The "Metamorphosis" Issue 2.1

Page 1

St. Thomas More College’s literary magazine since 1995

The “Metamorphosis” Issue

Vol. 26, No. 2.1 March 2022

in medias res is a student-led literary magazine at St. Thomas More College that aims to publish content to reflect the identities of the campus community, its complexities and diversities. Our mission is to be a forum for community expression that showcases the high-quality work of artists in the University of Saskatchewan community. Our title describes the experience of university life, in which we are always caught “in the middle of things.” What are you thinking about? What worries you? What moves you? We want to hear the artistic voices that make up our community and help put their work out into the world.

EDITORIAL BOARD Editor-in-Chief Hannah Tran Fiction Editor Annie Liu Nonfiction Editor Olivia Kerslake Poetry Editor Douglas Barclay Visual Art Editor Aeydan Yee

Our office is located in room 158 of St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. As part of their mission statement, St. Thomas More College says that “the work of our college is not an end in itself, but must find application for the good of humanity.” We ask all readers to consider how they benefit from settler institutions such as the university and how they can apply their learning not towards maintaining the status quo but instead towards change and meaningful reconciliation.

Associate Editor Jenna Roesch Brand Manager Kyungsoo Ryu Events Manager Chloe Hunchak Visual Art Team Breena Hebron Namya Jain Staff Advisor Linda Huard

Cover Art | Do you even know me? by Narges Porsandekhial Marker on paper 21 x 21 cm

Illustrations by Breena Hebron Namya Jain

Visit us online at Visit us on social media @inmediasresstm Contact us at

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the in medias res editorial board. Individual copyrights belong to the contributors.

EDITOR’S NOTE Dear readers, As a university community, we are accustomed to the rapid changes of university life. Immersing ourselves in academia, we come out as people with new character, values and ideas. This winter, we asked contributors to think about these changes, and what we found was that there is no good way to define metamorphosis — so much so that we are excited to release our second-ever double issue of in medias res. “Metamorphosis” 2.1 and “Metamorphosis” 2.2 demonstrate a diversity of metamorphoses that we were unable to contain in a single publication. We hope you take the time to read the full anthology and appreciate the vulnerabilities that our contributors have taken the time to share. In the pages ahead, members of our university campus — undergraduate students, graduate students, staff and alumni — explore metamorphosis in ways we never could have imagined. Using fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art, our contributors demonstrate the ebbs and flows of our ever-changing lives. As you read through “Metamorphosis,” ask yourself: What changes have you undergone in your life? What or who have you seen transform before your very eyes? What feelings have mutated within you as you felt them? Which of your relationships were born or lost before you even knew it? Have you ever looked in the mirror, suddenly not knowing who you were anymore? These are the questions that this issue contends with, as it spans diverse themes including love, gender, heartbreak, self, nature, relationships, family, growth, art and more. Ironically, “Metamorphosis” also highlights that change is paradoxically one of the most constant occurrences in human life. Indeed, this issue’s intertextual nature draws inspiration from across the centuries, ranging from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (8 AD), Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis (1915), Earle Birney’s “Vancouver Lights” (2006) and Daniel Caesar’s Praise Break (2014). This is the last issue of in medias res with the 2021-2022 editorial board, and we can truly say that we — and our magazine — have gone through a metamorphosis in putting together this issue. Learning from our mistakes and growing from the challenges we have faced, we are proud to present the “Metamorphosis” issue as evidence that we, too, have changed. These changes, of course, would not be possible without the collective support of our editorial board, our talented contributors, those who help promote our magazine, St. Thomas More College and our readers. We thank you for your support and appreciate all you do to support the literary arts. “Metamorphosis” asks you to contemplate processes of change — the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly and everything in-between. With that in mind, I hope that this issue brings metamorphosis to your life, if only for a brief minute.

Hannah Tran Editor-in-Chief | 2021-2022

Table of Contents Fiction


10-11 All That Falls, Bound to Break by Rahul Edwin


20-26 The Eggs by Ian Canon

14-15 In Nature by Jesse Carlson




Homecoming by Bailey Schaan

Visual Art


Coronal Mass Ejection by Kai Orca

Cover Do you even know me? by Narges Porsandekhial


Process of Change


Kalyna by Emily Zbaraschuk


A Flock of T. rex at Kiwanis Memorial Park


Cyborg Woman #2 by Kas Rea


Overbloom by MEERAH

by Jada Morin

by Callum Wilson

Loving Spiders by Sarah

Threading the Needle by Ariana Culper


Epitaph by Greg Orrē


It Is Not A Sin by Greg Orrē


Light and Heavy by Hailey Heisler




Metamorphosis by Keitha McClocklin


post-holiday thaw


New Ideas Molecular Level by Rod Goertzen


Men Don’t Cry


Ephemeral by Sami Sayed


Adrenaline by Michelle Thevenot

by Kaitlyn Clark by Dawn Muenchrath by Devynn Boyer

To learn more about the featured authors and artists, hear their thoughts on their pieces and learn where to find them online, check out their bios at the end of this issue.




I find myself painting, not because I represent things well but because in these moments the bird inside my chest flutters gently off its bough. Messy brushstrokes make her soar and forget her cramped claustrophobia. These simple slippery moments feel like homecoming. A loose thread tugged through numb fingers. I watch March flurries fall like unformed sentences and remember I am not cold steel but soft soil. Change is not always leaving not necessarily abandoning that brittle nest. Those splintered sticks are my own ribcage.

/ 01



Loving Spiders BY SARAH Trigger warning: Intimate partner violence, sexual content

There was a black spider on the ceiling above the sink, which normally would have scared me, but she was small, and I was lonely, so I named her Charlotte and struck up a conversation. “What’s it like being a spider? How’d you get in here anyway? I’ll bet it was the drain. Have you ever been outside? It’s beautiful out there right now, you should try it. There’s more bugs,” and so on, so forth. She didn’t answer, of course, as spiders never do, but I appreciated her company nonetheless. Running my fingers across the blue microfiber towel that I had fastened into a dress, I slid down the wall, its surface pleasantly cool against my clammy back. The top floor of our townhouse was like Death Valley some days. ⁂ Most people have, at some point in their lives, learned what it’s like to be locked out of something, be it their car, house or even just a hotel room. They’ve felt frustration turn into panic and back into frustration as they realize how hard it will be to be in the place they wanted. But being locked in is different than being locked out. After you bang on the door and realize that you don’t know whether you’ll be there for ten minutes or ten hours, for the first time, claustrophobia makes

02 \

sense. You spend every moment begging, as though the wood might show mercy, for the door to swing open again. It’s your greatest hope, right up until the handle turns, and suddenly you wish that it would stay closed forever. The first time I was locked in was because I made a mistake during supper, though I couldn’t tell you what that mistake was. To be honest, I’d forgotten all about it until he strode into the bathroom later and told me I needed to apologize. “I said ‘sorry’ before,” I said, the confusion in my voice palpable. “Actions speak louder than words,” he calmly said back, undoing his belt buckle. I stared at him, unconsciously reaching for the shower curtain. Though I had known this man for years, the May flowers in my bridal bouquet were barely wilted, and I hadn’t yet become accustomed to his unspoken beliefs about complete control of husbands over their wives — practices he labelled as tools of leadership for the household. “You know that it’s wrong to deny your husband.” His voice was steady and calculated, sighing as I diverted my gaze.


