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SPECTRUM LITERARY ARTS MAGAZINE

FALL 2014

www.spectrum.neu.edu


spectrum.magazine@gmail.com www.spectrum.neu.edu 234 Curry Student Center Mailbox: 240 Curry Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine showcases the talents of writers and artists at Northeastern University. All members of the Northeastern community are encouraged to submit original works of poetry, prose, and visual art.

EXECUTIVE STAFF

Editor-in-Chief: Aislyn Fredsall Layout and Design: Rowan Walrath Secretary: Julia Renner Financial Manager: William Jackson Advertising Manager: Elke Thoms

LAYOUT COMMITTEE

Natalya Jean, Ailee Yanagishita, Douglas Russo, Lin Qi, Courtney Langdell, Anna Driscoll

GENERAL MEMBERS

Kate O’Brien, Paige Welch, Megan O’Brien, Anna Driscoll, Joey Columbus, Lukasz Grabowski, Kelly Burgess, Abbie Doane-Simon, Rodney Bedell, Douglas Russo, Callie Marsalisi, Alexandra Forzato, Maura Fertich, Cheryl Downie, Natalya Jean, Leeny Doughty, Evan Hale, Kelsey Patrick, Joe Forti, Kaley Bachelder, Alana Dore, Holly Van Hare, Camilla Hao, Lin Qi No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine and/or respective authors. Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine reserves the right to edit submissions, layout, grammar, spelling, and punctuation unless explicitly instructed otherwise by the author or artist. The views and opinions in this medium do not necessarily reflect those of Northeastern University or the staff of Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine. Cover art adapted from “Kid Color” by Gabriela Guilarte. Contents page art adapted from “Satan” by Chanel Jiahui Gao.

CONTENTS 4. 6.

Difficulty with Transitions Seamus Dunn The Dance Emily Wildermuth Ink on canvas Lukasz Grabowski Reflect Emily Wildermuth

8. n the little lake Eden Shulman Mapparium Gabriela Guilarte 10.

Wormhole Chanel Jiahui Gao

12.

red blanket Callie Marsalisi big red Charlie Steiner

14.

.leeP Ana Porta Spotted Through Wardrobe Ben Landsberg

16.

Souvenirs Lindsey Ashe

18. 20. 22.

24.

Traffic Jam Ben Greenman A Cliché About Joy Alana Dore I don’t know this girl Kim Terrizzi

26. 28.

Spacetime Kayla Allen Black and White Shuying Huang Indian with Flowers Gabriela Guilarte

30. Nightly Thoughts Mara Donofrio Skylight Kelly Burgess 32.

Before You Olivia Van Benschoten The Cold Natalya Jean

34.

[

] Morgan Lundgren A Cat Knows Everything Shuying Huang

36. Evelyn The sky tonight Natalya Jean Ivy Pepin Serene Giant Leopard Moth Wants to Stay Emily Wildermuth Caroline Malouse 38. continental drift running water Julia Renner Jess Imbro One Way Out la coeur de la mer Ben Landsberg Jennifer Kronmiller Coastline Bianca Zabala His Former Summer Elke Thoms 40. Appleton Farms The Pier Abbie Doane-Simon Jodie Ng Untitled Chloe Reshetar-Jost

2


spectrum.magazine@gmail.com www.spectrum.neu.edu 234 Curry Student Center Mailbox: 240 Curry Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine showcases the talents of writers and artists at Northeastern University. All members of the Northeastern community are encouraged to submit original works of poetry, prose, and visual art.

EXECUTIVE STAFF

Editor-in-Chief: Aislyn Fredsall Layout and Design: Rowan Walrath Secretary: Julia Renner Financial Manager: William Jackson Advertising Manager: Elke Thoms

LAYOUT COMMITTEE

Natalya Jean, Ailee Yanagishita, Douglas Russo, Lin Qi, Courtney Langdell, Anna Driscoll

GENERAL MEMBERS

Kate O’Brien, Paige Welch, Megan O’Brien, Anna Driscoll, Joey Columbus, Lukasz Grabowski, Kelly Burgess, Abbie Doane-Simon, Rodney Bedell, Douglas Russo, Callie Marsalisi, Alexandra Forzato, Maura Fertich, Cheryl Downie, Natalya Jean, Leeny Doughty, Evan Hale, Kelsey Patrick, Joe Forti, Kaley Bachelder, Alana Dore, Holly Van Hare, Camilla Hao, Lin Qi No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine and/or respective authors. Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine reserves the right to edit submissions, layout, grammar, spelling, and punctuation unless explicitly instructed otherwise by the author or artist. The views and opinions in this medium do not necessarily reflect those of Northeastern University or the staff of Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine. Cover art adapted from “Kid Color” by Gabriela Guilarte. Contents page art adapted from “Satan” by Chanel Jiahui Gao.

CONTENTS 4. 6.

Difficulty with Transitions Seamus Dunn The Dance Emily Wildermuth Ink on canvas Lukasz Grabowski Reflect Emily Wildermuth

8. n the little lake Eden Shulman Mapparium Gabriela Guilarte 10.

