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“thanks for fucking our shit up.” “thanks for understanding.”


sometimes they come back


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A bad idea1 that turned into a good idea (& then turned back into a bad idea for a while before we fixed2 it) about inviting all that invisible weird stuff that’s floating around into your body,3 & then learning how to un-make friends before it turns into a mean poison that hurts

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your heart &4 makes you dizzy. You have to do this over & over again for the rest of your life,5 otherwise you will die.6 Invite it in & throw it back out; air is the worst houseguest.7 Draw it in & then let your body change it. You are almost8 mother nature when you breathe.9

WHALES ARE WISDOM. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION, ASK A WHALE.

Z O S I A W I AT R ] 4 / D E R E K R YA N H A I N x 5 / N I C K I E M C B O O N t 9 / O T I S P I G [ 11 / A M E L I A R O B E RT S O N G 15 / V I C TO R -A N TO N I O A L I D 16 / A R I S A N O G L E R M 17 / J A C O B PECK

b

19 / E M I LY K R E S K Y 22 / L I Z M I G L I O R E L L I p

y

29 / J O H N W O L F - 31 / A L E X K I L G O R E W 39 / L E W I S P E T E R S O N L 41 / C A L E B G O O DA K E R-C R A I G S 43 / L I A N N A S A M U E L S 44 / J O S E P H W E L L S 9

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46 / R O B I N A T WO O D

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50 /N I C K Y T I S O ; 52 / A N A S TA S I A K I L A N I 1 56 / C E C I L I A CAREY

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58 / T R AV I S W I L L I A M S 61 / A DA M J E S S U P J

'

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IT MIGHT KNOW THE ANSWER, OR IT MIGHT KNOW NOT TO TELL YOU.

T H E E V E RG R E E N S TAT E C O L L E G E W R I T E R S ’ G U I L D p r e s e n t s :

#2

ISSUE

AUTUMN,

2008

.

writersguildevergreen@gmail.com

EDITORIAL BOARD Grant E. McGee, Mara Beckman, Zoe Hosmer-Dillard, Zosia Wiatr, Nickie McBoon, Otis Pig, Amelia Robertson, Victor Antonio-Ali, Arisa Nogler, Jacob Peck, Emily Kresky & Adam Jessup

PAGE DESIGN Otis Pig & Adam Jessup

COPY EDITING Grant E. McGee, Zosia Wiatr, Amelia Robertson, Jacob Peck, Otis Pig & Adam Jessup

COVER DESIGN Otis Pig & Adam Jessup THIS ISSUE WAS PRINTED IN AN EDITION OF

100

BY GORHAM PRINTING

IN CENTRALIA, WASHINGTON. THIS IS COPY

#

WHALES CAN’T SEE WHAT’S IN FRONT OF THEM, SINCE THEIR EYES ON ON THEIR SIDES. 1 When we told God that we’d be putting together a mostly quarterly literary publication, God said, “don’t hold your breath, suckers,” but we held our breath anyway, & it turned our faces blue. Neither the Smurfs nor the Blue Man Group let us hang out with them, because we were acting

so weird, being so incapable of communication from holding our breaths at God for so long. • 2As it turns out, when our mouths finally burst, out poured an oeuvre in miles of grandiose paintstrokes. It was like the guts of rainbows splattered across the sky after a belly bomb. • 3That place

where you keep everything. You know, that place where stuff goes. • 4We really like this particular ampersand. It’s baskerville italic. We’re seriously considering it for a tattoo, in intimate places in our body. (see 3) What do you think? Is that a good idea? • 5You’re not in life unless you breathe.

It’s really like, the most basic thing you have to do. • 6 The direct & indefatigable result of failing to respect the wisdom offered in footnote #5(see 5) • 7Even worse than Sinbad in that movie, Houseguest. Did you see that? Pretty good, huh? That dude’s hilarious. Where did he go? • 8Nearly,

(see 9)

just about, more or less, practically, virtually, all but, not quite, roughly, not far from, for all intents & purposes, bordering on, well-nigh. • 9Just do it. Don’t get all postmodern on us & only consider the posthumous consequences of breathing, or whatever. Life needs you as much as you need life.(see 5)

THAT’S THE DOWNSIDE TO BEING A WHALE. THE OTHER DOWNSIDE IS THAT THEY HAVE TO THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE WRITERS’ GUILD. ©2008 The Writers’ Guild: The Evergreen State College All rights revert to individual authors and artists. PRINTED IN OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON

KNOW SO MUCH.

PRINT FOR BREATHING IS A PUBLICATION OF

THIS ISSUE (in

alphabetical order) pCLOUDLESS MIST / ]COASTAL TRACKS / MCRACKERS

/ yTHE DAUGHTER / uEXTRA! EXTRA! RECENT NOTHING THAN THE USUAL / JEQUAL & OPPOSITE ATTRACTION / oTHE FALL OF MY BROTHERS & SISTERS / [THE FIRST THING I REMEMBER FROM LIFE / LGO HOME / SHAHA / DI HAVE A A SECRET / 9IN A PERFECT WORLD / tJUNGLE FEVER / xLIVES CONTINUE IN THE FOOTNOTES / 1[PROFESSION] / \“SAY A PRAYER FOR ME – PLOWED INTO THE GROUND!” / ;THE WATCHER / 'WHALES IN THE LANTERN ROOM / -WHEN THE CROWS COME CALLING / WWHITMAN IN MY CUP / b~~~


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COASTAL TRACKS by

Z o s i a W i at r

Autumn, 2008

The passing pictures don’t retain their form, but slide from trees to brush to stream and back, a blur of light as rain begins to storm— the train is leaking noises: tack-uh-tack. A pair of women play checkers, their heads of white and thinning hair are bobbing with the motion of the train; their pieces, red and black, are carved with pictures of a myth. A farm where chickens peck dry grass then estuaries specked with cormorants who scream at the sky, a child’s cries pass the length of the train; a mother grasps his hand. No passenger will reach their destination faster than the train slows in the station. ]

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F OOTNOT ES

D e r e k R ya n H a i n remainder of the pot into a thermos, and stepped outside, yelling as he did, “Pick up

Daniel detached the removable container,

your fucking pictures already, Stannie!”1

shook it up a little, grabbed a filter with his

Stanley was browsing online news coverage

free hand and poured. Some coffee grounds

in his room. He shut his laptop and walked

spilled over onto a utilities bill left on the

out to the television room. Photographs of

counter. He brushed them into the palm of

he and his girlfriend, Annie, were scattered

his hand and tossed them into the trash. He

around the coffee table. He rifled through

went to the bathroom, pissed, returned, and

them, then sat down on the sofa and sighed.

filled a mug as the machine dripped on.

He looked at the closed window blinds for a

Shoving aside magazines and plastic bags, he sat down on the couch. From underneath, he pulled a pad of graph paper. He flipped

moment, stood, opened them, sat back down, and sighed again. Taking on a determined, concentrated

some dozen pages in, to a page marked with

expression,

the day’s date, and began writing numbers in

photographs on the table. Some were

the squares. He wrote the numbers here and

Polaroids, some digital prints, some black and

there all over the page. Occasionally, he flipped

white; some showed Stanley clean-shaven,

to the previous page. This page was full, with

1. On the bus, Daniel listened to headphones and picked between his teeth with a disposable floss toothpick. He tapped his foot, watching the other passengers. He kept his headphones on for the entirety of his work day—while scanning intake forms and entering computer data from those forms, on his two fifteen-minute coffee breaks, at Wendy’s on his hour lunch break, and four times in the restroom, pissing. He only removed the headphones once, when a female coworker asked him a question. He removed the headphones and said, “Huh?” She pointed at her computer screen and asked, “The code for this is five nine eight one one?”

some of the sequences highlighted, some circled. Daniel looked at the page a moment, tapping his pencil idly in the air, then flipped back and continued writing. The coffee went cold as he worked. Noticing the clock, he closed his pad, picked up his coffee cup, poured it and the

he

began

arranging

the

5

Derek Ryan Hain

Daniel poured the beans into the cylinder and pressed the button. The coffee grinded.


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some bearded; some showed Annie with long hair, some short. He put the photographs in a series of lines across the table. He selected seven of the photographs and placed them on

Autumn, 2008

a nearby footstool.

Lance, in a bathrobe, scratching his head, entered the room and sat on a recliner. He watched curiously as Stanley lined up the seven selected photographs, beginning with the first and last photos, then arranging the center ones. He hesitated for a minute, considering the order of the middle photos. Glancing quickly at Lance, then looking back at the coffee table, he began to speak, “I took all of my photographs of us. I put them on this coffee table and arranged them in chronological order.” Lance looked at the photos. Stanley continued, “Here we are at Sea World. Here we are at Annie’s mother’s house on Christmas. Here‘s my birthday, the mall. This is the shirt I gave her. This was her friend’s wedding. And here’s when we met, at that party. “But these seven,“ Stanley waved a hand over the photos, as if conjuring a ghost, “are a special set. Look closely. We look happy in all of them, don’t we?” “Uh… Well, yeah. Pretty much.” “Look closer.”

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“You look happy.” “Yep. That’s what I thought.” Stanley stood up, grabbed the first of the seven photos, stuck it into his pocket, snorted, and walked to the door. Lance spotted himself in the background of the last photograph and picked it up. He scratched his head, trying to recall where the photograph was taken. In it, he was walking some paces behind Stanley and Annie; they were all coming down a sandy hill. Stanley and Annie were wrapped together in a beach blanket. He remembered: the photo was taken at the beach about two years ago. “Hey, I remember this one.” He held it up to Stanley, who stood in the doorway. “Oh yeah. That’s the one I want to keep. You can throw the rest away.”2 2. Stanley left to see Annie in her single bedroom apartment. Businesslike, he sat down next to her on her sofa and showed her the photograph from his pocket. “Remember this?” he asked. “Yes.” “Were we happy then?” “Yes. Sometimes. I think.” “Three months ago, on Mother’s Day, when you told me you were pregnant? When I went to that party and got drunk and you kept on bugging me about not having a job and I called you a bitch? We were happy then?” “I don’t remember all that. I just remember being with you.” “Well, remember. Because we weren’t happy in this photograph. We look it, but we weren’t.” She was silent.


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Rachel looked around. Lance pointed out a painting. The painting showed a dozen women—all realistically depicted, some in armor, some naked, some elegantly dressed, some heavily mascaraed and lipsticked—sitting around a torture rack. The artist, drawn in sketchy caricature, was stretched out on it. Lance told Rachel he thought the artist had modeled one of the women on his friend Carol. She was the one in armor. “Does she wear armor?” joked Rachel. “Nah. She’s got a nose piercing though.”3 Across the room, the artist laughed freely, tilting back his head, then lowering his eyes again to the girl with whom he was talking. “Nope, never…” “Really?” “Really.” She rubbed her hands on her pants. He shifted his around his coffee cup. “I always get my coffee at Starbucks. 3 Carol was Lance’s friend through Daniel. Lance had always thought she and Daniel were peculiarly matched as friends. Daniel could be such a dick sometimes. Carol was always friendly. He didn’t mention this to Rachel. The two of them left with their coffees and walked to a park. There, they watched a dog circle and paw at a tree in which, presumably, he had trapped a squirrel.

