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earthwinds volume 44 2015

| editorial policy | The contents of this magazine represent the remarkable depth and variety of creative talent found among the students of Jackson Preparatory School. Selections are made by the staff on the basis of creativity, style, and artistic merit. Artists retain all rights to their work. The views represented in Earthwinds are those of the artists and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, the sponsor, or the Jackson Preparatory School Board of Trustees. Student members of the Earthwinds staff conduct the design, layout, and proofreading of the magazine, and the works published are solely those of Jackson Prep students.

| colophon | This issue of Earthwinds was designed on Intel Core iMacs using Adobe InDesign CS3 and Photoshop CS6. Dallas Printing of Jackson, Mississippi, printed the magazine. Earthwinds is printed on partially recycled paper using soy–based ink containing no animal byproducts.

the literary and art journal of Jackson Preparatory School post office box 4940 | Jackson, Mississippi 39296


Cover Art: Night | Sarah Beth Wiandt | print

| earthwinds 2015 staff | Editor–in–Chief

Dotsie Stevens

Poetry Editor

Hannah Herrin

Assistant Poetry Editor Prose Editor Assistant Prose Editor Art & Photography Editor Assistant Art & Photo Editor

Parker McGowan Thaddeus Cochrane Mary Katherine Gowdy TJ Barnett Brianne Powers


Ben Van Pelt

General Staff

Marina Joel

General Staff

Lily Garretson

Faculty Advisor

Paul D. Smith, PhD

| editor’s note | Art by itself is inspiring—bound together it is a masterpiece. This magazine is darks and lights, humor and sorrow, cheekiness with the serious. Words and art put together amplifying each original meaning. Thank you to all the artists featured in this magazine and to Dr. Smith whose guidance and teaching made this magazine what it is today. Thank you for picking up our magazine, I hope you enjoy.


| art & photography | Evelyn 7 TJ Barnett Color Tunnel 8 Madeline Parker NYC, NY, USA 10 Katie Carter Waterfall 13 Olivia Montagnet Golden Kay 14 Madeline Wyatt French Quarter 22 Madeline Parker Reflection 24 Mary Hastings Moss Rainbow Tide 27 Rebecca Garcia Take It From Terry 28 Caroline Cotten Beautiful Chaos 31 Caroline Cotten Diana 36 Ashley Johnston Shadows 38 Lauren Herring Absence of Color 40 Marion Manning Caroline 42 Maddie Harris Autumn Walks 44 Katie Carter Walk Softly, Stranger 46 Caroline Jones Vacant 48 Trey Box Nepenthe 52 Phoebe Carlton Enclosed Ideas 55 Marion Manning Stairway to Heaven 57 Brooke McCulley Wallflower 58 Lucie Louis Midnight Mood 60 Madeline Parker Lost Color 62 Avery Harmon Out of the Alley 65 Caroline Barnette 50 Feet Above 66 Katie Carter Masking 69 Lucie Louis Black Tears 70 Katie Carter Fire Halo 76 Madeline Parker Rain Rain Go Away 78 Mary Hastings Moss Dashing Benjamin 84 Savannah Hunter Roma 86 Brooke McCulley

| music | Sonata No. 2


80 Thaddeus Cochrane

| poetry | What My Mother Lost 6 Hannah Herrin Through the Rabbit Hole 9 Marina Joel Simple 11 Dotsie Stevens Breakfast in a Drought 12 Hannah Herrin Hand On My Shoulder 22 Hannah Herrin Her Gaze 24 Mary Katherine Gowdy The Oracle of Delphi 26 Thaddeus Cochrane Am I a Nihilist? 28 Parker McGowan Parks 37 Hannah Herrin Apollo 38 Parker McGowan Dissolution 41 Hannah Herrin ‘While My Lady Sleeps’ 43 Hannah Herrin Something Sacred 47 Parker McGowan Lazarus 49 Parker McGowan Gravity’s Ballerina 50 Dotsie Stevens Aeternum 53 Hannah Herrin The Library 54 Ben Van Pelt Vashti 56 Hannah Herrin Frankenstein’s Daughter 59 Dotsie Stevens Everything Moves 60 Parker McGowan Flecks 61 Hannah Herrin After Work 64 Marina Joel Persistent 67 Brianne Powers Six, Thirteen, Sixteen 68 Dotsie Stevens All of Philadelphia 77 Parker McGowan After Writing 79 Hannah Herrin

| prose | Elephant Eyes 15 Thaddeus Cochrane Buried 30 Jonathan Zhu Homecoming 63 Parker McGowan Take You With Me 71 Mary Katherine Gowdy


What My Mother Lost Hannah Herrin

I can remember your eyes in a void where dark matter has coalesced into beads, light-encrypted, gorging on a bouquet of nothing, nothing linked up, drawn out and back further to father even farther there holding you in some perforation of space, a pore of time, spongy weeping the strange liquid of never to touch, to never touch, touching the edge of your almost yet to happen.


