Cover by Chris Carr Issue 3 â€˘ February 2015
From the Island of Gambazini
Philosophy GAMBA is a provocative new publication inspired by the goal to challenge set truths through the generation of authentic, momentary, boundless, art. Chris Carr, a wizard, and Melissa Hunter Gurney, an independent writer, set out to display raw thought without the pressures and restrictions that come with the publication process on the larger more media driven scale. The idea spurred from extensive conversations about accessibility of independent and international artists who avidly practice their craft but may not be recognized in the public eye. GAMBA is a space where people can find literary and visual art rooted in passion and thoughtfulness without the politics of publication.
The third issue is revolved around the fluidity of memory and how it shapes lives. How does the past influence the future? We asked artists to explore the dichotomy between reality and fantasy, the false Glorification of moments/ages/years and eras, false memories, how memories can traumatize a person and shape their future experiences/decision making or identity, selective memory as a defense mechanism, the collective memory of the human experience/consciousness and memories of past lives.
The creators believe writing is about feeling the word and transcending its meaning as much as it's about literal and cognitive comprehension therefore translations for art submitted in other languages is not provided.
Photo (top right) by Eat the Cake NYC
Founders Melissa Hunter Gurney & Chris Carr Publisher/Editor Melissa Hunter Gurney Creative Director Chris Carr Writers (in order of appearance) Tendai Mwanaka, Debka Colson, Lavinia Roberts, Alfredo Baldovino Barrios, Hunter Graham, Zach Hess, Barry Herzog, David Dzurick, Garrett Demming, Patty Zomlo, Trinidad Zapata, A.K. Thompson, Yu-Han Chao, Jasper Madison Visual Artists Chris Carr(cover), Julio Cotto, Jessica Slagle, Lavinia Roberts, Zhenya B., Jack D. King, Filiz Soyak, Sherief Makhail, Rachel O’Donnell, Sally Deskins, A.K., Anna Louis Jiongco
GAMBA Magazine is online at: GAMBAzine.tumblr.com
‘He Never Fully Recovered From the 80's and 90’s' by Julio Cotto
Memories and Memoir Writing by Tendai Mwanaka " Memories are a fragmented thing, a living thing, living deep inside us. They are subjected to the neural paths created by information later discovered, and proximity to the recollections. Some of the information discovered could be through fragment stories, photographs, people, the environment, speech, etc... These would invoke a person to recollect about the memory that they associate with the above prompters. But for the person to invoke the memory they have to still be closer to it. In writing memoirs, I have discovered that it is difficult to memorise about my early life memories, especially those that happened to me when I was still less than five years old. I don’t remember a lot of stuff from that time, so for me to try to write about that period, I feel I misremember some chunks of it. " The childhood home becomes immemorial and recollected time. Memories and imaginations shape it, thus, I have always thought most memoirs are partly factious, partly nonfiction. The fiction doesn’t only come in when we are writing about the memoirs, or recollecting about them, but it’s a process that starts from when we log the events or memories into our psyche. Our minds creates this a-bit-reality and a-bit-factious world, in logging these events, and over the years, it continuously recreates them, like we are always rewriting history, thus by the time we record the memoirs, there is a lot of fiction in them. Even in those memories that we still remember easily, we invent to make them into coherent narration. It means when we are trying to remember things we will be misremembering things because of distance to experience. " " “I don’t find enough blood or flesh in these memories but fragments of faded memories and, more dancing shadows the more I have stayed away from home.” I wrote in Mother’s Body, an essay on exile, writing about distance created by the exilic condition. The memories becomes like a home we would love to return to, we feel we can only find ourselves if we were to make that journey back into this home. It’s like the same feeling those living in exile would have about their originating home. " " The beauty of memoir writing or recollection" is that it creates several narrative paths or strands. "
Memoir writing or recollection doesn’t follow a linear seeming narrative path; its form should be like bubbles in a pool, thus it comes from all over the landscape. It would be like a child learning to talk for the first time. The stage feminist French critic, Helen Cixious calls semiotic babbling stage. You need to exercise balance, somehow, in the writing so that someone reading it can be able to follow you, thus there is a lot of re-writing, recollecting, revising, in trying to structure this babbling semiotic world. Thus, there should be a good grasp of techniques of recalling emotions, accessing emotions, shaping scenes from experience, and developing characters. " The bubbles could be bubbles of thought, of dialogue, of events, of illustrations, of varying scales of lives. All these imitate the cyclical nature of thinking and the associative paths we delineate for ourselves. The mind always scans its files for connections and patterns. In doing this it encounters what it has stored, or recreated over the years, thus there is a layering that happens. I would like to think this happens the way Istanbul was layered into different layers of architecture, depicting civilizations that have inhabited the city; each layer being made to sit on top of the other layer. It takes the very best of memoir writers to imbue these layers in their memoir writing. " When the memory is thus layered, the humans define some sort of order out of a maelstrom of memory, like a kind of translucent lens, looking at both the physical and the emotional. " Memoir writing or recollection is a means of using textual, verbal or graphical language to narrate autobiographies or memories, to discover the aspects of our pasts, and to express hope for the future. It allows us an opportunity to pause and to take a vantage point from which to explore the inner and outer landscape. These pauses are enormous moments for all of us and thus they allow us to ask ourselves whether we are proud of the people we have become. What did we do wrong or right, how did we do it, was that the best course back then, could we somehow correct some of the decisions, lives... what can we try to avoid in the future. In this way, the memories would shape the future and how we can become whole again."
One Coffee To Go By Debka Colson I was protesting outside during my lunch break. You were also there, though I didnâ€™t know you yetâ€”an earnest young man standing in that long silent vigil line in front of city hall. Most of us held placards: Bring the Troops Home, Health Care for All, No Human is Illegal but instead of meditating on a better future for humanity, I was fretting over clouds. I had forgotten my umbrella. The morning news had said nothing about a storm and yet, the air had shifted. Soon the day grew dark and the rain came down. " "
" Everyone ran but you. Umbrella-less, you stared straight ahead as if the sun were still shining, even as your shoes darkened with the drops. I remember thinking how the rain would surely ruin my already frayed canvas wedges as I turned back to stand beside you. My hair flattened against my skull and the black ink on my sign bled. When the hour and our silent witness ended, I felt absurdly proud—of both of us." You invited me for a cup of coffee. I accepted. The next weekend, you brought me coffee in bed, setting the cup on the floor and leaning over to kiss the tip of my nose. You loved that I drank my coffee black, no soymilk or sweetener, no vanilla or hazelnut flavorings, no fuss." You continued to wake me with kisses even after I moved in with you. Sometimes you would nibble and tease and coax and my black coffee would grow cold on the floor beside the bed. " In October, we found a new top floor apartment in a triple-decker on a treeless, trash-strewn block miles from any hope of gentrification. That winter, with no furniture to fill the empty spaces, we stacked your books to make a coffee table and scattered pillows across the floor. When summer rolled around again and the utility bills eased, we used our extra cash to buy second-hand furniture or repair the cast-offs we scavenged from the street. You bought a marked-down coffee maker with a timer so that we could linger longer in bed. Most weekends we forgot all about it until we smelled the coffee burning. " When our daughter arrived, you brought me black decaf while I fed her. When our second daughter came, the ritual ended. You had found a better job as a copy editor. The hours were long. With the third, a boy, you left for work right after the sun rose and before the first diaper change. It was a big sacrifice, you said, rising so early and working so late. I reminded you that we both had jobs, though mine was admittedly more humdrum, working as a barista at the local coffee shop. You told me how lucky I was to work part-time and take care of the kids too. By then we had a mortgage for a condo in a large brick building on a street lined with thick hedges. " With no more morning kisses, I slept until the alarm went off or one of the children woke me. Sometimes I woke before both and lay inside the silence, staring at the crack by the ceiling light, wondering if it was growing bigger. Whenever I thought to ask you, you were already gone. I found it especially hard to get out of bed in winter when the thermostat was still low and ice covered the sidewalks. When the kids were older, I cooked scrambled eggs before they left for school. I made coffee too, and
