obsession obsession JN Burnett's Literary Magazine Club
featuring works from the jn burnett student body
volume 2 | issue 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME 2 ISSUE 2
a close admirer from far away (page 20)
on the cover
CLUB MEMBERS // CONTRIBUTORS
JAM PACKED // A PLAYLIST
POETRY // FATIMA IFRAN
SONNET 18 (A FRESH PARODY) // DOMINIC MALANA
NOW // MIKA IMADA
BODILY OBSESSION // SONIA VAZQUEZ-KELLY
BANGIN!, A LOOKBOOK //DIMITRI CAMARA & PRESCILLA
CHAN GAEA AND THE SKY // ELIZABETH LIN
DIMINUENDO // TIMOTHY WAN
PHOTOGRAPHY // LEINA HARROP
MONOLOGUE // ADRIENNE CHU
A CLOSE ADMIRER FROM FAR AWAY //ELAINE CHEN &
LEINA HARROP WHY WE’RE ALL HEAD OVER HEELS FOR BOY BANDS AND
WHY WE SHOULDN’T BE ASHAMED.// NIKKA ADRIAS EUPHORIA // GABBY YAN
PERSUIT // NEEL LAHIRI
ART // BENSON LIM
SOUND OF BACON // JONAH WAN
BOTOX // AMBER WEI
EDITOR'S NOTE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 2
as new year’s resolutions fade into the month of plastic carnations and lipstick-stained notes, we are more than ever aware of our OBSESSIONS. the shivering of toes, or the warm thoughts buzzing behind eyelids, and the clichéd butterflies in a stomach — they’re all birthed from our sweet, ambitious, or downright twisted obsessions. so what are you obsessed with? whether it be the boy with a nice smile next door, trashy horror movies and their poor editing + fake blood, or the sound of bacon sizzling in a nonstick fry pan, we all have obsessions. it’s a universal feeling that connects us all in this era of conflict, and we wanted to take a moment to appreciate that in our newest issue. so take a peek and see for yourself. haley chung & danielle graham jnb lit magazine’s co editors-in-chief 11/14/17 23:59.
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1
EM B E R
L EY G H N C U EDITOR-IN-CHEIF
ANI E D R LL E G AH A M EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A N RO A N S AN G TS
FF NY U I A T A
VISUAL ARTS DIRECTOR
AD T I AM TL E
I C HA M IA N GE L L
VISUAL ARTS DIRECTOR
KA K I N R A D I AS
E T RE SA
CONTRIBUTORS writers Elizabeth Lin, Dominic Malana, Nikka Adrias, Mika Imada, Fatima Irfan, Sonia Vazquez-Kelly, Neel Lahiri, Adrienne Chu artists Amber Wei, Gabby Yan, Benson Lim photographers Leina Harrop, Elaine Chen, Jonah Wan,Timothy Wan, Prescilla Chan, Dimitri Camara
D A P C E K
musiccccccc ilysb (one of those) crazy girls computer boy beach temporary bliss obsessed with you bad stacyâ€™s mom creeper my obsession awkward go online
lany paramore poppy san cisco the cab the orion experience the cab fountain of wayne reese lansangan pale waves san cisco reese lansangan
Everyday, you are nothing but a dream. You embody determination and tenacity, But I am always the one to embody neglect and fragility. You stand in all of your pride and glory, While I crumble and fall to pieces just from the zero effort that goes into reaching your level. You bring me gratification from the dreams of luxury and prosperity, Your presence in my mind pushes me away from the haunting reality of my persistent life. I rest with the thought of all the prodigious achievements you have obtained, Stuck with the pressure of the idea of choosing something that is not you, Consistently disregarding you and not putting my focus on you. You parade my consciousness, Materializing right in front of my subconscious. But one day I will finally obtain the status you hold, Becoming a powerful and knowledgeable being, Gaining recognition from the world with you backing me. Right now you remain nothing but a dream, That holds opportunity and passion. Fatima Irfan
Sonnet 18 (A Fresh Parody) by Dominic Malana Shall I compare thee to a cantaloupe? Thou art more vibrant and far more divine. Rough winds do sway the vines upon the slope, And reveal thy secrets of clandestine. Sometimes too sweet the flavours of fruit taste, The pallet must be doused in flowing streams. Often the harvest blooms with certain haste, By chance, ripeness of thy fair always gleams. But thy youthful melon shall never age, Nor fall into hands of eternal grey; Nor shall everlasting growth cease to wage, When succulent beauty will always stay: So long as men can indulge in such seed, So long my heart of emotion be freed.