Evelyn | TJ Barnett | linoprint



Color Tunnel | Madeline Parker | photo

Marina Joel

On Falling Through the Rabbit Hole You know the feeling of shattered porcelain fragments on tile floor, tingling fingers, disbelief, wishing to reverse the last faulty step? Well, I felt it inside me when I fell, except this time I knew that this was it, the end of everything. One last peek at the world above, hot sun on burnt grass and dirt. I had time, more than I needed, to think about everything, about the impending finale. Somehow I could not fully believe that this time there was no mother to run to, no bedsheets to dry my tears in, no way to undo what was done.


| poetic form |


| poetic form |

| cinquain |

Let me have back the times when laughter came with ease, just like basic arithmetic, simple. Dotsie Stevens

NYC, NY, USA | Katie Carter | photo


| cinquains |

Breakfast in a Drought

Hannah Herrin in the morning drinking coffee, mascara in your eyes and in the bed between your lips on my ear, at the door open and breathing light whispers on my cheek, pink, goodbye longing for rain at your roof, to pour and drown the kitchen dark sound of water at the floor heavy air on my throat, I watch blue, empty circle nothing cinnamon crumbs forgotten on a plate of syrup.


Waterfall | Olivia Montagnet | acrylic


| poetic form |

14Golden Kay | Madeline Wyatt | mixed media


| short fiction |



Thaddeus Cochrane

Martin is alone with the elephant in the room. A small Indian elephant. Her name is Kala. She lies there on the floor of the den, her warmth soaking through the ashes in the cold hearth. Martin rests one hand on her head, occasionally running his little finger along the length of a long brown eyelash and earning a miffed snuffle. Her trunk is draped over his lap, and her tail swishes about from time to time. She gazes up at him in the way that elephants do, patiently, slightly curiously, but Martin is lost in thought. As she exhales, the breath ripples through her huge body and then through the small living room. Martin, shaken from his trance, looks down at her. She snuffles again.


| short fiction |

With a sigh, Martin sets down her trunk gently and gets up, taking care not to step on her. He picks up the blanket on the coffee table and folds it, unable to stand any clutter in the closeness of his house for long. Having corrected the error in the order of his home, he realizes that there is more to be done. Pencils in coffee cups must be sharpened and arranged, immaculate mantelpieces must be dusted, and the creases in his t-shirt must be meticulously ironed out. Kala follows him around the house as he scampers, trying to make everything pristine. She is far too large for the house, but touches nothing as she passes through the rooms. Still, Martin darts under her belly and moves vases and chairs fractions of an inch in imaginary correction after she steps over them. At the point where he has worked himself into a frenzy, Kala approaches from behind and gives him a nudge with her head. She pushes him hard enough that he tumbles into his bed, but steadies him with her trunk. Breathing heavily, he falls asleep trying to smooth the wrinkles in the folds of her loose gray. The next morning he groans, and curses at the uncomfortable monotony that is his nighttime routine. Kala snuffles. She opens one eye as he gets dressed and lumbers after him when he goes to the kitchen. Martin starts frying an egg and puts two pieces of bread down for toast. In a few minutes, he’s finished one piece of toast, an egg over easy, and a warm piece of bread. He leaves the house with the dishes still on the table. Passersby make way for Kala. As Martin trudges to the


| short fiction |

bus stop, she heels to him, swaying sultrily in a way that is uniquely elephantine. He keeps his head down, trying not to walk in her long shadow, but marks carefully anyone whose eye rests too long on him and his elephant. At the stop, the usual crowd of lower-middle class commuters is waiting, and Martin greets them each in turn. Kala remains a little way back, unable to fit under the roof of the stop. As Martin makes small talk, she snuffles. When the bus arrives, the group puts out cigarettes and gathers up umbrellas and briefcases. They board the crowded bus into the city, and Martin, like the rest, packs himself in among his own kind. The flow of work and people keeps him absorbed until he is sitting on a park bench with his usual lunchtime sandwich. Recently, lunchtime has become pleasant. Martin meets a girl each day and enjoys his sandwich with her, though they have yet to talk much. Her name is Alice. Alice gives Martin a new sort of energy, and he appreciates it more than he himself understands. He knows that his friends and coworkers don’t think she’s anything special— they rarely take note of anything or anyone—but he has begun to unconsciously hurry to the bench at noon. When she doesn’t appear, his mood sours, and he spends the rest of the afternoon slightly frustrated. Martin, of course, hasn’t thought about this very much. There isn’t much to think about. He enjoys his lunches with Alice. Usually, he arrives first. He likes to be sitting there with his food when she arrives because it makes him feel like she’s


| short fiction |

coming to him. She walks down the path in the park, always pausing to look for his bench so that she doesn’t seem to be going directly to him. They lock eyes for a moment, smile more than they mean to, and then Martin takes a bite of his sandwich while Alice pretends to look down at her purse. They meet at the bench and exchange awkward greetings as they eat. Lately, Alice has begun to ask about Martin’s boss, and Martin has started noticing when she gets a haircut. It comforts and calms Martin. He leaves the bench each day smiling under his breath, and as he goes, Alice looks after him happily with one hand resting lightly on her breast. They enjoy lunch. Each day, while they chat their ways into the beginning of middle life, Kala watches from under a nearby tree. She snuffles often. Sometimes, when Martin rises to leave, she goes to Alice and nuzzles her with her large head. These occasions delight Alice, but until today, Martin has never seen his elephantine companion interact with her. Today is different, though. Alice is waiting for him at the bench when he arrives, but the sight paralyzes him. She is standing nearby stroking Kala’s flank and cooing gently in her ear. Kala’s tail swishes and she snuffles happily, but when she sees Martin she nuzzles Alice affectionately and pushes her towards him. Martin tries to greet her, but it comes out as a squeak. Alice laughs, and they sit down to their typical lunch. Now, however, Martin can’t help but be conscious of Kala’s presence. They don’t talk about her, or even mention her, but Martin