Wormhole Chanel Jiahui Gao

12.

red blanket Callie Marsalisi big red Charlie Steiner

14.

.leeP Ana Porta Spotted Through Wardrobe Ben Landsberg

16.

Souvenirs Lindsey Ashe

18. 20. 22.

24.

Traffic Jam Ben Greenman A Cliché About Joy Alana Dore I don’t know this girl Kim Terrizzi

26. 28.

Spacetime Kayla Allen Black and White Shuying Huang Indian with Flowers Gabriela Guilarte

30. Nightly Thoughts Mara Donofrio Skylight Kelly Burgess 32.

Before You Olivia Van Benschoten The Cold Natalya Jean

34.

[

] Morgan Lundgren A Cat Knows Everything Shuying Huang

36. Evelyn The sky tonight Natalya Jean Ivy Pepin Serene Giant Leopard Moth Wants to Stay Emily Wildermuth Caroline Malouse 38. continental drift running water Julia Renner Jess Imbro One Way Out la coeur de la mer Ben Landsberg Jennifer Kronmiller Coastline Bianca Zabala His Former Summer Elke Thoms 40. Appleton Farms The Pier Abbie Doane-Simon Jodie Ng Untitled Chloe Reshetar-Jost

2


EMILY WILDERMUTH

The Dance

Difficulty with Transitions

SEAMUS DUNN

Doing what I’ve been doing just how I have been doing it Changing gears auto clutch functions when coal steam plans out of coal Torque talk tea time take me to your leaders General elect Ted generator red blue proto to generations later Classical physics chair does no work holding up your butt there Stand for six hours it starts to smart but can’t argue with professor Magnets pull towards iron closest all those bulky old TVs colossal Tell me the war’s not for staking the oil laissez faire your chariot is horse shit When it’s always on sale it feels like infinity like all we have to fear is fear Then you throw in the radio and life is a dream none of you pricks could mine coal Do you love your country and does it love you are the politicians united in anything The grid brings the poles the wired net speaks your solution must yield a megaton

4


EMILY WILDERMUTH

The Dance

Difficulty with Transitions

SEAMUS DUNN

Doing what I’ve been doing just how I have been doing it Changing gears auto clutch functions when coal steam plans out of coal Torque talk tea time take me to your leaders General elect Ted generator red blue proto to generations later Classical physics chair does no work holding up your butt there Stand for six hours it starts to smart but can’t argue with professor Magnets pull towards iron closest all those bulky old TVs colossal Tell me the war’s not for staking the oil laissez faire your chariot is horse shit When it’s always on sale it feels like infinity like all we have to fear is fear Then you throw in the radio and life is a dream none of you pricks could mine coal Do you love your country and does it love you are the politicians united in anything The grid brings the poles the wired net speaks your solution must yield a megaton

4


Ink on canvas

LUKASZ GRABOWSKI

the mockingbird’s notes floated through the window screen aboard a gentle summer breeze. the harmony’s essence and the kiss of the air tickled my mind with images of a serene landscape, a lonely evergreen in the middle of a pasture covered by knee high wheatgrass, licked by a gust of wind that sang the song of nature’s indifference. it was just a smudge of some dream, some memory, but surely it exists somewhere out there. if notwell, i’ll let the breeze wash over me and paint pictures on my mind’s blank canvas.

Reflect

EMILY WILDERMUTH

6


Ink on canvas

LUKASZ GRABOWSKI

the mockingbird’s notes floated through the window screen aboard a gentle summer breeze. the harmony’s essence and the kiss of the air tickled my mind with images of a serene landscape, a lonely evergreen in the middle of a pasture covered by knee high wheatgrass, licked by a gust of wind that sang the song of nature’s indifference. it was just a smudge of some dream, some memory, but surely it exists somewhere out there. if notwell, i’ll let the breeze wash over me and paint pictures on my mind’s blank canvas.

Reflect

EMILY WILDERMUTH

6


n the little lake

EDEN SHULMAN

n the little lake. The thai mansion – eggs out, McFinny’s abounds, sweep the streets and up blanket avenues. When I left my house and walked to Denver, I watched crows flap at 4am, invisible in the morning half-light, wings skimming brightly over unmoving puddles. Mexican food for breakfast, and eating alone under a bridge. I have a little white dove that sits on the mantelpiece above my fire, and sometimes, when it’s warm enough, he shivers imperceptibly. I watch him in the tired times, when the backyard vibrates with frightened ghosts, when every window hides a face full of reflection, when the mirror is indented with the scent of living things. “Granted, your still life portraits mean more to me than any junkyard dog or bastion of nonsense.” My hands, my lips, the corners of my chin, the edge and furrows of my hips, the creases between my toes, the poetry in the rivets of my spine, the bumps and narrows of my tongue, the rivers flowing down the cliffs of my palms. Walt Whitman once observed a spear of summer grass, formulated a notion shorn out from the brink, and cascaded speech with a great fluency of meaning. I intend to do the same with the way you hold your coffee cup or the salsa dancing you once taught me on that hot day in July. That brooch is standing erect on the desk jacket in the hallway, by the one stained with bleach. The curling iron left under the sink in the bathroom. “Bastard! This puppy! The edge of your iris!” Have you ever noticed the same great shark that follows me from room to room? He grins and flies through the air with a purpose and a drive. Fish-killer, I wait for him; love him with the best brain I can find.

