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Thanks to Associated Students of Whitman College Penrose Library for their financial support

Special thanks to Professor Scott Elliott Amber Dobbs Woodworth Whitman Events Board Katharine Curles, Barbara Maxwell, and Leann Adams Reid Campus Center The Whitman College Pioneer The Whitman College Multimedia Development Lab


Landings 1 & 2 Kyla Rapp copper plate etching

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Jessica Palacios Linnaea Weld LAYOUT EDITORS Eli Cohen Zoe Guckenheimer Jessica Palacios POETRY EDITOR Ben Caldwell POETRY STAFF Catherine Fisher Esther Ra Sage Malecki Adrienne Groves PROSE EDITOR Hillary Smith PROSE STAFF Antara Bird Mika Nobles Grace Dunbar Molly Cameron Sophie James Tessa James ART EDITOR Molly Walls ART STAFF Lydia Lapporte Sarah Cornett Kyla Rapp Kerr Ivan Cirilo Taylor Penner-Ash Lily Monsey DIGITAL MEDIA EDITOR Cody Burchfield DIGITAL MEDIA STAFF Jillian Briglia Janssie Zhu Izzy Dunn PUBLIC RELATIONS EDITOR El Horsfall PUBLIC RELATIONS STAFF Samantha Tong Cara Casper COPY EDITORS Esther Ra Hillary Smith Ben Caldwell

blue moon Whitman College


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blue moon, Whitman College’s student-staffed art and literary magazine, is published annually in April in Walla Walla, Washington. blue moon accepts unsolicited submissions of art, prose, poetry, and digital media. All submissions to blue moon are judged anonymously and selected by the editors and staff. Whitman College is not responsible for the contents of the magazine. The magazine accepts no liability for submitted artwork and writing. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the editors or staff members. The individual contributors hold copyrights to artwork, texts, and digital media in this issue. No material may be reprinted without the permission of the magazine or contributors. blue moon is a not-for-profit media organization within the Associated Students of Whitman College. All donations and gifts to blue moon are tax-deductible. Please make checks for donations and subscriptions payable to the Associated Students of Whitman College. Copyright 2016, blue moon For more information on how to submit, subscribe, and donate, please visit blue moon Whitman College 280 Boyer Avenue Walla Walla, WA 99362

Contents How Poetry Comes Sam Traylor

11 poetry

Worn Marra Clay

32 art

Reach Natalie Mutter

12 art

Pausanias, Celia Langford

34 poetry

The things she carried: Chapin Dorsett

13 poetry

Impasse: Memory Fiona Bennitt

36 art

Grits Marra Clay

14 poetry

East WA Marra Clay

37 art

Fairfax Tai Hallstein

15 art

How to Tame a Unicorn Nina Vanspranghe

38 prose

The Forest is My Brother Carolyn Erving

16 prose

Young Daphne Guiselle Gallegos

42 art

Untitled Sophie Cooper-Ellis

24 art

Star Guts Helena Platt

43 poetry

Emita mi Lunita Nina Vanspranghe

25 art

Cloudead Matthew Meyer

45 art

The Fruit of Knowledge Grace Little

26 poetry

Untitled Kerr Ivan Cirilo

46 art

Ocean Antara Bird

28 art

Driving Across the Snake River Plain Linnaea Weld

48 art

Taking Leave Esther Ra

29 prose

Lake Palouse Esther Ra

49 poetry

Bug Jack Swain

51 art

Obsession Jessica Palacios

86 prose

Supersaturated éclair

52 prose

Real Jazz Meritt Rey Salathe

88 poetry

Self-Portrait Rimona Law

56 art

the female sublime Maia Watkins

90 art

10 Things You Should Know About Being the Daughter of a Jewish Father and a Protestant Mother Mercer Hanau

57 poetry

sin título/untitled anonymous

91 poetry

Untitled Kerr Ivan Cirilo

59 art

Native Hannah Filley

92 poetry

Reclamation In Two Parts Catherine Fisher

60 poetry

There Appeared to Them Tongues as of Fire Olivia Gilbert

94 prose

Tina El Horsfall

62 art

Disembody El Horsfall

97 art

Any Green Thing Ben Caldwell

64 prose

98 poetry

Sandy Cave Travis Gallatin

82 art

Sometimes I Can’t Tell the Difference Between Dreaming and Lying Grace Little

Rainshadow Nolan Bishop

83 poetry

Quietude in the Doldrums Maddie Bailey

100 art

fine line Natalie Eve Gregorious

85 art

I haven’t seen you around before Catherine Fisher

102 poetry

44854085 Eric Underwood

103 art

Riding Hood Grace Carol Pyles

117 poetry

Untitled Sabrina Salkind

104 art

Hand Rimona Law

119 art

Love Rimona Law

105 poetry

Living Room Haikus Jack Swain

120 poetry

Tod Dem Kapitalismus Christine Schoeggl

106 art

Safe Space Maddie Bailey

122 art

HONDA MOTOR CO. Alan Mendoza

107 prose

Natural Science Marlee Raible

123 art

Colonial Zone Caroline Ashford Arya

110 art

For the Gunman, and for Peter Rachel Needham

124 poetry

After Love Nina Vanspranghe

111 poetry

Diptych Sophie Cooper-Ellis

126 art

Global Security Katy Wills

112 art

Kisses Haley Forrester

127 prose

Print by Numbers: Still Life with Peonies Asa Mease

114 art

A Digital Dune John Vincent Lee

129 art

Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” Ben Caldwell

115 poetry

The Silence of Sounds Grace Carol Pyles

130 poetry

Landings 1 & 2 Kyla Rapp

116 art

Dad Tai Hallstein

134 art

Digital Media All digital media pieces can be found on the DVD insert as well as on the blue moon website at:

Audio: I. She Had Roses Katie Zesiger II. Preview of LAM: Honcho Poncho (Sam Gelband) Dyno Two Wheel Driver Edison III. I closed the door to my dad’s Jack Swain new apartment and found a dead bird. It was so small. Visual: IV. mermangrindr.gif V. Visual Communication

Gus Coats, Matthew Meyer & Ari Appel Rimona Law

Audio/Video: VI. Cycle VII. MEMBA - Nimbus VIII. Vert IX. Mezi Nami X. THEY PUT FRUIT IN THE WATER AGAIN XI. MEMBA - Finale XII. With or Without

El Horsfall Cody Burchfield Tyler Warren Meg Logue John Vincent Lee Cody Burchfield Zoe Guckenheimer

Letter from the Editors This year, we, the Editors-in-Chief, are a little bit like high schoolers who just got high for the first time. We can’t stop thinking about hands. We’ve all got them. It’s even a piece in the magazine. Have you ever noticed your hands? Like really noticed? Every pair of blue moon editors-in-chief leaves its mark on the magazine in its own way. Our predecessors and mentors changed the font and moved Big Art to Baker Center, among other things. We too tried to leave fingerprints all over. We threw a new shindig, the Equinox Party, and the cops came to a blue moon event for the first time ever. We got rid of the thematic table of contents (check out the back matter to see the new addition!). Perhaps most notably, we created a brand new logo and spread the word far and wide about how awesome it is. We did not do this on our own. Each member of our wonderful staff shaped volume 29 with their selections choices and cover decision. Our editorial staff put in deep thought and civil discussion to make a tasteful flow of pieces. We are so indebted to El, who spearheaded making the logo and put up with our weird ideas, and to Cody, who stepped in at the last moment and helped make the logo magic happen. blue moon is the product of so many hands: our hands, our staff’s hands, and all the contributors’ hands. Now it is in your hands. Look at the art, read the text, experience the digital media. Leave your fingerprints all over it. We do this, we all use our hands, for you. —Jessica Palacios & Linnaea Weld



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How Poetry Comes Sam Traylor

This is how it comes, like time From offshore, out With the windy seastacks – Those ethereal and dripping With vine – and then rolling inland. It comes slowly at first, then crawling with Mass and crashing like a wave in frothy, chundering Profusion. Then it sucks and pulls back out, just as Illimitable and reckonless as those waves. Seething, pulling. And if you dip your hand into the water surging round your legs if you cup a palm and draw very slowly toward the milky surface And if you are content with small sounds and periphery just the hint of a thing then you may hold it briefly streaming in your hand.

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Natalie Mut ter digital photography

The things she carried: Chapin Dorsett

a splinter from the desert a bandana laced with old memories (new smells) an empty book, pages filling a pair of tweezers for the splinter a slice of home in the form of flannel boxer pajamas (and a home in the form of nylon encasement) a small hairbrush (seldom used) spray for bugs (seldom used, should be used) a turtle around her ankle a letter, a jar of emergency peanut butter. She carried these things on her back and the turtle around her ankle.

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Grits Marra Clay

Bits of sand make a home of my scalp and crawl through the canyons of toes.


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Tai Hall stein black and white film

The Forest is My Brother Carolyn Erving

I always wanted a brother. Ellyn was continually a speck, running into the distance with great speed—her long legs outsprinting mine even when I managed to get a head start. And yet, tomorrow would bring a soft knock at the door, light padding footsteps, and a warm body curled next to mine. Sisters are fickle creatures. My imaginative (and slightly idealist) mind possessed a brother who would run with me: no head starts, no fickleness. I can’t recall when James became my brother. Yes, we shared the diluted blood of cousins, but that seemed to only partially encompass our familial tie. We were barefooted members of our own havoc-wreaking club, stealing golf balls from unsuspecting retirees in the summer and plotting elaborate plans to capture the last piece of pie after Christmas dinner. These were the days of annual summer trips to the forests of Central Oregon. Our band of pathetically pale-skinned cousins would whine and contort as our mothers slathered on too much sunscreen before setting us loose on the trails and rivers. There are dozens of cousins of varying ages in the Erving family, but there were eight of us who were especially attached at the hip. Katelin, Sophie, and Teddy were a flurry of siblings with strawberry hair and effervescent, giggling personalities. The time spent at their house was filled with Swedish pancakes and dragonfly chases in the tall grass out back. Joey and Kristen were the towheaded and more reserved siblings. Their noses were often pressed up too close to the pages of their books and they would fall asleep on the car rides home from seeing the new Harry Potter film each summer.


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James was the adventurous rule-breaker who would lead us to the dirt jumps bordering the asphalt bike paths. These detours were marked by the sounds of crashing metal and childhood wails. During these days, there were lots of scratched knees and bandaids. Ellyn, the eldest, was our fearless leader, and I would trail in her wake with the big doe-eyes of little sisters. A conglomerate of chaos, we would race our bikes to Paulina Springs and set our popsicle-stick rafts loose on the frigid waters. I fell in love with my family of cousins and uncles and aunts, and I fell in love with the forest for binding us together. In the forest our disparate lives slipped into the background and the spell of the Ponderosa pine enchanted our childhood. The weeks in the woods were made sweeter because of their fleeting nature. We had time to make up for and we were going to fill it to the brim with chaos and adventure. … James became my brother in the forest. But the forest took away James’ older brother. Robbie’s skis ebbed in the wrong direction and led him to an airless pocket of snow beneath an evergreen. They don’t talk about it much. They say it was quick, but that’s what they always say. Together, at five years old, James and I discovered the pain of grief. The woods ended Robbie’s life, but we restored our faith in evergreens the next summer. With aunts, uncles, and cousins, we gathered in a circle behind the family house as the late summer glow began to wane through the pines. Uncle Bob stepped to the center of the circle and began to hollow a space in the forest floor, digging out the splinters and debris left by the loss of his son. With the rift in the forest exposed towards the sky, the brothers— Uncle Bob, Uncle John, and Daddy—placed a small Douglas fir in the hollowed space, making sure to pat down the dirt at the base of the tree. Our circle of family stood ghostly still as we watched Uncle Bob step towards the newly planted tree with the urn of his son’s ashes. I thought it strange that such an important person

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could fit into such an unimportant jar. The ensuing silence was filled with the whisperings of anticipation and the fear of finality as the gradient of ashes sifted out of Uncle Bob’s hands and onto the tree below: an hourglass of mourning. Each handful of ash entwined with the thick and golden forest air, visibly reducing Robbie’s time on this earth to a shower of glittering debris. I saw James cry that day. Not the tears of lost trinkets and dropped ice cream. These were adult tears. I still think of Robbie. Although now I see his death through adult eyes that allow me to visualize the roots of that Douglas fir extending over the rift his absence left in our family, binding us together deep beneath the forest floor. … Stevie Nicks’ voice and Lindsay Buckingham’s guitar solos guided our blue ’89 Volvo station wagon home. Ellyn and I would make up the words to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” and “The Chain,” and we would fall into laughter when Daddy began to play air keys on the dash. With the window’s breeze cooling off the sun-baked seats, I watched the high-desert pine of Central Oregon transition to the wet Pacific evergreen. While the former enchanted us, the latter was home. But home was more complicated than it was in Oregon. The Seattle rain changed things. It brought temperaments to the surface and shook the demons. Most weekends of my adolescence were marked by the breaking waves against the side of the Bainbridge Island ferry. The Puget Sound carried me away from the murmurous taunting of the middle school hallway. Grasping the cold railing of the boat’s exterior staircase, I would make my way to the bow on the second floor, eager to watch my safe haven appear out of the fog. The echoes of my Walkman’s selection swept over my eardrums as the ferry passed Blakely Rock and the tree-lined beaches of the island began to approach. It is fitting that James lived on an island. On some weekends, we would venture to the property


