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C r e a t i v i t y , C o m m u n i t y a n d C o n v e r s a t i o n i n t h e He a r t l a n d

F A S H I O N I N N O VA T O R C U R AT O R

Elise Joseph, TN / D E S I G N E R Barton Perreira, KS

Fifty Fifty Collective, KS / FA S H I O N D E S I G N Hackwith Design House, MN / F O O D Chef Andy Schumacher, IA MAKER

Ami Beck, KS / A R T I S T Damon Davis, MO / C R E A T O R Jon Marzette, KS


We tell the stories of interesting

people doing remarkable things in the heartland of America.


L E T T E R F ROM T H E E DI TOR As a small child I would often creep down the basement stairs of my family home and peer through the opening under the wood banister into the room below. My dad practiced there with his band, and I loved watching his fingers roll over the guitar, while his singer belted out ZZ Top’s “La Grange.” I would stay for a song or two and then find my way upstairs, where my mom was often banging out Beethoven’s “Für Elise” on our upright spinet in the living room. Artistic outlets were important in our home, and I’m incredibly thankful that even at a young age I was able to experience the value my parents placed on being creative. While they were a pair of the most involved parents I’ve ever seen, they were also unique, talented, strong individuals. I knew that, even then. What a gift to give a child—that even with immense responsibility, creativity and artistic pursuit is of serious value. Recently, at our Issue 2 Launch Party, St. Louis rapper Mvstermind performed for an intimate group of ALIVE members and friends. There was no stage, no tickets sold—just a talented man giving us his all, and us taking it in. I thought of my Dad playing for no one but himself, and I felt a jolt of pride for the community that is forming around this magazine. A community that values creativity. We’ve welcomed a group of people into that community with this issue that exemplify this spirit. Bill Barton and Patty Perreira both left their careers at a giant company to pursue a passion project that would eventually become luxury eyewear brand, Barton Perreir a (page 64). The designs are now sold in more than 150 stores. Further showing how creative hunger can lead to measurable success is Elise Joseph in Nashville, Tennessee (page 50). After amassing a following with her enviable blogging chops, Joseph used her influence to launch GOODWIN, a women’s capsule retail concept. Her prolific output whether through social media, her website or her brick and mortar store, are always meticulously on-brand. About 500 miles northwest of Nashville, we met three creatives in Kansas City, Missouri, all living their own version of artistic fulfillment. Jon Marzette is a young designer and DJ still crafting an independent career. We meet him at that elusive time in many artists’ lives when they’re not even aware of how talented they are (page 28). Similarly, the young founders of 50 /50 Collective, Cambria Potter and Hannah Lodwick, are navigating their burgeoning curatorial careers while introducing the city to a set of artists arguably talented enough to contribute to our national conversation (page 24). Emerging handbag designer Ami Beck knows as well as anyone how hard it can be to maintain a creative practice. We spoke with her about work ethic, quality design and the importance of taking risks (page 38). Two creators who couldn’t be more different are James Beard Award semi-finalist Andy Schumacher and artist, filmmaker and activist Damon Davis. And yet, their stories prove that living a culturally rich life anywhere is plausible. Schumacher, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native is crafting menus with a clear goal top of mind: making delicious food that surprises people (page 32). Davis, too, is opening eyes. With his new film “Whose Streets?” recently shown at Sundance, this St. Louisan is showing how a city rocked by tragedy rises (page 20). I had a baby recently, my second son in two years. When my husband and I decided to become parents we had several conversations about continuing our respective creative pursuits. Is band practice important when there’s a toddler at home? Should I be spending time at the piano when my newborn is nearby? Creativity and an individual artistic passion feeds a family and nourishes a career. I think after sitting with this issue, you’ll know as well as I do, that the answer to those questions is an unequivocal ‘yes’. Love,

Rachel Brandt @RachelEBrandt

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ALIVE Creative Group

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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 20 Artist | Damon Davis 24 Curator | Fifty Fifty Collective 28 Creator | Jon Marzette 32 Food | Andy Schumacher 38 Maker | Ami Beck 40 Fashion | “At First Blush” 50 Fashion Innovator | Elise Joseph 64 Feature | Barton Perreira 80 Poem | Steven D. Schroeder

COVER PHOTO

Photography:

Attilio D’Agostino

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Kansas City, Missouri

R I G H T:

Elise Joseph Thompson Hotel Nashville, Tennessee

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This gallery space responds to the demand for innovative art in the Midwest by exhibiting challenging work from contemporary artists based all over the world. The gallery’s latest show, “Transparency Shade,” was guestcurated by multi-disciplinary artist and curator Modou Dieng from Senegal. The show also featured seven national and international artists who work in Frankfurt, London, New York, Long Beach and Johannesburg. Owner Susan Barrett and Senior Director Bridget Melloy work closely with Barrett Barrera Projects to craft exhibitions that transcend traditional gallery practices. With shows and works like these, projects+gallery remains true to its mission of creating a space where artists explore a multitude of disciplines and subjects. PROJECTS-GALLERY.COM @ PROJECTSPLUSGALLERY


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This meticulously crafted British-inspired boutique hotel creates a hospitality experience that is truly unique. Each room at The Cheshire is inspired by a renowned British author, from John Milton to Jane Austen, and the novelty suite themes are inspired by literary figures, such as James Bond and Romeo and Juliet. Romantic antiques and historic decor coexist alongside f lat-screen TVs and modern innovations. The Cheshire also houses three restaurants, including Basso, Fox & Hounds Tavern and Boundary. For a staycation, weekend getaway, or if you’re just passing through, the mix of luxury and quaint charm here offer a delightful respite from day-to-day life. CHESHIR ESTL .COM @ CHESHIR ESTL


