Botticelli Magazine Number 12

Page 1


Arts & Literature

BOTTICELLI MAGazine Faculty Advisor:

Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis

Events Committee:

Betsy Corcoran Hannah Donovan

Literary Staff:

Elaina Workley Hannah Donovan Tristan Silver Jace Rowan

Art Staff:

Joel Severe Tristan Silver Mitchell Bauman Hannah Donovan Elaina Workley

Design Staff:

Mitchell Bauman Joel Severe

Submission Inquiries:

Published by Columbus College of Art & Design


In loving Memory of,

Seven Bury | A Spell to return child hood

Gordan Lee


A crumpled paper plane, lens of glasses from lost and found, demon grass from Mom’s lockbox, exposed brick with initials scribed in, mix all of this in the pothole down your street


standing on the third step of a neighbor’s ladder. Wait for about thirty minutes to fifteen years

only to

realize you can’t bring back something that was never given to you. Write a letter to your mother. She likes

when you write.

Gordan Lee Portrait of an Iconoclast Acrylic on canvas


A spell to return Child hood Seven Bury

Creative writing winners

Comments from the Judges




Not just birds




Kentucky murder mystery


here today gone tomorrow


Fake News


Hannah Donovan

Natasha Strom

Edosa Omoruyi

James Croal Jackson

Table of COntents


Clean Theory

William Fargason



Tristan Silver

Thomas Piekarski



Temple Guard


man of ginger and clove


She won’t remember this


Look Away


Nude, Miss Bentham


THe poem as oubliette


Elaina Workley

Seven Bury

Chloe Beaman

Thomas Haase

Joshua R. Butts

James Croal Jackson

Dismembering the dream Jessica Cornelson


Charlene Fix


About the Artist’s







We are very grateful for the support and enthusiasm of Bob Redfield and Mary Yerina. Botticelli congratulates the Third Annual Red Wheelbarrow Creative Writing Winners: Prose (Fiction/Nonfiction) First: Chloe Beaman, “She Won’t Remember This” (Nonfiction) Second: Grace Oller, “Before the Aftermath” (Nonfiction) Poetry First: Second:

Katy Dai, “Ars Poetica” Emily Dailey, “Ars Poetica”

Screenwriting First: Edosa Omoruyi, Kickback Second: Serenity Strull, North Bend From Prose Judge Kelcey Parker Ervick...

creative Writing Award winners

winner: Chloe Beaman, “She Won’t Remember This”


This story moves so hauntingly between the narrator’s painful past, the hard-earned wisdom of her present as an artist, and her concern for her young sister’s future. The details are specific (Steve Irwin’s death, Mom’s Halloween parties, forced sex) as well as perfectly understated by this narrator who “will never be shocked by the world, by death, or by tragedy.” Both the structure and the narrative perspective guide the reader artfully through a series of moments and insights, like the wrenching: “Love is the thing holding their marriage together. It just isn’t the love for each other.” Runner-up: “Before the Aftermath” This story’s power is in its subtlety. “Hurricane William” looms in the

future beyond the photo of friends, and though we don’t know the exact nature of his power, we know that destruction lies ahead and that all the narrator can do is adjust her friend’s crown of roses and prepare a wedding speech.

From Poetry Judge Eliot Khalil Wilson... Many of the poems in the sample I saw have teeth, fists, and political voices that shout. I love that. We need it. Most of the poems proceed through parataxis--stacking image upon image to create a content and tone of alienation. It is juggler’s poetry, a kind of channel surfing, but I like it when it is done well. Winner: Katy Dai, “Ars Poetica” Dai’s poem has the absolutely bewitching: I fall out of improvisational movement class/To crouch next to the trashcan in the bathroom/My body is an alarm clock that wakes you/So abrupt it slides off your nightstand/My eyelids are wings of a hummingbird/My mind surfs channels of nightmares/The history of grief/An open doorway and a maple leaf/A bathroom of Katherines/Though I am not a dancer. What is not to love about that?/The reaching search of the/speaker the metaphors, Dailey’s is a completely end-stopped poem, but finds the perfect concluding image to suggest the idea of identity as a constructed thing with the speaker sounding like the adopted daughter of Prufrock.

From Screenwriting Judge Maura Pellettieri WINNER: Kickback by Edosa Omoruyi I’m delighted to announce Edosa Omoruyi as the winner of the CCAD contest, for their screenplay Kickback. There were so many opportunities for this screenplay to take predictable turns—whether to ramp up more


overt dramatics or to create a darker plotline. Instead, Omoruyi made the sort of plot choices that surprise the reader and viewer, even as the plot outcomes feel inevitable and right for the storyline. Omoruyi strikes a fantastic balance between holding the depth of some of the weightier issues that the play explores—racism, bullying, social status—with consistent tonal levity. The narrative of Kickback has a lighthearted, pop appeal, while centering characters who are often delegated to sidekick-type roles. The protagonists of Kickback are not only teenagers who are contending with the real-life fears and dangers of racism in their world, but they are also nerds, plying for attention, dealing with crushes, and trying to sneak their way into a party that they have not been invited to. Omoruyi’s metaphors are gentle. I felt a powerful sense of impact reading this play, without being hit too strongly with a sense of authorial agenda or messaging.

creative Writing Award winners

RUNNER UP: Northbend by Serenity Strull


Serenity Strull’s play, [title?], settles into the power of its understatement. Its drama is a slow-moving and character-driven one. Although the plot is not particularly complex, it surfaces the complexities of its subjects—the effects of gentrification and urban planning, the idealism that implicitly comes with positive progressive change, and the modern plight of American towns. Much of the action happens just under the surface of the play; the plot is largely emotional and internal. Strull takes the same care with their narrative that their characters seem to take with one another, in their decision-making processes and in their lives. [Title] is a play that inherently asks the reader or viewer to slow down and take in the subliminal history that may be present in a given moment—to see what may be within the immediacy of an event, or location, or underneath the surface of another person’s story.

Stasha Gacpar Untitled


Nat Della Selva | ODe to my shame

After Olivia Gatwood You are my birdcage, I never felt much like a feather You made me B u l k y And when my body betrayed me, I turned to the calming whir of your chatter You never let me breathe Or dance. You turned my mind police academy. My mouth a burden That could not be burned or discarded I remember how you screamed that “I was not wanted” You don’t sound much like honesty Anymore I would rather reclaim my breath Than listen to our exhaustive lists of why I am not good enough But you are wedged in my me. Wrapping tight around my tongue, twisting and I would have to cut you out with a Scalpel… It would hurt so good Bloody lips, they would call it murder The loss of a loved one. But I am not strong enough, You told me.


light a candle, look at the flame, and think of nothing else for a whole minute. Every night, you were supposed to sleep. This was mindfulness training. But every time you see a flame, you think water.


William fargason | Clean Theory

Every morning, you were supposed to

You walk the edge of the ocean, jeans rolled up, wind rippling your shirt. Here, the best glimpses of yourself, and here, you erase them. All the ways you tried to love but couldn’t. How once you were good enough. How endless alone has been. Broken glass cuts the inside of your left foot, the blood smearing on your skin like watercolors with every step you take.


hannah donovan | Elegy for hometown girlhood

After My Little Pony ended, butterfly clips lost to time, blue cereal killed by the General, all glitter inked away. The Cheetah Girls were out, My Chemical Romance was in. Beauty was a scam, California, the city of Angels, the Holy Cross, Saint Francis himself has Barbie dolls, boho queens, rich bitches, and anything in between, but Indiana only has (seven silos, hay memories, wood paneling in a modern home) three (mistakes made at home games, nudes sent on a flip phone, plastic couches) possible outcomes to girl: horse, goth, and sucker and No one wanted to be her. Endings come abrupt to a good-girl girl scout, she went to all-day kindergarten, and she’s now shoplifting at the Claire’s (what happened? she did kindergarten so well) only to find out one day of one of one of one of one of one of one of one of one of one of one of one of one of the many same, the many always, the time lost to time, she was them, the dolls, the pink. California, this youthful longing for belonging is real. Barbie is more than what you thought, more than a doll, more bearable than this scratchboard art still hanging in your parent’s kitchen proudly. After all, beauty has only three possible endings, and only one of them is bearable.


