Letter from the Editors Hello: we exist now. It is disappointing, though inevitable, that the commencement of a new literary journal sounds like a paper friction and the inaudible buzz of a website inauguration. But let’s put the tangible aside. Art is about the subjective rather than the real, and so for the sake of emotional honesty, please imagine a grand applause, a tremendous ringing of bells, a symphony orchestra, and a loud yell on a dark day. We exist now. Future Histories is a literary magazine. We publish fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, studio art, and photography each semester in the author’s language of choice. This school is bursting with artistic talent which deserves a platform and a megaphone, which is why a general literary magazine is so essential, and why we formed Future Histories. Our GIM was just over one month ago; there is no truer testament to the generosity and creative passion at Tufts that we have traveled this far in that time. Dozens upon dozens of you have trusted us with your writing and your art, and we carefully reviewed and discussed each lovely piece. This booklet is a sampling of about half of the works we have accepted. We encourage you to explore the full collection on our website, futurehistoriesmag.wordpress.com. Thank you to all the people who came to our earliest meetings and helped develop our goals and identity. Thank you to all the writers, poets, photographers and artists who submitted. And thank you, reader, for giving this art your eyes. Future Histories Presents: Issue 0. Yours, Hunter and Sarah
Cover Art: “WITH CARE” - Claire Freeman (Edited by Future Histories)
Table of Contents BIRDSONG Jordan DeLawder
read this Or fall in love Claire Freeman
Potrero Nuevo Aditi Kocherlakota
Pantoum: My Mother Ella Brady
Just Words Liam Knox
Killers Killed Joseph Caplan
Drop, Shatter Elisa Sturkie
Structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Child Ethan Resek
to the yellow flowers Fiona Sharp
Cardinal Hannah Kahn
A Dress in Elevator Pink Sarah Walsh
Horticulture Nas Lin
BIRDSONG By Jordan DeLawder
The swallow gathers golden tinsel to build her babies a palace. My friends and I have been driving for weeks, going nowhere in particular. Sucking in ungodly amounts of air. We blow past rust towns in search of prettier things (hanging laundry, tire swings). One day, I will have children to wake me at first light. We will pick dandelions and admire their yellow. In Pennsylvania, we pass a billboard with strange cadence:
NOT EVERYONE DOING IT VIRGIN UNTIL MARRIAGE IS GODâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WILL.
To me, family is a capsule. A semi-permeable object. How strange it seems when contrasted with the solidity of asphalt or the rigidity of capital letters. I say farewell to this land, for now. I am enough for myself, for now. With the birdsong in my heart, I string together dreams, like tin cans. Attach them to the bumper and clink-clink-clink all the way home. 3
read this Or fall in love By Claire Freeman
Or he probably has bad morning breath and ketchup stains on too many shirts Or I bet he forgets to brush his teeth some nights and Maybe goes two days without showering He probably eats too many calzones, anyway Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure the pizza fat clogs veins and contaminates pheromones Or some shit and that is not Boyfriend material, you know.
