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lux fall 2012

Lux Literary Magazine produces a biannual publication of student poetry, fiction, and art for the Bard College community. By creating an open venue for student work, we aim to promote expression and exchange amongst student writers and artists. Lux Magazine, Bard College, Fall Semester 2012. All works copyright Lux Literary Magazine. Printed by ColorPage, a division of Tri-State Litho. The reproduction of any portion of the magazine’s contents without permission is prohibited. Lux reserves first publication rights. Upon publication, remaining rights revert to the authors.

Executive Editors Ash Duhrkoop Josh Corner Fiction Editor Josh Corner Art Editor Nicole Maron Nonfiction Editor Sam Prince (abroad Fall ‘12) Poetry Editor Ash Duhrkoop Associate Editors Maia Akiva Defne Gencler John Ohrenberger Molly Goodman Sean Newcott Nicola Goldberg Erin Kelly Doireann Herold Cypress Marrs Linda Dayan Collin Leitch Sarah Mitchell

acknowledgements The staff of Lux Literary Magazine would like to thank the following, in no particular order: The incredibly talented students of Bard College, who continually submit their best work to us every semester. The dedication of our student body never ceases to impress and inspire us. The faculty of Bard, in every division, who constantly push the creative faculties of students to new heights. Our fellow student publications: Bard Free Press, Baby Teeth, Qualia, Sui Generis, Bard Science Journal, La Voz, The Moderator, Bard Papers. The readers of our magazine, for making the work we put in worthwhile. Happy reading! — Lux Editorial Staff

table of contents J.P. Lawrence Nowhere to Poop......................................................................1 Leah Stern Bacon is for Cool Kids...............................................................11 Ted Jameson Montpelier..............................................................................12 Orit Yeret RUSH-RUSH BAGS....................................................................13 Max Taylor-Milner Untitled......................................................................14 Emma Horwitz Clap to Cloud City...........................................................15 Sophie Strand Shadows at Masada...........................................................20 Lauren Barnes A Collection of Seventeen Tables......................................22 Leah Stern It Will Make You Cry...............................................................24 Cassidy Turner Mirror...............................................................................25 Vladimir Nahitchevansky Moscow...........................................................26 Marty Abby-Schneider Pig-Man..............................................................29 Allison Shyer Dyke: an etymological fairy tale.........................................30 David Sater LacoĂ–n Waters of Thought.....................................................34 K.A. Feltkamp In Absentia.........................................................................35 Max Taylor-Milner Untitled......................................................................38 Tamas Panitz Canto 1. inferno. Hollander................................................39 Caia Diepenbrock Untitled........................................................................45 Maeve Dillon Water Study.........................................................................46 J.P. Lawrence Hydroplaning.......................................................................47 Miles Berson Road.....................................................................................49 Tara Sheffer / Sam Cutler-Kreutz Thirteen Pieces.................................... 50 Andrew Kaplan Toponymy........................................................................51 Camille Meshorer Untitled........................................................................52 Lauren Barnes 253 White Houses............................................................... 53 Tasha Friedman neo-Alexandrianism......................................................54 Marty Abby-Schneider Squid...................................................................56 Tamas Panitz Tragic Observance of an Essence........................................57 Tara Sheffer / Sam Cutler-Kreutz Thirteen Pieces..................................58



nowhere to poop: A Study of the Alienation of

the Modern Man in the Context of Suburban America J.P. Lawrence


hat is acceptable and what is not? To delve to the root of this issue, the author of this paper observed a college-age, Asian-American male as he experiences a breach between public protocol and private urges. The subject describes himself as 5’7” (a wildly optimistic measure), 140 pounds (undoubtedly a generous sum), and patently average in most respects. The observations recorded below were gathered while milling through the consciousness of the subject during a run one spring day in New York’s Hudson Valley. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:02 p.m. • The air is cool and clammy as the subject runs with a choppy gait down the gravel shoulder of a countryside road, skirting the edge between the path and the steep shear drop down to the ditch below. • With the subject is a girl on the team with whom the subject is infatuated, a girl wearing black tights. Running abreast of each other, at an easy pace, the subject and the girl are at this point two miles into a route that takes them away from their gym for a long, eight mile run into the surrounding community. • The subject waits for an appropriate silence. The subject misses his cue. He waits for the next appropriate silence. The subject finally asks: “So. What do you do?”


2 • Preliminary small talk ensues. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:05 p.m.

