SAGA Art & Literary Magazine S p r i n g 2014 V o l u m e 77
If you had asked me as a first year sitting in the back of the room on the Poetry Board if I would be the one writing this letter, you probably would have been met with frantic denial and a self-deprecating laugh. And yet, here I am. The responsibility has fallen to Hannah and I to neatly sum up the long hours, the excitement and the frustration, the laughter, the hundreds of emails, and the staff meetings. And after all of that, after all of the work, the risk, and the whirlwind of emotions, all I can think to tell you is that SAGA is, and always has been, a labor of love. Although Hannah and I often wondered where we found the time to achieve all of our aspirations for the magazine this year, failure was never an option. What youâ€™re holding in your hands right now is tangible proof that creative energy, hard work, and the bravery to blend new ideas in with traditions pays off. SAGA is more than a magazine. It is a place that electrifies you and inspires you to dream big and pursue your passions wholeheartedly. SAGA has been that place for me for four years, and in one incredible, exhilarating, whirlwind year, Hannah and I have dreamed up new ways for people to find a way into a place that we call home. I hope you are electrified, the same way we were as first years. To our committed and devoted SAGA ancestors, staff, advisors, contributors, and readers: thanks for one heck of a year. We couldnâ€™t have done it without you. Alexandria Petrassi Co-Editor-in-Chief
I think, in the back of my mind, I always dreaded writing this ‘letter from the editor.’ Alli is the writer; I am the artist. I think that’s why we made such a beautiful, serendipitous team. We decided that risk was to be our companion on this epic journey (get it? Saga?) and I’m amazed (but not really that surprised) about what we have been able to accomplish by challenging tradition and pushing the envelope. All that I hope is that SAGA has taken root in someone’s heart this year the way it did for me as a high school senior visiting the weekend it happened to be released. Well, that and that others have been drawn to carry on the SAGA of this truly historic magazine. I’m grateful to our SAGA ancestors, our faculty advisors, our enthusiastic and creative staff, our patient and determined boards, and (of course) our contributors, without whom there simply wouldn’t be a magazine. Hannah Bohn Co-Editor-in-Chief
Acknowledgements The editors-in-chief would like to thank the Augustana College English department and the Student Government Association for their generous contributions which make Saga’s publication possible every year. We would like to thank our faculty advisors, Kelly Daniels, Rebecca Wee, and Kelvin Mason who have consistently offered their support and advice. We would also like to thank Mary Jane Letendre, the English office secretary, for helping us with all of Saga’s administrative needs. She is the kind soul who sends out our incredible amount of campus emails, passes along student questions, and supports us in our creative process. Without her, Saga would likely not exist. Additionally, we would like to thank our award judges, Roald Tweet, Leslie Grossman, Rebecca Lindenberg, and Eugene Hayworth, who kindly took the time and effort to thoroughly review the art, poetry, and prose selected for the magazine. We are grateful to the staff at Davenport Printing Company in Davenport, Iowa.
About Saga Saga is Augustana College’s art and literary magazine which has been published by students since 1937. While Saga has traditionally published two magazines, in the winter and spring, we decided that this year we would publish a single issue. Submission are open exclusively to currently enrolled Augustana students. All submissions are sent anonymously to student boards who have selected the pieces published in this issue. This year, we received over 250 total submissions of art, poetry, and prose. We are proud to present this year’s selected pieces.
Saga Staff Editors-in-Chief Hannah Bohn Alli Petrassi Art Editors Madison Neece Alicia Murphy Board Gage Meyers Audrey Moore Camilla Best Maggie Cooper Meridith Hays Sara Sievert Nikki Radloff Grace Bunderson Prose Editors Amber Whittle Isaac Lauritsen
Board Caitlin Lawler Catrina Doyle Chelsea Fray Camilla Best Patrick Price Jamie Perpich Kaylee Wagner Claire Kepner Gary Miller Jamie Hochmuth Maissie Giacovelli Stephanie Yelton Poetry Editors Gary Miller Sam Calcagno Board Laura Seeber Bobby Hamill
ReneĂŠ Millete Camilla Best Kayleigh Lane Padraic Price Event Coordinators Chelsea Fray Kelsey Kammerzelt Copy Editors Caitlin Lawler Laura Seeber Robert Hamill Claire Kepner Production Editors D.J. Musolf Jasen Hengst Amelia Ruzek
Table Of Contents Prayer Forward Lit Street at Dusk Quadrilateral Mermaids Giant’s Causeway The Wolf Who Cried Girl Eight Ball Solo Rezzonance Limbs L Parenthesis A Untitled Aint Nobody Got Time For That I Should Lie To Hallmark About This “Love” Poem Versatitlity Double Take Sulfur Fields You can trust me with your kids, I played a babysitter on Tv
8 9 10 11 12 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
Swat The Badlands Risen Rhapsody in Spring Teapot in Tomato Red Ascension of Carrauntoohil Taken Three’s a Party Room 125 Untitled Potato 10 Things My Mother Never Told Me Welcome to Bizzaro World Owl in Space Strawberries For A Girl Who Drooled A Puddle And Drowned Me In Her Eyes Cordially Doughnut Pots On the Water I think about how this car would spin
36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 61 62 63 64
Table Of Contents
Waters I Have Touched The Berghoff Protection Galaxy Tandem Before the Collision Escape Word Choice The Clawz Downtown Hong Kong Pumapungo L ayered Levi Adoration Shadow Dance The Great Gumdrop Revolution of 2013 Gargoyle Still Life Fruit Structural Devotion Bones The Day I Was Born
65 67 68 69 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 82 83 84 85 86
Tower in the Sky Elephantine Untitled Sarah Emetophobia Sanctuary Alba Breaking My Promises Storm over the Gulf Cinerary Midnight Verde
87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97
Letters from the Editors Acknowledgements/About Saga Saga Staff Awards The Saga and/of HCKN Saga Throughout The Years Contributorsâ€™ Notes
2 4 5 92 100 106 108
Prayer Digital Photography
Forward Each step manifests on the damp granule shore. Its void filled with salty air.
M as o n R o b e r t s o n
Brackish waves threaten the unity of the marble hollow. With lack of reverence water cascades down the fragile wall. The fleeting legacy of a heavy sole. The heavy legacy of a fleeting soul.
Quadrilateral Graphite & Charcoal
Mermaids “The sea is the only place to be free.” Claire stood on the edge of the ocean where she and Henry were staying for the weekend and recited the first line of her favorite childhood story. It was early March and the ocean was just starting to wake up from winter.
Claire let the waves lap her feet. The water was cold enough to send goose bumps up her ankles, but she stood with her feet sinking into the sand anyway, aware that she was straddling the line between infinite. Her father had told her that once. The place where the ocean met the land was the place between infinite. She hadn’t understood what it meant to be infinite then, but she knew now that it never ended. “The sea is the only place to be free.” Even now, with her feet still on the shore, the water was sucking her in. On the drive up the coast Henry had let the silence linger. Sometimes Claire liked to talk and sometimes she didn’t, and during the drive she put her feet on the dashboard and turned her face away from Henry, letting the sun warm her. Henry did not try to make small talk about the weather or about why she wanted so badly to see the ocean. The day before she had begged him to skip work and pack a bag. “We haven’t been to the ocean in forever,” Claire had said. She had seemed oblivious to the fact that there was still snow in some places, oblivious that Henry was in line for a promotion and probably shouldn’t skip work. He called in sick and then they were driving, Henry’s leg already falling asleep because the cruise control had gone out. Claire was quiet the whole way along the coast. The CD he had made her for their first anniversary was in the player, and he was happy to remember the night he gave it to her. Claire had laughed when the first song came on and pulled him up so that they could dance together. Now the song kept them company, and Claire slouched further in her seat. Henry’s leg had given in and fallen asleep. Claire was shivering in the water, the ocean already up to her ankles. She was thinking about the story her father used to read to her about a mermaid named Arabella. Arabella was a girl who loved the sea, and one day a witch who had seen Arabella come to the shore to dream told her she could be a part of the sea forever. Arabella left the land and lost her legs, and she joined the sea. Claire’s father read her the story every night, and Claire would dream of trading in her legs for the sea. Now it felt like the waves were trying to take her back. Claire closed her eyes and she saw her father again. The wind was blowing her hair into her face, the ends tasting like salt.
“Claire, your mom called,” Henry called down the beach. “Your dad fell today. She took him to the hospital. Honey, they don’t think it will be much longer.” But Claire wasn’t listening to this; she was staring at the sea, her lips chapped from the salt. *** “Daddy, when we get to the beach, will you take me to see a mermaid?” Claire called from the backseat. Her father laughed at this sudden outburst. Claire was normally quiet during car rides, mesmerized by what was passing by her window.
She fell asleep before she could smell the ocean. She felt the car stop and she startled awake. The sun was setting over the sea, turning the blue water an orange hue. Her father had pulled over to the side of the road. “Look, Bee,” he said and unbuckled his seat belt. Claire opened her door and stumbled out onto the gravel pull-off. A guardrail sat at the edge of a cliff, and Claire stood behind it, sure that if she went too close the water would try to pull her in before she could hear the mermaid song. Her father picked her up and carried her to the edge. A couple of the guardrail’s teeth were missing, but her father held her tightly, and she saw from his height that the ocean was swallowing the sun. “Daddy, what if it doesn’t come back?” Claire said, suddenly frightened she’d have to look for mermaids in the dark. “The sun?” he asked. “Don’t worry, Bee, it always comes back. It’s just going to wake people up across the ocean.” *** The first day of searching for mermaids proved fruitless. Her father caught a catfish whose whiskers really did look like a cat’s, but she did not hear the song. Her father promised if she sought in silence she would find one sunbathing on a rock, but Claire never saw a rock in the ocean, just miles and miles of water. She was beginning to think her father had brought her to the ocean to hit a dead end.
“Sure, Bee. We have to be quiet when we go looking though. Mermaids won’t come if we’re loud,” he said back to her. Claire left it at that, but she was wondering about the mermaid song. She knew mermaids sang to call lost ones to the sea. She was hoping to hear the song and be swept away forever.
The second day of searching the waves were too rough for Claire to look. Her father held her hand on the line where the ocean met the sea. “This is between the infinite, Bee,” he said. She didn’t know what he meant, and she pressed her lips tighter, tasting the salt. Still, she did not hear the song. The third day Claire left the beach house before her father woke. She was sure the mermaids would call to her if she was alone, and she crept out of the house as quietly as possible. The sun was beginning to rise, and the water was lower than it had been the day before. The beach was quiet, and Claire marched to the water’s edge. She waded out as far as she could still touch. “The sea is the place to be free,” she said. Claire took a deep breath and dove under. The water did not feel like a temperature. Her body felt weightless, and Claire let out the air still left in her lungs. She pushed her arms out in front of her and then behind her again. She caught water between her fingers and propelled herself forward. Her eyes were stinging from the salt, and just when she felt like she had to take in air, Claire heard it. The music started quietly, and then the song was clearer and felt like it was coming from inside her. The mermaid swam in front of her. Her fin caught the light from the sun and reflected in a dazzling rainbow. Her hair swirled around her, and she grabbed Claire’s hand. The song was so loud that it felt like her body was going to explode from the vibration. “Are you Arabella?” Claire tried to ask. She couldn’t make a sound. The mermaid nodded her head, swirling her hair around her. “Can you hear me even though I can’t talk?” she asked and suddenly Claire could hear Arabella. “We hear through touch,” Arabella was saying. The song stopped. Arabella gripped Claire’s hand tighter. “What are you doing here?” she asked. “I want to lose my legs,” Claire said. Arabella’s hand felt smooth. She couldn’t figure out why the softness struck her so. And then it hit her. “You don’t have fingerprints,” Claire said. “You don’t need fingerprints in the sea,” Arabella said. “You lose everything that made you who were on land. I grew my tail and lost myself to the freedom.” “Make me a mermaid, please,” Claire said, Arabella’s grip was beginning to hurt. Their fingers were laced now, and Claire could hear Arabella’s thoughts clearer.
“You don’t want the life of the sea,” Arabella said. “Bees live in the air.”
“How do you know that’s my name?”
“Your father calls you that, right? You’re a bee. A bee can’t swim in the sea,” Arabella laughed at the logic. Claire did not find it funny. She heard the song and she knew she was meant for the sea. Arabella would give her a fin.
