Page 1

Fall 2013


For a Taste of Something Different‌

Gin & Thomas www.ginandthomas.com


+

Oxford Tutors

+ Mention Code CLEMSONTIGER for a 20% discount!

Oxford Tutors

Academic excellence for the achieving mind • • • •

Long Distance / Skype Tutoring Essay Editing / Term Paper Advising GRE, LSAT, and MCAT Tutoring Academic Mentorship

WWW.OXFORDTUTORSNYC.COM


In Memory of

Theodore Holmes Parker 1918–2013 Sumter, South Carolina

Farmer • Businessman • Clemson Supporter


news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editorials timeout editorials opinions copy teamwork advertisements sections interviews photography deadlines timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news subdeck editor editing layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines chart editor copy layout editorials opinions teamwork advertisements interviews news story chart editor copy layout sports deadlines subdecks news deadlines design copy layout pro du c t i on sports photography editing timeout photography opinions teamwork advertisements teamwork news story chart editor copy photography sports deadlines subdecks news a dve r t is i ng design copy layout headlines sports photography editing opinions timeout copy teamwork advertisements text interviews timeout deadlines copy interviews design copy layout headlines sports photography editing timeout opinions editorials interview news copy news layout

TIGER THE

EST. 1907, SOUTH CAROLINA’S OLDEST COLLEGE NEWSPAPER ROARS FOR CLEMSON

We put out on Fridays.


E

R U

O

A H

F

M

Z

X

Clemson Writing Center is available for all writers and all writing projects. Staffed by Writing Fellows and Graduate Assistants, the Writing Center can help you become a better writer in the process of producing better writing. D

S

N

307 Academic Success Center Monday–Thursday 9–5; Friday 9–3 I Cooper Library Sunday–Thursday 7–9 pm

P

Find us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and check out our website at www.clemson.edu/writing-center

B V


Fall 2013


Editor-in-chief Managing Editor Promotions Director Creative Director Submissions Editor Business Manager Layout Editor Webmaster Copy Editor

Parker Essick Gabby Nugent Aileen Marrero Emily Mattison Jenna Richard William Chelton Brooke Sidener Emerson Smith Re’ven Smalls

Staff Members Ben Barkley, Brianna Boyd, Caroline Brittingham, Grace Caywood, Lauren Craig, Benjamin Curtis, Elizabeth Davis, Matthew Delarosa, Nicholas Frederick, Ciara Hautau, Eduardo A. HernĂĄndez-Cruz, Cody Hosek, Joshua Kulseth, Laura Ostendorff, Lauren Richardson, Lesley Smith, Kristina Toney, Sydney Wells

Cover art by Brooke Sidener


Tillman Hall by James Barker


CONTENTS | Fiction | Meghan Jeffcoat — The Couch......................................................................... 30–32 Nicholas A. White — The Beauty in Death....................................................... 58–61 Joe Hendricks — Traffic Light...................................................................................71

| Poetry | Joshua Kulseth — Peripheral....................................................................................19 — Wilted Cherries. ..........................................................................34

Farris Steele — Tobacco Chasm............................................................................20–21 Dustin Pearson — Principle Politics......................................................................... 22 Kristina Toney — On this Night,..............................................................................23 — Perhaps There Is a Silver Lining.....................................................56

David Kerfoot — A Perverted Image (A Pomegranate).........................................25–26 — Fireflies...........................................................................................65

Shelby Studebaker — Tal Vez................................................................................ 27 Ethan Moore — hyperbole is dead............................................................................. 35 Jenna Richard — At Some Point You Find Out That, Tools Are OK (…)........... 36–39 — Oh, Beloved.............................................................................74–75

Redmond Heath — Natural American Deaths........................................................ 41 — A Selfish Elegy....................................................................77–80

Creg McAda — Supermarket................................................................................. 44–45 Aileen Marrero — Absylum: The Frabjous Day.................................................. 48–49 Carly Zavakos — My Body........................................................................................ 51


Fall 2013 Caroline Brittingham — A Stolen Life..................................................................52 Catherine Andrews — My Fault......................................................................54–55 Matthew Delarosa — A Desolate Iridescence..........................................................63 Chris Diorio — Night Eyes to Morning’s Sight........................................................... 64 Anonymous — Revelation....................................................................................66–67 Trey Martin — Avalon.......................................................................................... 69–70 Katie Crawford — Daisy Girl................................................................................... 72

| Art | Charlotte Richardson............................................................................................18 Ashley Davis — Tangled............................................................................................. 24 Emily Horacek — Up..........................................................................................28–29 — Self Portrait....................................................................................57

Brent Pafford — Cup Still Life.................................................................................. 33 Chris Phillips — Gas Can..........................................................................................40 — Barrel...............................................................................................76

Cassie Mims — Von Lehe- Ivester Century Farm........................................................42 — Old Memories....................................................................................43

Morgan Cole — Bookend......................................................................................46–47 — Waterways.........................................................................................62

Jacqueline Kuntz — Ablaze..................................................................................... 50 Joshua Martin — Perhaps in Another Age................................................................. 53 Simone Wilson — Rooted Growth............................................................................68 — Burst of Color..............................................................................73


