Editors’ Letter Masthead
by Andrew Battershill
s Dragnet prepares
Co-editors Andrew Battershill Jeremy Hanson-Finger Jena Karmali
to leave the gentle, breezy West Coast for
Artist-in-Residence J. McKee
the focused wind-tunnel
of Toronto, I feel obliged to spout off with
some childishly naïve optimism, while I am still in the presence of evergreen trees,
cherry blossoms, and the wonderfully blue Pacific Ocean.
And so, the optimism: If you are
reading this magazine, you are, almost certainly, a very lucky collection of
particles. As self-aggrandizing as that may
sound, my point is not to puff up Dragnet,
but rather to say that most particles in
cover Roxanne Ignatius
the universe have pretty shitty existences. The optimism is not going well thus far,
Layout Jeremy Hanson-Finger
but bear with me. As far as we can see, many particles seem to be in stars that die
Art Unless otherwise credited, all other art by J. McKee.
in a day, or planets that don’t quite form properly. Earth, even in the limited context
of our itty-bitty galaxy, seems like a pretty fortunate planet on which to be a particle. And then, say by some crazy chance you are lucky enough to be one of the conscious collections of particles on our spinning, rotating planet the perfect distance from the sun, with gravity that neither crushes us nor lets us float away, and you get to be a human, with this heavy-duty brain and these super-complicated and dexterous hands with opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs! And then, out of all the humans, you get to be one of the ones with the time, energy, and good humour to read an online literary zine. “Take another hit off the bong, Andrew.” Well okay, ventriloquized cynical archetype, if it makes me feel glad to be putting out an open source magazine, I will take another hit off the gratitude bong. I will take a thick cloud of generalized emotional warmth and appreciation “straight to the dome,” as they say on the West Side.
eyes and told me that weâ€™d spend a lot of time together after I moved to Toronto in a way I found especially sincere. The next day, while I was waiting for the 15:10 to Montreal, a freight carrying fuel derailed and every train out of Toronto was cancelled, and, as quickly as breathing (and while he was, in fact, breathing) Jeremy offered me his couch. Making art with friends and making friends through making art are the two best things I can think to do, and here at Dragnet I am surer than ever that those two things are exactly what we are doing. To our talented contributors, and our Dragnet welcomes a new member
lovely readers: Dragnet loves you all.
to our editorial family this issue, Jena Karmali, a friend of Jeremyâ€™s from his
publishing program. I have met Jena in person only once; She, Jeremy, and I saw a
Andrew Battershill, Co-editor
Tim Burton exhibit at the TIFF and then drank puzzling cocktails out of glass jugs. Afterwards Jeremy headed east, and Jena and I took the street car north. Before we went our separate ways at the subway station, we exchanged pleasantries, and after the usual ones, she looked me in the
The way forward
Talkin’ ‘Bout My...Medication
Cheesy Kind of Love
You, Green Sweater with Taped Glasses Me, Readhead Busted for Smoking
A Waqui Way of Knowledge
K. A. Laity
Soap Opera Digest
Reunion by Jasmine Szabo-Knox
wen wanted to
I really had to go but there were mean
see me again, is what
looking teenagers loitering. Owen told me
he said on the phone.
to hold it. He took me by the elbow and
I met him in front of
across the parking lot inside.
his office in the Techno Park, and he was
I used the bathroom and he bought
feeding a groundhog Doritos.
me a red slushie plus an all-access bracelet.
“Cute,” I said.
He asked me what I wanted to do. We were
He was sort of balding and I liked the
still shivering from the outside and it hurt
tan suit he wore under a black parka. After
to sip my drink.
work I changed into jeans in a bathroom
“I’ll do whatever,” I said.
stall and my skirt suit was in a grocery bag
He bought himself a screwdriver from
in my trunk. I followed his car in my car
the bowling alley bar, but he wasn’t up to
to the Recreateque. We never went there
bowl, he said.
when we’d dated. We played cards with
“Can you skate?” he asked.
his parents in their kitchen and had sex in
“Probably,” I said.
He bought himself another screwdriver
Owen drove too slowly and used
and me a hot dog. We went upstairs to
his horn all the time. He got cut off a
the roller disco and they wouldn’t let me
lot. We hugged in the parking lot of the
in with food. There were four tables with
Recreateque, which was shared with
empty chairs in the lounge between the
a McDonald’s. I wanted to use their
staircase and the disco so I sat and ate my
bathroom because it was closer to us.
dinner. Owen ran downstairs for another
Andrew Hammerand 7
then went downstairs for another
I asked for size 8 skates but they were
screwdriver. When he came back I was
all out. There were six people on the floor.
making my way around the rink. I didn’t
I crammed one mitt into each size 9 skate
fall. Sometimes I got good but then the
and stood up. I felt like Bambi. I practised
disco lights would throw me off and I’d
for a few minutes on the outside of the
wobble. I kept my eyes on my skates except
rink, near Owen, who sat in a chair.
when I passed by Owen, then I’d shrug
“I feel like I’m learning to walk all over
and I’d giggle. Giggling is a bad habit of
again,” I said.
mine. It became so that sometimes when
“Baby elephants learn to walk pretty
I passed by I kept my eyes on my skates.
much right away,” he said. “I saw an
I skated over to the DJ and asked
elephant birth on YouTube and ten
him to stop playing house music. He said
minutes after it came out, it could walk.
he couldn’t, as per his contract with the
Have you seen it?”
roller disco. He said if I came any other
“No,” I said.
night of the week but Friday, they’d play
With a quarter Owen bought me a
hits from the 90’s. I said I’d come back for
handful of red candy from a little machine,
that. I looked over at Owen but he wasn’t
We played cards with his parents in their kitchen and had sex in their basement. 8
in his chair. He came at me from the other
“How many are you at?” I asked.
direction with a new screwdriver in his
“Fourteen,” he said.
“Wow,” I said. “You impress me.”
“Are you flirting with the DJ?” he
He went and got his fifteenth. The DJ
asked. “It’s okay if you are.”
played Billie Jean by MJ and I gave him the
I said I wasn’t and asked for a sip of his
thumbs up. I was a much more confident
skater when real and good music played.
“Take the whole thing,” he said. “I’ll
I wiggled my hips and looked back and
get myself another.”
Owen waved. He waved for me to come
“You must get tired walking up and
over. I skated down.
down stairs all day,” I said, but he went
“Hi,” I said, all smiles.
“I have to take off,” he said.
