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literature, art, design at notre dame

spring 2010 volume 72

letter from the editor

dear readers


gragsmad graphite on bond by Justin Schneider

justin schneider

is an industrial designer who loves clouds and blue skies.

For many short-fiction writers, stories revolve around a moment of change. This change comes in a variety of ways, depending on the story. A character may consciously alter himself or herself. He or she could encounter a sudden revelation, or experience a steady transformation. The change may be positive or negative, but it comes either way, embraced or rejected by a story’s protagonist. As a member of the class of 2010, I look back on my Notre Dame story and remember the incredible changes experienced by my classmates and myself. I know that my fellow seniors and I have worked hard to achieve our goals during our time at Notre Dame. We set our sights high and built pathways to success. But, despite all of our planning, we have encountered numerous changes, many unexpected. How we have proven ourselves, and how we will continue to prove ourselves, is by facing new challenges with the courage and resilience which we exhibited during our time as Notre Dame students. My editorship has come to a close, and I’m sad to leave my time at The Juggler. I’m confident with its future, though, as Amy Ma has already proven herself to be an outstanding successor. I’m extremely grateful for her hard work and friendship the past two years. I would also like to thank Andrew Pautler, our art director. We owe The Juggler’s incredible design to his talent, and we are so blessed to have had him on the staff this year. Finally, I’d like to thank The Juggler’s advisor, Robert Franken, who has been my guide and mentor the past three years. Bob is always there to help media students such as myself, and it is his experience, knowledge, and kindness that have helped make The Juggler the award-winning publication it is. I hope you enjoy the transformations captured by the art, poetry, and prose in this issue of The Juggler, and I wish you the best of luck with all the changes you encounter. As always, thanks for reading.

Jackie Burke Editor

art selections cover gragsmad justin schneider 003 rex matthew degnan 005 view from the top annette esquibel 006 st. louis abbey clare brady 009 pleased to meet you andrew mcbride 011 karen-o colin hofman 013 two-part invention mary cecilia mitsch 014 revenge molly mcgowen 016 traveling back michelle keefe 018 permanence lauren kalinoski 020 lighting gaspar garcĂ­a de paredes 022 aqua bliss georges toumayan 024 gustave and co edel crowe 027 after the rain kirsten blazic 028 fear john traub

literature selections

004 the man of the mist joshua whitaker 007 black walnuts michelle johnson 008 the dinner date ben lapres 012 requiem sarah pinter 016 tragic sunshine girl joshua whitaker 019 how to listen kimberly schlesinger 020 thoughts on the visual quality of smoking laura kraegel 023 ariel brittany burgeson 026 reputation sara felsenstein

rex 1200 pounds of wood, steel, plastic, & love by Matt Degnan

matt degnan

smells like fighter jets and punching.

table of contents

004 the juggler | spring 2010

the man of the mist poem by Joshua Whitaker

joshua whitaker

knows chance. He never got the racecar, but he's still looking to make it to Boardwalk.

The man of the mist lasting, thatched in old denim, wanders with buckets of steam. In the places where the water seeps below the surface and bubbles up the cement, the places where the fog yokes the earth to the sky, the man of the mist limps into the droplets and speaks of rust and decaying things and settles into the dirt like perfume. The children circle round him, banging pots and pans and sinking into the mud, shouting of the steel, the tolling bells, the cogs churning away the sadness, but he shakes his head. He has long since found the world damp and lost in a cloud.

art, literature, & design


view from the top digital photograph by Annette Esquibel

annette esquibel

lives like it's the latest attraction.

006 the juggler | spring 2010

art, literature, & design

st. louis abbey

black walnuts

digital photograph by Clare Brady

poem by Michelle Johnson

clare brady

michelle johnson

has been called the songbird of her generation.

is an English major from a town you may be able to locate on detailed maps.

Shade was the absence of August’s velvet heat. Bark stuck to our sweaty palms. Branches undulated under feet, rained down fruit on Berber grass, on inattentive us. Green globes burst with dark juice, bruised tan skin, stayed stubborn in finger-creases. Your fearless lazy hands built monuments to our stains in the cool shadows of the grove.


008 the juggler | spring 2010

the dinner date short story by Ben LaPres

ben lapres

is a junior aerospace engineer whose hobbies include behaving pretentiously and making outrageous accusations.

