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2019 - 2021

Cellar Roots Fine Arts Magazine

Cover by: Camui Cheng




Students with these varying backgrounds should have a magazine whose name has something in common with all. The ‘Roots’ symbolizes the deep growth and natural expansion that is creativity. The ‘Cellar’ is the man-made thing that comes closest to the roots. - Warren Brown, 1971 Cellar Roots Editor-in-Chief

Cellar Roots is Eastern Michigan University’s award winning literary and arts magazine. Established in 1971, the purpose of Cellar Roots is to provide students a vehicle for publishing their work. Once a year, students can submit creative writing, art, music, film, and more, to be considered for publication in online and print.

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Note from Editor‑in‑Chief

After the shutdown last spring, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to this edition of Cellar Roots. As I’m sure everyone experienced in their own lives, what started as a minor setback became an ever-present state of uncertainty and stagnation. The fundraisers and promotional events we had planned completely fell through, and we no longer had access to the tools needed to create the magazine. Our plans for this edition completely crumbled. However, just as everyone else has done, we’ve found our new sense of normal and were able to create this edition through these new restrictions and challenges. Although we couldn’t do many of the activities that we’ve done in the past, we have been able to do what is most important: craft a magazine that spreads the talent and creativity of EMU students and share the beauty that can be found on our campus. I’m beyond honored, proud, and excited to present this long time coming, combined edition of Cellar Roots. A huge thank you to last year’s staff for setting the groundwork for this magazine, and to this year’s staff for seeing it through. I hope everyone continues to stay happy, healthy, and safe, and enjoy these two years worth of work by our EMU students.

- Lauren Ahern

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STAFF

2019-2020

Lauren Ahern

Editor-in-Chief

Rheanna Reeder

Assistant Editor

Tiffany King

Assistant Editor Fiction Editor

Chinelle Russell

Fiction Editor

Michaela Burton

Fiction Editor Copy Editor

Sydney Keenan

Submission Coordinator

Mili Phan

Visual Arts Editor

Madison Wheeler

Visual Arts Editor

Fenrik Goerlitz

Poetry Editor

Dan D’Introno

Non-fiction Editor

Erica Ward

Social Media Coordinator Website Coordinator

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2020-2021

Lauren Ahern

Editor-in-Chief

Sydney Keenan

Assistant Editor Submission Coordinator

Madison Wheeler

Visual Arts Editor

Grace Thompson

Poetry Editor

Chinelle Russell

Fiction Editor

Juliana Lumaj

Copy Editor

Jasmine Scroggins

Copy Editor

Kelsea Pearson

Layout/Design Editor

Raushanah Davenport–Brown

Layout/Design Editor

Emma Adkins

Social Media Coordinator

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Table of

Note from Editor-in-Chief.........................................................................................5

Fiction Wildflowers.................................................................................................................................................................................14 Wet Blanket..................................................................................................................................................................................18 To the Cosmos .........................................................................................................................................................................19 Advances in Gemology ........................................................................................................................................................21

Visual Arts Dangerous Relief ....................................................................................................................................................................25 Self Portrait ...............................................................................................................................................................................26 Backyard Taxidermy: Turkey Feet..........................................................................................................................................27 Monochrome Wanders............................................................................................................................................................28 75 Barton Dr.................................................................................................................................................................................29 Childhood.....................................................................................................................................................................................30 K-12 .............................................................................................................................................................................................31 Camouflage Disposition..........................................................................................................................................................32 Skin Sample .............................................................................................................................................................................33 Table No. 3...................................................................................................................................................................................34 Cabbage.......................................................................................................................................................................................35 Behind Walls ............................................................................................................................................................................36 Antique Horrors..........................................................................................................................................................................37 Spark...............................................................................................................................................................................................38 Youthful Fountain ..................................................................................................................................................................39 Strays .........................................................................................................................................................................................40 Fall...................................................................................................................................................................................................41 Detroit Abandonment...............................................................................................................................................................42 Fairgrounds ................................................................................................................................................................................43 Doll..................................................................................................................................................................................................44 Chapman Street..........................................................................................................................................................................45 Someone I Love Pt. 1.................................................................................................................................................................46 Michael ......................................................................................................................................................................................47 Dew.................................................................................................................................................................................................48 Yellow.............................................................................................................................................................................................49 Smoke & Wood...........................................................................................................................................................................50 Inked Save the Kaola...............................................................................................................................................................51 Neptune, Pluto ........................................................................................................................................................................52 Uranus ...................................................................................................................................................................................53 The Beginning.............................................................................................................................................................................54 The End .....................................................................................................................................................................................55 111.............................................................................................................................................................56 222.............................................................................................................................................................56 333.............................................................................................................................................................57 666.............................................................................................................................................................57 777.............................................................................................................................................................58 Prey..................................................................................................................................................................................................59 HANAHAKI ...............................................................................................................................................................................60 Smash.............................................................................................................................................................................................61 Disintigration..............................................................................................................................................................................62 Self8 Portrait ..............................................................................................................................................................................63 Untitled (3)....................................................................................................................................................................................64


Contents Poetry Watercolor Phantoms...............................................................................................................................................................67 It’s Not Much, but It’s Dishonest Work...................................................................................................................................68 Invasive Species Alert...............................................................................................................................................................69 FI( )sH .......................................................................................................................................................................................70 An Ode to Burning Sage ..................................................................................................................................................71 Take This the Wrong Way ...................................................................................................................................................72 Mind the Gap ...........................................................................................................................................................................73 The Reason I did Music Was the Beach Boys..............................................................................................................75 Korea .......................................................................................................................................................................................76 Man of Dew!.................................................................................................................................................................................77 Vagabond......................................................................................................................................................78 Rain ..............................................................................................................................................................................................80 Traffic ........................................................................................................................................................................................80 Hades & Persephone .............................................................................................................................................................81 Duality of Love............................................................................................................................................................................83 Eden.................................................................................................................................................................................84 Male Gaze ................................................................................................................................................................................85 Grinnell Glacier.............................................................................................................................................................................86 Let it Snow.....................................................................................................................................................................................87

Music & Film R.E.M ............................................................................................................................................................................................89 RJ’s Song........................................................................................................................................................................................90

Prose Poetry Politics ........................................................................................................................................................................................93 Calypso..........................................................................................................................................................................................94 My Winter Mother ................................................................................................................................................................95 The Fish..........................................................................................................................................................................................99

- Trigger Warning - Special Picks from Professional Artists

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FICTION


Artist Statements Wildflowers

by: Michaela Burton An artist, struggling to find inspiration, receives an anonymous bouquet of flowers at her doorstep.

Wet Blanket

by: Madison Zyskowski This was originally created for my writing workshop in Creative Writing 120.This was my favorite assignment in the class because it allowed me to voice my frustrations in a fun and creative way.

