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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 & Design Editor: Elke Thoms Financial Manager: Joe Forti Secretary: Julia Renner Advertising Manager: Kaley Bachelder Layout Committee: Natalya Jean, Kim Jebbett, Andrew Madanjian General Members: Kelly Burgess, Vignesh Chander, Abbie Doane-Simon, Natalya Jean, Kim Jebbett, Louis Lobron, Andrew Madanjian, Plamedi Makelela, Katie Martin, Eliza Mendoza, Aidan Meyer-Golden, Julia Palmer, Shannon Perry, Mary Potts, Nicole Sojkowski, Kelsey Taeckens, Connor Tripp, Remenna Xu

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 “Labyrinth” by Connor Tripp. Title page art adapted from “Storm” by Rowan Walrath.

Contents 4 Boston Nights Justine Newman Dreams of Snow Noel Mendez Machin 6 Lady on the Beach Kim Terrizzi Showers//Vulnerabiliy Ivy Pepin 8 Love is Simple Tegwen Evans China Nights Abbie Doane-Simon Reused Tape Elke Thoms 10 Isabella’s Escape Minnie Chan Man in Museum with Love Interest Cole Vick 12 Sally Light Foot Kelly Burgess Centuries and Centuries Jennifer Kronmiller 14 Glass House Elijah McTigue Nomad Matt Barker 16 Glimpse from the Cavern Ben Landsberg another stupid meteor metaphor Jules Renner 18 Spoopy Remenna Xu i remember me Rachael Swift 20 Cherry Blossoms Leila Habib purgatory Kara Mack 22 Berlin Hauptbanhof Mitch White A Microcosm of Math Induced Silliness Vignesh Chander

24 Storm Rowan Walrath Punk Hamza Maanane 26 Just Chillin Sahar Salari The Morning After Miranda Viskatis 28 Greg Nicole Sojkowski Going Home with the Bartender Leah Bognanni 30 Seize Upon the Smallest Details Like They Mean Something Daniel Pilon College Socrates Lindsey Ashe 32 Durak John Howard Over the Rain Anika Krause 34 Charles Skyline Justine Newman thoughts from a recently self-accepting bisexual, Thursday after nine amy l. hood 36 Time Gabriela Guilarte 38 Crisp Tegwen Evans Diyears Jess Imbro 40 The Belly of the Beast Elke Thoms vanishing point Ella Wang 42 Lazy Days Maggie Zhang Trash Day Findings Anonymous 44 Amsterdam Elijah McTigue we never came home Alyssa Rubin


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 & Design Editor: Elke Thoms Financial Manager: Joe Forti Secretary: Julia Renner Advertising Manager: Kaley Bachelder Layout Committee: Natalya Jean, Kim Jebbett, Andrew Madanjian General Members: Kelly Burgess, Vignesh Chander, Abbie Doane-Simon, Natalya Jean, Kim Jebbett, Louis Lobron, Andrew Madanjian, Plamedi Makelela, Katie Martin, Eliza Mendoza, Aidan Meyer-Golden, Julia Palmer, Shannon Perry, Mary Potts, Nicole Sojkowski, Kelsey Taeckens, Connor Tripp, Remenna Xu

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 “Labyrinth” by Connor Tripp. Title page art adapted from “Storm” by Rowan Walrath.

Contents 4 Boston Nights Justine Newman Dreams of Snow Noel Mendez Machin 6 Lady on the Beach Kim Terrizzi Showers//Vulnerabiliy Ivy Pepin 8 Love is Simple Tegwen Evans China Nights Abbie Doane-Simon Reused Tape Elke Thoms 10 Isabella’s Escape Minnie Chan Man in Museum with Love Interest Cole Vick 12 Sally Light Foot Kelly Burgess Centuries and Centuries Jennifer Kronmiller 14 Glass House Elijah McTigue Nomad Matt Barker 16 Glimpse from the Cavern Ben Landsberg another stupid meteor metaphor Jules Renner 18 Spoopy Remenna Xu i remember me Rachael Swift 20 Cherry Blossoms Leila Habib purgatory Kara Mack 22 Berlin Hauptbanhof Mitch White A Microcosm of Math Induced Silliness Vignesh Chander

24 Storm Rowan Walrath Punk Hamza Maanane 26 Just Chillin Sahar Salari The Morning After Miranda Viskatis 28 Greg Nicole Sojkowski Going Home with the Bartender Leah Bognanni 30 Seize Upon the Smallest Details Like They Mean Something Daniel Pilon College Socrates Lindsey Ashe 32 Durak John Howard Over the Rain Anika Krause 34 Charles Skyline Justine Newman thoughts from a recently self-accepting bisexual, Thursday after nine amy l. hood 36 Time Gabriela Guilarte 38 Crisp Tegwen Evans Diyears Jess Imbro 40 The Belly of the Beast Elke Thoms vanishing point Ella Wang 42 Lazy Days Maggie Zhang Trash Day Findings Anonymous 44 Amsterdam Elijah McTigue we never came home Alyssa Rubin


Dreams of Snow Noel Mendez Machin Dreams of snow. News online. Elections. She’s back in the bed. It’s freezing out there. I’m her stove in the winter slowly baking my own soul while playing the villain for her who keeps smiling at me and bidding for love. She bids as I draw a mantra on her back unreal snow we go through every stroke of this living kanji by which our world is about to change.

