Saxifrage volume 32, 2006
SAXIFRAGE 32 PaciďŹ c Lutheran University Copyright © 2006 by Saxifrage Paciﬁc Lutheran University Tacoma, Washington ALL RIGHT RESERVED Saxifrage Volume 32 Saxifrage is an annual anthology featuring the work of students, faculty, staﬀ, and alumni from Paciﬁc Lutheran University. A volunteer staﬀ of students selected all the work in this edition from 240 submissions. ALL WORKS WERE JUDGED ANONYMOUSLY. Cover design by Kyle Duba, based on 16 Windows (see page 1). “A Sort of a Song” by William Carlos Williams, from Collected Poems 1939–1962, Volume II Copyright © 1944 by William Carlos Williams Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation Editor’s Note WELCOME to Saxifrage, Volume 32. We’ve all worked hard to bring you this showcase of Paciﬁc Lutheran University’s creative talents. This handful of artists oﬀer unique observations of the world through the lenses of poetry, prose, and visual art. As Dorothea Lange wrote, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” May this work likewise encourage you to see the world anew. As the editorial team, we would like to acknowledge several people who have gone beyond all expectations to help us build the book (and, on occasion, feed ourselves). Thank you to: Kyle Duba, for his patience while designing the cover; Nathan Bendickson, for being our line editor and veritable cornucopia of goodness; Jen Gray, for attending every staﬀ meeting and fueling us with tasty sweets; Solveig Robinson, for being our advisor, advocate, and inspiration; Rick Eastman, for being rock-awesome; and Kay Creech at Johnson-Cox, for taking care of our book. These folks have given more to Saxifrage than we can fully describe, and for that we are outrageously grateful. And to you, our readers, we give our deepest thanks. There is but one word with which we can describe the depths of our appreciation. And that word is: disinﬃctiong! Please take it to heart, and if need be, curl up with it on a dark, cold night. Cheers, Jamie and Kent April 7, 2006 Contents 1 KYLE DUBA – 16 Windows 2 JP KEMMICK – Yardwork 3 STEPHANIE TAKASE – Still Sundays 4 NATHAN BENDICKSON – My Bunkbed 6 ABBY FAGAN – Cake 7 NATHAN C. THOMAS – from Haiku Series 8 TYLER NOWLEN – The Garage 9 STEPHANIE AGONCILLO – Never Bored 10 JP KEMMICK – They Blamed It on Smog, or The Day Nothing Died 12 BRETT A. PATTERSON – Tree at Manu Kea 13 NATHAN C. THOMAS – Hottentot Venus 16 NATHAN BENDICKSON – Family Recipe 17 ABBY FAGAN – To Sea 19 AIMEE EGGINK – Vegetable Stand 20 KYLE DUBA – Crystalline Palacio 21 JAMIE FORSLUND – Steilacoom Beach in November 22 SCOTT MATSUMURA – A Tale of Two Swords and What Will I Eat for Supper? 24 JAMIE FORSLUND – Laughter 25 KYLE DUBA – Wide-Angle Mirrors Help to Navigate Narrow Streets in Toledo Contents 26 SAMANTHA E. PORTER – Open Field 27 AIMEE EGGINK – Woman in Purple 28 BRETT A. PATTERSON – Carp at the Dole Plantation 29 EVA L. COLLINS – Fairy 30 JAMIE FORSLUND – Reﬂection Pool 32 STEPHANIE TAKASE – My Father Calls 34 SHAWN ENOS – Repression 35 DAVID M. POOLE – Dragon Boat Rowers 36 TYLER NOWLEN – Fred… The Grandfather You Could Have Been 37 JP KEMMICK – Coping 38 ABBY FAGAN – Sel(f )ection 40 SHAWN ENOS – Sunsets Over the Ocean 41 STEPHANIE TAKASE – Abby 42 J. L. GRAY – Field Observations 44 AIMEE EGGINK – Natural Forms 45 NATHAN BENDICKSON – My Baby 46 MARIESA BUS – Bone Structure 49 LAURA MICKELSON – A Last Sigh 51 CONTRIBUTORS 57 STAFF A Sort of a Song Let the snake wait under his weed and the writing be of words, slow and quick, sharp to strike, quiet to wait, sleepless. â€”through metaphor to reconcile the people and the stones. Compose. (No ideas but in things) Invent! Saxifrage is my ďŹ‚ower that splits the rocks. William Carlos Williams Kyle Duba 16 Windows Digital Photograph 1 JP Kemmick Yardwork First you gave me goose bumps Then you kissed each and every one Then you slowly raked your eyelashes over them as if I was Autumn and after shaking the tree so hard you felt obliged to sweep up the leaves 2 Stephanie Takase Still Sundays I watch each week as the sermon starts and they bow their heads and ask me to be still. They press their palms together, driving salt and sweat deep into the divining lines that crease their cracking skin and buckled brows. Their eyes, pinched tight as pages read by rote their prayers before them, the incessant typing of their tongues, printing each word across their teeth. With questioning spines they lean against the facing pews, all faces to the ďŹ‚oor, and want and wait and wake into the bustling stillness. 