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Audiences travel from across the country and across the globe to St. Louis to experience the annual festival season at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL). The reason? OTSL offers one of the country’s most celebrated mixes of classic opera and major new commissions, all in a causal and welcoming setting here in the heartland. This season’s major premieres include a new performing version of the American masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath and the American premiere of Philip Glass’s The Trial, presented in rotation with classics by Puccini (Madame Butterfly) and Mozart (Titus) and a main-stage concert. It’s possible to see four different operas in a single weekend while enjoying OTSL’s famous pre- and post-show garden hospitality. Performances run May 20 to June 25. EXPER IENCEOPER A.ORG @ OPER ATHE ATR ESTL


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A worldwide leader in academic excellence, Washington University in St. Louis offers outstanding continuing education through University College. Whether you are in pursuit of a degree, making a career shift or seeking personal enrichment, your goals in higher education are within reach at University College and are also surprisingly affordable. Combined with an array of financial aid and scholarship options, you can make earning a graduate or undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis a reality. UCOLLEGE.W USTL .EDU @W USTLUCOLLEGE

PH OTO: WA N SHI


PA RT N E R

Balancing reverence and revolution, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company sets itself apart by embracing forward-thinking ideas with a traditional brewing approach. This new-worldmeets-old-world philosophy is reflected in every aspect of UCBC’s business. In their home base of St. Louis, Missouri, their innovative brewery and bierhall situated across town from their traditional brewery and biergarten create a balance that’s also ref lected in their wide array of beer styles. UCBC contributes to the transformation of the worldwide beer industry while dedicating itself to a sustainable existence in the communities it inhabits. UR BA NCHESTNUT.COM @UR BA NCHESTNUT


PA RT N E R

As an urban anchor of the heartland, St. Louis is a sprawling metropolis, balancing a rich and diverse history with technological and artistic innovation. Urbanites, nature enthusiasts, families, art aficionados, lifelong residents and transplants alike mix in the Gateway City, which has paved the way for an influx of makers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, scholars, musicians, visionaries and more. ALIVE is proud to call St. Louis home. EXPLOR ESTLOUIS.COM @ EXPLOR ESTLOUIS

L AU MEIER SCU L P T U R E PA R K


DA MON DAV IS ON ART, SUNDANCE AND HIS FERGUSON UPRISING DOCUMENTARY. by EILEEN G’SELL / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

Damon Davis doesn’t flinch. Clad in a black tee and light trench, he takes a seat, eyes focused behind horn-rimmed frames. A self-described introvert “with an extroverted side,” he’s the type of man who has a lot to say, but listens as though the world could stop any second. From a historic vantage, Davis’ world did just that— not for a second but for four long hours, into months, then years, of feverish witness. When Michael Brown was shot and killed on August 9, 2014, St. Louis entered both the national and international spotlight as arguably never before. But the legacy of Ferguson need not be reduced to serial clips of impassive state troopers, wailing mothers, and burning storefronts. Rather, it can be how St. Louis got real with itself for the first time in decades. Davis was among those who stared the city straight in the face. “There are two St. Louis’s,” he clarifies

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on a late Sunday morning. “One that doesn’t have to know about the other, and the other that is forced to in order to survive.” Through a creative practice he describes as “part therapy, part social commentary,” Davis has long proven the power of art as a means to not only endure, but resist. He has been a painter, a printmaker, a DJ, a writer and—along with artist Basil Kincaid and rapper Eric “Prospect” White—a founding member of St. Louis’s Reclamation Project, a crossgenre initiative to unite the city through a thematic series of exhibitions, performances and recordings. With “Whose Streets?,” the Sundance-feted documentary about Ferguson which Davis recently codirected with Sabaah Folayan, he is also the local force behind what might be the most important film to come out of St. Louis since Judy Garland stepped off a trolley car. A corrective to the ‘media coloniza-


tion’ the city weathered in 2014, “Whose Streets?” chronicles the year of vigil and uprising in the wake of Brown’s death and the grand jury decision that followed. “This is more than a documentary,” reads the Directors’ Statement. “This is a story we personally lived. This is our story to tell.” And Davis was ready to tell it. “I know my personal voice, and I can pull it out of any medium,” he says. “But to do a film of this scale, operating at this level, is a new skill set I just built. Film is much more labor-intensive and collaborative than anything I’ve done before. For an interdisciplinary artist like me, it has provided a space where I can use all of my talents at once—not only can, but have to.” Davis grew up in East St. Louis, an autodidact from a young age. Whether shaping sculptures from aluminum and mud as a child, or learning to produce music in middle school, his output has consistently spanned disciplines and traditional labels. “I have been drawing all my life, on everything,” he reflects. “I can’t remember when I was not creating, and fascinated with learning the craft of it.” Together, Davis’ passion and craft have carved a path to significant recognition. With work in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Davis has exhibited on both coasts, often the sole St. Louisan represented. “If anything, “Whose Streets?” is a broader, more public extension of what I, as an artist, have been doing for years,” he explains. “I don’t necessarily see myself as a mascot for the city, as that reduces its com-

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plexity. But I do understand what I’m representing, and I’m proud to do it. What is going on worldwide in terms of activism was largely started right here in St. Louis.” “Whose Streets?” was picked up by Magnolia Pictures and is slated for release in August 2017, three years after Michael Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson. When asked whether the film is of a piece with the recent Oscar-nominated docs that engage the black struggle, Davis makes clear how it stands apart. “Those films are great, but in some way they all focus on black suffering. ‘Whose Streets?’ doesn’t do that as much. I see our movie as more in line with the fictional film ‘Moonlight,’ or the television series ‘Atlanta.’ It humanizes and normalizes the black experience, showing how black people are people who live the whole gamut of emotions.” As far as what he most wants viewers to take away from the film, Davis mulls over the most precise way to put it. “I would say a sense of the truth,” he says, deliberating. “But these days, ‘truth’ as a word doesn’t mean that much. So instead I’ll say the most important thing I want people to take away is a sense of honesty.” In the crosshairs of confrontation and introspection, Davis’s creative approach belies a life of unapologetic engagement—with not only art, but the world of ideas. “I was never not an artist,” he says. “But I’ve also felt like a scientist with a love for the philosophical. I think a lot about how the universe works—and this thought process becomes the art that I make. You are watching me process my reality.”


