RISE Letter from th e E d i to r There’s no doubt about the challenges we are facing in the Oregon State and Corvallis community. Political, social, and environmental issues continue to build up, and sometimes we feel disheartened as a result. Finding a place in this community can be difficult for many, and it’s likely some of us don’t feel represented. In the creation of this edition, we saw identities meeting, interacting, and growing together. This led us to the title of “Rise”, representing the journey we must all embark on to fully be ourselves and find our sense of belonging. The pieces in this journal carry a variety of messages, but all connect to our individuality. I hope that within these pages you see a part of yourself, whether it be inside the words of a poem or the figures of an art piece. I hope that Prism can reconnect you with not just who you are, but with our vibrant community as well. Most of all, I hope this edition will help you grow in your own individual way. Thank you for enjoying this edition of Prism, and I wish you well on your journey.
O ur Mi ssi on Prism is dedicated to the self-expression and creativity of Oregon State University students. Any student, regardless of major, is encouraged to submit visual and literary art pieces to the journal via our website. Submissions are always evaluated by a review committee comprised of student volunteers and the Prism editorial team. Three print editions are released each academic year with the intent of sharing the creativity and values of OSU students.
Erin Dose In addition, Prism runs a blog entitled Backmatter and a podcast called Beyond the Page. Both feature more student work, as well as explorations into the artistic climate of our community and world. Visit our website weekly for more!
VO LUME C XXXVII
INTO THE UNKNOWN
EL I JA H FRIE DE RIC K | DIMENSI ONA L DIG I TAL ART
E D I TO R- I N - C H IE F Erin Dose
ASSI STA N T EDITOR Christina Wright
G R A P H I C DES IGN E R Mara Weeks
COV ER A RT I ST
Luke Bennett Reflection is Not Us | Watercolor, pen Left Behind | Damp sponge, acrylic
REVIEW COMMI TTEE Alyssa Campbell April James Ardea Eichner Chanti Manon-Ferguson Christopher Hoskins Evie May Gabriela Griffin Joe Wolf Lisa Wilson Mara Weeks Minerva Zayas Nick Martin Shelby Mosel Sophia Knight Tristan Haberstich Ty Sokalski Vivs Mahawar Zach Marcum
Prism Art and Literary Journal Published by Orange Media Network Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331 Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
TABLE OF CONTENTS I nto t h e Un k n ow n | E l i ja h Fr i e deri ck G row t h | Ga b r i e l a G ri ffi n L i g ht b u l b G i r l | M i r i a m B arn es C a n d l e l i g ht | Nat a l i e L ut z Su m m e re d We l l | K S h aw n E d gar Mov i n g St i l l | C a s s i d y L ayton A B r i e f E n co u nte r | E i l i s h G o r mley T h e Au d i to r i u m | Re b e cca Cyr E xo s ke l e to n | Ad e l a i d e F i t z gerald S k y Fa ce I | C a r m e n Mc C o r mack 113 | S o p h i a K n i ght C i ty Text u re s | L au re l B r i n s o n - L a rrabee Porn o g ra p hy Me | C a r m e n Mc C o rmack T ho s e T h i n gs We L o s t | Je s s i e Good C o nte m p l at i o n | Rya n C amp Natu re C l a i m e d S o u l | M i r i a m Barn es Fro o t | Ka s t i n e Cook Di r ty C h ai a n d L o n d o n Te a | D re a g n B e n n ett A Fi rs t L ove | Nat a l i e H arri s E xce l s i o r | Ri d wa n a R ahman D re a m c atc h e r | A p r i l James On W hy I Dre ss Li ke A Fu c k i n g Fa g | C e p h Po k lemba Fi e r y Eye s | Ko b ey B on i n I m p a c t | Mo rga n Kollen Ol d Swe ate r | C e p h Po k lemba Li g ht at th e E n d o f t h e Tu n n e l | Te s s a C offey H ow to b e a H u m a n Pe rs o n | L u c i e l l e Won es Som e t h i n g to Ad M I RE | H ayd e n St i ll Re t u r n i n g to G e nt l e* | Ta n a C ran gle A Wal k w i t h t h e C l o u d s | Ga b r i e l a Gri ffi n L a d y L u n a | Po i e ma L ee Hy m n a l | Mu r p hy C a ld well W h e re d oe s the s k y s t a r t ? | Ad e l a i d e F i t z gerald Unite d C acti Space Ad m i n i s t rat i o n | T i f f a ny M a rkert L a Ni ñ a D e l S o l | Ro m a n Cohen C e r u l e a n S e a | A l exa n d ra Lut her I a m s i tt i n g h e re | Ta n a C ran gle Spe ct a c u l a r D re a m s | E l i ja h Fr i e deri ck B ro t h e r Fi s h | A n n a s o p h i a O’ Day *CONTENT WARNING: VIOLENCE