| short fiction |

becomes uncomfortable and awkward. Alice has acknowledged his elephant in the room. Things begin to change for Martin, now. Alice is a fixture in his life, to his great pleasure, but she refuses to allow him to leave Kala anywhere. It infuriates him. The deeper he falls in love with Alice, the closer she grows to Kala, and the more she introduces her to the rest of Martin’s friends. Whenever they meet friends to go out, she insists that they run their hands over Kala’s trunk, or feel how gentle her touch is. Kala, of course, enjoys the attention. She grows jubilant around Alice and Martin’s friends, and they enjoy her company, but Martin remains anxious. Every night, now, Martin scurries around his house cleaning. Every night, she follows him through the cluttered rooms without disturbing anything and eventually nudges him towards sleep, despite his protests and attempts to rearrange the coffee cups and furniture he is sure she has moved. Kala is Martin’s elephant in the room, and charming as she may be, she is too big. He loves Alice, and she seems to love him and Kala, so he tries to tolerate the anxiety her presence creates. Although he doesn’t understand it, he recognizes that his friends treat him better the more they see of his elephant. Still, as they see her more, she grows, and he must do more and more to keep his life undisturbed by her footsteps. The situation is unsustainable for Martin’s poor mind. To him, she has grown wild. He can’t predict what she will do next, or when she will hurt or disturb someone. He tiptoes


| short fiction |

behind her, now, trying to keep her swishing tail out of people’s eyes, trying to straighten their jackets when she nuzzles them. A slow terror is growing in him that Kala is beyond him, now. His elephant in the room has become a tornado. The anxiety reaches its breaking point at a party in his own backyard. All of his friends are there eating and laughing, and Alice is glowing in the sun. Martin, however, is fixed on Kala. She tromps around the grill keeping Martin clutching the handles, white-knuckled, but when he steadies the coals, she is by the pool threatening to knock someone in with her trunk. Martin takes a deep breath and steps away from the grill. He walks to Kala, and after placing a hand on her head and whispering to her softly, he leads her away from the crowd. She trumpets briefly, wanting to go back to the people, but then submits to Martin’s gentle guidance. He kneels down in the grass, still holding her head between his hands. She snuffles against his chest, saddened and humbled by his quiet attention. Her large brown eyes seem to deepen as he looks into them, and tears begin to flow freely. Martin continues to whisper, and himself becomes apologetic as he coos to her. Her trunk curls around his leg, and she looks at him with the same warmth she had always had. Martin’s frayed mind is made, though. He puts her to rest with defeated desperation, and watched in exhaustion as his guests satisfied their hunger for what Martin had to offer. Now, Martin is alone in the den. Seven crows are


| short fiction |

perched around the room, some preening, some picking through the cold ashes in the hearth. Occasionally, one caws harshly, making his skin crawl. None of them watch him. Martin can see the moonlight gleaming off of Kala outside. He pulls an unfolded blanket over his legs, and slides down on the couch. His sleep, however, is fitful, and he is always interrupted by the murder. Alice will stay, and his friends will fatten with him, but too, the crows and bones will remain. Alice will bear him three children, and they, like her, will resent the birds. The cawing will be raucous to them, and they will hush the birds when they call out. When they peck at her and her children, Alice will beat them away with a shoe or sharp word. Martin will eventually allow the house to become a mess because birds can hardly push furniture around like an Indian elephant. On sunny days, Alice will take her babies out into the yard where they will laugh on an ivory playground. They will swing on the arching pillars of what was and scurry through the sun-bleached columns, and Alice will watch them with a bittersweet nostalgia. Martin will wander outside and smile at his children, the scene striking him like one from a quickly fading dream. Then, the crows will follow him, and Alice will sigh, turning away from the children. She will tell Martin she loves him, and she will mean it, and he will tell Alice he loves her, and he will mean it, and in that moment, in that silence, they will miss something that they can’t quite place, and no one will be there to snuffle. •


poetic| form | || haiku

Hand on my shoulder, the soft beat and clarinet, the pulsing rhythm of a waltz.

Hannah Herrin

French Quarter | Madeline Parker | photo

| poetic form |


| terza rima |


G aze

Mary Katherine Gowdy

A candle among many, lighting, lilting flames, from one to another, each signaling the beginning. Blowing dust from the wall, I paint the lines, tentative sketches like the first steps climbed up hills, the burning fields, as I remember: the sounds, the chants, as we draft down the damning doom of our rebellion, wreck our tormentors, the lavish ones in their lone ebony tower. We march with all of our great onslaught’s splendor. I, one soldier among many, stride through despair of the broken buildings’ torn-up streets. I slip on their wet blood, the life I sucked from them, aware that I was ripping us all beyond repair. Daylight gone, we, breaking battle, lay our tired bodies down, but always wary, always anxious. Envisioning her, I rewind: the shower window, rivulets are rounding down streets through the sultry steam, blinding us to everything but longing announced by the paths fingers follow down the skin. Between her lips, a plea for me to come back, she, trembling— a trembling in the blood-soaked ground. Teeming


with us fighters once more, taking down the emblem. Break the gates. Now the door, swinging out with a creak— splinters slicing skin, bricks mutilating men at random. Numb and bleeding, I stumble back to my feet. Everywhere people are spilled on the ground like cards from a deck, face down on the floor. “Retreat!” someone coughs. Airships drowning it, pound–pound, pass the city, to the lake, over haven. Another explosion, breaking her, me, my word. I can’t go back—can’t rewind. Can’t rewind­—only remember—paint with repeating motions the impression, stroking the valleys and the troughs. Last touch. Depict the cruelty done in those moments. She, lying down with a toe dipped lazily in the slosh of the old lake, her heel a haven. Paths wound up her shins and across one cheek, down her back’s hollow, and up off to the city of her shoulders, knives of the buildings singed through her spine. The army up her neck approaching the tower of her hair, the deadly mystery entrenched. Finished, I leave, blowing out the flames. Her gaze demands remembrance for the slain.

