by The Cowl Editor on March 7, 2019


by Jay Willett ’20

A joker playing card
Photo courtesy of

Mischievous, nervous,
joker, lover,
laugher, crier,
hopeless, higher.
Blame, but
never stay the
same. Shame,
but always play
the game.
Not a choice,
just our voice,
because the world
expects in our bourgeois.
We just want to live
up to them.
Every court needs a jester.
Every jester needs to laugh.
Liar, psycho, lame investor,
failure of the polygraph:
hear my call.
Split we are,
yet none shall fall.
Two sides of a coin,
Two edges to a blade.
Screw it, let’s just never change.
Never relax, always on the move,
take no time to disarrange.
That’s what we really do.
Steel thyself my boys,
that way, you will never fade.

Love Advice Haikus

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019


Stethoscope with a heart
Photo courtesy of

Love Advice Haikus


Flowers, lovers, greed.
Never had it but a dream.
Smoked, woked, make believe.

by Jay Willett 20


If you are unsure
with what to do. Trust yourself,
And follow your heart.

by Sarah Kirchner ’21


Someday near or far,
I know that I will find you,
somewhere close or not.

by Kiley McMahon ’20


Did eyes connect? Blink.
Time, skip validation, think.
Love wields the senses.

by Sam Ward ’21

What Does ___________ Mean?: The Roving Love Dictionary

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019


What Does ___________ Mean?: The Roving Love Dictionary

Definition of love
Photo courtesy of

What does Love mean to you?

Love is seeing past the cracks, the missing acts, and the backbreaking tax of loving someone else. You don’t fall in love, you choose to love.

by Connor Zimmerman ’20


What does Eye Candy mean to you?

Eye candy is what I see when my girlfriend walks into the room with a smile.

by Dawyn Henriquez ’19


What does Amazon Prime and a good time mean to you?

Amazon Prime and a good time means a love as strong as the “Amazon Prime” shipping tape but gone as quickly as their two-day shipping.

by Julia Zygiel ’19


What does Galentine’s Day mean to you?

When all the single ladies assemble their Spiked Seltzers, ask their guy friends for flowers, and cuddle puddle their way to the climax of The Notebook and Letters to Juliet. It’s okay to be alone on Galentine’s Day, as long as they’re alone together.

by Jay Willett ’20


What does a Ray Date mean to you?

To me a Ray Date is one that is not very special. Some days the food can be better than others, but really, who would want to go there on a date? Although Chicken Nugget Thursdays are a hit, any other day of the week it is very up in the air if you will leave Ray actually satisfied. I feel that if a Ray Date, especially the first date, is the place you go, then from the start you should know that it is nothing serious. They’re not even using Friar Bucks for crying out loud!

by Grace O’Connor ’22


by The Cowl Editor on February 1, 2019


by Jay Willett ’20

Red is the rising temperature when I’m alone.
Red isn’t a goodbye; it’s an awakening. When
the dust settles and clears, and the party’s
over, there’s just him.
Red is the pain I’ve come to know all too well,
with his rough edges filled with true loss.
Red is worn, engulfing me throughout my life
the losses, the tragedies,
blinding me with sharp ruby.
Hard truth: nothing calms me at night.
As I pant in the crimson aggression that crawls
into my life, I slowly choke and sputter on the
flames of intense vermillion,
releasing all of the horror of the night into the
cinnabar day, the blazing sun.

Colors aren’t poetry. Words are.

What We Start With

by The Cowl Editor on January 24, 2019


An outline of a heart filled with fire
Graphic design by Connor Zimmerman ’20

by Jay Willett ’20

We start with it, or better, among it.
Born into a world—it was waiting to catch us.
Some of us got the pleasure of being raised along it.
We never understood it then.
Not until we saw him or her.
Our little hearts thumped faster.
It felt good.
Perhaps we were still too young to understand it.
One day, we talked to them.
They either rejected or accepted us, our first set the impression.
Of what it’s like to develop it ourselves.
A couple of souls later, it ignited into a new flame.
Passion, desire, lust threatened to contaminate it.
The fire lasted for years.
Until one day, just as quick as it erupted, it faded.
Back into the hollow crevice it had emerged from.
We hated it.
We hated what we were born into.
Pain, sorrow, refusal threatened to eliminate it.
We wait now.
There is still plenty left to go.
We want to feel the thumping again.
We want to feel the fire.
But we can’t forget the pain.
So, we wait now.
Until the day our hearts can be reclaimed.
Until we can be born again.
Until we meet that soul.
And hopefully,
We end with what we started with.

D.A.R.T & Yards

by The Cowl Editor on January 18, 2019

Creative Non-Fiction

a D.A.R.T. train pulling into the station
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20

“No legs up-50 euro fine.” The text enraged me as I promptly took my seat on the pea green cushion. Defeated, I took a breath and in the bat of an eye, we arrived at Tara Street. Suddenly, the cabin was crowded and populated by flocks of tourists, bumping against each other without empathy. Five-no, six men, aged around mid-20’s, sat behind us. I could tell their age not by their looks, but by their voices. The men poked fun at each other, exclaiming in Spanish how one person in their group wore a tacky outfit.