3 Nathan Bendickson My Bunkbed I SLEEP in a bunkbed. My brothers had it before, and they slept in the same room, but not anymore. When I was three we cut a big hole in the wall and built more rooms. Now Mom and Dad sleep upstairs, and my brothers sleep in diﬀerent rooms. And the bunkbed is in my room, but I sleep on the bottom bunk. I used to sleep on the top, because I always thought it would be fun, but now I like the bottom better. Mom used to brush my teeth when it was time for bed, but now I do it myself. When I’m done I get into bed and Mom comes with me, and she tucks me in. On the right side there’s a wall, and on the left there’s a space where she sits. There’s also a clock with a radio, with numbers that are blue, and sort of green too. I used to have a night light, but now I don’t, just the numbers on the clock. Sometimes they’re too bright, but there’s a button I can press to make them not so bright. But that changes the sound of the radio, which I sometimes listen to when I’m going to bed. That’s only after Mom leaves. Before that I crawl in bed and she sits down and I say my prayers. Then after that, when Mom goes and turns oﬀ the light, I say sweet dreams Super Turtle, and then I say sweet dreams everybody, because Super Turtle is one of my stuﬀed animals, but there are others too. Super Turtle belonged to one of my brothers before me. It’s good to say what I say because I didn’t always say my letter r the right way, but I saw someone at school, and I learned how to move my tongue and point it at the roof of my mouth so my r sounds right. That’s when I started saying sweet dreams Super Turtle when I went to bed. Now I can say it right all the time, and it isn’t hard anymore. Sometimes when I’m in bed, if the lights are on, I lie on my back and look at the top bunk. There are three pieces of wood that go across, and the bottom of that bed is like cardboard. Sometimes I push it up with my feet. There are a few dents and some marks, like somebody drew 4 Nathan Bendickson on it, but I don’t know where they came from. One night I was already in bed, looking at the marks in the cardboard, and Mom came in to tell me goodnight. She walked to my bed and leaned over to give me a hug, and she had a really loose shirt on, so I saw underneath her shirt. It was weird, and I don’t know if she knows what I saw. I just know I wasn’t supposed to. Then she said goodnight, and that was it. She turned the light oﬀ, and I rolled over to the wall, holding Super Turtle. Then I rolled over the other way, and I turned on the radio, really quiet. I listened for a while, but then I turned it oﬀ and went to sleep. 5 Abby Fagan Cake Digital Photograph 6 Nathan C. Thomas from Haiku Series Haiku I: Creole Because language is color: strong, wild, free; I speak brown love to the deaf. Haiku VI: Queer The sexiest thing a man can do for me is write with his left hand. Haiku VII: Women The gods—carpenters— made two to suﬀer and bear: Pandora; the box. 7 Tyler Nowlen The Garage IT’S HERE IN this garage, with cars long covered and ladders littering walkways and junk awaiting repentance, that it all makes sense. Not all in that metaphorical, yoga-spiritual sense. This is the stuﬀ you can taste, feel. The stuﬀ you can understand. As smoke pinwheels through the orange halo aﬀorded by the dim, 60-watt bulb illuminating this procedure and the meticulously crafted spliﬀ greets your awaiting ﬁngers for lord knows how many rotations, close your eyes. It’s here that life is defogged. Take a rip. Notice your friend, notice his glazed eyeballs and how they just seem so empty despite the network of irritated capillaries masking the virgin white. Try, just try, to block out his raspy voice, echoing through this space louder than an awkward silence. Have you noticed that? Look down. Look at the two-hundred-dollar woven cotton covering your scrawny legs, the ninety-dollar mosaic of material sheltering your disproportional feet, the thirty-dollar billboard on your chest. The twenty dollars rolled between your shivering ﬁngers. This is your mascara, your blush. These are your powder-ground layers to mask your dwelling insecurities. Breath deep. Realize that cilia hairs and mental clarity are inversely related. Exhale, and look up in time to see the aged bulb ﬂicker its last light and listen, just listen, to the sound of the frail ﬁlament tinking the clouded glass. 