7

By the meadows, you sit. In the reeds, on the banks of the stream. Down here, the water flaps silky. The mud crumbles under you, erodes down towards the eddies and pools. The grass is green by the base and yellow up top, and the fish are visible swimming against the current. The trees bend down to touch you with their willow stalks, and so do I. This summer seems to b

Mapparium

GABRIELA GUILARTE


n the little lake

EDEN SHULMAN

n the little lake. The thai mansion – eggs out, McFinny’s abounds, sweep the streets and up blanket avenues. When I left my house and walked to Denver, I watched crows flap at 4am, invisible in the morning half-light, wings skimming brightly over unmoving puddles. Mexican food for breakfast, and eating alone under a bridge. I have a little white dove that sits on the mantelpiece above my fire, and sometimes, when it’s warm enough, he shivers imperceptibly. I watch him in the tired times, when the backyard vibrates with frightened ghosts, when every window hides a face full of reflection, when the mirror is indented with the scent of living things. “Granted, your still life portraits mean more to me than any junkyard dog or bastion of nonsense.” My hands, my lips, the corners of my chin, the edge and furrows of my hips, the creases between my toes, the poetry in the rivets of my spine, the bumps and narrows of my tongue, the rivers flowing down the cliffs of my palms. Walt Whitman once observed a spear of summer grass, formulated a notion shorn out from the brink, and cascaded speech with a great fluency of meaning. I intend to do the same with the way you hold your coffee cup or the salsa dancing you once taught me on that hot day in July. That brooch is standing erect on the desk jacket in the hallway, by the one stained with bleach. The curling iron left under the sink in the bathroom. “Bastard! This puppy! The edge of your iris!” Have you ever noticed the same great shark that follows me from room to room? He grins and flies through the air with a purpose and a drive. Fish-killer, I wait for him; love him with the best brain I can find.

7

By the meadows, you sit. In the reeds, on the banks of the stream. Down here, the water flaps silky. The mud crumbles under you, erodes down towards the eddies and pools. The grass is green by the base and yellow up top, and the fish are visible swimming against the current. The trees bend down to touch you with their willow stalks, and so do I. This summer seems to b

Mapparium

GABRIELA GUILARTE


Wormhole

9

CHANEL JIAHUI GAO


Wormhole

9

CHANEL JIAHUI GAO


red blanket

CALLIE MARSALISI

big red

11 CHARLIE STEINER

that path is paved and the ride is smooth like cough syrup slipping slipping down your throat at the end of the day because you may as well go out on a waterfall of grape the medicine of your childhood rather than on the slow rope of love and papers and job interviews and vodka and headaches and sleeping in when you’re not supposed to and missed deadlines and stop signs and every time you sign your name and it looks less and less like you but I guess this is what the universe is made of now kick your shoes off, love and get comfortable

tissues on the floor scattered like so many wasted days use them to cork up the bottle in your hand as if you’re stopping up the future never be afraid to talk to me about your tics, because darling, I know compulsions my life is a series of “thank God it’s over” and this sounds like every piece of pretentious poetry you’ve ever read on the internet on some blog in lowercase ambiguous talking about love or death or illness or alcohol or maybe all four at once and maybe I’m just another piece of shitty poetry and you’re just another muse, but honey, at least we know


red blanket

CALLIE MARSALISI

big red

11 CHARLIE STEINER

that path is paved and the ride is smooth like cough syrup slipping slipping down your throat at the end of the day because you may as well go out on a waterfall of grape the medicine of your childhood rather than on the slow rope of love and papers and job interviews and vodka and headaches and sleeping in when you’re not supposed to and missed deadlines and stop signs and every time you sign your name and it looks less and less like you but I guess this is what the universe is made of now kick your shoes off, love and get comfortable

tissues on the floor scattered like so many wasted days use them to cork up the bottle in your hand as if you’re stopping up the future never be afraid to talk to me about your tics, because darling, I know compulsions my life is a series of “thank God it’s over” and this sounds like every piece of pretentious poetry you’ve ever read on the internet on some blog in lowercase ambiguous talking about love or death or illness or alcohol or maybe all four at once and maybe I’m just another piece of shitty poetry and you’re just another muse, but honey, at least we know


.leeP

ANA PORTA

P e e l it back Not with familiarity, no. This one is different. They all are. But this difference knows its limits. The extent of disparity is paper-thin, like a molting layer of sunburnt skin. The variations branch and they branch. And they branch. But then they stop Because this is not an infinite experience. It is mind-numbingly finite.

