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Crossroads Episode 2



WHAT IS CROSSROADS? Crossroads is a zine.

WHY UNDER THE INFLUENCE? For the second episode I wanted people to send art about people who influenced them— inspirations, living or dead, fictional or real. If we are to believe most scientific or religious theories, we are all interconnected, all part of one massive continuum. Buddhism, Jainism, paganism, pantheism, Judaism (of the Kabbalah), Christianity, freemasonry, and most other faiths all say we all are connected, all essentially made of the same God, spirit, or force. If you believe in science, we all came from one burst of light, billions of years ago. (Where is that light? Is it in us now still)? We are all, in other words, influenced by all of each other, and by everyone and thing who ever lived. But outside of the equalizing realm of the spiritual, some people influence us more than others. Our parents, for example. Our friends. The album that was playing when we knew we were in love. The band we followed around the country. The poem that changed the way we see the world. Personally, my artistic influences sometimes feel like saints in a little religion of creative spirits I’ve crafted for myself. I follow them around cities, I visit their homes, I try to seek and channel their ghosts. Sometimes they feel like drugs, altering the way I see the world. I wanted to know who and what has influenced other people—maybe so everyone who reads this could fall in love and connect and key into some of the other great talents and forces in this world, in hopes that we might embrace the opportunity for connection to other folks and to art that binds us all together. I’m also excited to announce that my friend Juliet Larsen will be joining me as an editor in chief for Crossroads! Juliet is definitely one of my biggest artistic inspirations, and her love of David Bowie partially inspired the theme of this issue (check out a letter from her below, and see her work featured in this issue as well). Thanks to all who submitted! WITH LOVE, EDEN ARIEL




(CROSSROADS’ NEW CO- EDITOR IN CHIEF) "Space Oddity" was the first song to make me cry. My six-year-old self was

unprepared for the complex expressions of longing and solitude that David Bowie conveyed in the song. Major Tom would be left to perish in the unknown, and despite it all, he would remain calm in the emptiness of his tin can, far above the world. When I heard “Space Oddity,” for the first time, I wanted to perform it in the first grade talent show, but by that time, the deadline for applications had passed. Nevertheless, it rocked my world. Discovering David Bowie provided me with an everlasting bounty of inspiration as I dove into his body of work with a feverish desire to learn as much as I could about the artist. Learning about David Bowie helped educate me on so many other diverse, eccentric, and valuable topics. From Bertolt Brecht to Andy Warhol to aboriginal racism in Australia, Bowie’s art was inspired by an endless array of influences. Through studying his art, I built a little treasure box of knowledge that I am now so thankful for. I still haven’t finished learning it all. I am so excited to keep learning and exploring. David Bowie showed me the power of influence, proving that as an artist, we grow from those that inspire us. When David Bowie died, I began to edit videos for several of his songs. I picked up a camera and filmed life as I saw it, imperfect beauty and all. I wanted to honor his life and legacy, not by mourning his death, but sharing his fascination with the beauty of our existence. David himself puts it best in a 1973 interview when he was asked, "Do you indulge in any form of worship?" David paused before answering. "Uh, life. I love life, very much indeed." So do I, David. I love life very much indeed. May you always be inspired, JULIET LARSEN


Contents Mulholland & Sunset………………………….………………………….….…………5 Norma Desmond

Space Oddity………………………………………………………….….………….………….7 Juliet Larsen

A Piece of Home…………………………………………….….………………….……….9 Tatiana Bercerra

songs that have made me fucking cry….….……………….11 Michelle Shen

Mambo No. 5…………………………….….……………….……………….………….….13 Tatiana Bercerra

My Body Will Never Falter…………………………….….……………….15 York

A Brief Encounter…………………………………………….….…………………….17 George Menz

Da me; a tu…………………………….….…………………………………….…………….21 Sal Volpe

An Ode to Friday Morning…………………………….….………………….24 Natachi Mez

Suffocator (Art).…….6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 23 Anya Srvic



Your words, you say, are audio recordings, Swirling dust in air amid gaslight traps. My cuts interrupt your neat mise-en-scen: Spear red yarn on a white matter map, In 52 read future and past. But speckled mirrors laid to rest In magick spotlights streaming down Dim wax and oil scenic nights, Choke softly phonographic mouths, Force celluloid to sputter out. Screen-ridden potholes shoot 35 round Revealing follies: TRUST: a fist-like scab oozing black from your marble-set frown. Teresa’s rapture in your cold embrace, For a rhythmic, rapid-rhyming clown. Your lies: backlit by an impatient moon, As heaven records your triumphal vows, Your selkie’s voice: montage, scripted drama Slanted prayers and hungry now-nows. End scene, the Stars scream... take final bows