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on Marrowstone Island. James’ parents, Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Bob, split their time between the two islands. The sparsely populated island forms one freckle on the uneven skin of the Puget Sound. Driving from Bainbridge to Marrowstone, across the Agate Pass Bridge, was like crossing a cultural boundary. To the Southeast lay the metropolitan Pacific Northwest, marked by corporate coffee, crowds, and fish tourism. Indian reservations, crab pots, and splintered docks marked our destination. The property itself constituted four acres where the natural world blissfully comingled—a peaceful escape from the hustle of our family’s daily life in the city. Marrowstone time was slow and idyllic. We would play hide-and-go-seek in the orchard and chase each other through the abandoned army bunkers at Fort Flagler State Park. Perched high in the peeling red Pacific madrona, we shot BB guns into the rocky shore. The hot days of summer would beckon us into the murky waters of Mystery Bay, and James would mock me for fearing nonexistent sharks. … We didn’t see it coming. Perhaps we were too clouded by our own giddy childhood all those years to recognize the rift that was appearing in our midst. It started with a quiet conversation in our living room. I watched Momma’s lips form the words that told me James wasn’t my cousin by blood. My Uncle Bob, through whom James and I had shared blood, did not actually share blood with his own son. James was the fortunate product of an anonymous sperm donor and my Aunt Elizabeth’s will to conceive. The whole family—even Ellyn—had known all along, and now, at eighteen, James and I were let in on the secret. My brother and I had shared the imaginary diluted blood of cousins. But it isn’t only blood that binds. I was angry. How could they have kept this from him for eighteen years? How could they throw this at him? I wanted to steady the

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ground that shook beneath us. However, my frustration was my own and my brother stood steady in the storm. I retreated to a simmer and returned to the woods for another summer. Our band of cousins again fell under the spell of the Ponderosa pine. … “It’s fine, Carolyn,” James calmly stated as he applied pressure to the pull-tab of a dented can of Budweiser. We stood under a canopy of trees on the untamed side of the golf course. The sizzle and inevitable cracking open of the beer released a slight flutter of butterflies throughout my body. “I’m not worried! Really, it’s fine…hand me one,” I reassured him, but the words were more for myself than for James. The utter darkness of the golf course only rendered the silhouette of my brother visible, but I knew that he was smiling. We both knew that I was scared of getting caught, scared of drinking for the first time, and well…worried because I had found a reason to. I watched his six-foot-three-inch frame tilt back, beer in hand. He took a long sip, paused, and then reached down to toss me a can. The frigid condensation of the beer felt refreshing on my hands, and I took a breath as I cracked it open and took my first sip. I hadn’t expected there to be so much fizz and began to cough. “Take it slow,” James encouraged. I began to take slow sips of the bitter liquid, forcing myself to swallow, as my brother took his last swig and crushed his can under his heel. I felt like an amateur. As we stood on the soft pine needle ground and watered down our blood with shitty beer, I began to laugh. I hated what I was drinking, but standing there with a beer in my hand and my brother to my left made me feel important—like together, we could take on the vast sheet of stars encompassing the darkness around us. I loosened my grasp on the mostly-full can before letting it fall to the ground. “Why didn’t you just let me finish it?” he said in exasperation.


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“No one should drink something that tastes that shitty,” I said in between laughs. … That summer James and I also discovered the jumbled web of fire roads in the Willamette National Forest and our uncle’s 1954 blistered-yellow Jeep. We had only biked back there in previous years, quietly stumbling upon herds of elk and dodging boulders and potholes. Now, we were invincible in our rumbling beast of an automobile that could surmount every obstacle. I’m sure the elk hid in fear. It was approaching dusk one July evening when we hopped into the Jeep and headed into the backcountry. The light was golden, and the rays that permeated the tree cover seemed almost tangible, made even more apparent by the upturned dust filtering through the air. Even with the sputter of the antiquated engine and the dirt forcing itself into every crevice of our bodies, it was peaceful. We stopped at the rusted ladder that poked out of a dark recess in the land. I was fearful of the cave when I was younger—scared that bears would be sleeping in the corners of the abyss. Remembering this with a slight smile, I descended into the darkness one rung at a time. Beneath the forest, time becomes even more mysterious than it does above ground. The ceiling of the cave, partially illuminated by a distant skylight, is wrinkled by a network of roots—the only reminder of the real world persisting above. In my youth, I frequently dreamt of the cave. I’ve dreamt it as the border between our lives and the underworld, just on the periphery of the River Styx (all probably influenced by Daddy’s bedtime readings of mythology). Something happens when I reach the final rung and tiptoe onto the floor of the abyss. The bed of the cave resembles a riverbed in the desert; only the stones are iridescent and radiate a blue hue in the glow of the invasive light. There’s no denying this place is special, only for what, I am not sure. James and I stood under the forest, observing the waning summer light rescinding its touch on the deserted riverbed.

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Standing in the very fracture of our forest, I felt so soundly that I did indeed have a brother. … At Christmas, we did not venture to Marrowstone. The for-sale sign pierced the mound of grass at the end of the gravel driveway, and the dust settled as the last car turned right onto the highway. Uncle Bob had met another woman. They had been emailing for a while. Her name was Suzanne. Apparently they had known each other growing up. “Elizabeth, calm down,” I heard Momma forcefully assert as I rolled over in my sheets and looked at my alarm clock: 6:00AM. With a sigh, I turned onto my back and shut my eyes. I knew that I wouldn’t fall back asleep anytime soon. “I don’t know Elizabeth…they are brothers and they are going to talk. No one is taking sides here,” Momma said exasperatedly. I calculated that it was Aunt Elizabeth, James’ mom, on the other end of the phone. “Divorce” was the word on everyone’s tongues these days. “I know there are two sides to every story! I’m not denying that. You’ve been one of our close friends…family members…for the past twenty years. This doesn’t have to change that, ok?” Soon after, I heard the phone being placed back in its charger. I tried to think about what I would do if I were in Aunt Elizabeth’s shoes. I’d be heartbroken too, but this whole “sides” thing seemed irrational to me. But then again, I’ve never been married for twenty years. We were old enough now to be exposed to the hostilities of family when no one knows how to piece back what has been shattered. Even though no one would admit it, allegiances were made and sides were taken, but I didn’t really care about how Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Bob felt. I cared about James and resigned myself to following his lead. Sometimes we talked about it, but there was enough talk at each of our homes. When it did come


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up, I watched the evolution of emotions that comes with painful change wash over his face—hurt, anger, and finally, acceptance. His unwavering ability to reconcile with shadows was difficult for me to accept even though I wanted to align my emotions with his. James’s roots stretch deep. My uncle and I haven’t spoken for two years. … These days, fewer of us return to the woods. The numbers have dwindled from eight, to five, to one. And after this past summer, the Ponderosa pine has become a figment of my imagination. I see James from time to time at home. He attends the local university, and on my trips home I try to see him. Only now, our reunions lack the spirit and chaos of earlier years. Now, we resign ourselves to seated conversations in foggy-windowed coffee shops. The only trees in sight are planted in the sidewalk and are surrounded by metal grates. Perhaps Peter Pan had it right and growing older does place us outside of our own imaginative enchantments. Or perhaps those enchantments transform into other “adult” arenas of our life. Whatever the case, something feels lost. I worry that without the woods, I am without a brother. In the woods, I feel my childhood carelessness returning. The forest is idyllic in this way, but it is not without hurt. While the evergreens breed life and push spaces to become whole and beautiful, this does not happen painlessly or without consequence. The branches of the forest trap us in their midst and simultaneously drive deep splinters into the earth around us while enwrapping us with comfort. The Ponderosa pine is drifting farther into the recesses of my imagination, but I continue to drive my roots deep into the fractures left behind.

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Sophie Cooper-Elli s lithography

Emita mi Lunita

Nina Van spranghe analog photography collage

The Fruit of Knowledge Grace Little

I found a poem written on the strung sinew harp of my ribcage when I asked God to make an Eve of me. I wanted to be a creator, to be the fodder for a body, I wanted birth bursting forth from my pores An infatuation with creation because my body wasn’t enough, yet somehow, was too much. Instead, inscribed on the white branches within me were instructions on how to be a gardener, how to tend the flowerpot of my ribs. I learned I can grow trees from the soil of my stomach And I will eat their fruit freely, feel myself succumb, release the numb feeling which wraps me up, test my luck and spit the pits into the rivers of my bloodstream. Scream, Bloom Again into my lungs and leave behind my demons. I will no longer be tempted by feeling empty—no longer let the hollow beneath my chest— hungry butterflies which never rest— consume me. I will not consume me. I’ve filled myself with raw dirt, with earthworms and warm loam. I’m watering the marigolds in my marrow, the chrysanthemums which dance along my clavicle.


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I found a poem written on my ribcage, concealed in the membranes and the tendons, traced against the blunt edges of my heart: When the petals tickle your trachea, your breath will stir them to whisper and the rhythm of the rustle will remind you: the hunger did not win. When the susurrus of the butterflies settles, you will know: The hunger did not win. You have always been an Eden.

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Antara Bird ink

Taking Leave Esther Ra

The wind had taken hold of the branches outside, and they rustled and shook with agitation. The thick curves of the glossy leaves threw themselves again and again against the glass window, and the branches quivered and popped. I held out my arms as a cascade of papery broken leaves flooded the air; one snagged on my hand and danced delicately along my veins before slipping between my fingers. I lowered my arms and drew in my breath sharply. Our school was unleaving, and the violent stripping away had a convulsive beauty that left me as sad and shaken as the trees themselves. It signaled the end of a season; it signaled the end of bare arms and birdbath splashing, of short skirts that twirled like open flower petals, of the green lace of trees streaming like silk in the sky. On went the heavy jackets, the thick sweaters, curls stuffed into winter caps, fingers jammed into pockets. Autumn was saying goodbye, whether I liked it or not. I felt as if the wind was tearing away more than summer from my heart. It had just been a month since my semester at college began. And in just a month, your goodbyes were already beginning. The first few weeks were delicious: it was almost like retracing our first steps all over again. The words beautiful and I miss you rose once more to your lips over the phone, with all the warmth of sincerity; the words You are unutterably precious rose to mine, and I meant them, and I was content to have the magic thread of your presence between my fingers as I wandered this labyrinth called college alone. Your words twined around my heart

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and kept it sweet and self-assured: We ate this without you, and it was no longer as delicious…I realized how precious you were to me, and felt so depressed for a few days I could barely…I realized how important you were—how bright your laughter, how lively your presence… Hope, too, was also on my side, sanguine with all the excitement of a fresh start. “No real friends yet, but everyone is so nice,” I fluttered brightly. “I’m sure I’ll make plenty of good friends once classes begin. Everything is wonderful, everything is satisfying, I feel so grateful and so blessed and the only thing I miss about home is you.” But was that really true? Once the honeymoon sparkle of the first days had settled and the sunlight receded to clouds, I saw that the glittering gold was only specks of dust. My promise of making deep friends in no time grew less and less certain, as my trust in your affection also dwindled. The urgency with which you messaged me with news from back home grew thin, and your voice on the phone grew brighter and calmer in tone. When I said, “I miss you terribly,” it was my mouth that grew dry and my eyes that grew wet with homesickness, while you replied, “You’ll get used to it. You can’t stick to us forever.” No longer did you feel the same gut-wrenching fear of loss which prompted you to say, “You’ll be the one who forgets me when you meet other people in America.” I promised you, “I will never be the first. I will not.” And I haven’t, my dear, but you… And this evening, when the branches threw their wild yellowing hair in the wind like madwomen, when my heart grew heavy with grief and shrilled to the autumn, “Oh, stop it! Don’t make me feel so deeply!” I called you for the first time in days. It was a lonely evening, and a heartsick one. My tears branched out on my cheeks, ready to snap and fly into the wind, barren and leafless. You asked, “Are you crying?”


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I slid down in bed and nodded, feeling tears drop onto my lap like autumn leaves. And on the other line, oceans and continents away, but divided by more than distance, you said, “Don’t, I’m not worth crying over.” Oh, my almost older brother, you were cruel! You were as cruel as the wind that tears leaves from the branches. Like the wind, you were cruel, and you laughed…

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Mar ra Clay photography

Pausanias, Celia Langford

they say you’re speaking tonight. Because I live in the future and read you from a page, I know that you’ll speak on love— and you’ll speak about women and say those who love them are wasting their time. You’ll say this because your ‘Instead’ is sitting in the next chair, past the reach of your arm, and it’s his big night— his eyes on his guests, all the while, he on the edge of growing too much to hold. Pausanias, I have a request: don’t say that about the flute girls. Instead won’t you please tell about his shirt where it lay on the couch.


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And tell of the crystal vase on the window, choking on the stem of the flower, its shoulders weary from hunching in to hold up its neck, its neck trying to feed like a baby bird with a stomach below too small to fully swallow. Tell about the frost that crept up the side of that vase and cracked it right down the middle, how in the morning you found it with pieces of ice. How the window was open and you thought you were that ice that glass that sound of brittle surface breaking – in the draining cold of winter, which draws tears and freezes them and hunkers the whole world in. … Will you speak the truth this time? Will you say that you know the only reason you and the earth did not split that night was Agathon’s book and Agathon’s chair and Agathon’s couch where his shirt lay quietly?

