The Bitchin' Kitsch January 2014 Issue

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bitchin’ kitsch

Volume 5, Issue 1 January 2014 1

about b’k:

The Bitchin’ Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. It exists for the purpose of open creativity. All submissions are due on the 26th for the following month’s issue. Please review the submission guidelines on our Submissions page ( before submitting your work.

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table of contents.

9 - Meet the Kirsch’s, Chris TalbotHeindl

22-24 - The Eighth Wonder of the World, Shelby Larson

10-11 - Reflex, Lara Eder

25 - Doppleganger, Valentina Cano

12-15 - Pope Francis: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, John Lee 16 - Church, Leslie Philibert 17 - Untitled New York City, Ira Joel Haber 18 - A Souls, Anthony Ward

Chris Talbot-Heindl - pg. 9

25 - Untitled New York City, Ira Joel Haber 26 - The Pie in the Sky, Jan Haskell 27 - What’s in Your Wallet?, Jeremiah Walton 27 - Dissecting my identity through these tears of agony, HeartFlo 28 - Chris Critiques: Non Commemoration, Chris TalbotHeindl

On the Cover

29 - Midsummer Collage, Ira Joel Haber

Postcard July 2013 Ira Joel Haber Mixed media

30 - Donors and Index

On the Back Cover Untitled Bleu Heindl Mixed media

Stephanie Jones - pg. 18

In This Issue

18 - Untitled, Stephanie Jones

4 - July Collage, Ira Joel Haber

19 - Achoo Moment, Ivan Jenson

5 - fuzzy slippers, Jess Provencio

19 - Straw, Mandal Bijoy Beg

6-8 - A somewhat rambling..., Eric Krszjzaniek

19 - Frosty fingers, Dawnell Harrison

9 - My Mother’s Voice in Tones, Mike Cluff

20-21 - The One and Only Time I Took LSD, Jeffrey Zable

Ira Joel Haber - pg. 29


ira joel haber.

July Collage Ira Joel Haber Mixed media


jess provencio. fuzzy slippers By: Jess Provencio

she buys her tacos at the Jack in the Box they’re two for 99 one for breakfast one for dinner do you have any change so i can add one for lunch yellowish grey hair falling out of foam curlers a bandanna tied over unlit cigarette dangling lipstick settled into the cracks around her lips drinking out of a coffee mug that has grimy coins no liquid and a bright purple lipstick stain mama taught her to cross her legs like a lady she still does but she loses her balance when the bus driver brakes for a stop rolls sideways onto the seat housedress faded stained the flowers are some indeterminate pastel shade fuzzy slippers flopping doing nothing to aid her precarious grip on balance some teenagers snicker behind notebooks they imitate her when she turns the other way no matter how questionable her sobriety she is not immune to their mocking remembers when she was that carefree but that was a lot of problems ago and she gets through those problems with this bottle of thunderbird


eric krszjzaniek. A somewhat rambling and somewhat insular post, with mentions of baseball, sock puppets, film history, 8mm camcorders, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lemons, magnetism, and memory; and wherein I am reunited with my grandfather. By: Eric Krszjzaniek

About the time it became clear to me that I would never become a professional baseball player, I realized I actually wanted to be a film director. Just as I learned everything about baseball and baseball history (except how to play it well), I quickly began devouring films and film history and screenplays. The Greeks called it “mimesis.” Brian de Palma calls it “homage.” I say I was just ripping everything off and seeing what would stick. Before we ever got a camcorder, my friends and I would write full radio shows or fake commercials and skits for school projects including a sock puppet interpretation of “Pulp Fiction” (titled “Puppet Fiction”) in French (We got an “A”…or maybe it was a “les”. The French would laugh at that).


eric krszjzaniek (con’t). But then, when I was about to go into high school, my mother purchased a camcorder. It was the greatest single moment of the mid-1990s. Because after that, we graduated to short films such as “To Kill A Dog” a film based upon “To Kill A Mockingbird” complete with Freshman boys in drag, a very white stand-in for Tom Robinson, and a whole lotta cap gun action. That film also earned us an “A”. Everything became a film project. A chemistry presentation turned into a fake television show on fireworks. I remember it was very clever and well acted, but what I mostly remember is the firework explosion that singed a dress shirt that I continued to wear in regular rotation for the next 15 years or so. We got such a backlog of video projects and ideas, that we started a public access show. And despite popular demand, it stayed on the air for YEARS. My friend Ryan and I even got to work on a Senior Independent Study project where we made a - in retrospect - semi-incomprehensible documentary about the making of our high school’s spring musical. Those were halcyon days. I was dead set on film school and everything was incredibly alive and exciting, being recorded on magnetic 8mm tape at 30fps. Then, I did the worst thing possible for innovation and creativity: I actually went to film school. Perhaps NYU or USC would have been a different experience, but I went to UW-Milwaukee and quickly found that it would not be until the third year until I actually got to film anything. Prefilm is what they dub it for Freshman, and it is spent creating celluloid loops of hand-etched animations and it is approximately five hours a week spent watching experimental films in a darkened theater in the afternoons. One film was comprised of different shots of sand blowing around with different lighting and filters on black and white stock. It lasted 56 minutes. It was named “Sand.” One film was of a solitary