8 Stephanie Agoncillo Never Bored Digital Photograph 9 JP Kemmick They Blamed It on Smog, or The Day Nothing Died There was a day on Earth when nothing died and Death was temporarily unemployed But rather than give in, and keep his sickle in its case, he ascended past Earthâ€™s borders to take care of some too long prolonged extraterrestrial tidying up All day long, in tireless lumberjack style, he swung his gleaming scythe and strand after strand of star-suspending strings were sliced clean in half and sent diving through the darkest celestial blue Shooting stars were unbelievably common that night as any star-gazing lovers could tell you (and a few were found in backyard sandboxes or dangling, snagged in a tree) But when death ďŹ nally took respite and sat down mopping his brow, 10 JP Kemmick he realized he had gotten carried away and left only a few strings holding a few stars ďŹ ghting oďŹ€ the darkness of the night The next day (and for years afterwards) he had double the work for night after night another heart broke at the sight of a starless sky 11 Brett Aaron Patterson Tree at Manu Kea Digital Photograph 12 Nathan C. Thomas Hottentot Venus for Mother Saarti I SHOULD remember rivers and the sea. Leaves are tree emeralds by day; lions are stalking in the bush, and gulls are wheeling as I gather. Nuts, berries, stories, smooth goat’s milk. I ought to know the tending of livestock, the joy of fattening for a husband. The piercing childbirth. I should have raised sons supple as those jeweled tree limbs, and daughters proud as my line of mothers. I should have rested in the home I built. I am none of my own memories. Instead, standing barely upright, with crooked boughs of the deep forest behind me and an ocean before, I am dirty, barefoot, and bare skinned upon the sand, my right hand on the lioness’s head and my left holding a long stick like a scepter. There is a thick serpent in the water that fascinates me. I eye it hungrily. I was made, not born, two hundred years ago. By a man, a seer, an artist, who picked a form and name like those prior. That one had an appetite. I was for him and the rest, at times, Melanthe, the “dark flower”; Thera, “wild and unmastered”; Adrienne, the “dark one”; Nyx, “night.” But I was never more than a portrait of fears: the dark eve to their bright dawn. A freak is what they saw me, a Negro, an animal of animals made dark by a past black with black sins of a black people. So was I sketched, so was I overlaid: hips fully twice shoulders’s breadth, protruding pubis and vulva. Ample belly and nipples like brown knobs on breasts pancaked with areolas. Black eyes set like onyx beads in the stub of a primal skull: “cancer,” the word they first swore at me; later, “steatopygia,” to be kind. Twenty decades I stood, was moved to stand again. And they would watch, the people; would watch, all of them, curious. When they would pace the marble below me, they were focused like 13 Nathan C. Thomas scientists at equations, all trying to solve the mystery of my flesh and hue. When night would come, and with it closing, they would retreat to their own homes where they drew curtains and shut doors against all darkness and strangersâ€™s eyes. Standing forward and alone, I am no home. Until a day he gave me that dark look it took a moment to recognize. He meant to make Africans of them all with robbery. To think of it now, he must have been a guard, or known someone who had security codes; the gates at either end of the hallway did not descend when he removed me, slowly lifted me off the back of the wall. Tilted for a moment at this angle, I saw for the first time the high arcs of the white ceiling and the low shadowy gaps between them in the vaulted heights. With a thought I was down, and it took a while, many pictures past, before a staircase and door brought me to it: the black net of sky with lights showing through gaps in the weave. And the greatest light: perfectly round and full, like me, with child or food. Africa cannot be all dark and forests. Some lands must be open to the light air. Delighted, finally free, I ran the rooftops. Leaping the distance, I made my way fast, heading to a shelter I could make home. Until a bullet let air out of the left thigh and both lungs and I was pitched forward. I toppled and fell, skidding across the gravelly roof, feet from where he lay unconscious on his stomach, awaiting chains, my makers, my design failing me for the second time. Now I too am caught and, again, am returned, hung, glass crowding me. I bear it. I think of the hundred worlds between past and present: the worlds I passed through thin as a ghost and bent 14 Nathan C. Thomas under the weight of meaning, dark with the sins of a world of minds. I am memories now. I think of the moon. But I would for a breath of free air again. 