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WINTER 2018 / 2019


JUNK DRAWER is a prompt-based art and literary magazine that aims

to both showcase what artists can produce when baited and to praise the tangential nature of creativity.

We are so inspired by the contributors’ interpretations of these prompts and hope that their work encourages readers to create something of their own. Feel very free to check the prompts at the end of each issue and send your arts our way. Thanks for giving a shit! Yours,

No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without permission from the artists. For more information, contact junkdrawermagazine@gmail.com Cover art by Nellie Vance


CONTRIBUTORS

KELLY ANDERSON

filmmaker // photographer currently working in documentary filmmaking, coffee, concert photography, music video, ... @kellymichaelanderson_photo

AMELINDA BURICH can’t commit to one form of expression so she is spending her life writing, drawing, painting, dancing, acting, writing and performing music, and daydreaming.

CHELSIE COLLINS

is interested in miniature things, healing, fart jokes, and sharing her life.


CONTRIBUTORS

QUINN CORY

writer, music enthusiast

MAGGIE MCGWIN

grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, where she spent most of her time reading books in her treehouse. She wants to go everywhere and do everything. She is currently figuring it out in Brooklyn, NY.

CASEY O’BRIEN

writes, mostly about water and mirrors and smoochin’. She is currently out on loan to South Carolina where she’s letting the red dye grow out of her hair, trying not to get hit by cars, and wondering what the pullquotes of her life will be when it’s all said and done.


THIS IS TRICKS


THIS IS TRICKS

1

AMELINDA BURICH


WIG

you miss me, you want to smell my shoulders but these swamps have made me sulfuric this longitude has bleached my colors and in avoiding the christians and in scowling at the old money my flat face is only mostly mine as in a telenovela, playing my own twin wearing a wig, back from the dead always with these tropes changing our storyline irrevocably

THIS IS TRICKS

2

CASEY O’BRIEN


U NT I T L ED

This is tricks, they say whispers in bathroom mirrors but it’s not a jumprope chant 9th inning buzzerbeater but lick the pancake batter off the spoon I offer on Sunday morning hold my pinkie while I sleep so my dreamself never forgets the feel of your palms look at me without my makeup on and tell me my wings don’t need to be waterproof the way your hair sticks to the sweat on your cheek the sunstreak sparkle on your shoulderblade sharp i’ll always have your favorite snack in my purse if you’ll always bring me coffee in bed my emergency contact yes tonight I’ll empty the dishwasher if you take out the trash how good i have it to have the good of you and the moment we become pawns on a chessboard jokers in a deck we‘ll forfeit cash in our chips tricks are fun until they aren’t

THIS IS TRICKS

3

MAGGIE M C GWIN


this isn’t tricks it never was it’s the weight of your breath in the morning the metallic taste of a zit on your face laughter that makes you choke a shiver when you lick my ice cream cone and you savor it until it’s gone or until it melts a puddle on the sidewalk do you smile in the stickiness or is it the light playing tricks

THIS IS TRICKS

4

MAGGIE M C GWIN


THIS IS TRICKS

5

KELLY ANDERSON


A TRUE I


INSIDER

QUIET IF YOU LIKE


QUIET IF YOU LIKE

6

AMELINDA BURICH


Q UI E T

Our hyper-connected culture of technology-based communication i.e. social media, WhatsApp, texts, emails, phone calls, and FaceTime makes me feel obligated to respond and be present with every person I feel close to and even those who I don’t, even in times when I am emotionally and mentally unable to do so meaningfully. When I decided to participate in a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat, I instantly felt relieved; I’d have 10 days to disconnect from constant, mass communication. Depression makes responding to texts feel like I have heavy weights on my finger tips. How can I answer the phone and fake a positive-toned hello if I can’t even get out of my bed? Anxiety makes me over-analyze every way in which my response isn’t good enough: I’m not fun to talk to, I don’t know what to say, I’m not funny enough, I’m not smart enough, they’re only asking how I am because they’re worried about me because I’m not capable of taking care of myself, because they think I’m doing something wrong, I’m a failure, everyone is worried about me and I should be too... I was informed of the retreat by my therapist. I started seeing her because going to therapy has always made me feel better. Some days I feel more in charge and on top of my mental/emotional health than others. Some days I feel like a superhero. Some days I hide in my bed. Genetics alone could account for my struggles, but I also experienced a lot of trauma as a child. I came home from a sleepover when I was 8 years old and tried to wake up my mother, but she didn’t wake up. After her death, my father, who had not yet been diagnosed or treated for his mental health challenges, began to struggle emotionally and I bore witness. My half-brother, Michael, who I had lived with since I was born, moved to a different city after the courts granted his guardianship to his biological father. He would learn from his father to cope