With a pasta dish, I always order the Viognier.  From past experience, I’ve learned that the alfredo here is nothing to get excited about, but it’s an excuse to order a white wine that doesn’t sound too ordinary.  Viognier sounds charming.  It’s exotic.  Vi-uh-nyay.  Most people who know nothing about wine won’t even… “Viognier?” She botches the pronunciation a little, with a smile and inquisitively wrinkled nose.  It’s cute. “Yeah…” I reply, faking embarrassment for some reason.  “It’s a white wine.  A little different than Chardonnay.” Her clear blue eyes brighten up with interest, and she turns to our waiter. "In fact, scratch the martini.  I’ll have the…” “Viognier,” I fill in for her, wringing out every bit of

the word’s beautiful sound without sounding too pretentious.  She smiles again.  To her credit, she’s prettier than she looked on the Internet.  That’s not to say she wasn’t pretty in the first place—she was, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, with the pasty alfredo—but she certainly isn’t photogenic.  She’s one of those people who smiles differently in pictures than she does when she tells you about her nephew or her mom.  In the pictures, her eyes aren’t in it.  They’re blank.  Her smile seems coerced.  Here, she smiles and her whole body seems to go into it.  She brightens, quietly giggles a little if I say something amusing.  She doesn’t try too hard to be too funny or too cute.  She’s honest, and I find her completely charming, as I thought I would.  I make an effort to be polite, to smile gently, never seeming pushy or overbearing.  The website told me she likes polite.  She likes gentle and cultured. I check all three off in my head.  I open with, “So, I read that you’re a librarian.”  I don’t usually like to ask about jobs, but the website indicated that she was, in fact, a librarian.  It mentioned it more than once, so I guess her job must be important to her, and as soon as I ask she brightens a bit again. “Just part time.  I’m taking some classes right now, but I love my job.”

art, literature, & design

She does.  Peace and quiet.  Independence.  Fulfilling experiences with school children who view her as a role model—she’s into the whole “good example” thing.  She’s gesturing around with those skinny fingers of hers, talking faster than I think she realizes.  Most of it sinks in, but my mind isn’t all there.  I’m lost in the light brown hair, the slightly sunburned skin of her shoulders.  By the time she finishes I’ve memorized the curve of her cheeks and the smell of her perfume.  Roses, and something sugary I can’t quite put my finger on… “What do you do?” she returns the question.  I tell her I’m in sales, but she can’t be sure.  Sales is broad.  Easy to fill in little details off the top of your head.  She seems interested, at least, so I talk and silently marvel at the life I’ve created, drawing her more deeply in with each nuance of the average week of my life.  Meetings with clients for expensive lunches.  Travel, occasionally, but not too often.  I finish, and she smiles again.  “Sounds like you really like it.”  I do.  After a while the Viognier has reddened her cheeks and smoothed out the little wrinkles in my speech.  We indulge in splitting a slice of chocolate cake, a guilty pleasure of hers (and apparently mine, too).  I let her talk, mostly, about her childhood and her plans for after she’s done with her classes, and when she asks me the same questions I’m able

pleased to meet you oil painting by Andrew McBride

andrew mcbride smells.


010 the juggler | spring 2010

to fill everything in that she needs to know.  I was born in Illinois.  I went to Mexico in college.  I have a Labrador Retriever named Woody.  I like horror movies.  When I tell her my parents split up when I was younger, she looks sweet and sympathetic and brushes the back of my hand with her fingers.  The hair on the back of my arm sticks up.  Roses again, and something sugary.  I won’t see her again.  The phone number she has will never reach me.  The website won’t ever be checked again.  She lives by herself.  It’s a small apartment, filled with books like you would expect a librarian’s home to be.  Between deep and feverish kisses I catch a glimpse of her refrigerator, covered with the scrawling of adoring children.  Her bed is just as soft as her fingers on my hand in the restaurant.

