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BRUSHFIRE literature & arts journal


edition 67

volume 2


I’ll save you the pains of my usual poetic filler and delve instead into the rhetoric contained in the journal. Unsurprisingly, the conditions and conflicts that are rippling across the country come to fruition in the works of the many artistic minds involved. Over the past two years I have seen growth, not only in the size and population of the University and city of Reno, but also in our audience. We have, through great efforts, come to stretch ourselves out to individuals across the country as well as the globe. The cover piece, Embrace the Emptiness, by former Visual Director, Nathaniel Benjamin, was chosen not only for its alluring nature and stark appearance, but also for its wide interpretive horizon. Punny as it is, it embraces the body of the journal and acts as a balanced and inviting introduction. With the artist’s permission, we have intermittedly placed abstract views of Embrace the Emptiness throughout the journal to act as subtle and consistent transitory pieces. To minimize my elaborations I will be concise in my descriptions of the journal’s layout. The literary pieces have been organized by three major themes: American livelihood, women’s work and human intimacy, the latter being the most consistent variable. Visuals follow a looser structure. Arranged complimentary to the written pieces or by their sense of boldness or palette. Their lack of formal structure is made up by the implications planted in the viewer’s mind. A picture is worth a thousand words and I feel the need to say no more about that. Lastly, I want to express my gratitude. To every person that has interacted and worked with myself or the Brushfire over the past two years, thank you for your enduring support. To my staff from, my first year to my last, thank you for your endless patience and love for this journal. I couldn’t have done it without you. To our audience, thank you for your continuos subscriptions and readership, we would not exist without you. Lastly, to Edgar Garcia, the next Editor-In-Chief of Brushfire. Thank you, for volunteering, for committing and for never giving up. I wish you the best through your future hardships and endeavors. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Leona Novio Editor-In-Chief


Dear readers, I am stealing this page for myself. Stealing, because someone else’s art could have occupied this space instead, and it might have offered you better insight than my words will. No, this internal conflict is not comfortable. “So you better have a good reason for it!” you might say. Well, I do. I will be the next Editor for Brushfire, and I need to talk about the person most responsible for that: Leona Novio. I want this space to be about her. Leona molded this organization into a place where an artist could grow, exponentially--beyond their work, into that realm of community: a want for collaboration rather than self interest. She did this with the help of our staff, who are both friends and coworkers. She did this with the help of other student leaders at the ASUN publications (whose perspectives are always appreciated). But most of all, she carried the Brushfire with sheer audacity. She leaves threads of sanity behind with each journal. She is what her first name suggests. Leona leaves this organization in ambitious hands. I want Brushfire to mean to others what it means to me. Donc, merci mon ami, tu vas nous manquer. Edgar Garcia Assistant Editor


Table

of

Contents

visual

Benjamin, Nathaniel

Inward Facing (10)

Letting Go (46) Brady, Zak

Camouflage (38)

Brush, Jordan

No Looking Back (42)

Depari, Clarisa

Watching Time Pass By (45)

DeVore, Naomi

So Close to Having Everything I Ever

Wanted (8) Eng, Nate

Reflect (18)

Lowder, Denali

T+58 (43)

MacDiarmid, Henry

Headfirst Into the Abyss (54)

Novio, Leona

Head Two Foot (52)

Prouix, Matthew

New Horizons in Deep Vision (28)

Ressel, Christopher

Disparity (15)

Saunders, Matthew

Dawn is Freaking Out (17)

Swenson, Laura

Don’t Wake Me Up (36)

Tanner, Daisy

Put Away Your Claws (16)

Tran, Quynh

Day Dream #5 (20)

Abstraction (27)

Growing (12)

Wohletz, Erin

Abstraction (27)


Table

of

Contents

poetry

Finnegan, Basil

Wandersome (14)

Grauberger, Shelby

Bones (26)

Javier, Tiffany

Becasue Gabriel Called Shotgun (19)

Messer, Ally

Ear Infection (39)

No A/C (50) Morris, Camille

62 (24)

Peralta, Griffin

Long Bones (40)

Putney, Daniel

Mommy (11)

Freudian Discontent Regarding Patterened Sexuality (53) Rich, Susan

Burn (20)

The Good Girl’s Dilemma (44)

Ruggieri, Nicholas

Doomed, as in, What Else Is There to Be?

