Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The River

OK. We're getting things back on track here. It's not even March yet, but we're certainly feeling madness already. Here's a little ditty to calm things down though, a dreamy poem to get lost in, we only hope it doesn't bring you to tears. But, if it does, we hope it's in a good way.


The River
by Alyssa Walker

The river is calling
It’s swaying me so
Icy blue waters
Mesmerized by their flow
The ducks float so lightly
While I watch my pebbles sink
The blue turns to black
Darker than ink
Clouds form overhead
The sun disappears
The river is running
As fast as my tears

Alyssa Walker is a stay-at-home mom who likes to write poetry and paint in her spare time. She lives in New Jersey near the Passaic River, which inspired her to write this poem. 

Comments are appreciated! Remember, we're still looking for March submissions. Read all about it here. Happy Tuesday :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Um, for serious. Check this out: http://arts.columbia.edu/intro-courses-2012.

Columbia is giving their grad students an opportunity to teach, and you should take full advantage! Sign up by 6:00pm on February 25th. Classes begin on February 27th. The class times are a little tough to find, so I'm providing you with a short cut!

Think about it, you could take classes where James Franco once snoozed.

Many thanks to my awesome roommate for sharing this info!

Write on,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the causes out there?

Don’t eat it if it’s not organic; don’t buy it if it’s not locally grown. Recycle, reuse. Don’t waste water. Fight the oil industry by driving eco-friendly cars, or by riding a bike. Don’t buy clothing from Target, Wal-Mart, H&M, Forever 21, Gap, Old Navy, Nike, Lacoste, Donna Karan, or pretty much any other name brand ever invented. They use sweatshops and child labor. Hey – there’s always American Apparel! But should we really support those ad campaigns with the anorexic, coked up-looking models who are most likely underage? You’re dirt poor but still need furniture, eh? Don’t buy it from IKEA. Don’t drink coffee or eat chocolate unless it’s Fair Trade. Don’t shop from Trader Joe’s or eat at Chipotle; they mistreat farm workers. Your computer died and you need another one? Tough luck, there’s no such thing as an ethically manufactured laptop. 

It's always something: the healthcare debacle, our earth’s dwindling resources, global warming, climate change, blood diamonds, human trafficking, hydraulic fracturing, rape, war, poverty – makes your head swim, doesn’t it?

Most of us care deeply about ALL of these issues, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. And that’s what we’d like you to do for the month of March here at The Veillee. Please pick a cause that’s near to your heart, and help us understand it on a deeper, more personal level. Give us more than a hastily shared link on Facebook. If you write it, we’ll read it with the seriousness and attention it deserves. Whether it’s through fiction, non-fiction or poetry, give us something that we can tuck away and use as ammunition during our weak moments. It’s so easy to turn off and tune out. Help us remember why we must not let our guard down.

Please submit material to veilleesubmissions@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I've been completely addicted to detective stories and murder mysteries lately, so when the following submission appeared in our inbox, it felt like receiving a nice little a box of gourmet chocolates -- impeccably crafted, satisfying to the core, and wrapped in attractively compact packaging. 

Maybe you can't read that massive New York Times bestseller at your office desk, but you can read this. And you should!


