Title of Piece Author Winter 2014
Title of Piece
glassworks the beauty & utility issue instructions for lifeâ€™s tough moments
science fictionâ€™s impact on the gay community the brilliance of glass & the disappointment of space crafts
Rowan Uglassworks niversity1
Cover art: “Beauty Through Light and Color: Boat Tiller” by Roger Camp To see more of this artist, visit: rcampphoto.com The staff of Glassworks magazine would like to thank: Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Program Rowan University’s Writing Arts Department The Glassworks Advisory Board: Jeffrey Maxson, Jennifer Courtney, Andrew Kopp, Martin Itzkowitz, Lisa Jahn-Clough, Ron Block
Cover Design: Manda Frederick Layout: Manda Frederick Glassworks is available both digitally and in print. See our website for details: RowanGlassworks.org
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Glassworks is a publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program Correspondences can be sent to: Glassworks c/o Katie Delhagen 205 Hawthorn Hall Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 08028 E-mail: GlassworksMagazine@gmail.com Copyright © 2014 Glassworks Glassworks maintains First Serial Rights for publication in our journal and Electronic Rights for reproduction of works in Glassworks and/or Glassworks-affiliated materials. All other rights remain with the artist.
EDITOR IN CHIEF Manda Frederick SENIOR EDITORS Lindsay A. Chudzik Katie Delhagen fiction Editors Cherita Harrell Myra Schiffman C.M. Johnson Caroline Marinaro Poetry Editors Janine Sturgis Lauren Covaci nonfiction editors Phil Cole Kristin Tangel Antonia DiBona Nahid Ahmed new media editors Karen Holloway Jane Blaus Jason Egner Asst. Editors Joseph F. Berenato Jason Cantrell Christi Fox Steph Kohler Bryan Maloney Christina Schillaci Steve Royek Katlyn Slough Amelia Thatcher EditoriaL Interns Jennifer Lynn Dulo Elle Jaclyn Lorre
glassworks Winter 2014 issue seven
Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program Rowan University
Poetry Jory Mickelson
How to Survive Separation | 6
Night Shifts | 7
Bill Neumire, We Argue About Where to Hang the Picture of Sparrows | 20 Tori Grant Welhouse, Cube Life | 5 Heather Cousins
Grand Union | 38
Gravity | 39
Gretchen Blynt, Inert-ia | 16 Jessica Lakritz, The Graveyardâ€™s in the Backyard,
Where the Meadow Used to Be | 30
Paul Hostovsky, The Truck That Carries the Glass | 32 James Dickson, Instructional | 36
Nonfiction Mary Beth Hunter, Rainbirds | 1 Jillian Schedneck, Field Research | 42 Philip Kobylarz, from Nearest Istanbul | 21 Joseph Berenato & Katlyn Slough, An Interview with David
Fiction Stephanie Devine, Roadside Memorial | 8
Art Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Broken Glass | 33 Christian Ethridge, Untitled | 4 Lori Blake, Bottled Light | 40 Roger Camp
Beauty Through Light: Boat Tiller | Cover
Beauty Through Light: Chairs | 18
Amber Carpenter, Loophole | 34 Laura Hinton, Cagnes Sur Mer | 49
Rainbirds Mary Beth Hunter For the glorious concoction of wires, connections, computers, and titanium on the launchpad, gravity is what feeds the rainbirds. A spindly tower houses the water until six seconds before launch, and then the great pounding of the mechanical flash flood—the barriers are removed, and gravity brings it crashing down as the shuttle goes up. The space shuttle is a mechanical marvel; over two and a half million parts must tend to their own business while getting along with the others in order to launch over four and a half million pounds and bring two hundred and thirty thousand pounds worth of powerless orbiter back down again. And yet the roar from the engines which propel it produces so much of one natural reality—sound—that it must be controlled by another. This triumph of human engineering would shake apart were it not for the most basic element of life. The same great washes of the ancient sea lapping at the base of the launchpad, the earliest pathways of this nation, the very conduit of conception—this enables the movement of the symbol of the modern age. There have been one hundred and thirty-two performances and four tests of the sound suppression system. The most recent performance check came as part of the return to flight
program in the wake of the loss of the shuttle Columbia. Less than a year afterwards, officials stood in hardhats on the empty launch gantry, cheering as three hundred thousand gallons of life itself dashed away grime and salt and despair. It splashed on their khaki pants, it danced free in the Florida sunshine and dripped into temporary bathtubs for scrub jays, and then it returned itself to the sea. Baptized thus, cleansed thus, we began again, new life on the gantry and in the processing facilities and on the flightline. The water cascading over the launch platform, streaming from the oxygen and hydrogen pouring in the main engines, sloshing in the packs of the spacewalkers and the fuel cells—the water has never failed it.
The Altitude of Tragedy In 1961, astronaut Gus Grissom was hauled out of the ocean as his spacecraft was headed in the other direction, down and down some more. Having survived the ignition of a bomb beneath him, the four-hundred degree temperature differentials of space, and a re-entry which heated the atmosphere outside his spacecraft to over two-hundred degrees, he now stood to lose his life to drowning. Grissom was saved from water only to be killed by a shoreline launchpad fire
six years later—I’ve stood at the site, heard the waves, the taunting of the seagulls. The Atlantic Ocean does not forget what it has been denied. In later years, it wasn’t just the shattering of the spacecraft; it was where the pieces wound up. When we think of Challenger, we think of sky—that piercing, frozen sky quite wide enough to hold the blooming fireball—we think of that sky and not what lay beneath. Aerodynamics are not meant for the ocean floor, and yet there they were a bit of a wing visited by a school of fish, the hinge of a cargo bay door waving with the sea anemones, black heat shield tiles carried to the touristladen shores of Cocoa Beach, where small plastic sand pails flashed in a gaudy vacation life against the sand. Salvagers returned what was findable to the dry land where it belonged, and techs pieced together what had been dredged up or washed up into a dreadful, gaping puzzle paced out by an empty shuttle-shaped grid on a concrete floor—not that a spacecraft belongs here, either. When the divers found the crew cabin, the strong aluminum which formed it had collapsed into a twisted mass of edges, wires, and reality. Harnesses remained firmly winched against the chests of blue flightsuits which rose and fell not with regular breath, but by the random passing of currents. The shuttle Challenger was named for a seafaring vessel which sailed from
England in the late 1800s. Guns were ripped from the decks to make way for microscopes and specimen jars, and the ship enabled great advances in knowledge of the farthest fathoms of the ocean. It pushed westward with each wave, unconscious of the day when its namesake would enter these same waters, slamming to the surface, but sinking, weightless and graceful once more as it, too, sought the surface of the sea.
Launchpad With a View They call it the Constellation Urion, and it is the highlight of nearly every NASA mission—not the launch, not the spacewalks, not the adoring, respectful glances of women and men— it is this, the routine urine dump. What happens is that when astronauts release personal wastewater overboard in orbit, it freezes, suspended in the vacuum, creating a spectacular, streaming light show. urine dump investigation. He dumped at sunset, he dumped at sunrise and mid-day. He took pictures of all of it and after he splashed down, he ordered prints of the best ones for his office. These are the facts of the matter, then—pee in space, seas on the moon. The great flat landscapes on the Moon are plastered with marine Earth terms reaching back to the geographical formation of the planet—the Ocean of Storms, the Sea of Tranquility. And below, just as astronauts practice spacewalks in the neutral buoyancy of
Mary Beth Hunter | Rainbirds
a Houston swimming pool, the element surrounds NASA, bracketing all sides of the Florida launchpads, the lifeblood of Earth paving the way to an eternal vacuum. When an external tank, the huge orange bottle sucked dry by the main engines of the shuttle, is delivered to the Kennedy Space Center, it arrives not by jetpack or Mach 1, but by barge, genteeling its way from Louisiana up the turn basin of the languid Banana River. We are not only spacefarers, but riverboat gamblers—betting that the solid fuel won’t burn out of control, that a window won’t crack in orbit, that a glove won’t float free midspacewalk…that this is all worth it. It’s a safe bet, I think; before the shuttle crews saw their self¬produced constellations, the last parts of Earth they viewed was water, the same ocean which promised safe haven from British allies during the Cold War, the identical tides which caught so many misfires of an ill-begotten ICBM called the Snark that for a time the entire workforce spoke of “Snark-infested waters.” Shuttle astronauts turned their helmeted heads to see the Atlantic on one side, a river on the other, perched 147 feet in the air on a spit of sand. And although their ship required great strips of hard, smooth Earth on which to land, the fact remained that simple hydrogen and simple oxygen were the reasons that anyone is going anywhere at all.
Cube Life Tori Grant Welhouse On her dead sister’s birthday she is distracted by the mind-clogging tasks of a new job and forgets they would have been the same age for the next two weeks. She is one-half an Irish twin. Unthinking she waves good morning to sales on her way to get coffee. Salesmen peer over the partial walls of their cubes like prairie dogs. Research interrupts her with a full mug to discuss emphatically a project they’re working on. Support shows her (again) how to approve an order into the system. Outside is panting, the height of a sticky summer. Inside the AC chugs on high, pickling the Berber-y air. She returns to her cube, in an over-AC’d corner of the building, completely disremembering her sister, the imperative of her green eyes, freckles, velvet-painting hair, patina in her eyes, Bing-red lips. She is exposed on two sides. Sensing at the back of her neck cool cherry breath, she thinks for a moment it’s a prank on the new girl, swiveling in her desk chair, finding herself accordion-fold alone, staring down a mottled stretch of carpet, keys echoing their tip-tapping. Her prompted body shivers, and her too-naked lips part. Her sister crowds her cube. She hears her insist: You forgot to wear lipstick, arching her brow in that high drama way.
How To Survive Separation Jory Mickelson
Begin with the man sitting beside you on the train, how the ring on his hand latches the afternoon light. Begin with your visit to Hagia Sophia, how the dome floated impossible above its forty windows and with the three rising suns that track the sky all day: parhelion. Don’t begin with the man’s fingers, casual and fat, or the way they curve around his sleek smart phone. Begin with the acrobatic stars soaring against the striped tent of sky, with the cellular launching itself into the aisle. Begin with reports of the sun at Fatima in 1917; when it spun like a coin. Or with the sun’s death, it expanding to melt the earth, collapsing and shining for billions of years (for a planet’s empty track). Or the woman dozing across from you, how her engagement ring gathers the sun, flashes her status in carats, dazzling no one.
Night Shifts Jory Mickelson
How good the green air felt against my skin when I broke from the foundry’s door, to leave behind the vulcan light we pounded thin for thirteen hours until it turned more delicate than wire, became a tracery of orange against the skin. How the hammer echoed in the ear and followed me into sleep. How loud the body’s metronome. Below the tic of cooled muscle, eyes dim in their sockets, the web of breath remains. The headlamp mind, released from the body’s tether, drifts toward soft-edged trees. How similar the road at waking to the one bound for rest. How the hammer of the heart swings, as if for hours, in hand.
