REVIEW VOLUME FORTY | FALL 2010
Mike Kleine Mario MacĂas
ARTS SELECTION COMMITTEE Lorraine Blatt Jon Garrey Abraham Kohrman Kaitlin Loftur-Thun Claire Lowe Shanna Nichols
Jennelle Nystrom Daniel Waite Penny Rocio Safe Matthew Mertes Leah Russell Paul Tavarez
WRITING SELECTION COMMITTEE James Anthofer Tyler Banas Lilith Ben-Or Christian Caminiti Eileen Daly Jakob Gowell Tyrone Greenfield Abraham Kohrman Kaitlin Loftur-Thun Claire Lowe
Clare Mao Emily Mester Kelly Marie Musselman Shanna Nichols Daniel Waite Penny Rocio Safe Sarah Shaughnessy Jessica Rippel Paloma Velazquez Paul Tavarez
Copyright © 2010 by the Student Publications and Radio Committee (SPARC) of Grinnell College. The Grinnell Review is the college’s biannual undergraduate literary and fine arts journal. Acknowledgements: The work and ideas published in The Grinnell Review belong to the individuals to whom such works and ideas are attributed and do not necessarily represent or express the opinions of SPARC or any other individuals associated with the publication of this journal. © 2010 Poetry, prose, artwork and design rights return to the artists upon publication. No part of this publication may be duplicated without the permission of SPARC, individual artists or the editors. The Grinnell Review is printed and bound by Acme Printing in Des Moines, IA. It was designed using Adobe InDesign® CS5. The typeface for the body text is 12 pt. Minion Pro and the typeface for the titles is 48 pt. Minion Pro. Cover art: “Shadow Series #4” an original artwork by Lauren Teixeira. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable during the Fall and Spring semesters but are limited to three per category (literature and art). All editorial and business correspondence should be addressed to: Grinnell College c/o Grinnell Review Grinnell, IA 50112 Letters to the editor are also welcome. Please send them to the address above or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter From the Editors Mike Kleine & Mario MacĂas
No Looking Bacchus (For Isaac) Daniel Waite Penny
High Definition James Anthofer
The Passion of Bear Grylls Daniel Waite Penny
Midwest Weather James Anthofer
Untitled Quinn Underriner
Olympia, Pt. ii James Anthofer
Lessons in Anatomy Clare Boerigter
Bike Megan Rupe
Romance Regifted Kelly Marie Musselman
Driving Force Kelly Marie Musselman
To Explain Her Status Kelly Marie Musselman
deep bro i Nic Wilson
Untitled Lily Jamaludin
Untitled Liting Cong
Untitled Noah Delong
15 Any Given Weekend in Guatemala Tyler Banas 18
The Advice of Mr. Melpomene Benjamin Gregory Flebbe
19 applepicking Clare Mao 20
Coming Attraction Clare Mao
What Byron Did At the End of the World Emily Mester
Twiddling My Opposable Thumbs, or A Convoluted Answer to the Teacherâ€™s Question of Why I Laughed When She Said Homo Erectus Emily Mester
Biped Love Song Emily Mester
A Man With a Plan Jon Garrey
Poem in Five Acts Daniel Waite Penny
Untitled Greg Suryn
Drawing Danica Radoshevich
Girl and Tree Abraham Kohrman
Untitled Marlu Carolina Abarca
pH Greg Suryn
Coney Island Fireworks Dodge Greenley
Hose Sara Kay
Tea Cats Liting Cong
Mykonos Maze Jon Garrey
Untitled Davis Hermann
Sunset Across the Innoko River, Western Interior Alaska Ben Schwamb
North Bubble, Acadia National Park, Maine Ben Schwamb
PEC Dodge Greenley
Namib Noah DeLong
Electro Scene Davis Hermann
Ethan Boat Club Daniel Waite Penny
Wet Jon Garrey
Puke Daniel Waite Penny
Shadow Series #1 Lauren Teixeira
Untitled Lorraine Blatt
Empty, Vibrant Tyler Banas
Progression of Instability Lily Jamaludin
The Culvert Dodge Greenley
Untitled Alex Reich
Nickâ€™s Diner Self Portrait Lauren Teixeira
Untitled Colin McCallum-Cook
Strange Fruit Mike Kleine
Ode to Arbus Daniel Waite Penny
Ink Bubs Davis Hermann
Man Ray, Paris, May 1924
Letter from the Editors
elcome to the fortieth issue of The Grinnell Review. In ten years, the Review will be 50 and that makes it anxious. Jesus died when he was 33, and now, the Review is 40. Maybe the Review will get a motorcycle, for a change—it has always wanted a motorcycle. The Review remembers when it was young, when it dreamed of being a baseball player and, look, here it is now. How did this happen? Has it done anything yet, anything meaningful? We think so. You’ve come a long way, baby. Last spring, the Review was released as an anthology. This year, it is not. But that was great: the shape was oblong, the paper recycled, cake was eaten, a roman X was omitted, and so what would have been thirty is now sadly forty. Gathered here, we are thus proud to present you with the best of what we feel is . . . well, the best—or, at least, the closest one could ever get to the very best: “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” That’s Dr. Seuss, everyone. Let our regime rise toward perfection as it falls into selfdestruction—for that, dear readers, is art. That is why, with the most pretentious intentions, we now invite you to be a part of this boys’ club: for we are the brain drain in power, essayez de nous arrêter. Mike Kleine and Mario Macías Editors in Chief
POEM | JAMES ANTHOFER
Olympia, Pt. ii When Peter Puget reached the end, He turned back and killed some Indians. Today, in Olympia, they flood Capitol Lake (man-made) with salt to kill foreign slugs. That didn’t work, either. Not much does here. The buses run on time, the college hums along, Always green, deep in a forest without grades. Without hip-hop, too, since a riot in 2006. Well, yes, fuck the police, but I didn’t see A single one when I was in Olympia. I guess that’s why the evergreeners Go to Tacoma to dance at the rave bar: To gawk at the animals in Fort Lewis, And in the morning, to block Shipments to Kabul. My younger brother, sober, serious, Refuses the dances and the orgies And “dorm Z”: attending class from a home In the trees. He farms instead, urbanely. At nights we talk about his prison project And how sex isn’t freedom. Drugs, either. It rains every day of my visit, And even during the day, We cannot see the forest For the trees.