Suffocator ANYA SRVIC Author’s Note: Dear reader, The following images belong to a work in progress rendition to a roleplay I have been working on for over a year with my best friend Paula. The idea came to me one day when she and I were jamming on the ukulele together and she continued to express her frustration towards the main character of this sector, Dante, who I was in charge of. It didn’t feel right to me, since the mistakes he makes in the plot we planned out are inherently human, just complicated by the presence of other characters who are Gods which he intereacts with and the knowledge of who he was to them in his past life. I then started playing Smother by Daughter and realized that the song really embodied the gravity and humanity of his mistakes and how, by the end of the story, how awful he must be feeling about it. Hence, I decided to draw it all out since how the hell am I supposed to explain this to anyone? I’ve been roleplaying his past life, Gino, for over a year and although fictional he is more real to me than several people I know in the flesh. Thus, my unfinished illustrations outline Dante, an aquarius, born Febuary 8th 2149, and his relationship with the four divine figures in the universe we created and his envy towards his past self, Gino. The demons represented here are Beelzebub (jagged smile), Satan (long hair) and Asmodeus/Momo, as well as the angel Luzbel (curls and wings). Gold is representative of the divine, silver of the soul. I am excited to see where this goes.



Space Oddity (David Bowie Cover) JULIET LARSEN watch on YouTube Ground Control to Major Tom
 Ground Control to Major Tom Take your protein pills And put your helmet on (10) Ground Control (9) to Major Tom (8)
 (7, 6) Commencing (5) countdown Engines on (4, 3, 2)
 Check ignition (1) And may God's love (Liftoff) be with you This is Ground Control to Major Tom
 You've really made the grade And the papers want to know whose shirt you wear Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare
 This is Major Tom to Ground Control
 I'm stepping through the door And I'm floating in a most peculiar way And the stars look very different today For here am I sitting in a tin can
 Far above the world Planet Earth is blue
 And there's nothing I can do Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles
 I'm feeling very still And I think my spaceship knows which way to go Tell my wife I love her very much
 She knows Ground Control to Major Tom Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong Can you hear me, Major Tom?
 Can you hear me, Major Tom?
 Can you hear me, Major Tom?
 Can you.... Here am I floating 'round my tin can
 Far above the Moon
 Planet Earth is blue
 And there's nothing I can do





A Piece of Home TATIANA BERCERRA Author’s Note: “A Piece of Home” was inspired by an adventure I took to see a band called flor. That adventure was particularly special to me, because it was my first New York concert experience. I rounded up a group of friends, some new and some old, and hopped on the subway to Brooklyn. We ended up at a record store and concert venue hybrid called Rough Trade. The minute I walked through the doors, I fell in love with Rough Trade’s sticker covered walls, rainbow flag decorations, and endless rows of vinyl. That show was special, because it was the first time I managed to see a band from home (as flor also calls LA home and I had started going to their shows the summer before freshman year) out in NYC. It was really cool watching this band, who had slowly become my friends, in a foreign context. Now, whenever I’m away from LA, flor’s music is my little piece of home that I can revisit whenever I’m feeling homesick.

Trekking to Brooklyn To dance in the crowd under the pink lights Watching familiar faces, faces from home, take the stage In a record store 3,000 miles away from the Dena




songs that have made me fucking cry MICHELLE SHEN listen on Spotify here Author’s Note: These are the songs that have made me cry in the last 9 years. They’re about remembering a moment that was so painful yet, just always wanting more of it. They’re about living in a dull, familiar pain and longing. But sharing, listening, and singing these songs together, create a cathartic space for release and intense emotional intimacy. I’ve met some of my closest people in my life through this music. Also, listening to these songs just on my own reconnects me to my past and remembering myself.