Roadside Memorial Stephanie Devine
You fall in love with the house on the corner. You put it first on your list of places and put an asterisk next to the address. You weigh the pros—curb appeal, street, remodeled kitchen and bath—against the cons—smallish yard, old wiring, low square footage. But the cons don’t matter because this is it. Two stories, blue siding with white shutters and a red door. The front yard has a tall oak tree that you guess is at least fifty years old. 728 Ideal Way. This is the place. Your very first home. You make lists of things to do in your robin’s egg notebook: home inspection, paperwork, closing, and then of things you will buy to decorate each room. Sage and butternut throw-pillows, burgundy paint for the living room to complement the sand-colored sofa sectional you saw at the store, ivory lace curtains for the bedroom just like your mother’s. Your stomach turns when you write the check and you think of the years working as a paralegal that it took you to save up the down payment. You think of all the times you moved in the past ten years and briefly panic at the thought of not being able to move now that you own. Now that you own. You pick up the keys and drive down your new street noting the old craftsman homes, the fixer-uppers, the mini
mansions where fixer-uppers used to be. And your place, right in the middle. You walk in the front door, stepping lightly on to the antique hardwoods. Leaving it open behind you, you let your purse fall and smile. Of course, you have a housewarming and fill up three pages in your notebook with names of people to invite. Parents, girlfriends, coworkers, bosses. They all come dutifully with plates of brownies and bottles of wine and congratulate you on moving up in the world. They make the obligatory jokes saying “My, this place sure is ideal,” and “What an ideal first home.” Smiles and polite laughs are exchanged. You glow. And it is because of the house that you meet Jacob. He literally bumps into you at the bank while you are doing your pre-approval. He is so charming and apologetic that when he invites you out for coffee you think at first that he is still trying to make it up to you. After two dinners your friends start referring to him as your new boyfriend, and you laugh but don’t correct them. You can hardly ignore how perfect it all seems. Jacob is a great guy. He has everything on your list, the one you insist is hypothetical and never write down. The one you keep only in your head. Jacob has a degree. Check. A job at the bank. Check. A
slightly downward during the eleven o’clock news. For the kind of stuff that stopped moving you a long time ago. And of course he is entirely chivalrous. Opening the door, ushering you inside first, bringing over white tulips on the afternoon of your housewarming. You proudly displayed them on your new cherry wood coffee table. How tastefully, you noticed, they went with the décor. It is in this blissfully happy stage of your new relationship, in your new house, that things feel like they are finally coming together in the way that lives are supposed to come together. So you do the practical thing and begin to compile the addresses of friends and family members. And when your mother asks why you need the address for your great Aunt Jean in Sarasota, you say it’s because your New Year’s resolution is to send more cards. But you suspect she knows that you are compiling just in case. Just in case you might soon need to send announcements. So you shouldn’t be surprised, even though you are, when he suggests that he move in. They are downsizing at the bank. He hopes he won’t be targeted and he doesn’t feel threatened, but he wants to play it safe, start cutting some expenses. He says,
Stephanie Devine | Roadside Memorial
non-embarrassing car. Check. He is good-looking, he has lots of friends, like you. You both tend to vote conservative. Check, check check. And an added bonus, he is ex-military, Air Force, though not so into it as the guys who never stop wearing crew cuts or yelling “hoo-rah” when they drink. “I just kind of did my time so I could get the G.I. Bill,” he confesses one night in bed, as you eye the damp spot on your new lavender comforter where you just made love. “So?” you say. “You’re smart. I mean, you’ve got no student loans. Everyone should have to do that.” But you admire the military in him for more than just the lack of debt, which is, admittedly, a big plus. He’s just so respectful. And so polite with people who find out about his service and thank him. You can’t help but love how gracious and humble he is when he bows his head and says “Well, it was my pleasure” or “Please, that’s not necessary” when they try to buy him a drink. Even your girlfriends notice, in the way he walks, the way he stands so straight. You think he acts more like he spent his time in the Middle East instead of two years in Japan, and you don’t mind when other people think so too. And if meeting all your prerequisites wasn’t enough, he is always somehow doing the right thing. You like to watch his lips curl ever-so-
too, that he thinks things are going well between you, and he really cares about you, and thinks you should give it a go. And ever being the gentlemen, he insists on paying rent. He says you should sleep on it, but you immediately accept, all smiles. Only later do you wish that he hadn’t included that part about work. You wish it was just because of you. But then again, he is so practical, and you can’t fault him for it. And it is nice to be able to buy the lace curtains, the last thing on your shopping list, after he gives you his first month’s rent. With each day that passes you feel more and more like this might be it, this might be your story, one worth telling. The kind of story that needs to be shared, a story that delights with its repetition. A story that is either so crazy or weird or perfect or chilling that it somehow changes the person it belongs to. And you owe it to the story to pass it on as many times as you can. Like your friend Angie who found a body in the woods while she was jogging on campus. Or Jessica’s dad, who had a brain aneurism and lived. And the cousin of a coworker who ran away from home and resurfaced years later when he published a bestselling memoir. All these stories are so unbelievable but true that even you retell them whenever you get a chance. You want a story so much for yourself, a story to tell at brunches and dinner parties and late at night
over cocktails. The thought that this fairytale could belong to you makes your mouth water. And, you know, so what if it is a little perfect? You can almost hear your friends saying, I have a friend who met the ideal guy while buying her first house on, get this, Ideal Way. They still live there and are married and have two kids: one boy, one girl. You like the way it sounds. And with each romantic meal for two, each painting hung and leveled, each rose left on the kitchen counter, it sounds even better. Then one Thursday afternoon you come home from work to find Jacob wearing jeans, putting two plates of spaghetti on the table. He says he has something to tell you, and that something is he lied. When he told you about the potential layoff, it wasn’t really potential, he had been let go. And he wanted to tell you, he swears, but he was embarrassed. You wrinkle your forehead thinking of how to approach the rent topic, your mortgage, the vase you had been planning to buy for the dining room. “I understand if you’re mad,” he says. “Insecurity, I guess. I was afraid you wouldn’t want me without the paycheck.” You think carefully before saying, “I won’t stop loving you because you got laid off. But I can’t keep doing this if you lie to me.” “I’m sorry,” he says. Then a few minutes later, “So, you still love me, right?”
This might be your story, one worth telling. A story that is either so crazy or weird or perfect or chilling that it somehow changes the person it belongs to. Before the news, he walks over and whispers in your ear, “Come to bed.” So you follow him, and turn your head as he presses inside you. After he finishes, you lay with your back to him and listen to the rain outside, watching lightning flash through the lace curtains, creating dots on the bedspread like so many sequins. He says to the wall across from him, “I hope you know I’m trying my best to give you everything you want.”
Before you can answer, Stacey Williams dies. It happens quickly. Tires squealing, trying to grip, glass folding into itself, metal splintering. Jacob shoots up and runs into the living room. “What the fuck?” You come out and look through the spot he parted in the blinds. Touching your nose to the glass then pulling back, stung. A red jeep is hugging your oak tree. “Jesus.” He grabs your hand. You don’t really know how much time passes before the ambulance arrives. You watch Jacob pacing in the yard, peering into the windows of the car. She is slumped over. “Should I get her out? Should I move her? I don’t think I should move her.” You don’t respond. The paramedics come and get in the vehicle. Without doing much of anything they pronounce her dead. They try and ease Jacob by saying it wouldn’t have mattered. It’s a rainy Friday night and she’d probably been drinking, speeding. She lost control, hit it headon. Instantaneous. You go back inside during the extraction but you can’t help but peek again through the blinds as they carefully lift the sixteenyear-old girl with blood-matted blonde hair from the wreckage,
Stephanie Devine | Roadside Memorial
“Come on,” you say, rolling your eyes. The next evening you come home to find he hung the lace curtains in the bedroom, and you figure it might not be so bad to have Jacob at home to fix things around the house. A lot could get done. And that night while he is checking job postings, you cuddle under a blanket on the couch with your laptop and allow yourself to research diamond rings, just for fun, minimizing the window whenever he asks you a question. You would never get married while he was unemployed, for obvious reasons, but you have no doubt he will find a job again soon. No doubt.
her right arm shaking like Jell-O, and zip a black bag around her the way you might zip a garment bag over a wedding gown. The police have a couple questions, the neighbors gawk. Late in the afternoon a tow truck comes and pulls the jeep out of the yard. You run your hands over the red paint chips, the knick in the tree trunk. You frown. Jacob kisses your forehead and says, “If it wasn’t for that tree, she’d be in our living room.” In the days following the accident you read and watch every news clip you can find. Most of the photos include your house, the red jeep, the red door, some of them with Jacob in the background holding his hand over his mouth. A tragedy occurred last night on this quiet Dilworth road…. You learn that Stacey Williams was a junior who ran track and was on the honor roll. You keep repeating “Can you believe this?” to no one at all. You go to the funeral, because that’s what you should do. Jacob suggests you send flowers and you do that, too. You listen intently as Stacey’s family and friends speak about her. Her cousin talks about how Stacey taught her how to do handstands in the swimming pool when they were twelve. Her English teacher on how bright and talented she was. Her friend Merissa on how she loved hip-hop dancing and wearing black and pink. Then another friend Katelyn cries that they will always be sis-
ters at heart, in life and death, forever, even though they weren’t related. The church is standing room only. Two weeks later Merissa and Katelyn and another girl you don’t recognize stop by asking for money for a scholarship fund they are starting in Stacey’s name. They say they knew that you would want to contribute. You pause, looking past the girls in the doorway to the flowerbeds the landscaper had just refinished. “Of course we would,” Jacob says from inside the house, heading for his wallet. You don’t bother telling him that you seriously wonder if a girl who drank and drove herself into a tree deserves to have a scholarship in her name. You start having trouble sleeping. You lie awake at night wondering who would care if you suddenly and tragically died at age twenty-eight. If there would be any Merissas or Katelyns that showed up for you. If you would have a crowded funeral. If your coworkers, your high school friends, your college girlfriends, your family members would all be there. Who would write their name in the guestbook, who would regret not getting a chance to say goodbye, who would buy a park bench in your memory. You get out of bed and write down the names. You also list what ways you could die that would get the biggest and most emotional response. Cancer, obviously, but that usually has a little
chine. And each day when you come home there are more and more of them until it seems like the amount of bears is directly equivalent to the amount of sleep you’ve been losing. Then one day you come home from work to find a white cross edged with pink tissue paper taped to the tree, the dates of Stacey’s birth and death drawn across the front in paint. “Have you seen our yard?” you say, slamming the door. “What?” “It looks like the side of a highway out there.” “Come on, give it a rest. They lost their friend.” “Well, I lost my yard.” You wait until Jacob leaves that night to meet some old coworkers, and then you go back outside with an empty file box and pick it all up. You stuff in the bears, the tacky cross, and a note signed “Kyle” that says “Stacey, when will it get easier?” You know that for the rest of his life, Stacey will be his story. Forever the friend, or maybe the crush, that died in high school. It would be that way for all of them. Katelyn will tell it to her husband the first time he loses someone his age: I lost my best friend in high school. In college, Merissa will take the keys from her drunk sorority sister. My
Stephanie Devine | Roadside Memorial
bit of a warning. Things that are unexpected are best. Medical reasons: heart failure, stroke, aneurism. Then there are car wrecks or plane crashes, the latter being more desirable. But these are topped of course by suicide, homicide, and freak accidents, in that order. One night Jacob comes out to check on you and peeks over your shoulder to see a hangman scrawled on your notepad. “You know,” he says the next morning while making coffee, “this not sleeping stuff, it’s starting to scare me. A lot of buddies of mine from the service went through it. You know, after something happens.” “What would you know,” you snap. “You weren’t even in a war.” He stares until you apologize, blaming lack of sleep. He doesn’t understand that people who work as paralegals and have mortgages, people like you, die at eighty-one, and the only people who show up are their remaining family members. The children remember you, the grandchildren, barely. Stacey’s classmates also start another kind of memorial, but this one is in your front yard. You tolerate it at first, because that’s what you should do, and because it is all luminaries and flowers. But after three weeks it shows no signs of slowing, and the flowers are being replaced by neon green and blue teddy bears that look like they were won in a claw ma-
friend Stacey died in a car accident. Jacob comes home a few hours later and asks, hesitating, “So, what happened to the memorial?” “I boxed it up,” you say, swallowing, “and gave it to Stacey’s mom. I thought she should have it more than us.” He forces a smile and walks out of the room. You shut the door and drop your purse and see Jacob waiting in the kitchen, his hands folded on the table like he does when he’s mad. Only this time, his fingers are white. “Guess who stopped by today.” “Who?” “Stacey Williams’ mom.” “Oh?” “Yeah. She wanted to know why we took down the memorial.” “What did you say?” “I said you told me you gave it to her.” “And what did she say?” “Jesus Christ, what do you think she said?” You look down at your hands balling into fists, pushing the car keys you’re still holding into the flesh of your palm. “She said she never got it!” “You don’t have to yell.” “Yes, God damn it, yes. Yes, I do, I do have to yell. Why did you tell me you gave it to her? Why didn’t she get it? What did you do with it?” You bite your lip.
