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Minetta Review

(re) awakening

Fall 2012


Minetta Review

Fall 2012

( re ) awakening


The Frog Prince (front cover), The Emperor’s New Clothing (back cover) Angela Rizza Digital illustration

from Map of Old Greenwich Village Bernard Ratzer in Anna Alice Chapin’s Greenwich Village

A section of Bernard Ratzer’s map of New York and its suburbs, made circa 1760, when Greenwich was more than two miles from the city. Courtesy of Project Gutenberg.


{ Table of Contents } Note from the Editor Note from the Preceding Editor

Josh Borja 7 Emily Ho 8

from Defying Gravity

Stephen Schwartz

9

Archival Pieces

Map of Old Greenwich Village Bernard Ratzer 1 from Minetta Triangle Historical Sign Parks’ Library 26 from Sanitary & Topographical Map Egbert L. Viele 34 from Ward 15 & part of Ward 9 G.W. Bromley & Co. 36 A Brook in the City Robert Frost 58 Minetta Brook’s Course New York Times 59 Creating Anti-Gravity Illusion Michael Jackson, et al. 62 Minetta Review 1974: Cover Minetta Review 1974 94 Minetta Review 1974: About Minetta Review 1974 95 Minetta Review 1986: An Open Letter Minetta Review 1986 96 Desiderata Max Ehrmann 127

Featured Pieces

Ghost River Will Hunt A casa Mama’s gan from Sexuality and Love John Maynard from Alice’s Unhelpful Writing Tips of Glory and Wonder Alice Vernon from Very Important Problems Darren Caulley On Social *B*eings Jake Moore

Prose

10 22 50 66 100 105

Sweet Tally Brennan 19 Non-Sequiturs, Advice, Things Michael Way 63 from Likeness Devika M. Balaram 68 Fat of the LandTM Takes on New Meaning for Beverly Hills Laura Schulkind 76 El Ateneo Mariya Lipmanovich 78


Poetry

Deductive Pill of Seclusion Joseph Richie 14 3rd Street Annie Mabus 15 Meredith Hadaway 16 End of the Line The Emperor’s New Clothes Carl Auerbach 17 The Corner Seat Megan Laubershimer 18 Onion Field Avigail Soloveichik 25 Helen Wickes 27 The Heart Waking Up Braids Her Hair A Marriage in Three Quatrains Derek Otsuji 28 Wrappers Joddy Murray 29 J.E.A. Wallace 30 Grace the Gratefully Yours A Reconciliation Sara Montijo 32 Death Valley Interlude: The Panamist Range Jeffrey Alfier 33 Helen Wickes 46 Frost, then Ice A Strut to Set Jed Myers 47 Wooden Bridge Larissa Yuan 48 49 Morning Report Darcy Berenberg Futago Annie Mabus 57 Sense of Direction Helen Wickes 60 Last Reckoning Naomi Ruth Lowinsky 61 Vision Quest Jessica Levine 65 To Those Who Endure on Anaheim Avenue Jeffrey Alfier 70 Trees in Light Jay Carson 71 The Work of My Heart Laura Wendorff 72 Driving West after Sunset Helen Wickes 74 Into the Far Away Jessica Levine 75 Bon Voyeur Robert Lunday 99 ode to a southern father in italy Claudia Sbuttoni 109 Whale’s Eye Betsy Martin 110 The Ravine Leisha Douglas 111 The Weather Pig Robert J. Levy 112


Artwork

Grand Central Terminal Lyndsey Matthews Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Lyndsey Matthews Remember the nights Adrianne Batausa Newark, NJ Tracy A. Marciano Kayakers Samantha Hyatt 5316 Allison Lee Flom 3762 Allison Lee Flom Jazz city plays through Sarah Brady Videogames Kristen Reichert NYU Washington Square Robalū Gibsun Bugs on the March Laura Joan Levine Mackinac Island Water Tower Lyndsey Matthews of delicate lips Allison Somers BANG! A Personified Birth Kyle A. Dunn, Don Edler Sugar Grove Avigail Soloveichik Wood Stack Jon W. Henry Smaug Angela Rizza Balrog Angela Rizza The Sorcerer’s Stone Angela Rizza The Prisoner of Azkaban Angela Rizza Valley at the Foot of Mount Damavand Sanaz Mazinani Woman Reading on Bus Sanaz Mazinani Mahshid by the Caspian Sea Sanaz Mazinani Faith Sanaz Mazinani Persepolis Sanaz Mazinani Lake Michigan Lyndsey Matthews Follow me! Adrianne Batausa from Recently Robotic Odeh Amarin Manchester Eleanor Bennett Arrival of a Stranger Eleanor Bennett

25 38 38 39 40 41 41 42 43 44 45 45 81 82 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 91 92 92 93 98 98

Contributors’ Notes 114 Acknowledgments 122 Masthead 124


{ A note from the editor } The flint first sparked on a Thursday in Greenwich Village, out in the quiet-too-quiet that knocks at three in the morning. Conscious suddenly of the asphalt beneath my feet, of how little I knew about its name— the name of this lane, the street, the theater, the tavern, the garage, the square, the triangle, the publication for which I’m composing this note—I looked up at the street sign. “Hold up. What the fuck.. is a minetta?” My search for an answer began in our Publication Lab, where I hoped to unlock a passageway into some telling repository by shifting objects in various sequences. When I found out that, one building over, there really was such a thing—the University Archives—I dragged the previous editor Emily to the tenth floor of Bobst Library. A graduate student answered the doorbell and led us down a corridor lined with shelves of historical records. After submitting a request to access the Minetta Review archive, we found ourselves seated in a reading area among weathered statues, architectural models, and cabinets of artifacts. My focus came to a copper bust, whose verdigrised left eye consigned me to a stupor. All of eternity, contracted to an instant, elapsed before I broke the hold— maybe only a minute had elapsed, but I couldn’t be sure: the grandfather clock in the corner insisted that it was always 6:20. As I raised an eyebrow to a preserved cigarette-butt receptacle, the first of three archival cartons was presented to us, and our fingers flipped gently through every Minetta Review ever published. Within the inaugural 1974 issue, we stumbled upon our creation story and an answer to the question, “What the fuck is a minetta?” Now, if we were face-to-face, you might ask, “But, Josh. Don’t you suppose a Google search might have done the trick?” Um.

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Not since the 2009 Dinosaur edition had the Review given its readership a themed issue, but our prose editor Diana suggested that a theme should come of the rediscovery. And now, this assemblage of writing and artwork is sent forth under an ambitious banner: (re)awakening. This issue marks the spirit of exhuming the Minetta corpus and brings some New York City history back to life. You’ll find Greenwich Village archival pieces, an essay that recounts the awakening of sexual discourse, another that tackles the awakening of social media, a collection of illustrations that bring us to the moments before bedtime, and excerpts that herald the opening of our submissions inbox to playwrights. We didn’t require all contributors to submit according to the theme, but I’m sure that, with enough stretching, all the content exhibits a hint of the appropriate subtext. As are most other Minetta issues, what you hold in your hands is an intermingling of New York University students and those situated beyond the hipster bubble. It is a selection of both seasoned artists and tomorrow’s writers. I pray that somewhere in these pages lies enough verve to ignite within you a quiet brightness. In defiance of continual grogginess, here’s to breathing anew and—whether by emotional endurance, by setting your alarm, by hopping on one foot, or by the propulsion system of your superhero outfit—to facing all the gravity that Fortune puts before us. Regain consciousness, stretch a bit, and come out into the atmosphere.

Josh Borja Editor-in-Chief

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Things dissolve — oftentimes quite inelegantly. Never mind — time to rebuild. Perhaps it is good to start anew — I am not sure at what point the past stops guiding and begins defining something. Emily Ho Editor-in-Chief, 2011-2012


Too late to go back to sleep ‌ As someone told me lately: ev’ryone deserves the chance to fly! Elphaba Thropp

Pay no attention to the hydraulic launch system behind the frock.


Ghost River Will Hunt Not long ago, I read an article about archaeologists in Greenland who discovered that plants growing above an ancient Norse ruin possessed slightly different chemistry from plants growing nearby. I was taken with the idea that the energy of a forgotten structure, invisible and buried deep underground, may percolate upwards to leave subtle impressions on the surface. It was this that came to mind recently when I discovered Minetta Brook, a hidden stream that flows beneath the streets of Greenwich Village. I had learned of the stream from an 1865 map of Manhattan, drawn by an engineer named Egbert Ludovicus Viele, which showed marshlands, rivers, and streams crisscrossing the island beneath an overlay of the city’s grid. The map, which is still used today by engineers, showed Minetta Brook beginning as two branches, one originating from a spring at Fifth Avenue and Twentieth Street, the other from a marsh near Sixth Avenue and Seventeenth Street. They met near Twelfth Street, then flowed south down Fifth Avenue, through Washington Square Park, before emptying into the Hudson River at Charlton Street. According to the historian John Fiske, the brook, in the seventeenth century, had been a favorite fishing spot for the Lenape and the Dutch: “a clear swift brook abounding in trout.” By the early nineteenth century, it had disappeared from maps, buried beneath the streets, forgotten. Or perhaps not. There were stories floating around about basements of older buildings in the Village with grates in the floor, through which you could see the stream flowing. I wanted to listen to the stream, smell the water, dip my fingers in, maybe even take a small sip. Wouldn’t that be something. And so I decided to retrace the path of Minetta Brook, going door-to-door, asking everyone I met about the stream that flowed beneath their building. Iggy, the superintendent at 133 Fifth Avenue, knew all about the stream. “Yeah, yeah.” He was a gnomish man with a mildly harassed air. “It used to flood my elevator pits.” I stopped an elderly couple emerging from 10


their apartment building on Minetta Lane (named for the brook). They’d lived on the street for sixty-eight years. “It’s down there somewhere,” said the woman, with a shrug. In Minetta Tavern, I found a map painted on one wall titled, “Early Dutch Map of the Village showing the site of Minetta Brook, the Farms and Estates adjoining, & the Properties and Landmarks of our Times.” Outside an antique shop on Downing Street, a man with an aureole of white hair told me, “I’ve lived on top of the stream for seventy years.” I asked him about being able to see the stream in old basements. “People say that,” he said, “but I never saw it.” Nor had anyone else. I asked a middle-aged man with walrus-like whiskers who lived in a basement apartment on Minetta Street about his relationship to the stream. “It’s only a memory now,” he said. I spoke to James Mellett, who had searched for the stream twenty years before. He was a geologist. He had used ground-penetrating radar. In Washington Square Park, he set up a fiberglass box containing an antenna, which emitted radar waves down through the concrete, sand, and gravel. But there was too much interference. “I wish I could help you,” he told me, “but I never saw it.” Walking the stream’s path, I recalled an image I had seen once in a book about the rustic art of dowsing. A man with a steel-colored beard down to his solar plexus held the ends of a wishbone-shaped wooden rod. He walked through an empty field. He waited for the rod to tremble in his hand. An ineffable vibration from below, an invisible waterway. On West Houston, the stream ran beneath a psychic den called Mystic Visions. In the doorway, I found a sallow woman in a long dress, head wrap, and mascara—a gypsy, or playing the part. A somber-eyed toddler appeared at her side. When I asked her about the stream, she studied me silently. Finally, in an unplaceable accent: “I know nothing about your stream.” The banners in her windows read “Future,” “Present,” “Past.” On Eighteenth Street, it flowed beneath a Barnes and Noble. I spoke to the property manager on the phone, directed him to an Internet image of Viele’s map. When he saw that the stream flowed under his building, his voice came out breathless, “Oh my god. Oh my god.” He granted me permission to search the basement. I paced up and down, looking for a 11


crack in the concrete where the stream bubbled up from below, listening for an echo of running water. Randy, the store manager who had acted as my escort, watched, perplexed. Perhaps it was only my imagination that the air in the basement felt inordinately damp. The stream was at its widest on Twelfth Street, where the two tributaries converged. I had read that sinkholes sometimes formed in this street. The stream sidled up alongside a nineteenth-century brick townhouse, which jutted into the sidewalk at an odd angle to accommodate the waterway. No one answered when I rang the bell. The plants growing out of the cracks in the basement stairwell appeared particularly lush. A curtain flickered in the front window; I glimpsed the face of an old woman. On Downing Street, the stream flowed beneath a nursing home. Through the window, I watched ancient men whispering back and forth across the lobby. I entered 33 Washington Square Park West, an NYU dorm which had once been an apartment building. On the ground floor, the potbellied security guard escorted me to a small room crowded with rolled-up rugs and black plastic trash bins on wheels. Against the back wall was a bronze sculpture, a cupid with lips pursed. It was a fountain, which had once bubbled with the water of Minetta Brook. According to a 1923 Times article, the fountain’s installation had occasioned a ceremony. “Sharply at 2:30 P.M., a signal was given, a faucet in the basement was turned and the basin of the fountain began to fill.” A writer called Arthur Guiterman commemorated the brook’s resurfacing with a poem. Via radio, the ceremony was “broadcast throughout the country.” Now the fountain’s basin was bone-dry, and had been for decades, the security guard told me. I next stepped into 2 Fifth Avenue, an enormous white apartment building. The doorman, an Eastern European man called Peter, showed me a white stone pedestal in the corner of the lobby. On top of the pedestal was a glass tube, four feet tall, that looked like it might have been clear at one point, but was now jaundiced. It was another forgotten fountain, another vestige of the stream. Peter, who had worked in the building for twenty-five years, couldn’t remember the last time he had seen water in it. Next to the entrance was a brass plaque with an engraving. 12


A brook winds its erratic way beneath this site The Indians called it Manette or Devil’s Water To the Dutch settlers it was Bestevaer’s Killetje or Grandfather’s Little Creek For the past two centuries familiar to this neighborhood as Minetta Brook

I couldn’t help but feel that it read like an epitaph. “Visitors come to the fountain,” Peter told me. “On walking tours.” I imagined them gathering, pilgrims paying alms, a tour guide eulogizing. Walking towards Washington Square Park, I phoned a man I had been referred to named Arthur. He lived at 24 Fifth Avenue, an ornate structure built directly on top of the stream. Arthur had been a tour guide in the Village, knew the neighborhood intimately. He wouldn’t meet me, preferred to speak on the phone. Just in the middle of talking about the stream, he broke off. “You know, on my tours I used to sing,” he said. “At the appropriate moments, I would burst into song.” His voice flattened. “But then I had a stroke. And now I don’t sing at all.” Continuing towards the park after hanging up with Arthur, I recalled an article I had read about the brook from 1883. It was in the Times, a description of Viele’s presentation to the New York City Sanitary Association regarding the path of Minetta Brook. The article was for the most part a starchy recitation of facts. Towards the end, a character appeared with an almost Homeric quiver. “An old gentleman present, whose name is forgotten, arose, and in a trembling voice said: ‘I have practiced medicine for fifty years in the vicinity of Minetta Brook, and I can trace the course of the stream by my practice in intermittent fevers.’” It was dusk in Washington Square Park. I sat on a bench, my search having come to an end. The stream could not be seen or heard, but could everywhere be felt. The sky above the park was leaden. During the Civil War, when soldiers dragged artillery through here, they turned up burial shrouds. The park had been a potter’s field, a graveyard for the city’s destitute and unknown. The anonymous corpses underfoot, the phosphate lime of their bones, seeped into the invisible stream.