• The two runners clomp forward in silence, all avenues of conversation long exhausted. The only sound one hears is that of shoe soles tearing through soft gravel, sending pebbles skittling backward in their wake. The girl keeps a steady pace, her eyes fixed on the road ahead. The subject slowly falls back. The distance between them grows. • The subject wonders why he cannot “get over himself ” and “pull the trigger.” He ponders why the girl did not bother speaking to him. He chides himself for over-intellectualizing. • There are times, the subject reports, when the act of running becomes an act of bliss, an effortless flowing motion through yielding space and time, when the lungs clear and the legs glide light like paper planes – this is not one of those times. His legs feel heavy, and his arms coil tight around his abdomen, which raps a stammering tattoo. In addition, the subject reports the anticipatory growls of his bowel. This feeling may factor into the subject’s discomfort; additional research is required to isolate between possible factors. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:09 p.m. • The subject reports he, in his vernacular, “really, really has to go,” and at this point, the slowing of the subject’s gait has become noticeable. Under his breath, the subject curses his situation. He feels alone, without guidance, unsure of what he is expected to do – he sees a gap in the social contract. The subject looks at the houses he passes on the roadside, envying their location, but he is afraid, afraid to knock on a stranger’s door and ask to use, and probably ruin, that


3 stranger’s toilet. “And what about her?” the subject thinks, referring to his running partner. “Would she have to wait? Would she stand in the doorway, talking to the people who loaned me their bathroom?” Hypotheticals like these prove hardy excuses. The subject keeps running. • The girl glances behind her at the subject, now two to three strides back. “Are you alright?” she says. The subject replies in the affirmative - perhaps feeling he cannot display any sign of slowness, weakness in the presence of his infatuation. Regardless of intent, this affirmation causes the girl to turn her head forward and resume the run, which at this point, has approximately five and a half miles remaining. “Self-control, self-control. Hold it together,” the subject says, but his stomach disagrees with him.

Observed Apr. 4, at 5:14 p.m. • The subject drops back further and further; additionally, he reports intensification of the desire to evacuate his bowels. The subject thinks back to his toilet training as young toddler, of sitting in a plastic chair shaped like a purple dinosaur, with its removable green pan underneath. The subject also thinks back to his psychology lessons, to Freud’s anal stage of sexual development: the stage children begin to control their anal sphincters, and therefore are able to give or withhold gifts at will. The subject thinks this is bullshit. • The defecation process is actually a complex partnership between voluntary and involuntary mental processes. As material – normally composed of a mixture of fiber, dead bacteria, and other undigestables – collects in the ampulla recti, the rectal walls expand, activating the stretch receptors and causing three things:


4 1. The contraction of the rectal muscles 2. The relaxation of the internal anal sphincter

3. An initial contraction of the skeletal muscle of the external sphincter. These involuntary actions are relayed to the brain, which signs off the process and authorizes the contraction of the rectum in peristaltic waves, which push the material, which for the average human weighs approximately two pounds, forward. • Now three steps further back than before, the subject runs now ten full meters behind his running partner. Turning around, the girl asks, “You doing alright?” The subject stops running, and waves his hand at her. “I’m good. You go on ahead.” And the girl does. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:17 p.m. • All alone now, the subject has slowed his run to a limp, with his right leg moving forward first, followed by a dragging of the left. Each step becomes agony – ragged and painful, accompanied by a twinge in the abdominals. The subject recognizes himself as being at the halfway point of the running route: exactly four miles from home in either direction. Bomber pilots in World War II called this the point of no return. This is the point on a flight where, due to fuel consumption, the plane no longer has enough fuel to go back; the bomber can only go forward, to its destination, to dump its load. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:19 p.m. • The subject has stopped in the middle of the road, doubled over in pain, wondering how this situation arose. His breathing is heavy as he groans and stumbles to a standing position. He reports the fol-


5 lowing hypotheses: “that there might be a bug going around.” Counterpoint: Corroboratory data for this theory is sparse and may in fact not exist. • The subject also, from time to time, repeats the phrase, “Why me?” – indicating a decidedly moralistic and deterministic stance, as if some punitive metaphysical factor is involved in the root cause; Jesus, karma, and luck – all cited as possibilities. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:23 p.m. • The subject begins searching for a woodland area. While the concept seems simple, the subject quickly finds that defecating in the woods is a delicate proposition. In addition to the logistics of cleanup, almost all of the woods in the surrounding area are in the immediate backyards of the residents there. • The area in question is a suburban neighborhood of the wooded sort, with most of the houses multi-level, family-style homes with backyards and a little bit of green. The subject notices each house is spaced just far enough, consuming just enough nature, to prevent infiltration, and the woods themselves, barren from winter, provide little shelter. • While the subjects sees no cars, no one immediately present in the neighborhood, he clings to the idea that the residents are simply cocooned inside their houses, looking with judgmental eyes out their windows at the glory of nature, their hands ever close to the phone, ready to dial in policemen to take away any criminal indecent. The subject decides it would be quite faux pas to get caught pants down in a stranger’s yard.

Observed Apr. 4, at 5:27 p.m.