“Tu ropa!” they all laughed, pointing at the one man who had his cuffs up in the air. I chuckled in my seat. The fact was, they all wore the same looking clothes: a blue collared button down, jeans, the works. I struggled finding the difference that they were bullying him for. They were all quite tan, wore patchy dark beards, and flashed sizable smiles for the majority of the trip. The Spaniards looked like they were having fun, I thought as I looked down at my offbeat donut, taking a bite. Quickly, we zoomed past tenement-looking places, cranes, pillars of smoke funneling to the heavens, graffiti, “TAKE BACK THE CIT-”

“Harmonstown,” crackled the P.A. I sighed and reclined in my seat. Not long now until we reach the end of our journey, the end of the line. A city of the past, ruined castles and churches, I daydreamed of our destination. Remember the past, live the present, scratch the third.

Our Spanish friends increased in volume, their voices reached new heights when the bullied man chirped back. He cursed them in Spanish, smiling while he did it, and sat back down laughing with the rest of the chorus. I looked back at us, our heads buried in our phones, giving the occasional chuckle when we scrolled through Barstool’s feed. Both groups were from different countries, and both were traveling to the same destination-the past. In that brief moment, just the second before passengers got up to wait for the sliding doors to open, I felt jealous. Though some of our group winced in annoyance at the men, the whole ride I thought to myself, “I want that to be me.”

New relationships, new connections, that’s what study abroad is all about, alumni say. I don’t particularly enjoy restarting though. It’s scary, to know that your friends, your group of Spaniards, are just about an ocean over. Howth, that’s what the LED sign read, as I passed underneath. The land of the ocean, maybe I’ll get a glimpse of home today, I thought.

* * * *

The worst thing about Iceland isn’t its precipitation, it’s the wind. The flakes creep in between the gusts, causing dandruff on the stones. The first snow in a couple of days, and of course, it arrives along with 70 knot gales. Even at the base of the mountain, or volcano, whatever it is, the winds are relentless and trample over the burial grounds. Despite the vast space, it’s all mostly sulphuric lava fields surrounding the church, limiting the graves to a 10-meter-wide section of land. You can’t dig through lava fields, you’ll get too tired and give up or receive a face-full of fresh geyser water, melting faces. The location made sense then, but the church? Ratty, the cloth holding the door to its frame is tattered. The rustic paint only clings to the shingles just to match the faintness of its now dangling door. Locals recount that taxes provided opportunity for farmers to avoid fees and collect a handsome sum from the pool of their peers. How disappointing.

A half hour out from Reykjavik, but there’s nothing to hint that civilization might be close by. The looming mass of land blocks the city, and the road that bends around takes a detour just south to avoid simplicity. They’re just rocks now. There are no names to pay respects to, wiped and scratched Icelandic symbols aren’t legible, even in their native tongue. A tiny fenced-in area among the tundra seems to be hard to upkeep. The wind carves its share into the curves of the gravestones, leaving them disfigured like a used deodorant stick. Maybe standing there awhile in the 2 degrees Celsius air is respect enough, but the elusiveness of names leaves a bitter taste. Without them, the stones are nothing but that, formations holding back against the undying tide of the wind.

The dirt is stiff, the labor for even the five rows of graves would have taken forever. Driving another 10 minutes will reveal another neighboring farm, with an identical church and yard. Maybe there aren’t bodies under the ice, maybe the markers are meant to legitimize the church, drawing in more hungry customers. I, for one, don’t have the appetite for that type of theology.

Back on the bus, our guide resumes the details of her love life. The heavy snow conquers and outranks the wind’s blast and blankets the stones to hide them from any more peering tourists. I regret touching the stones, as my fingers are crusted with frost and a bright vermillion. Next is the waterfalls, but yet, the image of the lonely church at the base hogs my excitement. The once plentiful yellow sulphur is now buried under the neat coat of white, concealing the farmland from view. Questions surface to my mind. How could they use religion for profit? Are there no morals? Maybe I’ll ask the questions when our guide is done listing her first date experience. Then again, the answers could come to me in a moment, such uses are probably more foreign to them than it is to me.


by The Cowl Editor on April 26, 2018


Sun setting on a beach
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20

“Careful, always watch your step when you walk here honey,” she hummed.

Grinning, I nodded my head and reached up, earnestly grabbed the railing.

Orange tired sun, relentless reflections, my soul,

Waves that roar, my mind,

Winds that rage and sway, my time,

Vessel that cradles me, God hopes you don’t sink,

Oceans beneath, how deep would you take me?

If waves took vessel,

If wind wearied vessel,

If vessel cracked, dropped me below,

I held onto the railing tighter and gazed upon the crimson fire sky.