Reflection | Mary Hastings Moss | photo


| cinquains |

The Oracle of Delphi Thaddeus Cochrane

I see, and you have seen. I hear, and you have heard. When I die, will you follow me, Spirit? I feed you delicious flooding songs of draining Styx, you anima, you animus. Consume. You know far more than any who stand before the veil and tremble like summer-time fever. Having gorged on the world will you stand with me, soul? Will you brave the black waste with me, Delphi?


Rainbow Tide | Rebecca Garcia | acrylic


| cinquains |

am I a nihilist I stayed up late last night smoking and drinking and feeling nothing You there! I’ll roll you up and smoke you—just because, I can’t stand my right mind, and you looked cold.

Parker McGowan


Caesarian I’ll cut you up and crawl inside you. Cut shut the wound. Triumph over mortality, insanity, the wind, and the cold. I’ll crawl inside you, curl up, and cut the wound shut. Relax, go numb, be drained, triumph over reality. I’ve taken out this lump, now I’ll crawl inside you, take its place. I’ll fade in warmth, dissappear, be reduced to a single atom of life. I’ll wither content in the gentle indifference of the womb until one night, in the warmth of the dark, You’ll wrench me in half.

Take It From Terry | Caroline Cotten | photo



could hear shouts coming from the next street. The sound of breaking glass and slamming doors echoed throughout the neighborhood. The Red Guards had been roaming this area for several months now, going from door to door in the name of Mao, seeking out those rebels who still opposed him and his ideas. It was late morning when the sounds of drums and gongs drew near. We could hear their distant shouts as they searched the nearby houses. I was in my room when I heard the furious pounding on the door. Trembling, I peered around the door frame and watched as my father moved toward the door. “We’re here to search your house. Open up!” My father’s hand reached out for the knob, but before he could turn it, the door opened, kicked down by the brutes on the other side.


| nonfiction |

Buried Jonathan Zhu

Beautiful Chaos | Caroline Cotten | photo


| nonfiction |

A teenage boy, not much older than me, strutted through the door. The rest of the guards followed the boy into the house and stood at attention in a line behind him. They wore tightly– belted army uniforms with bright red armbands. “Didn’t your family own land and have workers?” said the boy. “Yes, but not anymore. It was sold before I was born.” “It doesn’t matter. We’re here to search your house for any Four Old relics. Leniency for confession, severity for resistance!” My father started to speak, but the boy cut him off and turned to the other guards. “Search!” The guards split into four groups. The first two groups headed straight for our drawers, cabinets, and chests. Within minutes, our possessions were strewn across the floor. They brought dishes from the kitchen, pots and pans, forks, knives, and even the small teacups my mother drank from every day. I watched as one of the guards went into my room and little by little brought my things out. Books, clothes, and toys were dumped in a pile in the middle of the room, and other guards did the same to my brothers’ and sisters’ rooms. As a female guard walked out carrying a wooden carving, my brother leapt up from the floor. “What are you doing? That’s not even a Four Old! Why are you taking it away?” “It’s nice. I think I’ll take it with me. You better sit back down before you get hurt.” She pushed him down, turned to her partner, and both began to laugh. The third group forced all seven of us out into the main room to watch as they made our parents open anything that was locked. “Faster,” one guard shouted, giving my father a solid blow to


| nonfiction |

his side. After the contents of our home had been gathered in the living room, the fourth group of guards arrived carrying stones, which they dumped into the corner. “Kneel,” they told our parents. My father lowered my mother onto the sharp rocks. One of the guards then forced him down also, with a firm hand on his shoulder. He didn’t cry out, but I could see the blood from his wounded knees staining the dusty rocks a muddy brown. My mother saw it too, and grasped his hand tightly. “What is this?” one of the guards called, coming out of my parents’ room. The boy in charge examined the objects the guard had brought out. “I don’t know. It’s a woman, wearing funny clothes and holding a baby, and a book full of foreign words. Put them on the pile.” I recognized the statue of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Bible. They were two of my mother’s most prized possessions, given to her when she was a little girl. Her mother had been one of the first in this region to convert to Catholicism, and my mother had been baptized as a baby. I looked at her, trying to catch her eye. Her gaze was locked on the Bible. Tears were forming in her eyes, and her lip trembled as the guard tossed the book onto the pile, between the broken toys and shattered dishes. She started to open her mouth and protest, but a nearby guard saw her. He scooped up my little brother and cuffed him on the head, then tossed him back to the ground. “That’s what will happen if you speak.” She closed her mouth and buried her head in my father’s shoulder, sobbing.


