Issue 000: Genesis
Featuring an exclusive interview with
Cover art: Holographic Hamsa Sticker | Hamsa Sticker | Hamsa Decal | Lotus Sticker | Cool Laptop Sticker | Hamsa Decor | Hamsa Hand Sticker | Hamsa Art by DustedInDaisies on Etsy Holographic Yin Yang Vinyl Waterproof Sticker Decal Car Laptop Wall Window Bumper Sticker 5" by Brand: EMC Graphics on Amazon
This magazine came to me as a need. I was looking for a community of creators who were also curious about life and death, the meaning of love and loss, and who they were and were becoming. I often ponder about why we’re here, how we got here, and where we’re going next. And I love learning about the world and my place in it. So in March of 2022, I decided to create a home for these thoughts. A place for myself and others to explore and reflect on the intricacies of life. Karma Comes Before, the magazine, started as an idea — and Issue 000: Genesis exists because 23 people believed in it. Twentythree people followed my tweets and posts, discovered my website, and agreed to share a piece of themselves with the world. Twentythree people have something to say about the lives they have lived and the lessons they’ve learned, and 23 people helped me turn colors and shapes into thoughts and feelings. I am honored to be able to amplify the voices of writers and illustrators who use their craft to tell meaningful stories. I'm excited for you to discover more about yourself and the world through an outside lens. And I’m thankful that what’s meant to be will always be, because if Karma Comes Before, then you’re in the right place. With good vibes, Stephanie
Note from the Editor
Incipience by Ankur Jyoti Saikia
Nox by Willow Kang
Over by Ilana Drake
Appearance Anxiety by Yuting Ma
Smile by Yuting Ma
Media Effect by Yuting Ma
Believer by Ruchi Acharya
Prima Materia by Neill Jaico
Untitled by Líath Murdiff
Untitled by Líath Murdiff
Salvage by Purbasha Roy
Fine Particles by Adriana Danaila
Nostalgic Comfort by Vivien Hagedorn
Only Dreamlike by Jacqueline Brown
Meant to Be Series: Ethan Johnson
¡No Mas! by German Veras
All Eyes by Antoinette Damaris
Photosynthesis by Jayn Laure
One True Thing by Kendra Whitfield
Espacio by Juan Sebastián Cassiani
Savior by Max Stone
Yellow, Blue, and then Green by Rory Frasch 39 Key word: Create by Kwanzaa Owes
Key word: Love by Kwanzaa Owes
Key word: Knowledge by Kwanzaa Owes
Rainbow Road Homage by Michael Menut
Alice & the Tiny House by Stephanie Nieves
Acceptance by Jay Kennedy
Seedbed by Ankur Jyoti Saikia
by Ankur Jyoti Saikia
The night howls with a kind of indelible barbarity, the moon hangs as a pellucid terra of its own, clouds dancing like gyrating mirages What the starry trickster says I’ll take faith in that the devotees at the metro will return home, eyes closed safely to the rage of the wolves & enough dreams nestled in their briefcases Neon sirens call out for a sacrifice, for skin to sink their inky fangs into, a cross for whatever god still watches, roses for the brittle divinity who waits in bed these fleshy abstractions are my creed Freemen are those who race with the dark, already knowing refuge in the constellation of skyscraper lights that they say are saviors of the children’s wishes
OOOOOVERRRRR we speak of the way the water flows & where it flows, & how it flows, flowing into itself or into another body or source of itself. & i wonder how we find termination. it starts with friendship & rolls into the uncertain, our feet stuck in mud, & we are unsure how to trudge through or if we can get ourselves out without remembering. & i remember the firsts & lasts, & i miss the way we were able to be, at one point, before anything of substance, or thoughts & possible intentions, came into the frame. & now i do not know where we go, because there is no end in sight.
