Copyright © 2015 by the Student Publications and Radio Committee (SPARC). The Grinnell Review, Grinnell College’s semi-annual undergraduate arts and literary magazine, is a student-produced journal devoted to the publication of student writing and artwork. Creative work is solicited from the entire student body and reviewed anonymously by the corresponding Writing and Arts Committees. Students are involved in all aspects of production, including selection of works, layout, publicity, and distribution. By providing a forum for the publication of creative work,The Grinnell Review aims to bolster and contribute to the art and creative writing community on campus. Acknowledgments: The work and ideas published in The Grinnell Review belong to the individuals to whom such works and ideas are attributed to and do not necessarily represent or express the opinions of SPARC or any other individuals associated with the publication of this journal. © 2015 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 Pioneer Graphics in Waterloo, IA. It was designed using Adobe InDesign® CS6. The typeface for the body text is Perpetua and the typeface for the titles is Didot. Cover art by Ethan Evans Inner cover art: Bound by Hannah Kate Kelley Inner title art: The Three by Leina’ala Voss All editorial and business correspondence should be addressed to: Grinnell College c/o Grinnell Review Grinnell, IA 50112 www.grinnellreview.com Letters to the editor are also welcome. Please send them to the address above or to email@example.com
XLV | Fall 2015 ARTS SELECTION COMMITTEE Julia Broeker Ezra Edgerton Cal Froikin Eliza Harrison Elli Jung Rosie Oâ€™Brien Ella Williams
EDITORS Hannah Condon Matt Dole Jack Dunnington Alejandra Rodriguez Wheelock
WRITING SELECTION COMMITTEE Azwad Ahmed Jeremy Epstein Michael Kelley Grace Lloyd Colin Ludlow Peter Sills Clara Trippe
Contents W riting Leo Abbe Thinking while Bob Dylan
Patrick Armstrong Couldn’t Say a Word
Jenkin Benson Sully’s Irish Pub 31 Incontinence 45 A Week in Cape Cod 48 Zuihitsu #2 51 Matt Dole Frank Ocean Aloe Vera
Harlan Kuhr The Black Vultures
Justin Leuba Lucinda 17
Colin Ludlow Muriel
Grace Lloyd Breathless 68 Jacob Miller Window Ride Last Day on Gerry Road
Phoebe Mogharei Two Truths and a Have You Seen Pablo? Yaseen Morshed Ya Sin
44 64 57 73
Eliana Schechter Embrace
Clara Trippe Swamp Days Dehydration
A rt Joshua Anthony Untitled 50 Hazel Batrezchavez Corruption 26 Maria 65 Julia Broeker Untitled 15 Face Lines 41 Max Christensen Cyndi Mayweather 57821
Sophie Donlon Socialismus In Stickerei Der Brunderkuss 56 Stalin 56 Elle Azul Duncombe-Mills Place for Conversations
Jack Dunnington Canyon 49
Chewy 61 Charlie Eddy Bullo 10
Ezra Edgerton Bullo 10 Babycity 25 Turkey 1 43 Hangin 75 Cal Froikin Portrait 16 Babycity 25 Untitled 2 74 Untitled 3 76 Staff Lines 80 Maddie Howland Staggered 45 Hover 67 Elli Jung John 1:1 13 5
(The Word Became Vagina) Leviticus 18:20 (Period Sex)
Hannah Kate Kelley Cloud 12 Help Jenny Kick 50 This Monster’s Ass Help Maria Feel Better by 73 Twisting Her Nipples Nathan Kim Foamie 3 78 Foamies 2, 4, 5 79 Doyi Lee Glitch 30 Behind the Crevices 52 Rosie O’Brien XX 31 Bishan, China 54 Jensen Oness Matadora 29 Twins 32 One Two Three 36 Fishhook 72 Lauren Roush Teathcups 14 Carl 21 6
Claire and Brooks Suite Football Corset Embroidery Self-Portrait
46 53 77
Linnea Schurig Skeleton 63
Leditor from the ettors Folks, I just flew screaming, ripped into two billion discrete pieces through the space-time continuum and boy, are my arms tired! But seriously! You may think ninety-four years is a while in human history, but try staying conscious and with a sense of pain in the place beyond time for literally longer than eternity! Longer than you think! Woof! When we coalesced at random locations in the year 1919, the first thing I did after exploding out of Woodrow Wilson’s chest was to make a long sea voyage to rendezvous with the others in our fine town in Iowa. We were homesick, and violently timesick, and what better way to establish a competitive edge at budget meetings than to get a taste of our publication’s venerable roots? Well, folks, not much has changed. We found Edward Steiner, former Review editor, mucking out the undergrad troughs. Harvey Ingham, drunk as a skunk, was passed out next to him until he roused enough to yell at us: his words may be found on the page opposite. Clara E. Millerd and James Norman Hall were doing something unspeakable to a squirrel in Cleveland pit. Cecil F. Lavell alone was actually getting work done on the Review, and that’s only because of the abominable amount of cocaine in his system (it was a different time). The past is awful. We owe far more to Jim Miller and the rest of the team at Pioneer Graphics for producing this stunning ruby of a publication, the English department for their support and fantastic release party, and SPARC for the sweet sweet moolah *kisses fingers*. We’re so happy to be home. - Hannah Condon, Matt Dole, Jack Dunnington, Alejandra Rodriguez Wheelock
â€œThere has been a tendency in this part of the country, it is true, to announce with pedagogic dogmatism the creed of the renaissance artist that beauty is truth and, hogs and corn being ugly, are non-existent. This creed is not ours.â€? - The Grinnell Review, November 1919
Bullo | Ezra Edgerton & Charlie Eddy | CNC woodcut
Swamp Days Clara Trippe
There are crickets all over the tile floors, and they seem confused. They just sit, exposed, and chirping absentmindedly.
Does that make sense? You don’t care.You want it. You want a temple on a mountainside, and icons, and offerings.
You left your mattress outside and the mayflies swallowed you. In this manic state, you saw them steal parts of your stomach lining.
You’d grow a long white beard, and care for chickens. Worshipers would consult you, and you’d smoke them out while spreading feed.
The insects refuse to let you think. They rest on your arm hairs. Their chirping reenforces the temperature and humidity of the air.
Perhaps you’d be less lonely, or at least it would be more understandable. You want silence.You’d be able to decipher this place, but only if it’s A crowd feels the same as an empty room, and this is fairly silent. confusing. Still, you are afraid of what might arise in the quiet. There is the chair you sit in, faded red, perfectly fitting for a student, impoverished by technology and the 2008 housing crisis. But that isn’t quiet either, it opens to a hallway, from which voices drift, un-located, and then become sometimes recognizable. You just want silence, so you can hear nothing.You think you need religion. You’ve decided religion is something being where something is not. 11
Cloud | Hannah Kate Kelley | Ink and colored pencil
John 1:1 (TheWord BecameVagina) | Leviticus 18:20 (Period Sex) | Elli Jung | Playboy, photo, and paper collage
Teathcups | Lauren Roush | Pyrex, silicone, wax, oil and acrylic paint
Untitled | Julia Broeker | Acrylic on wood panel
Dehydration Clara Trippe
There’s a drought in California It’s all I can think about. The water goes in the direction it will, away from all the people, their fields and plumbing. One morning I saw a picture of three whales, lost, and wandering up the edge of Lake Michigan. Hopefully this isn’t a kidnapping, maybe water has a mind of its own, its found an enjoyment for slight of hand: a disappearing act, a transformation of ecosystems.
