American Literary Magazine
Untitled Chelsea Alexander
American Literary Magazine | 2
Dear Reader, We didn’t quite know how to kick off this issue. Our ideas ranged from embedding a video of Mary’s rendition of “Teenage Dream” to having Anj create a full-fledged drawing of our staff around the table, Last Supper style, in the AmLit office. Unfortunately, technology has yet to allow us to include videos in print, and we are lacking a bit in the art department. After hours of brainstorming, we finally realized that we didn’t need a bright and sassy editors’ note at all. This issue of AmLit showcases a vast, arresting set of works that can individually speak (loudly) on their own. From a footnoted autobiography to a salty pantoum, each piece has a unique voice that we can’t attempt to adequately describe within the confines of this note. Throughout the semester, we focused on a plan that aimed to put the hard work of our writers and artists into the hands of the campus community and beyond (much farther beyond). We were amazed and delighted by the enthusiasm of the community during our submissions drive, the insight of our staff during review sessions, and the amity of our office-mates as we hula-hooped on the tables. We are eternally indebted to our editorial board, our talented designer Morgan (whom we will dearly miss), our advisor Alicia, for her endless knowledge of AU logistics, and our supportive (and ever-expanding) staff. There is a moment in James Joyce’s Ulysses during which the protagonist realizes that the scope of human life is “a parenthesis of infinitesimal brevity.” For art at AU, AmLit is that parenthesis. However brief the magazine and however small it is within the grand scheme of publishing, AmLit is the primary vehicle through which the AU community displays art of varied genres. It is our parenthesis of infinitesimal brevity. As we close this note (and open this issue),
Mary Elizabeth Cutrali and Andrea “Anj” Lum
3 | Fall 2010
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Table of Contents 2 Chelsea Alexander | Untitled | art 3 Editors’ Note 6 Michelle Chan | Tunnel to Little Tokyo | photo 7 David Pritchard | 2AM | poetry 8 Christina Farella | City | poetry 9 Ali Villalobos | Static | photo 10 Emily Edwards | Gare du Nord | photo 11 Gretchen Kast | Young Infidels | prose 12 Elise Yost | Second Thoughts | photo 13 Emily Edwards | Love Under the Lamplight | photo 14 Alex Haniford | Untitled | photo Kennedy Nadler | Meditation on Wood | poetry 15 Kaitie O’Hare | Iron Watch Dog | poetry 16 Andrea Lum | Sanctuary | poetry Tyler Toomey | Untitled 1 | photo 17 David Pritchard | Aubade | poetry 18 Caitlin Reed | Metro | photo 19 Sarah Cough | Yellow Flowers | prose 21 Tyler Toomey | Untitled 4 | photo 22 Rebecca Prowler | Eggs in a Bowl | photo 25 Christina Bui | Distant Flickerings | photo 26 Christina Farella | Episode on La Rambla | poetry 27 Linda Monahan | Oneroa | photo | Best in Show 28 Louise Brask | Blue Cat | art 29 David Pritchard | Kitchen Scenario | poetry 30 Michelle Lee | Life-Size Figure | art | Best in Show 32 Caroline Marsh | Purple Bow | art 33 Megan Fraedrich | Eye of the Beholder | prose | Best in Show 35 Linda Monahan | Tuesday | photo 36 Annelise Ferry | role models | poetry Elise Yost | Doll | photo 37 Kaitie O’Hare | A Husband to his Wife | poetry 38 Christina Farella | Pantoum | poetry 39 Emily Olsen | Storm in Positano | photo
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40 Elise Yost | Ceramic Chill | photo 41 Samantha Falewee | Doublet | prose 42 Christina Farella | Saltimbanque | poetry 43 Tyler Toomey | Limit | photo 44 Tyler Toomey | Untitled 2 | photo 45 David Pritchard | No Crows Were Harmed in the Making of This Poem | poetry 46 Cat McCarthy | Appearances | photo 47 Mary Cutrali | Kill the House Lights | prose 49 Elise Yost | she’s got a vision | photo 50 Caitlin Reed | Hill and Trees | photo Kaitie O’Hare | Washing You | poetry 51 Elise Yost | Sugarbush | photo 52 Chris Conway | 70th and Meadowview, North Bergen NJ | poetry | Best in Show 53 Adam Powers | I Need a Kick | photo 54 Louise Brask | Neptune’s Beach | photo 55 Smai Fullerton | Another Language’s Alphabet | poetry 56 Brianna Falcone | Octopus Out of Water | photo 57 Andrea Lum | The Ditch | poetry 58 Christina Farella | Arena | poetry 59 Adam Powers | Final Fixation | photo 60 Morgan Jordan | Veiled Memory | photo 61 Matthew Makowski | So She Can Live Forever | prose 65 Anna Chapin | 11th Hour Rehearsal | photo 66 Christina Farella | Being at the Old Place | poetry 67 Jeffrey Gan | The Back of Lily’s Head | photo David Pritchard | Song Cycle | poetry 68 Tiffany Scott | Mister | photo 69 David Keplinger | Springsteen in Paris | poetry | Faculty Contributor 70 Biographies 72 Nicole Wisler | Untitled | photo 73 Submission Policy Acknowledgements 74 Staff 75 Jenna Mitchell | Fleeting | photo
Tunnel to Little Tokyo Michelle Chan
American Literary Magazine | 6
7 | Fall 2010
2AM David Pritchard I wonder if they’ll like my new glasses or these new pants or my poems. I try so hard to sate their lust even if they don’t read the things I write at three in the morning when I should be sleeping to fend off the crusty gray morning belligerence I’m wont to indulge. I suppose it’s also good for my heart to sleep more, but I would be heartbroken if I missed all the blues and opportune greens. I am awake and trying to catch the fox who stalks my melancholy. I think about how I should be asleep but I am awake and I am talking to you.
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City Christina Farella The noise of the east coast and the calm of the west. I am ready to make a part of the concept seeable versus it being deranged. It can bang along through its own tubes beneath the city and it can ignore your phone call for as long as it likes. Tribal sounds from us as I twist you like a ripe thing if you bust out I will always. I am a calligram. I am always the one who notices. I am always the one who notices. I am always the only one who notices. A book smashed into the shelf.
Yes, hello my name is ______ and I watch people in the café where there is jazz but not too much and anyway it’s better than the crush of the street and as long as it’s not Sinatra like my mother loves for no reason. A schnauzer in the wicker chair. They won’t stop laughing like a dream where you laughed at me and I realize goddamn it is Sinatra I should have gotten out while I still could. This space is in direct conflict with David’s latest venture, but he abandoned me in the Cantos project and who wants to read the Cantos alone? It’s not very heroic. The Cantos are: Too big Too heavy Too punctuated Too whimsy Too manied Too full of sailors Too much milk in my coffee, that is what the Cantos mean to me. What’s the point Of accelerating At a small girl? What if I explode? They’ll Have to lose Their Jobs! Do you know Spud? Coda knows Spud. Coda told me in the elevator that Spud threw up all over his dad’s bed last night. Spud is a good boy. Coda is a good girl. Spud is a French bulldog. Coda no one knows what she is or why nothing happens. A drum-roll volunteer and I am off like a shot to play chess in your dreams and to be disembodied tight fitting and vaporous good god one must beware of pains in the cortex. Boot that machine up, fly to space I am flying to space. I am wearing a corset. I am mad at the lesbian. I am stringent and curved. I am wondering at that. I am noticing him stare. I am drinking invisible milk. A bottleneck buttonhole and a skip in the sidewalk. Walk with me and I wake with you in the morning. We know where our bodies have been and so we shower. I suck you. You like it. You blush. I blush. I am filled with not knowing. You take the bus. I take the bus. Bernadette told me that students find O’Hara too hard and I laughed because of Linda. Some homosexuals do a crossword. I make nine clay pots, all fit for using as carafes
café felt tip margarine navajo crepuscule none indigo jetstream Zampano breaking a chain with his chest breaking his ribs breaking his clavicle breaking his back breaking his wife’s heart (Gelsomina!) breaking the law breaking a mirror breaking an assailant’s nose breaking the door breaking a bottle underwater in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Static Ali Villalobos
We have many worries together. We are innocent and troubled. I write with red pen. Am I in a permanent state of correcting all these words? We are worried about the state of things. We are worried about the language death. We are worried about the paint drying in Martin’s honor. We are worried like a bustling meat-factory. We are singing the French bull-dog blues (why you so mean to me) like the old man. My lips jerk and I have spent all my money.
9 | Fall 2010
and assigning the new word changed the object, or at least the intention of the object. I’d like to make it dirtier. A girl can be so completely self-involved, she can think any variety of horrible things and we all just stare. Outside the cars are stuck in traffic but all of them calm.