By James Robinson

          I haven’t slept in days. I lay here, staring at the ceiling and listening to the incessant hum of the fluorescent lights above me and I think. And God help me, I remember.
My mother came to see me, once. Aside from various police officials she has been my only visitor. She walked in, that same stooped shuffle that had carried her as long as I could remember, and she could not look at me. I didn’t dare breathe, praying, hoping she would look me in my eyes. Finally, she raised her head and our eyes met through the glass and I saw. I saw that dawning horror I had seen so many times the past few days and I knew that she knew. She knew what had become of mama’s darling bouncing boy.
A murderer. She had raised a murderer.
One look was all she wanted. A few seconds of emotions flying across her face too fast to follow and she was stumbling out of the room, tears in her eyes. The strongest woman I had ever known, and all it took was one look at the burden, the knowledge in my eyes and she had broken. Momentary guilt was followed by a feeling of exultation. I had always been broken. It was only fair she was too.
My sin, other than the obvious, was loving too much. I think. Perhaps I may have been too possessive, I don’t know. My thoughts are getting more and more muddled. I just want to sleep but those GODDAMN LIGHTS. If I could just close my eyes…But if I close my eyes I know all I will see is her.
Karen.  Tiny, adorable Karen.  Barely coming up to my chest she moved with the quiet confidence of someone twice her size and three times as beautiful. I wanted that. I wanted (to be?) her as soon as I saw that self-assured stride. I imagine Cleopatra walked like that, occasionally deigning a nod to one of her worthier subjects and lighting their life for a small instant. Except I didn’t want an instant. What I got was three months.
I will not say it was too good to be true, because it wasn’t. Aside from her unnatural confidence, Karen had a bitterness to her; a coolness to the rest of humanity that I never saw a reason for. It left a sharp edge where most people wanted soft roundness. It made us a good match in my eyes, her coldness and my isolationism. We did well together.
Eventually, obviously, she broke it off and I may have overreacted a bit. I did not touch her, or threaten her. Aside from my awe for her, I was afraid that if she felt inferior for even a moment, that glorious confidence would be gone forever and she would be lost to me. I just watched. There’s no harm in watching, right? Of course not. Sometimes she knew I was there, most of the time she did not. And then she left.
How dare she? She knew what I needed from her, and it was easy to get. She didn’t have to do a thing. Why was that so hard? Just walk. Walk and I watch. I paced the sidewalk outside her apartment for days, not believing. I may have overreacted a bit. Did I say that already? The humming. You understand. I may have gotten a bit angry. Ok, I was seething inside. What she freely gave to everyone around her was too good for me to catch the fringes of. She was already lost to me, confidence be damned.
So when I saw her duck into the alley that went behind her apartment I followed her. I just wanted to talk. I wanted her to know how I felt, that not everyone was a cold-hearted bitch. That normal people have feelings and you DON’T FUCK WITH FEELINGS.
When I turned the corner she was waiting. She just stood there, all illusion of confidence shattered. She was shaking. It was all an illusion. A lie. This whole time she was lying to me with every step she took. Here, finally, she was being honest with me. I was grateful. It would make everything easier.
We both looked down when the knife came out, a sharp light in the gloom. She began to back away and I closed, the knife burying to the hilt in soft, yielding flesh.
“I’m sorry.”
It came out a whisper. She answered with a weak smile. The sympathy and warmth in her eyes was a blow to my chest, leaving me unable to breathe. I didn’t understand, and then I did. Yes, it had been a lie, but not the lie I thought. I thought she was weakness hiding behind a guise of strength. I hadn’t been sorry. I was the liar. A liar, and now, a murderer.
I sat there with her, holding on to her until I felt the warmth of her body leave, but I hadn’t been thinking ahead and now it showed. Someone had called the police. Two black and whites screamed around the corner and slammed to a stop, the officers scrambling to get to me. I sat woodenly, too numb to resist.
It was all rather straightforward from there. I was sure people had seen me watching Karen’s apartment. I was at the crime scene covered in blood. My fingerprints were all over the murder weapon. What could I say in my defense? Two uniforms flanked me, keeping me there until a detective had looked over the scene. A quick walk through apparently gave him all the information he needed. Finally, he looked at the corpse. He looked at me; giving me a slightly sad, disgusted shake of the head and waving the uniforms to take me away.
Since then I haven’t slept a wink. They say you can tell when you’ve the murderer. When you put him in his cell he goes right to sleep. He knows he’s been caught. If that were admissible evidence, any jury could take one look into my insomniac’s eyes and immediately find me innocent. But I’m not.
A sound. My door. They have kept me waiting long enough; it’s time to tell them my story. Two of them come through the door, the detective from the scene dimming the lights on their way in. Thank God, the humming stops. The one I don’t recognize turns on a bright overhead I hadn’t noticed before and points it in my face. I expect them to interrogate me or ask me why. They do neither. Instead one of them begins reciting the details in a disinterested monotone.
“22 year old male, puncture wound to the chest.”
No, no no. How stupid are these people? They’ve left me alone all this time and now they’re going to try and pin the wrong murder on me?
At least the humming is gone. I can gather my thoughts. I will confess. I owe her no less.
Except…I gather my thoughts.
The detective, walking through the scene of the crime.   
He looked at the corpse. He looked at me.  

James Robinson is a (recently) former US Marine. He is a student currently enrolled in his first semester at a community college. No, he won't tell you which one. Aren't they all the same? He has no idea what degree he is pursuing or what to do with this new thing called "free time," so this week he wrote something. When James was ten his father made the mistake of leaving his Brian Lumley books out, starting James's one-sided love affair with horror

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love & Passion

It's that day again! The day so many of us claim to hate because of its corporate associations. A day filled with red and pink, hearts and roses, naked cherubim and the hope that something fantastically romantic will pop out of nowhere and take us by surprise.

Perhaps it was my parents and their love of celebration that made this day special for me as a child. I always woke up to something bright, shiny, and heart-shaped on the breakfast table. It was exciting! Now, as an adult, I always try to make Valentine's Day fun and whimsical. It just feels like a perfect excuse to celebrate, and to express love!