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FI F T Y FI F T Y A progressive platform for Kansas City ar tists. by JORIE JACOBI / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

“This is what you’re missing on your non-stop flights over this country: The talk about radiant patchwork insides of eyelids & the psychological sinkholes & the neon barbed-wire borders of reservations & the hanging, drooling, suspiciously open mouths of various rivers—which in short—are trying to tell you that there are broad swaths of American that you will never be able to trust again.”

the collective as recent graduates, strengthened by their mutual interest in curating. For their first foray into collaboration, they decided to curate the work of their peers in a shared studio that had been abandoned. “Long story short, we put our heads together and decided that we would take the most ambitious route by creating our own space, and making it sustainable,” says Potter.

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Much stands between the initial idea and its full realization, they’ve found. They carve out the time to work on 50/50 during lunch at their full-time jobs, after work, and on weekends. The entire first year was spent on nose-to-the-grindstone planning, securing funding and creating a sustainable space.

This poem, written by Benjamin DuVall, was showcased on a billboard last year in Kansas City’s West Bottoms neighborhood, in contrast to sumptuous photographs advertising burgers, upcoming soap operas or toothpaste brands that usually end up on billboards. It’s not a traditional spot for a public art space, but that’s one of the reasons why the proprietors of 50/50 Collective lease it out to their artists. Nestled in a shipping container near the formidable confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, 50/50 is part gallery space, part artist platform and part whatever artists can dream up. At a time when our current presidential administration has begun upending the values that created a country predicated on free speech and a melting pot of cultures, 50/50 and initiatives like it serve a vital purpose in the 21st century: to wake up the public’s consciousness. “It’ll end in four years,” says Hannah Lodwick, co-founder, while Cambria Potter, also co-founder, nods in agreement. Their work has been cut out for them. Potter and Lodwick met while art students at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) and co-founded

Their largest expenses were covered by a number of grants, including a Rocket Grant through the Andy Warhol Foundation and a Kickstarter campaign. “The way in which we raised funds shows that there was support for this idea. We really didn’t have anything to show yet as recent graduates. There was a desire from our immediate community for something like this, because there was that fiscal support up front and advocacy from our peers,” says Potter. Their first full year of programming included the work of 56 individual artists shown in a series of six exhibitions throughout the year, attracting almost 2,000 visitors. “We’re called 50/50 because we exhibit half local and half national artists per program. Being in the middle of America, our platform is important to our mission because we’re here introducing a national conversation to our local community,” says Lodwick. ›››

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50/50’s nimble business model has also permitted them to take risks on controversial artists. Such as a collaboration with artist Dread Scott, whose 1989 piece “What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?” (which George H.W. Bush called “disgraceful”) showcased at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The piece appropriated an American flag on the ground, encouraging viewers to write down a response to the question while stepping on the American flag. Scott created a piece with 50/50 that appeared on the collective’s billboard, which displayed the names of black men and women killed by police. The calamitous details are absent, and each name is depicted in white text on a black background, neatly organized into columns with hashtags. In the last column, the artist leaves three blank harrowing spaces. “The motivation for the billboard is something that Dread can speak to in the best capacity, but we asked him to respond to the exhibition theme

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of memory in Missouri, Ferguson and 2014 with all the recent shootings,” says Potter. They’ve also worked with artists like Annie Woodfill, whose work gathers found objects in highly inventive ways, Kameelah Janan Rasheed and her archive-based works, José Faus, Brett Ginsburg, Caitlin Horsmon and many more. Potter and Lodwick have many ideas for what Kansas City could become. And while they plan to explore other art markets in their 20s, they also have a gut feeling that they’ll end up back here. “I think there’s something you almost can’t place your finger on about Kansas City that warms your heart,” says Potter, though they aren’t blinded to its weaknesses. “We both see there’s room in Kansas City to create institutions that it doesn’t have. We didn’t have a 50/50 until we had a 50/50,” says Lodwick. “I’ve been in this area my whole life. I know how to contribute to this cultural region because I am you. I am you guys.”


J O R D A N W E B E R ‘Organize, Resis t ’ L atex and enamel paint F I F T Y

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JON M A R Z ET T E The wonder ful mind of an emerging Kansas-based creator. by R ACHEL BR ANDT / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

“Why don’t you do it?” Standing in front of The Bottleneck Bar’s owner in Lawrence, Kansas, Jon Marzette found himself at a crossroads. The year was 2012, and up until this point the college-aged Marzette did not consider himself anything more than The Bottleneck’s doorman. He and his best friend (who would become his business and artistic partner), Cameron Birdsall, had just received word that the DJ hired for the evening hadn’t shown. “Why don’t you do it?” the bar owner asked the pair. Marzette and Birdsall accepted. They ended up throwing a party that evening that quickly exploded into a popular dance fest series, which became known as Assjamz. “Assjamz has grown into this big thing. I’ve learned so much from it. We essentially learned how to DJ by throwing a big house party. At first, 50 people came, and then 60, then 100, and then more and more,” says Marzette. Success was not without consequence. Marzette is a living crash course for young creatives navigating the murky waters of launching an artistic career. At a young age, he learned that when entering an artistic community, being cognizant of other artists is paramount.

doing.’ Which we didn’t. But we got through it. Cameron is the yin to my yang. I’m the sensitive one, and I worried about it. Cameron is more, ‘Nah, fuck y’all.’ Some of them were saying that we didn’t have skills—that we were dumbing it down. After that we really did our homework. Now, we have the skills to back it up.” For Marzette, the success of the event series, coupled with his education, gave him the confidence to pursue a career as an independent artist. In an age where “influencer” and “content creator” are coveted but elusive titles, Marzette is a spirited example of someone who is making a name for himself by simply embracing and capitalizing upon one’s interests. Since that first evening at The Bottleneck, the University of Kansas graduate has launched a creative career encompassing design, art, music and production. Whether he is planning an event, compiling a playlist or designing a logo, his brain bounces between creator and marketer. And for an emerging talent, that’s the best place to be. What is it that creates a following? What qualities must someone possess to inspire? We caught up with Marzette, who was between promotional photo and video shoots for upcoming events, to ask him about life as a young artist. You’re at a party and someone asks you the an-

“At the time, Cameron and I weren’t super into the surrounding DJ culture. A lot of the DJs locally were giving us heat. They were like, ‘You can’t just pop out of nowhere. You don’t know what you’re

noying question: “So, what do you do?” What do you tell them?