Gare du Nord Emily Edwards
American Literary Magazine | 10
when did they meet? high school was it? they were young. very young. too young they all said. all those people from home. neighbors and such before they picked up and got married and left. they were in love. of course they were in love. they married and they were in love. she had long brown hair and long brown legs to match. he was a skinny boy with a tendency to speak in speeds so fast that his language became foreign. she would just smile along with him. “hmmm,” she’d purr as he’d ramble, “hmmm.” so sweet. she was just so sweet. that’s what he always said about her. “got myself such a sweet little girl. snagged her. snagged her up forever.” he loved her. she had that real maternal feel. soft brown eyes, lips that cared. she’d pet his hair into a matted mess and whisper to him when he got real excited and all worked up over nothing. she’d “hmmm” and nuzzle into his neck and he’d feel ok. yes, she loved him. and he loved her. she sat at the kitchen table. that little metal table, which wobbled a bit to the left and felt cool against the forearm. she sat and her fingers paced around her coffee mug and he stood in front of the stove. shirtless and rambling, the sweat dripped from his face as the steam rose from the pan. his pants were dirty and they hung from his hip bones. “now these!” he shouted into the wall, gesturing wildly with a wooden spoon, “now these are going to be the best eggs you’ve ever eaten. the best goddam eggs ever! now just you wait! the best! you ready? you excited? you getting excited?” he asked, whipping his body around at the waist, staring her square in the face. her eyes had been staring into her coffee, but they snapped up to meet his, “mmmm you bet baby.” he turned back giddy, giggling and resumed his talking. “now. now i told him that i wasn’t going to be able to make it in today. i just looked at him and i told him no. no no no. because today is my wife’s birthday and today is just for her! that’s what i said to him. i just said it. i said ‘no chance big guy i’m not comin’ i’ve gotta be with her.” she smiled, humming as she tucked her left foot beneath her right thigh. “hmmmmm.” he never quit moving, always jumping around and adding more salt or more pepper, some spices. he never quit moving. he stirred with the big wooden spoon that her mother had given them with a set of other ones of varying sizes. “yeah, i just said it. just like that too. just ‘no. fat chance.’ can you believe it? i just said, ‘fat chance, sonny’. no chance. no chance i’m gonna leave my girl all alone on her birthday. not a chance.” and with the last ‘chance’, he swirled round, pivoting on his bare feet, with the frying pan in one hand and the spoon in the other. gingerly, he spooned the eggs onto the mint-colored plate in front of her, careful not to drop any. they had lost any color that would imply that they were eggs, over seasoned and crispy, stiff edges mixed with sticky whites added haphazardly near the end in hopes of counteracting the burnt bits. he threw the pan and the spoon into the sink without moving from his spot and slumped down into the chair next to her, grabbing her hand. “baby i love you. i just love you and that’s for real.”
she’d pet his hair into a matted mess and whisper to him when he got real excited and all worked up over nothing.
she slipped her fingers out of his and picked up the dirty fork on the table. she pushed around the eggs with its tip. “i love you too sweetheart,” she said, holding her gaze on him for a few moments past the strong ‘t’. a smile exposed her teeth and he giggled and jumped up, unable to sit still. “wooo,” he shouted. “now ok let’s talk about your party. this little shindig i’m havin’ in your honor. it’s gon’ be a big one. a rager. a real old fashioned party. with everyone just everyone! every person we’ve ever known and everyone we don’t. i already called up all the guys and they’re comin’ and they’re bringin’ all their girls and all
11 | Fall 2010
Young Infidels Gretchen Kast
American Literary Magazine | 12
your friends all your little girlfriends they’re all comin’ too, right? it’s going to be huge.” he danced and bounced along to each sound of his voice and she sat and smiled, pushing around the eggs as she pulled both knees up into her chin. “everyone’s coming and they’re all coming for you, babe. all for you. and i’ve got a whole paycheck to blow on booze! it’s gonna be excellent. real beat, i promise. i’ve got the whole day to plan it. the whole goddamn day because you’re my wife. you’re my wife! and it’s your birthday! and i love you!” he skipped around and planted a big fat kiss on top of her head and wrapped his arms ‘round her tanned bare shoulders. “got myself the sweetest girl,” he whispered, as he pulled her closer to him. “you know I’m really sorry, right? about last…” she cut him off, though, craning her neck upwards and weaving their fingers together, “baby don’t worry about it. the eggs are fine.” she always forgave him. “
Second Thoughts Elise Yost
13 | Fall 2010
Love Under the Lamplight
American Literary Magazine | 14
Untitled Alex Haniford
Meditation on Wood Kennedy Nadler
Every gentle timber bern unravels into dank thread given the right words. I could write for nights and drink sap for days and snack on Ferlinghettiâ€™s ants for nights given the right woods. I be nestled. I be ferns. I be oaken â€“ given the white rurds. The right words are the wrong words. The wrong milk curdles and foams. In foam there is meaning without substance. In flesh there is substance without meaning. Nothing feels nothing and has substance. This means something obscene. Tenderly knit your tendons and ligaments together. This, too, will hold. Break beats, break Beats, break bread, break bones. Smash windows with stolen keystones.
I. My great grandfather ripped up dead roots while his wife, Saraphine, buried tomato seeds in her garden by the curb. Together, they hammered an iron dog into the lawn’s tallest tree, marrying it to bark. Their hard hands, stale boards, and crooked nails erected a watershed, and painted it red for a cardinal bird. II. My mother cracked a blue crab’s shellone she caught with chicken wireand licked her fingers clean of Old Bay. Her brother played with pretty girls in the evening, driving them up and down the grainy street in the bed of his father’s rusted blue truck. Her sisters browned their skin on the pier when a tackling knife winked at my mother’s heel and shook hands with bones below. III. I caught minnows with bare hands and trapped them in jars for my sister, carting them in her Radio Flyer through thin grass. My mother said the fig’s skin splits and bursts when it’s ripe in the summer, picking one off my grandfather’s tree herself. Coaxing cats from wood piles where they live, my sister said to me, “I pulled the iron dog from the tree today.”
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Iron Watch Dog
American Literary Magazine | 16
Sanctuary Andrea Lum I am counting the troughs of silence between your breaths, heavy, as I stand in the doorway and watch the opaque sheets lift as they exhale and drift down upon you, ever so delicately and careful not to disturb your dream. The room is asleep; it exhales, too, a few more drips from the sediment of last nightâ€™s wine (Chianti), and the ripped out pages of paperbacks, worn, that blow across the hardwood floor. It is afternoon. All is still, and cast in shadows and like the nave of a church, sunshine finds a way in, filtering through the windowpanes like stained glass and you are just as beautiful in its light.
Untitled 1 Tyler Toomey
Aubade David Pritchard
17 | Fall 2010
Love is redoubtable even as it strands you on an inner city block without a bus to pick you up in the middle of the night. If that’s love, I want nothing but love all the time, or at least a sleeping bag every so often when I lie on the floor for no reason except I’m stranded on an inner city block without a bus to pick me up. Come closer! and like Walt Whitman we will know exactly what a poem is not going to do for us at 1:00 in the morning when it’s too cold to keep the air on, too hot to turn it off. Here’s a stomping acoustic guitar, my favorite piano etude oh Scriabin! each woman is wearing a hat, plucked like glass over the canvas which will then be substantially erased in order to say we shall be happy next to that green, between these bristles eating cereal with a stiff neck.
Metro Caitlin Reed
American Literary Magazine | 18
Yellow flowers were in a vase on the windowsill. Yellow flowers just like he remembered. It had been years since he had thought of her. No that is a lie. It had been years since he had not thought of her. There wasn’t a day that went by when he did not think of her. Well, perhaps there was one day, a year or two ago, when he went to Georgia to spend a week with his sister. There was nothing in Georgia that reminded him of her and he was glad. But here she was sitting on his counter wearing black leggings and a long shirt. Was it his shirt? He didn’t even know. Did she bring the yellow flowers in a vase on his windowsill? Why was she here? These and other questions surfaced in his mind. He started thinking about the flowers, but too quickly the yellow of the flowers melted into the yellow of his old apartment and the yellow of her dress the last time he saw her.
For a moment he almost walked out the front door, but he knew if he did, that would be the end of the story and he wasn’t sure he wanted the story to end.
He had seen her before she saw him. He hoped. For a moment he almost walked out the front door, but he knew if he did, that would be the end of the story and he wasn’t sure he wanted the story to end. As he weighed his options, he found that, even after two years of thinking about her, he had no idea what to say to her. He just stood there in the doorway, paralyzed. Suddenly she turned her head. Three years earlier… An old woman climbed aboard a city bus carrying a large tapestry bag, looking for a place to sit. Noticing the woman was a young man dressed entirely in black carrying a backpack and an old camera. He stood and she smiled. Noticing the young man was a girl in dark sunglasses at the back of the bus. She lowered her sunglasses and watched the young man stand. When he looked in her direction she held his gaze with her black eyes. The young man looked away. The girl did not. The girl brushed the young man as she got off the bus, knocking the backpack off his shoulder. When he bent down to pick it up, there was a sticky note on the shoulder strap. On the note was an address. He put it in his pocket and got off the bus. He spent the rest of the day wondering whether he should go, what would happen if he went, where this place was, who this girl was, but most of all, he thought of those black eyes. They were like a black hole sucking him in and leaving him feeling… empty. No full. Well he didn’t really know and maybe that was why he wanted to see her again. At 11, he left his house and got on another bus headed toward the address. He kept an eye open for the girl during the entire trip, but he did not see her. As he walked up to steps of a row house painted yellow, he saw her sitting on the stoop watching him. He got chills. It was those eyes again. “Is this your house?” he asked, looking at the window box and cream colored front door. It didn’t look like her, but who said it had to. “No,” she said, giving no signs that she wanted to comment further. She stood up and he was struck by the graceful way her skirt swayed around her. They stood in silence for a few moments. She looked straight at him, seeming to take him in, as though she was deciding something. He shifted uncomfortably under her gaze, looking
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Yellow Flowers Sarah Cough
American Literary Magazine | 20
There was something about sharing his passion with someone that made him feel connected.