Stasha Gacpar Comfortable Silence

natasha strom | not just birds

I don’t remember when the feeling started: five, maybe six years old, let alone which day, month, or year it was. Yet, I do recall lacking the will to sleep as I walked down the large dark wooden steps in my childhood home, constructing the mid 1920’s stairway. The only light poured in from the three half-moon windows evenly spaced from each other, exposing snapshots of the midnight-thirty outside world. A yellowed artificial translucence cascaded through the clear and distorted plate glass, creating a soft spotlight—illuminating absolutely nothing on the stark white wall across, just an arms reach away. Landing delicately at the bottom of the steps, the soles of my feet met the front living room; lining the inside was a small library with built in shelves, a “for show” fire place with gold accents, and furniture arranged around the enormous multi-colored rug in the middle of the wooden flooring. I recollect sitting on my mother’s completely white embroidered couch— feeling the patterned flowers and line work on my fingertips. A deep, low pounding stirred from upstairs breaking my observations; my father’s footsteps, booming through the floorboards. A familiar anxiety blanketed my conscious mind. My heart began racing faster and faster, harder and harder until I could feel my pulse in each extremity.


Suddenly, I was outside of my body, looking down on myself as I sat

No One Nowhere in Particular

Elaina Workley

natasha strom | not just birds

calmly on my mother’s couch. I began to float—up out the front living room, up out of my home, higher and higher until I soared out of my town. The streetlights and stoplights glittered endlessly, fabricating false constellations against the pitchblack ground. My house, normally such a large inanimate object, appeared so tiny I could cover it with the tip of my pinky finger. A scream from my unconscious self broke my flight, sending me plummeting to the earth. I slammed back into my body, still sitting on my mother’s couch, leaving me in a hyperventilating state of confusion and tears. I noticed my hands had gripped the edges of my mother’s couch so hard my knuckles turned as white as the couch itself. Unclenching them, the threaded decor left imprints on my minute palms. I began quietly tiptoeing my way back up the dark stairway, pausing momentarily in the first of the halfmoon spotlights as I traced the distorted flower embossment in my hands with my fingertips.


Stasha Gacpar Untitled

Edosa Omoruyi | kickback

INT. RIVERBANK HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY (EAST WING)-AFTERNOON Fade into a student walking down the halls to his locker while scrolling on his phone JASON WILLIAMS (A.K.A JAY) is an African American 18 year old senior with an athletic build. He is is a bit on the short side and tends to be really self conscious about it. He wears the same black baseball cap backwards every day and a pair of glasses that he constantly takes on and off in and out of classes. Jason gets really excited that the Wizard Con tickets were finally sent to him in front of a couple of people who looked at him funny. Jason quickly calms down and starts to open up his locker. STUDENT #1 (V.O) What the hell was that guys problem!? STUDENT #2 (V.O) I don’t even know who that is. Did he just start going here !? The two guys walk away laughing to each other. Jason sinks his head inside of his locker out of anger and frustration.

Creative Writing Winner




Cut to an honors chemistry class full of students and a teacher walking around helping with their assignment. RAHEEM ANTHONY-TYLER (A.K.A RAT) is a 17 African American Senior with a very slender and 1build. Unlike Jason, he is always wearing his glasses that are bigger than the average size. The fact that he is so smart sometimes makes him come off as pessimistic.

Remember to tell me when you finish so that I can check and make sure all the requirements were m-RAHEEM Im already done Ms. Decker MRS. DECKER Oh wow.. Okay I will be over there soon Raheem Just give me a second. Raheem starts to clean up his station in advance, as usual, in confidence that he got everything right. As Raheem leaves towards the sink, SHONDA HENDERSON, an 18 year old African American with long curly black hair. She has a very intimidating Aura that makes her seem unapproachable to people who do not know her. She is very competitive and always seems to walk around with a chip on her shoulder. Shonda is sitting at the Table next to him with an extreme look of Jealousy on her face. She decides to sneak over to his lab and pour a chemical in his beaker that does not belong there. By the time Raheem comes back to check on his assignment, it blows up in his face. Raheem is then rushed to the chemical shower area while he is freaking out and Shonda is by her desk laughing. INT. RIVERBANK HIGH SCHOOL ALGEBRA CLASS- AFTERNOON Cut to an Algebra class with student nervously anticipating a test. MARQUISE MCKENZIE (A.K.A QUISE) is an 18 year old African American Senior with a really tall and slender build. He always has a sarcastic attitude which usually puts himself in tough spots and can never seem to get his priorities straight. .... Continue on page 24


Heather Miller Trailer Park Bazaar #1

Mr. Funket storms into the class with a stack of papers in his hands. MR. FUNKET Everyone put everything away and get ready for the test. All the students start to rush to clear off their desks. Mr. Funket starts to pass out the test packets. When he gets to Marquise he leans down into his face with a condescending look. MR.FUNKET Some people should be extremely worried about their grade if they do not pass this test! MARQUISE (Whispers) You are seriously just spitting all over me right now.. Marquise wipes of his face with the sleeve of his hoodie MR. FUNKET What was that MR. Mckenzie ! MARQUISE Nothing sir, I just cant wait to take this test!

Creative Writing Winner

Mr. Funket slams the packet onto his desk and looks up at the class. MR. FUNKET If I hear so much as a sneeze during this test so help me god I will fail every single degenerate in this room. Mr. Funket gives Marquise another glare before going to his desk. When the test starts Marquise realizes that he barely knows any of the answers to these questions. 24

He notices a guy next to him flying through his test. He tries to look over to get some of the answers but the guy notices and gives Marquise a weird look while covering up his paper so that he cant see. Marquise squints his eyes and gives the guy a disdainful look. INT. RIVERBANK HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY (WEST WING)-AFTERNOON Cut to an almost completely Empty hallway ERIC CARMICHAEL (A.K.A E) is an 18 year old African American senior with an average height and build. He is very uncoordinated and oblivious to his surroundings. He has a medium sized Afro and a pair of glasses. Eric is outside getting a drink from the water fountain outside of the cafeteria. As he is drinking he notices a girl named Samantha who is on her phone waiting by her locker. Eric has been head over heals for since his freshmen year of high school. Eric gets excited and starts toward her. ERIC (Studering) Hey um.. Samantha um.. so hows it going ?


Edosa Omoruyi


James Croal Jackson | kentucky murder mystery

KENTUCKY MURDER MYSTERY there was no blood when they found my uncle on the kitchen floor hole in his heart gun on steel barstool on the drive down to the wake my aunt admits she suspects the eldest son when I meet him the first thing he says is someone stole my idea when I wrote Dexter in the 90s I always wanted to write about serial killers but there are no knives in the air when he says this the room is flat polyester no foam erupts from the volcanoes of old couches no fingerprints to find but on the veil of grief my aunt a wilted sunflower his suicide does not add up she says again and again examining the clean kitchen floor for heavy footsteps to appear when nothing else will


Cow Collage Betsy Corcoran

Hannah Donovan Sketchbook Comic Book Strip



The New Blue


Do you have ice cream? she inquired of the waitress at the Black Bear Diner, and if so maybe blueberry? “Yes, we have blueberry. I’ll be back with a big scoop and two spoons as well so that you both can share it.” I asked her if she’d seen the video recently gone viral of an ISIS suicide bomber whose car hit a land mine and was shot fifty feet in the air at which time he blew himself to high heaven. And this he terms redemption.

light a candle, look at the flame, and think of nothing else for a whole minute. Every night, you were supposed to sleep. This was mindfulness training. But every time you see a flame, you think water.


William Furgason | Clean Theory

Every morning, you were supposed to

You walk the edge of the ocean, jeans rolled up, wind rippling your shirt. Here, the best glimpses of yourself, and here, you erase them. All the ways you tried to love but couldn’t. How once you were good enough. How endless alone has been. Broken glass cuts the inside of your left foot, the blood smearing on your skin like watercolors with every step you take.



is unclear thus you wave hands at faulty forcasts flail at clouds dance hands defying gravity defies you top-down dancing someone into your heart

Stasha Gacpar Comfortable Silence

james Croal jackson | rain dance

sometimes whom you love

Darby Evans Eyes Tired Graffiti


last straw— we’re not getting another frog until you figure out what’s happening with all of them!” he had said, and you were growing antsy. What was going wrong? You had taken so many precautions— the tank was on the second floor, away from any windows or doors, and the mesh lid was weighted down with rocks. These frogs had to be doing some serious navigating to escape from the house on their own. Now, they didn’t live in froggy paradise but they weren’t so neglected that they should have felt the need to escape either! The tank was ten gallons, fairly roomy for a frog, and you had overseen the decoration personally. You bought a rainforest patterned lining for the sides of the tank so that your amphibian friends would feel at home

