Breaking News – 2024 Arcturus Announces the Theme – After Image

The theme “After Image” has three meanings that apply to our chosen submissions and to our vision of Arcturus as a whole. The first idea derives from “after,” accrediting a piece of inspirational work. Also, “After Image” displays the consistent theme of contemplating oneself both physically and emotionally. The second meaning comes from the word afterimage:  an image that stays within a person’s eyes after initial exposure. Not only can this be descriptive of several of the pieces, but presenting works that stick with readers long after they experience reading or gazing at the work . Finally, “After Image” implies what’s beyond mere self-image. The use of image within writing is an important step in pulling us into the experiences of others whose lives differ from our own.

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What Comes After

By Ryan Fecarotta

It has begun: Dido has left her sister
Leaving behind only a hatred renowned
A promise, for her son, her daughter

A memory, the slowest killer
Countless will plow its poisoned ground
It has begun: Dido has left her sister

Ushering in a war with no victor
A widow’s last sound
A promise, for her son, her daughter

Blood fills the ceaseless river
As a new king is crowned
It has begun: Dido has left her sister

There is no visitor
For that lonely mound,
A promise, for her son, her daughter

Acheron will soon empty into Lethe’s water
With it, a memory shall be drowned
It has begun: Dido has left her sister
A promise, for her son, her daughter

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By Kristina Hoppler

For those of us who live at the center of a man’s world,
words written for us
expressing their desires,
thrown about like a boat in an ocean storm.
If such words could sculpt
they would create erotic pictures,
unrecognizable when faced with realism.

To be a woman in a man’s world,
if breasts could bounce
like that of a man’s eye.
When will the ink from a woman’s hand
be given such courtesy?
Words that roll from her lips
pierce the man like a dagger.
Having tasted the blade,
does it reminisce
of the flowers they so desperately wish to pluck?
You would reject the mirror
with images such as theirs.

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By Sean Haney

You always towered over me
with thick and calloused hands holding my own,
a stark contrast to your slow, melodic voice.

When young, you would take me to the sea,
marking the stars with stories of old,
Orion, Ursa Major, Crius.

As I grew you taught me how to understand
all that is unjust, all that is pure,
and to never take my world for granted.
I failed you.

As decades rolled past me I never considered
they were passing for you too.
Slowly your stately frame shrunk, slumped,
as your hair grayed and fell to the ground unnoticed.

When I saw all this, it was too late.
Instead of those decades of memories to be made
I had wasted them on money, the future,
what could be instead of what is.

Those last years I had with you never changed the way I saw you,
though your height had diminished,
and your supple flesh stiffened.
Your eyes still gleamed as you pointed at the sky,
marking the stars with stories of old.
I will always remember you as you were in my youth
a Titan.

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Arcturus Launch Party!

Join us to celebrate the Arcturus Launch Event on June 8th! Two events, one at 12:00 P.M. and the second at 5:30 P.M. Free food and free copies of the Arcturus will be available at both events! As well as a reading by Highline’s president, Dr. John Mosby in the afternoon event! We look forward to seeing you!

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Dr. John Mosby’s Literary Salon

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By Ruby Cofer

Dents in the wall, broken plates, and ash caking the furniture is all that remains in her house. There are tiny shards of glass fractured into spiderwebs, strewn across the floor. Maybe a fight, maybe a robbery, maybe nothing at all. But I think there is a drop of blood over by the windowsill, where the panes look too new and too neat. I thought there were limestone tiles by the fireplace, but maybe I was mistaken, and she always had that off-centered wood paneling, scratched and splintered like something had been ripped off. I’m sure he wouldn’t lie to me about where she is. He loves her so much. And he said he wasn’t home when the fight or the robbery or the nothing-at-all happened. He says she’s just away on vacation. But I find it a bit odd that something made this place so messy four days ago, yet the window is spotless, and the tiles are missing, just like my sister.

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by Monica Sanchez

inside me is an aching feeling.
An aching feeling of desperately wanting to be accepted
an aching feeling of wanting to be loved by you.

Stepping on eggshells everytime i’m around you
not knowing what i’m going to find today
it all comes towards me at once
and pushes me down like a big tidal wave

I never knew why you had so much pain filled inside you
so much pain you have inflicted onto me

latching to me
to feel the ache as deeply as you

so here I am, eager for the day to come
the day I don’t have an aching feeling inside me
the day I won’t feel the need to change every aspect of me for your liking
the day I can dance around freely.

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World in Her Hands

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