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Deductive Pill of Seclusion

Joseph Richie

Feet draw neither conclusion when they are distracted. Below the snowbound shingles, his hair is wedded to the stench of slumber. Calling out to seagulls, cutting through to the feigned absence of wharves: exhaust or champagne. People loved it immediately. To deliver the flounder, to smell among ashes the cowering syntax! I bite it. A red-letter day, there is nothing to fix. If the potholes dreamt of that “I am someone” of memory how recklessly they demanded a fiction: like my skin the painted iron façades said “I have a splinter” that will never leave me. There is nothing to fix, last steps crumbling from memory like voicing a shadow, its copy spread out from the alleys half left me alone, a momentary fiction crossing the night: that “I have a splinter” that I will never have.

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3rd Street Annie Mabus No one speaks my language on the block The psychic next door has her son clean the crystal ball when he returns from school. If I had any Spanish I would ask him how the future changes in the shades between grimy and bright The men across the street seem to have lost all worry of time rolling thick cigarettes, losing tobacco with every gesture. No sound of the city disturbs their static council, only when the night grows empty do they follow silently indoors

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End of the Line Meredith Davies Hadaway The apparition of these faces in the crowd; petals on a wet, black bough. —Ezra Pound The dead still ride the subway. They orbit—like the guy in the song who is stuck beneath Boston—on the Apparition Express. Don’t say I never take you anywhere, the late husband of Mrs. Died-Last-Week tells his reunited bride. Yes, these are the lost we long for. Children press their faces to the tinted glass of the windows. Others fidget in the hard, black seats. Everyone waiting for the stop that never comes. It’s a restive crowd— You mean restless, says my eighth grade English teacher, petals drooping on her primrose hat. She’s moved on— I should have guessed. What I wouldn’t give for a chance to breathe again her talcum and press the wet, rouged cheek. But already she’s buttoned her long black coat and left me behind to puzzle—branch, limb, or bough?

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The Emperor’s New Clothes Carl Auerbach I can’t forget what I saw at that parade. He was right in front of me: bulging eyes, flabby arms, huge potbelly, dick drooping down between two hairy sacks, strutting up the boulevard proud as proud could be. His centurions followed close behind, mounted, spears erect and at the ready. So when the crowds, who never looked directly at his crotch—who would have thought to see a thing so small on such a tall ungainly man— oohed and ahhed and shouted out his name, I told myself, You’re too old for futile gestures and did what anyone with any sense would do: I cheered as loudly as the rest. Then a little girl with a blue balloon blurted out the obvious to the horror of her mother and her father, who watched two centurions descend from their horses, tie her legs together and her hands behind her back, throw her in a chariot, and cart her away. Last night I dreamed about that little girl, and woke up to the sound of my own screams. You held your tongue, no shame in that, I told myself. Go back to sleep. You’re not a child. You’re a grown man. You did what you had to do

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The Corner Seat Megan Laubershimer time began in a garden. and the windchimes twinkled through the night. worn gloves. burnt candles. the buzz on a humid, hurried day. time began. time ends. hidden behind a fence. a secret place. frozen in a space, confining life to nothing more than a few steps of hushed serenity. he sits with his back against the wall, tapping the bell with a crooked finger on a wrinkled hand. watching. waiting. seconds tick by. he is the master. he is the creator. staring into what could be peace, he knows too well such a concept ceases to exist outside the heart. broken jars. broken pieces. he taps the bell once for yes, twice for no. muttering the silence we long to hear. senses dulled by a lack of green, he goes unseen. under the canopy of heart-shaped leaves and wooden towers. shielded, but not hidden, he is patient. he does not search, but is found. found within the garden beneath the skyscrapers longing to reach among the far off clouds. some call him light, though he sits among the shadows. others call him savior though he has saved no one. ashes to ashes. dust to dust. he does not stop time. perhaps he is time, the formidble foe that stands before all that live, tapping answers in the wind. good. bad. terms are relative. existence is given. hope is not. in a garden of time, does anything else exist? ivy grows up rusted links. flowers wilt in summer heat. life begins here, and it ends here. the old man remains. tapping the chime in the wind. 18


Sweet Tally Brennan No stamp. No return address. Nothing but his block-printed name. Still, Pauli knew where it came from, the lumpy manilla envelope jammed through the mail slot. He kicked it through his open apartment doorway and collected the legitimate mail. Two bills. An oil change coupon from the Buick dealership that somehow tracked him here, even though she kept the car. And the house. His life insurance. Half his social security, if he ever retired. She got it all without a fight, but Lucia, never satisfied by an easy win, couldn’t leave him alone. Determined to ignore the bulging envelope, Pauli could think of nothing else. Within minutes he was holding it over the kitchen sink, ripping it open. Out poured a shit-load of penny candy. Turkish Toffee. Sugar Daddy. Fireballs. Tootsie Rolls. Mary Janes in the same yellow wrapper with the red band. Trick or treat. That’s how shameless she was. Even as a little kid she stalked him, following him to the corner store when his mother sent him with money for milk or bread, and a dime for himself. A dime’s worth from DiBlasio’s candy jars was enough to make six kids puke, but Lucia’s hunger was bottomless. Where did she find this crap when there ain’t no more corner stores? Wax lips, liquorice mustaches, Dracula fangs. These little bottles? You drained the colored syrup and chewed the wax. Back then, there wasn’t no individual cellophane wrapping. DiBlasio scooped it naked into one tiny, tooth-edged paper bag. In the daytime, he took kids’ dough, old Dominic DiBlasio, but at night, when they hung on his steps, he called the cops. In their teens, they were there every evening, Pauli, Stub, Frankie, and Carlo, experimenting with harmonies, grinding out the dance steps Lucia showed them. Until the red car came squealing around the corner to chase them laughing down the street. Cop cars were red back then. They got pretty damn good, him, Stub, Frankie, and Carlo, covering the Platters, the Coasters, the Drifters, working fund-raisers for anyone with a 19


mic. That last summer, down the Shore, they won every talent night they entered. If they stayed together, they could have been famous. They could have been Dion and the Belmonts. Why must I be-e a teenager in love? Except for Lucia, the slut, the skag. And Stub who never could keep it in his pants. Pauli was so ripped when he found out, he went down to the recruiting center and enlisted. Selected for Special Forces, trained in counterinsurgency, flown to Danang, he was assigned to graves registration. Eight months he unloaded trucks, ambulances, helicopters. Charted teeth. Took fingerprints. If there were fingers. Footprints if there weren’t. Shipped guys home in metal boxes. The only reason he didn’t come back in a box himself was the envelope she sent. He ripped it open and out fell a snapshot: the red car rounding the corner of DiBlasio’s store. She plugged him back into his own sweet life. The stuff was disgusting, really. Fizzy powder you poured into your hand and licked. Paper strips with candy dots in poisonous yellow and blue. Still, he had to taste it. As she knew he would. From the beginning, she cheated and she let him know. The night of her serenade, with the whole neighborhood out on the sidewalk, her house decked in crepe paper bows, Stub, Frankie, and Carlo over from Jersey to sing backup, she flirted the whole time with Giovanni Scortese. The night before their wedding. She spun him around like a fool. And he married her anyway. Pauli shook one candy cigarette out of the box with the red circle. Lucky Strike. It looked the same as always, with the stupid pink tip you were supposed to pretend was burning. Tasted the same. Like chalk. She couldn’t even leave him alone at work. Like last week, when she showed up at the shop, waylaid him coming out of the cutting room in his sweatshirt and blood-stained white coat, a tray of ground sirloin floating above his head, just to show him what she found cleaning out his stuff — his prayer book from First Communion. Padded plastic cover. Pages edged in gold. Lurid pictures of martyrs and saints. Tucked inside, a snapshot of Pauli in his grandmother’s walled garden, a soft-looking, liquid-eyed boy in a white suit. 20


In religion class, Lucia insisted on sitting beside him. She barely waited for the nun to turn to the blackboard before pulling up her plaid uniform skirt. Now you have to show me yours. She dared him. He did it. Eleven years old. With a boner. Fuck the prayer book. He backed into the chilled cutting room where she couldn’t follow. Where he had control of the saws and grinders, the cleavers and knives, and a carcass had the decency to hang still on its hook. What Lucia loved was power. Fact is, she had it. Nobody else ever lit him up the same way, shocked him alive with a jolt he wasn’t sure he would survive. When he came out of the cutting room, she was gone. Pauli was too smart to bite on the fake liquorice whips. Chocolate babies tasted like wax. Chicklets resembled the flawless front teeth of black infantrymen who did more than their share of the dying. He picked out the candy hearts, lined them up on the counter. Fat-fingered, he turned each one face up to read the message. Yellow: True Love. Purple: Kiss Me. Pink: Be Mine. These caramel cremes were her favorites. Absently, Pauli tugged the twisted ends of the cellophane, watched it spin open. His nails picked at its edges. His mouth flooded in response to the rich, brown, buttery smoothness, the melting sweetness. Be mine. Careless of his dental work, he bit down. Gagged. He’d forgotten how bad the grainy white paste in the center was. That gritty texture spoiled everything. He spat it out in his hand.

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A casa (Homebound) Eleonora Beddini Mama’s gan: Eleonora Beddini, Laura Montanari performed on the album Watcher’s Songs translated by Laura Montanari

Traffico Code interminabili di luci Vedo me Distolta tra le gocce in vetrofania Incerti Profili Cadono S’accendono pensieri tra i bagliori dei semafori Ecco il tempo dell’inganno, del ricordo Fragili Figure labili si muovono Traffico Foschie adagiate a questo vetro freddo Vedo me Nel gesto quotidiano del ritorno Colori Lividi Cadono S’accendono pensieri tra i bagliori dei semafori Ecco il tempo dell’inganno, del ricordo Fragili Figure labili si muovono Vortici che riconosco Foglie rubate dal vento

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Traffic Endless lines of lights I can see myself Distracted among the raindrops on the car window Blurred profiles, they fall My thoughts turn on among the traffic lights’ glare Here is the time of deception and memories Fragile, transient figures, they move Traffic Haze laid down on this cold window I can see myself In the daily gesture of going back Livid colors, they fall My thoughts turn on among the traffic lights’ glare Here is the time of deception and memories Fragile, transient figures, they move Familiar whirlwinds Leaves, stolen by the wind

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Prompt: Design three characters, each with a peculiar profession. Brainstorm about what each of them wants, long-term or short-term, and how these wants conflict or cohere.

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Grand Central Terminal Lyndsey Matthews

Onion Field Avigail Soloveichik Grandmother spoke today. She wrapped her silken robe around her sheltered self as though in freedom, an eagle’s arms enfolding himself. Tighter and tighter she turned, wringing herself dry of a past slowly slipping away, sliding stickily reluctantly down our throats. I tasted it before it went, like cold ice cream in winter; it froze the water to my lashes. They hang like icicles somewhere in beautiful Minnesota, or maybe like stalagmites turned topsy-turvy.

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When Dutch colonists settled in Manhattan in the 1620s, they learned from local Native Americans about a small brook that was full of trout. It originated near what is now Gramercy Park, burbled its way over and beneath Greenwich Village, and emptied into the Hudson at what is now West Houston Street. Local Native Americans called the stream “Mannette,” which was translated as “Devil’s Water.” Over the years, this name was spelled and respelled and spelled again in a variety of configurations: Minnetta, Menitti, Manetta, Minetta, Mannette, and Minetto. The Dutch called the water Mintje Kill, meaning small stream. In Dutch, “min” translates as little, “tje” is a diminuitive, and “kill” translates as stream. The water was also known as Bestavers Killitie, Bestevaas Kelletye, Bestavens Killitie, Bestavers Killatie, and Bestaver’s Killetje. Several families of freed slaves, released by the Dutch, established farms and homes along the Minetta Brook as early as the 1640s. With African Americans continuing to settle here in the 18th and 19th centuries, the area became known as “Little Africa.” Most of the brook has been covered over, though some Village residents claim that it flows beneath their basements and sometimes causes flooding. In the lobby of the apartment building at 2 Fifth Avenue, there is a transparent tube that is said to contain murky water spouting up from Minetta Brook. The brook’s most recent claim to fame is providing the namesake for the Minetta Tavern, one of the original watering holes of the Beat generation. Excerpt from the Parks’ Library Historical Sign for Minetta Triangle, at the northeast corner of Minetta Street and Avenue of the Americas. Courtesy of the NYC Department of Parks.