lemon under a fixed light wherein the lemon would slowly revolve for a half an hour. That film was named “Lemon.” I think there were films of dead animals decomposing too. They were filmed in time-lapse, but I think my snoring accentuated the blurred line between time-lapse and real time with such subjects. I think the films were named “Dead [Insert Animal Name] Decomposing.” Oh, and we had to write response papers for each and every film. I still have those papers saved on an external hard drive, but I will give you but a quick snippet of my 17/18 year old insight that such films instilled, and I quote: “In the next scene it is just a boy. The color is blue. Blue is the color of melancholy, which suggests unrequited love. Blue is also the color of viagra, which would suggest requited love. As I slowly watch the boy, his composure changes from calm and mild, to smiling and cheerful. It is a simple scene, but nonetheless it is a scene of a fascinating portrayal of a human face and changes it makes. Leaving the viewer to wonder what caused these changes to take place.” I am become my students, destroyers of prose. That is an excerpt from my final, written about a film which featured a close-up on a dancing flower, a boy’s face, and a librarian. The film was named “Flower, the Boy, and The Librarian.” I shit you not. Within a year, I realized that film school was not for me and I switched my focus to being a professional basketball player. But when I realized I got winded far too easily and I hated working out, I switched to journalism and despite a few occasional dabblings and a few college television shows, I largely left film behind to pursue my successful career as…a student? Anyway, I told you that story to tell you this one: when I left film behind, I also left behind

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eric krszjzaniek (con’t). drawers of old 8mm tapes with all sorts of terrible footage of awkward adolescence. Tapes that I kept, most likely, just for me to find and look through someday with nostalgia and with thoughts of what could have been or what not. You know, like some scene from an overly sentimental movie I probably would have written had I been given free range my freshman year of film school. But within this pile, figurative and literal, of tapes was something that I had barely remembered filming and hadn’t really thought about in a long time, there was a tape inscribed simply as “Grandpa Krszjzaniek.” I grew up in the last widespread American childhoods without the Internet - where the Internet was a newly introduced novelty and not necessity. Where home camcorders became normal. Where cassette tapes slowly bowed to CDs, and where we began our last full embrace into reliance on technology to store and preserve and tell. For a generation now, our oral histories have occurred on magnetic tapes that quietly lose their polarity. What if I had not looked for another few years? What if I had thrown out these tapes? Does something happen that happens outside of recorded memory? Are our brains capacities shrinking as our hard drives are growing? None of this is new conversation, and others have speculated more fully and with more flair than I could ever hope, which is why this is not about our ability or inability to recall or preserve. This is about how wonderful obsessions can be. This is to urge you to embrace your passions fully and do not discard their remnants if they go. Because if I had decided to put down that camera, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that my grandfather was in a Munich hospital for 63 days starting in November of 1945 and that he was responsible for transporting German war


criminals after the war ended and that he met George S. Patton or that he only had one set of clothes for two months. But most important of all to me, I wouldn’t have been able to hear him tell his story of how he met grandma again. In 1998, before I turned 16 and before he turned 73, I recorded two hours of tape of me spending time with my grandpa. There is an hour and a half of me simply riding around in a truck with him as he gives me a tour of all the roads he’s lived on and traveled by for his whole life, giving me an oral history of our family. Then there is a half hour where he sits down and talks about his experience in World War Two. They are experiences I had asked him about a thousand times and had forgotten the details of a thousand times. And I sat and I watched. And I relearned the stories. It was the first time I had heard my grandfather’s voice since June of last year, and his hair was so dark and - somehow yes - so full on his head yet. What an imperfect interviewer I was at 15, I do wonder what I would ask now. But, what I realize is that with age comes the reluctance to ask the questions and I very well would not have asked any questions at all. And though this video means little to anyone outside those who knew him, to those of us who knew him, however, it means everything. Maybe all those films in film school were right, films are just stories of light - different amounts, different colors, taking their turns, giving us something to look at and learn about before the light goes out. U&

mike cluff, chris talbot-heindl.

My Mother’s Voice in Tones

By: Mike Cluff

A symphony of myriads, they still resonate within my peaceful parts of the brain even when the most dissident of sounds resound. The oboe is obstinacy clarinet criticism viola violence piccolo peace tympani terror lute love flute fear and harp happiness. Other tones do appear but the last listed is the one I will play repeatedly. Meet the Kirsch’s Chris Talbot-Heindl Charcoal, white conte, sanguine, and gouache on canvas


lara eder.


By: Lara Eder

He wants to die in a lake in Switzerland. In or on. I’m not entirely sure which, but I guess this is a situation where prepositions matter. I always thought that was romantic of him. Like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. I watched a documentary about people who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge once. They were all romantic types. I guess otherwise, they would just slit their wrists or shoot themselves. That’s too pedestrian for him though. Apparently cancer isn’t. Too pedestrian. Neither was chemotherapy or staying up all night or throwing up all his food or not saying anything when he was sure he was terminal and then bursting into tears four hours later.