I didn’t want his drink. I hadn’t even
“Are you too drunk?” I asked.
wanted a sip in the first place because I was
“I think so,” he said.
only trying to be flirtatious. I gave it to the
I kissed him goodbye. I used a little
tongue and decided his breath was awful. I skated around the rink for another
He was as good a kisser as ever. I made like
half hour while Owen watched. At some
I was going to stick around but as soon as
point it was just me out there, and then
he left I used the toilet and gave back the
me and another lone girl wearing a tight
skates. I forgot I’d left my mitts in there
dress who wiggled her hips to the music.
and as I drove home, my hands on the
She was extremely graceful. I wondered
steering wheel were so cold. My ankles
if Owen watched her more than me. I
really killed. I was also thirstier than I’d
skated over to his chair and asked him for
ever been before.
a kiss. He kissed me on the mouth with no tongue. “I’m empty,” he said, shaking his glass.
Talkin’ ‘bout my... medication by Susan Musgrave
The passion that is for some of us
called it “being
depression has been variously described as
“a frenzy of paralysis,” “an active anguish,”
dumps”; the way
“a psychical neuralgia wholly unknown
out was to pull your socks up and count your
to healthy life.” A healthy person sees the
blessings. Winston Churchill, followed
glass half full; the depressive, who has the
by “the black dog” all his life, drank to
misfortune to see the world as it really is,
drown his blues. Dodie Smith, the English
sees the glass slipping from her hand.
dramatist, recommended noble deeds and
In my case, trying to find a way out
hot baths as the best mood stabilizers;
of my depression has been a lifelong
when D.H. Lawrence felt glum, he “left
preoccupation. No counting of my
off and made marmalade.” “The secret of
blessings has ever served to banish it.
being miserable is to have leisure to bother
I cleaned my house, relentlessly, after
about whether you are happy or not. The
reading that physical exercise unleashed
cure for it is occupation,” said George
endorphins. I self-medicated, read self-
Bernard Shaw. Andrew Solomon put his
help books such as How to Live Well in the
miserable leisure to good use by writing
Afterlife. I tried geographical cures, hot
a 1768-page depression handbook, The
baths, making marmalade, having babies.
Noonday Demon. “Depression,” he says, “is
I especially tried crying.
something to do.”
“Concentrations of manganese have
been found in the brains of chronic
a phase of feeling happy, though unlike
depressives after their death,” I read, in
“myself,” I quit taking Paxil. I got “myself ”
an article on the health benefits of a good
back, with a vengeance. First there were
boohoo. “The lacrimal gland concentrates
dizzy spells, surges that started out small
but quickly gained momentum, spiralling
therefore, may stave off depression.
outward to blast like a colourless fireworks
When even crying failed to cheer me, I
display inside my skull (the drug cartels call
made an appointment to see a shrink. I had
it “discontinuation syndrome”) followed
to face the fact: life wasn’t for everyone.
by days of electrical shock sensations that
I planned to request a physician-
zapped me between the ears. There was no
assisted suicide to help me over the bumps.
dark rain cloud even, but a gray drizzle of
As I sat waiting in her office I noticed a
emptiness, a bleaker shade of black. And
poster on the wall—a dark rain cloud
just as I was about to go back to bed and
contrasted with a sunflower bursting from
put a pillow over my face, I got a phone
a Prozac pill. “Feel better than good,” the ad
call from a chronically depressed friend in
enthused. Another showed a mother and
Toronto. The end, she said, was finally in
child skipping together across a flawless
stretch of sand. Beneath the grainy photo,
Her psychotherapist had received a
a note scrawled in crayon, “Thanks, Paxil.
fax from a University of Toronto research
I got my mommy back.”
team: they needed a suitable candidate on
That was twelve years ago, the
whom to perform experimental surgery
beginning of my on-off love-hate affair
for treatment-resistant depression. The
with antidepressant drugs. They have
procedure, called deep brain stimulation
helped me through the sinkholes, but
(which usually came with a price tag of
ultimately my depression sees them as
$40,000), involved planting a stimulator,
competition, and doesn’t play to lose.
“a Depression Switch,” near the brain’s
Ten days ago, when I had gone through
centre and zapping in electrical impulses
from a pacemaker implanted near the
There are days when I like to curl up like a frozen prawn.
heart. The operation would carry some risk, my friend explained (it was, after all, brain surgery, involving a brutal intrusion with only a local anaesthetic), and it might not work. “I recommended you,” she said. “What have you got to lose?” “You go first, you deserve to,” I insisted. Noble of me, I thought, seeing as they were only looking for one suitable guinea pig to lobotomize. The truth is, I didn’t want to limit my options. If the Depression Switch included an on-off function I might have considered having one installed. But there are days when I like to curl up like a frozen prawn; I don’t want to banish the blues forever from my brain. Just sometimes. So I can enjoy a good funeral, for instance, without getting depressed about not being the centre of attention. So I can laugh at my misfortunes, and cry if life gets better than good. But most of all I don’t want to stop seeing the world—for what it really is.
Derby by Leslie Bank
ll the crabs stumble
were hoisted in which hoods during which
in the sidewalk cracks.
drunken street parties. It’s South Korea.
They’ve hurtled their
We’re standing in Little Portugal, and he’s
bodies onto the ground
a walking billboard for Koreatown.
from a waist-high bucket sitting in front
The storeowner finally notices his
of the Portuguese fish store. A dozen, a
fleeing merchandise and runs outside. He’s
hundred maybe. They scuffle south along
screaming—grunting sounds, mostly, the
the wet pavement; it’s the slowest downhill
international language—first at the crabs,
derby I’ve ever seen. They must be heading
and then just at Matt. I’m a few feet away
for the waterfront, totally unaware of
and safe under the umbrella, but my hands
the fact that there’ll be no ocean to greet
are cold against its wooden handle. There’s
them—just the lake, brown and choppy
a portrait of the Virgin Mary in the store
and lipped with cigarette butts. What a
window, stained yellow from years of sun.
prize. Matt is on the sidewalk, too. He’s
She looks awful. “I have one!”
crawling on both hands and both knees,
I only managed to get in a few hours
pawing at the loose crabs with puckered
of sleep last night. I expected to cry when
fingers. His pants are soaked in the worst
I told him, but then I didn’t cry at all—
spots. He’s wearing pale jeans, and a red
only to wake up, still, somehow, with
t-shirt under my black hoodie. White
unsalvageable puffy eyes this morning.
running shoes. Blue and red and black and
Retributive puffiness, I guess. “I lost it!”
white. What flag is that? I go back to the
I look awful, too. A few inches below
last World Cup, try to picture which flags
Mary, the owner has taped up an equally
Illya Klymkiw 15
yellowed photo of the Spanish showgirl
caught one yet. He can’t stomach pain,
Charo. She’s wearing sequins and holding
isn’t built for this, but won’t give up on
a guitar and her hair poofs out of the frame.