Chelsea Hotel #2 (Leonard Cohen · New Skin for the Old Ceremony)


Paul (Big Thief · Masterpiece)


Landfill (Daughter · His Young Heart)

4. Candles (Daughter · His Young Heart) 5.

Masterpiece - (solo) (Big Thief · Dandelion)

6. Hallelujah (Live) (Kate Voegele · Live in London) 7.

Home (Gabrielle Aplin · Home)


Almost Lover (A Fine Frenzy · One Cell in the Sea

9. Undercover (Susanne Sundfør · Music For People In Trouble) 10. Good News (Julien Baker · Sprained Ankle) 11. Born to Die (Lana Del Rey · Born to Die) 12. Misty (Ella Fitzgerald · By Popular Demand - Ella Fitzgerald) 13. Skinny Love (Birdy · Birdy (Deluxe Version)) 14. All I Want (Kodaline · In A Perfect World) 15. Teenage Fantasy (Jorja Smith · Lost and Found) 16. Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean · channel ORANGE) 17. Self Control (Frank Ocean · Blonde) 18. Introit Benedicta Sit (Monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame · Gregorian Chant) 19. Coming Down (Anais Mitchell · Young Man in America) !11



Mambo No. 5 TATIANA BERCERRA When I was a kid, probably around four or five, most of my time was spent with my grandparents. Every day was an adventure, whether it was a trip to the park, the fair, the movies, or even just the grocery store. Some days, we’d end up just hanging out at the house and my grandma would play music from the stereo system that sat in the corner of her living room. On those days, my grandma taught me how to dance. I’d follow her around and we would twist, shimmy, shake, twirl, and two-step all around the living room. My grandma’s favorite song to play was always none other than Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5. A few weeks ago, I walked into a random shoe store near 86th and none other than Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5 was playing. I was taken by surprise, as that song is not nearly as popular now as it was when I was a kid. Hearing the song for the first time in quite a while, I was happily reminded of the times I danced around my grandma’s living room, but it was also bittersweet. I could clearly hear the sound of my grandma’s laugh as the song played, and I wished I could just pick up the phone and call her. I lost my grandma in May, and as the months have passed, I’ve realized that I’m still processing the loss. I am reminded of my grandma in little ways nearly every day… I wear pairs of her earrings, her mass card hangs on my wall… If I hear a mariachi, eat a taco, or even just see a cute little kid with a grandparent on the street, I think of her. I’m grateful to have had such a special bond with my grandma, and I know time will make things easier. As my first holiday season without her approaches, I’m thinking it could be a great idea to turn on Mambo No. 5 and have a little dance party in her honor.




My Body Will Never Falter (Lyrics) YORK Watch on YouTube Listen on SoundCloud

I can see the snow fall outside I see the grey eyes like that Mind your peace, and I'll mind mine too I can see the corners of the blue Where is life? A stellar author? Where is light? A standing oer? My body lies upon the alter My body hides and never falters I've got to go, I'll see you soon Your voice's timbre's pile on a sandy dune Your aura's above them all, ever glowing A pulsing figure, forever showing


here here



A Brief Encounter GEORGE MENZ INSPIRED BY A HYPOTHETICAL ENCOUNTER BETWEEN MICHEL FOUCAULT AND YUKIO MISHIMA IN THE 1950s In the bloodied half-light of the barroom he reads a book. He does not move, save to turn a page or run his fingers through his thinning hair. There are no clocks in the room, and no calendar on the wall, for the patrons of this establishment enjoy the illusion that they have entered a place outside of history, without past or future, beyond the passage of time, although all know well that it is 1955 and it is nearing midnight and sooner or later they will have to leave, alone or with company. The book-reader glances up; through lenses slightly fogged by the haze which seems at all times to linger in this room he observes the men who share this space with him. He knows them all well, by their sign at least: most are castaways of the French demimonde, looking for a few francs or simply a place to spend the night; some are students, recently imported from the suburbs, who can be recognized by the way they glance nervously around and at the door as if expecting the cops to burst in at any minute; a few are men like himself, who were once students but now, as they near middle age, have at last found a sort of acceptance and feel at peace in this place, just as their forebears might have found solace in a monastery. All these types he knows well. So his eye is naturally drawn towards a new and unfamiliar face, lurking in the shadows; a face as old as his own, yet still seemingly pained in its foreignness as are those of the students; a tight face, stiff-lipped, dark eyes peering out from beneath monolids. He is, unmistakably, some transplant from the far east, though the bookreader cannot even guess as to what locale he calls his patrie. So he closes his book and crosses the space that separates them, taking a seat perpendicular to his stranger as he tucks the volume into an inner pocket of his jacket, and he asks, with the characteristic bluntness of a man who knows the customs of such an establishment: “D’ou venez-vous?” To which the reply: “Je viens de Japon.” The bookreader asks the Japonais his profession; the Japonais says that he is a writer. The bookreader asks if his books have been translated; the Japonais says he does not think !17