Boston Nights Justine Newman

4


Dreams of Snow Noel Mendez Machin Dreams of snow. News online. Elections. She’s back in the bed. It’s freezing out there. I’m her stove in the winter slowly baking my own soul while playing the villain for her who keeps smiling at me and bidding for love. She bids as I draw a mantra on her back unreal snow we go through every stroke of this living kanji by which our world is about to change.

Boston Nights Justine Newman

4


Lady on the Beach Kim Terrizzi

Showers//Vulnerability Ivy Pepin not even the nakedness just the water running down, the rivulets of cold spring rain that twist around the shoot as they make their tiny glacial ways tugging with them its soft soil contours so you can see how thin the stem, how hard it clings to the earth.

6


Lady on the Beach Kim Terrizzi

Showers//Vulnerability Ivy Pepin not even the nakedness just the water running down, the rivulets of cold spring rain that twist around the shoot as they make their tiny glacial ways tugging with them its soft soil contours so you can see how thin the stem, how hard it clings to the earth.

6


China Nights Abbie Doane-Simon two people behind us a couple mostly unnoticed stood just about to leave her with dark hair falling gazing up at him gazing down at her

standing close and happy and sharing maybe out of habit or because they are trying to quit or just because they ran out one imaginary cigarette

Reused Tape Elke Thoms

Our goodbyes have gone from pilot episodes To reruns we watch for the nostalgia. Tonight we murmured reused speeches, And later I will cry because we did not. The hold is weaker when we reunite— We are tape stuck back on a thousand times.

Love is Simple Tegwen Evans

8


China Nights Abbie Doane-Simon two people behind us a couple mostly unnoticed stood just about to leave her with dark hair falling gazing up at him gazing down at her

standing close and happy and sharing maybe out of habit or because they are trying to quit or just because they ran out one imaginary cigarette

Reused Tape Elke Thoms

Our goodbyes have gone from pilot episodes To reruns we watch for the nostalgia. Tonight we murmured reused speeches, And later I will cry because we did not. The hold is weaker when we reunite— We are tape stuck back on a thousand times.

Love is Simple Tegwen Evans

8


Man in Museum with Love Interest Cole Vick As he gives the walls a cursory glance he can’t help but tell her what paint they used and where the interesting parts are. She looks at him puzzled. There’s no painting in front of him.

Isabella’s Escape Minnie Chan

10


Man in Museum with Love Interest Cole Vick As he gives the walls a cursory glance he can’t help but tell her what paint they used and where the interesting parts are. She looks at him puzzled. There’s no painting in front of him.

Isabella’s Escape Minnie Chan

10


Centuries and Centuries Jennifer Kronmiller

Sally Light Foot Kelly Burgess

it’s like the taste of strawberry milk, how the smell of cafeteria hits you on the first day back at school, all those years you were afraid to ask about buying a bra. god, like you could convince yourself you’d ever forgotten. that’s what insanity is: doing the same thing over and over like it could ever make you new. i’ve touched my toe in four oceans and it’s all just sweat and silt. there is water and there is earth and there is fire, cold fire, there is hard stone like an infant in your stomach and narrow wooden splinters propping your body up. it all intertwines, the skin and the blood and the memories, pink lemonade in the toilet, the hips your mother gave you that will someday breathe another life. that’s what insanity is, thinking that time doesn’t apply to you. i was an adult by age eleven. god, i was such a soft child such a tender, throbbing heart in a passover stew.

12


Centuries and Centuries Jennifer Kronmiller

Sally Light Foot Kelly Burgess

it’s like the taste of strawberry milk, how the smell of cafeteria hits you on the first day back at school, all those years you were afraid to ask about buying a bra. god, like you could convince yourself you’d ever forgotten. that’s what insanity is: doing the same thing over and over like it could ever make you new. i’ve touched my toe in four oceans and it’s all just sweat and silt. there is water and there is earth and there is fire, cold fire, there is hard stone like an infant in your stomach and narrow wooden splinters propping your body up. it all intertwines, the skin and the blood and the memories, pink lemonade in the toilet, the hips your mother gave you that will someday breathe another life. that’s what insanity is, thinking that time doesn’t apply to you. i was an adult by age eleven. god, i was such a soft child such a tender, throbbing heart in a passover stew.

