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IVORY TOWER


IVORY TOWER

is the art and literary magazine of the university of minnesota—twin cities. We are inspired by a belief in the necessity of artistic expression and its power to enlighten, challenge, and captivate.


FROM THE EDITORS

W

ith this year’s theme of “Woven Voices,” we sought to uncover inspiration from Ivory Tower’s roots. What began as a weekly column in the Minnesota Daily quickly became a regular insert, first weekly then monthly, running from 1952– 1969. Garrison Keillor, Patricia Hampl, Lewis Hyde, Jim Moore, and many more are all literary giants that once called the Tower home. In 2006 the magazine was reborn as a yearly publication showcasing the breadth of our university’s artistic talent. For a decade, Ivory Tower has dedicated itself to the written and visual artwork of the University of Minnesota’s undergraduate student body. These past ten years have offered the recognition of publication for hundreds of artists— vindication for countless hours dedicated to craft. Several of this year’s staff were provided our first taste of publication by Ivory Tower in past years, and we are excited to share that experience with our fellow students. As editors, we found the challenge in weaving these voices together not in trying to harmonize them all, but in finding the significance within dissonance. This, however,

we discovered, is also the reward. If at times these voices seem contradictory, we hope that in juxtaposition they create space for dialogue and self-reflection for readers. The act of creating art is an act of braver y. To share that piece of oneself, particularly with a community as large as the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota, is an act of valor. This year’s edition is filled with work that is both technically and emotionally challenging. The vignettes threaded together between our covers represent the explorations, desires, and struggles of our peers. Each could stand on its own as an artistic accomplishment, but it is the alchemy of these pieces that provides a whole greater than

the sum of its parts. We have worked hard to pair pieces that complement one another, and we hope you enjoy these companionships. Woven into the end of this edition are the winning selections of the Weisman Art Museum’s ArtWords contest. For three years, the Weisman has been a significant partner in the endeavor to highlight student artistic ability. It is through the relationships Ivory Tower has formed on and off campus that we aim to deliver at least another ten years of undergraduate accomplishment, further strengthening the fabric of the University of Minnesota’s artistic community. NICHOLAS HEINECKE AND RUTH ZWICK


Ivory Tower 2016 The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities Undergraduate Literary and Art Magazine Copyright © 2016 Edited, designed, and produced by students enrolled in a two-semester course offered by the English Department, Ivory Tower in an annual journal that publishes the best in art, poetr y, fiction, and creative nonfiction by undergraduates on the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities Campus. Ivory Tower University of Minnesota Department of English 207 Lind Hall 207 Church Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 www.ivory-tower.umn.edu ivory@umn.edu Printed by Versa Press, East Peoria, Illinois Front Cover Art: Ren Novitch, Bloodflood Pt. 2 (detail), acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20”


IVORY TOWER VOLUME 10 / 2016


2016 STAFF Editors in Chief NICHOLAS HEINECKE RUTH ZWICK Managing Editors ERICA BEEBE LIZ MCNAUGHTON AMY PASCHKE Development Director BRENNA SIEVERT Design Manager DYLAN SCOTT Designers MAUREEN AMUNDSON HEATHER HURLEY CAYTLIN KUSZEWSKI GABRIELLE MONTES AELIA NAQWI

Marketing Director VICTORIA PECKARSKY Publicists BRENNA BAST HEATHER HURLEY MARA ROSEN MACKENZIE SCHILTZ CARLI VERHAAGH Copyeditors BRENNA BAST ERICA BEEBE NICHOLAS HEINECKE CAYTLIN KUSZEWSKI GABRIELLE MONTES AMY PASCHKE BRENNA SIEVERT Art Editors MAUREEN AMUNDSON HEATHER HURLEY AELIA NAQWI

Fiction Editors BRENNA BAST AMY PASCHKE MACKENZIE SCHILTZ BRENNA SIEVERT CARLI VERHAAGH Nonfiction Editors ERICA BEEBE CAYTLIN KUSZEWSKI VICTORIA PECKARSKY ALYSSA ROESCHLEIN Poetry Editors NICHOLAS HEINECKE LIZ MCNAUGHTON GABRIELLE MONTES MARA ROSEN DYLAN SCOTT RUTH ZWICK


CONTENTS

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21

25

10

UNTITLED BEKAH HALLAWAY

11

LOW E. K. THAYER

12

SMALL HOUSE NEAR NOWHERE EMILY HILL

12

SONG AT THE END OF SEPTEMBEr FENG GOOI

15

FLORAL BONES RAEGAN JAEGER

16

SELF-PORTRAIT AS the BREAKFAST SPREAD DEBORAH KRULL

18

THE TRAVELER ERIC SCHABLA

19

WIG DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ

20

METASTASIS CLAIRE FALLON

21

SHOCK AND AWE KENDALL LAURENT

22

QUIET TINA HSIAO

22

WINGS AUBREY ASLESON

25

BETTA DEVON LEE

28

THE BOY WITH HAIR LIKE SUNLIGHT ERIN ANDERSON

29

HOSPITAL NIGHTS CARTER BLOCHWITZ

30

a BETTER TOMORROW DAVID PENNEY

31

SO WE GO ARI SAMAHA

32

PI-PI BRANDON HACKBARTH

33

FLOWER CHILD ADITI HINDKA

33

SLEEPING UNDER STARS AUTUMN WETZEL

36

IF YOU’RE FEELING SINISTER ERIC SCHABLA

38

SHIRT (BEIJING 2015) EVA MOE

39

SUMMER BOYS DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ

40

SUNDAY NIGHTS EMMA BRUNETTE

41

WORDLEAVES PAUL GLEMBOCKI


45

50

62

42

UNTITLED ZACHARY SWENSON

44

ELI MICA STANDING SOLDIER

45

(D)RIFT JACQUELINE CASSMAN

45

oPHELIA E. K. THAYER

48

BLOOD FLOOD PT. 2 REN NOVITCH

49

EXT. BEACH—NIGHT NATHAN LEMIN

50

IMPROVISED ART CARTER BLOCHWITZ

52

MASS BENJAMIN SCHROEDER

54

SQUARING THE CIRCLE: PAGE 33 LOUIE-PAULO DARANG

55

DRIVE OF THE DEVOUT RUBY HOGLUND

56

BODY OF WATER ELLEN FEE

57

I wish it had never sailed ERIC SCHABLA

57

lOST THINGS EMMA KLINGLER

59

UNRAVELING HANNAH NURMI

60

BLACK MAGIC 01 FRANCINE THOMPSON

61

SIMPLICITY OLIVIA HEUSINKVELD

62

WAFFLES TAYLOR DANIELS

63

Sugar MADELYN MUSICK

64

PASEO ERIKA JOHNSRUD

65

UNDER THE SUN CHUYING XIE

66

THE FALLING ANDREW TOMTEN

66

A DRINK TO FIT THE MAN MIKE CORRAO ARTWORDS

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74

EXCAVATION ERIN ANDERSON

76

Thirteen WAYS A SAILBOAT BLOWS NIKITA SALOVICH

79

“ADELARD MY LOVE” SHANIQUE WRIGHT

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NOTHING IS LESS REAL THAN REALISM RACHEL EVANS


ART / WOVEN VOICES UNTITLED BEKAH HALLAWAY, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 14” X 10”

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IVORY TOWER / BEKAH HALLAWAY


E. K. THAYER eflower me on a dock in the middle of the night under the stars. It sounds so romantic on paper. It wasn’t romantic at all. I hadn’t been a virgin for years, but I think the term still applies. He took my roses and left me bare. “Does this mean I have to take you out to dinner now?” “No,” I said.

d

When I ascended the stairs back to real life—when I managed to pull the athletic leggings I was supposed to be sleeping in back up from my ankles—only one of my friends was still awake. “Did you—” “Yes.” “Was it—” “No.”

I slept on the floor without a blanket. The alcoholic stupor had me unsure of where I was in the morning. Ever yone I knew had already left so it was a matter of hastily gathering my things

and running barefoot to my car. I shared my silence with the radio.

pened; it nags me. If he asked, if I said yes, if it all just happened.

A single text had me gagging on the truth in my childhood bathroom. “Don’t tell anyone, please.” I showered. I pulled myself together for a music festival. Distraction. Lost in the crowd for a few hours listening to my favorite voice scrub away at the grime hardening inside me. I bought a T-shirt to commemorate the day I’d like to forget. Feet rooted in the grass, swaying, my mind floating to somewhere above a dock on a lake whose name I can’t remember.

My friends didn’t understand, but I suppose I couldn’t expect them to. I downplay things. If you act like you don’t care, then no one can hurt you. Only, the truth is that you’re bereft, wide-eyed at 3:00 a.m. some nights while everyone lies oblivious to the pain in your chest because you said it didn’t matter. I couldn’t remember if he used protection.

I wish I’d at least been on bottom so I could have looked up at the stars. Staring over his shoulder at the smooth, gray panels of wood and still, black water. I didn’t feel anything. “Can I finish?” he whispered. “Yeah, please hurry up.” I wanted this to be over. I want to know how it hap-

Listening to that one Jeremy Messersmith song on repeat for hours trying to recreate the way it mended me in the ninetydegree heat. “Life’s a game we’re meant to lose.” It’s not as melodramatic as you might think. But, I get tetchy when the number of days I’d like permanently expunged from my life keeps rising. Don’t touch me.

I wear that T-shirt all the time.

