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spring 2012


spring 2012 issue


SPECTRUM LITERARY ARTS MAGAZINE 234 Curry Student Center Mailbox: 240 CURRY Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine showcases the talents of the writers and artists at Northeastern University. All members of the Northeastern community are encouraged to submit original works of poetry, prose, and visual art. For more information, please visit Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine, Spring 2012 edition Copyright ŠSpectrum Literary Arts Magazine and respective authors. All rights reserved. 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 for layout, grammar, spelling, and punctuation unless explicity instructed by the author or artist. Any references to people living or dead are purely coincidental, except in the cases of a public igure. The views and opinions represented in this medium do not necessarily relect those of Northeastern University or the staff of Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine. Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine is printed by

Special thanks to the Smith Print team

executive staff editor in chief: Andrea Hampel Layout and Design: MacKenzie Cockerill financial manager: Anna Siembor advertising manager: Taryn Sadauskas secretary: Gaby Skok

GENERAL STAFF Matt Baddour Kelly Burgess Mareesa Graf James Grifin Nathaniel Hahn Matt Kline Brendan Salisbury Ashlyn Wiebalck

FROM THE EDITOR Like the piercing gull eye brandished on our cover, this Spring 2012 issue of Spectrum is both familiar and haunting. All of the works featured may not be in the same vein as an intense gaze, but the chosen pieces are jarring, intimate, vulnerable, and loud enough to penetrate our layers of ambivalence. Members of Northeastern’s student body, faculty, staff, and alumni have used their prowess to portray what we take for granted in the abstract; they have taken the mundane plodding-on of everyday life and turned it inside out. The concrete measurement of time is taken into question with “Clock Dreams” and “Days of the Week in Order,” while the especially inventive “Mary” gives us a window into a world where people aren’t just people. “The Edge” does a good job of displaying the inal frontier in all its ininite beauty as well as challenging us to question our own boundaries. In the realm of the familiar, a number of intimate written works such as “Piano Strings and a Full English Breakfast,” and “Things I Hate About You” explore how we love who and why we love them. Echoes of childhood with “Giraffe” are not to be skipped over, as well as college experiences we can all reminisce on exempliied in “Slob,” “Campus Crawl,” and “Refuge Sought on Harvard Ave, November 13th, 2011,” where it is words this time that are turned on their heads. If anything, this issue of Spectrum is honest. It is honest in its attempt to shake up the minds of Northeastern and get them thinking about what they can contribute to the haunting and familiar discussion their community has started. Let’s hope that discussion ends with greener pastures populated by cute brown cows like our back cover. Thank you for reading, Andrea Hampel

FRONT COVER ART: Eye of the Gull - Kelly Burgess BACK COVER ART: Wildlife! - Alex Mooradian

TABLE OF CONTENTS Stolen Miranda Paquet Bald Doll Rachel Waldmann Clock Dreams Muge Karamanci We Know There Are Certain Things We Can and Cannot Do Anna Siembor Trouble Anjimile Chithambo Pub Rachel Waldmann Days of the Week in Order Jason Jedrusiak Horizon’s Call Conor Lodge Sunlowers Michaella Sangiolo Ripped Breanne Sparta Things I Hate About You Eryn Carlson Campus Crawl J. Thompson Grifin Piano Strings and a Full English Breakfast Lindsey Sampson Riverboat Promenade Caroline Malouse Blind Trust Caroline Malouse Mary Delaney Rebernik Sunrise Suring Conor Lodge Discourse, Disordered Nicholas YB Wong Outspoken Kin Chantalle Hanna Giraffe Lena King Slob Anna Siembor A Lemon Exterior Ben Landsberg Refuge Sought on Harvard Ave, November 13th, 2011 Laurel Schultheis The Edge Breanne Sparta

STOLEN MIRANDA PAQUET You couldn't remember who had said, "Good artists borrow, but the great, steal instead."

Digging trenches in unforgiving frozen solid ground, battling numbness.

And so we took.

The neighbors must have thought we were crazy.

Plagiarizing poetry, Removing rocks from abandoned beaches, Stripping secrets.