“Is dying in a bed too pedestrian?” I ask him. He looks up at me from the SkyMall catalog. He’s open to a page selling special toothpaste and vibrating toothbrushes as if dental hygiene is a priority for him right now. “Yes,” he says and smiles. He looks healthier now that he’s off the chemo. This is an illusion though. He’s actually dying. I never tell him, but sometimes I imagine the doctors got his test results mixed up with another patient’s. I’ve seen this happen on television. Some other poor guy out there thinks he’s in remission, but his cancer has actually metastasized to his major organs. I confessed this fantasy to Gina one time at work. I’d had to get up in the middle of the night to change our vomit-soaked sheets and I never made it back to


sleep. I was in that half-awake state. It’s as bad as being really, really drunk. You say things that weren’t ever supposed to be said out loud. Gina hugged me and said he was lucky to have me. That’s how I knew she didn’t understand, and that’s probably for the best. The truth was that it was all an accident. The only reason that I’m sitting on a plane to Geneva, using up all of my sick days, with this dying man is because I didn’t know how to walk away from him. When we collect our bags from the baggage claim, I let him take the rolling suitcase and I take the carry-ons. I feel like a pack mule. He looks at me apologetically, but he doesn’t offer to take one of them. I’m not sure what I would do if he did. I have to keep stopping to adjust the straps that pull on my shoulders.

lara eder (con’t). He looked at me the same way when I was stripping the sheets from the bed, and I told him to give me his clothes, so I could throw everything in the washing machine together. He looked a little disappointed too, as if I was supposed to tell him that it was okay that I had to clean up his vomit in the middle of the night. So I did. I told him I loved him and I would stay up with him. It was a reflex, like saying “I love you too” when he first told me that he had cancer and that he loved me. I never said what I had wanted to say at the beginning of that meal, which was “You’re a really great guy, but I don’t know if there’s chemistry between us romantically.” I think it was also a reflex when I told him that I wasn’t squeamish about death. When I found my lovebird lying on its back on the bottom of its cage, its feet sticking up in that dramatic pose dead birds adopt, I was so freaked out that I had to call my brother to come dispose of its lifeless body. I just threw a blanket over the cage until he arrived. I couldn’t even look. But I tried so hard to look when he squeezed my hand and said he was tired. He was sprawled out on the couch, and I was beside him on the ottoman. I tried to pretend that I didn’t know what he meant. “Let’s go to bed,” I said. I stared at the clock on the wall. We were supposed to turn it back an hour for daylight savings time, but neither of us had. It had been an hour ahead for almost a week. “I don’t want to wait,” he said and paused. For a moment I was afraid he might try to turn my face towards him. “I want it to be on my own terms. With you.” I scheduled the flight and called the owners of the lake house. I guess it’s fair that he expects me to take care of the details. I booked us both

round trip tickets with his credit card. I thought it might strike people as odd if only one of us had a return ticket. He has a headache when we get to the house, so I make him tea and give him some pills and throw a quilt over him on the couch. I walk to the shore. It’s warmer than I expect by the lake. The sky is deep blue behind white, fluffy clouds as if I’m in a child’s crayon drawing. The water is perfectly still. I think it’s supposed to be picturesque or tranquil, but all I can think of is how deserted we are, and how long it will take for someone to come get the body. We haven’t talked about it, because I don’t know how. I don’t even know how it’s going to happen. If he’s going to take a handful of pills or put rocks in his pockets like Virginia Woolf. I hope he sinks and I don’t have to see it. I’m not sure how long I’ve been standing at the shore, trying not to throw up, when he comes up behind me and puts his hand on my shoulder. “Do you feel dizzy?” I ask him. “Not right now,” he says. “I was trying to be affectionate.” “Sorry,” I say. “I spoiled it.” I know he’s lying. He’s nearly always dizzy now, and his grip is too tight to be affectionate. “Is your headache gone?” “It’s better,” he says. “I’m a little nauseous though.” I don’t know if it’s selfish to tell him that I’m nauseated too, so I don’t say anything. I put my hand over his, as if I believe him. “I love you,” he says. “I love you too,” I say. And birds are chirping altogether too shrilly.


john lee. Pope Francis: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

By: John Lee

When Joseph Stalin was asked how he planned to gain the support of Pope Pius XI against the then increasing threat of Fascism, he reportedly replied with dripping sarcasm, “The Pope! How many divisions has he got?” The Papacy has learned a great deal since the days of Stalin. Though the Vatican still does not possess an Army as it did in the days of yore, it has certainly learned to master the art of soft power. In the eight months since Cardinal Bergoglio has been elected pope – Pope Francis, as he has chosen to be called – he has caused quite the stir in the Catholic world. For one thing, he has called on Catholic bishops to eschew opulence to show their solidarity with the poor. Pope Francis himself did away with the famous bulletproof Who could possibly hate this man? papal Mercedes Source: and chose 786_634x494.jpg instead to drive a 1984 Renault 4 as well as refusing to sit on the customary papal throne and preferring his simple white cassock over the more colorful clothes that his predecessor usually adorned. He also got the world’s attention when he said that the Catholic Church could not “interfere spiritually” in the lives of homosexuals and that he would not judge gay priests, asking rhetorically, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” One can almost hear Michael Buffer smoothly yelling into his microphone, “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to HUMBLE!!!!” Pope Francis’ antics have been charmingly quaint. However, he has recently chosen to enter into another fray; one that is close and dear to my heart – economics.


john lee (con’t).

