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Coming into one’s own skin. Hopefully, by the time you reach the end of this edition, you will feel a sense of coming into your own. Hopefully, from the work featured throughout these pages, you will feel a sense of community. Hopefully, you will remain hopeful in your community, in yourself––in us all. Illumination. Thank you to all of the contributors and the review committee for being a part of the 135th volume. Here’s to another continuation of Prism’s legacy.

a lys s a c a m p b e l l editor-in-chief

VOLU M E C X X X V


It is the incredible entirety of space and time that can leave me empty in times of joy and in comfort in times of sadness. beauty, by murphy caldwell

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e d it o r- in - ch ie f a s s ist a n t e d it o r g ra p h ic d es ig ne r co ve r a rt ist b a ck co ve r p o e t

A LYSSA CA MP BE L L E RI N D OSE T Y SO K A L SK I T E N L E Y HO L L A N D me di um : col l a ge

MI N E RVA Z AYAS

re v ie w co m mitt ee A L I C I A P I N K E RTO N A M Y KR AGE R C A L E B C HA N D L E R C H R I ST I NA W RI GHT H AY D E N TO N KAT I E T RE SE RE B ECC A CYR T E S SA BARO N E

p ris m a rt & l it e rary jo u rnal p u b l i s h e d by o ra n ge med i a n etwork o re go n s t ate un iversi ty co r va l l i s , or 9 7 3 3 1 f o l l ow u s o n f a ce b o o k , i n st agram, tw i tter: @ o s u pri sm

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c o ntent s beauty yogini teacher asks the room unfinished spirited away what’s happening right now? combing through snakes untitled crestfallen who will help me bake this bread? limerence a reflection of me after you untitled honesty red light bars the belittling of existence soundless krishna has eaten earth survival raining cats scratches girl’s got gams the avocado liminal traces rat traps electricitrees slipping how to divide the witching hour tortuga feminine tea party godless? reach

1 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 40

murphy ca ldwel l christ ina wright riley wol f y v et te cha u sueha de soto ceph poklemba mike cha sco ma son l ieua l len v ictoria good la ke bra dy robison ka ssidy benson morga n kol len cha nta l hinkley mckenna moore mckenna moore sa d ie berna rd sha nna roa st ta ma ra ga nn morga n kol len ja ha n ka husi mike cha sco christ ina wright emma johnstone a nnie mitev erin dose bria n bly t he ja ck la urence spa cey -helder sy dney wisner a mber tol lerud zoe phil by minerv a za y a s a dela ide f itzgera ld tessa coff ey l izzy wiegers ha nna h dupont

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YO GINI TEACHER ASKS THE RO OM Why are you here? And I feel affronted at The start. As if she’s talking Directly to my wounds. Skeleton Overflowing with flesh, I am Absolutely widest, darkest of this Sunday evening bunch. Why are you here? This time twisted sweaty Struggling to breathe through Fleshly arms squishing my neck Together. This time staring Into my own eyes: admiring the beauty in brown shine. Why are you here? To move-feel my body; to Listen; to witness as I Spring past boundaries Stagnant fossilized sockets fought against. Welcome New breath-new stretch. Remember why you’re here, She says.

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c h r i s t i na w r i g h t

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UNFINI SH ED

r i l e y wo l f

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SPIRITED AWAY

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y v e t t e c h au

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WHAT ’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?

suehade soto

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wa x , n y l o n s t r i n g , f i r e

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CO MBING THROUGH SNAKES How the fuck does Medusa comb her hair? I mean, does it count as self care if your hair takes care of itself? Does it count as an insult if you get called a snake… but, also are a snake? – Medusa was cursed by the gods, Her body, their plaything, too beautiful a human, too tempting for their snakes. Too tempting for her sake. Medusa was always the victim – And all she wanted was to be alone. Poseidon still took her whole, turned her life into his choice, (his voice), bade her body be the next hunt when he was done with it. The gorgon born from lust. Athena tried to save her, let her gaze turn men to stone, her visage become horror instead. So she could at least for once, Fight Back. It wasn’t enough, Medusa was bound to fulfill, her predestined tragedy. Penned by the gods, Because she was “chosen…” She was not chosen. Medusa was cursed, She Lost at Life. A priestess to the goddess of wisdom, 8

c e p h p o k l e m ba

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with all her power – doing everything she could to Save Her. Medusa couldn’t win once, There were more hands reaching for her than she could handle. Ones she could not avoid, ones she couldn’t fight, ones that always touched her. So she turned them to stone, The mythic monster of Sarpedon. Where she was put for her safety – Why would you seek her out? All she wanted was to be alone, she just wanted to be safe; she just wanted to live. But, Poseidon couldn’t have that, her body was his, even if it was dead. He sent countless men, his own children – Those who didn’t even know this was His Deed, his damage, his curse. I hope Perseus knows he was sent to slay an innocent woman, I hope that guilt holds him down. Medusa was cursed by the gods, her body their plaything... I hope that Medusa is finally at peace. – If you’re cold-blooded, are you always destined to be The Villain? c e p h p o k l e m ba