12


Glass House Elijah McTigue

Nomad Matt Barker Chances are You will Not Be holding A map When life Unfolds

14


Glass House Elijah McTigue

Nomad Matt Barker Chances are You will Not Be holding A map When life Unfolds

14


Glimpse from the Cavern Ben Landsberg

another stupid meteor metaphor Jules Renner on the one hand, I’m getting sick of all these geology poems, but then again I know a hell of a lot about fault lines, including my own and about things that come crashing towards you so fast that you don’t feel yourself going up in flames until they come close enough to leave a crater that’s probably more permanent than you planned.

16


Glimpse from the Cavern Ben Landsberg

another stupid meteor metaphor Jules Renner on the one hand, I’m getting sick of all these geology poems, but then again I know a hell of a lot about fault lines, including my own and about things that come crashing towards you so fast that you don’t feel yourself going up in flames until they come close enough to leave a crater that’s probably more permanent than you planned.

16


it starts with cold chills and heart attacks in the dark. another night of bitter hysteria, the mannequins screaming in the brain like little girls scrambling, clutching at the mirror shards raking red threads down the arms, into the chest – cradled against the heart like so many broken promises.

a. she’s a smile of razorblades swathed in powder blue. you are afraid of the knives glinting behind her eyes, too bright, crystallized, spectral chandeliers hanging above your head – the poet’s decadent noose. only years from now will you understand that the knives were never meant for you.

Spoopy Remenna Xu

ii.

i remember me Rachael Swift

i.

it ends with i-love-yous and don’t-touch-mes in the cold. another moment of choked desperation, the frantic hope dripping from the tongue like a young woman running, remembering shadowed silhouettes creeping cold bones down the stomach, between the thighs – stop motion slowness like sand grating bloodied fingers.

b. she’s a heart of bullet holes etched in silvered filigree. you are pressed against the blood seeping from old hurts, too black, crusted, cauterized limbs she swears she no longer needs – the survivor’s last recourse. you see now who the knives were always meant for. it grips you hard by the throat. she wishes she were sorry

18


it starts with cold chills and heart attacks in the dark. another night of bitter hysteria, the mannequins screaming in the brain like little girls scrambling, clutching at the mirror shards raking red threads down the arms, into the chest – cradled against the heart like so many broken promises.

a. she’s a smile of razorblades swathed in powder blue. you are afraid of the knives glinting behind her eyes, too bright, crystallized, spectral chandeliers hanging above your head – the poet’s decadent noose. only years from now will you understand that the knives were never meant for you.

Spoopy Remenna Xu

ii.

i remember me Rachael Swift

i.

it ends with i-love-yous and don’t-touch-mes in the cold. another moment of choked desperation, the frantic hope dripping from the tongue like a young woman running, remembering shadowed silhouettes creeping cold bones down the stomach, between the thighs – stop motion slowness like sand grating bloodied fingers.

b. she’s a heart of bullet holes etched in silvered filigree. you are pressed against the blood seeping from old hurts, too black, crusted, cauterized limbs she swears she no longer needs – the survivor’s last recourse. you see now who the knives were always meant for. it grips you hard by the throat. she wishes she were sorry

18


purgatory Kara Mack she doesn’t want me to cut my hair so i don’t but sometimes i just want to shave my whole fucking head she doesn’t want me to smoke so i don’t tell her when, but i still do when i’d rather cut my hair she doesn’t want me to bring up the future so i don’t (with her) but we used to, and by myself i do all the time we used to be in love now we just love each other usually when it’s convenient

Cherry Blossoms Leila Habib

20


purgatory Kara Mack she doesn’t want me to cut my hair so i don’t but sometimes i just want to shave my whole fucking head she doesn’t want me to smoke so i don’t tell her when, but i still do when i’d rather cut my hair she doesn’t want me to bring up the future so i don’t (with her) but we used to, and by myself i do all the time we used to be in love now we just love each other usually when it’s convenient

Cherry Blossoms Leila Habib

20


A Microcosm of Math Induced Silliness Vignesh Chander ...Find the angle formed by the intersection of a plane with a line. The words were on a paper. The first of a few tasks. I had to do them. Look at the words, again. A problem. How to find the angle formed by a line and a plane. A line and a plane. The angle. The light in the sky outside was blue-grey, but inside it was fluorescent bright. People were conversing all around. A jumble of sounds. Some things here and there, a meandering mixture of people not quite doing. Scribble scribble so intently on the task. Keep speaking to speak away all. Look at this other problem, I can put the numbers down and make them move. They say something like the people, but much more clear cut. An angle between a line and a plane. Black ink on white paper on a plain desk in the thin air in the soupy warmth in the room where I sat on a seat. Words fell from my tongue sometimes for some reason. Someone else had asked of my input and so I responded, whatever I said back. And there it was still. An angle. Between a plane, space to a line. A problem. All it really took was the normal, right? Hand motions, my pencil on the white. Letters next to each other together. Normal. Spelt out. Normalcy perpendicular to the plane to the angle to the line that intersected all both. Easy. It was so hard to move my pencil. A thin line of wood with some graphite that was just so heavy. Weights to overcome but far too little strength for the task. Space I needed to think. The margins were too crowded, but the blanks were too far away. So I sat constrained in the colorlessness. Silence into around myself. A voice so sweet that spoke not to me, but just heard slight so faint as to not be real on a wave that bounced. Not anything at all. Only the angle between the line and the plane. A flat surface, pierced by another point to point going somewhere or nowhere to infinity. And the space that separated the place they met. Space in degrees of separation of shades of color. Spectrums from blues to greys to browns to reds, to the little white nothing all around. How were people happy?