In a document supposedly called an “apostolic exhortation,” Pope Francis claimed that unfettered capitalism is “a new tyranny,” and that capitalism is nothing more than the “idolatry of money.” He said that politicians had to “strive to provide work, healthcare, and education to all citizens;” and then called on the rich to share their wealth because “an economy of exclusion and inequality… such an economy kills.” Consistently with his logic, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality.” He later added that “some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” Never mind that greater minds have already dealt with this question, this being just one example among many.

Source: hqdefault.jpg

To honestly understand what Pope Francis is condemning, however, we have to know its exact nature. So what is capitalism? As I have already said in one of my previous posts, capitalism is an economic system whose fundamental philosophy is voluntary action. It is based on voluntary action because it is an economic system whereby people are free to choose to either cooperate or not cooperate with each other in order to satisfy their mutual interests. Due to it being based on voluntary trade, capitalism requires people to rely on their own rational mind and rational minds, in turn, can only exist under free conditions. A rational mind cannot work under compulsion. An individual can choose to obey his jailer or refuse to do so. Refusal, however, is almost always punished. In essence, therefore, what Pope Francis despises is freedom. According to Pope Francis, individuals voluntarily trading with one another, exchanging values for values in the hopes of making profit in order to improve one’s own living conditions is a form of tyranny. Furthermore, when Pope Francis exhorts politicians to “strive to provide work, healthcare, and education to all citizens,” from where does the good pope think that those things spring up from? His book seems to suggest that manna will somehow miraculously rain from the heavens to feed and clothe us helpless mortals. For the rest of us who do not believe in childish fairy tales, however, we have to contend that, as argued by Parmenides, ex nihilo nihil fit. Nothing comes from nothing. To have jobs, healthcare, and education, they have to be created by people. People have to think, organize, work, and produce for anything to come into existence. It is because of these few individuals who thought, organized, worked, and produced (chief of them being to have thought) that the rest of humanity has been able to rise up to where we are now. And how does Pope Francis think that such people ought to be rewarded? Rewarded? Pope Francis wants politicians, people who produce nothing besides trouble, to provide those things to all citizens. He does not want them rewarded. He wants them chained.

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john lee (con’t). Somewhere I hear the ghost of Galileo weeping.

“It still turns.” Source: NatSci102/images/galileo.jpg

“Of course the Pope doesn’t want those people chained to slavery. He wants good hearted, noble men and women to take on their public tasks with great humility in order to serve the best interests of all of humanity,” his defenders will clamor. Of course! The men and women of noble hearts; the angels that each and every one of us strives to be. But where does Pope Francis think that he will find such men and women? Why is it assumed that bureaucrats are less motivated by personal interest than a trader? Does anyone assume that a president appoints his/her cabinet members or judges or ambassadors based on their individual virtues, or based on their political clout? Is political self-interest somehow nobler than economic self-interest? Of course Pope Francis never gives an answer to this. Perhaps he will pray for a miracle.


In the midst of his mindless rant, Pope Francis then goes on to say that what this world needs is a “more ethical financial system.” Hardly surprisingly, he never goes on to explain what this new ethical financial system might look like. Considering how Pope Francis despises freedom and thinks that capitalism ought not be given “absolute autonomy,” I can only imagine that it would look a lot like slavery. “But it’s for the common good,” his apologists will counter. But just what exactly is the common good? Brotherhood and good will to all men? Please. Anyone can show a pretense of sentimentality. Just what exactly is the common good? The common good implies that something is good for the whole society. But what is society if not a collection of individuals? Can every single person in the world ever agree on what the common good is? It is impossible. What the common good in practice comes down to is that some people’s idea of what is good takes precedence over that of others. In other words, it comes down to the good of the majority as against the minority or the individual. But the good of the majority assumes that what is good comes down to a simple numbers game. The bigger gang is right, and the smaller gang is wrong. So one has to ask: Is Pope Francis the leader of a movement that believes in objective right and wrong, or is he nothing more than just another populist demagogue? But surely giving to charity cannot possibly be argued against? Firstly, Pope Francis is not just hoping for more charity. As he said, what he wants is “beyond a simple welfare mentality.” Though he never gives a name to what this thing beyond a simple welfare mentality is, I cannot help but imagine a golden sickle and hammer. Is there anything wrong with charity? Certainly not. There is nothing wrong with helping others, if and when they are worthy of the help and

