PRĂ&#x2DC;OF Magazine Volume 1 Issue 4
Cover Art by Kelsey Malsom
Dear Readers, Kathleen and I are both thankful for the audience you give us with the release of each issue, knowing this is a busy time of year, we are especially grateful for the time you are spending with this issue, Vestiges. Vestiges was inspired by the word, vestige, after hearing Sheila Packa read her poem ‘Vestiges,’ I began musing about how to share poetry, the legacy of print media, and the fresh approach multiple genres of artists are now taking to come together in a transmedic sense to fill spaces with new, more immersive, experiences. I am fascinated by code, the internet, public art, poetry slams, and what the print to pixel challenge can bring us. From altering definitions of what publishing is, to environmental causes, and our creative processes. Just like Gwen Stefani brought us No Doubt, I have no doubts that the digital age will bring with it publications, collaborations, and projects that wouldn’t otherwise exist. The outlook of publishing matters less when I love the questions and the uncertainty in the future. We only know of what we experience. Therefore, I called out to the world via the internet and paper posters and microphones for submissions to discuss this print to digital change—its merits and its short comings; what you find here is the culmination of responses from fouled old newspaper and repurposed books, to poetry on buildings and the defaced packaging of photographic paper. This issue brings forth a wealth of resourcefulness and sparks our love of the question: no matter our personal opinions, how can we use new technologies and build new heritages? In the end, we all carry on creating and participating in the legacy of art, collaboration, and growth because we are drawn to the dance of creation. We dip our toes into the digital pool of new choreography together. In these mixed emotions, I see options, new ways to move, rather than limitations. I hope you not only find joy in these pages, but also, new openings in yourself during the one of a kind experience of walking “into” a magazine. If you attend this issue’s correlating reception you will hear the words written for this issue, swirling to your ears, and see the visual art hang against the white page of our gallery walls. You will be inside the magazine, your bodies the cover, your hearts the spine, your thoughts the footnotes. Yours, Katelynn N. Monson
ves·tige ˈvestij/ noun plural noun: vestiges 1. a mark, trace, or visible evidence of something that is no longer present or in existence: A few columns were the last vestiges of a Greek temple. 2. a surviving evidence or remainder of some condition, practice, etc.: These superstitions are vestiges of an ancient religion. 3. a very slight trace or amount of something: Not a vestige remains of the former elegance of the house. 4. Biology. a degenerate or imperfectly developed organ or structure that has little or no utility, but that in an earlier stage of the individual or in preceding evolutionary forms of the organism performed a useful function. 5. Archaic. a footprint; track.
Table of Contents I Am Here Because You Are Here by Darren Houser Virus by Darren Houser pixels&print by em westerlund Typewriter Poem by Kevin Ealain Standard Size by Andy Mattern Muse Across Atlantic by Sharon L. Rogers Choretextographies by Sheila Packa Keys by Devon O’Shaughnessy You are Free to Play by Emily Cohen
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Featured Artist Brian Beatty
Two Prints by Samuel Orosz Fin Whale, New Brunswick, Canada, 2005 by Deanna Erickson Misty Morning by Taylor Somerville Is Print Media Dying? by Ed Newman A Young Prince’s Thoroughbred by Susanna Gaunt The Woman from Thrace by Jeremiah Moriarty The Trigger by Jeremiah Moriarty Excerpt of 3 Pieces by Hanna Newman ARPAnet by Robert Dewitt Adams Sea Fog by Tina Higgins Acrylic Painting Inspired by ‘Sea Fog’ by Melissa Weisser Soiled Newspaper by Robert Dewitt Adams
23 24 25 26 27 27 28 29 30 31 32 34
Visual Artist Credits Kelsey Malsom is a graphic designer and currently lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. Andy Mattern holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Minnesota and a BFA in Studio Art from the University of New Mexico. He currently teaches photography as an adjunct lecturer at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Devon O’Shaughnessy is a Duluth based artist that we found doodling away on Instagram. Art and illustrations are a way for her to take pleasure in the little things. She likes to emphasize the inherent beauty in a lock of hair, the veins of a leaf, or the texture of cloth. Though she likes to experiment with new styles, she always comes back to fine lines and detail. Samuel Orosz is currently a studying artist at UMD. Taylor Somerville is a Minnesota