kept the toast from burning. Once I had the flu so bad you had to take over, serving up cold cereal with milk. I remember the aroma of dark roast creeping up the stairs as I lay there, hoping you’d leave me some but I found the pot empty, the element still on, the last drips drying on the glass. " " The kids are gone now. We have time to linger over coffee, but we don’t. Sometimes you kiss me— dry, duty-filled kisses followed by the brush of a hand across your lips. You still leave early but often forget something and come back searching. Sometimes when I hear you returning down the hall, I roll over, pull the covers above my shoulder and pretend I’m sleeping. " For years we’ve been circling, as if one of us had spilled coffee, leaving a mess, but we can’t remember whose fault it was, or how it happened. And neither will stop to clean it up. Only a little untidy at first, I thought we’d get to it eventually but there was always something else to do and after a while the spill grew sticky, then hardened. Easier just to leave it." This morning I hear your hand on our bedroom door and brace myself. If you come looking for your gloves or keys, you’re sure to ask me if I’ve seen them. “I put them right there,” you’ll say, pointing. “Why did you move them?” You will likely follow up with a request, which is really a demand. Some small need I can’t say no to since all I’m doing at that moment is lying in bed. " Once, long ago, we stood in the rain protesting troubles that were barely our own, ignoring the storm even when our shoes got soaked. Now, if I say I can’t or won’t do something, you ask, “Why are you so stubborn?” I want to remind you that you were the one who refused to move. When everyone else left that vigil line, I came back and stood beside you. But I say nothing. ! You open the door. This time, I don’t roll over. No doubt you are groomed and dressed, ready for the day. " “I think it’s raining,” I say, “can you hear it?” " “No it’s not.” You walk around the bed and look at me as if I’m one among a row of strangers, then turn away to pull aside the curtain. A bar of sunlight casts a line across the floor. " I hold my breath, waiting for you to ask for something. I will say yes, just to make you go away so I can watch the leafy shadows pirouette across the walls." Instead you say, “I’m going now.” " “Good,” I reply, but only after you leave. " I am alone. The house is quiet. I ignore the ceiling crack stretching away from the light. All I really want is a cup of black coffee without the fuss. "
Photo by Lavinia Roberts
The Ruminations By Lavinia Roberts
Deidre could always tell when they were malfunctioning. The process was often the same. First, she would reflect, momentarily, often when performing a repetitive task. This initial musing was preceded by deepening contemplation. Then the thought would grow, expanding, deeper, collapsing in on itself, imploding. Time was immovable, fixed, permanent, the thought would be so intense, so wholly engrossing. She would never know how long, or even that she was trapped, until after the rumination was over. That’s why the ruminations terrified her so entirely. " " Deidre stopped informing Gavin about the ruminations. There was no reason to concern him. Gavin was a doer. He was always doing. He would only have cures, solutions, and explanations, for her ruminations. He would recommend she turn to her smartbot. Play a new game of rainbow reign, racking up points for lining up colored blocks to get rainbows. He would urge her to watch “Prams and Pole Dancers,” a new show about stripper mothers, or some other reality show that he was currently captivated by. "
! ! !
He suggested that celebrity gossip would also alleviate her ailment." “Keep busy,” Gavin advised." “Keep engaged, constant, moving,” he urged. The smartbot was continually downloading, constantly up to date with the latest delights. “Rely on your smartbot to stop the ruminations,” he always concluded." " " Gavin set his mood regulator to happy, permanently. “Is your mood regulator on happy sweetie?” Gavin would inquire. She would say yes. He would know she was lying. Deidre knew. They had been partnered for over five years. Yet, he would continue to smile at her, his eyes never meeting hers. The smile was never for long. He would flit on to something else, often back to his smartbot and the virtual Eden it contained, mesmerized, slack jawed, his attention completely fixated on the screen." Deidre was certain it was the nanobots themselves that were malfunctioning. Perhaps the control in the mood regulator was in need of repairs? Perhaps the nanobots had migrated from the orbitiofrontal corvex? Perhaps they were incorrectly messing with the nerve cell connections, the nerve cell growth, the functioning of the nerve cell connections? engaged, constant, moving, as Gavin would say. " Deidre had a particularly intense rumination. She was at work, on the thirty-seventh floor of the Eden complex, where the grain products were grown. She was testing for genetically viable maize plants to clone for other aeroponic centers in one of the other lunar colonies." The plants were motionless, still, the brilliant green stalks against the stark white walls illuminated by artificial light in the Eden’s complex. The roots of the maize were hidden, the twisting veins nestled in the darkened chambers below, where they were periodically sprayed with nutrient rich solution. The thermostat regulating the temperature of the incubator turned on, air blowing from the vents. The plants rustled, whispered, their leaves rubbing together."
Deidre suspended her research to listen to the leaves moving on their nodes, rubbing, moving against each other’s shafts, stalks, husks." Then Deidre began ruminating. She ruminated on the choice to listen to the corn whispering. Ruminated on the maize chromosomes, the chromosomal knobs. Their infinite complexities, mutations, varieties, and capacities. She was lost, pondering the maize’s secrets. " That evening Deidre examined her mood regulator. There were only three possible settings; content, happy, and ecstatic. Ecstatic should be used only on especially bad days, Deidre knew. She didn’t particularly care for being ecstatic. She could never properly examine specimens for desired traits when her mood regulator was set to ecstatic. Ecstatic was only necessary after personal tragedy, like going to work the day after she had been informed that her mother, still on Earth, had passed away. Her respiratory failure had taken Deidre wholly by surprise. From their loving, albeit sparse communications, her mother had never communicated to Deidre any sickness, although she several times, subtly hinted at the worsening of the Fog, and the riots. Her mother had always religiously kept on her breathing apparatus, and protective gear, even in domestic spaces. Yet she had, like so many, been taken by the Fog, a colloquial term for the ground level ozone, sulfur dioxide, fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxide slowly weakening the respiratory systems of all of earth’s inhabitants. " The ecstatic setting had been entirely essential for Deidre, in that circumstance, to proceed with the colony’s daily schedule. Otherwise, the ecstatic setting left her discombobulated, flighty, her mind racing, moving too quickly to fulfill her contracted obligations to the colony." Deidre left her mood regulator setting on content. She could hear a strange beeping noise, animated electronic music, likely a new game Gavin was playing on his smartbot. She drifted to sleep, dreaming of the maps of the maize genome, of transposons, the elegant stalks of green against white."
Photo by Zhenya B.
La Nariz Memorable
By Alfredo Baldovino Barrios
Nada podía curarlo de su afición grenouliana por los libros. Así que no tenía nada de raro encontrarlo entre la estantería de la biblioteca olisqueando un ejemplar cualquiera con los ojos cerrados para transportarse con semblante beatífico por diferentes momentos de su vida en los que había percibido ese mismo olor. Este ejemplar de carátula desgastada, por ejemplo, dinamita el perímetro que lo circunda, los inmensos anaqueles, las ventanas de hojas dobles, el techo abovedado, para que emerja en su lugar un pedazo de playa desde cuya orilla puede ver a la distancia, una isla abandonada y la quilla herrumbrosa de un barco asomando en la superficie del agua. Tres muchachos más lo acompañan de cerca en vez de los habituales auxiliares de pantalón clásico y camisa manga corta. Alguien lanza un desafío y luego cuatro cuerpos delgados suben hasta la cresta de una roca enorme del tamaño de una casa de dos pisos, el sonido del agua al romper contra los brazos pegados al cuerpo, el movimiento brusco de las olas y una fuerza que lo hala hasta el fondo, su vida reproducida en desorden como en una película, el esfuerzo por salir a flote, la promesa de la isla cada vez más lejana, y luego el desconcierto de seis brazos que se agitan en el aire antes de que pueda verlos hundirse definitivamente en el fondo del mar. Basta que la tapa vuelva a caer sobre el libro para que las cosas vuelvan a ser las mismas de antes aunque ahora su rostro se muestre un tanto demudado. Los niños corriendo por el pasillo de la biblioteca. Las colegialas tecleando sobre los computadores de búsqueda. Un hombre al que el resto de usuarios manda a callar por hablar demasiado alto por su teléfono celular. "
Nada que no haya visto u olfateado antes. Recorre con la vista los libros de la parte superior del estante, saca un volumen de carátula roja, mira a un lugar y luego al otro, y cuando se cerciora de que nadie lo está observando lo abre y vuelve a pasar su nariz por su interior. Siente contra su rostro la pegajosa lana del pasamontañas y no se da cuenta del momento en el que alguien lo empuja al piso, un segundo antes de que el artefacto disparado desde el otro lado de la carretera pase por encima de cabeza. Ahora sí puede decirse que está verdaderamente molesto. Acompañado de un grupo de jóvenes, cubiertos con capuchas o suéteres enrollados en la cabeza, pasa por encima de la llamarada despedida por una llanta humeante, coge una piedra de la carretera y la estrecha contra el escudo de un policía. "
El libro de al lado también huele a esos mismos días porque acaba de salir del horno de su memoria un largo pan francés que alguien partía a mendrugos en la escalinata de una catedral para acompañarlo con un vaso de vino tinto y una guitarra alegre. ¡Las penas del joven Werther! Cae como anillo al dedo ese olor adolescente a ventanas cerradas, a sábanas que parecen recoger entre sus hilos el aroma de la lluvia enredada entre las hojas de un palo de mango, el inequívoco perfume de la credulidad, del frustrado idealismo redivivo. Un auxiliar de rostro redondo, cubierto por una barba menuda, lo saluda al pasar cerca de él con un carrito atiborrado de los volúmenes que los lectores van abandonando sobre las mesas antes de bajar las escaleras, y él levanta una mano y sonríe, sin dejar de seguir sus movimientos con el rabillo del ojo. Cuando se sabe nuevamente solo, camina hasta el lugar en que el funcionario acaba de organizar un conjunto de ejemplares para regodearse en el aroma del nuevo paquete. Con manos trémulas acaricia la carátula marrón de una novela y no puede evitar sonreír de manera maliciosa, porque su olor lo devuelve a la biblioteca de un pueblo lejano en el que se dispone a sacar a escondidas, guardada en la pretina del pantalón, una edición mucho más antigua que ésta pero con el mismo código de barras olfativo, que podría reconocer en cualquier otro lugar con los ojos cerrados. El aire acondicionado ha desaparecido y está sudando copiosamente bajo sus gruesos anteojos.
