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// Minetta Review // Spring 2012


{ table of contents } the Editor’s note 5 when it rains 7 Erren Kelley “hello, i’m lost!” 8 Fabio Sassi Sometime between Coffee and Dessert (The Bearded Man—Part One) Brittany Hutzel All Brilliant (The Bearded Man—Part Two) Brittany Hutzel

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Getaway Stephen Massimilla

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“tree house” Randolph Ebanks

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Chorus Darren Huang

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Reading Neruda in Union Square Erren Kelley

17

“Tranquility” Monique Pratt

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How we have always had light Darcy Berenberg

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Alabama Love Poem Courtney Bush

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Nightcall Kristen Reichert

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“fleck” Joshua Borja

24

Walser’s Hat 25 Peter Nash The New Design Adam Palumbo

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untitled 28 Tracy Marciano The Chaser 29 Silvia Callegari that was it 30 Daniel Kessel How to disappear in America Courtney Bush

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“Erosion of Traditonalism” Ernest Williamson III

34

Not Entitled 36 Stephen Massimilla

For You - The Peanut Butter Brittany Hutzel

36

“this is not an exit” Joshua Borja

41

Bios 42


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the editor’s note And of course there are parallels between this world and the sluggish flatness everyone else resides in.

To stretch liminality - this is why we write, and why we read. This semester, the editorial team chose pieces that pushed beyond the usual crowd-pleasers. The subtle “Nightcall” is done entirely in spraypaint; Courtney Bush’s “Alabama Love Poem” shimmers with a quiet luminous gravity. And of course, we are pleased to publish a few emerging poets, some seeing their work in print for the first time! They hold up quite effortlessly next to the more veteran writers - can you tell which is which? We are always running - slow down. Spend some time with us. Washington Square Park is green again, after a rather odd winter. Happy reading, as always. It has been a pleasure. Emily H Ho Editor-in-Chief Minetta Review, 2011-12


When it rains Erren Kelly in her yellow raincoat she’s the morton salt girl her kiss tastes like a leaf i found in maine she sounds like a horace silver minor chord

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“hello, i’m lost!”

Fabio Sassi

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Sometime between Coffee and Dessert (The Bearded Man—Part One) Brittany Hutzel Sitting with you in your kitchen, When did that bearded man appear? He is playing an old banjo. He is leaning awfully near. Beneath the shade of his sombrero, His crooked teeth gleam rancid yellow. Sitting with you in your kitchen, When did that bearded man appear?

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If they tear, then you, my sister, will stare with me into the pond Then we will wish that we were real

If those esteems on the line are left in the care of that bearded man Then those esteems will never dry and they will shred and they will tear

If a bearded man will soon enter your quiet kitchen Then it must be the case that it was never your kitchen.

But If I stare at my sharp reflection in my home side pond Then I begin to realize that one or the other of us is quite unreal

If you and I hang our esteems on the line to dry, all brilliant-shining and un-torn Then we will long to spread the shores by far-off oceans and carry the blue into blue.

Brittany Hutzel

All Brilliant (The Beard Man—Part Two)


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If, in merging the blues, we realize that we have confined our esteems Then we will return, revoke them from the bearded man, and let them glide dry on the breeze

If, and only if, it were discovered that we were real Then we could spread the shores by oceans and merge our blue into the great blue.

If we gather all the buckets and scoop out our own blue reflections Then we will carry them to those far-off oceans

If, frantically wishing we were real, we decide to take action Then we will gather all the buckets from the premises