based photographer who shoots around the Duluth area, but sometimes in other areas too. He likes traveling. Susanna Gaunt is a multimedia artist located in Duluth, MN. ‘A Young Prince's Thoroughbred’ is part of a series called Hidden Treasures. Using a Polaroid camera, she photographs items that might be seen as treasures, then prints and mounts them on a 4x4 piece of wood. Next, she cuts out a compartment in an old book to hide the small photograph. On the cover, she attaches a close-up of the object to give a hint of what's inside. The mounted photograph can stay hidden, be hung on a wall, or placed on a shelf. “While I enjoy reading, books also satisfy a haptic sensation for me. I love to touch the pages and feel the texture of the cover. I definitely experience a nostalgic pull toward older books, with their yellowed color and their suggestion of a simpler time passed.” Hanna Newman is an artist from Mankato, Minnesota. "I am left surrounded in darkness, yet I refuse to be swallowed by it.", is a series of thirteen photo intaglio prints each individually altered to create a progression of darkness (these thirteen prints make up one piece. There are details of each print in this series on her website: hannanewman.net). Each print is 6.5"x8.5" *Size has been altered for publishing
I Am Here Because You Are Here That colossal skeptic Christ home, had no lamp-stands unfolded, added no tattered who ever chime. A cubicle of attention, I appear looking; preparing the primary repeating occult moon. Performing religions in a Votadini track. Comics tail its pagan factories to historical Abyss, then ashes sense disdain. This royal preparation painting a Being, its passion my faith bellflower - all a her his fuelstore. I react, talking complete gladness down old sacrifices that cue around everything. Second performances begin perishing; the bones you crush to redeem death from pooling wet heaven. My grave humor exists as defense against man, a vast language promising imagination and uncertainty. My dust would have your will sing devoted praise. These cultural art stars present cumulus archetype to man’s messenger chariot with unspeakable broad radar ideas that blur multiverse law in wind of truth and hail of folly. Mesmer, the intermediate today, scales work and owns me and a tenth in wrongness. Adjacent and well best of Earth writing, the one hand Lord knows that natal chakras breakdown again through the south king and go in language of Gathering. His her incorporated body examining unknown Yoga, possessed of post-death blood. This identified stage tripping meant our debates sometimes outlawed love. Building a harder irreverence of auditorium powers, traditional 17th common lizards, phylum oppressors, and a roast wicked God all benefit by describing appealing violence. I traced terror often but told not of occult proverbs to humble recall prisoners. Jacob reveals handme-down essentialism although universe abduction is heaven’s judgment and leaden matter floats higher in monstrous fire. Most reference alchemy into expression at things assembled, as system envisioned reality. Extensive special gland technique can wreak ripening moist voice desecration, and later envision improved changes. Suddenly expelled substances relate to the purple sister of haematite male numbers, whose childhood science concerning the diverse origins of us arose radiated currents. Insight has shapes and currency. Writing chairs sometimes know classic thought matter, all upside up and not having fusible vengeance in books. Pages, rather Time Dungeons, pound literary birth chalk in confined chaos patterns; bowling emotional forms submitted as a complete living language demiurge. Early translation drugs, once devoid of art brain, created spoken jewelers rather than magical Liber. Baudelaire permitted prophetic epileptic beliefs, nonchalantly being hyperdimensional and appearing converse. Lo, Jack Kerouac preferred events rather than Algeria or Taplow houses. Wherefore Gysin and Crowley saith secret ‘natures’ experience Magick, likened to re-contextualize flour-paste themselves. Machen dusts these into important sexualities without reasonable landmasses and makes the set of houses recite UFO visits.
These arrows I boast and tilt with a standard that years ago happened, aware, running down suns to job and sources. Heed another century to salvation, for Hermes proves whose language gun works superior. Darren Houser created this mixed media collage, Virus, in response to the text. “I strive to make work that is technically and intellectually complex; loaded with symbolism and metaphor, in hopes that it can resonate deeply with a range of select individuals depending on their personal biases and proclivities, or at the very least it will grab a viewer's visual attention and get them to think about something out of the ordinary.”