POEM | JAMES ANTHOFER
Midwest Weather Something semi-miraculous in your care for me: the loose shingle falls, the rain rises in slow motion towards the clouds. Can we be weird? Of course, my dear. Let me marvel again at your small hands and feet. They fit inside me. Long-distance is simply derivative. Tensions resolve into curves. I draw the next graph on the calendar, as an arrow pointing off of the page, as a tree ring, as a pill with some sort of name I take each day. Anti-Melancholy. I wear the relationship suit like Superman, and each night I fly back to Antarctica to sleep in my ice fortress. The steady falls of your feet in the snow echo on the plain. Five weeks!
POEM | JAMES ANTHOFER
High Definition In fact, the wonders did not cease. The fad did not pass. The mid-term (elections) went on. Long-distance relationship: we wrote for Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Ke$ha, Rihanna. Asalaam alaikum. Over the phone and on the computer screen, I told her about my wonder. I told her I loved her. I wanted to become her, Or something like that. She knows the way to laugh, To say I overcomplicate. Just skype, after all: invent the way out, solve this without difficulty like the climax of a romantic comedy. Forget your life, and it appears again With twice the resolution.
ANY GIVEN WEEKEND IN GUATEMALA Tyler Banas
July 6, 2010 Saturday
n the wake of a rose-hipped afternoon reading Kerouac’s infamously manic and beat-driven prose, I attack this weekend passed with reflective irides. A swanky story I will compose. Saturday morning, my first acculturated encounter with Guatemalan relaxation. Eggs, bread, and tead manifest with sun-raged sparks from the intricate hollows of my home’s kitchen. The charged energy is supplanted into the night-dried bodies. Foreign words sling from mouth to ear in the food’s meter-high skies, desperately hoping to be received. “Yo voy alli con Esteban … no se cuando regresar.” I leave the table hoping for slimslender reception. Dust-ridden concrete lies like an elongated snake between my destination and my condition. Fortunately, like-minded organisms called friends accompany me on the mission. In a leap unprecedented by any gaze or outlook, we as three board bright bingy buses aimed toward the Devil in Xela City. Toward whatever hell we’re destined, at least we go in herds. They say the road there is paved with good intentions, but their claim is negated with searing sirens. The road to hell isn’t paved at all. No—hell is beyond the unmarked purgatory of sharp bends and desolute-but-proud eyes, staring as if the light reflecting from your skin and clothes contains some solution. “We’re headed together” is the only message conveyed. Mayan temples destroyed into edifices of consumer advertisement serve as the grandest welcome post. No, wait! That girl does, the glassed beaut of HueHue. Take me in, lay me down. Please please be my host. Courageous aimless strides lead to flamed carnes picante curry served above a complex of grated catwalks. Antlered liquor leads to hangovers and short-naps lead to the defiance of physical laws such as the conservation of matter. We head out under wraithous banshee nights without a shield. “With reverence for clear conscious skies,” I plead to the lightless dios, “have mercy on this body, this organic capital!” The omnipresent nonexistence replies thrice: Once, with a cast of bullets lodged into the femur. Once, with a celestial dance floor of lovely lonely Latino ladies. Once, with a mechanical Toro. 16
July 17, 2010 Sunday
n egg amongst an amiable family defines breakfast. The road to Xela City is stalled by a funeral procession headed toward heaven or hell or hallway sanctuaries.
In any case, I personally would rather take a bicycle, even if I must repair it first, for historic legend shows that bike crashes are like pink rose petals dashed upon brown suede sofa stone.
THE ADVICE OF MR. MELPOMENE Benjamin Gregory Flebbe
found him right before sunset that evening as I drifted somewhere between the horizon and my hammock. He was drinking a margarita with a Brazilian on his left arm and the scant remains of his soul tattooed on his right... he told me he didn’t want to forget how it looked. “Bah! Love!” He told me, leering at me with a longing glint in his eyes. “Nothing in this ‘versal world is more duplicitous, more tenacious, more conniving, intoxicating, and absolutely fatal as love. It comes, hat in hand, asking for a night’s lodging. Soon you throw your Les Paul and your copy of Deadeye Dick and your Clash collection to the curb in order to make space for her in your heart... Love! Kid, love is for virgins and dogs.” His lazy thread wound its way to the nearest bar and my eyes drew to the swaying of his arm candy as the bartender prepared another margarita. I looked out to the meandering waves as they rolled between orange and pink and realized I must look like an angel framed by their light drifting through my hammock. People crowded around the bar as the chili lights turned on, cutting a haven out of the night the way alcohol cut a haven out of their memory... keeping it at bay but never killing it off.