“You have to learn to be a Biblical wife.” Tossing his belt over his shoulder, he disappeared out the door, closing it firmly behind him. I sank to the floor of the tub, wrapping my arms around myself as tears mixed with the shower. I trembled, a chill running down my spine despite the heat as goosebumps appeared on my arms. When I first tried the door, I thought it was jammed, as it moved slightly before meeting a groaning resistance. It wasn’t until I had traced my fingers across its sweaty hinges and called for help that I tried to bodycheck it and realized what the problem was. A piece of green camouflage cord barely showed itself though the gap, from between the outside door handle to a nearby hook in the wall. I only fought with it for a few minutes before curling into a ball back in the tub, listening to The Office stream just outside until I fell asleep. ⁂ Charlotte was dependable for the weeks that I knew her, almost always visible in her ever-expanding silk mansion. We had a simple pact — she stayed away from my body, and I wouldn’t disturb her or her home. I liked to imagine that she was on my side, like if she were from Charlotte’s Web, I would be her Wilbur, and she could somehow save me too. Turning the sink tap, I unscrewed the top of our mouthwash bottle, filled it with water, and took a sip. I sighed, tracking it by the chill rushing down my throat before it disappeared into my stomach as I looked at the black


speck on the shining, white ceiling. “Really, Charlotte,” I whispered. “Maybe this place seems safer, or something, if it’s all you’ve ever known — but you’d be so free outside.” ⁂ My shoulders had already started aching when his PlayStation first blared on. Rubbed raw by a thin strip of cord, my wrists were almost numb, wedged between my back and the mattress. I shivered, a cheap grey fan clattering in the corner, pushing air across my naked body. I shuffled towards the end of the bed, trying to get close enough to bring my knees together despite the four and a half feet of empty space framed between my tightly strapped ankles. By then, summer had given way to brisk breezes and I felt more confident in the dance. The rules were complicated and ever-changing, but the goal was consistent — his grotesque illustration of respect had to be fed. Its favourite diet consisted of flawless meals, getting permission to go out, asking questions about the Bible, providing limitless sex and always saying thank you. Still, it sometimes proved easier to slide a toe out of line and face the consequences than to meet his expectations with sufficient enthusiasm. From the sounds of it, he’d booted up a game, a worse fate than his usual sitcoms since games didn’t offer obvious pauses where he might remember me. He had been so calm, tightening each knot with a soft expression, clearly pleased to be helping me overcome sin. Running a single finger across my chest, he pivoted away, never

/ 03


once glancing back at the afternoon sunlit room as the door clicked behind him. He loved that, in video games, nobody questioned if he was the hero, or if they did, it was clear by the end of the quest that they were wrong. ⁂ His locks came in so many shapes and sizes — some were rubber, while others were wood or rope. After enough time and enough locks, he could trap me with nothing but words and a tiny piece of Scotch tape across the door seam. Both Charlotte and I knew if I turned that bathroom handle and pulled, it would open, but that I wouldn’t, because breaking the seal without a golden reason wasn’t worth the risk of earning back a physical lock. The door creaked, serenading his entrance as he peeked in before fully entering and softly pushing it shut behind him. I put on a half-hearted smile as I rose to my feet, nervously pulling my towel more tightly around myself. “How are you now?” He asked, peering down at me. “I’m fine.” He nodded slowly, putting a hand on my shoulder, and pulling the towel away with the other, the smell of glue on his fingers telling of the models that he had been casually piecing together in the basement. Turning to hang it on the back of the door, he saw her. “That thing’s still alive?” “Yeah. I mean, it’s fine.” “I know you’re just scared to touch it,” he said, laughing as he glanced back at me. “Don’t worry, I got it.”

04 \


It happened so quickly. Toilet paper ripping, his knee on the counter, a thump against the drywall, and the flush singing her requiem. It was the fastest funeral that I had ever attended. “Never say I don’t love you,” he joked, turning back to me. “Now…” I dropped my gaze, letting him turn me around and press me to my knees. Leaning down, I tensed as cold fibreglass brushed the soft skin of my abdomen. I stared at the caulking along the joints of the tub, counting little brown blemishes in it as his jeans clattered to the floor behind me, humming the lullaby from Charlotte’s Web in my head. I should have set her free. ⁂ Three summers later, I glanced up while unlocking my basement apartment to see a big black spider in the corner of my entryway. It made me jump, but we were outside and free to do whatever we pleased, so I named him Franklin and told him to have a nice day. “I hope you get a good haul of mosquitos.” Smiling softly, I stood up and pushed the door closed behind me, turning my lock and tossing my keys into the bowl that would cradle them until I wanted them again.



Kalyna by Emily Zbaraschuk Coloured pencil 21.5 x 27 cm Drawn in coloured pencil, Kalyna is a response to the evolving tragedy in Ukraine. Kalyna is a popular girl’s name, as well as the name for Ukraine’s national plant. A shrub with red berries, kalyna is a common motif in Ukrainian embroidery, art and folk songs, representing young girls’ beauty and innocence. Traditionally, when a soldier died in war, young women would plant a kalyna tree, or a symbol of his homeland, over his grave. As a result, kalyna has come to symbolize blood and the fight for Ukraine’s freedom.

/ 05



Coronal Mass Ejection BY KAI ORCA we contrived the power the blast that snuffed us No one bound Prometheus Himself he chained and consumed his own bright liver O stranger Plutonian descendant or beast in the stretching night ----there was light From “Vancouver Lights” by Earle Birney We sought to contain the darkness the dark night within us and without We found light first fire then lantern, gas lamp, and electric bulb Spider’s web of power lines across the land light up the world Cities and towns glow from space like luminescent organisms or oozing pus Progress is better bigger, stronger, smarter no question new cures, chemicals and connections Crack the atom seed of the sun Don’t fuss we contrived the power the blast that snuffed us We thought it would be an atomic bomb in the hands of some terrorist or rogue nation that would set off the end the chain of fury hot white blast til our beautiful blue green earth lay spent and wasted charred surface with only dreams of water and life But no instead it rained invisible light from the sun coronal mass ejection

06 \



and blew the transistors in the electric grid We are flies in the dark strands of our own web pained No one bound Prometheus Himself he chained How could we know that our sun was such an unpredictable fire? sparking, popping and casting big globs of energy far out into space and earth just a pebble in the way Yet never before was this the seed of destruction We made the electric grid that caught the sun’s fire and failed We are the messenger of death no food no gas nuclear power plants melting down no way to cool them Prometheus made the web that held him like a manger and consumed his own bright liver O stranger It was a slow way to go slow starvation Calm the crying children Seek shelter and some spot of love Cry out in vain Nuclear poison spills over the land flowing like water soft lament for the many lives golden, colourful miraculous and helpless There is no way to fight caught in our own web Web of cells in our brains search, stretch and strive wrap us like flies filaments flung tight Plutonian descendant or beast in the stretching night ---There was light

/ 07


Cyborg Woman #2 by Kas Rea Photograph 23 x 30.5 cm Cyborg Woman #2 shows our reliance on technology, especially during the pandemic. Many of us had to adapt to alternative modes of communication, and include these new technologies in our day-to-day lives. Although we are able to communicate with others and the broader world through technology, we often have feelings of isolation and loneliness. This piece is a combination of photography, body paint and digital art. | Model: Bethany Baker

08 \




Process of Change POEM AND ILLUSTRATION BY JADA MORIN the child who I was and sometimes still am, naive and too trusting, searching validation in others who only think of themselves, their own benefit. intertwining of two souls that are not a match, one is satisfied one is not. only when your eyes are shut pleasure enters your body, for someone or anyone who was not him. my frenzied heart craved in utter yearning, weep I weep lonely on the floor wondering why why why was I not worthy for him? tears of sorrow seep into the carpet of the cheap apartment drowning the seed to happiness that doesn’t rely on others only then once there’s detachment there’s realization. after years of denial and doubt, I am too like Sappho.