pixels&print it’s hard to come down hard & fast on The State of Modern Publishing where screen meets paper, where scroll meets page turn the advantages of this shift to cyber are clear in some cases, yet we feel a guilty twinge in our collective guts as our eyes inhale essays, op-eds, articles like a compulsion never-ending content offered free on the web the DONATE button glowers knowingly from the sidebar but pointer fingers have already guided our hungry eyes further down the page in a rush of clicks the ask is left behind along with our shameful, willful ignorance as the next link is opened, the next tab selected watching indie bookstores across the country grind to a halt, teeming, heavy shelves full of books unbought as desperate pleas are sent via listserv to supporters, our fingers hover over our Amazon app we unsuccessfully attempt to ignore the irony of ordering zines through online distros, choosing instead to focus on the increased trajectory & reach of the internet as a tool renewing subscriptions of our favorite print magazines now seems an exercise in nostalgia as we click the box for EXCLUSIVE WEB CONTENT and pay online scrolling headlines as we check out the screen feeds a compulsion for new and more and now and cheap as we move beyond the highly anticipated arrival of our weekly TIME magazine (spoilers have already made their way across the web) and more often opt for the e-book instead in this world we can have both, and we do but it really is too bad about the decline of print media though, isn’t it? em westerlund is a native superiorite who enjoys playing with words and wrestling with ideas. she's done a variety of things to get by including work as a sexual assault victim advocate, forestry technician and sociology instructor (generally not simultaneously). when she's not busy punching that time card she enjoys tarot, chainsaws, and time to think.
Kevin Ealaín is a writer, actor and photographer out of Minneapolis, MN.
Muse Across Atlantic Ignition, years, sparks hidden silent mind aloft in clouds polite, beneath canopy of daydream thoughts: hungry, burning, parched. Words sprung forth like rain, breaking bricks & stone, soul's thirst to quench fear toppled, shattered on a floor... Conjugations in darkness creating drops of fire-flowing words as I lay sleeping, blue arcs my dreams, your gaze upon my lips a smile, torrential words bubbled beneath my surface, blood rushed in my ears whispered more as wordfire spread... Please, please I could not help the words. Abundant death, when faced my own, words unsaid sprung forth, each phrase burst round and ripe upon my tongue, words exploded, fanning life aflame... Forgive me as I burned with words, as I sat, stood, danced keyboard words raining through your days & nights for weeks, drenching through your dreams, to flood upon your naked skin, a deluged circuit sparking open heart & soul. Sharon L. Rogers is a Duluth poet, potter, photographer and all around artist. She has a beautiful singing voice and loves her dog. She is always among the best dressed at Prøve opening receptions.
Choretextographies Reading and writing are the two sides of a text. Reading opens doors and writing crosses thresholds. Reading begets writing. For me, it is a steady chase. Writing begins with an insisting image or something stirred by conversation, between pages or words exchanged with a friend. I begin with no expectation—because that is the best way—simply moving my hand across the page, writing the most mundane things and in this process from somewhere comes a word or a phrase that I follow until I’m lost. Getting lost is necessary, and so is way-finding through dreams, associations, experiments, and reverie. In books, I find stillness and escape. The lamp on my desk shines books splayed downward and others fallen in stair-step patterns up and down. Books I’ve read are turned titles down, spines to the right, and books I plan to read have titles up, spines to the left. I love to read sitting by a window turning the thick pages fragrant with the scent of libraries and women who wear glasses on delicate gold or silver chains. Words written long before arrive into a new encounter, like a letter found in a bottle. While reading, an intimate and silent dialogue occurs with the past or with another life experience. Here is part of an exquisite poem by C.P. Cavafy that uses the phrase "an invisible procession"-When suddenly, at midnight, you hear an invisible procession going by with exquisite music, voices, don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now, work gone wrong, your plans all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly. Aside from the narrative of a leader losing his country, aside from underlining the need to face one's losses with courage and other meanings, the poem identifies an individual's cascade of images, memories, and associations. As the world changes, we might apply this metaphor to our experience with old ways of publishing books and experiencing stories. In our imagination, an invisible procession occurs that can lead to our own creative work. I want to create new works that are evocative and have openings that invite the reader to make multiple meanings. I arrived at e-books reluctantly. E-books are static—static as a print book (although this is changing)—but do not give the reader the sensation of a unique object that pleases the sense of touch and smell. The web provides new and different perspectives and languages: virtual reality, online gaming, multiple media and interactivity. A story that goes from print to film often contracts. The visual language and music will carry meaning as well as the words. If that same story is used in interactive gaming, it will expand. Digital media offer new artistic opportunities to make the invisible processions visible. With an increasing range and breadth of communication and networks, we select and arrange multiple things, people, places, and experience. We see memes, and we like to participate. We like our videos to go viral. Curation is a system of collecting, organizing and presenting. Patterns have become more apparent and necessary.