To The Cosmos

by: Amanda Buie As a writer, I try to paint images in the minds of my readers and allow them to tell the rest of the story on their own. Promoting creativity and deep thinking is my ultimate goal when I create my work. Drawing descriptions from a dream-like point of view allows me to capture the world in a different way and inspire readers to view the work in a more creative light.

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Wildflowers

2019-2020

by: Michaela Burton

T

he studio was always freezing early in the morning. The hard wooden floor chilled my feet through my wool socks, making me shudder as I shuffled to the thermostat and quickly turned it up to a durable setting. Knowing it would take a while yet for the studio to warm up, I set off to make myself a pot of coffee. My hands moved sluggishly as I poured the ground up beans into the filter, watching the white paper disappear under a dark pile of caffeinated blessings. As the studio warmed up and the coffee brewed, I looked around the large room and held back a disappointed sigh. Strewn about every nook and cranny of the place were mediocre

the gray, numerous birds. I didn’t object, or really care as to why he was buying it. I was just happy to have made something that someone thought was worth a few bucks. Now, a year later, and no further paintings sold, the studio was becoming crowded with my failure. I had to wade through an ocean of city skylines and shove aside mountainous paintings of abstract geometric shapes to find a fresh, blank canvas. It seemed to mock me as I placed it on the easel, saying, What kind of useless crap are you going to paint today? I grimaced and turned away to get my coffee, hoping that the caffeine would help lift my spirits. When I returned, sipping on the dark, hot drink, I began to scan the

paintings, some so ‘meh’ that they were barely fit to hang on the walls of cheap cafes. It had been nearly a full year since I sold my last piece. Even that one had been only moderately better than my usual work though. It was a photorealistic depiction of the pigeons that liked to roost on my balcony, a dozen of them perched on the iron railing as the morning sun rose up behind them, catching the blues and greens hidden amongst their chalky feathers. The man that bought it said it was a gift for his young son, who was for some reason obsessed with

studio for some kind of inspiration. I had already painted almost everything inside the place. My piece of the bathroom toilet had been particularly inspired, I thought. The porcelain really captured the light in a special way. You can only paint a toilet once before having to turn in your artistic badge though. As I was contemplating doing yet another Jackson Pollock mimicry, there was a loud knock on the door. The harsh rapping echoed through the studio, startling the pigeons nesting outside, causing them to take off in a tornado of ashy feathers.

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My heart skipped a beat and I nearly spilled my coffee onto the canvas. I never have visitors, unless it’s an Amazon delivery driver giving me another package of canvases and oil paint, so a knock on the door so early in the morning with such urgency was a little unnerving. I clutched my robe tighter around myself, trying to appear as decent as possible as I crossed over to the door. After

have possibly gotten very far, but there was something satisfying about leaving this a mystery for now. Something almost romantic. Staring at the lush purples, blues, and yellows of the bouquet, I felt struck with a wave of inspiration. As I carried the vase back into the apartment I took a deep breath, allowing the soft fragrance of the sweet blossoms to fill my senses. I set the vase on a small

just a moment’s hesitation I decided to be on the safe side and stood on my tiptoes to peer through the peephole first. Perhaps someone had heard of my second-rate art and was here to put a stop to the whole mess, but to my surprise as I scanned the hallway I saw no one. Through the small circular pane of glass all I could see was the dim, quiet hallway. Probably someone knocked on the wrong door, I thought, but as I was about to pull away I noticed a bright spot of color in the corner of my field of vision. Curiosity tempted, I opened up the door to the hallway and looked to where I had noticed the color. Sitting on my door mat was a gorgeous vase of flowers. Branches of lilac, a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, and stalks of golden grain were held together in a beautiful glass vase. It looked like something a medieval woman would put together after walking through an enchanted forest. Still surprised, but now pleasantly so, I knelt down to examine the bouquet closer, looking for some card or tag that would clue me in as to who my apparent secret admirer was. As my fingers preened the delicate foliage, it quickly became clear that there was no card, no sign as to who may have left this gift for me. For a moment, I considered running down the hallway. Whoever left these couldn’t

wooden table near the blank canvas where the morning sunlight that was still filtering through the window could illuminate the flowers in a lovely warm glow. Pale golden light refracted through the glass of the vase and cast an array of small rainbows onto the oak wood, each one shimmering vibrantly. It was perfect. Whoever my mystery admirer was, they certainly sent me a wonderful subject to paint, and at the perfect time too. Grabbing my oils, I set to work mixing the paint, as I tried to recreate the hues and tones of the subject before me. My heart raced with more excitement for my work than I had felt in over a year. My brush seemed to fly effortlessly across the canvas, hiding the white fabric with the colors of springtime and wilderness. As the colors spread out before me, my mind couldn’t help but wander again to the medieval woman I imagined picking these flowers. What a lovely and calm morning it must have been, the ends of her skirts getting soaked with dew as she wandered the fields of wildflowers. I usually needed music while I painted but now there seemed to be no need. Melodies conjured themselves in my mind, flutes and chimes singing along with the rhythm of the brush beating against the canvas.

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Before me, the flowers were slowly being recreated, born from the paint. Rosey pink, straw bulbs added blushes of color that offset the whites and greens of the floral buttons, and the wild lavender and wheat stood tall like maypoles. I felt like I was becoming lost in my work, wandering just like the woman who some day long ago must have. Entranced by the beauty of it, my mind hummed with satisfaction. As I began to add the reflection of light through the glass vase I noticed something out of place about my painting. During my artistic fury I seemed to have painted a long shadow across the bottom of the canvas that didn’t quite match up with anything else in the picture. At first I thought it must be the shadow of the table, but it was too long, seeming to stretch from something out of sight at the back of the painting. Confused, but not too perturbed, I set to work painting over it, fixing the shadow and bringing everything back into focus. I couldn’t help but feel a little amused. How long had it been since I got so caught up in my work that I lost track of what I was painting? Not since college, I imagined. With the shadow corrected, I went back to working on the glass, adding the splashes of rainbow colors that seemed to shimmer with life of their own. With a giddy sort of hope, I began to believe that this piece might just end up being the best piece I had ever created. Something that would certainly bring me not only cash, but artistic praise. The satisfaction I hoped would come with my painting of the pigeons would finally happen here, with these beautiful flowers. As I was beginning

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to detail the grains of wood on the table, I noticed with a sort of dazed wonder that the shadow had returned, and with it, the edge of what appeared to be a goat’s hoof, ivory white with rusty red fur. I know I didn’t paint you.. I mused to myself, pausing with my brush pressed against the canvas. The hoof was polished and gleaming, as if it were carved from a flawless chunk of marble. The fur above it was lucious and flowing, the same red color as the last glimpses of sunset. Certainly something of this quality wouldn’t be something I would just forget about. A sort of nervous chuckle escaped from my lips as I began to paint over the caprine limb. Either I was deeper into my own artistic frenzy than I thought, or I was suffering from some sort of short term memory loss.Sometimes I would forget where I left my house keys or if I turned the coffee machine off, but never anything to this extreme. For a moment I wondered if I needed a break, but as I gazed at the charming painting coming together before me, I knew I couldn’t leave it unfinished. I continued painting with no other lapses in memory until my wrist and forearm were starting to cramp and my stomach growled, no longer satisfied with just the coffee. After making myself a cold cut sandwich and scarfing it down with a few aspirin and a chaser of coffee I returned to my work, standing back to admire it for a moment. Already it was so beautiful, and I was working faster than I ever had before. With any luck it would be finished before I needed sleep, if I continued at this pace.