IVORY TOWER / E. K. THAYER

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nonfiction / WOVEN VOICES

LOW


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

SONG AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER feng gooi

small house near nowhere EMILY HILL, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 6.8” X 4.5”

t their first meeting, Daniel was astounded at the sight of Mrs. Antonelli, that this ancient being who moved and looked like puppet Yoda didn’t require beeping machines and tubes snaking in and out of her veins to sustain her. Humans shouldn’t have to live

a

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this long, he thought. He initially thought she was senile, but her rent-collecting knock at exactly six in the morning on the first day of ever y month, which came as surely as the moon turned full, disproved that. The room he occupied upstairs worked well as both his studio and living quarters, all at an affordable price. He personalized

IVORY TOWER / FENG GOOI

his room—he was an ar tist after all—but was careful not to put too much effort into it. This was temporar y. Just a stepping stone. He had rented from Mrs. Antonelli for what must have been three years now. He didn’t expect that. Daniel thought it would be brief, that in the future this house would merely be a site where people


alive? What did Mrs. Antonelli have to live for? She had no pets, no garden of roses, no scar ves to knit. No one ever visited or checked up on her, so she likely had no children or friends. He wasn’t even sure what she did all day. The maid she hired cleaned the house and brought her groceries. She didn’t have a TV or even a radio. Was it habit or stubbornness that made her go on? Daniel often pondered this while not really caring—till one night two years ago. The sandman skipped him that night as it did many nights. Under the cover of darkness, eyes watching the familiar ceiling, he started to hear music drift through the floorboards underneath him. It was the piano. Daniel didn’t know enough about classical music to tell you what it was, but he could tell you it was light, elegant, heavy, melancholic. Then came the voice. Separate from the music, gorgeous and weary, it came not from the heavens, but the depths of the ocean blue. The voice sang with the music but without words. Still, Daniel understood. It was a song of loss. The rolling waves of the voice drowned him, submerging him, sinking into his skin, washing his bones. When the song ended, Daniel felt silver in his lungs, ever y breath pierced. But then the music

started again and so did the voice. This happened again and again till he drifted to sleep. When the knock shook the door at six the next morning, with Mrs. Antonelli standing there demanding rent, Daniel was sure that the previous night had all been a dream. The voice couldn’t possibly be Mrs. Antonelli’s. But who else? Though still unsure where the lines of reality were, something in him thought to mark down the date. September 30. That year passed slowly; Mrs. Antonelli was still Mrs. Antonelli and Daniel was still Daniel. Eventually the time came and he found himself with ears pressed down to his unswept floor, eyes closed, hear t bursting, listening to the song of sorrow. He slept through the night that way. Later when the knock came for rent, Daniel peered into Mrs. Antonelli’s impassive face, and he ached to know her. Why the singing? Why the sadness? Why that day? Was it an anniversary? Was it a day of long past joys or a haunting tragedy? Did she lose someone? A lover? A child? Who was she? The questions grew, nagging and invading his mind. Unable to resist fur ther, he invited himself into Mrs. Antonelli’s room downstairs for

IVORY TOWER / FENG GOOI

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fiction / WOVEN VOICES

would be charged a dollar to soak in the lingers of his brilliance. What brilliance? He used to be a big fish in a small tank, but here in the ocean the whales sung and the angelfish glittered. In the beginning he wasn’t intimidated, he was inspired; he pushed himself harder thinking that their genius would soon be his. It wasn’t. But still he persisted. He switched techniques, materials, styles—watercolor to pastel, baroque to cubism. He tried and tried, and now the brushes weighed heavy and the paints anesthetized. So Daniel was stuck— he couldn’t go for ward and couldn’t go back. His pride wouldn’t let him. Or so that’s what he told himself, to feel in control. Sometimes he wavered, though. In the dead of night he would reach for his phone tentatively, fingers searching, lingering, then retreating. Reach. Retreat. Reach. Retreat. The action repeating till the red light of dawn awakened his senses. Still he longed to hear his family say his name even if it was spat out in scorn. But no. He would find no home there; home was just his memories now. So stuck here he was, stuck here with Mrs. Antonelli. At first Daniel paid no heed to her, but as the brushes gained weight he started to wonder. Why was she still


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

tea. The most striking things about the room were the walls. The walls were barren fields of white—not egg white, not paper white, not ghost, not bone, not snow. It was the white of absence, of emptiness. She directed him to a plain wooden stool while taking her place at a car ved Louis XV ar mchair. She smiled and nodded, bringing teacups for two. It was here that the mystery of what Mrs. Antonelli did all day was revealed: she sat. And so Daniel sat with her for the first of many days. Daniel never got his answers—words were never spoken there. He didn’t need them. In the quiet of the static room all thoughts dissipated. Eventually he didn’t even knock on the door when he entered anymore. He merely took his seat on his stool next

to hers and sat. At times, Mrs. Antonelli, so tranquil and unmoving, seemed liked she was just another piece of furniture in the room. At times, he would become the walls, empty and white, without a sense of time and space. Forgetting his consciousness and existence. Other times, there was tea. The warmth of her brewed tea flowing down his throat was the largest reminder that she was always there. Sitting beside him. Tonight was September 30 once more. When night came he got up from his seat, creaked up to his room, and laid his head against the floor, prepared to hear the song. He waited and waited and waited but no song came. Still he sailed to sleep peacefully and contentedly that night, as he does many nights now.

The knock of rent collection came as it always did this time the next morning. Daniel walked groggily to the door, opening it. “Today is October first.” “Yes, I do believe it is.” “Rent is due.” “It always is.” He reached into his wallet, counted the notes, and handed the money to her in cash, the way she preferred. She slowly let her fingers flick through the notes, counting the cash in front of him. “Thank you,” she announced, then shuffled across the hallway back to her haven. He watched her slow descent down the stairs. Daniel closed the door and picked up a paintbrush, contemplating a blank canvas, and then he painted. He painted to fill Mrs. Antonelli’s white walls with color. ◆

THE WALLS WERE BARREN FIELDS OF WHITE—NOT EGG WHITE, NOT PAPER WHITE, NOT GHOST, NOT BONE, NOT SNOW. IT WAS THE WHITE OF ABSENCE, OF EMPTINESS.

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IVORY TOWER / FENG GOOI


ART / WOVEN VOICES

floral bones RAEGAN JAEGER, ACRYLIC AND INK ON CANVAS, 60” X 48”

IVORY TOWER / RAEGAN JAEGER

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POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

SELF-PORTRAIT AS THE BREAKFAST SPREAD deborah krull I am the beans, pulverized brunette grounds growling as hot water sears away my tang. The dried fruit, my bodies purposely dried up parched & sweetened. What a spread! I am the eggs, fried, staring reproachfully up at you & you with runny yellow eyes. The almonds, arrayed artfully in a blue china bowl, raw & stippled with chalky salt.

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IVORY TOWER / DEBORAH KRULL


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

I am the bacon, my perfume permeates the room, hissing & crackling as your mouth brims with longing. The loaf, toasted to a breakable crisp & slathered with tart orange marmalade. What a glorious spread! I am the man who spreads his body unknowingly & slurps up the spread & walks out the door.

IVORY TOWER / DEBORAH KRULL

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POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

THE TRAVELER eric schabla An old man with a briefcase is rapping at my door. On his head a crow sits like a bad felt cap— little poison legs poised for flight. He’s wearing clothes that were once mine and his heavy breath clings to the rims of my teacups when he comes inside We talk for a long while. He and his crow-cap are far from home. When the season comes, I will travel homeward with him. At dusk, he walks with me down to the apple tree. He tells me the last light of day makes him hopeful. He likes the way it beguiles the fruit to ripeness. He also tells me this life is a shadow. Then he asks if I would be interested in purchasing liability insurance.

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IVORY TOWER / ERIC SCHABLA


ART / WOVEN VOICES

WIG DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ, SILVER GELATIN PRINT, 5.5” X 5.5”

IVORY TOWER / DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ

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POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

METASTASIS CLAIRE FALLON Dana Scully had copper hair and wasn’t afraid of God or strangeness, but Gillian Anderson’s hair is blonde so maybe I’m not really sure who it is that I love. I can make a list that always begins with Mom and always ends in different places— sometimes in Grand Rapids where my friend writes stories that never have characters named after me, and sometimes in my own mouth when it tastes like her favorite peppermint tea. She called me last week after reading an article and reminded me to check my breasts for bumps. So, I climbed into my bathtub and pressed my fingers in tight circles around my nipples until they caught on a pebble, buried in the left side. A week later a crescent of skin is carved out and I’m almost disappointed when it’s nothing because ever since that conversation I burst open in dreams to expose rows upon rows of pearly tumors hooked onto my organs like barnacles on a whale’s back. Knowing that it exists does not cause disease, but after hearing her voice strung tight with concern I want to invite my fingers down my throat and peel skin back with my teeth like tangerines so I can empty myself of everything that burns. Fox Mulder pretends that strangeness isn’t frightening and then Scully got cancer, but my friend hasn’t watched the show in at least a year and she turns her head to the side in confusion when I say we look like them as we search the sky for permission.

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IVORY TOWER / CLAIRE FALLON


ART / WOVEN VOICES

SHOCK AND AWE KENDALL LAURENT, PEN ON PAPER, 17” X 14”

IVORY TOWER / KENDALL LAURENT

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fiction / WOVEN VOICES

WINGS AUBREY ASLESON 1

hen I was a little girl, I had wings. I asked for them one day when we were in the dollar store. Mom already had a bunch of stuff in the cart, things we needed and things we probably didn’t. I saw them hanging on the end of an aisle, wrapped in plastic, pink and glittery. After I slipped my arms through the straps I wasn’t without them for a very long time. M o m d i d n ’ t s a y a n ything for a while. I guess she thought it was another one of my games and I’d get tired of it eventually. One day, after it was clear that I wasn’t ditching them, she paused on our way out, fingers loose on the door handle. “Are you really sure you want to wear those?” I mirrored her frown and stared at her rainbow dress. “Are you sure you want to wear that?” I asked. Mom was always in dresses with little cats or birds or stars and always, always glitter. That or sweats. She laughed and flicked my

w

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QUIET TINA HSIAO, OIL ON CANVAS, 16” X 12”

left wing. She didn’t mention it again. Actually, I liked Mom’s dresses, and my wings, and how we looked when we stood side-by-side. It was like we were together in a place

IVORY TOWER / AUBREY ASLESON

separate from everyone else. 2

Ms. O’Connor asked me to stay after school one day. I stood in front of her desk and


3

Mom and I were good. She told me so all the time. “Hey. Don’t cry, Lil,” she’d say, dabbing at my cheeks with ripped up sweatshir t sleeves. But I thought that she said it too many times for it to really be true. Not that Mom

ever lied to me. She just lied to herself, and it was kind of the same thing. 4

We lived in a little house that was fading and falling apart. The front steps were crumbling and the floors and walls creaked when no one was moving. For a long time I thought there were monsters and I’d check under my bed and closet every night. Mom laughed when she found out. “Nope. No monsters here, Lil. Ghosts, maybe.” I didn’t leave the house much, except for school and the store. I didn’t go to friends’ houses because I didn’t have friends. Sometimes, when Mom was feeling good, we’d go on walks. We’d pass a lot of old people, and they’d smile in a vague sort of way at my wings. I spent a lot of time in the backyard because Mom worried about me being out front. I ran around and around, brandishing twigs like they were wands and exploring castles that were really just trees. I went as high as I could on the swings, until I was whipping back and forth so fast I thought I’d puke. Then, I’d slip off the seat and into the air and feel my wings flutter against my back and, for a second, I was flying. Mom would come out

sometimes and push me, a cigarette clamped in her mouth and the pack in the pocket of her sweatpants. “Higher, higher,” I’d laugh and she’d slow me down because she worried. Home was my whole world, but it was a big world, and a good one. 5

Mom would stomp from room to room, laughing, crying and yelling. I hovered behind her and dragged her back when she went too far. When the bottle of pills went halfway down her throat and then all over the bathroom floor, or when I got home from school and followed a trail of broken glass and sticky puddles and drops of blood to where she lay on the floor, I dragged her back. I was careful with her. I knew when she needed me to cry, or hide, or grab her hand and tell her to please stop. And we were always good in the end. 6

We went to the museum one day. Mom wore a yellow sunflower dress and we got ice cream. Another day, Mom called my school and said I was sick. We stayed home and watched movies and put together a puzzle of the Eiffel Tower.

