By Eli Ryder
Having a venue such as this generates a few privileges, one of them being the opportunity to showcase student writers early in their careers. These next two blog entries feature student writers from College of the Canyons, a community college whose literary culture is vibrant and engaging. Their annual literary magazine, cul-de-sac, celebrated the release of its eleventh volume on May 24th.
We asked the cul-de-sac team to select two writers to represent the magazine for us. Today, we feature Aldo Moreno. His poems are here, and he had this to say about himself and his work:
My name is Aldo Moreno. I am an English major at College of the Canyons, and will be attending Cal State Long Beach in Fall 2018 to pursue a degree in Creative Writing. I write poetry, short fiction, and songs. Music is my other passion, and I play guitar and piano. I would like to make a career out of writing and music. I am influenced by writers like Charles Bukowski, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, and Henry David Thoreau. "El Sordo's Final Words" came about after reading Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom The Bell Tolls. It is written from the perspective of a minor but important character in the book who, when faced with impending death, chooses to go out fighting tooth and nail. "America, My Love" was the product of an assignment in a creative writing class, where we were tasked with writing a politically themed poem. I drew inspiration from Allen Ginsberg and his famous poem "America" as well as Amiri Baraka and his poem "Somebody Blew Up America". I have to say I drew inspiration from reading Noam Chomsky way back in the day too, as it was his writings that blew open my mind to the possibility that America was as flawed as it was good, and that there are things America has done that we don't talk about, yet share some responsibility for. The poem is about feeling conflicted over all the benefits and positives of living in America, while trying to make sense of our past, and in my opinion, darkening future.
Read Aldo's poems, "America My Love" and "El Sordo's Final Words," here. cul-de-sac’s Facebook page is here—and if you’re of a donating mind, I’m sure a quick message there will be met with appreciation.