So today at The Veillee we've decided to dive into the theme of love and passion, and have gathered some poems for the occasion. Love has many forms, and though, according to some, we can thank Chaucer and those crazy troubadours of the middle ages for linking Valentine's Day with Romantic love, it's often good to think about what truly makes our hearts beat. What is it that gets us out of bed every day? What, or who, makes our world spin? The following poems deal with just that, and we're thrilled to feature them here on this special day!



The Nape of Your Neck
By Jessica Pherson

My favorite part of you
My lips fit right in
So soft and tender
So delicate and sweet
The perfume outpouring
From such a small spot
I could look at it forever
My nose happily ingrained
Into that little
Nape of your neck

By Catherine Pherson

Crisp white blouse, navy pleats of skirt
Hair waves of liquid amber
Patiently waiting to swallow the bitter brew
Joyful singing and guitars
Musical prayer

Give me strength, give me love, give me light

Scent of flowers, sound of the heart of the forest
Blazing light behind the eyes
Joining of prayers for the voyage heavenward
Asking God to use this
Lump of clay

Others arriving, auras of rainbow all around
Flitting the periphery
Quickening heartbeat, sweet anticipation
Shine Your light through me
To lead them home

Black pours in, obliterating everything
All energy flowing away
So much suffering, so much unbearable pain
How can it possibly
Be healed

Give me strength, give me love, give me light

Trembling, shaking with the force of beings
Lost in eternal darkness
Terrified of retribution, craving forgiveness
Seeking the holy light
In blind hope

The light is the way, no ferocity will prevail
Only humility and love
Beautiful, loving light beams shining out
From fissures in the heart
Follow them

All of us together in a boat on the sea
Sailing toward
An unknown shore, an uncertain destiny
Fear not, for the Lord
Is with us

Give me strength, give me love, give me light

Body collapsed in exhaustion, mind numb
Filled with gratitude
For the opportunity to serve God, brothers and sisters
Thanks for all good gifts

By Jessica Pherson

That’s how you leave me
I don’t know how else to say it
I don’t know how it happened

That night
Not so long ago
Who would’ve thought?
Not I

We shocked ’em all, babe
None more than I
I think you felt just as surprised
As I did

Look at us now
No more coat check for us
No more sleepless nights
Unless we’re star gazing
So much anticipation
So much on the way
It’s only just beginning
And I’m glad I got you

For now let’s just get cozy
For now let’s just relax
For now let’s just try to enjoy it
And hope that it always lasts

By Jessica Pherson
I knew it wasn’t over
But I’d thought I’d gotten close
But then I had to see you
And had to be caught in your embrace

I wasn’t expecting it
I wasn’t expecting it to be so grand
I didn’t want to let you go
I could’ve devoured you right there

But, it wouldn’t have been right
No, we’re not allowed
But, you told me you loved me
And you told me how much you missed me
And that was enough
And I was left
By your words

Your embrace was so perfect
I could’ve held you forever
I’ll never forget it
Like all the other special moments we’ve had

The butterflies I’ve caught in my net
But, had to set free

Catherine Pherson was born in California and raised mainly in North Carolina. A theatrical actress by trade, she has performed in many shows, including Lettuce and Lovage, The Mousetrap, and Master Class. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Rob, and is mother to Jessica and Mallory and grandmother to Lily and April. 

Jessica Pherson is one of the Founders of The Veillee and author of her own blog, Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby. She works from home part time for an eco-friendly jewelry company/retailer and is also a stay-at-home mom to Lily. 

Read more about Catherine Pherson and Jessica Pherson on The Matchbox!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Only Anarchist (Avengers) Are Pretty

Greetings Veillee people! We're excited to hear your feedback on today's submission. It's a dreamy little tale, which will have all you artist-trapped-in-office types cheering from your cubicles. 

The weekend is nearly here. Until then, let Kacy Muir sweep you away from your desk and that creepy boss of yours. Just make sure he or she is not hovering over your shoulder...

Only Anarchist (Avengers) Are Pretty
by Kacy Muir

Sharon dreamt the night before. An apocalyptic fairytale with people running out of a building in droves, steadfast and opposite the direction she had been.

When she woke, she felt satisfied. It was 6:45 A.M. on Friday – the only day the office was given permission to dress casually.

Sharon traded in her usual dress and suit attire for something she was comfortable in– something the old Sharon would not punch her in the face for wearing — a gray sweater covering an O.A.A.P. handmade shirt, black jeans, and Doc Martin boots.

Sharon sat at her desk, directly in front of a large office. The door to the office was closed but within the room she heard her boss muted by a woman with a cackling laugh–the kind of laugh that could draw blood.

She blotted her lips in boredom, making a popping sound that echoed throughout the office.

As Sharon rotated in her chair, she passively spent the day thinking about getting out of this place. She became someone she never thought she would– a yes girl to everyone but herself.