Spotted Through Wardrobe

BEN LANDSBERG

Twining fibers writhe and rise into dust. A pulse of fragile moisture pools over the ridge of your thumbnail. You’ve gone too far. Next time. The sound, oh. That prickle of removal. Nostalgia brings you back to the park district soccer matches at half-time. Good game. Keep peeling – do not dwell there. You came for the treasure But you stay for the chest. Expose the ribs. The smell, wake up. It wakes you up. down there it’s even stronger. Keep peeling. Now you have to know. But what the hell are you doing? You grind and you grind. And you grind. But you will never find What’s written on a goddamn orange rind.

14


.leeP

ANA PORTA

P e e l it back Not with familiarity, no. This one is different. They all are. But this difference knows its limits. The extent of disparity is paper-thin, like a molting layer of sunburnt skin. The variations branch and they branch. And they branch. But then they stop Because this is not an infinite experience. It is mind-numbingly finite.

Spotted Through Wardrobe

BEN LANDSBERG

Twining fibers writhe and rise into dust. A pulse of fragile moisture pools over the ridge of your thumbnail. You’ve gone too far. Next time. The sound, oh. That prickle of removal. Nostalgia brings you back to the park district soccer matches at half-time. Good game. Keep peeling – do not dwell there. You came for the treasure But you stay for the chest. Expose the ribs. The smell, wake up. It wakes you up. down there it’s even stronger. Keep peeling. Now you have to know. But what the hell are you doing? You grind and you grind. And you grind. But you will never find What’s written on a goddamn orange rind.

14


Souvenirs

LINDSEY ASHE

My best friend once told me, “I fall a little bit in love with every person I meet,” and I think I still belonged to myself too much then to understand how each person can take a part of you away like a group of children run away from a piñata with smiling faces and sticky fingers and bruises from a misplaced elbow I didn’t understand how you can leave pieces of yourself with different people for safe-keeping and maybe it’s not a magic spell to split your soul but the lyrics to my favorite song are still stuck in her smile like it was a piece of me that no one else can reach for, because it isn’t there I left it on an end table back in a one-bedroom apartment next to a baseball park you see, if anyone ever wants to come chasing after me I’ll leave a trail of deflating hearts each with a piece of a person that they’re still cradling like a teddy bear missing limbs ask them who they’re holding maybe they’ll tell you a piece of who I was maybe she’ll tell you about how the whole year I was a walking infirmary I held my arm between myself and the seatbelt so it didn’t press but never blamed her when she slammed too hard on the brakes maybe he’ll tell you about the night that we were leaning against one of the classroom buildings in the too-cold air and he said something so nice that it made me cry—because I believed him maybe she’ll tell you about the way I’d do anything for her as long as she gave me a bottle of wine, even though all I really needed for a buzz was her smile maybe he’ll tell you how I unconsciously kiss his shoulder when we walk because I guess I’ve wanted my lips on his skin for years maybe she’ll tell you how I loved her in a dress and heels and red lipstick, my god but I loved her more when she was in sweatpants, in a tshirt, in my arms, in pieces in more than bare skin could show there’s a part of me the part that I have left that wants to get all these people together make them bring their piñata candies, whether they’re still wrapped or not maybe I want all of me back so one day I can give someone all the peanut butter cups they want and a bear with all its limbs even if one eye is inevitably lopsided but I got a different limb back for every limb I lost

like the scar she has on her arm from a car accident and I hear she tells people now that she got mauled by a bear like a tshirt from his favorite rap artist in the top drawer of my dresser like the longest innocuously named playlist on my account with melodies that bring back lazy summer afternoons on her couch like more knowledge about organic chemistry than this English major ever wanted because he wanted to share his world with me like a pile of her sweatshirts, empty coffee cups, and a silver necklace my best friend once said that we get along because we both donate ourselves to people, and that we both need somebody who loves like that, too so that when we pack ourselves up, every bit that we have left (ignoring the dust rings on the shelves where we set knick knacks that long ago went to someone else) when we hand over that box filled with everything we still are they’re willing to give us back something equal. and now I say, maybe it’s always a trade maybe we’re like stars because everything I’m made of was never originally me, I’m built of the atoms of you and the atoms of Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali and our souls float like butterflies across the open sky and sting like bees when they land because they take pieces with them when they leave to pollinate another flower you see, even down to our bones we’re made of other people because our molecules shift and split and so maybe I am her doorbell laughter and her irrational fear of guitar strings and his spiky post-shower hair maybe I can’t walk down certain streets without the ephemeral ghosts of us shimmering, hand in hand, untouchable. maybe I give you all the things that I’ve loved like hand-me-downs in that packed-up donation box because I can’t extract myself from my past, and I bring along pieces of me that are tempered and changed but not broken. I don’t think that I’ve met you yet, but I’ll put a little extra packing tape on the box this time because I know the moving truck always jostles it a bit but something in your smile makes it worth the trip—I’m still trying to give myself away, because one day, the path of hearts will lead to a house with a fence and a puppy or a city apartment with a creaky door and a ventilation problem or to a cottage by the sea, broken seashells and mismatched drinkware and you’ll find me there surrounded by full picture frames a gold bracelet and a poetry book and a beat-up old teddy bear on the dresser next to the bed that we share.