On the canvas, the vase sat glistening on the polished oak table, the grains of the wood swirling playfully underneath its cargo of wildflowers. The flowers were a symbol of life and color in the otherwise dark room I had painted them in. Behind them, gentle, warm light shone in through an open window, and billowing cornsilk curtains seemed to gesture gracefully to the vibrant bouquet and the

my paintbrush? I couldn’t possibly have.. and yet at the same time, I couldn’t pull myself away from those eyes. The satyr’s lips were pulled up into a slight smirk and I noticed he had straightened up, no longer smelling the flowers. Tall and confident, he was holding out his hand to me. People gathered around for the grand unveiling of the new gallery piece, murmuring in speculation. There were

figure standing behind them. The figure standing behind them... My mouth became dry and my throat closed up on me, making me feel like I would choke. Behind the vase, leaning over to smell the flowers, was a satyr. His ebony horns curled around hairy, elongated ears that caught the light, and as my eyes wandered down the painting they caught with his. A deep, hypnotizing, chocolate brown- they locked with mine, filled with a playful, mischievous kind of lust. I felt as if those eyes were seeing into me, understanding me, wanting me. I knew I couldn’t have painted eyes like that, a being like him, but then again... Hadn’t I? My mind seemed to grow fuzzy and I had to cling to the easel so I wouldn’t fall, my face nearly pressing against that of the mythological creature. Thoughts raced through my mind like wild rabbits. Hadn’t I been in wonder of the beauty of those wildflowers, mesmerized by ideas of wilderness and springtime, enchanted by the songs of flutes, chimes, and the beating of my brush? Could I maybe have created him as much with my mind as

many rumors surrounding this new painting. Where it had come from, who had created it, and who the museum purchased it from were all facts left unclear. A decent crowd had formed and people pushed their way to the front, all pining for their turn to examine the mysterious piece of artwork.Surrounded by an oaken wood frame, the painting depicted a handsome satyr and his lover, embracing behind a bouquet of vivid wildflowers. Stalks of grain and branches of lilac tastefully hid the otherwise naked subjects. Already theories and artistic interpretations were bouncing around the observers. The subject of the woman’s face was of hot debate. Some argued that she was swooning, head over heels in love with her charming, goatish prince. Others insisted that the expression on the woman’s face was something more like muted fear, or an unwillingness to be embraced by this creature. No matter which way his bride felt, the satyr held his lover tight, his hands wrapped around hers and his face smiling in satisfaction.

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Wet Blanket

2019-2020

by: Madison Zyskowski

L

oving you is like trying to keep warm with a wet blanket. You can kick and pull at the corners, but the blanket is still wet. Loving you is like kicking the corner of a table

McLachlan. Loving you is like getting rearended in rush-hour traffic. Loving you is like watching the Detroit Lions play and acting surprised after another loss. Loving you is like

and hoping one day it won’t hurt. Loving you is like taking a dive in the shallow end of an over-chlorinated public pool. Loving you is like walking into the ocean for the first time and licking the grit of salt off your teeth. Loving you is like rolling in the grass to later find out it was poison ivy. Loving you is like investing in real estate in 2008. Loving you is like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. Loving you is like watching those sad animal commercials and not muting Sara

catching a parent cheating. Loving you is like re-watching I am Legend and hoping Will Smith doesn’t kill Sam this time. Loving you is like not realizing you stepped in dog shit until you already walked across the carpet. Loving you is the way I imagine Brittney Spears felt the moment she chose to turn on the electric razor. Loving you is like loving someone who will never love you back. Loving you is like trying to keep warm with a wet blanket; it just doesn’t make any fucking sense.

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To The Cosmos 2019-2020 by: Amanda Buie

T

he sinister cloak of that night would never evade my memory. I distinctly recall the inky valance draped over the sky, and the distorted, contorted configurations that the stars produced against the void of blackness. The milky blots twisted and danced along the curtain, assisting to highlight the stunning craters of the moon which sat silently- as if on an invisible shelf- in the sky. The lake glistened, mirroring the extraordinary conglomeration of the stars above, only interrupted by the gentle sweep of the waves. The sound of fish breaking the surface of the water reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Bullfrogs croaked from the perimeter of the pond while the crickets sang their love songs. I felt my body begin to float toward the cosmos. I let go of everything and let my body become one with the night. The aroma of untouched earth and fresh rain invaded my nose, making me want to continue inhaling, never letting the freshness go. The water was temperate despite the rather brisk air travelling quickly over the surface of the lake. I continued to let the cosmos sweep me away until I could no longer reach the earth. I began to panic. The kind of panic I felt when I would lose my mother

at the grocery store or when loud crashes of thunder rattled the china in the cabinets. I had let the cosmos take me too far. I began to kick my legs violently, trying to make it back to the land but I seemed to only be going in circles. Tears began to burn over my face as I realized that these cosmos were no longer an extraordinary sight, but a treacherous one. I could feel my muscles growing weaker as I continued to tread, searching for earth beneath my feet. Nobody was around to rescue me from the night. This was suddenly unlike the grocery store, where a nice clerk would help me find my mother. This was suddenly unlike the loud crashes of thunder that would rattle the china in the cabinets, where my dad was there to hold me until the storm passed. This was real danger with nobody to rely on. I was continuing to drift farther and farther away from everything I knew, closer now, to the stars, to the moon. I felt miles away from the earth. I could no longer see it. Inky black surrounded my body, staining my clothes and preventing me from moving my limbs. I could feel my lungs growing tighter and tighter as I came closer to the stars and the moon. Soon, I wouldn’t be able to breathe.

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Earth seemed entirely out of reach so I accepted my fate. I couldn’t think of a better way to go than to be surrounded by the cosmos. There was no point in screaming as nobody would hear me. The night time creatures would never come to my rescue no matter how many times I had visited them at the lake. I relaxed my body, hoping to break free of

who had always provided for me. I thanked my father who had always made sure I was happy. I thanked my friends from school and finally, I thanked the cosmos for making the night so magnificent. As my legs and arms began to crumble from the pressure, I remembered the first time I learned about the moon at school. How incredibly fascinated I was that I could see something so far away

the confines of the ink but I was permanently trapped. Deeper, and deeper I went. The pressure on my body was soon unbearable and I began to cry out in pain. My lungs were on fire, my limbs held a crushing numbness. I would only last a few more yards, being pulled into the night abyss. I began to silently thank everyone who had been there for me throughout my life, focusing on them to drown out the pain. I thanked my mother

and so old. How men were able to visit the big white sphere. I had never realized there was any danger in visiting. Reality set in as my lungs began to empty for the last time. My vision blurred as I felt my chest crumble. I could only hope that my family would find my body before the fish eat it.