Potrero Nuevo By Aditi Kocherlakota
I can’t remember if it was a summer or two summers ago—it was the one when Dancing with the Stars reruns were playing on ABC. And when the episode ended it was just enough time for me to walk over to the big houses on the north slope so Chad could come pick me up in his red beemer. It wasn’t bad, except for this chip in the fender that looked like he had tried to paint over it with nail polish. Chad wore khakis. I didn’t mind being seen with him. Chad’s dad was a white dad, a Bluetooth dad, always with his Blackberry, so of course he had a stash of hard liquor. Chad was too much of a pussy to take anything except Mike’s hard lemonade, so those nights we just acted more drunk than we really were. Then, he would make an excuse so he couldn’t drive me home; he was too tired, he had an early shift in the morning. I didn’t mind. Taxis weren’t too hard to come by in the Mission, and I could tell the driver my real address. We lived on 15th Street; I could see the condos up North, but also the cramped one-bedroom apartments down the hill, houses that didn’t have a market rate, houses that weren’t houses but projects. It wasn’t like I was ashamed of my house or anything, it was just easier to explain and Chad didn’t have to worry if his car alarm was working. Potrero Hill didn’t sleep at night; she was guarded, paranoid. She was the unfashionable, illegitimate sister of San Francisco. The yoga studios and cafés on Texas Street held Potrero Hill together, but it was like the force field had suddenly run out on the South slope. I would come home those nights and sit on the couch for a couple of minutes, maybe twenty. Except on the nights where Ants was there on the downstairs computer. He wouldn’t even look up when I walked in, light flickering across his face as he clicked through pages. He was always tapping, his right knuckles clicking on the wooden desk. We’d stopped calling him Anthony when the tapping came to stay, and then he became Antsy, then Ants. He was as skinny as a praying mantis 5
but had a half moon curve for a belly under his t-shirt. He’s been quiet ever since that day he spelled celery wrong in the school spelling bee. Two ‘l’s. Homeboy brought in a rolling suitcase to his first day of high school, which was the first time he ate his lunch alone in a bathroom stall. Sometimes, I wonder how it would have been different, if he had gotten a Jansport like everyone else. I checked the browsing history once on the computer downstairs. Pages of diagrams, of 3x3 cubes with size 10 font descriptions. And then a minimized tab for the Rubix cube competition at George Washington High School. Five grand. Which left just $1,468 for the first year at SF State. He was always looking for his ticket out of here. Somehow, he managed to get his hands on a Rubix cube, some of the stickers still shiny. His fidgeting translated into left, left, right, red, green. Ants didn’t even pass the first round at the public library. He was really broken up about it, too. I didn’t notice at first, until one night I saw that the dinner table wasn’t making its usual up and down movement to the rhythm of his legs tapping. The fidgeting—it was like it had stopped completely. § On nights like this one, I would need a minute to catch my breath, and Chad would be asleep. I slipped out of the bed and into the bathroom. I didn’t really care if he woke up or not, but I waited until he looked asleep enough. We had used the last three condoms he had, and I had pressed my nose against the crook of his elbow and breathed in his metallic scent, felt his 700-thread count sheets, and felt the used wrappers against my thigh. He can feel me awake, and he stirs. I’m clutching his sheets in my right hand. What’s going on, he asks. What’s it like to sleep in these sheets everyday? I ask him. His eyebrows furrow in confusion, and he rolls over onto his back. What do you mean? he asks. I don’t really know, I say. I stand up, and pull on my sweater over my bare chest, and I tell him I have to go. 6
§ When the summer was the hottest I would crack the window open, so in the night I heard everything, the bottles breaking, disembodied shouting. I heard Ants creep down the stairs at midnight, sometimes after, to let someone in. Spare Change would crash on these nights, never staying longer than five hours. She was our housecat. I didn’t mind as long as it wasn’t my Cheerios she was eating. Spare Change was majestic ugly. She was two quarters black, a quarter Irish, two dimes Chinese, and a nickel Dominican. She had the finest hair I’d ever seen, but she had so much of it crowding her scalp in little fried up kinks. It wasn’t that her facial features were that screwed up. It was just that out of all the permutations and combinations that her face could be, she ended up looking like a lizard. She was suspended from school, I think. I saw it happen, with the purple craft scissors from the library. She was darting around the bookshelves, around the Asian boys with the cornrows, around the bookshelves, then back again. And then snip snip, tight little braids falling apart. She stuffed them in her backpack and sprinted away before anyone had a chance to process anything. One day Ants and Spare Change went to the basement all quiet-like. His bed is lofted too high. Which I guess was the first time they did it, because since then Ants would slip one or two dollars at a time from Mom’s wallet at a time until he had enough to buy a pack of Trojan XL condoms. § Spare Change and Ants sit at opposite ends of the room. They don’t speak to me, or to each other. They are waiting for me to leave, so I shut the door behind me and wait on the front porch until it’s time for me to walk to Folsom. It’s Wednesday night, which means Chad is coming at 10, 10:15 if he needs to get gas. Maeve is sitting shotgun, with a seat belt across her chest. Maeve’s got big tits and she knows it, and Chad knows it. Unfortunately for him, 7