As a poet writing on paper and an artist presenting in digital online environments, I consider the reading and writing exchange. I can best describe the web films I've worked on as innovative ways of reading. The projects arrive, and they depart in code. They are mobiles of text, sound, and image. I call them choreotextographies. I look for metaphors of movement: flows of rivers, wind, and water, bird and animal migrations, human travel and migrations. Also I’m drawn to transformations—metamorphosis, organic growth and decay, alchemy. Creative work can demand this same process. People change residences, relationships, and/or activities in order to complete an artistic work. Even the language conveys how radical the process can be: one executes a piece of art or music. The verb means a successful rendering but also it carries a shadow of death. The old way of being dies, and a new one arrives. We become part of the artistic piece at the same time as separating from it. Every creative work is an act of change. Artists court change. Virginia Woolf said, "...we can read ... with another aim, not to throw light on literature ... but to refresh and exercise our own creative powers." Writers are good readers. Readers are open to enchantment and meditation. Readers are thinkers and dreamers. In the exchange, there is a potential transmission of energy and breath and intimacy that extends beyond one's life. Sheila Packa is a Duluth based writer. Her work can be found in anthologies, on her blog (http://sheilapacka.blogspot.com), and in her published works Mother Tongue, Cloud Birds, and, most recently, Night Train Red Dust. Her poem ‘Vestiges’ inspired the title of this issue of PRØOF magazine.
Devon O’Shaughnessy “Keys”
You Are Free to Play This is what happens sometimes when you make public art: people say mean things about your words to your face. “It’s always playtime with you.” “It’s amateur hour in there, a play pen.” “What is going on with the front of the building.” “I’m a serious artist, I work. Seriously.” The poem, two years old, and one degree less distilled: Remember yr feet into the ground. Learn medicine – yr own medicine. Get in where you can do the good work you want to do. You are your permission. You are free to play. To make this piece, I typed you are free to play on my Olympia typewriter, which was living at the Hub Art Factory at the time. Tim Carmany, my collaborator/artist/dear friend and an all-around handsome guy, digitized an image of the line and projected it onto giant pieces of paper we had on hand. We penciled outlines then cut ‘em out with X-Acto knives. The Hub Art Factory was hosting a 24-hour summer solstice party, and Tim had use of a scissor lift for a commercial commission a few blocks south. We had some downtime, and that’s when we jacked up on the scissor lift to spray this piece and another on the side of the building. One of us held the stencil while the other sprayed—un-jack the lift, drop one stencil, grab the next, repeat. When we were done, I laid on the stencils and swam around, Giddy McGee. I asked over and over, “What is publication?” Hint: this is publication. It doesn’t have to be what we think it has to be, or what everyone else is doing. That’s the thing about permission. If you can’t feel your words on a page – or if you don’t want to – put ‘em somewhere else. Community is a process, and our publications? Are evidence. Evidence that I was a bad gossip drama queen and fighting with Tim all summer – no class, all bite. I had a middle of the night art drama tantrum (you have those, right?) and painted over the typewriter stenciled “to play” with a thick brush and black indoor paint. The wall stood that way for a few weeks –
“What is going on with the front of the building.” Then Tim cleaned it up, and on a soft summer barefoot day while one of the Hub photographers worked upstairs taking photos of cute rescue dogs, I reclaimed to play in my own handwriting. I added “Get in where you can do the good work you want to do / You are your permission” to sweeten my immunity to mean language, and to feel my way back, into what I meant writing those words in the first place.
Emily Cohen “I feel like a sneak because I like slow paper process, cut and paste. I don't fantasize about a mass-printed hardback with my name on it waiting in an Amazon warehouse. The letters MFA give me bitelip. Instead, I've built tiny runs of books using manila folders for covers, pushed lines into mosaic, and dipped my fingers in gloppy wheat paste to apply poems to doors and walls and a swing. When I live at home in Ohio during the summer, I go downtown to the Hub Art Factory and play with artists. A few weeks before I ‘snowbirded’ it to Tucson, we started a micro-library/bookshop and put library pockets in the back of books. That's what kind of writer I am.”