/ 09



All That Falls, Bound to Break BY RAHUL EDWIN Ayush returned home every day with a broad smile and an open offer for a welcoming embrace. His bloodshot eyes, gravy-stained hands, and shirt reeking of sweat and alcohol meant that no one took up this offer. Ayush would stumble home, alarming the neighbours with a clang as he entered, collapsing over the foot rack. His wife, upon hearing this, would swear under her breath, which she made sure that he heard. On one particularly irritable day, she called him a second-rate husband, a second-rate father, and a second-rate alcoholic. And to this, Ayush replied, that there are no second-rate alcoholics, only beer alcoholics, wine alcoholics, toddy alcoholics, and whisky alcoholics. Ayush failed to specify which kind he was, and neither his wife, nor his son, Nakul, were equipped to find out. This nuanced branching of alcoholics, which Nakul had previously overlooked, felt to him as a sort of spiritual revelation his father had bestowed upon him, since it made Nakul question whether there were other dimensions of the human nature he had left unexplored. For instance, Katherine Driscol, a character from John Williams’ Stoner, describes herself as being “desperately unhappy” in a rare moment of vulnerability. What other modes of unhappiness are there? Can one experience lonely unhappiness, torpid unhappiness, polite unhappiness, or even, daresay, happy unhappiness? Nakul didn’t know what kind of an alcoholic his father was but found little difficulty classifying his father’s unhappiness: Ayush was quietly unhappy. Unlike other drunkards, who were pugnacious,

10 \

irritable, and exuberantly loud, Ayush would try to hide his emotions, quite unsuccessfully so, as Nakul thought, since Ayush’s unhappiness was apparent to Nakul as daylight. Yet, no one else acknowledged it, almost making Nakul question whether what he saw was real. When alone, Ayush would fall into bouts of muffled weeping, almost at will, as though he concentrated all the lugubriousness he could muster during the day and then released it in his solitude. This world of Ayush’s inarticulable sadness, quite apart from the realities of Nakul’s world of school and crushes and raucous street playgrounds, was one that only he seemed privileged to every time he peeked into his father’s study. When other kids escaped into the fantasy worlds of Panchatantra and video games, Nakul was dragged into the harsh realities of adulthood.

⁂ There is much to be said about Ayush’s childhood too. When Ayush was younger, he’d found happiness in everything: climbing moss-infested walls; plucking cherries, guavas, and tamarinds with his sister; holding dragonflies up by their wings to make them lift tiny stones; exploring the “haunted mansion” near his house; bathing in the rain on his terrace with a plastic grocery bag over his head, his eyes peering through two crude circle cutouts. As Ayush grew older, his happiness gradually receded to include only new experiences. His first car, first kiss, the first time he got drunk — that fateful evening by the beach when he and his friends dragged themselves, tipsy and blurry eyed, out of

FICTION view from the approaching policemen; when he first experienced a mixture of fear, excitement, and the limitless possibilities of the new mental state that he had entered. And then, in no particular instance, everything drowned into the mundane as in quicksand. His car was now merely something Ayush used for moving back and forth between house and work, work and house. His friends, the rare ones that hung about, occupied a fungible and insipid space in his life. His wife of fifteen years was just his wife of fifteen years. Not only did Ayush feel unhappy, he was unhappy that he was unhappy, as though his feelings were disproportionate and unwarranted. This reaction was conditioned into him. When as a child, he once whined about being hungry, his mother told him to think about the starving children on the streets. When tired, she reminded him of the people who toiled away at farms without rest, their poverty like a sack of lead that reverberated with each cling of their sickle on the ground. When depressed, of the hopeless, waifs, strays, and orphans, and the mental anguish they faced. “Think about all those people who are less fortunate than you,” Ayush’s mother said. As though his unhappiness was a product of his privilege and not a fixture of the human condition. Despite this, there was not a single thing in his life which he could point to and say, ‘this, absent this, or having this one thing in abundance, my life would feel more fulsome.’ He had no cancerous tumours to remove, no balmy place he wished to move to, no higher position in his job to aspire to, no persistent dream to actualize. Instead, unhappiness was something that pervaded every instant of his life, like a thorny bed that caressed his face every waking moment.

EDWIN Ayush thus believed that his drinking was more a justified reaction to a malaise he endured than a disease in itself; a corollary of a life which demanded nothing invigorating. A life that he could not conclusively determine to be too short or too long since time is never readily intelligible nor favourable to those like him intellectually and spiritually under-stimulated, prey to the gaping mouth of ennui which swallows its victims with the utmost precise care in never rearing its head even at that final bend before it pounces. And with this belief Ayush could never progress, as the belief itself became a barrier against all attempts at resolving the treacherous and self-implosive conditions of his life and character.

Ayush felt as though something inside him was regressing, not emotionally or psychologically, but in a way that corroded that implicit inscrutable buttress immanent in all creatures capable of excruciating self-reflection –– that set of defence mechanisms, emotional exit protocols, and unadopted belief templates at any moment held in reserve should irrevocable fissures be discovered in one’s extant creed –– upon which he from a zit-popping inchoate-wisdom-toothed-age stood fortified to brace against everything that life washed upon his shore. His drinking thus remained the only thing that granted him enough lucidity –– while admittedly exacerbating his health –– to provide some perspective into his life and its inevitable end, which no one but he, and perhaps Nakul, could see.

/ 11


VISUAL ART Overbloom by MEERAH (left) Acrylic on cardboard 46 x 58.5 cm

Overbloom’s inspiration was how emotions could be as overwhelming and varied as the shape and colour of flowers. There are points in our life when the emotions we kept bottled inside break free and take over. But this state of feeling is both beautiful and scary in itself. Light and Heavy by Hailey Heisler (below) Watercolour and acrylic on paper 20.5 x 28 cm This piece was made when I was about to graduate high school. I wanted to reflect on the light memories of childhood with watercolour, then contrast it with the reality of becoming an adult. The heavy emotions I felt with becoming a new person and venturing into something unfamiliar illustrated with acrylic. Painting the excitement and fear that contrast the memories of my past self. What I like about my piece is that anyone who sees it can interpret however they want and make it their own.

12 \



a flock of T. rex at Kiwanis Memorial Park BY CALLUM WILSON

evolution makes us scampering mouse-things who stare from their new simian perches into the iridescent gawk of Lear the king who left the Cretaceous shaking in their boots (and movie theatre floors flocked in popcorn) struts and shits all over the Anthropocene a king who sings in the key of silk of fecundity past, with a low-throat coo gave his heirs an olive sprig and with it, the planet that’s why I wouldn’t shoot a pigeon not even if you paid me

/ 13




The makeshift cabin took just over a month to construct in July. A wall of old, proud pine trees that stretched upward to touch the bulbous stipple of cirrocumulus scattershot flanked the left of the structure. To the right, a stream quietly whispered tales and tribulations of a long-forgotten age. Wedged between the two, the cabin was an oxymoron. Freshly purchased lumber, still smelling of sawdust, was awkwardly married to rough, rhombic cuts of flake-fringed plywood. Second-hand, single-pane, dust-stained windows were asymmetrically inserted into this marriage, becoming the blurred lens that connected outside to inside. Designed to be a fishing weekend reprieve from city life, the cabin’s design, layout and construction were afterthoughts; the owner wanted what he wanted, and fast. A mere month before, the land on which the dwelling stood held wild grasses that grew and died, then grew and died and grew again. Rocks both jagged and smooth, large and small existed in place for epochs, mapping the waving, untouched expanse of growth like chaotic, uneven constellations. Generations of rabbits and foxes reenacted their mortal ballet on this land. Deer grazed and wolves chased them here for thousands of years. Moose had lumbered through this land to the stream and drunk here undisturbed. Insects crawled and flew and stung unimpeded for millennia. Nevertheless, the rocks were removed,

14 \

the land was leveled, and the everlasting, infinite existence of the natural was replaced in a blink with cigarette butts and fast food wrappers that accompanied the arrival of the cabin. That is the nature of our world, and the speed of European footprints; what is, is — and what was, may or may not have ever been.