Portrait | Cal Froikin | Digital
Lucinda Justin Leuba
For the first time in a while Charles Hatfield wakes with an uneasy feeling, a sort of churning and clenching in his mind and in his stomach, but he quickly shakes it away. It’s a beautiful morning. Almost all of Charles’ mornings are beautiful now. His alarm clock buzzes, set for 5:30 so he can hit the snooze button twice before leaving his bed and wife, whose back is turned to him so that he can see her shoulder blades sinking into each other as collateral for the combination of gravity and the position that she is lying in; her bone structure has recently been made visible, Miranda Hatfield has been dieting, with every third vertebrae or so creating a little lump on her back. Charles traces her spine with his eyes, ending the trail on the mound of a bull’s knot underneath his spouse’s skull. Charles doesn’t like that Miranda is dieting. Miranda was dieting when she’d slept with Ludo at the company Halloween party. Ludo, beautiful, undeserving, sickening Ludo; Charles would like to cut off all of Ludo’s toes if he has the chance. It is now April. Charles gently pulls the floral comforter off him, snagging a corner in his left hand and tugging as if attempting a caress, careful not to wake his wife. He remembers the first time, four years ago, that he’d made a snide comment about her hair being frizzy, and then three months later about the gradually increasing mass of her love handles even though he thought she had still been beautiful, or
when he’d pinched her behind and said jovially “there’s a lot more there than there used to be” as if the night before she hadn’t had to hold his hand and tell him that she still thought he was handsome. He liked seeing her eyebrows furrow and her lips pout, revered in the slump of her shoulders whenever he jabbed and picked away at her security, only to tell her she was beautiful the next day. His feet are freezing, the hair on his chest stiff with the early morning coolness of an April with the windows open. Charles has only recently started sleeping with the windows open; Miranda doesn’t know what to think of it. After sweetly curling his legs and then uncurling them onto the floor, toes balled up with chilliness, he straightens his knees and walks to the bathroom across the hall from the master bedroom. Charles’ house has two more designated bedrooms, both of which he uses as his “studies.” He analyzes his torso in the bathroom mirror, turning to the side to examine the beer belly that began its development at twenty-four; ten years later and it is still getting bigger; three years mostly sober, so beer can’t even be the scapegoat anymore. Charles, Chuck to his friends, smiles at his beer gut and thinks about the bacon and cheese omelet that he plans to make for breakfast. He will leave some coffee on for Miranda; she won’t wake until nine and will suck down her caffeine with the grapefruit half and antacid that she eats every morning.
Chuck can’t imagine eating the same thing for breakfast every day; Chuck only eats the same thing for breakfast more than two days in a row when he is incredibly depressed, and Chuck has been in uncharacteristically good spirits for almost six months now. While scrambling his eggs, Chuck hums a-melodically and twists his hips in the dim pre-sunrise glow of the kitchen. His omelet tastes delicious. Today might be the day, Chuck thinks to himself, almost giddy. Today might be the day, or it might not, and I am happy either way. Charles’ twelve-minute drive to downtown Peoria, Illinois, where his editing office is located, is the first highlight of Chuck’s day, the second being the drive back. He gets to cross The Bridge. A grey monolith, seemingly ancient and omniscient in the sixtyfive years that it’s been hanging two hundred feet above water. Suspension scaffolding curved like the arched back of a lover; metal lines taut, tightened like guitar strings to the tune of human ingenuity and purpose. Chuck’s heart pounds fast, pounds hard, as it does every weekday morning and every weekday afternoon when he feels the rumbles of Her beneath his car, vibrations traveling up through his calf muscles, into his inner thighs and exiting him through the sides of his hip bones. The Bridge is so much more than a means of crossing a river; The Bridge is a statement, an invitation, enticing and seductive, begging and bartering with Charles’ psyche. The Bridge is a testament to the forming, breaking, and undermining of modern social expectation and convention, and Chuck loves it. He feels himself getting an erection by the time he crosses to the other side, and takes a deep breath with the windows down. Chuck doesn’t remember rolling down his windows. He pulls the car over onto the shoulder of the road, gets out, and 18
walks seventy steps towards the middle of the bridge, brushing his fingertips along the guardrail, breathing in the scents of old steel, grey paint chipping and flaking off onto fingernails, Chuck absorbs Her, takes in Her sounds and feelings through the pores of his skin. Silently and carefully, he strokes a beam, leans in, and presses his lips to the cool metal. It has been a difficult weekend without her. Every weekend was difficult without her. I’ll see you in nine hours, he says out loud. Okay. Charles edits menus, spends hours and hours every single weekday with menus from all over the country in front of him, correcting comma misplacement, commenting on syntax, critiquing word choices, righting spelling mistakes. It isn’t a practical job; it is of little to no social value and absolutely thankless. But he knew, he knew that somewhere, somehow, those menus meant something to someone. Every time he walks into a restaurant, he pays special attention to the menu; whether or not it’s laminated, color schemes, recurring thematic elements in dish descriptions. A menu is like a novel, and only the truly intelligent people of the civilized world are capable of picking up on the nuance, the sheer emotional complexity of the modern eat-in restaurant meal selection process. But for all of the appreciation that he has for menus, he feels, in the deepest sections of his psyche, that his job of choice holds little weight in the minds of most people. It would have been nice to be appreciated. Menus are poetry, sometimes better poetry than what Chuck himself attempts to produce. The first piece that was ever actually printed for public viewing was a short poem that Chuck had written when he was nineteen and sent into his state university’s quarterly student
publication; a twenty-nine line heartfelt poem written beautifully concerning the breasts of his sophomore year English Literary Grammar professor; his peers thought it was supposed to be funny, but when they laughed and insinuated things about his relationship with this professor Charles’ stomach turned and he felt bile rise in his throat because his feelings were not things to be joked about and he didn’t think of it in the way one would expect, no, to him that woman was a renaissance depiction of Aphrodite, so brutally unattainable that she became artwork rather than an object of true desire. Sometimes the breasts of ENG 253 still visited Charles in his daydreams; but only in the artistic sense, never in a way that was grounded in desire. Charles Hatfield does not desire. Miranda is the only woman whom Charles has ever desired. Charles did not lust after the breasts of a college professor; they were just a truly exquisite example of human anatomy. His first published poem was about boobs, and everyone thought it was hysterical; high-fives in the hallways, a B- in his grammar class. Since then, he has sent in over 2,000 pieces to a wide variety of competitions, literary magazines, newspapers, and websites, covering a truly remarkably wide swath of topics and poetic forms. Chuck fancies himself a virtuoso. He has had almost thirty poems published, all of them in the last six months, all of them written about The Bridge. Chuck’s got a spring in his step walking into the office building, tightly wound with optimistic energy and the three and a half cups of coffee he had leisurely consumed in his kitchen, the taste of it still hiding away in his breath. His office is on the ninth floor; he’d been taking the stairs more and more recently. Perhaps he will write a poem about those stairs, the four-minute climb to
the top of a stack of error-ridden menus and unread emails. My odes will stand ages, and these restaurateurs will have only their food to sell. Poetry makes Chuck a king, makes him un-erasable. Oh to leave such a mark on the world. Today may be the day, Charles.Today may be the day. Charles quickens his steps to the office floor. He cannot stand to not be next to windows, his eyes ache and his temples throb and he is cut off, severed from a life force he’d become accustomed to since She had made herself known to him; these stairs are Chuck’s least favorite part of his day, but he knows that it made the sight of the Lover even sweeter, and so he subjects himself to it. “Good morning, Mister Hatfield,” Ludo says from behind his secretary’s desk. Tan and handsome, with dark hair and circular glasses, Ludo is gorgeous. He wears a lot of Oxford shirts and manages to find pants that attain the perfect degree of tightness, hugging his legs just enough to pique one’s imagination about exactly how muscular his thighs are, but not so formfitting as to eliminate the desire to wonder. Once, Ludo had adopted four cats to prevent them from being put down. He had a deep love for literature and people in general, always amiable and able to slip easily into casual conversation with almost anybody he met. Ludo smirks; he knows he is more beautiful than Chuck. “Hello, Ludo” Chuck hates Ludo. Ludo is the scum of the Earth. Ludo, worthy only to suck the coffee stains from Charles’ “Jerry Garcia” brand neckties, to lick the poetically charged gunk from between his toes. He likes to imagine Ludo being sliced into two pieces at the midriff by a snapped section of metal cord from the suspension Bridge. 19
“How is your week going?” Jesus Christ, Ludo, shut up I am trying to get into my office you piece of shit. “It’s great, Ludo. Just a great week all around, Ludo. Ludo, don’t you have some work to do?” Ludo casts his eyes downward. He shivers a bit, leaning back in his chair to put a few more inches between himself and Charles. Charles remembers when they would grab drinks after work on Wednesdays and Fridays, sometimes even meet up in sports bars and watch the sorts of games that Charles could only semi-convincingly pretend to enjoy, but Ludo actually enjoyed them and even made fun of Charles for not knowing things about the sports and Ludo definitely got satisfaction from being more handsome, more masculine and more knowledgeable about the sports and that just makes Charles angrier, makes him want to eliminate Ludo even more. Charles turns around quickly and walks into his office, closing the door behind him. Chuck hates Ludo, hates him with the deep sort of hatred, the malicious kind He fucked my wife the sort that can never truly be gotten over He fucked your wife, Charles and sits, festering They had sex in this room Ludo had made excellent love to Miranda for thirteen minutes in Charles’ office chair when the company’s manager threw an office party on Halloween. Chuck’s anger flares at the thought. Ludo. Only love for his Bridge could ever overtake the hatred of Ludo. Only The Bridge could fill the gaping wound that Ludo had carved into his heart, tattooing his initials onto Chuck’s chest like young lovers tattoo their names into trees. Charles could no longer be whole. But the day that Miranda Hatfield was caught with the moans of another man between her teeth was the day that Charles truly began to love his own soul. 20
He even supposed he should be thanking Ludo for accidentally bestowing upon him such happiness, but Ludo is the enemy; Ludo is the antithesis. Chuck gazes out the window, rolling thoughts of violence around in his mouth like a marble, only to become briefly enraptured by a full view of his Love, teeming with cars the size of gnats and sitting perfectly still, graceful and elegant in Her poise. She sends shivers up Charles’ spine. Today may be the day Today may be the day Today may be the day I have been ready for so long but to plan Today may be to plan would be silly it would take out the fun Charles Charles Charles Charles Charles He looks up from the café menu that he had just begun to make corrections on. Somebody is saying his name. Somebody very close; he can feel their breath on his ear warm and moist and dripping. “Yes?” Charles “Yes, what? Yes? I’m here.” Mmmmm “Ludo!” “Yes?” Ludo opened the door to Charles’ office. The walls are thin; you could hear everything that went on in Charles’ office. “Stop saying my name, Ludo.” “What?” “Stop saying my name. Stoppit. It’s strange.” “But I wasn’t.” “Yes you were, Ludo.”