Now As tech advances And time passes, We lose ourselves more and more. Most would rather stare at their screen for the hour And become known as that grumpy old sour. It’s simply a box that you tap until your fingers sore. You post and post but what’s that going to do? Don’t you have a dream to pursue? Don’t waste your time Trying to please and impress other people, You’ll only end up being tearful. Leave your old self at the end of my rhyme. Start fresh and start now Before it’s time for the final bow. It’s a big world out there With so much for you to discover, So throw away your bed cover And get out and go somewhere. Mika Imada
No matter how much you try and let go, you'll still find yourself tethered to it, That feeling of shakiness when the body you're in is still trying to kill you, always out to get you. Itâ€™s the feeling that every sense in you is screaming to run and to hide and to never stop fighting it. And it doesn't end, the assailant is out for blood, you're the prey and everything around you is a game, a mind trick, that youâ€™ll spend the rest of your life trying to figure out. This isn't your life, not even your mind, because all your thoughts lead you to that compulsive need to critique and poke and analyze and tear at your body, your skin that doesn't even feel like it's you because you can't fit right, won't fit right, and your limbs are too short, your hands are too shaky, and your teeth can't chew anything anymore. This obsession, this seed, planted in you too long for you to destroy it is a tree, branching off into hatred, doubt, insecurity, fear and a tornado of every little thing you can't seem to do right. You started at self-doubt, turned your angle on its head and tilted everything back to balance and that sky-high tree, it turns out, didn't even reach above your head.
- bodily obsession / 13.01.18
ANGIN! ANGIN! ANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN! BANGIN BANGIN
A LOOKBOOK INSPIRED BY THE 80'S BY DIMITRI CAMARA & PRESCILLA CHAN
button up shirt: thrifted pants: leviâ€™s boots: blundstone
shoes: adidas superstars socks: champion pants: aeropostale shirt: H&M
pants: H&M socks: H&M shoes: converse jeans: leviâ€™s t shirt: H&M button up shirt: thrifted
Gaea and the Sky Elizabeth Lin Gaea loved the sky. Maybe she loved it a little too much. So much she couldn't bear to take her eyes off of it. The way it seemed to go on forever. The way it seemed to whisper wonders. She loved it too much and yet, she couldn't love it enough. Her favourite part was at night when the blaring white sun didn't burn her gaze away. Inky black night sky. Its stars seemed to twinkle. And if she concentrated hard enough, she could see the smooth outlines of a crease and the full roundness of a button. So many times she wanted to touch, but she couldn't. Fate was cruel and she could only lie on her back and watch, day after day, night after night. But the emptiness and the illusion that it seemed to go one forever and ever was enough. Though barely. She wanted more. She craved more. The little flowers that grew on her belly seemed to agree. They swayed side by side, gently, sometimes not moving. They turned their faces upward and Gaea agreed. Upwards. Yes, she wanted that too. Deep in her bones, a stirring was always there. It murmured incoherent sounds and she struggled to listen when she wasn't daydreaming about the sky. They repeated in an endless cycle, only going away when she didn't think about it. And she did. Sometimes. But it's hard to forget something entirely when it lives inside of you. And so she lied there, trying to capture each memory, each change of the sky. And while she spent practically every minute memorizing, all of them trickled away, slipping through the cracks she worked so hard to fill. But her love for the sky was too strong. Too strong to wrench her gaze away for long periods of time. Gaea loved the sky. Maybe she loved it too much. But it was her fate anyways. To stay here, forever dreaming, but never touching. To stay on the line of agony and pleasure, forever doomed. And maybe Gaea hated it, maybe she loved it. She didn't know, she was too busy loving the sky.