16


Souvenirs

LINDSEY ASHE

My best friend once told me, “I fall a little bit in love with every person I meet,” and I think I still belonged to myself too much then to understand how each person can take a part of you away like a group of children run away from a piñata with smiling faces and sticky fingers and bruises from a misplaced elbow I didn’t understand how you can leave pieces of yourself with different people for safe-keeping and maybe it’s not a magic spell to split your soul but the lyrics to my favorite song are still stuck in her smile like it was a piece of me that no one else can reach for, because it isn’t there I left it on an end table back in a one-bedroom apartment next to a baseball park you see, if anyone ever wants to come chasing after me I’ll leave a trail of deflating hearts each with a piece of a person that they’re still cradling like a teddy bear missing limbs ask them who they’re holding maybe they’ll tell you a piece of who I was maybe she’ll tell you about how the whole year I was a walking infirmary I held my arm between myself and the seatbelt so it didn’t press but never blamed her when she slammed too hard on the brakes maybe he’ll tell you about the night that we were leaning against one of the classroom buildings in the too-cold air and he said something so nice that it made me cry—because I believed him maybe she’ll tell you about the way I’d do anything for her as long as she gave me a bottle of wine, even though all I really needed for a buzz was her smile maybe he’ll tell you how I unconsciously kiss his shoulder when we walk because I guess I’ve wanted my lips on his skin for years maybe she’ll tell you how I loved her in a dress and heels and red lipstick, my god but I loved her more when she was in sweatpants, in a tshirt, in my arms, in pieces in more than bare skin could show there’s a part of me the part that I have left that wants to get all these people together make them bring their piñata candies, whether they’re still wrapped or not maybe I want all of me back so one day I can give someone all the peanut butter cups they want and a bear with all its limbs even if one eye is inevitably lopsided but I got a different limb back for every limb I lost

like the scar she has on her arm from a car accident and I hear she tells people now that she got mauled by a bear like a tshirt from his favorite rap artist in the top drawer of my dresser like the longest innocuously named playlist on my account with melodies that bring back lazy summer afternoons on her couch like more knowledge about organic chemistry than this English major ever wanted because he wanted to share his world with me like a pile of her sweatshirts, empty coffee cups, and a silver necklace my best friend once said that we get along because we both donate ourselves to people, and that we both need somebody who loves like that, too so that when we pack ourselves up, every bit that we have left (ignoring the dust rings on the shelves where we set knick knacks that long ago went to someone else) when we hand over that box filled with everything we still are they’re willing to give us back something equal. and now I say, maybe it’s always a trade maybe we’re like stars because everything I’m made of was never originally me, I’m built of the atoms of you and the atoms of Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali and our souls float like butterflies across the open sky and sting like bees when they land because they take pieces with them when they leave to pollinate another flower you see, even down to our bones we’re made of other people because our molecules shift and split and so maybe I am her doorbell laughter and her irrational fear of guitar strings and his spiky post-shower hair maybe I can’t walk down certain streets without the ephemeral ghosts of us shimmering, hand in hand, untouchable. maybe I give you all the things that I’ve loved like hand-me-downs in that packed-up donation box because I can’t extract myself from my past, and I bring along pieces of me that are tempered and changed but not broken. I don’t think that I’ve met you yet, but I’ll put a little extra packing tape on the box this time because I know the moving truck always jostles it a bit but something in your smile makes it worth the trip—I’m still trying to give myself away, because one day, the path of hearts will lead to a house with a fence and a puppy or a city apartment with a creaky door and a ventilation problem or to a cottage by the sea, broken seashells and mismatched drinkware and you’ll find me there surrounded by full picture frames a gold bracelet and a poetry book and a beat-up old teddy bear on the dresser next to the bed that we share.

16


The sky tonight

IVY PEPIN

is ripe and mottled cracked by thunder, dripping rain like nectar on the populace music out of car windows conversation blinking to the left and the right stiff hands crumpled in pockets phony glow on downcast faces shoulders twisting past shoulders all in one trembling controlled exertion. Just lift your eyes (the drops may touch them gently) and see the sky tonight, which watches all of this in the same way you watch a butterfly’s deliberate and involuntary lift of its wings.

Giant Leopard Moth Wants to Stay

CAROLINE MALOUSE

18


The sky tonight

IVY PEPIN

is ripe and mottled cracked by thunder, dripping rain like nectar on the populace music out of car windows conversation blinking to the left and the right stiff hands crumpled in pockets phony glow on downcast faces shoulders twisting past shoulders all in one trembling controlled exertion. Just lift your eyes (the drops may touch them gently) and see the sky tonight, which watches all of this in the same way you watch a butterfly’s deliberate and involuntary lift of its wings.