Editor’s Note Do you remember when you were younger: when you didn’t care what others thought of you, what you did, what you made, who you spent time with, where you slept, what you ate? I miss those days, the freedom from inhibition, the carefree attitude for the day ahead. This semester, as we happily present to you the third installment of the reinvigorated Chronicle, I encourage you to stop caring, to paint with your hands, and to express yourself in whatever way works for you. This is creative anarchy; it’s not a process, nor is it a self-help book; it is, plainly, an action, a reaction, and a creation. I’m talking about writing a novel about the gas station attendant you met today, picking up an instrument you’ve never seen before and mastering it, painting FUCK YOU JENNY LUHRMAN in huge letters across that bare wall in your apartment bathroom [that last one will incur costs, by the way] [also makes more sense if you know a Jenny Luhrman]. Here’s an easy, three-step route to walk you through this anarchical creativity: 1. Open your eyes and look around you (observe) 2. Consider those things around you (analyze) 3. Take a pen/paintbrush/pencil/keyboard/ukulele/ spraycan and create This isn’t a process. It’s just a new (hopefully not too new) way to relate to the world around you. And when that world is full of school shootings, Middle Eastern civilian uprisings, Fox News, wrecking balls, and HealthCare.gov, we need a better way to relate to it than hashtags and 140-letter posts.


[However, if someone wants to start writing Twitter poetry, I’d really love to see it.] One of the biggest things to remember about your personal anarchy is this: never censor yourself. Don’t like the way your boyfriend chews his gum but don’t want to offend him, offend him; don’t want a bad rep with the university by breaking some story about underground, club sports drug trafficking (is this a thing?), take that bad rep. What matters here is telling the truth, whoever’s truth that might actually be. See your old world, tell your story, and create your new world in the anarchy that is your mind. I know you’ve always been told by Disney movies, etc. to “be true to yourself,” but really, it’s true. Each of you has an opinion to be voiced, and that opinion deserves to be written, read, spoken, heard, and ultimately known. Don’t be afraid of what you have to say and just say it. Trust me, this quiet world will thank you for it. The Chronicle will thank you too. Thanks for reading and enjoy,


by Charlotte Richardson

18

Chronicle


PERIPHERAL Joshua Kulseth Look toward me, as you look to heaven, or from a fight. Read me as a provocative book, and long into the night. Shine like a sea mirror in my peripheral view. Be the ocean’s torpid roar— and it’s frothy dribble too. Be nobody—but beauty’s, slave. And raise your glass to ask, “will God save the tired, huddled masses?” Be the last to laugh at Chance, and never open doors for random misgivings, or dance too hard on broken floors. Answer me from heaven, (or all the same if you’re in hell): discard your sixes-and-sevens, and ring the compline bell.

19


TOBACCO CHASM Farris Steele On the back porch, I am working the stem of a pipe. My teeth bite the hard plastic, and my breath stokes the bowl. I watch smoke like the steam of locomotive trains rising through the forest tracks around this college town. “You gave up smoking,” you speak through the screened door, “is that any different than your old cigarettes?” Like the impassable chasm between your sloppy Spring Break tequila shot and the midnight tempered glass of wine; the first kiss of your awkward school crush to the way your tongue can now undulate and ripple against another’s with timed meter; the mechanical, press-the-red-button espresso of your corner Starbucks, against the 23-second pull of a perfectly pressed shot from the local shop; it’s the crema that gets you, and the minute long half-life of the dark period in the miniature mug, the marks of the soy foam with the black ink as it forms a feathered brown spear pointed towards your own heart. The effect of fluorescent lights upon my brain, making impotent my ability to produce natural melatonin, disturbing my circadian rhythms, causing sleepless nights, uninspired prose, and all of this held up like a slide of microfilm to the light of the tangerine sunset over the Hartwell dike, which fades purple as the orb melts into the waters. 20

Chronicle


The difference between the fraternity brother’s axe aerosol body spray, and the man in the elevator, who glances across to you, and when you lean in to press the button for your floor, you brush against his wool blazer and just barely smell the hint of campfire, nestled in the Blue Ridge, between the damp of mossy stones - the caterpillar strands of tobacco, shriveling to burn warmly alongside each other.

Steele / Tobacco Chasm

21


PRINCIPLE POLITICS Dustin Pearson I was told I could mail it in, but I’ve driven the two and a half hours to Lexington County Traffic Court in protest. I tell the clerk at the window that I refuse to pay the ticket. “What’s the matter?” He asks. “When I asked the cop what the capital B on my ticket meant, he told me it stood for black,” I say. The clerk scans me over a minute, while the guy next in line laughs, the clerk asks nervously, “I’m sorry, s-sir, what exactly is wrong with that?”