All Winter, snow covered our tracks. Melting the red rust from our hands.

We did not wait for ickle muses, Divine inspiration was nothing to us.

We took our time to hide answers, careful to preserve tangible mystery.

Creativity pales next to the richness, expressed only through exertion.

Never forgetting, what is given freely, may never be stolen.

We worked.


BALD DOLL rachel waldmann



WE KNOW THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS WE CAN AND CANNOT DO ANNA SIEMBOR We know there are certain things we can and cannot do. I can love you in the space between my breasts and behind my knees and in the small of my back and in return, love me in the crook of your neck and under the arches of your feet and the spaces in your chest that your ribs don’t ill out, all of these cavernous spaces apart from us are still a part of us old homes with incomplete insulation too many spaces to let the cold in, if you mend me I will mend you and keep the cold out but the heat’s still broken. I cannot see you as a whole only parts only an arm and some stubble and eyebrows snapshots that don’t show a whole person too big for a camera I need to get inside you to look around and inally see all of you and you need to for me because what do you see of me and how can you recognize someone you don’t know you can’t you can’t you can’t and we’ll pass ships in the night trying to remember when we could glimpse each other. We can get so close that we are mere millions of miles away and we can launch each other beyond space and time and we can touch and we can torture and we can tease and we can smile it just takes a few muscles less than a frown it’s so easy anyone can do it if they just try you can just try and then you’ll feel I promise and it will be good won’t it isn’t it? You cannot know my favorite color or strongest emotion or most embarrassing hobby and I cannot know your motivation or your past or your future and then we’ll be even one in the same in the present reinventing ourselves in every moment nothing tethering to yesterday or pulling towards tomorrow newborns born again and again and again without pesky beliefs nothing to atone or to strive for because we can look at each other to see through to the other side to please and please oh please and please and please oh please and please and please oh please oh please oh please oh please.


TROUBLE Anjimile Chithambo The car careening carelessly downhill, Approaching nature’s irst and inal end, Determined, by consumptive force of will, To barrel past the red around the bend, With tired tires screeching through the lane Across the noisy, crowded city square, Accelerating past the looks of pain And horror on the passersby who stare, Collides with force, as I release the wheel, Against the solid, sturdy concrete beam. I lurch in agony and cannot feel, For I am beast and body and machine. I seek to neither curb nor understand The trouble that I cause and that I am.




DAYS OF THE WEEK IN ORDER JASON JEDRUSIAK 1. Acorns somersault Onto defrosted city sidewalks As Spring rakes the lawn 2. Fresh construction crews Lace the long horizon line Of the human mind. 3. An open window moonshine bounces off the loor the janitor mops. 4. An old man losses into a fun house mirror, spots new cavities. 5. Ceiling tiles texture the invisible footprints of the attic ghosts. 6. Witch on the ceiling hovers above tortured souls, the cross, a christmas tree. 7. These ballroom dancers swivel their hips back and forth To the Tchaikovsky.

by: Determined to be In the moment, but staring At a Window’s screen






On cold, damp days I think of sunlowers. Nature’s pinwheels, rotating with light. In the market place, with the autumn nip (and a different, aged light). Buckets of sunlowers still proud, with thick stems. Ordinary people, coats and all, cradle sunlowers, like gold babies wrapped in paper. Huddling, bustling against ferocious gray, (pinwheel petals tickled in the wind) they look down into the sun and burn and burn.


THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU ERYN CARLSON your perpetually sticky ingers, those weird-ass veins on your tongue the fact that you only own soup spoons, and that you breathe like you only have one lung your place is always a mess, and your toenails are long outgrown you don’t give a shit that you look like shit but you judge other’ looks with scoffs and a groan your shoes are never tied, and your shirt is always untucked when my parents asked you about politics, you said, “I don’t give a fuck” you keep me awake at night, but never wake-up on time you say you’ll give me space, but you always cross that line you don’t believe in the afterlife, but you believe in that feng shui shit you know that I hate your lava lamp but you always keep it lit you love me when I hate you which is most if not all the time you smile when I yell at you and tell me I’m divine I wish you’d stop loving me because that’s what I hate the most the fact that I want and need somebody indeed, it’s rather gross