• While continuing to walk, the subject begins the process of seriously considering knocking on someone’s door to use his or her bathroom. Counterpoint: The subject is an outsider, a non-native without friends to ask or bother; behind any door upon which the subject would knock is a stranger, a possible source of rejection. The thought of imposing upon a stranger the very private act of defection, to stand in front of someone and ask him or her to consider the existence of the subject’s anus – terrifies the subject. And to wait for their response, to see them acknowledge the burden place upon them, to watch them lead the subject – a stranger – into the privacy of their home, into their bathroom, and then to sit on their toilet and know they are waiting, waiting for this all to end: this terrifies the subject. What if the homeowner is suspicious, resentful, worse? And what if the homeowner is a maniac, waiting spider-like to add to his pelt collection? Or worse – what if the homeowner is old and lonely, and wanting of small talk, tea and company? Observed Apr. 4, at 5:37 p.m. • Cars in the driveway, the subject decides to look for. The subject finds a large white Victorian-era style farmhouse with a wraparound porch, two shiny sports utilities vehicles in the driveway, and bay windows. But the house intimidates the subject – it seems too nice, too elegant, to be used as a public restroom – the owners of the house, no doubt, too posh to allow a ruffian in to use to john. The subject shoots a forlorn look as he decides to walk on by the nice white house. “They probably have two bathrooms I’m not allowed to use,” the subject says. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:48 p.m. • The subject ventures into the domain of another house, this one with


7 a circular driveway filled with cars, but the house seems empty. But all the houses seem empty, inhospitable, the subject reports, with their long driveways, hillsides, and fences. The subject limps his way up to a doorway, rings the bell, and waits, waits, waits, with his insides raging in anticipation, for someone to answer the door – but to no avail. Whether the cause is that of indifference, of people simply being absent; or malice, of people hearing the door but ignoring it – no one answers. Dejected, the subject is still three miles away from home. • At this point, the subject is barely walking. His abdominals clenched, his sphincter clenched, his teeth closed over shallow breaths, the subject reports a sense of impending doom. He fears he may die, or worse – embarrass himself.

Observed Apr. 4, at 5:51 p.m. • “Forgive me Jesus, God, etc., for what I am about to do,” the subject says, quietly, as he wanders into the woods. Having been rejected by civilization, the subject ventures into the forest, where he hopes to find a spot fit for him. A little bit of privacy is all he wants, a little branch here and there to mask the shame of the subject’s body and the subject’s bodily functions from the world. He finds a copse of thick trees in the center of the wood. • But even in the deepest center of the grove, among the naked trees, the subject can see the road, and he is sure the road can see him: he has no shelter. Where Wordsworth or Thoreau retreated into the woods and saw beauty, the subject, leaning against the tree he chose, can only see split-level homes, a road, two children’s play sets. The subject turns toward the sound of nearby rustling: four white-tailed deer, bounding inline, their tails up. As they disappear across the



road, the subject reports feelings of envy – envy of their freedom to do as they please, to go where they please, to defecate wherever necessary. • But the subject cannot bring himself to do the deed: some rules must be kept, the subject thinks, some taboos must be followed, some aspects of the human body must be hidden from the sight of others because the very sight would confer pollution. The presence of the children’s play set one hundred yards right in front of him affects the subject most. Observed Apr. 4, at 5:59 p.m. • Perhaps the best option is to make peace with his bowels, to try to keep it together and just use the bathroom at home, the subject thinks this in the moments before his stomach comes roaring again: this time it’s close call – sweat drops from the subject’s temples, and his heart thumps heavy. • The subject gets up. He sees a blue split-level with an elevated porch and a parking lot with three cars. The space seems institutional, shared, like an apartment, a dorm, or a duplex. Emboldened, he staggers toward the door, where he sees movement – people. • “You want something?” a woman, white and aged approximately 2831, yells from the kitchen window, having seen the subject approach. • “This is going to be a weird request,” the subject shouts, “but can I use your bathroom?” • A pause. • Another pause.


9 • “Ok. Sure,” the woman says, “Come to the front.” • And she lets the subject into her home.

Observed Apr. 4, at 6:01 p.m. • The subject restrains himself from running through the woman’s house, instead settling for an anxious pattering dance on tip toes as the woman leads him through the foyer, littered with boots, through the living room, to the bathroom near the kitchen. Once in the bathroom, the subject slaps the light switch, gathers the door, and tries to slam it as quietly and as politely as possible, hoping that the cat has left the doorway. But a garbage can blocks the door. He tries to close the door again, and again, before kicking the can away with his foot until the doorway is free. Not bothering to lock the door, and his bowels having reached the boiling point, he jumps on the seat and hopes for the best. Observed Apr. 4, at 6:01 p.m. • All at once, the subject experiences an overwhelming relief beyond comprehension. Observed Apr. 4, at 6:06 p.m. • The subject sits on the seat, wondering how many flushes are required of him. He also ponders the current location of the girl. No doubt the stain of this strange run has polluted any chance with that girl, he thinks. No doubt the girl is now festooned to some soft chair, attached to some guy who doesn’t almost [defecate] himself on a run, the subject thinks. He thinks of ways he could move back into the girl’s graces. He thinks of what to say to the waiting Good Samaritans in room nearby.


10 • “Don’t overthink this,” he says. Observed Apr. 4, at 6:10 p.m.