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Derek Ryan Hain

Lance looked thoughtfully at the photograph, set it down, gathered up the rest, and threw them into a nearby trashcan. He sat down on the couch, dug underneath it to find Daniel’s pad of graph paper, flipped through the pages idly, then yawning, began to highlight and circle various sequences. As he was highlighting, he heard a knock on the door. He stopped immediately, replaced the pad and pens, and walked to answer it. The girl at the door had greasy dreadlocks, wore a ripped t-shirt, and twirled a twig in her mouth. Lance stepped outside and closed the door behind him. They walked several blocks, chatting. Rachel, the girl, told Lance about her neighbor’s tomatoes. Lance told her about playing chess against Marcus and losing. She told him about class Monday. He told her about what happened on the bus. They both stopped to feel the wet leaves of a tree and gave some change to a man outside a coffee shop and then walked inside. The café was crowded. An art opening was underway. The artist, a thinmoustached student, wandered around the café with a cup of coffee, talking amiably. While waiting in line, Lance and

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Autumn, 2008

Always. The little places bother me. Not enough room, not enough space between people. I get nervous.” He swiveled his head around, watching everyone. “I need to feel a little distance. And, actually, I like the impersonal feel of the corporate joints. I find it comforting. But I really appreciate that these small places show local art. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.” “Would you still paint if you had nowhere to show your stuff ?” Inside the artist’s mind, in some deep corner he would never see, he was still

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playing racquetball against his father, always losing. His father kept telling him that he wouldn’t take it easy on him, that someday he’d grow up and be able to win in earnest, and that someday he—his father—would grow old and be able to lose in earnest. The artist was still wearing his boyhood racquetball shorts, too, and wanting to feel the quick and precise movements that he executed there on the court. “Well, there’s always some place to show your stuff, unfortunately.” ]


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J UNGLE F EVER by

Nickie McBoon N ickie McBoon

secrets wrapped in white cotton sheets, skin soaked through like tissue paper. trickling spines and dark heavy breath above the city traffic, beyondthe humdrum of yesterday, and today there are no clocks but our hearts beat through into our stomachs and loins where blood rushes into open capillaries, flow like rivers in dense jungles, sweaty and rich, below and engulfed in swollen leaves of the canopy. covers twist and tangle, rhythm with our turning bodies, rolling in fabric tides, and coming up for air again. salty extracts can stream from pores or eyes, and do

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Autumn, 2008

and you’d never know the difference. in surreal depths, maybe there’s no light, but reflections in whites and irises. and maybe there’s no sound, but the uneven intakes of breathe, too soft to break the silence or noise of flesh in friction or rusty springs. and maybe there’s no expellation or final shivers or melody. but beneath the jungle awning there are no conclusions, but circulation. and these sheets drip warm with honey. ]

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F IRST THING I REMEMBER a n e xc e p rt f ro m

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LI FE

YOU ARE PERFECT ENOUGH

by

Otis Pig the bed & pulled my blanket up to my chin.

much I grew in life, I’d never get tall enough to

He patted out all the creases in the fabric.

bump my head on that ceiling. It was so high

“Get some rest, Sebastian,” he said, “we’ll be

up–an impossible distance, really. Nobody

here in the morning.” I nodded, & he ruffled

got that big anyway, except for my mother &

my hair with his hand. His hand was as big as

father. But they were a completely different

my whole head.

species. They had to duck their heads under

They walked to the doorway together,

the archway of my door whenever they came

then turned back around. My father waved &

into my room.

my mother blew me a kiss. My father shut off

These strange giants. They let me touch

the light, then left through the lit hallway. My

their faces for as long as I wanted. Love

mother followed, shutting the door behind

poured out of their mouths when they spoke.

her.

When they said things like, “Sweet dreams,”

When lit, the walls of my room were

or, “Good morning, Sebastian” or, “I love

painted a bright, primary red. When the lights

you.”

went out, that red sank into the walls, & the

I remember thinking, “These strange giants. This strange love.”

gray that lives behind everything was left in its place. The ceiling fan stopped turning, too.

“Be careful this time,” my mother

I was very aware of my limitations as

whispered into my ear. I wasn’t sure what

a new person of the world. I knew that all

she meant by that, except that maybe I was a

these things I didn’t understand would make

reckless sleeper. She kissed my forehead while

themselves clear to me over time. I was

I felt her face with my hand. Her skin seemed

humble, & eager to learn.

even younger than mine.

Sleeping alone, in the dark, for one thing.

She pulled away, & my hand fell limp

It didn’t make any sense to me at all. Besides,

against my chest. My father knelt down beside

who wants to be alone? Who wants to be

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O tis Pig

I wasn’t worried because no matter how


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alone in the dark? I didn’t understand it, but

nice color” I thought, “maybe it will be my

eventually I would. Some people do it every

favorite.”

single night. They must choose to do so for a reason. Because I was so new, I didn’t know the

supposed to do?” I expected sleep to react

mechanics of sleeping. I didn’t know the

the way my hands do when I want them to

commands. For example, what words did I

move in a certain way. When I want my hands

have to say? What buttons did I have to push?

to do something, they just do it. I listened to

I spent hours every night agonizing over it.

the sound of wind rustling against unknown

When I finally fell asleep, it was always by

surfaces in my room. It was a boring, daunting

accident. I stopped paying attention & failed

sound.

to document the moment between life & dreaming.

“Come on, sleep” I thought. “I’m doing everything I can to meet you,” which was true.

A soft chill blew over me. At first I mistook

“I want the two of us to be friends.” No reply.

it for sleep–as a vessel that would carry me

My legs started twitching. My heart started

someplace–but it was just the wind coming in

talking, in words that mutated into other

from my open window.

words. I did not understand sleep. I did not

Outside my window were thousands of

Autumn, 2008

I shut my eyes to attempt sleeping. I thought thoughts like, “Now what?” & “What am I

understand anything.

other windows of varying shapes & heights &

I tried holding my breath. It didn’t work;

distances. Most of them were illuminated by

I scratched that off the list. I tried counting

a deep, yellow glow. Some had silhouettes of

sheep. That didn’t work either. I tried to

different people reading newspapers, eating

empty myself of every possible thought, but I

dinner, or reaching for boxes hidden in the

couldn’t think of a way to make that possible.

backs of their closets. All of these figures

I threw my blanket off of my body. I tossed

living out their lives on the other sides of their

& turned. I rolled to the edge of my bed, then

windows, they each knew more about life than

back to the middle. I rolled the other direction,

I did. They had studied it. They had touched

so restlessly. By accident I rolled too far. Before

its face with their hands. Life didn’t puzzle

I knew it I was out the window.

them anymore.

My body sailed through the still air, creating

Bits of the purple, twilit sky hung behind

the sensation of a great wind blowing up at

the other apartment buildings. “That’s a

me. If that soft chill that came in through my

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window before was sleep, than this wind was

know they’re supposed to be at life, but they

reckless sleep.

can’t move so they learn how to crawl? Do infants learn to walk so they can see over the obstacles that stand between them & life? Do

sometimes by choice, sometimes by accident. I

children learn to run so they can get to life

wasn’t keen on how or why the death occurred,

as quickly as possible? Do teenagers learn to

but I knew that it factored in somewhere. This

drive cars because they realize that life is not

much seemed instinctual: as much as it can be

a walkable distance? Do adults fly in airplanes

prevented, don’t fall. But realistically, I knew I

so they can study the topography of the world

wasn’t going to die. After all, I just got here.

& draw up maps that lead them to life?

I watched lit windows of the apartment

Do old people walk so slow & look down at

buildings shoot past as I plummeted. All

the ground all day long because they’ve given

of those windows, with all their silhouettes.

up looking for life? Or have they already found

Each one represented a person. I wondered

it–almost by accident some quiet morning

how many people there were out there, in the

when nobody was around to bear witness–

world, & how long it would be before I got to

leaving them with nothing left to find?

meet them all. My body hit the sidewalk. It was no big deal at all.

I was so new to the world; you couldn’t blame me for not knowing. Nobody knows right away.

I lay headfirst on the concrete. I wasn’t

Around this time, my perspective left from

cold or bruised or anything. Nobody was

my body. It scaled my apartment building &

passing by.

settled on my open window. Inside, my mother

I didn’t feel like crawling up all the stairs back up to my room, so I tried to fall asleep

& father were scratching their heads, peering down at me on the sidewalk.

again. Maybe if I pretended to be dead, that’d

My perspective watched them leave my

do the trick. Only, it occurred to me that I

room in a rush. It panned over to the stairwell

wasn’t sure what death was yet. Someone told

windows, where the silhouettes of my parents

me that it was the opposite of life. But what

appeared. They zipped comically fast down

was life, exactly?

the stairs, weaving back & fourth in a zigzag

Like, is life some place that everyone’s trying to get to? Do babies cry because they

pattern. I wasn’t the body reaching for sleep on the

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O tis Pig

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sidewalk; I wasn’t the perspective following the silhouettes of my mother & father down

They walked to the the doorway together,

the stairwell. I existed outside of both, like I

then turned back around. My father waved &

was watching a filmed program for & about

my mother blew me a kiss. My father shut off

me, within my own imagination. What was

the light, then left through the lit hallway. My

this thing called?

mother followed, shutting the door behind

My mother & father rushed through the

her.

double-doors of the apartment building &

I stirred in bed. I imagined myself sleeping,

hovered over me. My perspective returned to

but it never became real. That was another

my body.

thing I’d have to figure out eventually.

My mother moaned, “O, Sebastian... We told you to be careful!” She rolled her eyes. “Come on, let’s go back to bed” my father offered. I nodded in agreement. He slung me over his shoulder, & we

I threw my blanket off of my body. I tossed & turned. I rolled to the edge of my bed, then back to the middle. I rolled the other direction, so restlessly. By accident I rolled too far. Before I knew it I was out the window.

scaled the stairs in the same manner that

I sailed through the air. Don’t worry–I’ve

they descended: comical & quick. Again,

done this a hundred times before. Of course

my perspective separated & followed us up

I’d be alright.

from outside the window. We were silhouettes against a yellow glow, ascending upwards. Autumn, 2008

he ruffled my hair with his hand.

Back in my room, my father set me back

“O, Sebastian... We told you to be careful.” “Come on, let’s go back to bed.”

in bed. I made myself comfortable by slipping

Back in bed, I couldn’t sleep a wink. After

my legs under the blanket. “be careful this

all, I was just too new to life. These things

time,” My mother said, then she kissed my

would come to me in time.

forehead.

I threw my blanket off of my body. I tossed

My father pulled the blanket up to my

& turned. I rolled to the edge of my bed, then

chin, & then patted out the creases in the

back to the middle. I rolled the other direction,

fabric. “Get some rest, Sebastian,” he said.

so restlessly. By accident I rolled too far. Before

“we’ll be here in the morning.” I nodded, &

I knew it I was out the window. ]

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REMEMBER

by

A m e l i a R o b e rt s o n Amelia Robertson

Remember when we wrote poetry and grass was the idea of grass, not astro-turf beneath our shoulders while we ringed around in the night. Looking down on the stars, we drew words up in draughts between mason jar mimosas and christened the ephemeral child-of-the-moment with shining eyes and urgent understandings. remember? ]

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I HAVE a

by

SECRET

V i c t o r -A n t o n i o A l i

There, is no one here but me. Odd feeling, Nice feeling. There is no one here, But me. And so the ocean breezes To the lack thereof, bestowed once sorrow, once, bestowed once grief To joy to joy once grief, to joy to joy relief And so and so Relief I have a secret. There is no one here but me.

Autumn, 2008

I have a secret. Peculiar is it not, when one admires from a far Often… Often, they’re at a loss for words … a loss of words At a loss for words Lost words, when it arises When opportunity arises They’re at a loss of words I met you once, this I know. ]

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CRACKERS

by

Arisa Nogler

corner, on Harrison and Division, across

the middle of my shadowy rebellion, that I will never forget.

from the Texaco that I frequent several

It’s late and I wake up to the heat that

times a day because they let you use their

has already made itself comfortable inside

bathroom, even if you don’t buy anything.

the back of the van where I sleep. It’s spread

I am living in a van behind a bowling alley,

itself out, yawning and steaming, put its feet

with a discount foods store for a kitchen and

on my tiny mattress, and curled itself under

a gas station for a bathroom. He has cats,

the blankets and all over my sticky body.

tons of them, a bicycle and a cardboard

The windows around me are blackened with

sign hand painted, saying, Please, Anything

duct tape to keep the sun out, and the van

Helps.

is unnecessarily insulated with sheets and

I see him every day. I don’t think I have anything to give him.

blankets taped to the walls. Sweat already saturates my skin and the heat laughs at me,

I duck my head in pretended anonymity,

breathing fire into the air all around me. I

just like everyone else. I live behind the

hurl myself at the back doors, pull the latch

bowling alley and no one notices me,

and throw them open, tumbling head first

either.

into the after noon.

I am a teenage girl throwing the biggest

Three packages of crackers are neatly

tantrum of my adolescence, living in a van

piled on the fender of the van, waiting

for the summer because I believe in middle-

for me. Six white gas station crackers

class rebellion and I’m in love. A high

sandwiching fake orange cheese, their

school girl with a wayward boyfriend and

wrappers undisturbed.

his Econoline van. Tom has a painted sign and a bicycle and who knows what else. There’s one day, in the middle of July, in

An offering made gracefully, quietly, with no note, no explanation. I turn my head, and there is Tom, the

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His name is Tom. He stands on the


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homeless man who stands on the corner of

that we all needed to work for change.

Harrison and Division, walking in his slow

Articles in newspapers, magazines, voices

shuffle back across the parking lot. He turns

on the radio, all talked about social justice

around briefly to smile and wave at me before

meetings, homeless collectives, erecting

continuing, back to his worn out bike and his

tents on public land in the name of protest,

card board sign. I stand on the gravel, toes

decrying embargos because isn’t it our job,

burning where they graze the hot asphalt of

as a prosperous nation, to feed the world’s

the bowling alley’s parking lot, and watch

hungry? Take everyone in, they said.

him go. He disappears around the corner,

Prevent thousands of Iraqi deaths. Save the

and I pick up the crackers. Tom walked

children, for God’s sake. Save the world. Feed

all the way across the asphalt while I slept,

the hungry.

weaving through the cars and abandoning

But somehow, amid all of

these

his post for a precious few minutes, to give

horrifying images and incessant urging, it’s

me some crackers.

the picture of Tom that stands out, with his

Just months before, the U.S. had

crackers, smiling and waving at me. Giving

declared war on Iraq. I stood in the street

me a simple, profound gift. Camaraderie.

with millions of other citizens worldwide,

One person, staring another directly in the

adding my two cents to the vending

eye, neighbor to neighbor, saying, I see you.

machine marked “Social Justice.” They

]

Autumn, 2008

told me, with microphones and spray paint,

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~~~

by

Jacob Peck Jacob Peck

and then… the dream drifts into this the great waking slumber of souls set to a time in Time mechanized produced carted out from the tube’s sullying jacket brought up to serve the great farce and then… i awaken to the wander of “i gotta wake up” dreams to the false reality of “so it seems” to books, barefoot being, silent sitting “am i seeing?” where does the wanderer wish to be, other than Home, in Truth as one’s Infini T? Where I Is… Always and then… the hollows of the heart… bursting, bubbling, beckoning with Life… awaiting recognition !?! what echoes within the heart cave? Does one dare listen and acknowledge one’s self ?