PRØOF Featured Artist Brian Beatty
A Teaching Moment Along Cut Face Creek How exactly is a man of forty-four supposed to react to the sight of his reflection so suddenly so coldly flowing out of reach? I cracked the seal of a bottle that kept me company all night
Lessons to be Learned
— except those last few drops
Dust particles — each one a little book
I poured out into the rain.
of what the sun has to teach us — collect themselves on every shelf and ledge like settled ash. Mere flakes of skin are all we really have in this game. We lose when we tell ourselves we’re lost — our small fires speechless and nameless like ink smudged across a page.
early in the morning to develop work in his personal time. Early in his Internet publishing career he had a column for McSweeneys.net. that minor online presence, as he calls it, brought him the reputation and sway with online literary publications that he needed to initiate publishing work on a larger scale digitally.
Brian Beatty and I met at Peace Coffee in Minneapolis to talk about his background and thoughts on publishing. Local Natives blared like sirens in the background; I could barely here him at times. His voice is deep, but he is soft spoken, or maybe it’s his accent, he’s from Indiana. We began talking about his early writing career. Brian has been publishing work since undergrad over twenty years ago, so he remembers when the only publications were print, and the only way to submit was through the mail. He mostly published in academic and scholarly journals during that time, and then worked for and received an MFA in Creative Writing specializing in fiction, and, surprisingly, didn’t begin writing poetry until later in life. He recalls, he always wanted to be a writer; he liked, and to this day still likes, the solitary work of writing. Even today, his career as a copy editor is due to his passion for writing. Throughout his writing life his process has involved staying awake at night, or waking up
“Nobody is going to get rich publishing literary work. …Unless Oprah decides she likes you. If I’m not going to get paid for my work, and the real benefit is to get my work in font of reader’s eyes, I really think digital is the way to go right now. Some of the sites I’ve had work on actually have a view counter, so I know exactly how many people hit that page. Where as a print publication may only publish 1,000 issues at most, and when those travel out into the world, who knows where my work goes or exactly how many readers it will reach.” “If I can go online and get a solid number of views on a site, I can imagine it tangibly in my head, whereas I lose that connection with print publication now, especially when I remind myself it’s not going to be more than roughly 1,000 views. On the flip side, it’s equally frustrating when the sites that I’ve published multiple poems on have counters, and the number of views are the highest on the poems that I sent out into the world thinking they weren’t fully grown or developed. That’s a lesson in quality control and …ego control.” Today his first publications may only exist in the milk crate Brian keeps of his printed work. Some of which are so bad, he says, the he wouldn’t read them again. For this reason, 19
maybe it’s fate that online publication didn’t exist back then, maybe not. There is a learning curve at any age. It is because of this that he says the immediacy of print publications has made him a better self-editor. The wait time alone for a poem sent out to print publications is so long, that to be mailed back and rejected is, at times, six months or more, and by the occasion of the poem’s return it is, most likely, a completely different poem because the writer has been futzing with it anyway. “If you send out a poem by email, it can be accepted that same day. In fact that has happened to me before, I sent out a poem in the morning and by lunch it was published online. Luckily, it’s a poem I still am happy with and stand behind, but that’s a terrifying thing to think about when you’re someone that likes to take time with your work. In some ways I can slapdash stuff and put it out, but in the end I do like my work to be considered, contained, and controlled. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that that takes time, so it’s been a good constant struggle with myself to realize that just because I can publish work quickly online, doesn’t necessarily mean I should.” “I just put together a manuscript for a new book, and I ended up reworking many of the poems because when I saw how they all lived beside each other it was apparent that they needed a little more nuance to flow together, even though many of the poems had been published in earlier forms.” Some of the poems had been published in print publications as well, so this goes for either kind of publication. One of my favorite things about an acknowledgments page in new work is something Brian brought up in his discussion of his new upcoming book.
He says, “In a collection of work that has been previously published elsewhere, I like to see if the author acknowledges where stuff was published, or how they acknowledge it. Oftentimes they will say things like, ‘These poems appeared in [insert publication title here] in an earlier form.’ That is what I’ve had to do. It shows that writers and artists I admire never consider their work finished, and that is a more interesting way to look at art to me.” He expands that thought,
“There is a constant dialogue between a piece and a creator. It can tell you at anytime, the next time you look at it for example, what it wants to become. It’s more interesting for me to let the piece dictate its form, instead of trying to get it knocked off and published to consider it done. Done is boring… to me.”