I walked toward the rising sun under the starry purple sky, across the golden Saharan desert in search of a home that was far away. I stumbled into the bottomless pit of a façade beguiled easily by the charm of the dark prince, who made me realize that my character was flawed God never came to rinse my sins. The cold was getting colder, taking its toll over the innocent night. The heart was getting older, for it had seen endless lies in the city lights. One day, the big maple leaf spoke to me about the abandoned cottage amid the green. I crawled like a dying mermaid toward the sea the hope closer to me than the next of my dying kin. I built a new home, I raised a new family, I deserved my nest, I preserved my rights, after a decade of grey melancholy for I was a lost believer, a withered well of the heights.
PRIMA MATERIA PRIMA MATERIA PRIMA MATERIA It has happened once again. After the fireworks. After the melodies. After the running silk. After the sweetness. After the aroma. I am still here. “Here” can be anywhere but it doesn’t matter anymore. All that remains is stillness. Screams of dreams and hopes being decimated. Unconscious sorcery. Madmen roaming. Realms generating. Vessels rupturing. Exile by others is hate but banishing yourself is grief. What is grief, if not love refusing to die? To always be in arm's reach is a cruel marathon. Shutting doors doesn’t matter. Protection simply drains the soul. Misperception is a blessing. Distance makes us cold. How long can you last, avoiding the very thing that can save you?
But what if? What if there’s another way? Why keep the darkness at bay? How can we grow without embracing both sides of the take? I am a captain because I am consumed while I’m awake. Shadows are generated through waves of light, So why not dig instead of create? Solitude is a tool, not a predicament – head held high with grace. Not belonging to anything or anybody is a double edge sword, but I prefer the hilt instead of the blade. Always in control, always in command, always leading the pack. It is I and I alone that got me like that, shit is déjà vu. Fighting myself in my own house, I must be on the loose. Fate longs for me but my affairs with destiny leave me satisfied. Leave me alone and trust that I won’t be lonely. This cave will soon be a graveyard, watch me rise comfortably. How long can you last, avoiding the very thing that can ruin you? Alas, the quest outdoes the response yet again.
Revolutionizing the eLit experience.
SALVAGE salvage It’s been 12 years since the storm tried to undo itself on my body. It was in October and November of 2010. The monsoons had retreated and the skies were a brighter shade of blue, something my interiors echoed as “favorite.” It was a time of festivals, and I was deeply involved with my family. Days were passing, each filled with something else to do. And at the end of every day, my body comfortably rested. I felt great about everything — including my body. The sun was losing its shrill heat. I found pleasure in moving in and out of the courtyard. There, the sunrays filtered lovely patterns through the golden rain trees in bloom, in proximity to our boundary walls. It was a yellow life. Yellow sun, yellow branches, and my yellow heart, filled with the meaning of love. Joy. But one morning my sister woke up complaining about the mosquito bites. I pacified her by showing swollen points on my arm. I was bitten in four places with equal distance among them. I just laughed. The day was Saturday, and as the day galloped ahead with time, I kept getting occasional goosebumps. The shivers made me wrap a pullover. This was unusual for the season.
My parents were confused by the maze of my deteriorating health. I was losing strength in generous amounts. My body was changing fast like traffic signals in the prime hours of a metropolis. My heightening weakness restricted me from the garden and courtyard rambles. In my new world, I was confined to my bed. I laid on the bed for whole days and nights, and stared at the image of God hanging on the south wall. Maa knew I loved reading, especially when I was sick. She kept novels near my pillow for me to give them a glance, stay engaged to escape the emptiness. But I remember looking at the books and shifting my gaze to God’s image, as if the books had lost meaning for me. Or maybe I was too busy or tired to open them. Or perhaps I knew what I was searching for couldn’t be found in any of them. I felt my hands were getting empty. Of what, I didn’t know. But this thought was growing tall in me like weeds in our garden corner. I had not seen the sun, moon, or stars in days. Didn’t feel the flutter of leaves or butterflies. From bell-like shapes at dawn, the red hibiscuses blossomed into beautiful flowers over time. This transformation moves something in me. It reminds me that I am alive. Surrounded by miracles. A speck in the universe in awe of other specks. Suspended in the space between flossing and sediments. I can see reflections of peace within them — but I can see nothing from my window. In contrast to the life inside the garden, my own body was losing command of itself. I was somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness.