“Silly girl, are you sure you can leave your father? You would never see him again. Can you be that selfish?” Arabella asked. Claire was ashamed. She hadn’t thought about leaving her dad forever. “But I could see him again, right? I want to lose my legs, but maybe I could get them back after a while.” Arabella laughed again. The sound echoed through Claire’s head. “It doesn’t work like that. Once you give yourself up, you’re lost forever. Live with legs or sacrifice your life. It’s as simple as that.” “But you gave them up. You wanted the freedom more. You chose the sea,” Claire said. “I didn’t know what I wanted. I was given the choice. I was a dreamer. I didn’t know what I was giving up when I gained freedom.”
“Yes, I love the sea. I would not go back to the land. My legs were too wobbly to begin with. I wanted to run, not walk. But you would not want this. Your legs are strong. You were born to fly, not to swim, Bee.” Arabella let go of Claire’s hand. The song began again, this time muffled. Claire could not make out the words. She blinked, and Arabella was gone, the swish of her tail sending her hurtling back toward the shore.
She could not be in the sea.
*** Claire woke with her father standing over her, barely blocking the sun. She choked up water and was suddenly aware of how hot the sand was on her back.
“What do you think you were doing?” her father yelled.
“Daddy, I saw Arabella. I met her.”
“I don’t care about Arabella. Why in the world did you think it would be okay to go into the ocean without me? You could have drowned. You could have been kidnapped. A crab could have bitten you.” Claire giggled at that. “But Daddy, I saw a mermaid! I saw her! She didn’t have fingerprints and she was as beautiful as I imagined, and they hear through touch, and her song was so pretty it hurt,” Claire spat out. She was aware then that she’d been rejected from the sea. She began to cry, and her tears didn’t taste salty.
“Don’t you love it? You wanted the sea. You can go wherever you please and do whatever you want. You have to love it.” Claire was getting desperate now.
Her father picked Claire up and carried her to the beach house. She sobbed on his shoulder. “I’ll never be a mermaid,” she told him. Her father hugged her tighter. “You were meant for me, not for the sea,” her father said. Arabella waved from the ocean. Claire’s father missed it, but Claire saw the beautiful fin catch the sunlight again and disappear under the sea. ***
Henry left a blanket with Claire and went back into the house to talk to Claire’s mom. Claire wasn’t ready to go back inside yet. She was staring at the ocean that had almost taken her years ago. She told her father about Arabella so many times after she washed up on shore, and each time her dad had said he was just happy the sea hadn’t swallowed her. He never read the mermaid story to her again. Arabella’s hand had left a scar on the inside of Claire’s thumb. She vaguely remembered Arabella’s grip and how it seemed to burn, like the two of them were being melted together. Claire thought about Arabella often after she returned home, but after a while she could only remember Arabella in a dream. The scar faded over time. Claire pulled her wet feet under her. She rubbed the toes to try to get some warmth back into them. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Henry was on the deck of their vacation home, pacing back and forth with the phone tucked between his ear and shoulder. She knew it wasn’t fair of her to let him deal with this, but Claire wasn’t ready yet. Claire never told Henry about seeing Arabella. She eventually convinced herself she had never seen her, that she had hallucinated the entire thing while she was drowning. And maybe she had. The scar had appeared after that weekend, but maybe she hit a rock when the undertow carried her back to land. Henry let Claire have her crazy moments. He seemed to love her because of them. He cared for her father though he was sick, and he let Claire plan a trip to the beach at the height of his illness. She knew none of it was fair. Henry came back down from the house. “I packed our bags. I’m ready to go whenever you are,” he said. “Henry, do you believe in mermaids?” she asked. He sat down beside her and pulled the blanket tighter around her. “Like, singing half human-half fish women wearing coconut bras? I can’t say that I do.” “I thought I met one once. My dad used to read this story about a girl who gave up her legs to live in the sea. He took me to the beach to look for her. One morning I snuck out of the house before he got up and dove into the water.
Arabella was her name. She sang to me and held my hand. She told me I didn’t belong in the water, though I practically begged her to give me a fin. She told me I couldn’t leave my dad. And then I woke up on the shore. My dad was standing over me, sure that I had drowned.” The water lapped the shore. “He told me the place where the land and ocean met was between infinite. I thought I could be free in the ocean, and Arabella told me I would never leave my dad. Now he’s leaving me. Henry, what do I do?” Claire let herself cry. Henry held her and watched the waves crash. “I know you’re not ready, Claire, but neither is he. Running away to the ocean isn’t going to make it better. You need to be with him. Otherwise you’ll never forgive yourself.” Claire sniffled again. “I don’t cry saltwater. I never did again after meeting Arabella.”
Henry helped Claire up. She wiped the sand from her legs. “Ready?” Henry asked. Claire nodded. Henry held her hand as they left the line between infinity. Claire looked back one last time. The tears in her eyes reflected against her eyelashes and she thought she saw a familiar rainbow splash into the water, but she wiped her eyes and gripped Henry’s hand tighter. It was only the sea.
She was quiet again. “I know I have to go home. I just wanted to see this place one last time.”
P a t r i c k K e ll y
Giantâ€™s Causeway Digital Photography
P a t r i c k K e ll y
The Wolf Who Cried Girl I wish I could copy and paste my heartbeats for you They go in and out of consciousness, like a coma from flying headfirst into a 10 cent romance novel stolen from Oscar Wilde’s blog. I’m brave enough to say I’m terrified of being good enough for you. I’m breathing through a used coffee filter and Confessing drunk thoughts with a sober mouth, While my heart has my brain bound and gagged. Waking up from dreams of putting rats in the walls,
G a r y M i ll e r
cold and blanket less but covered in the cologne of your breath. I see your flamethrower eyes perched right between memories of blacking out and forgetting I walked barefoot through kegs of Moonshine that turned me into a damned werewolf I have the bruise on my neck from when she tried to suck my blood. I wore it like I was the only deputy in town and it was my badge Her hands dug into me to remove the hooks from former lovers Who tried to poach me and sale my fur For prices I couldn’t match. I’m brave enough to say I want you. Even if it makes me feel alive.
Eight Ball “This is how they’ll remember me”: Girl who shoots down boys and knocks them into nets with billiard sticks. Coyness rounding tip in indigo chalk flakes. She sets with conviction. “Let them know they play by my rules.” So they do not play — time, instead, spent searching for an easier fix, one with fewer stakes
C am i lla B e s t
And she, in her abstinence, will confess wishes to cupped six-sided die with hot breath slighted by whisky’s regret and loneliness. Grappling for low-number cards like aiming around the eight ball, unaware that games are reset. “All or nothing” a phrase engraved into the palm that holds stacks of plastic chips, fists full of pretzels and peanut shells, the sweating rim of a sixteen ounce glass, and playing cards the thickness of unopened condoms. She speaks with a voice that chimes with relief like unsung wedding bells:
Solo cut paper
S am S t a n t o n
Rezzonance Digital Painting
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
L Parenthesis A
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
Click. It’s barely audible. I keep walking without looking back. There’s something heavy and bitter hanging above everything, sweeping the threadbare canopies above my head, warning that their time of color is almost spent. Music blaring, I press on, my eyes avoiding any contact with the trees; it’s nearly winter and they’re becoming skeletons. Desolation reciprocating, echoing off their curling, knotting, cold fingers. I walk swiftly with my head tucked down, bowing, as if in silent prayer that they not reach out and grab me. The last few leaves hang like crumpled corpses on nooses, silhouettes folding to form my own limbs. I don’t want the branches to catch me and hang me up there because I can’t choose my place. It’s a lonely walk home from class. Click. This time, I hear it. A snapping, but not of twigs or remnants of acorns at my feet, something foreign, mechanical. Resisting the urge to panic and spin on my heels, I gingerly reach up and remove my ear buds, slowly turning my head. Click. So maybe my imagination won’t be the only friend accompanying me on my walk home today. “Oh, shit.” She has long, brown swinging hair tangling around the buttons of her grey peacoat. She holds a camera from her sickly white fingertips, trembling from the cold. Laughing, she approaches me. “You…you weren’t supposed to notice me,” she says over thinly stretched, implausible layers of nervous amusement. “I was walking behind you for a while, and everything looked kind of serene, you know… poignant. That’s the word. ‘Poignant’ means calm, but sad, or something to that effect, right?” “Right,” I mumble back, voice cracking, almost indistinguishable from my steps on the debris-covered pavement. I blush. “Yeah, so, what I mean is, everything looked so poignant—” She lets her mouth carve out the word into the space between us. “…because the trees are so pretty, and the air is so cold, and you were walking, a little hunched over, a little sad-looking… it was just a perfect time to take a picture of you. I’m sorry if I scared you. Shit,you probably think I’m a freak.” She smiles the kind of smile that makes her eyes and cheeks gather, like a sheet on an unmade bed, lovingly slept on. We continue to walk; I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want her to walk with me, and we make small talk. Or rather, she talks and I listen. She begins talking about how great the weather is, quickly, nervously, and I laugh because it’s just so commonplace, all of it, and I couldn’t blame her for any of the bullshit she was spewing, but then my mind gets to wandering again and I start to feel worse all over.
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
There’s something invisible to me that enchants everyone else when fall comes to town. Others are excited to wear long sleeves and embrace the change with eager goose bumps. It must be something about the air, how it seems so clean, because it pinches you inside of yourself and somehow the world seems smaller, and less intimidating. Maybe the air pinches people closer together. To me, the air wants to keep me from breathing. There’s a harshness to it, a sharp, shining blade silencing me when I walk outside. It’s got a severe demeanor, forcing its opinions on me, turning my lungs against my throat, their conflict inducing wheezing. The smells of burning wood and atmosphere sickly sterile, sounds repeating inescapable, crunch crunch crunch, make me feel miserable. But what I can’t stand the most is when the sky is empty and wispy, like it’s being turned smooth and whipped tranquil, and the sun is so bright the silhouettes of all the trees make anyone and everything look pretty, but I don’t feel warm. The sun is there, right above me, spattering over everything except me. Because I don’t feel a thing. It’s like nobody remembers the small times when the sun lingered on their faces, wrapping them in warmth so exquisite they couldn’t find it. Something that feels like faith, I suppose. During those times they were set apart from everything else and meant to be there, and they were just happy to be where they were. It has a way of making you feel hazy, scatterbrained. But in a good way. Not the I-didn’t-remember-to-let-the-dogout-and-now-he-peed-on-the-carpet kind of forgetting, but the wonderful kind, like the I-did-something-really-embarrassingin-middle-school-I-felt-super-awful-about, but now I can’t even remember the specifics, and no one else does either, and we can all laugh and it’s all okay now. That kind. The trees in autumn are pretty and all, but I can’t just look up at them and appreciate what I’m seeing. Somehow, I always end up thinking about how the colors all go away so quickly. They wither and die in the span of two months. Worst of all, they change because they’re going to die. That’s not really something to get all excited about. It’s like me getting all proud for being myself and being here. Adults have told me from when I was little that I was special, unique, all that bullshit. So are the leaves. Not one of them is the same color, or the same shape. I’m supposedly different from everyone else, too. The leaves, they even have human qualities, veins. I’m about as special as a leaf in the fall. Sometimes, when I look at the autumn leaves on a day like today, the few stragglers clinging and then so easily letting go, I’m drawn out of myself and into the air beside them. As hard as I try not to think about it, I’m taken up, higher and higher until I can only observe myself living, but I can’t feel the sun on my skin anymore. And then I slip, damp leaves separate shoe from friction. “Whoa! Are you okay?” Her arm shoots out to clutch my hand, and my eyes are brought directly to her forearm, now exposed as her sleeve pushes up. A small tattoo of a tree, the branches made of words. I can’t read them because she pulls me up fast, not lingering in my palm. A tree, of all things. And now the back of my jeans are heavy with water and my face is equally heavy with color, and a strange feeling comes over me. I want to speak, I need to. “Do the leaves ever make you feel lonely?”