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P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

would one care to see the Soul of Humanity, its toils and pangs, loves and virtues, its mystery, agony, beauty and depth? ~ will we Listen? will we See? will we Dance the Dance of Mystery? Harmony Is and then… we are all lost in hiding suffocating in the shaped psyche’s house-of-cards reality the objectification of perception projection delusion distraction and such horror runs rampant as all eyes are clouded in the glam of incessant pollution Autumn, 2008

we are all lost in hiding with hearts contorted, Mystery distorted, “life” being but a fragment of a broken dream we’d rather not awaken from…the great weight of the unreal binds…such sorrow throbs… and strides of eternity ripple amidst it all as filters dissolve, realities waver, and the tragedy tries to teach Look See Be forget notions of the known and truly Be… for all Is and must return to Reality ~ the great Formless Truth… unto which every thing dissolves, yet

20


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I Is Eternally Here Now Jacob Peck

and then… we are all lost in hiding…seeking…searching for the Same ~ when there is only This the unknowable the The both before and beyond thought the Womb of wombs birthing destruction, coalescence, systematic structures of innate Harmony ~ ethereal Essence… and then… with the cries of our brothers and sorrows of our sisters the horrors of our forefathers and agonies of our mothers with the great weight of humanity’s tragedy… we are beckoned… ~ Abide as Is and Birth the Creation of illusions dissolution ~ ~ herein resides Healing ~

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P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

CLOUDLESS MIST

Autumn, 2008

by

E m i ly K r e s k y

My face, cool and exhausted, right up

owner explained to us why he uses these

against the tall, midnight blue coffee mug,

old, creepy, dirty children’s toys to decorate

with my wild sweet orange tea screaming,

the café, but I couldn’t understand him,

inside. I watch the steam collectively rise

speaking in Spanish, which I did not know

up off the surface of the light sweet tea,

enough of. My mother, on the other hand,

moving and flowing around my cheeks, as if

roared with laughter as the man charmed

to whisper a secret to me. The steam spreads

her and Javier, her lover. They absolutely

out around my nose and evaporates in to

loved living in this tropical, dreamland city.

the colorful, strangely awake coffee shop in

I just kept thinking how strangely awake this

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I then realize how

café was, everyone chattering and laughing

hot I am, and that I am drinking hot tea

with each other and walking around.

in the already deathly humid, ninety-five

How were they so awake this early in the

degree weather.

morning? Maybe it was because I hadn’t

“Mist! Are you even listening to us?”

slept more then an hour a night for days. I

My mind takes a halt and I blink suddenly,

never sleep anymore. I just can’t bring my

realizing that I had completely forgotten for

body to drift and settle down. My brain is

a moment that my mother and her young,

starting to struggle to keep focused. The

Hawaiian-shirt lover are lecturing me. I feel

street lamps and sidewalks and the world tip

like I’m in a toy house. This ocean-blue

around my body and me as I am the only

coffee shop with the totem poles holding it

one standing in the middle of the street.

up makes everything look ancient. There

Slanting. Surreal.

are small, palm-sized toys and stuffed

“Moon, forget it, she can’t even keep her

animals perched on all the totem pole limbs

attention on us for five minutes.” Javier says

and the corners of the tables. Action figures,

to my mother. I want to tell him to shut up.

ducks, elephants, Mickey Mouse. The

My mother sighs. “Mist, won’t you eat

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something? Your tea is going cold, and

them up more. I had to just hold in my

that’s all you ever put into your body. You

anger and walk right past them, not even

don’t even look like a sixteen-year-old, you

acknowledging their presence.

are so skinny. You need to eat something.” I am so comfortable stretched out on the

down on his Huevos Chorizo, so thick and

soft grass up against the bay. It feels like it is

heavy with melting cheese and beans. My

the only soft grass in the whole city. Life slips

mother with her egg-whites sandwich. I can’t

away in this spot. All the pain slithers out

bear to think of how I would feel with that

of me and rolls down the hills from all sides

smoldering food sitting inside my stomach,

of me and I am left with nothing but the

weighing me down onto the earth so it

beautiful sound of the waves crashing up

shakes every time I take a step in this heat.

against the rocks with tiny clams gripping

I love, absolutely love feeling so light on my

onto them. Beauty, my kitten, creeps up on

feet that I could prance around anywhere I

me by rubbing her face against my hair. I

please, with no restraints. It is what makes

am not startled though. She purrs so loud it

my body peaceful. Not with the burden of

reminds me of a baby lion, I am the mother

food which makes my insides violent.

of the baby lion. Right now she is the only

I walk out of the coffee shop into the

thing that makes sense. I want to take her in

Mexican streets, in my shorts, with my hair

my arms and bury my face in her soft, soft

tied back to keep away from my sweating

fur. Beauty gently walks across my body, as

face. I walk past the old Hispanic ladies

if I am more fragile then she is. I pet her,

sitting in chairs having their little children

feel her fur comforting me. She can sense

run up to people walking by and trying to

something wrong inside of me more then I

sway them to buy their necklaces and beads

can. I pet her, thinking about the night at the

and dresses. I always felt bad for those

party downtown when I wore the heels that

kids. I walked past a beautiful old woman

I couldn’t run in. I think about the stone-

sitting cross-legged on a rock wall reading

faced men staring at me in my skirt and wild

a book, her hair blowing across her in the

hair, looking me up and down. I think about

wind. I want to paint her. I walked past the

the one man with the fire eyes who took me

older men yelling comments at me. I had

in the empty taxi after I had Melonball after

learned not to curse them off, that just riled

Melonball constantly the whole night, and

23

Emily K resky

But I won’t. I stare at Javier chomping


Autumn, 2008

P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

the room swung back and fourth in front of

and I had crazy eye makeup on, sparkling.

my eyes. The firm grip he had on my arm,

I walked right past myself sitting on the

locking me in there, unzipping his pants. I

couch. I was so surprised, but not scared.

heard the zip. I saw the long, dark, slime he

I walked over to me, or her, and tapped

pulled out over me. “Do you like what you

her on the shoulder. She looked at me in

see?”

amazement. We both touched our stomachs.

“Beauty, if you can sense something

Then we went in the kitchen to talk. She

wrong inside of me, can you heal me too?”

was small and innocent, but dangerous and

I wished she would use her soft lion roars

glamorous. I was going to tell her it all. I was

and gentle paws to heal me.

going to tell her what would happen to her

As the sun is beating down on my

if she went downtown. I was going to tell

forehead, warming me from the inside out, I

her how she would end up, like me. I was

start to drift. I get the feeling of drowsiness,

going to warn her about the fire eyes and

like after a long day at work, and it is the

about the soreness she would have the next

most relaxing, reassuring feeling in the

day. But before I could spill out my soul to

world. I close my eyes and my mind falls

her, I awake.

into a half dream. The state where you are

Beauty is gone when I wake up, and I

still somewhat awake, but the sounds of the

am delirious and sweating. With the sun

earth somehow connect with your mind to

beginning to set I jump up and run back

form one long thought and it causes strange

across the luscious, grassy, forsythia field

visions to flash like a dream is about to start.

to my house to get ready for the service

I see Beauty wearing a bow tie dancing with

wedding of Moon and Javier. I feel open

a baby lion. I see the man in the taxi and his

and free and young running through the

eyes are staring at me, connecting us with

grass, having the village rush past me. I am

fire.

running through the breeze, breaking it in

Then I fall into a dream. I dream of me

an ever so thin line with my glass body. I

sitting on a couch in my house. And then I

feel like I did when I was a little girl and

walked down the stairs, not me now, but me

the world was a castle; when my mother

four years ago when I was thirteen. It was

and I would race through the sidewalks on

me the night I went downtown. I walked

rollerblades. When I used to bake cakes out

down the stairs wearing my skirt and heels,

of blocks and sticks and they would always

24


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eyes. My stomach bites me and cries and I

I lock my bathroom door and undress

lean outside the shower into the toilet and

myself, dropping my clothes on the floor

throw up anything inside there that could

and staring at my boney arms and legs in

try to scare me. Anything that reminds me

the mirror, feeling free. I close my eyes and

of the fire.

turn my head back so I am facing the ceiling,

After my shower I put on my bathrobe and sit down. I feel weak

with cool floor. When I open my eyes I see

doesn’t feel the thin that it usually feels,

the fire alarm battery blinking bright red.

empty and natural, now it feels like someone

The blood stops flowing inside my body for

took a twisty fist and punched in as hard as

a moment and I throw on my towel and rush

they could.

My stomach

to the kitchen to grab new batteries for the alarm. I check that alarm every day to make

The wedding is held at the edge of the

sure it is working. To make sure my house

white sand on the bay. There are rocks leading

will not catch on fire and burn down like I

out in the water and grass surrounding the

hear can happen like the little girl who was

sand. There is a large canopy set up right

sleeping. Her house was burning down and

next to where the waves crash. The sun

her fire alarm was broken. She didn’t wake

is setting and it is beautiful. It looks like a

up and she burned slowly with her house.

painting done by an artist full of happiness

When I secure the fire alarm I feel

and desire. Maya and I sit in the front row as

calmer and I climb into the shower. I stand

my mother stands under the canopy on the

in the pelting droplets of water, feeling them

soft sand with her Hawaiian shirt lover, who

hit my skin. Closing my eyes, I let the water

is now dressed in a blue tuxedo with his hair

fill my hair, my eyes, my mouth. I take the

slicked back. She is beautiful. She is wearing

pale white lufa and scrub and scrub all over

a long white dress that is simple and flows

my body and keep scrubbing, but I still can’t

around her body in the breeze. Her hair is

seem to get the dirty feeling out of my skin.

very long, down her back, and it is soft and

The dirty feeling has buried deep beneath

straight. She reminds me of a goddess. A

my pores, in the deepest levels of my soul.

delicate flower that was splashed with the

The dirty feeling that I have felt ever since

purest of milk. Everyone truly does love her

the night with the fire make up and the fire

in this city. Anyone she meets is drawn to

25

Emily K resky

feeling the weight of my body connecting


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

her inner-beauty. But I cannot connect with

of cake. My mother watches me as I run

her. If I had one wish in the world it would

away from her and her wedding.

be to be on top of a purple mountain with

We run all the way downtown in our

only her. We would wear the skins of deer

dresses. There is a show going on at the

and bird feathers in our hair. We would live

green field in downtown, with the palm

on top of the mountain, telling stories every

trees around it. The sun is setting. The sky

night about when she was little or how she

is roaring with oranges and purples and a

met her first love. We would eat wild berries

bright, glowing yellow where the sky meets

and read each other’s tarot cards using

the water. This is the only place the sky looks

the sun and the moon and the trees. Our

like that. Maya and I stopped running when

minds would be connected then and I could

we hear the drums and the tambourines

tell her anything like I could when I was

coming from the stage. We dance over to the

younger and always looked for her face in

stage where four Guatemalan men called

a crowd or in the paintings on the walls or

the Los Bambinos throw themselves into

in the mirror.

the evening by bringing their wild music

“I don’t know how much longer I can sit

Autumn, 2008

here, Maya,” I whisper to my friend.

to life. Beautiful women in colorful dresses and barefoot and men with dreadlocks and

“Lets get out of here; go swimming, be

no shirts danced all over the field. They are

in water or something. You look pale. You

throwing their arms and legs into the air,

need sun and vitamins and excitement.”

not even noticing the other people around

Javier

kissed

Moon

while

the

them. There are children dancing in and

photographers flashed pictures of them

out of the taller peoples legs. Maya and I

standing in the waves with the wind blowing

run into the crowd and kick our feet and

in their hair. Everyone in my family kept

throw our arms up in the air. Maya takes my

coming up to me, touching my face, my

hands and we dance with each other, flying

hair. “Mist you are so skinny, don’t you eat?”

back and fourth, laughing hysterically. My

“Smile Mist, you are hiding your pretty

long satin dress flows all around my legs and

face!”

jump into the air. I close my eyes and feel the

Maya and I slip out before it can get

music penetrating inside me. The thumping

any worse, before one of my aunts actually

of the drums and the playful screaming of

makes me eat a disgusting, fattening piece

the children.