22

Chronicle


ON THIS NIGHT Kristina Toney with your hands cupped in the communion Of flesh and blood Your heart, timid once, beats this way no longer Renewed. Stronger. For life beyond life With your head bowed in silent prayers of hope For promises made on this night With your eyes seeing nothing but his, And his lips meeting no one’s but yours Forever more In a sermon that does not end On this night

23


Tangled by Ashley Davis

24

Chronicle


A PERVERTED IMAGE1 (A Pomegranate) David Kerfoot In the mirror I could see you hugging me tightly with your bronze arms under mine. You laid your head on my bare shoulder. Corporeally, there was nothing; you were a phantom of anxiety, a trick of shadows on beige walls. I reached into the mirror anyways for those simple delights found in foolishness, and gained nothing but a spray of blood on shattered glass. Slowly, you lifted a shard of your broken image to me, and wanting it nearer to my heart, I cut myself down the middle with it to make for it a pocket. You told me that I looked like a pomegranate, And hysterical, I nestled you under the deepest reds inside of me, like I was putting a child to sleep under a warm blanket. And how fruitful it was to have experienced such a sweet communion with you. It was the purity of love that romance films have persuaded me into believing in. And oh, it was so foolishly beautiful— but as a child unsettles its bed during a dream, 25


or a nightmare, my gash began to fester. To console me You told me that “time heals every wound,� And laughing all the while, you reminded me How you saw me as A pomegranate.

1 A distorted or misconstrued image; there is, at the fault of my creativity, no sexual imagery present in this poem. The title serves to rather bolster the misunderstandings of the speaker and the addressed. 26

Chronicle


TAL VEZ Shelby Studebaker and I hate to start a poem with and but everything about you is an unfinished thought. and I hate the way the secondhand spanish rolls in your mouth because all you speak is tequilas and martinis and I wish I could tell you to go live your la vida loca somewhere else. you say you love it because your glassed friends grace your lips the way mine never could. I hate the way it beats your senses numb. I hate that it pounds away your reason until you’re left like an injured child wallowing against a chilling stone wall that won’t listen, the same way you don’t even hear me when I say

27


28


Up series by Emily Horacek

29


THE COUCH Meghan Jeffcoat

I

am a couch. The first day they brought me home I was too big to fit in the front door. The man removed the bay window and I was crammed through. When they scooted me against the wall in the far corner my walnut leg crunched a crevice in the sloped wood floor that no amount of fevered sanding and polyurethane would mask. I didn’t regret it though, when you’re a couch you take any chance you get to leave your mark. That night the man and the woman smiled a lot. They ate pizza. I still have the stain on my cushion. They bounced around the room, the man stubbed his toe in my signature, the woman laughed, and then they made love. Right on top of me. I would have felt embarrassed but I was fresh out of the factory and humiliation was conceptually nonexistent. The man left sometimes, and when he returned the woman kissed him, and they would sit on me and talk. They had a fantastic amount of love and pizza those days. The man brought home flowers sometimes, and once a

30

Chronicle


dog. It was small and white. The woman squealed and squeezed it, and I was grateful to be a couch. Eventually the dog began pissing on my corner. I tried to stop it with an imposing stare, but the malevolent bastard lacked decency. I wished all manner of horrific afflictions on him. However, patience, whether instigated by freewill or not, is smiled upon and the dog was discovered chewing a hole in my cushion. The woman smacked him and tossed him outside. I didn’t see the dog very much after that. The woman began vomiting. The man tried to help her sometimes but she waved him away and he chuckled. Vomiting was a strange reason for joy I thought, but I am a couch. The vomiting stopped and the woman began to change shapes. The pizza stopped and the watermelon began. Sometimes she would sleep on me and toss and turn. No position was comfortable, even I the couch could tell. One night she awoke and began screaming. The man rushed out. Flipped the light. There was blood. There were sirens and lights and the woman was gone. They returned. The woman was pale, her abdomen infinitesimally shrunken. She saw her blood on my cushion. The man tried to hide it under a belatedly tossed pillow, but I knew she saw. That night she dumped a bucket of bleach water on me and fervently scrubbed at my cushion. Her fingernail caught my thread and she ripped it off. She yelled things I couldn’t understand, the man came out, and they both cried. I got new cushions that day. After the flower deliveries stopped, they stiffly smiled more, and sometimes the pizza came back, but that was all. The woman never vomited again, and there was no more blood. Sometimes the woman went out, and the man came home. The man began smoking, and I didn’t like the way he made my cushions smell. His beard felt scraggly and he burped his beery breath into my threads. The dog became portly and stiff, and once more graced my cushions, but nobody talked to him anymore. You win some, you lose some. Their hair became streaked with grey, and their smiles relaxed. The dog died, and I didn’t miss him. The new dog came, and the cycle began again. I wasn’t as angry this round because, hell, I was already stained and smelled like life. Sometimes more men and woman came over, and they sat on me, drinking, smoking, and playing cards. They were loud, and they didn’t improve my scent. I sagged more these days, and a spring fell out from underneath me. Nobody noticed and I couldn’t tell them, so I sagged a little more. One day the woman sat on me and cried. She picked up the phone. She Jeffcoat / The Couch

