You and the World

by Sophia Kumin (’13)                             Picture 42
From the Sarah Fontaine Unit

with a hard sound
you were rolling out into the black
rolling your fist, you a fleshy thing
you, rounder and newer
and greener

when you were a little older, a little better, a little bluer
you said you wanted to learn everything there was
but then you found
the parts that hurt to know
you wish you hadn’t stumbled upon
the vicious hands, the ache

you didn’t realize pain came in different forms
sometimes blinding and white hot
sometimes creeping up like the night does
sometimes wrapped in echoing laughter
but always with new porous holes to fill

Jupiter is bigger but
Saturn has rings of protection
just like you have
layers you hide under, fragments of shell you glued together

under every rock is something living and that is where
I found you

you are always by yourself
alone in sharp places, all slicing and edges
and you swim between the breaths of strangers
soaking in all the perspiration
not quite standing not quite sinking
and you hear everything
beating between your legs
telling you what you always knew

here is what you knew:
• it was funny at first
• it hurt
• it hurt
• oh god, it hurt
• you didn’t remember

you remembered:
“can I”

hot hands and cold bodies
falling like you were in the black again
crushed and vaporized and sound proof
bitter and something
like a tingling water rushing over your eyes

you said you wanted to know everything but
you never meant it like you mean it now
opening yourself like a scar to the alcoholic sky
bleeding out the things you never said
or meant to say
or meant to think
or never meant at all
and it stings and you can’t decide if it’s good or bad

you thought you would get stronger but it only got worse
the small rocks in your pockets
dragging you and drowning you in
shaded eyes, pretending not to notice
pretending, pretending only gets you so far
far enough away

is it warmer, out there? out by yourself
where you always were
now with a more ringing sense of urgency in your ears
with a more meaty memory
spread out like a skin
blood speckled and drying on the line

your face is imprinted in the moon
an ashy residue coating the stars, lined up in your favorite constellations
you’re a celestial sort of smile in the pitch black
hurtling toward some sort of
some sort of forgiveness you couldn’t attain
in the same place everyone else could

rather, dancing with the minnows
hair caught in your mouth
leaping arms reaching toward the hot heartbeat
fingertips grazing the surface of everything all at once.

(I Wanna Take You to a) Play (Bar)

‘Aight, here are the long-awaited behind-the-scenes photos.

The Girl Who Cried Tortoise

Now there’s a guy that looks good on his hands and knees.

Mommy Hazel with Hammer Baby

Maxine and Johnny (and Jonathan)

Constructive Criticism

My Favorite Raccoon

Raccoon ft. Giorgia

Raccoon ft. Giorgia

Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes videos, for an in-depth look at CW’s creative process and waffles.


If We’re Playing Battleship, You’re Sunk

by Sophia Kumin (’13)

I know it scares you
to think about
my hands touching
the places on my body
that you’ve condemned
I’ll map out a smile
from belly button to breasts.

you say you can bench 120
so I should lose ten pounds
but if weight were measured
in words without meaning
you’d be sinking to the bottom
of your ocean of discrepancies.

I don’t answer to you or
your 3 AM phone calls
“baby, I want you back”
baby, you want my back
arched in your bed

and saying
“I love you”
but you can’t tell the difference
between my birthmarks and anyone else’s
it’s not me you want it’s
everything you couldn’t have
when you had me.

harbor hate in my hips
the same ones you squeezed
like a stress ball
don’t use me
with the same hands you use
to touch yourself
over pictures of people
with perceived perfection.

I want you to know
you don’t hurt me
when you look at
my arms and my waist and my legs
and snarl
because they’re stronger
than anything you could say.

I know it scares you to think about
me loving the places on my body
that you marked with x’s in your eyes
why don’t you follow my fingers
forming a
fuck you.

You feel like
never solid, you still want to be noticed
and the less we pay attention
the more you disappear
clinging to the cement
we blow from
cracked lips,
broken skin from all the
salty words we spit at you
when you said we’d
never be enough

but you can’t push me over
when you’re too busy
concentrating on the little things
instead of the sum of my parts
the part of me
that could easily
swing my fist back like a gavel
on your twisted expression

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury
this man is guilty as charged of
of your mother and your daughter
and the people in between,
knock-kneed and shivering
in front of him.

I’m done with
I’m not as good as
I could be without you
and we both know
you can’t deal with
how it was
that never lived up
to any expectations
that looks in the mirror and wants to see
someone better than what you turned out to be.

Read more poetry.

I Had My One-And-A-Half-Year Anniversary And I’m Not Even Freaking Out

by Sophia (’13)

On Friday, my girlfriend and I acknowledged our one-and-half-year (18 months) anniversary. We didn’t get to celebrate because we had to help set up for the Chanukah party that would be taking place the day after. But, we didn’t mind. We’ve gotten to a point where just being around each other is enough celebration.