Brian has recently sent out his unpublished book of poems for consideration for new book publication. Coyotes That Couldn’t See is a series touching on ecological and spiritual observations or concerns. Some poems are about relationships, others are about dogs, some about hiking, although Brian doesn’t count himself to be too knowledgeable about nature in a scientific sense. The thread of the book is inspired by folklore and story telling; these poems attempt to capture his fascination with stories, tradition, and story telling elders. On his book he recaps, “It’s ethereal and serious compared to the kinds of snarky and sarcastic poems that were published in my earlier humor chapbook, Duck, which was 110 pages long… so a little longer than traditional poetry manuscripts.” Coyotes That Couldn’t See is only 84 pages. 20
Lukewarm This wasn’t supposed to be another poem about somebody falling through lake ice. Unfortunately, Minnesota winters have their own ideas, so here I stand, watching shadows of neighbors fish out a boy of nine or ten who woke up early to try the new hand auger he unwrapped yesterday at Christmas. I can hear the kid choking on dark water as if he’s in the other room. The angel his heaving body leaves in the fresh snow is two parts vague, one part familiar. He’s more alive right now than he’ll ever feel again. I’m not these days. I’m still half-asleep, hiding behind a frosted kitchen window, curious why I never make it out to help. I top off my lukewarm coffee cup, wondering when somebody will rescue me from myself. What a gift that would be.
As he says, “I kind of run the gamut from sarcastic to serious spiritual boy.” When I asked him about his thoughts on publishing books online as websites, or solely online through eBook, his response was similar to my own thoughts and feelings while touring the Internet looking for something to read.
“I haven’t seen or experienced something book length online that I found worked or belonged there in that form, to my purposes at least. I like holding books. I own too many books. I do feel mildly guilty about contributing another book into the world and the killing of trees, but I’m going to be 45 in January and so I’m already behind most of my peers in terms of how many trees I’ve killed. So…sorry, nature.” It is difficult to capture Brian Beatty’s wit and sarcasm in an interview like this. At one moment he is laying out his philosophy and ideas on writing in the world, he slips into a
joke effortlessly and moves right along past it, to the next thought. For example, at one point in the interview, he laughs and tells me that the Mississippi Review interviewed him for an article on MFAs, they wanted to know what he’s currently doing in writing, however they have never accepted any prose or poetry he has sent them for publication. We laughed about the irony of this together. He is vulnerable, in a way that struck me as courageous and actualized. He says, “All writing should be a gift. Ultimately, if you’re going to send work into the world to be read, you should think of it as a gift to the reader. Ask yourself, as a writer, am I giving the reader something with this?” He asked me to add that he isn’t pretentious though, despite how talking about gifts might make him sound like it (stay tuned: on January 10th from 3-5 at Prøve Gallery, he will be holding a free workshop on the subject, how to give your gift). His style reminds me of a small bow, taught with pressure and necessity. When read, his poems shoot their arrow long distances to strike somewhere deep in human experience, and ultimately draw it out—letting the light in.
Brian Beatty has written for Alba, All Music Guide, Arts Indiana, The Bark, The Big Jewel, Blues Revue, City Pages, Elephant Journal, elimae, The Evergreen Review, Gigantic, Guitar World Acoustic, Guffaw, Gulf Coast, Hobart, Juked, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, METRO, mnartists.org, Monkeybicycle, Opium, Paper Darts, Phoebe, Publishers Weekly, The Quarterly, Rain Taxi, The Rake, Revolver, Seventeen, The Sycamore Review, The Writer and Yankee Pot Roast. He’s performed comedy at the 331 Club, Art Shanties Project 2010, Bedlam Theatre, Brave New Workshop, Bryant Lake Bowl, Club Jager, Dangerous Man Brewing, KFAI’s Listening Lounge, MPR’s Fitzgerald Theater, The Hollywood Improv, 2010 and 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festivals, Nomad World Pub, Northern Spark 2013, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, The Playwrights’ Center, The Ritz Theater,The Soap Factory, Teatro Zuccone, Triple Rock Social Club, Trylon Microcinema, The Turf Club, Walker Art Center, Widespot Performing Arts Center, Wild River Festival, WMSE’S Wild Wild Midwest Variety Show and the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. For two years Brian hosted “You Are Hear,” a monthly literary podcast, for mnartists.org, a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation. More information can be found on his website, here: http://brianbeattympls.com/about/
Fin Whale, New Brunswick, Canada, 2005 Finding a whale skeleton, it’s hard to understand what it is. The fragments are enormous, the way you dig up a wreck, The way you uncover stones, pieces but not grasping the size of the whole. One vertebrae spans your chest. The jaw is the length of your body lying prone. And you wouldn’t know, anyway, because of the ankles. The delicate tiny feet the useless bones vestigial limbs forgotten pieces, padded deep inside fat and skin. Impermanent for eternity, form, evolution’s clay. Remember the tail that we lost, the claws we trim.