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I open my eyes to see the most beautiful

disintegrated inside of me because of the

little girl. She is dancing in circles by herself

lack of food. There probably isn’t a speck

wearing a long blue skirt. She had the

of her left. “Mist, we have to get out of here!” Maya

lips. Her hair has flower petals scattered

tugs on my arm so hard I almost fall over.

everywhere, as if she put the flowers in her

I look up and I see Maya’s face, terrified

hair and they flew everywhere as she danced

but strong; but it doesn’t cause me to say

but still looked amazingly beautiful as petals

anything. People are running away from the

settled in her hair. She didn’t have a care in

stage. A roaring collision of reds and oranges

the world.

spreads on the stage and travel out onto the

An older woman, I’m guessing her mother, walks up to her. “Cloud!” she exclaims, and picks her up in her arms and spins her around. She

trees, coming right towards me. My body is frozen. My blood stops again and now fear is coursing through my veins. I remember Cloud. I quickly look up but she is gone.

hands her a wooden bowl full of macaroni

My worse nightmare, the fire coming

and cheese and walks away again. Cloud

back, the man in the taxi, trapping me in

sits on the grass in the middle of all these

the hot sweatiness, the hot fumes coming

dancing people and starts munching

towards me and burning my hair and skin

away on her cheesy snack, enjoying every

and what is left of me until I am nothing.

spoonful. She is so perfect, sitting Indian

I stand there frozen with all these thoughts

style on the grass eating her food. Her eyes

racing through my head. I am going to burn

catch mine for just a moment and I felt a

slowly like the girl in her bed. I see the huge

thick ball of glass drop into my stomach. I

flames rising up above my head, reaching

look down at and touch my stomach, almost

their fiery arms out to grab me and never

concaving inwards from the lack of food I

let me go even when I am screaming to

let myself eat. How is it that I once was just

please stop and please let me go. They send

like Cloud? How is that even possible that

sparks flying out towards me like wild make-

I once was an innocent, precious, beautiful

up that I usually put on my eyes. Tears are

girl who danced and was free and ate food

streaming down my face uncontrollably and

and smiled at everything? Where did that

I cannot break through from this strong

girl inside of me go? She must have just

grasp of fire that won’t let me go.

27

Emily K resky

lightest, most innocent face with the pinkest


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

Before I can even realize what I am doing,

Autumn, 2008

my feet are darting across the field, down

of deep red flowers, the same flowers that I think were in Cloud’s hair.

the hill, past the palm trees, away from the

I run out onto the rocks that lead out in

nightmarish fire. I am sprinting and I don’t

the water, already barefoot. I can feel the

know where anyone is. I can’t find Maya,

cool rocks below my feet. I stop on those

I can’t find Cloud. I don’t know where my

rocks and look out all around me, blue bay

feet are taking me. They are not part of my

water stretching out from all directions, and

body right now. My mind is swarming with

a long trail of rocks that I don’t remember

beehive thoughts and I can’t do anything

running out on. I stare out into the meshing

but run. It feels like I am burning and I am

sunset and catapult myself into the water.

trying to put the fire out.

The sweat leaves my skin and is mixed in

I don’t know what I’m looking for; I

with the bay as I toss and turn my body all

don’t know what I desire. I just know that

around in the refreshing water. I can feel

my body needs something, something. And

my body soaking the water into my pores,

I see it. I look ahead of me and I see the

hydrating me. I kick my legs and arms like

bright yellow sunset right above the calm

a little child and get all tangled in my long

bay. The purplish-blue rippling water that

dress, which I am still wearing from the

looks so peaceful. It is rippling so much that

wedding. The satin rips and my dress rips

it looks like a rug being whipped for dusting.

clean off of me. Still underwater, I grip

Deep, deep red flowers lead from the bay to

myself. I wrap my arms around my body

where I am and it is all calling me. I suddenly

so tightly underwater that I form a pretzel.

feel thirstier than I ever have in my entire

Then I rush to the top, gasping for air. I am

life. My body needs water. I need to put out

just here, my little body bobbing up and

this roaring fire inside of me. I need to be

down in the rippling water, my soft, naked

peaceful. My mind needs to stop turning for

skin. I stretch out as far as I can and float

just five minutes. I need that water. I look

there in the beautiful sunset, soaking in the

around me and realize that I am all alone

colors, my bare nudeness above the water,

still. Not thinking twice, I sprint as fast as

and waves softly sliding over my stomach.

I can down to the water, through the maze

]

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by

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DAUGHTER

Liz Migliorelli Liz Migliorelli

i have been dreaming of my daughter she is brilliant, four or five, plain white dress and during the day, i move through the house like a storm, my hands hiding and blushing and holding themselves together. i will wait. i will wait like a beggar, holding a gift, holding myself still in that quiet act of giving. i cry to my daughter and take my hair down with her i have questions for her about the fast night and her open mouth like a jewel or a fruit and I Love Her does she know yet what it feels like to be consumed by someone so her skin feels new again so the electricity swells ripe between her hips, hollows her bones, stores such a great force

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P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

Autumn, 2008

within the earth’s belly. does she know yet what it feels like to miss and wait with an aching body, as if there were no motion in the universe. loving him made a woman of me. what a woman i have become, what a terrific and sad creature. i tried to get rid of it, but i can still feel his hands on my legs, his hands in my hair, does she feel this on her skin too, i have questions about what makes her heart stop where do the mountains stop i have to ask her why she is in that body with those blue bones with those steady organs with those dark animal eyes those eyes that know more about her mother, why somehow she is not her lonely mother. ]

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WHEN

CROWS

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CALLING

John Wolf The Hurley house. So close, yet Beeman

Beeman had been witness to many

couldn’t even bring the car into the gravel

strange things. He’d seen an old woman

drive. The deal, so close yet so far and

die sitting perfectly still inside a burning

only a few pounds of beaks and feathers

tenement building.

He’d seen a man

blocked his way. He clenched his fists and

walk a tightrope three stories above the

walked back to the car, determined to scare

street. He’d once even seen a Negro at

the crows out of the way. Before he could

an expensive eatery. But what lay before

climb back into the front seat the crows

Beeman he considered stranger than all

shuffled to the side of the road without

three incidents rolled together. The crows

letting out a single caw. The way to the

sat in the middle of the dirt track known

driveway opened up but the black birds

as Carr Road. Hardly a feather ruffled

held Beeman’s attention. The sole sound

as they stared unblinking at the Hurley

of the crows’ scraggly black feet scrapping

house, Beeman’s destination. Most birds

against the ground was so odd, almost like

Beeman saw in Chicago would scatter at

a phonographs needle scratching on a

the sight of any moving object but not

record before the music begins.

these crows. They stood oblivious to the

The queer feeling soon dissolved

grill of the Model T Ford idling in front

however when the dragging of the crows’

of them.

feet became replaced by the sound of Mr.

He thought about getting back into

Hart back in the Chicago headquarters

the car and inching closer to the birds,

explaining very carefully what would

but Beeman didn’t own it. He knew the

happen if Beeman could not close the

family that loaned him the car for ten

deal.

whole dollars would not be happy if it

“I don’t know what you did, or even if

returned covered in blood and feathers.

you were the one who made our deal with

31

John Wolf

Growing up in Chicago Talbert


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

Mr. Hurley go south,” Mr. Hart had said

summer humidity.

from behind his enormous desk. Beeman

through his brown hair, heavily coated

always found himself envying that desk. It

with tonic. Beeman practiced this routine

certainly helped conceal Mr. Hart’s rotund

daily. Appearances were meant to be kept

body. “The money to be gained from this

up, especially when it came to the Hurley

sale I’m sure isn’t lost on you Beeman.

land deal.

Our firm stands to make a fortune, and I

After the death of their brother Francis,

put my trust in you to secure that fortune.

Beau and Lyle Hurley came to Hart Real

Was my judgment in error?”

Estate Firm. They came looking to sell

“Not at all, Mr. Hart,” Beeman knew what any other answer would bring.

their deceased brother’s farmland, their own two forty acre parcels, and all the

“Then close the deal, Beeman,” Hart

land rented out under Francis to various

cut in through clenched teeth. Beeman

farmers in the area. Every bit of the land

noticed

was estimated for thousands of dollars in

Mr.

Hart’s

pudgy

thumbs

twitching, twitching with the anticipation.

Autumn, 2008

He ran thin fingers

re-sale value. The thumbs had twitched.

There was money to be made. He recalled

The deal progressed slowly but surely.

that moment in Mr. Hart’s office, where

Then, two weeks after Beau and Lyle came

it seemed like the weight of Mr. Hart

to Hart real estate firm, Lyle died when

himself was crushing him down. Then

he fell into the blades of a thresher. Then

Beeman saw Hart’s desk, and then he

things really began to speed up. Beeman,

thought of the money.

Hart, and all the other sales representatives

“Yes sir, Mr. Hart.”

knew how sweet and simple a large land

Beeman rolled the Model T past the

deal like the Hurley case could become

wooden fence surrounding the bright

with the involvement of only one party.

green lawn of the Hurley house and up

The feeling of happiness within the firm

rocky drive leading to the door. The lone

diminished as fast as it had come when

gable of the property hovered above.

Beau Hurley halted replies to telegrams,

Beeman stepped out of the car, red

became a recluse, and refused to withdraw

suitcase in hand, and lifted his pressed suit

from inside his farmhouse. Now, several

coat from the passenger seat. He set it

days and a few dollars later, Beeman stood

upon his shoulders despite the oppressive

in front of that house.

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Slumped in the doorway lay a confused

down the walkway his nervous hands

clutter of telegrams, letters, bills, and

checking his hair another time, still feeling

parcels. Beeman approached the pile and

the stare of crows upon his back. Beeman

found a layer of sand upon every item.

walked back up to the car and looked

Not the dust of age which Beeman grew

around. There was no sign of Hurley. “Mr. Hurley! It’s Tal-“

the estate office, but an incredibly thick

“I know who ya are Beeman. Ya the

layer of sand. Beeman turned to look

one whose been sending me all them

at the lush, green corn fields waving in

telegrams.” Beeman looked around again

the breeze, the silk upon the stalk heads

in puzzlement. “Up here ya damned fool,”

glistening like gold in the sun.

Hurley’s voice called from the window

It was

hardly the Sahara. Beeman’s gaze wandered to the stare of the crows.

Their unwavering black

eyes still remained focused on the door of the house.

above Beeman and his car. There on the third story windowsill stooped Hurley, his eyes black and beady like those of the crows.

Beeman found himself

“Mr. Hurley, if I may come in for a

wondering just what a group of crows

moment there is an important matter to

were called.

discuss.”

That eerie wave washed

back over Beeman when he recalled the

“I know ya ‘important matter’ and I

sound of their feet advancing across the

don’t feel too keen on letting you in with

dirt road. He suddenly very much wanted

them back there.” Hurley jerked his head

inside the house.

towards the crows.

“Mr. Hurley,” Beeman called rapping on the door.

An unseen thick coat of

“Yes, rather strange aren’t they Mr. Hurley?”

sand fell from atop the door and spilled

Hurley’s frail body stirred upon the

onto Beeman’s hands. He stepped back

sill. “What? They been looking at ya

fearing a blemish upon his dress coat.

too?”

“Mr. Hurley!”

fear in Hurley’s voice found much more

Beeman found the urgency and

“Who’s there? Lyle?” Hurley’s voice

unsettling than the crows. With the skittish

sounded from down the drive, where

tone in his voice, and the way he perched

Beeman parked his car. Beemam stepped

upon that sill Hurley seemed waiting for

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John Wolf

accustomed to working in the bowels of


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some advancing army.

were stacks upon stacks of empty canning

“Well yes,” Beeman said, turning to

jars. Mostly empty. The scattered bits of

gaze at the crows, “they’ve been there for

dried canned produce clung to the jars’

quite some time. Strange things, they don’t

insides. Some were full of a yellow liquid

make a sound do they?” Beeman looked

which Beeman hoped was moonshine.

back up to find the sill empty. He heard

“Um, Mr. Hurley,” Beeman sat across

the clumping of boots down wooden stairs

from him. “If I may clear some of this

and a few moments later Hurley shoved

away so we can discuss business.”

open the front door scattering packages and sand to the steadily increasing wind. “Get in here boy, they lookin’ at ya, we’re both in the same boat.”

