EAST COAST INK - Issue 003 - Portraiture

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east coast ink issue 003 | portraiture


L E T T E r

f r o m t h e e d i t o r 2

P O E T R Y 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B o u n d B i r d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Oh, Zelda Brother Willow Sympathy Card Droughts Happen The Psychiatrist’s Daughter At Cliff ’s Edge Low Road M a r i l y n , Yo u ’ v e T a u g h t M e W e l l Come See Bess at the Troubadour Midheaven Juan T h e Way T h ey L o o k a t M e How to Build an Alias Kafka’s Cane

F I C T I O N 2 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A p p r e h e n s i o n ( e x c e r p t ) .................. The Button Revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S o l i t a i r e

w r i t e r s p o t l i g h t : j a c k g i a o u r 4 1

M I C R O F I C T I O N 5 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H u m m i n g .................. The Spoon Effect .................. That’s Not Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T h e B i r d w a t c h e r

N O N F I C T I O N 5 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F r i t z . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M i n n i e F u n e r a l .................. The Nuwaubian Notebook

B o o k R e v i e w s 7 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T h e R e n t a l H e a r t a n d O t h e r F a i r y t a l e s b y K i r s t y L o g a n

.................. Coast to Coast by Frederic Raphael

e a s t c o a s t e v e n t s 7 9 C o n t r i b u t o r s 8 7

ISSUE 003 EAST COAST INK Summer 2014


eci staff owner, editor-in-chief Jacqueline Frasca associate editor Austen Wright fiction editor Erika Childers nonfiction editor Jill Shastany reviews Ethan Rubin Laura Apperson editorial intern Danielle Behrendt East Coast Ink Issue 003, Summer 2014: Portraiture.

Cove r a r t i s t : Ad r ia Me rcu r i; adr iame rcuri. com

Images inside front cover and on pages 20, 31, 36, 41―42, 79―80 and 81―82 by Jacqueline Frasca.


East Coast Ink magazine is produced four times per year and is an individually owned and operated publication. For additional content , please visit ecimagazine.tumblr.com and connect with us @ecimagazine. Pitch us your creative nonfiction and submit fiction, poetry, micro fiction, book reviews, mixed media artwork and photography to ecimagazine@gm ail.com . Copyright of all materials reverts to the individual artists and authors. No materials may be reproduced under any circumstances without written permissions from the editorial staff.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

letter from the editor Fo r a s l o ng a s I ca n re me mb e r, I have writ ten about people. People I know, p e o p l e I th o u gh t I kn e w, p e o ple I wish I knew, parts of myself I wish wo ul d ma ke a s atis fa ctory pe rs o n. It c om es wit h the territory of having borde rl ine p e r s o n a l ity d is ord e r ; re la tio nships bec om e m ore im portant t han any ot he r p a r t o f you . Su d d e nly eve r yth ing from abandonm ent to adoration c ould b e i ma g i n e d e n tire ly, ma king it nearly im possible to grasp even a fuzz y Pol a ro id o f u n d e r s ta n d in g o f oth e r pe ople, or yourself. Hum an interac t ions, broke n d ow n i n ha n d -wr itte n g ra ph s and in hundreds of pages, t rying to m ake s e ns e o f t h e re a c t ion s th ey ca n e licit . We form portraits of people all day long w itho ut re a l i z i n g it , wh e th e r we pay a ttention or not . No m at ter how c losely yo u l o o k, yo u ’ re c rea tin g. T h e pictu re m ay not be c om plete by any m eans, or even re l i a b l e . T h e tricky p a r t is wh en you t ry to t ake in the full pic ture and s til l e nd u p w i t h p ie ce s . Po rtra itu re co me s in a ll form s, but at its c ore is dependent on one thing : Pe rc e p t i on . Po rtra its a re you r interpret at ions of other people, or even yo u rs e l f . No ma tte r th e me d ium you explore, it ’s not guaranteed the na r ra to r c a n be t r us te d . How re lia b le is t he way you look at people? The way you i n te ra c t with th e m? Ca n yo u ac c ept your perc eptions of another person a s eve n a n i n k l i n g o f h ow th ey re a lly are? T h i s s u mme r is s u e of East Coast I nk explores portraiture of all kind s , f ro m v i g ne tte d wr itte n s na ps hot s and figure studies to m ult im edia re p re s e n ta tion s o f re a l pe o ple we t hink we know. People we adm ire, peo pl e wh o h u r t u s , p e r s o ns b eyon d reac h. Portraits burned and c hipped into wo o d . G l i m p s e s . In th is is s u e we u ltim ately wanted to see what you see, and we ’re ve ry p l e a se d with wh a t f ille d these pages. We are also extrem ely exc ite d to h ave a r t by Ad r ia Me rcu ri, on e of t he m ost t alented port rait artist s I know, o n t h e c ove r. A l s o in th is is s u e yo u ’ ll find t hree new sec t ions. On page 70 you’l l f ind b o o k rev ie ws by Eth a n Ru b in and Laura Apperson wit h E ast Coast events yo u d o n’ t wa nt to mis s th is s u mmer on page 79. Flip to page 87 to m eet t he c o n t r i b u to rs a nd f ind o u t wh at t hey ’re all about and even how to reac h the m. Fro m o u r d evo te d s ta f f r igh t to you, we hope you enjoy t his issue as m uch a s we d o . We re co mme n d re a d ing t his on a ham m oc k, while enjoying an ou td o o r p a t i o w i t h a ta s ty b eve ra ge , o r by water of any kind.

Jacqueline Frasca


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Hope Kauffman


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

[ poetry ] bound bird

Cathleen Cohen Her arms float over lunch and she blinks, blinks to clear debris from the horizon. Ballet trained her, trained us all. Even now she leaves the Roquefort on the side, piles croutons in a wall around the salad.

Disciplined legs marched her down 102 floors, spine straight , no matter what quaked, what collapsed. Hours of rond de jamps, plies, split feet , were rehearsal for now: skin grafts, therapies, bones re-broken. But she won’t enter the city by tunnel or train, won’t cross bridges or take elevators. Uttering her wont’s with a flourish of fingers, she holds a meager grip on the fork. She has changed into a hawk, scanning even this small space, noting points of egress, routes of escape.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Oh, Zelda

Ana Caballero Pretty much, you were a crazy bitch.

Incensed by beauty in others, talent in others. No one else was Zelda. Zelda painting. Zelda

writing. Zelda dancing. Zelda loving. Zelda

interrupting. No one had your husband. Or your name. A belle, at times, more often

a tease. Bad Zelda, who silenced entire books. Drunk Zelda, who shut them down like boys. All the rage, all of it , yours. Sorry Zelda, making the cottage beds, blowing softly

a pot of rings and gold, and you got taken to the crazy home. The unwell woman

in the attic, with you, told decades too late.

No new love or worried young girl

could save you from the locked doors above, the savage blaze below.

After Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast”

at the suffering fire. Sweet Zelda, who says it won’t be so. Again the happy host . Again

the righteous muse, who, for a second, stood right upon the floor. But , silly Zelda, you boiled


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Brad Costa We sit across the table and make small talk over breakfast . Ten years since I’ve seen you. You pass the butter with hands that held me when mother couldn’t bother. Coffee drips down the lips that taught me dirty words.

I think of all you put us through, shaping both sides of my moral compass by example of what not to do, learning how to treat family, how to forget transgressions when someone comes knocking for a desperate meal. You slowly fade as light seeps in through my morning eyelids.

Ten years since I’ve buried you. Ten years I’ve dreamt of you.

And as I wake I realize that’s all you can ever be, a dream and a memory, and I wish for one more cup of coffee.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014



John Grey Willows are universally dour. The branches sweep slow triple time in the languid breeze. I can’t remember when there wasn’t such a tree smothering this stretch of ground. Age and loss has brought me to the gravestones these sluggish willows feign to protect . Remembrance itself is more cypresses and the rivers they share, from flush summer to winter despair and spring absolution. In wind squalls, they like a good laugh together, tossing branches and ripping up ripples, and in the calm, they fill with birds and fish and, most importantly, so many of my days. Trees wallow in their own meaning, like oaks that feed the beaver dams, and all those anchoring pines. Some nurse life in their rocking boughs. But willows hug the center like the bodies beneath, then spread like death’s cold reach. In search of shade, I’d choose any other tree. But when shade searches for me, then there’s the willow.


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

Sympathy Card

Meredith McDonough Sincerity stammers with misplaced breath marks, a toppled Ave Maria, and starts on the wrong thought , like, perfect circles do not exist in material reality. He knew that but he tried for symmetry anyway saying lance the bumps in your skin and you look like your mother. He doled out solutions

stratified in creams and the idea that staying the same is the definition of health, as if life is a watermark and our efforts for beauty and the pills that slide down our throats are gestures of maintenance.

Now that he’s gone, the pre-dinner crackers will always be stale, the martinis strong, and his arguments as predictable and well-tread as perfect circles. His skin peels back, its cancers now dormant brown blots.

Think of me at your favorite age, he says. His calves re-muscle so he can stand in his boat shoes, he leans forward to meet my height , and says that the definition of death is staying the same. I say his name John, and he says Well, as if wisdom will follow the comma.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Audrey Gatewood

droughts Happen Marlee Gaffey

Your footstep is a war drum Heady, full, leaking sea water From a long day ’s work I wait on the bottom concrete step One eye puckered in golden hour A silent question pressed flush On stone, a single sunburned syllable Amid a day of rattle: trashcans chiming Heat droning, zinnias screaming Back decks splitting, clouds hissing Peach tea saying farewell! From the pitcher and into the glass Little eddies waiting to whirl In one, lonely belly


The Psychiatrist’s Daughter Eloisa Amezcua

My daddy ’s a drug dealer, taught me morals and Valium. I imbibe, always proscribed, daddy says if I add it all, the chemical, I die. These medicinal interactions, the advised reaction— I’m stabilized, satisfied. I memorized the Manual before the alphabet . Daddy says I’m not a psycho as I tiptoe to the medicine cabinet where I’ve measured my doses, capsuled and coated. Labeled and sorted. Blue’s bubblegum lollipops, yellow ’s more butterscotch or gum drops. Together it’s bliss filmed in sweat .

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


“Weird Wolf,” Samuel Augustine

At Cliff’s Edge Steve Klepetar


“They found me wandering at the edge of a cliff beside nightmares of your body” - Audre Lorde And I am blind and my clothes are torn my children have been turned away their cries echo in the valley below my daughters fetch me water from a sacred spring their hands are scratched their nails broken on sand and rock my sons have turned the forest into ash, they dream of bulls stampeding on the plain of armies gathering at the city ’s gates, my feet bleed and wild birds vex my path I tremble at the cliff ’s edge a sea of olives moans in the steep and dreary space your body moans in its nightmare sleep your arms have turned to pillars of stone, your ears fly off, circling my head. Your eyes I would place on my reverent palms your legs become a circle of flesh. I have dreamt you dreaming you in the deep, you with your buried hair, I have dreamt your lips tortured with salt igniting the air in an ocean of flame.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

Low Road

Janelle Yates She walks from the depot down the long road past patches of dirt , chain link, body shops and junkyards, where purple wildflowers weave through a fence, round-leafed weeds lace through the grass, and old tires and rusted fenders laze in the shadows. It is noon, the sky mottled by clouds. It doesn’t feel like an ending. She thinks she will walk this road in other seasons and tell about it though nothing could capture its lovely squalor or her vulnerability which today feels like sweetness. When the rain starts she tents her jacket over her head and keeps moving, a trellis of familiar notes forming a hymn in her mind. And as she steps she thinks of herself striding down a plain road past objects so ordinary they flood her with tenderness. And her regard for that woman walking makes her seem like someone other, someone she might read about , someone not herself.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Marilyn, You’ve Taught Me WEll Carly Feinman

“I am what you designed me to be. I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt .” –Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Your mother told you to marry him because you were just a plain girl from Brooklyn and he was going to Switzerland to become a doctor. You were eighteen and as you stepped into that gown question marks bled down your all-done-up-face but she pulled you to your feet and placed the bright bouquet in your hands.