31


talked for a long time, and said words like Malignant and Inoperable. The man came home. She told him she was sick. They cried again. They seemed to be particularity fond of crying. That night they ate pizza and made love. The evening was wrapped in an aura of reminiscent tenderness and fear, the joviality of their previous pizza and sex parties dissipated. The woman’s hair was gone, and she was tired. They both left a great deal, and she wore a wig. It was supposed to hide her, but I could tell. It felt different on my pillow, as did her bald head. One day the man came home alone. He slept on me that night. He didn’t cry. He didn’t smoke. Flowers were delivered again, and I had pollen stains on me. Strangers sat on me, in their ugly clothes. The man slept on me. Then he found the pizza stain. It was a bit of pepperoni, crusted between my cushions. He picked at it. The he dug at it. Then he kicked it. He grabbed her recently adopted cane and began beating. Not satisfied, he ran to the garage, and returned, and his ragged breath punctuated by the crack of the crowbar against my frame. More springs came out, and my cushions were gutted. He picked my corner up and pushed me through the bay window. I landed on the magnolia sapling they had planted, half leaning in the window, torn cushions sparkling with broken glass and streetlight. The man slumped on the floor, silently picking at the gouge I had left in the floor, and the dog barked. Men came and loaded me into a blue truck. I was left amongst other discarded bits of people’s lives. The roaches came, and once a raccoon. I was covered in stains. I never saw another dog. I am a couch.

32

Chronicle


Cup Still Life by Brent Pafford

33


WILTED CHERRIES. Joshua Kulseth The crimson blossoms are wilted on the Cherry tree beside my home. They are browning, and I can’t see even a shade of their old vigor—I poisoned my Cherry tree; I laid the poison underneath its roots, and fire consumed its bowels. Some things you can bury, and others will keep you awake. I left my poison in the ground, but a remembrance remained behind like a corpse—the sound of its blossoms handled in the breeze; the fire, burning on the blooms, a sigil— of friendship, and the conscientious charity we shared. I know I poisoned my Cherry tree—But there are some things you can bury, and others you can’t kill.

34

Chronicle


HYPERBOLE IS DEAD. Ethan Moore If i’ve learned anything(, patience is the virtue. broken light bulbs make for stronger wills and bloodier countertops the importance of words —and actually saying them —there’s nothing coincidental about love but that i were more

For once

god can tolerate a co-dependent but God hates an enabler ) it’s that I haven’t learned anything. contrition is a hollow word to the man with no truth in his bones

35


AT SOME POINT YOU FIND OUT, THAT TOOLS ARE OK UNTIL THEY’RE NOT. Jenna Richard The first time I saw him there. He was a tool. And “there” was Samurai Express. Nudging my bicep, he tossed up his chin. A smirk smeared across his mouth. Just to tell me, or direct my attention towards, how funny this place’s catch phrase was. Japanese Food. American Delivery. What a laugh. So I said, “yeah. That’s pretty hilarious.” Normally at an instance such as this, I am already thinking hidden rooms, little crevices. However. His hair was wheatgrass gone bad. Brown toothpicks growing from His crown. I am shallow sometimes. And overcritical. And that day we did paperwork. And that day we didn’t talk at all after The funny catch phrase incident. And that day was OK, I guess. And that day I didn’t learn his name, so instead I called him Ken. And that day I was closed. I learned his name was Evan. When jobs were divvied up. Me. My job was to rip and cut and peel the poppy-balloon plastic off metal dining chairs. Evan’s job, the same as mine. It was just us. In the back room. 36

Chronicle


And there were no sexual things I wanted to do to him. And I told him that yesterday I used to call him Ken cause he resembled a Ken doll and I could see him dating Barbie. He did that chin shit again and said, “Thanks?” When he talked, I noticed his teeth were sharp. And his smile did that thing where his gums look bigger than his teeth and they’re pulsing. And they’re looking hungry all the time, and they reminded me of Susan Plantt from high school and how bad I felt for her solely because of her gums. And on this day, between splatters of awkward silence, we talked. We were alone in that back room for an hour and we talked about technology and why it was evil, and why it was hurting us. We talked about how silly of a prospect it was, that rather than use our voices, we use typed accounts of our thoughts. We are afraid of eye contact. And maybe he wasn’t a tool. That day was pretty good and we had more like it. And I pretty much stopped thinking he was a tool even though one time I told him I was going to be studying in the library, late. And he was like “oh, yeah?” and then he asked me if I liked coffee. And of course I like coffee, in fact I loved it so much I was addicted! When we got the coffees, I did the chin thing, “how bout a little coffee with that cream?” and he didn’t get it. And I said I was making fun of him for being a pussy. Because me. I like my coffee like I like my men. Hot. Bold. And Black. Richard / At Some Point You Find Out, That Tools Are OK Until They’re Not.