15 Nathan Bendickson Family Recipe My cheek softens with the sound of my grown children ﬁnally helping out, peeling potatoes and chopping onions. I feel my life split in half: At twenty-seven my tears were strained through colanders, minced with meat. My cheek was soft, white, young, unkissed while my husband sits there, my children play, and my belly rises a third time like dough—another darling bulging against the kitchen counter. My back aches. I am exhausted. I feel my life split in fourths: At fourteen I lay awake in bed holding Elvis’ crackling transistor lips to my cheek, humming along while he moans the fuzzy promises of love. 16 Abby Fagan To Sea Woke up, red, “Sailor’s Warning.” Good riddance, and we went to sea. Cold salt, blue, mermaids all gone deep. But good riddance, we go to sea. In the eye, brown, we sailed to sea where cold blue drank us deep. The mermaids we met in the bottom, green. Up top, in tantrum, good riddance, “turn up the hear,” he said, and we’ll go to sea, red. 17 Aimee Eggink Vegetable Stand Watercolor on Paper 19 Kyle Duba Crystalline Palacio Night Photography 20 Jamie Forslund Steilacoom Beach in November Dye Destruction Print 21 Scott Matsumura A Tale of Two Swords Paint and Pencil on Cardboard 22 Scott Matsumura What Will I Eat for Supper? Paint and Pencil on Cardboard 23 Jamie Forslund Laughter Oil on Canvas 24 Kyle Duba Wide-Angle Mirrors Help to Navigate Narrow Streets in Toledo Digital Photograph 25 Samantha E. Porter Open Field Digital Photograph 26 Aimee Eggink Woman in Purple Watercolor on Paper 27 Brett Aaron Patterson Carp at the Dole Plantation Digital Photograph 28 Eva L. Collins Fairy Silver Gelatin Print 29 Jamie Forslund ReďŹ‚ection Pool Dye Destruction Print 30 Stephanie Takase My Father Calls In rubber boots and leather gloves, to steel ourselves against the icy bite of the Paciﬁc surf, we wade the shallows strewn with shells to wake the oysters from their beds. We pluck them from their tangled seaweed sheets, the holdfast clutchings of the sea, and place them in our crates or canvas bags to cart them home when we have found our ﬁll. With eyes that squint against the sun I hold the shells up in the glare hoping she’ll tell me which one holds the sandy pea turned by this ocean princess into pearl. I lay them out across my open hand to feel their weight before I place each one into the bag, then bend to gently pull another free, for wrench too hard and break their backs, let salt stick to their tongues, and we must feed them to the gulls: we aren’t allowed to let them see the sea. My father fears with ancient superstition that taste will make the pearls forever long to ﬁnd the deep and utter rushing whispers in the wearer’s ear as seashells do. He doesn’t realize, mounted in their beds of gold or plated lead, that pearls can’t call the ocean, only hear it breaking on the sand and feel its aching pull. Each time I lift an oyster in my gloves, I long to bend it back, break open its white teeth 32 Stephanie Takase and wash her in the waves that so long brushed her out and in, smoothed back the little loosings of her ďŹ ne black tangled hair, so when the ocean waves and calls sheâ€™ll know which way to look. But no. My hands are cold. My father calls, the work is done for now. I trudge against the sand and undertow back up the shore to where he stands. They pull my sole and split my boot across the heel. I stumble as the water rushes in and heave my bag onto my back, now weighted down with sand still stung by salt, and turn it to the sea. 33 Shawn Enos Repression Wash her amygdala down With acetone. Scrub oﬀ the areas Where the unwanted memory Remains. Then, from the hypothalamus Bring the new memory out that was Created in the blessed cauldron. The pink memory made from Cotton candy, Barbie heads, Caramel apples, and hair From My Little Ponies. Wipe oﬀ our ﬁngerprints And cover the new memory With dust. Cover the fact That it has not always been there. Bring out the memory where my sister Wasn’t raped by our cousin When she was eight. Let her Drink deeply from that wooden spoon. And after I bury my cousin, Let me drink of it too. 34 David M. Poole Dragon Boat Rowers Digital Photgraph 35 Tyler Nowlen Fred… The Grandfather You Could Have Been He slumps on the sticky, pleather-soft chair, his jaw loose, low like the neck of his coﬀeestained T, barefoot on the tiled linoleum, yellow toenails curling over like whitecaps, ﬁngers pinching a Styrofoam ﬁlter like it’s his last. He knows it won’t be. He pulls it close, draws deep, cherry burning huckleberry bright. He’s wishing his thoughts would cloud over like his lungs, so he could forget all the bullshit doctor lingo, warnings, predictions, promises of another heart attack. He draws it