POEM | CLARE MAO
applepicking You sent me pieces of the Spanish coastline, a different name for every inch you covered: This is where we wouldâ€™ve sat, fingers meeting again and again and again. We wouldnâ€™t have needed anything more. I ate an apple for every day you were gone, because they reminded me of you, somehow. Something about the cores and your eyes, the seeds and your hands. How easily my teeth broke the skin, and your absence. The sixth postcard you sent me called me querida, and I heard in it the corners of an accent I imagine you must have picked up there. It was a photo of your feet, ankles waving hello. I am always surprised you have the time to think of me. Modern-day Johnny Appleseed, your hands make beautiful everything they touch. I ask you how you are doing every single time, even when I know the answer. I just like to hear your sincerity speak. I just want a bite of your apple-core eyes, something to remember you by.
POEM | CLARE MAO
coming attraction I am sorry I am not clever. I had not known you loved me until you called me a light bulb, But what does that mean, I had asked, I don’t understand— My bedroom is missing a light bulb, you said, Oh, I said. Of course, this did not really happen. Men and women and men and men and women and women do not speak like that except in movies because that is the only place we let people get away with saying things like that, things like you are a light bulb so please sleep with me we may even be able to call it making love in the morning or I do not love you anymore and maybe I never did, because life does not lend itself to situations where problems are solved with one-liners. Problems are never solved with one-liners. My favorite part, though, is the calm before the storm— us in your bed, us holding hands, maybe just us, and me wanting to crawl into the spaces between your ribs or even your toes. I am not very clever, so I do not know when you stopped loving me but I have watched a lot of movies and this—this is the part where the girl cries, where I cry, and the man is sorry, where you are sorry, except I do not cry and you are sorry anyway, and this is the part where the man leaves, where you leave, except you do not leave so I do and the lights come up because you were never missing a light bulb in the first place. 20
POEM | EMILY MESTER
What Byron Did At The End of the World Cold reason rose from Enlightened banks, And sensing the end, He tried to transcend But that pleasure junkie clung to earth As he sank Lost clauses hitched rides on flying commas desire lost a staring contest with the eye of the storm The predators prayed The bees fell to their knees And losing their buzz And mixing their metaphors And heavy with honey Wept at the flowers and forgot how to swarm
Pump up the enjambment! Lord Byron had screamed. Drunk on sunlight Heâ€™d made fire with the friction Between fact fiction Spent seven minutes in heaven kissing the stars Shivering, breath bated He waited to drown And all God would float him In the decadent dark Was empty pages to fill With ennuiâ€™s constant spill Instructions to bail out When he needed an ark 21
POEM | EMILY MESTER
Twiddling My Opposable Thumbs, or A Convoluted Answer to the Teacherâ€™s Question of Why I Laughed When She Said Homo Erectus
To be honest, no. I never stop to smell the flatulent roses, nor does the pompous sunset hold my gaze for long. And truthfully, gaze is here a gracious term for beady surveillance, sometimes I ponder life, or more specifically, my next haircut. I like: artificial sweetener, fingerpaint, indoor plumbing, sitcoms, tabloids, cursing. Look, I don’t want to gnaw at my poor old psyche like a chicken bone No, if we’ve all got to wallow let’s wallow with glee. Descartes was an animal too, belching forth theories picking old scabs, calling it philosophy.
POEM | EMILY MESTER
Biped Love Song You jaywalk You jaywalk like a motherfucker You jaywalk and you don’t even care And if I am like a road, Which, shh, I know, just—anyway If I am like a road You jaywalk You crosswalk You sleepwalk You moonwalk across me. Did you hear, they finally asked the chicken why But he just said There’s another side?