En vez de columnas dóricas sosteniendo el alto techo abovedado, hay una pared con huellas de manos sucias sobre la pintura desconchada y una franja de calados que conduce a un patio de tierra. No tiene miedo. Mueve las piernas hacia la salida con naturalidad pero entonces el profesor calvo, con dos mechones de cabellos grises por encima de las orejas, despierta de su momentánea siesta para preguntarle qué lleva debajo de la camisa. El libro de poemas de este desparecido autor español lo lleva al paroxismo de la alegría: es el mismo olor de la boñiga fresca y los pastizales húmedos, el olor del estanque a donde van abrevarse las vacas, y el de las hojas de limón que él mastica sobre una hamaca y las heces de gallina que se desprenden del pie desnudo al restregarlo contra un sardinel. ¿Dónde estaba metida esta otra preciosura? Un libro de fábulas con las hojas quebradizas como un hojaldre que no volvería a encontrar en este estante ni en ningún otro después del próximo inventario. Debe, incluso, soplar previamente el polvillo que encuentra en su interior para evitar el estornudo. Finalmente frunce la nariz con fruición y la ropa le queda repentinamente ancha. Espera sentado en una mecedora de madera con el libro entre sus piernas que su abuela termine de fumigar el cuarto con una bomba manual. Escucha el chillido de los murciélagos en el techo de palmas y un momento más tarde se desliza al interior de un mosquitero traslúcido como una tela de araña. Dios te salve, María, llena eres de gracia, el señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre Jesús No habría querido abrir ese mamotreto de poemas de haber sabido que se ocultaba en su interior el olor a saliva mentolada y a espalda frágil, a cabellos de avena y seno desnudo, que era como el olor del mármol bruñido o de la leche endulzada con miel, a columna de humo negro del bus que parte con ella mirándolo a través del cristal de la ventana. Este librito lo hace reaccionar, pues preserva en su interior, como una tinaja cuyo fondo es revuelto con un pocillo en la superficie, el olor de los crayones y del jugo de guayaba, del patio lleno de zapatos veloces y de amarillas hojas de mango, de las luces de navidad y de las sonajas fabricadas con checas de gaseosas aplastadas con una piedra y ensartadas más tarde en un pedazo de madera erizado de clavos.
Photo by Eat the Cake NYC
LA-Li and The Vagina By Melissa Hunter Gurney "
When Gunther left to run errands Marguez went directly to Laura-Li’s room to find her packing, “I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather.” “Don’t be, he wasn’t that nice of a man. He was a racist and a drunk.” Marguez placed his hands on La-Li’s hips and moved them downward in circular motions over her ass, “Well, if you are not sad. . .” he slid his hands up to her breasts simultaneously squeezing and pushing his groin into her before unbuttoning her blouse. La-Li did not protest - she smiled as he touched her and closed her eyes to feel him more. Her shirt opened and he turned her around to kiss her lips - softly sucking on the lower one when he could. His hands could stay on her breasts all day - they were so soft and buoyant. He had never seen such pink nipples and fair skin before and the newness intrigued him. Although, if someone were to ask him which type of woman he preferred the brown one or the white one - he would say the brown one without hesitation. His perfect woman would have the soft mystery of La-Li with the dark skin of all the others he’d been with. He would wonder later, in his simplistic teenage mind, if his preference for dark skin over white made him prejudice, similar to La-Li’s grandfather, or if it merely made him a creature of habit. . . finally deciding the two might be the same in the end. With Gunther gone La-Li could scream as loud as she pleased while Marguez’s head moved between her legs. There were only two others who spent time down there before. A boy named Jervis, who went to school with her back in Germany, and a man named Alfred, who she oftener tried not to remember, in this moment it was Jervis she ruminated on. Jervis had been her first boyfriend for no other reason than he was there when her mother died. He asked her out the day she was to go to the funeral and she said yes ten minutes before she went home and dressed in all black. After the funeral her father locked himself in his studio with a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of gin, she could hear him weeping through the door with lion like roars in between soft sobs of remembrance. She sat by the door and listened for a while and when she could no longer take it she went to her room, took off the black dress her mother bought for her before some other funeral and put on the sexiest outfit she could find. For a fourteen year old girl this was a t-shirt cut in a low V so her breasts would be visible for stolen glances and a tight pair of jean shorts edgy enough to resemble undergarments. She found a pair of black platform booties, from her Goth stage, making her look taller and more adult than she was. She called Jervis and told him she wanted to see him - her mother was a sculptor and had a studio down the street with a bed for late nights when she wouldn’t make it home. She told Jervis to meet her there and she could hear his friends in the background getting louder as he asked her to hold on - clearly telling them he was about to score.
When Jervis asked her out it was during lunch and obviously a bet. All of his friends sat back at the wooden table by the trees and watched intently waiting to find out whether they would mock him or congratulate him. They were quite sure it would be the former because several boys already failed with Laura-Li as she was one of the most intriguing girls in the freshman class. Jervis was tall and semi-handsome but he was also a bully who picked on those with less money or ability than him. It had been said that he took the virginity of two other girls and then dropped them like wilted wild flowers. Laura-Li knew this but she didn’t care. When her mother died a voice in her grew louder - it wasn’t a voice to mistake for something all women hear - it was a voice that knew the depths of the universe. A voice that knew how insignificant something like virginity really was, a voice uninhibited by societal norms and childhood play. For Laura-Li it was almost as if she had lived before - a long hard life of moralistic wars and unrequited love that eventually ended in deep reflection and independent fortitude. Now, as a young German teenager, she knew everything her previous life had taught her and carried the dead carcass of her mother’s intellectual existence inside of her. Desire and the wonderment of right and wrong meant nothing to her. She was a citizen of the world who oddly lived in a womb and a house with a chimney just like all the others. When Jervis arrived at her mother’s studio Laura-Li had already removed her clothes deciding to keep her black platform booties on. This threw Jervis off, he was confused at her confidence and his mind was too young to define her. He only knew how to define a girl to his friends and like most teenage boys, she was either a whore or a prude there was no in-between. But, Laura-Li couldn’t be put in those categories because she was not wanting and she was not nervous, she was not eager to please or quick to say no - she was merely naked and expressionless. She opened the door and his cheeks burned red as he walked in trying not to look at her body. She asked him how he was and offered him a glass of scotch. That is what her mother drank - she passed him one of the two crystal goblets that sat on a painted tray with a decanter in the middle. The ice cracked reminding her that age was merely a number not definitive or telling of much. She knew Jervis didn’t understand this. She sipped her scotch and Jervis swirled his in his hand remembering the cringe that came over his body when he took the first sip. Laura-Li sat in a chair across from Jervis, her legs were crossed and her black boot hung like an ornament from her limb. “I hear you took the virginity of two girls in our class. Is that true?” “Yes.” “Do you like taking girls virginities?” she took another sip. “I like sex. Have you ever had sex before?” trying to change the subject. “I don’t know if I’ve had sex or not, maybe in a previous life, but I’d like to have it with you.” A seductresses smile came across her and for a moment she looked older than her years. “Is there a bed in here?” Jervis placed his drink on the table and the ice cracked again, more intrusively this time - the sound eerily resembling an invisible life. “Yes, it pulls down from the wall over there.” Jervis smiled, got up and started to move towards the wall as though his motion would cause Laura-Li to follow behind him but it didn’t.