“What did you do with it?” You look at your feet. “What did you do with it?” “I threw it away.” After he picks up the last of his things, you pull out your box of lists and draw two black lines through Jacob’s name on the list of people you think will speak at your funeral. You come back to it two nights later, after polishing off a bottle of wine, and move his name this time to the top of the page. You know that if you were found broken at the bottom of a tall building he would be there, at your funeral. He’d be full of regret. Crying that he hadn’t helped you, that he gave up on you, that he always loved you. And the room would be full of people weeping, people audibly sobbing. Not that quiet invisible crying that takes place when a grandparent dies. When you are feeling better you place the list back into its box and your eyes roam across the words “does it ever get any easier?” and something occurs to you. It occurs to you that Stacey Williams is your story too. That you cannot be the girl who lives on Ideal Way, in an ideal neighborhood, in an ideal house, with an ideal man. No, you can’t, because instead you are the girl who had someone die in her yard not six months after she bought her first home. It’s funny, really. You pick up a sad looking teddy bear, fur all
Yeah. But that’s not all. This girl, the one he was with, was a real piece of work. Jake thought she was depressed. But anyway, the kids from the high school were leaving teddy bears and crosses in the yard as a memorial and she got all weird about it, said they were tacky, and she took them down. Huh. Well, maybe, I don’t know. It was her yard. Yeah, but that’s not the best of it. So she takes them down and tells Jake that she gave them to the girl’s mom. But later the mom shows up for them. What? I know. And get this, she tells Jake that she threw them out. Seriously? That’s terrible. Yea but that’s the thing, though, Jacob’s wife says, glancing into the kitchen. I don’t think she threw them out at all. I think she still has them.
Stephanie Devine | Roadside Memorial
matted from being left in the rain, and look into its glassy eyes. You can see your mother telling it to her best friend over coffee. Oh, she’s been having such a tough time. Well, you know a girl died on her property right? Yeah. Car wreck, can you believe it? You can even see yourself when you move into a bigger place, showing it off to your friends. I love this place, so much more spacious. And I was glad to get out of my old house, of course. Oh, I loved it too. But, you know, unpleasant memories. And you can see Jacob, sitting at a kitchen table. Maybe with his Air Force buddy Mike, who you never got to meet. Drinking beers. And in the living room a blonde with a full round belly and a toddler on her knee is befriending Mike’s new girlfriend. The TV is on and a news anchor appears in a blue pea coat saying, Fatal accident in a local neighborhood. Details at 11:00. The camera pans to the street sign, oak trees out of focus in the background. Jacob’s wife smirks, Mmph. What? Oh, it’s nothing, she edges closer on the couch to her new friend. It’s just that Jake used to live on that street. Really? Mike’s girlfriend lowers her voice. Yeah. With a girl he was dating at the time. Now they both are whispering. Anyway there was a car wreck, and a teenage girl hit the tree in the front yard and died. Wow.
Gretchen Blynt I bump boxes stumbling to the bathroom in blackness. By morning there is a bruise, a long tan smudge across a pale shin bone. Its daily transformations, darkening, elongating, changing color like sad leaves, shades of winter, not autumn, are the only development. Fidgets, huffs, paces are non-locomotive, just hovering. Bound by belongings, cooped up for too long, trapped by belief in homebuying. Somehow escape is in closing. Life is already splitting open. Once-closed cardboard is cut, contents roughly disturbed, in search of items I hadnâ€™t expected to need againâ€”here: the raincoat, the crock-pot, the corkscrew. Even my body opposes the uncertainty. I live bent half backward, edging my way around piles, arched beneath the ever-lowering stick, a wilted celery stalk, too limp to snap. Each delay, each setback, each unanswered phone call, an increased weight.
Gretchen Blynt | Inter-tia
Reverse is just another broken. Possessions loosed from gaping cardboard maws, dripping with packing tape saliva, can’t be at home as they once were; their trip canceled; their truck stuck in the driveway. I am torn between paying a mortgage or building a fort. I stand amid a maze of childhood-dream proportions. Scattered heaps of clothing, pillows, papers used to mean “no-touch-ground” because, of course, the carpet was lava. Purpled knees and elbow scabs were badges of honor, proof of adventure, not stagnancy. Children win limbo because they’re short enough to stand straight underneath the lowering bar. It’s harder to navigate when you’re staring at the ceiling.
T Bitle eauty ofTP hrough iece Light: Chairs Author Roger Camp
Title of Piece
We Argue About Where To Hang The Picture Of the Sparrows Bill Neumire & how to pronounce your great-aunt’s name, which letters are silent. Our dead relatives are an archeology obsessed with time. But I’ve been thinking about infinity & how we’re wrong to worry. Graffiti under the bridge says there will be a suicide at the river in the late afternoon. Has it already happened? Will it happen? Will you go? When I draw, my father is a bulletshaped freighter, smoke graying night sky over a part of the sea no one visits. Some days a lamp without a shade in the garage. “Happiness comes in absorption,” said my father cutting branches in his grass-smeared gloves, or at least those are the words I grafted on him like a circa tagged to old bones. He never talked, the blades in his raw hands, the whiskers of not enough time graveling his face. I do not mean that the sun wasn’t warm or that he was removed or that he never held my mother like a crutch. Those were all there, buried in his silence.
from Nearest Istanbul Philip Kobylarz ArrivaL The airport is crowded, voice from overhead, louder than necessary, singing phrases that cannot be understood, except for the names of places: Amsterdam, Rabat, Stuttgart, Algiers, Madrid, Paris, Dakar. It could be an airport in any major city in the world, yet there are subtleties of difference/definition. Near the bathroom, a woman waits seated at a table, furniture dated by a oncemodern aerospace style: mid-rocketyears sixties. She has what appears to be an ashtray barely filled with coins in front of her. She is not smoking. Sometimes, she opens her paperback and takes a glance. Mostly, she sits staring vacantly into the distance, not even hearing the toilets flushing behind her, the dull murmur of plumbing constantly cleansing itself. She is waiting for a tip, for a few coins that the release from a bodily function is worth these days. Usually not much, a franc or two. Never a paper bill. Never too much. It is time to catch the connecting flight. Nearly a half an hour before it is to take off, passengers are queuing for seats. The line, at first modeled loosely on the British form—straight with ample elbow room—soon, as the countdown begins, erodes into a flimsy semi-circle. The intelligent
spawns of a survival of the fittest process, begin to sneak in on either side of the semi-circle, towards the entrance gate. Whitehaired men are seen zipping small dogs into carry-on bags, not taking the time to make sure they don’t catch the dog’s curly hair in the seam. Copies of Le Monde or Le Provençal are hastily tucked under arm. The concept of personal space is all but obliterated: people stand on each other’s heels, elbows connect with sides; humid after-meal breath is shared, anonymous line-standers become almost intimate with one another, scents of perfume are exchanged, yet no one is pushed to the point of painful discomfort or even the threshold of anger. This is just the way the machine works. Conversation about the weather and the ineptitude of airline personnel breaks out sporadically. Cigarettes are extinguished at the last breath, the last second. Through a cloud of exhaled tobacco, you enter France. TangentiaL Escape the confusion of flight numbers that add up to their own trigonometry with no solutions and slip into the city that is much too far from the airport.