it. He knows I’m watching. He probably
She’s pouting rather than smiling, but she
thinks that saving a single crab will save
does look happy. At least somebody here
is happy. Coochie coochie, her famous
When I told him last night that it wasn’t
catchphrase, is scrawled in pen along the
going to work, he didn’t have anything
He’s screaming — grunting sounds, mostly, the international language — first at the crabs, and then just at Matt. bottom of the photo. “Annie, could you
to say back. It was 1:46. I looked at the
alarm clock instead of him. He continued
The owner has already collected three
saying nothing. At 2:03, he stood up from
or four crabs and deposited them back
the edge of my bed and started to pace,
into the bucket but there are more than a
presumably looking for something to
few still heading for freedom. Matt hasn’t
attack in rage. He ended up kicking at my
small wool rug. The edge of the rug lifted
somehow. He asked me if I had anything
slowly and then folded in on itself. It was
for him to wear for the rain. I pulled a
the most violence he could muster. He sat
sweatshirt off the coat hook and lobbed it
back down. He asked me if he had done
to him. He was smiling. I worried that we
something wrong. I told him no, of course
might’ve just dream-broke up.
not. He asked me if we could try to work
through it. I told him no, probably not. I
dampness I can see Matt standing on two
told him I was sure about this, but didn’t
feet again. He’s smiling, waving proudly
admit I had always been unsure about him.
like the flag of South Korea, holding a
He asked me if he could spend the night
fat crab above his head. Its tiny legs are
since it was already late. I told him no. He
treading the air in slow motion. It’s the last
asked for the couch, at least? I told him
crab to be saved from freedom and brought
sure, but only because the windowpanes
back to captivity. That means it’s likely the
told me it was raining out.
fattest and the dumbest of the bunch, but
The owner is kicking at Matt’s heels,
he pumps it up and down like a trophy all
pushing him out of the way of two
the same. I mock clap around the handle
customers trying to enter the store.
of the umbrella. He places the crab back
“Droga! Droga!” I have no idea what word
inside the bucket and shuffles up to me in
this equates to in English. I picture Charo
wet denim. We resume the slippery walk
saying it like she says her catchphrase,
uphill to the subway station.
swaying her hips and giggling. I half-
“See? I did it.”
expected Matt to be gone when I woke
I can’t see his expression for the cave
up, but I found him sitting cross-legged on
of black fleece surrounding his face. He
my couch. He asked me if I had any food
can’t see mine for the black dome of the
for breakfast, knowing full well I was out
umbrella. We keep walking toward the
of groceries. I told him I’d take him out
spot where the street splits apart.
to eat; I had to get him out of the house
Cheesy kind of love by Caitlin Stall-Paquet
dam sharpened his
slightly. In a few days, the heart would have
knife slowly. He looked
ripened totally, disappearing into cream,
at his reflection in the
leaving no sign of its existence. He loved
this moment just before above all. He took
steel and saw the deep lines in his forehead,
a second to close his eyes and breathe in
forged by her absence. He lifted the blade
the sour, milky smell before wrapping
to the height of his shoulder and then
the wheel’s two pieces in cellophane and
brought it down swiftly and hard, slicing
putting them back into the fridge.
his target with expert accuracy.
He couldn’t help but think of her.
The Riopelle triple cream brie lay
Penny. Dear, sweet, firm, Penny. A Gouda
there on the sterilized counter split down
woman if there ever was one. Her words
the middle, right through its heart. As
echoed in his mind, bouncing from one
he observed the thin layer of its still-firm
side of his skull to the other like a Babybel
centre surrounded by the ripe, running
on the loose. “Oh Penny, why did you have
cream wrapped still in the velvety-soft
to Manche-go?” he muttered to himself
white rind, only one word escaped Adam’s
leaning his forehead on the fridge’s cool
bow-shaped lips: Perfection. He uttered
glass, all alone in his cheese shop.
the word as a whisper to be heard by a
“I just can’t do this anymore. I can
lover’s tender ear. A chill of pleasure ran
see it in your eyes. When you look at me,
through his body, making his knees quiver
you’re looking through me. Your heart is
always back there, in that bloody shop.”
flinging the piece of cheese across the
room, splattering it across the painting on
“You’re doing it right now; I can see
the opposite wall: an enlarged section of
your eyes drifting towards the fridge!” She
the table on the far right side of The Last
got up, flung open the refrigerator door,
Supper. Even Jesus loved cheese, Adam
grabbed the Stilton blue from the cheese
had told Penny triumphantly before asking
drawer and walked towards the window.
her if the painting was hanging up straight.
“No, don’t you dare! That’s a twenty-
She’d muttered that she was pretty sure
year-old vintage port’s wet dream!” Adam
that was bread, but he’d ignored her.
exclaimed, bouncing up from the couch
The colour drained from his cheeks as
and quickly putting himself between the
the blue ran down the canvas. He fought
cheese and the window.
the urge to run over and scrape it off into a
“Everything has changed, don’t you
realize?” Penny cried out, suddenly
“I can’t brie-lieve you’re leaving me...” 20
ago. He hadn’t seen her since.
The shop’s bell rang. He looked up and
“I can’t deal with the change.”
a tall blonde in a velvety white sweater was
“WHAT CHANGED?” he shouted.
walking towards him at the soft cheese
“You tried to change your name to
counter. She bent over, looked into the
fridge and gasped.
“It’s a completely legitimate name.”
“Perfection. Look at that Riopelle!”
“For a cheese, it is! But that was just the
she exclaimed, five long fingers flying to
beginning. The only time you even notice
her soft, round breasts. “It’s straight out of
me anymore is if I dab bits of Camembert
my dreams. Ah! There is still just the hint
behind my ears.”
of a heart. Can you imagine what it will
He shuddered. “I love it when you do
be like in two days? I’ll take a whole half.”
Adam’s heart started pounding.
“Eating Brie de Meaux off my nipples
“I just sliced it open 15 minutes ago.”
is one thing, but it isn’t even enough
Their eyes locked. “I pressed one finger
anymore and I don’t want to know what’s
lightly on the top of the wheel and I just
knew.” Her eyes grew dewy like a doe in a
“It was Martin-Collet.”
spring meadow after a long winter.
“WHATEVER! We’re through. I’m
“I Cheddar at the thought,” she replied,
moving in with Hannah until I find a new
smiling wider than the half-wheel he held
in his hands.
“I can’t brie-lieve you’re leaving me all
They were married a month later. The
provolone.” It was too late; the words were
enlarged section of The Last Supper now
out of his mouth before he could control
hangs over their bed.
himself. She glared at him, went into their five-year-old-Cheddar-coloured bedroom and left with her suitcase. That was a week
Speculations by Andy Sinclair
was the kid parents wanted
Now moan and tell me you want it.
their kids to hang around and
I wouldn’t play along with that, of
with Eamon Sweeney it was
course. But I wouldn’t always snort and
no exception. We’d stay out
push him away immediately. Sometimes
late, whipping up and down Lakeside
I’d be still and wait for him to stop, full
or smoking dope on the ski hill and his
boner under my tight underwear.
mother would never question anything.