[Laughs] That is a hard one. I generally say art and music—simple as that. ›››

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You’re passionate about music, film, art and design. To which medium do you devote the most

thing great here. We have to work twice as hard to get noticed. But the talent is there.

of your time?

The weird thing is how it’s all so connected. I’m all over the place, all the time. With the music, there’s normally an art component, like a poster illustration, that I will create for a show. And it’s the same with art. What I make is always connected to some vibrant energy, like music. For design, if I’m doing a branding project, even just making a logo, it still has a certain vibe. The same with DJing. Artistically, what are you most proud of?

Man, oh man, that’s tough. I hate to say this, and I only use this word because it’s true: There has been a ton of “organic growth” and connection through my art and design. I’m proud of that. Most recently, I’ve been involved with a festival called Flyover. Huge artists, who rarely come to Kansas, will be there. Along with my partner, Cameron Birdsall, we’re doing all the branding and also performing. You have a lot going on. Do you work independently, or do you have a day job?

That’s been my biggest struggle these past three years. Two and a half years ago, I worked at Hallmark, where I was a designer by day. It was a comfortable, nine-to-five position. But I found that when I did my DJing and art work at night, it was so tiring. I decided to leave Hallmark and worked on DJing and freelance design, but that was also really difficult. There weren’t enough DJ gigs to sustain me. It’s really been just over the past five months that I’ve been getting in a consistent groove of contract and DJ gigs. At the end of the day, I want to do both. I’m still trying to find that balance, and I know a lot of artists can relate to that. We want to pay our bills, but we also want to be unique and creative.

It’s a blessing and a curse, because there is so much competition in other cities. But if you’re unique and true to yourself, you’re going to stand out. Around here, there’s a beautiful community that builds you up. What’s your creative process like when you’re getting ready for a show?

Well, this is interesting. A lot of the backend work of a DJ is actually playing the songs and finding out what people are digging. I do a lot of different types of gigs: some super hip-hop and ratchet, some funky. I get to try out a lot of different things. Generally, if you’re listening to a song and you’re not dancing in your chair, it’s not right for a party. There are go-to songs like that. You include those with other stuff people are currently liking. That being said, there are things I like that I’ll play and people aren’t into it. When that happens live, I’ll immediately switch it. Who are some Kansas musicians you are excited about right now?

Man, there are a few people that I’m really stoked on. Where do I start? First and foremost, I would say Hermon Mehari. He’s a Kansas City trumpeter; he’s so dope. He plays all over the world, and his music is so jazzy and cool. DJ Sheppa is great. For roots and rock music, Spencer Mackenzie Brown. And my favorite heavy band in Kansas City is called Conflicts. On a photo in your Instagram feed, you’re wearing a t-shirt that says, “No, thank you!” Will you share your thoughts with us on the importance of being gracious?

How do think living in Kansas and the Midwest affects your work?

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. In the Midwest and in Kansas City, people really love to work hard. The work ethic is real. I think people sometimes feel like they’re ignored, but we have some-

Giving back is something I think a lot about. It should come as second nature. Remembering to support people improves everything. Help out your scene. If you’re throwing an event, why not try to get a local charity involved? Why not do a free show? As long as you keep doing that and being genuine, you can’t lose.

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COBBLE HILL Innovative Cedar Rapids chef Andy Schumacher. by AMY DE LA HUNT / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

Over the past four years, chef Andy Schumacher has worked steadily to build the crucial element of trust with his clientele at Cobble Hill Eatery & Dispensary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with experimental flavors and ingredient combinations. While the local dining scene has deemed Cobble Hill a special-occasion restaurant, Schumacher and his wife Carrie have also opened a new venue that veers toward the opposite end of the culinary spectrum: a casual Mexican joint called Caucho. At both restaurants, Schumacher’s goal is for guests to enjoy trying something new. He avoids classics on his menus, though he remains confident guests will always find a recognizable point of entry. Schumacher grew up in Cedar Rapids, and has returned to his hometown after a stint in culinary school and restaurant work in New York City. He’s been featured on the Food Network and has earned culinary-industry accolades, including a James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Midwest” finalist run in 2015. When we chatted with Schumacher, he shared his recipe for poached Arctic char, his favorite mescal and his penchant for the unexpected recipe. Your dishes often feature ingredients customers might not expect to see paired together, like Parmesan churros or sweet potato beignets. Are people more open to those new concepts now

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that you’ve been open for four years?

When we first opened, it was a real source of stress for us. I know the market, and I know what people are expecting in a meal here. They aren’t used to this style of cuisine. We slowly built our base with the consistency of our food and service, and people started to realize the experience they’d have if they came in. With that came trust in us and what we were serving. You know you’re going to get something different from the usual—our menu doesn’t really give you a choice. Is the same true at Caucho?

Yeah, I do think that’s the case. I became obsessed with making our own corn tortillas. We grind our own corn, mix our own dough and roll them out. The idea was to bring our approach to Caucho with a different style and price point, but still have that same level of service and quality of food. The stressful part of being a restaurant owner is always being prepared to evolve, to not become stagnant. Do you have a favorite on the Caucho menu?