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The Heart Waking Up Braids Her Hair Helen Wickes But I digress, which is where I found you In a glass house gathering no moss With the scent of lemons, sound of two flutes Remotely controlled and fully erasable A glass house which gathers no moss Please sit still and I’ll tell you It’s remotely controlled, fully erasable The language taking aim at the soundless Sit still, I’m telling you the story A repertoire of sound spilled at your feet Language taking aim at the soundless It doesn’t matter if you packed the right clothes A repertoire of tricks poured over your feet Phobia supplants epiphany, then wants a kiss It doesn’t matter if you lack the right clothes Astound me with your voice, all suede, ice cube, Phobia supplanting epiphany, wanting that kiss A field we hoped would contain us Surround me with your voice: violets, ice cubes Mad for the blue and you as you are meant to be In the field we were sure would contain us Until the bright comes forward, shows its face Mad for the blue of what’s enough, what’s next Again the question, as you are meant to believe Until the bright comes toward you, shows its face Shows the scent of lemons, sound of two flutes Shows the question, what’s enough, what’s next But I digress, which is where I found you.

__________ Published previously in Corium Magazine. 27


A Marriage in Three Quatrains

Derek Otsuji

He came from the south country, famous for its island with one blooming volcano, Saint Xavier and the last samurai, the giant white radish and sweet potato, which was the staple food instead of rice. So once when she, born in “Rice Country,” thought to please her husband with a steaming plateful of the sweet tuberous roots she had bought that day at market, without looking up, he waved the plate away, said to his wife, “Woman, you can keep your sweet potatoes. I’ve had enough sweet potato for life.”

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Wrappers Joddy Murray In body, in speaking to body with body, in fire muddled in sheaths, myelin jumper cables, the orchestra of swallow and speech music— in punctuation, crisped fractals repeating the mother, repeating a lover’s holiday nap. Ocean, do not get too excited. Do not hold your body too tightly. Guard your salty skin— see that it is not all yours.

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Grace the Gratefully Yours J.E.A. Wallace (or ‘How to Work a Roomful of Refugee Clowns’) The piano player’s new and having trouble Keeping the crowd in order (A bunch of East German circus clowns Making for the border) It’s about that time of night When they wonder what they’ve done They sob and honk their noses And their heavy make-up runs ‘For Christ’s sake Have another drink The Stasi won’t find you here All of us Have to wait with you For your escape balloon to appear’ ‘Now may I introduce on stage – “Grace the Gratefully Yours” The girl with the voice Borrowed from another world’s seashores.’ And into the squirting flowers Steps a girl, and when she sings She gently peels the sellotape Off everybody’s heartstrings

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It’s so quiet Underneath her Ribs won’t rise or fall Breath frozen Like the tears Into tiny little snowballs When the last note fades she takes a bow and says: ‘I believe your balloon’s arrived, You’d better hurry if you want to get away. I’m so glad you survived.’ ‘Safe journey clowns, Safe journey’

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A Reconciliation Sara Montijo i’ve discovered your bindings somewhere between mexico and your last name sultry sinaloa milk snakes mimic the venomous Montijo is sometimes spelled with a g -go- those sounds off a latin@ tongue are itchy are not in sinaloa mexico will never let you loose not after you’ve been ashamed or picked cotton and driven trucks for a living not after you’ve killed yourself even then you’ll dream only in spanish and none of your children will hear you we can’t understand and 12 years later mom will still call at 4am blaming herself as though she pushed you off that mountain as though love was the solution and not the cause what you’d call la familia i’d call once broken and fused by mayan magic, our links to the past and present quest: how to remember your hands and reconcile your loyalties somewhere between mexico and our last name 32


Death Valley Interlude: The Panamist Range Jeffrey Alfier Into bonedust air, bright as spun glass, I began my climb beyond Badwater Spring, my relief map a broken web of elevations. Nonhuman tracks over dunes of Mesquite Flat could warn wanderers even ghosts die of thirst. The cab of a ’61 Dodge is a carapace of rust shipwrecked in the sun. Desert holly walks its silver shards of leaves up a dark lava slope. Wind that slips crossbeams of shuttered gypsum mines tastes of ancient salt and rainspouts. Sun drops behind my last switchback of the day. Constellations transpire one star at a time, as if surfacing from the sea. In a cold wind my campfire glows against the foraged carrion in the teeth of a kit fox. Its eyes follow my hands into the light.

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from Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York Egbert L. Viele Prepared for the Council of Hygiene and Public Health of the Citizens Association. Under the direction of Egbert L. Viele, Topographical Engineer. Date Publisher Reference Collection

1865 New York: Ferd. Mayer & Co. Lithographers Haskell 1132; Stokes vol 3, p.777-778. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

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from Ward 15 & part of Ward 9, New York City G.W. Bromley & Co., civil engineers Hand-colored lithographed map from Atlas of the entire city of New York, complete in one volume. Maps in the atlas show buildings, fire hydrants, steam and street railways, original water courses, original farm lines, ward boundaries, water mains, block dimensions, etc. From actual surveys and official records by G.W. Bromley & Co., civil engineers. Engraved by A.H. Mueller, Walnut St., Philadelphia. Printed by F. Bourquin, S. Sixth St., Philadelphia. Date Publisher Reference Collection

1879 G.W Bromley & E. Robinson P15989; Haskell 1316; Nestler p106. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

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Road Trip: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Lyndsey Matthews Remember the nights Adrianne Batausa


Newark, NJ. Tracy A. Marciano August 2012


Kayakers Samantha Hyatt


Allison Lee Flom


Jazz city plays through Sarah Brady Digital illustration


Videogames Kristen Reichert

Paint on canvas, 30x40 in., 2012


Bugs on the March Laura Joan Levine

Watercolor and gouache on paper, 22x30 in.

Road Trip: Mackinac Island Water Tower Lyndsey Matthews


Frost, then Ice Helen Wickes The coyotes’ dawn sound— ice fragments chipping the air. Sprinkle of stars, white on the mountains. Rain stings the tin roof at night. Lightning glaring into this window, into the next. All day the wind roars in from Chama. The big-bodied crows flail and take to their fence posts, the vast meadows shove the mountains back. In this one acre there’s a still place, where you can’t hear trucks grind uphill toward Colorado, or that distressed, bawling sound of cattle, as if they knew their fate; but you can hear small things: water in the creek, the wings of a raptor who scours the ground. He tilts, I should know his name, my mind’s vague. In the Cebolla graveyard five iron bedsteads guard the few graves. Here lies, rest in peace, cribs for the babies. When the Spanish came, this valley smelled of wild onions. Today it smells of snow. My bird’s a marsh hawk, he owns this meadow, a diurnal flesh eater, the books say, takes prey live. Behind me the empty hammock lashed from elm to porch, thrashes in the wind, colors bled, strings sprung, a sad thing. Someone should climb in, anchor it down. Today the whole world is thin ice and we’re skating, giddy with speed, swerving the rough places, always about to turn for home, which is farther than we thought. __________ 46

Published previously in Splash of Red.


A Strut to Set Jed Myers The story had a twisted power, Adam’s rib the source of Eve. My mother, sitting on my bed before our goodnight kiss, read to me the ancient stories she herself did not believe. I knew— she sighed and looked away between the lies— it seemed she trusted no man’s love, no loft inside where she was crushed, her father lost to dust before she’d grown. So I dreamed a rib out of my chest, a strut to set behind her breast against the threat of breath’s collapse. I’d heard those gasps and sobs, and seen her taken, once, on someone’s arm, to that place they’d called the hospital, and I’d inhaled some sense of death. I wondered, without thought, would my small slat of bone preserve the life my life depended on? It was such magic, not God alone, that gathered up the dust to make a wife for Adam. That stick beneath my skin, along the edge of abdomen— could it keep her crumpled soul propped open? I snapped it loose somehow, inserted it— we lived! But at the site of my extraction, even now, a reef of wound weeps violet blooms of doubt on every woman’s skin, stain that can’t be taken out once in, the seepage of my own love’s disbelief.

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Wooden Bridge Larissa Yuan A narrow bridge hangs over the shallow pond of emerald green and extends to no where. The skyline blurs. And yet we are under that blue carpet scattered with sparkling stars. Ceramic cups filled with smooth milk tea. We raise our cups and I begin to think about giraffes. Slim, yet gluttonous giraffes. They immerse their heads in thick leaves, no need to stand on tiptopes. Rosy petals drifting down down, flipping onto the bridge and falling on my face. Bridge, wooden bridge without a guard rail. Vulnerable and innocent. Cups, ceramic cups. Brittle and indelibly white. But petals, petals, crispy petals, who on earth brings you into my dream and finds me under that magic carpet? Oh we. White hair and delicate figures. Fishtail lines and wrinkled skin. But we are laughing and giggling, raising our cups. Once there was a bridge. I walked onto it and couldn’t see the end.

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Morning Report Darcy Berenberg This morning it was hot – sweat poured through linen. Wind was a shower and thundering legs’ rhythm was coffee to some. A signpost bore a decal that read Having trouble giving a fuck? and evidence revealed that most people were. Some of the linen was Italian. Some wasn’t linen at all. A man walked with an armful of shovels caked in dirt and gave some hope that real Earth still existed. Some thought dreamily of digging red potatoes on a farm upstate. Clean men discussed a “quick and dirty fix” and it was determined that they were blemishes – no cruelties may be spilt at this hour. A small dog lay down on the sidewalk, prone with a frown. He was quoted saying, That’s quite enough. It is warm here in the sun and I will not go on. I am planted stable under its hum. His owner declined to comment.

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What follows is an excerpt from John Maynard’s essay, “Sexuality and Love,”

which was published in Blackwell’s A Companion to Victorian Poetry. The Victorian period had been the battlefield for most of our later theories of sexuality. We all know, or think we know, what sex is: that so varied but unmistakable pleasure that may issue in a thrill, a spasm, that experience most like a fit which is nonetheless gratifying. Kinsey taught us long ago to be a bit more matter-of-fact about this mystery of the body, to count connections and orgasms—with ourselves, with other individuals of our sex, of the other sex, both serially, of our age, older, younger, much younger; with groups of people, with puppets or machines, with preferred objects, with members of other species, with deities or Deity. Love we may think of as different, a broader business connecting us with all of the above but in ways more engaging of diverse emotions. Sex may seem to be sex—just sex; love a lot of things, romantic, familial, in friendship, in worship. Yet a pressure felt throughout the last century, perhaps most easily attributed to Sigmund Freud yet widely diffused, says the two are not so easily distinguished. The pressure is not mainly the old cynical one, wanting to say that love is just an unclear sublimation of clearer, simpler drives. It is rather the opposite, that sex, now often renamed pleonastically sexuality, is a lot more than getting it off, a momentary 50


jerking in clitoris, penis, male or female g-spot, breasts, anus, underarm or anywhere: the body being pleasured becomes itself diverse, diffuse, a concept of “human sexuality” more than a spot or a place. Love is something we talk of endlessly, from Sappho’s for Dorica, Atthis, Andromeda, or Rhodope, to Dido’s for Aeneas, to Abelard’s for Heloise (and hers for him), to Essex’s for Elizabeth (Regina) or Elizabeth (Barrett’s) for Robert; they wrote or were written about. But sex as sexuality becomes equally a textual matter: we all talk and write about it, without any hope for a term, perhaps rather with joy in its very interminability. So if Freud has taught us about the possible bodiliness of love, the desires vaguely conscious or not acknowledged—for neighbor’s wife, for brother or sister, for Jesus or the Buddha, it has been Michel Foucault, French psychologist, historian, and theorist, who showed us how we have sublimed sex into text and endless discourse of sexuality. His view, which is where we perhaps need to start in looking at Victorian sexuality, is indeed that the discussion really gets going in the nineteenth century. If everyone wasn’t doing it at least everyone was talking about doing it; and if they talked about not doing it, they were still talking about it. Foucault only lived to outline this view in an Introduction to a history of sexuality through the ages. But his approach, in which even obsessions with controlling or repressing sex are seen as contributing to a snow-balling discourse on sexuality, has been exceptionally influential on those who seek to describe the nature of Victorian sexuality. Two more points should be made: that his splendid awareness of the degree to which those Victorians—said to have only been laid still to think of England, said to have covered their exposed piano legs—were all the time converting more and more of experience into sexual discourse, should not encourage us to create a utopia of mere bodies merely acting pleasure before the Victorian age. His substantial, if finally tragically fragmentary history, tells us each age had its ways of connecting sex with its values and major concerns—Greek pederasty with ideas of politics and education, and self-making, Christian celibates with bodily freedom and weightlessness. More broadly, each culture uses sex as part of its efforts to build a discourse of humanness over the bodily tedium and emptiness of its world: a world of mackerel-crowded seas and dying generations. The other thing that needs to be said is that Foucault’s influential overview of a proliferating discourse of sexuality does not actually cancel 51


