An Open Letter to Governor Wolf

Hand in Hand

Dear Governor Wolf:

I am asking you please to do all in your power to make Chancellor Brogan and the PASSHE negotiators come back to the table and negotiate fairly a contract with APSCUF that does not undermine education in Pennsylvania, does not seek to abuse those in the faculty union with the least power and the lowest pay, and does not disrespect education or educators.

The faculty of the 14 universities of PASSHE do not want to be on strike; they were forced to strike:

  • They were forced to by a Chancellor who appears to have no idea of what goes into educating students and serving a university and who does not advocate for education, for education funding, for faculty, or for students and their families.
  • They were forced to by a Chancellor who seems to be far more intent on union busting and careerism, than on efforts to…

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Poem by Anne Whitehouse

Oddball Magazine, Nov. 11

oddball magazine

The “E-E-E-E-E-E”

The sound could be long and drawn out
like a hissing wind—
e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e—
or short and staccato
like eruptions from the gut—
eee-eee-eee-eee-eee.
I don’t know how it started
among us four siblings
but I know how it grew.
It sounded like so many things—
fear, enthusiasm, excitement—
but what it really meant was danger.

We thought it kept us safe
but in the end
it prevented us from saying
what we wanted to tell each other.
I think we were afraid
we would speak truths
that we could not unsay
about our parents and ourselves,
and love would vanish like evaporation.
And so one of us would go,
e-e-e-e-e-e, and another
would pick it up and carry it
like a round to the next.

The themes and variations
kept us going for years.
It meant everything,
and it meant nothing—
our secret childhood language
unleashed of words—

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Poem by Aiman Abdullah

oddball magazine

Oft

In dark vestiges
When spirit pervades
And Freud rules
I Ruminate
Where be your kind?
Morphosed in memory
Travelling the horns
Of West and East
Capturing Kingdom
Lucidly spreading light
Where be that cherished
Horse you enslaved
No gold you carried alas.
And the king of swamp
Swamped you forgave
Oft, I think
Your kind was a rarity
For now we enjoy
Mockery of Chivalry

“Food for Thought” © Stacy Esch

Aiman Abdullah (b. 1986) is a writer and poet, with works published in magazines. She is also a performer of spoken words. She lives in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, and is a practicing lawyer.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review…

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