37


He got a kick out of that. Which was cool. When we studied we sat across from each other. And when we studied I caught him look Up from his computer at least three times. And when I took my test that next morning, I failed. There were times we’d work till 4am. The only job title our boss believed in was his own. He was never there. We spoke in fake accents, sang karaoke to the drunk-eaters, fried oreos in the fry-o-later, left the dishes till the end. That’s what we’d do. I always helped him close. And then one night he walked me Home. And we talked About not being the types to Play games. And we actually Pretended it was friendly chit-chat. And when we got to my door, which he walked all the way to. He made the move. His lips succulent. Mine, blistered. I ran inside. Tore through my purse. To find my chapstick. And that dick did everything to lure me. For example: That one time, when he Drove to Atlanta to get me, and actually came in the airport. And he was like “I got you a Coffee” and I was like “Cool” And he slid the handle of my suitcase from within my grasp 38

Chronicle


And from then on out, There was nothing for me to carry. And then one time, it was Semester’s end and instead Of talking we studied. And instead Of talking we watched movies. And instead Of planning summer trips, we crept back as if a gun were kissing our eyebrows—Propelling us against lone walls. Our respective words intimidated us separately. Very hush, hush. Very can’t say. Very missed opportunity. Very misunder stood. Very interior. Very exterior. Very gone without reason. Very unexplained disease. Very lingering. Ever lingering. Ever lingering.

Richard / At Some Point You Find Out, That Tools Are OK Until They’re Not.

39


Gas Can by Chris Phillips

40

Chronicle


NATURAL AMERICAN DEATHS Redmond Heath

be forgotten. i want to taste her utah blush wash off red mud, gold dust at river’s end an oily whore. slack jawed leather baby gun slinger of white lilied lips i want to kiss bloody golden sunlight. it’s only a dream born in the flea bitten mist to which i’ve been. the falls. brazen death jumps from faux cliffs to heaps of cans and the crux of man’s own creation rattling. sunglass cooled down in the bug crawling desert high desert brewing its venom last iron pressed. cold alchy drip in familiar indian wood grows tamer as time is old swallowing down feathers. i don’t want to wash i’ve learned things that feel like ash in choking towns

41


Von Lehe- Ivester Century Farm by Cassie Mims 42

Chronicle


Old Memories by Cassie Mims

43


SUPERMARKET Creg McAda Supermarkets make me want to retch into flimsy plastic bags with recycling symbols that may as well be in Farsi. The woman on aisle twelve Whose motorized wheelchair {de Ville, by Cadillac} drags, would – if asked – guess Farsi to be the “Transliteration of Pharisee into idiosyncratic Southern dialect” {{Pharisee Noun: a member of the democratic party Who howls at the moon and hates Jesus}} Maybe not in so many words. Or, as many, but not those.

44

Chronicle


The de Ville sags to a halt next to Debbie and her nutty buddies. The woman ‘scooches’ Her words, not mine Out of the chair and stands to compare caloric content to make a savvy consumer decision. She can walk! Praise be to Allah.

McAda / Supermarket

45


46


Bookend by Morgan Cole

47


ABSYLUM: THE FRABJOUS DAY Aileen Marrero Down,

down,

down Into the hole Where down Is Up And up, up, up Is all the way down. There you shall find A rabbit’s bones Lying upon the ceiling Waiting to be honed. Off you go To the one, two, three Of spades Of kings and queens. Tea, my dear? Or shall it be seen That you, Ordinary Alice Are not the one Meant to be.

48

Chronicle


Hear she, hear she Her pomposity Is merely painted on Because she said It need be. North, South, East, Which way shall you see? Or shall you take The shortcut Leading right back To tea? West is another matter, No west is not westing. Therefore, up is Much better And far more Interesting. Go up, up, up, To be all the way down. Or you could go Down, down, down, But then your Up Would seem to be Far too westly.

Marrero / Absylum: The Frabjuous Day

49


Ablaze by Jacqueline Kuntz 50

Chronicle


MY BODY Carly Zavakos I want to take my body to the bad part of town at night alone and walk the sidewalks without the confidence girls are supposed to have. I want to walk my body near the edge of a cliff eyes closed unsure where the edge lies to water down the responsibility of falling. I want to drive my body down a forgotten road fast dangerous around twists and bends so that I may have the pleasure of being forgotten with them.

51


A STOLEN LIFE Caroline Brittingham Let me be a shadow— Luring in love and lavishly pure Build me and fold Cut and combine me Tedious and taxing Until I, on this dim gravel spot Shall be your image—

52


Perhaps in Another Age by Joshua Martin

53


MY FAULT Catherine Andrews Where are my keys? I need to go. I’m crying, In the dark, alone. I sit, Praying he won’t find me. My fault, That’s what his eyes say. My fault, For taking one shot too many. For dancing, The way I learned to dance, At prom, at parties, at bars. The only way I’ve known. Where—where are my keys? My fault, For wearing a short dress, High heels. Like they do in magazines. Found it at the grocery store, Aisle 7. 200 moves that will blow his mind, Cosmopolitan advertised.

54

Chronicle


My fault, For being too flirtatious, Letting my guard down, Making him crave me. I did that— I did. If only I could find them— My keys—to leave. But I can’t. My fault.