She’s lost all interest now, just as I knew she would.  The last wisps of her perfume smell cheap.  Asleep in her bed, she looks as she did in her pictures— blank, not peaceful, not smiling softly.  Her hair is duller now.  Her skin is pale.  Her lips are thin.  My clothes are on the floor, right where we left them.  I’m silently thankful the floor doesn’t creak, and the front door doesn’t click when I shut it, so she sleeps on.  She’ll wake up sometime. The sun is out, and its heat on my face is relaxing as I do my best to get my hair to lie down.  I fumble in my pocket for a cigarette and remember that I didn’t bring any with me to the dinner date.  She was, after all, looking for a non-smoker.  People are just starting their day, just filing into breakfast diners and small shops and newspaper sellers.  I head into a shop and buy some cigarettes.  With each greedy draw of the smoke, I feel more and more refreshed. And to tell you the truth, as I walk up the street, I don’t even remember her name. 

Tomorrow is Saturday.  There is no rising early to see to the children. 

karen-o oil painting by Colin Hofman

colin hofman

is a senior design major that spends his meager earnings on concert tickets and forties.

art, literature, & design


012 the juggler | spring 2010

requiem poem by Sarah Pinter

sarah pinter

is a novelist, a poet, and an English major. She enjoys playing her guitar, watching movies, and testing special relativity.

I. They say all Vienna was saturated in a chilly drizzle when Mozart died, as if God himself were weeping for the demise of such incomprehensible beauty. Calamity. Definition: The human mind pulsing out the last notes of its own requiem. Everything in its proper place for judgment.

II. But to be Salieri. To gaze from the curtain-folds of Vienna’s finest opera houses, a son of shadows, eyes stitched to the tiny figure murmuring every aria with indelible rapture— soft tenor of angels— Never able to do more than recognize his own inadequacy. What hath God wrought.

III. One day I will go to Vienna and stalk her quiet graveyards until I find the Common Pit where they left Mozart’s mortal coil, just to gauge God’s scent in the air. It probably lingers long after death. And then I will pay my respects to Salieri. The rain falls on them both, on one in somber tribute, on one in anonymous indifference. Timing, they say, is everything.

art, literature, & design

two-part invention silkscreen by Mary Cecilia Mitsch

mary cecilia mitsch is filling the void.



the juggler | spring 2010

revenge digital photograph by Molly McGowen

molly mcgowen

is a senior art studio major who had her first Dairy Queen Blizzard a week was really good.

art, literature, & design



the juggler | spring 2010

tragic sunshine girl short story by Joshua Whitaker

No one noticed her. She was one of those girls that was always just there. She was our tragic little sunshine girl. We could find her laughing away at whatever blew through the breeze. We dated for a while. I think I just felt bad, ya know? I knew she liked me, and I liked being the guy with a girlfriend. I was probably cruel, but we never felt right. I broke her feeble little heart when I let her down. Someone told me the next guy left ‘cause she wouldn’t get over me. It’s like I gave her a hurt that hurts forever, ya know, and it’s just gonna keep coming back. Her brother called me the night I did it, said she was locked in her room crying. He cussed me out like I was the devil or something. I didn’t know him that well, but I could tell he was even further sideways than she was. At least she had some family. That was probably good for her. I wonder what her parents thought. I was worried at first, but we were young. I think they got that. I saw her mom one time at a class banquet, one of those graduation events where all the parents get to fawn over their kids, and the kids have to dress up and pretend to be adults. She was real sweet. I had forgotten what she looked like. I didn’t even know it was her until afterwards. I’m pretty bad with faces and such. Probably ‘cause I’m just not good with people. I was never that great at getting attached. I usually start moving on when they start moving in. That’s kinda tragic, too, huh? Anyway, this girl was in choir. I’m pretty sure she was good, too. I never actually heard her alone, well, except for the one time. Each year the choir puts on a gala. They’ve got the whole choir doing songs, and individuals can do their own stuff, too. That first year, the year we

ended it, she did a trio with a couple other girls. She told some people how appropriate it was. The song talked about losing that happy ending forever. I guess that’s sort of what I was saying with the hurt, ya know? It’s always gonna be there to mess something up. She did good that year, as far as I can remember. I pretended to be sad during the performance. For appearances. It’s good for her to think she had some effect. Plus, I was sitting by my next girl. Sympathy always did smooth the path to the heart. We had classes together that next year. We were cordial, even joked around some. We had promised to stay friends, but we were never all that close again. She laughed at my jokes in English class, but then again she’d laugh at eraser dust if anyone were around to hear it. By the end of that year, I had all but forgotten her. I was a good six months in with another girl. I was pretty happy. I figured she’d moved on, too. I knew about the guy she’d been with for awhile. I’d see her around, too. I don’t know. I felt bad for her sometimes. That next year was our last year of school, so all the seniors were picking out their grand finales for the gala. I was excited about it. We had some real talent at that

art, literature, & design

The song was all about flames, flames burning away at you, burning you until you just don’t have anything left. At one point, she even grimaced. She had her composure until then. Someone in the audience yelled out, You got it girl. She smiled at that. It was a sad smile.