Carl | Lauren Roush | Woodcut
“What the hell, Chuck? Fine. Fine.Yes. I’m just. I’m taking the stairs, and exits his office building. She’s holding his hand, a lunch now.” warm, weighty feeling in the pit of his chest, and, together they “Fine.” Charles hears the front door to the office close and move down the street. Charles can see The Bridge just eight blocks returns his attention to the piece in front of him. down the road; he is sweating, his hands have been made into fists. Charles I have loved you for so long “DAMMIT LUDO” there was no reply. Chuck pushes his wheeled Call me Lucinda Knees buckle a little bit, the voice smoky and office chair away from the desk and throws open the door, finding tense. only a “Be Back Soon” sign hung around a lamp on Ludo’s desk Lucinda Lucinda Lucinda oh, Lucinda Charles’ eyes are heavy, his Charles The voice tickles the hair of his inner ear. head full of helium; elation like this hadn’t occurred since before “Yes?” Miranda had told him that she nly he ridge could Charles, come back to your office wanted to leave him and he begged It is a woman’s voice, deep and husky, sultry fill the gaping wound and begged, pleaded like a goddamn in its inflection; it feels rich, slipping onto the infant, blubbering and rolling on their that udo had carved palate like dark chocolate and melting on the carpet and Miranda looked at him, a tongue. Charles walks back into his office. into his heart mix of disgust and pity on her lips I “Who is this?” wouldn’t do that to you And even Charles, don’t you recognize me? I’ve been with you. His heart though she had retracted this statement, she tells him that she still shoots into his throat and sits there; tears brimming in the pools of loves him that she is sorry it was just a mistake with the Ludo and his eyelids. with their “talk” she just wanted things to be the way that they used Charles looks out his window; drawn to the grey Lover he had to be. “Charles,” she used to say, “Charles, baby, I want to see your felt growing inside of him since Halloween, like a beautiful, eyes” and she would brush the long hair he’d had in his twenties incandescent mold. He sinks back into his chair, a cloud of ecstasy back and up behind his forehead and they would stare at each other settling over him. for minutes longingly and exposed and he didn’t think that he Hello had ever loved or would ever love anything like that, and Miranda Hello would sit in his bed and tell him stories about how her father was a Today is the day, Charles crop-dusting pilot in the small Iowa town that she was from and all There is an intense tingling behind his eyes; a grin spreads of the plane rides that he used to take her on and how her father’s across his face. Chuck gets up out of his chair, slowly walks down strong, hairy, calloused hands used to be such a comfort to her in
her darker times; she would tell stories about the Greek gods that she studied so emphatically in college but whenever she told stories about Greek gods she would always name one of them “Chuck,” and Chuck the Greek God would be the god of strength or manhood or agriculture or crop dusters and during these stories Charles would always look at his own hands and notice how small and fleshy and hairless they were and smile at how strong Miranda could make him feel, hate that he needed her to feel like that and he would wonder what small things he could say the next day to drag her down, to tie weights around her self esteem and toss them into the sea, only to apologize later; how she would say that he was her rock and her strength and now that was Gone gone gone the spaces in Miranda’s heart and body that he used to inhabit full of Ludo. But he has Lucinda now, he has Lucinda and he is elated because She is his yours his and only his no he hadn’t been this happy in months and he knows that She wouldn’t You wouldn’t do that to me do that to him no Lucinda knows better and now Charles is laughing, cackling as he saunters down the streets of downtown Peoria, cars honking as he jay walks mercilessly, kicking the left headlight of an automobile that had barely squeezed to a stop two feet from taking out Chuck’s knees, middle fingers flying, and Chuck laughs and smashes the headlight in with the heel of his Doc Martin boot he is so happy. The driver of the car does not exit the vehicle. The night of the Company Halloween Party, Charles stood in a corner in his Zeus costume, toga brushing the floor and crown of grape leaves making his scalp itchy. He was talking to Russell, his boss, about a particularly fine menu that he had been exposed to on a recent trip to New York City. It was at a sushi restaurant;
the trim had been a beautiful drawing of a green vine, peppered with cherry blossoms and hand-painted carp in watercolor. Russell was interested, enjoyed talking literature with his employees after a good number of drinks. Charles felt the marijuana he’d smoked earlier doing funny things to his head, floating around the room and beaming at the coworkers that he normally liked to steer clear from, ogling at all of the outfits in his vision, vampires and witches and mummies and mobsters and all; three drinks in and all of the poorly constructed menus in the world couldn’t have brought down his evening; he wrote a poem while sitting in the corner that read All of the ghosties Come out to office buildings Haunt our brains He was immensely proud of it. Miranda was somewhere on the ninth floor, perhaps a bathroom stop, but Chuck was okay not speaking with Miranda; speaking with Miranda when he was high was stressful, and he was enjoying writing poetries and talking about menus and seeing coworkers that were normally confined to offices and cubicles and all of a sudden everybody’s heads turned to Chuck’s office door and they cocked their heads sideway so they could listen a little better to the persistent creak creak creak slipping from under the crack. And then there’s the moan; a single, nasalsounding escape. Charles recognizes that moan. He knows it, had heard it on a series of instances; his stomach dropped into feet; he turned, ran down the stairs, and screamed into the streets of downtown Peoria, running towards his home, falling and scraping 23
his knees on the asphalt, blood caking his white linen toga hands lacerated by the concrete he collapsed into a fetal position on the grey Bridge. He lied there, breathing heavily oh Miranda, imagining his wife and his secretary post-coitally snuggling on his office floor, using their bundled up clothing as pillows and whispering tender phrases to each other. “I wonder if she will complement Ludo on his hands,” he thought to himself, and began to cry. Charles pressed his face into the asphalt of this Bridge and sobbed, gasps catching in his throat and mucus bubbling on the corners of his mouth as thoughts of beautiful Miranda removed sections from his chest. And slowly, Charles stopped crying. He stopped crying and took a deep breath in through his mouth, inhaling small particles of dust and rock. He felt something pressing on his mind, a warm glow both comforting and sinister; he knew this glow; he was familiar with this glow. It was grey and large, monolithic and seemingly ancient, suspending itself through the forces of physics and sheer willpower, this glow was familiar, but it was a glow that he only knew in terms of something to get him from East Peoria to the downtown area and he felt this Bridge, ran his fingers over it whimpering in a growing feeling of ecstasy and beckoned this glow closer; he let himself open up to and accept the Bridge wholeheartedly into his consciousness but what about Miranda but it was okay Miranda didn’t deserve his love Charles was a man in need of uplift and his Hera, the lover he had poured himself into for years of his life, could no longer tomorrow may be the day comfort him. And now, Charles is marching down the street, vibrating with a maniacal energy, kicking over garbage cans and slapping stop signs, throwing his body at telephone poles. Growing crowds of 24