I was counting my lack of movements. Writing them in the book of my imagination and dreams. Things were jumbling up. At one moment in time, I couldn’t recall my name. I was constantly visited by doctors, but in vain. What was it to which I was succumbing? We live in a place notorious for being a malaria-belt. Chotanagpur plateau. I was repeatedly diagnosed with malaria, but the blood reports were negative each time. I was inside a trap. My limbs were oblivious to what they had been created for, like wings of an ostrich that, throughout evolution, lost its ability to fly. Then came the following Friday, when my head’s increasing pain made my family rush me to hospital, then to a larger and better hospital miles away. The timely medication helped me a great deal. And despite those negative reports, I was officially diagnosed with malaria. How can a simple illness become so dangerous? Disorienting? I am a living example of this. I survived the cold crunches of death’s teeth on me. When the phase ended, normalcy returned to me like a lover. A lover who had left but realized later their wrong-doings. I believe destiny is a question in and of itself. Not in need of answers anymore. Maybe it’s because of my family’s prayers that I was restored to good health. Maybe I was destined to breathe more and more.
I was back, but there was a new unrest in me. The days passed after I faced the crooked face of terror. I wondered about the parts of me that did not return to the wholeness they had once possessed. Had I evolved through this illness as someone else? Every great storm demands that its impact be remembered. And my, what a difference it has made. That even they cannot be tagged as useless. Everything happens for a reason at its core. We just often fail to decipher what it is. And storms, too, fall into this category. I wanted to gather something from this directionlessness. Was it to scour faith from a land that only knew autumn? The finiteness of humans is that we can’t recall our feelings from our birth time, when we leave the flesh and blood of our mother’s womb to become an individual entity. I consider this incident my rebirth. This time, Maa was sitting beside me all the while. And I was aware of all that was changing inside me. Was I holding a torch in the broad sunlight path? Perimeters of torch light were lost from where it began. First, I lost interest in television. I had previously been a TV addict, through-and-through. The hours of watching sitcoms and soap operas were replaced by prolonged sunset sky-gazing. This time, I didn’t need much time to find a name for it. My body and I agreed unanimously on an aesthetic portrait of peace. Had I lived my life theoryless? Does life need theories to be lived or are you to meander for meanings in between moments, words, silences, privacy, and transition? Now, as I begin to tear through this numbness and surf through the superficialities, I reach for the
theory of letting go in chapters of my awareness. We humans are such a helpless species. We can never see the inbetweens of present and future. Who knows what shall happen between one tide and another. Clouds and raindrops. Maybe thunder, maybe rainbows? I am still unsure about what I have left to collect from the pavement of this storm. I am wrestling against the hands of a vacuum that are adamant to knock down my psyche. Who is the Judge? Who will rejoice if my arm is thrown in the air like a winner. Whom shall I defeat? What is the prize I am struggling for? There are many insufficient ways to earn time. I no longer try to discover them. I know one day my body shall fail. As for now, we have each other like best pals. I’ve grown tired of finding the words, living in uncertainty, denying mortality. Besides, what can be more relaxing than walking through the remains of a fire-swept place that was meant to burn down a spring forest? Was forced to take back its hungry feat after shelving a tree or two? The wind, not favoring its heinous intentions, blew the other way.
