CREATE Poems

May 27, 2016

Hey everyone, here are two poems I wrote based on the characters of The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. If you haven’t read this book yet, you can read a basic plot summary here. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would care to read it.

Howl

[Clarice’s Poem]

Crying,

like children

Howling, at a blood soaked moon,

from the silver floor

from which

they lay

Crying

Like children

In their cages

Of mortar and brick

Tears like silver

Breath like desperation

Heavy

Weeping,

Like babes

Blood on metal

Cold, hungry

Feral

Torn flesh, broken bone

Warm vitae

Draining

Through ragged rifts rent, ravaged

Screaming,

Like metal

As they are butchered

Ripped

Killed

Pearls shining

No Longer

Pleading,

 begging

As they beat their fists bloody

Starving

In the dark

Empty

Frozen

The rain like cold knives

And where

A bird once fluttered

And was warm

 Is dead

And cold

And dark

And when the howls come

There is naught that you can do

But struggle

And shake

In your invisible fetters

Your hidden shackles

And scream back

And pound your fists

Trapped

Helpless

Powerless

Starling

[Hannibal’s Poem]

My little bird, my starling

Oh how you hop, and skip

To my merry tune

unknowingly

My little bird,

You seek to slay a beast

But it is from your own shadow

That you flee

My little bird,

You cover yourself with your feathers

And plumes

But you cannot hide

Your scars

From

Me

My dear bird,

How loudly you roar

For such a little one

But I know that you roar

To stop the screams

My little bird,

Rest your head, my Starling

And “sleep deeply, sweetly, now

In the silence of the lambs” [Harris 338]

 

A Red Smile

December 17, 2015

A Red Smile

 

 

The hunter chased the hunted down the narrow alley, the splash of water and the huff of desperate breath the only noise punctuating the still air. The day was dreary, an oppressive mantle of clouds choked out the sun. The sky was weeping icy tears upon the world below. The hunter stopped and reached into a fold of his long coat, drawing out a large gleaming revolver. He carefully took aim at the hunted. And fired. A fist size chunk of brick was blasted out of the wall mere inches away from the hunted as he quickly rounded a corner and disappeared from sight. The hunter swore underneath his breath and he ran after his prey, gun in hand.

 

The body lay still, eyes closed and arms at its side. One might have thought it were sleeping, if not for the savage gashes on its body and a large opening right underneath its chin. A red smile. Words were crudely carved along the body’s stomach and down the left leg, sloping characters of dirty red on white. Three suits stood around the body, cigarettes aglow in the twilight. The scratch of graphite on paper and the silent loudness of the body in front of him were all too familiar to the hunter. He had been doing this job, his job for a long time now, and he had seen many bodies in his day. He was the best at what he did, this was a fact and he knew it. But he was nearing the end of his days, his hair, once a shiny onyx, was now gray peppered with white and his right hand often tremored. He had handled many cases in his time, but this one was different. Over the past three months, twelve bodies had been found, all of them women, all of them with a large gash underneath their chin and words carved into their skin. He knew a signature when he saw one, and this one was familiar. The sloping writing was carved neatly and cleanly, with care and attention to detail. The sentences however, were gibberish, the ravings of a madman. He pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and put it in his mouth. He fumbled in his pocket for his lighter and raised it to his mouth, but it tumbled out of his shaky hand. Cursing his tremor, he stooped to pick it up but paused as he saw the scars crisscrossing his hand. Involuntarily, he reached towards his throat and touched the thick scar that wound around the front side of his neck. He touched the scar, and remembered.

 