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Impasse: Memory Fiona Bennit t collage

East WA Mar ra Clay photography

How to Tame a Unicorn Nina Vanspranghe

First, Google the words “unicorn” and “how to tame a unicorn.” Note the results of your research in a tiny pink notebook that will, from now on, never leave your jeans’ right pocket. Then Google Images the word “unicorn.” Get lost in the magical depths of the glittery Internet. Go to the optometrist because all these sparkling GIFs made your eyes bleed. Then go to the library. Ask for a book about how to tame a unicorn. Get looked at weirdly. Leave the library. Go back to your home. Ask your mom if you can keep your unicorn in the backyard once you’ve tamed it. She is busy cooking for your father’s college friends’ annual dinner. She’ll tell you to go bother someone else with your stupid questions. She will then feel bad about saying this, and add that you should go ask your dad because she does not have time for this right now. Show your dad the page of your notebook where you listed the activities unicorns appear to prefer. He’ll say unicorns probably just want to watch the game quietly, like most people do. Answer that you did not know that unicorns were into football, and note this new information in your notebook. Google “do unicorns really like soccer?” Find no satisfying answer. Decide that they don’t. Start phase one of your plan. Use your ‘just in case’ Grandma money to buy a fair amount of snickerdoodle cookies, m&m’s, cupcakes and tutti-frutti popsicles. Tell the cashier you have read on the Internet that it’s the unicorns favorite food, and that you will use it in phase two of your plan. She’ll answer, “Have a good one” without smiling. You’ll wonder if she meant “have a


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good plan.” Nothing can destroy your enthusiasm. You are about to become a unicorn’s best friend. Phase two is not as easy as you thought it would be. Your mom is not happy about having melting ice cream and birds choking on cookies on her porch. Your dad has not been back to the house for a few days. You decide to hide the food in a tree. You’ve read on that unicorns like trees. After one week you note that no unicorns appeared, but your money is definitely disappearing. You start to wonder if unicorns really like cupcakes after all. You double Google check. You ask your mom for advice. She tells you there is as much chance that a unicorn shows up in the backyard as there is that your dad will come back from his last week’s meeting with an important client. She’ll say she wishes that this important client was not 10 years younger than her, and that she wishes she was the one with a young body free from the scars of pregnancy. After one month, you are definitely out of money to buy unicorn food and do not dare to ask for more from your mom, who is busy with the divorce papers. You decide it is time to begin phase three, and start teaching yourself opera singing. One day at school, one of your classmates finds you singing your favorite aria from La Traviata in the bathroom. He wants you to do all his sciences homework for the rest of the year, or else he’ll wash your mouth in the toilets and tell everybody what kind of a weirdo you are. The fact that no one ever talks to you anymore makes you think that your classmates already know what kind of a weirdo you are. Since you’ve started wearing your foil hat to go to class, even your best friend stopped hanging out with you. It’s not your fault if they don’t understand the importance of foil in the process of communicating via telepathy with unicorns. But you decide to accept the deal; you don’t mind doing extra sciences homework. And you secretly hope this interaction might lead to some form of friendship. It firstly leads your head to

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the toilets—an interaction you would have preferred avoiding. But you’ve learnt from unicorns that the darkest roads often lead to the brightest glades. Indeed, you’ll end up ranking number four in the All-Elementary Schools Maths Contest. But phase three is doing great: after one month of intense rehearsing, you can sing opera beautifully. You perform every day, before and after school, in your garden. You know for a fact that unicorns love opera—you read it on, the most thorough unicorn-related website in the world, according to Unicorns Weekly—a magazine you’ve been actively reading and entirely writing for the past weeks. You display some free copies of it next to places beloved by unicorns: operas and supermarkets, but also gyms, gay bars and Asian Fusion restaurants, of course swimming pools, and airports when you get the chance. You are feeling more and more confident as your knowledge about unicorns is getting deeper and deeper. There is more to unicorns than just snickerdoodle cookies. You’ll soon realize that you’ve been underestimating something very important: rainbows. They are the key to understanding unicorns’ whole philosophy and way of living. They are not only what unicorns poop and brush their hair with, they are also what’s running through their veins. Unicorns live for and thanks to rainbows. You are therefore frantically checking the weather in search of a possible rain and sun combination. By dint of biking all around the city hoping to find unicorns, you turned into a very resistant and tenacious athlete. You are recruited for your school’s biking team and soon become the star of it. You are doing competitions at a national level within a few months. You hope this will make your mom proud or at least interested in you for once, but she seems to be even more depressed now that she’s started drinking. One day, as you’ll be biking down a mountain lush from recent rains, you’ll see it. You’ll blink with excitement, blinded by the sun, amazed by the triple rainbow surmounting the valley—and


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you’ll see it. A unicorn. A magnificent unicorn is standing there, gleaming white and gold, looking deep inside your eyes. She’ll tell you, with a voice sounding like a Christmas day in Heaven, “Finally meeting you, dear friend. I can’t stress how much I enjoyed your last article about snickerdoodle cookies.” And you’ll think blissfully, as you’ll bike towards her, “Unicorns do enjoy snickerdoodle cookies after all”—before you’ll skid on the wet steep road and take a lethal fall. But you’ll know it was all worth it.

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Daphne Gui selle Gallegos digital photography

Star Guts Helena Platt

When I was 14 years old, I was told That secretly, inside We are composed Of stars That died. That our guts are star guts, stardust The desiccated remains Of celestial corpses in heavenly plains. Wide-eyed and new, I considered this fact That I then knew to be true And concluded in a bout of analytical wit: “Ideologically speaking This is bullshit.” But I’ve always been an entertainer at heart, Well-practiced in the deceptive art Of taking a compelling narrative And making it into something new to give. So: This is the story of beings bright, torn Asunder long before we were ever born, Of spiral galaxies in the tips of your fingers A hesitation when your gaze lingers Too long on the sky, As the universe examines itself through your curious eye.

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This is memory of when we burned supernova bright, High on adrenaline and hydrogen-light The tale of your nervous hands on a blackhole night, Quaking limbs bound tight to your bed And nothing but space inside your head. This is the realization that all your scars Are also built of former stars, And the guilt of Comet trails across my arms Despite this twee ideology’s placating charms. This is a fiction with no predictable end, And no matter how much I would love to pretend I am wise and assured of cosmic bliss I have no goddamn idea What happens after this. These are my stories, Fabricated astrological allegories. This is my truth. I am selfish and cruel and an ignorant youth And no matter how badly I’d like to believe In the tales I weave I have only ever been Made of me— No matter how hard it has always been, and will always be To accept that this walking mess is mine, That I am nothing more, and nothing less And that has to be fine. Our star guts Are still our guts, no ifs, no buts And I am learning to believe That we are enough.


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Mat the w Meyer digital manipulation


Ker r Ivan Cir ilo digital photography

Driving Across the Snake River Plain

Linnaea Weld raku-fired stoneware

Lake Palouse Esther Ra

This is the hollow Of God’s cupped hand. Listen: the glazed honey of the lake, Sliced by sunken paddles. Everything is softened by water. Cliffs speckled by the stony clots Of sparrow-nests and scabbed earth Distill, drop by drop: enriched reflections In the thick, pungent wine of lake-water. Are we children dreaming of crossing a lake Or a lake stirring in dreams of children? On our way back, We encounter a smooth swell of flesh Drifting calmly in the water: a deer, dead, In a tangle of sunlight and clumped weeds. Its tawny brown is licked clean by the lake, Lapped to rosettes of pink, Wreathed by clouds of flies. Removable feast. “That’s what we’ll all become someday,” I whisper, An inappropriate flash of mournfulness That causes nervous laughter to ripple in the air. Around us, wildfires have melted the mountains To piles of sifting black powder.

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Ash billows at each step like dying breaths, The dark mountains glimmering strangely Like black arms embracing the waters. Yet even on the ravaged heights Of oily burned grass, black as coal, Shoots of fresh green Have already pushed forth tentatively, Lifting clean, freshly drenched faces From the depths of charred death To the untouched splendor Our bruised and broken world Still has to sweetly give.


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Jack Swain 35 mm film

Supersaturated éclair

I swing the front door open to see an old friend wailing on my porch. I am unimpressed.  Friend is not quite the right word.  More like acquaintance.  An old acquaintance I have not talked to for over three years.  She is a blubbering, disgusting mess: eyes puffy and swollen red, black splotches of mascara smeared across her cheeks, hair tangled into knots, smelling like break-up. Not finding a good excuse to dispose of her, I open the door wide enough so she can squeeze through.  She collapses on my couch right away, reaching for the tissues.   I am bored by love.  I know you don’t like hearing that.  But it’s true.  I’m nauseated by it.  Every piece of art and every story and every song, everything always has to be about love.   I’m not going to talk about love.  I’m not going to discuss my failed relationship.  I’m not going to glorify my successful relationship.  I’m not going to explain and defend the relationships I never had.  No more love. In between her pathetic sobs she informs me that all her real friends are gone or busy or sick and I was her last resort.  She depletes my tissues and looks around the room desperately for more.  “Do you have any ice cream?” she gasps in between sniffles. “I’m lactose-intolerant,” I lie. “Sorbet?” “I don’t support emotional eating.” “...Oh.” Everyone sees love as this positive thing.  What a


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gimmick. Did you know that every time you kiss you exchange millions of germs?  And Domestic Violence is the number one threat to women.  Love brings revenge, jealousy, an entire array of bitter sentiments.  Love brings heartbreak.  So what’s with this big commotion over love?  Have you heard of sexually transmitted diseases?  People die.  You’re more likely to be killed by someone you know—a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend.  Do you want to die?  Is that it? She howls about “her Trevor” and how and when and where and why things went wrong.  I know how to listen idly.  But instead of surrendering that small effort, I stare ahead at the empty wall.  She gushes on and on and I sit listlessly, with a blank stare, not even contributing a nod or an “mhm” or a surprised “no!”  I won’t give her that. Instead of love, I prefer talking about its opponent. Hate!  Changing only three letters can make a world of difference.  What a glorious word.  There are many things I hate.  When I was a girl, I told my Mom, “I hate Jack.”  Jack was my brother.  She replied hastily, “Now, sweetie, you don’t hate anything.  Hate is too strong a word.”  But I really did hate him.  He lit my Barbie’s hair on fire, melting her scalp so the blue ink from the eyes drizzled down her face.  He pulled the stuffing out of my pink elephant.  As we got older I only hated him more.  He was “loved”, “popular”, “friendly”.  He tried to define me, calling me “little sister, lesbian, nerd, kill-joy” in front of his friends, my friends, family friends, family...and they chuckled.  He dated my “best friends”.  Tripped me on my first day of high school.  Forged a love note, from me, to my favorite teacher.  I hated him so much.  The more the better.  Let the hate saturate you. The way I see things, love is just as strong a word as hate, and people love things every day.  They toss the word around like it’s a game.  Movies, restaurants, houses, you name it.  Friend of two weeks, “I love her!”  A couple who will later snare their

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children in a twisted divorce, “They’re in love!” A man and woman who married twenty years ago and now see each other as regrets, settlements, “They love each other.”  Please.       The babbling is suddenly gone.  No wheezing voice.  Just sniffles.  She is looking right at me.  God.  She wants me to pat her hand (which she just used to wipe her nose), or stroke her back (which would mean touching a sweatshirt that probably hasn’t been washed in days).  I flinch away from the contact and respond simply,  “Well.” I hated the dog we had when I was young.  What a wretch!  He was fat, ugly, stupid…and hateable.  The beautiful thing about hate, though, is that it never hurt me and never let me down.  I’m sure if I forgot to hate enough in a day, love would try to creep back.  I might become numb from the memory of a love I once had.  I might remember the sweet feeling of loving someone and someone loving me.   It was a mistake.  A fresh onslaught of tears begins.  I should have just patted her head or something, risked the bed bugs.  Now she is telling me about her loneliness.  How she despises Trevor for doing this to her.  How she does not understand.  How she misses Trevor.  How it was all a slipup.  How she needs him.  God. I take control of the situation.  “Listen.  I’ve got some stuff.  To do.  And I, well, I need to go.  Very busy.  What with… it being a week night, and my recent promotion at work, and, well, some other stuff.  You understand.”  She doesn’t understand.  The tears are black from her eye make-up and they are flowing down her cheeks.  She’s so surprised.  She can’t even blink.  Her eyes are big and sad and searching.  I walk her to the entrance and give her a little push.  As soon as her feet cross the threshold, I shut the door.  I know she will be out there on my porch crying for a while. You’re analyzing me.  I know it.  I know your despicable mind wants to connect hate back to love, but don’t you dare.  It’s not, I’m telling you.  Not, not, not about love.  I just want to talk


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about hate and how I enjoy hate and could not live a day without it and that is all this is. Nothing to pity.  Nothing to feel melancholy over.  I’m not making some silly metaphor about love.  I’m not saying that hate could ever morph into love.  I’m not saying that love is the heart in a body and hate is a vein.  All I want is a life devoid of love.  I don’t want to see a sunset and think of love.  I don’t want to feel obligated to tell some doofus that I love him.  I don’t ever want to be disappointed by loving too much.  I’m smarter than that.

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Self-Portrait Rimona Law pen

10 Things You Should Know About Being the Daughter of a Jewish Father and a Protestant Mother Mercer Hanau


Someday you will make a joke about being cheap. While there’s a chance that Dad will laugh, Mom will get offended for you. She wants to protect you from the “otherness,” but you embrace it with humor, and that will scare her.