IVORY TOWER / AUBREY ASLESON

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FICTION / WOVEN VOICES

stared at the spelling tests she’d taped to the wall behind her while she asked me about the wings. Why did I wear them, what did my mother think of them. Lily, answer me please. Lily, answer my questions. I waited until she stopped talking, and then I left. Mom was in the parking lot when I walked out, leaning against the car, cigarette butts scattered at her feet. I tried to explain why I was late, but she jerked her thumb at the passenger door and I got in. She drove too fast and had to slam on her breaks too many times. Somewhere in the five blocks between school and home we collided with a streetlight. It was short and old fashioned and landed on the hood, just short of the windshield. Mom reversed fast and the metal scraped against the car, the light crashing onto the street. We drove away and there was a dent in the hood after that.


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

“I always wanted to go to Paris,” she told me. I replayed these days in my head every night. I didn’t want to forget them. 7

Mom liked to fight with people. She screamed into the phone or punched furiously at the buttons. She went to Grandma’s. She got angr y and then she got money. We were always short on money. Mom quit a lot of jobs, or she got fired, and she liked to buy stuff. “Amanda, why do you let Lily wear that costume?” Grandma asked with a forced delicacy when we were visiting one day. “It’s March.” “Because she wants to,” Mom said. Grandma rolled her eyes and leaned toward Mom like I wouldn’t hear. “Amanda. She’ll get into trouble at school. Does she get picked on?” “Lily’s fine, Mom.” Mom’s voice jumped dangerously. Her hand was tapping and tapping and tapping her phone against the table. I wanted to tell Grandma to shut up. Look at her hands, listen to her voice. She was sending Mom over the edge and she didn’t have to. Grandma star ted to talk again and Mom snapped, cutting her of f. Her voice was

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sharp and painful. “Jesus Christ, Mom. Just fucking drop it.” They both fell silent and it was difficult to breathe. Mom lit a cigarette right there at the table and Grandma asked how work was going. “It sucks and the pay is shit,” Mom spat, her voice thick. Grandma just looked tired. She was slumped a little in her chair. Mom star ted to come apart. I watched her threads pulling, her calm thrown off, and I tensed, ready to go to her or to run and hide. She grabbed at her things like she was going to leave but I knew she wasn’t. She didn’t have what she wanted yet. She was tr ying to put her sunglasses in her purse, but the buttons were snapped shut. I reached over and popped them open. “Here, Mom,” I said. But she didn’t hear me. “And Dave is loaded, but he gives us shit.” “He pays child suppor t, doesn’t he?” The sunglasses crashed against the wall and landed on the floor, the right lens in pieces. Mom started really crying then. She told Grandma we needed things she couldn’t buy. “Lily needs shoes,” she said. “Those ones are too small.” I looked at the shiny,

IVORY TOWER / AUBREY ASLESON

stif f shoes on my feet and nodded when Grandma looked at me. Ten minutes later, Mom was carr ying a thick, white envelope. We breathed again. 8

Mom would leave a lot, disappearing in sparkly dresses and smelling like hairspray. She never said where she was going and I never asked. I stayed inside and read myself to sleep with fairy tales. I set the alarm for school the next day. She’d come back a few days later, walking too fast and too loudly. She’d laugh. She’d make jokes and clean the house spotless. She’d stay on the couch for days. 9

When she was home, we’d watch TV together. Mom covered herself in blankets, hood up even though it was hot. I’d curl up at her feet like a cat. We were watching cartoons that night. I didn’t understand the jokes, but ever y now and then Mom would let out a short laugh. My eyelids kept slipping closed and it was difficult to pull them open again. Mom glanced at me and lit a cigarette. I knew that when it was gone, it would be time for bed.


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

If I pretended to be asleep, she would carr y me to bed and I’d fall asleep smelling like cigarettes and cof fee. But, I forced myself awake and Mom put the cigarette out in a bowl she’d taken from Grandma’s. I slipped off the couch and ran ahead of her. “Will you read me a stor y?” I asked as soon as she caught up. She sighed and slumped against the door, but then she smiled. “Which one?” She sat on the edge of my bed and pulled the stack of books out from under it, thick picture books that Grandma would say I was too old to read. I pointed to the one with fairies. I closed my eyes while she read. She tapped her foot and her voice was hoarse, but she was careful with the words. When it ended, she tucked my blanket tight around me. She was careful not to bend the wings when she did, which was good. What would I do if they bent or ripped? I didn’t know, but it scared me more to be without them in my sleep, so they stayed. Mom kissed my for ehead and her straw-like hair scratched my cheek. “Goodnight, baby.” “Night,” I tried to say, but I was gone.

betta DEVON LEE, WATERCOLOR ON PAPER, 14” X 11” 10

When I woke up again, the darkness outside was still thick. I closed my eyes to go back to sleep and then a long, muf fled sob broke through the quiet house. I kept my eyes closed

and pretended that my blanket, which was still wrapped tightly around me, was a cocoon. When I woke up, I’d fly away. 11

Mom was on the couch when I left for school in the

IVORY TOWER / AUBREY ASLESON

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fiction / WOVEN VOICES

morning and was still there when I got home. I got a tray and put some crackers on a plate. “Mom.” But I didn’t know what to say. I went to the kitchen and poured some orange juice for her. I put that on the tray too. Her eyes opened a little. “Thanks, Lil.” They closed again and she didn’t move. I wanted to r un outside and not come back again. I wanted to curl up on the floor and never leave. I sat on the arm of the couch at her feet and stared at the mirror across the room to keep from looking at her hooded head. If I moved my elbows right, it looked like the wings were moving by themselves. I imagined I was being lifted a few inches off the floor. “Lily, go play outside.” “Okay.” I didn’t move. I ate the crackers and drank the juice and watched her shallow breaths closely to make sure they kept coming. When she did move, it was in a fast and jumpy way that made my throat tighten. I waited for her to finally wake herself up and lose control, like an animal scared of being put back in its cage. 12

Mom was gone for a while. And then she was gone too

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long and there was an uneasy knot growing in my stomach. I thought about calling Grandma, but then she’d find out Mom left and that’d be a bad thing for us. I grabbed the phone anyway and held it tight, in case. I climbed onto a kitchen chair, knees to chin, and wrapped my wings around myself like a blanket. Soon, I thought. Soon, she’d come back and lie on the couch and I’d bring her orange juice and we’d be fine. We’d be good. I waited all day, until it was dark and I couldn’t see the room around me. Every time a car drove by, fear and relief would wash over me. Then it wasn’t her. Then—tires on the driveway, a door slamming. I was still, hands sweaty against the phone. I heard her miss the keyhole and her hand slamming against the door, hitting the handle again and then again.

and smooth and there was more than one of them. His door wasn’t covered in shoe marks and the lock on it wasn’t surrounded by thin little lines. I walked in and all I felt was cold. Home was warm and imprinted with pieces of life and this was nothing. There was a woman in a nice, blue dress and high-heeled shoes in the entr y room. Pam, I remembered. I forgot who’d told me about her. She smiled at me and I slipped of f my wings and handed them to her. She frowned. “Do you want me to put these in your room?” I shook my head, “Get rid of them,” I said. Nothing is good, I thought. Pam took the sparkly pink fabric in her hands and, for a second, I thought I wouldn’t let them go after all. But then I did and I never saw the wings again.

13

14

Later, after Mom was gone from me, I stepped onto Dad’s big, smooth driveway for the first time and wondered why it was white. I’d never seen a white driveway. I thought I’d ask him about it, but I knew he wouldn’t understand the question or why I needed an answer. The cars there were clean

The door flew open and Mom’s glassy eyes slid past me. She disappeared. I tracked her movements around the house. Thud, thud, thud. She was in the bathroom, then her bedroom. Thud, thud. A sound like glass shattering. I told myself it was an accident. I set the phone on the table

IVORY TOWER / AUBREY ASLESON


back now. I didn’t know if I could. I opened my eyes and she was rounding on me. Maybe I said something or started crying or maybe she just remembered she didn’t want to hurt me, but she left me and turned on the cupboards. Mugs and glasses and plates all hit the floor. Blood dripped onto the white tile. A mug painted with big, pink lilies landed on the ground and shattered. I remembered picking it out on Mother’s Day, because I recognized the flower. I remembered Mom tr ying to grow them once and letting them die. It was in too many pieces now and none of the petals were together. Mom went faster, getting more and more lost until I couldn’t see her anymore. I tried to call to her from the chair, but I didn’t want to go

any closer. I uncovered my ears. I couldn’t separate the sounds. My hands gripped the smooth plastic phone on the table. A pile of broken glass and pens and knives circled her like a wall she was building. Higher and higher and higher. I would go to her, like I always did. I would find a way to lead her back to me. I hit END and the phone was slipping out of my hands. It landed on the floor, too, with ever ything else, and then I did go to her. I crouched outside the ring of broken things. Mom went still when she saw me there. She reached out a hand to touch my left wing and a small smile appeared on her lips. Between the men bursting through the door and what happened after, she met my eyes and the fire went out of hers and we were in a separate place and we were good. ◆

HER EYES GLINTED LIKE FLAMES AROUND THE ROOM AND THEN SHE STARTED THROWING OPEN DRAWERS, PULLING THEM AS FAR AS THEY WOULD GO . . .

IVORY TOWER / AUBREY ASLESON

27

fiction / WOVEN VOICES

and covered my ears. She was back in the kitchen, moving too fast. She was yelling, but I pushed my palms harder against the sides of my head until all I could hear was my own breathing. Her eyes glinted like flames around the room and then she started throwing open drawers, pulling them as far as they would go, raking her hands through them. She paused, watched the mess grow, admiring her work. Pens, scraps of paper, then the spatulas, forks, the dishcloths. Even sharp things. Ever ything hit the floor. “Mom, stop. Mom, come on. Stop it.” My lips moved but I couldn’t remember how my voice worked. I rested my chin on my knees and closed my eyes. When it was over, I would clean up and Mom would go to sleep or drive away again. But I didn’t know how to bring her


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

THE BOY WITH HAIR LIKE SUNLIGHT ERIN ANDERSON The boy with hair like sunlight digs his heels into the moon. He is spun from ash and reeds, limbs scraps of gossamer. They wink in the soot-dark, bones glowing like lanterns. Night holds him like fleece. As he moves he seems to unravel, a spool of shadow. He must go. He leaves a flower, takes the light.