Tristan Silver | here today gone tomorrow

Your pet frog escaped again and Dad was fed up with it all. “This is the

and lodged plants in the gravel bed. There were even big rocks for climbing and a little log in there with enough space beneath it for hiding. They were fed often, handled minimally, their tank was always fairly clean and the water changed regularly. By most standards, you would be seen as a pretty good pet caretaker. Maybe even exceptional for your age. Now, you’re not saying that you deserve an award, per se, but some recognition would be nice. Any kid can take care of a cat, dog, and the odd rabbit or guinea pig, but amphibians and reptiles are much more delicate. Temperature, for one thing, is something you have to learn how to regulate and the process of feeding an animal live food isn’t something for the faint of heart— “Are you finished?” The words snap you out of your self-congratulatory daydream and your head jerks upward to meet with the lined face of Ms. Meza, your science teacher. She taps her long, witchy nails on the laminate top of your lab table. “You don’t look far enough through your dissection that you can spend time daydreaming,” she says and you force a sheepish smile, your head 35

sinking between your shoulders. She leans over, tall and imposing, to check your progress. Your worksheet is mostly blank. Embarrassed, you adjust your thick lab goggles and busy yourself with the frog lying cut open on your lab table. “20 more minutes!” she calls out to the rest of the class as she turns to walk away. You stare down at the frog, the skin you had cut open pinned to the dissection pan, its organs strewn outside its abdomen. Did your frogs end up like this? The thought makes you sad, even though you know that if they had made it to the outside world they were probably quickly gobbled up by a bird or a stray cat. Still, no matter how gruesome the truth might be, your sense of justice urges you to seek it out. Tonight you’ll search again for the frog, any frogs, and make it the most thorough search you’ve done thus far.

You’ve just about searched the entire house—every cabinet, every corner, every closet, and you’re growing restless. It’s getting late and your eyelids are beginning to droop but you spur yourself onward to find the frogs, or at least to rule out the house as the place that they escaped to. The last place you had to check was the basement. There was nothing in there but storage bins and old exercise equipment but you figured that it was probably the dampest and most warm place in your house that wasn’t the tank, thus the most frog-friendly. You make your way down the rickety basement stairs with your flashlight in tow, not bothering to flip the light switch. It would probably be easier to move around if it was on but you feel like the flashlight helps set the mood better anyway. You shuffle around the basement, peeking behind boxes and peering around rusty bicycles. You’ve just about decided to give up the search when something catches the light behind a plastic bin and you reflexively jump back. It’s a frog! You prod it with your foot and when it doesn’t move you bend down to take a closer look at it. It’s lying 36

belly-up, just like the frog you dissected, and it looks dead but…it hasn’t

lost its color and it doesn’t smell bad. Is this the last frog that escaped? Tentatively, you reach your hand out towards the frog. Pressing your fingers into its cold frog skin, you can feel a heartbeat. Perplexed, you draw your hand back. If it’s not dead then…is it sick? You pick up the stiff frog and stand, stumbling over something beneath your feet as you do so. You point the flashlight downwards and it’s...another frog! You pick that frog up too, holding it between the flashlight, and your head starts to swim. What happened to all of your frogs...? You’re holding two cold, possibly sick, frogs in your hands and your stomach is starting to turn. You resolve to set the frogs back down and tell your Dad about what you found when a flash of light blinds you. Your head spinning, you stumble towards the source, your flashlight trembling in your hand. At the far end of the room is a tall figure with a hunched back crouching over something on the ground. Forgoing your flashlight, you feel along the wall for the light switch and flip it on. The figure shields their eyes and when they wheel around to see who turned on the light, your mouth drops open. “Miss- Miss Meza?!” you sputter. It was unmistakably her— she wore the same long chain of beads around her neck and had her hair done up in the same way that she did when you had class with her this afternoon. “What’re you doing in my house?!” One of the frogs falls from your hand and lands on the floor with a sticky, wet sound. Your eyes rake up the ground to see that your teacher has a whole pile of frogs at her feet and you stumble back, bracing yourself against the wall. You sink down to the floor, the flashlight and the other frog rolling out of your hands. Your eyes dart from the pile of frogs, to the stick that your teacher holds in her hand, up to her face, and then back down at the frogs again. “Are you a witch?!” “Just calm down— “Was I dissecting my own frog?!”


“No!” “Y-you can just get these things at Petco! Why did you have to…?” She stands and approaches you slowly. You flatten yourself against the wall, fumbling for the flashlight. In hindsight, you should’ve brought something to defend yourself with, but there’s no way you could have foreseen this. You grip the flashlight with both hands, holding it vertically against your chest. “Wh-what’re you doing?! Stay back!” You hold the flashlight outward, like a gun, as if something like this would be able to harm anyone, let alone a witch. She smirks with the condescending air that grade school teachers so often have but holds her hands up in a gesture of compliance nevertheless. “Tell me what you did to them!” you demand. “Are they dead?!” She takes a step forward and you struggle to get to your feet, your knees wobbling. “They’re not dead, they’re petrified. It’s like being put under anesthesia,” she explains. “I was using them for experiments— not in class!” she quickly adds. “I was just testing something on my own time. You always boasted about how well taken care of your frogs were so I figured that they would be perfect control subjects. I meant to return them but…I got a little carried away.” Your frantic mind struggles to process what she’s just told you. She’s eerily dismissive about it all and you’re growing more frightened the longer you stay in the basement. You stagger to your feet, leaning heavily against the wall. Sweat’s dripping down your forehead. “I gotta…I gotta tell my dad!” Your teacher is at your side inhumanly fast, pushing down on your shoulders so that you still. “Why don’t we just talk about it? The frogs are all okay, right? When they wake up they won’t remember a thing. Like nothing ever happened.” She leans in close. 38


That flash of light again. And again, and again, in short bursts. When it’s over you can feel a hand on your forehead, another at your back, as your eyes struggle to readjust to the dim light of the room. As soon as you do, your body begins to grow heavy, your vision swimming, and your eyes roll up into the back of your head.

You wake up in a cold sweat, your hands clammy. Your shirt clings to your back and your hair is damp against your neck. You look around, taking in the familiar sight of your bedroom. You rub the comforter between your fingers as you struggle to remember the events of last night through your brain fog. You remember going into the basement, finding the frogs…when did you get in your bed? When you get to school, the dissection unit is over. Your science teacher —young, pretty, with dark brown hair cut into a bob— says she’s new, but you can’t seem to recall a previous science teacher. In fact, no one can.

here today gone tomorrow Tristan Silver


Mitchell Bauman


Untitled #1 (title) Digital Collage

from the other me, the one whose days are debts owed. I name it Wind. I name it Memory. I name it Sand Storm I Have Never Seen and Fast as a Small Bird’s Heart, Warm as Sunned Mud. I name it

jessica cornelson |Savasana

I steal this moment

Self, Small Armor against One Day After Another. Sun, Sun behind the Moon, Sun Backside of Earth from Me, I name it against the darkness my closed eyes flutter against, my quiet heart that swells with my smallest fears. I open my hands, my arms, the whole hand of my body to the darkness and name the darkness that waits to unname me, that will steal me back from the light.


Thomas Piekarski | fake news

Not to get bogged down in metaphysical mumbo jumbo but the cat played its fiddle outside my crystal window. Dan filled his life with minutia of the love he lived to see at the tip of his index finger where the world spun round. Mourning no loss and gaily picking lupine in early spring I once looked up, watched the sky turn purple & implode. They were so erudite, up to speed on the latest acrobatics, flipped language like a tin coin that had not head nor tail. On the way the plot thickened & like mice trapped in goo they squirmed and squealed but would never break loose. Wanting desperately to catch the frog prince I searched every inch of the earth air and sea but couldn’t find hi,. After centruies they adopted a one size fits all philosophy, which silenced the violent dissent, a set a positive paradigm. It happened in a dream, with pink fairies and bright angels circling the great silos of paradise & I discarded it as fake.


Betsy Corcoran Welder at Work


I walk waiting for the clarity of nature to upend my core having forgotten again another writing idea I had the night before the rain-soaked sidewalk & deep dent on a passenger door I look at a two-story house thinking even that’s too tall too wet

bricks and white columns

the window a translucent universe of raindrops & the universe is just everything ahead of you

everything out of reach past the physical

barrier the American flag waves in the wind the black sedans drive to the hair studio daytime television spits out a new Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

they now just call it Millionaire

& my childhood dream was to be on television & in Los Angeles I became briefly my face on the television of my mother’s dreams but otherwise forgotten

still signals

invisible waves

here I am a field the scribbled sweating mess of hair and flesh & so look this jay a whistle in a tree & so look the worms coming out to see & the mirror I become when I look

Morning Reflection Thomas Piekarski

Do like loggers did and tear me down, stretch me out into tall tales that spread across Rich red mahogany that holds bundles of unread magazines and half drunken coffee cups I’m not as strong as you think when I hold up pines of forests only you would know the names of Huddle round fires, drink your whiskey that’s fine, but do not forget where the rivers come from Frontier tears aren’t fashioned from will, but they create creeks that somehow continue to run

Seven Bowles | An ode to Bunyan unfamiliar

If I could carry the world on my shoulder would you then, write to me?