(22)

English Majors Once in Love (51)

prose

Chahal, Tharan

In the Land of Peaches (29)

Costa, Carson

The Tool of Trickery (47)


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Inward Facing

nathaniel benjamin

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Mommy daniel putney

Burn Notice appeared on the TV screen. We would drown in the show’s drama, relaxing side by side on the couch. But the last word she said was “faggot,” and I remember the door slammed in front of me. I grab the remote and change the channel.

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Growing

erin wohletz 1212


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Wandersome basil finnegan

There’s a red painted, white brick house that sits, sun-dried, on the corner of 6th and Castle. The woman who lives there comes out to sit on the porch every afternoon. She lays out a deck and plays herself over and over. Taking breaks only to pick up fallen flamingoes, occasionally losing her head over one bit or the next. She was a legacy once. Before the fat folds settled in, jiggling jowls that could have commanded whole suits. I call her the Red Queen and imagine playing croquet with her on Sundays.

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Put Away Your Claws daisy tanner

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Dawn is Freaking Out matthew saunders

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Because Gabriel Called Shotgun tiffany javier

There was glass in my hair when you found me And when you lifted me out of that metal carcass I witnessed the power of a dozen prisms All I could see were neon reflections Dancing across your cheekbones I followed their every move as they darted along Lunar pathways never before taken A dark side only revealed through these strategic phases Your frame a mere shadow and your disposition masked As if the sun stepped aside And you became the center of my system I felt nothing in my body save for the gravity of your gaze Even after you placed me upon a flattened cloud God said he would take me to heaven from there Though my salvation stood before me It only took a 10-minute drive Convincing me that though I may not have seen your wings You must have used them just for me

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20

this sugaregg of searchable pleasures—

Here in the mortgaged hourglass of the now I write you

of which I’ve completely forgotten.

Young man of the cigarette heart bright eyes the color

and maybe tomorrows.

Ours was a disposable blessing a taffeta scar of almosts

susan rich

Burn


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and drum of it—soft taps inscribing our not-quite, might-have-been, burn.

I write to you tonight for the click

of the almost lived from many years mottled on—

In the blue tenderness

silk fingertips ghost-riding the rim of a freckled arm.

I’ve revised half-remembered contacts—

in the open source between Pocket and Snap—


Doomed, as in, What Else Is There to Be? nicholas ruggieri

I remember those indoor playgrounds as a kid where they had those huge mazes of colorful tunnels that you could crawl through. I remember how gigantic and endless they felt, and how easy there were to wiggle back and forth through. I must have been six or seven. An older kid declared himself king one day, and threw me into the ball pit, but those pits aren’t supposed to be more than a couple feet deep. I started sinking. The orbs didn’t feel hard or even plastic, rather, they were smooth and gelatinous, and I remember screaming, but they muffled my voice, and I found that I could no longer breathe. The colors stopped being friendly and crayon-like. They were something you’d find at the bottom of the ocean, black and red and glowing. After about an hour, the orbs became inseparable from the abyss that surrounded them. They went on forever, but eventually I found my bearings. The lack of oxygen wasn’t killing me, and I was able to swim in directions. Eventually, I came across another child. I wasn’t sure if I should be scared. He had hundreds of arms, and at least three smiles. He grabbed my hands, showed me how to move them, and before long, I had hundreds of arms, too. He said something to me, “We’re all sinking, no matter where we’re going, and that’s okay,” and then darted off into the murk like a squid.