There was no context for this. There
I wasn’t inherently better behaved than
was no psychologist interpreting over my
anyone else—just more of a chickenshit.
shoulder that Eamon was experimenting
I was caught up in Eamon’s audacity.
with his own power. It was just me,
“You’re too good,” he’d tell me. “Say fuck.”
enthralled and only knowing enough to
not let on.
“Oooh, yeah. I like it when you say
I was over at the Sweeneys’ place all the time. Eamon’s father was never there
He’d sidle up behind me in the locker
but Mrs. Sweeney would make dinner for
room after soccer practice and push his
us and his sister Jenny. Sometimes I’d be
crotch into my ass, dry-humping me while
there even when Eamon wasn’t. They had
his newly muscled arms wrapped around
a jet-black Isuzu Rodeo with beige leather
my chest. Whispering stories about the
seats, and Mrs. Sweeney would send me
girls he was banging. You do it like this,
on errands with it. Then she’d make coffee
from behind. It feels so good. I wonder why
and we’d sit and tell jokes and she’d tell
you haven’t started.
me about the guys she dated before she
got married. Her favourite one dumped
retreated to the kitchen to make toast.
her and moved to Toronto and worked
I got down on the creamy Berber carpet
at Queen’s Park for a while. I told her he
and did the moves.
must have regretted letting her go.
“Nice of you to join me,” she breathed
“Oh, I guess. I can only imagine what
out, between reps. “Why are people so
became of him.”
afraid to sweat?”
I was just getting into working out then and Mrs. Sweeney was into Jane Fonda.
Eamon and I were playing cribbage in the living room one day when Mrs. Sweeney
I picked up Eamon on graduation
walked in wearing her pink leotard. She
night, before we went to get our dates.
pushed in her tape and started exercising.
His dad was home from work to mark the
Inhale up … and down. Warm up those
occasion and he handed each of us a Bud.
I was wearing my dead grandfather’s ill-
“Mom! Gross!” said Eamon, and he
fitting tux. My parents instilled me with
love and comfort and not a whit of sartorial sophistication. Mrs. Sweeney must have
I wasn’t inherently better behaved t h a n anyone else—just more of a chickens h i t .
noticed my white athletic socks. She took pictures of me and Eamon arm-in-arm on the couch, drinking beer. “What a couple of handsome men,” she said. She paused as she squinted into the viewer. “I bet you two will break some hearts tonight.” We headed off to the Best Western. The tickets cost twenty-five dollars and included, preposterously, lime sorbet after the soup. This is what must have happened after we left Eamon’s house: Mrs. Sweeney concluded that I simply could not spend my graduation night wearing gym socks. (She was the type of woman who bought a new Linda Lundstrom coat every winter and frosted her hair at the most expensive salon in town.) She raided her husband’s dresser for some black dress socks and drove over to the hotel with Jenny. I remember Jenny coming into the banquet hall and looking around, taking everything in. She was fourteen. She smiled and waved me over.
“My mom wanted you to wear these.”
Sweeney was intelligent. She was a nurse
I wasn’t embarrassed because I was
because that had been the most prestigious
so used to being taken care of. I stepped
profession available to her. What had she
into the lobby and took off my shoes and
been thinking? She treated herself to a
changed while Mrs. Sweeney waited in the
very occasional cigarette, so I suppose she
might have been sitting there in a cloud After the dance we went to a party at
of smoke. Was she remembering her own
Marnie Rodgers’s big house on the water,
high school dances? I don’t think she had a
where we experienced the usual drunken
happy marriage. Not that I paid attention.
shenanigans. I woke up in a twin bed,
I was too focussed on Eamon.
Eamon curled up in a ball on the floor
I’ve never been able to figure why
beside me. He’d gotten so wasted the
she felt so compelled to bring me those
night before that he’d confessed to being
socks. Possibly it was some maternal urge.
Perhaps she just saw another human being
We had the same crappy house painting
in need of help. In any case, she must have
jobs that summer and continued to hang
deduced that I lusted after her son. After
around together. But Mrs. Sweeney had
that night her narrow eyes would scrunch
turned. Now she sounded irritated when
up with suspicion whenever she’d ask if I
I’d telephone for Eamon. And she stopped
was dating a special girl yet. She’d become
asking me to stay for dinner and overnight,
a sleuth. She worried like any mother. She
though this went on anyway because
looked after herself and exercised and had
Eamon didn’t care what overtures she did
a tight, fit body but even in her mid-forties
or didn’t make.
she was developing deep and terrible
Sometimes I think about her waiting
crows’ feet. Maybe from all that slit-eyed
that night in her car, fingernails maybe
making soft clicks on the steering wheel as she watched out for for Jenny. Mrs.
Little Accidents by Laura Ashworth
When you love someone
I moved the uncomfortable plastic chair
sometimes all you can do is keep
that I’d slept in closer to her. “But Mom,
them breathing. I know this for
the smell alone would—”
a fact. I’ve resuscitated my own
“I have a cold. My nose is all stuffed
mother three times. I took CPR classes
up.” She grabbed a tissue and blew her
and everything because over the course
nose—just in case I didn’t believe her. My
of my sixteen years my mother has oops
hand was balled up in a fist on her hospital
almost died more times than I can count
bed and she spread her hand over mine.
on my two unnaturally large hands. I have
Her skin felt like cold plastic. I unclenched
as much medical training as a sixteen year
my fist because this is something Mom’s
old girl can possibly have. I’m a survivor’s
good at, getting me to stop fighting for
guide to suicide prevention. My social life
things. She noticed blue ink on my palm.
“I love you,” she said. “Who wrote that?”
My phone vibrated from my back jean
experiences, these suicide attempts,
pocket. It was probably my boyfriend.
little accidents. Her latest little accident
He’s the one who drew the sloppy heart
involved cleaning products. “I was
all over my life line earlier today when I
cleaning,” she said from her hospital bed,
received the pink slip at lunch that said:
an IV in her arm. “And I guess I confused
come to the hospital immediately. “James
cup of Windex with my iced tea.”
did,” I replied.
My mother sucks at making iced tea
“Is he still coming over for dinner
but it definitely doesn’t taste like Windex.