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IVORY TOWER / ERIN ANDERSON


ART / WOVEN VOICES

hospital nights CARTER BLOCHWITZ, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 21” X 14”

IVORY TOWER / CARTER BLOCHWITZ

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ART / WOVEN VOICES A BETTER TOMORROW DAVID PENNEY, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 60” X 36”

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IVORY TOWER / DAVID PENNEY


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

SO WE GO ARI SAMAHA Emily is leaning to bristle rose powder on my cheeks. I am ribcage high. Hops and smoke on her. Palettes of lightning, cataract green, and mountain range yellow. Standing to simulate creases on her eyelids where there were none. God. Remember the ylang-ylang, rose hips, chiffon maxi skirts with high leather? Softness like bruises. Star shaped seeds inside. Amethyst jewels, Ferragamo. Virgin hair. Blackest black. Bottom of Bass Lake black. Filling silver ashtrays in a chaise lounge lingering by a portable landline. Remember the rage.

IVORY TOWER / ARI SAMAHA

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POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

PI-PI BRANDON HACKBARTH Little one. Your name drifting down

a snowy hill. Eyes tearing,

and heart as your tresses

flutter, swiftly racing away. Beneath the branches

flurries settle.

The

echo of a passing wave.

Goodbye

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IVORY TOWER / BRANDON HACKBARTH


nonfiction / WOVEN VOICES

SLEEPING UNDER STARS AUTUMN WETZEL

flower child ADITI HINDKA, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 30” X 40”

hen I was young, there was a bare mattress leaning against the wall of my father’s house. That mattress became every adventure three children could ever want— adventures that usually took

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place on staircases at high velocities. My two sisters and I found fun in flinging ourselves headlong into our imaginations . . . and at times, into drywall. Mattress sliding was a favorite pastime. As we got older, our small but burgeoning bodies became too large to all fit on the

mattress, and the distance between the top of the stairs and the bottom felt far less substantial. That, along with our growing knowledge of basic safety, made us retire mattress sliding—but not the mattress. Never the mattress. One night (was it during second grade? fourth?), the

IVORY TOWER / AUTUMN WETZEL

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nonfiction / WOVEN VOICES

three of us couldn’t sleep. Our father, whose pop punk lullabies thundered from his room downstairs, was completely unaware of the three of us creeping from our rooms above, bright-eyed and yawning. It was a peaceful summer night. Miscellaneous bugs hummed through the warm air, and mosquitos were relatively infrequent. One of us (no one can remember who) came up with the magical idea of sleeping outside. We grabbed the sheets of f our beds, creating bags for our pillows and various stuf fed animals, before throwing the whole mess out into the front yard. Then, we all banded together and heaved the heavy mattress out the front door. We had been planning to camp out in the backyard, which hid behind the house and away from view, but the mattress was simply too heavy. It was late at night, and none of us could think of any reason to heft the thing any far ther than necessar y. Instead, we stayed in front of the house on the grassy lawn, level with the road and comfortingly illuminated by our own personal streetlamp. Unlike the darkness of the hidden backyard, this felt far more safe and magical. We all lay there, one sister on the mattress, one splayed

34

in a soft bed of grass and an ocean of sheets, and me simultaneously resting on both, my legs perched over the mattress while my head craned back into the ground to bask in the soft yellow light. This night was perfect: it was warm but still had the lulling chill of late hours, the air was fresh and pure, and creepy-crawlies hardly ever climbed up our feet. Our quiet squeaks of chatter echoed through the cul-de-sac while we lay there, in comfor t and at peace with the world. We did not realize that our next door neighbors, the Zeimans, could clearly see us from their window. Mrs. Zeiman stood there in shock, seeing three young girls napping in the open. What she saw was not the whimsical midnight campout we envisioned, but an example of grossly neglected children just waiting to get kidnapped. While our father slept just inside the house not fifteen feet away from our mattress, she did not attempt to wake him—the Zeimans never did get along with my father. Instead, she called my mother, who had long since divorced my father, and told her just what dangers we precious angels were throwing ourselves into. My mother lived two towns away, a distance from our sleeping suburbia, but

IVORY TOWER / AUTUMN WETZEL

she flew right into action and jumped down the apartment stairs faster than our mattress had ever managed. Soon she was driving as fast as her conscience would allow, rehearsing the scolding she would give over and over in her head. But none of us knew that. No, the only things we knew were it was a beautiful night, the moon was just a sliver peeking out from beneath its blankets, and the sky stretched out far ther than our comprehension. Even then I was enamored with the sky, grasping at its majesty with my hands but never able to put it into words. My inability to wield it in description did not bother me then as it does now—I did not feel any need to own it or to capture its essence. If anything, I wanted it to swallow me whole. I wanted to be engulfed in the sky’s magnificence and fall into a whole new dimension of dreams inside it. Now when I want to be swallowed by the sky, the reasons are far less whimsical. When I stared at my childhood sky, sadness and despair were mere concepts, rather than a continual hollow in my throat. In this same way, danger had never come upon me. My days had been graced with reckless play and


nonfiction / WOVEN VOICES

blessed kneecaps; I never fell. I never feared. The same went for my sisters; none of us knew to suspect the people around us. The kidnappers, creeps, and dangerous people we would be warned of later that night—our eyes were flecked with myster y at the thought of them. We saw no evil in the world. Because of that childish trust and ignorance of evil, it felt natural to trust our sleeping bodies to the sky. Bathing in the glow of the streetlamp and the gentle warmth of summer, we breathed in the night air and turned our eyes to the stars. Back then, the stars all shone with vigor—it would be a few more years until the light pollution in the suburbs would swallow them from sight. This was before I grew to be afraid of the night. This was before the world burrowed deep into my skin, before anxiety gnawed at my bones; back before the Unknown had ever moved into my home, threw out the mattress and taught me fear. This was before beer cans, canyons, car vings, and dragons, all of the stuff my poetry is made of now—goodness, this was even before poetry! This was back when a night was just a night, the stars were simply stars, and a mattress was so much more than a mattress. ◆

BATHING IN THE GLOW OF THE STREETLAMP AND THE GENTLE WARMTH OF SUMMER, WE BREATHED IN THE NIGHT AIR AND TURNED OUR EYES TO THE STARS. BACK THEN, THE STARS ALL SHONE WITH VIGOR—IT WOULD BE A FEW MORE YEARS UNTIL THE LIGHT POLLUTION IN THE SUBURBS WOULD SWALLOW THEM FROM SIGHT.

IVORY TOWER / AUTUMN WETZEL

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ART / WOVEN VOICES IF YOU’RE FEELING SINISTER ERIC SCHABLA, PHOTOGRAPH, 17” X 22”

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IVORY TOWER / ERIC SCHABLA


ART / WOVEN VOICES

IVORY TOWER / ERIC SCHABLA

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ART / WOVEN VOICES shirt (beijing 2015) EVA MOE, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 11” X 16”

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IVORY TOWER / EVA MOE


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

SUMMER BOYS DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ I rode the Octocoaster Until I felt sick And ate ice cubes to feel better. I stole a firework on a dare From your Uncle Danny. That night A firework screamed into the sky And made everything blue; I felt grown up. And that’s all I remember about your uncle.

IVORY TOWER / DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ

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ART / WOVEN VOICES SUNDAY NIGHTS EMMA BRUNETTE, LINOCUT PRINT ON PAPER, 14” X 10”

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IVORY TOWER / EMMA BRUNETTE


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

WORDLEAVES PAUL GLEMBOCKI The dirt in my throat has a seed within it I want to swallow I try to swallow But every time I get stuck The saliva should help but it only breaks open the seed so it can sprout The compact dirt silences my sounds and every time I swallow the plant grows The roots reach below the dirt and latch onto the strings so when I talk the sounds only become part of the plant and the leaves the leaves are made of words so watch them grow out of my mouth as I try to swallow

IVORY TOWER / PAUL GLEMBOCKI

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ART / WOVEN VOICES UNTITLED ZACHARY SWENSON, PEN ON PAPER, 6’ X 3’

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IVORY TOWER / ZACHARY SWENSON


ART / WOVEN VOICES

UNTITLED ZACHARY SWENSON, PEN ON PAPER, 6’ X 3’

IVORY TOWER / ZACHARY SWENSON

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poetry / WOVEN VOICES

ELI MICA STANDING SOLDIER The fifth-year inmate of expensive indecision plucks away at his notebook not five feet from my damp shoes. It had been raining. He glances at the door, wondering when it would be appropriate to leave. I feel the sound of my brisk pen marks scratching his ears, as he’s unable to counter with paper proof of his genius. He writes in pencil. A general apprehension keeps our words under our tongues. At the dance one moon ago, we allowed the music to mold together our shared youth. He’s hunched over now, defiantly proving to his ego that he’s on the right path. Or is he more than the linear storyline I’ve granted? Exhaling loudly, and with red paint chipping away at his trimmed toenails (the kind of detail he hopes to be noticed by a wandering eye) he scratches an absent itch. The large fly in our small space bellows out the noises we refuse to make. A digital watch protects the pale flesh on his left wrist. No need to be fancy. Time exists as a reminder, with no guarantees or falsehoods. He’s never wept for the universe.