I was really surprised by all the dried Mexican chiles and how completely different their flavor profiles are. I was experimenting with guajillo chiles, and we made a sauce out of them with some toasted garlic. Then we pureed it all with water and salt. It has this very haunting flavor that was really surprising, because it was born out of two ingredients. It’s cool ›››


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when simplicity transcends itself and you’re getting into something that’s very complex. The beverage program is also a strong focus at both restaurants. Do you have a favorite among

sous chef, Elliot Brown. It was a collaborative recipe between the two of us. One of the hallmarks of our restaurants is that we like to get the cooks involved in the creative process. We have them propose ideas that I help flesh out, often from a technical standpoint.

the mescals at Caucho?

The Ilegal Mezcal Añejo. I tend to like the mezcals that are aged. I really like bourbon, and they take on a little of that character. It also has this amazing vanilla component. When the liquor order came in, I saw it and thought, “I’ll try this one.” I was sipping it straight when my wife came and said, “Do you know that’s an $80 bottle?” I thought, “Oh, shit!” But then was like, “Wait, I own the place!” What was the inspiration behind the poached Arctic char recipe you shared with us?

The original concept for it was formulated by my

Dashi is a simple Japanese stock that creates a base flavor for a lot of dishes. We wanted to take that idea and elevate it with fish broth and fish bones, which is a typical foundation for European-style dishes. The goal was to create something that was rich with a real depth of flavor, but achieve that in a light, delicate way. There’s not a lot of fat in it, and it’s very delicately cooked, but it does give the illusion of richness. You can also freeze the broth in individual sealed containers and have it for several different dinners. You’d just pick up some fresh fish at the store and cook it with some vegetables.

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Poached Arctic Char with Soy Dashi Serves 4 5 pounds very fresh fish bones (use a non-oily ocean fish such as halibut, cod or snapper)

them in bowls. Add the radish, green onions and shiitakes to the broth and warm them gently. 10. Spoon the broth and the veggies into each bowl for serving. 11. Whisk

the sesame-oil vinaigrette and toss some of it with the seaweed salad. Add the sesame seeds and garnish the dish with the salad.

1 medium onion 1 head fennel 1 head garlic

12. Slice

the scallion tops thinly and sprinkle on the dish to garnish. Serve immediately.

1 stalk celery 3 ounces konbu 1.5 ounces bonito flakes Soy sauce to taste Salt to taste 4 6-ounce Arctic char fillets, trimmed and boned

Seaweed Salad

1.5 ounces dried seaweed mixture ½ cup canola oil 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1.

To make the dashi, wash the fish bones in cold water. Cut away any blood lines or bits of entrails.

2.

Chop or cut the bones into small pieces and place in an eight-quart stock pot.

1.

Hydrate the seaweed salad in water for 10 minutes.

2.

Strain the water and dry on paper towels.

3.

Thinly slice the onion, fennel, garlic and celery and add to the bones. Add water to just above the level of the bones and vegetables and bring to a simmer over low heat.

3.

Mix both the oils and vinegar together in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

4.

Cook for 35 minutes, or until the fish bones are falling apart. Carefully strain the fish stock through a sieve and pour into a smaller pot.

Canola oil

5.

Reduce the liquid over high heat until about two quarts are left, then add the konbu and simmer five minutes more.

2 ounces green onions, cut into 2-inch sticks (cut off the tops and set aside)

6.

Remove the broth from the heat and add the bonito flakes. Allow to infuse for 15 minutes.

1 tablespoon black vinegar

7.

Strain the broth through a sieve and season with soy sauce. (The soy is meant to add an underlying depth of flavor—don’t cover up all those flavors you spent so long to make with soy sauce!) Add salt to finish seasoning the broth. Set aside.

8.

9.

To finish the dish, warm up some dashi and poach the Arctic char filets in it over medium heat. The temperature of the broth should be around 150 degrees. When the fish are done, gently remove them and place

Vegetable Garnish

4 ounces r adishes, quartered

3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed

1.

In a medium sauté pan, heat two tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the radish quarters and roast until caramelized and tender.

2.

Set aside and repeat with the green onions and the shiitake mushrooms.

3.

When the shiitake mushrooms are done cooking, add the black vinegar and toss to coat. Set all the vegetables aside until ready to serve.

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A MI BECK Leather bags handcraf ted in Kansas City. by EILEEN G’SELL / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

Armed with a trove of sumptuous leather, her long arms clutching her wares, a tall blonde in a leopard coat saunters through the door. The fur is fake, but the smile is not; without it she would seem right at home in a sartorial-centric Pynchon novel. At once a touch otherworldly and authentically down-to-earth, Ami Beck makes an entrance. Think Tinkerbell-meets-Joan of Arc, Helen of Troy with a handbag. A self-described “bag lady,” Beck has been designing her own bags and making them by hand for years, founding her own company, Dolyn Bags, in the summer of 2014. Since then, she’s been developing and expanding the brand from her studio in Kansas City. “It’s a really great time to be in my position,” she explains. “It’s daunting to be in this market as far as price point, but at the same time, a lot of consumers are pretty bored with big-name brands. They’ve been around for so long, and people are realizing that their stuff isn’t necessarily any better than that of emerging designers.’” Cowhide leather, rich hardware and keen attention to details distinguish Beck’s take on luxury. Running a hand over a Dolyn is the tactile equivalent of swilling a vintage wine at its peak—smooth, heady and transportive. A hidden pocket lined in plaid pops from a venerable duffle. Invisible magnets cinch a bag at its top, a closure sans disclosure. “I usually take a simple concept and make it as complicated as possible,” Beck says, demonstrating with a basic tote. A sleek silver zipper accents a rustic fabric. Side panels with contrast suede appear across the collection. As Beck points out each feature with delight, it becomes clear that eschewing trends for touchstones is Dolyn’s M.O. “If I wanted a bag that looked like everybody else’s, I’d make what everyone else was making.” Why bags? And why now? “Fashion is so fast,” Beck asserts, which led to her penchant for accessories. “As soon as you de-