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mike chasco

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colored pencil

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CRESTFALLEN Soliloquy Of Mother Radiating stern love Dripping on sealed ears Unyielding

m a s o n l i e ua l l e n

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WHO WILL HELP ME BAKE THIS BREAD? Who will help me bake this bread? foraging for hidden things – seashells amongst the rocks and sand raincloud charades, a choked-back sob, slant rhymes, & easter eggs. finding them, those faces melted into walls. this silent smile feigned invisibility after helping others after aiding people all around, then disappearing moving out from underfoot tucked away in corners so effectively. a silent smile looking, but only towards me when I spoke – a series of infuriating moments wishing it wasn’t pointed away.

I laughed, & received a silent smile that made me want to laugh again. I talked, & a silent smile listened. listened in the way that I listen, observed the way that I observe, & made me want to speak all the rattlings of my brain. a silent smile played a piano behind closed doors & the music pulled me home – weaving its way through the house. I found it in the dark played with no notes to guide songs composed behind a smile.

a smile speaking. always I looked round to hear – it must be good, to justify breaking tacit observation. a witty comment – I laughed, while others paused, uncertain – a joke? obviously.

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victoria goodlake

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p o e t ry


LIMER ENC E

b r a dy ro b i s o n

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d i g i ta l p h o t o g r a p h y

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A REFLECTION OF ME AFTER YOU, 10/7/1 7 And isn’t my heart like that turning sky, melting from color to color as we did I was bright pink and bursting with light when we met––was it a sunrise or a sunset? And in the midst of our wonder and jitters and overeager embraces and the tentative and new grasping of our hands together I was rich with a lilac haze that filled me with intrigue (or was it discontentment?) And when we parted, I shifted into the deep blue that I always knew was coming, dark and inevitable and edging closer, then enveloping, consuming; But look, coming near! Stars!

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k as s i dy b e ns o n

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m o r g a n ko l l e n

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HONESTY “Teach me how you do that.” “Do what?” They are eating out on a Tuesday night. It’s their fourth date. She felt comfortable enough to steal fries off his plate, and he laughed at the way she pretends to sneak them away in an obvious fashion, just for his amusement. The sixth fry had made it halfway across the table when he had to take a phone call for work, and now that it’s over, she is looking at him intensely, kaleidoscope eyes bright and focused. “How do you lie so easily?” she says. He laughs. “What are you talking about?” “You just told your boss that you’re almost finished with your report, when you told me five minutes ago that you’ve barely even started it.” “I’ll get it done tomorrow, no matter what, so it…” She holds a hand up. “I didn’t ask you to justify yourself. I asked you to teach me.” The conversations they’ve had so far have been about family history and personal hobbies. Their favorite TV shows. What pets they own and their names. He has not seen

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this side of her– this sudden, more demanding side. He thinks, in this moment, he might like it. “Lying isn’t exactly something that you teach,” he finally says after a moment. She purses her lips. ”You can teach anything, if you’re a good enough teacher.” “Are you implying I’m a good teacher?” he asks, leaning back and putting his arms behind his head. The grin on his face is a challenge. She knows it. “Quite the opposite,” she responds coolly. “You just stated your own incapability.” His smirk flickers. “I could teach you if I wanted. I’m just not sure I would want to teach a girl I’m dating how to lie.” “And I’m not sure I would want to date a guy who knows how to lie.” She laughs back. He is beginning to realize that there is now a battle between them. She knew it was a battle from the beginning, and this is why she is winning. Finally, he shrugs, leaning forward in his chair to shorten the distance between them. “You want to know the secret to lying?”

c h a n ta l h i n k l e y

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She takes the cue and leans over her salad until they are practically forehead to forehead. “I did ask, didn’t I?” “The secret is… don’t.” Now she distances them again, eyebrows bunched. He stays where he is, another smile playing at the corner of his lips. It’s her move, and he is waiting. “That’s not helpful,” she finally says. She wasn’t expecting that. “I’m serious.” He pauses to take a bite. She is looking at him as he does so, twirling the sixth fry from his plate between her fingers and remaining silent. She knows he is making her wait on purpose. “If you lie, then people are going to be able to tell you’re lying,” he finally continues, dabbing at his face with a napkin. There is nothing to dab away, but he does it anyway, for the gesture. “You have to tell the truth.” She keeps her voice even and flattens her expression. She will not give him the satisfaction of getting under her skin. “You just told a lie to your boss.” “Ah.” He puts a finger up, as if to scold her. “It wasn’t a lie. It is a lie.” This, she will not dignify with a response. Instead, she folds her arms to her chest and lifts

