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Metanoia: Volume IV

Kirsten Samanich -- Founding Editor Ellie Suttmeier -- Founding Editor Samantha Wallace -- Founding Editor Carlene Doyle -- Assistant Editor Nicole Arocho-Hernandez -- Co-Founder

“You can hear the man in the apartment above you taking off his shoes. You hear the first boot hit the floor and you’re looking up, you’re waiting because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together. But here we are in the weeds again, here we are in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense. And then the second boot falls. And then a third, a fourth, a fifth.” -- Richard Siken, “The Boot Theory”

Cover Art, Erosion, Genevieve Cohn

Dear Readers, Seated in sandboxes and swingsets, the larger part of us used to think of the world as a solvable object. We collected data in our everyday interactions, interlinking cardboard puzzles and triggering baking soda volcanoes, as if our inquiries were always going to be enough to bring about our understanding. We desired what was algebraic, cathartic, complete. But as we now encounter all that is beyond our protective childhood bubble, we begin to gather infinitely more questions than answers. Love is no longer only innocent. Parents are no longer only heroic. Presidents are no longer only admirable. Nothing is straightforward. Nothing is concrete. In the dark matter of our stomachs, we are simultaneously exhilarated and disillusioned to discover this intangibility of fact and truth. We collect proposed solutions like lottery tickets, thrusting ourselves into schools, social causes, political affiliations, religions, books, relationships, weather channels. We want it all to be predictable and make sense in order to give it purpose. Is there any way, then, to come to terms with the implausibility of this desire? Can we plant feet on unsteady ground and trust it to provide balance anyways? At the crux of our major life decisions and changes, the Metanoia staff and many of our contributors, as we are about to depart from our sixteen-year educational journey, are currently struggling with this problem. Are we going to get that job we have been so heavily banking on? Are we crazy to think we can survive as artists? Are our friendships going to dissolve across miles and miles of phone tag? More importantly than our lingering uncertainty, however, we must swallow the bitter pill that reminds us no hand will appear from the sky and thrust us towards our remarkable and long-anticipated adulthood. In finally coming to terms with our own autonomy, whether we wanted to or not, we can afford to give ourselves a little more credit. We act. We move. We board planes and we cross fingers. In the face of all our untested volcanoes, our eggs awaiting plummets from rooftops, our yet unbottled tornadoes, we are somehow still able to love what we may never solve. Where we could very easily fear closet-dwelling monsters, we instead see the possibilities of uninhabited, open space, and somehow we move into it. Cheers, The Editors



In Eden and Still Dreaming / Jillian Kaplan / 5 Bleeding Gums / Sam Mader / 7 Simple Satisfaction / Amanda Del Sontro / 9 The End of the World / Katharyn Howd Machan / 12 Cassandra / Katharyn Howd Machan / 16 Vicodin Dreams / Amanda Del Sontro / 18 Paiso / Jillian Kaplan / 21 Dreaming of Water / Katharyn Howd Machan / 23 The Burden of Light / Katharyn Howd Machan / 27


Wallflower / Ryan Keller / 3 Sunburst / Louise Clarke / 4 Crinkled Day / Gannon Teach / 6 Self-Portrait / Kalie McKenna / 8 Madness / Ryan Keller / 10 Trails / Louisa Clarke / 13 Comfortable Divide / Gannon Teach / 14 SASsholes / Sara Gaetcher / 15 Flickering / Hope Carter / 16 This Print is About How I Don’t Like Ghana / Sara Gaetcher / 19 It Was the Afternoon of Extravagant Delight / Kalie McKenna / 20 Mind Games / Gannon Teach / 22 DreamMachine 2K14 / Ryan Keller / 24






In Eden and Still Dreaming JILLIAN KAPLAN Slow haze of electric blue. Saturday night ticks with an invisible mass of crickets and specks of white stars burning in a dimension I’ll never inhabit. My body is a mass of particles like the table I lean against to stare at the calendar. Time is immutable and trickling, My lover and I can only talk through three thousand miles of white plasma, the idea of breath, and the wet sinking of a kiss imagined. So I refresh the screen for new messages. Still waiting to know if his tongue tastes the same as 8 months ago, if long-distance hasn’t re-written the hardwiring of pores brushing pores, eyes transcending gaze so sight is the blurred streak of heat’s inevitable draw-I am possessed. The apple on the table has a sharp sweetness that is dulled by the illusion of memory, and it scares me that I wish to drown in yesterday.