In the sixties, mornings were spent in front of the mirror, while the nanny poached your eggs and chased your stubborn son around the house with a toothbrush. By noon you’d be ready to venture out to the country club for afternoon tea ( just to be seen). Your hair was always high above your head and you used so much hairspray that each Sunday the maid would have to wipe down the vanity mirror twice to remove the residue. Your hair grew out as you hollowed out and in the seventies your daughter took note and took a liking to frozen peas and carrots and not much else. In the afternoons she’d find you naked and crumpled in the dark master bedroom MaGet out! your eyes leaked years upon the carpet MaGo! flies gathered around the cluttered vanity to suck the brandy-stained glasses But MaNow!


The eighties were filled with art exhibits in New York weekends in the Hamptons and

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

spending your ex-husband’s money on Egyptian sheets, white silk blouses and coke. Just the necessities, darling. Phone calls from your three grown kids always woke you up no matter the time.

I was born in the nineties and when you came to the house you’d berate the mess my mother left and rearrange the art on the walls. You took pleasure in dressing me up and I looked so happy beneath the frilly heap. Ma, what ’d youShe loves it! It was class and you drenched me in it . But she’s cryingTears of joy, darling! Flipping through the stiff album pages, I marvel. Who took these photos what did they have to say to provoke a smile and how quickly did it vanish after the flash faded. You often tell me things about myself. I look you in the eyes and pour out vacancy but I suppose all you see is the nodding, the silent obedience because you keep going with the observations You’re so quiet , did you know that? You’re too punctual, did you know that? then the inevitable You should really smile more, you just look so much prettier when you smile. It shouldn’t still surprise me. It always has been about the aesthetics hasn’t it?

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


” a S L E E P T O M Y O W N T U N E , ” D a m a r i M c B r i d e

come see bess at the troubadour John Grey

She sits alone in a cafe wearing a simple brown dress with her hair cut shorter than when he was in her life. She’s like an animal feeling the cold coming on, reaches for her coffee like it’s another’s hand, a way to get back what she once had. A candle drips. The coffee’s not all that warm. On a notepad, she sketches a song— not like her old sad ones that eventually came true. This is one is as true and bitter as her life now. These aren’t lyrics that know why things happen. And they ’re imaginative enough not to be precise. She has a show coming up. Maybe he’ll be there. Maybe he’ll hear this very same song once she adds chords, once she wraps her ragged voice around it . He’ll know it’s about him and he’ll still applaud his own treachery. For she’s a singer and a songwriter. Alone and hurt— that’s where the audience comes in.


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Marlee Gaffey Dear Cancer, you’re all tapped out The dozens and dozens of cookies Baked this weekend have left you Feeling spare and crumb-fine The child batting at your ruffled apron Reminds you of days before laundry Craved the clothesline and spring wind Don’t fret , precious moonchild Take some time to relax with a lover Suspend yourself in milky nets Streams of cosmic debris and luscious Mulberry-colored skies This week: Uranus squares Pluto Off in the billion-mile distance You may question human purpose But let me assure you, dear Cancer That it surely means nothing

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014



Ana Caballero I think about your death, I do. About your sister editing film in a dark room.

About your mother who would not age, who from another city now paints. About your father, in every story the tallest man. About your sister’s rain-straight hair. The same that kept pendulum time when she would rollerblade down the Lower West Side.

You took me to her apartment once. Drove me down from Boston in your big, black car. I remember her skates, her left-over papers with NYU A’s, her hair when she skated, swinging the tempo to her absolute thighs. I think of your face when you picked me up, proud it was me getting in, proud of the big, black car. How you would say we should go all the way, for old times’ sake. Once, in fifth grade, you called to say we should kiss on the cheek the next day. When I got quiet , you said others were planning the same, it was a thing, you said, that would go down the next day.

That day, you brought a card, so massive, so red, I was embarrassed to read what it said. I can’t remember if you kissed my cheek. I hope you did, although I made it up to you, I did, for old times’ sake.


My younger brother visited once and we ended up in your big, black car. We took tequila before Comm Ave, and my brother puked out the side of your everything car. Juan, if I did not say it then, I am sorry about the car, I am,

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

my brother was a big fan.

We watched you play tennis, my brothers and I. Your baggy Agassi neon a promise of gold. You did, you won, and we liked for you to see us when you won. But then you told your coach, father tall, that I was your girl, and I stopped going for fear you’d miss the ball. I asked you once if you kept your tennis up. But , too much, we were out in the night doing things upon the dawn. And now, I cannot say: “I think, sometimes, of Juan.” There is no second sentence to whom that’s fair.

No way to say how on that day, another burial went down. A teenage boy knifed at a game by the other team’s crowd. His mourners shook posters of his name and wailed like someone they knew had died. While on our side, we moaned like another cold dog. I stood behind someone tall, the smell of smoke on his big, black coat , hunched in close to block my view of the few that dropped you down. It took me a while, Juan, it did, but here it finally is: a wailing poster of your name, for the sake of old times’ sake.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


the way they look at me Steve Klepetar

“It’s the way they look at me when I climb up sheets of rain,” she said, “like they think I’m Mary Poppins or some ghost performer from over the dark hills.” Her hands are slick with rain but beautiful and soft , fingers longer than the final notes of a sweet violin. “They look at you because their eyes are sick,” I say, “and you provide the cure.” She’s mollified if not convinced and I follow her up the slanting drops soaked through wet , black clouds.


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

how to build an alias Meredith McDonough

Kafka’s Cane J.R. Solonche

No doubt he wanted it as a complement to his black suit and bowler hat , the ones he wore every day, even in summer. Or maybe he wanted one because he recalled that Balzac inscribed the head of his, I crush all obstacles, which he could now turn into, All obstacles crush me. What a comical figure he must have made walking to the workmen’s compensation office as, every few steps, crushed by all obstacles, he fell to his knees, or on his back, where he flailed about to right himself, the cane scribbling parables in the air.

First , go to the mirror and un-recognize yourself. Look at how your neck holds up her head. Look at how her pupils are identically sized motes. Signs of un-damage. You can rest easy about her. Next , make a variation on an enemy ’s name. If she was Della Moore, you’ll be Della Rose. Look at a photo of her. That spike of rage will turn into shy acceptance of her beauty. That’s me you’ll think I really did look good in my petticoats. And the men in the corners of the frame? Well, they heaped admiration on me like bowler hats stacking and stacking. Begin a timeline and let the new memories blur like train cars in motion you wore pearls worked as a prostitute fell in love with them all shot guns tasted dust in your teeth cut and cut your hair closed the curtains threaded the needle and pushed it through Lastly, look at her reflection in the mirror as she rounds the corner of the bedroom door, flyaway hairs captured in her lips, face in cautious greeting.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


�record 108, 5th ward,� vivian charlesworth


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

�record 201, 5th ward,� vivian charlesworth

”Window,” Andrew Sherman

[ fiction ] a p p r e h e n s i o n ( excerpt) Marianne Rogoff

Foundation Jon Green lives in the desert and works in concrete. His customers want cement driveways, cinder-block fences, stone walkways that lead to steps to patios to sculpted entries. The new shopping center needs sidewalks. Jiffy Lube hires him to build pits for men to stand under cars and examine the inner workings. Everyone needs a solid foundation. Year-round, relentlessly, his town is exposed to the elements. Every town is this way, with some seasons more benevolent than others; in certain spots natural disasters are more predictable or the possibility for them to occur is known. Most of the year Desert Lake City is all white-hot sunshine. TV news often declares it the hottest spot in the nation; for months at a time temperatures over 120 degrees. Sunscreen is mandatory along with sunglasses and the ability to organize your life so you are up and out early, working outside in the cooler dawn, tending to air-conditioned business during midday heat , extending the outdoor workday through the gradual darkening of evening. You cannot survive without air conditioning. The contrast can be drastic, from the chill air of Wal-Mart and the bank out to the searing pavement that can melt the soles of your shoes, into the cold blowing of the car’s fan. At home, windows and doors stay closed, curtains drawn. When you’re inside you can’t feel the heat of outdoors; outside, you are part of the landscape, like a rattlesnake or rock, until you retreat to your shaded vehicle or shelter. Most days the landscape is dazzling and bright . Jon rises before dawn then drives to the dry parcel he has bought , and stands there. His lot is on top of a hill where he can see far, to where the sky meets horizon without a line and the land stretches before him endlessly. He chose this property because no one can ever build high enough to block his view of the man-made lake and the California mountains across the way, beyond the wide Colorado River. The sun comes up blazing, a canopy of light that falls over him like a wave. Jon breathes in the heat and pulls plans from his pocket . He pictures his place, finished: pool, waterfall, fountain. He’ll seed a lawn: desert prosperity. He pounds stakes into hard ground, walks off the length and width of a new foundation with his shoes, and ties twine around stakes from corner to corner, breaking ground. He shapes the space; hills of dirt are brought in to raise the lot above flood washes; his backhoe makes ditches to direct the course of heavy rains. At sunrise

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


he is already digging sharp claws against the tight , ungiving earth, marking territory his. The man maneuvers gears, shifting forward and back, scooping large hunks of dirt up, over, down, and dumping them at the corner of the lot where he plans to construct his fence. He will build it slowly, one block at a time, use a level, layer cement with a trowel to connect one block to another, stand back, make adjustments. He will take his time, months of sunny mornings, to get it right , corners square and even, pattern symmetrical. He forklifts a newly delivered load of pink blocks to a far corner. His wife chose pink to match the color of desert sunsets; Leah feels that the less expensive gray cinder blocks look cheap. Jon is concerned with intruders and forces of nature. He has twin sons to protect , a baby on the way, and he intends to provide for them everything he never had. The baby starts to show as spring is ending and Jon marvels at the underwater throb of the heart , the way the mother’s body swells and accommodates the new weight , the unwilled welling of his own emotions: Fear and exhilaration, terror and elation go back and forth alternately taking him over in mysterious instants of contact with invisible being. Securit y A house made of concrete will not burn down. Jon’s new foundation is big, durable, carefully poured; his walls are sturdy and perfectly squared, every shingle laid on the roof by hand, by Jon. He appreciates the results of his work every time he rounds the corner to his street . Balconies, porticos, columns, steps, his. The knowledge that he has participated in every step of the building steels him. A patch of grass marks the front yard near the mailbox. Upstairs, out back, a luxu rious lawn supports a play structure with solid wood posts, a wide slide, swings with thick chains, the hooks that hold them in the air the best you can buy. Inside, Leah has hand-picked every doorknob, sink, and faucet; the tilework in the bathrooms and kitchen has been designed by her. Jon is downstairs in the garage and hears the familiar sound of his father-in-law ’s footsteps on the kitchen tiles and listens on the intercom to them talking. “Doesn’t cost that much more to go first class,” Leah’s father tells her. Leah says they can’t afford it and her father lets her know the money is there. He is part of his daughter’s life now that he is an old man; when she was little he was away all the time, making money. “My little girl deserves the best ,” Jon hears. No father ever said that to him, you deser ve the best. No one said, what a fine son you are, what a good man, but he turned out okay. He hardens his heart , finishes chores, pumps weights, does situps, then sprints down the street in front of his house, as hard and far and fast as he can. If he runs far enough, fast enough, gets enough out of breath, dizziness makes him forget old crap. Pride in himself and his own accomplishments pushes him towards the gleaming sunset .