Every December, when you explain how you will celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, people will look amused, charmed, puzzled. They will ask, “Do you get double the presents? Lucky!” You will roll your eyes.


Your identification comes with a modifier. You are “half ” Jewish, “sorta” Jewish, “ethnically” Jewish. (Yes, it can be an ethnicity, too.) You will explain with a family tree of Jews and blonde Germans and awkward family reunions with Hitler Youth arriving in uniform. You will laugh because your bloodline sounds like a punchline.


A shiksa is a non-Jewish woman. When the boy who brags about being a pure Jew says, “Shiksas are for practice,” resist the urge to tell him off, telling him you are of mixed blood because that woman your father loves was never just practice.


Gelt is the name of the little foil-wrapped chocolate coins exchanged during Chanukah. Until this year you could not remember the name until you tied the sound in your mind to “survivor guilt.” volume 29





Try not to show your bias. Saying you are Jewish will make your mother feel excluded, but it makes you feel special.


Use Yiddish when applicable. It will link you to the humor of your otherwise bloodstained heritage.


If your mother uses more Yiddish than your father, try not to point out that she is trying too hard.


When you are a teenager and feel the need to tell your parents what you do or don’t believe, do not be surprised by their silence. Your agnosticism is the manifestation of their failure to agree on a narrative.


You speak a pidgin language blended from mixed tradition and the lessons of angrily atheistic friends. Your mother will stare at you with eyes like she just missed a bus. Your father will not be surprised, but he will ask if you want to learn the candle lighting prayer.

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Ker r Ivan Cir ilo digital photography

Reclamation in Two Parts Catherine Fisher

I. The throat curves scorched along a mottled rock without end. Eyes surprise the best of us always leaving the rest to rot in the end of summer’s sun as the light goes out. The sharp cloud shouts more than it meant to. Dogs turn to leather laces by soft sapphire light of night. The dog bit his master, a rough goodbye to man’s best friend, never to be seen again as I made it out across this red blue landscape. II. The churning of this stomach is something I’ll come to know. At certain sights, sounds, smells, crowds, crows, and first snows. The husking of these feet along ground that has become so low,


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scraping and scouring this body every night, the sheer shame of it all. The chaffing of this face against a cloudy salt water lake, serene in some settings I might come to know. To be shown it all, to know it like one knows their own shin, how well do I remember my own shin, sewn shut, a moan in the dark, a loan on life, a shore to be swam for. In time the lake will reflect again and my shin, my chin, my skin, will be shown in the light again. Changed, charred, choked, shuffled, rusted, reddened, but there, deserving of reflection in a fresh water lake.

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El Horsfall copper etching

Any Green Thing Ben Caldwell

It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that, whatever you say to them, they always purr. ‘If they would only purr for “yes” and mew for “no,” or any rule of that sort,’ she had said, ‘so that one could keep up a conversation! But how can you talk with a person if they always say the same thing?’ On this occasion the kitten only purred: and it was impossible to guess whether it meant ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ -Lewis Carroll Before the cat that looks at me naked, would I be ashamed like an animal that no longer has the sense of nudity? Or on the contrary, like a man who retains the sense of his nudity? Who am I therefore? Who is it that I am (following)? Whom should this be asked of if not of the other? And perhaps of the cat itself? -Jacques Derrida The man hunched his shoulders against the wind and forged ahead across the open plain between the Caracas shelf and the tree line, under a sky like a cracked ceramic bowl, dust-grey and pockmarked—clouds crumbling from it like falling fragments of clay. His head hooded and wrapped in a balaclava and various scarves, he did not look up or turn to glance out across the craquelure expanse of the plain. Instead his goggles were fixed on the tree line. He walked quickly, intent on making it to cover before the weight of that sky killed him. Praying it would not rain. When he neared the edge of the forest, the wind kicked


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up with a sickly whistle through the crags of the cliff behind him, and he broke into a run. There was no need to panic yet, but he felt his heart quicken, and the fear of the open, the deep need for the cover of the forest, was growing sharper with each step, along with the stitch in his side. Just as he was crossing the broken line between the dust field and the crunching floor of dead needles, the first waves of billowing ash whirled in after him. Fighting to slow his breathing, he stepped behind the emaciated trunks. As if that would change anything. The grey and white wind of spent cinders swept through the trees in curling flurries that danced up along and around the skeletal framework of the forest, and he was reminded of buildings burning—the walls of a room collapsing and sparks roaring out through its doorway to flicker between the support beams. He closed his eyes. He knew he was safe from the worst of the winds here, and there had been no sign of a storm when he had set out, but he had grown up watching reconnaissance runners cough blood into handkerchiefs and seen six or seven waste away with storm fever. Every time he went out into the world, memories of his uncle Edgar in the infirmary bed fluttered through his brain. Pale limbs shaking. Sweat soaking through the sheets. Skin yellowing. Sores opening across his skin like red fungus. Hairs drifting to the floor day by day. Riding the river of fever dreams into the grave. Despite his respiration mask, despite the layers of fabric swathing his head and shoulders, he tried not to breathe. He clenched his gloved fists against his sides and counted to ten—and then again just to be sure. He let out a ragged breath that hissed through the filters and tubes and output grills of his respirator, pushing twin puffs of ash out into the shade of the forest. They mingled and drifted to the forest floor, in a silken eddy almost too fine to see. Like silver nitrate or aluminum dust. Beautiful in the way that the gleam of bright sharp things is beautiful. He never wanted that edge to catch in his lungs, on his lips, gritty under his eyelids. He shuddered a little.

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There could be another gust at any moment. He hurried deeper into the forest, weaving between the bare and blighted pines and firs and hemlocks. The sooner he found his way back to the wellshaft, the better, and although the leafless branches would not block much dust, less wind would reach through the denser core of the forest where the trunks grew close together. As he trudged through the desiccated underbrush, his plastic boots scattering dried needles and the crumbling fronds of dead ferns along with small clouds of dust, the wind died away and soon even the sound of his steps seemed muted. Silence hung over the trees like a thick velvet curtain. It reminded him of the curtains in the playhouse, the one they had passed by in Sailsend, when they had made the foray with carts and wheelbarrows to clean the last scraps off the bones of the city; the canned goods and even the sacks of rice and cornmeal had been long gone, but there was epoxy glue and sweaters, aluminum water flasks, shovels, shotgun shells and pillows, pencils—he remembered filling his cart with pencils, hoping someone would still need to write in ten, twenty, thirty years. They had passed the playhouse, and he had stopped and gone inside—the door just hanging there, skewed drunkenly on its hinges—pressing himself into the close, musty air of the dim hallway. Broken picture frames on the walls. Solid millimeters of dust. A constellation of beetle husks scattered dry and still across the floor. And after the hallway, the room. Such a big room. A huge flat floor raised above hundreds of chairs, all bolted into the floor. He wasn’t sure why anyone would ever build a chair into the floor so that it couldn’t be moved if needed elsewhere. And looming over it all, framing the wooden platform and the ornate lights on the walls, were the curtains. They were red but were so dark and faded in the dim light that they appeared almost brown. He touched one and it rippled, swayed slowly, like the supple meat of the huge blind fishes that they netted in the deepest of the cavelakes and hung on hooks in the ice cellars over the summer. He


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had walked away feeling there was some life left in the rippling flesh of those curtains, dead as that place was. Passing a toppled cairn of small stones alongside the the forest path, he fumbled with the stiff, rubbery fingers of his grandfather’s polymer gloves—the same stuff they used to send astros up wearing, he was told—into one of the pockets in the oversized rain jacket he had on over his vac-suit. He pulled out the map Delilah had given him: an old envelope, folded twice. He opened it carefully, wary of dropping it and having to rummage in the dust for it, and studied the crude sketch of his surroundings: That curving squiggle, the edge of the forest. That shaded block, the Caracas shelf. That dotted line, his path. That circle, the boulders he had to turn left at, That X, the— He stopped walking. What was that? He had heard something. Eyes scanning back and forth—trying not to tense up, trying not to look alarmed—he lowered the map to his side and crumpled it up into his fist. He slowly turned and looked back over his shoulder at the path he had broken through the carpet of dead stems and cones and the husks of leaves. Nothing. He had heard something though. Something small, and low, no not low—soft. Almost like a baby’s murmur. But not crying, not distressed. Just gentle. He blinked. He drew in a slow breath. He scanned the forest once more, turning all the way around, then took a single step forward—and saw it. A stone’s throw away, perched in the split bole of a tree, something crouched—as still as if carved into the wood, like… a statue. A soapstone statue. His grandmother had shaped such things from soapstone when he was hardly old enough to remember. He would watch her in the Southern Common, on a bench in a corner of the cavern, working by the light of a small oil lamp. This was one of her creatures. This was what she had been showing him—a glimpse of the backthen, of the times when she

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was his age. He caught his hand rising up to wave, gloved fingers half curled but palm open; he froze holding his arm out at chest height, like he was greeting someone—like when he caught a glimpse of someone on the mushroom crew or riggers guild whom he hadn’t seen for a while and called out to them across the tunnel. He stared at the back of his glove for a second, at the trembling fingertips. Tearing his eyes away and back to the thing, his breath stopped in his throat. It was standing now. It had some sort of fifth limb emerging from its backside, long and furry and curling like a living rope, the tip flicking back and forth above its back. Otherwise, it was utterly still. Enormous eyes like chips of mirror catching lamplight, fixed on him, unwavering. He closed his fingers slowly, then lowered his arm. It did not breathe. Was it some sort of spirit? Did it have a mouth? Its nose was a small triangle the color of raw fish, and silvery threads floated around it like steel wires. The ears were wedges of umber hair streaked with grey, standing up from its skull—he hoped those were ears. They were cupped like ears anyway. They twitched. He felt a spasm run through him, a knee-jerk, you-moveI-move sort of tremor. He tensed, blood thumping in his neck and under his collarbone. Then the creature’s ears swiveled, and it cocked its head a little to the side, just a fraction: a question cut into the air. He took a small step forward and felt the needles and feathery leaves crunch like thin bones beneath his foot. He winced, and breathed out ever so slowly through his pursed lips, so the respirator wouldn’t rasp like a dying man and scare the thing away. It was still staring at him. When did it blink? There did not appear to be any eyelids, though he could see the thin line of its mouth now: hardly anything at all. He cocked his own head to the right, even farther than the creature did, because the hood and scarves would mask most of any movement he made with his head. The creature blinked. And then it turned sinuously, all of its legs flexing and


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twisting in one sudden blur of motion, and poured like mercury along the branch. It leaped lightly to the trunk and rebounded away like the rubber ball the kids had always tossed against the tunnel walls after meals. He had never been much good at those games; catching and snatching and other quick work was never what his hands were made for—climbing was more his speed. Slow and steady. But this thing was quick, already slinking off into the deeper shadows of further trees. He shook himself a little and began after it, trying to tread lightly, noticing that its small feet hardly stirred the dust at all. He followed it for the better part of an hour—or it felt that way; his watch had wound down again, and the hands were locked in rigor mortis at 6:00—and the long twisting limb at its back-end never stopped swaying and twitching as it padded along ahead of him. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it. So when the wall of rock ahead entered his field of vision he was surprised to find the day had dimmed significantly. The sky was the color of puddle water, and the light that sifted through the clouds curdling high above looked about that clean as well. He paused to survey the tumbled mass of boulders sagging in the middle of the small clearing, surrounded by a skirt of shattered skree and chips of yellowed-grey stone. The thing trotted right up the rocks and leapt onto the pile’s nearest knee, then scrambled to a round shoulder of stone and looked back at him. The ears swiveled in his direction. He snorted into his mask and glanced down at the envelope, still crumpled in the palm of his glove. He smoothed it out on his knee as best he could. There was the little circle of ink marking the boulders. So far, this was not out of his way. He considered the side of the clearing he would exit through and the path there that was just a thin rut broken through the underbrush. He continued after his odd new guide. The creature bounded up the steps and shelves of the rock outcropping, altogether three or four times his height, and then it sat down near the top and turned to him again; its eyes shone, sharp and clear, even in the failing

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light. He looked up again after he heaved himself onto the last ledge, concerned by how dark it was getting—and by how fast. He should have had a quarter of daylight left, at least. Plenty of time to get back. But at this rate…. He looked back toward the Caracas shelf, where the colony was nestled safely in its honeycomb of caverns and tunnels, and saw that the sky behind the cliffs was a gritty sheet of tin, dark with corrosion. He frowned. Maybe there was a storm stewing over the Caracas. But there hadn’t been any signs. And they had seen a real monster roll through just last week, so it should have stayed clear for another week at least. He looked back at the soft, slinking sculpture that had led him here. It blinked. He raised his hands and held them out, palms up in supplication, and shook them once. It was a statement of some kind, though he wasn’t sure what he meant to say. Something stupid like, Look, you blinked, you’re real and you blinked and we’re here on this rock I would never have climbed otherwise. Would he have? He would have turned at the clearing and headed toward the sunrise side of the things, until he reached the wellshaft. Then he would have climbed down into it, using the rope in his pack, to see if there was anything there. But now he was up here, and the boulders just peeked over the jagged treetops so he could see the forest spread out around him like a rough woolen quilt, threadbare and bristling with the loose strands of leafless branches. He leaned his shoulder against the rock and looked back at the thing. Its eyes—it had eyes like nothing had eyes, each pupil a black sliver— locked on him, taking in every bit of him it seemed: the goggles, the rain-jacket, his layers of faded cotton and poly sweatshirts, the vac-suit, the shifting strings of his muscles, the estuaries of his veins, the wet-piping-hot pistons of his heart, even the cold cores of his bones. He felt chilled through and through, exposed, as if the winter was in him all at once, despite his long underwear and doubled socks. The map slipped from his fingers and fluttered sideways in the breeze onto the rocks a few armspans away,