"Nostalgic Comfort" by Vivien Hagedorn
stepping out of the pub our faces glowing and warm we tripped over the walk like stones on a river the night sky sending our laughter echoing back to us ' Come now, you can’t see it Up! On my shoulders"" we somehow steadied each other as Patch took our picture set against a sunrise, practically neon pink it was easy to tell even through bleary eyes how in awe we both looked
Ethan Johnson photographed by Stephanie Nieves
series with Ethan Johnson When I sat down with Ethan, he had just finished editing his latest video: “Should Black People Change Their Interactions With Police?” On his YouTube channel, finewine216, he covers topics related to spirituality, health, finances, fashion, culture, and relationships. If you know him in real life, you’ll know he lights up when these topics come up. He responds to every question with a thoughtful answer, and he’s genuinely interested in diving deep into conversations, many of which inspire his videos. I had a chance to speak with him about his passion and purpose, which are evident through his consistency with his channel and his personal brand. Here’s his advice for finding your own vocation. SN: "So let’s start here, for folks who don’t know you. Without using your job title, who are you?" EJ: "Who am I? Wow, that’s a very loaded, complex question and answer. I’ll start by saying I’ve lived in a few different places, but the first thing anyone knows about me is that I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I’m also the flyest guy you’ll ever meet," he laughs, "a great friend, and a passionate individual with a lot to say: I have to express myself through creativity. As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten to the point where I know exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it, and I have to get it out into the universe, so I use my YouTube channel to do that. Lastly, I’m a man of God, I can’t forget to mention that. "
Ethan Johnson photographed by Stephanie Nieves SN: "Great answer! I keep up with your videos, which drop every Sunday, and I think many people would know these things about you based on your brand. That said, how did you discover the work you were meant to do?" EJ: "It definitely happened in stages. At first, I felt like I was supposed to do something. And I know that sounds simple and basic, but it wasn’t a career, it felt like it had to be something outside of the box. Whatever it was had to do with my perspective and what I had to say. It started with me writing notes on my phone in extremely rough drafts; I wrote a bunch of different ideas, perspectives, and topics that didn’t really have anything to do with one another. I didn’t know the format or medium
— was this gonna be a book, an autobiography, or a podcast? — and the pandemic was a huge help. Many people flourished from the work-from-home situation, myself included at some points, and it gave me more time to focus on this work and compartmentalize all these thoughts into a working idea. I went back to my notes and made them more concise, pulled from different conversations I had with people, and eventually decided to create videos because that’s what resonated with me. "
"Everything you need, you already had when you came into this world, you just have to figure out what makes you happy." SN: "I noticed you mentioned having more time to yourself because of the pandemic, but you still have a job, so how do you balance your day job with your life’s work?" EJ: "So I think it’s important to go a little bit into what my day job is. I work in finance; I’m an investment advisor. I basically help clients understand their portfolios and the market. I’m not gonna lie, it’s very tough. The finance piece is something I have an affinity for, something that I'm good at, but it’s not necessarily my passion. It’s not a waste of time because my mentality is that I’m gonna use the capital that I gain from my job, but it takes up a lot of the time I could be dedicating to my life’s work. In terms of how I balance it, I prioritize my life’s work over my job. If I’m not feeling well, I’ll call off my job, but nothing gets in the way of my work. I allocate more of my energy to my work, and it’s just a Kobe Bryant mentality: my work has to get done, I don’t care how tired I am, even if I get to a point where I don’t want to do it anymore, I’m connected to the mission and know that it has to get done."
SN: That’s really reassuring for me because my day job is also separate from my passion. My day job pays the bills but my passion is where I create meaningful work by my definition. Thanks for sharing that! What advice do you have for someone trying to discover their purpose and passion? EJ: "You come into the world with a blueprint: one of my favorite quotes is 'you’ve been searching for the key for years, but the door was always open.' Everything you need, you already had when you came into this world, you just have to figure out what makes you happy, what fulfills you, and then it takes courage to actually pursue that. Anything you’re supposed to do is gonna be outside of your comfort zone, I could tell you that, but focus on what you like to do. If you really like to do it, you’re eventually gonna get to a point where you're good at it. You’re gonna do research on it, you’re gonna practice it, and you’re gonna get better at it, and can bring you more success than the person who has a natural talent for it."