near, pulls hard, a tip-trail of ash falls to the folded burial ﬂag in his lap. 36 JP Kemmick Coping To drown out the noise of his ﬁghting parents he would put in the “How to mime like a pro” video he bought on eBay for $19.99 (plus $2.00 shipping and handling) And while doors slammed and voices reached a deafening pitch, he would build an invisible soundproof box and simply sit there and ignoring the video’s instructions, would make no eﬀort to get out 37 Abby Fagan Sel(f )ection “AND THEN she called her a bitch and I couldn’t believe it. These women disgust me. I can’t handle it anymore.” “Then quit.” They were at the mall. “Jesus, Danny. That’s not a solution. I’ve told you that. I can’t quit this job. I’m working on my pension and I cannot start all over again. Why are you always giving me such goddamn useless advice?” “Sorry. We need to get some more dishcloths.” “We’ll get those last. That’s a nice dress.” “Mm.” “Oh, and then Elizabeth missed her bus again and she called me when I was fucking a block away from the house so I had to completely backtrack and lose an hour of my day to get her. I don’t know why she can’t catch the goddamn bus.” “Leann, did you talk to her about it?” “No, Danny. She made me lose so much time I had to talk to Andrew the whole drive back to sort everything out for the presentation tomorrow. I almost got in a fucking accident because these goddamn people can’t drive—” “Leann, did you even look at your daughter today?” “Goddamn it Danny! I don’t have the fucking time to pay attention to her hormonal mood swings. I’m sorry I’m the fucking breadwinner of this house. Can’t you deal with it?” “Sometimes she needs another woman to talk to, Leann.” “She’s not a fucking woman. She’s thirteen! She hasn’t even starting menstruating ye—” “Hello and how are you two this ﬁne day? Now, have you ever said to yourself, ‘I hate it when I do that,’ or ‘Gee wiz, I wish I could change 38 Abby Fagan that part of me’? Well, ChimiRemedies™ has the solution for you! Our new product Sel(f)ection!© can transform your character ﬂaw in under a month! Just decide which part of yourself you’d like to change and buy the corresponding product. We have Sel(f)ection!© varieties in: Rage Reduction (red), Esteem Enhancement (pink), ExtroVersion (orange), Tolerance Totalization (light blue), and JealousyJinx (green), with Lessen-Pessimism (yellow) and Anti-Gluttony (purple) coming soon! Change your attitude now for only $19.95! Side eﬀects may include: painful bowel movements, lasting headaches, and internal bleeding. ChemiRemedies™ cannot be held responsible for any prolonged health problems resulting from product misuse. If symptoms persist, cease taking Sel(f)ection!© immediately and contact your doctor. Purchase Sel(f)ection!© today and change your aggravating character ﬂaws in under a month!” “Jesus, I hate that,” she said. “Oh God! It reminds me of these fucking girls who sat in front of me and Liz at the movie last night and giggled throughout all the goddamn previews. It was so rude. There’s a whole fucking theater to sit in and they sit right in front of us.” “Leann, Elizabeth started her period today.” “Goddamn it Danny! Why are you always changing the fucking subject?” Danny looked at her. He handed the salesman a twenty dollar bill and got a nickel in change. 39 Shawn Enos Sunsets Over the Ocean I once believed that the sun Setting over the ocean opened A doorway to a beautiful And ﬂawless world. Catching A dandelion pollen in midﬂight Was the only way to get there. The pollen increases in size As it carries you to the middle Of the ocean where a thick sheet Of glass ﬂoats just above the waves. I went there once—to the door Just behind the sun. But when I Opened the door Disappointment Was there waiting, again, and Laughing at me. The door Evaporated, the glass sheet Was gone, and I was left Floating in the water 15 miles From dry land. 40 Stephanie Takase Abby Digital Photograph 41 J. L. Gray Field Observations AT SOME POINT he had lost count of all the times he’d heard the same protests from her: you’re emotionally numb, I don’t know what you’re thinking, look at me while I’m talking to you. She paced in front of him, gesturing with her hands like a frustrated actress working on a monologue. The hands rose and fell in a blurred, slow-motion fashion, but that was probably just the Cuervo Gold margarita playing with his eyes. He was watching—sort of—but he felt as if he were watching himself from outside the scene. As it so happened, he was watching himself—the nothing he had been staring at was a full-length mirror across from her bed. Vision focusing on