The hunted sprinted into the abandoned factory and slammed the rusted metal door shut. A few seconds later the hunter reached the factory and charged through the iron door, knocking flakes of rust into the air. He paused to catch his breath and scanned the interior of the factory. Catwalks ran back and forth above his head and in front of him, where industrial machinery once stood, were only ghosts and forgotten memories. It was dark. He pulled a heavy baton of a flashlight from his waist and flicked it on, the yellow beam cutting through the dust and gloom. His prey could be anywhere, and he knew he should have waited for backup. But he had chance to end it, to end the killings, and he swore by god he would take it, even if it left his young wife a widow and him a lifeless corpse like so many he had already seen. He walked slowly to the wall and pressed his back against it, slowly moving down the length of the factory. The pitter-patter of rain was the only sound to be heard and it spilled into the factory from various holes in the roof. Everything was still. The dust settled on the floor. The rain dripped. The hunted stepped out from a shadow. The hunter spun his gun around. But he was too slow, he willed his arm to go faster. Time flowed like syrup. He saw the hunted leap at him, knife outstretched. The gun was almost to bear, just a few more inches. His heart pounded a jackhammer tattoo inside his chest. Cold light glinted off the blade of the knife as it arched towards him. The hunter threw up his hands and the knife carved through them, shredding the tendons in his palms. The gun clattered to the floor.  The hunted slashed again and again, shredding the hunter’s hands to wet, meaty ribbons. He stabbed hard and buried the knife in the hunter’s palms and forced him to the ground, straddling his chest. The hunted withdrew the knife, his body quivering with ecstasy. He reversed its grip towards the hunter’s throat. The hunter began to hyperventilate, his breath coming in short, labored gasps. His scream came out as a tortured wail, and the hunted tilted his head and closed his eyes as if he were listening to the most exquisite of music. Suddenly, the sound of police sirens interrupted his reverie and he opened his eyes.

“Until next time,” he giggled, and opened the hunter’s throat from ear to ear. Blood streamed out of the gash, a crimson river pooling onto the ground around him. He thrashed and gurgled, but there was no one around to hear him. His back arched off of the floor and he pressed his hand against as if he could stem the torrent pouring from his neck. His legs shook, a last attempt to flee from his inevitable death. But then he was being lifted, placed into a car by blue-shirted men. Someone was clenching his hand and telling to hold on. White spots flashed across his eye. He was on a trolley, hurtling through a hospital corridor. His vision greyed then went black.

 

He lit his cigarette and took a long draw. A brown trench coat approached him, a gleaming badge fixed to the outside of its pocket.

“You think it’s him?” the brown coat said. The hunter nodded, rubbing the scar with the space between his thumb and forefinger.

“I always thought we got the wrong guy. He’s not the type of man that would deny it. He woulda celebrated it.”

“So you mean we sent the wrong guy to the shocker? A damn shame.” The trench coat replied. But the hunter did not say anything. He was staring at something on the floor. He crouched down and swept his finger along the ground. Red powder covered his finger. Rust. And at that moment the hunter had his scent.

 

The hunted twirled his knife between his fingers. The girl sat before him, shaking and crying. She sobbed loudly through her gag and tried to scream, but no one would hear her. No one but him. He drank in the sound, relishing in the exquisite terror radiating from the girl. The urge to plunge the knife into her soft, throbbing neck was almost overpowering, but he had killed just last night and was content for now. There was no bond as sincere as the one between a person and their killer, and he knew this. He would be there for their last words, for their last breaths. He would be there when their eyes dimmed and the fire that was a human soul dwindled and ceased to exist. He would be there for them, then he would mourn them when they were gone. Death was a beautiful thing to him, for life is not beautiful because it lasts forever, it is beautiful because it is short and passionate. Many did not come to appreciate this and slipped too easily and willingly into death. What is death without the terror, the excitement and the passion? What is death without the copper taste of blood in your mouth, the hammering of your heart and the desperate struggle to live as your blood slowly seeped out of your body? He giggled as he put the knife to his face. He never wanted to forget the feeling of ecstasy he had felt last night as he breathed in that woman’s last breath and felt her shudder then go still. So he would give himself something to help him remember, something that he would never be able to take off. He pulled the knife down his face, tasting the blood that ran down his face. He relished the pain as he carved a new line down a vista of scars that adorned his face. The girl whimpered and thrashed in her bonds, the thick harbor rope chafing her arms. He heard the pulse of blood underneath her skin, heard the liquid crimson rushing through her veins like water through a hose. He stood up from the crate he had been sitting on and strode over to her. His craving was overpowering, and he couldn’t resist any longer. Suddenly, the door burst open and two small cylinders bounced into the room. They detonated and two balls of light, bright as suns lit up the room.

 

The hunter waited until he heard the twin cracks of the flash bangs. He burst into the factory, the very same one he had almost died in almost twenty years ago. He saw his prey staggering, hand over his eyes, a sobbing girl tied to a chair next to him. He brought his shotgun to bear. The girl screamed. He pulled the trigger. The beanbag blurred through the air and struck the hunted, hurling him to the floor. He coughed and blood splattered the front of his sweater. The hunter wracked the slide and loaded another round into the chamber. The hunted scrambled to his feet and the beanbag struck him in the solar plexus, driving the breath from his body. He collapsed and lay on the floor, struggling to breathe. The hunter walked over to him and stood over him.