what he calls the repressive hypothesis, the view that the nineteenth century was a period of unnatural stifling of sexual desire and expression; it merely puts it in a broader frame. That is, if acts of repression themselves were, as Foucault convincingly argues, contributions to that discourse that found and made sex ubiquitous, that discourse often remains nonetheless repressive. We need to be able to distinguish both the general situation of increasing sexual discourse and the binaries of repression/release opening within discourses and practices. For sexuality presents itself (to us, at the end of such a long process of discourse construction) as a virtually endless creation of binaries: the discourse proceeds by working into new material with binaries: madonna/whore, homosexual/heterosexual, libertine/pure, procreation/recreation, safe sex/ unsafe sex: the formulation always threatening to weight some positions up in the balance and drop the others down. And most of our quarrels, really significant quarrels that cannot be washed away by imposing Foucault’s big picture, have been on the morals and politics of such oppositional binaries: are heterosexuals normal, gays unnatural? is right to life the right right or is that woman’s right to choose? is sex alright or safe enough for those over eighteen but not for those under that age—and on and on in the great number of issues most of us take very seriously, pace Foucault. One major way of taxonomizing such binaries is the repressive hypothesis: that since the Victorians expanded thinking massively into sexuality there has been a larger quarrel between those who would control and limit theirs and others’ expressions of sex—whether in bed or in print—and those who would allow them. In this perspective there are still major issues of repression, or control, and liberation, or freedom working themselves out in the Victorian period thereafter. If we see an ever broadening production of sexuality throughout both centuries, from Victorian Dr. Acton to Doctors Masters and Johnson, from Victorian gentlemen’s guides to London by night to Hustler magazine, we can also see some major arcs in the battle of control and release: a new concern with respectability developing with the Victorian era and perhaps cresting in the 1880s and 1890s, and a broad letting go, but with many exceptions and counter currents from the period around World War I to the present. Following this arc of repression-liberation is of course an arc of individual psychology. Despite the implications of some recent historians of culture, 52


we can’t read the individual as a motiveless cog in a machine of culture. Individual psychologies, starting with relations to parents and childhood experience of love or hate, sex or abuse, and continuing in adult experiences of love and bodily intimacy, develop the sexual proclivities of the grown individual; these not only are named and mediated by the sexual possibilities articulated in the culture but in turn shape or warp the cultural pattern; social forms and discussions are absorbed or repelled in intimate experience of sex and love; a feedback in and out of culture on the one hand, and psychic and physical life on the other, makes extremely complex any attempt to connect the individual to the social structure. If we try to imagine a model for their interaction over time we can believe they do connect, so that Freud and Foucault offer not opposing views but perspectives from different points. At any given time the individual’s loving and sexual style and possibilities are determined by repressions and controls ultimately connected to the values of the outside society by the internalized superego (so Freud). Yet culture has a life of its own and can develop a fuller sexual world even as it seems to be repressing individuals (so Foucault). Oscar Wilde’s trial, for instance, culminates, in society's violence against his vulnerable psyche and body, focus of his society wanting to suppress expressions of same-sex desire. Yet the trial also brings the existence of homosexuality out of Wilde’s and the culture’s closet decisively. A changed culture will then open possibilities to individuals of the next generation (as well as possible new limitations—for instance more repression of same-sex unsexualized love or companionship). The point for the Victorians is that society doubtless was moving to ever greater sexual discussion but that doesn’t overturn traditional awareness of Victorian sexual life as often a location of great anxiety, conflict, conscious suppression, or unconscious repression. ... We approach the Victorians, especially in the period before 1880, as we would people who spoke our language but had somehow lost a certain section of their brain hard disks dealing with sex. They seem not to speak our language about such everyday matters—to us—as homosexuality, masturbation, or adultery. Partly this is a matter of changing vocabulary, masturbation more often known as the Biblically resonant Onanism, adultery as the more poignant euphemism, criminal conversation. But we 53


are also in a time before the spread of sexual discourse had isolated quite a few of what we think of as usual sexual experiences for especial remark, given them a social place and a set of characteristics. Not only was homosexuality a love that dared not speak its name but it was unformed and fluid as a concept. We look at a time, as Tom Stoppard has suggested in dramatizing the agony of what we call the gay scholar/poet A. E. Housman, before the invention of love. Two points are worth observing. First is that, though there seems to be an early development of many of our own conceptions on or about 1870, there remains, in the Foucauldian paradigm, a continual proliferation and endlessly restless redevelopment of sexual categories and discussions, as most obviously in queer theory and behavior in the twenty-first century. More important for our purposes, the extreme lack of definition left Victorian lovers, or writers about love, a great deal of blank space on which to innovate their particular desires; and, lacking an entire vocabulary until its development late in the century, individual formations or constructions often reconfigure older ideas and vocabulary in strange ways—“dearer than my brothers are to me” says Tennyson about his beloved Arthur Hallam—or invent new terms that, failing to have caught on, strike us as uncouth: Uranians as a third sex devoted to high level friendship (both a new term and a reconfigured idea from a vaguely religious tradition of a holy order). In reading Victorian sexuality in poetry we read not so much to crack an alien code that speaks of our own experience in hidden language as to open ourselves to explorations, conceptions, and language that, developed out of this fluidity and inchoateness, may not fit any of ours precisely. So in a museum of early electrical gadgets we may find items whose use and force we can barely imagine. Foucault sometimes seems to scorn the development of the great mass of sexual thinking that he chronicles. We who hear the individual out of history as we read poetry of an earlier period may, rather, revel in the diverse ways in which so central and powerful a human experience gets wonderfully elaborated and diversely articulated.

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Prompt: Select a protagonist from a fiction piece, and select a contemporary political figure. In the style of fanfiction, write them as love interests; keep the smut to a minimum.


When you’ve finished, ask yourself: Would Barack Obama ship them?


Futago Annie Mabus Grace pressed paused and asked Is this who we are now? I handed her the wine and told her not to think so much. I gave Matt keys without asking her. For a while he would knock when he thought she was home. I shared our world. Grace asked Matt to smoke with her outside, they laughed I watched. We lie in my bed and listen to the city stretch us. Grace’s mother has no English but she taught me through motions how to roll rice and seaweed. Mother and daughter cranes, I am a hungry buzzard.

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A Brook in the City Robert Frost The farm house lingers, though averse to square With the new city street it has to wear A number in. But what about the brook That held the house as in an elbow-crook? I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength And impulse, having dipped a finger-length And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed A flower to try its currents where they crossed. The meadow grass could be cemented down From growing under pavements of a town; The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame. Is water wood to serve a brook the same? How else dispose of an immortal force No longer needed? Staunch it at its source With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone In fetid darkness still to live and run— And all for nothing it had ever done Except forget to go in fear perhaps. No one would know except for ancient maps That such a brook ran water. But I wonder If, from its being kept forever under, These thoughts may not have risen that so keep This new-built city from both work and sleep.

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New York Times, 1901


Sense of Direction

Helen Wickes

From the ridge the lake’s a granite lip, tongue of water, nearly a mirage. Farthest north, a compass needle would careen in confused circles. In the forest the ground smells of drying out, dampness rising collides with the heat, yields. Nothing’s bloomed except in possibility, closed flowers, before color, before form: owl clover, blue larkspur, penstemon, the ferns are curled monkey paws. What Delacroix meant when he said, One never paints violently enough. The day, the year half over, I want a prize, a squirrel jawbone, snakeskin, or oriole feather. Something to ease the descent. Here are puffball mushrooms, white spheres, patterned brains of creatures spawned underground, released too soon, waiting for their bodies to grow, afterlife in reverse.

__________ Published previously in Splash of Red. 60


Last Reckoning Naomi Ruth Lowinsky In the time of apricots, the moon—which was never your thing—grows huge, in folding you in white light. I’ve come to visit your final bed, in Rm. 618, with its long view of the Berkeley hills, the Campanile. You the first to touch me—in the dark Chevy in the eucalyptus grove—tell me your body’s last reckoning. Even now you are so rational—test results, blood numbers. You shrug. If it would make any difference, you’d let them fill you up with toxic chemicals, again. There’s no way out you say, but out. Your matter-of-fact surrender touches me. Your crucible of white light dazzles me. Our daughters touch your face look into your eyes. Our son holds on to your hand. How many seasons of apricots since I slipped out of your bed? You never could reckon why. The moon which swallows mountains, decades, the Ganges—where once we stood with our children watching corpses burn—shines on our son, age 6 who announced: “When you die it’s I who’ll light your funeral pyre.” I see you sliding into white water. Your angel—did you know you have one?—is beckoning There’s no more reckoning between us

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Non-Sequiturs, Advice, Things

Michael Way

My father called and said he was in the neighborhood with a few hours to kill before meeting his lawyer. I didn’t have class or work and I hadn’t seen him since I drove him home from my grandmother’s funeral last year. I put on shoes, combed my hair with my fingers and went down to meet him. He was leaning against his old ’96 Saab, wearing a denim buttonup shirt tucked into black jeans without a belt. His gut rested atop his waistline and his cigarette between his lips. We hugged. I caught a whiff of his special blend, Marlboro Lights and aftershave. He said, “Let’s walk. Then we can have a few beers and I’ll still have some time before I need to blow. Every time that damn Breathalyzer goes off I need to pay for a new one to be installed.” We cut through McGolrick Park before heading west on Nassau Avenue toward a little Polish steakhouse I’d been meaning to try the next time a relative visited. “When are you meeting your lawyer?” “Three o’clock,” he said and glanced at his watch. “How’s your sister?” he asked me. “Fine,” I said. He walked faster across McGuiness Boulevard, not waiting for the lights. “You should call her,” I said. “My lawyer?” “Your daughter.” He nodded.

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We continued past the small, crowded shops, liquor stores, delis with halfhearted bouquet arrangements, until we reached the restaurant. I opened the door and followed him in. There were lots of empty tables and a narrow bar area in the back. The waitress told us to sit wherever we’d like. “She’s a real sad-sack, huh?” he said to me. I shrugged and placed my napkin on my lap. I didn’t want to ask him why he was going to see his lawyer this time, so I didn’t. We ordered the porterhouse for two with garlic mashed potatoes and mushrooms. Over beers my father told me things—non-sequiturs, advice—things. This was how it always went when I saw my father. In the sunlight, the steam rose from his plate, and he squinted every now and then and told me things that I was probably not supposed to know. “The sun is ninetythree million miles away from Earth,” he said. “Women’ll suck you dry.” He forked a piece of steak into his mouth and I checked the time on my cell phone. He said, “Your uncle on your mother’s side was addicted to titty bars for a little while—he’d disappear into those back rooms for an hour or so when we stopped for a drink after work.” And finishing college was “probably worth it nowadays.” He swirled his beer in the mug and I mashed my potatoes around on my plate. He asked for the check and told the waitress to wrap up his leftovers, “They’re yours,” he said to me. He turned the mug in between his hands, looked at me and then out the window. He raised his beer to his lips, sipped until it was half empty, took a breath, finished and wiped his mouth with a quick swipe of his fingers. I followed him out with my doggy bag and he lit a cigarette. We walked back to his car. He gave me a hug and took one last drag before dropping the butt to the pavement. He opened the car door and rested his forearm on the roof. “Let’s hope I’m clean,” he said. Then he looked at me for a moment, tightlipped, and I wanted to ask him what he did at those titty bars with all of that idle time, but he tapped twice on the roof, ducked into the car and the car said he was clean. “Fine,” I said. “I’m glad.”

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Vision Quest Jessica Levine In the terrible white space of the abandoned, where airplane thunder splits the quiet noon and dandelions by the road gather exhaust, I stand disheveled, my tool kit scattered. Is this the final unfolding, the necessary surrender, when structure dissipates before it’s remade? Or, the place of wreckage and ending? Is this the place where the heart opens to itself or where it shrinks, insensible? Where is the angel, encased in wax, who answers? Where is the vision from the cracking? How long do I dance in the sun with arrows in my chest, waiting for the plums to fall?

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Alice’s Unhelpful Writing Tips of Glory and Wonder

Alice Vernon

#9 Publishers can always tell when you’ve written a story naked.  Always. #20 Dangling tea bags from your ears gives you the “Writer’s Posture.” #43 Artichokes are fortune cookies for writers. #52 Placing a bucket over your head helps to simulate your character’s sense of loneliness and despair, enabling you to write about it more accurately.  #53 If you need some sort of quirky habit for a character, here is a semi-helpful list: Pigeon whisperer Part-time Julianne Moore impersonator Yellow car spotter Teddy bear doctor Rubber band sculptor (preferably in some sort of Bill Murray bust) Hadron collider #62 It is always a good idea to describe, at length, your characters’ socks.  Even if they aren’t wearing any, go into detail about the socks they are wearing in their minds. #64 Amy Adams Syndrome:  An affliction suffered by many a reader, where female characters are imagined as Amy Adams unless given a ten-page, detailed description suggesting otherwise.