Saturday?” she asked. Her voice sounded
raw. Like someone had put a tube down
opener stained, the yellow carpet covered
her throat and pumped her stomach,
in bills, my soccer ball still by the front door,
which they had. I hate thinking about
so I kicked it. “There goes Mrs. Suicide,” I
Mom’s almost lifeless body being carried
tried to say when the paramedics arrived.
away by EMTs who know her real name
But it wasn’t funny.
but still call her “Mrs. Suicide” instead. It
and walked through the door after soccer
tryouts. She was sitting on the couch and
somewhere. I was the one who found her
I wasn’t paying attention because she was
the time before this, a dull pulse on the
taking her meds that year and felt better.
bathroom floor. When I showed up at the
I said, “Hey Mom, I did it. I made the
hospital Dad sat in a red, plastic chair with
vars—” and that’s when I noticed Mom
his chin resting against his chest. “How
slumped over on the plaid couch, deep
long will they keep her this time?” I asked.
cuts from her elbows to her wrists: a letter
“I’m guessing a couple weeks.” He
must be nice to have that kind of distance
Dad found her this last
when mom’s in front of you maybe-dying,
time. It’s like we took turns.
must be nice to be able to crack a joke. I
Switched off discovering
tried to joke about it once. I was fourteen
some cosmic joke, some God laughing
My mother sucks at making iced tea but it definitely doesn’t taste like Windex. 28
looked past me, down the hallway. “Here
hovered below his mouth like a spaceship,
he is.” Her psychiatrist’s face appeared
and I thought about travel.
expressionless. I, on the other hand, cried
“How did your English exam go?” Dad
my blue-like-Mom’s-eyes out.
asked. My dad’s an English professor at a
“So I take it she’s off her meds again?”
local community college. His obsessions
he said. I didn’t like his tone. Dad and I did
are Fitzgerald and keeping mom alive.
everything we could to keep her medicated.
“It went okay. Are you done with this?”
We bought her a pill box with all the days
I took his plate and finished the spaghetti.
of the week and double-checked every
“You know me though, I’m much better at
time she took one. I manned Monday-
Wednesday. Dad held down Thursday-
Dad laughed. It’d been awhile since I’d
Sunday. “Open your mouth, Mom,” I’d say,
heard him laugh. “I don’t know where you
“and let me check.”
got that math brain of yours from,” he said.
It’s only a matter of time before one of
But that was a lie. He did know. Mom
her little accidents does the job. Dad and
is a math whiz. Used to teach math when
I both know this. We talked about this
she could function. “Maybe you were
certainty at the hospital once. I said, “I just
adopted,” he said, and sounded hopeful.
don’t want to be the one to find her.” Dad
But of course I wasn’t.
didn’t reply. He looked down at his coffee
Wouldn’t he know that? Yes. I guess
and stirred the black liquid with a spoon.
he was trying to joke. But he’s no good
“Sometimes I wish she would just get it
at telling jokes. His inflections are always
over with,” I continued. “I know that’s
off. And when he says, “Maybe you were
wrong of me. But sometimes I really do,
adopted,” it sounds like he’s just wishing
for this, praying I’m not like mom. Hoping
“I don’t know,” he said, and twirled
that something inside me won’t shift and
some hospital-style spaghetti around his
that I won’t pick up a cup of Windex one
fork. He didn’t eat much. The fork just
day and drink it.
You, Green Sweater with Taped Glasses Me, Readhead Busted for Smoking by Sarah Kendall
“You should really clean your screen
with Taped Glasses. Me,
more often. Lots of people have that
Smoking. Was it just me,
“What about the glasses?”
or were you about to defend me from the
bald man? I would have fixed your glasses
“I had to use scotch tape. They took
for free. Same time, same place next week?
away my key to the supply closet, so I had to use whatever I had at my desk.”
“You can’t just buy your own stuff? You have to steal from work?”
“That’s not the point.”
“That’s totally me.”
“Post-its are like, what, a dollar?”
“No, it’s not.”
“How many people are on the train
“You didn’t even look.”
with taped glasses?”
“Where?” “Right there.”
Jackie Timpener 31
“Tall, skim almond latte for Jack.”
“Can you grab it?” “You drink the girliest shit.”
“There’s gotta be a link somewhere, “Grande Americano for Ben.”
right?” “Right there – Reply to Post. Pack up
“Thanks, Jeannine. It’s kitty-corner—
though, we’re gonna be late.”
when you’re sitting diagonally across from
“This girl had the most beautiful hair. I
can’t believe this.”
“Whatever—the point is this girl
“Why was she smoking?”
noticed me enough to post this message.”
“I dunno. She was soaked and her
“Since when do you read Missed
bangs kept dripping on her cigarette. It
wasn’t really burned down, so I guess she’d
“I check it out sometimes for writing
just lit it.”
“You have an oddly accurate memory
“Pass me a Splenda. So, what
for random strangers on the metro.”
happened with the bald guy? He snap at
“You’d remember this girl. Her cheeks
were definitely red and her makeup was
“He got really pissed and kept yelling
running, but she had these intense blue
at her about his emphysema until she got
eyes. She kept cradling her backpack like it
off at the next stop.”
was a little kid she was protecting.”
“Well, he didn’t pay his $1.50 to breathe
“This was yesterday?”
cigarette smoke—for that you only get the
“I can’t believe this. I was sitting catty-
belligerent homeless woman who invades
corner from her and I didn’t say one
your personal space and smells like piss.”
“I’m pretty sure she’d just been crying,
though. Who yells at a crying girl?”
“C’mon, we’re gonna be late.”
them fixed for free. Better yet, you should
“I gotta talk to her.”
get a new pair. I’m sure he can get you a
“It says right there, same time, same
place next week.”
“No, I can’t, that’s how she’s gonna
“You think I remember the exact time
I got on the metro at Woodley Park?”
“You can’t walk around like that.” “I’m taped glasses.”
“Wear the green sweater again.” “I’m not—I’m not gonna wear the
“Thank you, sir.”
green sweater again.”
“You’re welcome. God damn, it’s cold
“Fine with me, look like an idiot the
rest of the week.”
“I can’t believe she noticed me.”
“I think I’m gonna skip the show, too.
“Jack, get a grip. You really gotta get
I wanna go back to my place and draft
out more. I told you Jasmine asked me for
your email, right?”
“You’re blowing me off again.”
“She’s too political, and she’s got those
“I just wanna think about this.”
really thin eyebrows that make her look
“Fine, but the next time Dolores calls
angry all the time.”
you a flake I’m not defending you.”
“7th and D, please.”
* “You got it.” “Shit – I can’t go.” “Come on, I told you we’ll walk to my dad’s office before the show and get
A Waqui Way of Knowledge by Amanda Abdelhadi
Practically devoid of social graces, he
wasted no time spreading his own gospel.