 

“No more,” the hunter said, “this ends today.”

“You of all people,” the hunted croaked through blood-stained teeth, “should know that endings can be misleading.”

 

The hunted closed his eyes and remembered. The blood pooled around the hunter’s head. The hunted pulled the knife from his neck and licked it clean. The hunter thrashed underneath him and he relished the feeling of his death. But this was different. He looked into the hunter’s eyes and where he usually saw a fading flame he saw a raging inferno. A raging inferno that would not be put down. He knew that the hunter would not die this day. He stood and walked out of the factory. Somewhere deep inside, he knew what he had seen when he looked into his eyes. He had seen his death.

 

The autumn leaves swirled in the crisp breeze. An old man sat on a park bench and listened. He listened to the joyful laughter of children, the cooing of birds. He was dressed in his ceremonial blue dress, a glossy cane clutched in his gnarled fist. Scars crisscrossed his fists and his hair, once a shiny onyx was now white. His right hand, once possessing a tremor, was still, clenched atop a cane. A man dressed identically walked over to him and set himself down.

“It’s time,” he said, “We’d better go.”

They sat in the front row of chairs facing a large pane of glass. The walls were gray concrete, betraying the purpose of the facility. On the other side of the glass sat a lone chair in the middle of the room. Wires and leather straps adorned the chair. The door buzzed open and two men with an old man between them walked him over to the chair and set him down. The old man did not struggle as they strapped him in. They whispered something into his ear and he grinned, nodding his head. The two men walked out of the room and closed the door. The hunted began to whistle tunelessly to himself and turned his head to look at the hunter. They looked at each other until the switch was turned on and the hunted began to jerk violently, a crazed marionette. Finally, after thirty seconds his head lulled to the side and his lips hung open in a rictus grin, blood matting his teeth. A red smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello fellow 7th graders,

We, Edward and Casper, have just finished our 8th grade year and along the way we have learned a number of useful tips. As we are such generous and helpful students, we would like to share our life saving tips with you, the soon to be 8th graders. Get ready.

 

1. Do your homework every night

While the teacher may not check every single night, doing homework actually helps in the long run, especially during tests. It also is much easier to remember material when you practice it every night instead of studying right before a test.

 

 

2. Pay attention in class

While this seems kind of obvious we put this because it is definitely true. There are teachers for a reason and that is to help you learn the material easier, which, could mean homework may take less time if you understand the subject. It also means you will better understand the material come the time for tests.

[Do not space out]

3. Do not procrastinate

Do your homework as soon as it is assigned. Trust us, this means it will not come back to bite you in the butt later. Nothing is worse than getting busted by a teacher for overdue homework. Actually, scratch that, a lot of things are worse but this is pretty bad too.

4. Have a good nights sleep

We all know sleep is a necessity in order to excel at school. It refreshes our mind and bodies and makes us feel good. After all, everyone knows how bad it feels to be groggy and sleepy, right?

 

5. Be competitive

When you compete with your friends in school it can propel you forward, grade-wise. Imagine school as a race and whenever you get a 5 it is 1st place. This mentality will let you do well in school and have a little bit of fun.

My Top Four Books

June 1, 2015

AS11-44-6548_lrg

[This list is in no particular order]

1. A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin

[WARNING CONTAINS MATURE THEMES]

If you ever get bored of predictable plots and cliched characters this series is definitely not for you. It is completely unpredictable and was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is of the fantasy genre, although it may not seem like it at first.

2. Into Thin Air – John Krakauer

This harrowing narrative demonstrates the terrors of being stuck on the roof of the world in the middle of a blizzard. It is a great read and the fact that the characters were real made them easier to relate to.

3. The Three Body Problem – Cixin Liu

A great book rooted in cutting edge science and framed by a truly intriguing plot. Although, to truly appreciate the full scope of the book, one must reread portions of the book to truly understand the science behind it. But trust me, once you do it makes for a spectacular read.

4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

This hilarious take on world destruction and interstellar travel generates laughs with every page. It is truly hilarious and simply outrageous at the same time.