• The subject emerges from the bathroom. The woman and her husband sit reading magazines on couches. “Thank you, for saving me from a lewd indecency charge,” the subject says. The woman smiles, says, “That’s alright,” but no further words are spoken, no names are given, and the subject leaves as soon as possible. • The subject walks the last two miles of his journey home. He reports feeling lighter, happier. Approximately 28 minutes later he arrives at his home and takes a long shower. • Later that night, he finds the woman and her husband have added him on the popular social networking site, Facebook.


he events observed show the modern man as an beast with primeval urges, willingly and willfully chained to the tenants of polite suburban culture, even when it causes him pain. The ease with which the subject attaches the stigma of pollution upon himself is frightening, as is the subject’s gratuitous levels of analysis. Perhaps more research, and more thinking, and more thought, is required to dig down to the root of this issue, its cause and its effects.



Bacon is for cool kids Leah Stern

Put your feet up on a bench Eat some bacon Outside of Trader Joe’s On a summer day a hot one And show 'em who’s boss



Montpelier Ted Jameson photography



RUSH-RUSH BAGS Orit Yeret Two of them nap in the back, feet pressed against the window, Where the chainsaws and the crowbars can’t hurt them. Mrs. Mommy doesn’t seem to function well without her mister, Pushing the baby’s cart along the criss-cross highway. The bus is shaking… those traffic hours are the worst, If it weren’t for the vibrations no one else could cope. The circular motion is like a dream, but, Drifting too much is dangerous, it can kill. Red ladies with their rush-rush bags are lurking, Eyeing for the next opening, throwing hateful stones. Miss B’s brown hair and pale skin are fresh - they see, Innocent sleeping beauty is still hoping to be kissed. Every single one of them is a thieve of the morning, That feeds off the first time users of the yellow light. A chaos won’t stop these unfortunate soles, Not the backed up road or Mr. D’s selfish mask. Can’t be saved until they reach the metal bars, Only to get lost again among the magician’s crowd.

Untitled Max Taylor-Milner photography



Clap to Fly into a Cloud Emma Horwitz

I sit back down in a seat that is not my own. The coveted position near the window is now mine— I look to the serenity of passing clouds and imagine them each as a devilish head, floating condensation sacs filled of lightening. I start rocking my new seat back and forth—I love searching for broken roller-coaster rides, though a plane is the ultimate game of fun. The new woman next to me is Martha Stewart. I can tell by her haircut, and her wrinkled eyes, her hands crossed over her laps. I ask her if she’s blind and she says nothing. She’s dead. I put my hand on her belly, which is not only unmoving, but tight, and muscular. Soda bubbles contract at a certain altitude, causing an immense disorder among the drinkers of caramel flavored water whom had all initially ordered a soda, a caramel flavored soda, not a disgusting drink lacking all necessary carbon to support its name in the first instance—the soda’s self requires the bubbles that disappear within a high cloud. Without fizz, the soda is not what anyone ordered, it is the dead thing we would have never ordered— In air, the beverage is not simply flat; the bubbly tang-tang has disappeared into the surrounding atmosphere, leaving a distaste of disappointment in its wake. Groans from the soda’s potential enjoyers: I don’t want this anymore, but I am not in control of the sanitation or trash of this metal body once upright and among wind patterned directions and therefore can not rid myself of this liquid as easily as if in my own kitchen: where can I throw the atrocity away. I can’t throw anything away up here, it’s like a flying trash can that produces its own trash.


16 I take Martha Stewart’s pulse again. It is still non-existent.

I lean over to another row, to ask if there’s a doctor in the surrounding area. —I’m the most famous brain surgeon in the Western Hemisphere, a man says, dressed in a navy suit with gold cufflinks. I believe his clothing, and show him Martha. I hold her limp arms in my own. —If I drop them, they land! That’s the sure sign of a dead thing, a submission to gravity. —There’s nothing I can do now that she’s gone, my specialty requires precise tools, and advanced electrical equipment this barreling shit of a rocket would never provide. Wait ‘til we land and I’ll call my friends in the obstetrician unit. They’ll know what to do with the giving life ordeal. Maybe they can re-do her birth. The plane is complete with would-be-flyers, the ones with perfect vision, at least. Everyone’s a would-be-pilot, except for those who have the all-too-common disability of blurry vision. All glasses wearing passengers lament their bodily denial (and the state’s regulations) for making the turn of phrase “nothing is impossible” to be proved incorrect: If you wear glasses, if you require them for books or road signs, you cannot fly a plane. The glasses folk, all lenses, realize this tragedy, and order many sodas, more than the plane allows. When told by flight attendants of their two drinkcapacity, the lenses flint their clarified sight of moral selves and growl until they are sympathetically given more soda, as many as they want, in new plastic cups, too, if it suits their desires. Not everyone realizes that everyone is qualified to become flight attendants of a plane, who are allowed as many drinks as they want, alcoholic, too.



When not everyone is equal on a plane, outrage ensues, and bones are threatened. Never has their been a vehicle with more instances of emotional bruising than a plane. Buses flip, cars disengage from their breaks and the tires of person-propelled transport pop, chunk, and skid to violent halts. It is not, though, on these alternative (and slow moving) modes in which emotional input (in being inadequate to even fly the damn thing oneself) translates into a physicalized spectacle of arm throwing, plastic knife cutting, oxygen tank strangling frustrations. This plane is relaxed, however; I haven’t seen a fist thrown yet. It is unclear if Martha has been killed, or if she has only died, by her own accord. Sensing the passivity of this particular ride, I’m presuming she’s had a heart attack.