at the cement sidewalk, his black shoes, and her skirt, then finally looking straight in those mesmerizing eyes. “Why were you staring at me on the bus?” he asked, wondering why she had asked him there if she wasn’t going to speak to him. It was beginning to strike him how strange the whole situation was. He wondered why she looked at him so strangely. Who was this girl? “I liked you,” she said simply. He blushed. He wasn’t used to being noticed, let alone being complimented. Suddenly, he was the one who was speechless. He wondered why he was surprised; that was why he had gone, wasn’t it? “I’m Maria,” she said, standing up. “Peter,” he said, smiling. They started walking. “Where are we going?” he asked. “It doesn’t matter,” she said, “I was thinking coffee.” “Okay,” he said. He fell in step with her, watching her small feet glide over the sidewalk. She seemed more to float than walk. Again he wondered what she saw in him. They each drank coffee in a small coffee shop and talked about everything they enjoyed for hours. The only thing they did not talk about was their history. Peter tried a few times, but Maria avoided it. They quickly began to spend most of their time together. Peter was a film student and deeply in love with classic movies. Maria shared this interest. One night, they were sitting on the grubby gray couch in Peter’s apartment. He was sitting in the corner with one hand holding the remote and the other wrapped around Maria’s shoulder. She was leaning against him, her small feet curled behind her. “What are we watching tonight?” he asked, looking down at her. Having her so close to him made him feel strong. He never felt this way otherwise. There was something about sharing his passion with someone that made him feel connected. He liked to tell her things about film that she never knew and she liked to listen. “Casablanca,” she said as she got up to put the DVD in the player. “This is one of my favorites. There is just something about this love story. I really feel for Ilsa.” She had a troubled look on her face as she climbed back on the couch and was slow to resume her previous position. As they watched the opening credits take them to a place in Morocco, where people spent their time waiting and trying to get out, he wondered about her comment. Sympathizing with Ilsa was not the strangest thing she could have said. Still, there was a ring to it that he did not like. He had always sympathized with Rick. It just made him wonder more where she came from and what had caused that cloud over her black eyes. One day, a few weeks later, he decided to find out. He was sick of her avoiding his questions. He needed to know who she was. Well, he thought he needed to know who she was. He wasn’t even sure why it was so important to him. “Where are you from?” he asked. His eyes were bright as he leaned closer to her over breakfast in his small dingy apartment. They sat across from each other on mismatched chairs, drinking from chipped mugs, eating with plastic silverware. The only bright spot was a vase with yellow flowers that made the pale yellow walls just look dirty. “It doesn’t matter,” she said. There was a flicker of sadness in her black eyes as she said this, but only a flicker. He couldn’t even be sure he had even seen it. “Come on. I already know I like you. I know that you read constantly, that you love old movies, that you like your coffee black. I know so many things that I love about you, but I don’t know anything about your past,” he said. He was looking her straight in the eye as
21 | Fall 2010
Untitled 4 Tyler Toomey
American Literary Magazine | 22
‘It doesn’t matter,’ she said. There was a flicker of sadness in her black eyes as she said this, but only a flicker. He couldn’t even be sure he had even seen it.
Eggs in a Bowl Rebecca Prowler
23 | Fall 2010
he said this. His body language expressed his frustration as he ran his fingers through his messy dark hair. “Why do you need to know my history? Why does it matter where I came from? Why does it matter where I am going or when? What matters is what is right now! You met me from a glance on a bus and a post-it note. Why do you need to know any more that what you know already?” He became more agitated as he listened to her say this. He hadn’t asked her where she was going. He hadn’t even thought of her going. That part of speech worried him so much that he hardly listened as she continued speaking. Where she was going and when suddenly was far more important than where she came from. She stood up as she spoke, moving around the space, pulling open the curtains, placing the dishes in the already overflowing sink, pulling the covers up on the bed. At last she turned to face him. “We have to make a deal if this is going to continue. No history. No commitments. Besides, you know something so bright will never last long.” “Like Casablanca?” he asked. With a smile, though on the inside, he had an eerie feeling that nothing good could come from this discussion. The fact was that this was exactly what he didn’t want. He wanted to keep her. Always. “Yes like Casablanca. This is Paris during WWII and we are having the time of our lives, though the Nazis could stop it at any moment,” she said dramatically, throwing herself into his lap. He caught her head with his hand, leaning her back and kissing her. Feeling her weight in his arms, he forgot to be cautious. “Too bad that is one situation where I do not want to be Humphrey Bogart,” he said. Again he caught the glimpse of sadness in her eyes, but he was too afraid of the answer to ask the question. For a few months they had the time of their lives. They did everything together. They watched every Humphrey Bogart movie, they watched people on the bus, they read poetry, they made dinner, they even made his apartment less dingy. But just as he had both dreaded and expected, he woke up one morning and she was gone. The only things left to remind him of her were a few long hairs on the pillow and yellow flowers in a vase on the table. Though he was not left at a train station in the rain, it could not have been more painful if he were. “Are you going to say anything or just stare at me all morning?” asked the girl with the black eyes. Her words pulled him roughly out of his memories. “Shouldn’t I be asking the questions? You broke into my house,” he said gruffly as he went to the refrigerator and poured orange juice into a pink crystal glass. Suddenly he was self-conscious of the pink glass. It had come with the house and had never mattered to him until this moment. “Ok. What do you want to know?” she asked, as though it had never occurred to her that he might find it strange that she was sitting on his counter after he hadn’t seen her for over a year. He couldn’t say he was surprised; she always had a way of doing what she wanted without considering others. He used to think it was brave. Now he wasn’t so sure. “Well. How did you get in my house?” He was stalling. He wanted to ask her what she was doing there, he wanted to ask why she left, he wanted to ask what she had done, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer. He didn’t really care how she got in. “That isn’t what you want to know,” she said, looking at him with those black eyes as though she could read his mind. Maybe she could. He took a deep breath. “I have so many questions. I just don’t think I will like the answers,” he said, putting down the pink glass on the dirty counter with a thud. She started at the noise. He had never been a violent person. He was suddenly aware how quiet it was. “I never lied to you,” she said with the glimmer of sadness undisguised in her eyes. “I told you no questions, no commitments. You knew I would go one day.” As she said this, she slid delicately off the counter and moved towards him. He held out his hands, symbolically pushing her away. He wasn’t going to forgive her that easily. Did he have to forgive her at all? “Yes. I did, but that didn’t make it better,” he said, with an icy edge to his voice that almost made her wince. “Why did you come back?” He was taking the power, and she was allowing him. He knew she was giving it to him, but he didn’t care. He needed to be angry. He needed to hurt her like she hurt him.
American Literary Magazine | 24
“To see you,” she said. “One last time.” “How do you know I want to see you?” he asked, wondering why he was being so cruel. “How do you know it isn’t too late?” He knew it wasn’t too late. That it would never be too late. His commitment was real. Even if hers would never be. “I don’t,” she said, looking searchingly at him. He had never seen her so vulnerable. He suddenly realized how small she was. When he had loved her she seemed so strong, but now that he could really see her he found that she wasn’t. She was like a child, head bent, eyes filling with water, asking for forgiveness. He couldn’t pretend any longer. He walked over to the counter and kissed her, lifting her off the counter and carrying her upstairs… They spent the rest of the day together drinking coffee and talking about the time they had spent together. She explained nothing. He didn’t ask. He realized he didn’t need to. There was no closure. When it was time to fall asleep, he was afraid to, not knowing if she would be there in the morning. She wasn’t. This time she left a note. Lifting it off the counter he read it. A smile played across his lips as he took a lighter from his pocket and flicked it open. He lit the corner of the note and watched it burn. Some things weren’t meant to last. He walked into the living room and put Casablanca in the DVD player and felt that maybe it wasn’t so bad to be Richard in the end. Maybe if he really knew her, Maria wouldn’t be a thing like a character in an old movie. Maybe she would be someone he didn’t want to know. Maybe he wouldn’t think about her anymore. Maybe that was a lie. “
He lit the corner of the note and watched it burn. Some things weren’t meant to last.
25 | Fall 2010
Distant Flickerings Christina Bui
American Literary Magazine | 26
Episode on La Rambla Christina Farella
would you rather i took you to a bullfight? you smoke that cigar what a woman o god waiting at the airport with you to board without you how hemingway no talking at the cathedral see barcelona how hemingway would you like me to take you to a bullfight instead of this? glands glued, my tongue beneath it the airplane at the airport in the hangar took winds from barcelona, see waiting in the hangar we lost hemingway in the washingmachine and my body yells the skin of you beneath in, you would rather we bullfought? no yes yes no no slipshod and i clapped with a cigar together our tongues making barcelona (la rambla! see, â€œchickens in steel coopsâ€?) how hemingway o god chewed slow as is the custom here
Best in Show Photography
27 | Fall 2010
Oneroa Linda Monahan
Blue Cat Louise Brask
American Literary Magazine | 28
“My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow.” – Andrew Marvell The cucumber is no good. I was perfectly uncomfortable throwing it away but I won’t hold it against you. I won’t hold it at all, actually. When I picked it up, it collapsed in my fingers like it had lost the will to live. I hope I’m not misreading things. I hope it was a regular death not la petite mort! which would be slightly unnerving, to have accidentally mated my hand with a cucumber. Oh what a great story that will make! and soon I will have no friends but a cucumber who comes to call when it grows lonely, or moldy, or however it is one grows when one is in the vegetable drawer without a bag to keep one warm. This is why I had to throw it away. I’m not heartless, I just don’t have time to deal with that sort of green and bumpy love right now. Oh, it’s complicated! This is not meant, however, to implicate you in any way, to call you the villain in this accidental kitchen tryst. The villain is a sudden desire to eat healthily which makes one pick up a cucumber in the store instead of something in a box that will remain fresh for a while, something that can resist apocalypses yet still maintain its charm, a little red box that fits into the freezer next to all the ice cream Tyler never ate! What travesty! uneaten vanilla hiding in shadow from what spoons come its way. I don’t think that anyone wants to eat it, though, not after several months of sitting like a cactus or a rocking chair in storage, covered in dust, totally unpalatable. The patina’s wrong. In the kitchen there must be rigorous standards, see. I refuse to allow anything less than pure, sultry prosody, a refrigerator where each image fits in its place, with the clam sitting comfortably right next to the apples.