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#81 Need an idea for a character?  Don’t cry into your tea, use your tea. Make a character out of the mug you’re holding in your hand. Par exemple (that’s French): Brenda is a wide-bottomed, white-haired woman.  She is difficult to handle and was an unwanted Christmas present.  She smells like peppermint. #87 The Barrowman Test: If you find yourself questioning the quality of your writing, hold it under John Barrowman’s chin.  When a golden glow is produced, you can rest assured that your piece deserves every literary prize. #121 One of the worst things to do is tell people you’re writing a novel.  They never stop asking you how it’s going, and you have to reply with ‘fine’ even though, in reality, you can’t remember its file name.  That is why, when people ask me what I’m working on, I tell them heartily: “I am writing all the things!” #128 Sometimes it’s easier to write with a deadline in mind.  However, if you are just writing a novel in your spare time, such pressures can be hard to find.  That’s why I do all my writing when I’m waiting for my microwaveable porridge to be ready.  See how much you can achieve in two minutes! #164 I read an actual, proper writing tip from an actual, proper writer, and they said that they like to imagine themselves ‘interviewing’ their characters as part of the planning process.  However, it’s crucial to ask the right questions.  Here is an example: ‘Hello! I see you’re applying for the main character of my novel.  Firstly, I’d just like to ask, if you were in a room with only a copy of 50 Shades of Grey, what would you do with it?’ ‘I suppose I would…read…it?’ ‘Actually, it’s more beneficial to the plot if… if you’re not in it.  Yes.  Yes, that’s better.’ 67


from Likeness Devika M. Balaram Carlton likes to eat Frosted Flakes from a box and Georgia peaches from a can, all with whole milk, in a cereal bowl. That is, when he remembers to eat at all. He loses some weight in the winter, when he sleeps almost as soon as the sun goes down, on weeknights. Weekends he barely sleeps at all. You like balanced meals and fat free milk. You play around with the idea of being a vegetarian. “It’s not cultural,” you say. “I just want to consider carefully what I am putting into my body.” Then you proceed to devour the wings at any bar you go to. You eat every piece of meat on each wing. You go home and want to throw up, not because you ate meat, but because you’ve overeaten. Carlton loves watching you make your meal. He says there is this way you dance around the kitchen, looking for turmeric and fenugreek seeds and other weird things. “They’re not weird,” you say. He says, “I just know lemon pepper and salt.” About ten minutes before you say you’re done, you say “Alright. I’m almost through with this vegetable stir-fry.” He leaves your apartment and walks around the corner to the McDonalds. He orders five little cheeseburgers. He comes back smelling like fast food and this smells like misery to you. He kisses you and takes out a plate from the cupboard in nearly one stroke. He arranges the little cheeseburgers on the plate, and sets it on the table. “The house smells like your food.” “You smell angry.” You laugh. You say, “Just try some of this food I’ve made.” You give it to him in one of your mother’s silver spoons. His face falls. 68


“What,” you ask. “What’s wrong?” He puts the little cheeseburgers back in the bag, and then in the fridge. He walks up behind you and places his arms around your waist. “That tastes so good,” he says. “Can I have a little bite?” You smile wanly. You are so satisfied. You hope he’ll be through with McDonalds in just a few weeks. Hope he won’t bring it into the kitchen and the living room that is your bedroom. You hope he will eat better, develop normal, expensive, bougie eating habits. The next morning the microwave wakes you up. It smells like processed meat. Carlton and your roommate Victoria are sharing some cheeseburgers. You sit up in bed and say, “Why couldn’t you guys wait until I’d woken up. I want to throw up. It smells so bad!” Carlton comes in with a cheeseburger in each hand and looks at you as if you might shoot him. “So I’m guessing you don’t want yours?” This is to make sure that it’s okay for him to eat yours, too. Your cheeseburger. The one you didn’t ask him to heat up, that you never asked him to buy. You try your best to look disappointed, but you are livid. Carlton takes his cheeseburgers out into the hallway; Victoria takes hers to her room. You wish that this didn’t bother you so much, but it strikes you as odd that you can’t really ever share a meal together just as you wish you could.

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To Those Who Endure on Anaheim Avenue Jeffrey Alfier I wanted to be able To bear this. I have tried ... —Ovid, The Metamorphoses How little time it takes us to weary of the games we don’t ever prevail in, this harbor world that comes and goes in the rust of hustling cars and outbound freighters, the guesswork of succeeding in walk-in clinics, quick-fix shops, cabarets and payday loan joints for the day-laborers for whom calendars were never kind. I by no means see what is at the end of it all, and perhaps that’s my failure, this avenue that goes on being nothing but an avenue forever. Palm fronds barely lean in windless hours mere blocks away along the industrial port where I wait each morning at the union hall for the next job. Maybe I’m unmeant to be part of the scene I bear witness to daily, like the illegible faces of thieves that pass in and out of some shopkeeper’s gaze, never further off than a stone’s throw from the crowd.

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Trees in Light Jay Carson If I was still young enough I’d learn more about trees. I would study trees and the stars, she said to me just before cupping her hands over tearing eyes. My friend has lost her daughter, and the bereaved cannot talk to the un-bereaved. You’re sweet to care, she says, instead. She is beautiful in that awful grief-stricken way where the face melts softly and then shows each part. Recovering, her skin lines hold tight to the skull, as newly reupholstered. Time is a gentleman, I think, and say to her, God won’t give us any more than we can bear, forgetting for the moment that she is a Jewish historian. What about that holocaust? She looks up past the branches as if for the answer to one of God’s questions to an ancient suffering cousin. What is the way to the place where the light is distributed?

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The Work of My Heart Laura Wendorff My thirteen-year-old daughter works on her Punnett square, a Mendelian grid used to predict inherited traits. Her science teacher tells her it’s easy, tells her she did this in sixth grade, which is true. But her eyes will not grasp the pattern. Over and over I have her trace, with finger, the connection between squares— uppercase T down and down; lowercase t over and over— marking invisible lines she cannot see, the matrix of a life laid out so unevenly. We practice Punnett squares for two hours; the next day, she fails her test. A vast universe of dark matter cannot be bothered by individual children, so it seems. The class moves on to force and machines: pulleys, levers, screws, inclined planes. Students measure, do problems, memorize formulas: Work = Force x Distance. I make up problems, help my daughter calculate solutions. Question: If Sarah lifts a stack of books weighing two Newtons onto a table two meters high, how much work does she do? 72


Answer: four Newton meters. A tidy solution, like getting a base hit on the first pitch, no strikes, no fouls. We do problems like this again and again, but for my daughter the process is messy, demanding, like feeding an infant strained peas: green everywhere, on the tray, on the bib, on your cheek, and in your eye, the infant squirming and fussing, you holding your breath, blowing it out slowly, thinking about the work clothes hanging like ghosts in your closet. No good. We have both worked so hard, so everlastingly hard. Question: Supermom’s heart pumps fifty Newtons of grief through 100,000 km of arteries, veins, and capillaries. How much work has it done? Answer: It can do no more. It can do no more. 73


Driving West after Sunset

Helen Wickes

Before dusk, the darker part of twilight, but before twilight, which is called the deepening obscurity, the sunset was a brass coin, dropped into the horizon slot. I drive straight for the white space, the afterglow. The night is slowly being released over the dry-baked Valley ground. The West, turning colorless, hauls me toward it, away from where I had a meal with my friend, where most styles of barbed wire, bits and spurs, quirts, and skinning knives could be seen on display. Sami, the radio psychic, owns the air tonight, nails the future with her breath: He’s the one, she says, expect your diamond by fall… She doesn’t tell a caller her child could die, her mother will wander the house for years, mumbling to God and waiting for the phone to ring. Back in the Valley our waitress was reluctant to bring things: bread, spoon, napkin, water? These rituals of being alive seemed enormous and inconsequential. We were talking about Harlow’s monkey tests: the way Harlow’s monkey babies, being offered a choice, preferred clinging to cloth mothers than to wire ones. But they preferred wire mothers to none at all. And twilight, which is now, deepens to an inky blue. __________ Published previously in The Summerset Review. 74


Into the Far Away Jessica Levine In the folded cradle of these hills, in the wild womb of California, the fog rises from the valleys, graying the greens— a Chinese scroll in shades of charcoal. Driving here I become unburdened and free. Looping down into a labyrinth of redwood, river, and field; I suckle from the wild underbelly of life, like Romulus from the wolf. Far from the always desires of my never-satisfied heart, I only wish to be more dislocated, divorced, distanced— to push north into wilder places, through the rainy states and Canada all the way to Alaska, where I might perch at the edge of the continent and consider the whole globe and the relief of my tininess on it. That was the trip my grandmother made at ninety-five. Hard to imagine her, with her taste for lamé, heavy gold bracelets, and brooches with rubies, confronting the cold and craggy north. Well, she did it from the deck of a cruise ship. That’s the way of New Yorkers: we don’t hike or camp or ride white water, but every now and then we give in to the hunger for “the country” and then, suddenly, tasting it from the safe space of a car or boat, we are face-to-face with an expanse of planet that speaks a language of tree and rock, of ocean and sky that, miraculously, we understand. 75


Fat of the Land

TM

Takes on New Meaning for Beverly Hills Laura Schulkind

Surrounded by the sleek and chic, Beverly Hills philanthropist and entrepreneur Dick Newman chose Beverly Hills’ hottest dinner spot, Say Cheese, to announce the launch of his much-debated Fat of the Land™ project. “I’ve never been prouder of the Beverly Hills community,” Newman said in remarks that expressed his well-known frustration with the image of Beverly Hills created by the tabloid press and such shows as 90210. “Picking a sister village for the project was the last detail,” Newman explained as his assistant bustled in the background to Skype in Badu Akwasi, mayor of the Ghanian village of Dadieso, for the ceremony. “So many villages expressed interest,” he explained as he displayed the stack of letters that had poured in from across the globe. Once Mr. Akwasi was linked in, the crowd of about fifty cheered, some shouting out the Ghanian greeting “Etisen, Etisen” learned for the occasion. Mayor Akwasi, dressed in a beautifully draped kente cloth of green and yellow studded with shells, acknowledged the greeting with a beaming smile. First to speak was Newman’s Fat of the Land™ partner, plastic surgeon Jonah Mathers, who is credited with the original idea that grew into Fat of the Land™: “There I was, doing a routine liposuction, watching the fat disappear into a waste container, when it hit me that this fat can have a purpose.” In remarks after the ceremony, the well-tanned “Dr. Magic,” as he is known to Beverly Hills, said people were incredulous at first, but soon realized the brilliance of his idea. One of those was backer Newman, who has largely bankrolled the project. Now, barely a year after Fat of the Land™ was launched, Mathers reports having five fully loaded storage containers, specially designed for the transport of human fat, ready to go. “My colleagues loved the idea,” he explained. “Why deal with the expense

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and regulatory restrictions on disposal, when I could take it off their hands for a nominal fee?” Gladys Stern, founder and director of Stop Hunger in Its Tracks, was also there for the ceremony. “In the beginning, I was a skeptic,” Stern admitted, “but then I realized this offers a way for Americans to truly give of themselves. Their fat can bring heat to a hut in winter, provide fuel to cook a family’s fufu.” Say Cheese executive chef and French cuisine icon Paul Dubois was also smiling as he personally greeted guests with trays of the buttery, cheesy concoctions he is famous for. “A year ago I was ready to close down. Everyone was giving up the fromage, the cream, the butter. They would ask for their vegetables steamed, their fish broiled. But now I am booked a month in advance. Everyone wants to make the fat.” And “everyone” is right. Across the street from Say Cheese, a counterdemonstration organized by the community-based Group for Universal Lipo Provision was in full swing. Co-leaders of the multicultural GULP (Bell, McDonald, and Sanders) stood shoulder-to-shoulder on a makeshift platform holding a banner with the group’s symbol: a rainbow with a bucket of gold at one end, a bucket of chicken at the other. A crowd of about thirty held signs and chanted slogans like: “Rich fat, poor fat” and “Hey hey, ho ho, our fat too has got to go.” Newman wasn’t fazed by the ruckus, however. To the contrary, in what he later insisted was a gesture of good faith, he sent over a tray of the restaurant’s pricey cheese balls. But GULP apparently did not appreciate the gesture. Rather than enjoy the cheesy morsels, protestors pelted Newman with them as he departed. THE END 77


El Ateneo Maria Lipmanovich 1

“My dear Penelope,” he began in a perfect cursive, arduously curling the P. He took a long sip of his café con leche out of the heavy white cup and looked around for inspiration. Grecian white columns ending in an elaborate design, rows upon rows of books of every topic imaginable, the hum of people engaged in a lively conversation or else reading quietly Galeano’s latest release. “I have grown to love Buenos Aires dearly in the past two months. If you had only seen Caminito, Palermo, Santa Fe! And the Recoleta cemetery? An art historian’s dream; I can just see you perched behind your pedestal, telling your students about its monumental contribution to the artistic world.” His eyes swept the circular edifice, absorbing the royal contrast between heavy golden embellishments and the pure white marble and the bloody red curtains. Penelope indeed would be overwhelmed by this place – and he’d have to listen to her go on about its “regal color coordination” for at least an hour. He thought of how great actors paced the very stage upon which he was dining that very moment, how somber audiences filled the floors now overtaken by scores of books, how eager claps resonated at the end of every performance bringing the entire theater into a hum of festivity. The festivity survived to this day, however. Bright symmetrical lights, the classic drama masks, majestic glory, that pompous sense of grandiosity all came together into one tremendous celebration. Little did he know when volunteering for that business trip that Buenos Aires would turn out to be so glamorous as to appeal even to the myopic eyes of a financial executive. It must be Penelope’s influence; she was always saying how he needed to appreciate the arts more. Even while openly defying her demands – he did put his foot down for this trip – he was still hopelessly obeying her every command. _____ 1 A former theater converted into a bookstore. 78


What else should I tell her? He looked at the back of the postcard – a couple frozen in a dramatic tango pose in front of a graffiti rendition of the words “San Telmo.” “I have yet to see a milonga – a tango performance – but I did see some couples dancing in the streets, in Calle Florida. It was breathtaking.” Do these names mean anything to her? The middle aged man thoughtfully chewed his pen like a schoolboy and threw it down in annoyance deciding that his medialuna would make a better snack. Penelope’s loyalties lay with France and Italy, more so than with him perhaps, and she wouldn’t be able to appreciate Argentina beyond its artistic tradition. She had an eye for pretty things grounded in centuries of global recognition. She would be happy that he saw a street tango but would immediately reprimand him for spending two months in the city and still not having paid tribute to Teatro Colón. He pictured her soft lips and her eyes, narrowed as they always were whenever she was berating him for being not like her, her delicate yet assertive touch... The pen rolled over a crisp clear bag, now empty, with big black letters announcing El Ateneo. Emerging from that memory a minute later, the man scribbled some more. “I am sitting alone in my room right now, thinking of you.” She was such a charming girl after all, so hopelessly in love with him. What would happen to her if she found out the truth? She must never know. Preserving the illusion of ideal love was the kinder thing to do. What else? He thought of his new group of friends who so succinctly demonstrated that chivalry is not dead in Buenos Aires. Of Pablo, who recited to his girlfriend the corniest of love phrases as if they came straight from the depths of his heart. Perhaps they did. Old-fashioned romance thrived in this city. Maybe that’s why he was writing a love letter. Or rather, a love scribble on a postcard. “My dear, I miss you so much!”