The headrest television in front of my seat is tuned to the Martha Stewart Living show. Martha is teaching us, me and Martha, how to tie a ribbon around the legs of a turkey, so that the skin doesn’t fall off in the oven. I tell Martha about my knack for decorating dinner parties. She is great at listening. —What was it like in prison? Did you have bread, and was it your recipe they were using? She doesn’t move. Martha is cold and I give her my blanket. —I hope this isn’t too itchy, we’ll land soon. I’m flying to be dangerous. I’ve flown across this country and into the heads and arms of hundreds of weeping clouds, and not once did I feel


18 anything batter against the wings of the plane. I’m waiting for that trip where the plane bellies up like a beached whale in the sky. A backsheared anvil (what I am searching for), spreading against

the air-current is indicative of some kind of extreme weather, the type I’d like to be caught up in. The cumulonimbus reaching the ass of that backsheared anvil is sure to bring some kind of torrential downpour against this concrete sidewalk so much so that the fingerprints we made in the cement of a neighbor’s stoop when we rode three-wheelers melts away because that’s what clouds do; they help erode things. So why haven’t I ridden in a plane that’s been evil and chaotic before? I always get the safe ones. And the fact that I risk it, my life, to reach rain at it’s most basic source before it turns into an expansive mist, before it has sold out and fogged the window of our school bus on Monday mornings— I’m pissing here. Sitting next to the ever-elegant Ms. Stewart. I’m pissing my pants so she knows I can be as basic and potentially dangerous as cloud, too. How should I care for the body, for Martha, or for the corpse of Martha. I never took to her television show (I’ve since turned the channel), and wonder if she wears glasses. If not, would she have been interested in being a pilot? Would she have known it would have been an impossibility—perhaps that’s why she learned to cook so well, to keep her necessarily near the ground. Martha has the hands for flying, I see, manicured and arranged in a group of ten. She’s gone so long without a knick or discoloration on her body, and for what—for still limbs, without a smile, sure, but her head’s pretty eerie enough to sit next to on the descent, as the disgruntled flat-soda drinkers harass their neighbors, and let everyone know they got a perfect score in the third grade on each math test, but decided to study science because Biology should be everyone’s primary area of interest.



If we land, and if I am still alive, if I haven’t thrown up my guts so that my body, too, is empty (though in an obvious and savagely different way than Ms. Stewarts’), I will let Martha’s family know that in the airplane, among all of the barbaric commotion over missed opportunities and unknown dreams over cups of flat caramel soda, she remained incredibly poised, and at peace with the disappointments of sky travel.



Shadows at Masada Sophie Strand

I conjure up the bitter dust. Sanction off certain strains of wind. I will include the cliffs, the fortress, openings small enough for a pigeon wing, broken off at the clasp. Looking towards the plateau I turn Inside myself: the treasure trove. Outside the outer limits: living water made fresh. nearby amora. nearby the delta of the jordan river, sugarcane, palm trees and

sycamore fig.



nearby ibex, jackal, and leopard. nearby the perfumed sap of the balsam tree. I close it off. The armory will swell with pressure, the cisterns cake

with rain.

And inside the synagogue a dead sea will bloom. the rabbi will hover without a way in, holding his palms forward saying he has seen a vision of dry bones.



A Collection of Seventeen Tables, View 1 Lauren Barnes wood installation



A Collection of Seventeen Tables, View 2 Lauren Barnes wood installation



It Will Make You Cry Leah Stern

Some movie with the word TITANS in the title I didn’t want to see it and that’s not why I was there It was late at night and the theater was closing as I ran in sweating so goddamn madly from running the whole way there It was because I knew I needed to cry The machine was still on as everything was closing so I jammed my phone into the thing inserted my quarters and pressed download

It rumbled first then data appeared on the screen in words and numbers of green, red, yellow It all rushed by so quickly telling me that I needed to download the next six programs RECOMMENDED it said FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT CRIED IN A YEAR OR MORE I pressed download put some more quarters in the needy slot while the lights went off around me and the TITANS movie ended Waiting for the download to complete Technical tears will come, if any



Mirror Cassidy Turner photography



Moscow Vladimir Nahitchevansky

I stood atop the Kremlin In a daze Marveling at its snow swept streets The lying city-in blankets bellowMOSCOW!! A melting pot for wishy washy Men Sporting heavy military jackets Cat hats Wasted students waving flags Flags-flags-flags-flags They stand for nothing ALL EXCUSES FOR CELEBRATION!! Dance and drink in cathedral lit streets

Be Beats

Fuck up midnight rambles In

War torn-refuge basements

Lets make love until the sun reaches over Erect nipples, just like St. Basil’s cathedral