Andrews / My Fault

55


PERHAPS THERE IS A SILVER LINING Kristina Toney In faded black sharpie I saw these words written on a classroom desk: “We are the lovers; we are the last of our kind.” To the person who wrote them: I don’t know who you are, And I don’t know who you love, But I wish you well, And I want to thank you, For putting something so extraordinary, In the most ordinary of places

56

Chronicle


Self Portrait by Emily Horacek

57


THE

BEAUTY IN

DEATH

Nicholas A. White “And a man’s legacy lingers in the world, month to month, year to year, until all traces of love have vanished from memory.”

G

randpa always talked in riddles. He claimed his speech was laced with poetry and filled with a mysterious beauty. To him, coherent, shallow sentences were sins against language. “Why do we have to go?” I asked. “To find the field where angels sleep, to love the lost, and honor the dead.” “What?” Dead leaves blew across the asphalt as we wound through the foothills. Grandpa drove as well as one might expect for someone in his condition, and since I was still too young to sit in the passenger seat, I huddled in the backseat, wondering if he would have one of his spells. I figured if he drove off a cliff, the front of the car would smash first, and at least I’d have a few extra moments to live. “Cemeteries are like theaters,” Grandpa said. “They hold in them a secret, a million secrets, all floating, buried, stifled, free. You never know what you can find when you take a moment to reflect. Perhaps, when you least expect it, you might even find yourself.” “How can you find yourself in a cemetery?” I asked. “Because it’s the only place you don’t think to look.” I sighed. Grandpa swerved to dodge a leaf, but he kept control of the car. Under 58

Chronicle


different circumstances, he might’ve stopped on the side of the road to inspect the leaf, but he had promised my momma he’d be on his best behavior. “Leaves of fire, burning red,” he said. “To free the world of all constraint, to ease the pain, to lift the saint, to see through tired eyes of gold, the majesty of life those graves behold.” Invigorated by the fallen leaf, Grandpa whistled the tune of his own words, keeping them alive well after he’d spoken them. “Are you talking about Grandma?” I asked. “All words talk about Grandma, at some point in their lives. It’s the evolution of language, to adapt to all persons.” “Do you miss her?” Grandpa fell silent, kept his eyes fixed on the road, and although I couldn’t see his face, I imagined tears rolling through the wrinkles of his skin. “I miss her very much.”

The cemetery was nestled between two hills, like a raindrop that had settled in the valley. I had never visited Grandma’s grave before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. “Graves are beautiful,” Grandpa said. “To face death with a bundle of flowers, with a smile or tear, to mourn those who pass through. It’s the most selfish thing humans do, but it’s the closest to perfection we’ve ever been.” Grandpa found a bench. It was coated with leaves and dirt and vines. He brushed off the seat for both of us. “Where’s Grandma’s grave?” I asked. Grandpa smiled. “She doesn’t have one, not here. And that’s the beauty of it, the magnificence of death. It frees you from the body, makes you capable of being everywhere and anywhere. You melt into the world. Try to imagine endlessness, Bobby. A river that never stops flowing, a mountain with no height.” The smile on his lips faded, and his lips trembled, and I knew he was about to suffer from one of the spells that made Momma worry about him driving. The tears gushed without pause, and he was unable to open his eyes as his body shook like it was suffering from frostbite. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I let him sob, feeling his trembles pass through White / The Beauty in Death

59


the wooden bench. It seemed to last forever. Once he stopped, I ventured a question, maybe just to break the silence. “So Grandma’s not buried here?” “Grandma was never buried. Only her body.” “Why’d we come here then?” “I’ll die one day, a day not too far off, and I don’t want to leave this world a failed parent, a loner, a thief. To leave without leaving something worthwhile is a waste of life, a burial of oneself before death. You’re the only hope left in this world, Bobby.” “Me?” “To wander through life without purpose is a crusade against humanity. To only live through success is to hide behind a bastion of falsity. You have inside of you the ability to transform the entire world, if only through your own perspective. This cemetery is sad only if you view it as depressing. But look at it. What do you see?”

“Pride vanishes at death’s door, and all we’re left with is what we have in common”

I raised my eyes, hesitant to look. I focused on a grave twenty yards ahead. There were no flowers, no gifts, only a tombstone. I didn’t want to say it, and I knew Grandpa was looking for a different answer, but it was the only word that came to mind. “Loneliness.” Grandpa placed a hand on my shoulder. I expected him to say something, but he only stood from the bench and invited me to do the same. I walked behind him, in silence, to the edge of the cemetery, where a patch of wild pansies bloomed in red and white. Grandpa picked a handful of flowers, and I followed. We went to the barren grave and hovered over the tombstone. “Should we place these gifts beside a stranger’s feet?” “Yeah,” I said. “Then the grave won’t look so empty.” “Pride vanishes at death’s door, and all we’re left with is what we have in common, like we’re drained of all the junk that makes humanity so porously 60

Chronicle


dull. The flowers may make you feel better, Bobby, but they won’t make a bit of difference to the man whose body is under this ground.” “How do you know? Maybe he looks down from heaven and doesn’t see any flowers and feels sad.” “Wherever he is, he doesn’t have the pride or selfishness to care.” “But what if he does? How can you be so sure?” “The same way you’re sure that you’re alive right now. A simple belief, a simple faith, in which an entire life is born.”