NONFICTION A look through the window on the eastern wall of the cabin revealed a rectangular, single room dwelling with end-of-the-roll linoleum adorned with an inoffensive green, gray and light yellow pattern spanning the entirety of the space. The linoleum was hastily laid and curled up against unpainted drywall. Drywall went up late; the screws and seams were left without mud and tape. The owner hung a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth II on the unfinished wall over a mahogany vinyl loveseat. The Queen could see her reflection in the black screen of a 32-inch TV that faced her. A small kitchenette spanned the northern wall. A sink was installed into the centre of the gray urethane countertop, and a set of two-doored gray cabinets flanked either side, standing sentry. A small two-chaired table was shoved up against the east wall underneath the window, propping up three crunched-up cans of Sam Adams. Nights grew shorter and summer waned. The contractor had other commitments, and it was agreed that the project would be shelved until the following spring. Windows and doors were locked, the water and power turned off. An F-150 carried the garbage down the narrow gravel road to the local dump, and then the cabin was alone. But the swath of pine trees continued to wave gently at the cabin while the stream’s current babbled over pebbles, both seemingly welcoming the neighbourhood’s new arrival. Soon, the crisp winds of fall gave way to the howling, unrelenting gales of winter. Winter steadily covered the cabin with a pillowy snowfall like a loaf of bread rising in slow motion. White flakes fell in record numbers

CARLSON that year. Roads were impassable until spring. Upon the melt, the whispering stream found its voice, screaming and howling as the pine trees nodded in agreement with the help of the breeze. The cabin was untouched until the following July, marking a full year of life for the getaway. Doors and windows opened for the season, but unfortunately, a substantial amount of water damage was uncovered. The weight of the snow had caused the roof to fall in on itself, rendering it uninhabitable. Upon inspection, there was mold, animal and insect infestations, and, to the owner’s chagrin, a stubborn tree root that had spiked upward like a javelin through the concrete slab on which the structure was set. The insurance company paid the owner out and the cabin was burned. The following spring saw new growth pushing through cracks in the concrete.

/ 15




I see you cry over me. I see you notice I am not there. I am not there, nor was my body ever me. Look inside yourself to find me. Feel me in the soft summer breeze that sends a strand of hair across your face. Hear me in the songbird’s whistle that steals your attention. Smell me in the skin of the newborn baby that you hold to your cheek. Notice me in wishful, winking skies. Taste me in the salt of your tears.

It is Not A Sin BY GREG ORRĒ

The new leaves look like lemon drops against sophisticated senior siblings The light lemon-like leaves stretch up toward the sun, begging to become. The lush green leaves behind, push them onward and upward. Encourage them.

I am with you. I have not left you. I have not left anything but my body

Out of jealousy of their innocence they keep the youth from recognizing the beauty of what they are and instead encourage them to focus on what they should become. Stay yellow little leaf. It is not a sin to stay yellow, to stay golden, until the green comes in.

16 \

It will come, and you will change, and you can enjoy your new coat then. But do not miss out on the you that you are now only because you are worried about what you should become.



Metamorphosis by Keitha McClocklin “Tender Roses or Prickly Thorns” | Acrylic and oil on cradled panel | 122 x 122 cm (top left) “Desire and Reason” | Acrylic, collage and oil on cradled panel |122 x 152.5 cm (top right) “Dare Courageously” | Acrylic, collage and oil on cradled panel | 122 x 152.5 cm (bottom left) “Sing of Metamorphosis” | Mixed media on cradled panel |101.5 x 152.5 cm (bottom right) Metamorphosis is a playful, juxtapositional take on the everyday experiences of youth. Inspired by Ovid’s eighth-century AD poem, “Metamorphoses,” which brought awareness and awe into otherwise overlooked moments of the everyday, the term is used here to similarly address the transformational period between childhood and adulthood. This exhibition depicts the light-hearted and complex themes of the teenage years, including competition, independence, and expectation. My work mines the scenes of daily life, often adding a fun twist such as juxtaposing imagery of inebriated teenagers with a sober dog in Desire and Reason, or by depicting tough female hockey players preparing for a game whilst also braiding each other’s hair in Tender Roses or Prickly Thorns. These paradoxical elements serve to keep the narrative open and offer the viewer a ‘slower read’ of the paintings.

/ 17




It’s starting to smell like spring While I stare at my hairy shins and notice one strand is significantly longer than the rest. Does it get more sunlight? Parts of me are growing but I’ll just shave next time I go swimming. I think about weeds that grow in the cracks of sidewalks the ones I’m sure are flowers And decide I’ll leave my armpits.

post-holiday thaw BY DAWN MUENCHRATH

(jan.) glitter hangover blue freezer burn on your heart windows iced tight shut (feb.) pull open curtains dust motes falling through sunlight cat in the warm spot (mar.) sky scrubbed like crystal old leaves rotted slick and black unzip your big coat

18 \



New Ideas Molecular Level by Rod Goertzen Digital image 2999 x 4000 px This digital image is an installation construct of melting ice, a potted plant, an airplane fan and studio lighting with the image being taken at the macro level. The challenge was to engage aspects of the four ancient elements to invoke and capture the spontaneous generation of new ideas at a primordial level. As experts often cannot agree on how we arrive at the most brilliant ideas, it seemed both practical and logical to evoke past truths and myths to see what great outcomes could arise. Patents are pending on the described process.

/ 19




A salesman of the super-thrift store walked up to me, his hands clasped behind his back. “Right this way, sir.” He wore a sienna long-sleeve button-up. We passed through aisles of children’s hand-me-downs, weathered books and scratched furniture, stopping in a row of kitchen supplies. “Here it is!” The man was baby-faced and hairless, likely suffering from some form of alopecia. He picked up a pan and twirled it. “Teflon, stainless steel, the perfect pan. Fry whatever your heart desires — just not eggs.” “Eggs?” “I don’t recommend it.” “What would happen?” “It’s just a recommendation, but a strong one at that, sir.” “I’ve never heard of that sort of recommendation.” “Now you have.” He handed the pan to me. “Light, right?” It looked like a standard household pan. Its handle was cured black plastic, the tiny bubbles soft on my palm. There was a red circle in the middle of the concave steel. I turned it over. On the other side was a plate of swirling metal with a microscopic egg logo in the middle. I looked up from the logo. “Are there other pans you can’t cook eggs on?” “Just this one, far as I know.”

