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COMPOSITE { 1 } Lore / Summer 2014


{ 2 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

COMPOSITE INFO No. 16 Lore Composite is a quarterly electronic magazine showcasing the work of artists from multiple disciplines, each issue focusing around a specific theme.

All artwork and literature is property of contributing artists. All layout, design, and other content is property of Composite, 2014. Composite Arts Magazine: ISSN 2161-7961

More information can be found through the following vehicles: Website: www.compositearts.com Email: compositeeditors@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter & Instagram: @Compositearts Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/compositearts


COMPOSITE { 3 }

Joey Pizzolato Composite Editor

Lore / Summer 2014

In the four years we’ve been putting together Composite, we’ve gotten most of the workflow down to a well-refined science. The first thing that happens, in the earliest stages of an issue, is someone presents a theme, and then once we’ve all agreed on it, the other editors spend the next hour or so trying to explain to me how said theme translates into the realm of literature (see: No. 8, Aberration; No. 9 Function). For Lore, our roles were reversed—in fact we probably spent a record amount of time in the preplanning stages of the issue, me explaining my thoughts, adding to and refining them one minute and then completely retracting them the next. The truth is, when I brought up Lore nearly a year ago, I wasn’t really sure how it would all work together. I was still riding an incredible high from two weeks spent in Ireland, meeting and talking with locals in pubs over pints of Guinness, traveling to the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, through the ashy Burren and lush, green hills, devouring Irish writers, and reading about Ireland’s own wondrous folklore. I wanted more than anything to feel that sense of awe that comes when our lives collide with the unexplainable. I wanted to encounter that which only appears in stories. And trust me, I looked long and hard for it. Instead a myth found a friend and I, one afternoon, nestled in the corner of a pub in Galway. His name was William Henry, and as he told us his story, with his calm candor and frequent asides to explain he wasn’t just a crazy old man, I knew that something special was happening. I could see the trajectory of history: from the ancient story of the Land of Youth to a ferry ride to the Aran Islands, where William Henry looked out over the Atlantic and saw the shadow of an island that shouldn’t have been there, all the years in between until he appeared decades later in our musty haunt in a back alley of Galway, as we clutched a pint, listening to this man who seemingly appeared at our table out of nowhere and gave us exactly what we’d been searching all along. Sometimes it’s hard to trace the seed of an idea to its source. Other times, it’s clear as a lake just before dawn. And while Lore may have been borne out of a magical hour with a man named William Henry, it lives on, taking it’s own shape and form, with our contributors, who’ve found their own story nestled in the myths of our past.


{ 4 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

CONTENTS

No. 16 Lore

Wesley Wright 6

Myth of the Ancient Future

Heather Hart 12 Numinous

Mercedes Lawry 23 Q&A

Sentrock 24

The Messenger

Dana Norris 25 Medusa

Patrick Dunaway 30 Changming Yuan 39

Sino-Motifs: the Proto Bagua Poem

Jacob Watts 41

Building a Universe

Julia Anjard Maher 55

Excerpts from: On/Off Island­‑ A Play in Parts

Rick Schenk 62 Witch

E.L. Miller 66

The Wind and the Son

Dave Young Kim 74 Hindsight

Jeannine Marie Pitas 88 To Demeter

Maxon Higbee 90

Cover: Jacob Watts

The Measure of All Things


COMPOSITE { 5 }

But what is it about the myth that makes it so enchanting? Tolkien supposedly tailored Middle Earth as a direct response to Britain’s lack of a classical mythology. Present day, hundreds of people seek out Big Foot and The Loch Ness Monster every year. Atlantis is still an enigma, despite countless expeditions to discover its sunken location. Davy Crockett and James Bowie were real people, but have since been immortalized in coon-skin hats and big, brandished blades through the telling and retelling of the last stand at the Alamo. It begs the question: How do the stories of our past inform modern mythmaking? And how will work created in our contemporary landscape come to shape the future? Perhaps we find solace in the myth because we want to believe we’re part of something bigger: well-kept secrets and family histories passed down through the generations hidden in the bardic tale. Historically, the myth offered an explanation to that which, otherwise, might have gone unexplained; it offered answers to our most existential questions. Today, ancient and modern-day lore shapes our understanding of ourselves, and our past, in new and imaginative ways.

Lore

Lore / Summer 2014

They go by many names. Tall-tales. Folklore. Myths. Legends. They’re so ingrained in our lives that sometimes it’s impossible to tell their origin. Tales from The Brothers Grimm have been reimagined by Walt Disney, stripped of their brutal and sometimes horrific details. John Gardner took the epic poem Beowulf and retold it through the eyes of the beast, Grendel. Even the classic archetypes of the Greek gods have been reinvented in Sony’s video game franchise, God of War. History has the power to become legend, and legend can easily be mistaken for history.


{ 6 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Wesley Wright

Myth of the Ancient Future

Idol Of The Tribe. Stoneware, engobes, glass. 17 x 12 x 22�. 2014


COMPOSITE { 7 } Lore / Summer 2014

In observing the creations of man and nature I am absorbed by the grotesque and eccentric, as well as the beautiful. For this reason, I’m compelled to magnify their idiosyncrasies. I delight in the alchemy of putting creatures and objects together, creating systems with their own logical order. I imply a mythology that is informed by our past but is in keeping with our modern circumstances. As I live my life, I collect ideas, imagery, and objects that fascinate me. From this reservoir I draw the inspiration for my work. Some of my symbolism is obvious and some more obscure, but all chosen to help process and critique the world around me. My work is successful if the viewer is filled with the same sense of wonderment that I experience as I try to understand what it is to exist in this place at this time.

Neo Moai. Stoneware, engobes, concrete. 65 x 14 x14�. 2013

Wesley Wright


{ 8 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Autonomous . Stoneware, glass, paint, turf, dirt, and aluminum on steel stand. 41 x 39 x 40”. 2012

Autonomous All cultures have creation stories. Ever since humans evolved to understand the idea of self, they have been wondering how everything that exists came into being, and how these things function. For instance, many cultures have observed that the earth appeared to be flat or slightly domed. They then observed a turtle or a tortoise and thought that its shell resembled a smaller model of what the world must look like from above. Upon closer inspection people may have noticed the turtle’s patient and sturdy nature, as well as its wrinkly appearance that would suggest age and wisdom. Thus the story of the turtle which carries the world on its back came to be in many cultures. For instance, the Onondaga people believed that Earth was brought up from the bottom of the ocean on a turtle’s back. In one Hindu myth the world is on the back of an elephant, which is on the back of a turtle named Akupara.

Wesley Wright


COMPOSITE { 9 } Lore / Summer 2014 In this piece, I play on this mytheme by creating a turtle that takes on adaptations both biological and mechanical in order to survive and preserve a microcosm of its home environment. On its back this turtle carries a bio-dome which contains lush hills, trees, and rivers. Similar to the story of Noah’s Ark, the turtle is preserving this genetic material in order to one day use it to propagate a more suitable location. The turtle develops powerful eagle talons which allow it to hunt, and teats in order to create milk to feed itself and others. These teats reference the Capitoline Wolf from the founding myth of Rome, alluding to its purpose as a nurturer of living things. As in most of my work, the viewer is left with more of a question than an answer. I find this lack of resolution pertinent to our modern predicaments and questions of existence because there are no perfect answers. My work is often allegorical in that it takes current issues and places them in to the context of a dreamlike narrative, allowing the viewer to see themselves from a comfortable distance and look at a situation in a more objective way.