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
At first, a slight amusement tips the corners of her lips, but then she studies my face and turns to stare at what I’m staring at, all the death surrounding us, the shadow of my gallows and the “something-is-just-a-little-bit-off-here”, and she shifts, spinning a thread around how lonesome I truly am, stitching patterns not around me but into me with her gaze and slightly open mouth, swallowing the stillness and gravity of it all. She sews me to her hand, interlacing my fingers and severing a future I’d planned to leave swinging with the last remaining colors on the trees. *** “Everyone else is probably running around the streets banging pots and pans and screaming, and what are we doing? Just sitting here.” “I don’t want to go outside, Nora. It’s too cold.” “It’s New Year’s Eve, Stephen. We actually have an excuse to act like the idiots we are, in public, without being arrested… probably. I say we seize the opportunity.” It’s December now, close to midnight, and the trees are bone white skeletons tapping on the window as I sit with the tree-tattooed girl and her bickering friends. I don’t know them well, but they smile at me without pity and don’t ask too many questions, so I think they truly may like me. One of Tree’s friends, Nora, is often found with her arms crossed, an overbearing girl with short, uneven hair and huge earrings that strike her cheekbones with every movement of her head. She’s always moving around when she talks, every part of her, even her voice travels and mimics her gestures; the way she talks makes her seem very important, and what she’s saying more important, even when she’s just talking about vegan egg rolls or something equally ridiculous. Stephen, the boy Nora is bitching at, is a skinny, almost skeletal-looking boy with curly dark brown hair. He always wears flannel and leather like he stepped out of an Urban Outfitters ad. When he listens to a song, he closes his eyes and gets so serious you’d think he was reciting a eulogy at a funeral or something. As dismal as that sounds, it’s kind of cool. I’ve never met someone who does that. I think he might just think too much. Unfortunately for me and Tree, he’s taking himself too seriously (not an uncommon occurrence) and Nora’s taking it upon herself to try to tell him what to do (a daily occurrence). I look over at Tree and flash her a strained smile; she picks up the cue and steps between them. “Hey. Nora. Stephen. Shut up. I’ve got an idea.” Nora and Stephen look at her, half-disgusted, but their interest seems to be piqued. Thank God. Tree runs upstairs and returns to the basement, a large protrusion under the coat she’s just put on. “What’s that?” Nora scoffs. “You’ll see. Now put your coats on and let’s go!” Stephen and Nora scamper upstairs, grumbling, and I lag behind. Tree extends her hand and her thread winds me down to the ground, to stay there. “You coming, Ben?” ***
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
I can see myself standing there, with all of them, knee deep in the snow, in a stagnant moment when we’re all just breathing (except for Nora, who is still talking) and our breath is pooling around our heads and there’s this sudden overwhelming feeling that something big is about to happen, like the exact moment, frozen, just before you get your first kiss, and the anticipation is overriding any event that could actually occur. And Nora is just talking too much and Stephen is looking around, thinking too much. So next (it’s goddamn weird and out of the blue) Tree pulls this portable speaker out of her bulky peacoat and what do you know, there’s this happy song blaring. At first I wished I could hear the lyrics more clearly, because I’ve discovered that a lot of happy songs are just deceptive sadness, like when you have to get out of bed when all you want to do is dissolve, and you have to smile until you crack your lips in front of strangers who couldn’t care less and probably wouldn’t notice if you left, but you feel obligated to put on a façade for them anyway. It’s sickening. I think it’s memories like that that make hidden sad songs even more depressing. But I don’t have time to dwell on this like usual, because next thing, Tree is raising my arms over my head and her footprints are all mixed up with my footprints and suddenly I feel really jumbled and disoriented and I can’t see myself anymore. And everyone is screaming happy shrieks, even Stephen, and we all start spinning and jumping and Nora is singing really, really loud and off key, but I never want her to stop singing because the air is pinching all of us so close together but I don’t feel suffocated and there are no more leaves because they’re us and we’re watercolors, purples and reds and golds all different from one another piling against the snow rolling and melting together, not fading to brown but growing into fierce, blinding vibrancy. Tree shuffles back toward me, laughing, pulling the hat I was wearing the day I was hanging by my stem over my eyes and next thing her arms are all wrapped around my head and her lips feel so cold but they’re also chapped from breathing, so I’m sure she’s still alive. I’m not a leaf, or even the words that make up the branches, and now I feel the foreign sensation of being drawn into myself, the thick shell of pure observation cracked to pieces, scattered to experience, raw pure bona fide emotion flooding in rivulets through me, streaming around us as I hug her and we’re still jumping and now we’re all screaming the words to the song, releasing the giggling little children we’d kept in abandonment for years, terrified that someone else might see them. She’s a moment in the sun. Even when it’s the dead of winter, when the cold is pissing me off, and the change is asphyxiating and I want nothing more than to wither, she’s the faint warmth I still feel, spinning the thread enveloping me, sewing me to leaves not on trees, but to grow into the bare branches on her arm.
Untitled Digital Photography
Aint Nobody Got Time For That When that puddle magically appeared under your left foot when you were late for work and your defrosters were seemingly useless causing your foot to squeak with every other step. When you sit down with the intent to not get back up for a while and your remote decides it doesn’t want to stop playing hide and go seek with you for the longest 30 seconds ever. When you are trying to drink a glass of ice water but all the ice cubes are doing their best road block impression until you give the glass a nice shake and it’s as if you unleashed a dam.
T . J . M i la n o
When you wake up and your throat is the type of scratchy that someone would have to pay you to swallow and your forehead seems to have taken on the act of the bass player in the school band. …. Aint Nobody Got Time For That.
I Should Lie To Hallmark About This “Love” Poem
G a r y M i ll e r
fuck that cat with two fists covered in molten lead If I had a nickel for every day I spent in hell, It would be the last three years with my ex-girlfriend. I don’t know what that equates to, But I’m sure it rhymes with “Fuckin Billionaire” Dating her was walking on cracked eggshells The break up was like being pelted with them in An oven with Joseph McCarthy as my cell mate. 1984 would be different with her running the show It’d be like Inbreds winning the genetic lottery Hell hath no fury like a woman . . . who catches me watching porn I beat off now to the sound of her misery It’s awful to say, but I don’t blame myself It’s like watching Dracula kicking Edward Cullen’s ass. How can I not smile with sinful glee. I like to think she’s a sour patch kid, dipped for days in sour-ass-pissed- off- beer The kind you find half-drank the morning after a party She was melted ice cream on the day my Dad died. Not my real one, the one on TV. If I could say three words to her they would Be Chunk Bucket Nipples. Because I know she hates those. Also, Fuck her cat That thing bit my foot. Like Forrest Gump would say, “That’s all I got to say about that”
But fuck that cat like a Vietnamese hooker stereotype.
G i s e ll e G a z t am b i d e
V e r sa t i l i t y Oil Paint & Ink
A n al y s i a G o m e z
Double Take Prisma Drawing
J o s h M al o n e
Sulfur Fields Digitally Edited Photograph
You can trust me with your kids, I played a babysitter on Tv I canâ€™t wait to have children I will lie to them everyday Easter Bunny, Toothy Fairy, and Santa, I have their bodies chopped up in the cellar 2 + 2=4? What rubbish is this? I will tell them it equals sofa. I will never let them shower, They will learn how to make friends purely from personality Sesame Street will be banned. We watch Homicide: Life on the Street before school.
G a r y M i ll e r
Mountain Dew will be used as mouth wash, The house cat as toilet paper! They will be ordered to start fights at school! If they LOSE THEY WILL NOT GET DINNER! The above is a transcript of a taped recording of 7 year old Gary Millerâ€™s reasoning on why he should get as much ice cream as he wants at Country Buffet. He told his mother he would be a meaner mom than her just to prove some ass-backward point. Children named Gary Miller are stupid.
Swat I’m sitting by the dining table, reading. Upstairs, my cousin answers his phone in Hindi. “Hanh Azhar, boliye…” I swat away some insects. In the kitchen, my grandmother talks to the maid in Tamil, “Prema, nee oru carrot-cabbage sabji pannu, cheriya?” Prema responds in Kannada. I don’t know Kannada, but I catch the word haudu. I marvel briefly at how the two manage to understand each other. My grandmother doesn’t really speak Kannada, Prema doesn’t know Tamil. I go back to my book. A fly lands on my leg. I twitch it away. I look at the next sentence. My grandmother wants help with the crossword. We decide that 34 across is “eon,” not “age,” which makes 24 down “lore.” My eyes head to the next word. A mosquito whines by my ear. I flap at it. The next letter. A fruit fly hovers in front of my left eye. I wave it away. Twix patters by, his leash trailing past my toes. Somewhere, my uncle blows his nose loudly. I swat at a mosquito sitting on my arm, but it flies away. My cousin is now talking to someone else on the phone in Kannada. I once wrote a furious journal entry because my college roommate insisted on playing endless videos of the Vlog Brothers without wearing her headphones. I simply couldn’t concentrate on my French homework with John and Hank Green shouting in the background. But here, I keep reading, and swatting, and flapping, and listening with a smileon my face.
T h e B a d la n d s Digital Photography
Rhapsody in Spring Deluge as the dam lets go with a sigh and the valley opens itself like a blossom neatly unfolding petal by petal.
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
The air holds her snug in its arms as butterflies burst from her abdomen and stream out the cavern of her mouth into the uneasy light of a lacework moon. In the wake of the flood lay peaches aching on the ground, sun ripened and fleshed tenderly waiting for teeth, ichor smeared on cheeks like war paint for the coming tilling.
T o ma t o R e d
Taken There is a vending machine People with folded dollars Or tinkling coins make an exchange But some nights a man comes in With no dollars or quarters And he slides open the flap Reaching elbow-deep inside
L i ll i P i c k e n s
Groping with long fingers Until he wraps his hand around Something to take And after slowly dislodging himself He leaves without a second thought.
Room 125 God, I don’t want to be here.
J o s h u a M al o n e
Benjamin O’Neill walked through the brightly lit hallways. The scent of antibacterial soaps and talcum powder flooded his nostrils. He hated this place. He never wanted to visit. He hated seeing these people; he hated seeing the ugly yellow wallpaper and the even uglier shag rug. Christ, he thought. The south wing got a renovation last year. When will they finally update this wing? At twenty five years old Ben still lived in Bourbonnais, Illinois where he grew up. He even attended the local college, where he graduated from a little over three years ago. As selfish as it seemed, he really had wanted to move north after graduation, but he couldn’t find it within himself to do it yet, and he wasn’t going to move with mom. So he stayed in the area, continuing to make these visits. Down the hall he could see his destination, room 125. In his left hand he carried three bags of groceries. One bag had a gallon of milk, bread, and soups. The last one had cheese, peanut butter, bananas, apples, and a pack of Oreos. He passed an open area where two elderly gentlemen sat watching an episode of Matlock. Ben saw one of them look up from the television, staring at him as he continued down the hallway. There was a moment of silence before he heard movement from the other side and somebody finally called out.
“Yes? Did someone knock?”
“Yeah, it’s me, Ben. I brought you your groceries.”
“Come in then.”
Ben opened the door and stepped inside the dimly lit room. The change in lighting caused him to blink and squint his eyes, allowing for his vision to readjust. The room had a fifteen by ten foot area, with a door that led into a smaller room that served as a bedroom. There was also a small bathroom that could be accessed from the bedroom. In the corner of the room, sitting at a desk, sat a man hunched over a type writer. The lamp on the desk was the only source of light for the room besides the sunlight trying to peek in through the shade covered window. The figure at the desk leaned back in his chair and peered through the darkness.
“Who is that?” the man asked.
“Flip the light; I can’t see a damn thing.”
Ben reached across the wall beside him and turned on the room light, forcing his eyes to readjust again. “Then what are you sitting in the dark for, Dad?” Samuel O’Neill, a scruffy looking man in his early sixties, sat at the desk with a confused look, mouth slightly agape as he looked at Ben through the glasses that rested on the bridge of his nose. Ben walked forward a few steps before Samuel cleared his throat.
“What are… oh, Mitch. I didn’t know it was you. What do you have there?”
“I’m Ben, dad.”
“You going to finish these?” Ben asked.
“No, just pitch them.”
“What do you have with you?”
“Same things I always get you Dad. Milk, soup, stuff like that. You can make the soup in the new microwave I got…” Ben looked around. Where is it? Sitting behind the TV was the microwave, still in the box. I knew I should have set it up for him. “I’ll set it up for you in a minute. Do you need more water?”
“No, I still have two cases I think, in the room.”
“I’ll check in a minute. I wish you’d just use that water bottle I got you.”
The old man did not reply, and instead turned towards the typewriter again. Ben looked over as he began to place the contents of the bags he had into the fridge. On the desk there lay a stack of papers maybe an inch thick; Samuel was at least halfway down the page he was currently working on. But under the desk a mesh trashcan was overflowing with half-finished pages. “Dad, I’m going to put the peanut butter, cookies, and bananas in your cupboard.” Along the wall, above a dresser was a small wooden cupboard.
J o s h u a M al o n e
Ben walked towards the small fridge that sat next to a big armchair facing a TV which rested on a table opposite the desk his father was currently sitting at. He opened the fridge and looked inside. There were at least six partially drunk bottles of water, along with three unopened cans of RC soda. Nothing else. Ben set the bags on the chair and started removing the unfinished water bottles.