29 | Fall 2010
American Literary Magazine | 30
Life-Size Figure Michelle Lee
Best in Show Art
31 | Fall 2010
American Literary Magazine | 32
Best in Show Prose
Degas’ dancers were constantly trying in vain to flirt with the many portraits of apostles and saints.
Purple Bow Caroline Marsh
Every day for the last ten years, Eglantine had wasted the better part of her morning staring at the painting. She couldn’t help it, really. It was like ignoring a jumbo chocolate cheesecake levitating in front of her face, and giving in gave her the same slightly guilty pleasure. It wasn’t that the picture was original. It was just another oil painting of a pastoral English landscape, depicting a little farmhouse, a cobblestone road, a glade of trees, a young man, and a white horse. But there was something so warm and inviting about the rosy glow of the painting, and it seemed to draw Eglantine into it every time she glanced its way. She could almost smell the smoky air and feel the dew on the grass beneath her feet. It was a painting of a simpler time, a time when paintings were simpler. She knew it seemed stupid to call such an industriously detailed picture ‘simpler’ than the minimalist splatters of paint that seemed to pass for modern art, but it was so easy to look at the picture and see that it was a painting of a man and his horse and his home. It didn’t ‘symbolize’ anything. It wasn’t an arbitrary blob of red gloop on a canvas serving as an ‘artistic’ depiction of loneliness or angst or intestinal irritation or anything else. It was just a picture of a young man. And the man, Eglantine had to admit it, he was the real reason she couldn’t look away. He looked so real that she could almost hear him saying her name, and she could swear she’d
seen him wink. He was a tall, proud-featured man of twenty or so, with gingery hair tied in a ponytail, his breech-clad legs crossed leisurely as he leaned back against the fence of the paddock. He looked casual and relaxed, the top two or three buttons of his shirt undone, his sleeves rolled up, and his waistcoat open. He held a juicy red apple in his hand, feeding it to his white horse. And he wore a mischievous, self-satisfied smirk across his face, one of his eyebrows raised as though he had just made some sort of witty remark. Every day, Eglantine told herself that she was going to pay him a visit, walk right up to his farmhouse and ask if she could borrow some sugar, striking up a conversation. It wasn’t so unusual. Just the other day, she’d seen the Mona Lisa squatting among Monet’s water lilies, trying to catch tadpoles. Degas’ dancers were constantly trying in vain to flirt with the many portraits of apostles and saints. And Brughel’s rambunctious peasant children liked nothing better than to play pranks on Rembrandt’s stiff-collared nobles. But that was different. Eglantine wasn’t like them at all. No, she had to be the one painted by a stupid cubist. Idiot Picasso. What had he been thinking when he’d painted her, anyway? There was no way she could ever show her face to the young man in the painting across the room, looking the way she did. Whose bright idea had it been to hang them in the same room? The plaque stuck under her frame read “Weeping Woman,” and she certainly wasn’t weeping with happiness. Every time she thought she was feeling a bit better, she’d catch a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror and it would start her off again. When Botticelli’s Venus had gotten a pimple on her nose, she’d thrown a hissy fit. Eglantine couldn’t help but laugh a bit at the goddess’s overreaction.
33 | Fall 2010
Eye of the Beholder Megan Fraedrich
Wasn’t art created to be a thing of beauty? And if so, what on earth was she?
“Great,” she thought, fresh tears springing to her eyes. “He’s probably gone off to visit that French princess in the pink gown in the next room. Perfect.” “Hey,” said a voice behind her. “Why are you crying?” She whirled around to see a tall man standing there. His skin was blue and green, his square eyes squinty and uneven, his mouth was on the side of his head, and his blocky purple hands held a triangular blue apple. She had never seen him before. And yet there was something familiar about him - his brown waistcoat, the gingery-red in his multicolored hair, the confident smirk on his face... “I hope this isn’t a bad time,” he said. “My painting’s just so boring, though - modern art’s so much more exciting. You want a ride?” And he offered her his hand and helped her up onto his malformed white, fuchsia, and chartreuse horse. Eglantine held on tightly, wrapping her rectangular arms around his waist, and together, they sped off into the neon sunset. “
American Literary Magazine | 34
“You think it’s bad having a pimple on your nose?” she’d thought. “Try having yellow and green skin with a nose sticking out of the side of your face. Try having uneven eyes and a purple mouth with fingers growing out of it. Try having a hat like a radioactive Pizza Hut logo with a sea urchin glued to it, and hair full of ridiculous rainbow streaks. See how you like that, Venus.” She knew she was bitter, but it was hard not to be in a room full of such gorgeous paintings. Wasn’t art created to be a thing of beauty? And if so, what on earth was she? Certainly not art. Eglantine had daydreams, of course. Who didn’t? In hers, she stepped into the magnificent painting of the English countryside only to discover that she’d changed to match the painting perfectly. In her daydreams, her hair was smooth and black and she had creamy, peach-colored skin and a straight nose. Her eyes were level and her hands were graceful, and her tears had dried up. And in those daydreams, the young man would turn his head and smile at her, and help her up onto his horse, and they’d ride off into the sunset, never to return to her own canvas. Eglantine sighed and looked once more at the painting of the young man. He was gone. The landscape was empty, just another painting of a farmhouse and a horse, nobody in sight.
Tuesday Linda Monahan
35 | Fall 2010
American Literary Magazine | 36
Doll Elise Yost
role models Annelise Ferry to think these girls (with sculpted hair swirling corkscrews to the chin. layer of thick mud on the face. light lost in the charcoaled outline of the eye. glossed lips smacking, oozing for contact. short dress over bare legs aching for cool, slick sheets; an unknown weight. wearing their bruises as badges and their bones as medals.) will become Mothers.
37 | Fall 2010
A Husband to his Wife Kaitie O’Hare
I am jealous of the strawberry jam that you lick from your finger every Sunday before church. I wish you were brown bread I could sweeten. You fell asleep upright last night with To Kill A Mockingbird on your chest, and wet, apple red polish on your toes that stained our sheetsa half-hearted labor on 600 thread count. On Thursdays, I remember your thin legs and taut skin, the taste of sangria in Florida, and your mother’s cigarettes on my clothes. I don’t miss them, but they still sit in my head. September will discover me hunched over a hand painted table at Paper Moon Diner, eating alone.
American Literary Magazine | 38
Pantoum Christina Farella See the blue marlin strung up by the dam? It’s blaring a thick smoke of sea. Who reeled the fish soul in From the ocean where everything is curved salt?
It’s blaring a thick smoke of sea. I did not consider the waving grass From the ocean where everything is curved salt— The smell was unbearable on that dock. I did not consider the waving grass? Earlier in the year we tripped and fell and The smell was unbearable on that dock. Too bad they couldn’t fall into bed with us instead! Earlier in the year we tripped and fell and Ripped our hands open from the Cointreau Too bad they couldn’t fall into bed with us instead Of running down the alley along the canal. Ripped our knees open from the Cointreau? You didn’t remember (I didn’t know why) and Of running down the alley along the canal? I stayed put in plaid shorts and kicked my own tongue You didn’t remember I didn’t know why and Most of all what could we even do about it? I stayed put in plaid shorts and kicked my own tongue Rather than kill time waiting for the gleam of new plates— Most of all what could we even do about it: They weren’t coming though they were growing older. Rather than kill time waiting for the gleam of new plates We opened a bottle of wine by the tree but found nothing. They weren’t coming though they were growing older. It was like realizing the milk had spoiled we played for the wrong team. We opened a bottle of wine by the tree but found nothing All we see is the hanged marlin and the platform of the dock The one that smelled so sticky like an upset harbinger Of some dish your mother cooked but you could never stomach. But don’t hide in the woods, you might get a sunburn See the blue marlin strung up by the dam?
39 | Fall 2010
Storm in Positano Emily Olsen
American Literary Magazine | 40
41 | Fall 2010
Doublet Samantha Falewee
The vanity in the bathroom was a large slab of old marble. There were tiles missing from the floor in the corner under the white tub; she waved her hand at him when he mentioned it, and said with the black and white pattern no one could tell. Now he never talked about it, and had hidden the heavy canvas paintings in his closet so she couldn’t see them. Some evenings when he arrived she would be lying crookedly in the bed, with a porcelain shot glass in her hand or spreading whiskey on the sheets. When she was like this he didn’t talk, only held her like a baby; when she fell asleep he would make eggs or pasta for dinner. Usually those nights when he was alone in the kitchen, he would stare at nothing and picture two red-haired girls, screaming with the gulls and rubbing sand off the shells in their hands. She brushed her hair and left the flat more often, gradually. She shaved her legs sitting on the bathroom sink. The water normally ran cold; as she splashed it to her legs, drips would slide down her thighs and the rough marble counter would grow a thin slick of water. If it was a Thursday, she would sweep the puddles into a glass vase for the flowers he brought her. One tired evening he didn’t think and bought blue flowers – a brilliant blue like the bold colors of the canvases in his closet. She found the paintings and ripped a knife through the center, and the same day he found her writing in the bed, grabbing the pages up when he came in. He saw the name ‘Alana’ toward the top of a page. He gave her his last shirt to sleep in, and swept away the strands of red hair from the corner of her mouth. He brought home a grey kitten for her; it trembled and purred in the sheets of the bed like a stain with wide eyes. She held it to her neck as she kissed his jaw, felt his heart. She mumbled she had tried to dye her hair brown, but the red shone through. He tried to understand. She had lost half of herself, and she felt smaller in his arms. Now she was the only person in the world who had that golden freckle below her ear. “
Some evenings when he arrived she would be lying crookedly in the bed, with a porcelain shot glass in her hand or spreading whiskey on the sheets.