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Chorus Darren Huang Tonight, Mom tells a legend of a lone fisherman, drunk with youth, who sails far into the Pacific. He follows the North Star, as the ancients did. He has sailed with his father, his grandfather. To tame the sea is the sport of the blood, inheritance to which all sons must abide. But he refuses, that wayward child who loves the sea in his own way. He paints the sun rising and falling like a yo-yo, the water on fire, the china sky, motley gulls that straddle air and water. But his work never nears sublime, not even the mere technicality demanded of the adept. Yet what a measure of the awesome it is for the boy, for his mother, and the townspeople when the work is displayed in the public square. You need to hunt hard for the detail, the ocean seems too dark in the shoals, too blue in the deeps, you seek a fin and find a wing, but they say, “it comes together”, “it’s the inaccuracy of the abstract,” and “the feeling’s all there.” Years pass and the boy is 18. He has authored the city hall mural. He has been hailed as luminary, the kid with a keen eye, the messianic local. Now, his father preaches on this day of affirmed manhood, is the time to dispose of child’s play. He says paint is adolescent whim, boy’s luxury paraded as art. The sea is man’s calling. A cinematic scene follows: the boy stands alone before the sea, watching the white of the spume, the metallic shine of waves. He wonders the laws of inheritance and duty. Light spills from the front door (it’s the proverbial log cabin) of his house. His mother watches in wait and for the first time, secondary character becomes primary, and we, listeners, are baffled at this twist of detail, this knot of fate, this rogue move that seems foreign to

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coming-of-age. We sisters (Kimiko is twelve, and I, thirteen) shout that boys, with their awkward funk of hormones, cemented loyalty to self do not listen to fathers, mothers, sisters (brothers, perhaps). We say this is poor fiction without likeness to life. We cite our wide oeuvre of fairy tales and throw our hands in the air because even the pre-pubescent knows that epiphany cannot arrive as easily as this, with a sputter of words and motherly charm. But Mom returns with a “why not?” and her brow begins to wrinkle and a trace of a pout hangs on her lips. Her eyes are going grim and the silence after our hysteria and the nervous topple of her hands remind us that this story is hers to tell. We listen and the ending converts this legend into memory. The boy sails off in flight into the sea. He carries with him an undershirt, an easel, brushes and paint. He leaves at dawn with only his mother to see him off. Yet he somehow finds eloquence: “I need to find myself!” his voice a carom across the Pacific. And it seems adolescence has come and gone for this figure at the rim of the world. The paint is already running and his mother loses him in the whiteness. Ambiguity confuses us: we prefer the burnished shine of happy endings. But we cheer because her voice has become scratchy and the skin around her smile seems slack and heavy. She watches the windowglass, with a query on the tongue. We take to making niceties and conversation becomes the talk of strangers, the tumble and ruck of thoughts. We do this nightly, this forced concord in the bedroom, because the rite of goodnights—always as regular as dinner prayer and just as filial—has not been Minetta Review

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satisfied without its fourth member. It’s the “good night, I love you!” said, as Dad requires with good will, without rush or stammer or otherwise, we must repeat until our conviction delivers us. We do as daughters must: bare our love and announce it to the world.

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Reading Neruda in Union Square

Erren Kelly

she wears a war on her head she’s a revolutionary for love i never worry about tomorrow love alone could feed me i could be like the poet’s words the rich dirt under her feet

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“Tranquility”

Monique Pratt

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How we have always had light Darcy Berenberg Of course we haven’t always had light. There were times of very darkness when swarms dropped like balled-up candy wrappers and no one had any peaches to eat. The children stayed inside playing Uno under camping lanterns like drones, and we invented a whole new color alphabet based on the night. There were struggles with the landlord for light; he spoke war, monoliths and rotting daikon, said moles would be our only friends where we were going. We don’t talk about it anymore. Suffice to say, we built a workable bridge out of there, learned a daily migration. We turned it around, all right – now we make raspberry light at the least expected intervals, we make seltzer and salsa come to life in the living room. We’d like to think we do, anyway – that we’ve got some wool to pull so others will believe we’ve always been daytime; always had this filtered, steady beam. Minetta Review

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Alabama Love Poem Courtney Bush in alabama tonight quietly in the forest thinking big we are so friendly tonight we glow in the dark at each other listen the moon is so highly pixelated by the fogs I don’t want to talk about God anymore you shut my finger in the screen door the black on my fingernail isn’t paint now it’s the color of this part of my body somewhere a strange bird sings a strange song alarming like something imminent this particular myself isn’t so afraid of the insects I love the moths and the way the moths love the lights on your porch I love the dogs underneath the porch waiting for small sounds in the woods

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you still think the silver balloon and flowers aren’t for you is it because the balloon doesn’t have all the air in it is it because the flowers are old I asked you why do I miss everything please don’t think I don’t know how that sounds please know I know that