20 \

“And if I did?” “Cook eggs on it?” “Yeah.” “I couldn’t say. I just wouldn’t recommend it.” “Have you ever heard of anyone cooking eggs on it?” “I’ve heard it’s not recommended.” “But you do recommend the pan?” “Absolutely. The best of its kind.” I looked at the other pans on the shelf, then back at the salesmen. “But no eggs?” “That’s what I recommend.” “How many of these have you sold?” “It’s an individual. One of one.” “Then how do you know not to cook eggs on it?” “Because it’s highly recommended.” “By who?” “Those who recommend things.” “You’re someone who recommends things.” “And I recommend you do not cook eggs on it.” “Got it.” He took the pan out of my hands and smiled. His teeth were brittle, rounded. “Shall we bring it to the front?” I felt bad for the man. He seemed desperate to sell me the pan, like it was the last kit-

FICTION ten of a litter, the runt, a defect no one wanted. “I’d recommend it,” I said. I went straight home. I lived in a sparsely decorated bachelor suite — a recent downgrade to support my move from corporate worker to full-time freelance coder. Pictures and paintings still rested against the wall where they might be hung. I wasn’t in a hurry to decorate. Not a lot of people visited me. I was, instead, addicted to my work. Addiction can be a guerrilla war with yourself. You never know when it’s going to ambush you in the dead of night, under the cover of darkness. But it could also be a safe space where I could get obsessive, lost, overly critical, addicted to the simplicity of a semi-colon here or a closed bracket there. During those hours, when I was coding alone in the dark, there was no one around to judge me. I was exactly where I wanted to be, where I always thought I might be. I remember when I was a little boy, maybe eight or so, I used to daydream under the popcorn ceiling of my mother’s attic. I didn’t want to be a firefighter or an astronaut. I dreamed about being obsessed. I wondered what might consume me, what my calling would be. I was looking, though I didn’t know it, for addiction. I looked for it all my childhood and found it in my twelfth-grade computer science class. If there is such a thing as a healthy addiction, this was it for me. It put food on my table and gave my life some meaning. But it had some dark sides too. Often, I’d work far longer than I should, hunched over a computer, blood clots battering my legs, energy drinks filling every

CANON empty space around my monitor, and this going on for days with no sleep. I was able to absolve myself of any moral culpability because, I told myself, I was doing something positive. I would change the world one day with this skill. It was why my apartment looked the way it did — the entrance littered with shoes, the kitchen covered in pasta-stained plates and pots with thick burns on the bottom. I’d just gotten out of a coding hole that left my apartment a warzone, a warzone that destroyed my previous pan. With my new one in hand, I threw the other into a black garbage bag and began to clean. I washed the dishes, cleaned the counter and the glass-top of the kitchen table, swept the floors, hung my clothes, and made my bed. There’s always this sense that everything is going to be alright, that things are coming together when you clean your apartment. Who knows. Maybe I let it get this messy on purpose, addicted to the feeling of accomplishment, like I’m solving something about myself. A man or woman with an apartment that’s always clean will never know the feeling. They don’t have the ups and downs that make life worth living. When everything was clean, I placed my new pan on a burner and opened the fridge. I went for a six-ounce, sirloin cut-steak, my hand grazing the soft cardboard of the egg-carton as it reached in. I also pulled out a stick of butter and rosemary. I turned on the burner and cut up two garlic cloves. I wasn’t a great cook, but I had a good memory and, as a coder, was excellent at following basic directions. Four minutes each side, rosemary, garlic and butter, baste butter

/ 21

FICTION over steak, turn, eat. I watched the pan do its magic — imagined the sacks of distilled blood bursting like bubble wrap under a thumb. When my phone’s timer went off, I threw the steak onto the plate and moved towards my computer, the flesh still whistling. The steak unzipped behind my knife as I entered code into the backend of a women’s underwear brand. The client wanted me to hard-code a spinning wheel into the website. It would give the customer the thrill of gambling, she said, every time they bought a pair of stockings. I couldn’t stop until I solved this simple, but time-consuming, workaround. Around nine in the morning, shortly after completing it, I laid in bed staring up at the ceiling. Streams of code crossed my vision every time I closed my eyes. Then at some point, after tossing in bed for a few hours, a neighbour started playing music and I begrudgingly slipped out of bed. In the kitchen, in that weird space between sleeping and waking, I threw on a pot of coffee. It was like I was an automaton following code written before a new bug — the pan — was introduced. I threw toast in the toaster and eggs onto the pan. I whipped them into a scramble, threw them on a plate, filled my coffee mug with coffee, and buttered my multi-grain toast. Back at my desk, I watched a YouTube video about being your own boss on one screen while crotchless panties were on the other. Gobs of yellow egg clung to my fork as it made its way through the stale apartment air. The recommendation was far from my mind. In fact, there was nothing on my mind but this

22 \

CANON basic Maslovian need. As I chomped down on that bite, my tongue was the first to notice the unrecommended intruder. It hugged the side of my mouth like a cat refusing to go in a bathtub. But it was too late. The microparticles of egg had already made first contact. They rolled across the membrane, embedded themselves in the papillae grooves of my tongue, and sent egg-based electrical signals shuttling towards my brain, alerting it of its pan-presence. Behind my desk was a bookshelf. When those electrical signals reached the brain’s cortex, I sprung out of the chair in a panic, fell backward, and collided with the shelf. An ironic copy of Coding for Dummies fell and hit me in the head and I swallowed. I imagined the crumpled piece of egg moving down my esophagus, the skin around it turning black, and my stomach acid freezing on contact. But nothing actually happened. There was no tear in the space-time continuum or physical revulsion, no immediate blood pouring out of my nose or egg-induced pregnancy. I simply stood up, put the book away, and shrugged at the stillness of my world. But to be sure, I opened my front door and looked into the hallway, half-expecting a horde of journalists to be crowded around the welcome mat, holding out microphones, asking for my thoughts on a broken second-hand store recommendation. Except for the meandering cigarette smell, it was empty. I went back into my apartment, threw the eggs out, and made myself a tuna sandwich. The rest of the day passed by normally. The next morning I woke up to a world

FICTION that very much resembled the one I went to sleep in. The pan still stood proudly on the stove with molecules of egg visible on the teflon. It, to be clear, eyed me as I spooned coffee grounds onto a filter. Yesterday was a mistake, I told myself. One I wouldn’t make again. While listening to the murmuring of the coffee drip, I bit my nails, paced around my apartment, ran my hands through my hair, and tried to figure out what else to eat for breakfast. But it was as if my brain would start up, fail halfway, and fall back to the pan. I’d then steal another look at it, embarrassingly averting my eyes as it stared arrogantly back. I could feel its judgement and I knew what it wanted. I imagined a muscle-bound judge, with a pan for a head, slamming down a gavel and demanding, “Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!” This all sounds really silly in retrospect, but you have to realize that this silliness is also why the original recommendation was so easy to break. Whoever heard of a pan you couldn’t eat eggs on? I rationalized it away in seconds. After all, nothing had happened the morning before! The world was the same, and I was the same, and so why not satisfy the pan of its sole desire — which surely in this moment I could only believe was my one desire: eggs. And so I diced up another clove of garlic, a quarter onion, and threw it into the pan with four eggs, not even stopping to wash it first. Later, as I dug into my scramble, I had to admit that there was something different about these eggs, an improvement of millimetres, of inches, of miles, a religious experience as each one danced around

CANON my tongue like a small child in a blow-up castle. “Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!” I said, softly beating my fists, which were balled around the cutlery, on the table. Then I moved closer and ravaged the plate, spooning them into my mouth with ferocity. No two-bit, minimum-wage, second-hand store salesman was going to stand in the way of what I wanted. It would be eggs for breakfast, dinner and lunch. I would have them whenever I wanted and however I wanted them. I would have egg noodles, egg burritos, egg frittatas, egg sandwiches, eggs benedict, omelettes, scrambled, poached, sunny-side up, eggs in the middle of the night, eggs in the shower, eggs coming down my chin and unto my bare chest! I’d bathe in eggs, wash my feet in eggs, break them over my head and sleep in a soup of yellow goop until I’d reversed time and become an egg myself! I’d sleep with them! I’d dream of them! I’d wear them for clothing and marry them and love them and be with them because I would not be denied another egg in my life! Not from some snivelling snub-nosed egg-denying salesman. I’d discovered my true calling — what I was looking for all those years ago, what I thought I found in coding. How simple it was to find yourself only in the reproductive organs of a descendant of dinosaurs. Eggs! A mystery in a brittle shell. It was heaven on earth — earth, that round shell of humanity, an egg for all mankind! Because what are we all if not eggs? Born from the egg! Raised from the egg! All of us, an unavoidable fact. It is the egg that guides us as we’re trapped in another’s uterus. And from whence we came, so shall we go! Back to the egg!