lee d i n b g gum s SAM MADER

i tried to hear the Devil speak in Beatle’s records played backwards back in sixty sixi listened in again in Zeppelin in seventy seveni didn’t hear shit but i got the message the same wisdom i received from the fillings in my teeth, that most kids get ripped out but i got to keep. i keep my wisdom teeth tied tight hanging around my neck i keep my wisdom teeth tied tight hanging around my neck till some shell from no sea loosens them from me.




Simple Satisfaction Amanda Del Sontro 1 Finger tips trickle down your spine, dragging your jacket in their wake until it off, floated away, caught in the continuum of in-between spaces the definite distances between words, lines the infinities of couch cushions, under bed places bringing you into me (seated, standing, up to down, left to right) I balance your distance from my face pushing pale folds to splay thin fuzzed wings the weight of clumped, wet clay. 2 We are a single stench of something sweet like ink and lead and bread sinking our stinking into an armchair for hours a single finger races along your smooth surfaces, propelling me further know more of you know more of me so deep that I can’t climb out so high that I hurt to fall 3 I have come a sticky damp pile of emotion: those happy tears of dispersed anxiety the tender desire to begin again, to hold you close all of me is spilling over onto your pages.





THE END OF THE WORLD KATHARYN HOWD MACHAN When it happens, most people won’t even notice—unless their mother’s just been killed or a rich man’s stolen their garden. Sleek gray doves with dark pink claws will peck and scratch under thin pines saved from being torn up and burned where the Gulf Stream meets the Atlantic. Maple sap will run full and clear into big tin buckets to be boiled down into bottles of sweet sticky amber. Women and men will take or leave jobs, tending bar, driving vans, cutting hair. Who will notice the earth is still breathing but what was the sky is not there? A tortoiseshell cat with seven homes will mew for fresh water and kibble. Old newspapers will line parrot cages and spring peepers will offer shrill song. We’ll eat chocolate croissants, brew black Cuban coffee, make bouquets of lilacs and thyme. It won’t really happen—what could really go wrong? Love poems will always rhyme.








C A S S A N D R A KATHARYN HOWD MACHAN To know a snake, its very namelessness, and warm it with your warmth: that’s what Apollo taught me. Me with my simple parted hair and braids, girl-child with two pitchers in my hands, balancing time of dream and time of waking. He made me his with his voice of light and face of music and gave me the most dangerous power a sky-god can bestow: to see. I should have known the wings I felt at first would drip with wax and falter, sure as the lust he blazed toward me met only stone beneath my silk. I might have loved him if I could, but what flesh can take such burn? Truth a dead bell on my tongue I fled the temple, his snarling curse a hot hiss in my ears.



V i C o d i N

AMANDA DEL SONTRO My last nerve’s lucid music baroque bashing of a keyboard typing complaints to the forum flagged as spam salty lunchmeat colonialism taking planets one by one two-by-fours making a plank,

D R e a m s

I ship it: that sinking feeling when your interstellar inner-tube loses air its totally tubular, terribly troubling Starting trouble or cutting it out cookie cutter crust people made of dank dirt and eating mud pies forgetting to fry their worms before placing their pacing in pages

Don’t judge a book by its words but buy its Amazon review (Wonder Woman knows what she’s talking about) Talking about sex, Baby, but not pedophilia, not the love of short socks, or short sale homes places where the organs wait, where the cattle roam


Roam, roam on the range, where the melon plays with a salutation, retaliation, tallying the threats of war on a computer that just wants to play chess on chest, between breasts Simulates a heartbeat keeps the rhythm in time the same thyme she puts on her chicken that the cat finds scary

Feline, fine-line Sharpie the clean edges of my line art, amusing muses at the museum framing a crime next to Salvador Dilly-Dally Dolly, all the sheep I’m counting are the same? One, one, one‌ crashing flashing red numbers reading radio signals at Eight A.M, M I right? Snooze.