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making a dry rustling sound. The creature raised one front paw to its face and dragged its tongue across the fur of its leg, eyes half closing, as if sleepy. Was it waiting? He waved his hand toward the map where it had bounced to a halt. You took us here. You call the shots. The creature continued to lick itself, and he sighed, his respirator hissing like a punctured lung. “Now what?” The creature could not have cared less it seemed. Flinging up his hands, he muttered, “Fine.” He twisted and sank down to sit with his back against the rock, looking across the treetops in the direction of the well. What was the plan? What was he doing on top of these rocks while a duststorm gathered up its folds and poured forth to meet them across the Caracas? He couldn’t be here when it hit. His respirator would keep out any amount of dust, in theory, but the wind pounding him with that much of it would clog the vents, and he would suffocate. And if it found its way through the suit—if the winds were high enough to whip a branch or a rock chip his way—all bets were off. In a strong storm, flying debris could shred a vacsuit. Then it would be just a matter of waiting, and a question of whether the fever or the lung-bleeding would catch up to him first. He leaned sideways and reached for the map, pawing at it, once, twice—only managing to brush it aside with the numb tips of his gloved fingers. Frustrated, he stilled himself, laying on the rock with his arm reaching out. He had to think. There was the noise again, a sweet, musical murmur; the thing had made the noise just inches behind his head. As he started to prop himself up on his elbow and turn, it walked silently past him and sat on the lip of the ledge. “What’s the deal? What are you?” It shrugged, or stretched at least, shoulders rolling liquid under its sooty pelt. He sat up and pondered his next move. He could run. He could sprint for as long as he could and hope to make it back before they had to seal the doors against the poisonous waves of ash and dust that would boil over the mouths of the tunnels and envelop the Caracas shelf like a cave snake

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swallowing a cockroach. Shit. Or he could sprint for the wellshaft and hope it would provide some shelter. Shit. Shit. Shit. Slow, deep breaths. “Maybe you’re a snake. Eh?” The wires around its nose twitched and its brows raised, almost like a human’s. He raised his gloved fist and wiped at the grime on his goggles. The creature was so intricate up close, each hair fluttering as the breeze shifted first one way and then another. “No? Shot in the dark. Sorry. How about a… a sphinx?” They said there was a sphinx on the peninsula, in Skincity. It ate people, apparently. The thing deigned to blink again, ever so slowly. He shrugged. Suit yourself. “Look. When the next gust hits this rock, you’re going to wish you weren’t on it. Frankly, I might wish the same—and I’m covered. Heiln came out in sores last week. Don’t know when he was exposed. Don’t know if he’ll recover. Half a year ago, same happened to Rolph. Go out enough, and it gets in somehow, always does.” The thing looked out at the trees, back the way they had come. “Yeah, I should head back. Should go. The skyline’s getting awful dark. Might storm tonight. Not the season for it, supposed to be fine for another six weeks, but the seasons count for shit these days I guess.” It stood and stretched like an elastic sheet, then bounded down into a crevice, then off onto another boulder. He scrambled to his feet, snatched up the map, and leapt after it. His feet skidding across the broken shale, he caught his elbow on a protruding edge of rock and heard the outer shell of his rain jacket tear slightly. “Wait! Where are you going?” The thing slipped effortlessly from rock to rock, down and around to the other side of the outcropping. It came to a halt so suddenly that he almost stepped on it, unsteady as he was on the shifting layer of dust and gravel littering the tops of the boulders. He caught himself with a hand against the corner of a crevice and saw the thrashing tip of its fifth limb disappear


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around the corner into a deep crack. The opening was big enough for a child to walk through, and a man to duck through. He did. Crouching, almost on all fours, with his fingertips probing the ground ahead, he blindly followed the creature into the crevice, which widened as they went along until it opened onto a small grotto. Inside, the darkness was broken by a few slivers of light thrown across the walls through chinks in the rock above; this pale gloaming light slid in long white slices across the still surface of a pool that filled one end of the lopsided floor. It struck him that this could have been someone’s shelter, in the backthen, before the forest was withered and this pool poisoned in the aftermath. Ash upon ash. Somehow, though, it was cleaner in there than outside, the rippled floor smooth and almost dustless beneath his boots. The creature crouched at the edge of the water and leaned its head down, flicking its tongue in and out of the water. “Hey, don’t—” It turned its spotted head to him. Again, he felt the question in that turn, the intention in its look. It seemed to be waiting for him to finish. “How you are still breathing beats the hell out of me, walking around without cover—guess you came late to the vacsuit party. I guess—well—well, it’s not good out here. You should get underground. One good breath of ash and you’ll cook from the inside out. I know. And you don’t want to to drink that water. Can’t be clean.” The creature twitched its whiskers dismissively. “I’m serious. You can’t know what it has washed up into it. Puddles, pools, wells, never safe—it’s in the rain. So it’s everywhere...” He let the sentence trail off. There were mushrooms growing on the wall near the edge of the pool. Mushrooms out here. He remembered the long, cool catacombs of the mushroom groves; aisle after aisle of steel trays suspended from shelves, rack after rack rusting quietly in the dark. Rivulets of distilled water dripped down the wires to feed the grey

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mushrooms, which grew in haphazard clusters like the stubble of stone—five o’clock shadow on the face of the mountain. Pressing up through the black, fetid mulch, through the remains of tubers and peels and beetle shells. He remembered walking blindly down the aisles, fingers trailing over their damp crests and caps of the mushrooms, slick with condensation. The only sounds were his breathing and the creak of the corroded wires and hinges holding up the trays. He remembered walking up and down, testing the firmness of the mushroom caps, the strength of their fibrous stalks. Prodding the soil with his fingers, testing the texture, the temperature, the dampness. He knew the feel of healthy soil, saw the signs of sickness, or the tunnels and tracks left by parasites. He cut the infected out of the loam with a small trowel. He sprinkled the broken bodies of insects where the spores were hungry. He remembered holding his breath in the dark, trying to hear the water slip down the steel, trying to taste the slight twinge of life quickening all around, through the miasma of rot. Eventually, when he could stand it no longer, he would fumble in his pockets for a match out the box, feel for the hatch and valve on his lamp with his fingertips, let a hiss of camphor gas into the hall of decay, and—with a practiced twist of his wrist—flick fire into the dark. The flame had a shimmering life of its own, breathing just as he did, feeding just as the mushrooms fed. Opening its single bright eye always dazzled his own, but it was the most beautiful kind of blindness, and he always regretted lowering the frosted pane of the lantern door over its winking gaze. But the light could never last too long. Mushrooms grew best undisturbed in the quiet gloom. They grew from the emptiness of the air, the hollow and voiceless womb of the mountain’s inner dark, feasting silently on the remains of anything that had scuttled or crept or buzzed the day before. Tending them meant respecting that, it meant a reverence for the fatal phenomena of fungus, the silent miracle of life from death. Something from nothing. It was the stark and simple act of some


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God they did not know and did not want to know. But the families of the colony worshipped with each mouthful of tender mushroom stew and prayed for more, so reverence weighed his steps in the cool catacombs and when he broke a stem between his clumsy fingers by accident, he would close his eyes and ask the forgiveness of the small sleeping deities. The intense focus of the creature’s gaze brought him out of the reverie. As usual, its knifelike eyes were stuck straight through him, unblinking, unwavering; but it turned them, pointedly, to look at the wall behind him. Following its gaze he saw a strange thing. A natural niche in the far wall of the cave, half-lit by the ghostly reflections of twilight off the water, crawling like swirls of smoke across the walls. In the niche was an odd assembly of objects. A green glass bottle, label peeling in tatters. A handful of thimbles and needles, and a tangled web of thread. An old black box contraption—his grandma had picked one out of a salvage haul once and called it a “disposable” camera—with a spool of plastic ribbon spread out from an opened hatch. It was a machine for making photographs. They had books and books full of photographs back in the colony’s library, but no working cameras. Next to the camera in the niche, there were three decks of cards, stacked atop one another. A watch with no hands, just a face like a window of black glass. A fractured terracotta pot, half-filled with dry, black soil. A picture frame with broken glass and the torn corner of a photograph trapped beneath the edge of one shard. Before he knew what he was doing, he was weighing the frame in his hands. The picture showed someone’s hair, but he couldn’t quite tell what color. There was also a pair of round wire-rimmed glasses, a toothbrush, a moldering magazine, and a shoe so small it could have fit on the palm of his hand. It could only have been meant for an infant. Back then, did they make shoes for babies even before they could walk places on their own? Did they—he caught sight of another thing, hidden behind the terracotta pot, and reached out for it. When he took the small

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carving up in his fingers it was heavier than he expected, heavier than he remembered the ones from his childhood being. But it was shaped just how he remembered grandma’s little carvings, some creature with long ears and a short stub of tail and powerful hind legs. Something he had always hoped to see. He held the carving up toward the light and realized the creature was by his leg, staring up at him. “What is this place?” Nothing. No movement from the creature. There were white and blue lines inscribed on the walls around the niche, like the fibrous channels and bridges of a human iris, blossoming outward from the pupil and weaving over and under one another. These faint, chalk markings stumbled over one another just like that—like something living. So many little loops attached to lines that crossed at sharp angles with the humped curls and arcs of other symbols. Intricate webs of curiosity looping around and coiling through and pointing to one another. He reached out and ran the finger of his glove across a line, and it came away smeared with white. He raised it to his mouth and stopped. He was wearing a mask. Stupid. It was just chalk. The compressed dust of shells and bones. Wasn’t there enough dust in the world already? He wiped his hand on the ragged denim of his over-pants. But he couldn’t take his eyes off the wall. He wondered what language it was. Did anyone anywhere in the world read more than one language anymore? “You ever read?” By way of response, the creature pressed itself against his leg, rubbing its back along his shin, winding itself between his feet. It rumbled a little. He leaned down and held out the carving for it to see. The creature raised its head, stretched out its neck, nose questing, wires twitching. “Know what this is?” It reached out an arm and pawed up at his hand, and he laughed. He couldn’t help it. It took him by surprise, and his throat wasn’t used to it. The sound was


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like stirring gravel around in a puddle, wet and gritty and harsh. Startled, the creature jumped, batting his hand away with its paw, fur rising on end. It skittered a few steps away and crouched, ears back. He watched as the little statue that it had knocked out of his hand tumbled from his fingers more slowly than seemed possible. Spinning and catching a fragment of dusklight as it fell. After an instant of stunned stillness, he lunged for it and fell hard to his knees on the stone floor, trying to scoop the statue up in this hands, but it bounced once, twice, three times across the rock with a series of echoing cracks that sounded like gunfire in the close, cramped air of the cave. Gingerly, he picked up the pieces. An ear. A foot. Where they had split from the body, they left crisp razor edges. Images rushed back into him like the rains that roared through the drainage pipes when seasonal storms hit and every cave in the colony reverberated with the rattle of metal, and he remembered all at once: His grandmother handing him a tiny creature cut from soapstone, every intricate feature shaped with care, its eyes so real he had poked at them in wonder, had run his thumb over its buck teeth and the bumps in its spine. It’s yours, she had said. Her face, weathered and spotted and scabbed and pale, beaming at him—the most he had ever known a person to smile. Her gnarled and swollen hand patting his shoulder as he clutched the carving to his chest and rocked it back and forth. What is it called? he had asked. She had shrugged, with that knowing crinkle in her forehead. A rabbit, maybe, she said. But you know, these days I think it could be whatever you want it to be. No! he had crowed with delight. It is what it is. It’s a rabbit, a raaaaaaabbit. And he had flung himself across the room, leaping onto a bench and flying off again, holding the statue out ahead of him, swinging it back and forth as he ran, feeling it run once again in him, with him, feeling the thrill of bounding, scampering, racing heedlessly like a wild thing. Until his foot caught a crack in the floor and he fell like a tree, flat on his face,

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and his rabbit ran away across the stones without him—ran itself into pieces against the wall. Across the cave, the creature made a guttural sound in the back of its throat, as he turned the pieces over carefully, again and again, examining every angle. “She shouted at me.” His voice took him by surprise. He hadn’t known he was going to say anything. It sounded wrong in his ears, like stepping on glass. “After I broke it. Weeks making it. So much care. I was just a chick’n’shit-kid, like the rest. No sense of—well... no sense. Smashed the lovely little thing as soon as she gave it to me. She screamed like a storm, grabbed me by the arms, shook me. I used to think I’d rather step out into the real storm than stay and take a screaming from her.” He turned to look at the creature crouched an arm’s length away. Its head was cocked to the side again. “Sometimes I wish she’d shout at me again.” It would be nice to hear her voice again. Nice to touch her knobbly hands and put his arms around her hunched shoulders, face pressed into her wispy hair. “You know?” He turned the broken pieces over in his fingers. “Just sometimes.” The creature eased over to him, each step measured, careful, graceful. It pressed its shoulder against his knee and nosed at his hand. He uncurled his fingers to show the fragments to its bright eyes. “You think you can fix it, then?” He chuckled—a softer sound, less grating. He felt something wet on his skin under his mask. The creature pawed at his hand again, less forcefully this time, and it rested its paw on his palm for a second; its toes splayed out, six hooked claws slipping out of their sheaths, pulling at the polymer of his glove. That was when he saw it. A tiny tear in the material, no longer than a fingernail. The quiet world became very loud all around him, his heart started to thunder like pipe-water in his ears. He let the pieces of the rabbit statue clatter to the cave floor and pressed the fingers of his other hand into the polymer, pulling the material aside to open the rip. It was thin and clean and sliced deep enough to catch the skin.