Wesley Wright


{ 10 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 New Beginnings. Pencil on paper. 8 x 10�. 2012

Wesley Wright


COMPOSITE { 11 } Despite the continuity of our collective experiences through word of mouth, news media, social media, and other sources, we often find ourselves drawing very different conclusions about the same events. Our experience of reality can be quite subjective depending on the information that we receive and the cultural lens through which we view the world. We yearn for answers and absolution though such notions are fleeting and in constant flux. Many institutions claim to have answers, fundamentalist religion, pundits, and politicians preach about the virtues of their philosophy. Furthermore, history is always told from the perspective of the dominant culture. For these reasons I decided that a being needed to be created in order to bring us a truly objective account of things. It is an omnipresent creature capable of taking in all events which have taken place, as well as the many perspectives on these events. It is called The Historian. The Historian is part man and part mountain goat, similar in appearance to the Greek god Pan. On his back is an alchemical machine which allows him to absorb great volumes of information which is processed in order to create an objective account of history. His perch high on top of a mountain allows him the solitude for deep contemplation as well as excellent reception for his machine. The Historian. Stoneware, metal, concrete . 68 x 18 x 19�. 2013

Wesley Wright

Lore / Summer 2014

The Historian


{ 12 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Heather Hart Numinous


COMPOSITE { 13 } Lore / Summer 2014 Heather Hart


{ 14 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

I recently found an essay in a library that a student wrote about an interview with my greatgrandfather. In the essay my great-grandfather recalls which African tribe our family is from. I called my father in excitement, but he was apathetic. I forgot that, like so many men in his circumstance (first “free� generation in the States, moving North, alone at sixteen, an entrepreneur) my great-grandfather created his own identity. Our connection to this tribe was likely constructed by my great-grandfather for dramatic effect, not a lie per se, but a choice, a representation of truth, an illustration of who my great-grandfather saw himself to be. This persona he created was a graceful blend of fact and fiction, like an oral history that is transformed with each retelling. In this way his whole being was aligned with the collective memory of Black Americans. This is an important inspiration for my work. I mashup fabricated and historical belief systems: legends that have been bequeathed through generations mixed with invention and intuition to fit current cultural needs, creating a new ritual to reclaim a sense of purpose and empower the individual. I make oracles.

Heather Hart


COMPOSITE { 15 } Lore / Summer 2014

An oracle’s legend is bestowed from one person to another. Therefore they reflect pieces of an original story and manufactured pages that were lost in translation. An oracle is somewhere, someone, or some thing that gives prophecy, wisdom or truth to the seeker. Instead of praying to a relic that someone else has infused with power, I want to flip the power and responsibility and create drawings and sculpture for self-reflection and reclamation. “The process of recognizing truth is the same for writers and readers. In order to say good things, one’s hearing must be good and one must hear good things. The truth must be spoken deliberately and listened to deliberately. And for us writers it is important to whom we tell the truth and who tells it to us… And the audience is continually changing.” --Bertolt Brecht It is human nature to want influence on our future, to believe in something outside of ourselves, to find their truth. In this way those who participate with my work may see it is they themselves who may furnish our oracular answers.

Heather Hart


{ 16 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Heather Hart


COMPOSITE { 17 } Lore / Summer 2014 Heather Hart


{ 18 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

New Numinous Negro Participants are invited to press gold to the Numinous Negro (played by Andre Singleton) oracle in exchange for a wish or consultation. They are both implicated in the exploitation of black maleness by buying into the idea of the “magical negro� character, and recognized for creating new honor and acknowledgement while, at the same time, relinquishing power to that same black maleness. In the process of play, the participants may end up questioning their position, and whether or not they trust the artists and the authenticity of the appearance of generosity.

Heather Hart


COMPOSITE { 19 } Lore / Summer 2014 Heather Hart


{ 20 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 The term “numinous negro” was coined by Richard Brookhiser in a 2001 issue of National Review to describe a modern day “magical negro” character, the black character that exists primarily to guide the white protagonist on his journey. As participants in The New Numinous Negro, the public inhabits a certain privileged space. They are aware of their physical involvement with the piece, and they have clear choices as to how far, if at all, they are willing to engage. They are implicated in the exploitation of black maleness by buying into the idea of the “magical negro” character, and yet they are also instigating prospective honor, validation, and acknowledgement, thereby giving power to that same black maleness. In this illusion of ritual and play I want to look at how power relations around race and gender are hidden in today’s society and often overshadowed or dismissed.

Heather Hart


COMPOSITE { 21 } Lore / Summer 2014 Having Singleton play the role of the oracular Numinous Negro creates not only a more personal, sensitive and valuable exchange, but his presence is also intimidating and more directly challenges the concept of generosity and the trust that participants have when interacting with art.

Heather Hart


{ 22 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Heather Hart


COMPOSITE { 23 } Lore / Summer 2014

Mercedes Lawry Q&A

Are the bees disappointed? Which green is more thrilling, the pine forest or the new leaf against dun? Is the vocabulary sufficient? The lone soul, the solo boy, the one-shot fellow worries at the full moon, no shirk of his blunt duty, no worship of false gods, nothing to tick and fritter at his own claim on the night sky, all the stars lined up like Shirley Temple dolls, didn’t his sister love her so, sweet and sweeter even as sister turned dark. The stubborn philosophies fool but a few as the rest go zig and zag and off the map. For a series of questions can always be constructed to echo the mad follies and the slow sink. It’s in the answers that the lies are hiding. It’s there you might find the shape and shift of the world.

Fiction


{ 24 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Sentrock

The Messenger

Acrylic & ink on paper. 6x10�


COMPOSITE { 25 }

Medusa

She hits “record” and breathes once before looking into the camera on her laptop. The shot is bad, tight, and the blue light of the monitor dulls her face. The camera angle emphasizes her forehead. She’s a young girl, probably thirteen years old, with a black and white dotted blanket draped over her shoulders. She’s probably in her bedroom, probably after school in the hours before her parents get home. She stares directly into the camera and speaks:

“So…I have a question. People tell me this all the time so….I don’t know. (pause) Is it true? (pause) People say I’m ugly. (long pause) So. Tell me. Am I?”

She posts this video on YouTube with the title “Am I Ugly?” In the video comments she restates the question, “Am I?” *** Medusa was once beautiful. She walked along the beach, near the steps of Athena’s temple and Poseidon saw her. He rose out of the waves and met her on the sand. He kissed her hand, her face, told her that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He had to have her, then, now, right at the entrance of Athena’s temple. Medusa saw the desire in him and she knew absolutely, in that moment, that she was beautiful. She kissed him and they fell to the ground, frantically undressing each other, each of their passions inflaming the other until they consummated their lust in a frantic heap. But Athena is a virgin goddess and now her temple has been soiled by naked lust. She is furious. Medusa sleeps in Poseidon’s arms and Athena lightly brushes Medusa’s cheek. Scaly wings begin to uncurl from Medusa’s back. Her teeth grow long and pointy, pushing each other at vicious angles. Her tongue thickens and lengthens until it rolls out of her mouth and the tip becomes a flicking fork. Her nails thicken and turn

Creative Non-Fiction

Lore / Summer 2014

Dana Norris


{ 26 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

black, curling into razor-sharp talons. Her eyes become red and swell out of their sockets. Her hair begins to ravel, twist and turn, and it’s the feeling of her hair moving that finally awakens Medusa. The end of each strand has become a fanged serpent head and the thousand tiny new mouths hiss and snap at her neck. Her neck bleeds as she screams. Frantic, Medusa runs down the beach, yelling to the gods for help. She encounters a man. He turns to run away from her, panicked, but then suddenly stops. Medusa touches the man. He doesn’t move and he makes a thick, heavy sound. She now knows that she is ugly because this man’s face, frozen in stone fear, has told her so. Her beauty had the power to pull a god out of the ocean and her ugliness has the power to change flesh to stone. *** When I was twelve years old I took a baths as experiments. I filled up the tub with as much water as it would hold. I undressed, climbed in, and laid flat in the tub so that the water covered all of me except for my head. I then slowly allowed my body to float up and, as it went, I carefully noted which parts of me broke the surface first. I would watch the water and hope that tonight, tonight, my breasts would emerge before my stomach because that would mean that I had breasts. It would mean that I may one day become a beautiful woman. But my white, round stomach always appeared first, water running down either side, proving itself the most prominent feature of my body. I had gotten an unfortunate short hair cut at Great Clips over the summer that made me look like a female lawyer in the 1980s who’s trying to make partner by limiting her sex appeal. After the haircut I was dawdling over the bacon in line at a breakfast buffet and an old man behind me gently pushed past while apologizing, “Excuse me, son.” I ran to my mother in tears. She explained that I have very feminine features, I’m wearing long earrings for Christ’s sake, and that man clearly had a problem with his vision. But I was inconsolable. He was a man, a stranger who didn’t know me and therefore wasn’t obligated to lie. His opinion meant more to me than the opinions of my mother or anyone else I knew. He had finally told me the truth. I knew that twelve year old girls were supposed to be asked on lots of dates. They were supposed to find roses placed in their middle school lockers by secret admirers. They were supposed to be gazed at adoringly by twelve year old boys on the school bus and constantly told they were pretty. I wanted to see boys look at me so I could see myself reflected in their eyes and know what I looked like. But boys didn’t look at me. They didn’t call me pretty and they didn’t ask me on dates. When I was twelve years old I decided that I wasn’t pretty and, since I wasn’t pretty, I was probably ugly. ***