Giant Leopard Moth Wants to Stay

CAROLINE MALOUSE

18


running water

JESS IMBRO In the morning we wake and she is up, up there, rubbing our bones against the stucco ceiling. we watch, still. “hold tight,” she says, and we do. with a metal instrument she removes everything natural from her body, and blends the remains together with black sunflower oil and paste and spills it out into the yard. she calls the birds for breakfast. In the afternoon she washes the house with the names of all her past lovers. she stands at the bottom of the staircase and yells names, his, hers, ours, and mine, and they stick to the ceiling, stalactites, every day they grow longer and longer. soon we will have to move. For lunch she mixes a meal of alka-seltzer and silk, and sings it into our body. “hold tight,” she says, and we do. she keeps slides of sandpaper under her eyelids to keep them warm. her calves are birds, we may not to touch them. For supper she mixes paresthesia and egg whites and throws everything metal into the trash. the bag is pierced and bursts. she pulls each piece out, one by one, whispering sincerer apologies than any she’s ever given us.

la coeur de la mer

JENNIFER KRONMILLER

She keeps the tap running all day, a stream a millimeter thick but always there. it keeps her company. before bed, every night, she curls her fingers up into springs and peels all the skin off her face. none of us are allowed to watch. beneath her skin feathers burst, and we hear the moans from all ends of the house. they are the only noise to which we may fall asleep, and when she comes crawling to bed, unable to fit all of her limbs under the covers, still moaning with each breath, we exhale, and when the mouths on the ends of the strands of her hair start nipping at us in the middle of the night, we exhale, as she is peace and she is the sun. she is everything, she has won. 20


running water

JESS IMBRO In the morning we wake and she is up, up there, rubbing our bones against the stucco ceiling. we watch, still. “hold tight,” she says, and we do. with a metal instrument she removes everything natural from her body, and blends the remains together with black sunflower oil and paste and spills it out into the yard. she calls the birds for breakfast. In the afternoon she washes the house with the names of all her past lovers. she stands at the bottom of the staircase and yells names, his, hers, ours, and mine, and they stick to the ceiling, stalactites, every day they grow longer and longer. soon we will have to move. For lunch she mixes a meal of alka-seltzer and silk, and sings it into our body. “hold tight,” she says, and we do. she keeps slides of sandpaper under her eyelids to keep them warm. her calves are birds, we may not to touch them. For supper she mixes paresthesia and egg whites and throws everything metal into the trash. the bag is pierced and bursts. she pulls each piece out, one by one, whispering sincerer apologies than any she’s ever given us.

la coeur de la mer

JENNIFER KRONMILLER

She keeps the tap running all day, a stream a millimeter thick but always there. it keeps her company. before bed, every night, she curls her fingers up into springs and peels all the skin off her face. none of us are allowed to watch. beneath her skin feathers burst, and we hear the moans from all ends of the house. they are the only noise to which we may fall asleep, and when she comes crawling to bed, unable to fit all of her limbs under the covers, still moaning with each breath, we exhale, and when the mouths on the ends of the strands of her hair start nipping at us in the middle of the night, we exhale, as she is peace and she is the sun. she is everything, she has won. 20


His Former Summer

ELKE THOMS

Jealousy meets me in the form of a curvy brunette with wavy hair and pouted lips. I assume by her lined eyes that she is up for anything like I am up for to-do lists. “To Do This Summer” is the most recent one I made for him. On it, I listed events, road trips, and back roads we will seek out, drive to, and lie in—now that we know we belong together. Yet as I composed it, I imagined the May, June, July, and August before he knew me, when both our arms were wrapped around different necks. Yes, I understand the hypocrisy—I was with someone else, he was with someone else. Still, I cringe and listen close, scalding myself with my imagination. I hear her cooing in that June before, laughing to him in her smooth jazz radio voice. “What’re we doing this summer? Oh, I think you know,” she charms, mocking my list. She snakes his hair and kisses him. She’s in my mind, shooting me a glare that says she and him want their privacy. Through deduction, he had every right to love her. Her name was the first he ever mumbled in the seconds after learning to lose himself to someone else. I don’t know this explicitly, but I can see it—her curls spilling over and around his face, their mouths and eyes blending in a sea of dark hair and tan skin. They melt together, and I—pale, blonde, and without a singing voice—am motionless behind the window. In the aftermath of their ecstasy, they play around with each other’s names. Perhaps she momentarily took his last. He whispers softer and softer. He smiles. They believed they belonged together.

The Pier

JODIE NG

22


His Former Summer

ELKE THOMS

Jealousy meets me in the form of a curvy brunette with wavy hair and pouted lips. I assume by her lined eyes that she is up for anything like I am up for to-do lists. “To Do This Summer” is the most recent one I made for him. On it, I listed events, road trips, and back roads we will seek out, drive to, and lie in—now that we know we belong together. Yet as I composed it, I imagined the May, June, July, and August before he knew me, when both our arms were wrapped around different necks. Yes, I understand the hypocrisy—I was with someone else, he was with someone else. Still, I cringe and listen close, scalding myself with my imagination. I hear her cooing in that June before, laughing to him in her smooth jazz radio voice. “What’re we doing this summer? Oh, I think you know,” she charms, mocking my list. She snakes his hair and kisses him. She’s in my mind, shooting me a glare that says she and him want their privacy. Through deduction, he had every right to love her. Her name was the first he ever mumbled in the seconds after learning to lose himself to someone else. I don’t know this explicitly, but I can see it—her curls spilling over and around his face, their mouths and eyes blending in a sea of dark hair and tan skin. They melt together, and I—pale, blonde, and without a singing voice—am motionless behind the window. In the aftermath of their ecstasy, they play around with each other’s names. Perhaps she momentarily took his last. He whispers softer and softer. He smiles. They believed they belonged together.

