The Mixtape Issue Volume 18, Issue 3, January 2018
I’m writing you a symphony of sound.”
VOLUME 18 ISSUE 3 JANUARY 2019
ANDREW MCMAHON (1982-)
CORA VANESSA HAVEN
The Car was Our House
Escape the Known
As the World Slows
A Different Hit
No Right Answer
To My New Lover
Index: Our Last Roadtrip
In the Middle of a Moment
Burning Music Into Memory
DR. MUHAMMAD S.A. KHAN
PREYE T. ADUWARI
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Sophia Grande-Lawlor firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Manager Camille Dehghan email@example.com
Literary Editor Stephanie Silva firstname.lastname@example.org
Art/Photography Manager Adina Turkonje email@example.com
Social Media Manager Kourtney Reich firstname.lastname@example.org
Events Manager Emily Buccioni email@example.com
Web Editor Zar Kechichian firstname.lastname@example.org
Brantford Manager Fedana Toussaint email@example.com
Interns Paige Silver, Desiree Streef, Kelly Xu, Preye Aduwari
Emily Buccioni, Jonathan Collie, Camille Dehghan, Cora Vanessa Haven, John McMorran, Kourtney Reich, Stephanie Silva, Zhijun Xu, Preye T. Aduwari, Adina Turkonje, Domenique Barbaro,
The Mixtape Issue I almost never work in silence. Even if there’s no music playing, I have my own kind of soundtrack playing in the background. Humming a tune my Nana used to sing in the car, the round of sighs when I wish what I’m working on is over, the tapping of keys reminding me I’m still in the process. The soundtrack we create through the words we string together on the page can be as unique as the music we lisen to. I can tell you what piece of music we listened to during each page of production, probably because I end up making the playlists. Having that noise in the background can send me to any point in my childhood, any memory I want to relive, and any feeling I need to have. There are studies showing that music activates a different part of our brain. I know this has to be true because the music can change the day-to-day experiences we all have into a movie montage we need to bring some vibrancy into the day or the musical solo we were too shy to try for but have no problem belting out in the kitchen at 2AM. It’s universal, it’s inspirational, it’s an expression that lets us all feel like we belong in this big messy universe. Mixtape came out as a playlist I loved scouring through, and one I know I’ll have on repeat for a while.
Brielle Huang, Harrison Edgar, Ross, Marcoux, Laura MacDonald, Kelsey Haggard, Scott Lu, Dr. Muhammad S.A. Khan, Aaron Hagey, Maria Sayde, Kiara Alcazar, Brechtje Moen
ADMINISTRATION President, Publisher, & Chair Terrence J Mroz Executive Director Lakyn Barton HR Manager Paige Bush Finance Manager Randy Moore Advertising Manager Care Lucas Web Manager Sam Nabi Treasurer Garrison Oosterhof Vice Chair Shyenne MacDonald Corporate Secretary/Director Maiya Mistry Director Aaron Hagey Community Director Rosalind Horne Community Director Hayley H.G. Watson
CONTACT Blueprint Magazine 75 University Ave W Waterloo ON N2L 3C5 p 519.884.0710 x3564 blueprintmagazine.ca Advertise firstname.lastname@example.org blueprintmagazine.ca/advertise Contribute email@example.com blueprintmagazine.ca/contribute
COLOPHON Blueprint is the official student magazine of the Wilfrid Laurier University community. Founded in 2002, Blueprint is an editorially independent magazine published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by its board of directors.
Mixtape by BRIT KOVACS As an artist, I aim to distort what is conventionally beautiful by prioritizing subjects that are traditionally assumed to be unattractive as the focal point, such as garbage or abandoned buildings. This photo in particular was taken at a Punk Rock Flea Market, where I was immediately drawn to the vinyl table and the comfort that a weathered sleeve of a Zeppelin LP brought me. Thus, most of my photography is inspired by existing structures, by still images that bring about comfort and frequently occurs on a whim. Most of my work can unofficially be found on my instagram, @kovbrit, as the art of photography is a skill I’m still sharpening.
Content appearing in Blueprint bears the copyright expressly of their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. Blueprint reserves the right to re-publish submissions in print or online. Opinions in Blueprint are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Blueprint’s management, Blueprint, WLUSP, or WLU. Blueprint is created using Macintosh computers running Adobe Creative Suite.