The sun hung low but burned fluorescent flames above all.

Burning, charring, existing, for all years to come.

Sunday Starvation

by The Cowl Editor on March 15, 2018


Sorry we're closed sign
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20


The terrain was drenched in the heavy snow—New England had not been kind to my travels, but I still trekked on. My car had broken down around SR-3, and since it was the apocalypse, there were no other options other than the standard walking. I walked through Braintree; the flames had engulfed the mall as I sprinted for the next exit.

Three weeks ended up passing by, and soon enough I realized that I had not had anything to eat during that time. I was too focused on survival but forgot the most crucial element to it all. Every Dunkin’ Donuts I ran by was either overrun by animals or had already burnt to the ground (much like how they toast their bagels).

The McDonalds weren’t much better, as most of them had become arms dealers and ceased selling Big Macs. What I would have done for a nice juicy Big Mac. Anyway, I heard a legend through the grapevine that there was still one restaurant open, one that serves everything from pastas to meats. I was thrilled when I heard the news and headed out in the direction of Providence.

When I arrived back on campus after the apocalypse, I saw that things didn’t bode well for Providence College. People had stolen from the business school, the torch had been toppled (probably the first to go), and Slavin Lawn looked like there was another alumni event that had one of those obnoxiously huge tents that killed the grass. I mean seriously, $60 grand and they just kill the grass like it means nothing and then don’t tend to it for two months? Talk about an eyesore.

Right, sorry, it’s the apocalypse. Anyway, the transformers were blown out, multiple emails from RAs and security littered my inbox, and trees were blown to the side like toys. I thought to myself, somebody could have gotten impaled by those trees! Everything seemed like a New England nor’easter came barreling through and there was zero preparation, but that’s just a guess. Just then I reunited with one of my classmates from school, Jordan.

“Jordan! Jordan! Wake up, my man, what happened here?!” I yelled as I slapped his tender face to consciousness. He groggily rose from the dead brown grass and yawned.

“What happened? I dunno, I’ve been passed out since the Xavier game; my buddies and I got so trashed after it.”

“You didn’t even watch the Nova game, then?” I asked with a panic.

“My heart couldn’t handle two OTs; I needed to rest,” he said with pain in his voice. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“There were three,” I said, and Jordan passed out once again. Just then I noticed that Jordan had ripped his pants but didn’t point it out to him because when you’re a champion you don’t need good pants.

Finally, I had reached my destination, the last dining hall open after the Big East apocalypse. I was crawling, feeling every pang and contraction of my stomach, and bumped into a solid glass door. I looked up and began to weep.


Jordan regained consciousness to my tears.

“Hey, man, Ray’s open I think; they have those fish tacos,” he said with dignity.

“No, that’s enough for one life,” I said on my last breath and passed away silently.


by The Cowl Editor on March 1, 2018


Urbex Hamilton: TH&B Train Tunnel
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20


Dust and gunk spewed up from beneath the rails as her train skidded to a stop.

You couldn’t see the orange citrus rays of the morning sun underground.

“Boston, Boston!”

She flung her flowered bag over her shoulder and reached for her carry-on.

The stench of the subway was overwhelming; if it was clean, it wasn’t Providence.

Just two months, just two goddamn months.

How many mornings are in two months? How many mornings like this will we miss?

How many movies had I watched with this scene?

The conductor motioned toward his watch then to me.

The worst part, she looked most beautiful right then.

Among the dirty, dim, repulsing tunnel, she flashed a soft smile.

I hate clichés, until I start living one.

In that moment, when she struggled to tiptoe up to me,

I wanted the whole world to shut up and freeze.

Right there, when she kissed me, and my eyes welled up,

That’s where I wanted to exist.

“Ask her to stay,”

She turned away and rolled her luggage over to the mustard yellow line,

“Ask her to live with you, anything to make her just stay,”

She leaped up to the sliding door,

“Ask her, you idiot.”

The train slipped past, and the stench trailed behind,

For two months I was going to be alone in the tunnel,

Waiting until I get to see my morning sunshine again.

Where was once perfection, was the rats and an empty hall.

Up the stairs, back out into the day, I felt a tangy sensation.

So sweet it was to be without sunlight in bitter cold.


by The Cowl Editor on February 8, 2018


People in a line
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20


I won’t lie to you

I’m not the most athletic,

But the exhilaration of a touchdown or breakaway is won through patience.

I’m not the most intellectual,

But learning is my reason for existence, and gradually learning is diligent.

I’m not the wealthiest,

But the money made is hard-earned, saved, and the excess is distributed among others.

I’m not the most popular,

But companions are won through kindness, not competition.

I’m not the biggest player,

But connections and relationships are built through trust and loyalty.

I’m not the strongest,

But regular exercise and good health comes with a value of temperance.

I’m not the greatest,

And as an elder introduced me to another he said,

“This is him, he’s not really good at anything.”

At least he wasn’t lying,

Philippians 4:8.