Dana Norris


COMPOSITE { 27 }

The majority of the negative comments focus on the question “Am I ugly?” itself. They think it’s selfabsorbed to ask the Internet such a thing. They can’t believe that this little girl would even care about her looks. They think that she already knows that she’s beautiful and she’s just trying to get compliments. They think how dare she. *** Medusa is eventually murdered. Perseus cuts off Medusa’s head with the help of Athena, who apparently never got over the sex in her temple thing. Perseus then puts Medusa’s hideous head in a bag and uses it to turn Atlas to stone. Medusa’s ugliness is so potent that it’s used as a weapon even after her own death. Her visage is monstrous so she continues to be a monster even after she ceases to exist. Her outward appearance is her entire self. *** When I was twelve years old I begged my mother to let me try to fix myself. I wanted to shave my legs, wear mascara, borrow her Jane Fonda exercise VHS tapes, go on an all cottage cheese diet and her response, “Darling, you look just fine,” was not reassuring. I didn’t want to look fine—I wanted to be beautiful, to be the kind of girl caused men to rise out of the ocean. I wanted the easy, confident life of a pretty girl but instead I had the bumbling, anxious life of an ugly girl. Other twelve-year-olds sensed my insecurity. One, Jennifer, a tiny girl with wavy brown hair, began whispering to me during gym class. “Why don’t you go to the dog pound where you belong?” “You’re so ugly I’m going to beat you up.” My response to her taunts was to stand in the hallway after class and cry quietly to myself. My response was to be ashamed that my ugliness was so evident.

Dana Norris

Lore / Summer 2014

The comments on the “Am I Ugly” YouTube video run the typical YouTube comment gamut: 10% gross and insulting, 10% gross and complimentary, 20% religious and complimentary, 50% questioning the premise of the video. The comments include: OMGG!! Your so freaking gorgeous , And I’m not lying you are so freaking gorgeous, I swear I’m not just saying it to make you feel good , You really are beautiful, This is coming from a girl, Trust me I know beauty your pretty but i think ur doing this for attention And to answer your question, you are so ugly that my sister died looking at your face. Maybe You Should Get Bangs? Not at all you are not ugly, but really, asking the internet probably isn’t the best idea But in general, i would say you’re average to lower. - Use those eyes and you won’t find any trouble J


{ 28 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

*** Why would a teenage girl post a video on YouTube asking if she’s ugly? Why wouldn’t she? She knows that she needs to be pretty because to be ugly is to be unloved, unlovable, undesirable, a pariah, worthy of abuse, a weapon that turns others against you. Asking the Internet, the largest group of strangers ever assembled, if you’re ugly is the most efficient way to find out the truth. The question is important and it is crucial to have the answer. Am I ugly? I’m told that boys are supposed to get hard-ons by looking at me. I’m told that the gazes of men will let me know how I appear—if I am beautiful they will follow me, panting, and if I am ugly they will turn away from me, shrieking. But they do neither. I can’t see myself as they see me. I don’t know what I look like. Please, tell me what I look like. *** Medusa’s transformation into a monster is punishment for her hubris. It’s a warning: do not believe that you are beautiful or you will suffer. But as powerful as Medusa’s beauty was, her ugliness brings even more power. Blood from her right side brings the dead back to life and blood from her left side kills instantly. The Greeks believed in her power. They placed Medusa’s image on their doorways, armor, and tombstones— eyes bulging, snakes ringing her head. They used her face to ward off evil spirits. She became a tale told to warn men away from harassing virgins—be careful or Medusa will appear and turn you to stone. There was a power and a protection in her ugliness that was never in her beauty. Yet her ugliness and her beauty were used the same way—for the benefit of others. *** I am no longer twelve years old but I still have moments where I’m overcome with doubt about my appearance. My husband is the son of a minister and he was raised not to focus on the exterior, not to compliment the appearance of others lest he embarrass them and himself. The exterior is vanity, decadence, sin, something that inevitably fades and should therefore not be acknowledged. I am trying to undo this training and get my husband to compliment me. When I dress up to go out for the night I pause in front of him and stand, expectantly. He regards me quizzically for a moment before he remembers, “Oh! You look very nice.” But I don’t want to look nice. I want to be beautiful. I have spent so many years actively pursuing male approval that I am always hungry for it. “Honey, I need you to tell me that I’m pretty.” But he already did, on our second date, he held my hand and looked me in the eye and told

Dana Norris


COMPOSITE { 29 }

*** The girl in the YouTube video believes the same fallacy that I did when I was twelve years old, the same fallacy that I struggle with today: we are either beautiful or we are ugly and there is no in between. The question “Am I ugly?” is upsetting, but not because it’s being asked by a young girl to the Internet. It’s upsetting because the young girl believes that this question has an answer. She thinks that “ugly” and “pretty” are absolute concepts, unmovable. She thinks that all she needs to do is find someone brave enough to finally tell her the truth. But there is no truth to be found. Beauty, the perception of beauty, is dependent upon the perceiver. There is no answer to the question “Am I ugly?” that will account for every set of eyes in the world. Yet the power of the question continues. I’m 34 and I try to get my husband to answer the same question, “Am I ugly?” over and over again because I’m hoping that this time, this particular answer, this combination of words will be magic and will be balm that soothes the raw spot that has existed within me since adolescence. If he just calls me beautiful one more time the hissing snakes in my head will be forever quieted. Medusa was beautiful and then ugly. The girl on YouTube is beautiful and then ugly, depending on the commenter. We are all, each of us, gorgeous and grotesque in equal measure. The two intersect and change within us moment-to-moment. The question “Am I ugly?” is unanswerable because the beauty girls and women to aspire to, the constant, aching beauty that draws everyone to us with equal passion, does not exist. We are not ugly but, also, we are not beautiful. We are bodies and faces that change moment-to-moment. We are bodies and faces that will all crumble and fade. We want to know what we look like because we believe that we are our appearance. We want to know what we look like because we have learned nothing.

Dana Norris

Lore / Summer 2014

me that I was beautiful, so beautiful. But that was years ago and the memory doesn’t reassure me. Sure, he thought I was beautiful then, but what about now. Am I beautiful now?