Berlin Hauptbanhof Mitch White

22


A Microcosm of Math Induced Silliness Vignesh Chander ...Find the angle formed by the intersection of a plane with a line. The words were on a paper. The first of a few tasks. I had to do them. Look at the words, again. A problem. How to find the angle formed by a line and a plane. A line and a plane. The angle. The light in the sky outside was blue-grey, but inside it was fluorescent bright. People were conversing all around. A jumble of sounds. Some things here and there, a meandering mixture of people not quite doing. Scribble scribble so intently on the task. Keep speaking to speak away all. Look at this other problem, I can put the numbers down and make them move. They say something like the people, but much more clear cut. An angle between a line and a plane. Black ink on white paper on a plain desk in the thin air in the soupy warmth in the room where I sat on a seat. Words fell from my tongue sometimes for some reason. Someone else had asked of my input and so I responded, whatever I said back. And there it was still. An angle. Between a plane, space to a line. A problem. All it really took was the normal, right? Hand motions, my pencil on the white. Letters next to each other together. Normal. Spelt out. Normalcy perpendicular to the plane to the angle to the line that intersected all both. Easy. It was so hard to move my pencil. A thin line of wood with some graphite that was just so heavy. Weights to overcome but far too little strength for the task. Space I needed to think. The margins were too crowded, but the blanks were too far away. So I sat constrained in the colorlessness. Silence into around myself. A voice so sweet that spoke not to me, but just heard slight so faint as to not be real on a wave that bounced. Not anything at all. Only the angle between the line and the plane. A flat surface, pierced by another point to point going somewhere or nowhere to infinity. And the space that separated the place they met. Space in degrees of separation of shades of color. Spectrums from blues to greys to browns to reds, to the little white nothing all around. How were people happy?

Berlin Hauptbanhof Mitch White

22


Storm Rowan Walrath Punk Hamza Maanane I play pain for entertainment. If it wanes I replenish; If it fades I dig deeper, Peeling soft scabs healing, running Plastic picks through scarred flesh, Leaving ragged grooves and coiled Wires of skin sheared in their wake I’ve always wanted to go out With a bang. This will be the night, I’ve decided. I “On in five” That’s three-hundred seconds worth Of fidgeting fingers, notes Sprawled on pant-legs Without proper necks to wring. My throat rebels – It’s good I don’t sing, but howl. A thousand words a howl’s worth. I regress on stage: loud And colic since birth, I choose Not to shake the habitual But embrace it till its early end. They envy without knowing, Those flailing limbs supporting The stage, those watchers, voyeuristically Peeking while we shred heart-strings Tuned tight for performance. They think we adore this, Lighting ourselves like effigies and Standing tall above them, Wretched avatars Of collective disquiet. No – we bear our status As we bare ourselves: reluctantly. Though the reverse holds true, There is no music in misery.

II Unraveling on stage, I’m indifferent to the masses. Numb hands, numb voice, and numb mind, Bleary-eyed from chemicals Both introduced and native: This is my serenity. Sweat cleans like clarity. The show is a funeral. The music is deliverance. III But sprawled exhausted on the bus, Hidden from their staring glares, I love them all. What are we Shouting martyrs without the Cause for which we die? Who are we shallow performers Without purpose in our eyes? – Just worn flies buzzing in the wind. Their eyes, black-lined, pierced blind, Looking up or shut harshly tight – I see hope in the blood-red Spiderwebs at the fringes; I watch music fill the white Empty iris spaces and tinge Them red and bloody proper. Weary we’ve grown of life, And so we scream together Like children and amplify Our strife, hoping without hope That someone hears and maybe Understands. I leave the bus to smoke. This will be the night, I’ve decided.

24


Storm Rowan Walrath Punk Hamza Maanane I play pain for entertainment. If it wanes I replenish; If it fades I dig deeper, Peeling soft scabs healing, running Plastic picks through scarred flesh, Leaving ragged grooves and coiled Wires of skin sheared in their wake I’ve always wanted to go out With a bang. This will be the night, I’ve decided. I “On in five” That’s three-hundred seconds worth Of fidgeting fingers, notes Sprawled on pant-legs Without proper necks to wring. My throat rebels – It’s good I don’t sing, but howl. A thousand words a howl’s worth. I regress on stage: loud And colic since birth, I choose Not to shake the habitual But embrace it till its early end. They envy without knowing, Those flailing limbs supporting The stage, those watchers, voyeuristically Peeking while we shred heart-strings Tuned tight for performance. They think we adore this, Lighting ourselves like effigies and Standing tall above them, Wretched avatars Of collective disquiet. No – we bear our status As we bare ourselves: reluctantly. Though the reverse holds true, There is no music in misery.

