Selections from my high school literary journal, part 1

January 7, 2009

Posted by Nick Sarno


A month or so ago, my parents sent me a package of old photographs in the mail. Included in the envelope, lining it like a protective layer of bubble wrap, was a copy of Through the Mind’s Eye, the literary magazine from my high school. I’m fairly certain it is the only copy in existence, anywhere. 

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much about high school. I had a few good friends, a few good memories, but there are few occasions which lead me to think about those years, and so most the memories have atrophied. The names in bold under each poem ring certain bells, but I can’t put faces to any of them. 

I remember being depressed in high school. I know that every high schooler is depressed on some level, but that’s something you don’t understand until you’re out of it. (I can’t help thinking now that we all would have been better off if we had realized that at the time. Of course, the fact that some high school kids dealt with their depression by choking other high school kids until they passed out made that hard to do.) Reading through this book of poems made me realize just how depressed everyone was.

It’s dark. I mean, it’s really, really dark. Undoubtedly, most of the poems were written as exercises during class. And some of the imagery and themes were there strictly to shock the teachers, to get grins out of friends. But once a year or so I’ll spend an hour looking up my old classmates on Myspace. Again, I don’t recognize any of them and usernames like GoStEeLeRs07 don’t help, but I’m always struck by how old they’ve become. They’re all my age, of course, but were I to sit across from any of them on a bus, I’d guess they were ten years older. Looking at the thumbnails of their faces, I can see something of the people who wrote these poems fifteen years ago.

So, on slow days, I’ll post a poem or two. I’m posting these anonymously 1.) to avoid embarrassing anyone and 2.) so I don’t actually have to deal with someone from 10th grade trying to contact me. 


Death Upon Me


I pulled into the driveway

after a long day at work

I went into the hosue

and threw down my keys.


I went into the bedroom to change

and there he was–

Lying in a puddle of blood,

his eyes rolled to the back of his head.


I reached out to touch him.

He was as cold as a winter snow

and as still as the floor on

which he lay.


I moved my fingers from him

as slow as I possibly could.

I held my ears, screaming, and ran out

of the house like a thief gasping!

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