Ben finished unpacking the items, closed the door, and walked over to the boxed microwave. He lifted the box and brought it over to the arm chair. As he opened the box he could hear Samuel typing away one letter at a time on his typewriter.
“How’s the writing coming along, Dad?”
“Oh, you know. Slowly but surely.” Samuel looked back over at Ben. Ben removed the microwave, and then set it on top of the fridge. Samuel’s gaze went to the floor where he saw all of the bottles of water scattered around.
J o s h u a M al o n e
“Dad, all you have to do is turn the dial on this one, remember? You don’t have to press any buttons or anything. Just turn the dial here to the number of minutes or seconds that it needs to be cooked and—”
“What are those bottles doing out? Why are they on the floor?”
“Dad, I just asked you if you want me to get rid of them.”
“No Mi—, Ben. No, please just put them back into the fridge. I — I mean you can see that I haven’t finished them.”
“I know, sorry. I’ll put them away in a second.”
Benjamin got to his feet, grabbed the bottles, and headed toward the bedroom. The bed was messy, which wasn’t abnormal nowadays. Ben could remember when his parents were together; Dad always made the bed. Mom would always get pissed if he forgot, since he was stuck at home all day anyway. Samuel had been on disability since Ben was in seventh grade. Mom had been a daily stimulant that helped him remember simple tasks like making the bed, which this “assisted living” facility was supposed to do as well, but that was utter bullshit. They don’t help at all. And Samuel didn’t want to move again, so here he remained. But this wasn’t living. All Samuel was doing day in and day out was sitting at that desk, typing away, trying to remember the past and figure out the present. Ben looked around the room. On the headboard rested Samuel’s leather bible, collecting dust next to the phone. That was another thing Samuel used to do all the time, read his Bible. But Ben couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen his father doing daily devotionals. He wasn’t sure if it was from lack of faith (which really he couldn’t blame his father for, all things considered) or if it was because the Bible had just become another thing that confused him. Really can’t blame him for that either. I get confused reading it too.
In the corner of the room there was only one case of water left and it had already been opened. He didn’t bother to see how many were left, but made a mental note to himself to get a few more packs of water before his next visit, as he headed to the bathroom with the bottles. Ben heard the typing stop. “How’s your mom, Mitch?” Samuel asked from the other room. “She find a place yet?”
“Dad, she’s been in Defiance for three years now. You know that. And I’m Ben.”
“Oh, yeah. Well I’m sure she’s good. I wish she’d visit more.” The typing continued.
Ben walked into the bathroom and turned on the light. One by one he began unscrewing the caps off of the lids of the bottles and started filling them up. When he was finished he came back into the front room, just as Samuel was standing up. “I’m taking a break,” Samuel explained. “Writer’s block, ya know. And I’ve been sitting for so long, now I need to take a pee!” He gave Ben a wink and a goofy grin. Ben smiled back and moved to the fridge. “Thanks,” Samuel said, pointing to the bottles. “You get those from the room?” “Um, yeah, Dad. You didn’t have any in your fridge so I figured I’d get you some.”
“Thanks,” Samuel said again as he moved towards the bathroom.
Ben got up and walked over to the desk. He peered down at the stack of papers, before picking them up. From the bathroom Samuel yelled out, “So you said your mother is back in Defiance?”
“Yeah, Dad. Moved there after I graduated.”
“Graduated? Jesus, you finished? Already?” “Yeah, Dad,” Ben said, as he thumbed through the pages. “I’ve been done for three years now.”
J o s h u a M al o n e
She placed him here and that was the summer before Ben started college. She stayed in the area and visited every now and again but after the accident happened she stopped visiting all together. That was Ben’s junior year of college. She felt like there was “nothing left to visit.” He just got worse after that. Samuel had essentially shut down mentally after the accident. That wasn’t true, it was just an excuse to finally divorce herself from the situation… which was her right, Ben guessed. She’d had it hard as well. But it was because of her abandonment that Ben felt he couldn’t leave.
“I’ll be damned.”
Ben looked at the pages. He knew that his father had been working on this memoir for a while. Samuel had started it back when Ben was in seventh grade, on a computer that they had owned. Unfortunately only a few years later the computer had crashed and none of it had been saved to any back up disks. Dad had to start from scratch. Ben skimmed over the first page, and then the second. Then the third and the tenth. The twenty-eighth, and the thirty-fifth. He looked at the page that Samuel was currently working on. Every day he has to start from scratch.
J o s h u a M al o n e
Ben heard the toilet flush, and the faucet turn on for a few seconds before shutting back off. The older man shuffled back out into the front living area groaning.
“Oh, Mitch, it’s heck to get old.”
“Dad, you ever read the pages you type?”
“Once in a while. Probably not as often as I should. Why, what’s wrong with them?” “Well, they’re all the same. Some of the wording’s different but yeah it’s all the same. All talking about the day Mitch was born.”
Samuel smiled and looked at Ben, puzzled. “When you were born, you mean.”
“No Dad, Mitch.” There was silence for a long moment before Samuel spoke again. “Sorry, it’s just, you know you boys look the same. Could damn well be twins. Ya know people used to mistake you guys for twins all the time.” “I know, Dad.” Samuel started back towards the desk. “You take your meds today. Dad?”
“Yeah, yeah. Almost out though, I think. Need more.”
“The workers, or attendants, or whatever haven’t gotten you anymore?” Samuel just looked at Ben blankly. “Okay, I’ll get them for you. Mematine now, right?” “Yeah, mime-a-whatever.” Samuel made his goofy grin again, and acted like a mime pulling a rope back to his desk. “And just pitch those, will ya? I’ll keep working on the page I have and go from there.”
Ben leaned over and tossed all the pages in his hand away. Samuel reached out for the chair, but Ben stopped him. “Dad,” Ben started, “why don’t we go outside for a walk? It’s nice out. Not too cold either.” The old man stood for a second, thinking before saying “Okay, sounds good. Let me grab my coat.” Ben’s cell phone rang in his pocket. He took it out and saw that it was Jenny. “I’ll be out in the hall Dad, I’m gonna take this call. You get your stuff, lock up, and meet me.”
“Okeydoke,” Samuel said as he moved into his bedroom.
Ben left the room and answered his phone. “Hello,” he said as softly as he could. Even so he saw the two men sitting at the TV turn to glare at him and shake their heads. Ben rolled his eyes and turned away from them. “How’s it going?” Jenny asked.
“So-so. He mistook me for Mitch a few times but that’s all. Hit another slump in his book.”
“He was doing well before, what happened?”
“I don’t know. He may have thrown out all of the other pages by accident and then lost his place. We’re gonna go for a walk here in a few minutes. I think it’ll do him some good to get out of the room for a bit today. Nice day and all.”
“Yeah, probably. Sorry I couldn’t come today.”
“Don’t worry ’bout it. Next time.”
“Okay, well I just wanted to check in. Call when you’re leaving or something comes up. Love you.”
“Will do. Love you too.”
Ben pressed call end, and the phone beeped. He stuffed it back in his pocket and sighed. He watched as an attendant in scrubs walked from the room next to him back to the desk that sat in front of the main entrance doors. A few minutes passed before Ben heard the faint sound of ticking on the other side of his father’s door. Ben blinked, confused. He entered the room. At the desk typing away with his coat on, sat Samuel. His eyes were focused on the page wrapped around the platen. Ben stared for a moment, contemplating, and then shut the door loud enough so that Samuel could hear it. The old man turned in his chair.
J o s h u a M al o n e
“Oh, sorry, I wasn’t expecting anybody.”
“Dad, what are you doing?”
“Mitch? Oh sorry, didn’t recognize you for a second. How have you been?
“It’s Ben, Dad. Do you rememb—… Dad, why do you have your coat on?”
Samuel sat there for a second, examining himself and thinking. He finally responded saying, “I must have been going somewhere. You know my mind isn’t what it once was.”
J o s h u a M al o n e
“Dad, I was just here a few minutes ago; we were about to go for a walk. I only stepped outside for a minute to talk to Jenny.” “Jenny? Ben’s Jenny? What she want with you?” Samuel smiled. Ben took a deep breath, and walked forward.
“Dad look, I’m not—”
“How is Ben anyway? Have you heard from him? He doesn’t talk to me about how college is going. I hope he’s doing okay. I wish he’d visit more.” “Dad, I AM Ben. I’m Ben. Mitch isn’t… here.” The two stared at each other and Ben could see that Samuel did not quite comprehend what was going on. “Dad, Mitch isn’t…. Mitch is dead.” Ben breathed. “He’s gone, Dad. Five years ago.” There was a long moment of silence as Ben stood in front of his dad, with his hands stuffed in his pockets. Samuel spun slowly back to his typewriter. His hand moved up to his face and he rubbed his stubble. Finally he removed his glasses and placed them on the desk.
“Um… ho— how? How again?” Samuel asked.
Ben sighed again, and sat down in the arm chair. He looked at his father, his expression soft. “It was a car accident, off ’57.” Ben watched as Samuel began to nod. The old man looked at his son, tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry, Dad.” “No… I’m sorry, Ben. I just… I don’t know sometimes. It’s hard to… remember. God.” “I know.” Benjamin sat there, watching his father struggle with himself. Samuel leaned back in his chair, his hands covering his face. The old man growled at himself, trying to hold back the tears and failing. Ben got up from his seat, and walked over to his dad. He leaned over and hugged him. Samuel embraced Ben;
the two stayed that way for a long moment. Ben felt his father’s breathing slowly turn from sobbing breaths to deep inhales. After a while Samuel gave Ben a quick pat on the back.
“Boy, it’s good to see you,” Samuel said, sniffing. “Feels like it’s been forever.”
“It’s good to see you too Dad,” Ben said with a smile. “I love you.”
“Well, I love you son,” Samuel replied with a smile back. Ben raised himself up and took a few steps back. He watched as his father sat there, looking at his son and then around the room blankly. With a nod of his head Samuel turned back to his desk and raised his hands towards his typewriter. “Dad, wait,” Ben interrupted. Samuel’s head snapped towards Ben. “Do you still want to go on the walk? Remember, it’s a nice day?”
“No, we—…” Ben started, and then stopped himself. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, positive. Look, it is a nice day out, I’m sure you’ve got better things to do than hang around your absent-minded father. Go enjoy it. Besides, I’m getting some headway again on my book. Remember when I started this thing?” “Yeah, Dad. I do.” Benjamin zipped up his jacket, and turned for the door. As he turned the nob he looked back at his father, who was now busy typing away at the sheet of paper. “Love you, Dad.” Then he left the room. Before the door closed behind Ben heard his father’s reply.
“Love you too, Mitch.”
J o s h u a M al o n e
“Oh,” the old man said. He peered through the blinds. “So it is. Nah, I think I’ma stay in right now. I think I went on a walk earlier, before you got here.”
see beyond the range of sight Untitled Graphic Design
Potato Mixed media
10 Things My Mother Never Told Me 1. Michael Jackson’s pubic hair is pressed and permed every Sunday. 2. You’re supposed to wash your testicles after they stick to your inner thighs a few times. 3. Jelly beans are people, too.
4. The only gold you’ll find in your pants is urine. 5. Santa brings presents, not cans of spam and refried beans. 6. The powdered sugar she spoon-fed me before soccer practice wasn’t really powdered sugar—MVP that year. 7. Beer doesn’t count as hydration— even if you filter it in a Brita Pitcher. 8. I shouldn’t play with the black pearl necklace I found in her underwear drawer. 9. Boys don’t need tampons. 10. I love you.
Welcome to Bizzaro World “Women should be swimmin’ with the linen” He stands closer to me than sin to Vegas Hiding behind a Copenhagen smile His breath soaked all in scotch And piss Our home is as broke as our bank account. Here in beautiful Biloxi, or is it colorful Colorado? His eyes would sear me like a brand on a calf But those pagan eyes are crossed together Like angry, blue shoe-laced twins trying to commit incestual rape The stains on his shirt are an unexplained mystery Sleeveless and “letting the guns fly”
I have the worst husband in the world No, the universe He was never Ryan Gosling in The Notebook More like Clint Howard in The Waterboy I want out of here more than kids want out of NAMBLA vacations I hate you as much as “Fuck” loves the mouths of overworked porn stars You are the inspiration for every mean Taylor Swift song I WILL NOT DO YOUR LAUNDRY! RAWR Your alcoholic stupor ends with you dropping faster than a dress on prom night I should have known it would never work out Like a Bowflex at a Mcdonalds, you are useless You are a man I am a blow up doll.
G a r y M i ll e r
Or water pistols moping like a kid without candy I should say Is that BBQ sauce, oil, or some other fluid?