POEM | DANIEL WAITE PENNY
Poem in Five Acts I. To the New Academy Swimming languid in wine dark seas Submerged though we are In the uncertain Merlot marl I must take pause To admire A pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floor Welcome, Gaussian blur! Vision(s) swathed in Ebay-purchased fur I refuse to see The head held In ragged, bloody claws Having torn parentsâ€™ Tomfoolery to smithereens With regrets That new material Is only pre-fab Silicon Silicone Everything affixed With pretense and prefix We find ourselves Lost in an error of lemmings And laments And laminate-Coated corn and soy No longer young Despite our ploys Adjuncts Fallen from the tenure track 25
II. Some devices Gabriel—Or is it Michael—Archangels without an arched brow between them, May my soul swoon like yours Lest your wrath cut me down To a state of indeterminacy to An estate of dubious worth Bohemia less appealing Without money for drugs At age sixteen I never learned How to kick-flip (dick-slip) reliably What is the difference What is the difference Between Practice and praxis Substantial and substantive Tripe and haggis Droll and glib Pepper and Pibb Assholes use the latter I say this As I ascend The ladder of assholery Wearing technicolored Am Apper hosery! Forget Gestalt And things lose focus No longer gesticulating Like they once did For Alice: Kaleidoscopic, oilslicked, ‘delic, Delphic visions Seeing the stucco As if through a doublerainbow prism
III. Broken on the rocks Were it that I belonged To a blanker generation This one is too poorly dressed And apparently has no hand for the essay Only writing in paragraphs The nytimes says We multi-task too much (I have already checked fb Thrice while writing this poem Thrice while reading this poem Thrice again because I was lonely) And lack transitions My parents complain That words have no meaning When writing â‰ transmission Also, Leggings are not pants Despite what you may have been told
IV. Injunction junction, what’s your function But let us return For I have been distracted I believe that I was lamenting something Overwrought and overwritten “I cannot read anymore The pages grow unclear The letters jumbled with eyes uncertain” Too strong a brouhaha For this stomach to tolerate My/our capacity for opacity Matched only by The highwire tension Of self-deprecation And artistic pretension Nietzsche and Derrida compel me TO DANCE And call me a partypooper when I decline But I have no more Adderall The fires of my fighting spirit Doused with a quiet domesticity Hips aching Gravel in between my bones Becoming fat and happy Through the ruse of a roux
V.Untimely Postscript Quaffed, coiffed, and coy Iâ€™ve dribbled my drivel Enough for one evening And must attend To the sauce
POEM | DANIEL WAITE PENNY
No Looking Bacchus (For Isaac)
Dionysus! Dionysus! Daiyehnu! DYN-O-MITE! I want to feel like you, be like you I want you to help me Frenzy Like those kids in the Levis commercials, sweating, dancing around the fire Have you ever wept like he does? Rolling on the ground in Throw Up Is it yours? Is it mine? It better not be mine I want to flip that table over Throw that coffee cup against the wall But I donâ€™t have the ba--testicles I want to speak in unfamiliar tropes Beyond cigarettes and big empty skies Fast cars, fast girls Vodka and Diet Coke I want to grow up I want to blow up But I canâ€™t be kind of a big deal With reverse Peter Pan syndrome and Performance anxiety
One day, I’m gonna make literary delusions That’ll make grown men And Virginia Wolf Howl at the Moon Weep, and roll around In their own Neon Franzia vomit Me and Dionysus are gonna make it big one day If I can figure out How to stay in the present Tense Better save this for posterity’s sake Bitches
THE PASSION OF BEAR GRYLLS Daniel Waite Penny
ear stared into the crevasse, trying to measure the distance between the edge of the cliff and the last jagged rocks he had to clear in the surging water below. “Are you sure about this?” That was Steve, the new camera guy. “We could just walk a quarter of a mile that way. You said it yourself, there’s a pretty clear trail.” Steve didn’t know Bear very well. “Listen . . . whatever your name is . . . I don’t know what kind of show you think we do, but the Discovery Channel doesn’t pay me the big bucks to hike down trails.” Bear turned to face the camera. “I’m trapped above this forty foot waterfall. There’s nowhere to go but down. In a situation like this, you need to make sure there’s deep water to land in, and that you’ll clear anything that looks like those sharp rocks down there. Take a few steps back, and get a running start. And always remember, the real battle for survival is actually in your mind and in your heart. I’ll see you on the other side.”
he party was full of people he’d never seen before. Entertainment bigwigs and fatcats he supposed. They were all so pink and fleshy. Most of them had probably never even been camping before. A waiter passed by with a tray of escargot, the closest thing to the jungle Bear was going to get in a hotel lobby like this one. On the tube, he liked to make faces whenever he had to chomp on a grub, or a suck down a live scorpion—it made for better ratings—but lately, Bear was starting to develop a real penchant for those creepie-crawlies. He grabbed a handful and downed them expertly, forgoing the garlic butter sauce. “Do you have to suck them down like that?” Sheelah was a nice enough girl: Australian, and enthusiastic about the show. Sometimes Bear wondered if they ever really understood each other. She always wanted him to wear dress trousers instead of waterproof cargo-pants, but what use were trousers out in the wilderness? Ultimately, she just wasn’t practical. Could you carry a compass, bowie-knife, flint, and extra alligator meat in your wool pants? No. Would they protect you from thorns and potential snakebites? No. Then again, wool wasn’t the worst material. Nature’s natural insulator. Stays warm even when it’s wet. “Are you even listening to me?” “Yes, my little nutria.” “Why do you have to call me that?” “Nutria, I thought you loved that name.” “Why would I want to be called ‘nutria?’ Aren’t those like giant water-rats or something?” “The nutria is a majestic and noble creature. They can chew through a tire in under a minute.” He snapped his fingers for added emphasis, but could tell that Sheelah was unimpressed. “I’m going to go grab another glass of champagne. Do you want anything, Bear?” He thought for a moment. “A gin and tonic, please.” At least those had quinine in them.
t had been a long day. Skydiving, rock-scrambling, boar-wrestling. Bear hardly had enough energy to light a fire, a sure sign that he would sleep well tonight, even if his bed was made mostly of driftwood. His eyelids began to droop as he stared into the fire. “So, we got some pretty good footage today, eh Bear?” Steve again. The daft fucker hadn’t gotten with the program yet. Bear sighed. “Yeah, I’d say it was a pretty rough and tumble day, Derek. We’ll look over the footage next week.” “You know my name is Steve, right?” “Yeah, that’s what I said.” This Steve character was a real imbecile. Bear asked himself where they got these guys. “No, I’m pretty sure you just called me Derek.” “Sorry about that mate, just a little exhausted is all. Oh, and I’d prefer if you didn’t call me Bear.” “Oh, uh sorry. Do you want another energy bar, Mr. Grylls?” “Nah, I’m good, the fourth has me pretty well full. Think I’m just gonna turn in for the night. See you in the morning, chief.” Bear stayed upright looking at the stars for a moment, closed his eyes, and flopped over, collapsing onto his impromptu bed.