Bunyanland, The Round River Drive, hotcake griddle greased by the good of just being alive Flapjacks and fat stacks you threw me right on my huge ass and am I supposed to forgive that? Mockery across 50 states, paint my cheeks rose and Babe the Blue to a spine tingling grey.


Kat Geraci | 10:42 AM

My heart is not a cage It is a tree, love A sweet, sweet sycamore And, oh, how its branches Long to be a home

Your heart? It is a dove.

Alight, alight Let these arms enfold you And build a quiet refuge there


Stasha Gacpar Comfortable Silence

It is a Monday and we are all on our ways, the teeth-brushing, the scrambling for keys, the quick nips at toast, the sips of hot coffee, the bites, the swallowings of oatmeal the rush from the bedrooms, the bathrooms the hallways, the slammed doors to the cars, the buses, the trains, our goodbyes slapped into the cool morning air, reminders of pick up the dry-cleaning, remember the kids, do you have your keys the houses settle to stillness chaotic farewells drifting like smoke from chimneys, trailing our flights from comfort, weekend retreats, as we shake off reluctance to walk into day.

Anna Soter.

It is a Monday Anna Soter


raiden kubiak | HEavy

my clothes used to be heavy. I used to put my clothes on and feel the weight that they carried. The person they were made for, not being quite the person that I was ever going to be. I still feel that way, sometimes. What used to be skirts at school and dresses during holidays is no longer soft, nor silky. I wear suits, now. I can’t afford more than one but the suit I have is mine. My mother took me to buy it for my uncle’s wedding the first year after. After. My life, so often pushed into a “before” and an “after” but it never, really felt that way to me. My body, with its wide hips, and its narrow waist.


My body, with its soft hair, and its small hands, small feet, small.

Not a prison, not something that I want to get out of, but not big enough. Not big enough, anymore.

raiden kubiak | Heavy

My body is small.

I grew into my body too young, known far too well how much space I am missing. My body is not a prison, like so many like to say when speaking of their “before” and their “after.” My body is not a prison, because my body has no space. I have no cell to walk around in, no cot to sleep in. All I havehave had for as many years as I have livedis the space between where my breath leaves my lungs, and where it does not leave my mouth. The movie “Robots” was the first time I had seen the idea of building a new body to replace one that is too small. I cannot build a new body. I cannot build a new body, because to remove my brain would be to remove myself from the weight that my clothes leave on my shoulders. My clothes used to be heavy.


raiden kubiak | heavy

My clothes are still heavy. Not all of the time, or even necessarily for the same reasons, butmy clothes are still heavy. Sometimes. But one day, I might just grow to fill them.


Tracy Frey And You Would Beat Us More

ELAINA WORKLEY | temple guard

A temple Protecting a soul of value indecipherable Tonight blistering brightA flame in the pitch of midnight Burning burning burning out those deamons deamons of mistrust slanted truth non-truths derived from full truths They try to make a home Spread their seeds Reach their dark roots Into the vulnerable ground

So it must burn

Pining for a dog to guard To protect from thoughts








Elaina Workley Temple Guard

Anna Soter | Anthill heaven

You stumble up the side of a rocky knoll scatter pebbles, clutch tufts of spinifex forestall a fall on this russet, lunar-like landscape dotted with iron-rich dirt towers home to millions who toil the spoils of successful raids on bush nectar, abandoned picnic fare, snatched up, transported in military columns to their sandcastle lairs, to feed their queens. You wonder these miracles of ant construction, the architectural instincts that guide design, wonder the glue that holds them upright, intact, able to withstand occasional gales that sweep through.


Mitchell Bauman Untitled #1 (title) Digital Collage



Stasha Gacpar Untitled

Customs upon convention Too much sugar, too little salt Mix the molasses Unusual mixing matching Lips smacking upon Mother reacting


Winter spices, clove, ginger, and a pot boiling

Busy cook, I’m your holiday secret, so easy to make To bake, but be weary of overproving my yeast I’ll split, a slit right down my center when you enter A door of a home not quite easy to digest on a winter mourn. Keep me warm on your windowsill Give me names and cherish me Daddy decorate my bosom with cherry flavored blossoms Buttercream icing rubbed over a crown for a prince I was just a man, gingerbread sure, But you’ve elevated me to something worth praying to.


In the photo, my parents sit on either side of my eldest brother.

The rest of us are gathered around them on the low, long wooden bleachers of Fort Bragg. There are so many of us - even then. In a few years there will be husbands and wives added to our number and with them seven grandchildren, who don’t know that grandparents, like salt and pepper, are supposed to come in pairs. But in this photo, here we are - the original seven and Mom and Dad.

My father sits to my brother’s right, in a white collared shirt, but

no tie - his hands in his lap. He often wears collared shirts like this, jean clad legs sprawled beneath his vinyl paneled desk in the home office. In the photo, he pushes his face back into a smile until his chin doubles and his aquiline nose appears even more protuberant. Deep laugh lines frame his smile, bookending between the two chins below. The largeness of his smile and the light from the low, glaring sun combined bring his eyes into a heavy squint.

We are all squinting against the early, eastward brilliance of

the sun but my mother - my mother’s watery, blue eyes are completely shut behind the lenses of her silver wire-framed glasses. The corners of her thin mouth are desperately pulled into a grimace of a smile. She has donned a quiet, printed dress of jersey and a black cardigan - an outfit that took three days of shopping and several teary moments in a few dressing rooms to choose and wears her hair in a straight, short, silver bob. She leans into my brother’s uniformed, left shoulder, clutching his green clad arm.

It’s the last photo of them together, mom and dad - later you’d

be hard pressed to find them in the same room together much less the same photo. There will never be enough of us to put between them.


Like Salt and pepper Kat Geraci

They kept saying the pops… the pops… Every channel said 17 have passed with holes in their bodies. & we say No because you keep silent when it matters most. Maybe we point fingers because we cannot carry the weight of actuality solely among one. There is so much I want to remember about you. How the crisp Lincoln looked in my hands everytime I saw you, mother of my mother, how many I’d pay to see you now. How you thought of the future: gazing past me until another laid beside you- a new lover- when the job was still mine.

elaina workley | They fell on ash wednesday

Because they fell on Ash Wednesday

They say you will always remember how they were their last time with you. They say you never know when that last time will be But you can feel it in your bones (I can feel it in my bones) (It went through my bones) They say it sounds different but I know when a pop sounds it’s inherent annihilation. I know when a pop settles in my ears & through cold beaded sweat Not only does it strike as error it strikes bleached bone and vulnerable flesh “The gun went off. I don’t know why” & I laid in this holy hallway made of violent hesitations. Blankets covering intermittent consequences. & you were there. We shouldn’t have been. There is so much I wish I could remember- but grey is leaking out one hole & I do nothing.


Natasha Strom Untitled #1 (title) Digital Photograph


You are four years old and already you know love is not the force that holds their marriage together. That is your job.

“Keep your voice down!”

“She won’t remember any of this.”

They will never ask you if you did; if the memories are still there.

Parents always forget how much they remember from being so small, how

much they saw through young eyes. They will convince themselves you were too young to notice the fights. It will be easy. They have spent years convincing themselves that their own memories were from later in life. Maybe one day you will do the same.

You hide behind the door and listened out of equal parts fear and duty.

What if they need you? The next thing you remember is being in his arms. They seem as big and as strong as they will be twenty years later, but really he is younger now than you will be when you write these words-still just a child of twenty-two.

He holds you, speaking loudly.

“Is that what you’re willing to give up?!”

You will not remember her words. You will not remember the sobs. You will just remember the pill bottles’ holllow clanking, and the chipped white door that stands between you. She stays for you. She will not leave that night.

Creative Writing Winner


She won’t remember this Chloe Beaman


You will not carry this one all your life:

You vaguely remember your mother’s hands uncoiling you from your quilt.

She picks you up with tender urgency. Your little hands reach around her neck for comfort. She whispers, trying to keep her voice low but it booms in your ear pressed against her chest.