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He referred to a copy of Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada2 near his coffee for further writing material. When the card was filled to the brim with declarations of undying love for the woman in one continent and the city in another, he carefully signed it with a promise of return in just four months. The address box, too, received a dose of sweet letters, the “N” and the “Y” curled in the same spacious squiggles as the “P.” He then thought some more of the actors and the theater and what it must mean to their hearts to see it all go for the benefit of books. It’s all art in the end, he decided, as a beautiful woman approached his table. “¿Cómo andas, mi amor?” he greeted her with a customary kiss on the cheek. She sat down opposite him, her long flowing hair uninterrupted in its cascade down her waist, her large brown eyes twinkling from underneath her bangs. “¿Para mi?” she asked, pointing at Neruda´s book. “Claro, nena,” and they shared a kiss that no actor could hope to reincarnate. *** “Look at this card. So sweet, so touching. I almost died of laughter.” She pressed her red lips into a disdainful curl and lit a cigarette. “Now don’t be cruel, Penelope. He must miss you terribly.” “Probably. I’m sure he’s stuck in some boring meeting right now, discussing another diagnostic report. He’s a sweetheart, that’s for sure, but sometimes I really wish he’d see beyond the numbers in front of him. I’m not even talking about visiting MALBA3 or Teatro Colón. If he had met a lovely Argentine girl and fell in love with her, smiled at another face, bought a Versace dress for another figure for a change, I would have so much more respect for that lost soul. There would be hell of course – jealousy, fury mixed with lust and hatred and goodness knows what else…” She paused, thoughts swirling unspoken like the smoke, and __________ 2 Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, a collection of poems. 3 Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires. 80


Allison Somers

Video still from Your Ellipsis My River, November 2012

then with resignation took another drag on her cigarette. “I need to live on more than empty galleries and routine I-love-you-dear’s. Anything to interrupt this monotony. But no, instead he’s stuck in a room all alone, thinking of me. Sometimes, Antonio, numbers really mess with your head.” “You never said a truer word.” Antonio was looking at his watch impatiently, rather oblivious to her speech. “But I have been talking for too long. Is it time? How long until the start?” “20 minutes.” “I better take my seat then. Best of luck, my darling. You make a very handsome Hamlet.” And they shared a kiss that only true actors could hope to reincarnate.

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BANG! A Personified Birth Kyle A. Dunn, Don Edler

Steel, acrylic, Plexiglas; 3x8x6 ft., 2010 Photograph by Don Edler

Sugar Grove Avigail Soloveichik


Wood Stack Jon W. Henry

Wood blocks, 12x13x11 in., 2012


Smaug Angela Rizza

Digital illustration


Balrog Angela Rizza

Digital illustration


The Sorcerer’s Stone Digital illustration

I want my viewers, in my more current pieces, to feel nostalgia. I want them to remember the books they were read as bedtime stories and the fairy tales they grew up on. I was read to constantly at night as a kid and, even though I could not yet understand the words, I loved the pictures and wanted to know how to make them. I want to bring back some of the past, invoke a little Arthur Rackham and other great illustrators, and remind some people how beautiful a children's book can be.

Angela Rizza


The Prisoner of Azkaban

Digital illustration


Valley at the foot of Mount Damavand Sanaz Mazinani Amol County, 2006


Bus, Tehran 2006

Woman Reading on Bus Sanaz Mazinani Tehran, 2006


Mahshid by the Caspian Sea Sanaz Mazinani Ahmad-Abaad, 2006


Faith Faith, 2009 Sanaz Mazinani 2009

Persepolis Sanaz Mazinani 2004


Road Trip: Lake Michigan Lyndsey Matthews Follow me! Adrianne Batausa


from Recently Robotic Odeh Amarin Watercolor


Minetta Review, 1986


Manchester Eleanor Bennett

Arrival of a Stranger Eleanor Bennett


Bon Voyeur

Robert Lunday

You are being watched by telescope. Your kitchen light is a buttery broth. My eye is a mouth devouring you. You read a newspaper at your counter, sitting on a stool. Your clothes are your nakedness. Your hand beneath your chin is your genius. The news beneath your lowered eyes is the world’s sadness and repetition. I long to be the obituary you will clip and save. I will tell of a neighbor whose children you once babysat. Now you pull some hair behind an ear. Now you put your hand to your mouth, stifling a yawn (how polite you are even with yourself ). Now you roll the paper and swat, I assume, a fly. I am that fly. You go to the window and fling me into the dark. My telescope is a long walk down by the canal. I am alone with my hands in my pockets. I am a cyclops. The wind in the oak trees is an ocean.

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What follows is an excerpt from Darren Caulley’s full-length play

Very Important Problems, which debuted September 2012 at the Cabrini Repertory Theater during the Thespis Theater Festival. Cast of Characters Samantha, 26, successful woman of today Zabby, 17, Samantha’s younger sister Ky, 19, Samantha’s younger brother Caleb, Ky’s boyfriend Charlie, Zabby’s boyfriend Samantha enters. Her mascara is running. Samantha It's not hers, Charlie. Charlie What? Samantha That’s my purse. I left it in the bathroom. And that’s my test. 100


Charlie That’s kinda gross, huh? Samantha What the HELL happened here?! Charlie Zabby tried to kill herself. Caleb Ky is straight. Zabby Charlie doesn’t love me. . . Ky Charlie got punch on me! Ky begins removing his clothes. Samantha Oh. Well, okay then. That’s all just great. This isn’t going to be a very good party at all then, is it? Zabby (slurring) How are you... pregnant? Samantha Because I’m an idiot, Zabby! (beat) I LOST MY JOB, okay?! I got fired! And then I got drunk. (beat) And then I got pregnant. I am just as messed up as all of you! And I wanted this party to go so well, so that I could break the news lightly to Mom and Dad, but. . . I guess this is just the cherry to top the cake, huh? 101


She looks at the cake.

Samantha (Cont’d) (crying) I forgot to get cherries...

Silence. Ky breaks it, moaning.

Caleb WHAT are you doing?! At this point, Ky is nearly naked. He wraps himself in a towel. Ky You killed me, Caleb. You killed me with the truth, and now I stand before you. . . naked as the day I was born. And like a newborn baby, I am innocent of all crimes in my past life. Caleb You—you can’t just claim to be reborn. You need to accept responsibility. Ky Caleb, I am in a fragile state. I don’t know any better. Caleb You are a grown man!

Ky rushes towards the cake.

Ky AM I, CALEB!? AM I?! Would a grown man eat like this?

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Ky messily reaches into the cake and begins to spread pudding all over his face and body.

Ky (Cont’d) Huh?! Does this look like something a grown man would do?!

Samantha runs at Ky and pushes him down to the floor.

Samantha GET AWAY FROM THE CAKE! Ky I DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER! Charlie (to Zabby) Your family is so weird. Samantha (still pushing Ky down) You know what, Charlie. I don’t need to hear that from you. We are dealing with things right now. And you’re one to talk! Charlie What? How am I one to talk?! I would like to point out that I am the only one here whose life is not horrible in some way or another. I ain’t pregnant! Samantha You are a delinquent! You are lazy and unmotivated and you want the world to give you everything and not have to work for it! Charlie Who the hell wouldn’t want that?

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Samantha You can’t just expect things to always go your way without working hard for it. Charlie gets up. Charlie Uh. You CAN if your expectations ARE LOW ENOUGH! Why can’t people just stop complicating things? Just lay back, smoke a bowl, and shut the fuck up! See someone pretty? Fuck ’em! See something tasty? Eat it! Some things in life are just good and have NO CONSEQUENCES EVER! Why don’t we all just only do those things? You know what I love? Pudding cake and oral sex! Why can’t we just do that? And nothing BUT THAT?! Build houses! Make cake! Go down on each other! There! I have solved every single problem ever! But you know what everyone else does? Charlie punches the cake three times. Charlie (Cont’d) THAT WAS A METAPHOR. A metaphor about ruining things for no good reason. All y’all just need to suck my dick and have some cake. Screw responsibility. Pudding cake forever. Zabby You’d get fat. Charlie (screaming) Who fucking cares if people are fat?! God. Damn. Sometimes I look at those Greek statues of those fat naked chicks, and I’m like... those bitches knew what was up.

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On Social *B*eings

Jake Moore

In front of a camera, Roland Barthes was a quivering mess. In Camera Lucida (his thin but potent photo theory text), he spoke of the moment his image resolved itself on the negative. From within a haze of anxiety, he conceived of self-before-camera as self-as-insect—pinned, squirming, about to suffer a death-in-the-moment: “In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want others to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art ... I invariably suffer from a sensation of inauthenticity, sometimes of imposture (comparable to certain nightmares).” His squeamishness smacks of vanity—not from fear of immortalized thinning hair or weak chin, but from submission to an eternal crop of the psychic negative, a flattened document preserving Barthes at his most vulnerable—with his mind excised from his body. Any portrait (any photographic portrait) is a reduction, but it’s rare that the sitter becomes distracted from attempts at externalizing self via body language, facial expression, clothing, instead dwelling on the inability of the spectator to grasp the self-as-subject. It’s unfair to belittle Barthes’ dilemma as one of only vanity, considering his careful articulation of the photographic attack on his authenticity—his relationship with the body, imaged, holds considerations beyond the simple image/spectator opposition. We’re familiar with Barthes’ problem, perhaps to the point of its sublimation. On the internet plane, the logistics for our ongoing personal image construction projects aggressively outstrip Barthes’ nuanced view of his own analog image stuck within dust jackets of essay collections. We’re trying to build the most accurate digital human, one that needs self-images to survive. Social networks feed on self-representative currency, humanizing streams of data with self-approximating profile pictures, event photos. We plug photographs into waiting placeholders because that gap rankles without fulfillment. We become irritated when mom joins Facebook and doesn’t change her icon. It remains purple/white/unisex/silhouetted until we let her know, That’s just not how things are done here. But the arbitrariness of data entered into any social profile is arbitrary only if the individual confines the imagined Facebook friend-ly interaction to the normal interpersonal framework—to really “get” the stakes of digital reduction, internet-mediated 105


social interaction has to be framed not as hyperpersonal broadcasting or as talking to the undifferentiated friendly other via the stream, but as a staged relationship between The Self and The Others, with the Zuckerbergian overlord providing a structure that favors imagistic reduction via framing of the self as spectacle. Facebook is a series of cries for self-recognition as a subject with a capital-S—as an individual overbrimming with agency. This is the desire to leak through the screen of another’s Macbook as the pure Heideggerian Dasein, or “being” in the most heavily metaphysical sense. While complete transmittance of self to the friendly other may be a selfish ideal, the framework (in which personal data is mined for advertisement-relevancy, potential friends) in which we try to construct ourselves puts our cries for recognition at odds with the imagistic reductions we are forced to create as a toll. Staring into the soul of Facebook in the wrong frame of mind can reveal a pitch-black core of nonbeing— the old friends we’ve been drifting away from are not themselves, they are both their images and they are nothing. Heidegger knew Nothing. He knew the anxious terror of confrontation with the other-as-gestalt, referring to individuals slipping into undifferentiated nonbeing as “sinking into indifference.” He had his own oppositional terms—Being, or Dasein, and Nothingness, or nihil. Nihil can be that molten, evil core of Facebook at its most psychically reductive—the intangibility of the internet coupled with its perceived eternity renders the two nearly indistinguishable. Concrete, fleshy subjects operating within temporal delineations are more comforting for Heidegger—graspable not in terms of their imagistic reduction, but in their non-belonging to an undifferentiated void. Heidegger talks of Being in terms of its finitude (perhaps this finitude was more easily apprehensible when the capital of the mind of another was absorbed through dead and static objects—books, letters, voice recordings), but finitude is scarce now. One search can grant access to thousands of lives’ worth of trivialities. Even the trivialities of the dead—Facebook pages of the recently-deceased quickly turn into digital gravesites. We don’t give flowers, we post. We have the ability to replay a life’s-worth of sometimes-meaningless neuron-firings, suddenly cast in the darkest dramatic irony. It’s disturbing to watch mourners cluster around The Last Status Update not because these cries don’t have meaning, but because that update is the last trickle out of a closing tap. The Stream signifies a constant outpouring— a undifferentiated flow of raw data, refusing to coalesce into solidity, solidity which would have a chance at 106


breaking through the digital void to register as a concrete object. Barthes had one portrait, we have a lengthening sheet of negatives that won’t quit developing. Social mediated representation embalms presentation of selfin-the-moment with the same eternity and refreshability that suffuses the void-like ideological system that supports it. By Heidegger’s own definition, Dasein means “being held out into the nothing.” We can’t hold a stream. In part, the problems of the stream rest with its creator. That desire to burst into another’s life, fully-formed, via an internet presence encourages aggressive, even pedagogical tactics. Fame-mongerers like Perez Hilton are criticized for “being famous for nothing.” Internet fame does not come from nothing (or maybe it comes from the conglomeration of Nothing), it comes from legibility via repetition. This is who I am, this is what I like, these are my catchphrases, this is what I look like, these are the sorts of jokes I make. Legibility helps the mongerer form a pseudo-friendship with the audience, a concept familiar to theorists discussing the popularity of soap operas or live sitcoms— these “people” become easy-to-assimilate friend proxies, relied on for comfort due to impossibly-static characteristics. Ross from “Friends” won’t leave you and move to Tibet to find himself, and Hilton won’t break the third wall from BFF to media mogul unless you’re the gossip. Making outwardly meaningful (meaningful in terms of analytics, followers, commenters) connections on the internet requires school-marmish repetition. To receive a million hits, constructed selfhood must be beaten into heads. This mode of transmission succeeds because it is organic to the medium in which it prevails, which operates on brutal imagistic/capitalistic maxims: The masses are sheep that need to be shouted at, cowed into submission and blank reception of spectacle, categorized based on spectacle of choice, and maneuvered into digital rooms containing commodities the framework revealed they desired. Just as a condescending schoolmaster forces rote concepts into the heads of pupils, rejecting their ability to truly learn anything, we’re encouraged to punch our friends in the eyeballs with a picture-postcard of self duct-taped to our fists. In the words of Jacques Ranciere, philosopher and spectacle specialist, “...there are only individuals, weaving their own way” through a “forest” of signs and objects. The only remaining power of the individual-asoverwhelmed-spectator, lost in a void of images and constructed selves, lies in revealing and translating. In lifting the digital curtain. Zuckerberg’s missteps in managing his enormous virtual kingdom (repeated exposed attempts to limit privacy, autonomy, illegibility) empower us. An invisible 107