The fields that surround are flat and mildly undulating, as fields should be: a haze hangs over them to suggest the mystery that lies beyond. On the bus into the city, the people are welldressed and as silent as mutes. Passing through over-and under-passes, then into the preliminary maze of the outskirts, trash of a different nature lines the road side. Occasionally, there are pieces of habitations: light fixtures, fenders of outdated automobiles, racks from refrigerators, lampshades, then paper refuse of products that a third world country can only dream of: brightly colored garbage as decoration. It occurs to one that this country, like other fantastically rich countries, has too much to throw away. The body heat within the bus fogs the windows, obscuring views of places that don’t want to be seen anyway. The silence on the bus is reverence for the hard, lonely work of travel. Enter, the labyrintH Paris is a monument to itself. A monument constantly building and rebuilding its own glory. Its busiest and most remarkable streets, Boulevard St. Michel, Saint Germain des Prés, are filled with steady lines of people skirting around crews of road repair men. The bowels of the street are exposed for all to see. Rubble, dirt, rocks, why plaster of Paris is named so. Pipes coming from and returning to their respective circles
of hell. Absent is the smell, feel, texture of asphalt: here the streets and the buildings are, for the most part, real. Made of the stuff that they have always been made of. Made of concrete, stone, marble, dirt, materials that the sense of touch desires. This is no Michigan Avenue where the monstrosities that surround are of unimaginable glass and steel welded together into canyons of inhumanity that mock nature. Trees here aren’t belittled by their surroundings: they are, within the realms of their little wrought iron fences, an integral part of the city. Bird apartments. Parks, within the city, crop up unexpectedly and offer a refuge of vegetation and real earth underfoot. They are also gathering places for those seeking refuge within refuge: people peuple them—reading books, lovers sit on each other’s laps inspecting their reflection in each other’s eyes, the homeless sleep on their benches undisturbed, pigeons decorate them as if they are about to break into a game of pétanque. They aren’t the tools for guided amusement, swings, seesaws, as they are in the States. Here, their inhabitants know what to do in city parks: breathe, relax, sit, see, be. Do absolutely nothing. The apartment buildings that surround these green spaces, are, on a human scale, gigantic. Rows and rows of shutters, mostly closed, but in the months of summer, wide open. They reveal backdrops of horrendous wall-
The body heat within the bus fogs the windows, obscuring views of places that don’t want to be seen anyway. The silence on the bus is reverence for the hard, lonely work of travel.
the greatest city ever achieved. StreetS Appropriately called rues, they contain a certain sadness, the kind embodied in great works of art. The Mona Lisa’s plaintive smile, the gloom of Redon’s etchings color these traverses and alleys. The bizarrity of Atget’s project comes into light. Why a man would spend a lifetime photographing block after block of mere passage ways and buildings becomes clear only upon visitation of the scene. The beauty of the city’s arterial street system often escapes a black and white, matter of fact real time presentation. The immense layering of humanity is lost, unless stumbled upon, followed within. Around every corner, a new discovery is to be made. Kiosks stand like obelisks centering a place or pinpointing a corner. Covered in a skin of past and present events, they seem to be molting themselves of happenings: concerts, lectures, circuses, calls for auditions, ways in which to be assimilated deeper into the buildings and life that surrounds. More numerous than their sheets of glossy sheaves are the millions of staples sunk into their wooden planks, like eyeteeth multiplying. One cannot pass a kiosk without looking at it,
Philip Kobylarz | from Nearest Istanbul
paper, beautiful antique armoires or bureaus, lines of laundry hanging from tiny perches of porches, odd light fixtures retained due to function more than aesthetic. The oddest aspect: there are millions of these decorated caves, filled with strange and wonderful people who have not opted for life in the new American style suburbs that unfortunately exist, those who cling to the myth of the city and populate it with their belief in the grandiosity of it all. The rents, apparent to all from pastings in windows of real estate agents (as if they were a type of coveted pastry), are explosively high. Apartments with terraces, or at least, rooms of differing levels, are worth a child’s weight in silver. The views from them garner every penny spent. Seen from within the city, the city reveals its very brainwork, its interior, clockwork of its architecture, an exploded inside view. Inhabitants bear with the impossible task of parking, the crowded métros, grocery stores packed with hungry rummagers at a preordained shopping time, just to live the monuments of their lives in a monument to life:
or touching. They are the un-peopled sentries of the streets patiently waiting to ring out the news for those who have the time, or interest, to connect. They are polyglots, offering conversation in Vietnamese, English, Arabic, Russian, incorrect French. They repel with their banal vulgarity: the telephone sex number of a posing halfnude named Yaya or Mimi revealing a flank of thigh and two crescents of nipples. This is most naturally pasted next to a multi-color poster of a coming concert of Rimski-Korsakov. Two sides of the same coin in the city of any desire. Another trinket of the past that characterizes the interior—pissoires. Not the automated pay toilets that look like construction worker johns on the moon, but green painted metal mock Calders that stand as drones. Private pill boxes. What these are actually needed for can’t be simply explained. A man here hasn’t the slightest hesitation in pulling his vehicle over to the side of the road and pissing one step from his car door. Or, as a pedestrian, bee-lining to the nearest bush or semi-darkened doorway, to relieve himself in a stream of eternity. They must serve as relics of medieval days, when walkways served as sewers; or perhaps reminders of the war: singular Maginot lines, tiny bunkers unto themselves, where the army of quotidian life can enter a coat of armor, peer through the small windowholes, and release a singular cannon
with hardly even having to aim. In the months of summer, the pissoires add to the humid flavor of the streets, adding a different brand of stench to the air, which is characteristically unlike the bad water aftertaste of New York’s waterfront or the smell within the drained swamp skyscraper park on either side of the Chicago River. The structures are painted green— to suggest vegetation? To be inconspicuous? Whatever the motive, their existence in scent and color say it all. LandscapE Countryside. That which is outside of city, undulating planes of green, stands of trees, is, by suggestion, portrayed accurately in clouds of daybreak, sunset. In this city that dazzles the eye with its multi-fold inventions and re-inventions of architecture, the sky goes unnoticed. Rarely is there enough empty space to tempt a viewer to look up. A crook in the neck from walking too much in one day will do. Above, shape shifters: white, grey, backgrounds of pink, yellow, or the usual blue. What is particular about Paris is the ornamentation it provides for its already remarkable River Seine. Nowhere in America is there a river so brazenly decorated. Not even along its sister the Mississippi. No New Orleans, Memphis, or Minneapolis celebrates its arterial flow as the quays, the embankments, the islands of Paris do. The result of this appreciation
In Paris, to see the city from a boat is to become a platelet within the blood flow. In the U.S., there are riverboat cruises on historical paddle boats, but the focus of these trips is to internalize the pleasures of the river’s freedom by providing such distractions as “fine” dining and low stakes gambling. In Paris, to see the city from a boat is to become a platelet within the blood flow. The Ile de la Cité is a microcosm of the metaphor of Paris: encircled by placidity, a structure of greatness, of pomp, residing to mark the spot of a coming together and resting and realization that you are somewhere and the resulting beauty of it and of your realization. Celtic tribes. Romans. Their descendants. Invading barbarians. A mingling of a certain Gallic jumble of it all. The larger parks of the city are sculptured, mainly by the years and ensuing history, into gathering places somewhere in between civilization and the wild. There are hardly any momentous forms of nature, although some buttes do remain, and in the places of loping hills, kept and
unkempt gardens, lawns of sensuous grass, man’s attempt to comment upon, invade, or tame these oases is ever present. That the word butte, used in the American West to ordinate square erosional plugs of mountains, comes from the French word to describe a hill built to absorb target-shot bullets: butte de tir, but: goal. But in America we’ve already killed nature off enough so we rifle highway signs. Deconstruction of the final metaphor. Manifest Destiny. Here, hills have a Zen-like quality and style: Romanesque columns rise from a pond, Italianate bridges hop a stream, triumphal arches erode among husks of tree trunks years older than their manmade partners. Something like the contemplative quality of the monument park in Washington D.C. with its Japanese cherries and Greek revival architecture, a tranquil zone like this is usually overlooked as a non-walkable banality. But then that capitol was designed by a Frenchman. In eternal balance: humanity’s dual nature; one angelic, one wild; as represented in the plans these parks carve out of the earth, the rocks, the vegetal consciousness that is already there. And will be after we are long gone.
Philip Kobylarz | from Nearest Istanbul
of water as destination is found in the annoying bateaux-mouches that light up the night time flow, and encase buildings in spotlights, as if they are in the process of mining for tourist attractions.
Sewers of PariS Are underground; the glory underneath the glory. Filled with the bones of Egyptians, of captured mummies, of broken, stolen obelisks. They contain stashes of great art hidden by departing Nazis. Reenactments of Roman catacombs, with buried treasures, vases, statuettes, wall paintings done by nomadic Etruscans. Are the bowels of the city filtering the sporefilled waste of the world’s best food and wine, processed into bile, a rich pâté of fertilizer. Are built with the monoliths of druids. Concentrically circle the great town leading down to a Plutonic cesspool of regeneration. Provide get-aways for the Wanted, including the cave-like abode Jack the Ripper inhabited in his last, miserable, rat-like years of existence. Lead to secret bunkers where the armies of France, and her many Kings and Emperors concealed treasures earned in victory: golden samovars, a jadestudded crown of a caliph, the first horologe (made of silver and ivory), an original copy, in gold leaf and camel leather, of the Koran. DeparturE Rue Haute-des-Ursins. Impasse des Provençaux. Rue Beurrière. Rue Jacinthe. Place d’Enfer. Have all disappeared, physically, or by name. In this city, streets, through history, have acted as revolving doors. They have been built upon, or continued into
different places from the ones they had once been. Their existences have been recorded in photographs (see Atget and Marville) and literature: Henry Miller, Orwell, Baudelaire, to mention three drops in the bucket. More so than the monuments of Invalides or Notre-Dame, the Dome of Sacré Coeur, the myth of the Left Bank, the streets of Paris will tempt you to return. Even though you can still go to the cobbled streets of Monmartre and find an enclosed square of artists painting landscapes and portraits, artists who will take your seventy dollars (conveniently located on the square is a money changing office) and after they share some words with you in English, Italian, or German, will head into the local bar to make good on a tab, or begin another. Art eternally inspiring itself. Even though you can still amble through the city to the gate of Père Lachaise and get lost in the city within a city of tombs and hauntingly beautiful burial sites and, at the grave of Chopin or Apollinaire, find freshly cut flowers and people in silence, in awe, visiting, paying respects, this will serve as an experience enough to never be repeated. Even though you can play tourist and visit the horrendous Beaubourg, escalating up its tubular exoskeleton to find a joke of an eatery at the top with food priced as if there were a siege taking place below, yet beyond
Second citY As the landscape shifts from a northerly lay of fields and hills to a more dramatic, weathered, arid, mountainous south, so the people change. Life, in fields, farm houses, stretches of rivers and their wild quais of trees and stone escarpment, gains vividness. The sun is essential, a bright yellow, or whiteness, either way an invisible bleaching agent. Whereas the Rocky Mountains are formidable, wild, and barren of human meddling while stretching in vistas of forever-
ness, the Alps, not technically as expansive, are more condensed, like rows upon rows of shark teeth, rising to snow covered peaks and resplendent in carpets of vegetation. Snow storms in July and August are not as rare as some would wish. These peaks outline the border with Italy like a running tear in between heaven and ground. This rugged country, one senses, is the prototype for the ghost of the idea that continues to haunt the world: the dream of a West, myth America, land of cowboys, men and women somewhat at odds with, yet symbiotic in a wildly beautiful landscape forever evading the taming forces of civilization. In the American West, one suspects that the pioneersâ€™ journey across the region was of such a hardship that the cities settled, and left to prosper, or die out into ghost towns, are mostly in basins or meadow lands in between ranges. Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver. In France, the cities, more so, villages, are built into the sides of the mountains as an integral part of the land/ humanscape. In a city of the U.S. west, take even Alburquerque or Boise or Salt Lake City for example, you find yourself in civilization among, under, surrounded by mountains. In Montpellier,
Philip Kobylarzn | from Nearest Istanbul
it, a spectacular view of the city in mid-afternoon haze, with domes and spires silhouetting the beyond as an invitation to try and find, within the maze, their buried foundations, you will snap a few photos, stand spellbound at its entrance square, upon departure, to watch the few odd street musicians play their tunes, juggle bowling pins, or preach about the end of the world. And the invention of others. Always awaiting are the streets, the one true glory of the city, to take you back to your hotel, in style, with enchantment, flowing with ever-present water and the rags of the cantonnier in the gutters, alive with refuse, empty wine bottles, spit, the footfalls of millions of people like you who came here to find the secret of Paris, who unknowingly cross over it, step upon it, drive through it, for eternity, everyday. City of Lights. No, city of rues.
