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ISSUE No. 1

APRIL


THE NARRATOR Issue No. 1

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The Narrator is an inter-collegiate magazine that is open to all artistic submissions. The goal of the magazine is to share ideas and to network through the spread of uncensored artwork. We would like to connect the communities of artists and writers who share a passion for appreciating and creating art. We want to see what people are doing and we know you do too. Sean Hagerty Editor in Chief

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THE NARRATOR

BEDTIME Issue No. 1

“I’m going to bed,” she says. The Knicks are on and losing by 20, Kobe is shooting the lights out. I’ve nearly dosed off to sleep by now. While malaise is stealing my love by night like a thief, I realize I’ve lost much more than another February home game. I’ve lost our nights. What used to be a race to see who could pile up clothing the quickest is now tired choreography pitting partners against each other. Gone are the days of bending over backwards – and forwards – for the other that is more than significant.

The one who knows where all your freckles are.

Staying up late with the owls. Making you scream all types of vowels. O,O,O….I,I,I love U,U,U. And love without the vowels is just “LV.” Which makes about as much sense as the way we feel tonight.

Lights out was no naptime tradition but rather an invitation for an excavation of properly charted territory. Marks of birth mark the next stop on the local train to our mutual destination.

I like to think penguins mate for life because bedtime is too cold alone. Black and white reminders of the color that life used to be. Before the lights went out on you and me.

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“I read the manuscript of your novel.” “The one about the novelist who figures out that he’s trapped in a book and that his life only exists within the book and that the book he is in is actually trapped inside a living woman?”

THE NARRATOR

DEARTH BEFORE DETAIL

“Yeah. Pretty disturbing.” “Well it should be, it’s saying something very serious about the world and the human condition.” “Really?”

“What’s your message then?”

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“Of course. You clearly had a visceral reaction to my story of which said reaction transcended your cerebral processor and immediately slipped into your subconscious. Neat huh?”

“...?” “You know, the stuff about the world and the human condition. What’s like your message or theme or whatever?” “Um, I can’t really tell you that. It would defeat the purpose of reading the book. Besides, I think it’s part of some sacred author’s code or something.” “Sacred author’s code? Genius, you wrote a silly story about some weirdo privileged writer having an existential crisis who finds out he’s trapped inside a book which is actually trapped inside a living woman. Seems like a phallocentric, suburban byproduct if you ask me. Also, what kind of serious writer uses Microsoft Word to write a novel? The big shots are gonna crack up when you tell them your editor is spell check.” “First of all Svetlana, you know I don’t go by Genius anymore; I hate that name. Call me Elixir. Yeah, Elixir. Secondly, it’s clear that you don’t get it. You’re not really my audience anyway – they appreciate the technological advantages of Microsoft Word.” “I get that you are an android writer who produces android writing.” “You’re just not meta enough to get my work.” “Genius, you’re an idiot.” “It’s Elixir bitch.”

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THE NARRATOR

Issue No. 1

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Most meth that makes its way to rural America is not home grown, but rather from

THE DRUG WAR

The higher up who scolded me gave this advice: “There is only one truth, the truth

Canada. It does seem unprecedented that the backward farm folk of the American South could

that we write. We know the secrets and weave the web. We have a monopoly on truth and you

purchase high quality drugs from our progressive neighbors to the North. The Canadians

are lucky enough to be in on it, so you better be careful of what you do, James.” That is not

transport their goods in white “Astro” vans with shielded windows. The vans have blinds that

exactly what I still hold to be true in my line of work but I do believe in my truth, especially

stretch to the floor dividing the passenger and driver seats from the rest of the vehicle. In the

in a nation of five foot nothings with no spines. My life is like that of a god cast down into the

back of the van there is a small laboratory equipped with cough medicine and lawn fertilizer.

shambles of a lower plain. I have seen what is good and I have seen what they cannot.