The Campus Crawl is aptly named. Unchecked this age will pull you under. Numb beneath a barren sky I stumbled. Despondency creeps between these bricks. Frenetic, It stalks the pavement. It moans as teachers preach and pry, It turns away a selish eye, It smokes too much Smells old and stale Sits stagnant waiting for the T. Shade in the shade of complacency. Cast it off among the sheets Pale, familiar, beckoning A phrase more honest than just ine, More challenging: a reckoning. Shed the layer you’ve piled on, Protection against Boston’s chill, And reach out for that innocence Abandoned somewhere on the Hill. Come, stand upright with me once more, Not quite fresh, but still unburdened. That feeling you’ve been looking for Marches through these moments.


Your love wraps tightly around my calf Like piano strings. I like the contour of your cheek And the warmth of your tongue. Your crooked smile makes me stay for Just ive minutes more. But the way you smile just for me Makes me want to stay longer. I don’t know how to say exactly how I feel But I’m trying, my dear. Because just saying “I want to buy you a thousand cups of coffee Because coffee wakes you up in the morning And makes you happy And I want to do both of those things” Is not particularly romantic. Because just saying “I would eat a full English breakfast with you Because even though I hate black pudding, You love black pudding, So if I were eating it with you Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad.” Is not particularly lattering. I lust after the words that sew together The greatest love stories.









Mary met herself in the hardware store. Genetically speaking, it was bound to happen. Not that Mary would meet Mary, but that there would be two Mary. Still, Mary was shocked. When she saw Mary between the jutting legs of shelved lawn chairs, she froze, only the gentle twang of vibrating metal cart cage at the tips of her tremoring ingers marking life. Mary, however, was relatively unfazed. Where she was from, there were a lot of Mary, or Mary-like. Where Mary was from, she was one of a kind. Meeting Mary was unnerving, at best, heart-breaking, at worst. She prided herself in individuality, yet here she was at the hardware store, a mere aisle over. Not to say Mary were seamless doubles. Mary had long hair, shiny straight to her hipbone. Mary had crimped, stubby ponytails. Mary was skinny, on a diet. Mary was plump, liked cupcakes. Mary wore a blue dress, knee-length. Mary wore denim shorts, a tucked Jerry’s Keys t-shirt. Mary, Mary quite contrary, But Mary had big smiles, with gapped front teeth. Mary looked at each other. Mary grasped a cold, biting chair leg for support. Mary blinked with quiet interest. Their carts pressed against opposing sides of the same shelf, perfect parallel and unplanned. Customers pushed past on skittering wheels, their carts heavy with miter saws and blenders. Mary smiled. What should she say, if anything? Was there protocol for this type of encounter? Mary nodded. She needed wire plugs, but she did not want to pull away irst. It was getting awkward. Mary shifting weight between fraying Keds; Mary counting beads on her bracelet. A sales associate approached Mary. “Is there anything I can help you with?” He asked with an orange apron. “I’m ine.” Mary said together. The associate left. Silence, staring, but the awe had been hacked under. And Mary wheeled her cart. She paused at Mary’s aisle. “Stay strong,” she whispered to Mary, grazing her cart with her cart before proceeding to checkout with her chrome light sconces.



DISCOURSE, NICHOLAS YB WONG “… there is a distance where words attract.” Kay Ryan 1.


The dog sees his master tie his shoelaces. Unnecessary twirling of fabrics and knots. The human life, its notion and process, always a complication. Then, the door’s closed. No words whispered, no kiss on the slope between its eyes. Against the doormat, it rubs its back, chews on the coir and palmyra stalks. It grumbles. Deep syllables incompatible to the human language. Yet, its body curls and waits – its best attempt to imitate humanity. An unexpected return is an event. 2.