II Unraveling on stage, I’m indifferent to the masses. Numb hands, numb voice, and numb mind, Bleary-eyed from chemicals Both introduced and native: This is my serenity. Sweat cleans like clarity. The show is a funeral. The music is deliverance. III But sprawled exhausted on the bus, Hidden from their staring glares, I love them all. What are we Shouting martyrs without the Cause for which we die? Who are we shallow performers Without purpose in our eyes? – Just worn flies buzzing in the wind. Their eyes, black-lined, pierced blind, Looking up or shut harshly tight – I see hope in the blood-red Spiderwebs at the fringes; I watch music fill the white Empty iris spaces and tinge Them red and bloody proper. Weary we’ve grown of life, And so we scream together Like children and amplify Our strife, hoping without hope That someone hears and maybe Understands. I leave the bus to smoke. This will be the night, I’ve decided.

24


The Morning After Miranda Viskatis

Just Chillin Sahar Salari

The Nutella jar is uncapped. Where is that darn lid? My eyes pan across the wooden table, a sad assortment of breakfast foods strewn across its glossy surface—a loaf of whole-wheat bread, more-than-ripe bananas, and a bag of bran cereal crumbs. Ah, there it is. I find the white lid camouflaged with her ceramic plate that housed a depressing, hastily-cooked frozen waffle right at its center. Should I reach for it? I look back at the desperately open jar and barely restrain myself from reaching over the table. Later. Her small hand cups her mouth as she forces a cough—a catalyst for the conversation we both knew was going to happen. My body makes an insignificant jolt. I briefly glance at her as she intently stares at nothing. I open my mouth, but that only seems to add to the silence piling up in front of us—on our plates, on the table...Yet another sad addition to our already dismal breakfast. I have been sculpting the words in my mind for a while now, but they still don’t seem quite right. In situations like these where one is allowed the space to express their emotions, saying the right words is crucial—I’m a perfectionist, which at this point is probably to my disadvantage. How long has it been already? My gaze lands on the uncapped Nutella jar and continues onto the lid, once again. Overpowered by my desire to avert all responsibility from this unwritten conversation, my left arm extends over the pile of food to grab the jar as my right arm snatches the lid from its hiding. For the next few seconds, I noisily attempt to screw the two back into blissful harmony. “Sorry, that was annoying me,” I flinch as I place the Nutella back on the table. She stares back at me emotionless. With this, we continue to involuntarily play the telepathic game of hot potato. Well, this is just great. I have the sudden urge to neatly put back all the food into the fridge—Stop—stop it, just say something. “So, about last night...” That’s a solid start, right? My eyes try to find anything but her face to look at, finally settling on the open window behind her revealing a much more uplifting scene than the one we were currently experiencing. “First of all, you should know that I would have never done that had I been sober,” as soon as these words spill out of my lips like last night’s whiskey, my stare shoots down to my hands, the right fidgeting with the golden band on my left ring finger. C’mon, keep it going. I look at her, and for a second, the way a single strand of hair playfully falls from behind her ear onto the side of her rosy cheek, I forget how all of this even started. Damn, I better have not screwed this up this time. She continues to stare at nothing as she lets out an abrupt sound from her throat—a scoff of sorts—, her lips still inanimate, urging me to elaborate. Here comes the magical word... “What I’m trying to say is: I’m sorry that I made you watch Game of Thrones; I know it was a Tuesday and Tuesday night has always been Mad Men night but—” “You took the remote right out of my hand,” finally her pursed lips unleash a complete sentence, wrapped in barbed-wire anger. She’s right. Immediately my mind is propelled back to last night. It had been a long day at work, so naturally a drink or two was necessary... There was no way I was going to sit through another hour of office drama. The Nutella jar taunts me as I hopelessly try to make amends. Just tell her what she wants to hear, “I really shouldn’t have snatched the remote like that.” She perks up in her chair, refusing to make eye contact, “It’s not the first time.” She was right about that, too. Damnit, she knows she’s right, she knows I’m defeated. “Well, how about we just forget about all this and watch whatever you want even though it’s my free-choice night? I promise it won’t happen again.” I cringe, “What about some Mad Men?” “I’ll pass.” Shit. She reaches for the dreaded jar, inextricably bound to a fragmented lifestyle, and unscrews the lid. “I hadn’t finished using the Nutella, by the way.”