people are pouring out from stores and parked cars, ogling at this man making his way to the river but keeping a safe distance. Why do I wear these clothes Lucinda has never worn clothes in her life and Charles began to unbutton his shirt, remove his belt, kick his shoes from his feet his slacks rip and shred as he tears them from his shaking person. Look at all of these people, Charles yes yes yes Look at them, lead them to me yes yes Depraved and sick and grotesque they are in their incompleteness lead them to me Charles mmmmmmm So that they can know Hurry Charles Charles I hear sirens in the city FASTER CHARLES Chuck breaks into a sprint for the remaining two hundred feet until he reaches his Lover and collapses into the asphalt. Charles is clutching Lucinda’s pavement, naked, curled up on his knees and touching his lips to the concrete over and over again today is the day today is the day he cannot remember how he got there but he is happy that it is happening oh Lucinda and he drags himself into a standing position, mid-afternoon traffic staring as it drives by the Naked Bridge Man, Charles steps Today is the day, Charles onto the guardrail, caressing the metal beams and gripping the cylindrical railing with his toes Today is his head is tilted upward, small breeze whipping in and out of his bare limbs, he drinks in the scent of his Love Lucinda Lucinda Lucinda no more no more no more Lucinda Lucinda, I love you Today is the day, Charles Today is the day Today
Babycity | Ezra Edgerton & Cal Froikin | Screenprint
Corruption | Hazel Batrezchavez | Reductive print
Cyndi Mayweather 57821 | Max Christensen | Digital photograph
Frank Ocean Matt Dole
There was a moment, as I recall, When we stood sandwiched in my kitchen Between counter, sink, and stove, Trying to flip crepes without Leaving them tangled and messy. It’s All in the wrist, as it turns out. Success: A full moon rising in my kitchen over Saint Louis glittering dangerous and Unfriendly, and sinking like the glass In leaded windows, settling for the Bottom. Would you have talked to me If I wasn’t reading Frankenstein on the bus? I spent most of that first year Listening to the frank ocean of Corn swaying outside of town, burrowing 28
Into a new bed of dry, hard earth. I couldn’t believe you’d never heard of him. I did the best I could, taught you the Chorus of “Thinkin Bout You.” Bout: Noun, a match between boxers And panties.You fell in love With my pantry because I made you Roasted garlic bread, spent a day Letting the dough rise from the Bottom of the bowl until it kissed The rim and left sweat on the underside Of the lid. I chopped vegetables for A while, thuck, thuck, thuck, thuck, thuck In time to snare drums and the Perpetual questions I would ask
After leaving for home. Outside Stuck windows, fixed by the landlordâ€™s Infinite white paint, the slice of Forest Park That raised my rent by a hundred dollars A month came bright and early to sunset And eventual happiness. Funny how things Move so smoothly youâ€™d swear They never moved at all.
Matadora | Jensen Oness | Vine charcoal
Glitch | Doyi Lee | Digital collage
Sully’s Irish Pub Jenkin Benson
At the floodguard intersection, Christmas Eve overcast hovers above parking lot oil stains. There’s a loophole in Iowa state bar law, you can be underage and shoot the shit as long as there’s food being served. But, it’s hard to talk when your mouth is full of shrimp cocktail.
XX | Rosie O’Brien | Oil on canvas
Twins | Jensen Oness | Mixed media
Muriel Colin Ludlow
Muriel was learning to enjoy the drink in front of her. After four days straight of the resort’s margaritas, daiquiris, and sardonic hybrids of the two, she opted for a more refined beverage: a Joan Collins. After a quick check of the bartender’s handbook, the drink was served, and Muriel learned that a Joan Collins was actually gin based. Nevertheless, Muriel knew that sophistication sometimes required sacrifice. Sipping her drink cautiously, Muriel spun around on the bar stool, whipping her long, brown hair in a glamorous arch around her head. Unfortunately, her beauty once again went unnoticed. The nearby patrons were already captivated by her sister, Carmen, who was currently discussing her preferred strategies for sunbathing. Muriel quickly ran her hands through her hair, dislodging a few glamorous strands from her corneas. A quick scan of the bar suggested that any potential conversation partners had already partnered with Carmen. Muriel sighed inwardly and, as she had done each night this week, tried to admire their admiration. Four men sat in front of Carmen, dressed in Hawaiian shirts, cargo shorts, and watches designed to look expensive. Beside the men sat, surprisingly, their wives—all of whom were coordinating one-piece swimsuits, sarongs, sun hats, and costume jewelry. To her credit, Carmen’s charm wasn’t entirely due to rampart sex appeal. Women, children, nuns, and at least one
blind man had all been equally drawn to Carmen’s ability to regale a crowd. Muriel could never blame Carmen for her perpetual limelight; Carmen herself could not prevent it. Carmen once profusely apologized for having delayed Muriel’s wedding by five minutes. The pastor simply had to see Carmen’s engagement ring. Muriel had spent much of her life trying to reverse engineer Carmen’s enchantment both socially and professionally. Throughout her early twenties, Muriel always hoped her own brand of charm would spontaneously ignite during one of her theatre auditions. Her greatest achievement by far was her time with Chicago’s Second City. She never performed, but the time she spent on-call on weekday nights was unforgettable. Muriel thought often of the time Tina Fey laughed at one of her jokes, hoping to one day to remember what the joke actually was. Muriel managed to get halfway through the Joan Collins before Carmen grew bored with her audience. With an unsubtle glance to the door, Carmen signaled it was time to exit. Muriel downed her drink, disguising her grimace with another flip of her hair. The sisters entered the night, walking the stone path back to their room. Even after four days of vacation, Muriel had yet to adapt to Aruba’s evenings. Each night, on her walk back to her room at the Playa Rosa Resort, cool breezes swirled around her bare legs, 33
dancing with her, urging her to explore the night. Muriel’s body Muriel hadn’t noticed how quiet the resort could be. would twitch with the desire to run into the darkness. Despite She walked down the path to a nearby veranda and gazed at her this, Carmen had ended each evening at eleven or midnight— surroundings. Everything from the dark green shrubbery to white right before the darkness gained its full momentum. Muriel had deco structures was subdued into either blue or silhouette. She yet to complain; beauty sleep was kicked off her flip-flops, picked a direction, indeed essential. Still, for the past uriel s application and began to walk, waiting for that gentle five nights, Muriel had fallen asleep breeze to tickle her forward. arrived just as the with her eyes locked on the window She walked and she strolled. And curtain, imagining what adventure the general manager after five minutes of still air, she banked a night had reserved for her. left, down another path, this time dancing was silently As Carmen approached their door, a grapevine past her fellow guests’ rooms. Muriel was reminded that this was the considering spiking Unsatisfied, she planted her foot and began last night Aruba would give her. spinning, mentally chanting, “whirlingthe resort s CARMEN dervish, whirling-dervish,” as she repeatedly (Repeatedly swiping key card) tossed the hem of her sundress through the chocolate milk These stupid things. For as much as air. She gradually slowed. Then she stopped, supply with cream they charge, you know? uninspired. Perhaps that guiding breeze (Successfully opens door) was just a breeze. Perhaps this come-hither liqueur We should probably pack up. I don’t darkness held nothing for her. Perhaps she wanna do it all before the plane tomorrow. was a tipsy, middle-aged woman spinning outside someone’s hotel MURIEL room. I’m going for a walk. Muriel retraced her steps and found one of her pink flipCARMEN flops. She donned it and walked lop-sided in search of the other It’s a little late Murmur. one. She eventually saw a flash of pink beneath a bush. She knelt, MURIEL reached in, but felt nothing. Reaching further, she buried her I’ll be back. shoulder into the bush, and grabbed onto something. Muriel pulled CARMEN out, not a shoe, but a hot pink flyer: Fine. Just don’t wake me up when you come back in. (Closes door with a thud). HELP WANTED: CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR
Gentle breezes began to spin around her as she held the flyer in the moonlight. The flyer featured stock photos of children playing sports and drawing pictures, but her eyes locked on the one image of a child on stage. For a few moments, she briefly considered waking Carmen. For a few seconds, she considered waking the entire resort. But Muriel needed a plan first. Muriel held the flyer to her chest and scurried away into the darkness, the gentle breezes scattering in her wake. The next morning, Muriel stepped into the resort’s lobby and asked to speak with a hiring manager. As she waited, she took a portion of her sundress and held it behind her, hiding the grass stains she acquired by sleeping outside.