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I reached the surface, gasped for air, every inch of me aching. I screamed and my parents pulled me out, angrily asking why I had been hiding from them. I didn’t know what to say, so I repeated what that boy told me. “We’re all sinking, no matter where we’re going, and that’s okay.” My parents didn’t say another word after that. They were visibly shaken, but didn’t seem to know how to handle what they had just heard. Life went on after that like nothing had happened at all. Last year, at Christmas, I asked my parents if they remembered that time I went missing in the ball pit. They had no idea what I was talking about. The other child actually ended up going to my high school, and went on to become prom king. He only had one face, and a single pair of limbs, but I knew it was him. That’s probably the part that scares me the most. I can’t figure out if I made it back to the surface at all, or if I just went sideways. All I know is I’m still somehow sinking, and that’s supposed to be okay.

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camille morris 25


Bones

shelby grauberger

“You grew up too fast. Never learned how to be silly, breathe easy, laugh freely, love blindly; an old soul in a young body.” As if young bones don’t creak from the weight they’ve carried— burdens too great for a child. I am young, but I am weary.

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Abstraction erin wohletz & quynh tran 27


New Horizons in Deep Vision matthew prouix

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In the Land of Peaches this chapter is apart of a larger work

tharan chahal

Rubina Laughter awakened me from my drowsy slumber. Quickly realizing where I was, I jumped to my feet and started to pick the peaches from the large tree. My younger cousins ran all around me chasing each other. “We need to get to work,” I ordered them hastily, “They need us.” They, both sets of our parents, could be seen running around the house or exchanging papers with the men from the trucks. I never knew what they were talking about, but I was always relieved whenever the men shook hands with my father. It meant something good happened. “Why do we always have to do this every summer?” wailed Jasneet as she tossed the peaches into the large truck beside us, “It’s so hot outside.” It was true. The heat from the Central Valley sun wasn’t blocked by cascading mountains or the large birch trees found up north. It was simply highlighted by the golden hills that surrounded us and the human sized peach trees that went on for miles. “Think of it this way, we are almost done for today and tomorrow is Sunday. We get our break for this week,” I said soothingly. “But everyone else from my classes gets to go to the beach,” she

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retorted. “Do you know how hard Mom and Dad worked to get us here?” Veena glared, “You’re lucky we even go to school. In India or Fiji we wouldn’t have been given that chance.” Veena was the oldest out of all of us; she was seventeen. And she was always right, just like now. Veena was old enough to remember when the whole family immigrated from Fiji. I was only four when we immigrated here so I didn’t remember much. But Veena did and she always made it a point to remind us. Jasneet glared back at her sister and continued to pick the peaches. Thankfully, the sun lowered from the sky and hid just above the peaches. This was always my favorite part of the day. Not just because it signalled the end of a work day but because of the way the light hit the trees. Each branch, each leaf was given a beautiful orange and yellow glow as the sky cascaded around them in pinks. Once the sun dove behind the hills, we started to walk back to the truck. I turned back and called for my little sister. “Ria!” I shouted at her as she gleefully played with a ladybug on her wrist. She looked up at me and hopped to the rest of us waiting at the end of the peach tree rows. She grabbed my hand and looked up at me with her big brown eyes. Ria was by far the girliest among us. She constantly had a smile on her face and was always amazed by anything new she found out about the world. “Remember, everyone dust yourselves off. We don’t want to make Thia’s car dirty,” Veena instructed. Thia means uncle in Punjabi. To everyone else, he was Thia. But to me, he was dad. We watched the small, light blue pickup truck make its way across the orchard. It left a trail of dust clouds that billowed into the evening light. We all waited there in anticipation, excited to finally go home. “Papa!” Ria shouted as she jumped into the front seat. Dad held his arms wide open and gave her a big hug. Then he smiled at the rest of us. Though his smile was happy, it was also tired. The sunset cast a shadow along each of our faces as the truck sputtered down the long dirt road. I could sense the weariness among everyone. Even Ria, who slept soundly in my lap. We passed the small pond with the sleepy willow signalling that we were finally home. By this time it was dark outside, but I still managed to make out the black silhouettes that stood by the back door of the house. Once