“Well, I am here to illuminate you once
more, Amanda. Also I don’t mean to treat
irregular writing schedule. I was unsure
you like a waitress, but could you make me
how to explain that my absence from the
a cup of coffee?”
paper was due to a week-long vision quest,
Once I had fixed his order, he settled
during which I was visited by my ‘spirit
pleasantly in my armchair while I took
animal.’ My spirit animal is a Colombian
the seat opposite him. Though my spirit
performance artist and documentary
animal has been visiting me for a few
filmmaker, based in Toronto, whose
months now, he tells me that we have
schedule is very inflexible so I have to take
not yet reached the heights of ecstatic
what I can get when it comes to journeys
revelation. As such, every cigar-filled visit
brings fresh anticipation of clairvoyance
He materialized late one evening in
and an increasing list of confectionary
a cloud of cigar smoke, hat askew, arms
full of Super 8mm film, a TTC token in
The silence grew longer as my
his teeth, and an unread poem tucked
spirit animal sipped his beverage while
under his belt like a sword. He looked as
gazing about the living room. The blood
masterful as a pirate.
pounded in my temples as I waited for
Elisa Cullingham 35
him to initiate our transcendental journey.
natural guide in matters of enlightenment.
It always begins with his fresh obliquity of
But the North American does not. He is
slow, unwilling, and special. The North
He started: “If the hardware store were
American must walk into these hardware
closed, could the wise man tell a handsaw
stores and be shown how tools work
from a hack?”
through a ‘demonstrative display.’ In each
Though my animal spirit has phrased
store there is a wall with these tools, pre-
this as a question, I know better than to
assembled, hanging and waiting to be tried
take this as an invitation to speak. We
so that our North American can learn. The
found out early on in our meetings that my
wall boasts opportunities to push with a
premature replies interrupt the flow of his
handle, pull with a handle, and twist with
argument, and always make these opening
a handle. The North American gravely
epigrams seem less profound.
pushes, pulls, and twists.” I nodded.
“The modern North American could
“What this means,” he continued,
not, could not tell a handsaw from a hack,”
“is far greater than you can fathom. This
he answered. “They are an ignorant people
demonstrative display is the last sacrifice
and need to be educated in tools and tool
on the altar of human fallibility, the
usage by the very providers of these items.
last indication that the modern North
They do not know how to effectively
American can never quite trust the
handle a hammer, screwdriver, or power-
cosmos, and that he dimly suspects that
drill until they have been lectured to by
some day, in the maze of well-regulated
the sales assistants in hardware stores. By
electric-powered drills or tools, something
comparison, the Colombian is a strong,
will go completely crazy—something
intuitive master of crafts—he fashions his
awful will rebound and strike him in the
own tools out of other tools, tools he has
face, or the saw will come tearing through
made or inherited from the ancestor spirits.
his garage door, mowing down his faithful,
The Colombian knows; this is why he is a
My eyes widened at the imaginary
suggested, “and say that the Colombian
scene that he had conjured before me,
just might be more naturally suited to hard
a tableau of horror and agony evocative
of Picasso’s Guernica. Meanwhile my
“That,” he replied, “is a common
spirit animal, nursing his cigar, seemed
misconception.” The spirit paused long
pleased—both with my rapture and his
enough to notice that his coffee cup was
now empty, and he tapped its rim a few
“Could we take the matter further,” I
times as a signal. I fetched the coffee
pot from the kitchen and poured him a
I conceded that he was, in fact, the
refill. He continued: “The Colombian is
spirit animal apparition.
a spiritual creature rather than an earthly
“You have no notion of the amazing
wonder and beatific magnitude of this
“I’m sure there are spiritual North
paradise. Holy spirits, holier than I, mingle
Americans too,” I said. “None
in awesome radiance across verdant tasted
plateaus, occasionally showered in a
otherworldly delights of paradise,” he
kaleidoscopic rain that never gives you a
head cold. I swim all day with fish and lie
“You mean the paradise that I’m
in the grass with beautiful women who
supposed to be reaching with these vision-
feed me fruit. It is beyond comparison,
quests?” I asked, slightly irritated.
beyond comprehension. When I’m not
“The paradise that you will reach once
here, visiting you in this city, I am in that
we have made sufficient advancement in
your enlightenment,” he retorted. “Which
After this impassioned speech, I
at the moment looks to require several
couldn’t help but agree that it did sound
like a pretty wonderful place, and worth
“I’m sorry, spirit. It just seems a
the many trips to replenish my coffee
little futile when you make remarks like
cupboard. However, one small thing
that. How can I even be certain that this
bothered me. I asked my spirit animal what
there was about Toronto, what mysterious
“Of course it exists!” he cried. “I can
property, that had lured him back from the heaven that was the Putumaja.
give you the exact geographic coordinates if you want, but for now imagine something
He thought for a minute. Then he said,
like the Colombian Amazon. Besides, how
“In Toronto, you can buy things so late at
can you doubt me? Which one of us is the
night.” After that, the spirit was off.
spirit animal apparition?”
Soap Opera digest by K.A. Laity
itmuss Street: Babs and Henry finally agree to give the kitchen a much needed makeover
while ignoring Frederick’s pleas for help from under the floorboards. Felix, fretful over his creeping baldness, shaves the cat in a desperate attempt at camouflage. Hilda, however, remains unimpressed and leaves the gallery opening with Carlo, who intimates to Felix that he will be painting Hilda later (without a canvas). Marnie waits. ‘Round Uxbridge: Penelope and Ralph continue their affair, although she finds there is too much friction between them and starts fantasizing about Teddy’s gentle ways. Over lunch she confides to Sarah that she will ask Ralph to change from leather restraints to silk, but Sarah conceals that she, too, is sleeping with
Ralph and has already claimed the silk. Pauline drowns her sorrows in bitter, but they prove able to float. She conveys her myriad disappointments to Ralph over dinner but finds her brother distracted and instead turns to Teddy, who reveals that he is gay and has fallen for her brother. Ralph calls Sylvia suggesting an evening of Nutella and spoons. Netherwood End: Because he is unable to hide his accounting irregularities, Peter avoids meeting with Linda. He fears she will fire him, unaware that she is working to bring the company to bankruptcy
because Old Netherwood ruined her father. Patsy discovers the second set of books and forces Peter to acquiesce to her soft toy fetish. Bertram spots the two of them together at Hamleys and immediate files for divorce. A clerk in the store uses his mobile to record their inappropriate
encounter with an elephant puppet and
This act of surreptitious and closely
puts it online, although it is dismissed as
confined abandon seems the perfect pick-
a hoax by everyone but the Russian mafia
me-up for the milliner until the constables
who set in motion an ambitious scheme to
arrive. The consequent headlines help
take over the chain.