26


The Morning After Miranda Viskatis

Just Chillin Sahar Salari

The Nutella jar is uncapped. Where is that darn lid? My eyes pan across the wooden table, a sad assortment of breakfast foods strewn across its glossy surface—a loaf of whole-wheat bread, more-than-ripe bananas, and a bag of bran cereal crumbs. Ah, there it is. I find the white lid camouflaged with her ceramic plate that housed a depressing, hastily-cooked frozen waffle right at its center. Should I reach for it? I look back at the desperately open jar and barely restrain myself from reaching over the table. Later. Her small hand cups her mouth as she forces a cough—a catalyst for the conversation we both knew was going to happen. My body makes an insignificant jolt. I briefly glance at her as she intently stares at nothing. I open my mouth, but that only seems to add to the silence piling up in front of us—on our plates, on the table...Yet another sad addition to our already dismal breakfast. I have been sculpting the words in my mind for a while now, but they still don’t seem quite right. In situations like these where one is allowed the space to express their emotions, saying the right words is crucial—I’m a perfectionist, which at this point is probably to my disadvantage. How long has it been already? My gaze lands on the uncapped Nutella jar and continues onto the lid, once again. Overpowered by my desire to avert all responsibility from this unwritten conversation, my left arm extends over the pile of food to grab the jar as my right arm snatches the lid from its hiding. For the next few seconds, I noisily attempt to screw the two back into blissful harmony. “Sorry, that was annoying me,” I flinch as I place the Nutella back on the table. She stares back at me emotionless. With this, we continue to involuntarily play the telepathic game of hot potato. Well, this is just great. I have the sudden urge to neatly put back all the food into the fridge—Stop—stop it, just say something. “So, about last night...” That’s a solid start, right? My eyes try to find anything but her face to look at, finally settling on the open window behind her revealing a much more uplifting scene than the one we were currently experiencing. “First of all, you should know that I would have never done that had I been sober,” as soon as these words spill out of my lips like last night’s whiskey, my stare shoots down to my hands, the right fidgeting with the golden band on my left ring finger. C’mon, keep it going. I look at her, and for a second, the way a single strand of hair playfully falls from behind her ear onto the side of her rosy cheek, I forget how all of this even started. Damn, I better have not screwed this up this time. She continues to stare at nothing as she lets out an abrupt sound from her throat—a scoff of sorts—, her lips still inanimate, urging me to elaborate. Here comes the magical word... “What I’m trying to say is: I’m sorry that I made you watch Game of Thrones; I know it was a Tuesday and Tuesday night has always been Mad Men night but—” “You took the remote right out of my hand,” finally her pursed lips unleash a complete sentence, wrapped in barbed-wire anger. She’s right. Immediately my mind is propelled back to last night. It had been a long day at work, so naturally a drink or two was necessary... There was no way I was going to sit through another hour of office drama. The Nutella jar taunts me as I hopelessly try to make amends. Just tell her what she wants to hear, “I really shouldn’t have snatched the remote like that.” She perks up in her chair, refusing to make eye contact, “It’s not the first time.” She was right about that, too. Damnit, she knows she’s right, she knows I’m defeated. “Well, how about we just forget about all this and watch whatever you want even though it’s my free-choice night? I promise it won’t happen again.” I cringe, “What about some Mad Men?” “I’ll pass.” Shit. She reaches for the dreaded jar, inextricably bound to a fragmented lifestyle, and unscrews the lid. “I hadn’t finished using the Nutella, by the way.”

26


Going Home with the Bartender Leah Bognanni

Greg Nicole Sojkowski

Won’t you show me your favorite way to sin? Because I want to go to hell with you. Pour me a shot with the taste of your skin. I want to see what you can put me through. There’s another girl’s bracelet by your bed, And another girl’s painting on your wall, But I like leaving everything unsaid ‘Cause there’s no need to talk about it all. Wanna stay up ‘til six, make the wrong choice While you pretend to love me with your hands, And we’ll fall asleep to Ben Howard’s voice. Yea, you’re my favorite kind of one night stands. And if I don’t see you again, I’ll think, Well, that was fun, but now I need a drink.

28


Going Home with the Bartender Leah Bognanni

Greg Nicole Sojkowski

Won’t you show me your favorite way to sin? Because I want to go to hell with you. Pour me a shot with the taste of your skin. I want to see what you can put me through. There’s another girl’s bracelet by your bed, And another girl’s painting on your wall, But I like leaving everything unsaid ‘Cause there’s no need to talk about it all. Wanna stay up ‘til six, make the wrong choice While you pretend to love me with your hands, And we’ll fall asleep to Ben Howard’s voice. Yea, you’re my favorite kind of one night stands. And if I don’t see you again, I’ll think, Well, that was fun, but now I need a drink.