he clock read 3:13. The hotel room was unbearably loud. The drone of the air-conditioner, the hum of the mini-fridge, the echoes of traffic twenty stories below. The sounds were so unnatural. How did people sleep in places like this? All day they sit at their desks, or in their cars, or on their couches. How could anyone be tired after a day full of eating and resting? Bear twisted around and listened to Sheelah’s breathing. He slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her close to his naked body. He always slept in the nude. Her shoulder rose and fell, and the loose strap of her bra hanging off the side of her tan skin was so alluring, like a snare filled with fresh venison. “What are you doing?” Bear had drifted south while running the lacy strap through the fingers of his other hand. “Nothing, just watching you sleep, my little cockatoo.” He grabbed her inner thigh seductively. She rolled over onto her stomach, ruining a perfectly good spoon. “I’m not really in the mood.” “You’re never in the mood.” “It’s three in the morning. I’m in the mood all the time when I’m awake, you’re just always off somewhere adventuring. Do you know how much bath soap I go through?” “Then let’s have a go right now. We can do it on the floor, like filthy, filthy animals.” “How about instead, you can go jack off in the shower, like a filthy, filthy animal.”
his was the worst diarrhea Bear had ever experienced. The pain in his stomach was excruciating, like a scorpion swallowed whole, stinging his insides. That had actually happened once when he forgot to cut the tail off. This was worse. Every ten minutes, Bear had to run behind a tree, a bush, a rock, something. This time, he didn’t make it that far. 34
It must have been the crabs. They seemed a little off, but it was a risk worth taking. The network had started cracking down after the whole energy bar story broke. Fucking Steve. Bear was going to have to figure out a way to start sneaking food. Actually having to find all of his food and water was forcing him to conserve energy, which meant he couldn’t leap off of boulders or careen down rocky slopes, and if he couldn’t leap and careen, how was he supposed to maintain his ratings? His stomach grumbled angrily, as if to say, “What kind of adventurer are you? You disgust me.” The voice was authoritative, paternal. Bear dismissed it. It was time to find more toilet paper.
r. Goldstein, did not look pleased. “What do you mean you bought a helicopter?” “It was on sale. I know a guy.” “Do you understand the state of your finances?” “What, it’s for work, that’s a tax deduction or whatever, right?” “Bear, you’re a nice guy, but you’ve got to reign in your impulse spending. You already have two mortgages, and that hang-glider. Jesus, could you have chosen a more expensive hang-glider?” “Look Goldstein, I pay you to keep track of my accounts, not to be my mother alright? I just got a bonus for last season, I’m sure that should cover it, eh?” “You already spent it when you installed that ridiculous bio-dome. And look at how that turned out. Maintenance, food, not to mention the veterinary costs. How many of those lizards did you replace?” Bear hadn’t heard that last bit; the fastener on his knife sheath had become increasingly distracting. “Bear, are you even paying attention to me? Goddamnit! It’s like you’re not even here.” Goldstein woke up face down on the beige carpet. He spluttered and gasped for air, while checking to make sure everything was intact. He looked up and could just make out the handle of a large knife stuck into the wooden desk and jutting towards the ceiling. That desk was an antique.
or someone trying to survive in the harsh wilderness, the choice is pretty stark. Do you stay here and wait for rescue, or do you go take your chances out on the open sea and risk death. I guess I know what I would do.” Bear lifted what he considered to be his heroic gaze (the studio execs said it was solid gold) and turned away from the camera to haul his raft into the shallows, rushing headlong towards the horizon with a deadly necessity. In all honesty, there was enough food and fresh water on the island to last for weeks, maybe even months. But this was an hour-long show, and promos required action sequences. What was more exciting than doing battle with the ocean, real man against nature kind of stuff? The raft was perhaps not as well-constructed as it could have been; it was made mostly of debris he’d found along the shore, foam pads, logs, a well-worn fishing net. However, he’d tested it, and it kept him above water quite well. It didn’t provide much in terms of shade, nor did it have a real sail of any sort, but this was merely an overnight raft, not meant for an expedition of more than a day or two. 35
By day five, the entire crew was dead. The satellite phones and radios had all either been ruined in the pouring rain, or washed overboard in one of the many storms. The first to go was Steve—swept over the side of the raft by a huge swell—a welcome surprise. They still had two cameras left, anyway. Plus, a crew member’s death would be great for publicity, just like any time one of those fairy fishermen croak on that crab show that came on after Bear’s. He couldn’t stand those guys. Always jabbering on about how hard their lives were: with the surf, and the cold, and the loneliness. Meanwhile Bear and the crew were stranded in the middle of the ocean on a raft made of couch cushions and twigs. These Alaskans had a gigantic ship. And crab. They could eat as much crab as they liked. Total fairies. Alan and Mike went on the night of day three. A freak accident really. Well maybe not accident—a shark swam up to the side of the raft and pulled Alan right into the water. Mike tried to save him, grasping onto the other’s hands. The two were dragged off the raft and never resurfaced. The water shimmered black and silver, bubbling with the frenzy below; Bear tried not to think about it too much; he knew where those kinds of thoughts led. The last to go was the sound guy, some Asian fellow, with a foreign-sounding name, Kikkoman, maybe. He kept crying and raving about their impending deaths, lamenting that he’d never gotten to see his own son or eat a Kobe beef steak. Finally, he gave in to thirst and drank the saltwater, a rookie mistake. It was amazing, as if he’d never watched the show, or heard Bear warn, “Never drink saltwater because it’ll fry you’re kidneys and dehydrate you so fast you’ll be frothing at the mouth within hours.” He almost deserved it, just for his stupidity. At least one backup camera managed to survive. Bear turned it over in his hands, checking the battery life. It was only supposed to be used if something really important was about to happen, like a storm, or an approaching ship. He wanted to conserve battery life, so he kept it off, but continued addressing the camera as if it were still recording. Somehow, it just felt right. There was half a bar left the last time he checked it, the bottom of the barrel. Bear looked over at his water supply, a Poland Spring bottle tied to the deck: half a liter remained. The parallelism suited him and he began to chuckle, which soon grew to a loud cackle—only to be interrupted by the blair of a fog horn.