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some days -to obyou are the only answer other days i am swimming in the questions

in you lies madness & i am still here in the dimmed woods brooking

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“Nightcall”

Kristen Reichert

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“fleck”

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Joshua Borja

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Peter Nash

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The New Design Adam Palumbo So thought and water work as one. And the poet being and thinking and doing, out of the water and now in it. In the water. Visions in the water. Dead horses and dead tree trunks, carcasses floating and bloating in the water. The poet calmly washes his body, careful of the visions. And the watermark tricks us. Or rather we trick ourselves, the way a shadow tricks its own body. The subject is unrecognizable even now and the graininess of it means that it hardly matters what we see. The poem is never finished, there will never be another poem. None of this is said, of course. This remains off stage, unplayed. So the world is cooked, and the fruits along with it, but this is a necessary reduction. Only the best will do, to give off just the purest essence. Flame and earth. Shadows and bodies. The remnants of the recipe will be returned. Cast aside. Back into the loam. And mingling on the delta of a woman’s face—an overflow of spirit. Tears matter and tears are matter. And spirit flows. Stirred amidst the mixtures of emotion, what breaks forth is thought of words and passions. But only thought. Weeping does not cleanse the soul so well that it utters its own heartbreak. So tastes the dusklight, the end of it all. The struggle of the sun to keep the order of the sky in color and focus. Time will change this, each night a new stanza in the eternal verse. Only in silence. The

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earth dampens all noise. Do not merely see the sun. You must hear it. And the telling takes its tale, a cloud, but this is unacceptable. Too far invoked. Did you wander lonely too? And dream of flowers and seas and all things holy? Somehow in your geometrics I think so. And somehow your shape glides past the groin, toward something else, something cheaper. So the shape of things oblique and triangular. Unlike paper. Unlike a window. Like a clod of earth, musty and alive. Like a happy ember. Not silent. Arranged noisily, unstitched. Not thinking of itself, but just being and doing. Not entirely mastered. And in fact jackstraws and bloodied earth are similar masterpieces. I have often imagined this. On brutal night-walks through the city streets and in quiet fields. I have imagined all this. Fire from the earth. Shadows of bodies. Heaped. This is the new design.

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“Arrival One”

Tracy Marciano

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I want the comfort of a body to lie next to tonight but I will not love it.

I wear jeans sucked on like hot chocolate sauce running down a mound of ice cream and I walk short strides that appear long.

I like my bones skinny and my skin thin and I wear lots of tattoos to keep warm— so I don’t invest in sweaters.

Silvia Callegari

The Chaser


that was it Daniel Kessel waking up late for prof. dok. jager's talk about goethe. jeff and amanda and thomas and mike and viola. currywurst in tompkin's square park. coffee at table twelve. reading junot diaz because i didn't want to do anything. the table and my well-covered and beloved corner spot; rush for envelope and stamps; dropping off and picking up papers; reading teacher comments. observing various breakfasts in various hands as i sit on the floor in ignorance. anna on broadway and 4th. green tea and libraries and the triangle shirtwaist fire and feeling sick and lunch and tam and home and false sleep and visiting apartments in brooklyn. midwood and erica and guessing games and the big beautiful apartment. sunroom. subway back to manhattan and impromptu apartment viewing and the walker's paradise, 30 minutes on foot through tree-lined streets and brownstones in the leaf light. wine shops, chinese food, cafes, parks, not prospect, everyone wants a different bit of something. "that apartment changed you." tapas and macondo and april and especially the batatas. stomach full of food and back about to sleep for ages.