1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Gabriela Griffin | Ink on paper
I’m a little desk lamp in a quiet corner Of a dark library. You don’t have to flip me on I’m already burning for myself, You just have to find me And take the moment you get To sit in the light I wish to show you. Come read with me, Sing to me of the beautiful stories Surrounding me. Desk lamps aren’t the most spectacular Fireworks, and light shows, But we are the illumination you need More than you can realize, Until you’ve wandered a dark library alone. The books grow spiny shadows In awkward glints of moonlight Through narrow high-ceilinged windows. And even the brightest exit sign seems lost In this maze of shelves and pages.
So gather at my wooden hearth This little glowing circle, To pick up the pieces of your heart Before you journey on. Or perhaps you’ll find the brightness to your liking And stay, For more than a passing moment. Perhaps you’re a desk lamp too, With different bulbs or designs of course But I recognize you. Or maybe you’re a candelabra, Flashlight, Or string of multi-color Christmas lights. Don’t worry, All lights are welcome As fixtures here.
MIRIAM BARNES | POETRY
NATA L I E LUT Z | DIGITAL ART
SUMMERED WELL When in autumn, the blood curls up softly. It settles to a slow silky jazz pace. Two saxophones and a muffled trumpet playing downstage, while a husky voice swims through cocktail glasses and spills out over table linens. The O to my I is Sophia Kohn Heart: My tadpole, my motivator. The name itself rips me open with long dollar-store-red fingernails, sucks me dry, and then fills me with tears. Her water, her juice, is my Indo- European opiate. I’ll smoke her hot, until I’m cold dead. This is late October, and we’re in the City. The City is upstate. We come here after the leaves fall because the streets are crackly and dynamic. Sophia and I stroll. We stomp and kick our way between the Old Town bars, bookshops, and lazy dance clubs. We sway with them all, but it’s the Romanesque Cathedral she and I favor for its herb-infused drinks and swank-laden music. Shoeless. Here, pumped full of sugary umbrella drinks and pillow mints from our recent hotel stays, my Lady and I roust like candied pigeons in a moonstruck garden. Sophia slips her hand into my left jacket pocket for just one more sweet summer mint. She whispers into my ear, “The trombonist has a high-note hard on.” Sophia likes to parallel her language with her sexuality. And we dance shoeless.
K S HAW N E DGA R | POETRY
C AS S IDY L AY TON | PHOTOG RA PHY
A BRIEF ENCOUNTER
E IL IS H GORMLE Y | ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
September 25th, 2018 || Chapter 1 •“dust” (refractory) settles towards the star •“ice” (volatile) settles in the outer solar system •collision into Earth —> moon •“Now, not every moon, forms this way. This is not specific to every moon. It’s how our moon formed. So the moon we are discussing, is the capital M moon, our moon.” The professor’s hands move toward himself and back out as he speaks, drawing an unintentional line between his body and a finite space of air with the bottom of an Expo marker. He creeps up the staircase on the left side of the auditorium—jeans/running shoes moving quietly—and glances over shoulders bent over notebooks, over drawings in the margins. ‘Crust’ is written on the whiteboard. “Can you read that?” From the back of the room: “Not great.” “Not great? Okay.” The professor moves away from the board, rubbing his hand on his neck. There is a pause and the room waits unknowingly. We were there for it’s insignificance. In three minutes class will end, the tremor of expectation begins. The bodies recognize it in a ripple effect, but the room isn’t aware of it’s demise—time is irrelevant to the auditorium. Supplies are collected with kinetic hands. The lecture dies within an echo of zippers. The professor’s monologue continues posthumously, aware of it’s own death, it goes on: “The formation of the moon…” We can’t hear the rest. The room is dead.
