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Dragnet Magazine

Editors’ Letter Masthead

by Andrew Battershill

A

Staff

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

Contact Info

of Toronto, I feel obliged to spout off with

Web dragnetmag.net

some childishly naïve optimism, while I am still in the presence of evergreen trees,

Email info@dragnetmag.net

cherry blossoms, and the wonderfully blue Pacific Ocean.

Facebook facebook.com/dragnetmag

And so, the optimism: If you are

Twitter twitter.com/dragnetmag

reading this magazine, you are, almost certainly, a very lucky collection of

Tumblr dragnetmag.tumblr.com

particles. As self-aggrandizing as that may

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sound, my point is not to puff up Dragnet,

Design

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

2

Issue two

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.

3

Dragnet Magazine

eyes and told me that we’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 Jeremy’s from his

xoxo

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

4

The way forward

Jasmine Szabo-Knox

Reunion

6

Susan Musgrave

Talkin’ ‘Bout My...Medication

10

Leslie Bank

Derby

14

Caitlin Stall-Paquet

Cheesy Kind of Love

18

Andy Sinclair

Speculations

22

Laura Ashworth

Little Accidents

26

Sarah Kendall

You, Green Sweater with Taped Glasses Me, Readhead Busted for Smoking

30

Amanda Abdelhadi

A Waqui Way of Knowledge

34

K. A. Laity

Soap Opera Digest

40

Midge Raymond

Witch Creek

43

Nick Ripatrazone

His Children

50

Contributor Bios

53

Dragnet Magazine

Reunion by Jasmine Szabo-Knox

O

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.

their basement.

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

6

Issue two

Andrew Hammerand 7

Dragnet Magazine

screwdriver.

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

Issue two

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.

hand.

“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

drink.

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.

anyway.

“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

DJ.

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.

9

Dragnet Magazine

Talkin’ ‘bout my... medication by Susan Musgrave

M

y

father

The passion that is for some of us

called it “being

depression has been variously described as

down

the

“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.

in

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

10

Kristel Jax

Dragnet Magazine

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

and

but quickly gained momentum, spiralling

removes

manganese.

Crying,

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

sight.

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

12

Issue two

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.

13

Dragnet Magazine

Derby by Leslie Bank

A

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

14

Issue two

Illya Klymkiw 15

Dragnet Magazine

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

everything.

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

help please?”

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

16

Issue two

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

“Annie!

Annie!”

Through

the

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

17

Dragnet Magazine

Cheesy kind of love by Caitlin Stall-Paquet

A

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

polished, impenetrable

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

18

Jackie Timpener

19

Andrew Hammerand

Dragnet Magazine

always back there, in that bloody shop.”

flinging the piece of cheese across the

“That’s nonsense!”

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

Tupperware.

realize?” Penny cried out, suddenly

“Nothing’s changed.”

“I can’t brie-lieve you’re leaving me...” 20

Issue two

“Everything’s changed!”

ago. He hadn’t seen her since.

“What changed?”

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

Edam!”

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.”

that.”

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

next!”

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

place.”

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

21

Dragnet Magazine

Speculations by Andy Sinclair

I

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

“Fuck.”

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

22

Stephanie Coffey

that.”

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.

arms!

I was wearing my dead grandfather’s ill-

“Mom! Gross!” said Eamon, and he

fitting tux. My parents instilled me with

23

Andrew Hammerand

Dragnet Magazine

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.

24

Issue two

“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

car.

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.

a virgin.

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

guesswork.

making soft clicks on the steering wheel as she watched out for for Jenny. Mrs.

25

Dragnet Magazine

Little Accidents by Laura Ashworth

1

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.

is lacking.

“I love you,” she said. “Who wrote that?”

Mom

calls

these

near

death

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

26

Elisa Cullingham

Stephanie Coffey

Dragnet Magazine

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

2

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

mom’s

little

accidents,

some cosmic joke, some God laughing

My mother sucks at making iced tea but it definitely doesn’t taste like Windex. 28

Issue two

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-

math.”

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

Dad.”

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.