There are more than enough of these components to manufacture enough domestic terror use these ingredients for such purposes, but choose rather to fill our brains with holy goblin

I guess that is why I never think much about the Chinois or the morality of what it is I

am doing in this overcrowded organism.

filled highs. These white vans travel in secret across state and national borders to produce and

deliver their contents to the demanding consumer. In Tennessee they call these fat unicorns

over a grueling number of hours that no people with any grit would ever stand for. It is for that

“shit-sleds.”

I have dreams sometimes about herds of shit-sleds roaming the great American plains,

then sprouting wings and lofting their two ton frames over the heights of the Rocky Mountains before descending to glide on the cool tender breezes of the Pacific Ocean before arriving in my damp Beijing apartment.

The water drips from the faucet and helps keep a consistent beat to which the rest of

Most of the populace works factory jobs performing a single uniform task everyday

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explosives to shut down the whole nation’s economy. However, the Canadians would never

THE NARRATOR

THE DRUG WAR

reason that meth has such potential to take hold. These people idealize the far fetched realities of the American cinema they have learned to void the copy rights on. They long to experience the far fetched night life and adventures of their favorite stars, they long to be free, and god bless them I intend to at least free them from the shackles of their minds if I can’t free their bodies. Meth, the holy nectar of the gods, the material I posses, that holds the power here to change lives, free spirits and bring down governments. I’m changing the world out here and I will give them what they need, even if they have not realized they need it yet.

the nighttime Beijing sounds can perform an accompaniment. The sounds create music much more like techno than the calming country styling of my native Texas. In my third year in Beijing I still have not learned Chinois. I use French not for cultural reasons but because the whole of my building associates my large foreign features with that of Frenchmen. Not one of them has ever seen a Frenchmen before.

In my third year here the program is really beginning to develop. After setting up an

internal network of developers and dealers, meth dens have started to spring up. My work has become pretty easy because of this and progress has other perks, like government pay raises and leave that I am more than willing to accept.

I made the mistake once of telling an American tourist that I hooked up with that

I worked for the government. Fortunately, most of what I was wearing that night had been bugged as I was supposed to be at the hotel bar for work, but instead was drunk and more interested in fraternizing with strawberry blond home grown girls than I was in work. I was reprimanded harshly for my actions and god only knows what happened to that know-nothing twenty-something.

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The tapping of the glass pane echoes throughout my vacant mind Roaring excitement on the other side controls my gaze A thunderous gust of wind bombards the giant oak tree Sending a cloud of orange, yellow, and amber of leaves sailing on this fresh wave

So badly do I long to hold this elegance in my possession To feel the tranquility between the grips of my hands Peering out at this treasure again, a final realization strikes me It was never for sale

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Fluttering wings suddenly race skyward I strain to see the dancing birds float in unison among the clouds The staccato of fresh raindrops reverberates on the glass barrier Slowly inching and meandering their way downward

THE NARRATOR

WINDOW – SHOPPING

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He smelt the rag. He could see the room filling up. For every familiar face there were four strangers their disinterest was deafening. He sniffed the rag.

THEIR CONTEMPORARY MEANINGS Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say what we need to say. I am made of three things. I am 1 part glass, 1 part imagination, and all of the words/idioms you could dream of using. Except for 10. These words are the fat of the English language. They are the pebble in your shoe and the fly in your soup. These words aren’t really words at all; they are voices. 1. Whatever = Fuck You.

Six states? Seven Days? How did he not know their face?

2. Okay = Whatever.

He smelt the rag.

4. Sure = Fine, Whatever.

It had a cooling effect on the nostrils followed by a steaming jolt of awareness to the brain followed by confusion and hallucinations

5. Maybe = No.

the latter, he ignored as He sniffed the rag. Someone offered him a cigarette, “No those’ll kill you.” Less and less did the familiar faces look friendly. maybe he didn’t know any of them. The lights in the room were really getting to him He couldn’t recognize anyone Anything If he looked down he knew he’d see them So what did it matter if he couldn’t feel them. Exhale. Inhale, on the rag. Someone pushed him to go out he spun round to catch a demon it was the principal.