RE B ECC A C Y R | F LASH F ICTI ON
when you have shed the rough denim of the day and youâ€™ve set your shoes carefully to the left of the door when youâ€™ve hung your shirt up neatly in your wardrobe and have slidden yourself between cool sheets that need washing soon and taken a sip from the glass of ice water on your side table and switched off the light that flickers on the desk you will be stranded on the right side of the mattress surrounded by the relics of your pride with which you armed yourself but now has broken into porcelain pieces scattered sharply around you. you will see flower petals in the dip in the bed where my body rested and you will feel the fingernails of my lingering scent as it clings to you desperately you will hear the pressing silence of me not breathing next to you and you will turn on your side and hold a feather pillow in your arms and wish that you had not been so unbreakable.
ADE LAIDE FITZGERALD | POETRY
SKY FACE I
C A R MEN M CCO RMAC K | OIL ON CA NVAS
Five tealights on a dish, Three struck matches And a French press, cold Since morning. * Red bricks like chipped teeth Stacked high, rimmed with Black drain pipes, dripping With raindrops. * Gaze across the way to the Neighbourâ€™s back door, a single yellow Rectangle of glowing glass, The space between our houses grows. * I rinse out the beer bottles, Cut daffodils to sit on the table. You still donâ€™t come home, To the place where it happened.
S OPHIA K NIGHT | POETRY
L AU RE L B RINS ON -L ARRABEE | PHOTOG RA PHY
CARME N MCCORMACK | OI L ON CANVAS
THOSE THINGS WE LOST
Coward, I am At the first hint of something turned sour I Retreat like the sun beneath the waves at dusk I am not Strong I cannot think of warm fur against cold skin For fear that Iâ€™ll remember her, and her, and him, and him For they, so temporary and so enormous, As quick and powerful as a supernova, They were gone in the span of time that Must seem to You like a millisecond I cannot think of legs trotting that morphed to wheels creaking Or the way he is no longer lucid at the best of times Or the way it will feel when he, too, is gone In the span of a Heavenly millisecond Coward that I am, I turn to prose As a petal shrugs off dew and turns to the first rays of sunlight I cannot take a lover for fear that the hands from before will rise from the mattress And choke me with the words I will never let pass my uneven lips To Love is to Lose To Love is to be Weak And I will never be Weak again
J E S S IE GOOD | POETRY
RYAN C AMP | P HOTOGRA PHY
NATURE CLAIMED SOUL
Rebuild myself With sunset steeped mountains Quiet nights settled in bedrolls By still waters Give me the hard to breathe Adrenaline marbled days Woken by the shock of still being Alive. Balance me in the crook of hands Curved to skip stones Across lake waters Trained to angle The edge just right To glide Instead of Sink.
MIRIAM BARNES | POETRY
K ASTIN E COOK | PHOTOGRA PHY
DIRTY C HAI AND LONDON TEA
Dirty chai and London tea, Beautiful smiles with no place to be, in the air, feeling like potpourri, are laughter and stories of lives worry free. Then out the door, A walk to the park, Then a walk around town, It gets late but not dark. Pasta and vodka, A combination to compare, Reading sad poems, Conversations quite rare. Yet somehow it was there, With fingers through hair, And all of the turmoil, There was no despair. Someone broken someone bent, but to each other, are from heaven sent.
Kissing hands, And holding hearts, Somehow similar, With pasts apart. A new shared taste With nervous lips, explored together, between each loverâ€™s hips. Sweet entice Of deep delights, New passion fills With longed for thrills. A late night To an early morn, A New appreciation For each was born.