The Pier

JODIE NG

22


KIM TERRIZZI

I don’t know this girl

A Cliché About Joy

ALANA DORE

Someone has placed the nozzle of a helium tank in my mouth. it is filling me up, puffing me out lifting the corners of my lips it is growing inside me, like the watermelon seeds my mom told me not to eat rooting and spreading and leeching its way around I need to keep my feet on the ground but gravity just feels more like eight point eight soles leave pavement headed toward heaven [if only for a second] then I touch down lightly this damned skip in my step

Traffic Jam

BEN GREENMAN

going home but not fast enough we stop... and go and stop... and wait for the next “go” wait there in the heat on the highway moving along as one coil of the gasoline-powered slinky or one cell of the world’s angriest inchworm

24


KIM TERRIZZI

I don’t know this girl

A Cliché About Joy

ALANA DORE

Someone has placed the nozzle of a helium tank in my mouth. it is filling me up, puffing me out lifting the corners of my lips it is growing inside me, like the watermelon seeds my mom told me not to eat rooting and spreading and leeching its way around I need to keep my feet on the ground but gravity just feels more like eight point eight soles leave pavement headed toward heaven [if only for a second] then I touch down lightly this damned skip in my step

Traffic Jam

BEN GREENMAN

going home but not fast enough we stop... and go and stop... and wait for the next “go” wait there in the heat on the highway moving along as one coil of the gasoline-powered slinky or one cell of the world’s angriest inchworm

24


Black and White

SHUYING HUANG

Spacetime

KAYLA ALLEN

There are universes within universes, and even though I have nothing to give to the swirling mass of Neptune or offer the Shakespearean moons, I can touch the eleventh dimension that pulsates within your chest. I’m collecting the shrapnel from her supernova, and I’m wearing Alpha Centauri as a cocktail ring, and I’m mapping your freckles like constellations because in my little universe we are galaxies whose spiraling arms intertwine.

26


Black and White

SHUYING HUANG

Spacetime

KAYLA ALLEN

There are universes within universes, and even though I have nothing to give to the swirling mass of Neptune or offer the Shakespearean moons, I can touch the eleventh dimension that pulsates within your chest. I’m collecting the shrapnel from her supernova, and I’m wearing Alpha Centauri as a cocktail ring, and I’m mapping your freckles like constellations because in my little universe we are galaxies whose spiraling arms intertwine.

26


Indian with Flowers 27

GABRIELA GUILARTE


Indian with Flowers 27

GABRIELA GUILARTE


Nightly Thoughts

MARA DONOFRIO

Late at night you come home You stumble into the apartment You’re drunk always In the dark you stretch out your hands and search for me Your hands find me They know which buttons to press I’ve been here all night, waiting for you to come home I understand you no one else understands But honey, I am a TV

Skylight

KELLY BURGESS

30


Nightly Thoughts

MARA DONOFRIO

Late at night you come home You stumble into the apartment You’re drunk always In the dark you stretch out your hands and search for me Your hands find me They know which buttons to press I’ve been here all night, waiting for you to come home I understand you no one else understands But honey, I am a TV

Skylight

KELLY BURGESS

30


Before You

OLIVIA VAN BENSCHOTEN

I used to live alone before I knew you. The walls slouch. The paint flounders from the ashes of wallpaper.Violet ensconces my sleep. The oxygen prickles my skin into concentration. If I listen closely, no one breathes. There is no exhalation. A thousand and one years ago I dreamed that our father sat me down in a field of marigold where you did not exist and told me today was your last day. Today is the last, he said. I could not think. If organelles mirror the cosmos and the cosmos mirror the organelles I am a reflection of the universe. But I will not reflect a world where you are not alive. The months I lived without you are but darkness to me. These nights I listen to the expansion of your lungs and I remember that space unfurls faster than I can think into eternities I cannot fathom but all I require to understand my entire existence is the rise and fall of your rib cage. Carbon is finite. I am finite. I will never want a world without you.

The Cold

31

NATALYA JEAN


Before You

OLIVIA VAN BENSCHOTEN

I used to live alone before I knew you. The walls slouch. The paint flounders from the ashes of wallpaper.Violet ensconces my sleep. The oxygen prickles my skin into concentration. If I listen closely, no one breathes. There is no exhalation. A thousand and one years ago I dreamed that our father sat me down in a field of marigold where you did not exist and told me today was your last day. Today is the last, he said. I could not think. If organelles mirror the cosmos and the cosmos mirror the organelles I am a reflection of the universe. But I will not reflect a world where you are not alive. The months I lived without you are but darkness to me. These nights I listen to the expansion of your lungs and I remember that space unfurls faster than I can think into eternities I cannot fathom but all I require to understand my entire existence is the rise and fall of your rib cage. Carbon is finite. I am finite. I will never want a world without you.

