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flesh is what? a brush no, a space—


thrushed in forked wonderings negative or gold leafing the frames of craned necks.


striving for that glimpse of great human array


all candled under the baldachin


the proverbial death or displacement our lovers, ourselves


fever-thin the lighted slit falls against appled hand holdings


a fist of swollen tapestry, muted & coy religions relieved into white


heavy cream firm & un pinched

lena dunham hasn’t done anything baroque artists didn’t already do

Advice for Everyone at Quiznos Right Now


Go home. Call your friend throwing the party, tell her you are sick. Wrap your hands in cellophane and sit on the patio for a while. Watch two seasons of Frasier and call the photography professor you almost went to Hamburg with. Laugh when she doesn't pick up. She is probably very old now. Look at your daughter's drawings. Wait until she's left to stay at her mom's house. Put them on the fridge using magnets that have the date of your next dental appointment. Don't go. Call your tennis instructor from your ex-wife's blackberry and tell him you're not going to make it today or next Wednesday. Okay, see you then. Haha, you too. Sigh a little bit. Make some paella for your daughter. Get excited until you remember she is at her mom's house all week. Eat two servings of paella by yourself. Stay up later than usual. Call a number on the television and buy two katana blades. Ask the operator if they can be used to cut fruit. Don't be disappointed when he doesn't know and doesn't want to tell you. Lick extra Yoplait off the red foil top. Call your ex-wife to tell her that you have her blackberry for some reason. Realize why that's not going to work. Google how to slow down your breathing. Read a yahoo answers thread about becoming a military sniper. Give up artifice for lent. Remember that it is October and you are lutheran. Sigh deeply. Sigh slowly. Stop.


The Columns on the Parthenon


I carry the burden of success; a yoke upon my chest that says, “No time to rest” after each successive test.


I carry their stares on my back, and a heavy backpack, filled with papers in stacks and pens – blue, red, and black.


I carry what I’ve been given and it drives me – I am driven, pushed forward into living, more demanding than giving.


I carry many things that glitter, and a few things made of gold. I carry a case of the jitters and I shiver in the cold.


The columns on the Parthenon carry Athena’s creaking ceiling. But her words of wisdom, on and on, give me a sinking feeling


that maybe I’m less, or more, than I think that maybe my patience is right on the brink that maybe it’ll all pass by if I blink that maybe I need more than just to see


! !

less red ink.


How To Talk to Strangers


You must be young, and have too wide a vocabulary. You must read

One weekend, when you’re playing videogames, your mom comes to the door, giving you the look she’s been making more and more often:

Sartre, play videogames, and take long walks by yourself. Your favorite

eyebrows raised, eyes shiny behind broken glasses, thin lips parted. She

word must be anomie. Suck the cool air of this word into your mouth,

leaves a book called The Art of Banter: Overcoming Social Anxiety on your

repeating it like a mantra as you take that walk to your first day of school.

dresser. Pause your game. Look at her. Wait.

You’re starting eighth grade in the Berkeley public school system.

“You’ve been spending a lot of time on your own lately, Mary.”

When no one in your first-period science class talks to you, draw bleeding

Just say, “I know.”

eyeballs, naked women with piercings, and the chemical structure of the

She widens her wet eyes, says, “This book helped me.”

medicine you were prescribed, across the front of your binder. Ritalin. The


chemical name is methylphenidate. According to the Wikipedia article you

With these interactions, it’s important to say very little. You must fill

read, it acts very similar to cocaine. Don’t tell your mom that until she finds

your world with as much silence as possible, to hear behind their words. If

weed in your room. That will come later. When your teacher comes around,

she lingers, tune out. Lose yourself in thought: 3,4- methylenedioxy

ask him if you correctly placed the hydrogen bonds on your drawing. When

methamphetamine. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The chemical

he frowns, tells you that you should be recording your observations of

name for Ecstasy. MDMA. When she leaves, open the book and start to

igneous rock, and marks you down a point, don’t show disappointment.

read. “Those who suffer from acute social anxiety will self-medicate at

Observe the rock. Write “It has tawny grains like turbinado sugar.”

social gatherings. By consuming intoxicants, one feels relaxed and

When lunchtime comes, sit alone outside the gym. Bite the skin just below the knuckle of your right index finger and take inventory of the shoes you see on kids passing by.

socializes with greater ease.” By consuming intoxicants, one feels relaxed and socializes with greater ease. By consuming intoxicants, one feels relaxed and socializes with greater ease.