Marlena De Luna
The average strawberry has 200 tiny seeds, meaning a strawberry is pregnant 200 times at once and Iâ€™m thinking, how horrible must it be to be a strawberry with 200 tiny babies all on your skin and the lesions appear on my own skin as I pick out all of the strawberries in my limeade at the Village Inn and proceed to pry out their seeds and start to cry, and Amy stares at me from across the table, her face bewildered while the waitress fetches us our bill.
For A Girl Who Drooled A Puddle And Drowned Me In Her Eyes I promised I’d be a lycanthropic blue fairy for a girl once It’d be like the story of Pinocchio without the molestation jokes. With the flick of my Budweiser wand we’d set sail for the north star, But we wouldn’t accept peanut butter from Peter Pan. We would be more loving to the Lost Boys than Mumford is to his sons.
G a r y M i ll e r
She’d hear sweet everythings murmured in her ear. Like the time she blazed sincerity into my words. Painting miracles with her eyes that made Jesus pat me on the back and say, “I made her, you’re welcome”. All the words that came out of me like bullets from a finger gun on a playground. Aimed at her with the sweetest intentions. I Imagine fairy tales and places where the sun swallows the sky, like Oprah swallows pastries at the Dick Van Dyke residence in my dreams. Places where sense is passionately embraced like a child embraces the fear of the dark. We would sing the Spanish alphabet to abandoned snow children. We would follow the rhythm of a Culture Club song while she banged a Cherokee war drum.
If I could I‘d get her a snickers bar that came with the resurrection of Elvis on Sunday. It’d be King Size. She would play with animal crackers and smash the elephants with a hammer at dinner time. I’d just say yes dear and remind myself not to make her angry. I would keep listening to her heartbeat and wonder if I could ever write that into a poem. A poem with beautiful similes and metaphors that would make Beethoven hear again.
Some days, I like to imagine emptying out coke bottles and writing her name with the caps to show her I’m seriously serious. Other days, I want to capture thunder and ask it to be a little quieter when she’d sleeping. Most days, I carry a large amount of secrets that I covered in bulletproof glass for only her to see and laugh at. I once stood in front of a mirror, turned the lights off, and then proceeded to yell her name at the mirror five times.
G a r y M i ll e r
A poem so magical if it were a wizard it would cast a spell to make Richard Simmons workout tapes mandatory viewing for everyone coming into the country.
MIRROR, MIRROR SHE IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL! CAN YOU HEAR ME I SAID! Bloody Mary smiled and thought it was cute that I did that for her. Snow White just gagged when she got to the ball. When more words fired out and exited the wounds of my body she wrapped them in her hand and kept them safe.
G a r y M i ll e r
He achieved his promise to her and one he made to himself. For a moment in time the minutes became Ice cream flavors, So life decided to invite everyone to his birthday. The ice cream cake was to die for.
C ordially My name is on your neck in an unpleasant shade of mauve. I was sure when your mother saw it she would misread the small letters as “hussy” instead. And I tried to explain to you that I don’t make a habit of writing with my lips,
that that violent violet signature surprised me, but you didn’t even request I use a pen next time.
S y d n e y C r u m b l h o lm e
i think about how this car would spin
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
i think about how this car could spin. there is no ice here, not even crackling between radio stations in this arthritic rust ridden van. all of my friends are laughing, lack jawed and unhinged. he is sleeping while their voices sprint against his breathing. he is winning. i can feel how all his bones are intact beneath his shirt. i think about how this car could spin. i’m guessing we are all satellites and i’m blinking awake. we are all space sailors and my friend wearing rings is a galactic merchant. she’d love to backhand my face or snap my neck like a chicken’s. but i don’t mind because all of his bones fit together under his shirt. they hold him like i want to. they are all intact. i think about how this car could spin. we’re all underwater now. the pressure releases him from me like a buckle from a spring. he’s singing like a submarine. i can sigh, pinned to the roof from the inside. all of my friends are swimming, they are all escaping. i think i’ll stay right here. this must be the last time i can count his bones over his shirt. they are all intact.
i think about how this car did spin. the ambulances and lights and cop cars are all accounted for like members of an archeological dig. the parents and stretchers and paramedics shimmer above like a distanced desert. above his bones are hugging him like a towel underneath his skin. everything on the surface is a picture in a frame i’m not in. no one knows how i think of him like a car that could spin. but his bones are all intact, no one knows this yet. i pray as deeply as i sink as long as i can still think: don’t let him spin don’t let him spin his bones are all intact so please don’t let him spin
Waters I Have Touched
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
I winter in Chicago and I taste the bitter winds off the lake. I let them settle onto my tongue until I can swallow them. They burn the whole way down like whiskey, and when I finally find a refuge on the L-train, I straighten up to listen. The lake is whipping winds against the car, and I am sitting by an exit. The wind sneaks in through the doors as we hurtle through the night, whispering its first name into my mouth: mishigami. The person next to me ignores the breath of the great waters down the block. The car shakes and I know a wave has crashed into the rocky shore of a city that has fallen asleep. *** In the springtime, I bought a bottle of Semi-Sweet table wine from The Illinois River Winery. I drank the wine from the bottle that day, letting the sun fizzle through the glass and make each bubble look like it was under a magnifying glass. When I tipped my head back to swig the last mouthful from the bottle, the sediment rushed between my teeth, eroded my tongue. With the river wine in my veins, and the fine silt between my teeth, I am a tributary. *** I was very small when I first felt personally wronged by The Gulf of Mexico. We visited relatives in New Orleans and my parents took it as an opportunity to dress me up in a frilly pink bathing suit. The biggest mistake the Gulf made was that it underestimated me. Upon arrival at the boundary of its territory and my own, I balled up my short fingers and shouted at all 660 quadrillion gallons, at the 300 million years of existence, at the sprays that come with its continual roaring of its Spanish heritage. “Shut up!” “Pangea, Vespucci, Cortés,” it shouted back, “Deepwater Horizon, algal bloom, Katrina!” *** I never pronounced “Thames” right. I read it aloud in history class, drawing out the hissing noise hesitantly as I held the “th” between my teeth and my tongue. I never knew I’d sit beside it, whispering its etymology to it as if it forgot. Its oldest inhabitants named it “dark”. It has not forgotten. When its not luring fish to the hook, whales to the shore, or people to its currents, it washes greedily over the burial mounds that hide their faces on its shores. It is a well fed river. The headwater gurgles its name mercilessly from underground, but I hear it on its south bank in London. I shiver and hiss the “th” again, just to spite it. *** I drifted in the Seine, letting the sun saturate the afternoon until all my photos looked like sepia. Seine is latinized so that we might sunbathe on its shore mostly unaware. There are some who know what comes with allowing dea Sequanna, Seine goddess, flow through a city. After Joan burned for her faith, her ashes were fed to the Seine in an attempt to satiate her. During the early years of the 1800s, 306 bodies were pulled to shore, their humanity wiped clean from their bones. One girl was smiling Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile, and she stayed smiling even as they lowered her into unconsecrated ground, and her smile kept burning
A lexandria P etrassi
through the long night until she was completely eaten up by her ecstasy. This is the one people remember. *** I bathe in the Mediterranean to feel near my ancestors. I like to think they extend backwards, each so close they almost touch, into the Romans, who called it Mare Nostrum, and regardless of where the Mediterranean may wash, I still call it Our Sea. When I float above the bone-white rocks, I feel them keening for the sensation of warmth over their blued eyes. *** Venice is a city where magic whistles around the sharp corners. The Adriatic Sea bolsters one hundred and seventeen islands against the weight of history. Still, it sinks. The horses atop of the Cathedral of San Marco wail, and the saints chiseled into the walls hold their chins up against the acqua alta. The Adriatic gets tired sometimes and slips into the Cathedral to pray. *** In one of the many summers after Constantinople became Istanbul, I watched the Bosphorus Strait split a country over two continents and connect two seas, one black and one marble. Through the haze, Old Man Bosphorus always looked pretty calm, even as the people roamed the shores restlessly, lighting up the night with patient hookah coals and neon shop lights. The Hagia Sofia sang him to sleep most nights, I think, until he became accustomed to her shifting languages and he began to hum to himself. *** How do you spell Mississippi with one eye? I looked the word up in a textbook and wrote it over and over again, trying to find an “i” to sacrifice to solve the riddle. This is before I understood letters to be a reflection of sound, when I thought I could change something and it would stay the same. The day I moved to live by the Mississippi, I sat in the backseat of the car, grinning with my hand over my eye: I finally got it. The river flows at its best in the Quad Cities, and perhaps this is the reason Mark Twain needed to explain his true Sunset Land. I didn’t understand until I lay in bed early my first night alone, watching the colors burn off the river into the wine-dark night. *** I sink into the steam in my bathtub. I don’t know where this water comes from, but it spurts through the pipes with a rough joy. When I am completely submerged, I open my eyes and watch my ceiling ripple. My blood surges with the waters that it came from. Here I was, always thinking that my veins were closed conduits, fountains that began and ended with themselves. I hear the steady boom of my heart under water, and it is all I hear. I am a river with a headwater so far out of memory that I can only assume I am endless.
The Berghoff Digital Photography
Oil Paint and Ink
G i s e ll e G a z t am b i d e
Galaxy There’s brimstone in a bruise. The comets raining old blood blue. The way stars struggle for anyone to see their light. I am that truth at night. The dead reach us beyond their years. Bruises read Braille to fingertips that point out God’s mistakes.
Made fallible. Able to fall. On the eighth day, man tripped over a snake and accidentally made the color of space.
Tandem I made an Atheist thank God in bed. He whispered it in my ear, breath steaming ear canal. My hands were clasped behind her thighs. I prayed to God for forgiveness silently— My mouth was occupied.
C o ll i s i o n
M all o r y M c L a i n
Escape Traditional Photography (Winner of Art Board Classy & Jazzy Gallery Night)
Word Choice The a an some Beautiful angry tall jiggly Man women child(ren) hermaphrodite(s) Are wander(s) gyrate(s) fight(s) Sad(ly) terrified laughing timid(ly) Under over through behind A the few many
L i ll i P i c k e n s
Grandiose decrepit wrinkled vital Cavern(s) moonbeam(s) chainsaw(s) lighthouse(s) ;
â€“ , (
Waiting dreaming leaping staring While past through among Embarrassment(s) conviction(s) invitation(s) enchantment(s) By with through to Beauty heartache Jelloâ„˘ eternity
T h e C la w z Digital Photography
Downtown Hong Kong Digital Photography
P u ma p u n g o L a y e r e d digital photography
Levi levi, your name is hebrew. and it means “joining,” but the origin doesn’t specify with what or with whom. when you weren’t able to get out of bed in the morning, you joked your name should be cain. but then i would remind you your name also contained harmony. what you were unified with was up to you.
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
levi, some satellites are 80 to 1,200 miles away from us. we saw some last summer, sitting in the back of your truck. when i mistook one for a shooting star, your nose curled up. you mentioned “35,000” and “space junk” but didn’t fight when i pointed out constellations are nothing but connections no one seemed to be able to join together but you. you went quiet and i heard shock absorbed under the suspension. levi, you never took me on any proper dates, but you talked a lot about hanging. but i could only think of you as a pendant or maybe a painting, a musical instrument in a hand, lifted from its case. i begged you not to pretend like you didn’t know an art museum would try and buy such a pretty face. levi, my name is gaelic, and it means “not insane.” now i’m sure you’ve heard the saying “if a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” but what isn’t mentioned is someone has to go, and what do you think i’ve been doing this winter? nothing but cutting my knuckles open on cliches to keep all of our memories alive, i’m a hundred poems in and i can’t help but feel ashamed. 35,000 satellites, 35,000 dollars for your portrait. 35,000 times we both felt we weren’t worth it. i don’t know how to make you understand, levi, how with just a name you join my earth and sky. you aren’t called perseus but deserve the love of an andromeda, someone with an aries fight. not simple purple clustered flowers falsely believed to turn sick heads alright.
Adoration A mumuration of starlings wings its way out of my throat so violently that you draw back, sharp.
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
In the sorry aftermath of dazed feathers, we watch the purple contortions of the swarm against a horizon dripping wine onto the streets, wings gyrating wild to the rhythm of irrevocability: I am unbearable, so bear me. I am collapsing, so forgive my lapse in judgement.