44

IVORY TOWER / MICA STANDING SOLDIER


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

OPHELIA E. K. THAYER ou suppose that in the end, it was the best thing you could have d o n e for her. Maybe you shouldn’t have left her in the parking lot of a 7 -Eleven in that thin gray turtleneck after breaking her heart, but you reasoned that driving her home would have been awkward. She probably wanted to be alone anyway. Bullshit. If you were being honest, you just felt guilty, and her tears eroded your insides—the Colorado River to your Grand Canyon. So you left. Numb hands on the wheel, you drive aimlessly west and put her behind you. Traffic is light, but you curse at anyone within a hundred feet of your bumper. You’re cold, and the windshield keeps fogging. You can’t stop thinking about her. Guilt is just a temporary inconvenience to you, but your revulsion at the way she looked, waving that letter around from that stupid school, that will stay with you forever. Her doe eyes shining, voice high and whispering like it was some big secret. She ruined everything—a permanent kink in

Y

(D)RIFT JACQUELINE CASSMAN, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 19” X 12”

your upper lip. You remember when she first told you she was applying,

and how you grunted. Maybe you didn’t even look up from your cereal. The name of the

IVORY TOWER / E. K. THAYER

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fiction / WOVEN VOICES

place sounded familiar, but you never considered her to be par ticularly smar t, so it hadn’t registered. Anyway, she never mentioned wanting to go back to school so you assumed you’d never hear about it again. All the times you didn’t listen. You didn’t care. It never mattered to you if she was smart or not. She could have been the dumbest bitch and you would have been fine because she didn’t fool around with other guys, and she let you touch her at the movies. All the boys from your old basketball team who ended up stuck in this town like you cracked jokes when you went to the bar together. After a few beers they started calling her the names from your high school days. Have you nailed the Virgin Mary yet? She has to be the only girl from school you haven’t fucked. Maybe that’s why you’d wanted her to begin with. Blank face fixed at some point beyond the cinderblock walls of Central High, she slipped past you in her nude tights and shiny black shoes. In those days, she shouldn’t have caught your eye, but something about the way she held herself so tightly made you want to pr y her apar t. You never told your friends because you were seeing Caroline Worth at the time, and she had the most coveted

46

ass on the dance team. They would have freaked, so you kept it to yourself. T wo years passed and you’d tried ever y girl who was willing and then some. Your dreams of playing for the NBA had crashed and burned in the wake of a possession charge, and you were hitting the bottle hard. Graduation came and went without you. Some days were okay, but others you didn’t get out of bed. On the nights you were low, it always came back to her. You’d lay face down and gasp her name into the pillow just thinking about cupping her tits through that cotton turtleneck until you came thrusting into the mattress. Then she handed you your change at the checkout of a convenience store six months later. She didn’t notice you at first, but you blamed that on all the other scum tr ying to get in her pants. Ever y toolbag buying condoms or e-cig refills or Coors Light filed into her line despite the five or six other registers that were open. It pleased you to see she hardly looked at them, just cardboard cutouts shuffling by, the same canned phrases mumbled over and over again for a paycheck at the end of the month. You liked how you saw past the straining buttons on her blouse, the tight jeans. She was all dirty roots of yellow hair, frayed cuf fs

IVORY TOWER / E. K. THAYER

two inches too short exposing bony ankles, makeup stains on her collar. She had a practiced frailty to her, a kind of pale endurance. She had eyes like black holes that expanded when she finally recognized you. She was an avalanche that tumbled from your heart and piled up somewhere near your groin. You were a feature of blown youth. After that it was simple. You had to have her and she sort of just went along with it. At first you couldn’t tell if she really liked you, or if you were just safe. You stopped worrying about it as your years of dissatisfaction dissolved in her. All you wanted was for her to let you in. One night, the two of you were curled on the couch watching TV when she took in a deep breath and hesitated, her hand trembling just above your chest. This is it, you thought, though you didn’t know what it was. She told you she was your Ophelia. You smiled stupidly into the flickering darkness and multicolored glow without having the slightest idea what she meant. You called her baby and tucked her under your arm. You felt her sigh and assumed her content. You can’t remember when the rules started. Don’t get up and wash the dishes before I’ve finished eating. Only that it felt good to exercise control.


and went inside to buy a Twix for the two of you to split like always. When you got in the car and handed her half¬— when she refused it without meeting your eyes—she just turned the page of her book, humming. Something in you snapped. She had this dreamy expression while she was reading that you couldn’t touch. You wanted to shatter it, to rip out all the pages, and call her a selfish whore. Instead you shoved her share of the Twix in your mouth and chose your rash words carefully while you chewed. It was difficult to swallow. “I don’t want you anymore,” you said. Out of your peripherals you could see the pages started shaking in her hands. When she didn’t reply you looked at her. Her eyes were still glued to her “required reading.” You could

see she was scared, and that made you feel powerful. “Put that damn thing down and look at me.” She folded the corner of the page and shut the book, setting it slowly in her lap before meeting your eyes. Blinded, you tore into her, some speech about silly girls who don’t appreciate what they have, the type of trash that think they’re better than everyone else. It was the most articulate you’ve ever sounded. She sat still and her eyes never left yours, but you could see her crumpling, folding over and over and inward till there was nothing left of the light in her eyes. “Get out,” you said, and she did. It wasn’t until you were miles away that you realized the book on your passenger seat. ◆

GRADUATION CAME AND WENT WITHOUT YOU. SOME DAYS YOU WERE OKAY, BUT OTHERS YOU DIDN’T GET OUT OF BED. ON THE NIGHTS YOU WERE LOW, IT ALWAYS CAME BACK TO HER.

IVORY TOWER / E. K. THAYER

47

fiction / WOVEN VOICES

When I go to bed, you go to bed. There was something so addicting about her obedience. Stop letting dickheads load groceries into my car. The way she trusted you. Little by little you saw the dullness creep into her complexion. The magic died. Her movements became stiff and jerky, but maybe that was just a reflection of your poor puppeteering. You were desperate to make her feel something. Mechanically, she reached up and put her hand on your cheek. Without raising her eyes, she told you she knew a dark place to which you replied, “show me,” too eager to realize she meant within herself. These were the days leading up to the 7-Eleven incident. You hadn’t meant to do it then; you’d barely thought about it. You were getting gas


ART / WOVEN VOICES bloodflood pt. 2 REN NOVITCH, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 16” X 20”

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IVORY TOWER / REN NOVITCH


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

EXT. BEACH—NIGHT NATHAN LEMIN Moonlight mask listen now, I should drive, I am heavier. Climb down from that lifeguard loveseat, and don’t forget to grab your pants. This was nice, nice you said twice. Let’s walk down, the little white car will save us from the midnight casters catching glances of our gills. Pokey foot road feels blood on our toes, but the car cramped us in; deep breaths of laughter pipe down the street of sin.

IVORY TOWER / NATHAN LEMIN

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ART / WOVEN VOICES improvised art CARTER BLOCHWITZ, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 13” X 20”

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IVORY TOWER / CARTER BLOCHWITZ


art / WOVEN VOICES

IVORY TOWER / CARTER BLOCHWITZ

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POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

MASS BENJAMIN SCHROEDER processional

The stale air hits my nose At the same time as the cool water Dots My forehead. The rigid structure Can be felt in the pews here. As I kneel next to my mother, I wonder: To whom does she speak As she prays into her worn palms? first reading

The hum vibrates through the air That smells like old book and sacrifice With increasing frequency as if Glory and salvation might not come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue, yet I feel My heart quicken with each chord, Rushing to meet the eighth and sixteenth notes With a shaking beat—when the organ dies, I can’t even hear the priest. I haven’t heard him in months. What kind of place tells me to love without abandon, Only to abandon me for whom I love?

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IVORY TOWER / BENJAMIN SCHROEDER


second reading POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

The irony of free will is not lost on me— There’s a lot of choosing going on, And it silences the doubters (me). The quiet shuffle of the faithful standing Wakes me unto my reality once more. Choice is a landscape we shall traverse another day. gospel

Father Holy Son

Spirit

The exothermic silence Melts my fragile, wax existence, To which not even the votive candles Could hope to compare. communion

The Bread of Life tastes burnt today; My Savior chokes me on the way Down my throat—partaking of Him Brings no comfort in the interim As I wait for a silent altar to speak. O, what shall I do with the silence this week? RECESSIONAL

The cold comes now And holds me down. That summer smile no longer am I, Nor can I be that blooming eye. My movements are stiff And my body is low. “Words without thoughts Never to heaven go.”

IVORY TOWER / BENJAMIN SCHROEDER

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ART / WOVEN VOICES squaring the circle: page 33 LOUIE-PAULO DARANG; INK, GRAPHITE, AND WATERCOLOR ON PAPER, 9” X 8”

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IVORY TOWER / LOUIE-PAULO DARANG


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

DRIVE OF THE DEVOUT RUBY HOGLUND I portray myself a secular soul But the moon Turned the Ford into Gethsemane after dark Crooning hymns at a halt under neon lights We behold each other through stained glass eyes Baptized by familiar melodies Radio waves are a form of divine intervention Two celestial bodies Playing with the Marlboros and the philosophy Blasphemy against our mothers’ breasts A thousand ancestors through a roof of glass My stomach opens to a pit I see it as a skeleton of a whale hanging in a museum Infinite and incomprehensible

IVORY TOWER / RUBY HOGLUND

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POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

BODY OF WATER ELLEN FEE I dove the first time to impress you, the second, to retrieve an uncle’s pair of glasses from the lake bottom, and I held them up, wet and sparkling, proudly in the summer light. When we lifted that enormous rock out of the water and into the trunk of the car, we paused so dad could take a photo. I was grinning in a hand-me-down tie-dye one-piece swimsuit and two braids you pulled me into every morning. I dove again sometime after you had gone. I didn’t think you’d be there, and you weren’t. Still, I stretched myself up, wet and sparkling, breathed in and reached my face up to yours, somewhere, proudly in the summer light.

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IVORY TOWER / ELLEN FEE


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

LOST THINGS EMMA KLINGLER

I WISH IT HAD NEVER SAILED ERIC SCHABLA, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 17” X 22”

arianne searched the room frantically for it, tearing open the drawer next to her bed, pulling the faded blue covers off and throwing them to the floor. Susan, her caregiver, called up from below. “Marianne! It’s time to leave.” Marianne gave a small squeak

M

of frustration as she dropped to the floor and crawled under the bed. At four years old, she was still small enough to fit, but just barely. She had to lie completely flat, arms spread at her sides as her eyes scanned the linoleum around her. Nope, not here. “Marianne! Hurry up!” Susan’s normally kind voice was colored with impatience, and

Marianne flinched as she threw open the doors to her dresser. This took some effort, as the doors stuck on their old, half painted-over hinges. She had to put one small, scuffed shoe on the wood at the base while she pulled on the knob. The interior was almost entirely empty, save for some discarded papers and a stack of secondhand books. Her few clothing items were

IVORY TOWER / EMMA KLINGLER

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FICTION / WOVEN VOICES

packed in a black duffle bag at the end of the newly-disheveled bed. She leafed through the books and papers frantically, but the photo was nowhere to be found. Marianne had gone through this scenario a thousand times with her mother. Her favorite pen with a bobbling Woodstock on the tip, her red, plastic barrette shaped like a bow, her golden yarn bracelet, almost an exact match to her hair, hanging on by just a thread: all of these objects seemed to scamper away when it was time to leave for school. Her mother would come up the stairs and stand in the doorway, counting down the final seconds of searching before grabbing Marianne’s arm and dragging her, fussing, down to the car. On these days, Marianne would cr y and scream the whole way to her preschool. When they had pulled into the lot, her mother would put a hand on each side of Marianne’s face and force her to meet her eyes. “Marianne, stop your crying. Tough girls don’t cry, and you’re a tough girl.” She would then give her a quick kiss on the forehead and send her redeyed and sniffling to the doors of the school. But after school, when her mother came home after a full day of work, she would go with Marianne to her room and crawl around on the carpet with her in search of