No confusion. I want it. I live here now. Had the manager met Muriel at any other time, he would have referred the woman back to her room—or to a bar. However, in the absence of an activities coordinator, the resort had become somewhat overrun with the spawn of the upper-class. Muriel’s application arrived just as the general manager was silently considering spiking the resort’s chocolate milk supply with cream liqueur, if only to calm them down. Despite this woman’s poor life goals, she didn’t present any other warning signs. He hired her, offering her a room until she found a residence outside the resort. He was fairly certain that guests would view a college-educated babysitter as a charming luxury—hopefully not an economic omen. As Muriel exited the office, she knew there was only one more obstacle to deal with. Luckily, the obstacle soon presented herself in the lobby. Muriel informed her sister that she would be staying a few extra days. At first, Carmen protested leaving the resort without her sister, until she realized her sister’s absence would allow her to place her luggage in the empty seat.
MANAGER How can I be of service, madam? MURIEL (extends flyer) I would like to do this. Muriel’s first move was to rename her position within the MANAGER resort. “Children’s Activity Coordinator” failed to describe the Pardon? grandeur of her vision. Thus, after a swift coup, the Playa Rosa MURIEL Resort Youth Thespian Society was founded with Muriel as the I would like to be the children’s theatre director. founder, director, benefactor, and headhunter. MANAGER It quickly became apparent that an extended-stay luxury *Small Silence* resort was a prime location to recruit child actors. She scurried The Activity Coordinator is a full time position with the resort. It’s around the pools, bars, spas, and dining rooms, approaching various not an activity for guests. Sorry for the confusion. families. Muriel needed only to mention that she wanted to take MURIEL their child away and couples offered their offspring willingly. They
One Two Three | Jensen Oness | Charcoal
didn’t even hear the choice of play before they inquired where to drop the kids off. A doctor and a pharmacist offered Rebecca, an intense looking 7-year-old whose baby-fat still protected her body in excess. From a small hedge-fund manager and his third wife, Muriel acquired 6-year-old twins Jennifer and Guinevere. They were quite bright; however, neither of them was willing to speak without the silent approval of her sister. Eight-year-old Susan’s mother signed the clipboard while sipping a Long Island. She mentioned something about Susan’s allergic reactions, but apparently they still hadn’t discovered the cause. A quick walk through the buffet uncovered Tiffany. Judging by their clothing, Muriel suspected that Tiffany’s family saved up extensively to vacation here. Based on their many trips to the buffet, they got their money’s worth. Eventually, Muriel decided that she had gathered enough talent to fulfill her vision. An hour before the first practice, she was working diligently on a possible casting. She thought carefully about her first impressions of the children but ultimately struggled to allocate the parts. After toiling for roughly ten minutes, her concentration was derailed by a haggard-looking woman and her even more haggard daughter. WOMAN Are you the activity lady? MURIEL Formerly. I was promoted to Director of the Playa Rosa Youth Th--WOMAN Good, I found you. This is Bethany. She’s excited. BETHANY (Silence)
MURIEL Oh, does she want to be an actor? WOMAN Probably not. She doesn’t speak. BETHANY (Silence) MURIEL Well, then maybe this isn’t the best plaWOMAN Just let her sit in the room or something. She doesn’t need much. I have to go. Muriel examined her latest acquisition. Bethany silently stared back. She was adorable, in a sense. Bethany seemed to be fiddling with her dark blond hair. Muriel soon realized that Bethany was actually crocheting it. With a crochet hook. Muriel watched Bethany unweave sections of her hair and re-crochet them into an undoubtedly spiritual up-do, apparently using any pattern that came to mind. It appeared as a hornets’ nest constructed of braided hay, reaching almost a foot above her head. It seemed to morph into flesh-like mounds around Bethany’s scalp while allowing countless split ends to sway in Aruban breezes. To Bethany’s credit, it seemed clean and un-dreaded. Muriel wondered how long it would reach completely unwoven. Once Muriel established that Bethany was indeed content with her silence, Muriel returned to the cast list. Muriel worked quickly under Bethany’s gaze, writing to the rhythmic scratching of hair against hair. She was noticeably more lucid, recalling details about the children and the nuances of the roles she was filling. She attached names to characters, accomplishing in in ten minutes what she expected to take an hour. 37
She looked up to see the girl silently staring at her. She immediately promoted Bethany to Director’s Assistant. The practice time approached, and parents began to usher their children in and saunter off to other parts of the resort. As Muriel looked over her all-female cast, she saw the clockwork of destiny fitting into place. Soon, the Playa Rosa Resort Youth Thespian Society was going to preform a piece that might as well have been written for them: Euripides’s Medea. The choice of play was obvious. An all female cast with raw, undeveloped talent required an edgy but classic vehicle. After the first rehearsal, Muriel decided to increase their practice times from daily to twice a day. None of the parents seemed to mind, and Muriel was thankful. This production was going to refine these girls’ raw talent. The play’s themes also served to introduce these young women to the real world, as Hannah quickly learned. MURIEL Alright, Medea. It’s your time now. What are you feeling in this scene? HANNAH I’m mad. MURIEL Good, Medea. Good. But anger is a secondary emotion. Why are you mad? Who made you mad? HANNAH (Pauses to think) My boyfriend. MURIEL That’s right, Medea. Your illegitimate husband Jason is about to take a new wife, okay, honey? Remember that. Now, you’re going to 38
reach into the cauldron, grab some glitter, and sprinkle it all over the pretty dress. Do you remember what that glitter is? HANNAH Medicine. MURIEL Super close, Medea. That’s alright. That’s your poison, okay, sweetheart? The minute Jason’s wife puts on the pretty dress, she’ll go into cardiac arrest. (to off-stage) Are you paying attention, Tiffany? That means you, sweetie. (to Hannah) So make sure to sprinkle a lot of the poison all over the dress. It makes you really happy, but it also makes you a little sad. Let’s practice, okay? Muriel had found a challenge worthy of her abilities. Between sleeping, eating, and practice times, Muriel would find a spot in the resort to block scenes and review notes. In the mornings, she did most of the work in the solitude of her room. Afternoons, she would claim a table for hours in a dining room. At night she would work in one of the resort’s bars until they closed. She came to fully appreciate the gin within the Joan Collins— as well as the vodka in a martini and the whiskey in a shot of whiskey. Recently, the bartenders had been encouraging her to try wine, pouring her merlots as she entered the bar. They reminded her to drink it very slowly in order to appreciate the bouquet. She welcomed their efforts to further sophisticate her. Several days before her production was to premiere, Muriel sat in the bar, halfway through a cabernet sauvignon. She was struggling with the final set design. Despite the tremendous
progress she had made with her charges, the resort was slow to give her the funding she required for a successful performance. As Muriel methodically meditated on a gulp of wine, a bartender approached with the bar’s phone in hand. It was for her.