G a z t am b i d e G i s e ll e
Shadow Dance Acrylic on Torn Cardboard
The Great Gumdrop Revolution of 2013
Now, there was a very important ceremony that united all the villages that took place every morning, presided over by none other than Henry Finch himself, the President and God of the Candy Country— which says how much the Finch family really thought of themselves, taking on both those titles like that. In any case, perhaps it was slightly deserved, since Henry Finch’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, Thaddeus Finch, created the Candy Country after one unbearably long work day that kept him from a timely supper. Anyway, every morning Henry Finch would come into the locked back room an hour before the bakery opened. He’d start the ceremony by reading aloud from the Great Candy Scriptures, which was really the Bible, but rewritten by Thaddeus Finch to pertain to candy. After the reading, the candy folk would each report to Henry on the state of their villages and the production of the factories within them. They would discuss problems as a general population, with Henry serving as the judge and the jury. Together, they would find solutions to whatever complications that arose within the villages, though usually these compromises involved a higher production rate and more elaborate decorating techniques. After all this was done, the most thrilling part of the day happened: The Great Promotion and Ascension to The Higher Bakery. All the fresh young candy kids rushed to the front of the crowd, jostling and jumping in an attempt to draw attention to themselves. All the freshest and most plump gumdrops who had proven themselves worthy and full of gumption were selected to ascend to The Higher Bakery, though always there were enough candy folk left to diligently and frantically procreate to maintain production rates and earn their passage into The Higher Bakery, where they were promised managerial and artistic roles. One fateful morning, when Henry Finch finished the opening ceremonies and proceeded to the Selection Celebration, he made one, unfortunately fatal, mistake. He passed over BonBon O’Jellikins, a fiery cinnamon gumdrop who had pulled 20 consecutive allnighters in hopes of being promoted, at long last, to The Higher Bakery. BonBon had worked tirelessly, managing the oven schedule and shoveling cakes and pastries in and out while even the energetic sugar cube village licked their mixing spoons and turned in for the night, and long, long after Henry Finch had fallen asleep in his easy chair, a peanut buttercup pie propped on his monumental paunch. Now, on a good
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
There once lived a baker named Henry Finch in a large city named New York. This is not his story in particular, but rather a story of his untimely demise and the Great, but ill-fated, Gumdrop Revolution of 2013. Back then, they still had isolated practitioners of the old magic, and Henry Finch was one such practitioner. The practice of minor magics had been passed down through the generations of his family—as had the indolence and obesity that such ease of life and stomach bred. So it was that a fat magical baker lived in New York City and had at his disposal the Candy Country—villages of sweet candy toppings to bake his cakes—hidden away in the back room of his bakery. There was the peanut buttercup village that worked the Frosting Factory, the hardy chocolate chip village that manned the Cake Decorating department, the sugar cube village that took charge of the Mixing and Molding department, and of course, the cheerfully hardworking inhabitants of the gumdrop village, who ran Oven Management.
A lexandria P etrassi
day, BonBon was a rough-and-tumble sort of gumdrop. His favorite pastimes included smoking cinnamon sticks and swilling hard cider at the village tavern. All the gumdrops knew that BonBon O’Jellikins meant business, and that he had the gumption of a hundred drops. He had infamously stomped Jean Gelatino into a green, vaguely spearmint scented pile of goop, due to an unfortunate misunderstanding concerning BonBon’s sister, Spicedrop O’Jellikins, and a rambunctious Friday night at the seedy dive bar located in the Red Light district of the Gumdrop village. Henry Finch heard the complaints of the Gelatino family the next morning, and, seeing as it was Sunday and the Giants were playing the Cowboys, he distractedly picked a piece of lint from his sweater (which was promptly placed in the chocolate chip village’s chapel next to a likeness of Henry’s face made entirely from frosting), and ruled that Spicedrop’s honor was more valuable than Jean Gelatino’s life—because, after all, the spearmint gumdrops were his least favorite flavor and he really did enjoy the spiced drops the best. So it was, and the whole matter was dropped and only discussed in ominous whispers in the taverns. This was the gumdrop that Henry had overlooked so carelessly in favor of a few plumper gumdrops. But BonBon was not a gumdrop so easily looked over. “Oy!” he cried. “What about me?! I have worked myself to the gums baking your damned cakes and running your outdated, piece of shit oven!” Henry couldn’t help himself: he giggled. And BonBon O’Jellikins would be damn sure that would be the last mistake Henry Finch would ever make. Unbeknownst to Henry, who was crouched and busy arranging his fresh crop of young candy folk on a tray, BonBon crept up behind him, darted up his pants, and slipped into his jacket pocket. “We’ll see who is the damned giggler now, you porky son of a bitch,” he gloated as he peeked out of the pocket to wave goodbye to the gumdrops gathered around Henry. “So long, suckers!” he cried, and the gumdrops shook their heads: BonBon was exactly the kind of spicy young drop to try something like this. “He’ll be back tomorrow morning,” they all agreed. And they were not wrong. BonBon O’Jellikins, full of zest for the wide world of The Higher Bakery, heard the lock click in the door and almost immediately came to a sickening realization. Henry Finch was a gumdrop gobbler, a chocolate chip nibbler, a sugar cube glutton, and a peanut butter cup gulper. And he was feeding the good candy folk of Candy Country to his customers as well. He proceeded to the counter, where he dumped each separate candy type into a tall jar they could not escape from. Then he plucked the candy folk one by one from the jars and cut off their little candy arms and candy legs, despite shrill screams and sugary
“What if he’s right?” they asked. “I haven’t got a letter from Minty O’Moore OR Carda Mums, and they promised to write!” And so it began: The Great Gumpdrop Revolution of 2013. They began to make such a ruckus, with all their shrill screaming and yelling and throwing what small furniture they had, that Henry Finch’s customers began to worry that he was hiding a litter of piglets in the back room. Nervously, Henry Finch unlocked the back room to check on the Candy Country, fearing something terrible had happened and they had all melted in a fire at the very least. When he opened the door, the people of New York eating Gumdrop Cake and sampling Chocolate Chip Scones were completely unprepared for the candied fury that rained down upon the bakery and Henry Finch. The candy folk swarmed out of the back room and took to stomping in people’s food, spitting in their eyes, and assaulting Henry Finch, who, lazy as he was, elected to hold very still until they got bored and went away. Unfortunately for Henry Finch, this approach, compared to the flight of his customers, was much less effective. BonBon O’Jellikins climbed up to the top of Henry’s porous nose and shrieked “TO THE OVEN!” in a tone that would have curdled the staunchest body builder’s blood. The gumdrops banded together, shoving Henry Finch until he was flung, mouth agape and arms flailing, into the oven. A short-lived cheer went up throughout the bakery as the candy folk rejoiced in the demise of their President-God-Butcher in the crackling flames. Then they all promptly exploded into sugary mist as the magician whose powers were keeping them alive perished in his own oven, which he had never actually used. And so ended Henry Finch, and with him, the ill-fated Gumdrop Revolution of 2013.
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
tears, until they were all dead. He then stuck them on the cakes and pies that the candy folk themselves had baked the night before. BonBon couldn’t help himself; he vomited globules of gelatin into Henry Finch’s pocket. Equal parts enraged and terrified, BonBon huddled in Henry’s pocket, scheming until the next morning, when Henry Finch left to start up the sugary chop shop once again. He unlocked the door, and BonBon made a desperate leap to freedom from the Mad Butcher of Candy Country. He landed quietly in a corner and made his way through the expectant crowd. Then he waited. He waited until Henry Finch had finished the readings for the day, had finished presiding over the discussions, and had scooped up the new crop of candy folk. After Henry Finch locked the door, BonBon sprang into action, relating the events of the previous morning to his candy kin. At first, they called him a damn fool. But soon, the candy folk began to whisper among themselves.
G i s e ll e G a z t am b i d e
S t i ll L i f e F r u i t Colored Pencil
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
When you breathe into my scapulae they flare out like sails lusting to leave their harbor. Every vertebrae arches its spine, shameless. The cage that holds my lungs expands as if it would rather fly to pieces than be near your air. The word your tongue wore into the place my hips used to crest is godblown. When you leave, my frontal bone is lit with yearning. The arches of my cheekbones rise to stem the flood that dried somewhere above my eye sockets. When I walk, I whisper ilium to you like a threadbare love letter. When we sleep, my skeleton is folded like a prayer. You hold the blades of my hands like a palette knife, allow them to spread like dangerous birds and blush your canvas. Your palms rest on my kneecaps as if you’d like to turn them over and drink. When you tangle my hair I wonder if you’ll ask to fire-glaze my skull to divine our future in the cracks. My wrists ache in secrecy. When you grasp me, it is my long bones that stretch and shudder to meet you. I imagine scooping out the bones of my ear—malleus, incus, stapes, things we might name a son—threading them onto your necklace so as you remember me I’ll hear the sound of your pulse beating your chest in an effort to crack your clavicle and grant my wish. When all else has gone, my bones will root in archaic ecstasy, until they caress you and we wake eternal in the breathy earth.
The day I was born I.
Marlena De Luna
That night, Danielle and I stepped out into her backyard when the faint lines of the sun’s light could still be seen behind buildings if you looked hard enough. I watched her light a cigarette. It was something I never got used to but in that moment felt natural. I listened to the transparent sound of the neighbor’s fountain, my attention drawn to the outdoor lights where all of the colors of my life illuminated aged deer and clay statues. “I’m bored,” I heard her say from behind the garage but she didn’t approach me until she finished her cigarette. II. My dad called me on the phone that morning. I heard the alcohol on his voice but his words lived in another realm. “I don’t want her around anymore,” he said to me but also to me because for the first time in my life it wasn’t just me anymore. Social anxiety, I thought. I concluded that Danielle and I were one spirit before the sky took the confidence and made me out of what was left.
Elephantine Digital Photography
Untitled Adobe Illustrator
Sarah Ceramic, Mixed Media
oh and speaking of illness i’m still mental because i think about vomiting at least twice a day and it makes me want to die i live with tomato soup in my throat and i can feel it boiling on the back of my tongue when i sleep when i lay on my side let me tell you, my mind cooks up the perfect grilled cheese to go with it so thank you, for not inviting me, it would’ve been embarrassing for everyone to see me cry and say the word regurgitation like a choke in my throat, thank you i woke up six times last night and the air kind of sounded like it was made of flies they tell me it’s blood in my ears but i know my plasma is mixed with crumbs and the daily meal’s chunks anyway, it kind of reminded me of how he thought love was the way bugs crawl over fruit all tongues all touch how he thought maybe it was the way the wind filled up plastic bags and carried them for a little while down the road before sticking them to some slimier bit of pavement or maybe a flood prevention drainage vent i feel best when i’m not looked at i wish no one could see me i wish i didn’t have a body
A l y ssa F r o e h l i n g
what i mean to say, what i meant to say, i mean is that i’m happy you decided not to invite me to that party you hosted when everyone was home you’ve been saying life has never been so good lately so i imagine him looking at you like you are happy not the emotion, but a physical thing he can pick up and pocket and carry with him, i mean, i don’t know maybe you are a nightlight or the last battery left in the kitchen drawer, maybe you are the color yellow not like jaundice but sleepy sun stillness
Alba You are closed tightly,
Keep me here. The only person I will ever return to is myself.
Perhaps the cage of your arms will surprise us both and hold.
Perhaps you will have laid me bare––but, no.
I slip to the snow and stride home.
I wish it so.
It is enough to be warm. There is no light to expose the lies we never intend to commit to, the promises our bodies betray when we aren’t looking.
I will release you because I know a wild thing is enough on its own. !
Perhaps I will open my eyes and you will drown yourself in them rather than leave––
but, no. your cruel mouth mocks me even in your exultations. I do not watch you go. It will always be winter for us.
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
Sleep sliding fingers across your vocal cords.
I am closed inside your loosely folded limbs. Breath is like a violin singing against my neck.
Breaking My Promises I only see you when I drift away Like water seeping into roots I see you naked and quiet as somber as your father on the day you were born Your scar healed up terribly and violent, like mangled silk In the fields of the Lord, we pray our soul to keep A virgin sits idly on the cross
G a r y M i ll e r
Waiting, Hoping for violation
A l e x a n d r i a P e t r ass i
Cinerary I.the tension
snowflakes wing haphazardly from shaken mountains and
my skin flies from me like the departure of moths.
streak down the damp river of my nose
I am singing to you in soft mouthfuls.
in smudgy sacraments.
if you open your mouth wide
I could bury a whole town in my ruin should I ever flare up.
you will leave me enough room to float onto your expectant tongueâ€“ swallow all of me and let me show you what it is to burn.