Marseille, or Annecy, you are within the nature that surrounds; in the case of the first, you’re on top of it. In the U.S., one can search for the lay of the land, the junction of the city to its environment, in southern France, you are constantly a part of its topography. Perhaps that is why Provence is known as that, a province. Once a branch of Roman colonization, it remains marked so not only by name. But what is it a province of ? It no longer belongs to Caesar. Its citizens range from wealthy Britons to Pied Noirs to fruit merchants from Tunisia and Morocco to generations of Provençaux. The people of this region are decidely not one thing: Parisian. This can be easily discovered by driving around the area in a rental car with Paris plates; locals tell you where and where not to park, police comment on the style of your driving, clearly a tension exists between the southerners and those of the capital city. Just as Paris is host to the world in the summer, the south of France is host to all of its other regions when it is vacation time. Those who know where to go, go south. Among the numerous amenities it has to offer are sunlight, sea, escape. Considering the south-east, it is a place unparalleled by nowhere in the U.S. Monterrey Bay and mid-to-lower California are similar. In landforms, aridity, but the californias are elongated in comparison and the flora
is of a less resplendent variety. The vegetation of the desert southwest crops up in Provence, as mountains and farm land of Appalachia are suggested. The most captivating aspect about this area of France is its diversity. One would have to drive hours, even days, to experience the different formations, plant life, no man’s lands, and outposts of humanity that this part of the country has within the area of the state of Maine. It is a province of those who have adopted it in their heart as a sacred place, to visit, take in, be a part of, however briefly, or however infinite. It is an infinitude of variety. Words offer it little compliment. The Neanderthals knew. The Ligurians knew. The Greeks knew. The Romans knew. The Provençal poets knew. The Saracens and the Moors knew. Unfortunately, the rich and famous knew, thereby spoiling the Côte d’Azur with money. The Impressionists knew. All of France knows. All of Europe knows. The world knows. I knew but I didn’t believe it, couldn’t believe it, until I arrived. MediterraneaN The Mediterranean is a liquid crystal desert. It represents, on good days, infinity at its calmest. Unlike the beaches of, say southern California, the intersection of sea and land here is not a huge sandy border, a margin that says: the beach. Instead, it invades the land, in bays, it laps at the
There are white stepping stone rock hills that sink into the below. There are grassy plains and plateaus that diminish abruptly in the snow of returning waves. There are rock and sand beaches that soon will be full of beautiful, tan, more than half nude sun worshippers, but are quite empty and spacious in the off-season months. An endless amount of wandering awaits those willing.
Philip Kobylarz | from Nearest Istanbul
earth at the delta of the Camargue, it beats a certain rhythm on the rocks above which the city resides. On windy days, it raises a surf, one-to-five foot swells hardly grand enough for the desperate surfers to make any use of, but still they try. Currently, wind surfing is the rage– brightly colored sails, like flags of yet-established countries crisscross the water’s surface in a sea parade. Sailboats are numerous, usually small versions of the larger, older types. Rarely are the mostly uninhabited islands visited, from a distance, they look desolate and inviting. Under the water, aquatic life teems. Sea slugs, schools of fish, anemones, starfish, eels, crabs, urchins, move about completely undisturbed in the cooler months of the year. In the spring and summer, these creatures bear with the disturbances and fondlings of curious humans, and wait out infrequent storms with the patience of sirens. Around Marseille, the hills seem to gradually rise from the basin of water, then quickly and steeply staircase. They form formidable cliffs and outcroppings in the surrounding wild areas, the calanques, south of the city, and serve as remote, weather eroded, in places lush, in others, barren, refuges from city life and virtual stockpiles of solitude. There are underwater caves with famous pre-historic paintings, one featuring “penguins” and hand prints.
The Graveyard’s in the Backyard, Where the Meadow Used to Be Jessica Lakritz Last night when I was young I saw a man looking at me. Sometime before the blue dark oceans rose our mouths hushed by water when we tried to speak. I saw weeds accumulating in the backyard and never thought to do anything. Last night before I helped that man with a flat tire I never thought to question. I only gave him a bunch of money and no, he didn’t have a gun. Lucky, I guess. Sometime, anytime, before blowing crack smoke onto a crack-head’s dick. When all the men in the world were looking at me. When I’d feign shyness and lower my eyes coyly. There’s another look too that came later. A locking gaze pouted lips and all. A lover, The Lover. Perhaps where passion became Passion. Shade, willow tree, a place to hide, hands grabbing all hot afternoon.
to imitate science, couldnâ€™t we? A peaceful dog asleep on my feet, his sigh rises and falls beneath his chest. We could learn how to build bridges that last forever ish
Jessica Lakritz | The Graveyardâ€™s in the Backyard
How the sun never let up, never moved, the way the sun never moves. We could learn
The Truck That Carries the Glass Paul Hostovsky The first time we kissed you turned away, saying: “Not on the mouth. Not yet. I’m sorry. There are things I haven’t told you…” I didn’t understand. But I understood enough to gather your hands in my hands, and to rest my cheek against yours, and to kiss your cheek, your temple, your eyebrow, and then only the side of your mouth, its corner. It was a sort of lateral kiss, like looking a little to one side of a thing to see it better, like with stars, or with poems, or like the truck that carries the glass on its side, because of the nature of its cargo.
Broken Glass Eleanor Leonne Bennett
Instructional James Dickson
Figure 1: Note the lifeguard’s approach to the drowning victim. While the preferred method of approach is from the rear of the victim, the lifeguard here has chosen to swim towards the victim head-on. Figure 2: Note the lifeguard’s surprise at how quickly he and the victim ended up on the bottom of the pool. Figure 2.1: Having ignored his training thus far, the lifeguard now begins searching the depths (pardon the pun) of his memory. Note the look of concentration blended with absolute terror on the face of the lifeguard. Also, note the shafts of sunlight filtering through the freshlychlorinated water and how the victim’s grasp, if above water, would look more like an embrace of two dear friends. Figure 3: In this situation, the guard exhales in an attempt to make his rather ursine frame smaller. He also tucks his body into a ball in the hopes that the victim will not want to follow him further down. It’s a risky move because: Figure 3.1: This “suck-tuck-and-duck” technique works quite well on the water’s surface. Exhaling is not recommended for individuals stranded on the bottom of the pool. Also, normal victim psychology is a moot point in this situation, as the lifeguard is currently employed at a camp for adults with mental handicaps. The victim (weight: approx. 200 lbs, above water) has an I.Q. of 100 or thereabouts. While intelligence typically flies out of the window in near-death situations, one cannot ignore the victim’s mental capacity as a reason for him ratcheting his grip on the guard as he exhales. Figure 4: Note the lifeguard regarding the bubbles dancing, almost drunkenly, towards the surface.
Figure 6: Note the expanse now existing between the victim and the lifeguard. Also, note how an aforementioned sun shaft illuminates the water between them like a campy movie special effect. Figure 7: After getting some air, the guard has now returned below the surface. Note the look of confusion on the victim’s face. You’ve done this, too: in a crowded room and you’re conversing with someone; you turn to get a drink from the bar, and when you return to the conversation, your companion has evaporated. So you hold your drink, maybe take a sip, and wonder what you said that was so ridiculous that would cause him/ her to pounce on the first chance at escape.
James Dickson | Instructional
Figure 5: Dead lifeguards can’t save anyone. The guard remembers his instructor, a plain-spoken but well-regarded expert in the water rescue field. If you think you’re going to die, elbow the sonofabitch in the ribs.
At any rate, note how the guard now approaches the victim from behind, wraps his arm in a cross-chest carry over the shoulder and across the rib cage, and pushes their way off of the bottom of the pool. Figure 8: The rest is almost too boring to narrate: the sidestroke to the pool deck, the sputtering of water from the victim’s lungs, the lifeguard’s co-workers roughly slapping him on the back. Nice one, Baywatch! or I bet that was the longest three seconds of your life! Note the lifeguard’s smile. Whether he’s posturing coolness or genuinely happy to be breathing is unclear.
Grand Union Heather Cousins The wind is making a station of my house again; trains come by blowing their whistles. Trees wave red handkerchiefs. My great-great grandfather was crushed in a turntable, 1872, working for the Brockville Railroad. The death certificate says: Instantaneous. The witness was a local saloon keeper. I put my head out an opened window. There are some things a person canâ€™t get out of the way of. Wind on track like God pursing his lips over an empty bottle. It has counted every hair on our heads.
Gravity Heather Cousins Gravity is not what I thought— not two bodies in black space, smaller sphere drawn to bigger. Not the child orbiting the mother. Gravity is two objects in bed together. The mattress bows down more under the weight of the bigger one, and toward it, the smaller one rolls. The universe is the place we sleep. “We’re distorting space-time,” I say, tumbling into your sag, and we make a bigger sag, together.
Bottled Light Lori Blake
Field Research Jillian Schedneck
We meet in Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Crème de la Crème; we meet in offices nested within gleaming towers, on the café-lined terraces of the Dubai International Financial Centre, in private clubs, empty food courts, inside palatial homes seated on regal, high-backed couches with crystal chandeliers above us and Filipina maids on hand. The young Emirati women and men I meet are always punctual, accommodating, well-groomed, often beautiful. Sometimes, a young Emirati woman greets me and her oudh perfume wafts around us as we kiss on both cheeks. A few order lattes, sparkling water, a piece of cake, most order nothing at all. Once, I bought a cappuccino for a young woman with liquid black eyes, but otherwise I am treated, thanked, appreciated, even though they are doing me a favour. I’m very hounored that you considered me, a proud Emirati national, for your Ph.D. research. I would love to help you. What they tell me is a contradiction, a complicated mess full of fascinating half-truths. Their stories, their answers to my questions about national identity, about creative expression, about what it’s like to be an Emirati woman, are at times vague, misunderstood, uncritical, even sorrowful, but more often joyous and piercingly true. How will I give these
meetings—these question-and-answer sessions—shape and meaning? How will this field research finally make any sense? For now, I’ll start with the long black cloak. The young Emirati women I meet wear black cloaks and headscarves, but that doesn’t begin to describe their variety. Their cloaks, called abayas, are patterned with black beaded flowers, with red sequin swirls, with lace cuffs, with ruffles and folds and luminescent shine. Some are cut sleek and slimming; others are loose and modest; some are open in the front, revealing jeans, a patterned dressed, sparkly top. The rest have their abayas fastened tight. Sometimes their sheylas, the black headscarves, rest on their shoulders, exposing pinned back brown hair, other times the sheyla hangs loose as they charmingly rearrange its folds, or it is fastened in place to show off a coiffed fringe. Other times, their faces are wrapped up securely, lovingly, features peeking out stark and unframed by hair. Their sheylas have subtle patterns of silver stars, purple blossoms, the country’s flag, on the corner that falls next to their cheeks. Few do not cover, not yet or never will. In their homes, they wear
else. Some tell me the abaya is their comfort zone; other talk about its inconvenience in the heat and while playing sports. Many say it is embarrassing to wear it at conferences with only Westerners, at restaurants with only Westerners, where they feel alienated in their own country. They hate when tourists watch them, stare accusingly. The foreigners say to them: Because you look like an open-minded person… so why do you wear that? They talk about Harrods and runways and the abaya as a fashion icon. They dream of global acceptance. Most of the women I meet tell me they feel sorry for the men, for they have been left behind. I have my own world and I have the power, Fatma tells me. Everything has been about men, and women finally deserve some attention. The young Emirati men are unmotivated, indifferent, lost, and the young Emirati women tell me they are dynamic, hard working, creative, ever-productive. The women are busy busy busy: full-time job, private consulting firm, start up company, social media initiative, charity fundraising, event organizing, tweeting, tweeting tweeting. They say most expatriates and tourists think Emirati women are lazy, spoiled, vapid, consumed by fashion, brands and status. Those people are wrong.