QUIET IF YOU LIKE

7

CHELSIE COLLINS


with difficult emotions by getting high on opiates. He would commit suicide at age 29 while awaiting sentencing for robbing multiple banks to fuel his heroin addiction. During my pre-teen and teen years, my dad would be in and out of hospitals for suicidal ideation and I would be in and out of various homes belonging to whichever family relative or neighbor was able to care for me that day or week or year(s). I learned at a young age that pleasing people assists my survival. I learned at a young age what it feels like to be lonely, a feeling I still have to work through. On the drive to the retreat, I thought about what I wanted to get out of the experience. What do I want to have more clarity about? What deeply-rooted issues will I dive into when I am not able to distract myself with technology or the sound of other beings speaking to me? What will I ask myself when no one is asking me anything? I arrived at the campgrounds and found my dorm. I placed my suitcase on the floor next to my bed. I put my blankets on the bed. I looked at the cardinal blanket gifted to me from my Aunt Jennie as a reminder of my Grandma Garnet who passed a way a couple months before. I picked out an alarm clock from a communal pile. I plugged it in and saw that the digital numbers were multicolor and felt surprised by my excitement. I found my distraction and mild entertainment for the next ten days. The first morning, we woke up to the sound of a bell ringing outside the meditation hall. It was dark out and I felt the uncomfortable sensation of waking up before my body and mind were ready. It hurt in a way I can’t explain easily. I stepped outside and was instantly awakened by the cold breeze. I walked into the meditation hall and picked out my cushions and blankets. I found my name tag on a spot on the floor. I sat down. I tried not to stare or observe the people surrounding me.

QUIET IF YOU LIKE

8

CHELSIE COLLINS


Within minutes I felt irritated. It was 4:30 am, so quiet and warm, surrounded by pillows and blankets and the sound of the heater, and I was being asked to not think about anything other than the breath going in and out of my nose. All of that and I was supposed to not fall asleep? Sleep has always been my escape mechanism for avoiding the emotions and states of consciousness I dislike. Sleep has always been my rescue. And here I was being tormented by a most sleep-inducing environment while being asked to just sit there with it. I thought, “Why does this woman in front of me look like a statue of Cleopatra? This is going to purify my mind? This is going to cure me from my trauma? Sitting here with my head nodding back and forth in the painful, annoying way it does on an airplane, this is going to help me have a healthy mind?� We learned within the first few days that according to Buddhist beliefs, all human misery can be tied back to two main tendencies: craving and aversion. We crave what pleases us and we create aversion to that which we dislike. If we can find a way to observe without reaction, just observe the sensations of our body, our being, our mind, just observe equanimously without reacting, apparently then we can find the key to purification of the mind, to happiness, to joy and peace without despair. I thought about my personal experience with craving. At a young age I learned to eat sugar and processed foods. My dad would take me to the gas station and I would buy whatever candy bar I desired. We would go through fast food drivethrus and I would order enough food for a week. I learned early on what it was to be a chubby American in a world full of mass, fast, processed food. Fast forward 20 years to when I was introduced to Adderall. I have never felt as euphoric and energized as I did when I tried that fucked up, terrifying drug. I felt like all my ideas were genius. I felt invigorated, excited, motivated, alive, humourous, and, most of all, in tune with myself without the voice in my head questioning everything. Those feelings were eventually followed by a sinking hole of depression. Thinking of all of this brought my awareness to how problematic experimenting with a stimulant like that was for me. It released my deepest state of

QUIET IF YOU LIKE

9

CHELSIE COLLINS


craving and impulse. I like the way I feel when I am stimulated and I want more of it and more of it and more of it and more of it, forever. I thought about aversion. What do I dislike? What am I afraid of ? Making mistakes. Conflict. Disappointing others. Having poor judgement. Guilt. Being alone. Shame. Death. Failure. I am afraid of being afraid. I am afraid of my thoughts sometimes. I am afraid of my feelings and even myself sometimes. I realized my younger self used to find unhealthy comfort in smoking weed because it numbed my fears and made everything light and fluffy. When I felt overwhelmed by my responsibilities, fears, thoughts, doubts, I would smoke until I didn’t feel worried anymore. I could see how smoking had been a form of self medicating, a way to avoid the feelings I had the most aversion to. As the days passed, I began to hit the harder emotions. I felt so consumed by guilt. I felt aware of everything I had ever done wrong. I felt overly aware of anything I did in the past that I regret. My weakest moments, my darkest truths. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be at the retreat or to find peace. I felt like being in the retreat meant being ignorant to the disgusting person I thought I was. I thought about my mom. I thought about how much I missed her. I thought about Michael. I thought about the way his body looked before we turned off the life support. I wondered what those last moments felt like before he took his life. Why couldn’t I have just talked to him? If I could have just told him how much I loved him, if I could have told him that there is nothing he could have ever done that would make me stop loving him, if I could have just told him how fucked up I am, too, surely something would be different now. By the 6th day, I couldn’t stop thinking about death. About my death. Why do we exist? Why do we feel pain? What is the point in anything? I felt fixated on an ironic parallel I saw between my brother’s life and mine. He was imprisoned and took his life because he could not cope with his reality. I chose to imprison myself in a silent retreat, to be with myself, and in doing so was forced to afront my most terrifying and uncomfortable thoughts and emotions to the point where I, too,