{ 30 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Patrick Dunaway

The Judge. Pen and ink. 15x22�. 2014


COMPOSITE { 31 } Lore / Summer 2014

Quarter Moon. Pen and ink. 22x28�. 2014

Patrick Dunaway


{ 32 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Moons. Pen and ink. 22x28�. 2014

Patrick Dunaway


COMPOSITE { 33 } Lore / Summer 2014 Patrick Dunaway


{ 34 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Patrick Dunaway

Rattler. Pen and ink. 11x17�. 2014


COMPOSITE { 35 } Lore / Summer 2014

Four Corners. Pen and ink. 11x17�. 2014

Patrick Dunaway


{ 36 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Patrick Dunaway

The Judge. Pen and ink. 15x22�. 2014


COMPOSITE { 37 } Lore / Summer 2014

Quarter Moon. Pen and ink. 22x28�. 2014

Patrick Dunaway


{ 38 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Maze. Pen and ink. 11x17�. 2014

Patrick Dunaway


COMPOSITE { 39 }

Sino-Motifs: the Proto Bagua Poem

qian Far from the southern sky comes along my later Father, whose head turns towards the Northwest And on a robust horse, his brain shines like gold dui Beyond the West Lake a young girl Tries to drive a herd of sheep into a metal Mouth sucking in all the painful pleasures li an oriental woman of beauty rises slowly above the southern fire her eyes burning with wild sparks zhen high above the eastern wood the yellowish dragon kicks all the thunders around with its sharp claws while his son moves back and forth following his own heart

Poetry

Lore / Summer 2014

Changming Yuan


{ 40 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

xun as the wind keeps blowing through the southeastern wood your daughter feels lost at the entrance like a hen eager to leave for something beyond the fence and front yard kan both above and below the house overflows the water while a man in the middle finds himself trapped like a wild hog whose ears would hear nothing from the west or north gen a young boy uses his strong hands to move the dark earth from the nearest ground to the northeastern corner where to build a big hill to block his beloved dog kun everything will go smooth still busy cooking at home selves happily on the grass

Changming Yuan

as long as our mother is and cows feeding them land stretching to south


COMPOSITE { 41 }

Building a Universe

Portrait #1.

Lore / Summer 2014

Jacob Watts


{ 42 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Off to Search.

Building A Universe opens us into a world plagued by natural destruction. Giant objects in the sky, known as Ori, loom over vast lands and forests absorbing nature below and leaving behind deadly gasses. A group known as the “Seven Sisters” travel in their ship to seek out a man known as “The Inventor,” believing his prior experiments with nature are somehow related to the plague, and that they might obtain knowledge necessary to stopping the Ori.

Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 43 } Lore / Summer 2014

Pleiades Overlooking.

Jacob Watts


{ 44 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Pleiades Landed.

Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 45 } Lore / Summer 2014

In The Rubble.

Jacob Watts


{ 46 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 47 } Lore / Summer 2014 Jacob Watts


{ 48 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Taking Nature.

(on previous) Taking Cover From the Ori.

Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 49 } Lore / Summer 2014

Setting Up Equipment.

Jacob Watts


{ 50 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Test #3 detail.

Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 51 } Lore / Summer 2014

Test #3 detail.

Jacob Watts


{ 52 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Test #3

Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 53 } Lore / Summer 2014

Test #1.

Jacob Watts


{ 54 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 The Inventor’s Journal

Jacob Watts


COMPOSITE { 55 }

Excerpts From:

On / Off Island ––A Play In Parts

Lore / Summer 2014

Julia Anjard Maher


{ 56 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Cast (a ways away):

Courthouse Midnight (‘Night), a father scarecrow, Justice

Orion, a constellation come-on, lover to Merope

Merope, a star and daughter of Pleione, protector of sailors

Nex ‘Tanuthin, a pig-farmercum-oracle

Everett, a weird young boy, Merope’s son

Julia Anjard Maher


COMPOSITE { 57 }

We all know the story of Artemis, her Pleiades, and Orion. But few of us have followed her—arrow up in summer. History’s a pale ode. Here Merope is no dumb deer, no dolly. This time she’s not under men’s pens. Hunted of the huntress, mortal unmarried, a star. And then there’s the child, painting eyes on everything. He calls this texting. (As Thompson’ll tell you, you might want to have all this read.) The stage: largely bare. The background: split down the middle, a diptych. One side a skyline, an island city (maybe Shanghai, maybe New York), and the other a dark ocean and a piece of pine-covered land. The motion: everyone stays always on stage. Speaker and background are lit, others have shadow. Speaker and others may move, use limb language, turn to darkened faces. They may not leave their quadrant. They may move up and down stage, but neither left nor right. We aren’t quite in jars yet. Imagine the stage as page. They may not forget. The voices: sometimes one character speaks inside another’s mouth, monologue. Maybe their speaking is neat, maybe it collides. Cacography. Some characters say things more than once. Cacophony. Sometimes ‘Night breaks the quadrant rule. Sometimes Everett (he’s a kid). Still the dead are ferried over Lethe. Censused or not.

Julia Anjard Maher

Lore / Summer 2014

STAGE NOTES


{ 58 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Nex ‘Tanuthin / Merope :

TRAP COUNT

Only so many pots to piss in and you want to priss ‘em loose gender lines leerward your o so lear-eyed scum suckled cockles the French call that thing between your legs a mussel shrimp scallops clams alive alive o female foment fetal foam it foe met fatal

Julia Anjard Maher


COMPOSITE { 59 }

Lore / Summer 2014

Orion :

KEEL HAULED: ORION (OR I AM)

Mum dipped, gilt darkened I’m all healed up, headed out to haul In a drowned boat Deck axed out Rock spilled on You’ve got to be grand fathered and I’m not gone farther faster than not These is are lands How to gain ground in the ocean? It can’t just be where the oar lands. Blood blunted out, breached and shipping. Gulls drop mussels to rock.

Julia Anjard Maher


{ 60 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Everett :

SAYS

My mother’s a fish. You say she sells bicycles. Or was it fresh bread, laden with thanksgiving. Together, she’s cooked. Rolled, cooked and et. It’s all needed this dough–– this new dough and us.

Julia Anjard Maher


COMPOSITE { 61 } Lore / Summer 2014

Merope :

WHY BODY

My fingers snakes in and your mind grows. Reader, I don’t want to see myself in this don’t want you to feel kin to my kind.

Think about throwing the self. Like clay. Like voice. The human one Single snaking thing, grown up on the wheel. Traffic. One windscreen. One wake. All that glass and light. All those selves thrown back. I want this poem to be a place. A hanger pushed into a dark gill. Pull up from reading’s floor and push into the symbiotic fruit of our lyric relationship.

I want you to shake the amniotic sack of all you hold dear. To hold your hands while you unbuckle your pants lift out the world and smash it.

Julia Anjard Maher


{ 62 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Rick Schenk Witch

Spain. 18x24�. All pieces ink and watercolor on Arches paper.


COMPOSITE { 63 } Lore / Summer 2014

A portrait always tells a story. Put some jewelry on the same portrait and it changes the story. Put way too much jewelry on her and thats a story I want to read. In these illustrations I went a step further and employed entire seasons and juxtaposed cultural stereotypes as adornments. I’ll get a phrase in my head and the composition is providence, for instance “fecundity/infinity” became “Spring” and “India” came from “Ganges:1776.” I tell stories. Sometimes they are profound, sometimes irrelevant, sometimes a prayer to Alphonse Mucha, but always a proclamation of my gratitude for Earth, a story more fantastic than any man can tell.

India. 24x36”

Rick Schenk


{ 64 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Spring. 18x24”

Rick Schenk


COMPOSITE { 65 } Lore / Summer 2014

Winter. 18x24�

Rick Schenk


{ 66 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

E.L. Miller

The Wind and the Son

They had been waiting all day. Aiden glanced at the small form of his brother, Neil, pressed into the corner of the sofa. He was curled around the body of their shaggy dog, whose ear flicked this way and that in the anxious silence. How long had it been since Neil had spoken to him that morning? The last twelve hours seemed like lifetimes. Neil had woken him up early, the first rays of the morning sun left the backs of Aiden’s eyelids washed in pink. “Aiden?” the boy whispered. Aiden cracked an eyelid. Neil’s face was inches from his own, blue eyes wide and solemn. “Go away, Neil.” “I have to show you something,” Neil’s voice was furtive. “There’s a horse.” Aiden’s heart slipped into his stomach. They had sold the horses months ago, why couldn’t Neil remember that? Unable to find a buyer for their farm, they had been forced to sell everything else. The whole of Ireland seemed to be drowning in debt and their family along with it. Aiden brushed his brother’s hand away from his arm. “There aren’t any more horses,” he said, biting down on each word harder than he intended. “Now go away.” “You have to see,” Neil replied. He hesitated before adding, “I think it wants something.” Aiden pulled the covers over his head as gooseflesh pebbled his skin. “You’re full of it,” he said, rolling over. Neil was always saying outlandish things. “You know quite well the horses are gone. And don’t let Da catch you talking nonsense like that. He’ll likely send you straight to confession for lying.” A shiver of a sigh reached Aiden’s ears as he heard Neil’s feet pad across the wooden floor. “Suit yourself,” the little boy whispered, “But it won’t do any good to send me to confession. I’m not lying.” Aiden stared down at the palms of his hands. The lines crisscrossed along the calluses where the rope halter