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Statue of Liberty, New York Skyline and Lockheed Constellation Airmail stamp. (issued in 1947)

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How to disappear in America Courtney Bush you have to give off less light that’s not a metaphor for charm there’s a real threshold a minimum amount of colored light must come directly from you you appear I heard of a white man who went to the Navajos Among sheep and ropes he became invisible It took a very very long time the light passed through many states of energy before it stopped coming off for a while the man’s skin expressed itself in plain noise His work was being done around a column of the noise of his skin I am not like that man, except for a desire for isolation I don’t know how to keep the light from coming off I imagine you learn outdoors perhaps with help from a calm and ancient teacher like lucid dreaming like gardening It sounds very expensive I have an alternative which is

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Don’t eat in restaurants. Drinking cups and utensils keep small public pieces of you. Watch forests and lakes become vast and attractive. There might be some correlation to you. A good job for you might be telephone solicitation. Added benefit of speaking to someone The sound of your voice is not made of light Don’t be scared, it was invisible before it was a voice

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“Erosion of Traditionalism”

Ernest Williamson III

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Not Entitled Stephen Massimilla I. I know. By heart I know and do not want to repeat how I cannot know all my faces. Stay with me. Speak. What to make of walls when all the doors fall open? Lights from leaf-tents of August still feel their way near, wavering for welcome, a chair they’ll never reach. The room I longed for won’t recall me. My exile hasn’t even begun? II. Every day you grow stranger as things become more familiar. Your hand before my eyes is like the light that waves gods away.

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III. Only the window in the mirror holds our clabbering reflections: You said we were finished. On my desk, words not yet spoken by my lips rewrite the day behind us: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Old oaks, the house sleeps on.â&#x20AC;? IV. Mirrored in the window that backs your back, a forest of unaccountables reminds me: You are I, and still you turn, training yourself, so regained and cornered, to avoid moving on. When you leave, do not say good-bye. The end will come. Walk away.

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For You - The Peanut Butter Brittany Hutzel Maddy on Wednesday decided that she hated Fallon. “I hate Fallon,” Maddy decided. “Why do you hate Fallon?” Fallon asked, anxiously disheveling his short brown hair. “He is allergic to peanut butter and has not been to Central Park,” Maddy reminded furiously. “I would like for me the peanut butter. I must go to Central Park.” “Then we will go. We will get for you the peanut butter,” Fallon agreed, procuring the toaster from the cabinet in staunch anticipation. “Yes,” Maddy agreed, “we will go to Central Park. But without Fallon,” Maddy added. “I hate Fallon.” Fallon frowned the frown of the hated and resigned himself to his penitent hot-yoga. He would bend and fold himself into a shape that Maddy loved. But Maddy went to Central Park. There she encountered Fallon in the shape of a Japanese pumpkin. Maddy loved the shape of the Japanese pumpkin. Maddy and the pumpkin procured from the vendor the peanut butter and they spread it on the toast that the pumpkin had carried in the toaster. “Should the pumpkin have peanut butter?” Maddy asked. The pumpkin nodded with deep misgivings. “But let’s not share with Fallon,” Maddy added as the pumpkin smacked its lips that were rapidly swelling. “Why do you hate Fallon?” the pumpkin demanded, eyes shining with increasingly less luster. Maddy made no reply, but she watched the pumpkin swell and swell to desperate proportions.

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{ author and artist bios } Darcy Berenberg is graduating from NYU this May with a degree in Romance Languages, which means she can butcher past participles in three tongues. Her ideal career would be either candy scientist or theremin virtuosa. Josh Borja is a physics major at NYU and works within the Undergraduate Writing Tutors Program. This is his third semester as part of the Minetta community, for which he reads, eats, and does art tasks maybe. In the next life, he might become more himself. Or an orange tree. He hasn’t yet decided. Courtney Bush is from Gulfport, Mississippi. She studies Spanish and French at NYU and really likes making poems. Her spirit animal is Fred Armisen portraying Joy Behar on Saturday Night Live. Silvia Callegari is a 2012 graduate of New York UniversityGallatin School of Individualized Study where she majored in creative writing and architecture. Her concentration, entitled “Architexture,” focused on how structural components in both areas (writing and architecture) interact with and have influenced one another. Silvia was born and raised in New York City and lives in Brooklyn. Randolf Ebanks: As one half of the creative team, “Gravity Barrage,” Randolf uses his camera lens to present his unique view of the world. Through his experience he has come to realize a

