By Haley Haynes-Carstens, a sophomore at SLO Classical Academy
The ocean looks awfully far away, and those rocks share an uncanny resemblance to spearheads. The sky is a extraordinary shade of blue with a single cloud hovering over the vast expanse of water. A light and cool breeze blows off the sea, filling my nose with the smell of salt.
I could jump, I think to myself, and I imagine the life beneath the sea; fish of brilliant colors and whales of magnificent size. Mesmerized by the beauty, it all seems so mysterious as I watch the powerful waves crash against the side of my cliff.
But what would happen to me? I wonder subconsciously as I close my eyes and breathe in the fresh air.
“Well, miss, you would die,” a fox says bluntly as he trots towards me. “I thought that was quite obvious.”
By Dylan Haynes-Carstens, a senior at SLO Classical Academy High School.
Joe Bloggs woke up at 9 am on a Saturday morning. He awoke to the sound of his mom knocking on his door and saying, “Get up! It’s your birthday!”
Joe lay in bed a while longer. I don’t feel any older than I did yesterday, he thought to himself. That seems to be how all birthdays are, he went on thinking. As he was thinking his alarm went off. It was set to play the classic rock radio station as the “alarm.” Instantly a commercial started to play.
“Cough. Cough. Did you know that every pack of cigarettes you smoke takes off 5 days of your life?” said a raspy female smoker.
by Robert Browning (1812–1889)
Artwork by Molly Crabapple
The rain set early in to-night,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
By Tatum Gleason, a junior at SLO Classical Academy High School.
Artwork by Audrey Raj, a senior at SLO Classical Academy High School.
Life poses a series of hard questions. What is the meaning of life? What defines family and what defines enemies? Which is more painful; the absolute truth or none at all?
Eighteen years and five months ago, your story began. Eighteen years and five months later, you find yourself here. May 18th is just another scalding hot day in Houston as far as you’re concerned.
Joshua Ronda, a sophomore at SLO Classical Academy High School.
The man was on his 7,141st orbit around earth. For the most part, his rotations had been uneventful, save for the occasional asteroid that disrupted his regular bath of sunlight that came once every day, followed by the approximate twelve hours of almost complete darkness. Of course there were the stars and the moon, but sometimes those were opposite him and behind the earth, so therefore served no purpose other than to, with the help of the sun, create a dim glow around the circumference of the planet. If asked, he would not say his life was dull; but then again, there were none to ask him. He often wondered if, when the sun was to his back and the earth before him, the people of that planet did not behold at least some sort of miniature eclipse, or large shadow that drifted across the deserts of Africa or the jagged mountains of locations in Europe.
By Christopher Rein, a Junior at SLO Classical Academy High School
Paul Breitbart was proud of his beard; it was long and flowing. It had a nutty brown color, matching his hair; this color was maintained through the use of beard dyes. The beard was exactly twenty-three centimeters long from the tip of his chin to the terminal end of the beard; he shunned the “fascist” imperial system in favor of what he described as “the proper way of measuring.” The beard was wide as well, twelve centimeters across at the widest. His friends and family had always commented on how large of a beard it was; although, they didn’t necessarily share in his appreciation of it. He had a meticulous habit of brushing his beard three times a day, once before leaving for work at 7:15, once before coming home from work at 4:15, and once before going to bed at 11:30.
by Audrey Raj
Hello Everyone! The Hanging Lantern Review is pleased to present our Absurdist Parade! Now some of you may be thinking, “What the heck is an absurdist parade?” Patience, dear reader, all these things shall be revealed in due time. Before I explain the Absurdist Parade, you must have a little understanding of Absurdism.
Absurdism, in philosophy, refers to man’s tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and his failure to find any. Thus Absurdism does not refer to the logically impossible but the humanly impossible. Literary folk take great pleasure in turning almost anything into fiction or creative writing of sort, and so writers such as Franz Kafka, Tom Stoppard and other modern authors created Absurdist literature, which articulates Absurdism through creative writing such as novellas, short stories, screenplays, poetry, etc.
Now, for the Absurdist Parade, the Hanging Lantern Review will post an absurdist story by a high school student every day until A) we run out of stories or B) we reach November third. We will begin our parade with Christopher Rein’s The Legend of Saint Barbillus. Enjoy!
By Gabe Parkinson
The Hanging Lantern Review is amazing. It’s impossible to say otherwise. The only thing that dares to surpass it is the writing and poetry camp that this literary magazine hosted last summer. For a week, high school students met at their headquarters, the SLO Classical Academy campus, and wrote. Some people crafted poetry, while some people focused more on prose. However, it was not enough to simply write poetry or stories based on techniques or strategies already learned. That leads to no growth. To compensate, the camp hired some of the greatest teachers of all time. The mega-hipster William Camponovo taught us new methods of poetry. Sarah Shotwell, or Ms. Shotwell to her students, lectured us on the ins-and-outs of prose. After our lectures, we would walk to San Luis’s downtown area, where we would receive a writing pitch. This pitch would be our main focus of the day.
Usually, we all walked around downtown, trying to stimulate our brains with exciting material. Sometimes we needed more of a ‘kick’ to get our mental juices flowing. One day, we visited a graveyard and wrote elegies. We visited the oh-so lovely Pismo Beach, where we wrote stories about a Spaniard in a cowboy getup. We took a ride on a trolley, where the inertia of the turns almost sent me flying into Ms. Shotwell.
The camp was nothing but non-stop fun, yet an amazing way to surround oneself with poetry and short stories. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys learning about writing.