“I’m afraid you have to, Mr. Hurley, my firm has gone into contract with you

Beeman knew Hurley was insane. An insane man that wouldn’t be deemed fit to handle such a delicate and large land deal. The image of Mr. Hart’s big desk began dissolving in Beeman’s mind.

to sell the land you now own.” “It ain’t mine to give, and it ain’t ya’s to sell boy.” “Oh, yes it is sir. You now own over seventy acres of farmland which you and

“Yes, very well Mr. Hurley,” he called running up the walkway. Hurley grabbed Autumn, 2008

“We’re not discussing business of any kind a’ tall.”

your brother first sought to sell.” Hurley continued staring out the

him by the shoulder of his dress coat and

window.

hauled him inside.

discuss business; I brought ya in here to

Despite the rough

welcome, Beeman felt glad to be in the cool haven of the farm house rather than the oppressive heat of the Indiana summer. Beeman

“I didn’t bring ya in here to

unravel it.” “What are you saying; you don’t wish to sell the land now?” Hurley’s head snapped back to face

the

Beeman, a wild look flared up in his old

kitchen. Hurley without a word sat down

followed

Hurley

to

eyes. “Ya damn right I don’t wish to sell

at the small table by the stove and stared

the land! And ya don’t want to take it!

out the window. Beeman looked about

The mark will pass to you!”

the kitchen, his eyes becoming adjusted to

Beeman brought the briefcase up in

the dim light. Surrounding the two men

instinct to shield his face from a possible

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out of his chair, walked over to the stove

a begging look in his eyes. Something

and opened a jar of stewed tomatoes.

about those eyes made Beeman think for

He leaned against the stove and dug out

one ridiculous moment that Hurley made

the dripping red gobs of mush with his

sense. That selling the land was wrong.

stained fingers. “Francis was the nun of

Then Beeman thought of the desk, and

the group. Didn’t feel takin’ the land, his

how many his improved salary could buy.

own land, away from the squatters he let

He knew the land didn’t belong to the

move in was right. Wouldn’t sell, but Lyle

firm, and he knew they couldn’t just take

and I, well, we were always of the all or

it by force. For land to sell, someone had

nothin’ mindset.”

to put it on the market.

“My

God,

you

murdered

your

“Why don’t you wish to sell the land

brothers?” Beeman glanced over at the

Mr. Hurley?” A note of anger rose in

door which now seemed very far from the

Beeman’s voice. Hurley looked back out

table and the crazed looking Hurley, red

the window. Beeman continued, “Scared

juice dribbling over his chin.

of going it alone? I’m very sorry for your

“Nah, just Francis, but Lyle was

losses, but before Lyle’s accident both

no accident either. Oh no, very much

of you were of the same mind.

intentional.”

That

shouldn’t be any different now.” Beeman clicked open the case and slapped the deeds on the table. “Sign please.”

thresher? Guilt?” “More like escape I reckon, ever seen

“Lyle didn’t die in an accident, and Francis didn’t die in one either.”

“He… he threw himself on that

a mouse caught in a trap Beeman?”

Any

Beeman shook his head. “They’ll chew

sense of Beeman having authority over

off their own tail, paralyze themselves

the situation vanished.

just to get away. I found my brother Lyle

“What do you mean?”

the next day, but not after having broken

Hurley sighed. “Lyle and I wanted to

down the bull barn door, locked from the

sell the land for so long, we really did. The

inside.”

boom going on, we figured it was for the

“You said it wasn’t suicide–”

best. All of us could move to somewhere

“Something had been clawing that

better. But Francis-“ Hurley threw himself

door to pieces from the outside the night

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attack, but Hurley just stared at him with


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Lyle went to the thresher.

The crows,

aren’t doesn’t make us evil. These are the

they came callin’ and he didn’t want to

1920’s Mr. Hurley, we’re in a boom and it

answer.”

would be a bigger crime to let it pass us

“Crows? Now come to your senses, crows couldn’t murder a man.”

thrives on business.”

“They wanted him,” Hurley whispered,

Hurley stepped up to Beeman’s face.

“for all his transgressions and now they

His breath, reeking of canned tomatoes

want us too. We both got blood on our

and pickled eggs, drifted into Beeman’s

hands.” Hurley sucked tomato juice off

nostrils making his eyes water. “Ya right

his chin stubble.

“Lyle told me about

Beeman, our country thrives on it, our

crows camped outside his place down the

country devours land for money and it’s

road. Always in the same strip of road,

gonna be put down real soon. You just

always sitting there watchin’ him. Course

watch and see. This area’s gonna suffer,

I told him he was a damn fool, then… well

the country’s gonna be put down like a

I already told you what happened.”

rabid dog.”

“Now the crows want you?”

Autumn, 2008

by. Our country thrives on our economy,

Beeman threw his hands up in the air,

“Not just me, they want you too, they

unease rapidly being replaced by sheer

want all who are getting’ rich off this while

anger. “Oh! And the crows are going to

the land’s raped and innocents go hungry.

punish us all, is that it!? They’re going to

The land’s fighting back too. You seen

corner me and peck my eyes out simply

how we sell off parcels, buy them back,

for doing my job!? What? Or are they

sell them again, over-farm them. It’s sick

going to make me go insane like in those

and tired of us Beeman, it’s letting famine

dime horror novels!?”

creep up on us, and on that sandy wind come the crows.

Crows always come

when there’s blood spilt, and damn it all to hell they smell it strong on us, Beeman. Make no mistake about that.”

“Take ya pick of either Beeman,” Hurley murmured, “ya gonna be punished either way just like me.” “Mr. Hurley, if you’re frightened of some birds on the road and a few wisps

Beeman gripped his hands into fists to

of dust on your farmland then you’re a

control the shaking and stood up. “Just

disgrace of a man, and you’re also a fool.

because we’re prospering while others

The deeds in my case, if signed, can give

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you enough money to go anywhere you

juice. He turned and made for the door,

please.

suitcase in hand. He stopped and looked

Miles upon miles away, out to

the Napa Valley where crows aren’t even allowed to roost.” Beeman let that notion sink in with Hurley.

back. “Just out of curiosity Mr. Hurley, you called Lyle when I arrived? Why did you

“Mr. Hurley, what you said just now.

call out his name?” Between gulps of food and gasps of

mind, forget all about it. What you did

teary air Hurley said, “I was hoping it

with your brothers is not my concern, my

was his crow, I’d rather have it be him

concern is that you sign these papers and

and Francis that kill me. Instead… you

make both of us very wealthy and very

did.” Beeman shook his head and walked

happy men. Can you do that?”

back outside, stepping over the jumble of

Hurley nodded his weary head.

“I

parcels and sand. Many thoughts raced

suppose I can sign those, it ain’t the worst

in his mind. Just what sort of illness had

that’ll happen to me.”

consumed Hurley? How would he be able

“Good,

excellent,”

Beeman

said,

to hide the fact that his client might be a

dropping his pen next to the deeds upon

murderer? Where had the crows gone?

the table.

The dirt road past the wooden fence

He watched Hurley like one of the

was empty. Beeman gripped his suitcase

crows, intently and purposefully as the

tighter and continued towards the car.

old man’s gnarled fingers etched his name

Behind him he heard the boot steps of

upon the signature line. Beeman quickly

Hurley ascending to his perch on the third

added his to the line next to it. Before

floor window.

Beeman could give Hurley the usual pat

Probably going to give me some morbid advice

on the back and laugh he gave all his

before I leave, Beeman’s thoughts shattered

clients, the man slumped back down into

when Hurley came screaming out of the

his chair. Hurley opened another jar of

third floor window and landed directly

tomatoes, chewed them up in his cragged

into the Model T crumpling the hood like

maw, and began to weep. Beeman watched

a tin can and sending glass shards flying to

in disgust as the man’s old face became

the ground. Beeman’s mouth opened up

encased in dribbling tears and tomato

in shock. He gazed upon the bloody and

37

John Wolf

I am willing to let that pass through my


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

cut corpse of his newest business partner

saw the whole murder staring him down.

lying in a cloud of steam from the broken

Beeman backed away from the shattered

radiator. Then he heard the cawing.

and ruined car, away from Hurley’s body,

The crows swooped down through

and away from the crows. The crows,

the sky and landed upon the body. Their

silent again, leapt off the car and began

demented cawing and screeching filled the

their scratchy march towards Beeman.

still summer air. Without hesitation the

He backpedaled onto the road and turned

entire group of crows began pecking at

towards the way he had arrived. The sun

the body. The realization of what a group

still hung high in the sky but the walk to

of crows was called sprang into Beeman’s

town was more than an hour.

mind. A murder, the entire murder of crows feasted. Beeman screamed.

Beeman threw his red suitcase at the crows.

They soundlessly flapped their

At the sound of the scream two crows

wings and scattered out of the way. They

lifted their heads from Hurley’s mangled

parted like an oil slick but regrouped in an

corpse and resumed their blank, prophetic

instant. They stared. Clutching the deeds

stare at Beeman. His own eyes followed

Beeman marched down the dirt road

their gaze to the deeds still clutched in his

desperately trying to ignore the growing

hand. He could see his own name, Talbert

caws and cries of the crows following

Beeman, written clearly and legibly on the

close behind. ]

Autumn, 2008

surface. He turned his head back up and

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WHITMAN in my

by

CUP

Alex Kilgore Alex K ilgore

That day old age caught amongst the jewels of the creek bed, flashing after a trailing finger of the sun, I heard you whispering for an eternity breathless and so were my lungs with want of your lusting b’neath fallen maple leaves, I wish to join in your whims. Foam beads burst from crashing crests of eternal

motion

39


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

in a momentary gift I grasped upon a smooth sand-swept face You’re earthly grace.

Autumn, 2008

These constant frames, lockets ever open, images humanly finite enclosed, O’ upon these enduring seconds without want or need, simply a willing embrace, sun breath gems of far-sight carry on. ]

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GO HOME

by

Lewis Peterson side of town. How? What was I doing here? God, I can’t remember. Yesterday is

head as I get up. Where am I? My whole

just a blur in darkness.

body aches. I rise slowly and step painfully

Another woman comes up to me an

into the light. No one is around. It’s bright

says, “oh my god! Are you all right?” I must

and silent and still in the street. I shamble

look bad. I hear myself say, “I don’t know

around. Toward home. Where am I now?

what happened” in a whiny, unfamiliar

I don’t know this place. It hurts to walk,

voice. She leads me somewhere, cradling

my leg sticks. I look down and my hands

me like an invalid or an old person. She

are covered in blood. My own. A woman

leads me to her house.

walks up to me and says, “what happened

hey fucker

to you?” I try to answer but my mouth

what

won’t make words. Something is clacking

you heard me do you want to eat shit

around in my mouth so I spit it into my

what

hand. I guess that’s enough of an answer

dont you know that im talking to you

for her because she backs away slowly and

they surround me whats happening

then breaks into a run when there’s some

why dont you get the fuck out

distance between us. I look down at my

the first punch lands with a muted

hand and see one of my teeth. Where is this place? Conger Street.

squish it doesnt even hurt what im on the ground

I don’t know that street. How did I get

shit kill you die

here? The streets are still empty. It must

ah they kicked me

be early. I better keep walking. I’ll know

get out rich boy

someplace eventually.

why shit ow my head my ribs

Gilman Street. So I’m on the other

fuck man we fucked him up

41

Lew is Peterson

The morning light stings my eyes. The ground is hard and grinds against my


P R I N T

for

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drag him over there that alley uhhh

is. Gilman. I pass by some teenagers. They say

“What happened to you?” she asks me

something to me. I don’t care. I keep

while bringing tea. She’s bandaged me. I

walking. They yell, “hey, man!” a few

guess I passed out. I’m lying on her couch.

times. I keep walking. I can hear them

I choke out, “They beat me up.”

muttering “whatever.” I keep walking.

“Who did?” “I don’t know... there were five or six of them.” “We have to call the police.” “No, no police. I’m fine”

People stare at me as I walk down the street. I just want to go home. That’s where I’m going. There are more people now. It must be later. I’m exhausted. My body aches and

She doesn’t say anything after that or

pains. I’m almost home. The stairs are

I passed out again because suddenly I’m

noisy because my leg still sticks. I dig for

opening my eyes and she’s gone. I have to

my keys. Thank God. They are still there.

get out of here. She’s in the other room

I janglle them toward the door, lurch it

and I quickly hobble out.

open and sit down. ]

Autumn, 2008

I have to get home. I know where this

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HAHA

by

Caleb Goodaker-Craig

cat walked its favorite path (which marked

the glue as her fresh skirt slipped across her

the floor with a faded, lighter brown) into

hips and under my feet. That small mound

the room, and leapt onto the ledge, taking

under her thin underpants inquired about

a jaded glance at the crowd of accumulat-

my notice. I caught the slick skirt between

ing passersby. In rehearsed unison, we an-

my toes, gently lifting it off the floor and

nounced that nothing of public delight

outside the loft window, releasing it into

would happen again tonight. Without time

the ironic air & onto the noble head of a

to adjust, a small palm arranged itself on

passerby. His delicate grin signaled my un-

the underside of my favorite place in the

derstading that a new mound manifested

middle.

underneath his knee-length shorts. Just as

that the other hand was pulling down black

this recognition began to no longer impress

underpants as I witnessed them fly out the

me, I felt two supple hands cross my shoul-

window onto the recently disappointed con-

der blades to my navel. As I reached back

gregation. Many mounds emerged. ]

I understood acutely the truth

to great the popular source, a middle-aged

43

C a l eb G o d a ker- C ra i g

I stammered to her desk, knocking over


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

in a

PERF ECT WORLD

by

Lianna Samuels

Bodies wouldn’t be so self-contained. We would all be empathic up to a

With or without euphemisms, I would be honest.

degree. No single person would suffer from Fibromyalgia or isolating trauma. No one would be disabled, crippled, or damaged more than any other person.