/ 23

FICTION Time, for a period, became something amorphous, rounded, non-linear, meeting at both ends. And I had indeed gone back to the egg, into a gestation period. I did not know what day it was, and experienced a sort of eggodeath, bouncing back and forth towards lucidity and insanity. There was very little that I remember, except for a single moment where a giant egg that had my features chased after me — whether I was hallucinating or truly seeing it — is beyond me. Well, that giant egg swallowed me whole, its teeth simply smaller versions of itself, and down its throat I went. I fell into a pool of eggs, stomped through their brittle shells, which created a thick soup of yolk that rose up, this soup turned into a creek then a river that carried me through a forest, a mountain range, and that turned into a raging river of yolk. I battered from egg-rock to egg-rock until I heard the rushing yellow yolk of a waterfall. On the other side of the waterfall was an open expanse, and as I fell from the waterfall I fractalled outwards and inwards, a Russian egg-doll of skin, bones, and star-dust, like a star collapsing into itself and coming back together, over and over until suddenly I was back in the uterus, to be inevitably reborn an egg, a man, an egg, a man, with no distinction between the two, and then it was over. Days or weeks later I stood in front of a mirror and inspected my egg-like eyes — and the very word similarities between eggs and eyes alone would have been enough to send me into a catatonic shock moments before. I moved each eyeball around, pulled the skin down to

24 \

CANON inspect more of it, poked at it with a dirty finger, and as I did the world that was only incidentally shaped as an egg returned to me. I looked down and, naked, was covered in a thin yellow goo. Looking back at the mirror, I had shaved off my eyebrows and hair. There was certainly a moment of panic, an absolute worry that I had gone mad before I remembered the recommendation. This was foretold, and the salesman had to know something of it. I cleaned myself up, found a pair of unsoiled clothes, and ran out the door. The overhead lights of the second-hand store, high up in the rafters, left egg-shaped halos in the air. A different salesman — bald, no eyebrows just like me — was standing with his hands behind his back staring at me. “May egg help you?” I made a fist and scraped my thumbnail against the side of my index finger. For a moment, I thought the thin layer of sweat was yolk. “Sorry, did I hear you say ‘may egg help you’?” The tune to Humpty Dumpty rang inside my head. “Why would I say ‘may egg help you’?” “Could you say it again, to be sure?” The man looked backward, as if someone could rescue him. “Please?” I added desperately. “Uh, sure.” He scratched his scalp. “May I help you?” “Thank god,” I said, stepping forward. The man took a step back. I was still wavering between the egg world and this one. “I’m looking for a salesman who sold me a pan a few weeks ago.”

FICTION “Do you know when exactly?” “It’s a little foggy.” “What did he look like?” “Like you.” I pointed to his hair, then mine. “Like me.” “That doesn’t really narrow it down much here. Was there any other discernible markers on him?” I pressed my tongue into my front teeth as I thought about the question. I imagined them shattering and yolk gushing out of my mouth, litres of it pouring out of me. “Sir? Are you okay?” “I’m trying to think!” My brain was a burnt scramble. Everything right before the incident was foggy, like a hard shell held up to the light. I could see through it, and nearly make out the memory inside, but not enough to make sense of it. “Fuck,” I whispered. The man took another step back. “I’ve got … other customers.” He turned and walked away. I didn’t put up any resistance. I knew what I looked like, how crazy I sounded. But the original salesman would know — he had to know something. It was his personal recommendation. Where the previous salesmen went left, I went right, trying to retrace the maze of aisles the man took me on. Maybe egg was his aisle, his specialty. But when I got to the ‘egg’ section it seemed bigger, as if it were a growing fetus, developing its items, maturing, gobbling up second-hand nutrients. There were hundreds of aisles, under all different categories. I wandered through them, making sure to repeat every turn

CANON in my head, looking for landmarks to ground me, to remember my way home from this labyrinth. There were egg-shaped furniture aisles, lamps and alarm clocks and household goods, paintings of eggs, picture frames made of eggshells, egg-shell art, egg ashtrays, and aisles of books, thousands of them, all orbiting eggs in one way or another. Then I reached the aisle of egg-based recipes. I found them calling to me, awakening the egg-DNA that had embedded itself in mine over the last few weeks. At times, I’d stand in the aisle, taking it all in, and forget why I was there. It was the holy grail for the egg addict. I had arrived, looking for treatment, only to find what I was running from. I ran my hands over the books, stopping every time a cover looked to profess some yet undiscovered recipe that might satiate my hunger. But I found that I knew them all, not just well, but intimately. I began to grow sad, to think I would never rediscover that first bite again, when I saw it. It was a literary recipe journal called Panopticon with a pan on the front in every way identical to my own. The tagline read: “For lovers of stories and, as always, one new egg recipe in every edition.” In the right-hand corner was the logo I found on the bottom of my pan. “Hello again!” Startled, I dropped the journal. It was the original salesman who sold me the pan. The light glimmered off his scalp as he picked up the journal I had dropped only moments before. “Hello,” I said. There was a th-thud of blood in my ears. “Remember me?”

/ 25

FICTION “Yes.” “You look a little different.” He was barely able to contain his joy. He knew exactly why I was there. “Almost egg-like.” The audacity to throw it in my face like that! I was heated, furious, the yolk hardening under my skin. “I do not recommend you use that word around me.” “Sorry?” I stepped closer and put a finger in his face. “You know what I mean, damnit! Eggs! I want some answers!” “What happened?” “Don’t give me that shit.” I paced the aisle. “You know exactly what happened. Look at me! Look at what you did!” “What’d I do?” “You sold me the pan that couldn’t cook eggs!” “I remember.” “And I did it anyway!” “But I didn’t recommend it.” “How was I to know, though?” I was still pacing. “No eggs! Ludicrous! Who’d ever heard of such a thing?” “You did. From me.” I got in his face again. Our bald heads were nearly equal in height. “I know that! Don’t you think I know that! Stop pointing out the obvious and help me!” “How bad is it?” “Eggs are all I know. Even right now, you are barely more than a face with two egg eyes and rows of egg teeth.” “We were all once eggs, you know.”

26 \

CANON “Of course I know. It’s all I ever think about!” He scratched his pale melon top. “How many eggs did you have?” “I’ve left no recipe untouched.” The salesmen looked at the literary journal of recipes in his hand, picked a nugget from his nose and flicked. “Is that the pan I bought?” I said. “On the cover?” He opened it. He stopped, engagingly, every few pages to only go “Ah ha!” and keep turning. I danced on the spot, terribly anxious for an answer. “Ah ha!” he said again. I stepped closer. “What? What’d you find?” He looked up, then back at the book. “It’s not really relevant.” He laughed, turned a page, and followed the words with a finger. “That’s smart. Really smart.” “Hello?” “Just one second.” He held up a finger. “Come on, man. Whatever it is, I can do it.” “You’re not going to like it,” he said. “Whatever!” “And it’s going to take a lot of work.” “Just tell me!” “Okay.” He closed the book and smiled. His teeth were brittle, rounded. “Here’s what I recommend.”