Make friends with the kids who drink, smoke weed and blow shit up. When they ask if you want a toke, accept it. When your eyes get heavy and your muscles relax, tell the cute girl with the mohawk, “I really feel like a being-for-itself right now.” When she asks if you want to light the next smoke bomb, say yes. After the explosion, the boy with the skateboard exclaims, “That was such

the petals. Like a jumper contemplating death, you think. Full of Freedom and Responsibility. Freedom and Responsibility. The sun pokes through the

! thick sky, and the dewdrops glow with life. Your one thought before ! ! dropping your knees to the wet concrete is: God, I think I think too much. For a while you sit there, letting the wet ground soak through the seat of your shorts.

an archetypical experience. You’re meant to hang with us. What’s your

And for a while, everything feels Quiet and Natural.

name?” Go on. Tell them.

When you get home and your dad is sitting at the dining room table,

Start reading Jung. Start hanging out at the local college campus on

tapping anxious rhythms, when you run into you room and find mom sitting

weekends. Smoke joints and read. When your mind is full, walk down

in your beanbag chair, eyes hard and glistening, with your pink deodorant

Telegraph Avenue. Talk to the Hare Krishnas. Talk to the Jesus People. Talk

canister open full of frosted bud to her left, and your laptop full of queer

to the fat bum in the Metallica shirt and ripped shorts who stares at your

porn to your right, when she says, “I didn’t raise a dyke dope-fiend,” when

small breasts and asks if you want a handjob. Say, “No thank you.” Don’t

you suddenly feel as if you’re imploding into a million shards of glass,

talk to him again.

come back to this moment on the sidewalk, come back to this feeling. You’ll

You think life is beautiful. You think you like girls. You think you

understand that this is just the beginning of a cascade of huge tragedies,

don’t believe in God. You think your parents are getting divorced. You tell

small victories, and sometimes, just sometimes, sharp moments of ecstasy.

these things to Kevin, a man who hands out flyers. “I’ll pray for you,” he

Look at your mom like the stranger she is. Give her a smile that says, Just


try me.

“Whatever man,” you say. “It is what it is.” “Have a blessed day,” he says.

Go take a walk, and don’t tell them where you’re going.

On the way home, stop to look at a rosebud, dewdrops hanging on

Go take a walk, and remember this.

Unsafe Generations of books have prepared his mind for poeticism. He thinks in stanzas, little snippets of larger works that he’s too busy to write.

The Press issue 3


He is told he has talent, but tells others he is more Joyce than Hemingway. He thinks he is concussed, but he may just be drunk.


Generations of books have prepared him for the concept of a human being. Whenever he passes one, he understands that they are beyond an obstruction. The knowledge is there, and he finds it tiring.

birdgut seagulls | john pitre | iris yin bloomfield meagan faller| anisa bashiri | josh martin


When he talks, he talks with his hands. He is expressive, well-spoken, articulate. Generations of books have prepared him for the concept of diction.


He feels pretentious. He hates short sentences, because they assume the reader will care enough to read within the white spaces.


Before the now, he thought himself an other-creature. He needed a way up to keep himself from falling down, to land upon the rest of them.

The Press is a website + literary magazine that subsists on contributions- from anyone literally anyone who can write/create things you right now reading this in real time right now submit by email now!!


Generations of books have prepared him for the concept of love. Generations of books have prepared him for heroism, villainy. Generations of books have prepared him for high drama.


Generations of books have made him a reader. He used to think, because he was a writer, he wasn’t allowed to be a character. He feels cliche.


Generations of books have not prepared him for glances and offhand conversation.!

!! !! !


Generations of books have prepared him to respond with exposition and character development. At times he feels his pen is a bit dry. At times he feels self-absorbed, shriveled.

! He’s tired of having to fill in other people’s white spaces. !

Generations of books have prepared him for the concept of natural dialogue.!

“ der neue club” or “the new club” was a Berlinbased association of students and young artists who began literary expressionism

His internalities are the equivalent of grocery store dime novels.!


When he speaks to people, he looks for diction. Good dialogue. Witticisms, cliches.

! A desire to play with their words like food. !

Most times he can’t. He realizes slowly, through the heaviness of experience, that he doesn’t have what it takes to be his own hero, and settles for being the secondary character. He likes to give advice.