When the light drifts

Along crusted streets Of dead snow Ushering the fornicators of night Into hiding




8:00 8:30 That


Only when the women have laid to bed Les petite ребенокs And the old ladies huddle cozily to their water boilers The last of the flame flickers in the hearth And the dogs are kicked out into Streets of fallen angels

Which the children have left behind in play




You petty Shopkeepers, who will sell A dozen roses Pocket Your dignity

And kick you out on your ass There are no roses for MOSCOW Tonight


I found a warehouse

On one of my many evening strolls along the river bank Tumbling Into the cold mouth of the river Griped by Rasputin’s iced hands Tearing at the buildings seemsPulling it away from its iron roots It screamed


Pig-Man Marty Abbe-Schneider drawing

lux 29



Dyke: an etymological fairy tale (excerpt) Allison Shyer

This is a poetic project, as well as an excavation, as well as an examination and a reclamation‌ and a proclamation. It contains some facts and some not-facts and some blending of the two. The entries are drawn from a variety of sources including the OED, the Dictionary of American Slang, and the Oxford etymological. Entries are parsed according to root words and chains of meaning and then reconstructed following the concepts and roots from which they are drawn to create new meaning.

Appendix 1. Female homosexual 2. Formalwear 3. Stone Wall



DYKE Definition One (N.); A female homosexual; lesbian.

• Lesbian: a mason’s rule of lead, of a type used on the island Lesbos, which could be bent to fit the curves of a molding. • Curves: an attractive young woman; “sometimes the boys follow the pretty girls down the street and call out to them ‘you’ve got nice curves!” • Curve: a personal peculiarity, to be “off ones base” eg: curve ball. • Off: uninterested in, not interested in, not wanting; “she’s off the boys for life, plays football and takes boxin’ lessons, stead of obligin’ at the piano and knittin’ doilies.’ Dyke (ADJ): a personal peculiarity; a refusal to oblige, eg; to have a dyke against. (ADV): to bend with the curve of the body. To curve with the rule of the body, but not the law. (N.) a lawless female. Eg; she did her dissertation on dykes, outlaws and western expansion.



Dyke Definition two: Stemming from the German term “dike” meaning to dawn ones best attire, to be “diked out:” to wear one’s formal attire. • Dyked out: when a lesbian woman dawns formal men’s attire. • Glamour butch: a masculine lesbian homosexual who wears formal clothes. • Butch: studiously masculine, often referring to male or female homosexuals. • Butch up: a homosexual male who accentuates his masculinity in order to hide his orientation, or a lesbian who accentuates masculine characteristics in order to accentuate her orientation. • Orientation: the act or process of orienting. • Orient: term that describes the iridescence of a pearl • Pearl: a smooth, rounded bead formed within the shells of certain mollusks and composed of the mineral aragonite or calcitein a matrix, deposited in concentric layers. • Pearl: an attractive woman

• Pearl Dive: to perform an act of cunnilngus Dyke(V): a perfomative act of orientation, to orient oneself along a line of chacarteristics. ADJ: smooth or beadlike, referring to sexual acts between two women. ADV: a performative smoothness meant to accentuate ones attractiveness to those of the same sex see pearl Dyke.



Dyke Definition Three: an embankment constructed to prevent flooding, to keep out the sea. a vertical or near vertical wall like body constructed of Igneous rock. A body, a barrier or obstruction. Body: The entire material or physical structure of an organism, especially of a

human or animal. b. The physical part of a person.

c. A corpse or carcass Corpus: The sense of body of a person. A collection of facts or things •

Corporate: to form into a body. Like: Having the same characteristics or qualities as another (middle English) having the same form; with corresponding body.

Obstruction: build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder,” from latin root ob  meaning “against” stonewall :  to obstruct,” 1914, from metaphoric use of  stone wall  for “act of obstruction” (1876). Related:  Stonewalled;  stonewalling. Stonewall (Jackson): A nickname of Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson (1824-1863), bestowed 1861 on the occasion of the First Battle of Bull Run, supposedly by Gen. Bernard Bee, urging his brigade to rally around Jackson, who was “standing like a stone wall.” Bee was killed in the battle; the account of the nickname appeared in Southern newspapers within four days of the battle. Stonewall (inn): Sight of the stone wall riots of 1969, widely considered to be the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement. Patrons of the stone wall in were known to be some of the most marginalized groups in the gay community, including drag queens, effeminate young men, hustlers and homeless youth. Marginalize: to make marginal notes, from  marginal  +  -ize. The meaning “force into a position of powerlessness”

Dyke (N): A human carcass built like rock against the sea, built like rock against body, stemming from the word embankment from Ob: meaning against, Igneous rock, the material structure of body. Dyke(V) to make marginal notes on ones own body, to present one’s body as a force of change.



