climbed up the tree with a chainsaw. They were the ones who had screwed up, but I was the one who ended up on the hook for it. It had taken me over twenty hours to clean up their mess. Twenty unpaid, uncredited, working-while-everyone-else-goes-home hours. A whole weekend, shot to hell. The anger welled up, making it made it hard to focus.


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Dylan Lopez

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About Dylan Lopez

Dylan Lopez is a student at TAMUCC majoring in English. He was a student of both Joseph Wilson and Tom Murphy as well as Glenn Blalock. He won the Robb Jackson Poetry Contest in his senior year of high school. A graduate of Richard King High School, he spent his senior year juggling dual credit classes with Del Mar College and competing in Academic Decathlon; he would go on to become a regional champion and a state competitor of 2017-2018. In high school, his interests in poetry were sparked by then-Creative Writing instructor Joseph Wilson, who featured Dylan in his final edition of the high school literary magazine, Open All Night. His writing incorporates an upbringing centered around parochial schools and religious teachings, while also tackling the theme of love from a young adult’s perspective. He hopes to move forward with his education in the hopes of going to law school and continuing to practice his writing over the coming years. 


University Discovery

I familiarly recall the nauseating journey from King

High school to the unfamiliar Island University,

With its own ecosystem, staring out into the sea.

Beside me on the unsound bus was a pretty German

Girl who...


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E Contreras

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About E Contreras

E Contreras is a native of Corpus Christi, who is close to completing an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in English Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). She has been involved with the TAMUCC Honors Program for four years, and plans on pursuing a Master’s degree as she figures out what exactly she’s going to do with herself. She’s probably going to be a liberal arts professor, if we’re being serious, or at least involved in public education in some form, although the title of “Donald Duck historian featured on The History Channel’s hit series Pawn Stars” also has a certain appeal. 

It was raining, and they went for a drive

I don't talk about it a lot, because it's embarrassing, and encourages bigots to whine about the "good old days," but I do have an affinity for 1950s pop music. You know, what was actually popular in the 50s: the super glossy, teeny-bopper bubblegum pop trash that poodle-skirted cheerleaders would scramble to put on the record machine at the neighborhood malt shop.


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Grady Hunter

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About Grady Hunter

Grady Hunter finds his true happiness and satisfaction in educating and service to others. In retirement he is a self employed consultant to business owners and organizational leaders. He had a varied career in executive management positions around the world for government, military and industrial organizations.

He is a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary where he is active in public education, member training, human resources, crew mentoring and admin support. He has received several commendations for activities related to search and rescue missions while coxswain of boat crews on Coast Guard orders.

Grady has produced many professional and technical articles over his varied career and he now enjoys putting pen to paper expressing his life adventure in prose and poetry. He lives with his wife Jeanne, Unity Spiritual Leader and Pastor in Corpus Christi, Tx. Their children are grown and both volunteer in community activities.

Suddenly in Command and Domestically Challenged

My experiences as a widowed and somewhat-senior male when venturing into a kitchen challenge gain little sympathy from the ladies.

We can agree that some experiences could befall even the most experienced homemaker. But when they befall the independent male, it somehow serves us right.


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Heather Twardowski

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About Heather Twardowski

Heather Twardowski hails from Houston, Texas and came to Corpus Christi to pursue both her B.A and M.A in English at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. While in the M.A. Program, she worked as an instructor for the university’s First-Year Writing Program where she showed students that everything they knew about writing was wrong. She has also traveled quite a bit, visiting places such as Scotland, France, and England. 

Heather can be defined in three words: Writer, Dancer, and Cosplayer. A dedicated dancer, an avid writer, and a big anime fan, Heather brings her passion in whatever she does. The genres she is most interested in are dystopian, sci-fi, mystery, and supernatural. She is currently working on several projects, including her debut novel, Rebel Fire. 

From "Rebel Fire"

“The Town”


It’s funny how quickly things can change. You get so used to routine that it seems impossible to be anything different. That’s what I thought as I gazed out at what was left of the once-flourishing town which had bustled with merchants selling ripe fruits. Sensational smells of pumpkins and cranberries had filled the alleys and roads, weaving throughout the mahogany shops and stands. Children played their innocent games of tag until the sky blazed a brilliant red and orange…


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Jacqueline Gonzalez

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About Jacqueline Gonzalez

Jacqueline was born and raised in Corpus Christi and graduated from Incarnate Word Academy High School. She is a wife, mother, and lover of all academic disciplines, specifically those involving the English language and writing. Jacqueline works as a Freelance Writer and as an Instructional Consultant for the Stone Writing Center at Del Mar College. She is also a Contributing Writer for The Bend and Inspire Coastal Bend Magazines. 

Asylum

Sitting in the corner 

while my world is going dim,

I’m thinking that I hear a voice-

My sanity is wearing thin.


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Jason Bond

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About Jason Bond

Jason Bond is a Corpus Christi native and teaches fourth grade. He lives with his beautiful wife, Rose. When not taking care of his cat and dog, Jason loves to read and write. His hope and dream is that someone else enjoys his imagination. 

Ghost Box

Brian watched Timmy reach as far as he could under his bed. Imagining his chubby fingers tip-toeing like spider legs over dust-bunny covered Cheetos or long lost Lego pieces or whatever else might be under there.

“Got it!” Timmy whispered and pulled the tattered shoebox out into the light of the flashlight he had resting on his lap.


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Javier Villareal

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About Javier Villarreal

Javier Villarreal holds a BA and MA in Spanish from Pan American University, Edinburg, Texas, and a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas. His major fields of interests are Languages in Contact (Spanish and English), Mexican American Folklore, and poetry. His works have been published by academic and literary journals. His first book of poetry Entre lluvia, canto y flor was published in 2008. He translated Versos para no dormir (Leticia Sandoval), edited Voz de Amor (Servando Cárdenas), and is currently working on his second book of poetry. After 30 years in the classroom, Dr. Villarreal retired and lives in Corpus Christi with his family. 

 

The River

From its banks

one questions 

the willows holding

the water with open

arms and sprawling...


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Jody Heymann

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About Jody Heymann

Jody Heymann is a fiction writer and has been living in Corpus Christi, Texas for most of her life. She is a retired Emeritus Professor from Del Mar College. Jody taught English Literature for over 42 years. Jody and her husband, Dr. Hans Heymann have contributed greatly to the community in which they lived. Dr. Heymann even brought the first blood bank to Corpus Christi. Jody’s books,  Greystone’s Dilemma and The Lady Killers: A Thriller are entertaining reads.  

LADY KILLERS

When a popular Texas State Senator running for reelection hires an assassin to solve his problem with a demanding young lover, he gets more than he bargained for--a murderer who enjoys his work, a media eager to exploit the scandal, and two detectives hired by the coed's parents to find their daughter...  


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Joshua Espitia

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About Joshua Espitia

Joshua Espitia is an award-winning author of short fiction, playwright, journalist, and former managing editor of The Windward Review. You can find his political commentary, satire, and God-awful attempts at comedy in The Vent Daily on a semi-regular basis. His poetry can be found on the digital journals South Broadway Ghost Society and Spank the Carp, and in the upcoming issues of Voices Arts and Literature Journal and The Windward Review. Joshua resides in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he works as an educator with the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.

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