DRE AGN B E NN ETT | POETRY
A FIRST LOVE
They took my skin and heart and molded me— they shaped me into who they desired while my soul cried let her be, let her be. I lost everything I had acquired. And friends told me I was my own first love and at first I didn’t understand why. How could loving myself bring me above if all it consisted of was a lie? Because self love is more than making tea— it’s loving the image in the mirror, becoming okay with reality, and knowing some time will make life clearer. So I will no longer cut myself short ‘cause in the end I need my own support.
NATAL IE HARRI S | POETRY
RIDWANA RAHMAN | PHOTOGRA PHY
AP RIL JAME S | INK PEN
ON WHY I DRESS LIKE A FUCKING FAG Because I’m trying, really hard, to look gay. And I grew up learning how to Thank you for telling me, I reached my Goal. Fight People like You, sir. I put so much time into my appearance, It is so nice to have it validated. You sure have attitude, for how insignificant you are. Yes, I am wearing eyeshadow. Sure haven’t seen an angry queer, The heels go with the outfit. for how sure’a yourself you are. And I am dressed to please. But you aren’t worth the fight, So, please, give me more — you’re already a losing battle. Dressed like the remnants of some Sometimes, I wear full neon, 80’s movie flop, not even good enough to be floral and black (like any good queer), A Side-Protagonist. mish and mash, masc and femme, Do you have any idea how many crop tops Here you are: I own. in socks and sandals, gym shorts and a tucked in polo shirt, I think the selling point — Is my style, to sound cliché; I spent too long in the closet to not figure that one out. What I’m really trying to say is: I need more shoes, So, I have more options to Step Over You. I dress like a big gay beacon, so other queer people see my lighthouse lookin’ ass — and know where to go in the dark. I am an open closet door, for queer kids to see that it will always be okay. —
You take care of yourself like a straight man, and not even a metrosexual one, because self-care is so Fuckin’ Gay — Cishet Men had to make a new goddamn word for it. So here you are, playing into tropes that I know all too well. So let me be clear here, I dress like a fucking faggot because I’m trying to. Because I don’t need the recognition of people who put me in a closet, to be better than them; I just am.
C E PH POK L E MBA | POETRY
Her eyes of fire lit up the night like a lightning strike. Her auburn hair thrashed like tree limbs in a gale. Her soul stood in stark contrast to her flaming heart, bright as the same lightning that struck the ground. She, as untamable as nature, shook the very earth with her strength and pride, pride in a self that was hers to define.
KOB E Y B ON IN | POETRY
MORGAN KOLL E N | CYANOTYPE
My favorite smell is that of an Iris. It is faint, and sweet, a soft gasp from its violet lips — and as my own part to let in the scent of you — I am reminded of Home. But, I do not know why... I have lived in far too many places for Home to be so Distinct.
And I like it.
I’m just unsure of where to put you, how to hold you — what to say... But, you — you smell like Home, some foreign familiarity, I have touched, but once. That was so long ago I did not think I could touch it again; press into it, call it by name. I still do not know what to tell you. But, this Home — it feels safe.
It only sticks to a few things, I am stuck on the smell of you.
C E PH POK L E MBA | POETRY
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
TE S SA COFFE Y | ACRYLI C ON CANVAS
HOW TO BE A HUMAN PERSON
Wake up and be mad about it. Get dressed and be sad about it. Go to school (or lie about it). Go to work and sigh about it. Now repeat ad nauseam until the most human emotion sets in: A P A T H Y It heals all wounds because when you’re numb, you don’t notice you’ve been cut and when you look in the mirror and someone else looks back, You did it! You’re normal. You’re human.