NEXT ISSUE Things We Wish We Said On stands March 2019
You are a force of nature. To me you are A rushing river, A thunderstorm, The sun in the sky.
Many may run from that force, Or, even worse, try to control it. Tame your wild heart Diminish it Make you less, but
I see your heart I see that light And I want more. I want to show it off For the whole world to see.
Youtube Mix CORA VANESSA HAVEN
Where to start? Well, song number one is something introspective, some deep indie tune from a pretty mainstream band. But you love it with your whole heart, and it helps to block out all the noise. Your therapist said everything’s too noisy around you, so this is good. Next up is that old-but-still-cute love song. It should be good for your mood, and usually it is-gooey, lovesick lyrics and an upbeat tempo are a good combination--but not today. It’s okay, you tell yourself. Next time. Then there’s the blaring, not-pop, not-party, rock song that’s also the exact opposite of that. This is what being miserable and trying to wash it away sounds like, you think. Damn, it’s all good, I guess, it croons, and you can’t help but agree. You call the next song a story song. It tells the tale of a girl going through the mundanities of her life and is heartbreakingly lonely. But it does it in a beautiful way or whatever. You don’t think too deeply, just like to put the volume up and scream the lyrics loudly like you’re in a movie. The next song, you don’t know. That’s fine, though. Sometimes new is good for you, especially these days. You like it, so you’ll keep listening until it becomes old to you. Then you’ll start the process all over again. Here comes that new, super indie song about making friends with the voices in your head. You didn’t like it too much at first, but it kept coming up and at some point, something clicked in you. You probably don’t know any of the words except maybe the chorus, but you’ll take what you can get. Ah, and there’s the song about heartbreak. You were wondering when it’d arrive. Finally, something that settles with you today--not because you’re getting over something, but because the sadness is cathartic. The singer exclaims that time doesn’t heal shit, and while you secretly hope otherwise, it’s nice to hear for right now. Oh. This one. You loved this song when you were in high school. You like the simple-ish lyrics, the jumpy beats. You blast it on loud and it sounds like joy and nostalgia and finding your inner peace all at once. Maybe things are looking up, finally. Well. Time to see what the next song brings.
Our love story comes with a soundtrack. The memories are a mixtape and my mind is a tape player stuck on repeat. Every time I hear a song that reminds me of Us, I itch to send it to you. Because that is what we did. We traded the words of our favourite songs, letting the lyrics speak for us. We found new songs and fell in love with them together. I still keep a playlist of songs that I would send to you, if I could.
Drumbeats JOHN MCMORRAN
Adam stood paralyzed in the centre of the music store, mesmerized as polished chrome, brass, and varnished caramel wood caught and held the light, each in their own alluring way. Adam possessed no affinity for one instrument over any other, but following a long, pensive interval, he purchased a drum kit. Adam loaded his new kit into the back of his father’s car while his father sat idling and speaking on his cellphone. At home Adam’s father tossed him the keys to his car and told him to lock it when he was done unloading his drums. Adam set up his drum kit in the garage, and sat on a stool and stared. Each implement made a different sound, and could be adjusted in one million different ways. He wondered whether he had selected the right instrument, but for fear of telling this to his father, he began to tap. Adam’s first attempts sounded like raccoons pawing through garbage. Many times his frustration drove him into the house, but as the volume and frequency of his parents’ fighting increased, he found himself returning always to the garage. He exercised a time or two, avoiding the arachnoidal array of metal hovering in the corner, occupying his time with something else. But pushups did not stop his parents’ words from coming through the walls, so Adam took to the drums. They were loud enough to silence the malice and misplaced hatred widening the rift between his mother and father. Adam had tried to speak to them, but his voice could no more mend the fissure between his parents than he could pick up rain from puddles and put it back into the sky. As Adam’s skill improved he found that the thunderous hammering of his own hands could silence the voices without and within. He played and he was free. Adam’s parents divorced, and their physical distance compounded their emotional distance such that Adam needed drum kits at each of their houses. He found solace in the conquering violence of the thrumming, building, crashing crescendos, so that each garage was filled with the cries his soul could not give voice to. When Adam moved away to university he only played drums when he came home, and when he graduated he was hired as a teacher and did not live near either of his parents. Adam owned one drum kit now, but he found no time to play. Instead he directed his attention to his wife and their son. But even though Adam did not play, he listened to the drum sections of songs differently than other people. He cherished them still, but could also listen more broadly to music, because he no longer needed to hide in his drums. Adam allowed his drums a more subtle stroke while the guitars and singing in his life added their music to his own in equal measure.