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The cosmos had claimed another victim.


Advances in Gemology 2019-2020 by: Mickia Simmons

M

ost of my teeth are sandstone soft. They are dull, like babies’ teeth that don’t make their mothers bleed when they gnaw too hard. They are like pearls, waiting to escape from my mouth and out into the world. I tongue the newly open and raw spot in my gums and taste iron flow just a bit quicker in my mouth. My tooth is clenched tight in my little fist. It’s gorgeous opalescent and covered in bits of gore in a pool of spit and blood. Red and white, like Christmas ribbons, and very, very hot fires and rubies and diamonds. It almost matches the translucent plastic beads hooped into my braids. My grandmother peers into the bathroom door I’d left open. She sighs. “Baby, turn the sink off if you’re done washing your hands.” I don’t speak. The blood dripping down my chin and soaking into the collar of my shirt says enough. She startles so suddenly I can see her nearly lose grip on my little brother. His eyes are wider and brighter than mine. They’re a beautiful shade of brown, clean and somehow immortal, like the petrified wood stones in Grandma’s jewel books. “Why didn’t you say anything?” She set my

brother down onto the carpet and hurried. “It looks like you damn well ripped it out! I told you to stop picking with it!” My brother blinks up at her, then at me. I imagine he’s curious - babies should always be curious, with how small and clueless they are, after all. He’s a small baby, so young, with little moonstone teeth only just growing in. They don’t cut flesh when he bites, but the gums squeeze so very tight. Grandma tuts at me, “clean up your mouth, don’t drip on the floor. I’m going to get some warm salt water and peroxide.” She putters away to the kitchen when I wrinkle my nose. I never liked peroxide and I doubt I ever will. My brother gurgles at me. He looks disgruntled at having so little attention on him at the moment and crawls right into my arms when I lower myself to greet him. “How ya doin’ baby?” I grin wide at him despite the new gap. He automatically reaches to stuff his tiny fingers in my open mouth. My voice is muffled around the digits, “Mah toot feh ouh, babuh. Ih gone. Where ih goh?” He jabs his finger into the raw spot and giggles when I softly gnaw on it. The sound

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lights up his whole face, like golden fairy lights flickering under the puffs of fat in his cheeks. I pet his hair, soft as silk and even curlier than mine. “You gon’ gwoh teet, too, babuh!” His fingers search around inside my mouth. The tips graze the tip of a new tooth growing in on the other side of my mouth and I push them out with my tongue.Some of my teeth are dull, but I’m sure the new ones will be hard and sharp as diamonds. When Grandma gets back, she flicks the side of my head sharply. “Why would you let your brother stick his dirty hands in your mouth?” Her voice is grating right now as I’m spitting as much of the acrid taste of peroxide as I can out. My brother is seated on the counter, watching the translucent pink mixture swirl down the sink. She makes me hold the lukewarm salt water in my mouth for two whole minutes and by the end, it feels like a whole layer has been stripped off my tongue, but the bleeding has stopped. I bend over the sink and let it all gush out at once. My brother hums from his spot and lets drool drip down his chin. It makes the skin look shiny - he’s a breathing boy, made of soft, warm tigerseye. I roll up a wad of toilet paper to wipe my chin off, then do the same to his. “Uh oh, baby,” I coo, shifting him so we can

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look at each other in the mirror. “Such a messy baby boy. I love you!” I grin at our reflections and he does the same when I tickle the tender spot on the inside of his knee. I see the beginnings of baby teeth peeking from beneath his lips - tiny pieces of homegrown white spinel. It would be hard to find something so beautiful set in a ring. “Give the tooth to me and I’ll make sure the tooth fairy gets it tonight!” Grandma holds out her wide palm. I think for a moment. My grandmother buys pretty rocks and puts them in jewelry and people buy those from her. I shake my head no, the little pink beads in my hair clinking together with every movement. Grandma frowns, “Don’t you want a new quarter?” “No, thank you,” I tuck the tooth in my pocket. I think of the tooth fairy setting children’s teeth into fancy rings, pins, and necklaces. “I want my tooth.” My brother’s pudgy body wobbles, nearly falling off the counter, and I hold my arms out to catch him. He curls his tiny body into my grasp, soft head tucked under my chin. Red smears against his fat little fingers clutching at the still wet collar of my shirt. Soft and smooth carnelian. I hug him tight against my ribs. I keep the beautiful things for myself.


VISUAL ARTS


Artist Statements Dangerous Relief by: Heather Rose

This piece is a narrative on self-harm and severe depression.

Self Portrait

by: Mason Kupina This work was made for a self portrait assignment in my foundations drawing course (AD123). I used vine charcoal with a reductive technique. It is inspired by the idea of finally expressing the emotional pain one may have on the inside, on the outside. I have severe anxiety and depression, so this piece was amazing to vent and explore my feelings.

Backyard Taxidermy: Turkey Feet by: Taylor Orr

I have both photography and 3dimentional fibers related work. I am a second year graduate student working towards my MFA in interdisciplinary studies. My work is rooted in my visual vernacular and explores the ethics of animal agricultural processing and the inherent animal byproducts. I respond to the cultural worth assigned to materials. This includes the process, labor and value. Through this work I attempt to discern my role within the animal industry and critically assess my own place within the cycle.

Monochrome Wanders by: R.L.

I like to think this artwork and I have this secret history. And with this secret history comes with this cycle I found myself in years ago and now today. It becomes this reminder that you can’t wander away from what your heart is telling you; hence, the reawakening of the artist.

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Dangerous Relief by: Heather Rose 2D, 2019

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Self Portrait

by: Mason Kupina 3D, Pig Skin & Tattoo Ink, 2019 26


Backyard Taxidermy: Turkey Feet by: Taylor Orr Taxidermy, Photography, 2020

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Monochrome Wanders by: R.L. Photography, 2019

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75 Barton Dr. by: Mason Kupina

3D, Found Objects, 2019

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Childhood

by: Mason Kupina 3D Collage, dried insects, 2019

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K-12

by: Mason Kupina acrylic sheet, 3D printed material, 2019

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Camouflage Disposition by: Taylor Orr 3D Fiber Work, 2020

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Skin Sample 1 by: Taylor Orr 3D Fiber Work, 2019

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Table no. 3

by: Kevin Purify 3D, Flaming Box Elder & Pink Concrete

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Cabbage

by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019

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Behind Walls

by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019

36


Antique Horrors by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019

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Spark

by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019 38


Youthful Fountain by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019

39


Strays

by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019 40


Fall

by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019

41


Detroit Abandonment by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019 42