29

Dragnet Magazine

You, Green Sweater with Taped Glasses Me, Readhead Busted for Smoking by Sarah Kendall

Y

ou,

Green

Sweater

“You should really clean your screen

with Taped Glasses. Me,

more often. Lots of people have that

Redhead

sweater.”

Busted

for

Smoking. Was it just me,

“What about the glasses?”

or were you about to defend me from the

“So?”

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?”

“So what?”

“That’s not the point.”

“That’s totally me.”

“Post-its are like, what, a dollar?”

“What?”

“Try three.”

“Right here.”

“No shit?”

“No, it’s not.”

“How many people are on the train

“You didn’t even look.”

with taped glasses?”

“Where?” “Right there.”

*

30

Issue two

Jackie Timpener 31

Andrew Hammerand

Dragnet Magazine

“Tall, skim almond latte for Jack.”

“What?”

“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

someone.”

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

Connections?”

wasn’t really burned down, so I guess she’d

“I check it out sometimes for writing

just lit it.”

prompts.”

“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

your woman?”

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.”

freakin’ word.”

“I’m pretty sure she’d just been crying,

“It’s kitty-corner.”

though. Who yells at a crying girl?”

32

Issue two

“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

discount.”

place next week.”

“No, I can’t, that’s how she’s gonna

“You think I remember the exact time

recognize me.”

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

out here.”

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

something.”

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.”

“That’s fair.”

* “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

33

Dragnet Magazine

A Waqui Way of Knowledge by Amanda Abdelhadi

M

y

editor

Practically devoid of social graces, he

recently phoned

wasted no time spreading his own gospel.

with complaints

“Well, I am here to illuminate you once

about

my

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

of self-discovery.

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

requisites.

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

34

Issue two

Elisa Cullingham 35

Dragnet Magazine

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

expression.

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

meek family.”

36

Elisa Cullingham

Issue two

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

labour?”

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

own narrative.

now empty, and he tapped its rim a few

“Could we take the matter further,” I

times as a signal. I fetched the coffee

37

Dragnet Magazine

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

being.”

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

that

have

in awesome radiance across verdant tasted

the

plateaus, occasionally showered in a

otherworldly delights of paradise,” he

kaleidoscopic rain that never gives you a

replied.

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

paradise.”

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

meetings yet.”

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

paradise exists?”

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?”

38

Elisa Cullingham

Dragnet Magazine

Soap Opera digest by K.A. Laity

T

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

40

Issue two

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

Stephanie Coffey

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

41

Dragnet Magazine

Jeremy Hanson-Finger

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.

42

Issue two

Witch Creek

C

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

album.

Barbra – LOL. Guest room is all yours if you’re evacuated.

Carrie – Thanks sweetie. Keep you posted.

43

Eleanor Bennett

Dragnet Magazine

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.

46

Issue two

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.

47

Dragnet Magazine

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.

48

Issue two

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.

49

Dragnet Magazine

His Children by Nick Ripatrazone

F

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

mouth ovals.

mother. Not that I held his hand. Not that I

Hips wide.

wanted Alison for all she was worth, which

Cheeks empurpled.

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

were gifts.

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

different.

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

50

Kristel Jax

Dragnet Magazine

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

none.

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

me, me...

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

Why feet?

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

52

Issue two

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

http://www.myspace.com/172323484

Reading

Series  and

CKCU’s  Literary

MA in Art History at the University of

is

Toronto and spends her free time writing

http://stephaniecoffeyphotography.com

being

to

Coffey

Being like

mean

Stephanie

Landscapes. Now she’s completing her

mean

to

a

rainbow.

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

53

Dragnet Magazine

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

Mysteries

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.

(http://furstenaumysteries.

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.

54

Issue two

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.

andrewfranksinclair@gmail.com

Caitlin Stall-Paquet is a recent graduate of

Concordia’s

english

literature

and

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.

Jackie who

Nick Ripatrazone is the author of Oblations

Timpener graduated

is from

a

fine the

artist Ontario

College of Art and Design in 2007.

(Gold Wake Press 2011), a book of prose

http://www.jackietimpener.com

55

trawling the sea of stories since twenty-ten


Dragnet Magazine Issue Two