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we parked, each of us hopped out of the car and walked slowly to the back. Lights illuminated from the house as we drew closer to the door. The two figures by the door transformed into my mom and aunt, Chachi. “Mom!” Jasneet called, “Do I have to get washed out here?” The taller woman nodded her head and held her hand out. Then Jasneet started taking off her dusty shirt, exposing her dirty back side. Chachi held the hose and started lathering her with soap. “Well you two know the rules,” my mom nodded toward the door, “Go upstairs and shower. After, start the roti and warm the dahl.” “Just because they are becoming women they can use the shower? What justice is there in this world?” Jasneet seethed under the cold water. Chachi smacked her arm. “Trust me, be happy with being a child right now. You won’t be one for long,” my mother said as she held Ria under the water. She shivered happily in response. Veena and I dragged ourselves upstairs to our room. Normally, Veena hopped in the shower and would start prepping dinner. However, today she laid out on the bed that she shared with me. I looked at her with concern. “Veena, what’s wrong?” I asked. She didn’t remove her hands from her face. “I want to be a child again,” she said blunty. I let out a laugh in response, but it was quickly silenced by the look she gave me. “I mean it,” she explained, “Do you know how old I am? I’m seventeen. I turn eighteen next month at the beginning of school.” “What are you getting at?” I asked. She inhaled then let out a big breath. “My mom got married when she was seventeen. Rubina, they are starting to look for people for me,” she explained sadly, “If they haven’t started already.” I looked from her face back to the floor. “Oh,” was all that came out of my mouth. Then a thought came to me. “Well, they know how good you’ve done in school. Can’t your parents give you a pardon or something?” I asked hopefully. Her response was laughter. “I wish,” she exclaimed, “But I doubt it. Rubina, I don’t want to get married. I barely learned how to drive a car. And the thing is, I’m the oldest cousin and we are all girls. There are so many factors.” I nodded understandingly.

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“We should get bathed and help before anyone notices. Especially my dad; he should be here soon. You shower first, and then start with the food,” Veena pointed out. Just as we finished talking Jasneet and Ria walked into the room. Rather, Ria skipped in while Jasneet sulked. “You guys haven’t even started bathing yet,” she exclaimed. “Someone’s gonna be in a lot of trouble,” Ria said tunefully. “If I could shower in the bathroom after work then I would be so much faster than you guys,” Jasneet said as she flopped on the bed she shared with Ria. “Shut up,” Veena started, “All of us had to do it. It’s not especially for you.” Jasneet made a face at her and began changing her clothes. Ria did the same. “Remember,” I said once I came out of the bathroom, “Wear your cotton suits; it’s a hot night.” A traditional Indian salwar suit consisted of billowy pants and a long shirt with cuts along each side of the bottom of the shirt. Many people think of the pants, which are salwars, as MC Hammer pants. It has no relation, but it is funny to think about. Salwar suits are worn by women and made from all sorts of fabric. But my favorite are cotton suits; they are so comfortable during the hot summers. I can even take naps while wearing them. Even with a cold shower I was still hot. The house seemed to be an inferno. After I opened the windows upstairs, I quickly ran to the kitchen to start our meal. I heated the rice on the stove and began prepping the dough to make rotis. Rotis are similar to tortillas; both are made of flour. However, I prefer tortillas. My mom came in from the back and started to help me. “How was work today,” she asked soundly. I was suddenly aware of the intense bleach that was in the house. I stopped working and began to open the windows. “It was the usual,” I said, “I’m excited to eat.” She laughed, “Of course you are. Have you finished your Nancy Drew book?” “No, I’m planning to tonight though,” I responded as I went back to cooking. My mother smiled and nodded in silence. It had been a long day and I could tell we both felt the comfort of the quiet surrounding us. The sizzle of the roti was the only noise along with the distant sound of the