Fairgrounds by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019

43


Doll

by: Mary McGregor Polaroid, 2019 44


Chapman Street by: Madison Maryja Wheeler Photography, 12”x18”, 2019

45


Someone I Love Pt. 1 by: Madison Maryja Wheeler Photography, 12”x18”, 2019

46


Michael

by: Madison Maryja Wheeler Photography, 12”x18”, 2019

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Dew

by: Madison Maryja Wheeler Photography, 12”x18”, 2019

48


Yellow

by: Madison Maryja Wheeler Photography, 12”x18”, 2019

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Smoke & Wood

by: Madison Maryja Wheeler Photography, 12”x18”, 2019

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Inked Save the Kaola by: Camui Cheng 2D, 2020

51


Neptune, Pluto by: Camui Cheng 2D, 2020

52


Uranus

by: Camui Cheng 2D, 2020

53


The Beginning by: Camui Cheng 2D, 2020

54


The End

by: Camui Cheng 2D, 2020

55


111

by: Lauryn Clark 2D, 2019

222

by: Lauryn Clark 2D, 2019 56


333

2019-2020

by: Lauryn Clark 2D, 2019

666

by: Lauryn Clark 2D, 2019

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777

by: Lauryn Clark 2D, 2019

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Prey

by: Taylor Orr Photography, 2020

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HANAHAKI by: Amberly Gascon 2D, 2020 60


Smash

by: Amberly Gascon 2D, 2020

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Disintigration by: Mason Kupina 2D, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

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Self Portrait by: Sophia Emmi 2D, 18” x 24”, 2021

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Untitled (3) By: Domenique Annoni 3D, 2019

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POETRY


Artist Statements Watercolor Phantoms by: Michaela Burton

This piece describes the swirls of color one sometimes sees when their eyes are closed, especially before drifting off to sleep at night.

It’s not much, but it’s dishonest work by: Adam Daily Our subconscious works in a way that brings memories from a past event to the surface, all while still having memories sequentially before and after the one being recounted. As a result, these past thoughts and memories become overlapped and pieced together with relativeness, ultimately pushing our depiction further from reality. My work is meant to present these memorial visuals all together in macro-view rather than focus on a single instance. In doing so we are better able to process the events as a whole, seeing how each piece relates to the other in a single, defining moment.

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Watercolor Phantoms

2019-2020

by: Michaela Burton

Black night’s shade pulled over my eyes, I lay expectant for sleep to pull me into its embrace. Pale blue and green phantoms dance behind my eyes, a spectacle of color in the dark. The cold hues play and swirl, each an individual spirit of consciousness. Tugging at my attention, unsympathetic to the consequences, they keep my focus attached to this realm. I am helpless to their hypnotic patterns, their alluring kaleidoscope of seaside watercolors.

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It’s not much, but it’s dishonest work by: Adam Daily

Old McDonald’s has a farm Meat comes from CAFOs In the barn there is a vulture Perpetuating industrial agriculture

Conglomerated shrine Hydrogenated brine Skipped college works fine No knowledge you’re mine

I’ll take a McEndangered species Would you like to add a side of McFeces Charred vegetable slime refreshed weekly You can’t ketchup as you succumb weakly

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2019-2020


Invasive Species Alert

2019-2020

by: Adam Daily

geological time scale hardly blinked Call ourselves logical as we go extinct Microbiomes of cells We’re all stuck in this prison Fractals spiral into shells For the mollusks to live in Feral schmucks raise all hell Not one man’s decision

Defiant vampirical corporations Dismantle our mantle and burn the synthetics Ignore empirical observations Distance integral mechanisms like photosynthetics

4.5 billion years then a fermi paradox A handful of billionaires biodiversity fares the stocks

We had to run when we came from the trees betraying our roots with industrial greed We had our fun but we never felt free Our mother’s lost her temper by a few degrees

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FI()sH

2019-2020

by: Mickia Simmons braise a fish in summer breezeswhite porcelain bowls with gold veins and zenith height sunshine, the oily way it clogs the air so oat grass wilts and pea pods simmer and the horizon wobbles and sways. braise a fish in the pot where it livesfrog and katydid infested, carbon-lined as if aerated, as if turbulent, and not a standing puddle inescapable still-life on bone white china fused with kintsugi gold veins. braise a fish who lay in open airair-frying, soft fat bleeding through scales in soft hands, warm hands because the lakes are evaporating are drying up are flying away particle by particle to clouds and sunken valley water tables to a fish, fat-frying, at the edge of a pond to hands, warm and steady. pondwater in a glass bowl on a summer day and a fish boiling and beautiful and

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An Ode To Burning Sage

2019-2020

by: Mickia Simmons

yesterday and yesterday you caught the springtime sun melting rusty chalcopyrites mineralized into barely pure cut quartz windowpanes glimmering broiled swirls of freshwater clouds, of sodalite and its sodium impurities dripping frighteningly slow in its pebbled textures and smears, river rapids tumbling over a fallen log and the bloated carrion trapped beneath its weight, not bleeding now as much as rehearsing blasé permeation coefficients, no breath but iron oxide threads and swirls following turbulent flow dynamics that make violent spots and strokes in crystal floods, carbuncle and jasper shades diluted in seemingly endless runoff, mountain ice only just melted enough to slough over skin bruising sharp, if it can be believed, mounds of sand realized in a tumbled slush that made me remember how pale lines of saline congeal and

twist the streambed visible only through tears they rend in thin flesh as winter dry rotten leaves, as leftover autumn thrush, as young, heavy-headed snowdrops, as irreverent bluebells as frost-bitten plum blossom petals over and over again into the softest-looking lavender snow and amethyst shards expanded in golden sequence, a one to one to two today when we are wandering, wading aimlessly, I wet my white cotton hem in the water and when I pulled away into the riverbank it was stained a chilled, quiet microbial pink and yesterday I threw that dress away and yesterday and yesterday I trusted your hands to catch the foreign angel shapes, ribs and fingers clenched in today where the wind chill seeps between bone marrow and the roots of my teeth that chatter and chitter teeth clenching and biting over testimonies when yesterday and yesterday we stole tomorrow and tomorrow laying still in today

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Take This The Wrong Way

2019-2020

by: Maria Burbato

You fall asleep holding my hand, or some feeble imitation of a hand-hold. This is a compromise. This is you meeting me in the middle. Your hand curls over mine like a clamshell, fingers twitching delicately across my knuckles. Your hot air blowing against my neck. It would be easy to say it. I like you but. I like you but it’s hard. I like you even when. In spite of. Because of. The bubble of heat in the space between our bodies, like an egg, prone to breaking. It is nestled in the gaps we are too mismatched to fill. I fool myself. I recall your thumb’s slow journey up and down my elbow. I am desperate. I insist that this means something, this means something now, it has to mean something. I remember smiling into your neck in the dark and

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I wonder if you could feel it, if you knew what that meant. Our quiet confessions in the night. Both of us sighing, relieved. I open my stupid raw red mouth to ask for something simple. I want you to know. I am. I want you to know that I. I am. But I hope that you. I hope that you are. I hope we can. Tell me how to finish this sentence. I am not good at loving anyone or anything. I made you kiss me to Elliott Smith, his most miserable tracks, like maybe I’m anticipating a tragedy. Why the fuck did I do that? He stabbed himself to death, you know. I have told you this story before because it reminds me of you. You are the only person who wouldn’t take that the wrong way. (Which is maybe the only way it should be taken.) The article I read called it “a last resort for people so low they no longer care about themselves.”