Jillian Schedneck | Field Research
dresses, jalabiyas, designer flip-flops, golden-coloured belts, sweatpants. Sometimes they hang their abayas on hooks by their front doors. It’s just a piece of cloth afterall!, The women tell me, exasperated at all the fuss. Most say the abaya and sheyla honours their ancestors, honours Islam, honours their country, honours their rulers and all that these men have done for the United Arab Emirates. Others talk about the abaya’s convenience, its practicality for their busy lives; they can wear their pajamas underneath and no one can tell. Some tell me they never worry about their hair or sunblock or if they look appropriate because the abaya always protects. A few say they wish it were worn only during holidays, for special occasions like weddings. They call it national dress, a symbol of national identity, the key feature of Emirati-ness, their dress code and their uniform. They call it a choice. Most of the women I meet tell me they choose the abaya above all other forms of dress. A few say that they don’t have a choice, and dream of what it would mean if they did. Those women imagine that they would be “eaten alive” if their fathers ever found out they left the house without their abayas and sheylas. Others tell me about disrespect, expectation, following convention. Jamilah doesn’t cover, but predicts she will one day. When she is ready, when she has decided, when she has ceased to be influenced by anyone
The young men wear plain white cloaks, called kandouras. They wear beige kandouras, navy blue kandouras, brown kandouras the colour of desert sand. They wear baseball caps, casual headdresses wrapped and fastened at the back of their heads, formal headdresses falling loose around their shoulders, or they wear nothing on their heads at all and show their short, cropped hair. Some say the kandoura feels like a uniform and they don’t like it; instead they love suits, collars, designer ties. Some of the young men I meet wear sweatpants and polo shirts, jeans and button downs, a black tee-shirt with a thin scarf tied around the neck. A few say those who do not wear the kandoura are not real Emirati men, do not care about this country, do not care about their ancestors. Many more tell me they switch back and forth between the kandoura and Western clothes, because their clothes do not matter. Some say, We can wear whatever we want. But the poor women have no choice…. Some of the young men tell me they want their future daughters to wear the abaya and sheyla. Others have seen their sisters forced to wear it; they would never do the same. Some say women have it rough: either they have to quit their jobs once they are married and have kids, or they are married to their career and never have a family of their own. Others say, The women are taking
Some speak as if they have been born answering questions about their lives and thoughts. Others apologise for their English, their stumbling answers, their repetition, their confusion, their need for explanations, their misunderstanding. over, soon we’ll need some support, some affirmative action, and they chuckle at the idea. They say women are more determined, talented, putting themselves out there, while the men play cards, hang out, watch movies, smoke sheesha, drive their sports cars aimlessly. Others say the women are sheltered, vain, superficial. A few young men admit that the women are getting all the attention and no one notices their achievements, their changes, their struggles. After an hour of talking, the young Emirati men and women I meet say they’ve been happy to help, and is there anything else I’d like to know? I want to ask: Have I gotten it right? Will I write a groundbreaking, valuable, passable thesis? Instead I ask: Is there anyone else you think I should meet? In the malls, I wait for hours in between meeting, roaming, wondering why there are so many clothes and jewelry and luggage and lingerie and shoes for sale but so little of
stumbling answers, their repetition, their confusion, their need for explanations, their misunderstanding. Several speak with perfect English and they are so proud. They love it when foreigners are surprised at their fluency, their American inflected accents. Some say they fall between two languagesâ€”never having learned proper Arabic, never fitting in as a native English speaker either. They went to local government schools, Indian schools, British schools, American schools, International schools, schools in Australia, America, universities for all women, for all men, for co-education alongside eighty other nationalities. If they had to do it all again, some would have studied abroad, fought to study abroad, moved an hour away to Sharjah, or stayed closer to their friends. Some want to go back to school, get a masters in Psychology, in Film Studies, in Art History, but they donâ€™t offer those degrees here, not yet, not in this new country built upon Engineering, IT, Business. They must go abroad, or they must wait. They have day jobs in marketing, government research, journalism, event management, business consulting, IT. Most are artists, often creating at night, in their spare time. Those who are students learn the techniques of
Jillian Schedneck | Field Research
the things we need, I need. I need to make sense of these interviews, these contradictions, this beautiful, well-meaning, frustrating, absolutely hospitable group of young people. The young men and women drive to meet me; some of the women have drivers who bring them to our meeting place, who ask how long it will take and when they should be picked up. I ride the Metro, or take a taxi, or both, because many want to meet on the outskirts of the city, where more locals live and shop, and I do not complain. Some travel many kilometers to meet me, from Abu Dhabi, from Al Ain, from Rashidiya and Mirdiff. They meet me in malls they usually avoid because those malls are too crowded with expatriates, with tourists, with women wearing revealing clothes, with noise, immodesty, and people who just want to be seen. But they are, as ever, hospitable, obliging. Or their drivers pick me up, take me to their large, gated properties with stained glass windows depicting falcons, flowers, the desert, and then I am dropped off again at the nearest mall. I thank these young men and women for meeting me, trusting me, having faith that I will represent them positively, accurately, compassionately. Iâ€™m a proud Emirati national, and if I have something to say, I think people should know it. Some speak as if they have been born answering questions about their lives and thoughts. Others apologise for their English, their
visual art, printmaking, animation, photography, filmmaking, interior design. They create oil on canvas, mixed media, pastel, digital art, photographs of the desert, Dubai skyscrapers, goats crossing a dirt road. They make films about the “old days” in poor villages before the oil, films about loss, about materialism, about the punishment for immodesty. They produce documentaries on their dialect, their abayas, their kandouras, their rare blood disease called thalassemia. They are inspired by the history of their country, the stories of their grandmothers, the unfolding Arab Uprisings, their British professors, the poems of Sheikh Mohamed, the paintings of van Gogh, Latrec, Warhol. They exhibit their work in local galleries in Al Quoz, Emaar Boulevard, on Jumeriah Beach Road, Saadiyat Island; they show their films at festivals under the category “Emirati Voices;” they exhibit their photography under the title of “Emirati Expressions.” Their work is relegated to “local” art, “local” competitions, “local” categories. Mostly, they do not mind. They go abroad to Switzerland, the Ukraine, Spain, to show their work, to exchange with other artists, to create more. They, we, are all uplifted by their art, their expressions, buoyed with the knowledge that they have something to say, that they are not inert or backward. They are patted on the head, admired. I can’t believe we have come so far in only a few decades. Some
are embarrassed: Emirati art is derivative, unchallenging, literal. In their different ways, they tell the world about Emirati-ness, its changing definitions.
They are called Nasreen, Hiba, Muneera, Rasha, Jamilah, Malak, Salem, Rashid, Tariq, Samir. Their names mean flower, adore, brilliant, gazelle, beautiful, angel, peaceful, victorious, integrity, morning star, friend. And many more. Some say the expatriates, the tourists, the foreigners, the visitors, the guest workers, the outsiders, do not understand them, hold misconceptions that are unfair, untrue, unrelenting. Just come up and talk to us and you’ll see! We don’t bite! They say these outsiders don’t respect Islam, Emirati culture; they don’t follow the dress code posted in the malls: cover your shoulders and knees. And are we really asking so much? Others say the world is coming to them; everyday they meet, they learn from, they appreciate, Lebanese, Filipinas, Americans, Australians, Egyptians, Indians, British. Some tell me Emiratis are just like everyone else, they should not be treated with privilege, with fear, with prejudice, with critical judgment, as a powerful novelty; others say they must be respected, understood, appreciated, admired. They must work extra hard to prove their worth. Some say they are given
and themselves. But they don’t tell me these things. They don’t tell me their secrets, their desires, their limitations. I know they don’t tell me everything, and what they do say is translated, fragmented, side-stepped. I want more but do not know how to ask. I miss opportunities. I want them to say something else, at times, to be consistent, to be provocative, to be consistently provocative. They are called Nasreen, Hiba, Muneera, Rasha, Jamilah, Malak, Salem, Rashid, Tariq, Samir. Their names mean flower, adore, brilliant, gazelle, beautiful, angel, peaceful, victorious, integrity, morning star, friend. And many more. I could have spoken to more. Should I have spoken to more? Their lives are rooted in Dubai, committed to family, the government, serving the nation, contributing. They continue creating, producing, storytelling, and I return home to write about what they said, my experience, my interpretation of our experience. Why did I bother those lovely young people? What did they think of me? How will I contribute? How can I write about these contradictions, these confusions, this great jumbled wonderful mess? Most of all: How do I hold onto this world, their world, and the world? All I know is this: after every meeting, I felt better about
Jillian Schedneck | Field Research
too much privilege, opportunities, and it is undeserved. These expats, these foreigners, make young Emiratis think about their own identity in relation to others; they think about the losses and gains from sharing their land, their city, their gratitude and regret. They say their identity, their nation, is everything. Some say their national identity IS their dress. Others say their national identity IS NOT their dress, even though everyone thinks it is. A few tell me that everyone is trying to be so patriotic it’s sickening. They say they owe everything to their nation, to their leaders, to their ancestors. Some say Emiratis are so behind, so backward, and the rest say they have moved so fast, progressed so rapidly, they are just catching their breaths. Some say they are stifled; others tell me they can do whatever they want: it is all their choice. They tell me their traditions are dying out, being lost, forgotten; their traditions are being invigorated, updated, revived by their youthful, modern selves. I see them moving backward and forward in time, chasing after and devising new ways to be an Emirati. Some are virgins. Some, surely, are not. Some have felt the bearded skin of a lover’s face, unwrapped a silky headscarf to reveal unimagined curls. Some must have drank, smoked, committed small crimes. Some hold regrets, shame, suffered misfortunes at the hands of others
the world. Reading over transcripts of our meetings, the disarray of my notes, I imagine a future where people acknowledge and celebrate difference, but are also kind and accepting. I see a place where people speak and listen to othersâ€™ stories in equal measure, where women and men share the same dream of recognising their unique heritage and being part of the modern, global world. Long after this field research, after the reality and strangeness of dissertation writing has resulted in a final product, I still feel connected to a global future that is ours, not theirs or mine.