Ceramic Chill Elise Yost
American Literary Magazine | 42
Saltimbanque Christina Farella When I flew over the Pyrenees The moon was out and it was Gold on the water and I Was sitting next to an acrobat.
43 | Fall 2010
Limit Tyler Toomey
Untitled 2 Tyler Toomey
American Literary Magazine | 44
on seeing the apartment newly-decorated
I was going to write a poem about the crow on the traffic light landing as I crossed the street, but then I got home and saw how you had arranged the apartment while I was at work. As soon as I opened the door I lost all interest in the bird I had seen, opting instead to talk about the La-Z-Boy placed right by the window exactly where I imagined it would be, angled perfectly if I wanted I could sit there and watch the sun set, pretending that doing so would somehow inspire an artistic statement: the sky catches fire! I hope I would say something more interesting than that after several years of devout attentiveness to poetry, the sky catching fire is the worst possible thing to observe but here it is, a hypothetical metaphor in an actual poem though it functions differently than it would have in another context, here I don’t take the figuration seriously though how could anyone ever? What if this were ancient Greece? if Homer sauntered up and said to his scribe, “the sky catches fire!” would it be a real winner? or would this ancient stenographer preempt centuries of terrible poetry by refusing to write it down, or writing it differently? “Got it, boss!” he’d say to Homer, who couldn’t see that now it said “the sun went down.” A bit less bombastic, but perhaps it would be for the best if a few poems now and then lost a little of their dramatic swagger and opted for a more finessed approach. There’s been plenty of drama to hold us over, us readers, for years to come. We don’t need another William Blake who accidentally burns down jungles or someone like Yeats who manages to break his heart and protest too in the same poems time and again! No, poets should be content to leave the crow alone, let him sit there on the traffic light cawing without having to be significant. Just because it’s there doesn’t make it important; the way the mattress, chair, and bed triangularly interspersed might as well be a painting with excellent compositional balance, oh how flattering the dresser like orange and chocolate mixed together, c’est parfait! I can read Blake and Yeats as I watch the sun go down and think about that crow who didn’t get his own poem today, but who played a substantial supporting role in this one, so he shouldn’t be too upset. In fact he should be glad I didn’t stick him into any overwrought metaphors, just let him do his thing which is the best anyone can hope for.
45 | Fall 2010
No Crows Were Harmed in the Making of This Poem
Appearances Cat McCarthy
American Literary Magazine | 46
“Are you with the band?” I didn’t think people still asked that, but I winked. I had learned that the less you say, the more people believe you, and then I laced my arm around his back. He was sinewy and sweaty. We posed for photos together. I tossed my hair gracefully as you Polaroid-ed and made jokes, just like we had rehearsed on the drive over. There was nothing organic about the way these things happened. Even though we didn’t rehearse with him, he knew the script already. People come to see these shows, these displays. They come in droves to whisper and accuse. He knows this and he knows to choose us. His manager, walkie-talkie blaring, swung the doors open and, under a strong arm, guided us in and pushed the rest out. III.
I had a dead cell phone and was half a beer away from wasted somewhere in central New Jersey during the middle of November (the first time I actually saw a tumbleweed). I had lost my friends, sucked into a crowd of girls in too tight t-shirts and short-shorts. I remembered the time my friends and I had deduced that kids don’t wear jackets to shows and laughed to myself, clad in a parka, as I kissed someone I barely knew for no good reason other than to get a piece of gum. I knew you would notice, even though I pretended not to see you there. I had worn the parka specifically to catch your attention. Everything about this situation had been calculated. We were all just acting, but no one around us was in on the joke. It happened almost without flaw, you spun me around and pulled my hood over my eyes, and leaned down the foot and a half to grab my face. You whispered too loud that you were going to kiss me. I spun myself right back around in some sort of mid-crowd ballet and started for the exit knowing full well that you would grab me by the hood and jerk me back. This was just part of the show. I let you grab me by the hips and kiss me deep in front of all of your fans. It meant nothing but you told them that I was your girlfriend, and then you took my jacket off in one sweeping zip. We switched coats, making a big show of it. Taking photos. Then security asked me to leave. You kissed me on the forehead and I went outdoors in your coat and you in mine. We met again in the cold, traded our jackets back, and went on as though we were strangers.
I had learned that the less you say, the more people believe you, and then I laced my arm around his back.
47 | Fall 2010
Kill the House Lights
We were two voodoo priestesses undulating wildly through a mass of dead spirits, a flash of gold and black underneath large sunglasses despite that we were indoors, and it was after midnight. We snaked through the crowds and up the dark stairs, illuminated only by a burly man’s flashlight. We were airplanes taxiing on the runway, flying up and over the laypeople and onto the catwalks above the stage. We were all shaking tambourines and pretty hair, nameless hairstyles in spandex. We didn’t do the drugs because we needed to forget; we did them because we were new people under these lights: photosynthesizing. It was the land of make-believe that even the wildest imaginations of childhood could never have predicted: flashing lights, silk floral forests, MIDI keyboards, and leather pants. It was exciting, that life. We danced with an uninhibited and carnal passion, shouting out and twirling until we fell down breathless. We knew that you noticed. That was the point. We needed to be noticed, recognized, different.
American Literary Magazine | 48
I had heard stories about you and the awful things that you would do to the people you knew the best. You knew how good you were, and that no rules applied to you. You had been kicked out of just about everywhere and then begged to return, and they had taken you back. It was hot that day, and I was fully made up, perfect hair, perched tenuously on the side of a table across from your tent, my legs swinging as one of my sandals hung flirtatiously off of my foot. I tried to emulate Fragonard’s women in these situations. You never got the reference, but it was a joke that I had with myself. If this was the bourgeoisie, we were the Court. I kept my eyes on you. It was a challenge. I knew you hated not having the power. We matched, both in red: Pamplona, a slew of clichés about bulls, eventually leading to a joke about balls, made by someone that used to be your friend. I made a show of kissing him on the cheek and tousling his hair. Your fists took form violently and the portrait of your mother flexed and flared (I bet she’s a nice lady. I wonder if she regrets raising you). I almost felt bad as she watched me inhale hard and blow smoke rings. You were seething, craving, but you’d never have come over and let me win. I was really having a go of it. Making a show for the crowd around you. A face I didn’t recognize leaned in to you, and a loose gesture flew my way; I inhaled again and this time held the exhale, until I knew your attention was mine. I loved to win. You were not even pretending to be looking past me. There was a crowd of younger, prettier girls around you, begging for shook hands and autographed abdomens, still taut with pre-pubescent bubbling ideals and glossy magazine images. You blew them off and walked over to me and everyone laughed because it was so classically you. V.
I had the keys linked to my purse-strap and I jingled away from the alleyway. I dashed across the street, my heels click-clacking on the tarmac and rain splashing through the back of my leggings. I followed your orders to “just blend in.” I oohed and ahhed over the band playing acoustic by the trailer, and then, when their fumbling cover of Taylor Swift captivated everyone, I slithered past the ill-fitting shirts and skinny jeans and made my escape. Unlocking the passenger door, I snuck in like Bear Grylls into a carcass on the tundra. I climbed back to find you on the third bench and I took a lay down. I was tired and there was nothing more that I would have liked than resting my cheek on your worn t-shirt and taking a nap in here safe from the sounds and the fury. You perked up and jarred my neck. I cursed you and lit a cigarette. Smoking indoors was, perhaps, the only thing I liked better than pretending to have sex wanted to sleep this life off and tack my with you in a vehicle that last name back onto my first two. also doubled as your home. As I fumbled around with my cigarette trying to get comfortable again, the upper curvature of my back reaching for your tummy only to meet the air, I heard you talking excitedly. Someone had written you a love letter on a bag of Swedish Fish. You dramatically read it aloud to me in falsetto equipped only to describe the pains of unrequited love as documented on snack food and we laughed at them because there was nothing that they would have liked more than to be me right then. From out there, it was all glamour: sex, drugs and rock and roll cliché. To them your hair wasn’t a tangled mess and your waistcoat and gym shorts made a charming combo, but I knew better. Secretly, you hated your job and you regretted dropping out of college and I was more than a girl Friday to you, even though that was all they wished to be. As we settled back into our previous posture, my eyes closed. I was tired. I wanted to sleep this life off and tack my last name back onto my first two. I wanted to be the same girl out there, as I was in here.“
sheâ€™s got a vision
49 | Fall 2010
American Literary Magazine | 50
Hill and Trees Caitlin Reed
Washing You Kaitie O’Hare
We are together again this summer. You’ve traded teeth for wrinkles and memories for wine, but still smoke light cigarettes and wear pink lipstick on Fridays. In your new chair – tan micro suede – your stick finger slips blue paisley pajama off its designated blue beaded button. Again. Again. Again, until whiskered breasts hide shy faces behind soft cotton. You break from the chair, shuffling feet attached to ceramic legs towards the shower. Arms out, ready. Inside, heat licks your hair from the vent, while I warm water. Long silk slides down your leg, and you wonder why men want us. Wild grass grows all over, but it is lovely. “Is this embarrassing you?” you ask. But I will never remember aluminum sink baths, and neither shall you.