Adrenaline by Michelle Thevenot (below) Chainsaw and power tool carving in spruce and willow wood, stain, paint, steel 66 x 21 x 12 cm Adrenaline visualizes the sensory experience in response to environmental stress, excitement, or overwhelm. Transformational pulsations of energy resonate from within and travel throughout the body, spreading visceral hyper-awareness. This sculpture was inspired by the neuro-divergent human condition of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS). SPS is neurologically-based and results in increased awareness and processing of normal environmental inputs. The felt experience can be similar to the fight-or-flight response of adrenaline.

Ephemeral by Sami Sayed (above) Watercolour, gold acrylic, pen, recycled materials 23 x 14.5 cm Metamorphosis is the process of change. This piece was inspired by climate change and the resulting transformational impact on all natural life. The lower wings were constructed using litter found around Saskatoon.

/ 27



Threading the Needle BY ARIANA CULPER

Little Bridget stands in front of the door in silence, rocking back and forth in her black Mary Janes. With her pink gardening hat and an orchestra between her ears, she grips a chapter book in her soft little hands. She is unaware of what is behind the door, and undeserving of it too. Little Bridget doesn’t know much about the world, but she does know that it’s time for her to open the door. There is not enough joy where she is, and more than anything, she just wants to feel joy. Lots and lots of joy. She knows that it is time to move on, though she shouldn’t have had to do this for at least a few more years. Her stomach is a kaleidoscope of anxiety, fear and a hovering shimmer of hope. But with one last deep breath, the turn of a knob and one big step, through the doorway she goes. Bridget closes the door behind her, her beautiful home presented before her in all its glory — bright books lining shelves and blooming flowers basking in sunlight. She sits down on the couch as her mind drifts to the past. Naturally, she wanders through its intricacies, thinking about the scar on her right hand, the scars inside her belly, the scars on her soul. She thinks about how hard she has worked to mend the wounds they once were — how tightly she held onto who she was through everything. She takes a moment to think about all the times she got herself out of bed and into the world even though she felt empty and dreadful at the same time. She thinks of how unfair it all seemed in the moment. She’s no longer resentful about these things, just pensive. She has found her

28 \

closure, and asks for nothing more than to just remember. Her eyes close as she lets her thoughts circulate in her mind. Eventually, Bridget falls asleep on the couch and dreams of a little girl with a pink gardening hat, black Mary Janes and a big smile on her face; running up to her and giving her the grandest hug, holding her so tight. The little girl then looks up at her with an eager, quizzical look. “So, are you?” the little girl asks. “Am I what?” “Are you happy?” Bridget takes a moment to think of her answer. “I don’t know… I think I am.” The girl looks Bridget in the eyes and says gently, “Happiness isn’t something you think about, it’s something you know, something you feel.” “Well then, yes, I feel happy.” The girl takes her hand and excitedly gives a little hop. “I always knew you would be, one day. I’m so proud of you.” “It was really hard, though.” “It always is.” The little girl turns around and begins to skip away, but Bridget begins to feel anxious. “Wait, what if I lose my happiness again? What do I do then?” she says. The little girl stops and turns around, looking earnest, “What you did last time that happened. Take the first step forward…” The little girl pauses, “...and start sewing up the wounds.”



Men Don’t Cry BY DEVYNN BOYER Trigger warning: Mentions of suicide

I was twelve years old when I first thought of suicide. And I never told anyone Because saying it to others verified All the thoughts saying That I must be broken. So I swallowed the pain And closed off every emotion Besides anger and hate Because those were accepted. Until the thoughts ate away And left me feeling infected With a sickness that no one Can see at first glance. And rather than proving I’m broken, talking gave me a chance That no amount of pills Or medication could ever provide. And the real healing started In that moment I cried.

/ 29

CONTRIBUTORS Do you even know me? Narges Porsandekhial (she/her) is a first-year student at USask pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts. She is an interdisciplinary artist who tries to combine art and literature in her artworks. Having a background in different mediums of visual art and literary forms, she deals with a variety of emotional/ psychological concepts and develops her medium based on the idea itself. Believing that everything is fragmented and the changing process is inevitable, in Do you even know me? she tries to depict the distance and the unfamiliarity as a result of our constant change. Her other works can be found on: Instagram @narrporr / Website: “Homecoming” Bailey Schaan (she/her) is a booklover, creative, and second-year English student at the University of Saskatchewan. She has spent most of her life in Saskatoon, growing up as a settler on the land that is Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. Her poem is inspired by the connection she feels between creating art and cultivating hope in the midst of tough seasons. Besides writing, Bailey adores autumn, tea, rearranging her bookshelves and spending time outdoors with the ones she loves. “Loving Spiders” Sarah is in her fifth year of a BA in Psychology at USask. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside (especially in the summer) and participating in as many adventures as she is able. “Loving Spiders” was written to expose a topic that is difficult to talk about and to create an opportunity for discussion and learning about the non-traditional types of relationship violence that she presents. By sharing a small part of her story, she hopes to give a voice to anyone who has found themselves trapped in a similar place and to demonstrate that circumstances can always change, regardless of how many obstacles are in the way. Information about support for victims of domestic violence in Canada can be found at: services.html. “Coronal Mass Ejection” Kai Orca (they/them/theirs) is a Dean’s Scholar as well as a PhD student and teaching assistant in the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan. They are inspired by the mountains, forests, and ocean of the North American West. Their journey as an author involves writing novels for transgender children, researching and writing about gender-diverse literature across cultures, and writing poetry to express pressing issues of our time. They have contributed a chapter called “’from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea’: Using Two-Spirit and Transgender Literature to Help Children Develop Relational and Fluid Thinking” to a soon-to-be-published book project titled Decolonizing Environmental Education in Transcultural Global Contexts. They also maintain a website on Patreon called Earth Tide to provide education materials and lesson plans on gender-diverse literature for teachers and parents. Kalyna Emily Zbaraschuk (she/her) is a first-year student pursuing an English degree in the College of Arts and Science. In