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A narrow line of red was beading there. He slumped back against the wall, his head thumping against the stone just below the niche. “That’s it, then.” The creature stepped back and tensed up, wary. It made a low sound, deep in its throat, an uncertain sound. He wasn’t sure if it had been the creature’s claws or the sharp edges of the broken statue or even some crevice or edge of the rock that the material had snagged on while he was climbing—but here he was: opened up like a door, his bullshit astro-gloves torn like tissue paper, and all the world pouring in to dance in his blood. He shut his eyes. He took in a deep breath, rattling through the tubes, and imagined he already tasted the poison in the air, beneath the mold-damp stench of the filters. A weight on his lap. He looked down in amazement, at the creature curling up on his legs. It glanced at him from the corner of its eye, then settled into licking its paws again. “Well, if this was your master plan, you got me. Opened now. You picked me apart like a scab. Hardly seems any point to all this shit.” He waved at the layers of scarves and masks and plastic tubes. “The world gets in, one way or another, doesn’t it? There’s probably already ash eating into the walls of my veins.” He sighed. The thing shifted and stood, walking its front paws up his chest, sniffing at this face. “What are you?” He asked again. “Are you a rabbit, like my grandma used to make?” The long fifth limb lashed and the eyes narrowed and maybe it was laughing at him. “Are you my grandmother?” The creature just watched him, eyes roving up and down his mask, his goggles, the vents, the tubes. He realized what a monster he must seem. “You know, I don’t know why I keep thinking you’ll answer. I don’t know why I come out here every year. Delilah insists on it. And I say, of course this year will be different. Of course. And I come out to the damn well and look to see if they have left a sign. Bridgeworks or Skincity or one of the others. A sign that it’s safe to meet, to come back, to rebuild. When we left, in my grandmother’s day, we always planned on getting back volume 29



together once things made more sense—once it was safe to start over, when the oil-despots were dead and the dust settled on their graves and green things came back up out of the soil. Then we’d give a sign, or they’d give a sign—and we’d all gather wherever there was green. Any green, living thing.” He began to undo the clasps and seals on his torn glove. “Any damn green at all.” The creature watched him curiously. With his breaths snagging and stumbling, he pushed the words through his fumbling lips like fragments of glass that he had been chewing, worrying them smooth with bloody tongue and bloody gums. “And I don’t really come out here believing I’ll find anything, anymore. It’s more about reminding myself others came here believing that. They were so certain that someday, someday... That certainty, we need that, don’t we? Hope.” He wrenched the glove off and threw it across the cave. It flopped into the pool like a boned fish. The creature shifted uneasily on his lap, and made a short, discomforted sound. “Hope helps us like hooks help fish. Delilah came herself for years. Years. Nothing. My grandmother before her. Nothing. No one has it figured out.” He pulled the other glove free and tossed it aside; the creature’s eyes followed it into the dark. He held his naked hands out before him so that they caught the edges of one of the shafts of fading light. White and calloused and cracked around the knuckles. He picked up a piece of the shattered statue in one hand, and pressed his thumb along one of the sharper edges. It hurt. The world hurt. He raised his other hand, ever so slowly, and held it under the creature’s face, under the long quivering hairs around its nose. It licked him, like it had licked the water. Carefully. Daintily almost. Its tongue felt like nothing else had ever felt on his skin. Rough and soft and wet and warm—and sensitive, like it was really touching him. Knowing him. He cautiously pressed his fingers into the fur of its neck. So soft. Cloudlike. Dreamlike. The creature leaned into his touch, closing its eyes. He ran his fingers all the way up and around its head, ruffling its ears, smoothing the fur


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down across its skull. It rumbled again like a tiny petrol engine. “What do you mean? What are you saying?” In response, the creature pressed its face into his hands; rubbing against his palms, pushing closer to his chest. Its nose bumped against the mainline tube, which ran from his mouth down under his armpit to the pack on his back, and it recoiled a little, shaking its head. “Here,” he said, and raised his hands to push back his hood. He pulled off the balaclava and unwrapped the long coils of the scarves, then hesitated with his thumbs hooked behind the clasps that held the seals shut on the respirator. The creature cocked its head again, and he saw a smear of his own blood on the corner of one of its ears. He shut his eyes and sighed his breath out slowly. Back in. He popped the seals and pulled the hot, steaming contraption from his face, but kept his eyes and his lips shut tight for a long moment. Counting to ten. Then again. Finally, opened his lips and breathed in the rich, musty air of the cave: cool silty soil and damp stone and ripe mushrooms. And as he breathed out, he tasted iron and rubber and plastic, smelled petrol fumes and isopropyl. He licked his cracked lips. That was the world now. “It hurts, doesn’t it?” Looking at the creature, at its brilliant, gleaming eyes, with their slitted pupils, he realized something that he hadn’t been able to see before through the dim sepia tint of the mask’s goggles. The eyes—they were green. “The world really hurts. But I guess you’re in it. That’s something. Right?” He ran his hands through the creature’s damp fur and took a deep breath of the musky, muddy scent of it, and then another—feeling the beginnings of fire deep in his lungs, each breath catching like a hook in his ribs. He grimaced, then smiled. “Well. I’m glad at least. Pleasure to meet you, I’m Thomas. And you must be…?” Head cocked curiously, the creature just blinked in agreement. It must, and it was.

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Sandy Cave

Trav i s Gallatin digital photography

Rainshadow Nolan Bishop

In so much aridity; The ground cracks and salts. We lick sweat from our foreheads in brittle heat. Sometimes, pine trees hide the cracks. This poem is written in the lexicon of landscapes. Red Bluff and sagebrush clear cuts and creosote chaparral and crop circles We paint our body with artifice, wear disguises. We keep busy Sometimes, vacant riverbeds empty reservoirs irrigation ditches

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become the cracks amplified by the memory of sound, of what else is now absent. We keep busy Pink almond flowers now bleed brown into cracked ground gnarled limbs seared black against bleached sky. Dust rises from a furrowed plain coarse wind thickens the air A red tractor sits crooked in the yard glazed with blood beneath the omni-sun. We know fearful dust. Stinging corneas, splitting knuckles, parched throats— We devour our body.


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fine line

Natalie Eve Gregor iu s silver gelatin print

Obsession Jessica Palacios

I have never, not once, seen your obsession turn on. I only see it after it has built and destroyed and rebuilt all of your insecurities and uncertainties. I always see the symptoms too late; when it has already manifested itself in the virus of a statement: “I am worried.” That is all you need to say and I know that I have not saved you from yourself again. The only thing I can do is try to hold out a light as you start drowning in the darkness that is your fear. You call me an optimist, but I just feel sadistic as I watch you from the dry, solid shore in your storming obsession. It fascinates me that you have so much emotion trapped inside your head and that you only know how to relieve the pressure through tears. Your tears are not soft or weak or subtle. They are the violent outpouring of a dam that breaks barriers, knocks me down, and pushes me away. Water is supposed to help with clarity, but these tears obscure the answers that you so desperately seek and that I cannot provide. You get lost in your head, and I can’t help but get lost in my frustration for not loving you enough to stop you from slipping again. I remember the moment when I realized you worried about your soul and the fragile body that housed it. I cried because there was and will always be a reason for your worries. We are such delicate bones and blood and brains. I can never make our bodies go away. But Away is where I want to take them so that you will never again need to stay up so late that you trick your brain into losing to your body—so that you can finally stop


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your worrying. Away is like Never and you should Never say Never. In the same way, Away is what will always come back. I want you to come back. I want you to come back and step away from your worry—to try to see it as the unhealthy consumption that I see. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with me. But there is something wrong with the way that I can never understand your worry, your life, your obsession. I want to dissect it, test it, put it in a tube, add some acid and see if I can slowly find its element. But I can’t. All I have are lines. Before this moment, I had never written about you. I write you all over the place, but never on the page. I have written your lines on my brain and in my room. I read them on your face and in the wrinkles of your clothes. I taste them in the salty sea air and feel them in the way that rocks bend. Beautiful lines. Honest lines. Sad lines. Lines that lead to nowhere, like the logic that you follow when you are worried and sick and scared. I am not your doctor. I am not your cure. I cannot be your everything. But I am yours. And I will try to save you from your obsession, as long as you never save me from mine.

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Real Jazz Meritt Rey Salathe

They play us bold; blues hued room, them carpet baggers following through. Nights like these we spit in husks – seed pearls and blasphemy spotting our tongues – coating the back of our throats like a surreptitious reliquary. That delicacy, that sly rood, sharp like a dagger piercing every t. We croon songs unbearably –a slow crackling of fire on logs, newspaper skirts shrinking to a dangerous hem. They play us fierce; we choke necks, move them into tune. Flavor twisted


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like sharp tonic breaths. Our boon, our slow potency, steel strings shimmying taut as trembling breasts. Left hand kiss them, make them sweat. Stretch the pall-mall smoke and olivine counters, eyes whiskering with every brush of steel on snare. Keep em, trap em.

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the female sublime Maia Watkin s photography

sin título/untitled anonymous

besos firmes y la lentitud alcohólica una confluencia de cuerpos coincidencia encubierta imprevisto incidente hecho con una normalidad banal

firm kisses and alcoholic slowness a confluences of bodies covert coincidence unforeseen incident done with a banal normality

la luz fría del amanecer ilumina el apretado abrazo la intimidad de la noche permanece en esa postura dedos delineando las sombras bajo ojos entornado

the cold light of dawn illuminates the cramped embrace the intimacy of the night remains in that posture fingers tracing shadows under half-closed eyes

Si este es un “amor prohibido” quitamos el incendio y el romance y encontremos en lo que queda: las manos torpes, los labios secos y el espacio donde se tocan las frentes

if this is “forbidden love” we took out the burning and romance and find in what is left: clumsy hands and dry lips and the space where our foreheads meet

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Native Hannah Filley

I want the sun shading the road as it carves into the earth I want dry sunburnt forevers I won’t forget them this winter— I can still feel the places on my skin where the sun painted me with scars I want dirt dust and gravel, sour pine needles not a bottled up jar labeled “Home” I want mountains towering figures that shelter, protect terrify I want to sift through shattered micah feel the coarseness of the crumbling I want rocks huge and beautiful somewhere to be lost in all that is bigger than myself


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I want to be where the world is dry the earth fresh and aged where the air can call my name back to me whenever I scream I want to be where my echoes answer

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There Appeared to Them Tongues as of Fire Olivia Gilbert

Today you will receive your new name. It will not replace your original name, but will be an addition, a kind of sacred addendum between your middle and last names. You were instructed to choose a patron saint—someone to emulate for their holiness, a spiritual guide, one who would intercede on your behalf to help you get into heaven. You consider many possibilities—Saint Bridget, as an homage to your grandmother, Brigitta; Saint Theresa of Lisieux, “the Little Flower,” Saint Mary Magdalene. Nothing speaks to you; you don’t like the idea of having “Bridget” as your middle name, “the Little Flower” sounds too weak and submissive, and one of your classmate’s name is Magdalene, so you can’t pick that. As a child you read an illustrated book about Saint Joan of Arc, and you remember the scene where she is riding a huge dapple-grey horse through the streets of France, and everyone is celebrating her successful role in the Hundred Years’ War. She is wearing chain mail and knight’s armor, and she and her horse are covered in colorful banners. You liked that she was a fighter, that she cut her hair short and wore men’s clothing to pass as a French soldier; you are even fascinated that she was burned at the stake at nineteen years old for heresy and cross-dressing. You decide right away that she must be the one you name yourself after. You wonder how you will feel when you receive your new name. Confirmation, you are taught, is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic faith. You have already gone through three: Baptism, Eucharist, Penance. Sometimes called the


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“sacrament of Christian maturity,” Confirmation marks the transition into adulthood and the Catholic community. It is supposed to “seal you with the gift of the Holy Spirit,” but you aren’t totally sure what that means. The sacrament of Confirmation stems from the ancient Jewish holiday of Pentecost. Seven weeks after the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is said to have descended on Jesus’ disciples gathered for the celebration. Acts 2:1-11: “Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Although the people gathered spoke many different languages “every man heard them speak in his own language.” You wonder how your name will sound when spoken aloud. Saint Joan of Arc was born to a poor family in northeastern France. She claimed to have received visions from the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine that urged her to support Charles VII in saving France from English domination in the Hundred Years War. After cutting her hair and wearing men’s clothing to disguise herself, she was sent into battle at the siege of Orleans. Her first mission was to bring supplies from Blois, a city located between Orleans and Tours on the banks of the Loire, to Orleans. It is here that she began to call herself “the Maiden,” La Pucelle, and it is here that she famously ordered English commanders, in the name of God, to “Begone, or I will make you go.” The siege ended after only nine days and was a major turning point in the war, ultimately leading to French victory. On an afternoon in April you receive your new name. You are wearing a white dress with gold sandals, and you’ve even let your sister curl your hair, pin it back, apply mascara to your young face. A small silver crucifix rests on your chest. You are pure of heart, and mind, and ready to be re-named, ready to receive whatever it is the Holy Spirit will give you. Everyone is here, at St.