Diminuendo Timothy Wan
You are a part of me, a reflection of my being. Trapped in my eyes, heart and grasp. You have wrapped yourself around me. Entangled me with your hope and light. Love, you are my only obsession. leina harrop
Monologue Adrienne Chu
I’m so much better than everyone else that it’s sad. Yeah, but you would never say that out loud.
I like to look humble.
You’ve been over this and we both know that the real reason you’ve never said it is that it’s not true.
But it is. If I said, “I wrote something I though was bad, but I got told it was good,” what would you get out of it?
The dichotomy between someone else’s opinion and your own. You trust yourself more and the only reasoning you had for the compliment was that they wanted to make you feel better, which made you realise the possibility that every nice thing you’ve ever been told could have been a lie. And then you think that someone is willing to lie to make you happy, but then you feel conceited for thinking that you’re worth their time. But that doesn’t matter, because you’re not the kind of person who’s satisfied by the power of friendship. At the end of the day, you still need tangible success. You know me so well, I’m impressed. Actually, it just makes me feel really egotistical. Did you just declare that you’re better than everyone else and then feel like your ego’s too big because You’re vaguely familiar with yourself? If you want people to think that you’re really that great, you’re gonna have to convince yourself first.
C’mon, trying and failing to lie to yourself and then trying to convince yourself that you didn’t fail is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.
I mean, I legitimately buy into my own power fantasies most of the time, just not when it’s something that crazy.
But it’s entertaining. Anyways, I get it so you also get it. I’ve never met anyone who’s used an eraser and then gotten inspired by how it cleans paper but blackens as it does and becomes less useful over time, nor have I ever met someone who’s created a coherent narrative through their screen names. I think maybe everybody thinks like that, sometimes, at least. You’ve never said any of this to anyone, right? So it’s silly to assume that others would have. But when I think about people, I don’t see it. It’s weird to walk up to someone spewing things that don’t make sense. I don’t think anyone has a self image that matches with the them that appears in others’ minds. So I guess if you want to understand someone, you have to ask them. And if you want someone to understand you, you have answer.
There are better people to talk to than yourself, after all.
a close admirer from far away
photos by elaine chen and leina harrop
-observe PHOTO 3
-the glance PHOTO 2
-reserved PHOTO 4
- the stare PHOTO 1
Why We’re All Head Over Heels for Boy Bands and Why We Shouldn’t be Ashamed. An unkempt thought piece by Nikka Adrias
Whether you’re six-years-old and barely know how to read, the ripe old age of eighteen and building your empire, or ninety-two years young, you have probably liked at least one boy band in your life so far; even if it was just for a teeny-tiny bit. And before you deny it, think about it. I don’t just mean the biggest boy bands in history like the prodigious Beatles or the iconic One Direction or the roaring Backstreet Boys. We’re talking Queen, Boyz II Men, and heck even Migos. These groups are described as ‘vocal groups’ or ‘insert genre here bands’, but no matter how hard anyone tries to decline it, or how strongly the label ‘boy band’ is looked down upon, they’re boy bands too, which really shouldn’t even be viewed as an insult, but as high praise instead. The men in these bands are more than just a few pretty faces with even prettier pipes. These boy bands, these people, have made a career out of something they love doing. Their music allows people to release heartbreak or smile from ear to ear, and overall just give people the rambunctious energy that they need to express and embrace whatever emotions they’re feeling. Boy bands have and still are making a enormous impact on society. Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make is that boy bands bring people closer together. While not the most humane way to take action, if you hate them, you find other people hate them as well and rave about how you loathe them with a passion and tease them. On the other hand, if you love boy bands with all of your heart, it’s a whole journey. The first time you hear them come up on the radio, you crank the volume all the way up and stress about finding out what the name of the bop you’re listening to is. After finding it, there’s no turning back. You fall into this bottomless pit of feeding your newfound obsession. The good— no, great parts of this impassioned journey is that you get to find songs that speak to your soul and make you feel such intense feelings unlike ever before. You discover songs to claim as your own personal anthem that you can’t help but belt at the top of your lungs and just make you want to get up and dance every single time that they come on (Even if you aren’t the best at doing either.). There’s also the concerts which take you to an even higher level of insanity. Waiting up all night to buy tickets because you know that they’ll sell out in approximately 0.3 seconds or just to make sure that you get front row seats. What makes this whole experience even better is when you meet and get to know other members of this fandom and bond over your passion for the same thing. To meet people who express the same feelings towards something as you do and to be able to say what you’re thinking to people who just simply understand creates such a special, unbreakable connection. You get to receive a feeling of closeness to people, which can be so rare these days. To conclude this all over the place write-up, having an obsession with boybands is really just having an obsession with love. And sharing that love. So stop being ashamed! Just spread the love and bring joy into other people’s lives with some undeniably good music. They’ll thank you for it later.
Euphoria Gabby Yan
Pursuit Neel Lahiri Where am I? All cities have blended together into a maddening, indecipherable array of open marketplaces, gothic architecture, cafés. Is this Vienna? Volgograd? Bucharest? Budapest? It is all of them, for they are all the same: cesspools of lurking death. Damn it, there he goes, taking over again. Whispering these thoughts furtively, allowing them to fester, watching gleefully as they grow into ravenous parasites, taking small bites out of my sanity. He is with me wherever I go. However hard I try to free myself, I cannot shake off his grip. I am shackled, bound, without so much as the vaguest possibility of freedom. He is my constant companion, tormenting me like a terrible itch on the small of my back, just out of reach of my manic fingers. Shadows. They follow, they watch. Some enshroud themselves in darkness, hiding, trying to avoid my gaze. If I swivel around, trying to catch a glimpse of them, they vanish into unseen doorways, or melt into the flow of a surrounding crowd. If I see them, their game is over. They abandon this quest, and go in search of another, granting me temporary amnesty, extending my expiration date. Others live without shame, in the brightness of the light. It is this type of hunter that terrifies me. Sometimes I look at them directly, forgoing the pretense of naivety, the façade of not knowing. They stare straight back, indomitable eyes bearing into my defenceless ones. They know I know. They do not care. Their game continues. That is when he takes over. His tendrils infiltrate my gray matter, surreptitiously enveloping the vulnerable mind until he has taken full control. He becomes the only voice reverberating around the dystopian wasteland of the conscience. He commands, I follow. He is the master, reading out edicts; I am the disciple, blindly following. My wits and senses abandon me in my time of greatest need. At the edge of the cliff, they do not pull me back; they give me the almighty shove into the interminable abyss. Falling, falling, falling. This demon, Paranoia, has descended upon Rationality’s abandoned perch. He makes me see more. The shadows gain unprecedented definition. The trench coats become more omnipresent. Turning corners, I spot their unmistakable silhouettes in the periphery of my vision; the lowbrimmed hats, the ominous gaits, hands holstered, eyes peering directly at my back. I can feel the quiet death in their pockets, the silencer placed carefully, precisely, on the barrel. One of these days that silence will become deafening, ripping through me, screaming on the way in and on the way out. It is coming. What if that day is today? There is one shadow that is more brazen than usual. She dons no hat, allowing her golden locks to flow down. If she didn’t want to kill me, I might have gone after her. Instead, we have upended all laws of nature: the female chases the male. The hunt is on.