! He looks out of windows so people will wonder what he’s thinking about. !

Amidst a conversation he created, he wonders if windows are made of white space. He wonders the same of clouds. How easy it is to be white space, to float along on a tangent.

! He rambles. This is why he can’t be Hemingway, he thinks. !

He likes people who fit a certain pattern, to whom he can narrate and won’t tell him he’s using improper grammar. He is entertaining.


He is a static character, and wonders if the girls that glance at him in class, purely by chance, notice. He wonders if he tells them later, involuntarily. He whines.


He is immature, but people tell him he isn’t. He can’t say no. They are his audience; he needs them. His people. They interest him, they bore him. He has trouble making up his mind.


He does not recognize obvious patterns when they do not interest him. He isn’t quite a person, but thinks he’s closer than most other people.


He never knows what he writes about until halfway through. He puts his conclusion where his intro paragraph should be. Just different enough for someone to tell him they do the same thing and feel a connection.


He feels safe in this. He needs to feel unsafe.

Stained, Immaculate The Hero stood at the foot of the dais, looking up at the end of his journey. Atop the dais there sat a throne, and on the throne sat She. She was perfect, but the Hero was not. She was immaculate, the Hero was covered in grime. His weapon was dull, his shield beaten and scarred. She wore a beautiful white dress. The Hero could not recall how far he had come to rescue Her, but he had come far enough. Far enough that he barely recognized himself, far enough that She, so long having occupied his dreams, was unreal. Far enough that nothing was real. Only the journey was real, and now it was over. Being the Hero, he hadn’t a clue how to proceed. He had crossed the tallest mountains, braved vast forests, split the widest rivers, and left a trail of blackened blood in his wake. He was now here, and unfulfilled. Her dress was unblemished. In his dreams, they were together in the Glade. At his feet lay the God, headless, killed. The Hero’s sword dripped dark blood that stained the grass. The air hummed with latent energy, glowed. In his dreams, the Hero wept. As his irredeemable deeds fell, She caught them. In his dreams, the Hero was clean. At the foot of the dais, the Hero’s dull sword dripped dark ichor. The God lay at his feet, slain, so She may leave with him. So that She may cleanse him, wipe him clean, take his irredeemable deeds and hide them within herself forever, so he may not see them. In the Glade, the Other lay headless, killed, as was not portended. The dying world called out for the Other, but was silent for the Hero. The dying world called out for She. There was an unbearably heavy sound as a drop of blood hit the castle’s stone floor. ! She stood, and her dress swept away his thoughts. She was difficult to look at.! ! ! ! “Are you the one to save me?” The Hero was silent, for a time. Only the journey was real. Only the journey would keep himself away. The Hero, as was portended in his dreams, proceeded. “No,” said He. “I am the one to slay you.”

! !

! ! ! !

Musk Files Suit, Reveals Comely State of US Space Exploration

In recent weeks, entrepreneur Elon Musk (whose qualifications include creating PayPal, founding the electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, and being the closest thing to a real-world incarnation of Tony Stark) has come into the national spotlight for his latest venture with SpaceX Technologies. Musk hit the headlines before for his company’s pioneering work in low-cost rocket construction. In 2012, the Falcon 9 made SpaceX the first commercial company to successfully complete a trip to the International Space Station, and has since provided NASA with routine cargo delivery service. That was only a small step towards Musk’s aspirations for SpaceX: to make humans a multi-planet species by successfully colonizing Mars. This time, Musk isn’t making news by working with the government – he’s taking them to the mat. SpaceX filed suit against the US Air Force last Monday for granting a sole source contract for rocket constructions and launches to the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The suit takes two issues with the contract. First, it constitutes a monopoly on the launch industry. Without Air Force certifications of other launch companies, competitive bidding is impossible and contracts will always be awarded to the ULA without going through a bidding process. It is unclear whether pre-existing anti-monopoly laws extend into areas such as the Department of Defense, but there is a more (legally) persuasive argument against the contract handout, which comes from an unexpected source. The United Launch Alliance, and as a result of most rocket construction projects by the government, purchases and uses rocket engines from the Russian manufacturer NPO Energomash. This in itself is unsurprising, and wouldn’t constitute a legal problem—were it not for the United States’ reactions to recent developments in Ukraine. Russia’s threatened invasion and attempted annexation of Crimea has received resounding condemnation from many international actors, most of all the US, which has imposed harsh sanctions on a number of Russian officials in retaliation. One member of this blacklist is Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.