More fighting.

More arguing.

Why are you in the car so late at night? There are bags packed small and

haphazard. A stuffed animal, ragged from years of tight clutching, is tossed into your lap along with a familiar pink blanket.

The car door slams.

You look through a rain-streaked window and see them both. Your moth-

er wants to get in the car and leave. Your father holds her in place. He is angry but calm. He will always be that way. He is more scared than angry.

One should not have to see their father so scared so young. One should not

have to see their mother so angry so young. But you do and you will. Your weary eyes grow more aware as you watch them struggle. Your mother won’t leave without you.

Love is the thing holding their marriage together. It isn’t just the love for

each other.

You will not remember which parents pulls you from the car.

Nobody will leave that night.



In a world laced with anger and tempered with arguments you will be a child of your mind. You will have no brothers or sisters until you are nine years old and the neighborhood children have all moved away. You will perfect the art of being alone (this will cause you a great deal of pain when you’ve grown and when men seek out a woman who makes them feel needed but you will know you are whole on your own).

The students you will play with will be distracted with Jesse McCartney

and Gwen Stefani. The most exciting things for a ten-year-old in 2005 will be sending each other AOL instant messages over the computer and watching the Disney channel circa Lizzie McGuire and That’s So Raven. These things will not be foreign to you; you will watch TV and listen to the music but you will never grow attached to a radio. You will have a much better relationship with your bookshelf than your computer. When you play with your friends you will reenacted Pirates of the Caribbean and explore the neighborhood in search of hideaways and adventure instead of pretending to be models on the runway. When alone you will read stories beyond your age and watching movies your parents will not approve of. When you come home from school you will turn on the little box television in your bedroom and watch The X Files. You will remember the day Steve Irwin dies.

You will never be shocked by the world, by death, or by tragedy. You will

never experience the disillusionment of childhood. You will not remember when Santa becomes your parents or when you discover what sex is; these are just truths you already know. You are so young; too young to understand marriage does not mean love and that your parents are just as fragile as you are.

When you are nine you will realized these things make you weird.

When you are fifteen you will realized weird just means different.

When you are seventeen you will realized different has made you an artist.


She won’t remember this Chloe Beaman


Bipolar Disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.


You will have more memories of your mother sleeping and cleaning than

anything else. When you have grown she will regret that. She will tell you she is sorry for the mother she was and the mother she has not been. You will tell her you love her and you understand she was young and she was sick. You will wrap her in your arms as she cries. She still won’t ask what you really remember. You do not think you would tell her even if she did.

Instead, you will tell her of the good things.

She will throw the best birthday parties! You will get your natural penchant

for party planning for your mother (it will also come from a deep-rooted desire to make people happy-if ou do not make them happy they have no reason to stay in your life; you’ve always been afraid of people leaving-another cause of pain when you seek out a man). The carnival birthday will be your favorute. She will recruit your whole family to run carnival games in the back yard and when the guests arrive they will check in at a homemade ticket booth.

You will love her Halloween parties most. You will never be allowed to stay

but you will remember the decorations and the photographs and once you turn thirteen you will take up the flame and have your own every year (you will continue to do this when you are grown).

Your mother will show you how to be an artist. She is a potter and will take

you with her to the studio every day when she picks you up from preschool. She will tell you that your arms are too small and your muscles too weak to use the potter’s wheel yet but that when you are big and strong like her she will show you how. You will remember the day she sculpted a mermaid; you will ask her why she doesn’t wear a clamshell bra like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. She will explain that real mermaids would not wear clamshell bras.

The only problem will be how she shows you much artists hurt. The only

times you will ever see her happy will be with clay spinning between her fingers, amorphous blobs becoming sinuous forms. Pain happens to everyone but an artist pours their feelings into forms, sits with them, and allows that pain to become some-

thing they live with instead of something they get over.

When you become an artist yourself one day, you will understand that pain.

You will look through the lens of a camera and in the chemical emulsion you will imbue your pain and sorrow and ecstacy. Your heart will break and instead of patching it up you will pin it to a museum wall in a matt and frame for the world to see. ... Your mother will leave the summer you lose your virginity to a boy who doesn’t ask for permission.

When she pulls you aside she will finally be honest with you. She will ask

if you are OK with this, if it makes you upset. You will be happy for her. You will tell her you understand. She won’t believe you but it will be the truth. Your parents will have been together for fourteen years without love for each other.

Two months after she leaves your father’s girlfriend will move in. You will

hate her but she will not be there forever. Your father will continue to date women one after another but none of them will be around long enough to make an impression. You will want to chastise him; to tell him to seek out a woman of substance instead of one with blonde hair and a pretty picture on her dating profile. You never will. You won’t be that close with him.

At the same time your first boyfriend wull start to feel urgent. He will give

you your first kiss and he will want to explore you. You will have friends who you think are supportive but will remind you that you are replaceable-that he could find another girl to do the things you won’t. You will want to make him happy. The ways he will touch you will affect the way you let men touch you for the rest of your life.

One day he will ask you if you want to have sex. You will say no. He will ask

once more. You will say no once more. Then you will realize saying no is a lot easier than summoning the courage to push him away or tell him to stop. You will be too afraid of him leaving you. You will remember that you are replaceable.

She won’t remember this Chloe Beaman


It won’t hurt. You won’t remember the actual sex.

Four months later he will leave you anyway.

... You will have a brother nine years younger than yourself who you will regret not being closert with growing up. By the time he is born the worst of your parents arguments will be a memory. He will be wild and serious and temperamental. He will lash out at your parents and tell them that he hates them and wishes he had a different family. There is nothing abnormal about this behavior but you will resented him for it. You will never tell your parents you hate them. You will be too afraid they’ll leave. It will a luxurry you will never have. When your mother finally leaves it will affect your brothe more than you know. He will resent your parents for not allowing him to grow up in a normal home. One day you will try to tell him what it was like before he was born. You will never know if he listened.

You will have a sister eighteen years younger than yourself who has a differ-

ent father. You will be closer with her than you were with your brother but you will be so involved with her upbringing it will be as if you are another parent. After all you will be as old when she is born as your mother was when she has you.

You will be ever present in her life, baby-sitting every week for the next two

years of her life. When college consumes you every visit home is a reunion. You will watch her grow and learn and you will teach her many things. She will love you more than you will have ever been loved before and you will love her more unconditionally than you will ever have experienced. You will imagine this is what it must feel like to love your child.


Being in her life will be strange. Through her you will watch your own

childhood unfold before your eyes. You will watch her grow up in a little duplex while her parents fight. Her father will be an alcoholic and an addict. Your mother will try to help him for years until she can longer trust him because she will have just experienced the loss of her younger brother to heroin. She will cry and feel hopeless. She will tell you she feels like a failure. She will feel as though she is not enough or that she is not what a mother should be. There will be nights when you have to drive home from school to be there and help because he never came home.

You will comfort your mother many times and one day you will tell her that

your sister will remember this. She will be three years old when this happens and have already watched her mother and father rip each other apart. You will tell your mother that what your sister needs is not a mother and father who live together without love. You will tell her that what she needs is to see her mother strong and able to do what is right even if it is painful. She is too young to have to see her mother broken or her father angry. Your sister will look up to her and know that she too will be able to walk away from a man who does not love her and even if she does not wake up in a house where both of her parents are living in harmony, she will know that both of her parents are happy, healthy, and will never stop loving her.

You will tell her she is not too young to remember this because neither are

Creative Writing Winner


She won’t remember this Chloe Beaman


Mitchell Bauman Did you try Restarting it? –


striking against Chinese steel reminding me that new days bring faces unseen nor worn I leave the rest of my cave knowing that soon the soles of my feet will be nourishing the skin of fresh concrete, fingers curled into ornate delicate curves around the base of a double shot

Seven bury | coffee in the mourning

the mechanical rooster on my drooping windowsill chitters it’s call, a violent clang of American freedom

with soot stained hands and a blur of words meaning nothing in the time before dawn, the black water presents me with an opportunity an orgy of creativity, kneeling before a machine I sing for each drop of delicacy Writhing desire for the sweet found in bitter ground and scalding water strained through panty hose the smell of earth turning over the taste of mom waking me on weekends with nothing to watch except a rooster on TV.


Grace oller | before the aftermath

In the photo, Chloe wedges her torso into my armpit, our in-

tertwined arms not visible while someone’s mom snaps the shot during gymnastics class. We are not yet who we will be. There are no mascara-covered lashes, no “who-likes-who” gossip, no betrayal.