What? (pause) Look, Muriel, I get it. It’s Aruba. Paradise. Don’t you think I would love to leave my job, and just say, “Fuck it?” But that’s not what we do, Muriel.You have stuff to do. You, for now, have a HUSBAND husband. You gotta think of other people besides yourself before I’ve been trying to call you for two weeks. What’s going on? Are you do shit like this. you okay? MURIEL MURIEL Why do you have so many pictures of Carmen on your phone? I’m great. HUSBAND HUSBAND What? Muriel, I can’t help you if you can’t even (pause) he came to fully pick up the phone. When are you coming Jesus, Muriel. Is that all this is? She’s appreciate the gin back? family. People wind up with pictures MURIEL of family on their phone. within the oan I’m not. I am the resort’s Children’s MURIEL ollins as well Theatre Director. You don’t have any pictures of me. HUSBAND HUSBAND as the vodka in a (heavy pause) (heavy pause) martini and the Are you serious? See if you can get a cheap boob job (pause) while you’re down there, Murmur. whiskey in a shot of You’re fucking nuts, Murmur. Muriel returned the phone whiskey MURIEL to the bartender, paid her tab, and Stop calling me that. silently left. She walked aimlessly HUSBAND along the stone paths. I call crazy when I see it. She had been in control of her production for two weeks. MURIEL Just days before her premier, she was still struggling to simply build No, not that. a set. She still needed costumes. The girls were still learning their HUSBAND parts. She remembered that this was pretty normal though, most
of the production taking shape at the last minute. Her show could still be a success. It would be. But Muriel then wondered what would happen after the curtain. Would it be time for another show? What play would she choose next? She wondered if her husband would eventually come for her. For a moment, she imagined him arriving in Aruba and searching the resort for her. Running through the buildings, calling her name. Like the climax of a romantic comedy or, perhaps, a horror film. Muriel slowly wandered toward the recreational room, hoping to match her sketches against the actual dimensions of the space. She sighed heavily and unlocked the door. She flicked on the light, only to find Bethany, furiously working. The walls had been segmented by papier-mâché Greek columns that Bethany had apparently spent three nights making. Bethany had found plastic stepstools that would create the upstage area for the Greek chorus. Finally, the edges and background of the space were lovingly draped in the resort’s dark red bed linens, inviting the audience into the romance-gone-wrong nature of the play. Bethany finished taping a sheet to the wall. She walked to Muriel’s side, turned back toward the stage, and grabbed Muriel’s hand. Together, they gazed over their theatre. Several days passed; opening night arrived. Before Muriel unlocked the house doors, she gathered the girls onto the stage for a cast photo. Each girl was clad in a white Grecian gown finagled from borrowed beach towels. Their hair was pinned up with butterfly clips or, in some cases, paper clips. Muriel had given Medea a bright purple sundress from her own wardrobe. The skirt was cut to suit the girl’s height, but the scraps were then woven 40
into the girl’s hair, giving Medea the regal visage she was denied her whole life. As Muriel inspected the ensemble, she noticed Bethany off to the side, silently crocheting her hair. “There’s something missing,” Muriel said, “We need a goddess to bear witness to this event.” Muriel guided Bethany to the stage and draped her in a beach towel. She rummaged through a nearby toy chest until she found a black plastic mask—most likely a Power Ranger. She bestowed the mask unto Bethany, saying, “I think you would make a good Hera. Stand upstage so that Olympus will know what happened here.” Muriel threw open the house doors and allowed the world inside. The audience filed in. They were clad in their finest board shorts, sarongs, and flip-flops. Some carried decadent hurricanes and Long Island iced teas. It was the finest audience Muriel had seen in years. She snuck to the back of the rec-room and flipped the light switch on and off. She then scurried to the side of the stage and pressed play on an iPod, allowing Gregorian chant to seep through speakers around the room. Finally, she dumped a block of dry ice into a bucket of water, slowly producing a fog. Susan’s opening monologue as the Nurse was haunting. She hit her marks. Her movement was natural. Her lines were, well, wrong. The cast in general was unable to learn most of their lines. But Muriel was after the emotion. The Nurse crept along the stage, pleading with the audience to feel for Medea, only hinting at the doom that was about to transpire. “Ma-dee-ya is really sad right now, you guys,” the Nurse proclaimed, “Jason is bad boyfriend. I hope nothing bad happens!” Muriel monitored her audience’s reaction with anticipation.
Adoration. Curiosity. The play continued to Medea’s first murder. Medea reached into the cauldron and brought forth all the poison her tiny hand could handle. “Die, Lady!” Medea hissed, flinging the magic powder unto the garment. As the audience was grappling with Medea’s raw emotion, the actress, a dramatic genius, improvised. She reached into the cauldron again and, with all the fury of a vengeful mistress, she doused the dress with yet another flurry of hatred. She rejoiced with murderous glee as she screamed to the skies, “Glitter!” Muriel gauged her audience again. Despair. Confusion. All the trademarks of a captivated audience. It was then time for Medea to take her most precious revenge on Jason by murdering the two sons she bore for him. The chorus had rested. The house squirmed uncomfortably with anticipation. Medea stepped downstage, taking the time to stare down each member of the audience with her newly soulless eyes. In one hand, she held a silver dagger. In the other, two Tickle-MeElmos. The room was silent yet echoed the question, “will she do it?” Medea answered, “Sorry, Elmo!” She flung her children to the stage and raised the dagger high above her head. She was an actress no more. She was a child no more. Hannah had become Medea, a lover turned demon who would set the unrivaled standard for women scorned. Muriel could hear the reviews of her show being typed all across the world. Medea thrust the dagger down, and an ear-shattering shriek rang true from the audience. What a reaction! Too much of a reaction. Muriel looked toward stage-left. A pink, fleshy bulb of a woman stood, flinging her hand through the air, screaming.
Face Lines | Julia Broeker | Woodcut
Desiring a colder drink, the stupid, drunken, sun-burned sow had managed to creep over to the bucket of dry ice in water. She had attempted to clutch the ice, and her hand was now severely burned. She screamed at the audience for assistance. The climax of the play had been tarnished. Muriel could feel her soul cracking. The audience had been cast out of Medea’s chambers and was now safely back in Recreational Room C within the Playa Rosa Resort. Muriel sullenly stepped toward the blubbering woman, offering assistance when she should have been accepting roses. Amidst the chaos of the audience and the silence of the chorus, Hera proceeded forth from her heavenly vantage point. She walked slowly down the stage, as though her feet had to first grow accustomed to mortal soil. She stopped at the edge of the stage. Still wearing the mask, Hera opened her mouth and scream-sung a single pitch. She paced from end to end of the stage, targeting each member of the audience, demanding reverence. Armed with the theatre’s full attention, Hera raised her hand above her head and plunged it deep into her labyrinthine crown of hair. In one glorious motion, she pulled a golden crochet hook from her headdress, allowing several lifetimes of hair to cascade around her, enveloping the stage with luminous trestles. She gathered her hair and began twirling it around the room. In one whip, Hera managed to knock the several glasses and cell phones out of hands of the front row. She hurled her glorious, sturdy mane to the ceiling, catching on the blade of a ceiling fan. Still screamsinging, the strength of her locks lifted her body and she soared above the audience following a whirlwind-chariot of chestnut hair. The audience remained awestruck. Even the drunk woman 42
had forgotten about her burning hand. Muriel stood in front of center stage, embracing a degree of joy that threatened to burst free from her heart. Hera, swinging above, ended her divine scream, and spoke the final lines of Euripides’s play: “Zeus on Olympus, dispenses many things. Gods often contradict our fondest expectations. What we anticipate does not come to pass. What we don’t expect, some god finds a way to make it happen. So with this story!” As Hera pontificated, someone managed to turn off the ceiling fan. Her tiny frame came to a graceful stop several feet from the ground. Then, having served its purpose, the hair-chariot snapped at shoulder length. The mask hit the floor as Bethany fell into Muriel’s waiting arms. The audience carefully maintained their silence. Several eyed the door, as though they sensed that something they could not understand had just occurred in this rec-room—or rather, in this theater. Carrying Bethany, Muriel herself led the procession out, followed by her endlessly talented cast. Night had fallen. They walked out of theatre: past the pools, past the bars, along the stone paths, and through the resort’s gate. They were not followed. As they walked toward the beach, she heard the rhythmic rumblings of applause as the waves crashed against the shore. She heard inspired cheers as seagulls passed above her. She felt a familiar breeze envelope her, dancing beside her, finally finding its center. The chorus scampered into the water, splashing through sea and foam. Tiffany washed the glitter from her dress. Medea built herself a grand sand castle. And Muriel felt Bethany’s tiny hands begin to play with her hair, weaving it into something beautiful.
Turkey 1 | Ezra Edgerton | Screenprint
Window Ride Jacob Miller
Gray pines cast shadows on the pavement as I let myself be carried a long way from home. I remember the low hum of tires on the wet road. I was a child watching New England through glass, waiting. It was easy to be still; that choiceless stare held a sort of grace. These days, landlocked and stranded, I still havenâ€™t learned to drive. There are too many places to go, maps to follow. I still want to be led. I donâ€™t yet know the desire that brings distance to bear, how to speak the way tires speak to the road, with errant need. New England drifts in my mind under thick mist; Salem and Providence, 44
Concord, home, I have wanted those places, wanted someone to give me the miles between them. I would have lain down in their backseat, and asked them to show me how the world remains, grown and ready, at armâ€™s length.