Caroline distract Kevin from thinking about her pregnancy and its unlikelihood
Frithville Five: Spurned by Rodrigo,
while she concocts a plausible medical
Millicent heads to Harvey Nichols for a
excuse. Bunny cleans. Lawrence, in a fit
shopping orgy only to run into the Babcock
of pique, shoots his father, who
twins who convince her to pleasure them
complains bitterly about the ungrateful
in the intimate apparel fitting room.
youth of today.
by Midge Raymond
arrie Smith is watching the news, wondering whether she’ll have to evacuate. October 19 at 4 p.m.
Tina Hodges – The fire is still miles away. Soooo glad I live on the coast. Barbra Jensen – Me too. Carrie, I’m worried about you.Stay near the phone.
Carrie is listening to Johnny Cash: Burning Ring of Fire. October 19 at 8 p.m.
Tina – Don’t torture yourself.
Carrie – It was Bobby’s favorite song. Must’ve played it a million times over the last
ten years. You’d think he’d call to check on us.
Tina – Don’t get your hopes up. This is why you joined the support group, right?!
Carrie – Yeah, yeah.
Barbra is watching the news. Witch Creek Fire a “serious concern.” If you’re anywhere near, get off Facebook and turn on your television! October 19 at 9:20 p.m.
Carrie – Multitasking: watching news, packing, updating FB status.
Barbra – How do you decide what to pack?!
Carrie – Packing: kids’ favorite things, baby photos, Xanax. Not packing: wedding
Barbra – LOL. Guest room is all yours if you’re evacuated.
Carrie – Thanks sweetie. Keep you posted.
Carrie is listening to Billy Joel: We Didn’t Start the Fire. October 19 at 10:22 p.m. Carrie is still awake. Listening to Grateful Dead: Fire on the Mountain. October 19 at 11:15 p.m.
Tina – Did the asshole call?
Carrie – Not yet.
Tina – Don’t wait up. Try to get some sleep.
Carrie – W/out alcohol? I’ll try.
Carrie is packing. Just got a Reverse 911 call for possible evacuations. October 19 at 11:48 p.m. Carrie fell asleep on couch and awoke to fireman banging on door. At motel in Solana Beach. Facebook mobile. October 20 at 4:37 a.m. Carrie is listening to the Talking Heads: Burning Down the House. October 20 at 6:23 a.m.
View all 18 comments
Tina – OMG why didn’t you call me? I’m calling you right now.
Tina just saw Carrie and kids at motel. Their house is right near the Witch Creek fire. Send prayers, everyone! October 20 at 1:35 p.m.
View all 22 comments
Pamela Jones – We’re well out of the danger zone if anyone needs a place to stay.
Carrie wants to thank everyone for messages and prayers. October 21 at 8:16 a.m.
View all 17 comments
Barbra – I’m fixing up the spare room right now. I’ll call you later.
Pamela – I’m so sorry to hear about your house. Anything we can do?
Tina is at Target, shopping for Carrie. Feel free to send donations—they have lost everything! Facebook mobile. October 21 at 3:14 p.m.
View all 5 comments
Pamela – Tina that’s so sweet! (So glad I met you at Carrie’s party!) I can buy
stuff too, or write you a cheque.
Tina – Thanks, Pam. A cheque would be great.
Carrie is still on hold with her insurance company. 42 minutes and counting. October 22 at 9:51 a.m.
View all 16 comments
Pamela – I have photos from your birthday party, if that helps with inventory.
Carrie – Yeah, must replace every margarita glass! LOL. Seriously, thanks. I don’t
know what I’d do without you guys. Tina is collecting donations. Please help. Cash is best. October 22 at 11:30 a.m. Carrie is amazed by the support from family and friends. October 22 at 1:25 p.m.
View all 12 comments
Tina – I can’t believe the asshole finally called.
Carrie – He’s been great. Like the guy I married.
Tina – Beware!!
Carrie – I know, they don’t cover Reconciliation in group, do they? LOL.
Tina – I’m serious. Don’t trust him!!! His type goes after the weak and vulnerable.
Barbra is making dinner for Carrie and the kids. October 23 at 5:04 p.m.
Tina – Tell them hi for me! Did she get my voice mail?
Carrie is grateful to her ex for the support. Springsteen: I’m on Fire. October 26 at 12:46 p.m.
View all 5 comments
Pamela – Carrie, I’m so happy for you and Bobby. Sometimes these things happen
for a reason.
Tina – WTF??? Carrie, call me!
Carrie is listening to U2: The Unforgettable Fire. October 26 at 8:19 p.m. Tina has posted a photo album. October 27 at 8:10 a.m.
Carrie’s house from the front
The pool, half the water evaporated
Carrie’s bedroom, what’s left of it
Tina can’t see Carrie’s profile page. Anyone else having problems with FB? October 27 at 9:34 p.m. Carrie is grateful for: her friends, her children, Bobby, and the rain. October 29 at 10:13 a.m. Barbra is wondering if there’s any such thing as a “controlled burn.” October 31 at 8:07 p.m. Tina still can’t see Carrie’s page. I hate Facebook. October 31 at 10:10 p.m.
Barbra is watching the weather forecast: more rain! November 2, 11:30 a.m.
5 people like this
Pamela – Thank god.
Tina – Watch out for mudslides.
Tina would appreciate hearing from Carrie at some point. Especially after helping her when she had NOTHING but the clothes on her back. November 4, 2:10 p.m.
Barbra – You might want to take down those photos you posted of Carrie’s house.
Carrie has changed her relationship status to It’s Complicated. November 5, 11:36 p.m. Tina can’t access Pam’s page either. Your message is loud and clear people. November 8, 10:08 p.m. Tina has posted a photo album. November 9 at 3:10 a.m.
The view of the Witch Creek burn area
Burned-out street, Carrie’s lot on the left
Carrie is starting over. Realizing it’s not as bad as it sounds. November 10, 9:04 a.m.
View all 8 comments
Pamela – You go, girl.
Barbra is eager for the smoke to clear and the ashes to stop falling from the sky. November 12, 7:02 a.m. Carrie is listening to James Taylor: Fire and Rain. November 13, 11:13 p.m.