Honestly. I don’t think The World will ever be perfect. Perfect is a scary, finite threshold.

We would all be vulnerable and a little

Autumn, 2008

weaker.

I would be a traveling art-therapist,

And humble. So humble.

mostly in countries where there’s a train.

We would be happy, or at least hopeful

Wherever there wasn’t a train, I would

about our concept of the future, of our

travel via hot-air balloon. On trains, I

purposes or lack thereof, of the continuum

would live with one huge trunk that I could

of memories and fears.

fit into and one smaller bag that I would carry around. I would talk philosophy with

I would stop having nightmares that

the conductor in the morning, wanting

make no sense and dreams that continue to

so badly for him to touch me and stop

hollow me out each time I wake up. I would

dreading disappointment and destinations.

stop having panic attacks and yelling my

There would be a resident dog. We would

passions when no one’s around, to empty

be together most of the time, hyper-

pillows. I would stop picking my scabs, the

affectionate as we usually are. Also, a cat.

ones on my skin and those of remorse in

We would hang out together more when

my memory.

I’m on my period, when we could relate

I would actually say what I want.

44

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playgrounds. To water. Through the air.

We would bleed together. I would drink

Where there is beauty: everywhere. Where

tea over six times a day. I would smell like

there is hurt: everywhere. Where there is

blackberries and vanilla always. I would

hope: everywhere. We would read. We

travel on this train all over where trains can

would create. We would not erase at all, we

travel. In hot-air balloons, I would let the

would simply improvise and see the beauty

wind take me to where I was needed most.

and peace in knowing that there is hope.

I would know when it was time to leave, the wind would warn me that I may be trapped forever unless I left. Maybe I would stay up to a month in each orphanage or hospital. We would draw, I would ask questions and try to answer them. We would draw the hurt, we would try to heal the hurt. We

I would probably despair on a daily basis. Maybe sell my body, desecrate it in spite. Lose myself

in cities that won’t

remember me.

would laugh and cry and hug and color.

Because I remember too much.

All at the same time. We would remember

The world would be an idle snow globe

silly jokes and songs that sound odd. We

for a while.

would realize that we can feel colors, invert

I would die many deaths.

reality with imagination, and forgive. We

We would remember that there’s always

would go to museums. We would go to alley

hope where there is hurt. There is beauty

ways. We would go to the prisons. To the

where there is hope. And we are all of

pounds. To homeless shelters. To brothels.

this.

To rooftops. To the ends of rainbows, those prismatic ends. To cemeteries. To

Everything would be sacred. ]

45

Lianna Samuels

like mood swings and sporadic irritability.


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

“SAY a PRAYER f o r ME – – PLOWED i n to t h e GROUND !” by

J o s e ph W e l l s

Autumn, 2008

The car blares at me through cracking

the land, riots and bloodshed formed the

speakers and oxidized wires, piloting itself

buildings.

and plummeting down County Road 16,

driven music, head banging, screaming,

wobbling between lanes and dipping on

mangled lyrics are keeping me awake. I

to the gravel shoulder. Cows watch with

dread the inevitable return to the city where

indifferent stares. Too preoccupied with

dreams go to die. Eyes wandering, I shake

myself to drive, to care about the road with

to keep awake, unable to focus or stop for

its pick-em-up-trucks, I have to wipe myself

fear of spoiling the road side clover with

clean. The evidence of my sins must be

the smell of gasoline and blood. Swerving,

destroyed.

I keep from hitting another inbred fool in

The base for Sponge and its

I have just spent a weekend running in

his mechanical penile extension. This is

the woods, sitting around fires, drinking beer,

violently dangerous. I weep for the idea of

no sleep. It’s an escape from reality and the

home, a warm bed, safety.

only place where I feel normal. Within the

I nearly hit a Mini-van, family packed

woods I feel the refill of masculine power

in like sardines. How fitting the headline

all men crave. With my return to civilization

would be. “Family of Seven Killed by

I’m forced to confront my delusions. Drained

Lonely Driver who feels Little Remorse”

but surviving, sustained by burnt earthy

Assuming immortality in such a situation

coffee and gumption, I listen to Sponge,

is my prerogative. I am young, I am

that wonderfully trashy Detroit pop grunge.

immortal. But not them, they will all die.

Only from Detroit could the suburban

Fewer breeders mean a better world for me.

angst that fronts Sponge be conceived and

Last thing my life needs is more families

nourished. If you have never been there,

with abrasive offspring, pushy mothers,

don’t go. Bloody Neanderthals pissed upon,

and spineless males. They just clutter my

that’s Detroit. Genocide and lies stripped

highways. Fuck families, and fuck anybody

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who wants one. The American family idea

only some of us react like me. Her mind

is a disease that should be stomped out

should be comforted and fucked.

with impetus. I would start today, but farm

She shows up so undamaged, so clean

country car crashes can be a bitch on the

and sublime. Her purple hair twitters

budget.

about, calling anybody with testosterone in

Drastic actions must be taken.

their blood. “She’s cute” is whispered to

Keep awake…Mmm…think of her…

warning later I meet the masquerader. All seems mildly interesting but safe, little do I

That girl. You all know her. The one your

know. Before a month is over all available

friends tell you to stay away from. You have

time is spent crashing in her tiny dorm

said to yourself constantly “don’t fuck the

around bottles of Tennessee’s best bourbon

crazy girl” but you still think about her. She’s

whiskey. My body is a forlorn participant in

nuts, no question about that. Not just nuts,

this self destructive, masturbatory practice.

but belligerently bat shit crazy. The kind

Unable to turn away, I dig deeper. Nights

of crazy reserved for creepy Steven King

blur into days, classes are forgotten and left

movies, not the romantic comedies we strive

to people deserving success. Afternoons are

to replicate. She is going to school to be a

spent preventing suicide, nights chasing it.

psychiatrist, a profession reserved for those

Drink to satiate, that’s the mantra. In reality

determined to self diagnose their problems.

we drink to die, if only for a moment.

She drinks, often waking up in alleys or upon porches, and climbs into sobriety by

My earliest reoccurring dream hit around

cutting herself and releasing the pain. She

my thirteenth year. I had discovered porn

bears the scars, from wrist to wrist, shoulder

recently. The dream was stylized, black and

to shoulder, of a long self wrought life. Her

white, me and a woman in passionate sex.

pain is internal and unnecessary. She grew

Not fucking but making love in the best of

up normal, nice parents, good family, no

ways. I would always wake from the dream

abuse. She is chemically fucked. Serotonin,

out of breath and scared. I wasn’t turned

dopamine. Her problems dwell in her brain.

on by the dream but frightened by it. I was

Yet you cannot pull away. That girl. We all

paralyzed by fear, that is fear of being that

know her. The psycho. The crazy girl. But

close to somebody, fear of intimacy.

47

Joseph Wells

her close friend. A chortle and halfhearted


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

I have never had a healthy sexual relationship. Bump-and-run weekend shit,

She goes to the psyche ward. This time

or highly dysfunctional stints are my forte.

it was a bottle of mild opiates washed down

I cannot bear the notion of love and sex

with a bottle of Svedka. At least she has the

coexisting. And so I chase her and her

taste to buy decent vodka. How theatric,

manic brain.

vodka and pain killers.

American TV

relax, we got the message this is how you I wake up groin hard and swollen,

kill yourself. She calls me from the ward

disgusted by the vomit, blood, piss, all

requesting I let her date know she can’t bar

commingling across the institutional floor.

hop and fuck. I am blind to the signs. Too

Do I scream, banish her from my life? Do

few days later she calls, asks if I want to

I walk out, seek a doctor and a priest? No.

spot her a bottle, low funds. Hell yes. She

I think love is within her trite body. I can

will love me if I buy, my delusion screams.

rationalize this easily, but I know it’s wrong

An eager puppy, tail wagging waiting to be

and idiotic. This happens monthly, weekly,

beaten. Days pass. Nothing changes. Bottle

daily. Reality is displayed for me. I see the

by bottle our visceral cavities are whiskey

fallacies and why this is the proverbial “Bad

cooked while I smile and comfort her pained

Idea.” Refusing to believe it, I buy another

mind.

bottle of harsh brown life (charcoal filtering Autumn, 2008

is for pussies, barrel aging is a gift from the

Her crying gives me a hard-on.

gods, and chasers take out all the fun) and forget another day. I used to be normal, liked

Why would somebody be attracted

normal girls. I fit in the social structure as an

to this? Why does a perfectly balanced,

angered participant, not a blinded sideliner.

mentally stable, proverbial good guy go

A social drinker and social person. Now time

for the crazy bitch? What sick person gets

is split between comforting the diseased and

turned on by the idea of a damaged mind?

recovering from self administered poison.

My mother would not be proud.

Now dreams are filled with the harsh cry

Thinking of her, shamefully pulling

of hobo-quality alcohol instead of warm

myself out, doing my business. All the while

life. The violent chemicals strip my mind of

driving. I don’t stop while cars pass me,

rationality.

why should I give a fuck. Let them see the

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dysfunction, it’ll just show the strangers my

predicted. I have no excuse, the true fool.

heart. Imitation is the most sincere form

I deserve this shitty life. I deserve to be

of flattery right? I don’t make the right

treated like a lap dog. Unless I change my

decisions, I don’t do what’s right, I am an

ways, I will end up worse than her, a relic

animal underneath this facade. The radio

of a person with no excuse. She controls my

burns out the songs catch line-

chemistry. She is god. I dance to her drum,

“Say a prayer for me.”

atheist. Keep driving. The car steadies as I take the wheel and manage to keep it out of

Please don’t. I deserve this, all of it.

the damn ditch.

Visions of the next month trying to fuck her. I won’t. She even realizes that I should stay

At home I crawl into my plush bed,

away. For once the crazy bitch has better

ready to sleep until it hurts, sleep until I

judgment than me. Maybe that’s the truth

cry. Later, showering, reflecting, thinking,

all along, she has excuses for actions. While

I know what should happen. Sobriety can

she traverses life with problems I simply

be harsh like that. Stay away. Don’t fuck the

slide along. I indulge in idiotic behavior

crazy girl. Be normal.

with no excuse. She has reasons, chemical, physical, psychological reasons. Just being alive shows her doing better than medically

I don’t care. I don’t wait to dry before I call. ]

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Joseph Wells

she quits playing it. A lot of prayer for an


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

EXTRA ! EXTRA! RECENT NOTHING t h a n t h e USUAL

Autumn, 2008

by

Robin Atwood

came into the invisible republic of new orleans at sunrise through the bayou. riding the snore of southern folk headed home or visiting family i envision what this winter will look like. the weekend of all hallows eve is a smashed bottle against the temple of my body taking me sleeping in a yard of tall grass on the property of a kind woman named butterfly - who enjoys my music. three, four days go by and i’m nursing every footstep of the day forward with the new premonition of leaving towards new york on the 7th. life is only busking and mass three hour a day journaling at the cafe with snobby stooping characters who wear snotched noses pointing towards the dark side of the moon in snobbyness. the police are about rounding up every dirt kid, young healthy lookin busker in pattywagons headed to the hole for days - they see you sitting on a park bench in jackson square they say keep walking till you’re out of new orleans parish. despicable, annoying as fuck coppers challenge thirty kids on the moon walk beside the mississippi river. six police versus thirty youth. the police take a group photo and collect a deck of I.D. cards letting us know how many there are in number. a few nights spent at the john our favorite local bar even if jerky the bartender smashed a bottle on burnouts head for beatin himself up.

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alot more. now i’m in pensacola, florida at a friend’s home who takes exceptionally good photos of trains and queer essence’ of the street life. headed towards new york, new york i’m ready to freeze and read a book and busk alone together among the great subways. ]

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Robin Atw ood

oct 4th, 2008 very late at the john... my pool game with petey is interupted by the silence of electoral votes.... the juke box shut off, mouths dropped, as eyes were glued to the screening of electoral conclusion: obama versus mccain. obama wins by a large marking of voted blue democrats giving a tremendous speech touching by the tender poetics similar to that Martin Luther King’s assination speech made a very half century ago. obama is black and he is our president reminding a lot of folk of the late president kennedy who was assassinated early in his presidential routine for speaking to the people like they wanted to be spoken to. party at the nighthawk dive in the marigny district beside dauphine and ferdinand st. its a wild party of all folk - lookin like some sorta beat happening of celebration as obama is now the 44th president of the united states of america.