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few simple truths; in the bleakest of landscapes there is beauty, in the coldest of winters warmth can be found, in the toughest of situations there is hope. Darren Huang is a graduating senior who will be entering NYU College of Dentistry in the fall. He hopes to continue writing serious fiction. Darrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite authors include James Wood, Saul Bellow, and Yukio Mishima. Brittany Hutzel: when Brittany is not gallivanting through the boroughs with the fictional characters of her own creation, she is studying English and American Literature here at NYU. Ms. Hutzel also enjoys baking, knitting, philosophizing over tea, traveling, and, of course, contemplating Christmas. Despite innumerable requests, she is not in fact at liberty to disclose the current whereabouts of the bearded man. Erren Kelly is a poet based in New York City, by way of Louisiana, by way of Maine, by way of California, and so on. He has been writing for 21 years and has over three dozen publications in print and online in such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine (online) and other publications. His most recent publication was in In Our Own Words, a Generation X poetry anthology; he has also been published in other anthologies such as Fertile Ground, Beyond The Frontier, to mention a few.

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Daniel Kessel is a graduating senior, where he studied German and Comparative literature at NYU. He also worked for Minetta and enjoyed publishing his own poetry. In a former incarnation we believe him to have been an Irish-born draftsman for the Titanic; news of the tragedy led him to America, where he lived the dreams left unrealized by the disaster. Future generations of NYU poets may send him their NYU poetry (a burgeoning genre) any time: dknjoy@gmail.com. Tracy Marciano is a self taught photographer specializing in the use of colour and how it is woven into society to explore and interpret environments and experiences. The winner of several awards, she has traveled around the world extensively and has worked to capture unifying themes within architecture, culture, the shifting nature of time and humanity which unite us. Tracy’s photographic works have been published in Buffalo Rising, NYU Journal of Global Affairs and Islands Magazine. A graduate of New York University in Art History and Cultural Anthropology she also received a Master of Science from Pratt Institute School of Architecture. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree Landscape Design at Columbia University, focusing on therapeutic landscapes and gardens that bloom night. Stephen Massimalla’s collection Forty Floors from Yesterday received the Bordighera Poetry Prize. Other awards include the Grolier Poetry Prize for Later on Aiaia, a Van Renssalaer Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and two Pushcart nominations. Massimilla has recent work in AGNI, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Chelsea, The Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Greensboro Review, Gulf Stream, Provincetown Arts, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. He teaches at Columbia University and The New School.

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Monique Pratt is in her early twenties. She has a strong passion for the arts as well as seeing the beauty in the natural enviornment. We are all artists at heart. Peace and love. 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 & chaos, beauty & destruction, and the traditional & unusual. More of Reichert’s work can be found here: http://kristenreichert.carbonmade.com. Fabio Sassi has had several experiences in music, photography and writing. He has been a visual artist since 1990 making acrylics using the stenciling technique on canvas, board, old vinyl records and other media. Fabio uses logos, icons, tiny objects and shades to create weird perspectives. Many of his subjects are inspired by a paradox, either real or imaginary, and by the news. He lives in Bologna, Italy. His work appears in several online magazines like This Zine, Right Hand Pointing, Synchronized Chaos Magazine, Qwerty Magazine, Orion Headless, OVS Magazine, Phoebe Journal, Rem Magazine, Yes Poetry, Four and Twenty, Burner Magazine, Freedom Fiction Journal, Every Day Other Things, and many others. Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 370 national and international online and print journals. Some of Dr. Williamson’s visual art and/or poetry has been published in journals representing over 30 colleges and universities around the world. Visit Dr. Williamson’s website: www.yessy.com/ budicegenius Minetta Review

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The Minetta Review est. 1974

Editor-in-Chief: Emily H Ho Managing Editor: Daniel Kessel Director of Operations: Jessie Hsia Treasurer: Joshua Borja Staff: Cristina Fiore, Eliot Higbie, Jordan Mariuma, Chloe Moffett

The Minetta Review is published twice a school year. Sometimes three. We are continually looking for the work of emerging poets. So whether you’re part of the NYU community or beyond, please send your works – a limit of 5 poems, or prose pieces < 1,500 words – to minetta.club@nyu.edu. We also welcome pictures (equal or more than 300 dpi). The Minetta Review is a New York University publication. minetta.club@nyu.edu www.nyu.edu/clubs/minetta


Minetta Review Spring 2012