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

the button revisited Lance Manion

Before I launch into this, I’d better give you a quick bit of background in case you’re unfamiliar with the Richard Matheson short story “Button, Button.” Published in Playboy in 1970 it went on to be the basis of a Twilight Zone episode in 1985 and then in 2009 the Cameron Diaz movie “The Box.” The story itself was really just a retelling of a passage from the 1802 François-René de Chateaubriand book entitled “Genius of Christianity.” What I’m trying to get at is this ... in these varied incantations, someone is presented with a button and if they press that button someone they don’t know will die and then they will receive a huge cash payment . You can see how if you were unfamiliar with this premise and I just went barreling along it might have caused some confusion. Now we can start . Actually, one last thing—calling it a story might be a little inaccurate. What I’d like to do is elicit a quick giggle with a little visualization. I realize that most men, and some women, are not fans of giggling and would prefer to let loose with a full-blown laugh or just forget the whole endeavor, but in this case I hope you’ll make an exception. Remember the fun of trying not to giggle in school? The more you tried to hold it in the harder it became? Perhaps try that approach; it might help you overcome your fear of silliness in general. Knowing the kind of people that read my material I assume that you would immediately hammer that button down. I’m not here to evaluate the morality of the decision to push or not push the button. In your defense, I’m sure the person you pictured dying was from some shithole in Africa or some god-awful country in Eastern Europe where the people can live in any color house they choose as long as they choose cement grey. You’re horrible like that . I’m not here to point fingers. Rest assured, if given the opportunity I would wear that button out . Instead, I’d like you to imagine sitting across from the box in front of a giant bay window. I want you to see yourself struggling with the decision and at the same time take notice of various people walking by. Then I want you to see yourself pushing the button down as one of the people walking by the window drops. Actually, now I picture it in my head, I get a full-blown laugh. Perhaps those of you with both an active imagination and a fear of giggling and/or snickering can proceed with renewed gusto. Now I’d like you to imagine the same exact scene except this time the button gets stuck and everybody walking by the window starts to drop. Of course, you are there fiddling with the box with a concerned look on your face. Looking around helplessly with an “Is it supposed to stick like this?” look on your face as the bod ies start to stack up outside like so much cordwood. If you haven’t laughed yet I don’t want to jump to the conclusion that you’re a humorless turd, I’ve been told that being sensitive occasionally is exactly what could cause my readership to one day surge into the double digits. Instead I’d like

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


to think that you’re just a bit squeamish and the idea of people dying just for a laugh upsets you. Honestly though, if that’s the case I’ve lost all respect for you. Anyway, try imagining the effect of pushing the button to be something less than death. See if that works for you. Wait , wait , wait ... you thought of something like erectile dysfunction didn’t you? Something that wouldn’t change the behavior of the people walking past the big bay window. Honestly, that’s why I can’t trust you to do anything on your own. It has to be giving them a hunchback or explosive diarrhea, something that would result in hilarity behind you as you pushed the button. Like blindness. You push the button and suddenly someone comes crashing through the window. If you imagined yourself hitting the button and seeing yourself fall over dead because we can’t truly know ourselves so you sit there smugly thinking you’ve outsmarted Richard Matheson, François-René de Chateaubriand and myself then I wish I had a button in front of me that when I hit it you would die. I’d probably sprain my wrist I hit it so hard. Then I’d find out it was one of the six people who bought my last book. Even in a stupid story a moral is always trying to inject itself in where it’s not wanted.



”bonfire,” audrey gatewood

Nate Totten




Parisa Zarringhalam


What goes through the mind of a person in solitary confinement? What do they think about? In solitary confinement you get used to the silence around you. The space you are in; you adjust . You think about things you don’t really want to think about . There’s no way to stop thinking when thinking is the only thing to do. You will eventually get around to thinking everything. You look at the four walls that confine you and try to trick yourself into thinking there are actually six walls because of that corner where the cinder blocks were built around a pipe or something. Do you think about what you’ve done to deserve to be kept in this place? You are not sure. To think directly about it feels like carrying a bomb in your hands. This kind wouldn’t fit in a backpack and only you would feel its impact . Maybe you are not that delicate. Maybe the pressure of being in this room has hardened you. Like other things that are sealed off from the world, maybe you’ve begun to change into something else. This room is not a cocoon, you won’t be emerging with wings. It’s more like a place where things have been sent to ferment . Perhaps you are the organic material that in four hundred million years will become coal, ready to be burned and used to fuel another decade of ethnocentrism in the U.S. There’s an elephant in your head and you tiptoe around it . Those may be song lyrics. There’s this broad misunderstanding that when you’ve been locked up in solitary confinement , you forget interactions with the outside world and become uncivilized. That’s wrong. You haven’t forgotten anything. You remember exactly what kind of music you like, what kind of food, what kind of clothes. You probably remember most of the movies you’ve sat through, you remember using different kinds of hand soap, walking places, choosing deodorant . You remember all the things that you’ve experienced growing up. The girls you’ve dated, the girls you’ve liked but haven’t dated, the girls who you knew liked you but would never date. It’s just that those things don’t really matter, because even if you miss any of them that’s not going to stop you from existing. You don’t have that control. You have no control. Maybe it’s easier to think like you’re speaking to a person. That way, it’s almost like you are not alone. You think about your life, relive good memories and bad, even though they all taste the same. You think about when you were in high school and would secretly fantasize about aspects of the life you would have when you were an adult , what kind of woman you wanted, what kind of kids, what kind of vacations. You have time to do this, if not exactly privacy. But it doesn’t really matter what the people watching you think; they ’re not going to judge you on that . Maybe you’ve gotten so used to the silence around you that you’ve ceased to notice days passing by. Like standing between two mirrors facing each other, identical copies of your days stretch out in front of you and fade off behind you. There’s no reason to look ahead because it’s the same as the past . And you trudge through your days like wading through a swamp of things you don’t want to think

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

about or step on, memories soaking into the fabric of your clothes and weighing you down. Maybe there are parts of your life that are completely unrelated. So you think about high school. You were captain of the wrestling team. You went to high school in Cambridge. Even though your family was from a place in what is now Russia, you grew up here. You were a citizen. You were going to college, from all accounts it seems like you were a smart person even if you were trying to support yourself by dealing drugs. Seems like this came from your brother. When did you decide you hated Americans, like your brother? Your brother has been implicated in the murder of three people in Waltham two years ago. Your brother was much older than you. He wasn’t a citizen. Wasn’t going to college. Didn’t have any future to speak of. But back to you, who is alive. Many people in the world would have died for their children to be where you are. Or were. Especially people from the place your family was from. Some might say that this country had been fairly good to you, a person who decided to become

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


a terrorist simply to be a terrorist . So, where did it go wrong? When did it seem like your life no longer meant anything? Was it because you were failing most of your classes? The thousands you owed UMass Dartmouth? You were nineteen years old, living with friends. People have dug themselves out of more, so why did you decide you had nothing left to lose? Had you ever set a goal for yourself or had your life always been too flimsy to bet your heart on something you might not even get the chance to accomplish? You bombed a marathon. It was like you were saying to all the people who’d set completing it as their goal that because you couldn’t accomplish anything, neither could they. You are only twenty now. You still have a lot of time left to live and it seems a lot of waiting around in prison cells too. It’s unclear how much you were influenced or controlled by your brother but free will is something everyone is supposed to have. Maybe you hadn’t developed yours enough. Maybe you weren’t developed enough, as a person. In some parts of the U.S., the game solitaire is called “patience.” You probably would not have bombed a marathon if you were alone. You probably wouldn’t have killed an MIT police officer if you were alone. Nor would you have had a shootout with police in Watertown. You’ve been left caught holding the bag of something nasty that doesn’t quite match up with your personality, and now you’ve got years ahead of you that stretch off into the distance and you have to carry that bag. You will need patience as you move from one cell into another and as the years move by, affecting everyone else but you. You will wait for time to change the place you are in to another as your state slowly changes from one to another. The bag you carry will get heavier and heavier and the pressure of carrying it will contribute to your transformation. Confined and cut off from a place where you could have grown, you will shrink back into yourself, become distilled into a reason someone else will use for their own purposes. And you will end up exactly where you began, by being used. People will talk about you as the years go by without actually thinking about you. You will become something less than human in the eyes of your fellow citizens. You will not be remembered for what you did, you will be forgotten because of what you did. You are no longer a person, no longer worth understanding, no longer worth a voice. You will become the elephant in the story about several blind people feeling different body parts of the elephant and each concluding that it’s anything but an elephant .


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


”floating guy,” samuel augustine

“burning me down,” Danny McGinnist, Jr. (burned, chipped wood)




east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

spotlight Jack Giaour J a c k G i a o u r ca me to o u r a tte n tion in I ssue 002 of East Coast I nk and we kne w we n e e d e d to re a d more . A you ng writer with an arsenal of c om pelling sho rt p i e c e s , t h i s is on e word s mith o n the rise. We reac hed out to Giaour, who l ove s to p u r s u e no t o nly writin g b u t also m usic , to learn all about who got him w r i t i n g , wh o h e ’ s re a d ing, a nd what ’s next on t he horiz on.

Did you always feel compelled to write, or did it come on later in life?

Giaour: I’ve loved books and reading for about as long as I can remember, and at some point in elementary it just felt natural to start trying to write my own stories. S o fiction definitely came first; it was writing poetry that took a long time to develop.

What was your first story about?

Giaour: That ’s a tough one... The first story I can remember writing was in fifth grade. We had just learned about the solar system in science class, and the story itself was about a crew of space pirates that raid other space ships traveling through the asteroid belt .

Who/what got you into poetry? Is that what you focus on in your writing now?

Giaour: I didn’t really appreciate poetry until eighth grade, when we did a unit on Edgar Allan Poe in my English class. Maybe ironically, we read both his fiction and his poetry, but it was really the poetry that caught my attention. Basically from then on I’ve focused most of my energy on writing poetry. Now I primarily write poetry, though I do still write fiction occasionally.

Which of his poems really caught your attention?