john lee (con’t). when we can afford to help them. But that is not enough for Pope Francis. What he wants is for the misery of others to hold a mortgage on the lives of those who are better off. He wants charity not to be voluntary, but an obligation. Instead of being proud of one’s own virtues and accomplishments, he wants people’s self-esteem to come from each handout that they are forced to give to others. Never mind that the image of inherited wealth is mostly a thing of the past. As far as Pope Francis is concerned, the rich owe others for having been allowed to be rich. It has been most amusing to see the rest of the world’s reaction to this pope. After having seen a few symbolic gestures of what passes as humility, so many in the world seem to be more than ready to forget the Church’s great many sins and crimes. The sexual abuse of children? Who wants to hear of it? The Pope refuses to sit on an elevated throne! The Church’s unchanging position on condom-use in Africa? Why be so morose? The Pope washed a Muslim woman’s feet. If Pope Francis is so concerned about income inequality and the poor and wants to help them, then why is it that His Holiness has not yet auctioned off the Vatican’s unquantifiable assets? Or why hasn’t Pope Francis condemned his own bishops’ support for the minimum wage despite the fact the minimum wage is one of the culprits that keeps the poor where they are? But why question logical consistency? He’s already picked most everyone’s favorite villains, the rich (which the Church curiously does not appear to count as being part of) to foot the bill!

wildest expectations. When Pope Benedict XVI threw in the towel, the Vatican was in desperate need of a PR makeover and who better to lead this makeover than a man who can make the fickle masses forget about the Church’s crimes by giving mushy homilies without actually doing anything? It’s still the same morally bankrupt institute of charlatans but, oh, who cares? The Pope drives a beaten-up second-hand car and who could not relate to that? I hate to end this by quoting a mass murdering tyrant but it has to be asked – just how many divisions has the Pope got? More than anyone suspected that he had, I fear.

Definitely more than that! Source: swiss_guards_inside_saint_peter_dome.jpg

Even atheists love Pope Francis! The fight for objective truth? Reason vs. Mysticism? It seems to be that very few people actually care about those things as long as the irrational mystic wears a warm smile on his face. It would appear that the Catholic Church has succeeded in its PR campaign beyond its own


leslie philibert, stephanie jones. Church

By: Leslie Philibert Stiff and cold as a whale`s skin, full of space and thin air, edges and corners beyond stone, moon windows and cold-fire brass, slow and dark in pitch. This is the hole at the end of the earth with too much God. I am a spider crawling up gold and patina to a height that reduces us all below. This is bloodless, lost and serious. I have forgotten the gravestones outside, they are all out at sea, old with green, not lucent but thick with rock, the left-behinds, we are the lucky ones that hear the first bells, a shake of tones, we rise at command, trained and black.

Second Space Send proposals to Steph Jones at


sy roth, ira joel haber. Yellow Horde

By: Sy Roth

He saw them Real as the hair that grew Like red hedges on his fingers. A yellow horde Nosferatus is their black pajamas Emerged from the bowels Of the bathroom, Unsmiling from the darkness when the room was alight Only with the glow of susurrating air machines That kept him awake Alert to their entrances, and their exits when healers entered. They’re here, he would scream Here to take me back where I began Here in the alone space of my existence Under the slatted bedframe Through the oily tunnels On a slime-filled ride Into my reality. He saw them, Saw them and sawed them with his flailing arms pushing them away Fearful they would whisk him off. Ultimately they did. We healers deniers erased them. Behind his eyes He saw them While we did not.

Untitled New York City Ira Joel Haber Photograph


anthony ward, stephanie jones. A Souls

By: Anthony Ward The world today’s soul destroying Unless you’re an ‘A’ soul Excreting effluence You think is sweet That others find repulsive. The stench of internalisation Rammed up our noses Until confidently congested We’re sneezing anxiety With allergic reaction.

Untitled Stephanie Jones Sculpture


ivan jensen, mandal bijoy beg, dawnell harrison. Achoo moment

By: Ivan Jenson

for most the epiphany comes too late and for others it is delivered undercooked and far too raw to swallow and then for most it arrives unexpected gaudily dressed in peacock colors with a mariachi band and a twenty foot banner which spells out exactly the blazing, brazen fact that this moment above all others should be celebrated for the mere fact that it is sandwiched by half-baked loafs of past and future and salt and peppered by joy and pain and many are so startled by this practical joke of a truth that they fail to seize the day and instead sneeze the revelation away in a magnificent bacterial spray


By: Mandal Bijoy Beg They opined She was A modern woman Of substance. But when I researched Into her Heart, mind and soul, I found Only straw. Perhaps, Modern substance Is nothing But straw.

Frosty fingers By: Dawnell Harrison

Your frosty fingers on my warm face reflected fragmented shadows on my heart’s bone. My cold voice echoed on heaven’s hill as transparent blue-white icicles formed on my back doorstep eaves. 19

jeffrey zable.