"A job vs your WORK" by finewine216 on YouTube
Ethan Johnson photographed by Stephanie Nieves
by Germ an Veras
Photosynthesis (The Art of Healing) It’s been some time now since I’ve fallen. It’s been some time since I found the strength to reach out. To get help. To take a leap and run away from the weight that constantly threatened to push me under. It’s been some time, but not a lot. There are days when I am stuck, Paralyzed in fear, in thought, in bed, in pain In my body that's beaten and bruised from decades of. . . Anticipation. Then there are days When the clouds clear, When the iridescent rays of the sun hit my face Just. Right. And the warmth radiates deep within Passed the layer of skin that has not yet healed Passed the cold that lingers,
Soothing my aching muscles Resting at my core So that I can bask in the present. So that I can relive and relish the steps I took To feel the rays another day, To breathe in fresh air that fill the corners of my mind with thoughts of now Not the past or the future, but learning to be in this exact moment. To take a chance and learn what it means to be Me. Without you.
by Jayn Laure
one When I was fourteen, my dad walked off the Beverly Bridge and landed in the North Saskatchewan River. I was not taught the vocabulary of truth He floated two hundred miles before snagging on deadfall. Truth was a luxury we could not afford According to the autopsy, he was dead before he hit the water. I was taught not to talk Probably a heart attack. Maybe a stroke. Not to ask questions His liver was so cirrhotic, they said, To accept in silence He would have been dead in six months anyway. To never put anything in writing. Neither mom nor I could remember which toe was amputated What was horrifying to others After he dropped a lawnmower on his foot during a spate of drunken landscaping, Was normal to me So the decisive identification came from dental records. But I was banned from putting it into words. Two months elapsed between the morning I found his small black suitcase My father is dead. (containing his will and a photo of me)
My father is dead. On the front porch and the evening My father is dead. A hiking couple found his body. Tell people he drowned A policeman shattered the hot July night. That’s not true My mother shouted out my window into the darkness before It doesn’t matter Sending me to the door while she Just do as I say Brushed her hair and put on lipstick. I spent 30 years I cowered, robeless, in the harsh hallway light, Waiting for her to die When she arrived, her grief was feigned: So my truth could finally sing. All howl, no tears.
Savior Savior My uncle is praying for my soul. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! I keep thinking about my missing T-shirt, the one with the hole in the armpit, it keeps me up at night. Lord knows, I’m holy too. Burn my journals if I die, I talk so much shit about everyone. My uncle, the one with premature white hair, although, I guess now it fits, he’s pretty old, who bought land high and sold low, bought a newspaper company right around the time the internet took off, went bankrupt, and now is devoted to this new-age weirdo church that spews out bible verses spliced with robot stuff and conspiracy theories, thinks he’s a living-saint, destined to be my savior. Thank you, thank you, I am a heathen, heaven knows, a good little drug user, a little of this, a little of that, but I know when to stop.
And I can be a slut sometimes when I feel like it Man, does he love me or what? Last week, I was in love with Special Agent Dale Cooper. Today, I don’t know who to love. What if you start hiccuping and never stop? hiccup and hiccup and hiccup… hiccup and hiccup hiccup to high heaven. Do I need Jesus? He’d probably tell me I need therapy. Could I call him at 3 a.m. about boy problems? I blocked my uncle’s number because he was sending me bible verses every morning. I saw him at a bar recently and he didn’t see me, so I hid in the bathroom until I was sure he was gone. Still, I appreciate the thoughts and prayers.