“Come here Jervis.” Jervis stopped and turned towards her - flustered again like he was when he saw her at the door. He walked towards her and put his hand out for her to take, hoping this would get her to stand up with him so he could try to guide her once again - maybe feel her breast and kiss her first. He wanted to touch her breasts so badly but he couldn’t figure out how to do it with her sitting where she was. He needed her to come close to him. “I want you to kneel in front of me.” She took a sip of her drink, swallowing as she stared up at him. Jervis didn’t move at first. “If you kneel in front of me I will give you my virginity too, on the bed, but first you must kneel.” Jervis smiled, he felt as though he had received some authority back she would give him what he wanted if he did something for her. Like that time Angelique took him down to the teachers parking lot and said she would put her mouth on his dick if he told her he loved her first. He said it and she went down on him for as long as it took each day until he no longer wanted her to, until there had been someone else who was more of a challenge with a different face and a more robust set of breasts. Jervis Kneeled in front of La-Li and stared up at her breasts as if it was okay to stare at them now, as if the sexual act of her pleasuring him had begun. He reached up and put his hand on her right breast squeezing it and massaging it - he did the same with her left. Laura-Li watched his face intently - becoming aroused by his eagerness - his uncontrollable desire to touch her. Then, she uncrossed her legs and put her hands on top of his as he squeezed, breathing in deeply and tilting her head back with a moan. “Do you enjoy my breasts?” A sultry voice from the inner sanctum of a woman. “Yes.” “Would you like to put your face in them?” Jervis smiled and rose up on his knees. Laura-Li spread her legs to let his body closer to her and leaned forward, raising her arms in the air and swaying from side to side so her nipples and flesh glided against the soft skin of his adolescent face. Jervis couldn’t stop touching her now. His hands moved up and down her body and his mouth took her nipples in sloppily as he panted. After a few minutes Laure-Li pushed him back and he fell onto his ass below her again. She opened up her legs putting the right one over the right arm of the chair and the left one over the left arm. “I want you to look at me and tell me what you see.” Jervis looked up at her face and told her that he liked her long silky hair. “No, I don’t want you to tell me what I see in the mirror everyday I want you to tell me what you see down there. Then, I want you to kiss it and lick it softly and slowly until it is moist. When you have done that we can go to the bed.” Jervis nervously moved his head down towards her vagina, a word him and his friends still giggled at when they heard it used. With her legs so widely open there was a lot to describe - an inside he didn’t have any experience with, a fleshy rawness too real for his little boy mind. All of a sudden his face started to cringe and he closed his eyes as he moved closer. He opened them again when he was right up next to it, “I can’t.” He said, “it’s like an open wound, I’m sorry I have to go.” Jervis got up and stood in front of Laura-Li for a moment looking down at her. Laura-Li had a smirk on her face. She gently closed her legs crossing one over the other again and sat up straight taking her scotch back into her hands as the ice cracked sharply - intruding again. In a calm and relaxed tone Laura-Li said, “You may have taken someone’s virginity but you are not a man. You are a little boy still scared of the human body. . . (continued on next page)
you do not deserve to feel the pleasure of it yet.” Jervis felt embarrassed and ashamed. Normally, had it been anyone but LauraLi insulting his manhood he would have struck back with vengeance but there was something about this place and this girl that softened him. He knew she was right. He put his head down and said he was sorry, “Please don’t tell anyone.” He turned around to walk out but Laura-Li interrupted him. “You don’t have to leave you know. I can put my clothes back on and we can sit and talk like nothing ever happened. My mom kept beer in the back so you don’t have to drink the scotch anymore.” Jervis turned to look at her, “That scotch was disgusting.” He laughed, “I’ll take a beer.” Laura-Li was already half dressed with her t-shirt and white little girl underwear on again. “You just think everything is disgusting tonight don’t you.” She smirked and then they both broke into hysterical laughter. The rest of the night they drank beer and talked about sports and her mother’s sculptures. Laura-Li told Jervis she would be a sculptor too and Jervis told her he wanted to be a magician. Then, he showed her some little kid tricks his father taught him before committing suicide two years ago. He said he was no longer scared of death but he was deathly afraid of the vagina - the room filled with laughter again and the smell of old stale beer rose in-between them. It was this story she thought of while Marguez softly inspired her vagina. Margues wasn’t scared of the human body and his ability to woo it into oceans of pleasure wouldn’t leave La-Li even though she knew he would one day.
'Loose Ends' by Julio Cotto
After Hours By
Zach Hess "
" " Standing at the kitchen sink in Maxine’s bathrobe, I scrub the back of my hand, watching the number fade in the cold water. Before it disappears I pull my hand from the faucet and one of the numbers is gone but I remember what it was. Why write it down to begin with? I have no intention of calling the guy. This was the first thought that crossed my mind when I hung up the phone. The second thought feels equally resolved— nothing changes if my dad dies. My life wouldn’t look different in any sort of way. If he dies I wouldn’t think about him more or less than I normally do. " " The thought of breakfast makes me nauseous, except not eating would be too obvious. As I crack three eggs into a bowl, it occurs to me I learned how to make omelets from watching my dad. I let the yolk drip down until all of it is gone. I watch the shells disappear down the disposal. I pour a drop of milk in the bowl and begin to beat the eggs until a buoyant foam emerges. I empty the contents into a pan and fix on the calm crackle of the stove, letting it sit for a minute before I top the slowly darkening yellow with spinach and cheese. The omelet is just right. I eat it quickly and don’t leave a morsel behind. " I imagine myself as a girl watching my dad cook eggs. It’s hard to project yourself into a memory that doesn’t exist, but rather a moment that might have happened over the course of many mornings. Had his hair started graying? What songs were playing on his kitchen cassette player? Did he ever actually show me how to make an omelet? It occurs to me the exercise is useless, a game that makes the idea of nostalgia feel silly. Out of reach. Once, I was a little girl who idolized her dad: nothing more or less than a tiny wedge of history buried beneath years of silence. "
" " " How can I forget going to bed by eight, waking up at sunrise the following morning to go fishing with Dad. If this once important tradition still mattered I would feel something— fear of the uncertain? A pulse of obligation?— or a simple desire to check in on him. He is family, as they say. The reasonable response would be buying a plane ticket. " The truth is I don’t feel anything. Thinking about childhood is sort of like looking through glass. Making sense of the little you see is futile. Your memories are someone else’s memories: shadows of the truth, projections of your adult self. " Of course this is how I would like to see it. If there is one thing of which I am certain, it’s that your history follows you in time. If life is calibrated by what happens to you, what sense is there in trying to cleanse yourself of the past? You can pretend bits and pieces have been phased out, selectively erased, or forgotten; you can keep the damage at a distance, tell yourself it doesn’t define you or affect your relationships; you can question your memories, pretend they don’t hold up anymore; but whether you like it or not, your past reminds you that it’s here to stay; that you’re always connected to where you grew up, where you were raised, even if it seems like all you have to sort through is loose ends. " I wish I didn’t think about him but he has his ways of turning up. This is how they come, when you’re in the middle of something else, your visitors in passing. The ones you can’t ignore. My visitor, as it were, isn’t provoked by anything in particular, not that I can tell. My instinct used to be to look for reasons, connections, anything to justify my thinking of him. I’ve realized from my failure to do so that there’s no point, that I’m too often guilty of craving depths that don’t exist— he comes and goes and that’s all there is to it. Nothing more than a wave running its course."