Imagine everyone being bisexual Including the wind the way it chills your cheeks & pinnae on the precipice Including the streams always purling downwards. So predictable. Bravery of gravid salmons combating upstream with off-centre gravity just to lay eggs then die


DISORDERED Including the aspen that erects alone. After quakes, the sky is about to collapse, so you make yourself fall in love. You drill a hole in the trunk. Dark and hollow Inside which you confess secrets about body-bending, luids, imaginations & narratives unknown to woodpeckers 3.


Language is using us to lengthen its latitude by adding ample afixes, the es that tails do, the ly that details degree of doing. Third-person singular, adverbial postmodiier. Arms of language extend and encircle the Earth, equivalent to the Equator. We add a prosthetic to aesthetics, always hoping for more. Discourse of silence mistaken as less and less as loss.

OUTSPOKEN KIN CHANTALLE HANNA If he never found his voice His thoughts would be there, trapped, Lodged in his voice box/ diaphragm/ brain Somewhere, the stirring thoughts Clotting his synapses. Still occurring Stiling him. Silencing him. He would have drowned. Mute. He does that To the television, When he wants to Control the story Skip over the Unsavory parts. Does he know His almost-destiny? The fate he fought? Echolalia. They speak at me until I take their words as my own. My voice tells their stories. They call me Echo. I repeat. My voice tells their stories. I take their words as my own. They applaud. Speak. Find your voice. Reclaim it. Own it. Build it so that it is strong. Strong in your scream, your shout, Your whimper, your whisper.

Articulate brother. Fluent brother. Intelligible brother. Praise you. Bless you. For you are the son of my mother. Whose words stalled, Whose voice the earth denied for a time. A brother I feel akin to Whose voice I hear Whose voice I here assimilate With whose story I empathize. Refusing to shut up, instead We unleash the corralled Not leaving ourselves out, silent, Banging brains on the wall.




SLOB ANNA SIEMBOR A drop of sweat upon my brow Falls down below my cheek and how It lays there like a salty tear A skin of ilth from ear to ear My lesh exposed for all to see The dirty greasy grimy me With seven hairs upon my knee The cruel razor let go free My hair is greasy, eyes unmarked By charcoal pencil’s shadows dark And as I venture to the park I feel the eyes around me I smell of smoke and odors wild Even my senses have been riled I feel as if a little child Allergic to the shower And yet someday I will be clean With soft hair’s glossy perfect sheen But now I know just what it means To be a total slob

a lemon exterior 26

ben landsberg

Refuge Sought ON HARVARD AVE, NOVEMBER 13th, 2011 LAUREL SCHULTHEIS Empty frames on the walls and one in my purseUnnoticed, but encircled by bat-shaped orange lights, Leftovers from Halloween. Movers moving out of open windows as Beastie boys play intergalactic, while Planetary glances from the boy in the corner catch my eye. Seasonal spices obstruct my view and my back is sore from this load, Carried from the Oak’s square roots en route to All’s town, In the sunshine before the rain. Along the way down Washington’s path, I snagged some citrus, which is now yellow sticky on my ingers. Pointedly, the man in plaid is gone. “Please [placidly] place dirty plates in the bus’s bin” (thanks <3 you) Sincerely, “Skim Milk, Milk, and Half & Half.” (Plus a little soy [sorry!] for the extra coffee’s dirty dishes, dirty dishes, dirty dishes!) Sunlight pours in with the gusty wind, winding voices and songs and ex-marine Boyfriends around the store. “There’s a dog in here!” Refuge is sought by those who have nothing left to do but seek, who aren’t hiding Anymore, who may just like a Palestinian-Israeli-Conlict-Mufin And a Freakin’ Cup o’ Joe (or a Mug of Martha). Inigo Montoya’s lead look-a-like loads his iced beverage with sweet, sweet, sweeteners, And waits for his Freakin’ wrap. [Beasties wrap too, just in the sound waves and without vegetables] There’s a new dude in the corner, same lap top, maybe less of a dunce this time, And more of a do-er? We’ll see. Apparently he’s a medium cappuchino kind of guy. So much for my chai, It’s time to ly. BAI!




Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine: Spring 2012  

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

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