Incontinence Jenkin Benson
There is a weight in my walnut gland. However, it doesnâ€™t go with gravity. It hangs obliquely from dendrites aspersing waste so convincingly cancerous.
Staggered | Maddie Howland | Graphite
Claire and Brooks Suite | Lauren Roush | Monotype
A Week in Cape Cod Jenkin Benson At the Barnstable County fair, I step over pools of blueberry infused bile. Itâ€™s a piety competition. Dressed business puritanical, A Falmouth of pollen sermonizes. On the east coast, white capped halo tops salt all who look back. 48
Canyon | Jack Dunnington | Digital painting
Help Jenny Kick This Monsterâ€™s Ass | Hannah Kate Kelley | Ink on cardboard
Zuihitsu #2 - Things That Should Not Overlap Jenkin Benson
1. “My phone is off line.” misheard as “Your loins are on fire?” 2. A song at 128 beats per minute and a song at 92 beats per minute. Please tell the dj that it is imperative to avoid mixing this way. 3. Picnic food on a paper plate, soggy and melty in mid-July. One of the worst things about living in Iowa is that everyone 35 years or older will constantly try and have picnics despite the many inconveniences of eating outside. Sugar attracts swarms and the sun is always 5 degrees too uncomfortable. 4. Conservative friends and liberal friends 5. A philosophy course and the weekend. There is something particularly disheartening about being separated from the weekend by a seemingly interminable discussion on the continental worldview. 35 remaining minutes of absolute unremitting horseshit.
Behind the Crevices | Doyi Lee | Digital prints
Football Corset | Lauren Roush | Football jersey and welded aluminum
Bishan, China | Rosie Oâ€™Brien | Digital photograph
Socialismus in Stickerei - Der Brunderkuss | Socialismus in Stickerei - Stalin | Sophie Donlon | Embroidery
Two Truths and a Phoebe Mogharei XXX He said,You do not know fish if you’re not from New York. He said it from under the brim of a baseball cap, and he said it from a cracked open grin that was supposed to let us in on it but really just completed the circle started by the bill of the hat. I’d seen that grin once before, in the hallowed streets of another City, eyes poring ahead, almost kicked the dog of the man lying on the sidewalk. I swear I saw a cheap fish sandwich –only the locals know where – wrapper drop from his fingers. But I’ve never been to New York so I don’t know. XX Tiny footsteps: David, are you asleep? He heard her, but he couldn’t get over the feeling that this was all a hoax. What kind of city girl wants to marry a farmer, much less one she meets on the internet? I closed my eyes and tried to sleep so as to not overhear the whispers that carried easily through this porous old house. The light creak of knees on bedsprings, and then a sob of gratitude, relief, misconception. She was real, she was real, she had motivations unknown. Much later, he would tell me without looking at me that she had been just a ghost all along. All those long years. X You fucking bitch, you fucking whore! I saw the future then: nails deep into flesh, palm pushed deep into a face where mascara and eyeliner were runny and smudged long ago, hands woven into hair as they pulled each other to the ground. But when I turned the corner, instead, a woman reclined in another woman’s arms, the enclosed rocking in the encloser’s stable grip. He called you that? the encloser said, smart enough to express shock to words she had heard enough herself. Hmmm, she said. Hmm. I snuck past them, relieved. Thank god someone was there to take care of her. I just wanted to go to the bathroom. 57
The Black Vultures Harlan Kuhr
Parthenon was boiling over: the Black Vultures were coming. Their northward flight had taken them years, but they were finally closing in. The journey that had carried them began in the proud state of Texas and took them through the backwaters of Arkansas until they had finally breached the Missouri border. The People of St. Louis had been happy to see them; of that there can be no doubt. Too long had the town of Parthenon been held in the talons of the Turkey Vultures, those redheaded, warty crooks. They had no competition. They had browbeaten the esteemed Crows into humiliation and outdone the quick-witted Coyotes through the advantage of flight, while the Flies sat by, too ashamed to eat. Always with an “excuse me” and a “sorry, sir” did the Flies evacuate whenever they were caught around their meals, dignified creatures that they were. But flying up from the south came the Black Vultures, equal competitors at long last. The People of Parthenon celebrated when they heard the news, dancing out of their corn and wheat fields to form a committee. The Black Vultures would be welcomed, they decided. Signs would be painted, and a band would be organized. Food would be baked by every mother in the town, they pronounced, and set upon paper plates in the square for the Black Vultures to enjoy. 58
“WELCOME BLACK VULTURES,” one sign read insistently. “WELCOME BLACK VULTURES,” read another. The town was ready for the arrival of the Black Vultures. Their feathers on the horizon wafted forward too slowly for some. The assembled handkerchiefs were quickly set to work wiping brows, for the sun was aggressive that day. The People of Parthenon were careful, however, not to drink from their bottles of lemonade, as these were designated for use by the Black Vultures. Sweltering, the townsfolk waited. At last, the Black Vultures were arriving. The first of them to touch down in the square were Leaders with respectably raised beaks. As they walked forward towards the People of Parthenon, they each took turns extending a diplomatic wing to the mayor and bowing, almost down to their feet. The next to land were various of the distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of Black Vultures, who looked around and nodded in courtly appreciation. Finally came the Common Folk, workers and homemakers who knew not of etiquette, but who showed their gratitude plainly in their stooped heads and deferent expressions. As the hours rolled on, the Black Vultures continued to flock around the paper plates, thanking at every opportunity the kind People of Parthenon for their generosity. Eventually, the Mayor of Parthenon in a contagious revelry delivered a hearty address to the
Black Vultures, an address for which even the hungriest of them stopped eating to listen. Then, riding on the built-up excitement, the band pounced into a series of tunes to which all began dancing. The melodies were so bouncy and infectious that even the most refined of the visitors were coaxed into a gaiety which has never seen any equal in the town of Parthenon. At the end of the day, it was hard not to feel melancholy. The Black Vultures, those most long-awaited of guests, had finally come to Parthenon, and even if the celebrations could not last forever, everyone present wished that they could last another day at the very least. But sadly, the time had come for the Black Vultures to leave. First the Leaders took off, giving one final bow each. The Ladies and Gentlemen soon followed, presenting their practiced nods of thanks as they left, and the Common Folk were close at their tails, hiding their faces in an ineffable gratitude. Before the People of Parthenon realized what had happened, the Black Vultures were all gone, departed for better lands, to bask on broiling spring days in the infinite wheat fields of Canada. The Turkey Vultures were glad at their leaving.
Place for Conversations | Elle Azul Duncombe-Mills | Digital photograph
Chewy | Jack Dunnington | Etching
Couldnâ€™t Say a Word Patrick Armstrong
I saw the same woman but she had a different face today, a different nose and eyes she was not lit by the moon anymore.
I lay across her breast, following wisps of chestnut hair, flowing in the breeze. Her bangs run loose. I smell her and revel perfectly whole, like the moon I first spied her under.
She stroked my convex cheek her fingertips facing the sea, cuticles softly dragging across my skin as if she were skimming cream off raw milk
The coffee she made me was too hot and she left before I drank. I could not appreciate her touch while she was still around. I swished the grounds around the bottom of the cup (that was too small for my hands) they danced like her bangs on the sand and I will never see her again.
The linens the same, clean, white. White sheets on white walls framed by white sills opening to the brilliant green prelude to white sands sands soaking in the pale ocean The sea, a blue that grew to different hues, reflecting the sky at first delving deeper to a navy you drown in 62
Skeleton | Linnea Schurig | Lumber, newsprint, found objects and a lighting fixture
Last Day on Gerry Road Jacob Miller
I slept in your spare room most nights, heat blistering the deep-set windows.Your glasses fogged with steam, we rubbed balm into our sunburnt knees. We watched summer curling like smoke over the hills, crooked and green with dusk. College-bound, restless, immobile: you will never return to this house. Though I leave too, I am still bound here. The moon glides through frosted glass, you tell me, who would ever want to go home? Childhood means to teach us that time does not pass. It vanishes.