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

the

Autumn, 2008

by

WATCHER Nicky Tiso

Art Valencio, a boisterous, unsym-

a chore. He prefers, instead, to go about

pathetic writer who clung mostly to the

fearing his monotony without taking steps

topic of women’s legs, grew very nervous

to reflect on his lifestyle in order to see if

whenever his shades were on display; not

the monotony is even there. Perhaps he is

because he had something to hide, but be-

not predictable and keeps odd hours, the

cause, rather, he could be seen wandering

watcher would think. He stays inside all

from room to room in a catatonic trance,

day and dashes out late at night, returning

perhaps staring at a wall, perhaps watch-

home hours later with the staggered pace

ing his tea boil, perhaps idly thumbing

of a man who’d had a few drinks: not

a book, or changing his boxers or t-shirt

enough to stumble but enough to tell it’d

from time to time, and then glancing at

been a good night. But would the paced

himself in the mirror. What worries him

temperament he allotted his drunkenness,

most, up in his loft bordering one side of a

neither indulgent enough to be belliger-

central avenue, is that an occupant across

ent nor disciplined enough to stay sober,

the street on an equally leveled floor could

show he was a man of hesitations? Would

have more information on his lifestyle

the watcher think this makes him apol-

than he; someone across the street with a

lonian or mediocre? Perhaps the watcher

decent and shrouded telescope could keep

would infer from such behavior that he is

logs on his routine, or set of routines, as

not enough of an adventurous man, and

they vary with his days and moods. Or do

go on to say this is why he swaggers home

they vary? It is his fear that one may find

alone: he is not enough of a thriller to

he does the same order of movements in

bring home a girl. But would the watcher

the same order each day; he fears he is too

know he does not bring home a girl be-

much a monotony, but he finds keeping

cause, rather, it is from a girl’s house that

logs himself, to substantiate the matter,

he returns? The watcher can’t know this!

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himself. I won’t even look out the window for the

would the watcher see that his routine en-

watcher, he thought, because that’s already

tail upon entering that foreign household?

enabling too much nonsense! He sat facing the

What conversations would he overhear?

wall perpendicular to the window and

Would the watcher find him too polite to

wondered how his profile would appear

be judgmental, or too sheltered to be pro-

from a distance. In this regard, he felt a

found, in his social relations?

sexual prowess as far as voyeurism was

It was a troubling suspicion indeed, to

concerned; maybe he should strip? He

be under surveillance at all times of the

began to take off articles of clothing with

day, but he could not rightly close the

cavalier attention paid to their smooth yet

blinds for stretched periods of time lest the

deliberate removal. I am worth watching,

reclusive nature of the act show him to be

indeed! He thought, in this regard, he was

a hermit. Yes, he could not close the blinds,

redeeming the shy behavior of earlier,

not now, for what would the watcher think

when the idea of strange eyes upon his

of the man then? He would call him a

body frightened him. Now he was in

coward, or worse, a paranoid case of self-

control and held the power of temptation

importance, for who thinks one is worthy

and lust. Any distant eye on him would

of being watched? Why spy on someone

have longed for the ability to touch, feel,

who is of no great threat to the general

and interact with his distant flesh. In

public? The watcher can’t exist!, he thought.

this stripping, he attempted to reverse

What a silly notion, to imagine all his

the effect of the gaze so his identity was

neuroses objectified through the lens of

less analyzed and instead pushed to the

a voyeur! The real problem, he deduced,

realm of attraction and carnal intrigue.

was to grant credence to the illusion of

The viewer had to reconcile their physical

the watcher, and to act as though he were

attraction

really being watched. The best thing to

satisfying such a desire. For the voyeur,

do would be to go about his life as he

it was strictly a masturbatory pleasure.

normally would, without submitting his

The writer imagined the watcher huddled

psyche to the fear of documentation. He

over a telescope with his pants around

walked to the stove and boiled tea to calm

his ankles, jerking rapidly, reducing his

with

the

impossibility

of

53

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there. And if he did? Then what? What


Autumn, 2008

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entire being to a fulfillment of a stranger’s

blemish of society who deserved not to

fantasy. At least, he thought, such a pervert’s

survive under Darwin’s Laws? Would the

world of fantasy in no way affects my reality,

watcher recognize depression as a cultural

but the idea of being used was enough to

phenomena, a kind of luxury, and declare

make him button up his shirt and put his

him spoiled? The writer wondered if he

pants back on, but also because he was

should submit to his emotion and lay

getting cold and decided that would be

sleepless in bed all day until the feeling

the best course of action regardless.

passed, under a thoughtless paradigm,

In the midst of his every move being

synapses dulled like a sheet of stars

violated by a third-party’s awareness,

extinguished behind the smoggy skyline,

he sank into a veritable depression. The

the head nothing more than a void of

writer, in a depression, finding himself

unnatural gases where even torment and

out of inspiration and unable to work,

sadness, his old muses, had been diluted

demanded pills. Pills would be the great

to the level of neutrality. No! I can’t be seen

savior to unsheathe the fog of his mind,

in such a rut. He began to laugh hysterically

so he thought, and remove the consistent

and

plague of weariness that caused him to

especially enthused. The sudden strain on

rummage from bed to kitchen to bathroom

his body caused a cramp in his calf and

and occasionally glance at the typewriter

sent him tumbling to the floor. Seizing his

but skip it all together, maybe churning

leg, he laughed again to cover up the pain.

out a word or two a day. But these words,

Tears streamed from his eyes. At least now

in their scarcity, held great importance

I am below his gaze. The writer debated

and he felt at this pace he could write

staying on the ground until the watcher

the perfect novel by the time he was

got bored staring at empty space, but

dead, for to him quality was always on

wondered if he could stand such a battle

an inverted axis with quantity, such that

of patience. He spent two hours laying on

the words palm tree or sarsaparilla, floating

the carpet and trying to brainstorm his

there in the middle of a white sheet,

next novel. Instead, he noticed a world of

somehow moved him deeply. Would the

particles; there is dust here, he would think,

watcher recognize his depression and

or Look! A fingernail! It gave him a surge

call him an embarrassment, a weakened

of electricity, but any detail, when written

54

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down, became vapid. He gave up and

to finish, paid him duly, and headed to

stood. An idea struck.

one of those stores that specializes in shoddy gadgetry, like compasses with laser pointers, temperature reading forks,

could reflect the gaze. It was an elaborate

or pocket-sized lie-detectors. He bought a

process for the feeble-handed man,

mid-range telescope for a moderate price

who dealt poorly with mechanics. After

and headed home. Extending the tri-pod

taking basic measurements and buying

legs to a comfortable height, he squinted

the materials, he called a handy-man to

his eye and gazed. Across the street,

install the mirrors. The writer went with

through the breaks in a blind, he saw a

two-way mirrors, so he would not have to

nubile, vivacious woman undressing with

forfeit his view of the street on which he

great satisfaction. Nervous at the prospect

depended for inspiration, and so he would

of his two-way mirror in fact being wholly

not be subject to espionage. It was a day’s

transparent, he nevertheless unbuckled

labor and the writer was giddy. Now,

his shorts and, grabbing hold of himself,

to really finish the revenge he needed a

kept his eye glued to the lens. ]

telescope. He waited for the handy-man

55

N icky Tiso

Using fitted mirrors placed in the window frame, the writer decided he


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

[PROF ESSION ]

by

A n a s ta s i a K i l a n i

Autumn, 2008

I am absolutely certain you will die unhappy I happen to be knowledgeable in this field of existence you will die at 48 married, divorced, settling for separation watching television gets you rowdy drinking beer creates a hearty man out of you you crave molested cattle with the same passion you used to crave your mothers milk you have grown wicked now selling used cars to hard men and teenage pussy you want to cum on all of them until you cry for you to stop it has now become one disgusting reel of child pornography you wake up and wish to die you smile and wish to kill you have no limits no feeling

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Anastasia K ilani

and the only reason you don’t kill is from lack of motivation you have nothing the fast food hamburger begins to feel heavy on your heart your hand your left hand left side right brain left thought get up sit down can not stand slouch into the plastic benches feel it stop re start convince yourself you are yelling for help know you have been begging for death all along. ]

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P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

FALL o f m y BROTHERS & SISTERS the

by

Cecilia Carey

Autumn, 2008

I have stood at the night’s edge and

comfort, not my own.

watched the fall of my brothers and sisters.

Those hunters, they come from the

The smell of their blood lingered in the

sky and land upon feet hardened by the

bitter air as the darkness of the dying

skins of the innocent. They carry strange

moon washed over them. I have seen those

weapons that are loud and merciless, for

who would pursue them, stalking through

a moment is gone when one hears that

the wilds as if their heritage in the distant

sound in their final thoughts of pain and

forests of the past would preserve them in

anguish. The creatures they ride in the

this new world. The hunters have come

sky are equally loud and merciless as they

a long way from their dawn in a land of

swoop and dive like birds of prey made of

mystery and violence.

Now they have

ruthless steel. I know what those beasts

given up the hope of mystery for only

truly are, for I was once a part of that

the violence, for the smell of blood that

world from which the hunters emerged. I

lingered in the bitter air as the darkness of

once walked among them and as one of

the dying moon washed over them. I have

them, disguised by a lie which would end

heard the silence betray my brothers and

me if truth be discovered. I had kept to

sisters as they called to me. I have betrayed

my own silence in those last days. Fear

that silence to myself with the tears that

of my enemies surrounded me as much as

fall and become ice. I cannot act, or I

the enemies themselves sought to embrace

will become one of them again. I will be

me. If only they knew what horrors I

taken down by the hunters and dragged

wished on them for what they had done

to the inevitability of their materialism, to

and would do to my brothers and sisters.

the disregard of their race for those who

If only they knew that more like me

had come before. To the hunters, the skin

walked in silence and secrecy, waiting for

on my bones was for their warmth and

the time of retribution.

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That time would not be tonight, though, I didn’t think. be tonight.

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if not for the enduring hope that someday

It could not

I would also be a part of the retribution to befall them. I had to know what they thought and how they thought it. I had to

good. The young we cherished had to

know what they did to love one another

be hidden deep within the womb of the

and how that love might be used against

earth. If the last of the elders should fall-

them to cause great pain. If I was to be of

and they did still as I moved through the

any good to my brothers and sisters, then

masses of their butchers-then the oath

I must, for an agonizing time, become the

would be sworn to the winds and the

very thing which they loathed. I had to

punishment would be unleashed. Justice

imitate the hunters and learn how they

would be ours even as the blood of our

hunted, and then become sickeningly

elders stained the poisoned snow of the

comforted in the tools of destruction they

dying wilderness. This I knew and had to

wielded without care or honor.

honor in spite of my own hatred, my own

In my time in their midst, I learned

fear. I had to believe that we might still

of those who walked among them who

turn the tide of the endless slaughter of

were not hunters, but sorcerers and

my brothers and sisters. I had to believe as

keepers of the old ways. The difficulty

they believed that some good would come

of understanding the differences became

of this and that those tragic many would

clear when told of their presence in my

not have gone on in vain. Their cause was

youth, when our suffering had begun in

and is that of the entire world, stripped of

force and when hope was craved in every

its glorious rage by the submission forced

part of our world. Those few who could

upon it by the hunters.

be honorable were, themselves, cast out

I have stood at the night’s edge and

of the society of the hunters that my

watched the fall of my brothers and sisters,

brothers and sisters had tried to escape.

and I have seen the truth of their dying as

The hope in their eyes burned dimly, for

proof of the necessity for the cleansing of

they were as fearful of the hunters as I

the hunters. In my time in their midst,

was. Yet there was a strength that only

I have learned many horrid things which

someone with the wilderness in their

would have driven me out of my hiding,

blood could admire. Theirs was a strength

59

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It had been ordained that

sacrifices were necessary for the greater


Autumn, 2008

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which spoke of justice and truth, of love

always been theirs but was in fact never

as it had never been known. They had

theirs and never would be theirs. To the

been hunted as my brothers and sisters

hunters, would I say ‌

had been hunted, and now they were as

You have taken what is not yours. You

eager to see the fall of the hunters as I was

have made this world into a tomb from

to dance victoriously in their skins. It was

which we cannot escape. Know that your

these allies that I must seek, before the

actions have brought you and all things to

last of the elders is found and taken up in

misery, that you are all as much in a prison

the great metal monsters that the hunters

of your own hell as we are the innocents

ride like dragons. I must seek the world

you’ve executed. You will see the glory of

of shadows and secrecy through which

your cities crumble before your eyes. You

these keepers of the old ways crawled.

will watch your children slowly smother

The secret of their magic was as rare and

in the toxic fumes of your industry. The

precious as a crystal underground. I had

machines that kept you alive will fall apart

to know what it was they could do that

to dust. The hope you thought you once

would harm the hunters.

had will not stand against the rushing

I stood at the night’s edge and listened

tide of vengeance soon to consume your

as the final howls rose up to the stars, as

fortresses of malice and greed, domination

the final calls for aid began to resound

and slavery. The time has come to collect

throughout world. The fall of my broth-

what is ours, to be finally rid of the disease

ers and sisters was the fall of the natural

that is the human race.

power of this home we had cared for, for the home that the hunters believed to have

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EQUAL & OPPOSITE ATTRACTION by

T r av i s W i l l i a m s Travis Williams

I never would have guessed that innuendo about a molecule or a vector Would have been able to affect her. See, we were cooling off on the porch while the music played inside And I found her awfully close to my right side. Somehow we got onto the subjects, her and me Of physics and organic chemistry. The snow was coming down and the temperature was a degree below cold When I told her that we were like a dipole, and here’s what did unfold: I found her attractively close to me When I told her that the gravitational constant between us was greater than capital G. Newton was right about equal and opposite reactions, But who knew that he would instigate an equal and opposite attraction? We could see our breath in that chilly winter air And I told her about friction; I said, “Are you aware “That the frictional coefficient between us is off the charts? “In other words, if we run into each other, they may never slide us apart.” I thought that she might swoon. The waves of music oscillated through us from inside the next room.