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showers running in our house. One by one, each family member came to the kitchen and family room. My father came up behind my mother just as she put the pile of hot roti in the middle of the table. He gently put his arms around her waist and kissed her cheek, which left a smile across her face. “Ew!” Ria exclaimed sticking her tongue out. “Hush now,” our father said, “How about we all sit and eat?” “But my father,” Jasneet asked. “He has to work late tonight,” Veena replied mildly as she took a plate eyeing the roti hungrily. “He always does,” Jasneet grumbled as she took a bite of her dahl. A bit of the yellow lentil mixture got on her suit, which she quickly cleaned. She suddenly turned quiet as she realized the silent thuds from across the room grew louder. “Rubina, get Maji and Baba water and roti with dahl please. You too, Veena,” my mother instructed. We quickly set the table as both of our grandparents approached. They smiled at each of us, indicating hello with a pat on each of our heads. My Maji and Baba were people of very few words. They were proud Punjabi parents of both of their sons, my father and my Chacha, but were rarely boastful. Instead, what gave them happiness in life was hearing about their four grand daughters and their accomplishments. However, my grandparent’s lives weren’t always so calm. My father would tell us stories of their farm life in Fiji among the sugar cane. They owned two cows, goats, and chickens. But my Baba also worked as a clerk at a law firm in the town that they lived in. My Maji would take care of the farm with her sons. It wasn’t until my father wanted to pursue education that they all moved to America. By this time, Veena had been born. Once I sat back down to enjoy my meal, it had become lukewarm. But my hunger caught up with me and I scarfed it all down rather quickly. Ria looked at me awkwardly then back down. My parents and Chachi sat with our grandparents while we all got up and sat on the couch. There were patches among the couch, but my mom expertly stitched the holes up with cloth from her sewing room. It sounded funny, but the patches on the couch, with all of their colors, reminded me of the different farms in the valley. There was an unexplainable comfort about this that always got to me. We all ate in silence, except for my parents, who often liked to talk about their days and along with everyone else’s. Once everyone finished, my grandparents went to bed while the rest of us girls cleaned up. We turned

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on paat (prayer) on the radio as we washed and dried each dish. After all was done, we retired to our rooms. “I am so tired,” Jasneet complained as we all went upstairs. “So are the rest of us,” Veena interjected. “Will you two ever get along?” Ria groaned as she drudged into our room. At that both girls laughed. “Eventually,” Veena replied as she tossed the covers of the bed back and climbed in. I made my way to the bookshelf and picked up the yellow hardback book lying on top. “Oh Rubina!” Jasneet whined loudly, “Please do not play your rock band poppy music right now! I have a headache!” “It’s only Cyndi Lauper and Journey, but fine I won’t play it,” I replied as I climbed in next to Veena who was already snug in our bed. “I mean you can still read just don’t play music tonight, whatever it may be,” Anisha explained, then tossed the blanket over her head and turned around. Ria was fast asleep next to her. “You know, if Baba or Maji found out you were listening to that music they would laugh at you and tell you you’ve become an American girl,” Veena said smiling. I made a face at her. “It’s good music, both for the beats and messages. I don’t see the problem,” I said hastily turning my book to the page where I left off. “Hey now,” Veena said turning to me, “It’s not a bad thing to like a certain music. I was only teasing.” “I know, I know I’m just tired that’s all. You know when I don’t get enough sleep I get grumpy,” I smiled at her. She kissed me on the forehead and turned to fall asleep. There was a single light on in the room; it’s yellow glow falling onto the pages of my book. Books were my escape from reality; it allowed me to travel the world and understand other people. Nothing made me happier than reading beautifully written sentences that described the experiences of someone else. I loved falling asleep thinking about the adventures of Nancy Drew or the girls from Sweet Valley High. But this time I didn’t realize when I fell asleep; I only remember waking up the next morning with the book on my face.

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Camouflage zak brady

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Ear Infection ally messer

I couldn’t hear anything, so my mom put my hair up in two buns the size of clementines. When we got to the hospital the doctor said I looked like a bear— as I gnashed at her jugular with my blunt little teeth.