She spent most of her days saying yes to her slimy boss Vinny Spinoza – doing all the deeds necessary to keep her job as his executive assistant. But there were some things she was not willing to do.

His advances and his all-too-uncomfortable stares had grown to not just upset her, but to create this notion that the only way he could be stopped was to end him for good. As if she had been some feminine avenger and he, Doctor Arthur Light — entrapping her in darkness.

Sharon really wanted to tell her boss to go screw. She wanted to dial his pregnant wife and say that her beloved husband, instead of doing over-time, was in fact, doing every two-leg opening in this goddamn place.

Years before, Sharon was using words with vigor. Busy banding with her brothers and sisters in the darkened Corner House as they recited slam poetry back and forth over a pint or two.

Over the years, she turned into a babbling baby. One concerned with the expectation of others. It was a disappointing blow to her creativity, but she had to pay the bills. Without a family or a home to call her own, she was her only source of solace.

But, once that notion inside of her began to develop, she became something so much more. As if in all her post punk glory she was shining with the truth and knowledge that seemed to surpass others around her.

When Sharon walked into the office this morning, she had done so with a purpose unknown to every frantic passerby on the street. But for her, she had every reason in the world to continue ahead.

Today, she would burn this place to the ground and with it, Vinny Spinoza.

Kacy Muir is a freelance writer from Brooklyn, NY by way of New Brunswick, NJ. Her life and travels fill her works with such topics as guerrilla baking, Bruce Springsteen, and searching for the real-life Lloyd Dobler. She has been published in The Weekender, an arts and entertainment magazine and Blood Lotus, an online literary journal. She is currently working on a poetry chapbook about her daily subway travels. Visit her blog, Songs of Sirens, to read more of Kacy's work.

Read more about Miss Muir at The Matchbox.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Something to Savor

We hope you all enjoyed your weekends. Ours were filled with family functions, Marilyn Monroe flicks, all night partying, and what Em described as "the best Superbowl party ever." Sa-weeet. 

As we informed you in our last post, we will now be posting on Tues and Thurs in order to give you readers more time to savor these lovely works. This is subject to change depending on how many submissions we start to receive. And today's post is definitely something to savor, with a melodic poem from artist-extraordinaire Jessica Licciardello. Enjoy and please leave feedback, thanks!

We Are The Birds of Light
by Jessica Licciardello

Bring forth holding flag of life
come from above with God spirit shine
with this message is known kind
this truth known while underway
threadbare withers and torn
not for us that destiny bechose
did not create the bird of prey
which did come to being 
a hellish tool did make
not similar, nothing same
seen it now our course
fashioned with love the word
the comfort of this known be
will bring us our time
for we are the birds of light
we will have our home

original artwork by Jessica Licciardello

Jessica Licciardello is an artist and illustrator that has been drawing and painting since childhood. She earned a BA Degree in Studio Art and Art History from Marist College in New York, and she is now based in Montclair, New Jersey. Her unique style and visual techniques capture the essence of color, texture and thought provoking composition. Her inspiration is drawn from her experiences in life, art, music, reflecting time spent in nature roaming the land of the Hudson Valley, and the abundantly fruitful landscapes of the Garden State. This is her first published poem.

Learn more about Jessica and her work at Saatchionline.com and at her gallery's Facebook page.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Schedule Change!

Hi all!

SO -- we just wanted to give everyone a heads up about the change in our posting schedule. Though we started out with a bang, we'd like to take things down a notch and spend more time savoring our submissions. (This actually means that we're trying to give people more time to read and comment. PLEASE COMMENT!)

Starting next week, we will be posting only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please do stop by and take a look at our new offerings. We gurantee they'll be cool.

For now, here's the internet's standard picture blogs featuring hot guys and girls reading. What more could you want on a Saturday afternoon? You're welcome.



Jess and Em

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Call for Submissions

Thank you all for all your support and feedback during the first three weeks of our little blog's launch. All comments and words of encouragement are all greatly appreciated and taken into account! We hope you will continue to visit for future posts, and catch up on any of the quality posts you may have missed.

This month we're still looking for submissions, and the suggested them is: passion! We'd love for you to write about your personal passion -- whatever that may be -- or about passion in general. It doesn't need to be "sexy passion" (unless you want it be!), just anything that drives you or a character in a story, poem, play, etc. Also, with February being Black History Month, and the month of Valentine's Day, feel free to share something related to either of those themes. A poem in support of equality...divulge on your first kiss...an ode to the love of your life...a tribute to an inspiring African-American...the possibilities are endless! By no means does your submission need to coincide with these ideas, they are merely suggestions intended to invoke inspiration.

Send all submissions, comments and inquiries to veilleesubmissions@gmail.com.  We want to hear from you and put your writing on The Veillee! What are you waiting for?