Giaour: “Alone,” “The Raven” (of course), and “The Sleeper ” were the three that I really loved, and I still count those among my favorite poems.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


Who else is on your favorite list of poets?

Giaour: My favorite group are the British romantics (Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, John Keats, S amuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake), but after studying Old English, I’ve come to love medieval poetry as well. Which makes me sound really stuffy and academic. I do, of course, love contemporary poets as well, but those are my favorites.

Not stuffy at all—the contemporaries have to come from somewhere. What is your writing process like? Are you a coffee shop dweller or susceptible to whenever inspiration strikes?

Giaour: A bit of both. I try to keep a notebook on me at all times and write whenever something strikes me. However, the real editing , the transformation from nonsense into actual poetry, will happen (sometimes for hours) in coffee shops and at home.

How long do you typically work on a poem once you’ve started getting it on paper? How do you know when it’s done? Is it ever done?

Giaour: Anywhere from a few hours to several months. It really depends on the poem, though the short ones (strangely enough) usually take longer. The honest answer would be that no poem is ever “finished,” but there is a point when I decide that it ’s ready to be shared with other people. At that point , I’ll usually ask a few friends to edit it , and then continue working with it until I can imagine sharing it with a stranger. It ’s at that point that I consider it ready (hopefully) to publish.

We can really respect that kind of revision (and are sure many poets would agree). Outside of workshops, it’s sometimes hard to kill your darlings. Giaour: S ometimes it ’s even harder in workshops, because you have several people telling you your “darling ” needs to go, and not just one...

When you’re not writing, what can you be found doing?

Giaour: Of course, I love to read. But outside of the literary world I really love music: writing , listening , playing , going to shows, watching interviews, etc. If I’m not doing something with books, I’m probably doing something with music.


writer spotlight

Do you play instruments, sing, etc.?

Giaour: I sing , and I can play the flute and the electric bass. I can “play ” the guitar, but I’m terrible at it; I’m much better with the bass.

Do you think you’ll follow writing or music for a career, or something else entirely?

Giaour: In the fall I’ll be starting an MFA program in poetry, so poetry will probably be my career path. But once I’ve tightened up my vocals a bit more, I would like to try to find some like-minded musicians and start/join a band. S o ideally I’ll make my living between the two, but we’ll see.

If you could do anything, what would it be?

Giaour: If I go too broad with it , I’ll never be able to answer! S o I’ll keep it simple... If I could do anything , I would buy a car. I’ll be in LA for grad school, and taking the train to and from school is going to be really difficult , but I can’t afford a car right now. S o in the immediate future, the ability to buy a car would make a world of difference.

Dream No. 1: December 25th, 2012 Even when I speak like fire How does my tongue remain Unburnt? Living naked In the summer has taught Me patience, waiting Until wet fingers have touched My eyelashes. Visitors in The lonely hours are harder Than they appear, Are hard only for unburnt Tongues and wet Eyelashes, Lurking unslakable.

writer spotlight


Dream no. 2: December 26th, 2012 Don’t wake up. Not you, Who refused to eat The dust I offered. You’re dead, but still float in

The river, still Whither, still harbor Decomposition anxieties. How is sleeping Forgotten? How is it to Dream shriveled And forsaken? How is eating Your own dust?

Letter: To Edgar, 4:15 a.m. To the gaping door She went and I went and We two plunged into the Basement together To view the spiders, With their trembling webs and legs

Thick with predatory patience. It Was my first time witnessing death. But who found us? One morning you found us Playing “Spider and Fly ” Wrapped in duct tape.


writer spotlight

Letter: To Edgar, 9:40 p.m. So float my eyes in a cup. They ’ll sleep open, sightless on the desk. Where can I find glass That has cool night water And holds the eyes as tenderly As sockets do? The mallards have stopped Migrating here.

December Poem If it were free, I would. I should anyway, smoke Until the furniture starts speaking as hopefully as addicts do.

writer spotlight



brandon Danowski


“cabin Fever,” wendy vance

[ micro fiction ] humming

Bart Van Goethem Rafeeq Azai was sitting on flight UA4137 to New York, his right hand around a detonator, his thumb ready to change history forever. Somehow he had caught the glance of a baby girl a few seats in front of him. The blue in her eyes reminded him of the summer sky in Jalalabad. As a boy, he spent most of his holidays at the junction of the Kunar and the Kabul, two rivers that swell in summer due to the melting snow in the Hindu Kush Range. If he wasn’t playing with his friends, he was lying on his back, next to the water, looking up. He never moved his eyes left or right and just fixated his gaze on the rectangle of cloudless blue above him. Then he waited for a plane. The sound came from far away, buzzing gently. He started to imitate it . Soft vibrations filled his head as he hummed along. The monotonous drone had a soothing effect on him. As the plane approached, the snoring grew louder, so he increased his volume as well, all the while trying to sound as much in unison as humanly possible. The moment the plane flew in his field of vision felt like a climax—even though he had no idea what a climax was. The buzz resonated deep inside of him. He felt one with the plane. He felt free. After five minutes of staring in each other’s eyes, the baby girl smiled. Something inside of him broke. He relaxed his thumb and let the detonator slip deep into his pocket . Rafeeq Azai started to hum.


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

“Old Samurai,� alan clark

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


the spoon effect Isabelle St . Clair

Penelope was never going to have the family spoon, but she was the only one who wanted it . Her mother kept the large silver spoon, passed down for generations from mother to the eldest daughter, wrapped loosely in velvet and tucked away at the back of her jewelry box. It was the only thing her grandmother had ever given her mother, for she had left everything else to her sons. Penelope’s mother couldn’t look at it without stepping into her past and breaking into tears. When Penelope looked at it she stepped into her future and believed in herself. After school one day, when the babysitter had plopped herself on the coach in the television room, the urge to hold the spoon became too great . Penelope snuck into her parents’ room. She retrieved the velvety covering, crawled into her mother’s closet , and squeezed herself into the smallest , darkest corner. Running her fingers up and down the smooth handle and bowled area, Penelope felt every dip and bump and conjured an image of it in her mind. Suddenly, light poured into the closet . Penelope saw her mother’s feet as she slipped off her high heels. Her mother pushed clothes on hangers down the metal bar. Penelope clasped the spoon so hard her fingers cramped. Then, the doors shut and Penelope began to cry.

That’s Not Fair Jess Costello

Toddlers in a play pen cry when they see that they all wear different shirts—some blue, some red, some rainbow or pink or button-down or collared. Each of them thinks that their shirt is the only shirt . They look for a grown up to set everything straight , to change the other childrens’ shirts, but all the grown ups have gone away. So they yell to the air and they yell to each other: “That’s not fair!” and “She can’t do that!” But they are all too loud to be heard. Some give up, sit down and sob, while others try harder and yell louder. The wails become shrieks that rattle the air and make blood ooze and drip out of tiny ears until one child with a red shirt slaps the mouth of a blue shirt to make him stop. He only gets slapped back. The babies brawl. First it is only one shirt against another, but the chaos grows until everyone fights everyone. The toddlers hit and claw at each other and tear the shirts of their enemies into pieces on the floor. They are all naked. They stop and look around, unsure what shirts everyone wore before and who they should be fighting. So they stop fighting, and are quiet , and grow back into the adults they were before they protested every part of the world that offended them.


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

david dyte

the birdwatcher Isabelle St . Clair

In the early mornings, my mother likes to wander through the small woods behind our house to be with the birds. Sometimes she likes to take me with her, silently pointing to the black-capped chickadees and the tufted titmice hiding in the tree branches. She tells me in whispers all about them, her voice brimming with pride as if she created them herself. She’s never proud of me, her actual creation. Sometimes she likes to look up and toward the endless sky, wishing for wings to unfold from her back. When she does this, I clasp my hand firmly around hers. In the early evenings, my mother likes to study the endless guidebooks on Northeastern American Birds. Sometimes she lets me sit in her lap, flipping the soft , thin pages filled with colorful birds. She asks me to test her knowledge over and over again. She’s never asked me anything about myself. Sometimes she likes to hold me in her arms, petting my brown hair and cooing my name, “Robin, Robin, Robin.” I put my ear to her chest and hear the beating of her heart , afraid that she’s already flown far away.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


[ nonfiction ] fritz

Chris Reynolds Fleeing the runaway rent closer to the city about a year ago, I made arrangements through friends of friends that landed me in an odd pocket of semi-rurality tightly nested in an otherwise typical stretch of suburbia. I came to occupy a small studio, detached from the main compound of the property, overlooking what its owners treated as a kind of small farm, encompassing garden, greenhouse, dogs, chickens, and plans for more ambitious livestock to come. Inconsistent tenants of further subdivisions of this property, varied schedules, and the incongruous proximity of the full density of freeways and outlet malls have made for a varied and somewhat surreal living experience. Among the tenants of this backdrop was Fritz, an elderly beagle that very quickly placed alongside childhood pets and disinterested zoo inmates as one of my favorite animal acquaintances. He won me over immediately. When the bustle of moving in had settled somewhat , and I could take in individual details about the place and its inhabitants, it came to my attention that this wobbly, rotund fellow had been eying the moving procession with a tired, almost moral disapproval from a comfortable distance. He was ancient , and his expression was akin to those I’ve seen on elder relatives as the news tells them what the world is coming to. His height and diameter, in proportion, achieved a balance unavailable to his actual stance, and he was covered in a course, patchy coat of a very general beige. My realization of his scrutiny did not go over well, and Fritz (later introduced formally in tones almost apologetic) waddled gradually to the less exposed safety of the far porch, his eyes as unfocused as the goals reported by his movements. Fritz’s distrust persisted for weeks. Each evening, upon my return, he would join the other dog (Mia, a younger, more anxious type) at the gate, glare suspiciously as I approached my home, then deliver a single, authoritative bark— more deflation than percussion. The effort of this pronouncement drew his nose skyward and tipped the balance of his girth to briefly suspend his front paws, after which he resettled uneasily back to earth. The gravity and force a younger dog may have shown with subsequent barks, Fritz instead invested in a fixed stare that blended the original reprimand with guilt for having prompted such an inordinate strain. After maintaining this regimen for some time, and long after I had established a friendship with the other dog and the extent of rapport that seems to be possible between people and chickens, Fritz began to warm to me.