she’s always waiting for a Jewish boy. She writes. Poetry, which probably made Chad feel a little more sensitive or something. It wasn’t too easy to tell how much money she had. She was always tucking in the price tags of her dresses so she could return it later, but her skin was too soft for her not to have at least five steps to her skincare routine. I step in the car, and watch his arm draped over the back of her seat. It’s like I’m watching a made-for-television movie, and I resist the urge to laugh. I need a new toothbrush, so we toss around the idea of lifting one from the Potrero market. Maybe we’ll get shaved ice instead. We decide to smoke so much that we can’t see. § That morning, I’m taking a shower in Chad’s bathroom when I hear the toilet flush. I step outside, and feel the steam condense against my naked skin. Maeve zips up her pants and walks over to the sink. She runs her hands under the warm water, washing them for longer than she needs. We make eye contact in the bathroom mirror, and then she dries her hands and leaves. She does this silly thing where she says that her parents are expecting her for dinner. Everyone knows her mom and dad are deadbeats, but we don’t say anything. He drops her off at a 7/11 so she can get some Taki’s. As she walks in, he stalls for a minute, but I stay in the backseat. The car ride back is silent. Hey Jodi, he calls after me as I shut the door. “You got a five?” he asks, arm extended out the window. I stand there, clutching the door handle, the unshaved hair on my legs prickling in the cold. “For gas.” “Huh?” “For the gas.” “Oh. I’ll… pay you back tomorrow.” When I get back, Ants isn’t home, and the house feels still. 8
I go up the stairs and open the door to his room. I sit on his desk, feel it creak under my weight. Laying on his desk is a pack of brand new yellow post-its. I tear the plastic packaging open, and then place it on his desk. After that, there’s not really much for me to do, so I leave, closing the door behind me. § And I guess that’s where we are right now. The first couple of weeks Ants was gone, Mom made calls, anxiously fingering the yellow post-it he left on the counter. “I’m out,” it says. She even called Aunt Cynthia, who she hasn’t talked to in years. I don’t really know if he’s coming back. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. I’ve already put posters over the thumbtack holes in the wall, and changed the sheets of his loft bed, which was an ordeal. That night, Chad and I are parked behind the shady taqueria. He takes my shirt off, like usual. I close my eyes and wait for it to happen. Instead, he pops the little bumps on my back until I fall asleep. § I’m down by the houses on the corner of 25th and Connecticut, where they started the construction, abruptly and without warning. Mary’s outside, watching her kids. “That condo, it’s not for us. It’s gonna go to the rich people,” she says to me. “They say we’re gonna be neighbors with the lawyers and the doctors. I don’t believe that.” Her two toddlers jump on the dirty mattress that’s been parked outside her house for ages, bald heads bobbing in the sunlight.
Photo: “A Metaphor About My Mother and a Storm Drain in Kuala Lumpu” - Jeremy Caldwell
Pantoum: My Mother By Ella Brady
Time was tight when we were young my mother the meditator told me to slow down and find the peace so every sunday we lived in the silence my mother the meditator also my mother the meteor so every sunday we lived in the silence following the crash landing of yesterday Also my mother the meteor plummets through the wreckage of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hurricane Ellaâ&#x20AC;? following the crash landing of yesterday she becomes my mother the martyr time was tight when we were young plummeting through the wreckage of hurricane ella my mother the martyr told me to slow down and find the peace
Just Words By Liam Knox
Urge them to their demiurge, canyon-bellow those bellied yellow, accept naught but an echo Crush Whitman’s spider underfoot still noiseless? still patient? Nah, never that, I’m off the hook, what’s over there? ha, made you look just some bombed Potemkin villages didn’t stop to pillage, nothing worth I got damned, gotdamn did I get zoned, get high, get low crest to trough, like McEnroe, uncouth red-eyed but shy hiding under capsized boat, don’t mind me I’m just drowning. But you can float, so tether me to your nether regions paddle to the beach, we don’t need a reason to save ourselves for a day or two. The heat from our love turns the sand to glass but you can’t feel glass between your toes. So I form more grains from ink and dread and sprint through them, howled gibberish coursing through the divots. Now I’m trembling, coiled in a seething machine, wondering how it can be less than real when I can feel it, cold and roiling, crying softly with me. 12
Killers Killed By Joseph Caplan
Here’s to Mr. Brightside, and here’s to Wagon Wheel here’s to the Remix of Ignition and here’s to Hey Ya! Vibrant melodies became bland repetitions. Nostalgic surprises turned to boring expectations. But I’ve had enough. Alright? Alright? Alright? Alright? Alright? Alright? Alright? Songs from our past get ruined when blasted in damp basements. At first it’s a novelty. “Coming out of my cage, and I’ve been doing just fine,” we chant together whiffing scents of $14 vodka But the very next night, we find ourselves drunkenly repeating the same mantra, “Gotta, gotta be down, because I want it all” Party after party and basement after basement we mindlessly, robotically output “It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?”