The Fluid Intelligence series explores the ability to use seemingly random bits of experience and information to construct meaningful frameworks that consciously and unconsciously guide our thinking and worldview. The imagery illustrates the inner place where we organize the abstract chaos of our environments, memories, aspirations, and fears. ~ Jack D. King
" Memorabilia By Barry herzog " " My father served as a doctor in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War II. A pediatrician, he ran a military hospital after the conquest of northern France, treated G.I.s for venereal disease in Paris and then trailed eastward into Germany. " " "
" After the war we moved from Chicago to Las Vegas and then to Los Angeles. Paul regaled us children with war tales documented by memorabilia: his two sets of dog tags, one stamped with the letter “H” for Hebrew, one non-denominational to wear if the Germans captured him: a ceremonial dagger with a yellow ivory handle, a swastika at the hilt: his discharge papers: an ornatelycarved shotgun looted from a castle on the Rhine, two corporals in tow with M-1 rifles that he had them point at the owner’s face to overcome any Teutonic reticence." He displayed his foot locker, split open like a triptych, uniform jacket hung neatly at one side, trousers at another, his parade hat in a drawer with cufflinks, polished shoes on a shelf, as if clothing equated to the sum of him: well-creased, impersonal; non-intimate; nothing hinting at how he ticked." Paul relished playing the enigma, flashing occasional bursts of humor followed by rage, withdrawal and unpredictability. I hated his iciness, his demands, his furies, hated how he doted on my sister, demeaned my brother, sucked air from a room. From a measured distance I respected his achievements, his certitude, his devotion to his patients." From the age of ten to twelve I sat at our dinner table and wouldn’t eat, pushing around my peas and carrots, raising my fork above the mashed potatoes, sometimes scraping it on the Mel Mac. I was extremely thin, ribs sticking out as if I suffered famine in Somalia." Why? Because I wouldn’t do what my father wanted. “You can hide from me,” I thought, “pose as omnipotent, glacial, encapsulated. But you cannot make me eat. Try: I’ll clamp shut my mouth and make you force a tube into my nose.”" It didn’t come to that. We played out a tense game of calorie chess, family members off to do homework, clear the dishes, our war a muted clash over rejected food." I was the last kid living at home after my siblings went to college when Paul contracted hepatitis for which, back then, there was no cure. "
As his body weakened I hoped that he would talk to me: about his marriage to my mother, his childhood, his family. Yet even as death approached, a death he knew was coming, he said nothing." It wasn’t because men don’t discuss feelings. To speak is to reveal oneself, one’s foibles and imperfections. To speak is to become know, to equalize levels with the listener and that simply wouldn’t do." I conspired in his silence. I never asked about the facts I sought which he wouldn’t volunteer. My step-mother encouraged him to talk with me. He wouldn’t cross that line." I’m not sure what I would have done had he shared himself. I had come to cherish the myth of his detachment, his immutability. They were things I counted on, things I factored in for years. They were who he was and made it easier to hate him." After he died I came to appreciate the things he did for me. He battled my maternal grandparents for custody of his children in an ugly court fight after my mother was institutionalized for mental illness. I read their venom in papers hidden in a file. Dad could easily have let the Glickmans raise us, frozen, dragging us each week to visit Florence in the asylum. He could have started life anew without me. He couldn’t do that. I was his responsibility." Near the end, riding home in the back seat one night, I got to cushion his semi-conscious bobbing head with my hand so it wouldn’t bang against the window. It was the one time I got to comfort him." My father’s military tokens trickled through family fingers. Besides his dog tags and a watch with a broken wrist band, everything is gone. His memories of love, disappointment, of pettiness, mistakes, of journeys into self-loathing, if he had them, his joys, regrets, his unmet expectations, his feelings about his own abusive father, disappeared with them. I heard only his expurgated version of himself." One soup spoon was left behind, stamped “U.S.M.C.” on the handle, ideal for scooping frozen ice cream from tubs, so strong its handle never bent, no matter what.
Tokyo Nagori VII & VIII by Filiz Emma Soyak
She Tried encouraging the Hypnotist By David Dzurick most memory disbelievers provide science details " indistinguishable from recognized beliefs about existence " subjects described new identities and used different names when given reincarnation" gaping mouth memories more vivid than factual memories " single greatest predictor of reporting historical sublimation" sawed all around until cryptomnesia flavor narratives compromising past life regression " revealed flaws in executive function " her story about a girl infused in this body when she died " extremely elaborate, vivid, finally released after months of sweaty sessions" I turned her over and let the narrative drip out
when I got past lives, the reported horrible voice was 16th century English speech"
how adventurous she was when he pulled into the alley" memories of her laugh "
events that occurred during the mobbing, her eyes got bigger and bigger "
showed her how to hold the position. I pushed. "
vague unpleasantness of alleged past historical deformed character then crisp images"
wearing too much make up, misplaced elements of popular culture girls "
blood spattered stubbled neck of husband"
she let out a quick yelp. I pulled. "
grass between cobblestones beneath feet public hanging"
getting a little uneasy "
neck stiffened and snapped shut, quiet "
too enthusiastic about the restaurant, about the conversation, about everything "
I wanted her personality fractions" she blinked. I undid my pants. responses came loose. "
over dinner of control forces I am being guided by an individual who had been afflicted "
forgotten information and bottom curve of her lean tanned abdomen"
muddled voice, bulging eyes, diseased spirit infected the insight into the last moments of life"
burst free from who we think we are, constantly apologizing for urges "
met her in a café, hadn’t noticed she was television, movies, advertisements"
she was enthusiastic to have her body rather than events"
recovered memory therapy similarly misrepresents remembering like clinicians "
she was wet everywhere, kept shifting so I could slide my hands "
rattling death bed sparrow signals "
slowly building up dangerous proteins creating a hostile environment for consciousness" my face faded down a street with all warehouses into neighbors and strangers" sleep. sleep now. " eyes blink slowly, eyes close forever "
she seemed confused until the head fell back" it there a spirit? her hands wrapped tightly around my throat" to be historically accurate I wanted her to see her insides" slid the dull side of the knife against her thigh. "
let yourself listen carefully to the sound of a voice"
She shuddered, they stretched, she squeezed MURDERER"
there is a warm gentle breeze and the air is fresh and clean"
make amends for harm I may have done you in the past in the hopes that we might both grow"
he did not want the significant flaws of actual memories"
wake now with clear vision"
rotten spirit, heart of a dog poured into this human vessel they "
send a wave of relaxation all over diseased body"
were someone else, intertwined creating an" evening" once spirited husband who lost interest in her desperation " so starved she would do anything as foreplay"
by the time I left the sun was coming up" bringing home memories of buried evidence from beneath her skirt"
City of Dreamers by Sherief Makhail
In pursuit of Phantoms
By Garrett Demming Morning fog wraps the trees, draped in spectral vines of sparkling Spanish moss, in a silent misty haze. It mirrors my mind at this early hour, with visibility limited until that last moment when close proximity renders an image crystalline for a fleeting second as we pass on the sidewalk. These cool, peaceful December mornings bring forth thoughts and memories deeply buried, only to immediately discard them again into the fog before noontime comes to burn it all away." The coffee cup is warm as I sip it, and I stop. Never could walk and drink at the same time. Though I am still, a grey shadow advances in my direction, passing closeby. His step is quick, hard-soled shoes tapping in time as he approaches in silence. It is only for the briefest of moments that we can make each other out. The face is somewhat familiar, a prominent Greek nose protruding its hook just over a crooked smirking mouth, and as he tips his hat in silent greeting I am shocked through with an indescribable jolt of energy, as though every fiber of me were immediately fully tensed and relaxed. It is not the face that jars me, though the visage stirs something deep in my gut. Nor is it the short stride whose rhythm reminds me of a Charlie Parker tune. No, what astounds me is the hat. The grey heather Jaxton Gotham Newsboy cap, its tight wool knit and lacquered black rim and top button with a slight fray over the right eye, is uncommon enough. What makes the cap unmistakable, however, is a distinctive 2â€? Motown button clipped sideways and dead-center roughly half-way up the front. This can be no doppelganger, no mistaken identity. I know that hat!" "
By the time I can connect what Iâ€™ve seen with what I know, the figure has passed on, slipped back off into the grey.