ear stared down at the tiny puddles of gin and tonic at the bottom of his glass. The season four premiere party had ended hours ago. He looked up at the bartender, a man who resembled an Indonesian tree frog so much that Bear had felt obligated to tell him about his uncanny resemblance throughout the night. Upon receiving his drink, he did so once more. “I’m cutting you off, buddy.” “Whatever you say, Froggyman.” Knowing it would be his last, Bear decided to sip his drink a little more slowly while scanning the room for a potential catch. He spotted a pair of girls on the other side of the bar, rather like a hawk catching sight of a field mouse. Bear thought it was pretty impressive. He got up abruptly, and his chair made a grating noise against the floor, a mating call. He sauntered over to their end of the bar and extended his hand. 36
“I couldn’t help but notice you lovely ladies looking in my direction, and I thought to myself, ‘Hey, they’re probably out of your league, but why not give it a go. My name’s Bear, Bear Grylls.” In truth, the ladies were far from lovely, but they were drunk, sharing an oversized novelty sugardrink between the two of them. The lighting was dim enough, and lately, things hadn’t been going so well for Bear. Sheelah left after the rafting mishap. “I just can’t take it anymore—your Goddamn adventures. You could’ve died! And you want to be the father of my child?! You’ll be dead by the end of next season. I can’t believe you just got your life insurance renewed. Did you lie and say you were a naturalist or something? You’re no naturalist. You’re not even an adventurer. You’re a fucking twat!” Sheelah was the twat. And so, these ladies, though they were a little fat, and certainly stupid, had come to look increasingly appealing. They giggled nervously, unable to speak coherently, until the fatter one responded,“You’re that guy on T.V., right? Man vs. Nature? Or is it Man in the Wilderness?” “It doesn’t really matter, my pretty little cockatoo. How about the three of us head upstairs, and I’ll tell you about the time the entire crew died on a shoot, and I barely managed to survive.” “I saw that episode!” squealed the skinny one. They exited the elevator and stumbled through the hall to Bear’s room. He had left scratches on the walls to guide himself back, a key strategy for survival in any terrain. He opened the door to his room and the three sat down on the bed, the girls trying to look as coy and sultry as possible. And suddenly, they were all groping and kissing each other sloppily, beads of spit flying in every direction. One of the girls accidently licked the side of Bear’s face, but he didn’t care. He was in his element. He was an alpha male, testosterone pumping through his veins like a silverback or a bull elephant. They were all naked now, writhing around with the lights still on. Bear pushed the fatter one against the headboard and plunged himself inside her. They were screaming; the bed was rocking back and forth. Mid-thrust, Bear picked up the lamp on the bedside table and knocked off the shade, exposing the bulb. He raised it above his head and smashed it against the wall sending glass everywhere. “Cut me!” he screamed, handing the skinnier one the half shattered bulb. The one against the headboard looked up. “You want her to cut you? What the fuck is this?” “Cut me,” he grunted. His horsemuscles rippled in the fluorescent light spilling from the bathroom. The fatter one pressed her hands against his lower stomach and wriggled free. “Where do you think you’re going!” he roared. “We’re getting the fuck out of here!” And twenty seconds later, the girls were slamming the door shut, running half-naked through the halls of a Vegas hotel. Bear checked the bathroom medicine cabinet. Bingo, chock full of supplies! A full bottle of Robitussin and a traveler’s size Listerine. He downed them like a pro; he’d tasted far worse than artificial cherry and mint flavorings, though the combination didn’t do either one any favors. 37
There wasnâ€™t much on television, so he stumbled over to the balcony. It was quite a sight. Not beautiful. The Serengeti was beautiful. This was something else. Something so fascinating, so engrossing, and yet horrifying, nauseating even. Everything was blinking and buzzing and squeaking and honking, just going totally berserk. Bear wondered where Sheelah was, not that he cared. His eyes refocused and Bear noticed a pool below, forty, maybe fifty foot. Totally doable. He leaned over the railing, trying to estimate the distance between the edge of the balcony and the diving well in the deep end of the aqua lima bean. He figured if he got a running start, maybe from the door, and then leapt onto and pushed off of the rail, he could do it. No problem. The real battle for survival was actually in his mind and in his heart. This wasnâ€™t beyond him; he was an adventurer. Bear-fucking-Grylls.
he pool at the hotel had to stay closed while the blood was purged from the sidewalk with an industrial cleaning hose.