LacoĂ–n Waters of Thought David Sater drawing



In Absentia K.A. Feltkamp He always downed an entire package—8 mini pork pies—at once. He’d fly through the door, smiling and flustered from Cross Island Fruit, and plop all 82 pounds of himself down at the kitchen table, ripping the small, clear tub out of the wrinkly plastic shopping bag. He’d wrestle his way through the packaging and dip into the pies, pencil-thin fingers smashing the first piece of crust and seasoned cured pork into his mouth with a groan of bliss. Disgust prickled the back of my neck, but I had to stay since it was my only real chance to watch him eat. He wouldn’t stop until there was only an overturned, licked-clean carton. He kept the empty cartons in our back room like a menagerie of good times. When he wasn’t paying attention, I would try to throw them out; but he always found a way to sneak them out of the recycle bin and back into the house. The pies were his only indulgence, both in calories and in money. Every other calorie was toiled over and every other spare cent went into a ceramic piggy bank with a mustache drawn on its nose: his surgery fund. When we lay in bed, I could still smell the pork on his dry skin and in the follicles of his brittle, blonde hair. I let my hand float down his side, counting his ribs. They seemed to multiply every night, changing him into a single, rib-filled creature. I reached to touch his breast, the only bit of skin and fat he had left, but he pulled away with a grunt and I retreated to the cold side of the bed, missing the pieces of him that I used to be able to hold. Sometimes I watched my husband bind in the morning, his floppy woman tissue transformed into masculine flatness by a special Taiwanesemade binder. He never wanted me to watch – he hardly wanted to watch himself – but I found it soothing, inspiring. When he stood in front of the mirror, arranging his clothes over his modified body, he looked so brave.



He fought against his own body every morning, waiting for the day after his top surgery when he didn’t have to fight himself anymore. He could wear his twin battle scars proudly and finally be free from his dysphoria. The thought of this rightness, this finality, was stunningly beautiful. Ninety-six pork pies later, he turned to me and asked, “You scared?” He took my hand with his IV-punctured one. “No,” I lied. “I am,” he whispered into the sterile white of the hospital. The confession hung in the stale air, fluttering like a dying moth before falling inevitably into my hand. He seemed small, all sprawled out in the thin sheets of the hospital bed, and his eyes blinked so large and jittery amidst the black circles of sleeplessness and hunger. The entire place had a hush to it that frightened me and it had all the terrible smells of death and birth coupled together. A straight-hipped nurse marched in, white sneakers noiseless on the mopped floor, and he put on his poker face. The muscles around his colorless, steady lips relaxed into an emotionless mask. It was always his specialty. “We’re going to roll you into the OR now,” the nurse announced, her voice sounding ominous in the empty, quiet room. He looked up at me, the corners of his eyes crimped, and squeezed my hand. I bent over to kiss him and he met me halfway, pressing into me meaningfully. The intensity brought me back to the first time we’d kissed, standing like long-lost travelers on my front porch. I could still remember how the wind blew his long, curled hair and how I thought that he looked like a model in a Hollywood photo shoot. “I love you,” his lips brushed against mine, the shape of the words well-wrought from so much use. “I love you, too,” my lips told the skin behind his ear. Those were our last words.



I’m glad I could never throw away his pork pie containers. Now they lie around the house, displaying my things. There’s one for loose change on my dresser and another that jingles with screws when I knock it off the shelf in the back room. One on my desk holds thumbtacks, another paperclips, and another keeps all my tubes of chapstick in one place. Yesterday, I found one carton covered in dust, hiding behind the china closet in the dining room, completely empty. I held it a moment and stared, shocked that I’d lost track of it. I tried to think back to when I’d moved it from his hoard to the dining room, but I couldn’t drudge up the memory. So I carefully cleaned it out, wiping away the years with my hands, before stocking it with my newly-sharpened colored pencils. When I wander around the house alone, there are always little pieces of him eternally filling, emptying, and refilling with bits of me.



Untitled Max Taylor-Milner collage



Canto 1. inferno. Hollander. Tamas Panitz Midway in myself, in a way. Ah, how hard that wood, savage pensier/ renews! The Yew so bitter tratta/ the good I find recounted in me. To measure light by Io sonorous moon via abbandonai. I reached the foot the valley pierced I saw its first light dritto. Then the fear lago del cor was calmed. E come quei che con the shore turns



so retro to look persona viva. il corpo I took along always lower than the other. Ed ecco, near the beginning a leopard –che di pel– refused to me so many times I turned. That principal hour sol montava, with those stelle l’amor divino set in motion so, despite that I still L’ora del tempo e la dolce fear la vista. contra me– held high– the air.



And seemed made many my spirits vista the ascent. And like the time turns all thought, la bestia poco a poco drove me. I was fleeing my figure in the wide silenzio. When I saw whatever you are ombra or omo! “I was parenti patria. I was e in an age.



I was a poet Troy combusto. But you, you dilettoso monte cause me?� You then a stream of speech my head bent. O de li poeti lume my long study, avail your volume. You are. You are me. the beast that forced me from her, pulses. “You must follow, weeping, this wild. The bestia lets no man go tanto.



Natura is vicious greedy she feeds. Molti a cui infin doglia. Feed on wisdom, amore between felt and feltro. Salute the Italia for which la vergine died. Hunt her back to whence set her loose. Discerno tua guida per loco etterno; Disperate antichi spiriti . You will see because among.