an eyebrow. Explain. “In the moment, it’s not about what you want others to believe,” he finally says. He curls his finger, motioning her closer. She leans forward a second time, puppeteered by her curiosity. “So what is it about, then?” “It’s about what want yourself to believe. If you can convince yourself in that moment that what you’re saying is true, no one will question you.” He is smarter than she had given him credit for. His intellect has earned him her hand on his arm, and he doesn’t flinch at the touch. The conversation is brewing lightning between them, but in this moment, neither of them acknowledges the thunder. “The secret to lie is to tell the truth,” she repeats softly, almost to herself. “That’s right.” He rises slightly off his chair, and she thinks he is going to kiss her, but he moves so that his lips are right next to her ear. His breath tickles. “Lie to yourself enough, sweetie,” he whispers, “and the lie becomes the truth.”

c h a n ta l h i n k l e y

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m c k e n na m o o r e

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m c k e n na m o o r e

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THE BELITTLING OF EXIST ENCE A petri dish of nothing A lens that deceives Frosty eyes that gaze down not wanting to truly see And you You there You stand under a microscope Shiver under its gaze Crack a smile Crack a vein Does nothing to crack the lens The frosty eyes see what they were taught to see A petri dish of nothing And you You there You are there and yet nothing You are there and yet not You are a petri dish of nothing You are the frosty eyes that cannot see.

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s a d i e b e r na r d

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SOUNDLESS

s h a n na r oa s t

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KRISHNA HAS EATEN EARTH “You naughty boy, open your mouth.� He, forgetting she is a mere mortal and he a god simply posing as her child, obeys. Peering within, she, frightened and confused, sees the whole universe. Tell the story again. And within the millions of clusters and billions of galaxies and trillions and trillions of stars lies the cluster of Virgo, our galaxy. There, on the arm of Orion, our sun spins and upon the earth, rotating and circling the sun, we, 7.4 billion people, upon the cosmic calendar, live out our one quarter of one second of life.

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ta m a r a g a n n

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SURVI VA L

m o r g a n ko l l e n

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RAINING CATS Quit being such a pussy, Cousin said. You cry as much as girls do. You need to be tough, not have so many emotions — otherwise someone’s going to beat your ass. I wasn’t like you when I was ten. So what? You’re leaving your family and you’re crying about it? Start acting like a man, pussy.

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ja h a n k a h us i

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SCRATCHES

mike chasco

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copper etching print

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GIRL’S GOT G AMS Mine are sturdy thighs. Needing more than a pair of hands to keep warm. These thighs are clapping Thighs. Giving themselves a round of applause with each step. They have never been slender. Never stopped Celebrating. These thighs don’t move silently to a beat. Many eyes end up paralyzed by their rhythmic jiggle and Friction. Mine are not thighs for the weak. They turn vice grip when stunned by pleasure. Made of muscle and Honey Thick thighs. My thighs are prize Thighs.

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c h r i s t i na w r i g h t

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THE AVO CADO It was hunting season for a box of Annie’s mac and cheese Stealthily heading into the late night kitchen Which revealed only scantily clad cabinets Days dulled the blade on my letter opener Anticipation dripping from its handle Till his letter never came Eyeballing hours behind dead trees And petrified index cards Then a red C etched on the crisp white paper Soft to the touch but not mushy The stem slides into the flesh It must be ripe Cutting open the black pimply skin To reveal the browned e-pit- o-me And the disappointment continues

emma johnstone

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LIMINAL 28

annie mitev

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wat e r c o l o r


TRACES He tells me about the pins The ones I use in my hair Dark and shiny metal pieces of myself abandoned in his apartment A consistent reminder that I was there And won’t really leave Until they’re all picked up I wonder where else I am Tiny skin cells Miniscule fragments of my DNA Scattered throughout houses and classrooms, dead and decayed among traces of everyone else Immaculate strands of shiny hair On the sink of gas station bathrooms And in the cracks of mirrored hotel elevators, miniaturized memories frozen in time Specks of blood A skinned knee or something worse Not quite washed off the pavement yet, forever a hint of what happened I was there and here and there and you can’t forget me