school. I went to all three nights, but she performed on the last. All the really good stuff was on the last night. She had a whole band behind her when the curtain came up. She was standing tall, all done up, too. She was pretty. I hadn’t always thought that. She had some really high heels on. You could tell she was nervous. She looked woozy almost, like she didn’t like being up so high. She was pretty tall anyway. She stepped forward, up to the front of the stage. Her heels made noise against the hardwood, like a clack-clack, clackclack. It was a slow sound, really loud, too. When the band started up, she smiled. It was a goofy thing, real wide and crooked. She was rocking back and forth, like she was about to fall over. I think I knew what was gonna happen. I don’t know. My heart was beating pretty fast. She took a breath, and started with the first line. I think I felt the whole crowd cringe. It was bad. I mean, it was really bad. I don’t know a ton about music, but I know when it’s bad, and this was really bad. She knew it, too, but she kept going. She went through the whole song like that, just totally off. She was breaking down. I think she knew how to get it back. She just couldn’t.

As it ended, she looked terrible. I think everyone felt for her. It was just the saddest thing. I dreaded having to see her after the show. I didn’t know what I’d say. You can’t just say good job when you both know it was awful. When it was over, she moved quick to get off the stage. The curtain was coming down slow. She was still holding her microphone and didn’t know where to put it. She took a few steps to one side of the stage, then went all the way to the other side to put the mic down, then had to cross again to leave. As the curtain dropped, all we saw was that tall, clumsy figure wandering back and forth across the stage, alone and dark with her head bent down and her feet shuffling across the wood floor like some wounded bird, clack-clack, clack-clack, clack-clack. I went to the bathroom later during the show. I went out the back, and I saw her running up the hall towards me with another girl. They were both giggling, the real giddy laughter that only girls could produce. She saw me and stopped and swayed. She stifled her laughter some to look at me. I told her good job. She said thanks. It’s sad for the ones that can pop back up like that. They’re the ones that are just gonna keep getting hit back down again. They ran off, giggling still. She wasn’t wearing the heels anymore, just your average flat-soled sneakers. They squeaked some on the tile floor before she ran out into the night, but mostly they were quiet. I watched her go, and listened to her feet on the floor. I could barely hear those soft little squeaks. If I’d been facing the other way, I probably wouldn’t have noticed her at all.


art, literature, & design

from pages 16–17:

how to listen poem by Kimberly Schlesinger

kimberly schlesinger

recognizes Cheez-Its as their own major food group.

traveling back linoleum print by Michelle Keefe

michelle keefe

is a senior Italian and studio art major, who spent all last year studying abroad in Bologna, Italy.  She loves tomatoes.

I am going to take the bed-stiff dawn in my hand and the cool moondusted shoulder in my soles when next the calendar calls. I am going to water the cedars hemming the interstate with the smooth cups of my eardrums, swear to them with silence they can still carry a tune. I am going to race nine and beat it by an hour, blow a kiss to distant five in the west from beneath each festive sprig of birdsong. For once, I will suffer no second-hand metronome to sink its teeth in my arm, no radio to rebuke me with traffic on the sevens. For once, I am going to pass those noise-weary wildflowers at less than eighty, and if the great drooling beast of the world stalks me from behind, I will stand like a silent totem and let its clammy breath steam over the hairs on the back of my neck.

permanence digital photograph by Lauren Kalinoski

lauren kalinoski

thinks she’s found a decent melody.


020 the juggler | spring 2010

thoughts on the visual quality of smoking prose by Laura Kraegel

It's the smoke, curling into the air. Watching it billow in a white-grey cloud and then dissipate into fine, fragile tendrils before its veins vanish above your head. It's the smoke that fascinates people, the action of exhalation. Its the expulsion of something so inorganic and foreign from inside your body—something white and dry and harsh from something so red and warm and wet. It's a warning. “You shouldn't do this. The colors don't match up, see?” But its the illegality that makes it so lovely. The contrast just breathes this lusciousness out in the air until the watchers can't do anything but let it soak into their skin and wish their tongues would speak in swirling, sweeping lace too.

laura kraegel

hopes you have a nice day.