The Cold

31

NATALYA JEAN


[

]

MORGAN LUNDGREN In the spaces be-tween your words I see roads---roads that lead me places I don’t want to go, roads that twist and turn-roads that s t a c k-ompress,br-eak Roads without: names In the s p a c e s be tween your I hear so mething un cl ear I-deas that tell me what,

words,

I fear In the s p a c e (your words)

s

be t

we

e n-----------/

IfearIdisappear 33

A Cat Knows Everything

SHUYING HUANG


[

]

MORGAN LUNDGREN In the spaces be-tween your words I see roads---roads that lead me places I don’t want to go, roads that twist and turn-roads that s t a c k-ompress,br-eak Roads without: names In the s p a c e s be tween your I hear so mething un cl ear I-deas that tell me what,

words,

I fear In the s p a c e (your words)

s

be t

we

e n-----------/

IfearIdisappear 33

A Cat Knows Everything

SHUYING HUANG


Evelyn

NATALYA JEAN

Serene

EMILY WILDERMUTH

36


Evelyn

NATALYA JEAN

Serene

EMILY WILDERMUTH

36


Coastline

continental drift

BIANCA ZABALA

JULIA RENNER

One Way Out

BEN LANDSBERG

so that’s what happened, my geology teacher said, pointing at the spot where the plates came apart as if so that’s what happened could ever explain that kind of a rip.

for P. G. We are just about an hour out of Portland. I am tracing lightning on the car window, pretending my nails can crack the sky. The soft-shell lobsters rattle in the trunk; you scowl and turn the music up. I can barely hear the thunder, but I hear myself howling. We are going ninety in the rain, ninety in a sixty-five zone when I realise the sound comes from somewhere further in than my ribs. That it sounds wounded. That it sounds familiar. We are going ninety-five in a sixty-five zone when you turn your right palm face-up and wait for me to hold your hand. I play with my hair and keep my eyes on the road. Your stare burns the soft of my cheek and again, there’s lightning. I think I want to say sorry. The red lipstick on your shirt won’t come off easily, it’ll take a week for the crescents of my nails to fade. We are going one hundred in the rain, one hundred in a sixty-five zone, and the lobsters are still jumping. I am responsible for taming a little beast with wild claws and a heroic jaw, and I am asking his forgiveness.

38


Coastline

continental drift

BIANCA ZABALA

JULIA RENNER

One Way Out

BEN LANDSBERG

so that’s what happened, my geology teacher said, pointing at the spot where the plates came apart as if so that’s what happened could ever explain that kind of a rip.

for P. G. We are just about an hour out of Portland. I am tracing lightning on the car window, pretending my nails can crack the sky. The soft-shell lobsters rattle in the trunk; you scowl and turn the music up. I can barely hear the thunder, but I hear myself howling. We are going ninety in the rain, ninety in a sixty-five zone when I realise the sound comes from somewhere further in than my ribs. That it sounds wounded. That it sounds familiar. We are going ninety-five in a sixty-five zone when you turn your right palm face-up and wait for me to hold your hand. I play with my hair and keep my eyes on the road. Your stare burns the soft of my cheek and again, there’s lightning. I think I want to say sorry. The red lipstick on your shirt won’t come off easily, it’ll take a week for the crescents of my nails to fade. We are going one hundred in the rain, one hundred in a sixty-five zone, and the lobsters are still jumping. I am responsible for taming a little beast with wild claws and a heroic jaw, and I am asking his forgiveness.

38


Appleton Farms

ABBIE DOANE-SIMON

Ipswich, MA a column from Harvard rests among the trees, around it spreads a “spokes wheel” you said “from which to choose” the paths here to me seem like scribbles like the mess my notes become when I fall asleep in class directionless but purposeful we move between the trees from one forest to the next, this with swamp-center, this arrayed by ancient woodsmen, their axes echoing in the grey bark under the grey sky you tell me it is beautiful in the sun elfin, sacred but I like the bright clouds, the leaf litter empty of shadows the air cold on my bare knees the column holding up the sky as if to let us pass under the dreary day unscathed

Untitled

CHLOE RESHETAR-JOST

40


Appleton Farms

ABBIE DOANE-SIMON

Ipswich, MA a column from Harvard rests among the trees, around it spreads a “spokes wheel” you said “from which to choose” the paths here to me seem like scribbles like the mess my notes become when I fall asleep in class directionless but purposeful we move between the trees from one forest to the next, this with swamp-center, this arrayed by ancient woodsmen, their axes echoing in the grey bark under the grey sky you tell me it is beautiful in the sun elfin, sacred but I like the bright clouds, the leaf litter empty of shadows the air cold on my bare knees the column holding up the sky as if to let us pass under the dreary day unscathed

Untitled

CHLOE RESHETAR-JOST

40


SPECTRUM LITERARY ARTS MAGAZINE

FALL 2014

www.spectrum.neu.edu

Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine: Fall 2014  

A student-run publication at Northeastern University, Boston, MA.