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Long Bones griffin peralta

I love my body. It’s true! It took me a lifetime to figure this out. I hate the way it looks. But as an English teacher, I must consider both form and function… and I love the way my body works. I… Love my body like a bicycle. For its purpose For its long bones, like tubes For its utilitarian geometry. For its bundled, acute, angles. For the way the sinew and muscle pull like chain and gear and produce a predictable forward motion… Time and time. Again. I love my body like a mosaic. All built up of broken pieces. There is a mark on my forearm where my oldest brother put a knife in. There is a click in my ankle from the time I leapt from a flaming tower playground slide! My friends, that day… This body was a dragon! It felt incredible! There is a long slash along my skull where a surgeon stopped a flood with a torch once… The ridges and mars left by these breaks are critical in a mosaic… Without them, I’m an unpainted canvas.

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Finally, I love my body as the memento it is. A meaty monument to every adventure Look at your fingers. Look at your fingers with deep nostalgia. When you touched your first lover’s lips… They were there. When you grasped your diploma… They were there. Every time you were put down or pulled yourself up, They were there! Your body is a talisman whispering ; You made it this far. I weigh two hundred and eighty pounds, but I love my body like the tool it is, for the way it works. This body is ugly. It is fragile. But it’s mine. And I love it… Like a bicycle.

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The Good Girl’s Dilemma susan rich

I am the milkweed silk the boys will not notice as they chase dragonflies away with handkerchiefs and ale. Now I am the sequined skirt that catches the mirror ball; the blue cowboy boots that never drive home alone. O to be the popcorn balls rolled by the barman’s skilled hands; brassieres in the bathroom fit with perfumed breasts ready to inhale their pineapple lives; their kitchen islands. Now I am a champagne flute drowning out the evening news. Resplendent, I register voters for hometown elections; pull raspberry vines, ignore corporate crime. I’ll live out my years in raincoats and wool— in a well-lit sleep without grief. Don’t forgive me.

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45


Letting Go

nathaniel benjamin 46


The Tool of Trickery inspired by Shakespeare’s works, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing

carson costa

Enter Oberon Oberon: What prideful pleasure it does bring to me, To see these mortals married happily. Enter Don John Don John: I come from such unhappy scene as this, The same disease clouds these young lovers’ eyes As touched mine enemy’s inconstant heart. What woe there is when the world has gone blind. I shan’t let this plague ever cloud mine own eyes. Oberon: What beast or foreign man stands there aside? His stature hung with scorn yet dignified? His heart bleeds black against the art of love, His eyes hang dark and sad as mourning dove. I am seen. How now, mortal, good tidings? Don John: What comes to me now? Are you not living? Oberon: I live indeed, this doth the forest bring, As I am Oberon, the fairy king. Tell me, mortal, wherefore comes this glower? You frown and grumble under true love’s power. Don John: Well met, Oberon, I go by Don John. True love, you call it, in truth there is none. Love is no object, nor a vision seen, But a feeling, sworn twixt two enemies. 47


A tentative peace where none can be found. Oberon: Pray tell, how you find this heresy true. This is a barrier between me and you. Don John: For example first, my brother I call, Whose forgiveness came with a chain and ball, As childhood friends we played as if equal, Yet adulthood cares for fathers moral. A bastard brother finds no ounce of love. No honest feeling beneath social glove. What love is there if not in family, What of love will there ever be for me? Oberon: The love that’s chosen is never revoked. Such finds Lysander in Hermia’s stroke. Such laid I in Demetrius’ hard eye, That his vision allowed the excess by Allowed his heart to choose with clarity. Love that’s unburdened by necessity. Such a love with unwanted roles to fill Can’t understand how to love with good will. If you do pursue a love all-natural, I believe your pursuit is catchable. Don John: Pursue I not, I seek no kind of love It is only vengeance I’m devoid of. Oberon: Surely there is no vengeance big or small, That could as a fair lady so enthrall. Truthfully, if greater joy there can be, Than have an honest maid in company, Then the good king Oberon is not me, And I most certainly can not be he. Don John: If, in fact, an honest maid did exist, She could not find an honest man to wed. 48


I’ll prove it to you with my own mischief, By which I have defamed poor maiden fair, And her fiancé is so quick turnéd, The maiden died of his wanton slander. Tell me, Oberon, how are these lovers Who swore true love, with ease torn asunder?