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sign a piece of clothing, it’s out there. But I wanted to design something that would really hold its longevity, that would be relevant for a long time. That’s where leather comes in, too— it’s beautiful, durable and looks better with age.” Though they source materials from a tannery in Italy, the Dolyn production universe remains largely local. When asked what prompted her decision to start her own business in such a cutthroat field, Beck pauses for a second. “Irrational confidence!” she surmises. The revelation that she was once a champion high school basketball player feels suddenly apropos. Success in fashion requires more than creativity. “I’ve never worked at anything as hard as this,” Beck says of Dolyn. “But I wouldn’t know how to work this hard if it had not been for my years in sports.” It’s where she sees a connection to her discipline, hunger and hustle. “People ask all the time, ‘How do you take these huge risks on your own? There’s a lot on the line.’ And I tell them, ‘Everybody is born with a risk barometer. Mine just happens to be broken.’” There’s a certain audacity that comes with the idea of Midwestern luxe—a beguiling one at that. “I have a small, but passionate market,” Beck emphasizes, unflinching. “Luxury is choosing what it is that you want, rather than what you can afford. It’s chosen out of want, beauty, detail and exclusivity, rather than out of price point.” During our chat, the word “sexy” comes up several times to describe her bags. The thing that’s sexy—and luxurious—about the Dolyn brand, is that element of surprise: the unlikely coupling of honesty and indulgence, something with which to haul one’s bustling life gracefully into the future. “At the end of the day, I design bags. And there is something a bit shallow about that. But it takes so much grit to have a small business, and to stick up for yourself through years of growing it. At the end of the day, the charm of Dolyn isn’t handbags, because handbags are everywhere. The charm of it is my passion. The charm of it is the challenge in it.”


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AT FIRST BLUSH EASY SUMMER PIECES FROM THE HEARTL AND. Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

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MODEL:

Maria Debicka @ Wilhelmina New York

ST YLIST:

Trudy Fogarty-Hayden

HAIR AND MAKEUP:

Sharday Johnson


AUDR A Jumpsuit - shop.audr aoffcial.com + L. Shoff Earrings - lshoff.com

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Hackwith Design House Bow Cropped Top in Pale Blue - hackwithdesignhouse.com + L.Shoff Rings & Earrings - lshoff.com

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Hackwith Design House Wr ap Jumper - hackwithdesignhouse.com + Dr. Scholl’s Malin Mules in Greige Tumbled - drschollsshoes.com

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Han Starnes Summer Linen V Dress - hanstarnes.com + Nisolo Mariella Mule in Sand - nisolo.com + L. Shoff Rings - lshoff.com

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Agnes Hamerlik Sueded Silk Multi-Way Reversible Wr ap - agneshamerlik.com + Nisolo Elizabeth Slide Honey - nisolo.com

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AUDR A Slashed Shirting Dress - shop.audr aoffcial.com + Hackwith Design House R aw Finish Wide Leg Trouser - hackwithdesignhouse.com + Nisolo Isla Slide Sandal in Beige - nisolo.com

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AUDR A Apron Top in Scribble Organza - shop.audr aofficial.com + Agnes Hamerlik Silk Mesh Oversized Cuffed Trouser - agneshamerlik.com + Dr. Scholl’s Malin Mules in Greige Tumbled - drschollsshoes.com + L. Shoff Rings - lshoff.com

Winsome Ashby Dress - winsomegoods.com + Nisolo Elizabeth Slide Honey - nisolo.com + L. Shoff Earrings - lshoff.com + Briefs stylist’s own

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INTENTIONA LLY SIMPLE NASHVILLE-BASED ELISE JOSEPH’S NEW CONCEPT COLLECTION. by EILEEN G’SELL / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

Nashville has witnessed an upswing of development across the fashion and design industry, and few from the region know this better than Elise Joseph: local girl with influence writ large. She launched the visually sumptuous Pennyweight blog on a whim in 2009, as she tells it, to document her cross-concept inspirations. Since then, Joseph has attracted a substantial following, with her vibrant caches of lifestyle, fashion and culinary imagery. Last fall, Joseph fulfilled her middle-school dream of establishing her own brick-and-mortar store, called Goodwin, a women’s capsule retail shop. Goodwin is as curatorial as it is commercial, a reflection of Joseph’s shift from pursuing passion projects to a dedicated, full-time vocation. ›››

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Each piece that appears online has been created in limited quantities exclusively for the shop, through partnerships with artists and designers across the nation. From trousers of sustainable silk and darkolive ceramic bowls, to crop tops embroidered with nude silhouettes, the shop merges an understated elegance with a subtle streak of irreverence. Amidst a discussion of friendship, trees and tattoos, it soon became clear that Joseph sends up stereotypes of both success in fashion and creative fulfillment—neither of which are solo pursuits for her. You’re originally from Nashville. What role has the city had in your own creative trajectory?

Whenever I tell people I’m actually from here, I get laughed at. There’s been so much change here that us locals are a dying breed. Even in the last five years, the city has grown and taken shape in so many different ways, especially in fashion and for creatives. It’s part of why I wanted to start my business here and support the industry.

tory and polish that’s still sunny and relaxed. How would you describe your style in your own words?

I actually lived in New York for four months doing a styling certificate program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and later I was in Los Angeles for a little over a year. I feel like they’ve both influenced my style and business in so many ways. New York and L.A. comprise two of my biggest markets, as well. When I’m asked about my style, it’s tricky. I don’t think “minimal” is the right word. I use the word “intentional” a lot. I’m into details, and my environment is important to me—personally, professionally, creatively. I have to feel settled, and that things are in order. I love clothes that I don’t have to think a whole lot about—easy fits and open, boxy silhouettes. I find myself drawn to an airy, breezy look, which is definitely more West Coast. Los Angelenos often present a look that seems luxurious and casual at the same time—not as for-

I serve on the board of directors for the National Fashion Alliance, and just yesterday we released an economic-impact study about the current and potential growth in Nashville. Outside of New York and L.A., we have the highest concentration of independent fashion companies. It’s encouraging to me, because I’m from here and I’ve watched so much of the change up close. I have been able to work, collaborate and build relationships with so many amazing business leaders. It’s an exciting time.

mal or conscious as New York.