POEM | QUINN UNDERRINER
Untitled she washed her hair with rainwater mind you not beneath the weeping skies but rather from a pewter basin left out for days in the mid-american heat to anyone who will listen she claims the initial plunge purifies years of depravity but i swear she is still the nurse outside the hospital smoking to the filter and absentmindedly flicking it onto the grass
POEM | CLARE BOERIGTER
Lessons in Anatomy I am a cartilaginous creature I wonder where my endoskeleton can be? I hear the soft cracking as I shed my endomorphic body I see the ribs of the world carving up from the bony spine of the earth I want to free myself from this ivory cage I am a cartilaginous creature I pretend that the skein of the sky falls away I feel myself dripping upward I touch the velvet clouds with starved carpals I worry that I may disappear I cry as my flesh ensconces my bones once again I am a cartilaginous creature I understand that I am bound to this skin I say that I do not mind, but I dream of fluidity, of boundless elasticity I try to bend the atmosphere to fill my void I hope one day that I succeed I am a cartilaginous creature
ur battle started from day one. Your brown leather seat put me too far above the ground, and, to my great embarrassment, I could not ride you on my first day of school. Out of irritation, I once popped your back tire; you knocked my feet out from under me in vengeance. I jerk your handlebars as I struggle up the hill; you accidentlyon-purpose relieve yourself of my bag. There are days when I cannot stand you, you stupid bike! However, when the mornings are crisp, I can feel a smile spread across my face as I zoom along the bike paths to the train station. Soâ€ŚskÇťl, bike. 1
POEM | KELLY MARIE MUSSELMAN
Romance Regifted You gave me an orange (when I gave you a peach)—it was orange and it dripped juice down my elbows. My arms were sticky for hours.
You gave me a swamp (when I gave you a beach)—with slog and slop that swallowed me up and covered me with silty soil like saline evaporated in a glass. The lurid rose and the moon tearing holes in the night might wilt and wane, but your swamp stands. I couldn’t have guessed that roadkill and rancid rain could muster up an oasis, but there’s water here... and if we barbequed it just right... we could have roadkill for our candlelit dinner.
POEM | KELLY MARIE MUSSELMAN
Driving Force You lived at the end of the road and I drove my car, hand on the stick, through overhanging brush, tires flat, alignment off, and brakes squealing. I turned, pressing the clutch, driving slow and shifting.
You came out in a white shift and walked to the road barefoot, your high heels and clutch in your arms, and walking over sticks and stones. You stood in the break in the trees and watched the dust fly from my tires. You were good at sleeping when you were tired, at cutting mangoes, and pressing the shift key with your pinkie, at breaking your thumb in the car door, playing hopscotch in the road in front of your house, making stamps stick to envelopes, and jolting when you hit the clutch. We used to lay in your bed at 3 am, clutching hands to limbs, never tiring. We watched musicals until the songs stuck in our heads. Your mom worked the night shift at the Cherry Lane old folks’ home down the road— we didn’t tell her about the break-up. We ran away for Spring Break, my car keys clutched in your hands. I rode shotgun, and you peeled the tires out from under us, the shifting light of wheat fields led us out into the sticks. 43
At a greasy spoon in Nebraska, we ate sticky buns and burnt coffee while firemen on break grumbled. I thought about asking you then, shifting my weight, dropping my hand to clutch your shoulder, but you said “I’m tired,” so we paid our bill in dimes and pennies and hit the road. Now we tear down the road, both our hands clutched on the stick, shifting together, barely breaking. We’ll never tire.
POEM | KELLY MARIE MUSSELMAN
To Explain Her Status For Caitlin (1990-2008)
See you on the flip-flop!! he called out on Highway SixSix to your slip-slopped skull. You had carried the sun with you, gripped in your teeth. Now your jaw lay dimmed and scattered on the tar, an oily puddle where your tongue should be. You were obliging, he was stubborn strong. No brain blips? Make his mom turn him off. What is it like to die at the hands of the man, only 17, that you loved? What is it like on the lap of Jesus with that cocksucker who killed you? Sugar Beet, Iâ€™d beat him up! crowbar in hand if I saw him the way I see you, Blonde Bones. Every few weeks I stumble into that girl at the park with your short stature, bright face. Christ! You never woke up ugly and you always had a cute nose. I dreamt of you last night. You were not a ghost, you were a hurricane, so successful, and meeting your husband in a bookstore.
C ONT R I BU TOR S Marlu Carolina Abarca ‘14 is from North Hollywood , California and has always been an avid participator in the arts. She enjoys painting animals and lanscapes, and hopes to contribute in the future issues of the Grinnell Review. James Anthofer ‘11 is a poetry fan, Grinnell Review fan. Thanks to Mario, Mike, Jamie and all of the past editors! Tyler Banas ‘13 has a biography that is twofold: the persons he meets, and the hobbies he seeks. Just as explosions in the sky give rise to light, the faces we weave give rise to life. If we encounter on the street, let’s not miss a beat, but call attention to the confront tion of souls.Wine gurgles as it ferments. Brake pads emit ultrasonic frequencies as they commit to slowing the bike. Springy tensions hold equilibrium between dancers of swing and lovers in spring. Clare Boerigter ‘14 was born in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, to an English and Spanish teacher. She does not, to her chagrin, speak Arabic, but she is contemplating majoring in Spanish. Clare has been writing ever since her parents bribed her as a child, and hopes to continue to pursue creative writing, despite the sudden realization that it is not, in fact, particularly lucrative. Liting Cong ‘11 is a Sociology and Policy Studies major. Originally from Shanghai, China, her first encounter with art took place through Chinese painting classes that continued for about ten years. She is a huge fan of Japanese anime and manga, which heavily influence her drawings.