| nonfiction |

The guards began to transfer everything of questionable origin into a large pile outside, next to the stream flowing by our house. Century-old paintings were torn off the wall and thrown unceremoniously on top, along with silver utensils, tiger furs, gold coins, books, and furniture. Even the household’s most sacred object, the family’s genealogy book, was taken. My father and mother watched, horrified, as the pages were ripped out and tossed onto the heap of items as tinder. “So much of our family history is written inside that book. How can we pay homage to our ancestors if we do not know their names?” “This book represents the old ideas and customs that your ancestors stood for. Everything that has happened up to this point shall be forgotten, and Old China shall be remembered only by its ashes.” As the guards ferried objects back and forth from the house to the pile outside, they allowed my parents to stand up and watch as their belongings were burned. On the way, my mother stumbled and fell to the ground. When she straightened up, I noticed her fingers tightly closed over the wooden sculpture of Mary and the Bible. With her back towards me, she pressed the two objects into my hand and whispered, “Take these when no one is looking, and hide them where no one will find them.” I tucked them into my waistband behind my back. One of the guards turned around. “Hey, what are you whispering about?” He advanced towards my mother. My father tried to step in, “She wasn’t talking about anything,” he said. “Shut up!” the guard said, and punched him in the stomach.


| nonfiction |

My father doubled over, gasping for air. “Do not speak unless spoken to!” the guard said, and began to kick him in the side. Screaming, my mother rushed to try to stop him, but another guard grabbed and restrained her. “Take them outside and make sure they don’t speak disrespectfully to us again,” the boy in charge said. He turned to us. “Get the kids into the bathroom and out of our way.” Inside, all we could hear were the angry shouts of the guards and the cries of our mother. Then everything fell silent. After a few minutes a guard opened the door, and we ran outside to see what had happened. My father and mother lay unconscious on the ground. They were covered in cuts, and their faces were beginning to bruise. The boy in charge told the others, “Hurry up and finish burning everything so we can move on.” Smoke filled the air as our belongings burned. The guards left. As soon as they were out of sight, I wrapped up the sculpture and Bible, ran to the edge of the yard, and dug a small hole between two trees. As I sat there, still weeping, I made a promise to myself, that I would return to this place one day and find the Bible and statue, and bring them back to my mother. It would be the end of the revolution, five years later, before I could return to dig them up. I walked out into the woods once more, recalling my footsteps from five years ago. I followed them to those two trees, and dug up the Bible. The words were gone, and the pages were more rot than paper, but it was enough. •


| poetic form |

Diana | Ashley Johnston | acrylic 36

| poetic form |

I hear a lover somewhere shouldering past me with a heart of wax hot like water wearing on me—when boys yell things, talk up the school yard that pushes up petals to be picked, to touch skin—ache of fingers for pink flesh and stem bark under nails that we sleep on, hold out our beds for a stretch, wait for the lights to pull up through the cul-de-sacs and take us away— give it a break, a clock off the wall for having time to remember how it is to wear your air on your wrist, wax hardening over pulse, hear the boys yell over yards and petals, hold their voices on your lips until the wax stops running and the noise slips down, the light drops tone, the wax runs dry back up your veins, back to the pulp of your pulse, the lights pull up and take you home.

Parks Hannah Herrin



Parker McGowan

Apollo left a light on in his closet, after he packed and left. It cast itself in the next room and through a bedroom window. Sometimes it flickers up there, at night. Horses, by rote, drive a chariot around the sky.


| poetic form |

Shadows | Lauren Herring | photo



Absence of Color | Marion Manning | photo


D issolution Hannah Herrin being alone at 3 in the morning is a different dark than afternoon tea alone. our drapes draw night in strips of dust in dark space above my body, weighing my slumber deep down through voids which I have never touched, yet hold within the lines of my bones, marks of the home I have learned to make inside this hollow shell, wet ink craving dry light in which to die.


| poetic form |

Caroline | Maddie Harris | tempera 42

| villanelle |

‘While My Lady Sleeps’ Somewhere Near

Andromeda Hannah Herrin

I feel galaxies in my bones spun from bone-pale light, this is Coltrane in a vacuum super nova souvenir, one way ticket to a starship somewhere I feel galaxies in my bones breathing milky matter into cradled rips of space, this is Coltrane in a vacuum bewitching ancient life to war cigarette smoke lingering there, still I feel galaxies in my bones bleeding into warp drive, lips singing existence of light this is Coltrane in a vacuum silvery strands of cosmos the pink dark of nothing I feel galaxies in my bones, love this is Coltrane in a vacuum



Autumn Walks | Katie Carter | photo



| terza rima |


Sacred Parker McGowan

Your face feels like stepping onto the cool marble floor of a temple, off a busy street, discovering a sacred rite or symbolic jewel of some secret religion. What’s beneath these feet? Who is that ascetic, drenched in stained light, standing beside the altar? To whom does he preach? The walls and pews hold only their own upright wooden faces. A few, like myself, drift in unaware. What’s he doing here alone, out of god’s sight? I used to know this place, used to sit right there or somewhere near it, but now I’ve gotten old, and I’ve forgotten the taste of holy prayer, the taste of something sacred. Hold your eyes in mine for an instant— Is this it? Are you leaving the fold?

Walk Softly, Stranger | Caroline Jones | digital


| poetic form |


Vacant | Trey Box | clay

Lazarus | dramatic monologue |

Parker McGowan

All the dead can rise of their own volition, so why raise me from this calm condition? I could’ve rested in this cool rock room against the Day—but you broke into my tomb. Three days! Three days? I lasted four, and could have lasted eons more, if only you had decency enough not to make a tired man get up. Jesus, I’m sick of your insane demands. Can’t you let a dead man lie? No. You were moved, began to cry, and shook me till I was shivering in your hands. Just move on, cut the damn connection. What’s with you and resurrection?


| dramatic monologue |

Gravity’s Ballerina Dotsie Stevens

My life hangs in the balance of a string. If it snaps, so does my neck. No net, no fear, just one step at a time and a standing ovation at the end. Morbid curiosity keeps their eyes up, but the ones who look away— who look down at my shadow praying to their God that I will not fall— those are the ones that keep my eyes down. A slight slip of my heel and I have them, they can’t look away, they won’t look away. Their eyes so big I can see myself in them, a ghostly reflection that toes the line between Life and Death, holding the affections of both.