The One and Only Time I Took LSD By: Jeffrey Zable

I remember it was the night of our high school prom and Perry and I decided well beforehand that we weren’t going. What we did decide was that we would both do some LSD and go to Winterland to hear this new rock group called Led Zeppelin. Their first album was already out and everyone I knew was talking about it. I kept playing the album over and over on my parents’ stereo. I had never taken LSD before but had smoked a fair amount of pot, thinking that an acid high would only be a bit more intense. My friend Perry told me over the phone that he had some orange wedge acid. He had taken this particular LSD before and said there was nothing to worry about. His trustworthy source said it was good, safe stuff.


jeffrey zable (con’t). I remember that we parked about two blocks away from the auditorium and that we both took the pills at the same time. I also recall that I didn’t feel anything until the opening group came on, which must have been about 30 to 45 minutes after I had taken the pill. I believe the opening group was called Ballin’ Jack. As I listened to the group, I kept getting distracted by people in the audience some of whom seemed to be rising into the air, and as I looked into their faces, people’s eyes blended into noses and noses into mouths. I didn’t think of it then, but the faces were like Cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso. I began to feel scared by what I was seeing and told Perry what I was experiencing. Somehow he was able to calm me down and encourage me to just “go with the flow.” After listening to his words of wisdom, I was okay for a while. As mentioned, I had smoked marijuana on various occasions and sometimes had hallucinations, but my LSD experience was taking me to a whole new level. By the time Led Zeppelin came on, I was completely in another world. Almost everything I looked at turned into something different than what it was. As I watched Robert Plant, the lead singer, he turned into a huge colorful bird with feathers coming out of his head. His voice, which sounded like a siren, seemed to be entering my ears through a funnel. And at one point, he turned into a top that twirled round and round the stage. He looked as if he would spin right into the audience. Jimmy Page, the lead guitarist, began playing his guitar with a bowstring, which turned into a saw that cut through his guitar and into his body. As his hair completely covered his face, he became a wild horse with no eyes thrashing his body in every direction at the same time. As one song turned into the other, I felt as if I was on a speeding train that was completely out of control. Again, I needed Perry’s help to keep from “losing it.”

When the concert was over, and we got to my car, my biggest worry was driving Perry home. As I drove along, parts of the buildings began to melt and I saw faces jutting out from the windows. My eyes burned, and I had very little control of the steering wheel, as my coordination was completely off. I remember that I had to stop several times by the side of the road and calm myself down before reentering the traffic. After I dropped Perry back at his home, I somehow managed to navigate back to my parents’ house. When I walked into the kitchen I must have made considerable noise because it wasn’t long before my mother appeared. She knew something wasn’t right almost immediately and so I admitted that I had taken LSD. At some point while I was talking I told her that she looked like an owl. She gave me the classic lecture about how a person my age should act responsibly and not take dangerous chances with one’s life. I finally fell asleep sometime in the middle of the night, and when I awoke late in the afternoon I reflected on the fact that I had missed the prom. I felt depressed that I didn’t go and questioned the real reasons I talked myself out of it. Was it because I really couldn’t find a date that I wanted to go with, or was it because I was too shy and afraid to take part in a school event with most of my classmates? I was a bit glad that I’d seen Led Zeppelin because I knew that a few of my friends would be impressed, but I knew it wouldn’t make up for my not attending the prom. I also knew that I would never take LSD again, but certainly I’d smoke a little pot and drink a few beers on occasion. The next week, I don’t remember asking anyone about the prom.


shelby larson.

The Eighth Wonder of the World By Shelby Larson

The dreaded four letter word: love. It’s a word that flushes cheeks and sweats palms, both warms hearts and breaks them. Love is something that begs to be defined before it can be felt. Depending on one’s stage in life, the definition of love may be vastly different. Although six different types of love can be identified in this world, three are most prevalent: Storge, or love developing from friendship; Mania, or obsessive and “roller coaster” love; and Eros, the stereotypical “romantic” love, both physical and emotional. These three leave our heads spinning, hearts racing—sometimes broken—and our lives forever changed.


shelby larson (con’t). Storge

Sometimes the best type of love is one that develops from a friendship. At least, this is the case in most romantic comedies. When Harry Met Sally, Some Kind of Wonderful, 13 Going on 30, and Made of Honor are only a few romantic movies ending in the “best friends” falling for one another. And for Susan Dowd, a 69-yearold woman who has been both divorced and remarried, her current marriage is categorized in this way. “When I first met Hank, it was pretty clear that it was like, ‘this is going to be a great friendship at least.’ With theater and music, and his kindness, I just thought, ‘he’s got the right attributes and this could be good.’” According to the study “People Will Know We Are in Love: Evidence of Differences Between Vocal Samples Directed Towards Lovers and Friends,” published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior in September 2013, researchers found a tendency for individuals to change their voices when addressing their loved ones versus addressing their friends. This begs the question as to whether individuals are aware— either consciously or subconsciously—of the romantic potential in their friends. As for myself, I’ve always been unaware of my attraction for someone until he expresses interest in me. I experienced that this summer with my first stereotypical love: we had been friends in high school, went off to separate colleges our freshman year, and reconnected at the beginning of summer. It was as easy as breathing. Since we were already friends, it was effortless to understand when one another needed space or extra attention. It gave us the capacity grow as individuals and not spend every waking moment together, but appreciate the moments we did share together. That was my first relationship in which I felt mature and “grown-up,” and it changed the way I looked at relationships. They aren’t games of affection or products of the rumor mill as they are in high school.

Relationships are meant to be mutual happiness and shared understanding. It’s a beautiful thing.