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Andrew’s Cathedral—classmates, who will also receive their new names today, along with family, your teachers, the clergy. At the front of the church, you stand before the bishop. He looms over you, perched on a step, has a good two feet on you if you count the red ornamental hat he wears. His left hand grips a silver staff that shines like someone just polished it. He wears a red robe to match the hat. A large metal cross hangs around his neck. Your grandfather, who is your flesh-and-blood spiritual guide, rests his hand on your shoulder and stands slightly behind you and to your side. He speaks your new name aloud. You like the way “Saint Joan of Arc” sounds coming from his mouth—regal, serious, proud. You bow your head. The bishop dips his thumb in a jar of consecrated oil, touches it to your forehead. “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” “Amen,” you say. Now, you are nineteen. You are the same age Joan of Arc was when she was burned at the stake. It has been five years since you were confirmed and took on your new name. It has been four years since you have believed in a god of any sort. Sometimes you wonder what Joan of Arc would think. Is she up there in Heaven, still rooting for you, hoping you’ll come back to Catholicism, back to God, back to whatever it is you promised in your confirmation? Or does she understand what it’s like to be young, bold, have visions, take risks, cut your hair, wear armor, re-name yourself, get accused, condemned, burned, martyred?


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El Horsfall intaglio monoprints

Sometimes I Can’t Tell the Difference Between Dreaming and Lying Grace Little

I can walk on water: my toes tread lightly like a winding up a kite string, cautious and unbroken, flawless like nothing ever has been— every poem I write is perfect on the first try. I have never spent all night trying to get the words right until everything I have is lying like tangled line at the base of my bed, my feelings always fit seamlessly into language like a slim woman slipping into a silk nightgown. I am a slim woman slipping into a silk nightgown and I do not ever feel forced to paste a smile to my face like a wet receipt plastered to the sidewalk and I am a writer. I am the kind of writer who makes every line push shivers up your sleeves, I am a poet not just a body perfecting the art of becoming bulletproof on stages with microphone stands shaped like crosshairs, I am a poet not just a person who is learning to speak the new language of turning inside out in front of an audience and bleeding your heart for them, I am a poet and I can walk on water,


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blood is just my body watered down so I can stand on the stage without slipping or tripping over words. I am a poet so they do not lap up this blood, leeches, wolves biting at the sick calf at the back of the herd, I am a poet not someone whose calves are so tired from outrunning the wolves they might collapse at any last breath. I am a slim woman slipping into a nightgown, I am flawless as nothing ever will be.

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Quietude in the Doldrums

Maddie Bailey digital photography

I haven’t seen you around before Catherine Fisher

Everything here is flat and people always imitate their landscape. Climb to the top of that sapling and if it will hold you you’ll see everything you could want but snow capped crags. The broken rope from the last too large grandchild hangs from every house like a spine the crows have gotten to. Car alarms will be your new sonata in F. The sun rises, burning crosses into your retinas and each companion of the moon has six points. Remember, the planes push away nothing at all.


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Er ic Under wood film


Sabr ina Salkind digital photography

Love Rimona Law

Yellow jacket lands softly to greet unlikely lover. With clear plastic curves almost as sweet as her heart, Yellow jacket can’t resist his honey bear.

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Tod Dem Kapitalismus Chr i stine Schoeg gl banana, needle, thread

HONDA MOTOR CO. Alan Mendoza

It was the tone of her voice that turned me off. I didn’t like the word fuck either. She said it all slow and deep like you hear in all the pornos. It’s like she had practiced—saying it, I mean. I didn’t care that she’d had partners before, but I didn’t like the way she proposed the idea. We’re in her truck. She had flamenco music playing because she knew I spoke Spanish. I’m driving. She takes her shirt off, and bra. It’s broad daylight; I’m speeding. Faster she says because there’s a car behind us. The sky is a robin’s egg. The road cracks under the sun. The air is dry. My lips are too. Faster because she’s shy. He was a stallion—a real virtuoso in the sack. There was something intangible about him though. He was removed, but not in the I-just-want-to-get-off-and-get-out-of-here sense. I remember once I kneed him in the chest. We were in the back of my mom’s Chevy pick-up truck during finals week junior year. It wasn’t on purpose or anything; he was giving me head. Both of my hands were in his hair. I remember pulling so hard I could feel the roots come out of his scalp, but he didn’t flinch. He made these throaty sounds that like made me go crazy. I came one, two, three. Thrice. I remember this clearly: thrice. Post-coitus, I told him how the whole thing was like a dream, and how I wanted to make him feel as good as he had made me feel. I remember him telling me that there was no need to because he loved the taste so much already. That it was his favorite thing, and that his head didn’t even hurt, and that at worst his chest would only bruise. The air was stale, musty. The moon a sickle cell. The sky

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opaque. A train screamed by at one hundred and fifty miles per hour on steel tracks. She didn’t want to call it making love because we hardly knew each other she said. I would see her the rest of that summer, but that was it. It was autumn again. Outside the window was the SKIT SKAT SKIT of rain. The leaves below were mush, formless. Sounds upstairs were muffled by three feet of drywall. In the kitchen, water placed in a three quart stainless-steel kettle with a copper base turned to vapor. He worked in my classroom for a semester. The kids would follow him around. Don’t know how he put up with them for so long. Near the end he seemed distracted. Would walk in looking like he’d slept in his clothes. Sometimes wouldn’t even show. Would call the day of and tell us he couldn’t come because he had been up too late. If you ask me he was on drugs. He didn’t make eye contact. We later found he had been assigning kids readings outside of the curriculum: something in German. We knew he had to go once the kids started conducting sit-in strikes. They refused to participate in SUCCESS activities. Here at Martin High, our focus is on SUCCESS. That’s vision, quality, education, contacts, teamwork, business, and strategy. It spells SUCCESS if you space the words right. Violins and pianos made her sad. We listened to a song in my kitchen. She said, it’s sad isn’t it? I said yes, but isn’t it sort of magnificent? She turned the music down. The kettle was screaming. I made her cry because I wouldn’t turn it down. She started screaming too, and then the neighbor started pounding on the floor above. It sounded like thunder, a storm. I yelled, isn’t it magnificent! She left my apartment, slamming the door behind her, crying.The upstairs neighbor came down, but I told him I wouldn’t stop because I liked the noise, and that didn’t he think it was magnificent? A police woman came and knocked on my door. We had tea. She told me that sometimes people don’t like noise for its own sake, and that I should understand. I told the nice officer fine, and that it wouldn’t happen again.


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H O N DA M O T O R C O .

It makes sense if you just follow the HONDA MOTOR CO. specifications, Peter. You hear how cylinder number three, as it reaches top dead center, forces itself against the compression stroke of the OTTO CYCLE, and makes that TICK TICK POP TICK TICK? The ignition timing is set six degrees past the specified timing marking. This makes the spark from the ignition fire ten milliseconds too soon, causing excessive pressure to build within the cylinder walls. If you let this continue, the cylinder will writhe free and burst through the casing causing more than just engine damage, Peter. I said, that makes sense.

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Colonial Zone

Caroline Ashford Ar ya film

After Love Nina Vanspranghe

You are hungry I want to pee We’d want to see The universe upside down flashing colors bursting winds and centuries across our drumming bodies

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Global Security

Katy Will s digital glitch

Print by Numbers: Still Life with Peonies Asa Mea se screen print

Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” Ben Caldwell

~after Virginia Woolf~

Watching the sun rise—not the sunrise, not just the sprouting but the heaven-bound blossoming,—one can see what Monet saw in the glacial ascent, in the yolk breaking and smearing across the sea, then hardening through the smudged mountains of fog; the sun foreclosed; trimmed of its excess; arms and edges pared away; a copper coin nailed to the sky (if not by God, then by the painter himself, remaking the world he will make again in paint) that carves the ships of the harbor in shadow. See. The skeleton of masts traced in silhouette. Whole forests of bones in the mist. One can see the reflections broken, stretched across the rack of the lapping waves, the sunlight dragging the memory of timber and crane across each crest of the water, scattering it, yawing it along, swaying it side to side; these are the moments we forget to see until we enter museums, crypts for our memories, walls hung with gilded tombs, fading oil holding the cracked remnant of the instants after dawn, which is never watched (no one bothers to wait and witness past the last inch of fire to scrape free of the vanishing line) and never missed; abandoned of course for the warmth of a building, what else; we want the security it seems, the soft current of conditioned air, the comfort of closed doors and cordons of velvet and brass, saying: keep your distance from the flame.

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Landings 1 & 2 Kyla Rapp copper etching

Riding Hood Grace Carol Pyles

See! It’s the color of Yelling, Or warning. Of the perfect strawberry between lips, The best roses in the garden next door. One cape makes two wings, and I’ll soar. It’s the smell of cinnamon in winter, A barrelful of apples. The coldest ember; the color of Armor Of don’t you dare touch me or I’ll knock you out of this rainbow world so fast Your grandchildren won’t see anything but grey. The color of running. Father’s bright shirts. Jam on biscuits. Of half the squares on a checkered blanket, the color Stop. And darkened, It becomes the softest growl. The tongue between teeth. Madness behind eyes.

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I remember The howling Of my smallest brother, the pine Needles threaded Through my father’s clothes, The warningsThe tangle of wood and metal leaping from basket to hand. Later, it is the color of Grandmother’s laughter, Cardinals in the cherry trees, Rectangles on the biggest quilt, And the languid grass That wiped my hatchet clean. It will never be the color Of the dust Still Settling into fur On the path behind me.


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Rimona Law pen, watercolor

Living Room Haikus Jack Swain

Our poet finds himself reflecting in his college rental’s most communal of spaces—the Living Room. Here, intertwining stories are written in a mess he will be nostalgic about for years to come. On the wooden shelf: One hundred wrinkled cookbooks with dog eared pages. Behind the TV I find a moldy teacup and take a small sip. No smoke detector— not until we learn how to tend to the toaster. Underneath the couch a legion of dust bunnies prepares for battle. Bowl of cereal, who balanced you so nicely atop the lampshade?


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Pots with dead flowers; The room is full of evening shadows on the walls. People come and go. I sit and look at all the nail holes in the wall.

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Safe Space

Maddie Bailey silver gelatin print

Natural Science Marlee Raible copper etching

For the Gunman, and for Peter Rachel Needham

I. SMOKE On Sunday, goldenrod is trampled and a hay baler rolls fat copper circles on the hillside. Their shadows dusky creep nearly all the way, all the way to next week. The dinner bell chimes once, supper is ready. If I were you there would be an empty seat at the table. Afterwards I scrub my skin and scrub with the window open. A lightning bug lands upon the soap suds, aglow, and drowns there. In the pool of my hands, its little green flame goes out. I think of you now, socks pulled high, watching a horse burn in a pasture. II. HEAT My mother and her mother shrieked so loudly I thought the plates would break. On tiptoe I stole into the freezer for an ice cream. I would eat it behind the banister and look out. That heat is stifling summer, makes your ears ring. And there was no air conditioning. Nothing to cool the tempers of brassy women, and it was humid in that house, it was humid.


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III. THE BARN The saddles swelled with mildew from the barn and pigeon shit. I wish I could say I polished them with glycerine but Granddaddy the greater cowboy showed me only once how to throw a lasso round a post. Then he spit and ambled back to the house. But he had patience enough to tie a strand of twine to a lame pigeon and teach it to fly again. And he was right to lock the door to the gunroom. One afternoon all the grownups were downstairs so I crept in and touched every rifle on the bed. The pillows will smell like gunpowder when the smoke clears.

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Sophie Cooper-Elli s lithography

Kisses Haley Forrester

The first time I ever kissed a girl was freshman year of high school. We’d been dating for a while. She emailed me that she loved me. The freshman dance was held in the science courtyard, because homecoming was also that night and upperclassmen got priority of the cafeteria. That night we planned it, and the next day we brought our sack lunches three blocks off campus, to the bench right behind the tennis courts along the bike path, and we looked at each other and took a breath and pursed our lips... I think the mood was kinda ruined by the fact that my glasses got caught in her hair, and we bumped together so hard her braces cut the inside of her lip, and a homeless man rode by on his bike just as we made contact and shouted his encouragement. ------------------- I knew I should’ve turned around and walked right out the minute we stepped into the restaurant. Too loud, too crowded. I’m trying not to think about it too hard, but it really almost deserves mention, cause I can really only go up from there. God, I made such a fool of myself. A date from Hell. Water down my front in the first five minutes. Soaked pants, sopping floor, everybody turned to stare—but you just got me another glass, no questions asked. Finally, we’re sitting down! Limiting the disaster zone, right? HA. Conversation—oh god—Classes? Clubs? Activities? No. No, somehow we get into a conversation about how much these sandwiches do or do not taste like SEX, and then spend the rest of the hour with that pachyderm prancing around our table for two.