58

HER MOTHER’S VOICE CHIDED IN HER HEAD: TOUGH GIRLS DON’T CRY. the elusive things. “Found it,” her mother would say, rubbing her sore back with a sigh as Marianne hugged the item to her chest and then deposited it in its rightful place. After this, Marianne would climb onto her mother’s lap and lay her head on her soft chest. Marianne learned long ago that her mother was too tired to play when she got home from work, but she relished these moments of sitting with her before she went to the kitchen to scrape dinner together for them and then leave for her night job. “Lost” is how they described her to Marianne, the men who came to pick her up after school one day. They had shiny badges and soothing voices, and they took Marianne and her small bag of stuff away in their flashing cars. She hadn’t understood, and still didn’t quite get it. An accident at the factory is what they said. She is gone, they said. Lost. “Marianne! I am coming up!” Susan’s voice was beginning to sound angry, and Marianne continued her search

IVORY TOWER / EMMA KLINGLER

with a renewed urgency. The drawer again, the books in the closet, her packed duffle bag . . . but the picture of her mother remained missing. She spun around as the door to her room swung open and Susan stepped in, visibly exasperated. “Marianne, the family is here to get you. You need to come down now,” she said, raising her eyebrows as she sur veyed the destruction in the room. Marianne swung the duffle over her shoulder and walked through the doorway, feeling Susan pat her gently on the head as she passed. Marianne bit down on her lip, which had begun to tremble. Her mother’s voice chided in her head: Tough girls don’t cry. Her mother would help find the picture. Just like the pen with the bobbling Woodstock, like the red bow barrette, like the golden yarn bracelet. She always found the lost things. Marianne held on to that thought as she descended the stairs with Susan to meet her new family. ◆


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

UNRAVELING HANNAH NURMI You are nothing but yellow, I am everything but black— Your body is warm, burnt orange, wrapping around my peach-puff skin, swirling me to coral. You are nothing but crimson— I am turning a rosy brown. Your hands are turquoise; my papaya whip canvas shivers from your touch as I turn Alice-blue. When the moment comes, I am orchid, lavender blush, old lace: soft—my submissive colors a sweet juxtaposition to your hard clementine kisses. You are nothing but a painter— I am your splatter.

IVORY TOWER / HANNAH NURMI

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ART / WOVEN VOICES BLACK MAGIC 01 FRANCINE THOMPSON, MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER, 7.9” X 5.8”

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IVORY TOWER / FRANCINE THOMPSON


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

SIMPLICITY OLIVIA HEUSINKVELD I am falling in love slowly, with the sound of a vacuum on a Sunday morning, and the space in my bed that is cold when I extend my arms —walking in space, music lulling my eyes to close like clamshells. If the rest of my life feels like this, I think I can survive.

IVORY TOWER / OLIVIA HEUSINKVELD

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ART / WOVEN VOICES WAFFLES TAYLOR DANIELS, DIGITAL DRAWING, 17” X 8.5”

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IVORY TOWER / TAYLOR DANIELS


POETRY / WOVEN VOICES

SUGAR MADELYN MUSICK While frying pancakes for dinner, I set my hands on fire. Cinnamon shakes its way bowl-side and all the while Peggy Lee sings me a eulogy of Black Coffee. A stove-top stake for my heart to burn on. I rub a $13.00 bottle of olive oil onto my chest, a christening of all the languages I failed to learn. Quick-stick suicide sears my lips into a wet set and I make a vow to kiss my refrigerator magnets goodbye. I sent the man I love a letter this week. I sip the syrup off my laminate one last time and whisper toward him, down the blocks: It’s okay. I’m just tasting you.

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ART / WOVEN VOICES PASEO ERIKA JOHNSRUD, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH, 11” X 8”

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IVORY TOWER / ERIKA JOHNSRUD


CHUYING XIE used to live under the sun until a point in my life. I cannot help myself thinking that other people are better lives than I am. Now I am sitting on the bus typing with my laptop on my lap. I keep doing things that I can find no reason for. Why? I ask myself repeatedly. Why have things been stranger and more in these days? I am a heavy life. That’s why I can’t write. Because once I start to write, black things just flow out like smoke. It drowns me. I drown others. My mind is a black hole. Today I sleep in math class. There are no more than ten people in my class, and the room is pretty full. The teacher is standing a few arms away from me,

I

but his voice comes from the farthest darkness in the universe and hits my ears softly like witchcraft. I cannot see him any more. I am not in the classroom. Instead, I land at the office of my astronomy teacher whom I admire in the deepest sub-consciousness. He is there. He has a beard, same as the boy who always sits next to me in his class. His beard is black and white, though the boy’s is reddish. I think I like the color red a lot. It bewilders my eyes like my math teacher’s voice bewitches my ears. I am very easily influenced in senses. I was in his office. He was there too. He thinks that black holes are a type of celestial body that have such a big mass and gravity, even light cannot pass. He tried to make sense to me

that black holes are actually the hidden source of all energy in the universe, where the big stars and tiny round molecules emerge and where life is born. He said if any question pops up in my head I should not hesitate for a bit of shyness and shoot. I did try but nothing came out of my mouth. I have nothing to shoot. So silly me. I should have said something before I left, at least thanked him for what he had taught me. But the empty chair beside me hurt my leg a little bit on my right knee. My math teacher stared into my eyes with sympathy, “You need to get enough sleep, girl.” Maybe I have always been under the sun. Maybe I am just too black to let anything through. ◆

HIS VOICE COMES FROM THE FARTHEST DARKNESS IN THE UNIVERSE AND HITS MY EARS SOFTLY LIKE WITCHCRAFT.

IVORY TOWER / CHUYING XIE

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nonfiction / WOVEN VOICES

UNDER THE SUN


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

A DRINK TO FIT THE MAN MIKE CORRAO ould you like tea or cof fee?” The woman asked. She sat across from me in a small café. Outside of the café was France. At least I think it was France. It tends to change pretty rapidly so excuse me for being unsure. The woman crossed her legs like a duchess and wore a blouse and skirt as if she was going on a leisurely stroll around Birmingham Palace. “Tea or coffee?” She asked me again. Her hair was pinned up in an attempt to hide her brunette curls. I shrugged and leaned back. “It’s an important choice,” she said. “I don’t blame you for thinking it over. In fact, I insist that you do.” Her smile was subtle and curious. Important choice? I glanced up at her confused. She rested her hands on her lap, tilted forward, and placed her face close to mine. “I know that look. You don’t really get it, do you? That’s all right, not a lot of foreigners do.” The smile on the woman’s face persisted. “What would you like to drink?” “I’m not sure.” I said.

“w

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THE FALLING ANDREW TOMTEN, INK AND WATERCOLOR ON PAPER, 11” X 8.5”

“Well,” she rested her back against the cushioned seat and called over a waiter with the quick flicker of her delicate gloved hand. A man rushed to the call. “I’d like one cup of tea and one cup of coffee,” she said. The waiter bowed and

IVORY TOWER / MIKE CORRAO

left the table—disappearing behind the bar. Her anticipation was ver y clear. She was interested. I looked outside and the countr y still looked like we were in France. I was pretty sure at this point that that was


She placed her hand beside the cof fee cup. “If you choose the cup of coffee you are choosing to drink something that is strong and bitter. You present yourself as a busy, working man. Your mind is enlightened and you have impor tant things to do. Maybe you’re French or American.” The woman cleared her throat. “The coffee tells me that you don’t have time. Maybe you’re afraid of using it all up. You use it to keep yourself awake. You use it so much that you aren’t even really a person anymore. You’re just a husk— a zombie droning on along the same set path that you always will follow and always have. The coffee is black and the man who drinks cof fee has a soul of the same color.” I stared across the table at the duchess with uncertain awe. She seemed unphased by the choice and simply amused by the prospect that I had to do it instead of her and that she got to watch. I sat back in my seat and rubbed my chin. “The tea or the cof fee?” She asked. I looked outside the café window again. The glass was smudged—possibly by a passerby looking in. Or maybe while the café had been passing through France we had hit a couple bugs or a person. I think we were in Spain. The café was sitting outside of clay steps in a beautiful

humidity. A bull ran past the doors. “Where are we?” I asked the woman. She looked over her shoulder. Another bull passed by. “I think it’s Spain now,” she said. I looked down at the two beverages. One was in a white teacup and the other was in a black cof fee mug. Bending my back, I looked down into the cups. Bubbles occasionally swam around the edges of the coffee cup. The teacup was calm. We were in Spain. “You’re stalling, Francis,” she said. “That’s awfully impolite, you know. I haven’t even gotten the chance to order my own drink.” “What are you having?” I asked. “I think I’ll just have a glass of water.” “Me too,” I said. She shook her head slowly, “That would be very rude. I offered you two drinks. Tea. Coffee. Please stop this pettiness and choose one. It’s a simple choice. How will it affect you? All that your drink does is tell me exactly the type of person you are. Nothing more.” “So,” I said, “to summarize. The tea will make me an insecure imperialist and the coffee will make me a hollow and scared husk of a man?” She nodded in agreement. “I don’t see much of a difference between the two,” I told her. “I think I’ll have the tea.” I

IVORY TOWER / MIKE CORRAO

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fiction / WOVEN VOICES

exactly where we were. Outside an elderly couple walked past the café and the gentlemen who escor ted his wife tipped his hat to the duchess and me. The duchess did not notice, but out of politeness I returned the gesture with my own nonexistent hat. The waiter returned. In the middle of the table he placed one cup of tea and one cup of coffee. “The cof fee is still ver y hot—ver y fresh. But the tea should be cool enough to drink.” He smiled. “The tea is black?” She asked. “It’s Darjeeling, madame.” He bowed and left the table again. The woman across from me—whom I had no recollection of outside of this café—wafted the tea and smiled. Then she did the same to the coffee. Both seemed to bring her pleasure. “If you choose the tea,” she said, “you are choosing to drink a delicate and quiet beverage. You present yourself as more elegant and possibly more eloquent. The waiter told us that the tea was Darjeeling. That’s Indian. More foreign than you,” she smiled. “If you choose the tea it tells me you’re English. You’re an imperialist. A man who drinks Darjeeling is a man that doesn’t mind conquering India simply so he can feel better about himself.”


fiction / WOVEN VOICES

reached forward and grabbed ahold of the tea. I took a sip. The water had begun to separate from the tea. It felt cold against my tongue and the temperature lingered as it flowed down my throat. The café stopped. We were somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. I looked around to realize that we had been the only customers in a sea of empty tables. Behind the bar our waiter stood stiff with eyes like a television set to static. His face was red and his veins protruded like wiring down his body. The duchess had been a victim of the same metamorphosis. A glass of water flickered into reality on the table. It began to bubble and then it quickly stopped. I looked outside the window and the Atlantic disappeared under us and we became isolated in the blackness of space surrounded by infinitely distant stars. The woman took a sip of her water and smiled. “I think the coffee would have been a better choice for you. I think of you as more of a husk than an Englishmen. Excuse me if that sounds too forward.” Her mouth trailed behind her words. “I . . . I don’t mind. Are you all right?” I asked. She smiled silently. The corners of her mouth rose slightly higher than before and had consequently led her smile to turn from beautiful to sinister and

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I LOOKED AROUND TO REALIZE THAT WE HAD BEEN THE ONLY CUSTOMERS IN A SEA OF EMPTY TABLES. BEHIND THE BAR OUR WAITER STOOD STIFF WITH EYES LIKE A TELEVISION SET TO STATIC.

unsettling. I stood up from the table. “I think I’d better leave. I have plenty to do today,” I stammered. “Please stay. I think your day can—” she froze. Occasionally her voice would spurt out bits of incoherent noise. Her mouth stuck in that grotesque smile. My feet slowly backed away to the door, my eyes staying ever watchful on her. The waiter was still frozen stiff behind the counter. In front of the single glass door, I stopped. Around the perimeter of the café was the blackness of space. Out beyond that glimmered quiet stars. My body spun in panorama to see the emptiness that sprawled out in every direction.