QUIET IF YOU LIKE

10

CHELSIE COLLINS


felt compelled to commit suicide. I was/am too afraid of death and hurting my loved ones to do it, but I felt empty enough to consider it. I felt like I was already dead. I lied there on the scratchy carpet of my dorm floor and wondered if maybe I was already dead. Maybe I came to this retreat not to realize my existence, but to realize that my existence is irrelevant. I am just floating matter in a world of chaos, brushing my teeth twice a day and flossing if I can motivate myself. How am I here? Why am I here? Where is here? What the fuck is this shit? What am “I” even? What is ego? What is the point of life? What is existence? What is the soul? Where do I exist? Am I behind my eyes? No matter how far I fell into my most terrifying or most pleasing thoughts or feelings, I would always come to the same conclusion: I just want to be a good person. I want to be compassionate. I want to love. I want to help others. I want to learn from my mistakes. I want to be safe. I want to take care of myself and others. I want to be healthy, both mentally and physically. The painful, dark, dull moments were eventually followed by a comforting and joyful epiphany: If we can learn to sit with our darkest thoughts long enough for them to dissipate, we will all be okay. If I can sit with quietly with my flaws, my mistakes, my fears, my pain, just sit with all of it, not fueling it or pushing it away, eventually, it doesn’t feel so heavy, so scary, so painful; It’s just there the way anything is there. The way the wall is there, so is my pain and my trauma. Never before have I been faced with such challenging and yet simultaneously rewarding emotions and states of consciousness as I did during those 10 days. I am certainly not fully healed, but I feel more capable of facing my pain. I feel more at peace with all that I am and all that I am not. I’m trying to go more lightly now, and trying not to squeeze every little thing so tight.

QUIET IF YOU LIKE

11

CHELSIE COLLINS


QUIET IF YOU LIKE

12

KELLY ANDERSON


QUIET IF YOU LIKE

13

CASEY O’BRIEN


T H E X - R AY U N D E R S


S TA N D S M F LEO B OEDT A TE NRD N E V E R S T O P


SAT U R N’S R ET U R N

how do i know that fire keeps growing how a flame can be snuffed and the ashes stay warm and the soil isn’t soured what does it feel like to burn for a long time can you feel it or are we all frogs in hot pots desensitized by time and calloused by growing pains and flushing daffodils

FLOOD AND NEVER STOP

14

QUINN CORY


FLOOD AND NEVER STOP

15

KELLY ANDERSON


T ER R I F I CAL L Y D EN S E

I thought I would flood and never stop lose track of my own watering in the world’s brackish mix thought with all of the sorrow that poured out of me I’d raise the earthworms the shallow dead bring the mosquitos show the rose bushes a life aquatic but I didn’t weep bathtubs didn’t catch cold in the dampness of myself instead my chest compacted like American trash now the gang’s all here just harder to see from space in place of losing my loss I collected it I am terrifically dense with it

FLOOD AND NEVER STOP

16

CASEY O’BRIEN


FLOOD AND NEVER STOP

17

AMELINDA BURICH


ED I TO R ’S PL AY LI S T

T H I S I S T R I CKS

Not In Love We’re Just High - Unknown Mortal Orchestra A Trick Of The Light - Villagers Capsize and Sink - J.E. Sunde Q U I ET I F YO U L I KE

Self Control - Frank Ocean It’s Okay - Land Of Talk Lost & Found - Lianne La Havas F L OO D AND NEV ER S TO P

That Kind of Girl - All Dogs By Torpedo or Crohn’s - WHY?, Dntel Cool Water - Laura Veirs


SUBM ISS I O NS F O R S P R I NG 2 0 1 9 D EAD L I NE F EB R UARY 1

JU N K D R AW ER M AG AZ I N E@ G M AI L . CO M

Flowerless Mile Rust Anyway Reckless As We Are

Jerks need not apply.

Profile for Junk Drawer Magazine

Junk Drawer Winter 2018 / 2019 Issue  

Winter 2018 / 2019 Issue of Junk Drawer Magazine, a prompt-based literary and art magazine.

Junk Drawer Winter 2018 / 2019 Issue  

Winter 2018 / 2019 Issue of Junk Drawer Magazine, a prompt-based literary and art magazine.

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