by Max Stone by Max Stone
Your words taste like citrus, They’re sweet and that faux stickiness melts on my fingers like candle wax, I do not want to claim them, I know they’re untrue, I hold onto lies as they’re the only float keeping me tethered to the air above, Without them, without such trickery, I’d drown, Yet I know when you say you love me, it is not me that you adore, It is not my flaws, not my heart, not the poetry I spin in your name, I want you to love me as I love you, but that yearning is a selfish, sinful thing, There’s a story I want to tell you and I beg for you to let me speak, My words taste like lemons, they taste of sour selfishness, I can’t remember the ending anymore, I wanted you to help me find it
You’re beautiful in a way that I can’t ascribe to words, though I try, god do I try, Your affections feel empty, simply a guiltridden response to my ramblings of all the ways I love you You only love me when I’m sad, You think I’ll turn to dust if you don’t spill out half-truths on why you need me here, It’s not me you love, though, it’s my words, They’re sour-sweet for they hurt you, for I hurt you in my existence, It’s for setting boundaries that I cannot reach, everything is for you The time in which we touched as quick, fleeting, We ran past one another, fingers brushing all for but seconds and yet my heart still aches in that lack You called me handsome and I called you it back 10 times for your once, I am affections, I am praise but I am not human, The rules you list do not apply when it’s turned on my head, I cannot comprehend, the confusion aches, it rips at my nerves,
You smile as you rip out my ribcage, stroke back my hair before pulling it out, But at the end of the day, how does it matter? I am everything, wicked and wrong and okay all at the same time when you were simply pure I am a writer, spinning tales of alright to stop your screaming if I fumble, I wrote you a poem called Earth for, to me, you were all that mattered on it, To you, I was just a sad, pretty face, You would destroy yourself for me, though I would just be the excuse to let yourself collapse, Respect is a thing of daydreams, I think, or perhaps it’s just me who’s undeserving of it, I can see you at the side of my eyes, You’re haunting me though we’re both still alive, Say I’ve done it first so I can mirror you without being wrong, I miss you and I miss the way you made me hurt
by Kwanzaa Owes
by Kwanzaa Owes
by Kwanzaa Owes
Slide down a chain of memories Color the night with the unknown hopes Twinkling in the far horizon Feed a light into a prism's beam And let it split, boundless over the curve of creation. Are there limits to wishes to be fulfilled in this world? Some quota on human creativity Existing in one moment of time? We become boundless when taking flight Speed effortlessly flowing And when gravity's plunge comes the sensation of body and stomach Separating and playing catch up — Is that feeling not the same As when astronauts leave this humble sphere With an immense rocket strapped to the rear? When an angel shows you paradise Trumpets and horns rolling, Crystal reverberation, chiming stars
Will you try to sing along? With all those moments, feeling true Racing to the edge of time. When you go down the slide Tempted to jump over to the other side The shortcut that seems possible When your jump aligns with luck And the counterpoint of destiny Flows down from firm solemn horn Reach your mind beyond the boundless chase, not only to win far But let the flight out far Carry you to see the thin blue ring of an atmosphere scattering light. When destiny rings truth With flights of flute Cascading streak chiming Aural meteors glowing Let's discover secrets buried in the stars and with awed and hushed whispers marvel at the beauty of life's memory in the road of rainbows. Starman, powering through the curve Of chained power slides Drifting around to avoid the chain chomp gliding by waiting to eat you and spit you up
Oh cascading colors Solemn awe drives us through scales, dreamy clusters of tones Like a circle that brings more color flowing through the tighter the repetitions run. The further in the distance we'll run Until we dive firm into The curves, waves and turns That guide your destiny true And though acceleration takes a while to build up There's always the speed that comes As inertia gives way To limitless momentum.
Some days I don’t fit in my own skin Find it hard to breath cause I’m wrapped too tight Coiled by a shell I can’t shed, till I’m dead Just a spirit searching for God’s love and light. Some days, I forget to breathe Holding on to life with my lungs, scared that if I let it out, I’ll come down to earth in my human body Physical form, and all the feelings I can’t ignore Just sitting in me, rent-free, Will turn around and face me Until I manually take a breath that I forget to let go again. I’m not scared of being sad anymore Or falling to the floor, on my knees, Begging God please will you pluck this feeling out of my gut so I can come back to me again? This is how we get close, my eyes closed, Begging to feel You, asking You to fill me, Will me, into human being, not just seeing and believing But human living and forgiving
Have you ever tried crawling out of yourself? And into a bottle or a jay, or a date just to play, Or a book and a mug, or wrapped closely in a hug Tried to outrun yourself? But your body is a shadow And it follows you, reminding you of all the weight you carry And that you matter, Not just a mass being harrassed by reminders of the past Where are my rose-colored glasses? I think it’s time to face the facts then That I am more than just the organs that make up my human structure I’m a constellation of stars, a representation of my mother, I am all the beautiful words I can conjure up in my head, I am peaks, I am valleys, Strong as blood, rich and red I can teach myself to breath, as I heave in violent waters, I can lean into my woman, as a sister, aunt, or daughter, I can take a step back and just be, Not have to worry about who I am, Some days I don’t fit in my own skin, And now I know that's who I am.