ideology does not provoke any questions—one whose cracks are showing emboldens those affected and constrained. In the midst of this oppression, subversion and transcendence of the undifferentiated nothing are within reach for the spectator-as-translator. For individuals to hold those other than themselves against Heidegger’s nothing, as true Beings, they must realize (in the words of Ranciere) that “his or her path looks unlike any other,” and that raising individuals from the gestalt to the plane of the Dasein is bound to the recognition of alien intelligences as inherently equal. But how can you raise an enormous pile of kinda-friends from the muck of nonbeing? Through a collective re-orientation of selves to a new spectacle. The performative qualities of Barthes’ portrait were terrifying precisely because his eminence became the spectacle-through-reduction. As he was psychically-removed by the very image that strove to proclaim his Being and intelligence to the world, we’re tightly bound to our pedagogical spectacles of self. We are at the same time: the one we think we are, the one we want others to think we are, the photographer or curator we think is capable of showing who we think we are, and the one who makes use of ourself to exhibit our art of self. We used to look outward to find spectacle. Now, if we can’t locate one within ourselves and exploit it, our profiles (our selves) are doomed to slink around unrecognized— our frantic cobbling together of spectacle is as deathly serious as it is solipsistic. We have to deflate ourselves until we’re real. Working as equal Beings, we can sabotage the framework we saw after it revealed its flaws. To create a spectacle of exposure of manipulation, equal intelligences can subvert Facebook with representative anti-representation. Maybe mom was right to leave her profile picture blank. Why not “like” corporations we hate, why not sprawl over predictive software in such an orgy of “liking” that our “self ” is diffused for the machine, but not for our equals? Irony can be critique if it’s good enough—it can also literally prove our humanity. To predictive advertising software, we can be docile, cowed consumers who want nothing more than to devour Taco Bell and McDonalds and Pizza Hut and Little Caesars and Popeyes and Olive Garden food products and products similar to them and products others tend to purchase with them—to our equals, we are, maybe, assholes, but assholes held at the necessary distance for proper recognition of stubborn psychic autonomy and the freedom to interpolate disparate Beings as we will. __________ Works Cited Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida. New York: Hill and Wang, 1980. Heidegger, Martin. “What Is Metaphysics?” Basic Writings. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. Ranciere, Jacques. The Politics of Aesthetics. London: Continuum, 2004.


ode to a southern father in italy

Claudia Sbuttoni

when my father was a floating non-thought, a warm smudge in the underbelly of the Badlands, a man in black on horseback beckoned, his father went to war. when my father was five, a warm swig of moonshine, a head-shaped hole in a windshield framed in red, his brother died. when my father picked up and moved east, or rather, west, he unknowingly brought me with him. I was the sand in his thinning hair the small rock stuck in the lug sole of his boot the crescent scar in the dip of his hand he did not need his palm read, I was his future. I was born, kept in a yellow cage. when I was five, I lost three teeth And no one died. thank you, o father, for your bona fide denim dreams, your five-year plan to strike it rich. thank you for our unsayable surname it is prude it is white it is not for everyone.

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Whale’s Eye

Betsy Martin

Your eye up close sometimes seems like the eye of a whale, a blue whale, passing by, though your eye is brown. The lines around it are ancient, eroded, concentric folds of sand; the body behind passes hugely, silently, displacing every smaller impulse of kelp, krill, or fish. It hints at an inner life, mammalian, warm, kin, but gazes opaque, the eye of an other, so close, we are separated only by a diaphanous tissue that our blinking eyelids ripple, and so far off that I cannot stop you slowly passing, passing. But I can hug and cling to your sandpaper skin, and faithfully hitchhike through miles of ocean, peering into your eye, searching.

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The Ravine Leisha Douglas Child of mud, salamander and crawfish, my safe place was a damp cut where a thin stream ferried fertilizer to Lake Michigan. To avoid the Lafrandre brothers and their daily plots for torture, I sprinted and dodged across an acre of lawn through a small orchard of fruit trees into shadows of spruce along the ravine’s lip. I flung myself over the edge sometimes sliding or falling on loose humus and scree until I reached perpetual twilight and the deep bottom. I dug up rocks stained with leaf mold and lichen expected treasure not worms although worms it was, time after time. I once carried home a wounded black duck— arms raw from its bites. I built it a garbage can nest of leaves and sticks, nursed it to health. In a rare moment of complicity, Dad and I snuck into someone’s private pond, cheered as the duck paddled away.

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The Weather Pig Robert J. Levy …And whether pigs have wings… Lewis Carroll Dad, what’s a weather pig? My son, age 7 Our son abed, the time has come, my love, to talk of many things—the weather pig, for instance, and its queer predilection for rain and sun and every in between, of how, in life’s meteorologic barnyard it’s more than a childish miscue but the muddy barometer by which the lashing rains of marriage may be gauged. Consider the pig as you loll near me, after we’ve hogged each other for an hour of rutted bliss within our nasty sty, spent (like the money we never have, lost to preschool and therapy), waiting for that final life-changing miracle which never comes. Mull over that porcine sage of mutability, how he’s mired one instant in the muck, and then, the next, takes wing, his gross, unlikely bulk aloft, trailing brown streamers of manure and slop, surfing the isobars to see what’s next. Like him, we’re hip-deep in the lush ordure of sex and loss, vaguely comfortable, just waiting to burst upward into air, unbound by all the pink and pillowed flesh 112


that weighs us down, mere sucklings in love’s game. No Wilburs reading spider webs for clues, we’re merely hams without a cure, and yet the weather pig is real, at least as real as countless headaches wives have conjured in the marriage bed to fend off swinish importuning. We feed it lavishly and keep it fat, for unlike earthbound pork it can sometimes rise to the occasion, for, yes, the weather pig can still surprise, flying so high it almost skirts the sun, and the only clue it was ever there is a pregnant void, a whiff of bacon threading through our lives on buoyant mornings, heralding the pig’s survival, its ghost calling us to another married day.

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{ Contributors’ Notes } Jeffrey Alfier has work appearing or forthcoming in Connecticut Review, Tulane Review, and South Carolina Review. His first full-length book of poems, The Wolf Yearling, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. He is founder and co-editor of San Pedro River Review. Odeh Amarin is an illustrator and designer born in Jordan. He pursued his MFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University. Carl Auerbach is a Professor of Psychology at Yeshiva University, specializing in the psychology of trauma, with an emphasis on collective trauma and mass violence. His poetry has been published in many literary journals, and he has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, two for poetry and one for short fiction. He lives in Manhattan, New York. Devika Balaram is a senior at NYU studying Economics, French, and Creative Writing. Originally from Coimbatore, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, she grew up largely in Massachusetts and New Jersey. She enjoys reading postcolonial fiction and cheering for the New England Patriots. This is her first time being published. Adrianne Batausa is a mildly inappropriate cat-lover, dinosaur enthusiast, and photographer. She’s currently in the nursing program at William Paterson University, where she is part of the DPHIE sorority, Tennis Club, and TOMS club. She hopes to start a photography club in the Spring. With a tightgripped hug, she wishes you only the best. Eleonora Beddini is a classical and experimental musician from Foligno, Italy. She is a pianist in Mama’s gan, the Beddini-Rinaldi Duo, and the Bolling Jazz Quartet. Her artistry investigates the confluence of music, dance, theater, and literature. Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16-year-old photographer from the U.K. She won first place in National Geographic, the World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, the Woodland Trust, and Postal Heritage. She exhibited at the Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011) and in National Geographic’s See the Bigger Picture global exhibition tour (2010). Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and BBC News website—as well as on the cover of books and magazines in the U.S. and Canada. 114


Darcy Berenberg graduated from NYU, where she had some truly amazing poetry professors. Her dream is to run an organic farm in a Spanish-speaking country. Sarah Brady is an NYU sophomore studying Psychology and Urban Design. Within the digital design field, Sarah specializes in image overlay and photomanipulation. After a year of study in Shanghai, she currently resides in São Paulo. Tally Brennan is a recovering computer programmer, happy to have emerged from the cubicle as a writer of fiction. Her stories have appeared in journals including Rosebud, 13th Moon, PMS, Room of One’s Own, Kaleidoscope, and online at JMWW, Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and Hobo Pancake. She is grateful to the Leeway Foundation, Astraea Foundation, and the Five Counties Art Foundation (PA) for their encouragement and support. Jay Carson teaches creative writing, literature, and rhetoric at Robert Morris University, where he is also a faculty advisor to the student literary journal, Rune. He has published more than 60 poems in national literary and professional journals, magazines, and anthologies. Jay published a chapbook, Irish Coffee, with Coal Hill Review in the summer of 2012 and a longer book of his poems, The Cinnamon of Desire, with Main Street Rag in the fall of 2012, as well as co-edited with Judith Robinson a collection of Margaret Menamin’s poetry, The Snow Falls Up. Darren Caulley is an up-and-coming writer from Redmond, WA. He made his New York theatrical debut in September 2012 with his dark comedy, Very Important Problems. His second play, Unhealthy, showed at the HERE Arts Center from December 4 to December 9, 2012. His degree is from New York University, where he studies playwriting, psychology, and comic books. Leisha Douglas, in addition to writing poetry and fiction, is a full time psychotherapist and part time yoga teacher. She co-directed the long-running Katonah Poetry Series for ten years and now serves as their Poet Advisor. Her poems have appeared in decomP magazinE, The Alembic, Sanskrit, Forge Literary Journal, The Cortland Review, Ghoti, and Ginbender Poetry Review. Kyle A. Dunn earned his BFA at the University of Florida and then earned his MFA at the University of California at Davis. 115


Don Edler (b. 1988, Bremen, Germany) is a sculpture and installation artist focusing on site-specific works made of commercial construction materials, cast materials, and organic matter. Inspired by metaphysics and cosmology, Don emphasizes the importance of the capacity for imagination and poetics as he investigates issues such as the overall form of the universe, energy politics, and the role of art in his life. Don studied sculpture at the University of Florida and was a participant at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Studio Art at NYU. Allison Lee Flom is a freshman at New York University. She is an aspiring writer and artist, finding inspiration every day in this city. More work is online, accessible through Twitter @allisonflom. Robalū Gibsun is a multidisciplinary artist studying Illustration and Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon graduating in May 2013, he plans to tour the US with his spoken word poetry and to ride the Chinatown Bus back and forth obsessively between Richmond, VA and New York City until he finally settles and makes a boom in the arts scene; a big BOOM, FOR REAL. Find more of his work at gibsunrising.tumblr.com. Meredith Hadaway is the author of two poetry collections, The River is a Reason (2011) and Fishing Secrets of the Dead (2005). In addition to publishing poems and reviews in various literary journals, she serves as poetry editor for The Summerset Review. Hadaway is VP College Relations & Marketing for Washington College. Jon W. Henry is an artist, academic, and activist who is completing a Masters in NYU|Tisch’s Arts Politics program. He hails from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, which have been a natural source of inspiration. When not in the classroom or studio, he is rabble-rousing with other queer activists. Will Hunt lives in New York City and studies at NYU’s Journalism Institute. His writing has appeared in Outside, Discover, Men’s Journal, Intelligent Life, and The Paris Review Daily. He is at work on a book about subterranean space. Samantha Hyatt is originally from a magical town in upstate New York. She lives in Bed-Stuy, and can be heard whistling bossa nova and ABBA tunes. Megan Laubershimer is a twenty-something junior with a major in psychology and a passion for curious words and stumbling phrases, or in other words, all the cliched constructs of poetry she can find. A fancier of all things literary, inspirations include E. E. Cummings, Healthcliff, and the Lisbon sisters. 116


Jessica Levine’s prose, poetry, and poetry translations have appeared in Amarillo Bay, California Quarterly, The Cape Rock, decomP magazinE, Forge, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Old Red Kimono, Poetry Northwest, North American Review, RiverSedge, The Southern Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Willow Review, and elsewhere. She earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Delicate Pursuit: Literary Discretion in Henry James and Edith Wharton (Routledge, 2002) and has translated three books from French and Italian into English. Find links to some of her work at www.jessicalevine.com. Laura Joan Levine received her B.A. with honors in Art History and her minor in Studio Art from Hamilton College in ’89. She received her M.A. in Art Therapy from NYU in ’94. She has done some work in the Art Therapy field but is now focusing on her art full-time. Recently, her work has been shown in the 1001 Artists digital screening at the 2012 Scope Miami show and the Art Takes Times Square digital art show of June 2012. View her work on http://b-uncut.net/profile/laurajoanlevine. Contact: laurl0@msn.com. Robert J. Levy’s work has appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and many other publications. He is a past winner of an NEA Fellowship and has published two full-length collections— Whistle Maker (Anhinga) and In the Century of Small Gestures (Defined Providence)—as well as four chapbooks. His latest chapbook, An Industry of Yearning, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2012. Mariya Lipmanovich is a senior pursuing a double major in Spanish and Comparative Literature. She enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and photography. Naomi Ruth Lowinsky’s poems have been published most recently in the online literary magazines decomP magazinE, Levure Litteraire, and Emprise Review, and in Wild Violet, Barely South, Reed, Freshwater, Spillway, New MillenniumWritings, Compass Rose, Reed, Quiddity, Runes, Spoon River. Lowinsky’s fourth poetry collection, The Faust Woman Poems, is forthcoming. Her memoir, The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, tells stories about her pushy muse. She blogs about poetry and life at sisterfrombelow.com. Robert Lunday, author of Mad Flights (Ashland Poetry Press, 2002), teaches at Houston Community College and lives on a small horse farm in Bastrop, TX. Annie Mabus is a junior art history NYU student from Mississippi. She’s like Quentin Compson but less of a bummer. 117