ABBEY ABRAM TLADI
Crashing Waves KELSEY HAGGARD
She is the ocean
She is here but She is also far She shines in the day And is dark With the stars
She is deep She is blue She is sad But accompanied By the moon
She tells the moon Her sorrows Then the moon Disappears Until tomorrow
She is deep So deep that you Can dive And dive But youâ€™ll never find Her floor
So deep that When you think Youâ€™re at her bottom You look down And you find more
Her ocean Is filled with Her secrets Her strengths And her weakness
But she remains An ocean of tears And will let Her waves Hide her fears
One Dancer ZHIJUN XU
One dancer moved to the music. Two arms fluttered to the beat. Three thoughts swirled in rhythm. Four beliefs held her stance. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Eight steps took her closer to her dream.
No Right Answer LAURA MACDONALD
The day all the Taylor Swift songs made sense, I knew I was in trouble. You see, I have memorized every lyric. Reveled in her ability to piece emotions into metaphors and daydreams into melodies. These songs have always been my soundtrack. Even though my first kiss did not happen until I was nineteen. Even though my first boyfriend did not come until I was twenty-four. But, my god, do I know the sting of unrequited love, of longing for boys who will never be mine. I am an expert at that. Even still, despite this extensive prep work, on the day all the Taylor Swift songs made sense, I was not ready. Because now I know love, sure, but I also know loss. I have found myself knee deep in heartache, applauding whoever coined the term for doing it so aptly. Because there is now an ache in my chest that reminds me with every breath that something is wrong, different, over. And, for the first time ever, I donâ€™t know which songs to listen to. The love songs fill me with memories turned sour, memories too painful to swallow. Memories I do not want to tarnish. But the breakup songs, they beat too perfectly in time with my own broken heartbeat. Even still, I do not know how to turn the music off.
Crushed CAMILLE DEHGHAN
I did it again. I said I wouldn’t. I un-paused the music, as sickening as it was. It’s like I forgot. It blares through my body and pushes me down. Like an empty can of beer, I’m crushed. Recycle me and make me new. I’ll still find a way to press play, again.
LARA KATIE THOMAS
was it real? or an illusion we both held onto? desperate, but not desperate enough first came a flood, the five stages all at once regrets soon after memories fade or warp to fit the mood the soundtrack changes melodrama. time passes, as it always does memories further altered possessions discarded, complexes set in few to turn to you know only you can solve this in the end it feels good, doesn’t it? emotions do not ask permission you say goodbye, but you don’t believe yourself time passes it seems so far away now was it ever real? we may never know does it matter? uncertainty, of course distractions flood in you forget yourself mindsets change hate fades into acceptance bitterness is not an option
time passes happiness returns the soundtrack changes arms outstretched. you’ve learned a lot the hard part is applying it time passes iridescence. it doesn’t hurt anymore just barely, a slight sting “goodbye” stops being a lie took you long enough a smile creeps the past cannot be changed but you can.