Noah DeLong ‘11 is an art major from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Among his artistic influences rank Nickelback, Dave Matthews Band, and the later works of Ridley Scott. “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” –PRE LIVES Benjamin Gregory Flebbe ‘11 is a mathematics/history double major who wants to believe he’s from Greeley, Colorado though he rightly hails from Peoria, Illinois. He plays tennis often. He walks the tracks and drinks when he has occasion (and sometimes when he does not). He sometimes likes to fancy himself something wild and free, but he knows better. His friends think he will get to where his proverbial road leads, but he secretly doubts it. Jon Garrey ‘11 is an Art History and Political Science major from Humboldt, South Dakota. His academic focus is in Classical Greek and Roman Art. He plans to exhibit his work at Grinnell in the Spring of 2011. Dodge Greenley ‘11 is a senior Studio Art major from Eugene, Oregon. He’s a member of Grinnell’s Improv comedy troupe, RTS, and a crowd favorite at the annual Titular Head film festival. Davis Hermann ‘11 is from Atlanta, Georgia where he attended the Atlanta International School. He draws, does sculpture, paints a little, manipulates digital images, makes electronic sound art, and makes tiny films. He draws much of his inspiration from Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet and music by The Knife.
Lily Jamaludin ‘14 is trying to be a better person. In the meantime, she likes to take photos and write poetry. Sara Kay ‘13 wants to live in a tree house. Let me know when you find one. Abraham Kohrman ‘13 is an intended bio/premed major from Chicago. He likes to make pictures with cameras. Lots of them. And make cameras too. Kelly Marie Musselman ‘11 wrote about fruit, then she wrote about the moon, then she wrote about fruit, then the moon again, and now she’s stuck on the desert. Clare Mao ‘14 is from Queens, NY. To borrow a quote from a friend: “A Tribe Called Quest is the reason why no matter where I end up in my life, I will always introduce myself as from Queens, NY. This means I am magic, baby.” Truth is my biography. Thank you so much. Colin McCallum-Cook ‘12 is a a Biology/ Antrhopology major from Chester County, Pennsylvania. He enjoys a lot of different art work, but especially that of the Wyeths and other local artists of the Brandywine River Valley. Andy Goldsworthy is pretty cool, too. Emily Mester ‘14 likes good smells, people, naps, and referring to herself in the third person. Mock turtlenecks intrigue her.
Dani Radoshevick ‘12 is seeking a Christian Teddy Bear. She would love to learn how to two-step and play pool. Her work schedule varies so you would have to understand that. Tats and piercings welcome as she has a few of her own. Jeans and t shirts are comfy so that is what she wears the most with her boots. She likes to travel and enjoys good page-turner type of books. Alexander Reich ‘11 was bred to retrieve waterfowl shot by hunters. He has a soft mouth, so he can fetch game undamaged, loves water, and wears a warm, dense inner coat and a golden, water-repellent outer coat. He is sometimes seen rescuing people from beneath rubble, sniffing for drugs, and walking with blind and deaf people. Children love him. Megan Rupe ‘11 is a history major from Chattanooga, Tennessee. When she gets tired of writing about history, she likes to create people and events and write about those instead. Megan also enjoys taking up her sword during Tuesday and Thursday night fencing practices and bouting with whoever comes to face her. Although she has been writing and fencing for quite some time now, she has yet to determine whether the pen or the sword is mightier.
Daniel Waite Penny ‘13 makes art, sort of: prose, poems, photography.
Charles Schwamb ‘12 is writing this while taking a sh... ...ower. Not literally, but he’ll have this memorized by the time he comes out. Ben hails from the Pinelands of New Jersey which he suspects shares the blame with Galen Rowell for getting him to look at photography in a different light. He is in debt to the Cole family for providing all the equipment he would ever need to explore the unforgiving, yet ultimately beautiful and rewarding domain of color slide film and manual photography through a similarly natured Alaskan landscape this summer.
Lauren Teixeira ‘14 is a first year from Silver Spring, MD. She graduated from the Visual Arts Center (VAC) at Albert Einstein High School. She attributes to her development as artist the verbal abuse and faith of her mentor, Mr.P, and encouragement of her peers at the VAC. She would like to thank the Grinnell Review for publishing her pieces.
Greg Suryn ‘11 believes that after taking pictures of an ice covered Grinnell the Fall of his first year with his camera phone, he decided to get a real camera. One deceased camera and 30,000+ photos later, he has established a love for photography. He mostly finds macro and nature photography to be the most interesting and meaningful, however he also haas a fondness for architecture and capturing the nuances of a building. Photography is a way for him to show others the small details in life that make it special, and through it I can hopefully help people to see life in a more positive and energetic way. Quinn Unerriner ‘14 Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Wreckage Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship. (19322001). Nic Wilson ‘12 has an internet homepage: nnnicwilson.com
The Grinnell Review is Grinnell College's biannual undergraduate literary and fine arts journal.