so, although he would like them to be, as he is a great admirer of French writers such as De Sade and Radiguet. The bookreader notes that Radiguet died very young; the Japonais says it was much the better for him. And what does he do? asks the Japonais; the bookreader says he is seeking a doctorate in philosophy. And which philosophers do you admire? asks the Japonais; the bookreader names Sartre, Heidegger, Althusser, Nietzsche. And what do you plan to write your dissertation on? asks the Japonais; the bookreader replies that he is not yet sure, but that he plans to write about the history of madness. How difficult will it be, the Japonais asks, to find a private room at this hour? Not difficult at all, replies the bookreader. They abscond, watched by, if anyone, only men who do not know their names and will not be able to recall their faces. They recline like old Romans, so that they might observe each other; the philosopher notes with admiration the strongly sculpted body of the novelist, while the novelist regards stoically the tortured yet solid torso of the philosopher. He, with a certain caution, reaches out his hand and caresses the face of the novelist; the novelist takes the hand, brings it to his lips, and kisses it, like a medieval courtier greeting his beloved. The philosopher lies with his arms crossed supporting his head while the novelist, sitting on the edge of the mattress, smokes a cigarette. The philosopher’s breathing draws his attention, and he takes the cigarette from his lips, drawing it through the air like forming a character with a brush, and presses onto the naked chest of the philosopher. The philosopher opens his eyes, startled by the pain, but he is silent, as if wonderstruck. Why? he asks. Your skin was so beautiful, says the Japonais, that I couldn’t stand it. The philosopher’s eyes open again, and his head falls back, mouth slightly open. I would like, he says, to have an experience from which one cannot escape. There is only one such experience, the novelist says. That is death. At this, the philosopher says nothing. A faint smile plays upon his lips.


Death, he says slowly, as if with great consideration, is the moment at which a man’s life is transformed into a work of art. For men, the novelist says, the desire to become beautiful is a desire to die. Let’s call each other by our true names, says the philosopher, since once we are reduced to the words we have spoken and committed upon a page, the men were were, who we are right now, will die, and worse, will no longer have existed. Kimitake. Paul-Michel. The darkness then is absolute; the self-created light in which they could be seen vanishes, and they are drawn back behind the veil of nonexistence out of which they were briefly conjured by the imagination of a lesser soul who knows them only by their words; consumed by their creations, by death and time and art and language.


Da me; a tu SAL VOLPE listen to “Best of You” here Author’s Note: I have always been drawn to how raw Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters allows himself to be in his lyrics, particularly on In Your Honor and Wasting Light. For this reason I chose to write an expanded response to "Best of You" from In Your Honor. I highly recommend listening to the original song first to get a sense of the tempo and feeling of the original before reading it in the context of the free verse.





An Ode to Friday Morning NATACHI MEZ Inspired by Friday Morning by Khruangbin (listen here)

inhale. exhale you are more than a background soundtrack. You beautify, make significant what we swear ordinary, song on replay replay replay in Denmark, as I pedal from Lyngby to København At home, as I run in Elk Grove, California, Anywhere, as I shower or cook or eat or walk or hum I can’t keep quiet about you. your ambient noise that lingers once the  crooning & musical melodies have faded, it blends in with the wind that blows beyond my backyard, making leaves dance I come from roots, Friday Morning is a soft lover, a soft song, you make my branches swing, my head bob make my chin tick tick tick to your rhythms you are you are you are oooooooooooooh,  like a wolf that howls last week I cleansed myself  beneath a full moon and you were there, in night, the midnight blue water ripples and run, you are  current present within the wave of drums and guitars nature  is folded into the dough of each sound, the passion rises rises rises, belonging everywhere, all the time there is space for you, your tempo, your switches the nana na nana na nahs,  the howls few words and more space to exist less room for anger more room for peace, for love for smiles to unfold like the sun as Friday Mornings are marked by it’s ascent anytime, any day, this song takes me higher







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Crossroads Episode 2: Under the Influence  
Crossroads Episode 2: Under the Influence