Explore China

June 1, 2015

This is a travel article that my group mates Edric, Edward, Matthew and I created. We all created travel articles about different minorities in China. Our goal was to make our magazine as authentic-looking as possible while also showing understanding of the themes of geography.

 

Sunset for Humanity

May 31, 2015

dark-sunset

Here is an original poem I wrote to further explore the motif of fear of death vs. moral values. Let me explain further. In Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem a party of people called the ETO [Earth Trisolaris Organization] intend for an alien race called the Trisolarans to travel from their doomed planet, Trisolaris, and come live on Earth. One might think, how do they intend the human race to properly coexist with the Trisolarans? They don’t. They believe humanity is so corrupt in it’s ways that it does not deserve to live. “I’ve lost hope in the human race after what I have seen in recent years. Human society is incapable of self-improvement.” [229]. The aliens have advanced technology and would probably not destroy the environment as we do if they came to Earth. When you look at it this way there is really no reason why we should live on the Earth and not them. So the question is: should we let ourselves be wiped out by these aliens, which ultimately would be better for everyone but us, or fight the aliens which would not only result with deaths on both sides but also the eventual death of the environment due to pollution and such.

Here is the poem in case the image is too low quality:

The sun burns with fierce futility falling from the edge of the world

 Cold is the breeze that whispers like a thief stealing the warmth from your bones

The lake is dark ink, tinged with mercurial magma where the sun meets its edge

The trees wave a last goodbye to humanity

But should we, the children of Earth, surrender to oblivion?

Darkness closes in like a hungry ocean predator, drawn by our corrupted,rotting corpse

But, do we, victims of our own hubris, deserve salvation?

The wind is howling, a macabre funeral dirge

Should we be saved where others were not?

The ground is cold and unsympathetic as we lower ourselves upon the ground

 The last vestiges of light have left the sky, as well as our hearts

We sit and wait or the end that we so deserve.

The Unknown Enemy

May 29, 2015

Can you fight something even when you don’t even know who it is or even what it is? This is exactly what Wang Miao and the governments of the world are trying to do when hundreds of the top scientists in the world commit suicide in Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem. These series of events were directly related to the outcome of a recent experiment where the laws of physics were proven to not exist. It is pretty depressing to think that the universe has no rules and that humanity will never have an understanding of it. But how can countless experiments suddenly be proven null? Someone, or something must be behind this strange occurrence but who could have the power to do so?

Wang Miao, a top scientist is conscripted by the military to infiltrate a scientific organization called The Frontier of Science and find out what is really going on. When he sees a member of the organization playing a video game called Three Body, he can’t help but feel it is all connected.

The goal of the game is to master the chaotic environment of Trisolaris, where solar patterns are unpredictable and dangerous. Day could last for two hours or maybe two months, with temperatures soaring up to steel melting levels or plummeting to negative 300 degrees. The aim of the game is to simply survive, but this is no simple task on the world of Trisolaris.

Just when things start to get dull and the leads cold Wang is invited to a meet up for players of the game. At the meet up a secret is revealed to Wang that could change humanity’s fate forever. “The world of Three Body, or Trisolaris, and Trisolarans really do exist … The goal of Three Body is very simple: to gather those of us who have common ideals” [229]. Wang’s mind is boggling when the organizer reveals the real purpose of Three Body and Frontiers of Science.”How would you feel if Trisolaran civilization were to come to Earth?” [229]. Aliens exist, and these people want to bring them to Earth. But what does this mean for humanity? The ETO [Earth-Trisolaris Organization] see humanity as a corrupt race and intend to use extraterrestrial intervention to correct our wayward civilization. But how exactly will they interact with humans? This is revealed when the military raids and ETO base and retrieves Trisolaran transmissions. “We cannot share the Earth with the people of that world. We could only destroy Earth civilization and completely take over that solar system” [353]. This warning transmission illuminated the Trisolarans’s true intent was not to save humanity but to destroy it. But it will ultimately take them about 450 years to travel to Earth, and by that time humanity will have far surpassed them in technology level. “We must contain the progress of science on Earth.” [359]. But this can only be possible by changing the known universe into something unknown and ever changing, for science is based on the idea of universal constants. “Sophon one is capable of initiating spacial dimensionality adjustments at any moment” [375]. This explains the earlier happenings where the laws of physics suddenly seemed null. The Trisolarans had the ability to manipulate space. Science can no longer continue and humanity has no hope.