Index: Our Last Roadtrip DOMENIQUE BARBARO
Our car speeds through a purple sky The shapes and colours flying by You knew the words to every song The rooftop down, the road stretched long My arm hangs out the right car door My fingers tap, the warm wind roars Nostalgic rhythm is what we seek I smile wide with freckled cheeks He sips his soda, grabs my hand Tires roll through golden sand He claimed we weren’t going far I didn’t care, I loved this car
018 IE SILVA 2 e p a t AN Mix STEPH
TheBRIELLE First HUANG When Neil was born, Hector loved him. Neil was “special” – that was the word his parents used. They doted over Neil, and so Hector did the same. But at some point his love turned to indifference. 16-year-old Hector was too busy visiting the bookstore to pick up girls and teaching himself guitar to keep up with his younger brother. 13-year-old Neil got a piano and spent hours on it every day. Their parents thought Neil would get a music scholarship to one of those universities they couldn’t afford. Hector’s rough fingertips were always compared to Neil’s soft baby hands. The older they got, the more different the boys became. Hector joined the vegan phase and got into bodybuilding; his brother couldn’t sleep without his nightly lamb stew. At some point Hector’s indifference turned to hate. 18-year-old Hector worked weekends and fought tooth and nail to secure enough financial support to go to state college. Neil didn’t take any of the piano scholarships offered to him and instead went on a trip through Europe with his savings. During family dinners, no one wanted to hear about Hector’s successful election to Literary Club president; instead, everyone hung on to Neil’s stories about life across the pond. One time after meeting the family, Hector’s long-term girlfriend decided to break up with him, quit school, and take a year-long backpacking trip in the Alps. When Hector graduated, armed with salutatorian status and an MFA, he decided to stay with his parents temporarily and take a headlong leap into writing. But the publications spurned him; manuscript after manuscript was returned. To add insult to injury, Penguin returned a manuscript completely unopened, with the reply “We do not accept simultaneous submissions” as a scathing slap toward his efforts. His worst nightmare came true when Neil came back from his Europe trip, and did another one-eighty turn with his life: he decided to break into the writing world. Within two months, his first manuscript was accepted – by Penguin, because fate hadn’t gotten a good enough slap at Hector last time – and family dinner conversations now turned to which stops Neil would make on his book tour. That night, Hector took a pack of prescription pills that his brother had picked up for him from Neil’s backpack and flushed it down the toilet. He wrote for three hours straight, and got the best night’s sleep he’d had in a long time. It is now Christmas. Hector and Neil, age twenty eight and twenty five, go out for coffee to discuss what they are going to get their parents for Christmas. Hector orders a Black Americano, while Neil gets a latte with extra whipped cream on top. As his brother chatters about gift ideas, Hector looks out past the coffee shop into the adjacent bookstore. His eyes travel over the various nooks and crannies he spent his days in as a child, browsing, reading, breathing in the books. He thinks about his brother’s book being on that shelf in a few months, little boys touching it, reading it, breathing it in. A clatter wakes him. Neil is discreetly sliding a full box of pills across the table toward him. “Here. Pops told me you were out.” He looks at Neil, the son without abs, without a degree, without a girlfriend, but the one everyone always thought was perfect. He stuffs the box in his pocket and mumbles, “I don’t need medication to write.” As they leave, Neil asks to check out Hector’s new snow tires. It’s almost too easy. As his brother bends down to inspect the tires, he takes his hands – his guitar-hardened callused hands – and wraps them around the soft part of his brother’s neck… He drives the body to the side of the road. The snow will soon hide his car’s tracks. He pulls the body out. He doesn’t like how there’s no blood. In all the books, when there’s a crime, there’s blood. He cuts the body’s wrists and watches as the snow becomes dotted with red spots. That night he knocks all the books off his bookshelf and sleeps there, with them, on the floor. In the light of day the body is found. His parents are inconsolable, and the police want to question him. He brushes them off – “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – he doesn’t have time – he’s trying to write about a recent experience and if he doesn’t get it down on paper quickly enough it will be gone – he’ll give them an hour, but then he has got to get back to work. By nightfall his pen has run out of ink. He heads to the guest room – Neil’s room for the holidays. Neil’s desk is littered with his manuscript. Hector’s sure his parents would want to get the book published posthumously. He takes the manuscript – but what’s this underneath? There’s a half-wrapped present with his name on it. He lets the papers slide for the time being, and drops the unopened box of matches on top of them. It’s a mixtape. The label reads “The First”. He lies on his bed of books to guard himself as it plays. The tape is full of piano songs-- but the words – they’re Hector’s words. Where had Neil gotten all of his rejected manuscripts? Hector certainly hadn’t showed them to his brother. He thought he’d burned them to a crisp. The last song plays, and suddenly the words aren’t familiar anymore. Only they are – it is just a different type of familiar. The song is haunting, beautiful… and wordless. Or is it? Hector shakes his head. How? HOW did his little brother know everything? He hates how he is about to do just what Neil wanted. But as always, even now, sitting in a bedroom of childhood dreams and fluttering words, listening to the final notes, he knows his brother was right. He turns the notebook to a new page. With his brother’s pen, he starts writing: “I was the first to be born. He was the first toADINA die…”TURKONJE 19
In the Middle of a Moment KOURTNEY REICH
Hips turning to the turning of the tables, And heartbeat rhythms in sync with the beat. “This is my favorite song!” Tuning into the music while tuning out the crowd, And singing out loud to the lyrics that are singing. “Would you like to dance?” Hopping up and down to that hip-hop sound, And tempo tapping to the beat of tapping feet. “I’m going to get a drink.” Lights blinking, With bodies spinning, “Can I buy you a drink?”