Changed Perspective | Katie Carter | photo


| poetic form |

Hannah Herrin



Nepenthe | Phoebe Carlton | photo

| poetic form |

wring me hollow, sliced over folded in beneath myself, dried dark, mute as the night, dead drawing thick to press the black moth of itself against hollows earthed within the spaces of my collarbones, bleak and woken in fluorescent sleep, slip from neck to breast to pink, piled in stacks of dust on shelves in pages, empty, longing to my mind longing to empty to fill, to feel, to be, understand kiss the spaces of light, clear swimming through, my eyes stacked to the ceiling, bibles of moons, dust, bells wringing me hollow as a violin.


| rubaiyat |

Th e

L i brary Ben Van Pelt

Tonight the Muses long to die, no longer cast their teary eyes on blazing books and glowing sand, no longer loose another cry. The smell of fire in command and knowledge burning through the land. The love of Sappho feeds the flames, and Muses live to know the pain.


Enclosed Ideas | Marion Manning | photo


| dramatic monologue |


Hannah Herrin

kiss me bleak, once more seat me at your table, feed me feast, to your people give me wine that shines like blood, again, on your lips, fingers, becoming stale, ice in absence of touch, of perfumed flesh that I may dance in your court with your wives, be seen, shown like gold, like your gardens I will grow once more, in summer given wine at the gates, drunk smooth, to scrape your throat with thirst and quench again and again in clean linen, painted to our skin like sweat, the damp of lovers we used to be


Stairway to Heaven | Brooke McCulley | photo


Wallflower | Lucie Louis | photo


| dramatic monologue |

Frankenstein’s Daughter Dotsie Stevens

He stole my heart from a peasant girl. He asked her if it had been broken; she said no. That’s why he took it, her heart was still intact. My hair once belonged to a princess, her crowning beauty now mine, golden braids that fall down my back. When I was small he would brush it for me, telling me how beautiful I was, how beautiful he had made me. My eyes belonged to a widow. When I look into the mirror, sorrow that is not mine reflects through a broken window­— he never gave me a soul. The hands, hands of royalty, soft, small, dainty, perfect. They are what I like most. Smiling down at me, he showed me the creases on the palms, how the life and love lines crossed, giving me hope for what he knew there was none.


…dust is spinning in my bedroom, the curtain sighs of pacing, and I am sitting up against the headboard of my bed. The most minute vibration of everything. I can’t make out the fine print, and my mind inches toward the edge of the table. It falls off… …moving in my sheets for three hours. Used to be a person, with morals and my own house. Now my dreams mean nothing but stunted desire, flat soda, broken fingers, and words I won’t let myself say awake. I reached into the back seat to touch her bare shoulder, the car crashed…


Moves Parker McGowan


Flecks Hannah Herrin The universe is zero, expanse of everything that doesn’t matter: minefields of stardust, honeysuckle at the garden gate, the stranger in the subway, sleek white of an interstellar highway—I am lost in nothing, wanting, breathing, sitting alone on a Sunday morning in a kitchen that no longer exists.

Midnight Mood | Madeline Parker | photo

Entropy is chewing on clumps of papier-mâché and spitting blue flecks into the carpet. The model solar system hanging in the corner of my childhood bedroom is collapsing into years of absence. My mind can only touch halfway past Saturn and the shadows passing through the window have grown cold. My mother used to tell me that we were shrinking. I can see the streets beginning to end from both ends. I imagine that she fit in my hand, but she melts to warm wherever the end of the streets begins. I can’t see the stars from there, here. I try to peel off Mars’s peachy paint but it fades into Earth, into my fingers, raised to remember its place. Details are like the universe. The ceiling is sinking into zero and pulling the sun away.


| poetic form |


Lost Color | Avery Harmon | print (detail) 62

| flash fiction |

Last Saturday night, I decided to stop

hands. They looked like beached whales,

smoking. I walked thirteen blocks toward

two vast and trunkless hands of stone.

my apartment and fell asleep on a door-

One dangled above my right knee, palm

step with eight to go. I had a bad dream.

up, monumental. I looked at it. Cut out in

I was in high school again, kissing Jenny

scars across his hand, callouses on his

after homecoming. She had won queen. It

fingers, grime in gashes, was more than

was going along exactly as it happened a

all of history, more than all unrecorded

decade ago, but I couldn’t find her mouth. I

time. I think I might have seen a hole or

felt that momentary emotion nervous ten-

two somewhere near the center of his

sion gives way to, slip into confusion, open

palms, where they tried to hang him all

my eyes, and see you swimming before

those years ago. When he got up to leave

my mouth, moving against my face, a pil-

he apologized—it had to be for passing

low writhing in fever. I found her mouth, it

out on my shoulder—but he said it as if

stopped, and I remembered. But then the

he knew, as if he had somehow found

memory faded. When I opened my eyes,

out while I was distracted watching him

she was my grandfather from damn Texas.