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

Though he quickly became a favorite among my own guests, similarly charmed by his fatigued disapproval of matters in general, the same consensus did not exist among the other residents. Much of the early conversations among us, in fact , examined the various merits presented by our stately specimen, camps forming around the poles of his admirable dignity (mine) or his lack of industry (my opposition’s). This inquiry into Fritz’s general character would soon take on a heightened importance, as they came to bear on events that , for me, nicely capture the particular atmosphere of the place. A couple of months into my stay, one of the chickens had been found mysteriously dispatched and slightly eaten, the victim of sloppy predation. The absence of sufficient woods to supply a fox or other such culprit narrowed the suspect pool to the two beagles. I had been absent for the discovery of the evidence, so I was rather more inclined to accept any other solution, however likely, from lighting to congenital heart defects, to account for the death. One of the more delightful occupations of Fritz’s I’d observed was a glacial pursuit of the very chickens in question, his face set in patient , slightly confused determination and his gait involving the stiff animation of one leg at a time. Minutes would pass, then the threatened chicken, becoming aware first of Fritz’s presence, then his intentions, would leap nimbly into the safety available mere feet from the dog’s jaws. Mia, meanwhile, was so anxiously self-effacing that I doubted both her personality ’s capacity for forming bloodlust and her small frame’s for satisfying it . Around the porch and fire-pit , the resolution of this mystery became the new favorite task of our conversations, fueled by the addition of a second victim a few days later. Camps again formed, with one dog’s disinterest in violence weighted against the other’s demonstrable lack of the required energy. “You think that killed the chickens?!”—pointing at the huddled defendant , vaguely staring out of some gradation of unconsciousness. I was in no way convinced of his guilt . I had seen him, on a hot afternoon, begin walking in a small circle, stop halfway through, vomit , lay down, take a nap, get back up, finish the circle, then take a second nap. My money was on Mia or some third party. My shock was, thus, considerable when I, myself, discovered an unarguably guilty Fritz, days later, slowly devouring his last victim. He was laying on the ground, unhurriedly working his way through the prize of his impossible endeavor, and radiating a pride and contentment that , for me, makes the high-water mark of his expressivity. Really, I’m not sure I’ve seen any dog so pleased, much less one whose every other expression was bleary at best . I couldn’t really muster much sympathy for the chicken; the dog seemed too absolutely sure of the justness and honor of his actions. Fritz’s response to the scoldings of his owner were more characteristically surly and disinterested. Further, his recovery from having his prey quickly taken from him makes me suspicious about how completely he remembered the endeavor even moments after its completion. It seems appropriately suited to Fritz’s career that the only point of accord he offered our commentary was that it was probably eating the chickens that killed him something like a week later. I imagine his immune system was unequal to the task posed it by devouring the contents of a chicken with as little reservation as Fritz had shown, which seems unhealthy for even a healthy dog. It also suits what I

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gathered as his mode of operation: he spent much of his time ambling to arbitrary goals with an air of decoupled resolve, and reflecting on the completed “task” with whatever baffling criteria he used to gauge success. It makes some kind of sense that the most decisive and focused of his endeavors I saw would have the same astonishingly disjointed motivation—to the extent of lacking basic self-preservation.

minnie funerAL

Brandon Danowski At the beginning of 2010, I had moved to Atlanta from Michigan. It was the beginning of a six month, full-time, unpaid internship that was the icing on my four-year-old college cake. What’s strange about those six months was the frequency with which I found myself back home in “America’s High Five.” I saw my family more in 2010 than I did the previous three years of college, despite being more than 700 miles more distant . On a nondescript Atlanta day in late March, I received a call from my dad that would set off my record breaking run of home visitations. He told me my great grandma had died. Being my only living great grandparent , I needed no specificity as to who had passed. It was Minnie Reinwand, my mom’s grandma. She woke up that morning and told her caretaker she didn’t feel well and would like to sleep a little longer. When the woman caring for my great grandma checked on her a few hours later, she was gone, having passed while sleeping. While alive, Great Grandma had occupied that “relatives who don’t age” section of my memory. When I was young, she looked old. When I was in my 20’s, she looked old. Outwardly, nothing seemed to ever change. Even given that our birthdays were only one day apart (plus 72 years), and we had always blown our candles out together, the inevitable onset of aging only made itself aware with respect to myself, never towards Great Grandma. Somehow though, even with this youthfully ignorant “age stasis” cloaking my perception, her death came as no surprise to me. The viewing and funeral were on a wonderfully beautiful Michigan day. After dispensing “hello’s” to extended family and regaling them with tales of my new southern home, I spied a distinct vacancy near the casket . I slowly wandered my way to where my Great Grandma laid, taking care to make sure I arrived alone. I knelt down, not in prayer, but in reflection. I considered the role she’d had in my growing up. She had been physically present , but not crucial in my development . On the other hand, she was an immense part of my mother’s life, so maybe she did, indirectly, guide my growth. She would have died when she was born if her mother hadn’t nursed her back to health from a life threatening injury using “sugar tit ,”


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how had I only heard that story recently? She was the oldest of 15 kids, born on a Kansas farm in 1915. She had an antique violin she bought from gypsies passing through her town when she was a kid. She had been a nurse. She likely had met people who had fought in the American Civil War. She had lived through so many other wars. Why is it that we know so many broad strokes of our family members’ lives, but never the details? Like Bill Nye said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t .” How much wisdom, perspective, and knowledge was lost to the world when that last synapse fired in her brain and her heart let out a tick, but wasn’t followed by a tock? That was enough reflection. Time for some fresh air, but I felt compelled to do one last thing. Gently, I ran my fingertips across the top of her right hand. It felt strange—but strange compared to what? What’s a deceased person supposed to feel like? I literally had no frame of reference for this, no contrasting event with which to interpret this sensory information, but I knew it was wrong. I said my final goodbye in the same selfish way everyone does, letting myself, for only a moment , believe that the unique conciseness that was once in her head could hear me. It couldn’t , but I felt a little better. Like I said, selfish. I found my two younger cousins outside. They were a bit more upset than me. We went for a walk, two of us in suits, the other in his formal Army uniform. We were a few blocks away from the trailer park they grew up in. We enjoyed the weather and the walk to their old residence as we reminisced on the the shenanigans of our childhood. Mostly, we spoke of finding the kid, Jason, who always picked on them and I was supposed to beat up years ago. Past me never got the chance. We stopped at a gas station on the way back for a snack. A stranger thanked my cousin for his military service and paid for his food. That was nice of the stranger, I hoped that made my cousin feel better. We arrived back at the funeral home a little before the ceremony. My mom handed us each a piece of paper and a pen. We were told to write a personal memory or story about Great Grandma, which would then be posted on a board for everyone to read. A sort of anecdotal account of her relationship with our family. I sat and stared at this blank sheet of paper. It got longer the more I stared. What would I write? What could I write? “I saw my great grandma a few times a year at family functions?” No. True, but no. “On all of my birthdays I blew out candles with my great grandma? ” Not bad, but not great . I wanted to say more than something that could be seen with a calendar. To capture a small detail of my great grandma on this piece of paper. Something that would give a stranger a peek into her personality, or at least her physical presence. A detail that only a person close to her would know. What though? I de-archived memories that were over a decade old; things that hadn’t been given conscious thought since they were being experienced by all my senses. I started to notice a small thread of similarity, loosely stitching one unifying detail across most of my experiences. She’d always greet me the same way by taking my hand in a light , slightly arthritic grip, and while her ability to remember which great grandchild I was decreased every time she said hello, one physical detail remained

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from the series “processing� by Jack simonetta


constant . All at once, I knew what to write. I knew what to write by knowing what was wrong. When I had my very last moment of physical contact with Great Grandma, lightly touching her hand, it felt physically and emotionally off. Not because I knew what I should feel with this touch, but because of what I didn’t feel…

“The one thing I’ll always remember about my great grandma is how soft her hands were. Like taking a piece of paper and crumpling it one hundred times, then one hundred times again; her hands had a softness that was contrasted by the ridges of her wrinkles.”

the nuwaubian notebook

Found and recorded by Ben Edwards Introduction: In 2008 or 2009 – my memory can’t decide and the Internet feigns ignorance – the Nuwaubian Temple on Broad Street in Athens, GA was set to be demolished. A few friends and I, in the throes of whiskey, adrenaline, and armchair archeology, made a sudden decision to explore the premises before it disappeared forever. I had seen the building for years – faux-clay, embossed with hieroglyphics and painted Egyptian figures of gods and men, topped with a golden-red sun surrounded by bright blue hawk-wings. As beautiful as it was anachronistic and mysterious. Now, though, the plaster was peeling, the windows boarded up, the door deadbolted. One broken window ’s board was loose, and we scrambled inside one by one, somehow avoiding glass wounds.

Inside was tomb-like: dark and musty and inducing a confusing combination of reverence and fear. A sweep of our total of two flashlights revealed a vast room, empty except for four or five hot tubs, all standing vertically on their sides like concave monoliths whose unknown use we shuddered to imagine. The two flashlights divided the room, while I and a couple of others went our own ways, tracing the perimeter in the dim light of not-even-smart-phones. In one corner sat a lone filing cabinet containing a slew of dry legal-looking documents (which I now wish I had taken) and a moldy composition notebook, which I’m happy I did take. What follows is the majority of that notebook’s contents, minus some repetition


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(was this a rehearsal, or memorization? first and second drafts?), a few paragraphs in an unrecognized alphabet , and pages of long division whose only units indicate the weight of gold. I have taken pains to represent exactly the spelling and capitalization within, and for the most part this document follows the notebook chronologically, except for a handful of paragraphs which were shifted from one section to another to better suit the flow of themes; and the epigraphs, which appeared as disconnected marginalia throughout . Welcome to your sacred Journey to the heart of The All. Part 1: Guided Tour Southwind crashed into Tiamat creating The Grand Canyon and Gave birth to Another small planet-moon --HT 1:5:123 Rahubaat -- Welcome to the temple of Imhotep my Name is Nayya _____ EL -- I’ll be taking you on a guided Tour. First and four most what you are looking at is a mind set of The Supreme grand Master Nayya Malachi Zorok York EL. And under his instructions and guidance This temple was built by our hands from The ground up, from the dirt of the soil. There is none like it here in America. 1 - Solomons temple of Jerusalem was built in its likeness. It is A duplicate of The temples that were built in Ancient Egypt . 2 - Almost Every part of Judaism, Christianity, And Islam came out of Egyptian teachings who learned from the ancient , Sumerians, who got Their teachings from The Annunagi (sons of GOD) Beings from beyond The Skies. 3. All of The Artifacts and tools that you see in The temple are in place needed to open The Vortex in the year 2003 AD. We are not Religiously Affiliated. The Ancient and mistic order of Melchezedek is the Oldest Fraternity on The planet , from which All others Branched off, only Receiving a portion of the Truth.

Back Wall If you would take a step forward And turn Around And look At The wall, At The Top you’ll see The pictures of some of the Prophets And Spiritual Guides (Name & Elaborate - optional) -- Directly below you have A chapter from EL’l HOLY Qur’an inscribe in The Ancient Kufic Language called The Degree of The Purified.

Molds Directly below that you have molds Taken from Masjidul Mikhlasiyna in Brooklyn with The Ancient Ashuric script of the Seven Arch Angels. Below That the language we are presently studying Nuwaubic.

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“shorty - a South African Prisoner,” quinton theron


Incasing The beautiful Stained class windows are the Falcon birds Symbolic of the word of God. Annunagi Along the north wall are Portraits of our Ancient descendants, being from beyond the stars -- known in Different Cultures by Various names -- (Name one or two cultures - optional) These beings are The original creator of our Scriptural Parents. (Name a few of them - optional) As we proceed further on, This is symbolic of the fig Tree and the olive Tree.