The key to our profession is to blend, to never reveal that something is amiss to those who pass us by. The walking remains steady, not too fast, not too slow. We change our pace ever so slightly, not so much as to attract attention, but enough to throw off the bloodhound on our tail. We are trained as both the prey and the predator, in the arts of both evasion and chase. Every morning presents the same question: into which category do we fall today? I turn a corner suddenly, duck into a doorway, enter a land of freshly baked croissants and chocolate éclairs. My heart palpitates at an inhuman rate, cracking my ribs with each beat, a caged beast ripping violently at its shackles. Time is a leaky faucet, dripping, dripping, dripping. Is that checkmate? Five minutes tell me I have won. Her game is over. I often forget why I am on these quests. Vague recollections of inspirational monologues from hardened veterans of the craft float around my mind. “For Queen and country,” they all say. “We serve for the honor of our nation in the face of our adversaries.” It is neither Her Majesty nor the geopolitical interests of our government that keeps us in the job. We are not consumed with notions of service and patriotism. The truth is that we subconsciously, unwillingly, love the hunt. The heart palpitations. The evasion. The deception. The manipulation. It is at the precipice of mortality, gazing into the oblivion below, that vitality is greatest. Life takes on an ethereal, ephemeral beauty when death prowls nearby. A quick glance outside, at the fading light, at the imminent dusk, tells me my time is up. I exit my enclave of salvation, the beautiful sovereignty of pastries and lattes, hail a cab, ask it to head towards the airport. My burner is vibrating. I do not rush to pick it up; I want to enjoy the surroundings of this city whose name I do not know. I pick it up. One word is all I need to hear. My next quest has been decided. I love the glorious in-between, the lull between missions. This is the only time Paranoia leaves me alone. He dissipates away, into thin air; Rationality descends once more upon her rightful pedestal. This is the only time I can ponder, breath, analyze, wonder, rather than watch and worry. My heart takes a break; my head takes over. Oh, sweet, sweet mundanities. The haggling with the cabbie over the cost of the ride. The stroll through the baggage terminal, towards ticketing. The haggling over the cost of the ticket. The fumbling in my bag for the passport that matches my given alias. Rarely do I have time to take pleasure in the minutiae of relative normality. Here comes my favorite of these rituals, the shallow conversation with the clerk at the check-in counter. I hand over my passport and ticket. He duly accepts them. I make a comment about the weather. He gives a wry smile. He becomes angry with the machine, which has malfunctioned again. Oh, how I wish the greatest nuisance of my occupation was faulty software. He resolves the issue. He gives another wry smile. The knife slips delicately into my back, piercing my lung, as the counterman asks, “Do you have any checked baggage, sir?”
Foolish, foolish, foolish. The assailant swivels it around, making the puncture morph into a chasm. Life begins to leave me. It packs up its relatively few belongings, says a brief, tearless farewell, and enters the wide world around. I am alone. Those words, those which I had eluded for so long, flash in front of me: “Game Over.” Enraged, I rip off my headset, hurling it towards the other side of the room. I am bathed in the fluorescent blue light of the screen, revolting theme music playing lightly in the background. Every time, it is at the airport! I always forget that the stupid baggage handler is undercover! The tears are uncontrollable. Though no one is watching, I bury my face deep in my hands to hide my shameful pain. The theme music changes. The tone goes from sombre to uplifting. I glance up at the fluorescence, all remaining emotion and energy channeled into the hope that now engulfs my soul. Will I be freed from this purgatory? The red letters are replaced with blue, filling me with irrational joy: “Play Again?” I close my eyes, grab the controller, and click. Where am I?
the sound of bacon Jonah Wan
Botox Amber Wei
“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.” - Claude Monet
THANKS FOR READING! CATCH YOU IN OUR NEXT ISSUE!
JN Burnett Literary Magazine
JNB Lit Magazine's second issue, featuring work from the JN Burnett Secondary student body. This issue revolves around the theme of OBSESSIO...
Published on May 16, 2018
JNB Lit Magazine's second issue, featuring work from the JN Burnett Secondary student body. This issue revolves around the theme of OBSESSIO...