How did it end up like this? How did it end up like this! A time I used to know The Killers inspired memories of youth. Shyly asking Carson to be my 6th grade girlfriend. Road trips for soccer tournaments and Latin competitions. Getting my older brothers grounded for making fun of my Runescape account. Mr. Brightside was by my side through middle and high school, but now he’s something new. Now, Mr. Brightside breeds smells. Musty scents of mildew. Breaths of the first stages of alcoholism. Sweaty, sour odors of college mating calls. The lyrics remain the same, and the chords never change, but damn you Tufts you’ve made Mr. Brightside lame. I just can’t look. It’s killing me.
Drop, Shatter By Elisa Sturkie
Linda felt a bead of sweat roll down her face as she watched her husband pull the trigger. She saw him tense, bracing through the kickback, and watched in ear-plugged silence as the hunter-orange skeet shattered against the sky, fragments sailing ever away from each other, suspended in the blue. A second later she heard the dim crack of the gunshot. She sipped on her spiked pink lemonade, wishing for a moment that she could pour the cool liquid over her neck. Lord knows that heat in the South Carolina summer was no joke. Her clothes were stuck to her body with sweat, and she felt the ground beneath her feet baking, like clay in a kiln. Linda’s eyes flicked out toward the marsh in the distance. Some water fowl circled about the edge, dots of white motion against the brown reeds. They squawked over and over again, calling to each other, and she marveled at how strange they looked opening their mouths without the sound. She liked watching the world go by in silence. A tap at her elbow made her jump. Her fingers scrabbled by her ears, pulling out the plugs. The world flooded back in—now in synchronized sound and technicolor—and, just for a moment, she felt sick with it. “Linda, babe, I’ve been hollering at you for five minutes. You got those things in too tight,” her husband said. He gestured at the cooler by her side. “Pass me a beer.” “Rob, why’d we come out here today? It’s boiling,” she said, gingerly picking a can out from the ice. The sun was a physical presence, an uninvited guest on their country-shooting date. “I thought you wanted to see why I spend so much time out here. Thought that was what you said in therapy,” Rob answered. “Yeah, but it’s an oven out here,” she said. “Besides, you’ve only hit one so far. This isn’t what you do every day.” Rob brushed an anxious hand through his hair. “I told you, I’m growing cotton on George’s back field.” 15
“Well, where’s the cotton then? All we’ve done is shoot clays.” “Oh, you don’t want to see that, it’s just some bushes. And I know you don’t like the outdoors too much, and I just thought maybe this would be—well, nice. For us.” Linda suddenly felt that the heat was unbearable. She fished some ice out of the cooler and held it to her forehead. Rob shifted next to her, fiddling with the safety on the gun. She knew he was playing through strategies and had settled on his favorite—waiting her out. “He never even shot a shotgun, never got the chance,” she said finally, once the ice had melted into nothingness against her forehead. The words held no meaning, but she said them anyway. “Most seven-year-olds haven’t gone shooting,” Rob answered gruffly. They stared out at the marsh. Linda was forcibly reminded of the birds, circling and circling, opening their mouths but never emitting a sound. “Let’s check out the cotton,” she said, reaching through the ice again, this time for her own beer. They packed themselves back up into the car and drove down a twisting dirt path. Linda fiddled with the AC, but the slow stream of air coming from the vent did nothing to counter the weight of the heat around her. Cotton farming, she thought, is ridiculous. There is no way he can turn a profit on it, no matter how often he comes out here to tend it. But she glanced at Rob’s lined face, his hair, now with a touch more grey at the temples, and kept quiet. “Here it is,” he said, gesturing out the driver’s side window. A small plot opened up between the sprawling oaks, not much bigger than their SUV. Linda blinked, taking in the scraggly bushes lining each tilled row. “Oh,” she said, looking out the window. “Yeah,” Rob said, clearing his throat. “It’s not too many, right now, at least, but we’re really just trying to get the pH figured out. Before, y’know, we plant any more or anything.” “Uh-huh,” Linda said. She opened the car door, stepping out into the hot sun once more. Rob spent at least two hours every day at George’s plantation. “And this is the only thing you’re doing out here?” She had never asked what he did, was never curious, but now she found herself wondering. 16