IVORY TOWER / MIKE CORRAO

I turned back to the door, twisted the knob, took a deep breath, and pulled it open. The duchess twitched her body subtly, and then noticeably, and then violently. Her neck craned around to face me. The smile still tightened her face. The bell rang France. I looked behind me and a different waiter prepared coffee and tea for incoming patrons. On the table that I had sat at with the duchess were two cups. Both sat at the center of the table—untouched. The woman was gone. As was I. I think I’d like to see her again, meet her for the first time. Maybe I’ll schedule another lunch date soon. Next weekend? ◆


artwords IVORY TOWER / VOLUME 10 / 2016


ARTWORDS

A

r tWords is an annual writing contest for University of Minnesota students to engage with the permanent collection of the Weisman Ar t Museum through the medium of writing. Students select a work of art on view in the Weisman Art Museum’s permanent collection galleries and write an original short creative piece inspired by the visual art. Launched in 1998 and open to undergraduate and graduate level students enrolled at the University of Minnesota, this unique competition has successfully brought students’ voices into the museum year after year. Beginning with the 2014 ArtWords program, WAM has

par tnered with the student led art and literary magazine, Ivory Tower. This rewarding collaboration has strengthened the connection between art and writing on our University campus. While designed with a chance to win a prize and be published, the focus of Ar tWords is to have students spend time obser ving, pondering, and dissecting a work of art, taking note of the characteristics of its composition and the emotions it brings to the viewer. All submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges, and the top pieces from the graduate and undergraduate levels are selected as winners. Ivor y Tower is proud to present the undergraduate winners of

the 2016 ArtWords competition in this year’s magazine issue. 2016 ARTWORDS JUDGES: MAUREEN AMUNDSON IVORY TOWER ERICA BEEBE IVORY TOWER JAMES CIHLAR ENGLISH DEPARTMENT ALYSSA ROESCHLEIN IVORY TOWER BRITTANY VICKERS WEISMAN ART MUSEUM STEVEN WOODWARD GRAYWOLF PRESS

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ALAN SHEPP SELF PORTRAIT, 2000-2011, OIL AND LUSTRE ON SLATE WITH ASH WOOD INLAY.

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EXCAVATION ERIN ANDERSON FIRST PLACE, INSPIRED BY ALAN SHEPP’S SELF PORTRAIT

hollow hull pushes water ink moon crack floats sings to the tides your shadow: spilled scraped to concave shape cobalt silt smeared

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IVORY TOWER / ARTWORDS


moss a medium indigo bones swim in sewn canvas or perhaps:

stolen constellations astral skeletons

or perhaps:

your skeleton buried light seeps through

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THIRTEEN WAYS A SAILBOAT BLOWS NIKITA SALOVICH SECOND PLACE, INSPIRED BY ARTHUR DOVE’S GALE

ARTHUR DOVE GALE, 1932, OIL ON CANVAS. MUSEUM PURCHASE. i

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she blinks her green moons and tugs the tide

forty days and forty nights the indigo whale lives in the trees inches below the nightingale

II

the clouds moan drowning the breath of day, the sun, a newborn’s fingernail, tens of millions of strokes away

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IVORY TOWER / ARTWORDS

iv

above, the waves have grown wings and now wash upon the atmospheric bay of the horizon


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my thoughts forgotten up from down . . . right from left . . . yet continue to sail vi

the earth so blue it makes no difference sinking to the ocean floor or to fly

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love sets sail gushing through veins, gliding along the ample breadth of a woman’s hips XI

when Artemis peeks over the boundless bath, still, the stars pirouette, chasing the scales of fish

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where will you go when the captain’s eyes wash transparent ice and there’s no one left to raise your sail? viii

the ocean’s arms cradle the fragile baby; rocking, swaying, adrift in sleep

XII

but is it called lost when lullabies of salt-flecked mist are warmer than my mother’s arms . . . XIII

sometimes she forgets that rowing against the tide is the only way wind can blow back your hair

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bobbing rubber–– a childhood twirling down the throat of a drain

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MARSDEN HARTLEY ADELARD THE DROWNED, MASTER OF THE “PHANTOM,” 1938-39, OIL ON ACADEMY BOARD. BEQUEST OF HUDSON D. WALKER FROM THE IONE AND HUDSON D. WALKER COLLECTION.

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IVORY TOWER / ARTWORDS


“ADELARD MY LOVE” SHANIQUE WRIGHT THIRD PLACE, INSPIRED BY MARSDEN HARTLEY’S ADELARD THE DROWNED

left America August of the year 1935 and boarded a train with a single compar tment to Kargopol. Occasionally I peered across the bare landscape with the telegram from Francis Mason clutched firmly. Alty Mason stood on the station platform waiting for the wheels of the steam train locomotive to come to a halt. The cold, icy winds that blew across the nearby savannah caused him to shudder slightly, although he wore nothing but a dirty unbuttoned white shirt revealing scads of chest hairs. He had a petite mouth

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with a long sculptured nose and hirsute eyebrows that hung over his temple. His malevolent eyes pierced my gaze when I approached him. Large patches of mildew settled on the board patio roof of the station surrounded by whitewashed paint peeling of f the walls of the main terminal ticket booth. The ancient stone kremlin architecture remained decayed beside a pile of cr umpled red bricks. His moustache twitched as he gave me a wr y smile, constantly fidgeting with the pen in his left pocket. I noticed his thick curly upswept hair as well as the neatly folded note in his

right pocket with the words “Adelard My Love” scribbled in black ink. My face burned scarlet as I reached for the napkin hidden in my coat, removing a wild rose. I tucked it behind the lobe of his ear. Taking my trunk, he gestured for me to follow him. Mar tha Mason stood quietly beside a mahogany pillar with pale, white, crossed hands. She wore a neck high, antiquated black dress and a white apron, ignoring the loose tendrils of her gray-black hair that remained unpinned. “Welcome to Nova Scotia, Mr. Hartley.” I nodded politely as her lips curled into a frown.

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GEORGIA O’KEEFFE ORIENTAL POPPIES, 1927, OIL ON CANVAS. MUSEUM PURCHASE.

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IVORY TOWER / ARTWORDS


NOTHING IS LESS REAL THAN REALISM RACHEL EVANS HONORABLE MENTION, INSPIRED BY GEORGIA O’KEEFFE’S ORIENTAL POPPIES

Once planted, Oriental Poppies don’t like to move. Passionately delicate, guarded behind glass, spiraled dark depths seem inviting for lost souls or girls who don’t know the difference between coal and diamonds. Whoever decided roses embodied love has clearly never loved, or maybe they have loved, but have not seen softly jagged petals gently bloom, have not opened to expose deeply rooted purple or been caressed by translucent tender pink velvet, leading to the place where tectonic earth shattering geological clashing turns broken black carbon into glittering strength. They have not learned that welling tears turn all things blurred and beautiful and that the most mundane moments are the key to cultivation. Whoever decided roses embodied love has never loved a poppy love. Novices, misguided gardeners learn that misdirected concern is dangerous. You have to allow poppies to die back. In the end, it is the excess water that kills them.

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CONTRIBUTORS Erin Anderson probably wrote her first author bio at age seven. A sophomore English major, she hopes to postpone adulthood by pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Aubrey Asleson likes cats and coffee and feminism. She also sometimes likes to write. Carter Blochwitz is a freshman currently pursuing a degree in English. He has lived the majority of his life on a farm in rural Wisconsin. Carter likes to travel to state parks and natural areas. Emma Brunette is an art student in her second year who rarely gets enough sleep, loves buying gel pens, and spends far too much time placating her curly hair. Jacqueline Cassman is a junior pursuing a degree in Biology, Society and Environment, Art, Spanish Studies, and Public Health. She hopes to attend medical school upon achieving her undergraduate degrees and hopes to keep her houseplants alive—although these two goals are unrelated. Mike Corrao studies English and Film at the University

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of Minnesota. His work can be seen in publications like 365tomorrows, Thrice, Century, and Pop Culture Puke. He is working on a short film, Birth of Cool. Taylor Daniels is an artist and designer specializing in illustration. Besides drawing, Taylor enjoys petting cats, eating donuts, and picking flowers. You can see her work at triangleparade.tumblr.com. Louie-Paulo Darang is a Filipino-American writer, painter, sculptor, and musician currently based out of Minneapolis. He is a junior in the BFA Studio Ar t program at the University of Minnesota. David Echavez-Valdez is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying English and Cinema Studies. He is a short fiction author, screenwriter, and aspiring filmmaker. Rachel Evans attended the Ivory Tower launch party in 2015. She thought, “I want to try this poetry thing.” So she did, and it’s been grand and fun. Claire Fallon is a sophomore studying English and Spanish. She hopes to attend law school to become a

IVORY TOWER / CONTRIBUTORS

human rights attorney. She is from Palatine, Illinois, and in addition to poetr y she loves feminism and Twin Peaks. Ellen Fee is a senior studying English, Education, and Theater. Ellen likes to light things on fire and can definitely be trusted with children. Pa u l G l e m b o c k i i s a senior majoring in English on the path to become a teacher. He hopes that poetry will be a part of his future, too. He sends his thanks to those who have supported him and his writing. Feng Gooi is a guy who likes to write and paint. He hails from the beautiful tropical countr y of Malaysia and has no other noteworthy traits. Brandon Hackbarth is a writer-bibliognost and coeditor of MUSH/MUM, an online purveyor of textual assets. He lives in St. Paul. bekah Hallaway is a fine ar t photographer. For her, photography is an expressive outlet which helps her make sense of the world, especially personal, mental, and physical spaces.