His Children by Nick Ripatrazone
our girls in dresses.
eyes. He shook my hand but I held it a
Wrapped, tied in the
moment too long. I was always told that
back like a scout’s knot.
was the sign of being something else. He
Waists cinched, bottle-
shook it off, or so I thought. I told my
mother. Not that I held his hand. Not that I
wanted Alison for all she was worth, which
was a saying my father had, something he
In catoptric succession.
said to a man who was only at our house
They move and sit, talk and smile, all
once but seemed to agree with my father
in deliberate gestures as if their bodies
about women. I told my mother that, for
whatever reason, I watched Dr. Ford’s
Their hearts bows.
hand as it traveled. In pocket, out of
Their eyes glitter.
pocket. Around the back of his neck, onto
I have gotten closer, though. Four
the linoleum counter. Back into pocket,
days after my birthday. 1974. All of them
shifting his junk behind the counter, as if
in a row, black shoe-heels arranged ruler-
I could not see.
straight. I know their cerise cheeks. Alison
Alison followed me, or the idea of
was her name. It was her whose face was
me, to where the radishes raddled around
a dead trunk. She flattened her dress
I told her as much.
against her thighs. I cannot, even to this
When Dr. Ford came home he palmed
day, remember the names of her fucking
their cheeks and the shake ruffled their
sisters. I had a book of my mother’s of old
Scottish names and I set the big book on
mother’s not thin lips, her father’s lack of
my lap, heavy on my crotch. I spoke most
lips beneath his tweed beard, or if all the
of the names and none of them sounded
screams in the world melded for a moment,
familiar to my tongue. Then I realized
directed at me and my intentions. I had
that I would have had no reason to say
their names; the only one out of the four I
I ran. This was her property but soon
wanted was Alison.
enough all properties end and I was on an
My father, talking to that same man,
unmarked trail that could have belonged
said an attraction to one sister bleeds
to an abandoned orchard because the
Alison or the
followed idea of
into another. He said it doesn’t matter
dwarf trees slouched yet their trunks
if the other sisters are even attractive.
maintained a certain row. I was free, ready
They can be as ugly as oak wilt. All sisters
to present any oblations to Christ that I
share something, some dip or lean of a
could manage. My brother had gotten a
mouth, the shape of eyes. Sometimes I
tattoo of the feet of Jesus at the base of his
walked across the row of the four of them
neck and my mother did not scream, she
and stared but none of them looked like
merely sat down and asked, why feet?
Alison. The one on the end had maculated
cheeks. Even if I shut my eyes she would
Why four daughters that look so alike,
never be Alison.
yet so different from their parents?
After she flattened her dress I put my
Why answer these questions when the
hand beneath and I’m not sure where
answer is under that dress? §
the scream came from: her thin lips, her
The Whole Sick CREW Amanda Abdelhadi has written for art
from High River, Alberta, who recently
galleries, dabbled in theatre and stand-up
graduated from the University of Victoria.
comedy, and appeared in the Houseband
MA in Art History at the University of
Toronto and spends her free time writing
Landscapes. Now she’s completing her
flattering biographies for visual artists. Her website badcritic.ca is a collection of her
Andrew Hammerand is a photographic-
essays about her strange experiences in the
based artist, and was born in the suburbs of
fine art community.
Chicago, Illinois. Andrew received his BFA
Leslie Bank is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA in Creative Writing. She is currently at work on a novel and training for a marathon, which are kind of the same thing. She lives in Toronto. Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an amateur photographer and artist who has won contests with National Geographic, The Woodland Trust, The World Photography Organisation, Papworth Trust, Winston’s Wish and Nature’s Best Photography. She has had her photographs published in exhibitions and magazines across the world. eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com Elisa Cullingham is an artist and art historian
in fine art photography from Arizona State
things less and other things more (your help is
University in 2008 and currently lives and
appreciated); she plays in Toronto tweenoise
works in Mesa, AZ. His photographic work
band Alpha Couple, DJs, takes photos, draws
has been exhibited in various juried and
sometimes, and obsessively curates while
group exhibitions, and most recently he was a
claiming she’s “mostly a writer.” She is also
co-curator of the traveling exhibition, “South
your haut, snooty barista, so please tip.
Phoenix through the Eyes of Youth.” Illya Klymkiw is not only an illustrator but Sarah Kendall is a graduate student in the
also a filmmaker. He is currently working on
Master of Arts in Fiction program at Johns
a postmodern detective short titled Furstenau
Hopkins University. A short story of hers was
featured in an anthology published by Writer’s
com). In his spare time, Illya enjoys
Lair Books in 2007. As an undergraduate,
casually giving you the impression he
she studied short story and poetry writing
has a yacht and a chalet somewhere.
under the guidance of Madison Smartt Bell, Elizabeth Spires, and Jonathan Jackson. A
K. A. Laity writes so much that she had
2006 intern at The Writer’s Center, she was
to create some pseudonyms to keep her
an assistant editor for the Fall/Winter 2006
colleagues from thoughts of murder. A
edition of Poet Lore.
tenured medievalist at a small liberal arts college, she mostly tries to find ways to avoid
Roxanne Ignatius graduated from York
meetings in order to write more. Find her on
University’s visual arts program in 2005.
Facebook or follow her on Twitter to hear
She has since produced gig posters for the
trenchant analyses and utter nonsense.
Polaris Music Prize and local music nights Silent Shout and No Shame, and artwork for
Susan Musgrave has been labelled everything
Basia Bulat and the Rural Alberta Advantage,
from eco-feminist to anti-feminist, from
among others. Roxanne is also a regular
stand-up comedian to poet of doom and
contributor to Torontoist.com. In her spare
gloom, from social and political commentator
time she enjoys sewing psychedelic quilts and
to wild sea-witch of Canada’s northwest coast.
listening to evil dance music.
She has published more than 24 books and been short-listed for the Governor General’s
Kristel Jax should be encouraged to do some
Award four times.
poems. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Mississippi Review and Beloit Fiction Journal. Andy Sinclair’s short fiction has appeared in fab, The Moose & Pussy, and The United Church Observer, as well as in the inaugural issue of Dragnet. His hosiery of choice is of the hunting variety.
Caitlin Stall-Paquet is a recent graduate of
creative writing program. She has been published in Headlight Anthology, The Void and Matrix Magazine. She is currently coeditor-in-chief of Headlight Anthology and writes for the cultural blog soundbeatmag.
Midge Raymond’s short story collection,
com. She loves awful puns above all, even
Forgetting English, received the Spokane Prize
more than she loves her mother, which is
for Short Fiction. Originally published by
saying a lot because her mother is awesome.
Eastern Washington UP, a new, expanded edition is forthcoming from Press 53. Her
Jasmine Szabo-Knox was once a creative
stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, Bellevue
writing student at Concordia University. More
Literary Review, North American Review,
recently, she was fired from a bridal magazine
and the Los Angeles Times magazine, among
at a Pizza Hut, over a chocolate sundae that
others, and her work has received three
wasn’t even that good. She could really stand
Pushcart Prize nominations as well as an Artist
to catch a break.
Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship in Literary Arts.
Nick Ripatrazone is the author of Oblations
College of Art and Design in 2007.
(Gold Wake Press 2011), a book of prose
trawling the sea of stories since twenty-ten