Should anima find a soul more fit I’ll leave you. For the seat a rebel should make. In every part and there!� I entreat you know, male e peggio lead me to la porta and color. Set.



Untitled Caia Diepenbrock ink, charcoal powder



Water Study - I. Tide, II. Rising, III. View Maeve Dillon photogravure



Hyrdoplaning J.P. Lawrence At age 11, Dany saw her father immolated by lightning. He was immolated by lightning on a pier by the lake on the weekend after the Fourth of July. Dany and her mother stood at the doorway of the porch. Her father was bringing the boat back in and the sky was black and blue and when the lightning hit, it sounded like gunfire. The police reports said her father was immolated on the metal pier and Dany learned a new word that day. Now Dany’s 16 and the rain tap-dances on her bedroom window and she can hear the rain gush from the gutter spout above the patio. Her mother’s asleep on the couch with both arms over her eyes. Dany stalks into the kitchen. She’s wearing shorts, a red hooded raincoat, boots that squeak. She grabs her mother’s spare car key on the counter by the doorway. Dany drives down the state highway toward her grandma’s place and sheets of rain sweep across the cornfields on each side of the empty road. The leaves shiver with each wave and the cornfields sound like soldiers on the march. The telephone poles appear and disappear as she drives by – one after another. Eric Burdon’s on the radio. And then it happens. The car hits a slick. Loses traction. Jolts forward. Dany’s falling into the center of the earth and something sinister swallows her heart with a gulp. Her eyes are wide. And then it ends. The tires catch the road. The rain continues its assault.



Dany runs her hand across the dash. The world – it blinked. Like a stone that skips upon the water, she flew – she flew into some terrifying universe with strange new rules of time and physics, and then gravity reclaimed her, savagely. Dany turns off the radio and takes off her seatbelt. She feels her smallness in the cabin of the car. She feels like she did the first time she took off her shirt and her boyfriend looked at her – really looked at her. She feels electric. Dany hits the gas. She brakes. Nothing. She accelerates, brakes. And it’s expected now, like a thank you. But the car holds fast and she’s frustrated like when you rear back to sneeze but then the sneeze won’t come. Again! Again! And now! Dany hits a slick, her heart skips – the car careens and skids. And when it’s done her fingertips tingle and her smile is wide like the prairie. The rain breaks. Dany arrives at grandma’s place. The air is cool, humid. Dany has never seen the ocean, but she assumes it smells like the air does now, after a storm. Her mother is waiting for her when she gets home that night. Dany and her mother argue in the kitchen and in their raging her mother hurls a coffee mug. It grazes Dany’s back and skids across the linoleum floor. And Dany spends the night at her grandma’s.

Road Miles Berson photography


film still from Thirteen Pieces of the Universe, directed by Tara Scheffer with cinematography by Sam Cutler-Kreutz.




Toponymy Andrew Kaplan

No one lost any sleep the night it snowed up on Black Mountain. Deeper, by the foot, the forests struggled with the weight, the pines evergreen, nearly, over the dark gray stones.

East of the mountain, westward of the town flowed the White River. (Flowed, I shouldn’t say: it stood there, still.) Its streams were frozen solid into thick ice. That wasn’t on the map.

John Black, who’d named the mountain, in his grave felt the snow falling, bright and undeterred. Then the sun rose: through crevices in clouds a rush of Red on rivers, over hills.



above: Untitled, Camille Meshorer, photography opposite: 253 White Houses Lauren Barnes, paper installation





neo-Alexandrianism Tasha Friedman

At dawn the son of Battus turns north as dawn’s first frill pickles in the east Though he does not know it, nor how his shadow falls like a box of pins knocked off the shelf and as they spread in despair across the kitchen floor all shivering with intent you stared at them and slowly sat down beside them to read their angles and unblooded points. Born on lamb’s day in month of lambs, I carved aitiologia with one fingertip in the fog of the bathroom mirror in hopes that I might see it again.

••• Young Pallas dreams of priesthood, princes anointing his brow with lamb’s blood



and shifts of white cloth enfolded as bodies are. His mouth opens and lets out a small cry- o!that is like a small wound in the thick woven air.

••• Songs for Daphnis are best heard pale with cold morning steam like last he was lying flat hair spilled and only curled like so many pennies pipes at his lips, he filled them with his last breath and a tune to make the rocks peer over, the grass peer in, and wild things of the woods hold their lofty gait to blink mirrored eyes at this last song for Arcadia. Then came Pan, the god of all things and all things are Pan, the god I saw only once. His grass smile faded and the leaves turned around his summer brow.



Squid Marty Abbe-Schneider drawing



Tragic Observation of an Essence Tamas Panitz

How quickly it goes from

that this,

to this, that.

film stills from Thirteen Pieces of the Universe, directed by Tara Scheffer with cinematography by Sam Cutler-Kreutz.

Lux Fall 2012  

Bard College's undergraduate literary and art magazine, fall 2012 issue.