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------------------- I want to see more kissing. In all its variety. You know, like those sweet little first time kisses, or the let’s go at it kisses, or the sad kisses, like goodbye kisses where you’re like ‘Nooooo!’ because they just make you melt a little on the inside because maybe you remember someone kissing you like that once, or maybe you just imagine it because all you’ve ever had is one lousy stage kiss and it wasn’t even that good because it was supposed to happen before the lights fade out and the cue was programmed too fast so your lips slammed together and the teeth collided through the gums and gave you the most awkward bruise ever. OR, or the kisses that are so soft and sweet that the audience isn’t sure that they should be watching, like we are intruding on a private moment, which could perhaps become a very private moment if only we weren’t there watching them as they stand there kissing like there’s no one else in the world and they didn’t have to rehearse this a hundred times.


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A Digital Dune

John Vincent Lee digitally processed drawing

The Stage’s World Presents

The Silence of Sounds A Comedic Tragic Drama By God


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The Stage’s World The Silence of Sounds A Comedic Tragic Drama

Producer — Me. Scene Supervisor — Unnecessary. Lighting Producer — A pumpkin-red moon strung among stars. Sound Coordinator — “To hear with eyes belongs to Love’s fine wit.” Stage Manager — Sometimes I really wish we had one. Light Board Operator — Has way too much fun. Sound Board Operator — Arguably the most important man here. Run Crew — Literally anyone who wants to. Can I get a show of hands? Playwright — God.

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Curtain Times… Matinees: Whenever Evenings: Whenever you want. Seating… Late arrivals are always admitted. Please tiptoe on your way in; hearts are fragile. Tread softly. Tickets… Absolutely free. Limited to one per person. I suggest scrapbooking the little stub. Reservations… Far too many. If I can ever find the binder of all of them, I will scatter them crackling into nowhere like leaves on fire. Will Call… You nasty names if you heckle anyone on our creative team. You’re seeing bare souls on that stage. Try stripping off your skin and muscles and bones sometime, and then jeer at their nakedness. Refunds… None. Sorry. Special Requests… To list them all would take a year and a day and relinquishing far too much pride. Assisted Listening… You need no assistance. Just be still.


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Faculty: The clatter-clink of a fork against pavement A tune whistled Fingers running slowly through hair Halted chords That sound between a laugh and a giggle A fistful of breath held before its release Bodies shuffling into pews Pages turning Murmured thanks through an almost-smile Silence The sacred song Administrative Assistant: Only a slow creek gurgling into existence and whispering back out. Production Assistants: Soft breathing, and dreams. Photographers: Thought Memory In Shakespeare’s day, a play’s focus was on the language, not the acting. Thank you for listening. Come again.

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Tai Hall stein black and white film

Contributors Alan Mendoza

Celia Langford

Antara Bird

Chapin Dorsett

Asa Mease

Christine Schoeggl

Ben Caldwell

Cody Burchfield

Caroline Ashford Arya

Daphne Guiselle Gallegos

Carolyn Erving


Catherine Fisher

El Horsfall

2017 Philosophy Sincere

2019 Undeclared “Francis Bacon”

2016 Biology, Studio Art atemporal sock folding

2017 English The Hundred Acre Wood

2019 Undeclared Thai food everyday

2016 Environmental Humanities Rain, bed, book, & wine

2018 English Cheese flavored snacks


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2019 Asian Studies Midnight Sun

2019 Undeclared being a turtle

2019 French, Math A world without capitalism

2016 Studio Art farm fresh

2019 Undeclared A sublime, united world

2016 French Sans mosquitos

2017 Studio Art Bernie Sanders Twenty Sixteen

Eric Underwood

Hannah Filley

Esther Ra

Helena Platt

Fiona Bennitt

Honcho Poncho (Sam Gelband)

2016 Astrophysics Food Ranch

2019 Undeclared Liquid glow

2017 Geology, Studio Art sparkle hands new moon

Grace Little

2017 English human sized hairless cats

Grace Carol Pyles 2018 Studio Art Love in all hearts

Gus Coats Matthew Meyer Ari Appel

2017 Studies “d bowie’s movin castle”

Haley Forrester

2017 Studio Art, Theater The Oregon Country Fair

2019 Undeclared Gluten-free oreos

2019 Undeclared 4 AM

2016 Theatre Distorted Groucho Marx Funeral

Jack Swain

2016 Philosophy, Studio Art “You are not alone”

Jessica Palacios

2016 Biology, English Chocolate, books, warm bed.

John Vincent Lee

2016 Film & Media Studies The Reality I Envision

Katie Zesiger

2018 Studio Art Purpose and space

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Katy Wills

Marra Clay

Kerr Ivan Cirilo

Matthew Meyer

Kyla Rapp

Meg Logue

Linnaea Weld

Mercer Hanau

Maddie Bailey

Meritt Rey Salathe

Maia Watkins

Natalie Eve Gregorius

Marlee Raible

Natalie Mutter

2016 Politics Crushed Patriarchy

2018 Religion i don’t know

2018 Undeclared compassion, coalition, cheese

2016 Environmental Humanities Corndogs & Meryl Streep

2017 Geology More cheese

2017 Studio Art, Spanish Bernie Sanders as prez

2016 Sociology Bathing in avocados


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2017 Chemistry - Environmental Studies “Whirled peas.”

2017 Biology Entomophagy

2016 Film & Media Studies island humanarchy with mimosas

2018 Studio Art Nectarines are always perfect

2016 English pet pig named Clancy

2019 Undeclared Wherever you are

2019 Undeclared Honesty

Nina Vanspranghe Language Assistant BFF w/ fluffy+ panda

Nolan Bishop 2018 Philosophy Doubtless

Olivia Gilbert

Sophie Cooper-Ellis

2017 Film & Media Studies, Studio Art A Sofia Coppola movie.

Tai Hallstein

2017 Sociology Sunny skies, warm wind

2019 Politics embracing radical socio-environmental alternatives

Travis Gallatin

Rachel Needham

Tyler Warren

Rimona Law

Zoe Guckenheimer

2018 Environmental Humanities Snug as a bug

2017 Environmental Studies - Studio Art kale in the desert

2018 Environmental Studies - Geology Careless, beautiful people

2019 Undeclared Cinema

2018 Studio Art Abstract

Sabrina Salkind 2018 Studio Art Canyonlands

Sam Traylor

2017 Environmental Humanities Direct perception.

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Editor Biographies Throughout the school year, the blue moon staff collectively conributes to selecting works and putting on events. Then, the editorial staff spends the first week of spring break bringing the physical magazine into existence. These are the people who construct the flow, layout each page, send the magazine to print, and finally place the product in your hands. For the first time ever, you get a glimpse into the personal lives of these ten individuals.

Linnaea Weld - Editor-in-Chief (Grandma)

Famed for the jumbled jungle of her curly hair, Linnaea enjoys talking about how blue moon was in the “good old days” and knitting misshapen hats for her loved ones. She owns fourteen cats and loves to sip iced tea while doing crossword puzzles in her rickety rocking chair. Linnaea can be seen yelling at all the whippersnappers to get off her lawn.

Jessica Palacios - Editor-in-Chief (Line Wizard)

Seasoned in the art of layout, Jessica loves lines. In fact, she loves lines so much that she has been drawing them all over the office. For three years running, she has won L.A.’s Most Elaborate Tan Lines Award. While others dread the wait before the best rides at the new Harry Potter Land, for Jessica, the most thrilling part of the experience is the LINE ITSELF.

Eli Cohen - Layout Editor (Real Dad)

The daddio of the patio, Eli loves barbecuing, hiking with his golden retriever, and long talks about car safety. In his spare time, he researches jokes that aren’t funny and how high of socks he can wear with his birkenstocks and shorts. If you’re lucky, you’ll see him dancing to smooth jazz in the grocery store.

Zoe Guckenheimer - Layout Editor (Witch)

At the start of layout week, Zoe mysteriously appeared in the production office, clad in black robes and clutching the guts of a toad. She claims to be a transfer from Pennsyltucky, but she often chants under her breath, always has a broomstick by her side, and can fold fitted sheets perfectly—so the rest of staff is a little suspicious.

Ben Caldwell - Poetry Editor (Word Herder)

Ben can be found in his basement late at night, chugging coffee, hunched over his 1878 Remington typewriter. He only writes by candlelight, at the full moon, with leeks in each sock and a quill stuck behind his ear, because “that’s how Proust did it.” He exclusively wears tweed jackets and subsists entirely on crusty bread and ancient Roquefort cheese.

Hillary Smith - Prose Editor (Hoarder)

If you ever dared to venture into Hillary’s hobbit hole in the mountainside, you’d find shelves teeming with small, shimmering sculptures of Corgis and recreations of George Washington’s dentures. Hillary would also probably be frolicking around in her scarlet tights and elephant blanket shawl while strumming a 16th-century Venetian lute.

Molly Walls - Art Editor (Private Eye)

Infamous for her throaty voice and darkly glinting stare, Molly can be seen tramping about fogswamped streets with a detective hat and zipped-up trenchcoat. She is often heard muttering “Elementary” at passing automobiles in a scornful voice, violently brandishing her magnifying glass.

Cody Burchfield - Digital Media Editor (Cyborg)

With a EOS Rebel T3 18-55mm Camera installed in place of his left eyeball, a set of auxiliary and HDMI ports in his spinal column, and three different sets of adaptors grafted onto his metacarpals, staff members often wonder if Cody is more man or machine. His hobbies include communing with the AI hive mind evolving out of Google Chrome and taking long virtual walks along a digitally generated beach.

El Horsfall - Public Relations Editor (Imperator)

Known to her friends as El “Furiosa” Horsfall, she spends her afternoons overthrowing patriarchal dictatorships in war-ravaged dystopias, and her evenings reminiscing about the “green place,” oiling her forehead, grinding knuckle bones into bullets, and tuning up the six engines of her War Rig.

Esther Ra - Copy Editor (Puppy Wrangler)

Esther has been training in the art of puppy wrangling since the tender age of two. She has taught dachshunds how to be hot dogs, conversed with collies in their own language, and entered five dogs in an upcoming Tetris competition. She is currently convincing Eli’s golden retriever to run away to her home.

Frequently Asked Questions Q: Why do we have blue moon? A: blue moon hopes to gather and celebrate the many forms of expression on campus. By representing a variety of artistic pursuits, blue moon offers people a doorway out of the echo chambers of their own heads and encourages them to engage with diverse opinions and creative outputs. With the help of many people who contribute art, time, and effort to our magazine, as well as our audience across campus and disciplines, blue moon strives to reflect the culture and spirit of the Whitman community each year. Q: How can I get involved? A: If you want to be involved in the magazine and its creation, send in your application at the start of the school year. Anyone can be on staff; experience is not necessary. Apply to be a genre staff member or genre editor, and/or to work on public relations, copy editing, or layout. If you want your work in next year’s issue, send in your poetry, prose, art, and/or digital media to bluemoon@ for consideration when the submissions deadline rolls around (usually soon after winter break). You can also friend “Blue Moon” on Facebook and get all the updates! Q: How is blue moon made? A: The Editors-in-Chief are the only staff members with access to original submissions; they remove the artists’ names and distribute the pieces to the respective genre groups, who review them anonymously over the course of a month. Final decisions are made during a staff retreat. Afterward, our editorial staff stays on campus for the first week of spring break. We work together to determine the magazine’s flow, copy edit selected works, and layout each piece. Then, we read over a proof and send the magazine off to print. One month later, the magazine appears in print for all of campus to enjoy! Q: How are the pieces in the magazine organized? A: During layout week, editors sit down together with a bunch of sticky notes, two boards, and some dry erase pens. We discuss how we can arrange the works to create a cohesive and fluid order, carefully considering all of the pieces and their relationships with one another to curate a stimulating visual experience. Q: What’s the deal with the new logo? A: In the fall, we reevaluated our coffee stain logo and decided it was time for change. We wanted an image that is recognizable and reflects our values as a publication. Public Relations Editor El Horsfall spearheaded the project. After experimentation, feedback from all staff members, and collaboration with Digital Media Editor Cody Burchfield, the new logo—a moon with constellations and hills—was born. The hand-drawn elements represent the many hands that shape blue moon, and the hills and sky suggest the magazine’s place in Whitman, Walla Walla, and the world.

b lu e m o o n s t a f f 2 016

Back row: Molly Cameron, Grace Dunbar, Lydia Lapporte, Cara Casper, Samantha Tong, Jillian Briglia, Catherine Fisher, El Horsfall, Janssie Zhu, Kerr Ivan Cirilo, Kyla Rapp, Esther Ra, Lily Monsey, Hillary Smith Front row: Sage Malecki, Adrienne Groves, Zoe Guckenheimer, Eli Cohen, Izzy Dunn, Tessa James, Sophie James, Ben Caldwell, Molly Walls, Linnaea Weld, Taylor Penner-Ash, Jessica Palacios, Cody Burchfield Not pictured: Mika Nobles, Sarah Cornett, Antara Bird Photo credit: Jeremy Nolan

Colophon blue moon volume 29 was printed in ­­­­­­_______The magazine is set in Minion Pro, an Adobe Originals digital typeface designed by Robert Slimbach in 1990. Slimbach’s typeface takes its name from the old, near-arbitrary English system of designating printer’s type sizes, in which minion-sized type falls between emerald and brevier, bigger than brilliant or small pearl, but smaller than bourgeois or English. Minion is based on Renaissance-era typefaces, boasting sleek design while remaining highly personable. blue moon is printed with soy ink on mixed-source paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The magazine was designed using Adobe® InDesign® CS6 and Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 software.

blue moon vol. 29  
blue moon vol. 29