Midnight Verde Colored pencil on Matte Board
Prose Award Judged by: Gene Hayworth Bio: Gene Hayworth grew up in North Carolina and attended undergraduate school at UNC-Greensboro. He worked for 10 years as a layout artist, technical writer, computer specialist and training instructor before returning to school at the University of Rochester, where he received a Master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing, and an MLS from Syracuse University. He moved to Colorado in 1995 and worked at CARL Corporation for several years, and in the summer of 1999 he worked for CARL in Singapore. He is an avid reader and has written several book reviews for Colorado Libraries and The Armchair Review. In February 2003 he prepared an exhibit at the Fales Library, NYU, on the American novelist and playwright Coleman Dowell. His critical study of Dowell appeared in The Review of Contemporary Fiction in the Fall of 2002. His books include Fever Vision: the life and works of Coleman Dowell, and translations of the German works Brendel’s Fantasy, Island People, The Gentlemen’s Tailor, and a forthcoming translation from Haus Publishing tentatively titled My Russian Adventure. Currently he is an associate professor for the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. In 2011 he founded Owl Canyon Press, a small press in Boulder, Colorado that publishes fine literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and works of literature in translation. Winner: Mermaids by Amber Whittle Honorable Mentions: Room 125 by Joshua Malone and L Parenthesis A by Alyssa Froehling
Art Award Judged By: Leslie Grossman Bio: Leslie A. Grossman was born and raised in Midwest America. She received her Printmaking BFA from Western Michigan University in 2008 and her MFA in Printmaking from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2012. For over 3 years, she was a curator and member of Exquisite Corpse Artist Collective and Gallery in Kalamazoo, MI, which she co-founded in 2005. After moving to Knoxville, she remained active in curatorial practices as the Associate Director and Director of UTK’s Gallery 1010. Leslie has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at such venues as International Print Center New York in New York City; Artlink in Ft. Wayne, IN; and Grafiki Warsztatowej in Poznan, Poland. Currently she resides in Davenport, IA as Gallery Director and Campus Curator at St. Ambrose University. www.leslieagrossman.com Winner: Risen, fibers. By Alicia Murphy Honorable Mentions: Downtown Hong Kong, digital photography by Diana Boudreau and Doughnut Pots, ceramic by Sydney Crumbleholme.
Poetry Award Judged by: Rebecca Lindenberg Bio: Lindenberg is the author of Love: An Index, published in 2012 by McSweeney’s Poetry Series. The book tells the story in verse of her passionate relationship with Craig Arnold, a much-respected poet who disappeared in 2009 while hiking on a volcano in Japan. Lindenberg earned a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. Her honors include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a MacDowell Colony Residency, the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, and a fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Winner: Galaxy by Amber Whittle Honorable Mentions: Rhapsody in Spring and Structural Devotion by Alexandria Petrassi.
Barbara Anderson Miller Award
Ann Sherrick Award AWARD BIO: In 1984, faculty in the English Department established a prize in memory of Ann Sherrick, who graduated from Augustana in 1979 and had a passion for children’s literature. The Ann Sherrick Award is given to the best work suitable for young readers. Judged by: Roald Tweet Winner: The Great Gumdrop Revolution of 2013 by Alexandria Petrassi Honorable Mentions: Strawberries by Marlena de Luna and Mermaids by Amber Whittle
AWARD BIO: In 1982, Dr. James E. Miller endowed SAGA in memory of his wife, Barbara Anderson Miller, who graduated from Augustana in 1943. While at Augustana, she edited and wrote for SAGA. The award is given to the submission that is most competently crafted and most promising in imaginative power. This is SAGA’s most prestigious award. Judged by: Roald Tweet Bio: Dr. Tweet grew up in Southern Minnesota, graduated from St. Olaf College, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He came to teach at Augustana in 1960, intending to stay for three years and then go some place “interesting”. As it turned out, Augustana was the perfect place for him, and he stayed for 39 years, ending up as the Conrad Bergendoff Professor in the Humanities. He taught American literature and writing. Along the way, he because interested in local history and ended up writing three books and numerous articles and programs. In 1994, he began doing a daily program, Rock Island Lines, on Augustana’s WVIK. These stories about the people, places, and events along the Upper Mississippi River are still going. Winner: Room 125 by Joshua Malone
The Saga and/of HCKN I first saw her at a freshman Convocation in Centennial Hall. She was on the stage, leaning over the big wooden podium. Light from above silvered her. She was an exotic figure, tall, big-boned, angular-jawed, with untidy fronds of gray hair wandering around her face and tangling in her glasses chain. Her voice was marvelous: low, graveled, deliberate, authoritative. She was giving instructions for the obligatory English skills test that we entering firstyears were about to take. She looked like royalty. I later found out that she was, in fact, cousin to the Queen of Norway. But at that time I simply knew she was the greatest presence I’d ever encountered—up there, under that stage light, high above us all. That image has stayed with me all this time. And it’s an apt metaphor for her presence in my life and in the lives of the many students she taught in her more than thirty-year career at Augustana. She was Dr. Naeseth—Dr. Henriette C. K. Naeseth—and she used all of her names and initials. She was emphatically not Henrietta, with its connotation of the coyly diminutive. She was large, and, like Whitman whose poetry she taught with zest and admiration, she contained multitudes. One of the multitudes she contained was Augustana’s Writers’ Club and its raison d’etre the literary/art magazine Saga. In a way, I think—to change the metaphor—this enterprise focused the varied facets that made up Dr. Naeseth, brought them to sharp point and purpose. She was a fascinating multitude of contradictions. The traditional and emerging roles of women strode easily side by side in her. She was unmarried and unapologetic about it (in the 1930s, when spinsterhood still conferred second-class status), brilliant and confident, scholarly and glamorous, severe as a don, charismatic as a rock star, CEO and coquette by turns, at home in classroom and kitchen alike. She was a powerful voice for feminism without considering herself a feminist. (She wouldn’t have thought she was anything with an “ist”; she was simply herself.) She was a passionate Democrat on a then-almost exclusively Republican campus who never compromised her view of class and ethnic privilege. (See above, royalty connection.) She was a respecter of the academic life she’d seen modeled in her father, a professor at Luther College, and yet she went to Grinnell planning to major in Home Economics. She was an independent young woman who both delighted in and defied the mores of her small college town: she shocked the upright denizens of Decorah by smoking Sweet Caporel cigarettes on a busy street corner. She was a daring graduate student who frequented Chicago speakeasys and nearly married a jazz musician. And yet she ended up with a doctorate in literature from the prestigious University of Chicago and became a leading voice in a small conservative Midwestern college. In short, she resisted definition. Or, as one of her former students, Richard Swanson, observed, she was “self-defining.” And she was ambitious. It wasn’t clear to her that she wanted to spend her life in that small college in the middle of the great plains, though she appreciated the Scandinavian immigrants who’d contributed to the culture of this area. But Depression years, when she was building her career, left few options. A job was here at Augustana—accompanied by the gallant gesture of then-president Gustav
Andreen kissing her hand to seal the deal (scholar she might be, always a woman she was)—and here she came. Having come, she committed herself to Augustana. As chair of the Department of English and the Division of the Humanities for her entire threedecade tenure, she shaped not just a department and a division but the entire school. Still, it was Writers’ Club and Saga, as I’ve said, that brought together the multitudes of her gifts: her love of teaching and learning; her eye for something new; her aim to mark the campus with her presence and interests; her commitment to encouraging students in independent creative work. It was, in many ways, the Saga of HCKN. I wasn’t around in those early days. But I love to imagine them, to envision that first meeting on a late-October evening in 1937, the air crisp, the globes of the old Denkmann lights sharp against the dark, and the Scandinavian room (where the building secretary now presides) with its blue-and-red-and-gold frieze, and the twenty-some students who gathered there to talk and think about forming a “Writing Club” which would have as its “specific aim” the “new venture” of publishing a literary magazine. This fledgling group and its publication bear Dr. Naeseth’s distinctive imprint in several ways: It was to be a campus-wide enterprise, not just an English Department foray. It was to “study modern [literary] techniques through reading and discussion” as well as sponsoring original student work. The magazine itself was to be no haphazard publication tossed together late one night on spontaneous inspiration and caffeine. Its staff, the Observer reports, “examined…literary publications from numerous colleges, and suggestions were made for Augustana’s literary magazine.” I can imagine who got hold of those magazines and who advised looking at them. In and out of class, for Dr. Naeseth you did your homework. Her guidance produced remarkable results that first year. No foot-shuffling with this new club. The Observer, tracking the group’s activities with meticulous care, notes that Writers’ Club hosted the “world premiere” of an original one-act play in a staged reading by Club members. The playwright, student Ella Mae Haberer (“one of the most prolific writers in the group”) “was applauded for the clever plot, amusing characters, and witty dialogue.” Discussion followed, and “the coffeepot made its customary appearance with appropriate sweets,” supplied, no doubt by Dr. Naeseth. Her hospitality was legendary. That magazine, with submissions rapidly piling up on somebody’s desk, got plenty of attention, too. For starters, it needed a name. So Writers’ Club turned to the whole campus for help in making the final selection. A ballot published in the Observer offers readers three options, with a careful explanation for each: Saga—“originally a Scandinavian myth or heroic story—in a wider sense… any kind of literature in narrative form”; Runes—“a mysterious song, speech or writing…or early hymns or poetry in general”; Cavu: “the abbreviation of an aviation weather signal: Ceiling and visibility unlimited,…which would indicate the potentialities of the contributors, the wide fields of endeavor open to writers now and in the future.” Anyone who didn’t care for these choices was invited to write in her or his own.
But what I find most charming, most Dr. Naeseth-like, about that first year, is the way this new “Writing Club” took charge of poet, novelist, and essayist Christopher Morley when he visited campus early in November. Members read and discussed his work before his lecture (see above, homework), then hosted a reception for him—and made him an honorary member. I see HCKN’s fine, majestic hand in this gesture, both literally and figuratively. Literally, she “poured at the coffee table” that night, as she would for many student gatherings. Figuratively, she drew in many celebrities and near-celebrities to support Augustana’s writing interests: Bennett Cerf, Carl Sandburg, Mark Van Doren, and John Ciardi, to cite just a few. During my time with Saga she assiduously sent copies of each issue to her friends at major universities across the country. I’ve wondered, since, how thrilled they were to receive them. But if they responded as Christopher Morley did on that November evening so long ago, they’d have been delighted. Morley even suggested the name Cavu. The duly-and-newly dubbed Saga appeared in May, winning approval from the Observer as “one of Augustana’s forward movements during the present school year.” The writer offers his prophetic hope that “this thirty-two page magazine might be lengthened next year, and that it might always remain a part of the Augie program.” Thanks largely to Dr. Naeseth, it did. It did because she insisted on high standards and attracted some of the ablest students then on campus. To cite just a few examples through the years: Barbara Anderson Miller, whose husband, James E. Miller, Jr., chair of the English Department at the University of Chicago, later contributed a generous Saga award prize in his wife’s name. Janel Mulder Mueller, who capped a distinguished academic career as Dean of Humanities at the University of Chicago, the first woman divisional dean in the University’s history. Philip Hougen, recently retired Bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Barbara Lundblad, ELCA pastor nationally recognized for her theological insights, courageous social activism, and charismatic preaching. It’s a long and luminous roster. I came late to Dr. Naeseth’s powerful tutelage. Like most of her students, I loved and feared her. And I loved and feared editing Saga under her vigilant advisorship. So I have deep memories of my Saga years, vignettes incised as indelibly as that first picture of her on the Centennial Hall stage. Back then, in the late sixties, Writers’ Club and Saga were a combined enterprise; to be elected Writers’ Club president automatically conferred Saga editorship. You didn’t apply for the position and you certainly didn’t get paid for it. It was, rather, a mandate from your fellow students in a free democratic election. Well—sort of. As I’ve said, Dr. Naeseth professed democracy but embraced enlightened autocracy. Hers. So while she wouldn’t exactly stuff the ballot box, it was clear before each election which students she had in mind for officers. I, of course, naively didn’t know this. I just knew that I wanted ferociously to be president and editor. And that by some miracle, it happened. I’ll never forget Dr. Naeseth’s warm smile, at once maternal and majestic, when the votes were counted. (Come to think of it, maybe she did stuff the ballot box.)