Cagnes Sur Mer Laura Hinton
The Status Quo Is the Enemy: An Interview With David Gerrold with Joseph Berenato & Katlyn Slough
Science fiction writer David Gerrold created the fictional philosopher Solomon Short in the hostile world of the series The War Against the Chtorr, which, according to Gerrold, is “an extremely hostile universe. Nothing gets resolved. So it takes a lot more courage and commitment to be heroic.” But Solomon did survive and became a great man and philosopher, an inspiration to others and iconic both in his series and outside of it with sayings like, “You can lead a horse’s ass to water, but he’s still a horse’s ass.” Gerrold, in a career that spans close to fifty years, has achieved great success in our hostile world: as an outspoken member of the LGBT community, he inspires other writers to fight for what they believe in. No matter the backlash, Gerrold stops at nothing to express his opinions, taking others to task both directly and indirectly through the adventures of famous characters. His writing alone often challenges the majority opinion, raising questions both from larger issues about gay rights, respect for others, and equality for everyone, and from small battles like overcoming poor selfimage and what it means to create a family. He is the Solomon Short of real life—someone to help us through whatever oppositions stand in the way because he knows he can. That isn’t mere hyperbole, either. Gerrold’s work has had a very real impact on individual readers, sometimes with incredible and inspiring results. “I will share this with you,” Gerrold said to us, “from time to time, I get a letter from someone thanking me because something I wrote helped them consider the option of adoption—or even more profound that one of my books (The Man Who Folded Himself) kept them from committing suicide when they realized they were gay. I think that’s probably the highest praise I could ever ask for.” Glassworks approached David Gerrold regarding his role in the LGBT community and how he contributes to that role through his writing. He graciously responded with equally incredible and inspiring answers.
and creating a family. It shows how both my heart and my mind work.
GM: The Martian Child was originally released as a novella and the sexual identity of the main character wasn’t disclosed. However, when you expanded the story into book form, the character, like his real-life counDavid Gerrold (DG): Yes and no. terpart, is gay. Why did you leave Yes, an author’s work reveals what his orientation out of the nohe’s thinking about. And the subtext vella? of the work reveals what he’s thinking about it. If you read enough DG: When I was writing the books by a single author, you start to novella, I never thought that my get an idea how his/her mind works. sexual identity was part of the But those books are only what the story. The story was about a faauthor chooses to write, chooses ther falling in love with his son. to reveal. There are a lot of things His being gay was irrelevant to I don’t write or haven’t yet written that. or won’t write. Some things would When Tor Books wanted it exbe misunderstood, some things are panded into a novel, the editor nobody else’s business, and some felt that I should include more things can’t be written about at all, detail about the [adoption] probecause they don’t translate well into cess and discuss the issue of a words. gay man adopting. The problem with that request was that there GM: That’s not often a sentiment wasn’t that much to say. Being you hear a prolific writer expressing. gay doesn’t disqualify you from Assuming that you chose to translate adoption in California. your sentiments into words, which of your books should one read to GM: Yet, you obviously found really know you? something to say on the topic.
An Interview With David Gerrold
Glassworks Magazine (GM): Anyone can run a Google search on your name and get a superficial impression of David Gerrold: single father; liberal; gay; science-fiction writer. With many writers, though, to truly know them, one must read their work, where authors often share their innermost thoughts. Do you think this holds true for your work?
DG: My most revealing book is The DG: I did acknowledge beMartian Child. It’s intentionally auto- ing gay in the book, but I didn’t biographical. It’s about what the ex- give it much attention, because I perience of adopting my son [Sean] thought Sean was the more im-
portant story. I did report a couple of the conversations we’d had about my being gay, he accepted it and that was pretty much it. From my point of view, it was one of the least important parts of the adoption process. It was almost irrelevant to our relationship. GM: But your editor felt it was necessary to include in the expanded novel? DG: At the time, the anti-marriage forces were arguing that gay people could not be good parents and shouldn’t be allowed to adopt. They were making children the issue. Sean had been with me for a few years by then, and my reaction was, “You have it half-right. Yes, children are the issue. There are a lot of kids in the system who aren’t being adopted because there’s a critical shortage of qualified adoptive parents. Gay parents give those kids a chance at a real family.” But I didn’t want to write a polemic. I wanted to stay true to the theme of the original story, that my son and I were a family and just have that story stand as a simple refutation. Other gay adoptive parents have written more about their experiences because that’s where their attention was and I applaud them for it. That wasn’t the case here. I was more concerned with the needs of my son than making a political or social point. My son was my focus. The book was an afterthought.
GM: Is there anything else you have to reveal about parenting in relation to the needs of your son Sean? DG: I think that the three lessons I learned from the entire process are so simple that we don’t realize how important they are. The first is: Always take care of your own well-being. Kids look to their parents as the source of all well-being in the universe. If you don’t take care of your own wellbeing you have nothing to give to anyone else. The second is: Never never never never never give up. The third is: Never never never never never lose your sense of humor. GM: You’re right. We often forget how important they are. These lessons obviously resonated with audiences; the book became popular enough to win several awards and be adapted by Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins into the motion picture Martian Child. For this adaptation, though, the main character was changed from a gay single father to a straight widower. DG: I don’t know whose decision it was to straight-wash the character. […]I wasn’t consulted about the changes. I did write some memos. I did make the novel available to them, but according to their public statements, they based their script entire-
GM: How do you think the orientation change affected the story and its impact on your audience? DG: I thought it weakened the picture. But that wasn’t the only part of the script that I felt was weak. In the novella and the novel, the hero does his research, he comes to the adoption well-prepared for the challenges. In the script, the hero seems totally inept at parenting—even worse, he makes some very un-adult decisions in how to deal with the boy. In the movie, Dennis is portrayed as weird. In real life, Sean wasn’t weird. He was thoughtful, big-hearted, curious, and trusting. Yes, he had issues—and they were dramatic issues. Based on the evidence of the script, the screenwriters didn’t trust the source material and felt they had to add all kinds of weird stuff like sunglasses and weight belts and umbrellas. In my opinion, they missed the point — the story is about building a family and how father and son both discover their own humanity in the process. [...]A key sequence in the novel is the “Pickled Mongoose” incident— where Sean learned how to tell jokes. That’s the moment that shows the first connection between father and son, the first time that the Martian
child is learning how to be human. I think it’s the most important part of the story, because it’s the turning point in the relationship. That’s the sequence I want to see on the screen. A lot of people were charmed by the movie and I’m glad they enjoyed it. My complaint is that I think instead of being a good movie, it could have been a great movie.
An Interview With David Gerrold
ly on the novella and never read the novel. It’s a weird assertion because so many plot points in the movie parallel plot points in the novel.
GM: Given the change in opinion regarding same-sex couples in recent years, do you think the protagonist in Martian Child would have remained a gay single father if the film were in production now? DG: I’m certain that if we had the opportunity to remake the movie now, it would be a lot closer to the novel and the hero would definitely be gay. I’d love the chance to do it right. GM: During your time with the Star Trek franchise, the idea of same-sex marriages must have seemed like it was far into the future. Same-sex marriages are now legal in sixteen states and the District of Columbia, and the federal government officially recognizes such marriages. Did you think you would see such progress in your lifetime?
DG: Back in the 70s, I had assumed that same-sex marriage would become legal sometime in the 90s. I was right and wrong. The first effort to legalize same-sex marriage began in the 90s. What I was wrong about was that I did not realize the anti-gay backlash that would invest so much time and money in delaying what I believed was inevitable. [...]I think there was a lot of resistance to the legalization of samesex marriage, even after Massachusetts proved it wasn’t the end of the world. A lot of people were having trouble getting comfortable with the idea. But I think the tipping point happened in large part because of the passage of Proposition 8 in CA. That was a deliberate attempt to take away the right to marry. That created outrage. But more than that, it changed the conversation. Prior to that, the conversation was “the sanctity of marriage,” but after the passage of Prop 8, the perception shifted to marriage as a civil right. By the time Prop 8 got to the Supreme Court, the momentum for marriage equality was unstoppable. The 2012 elections legalized it in three states. The Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 served as a signal that there was no basis in law for the denial of marriage equality. So I expect to see marriage equality nationwide within five years, maybe less.
relative speed, when compared with other long-term movements like women’s suffrage or the civil rights movement, with which same-sex marriage has garnered public support?
DG: I think one of the factors, possibly the greatest factor, was simply that gay men and lesbians stopped being invisible. [...]The gay civil rights movement started in June of 1969 with the Stonewall rebellion in New York City. That’s only 44 years ago. No other civil rights movement has come so far so fast. [...]As I experienced it, the first decade after Stonewall was LGBT people trying to figure out what it meant to be gay. For so many decades, the definition of homosexuality had been controlled by others. Heterosexual doctors said it was an illness, heterosexual legislators said it was a crime, heterosexual psychiatrists said it was a mental disorder, heterosexual(?) [author’s question mark] priests said it was a sin. There was a common factor in all those judgments. After Stonewall, gay men and lesbians chose to own that conversation: “We don’t recognize ourselves or our experiences in what you’re saying.” That’s when we started to see some genuinely useful research into the biological, hormonal, gestational, cultural causes of homosexuality. GM: How do you account for the That’s when gay men and women
ing the homophobia of Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card. How do you plan to continue fighting homophobia and intolerance?