her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, music, baking, and creating art. She grew up near the Kalyna-Samburg road, on the same farm her great-great grandfather homesteaded after immigrating from Bukovina. Her Ukrainian heritage has always been important to her, and it, alongside the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, inspired her drawing, Kalyna. Cyborg Woman #2 Kas Rea is a fourth-year BFA student, a curator at the 292 Gallery at the university and is on the board for the Visual Arts Students’ Union. Additionally, she volunteers as a Student Recruitment Ambassador. Rea has been involved in the visual arts for over 12 years. Rea’s work explores themes in nature, specifically wildlife and ecosystem preservation, feminism and connections to her Bolivian roots. Since 2017, Rea has been working at Remai Modern. She also teaches art to children and adults at her studio and through Gail Adams School of Art. “Process of Change” Jada Morin (they/them) is from Big River First Nation and is half-Plains Cree Indigenous and half-white. They have been raised and completed secondary education on the reservation and are currently in their third year at University of Saskatchewan under the Indian Teacher Education Program (I.T.E.P.). They have been writing creatively since they were 13 years old. Being published for the first time, especially as an Indigenous queer person, means a lot to Jada to share their work for others who also can resonate with their stories. “All That Falls, Bound to Break” Rahul Edwin (he/him) is an English undergraduate student currently in his third year of university. Originally from Kerala, India, he alternates the setting of his stories between India and Canada. He loves fiction that either embodies a kind of hyperrealism, as championed by the likes of Richard Yates, or postmodernism, best exemplified by David Foster Wallace. His story acknowledges that not everyone can undergo a metamorphosis; that some people live stagnant lives. Overbloom MEERAH (she/they) is a second-year student at USask pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Interactive Systems Design. Overbloom’s creation was in response to the feeling of being trapped in your skin and the struggle to contain these intense emotions. She used flowers to showcase an array of emotions that are beautiful, overwhelming, and scary. MEERAH currently serves as the Design Director for YHYSaskatchewan and sits on the Board of Directors at PAVED Arts. She is also the President of USask’s Visual Arts Students’ Union. Her Instagram is @meerah_official. Light and Heavy Hailey Heisler (she/her) is a first-year Arts and Science student who is interested in pursuing food sciences. When painting her piece Light and Heavy, she was about to graduate high school. She used watercolour and acrylics to portray how she interpreted the contrasting emotions of venturing into something new. She drew inspiration from the eye-candy style of graffiti art and the beautiful bold lines of Haida artwork. You can find her Instagram at @hailey_renee_art. “A Flock of T. rex at Kiwanis Memorial Park” Callum Wilson (he/him) is a second-year MFA in Writing

student at the University of Saskatchewan with a thesis on ghosts, God and growing up in Alberta. Callum was inspired to write this piece after watching the pigeons and other birds in Kiwanis Park. He’s worked as an editor and instructor at Wheat&Laurel magazine (, and other works by him can be found on his Instagram @shiverdrums. He lives in Saskatoon and can be reached by email at “In Nature” Jesse Carlson (he/him) is a USask alum who achieved a BA in 2008 and a Bachelor of Education in 2021. He has previously worked for the USSU for 6 years at Louis’. Jesse is currently a high school teacher with an English specialty. He loves video games, reading, running and spending time with his partner, dog and children. He was inspired to write “In Nature” during the first year of the pandemic — he thought a lot about the impermanence of humanity and the relationship that humans had with North America pre-colonization. You can follow Jesse @legrandejess on Instagram. “Epitaph” and “It Is Not A Sin” Greg Orrē (pronounced “gregory”; he/him) expresses his creativity through songwriting, poetry, visual-art and video as he explores the connections between nature, art, and spirit. In 2020, the Saskatoon-based artist began sharing his multi-genre, multi-volume project, I Am In It, with a solo album I Am In It, Vol. 1, and a handmade poetry art collection. The I Am In It project is a study of consciousness, and wrangles with the ways our thoughts and beliefs influence our reality. He recently released a self-recorded spoken-word album, and will be published in the inaugural poetry issue of Labyrinth Anthologies. Greg studied at the U of S, completing a BA in 2011 and a BEd in 2013. Metamorphosis Keitha McClocklin (she/her) is a fourth-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) student at USask. Keitha is a Saskatchewan-based contemporary artist working in a range of disciplines including painting, printmaking, and drawing – often weaving techniques from one discipline to another. Her work is characterized by the use of chromatic colour, layers, multiple media, and a playful mixture of rendering form while simultaneously flattening pictorial space through collage and pattern. Keitha’s techniques and subject matter are at the junction of figuration and abstraction which gives her work its unique contemporary feel. “Shaving” Kaitlyn Clark is a sister, youth worker, student, and nature-enthusiast-wino trying to emerge as a writer. After years of traveling and uncertainty, she enjoys being a third-year USask student majoring in English and minoring in French. But with strong attention to detail and a weak sense of routine, Kaitlyn is mostly just trying to go with the flow. “Shaving” is a meditation on the changing seasons and social expectations of shaving body hair that regards both as symbols of growth. “post-holiday thaw” Dawn Muenchrath (she/her) is currently completing her MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan. She has previously attended the University of Calgary and is originally from a farm in rural Alberta. She loves walking the river pathway in Saskatoon and has two cats (who do not like walks). As for her poem, she noticed that she goes through a sort of metamorphosis as the year gradually shifts from winter to spring. Along with the river and the roads, it feels like her heart needs to thaw!

New Ideas Molecular Level Rod Goertzen (he/him) is a second-year student at USask pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts. As an interdisciplinary visual artist who approaches art mediums and concepts from scientific, natural and created installation spaces, he deals with divergent constructs by exploring their fragmented boundaries. Playing with the question of where new ideas arise from, he deconstructs our perception of reality to imply that new ideas are organic and arise from spawning grounds at the molecular level. His other works can be found on Instagram: @goertzen1.618. “The Eggs” Ian Canon (he/him) is a second-year MFA student. He was mentored by Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author, Sean Michaels. He is the author of the novel It’s A Long Way Down (2018) and the poetry collection Before Oblivion (2017). His stories have been featured in long con, Spire Light, Montréal Writes, The Sunlight Press, The Spadina Literary Review and others. He is the fiction editor for The Fieldstone Review and regularly presents workshops on writing with the Saskatoon Public Library. Ephemeral Sami Sayed is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a Health Studies degree concentrating on Biology, Development and Health. As a child, she believed the forests surrounding her home in Ontario to be the epitome of magic. Befriending critters, hoarding leaves, stones, and bones, she collected everything the earth offered. As an adult, the exasperation of peering into nature in hopes to capture a bit of life, only to be met with aluminum wrappers and paper, was the inspiration for her piece. Adrenaline Michelle Thevenot (she/her) is a University of Saskatchewan College of Education alumni where she majored in visual art education. Her art originated in 2D painting before branching into 3D sculpture through authentic self-discovery and experimentation. She carves deep connections between human nature and wild nature. Her sculptures utilize chainsaws, power tools, salvaged log wood, and hand-brushed elements of paint and stain. Her sculptures celebrate female empowerment and challenge stereotypes in an unconventional artform. Neurodivergent sensory processing differences influence her creations as she explores how the wood’s organic personality echoes traits of human nature. “Threading the Needle” Ariana Culper (she/her) is a first-year Agriculture and Bioresources student at USask who enjoys writing in her spare time. She likes reading, gardening and listening to music; she draws inspiration for her writing from any combination of these three things. Ariana wanted to write “Threading the Needle” as a way to encourage others to seek happiness in addition to the transformation that comes with it. She is grateful to be able to share her work with others. “Men Don’t Cry” Devynn Boyer (he/him/his) is a Métis education student in the SUNTEP program. He has always enjoyed writing, but has only recently started to share it with others. He draws inspiration from various things such as his culture, life experiences and family. This poem is reflective of his journey with both mental health and masculinity. Although it can be challenging to open up and share with others, he has learned that it is sometimes needed.

Cover Art | Do you even know me? by Narges Porsandekhial

Marker on paper 21 x 21 cm

How many faces and bodies do we possess? Metamorphosis reminds us of becoming who we are not. But after all the change, isn’t that still us, sitting silently in the distance? Do our loved ones even know us anymore? If we keep changing over and over?

in medias res is a student-led literary magazine at St. Thomas More College that aims to publish content to reflect the identities of the campus community, its complexities and diversities. Our mission is to be a forum for community expression that showcases the high-quality work of artists in the University of Saskatchewan community. The work of 22 writers and artists is included in this anthology, part one of double issue of “Metamorphosis” that explores our ever-changing world. These pages contain fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from the University of Saskatchewan community — undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni. “Metamorphosis” asks you to contemplate processes of change — the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly and everything in-between. Find us at


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.