In a few years, Chloe will adopt the scrunchie trend and will

wear the same three over and over, but for now her straight, brown hair is drawn to the magnet of her face, framing squinty eyes and a tongue hanging out of her mouth. With her head cocked, she tells the world that she is funny, that she is noticeable. She hides her height in a palpable squirm, her focus on the lens of the camera. Her blue and white tie-dyed tee isn’t typical apparel for a 7-year-old gymnast, and later, one the most important day of her life, she will exchange it for a white dress.

But not yet.

I am too willing to play the game of “screw up the photo”. I wear

a baby blue hoodie that is a size too small; I thrust my stomach forward, and the concave shape of my belly button pushes against the stretchy material holding it in. My sun-kissed hair, half-heartedly pulled into a ponytail, is a bonafide mess. I resemble a dog, maybe a golden retriever or lab, with my tongue flapping out the car window and head tossed back, no threat of rain in sight.

This is before Hurricane “William” will demolish everything.

Chloe doesn’t look capable of letting go of me. But she will. As

for me, I wrap my arms around her, but they will learn to loosen their grip. Chloe loves me the fierce way a 7-year-old can, but in a decade, she’ll love William more. It doesn’t seem as if she will abdicate her side of the friendship because of a boy. But even as I arrange her crown of roses and deliver the perfect Maid of Honor speech, she is already thousands of miles from shore.


Heather Miller Trailer Park Bazaar #2


Laura Toogood


Untitled #1 (title) Digital Photography

Unfold me Bent out of shape for too long Fold me again Origami girl Follow my folds The curves of the pulp of my skin Smoother than before With traces of where I’ve been Fold me again Help me shapeshift Guide me Palm lines against fold lines Follow me Find furrows anew Side meets side One plane brushes against another Pulp against pulp

Unfold me Elaina Workley



Look away Thomas Haase


Look away Thomas Haase


Minnie Lucas Untitled

Look away Thomas Haase


I am wrung The words are outside of me now And I am stretched and squeezed Let me dry


Dry Kat Geraci

After the deer drowned in the Kokosing River, a fallen ash forked her above the foam, limp and elegantly arced like a ballerina. We watched her from the old railroad bridge spanning the rising river, our dog straining as if the deer might yet give chase and wasn’t in the sleep of death so far below. A week later, debris surrounded her. She’d swollen, shrunk, and lost her fur. Empty of panic, she was the serene queen of the accumulating dam. For months we forgot her. Then we returned, when dry July had drunk the river half as wide, the sunlit transformed the dew on leaves to jewels. We couldn’t even see her bones. So I’m calling this Dead Deer Bridge, and with hands likewise snared in the radiant world, I’ll lift her fate above the flow, beyond erasing nature, what Heraclitus knew, and knows.

the same river twice Charlene Fix


couldn’t articulate Mom’s eyes ask me to pass the butter Dad passes the butter, cuts the bread, earns the money, sets the table Mom’s eyes say they are tired, they are frustrated, exhausted. Mom cleaned the house today “Can’t you hear us?” “We’re talking to you!” They stare Dads pockets are still empty The house is still messy The living room is Still, and Silent

Tracy Frey Artimus

Nat Della Selva | Silent stares dance across our dinner plates...

Silent stares dance across our dinner plates, creating conversations we


Stasha gacpar | Empty seat

a stormy moods orchestra, harmonizing with coffee shop gossip, drinks bitterness giving in to the creamer, clicking my pen with anticipation of when creativity decides to take a seat. he wears a corduroy vest, hair reaching to touch the ceiling, all in curly q’s. his hands stained black, faded letters hugging his skin sticking from when he fell asleep, all splotchy with the smell of india ink. he visits ever so often, usually when I’m not expecting him.


after George Bellows (1906)

As I measure my screen door to test the dimensions of the painting, sounds of night bugs and airplanes push through the wire mesh. Miss Bentham steps through the studio door to pose. Turned away her hand covers her breast. On the way to the sitting, Miss Bentham cut through horse wagons and streetcars, or she lived down the hall. Once nude—all that matters now—she appears perched: her sharp nose, back cut swoop of hair, her rigid and muscular coil. George had been YMCA sweat and poor penmanship, but this was to be Studio 616. (Her buttocks are like a Lucian Freud.) He needed to paint a nude, a nude not in class. And it

Joshua R. Butts | Nude, Miss bentham

is a tough one— “sturdy,” says a British journalist. It was framed on the wall of his studio—you can see it there hanging above the cheetah rug just left of the piano. Miss Bentham and Queenie Burnet—also known as Little Girl In White—form a kind of a pair in the photograph. Would they inform or crowd the new paintings, whether landscape or scrap? Or was it storage? Nude, Miss Bentham never sold until Emma’s estate was settled. Then, later, in the microwaved 1980’s-light Andy bought Miss Bentham. Was Warhol a devotee or was this an investment? Like Bellows, Andy died from an affliction treatable for his time. After his death the painting was sold and into the nude New York afternoon Miss Bentham stepped, fur to the ankles, nostril full of coke. No—Miss Bentham we know because we don’t know floats only in that rye black.


James Croal Jackson | Legalese

LEGALESE Here, we are a law. Lawyers of alloy & beaming far off. This galaxy lazy noise & heartbeat. Hash & shadow, hair & gold. Skin, its own constitution. Freckles ruminating speckles. Sunshine the gift & a Sistine visit. Angels mistaking mouths for wings. I thought you wanted something like this.


Jace Rowan In the Deep

my mother’s maternity leave was more painful than my birth. unpaid loneliness for a woman unbroken

Laura Toogood Quiet

Hannah Donovan | THe happy thoughts of milk

the happy thoughts of milk



Why quarries? How did they begin to occur to you as a site? What I find so interesting about quarries is that they’re these beautiful manmade landscapes that are the result of negative space left after the material has been taken to build something new (many of them produce aggregate, which is used to create asphalt for road construction), and 90% of the time, that something new is within a 50 mile radius of the quarry due to high transportation costs. I love seeing all of the layers of rock underneath the overburden (the layer of dirt/plants/ fields/etc. that they have to remove to access the rock), which is something few people get to normally see.

What was your most challenging day. I know from social media that you’ve had 5 quarry, many-miles days. My most challenging day would probably be my 14 quarry megaventure on December 2nd, 2016. As usual, I’d been up all night and hit the road right early. I ended up going as far north as South Sandusky, where I saw one of the biggest quarries in the state before getting asked to leave.

Leah Fisher Digital Panorama

What are some of the challenges you face when going on quarry hunts? There’s quite a few challenges to quarry hunting! The main challenge is how to get in, or at least find a view to be able to photograph it. I try to go on Sundays now because they’re usually closed, allowing me to drive right in, then all over the entire place! I can usually find back ways in on Google Maps, which has been an integral tool in my hunts. If I can’t drive in, I’ll try to find a place to pull off on the side of the road to walk up the short grassy hill that blocks the view of most quarries located on main roads.

The final question will be about how you decide which quarry and what you might wear or how you’ll set up the shot. Is that pre-planned? While I now try to go on my hunts on Sundays, previously, I didn’t know I was going until an hour or so before I left, usually just because I had been up all night and didn’t plan to sleep all day. Its rare that I plan where I’m going in advance, so I just pick a direction, then figure out which quarries I want to go to on my map from there. Some days I have a specific quarry that I want to go to, so I’ll see that one then go to others that are in the same region.


Erik Akerman One Last Time


I ravished you on the first day of spring Birds born and fauna spreading Wildflowers across fields on a catholic sunrise were we married with bare feet? with ankles above pointed down at our chests both sets of toes touching east and west? strawberry petals woven into chestnut strands falling from the forbidden fruit that is your scalp i need more than cherry stems folding in twirling around tongues that don’t speak like they used to

Seven Bury | A tale of two field bunnies (April 10th)

my lips hugged your hips

like they used to, when cars were fast and voices were low when cotton candy could be welded into promise rings and promise rings could be given to parakeets the woods in my backyard is quieter than dead now But we can make the birds sing honey, We can make the birds sing. your golden crested crown is splitting underneath me a thin layer of ice above a shivering lake the weight of my axe blurs the lines between us is that you, my parakeet, or can I hear the birds sing?