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Now, I need not say that the amplitude of allure increased exponentially. My heart was beating with an obviously magnified frequency, When I said, “You know, before this night is through, “Just like hydrogen, I’d like to bond with you.” She smiled and, as I thought hard about innuendo mathematical, She moved in like a regioselective free radical. If only Newton knew the sparks that would fly And Tesla understood what his theories might imply. I told her that I might have to conjugate her And that I felt like a proton in a particle accelerator. Next time I see her, I’ll speak of things biotic. If I hope for anything, I hope it’s periodic.

Autumn, 2008

Thank you, Galileo! Thanks, Markovnikov! If there’s a point to science, it’s that we might fall in love. Our potential energy turned rapidly kinetic. For just a little while, we were decidedly magnetic. Be careful when you tell a woman about a molecules or a vector. You never know how it might affect her. ]

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in the

LANTERN ROOM by

Adam Jessup sometimes pooling in the depression in my chest,

which was a lie because I looked at the

or swimming around to the nape of my neck and

ocean every day, and yet, every day it looked

raining down my vertebrae to the small of my back.

different, like someone had snuck up in the

But your departure comes nearly as quickly as you

night and rearranged everything. Down the

do. When will you pluck up the courage to come

shore the beach was huge; in the low tide

up here and make love to me properly, instead of

the ocean retreated obediently. The water

torturing me with your trifling taradiddles?

was frigid, but I stood outside of it, on the

How quickly you have forgotten me! My love

wet sand. I watched as the sun dried the

is slow. In the past I was once yours. I rushed over

footprints I left there. It took a really long

you hurriedly and stayed long, caressing every part

time, however time didn’t mean anything

of your body with my aqueous tendrils. Our affair

when you had as much of it on your hands

eclipsed the century and sounds of our lovemaking

as I did.

were euphonious; you shook violently beneath my

The sky was blue and clean and stretched

waters, forming mountains ranges and volcanoes

taught, like a bed sheet that ran the length

that rose high from my surface. Someday I shall

of the horizon. No matter how hard I tried

wash over you like an endless tidal wave and we

I couldn’t see the whole sky. I always had

will be reunited once again. Until then, my love, our

to turn my head this way or that with my

love must suffer the blight of impermanence.

body bent in half, which was OK. My back began to hurt anyhow, it was a terribly

When they first found out, they watched

uncomfortable angle at which to hold the

me like a terrorist. They would pop in just

human body for more than a few minutes.

to see how I was feeling and make sure I wasn’t killing myself. It was as if every time

Oh ocean! Hundreds of times a day your cool

they came into my room they expected to

waters trickle up the sandy legs of my shores;

find me hanging from the ceiling fan. They

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Adam Jessup

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talked about it like it was something I caught

might even make you honorable first mate

from sleeping with someone else who was

out of gratitude.

depressed. “Robbie’s got that depression, you know,”

There is a girl who lives there. I would

they would say, when talking to friends

not have known this had I not climbed over

about why I moved back.

the chain link fence that surrounded the

Every day I go to the lighthouse. It’s only

lighthouse. I just wanted to know what it

three miles from here, and it’s a nice walk.

was like to look at the ocean from the top;

Watching the ocean makes me feel calm,

perhaps from the wrought iron balcony

like everything inside of me that’s usually

you could see a far greater distance than

racing just slows down. I like to think about

you could from the sand. Maybe there was

all the different things happening beneath

even a telescope so that you could see even

the surface. Small fish being eaten by big

further to those ships who were stranded

fish, big fish being caught and eaten by

miles from land and thought that they were

people. Everything having sex all the time.

doomed until you came to save them with

Even the plants have sex. Technically they

your telescope, big flashlight and two-way

just spore, but that could be a euphemism for

radio.

Autumn, 2008

having sex.

I never got that far. The girl came out

I always think what a perfect lighthouse

of the light house just as I landed on the

keeper I would be. The hours fit me perfectly.

other side. I knew that there were stairs to

You have to stay up all night and sleep all

the top of the structure that wound around

day. While you are at work your sole job is to

the interior walls, which would allow

shine a huge flashlight back and forth across

movement between the different levels,

the ocean, making sure that docking ships

but I also imagined there to be a fire pole

don’t crash into the rocks on their way in.

running floor to ceiling for incidents such

Sometimes it might even get really exciting

as these when one would need to make a

when there is a ship that has been lost at

hasty exit; perhaps to shoo away over eager

sea for months. And you shine your light

enthusiasts. We spoke briefly. She did not

upon it and the captain and crew know that

ask me to leave, as I thought she would, but

they are going to make it after all this time

rather surprisingly, asked my name.

because you have finally found them. They

64

“It’s Robbie,” I replied.


t h e

E

v e rg r e e n

“I’m Mariella,” she said.

S

tat e

C

o l l e g e

w r i t e r s

g u i l d

suffer?

A gap formed in our conversation; I

Do not be so self-seeking! I understand the

figured not too many people ventured up

ways in which you are hungry, dear Soil. However,

there so I understood how her social skills

it is not without loss that we must live. Life is

could be lack–

simply not sustained in solitude. Everything in

“There are whales in the lantern room!”

way that I cling to you for nutrients, you cling to

“There’s what in the lantern room?”

me so that you may not wash away with in great

Mariella was silent, as if she had become

wind and heavy rain. When the time comes, I turn

clear, like a fishbowl, and that I could see

loose my leaves for you; you are replenished with the

into the mess of her insides. The truth

atrophy of their bodies. Dear Soil, your well being

is that I wanted to see them. I wanted to

has been entrusted with me since the beginning, and

know all the things she kept in her heart, all

no matter how old I get, I am not likely to forget

the things she thought about when she was

that.

sitting in the watch room, staring through her looking glass. All the things that only the walls of the light house remembered.

Mariella could see my insides too; only, I did not have to say anything embarrassing

“Well, I guess you’d better go now, I

to reveal them, they were just always there,

have a lot of work to do,” she said abruptly,

on the outside. I knew this because she did

walking away as she spoke.

not look at me the way you would look at a

“Oh, alright, it was nice to–”

potential stranger. Her look was knowing,

“See you tomorrow,” she said and

as if she had mapped my intestines and

closed the light house door. I could hear her

knew where I carried everything already.

climbing the wooden steps quickly, as if she

That night when I slept I dreamt about

were running. Plick plock plick plock plick plock.

her. She was the lighthouse and I was the keeper. Her eyes were my lanterns;

Thief ! Iniquitous succubus! You have drained

they shone brighter and further than any

me of my nutrients once again. I am peckish

light in any other lighthouse in the whole

beneath you, yet, you continue to grow, ever

world. We set a record for saving the most

upwards, stretching and expanding your limbs,

ships in one year. Everyone loved us and

taking without giving. How dare you leave me to

we received fruit baskets almost every day

65

Adam Jessup

she blurted, interrupting my thought.

this world depends on something else. The same


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

from the people whose lives we saved.

“This is the lantern room,” Mariella

The next day her voice came from the bushes; she had been waiting for me. She emerged wearing the same white shirt

I looked around, turning a complete circle on the balcony.

from the day before. Her face was covered

“I understand,” I said.

in little, brown freckles, like it had been

“Understand what?”

dusted with chocolate powder. I liked the

“What you said yesterday, about the

way they made her face look tan from a distance and pixellated close up. It was like an optical illusion. wrinkling her nose. “You

asked

whales.” The walls, the ceilings, the floors were all covered with them.

“I knew you’d be back,” she said sweetly,

“Did you paint these?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied,

me

didn’t

you,”

I

responded. “Yeah, it’s just that sometimes people

I pointed to one of them. “That’s physeter catodon,” she exclaimed. I pointed to another.

think I’m weird, or strange because I live

“Megaptera novaeangliae.”

up here.”

And another.

“Not me. I think it’s wonderful,” I said, and Mariella grinned. Autumn, 2008

said, spreading her arms wide.

“Eubalaena glacialis, hyperoodon planifrons, mesoplodon peruvianus.”

She took me by the hand, pinky-ring

“But look,” she said finally, pointing to

finger combo, and pulled me towards the

the ceiling, “My favorite of all, balaenoptera

door, unlocking it with a key that hung

musculus.”

around her neck. Inside Mariella was older

It was a blue whale swimming with her

than I had imagined; in the soft light that

calf, stretched across the ceiling. There

bled from the windows her crows feet were

was an ocean of calm in her black eyes,

not hidden by the brown flecks of color

like she had seen all the bad things in the

that dotted her face.

world but had taken them in and stored

The staircase was just as I had imagined it, as was the fire pole. We walked up the stairs, our feet made the familiar plick plock noise as we climbed.

66

them somewhere deep within. She had swallowed them whole, like Jonah, but I knew that she wouldn’t let them emerge three days later. She kept them there.


t h e

E

v e rg r e e n

S

tat e

C

o l l e g e

w r i t e r s

’

g u i l d

the two-way radio, however, there were no emergencies. Just a few dolphins that

the sustainer of life on me, your light keeps my

we spotlighted for a while. We decided to

waters warm and my plants green. You hold me

give them nicknames. One was Somnolence

in place with your gravity so that I do not spin

because her dorsal fin did not stand up

away into nothingness. Yet, some of the creatures

straight, which made her look lazy. The

who inhabit my land masses say that there is this

other was named Lickety-Split because he

very important book that chronicles the end in great

zipped back and forth across the water.

detail.

I told her everything else that she

The end? The end of what?

did not already know. I told her about

The end of everything, the universe, time,

the depression and the conversations I

the end of ending. They say that your rays will

imagined between inanimate objects. She

grow angry, drying up my oceans and scorching

just listened, and understood; she even

the plants, that you will set fire to me and watch

cried once when I told her about how after

as I burn. They say you will carry my blood on

moving home I felt like I was falling apart,

your hands.

like all the seams that held me together

My child, those who giveth must also taketh

were weak from the beginning. She held

away. Everything in the universe is finite, and thus,

my hand when I told her how somedays

must end. Someday when I have grown too old I

when I woke up I could not get out of

will become swollen and red. I will erupt from the

the bed because there was no point. We

inside out. And you will be engulfed in my fury.

talked about how when I was a kid and

But why father sun?

had colic the only way my dad could get

You musn’t be scared. We simply cannot go on

me to stop crying was to bring me to the

living forever. Death was written into the design of

lighthouse.

the universe, and none of us can escape it. Take

Mariella said that she came from a

solace in the fact that we will all go together when

long line of lighthouse keepers and that

the time comes.

her father and her father’s father were the keepers before her. She told me how she

That night Mariella let me shine the

had grown up there, how it had always

light, which we referred to as the sun

been more of a home to her than her

because it was so bright. She manned

actual house. She said that for as long

67

Adam Jessup

Father Sun, father Sun I am worried! You are


P R I N T

for

B R E A T H I N G

as I had been coming to the lighthouse

speak. For a long time we just listened to

she had been watching me. There were

the dull roaring of the ocean, coming in

a few times when she said she thought

and out. As the sun rose we fell together

I was crazy because I was pointing and

in the watch room. I did not dream one

talking to myself but that the invented

dream, or make up one conversation; we

conversations bit explained it all. She told

slept like children sleeping for the first

me how beautiful she thought life could

time. ]

Autumn, 2008

be if I let it be that way. Finally we did not

68


presents 1

a coloring book about whales Meta-presented by The Writers’ Guild

1


otis pig


otis pig


amelia robertson


otis pig


otis pig


otis pig


otis pig


tasha glen


brancey mora & adam jessup


otis pig


♼

this is not the end


Print for Breathing 2