“Yeah, I mean, pretty much. Sometimes I help out with some of George’s other projects, y’know, this and that.” “Mhm, right,” she said. Tending twenty cotton plants does not take two hours every day. “Why didn’t you want to show me these at first?” she asked. She pulled a stem off one of the plants, crushing her fingers through the coarse cotton until she found the seeds inside. “I just didn’t think you’d be interested,” He answered, a hand rubbing the back of his neck. Linda looked at her husband, and then down at the mess in her palm. Three little cotton seeds sat at the center of the white fluff, exposed. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” she said. “Well, the nearest one is George’s house,” Rob replied, “But that’s—” “Good, I haven’t seen George since the wedding,” Linda spoke over him. “It will be nice to see him again.” “Um, sure, okay,” Rob said. In the car, Linda asked if George had remarried. Or had any girlfriends. “And, what’s his daughter now, 27? Where is she living? I’d hate for him to be out here all alone all the time,” she said, picking at the the seeds in her palm. One of them was shriveled and black, but the other two looked a healthy light brown. She pushed them around, trying to get them to align. “Heather passed away earlier this year. Killed herself,” Rob said, as he pulled up in front of the old plantation home. “Oh, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry for George,” Linda said, her voice brimming with concern she didn’t feel. “Don’t say that to him,” Rob said. “You always hate it when people say that to us. Don’t do that to him.” Linda’s eyes met Rob’s for the first time in months. She nodded. Inside, she said hello to George, who looked much older and sadder than she remembered. Although, she guessed, she and Rob must look older and sadder to George too. “Bathroom’s back that way,” George said kindly, pointing her down the hall. She didn’t actually have to use the bathroom, but she washed her hands anyway, savoring the cold water on her palms. George’s hundred-year-old house, it seemed, didn’t have AC, and Linda wondered idly if she’d ever be cool again. 17
Just then, something caught her eye. A Spiderman toothbrush sat on top of the sink, its little child-sized bristles almost too painful to look at. “Michael, are you sure you want the Spiderman one? What about this one, it’s got more bristles, see, for big kids.” “No, daddy, I want Spiderman.” Linda felt the pit of her stomach drop. Outside she heard a high laugh, bell-clear and bright. She closed her eyes, then turned to the window. A little girl was running toward the house, a small pack of dogs at her heels. Linda heard the screen door slam. She pressed her ear to the door, her heart in her throat. She felt like she might choke on it, throbbing so thick and close to her airway. Her eyes felt hot and sharp. “Uncle Rob! Uncle Rob, guess what I caught today.” “Oof, hey there kiddo. What’d ya catch, huh?” “Hey Mikey, kiddo, wanna play catch?” Rob said, lifting Michael up by his armpits. “I’ve even got a Spiderman baseball just for you.” “Uncle Rob! Put me down! Why do you always pick me up like that? It’s a frog, and it’s even got slime on it. It’s so cool.” “A frog! No way.” Linda dug the cotton seeds out of her pocket. Hands shaking, she tried to make them fit next to each other, but they wouldn’t line up no matter how she arranged them. “Didya have fun at school today?” “Have fun at school, Mikey?” “...Daddy, I feel sick.” “Michael? Michael, sweetie, breathe for me.” Linda felt a hot tear track down her face as she listened to her husband replace their child. She felt tense, bracing against the sink, and watched, wishing only for silence, as the cotton seeds swirled down the drain.
Structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Child By Ethan Resek
I. Head I think about statues, how faded is as faded ever was, and how really, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want this old beast crawling forth, this forgotten tumble blowing in through time. I want to be swaddled on the couch with something akin to puerility or triumph that surrounds my whole, usually right? I occasionally look to the stream of starburst placed in front of me. Or just the window of cobalt black.
II. Body I forget my grandfatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real name. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably want to forget everything soon, reality or not. I remember that there was a building on my block at home. Moss and lichen covered it, the many-headed rattlesnake holding on like itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a child, shrinking it into, I think, nullity.
III. Stand I am in an organic yet humane slide down the playground wee, wee it never stops, spinning and spinning to that, who-knows, person somewhat like skylines abound, hearts pulsing; I look forward to being a child, running amok through the map of time and
Top: Jeremy Caldwell Bottom: “Father,” (Part of “Roots”) - Sophie Pollock
to the yellow flowers By Fiona Sharp
I pluck a bee’s feast yellow is his favorite those ones with the tiny blossoms on top he says but only knows the Turkish name I don’t bother to look up the English I want to keep my backyard foreign it’s nicer that way they look like tiny yellow vaginas I say he tells me I have a dirty mind but he sees it too baba always tore them out he says they were just weeds I only picked the stems the roots still buried so they can grow back I think weeds have a way like that he wakes up crying dreamed that baba tore him out he says like his weeds the yellow flowers are in a glass beside the bed
Poema de Love By hcjs
I don’t believe in a lengua común. Hay demasiado espacio entre the lips, the ears; the words, los pensamientos; los pensamientos, the thoughts. No hay nadie que pueda communicate, not properly, not even nosotros. Pero ah, tú y yo— Todavía no entiendo our peculiar pidgin, how it formed, como continuá cerrando la brecha entre tus pensamientos, my thoughts; my thoughts y tus pensamientos. I feel like the nightingale cantando a la chicharra que canta to the nightingale. No podemos entendernos, pero we both sing for eternity. Sisyphus never understood Death, y la Muerte nunca lo entendió, pero los mismas chains bound them and they share the same curse: nunca descansar, nunca parar. Ninguno quería hacerlo. And neither do we. That’s not enough for a lengua común, pero es suficiente for two of them.
Amor Poem By hcjs
No puedo creer en una common tongue. There’s too much space between los labios, las orejas; las palabras, the thoughts; the thoughts, los pensamientos. No person on this earth can comunicar, no verdaderamente, tampoco nosotros. But oh, you and I— I still don’t understand our encantado lenguaje macarrónico, como se formó, how it continues to close the gaps between your thoughts, mis pensamientos, mis pensamientos, your thoughts. Me siento como el ruiseñor singing to the cicada that sings al ruiseñor. We don’t understand one another, but nosotros dos cantamos para la eternidad. Sísifo nunca entendió a la Muerte, and Death never understood him, but the same cadenas los ataron y ellos compartieron la misma maldición: to never rest, to never stop. Neither wanted to. Y nosotros tampoco. Esto no es suficiente para una common tongue, but it’s enough para decir que te amo.