Tristan Silver Hurt

Hannah Donovan Uzi

I click a few keys and look to the window. Not to the parking lot glossed with rain. Not to the bus or utility truck that pass. Neither to the tree newly clothed in budding leaves nor to the tree naked of all, its branches open hands reaching for nothing. I look for the distance. For the space it takes to stop seeing. To the sky matte with gray. Impenetrable, like the poem. Like the place where poems come from. I remember a stirring, like my heart is trying to speak. Like my voice is a hook


dragging a lake for the bodies of words. Oh, I’m getting silly here because I want to say the words are dead. And the words are not yet born. That on either side of the utterance there is nothing. Not ashes, not dust but the kind of possibility not-god must have felt as the nothing teemed, willed itself into being in a flash we are still flying backwards from. I am trying to remember.

The poem as oublette Jesseca Cornelson



Thomas Patterson In the Spotlight

I want to learn you (am I doing this right?) I want to read The lines in your hands Like pages in a book Until I can remember

Kat Geraci | Back to you

But most of all

Those words in the dark There, I can recount My favourite passages Back to you.


Elaina Workley | linework

An orange follows a path without bends or bumps The circle_continuous_steadfast_. The lines of myself bent The frame _broken_fickle_a forbidden rotting fruit. More in places where I lack Where I’ve been erased Or slowly faded A strong connection Lost on me Hollow marks on a page Trailing_tracing Finger to finger Heartline to heartline nurtured_ focused_ right_ shakey_ misplaced_ Left_unfinished_ mine_.


Mitchell Bauman Untitled #1 Experimental Remix / Collage


It is like trying to shape light with my hands into a water-bearing vessel—both the dream and the telling of the dream. Things slip into ideas of themselves, their shape-shifting surfaces composed of words rewriting themselves. I always dream impossible geographies. A city composed of houses dangling off the side of a vertical rock face. Not terraced, but connected by ladders made of nets of shoes climbed by placing a bare foot in one shoe after another. An apartment above a storefront, walls gutted and replaced with hanging sheets. A room in a shared house built like a tower of children’s blocks, skinny at the bottom, blooming up top, where inhabitants must balance their routines from bed to bath to kitchen to keep from crashing. A journey around an earth-sized globe, traversing borders and the names of places on a rickety net bridge. Some intrigue as we cross Russia. A jungle so dense that a track of two thin but furious streams is the only navigable path over an impossibly hilly terrain. Sometimes diving below the earth in tunnels, sometimes racing water uphill. The piano I ride skids uphill into rock, and I say, “Let it rain” and, lo, 102

there is water to push me onward and upward.

The friend I am trying to escape some horror with is a friend I haven’t seen in years, but she keeps changing faces. If I look too closely at my piano boat, I realize it is a hollow log, the stone streambed thick black mud, my old friend another old friend. Does the water flow up or down? Why is my father chasing us? I always wake when I realize the path to escape is itself a trap and I stand, leveling the terrain around me, about to say the words that stop the chase. Barely awake, I turn back to the flutter-eyed screen and listen for my dream self pronouncing the words that give me dominion over myself. I will my hands to shape light into a vessel I can carry myself in. I am fullness, my brain a fire that overflows.

dismembering the dream Jesseca Cornelson



Arthur Norman Jr. One Third

Natasha Strom Dean’s Blue Hole

charlene fix | running the narrative backwards

It’s not the preferred place to begin, in this cold and empty field, clumps of stubborn crabgrass over-munched and knotted in dirt bickering with scattered rocks, a solitary outbuilding in the distance. Yet this is where we enter, circling the path to the start, which is also the end of the field. Before today, though not that long ago, the field was warm and green and filled with muscled steers in motley coats thundering toward us, making our dog recoil. You walked her off while I lingered to absorb their gaze, for every head in the field was upon me in mute and mutual comment. Then they walked me up the path, I and my escort of steers, their virility dispersed so thoroughly their grandeur stopped the breath, an entourage of living meat divided from me by the dogma of fence.


Betsy Corcoran Farmer Sitting Digital Photography



Elaina Workley A Place to Rest in Peace

my mistress around the house in the dark, but I don’t doubt such sneaky creatures would hide inside a nightmare. For when the sky’s water bowl run’s over, first stealing sunlight, then giving it back in frightening flashes, I hear the rumble of a mountain-sized Hoover in the distance.

Jesseca Cornelson | storm to a dog

I’ve never seen a vacuum cleaner drag

The neighbor dogs howl about the dark Dyson that makes the sky a bath drain, sucking up more trees than I could piss on, draining whole houses up into the night that comes in day inside the bath there is no hiding from. I’ve heard the neighbor dogs howl of dropped houses become dog piles of sticks and bodies. How can my mistress, whose hands produce so many treats, let this small cousin of the dark upswelling drain, of the sky-flashing rumble stalk so silent in the corner, its tail wound round itself, waiting?


Nat Della Selva | It was a time of swing sets and raspberry jam

Part I: It was a time of swing sets and raspberry jam Summer heat drippy with nostalgia we filled our jars with childhood and clueless colors we hadn’t found the Nevers and the No’s yet Disappointment wasn’t part of our vocabulary. Part II: When the swing sets broke and were replaced with barbed wire He started with expectations: Do good, be smart, choose well. but communication started slipping, ripping a seam between Family. I fell behind for feeling anything, for feeling Everything. When did the raspberry jam go sour? When did his tongue become sharp? He is misogyny, and I am blue-ink injections Spelling out disappointment Everywhere.


Hannah Donovan Lorde (?)



Elaina Workley Lips 5.30

Do you think a little girl, with her curls tied in a bunch, baby hairs escaping under the summer hat, looks familiar? Do you think she minds, the redness around her eye, all thirteen stitches unafraid to show its face on hers? The evil eye had made it’s mark, with a cardinal ribbon on her lash line rather than tied around her wrist. Ognjena Marija, like Saint Michael, sent the evil from whence it came. The fire found a home in the little girl that day.

Hearth Stasha Gacpar


charlene fix | barns

BARNS vanity of vanities! All is vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

You love the lesson of vanity in those barns falling down all over Ohio with the grace of old elephants dying. Some are next to houses, so we wonder if the animals inside endure the snow and rain. But most are off by themselves, brome grass weaving in and out of slats, saplings rising within encouraged by light entering roofs made of nothing but air and beams. Wet boards warp. Sun bakes the moldering straw. Nails become powdery rust. Imposed on nature? These barns were always wedded to her, so now they lie down like bridegrooms who, for many years avoiding consummation night, are overcome by a stupendous yearning and slowly recline, to the music of water and wind.


Betsy Corcoran Untitled


I see the therapist every Thursday. The therapist has one eye for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, I hand the therapist the letter the mother had typed and mailed to the new roommate, the mother will never meet. That letter had no room for stanzas, no room for a return address or an apology to the therapist, the mother writes with ink of guilt, a graph of the mother’s paranoia that the roommate knows the truth. I want to tell the mother I do not spare time to talk about the heavy handed or when she pushed me onto the front porch and locked the door because I was no good, I am no good. That’s why my sculptures were returned to the graveyard� Poetry should be wordless, but I hear, the mother, the father do not want you. The grandmother does not care to let you in. Do not get too close to me I am very lonely. The therapist asks me how that makes me feel I tell her I am fine. I do not spin my tragedies into poetry. The therapist asks me how I really feel I am fine and I am doing fine, if I wrote a poem, that is what I would title it. I fall out of improvisational movement class I fall out of improvisational movement class to crouch next to the trashcan in the bathroom, my body is an alarm clock that wakes you

so abrupt it slides off your nightstand. My eyelids are wings of a hummingbird, my mind surfs channels of nightmares, the history of grief an open doorway and a maple leaf. A bathroom of katherines who sweep my tears off the tile floor I do not tell the Katherines that I am not a dancer.

I tell her that my dreams are poems, where I am a fawn, caught in a chain link fence, that is why I am screeching. She tells me that her earplugs do not work. I could point to the places on this campus where I have been assaulted. But that wouldn’t be poetry, that would be directions. I wonder how to explain to the therapist that maybe the best poem is always the one you should have written.

I am Fine: An Ars Poetica Katy Dai

Creative Writing Winner

Bessel van der Kolk says, trauma lives in the body. I say, trauma is a rabid dog that has bitten me again and again. Do not get too close to me, I am very lonely Memory by memory the mind’s eye writes poems in my sleep. The roommate from the hospital wakes to tell me, in my sleep I cry out.



Amanda Burnside Hello in Different Languages


Erik Akerman

Sophomore Fine Arts Major

Erik is an artist interested in people, pop culture, and is lately focusing his art in the realm of social media, and social media installations. His work “One Last Time” was him practicing his photoshopping skills while watching the One Love Manchester benefit concert live stream in summer 2016, and since Ariana Grande’s “One Last Time” made him cry a lot he appropriated the song title for this work.