Mama’s gan was formed in 2000 by Eleonora Beddini (pianist, lyricist) and Laura Montanari (vocals). They self-produced the albums Watcher’s Songs (2010) and Across the Road (2011) under an imaginary but charming label name, La Trovatrice. Their music video collaborations with experimental directors have won national competitions throughout Italy. Tracy A. Marciano is a self-taught photographer from Buffalo, NY. Specializing in transparency film, she analyzes the use of colour and how it is woven into society in order to explore and interpret environments and experiences. As an undergraduate at NYU, she studied history and cultural anthropology, then she received a Master of Science from Pratt Institute School of Architecture in Historical Preservation. Tracy is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree at Columbia University for Landscape Design, focusing on nocturnal gardens and therapeutic gardens for mental illness. Betsy Martin’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Assisi, The Alembic, Pirene’s Fountain, and Magnapoets. She works at Skinner House Books in Boston and has advanced degrees in Russian language and literature. She lived in Moscow for a year studying at the Pushkin Institute. In addition to writing, she loves bird watching and playing classical piano. Lyndsey Matthews is a Brooklyn-based photographer and writer. She currently works at Travel + Leisure. She is an ’09 NYU alumna. View her work at http://www.lyndseymatthews.com. John Maynard is Professor of English at NYU. He has published books on Victorian literature, on theories of reading, and on sexuality. He co-edits the journal Victorian Literature and Culture. Sanaz Mazinani is an artist, curator, and educator based in San Francisco and Toronto. She studied at Ontario College of Art & Design University, and she received her MFA from Stanford University. Her work explores the relationship between perception and representation. Her work has been exhibited at University of Toronto Art Center, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Art & Architecture Library at Stanford, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She was named a fellow at the Kala Art Institute, shortlisted for the 2013 MOP Contemporary Art Prize, and awarded the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Art on Market Street commission for 2013/2014. www.sanazmazinani.net

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Laura Montanari studied literature and foreign languages at the Universities of Venice and Rome, with a specialization in American and Afro-American studies. At Foreigners University of Siena, she completed a master’s program for teaching Italian as a second language. She then left for the United States to pursue her dream: she earned her master’s degree in Music Education from New York University, and she now resides in Harlem and teaches music to children. Under the name ZogaroS, she released her first single and is working on her EP. She is the founder and director of the female vocal ensemble The Sessions Voices under her record label, Dangerous Old Music. Sara Montijo is a junior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and vice president of NYU’s Poetry Club. She is from Tucson, Arizona and makes a mean guacamole. Jake Moore is a filmmaker and writer concerned with confusion and interference. His documentary short, “Mykki Blanco: Cosmic Angel,” was an official selection of the Boston Underground Film Festival. Jake is a video editor for New York Magazine and as a freelance director and cinematographer. He studied the intersection of documentary and fiction film at NYU. Joddy Murray’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 65 journals, including American Literary Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Carquinez Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, and most recently DUCTS and Pembroke Magazine, among others. He currently teaches writing and rhetoric at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Jed Myers is a Philadelphian living in Seattle. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod International Journal, Golden Handcuffs Review, qarrtsiluni, Atlanta Review, Quiddity, The Monarch Review, Fugue, The Journal of the American Medical Association, the Rose Alley Press anthology Many Trails to the Summit, and elsewhere. By day, he’s a psychiatrist with a therapy practice and teaches at the University of Washington. By night, he hosts the longrunning music-and-poetry cabaret NorthEndForum. Derek Otsuji teaches English at Honolulu Community College and works at Otsuji Farm, a family-run farmer’s market, on the weekends. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, The MacGuffin, The Midwest Quarterly, Poet Lore, and Green Hills Literary Lantern.

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Kristen Reichert is a painter from Southern California and a recent graduate of the Art Studio Program at the University of California - Santa Barbara. Her current work melds abstraction and realism, exploring the dichotomy at play between order and chaos, beauty and destruction, and the traditional and unusual. Her current collection, “Love at Last Sight,” features graffiti-esque backgrounds paired with color-infused women. View more of Reichert’s work at http://kristenreichert.carbonmade.com. Joseph Richie lives and works in Brooklyn, hailing from the interminable sprawl of Long Island. He studies Philosophy, English, and Creative Writing at NYU. Forthcoming poem in theNewerYork! Issue #2. Angela Rizza is a freelance illustrator currently living and working in upstate New York. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2011 with a BFA in Illustration. After graduating, she began producing her own work, selling prints, and creating private commissions. Some of her interests include bird watching, kayaking, badminton, and even crossfit. Within the next few months, she will begin a Kickstarter to raise money for a children’s book about endangered species. Claudia Sbuttoni is a sophomore in NYU’s CAS. She is majoring in Journalism, Sociology, and Italian. Her essay, “An Argument for Fair Immigration Laws,” was published by Scholastic’s Alliance for Young Writers. She is also the poetry editor of Minetta Review, but don’t start talking smack just yet! As with all poems in the general submissions process, hers was read author-blind at the editorial meetings. Laura Schulkind, poet and writer, is an attorney by day, where she is entrusted with others’ stories. Through fiction and poetry, she tells her own. Her work can be seen, or is forthcoming, in The MacGuffin, Talking River, Eclipse, and Forge. She and her husband divide their time between Berkeley and Big Sur, California. Her two grown sons continue to inspire her. Avigail Soloveichik is a graduate student in NYU Steinhardt’s Clinically Rich Integrated Science Program (CRISP). She plans to teach high school chemistry or middle school science. Avigail hopes to one day see the aurora borealis and go horseback riding in Colorado.

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Allison Somers is a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Los Angeles, California. Her fascination with the photographic is linked to a wanderlust taking her to places near and far. Material from her travels inevitably serves as a departure point for investigation into still and moving image. Allison holds post as adjunct professor in New York University’s Department of Art and Art Professions. She received her MFA from NYU in 2010. Alice Vernon is an undergraduate of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. She enjoys writing short stories and having profound discussions with her cat, Chairman Mow. As well as working on her first novel, Alice is currently immersing herself in Japanese fiction with the idea of publishing essays in that literary field. She thinks you look nice today. The entirety of her humor serial may be found on alicevernon.tumblr.com. J.E.A. Wallace moved to New York City from London a few years ago after a woman who turned out to be the love of his life asked him for a cigarette. He has been many things in his time—a barman in the Houses of Parliament, a security guard in an abattoir, the co-founder of the band The Crowd That Entertains—but right now he is very happy to be a married poet in Manhattan where his work has been published in The Write Place At The Write Time, Hidden Chapters, and Stained Sheets among others. Michael Way grew up on the south shore of Lawn Guyland. He enjoys writing and eating sandwiches, and he could probably use a new pair of shoes. Laura Wendorff, born in Wausau, Wisconsin, earned bachelor’s degrees in English and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She is currently a professor of English, Women’s Studies, and Ethnic Studies at the University of WisconsinPlatteville, and her work has appeared in Verse Wisconsin Online, American Transcendental Quarterly, Faculty Development, and Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict. She is married and has two children. Helen Wickes lives in Oakland, California and used to work as a psychotherapist. Her first book of poems, In Search of Landscape, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2007. Her four poems in Minetta Review are from an unpublished manuscript, The Moon Over Zabriskie. Larissa Yuan was born and raised in China. She loves both Asian and Western literature. And she is eager to see how they work together. She is a sophomore in NYU’s CAS. 121


{ Acknowledgments } The sheet music featured in this issue is in the public domain. Paris: E. Fromont, 1905. Plate E. 1404 F. To find out what piece it is—and to hear what these beauteous pages sound like—kindly present them to a pianist. Corium Magazine originally published Helen Wickes’ “The Heart Waking Up Braids Her Hair.” David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Digital images and descriptive data © 2000 by Cartography Associates. Images may be reproduced or transmitted, but not for commercial use. Viele’s Map and the map of Ward 15 are licensed under a Creative Commons License. Max Ehrmann. “Desiderata” was published in the 1940s without copyright notice. It is in the public domain. Robert Frost. “A Brook in the City” is in the public domain in the United States, because it was published before January 1, 1923. We know, Robert: It is likely not about Minetta Brook in New York City, but we hope—wherever you are in the expanse of spacetime—you do not mind that we’ve recontextualized it. A comment posted by Jesus Reyes on Will Hunt’s Paris Review Blog article, “Ghost River,” drew attention to the poem. Project Gutenberg made available Anna Alice Chapin’s Greenwich Village (eText 16907), which featured Bernard Ratzer’s Greenwich Village map. John Maynard, thank you for your expertise, instruction, and kind correspondence. His writing here is excerpted from the essay, “Sexuality and Love,” on Victorian sexuality and Victorian poetry in Blackwell’s A Companion to Victorian Poetry. We must acknowledge that both he and the inaugural Minetta issue appeared at the university in 1974. National Archives and Records Administration. The digital images of Michael Jackson’s patent can be found in the Archival Research Catalog, and they are in the public domain. Hype about the patent showed up on Josh’s Dashboard—who knew the Archivist of the United States (Collector-in-Chief ) was on Tumblr? NYC Parks’ Library historical sign for Minetta Triangle at the northeast corner of Minetta Street and Avenue of the Americas. Thanks must go to Parks' Librarian Kaitilin Griffin for her generous correspondence. Learn more about the city’s 2,400 historical signs (and counting!) at nycgovparks.org/about/history/historical-signs.

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The New York Times. The article “Minetta Brook’s Course” was first published in 1901. Upon the expiration of its 1969 copyright renewal term, the article is currently in the public domain. We express our gratitude to NYU Fair Use for their expertise. New York University Archives. Thanks, Tai Vardi, for preparing scans from the Minetta Review’s archive. The Paris Review. Will Hunt’s “Ghost River” was first published January 23, 2012 on the Arts & Culture section of the Paris Review Blog. Thank you, Will Hunt, for your correspondence. Splash of Red originally published Helen Wickes’ “Frost, Then Ice” and “Sense of Direction.” Stephen Schwartz. Sincere gratitude for Elphaba Thropp’s words, which are published here on a favored nations basis. Thank you, Charmaine Ferenczi, for your expert correspondence. From "Defying Gravity" from the Broadway musical Wicked Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Copyright © 2003 Stephen Schwartz All rights reserved. Used by permission of Grey Dog Music (ASCAP). The Summerset Review originally published Helen Wickes’ “Driving West After Sunset.” At our request—and some to our grateful surprise—the following have been gracious enough to share our call for submissions, help strengthen our electronic presence, widen Minetta’s readership, and direct writers and artists to our inbox. NYU Center for Student Activities, Leadership, and Service NYU Undergraduate Creative Writing Program: Jessica Flynn NYU Journalism: Craigh Barboza NYU LGBTQ Center, OUTPost weekly newsletter NYU Kimmel Operations Poets House New York City LGBT Community Center Duotrope Lambda Literary Foundation Winning Writers UPenn English

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{ Masthead } Editor-in-Chief Joshua Dy Borja Poetry Managing Editor Claudia Sbuttoni Prose Managing Editor Diana Bauza Treasurer Cristina Fiore Marketing & Outreach Director Katherine Holotko Publication Staff Marie Danielle Bergere Jazmine Goguen Abhay Goyal Elliot Higbie Cally Simmons-Edler Karen Zabarsky Program Advisor Eric Montgomery

The Minetta Review is funded by the All-Square Student Budget Allocation Committee at New York University. Book design, layout, proofreading, and WordPress renovation by Joshua Dy Borja. This issue is printed by Offset Impressions. Special thanks to Jim Federico, Abby Fick, and Marcie Gensemer. All rights revert to the contributor, whose authorization is required for reprints. ISSN 1065-9196

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The Minetta Review is a literary and arts publication managed by undergraduate students at New York University: Washington Square. Established in 1973, it is the oldest literary publication at the university. http://www.minettareview.wordpress.com The Minetta Review NYU Center for Student Activities, Leadership, and Service 60 Washington Square South, Suite 704 7th Floor, Mailbox 121 New York, NY 10012

SUBMISSIONS minettasubmit@gmail.com The Editorial Board’s aspiration is to put forth an assemblage whose parts and whole contribute to the reader’s creative flame. Be a part of that aspiration! If you are a proser, poet, prose-poet, playwright, painter, sculptor, photographer, digital illustrator—otherwise an experimenter of combining word and visual art—we encourage you to submit your work to the Minetta Review. We accept submissions worldwide. Any NYU student is welcome to be a member of our publication staff! To receive publication announcements and event reminders, join our listserv simply by sending a blank email to join-minetta@lists.nyu.edu!

READERSHIP Selections are accessible online free-of-charge on the newly renovated Minetta WordPress and through the Issuu service. Print editions are made available free-of-charge to the NYU community and to literary hubs around Greenwich Village. If you are a New York City bookshop, library, coffeehouse, or cultural venue who would like to share the Minetta Review, send an email our way. We won’t cramp your style!

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Desiderata Max Ehrmann Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


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Minetta Review Fall 2012