erin dose

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RAT TRAPS Last week I set out traps for the rats that live with me and I was sad. Sad because when one dies that will be one less living thing within fifty feet from me. And I’ll lie face down trying to sleep on my understuffed pillow thinking about that, and I don't like that. I don't like that every morning when I wake up I'll see if they were clever enough to get the food without setting off the trap and I picture them in my head huddled around blueprints laid out on large pieces of grid-lined paper, planning the best way to eat and not die. Every morning I am relieved but also frustrated because they are rats and rats are bad for your health. So you see this is a problem – but I don't like any of the solutions for it because I think I feel too much for things that don't feel and that feels bad. I don't sleep some nights. I've started telling people that I'm both a morning person and a night person, it's just the middle of the day when i'm not a person, this is just a really good excuse for sleeping in class. Which i've figured out how to do with my eyes open, like Gandalf, but I guess it’s also really bad for your eyes so I should stop that probably. Did you know that the eye is the window into the soul? Which is why when you look into my pupils you only see black. Some days I don't leave my room until I need to pee so badly that I have to get up, which is why I don't like the weekends. The week ends and I no longer remember what it feels like to be headstrong and healthy like I said I would be. I'm not great at this – and healthy habits are hard to do when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches constitute eating well because well is that thing too easy to fall into, and drowning in water takes much longer when you're just “okay.” Rats like peanut butter – I don't know where this puts me anymore. It’s getting harder and harder to speak, and If I can't speak then does my tongue know why it's still making the words that say “I’m lonely?” Last week I set out traps for the rats that live with me and I was sad. 11/24/17

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b r i a n b ly t h e

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ELECTRICITREES

j ac k l au r e n c e s pac e y - h e l d e r

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photography

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SLIPPING

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sydney wisner

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d i g i ta l p h o t o g r a p h y


HOW TO DIVIDE In third grade math they taught me how to divide numbers, long and short, whole and fraction, but what they didn’t teach me was how to divide my family, time, belongings and love, why don’t they teach kids how to deal with heartbreak and the paperwork being squared away or how to trust someone when you no longer have the example you can’t just multiply that into being okay with false promises or add some lawyers to the equation math can’t undo what divided my heart in two it’s a formula lacking a positive solution and no matter how you try to add it up it always equals a disillusion.

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THE WITCHING HOUR 34

zo e p h i l by

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TORTUG A My heart falls on top of a tortuga Una tortuga que busca casa A turtle that looks for home My colonized mind has left me asking questions. When will we crawl out of it And live without intolerance Individuality lets me speak for silence and mourn for an invisible existence   La tristeza de mi madre My mother’s sadness as it is vocalized over thousands of miles Lost souls, stolen homes, claimed lives Flutter as my ancestors turn in their graves Porque mi raza, cultura, y la joteria nunca será igual.

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FEMININE girls learn to smile with their whole faces because pain isn’t pretty but honestly i’ve never been too good at smiling and it’s getting tiresome to grit my teeth in this hurricane

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adelaide fitzgerald

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TEA PA RT Y

t e s sa co f f e y

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GODLESS? An atheist. A godless woman. A wayward soul. That’s what I have always defined myself as. Classmates would dutifully clasp golden chains with delicate crosses around their necks before heading to chapel while I would sneak off to do the type of activities that got me sent to a place where people go to recover from a problem some claim is a disease like cancer and others believe simply stems from a lack of self-control. But what do you expect? I was raised by parents who traded church for Grateful Dead concerts. My horrified grandmother tells us we’re all going to hell in between bites of stuffing and yet another glass of wine during Thanksgiving dinner. I laughed. All this judgement, and feelings of superiority. Who needs god anyways? Then I arrived in India.

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lizzy wiegers

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p r o s e p o e t ry


A ride along the Mumbai metro ended with a question from a foreign new friend “Christianity, or Catholicism?” Neither, I’m atheist. “Excuse me, atheist?” It means I have no god. “You have no god?” Just a question. No judgement. No superiority complex. Yeah, I don’t think god exists. “My friend, sometimes we think all kinds of things. The danger comes when we believe all that we think without even bothering to look for truths elsewhere. You only think that god doesn’t exist. I know he does because he exists in my heart. Now what could be more real than that?” Good question. What happens when you open your heart to something beyond yourself? I’ve taken drugs that have brought me to places so high most people have to climb mountains to get there. I’ve had orgasms that took me to paradise. Maybe god will help me find fulfillment. I’m not sure how much longer I will consider myself an atheist.

lizzy wiegers

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REACH

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h a n na h d u p o n t

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p e n c i l c o n v e r t e d t o d i g i ta l i m ag e


to p ri sm art & li tera ry journ a l

WE’RE DOING S O ME THI NG DI FFE R E NT: V O L U M E 136 W ILL BE FEATURING ART AND L I TE R ATUR E C E N TE R E D O N S OCIAL J USTICE. SPEAK YOUR TR UTH, A N D S PE A K O UT A G AI NS T INJUSTICE W I TH U S . D E A D LI NE: FRIDAY, APRI L 20 O P E N T O ALL MAJ ORS, AL L M ED I UM S

O R A N G E M E D I A N E T WO R K. C O M /PR I S M PR I S M @ O R E G O N S TAT E . E D U


Humans grow Strong like trees Flourishing minds and spirits Cultivating community fulfilling the spirit Creating relationships Resistance of chaos And change. Resistance of Chaos by Minerva Zayas

Profile for Prism Journal

Volume CXXXV  

Volume CXXXV  

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