In my time Writers’ Club meetings were conducted in the College Union, long defunct, located about where I’m sitting now, in the new CSL. Our room— invariably the same one year after year—was tucked in a narrow hallway behind the block of student mailboxes. Meetings began promptly at 4:00 on Monday, and lasted precisely an hour. Coffee in a pot from the adjacent Snack Bar steamed on the long table at the head of the room where the reader of the day held forth. Students and faculty seated themselves on wobbly wood-backed folding chairs, arranged in neat rows, and prepared to listen and respond. On spring afternoons, when the windows were open, the Venetian blinds would clatter gently in the background. The assembled writers in those days formed quite a crowd, sometimes requiring additional chairs to be dragged in from the Snack Bar. Partly that was because we had a lot of English majors, and English majors tend to be interested in writing, especially their own. Partly it was Dr. Naeseth’s famous and formidable presence. As an English major you were expected—well, required, frankly—to attend Writers’ Club. You got no extra credit in your classes for doing so; you simply incurred the coldly civilized displeasure of Dr. Naeseth if you didn’t show up. In my first-year innocence, I didn’t understand that. I’d been cast in the fall play with rehearsals scheduled for 4:00 every day. Not until my freshman English professor Dr. Dorothy Parkander gently enlightened me, did I realize that Monday was Sacrosanct. She knew: the same attendance rules applied to faculty. Dr. Naeseth’s methods may seem a bit heavy-handed to our more relaxed notions of influencing student behavior, but what she achieved by them was notable: a student-faculty integration not found so frequently among the Humanities disciplines in those days of more formal professorial roles. And, required (or nudged or cajoled or bullied) into it or not, we all loved Writers’ Club. And I have pictures of Saga editorial board meetings. Again, around a long table in the College Union, usually in the evening: I remember looking up from our manuscripts to darkened glass with our ghostly, hollow-eyed images in it, phantoms of our future selves, perhaps. Dr. Naeseth didn’t believe in laissezfaire advising, but naturally didn’t say so. So she’d show up in her otter-skin coat mended with Scotch tape, both arms filled with straggling stacks of student essays and blue exam books, and a box of goodies from the South Park Bakery. She’d smile, nod her characteristic royal nod to each of us, sit down at the head of the table—we’d always leave the seat vacant for her—and ask us how we were getting on. At these sessions she made it tacitly clear, as in the Writers’ Club elections, which submissions merited our attention. She didn’t dictate; that would have been against her principles. But we knew that if we rejected one of her preferences, we’d need good reasons for doing so. We knew, also, that she’d always listen to our reasons. She wouldn’t stay long at those meetings—just time enough to communicate her sentiments—and then she’d make her exit, often quoting from Jailer Locket’s parting words to the imprisoned Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera, “Well, I leave you to your private meditations.” When we’d finished those meditations, we’d hand-carry our selections in big brown envelopes to the typesetter on campus, who duly sent back long galley sheets for us to proofread. I’ll never forget the thrill of getting those galleys,
seeing typescript of uncertain font and alignment magically transformed into real print. We proofread the old way, by hand, with ruler and pencil. I was a pretty good proofreader, but Dr. Naeseth, who always made time in her busy life to help out with this task, was better. If you look at the Sagas produced during her tenure, you’ll find very few errors. It mattered that much to her. After proofing the galleys, we’d paste them up on sheets later to be photographed, transferred to good paper, and bound into the book. Paste-up required rubber cement which had the consistency of phlegm and the smell of a cheap martini and was applied with a thick brush. When it started to run out, it turned to—well, to rubber. You could roll it into small balls in your fingers. Two or more people working on paste-up inevitably meant a rubber-cement pellet war. Spitballs were nothing to them. And then, on a bright May Day: it came out! We could hardly wait to get our hands on it, on those first fresh, ink-scented copies. Some things don’t change. They were distributed—we didn’t say “released” then—at the annual Writers’ Club picnic in Dr. Roald Tweet’s back yard. Dr. Tweet, professor of English emeritus, has since become famous among other things for his interest in magic realism. And if you’ve spent time in that yard, it’s easy to see why. You make your way around the narrow curving sidewalk of his big threestorey historical-record house, and follow a winding dirt path back and back, amid shrubbery that leans and trips and tickles and scratches, and finally come out into a green open space, tree-and-shrub-circled, backing onto Lincoln Park. Who knew! There’d be a fire crackling, and Tweet, looking non-professorially casual and flushed and cheerful, would be prodding hamburgers on a grill. (Dr. Naeseth would never countenance plebian hot dogs.) We’d gather our food, settle companionably on logs, stretch out our legs, and munch away, until—the unveiling! The great revelation was not only whose work got in, though that still was a secret back before editors sent out the beautifully-crafted acceptance and rejection notices of today. No: the buzz was who’d won the prizes, those munificent prizes of $15, $10, and $5 for first, second, and third place in the three categories of poetry, prose, and art. Dr. Naeseth made the announcements. Of course the editors knew ahead of time who the lucky winners were, but the rest of us didn’t, and when you thought you might have a shot at a prize, the suspense was pretty intense. I can see her still, in a casual summer dress and off-the-face hat (she was famous for her hats), standing up against the tamped-down fire, smoke drifting behind her against the trees, holding the award envelopes in her hand. She made a ceremony of it: speaking with deep slow deliberation as she’d announce the winners in ascending order: honorable mention, then third prize, then second, then—first! And hearing your name in her voice made the award a royal gift. Do any of those tapped by Queen Elizabeth’s sword in the New Year’s Honors feel as thrilled as those of us who stumbled across Tweet’s uneven, often muddy yard (so magical, so green, so Edenic) to take our checks and award comments from Dr. Naeseth’s majestic beringed hand? Not a chance. Did it ever rain on those Writers’ Club picnics? Not a chance.
The year I edited Saga was also its thirtieth anniversary, and this represented a significant milestone. As far as we knew, we were the only college literary magazine that could claim uninterrupted publication since its inception. So, unbeknownst to Dr. Naeseth, we celebrated by preparing a special Alumni Supplement from former Writers’ Club luminaries in her honor, paid for and proofread by her most distinguished and most loyal student, Dr. Parkander. In a nod to her love for Moby-Dick, Peter Scholl’s cover art depicted a great white whale arcing through plumes of water. I think I’ve never known such a joyful moment as that one at the Writers’ Club picnic when we presented our special Saga to her. And like that long-ago morning in Centennial Hall, on that bright May afternoon I felt, as she received our gift with graceful delight, that we were in the greatest presence any of us would ever know. It had been a wonderful Saga. Ann Boaden
Note: I am grateful to Augustana Historical Society for permission to adapt portions of my book, Light and Leaven: Women Who Shaped Augustana’s First Century, for this article.
SAGA Through The Years
Published courtesy of Augustana Special Collections
SAGA Through The Years
Published courtesy of Augustana Special Collections
Camilla Best I find I frequently write about love and loss...which is unfortunate. Genrewise I gravitate towards science fiction, contemporary, fantasy and horror. My initial response to poetry when I was twelve years old was that I hated it - I was convinced all poetry had an ABAB rhyme scheme. I would say I dedicate my time evenly to prose and poetry.
Marlena De Luna I write in order to come to terms with my identity issues, as well at the concept of identity and the individual as a whole. Sometimes what I write is vague because I like multiple interpretations of my work. I haven’t practiced with poetry for very long yet; it’s been around five years now. Alyssa Froehling I write poems between classes. Sometimes in class. Whoops. I like e. e. cummings, Sylvia Plath and contemporary slam poetry a whole lot. I either take myself too seriously, or not very seriously at all. Alice Roberson I believe that even though these pictures have been drawn completely, they cannot be finished until they have been seen and understood. As far as the meaning goes, they mean whatever the viewer can learn, and nothing more. Hannah Bohn I contributed. Anonymous Prime The bastard son of Optimus Prime. Ryan Maher My name is Ryan Maher, I have been always been behind a camera since I can remember. I consider myself a jack of all trades when it comes to photography, because I do not specialize in one type of subject matter, I view my approach to taking pictures as more of a photojournalistic approach. I would rather capture the scene as natural and organic as possible. I am not one for making a scene looked staged and artificially, because personally for me that takes the fun out of photography. I like the idea of going out with my camera and never knowing what to expect, to me every photo I take is a story just waiting to be told, every photo is a window into the realm of my imagination waiting to break free and to be shared with the world. Rukmini Girish Writing has become a means of survival for me since I began six years ago. When I’m not writing for class or to maintain (sometimes unsuccessfully) my own sanity, I’m flying with the Quidditch team, rushing off to an Alpha Psi Omega meeting or rehearsing (and writing yet more) for Electric Theatre Unplugged.
Kristen Steckbar I really enjoy making ceramic pieces because it gives me an outlet from my other academics. It’s a great stress reliever!! Diana Boudreau I’m a geology major who is inspired by nature and when I’m not climbing, looking at, tasting, or smelling rocks I enjoy taking photos and being in the great outdoors! I hope to be in a location as beautiful as Augie’s campus after graduation in the spring.
Mallory McLain Class of 2014; Biology/Pre-Pharmacy major This piece was taken at an old oil company building that has been recently been transformed into apartment living, located in downtown Rock Island. This was taken using a 35mm film camera, using black and white film and processed by hand in the darkroom on campus. After completing this project, I decided to pursue photography as a side career. You can find me using my DSLR camera, and sometimes catch me picking up my old film camera Alicia Murphy Psychology major, art minor focusing in textiles looking to go into art therapy. Madison Neece Madison fell in lust with pottery and now she cannot keep her hands off the clay bodies she encounters. Gage Meyers I wish to evolve more as an artist without having to force myself to produce something just for recognition. I want to look at everything I’ve done at the end of my college career to see just how far I have come. Jake Soukup My name is Jake Soukup and sophomore majoring in Business and Art. Also, I am a member of the fraternity Gamma Alpha Beta and work at the Office of Student Activities. I have been involved in art classes all my life and find it a great way to express yourself as well as create something amazing. This frog drawing was done for my brother as a gift for Christmas and his birthday. Enjoy!
Elizabeth DeMay Elizabeth DeMay is attending Augustana to major in Studio Art after receiving her Associate in Arts degree through Black Hawk College in Moline, IL. She participated in the College Invitational 2013, at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, as one of seven students representing Augustana College, and did so in 2011 and 2012 as well through Black Hawk College. Her piece “Three’s a Party” was her first artwork to be displayed in the Figge Museum in 2011.
Sarah Frachey Sarah Frachey is a junior graphic design major. As much as she likes designing logos and website layouts, she has much more fun painting and illustrating in both traditional and digital media. She’s hoping for a career that would let her be as much an artist as a designer.
Giselle Gaztambide As an artist, I believe in challenging tradition. I love juxtaposing realism with surrealism--it is probably my favorite thing of all. I am primarily a painter that engages in very traditional techniques, but I always do something to make it different and new such as the instance with the ink last year. I want my work to be destructive and beautiful at the same time--whenever I create it’s a very down and dirty process. I’m always trying to fling or rip or do something to my work that allows it to be distressed. Everything that I create has a deep meaning to me that is absolutely and inexplicably powerful. Nothing is what it seems. Analysia Gomez I love drawing from the imagination. Most of my drawings will start off with something normal- the female form- but I like to go off on random tangents to “mutate” the normalcy. Drawing is a way for me to relax and aside from reading, is my favorite hobby. Alexandria Petrassi is a part of Comma Addicts, Anonymous. She digs the word “colloquialism” and manages to incorporate it into all of her excuses for failed attempts at slang. She’s pretty into being an Editor-in-Chief and is never going to be ready to put her big girl pants on and start doing grunt work (though she’ll probably end up doing it, anyway). She is a Senior, if you can’t tell, and is proud to be featured in her last issue of SAGA. . Lieke Giltay I am Lieke Giltay, I’m 18 years old and a freshman. I’m also an international student from the Netherlands. Mason Robertson likes long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners. Lilli Pickens Use words. Gary Miller I would like people to know that my name Is Gary Miller and I have parents. That’s it. Tyler Milano iLike what iWrite & iWrite what iLike
Josh Malone I am a senior here at Augustana College. Room 125 is that first attempt to write something that, in a way, is pulling from my life. It has been a story that I had been wanting to write for a few months but had pushed off because of the fact that every time I would go to start it I would break down. It was something that really struck home for me. In many ways Room 125 is kind of emphasizing the fears I have about the future. I want my parents that I love them very much. They have been the most supportive people in my life and of my goals; God couldn’t have blessed me with better parents. Sam Stanton An art major who hopes to go into animation or video game design, I love making creatures and draw from all sorts of things to create unique concepts, ranging from nature to the music I listen to as I draw.
Meridith Hays I am a quirky graphic design major who has almost no verbal filter and enjoys glitter, tea, the outdoors, and her Zeta Phi sisters. Amber Whittle I just really like mermaids.
Sydney Crumbleholme My name is Sydney Crumbleholme. I am a sophomore majoring in art and minoring in creative writing. This is my first time submitting to SAGA. I’m super excited!