by Ankur Jyoti Saikia
Each song on this playlist was carefully selected to represent a different part of life. See if you can fill in each blank using the hints provided. The first person to email the correct answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with a paragraph about what they liked about this issue will win a prize in the mail! Pink Matter by Frank Ocean feat. Andre 3000 Oh, What a World by Kacey Musgraves
____ i r _____
Hold On by Justin Bieber
Still Learning by Halsey
Just For Me by SAINt JHN feat. SZA Lost in Paradise by Rihanna Until We Bleed by Kleerup feat. Lykke Li Conversations by Juice WRLD Speak by Jhené Aiko Wish by Diplo feat. Trippie Redd II. Earth: The Oldest Computer by Childish Gambino feat. Azaelia Banks
____ o a e ______
_______ e n e ____
_______ i h i d _________
Ruchi Acharya is the founder of Wingless Dreamer Publisher. She is an Oxford University summer graduate in english literature. She has been a contributor to multiple writing platforms such as The Pangolin Review, Borderless Journal, Overachiever Magazine, Rigorous Magazine, Detester mMgazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, Loose Tooth Magazine, Rhodora, Mulberry Literary, Seaglass Literary, Flare Journal, Chasing Shadows, Analogies and Allegories, and Maythorn, among 50 others. As of 2022, she resides in Chennai, India enjoying the coconut water, palm trees, sandy beaches, and sun kisses.
Jacqueline Brown is an Irish-American studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in numerous places, and her debut pamphlet, Flight Patterns of September, October, June is forthcoming at Alien Buddha Press.
Juan Sebastián Cassiani is a 25-year-old Colombian analog collage artist and sociology student. His work focuses on subjects such as time, environment, social relationships, and literature.
Antoinette Damaris was born in Rochester, NY in 1992. Her first experience as an artist was ironically during the COVID-19 quarantine. Art was just a hobby at the time, but developed into a passion of hers. Her influences are Daria Callie, Melissa Falconer, and Ergo Josh. It was then that she realized she wanted to pursue her career in this field and expand her knowledge in digital art and NFTs. She went on to study through practical experience, self-learning by studying the work of her influencers. She now has a website dedicated to her work and over 8,000 NFTs.
Adriana Danaila was born in Romania, and now lives in France. She has a degree in philosophy. She has been writing poetry and fiction since childhood. She likes words that defy logic and deconstruct the mundane. She is also on Twitter @AdrianaDanaila.
Ilana Drake is a first-year student at Vanderbilt University who loves to write. Her work has been published in Flare Journal, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, Minnow Literary Magazine, and Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine. When Ilana is not studying or writing, she can be found co-leading Special Olympics Tennessee's Youth Activation Committee as well as engaging in other student activism work.
Rory Frasch is an aspiring author who enjoys character focused writing and superheroes. They aim to create poetry and prose that connects with other people. When not writing, they spend their time reading tarot cards, studying, and doodling quite poorly. You can find them @roryphobic on Twitter.
Vivien Hagedorn studied fine arts in Germany from 2007 to 2015. You can find her on Instagram @too_fat_to_paint.
Neill Jaico is a lover of the arts due to the liberation it provides him. Specializing in sales, community engagement/outreach, and mentorship, communication has always been key to Neill when it comes to fostering relationships. Born and raised in the boogie down Bronx has made this ambivert Pisces well-equipped to endure and persevere as he explores new settings within and outwards. Neill can be found on Instagram @snorechamp.
Willow Kang is a writer from Singapore. When not studying, she enjoys listening to music and playing with her cat.
Jay Kennedy is a New Zealand born illustrator who enjoys creating cartoony, stylized drawings that often have a central character focus. His art takes inspiration from the people around him while incorporating elements of cartoon to make the design more fun and fantasy-driven. Most of his art is created digitally on an iPad, which allows for greater freedom in adjusting the composition and colors used in each piece. His art is often displayed throughout his Instagram @jk_inc.