I woke up in sweat on the concrete and

“Sorry,” he said.

walked the last eight blocks. I turned the

I watched him walk straight out of the

lights off in my room, passed out in a chair,

airport and into the streets. I hate Texas

and, in the morning, my brother was dead.

with every shivering ounce of blood in my

heart. My father picked me up from the

Car full of teenagers making a left turn

at a stop light, cut across two lanes of traffic.

airport and drove me back to the house I

They didn’t see him. Two of them dead, too.

grew up in. I slept in my old room for two

I fell asleep in the shower, packed, and got

days, I went to the funeral, they put him

a last-minute plane ticket back out there.

in a vase, I went to the airport, I left Texas,

When I got to the airport, I rode the train

I’m not coming back. I don’t want to talk

past my gate six times and was selected

about it. When I got back to San Francisco

for random screening. On the plane, I had

the first thing I did was smoke, and I could

a window seat next to a homeless-looking

only think about that urn. I saw it on that

man who smelled like strong perfume.

man’s face, smelled it in the perfume, felt

He fell asleep on my shoulder before the

it as the automatic sliding doors opened

plane took off. I was too uncomfortable to

and the foul Texas air hit his mythic face,

fall asleep, so I faked it.

welcoming back one of its own. They put

I watched him. It took four hours to get

from San Francisco to Dallas, and, through

him in a vase. I shattered my pipe on the street and fell asleep on the sidewalk. •

the small crack in my eyelids, I stared at his


| droighneach |

AWork fter

Marina Joel She shoves in an old cassette, hands quivering. Pinched between parched lips, flickering, a cigarette. Waiting on the armrest, a mug, blistering hot, slick sides glistening with racing rivulets. Dense dust cloud, buzzing with energy, a passerby. Raindrops on grimy windshield, tap-dancing expertly. The wind whistles, an elegy, a lullaby. She shuts her eyes, mind dulled by lulling lethargy.


| poetic form |

Out of the Alley | Caroline Barnette | acrylic


| poetic form |


50 Feet Above the Lights | Katie Carter | photo

| poetic form |


Brianne Powers

I have faint memories from my childhood like a birthday or time out, or the day I went to the fair, and begged my mom for that one red balloon.


6 Six

13 Sixteen



Dotsie Stevens

When I was six, she was thirteen— I was in the thick of childhood, she was in the thick of adolescence. I watched as she changed her hair, changed her makeup, changed herself. Thinking teenagers were weird, I vowed to stay a kid forever. When I was six, he was sixteen— a big kid, a teenager. Girls, sports, cars, a typical stinky boy. Six feet tall and taller than me, a giant, but this giant still liked to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings with his kid sister. If I told anyone, he’d deny it.


Masking | Lucie Louis | photo


Black Tears | Katie Carter | photo 70


ake You With Me Mary Katherine Gowdy

“Poor girl. She found her in their dorm when it was too late.” Paige struggled against the urge to curl herself into a ball to shield herself from their pity. Their condolences didn’t rest right in her stomach like they were supposed to. A part of her wanted to be defiant and immature and brush them off because they didn’t understand. They didn’t come home from a college party, on a happy high, believing that nothing could go wrong, to find Astrid, lifeless because she had let the low depression get the best of her. The way Astrid’s eyes had been looking at her reminded


| short fiction |

Paige of all the thoughtful and comforting looks she would give her. And the police operator’s voice had made her feel as thin as paper; it had gone right through her. Her fingers felt sticky around the insides so Paige unclenched them. Along the creases of her knuckles, she saw traces of the black goo. She had first seen the goo coming out of Astrid’s dead body, leaking from her skin like sweat and congealing in her collarbone. Paige had tried to wipe it away but it had clung to her fingers, poured over her wrists, and disappeared into her skin. As it had gone into her, a numbness had overtaken her, dispersing any will to fight against it. There was no point in trying to wipe it off now, either. Around her people cried, and some even dared to feel better afterwards. But Paige’s sobs never penetrated the numbness. Her world revolved around empty space. Time was an accordian that compressed itself together and drew itself out at the worst possible moments. In order to keep her sanity, she made a diary of each week.

Week one: funeral arrangements, wakes, crying, and people saying that however someone was grieving was all right. That it was okay to be different. Paige kept crying and kept quiet, but nothing made her right again. The funeral didn’t give her closure. People’s hugs made her feel like an icicle. And their pity made her want to spit. “She’s taking it very hard. Those two were attached at the hip.”


| short fiction |

Week two: her mother sat down on Paige’s bed at home like she was lowering herself down on eggshells. She rubbed Paige’s hand with her thumb, but the comfort she was trying to give didn’t get through to her. “Baby, I think that it’s time that you go back to school. Getting back into a routine will be good for you.” Paige began to reply, but then she started coughing. When she drew her hand away from her mouth, there was a glob of the black goo on her palm. It squirmed like a leech before blending back into her skin. Swallowing the rest of it down, she said, “All right.”