Olivia Heusinkveld is a sophomore studying whatever it is that will help her become the next Tina Fey. She is known to geek out about the moon and is always in the mood for a quesadilla. Emily Hill is a freshman who is working toward degrees in Journalism, Art, and Design. She is an amateur artist who is particularly interested in mixed media pieces. Aditi Hindka is pursuing a career in healthcare and has two opposite interests— science and art. She can be found sipping white cider sangrias, reading scientific articles, or hiding in her giraffe onesie contemplating life’s decisions. Ruby Hoglund is a hopelessly undecided freshman. While constantly stumbling through adulthood, she often finds herself drawn back into the world of creative writing. She enjoys running by the river, cuddling puppies, and drinking big mugs of coffee. Tina Hsiao is a third-year student pursuing a degree in art at the University of Minnesota. She focuses on painting, ceramic sculpture, and graphic novel illustration. Her main topics for painting are portraits and wooden pieces exploring the ethics and consequences of parrots in captivity.

Raegan Jaeger vividly explores personal and public conflicts. Her work serves as an energetic outlet and translates personal revelations into cohesive forms of communication. Her work is conceptual, emotional, personal, and uncomfortable. Erika Johnsrud graduated in December 2015 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in art and Spanish. She spent her final semester abroad in Spain, studying Art and refining her Spanish. As an artist she specializes in watercolor painting. Emma Klingler is a sophomore studying Sociology and Public Health. She works two jobs, is an intern writer for The Wake magazine, and dabbles in writing short and flash fiction. She aspires one day to have free time. DebORAH Krull is studying German, Scandinavian, Dutch Studies and English at the University of Minnesota. She has been writing poetry ever since she discovered angst and E. E. Cummings in seventh grade. Kendall Laurent is an undeclared freshman at the University of Minnesota and is interested in art and communications. She is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has loved drawing her whole life. Kendall was inspired to pursue art

in college after taking a studio art class in high school. Devon Lee is a junior in the Art History and BFA Art programs. She works primarily in charcoal portraiture. nATHAN lEMIN struggles to self-define. He obser ves airplanes writing whitely on the sky and wonders where the stories end. Perhaps he would write better obituaries. Ren NovITCH is a traditional and digital painter from Stillwater, Minnesota. Novitch works mainly with illustration, but also enjoys abstract painting. They are pursing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Minnesota. Novitch’s paintings hang in the Purple Onion cafe in Dinkytown. Hannah Nurmi is a thirdyear student at the University of Minnesota. She studies English with an emphasis in creative writing. Her work focuses on the ways humans communicate through art and language. Eva Moe is a photographer, musician, and writer who spends most of her time thinking about tiny houses. Madelyn Musick is a writer, and is hoping for the best. David Penney relocated to Minneapolis and has since

IVORY TOWER / CONTRIBUTORS

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embraced his lifelong love of art. With the support of his wife and family, he sought education at North Hennepin Community College and the University of Minnesota. His style of work is varied and changing, and utilizes a variety of mediums. He approaches each project as a unique journey. NIKITA SALOVICH is studying Psychology and Biology. Between research papers and lab reports, she enjoys writing poetr y and short stories. Aside from writing, Nikita loves camping, attending concerts, and drinking tea. Ari Samaha is a twentythree-year-old student, poet, fashion journalist, and confessional blogger. She fell in love with writing the moment she learned how to spell, and hasn’t stopped since. Eric Schabla is a senior in the University of Minnesota/ Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program. His poetry and photography have been featured in newspapers and literar y magazines in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kansas. When he isn’t in rehearsal or writing or photographing, he is probably playing with horses. Benjamin Schroeder is a student at the University of Minnesota. He is studying English and was encouraged

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to submit to Ivory Tower by Alexis Zanghi, an MFA candidate. His publication in Ivory Tower will be the first time his poetry has appeared in print. Mica Standing Soldier is currently majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her work has been featured in a mix of publications and contests throughout the years. She’s involved with MPIRG, Take Back the Night, and several other community and campus organizations. She’s more of an Ilana than an Abbi. Zachary Swenson has been focusing on pen drawing for the last decade. He uses a collection of designs and patterns to create a kind of abstract design-scape. His work allows one to enter and get lost amongst the worlds he creates within his designs. For the last seven years he has been working on a series called “Silhouettes.” Zachary traces silhouettes of the human figure and uses it as a boundary to put his design-scapes within. E. K. Thayer, twenty, is an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Francine Thompson is a freshman originally from San Diego, California, who is studying Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota. She is an avid collage artist and collector

IVORY TOWER / CONTRIBUTORS

of black turtlenecks. Between classes and freelance design work, you can find her reading Joan Didion and keeping tabs on what’s happening in the fashion world. Andrew Tomten is a Graphic Design major at the University of Minnesota. In his free time he likes to play music and eat breakfast food. He is inspired by doodles and primarily creates fridge drawings and small paintings. Au t u m n W e t z e l , a l s o known as Aki “Emomeme” Ukulele, is a multifaceted artist, mental health advocate, musician, and avid basketball short enthusiast. Shanique wright, a native of Jamaica, was stimulated at age eight to become a writer by the classical stories of the Brothers Grimm and The Year in San Fernando by Caribbean writer Michael Anthony. She began amateur writing in 2009 after developing a passion for fictional literature. Chuying Xie is a freshman from Beijing in the College of Liberal Arts. The short story, “Under the Sun,” is a snapshot of a sunny day when she was taking the campus connector back to her dorm in St. Paul. This is the first piece she has published since she started to write in English.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

W

e are thankful for the suppor t we received from the Depar tment of English and Student Unions and Activities. We greatly appreciate our ongoing collaborations with the Frederick R. Weisman Ar t Museum, The Minnesota Daily, Radio K, UCAN, and the WAM Collective. This year, the generous responses to our direct mail and online fundraising appeals resulted in record breaking funding. We are ver y grateful for donations from the following individuals: Alex Annunziata, Carl and Dorothy Baumann, Tim and Donna Beebe, Eric R. Best, James Cihlar, Dave Evans Transports Inc., LaRae Ellingson-Hovland, Merrill and Karen Fr ydendall, Robert A. Gaertner, Betty G. Gillespie, Priscilla M. Gillespie, John Bradley Goodman, Emma C. Hage, Halunen Law, Ed Hardee, Darrell Heinecke, Hugh and Pamela Heinecke, Hugh and Joyce Heinecke, Alexander Samuel Hepbur n, Patricia Ir win, Gar y D. Kirchberger, Tunis Kelderman, William

H. Kocher, Elaine and Roger Larson, Vincent J. Liesenfeld, Teri Mackedanz, Michael and Anne McNaughton, Russell and Carol McNaughton, Becky Monson, David Monson, Doris Monson, Nancy Monson, G. Marcos Montes, Aelia Naqwi, Amir Naqwi, Chad and Lisa Olson, Joan M. Paschke, Teresa Paschke, Daniel J. Philippon, Carmen Risen, Harold and Evelyn Rosen, Michael and Pamela Rosen, Lucas Scheelk, Rober t C. Schirmer, Tom and Lou Scott, Thelma Jean Scott, Corolie Sievert, Craig and Laura Siever t, Kaia N. Sievert, Maralyn Steffen, Paul and Lucienne Taylor, and Fred Wolff. Thank you to the visitors who spoke to our class both one-on-one and as a whole: E.D. Blodgett, previously published in Ivory Tower; Erin George, University of Minnesota Archives and Special Collections; Sasha Grossman, Ivory Tower alumnus; Joyce Halverson, College of Liberal Arts Career Services; C.G. Hanzlicek, previously published in Ivor y Tower; Gar rison Keillor; T revor

Ketner, Graywolf Press; Jim Moore, Ivory Tower alumnus; Meghan Murphy, Paper Darts and Pollen; Lucas Scheelk, Ivory Tower contributor; Terri Sutton, English Department; and Paul Taylor, Depar tment of English Advisor y Board. For Ar tWords we thank Elizabeth Grosjean and Erin Lauderman, Weisman Ar t Museum; Holly Vanderhaar, Creative Writing Program; Brittany Vickers, Ar tWords judge; and Steve Woodward, Graywolf Press, and judge for ArtWords. A special thank you to Jamee Yung, Director of Education, Weisman Ar t Museum, for organizing ArtWords. An enormous thank you to our instructor, James Cihlar, for the long nights and busy weeks that went into helping us construct ever y page of this magazine. Finally, we thank Peter Campion, our faculty advisor, and Ellen Messer-Davidow, English Department Chair, for their continued support. We could not have created this magazine without anyone on this page. Thank you.

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NOTES The Boy with Hair like sunlight by Erin Anderson is based on Antoine de Saint-ExupÊry’s The Little Prince. MASS by Benjamin Schroeder includes an envoi Recessional that is inspired by Hamlet, Act III, iii, 100-103.

The 2016 issue of Ivory Tower was designed and typeset by Dylan Scott in Adobe InDesign. This publication uses the following typefaces: Uni Sans designed by Svet Simov, Ani Petrova, and Vasil Stanev; Norwester designed by Jamie Wilson; and Century Old Style designed by Morris Fuller Benton for Adobe. The magazine was printed by Versa Press in East Peoria, Illinois.


ERIN ANDERSON / AUBREY ASLESON / CARTER BLOCHWITZ / EMMA BRUNETTE / JACQUELINE CASSMAN / MIKE CORRAO / TAYLOR DANIELS / LOUIE-PAULO DARANG / DAVID ECHAVEZ-VALDEZ / RACHEL EVANS / CLAIRE FALLON / ELLEN FEE / PAUL GLEMBOCKI / FENG GOOI / BRANDON HACKBARTH / BEKAH HALLAWAY / OLIVIA HEUSINKVELD / EMILY HILL / ADITI HINDKA / RUBY HOGLUND / TINA HSIAO / RAEGAN JAEGER / ERIKA JOHNSRUD / EMMA KLINGLER / DEBORAH KRULL / KENDALL LAURENT / DEVON LEE / NATHAN LEMIN / MADELYN MUSICK / EVA MOE / REN NOVITCH / HANNAH NURMI / DAVID PENNEY / NIKITA SALOVICH / ARI SAMAHA / ERIC SCHABLA / BENJAMIN SCHROEDER / MICA STANDING SOLDIER / ZACHARY SWENSON / E.K. THAYER / FRANCINE THOMPSON / ANDREW TOMTEN / AUTUMN WETZEL / SHANIQUE WRIGHT / CHUYING XIE

Ivory Tower 2016  

Volume 10 features the best undergraduate art and creative writing from the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus.

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