Jayn Laure is, at heart, a storyteller. Though they received a formal education in interior design and find joy in fabricating the dreams of others into 2D & 3D space, they feel most at home when weaving worlds with words, images, and emotions. At first just a form of self reflection, Jayn now aims to share these experiences with others.
Yuting Ma is currently studying illustration in Brighton. Each person has their own unique world and illustration is a discipline that allows them to express themselves. She created a series of whimsical and interesting works by constantly observing everyday life and working from her own emotional perceptions.
Michael Menut, of North Carolina, has been writing poetry for 20 years. His unique writing style comes from a lifetime of dealing with disabilities, ranging from hearing loss and vision impairment to fatigue stemming from Mitochondrial disease. Despite lifelong health issues, he works very hard to keep inspired and pushing the limits of creativity. In his free time, he loves writing poetry, listening to and reading poetry of others, going on hikes and taking photographs of nature throughout the seasons. He is also a talented artist, painting colorful landscapes and abstract images with a love for mixing colors in brilliant ways.
Líath Murdiff is a fine arts paint student at the National College of Art and Design based in Dublin, Ireland. Although she is a fine artist, Murdiff loves to bring her ideas and paintings into a graphic and digital light. Her work typically starts from found ephemeral objects and imagery and organically flows into themes such as childhood and cartoons with satire and whimsical ideations. Her current work focuses on coincidences in day-to-day life and using muscle memory to create movements that shape the works naturally. Murdiff has a fascination with bright and fluorescent colours which are compulsively included in all recent works. She also runs a growing art Instagram page and has recently opened her own Etsy store where she sells hand-drawn tote bags and prints. You can find her on Instagram @_ketchupontoast.
Stephanie Nieves is a writer, editor, teacher, and personal empowerment enthusiast from Spanish Harlem in NYC. She currently teaches writing classes to adults at Gotham Writers Workshop. Her work has been featured in Thought Catalog, Collective World, GROWN magazine, Ghost Girls Zine, Wing Up Mice journal, and Unpublished Zine. When she's not writing, you can catch her watching reruns of RuPaul's Drag Race or ordering an overpriced dirty chai latte at Starbucks. You can connect with her on wordchefsteph.com.
Kwanzaa Owes was born and raised in Harlem, New York . He's been creating since the age of 8-years-old and has a deep appreciation for all types of art. With his collection of work, he wants to welcome you to the odd mind of Keyztothefuture. You can find him on Instagram @keyztothefuture. Purbasha Roy is a writer from Jharkhand, India. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Panoply, View magazine, Long Con magazine, Bayou Review, and elsewhere. You can tip her directly at PayPal.Me/PurbashaRoy.
Ankur Jyoti Saikia (he/his/him) is a forestry researcher based in India, who started writing poems and getting published last year. You can find him on Twitter @amythfromassam.
Max Stone is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Nevada, Reno.
German Veras is an artist, lover, and revolutionary in the making. His message is G's Us as in "God is us." The understanding that alone we are limited, but together, we are limitless in creating anything we can imagine in this world. You can follow himon Instagram @sowhat_imanartist.
Kendra Whitfield lives and writes on the southern edge of the Northern boreal forest. When not writing, she can be found basking in sunbeams on her deck or swimming laps at the local pool. Her work appears in The Raven Review, Forget-Me-Not Press, and the anthology, We Were Not Alone (CBAW, 2021). Find her on Instagram @kendrarising and on Twitter @BeingThoreau.
This magazine would not have been possible without God, so I want to start by thanking Him. He gave me the idea, the creativity to bring it to life, and the drive to see it to completion. Next, I want to thank David Pierre-Paul for his insight when it came to formatting the magazine. You picked up every phone call and sent a voice note to every text, and the end result would not have been possible without your guidance. Lastly, I want to thank my readers. Thank you for joining us on this journey. I hope you had a great time!
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