Week three: she hardly heard anyone mention Astrid, and if they did, it was in a short, whispered conversation. When Paige didn’t keep up with her school work, the others gossiped about what Astrid had done. And all of her friends were moving on. She felt anchored down. Trapped. She wanted to rip herself apart if it meant that she would be free from this emptiness compressing her rib cage. “Hey, Ashley’s throwing a party? Wanna come?” her friends asked her. She sadly shook her head, earning another pitying pat on the shoulder to show that they understood, though they left her alone to go to the party anyway. At her half-empty dorm room, she buried herself in her pillow and comforter and stared at the plain mattress across from her. On the wall hung a watercolor painting, a gift Astrid hadpainted for her birthday. It was of the skyline of New York City, where Astrid was from. Paige had always wanted to go there


| short fiction |

and gaze up at the intimidating skyscrapers. Astrid had promised to take her there someday. When she had given her the painting, Paige had made sure to compliment her on it because Astrid had always been insecure about her art. Sometimes she was so unhappy that she wouldn’t paint for days and be grumpy for weeks, but Paige always urged her to get back up on the horse and told her that she was a good artist. They had always supported each other through their troubles. The next time she tried to swallow, her spit went down the wrong way, and she lurched into a coughing fit. She couldn’t draw in any air. Around her throat, she felt it, sticky, squeezing her esophagus. Paige darted to the bathroom and threw up in the toilet. Though she could breath now, her gut was tight. Hunched over, she tried to get it all out but it refused to leave her. There was no way to drain it out of her. She could only drain into it. The goo leaked from her fingertips and scalp, crawling over her hands and down her face, dripping into the toilet and onto the white-tiled floor. Its slow descent over her skin made her shiver, but Paige was too dejected to try to wipe it off. And when she started to cry, goo came out instead of tears.

Week four: everything was normal except for her. And everyone could see it. They expected her to get over it, to hop back on the train with everyone else, to be happy again. Even if she wanted to, Paige knew that she would never be able to return to normal so easily. She couldn’t stand to be so hollow. One day, her mother called to check up on her. She could tell by her voice that Paige was far from all right, and suggested that she meet with a therapist to work it out. “I thought that you said that however I grieve is fine,” Paige


| short fiction |

snapped. Her mother paused. “It is. But you can’t stay in mourning forever. A counselor would help you to get through this tough time.” “I can’t just forget her.” “I’m not asking­—” Paige hung up and threw her phone, coated with goo, onto her bed. The next day, Paige stayed in bed, skipping breakfast, not brushing her hair or her teeth, and ditching her classes. It wasn’t worth the effort. As she lay there, she kept replaying one memory of Astrid over and over again in her head. They had been staying up late one night, talking when they should have been studying. For the summer, Astrid had been planning on backpacking through Europe to see all of the famous art museums, but Paige complained about how she was looking at a crappy summer back home with her arguing parents. “Then I’ll take you with me,” Astrid told her. “Really?” Paige could already feel her smile coming. “Of course. We’ll go everywhere together. I promise.” She had been so happy to hear that she had squeezed her friend into a tight hug. Coughing again, she gagged on the bitter taste of goo. It stung her skin raw as it burrowed into her palm and dripped from her lips. When she reached to tear if from her skin, she paused and instead let it burn her more. After a while, it didn’t feel so bad. Paige knew that pulling it off would cause the goo to hurt like hell again. Leaning back into the headboard, she hugged her knees to her chest, letting her hair fall in front of her face. She stayed still until she could scarcely see anything past the goo d ve e a •


| poetic form |


| poetic form |

You lose track of time here. You miss the sun setting because you were asleep, or it was overcast, or because you live in a window with no rooms. I lost track of time here. I was a suicide on the street last night. Sleepwalking past the city limits, down river, and out into the suburbs. I went out fishing last night, and you met me there. You held your hands up with your hair, I held your side, and we walked into the Delaware.

Parker McGowan

All of


Fire Halo | Madeline Parker | photo



Rain Rain Go Away | Mary Hastings Moss | photo

| Sapphic stanza |

After Writing Hannah Herrin I feel like water pouring from a thick jug pooling in puddles at the sharp bones of your ankles. a soft dam in the bed of my palms. I would die to no longer feel. the pain of inexpression. (but) not tonight.


| sonata |

Thaddeus Cochrane

Sonata2 No.


If a story is the product of a writer’s imagination, his music represents the inspiration itself. Classical music, especially, provides form and structure for the mood of the mind. The sonata allows a composer to describe a story rather than narrate it as a piece of prose. Sonata No. 2 in A Minor relates not the content of a dream, but the nature of the experience. The first movement, the dream, moves through moments of intensity, lulls, dialogues, tangents, confusion, and clarification, culminating in wakefulness accompanied by a troubled memory of sleep.





Dashing Benjamin | Savannah Hunter | photo 84

| poetic forms | Cinquain (American)—Five–line poem with two syllables in the first line, four in the second, six in the third, eight in the fourth, and two in the fifth.

Dramatic Monologue (English)­­—A single fictional or historical character other than the poet speaks to a silent audience. Such poems reveal not the poet’s own thoughts but the mind of the persona.

Droighneach (Irish)—Quatrains consisting of lines up to thirteen syllables, each ending in a trisyllabic word. Stanzas are rhymed abab, with cross– rhymes in each couplet, and alliteration in each line. The poem ends with the same syllable, word, or phrase with which it begins.

Haiku (Japanese)—Seventeen syllables in three lines (5, 7, 5), presenting a moment of intense perception, an image, spare and condensed.

Rubaiyat (Arabic)—Interlocking quatrains rhyming aaba, bbcb. Lines are either tetrameter or pentameter.

Sapphic Stanza (Greek)—Quatrains built on a strict metrical pattern consisting of three lines composed of pairs of trochees separated by a dactyl, and a fourth line (the Adonic) composed of a dactyl followed by a trochee.

Terza Rima (Italian)—Tercets, often in iambic pentameter, with an interlocking rhyme scheme (aba bcb). The final stanza is usually a couplet.

Villanelle (French)—Five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the first stanza are repeated alternately as the last line of each remaining tercet, becoming the last two lines of the final quatrain.


Roma | Brooke McCulley | acrylic 86


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