Cardinal By Hannah Kahn
Whoever you picture when I say “picture my grandma” is not her. Never was she slumped or hunched, slurping lunch, old lady with a cane. Picture a woman with posture like a golfer, a championship golfer—that’s what she was. Picture perfect swing, her foot perked behind her. Picture her hole-in-one smile. Picture Grandma’s bathroom. Picture her jacuzzi tub-facing mirrors that made us look infinite. The pristine walk-in closet with rows and rows of belts; she let me take one back to New York every visit. Picture her silky robe she wore before the white Denver sun rose, before she “put on her face,” before she got cancer. She let me peek through a sliver of her silver bathrobe to show me the scars on her abdomen. Picture roadmaps of surgeries cutting up her body: five cancers, miles behind her. Dirt roads leaving faint traces. Don’t picture her in the hospital, bruised, balding, intubated, medicated. Don’t picture her without the lipstick she had us bring to the hospital every day. Don’t picture her mouth agape, heartline flat. I know you remember it, but it’s not her. Picture Grandma hosting holidays. Waking up on Polo Field Lane to the smell of golden soup. Don’t picture the first
Thanksgiving without her, just a week after she died. Don’t picture the empty seat at the table, her own table. I know you remember it, but it’s not her. So my mom says to picture Grandma as a cardinal. And ever since we’ve seen them everywhere. When you see a cardinal fly past your window, picture Grandma calling and leaving a voicemail dripping with sugar. When you see a cardinal perched in your willow, picture Grandma waiting for you at the airport, arms wingspan wide. But if Grandma is a cardinal then she will just fly away from us a thousand more times. Do not picture her at your next birthday, or your brother’s college graduation, or your wedding, or Grandpa’s funeral. She won’t show up. She will fly away from us a thousand more times. But if Grandma is a cardinal, at least you will see her again. Picture Grandma as a cardinal so she will fly back to you. She will always, always fly back to you.
A Dress in Elevator Pink By Sarah Walsh
i keep looking at her books on the windowsill imagining i could collect i could have a windowsill i could wear fabric as pretty as her elevator walls finding catch-22 which i still haven’t read little red man from the cover knows that sneers and tells me check your bank account again, asshole good luck collecting good luck at windowsills at impressions listen you fucking wannabe keith haring sketch, shut up we’re trying to play a game here, the game is it’s like a lighthouse except it’s not loose—tighthouse it’s like a lighthouse except it’s flown on a string—kitehouse i smile at you now, it’s like a lighthouse except something we do fighthouse? hindsighthouse? smitehouse? there he goes again don’t listen to the goddamn talking chalk outline. he looks like somebody just found him under the rug of their haunted apartment dynamitehouse? uptighthouse? 29
it was overnighthouse don’t listen to that insatiable little gnat but when i walk home you cross the road just to cross with her before she turns instead of walking with me. we’re going the same damn direction. who shows up to take your place but my old red friend at least he’s got a sense of fidelity spitehouse. he’s still at it it’s spitehouse. kryptonitehouse. oh just fuck off and walk me home. i told you it was overnighthouse. for when we sleep in each other’s beds. what’s he doing over there? i think he’s like a lighthouse except whenever you need him to be one he’s so worried you’re trying to change him or his mind that he’s not a lighthouse at all is it toxicwastesitehouse? do you want to put on her elevator because him or you or her is he your lighthouse? is he?
Horticulture By Nas Lin
hortus and cultūra make horticulture, literally, garden cultivation, that is, a branch of agriculture, art and science in one, meant to be appreciated as one. poems about hortus, or garden, are as abundant as snowflakes coating a sea of pines and spruces. take William Blake who went to the chapel where he used to play on the green by the Garden of Love; an ocean away, a haiku was composed for a Zen garden perfectly manicured at mathematical precision. where are the poems about cultūra? first thing that comes to mind about horticulture is not cultivation but wordplay. the witty Dorothy Parker once said, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.” there is even humor in horticulture but where is the cultūra?
but the garden is nothing without cultūra. take Monet’s beloved Giverny, a garden, a home, an iconic impressionist milieu, the Japanese bridge, the water lilies, the wisterias and azaleas designed for the eye designed for the mind designed for the paintbrush like a flora and fauna symphony, and voilà––The Waterlily Pond, Green Harmony. still––why is it that the end product is spotlighted more than the process? or so it seems. you see, hortus cultūra is an orchestra and the symphony needs its intermezzo as well as its finale.
Art: Nicole Cohen
Staff & Contributors
Hunter Silvestri Sarah Walsh
Kristen Schretter Emma Resor
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Photo: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Black Stone Beachâ&#x20AC;? - Allie Morgenstern