Book Creator

The Spiral Staircase: Spring 2023 Issue

by Shady Side Academy Middle School


The Spiral Staircase
Spring 2023 Issue
Shady Side Academy Middle School
Literary Magazine
Cover art by Uma Pathe
Artwork by Eva Bugarija
The Poet by Eva Bugarija
The Poet writes
The Poet reads
The Poet speaks
The Poet listens
The Poet feels
The Poet loves-poems
The Poet sees 
The Poet hears
The Poet thinks
The Poet knows
The Poet is forlorn
The Poet is joyful
The Poet is diligent
The Poet is sorry
The Poet is grateful
The Poet is angry
The Poet is thoughtful
The Poet is fair
The Poet is a liar
The Poet made the World
And the World is what the Poet made it to be
The Poet is
The Poet was
The Poet will always be
If the World lives
So too shall the Poet
The Poet is Life
And the Poet made Life
A Note from the Editors
by Alex Bi, Eva Friedlander, and Özge Uzman
Alief: Emotional attachment and/or reaction to fictional characters, celebrities, and other figures with whom one lacks a direct connection

Belief: The acceptance of the truth of a person, object, or event without empirical evidence

Imagine you are standing on a glass balcony, hundreds of feet into the air. The wind is whipping your hair as you admire the cityscape below you. You know you are safe, but you cannot help thinking that you will fall, that you are falling, despite remaining securely on the ledge. This is alief.
The same effect occurs with fictional characters. Consider emotional scenes in Romeo and Juliet. Remember Mufasa being trampled. Recall Dumbledore’s death. This is a common experience that everyone, especially middle schoolers, share. 

Middle schoolers retain a childlike imagination yet have begun to learn of the world. Combined with the emotional nature of teenagers, they empathize with fiction perhaps the most out of all age ranges. 
It is this fact that epitomizes the Middle School experience. It is a passion: a love for that which we know is out of reach. It is obsessive crushes on celebrities. It is tears shed after our favorite characters die. It is the squealing when two characters get together or the story reaches a happy ending. Closer to reality, it is the whimsical fantasies of our daydreams and unrequited loves.

There is something special and beautiful about alief. It is a refuge from the unending storms that are real life and a quiet place to reflect, learn and grow. Without alief, there is no middle ground between dreams and rationality, no place for the world-weary to find refuge from the tempestuous storm that is the world.

Middle school is a time to explore fiction, to dream, to find hobbies, and to learn about life in all of its splendor and horror. Therefore, middle school is inextricably linked to dreams and belief and alief, and LitMag, perhaps more than anywhere else, is filled with dreamers and wanderers who explore countless other worlds. We contemplate ourselves, our society, and our world at large.

We hope you join us on this journey.