I turn in vain to follow his path, yet all I can make out is the slim shadow of a left turn into a dreary alleyway some blocks off into the mist, lost and gone." That hat! It has been more than a few years since I’ve seen that hat, yet there is no mistaking it for another. The Motown pin is not to be forgotten, nor are the lacquered brim and button. I was in the room during the custom lacquer job, just as I remember the fray being purposely eroded by a pair of scissors with almost parental care. Phil always refused to wear any article of clothing that didn’t contain at least two colors unless the whole was black. He’d even sworn off white socks unless they had a hued toe. According to him monochrome simply wasn’t “vibey.”" He sure loved his hats. Most of them were similar in style, though no two were alike in color scheme. The Motown was his favorite, but he must have had ten or twelve newsboy caps in total. We’d always poked fun at his hats, made jokes about the style, and would toss coins at him while demanding a copy of the post. The hats were never worn when he was younger, his long curls falling well past his shoulders. In hindsight it seems he’d become drawn to his hats right around the time he started to lose his hair. So strange – one day it was halfway down his back, and the next thing we knew it was buzzed nearly to the skin, a grapefruit-sized bald spot quickly spreading from the crown of his head outward. Then came the hats. Maybe he was embarrassed to be losing his hair at only 25 years of age. Then again, a good warm woolen hat was practical up north, what with the bitter sting of the winter wind in Brooklyn."
of the tragedy, yet just as the sun begins to cut through the mist I see every detail emerging in perfect detail. Even as I stumble in the direction of the alley of the familiar stranger I can smell the sterilized hospital equipment, can feel the vice grip in my stomach and the over-starched bed sheets on my fingertips. I hear the blips and whirs of temporarily life-sustaining machinery, I taste the presence of death in a crowded ER, overrun because the ICU is full, and I see my best friend swollen, puffy, comatose, intubated, his bed clothes unchanged and soiled, waiting for us to arrive before the overwhelmed staff sighs at the end of their long shift as they fail yet again to save the life of another young man gone well before his time. I live it all again in grim horror: calling his father with the untellable news, arranging his memorial concert, singing because it was all I could do to try and console his confused and grieving family, myself included. And once again I am sick and empty, aimless as the dust settles and life demands that I keep going as though nothing were different. Finally, as I approach the alley where this uninvited phantom of forgetfulness has led me, I remember the pile of clothes by the hospital bedside, Phil’s grey and black newsboy cap perched atop it, Motown askew." Here, now, just as it happens once every few months since, I could swear I still see him. Though my mind is wrought, knowing the truth, my body is yet propelled, convinced by the inertia of universal circumstance that the hat I just saw is Phil’s hat, and that as I turn the corner he will be leaning against the wall waiting for me, smirking, back into life. "
Here in Georgia, however, the colder months are passed slow as molasses amid palm trees and peaches. Quite a change from the brittle northeast winters and the brutal, unforgiving pace of the Big Apple. After the tragedy life seemed too precious to spend in a soulless wasteland of rising prices, dwindling opportunity and gentrified slums, so to focus on wife and life I kicked the dust from my feet and settled south, where I’ve remained. Though occasional trips have brought me temporarily back to the city of my father’s birth, New York has largely lost its appeal for me. Too full of ghosts. That’s not to say that Savannah hasn’t got its fair share of spirits – quite the contrary, an eerie history is part of the local lore. Still, I find the shadows here less familiar, less personal, more objective. How is it, then, that I find myself turned around, swimming through hazy fog and forgotten memory to find this grim ghost of my past?"
Of course, the alley is empty. Only dumpsters, refuse, dashed hopes and ridiculous dreams. A cruel trick to play on one’s self, really. The air has cleared completely, a late morning sun warming the world to tshirt weather, and I must admit that I’ve simply gotten lost in a labyrinth of recollections. I turn to go, somehow disappointed in not just myself but in all that is. Just as I turn, however, my toe catches the lid, slightly ajar, of a shoebox at my feet. I bend to open it, but my breath leaves me as I spy the letters, gleaming in the bright light of day, which almost speak aloud the word “Motown.” Inside the box is a hat, indeed, Phil’s hat, with a scrap of paper folded haphazardly in the band. Incredulously I scramble to unfold what reveals itself to be a short note, written in the unmistakably sloppy hand of an old friend, and before I can try to comprehend why or how I read the words, addressed to me by name. They read:"
He wore the hat on that day, the last day. I’ve done all I could to blur the edges around these events, "
Gotta have a vibey hat, bro. PHIL
Motherhood by Rachel Oâ€™Donnell
The Lake By Patty somlo They were silent during the ride back to town. Still wet, the gringaâ€™s blond hair appeared dark. " " The countryside passed on the other side of the bus window. Short stretches of pavement shimmered, after the strong spurt of rain followed by sun. A hot breeze blew in through the open window. " " If only Elena looked like the gringa, Mario thought. The gringa turned toward him and smiled. Her eyes were the shade of the lake saturated by afternoon sun. She laughed, experiencing the afterglow of having made love in a warm lake with light rain falling." "
How could he tell her about Elena now when she looked so happy?" " Mario knew they would go to a café and eat fresh fish and French fries. He would drink three cold beers. The gringa would pay. In her country, the price of this meal meant nothing. " " And, yes, he would go to her hotel room, with the air conditioning turned too high. If he wasn’t too tired, he and the gringa would make love another time. " " As he lay next to her, Mario thought about the moment he met the gringa. From the pool of reporters, he had chosen her to walk alongside the President. Afterward, she stepped over to thank him. " " She took his hand in her fingers and pressed her eyes into his gaze. Her teeth gleamed. " Mario felt the ground tremble and feared they were having another earthquake. " " After leaving the gringa’s hotel, Mario walked through the city. No streetlight lessened the darkness. He heard dogs in the distance and shivered. " He’d been bit once as a child. Left on the porch by his mother, Mario had wandered off. The dog appeared out of nowhere. " " For a long time, Mario suffered frightening nightmares, the dog’s teeth bared in front of his eyes. If he closed his eyes now, he could picture the animal’s black face before it took the first bite." " The sound of the dogs grew close. Few cars passed, as Mario reached the outskirts of town. The path turned to dirt and the road gravel. Small stones slipped through the soles of his sandals." " The barking and growls grew fierce. Though Mario thought he had headed away from the dogs, they seemed to be drawing close. " After the first animal lunged and took a bite, Mario raised his arms. Seconds later, the pack joined in. " Mario waved his arms, batting out at them. That made matters worse. It was so dark, Mario could only glimpse the glint of teeth or an eye. The snarling grew louder. They shoved one another to get close. Teeth gripped tight on his skin and clothes. He tried to protect his face most of all. " " Soon, his arms grew too weak to do any good. They hung uselessly at his sides, while the dogs had their way." " The attack might have lasted twenty minutes or a half hour before Mario took his mind away. The pain had become too great. He carried himself back, past the dark walk and frigid hotel, the bus traveling slowly into town. Into that warm lake floating with the gringa is where he returned. " " " "
The gringa’s lovely oval eyes, the shade of lake water, did not turn away from his gaze while they made love. Her face gave him so much delight. Full of minerals, the water buoyed him up. It took no effort to float. " This must be what heaven is like, Mario thought. Then he slipped breathlessly out of this life." " The next morning, the old man who sold used metal tools at the market found the body. A pink line colored the horizon, waiting for the sun to lift up. As the old man looked down, he heard a rooster let out its ragged dawn cry. " " What the market vendor witnessed was a horrid sight. He told the police officer it was the sort of thing he’d grown accustomed to seeing when the dictator and his thugs were still in charge. In those days, he said, bodies showed up beaten beyond recognition, every place a person would go." " They identified Mario from his teeth. The government paid for the funeral, since Mario had joined the opposition at a young age and was considered one of the country’s heroes. Everyone agreed that the casket should remain closed. Mario’s friends, and of course his wife, wanted to remember him as the handsome young man he had been." The gringa heard about Mario’s tragic misfortune on the news. That Mario was dead did not seem real. Neither could she accept what else the newscaster revealed – that Mario was survived by two children and a wife. " The gringa stood at the back, behind the rest of the crowd. She listened to the priest bless the body and watched him cross himself. It wasn’t hard to pick out Mario’s wife. Her hair was covered in black lace. She wept the entire time, a baby cradled in her arms. A boy, whose feet couldn’t reach the ground, sat motionless beside her. " " The gringa wanted to say something to Elena, but thought it best not to. Instead, she walked up to the grave, into which Mario’s coffin had been lowered, and looked down, imagining that her tears hitting the coffin lid would seep through in time. She forgot the other people – the priest and Mario’s wife – and let herself remember Mario’s face, their legs pressing, the warm lake water holding them up. " " When she felt the first raindrop hit her hair, she was no longer sure what was real and what was not. She had no idea now if the afternoon in the lake, this day with the warm rain falling softly like breath, and Mario’s death would always feel like a dream, and if the dream was one she would spend the rest of her life reliving. "