Fiction


COMPOSITE { 67 }

E.L. Miller

Lore / Summer 2014

pushed and pulled when he broke the horses. Da had stayed in bed that morning while they left for church, the curtains shut tight against the cheerful face of the sun. When they came home he was gone. The click of beads rang in his ears as his Mam said the rosary, her mouth moving in silent supplication. She was standing by the phone. The last rays of sunset streaming through the window painted the side of her cheek orange. Aiden tried to begin. Our Father— The words died in his throat as the phone rang. His Mam’s hand snatched the receiver off its cradle. “Yes?” The silence seemed to stretch into the fading light as the lines in her face deepened. Aiden could hear the baritone voice of the sergeant: Found. Sorry. Dead. His Mam’s face swam before him as the phone dropped from her hand and swung like a pendulum. It hit the wall, tapping a rhythm like the slow clip clop of hooves on the lane. Her mouth was moving, shoving the anguish out of her windpipe. The earth roared around him. His mam’s wail cut through the rushing in his ears. She was crumpled on the floor clutching at her chest with a clenched fist. The jet beads of the rosary dug into the sides of her hands. Aiden looked at Neil. The boy had gone perfectly still. A shiver passed through him before he stood and walked over to their Mam. He pried her off the floor with a gentle touch, steering her toward the couch. His eyes met Aiden’s. Aiden’s legs moved of their own accord. They propelled him away from Neil and out the door that shut with a bang. It sounded like a gun. He knelt and retched into the wild hedge before moving down the worn path to the stables. Their croft disappeared as he turned the corner in the lane. Thoughts were rushing and swirling in his mind but they refused to form into coherence. Neil’s voice echoed on the wind, calling for Aidan. A surge of white heat shot through him. Not even a tear from Neil. The clear blue of the boy’s eyes spoke the awful truth straight into Aiden’s heart. He stopped at the entrance of the stables. The low building ran alongside a line of trees that opened into the paddock, where they once worked the horses. Aiden placed a hand on the lintel, right below the cross that hung in the doorframe. He tried to say a prayer, any prayer, to see his Da’s soul to peace, but the words were jammed in his throat. The priest’s words shouted in his mind. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. He clutched at the back of his neck, trying to hush the voices that rose and fell, arguing and lamenting in his body. Da wouldn’t. He couldn’t. The stables were hushed and dark without the horses and the soft grunting of the pigs. The paint was peeling on the stable boxes and Aiden flicked a red chip off the gate. They had meant to paint them months ago. He laid a hand on the nearest box. The musty scent of damp hay filled his nose. He could feel his father’s hands as they guided him around the horses, the smooth muscles of the neck bunching here and there as the horse shied. His five-year-old hand was swallowed by his Da’s, moving in slow strides across the horse’s back.


{ 68 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

“They have an intelligence about them—a beauty,” Da’s voice rasped over Aiden’s young ears, “If you listen, you will hear their truth.” The wind picked up, breezing through the cracks of the worn wooden boards. A promise of rain. Aiden had found the letter that morning: Going to the ocean one last time. My love to the boys. It’ll be better this way. The breath seemed to leave his body. Neil had looked at Aiden with wide blue eyes, searching for truth in the faces of his mother and brother. “It’s Neil’s gift,” his Mam would say, “To see the truth.” He wanted to scream. He wanted to hit something. He wrenched the door open and flung himself into the field. The only animals left were a few woolly sheep that clustered around the gate, waiting for food. Waiting for Da. He left us. He left me. He began to run, away from the stables filled with memories. Away from Neil’s eyes that saw everything. The trees reached out their leafy hands and grasped his clothing, pulled tufts of his hair, scratched his face. Still he ran. A searing pain lit its way through his chest and his ribs began to hurt. His legs were pumping up and down but he could barely feel the trail beneath his feet. The moon’s white face stole a glance through a rent in the clouds as the gloom crept around the trees. Mist was bathing Aiden’s ankles in grey shadows, lapping at his knees, hungrily kissing his chest. The fog. He could hear his Da’s voice strong and clear in his memory. “We best be getting inside.” Da’s voice was low and urgent. “This fog makes me uneasy.” Aiden looked up. Da was teaching him to work the horses. He could feel the line in his hands, the power in the great animal. The strength of his father’s forearm as it lay across Aiden’s hand. “Why, Da?” His father’s wool coat smelled of pipe tobacco and fresh grass. “There are things that come with the fog.” He looked down at Aiden, a blue light winking in the corner of his eyes. “I’ve told you the stories.” Aiden nodded, remembering. His Da brought heroes and creatures to life with his tales. The calming lilt of his voice brought friends and neighbors sometimes, but it was for Aiden and Neil his father told the stories. “Neil can see them you know,” Aiden’s small voice burst from him before he could stop the words, “He told me.” Da looked down at him with a sharp glance. Aiden wriggled uncomfortably under the gaze. “Neil sees a lot of things,” Da said, looking far away into the trees. His voice was barely audible. He must have sensed Aiden’s discomfort because he squeezed Aiden’s hand tight. “It’s all right boyo, you’ve nothing to worry about. You’re safe with me.”

E.L. Miller


COMPOSITE { 69 }

E.L. Miller

Lore / Summer 2014

Aiden could hear himself sobbing, choked, gasping sounds that were more like an animal dying than a boy doused in grief. The trees were close here. Quiet. The question came unbidden to his mind again and again: Why? His muscles began to burn and his breath came in a choking gasp as the fog finally reached his face. His shoe caught a root and he lost his footing. His chin grazed the path painfully as his mouth filled with dirt and dried leaves. The bubble of torment burst as he fell. The resentment, sadness, and bitter anger loosed itself like Pandora’s Box. He felt it strangle him. He pushed himself to his feet, flailing wildly. His punches caught the edges of the trees. Agony throbbed up his arm, a welcome relief to the pain that clawed its way around Aiden’s heart. How dare he? Didn’t he know? Didn’t he care? Aiden’s chest was heaving, the breath pumping in his lungs and the blood roaring around his ears. I’ll never see him again. He examined the backs of his flayed hands and the small pearls of crimson that welled up from the cuts. What a thing: to bleed. He closed his eyes and dropped his head against a tree. The rough bark cut into the soft flesh of his cheek. A whoosh of warm breath stirred the fine hairs at the base of Aiden’s neck and a chill ran down each vertebra in his spine. He froze. The fog was still creeping around his limbs and embracing the trees. He willed his body to turn around, his hand clenched against the trunk of the tree. A large golden eye framed by thick dark lashes flashed back at him. A small flame danced in the pupil. Aiden’s eyes traveled over a finely curved neck and great muscled shoulders that bunched against a sleek body. Moonbeams skittered off the glossy mane that fell over a long velvet nose. The body shimmered in the moonlight as the great horse stepped back. Inky black and twice the size of the horses Aiden knew, the great beast was almost lost in the fog that clung to its mane and tail. The animal shook its head, sending waves of sooty hair across the delicate arch of its neck. The horse pawed the ground with a great black hoof: an invitation. The eyes of the animal held Aiden in their embrace, teasing out the memories that swirled like the mist surrounding them: the first time he rode a horse, the look of fierce pride evident on his Da’s face. Neil’s grubby little hand reaching for his as Neil learned to walk. The songs they would sing as they walked the hills or worked in the stables. His throat constricted and the rough bark of the tree dug into his back. He noticed that his hand had started bleeding again, the soft pat of ruby beads keeping time in the dried leaves. The animal whickered and lowered his head again. Get on. Aiden took a step forward. The moon was high above them, furring the trees in silver and casting a halo around them. The horse tossed his head. Understanding was written in its eyes. Aiden was certain the animal could see straight to the darkness that purled around the edges of his heart: the knot of an idea that