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And as he stood there, telling them he was the right pick He thought they were plotting, trying to make him sick These are a few of the side affects Of politicians, on speed, from the black market.

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Too long had they been traveling. For faces, to not look familiar.

TEN SINFUL WORDS AND IDIOMS

THE NARRATOR

BIG ED

3. Fine = Whatever.

6. No = I don’t love you. Put the toy back on the shelf, you’re a spoiled brat. You can’t come back to this Catholic school because you are a poor, spoiled, high-yellow, million dollar word using nigger. You are nothing. 7. That’s nice = I don’t care. I’m not listening. I’m tired just let me sleep. I’m just a walking wallet to you. I’m a scapegoat. I’m your tuition machine. I am your worst nightmare of a life that happens to a man that once had dreams. I am living this life so that you can do greater things than me. The last thing I want to hear today after you asked me for 200 dollars for books is a list of your favorite actors who have played Superman. Please go somewhere. 8. I’m sorry = a tricky phrase. It could mean I’m sorry. I am truly sorry. I regret my decision/ error. It could mean I don’t know what I did wrong. It could mean shut up, Mom. Shut up family. Shut up culture. I never asked to be this way. A patchwork monster made from corpses in a graveyard of a patchwork culture wasteland. I don’t know what it is that I am always doing wrong. I don’t care what it is. Whatever I am doing wrong is going to make me very happy one day. I am sorry that I am not sorry. 9. I don’t care = I don’t care. Fuck You. Or, I want you to disappear. Or, I do care. I care very much. 10. Nevermind = I don’t want you to understand. I’m too weak to stand behind what I want to say. I wish you wanted to hear what I want to say. As you can see these words/idioms have no place. They are black holes in contemporary conversations. I think John Mayer said it best. We should say what we need to say. Cut the fat off of your vocabulary kids.

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the first installment of a sonnet series I heard about you a long time ago. But did not ever approach you. Until one night when I began to grow. Did I know what I was supposed to do.

These words far from scholar yet I am not ashamed It is well known men don’t think with their brains. Our hearts in our stomach, I think. Near there. Our minds I’m sure are south, I’d say…elsewhere

I found the greatest tree within the wood Took out my saw—so I may cut it down. I used my flexor as best as I could And in good time—it cracked and came down.

Unlike those men who inked in the sixteenth My issue is different as well as technique. Not tortured by any distant lover I’m tormented by my skin brother

Could now take and create with this lumber Build and involve more with this new power But all I want, is to lay and slumber And chop another in an hour.

Heard a call from myself, below the skin ‘write about what we know, and where we’ve been’

With teams and machines, gift would expand For now my dreams will stick in my hand

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I called the broads who live on Parnassus ‘Hey, you think I could borrow some glasses?’ I’m trying to be one of the elite Who write hundreds in iambic, with feet.

THE NARRATOR

THERE’S TWO OF US

Rejoice! Rejoice! Revel! My race of men We have been graced with a lite burden Get birthed. Get fed. Get paid, and then get dead. We do all this with not one, but two heads. Tis true to you that no sound can compare To your own name mingling within the air. But I contest that what is best, next place To me, would be, pleased by, my face. So satisfied am I—with a mirror So pleased I be—do not interferor. My thinking, starts stinking, while keeping from Blinking. From dawn to dusk and when the sun Begins to permit young flowers to bloom Continued countenance I’ll still be consumed

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the first installment of a sonnet series I heard about you a long time ago. But did not ever approach you. Until one night when I began to grow. Did I know what I was supposed to do.

Its really quite nice to hang out with you Because you’re not ever that time consuming. Its truly bliss to make love to you I just go back to what I was doing.

I found the greatest tree within the wood Took out my saw—so I may cut it down. I used my flexor as best as I could And in good time—it cracked and came down.