Mind The Gap

2019-2020

by: Maria Burbato

the kids are quite transcendental these days and my! isn’t that a word I wouldn’t have known how to use it six months ago or without you. nobody can just hang out anymore. the floor is cold--we lay on it anyways-the space we take up reminds us we’re real. we talk about killing our selves. mind the gap, please. the space that separates mind and body. the body is a brain commanded by desire. cut the thread-this is how to die without making your mom sad. it’s all about ego death. Transformation! with a capital T. what if I don’t want another metamorphosis? god, forbid I stay the same. if you’re not moving forward you’re backwards. if you’re not moving you’re sinking. i’m not moving but the room is. i watch from ten feet above as my body twitches next to yours. i’ve been here before. i’ve been here before, with you, in separate rooms, in quiet places, in darkness. face pressed against the outline of your ghost. pressed--

the phantom weight of your body pressed-to the mattress. in separate rooms, in quiet places. next to you i wonder would he have liked me in high school? i didn’t like me in high school. you next to me is a sick kind of proof, i guess, that this person is dead now. i digress until we are lying side by side on the cold floor wrists kissing ankle bones considering each other and taking inventory of the space that could be breached, the gaps that might be crossed if one of us was a little more useful or a little less frightened. with a capital I this time I find YOU-in capitals like i’m screaming it in my car in the dark, because i do and i do it often. YOU because i believe in twin fantasies and twin flames in the shadow animals our mouths make in the dark “like two microphones kissing” you can focus on the static between every word and decide what i really mean. grow used to becoming the object. realize i’ve always been the object. i want to be your object--allowing

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this desire to fester has rendered me unrecognizable. frosted glass boxing me in from all sides. shadow people looking in and laughing. gawk at this needy creature! i said i didn’t want another metamorphosis. who am i if i am always shifting? there must be some sense of permanence. a foundation.

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the body was a blade, the body was in pieces. the mess was all i had. the sickness was safe it made sense to me. i don’t know what to do with all this joy. fuck you, i said i didn’t want another metamorphosis. i said it’s okay if we stay exactly as we are as ourselves as we’ve ever been.


The Reason I did Music was the Beach Boys

2019-2020

by: Brianna Murphy Bank Robber A Career Opportunity. Supermarket Massacre Ghetto Defendant A Civil Suit Junkie Dances the Wrong Waltz Stabbing Cheapskates for Remote Controls Vain Glory Hate Rave Crooked Broadway

The Sinner’s Revolution Gang beat Soul beat Heart beat Beat Pulp On Cracked Asphalt help me I bleed varna Shorn Worry off the Cowboy’s back I need Vicious Mercy

Please, Kid, the burning deity. Today’s Karma parade leads to lace liberation.

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Korea

2019-2020

by: Brianna Murphy I lost my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you hurt me. I lost my buddy and the guns rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I’m loose like putty and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I lost some bloody and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I lost my booby trap and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can combat guerilla warfare, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy in this gaseous rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I launched my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I crossed my buddy and I’ll need to explain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I holocaust my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry.

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I lost my buddy to groans of pain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I loved my buddy and his blood’s gonna stain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I cost my buddy and I’m to blame but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely sing a fanfare, don’t you worry. I lost my buttocks and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely recite the lord’s prayer, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely maneuver a wheelchair, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy and it’s gonna rain but I can definitely apply for Medicare, don’t you worry. I lost my buddy and I’ve gone insane but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. Lies lost my buddy and it’ll fill my brain but I can definitely cut hair, don’t you worry. My buddy lost his eyes in Korea’s haze but I can definitely see fair, don’t you worry.


man of DEW!

2019-2020

by: Mary McGregor fist tender, curled to cork warmth man of Dew! man held by stone-cut hand by momma (a Gem) with mouth of Gem hum of Gem A Gemini amorphous Gem Gem unextracted & the Gem: Barnacle of caves! & you Semicrystalline— a clusterfuck of Jadeite& black opal & you chronically amorphous in both chroma and charisma & you with a wonder gilded in the fluorescence of the Earth’s molten gut

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Vagabond 2019-2020 by: Mary McGregor

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Rain

2019-2020

by: Mary McGregor rain stomped upon my rooftop even woke me up rain a junkie eating MY food surfing MY couch no rent. no nothin. left me with no choice but to swallow the noise &find joy

Traffic

in an alchemy blued by somebody else’s unfortunate day!

rubbing my I am stuck traffic.

2019-2020

by: Mary Mcgregor eyes in

rubbing my eyes I linger upon an unknown body

I’m no vision ary (pinky-promise)

of stars.

fucking

only half-dead gridlocked with the stop - go, dream dream

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eating traffic.

&

inducing,


Hades & Persephone

2019-2020

by: Madison Maryja Wheeler

Like Hades appears in the myths, you’re dark, brooding, & bearded. Like Persephone appears in the myths, I was bright eyed, innocent, & on the edge of womanhood. You’re dark, brooding, & bearded. You kidnapped my soul. I was bright eyed, innocent, & on the edge of womanhood. I was hidden from the world. You kidnapped my soul. Your persistence caused me to lose myself. I was hidden from the world, only tasting half freedom. Your persistence caused me to lose myself. You didn’t save me. I was only tasting half freedom, trapped by your determined arms. You didn’t save me. How did I grow to love you? I was trapped in your determined arms, and you gave me a crown. How did I grow to love you? You took me from flowers to a dark

kingdom. You gave me a crown, made from the immortal flowers in my bones. You took me from flowers to a dark kingdom. What we had worked for a little while, made from the immortal flowers in my bones. I began to save myself. What we had worked for a little while. You were the King , I began to save myself. I was the Queen , you were the King , proud to show me in the dark. I was the Queen , proud to show you in the light, proud to show me in the dark. Were you scared? Proud to show you in the light. Was I ready? Were you scared, to call me the one? Was I ready, to call you the one?

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It was too soon... To call you the one? It was too soon... like Hades , you fell in love. Like Persephone , I fell in love. Unlike Hades , you left. unlike Persephone , I’m crumbling.