{ 70 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

maybe they could keep the farm now. That life would move forward instead of backward. He looked up into the horse’s face as the nostrils flared and the flame in the center of the eye seemed to burn a little brighter. Get on. Gripping a handful of the shadowy mane he swung up onto the broad back. It was wide enough for at least two grown men and smooth as silk. He ran his hands along the sleek neck. Like the deep hum of a bodhrán his heartbeat mingled with the horse’s and without thinking he buried his face in the mane and squeezed with his knees. The horse leapt forward as though shot, through the dark night, jumping and dodging between the silver streaks of the moonlight and the grasping hands of the trees. The blurred edges of hedge and bush danced in the night air as Aiden clutched the streaming mane. The horse burst from the trees as an inky streak, heading for the open hillside. Aiden felt as if he was flying, the pain chipping away in flakes as horse and rider skimmed the edges of the wind. As the animal picked up speed Aiden was almost certain they were flying, borne on the wings of grief and the promise of oblivion as the great muscled legs pumped underneath him and the tail furled out behind him like an ebony banner. The world ceased and the hoof beats quieted. Aiden was standing with his family, Neil’s small pink face creased in a wail as Aiden held the wriggling newborn body in his arms. “An angel,” Mam’s voice whispered. Now he was standing with his Da, the smile lighting up the blue of his eyes as Aiden held the slack line for the working horses. His Mam was laughing as she picked heather and placed a small sprig in the buttonhole of his father’s woolen coat. The horse seemed to gain speed. Their first Christmas with Neil: his stubby hands grabbing at any available toy, their parents stealing a kiss under the mistletoe. He was standing in the kitchen of their home, the glow of the peat fire casting shadows on his Da’s face. Bodies were crowded into any available seat and corner, wrinkled and young faces turned toward the figure before the fire. The crimson embers of his Da’s pipe lit every now and again and the glow of the flame echoed the jeweled gleam in his eyes as he spoke. The rise and fall of his voice brought life to the stories, they seemed to shimmer and dance before the listeners’ eyes as Aidan’s Da spun poetry. The low hum of his voice echoed in the small space as it clipped over the words: The pooka comes out at night, sometimes as a great eagle flinging a man on his back and flying to the moon. Sometimes it’s a black goat with wide wicked horns leaping on a mortal’s shoulders. Most often, though, it appears as a terrible black horse. Huge and sleek, breathing blue flames, with eyes of yellow fire, and a stride that clears mountains, he sees into the black depths of your heart. Beware the pooka’s stare, for most men are not ready for the matters of their hearts to be laid bare. Aiden could feel the opaque mane rasp in his palms as he opened his eyes. The world around him was a shadowy blur, the stars punctuating the darkness in pinpoints of light. The horse’s direction suddenly shifted: he was taking Aiden to another place as anger and sadness rose around him in shocking tidal waves.

E.L. Miller


COMPOSITE { 71 }

The smell of the sea faded. The moon pierced his eyelid with a single silver beam. He rolled over in a bed of fallen leaves, the musty scent dampened by the mist. He was alone.

E.L. Miller

Lore / Summer 2014

The inexorable pull of the great black body drew him towards the dark pool of his memory. The wan muslin of the curtain filtered the dirty sunlight into the sitting room and illuminated the small forms of his father and mother. Their backs were to him and his Da’s shoulders were hunched in like a great turtle. His Mam’s hands were worrying the folds of the woolen blanket that was haphazardly strewn across the back of the sofa. The smell of whiskey burned Aiden’s nostrils. He tried to return to the back of the great horse, to leave this place, but the pooka compelled him to stay. To see. “I just don’t know what I’m going to do,” his father’s voice whispered, the strength gone from it like the fading embers of the peat fire. “If we don’t have the horses, we won’t be able to afford the place. You’d be better off without me. What will I do? I don’t know how to do anything else.” His voice cracked. Aiden could see Mam swallow, the gulp travelling down her throat. “We’ll manage,” she said firmly, though her chin trembled. Her eyes were grey in this light. Dull and hard, the shine was gone from them. She looked old, beaten, as she wrapped her arms around her husband’s hunched shoulders. They shook in brief spasms as the sobs echoed in the corners of Aiden’s mind. He was back with the pooka, the wind whipping his face. His chest carried the weight of a thousand stones. The sharp scent of salt water and the crash of surf wrenched his heart. The great horse was flying over the water, his hoof beats silenced, the waves skimming behind them in silky foam. “How? How can I keep going?” he asked the wind, the sweet scent of rain whistling past his ears. The horse kept moving, straight as an arrow. You will. Mist hung around them like a curtain, making it difficult for Aiden to breathe. The veil of mist lifted, revealing a dim outline of sandy shore and looming cliffs. As the horse grazed the golden shores flowing words washed over Aiden’s mind like a song. Melancholy notes that filled his heart to bursting and seemed to touch the raw edges with gently probing fingers. The trees that lined the glowing sand were in full bloom. Delicate petals floated past Aiden’s face, their scent perfuming the breeze and mingling with the salty waves. The music echoed the lilt of his Da’s voice around the fire. Aiden could hear words spring in his mind. His Da had told this story a thousand times. Tir na nÓg: The Land of Eternal Youth. Of course. The place where laughter, music, and singing filled the blue of the sky. Where you never age. Where you never die. He buried his face in the mane as the music swirled around him. He let it fill his body and sink into his bones as he gave himself up to the mournful beauty. Horse and boy blurred into the night, the stars blots of cream in the autumn sky.


{ 72 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

He sat up, listening for the strange horse. There was no sound except the soft rustling of the last of the leaves. He felt his limbs. A knot was forming on his left temple where he had hit the ground after his fall. The trees around him were silent as he strained to listen for the horse. The whispering of the wind was all that was left of the great animal. He stumbled to his feet. His heart felt bruised, his knuckles ached where his punches had grazed the bark of the trees. He found his feet could move. He began to walk home, passing the stables. He thought of his Da’s melancholy, the strange golden shores that shimmered with light and song, and the pooka. He thought of his little brother. Their croft rose out of the gloom, pale and white. A small light shone in the upstairs window. Words were spinning in his mind. He pushed the door open. The room glowed in the moonlight, throwing into eerie relief the outline of his Da’s pipe on the mantle. For a moment he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, the memory of the stories heavy in his body. He needed to talk to Neil. Neil, who always saw to the heart of the truth. The stairs creaked as he climbed them, leaving the ghostly outline of his Da’s possessions below him. A ribbon of light sliced through the darkness underneath the door to his room. He pushed it open. “Hullo Aiden,” Neil said. “Well boyo,” Aiden replied. Neil was sitting on the bed, knees drawn to his chin. The blue stripes on his pajamas were faded. He patted the place beside him and Aiden moved to sit on the bed, leaning his long body against the wall. Neil laid his head on Aiden’s shoulder. “Well, how was it?” Neil asked. A chill rippled down Aiden’s spine. “What do you mean, then?” He moved over so he could look at Neil’s face. It was serious, the freckles standing stark against his pale cheeks. “The pooka,” Neil whispered. “You saw it, didn’t you?” Aiden could feel his heart pick up speed. “It wasn’t a pooka,” he replied. The visions flashed before him and the outline of a dark island on the water. “I saw a horse in the woods, is all.” “Did you ride it?” Neil asked, looking into Aiden’s face. Aiden swallowed. “I did, yeah.” Neil nodded as he laid his head back against Aiden’s shoulder. “Do you feel better?” He did. The grief was still there, would always be there, a small room in his heart. A room that he would visit from time to time, lingering on the sadness that would crop up at the most unsuspecting times: milestones, moments of beauty, and when he heard the haunting notes of a bow drawn over a fiddle. “It knows when you need it,” Neil went on, his voice low and steady. “He rides the wind and goes fast as lightning. If you can hang on, then you’ll be grand. Did he take you to the golden island? Did you see Tir na nÓg?”