DR MUHAMMAD S.A KHAN
...and so time flew past as we squabbled with life the moments that mattered, faded into unfulfilled dreams and tired sighs. It is indeed a one way street, this thing that we call time Left few marks indelible, and some wrinkles inside. however, we were once happy and young we saw in colours that were a lot of fun we often duelled with love and dodged reality we sang, smiled and lived silly now that I look back, it does pain me deeply, something prickly, a rotten misery I wish we had known right there and then this is the brightest sun will ever shine, and greatest the birds will ever sing had we the faintest of ideas I am sure we would never have blinked...
Heart’s a throbbing mess tonight. Gotta just keep dance dance dancing to the music, moving through the streets like bedroom sheets. This is a wild world, eyes up and open wide, I need to be her man tonight. But air’s so thick and hot, my heart’s on fire, I’m going to torch the town. This is a sick sick world, the sound is all that makes it live, all that makes it give. We are living in a material world, and she’s a material girl. Rest rest rest for the dead-ass day of tomorrow, be her pillow and her punching bag. In the arms of the ocean, deliver me, wash me right up to the shore after the squall. Have my stomach pumping, arms flailing, as they make me clear, all clear all clear all clear. Zap pow zing zing zing. Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now to a world so violently vibrant I can barely bear it any longer. Back to this, Lyric City.
saturday mourning EMILY BUCCIONI
When Big Rick kicked the bucket, he wanted fireworks at his funeral. He said send this old bastard out with a bang. We played jazz and Stompin’ Tom and there was an air hockey table in the middle of his backyard. Ever been to a funeral that’s BYOB? Rick left a bottle of whiskey for me in his will. Rick left my brother a kite patched up with pieces of the sky itself. He shot clay pigeons in his spare time and had an eagle tattooed on his left arm. He was a bumper sticker on pickup truck kinda guy, old man in the baseball chair drinking a cold one at the county fair and naps on the La-Z-Boy coughs that racked his chest and rattled my bones. It was a Saturday, early. We knocked back shots and laughed and decided the mourning could wait ‘till Sunday. Big Rick was a song in every step he took drunken speeches lyrical God Bless America in his pores checkers on the front porch rhythm and class in the slide of his wheelchair joy in the way he would clap his hand on my shoulder and say son stay awhile there’s plenty of soup and I know you don’t wanna go home just yet.
Rick, you old bastard I hope you can see the fireworks from wherever you are. Kindness like yours, now that’s my favourite song.
burning music into memory PREYE T. ADUWARI
my mom held sole control of the music at home in a Kim Jong-un type of way now, entire albums exist in my mind with her name on them and I think she did it on purpose so that there’ll truly be no escaping her memory when she’s gone she played a lot of Idoma music and I didn’t understand the songs, but they became part of me I came to love her in the same way; and irrevocably so such that I’ve wondered how I’ll look in the mirror when she’s gone she and I look exactly alike and somehow, I kind of think she did that on purpose too maybe one day when I read this again I’ll envy this version of myself who had never known life without her and whose heart had never been cracked open by pain maybe the sound of music will hurt for a while But, I know that in time I’ll heal; we all will I also know that I’ll do for my kids what my mother did for me and fill their childhoods with all my songs and with everything else I have to give so that there’ll really be no escaping my memory as well and so that through music, I too can haunt my children from beyond the grave in a very loving way
Nine Tracks AARON HAGEY
The first track plays, Smooth, calm, upbeat -Simple and serene, Nothing else exists, no expectations -You can be anything. Why can’t it last forever? The second track plays, You knew it wouldn’t last. This one is jarring, jagged It knows what you are -A fraud, a failure, a fool, Caught in the web of your inadequacy. The third track plays, I hate this song -Slower, morose, Waiting for the beats To crawl to a halt -Wishing for the song to just end. The fourth track plays, Headphones in, lights down low, Can’t hear anything but the noise, No yelling, no expectations to break, No disappointing, no one but myself -It’s better this way, just me and the beat. Last one now, I’ll just let The fifth track play -And be on my way. Oh -- I like this one. I wasn’t expecting quite that. Perhaps -- perhaps just one more.