It wasn’t always so easy to just BE. Before this relationship, I’d only ever been in relationships that lasted two months, tops. Which isn’t a surprise.   We’re in high school after all, so there’s no rush to be in a serious relationship. In fact, I wasn’t even planning on getting in one. It just kind of happened.

But anyway, having two months be my longest relationship beforehand, approaching on things like the three months mark was a huge deal. We dressed up and went to a nice restaurant to celebrate. I made her try filet mignon for the first time. And I spent a couple of weeks freaking out about “OH MY GOD THREE MONTHS THREE MONTHS THAT IS SO LONG WOW THREE MONTHS.”  Yeah, I’m a little pathetic when it comes to relationships.

So anyway, you’d think I’d freak over the 18 month mark. But I didn’t. Being in a long-term relationship as a seventeen-and-a-HALF year old  has taught me a lot. Like, just because you don’t celebrate something EXACTLY when it happens doesn’t mean it’s insignificant (we went ice skating the next night. In matching gloves. Oh, yeah. We’re that kind of couple). And, even when you know you’re right in an argument, it’s better to just apologize for being a big jerk and say “I love you.” Also: cuddles are better than any fancy date or hormonal-driven romp. Waking up next to someone with morning breath and bed head and holding their hand is the best feeling in the world. Making waffles for a hungry, sleepy girlfriend is one of the most satisfying things you can do, and sometimes just acting like five year olds for ten minutes can be really, really fun. Being in a relationship is also GREAT fuel for poetry (or a senior thesis, hint, hint).

I guess the point is, we just passed a bit of a milestone. They say that after 18 months, the honeymoon phase starts to wear off and it gets a lot harder. But we’ve been through a lot. And we make a great team. And I never get tired of having conversations entirely in meowing. I think the other point is that relationships are great and all, but they’re best when they’re unexpected. Oh, and you don’t have to freak out over the big things all the time! Sometimes you just have to be with the person you love and anything turns into a celebration.

(P.S. Happy Anniversary, babe. Thanks for the rose, it’s staying creepily alive even though I haven’t put it in water. I think it’s because it’s blue.)

Queer Jewish Teen Group

by Sophia (’13)

Are you Jewish? Queer? A teen? All of the above? None of the above? Then you should come to the Queer Jewish Teen group meetings! The first meeting we had, we attracted a number of students from all different schools! SOTA, Drew, Marin Academy, and Sacred Heart were all represented, so we all got to meet new people. We had a short discussion about what it means to be queer or Jewish or an ally, and then watched a ridiculous but awesome movie together. There was FREE food and the event itself was free as well. 

Brought to you by Teens.

On Friday the 2nd of November, we had our second event. It was a much smaller turnout, due to there being a lot of scheduling conflicts with our former attendees. Even though there were only six people, we still had a blast bowling. Conversation flowed, free pizza and soda was provided, and endless dance parties to bowling alley pop music was of course very present. Plus we had top hats and wigs and wax mustaches and Mardi Gras beads. I mean, what more could you want? I don’t even like bowling, but that was the most fun I had had in weeks!

So if you’re interested in these events or being part of our group, check out our page on Facebook ( and watch it to be updated for our next events!

The next event is gonna be a giant super duper awesome Channukah party, complete with gay latkes! Join us on December 13th to eat food and get crazy with some cool people. You really don’t want to miss this. And feel free to invite your friends!

Mac ‘n’ Cheezy

by Sophia (’13)

I’m not one that’s used to being in the kitchen. I mean, I’m used to sitting there and eating (constantly, to boot). But cooking? That’s a whole new playing field. Just recently, I thought I’d try my hand at using the magical Enchanted Fire Maker (otherwise known as a “stove”) and the Really Hot Cave (oven). The first thing I attempted was baking. Baking is easy. Baking is following recipes exactly and time management–two things I do meticulously. I believe the first thing I made were chocolate chip cookie dough brownies. They were amazing. No, really. They were absolutely amazing. I didn’t cook much after that, as I’m pretty lazy and would rather heat up some frozen potstickers than actually mix things in a bowl. I know, it’s pathetic.

But every now and then, I get the urge to really make something. Really put my effort forth, even if it’s adapting something from a box mix. It also pleases my parents when I cook things because it shows that I DO know how to do stuff besides boiling water! Wow! I don’t need a MICROWAVE, I can just put it in a PAN! This reassures them greatly, as I’ll be leaving for college next fall.

Magic doesn’t even begin to cover it.

So lately, I’ve been trying to really challenge myself. I like making omelettes with tofu and veggies and cheese, I like making popcorn with assorted toppings, and I one time even made spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce entirely from scratch (well, canned tomatoes) and BY MYSELF, PLUS a fresh salad and homemade dressing, and even an apple crisp–from scratch, of course. It actually took me quite a few hours over the span of two days because I don’t get to stay home in the afternoons (what is: school) and cook to my hearts desire. However, the dishes were ready just in time and fresh for eating right when I needed them. But that’s very time consuming. We don’t always have time to dedicate two days to cook a meal. Sometimes we need something faster.