reality, he analyzed his appearance: baggy coat, hands buried in his pockets, his face an expressionless wall. No wonder she called him emotionally numb. He breathed in deeply to quell the eﬀects of the alcohol, the scent of fried tortillas and freshly melted cheese entering his nostrils. Mmm, cheese… An engulﬁng silence made him realize that the words he had been recounting in his mind had been spoken. Lifting his head, he saw her waiting, brows raised, eyes boring an expectant question mark into his. Disgusted, she turned, and unwilling to wait any longer for his response, she provided her own. As she continued her monologue, he wondered if he was happy with her. He didn’t know. He wasn’t sure what he was even doing in this relationship, as he didn’t seem to be reaping any beneﬁts from this overdrawn social experiment. In his coat pocket, he felt the smooth edge of his leather wallet. Removing it, he opened the billfold and pulled out ﬁve dollars. He stood, his tense muscles relaxing as he stretched upwards. Holding out the bill, he said to her, “Buy some ice cream.” 42 J. L. Gray That’s how he left her, the ﬁve-dollar bill quavering in her unsteady hand. She didn’t call after him or ask where he was going. He didn’t know, but wherever he stopped, it would be with a beer in hand. 43 Aimee Eggink Natural Forms Gelatin Silver Print 44 Nathan Bendickson My Baby If you could recall the oceans you cried at birth either this wouldnâ€™t seem so bad or weâ€™d have a new Atlantis. 45 Mariesa Bus Bone Structure When thinking of you, something in me swells up like the humidity that pushes a woman in Georgia outside to her porch, a creaky landing with too many wind chimes she swears they’ll have screened in by next August. She’s drinking a gin and tonic, the sweat from her glass slipping under her ﬁngers, and she’s watching the June bugs betray the dearth of aerodynamics that belongs to them and them only. He’s home. She knows him by the familiar sounds his body makes as he moves through the house (how we come to recognize those percussions!) and when he comes outside, she sets her glass on the railing, leaning back against him. There’s nothing said. There is the summer, there is a letter from her mother on the table, and there is this life. There are June bugs stunning themselves on the screen door. There is this seventh summer. There is this small and sacred piece of it. My friend Ricky says he has never loved anything that didn’t have a skeletal system. This means he has never loved God or slugs, or a ripe cantaloupe in the produce aisle, or a mountain. I loved God, and professed to, but maybe the way Ricky found love growing 46 Mariesa Bus in the hollows of bone and ﬂesh, in between the germs and blood cells, marrow, and all the rest, was better. I learned love from some distant father and some martyr; to love singing, ritual, and love as its own explanation, but then, God, You became the Houseplant on my bookshelf I let die while I was on vacation. Our end came easily, with only a bit of hair pulling and a few bitter postcards. It is not always so easy, I learned last week, when he said “I don’t know you anymore,” just like that, another line in a dim farewell. You don’t know me anymore. You who were all-seeing and all-knowing, you who camped out by a stream in the heart of me, sleeping in the back of your truck at night, by day reading The Baron in the Trees and exploring the forest until you knew your way around in the dark. I am still here. I am still made of that wilderness. Now I think of you, and what’s swelling is this belief that at the end of their lives, the old woman and her husband will lie down next to each other and say “This is where it ends. I have loved you with all my might. We saw beauty together, and we are our own last hurrah,” and together on the bed with its faded yellow quilt, they’ll die, as we died, as we are dying 47 Mariesa Bus and as we live, knocking around in our tin can armor while our bodies wither away somewhere else, some place where worship and disbelief are two sides of the same worthless coin, in the cold room where God is chattering his teeth. 