In Front of the East Wall Directly above on the wall you have the Double (two) Edge Sword of Ali -- who married Fatimah The Daughter of the prophet Muhammud, who gave birth to Hassan & Hussain symbolized by these two pillars on which this temple was founded. Pyramid of Truth Below that you have the pyramid of truth, which bears the symbols of various Religions and organization. S eat of Elijah This is the Seat of Elijah, Which is soley Accupied by the Supreme Grand Master Which represents the seat of the Supreme grand master. These two seats are where the grand masters seat . Trees The two trees are symbolic of the fig and olive tree.

Circle of Dendera If you look up at the ceiling this is The Egyptian Zodiak of the temple of Dendera Erected for the Goddess Hathor of upper Egypt , where the original zodiac was located in the ceiling of An observatory in the temple. The Greeks stole the science of the zodiac from the Egyptians, the Egyptians learned it from the Sumarians and the Sumerians got it from the Anunnagi beings from beyond the stars. The Dondera is a circular plan of the universe upheld by eight Hawk headed Gods and Four goddesses. Inside two rings Are the planets, constellations, and the Zodiac. A Band of hieroglyphics encircles the Entire Design.

The Mats In front of you are 24 mats. These mats represent the 24 Elders. That sat around the throne of Anu, God ELOH etc. When the temple was complete there was A Spiritual Bond, Established between the Elders and the temple. This is why we ask the you not too step on the mats OR walk into the circle because this could Break Spiritual bond that has be Established.


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Tomb This is the tomb, the sacred Chamber of the lodge where you have many different sacred relics. 1. In the back in front of the center of the wall you have the Chandelabram which represent the six days of Pro-creation. 2. To the right of that you have a sarcophagus 3. In The Corner in the back you have The Jackal God of the dead Anubis 4. To your left you have a replica of a Grey. These Greys were used by the rizgians to explore other Galaxies & planets for minerals and Elements. 5. You have a sword from the Hendudana tribe [probably Hadendoa], the Fuzzy Wuzzies that was brought back from Egypt by the Supreme Grand Master. 6. In the Center of the Tomb you have the Golden Arc of the Covenant The Chest that was carried by the children of Israel which was borrowed from the Egyptians. It served as a symbol of the Eloheem presence And A millitary rallying point And a means of humans Communicating with the Eloheem. The Ark Acted As a Radio receiver. this concludes The, thank you Thank you for coming, you can take pictures Thank you for Coming, you can take pictures. All Application for the Amom are at the Book Store. Part 2: Miracles The purpose of life is to discover and develope the potential you Possesse. The First Miracle My name is Vincent Powell (Zonand) I have been with Malachi Z. York EL Also known As atum Ray since 1976. And while in the present of this great man I have seen quite a few miracles. One of the miracles I seen was at a passion show, which was being set out for a high school, and while doing security, setting up the equipment for the show we noticed A Dark cloud that Just lingered over us for a long period of time in one. While working we were thinking it’s going to rain I guess all of us were thinking the same thing. We were just about finish setting everything up DOC walks up to us, watching what we were doing and a few of us say it looks like it’s going rain. Doc looks up and says don’t worry I’ll make that cloud move. Now this cloud was in same spot for a long period of time now Just as he makes that statement the cloud begans to move, there was no sudden strong wind or anything the cloud just began to move from over us that was one of the miracles I seen. The S econd Miracle Another miracle I wittness the master do, he made it stop raining one sunday night we had class with, going by the Name AL Imom ISA. The class was held in the mujid, the whole family was there. On this particular night it was raining but not that hard it first , As Atum ray began to teach sitting on the Platform in front

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of the conjugation it began to rain real hard, to the point where you couldn’t hardly hear what he was saying And it began to rain even hard making it more difficult to hear him as the heavy rain drops hit the roof of the mujid. Atum Ray looks up at the ceiling with a strange look in his eyes, he then looks down he began to raise his hands palms facing up over his head and waved his hand as far back as it could go, then as he began too move his hand back slowly palms still facing up it stopped raining for a few minutes, then it started raining again very hard he did the same motion with his hands and the rain stopped completely and the class continued this was indeed an miracle The Third Miracle Another miracle I witnessed one day we were sitting in arabic class Atum ray came in the class wearing the sons of the Green light Attire. I was sitting right in front of him, As he was teaching. He the stops in the middle of the lesson And began to move his hand in a circular motion moving his hand around and around When he opens his hand there is a small pile of white ash in his hand I couldn’t believe my eyes, we Asked him what was that white powder and how did he do that . He did say Anything at first , he show the class both of his Palms open with nothing in them. He the began to move his closed hand in a circular motion, he stopped moving his hand opened his palms and there was A pile of white ash in his hands I seen this with my own eyes he Explained to us that this was A sacred Ash that came from the burning incense in the crystal city And that it had healing powers, he Explained that An Avatar has the Ability to bring the ash from the other side. This is one of the miracles I have seen done by the master. Part 3: S elf-Enrichment

Self-Enrichment: The Act or process of increasing one’s interlectual or Spiritual resources (Augmentation) Birth & Collapsing of a STAR 467 - Nuclear fusion is Taking Place And The Process is begun 468 - The Hydrogen (H) Four center of the star is Now burning itself towards The Exploding 469 - Seven cycles of Burning beginning with hydrogen 470 - Cycle one - Hydrogen burning makes the core Grow 471 - At Two million Farenheit (F) it creates A large core of Helium. The Gregorian Calendar, The S olar Calendar in the month of December 1997 of the Gregorian Calendar, on the Solar calendar which is used throughout The world which was sponsor by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 A.D. As the correct version of The Julian Solar calendar which was Established Julius Caesar Astromener in the 46 A.D. which was A 12 month Calendar 365 Days in a year 366 Days every Four years Next Ordering of Evolution


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This will allow the adamites in this consciousness time zone To receive whole light beings who will give instructions of the next ordering of Evolution in our universe. The Key speaks of how the earth’s species has a direct arc light This direct light focus which controls its biological rhythms.

Melanin is produced by the Amino Acid called Tyrosine by pigment cells called Melanocytes within these Melanocyte cells you have little sacs call Melanosomes that Actually make The Melanin. These little sacs or chambers of melanin determine your pigmentation (skin color)

145 - The key to the future luminaries are called AMOM are electromagnetic Forces. 146 - These forces Affect The rhythm of life And the Appearance and extinction of a species within Earths magnetic field. 147 - The “higher Evolution” will give A better overstanding of how Electric forces Alter the biorhythms

I have finished my sacred Journey to the heart of The All. I have finished my sacred Journey to the heart of The All. AME Ghamadty Safunee Safur ILA EL Galb (Galeb) Shil EL Kuluurm

Continual Continuation

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“allen,” denise Jones

[ book reviews ] the rental heart and other fairytales THE RENTAL HEART AND OTHER FAIRYTALES by Kirsty Logan 160pp. Salt Publishing. $17.00. Review by ETHAN RUBIN Kirsty Logan isn’t a household name yet; The Rental Heart and Other Fair ytales, a collection of short stories, is her first book. I had the opportunity to meet her at a book launch event in Edinburgh, where she gave off an air of cheerful enthusiasm and mild surprise that people had come to hear what she had to say. Instead of discussing her own talents, she felt compelled to tell the audience that she would love to have a dinner party with Italo Calvino and Angela Carter, on the grounds that the former is “completely mental, but in a fun way ” and the latter is “simply brill.” That exuberant , imaginative personality shows up in her stories, which are thoughtful without being ponderous and whimsical without sacrificing substance. The stories in this collection are culled from throughout Logan’s writing career. The first story she ever wrote is included (though I won’t say which one), while others are only a few months old. There’s a story she wrote as catharsis after the death of a loved one, and another that appeared in an anthology of the year’s best lesbian erotica. Trying to unite these tales in a single volume could have a jarring effect , but instead I found the diversity refreshing. Pick up a collection of Hemingway ’s short stories, for instance, and you know you’ll be reading about sad alcoholics in post-war Spain. With Raymond Carver, you can expect a tasteful arrangement of sad alcoholics in 1980s suburban America. Logan’s stories, on the other hand, are unpredictable in the best way. Not that I don’t love sad alcoholics, because I do, but Logan jumps from medieval castles to caravan parks and transplants ancient witches to the woods behind the shopping mall without so much as a raised eyebrow. My personal favorite tells the tale of Una and Coll, a

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“They see the straight line of my jaw along the length of their thighs and they see how it fits, the geometry of bodies. They have wondered for so long why nothing ever fits, why the knobs of their spines press hard on chairbacks and why they can’t lie parallel in bed, and then there I am. I know how to fill the gaps in a girl.”

pair of Scottish schoolchildren: Una is mean to Coll, but really she has a crush on him, and (spoiler alert!) they end up kissing in the whiskey storehouse. All in all, it’s your typical childhood romance, except Una has antlers and Coll has a tiger tail. Despite the variety of settings and characters, these stories do feel like a unified collection. Emotional substitution is one theme that unites them, and the diversity of context supports Logan’s insight that we have relied on stand-ins for the loved and lost for centuries. The same impulse that accounts for a medieval lady ’s harem of innocent village girls sends a lonely 18th-century Parisian to shop for a coin-operated lover, and convinces a teenager that her high school girlfriend was a placeholder for Baba Yaga all along. These characters are all trying to fill a void, whether it’s with clockwork hearts, an ori gami husband, or the decision to get the hell off this tiny island. On the face of it , these are all unrelated choices, in unrelated places, at unrelated times, but it’s really one story of lonely, conflicted people trying to make sense of other lonely, conflicted people. Most of the stories in The Rental Heart deal with queer relationships, or at least queer people, but without the self-consciousness that often comes with that subject . I think she does a great service to the queer community by mentioning without fanfare that a character has had both boyfriends and girlfriends, or that a baby is on the verge of being born to two mothers. What’s more, it makes for interesting and satisfying fiction. While this collection is at home under the umbrella of “queer fiction”, it doesn’t have to stay there. This book was a joy to read whether or not queer issues are on your literary agenda, and I look forward to more of the same from Kirsty Logan. A little bird who may or may not be the author of the book told me that a novel is in the works, which will feature both the small town circus performer and the sacrificial bird caretaker who make appearances in this collection. Keep an eye out for that in the next year or two, and in the meantime, get a copy of The Rental Heart and Other Fair ytales and read it at least twelve times.


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From divorce to marriage: a voyage across the country COAST TO COAST by Frederic Raphael 240pp. Catbird Press. $22.95. Review by LAURA APPERSON Marriage is full of joys and difficulties— and, sometimes, heated cross-country trips in a red E-type Jaguar. That’s just how Coast to Coast, American writer Frederic Raphael’s 1999 novel published by Catbird Press, begins—and as the trip comes to a close, so does the book. Barnaby (Barnie) and Marion Pierce, a longtime married couple considering “leading separate lives,” leave their home in New York to drive to their son’s wedding in Los Angeles, Barnaby intending to give the car to his son as a wedding gift . The novel not only maps the trip from one side of the United States to the other but also traces Marion and Barnie’s life together, introducing one buried problem after another as the pair takes pit stops to visit friends and family. As the novel progresses, the reader meets each character who played a significant role in Barnie and Marion’s life, and the map of their history together progressively becomes clear. Every visit opens up a past event , and, more often than not , a wound. Each character— whether holding a brief cameo or an extended role in the novel, and, thus, the Pierce’s lives—comes alive through Raphael’s clever dialogue and smart descriptions. A 1965 Academy Award winner for his screenplay Darling, Raphael shows his screenwriting expertise with this dialogue-heavy, character-focused novel. He begins almost every chapter with dialogue, throwing the reader into the middle of a conversation—oftentimes a heated argument or a seemingly unsolvable conflict . Each chapter flows into the next as if there had never been a break, and Raphael possesses a strong talent for painting character portraits.