E.L. Miller


COMPOSITE { 73 }

E.L. Miller

Lore / Summer 2014

Aiden’s heart skipped. “How did you know that?” Neil’s eyelids drooped. “I saw it too,” Neil whispered, his voice growing sleepy. His head fell heavy on Aiden’s lap. Aiden stroked the boy’s hair in wonder, their Da’s voice echoing through his bones. He wondered if he was going crazy. He examined the backs of his hands, crusted with dried blood and dirt. His Da was gone. The pooka’s truths nested uncomfortably in the bottom of his heart, and yet… The room seemed to dim as Aiden returned to the picture of his Da by the peat fire. He found a voice and began to speak: “So it happened that on a misty summer morning as Finn and Oisín were hunting on the shores of Loch Lena they saw coming towards them a maiden…” His voice carried through the room, dipping, swaying, and lilting, getting louder here, softer there. As Neil slept he covered his little brother with words.


{ 74 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Dave Young Kim Hindsight

Got a long way to go. Paper, house paint, spray paint, gouache, watercolor, ink, acrylic on panel 8x10�


COMPOSITE { 75 } Lore / Summer 2014

Mr. Flea. Watercolor, gouache on panel. 8x10�.

My painted installations speak allegorically through visual symbols and consider issues of identity, love, death, and loss. Using historical photographic imagery as reference points, I tell stories based on what I know, and I explore the past in order to envision a better sense of the present and future. The narrative and metaphorical elements in my work are primarily about relationships and a childhood rooted in the mean streets of Los Angeles. I see time as a series of circumstances, experiences, and choices, and life as a complex journey composed of time.

Dave Young Kim


{ 76 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Welcome to the Varrio. House paint, watercolor, gouache on 8x10” panel

In my work, I literally and metaphorically layer autobiography, hopes, dreams, disappointments, lineage, cultural baggage, interpersonal baggage, joys, betrayals, globetrotting, and painting—building up physical layers of pigment initially through washes. These are themes found in my own life, but also in the lives of others I’ve encountered.

Dave Young Kim


COMPOSITE { 77 } Lore / Summer 2014

Brother versus brother. Gouache, color pencil, watercolor, house paint on panel 8x10�

Dave Young Kim


{ 78 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Displaced. Gel medium, paper, cardboard, oil paint on wood board 6x12”

I favor materials with a past—old notes, letters, used wood, discarded canvases—because they embody inherent histories and narratives. The wear and marks tell stories, much like those of the characters portrayed in my work.

Dave Young Kim


COMPOSITE { 79 } Lore / Summer 2014

Didn’t have a choice. Acrylic, house paint, spray paint on panel 3x 6’

Dave Young Kim


{ 80 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

And the song was freedom, it plays forevermore. House paint, spray paint, masking tape, duc tape, matte medium, acrylic, collage, ink, grap

Dave Young Kim


COMPOSITE { 81 } Lore / Summer 2014

phite, chalk. 28 x 10’

Dave Young Kim


{ 82 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Ferry to Jeju. Oil paint, acrylic on panel 8x10�

My media is mixed and incorporates everything from inks to oils, acrylics, house paint, watercolors, tape, collage, matte medium, chalk, charcoal, graphite and spray paint. In the process of exploration and discovery, more get added. The variety speaks to the layers of times: the unpredictable moments that comprise each of our lives.

Dave Young Kim


COMPOSITE { 83 } Lore / Summer 2014

Out Numbered. Acrylic, house paint, color pencil on panel 10x10�

Dave Young Kim


{ 84 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Full on fulling. Spray paint, acrylic, house paint on wall. 6’x6’.

Spray paint, in particular, has a connection to the outside world: the urban streets. Graffiti is a voice of the disenfranchised, of urban tensions, in world conflicts, and lends evidence of my own outsider position. It offers a point of connection between myself and a more general audience, bringing the street into the gallery and museum context.

Dave Young Kim


COMPOSITE { 85 } Lore / Summer 2014

New Years Fun. House paint, acrylic on wood. 6’x8’.

Dave Young Kim


{ 86 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Penny Mini Land of Opportunity. House paint, spray paint, acrylic on wall 3x6’

Dave Young Kim


COMPOSITE { 87 } Lore / Summer 2014

A good story demonstrates believable character transformation; so my work does through the materials I use, the stories I tell, and the processes to which I actively engage.

Chinese Simplified. Gouache, house paint on panel 8x10�

Dave Young Kim


{ 88 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Jeannine Marie Pitas To Demeter

earth-mother tiger-lily mother-lily tiger-mother back from before God was invented when it was all just sons and fathers, daughters and mothers especially mothers green-mother peace-mother blue-mother dark-mother thorn-mother moss-mother scared mother still trudging over the fields, still searching for the lost Persephone time-mother heart-mother skeleton-scorpion-sun-mother even in her grief, she comes inside who will offer her comfort? who wants to cheer her up? a bud, a beginning, care of the body, who will be Triptolemus, show her the hole Persephone fell into lead her to a bloom?

Poetry


COMPOSITE { 89 } Lore / Summer 2014

My own mother isn’t a goddess. She was for a time, surrounded by stars. We studied, together we learned by holding the moon in our hands. But now she’s mortal, she might have cancer, she’s claustrophobic and scared of the CAT scan, she can’t stand the sight or smell of blood. She hates the radiology technicians, all business with their hair extensions and blue nails — sick-mother weak-mother insomniacsleeping-weeping-mother – there is something I have to tell you. I wasn’t kidnapped. I wanted Hades when I heard the hymns floating up from those caves, felt the steam that rose from deep within the Earth. The truth is I wanted more than lilies, more than unfurling night­— blooming cereas, more than the miracles life could provide. I wanted death and now that I’ve known it I’ve come back here to take you, hold you in my arms like a moon

Jeannine Marie Pitas


{ 90 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

Maxon Higbee

The Measure of All Things

Human Scale. Oil on wood. 2014


COMPOSITE { 91 }

“A pig or a dog-faced baboon, or some yet stranger monster which has sensation, is the measure of all things.” —Socrates

Hidden Symbols. Oil on wood. 122x144cm. 2014

Maxon Higbee

Lore / Summer 2014

“Man is the measure of all things.” —Protagoras


{ 92 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Pre-Empirical Ruler. Oil on wood. 82x122cm. 2014

Although there are several references to legendary figures in this series of work—Zeno, Vitruvius, Protagoras, the Kraken—I see the connection between the way I use measure and myth, mostly as a matter how they both function. One of the defining characteristics of both meter and myth is that they always keep their basic form while being subject to a myriad of different meanings and interpretations depending on the time and context in which they are considered. It is with an emphasis on a fixed structure that I began working on these pieces. The formal constraints of the ruler, protractor, level, and plumb line acted as literal guides toward creating compositions that would enforce the existing formal rigidity of measuring devices. However, with the introduction of symbolic content, a narrative begins to take shape in these otherwise abstract, functional objects.

Maxon Higbee


COMPOSITE { 93 } Lore / Summer 2014 The most common lore surrounding the history of measure is that our units of length, weight, and volume were at first arbitrarily assigned and chaotic. Further, these measurements were subject to the whims of monarchs, who would standardize them based on their own shoe size or on the length between their nose and an outstretched thumb. Whatever the case, measurements were once based on the human body, and like myth, they both positioned the human at the center of the world, acting as expressions of the world and the means to interact with it. But as the need of first merchants—and later scientists—required ever more accurate measurements, a system of standardization supplanted the human based system with an abstract mathematical model. Mythology similarly has been supplanted by materialism, the result of which is a decentering of the human experience away from the anthropocentric and towards a physicalist view, where our experience of the world is stripped to a mere yes or no.