GM: Is there anyone, in your opinion, who stands out as a leader dur- DG: I’m going to continue ing that movement? what I’ve been doing. Writing what I can, speaking out where DG: Harvey Milk was a singularly I have to. important voice. He said, “Come […]But the issue isn’t hoout. Come out to your parents, mophobia. It’s disrespect. Huyour siblings, your friends, your col- man beings can be self-righleagues, your co-workers, your neigh- teous, judgmental, miserably bors. Once they know you, once prejudiced, malicious little monthey know a gay person, it’s harder sters, an insult to the 98% of our to hate gay people.” There was a lot DNA that we share with chimof courage in that statement—and panzees. The best part about huit took even more courage for gay man beings is that we have the men and lesbians to come out when ability to rise above that level. there was so little agreement, when The most shameful part is that the cultural conversation was one of so many of us don’t. ridicule and enmity. So it’s not about LGBT issues. But every gay person who ever It’s about African-Americans, came out made it easier for the next Native-Americans, Asians, old one. And every time a famous per- people, fat people, disabled peoson came out, that helped shift the ple, homosexual people, transconversation a little further too. gender people, developmentally Rock Hudson was a hero for that. challenged people, mentally ill He made it safe for people to talk people — all the different catabout it. And the more that people egories that we assign, all the talked about it, the less fear and the different labels that we apply, less enmity there was. thinking that the label is also an explanation. GM: Your work has certainly Based on the evidence of helped shift the conversation. You’ve the things that people tell me in also been quite outspoken regarding their emails and public posts on intolerant writers and politicians. A Facebook, I have to assume that notable example of this is your Face- some people are getting it. book post from July 9, 2013 regardA few weeks ago, I posted
An Interview With David Gerrold
stopped accepting the idea that they should be ashamed. That’s why the celebrations are called Pride celebrations.
about how the LGB part of the LGBT community hasn’t stood up for the T part, the transgender men and women, as well as it should be doing. A few weeks before that, I ranted about how people post anonymous pictures of fat or ill-dressed people with the intention of mocking them. The whole “people of Walmart” thing. Why are we sitting in judgment of others? Why are we fat-shaming people? Why aren’t we looking at those pictures with sympathy for people who are different? [...] Okay, yeah—I have to wonder about someone who becomes morbidly obese, or who goes to Walmart dressed in bizarre clothing—but if I don’t like being judged, then why should I assume it’s all right to judge others? If we’re not going to learn respect for diversity within our own species, we’re sure as hell not going to learn it when we go out to the stars. GM: Venturing to the stars has been a recurring theme throughout your career, including your work on the Star Trek: New Voyages/ Phase II web series, which has had a profound impact on audiences. When you adapted and directed the two-part “Blood and Fire” (from a script originally intended for Star Trek: The Next Generation twenty years prior), you made a background same-sex couple into a central focus of the story. Why did you feel that this change was an important one?
DG: Most of the credit for that goes to [New Voyages creator and then-lead actor] James Cawley, who felt that the story would be stronger if one of the gay characters was Captain Kirk’s nephew, Peter Kirk. As we developed the script, we realized that we had to expand the subplot to make Peter Kirk’s relationship with [fellow crewmember] Alex a much stronger storyline. It couldn’t be incidental. Originally, we were just going to have the two of them kiss, just to show they were lovers— then I had the idea that Peter should be frustrated about not being put on the mission team, and from there it seemed obvious that he should propose to Alex and then ask Captain Kirk to perform the wedding. That way we could demonstrate the seriousness of their love as well as Peter’s commitment to being a responsible crew member. The scene where Peter confronts Kirk played beautifully. He says that if he’s not treated like any other crew member, he’ll have to ask for a transfer—and so will his husband. That is, if Kirk will perform the wedding. Bobby Quinn Rice [as Peter Kirk] is a wonderful actor and James Cawley owned the moment with a perfect reaction of startlement and bemusement. It became apparent to all of us that the story wasn’t just about Peter’s relationship with Alex, it was also about his strained relationship with Kirk. Once we recognized
An Interview With David Gerrold
those relationships, the rest of the of the AIDS crisis in the 80s. story crystallized perfectly. He’s the guy who said, “Silence equals death.” He was right. GM: Were you pleased with the More than right. That is possibly end result? the single most important assertion about any civil rights issue. DG: That made for one of the most Silence allows people to ignore intense Star Trek stories I ever had you. Silence allows people to be the privilege of writing. I loved the comfortable and undisturbed. way it turned out. The cast and crew Silence is an accomplice of the did an extraordinary job bringing it status quo. The status quo is the to life. Whenever we’ve screened it enemy. at a convention, audiences have given us standing ovations. GM: Interesting that you should say that. In early October, GM: That’s got to be a great feeling. you posted on your Facebook Part of the reason for such a warm page that you believe... “authors reception, I’m sure, is that it encap- —especially authors—should be sulates the best ideals of science outspoken. Great writing is subfiction: using futuristic situations to versive. Great authors challenge challenge readers’ preconceptions. the status quo.” With that in mind, how do you feel that your DG: The job of the writer is to writing has challenged—or chalwake people up, to disturb them, lenges—the status quo? to change the way they see the universe. The very best writers in the DG: I think history will judge world have changed the world. In that better than anything I can science fiction, we have authors like say. Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, LeGuin, […]I’d like to believe that Phil Dick, Joanna Russ, and so many The Man Who Folded Himself more, who’ve had impact that’s helped make things a little safer world-changing. I can’t begin to list for LGBT people. I’d like to beall the examples. lieve that The War Against The Chtorr has helped make people GM: Can you give us just one? a little more conscious of ecology. DG: One of my heroes is a guy [...] For me, the issue is that named Larry Kramer. Never met we learn to respect and cherish him, but I admire him ferociously the spark of humanity that lives for his activism during the worst days inside each of us. It’s not an easy
job—because I think too many of us have given up and resigned ourselves to playing smaller than we really are. As a writer, I think my job is to move, touch, and inspire. But if nothing else, if all I’m ever remembered for is “The Trouble With Tribbles,” then I know that I’ve made millions of people laugh out loud. That’s pretty good too.
Poetry Gretchen Deandre Blynt resides in the Catskill Mountains where she teaches high school English. She has published educational editorials in the Elmira Star-Gazette, the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, and The Ithaca Journal. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Prick of the Spindle, Four and Twenty, and Canary. Heather Matesich Cousins holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Georgia. Her first book, Something in the Potato Room, won the 2009 Kore Press First Book Award. Her chapbook Freeze recently won the 2013 Codhill Press Chapbook Competition. She lives in Monroe, Georgia. James Dickson teaches English and Creative Writing at Germantown High School, just outside of Jackson, MS. An MFA graduate from the Bennington Writing Seminars, he lives with his wife, Greer, and their son. Some of his poems appear or are forthcoming in Stirrings, English Journal, Burnt Bridge, Bosphorus Art Project Quarterly, Ruminate, Hospital Drive, and others. Paul Hostovsky is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Hurt Into Beauty (FutureCycle Press, 2012). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. He works in Boston as a sign language interpreter. Visit him at www.paulhostovsky.com
Jessica Lakritz has an MFA in poetry from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers. She has a black dog and a serving job in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been published in a few places, most notably Third Coast, Northwind, Grist, and Cream City Review. Jory Mickelson’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Weave Magazine, Fjords Review, The Collagist, The Los Angeles Review, The Adirondack Review and other journals. He received an Academy of American Poet’s Prize in 2011 and is a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry. He lives in Northwest Washington. “Night Shifts” first appeared in The Cossack Review. Bill Neumire’s first collection, Estrus, was released last spring. His work has recently appeared in American Poetry Journal, Laurel Review, and Istanbul Review. He also serves as an assistant editor for Verdad. He teaches in Syracuse, New York where he lives with his wife and two daughters. Tori Grant Welhouse lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where she works in media. Her poems have appeared in anderbo.com, The Greensboro Review, Literary Mama, Melusine, Verse Wisconsin, and Broad! She has a chapbook, CANNED, forthcoming with Finishing Line Press. She blogs occasionally at torigrantwelhouse.wordpress. com.
Proud aunt Mary Beth Hunter is the author of Drink to the Lasses, published by Coldtree Press. She runs BlondeChampagne.com and teaches writing. Currently she’s at work on her second book, a set of essays inspired by a season embedded with Ohio State’s marching band. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter as @blondechampagne.
Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16-year-old internationally awardwinning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News Website and on Philip Kobylarz lives in the East Bay the cover of books and magazines in of San Francisco. Recent work of his the United states and Canada. Her art appears or will appear in Tampa Re- is globally exhibited. view, Apt, Santa Fe Literary Review, New Lori Blake is a teacher, poet, and American Writing, Prairie Schooner, Poetry hobby photographer from Raleigh Salzburg Review and has appeared in NC. She enjoys finding the beauty in Best American Poetry. His book, rues, has objects that others consider worthrecently been published by Blue Light less or ugly. You may see more of her Press of San Francisco. work at http://bluemangoimages. Jillian Schedneck’s travel memoir, deviantart.com/gallery/ or www.faceAbu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights, has book.com/bluemangoimages. been published in 2012 by Pan Mac- Roger Camp’s photographs have millan. Other nonfiction essays have been published in over 100 magazines appeared in literary journals in the US including American Photo, The New Engand Australia, such as Brevity, Redivid- land Review, and The New York Quaterly. er, The Common Review, Wet Ink, LinQ He is the author of three books, including the award-winning Butterflies and Verity La. in Flight, Thames & Hudson, 2002. iction He has taught photography at the Stephanie Lynn Devine is an Assis- Columbus College of Art & Design, tant Editor for New South and a doc- University of Iowa and the Cite Intertoral student at Georgia State Univer- nationale Universitaire de Paris. He is sity. Her fiction has appeared in Fiction represented by the Robin Rice Gallery, Southeast and Treehouse Magazine. NYC. More examples of his work may be found at rcampphoto.com
Amber Carpenter is a writer, poet, and amateur photographer. She completed her Master of Arts in English from East Carolina University with a concentration in nonfiction and poetry. She prefers macro photography and continues to learn more about being behind the lens. Winston-Salem, North Carolina is where she currently resides and works as an adjunct Developmental English & Reading instructor at a local community college. Christian Ethridge, born in Evansville Indiana sometime in the 70s, would spend most of his early years shuffling back and forth from there and Arizona. In early two-thousand he would return to Indiana semi-permanently to pursue his higher education in art, graduating with his Bachelor of Science (studio art) from the University of Southern Indiana in 2009 and his Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis on painting from Indiana State University in 2013. Laura Hinton is the author of a poetry book, Sisyphus My Love (To Record a Dream in a Bathtub), published by BlazeVox Books, and a critical book, The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911 (SUNY Press). She is also the coeditor of the essay collection (with Cynthia Hogue), We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics (University of Alabama Press). Hinton’s critical essays, poet interviews, and reviews have appeared in
numerous books and journals including Contemporary Literature, Postmodern Culture, Textual Practice, Women’s Studies, Rain Taxi, Jacket, Poetry Project Newsletter, The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, among others. Individual prose and hybrid poems, as well as photography and poetry videos, have been published in journals including Yew, Madhatter Review, Esque, Feminist Studies, Bird Dog, Sonaweb, How2, Poets for Living Waters, Nth Position, Poetic Voices without Borders, Poetry in Performance, and others. Hinton lives in New York City, where she edits a chapbook series of performance poetry for Mermaid Tenement Press, publishes a blog about multi-media poetry, Chant de la Sirene (www.chantdelasirene.com). She teaches poetry, critical theory, feminist theory and women’s literature as a Professor of English at the City College of New York (CUNY).
contributors Poetry Gretchen Blynt Heather Cousins James Dickson Tori Grant Welhouse Paul Hostovsky Jessica Lakritz Jory Mickelson Bill Neumire Nonfiction Mary Beth Hunter Philip Kobylarz Jillian Schedneck Joseph Berenato Katlyn Slough Fiction Stephanie Devine Art Eleanor Leonne Bennett Lori Blake Roger Camp Amber Carpenter Christian Ethridge Laura Hinton
Issue 7: Special Beauty and Utility themed issue. A magazine of literature and art.