The sun vanished when we neared my neighborhood, and the last scatters of light looked like a million spirits escaping into the world before darkness. Momma was waiting on the front porch. “Glad you made it home safely,” she said. “With the care of a butterfly and attention of a bee,” Grandpa said. “Did you leave any flowers on Grandma’s grave?” I looked to Grandpa. He smiled and spoke for me. “We did. Found some pansies with red and white laces, splendid creations.” Momma led us inside and insisted that Grandpa stay with us for the night, since it was dark and she didn’t want him driving alone. “Bobby can ride with me, if that would ease your discomfort.” “Absolutely not. I’ve already been too lenient,” Momma said. “If the state of North Carolina sees it fit for me to drive, even in the dark, then who am I to defy such privileges?” Momma sighed, with anger more than defeat. “Do what you want, Dad.” Grandpa winked at me. “A just conclusion, I must admit, of reason both safe and sound. To hold the flower, life eternal, whose light guides these hands, despite the night.” Those were the last words we heard him speak. The police officer assured us that Grandpa died on impact when he swerved into a tree. It didn’t matter to me what happened, because whether he died on impact or suffered beforehand, he was still dead.

White / The Beauty in Death

61


Waterways by Morgan Cole

62

Chronicle


DESOLATE IRIDESCENCE Matthew Delarosa Unreflecting pool Colored bronze with the toxins of some stagnant scheme Sits lonely, sluggish, and tarnished Against the vibrant blossoms of spring Orphaned by nature and man Like the impractical relic it is Forever fracturing some encompassing light Into oily discord

63


NIGHT EYES TO MORNING’S SIGHT Chris Diorio Moonlight from whites, tainted beautiful bluish-green
 Painted pristine by a Picasso in the night 
 Slender tipped and toed, sneaking beneath shut eyelids
 To perch them wide with pictures of promised plights Still-frames turned sepia, stolen of their shine
 Sigh, less the bluish-green beauty stays silent
 The sounds in these sheets sing my soul’s song
 However solely my own, still know you’re never alone Tethered to thought, a tapestry sown taut 
 Across the crevasses of the mind, to blanket my eyes
 Designed so tenderly it ever remains
 Even when I wake, the bluish-green beauty stays

64

Chronicle


FIREFLIES David Kerfoot Every child waited for the fireflies to come out at twilight— nets ready, their traps, jars with holes, their prisons made of childhood remorselessness. No guilt, just laughter and slaughter— pinch the bulb and liquid light oozes out. We drew our fames on driveways with the innards of innocent fireflies.

65


REVELATION Anonymous I’m haunted by the words, “Why won’t you just let me do you a favor?” And the impression that his lips made a steady drum beat on my body. Those words and lips reverberate in my mind, the litmus test of his desire. An attempt to disguise the red-stained truth, he distracted me with his words. “Why won’t you just let me do you a favor?” These words, though, revealed what he most wanted to conceal. Like the greatest irony, what he said was exactly the opposite of what he meant. These things they teach you in elementary school, but never do you think the context in which they will be most helpful. To decode his words faster that he could declothe me became my power. And it was that irony-stained litmus test, the intentions of his desire, that made my decision.

66

Chronicle


This was the irony of all ironies. The test came out positive, dripping with acidity. He had misplaced his words and misplaced me. Of course what he meant to say was simply, “Let me, let you, do me that favor.�

Anonymous / Revelation

67


Rooted Growth by Simone Wilson

68

Chronicle


AVALON Trey Martin I hear a cold whisper lead me As I tread through snow and frost Among this fir wood forest and The bodies of the lost My knights and friends lie here asleep Appearing so for long For icy winds and creeping frost Will keep their features on We set off from Camelot When spring had just begun Young men, then all, we hoped to gain Our prize in summer sun All sure were we, we would succeed Each man and every friend Would reach the shores of Avalon Before his life would end How brave, and yet how unprepared Were we, the hopeful we Who needed no assurances But myth and mystery

69


Where are they now? Some lie here, and some have past depart To deaden and constrict the bonds Of my soon too frozen heart A whisper led us forward Across both stone and sea A voice so small and still I think it calls from thee Great Lord why bring me here? To die on bended knee? If so, were you not their God too, As you are King to me? I hear a whisper guide me Through the fog drenched shroud Until my feet are turned to death By frostbite on the ground As my vision turns to red And the world slips t’ward gone The whisper turns to shouting, “On, dear Arthur on!” “I can’t” I dream But look up to see The gates of Avalon. When Summer day had passed away, And even Winter gone The Summer Isle, all the while Was here, sweet Avalon

70

Chronicle


TRAFFIC LIGHT Joe Hendricks I watch the light on her face change from red to green, but my feet don’t move, so we don’t go anywhere. It is quiet. The music is turned off. The only movement I feel is an almost imperceptible turning of the engine sitting in front of us. She stares forward, into the light that distorts the luster of her pale face. She is a canvas upon which colors swirl to display the full spectrum of their beauty. Where is the pallet? It might be in front of us, but I won’t look to see. “Why are you waiting?” She doesn’t turn to look at me, for which I am glad. Her stillness has frozen me. A horn behind me rips through the silence, an interruption that draws from me only half a blink. There is no other color in the car. Only the green light that chooses to rest on her pale face. I feel painfully devoid of any hue myself. The color and its warmth, its life does not settle on me. It is suddenly very cold in the car. Horns are now cascading into our limited space. The noise is unwelcome, but accepted. I feel I can see the ripples of sound moving through the air in front of me, ripples that appear on her face. The green light adopts this motion for its own; it is now dancing. “Why aren’t you going?” She still doesn’t look to me, but her eyes are flickering back and forth. The light has changed to yellow. My fingers grip the wheel a little bit tighter. The chance to move is gone. We will not make this stop. I watch the light on her face return to red.