Maxon Higbee


{ 94 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 The Kraken's Level. Ink on paper. 2014

Maxon Higbee


COMPOSITE { 95 } Lore / Summer 2014

Vitruvian Man on Break. 2014

Maxon Higbee


{ 96 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Maxon Higbee


COMPOSITE { 97 } Lore / Summer 2014 Maxon Higbee


{ 98 } COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014 Stalemate. Oil on panel. 168x35cm. 2014 (On previous) Zeno's Rule. Tightrope and banana peels. 2014

Maxon Higbee


COMPOSITE { 99 } Lore / Summer 2014

Degree of All Things. Oil on wood. 82x122cm. 2014

However, it is important to remember that while these forms, whether measuring devices or mythological structures, can be standardized, the content is always open to interpretation. There is a danger in forgetting that these tools were created by humans in order to frame their perceptions of the world, and do not themselves exist materially outside of perception. Even in the most utilitarian of objects, the ruler and the square, it is possible to find poetry. They certainly have an aesthetic, and maybe between the black tick marks of space and time there are new myths ready to spring up from the unmeasured gaps.

Maxon Higbee


{100} COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

CONTRIBUTOR BIOS No. 16 Lore

Wesley Wright was born in 1983 and grew up in Berkeley, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in ceramics from Humboldt State University in 2007. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from San Jose State University in the spring of 2013. He shows and sells his work locally nationally and internationally, and has taught at various institutions including Santa Clara University. Find his work at wesleytwright.com. Heather Hart, based in Brooklyn, NY, was an artist in residence at Skowhegan, RBPW, Santa Fe Art Institute, Open Sessions at the Drawing Center, Fine Arts Work Center, LMCC Workspace and at the Whitney ISP. She received grants from Joan Mitchell Foundation, Harvestworks, Jerome Foundation, and a fellowship from NYFA. She studied at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Princeton University in New Jersey, and received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Find her work at heather-hart.com. Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, The Saint Ann’s Review, and others. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks, most recently “Happy Darkness.” She’s also published short fiction, essays and stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle. Joseph “Sentrock” Perez is an artist originally from Phoenix, AZ. He moved to Chicago to pursue a change in scenery and obtain a Bachelors of Art & Design at Columbia College. Perez is known for using bright colors, intense lettering and characters that grab the attention of viewer. A believer in the quote “Art cannot deny the environment that it is in,” Perez allows his surroundings of living in Chicago to influence his latest works. Find his work at www.birdcitysaints.com. Dana Norris is the founder of Story Club, a monthly storytelling show in Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis. She is the editor-in-chief of Story Club Magazine and she teaches at StoryStudio Chicago. She has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, the Tampa Review, and her stories have been featured on Chicago Public Radio. You may see her upcoming performance schedule at dananorris.net. Patrick Dunaway is an artist working and living in Oakland, California. Working primarily in pen and ink, his current work draws from symbolic imagery of the American West set in rigid geometric patterns. Find his work at patrickdunawayart. com Changming Yuan, eight-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. With a PhD in English, Yuan has poetry appearing in more than 800 literary publications across 28 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine and Threepenny Review.


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Jacob Watts grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and quickly migrated his way to the city where he now lives. Working as a Photo-illustrator, he tries to create a new image every day to satisfy his creative need. As a recent Columbia College Chicago graduate, he is still eager to learn more about his profession everyday. Find his work at www.jacobwatts.net Julia Anjard Maher is a PhD student in English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. She teaches, writes, and lives in Athens. D.A. Powell recently selected her first manuscript, Trails/’s End, as a finalist for the Georgetown Review Poetry Prize. Some of her work has appeared in inter|rupture, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Sixth Finch, Blaze VOX, Real Poetik, and elsewhere. Rick Schenk is a painter and tattooer currently living on Maui. He draws inspiration for his illustrations from nature and occult mysticism. Current projects include creating a deck of tarot cards and writing a historical fiction novel exploring witchcraft in the Caribbean in the seventeenth century. Rick is available for commission and consultation by email: bigbrickrick@gmail.com, his website, rickandvinegar.com, or Instagram, @rickandvinegar E.L. Miller resides in a small mountain town in Colorado where she fuels her creativity with a variety of artistic endeavors including music and ballet, travel, and outdoor adventures. An MFA candidate in Fiction at Spalding University, she is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel. Dave Young Kim (b. 1979) lives in Oakland, CA. His work currently looks into his cultural past as a means to better understand the present and future. He was born and raised in L.A. before heading north to attend the U.C. at Davis and subsequently achieved a MFA from Mills College. When not slaving away in his West Oakland studio you might find him topping off a mural on the streets. To find out more about the artist just type “Dave Young Kim” in any search box. Jeannine Marie Pitas is a Toronto-based poet and literary translator; her first chapbook, “Our Lady of the Snow Angels,” was published in 2012 by Lyricalmyrical Press, and her work has appeared in various print and online magazines. Maxon Higbee (California,1978) currently combines his artistic practice with his work as a visiting artist in the Thyssen Bornemiza museum in Madrid. Maxon received his MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received the merit fellowship for the Painting and Drawing department. He has exhibited his work in Madrid, Chicago and California. His paintings have recently been included in the national publication, “New American Paintings.” Find his work at maxonhigbee.com.

Lore / Summer 2014

CONTRIBUTOR BIOS No. 16 Lore


{102} COMPOSITE Lore / Summer 2014

COMPOSITE INFO Submissions

Composite Arts Magazine is now accepting proposals from visual artists for inclusion in upcoming Issues. One of our favorite aspects of this publication has always been providing a venue for artists to show work that exists as a form of experimentation, does not fit into their normal repertoire, or they have been unable to show publicly for one reason or another. We’re hoping through this process we’ll be opening up to artists we are unfamiliar with or provide a space for those we know looking to branch out in their practice. Selected proposals are currently unfunded. However, along with publication of the project, we are here to support and work with all artists as much as possible and can provide the use of our blog, web hosting of project collateral, and any other resources we may have access to. Please specify in proposal what you may need from us. We are interested in cultivating relationships with artists through the process of their projects. Proposals are open to all mediums as long as they can exist within the final publication in a .pdf format. Proposals can be for work yet to be made, work in progress, or work that has been completed. Work that has already been completed must be no more than 2 years old, and also must include a written proposal/artist statement. Instructions and theme statements for all open calls can be found at compositearts.com/submit.


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No. 16 Lore

Coming Fall 2014: Issue No. 17 Educators. It is a rare contemporary conversation about the arts that is not, at least tangentially, also about pedagogy. The arts are obsessed with education. Creatives must understand their craft, be aware of their current and historical contexts, have the skills to write about and explain their work eloquently and effectively, and possess impeccable social and political skills. Educators, tasked to impart these skills and knowledge on to the next generation of creatives, have their work cut out for them, and they know this, because they are still learning all of it themselves.

Composite is managed, curated, and edited by: Zach Clark didn’t read a full book for pleasure until sophomore year of college. He reads slightly more now. His work can be viewed at zachclarkis.com. Kara Cochran has envisioned most of the apocalypse legends in her dreams, except for zombies. Her work can be seen at karacochran.com. Once upon a time, India K lived in Brooklyn, and you could see her work at www.india-k.com. Suzanne Makol was supposed to be born on Halloween, but her mother didn’t want her to be a little demon baby, and thus held her in for a few more days. Her work can be viewed at suzannemakol.com. Joey Pizzolato believes in Atlantis. He can be reached at joeypizzolato@gmail.com.

Composite is a free publication. If you like what we’re doing and would like to help support us financially, you can donate on the website or at http://tinyurl.com/Compositedonation. Anything helps, so thank you in advance.

Lore / Summer 2014

COMPOSITE INFO

Composite Arts No 16 Lore  
Composite Arts No 16 Lore  

Summer 2014 issue. Featuring art and lit by: Wesley Wright Heather Hart Mercedes Lawry Sentrock Dana Norris Patrick Dunaway Changming Yuan...

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