Oberon: What tricks you have playéd, John the Bastard, I cannot hazard nor dare ask after. All the proof you need of love’s eternal glee There, three couples joined in matrimony. Hands joined eternally, their hearts as one, Bound by true love before the day is done. If you see the pairs but misunderstand, You bring your own retribution at hand. A righteous, mighty tool is trickery, Only when the outcome brings light gaiety, As mine has brought unto these young mortals, And had my fairy queen returned to me. Your own varietal brings toxic harm, And such poison grows in those that spread it. You mourn the lack of your brother’s kindness, You fight it with curses, lies, and blindness. With honesty infused sweet Puck’s words be, What fools these mortals be!

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No A/C

ally messer

I curl my toes around your sweat stained sheets, kissing your head; hair pregnant with lice. My left hand, a chair for your cancer-lumped breast; crippled fingers, crooked from years of bone breaks and popsicle stick splints, grip hard and sleepily. I can think of nothing but your gasps and the humming of the fan.

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English Majors Once in Love nicholas ruggieri

The inherent sexuality of a perfectly timed farewell. Even in my fantasy, it’s no more than just being near you. I told you something about myself, and making sure you close-read it is all I want.

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Freudian Discontent Regarding Patterned Sexuality daniel putney

We slipped into a foursome in a truck-stop shower: you, me, and the older mixed-race couple from that French bistro in Portland. The Latino with greying sideburns grabbed me by my lapels, kissed me into the fading seafoam wall tiles. I cupped his erection outside his raw denim jeans—we were instantly naked. I inserted my index and middle fingers into his warm anus while he whispered dámelo into my ear, and a tingly lightning traveled down my neck. Mid-fingering, I glanced over at you blowing my partner’s white, respectable husband. His eyes were closed behind foggy Ray-Bans, his hip thrusting steadily into your pink mouth. I could see the blood concentrated in your cheeks, the way they used to be when we fucked. Next to those wall tiles you exuded some sort of radiance— dare I say an angel in our sensual tryst. You’ve never looked so beautiful with a dick in your mouth. That’s what woke me up. You were faced away from me on the bed, your headphones in, snoring intermittently. I turned onto my side, closed my eyes, thought that being touched once a month is not enough.

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Brushfire Staff

Leona Novio Editor

Edgar Garcia Assistant Editor

Julian Guy Literary Director

Henry MacDiarmid Visual Director

Clarisa Depari Zine Editor

Daniel Putney Assistant Zine Editor

Brian Williams Office Manager 56


Want to have your work published in the Brushfire? We are currently taking submissions for our Fall 2016 editon

www.unrbrushfire.org Contact us: brushfire.staff@gmail.com Or find us on online: Facebook: Brushfire Literary Arts Journal Copyright 2016 Brushfire and its individual contributers. All rights reserved by the respective artists. Original work is used with the expressed permission of the artists. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form wihtout permission from the publisher. The opinions expressed in this publicaiton and its associated website and social medias are not necessarily those of the University of Nevada, Reno or of the student body.

Cover Art & Back cover: Embrace the Emptiness Nathaniel Benjamin Journal Layout Design: Edgar Garcia & Leona Novio Commerical Print: A. Carlisle & Company of Nevada

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ISSN: 04070-05048 first copy free, additional copies free 60

Edition 68 Volume 2  

Brushfire is UNR's oldest literature & arts journal. Brushfire publishes biannually, check out our website for more info! unrbrushfire.org

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