28


College Socrates Lindsey Ashe He still shows up in my dreams sometimes. Not the way ex-lovers do, with crinkles around his blue eyes— no, he shows up again, beard scragglier than the last time like he lost the crumbs of his meals between the pages of a philosophy textbook that he still reads in his free time, even though he dropped out of school. I wake up shaking, wondering if he ever ended up an EMT or how he treats his girlfriend now or does he ever think of me or will I have to bump into him next to the tomatoes at the grocery store will he still call me “bud” and try to hug me like his touch wouldn’t break me into splinters like he didn’t already break me into splinters once before and tell me again that it’s silly for us to still be mad. He made me back up what I believed in, taught me philosophy, and to climb higher than the point that I started feeling fear. He wrapped me in his arms when I cried about something my dad had said, and he brought me medicine and tucked me in when I was sick. I remember crying the morning after the one and only time I let him touch me He couldn’t understand, like it was a problem on his engineering homework that he couldn’t make sense of Walking around in circles asking me why, why don’t you You really must be gay if you don’t have a crush on me Maybe that line stuck with me for too long. He would laugh at me when I didn’t want to look at him naked Tell me that I couldn’t leave for another half hour and that I didn’t know anything about sports or cooking or math and that I couldn’t be mad at him for something like that. I don’t think any of his philosophers respected women much. And that last day: I wasn’t being overdramatic or unstable like he said. I still see wiry brunette boys about his height and start shaking as hard as cold nights when he’d let me borrow his sweatshirt when we were walking under the stars. The last time he asked me to go for a walk, I never responded. I don’t think I ever will.

Seize Upon the Smallest Details Like They Mean Something Daniel Pilon

I wonder sometimes if he understands what he did wrong. That’s what scares me most.

30


College Socrates Lindsey Ashe He still shows up in my dreams sometimes. Not the way ex-lovers do, with crinkles around his blue eyes— no, he shows up again, beard scragglier than the last time like he lost the crumbs of his meals between the pages of a philosophy textbook that he still reads in his free time, even though he dropped out of school. I wake up shaking, wondering if he ever ended up an EMT or how he treats his girlfriend now or does he ever think of me or will I have to bump into him next to the tomatoes at the grocery store will he still call me “bud” and try to hug me like his touch wouldn’t break me into splinters like he didn’t already break me into splinters once before and tell me again that it’s silly for us to still be mad. He made me back up what I believed in, taught me philosophy, and to climb higher than the point that I started feeling fear. He wrapped me in his arms when I cried about something my dad had said, and he brought me medicine and tucked me in when I was sick. I remember crying the morning after the one and only time I let him touch me He couldn’t understand, like it was a problem on his engineering homework that he couldn’t make sense of Walking around in circles asking me why, why don’t you You really must be gay if you don’t have a crush on me Maybe that line stuck with me for too long. He would laugh at me when I didn’t want to look at him naked Tell me that I couldn’t leave for another half hour and that I didn’t know anything about sports or cooking or math and that I couldn’t be mad at him for something like that. I don’t think any of his philosophers respected women much. And that last day: I wasn’t being overdramatic or unstable like he said. I still see wiry brunette boys about his height and start shaking as hard as cold nights when he’d let me borrow his sweatshirt when we were walking under the stars. The last time he asked me to go for a walk, I never responded. I don’t think I ever will.

Seize Upon the Smallest Details Like They Mean Something Daniel Pilon

I wonder sometimes if he understands what he did wrong. That’s what scares me most.

30


thoughts from a recently self-accepting bisexual, Thursday after nine amy l. hood a little after nine, on a rather starless Thursday, I met you in a bar, sitting squatly at a fourway, with a name that reminds of the black insides of an extinct volcano: Deep Ellum, a lovely sound on the tongue. I wouldn’t expect you to pick a bar for the way its syllables taste, but still, the place fit the mood its name promised: cavernous, quiet, lit sweetly to a warm brown dusk, like molasses.

you, too, seemed nervous, your long white fingers searching the menu, pulling a strand of sandy hair behind your ear, resting lightly on the wooden bar counter. you ordered some IPA sourced from

Charles Skyline Justine Newman

the innards of Massachusetts, and a chickpea burger, which you pulled apart with the tines of your fork, in several stages of not eating. I don’t remember what we talked about, or the build-up that found me, two hours later, blurrily fucking you to exclusively Brand New, only that my taste in beer is embarrassing and that the snowfall this past winter was suffocating: too high, too deep, too cold.

hands on the small of your spine. admittedly, you were beautiful, and I was not, and doesn’t that make all of it a little easier? Doesn’t that fill even the blackest Thursday with a bit of velvet, a bit of possibility, a little magic to whisk all the self-denial away, tuck that sandy hair behind an unsuspecting ear and kiss the pretty girl?

I was wonderfully rubber, after all, absorbing the supposed shock of the situation, cancelling it out, eliminating, allowing the cider and Pilsner to warm me, to guide me, to find the edges of your jeans, to kiss you back, hands on the lovely white beach of your stomach, hands on the sure railings of your jawline,

34


thoughts from a recently self-accepting bisexual, Thursday after nine amy l. hood a little after nine, on a rather starless Thursday, I met you in a bar, sitting squatly at a fourway, with a name that reminds of the black insides of an extinct volcano: Deep Ellum, a lovely sound on the tongue. I wouldn’t expect you to pick a bar for the way its syllables taste, but still, the place fit the mood its name promised: cavernous, quiet, lit sweetly to a warm brown dusk, like molasses.