There’s an effortlessness and a coolness there, but it’s still thoughtful. I lived in the Venice Beach area, and I loved standing in line at brunch restaurants to see how people dressed. Even if they were pajamas, they were the chicest pajamas. People look like they don’t care, but you know they do. My style isn’t that way. I’ve never been the loudest person in the room. I love subtle statement pieces—the understated vibe that feels special.

Does the city still feel Southern?

There are the rhinestones and cowboy boots, but there’s so much more than that. We have so many different designers and businesses. Everybody’s different, of course, but there’s a friendliness here in the South, and a collaborative spirit that makes it inviting. Your personal aesthetic—and Goodwin’s—subvert so many Nashville clichés. It isn’t flashy at all. Elsewhere it has been called “minimalist,” but to me it feels like a mix of East and West, a sense of his-

You worked for a major record label, and the denim company imogene + willie. How did those jobs inform your later pursuits?

That feels like forever ago. I was nineteen when I worked for the record label. My dad was in the industry, and while I love music, I didn’t feel like that was my realm. Growing up, I was clearly interested in fashion and always wanted to have a store. When I worked at the label, I was in the marketing department. I did a lot of administration stuff, ›››

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but also social-media marketing, which really influenced my career path. It can be tempting to assume that an arts degree will lead to a job in a creative field. But you’ve taken another route, and tackled so many creative ventures.

They’ve all fed into each other, which is an important part of my process and journey. I can see how each endeavor I’ve undertaken over the last ten years has played its own part in leading to Goodwin. I started Pennyweight at the record label. It was a demanding job with a small staff, and I needed a creative project on the side. I needed an outlet. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I felt the need to document what inspired me. To see it naturally evolve into Goodwin is something I never would have anticipated when it started.

others a voice, share a story or make a connection. My spring collection this year features a lineup of all-female designers to create exclusive products for Goodwin. Sometimes it’ll be a completely new design, or a current style in a new material, color or pattern. I’m all about simplifying life. The whole “fewer, better things” ethos is important. As a creative consultant, stylist and art director, how do your three interests coalesce into your new project, Goodwin?

Goodwin has really been my more-than-full-time job since I launched it. The heart of what I’m doing is providing a distinct platform for brands and designers, from consulting to styling. Pennyweight has opened up a lot of doors to work with a variety of home and fashion brands—even some that seem random, like Benjamin Moore Paints.

Goodwin seems to combine the natural with the ornamental. I noticed you have a tattoo of a tree on your forearm, which seems the perfect representation of the two. Does it have any connection to your identity as a maker?

Nature has a huge impact on what I’m doing, especially in terms of texture. In my home, that translates into wood and leather. I’m always looking for the right balance, so it’s not all one note. With clothing, that’s also so important. With Goodwin, I really focus on high-quality, ethically sourced materials. For me, the tattoo actually ties into what we were talking about earlier, in terms of life experiences growing into and informing each other. The tree is very much a symbol of growth and change. I try to look at life that way; the cycles we go through, the seasons. It helps me when I feel like I’ve been cut back to a stump. You seem to be part of a larger movement today of women in fashion owning their own designs and promoting their own aesthetics.

Supporting women in business is a huge passion of mine, and creating a space for designers to have a platform. In whatever small way I can, I want to give

It all points back to what I’m passionate about: people and a collaborative spirit. The Old English meaning behind “Goodwin” is “good friend.” Even though it might sound cheesy, I’ve been able to build so many amazing friendships through this community, from designers to photographers to consultants. I’m always inspired by the people around me. I wear a lot of hats as a new business owner, and every day looks a little different. But my former roles all naturally feed into each other. I know all these different angles to marketing, social media and creative styling. These days, I also love working individually with a person to bring their collections to life. What are you excited about for the future?

I think connection is at the root of it all this year. I have plans to take Goodwin on the road to meet my customers across the country, face to face. I’m excited to see people come together, whatever their background or beliefs may be. It’s an important time right now to support one another. Even though I love the internet and social media, I really want to focus on personal interactions, and to build something outside of the online world.

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BA RTON PE R R E IR A A K ANSAS CIT Y NATIVE REDEFINES EYEWEAR DESIGN. by DAN MICHEL / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

Bill Barton could only stand unemployment for four months. Back in 2006, the Kansas City native had just completed his four-year tenure as president of high-end eyewear brand Oliver Peoples when the company sold to industry giant Oakley. Barton was restless, and in need of a passion project. This time, he wanted to accomplish something he never could while working for someone else: craft the best eyewear in the world. But first, he had to make a phone call. He needed a partner for his next endeavor—an ambitious and artful collaborator who would raise the standard for the eyewear industry writ large. He called Patty Perreira, a former colleague and designer for Oliver Peoples and the creative force behind what would eventually become luxury eyewear brand Barton Perreira. “I’m her biggest fan,” says

Barton. “She’s a fantastic designer. The best work starts with talent.” Perreira had also decided to leave Oliver Peoples because of the new ownership. However, she also considered leaving eyewear altogether. “I was done,” says Perreira. “I wanted to do something new, like jewelry. I’d never done that before, and I wanted to feel challenged again.” Then Barton called. “I was on vacation when I got the call,” says Perreira. “He was excited—very energetic—and said he wanted to collaborate. When I told him about my jewelry project, he said, ‘Work with me and your voice can be heard,’” she recalls. Barton knew he had to offer Perreira something she couldn’t resist. ›››