Maria | Hazel Batrezchavez | Monotype
Untitled | Josh Anthony | Linocut
Yaseen Morshed My mother named me after the heart of the Quran. She thought that God and good intentions were all you needed in life. And so she smiled and prayed, night and day, I watched her get on her knees and say words in Arabicâ€”singing them like poetry, voice trembling with tones that I couldnâ€™t understand. She hates it when I rhyme. Insists that the devil is playing connect the dots with temptations in my mind. She knows that I have issues with Allah. And with her husband, who likes to pretend that he is God. I am not sure who I believe in less: the man whose sole I witnessed crush compliance into the soul of the one that I love the most or the god that gave us nothing but silence when we needed him the most.
Hover | Maddie Howland | Graphite
Breathless Grace Lloyd
Elena lies under the pale brilliance of the sun In the courtyard grass of her elementary school building, chest heaving as if she had sprinted to the spot, though a boy will later tell their teacher She just fell to the ground, collapsed and rolled on her back and started to twitch, as Elena still twitches, her ears muted, her tongue lolling despite the credit card jammed between her teeth, drool silvering her chin as the sun glints off her wet face and pasty cheeks— and the teacher calls it a seizure but the nurse who runs from the office says no, the blame lies on her lungs, on her bronchi, among the crumpled alveoli (which pull and pull but can find no oxygen in the air) and on the card which blocks her gasps for breath, so the nurse tears the choking plastic out from between the clamped teeth and dials 9-1-1 while holding the girls’ hand and crooning, It’s an asthma attack, it’ll be okay, just hang in there, slow your breathing down, but Elena needs no name for what is happening, and cannot hear it anyway; she knows this as pain, blood in her ears, her throat vibrating with each wheeze, her chest so tight that her ribs press against her 68
breasts and threaten to pierce through, so she clutches herself to hold them in, hugs herself to preserve the flesh around the bones that cage her rapid heart and lungs as they beat and beat a black tattoo within her ears and wrists and behind her eyes, eyes which see only a tunnel crumpling like paper until Elena sees nothing at all, her senses smothered… the EMT’s fingers at her throat can hardly feel a pulse over the thrum of the ambulance transporting them, but he sees her eyes rolling under their lids with the fever gaze of the dying, her lips purpled and poised to kiss death as it leans over her—as Elena now leans over herself, looks down on her wet white flesh and listens to the rattle of her lungs against her ribs, watches the EMT thrust the defibrillator’s icy paddles against her breasts with a cry of Clear!, watches him place an ear to her lips and then his lips to her lips, tasting her lifeless tongue as he fills her vacant shell with air and begs her to Please, breathe, all the while Elena floats above his hunched figure and her cyanotic body, a pale shadow lying on a mint green bed in the back of a now-stopped ambulance, her final breath locked in her throat as the frantic mouth of the EMT tries to share his air with the dead, tries to breathe her back to life.
Thinking while Bob Dylan Leo Abbe
Get the old parrot-fetish white men out of my house, they’ve been here since Christmas; reading fake fairytales, and showering couches in cigarette butts like the holiday never really ended; eating all my bologna sandwiches and taking all of the mayo and pickle juice
I’ve lived with these assholes night after night after night and I can’t stand the way their boring grayasses linger linger linger any longer— and it’s about time their gray hair goes and they go with it
Embrace Eliana Schechter
The body a pomegranate scented loss: the kind They beep at on the street. Close circuit violence re-presenting itself. Who will be written in this year? Only the modest are honorable here. A nation among nations tests unmitigated pain in blood pressure cuffs. Ahead thereâ€™s a violence in the circularity of the corner shopâ€™s juice machine. The worker tosses a bucket of yellow oranges down the chute, turns her back. Who will be written out? You created us in Your name.
Fishhook | Jensen Oness| Pen and ink
Have You Seen Pablo? Phoebe Mogharei
Have you seen Pablo? He’s out collecting the poplar leaves! They look so beautiful this time of year – they’ve spread themselves out so there is just one leaf per branch, one leaf or less. Green, he says, chin tucked! Eyes gleaming like little tar balls! Green is the color of hope. Pablo, Santo Pablo, give me your escondidos and your floreces, your sinos and porques and your consumirá la luz. Give them to me even when I am strangled in my own spiderleg hair, ensconced behind bushes.
Help Maria Feel Better by Twisting Her Nipples Hannah Kate Kelley | Ink on cardboard
Untitled 2 | Cal Froikin | Screenprint
Hangin | Ezra Edgerton | Screenprint
Aloe Vera Matt Dole
The house shifts and settles in winter, heat slinking through vents and footsteps thudding in thick carpet like bubbles rising from the seafloor. Clouds find purchase on the roof and the roof sinks into the living room, choking the air and weighing heavy on the depression in the La-Z-Boy. Night drips from the muzzled lights. His eyes sag open as the sun struggles over the horizon. I was doing fine until you thought that I needed room to grow.
Untitled 3 | Cal Froikin | Screenprint
Embroidery Self-Portrait | Lauren Roush | Embroidery
Foamie 3 | Nathan Kim | Hydrostone, foam, sand, wire, and acrylic paint
Clockwise from top left: Foamie 4, Foamie 2, Foamie 5 | Nathan Kim | Foam and enamel paint
Staff Lines | Cal Froikin | Digital
Contributors Leo Abbe ‘16 is the former runner up of The Schlereth (a competitive fantasy football league based out of Los Angeles, CA). Josh Anthony ‘17
confetti gets everywhere and won’t get off of you. Elle Azul Duncombe-Mills ‘16 thinks Naomi Wolf should give our commencement speech. Jack Dunnington ‘16 im one mean bean
Charlie Eddy ‘16 is a man of extreme tastes available in 25 Patrick Armstrong ‘18 is an American Hero/Trap different flavors. Now with Tamarindo and Bubblegum! 33% extra! Connoisseur https://www.linkedin.com/in/armstrong-patrick- While supplies last. See Brande for details. 15592ab2 Ezra Edgerton ‘16 consistently dressed to the sevens. Hazel Batrezchavez ‘17 is an Anthropology and Studio Art major who is a running enthusiast and plant lover, Cali bred. Ethan Evans ‘19 enjoys romantic comedies, long walks on the beach, and existentialism. Jenkin Benson ‘17 is from the rural outskirts of Des Moines where he was birthed from the rich topsoil of Iowa, not unlike Cal Froikin ‘16 is a 4th year from Chicago, double majoring in Tolkien’s Uruk-hai. Smoke and Mirrors...I mean Studio Art and Music. Julia Broeker ‘17 has a thing for Anthony Bourdain #hmu Max Christensen ‘16 was super depressed but now he’s getting better. Cofounder of #QueerPeerBeerCheer and honorary member of . Matt Dole ‘16 will be your server tonight. Sophie Donlon ‘16 StoRm Chaser. Alien. Entrée Preneur. LoveR. Life’s a party, and I’m the confetti. You know how 82
Maddie Howland ‘16 once won a spelling bee at a bar, plus a $50 bar tab, with the word Kierkegaardian. Elli Jung ‘16 arts posthumously. Hannah Kate Kelley ‘16 is a senior double majoring in Studio Art and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. She has hair and is related to Charlemagne. Nathan Kim ‘16 is graduating this fall and looking for handouts.
Harlan Kuhr ‘19 works for the mercenary, the Mosquito Man. Lauren Roush ‘16 is a fourth year Studio Art major from Newton, Iowa. Doyi Lee ‘16: It’s just Doyi Fxckn Awsm Lee. Eliana Schechter ‘17 is always-already. Justin Leuba ‘18 enjoys a hearty stew in the wintertime. Linnea Schurig ‘17 calls it productive procrastination. Grace Ruth Lloyd ‘16 is a fourth year English and Theatre and Dance double major with a concentration in Technology Clara Trippe ‘18 likes large bodies of water and reading about Studies. She loves writing more than anything. the color blue. Colin Ludlow ‘16 comes from a long tradition of Grinnellians Leina’ala Voss ‘18 is 21 years around the sun. who sacrifice their art, passion, and creativity in order to pursue the Economics major. Jacob Miller ‘17 Phoebe Mogharei ‘16 wants to welcome you to the Space Jam. It’s your chance. Do your dance. At the Space Jam. Alright alright alright. Yaseen Morshed ‘16: 4th year from NYC. Hot Sauce connoisseur. King of Freestyles. Rosie O’Brien ‘16 is a fourth year from Lawrence, Kansas. Her preferred medium is bison on prairie. Jensen Oness ‘16‘s work is at jasperginseng.tumblr.com. Will sell art for food/whiskey. 83