This type of love is as the word sounds. “Mania” love is passionate, quick to arrive, and in my case, fleeting. For Susan Dowd, her first marriage was comparable to Mania. While she married a man whom she believed to be a good person, he constantly lost jobs and lived in his own fantasy world, making her life quite unstable and roller coaster-like. As the saying goes, a girl has to fall in love with a “bad boy” at least once in her life. For a few weeks in the winter of my first year of college, I fell for the “bad boy” archetype. An 18-year-old shaggy haired James Dean wannabe with a troubled past stole my heart under the guise of friendship. His large eyes reflected his sadness and I wanted to “fix” him. I was elated when we started dating because I thought this meant he was getting better…but he latched on like a leech. I had never been in such an intense relationship, and when I started to ease off the accelerator he broke up with me because we got “too close too fast,” but that we “just needed time” and we could get back together. I didn’t want to believe him, but when I heard the shadows of a promise behind his movie-star smile, I couldn’t resist hoping. A week and a half later we hung out and I saw the marks of his ex-girlfriend all over his apartment, from the bobby pins decorating his bathroom sink to a Venus razor in his shower. I confronted him, which was something I was never good at, and discovered he went crawling back to his ex-girlfriend days after we broke up. Although I thought I left dramatically and dignified, our quick and intense relationship left me more torn up than I’ve probably ever been in my life. But it also gave me newfound

continues g 23

shelby larson (con’t). confidence—before him, I was always the meek, delicate, and shy girl. After our breakup, I promised myself that I would never let another human being treat me like that for the rest of my life. In the words of Melissa de la Cruz, “a bad boy can be very good for a girl.”


The big kahuna—the no-holds barred, PDA-filled, sappy Romeo-and-Juliet love Eros. In Ancient Greek, Eros means “intimate love.” It’s the love many men and women dream about someday having. This all-too-cliché “love at first sight” that wards off all rationality and reason has led to the demise of many institutions, from Troy in Greek mythology to today’s concept of marriage, thanks to many marriages like the infamous 72 day marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Although many marriages and relationships attempt to capture this fairytale plotline, reality harshly intervenes and makes it nearly impossible to have a “healthy” mature relationship. “Unless there is a solid material with enough to grow on, it’s not going to last,” Susan Dowd says of “puppy” love or single-sided infatuation. Although this love may be the most sought-after, it might be the reason that the divorce rate among adults is at an all-time high. According to The Marriage Foundation, 39% of couples marrying today will divorce. “Everyone has a friend who is single and you just think, ‘oh gosh, they have a nice life but it’d be nice if they had someone to share it with.’ But maybe the reason they can’t fall in love is that they have an idealized concept of what it is,” Susan Dowd says.


I think every human being believes to understand what love means and how to make it work. But here’s the funny thing—no one really knows. Not one human being is omniscient and well-versed in “love-ology,” because love is something that cannot be studied. It is a wonder that leaves both men and women reeling. Love teaches us more about ourselves than probably any other life experience. “Before you can grow up, you must fall in love three times. Once, you must fall in love with your best friend, ruining your friendship forever. This will teach you who your true friends are, and the fine line between friendship and more. Once you must fall in love with someone you believe is perfect. You will learn that no one is perfect, and that you should never be treated as anything less than you deserve. And once, you must fall in love with someone that is exactly like you. This will teach you about who you are, and who you want to be.” –Unknown. Although we can’t all love in the same capacities, we have all felt Love’s rush and sting. It’s a universal feeling that simultaneously leaves us in turmoil and ecstasy. The Eighth Wonder of the World—love, in all its chaotic, heart-racing glory.

valentina cano, ira joel haber. Doppelganger By: Valentina Cano

She stumbled over herself. A version she’d not met before. This one had a crackling ember for a stomach, burning her skin inside out. This one had barbed wire for veins and a pulse stolen from a rattlesnake’s tail She was a woman of stones and leaves, flesh torn away, dripping off, fat over a fire.

Untitled New York City Ira Joel Haber Photograph


jan haskell. The Pie in the Sky

By: Jan Haskell

Many of us identify the phrase “pie in the sky” from Karl Marx’s thesis on communism. This phrase has however, been misinterpreted as to meaning “no God”; that “God” is a made up thing to keep the masses in line. This is only half of what Marx was going for. Whether Marx believed in a “God” or not holds little baring on an age-old message he was conveying. As with other theologians of the Reformation, Marx understood that religious institutions used their authority of “God” to control those whom looked to them for assistance. The poor and outcast were born into a life chosen by “God,” and their salvation would come from their hard work, suffering, and moneys given to said institutions. In other words, “be happy with the life ‘God’ has given you, suffer with a smile, just as we the rich must suffer the burdens of wealth, good food, and parties. In the end ‘God’ will reword you with The Pie in the Sky.”

the population dependent upon them. They use the weight of their power and the media to shape the truth and opinion of the masses. The main means of manipulation is fear; fear of racism, violence, and attack of what one has and what others want to take away. An easy way of looking at it is to see those in power and their mouthpieces all riding in a wagon with two separate teams of oxen. One team is pulling to the left, the other, the right. Each team is led to believe that they are heading in the right direction, and those in the wagon use the whip and yell to keep the oxen hopeful that by continuing this course, they will reach the “Pie in the Sky.” It is in this false hope that the oxen continue to wear the yoke and bare the whip. Is it not time for us to free ourselves from the false teaching and prophecies? Is it not time for us to throw off the yoke of government? Is it not time to turn back on the wagon and turn it over on those inside? Is it not time that we think for ourselves?