The fire helps it along. The spark that blooms with a fantastic hiss and spit. The glow against flesh feels physical, feels reasonable, and shines so dimly that you're blind to what comes next. “It's fine. The faltering fire will never burn you. After all, you're its creator.” So the smoke draped your breath in beautiful white robes at first, but eventually it wraps your breath up so tightly that it's chalky and thick. It leaves this little powder in your sticky throat – not nearly as lovely as those pretty swirls. And there's nothing delicate in that pasty excess that crowds your coughing. But it's that part that situates itself to stay. Along with that brief smoky lace comes the unfortunate persistence of the chalk and the paste and the stick.

art, literature, & design

lighting digital photograph by Gaspar GarcĂ­a de Paredes

gaspar garcĂ­a de paredes

entre dos tierras esta, y no deja aire que respirar.


022 the juggler | spring 2010

aqua bliss linoleum reduction print by Georges Toumayan

georges toumayan

is a graphic design major with a love for shenanigans.

art, literature, & design

faerie children with pearl bodies discarded clothes and inhibitions drape the caustic, metallic fence ink sky drains into raven water melding in wedding obsidian infinite and omnipotent hand in hand in pain and joy float the wooden dock leap into the ebon - white wormhole to an other universe suspended for eternity that moment newton snaps shattering the looking glass maenads frozen in liquid ruby slipper sacrifice fumble for fig clothes bare feet gather gravel, dust scamper to warm, waiting beds

ariel poem by Brittany Burgeson

brittany burgeson

(aka B.Kitty) is often recognized as the freakishly tall background dancer in that thrillingly cult-tastic viral video.


024 the juggler | spring 2010

gustave and co linocut reduction print by Edel Crowe

edel crowe is a vampire.

art, literature, & design


026 the juggler | spring 2010

reputation poem by Sara Felsenstein

sara felsenstein

is an English major. She is most inspired by late-night conversations, jazzy music and jazzy people, Ted Kooser, and the glowing South Bend sky.

the city night smirks with the knowledge that something’s at stake, white lights and black mail— I cannot sleep I will not wake short men stand beside stacks of newspapers, hands on their hips, they know that all it takes is one dollar fifty, just one night to ferment my name like cheap wine to blend naturally with cosmo, star, and the candy bars. and the pigeons will pick at the papers left behind, dirty crumbs of I and me scattered cross the streets where tires and feet crow morning, morning my foot hangs off the bed, moving in circles on the lukewarm linoleum, while outside the newspapers wait, their small words trembling with unsettled ink

art, literature, & design

after the rain digital photograph by Kirsten Blazic

kirsten blazic

grew up believing that nuclear power plants are actually cloud factories in disguise.


028 the juggler | spring 2010

art, literature, & design


jackie burke editor

amy ma The Juggler is a semiannual student art, design, and literary magazine of the Notre Dame community. It is printed at Ava Maria Press in Notre Dame, Indiana. Editorial and/or business correspondence should be addressed to:

The Editor, The Juggler 315 LaFortune Student Center Notre Dame, Indiana, 46556

The Juggler can also be reached via e-mail at Poetry, short fiction, essays, art, and design are accepted at any time (preferably by e-mail). The material in this publication is protected by copyright and may not be reprinted, copied, or quoted, except by specific written permission. The opinions expressed in The Juggler are not necessarily those of the University of Notre Dame or the student body. Thanks for reading.

assistant editor

andrew pautler art & design director

andrew pautler kirsten blazic larisa conant graphic design

bob franken ‘69 advisor

ingrid hess robert sedlack ‘89 design advisors

art selection andrew pautler jackie burke larisa conant kirsten blazic

writing selection

fear watercolor painting by John Traub

john traub

is a junior industrial design major with big city dreams.

rachel hamilton caitlin wilson jane wageman emily barton nick brandt erica wick katherine khorey graham boechler marissa frobes paul baranay em lyons


The Juggler | Spring 2010