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“With talent, you’ve got to blow them up—never hold them back,” says Barton. So he asked Perreira a simple question: “What would you design if you had your own collection?” “That’s when I got excited,” says Perreira. “Suddenly, my brain was like a faucet I couldn’t turn off. I was constantly thinking of the color combinations, textures and techniques that I wanted to explore in jewelry, and wondering how to apply them to glasses.” Perreira came up with more than 1,000 designs in the six weeks before their first official meeting. “Bill hadn’t seen anything yet, so when I showed him the designs he got really excited.” “It was like the floodgates had opened for Patty,” says Barton. Among these first designs were the Emmanuelle frame, which later became the basis for the brand’s first collection and their top seller in sunglasses. “Designers hadn’t used those kinds of details in a long time, so it felt fresh,” Perreira says of her butterfly-shaped designs. To this day, that’s how Barton and Perreira’s creative process starts: with exhaustive collaboration. They divide each upcoming season by category—whether to introduce new ones, or revive those from seasons past. Barton, whose skills lend themselves to the business side of the operation, doesn’t design himself, but still has creative input on Perreira’s designs. “Bill jokes that I could take three years off and we’d still have enough designs to keep working,” says Perreira. From the original sketches, Perreira edits down to 50 or 60 drawings per collection. After fur-

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ther editing, they manufacture around 18 to 20, of which only a handful make it to retail. In the first season, Perreira created a new category of metal frames with inlaid snake, leopard and zebra patterns that went down the temple. “It was a very difficult, expensive technique,” says Barton. “To this day, no one else in the industry does it. When I saw them, I thought ‘Ok, we’re really doing our own thing.’ It was so different from anything else at the time.” Customers and industry experts agreed. “Eyewear is an oversaturated market,” says Paul Frederick, accessories expert and fashion market director for Du Jour Magazine. “Barton Perreira’s frames were refreshingly clean and modern, while maintaining classic shapes. And just like fine jewelry, they focus on quality and design, not logos or marketing gimmicks.” Upon its debut in 2008, the brand opened in 150 stores. In its first two months, it brought in $2 million in business with help from its impressive list of retailers, which includes Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Opening Ceremony, Bergdorf Goodman and Jeffrey, among others. “Eyewear brands don’t usually get to launch in those stores,” says Perreira. “But we had relationships, and they knew the level of our work. Some even bought from the lookbook without samples. That’s really rare.” Today, the brand also has its own stores in Nashville, Aspen, New York and Kansas City. Despite selling his product in such upscale boutiques, Barton is a humble, easygoing person who ›››


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surrounds himself with employees who share his work ethic and passion. A childhood friend of his runs the Kansas City store, located in The Plaza. “Bill’s never trying to be the cool guy. He has no ego. He’ll pull product and run invoices if need be,” says Perreira, a California native. “That’s very Midwestern to me.” Barton and his team weren’t the only people excited about this new brand. Within a few years, celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Lenny Kravitz, Orlando Bloom, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga were spotted in Barton Perreira frames, garnering plenty of attention and new business. Perreira attributes that to Barton’s commitment to making a superior product. “He said in the first meeting, ‘We’re going to be the best in the world,’” she recalls. Barton’s entire career has culminated in that decision. With connections from his first job at luxury retailer Optical Shop of Aspen, and his time at Oliver Peoples, he had the connections to start this new line with only the best. The brand’s frames have always been handmade in Japan, where Barton says the highest quality of work can be achieved. He and Perreira always agreed never to release a frame until it was perfect, sometimes taking up to two years to unveil a style. His Japanese manufacturers—the same ones he’s been using for 30 years—bring Perreira’s complex designs to life using leather detailing, intricate metal inlays and colorful enamels. Many of these were new techniques for Perreira, inspired by her

love for jewelry. Even though Barton successfully tapped into a luxury market, he wanted to be cutting edge in terms of technology, too. It wasn’t enough to just have polarized, scratch-resistant lenses or high-quality acetate and titanium for his frames. Through a newer, more-technical sister brand, Allied Metal Works, the duo wanted to revolutionize eyewear construction, too. They created screwless frames— a closure system that connects the temples to the frame without the weak points that screws create. “As there are no screws holding the plastic and metal in place, the engineering has to be just right and done entirely by hand,” says Barton. These finer details are what get customers excited about the brands, spreading the word and coming back for more. “In a smaller market like Kansas City, you have to give people an amazing experience,” says Barton, a graduate of Pembroke-Country Day— now The Pembroke Hill School—in his hometown. “It’s tougher there with luxury products. You really have to earn your stripes, but I hope we continue to do well there because I love The Plaza. I grew up eight blocks from there.” Barton attributes his work ethic and attention to detail to his upbringing in Kansas City. He says that although he’s revolutionizing eyewear, he never forgets his origins or the people who inspired him to do his best. “I left Kansas City at 19, but I still go back to visit family and friends,” he says. “I still feel a strong connection to the Midwest, in general. That’s why that store and that city are so special to me.”

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T he Ne w s

by STEVEN D. SCHROEDER

Fifty percent of our marriages ended

In a survey, area hospitals estimated

in stalemate, the rest in restaurants.

railroad-related fatalities at a hundred

We all tested above average

possibilities from none to untracked.

as drivers, a phenomenon known

The top tactic to cope with sorrow

online for its leap the median meme.

started with cans of chocolate frosting.

A piechart infographic showcased

Nine out of ten dentists

pie shortfalls with an empty piece

were identified by dental records.

bigger than six o’clock.

The tenth dentist was identified

On what remained of Main Street,

by investigators as a person of interest

the most popular building types

and an alleged pediatric practitioner.

were brutal and Beirut.

If we took the black medicine,

Behind our poor investments

nothing bad would happen.

hid the Swiss, according to sources

If we flipped the black switch to obey,

who slurred precision into a slur.

something bad would happen

More people trained as mountain men

to a stranger in a separate room.

and women than financiers

In mirrors, ECNALUBMA became danger.

and lawyers, whose numbers we had

One cure for our hunger

financed longer than the law allowed.

required a runaway dumptruck.

The trend where workers threw

After the break, the Indians won

themselves in front of a bullet

and thunderstorms were coming.

train shocked the stock market.

Steven D. Schroeder’s second book, “The Royal Nonesuch” (Spark Wheel Press), won the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is available or forthcoming from “New England Review,” “Crazyhorse,” “Pleiades” and “Michigan Quarterly Review.” He lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. Find more information on Steven at stevenschroeder.info.

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VOLUME 16 ISSUE 3

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