A good example of this kind of power can be found during the slavery in America. Plantation owners as well as religious institutions would remind the slaves how it was “God’s will” that all peoples not white were meant to serve the white race. That if their suffering and work merited it, the master, through “God,” would give them salvation. Since slaves were kept from being literate, they had no way to know the bible didn’t say that. “Freedom” and “Salvation” were the “Pie in the Sky.” In modern America, the “Pie in the Sky” is no longer “God,” but is now “Government.” Whatever one’s political affiliation, the want is for “Government” to take care of, protect, and save us (especially from those who are on the other side). This is true of both political parties. Politicians and their mouthpieces need to keep


w w w . ta lb o t - h ei n d l . c o m

jeremiah walton, heartflo. What’s in Your Wallet

By: Jeremiah Walton

When will America be discovered? Why is its wallet full of hung men and school shootings? Why is the atom bomb used like a fake credit card? Who stole your I.D.? It wasn’t foreigners or homosexuals but they’re the ones handed cuffs among other ants under a magnifying glass. Should Santa be black or a penguin? I’d rather him be a Walmart because that’s what Christmas is all about.

Dissecting my identity through these tears of agony By: HeartFlo

Dissecting my identity through these tears of agony Changing my beliefs, from this – stinking thinking If your love is all I really need Then teach me how to believe Show me how to receive Because all I’ve ever done is give myself away Chasing dollars that never stay. If I made enough I could rest awhile, maybe relax a little Remember the things about myself I used to love, But the money never seems to be enough. So, I put these heels on and walk another lap across the stage Knowing, in a few years, I’ll really be showing my age. Help me Jesus out of this revolving cage, Because I’m really tired of using my body as bait.


chris talbot-heindl. Chris Critiques: Non Commemoration By: Chris Talbot-Heindl

If the television at my work playing CNN all day long is any indication of how the American public thinks, then I am both appalled and repulsed by the thoughts of the American public. As we are all aware, Nelson Mandela recently passed away. CNN has informed me that the important things to know are that: Bill Clinton once disagreed with Mandela (but later, they agreed completely), the U.S. once labeled him a terrorist, a famous actor once played Nelson Mandela (and subsequently was interviewed about what that was like), a schizophrenic man was hired to sign at his memorial service and apparently did not sign actual words and was once accused of rape, and the President took a flirty selfie with the Danish Prime Minister (and the British Prime Minister, but no one cares that he was in the picture too). All of these “news” stories are as newsworthy as they are pertinent to Nelson Mandela’s life and life’s work, which should have the undivided attention of the American public. And even those “news” stories had to be exaggerated and made more salacious for pleasure of the public. I mean, honestly, Anderson Cooper. What did you think you would get for an interview going to a man who suffers from schizophrenia who fake signed at the memorial of one of the most influential man in modern civil rights? A well thought out and meaningful reason as to why? The stories about the selfie ignore the one thing


that I find relevant – the fact that three world leaders found it appropriate to take a selfie in the first place – and go straight for the National Inquisitor angle of, “the threesome” took a “flirty photo;” “Scandinavian beauty,” held her smartphone while “Michelle Obama sat at a distance;” etc. etc. ad infinitum. In all honesty, creating scandal to titillate your own amusement is about as mature as the President and two Prime Ministers taking a selfie in the first place. So, for all of you who aren’t 12 year old gossiping girls, who can’t get a story from “journalists,” because they can’t be bothered with the actual news, here is a short and sweet rendition of the life of Nelson Mandela and why his death is actual news that has nothing to do with titillating nonsense and speculation: Nelson Mandela was a South African antiapartheid revolutionary. He as arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the government and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1962. He served 27 years in prison before an international campaign lobbying for his release was successful. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peach Prize. He immediately joined negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid, create a new flag (the one that is flown today), and establish multiracial elections in 1994. He became the first black President of South Africa in 1994, and was elected in a fully representative democratic election. He brought many different political parties together in his Cabinet, made a new constitution, and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights abuses; he also worked to end poverty and expand healthcare services to South Africans in the five years he was president.

ira joel haber.

Midsummer Collage Ira Joel Haber Mixed media


donors, index. artists Beg, Mandal Bijoy


Cano, Valentina


Cluff, Mike


Eder, Lara Haber, Ira Joel




Heindl, Bleu

back cover

cover, 17, 25, 29

Jenson, Ivan


Harrison, Dawnell


Jones, Stephanie


Haskell, Jan


Krszjzaniek, Eric


Larson, Shelby


Lee, John


Philibert, Leslie


Provencio, Jess


Roth, Sy Talbot-Heindl, Chris

17 9, 28

Walton, Jeremiah


Ward, Anthony


Zable, Jeffrey


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