you, too, seemed nervous, your long white fingers searching the menu, pulling a strand of sandy hair behind your ear, resting lightly on the wooden bar counter. you ordered some IPA sourced from

Charles Skyline Justine Newman

the innards of Massachusetts, and a chickpea burger, which you pulled apart with the tines of your fork, in several stages of not eating. I don’t remember what we talked about, or the build-up that found me, two hours later, blurrily fucking you to exclusively Brand New, only that my taste in beer is embarrassing and that the snowfall this past winter was suffocating: too high, too deep, too cold.

hands on the small of your spine. admittedly, you were beautiful, and I was not, and doesn’t that make all of it a little easier? Doesn’t that fill even the blackest Thursday with a bit of velvet, a bit of possibility, a little magic to whisk all the self-denial away, tuck that sandy hair behind an unsuspecting ear and kiss the pretty girl?

I was wonderfully rubber, after all, absorbing the supposed shock of the situation, cancelling it out, eliminating, allowing the cider and Pilsner to warm me, to guide me, to find the edges of your jeans, to kiss you back, hands on the lovely white beach of your stomach, hands on the sure railings of your jawline,

34


Time Gabriela Guilarte

36


Time Gabriela Guilarte

36


Crisp Tegwen Evans

Diyears Jess Imbro The Year was once a unit of time divisible for every occasion but upon recent events has fallen short So here I request something longer, a year into which I can exhale, and stretch my bones. a Diyear two years’ time because a year isn’t enough time to get anything done For you will tell me, “You’ll be gone in a year” or you will say, “You’ve got half a diyear left” and given the latter I will pour myself a second glass and indulge a single moment of reflection while in the Year I have not one to spare

38


Crisp Tegwen Evans

Diyears Jess Imbro The Year was once a unit of time divisible for every occasion but upon recent events has fallen short So here I request something longer, a year into which I can exhale, and stretch my bones. a Diyear two years’ time because a year isn’t enough time to get anything done For you will tell me, “You’ll be gone in a year” or you will say, “You’ve got half a diyear left” and given the latter I will pour myself a second glass and indulge a single moment of reflection while in the Year I have not one to spare

38


vanishing point Ella Wang

what you don’t really believe until you’re five thousand and descending is that the lights actually twinkle, that vast glittering net of metal and lightning we built to keep out the dark can shift and lurch before your eyes like evolution in action. up high, headlights briefly obscured by passing trees are ships drifting under clouds, a momentary secret from the distant gaze of seagulls, or lonely gods.

The Belly of the Beast Elke Thoms

40


vanishing point Ella Wang

what you don’t really believe until you’re five thousand and descending is that the lights actually twinkle, that vast glittering net of metal and lightning we built to keep out the dark can shift and lurch before your eyes like evolution in action. up high, headlights briefly obscured by passing trees are ships drifting under clouds, a momentary secret from the distant gaze of seagulls, or lonely gods.

The Belly of the Beast Elke Thoms

40


Lazy Days Maggie Zhang

Trash Day Findings Anonymous part of me forgave you as it happened. still my subconscious creeps forward a harsher side. a side that spends my commute time lunch time TV time showering time stirring the pasta, mindlessly snacking, waiting for sleep time sharpening arrows made of comebacks and explanations for you and my once friend the universe, who crunched our star-crossed fate into a compost box. and it’s a phantom but fantastic fate that’s been left on the curb to recycle. we always did love dumpster diving. maybe we can repurpose the scraps.

42


Lazy Days Maggie Zhang

Trash Day Findings Anonymous part of me forgave you as it happened. still my subconscious creeps forward a harsher side. a side that spends my commute time lunch time TV time showering time stirring the pasta, mindlessly snacking, waiting for sleep time sharpening arrows made of comebacks and explanations for you and my once friend the universe, who crunched our star-crossed fate into a compost box. and it’s a phantom but fantastic fate that’s been left on the curb to recycle. we always did love dumpster diving. maybe we can repurpose the scraps.

42


we never came home Alyssa Rubin after I kissed you goodbye for the fifth time I thought about why our brand of goodbye is more of a freeze-framed purgatory clutching me somewhere in the in-between than any kind of resolution; and the only time we don’t fight to the death like army boys, young and full of zeal, is when our lips are triaging to salvage any shred of our remains, like one more breath between our wounded lips might save us.

Amsterdam Elijah McTigue

44


we never came home Alyssa Rubin after I kissed you goodbye for the fifth time I thought about why our brand of goodbye is more of a freeze-framed purgatory clutching me somewhere in the in-between than any kind of resolution; and the only time we don’t fight to the death like army boys, young and full of zeal, is when our lips are triaging to salvage any shred of our remains, like one more breath between our wounded lips might save us.

Amsterdam Elijah McTigue

44


FALL 2015

SPECTRUM LITERARY ARTS MAGAZINE

www.spectrum.neu.edu

Profile for Northeastern University Library

Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine: Fall 2015  

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

Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine: Fall 2015  

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