Sugarbush Elise Yost
51 | Fall 2010
American Literary Magazine | 52
70th and Meadowview, Chris Conway
Best in Show Poetry When I drove in Hudson County, In that summer that felt like heated asphalt and plaid and saliva– (For each month in your life has such a distinct feeling, a taste, That it seems concrete and measurable. “This is a blend of April 2009 and November of 2005 – very good vintage.”) —but when I drove in Hudson County, New Jersey, I saw things that I thought were strange. Down the backstreets, I drove and delivered To young people, old people, law firms, hardware stores, high-rises, winding city streets planned a hundred years ago. I delivered to policemen and to teenagers, to porn stores, and to people too high to understand the concept of currency. To junkies who had ordered pizza knowing they had no money, their embarrassed girlfriends shooing me away, trashy motels full of tanned guidos, ancient crumbling apartments, gang members on stoops, tiny yards awash in garbage and dog shit, tended by morbidly obese men who screamed at their wives, and one who slammed his wife into a wall for having the temerity to tip me, telling me “you know how bitches are,” (I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days) I drove down a block where I could see a young Dominican man walking out of his house, stuffing a revolver into his waistband – I sped away in terror –I wrote novels in my head for the people I saw. But all of that was made worthless by the view from the apartment complex at the corner of 70th Street and Meadowview Avenue. That single corner nullified everything that came before – all was pointless in its beauty. When I walked up 70th Street, under the summer sun, past the overgrown grass And paneled houses, concrete, broken glass On the side of the road, walking up to this building – Where I once waited twenty minutes for them to find change for a hundred dollar bill – And Meadowview Avenue with its shootings and the seniors’ housing, (Hollow-point bullets ripped through flesh and cartilage in the shadow of the high-rises) In front of a house where the blood of a Latin King once spilled, cut from his throat And splashed on the sidewalk under the canopy of houses dense as an anthill— But the building on 70th rose up above the packed cramped houses all around, A clear and unobstructed view from that desolate corner down the steep hill, Over the houses and the Pathmark at the intersection on Tonnelle Avenue, Route 1 and 9 Where the Iceman prowled, stretching along the edge of the Meadowlands From the suburban north down to Journal Square in the heart of Jersey City, and The factories, warehouses, plants, and Green creeks of the meadowlands, and I looked over the adoring industrial wasteland pierced with rocky enjambments and Over the world that I knew as faithfully as the landscape of my body (Rutherford, Lyndhurst, Nutley, Belleville) and The McMansions of the Meadowlands, the skyline of Hackensack and its hotels and Grey monolithic high-rises peaking over the Watchung Mountains far in the distance, and On the horizon I could see a tiny church way out in the Oranges, and I loved driving at sunset, because I could watch the point where the last sliver of gold and Red sunk over the ridge and it was beautiful.
I Need a Kick Adam Powers
53 | Fall 2010
North Bergen NJ
American Literary Magazine | 54
My lover stands with a cigarette loosely balanced between her pointer finger and fuck-you finger, holds a boyâ€™s head with nicotine tips and presses him hard on her lips, her violence steady, heavy, she wraps him up in the slow gray smoke that never leaves her sight.
Wet with shower, my lover finds me, the scent of shampoo twisted in her dark curls like ringlets of wildflowers I try to count while tears fall and stain her cheeks, patches of color where only flesh used to be. Dripping, she is the bark of sycamore trees. Hollow and lost far in her disguising. She hangs her salmon pink towel with the royal blue and turns to face exposure. I reach for her spine as I would a harp. She is a ballad, a seed, a silk worm, sweet. Her fingers find my bracelets and wrap through them like vines. I imagine the cleanest fabric stretched over white porcelain for miles. The clasp of a bra hits the floor and makes the softest sound. She falls into me as though the relative pull of gravity has broken. Feral, my lover quits smoking.
55 | Fall 2010
Another Languageâ€™s Alphabet
American Literary Magazine | 56
Octopus Out of Water Brianna Falcone
The Ditch Andrea Lum
It is cloudy still. Long winding trails left from slivering blind snakes border the path and mosquitoes buzz in my ears. The sun casts a murky shimmer on puddles, light glaring off the faded metal rooftops of tattered sheds lining the backs of houses. From below my brother and neighbors send barks to join in. They have slid down the slope and crawled into the ditch, red dirt trailing the length of their jeans. Letting go of the chain-link fence, I claw onto the edge of our shed and ignore the chipping rust adhering to my fingers. Someone lifts me down into the wetness. Draping monkeypod trees form a cool, enveloping shade. Foliage covers the floor with olive greens, yellows and auburn. Fragments of sky reflect in shallow leaves brimming with rainwater. Two myna birds pick at the twigs and fly high above to the grey stretched clouds. My feet dance from the cool sensation that is the sponge-like ground, tradewinds sweeping beneath my shirt as the ditch from last night that flowed so swift, four-feet deep like a city sewer or a harbor at high tide is forgotten. We thrash in leaves and puddles. The mud blankets our bare feet and splatters our sweaty summer clothes.
57 | Fall 2010
The flood has barely passed. Humidity inches up from the ditch and water flows along its edges. Sweat pools beneath my knees. Alone I stand at the edge of the yard, pawing at chunky red dirt and watching as it tumbles down brick makeshift steps.
American Literary Magazine | 58
Arena Christina Farella
I have a real silk scarf I’d like to introduce to you. Why bother chasing birds off the fountain all day when we could be together all day? You were so good and I washed everything after. The ivy does climb with a goal in mind, its tendrils reaching up in green plumes Like the feathers that fall from the sky and from the birds entering the grooves In the brick and cement those are supposed to stay shut but Are actually very porous very much like my heart so I lack delicacy where it’s needed. They might force us to go outside to the street if we’re not very careful Though I know better and won’t listen to anyone which makes me powerful. The Italian “E vero” and other assorted shapes. Thank you for the glass of water Thank you for the small parade Thank you for finding the book I thought I had stomped. Thank you for the eye shade Thank you for the disarray. I don’t know What I’d do without that disarray I’d be so boring bored bored so I chase the birds, Whatever led you to that conclusion? I’ll stand in my bathtub wearing a big hat and wait for you to say oh. Knocking the plugs together will only really make it work. NonPinioned metaphysical poetry is my least favorite. A good pinioning Always did me some good.
59 | Fall 2010
Final Fixation Adam Powers
American Literary Magazine | 60
Veiled Memory Morgan Jordan
An Annotated Fragment from the Autobiography of Joseph Corner Matthew Makowski
Such powers, beyond immortal love, Blood slipping down the painted wall, A sight unseen, this blade above, You only hurt the one you love.1 In the derelict cargo area of a rusting box van, an old man holding the silver sharpness of a needle in his right hand. His knuckles are wrinkled, but strong. They move with the clever cunning of age and experience. Very little light enters through the cracked door, for the man needs none to ply his trade, but the needle still seems to flash and glint while weaving patterns through flesh and fabric, as if caught in invisible rays of sun or moon. As if singing in light instead of tone.2 The fingers twist and spin. The needle, piercing. In his left hand, the old man holds an indigo mask. And the needle moves through the fabric of the mask and between his fingers, and the string is pulled taught and tied twice shortly, thrice for good luck3. The old man snaps the thread. An act of creation is completed.4 In the dim lighting, the mask seems the color of midnight, or of indifference. Brilliant streaks of grey line the eyes, while the mask itself is bordered in blood-red lace. A slash of deep maroon paint is splattered just off-center of the nose. Already dry, it gives the mask both texture and form. Cradling the mask like a newborn child, the man carries his art to the far wall of the truck, the darkest wall, the wall covered with cracked mirrors, collages of feathers and golden dust5, yellowed newspaper clippings, knives, empty bottles of wine hanging from frayed strands of yarn. Kneeling down, the man lays the mask at the base of the wall. Surrounding it, in piles and rows extending into three dimensions, are a number of other masks. The masks are uniformly sized, but vary in the color of their hues. Some are brightly shaded in oranges and yellows, others offer a more subdued palette of dark greens and purples. Some masks contain at least a trace of every color. Some masks contain no color at all. At first encounter, death bestow, the devil captures to echo6: a phrase the old man whispers under his breath, rising to his feet. A finger uncurls to flick a green Chardonnay bottle. The bottle swings like a pendulum, colliding with others, the sound of aged coins falling on an oak floor. The man turns swiftly, then takes a slower step toward the lowered sliding door. On the metal floor, the sound is hollow and dull. Without looking, he reaches back to steady the swinging bottle, his fingers wrapping the brittle glass. Hmm. Maybe just a taste, a small treat after such exertions. A tiny pleasure, perhaps one From The Early Notebooks of H.P. Lovecraft (published 1947), edited and collected by noted scholar of the macabre, S.T. Joshi. These lines, as asserted by Joshi, indicate “the final stanza of an experimental, untitled, and ultimately unsuccessful venture into the classical French villanelle, a significant departure in form from Lovecraft’s later work, though perhaps something of a precursor in subject material.” 2 Possibly a reference to Sound-Color Synesthesia, though the author fails to expound on the simile. Refer to the classic research of Dr. J. Coin from the early 80’s. 3 An outdated folk ritual to ward off evil spirits, likely of Eastern European decent. 4 The irony of the author’s statement is unmistakable. 5 A reference to The Sandman from Hoffman’s Der Sandmann (1817), a sinister character who sprinkles dust into the eyes of fearful children as punishment for their refusal to sleep. 6 A couplet inspired by an early Tori Amos song, left unnamed at the artist’s request. 1