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“Did you love it? Did you give a damn about it? Did I? Was it valuable? What’s valuable? I had it for years. It’s broken. Do you miss it or do you want me to miss it?”


In between the insults, banter, and witty comments, the Pierces show much wisdom about life, love, and happiness. Marion wonders aloud to Barnie that maybe “the things you shouldn’t do, aren’t those sometimes the ones you should,” while Barnie reminds his son just days before his wedding that as you get old, you only acquire “a weary hardness, a kind of wary refusal to spend more and more of what you don’t have to much left .” It’s up to the reader to determine from where these pieces of advice come, and how they fit into who Marion and Barnaby have become. The most revealing moments include those where Marion and Barnaby are alone. Raphael uses these times to take a break from the dialogue and to spend time examining how the characters have grown—or, not grown—from the short trip together and from the experiences they have relived together as they travel. Raphael masterfully unveils the Pierce marriage—a fraught one of heartbreak and deceit—throughout the long ride from the east to the west coast through skilled dialogue, dramatic structure and memorable characters. The struggles and realities of marriage could not have been told more skillfully—or realistically. Just like Marion realizes as she finds herself in a strange mall somewhere outside Seattle, “you drove all the way across the country and you hadn’t gone anyplace in particular at all.” Maybe, in a way, Marion is right . But maybe a drive across the country reveals more about a relationship than anyone involved could have imagined.


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“summer Night,” audrey gatewood

carly piccione


audrey gatewood

e a s t c o a s t e v e n t s summer 2014

Tampa Zine Fest July 12; Tampa, FL

This lil’ DIY festival is perfect for anyone who has a taste for literature in the micro sense. From the looks of Tampa Zine Fest’s Tumblr, this event will feature some fantastic art and definitely some interesting titles! facebook.com/tampazinefest; tampazinefest.tumblr.com

Novel Generator Open House and Info Session July 15; Boston, MA

Novel Generator is a fantastic nine-month program which helps participants write, draft, and sculpt a first copy of their novel. The program has spots for only 14, so each student gets a great amount of attention and support. If you’re at all interested in learning about the program and how to apply, go to this info session and get inspired. grubstreet.org/findaclass/#/events

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference August 1–3; New York City, NY

Any aspiring New York writers (and we know there are a ton of you!) should definitely check out this conference, which is always attended by NYC’s best editors, agents, and published writers. In fact, you’ll even have the opportunity to pitch some of your best ideas at the Pitch Slam, which is essentially speed dating for writers and agents. An amazing opportunity! $399–$449; writersdigestconference.com

City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library August 2; Boston, MA

Bostonian book lovers be sure to stop by the beautiful BPL book sale to score some great cheap finds. Books from every single section of the library eventually get cycled out and need new homes, so you’ll find a little bit of everything at this sale! bpl.org/general/friends/booksale.htm

VQR Writer’s Conference

August 7–10; Charlottesville, VA


If you’re looking for an established, wide-ranging literary journal, than VQR is it. It makes sense then that their writer’s conferences are attended by people all over the country as well as the globe, though this year’s theme is certainly close to home—Southern literature. If you’re at all interested in the people,

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culture, or history of the South, this exclusive conference will be right up your alley. There’s also a limited number of $350 scholarships up for grabs! $800–$950; vqronline.org/2014-conference

Boston Comic Con

August 8–10; Boston, MA

Do we even need to tell you about Comic Con? This paradise of comics, graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy is back and features some great guest appearances. Samwise Gamgee, Khal Drogo, Captain Jack Harkness, and Spike will all be taking the stage, alongside some truly great comic writers and artists. Add to that the fun of cosplaying and merchandise EVERYWHERE. What’s not to love? $20–$120; bostoncomiccon.com

D.C. Zinefest

August 9; Washington D.C.

The D.C. Zinefest is all about fostering community through literature, micro-fiction, art, and little tiny magazines. Stop by this free event if you have a love for DIY and supporting local artists. dczinefest.com

Baltimore Summer Antiques Show August 21–24; Baltimore, MD

For book lovers interested in much older and valuable editions, try the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show. This prestigious event will feature more than 575 vendors from around the world, which works out to be a positively dizzying number of antique books. Whether you’re an intrepid collector or just really love that old-book smell, this show is guaranteed to impress. $20; baltimoresummerantiques.com


August 23–24; Hartford, CT

Farther north, The 66th PAPERMANIA PLUS also promises beautiful antique editions, as well as literary ephemera and collectibles. Memorabilia and nostalgic and collectible items are featured by 140 quality exhibitors from the east coast states to Canada. $8; papermaniaplus.com

Decatur Book Festival August 29–31; Decatur, GA

This family-friendly book festival really does have something for everyone, and it should—it’s the largest independent book festival in the USA! In addition to the usual readings and workshops, the Decatur Book Festival will also feature live music, parades, and even cooking demonstrations. Anyone who grew up reading The Stinky Cheese Man has cause to rejoice, as Jon Scieszka is this year’s “kidnote” speaker. This is definitely a great event for bookworm parents who want to have their kids join the fun. Perhaps best of all, everything’s free to attend! decaturbookfestival.com

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August 29–September 1; Atlanta, GA

If you’re further south, look no further than Dragoncon! This insanely large fantasy and sci-fi convention spans pretty much every genre of art—comics, graphic novels, movies, gaming, fiction, you name it. Featured guests span too many pop-culture gems to count, but include Lee Arenberg, Kevin J. Anderson, Grant Imahara, “Gus Frink,” and many fantasy illustrators. Probably your favorites. $115–130; dragoncon.org

2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival August 30; Washington, D.C.

The gran’daddy of all libraries is host to a huge book festival, and it includes speakers for every single genre you could think of: science, YA, history, children’s lit, graphic novels, cooking, and more! loc.gov/bookfest

Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair September 6; Rochester, NY

Short and sweet: Buy a book or sell a book—or just look at some great old books and meet the people who have them. Get ready to dive into: hard-to-find books; unusual books; out-of-print books; rare books; beautiful books; scholarly books; ephemera; prints and photographica; inexpensive books; and, you guessed it, expensive books! $5; rochesterbooksellers.com

Women Writer’s Conference September 12–13; Lexington, KY

As the name implies, this conference is an absolute haven for women writers—in fact, it’s the nation’s oldest literary festival celebrating women authors. Whether you’re a young student, a professional writer, or an enthusiastic reader, this conference will offer valuable workshops, lectures, and readings all aiming to enrich the work of female writers. $40–$175; womenwriters.as.uky.edu

Brooklyn Antique and Book Fair September 13–14; Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn’s very first antique and book fair welcomes more than 100 dealers from all along the Eastern Seaboard, so you’re going to want to take both days off of work/life to have plenty of time for optimal purusing. A special preview party will be held September 12, 7:30–9:30 p.m., to benefit Friends of the Brooklyn Public Library. What’s better: All books will be donated to the Brooke Jackman Foundation. $12, or $6 if you bring a new children’s book; brooklynantiqueandbookfair.com


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Brooklyn Book Festival

September 15–21; Brooklyn, NY

If you New Yorkers are looking for something easier on the wallet than the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, try the Brooklyn Book Festival. It’s the largest free literary event in the city, and it features events in a variety of settings and venues. Planning is still underway, but its Bookend Events promise lots of literary fun, with parties, games, and even film screenings! brooklynbookfestival.org

The NY Art Book Fair

September 26–28; New York City, NY

Love giant, back-breaking art books? Could you spend hours at the MoMA? Good thing the NY Art Book Fair exists! This totally free festival features scads of art-heavy books, zines, magazines, and even catalogues, all available for browsing. You’ll also get to shop around at the stalls of antiquarian sellers as well as artists. Sounds like a great date night! nyartbookfair.com

Have an event for us to feature? Send them to ecimagazine@gmail.com or submit it to ecimagazine.tumblr.com/submit.

east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014


hope kauffman


east coast ink - portraiture - summer 2014

michael alfonso

carly piccione

“Dollface,” Ryan Marchese

[ contributors ] portraiture, summer 2014


Michael Alexander is a freelance photographer based out of Miami, FL. He has worked professionally with some of the biggest names in fashionsuch as Vogue, Bazaar, Glamour, InStyle, and Victoria’s Secret. Inspired by his involvement in the industry, he made a natural transition into shooting. He enjoys capturing and manipulating light. He shoots commercially as well as fine art, landscape and travel photography. michaelalexander.photography


Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. She recently finished her MFA thesis, a collection of poems titled “Salt & Vinegar,” at Emerson College. She is the recipient of the 2012 University of San Diego Creative Writing Award in Poetry selected by Ilya Kaminsky. @eloisa_amezcua


Samuel Augustine, a contemporary United States artist, works across many disciplines including illustration, sculpture, painting, and video/audio. A graduate of Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Samuel has shown his work in various group shows and solo installations, while juggling nomadic tendencies and working many various jobs. Samuel likes to live in his van, skateboard, sleep outside and disappear with his lovely friend for months. Samuel’s art is a product of his life and believes decisions and circumstance are a great creative medium. yuseifjeanproject.blogspot.com



Ana Maria Caballero worked in finance, journalism, wine importation, and even for the Colombian government before recently becoming a mom. Now she focuses her attention on writing poetry and book thoughts, which can be read at thedrugstorenotebook.co. Her work has appeared in Elephant Journal, CutBank, Aviary Review, Really Systems, Ghost House Review, Dagda Publishing, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, among others. It is forthcoming on Big River Poetry Review. She also writes a weekly poetry post for Zeteo Journal’s “Zeteo is Reading” section.


Vivian Charlesworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose work merges art and technology in order to create experiences that promote dialogues surrounding current issues of personal invasion, environmental disintegration and social responsibility while also compelling viewers to re-examine their own presumptions. She is currently working on a literary installation project entitled The Fifth Ward, an art piece that explores narratives that exists within the memories of an old hospital complex. Vivian is presently pursuing an MFA in Digital + Media at the Rhode Island School of Design. viviancharlesworth.com


Alan Clark is an artist and poet, living in Maine and often in Mexico, with many exhibitions, solo and group, in both countries. “Blood and

Stone: Paintings by Alan Clark” was at the Farnsworth Art Museum in 2004. He has published three books: Guerrero and Heart’s Blood, set in pre-Conquest Mexico; Where They Know, poems, and In Love and Wonder published last year, selected paintings 1980 to 2013. His poems have appeared in Little Star 5, The Caribbean Writer, Adirondack Review, Numbat, Wolf Moon Journal, Zocalo Poets and others. mexclark@hotmail.com


Cathleen Cohen, Ph.D., is education director of ArtWell, (theartwell.org), which brings poetry and arts workshops to thousands of children of diverse cultures and faiths in the Philadelphia area and abroad. Cathy’s poems have appeared in such publications as Apiary, East Coast Ink, The Four Quarters Magazine, Moment, Layers of Possibility, 6ix, The Breath of Parted Lips, and Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal. She has received the Interfaith Relations Award from the Montgomery County Advisory Board to the PA Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Award from the National Association of Poetry Therapy. Her paintings have been exhibited in Philadelphia, New Jersey and NYC at Rosenfeld Gallery, RiverArts Gallery, and Soho20 Chelsea Gallery.


