Tag Archives: life

Milk and Honey — The City Remedy

By Dimitris Tzoytzoyrakos

In the past several years, nothing has made as much of an impact onto the poetry world as Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey. Having sold over one million copies, her collection of poems is actively being discussed, quoted, and plastered all over social media.

I will preface what I am about to say by stating that my opinion is entirely subjective, as it is with all art.

I believe the extreme popularity of Milk and Honey, while partly due to its feminist subject matter, owes much more of its success to its simplistic, minimalist, and easily-accessible form of craftsmanship.

It is never a good idea to say that art should ever be anything. However, one of the great beauties of poetry is its enigmatic or multi-layered nature of words. Unlike music, painting, or film, poetry is the art of words and strictly words. This limitation grants a heavy burden on the poet, as the words that they choose to construct their work could inhabit a territory of many possible meanings, bringing the poem to a certain degree of subjectivity to the reader. This gives the reader a new responsibility: to interpret the poem.

Interpretation is the root of discussion, argument, and understanding in art. It is what brings readers together to expand each other’s field of perspective and build upon their methods of reaching it.

Rupi Kaur’s language in Milk and Honey (for almost its entirety) does not attempt to suggest multiple meanings or take on an interpretive nature. Rather, her poems and their subject matter are very direct and on-the-nose, leaving the message of her poems out in the open for all to see and to collectively understand.

This of course could be a deliberate choice on her end, but it is easy to see how this style of writing limits the discussions to be had on her poetry, as far as their meaning is concerned.

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Ball If Life

By Anna Ngo

5 seconds left. The crowd was silent. 4 seconds…Sweat trickled down my face. 3 seconds…I weaved through my opponents. 2 seconds…I tossed the ball in the air. 1 second…The ball bounced around the rim. EERRP! The buzzer went off, and the crowd went wild as I made the winning shot. “Anna! Anna!” My name echoed throughout the stadium as the audience and my teammates chanted it repeatedly.

Those are the moments I live for. Basketball has been a huge part of my life, and it all started when I was five years old. My mom had dragged me to this Tracy McGrady Basketball Camp at a nearby church. At that time, I had no interest in basketball, let alone know what it was.

I vividly recall my very first steps into the gym. The stench odor of sweat wrinkled my nose as the shrill whistles drummed in my ear. Pounding fast, my heart beat to the dribble of the basketball. I stood there motionless as a sea of eyes glared at me. I felt their critical stares penetrate my skin. I was mentally and physically unprepared for this, so I sat down on the bleachers and refused to participate. However, my mom desperately wanted me to try it out, so I made a deal with her. If I participated in the camp, she had to take me to Build-A-Bear. It was the hottest commodity at that time, and all my schoolmates had a bear from there. (Don’t forget, I was five years old at that time.)

With each day, I started to develop a liking for basketball and that liking turned into a passion. One thing led to another. After the basketball camp, I joined the YMCA basketball league in elementary school. As I got into middle school, I played for the school’s team as I led it to the zone championship. I also played for my high school team, going from the freshman team to varsity. On top of that, I played for the Athletic Amateur Union (AAU) during the summer during the offseason. Thus, I had played basketball for 18 years straight up until I got into college.  Thinking I’d need time to try other things, I took a break from basketball during my freshman year, but I soon realized that this was a mistake. I missed being on the court. Therefore, I tried out for the USC Women’s Club Basketball Team and made it in, thus reuniting with the sport that became more than just a passion, but a life lesson.

I can honestly say that the deal I made with my mom was the best thing in my life because not only did I get my Build-a-Bear, I also got a life-long experience that has helped shape me into the person I am today. It has taught me the value of teamwork, communication, commitment, and hard work. I guess you can say, “Ball if Life.”

Anna Ngo is a rising junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering (Petroleum). She is from Houston, Texas but is loving the Los Angeles atmosphere. She has been dancing and playing basketball since she was five years old. However, she loves all sports and enjoys cooking and exploring. The one thing she loves the most is engaging herself in new cultures and experiencing new things. 

Easing the Restlessness

By Matt Keibler

“Do you want to go to the Grand Canyon to see the sunrise?”

Now, I am one for adventure. Hiking Mt. Baldy, snorkeling on the Atlantic shelf, walking alone through a Moroccan market, traversing the hills of Scotland through sleet storms – I have no trouble with getting outside. The real issue is getting friends to go with me. Happiness is only real when shared, no?

So, when I asked my dear friend Rachel to spend her one day off on one of the last weeks of Summer 2015 to drive seven hours across the Arizona desert in the middle of the night for a few dawn hours on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, I was nervous that she would say no. After all, this was the last thing on my summer bucket list before senior year. Who knows where we would both be next year? I warned her. It would be an exhausting task. We would need coffee and Clif bars and maybe some 90s throwbacks to get us through the night. And I knew that she was the only one crazy enough to say yes to this.

And she did.

“Great. Go take a nap. We leave at 9:30pm. Sun rises at 6:37am.”

She did not realize the immediacy of my question and yet, she took it in stride. Within a few hours, we were packed, caffeinated, and midway to Barstow, where we would leave the traditional route to Las Vegas, instead opting for the 40 freeway and another 4 hours of desert. Musically, we had moved through The Great Boy Bands of the 90s, and into 90s alternative rock. Blink-182 was a better vibe for a midnight drive through the California desert anyways.

Now, I am a boy from Florida, and I thought I knew heat. Summer nights are a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a light breeze, if you’re lucky. My best memories are sitting on the beach after midnight in the late summer, watching the lightning from a far off storm illuminate the ocean. The flash of blue mirrors itself on the water, and for a split second, you can see the beach around you. Sometimes you could see a boat far, far in the distance. Most of the time, you saw the horizon of blueish black meet the stars. But only for a second. In that consuming darkness, you are left with nothing to do but sit down and bask in its awe.

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