And so plays the sixth track, Her voice like tinkling keys, What is this I’m hearing? Cascading warmth across my heart, Light and inviting -I want to hear the whole album. And so plays the seventh track, Perhaps there is more to this -Jovial, sweet, and kind, My heart aches for nourishment. Basking in the glow Of her tender presence. BRIT KOVACS
And so plays the eighth track, This one speeds up, Beats in time With my own -Matching with intensity, I never want this song to end. The ninth track is next, But I think I’m done with my music -Just for now. I don’t quite need it like I used to, But I know if I ever do, It won’t be far away. I’ll save the tenth for another time.
The Car Was Our House MARIA SAYDE
the car was our house where we lived and slept where we traveled and explored where we cleansed and bathed in each other the road was our escape we were out in the open but invisible to the world then there came a time when i began to need less house more home
Escape the Known. ZHIJUN XU
I longed for the outside A vast sea of knowledge; boundless thoughts twinkling like stars, above. I wanted to gather Each and every one in my arms. So, I reached for them, my hands penetrating the sky. I reached up and tore through the blue. Until I felt myself enter the outside. The great known. And it was then, that I knew. The before was the better life. I had to leave this place, Return to my place inside The
As The World Slows KIARA ALCAZAR
Darkness covered the night sky and trembled the stars into nothing. The air blew fiercely with rage yet calmed with every puff of smoke. She inhaled menthol filled her lungs and tingled her lips. She sighed a tear rolled down her cheek. She thought it was over, but more began to fall. She was relieved more than anything. The weight carried on her shoulders slowly moved away from her body. She laughed as the world slowed beneath her feet.
ABBEY ABRAM TLADI
A Different Hit
I look in the mirror, I see my father staring back; Smug, self-satisfied grin, He knows he already won Before I even speak.
In the heat of an argument, I feel my mother creeping in; My brain shuts down, I retreat inside.
Distant, angry, I know he would be proud; Eyes as cold as my words, They pierce like harsh piano keys, I hurt them before they can hurt me.
Backed into a corner, My defenses rise up; Empathy slamming shut, I don’t care what they have to say, I just want to be left alone. I’ve matched their rhythm and I’ve become another song On their album of hate. Within these thoughts, The poison dwells, Like ink that blots, It spreads, it swells. I don’t always like who I am. The remnants of my past rest underneath, Holding a future that might be written for me. I’ll burn a different song over this one, Move past it and find another hit instead. A better anthem, a stronger beat. A new melody that overpowers the last.
I was tired, Elliot. So tired. And I asked you to take me home. And I laid my head on the door of your jeep and watched the rain pour down outside, trickle into patterns like we used to sketch on foggy car windows. Do you remember? Look, this one looks like us holding hands. You kissed me and my seatbelt was still on, digging into my neck so I couldn’t lean in closer. That song was playing on the radio, kind of static, kind of crystal clear and we knew it would go on forever so we didn’t sing along. What a day for a funeral. What a day to say goodbye. All I wanted was a hug and your lips were too cold. All I want is a rainy day. All I want is a ride home. I can only open the glove compartment and put all my love inside. Remember how we sat in silence in the warmth of your car, and I turned the volume up and lay my hand on yours? It was a song about being too late, about pouring love into a closed casket. I’m sorry I was too late. I made a mixtape for you. I hope you sing along.
to my new lover
a dangerous game two people play with falling hearts and masquerade take care, my love you will be fine when in a month or two I leave you behind you’ll cry some tears I may shed one too but we were bound to break this one’s not on you it’s me, I break things beyond repair so move on my love