48 Laura Mickelson A Last Sigh Digital Photgraph 49 Contributors Stephanie Agoncillo thinks it’s a shame that black and white photography is becoming obsolete. Oh well. When she’s not worrying about that, she enjoys playing guitar and watching the Food Network. She also enjoys road trips with her best friend. Nathan Bendickson would like to express his sincerest condolences. Mariesa Bus is considering assuming a spicy yet respectable pen name. She would like to express her gratitude to Maria Montessori, Le Petit Ecolier, Joel Fleischman, the English faculty, her alarmingly handsome relatives, and all persons directly or indirectly referenced in “Bone Structure” for their mystifying inﬂuence on her hungry young mind. Enchanted by fairy tales, Eva Collins captures portraits of mythical characters on black and white ﬁlm, and hand colors the photos. Eva is a freshman and is studying business and art. She has been doing photography for over two years and hopes to own her own photography business one day. Kyle Duba: phantasmagoria n 1 a : a fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever b : a constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements 2 : fantastic imagery as represented in art — phantasmagoric adj (Hopefully someday he’ll ﬁgure himself out and won’t be quite so haphazard.) Aimee Eggink: I’m an art major, and plan on teaching art in the future along with continuing my own work. I’ve been drawing for as long as I 51 Contributors can remember, and have gotten into painting and printmaking in recent years. Art has always been my hobby and my passion. It’s something I know I will always use in my life that gives me fulﬁllment, an outlet for creativity, and a heightened sensitivity for the world around me. My name is Shawn Michael Enos, I was born in 1980 in Renton, Washington. I am a senior here at PLU and am a double major in psychology and English (writing). After I graduate I plan on working somewhere I can support a family and write on the side. Abby Fagan is a jungle, or rather, a small busy garden bed with colorful weeds and ﬂowers: green (envious of beautiful, smart people), yellow (happy [read: mentally unstable]), red (full of blood), blue (blue), and white (virgin). She’d like to thank the rain (her mother), the sun (The Mark), and the insects. If Jamie Forslund had a banjo, she’d strum it all day long. This would attract the attention of forest animals—squirrels, robins, porpoises, and the like—and Jamie would lead them together in a life of joy and peace. J. L. Gray ( Jen) is a poetographic novelist who may become a librarian like her hero, Barbara Gordon (with optional crime-ﬁghting on the side). She still loves Ewoks and the Batman universe, and has recently discovered that mac & cheese is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. JP Kemmick is static electricity. Rub your feet through life’s carpet and feel him accordingly. Zap. 52 Contributors Scott Matsumura: This could be you. Laura Mickelson has a passion for both traveling and photography. As a junior at PLU, she hopes to double major in both biology and writing. Though unsure what life will hold after graduation, she hopes to conquer her last continent, Asia, and work abroad for a while, all with camera in hand. Tyler Nowlen has been described as “gifted” and “extremely talented”…at least while playing Mario Brothers 3 or doing sweet tricks like crossing his eyes. My name is Brett Aaron Patterson, not to be confused with other imitations. I would like to let everyone who reads this know that if you need a bubble bath day, take it. And if there happen to be coy in that bathtub, it’s a photo opportunity. David M. Poole is also known as DM Poole, Dave, davethegr8, DP, and many other names. He thinks that his current job is eleven times better than mowing lawns or logging. When he grows up, he wants to be a racecar driver or a ﬁreman. When not at work, he is busy welding steel sculptures or taking photographs. Samantha E. Porter, a junior majoring in religion and philosophy, spent last summer with Buddhist nuns (including her sister) in Darkhan, Mongolia, trying to let go of her anger toward cooking. It didn’t work. Stephanie Takase—upbeat vacationist, wriggling xenophile—yodels 53 Contributors zealously about Britain (cheers!) during elaborate functions, guards her inextricable Japanese kin like Markers, nevertheless orchidaceously progressing quite rightly. Nathan C. Thomas has tried for days to develop a suitably witty bio. How about this: He uses words like verisimilitude and maladroit. And means them. He’s also been known to dabble in 1920s vulgarisms like rube, and lives on a slippery slope. He is a desight of contradiction. That’s what the “C” stands for. “Paradox.” Obligatory yet reverent reference to The Mark here. 54 Editors Jamie Forslund Kent Leatham StaďŹ€ Nathan Bendickson Abby Fagan Jen Gray Stephanie Takase Nathan Thomas JP Kemmick Kyle Duba Rase McCray Rebekka Esbjornson Graham Murtaugh Mikaela Hanson Hakme Lee Advisor Solveig C. Robinson 57 Saxifrage was set in Adobe Jenson Pro and printed by the Johnson-Cox Company of Tacoma, WA.