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Duality of Love 2020-2021 by: Chelsea Bacci Love with a Boy With the grace of an elephant I fall in love with a boy It happens slowly And then all at once It is loud and sharp and harsh Like fireworks and explosions Rough hands running over hips Gripping tighter in fear of letting go Harsh love and lust pull closer together The forms that resemble magnets Drifting closer together from opposite poles Until they collide with touches and breaths And they lay there Without a care in the world Love with a Girl With the grace of an angel I fall in love with a girl It is fragile and new Like a bird’s egg in spring It is as soft as fresh cotton And as gentle as her own hands Lips brush in kisses that make you shiver And fingers intertwine to set Butterflies loose inside of you Begging to burst free at any time Love is scattered across me Like the freckles on her face And it sits in my heart Light as a feather

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Eden 2020-2021

by: Chelsea Bacci my lover twirls grace and beauty between her fingers. her copper hair falls like willow branches against her cheeks. her breath flows like wind through a valley. i could liken her to flowers but they hold no candle to her. she moves like a river gentle slow and flowing. i understand now the desire that Eve had that day in Eden aching to feel the sweet nectar of the forbidden sweet fruit flow down her chin and to her breast wanting to taste what she never could have. and, God, did it feel good.

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Male Gaze

2020-2021

by: Catherine Lietz Greedy eyes Take me in Gulp me down Like a drink of water Do I nourish you Am I there For your viewing pleasure A shiny new toy On display How dare you Take away my humanity I do not exist To be looked at I’m a human being With a mind Behind my eyes A soul Behind my chest How dare you

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Grinnell Glacier

2020-2021

by: Catherine Lietz

For millions of years, You molded this land like clay. Deep valleys of lush green and Lakes and streams of crystal blue. You roamed this Earth like wild horses. As the mountains watched you from the edge of the Sun, Pushing and pulling the Earth like taffy Into a kaleidoscope of red rock and blue water and green trees. I can see you, now. In this day where heat tightens its grip On the Earth; an infection Borne by my own hand. I can see you Retreating into the arms of the tallest mountains. Laid to rest among the mist as your

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Body slips away into the bowels of the Earth. The water weeps for you. Tears pouring down the rocks into your Lakes, rivers, streams; your children, They fear for their own lives at the hour of your death. Time is running out for you, Eleven years and your ghost will haunt the continent’s crown. We shall weep over your burning grave, Knowing that your death was by our knife. I will not forget you. Even as fire lays its hands over all life on Earth. And I ask your forgiveness As I look at what we’ve done to you.


Let It Snow

2019-2020

by: Veronica Whitfield

Let It Snow Let it snow Let it shine Let it blow Through the thunder storm Raining, Snowing, Freezing, 0 Below Degree. Snow flake is falling from the blue sky look like tiny light bugs on high cloud 9.

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MUSIC & FILM


R.E.M.

by: Eagle Filmmakers Association Film, 2019

Scan Me

“A dream you can’t escape” Cast & Crew:

Noah Davis Eric Ealovega Matthew Hanson Chase Hunter Corey Jarvinen Caleb Jarvinen Patrice Linman Jacob Lyon

Jasmyn Miller Heather Moody Claire Patterson Case Ramhorst Daniel Sasala Brendan Troost Madison Maryja Wheeler Mavie Christine Wheeler Amy Yik

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RJ’s Song

by: Catherine Lietz Music, 2021

“Even when you’re far away from me And the world pulls at me like waves pulling sand from the shore I look into your beautiful eyes And I realize That I couldn’t love anyone more I think about your freckles And the softness of your skin Our love is a novel that we get to write My lips are the pages Your hands are the pen I feel your energy Even when you’re not here A string ties us together And I feel no fear Your words sending shivers down my spine An undercurrent, gentle and divine They send shivers down my spine Even when you’re far away from me And the world pulls at me like waves pulling sand from the shore I look into your beautiful eyes And I realize That I couldn’t love anyone more I couldn’t love anyone more”

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Scan Me


PROSE POETRY


Artist Statements POLITICS by: Corinne Davenport POLITICS is the beginning of a much longer piece written for a creative writing class I took here at EMU. The prose-poetry form and one word-title is based on Etel Adnan’s format in “In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country.” The piece is haunted by hints towards abortion, and a relationship unrest. I wanted the narrator to be conflicted about her body and the ways other people/entities try to control it or comment on it.

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POLITICS

2019-2020

by: Corinne Davenport

There is a billboard on my drive home, only. I say only because it is not visible on my way to work or school. So this is to say, it is personal. There is a baby protected by a soft-blue blanket on the board. This blanket, the hopefulness of repealing legislation, is to protect the baby, only. So this is to say, the woman does not matter. So this is to say, it is not personal. These people, our government, often do not think beyond their money. I bring up the billboard as I phone my lover. His ears are idle while my voice is not. With my voice comes my mind--I am a woman to speak un-blanketed. As I wind down the heat in my womb, he finally speaks: “Baby, please never bring this up to my father.” There is a billboard on my drive home, only. Where baby once was protected by the soft-blue blanket. But it is gone now, which is to say it is forgotten, or it is over, or it never should have happened in the first place. Does that mean it is the woman’s turn? Does she get her soft-blue blanket? On the billboard

now is an advertisement for trading used cars online. Which does not mean the old billboard was not an advertisement. The subjects are traded. Your rights for their religion. Your rights for their vocal cords. Your body for their God. Your body for their opinion. Your body for their consumption. Your body, their receipt. My lover’s decision is idle. He does not decide if it is my body or his religion. My body or his buzzing cords. My body or his God, his opinion. He does not file my body on his 1099. But my lover consumes the frame, paint, model, and make of me. He is not worried about the legislation trying to finger-paint the walls of my Sistine Chapel-womb and he Michelangelo. But he is worried about the soft-blue blanket for the second amendment, for the branch of the ATF, for his chapel safe from burning. He is worried about the protection of his weapons and his fun. I say, “But honey, where is the amendment protecting you from me?”

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Calypso

2019-2020

by: Brianna Murphy

I hold the fragile brick, coral and holographic, with two fingers. Embossed hexagons line its length and flash a studio sheen when examined. I rub it on my skin, but it provides no SPF protection for my rosacea patches. I lift it to my nose and deeply inhale, but it doesn’t cleanse my rose quartz chakras. I hold the bar against both of my closed eyes, but it doesn’t align my lazy eye.

What is this even good for?

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I flick the tip of my tongue against the domes. It tastes of ingrown toenail tension. I bite down and it shatters like blown sugar balloons. The shards pierce my gums and ride down my throat like horsed bandits. I scream in rogue and bloat in weathered leather. The shards brush my villi like a cheap wig and remove my diverticulitis.

Finally! At least some progress.