Its so simple to get in touch with you And so, we have great communication. We always share the most beautiful views No valley low, perhaps elevation.

Could now take and create with this lumber Build and involve more with this new power But all I want, is to lay and slumber And chop another in an hour.

Praise the day I pulled that lever That made you enter my life forever

With teams and machines, gift would expand For now my dreams will stick in my hand

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Its really quite easy to be with you From sitting around, to hitting the town You always want to do, what I want to do from calling you up, to ‘look what I found!’

THE NARRATOR

THERE’S TWO OF US

Interviewing the Artist, or the 14 year old boy. I used to work solely on portraiture I meet someone, I incorporate her But after some time it became quite dull With it, came an imagination lull Now for a time I’ve been a film artist It’s the interaction I can’t resist. I feel separated from the subject I want to make them move, to make them sweat Now, I think I’ll go three dimensional Maybe some structures, maybe some sculptures Whatever it is I must be involved This is the only way I can evolve Portraist separate. Film you’re a pervert. 3D is life, that’s it I’m a convert.

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THE NARRATOR

KEEP ME HOLY

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Keep me holy as I fade, love. Keep me sacred in the years to come. Keep me holy as the sun burns away the last of the skin I had kissed      when we were young. As whatever it is that makes us up remakes us up      like it does all things           even your hand, which I knew so well, has become new                despite the stubborn fervor of my teenage grip. Keep me holy as I drift into the recesses of your past      and your imperfect mind      reconstructs my face and my hands and my eyes and the hairs on my chest. Keep me holy as your future conquests ravage my legacy.      As you grip the skin of another lover’s back            and his lust                overwhelms the memory of mine. Keep me holy in that soft nostalgia of age      when I might return to greet you just before sleep,      or just after,      or in between,      or as you race through the most banal of moments,      or as your children laugh another’s laughter,           yet, for once, somehow,                you are reminded of me. Keep me holy, love,      so my mistakes           my shortcomings                the permanent scars on the back of my being                     the lacerations on the arms of our bond                          which had burned so bright and so furiously                               might one day fade from view. Keep me holy so that I might leave you smiling      through the onslaught of my growing insignificance           and our love might finally be understood                to have been guilty of nothing but youth. Guilty of nothing at all.

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Issue No. 1 1 & cover – 3– 4– 5– 6&7– 8– 9 & 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 15 –

Luke Brewer James Splendore Tom St. Laurent Mike Shilstone Marissa Lorusso Mike Hagerty M. Vincent Tom Voorheis Martin Elperin Sarah Conte Patrick Boyle Michael Stevens

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Chris Mongeau Mark Fitton Patrick Boyle

18 – 19 – 20 – 21 –

Joe Kameem Max Reid Joe Maruca Martin Elperin

University of Massachusetts Amherst Dylan Manhattan College Bedtime Manhattan College Deep in the Devil’s Eyes Manhattan College Dearth Before Detail Vassar College Letter Xaverian Brothers High School Untitled Manhattan College The Drug War Manhattan College Window Shopping Owl University of Massachusetts Amherst Untitled Manhattan College Big Ed Manhattan College Ten Sinful Words & Idioms Manhattan College & Their Contemporary Meanings Patches. Poems Untitled Rhode Island College Fire Pratt There’s Two of Us Manhattan College The First Installment of a Sonnet Series Bat–Pug Boston College Keep Me Holy Manhattan College She Is a Slice of Super Moon Manhattan College Street University of Massachusetts Amherst

Sean Hagerty Editor in Chief Matthew Ciaramella Editor Matthew Lewicki Design / Layout / Editor Patrick Boyle Editor

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Jamie Houghton Editor / Layout

Special Thanks Adam Koehler Interested in Contributing to The Narrator? Email us at submissions.narrator@gmail.com Read The Narrator online at addressonline.com



The Narrator | April Issue