Artwork by Sally Deskins Abrazo amarillo By trinidad zapata " Cierro los ojos mi mente vaga, esta vacía, de repente sonrío…Aparece en mi mente el amarillo, lazos, seda, siento cálido…, como los rayos del sol en la espalda una tibia tarde de otoño. Ese es el recuerdo de un abrazo, uno de esos abrazos del amor. De ese amor ." Que tarde fue? No lo recuerdo; Cuando? Tampoco. Solo sé, que cada que vez que lo recuerdo, él nuevamente me abraza y hay una enorme sonrisa en el mi pecho." " Otros, podrán recordar el olor, la sensación de la ropa, la incomodidad o un emoticones da igual, nadie aquí será juzgado por ello, solo me permite comenzar esta “ investigo- sensación” que dirijo." " El Mundo Mente: Es aquel sitio donde la memoria se refiere a un racconto de hechos concretos, en este punto se han borrado las sensaciones o no se les da mucha importancia, salvo aquellas donde el miedo, el fracaso y la desilusión estén presentes. No puede conservarse el poder, debe ser entregado y debemos pagar por él. Por ende, solo se accede a sensaciones bellas, mientras mayor sea el dinero. El poder esta afuera del ser humano y debemos esforzarnos y sufrir para disfrutar, pero cuanto hay suficiente para pagar por el disfrute, el tiempo se agota rápidamente. Ergo, este es un mundo de necesidad constante, aquí somos los necesitados, siempre necesitamos, estamos insatisfechos. Los polos se derriten, síntoma que el agua – emoción- necesita salir, asi que hay dos opciones : Le prestamos atención y nos expresamos, o el agua se convierte en un maremoto. Violencia, destrucción, llanto. Todo es destruido, el agua sale finalmente con nuestro consentimiento o sin él. .Moraleja: “Nunca subestimes una emoción” Estas avisado." " El Mundo Cuerpo es el mundo de sentir. El dolor y la enfermedad me obligan a sentir, me devuelven al presente, no puedo resistirlo más. la emoción brota el cuerpo grita y llora y va a salir ,reclamando el espacio, entonces… el cuerpo enferma." " Mientras mas me resisto , mas me duele . Debo entregarme. Lo hago, y finalmente el recuerdo aparece. Enojo, furia, palabras atragantadas, desilusión, angustia. Me obliga a estar presente, a escuchar la emoción, a decirla, a expresarla, a prestarle atención sin juzgarla. Me conecto con ella desde la enfermedad, desde el dolor, y le permito ser. Así, sano. " " Kubler Rooss Dra. en psiquiatría, se especializó en el estudio sobre la muerte y los cuidados paliativos, a través de la observación durante el acompañamiento de los enfermos terminales. Descubrió allí, que la muerte es un pasaje, que los enfermos cuando concientizan la enfermedad pueden curarse y, si su cuerpo no puede , puede curarse su alma. A través de su análisis y al compartir su profunda investigación
la Dra Stella Maris Marusso continuó un paso mas allá y,e comienza a utilizar la psicoinmunoendocrinologia para estudiar los patrones genéticos de comportamientos que viven en la célula .Comienza a trabajar con la memorias de las célula." " Descubre, que las células se comportan ,a menudo, como creen que es posible y estas posibilidades están dadas por la experiencia y las limitaciones. Por cuanto, si yo creo que mi vida es difícil, esa memoria queda registrada en la célula y me llevará a repetir conductas que den como resultado una vida difícil." " Ahora bien, como también existe una memoria de armonía en el universo, es el cuerpo el que enferma para decirnos que hay algo que debe ser reparado. Esa enfermedad aparece cuando hemos pasado por encima una emoción, cuando hemos vivido en el futuro o en el pasado, sin estar presentes, cuando hemos vivido ausentes de nuestras emociones. Si observamos la enfermedad, evidenciaremos una conducta repetitiva quenos ha llevado en esa dirección. Ese es el patrón memorizado en la célula, al descubrirlo nos permite concientizar le emoción y modificar la conducta dañina." " La bioneuroemocion estudia el síntoma y también el patrón transgeneracional. Los orígenes de esa familia, sus antepasados, los patrones de conducta admitidos y la memoria familiar, sus secretos, sus emociones no expresadas, sus conceptos erróneos, sus miedos y las frustraciones que se han trasmitido de generación en"generación y han establecido conductas repetitivas que dieron como resultado la enfermedad." " Investigadores de la Universidad de Medicina de Atlanta, entrenaron a un grupo de ratones para que tengan miedo a las flores del cerezo. Para ello utilizaron una descarga, cada vez que un ratón se acercaba a la flor. Las siguientes generaciones no se acercaban a la flor porque tenían grabada una memoria que refería su peligrosidad. " " Idéntica situación se ha observado al trabajar con traumas y descubrir que ese trauma aparece en un ámbito diferente en el que hemos crecido, con personas diferentes e incluso pudiendo ser yo misma diferente, ello lo ha permitido el acceso a las terapias de vidas pasadas. Entonces, resulta intrascendente comprobar la veracidad del recuerdo, ya que el síntoma desaparece. De a poco, estamos aprendiendo a utilizar este nivel de memoria, nos convertimos en observadores y las repuestas aparecen. Cada vez que comprendemos que el mundo no necesita respuestas, entonces estamos a un paso de hacer las preguntas correctas." " El Mundo espíritu = Memoria colectiva + memoria individual. Chamán, maestro, guía, sacerdote , sanador. La meta es integrarse al Cosmos, desprenderse de la noción cognoscitiva de percepción individual, volverse uno con el universo y ser el gran espíritu.
A este mundo se accede a través del ritual. Los indios , las culturas primitivas los sacerdotes, el hombre, esta lleno de rituales . El mundo-ego , ha sido transmutado y somos los observadores. " " Los chamanes dicen que cuando ocurre un trauma, se cuantas veces nos hemos sentido asi? Entiendo que esta explicación es tan simple como verdadera y nos otorga la posibilidad de ser canal, de conectarnos con el todo, así recuperar , a través de esa memoria colectiva, nuestra alma rota. De recuperar la fe y entender que existe un sentido para cada cosa, asi lo comprenda o no" " La compasión y el respeto son el pilar de mis acciones. Accedo a la memoria madre, al centro, a la memoria creadora .Soy la memoria, soy el poder de crear , soy el arte, soy pasado, presente y futuro. Se han preguntado como es posible que sepa cosas que no aprendí? Me lo he preguntado muchas veces, como se me ocurren ciertas acciones naturales de las que no tengo la menor idea como llegaron alli." " Como puedo afirmar cosas que no puedo demostrar, pero sé que son verdaderas?, como es posible que cuando confío y logro vencer la ansiedad de los miedos, todo vuelve a ser armonía?" " Miles de veces han resonado estos pensamientos en mi cabeza y no, no lo entiendo. Pero sé que lo siento, lo percibo verdad, lo percibo sabiduría, simplemente lo sé." " Me entrego a esa memoria colectiva que dice “ yo soy otro tu y tu eres otro yo” y simplemente las cosas aparecen. Este principio ha sido receptado por una gran cantidad de religiones y, sin importar cual sea su nombre elegido es el poder del todo, el poder de Dios de Jehová, el poder del amor, y el poder del hombre cuando se libera de las limitaciones de la mente." " Para llegar a esta memoria dormida, debo aburrirme, frustrarme llorar , patalear y en un momento aparece esa posibilidad de crear. La creatividad me permite hacer cosas que no sabia que podía, me permite modificar el mundo , mostrar mi belleza, mostrar mi visión de belleza y cuando lo logro alguien se conmueve. Como es posible que alguien con quien jamás he compartido nada, sienta perciba una creación y se emocione? La única explicación que se me ocurre es que todo formamos parte de esa memoria colectiva, todo guardamos todo los saberes y accedemos a ellos a través de la emoción." " La emoción habla entonces el idioma universal." " Recuerdo sensaciones, confío, resiento, entiendo, comprendo, fluyo. Acepto el duelo, atravieso el dolorcuerpo, acepto manos que me cuidan, me abro. Me alivio, me vuelvo liviana, no hay tiempo, ni espacio. Todo ha ocurrido y nada ha ocurrido aún. Todo es posible, y todo esta a punto de nacer. "
" " El rompecabezas toma la forma exacta y se dibuja ante mí, pero solo en parte ,el resto puedo dibujarlo yo. Mis memorias más profundas afloran, lo recuerdo todo: lo aprendido, mis limitaciones, mi poder, mis miedos, mis recuerdos, mi misión. Recuerdo cuantas veces ya he hecho este mismo camino y he atravesado la misma pregunta. En este mundo-espíritu estoy conectada al todo, aquí es reconocido el gran poder, aquí la emoción me une y cuando me trasformo se trasforma el todo. Cierro lo ojos y siento.. Viene una sensación linda, amarilla… es mi abrazo. El abrazo del amor. Sonrío, una lagrima se escapa, las parte rotas se unen, siento el calor en mi espalda, me siento segura, me siento amada .Lo he recordado todo y todo me ha recordado a mi."
Photo by A.K. Thompson
Rewriting our past
By A.K. Thompson
Memory is a funny thing – each time we recall a memory, our neural pathways are changed, modified – in essence, we never remember the same thing twice as it actually occurred. Instead, our brains make small changes and adjustments to the memory, rendering it more fantasy than reality. Our minds are able to pick and choose what is important about a memory and disregard the rest. Over time it is questionable if any of our memories are true to life – if anything ever really happened the way we perceive it in the present."