So the other day, on my way home from school, I made an agenda in my head. I knew I didn’t have much homework to do. What did I want to do? Cook! When I got home and looked through my list of collected recipes from my secret resources (what is: the Internet), I realized most of my recent findings had been pumpkin-involved. We have several cans of pumpkin puree in the house (from me insisting that I need them to cook). I LOVE pumpkin. I could eat anything pumpkin, all day. Pumpkin soup? Bring it! Pumpkin ice cream? Do you even have to ask?? Pumpkin BREAD? I might die from a pumpkin-induced coma (worth it). However, after looking through all my recipes, I realized that in every one of them, I was missing at least one ingredient. And me, being unexperienced and paranoid, was hesitant to skip it or try to replace it. Who knows how essential that might be for FLAVOR or TEXTURE? Along with ingredient-exactness-anxiety, I suffer from amount-of-thing syndrome– if it calls for 1/4 of a teaspoon, you better bet your bottom dollar it’s going to be 1/4 of a teaspoon (I don’t care if it’s salt or baking powder, you’re getting what you asked for!) So there was obviously no way I’d cook without something possibly essential in the mix. And neither parent was home so we couldn’t go grocery shopping! Oh, the horror!

Luckily, thanks to the power of technology, I was able to text my mother to ask her to pick up a few ingredients for a recipe I was intrigued by: Pumpkin bacon mac n cheese. That’s right. Pumpkin, bacon, pasta, and cheese: the four essential food groups. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like mac n cheese. Bacon? Only vegetarians and vegans seem to dislike it. And pumpkin is necessary in the fall season. Pasta is something you just don’t question.

My mother, pleased with the idea of me making dinner for her, responded enthusiastically, bringing me home the required alfredo sauce, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and short-cut pasta. I set to work.

The recipe called for sautéing  onions and garlic in the bacon grease, but my sister is a vegetarian. Although I hate to deviate from the recipe, I complied so that she wouldn’t starve to death. I set the bacon aside while the pasta cooked and prepared a fresh pan for the onions and garlic. Next up, a whole jar of alfredo sauce, some milk, some spices, and some pumpkin puree. Once that was all cooked, it was time to stir in the cheeses. Have you ever watched cheese melt? I think it’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. 

Finally, FINALLY, I got to put the pasta in the sauce and stir it in. I set aside a portion for my sister, then eagerly stirred in bacon bits. Then I lovingly ladled generous portions for me, my mom, and my best friend (who had come over on the perfect night, the lucky dog, and who had been my awesome sous chef, chopping onions for me and the like), and sprinkled the remaining bacon bits on top. 

Obviously, it was delicious. I mean, it was creamy and cheesy and homemade and a hint of pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and BACON… I was in heaven. My dad and his friend came home later and tried it, and both loved it.

There was a little bit left over, which I put in a tupperware and stored in the fridge. The next day, I could not stop thinking about the leftovers in the fridge. In class, I would start  to daydream. Waterfalls of bacon crashing into a river of cheeses… it was borderline absurd.

All in all, cooking isn’t so bad. I avoided it for years from pure laziness, but the satisfaction of finishing a dish and seeing someone’s face when they try it and really, sincerely enjoy it, is one of the only feelings that comes close to being parallel with finding out your piece has been accepted for publication. And food inspires writing! I mean, look at this! I didn’t know I’d be spending so much time just describing how awesome mac n cheese is!

I guess all I have left to tackle before I go to college is doing the laundry…

Queer Jewish Teens at the JCC

by Sophia (’12)

There is a new program being started at the JCC— just for Queer Jewish highschoolers. The program as a whole is designed for Queer Jewish teens and their friends and allies (or people that qualify for either) to meet and interact and create a safe community. No other group like this exists, which is why it is so vital. The first event will include light discussion, free food, and a fun film. Future events will be alternating between serious discussions and fun activities–things like bowling, scavenger hunts, and anything that people would be interested in doing as a group. The events are FREE and should be spectacular.

The first meeting is on September 28, at 4:30. Contact Sophia Kumin at for more details.

Happy Birthday, Cdubs!

by Sophia Kumin (’12)

On Friday we celebrated the birthdays of two very wise young souls– Nick and Abigail! As the two are classically inclined in literature, we decided to show that in their treats. Smolly brought cupcakes that spelled out “Virginia Woolf loves Abigail (& Nick)” and I brought “Ezra Pound cakes”– clever, right? Naturally, all the Creative Writers got the jokes. We can’t help that we’re so smart and cultured, even when having parties.