My Winter Mother 2020-2021 by: J. Berry

BEFORE THE SNOW Did they ever tell you about the night the dish ran away with the spoon? The night she cast a blanket across the aether with the storm-struck feathers of migratory fowl And the cow jumped over the moon? We traversed empty freeways; burning bulbs cutting through the sticky pitch. And you spun tales about the bastard spoon. Sometimes you told us to pack all of our things and leave. And other times you’d fork the spoon, make us all mutineers. Did you ever want him to leave first? Did you want to live a life unfettered by dirty dishes and spoons? empty sink; winter house. THE FREEZING When times were good with the spoons and forks, I spun and spun and spun and spun. I crafted sun-to-set spindle-to-spool. Tribute blood to tips of every finger; red rivers born of my labor flowed through the backyardaround the trees; flooding underground systems of wiry root-wrought iron peat and loamy silt castles. I tried to build a home. Was I not industrious enough? When I drop the spindle in the river will you wish me away too?

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THE SNOW If I chase the spindle down the river where will it take us? Will it take us to the house you grew up in? With thick and velvetine yellow couches, cigaretted ceilings and mothed clementine curtains, exposed sundried baseboards, plant mausoleum with tiny santas? Will it take us to your best friend’s house? With the moss-bed shingles, musty tiled sunroom, and marijuana-steeped pole barn? Will we cry? Hysteric garbled dirge: drowning in the oceans of your sorrow that fill the car and crash up lap up smash up against the windows and sink back into the dirtcaked minivan carpet. To your brother’s by the lake? The crocus constructed settlement on a tilt with high ceilings and more new ghosts than old embedded in the plush blue rugs? Will you drain the life from a

pack of symbiotic Marlboro lights the whole way there? Veer off the road and curse the old gods? How will you ever establish dominion over house and hearth? Call out to old mothers and friends? Will it take us to the Famous Footwear at the mall to buy 3 new pairs of don’t-tell-yourfather shoes, or a haircut with trendy highlights, or submarine sandwiches at the expensive restaurant in Brighton that you love? Will the spindle make me separate my things in twos and put them in boxes? Will it make me manufacture conversations with teachers in different school districts? Will it give me the age old ultimatum of the spoon or the fork? Stay here or go there?

THE JOURNEY

Acrylamide screams waft: bread beckons and bargains for deliverance “Oh, take me out. Take me out, or I’ll burn. I’ve been thoroughly baked for a long time.” Heavy Adam’s apples grow pendulous from old trees “Shake me. Shake me. We apples are all ripe.” A stone crested hill smoked in the distance accompanied by an old rocker and a lilac bush.

When I chase the spindle down the river I go alone. And the spindle takes me wondrous placesA place where the snow melts like spun sugar in water leaving ethereal petrichor in its wake and verdant everything encapsulates both mind and body with an undying persistence. Is this the home born of my blood?

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If I chase the spindle down the river will the spindle even fix anything?


WINTER MOTHER Lilac woman with spindled teeth and onion-paper skin told me not to be afraid. I didn’t have the nerve to ask for my mother’s spindle back, unearth it from her cuspidated jaw. She asked me to stay a while; worry not about dishes nor spoons, fiddled cats, nor cows, nor moons. The lilac woman spoke soft like lambs’ ears and carried a strange kindness. She valued my industry: Calling upon me to bake the bread and pluck apples from trees. Shake the winter blanket out over the aether and send those storm-struck feathers downriver. My blood brought winter. SPRING There came a day where my skin stopped feeling like skin. Like the lilac woman, I too, was paper thin. I felt my soul stretch out above me, look out at the coagulated oasis; look down at what must have been me. When I chased the spindle down the river did it even fix anything? Was there still a world of rotting cutlery? Super-bovines? cats with opposable thumbs? Did the hallowed moon still hang in the sky? Was it still so condescending? Are you at your dad’s? Or your friend’s? Or your brother’s? Are you crashing the car? Are you buying new china sets to fill the empty sink?

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THE RETURN I couldn’t stay there forever. And when I told my winter mother, the lilac woman with spindled teeth and onion‑paper skin, That with the seasonal change, I too, must leave; She accepted my decision with grace. From her cuspidated jaw she plucked my mother’s spindle. There was no blood. No pain. I assume once you go paper-thin things stop hurting as much. When I chase the spindle down the river I go alone

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The Fish

2019-2020

by: Brianna Murphy The bucket and wooden fishing pole are picked up from the scuffed cedar flooring where they are stored habitually after hours in the brief sun, where the uneven planks are tripped over by a steel fleur-de-lis on the toe of a size eleven boot, where mucoprotein mixed with bog water, rich soil, and Creeping Jenny pieces erupt from a tossed bucket, soaking the floor, stained. A large plastic bait bag filled with still yellow perch is unfastened, cloudy slime strands cling to the bag’s resealable grooves and create a labyrinth of mucus. A hook enters a perch’s lip, cracking like a thirteenyear-old girl’s first cartilage piercing done at Claire’s, and is tossed into the murky water. After three firm tugs, the line breeches the surface and reveals a stout erythrocyte colored creature. It has no eyeballs, but large oval shaped orbital cavities where two thin, black, tubular eye stalks move like the smell of roast beef in the oven, like a speech impediment. Its dime-sized mouth whistles in E Minor when wind blows in its direction, and its tongue, corkscrewed and seemingly endless, grabs for the hands that hold it. Upon further examination, it has no distal appendages, only a muscular fanned tail. Its skin has no scales, rather a

layer of simple squamous epithelium with translucent velvet vellus hairs and steatocystomas. A sagittal crest lines its dorsal cavity, but unlike crested panfish whose barbs can be relaxed by a smoothing palm, touch disintegrates the crest. It coagulates like spun sugar, falls onto the dock, and leaves raspy necrosis. After asphyxiation, a reverse pneumothorax, the creature is placed on a plastic cutting board. A transverse incision breaks past tough, white stroma, the spider web fascia of the liver, down to the atlas, massaging the limen, cutting off the head. There is no blood. A medial slice down the body opens the striated muscles like venetian blinds, revealing a still beating conchae heart. Further down, a red congealed mass sits in the iliac pocket. It does not move by prodding with a one-inch blade, scratching with dirty fingernails, or tapping with a ballpeen hammer, only gravity. The granular lump plops onto the wooden dock in the shape of a helminth that has only feasted on the tapioca beads at the bottom of bubble tea. It turns one of its pointed ends toward its freer as it spreads its matter into a fetid smile full of crooked teeth corrected by metal braces, gives a thumbs up, and slides into the water.

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Special Thanks We would like to extend a special thank you to our lovely advisors Kate Mitchell (2019-2020) and Christine Uthoff (2020-2021) who put in the time, effort, and energy to help bring this magazine to fruition. We would also like to thank our judges Christine Hume, Dan Cherry, Jordan Scavone, and Pi Benio for taking the time to offer their professional perspectives on artwork from 2019-2020. A big thanks to Eastern Echo for consistently lending their support and providing assistance, and to the businesses that donated to our magazine. Of course, a huge thank you goes out to all our staff from 2019-20 and 2020-21, this magazine only exists because of all your hard work and dedication. Finally, thank you to all those who submitted. Without you, there would be no Cellar Roots.

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2019 - 2021

Cellar Roots Fine Arts Magazine

Cover by: Camui Cheng


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