LUC IE LL E WONES | POETRY
SOMETHING TO ADMIRE
HAY DE N STILL | MI XED MEDIA
RETURNING TO GENTLE
Golden light lazily stirred through the windows and dust As his fist hit my face, my red blood slipping out like syrup From my mouth, tasting like what i knew to be love We carried on like this for more time than i would like to admit i was small and cowering... i was big and enduring... i was being hit And when i think back, the room is dim and i am weak But the truth is, the room was lit with the same sun that lets seeds grow, that nurtures the skin, that warms this earth into the liveable thing that it is. But my body was marble and i could endure. â€œHit me againâ€? so he did and i never winced As scarlet filled my mouth and dribbled onto my tough and earthen skin. Suburban mothers would pay a pretty penny to get their Kitchen countertops redone with the dense and sparkling mineral that Is me, did you know that i am crumbling? Gentle waters wash over me and my body breaks into Pebbles, I move with ease, my body is sand, I mix with the other soft and gentle Things around me and now I am the crumbled soil in a garden, Where tender things grow and the same sun hits, And the flowers and the worms laugh at me when I tell them, I used to be a mountain. C ON T E N T WA RN IN G : V IOL E N C E
TANA C RANGLE | POETRY
A WALK WITH THE CLOUDS
GABRI ELA GRIF F I N WATERCOLOR
P OIE MA L E E | COLLAGE
At the point of static An outward summit The only place of control Is set in a sorted self A rebel among mountains Masked in a drawn out cumulus Heard in the reverb of a gong Recollected inside the axial ark The closest temple Trails a blaze Beyond the belief that we ever rest
MURP HY C ALDWELL | POETRY
WHERE DOES THE SKY START?
does it start at the clouds or does it end does it begin nowhere and stop somewhere, like those far-away pictures of the earth that show an inexplicable edge to the atmosphere like a skin like the skin on my body my skin that i peel away from myself, layer by layer by layer, searching for the something that makes me. searching for a center searching for the place i start beginning at the place i end
ADE LAIDE FITZGERALD | POETRY
UNITED CACTI SPACE ADMINISTRATION
TIFFAN Y MARK E RT | WATERCOLOR
LA NIÃ‘A DEL SOL
ROMAN COHE N | DIG I TAL ART
CERULE AN SEA
You are the view, you are the view, Everything and the sparkle of a hue. I am the horizon, with a glimpse, Past the dash and the haze— Falling and freeing into glittering blue, A picture perfect sea of new. We hold for the cue— A breath in a moment, slowed by time. Then the silence and swelling of unstoppable tides And the tumble and trouble And bubble and double with toil As ropes of water sway and coil. Our messages in bottles still seem to go through, Deep beneath the rumble of riptides While the stars and the moon stand aside And a sprinkling of sparks dance along the water. The currents fight to loosen my hold But our hands clasp tight against the arms of the welcoming cold. Light breaks beyond the boundary—raw and true, Beams beckoned and drawn to the depths Of an unknown place beneath all the sea. Fathoms below the current and crashing waves, We find a different haze and a shifted view But all still are a sparkling blue.
AL E XAN DRA LUT HER | POETRY
I AM SITTING HERE
the day after seeing you and all I can think about is entropy, how something that once had structure and order has made its way to chaos and disorder, and no matter how many times I gather up the pieces and let them drop, they will never land where I want them, where piece by piece, we once placed them, the structure has been whisked away to elsewhere, even when something is in ruins, it is beautiful, the once walked pathway is now gnarled with weeds, yet the weeds bloom with flowers and I do not have the... the...the strength to push them back. The bench where we used to chat is rickety, but still has both legs, and I sit there. It is spotted with lichen and the splinters poke my thighs, and it is somehow comforting. To be standing in the rotted out ribcage of something that used to have blood and breath. Oh but I love it here. No matter the wreckage.
TANA C RANGLE | POETRY
EL I JA H F RIE DE RIC K | THRE E D I MENSI ONA L DIG I TAL ART
ANNAS OPHIA Oâ€™ DAY | GRA PHITE
So gather at my wooden hearth This little glowing circle, To pick up the pieces of your heart Before you journey on. Or perhaps you’ll find the brightness to your liking And stay, For more than a passing moment.
E xcerpt f rom “ Li g htbu l b G irl ” b y Miria m B a rnes , p a ge 4
Volume 137 of Prism, Fall of 2018