71


DAISY GIRL Katie Crawford you called me your little raindrop wanted by mother earth to nourish and father sky to keep but not belonging to either. little daisy girl, loves you loves you not. you plucked all my petals but new ones grew in their place. in fall the leaves fell, in winter the snow, in spring the rain, but in summer everything was suspended. forehead kisses through sand-man eyes when you didn’t even know me. chasing my golden, silk spun hair but the lavender aroma floated past you. you did seduce me with your words, but you disenchanted me with your eyes, too hungry, too much. it never needed to start because I never wanted it to end.

72

Chronicle


Burst of Color by Simone Wilson

73


OH, BELOVED Jenna Richard Beloved—oh solace, I would never dare name you. I come to you from my deep. I don’t imagine you would sever my poems. Today, beloved, we need to discuss our gift of communication, as humans, our vague willingness to reap what we sew (I know. This is cliché, fuck off). When friends drink too much and are sad, I try. They cannot speak to the subject involved. I try. But I am not the subject involved. They cry. Beloved, do you cry when I don’t write to you? Do you cry in some weird poem land where all the mystical beloveds convene? Beloved, can I speak to you in metaphorical terms? Lately I’ve noticed a buzz sitting like genies among our sidewalks, our brains have begun to rattle on account of the physical over load of thought. You see, a brain can

74

Chronicle


only handle so much, and sharing thoughts is the moment between taking the first sip of winter hot cocoa and third degree burns of black ice. I want to play the “Penis Game� every day, for the rest of my life. penis Penis PENIS!

Richard / Oh, Beloved

75


Barrel by Chris Phillips

76

Chronicle


A SELFISH ELEGY For Father (if he should ever need one)

Redmond Heath

I. I wonder watching the naked ladies. The white one attracts a murmuring trout. I burn my father’s books and slap his mouth. Are we one, the same? Where do I fling your ashes? Out? Casting in the current, muses sing for your final whisper. The dark one sits on your warped spine. Leander has known Their damp rooms under the river. The white one’s hands are the rush

77


between your legs, washing the rust from your knees. Father, is weeping for water your last hope? Curse it and live. Between shores the wind belongs to its whispering. It holds your passing breath. I regret my slap And Father’s lost look. I want back his books And wait for water.

II. The sad man lives in a small town. In November the forests empty out and he speaks marginally to whom he must. Or he lives atop a big city, silently watching the threatening sea and the bus stop choking and doesn’t tell anyone he is there. The sad man changes his name because he does not like it. He asks to be called something else. (“Ed is dead? Oh, Red is dead?”) If not Red then Ned. If not Ned then Jimmy. If Jimmy doesn’t escape the shadows of San Francisco then Peter Pan. He is trapped in trenches and 78

Chronicle


his eyes are deep-ocean dark. The sad man sleeps in soup. His ears are full of shining cotton and his own blue voice. California mocks him and the worm on his bluer heart. He is an unacceptable American. He smokes marijuana alone at the tops of tall trees and has a Russian gut. He cannot pay for his peace, but he buys what he can of the Siberian summer and melting African snow. The sad man is saved by a lover or he is not worth saving. If a woman uncovers him, she is a basset hound whose eyes glint dully as the day breaks. In their beginning, he sits on her shoulders and when he gets down she does not cut his hair—rather, his avian fingernails. In certain springs she runs away—only to come back baying in heavier winters. For him—she does not always come back. The sad man believes he has never suffered by mistake and so whatever it is he says he always does. He believes he will die young with his treasured gen corpus, and in his old age is disappointed that he is not a prophet.

Heath / A Selfish Elegy

79


The sad man thinks the graveyards are littered with people who should have wanted more of what was soon to be gone. If they rest along a river he mourns under the nearest bridge, where the cockcrow fog burns slower and is his father’s mirrored breath. They are the same man and the graveyards mirrors. For in them, he doesn’t know what he is seeing and forgets where to stand—

80

Chronicle


The Chronicle would like to thank the following for their generous donations to the Fall 2013 issue: Ms. Mary Duckenfield Dr. Jeffrey Fine Pearce Center for Professional Communication Dr. Sarah MacLane If you would like to offer a donation for the next issue, please contact our editor at editor@cuchronicle.com.


Chronicle Fall 2013  

The third installment of the new Chronicle, featuring beautiful work by Clemson university and community members. Cover art by design edito...

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you