Brad Costa has lived his entire life on the East Coast, but has traveled as extensively as possible. He believes that it is the man who dies with the most stories who wins, not he with the most toys. He has had terrible luck and incredible luck, but just about nothing in between, and believes that you need nothing in life but roots and wings: roots to keep you grounded, and wings to let you soar. For him, writing is the best way to meditate and he knows, without

doubt, that life belongs to the bold. bcosta052@gmail.com


Jessica Costello is a sophomore Writing, Literature and Publishing major at Emerson College. At eight years old she began writing short stories as a way to play games with castles and time travel and super powers. She attempted her first novel at eleven after reading The Lord of the Rings, and has aspired to become a novelist ever since. While not at school she lives at home in Long Island, and is an avid reader and growing Wes Anderson fan.


Originally hailing from America’s Murder Mitten, but currently laying claim to a few square feet in the great city of New York, Brandon is a visual effects artist who has endeavored to find the appropriate medium with which to express his creative inclinations since he was a kid. While his artistic aspirations commonly materialize in script format, Brandon has a disposition toward using poetry, short stories, and photography to say things that are too small to say with a movie, but aren’t so small that they shouldn’t be heard.


David Dyte is a full-time statistician and part-time photographer living in Brooklyn while striving hard to maintain his Australian identity. He aims to share his love of places by capturing unusual sights and angles that others may have missed. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, he released his first book of photographs, As Seen in Brooklyn, in 2014. seeninbklyn.com


Ben Edwards is a man who wears a lot of hats and doesn’t look good in a hat. He lives


with a cat and likes snacks. He might have a cursed notebook, but who knows. You can find a link to his website IN THE FUTURE!


Carly Feinman just finished her sophomore year at Wesleyan University where she studies English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is curious. She is vegan. She likes authenticity. She is clearly struggling to write a witty bio for herself. One thing she knows for sure is that she strives to put truth on paper, and when she feels she has done that, all is well. cfeinman@wesleyan.edu


Marlee is a recent graduate of UMass Amherst where she studied English and Creative Writing. She is a homebody prone to some adventurous tendencies. She hopes to obtain an MFA one day in the far off future. @marleeandyou


Audrey Gatewood is an eighteenyear-old photographer born, raised and living in Baltimore, MD. Her body of work is mostly made up of candid portraits of friends and family in moments of calm, though she has recently started shooting journalistic stories for the local newspaper. She hopes to capture the tenderness all people possess, even in times of chaos. She aspires to shoot more narrative pieces and incorporate more text into her work. Gatewood is a sophomore in college majoring in documentary photography and works in a historical photo archive as an assistant archivist. audreygatewood.com



John Grey is an Australian born poet recently published in Third Wednesday, Southern California Review and Skidrow Penthouse with work upcoming in Bryant Literary

Magazine, Natural Bridge and Soundings East.


Denise Jones is currently studying at the Art Institute of San Antonio in Texas. She is working towards a bachelor’s of fine art degree specializing in photography. What started as a part-time hobby has become a full-time obsession. Denise enjoys her schoolwork as it continues to encourage her to expand her photography beyond her comfort zone. While she is particularly fond of surrealism, abstract photography, and still life, she tries not to focus on any single style of photography. No matter what the genre, Denise’s main focus is that she relays her vision and love of photography through her images. denise-jones.net


Hope Kauffman is a U.S. born photographer and fine artist. Raised an East Coast kid, Hope completed her studies at Emerson College in Boston. She then assisted celebrity photographer Adam Brown in Los Angeles and trained under world-renowned fashion photographer Russell James in New York. Now, she wanders the globe collecting stories using her camera, her canvas, or even her iPhone. She can be found shooting seasonally between Miami, FL and Whitefish, MT. hopekauffmanphotography.com


Tim Kent received a BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2014. Kent has exhibited his work in a group exhibition at Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, 2010. His first solo exhibition was in Manhattan, New York, at the Classic Car Club Manhattan, 2013. He has also exhibited works in several galleries in Savannah, GA. Recently, Kent completed a studio assistant

position with artist Will Penny in which he helped create several SCADpad projects for Savannah College of Art and Design. Currently, Kent is creating a studio in Atlanta, GA, while exploring the relationship between art, design, and technology. timkentart.com


Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His latest collection is Return of the Bride of Frankenstein, an e-chapbook recently published by Kind of a Hurricane Press as part of its Barometric Pressures series.


Lance Manion is the author of five short story collections: Merciful Flush, Results May Vary, The Ball Washer, Homo sayswhaticus, and his latest The Trembling Fist, which is his fifthest yet. His work has been called demented, hilarious, quirky, and well-outside the mainstream. He contributes to many online flash fiction sites and blogs daily on his website. lancemanion.com


Ryan Marchese’s childhood fascination with horror movies and fantasy is evident in his portraiture works. The images he creates allow full freedom of imagination, whether it be the application of some grotesque makeup scheme or the construction of a mask that strips the identity, emotion, and humanity of its wearer. It is his intention to bring the viewer into the photograph and instill in them that overwhelming, uncomfortable feeling of anxiety that ultimately translates into fear. Through photographs he can give physical form to that which exists only in the ethereal realm of nightmares. ryanpaulmarchese.com


Damari McBride is the founder of

Philotography Images and is located in New York City. He based the name of his company around two things that he really loves: philosophy and photography. His focus of photography includes fine arts, food, headshots, and editorials (mainly musicians). Damari loves getting his inspiration from simply living life, to create stories and then lose himself in creating those with the unlimited techniques of photography. philotographyimages@gmail.com


Meredith McDonough lives and works in St. Louis, MO. Her poems have appeared in Agave, Off the Coast, and Sweetened Water and are forthcoming in RHINO and Cider Press Review. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Florida State University.


Danny McGinnist, Jr. grew up on the south side of St. Louis. His godparents took him in as one of their own and put him back on track through high school and life. He then took school and his passion for art more seriously and created the piece “Burning Me Down” (page 39), which was entered in many art shows. If he could do anything with his passion for art, it would be to start a movement with kids and host art shows featuring their creations. @ap_raps


Carly Piccione is a 20-year-old kid from Atlanta, GA currently residing in Nashville, TN where she studies Fine Arts at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Carly has had a love for creating art for as long as she can remember—only a few years ago is when she decided that this is how she would like to spend the rest of her days. Most of her inspirations are gathered from her own nightmares, other artists, and making mistakes.


She loves to experiment with layers of different mediums and textured surfaces. carlypiccione@yahoo.com; cpiccione@watkins.edu


Chris Reynolds is an absentmindedly aspiring writer studying to teach English Language Arts. He can usually be found with his nose in a book or rambling about the book his nose was just in. chris.ray.reynolds@gmail.com


Marianne Rogoff is the author of the acclaimed memoir Silvie’s Life and numerous travel stories, short fictions, essays, and book reviews. Her story collection Endlessly Rocking is being published in summer 2014 by SheBooks. “Apprehension” (page 28) is an excerpt from a longer story, which won a Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in Fiction. She teaches Writing & Literature at California College of the Arts and Big History at Dominican University. mariannerogoff.com


Sherry got her first camera at the age of 19 and told her mom she wanted to work for National Geographic. Life happened and she became a paralegal instead. A couple of months after 9/11, Sherry went to New York. Wanting to take good pictures, she purchased her first (film) Nikon. In 2012, Sherry decided to dip her toes in the world of digital photography and started volunteering as a photographer for local shelters and rescue groups. She has since broadened her repertoire to include nature and lifestyle portraits. Her favorite subject is that “special moment,” whatever it may be. sherryrosenphotography.com



Andrew Sherman is an editorial and fine art photographer specializing in

architecture, people, and food with a clean and contemporary style. His easy-going and passionate personality fuels his desire to create compelling images about the things he loves. He aims to one day teach and inspire photographers like the few who truly made an impact on his work, and his life. andrewsherman.co


Jack Simonetta is a visual artist who creates in many mediums. Painting, drawing, making collages, and sculpting in stone are just some of the ways he uses to express his thoughts and ideas about color, shape, and texture. He is also part owner of pb&j gallery in Atlanta, GA and is a graphic designer. His series of photographs on pages 59 and 60, titled “Processing,” is a collection of family photos taken over the 60 years that his family lived in their home along with photos taken just before selling the now empty house. pbj-gallery.com


Four-time Pushcart Prize nominee as well as nominee for Best of the Net, J.R. Solonche has been publishing poetry in magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books) and author of Beautiful Day, forthcoming from Deerbrook Editions. jsolo@frontiernet.net


Isabelle St. Clair is a rising sophomore at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. One of her favorite professors introduced her to the art of micro-fiction, and from then on out Isabelle has only written short pieces. But she trying to write more poems and nonfiction, two writing forms she’s not completely comfortable with. Besides reading and writing, Isabelle loves to wander around in NYC’s museums and watch vlog adaptations of classic novels.


Quinton Theron is from Cape Town, South Africa and currently a student at Savannah College of Art and Design majoring in Industrial Design. He enjoys painting interesting characters, especially those who are seen as outcasts or beyond the norm. These people usually hold very interesting stories or cultural involvements. His painting “Shorty: A South African Prisoner” (page 62) is from an ex-convict from a very harsh South African prison whom he befriended. These convicts are part of a secretive sub-culture, which contains a unique language, and various methods of identification within the prison system. behance.net/quintontheron


For five years Nate Totten has worked in the field of video production creating content for unique people and businesses. His passion is telling story’s about people. He is his my own worst critic and uses that as a strength. In January 2014, he began a new journey as an artist, learning the first form of photography called Wet Plate Collodion. It is a digital world we live in now and this forces you to slow down and really focus on the art and create a one of a kind piece that will last longer than most of us. rottenphotography.com

in creative writing from New York University and a Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from New York Foundation for the Arts. She can be reached at jkyates@earthlink.net.


Parisa Zarringhalam is an English major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her work has been published in the undergraduate literary magazine Jabberwocky, of UMass Amherst’s English Society. Parisa grew up in Watertown, MA, a town of four square-miles that boasts the third largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia, but which gained notoriety after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. In third grade, a boy came up to Parisa and said, “Your dad’s a terrorist.” This was not true; Parisa’s father is a retired professional soccer player from Iran. parisazarisa.blogspot.com


Father. Copywriter. Drummer. Author of Life’s Too Short for Long Stories, a collection of micro-fiction (2012). Various one-sentence stories have been published in print and online. Follow him on facebook.com/lifetooshortforlongstories and @bartvangoethem.


Janelle Yates writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from her home in Asheville, NC. She earned an MFA


“sinner,” tim kent

e a s t c o a s t i n k | i ssue 003 | PORTRA I TURE