Amanda Burnside

Junior Advertising & Graphic Design

The work “Hello In Different Languages” was created as a seamless pattern for Pattern Design Digital and Surface class. The design showcases languages from each continent of the world spanning from American English to native New Zealand Maori. This design was inspired by culture, diversity and the humanity within the ability to relate with a simple salutation.

Seven Bury

Illustration; 3rd year transfer

Seven Bury was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They are working toward a BFA in Illustration and Creative Writing, focusing on poem comics and children’s illustration. They work in the printmaking


department at CCAD and are exploring the combination of fiber, print


media, and poetry. They have a chihuahua whom they love dearly and a soft-spoken voice that is always ready to discuss the history of comics.

Bethany Carman

Junior Photography Major

Bethany Carman is a junior photography student at CCAD, she is working to become a commercial studio photographer. Bethany finds inspiration in vintage items and connects this fascination to her art.

Hannah Donovan

Sophmore Comics Major

Han Donovan is an illustrator, comics artist, and friend. She is a sophomore comics and narrative practice major and creative writing minor at CCAD. She creates art mostly from observation of the world around her. She enjoys sleeping. Her neck hurts right now while writing this. - Bye!

Darby Evans

Sophomore Fine Arts Major

Contemporary painter Darby Evans is interested in creating visual forms that represent daily anxieties. Her methods of painting reference the abstract expressionist masters with rigid strokes and freely applied paint. Each piece Evans creates symbolizes an experience and how the element of anxiety affected her. Striving to create her anxiety as characters Darby Evans experiments with different symbols, shapes, media, and color. An important element of each piece is the honest title written largely on the back of the raw canvas. Evans believes honesty with mental health is an important message that should be conveyed in each work. Allowing the audience to feel personally touched and relate to her work. Darby Evans has used painting has a creative outlet for many years, slowly building work she believes is true to herself.


Charlene Fix Charlene Fix is the author of Frankenstein’s Flowers (poems, CW Books 2014), Flowering Bruno (poems with illustrations by Susan Josephson, XOXOX Press 2006, finalist for the 2007 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry), Charlene Fix: Greatest Hits (chapbook, Kattywompus Press 2012), Mischief (chapbook, Pudding House Press 2003), and Harpo Marx as Trickster (critical study of Harpo in the thirteen Marx Brothers’ films, McFarland 2013). Charlene won The Louis Hammer Memorial Award in 2011 and the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award in 2007 from the Poetry Society of America as well as poetry grants in poetry from the Ohio Arts Council and The Greater Columbus Arts Council. Charlene co-coordinates Hospital Poets (The Ohio State University Medicine and the Arts initiative), workshops and performs with House of Toast Poets. She is an Emeritus Professor of English at Columbus College of Art and Design.

Tracy Frey

CCAD Alumni

Tracy Frey is a CCAD Alumni, They graduated in 2017 from the illustration program. Their work ranges from illustration to sculpture. They are currently living in Columbus building their portfolio and looking for illustration work. You can find their work on Instagram at “DrawDontTracy” and “TFreyArt” or in their website at,


to get in contact with them please email them at


Raiden Kubiak

Sophomore Illustration Major

Raiden is a transgender/genderqueer man, born in 1998 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have a variety of themes, including but not limited to personal experience with identity, mental illness, and the idea of family.

Thomas Hasse

Sophomore Animation Major

Thomas is a transfer student at CCAD majoring in Animation with a focus in pre-visual development. He has already received a degree from Kent State University with a B.A. in Applied Communication. He would like to thank and accredit his talents to his mom, who is also an artist and writer. Thomas is very honored and appreciative to have his first ever submission featured in Botticelli.

Robin Knotts

Faculty Member at CCAD

Robin Knotts is a faculty member in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture at CCAD. His primary focus is on Japanese and Chinese art, along with art of the European Renaissance. His interest in East Asian cultures extends beyond the visual arts to Chinese and Japanese poetry, theatre, and music, and he considers the poetry of China and Japan to have been a major influence on his own work, along with that of the Beat poets of the 1950s and 1960s. He is also a lover of the jazz of the same time period, as is reflected in one of the works in his submission. Dr Knotts holds Ph.D.s in Theatre and Art History from The Ohio State University, but finds his greatest satisfaction in writing creatively, and in communing with his current cat, Theodora.

Kat Geraci

Senior Fashion Design Major

Kat Geraci is currently a senior in Fashion Design at Columbus College of Art and Design. She has always been interested in the concept of story, whether that be expressed in the written word, through film or photography, or the way that the clothing we don tells a little bit about who we are. She will be begin working at Abercrombie and Fitch as an assistant designer upon graduation this May.


Minnie Lucas

Sophomore Photography Major

Minnie Lucas is an Ohio born photographer, currently a sophomore at CCAD. She hails from rural Guernsey county and finds much of her inspiration there. She hopes to travel the world one day, always in search of something ordinary to photograph, but in an extraordinary way. She enjoys working with film and digital photography.

Arthur Norman

Senior Advertising & Graphic Design

Arthur Norman Jr. is a native of Dayton, Ohio and was raised in Columbus where he currently resides. He is a student at Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) studying Advertisement & Graphic Design with a minor in Illustration. Arthur works as a full-time Communications Coordinator at Heavenly Kids Center for Learning. Arthur’s hope is to one day run his own community art studio to provide opportunities and resources for emerging artists to grow and impact the culture. To see more of Arthur’s artwork, follow him on Instagram,

Thomas Piekarski Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly and Pushcart Prize nominee. His poetry and interviews


have appeared in literary journals internationally, including Nimrod,


Florida English Journal, Cream City Review, Mandala Journal, Poetry Salzburg, Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and Boston Poetry Magazine. He has published a travel book, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems.

Nat Della Selva

Freshman Fashion Design Major

Nat Della Selva is a first-year fashion design student. Most often they write as a personal narrative, sharing experiences about mental health, family dynamics and of trying to understand their place in this world. Their hope is that others will find a connection to their writing, “hmming and ahhing” as they read and be left with a glimmer of hope.

Tristan Silver

Senior Animation Major

Tristan is a Latino 2D animator and character designer from Flushing, New York who graduated from The Columbus College of Art and Design in May 2018 with an MFA in Animation. A robot enthusiast and cartoon lover throughout their life, Tristan is a fierce proponent of the power escapism can have over a troubled soul and aims to bring the same happiness that shows such as Wander Over Yonder gave them in their formative years. With their art, they aim to realistically reflect our world and give hope to those who are struggling by crafting stories with fantastical creatures. After all, there is no companion more fitting to have when achieving the most fantastic thing of all— triumphing over a seemingly hopeless situation.

Natasha Strom Alumni of CCAD

Natasha Strom is a recent 2017 undergraduate from Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), majoring in Fine Arts with a focus in Glass and minoring in Creative Writing. She mainly works with solid glass in sculptural means, but also fabricates with clay and makes silkscreen two-dimensional too. Natasha is currently the Printmaking Department’s Lab Technician at CCAD, and is hoping to further her education by returning to school to get her graduates degree in glass.


Biographies 126

Bethany Carman Untitled

Laura Toogood

Junior Photography Major

Laura is a junior Photography major with minors in Advertising & Graphic Design and Business hoping to become an editorial photographer for a publication. With strong interest in architecture, travel, and the influence of nostalgia, she aims to create a strong relationship between the viewer and her work with her compositions through both visuals and emotion.

Elaina Workley

Sophomore Fine Arts Major

Elaina Workley is a student majoring in Fine Arts with a creative writing minor at Columbus College of Art and Design, graduating in 2020. Her work consists of printmaking, painting, collage, and experimental drawing to create haunting pieces about nostalgia. Elaina marries both abstracted familiar imagery and words to investigate connections between where home is and where the mind feels it most. She hopes to grow artistically in the studio to work towards residencies in the upcoming year and eventually a position on the editorial staff for an art magazine.

Mitchell Bauman

Junior Advertising & Graphic Design

Mitchell is a visual designer, currently attending the Columbus College of Art and Design. Where he is studying advertising and graphic design alongside a minor in copywriting. He is Committed to learning through collaboration and professional development with a positive, can-do attitude. He aspires to push design in new and unique ways by creating purposeful visual experiences. Combining his skills in graphic design and advertising, with a keen eye for detail, as well as a passion for smart design. You can find more of his work or get in contact with him on Instagram, @MitchBauman


“Life is short and full of surprises. So, make more art and do not waste time.”

- Gordon Lee

© Columbus College of Art and Design 2018. All rights reserved.

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