At the market I haggle for the smudged secrets of shared names. In langauge, Peach merges with Plum; One bright with rough skin and a wrinkled pit, the other heavy with juice under casing hazed like an inked black hole. Malagasy blend opposites. When my students were still muddled by the fine lines between “is” and “was,” I felt a little shift in some black time-hole, velvety hollow. “Is ‘yesterday’ present or past?” Evening rain once more. Really, who can feel the world tilt? The village is settling for some kind of slumber, a release of dogs barking and crickets frantically scissoring violin legs, of dimly lit houses filled by radios and spoonfuls of rice. Behind me, sky blurs. Far away I feel the state of my conscious slipping into myth, and in my mouth words remain a strange jelly. We feel the world in our tongue. Taste doesn’t lack distinction. I reach for the paiso. My mouth savors each bite, licking the insides like a lover.





After tsunami, how can it be innocent? We sink into sleep and the silt rises fast: that little boy in Cayuga Lake with the lifeguard reaching, searching; that young fiction writer above the falls who stood, decided, jumped.

The city where I’ve lived long years is made of hills and gorges and streams, water coursing its intricate patterns like blood through heart and veins. To dream of water is to take a journey, but what if the waves engulf? Wake breathing as if it’s your last chance to stay alive on Earth.






T h e B u r d e n of Light KATHARYN HOWD MACHAN

for Joanna Higgins

It hangs here, the way a waterfall could be said to hang on rock and air, a solid entity of fluid force, stillness in motion, a traveler’s home. We rise to it from night’s deep lake of dreams and jagged rhythm. Windows open; glass disappears; leaves offer it through stretch and curve of golden green, shadows like a dancer’s veils concealing and revealing. Day names itself: The Moment of Hibiscus, or Blue Sky Where Spider Weaves, words that form and disappear. Who are we as we enter into eye and mouth of dark-veined orchid’s perfect purple welcome? Each petal’s underside holds iridescence, tiny galaxy we can never reach but must keep trying for, must turn our time to coolest burning, now that we’ve begun.


Contributors HOPE CARTER A senior Art Education major at Ithaca College. LOUISA CLARKE A recent graduate of Ithaca College. “My love affair with art started in high school and has constantly reminded me to see the beauty in everything, even when life looks bleak. I am always trying to evolve as an artist. I view the arts as a communication tool and healing process, something enableing people to bridge the gap between cultures and realize we inhabit this world as one.” GENEVIEVE COHN A senior at Ithaca College, with a double major in Art and Culture and Communications. She may or may not be a squirrel. AMANDA DEL SONTRO A senior writing major at Ithaca College with a minor in environmental studies. Dog-lover, professional punsmith and tech-blogger with her thoughts on technology and rhetoric available for reading at SARA GAETCHER A junior at Ithaca College with a major in Art Education. KATHARYN HOWD MACHAN The author of 30 published collections, her poems have appeared in nu- merous magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, including “The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Sound and Sense.” She is a professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College in central New York State. In 2012 she edited “Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology” (Split Oak Press).

JILLIAN KAPLAN A recent IC grad with a major in Writing. Currently, she is a TEFL Peace Corps Volunteer in the Madagascar highlands. She enjoys eating (but not peeling) mangos and getting her students to sing English songs that aren’t Justin Beiber. She also wants to bring poetry to her village if she ever works through that pesky language barrier. “Misotra betseka (thanks a lot) to the Metanoia staff!” RYAN KELLER A film student at Full Sail University and a photography enthusiast. “I experiment with lighting techniques and subject matters, trying to evoke different emotions from an audience.” To see more of Ryan’s work, visit KALIE MACKENNA A senior Applied Psychology major at Ithaca College. SAM MADER Sam Mader exists only on paper. intentionally blank.

This space left

GANNON TEACH A recent graduate of Ithaca College with a major in Art. “In my collages I aim to create a sense of chaos vs. serenity while using familiar imagery.”



“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.� -- Albert Einstein

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Metanoia, Volume IV: Illusion  
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