I often get caught in random memories, especially while driving or hiking, times when the mind is wandering free and then stumbles on something vivid that makes me want to burst into tears. Old lovers come back this way often – and I can’t for the life of me truly remember the moments of being in love; instead my mind tends to focus on the downfall of the relationship, the nasty words and deceitful actions. " I believe this is the function of memory – to keep us safe. Years after an experience, memories can either take us back to despair or back to happiness. As with failed relationships, it is safer to remember why it ended as opposed to why it began. On the other hand, when I look at photos of the dogs I have lost I am filled with an overwhelming joy and a sense of comfort – those relationships were never burdened by cheating, lying, physical violence or abusive language. " I am also overcome with a peaceful feeling if I recall moments spent in the outdoors – hiking through thick woods and going off the trail, reading a good book on a beach, nights spent alone at my family’s small ancient cabin in Northern Illinois – nothing to disrupt my thoughts but the occasional honk of a goose." Memory is instantaneous, too. Recently a dog I was falling deeply in love with and envisioned celebrating my 45th birthday with (12 years down the road), was hit by a car and killed. As I was burying her all the memories of our few months together were crashing through my skull, destroying me from the inside. I wanted nothing but to skip forward to the time when those memories come less frequent and are accompanied by a smile rather than uncontrollable tears." Perhaps it is true that time heals all wounds – I attended the visitation of a co-workers’ son recently – he had committed suicide. Standing next to the casket, casting my eyes over his leathery 21-year-old face, and then looking up to see his mother – a woman lost in so much pain I could see the confusion in her very soul, I wanted nothing more than to fast forward her life to a place where she has made some sort of peace and acceptance with the death of her son." She said, “It doesn’t feel real.”" She glanced up at a running slide show of photographs of him and said, “Wasn’t he such a cute baby?”" My words would do little good here – my personal memories meant nothing – I was standing center-stage in the most terrible memory this woman will ever have her life entire. I pray for the day, far in the future, when she remembers the best of times with her son – not the day she found him bloody and breathless on her bathroom floor. " Our past experiences can dictate how we chose to live each day – and how we remember those experiences might make all the difference. Choose life or death – tears or joy – survival or giving up. Recalling moments of tragedy should ultimately drive us to create moments of joy – and of those future memories we should hold onto for dear life. "
Photo by Anna Louise Jiongco
First Love, Taipei By Yu-Han Chao In the basement of a popular Taipei gym, two young women wrapped in nothing but fluffy white towels sat side by side on the wooden bench in a sauna room. " An older woman left, leaving Angel and May alone in the room. May gazed idly at her friend’s naked body: slender with breasts like sunny-side up eggs, the lower body slightly thick." “How long has it been since a guy saw you naked? Not since Dennis?” May asked." “Yes, that long. I’m surprised you remember his name.”" “You’re the loose woman who sleeps with men whose names you don’t know!” " Angela’s face reddened, but at least she could blame it on the steam. “Hey, watch it. That was my first boyfriend.” " “The older guy? Where the hell do you find these old men, anyway?” " “I ran into him a few times on campus, and had asked his name twice but still forgotten it. By the time he finally convinced me to go out with him, I could not for the life of me remember his name, and it would have been too embarrassing to ask him again.”" “So how did you find out his name?”" “One night, we were lying in bed in a motel room, and I suddenly had a brilliant idea. I could ask him what his friends called him, and surely that would have something to do with his name. So I asked, and he said Will. So I knew his name must be Will or William, and I could just call him Will.”"
" “That sounds really shady,” May said." “Well, when I told my next boyfriend, the Irish guy, about how secretive Will was, he was certain that Will was some kind of spy working for the American government.”" “Spy? That’s ridiculous. I’m sorry, but that sounds paranoid and crazy. Why on earth would America need spies in Taiwan? Taiwanese love Americans.”" “I thought it seemed odd, too.”" “You want to know what I think? He was married,” May said with conviction." “Married?”" “Yes, that’s the most logical and obvious explanation.”" “Hmm, he did used to check the motel rooms for hidden cameras, which I thought was funny. Who cares if perverted motel owners got our naked butts on film? He said he wanted to protect me because I was so young. And he always, always insisted on using a condom, and didn’t allow me to even touch him without one already on.”" "
“So there you go, he was married,” May said."
" Angela’s face grew dark and she felt herself sweating profusely. Perhaps it had subconsciously occurred to her that Will might have been married, but she’d blocked the possibility out. This was the man who took her virginity, the first man she was ever serious about, and it turns out he was only having her on the side, that he was married the whole time? Angela felt something snapping inside her." “When I asked him where he lived, he said he lived with a Taiwanese family. I thought it was a language exchange type of setup.” Angela clenched her teeth." “Maybe that’s a euphemism for I live with my wife and kids,” May said. “Yep, the asshole was so married.”" The next day, Angela spent her lunch hour on the Taida campus, at the cafeteria benches, where she had run into Will so many times five years ago. "
" She started eating lunch on the Taida campus daily. She bought lunch at the cafeteria, just like she did five years ago as an undergraduate, and ate it on the open benches beside the bike racks.." One whole year passed before Angela caught a glimpse of a tall, gray-haired man on a bicycle. Angela blocked his path. She watched as his pupils dilated with recognition and disbelief." “Angela, it’s you!” " She crossed her arms and tapped the right toe of her shoes. “You’re married, aren’t you?”" “I’m not married now,” he said." “But were you married then? When you fucked me and told me you loved me and cried when I was leaving and cried when I dumped you? When I gave you my virginity? You were married, weren’t you, you piece of shit!”" “Yes, I was married,” Will said softly, “but I got divorced shortly after you and I broke up.”" “See if I care.”" “When I told you that I would have married you, I was sincere. I wanted to marry you, I really loved you,” he said quietly." “Get away from me. You don’t deserve to have anyone in your life, you dirty old liar. If I could take back everything back, I would.”" Will stood there, old man’s winkled mouth stretched into a flat line of dismay. Angela turned and started walking, her high heels clicking loudly on the sidewalk. As she approached the bus stop, her bus pulled up. The door of the bus swung shut behind her with a whooshing noise. She dropped 12 NT into the coin chute and plopped down in the first seat behind the driver. " Angela looked out the window at the familiar Taipei scenery: couples on bicycles, mothers with strollers, elementary school students wearing school uniforms and banana-yellow hats. A sense of satisfaction and vindication flowed through her. At last, she had the closure she wanted. Fishing her cell phone out of her purse, she dialed May’s number." " “Hey, May, you won’t believe who I just ran into,” she said when May picked up.
‘Clive’s Mortality Realized' by Julio
" " " " "
-kodiert pulseBy Jasper madison
geschnitten alten Speicher"
eine tiefere me"
endlosen trauma wiegenden"
Wischeffekt der Nacht"
Erinnerung an verherrlicht nun Schmelzen einsame Menschen"
Sinnes Tiefen Cluster"
verworfen Hoffnung Amnesie" alten Adressen, alte unglaubliche Schlösser" Sehnsucht erscheint wieder"
" " " " " "
vergessen Adresse" einsamen Feld" Informationen Abflug"
mit Flügeln geweckt"
Konstellation Worte über deine Wunder Gesicht übersät"
Vergnügen Weg wild, komplexe"
ewige berauscht Amnesie"
etwas Trauer noch zu existieren"
Mädchen, Gedächtnis, verallgemeinert Elend"
codiert gewidmet Modell versteckt"
funkelnden einsamen unaussprechlichen geliebten"
unzählige Engel Wolke Besuche" wir erinnern uns leben Informationen" dramatische vielgestaltigen Allgegenwart fließt" Steuerung glitzernde Nacht für immer" Außenabstand" verschiedene Raster-Cluster" Stück Mohn helfen, den Geist mit Tränen" die Inneneimer" Traurigkeit"
flüchtigen kompliziert ekstatischen Licht" Tanzen Dampf" grenzenlose Vibrationen" sogar die Augen vergessen, Dämmerung"
Photo by Eat the Cake NYC
magazine or a zine it’s a GAMBA From the Island of GAMBAZINI
It’s not a
The third issue is revolved around the fluidity of memory and how it shapes lives. How does the past influence the future? We asked artists...
Published on Feb 15, 2015
The third issue is revolved around the fluidity of memory and how it shapes lives. How does the past influence the future? We asked artists...