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Can Live Forever
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of the earliest. For the sweetness of memory, which was, after all, the point. Such beauty and terror... The soft murmur of his voice trails into the darkness, captured by the dreamcatchers and sacred charms hanging from the walls. Quietly, he turns and glances down, hungry, bemused lust gleaming from his eyes. His fingers curl into fists, tight and jagged as shale. And then his hand opens, palm upright, reaching into the darkness. Yes, yes, I think I will drink from this cup7. In my mind’s eye, I see her. And so I shall. And so I shall. Dropping to his knees with a bass thud, the old man begins searching through the pile of masks. His hands moved tenderly, always using the gentlest touch when laying one mask upon another. Under his breath, he begins to hum a soft melody8. The only sounds in the truck, the calm buzz of the old man’s hum and the friction of fabric on fabric as his fingers flicked their way through the towering piles of masks, searching for the solution to an unknown riddle. Ah. Oh yes. This one, this one, such a memory we created, my love. A memory to be remembered, as the best memories are. From the floor, his fingers pull up a mask, simple and thin, colored a vivid and desperate red, the color of roses in September after a thunderstorm, the color of unrequited love and heartbreak and questions9. The touch of his hands is erotic, a caress, an obsession. His middle finger slides along the curve of the nose and comes to rest below the eye. The old man raises his head, eyes closed, and sighs to heaven. Then, with a casual bow of victory10, the old man fits the mask to his face and dreams old dreams in the empty darkness of a ruined and desolate box truck. The Red Masque1112 As I descended the spiral staircase leading into the basement ballroom, my heels clicked sharply on the cold marble. Chandelier hanging angelic from the ceiling, drapery embroidered with the old stories of heroes and saints crusading in the name of God. In the arches and crevices wrapping around the hall, elaborate candelabra modernized with electric lights shaped like tiny flames. One narrow red carpet stretched the length of the room, from the staircase at the rear to the raised stage at the front. The curtains were closed, the stage was empty except for a lonely black microphone. The scope of the room was enormous. Looking across the room, scanning the mass of people dressed in bizarre costume and festive color, each masked and hidden behind fabric anonymity, I stepped from the stairs into the ballroom, that theatre of the absurd13. And I saw nothing. A ballroom of joy and decadence, the celebration of life and existence, and I saw nothing. Steps taken without purpose, motion without belief, laughter without conviction or truth. A hollow room filled with hollow men14. Contrast with Matthew 26:39, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou.” (King James Translation) 8 The reader must questions the author’s intentions in alluding to such a musical piece, while leaving it mysteriously unnamed. See Lacunae in Literature: The Implications of the Unmentioned by medieval scholar J. Hjørne for additional reading. 9 See Masques and Mirrors: Symbolism of the Bizarre in the Early Modern Period by renaissance historian J. Corner for further details on the extensive symbology referred to in this passage, as well as contextual notes pertaining to the historical environment masques (and masks) emerged from. 10 Or perhaps a bow of deference? 11 Rearranged from The Masque of the Red Death by E.A. Poe (published 1842). Apart from the title, this brief tale shows very little influence from Poe’s classic tale of Gothic horror. However, the author’s appreciation for early American practitioners of the horror story should be, by this point, well established in the reader’s mind. 12 Refers to the costumed public festivals of the Renaissance, the masquerade ball, rather than the distinct variety of formal courtly entertainment, the masque, of the 16th and 17th centuries. 13 Invoking, specifically, the genre’s penchant for automaton characters haunted by an unknown and malevolent external force. Though, as is typical of the genre, the reader should question which party is truly victimized. In the words of Camus, “Often, the irrationality of the godless world implicates the villain as merely a product of his environment, an implication which undermines the entire convention of autonomy and agency.” (Trans. J. Corner) 14 “We are the Hollow Men / We are the stuffed men / Leaning together / Headpiece filled with straw” (Eliot, T.S., 1925). Of 7
A ballroom of joy and decadence, the celebration of life and existence, and I saw nothing.
I stood waiting. And I saw her. And she was flawless and shining. And I knew I must have her. She walked with tremulous steps down the staircase16, floating, a walk of nervous grace and elegance. Her legs were frosted glass, fragile and pale. The slender fingers of her right hand were wrapped around a short painted wand tipped with patterned gold; three dark stars and a crescent moon were painted on her left cheek, barely beneath her mask, and a pair of white feathered wings were attached to the back of her gown. Her mask was made of tinted black glass with one strip of white paint slashing across the right eye. She did not have a left hand. I began moving toward her, even as she first stepped from the staircase. My footsteps carried me across the ballroom floor, swift and sure. The crowd parted unconsciously, as if compelled by an invisible hand, and she looked at me and saw. Without knowing, she understood everything. Destiny17 often twists incomprehensible, and the windings of the future are frequently whimsical and baseless. Good things happen to bad people, just as evil visits the righteous. The sun, too, rises on the evil and on the good, and rain falls on the just and on the unjust alike18. Many times the apparent unfairness of a random universe is met with, say, mixed reactions. But she knew. And she smiled and stepped forward to meet my stride. Flourishing my fingers and tucking my left arm below my waist, I bowed deeply before her. Standing, I offered my left hand, and she confidently slipped her right hand into mine. And, walking to the ballroom floor, I placed my left hand tenderly against her waist, and we turned into a slow gliding waltz. Ye lively maiden, dost thy foot now tyre? From many dances, men of high degree, And we danced. In 5/4 time19, we swayed and weaved across the floor, Ye fragile herte has lost its dancing fyre: motions always in rhythm, the physical cadence carrying us through the night And now ye finale partner will be me. and into memory20. And she was flawless and shining, and she was mine. And we danced, and it was beauty and truth. When the song ended, I looked into the crystal ambiguity of her mask and smiled. And she smiled. And, holding her hand, I led her to the stairs behind the stage. We were opening the door, and we were climbing the creaking rotting staircase, and we were finally together, alone, alone behind the masked darkness of the stage curtain. With my left hand, my fingers brushing the edge of her mask and slowly trailing down her cheek, gently touching the stark red lipstick surrounding her mouth, my palm cupping the radiant paleness of her skin, and I lowered my lips to hers and we were passion, we were fire course, here the world ends not with a whimper, but with a bang. 15 A disturbingly Christological comparison. 16 Here, the author relies on a surprisingly cliché and pervasive image: that of the woman in white descending the staircase. Undoubtedly, the reader mourns the perversion of the Cinderella of their youth. 17 Or perhaps Dream? Or Death? Or De[sire]spair? Dee is for lots of things, endless things, as the folk saying goes. 18 Copied nearly verbatim from Isaiah 14:12. (King James Translation) 19 Only one variation of the waltz. Other modes include 2/4, 6/8, and 3/4 time. 20 The danse macabre, the “dance of the death”. Originally a medieval allegory illustrating the universal nature of death: eventually, all will dance the danse macabre.
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My tread was soft on the carpet, my fingers periodically curling and uncurling at my side. When I reached the front of the room, I turned and stood below the stage, eyes narrow and searching, fingers spread with palms facing the ceiling above. And I stood. And I surveyed. And I waited for the appearance of light in an unlit world, waited for perfection, waited for the savior of inescapable fate15.
in the darkness, our bodies were the sun and the sky21. My lips moved across her cheek, down her neck, her head leaning back in the silence, eyes closed, facing heaven, and I could feel the pulse of life as warm blood passed under her skin, and I tore into her throat22, tenderly ripping into the flesh and muscle and tissue, and she did not scream, she did not, even as her blood sprayed manic and all life flowed from her. She died smiling, beautiful, pure. And she was mine. I laid her body on the wooden floor of the stage, blood running from her neck and pooling around her head, coloring her skin and hair as it dried. I stood. And turned. My mask stained red, the color of death at midnight, the color of obsession. With my tongue, I licked clean my fingertips, then my lips. I curled my fingers into small fists23. The curtain spread, and though the masqueraders could not have expected the sudden disruption, it was not long before the screams sung out. The old man grips the edges of the mask with curled fingers and lowers it from his face, eyes closed, head lowered as if in prayer. Ah yes. The sweetness of memory24, indeed. The blood and the screams, oh yes, I remember them. Such pleasure. Such beauty. Such magnificent beauty. The old man lays the mask on a pile of other masks, masks of blue and green and black. Masks made of glass and metal, masks of cotton and silk, masks with feathers and sequins and paint. There are many masks sitting on the dilapidated and decaying floor of the old man’s box truck25. Many masks. The old man reaches a finger to the corner of his mouth and wipes away a small spot. When the old man looks down, his finger is dotted with wet blood and the old man smiles and stands slowly to his feet and licks the spot of blood from his fingertip. “
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My mask stained red, the color of death at midnight, the color of obsession.