Rogozin was placed on the list because of his ties to the Russian defense sector, but his jurisdiction also extends into the country’s space industry. Musk’s protest argues that extending a lucrative contract to Russian-based manufacturers would necessarily create economic benefits for Rogozin, which would violate the Ukraine-based sanctions. It was this argument that persuaded Federal Claims judge Susan Braden last Wednesday to issue a temporary injunction preventing the ULA from carrying out the terms of their contract until the case is decided. Whatever the outcome of this particular case is, however, it is a merely one symptom of a larger disease plaguing the domestic space sector. Musk’s complaints illustrate the current state of problems in American space development, which are rooted in an unhealthy attachment to federal bureaucracy that stifles competition and technological innovation. Over the past three years, federal budget cuts have put NASA into crisis, scrambling to make ends meet with limited resources. As a result, domestic launch missions have been severely curtailed, and NASA now relies heavily on Russian capabilities to perform routine launch tasks, including maintenance of the jointly-run International Space Station. When the first cuts were announced, observers optimistically predicted an explosion of private contracts and startups following in the path of SpaceX to make up the difference. Instead, there has only been more of the same – Lockheed Martin and Boeing have maintained their functional monopolies, and reliance on Russia has increased. The latter is particularly dangerous. While, ideally, scientific cooperation is to be encouraged over isolationism and unfounded exceptionalism, the current political climate makes it a risk to rely on pleasant relations with Russia in the near- to long-term future. The Ukraine crisis prompted NASA to cut all cooperative ties (barring necessary ISS-related activities) with Roscosmos (the Russian Federal Space Agency), and it might be too much to expect them to be any more than fair weather friends. As Obama and Putin trade rhetorical blows over sovereignty issues in Crimea, Syria, and the Arctic region, the time is ripe for NASA to find a more stable set of partners with whom to conduct business. It isn’t for lack of available partners that this hasn’t happened, and the troubles with dependence on Russia should not overshadow those that exist at home. Even if the ULA produced all of its components domestically, it would not overcome the obstacles to growth inherent in the sole source model.

There is a reason why private startups such as SpaceX, which have had to compete for a role in the industry, are continuously outperforming existing giants such as Boeing in the realm of innovation. Just this week, SpaceX completed the second launch test for the Falcon 9R model, the first realistic possibility for a reusable rocket system which could dramatically lower the overall cost of a space program. The company continually headlines because they continually make progress, at a more rapid rate than the bloated industry champions. The latter have become lazy from being overfed – because their contracts are near guaranteed, they have no incentive to produce radically new technologies or expand the horizons of research and development beyond the minimum. The lack of a competitive bidding process will only increase government costs at a time when available resources are continuously shrinking, and hinder future development of twenty-first century space exploration technologies.

I never understood sunglasses until you salted the moon. Even then, Linear chopstick epochs were A confused silver. But when the sun Waned and curled back into its Shell- that’s when I began to Appreciate your purple-lensed Delirium. Fancy a coffee table sometime?- toffee

Government contractors have expressed a legitimate worry with abandoning their guaranteed contracts with established partners – newer technologies are less empirically tested and are often decried as unreliable. With more budget cuts looming on the horizon, however, newer and cheaper technologies may soon become their only option. In addition, the only way these developing technologies will ever become reliable, the next step to advancing the government’s capabilities beyond their current state of stagnation, is to allow them to compete for the contracts the companies need to survive. This logic creates a vicious cycle in which new technologies are always sidelined for not being tested, and as a result can never receive the testing they need to prove their mettle. This paints a frightening picture of NASA’s nightmare scenario – a rapidly shrinking budget set against unchanging program costs can only result in the continual cutting of missions, relegating the organization to domestic and international irrelevance. As the international visibility of NASA disappears and limited mission resources decimate its ability to produce real, tangible results that its advocates in the policy can point to, political will to reallocate lost funds to the program will only continue to shrink. The momentum of this downward spiral will be difficult to overcome. Unfortunately, this trajectory is not merely hypothetical, and absent policy victories in areas such as Elon Musk’s lawsuit and NASA’s embrace of up-and-coming private actors, the nightmare scenario will show itself to be more than just a bad dream.

The Press

Press Issue 3