I can somewhat relate to the antagonists in the book, the ETO. They have lost their faith in humanity, seeing it as a corrupt and irredeemable race. I sometimes feel as if humanity is going downhill, what with all the pollution and pointless violence. But even if there is no hope left does not mean we should just give up and die. After all, the whole meaning of life is pointless struggle. What is the point of living if we are going to die? Because we can. This is the true meaning of life, to struggle against death. In his poem “Do not go gentle into that goodnight“, Dylan Thomas explores the futile yet noble struggle against death and oblivion:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

[Dylan Thomas]

I think this can be applied to the struggle in this book against the vastly technologically superior aliens.

This book is unique in the fact that there really is no rising action. Nothing much happens until suddenly all is revealed in one swift and unexpected motion.

The Death of Science

May 21, 2015

Have you every felt as if your world had been turned upside down and everything that you have ever done or experienced was a lie? This was how most scientists in Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem felt when the laws of physics turned out to be false. ” ‘All the physicists on this list have committed suicide in the last two months’, General Chang said. Wang was thunderstruck. Gradually his black-and-white landscapes faded into blankness in his mind… those worlds were all dead.” [60] It seemed the glue which was holding fabric together had abruptly split.

This occurs in the exposition of the book. This is also a person versus nature conflict as the main character, Wang, struggles to make sense of the no longer law-abiding universe. How can the universe have no rules? Nothing to hold it together? As if this happenstance wasn’t strange enough this is rapidly followed by a series of unexplainable events that threaten to drive Wang to the brink of insanity and even suicide. Suddenly, he begins to see a countdown, etched as clear as day in every single photograph he takes. Then this countdown is seemingly burned into his retinas, inescapable and omnipresent. “Wang felt he was suffocating” [86]. This is a person versus self conflict because Wang is struggling to hold on to his sanity. He calls a famous scientist that is actually a part of a cryptic scientific society called Frontier of Science which he had up until now shunned for its opaqueness and unneeded mystery. “Just stop” she answers and abruptly hangs up. Somehow, he knows this is related to an ongoing experiment he has been running for a few years and he promptly shuts down the machine. The countdown miraculously disappears.

More strange events follow such as a murder, unexplained fluctuation of the cosmic microwave background and evidence of intelligent alien life suddenly popping up out of seemingly nowhere. This is all somehow linked to an online video game named Three Body.

Citations:

"The Three-Body Problem" ["The Three-Body Problem"]. Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem>.
"Amazon Three Body." Amazon. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015. <http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/
     51kxQMvzMeL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg>.

 

Ice Cream Geometry

April 27, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015 8:16 AM

This is a presentation that Edric and I made together. This slideshow introduces our new brand of ice cream: Kuala Kream [not made of real Koalas]. When I buy ice cream I look for balance, not too much cone, not too much ice cream. Our ice cream design, in my opinion, is perfectly balanced. It is also cheap and comes in a good size so you won’t be either too full or unsatisfied.

Fun With Polymers

April 19, 2015

In Science class we were given the task to invent a polymer with real world application. This is no small task to undertake as it is always good fun to make some slime and stretch it but what real world use would it serve? Our group then proceeded to combine random ingredients until we could come up with a use for the finished product. Inventing it was not the real challenge but coming up with a real world use the hardest part. Our finished product is called Shock-X, the portable, non-stick shock absorber. The purpose of this project is to reduce the severity of head trauma. It is a small pad that you can easily insert into a bicycle helmet. We used Borax, PVA and glue to make this tough polymer.

Below are some journal entries I wrote during the production of our polymer.

Journal 1:

After some brainstorming we finally came up with a use for our polymer, a shock absorbent pad that someone could put in his or her helmet. However, our polymer is still too brittle and shatters easily. This is not a good thing if you are seeking to prevent head trauma. We need to find a way to make it more stretchy but not too soft.

Journal 2:

We have finally made the polymer tougher and less brittle by adding more glue to the mixture. It stretches and does not shatter but is also tough and resilient. We tested our polymer’s protective capabilities by wrapping it around a glass beaker and dropping it on the floor. The polymer fulfilled its purpose and the glass did not break. However, if falling off a bike you head would be travelling much faster with more mass behind it so we removed some of the polymer and this time we threw it on the floor. Thankfully, nothing happened to the beaker and this time we finally knew our product was finished. The next and last step would be to prepare a video presentation showcasing our product.