A vague reference to Norse creation myth of Ymir, the heat from whose body creates the fire of the sun and whose blood forms the oceans. 22 Obviously reminiscent of the Gothic vampire tales- the powerful, seductive vampire who entraps and kills the young, virginal woman by biting her neck and consuming her blood- though the classic vampire tales were rarely this violent (with the noteworthy exception of the original “vampire”, Vlad the Impaler). 23 The constant curling and uncurling of fingers could indicate an obsessive-compulsive tic. 24 Borrowed from famous American poet ee cummings, in his well known lyric the silence falls at last like. 25 The image is paralleled in the semi-famous installation piece, The People I’ve Met Along The Way, by Neo-Surrealist joco (First exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, Phoenix, AZ, 1989). 21
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11th Hour Rehearsal Anna Chapin
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Being at the Old Place Christina Farella Each piazza, save for Piazza San Marco has had enough of me, what with the drinking and the laying in the middle of the square but when the music is so brilliant how could one not fall down drunk? The canals in Venice mimicked me and then ignored the sky. Out on the vaporetto clear dark and dazzling electricity, the angels of Venice in the night water. In Rome I painted an octopus, it was for you but it was pierced with arrows (Eros?) for you! For you this has all been for you! East 12th street will be a relief and if I fall down in front of you let me stay at your feet. In the dream mother was a toad croaking orders at me while drinking hot milk. We ran away to New York. Being faced with the prospect of this deplorable packing I am taking back less than I brought. The mountain becomes a point of departure as I wave goodbye to the Pyrenees and cover my face with a flower, Venetian glass on my neck. Meet me at the old place, (9th street between 1st and A). I told you I would wait as on the Tiber the trees have their leaves now and they all look like girls with long hair bending backwards over that water.
The Back of Lily’s Head Jeffrey Gan
The night I break the air conditioner, twisting the knob until it falls off, Liberace mutters to himself, tracing the names of novelists with his pinky finger. The sparks from the box startle us as we sit in silence wondering about the consequences of another cup of tea. “I will be the next Dvořák” he says “if only I can figure out how to sound taller than a grasshopper.” The room a chandelier of fortune. He promises to compose me a piano concerto. “Without my feather boa I’m nothing”
he says. I lend him a book: The Sickness Unto Death.
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Song Cycle David Pritchard
Mister Tiffany Scott
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Faculty Contributor I have never seen the French so—superlatif— you’d think Hitler’s charred body was recovered, or Jerry Lewis was in movies again, and life hadn’t hardened his guffaw. Springsteen fell backwards into the crowd and body surfed while drinking an American beer. The French swooned, their theater filled with aging ladies and a note of décolleté. He was floating on a wave of hands away from the bow of the stage, watched by his band like the reckless sailor who takes a dip in waters rumored of sea monsters. But no Leviathan rose out of the crowd and ate him; he wasn’t dunked by floating hands and dragged into their Mere-palace. There was no battle under water. Singing about Baltimore he pointed back toward the stage; the ocean delivered him there. The spots clicked out, light by light, until the last, then Springsteen left. Paris was a crashing sea that might as well dry up. It is eternal, but he visited just once.
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Springsteen in Paris
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Biographies Chelsea Alexander is an International
Economics and Art History double major.
Louise Brask: This issue is dedicated to Ceri, my cat, my AmLit published cat. Christina Bui: Coming to AU from
Annandale, Virginia, Christina is a freshman who’s passionate about photography, particularly photographs pertaining to nature.
Michelle Chan is here most of the time, there most other times, but is not sure where come summertime (hopefully a place where she can send you a postcard that reads, “Wish you were here :)”) Anna Chapin likes retro dresses, making big
kitchen messes, and pointing her camera at anyone and anything that will let her. While she thinks DC is pretty swell, her heart remains at home on a dirt road in southeastern Massachusetts.
Christopher Conway grew up and
still lives on the oldest streets in America.
Sarah Cough is a bottle of sunshine, a
disappointed optimist and an eternal dreamer. She can never be found without a pen and paper.
Mary Elizabeth Cutrali is always
Emily Edwards is a freshman in SIS, minoring in History. She enjoys boxing, doing yoga, and riding her big green bike. Brianna Falcone is a sophomore at AU, and has a passion for photography. She enjoys viewing the world through a lens. :) Samantha Falewee is a freshman studying in DC, but truly belongs in Paris. Interested
in nearly everything that does not involve numbers, she has a love of back Concord roads, Edgar Degas, dark chocolate, British rock, and has an infallible weakness for acoustic guitars and anything aesthetically pleasing.
Christina Farella is never
distinguished from the space in which she moves; we “see” neither her nor the Spanish dance she performs. Instead, a number of “verbal planes” are superimposed so as to create the kind of geometric fantasy found in the painting.
Annelise Ferry will eat your words for
Megan Fraedrich is a freshman who is majoring in Literature and hails from the FranconiaSpringfield metro stop. She enjoys belting show tunes, going to the zoo, and writing stories instead of doing her laundry. SmaI Fullerton is naked beyond skin. Jeffrey Gan is an 18-year-old freshman,
avid news junky, occasional poet, and sometimes photographer of generally variable personality. His creedo: “Oh, I dabble...”
Alex Haniford originally grew up in southern California, however, her heart remains in the Sierra Nevada. She currently finds herself an insomniac, spending her free time appreciating live entertainment and great espresso. MORGAN JORDAN is the female Don Draper
but only on Tuesdays.
Gretchen Kast rarely has any idea where she is, but isn’t too worried about it. Michelle Lee is...................
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Andrea “Anj” Lum will be the first Asian-
American Martha Stewart.
Matthew Makowski is a conspicuously alliterative pseudonym that, like many fictitious things, does not rhyme and can not even be considered properly trochaic. Not really. Caroline Marsh is a freshman Art History major who really misses good Mexican food. Cat McCarthy: When given a box of markers as a young child, Cat would tend to draw on everything but the paper. The walls, the table, her face, her mouth--one could say she was a child who definitely thought outside the box. Countless timeouts and a few years of art classes have thankfully taught her more expectable drawing surfaces and helped her discover her true love for painting. Jenna Leanne Mitchell loves the feeling in the air right before a thunderstorm hits and teaberry ice cream. She wishes she had a button she could press to allow her to return to and live in memories.
Marketing and Information Technology. He spends his time decorating his room, making monumental conclusions, and thinking about eight-legged creatures (See: Spiders and Octopus).
David W. Pritchard rhymes with Belgrade. A senior Literature and Theatre major, his poems have previously ruined Thumb Smudge Java, The Catalonian Review, Anastomoo, and the Spring 2010 Am Lit. His play “Variations on an Umbrella” was performed at Gettysburg College last spring, after which he promptly turned into an apple. He tumultuously founded America and had his mouth sewn shut. Rebecca Prowler is a senior Graphic Design major and club field hockey player from New York. Caitlin Reed is a senior in the School of Public Affairs and enjoys lawn signs, stretchy pants, and coffee. Her future goals include being employed upon graduation. Tiffany Scott: raised in the foothills of Vermont. Photography is more than just a way of self expressions, it is a way for me to find creative ways to document our lives and elements around us.
Linda Monahan is a friendly hermit who tries to get fancy results with cheap point and shoots. The fanciest were taken while studying abroad in New Zealand last semester, where she swam with fur seals and saw the stars upside down.
Tyler Toomey: Science nerd from rural NC. I take photos when there’s a small glimpse of free time.
Kennedy Nadler eats anomie for
Ali Villalobos: I’m Ali. Sup.
breakfast and sanity for dinner. Kennedy skips lunch.
Kaitie O’Hare: Poets are pretentious. Emily Olsen is a freshman at AU this year. She likes to catalogue her travels of caffeinated wonder with amateur photography Adam ‘Danger’ Powers is a wide-eyed eager sophomore in Kogod studying
Nicole Wisler is a sophomore majoring is International Development and Women and Gender Studies. She can’t wait to lead an Alternative Break back to Nepal this summer and see those girls again! Elise Yost: Photography reminds me to look around and appreciate how awesome the world is once in awhile.
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American Literary Magazine seeks to promote the artistic community at American University. All members of the AU community may submit work they deem qualified for review. All final acceptance decisions are made by the Editor-in-Chief and the genre editors. American Literary Magazine selects content based on a blind review process. While we attempt to preserve anonymity in all cases, perfectly blind submissions are impossible. Therefore professional discretion is upheld at all times. All copyrights revert to the artists upon publication, unless otherwise noted.
American Literary Magazine is grateful to Alicia Rodriguez and the Student Activities staff. We would also like to thank Jim Briggs at Printing Images for taking our digital file and turning it into the gift you now hold. We are incredibly indebted to our amazing staff and this year’s Best-in-Show faculty judges: Leena Jayaswal, Zoe Charlton, Despina Kakoudaki, and Jocelyn McCarthy. We are also graciously thankful to David Keplinger, our faculty contributor. Lastly, we thank all those who submitted this semester – we wouldn’t have a magazine without you.
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Staff Editors-in-Chief Mary Elizabeth Cutrali Andrea Lum Design Editor Morgan Jordan Copy Editors Gretchen Kast Kaitie Oâ€™Hare Poetry Editors Christina Farella Kennedy Nadler Prose Editors Christopher Conway Sarah Cough Photo Editors Erin Adams Amir Mohebali Art Editor Annie Buller Public Relations Representative Carolina Cornejo
General Staff Lauren Bower Louise Brask Samantha Falewee Molly Friedman Hanaleah Hoberman Lorraine Holmes Lindsay Inge Caren Jensen Laura Kauer Brianna Kelley Caroline Marsh Amanda Muscavage Lori McCue Erin Oâ€™Neil Eden Pecha David Pritchard Suzy Rudorfer Elice Rojas Laurel Schwaebe Kathryn Schramm Katlyn Schreck Marlena Serviss Lauren Silber Yuliya Solovey Christine Weidner Emi Ruff-Wilkinson Design Staff Emma Gray Lorraine Holmes
Fleeting Jenna Mitchell
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American Literary Fall 2010 Issue