Deanna Erickson is untrained as a writer, but unable to resist the way words and phrases get stuck in her head. Heavily influenced by personal writing, she writes and shares writing in order to find common bits and pieces in her own experience. She moved here because of Lake Superior and will probably stay here for the same reason. She is frustrated with the way technology separates us from the act of living, but remains irresistibly compelling. These screens grip her, and she is not sure that her relationship with the natural world and with her animal self will endure unscathed.
Taylor Somerville “Misty Morning” Is Print Media Dying? In 2009 I wrote a blog entry assessing the declining health of the publishing industry, specifically magazines and newspapers. It's something writers are concerned about, especially if there are shrinking markets and fewer venues where one can present their ideas and work. I had just spent a week at a media conference in L.A. designed to bring together companies in the automotive performance aftermarket with editors in the media. The meetings give companies an opportunity to tell their stories, show what's new and forge relationships with editors and writers for publications. As an advertising and PR professional, as well as long time writer, I try to keep a firm grip on the pulse of the publishing industry. Since Gutenberg, the written word has probably been the most influential force in history. Communists relied deliberately and heavily on the written word to make in-roads in Latin America. Christianity's Reformation similarly relied on the written word, and for this reason literacy became a major concern in Western culture. Despite the pervasiveness of television and radio, magazines have remained strong as a valued resource for both information and diversion, but there are challenges for magazine publishers now. The cost of distribution is increasingly hefty, as well as the rising costs for staff, not to mention, paper and ink. The recession of 2008 damaged not only the auto industry, but also every American manufacturing industry, especially those dependent on discretionary income. In the magazine scene, the numbers showed that
periodicals with subscribers didn't get too shaken, but those dependent on point-of-purchase sales (in grocery stores and book store shelves) took a deep hit. Unlike the stock market, which at this writing has been near all time highs, many of these industries have yet to fully recover. Editors today face many challenges, not least of which is the need to produce the same high quality content with reduced staff. Furthermore, the content has to be such that it is less timely and more useful. Less timely because breaking news is already old news by the time it is in print, most readers now tap Google News or their favorite mashup sites to follow these more urgent topics. In short, magazine editorial must be deeper and compelling for reasons other than timeliness. There is a cycle, without readers you won't attract advertisers, and without advertisers you can't pay salaries, so then it is still more work for the last staff member standing, yet the quality must not, and can not, suffer. Are there any bright spots in this story? First, despite the hardships people feel, the strong companies survive as do the strong magazine brands. The key is value. Does the magazine bring something of value to the reader? The New Yorker is practically indispensable for its coverage of the New York arts scene. Hot Rod has such a depth of history that it could mine its archives for decades and never run dry. As we all know, predicting the future is one of those things that later makes fools of a lot of people. Decca Records rejected signing the Beatles in 1962 because in-house experts predicted, "Guitars are on the way out." Hoo boy, maybe the same could be said of those who conjecture, “Print is on the way out.” When it comes to predicting the future, folly is a fairly widespread phenomenon. In 1876 an internal memo at Western Union declared, "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." In another realm Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television, said man would never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances. And believe it or not, in 1899 the Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents seriously considered closing this government service because, “everything that can be invented has been invented.” In short, any prediction about the death of magazine publishing is suspect in my book. Even a smart cat like Michael Crichton made a goof when in the 1990's he predicted the death of the television industry in ten years due to the Internet. Crichton has passed away, but television seems stronger than ever; as even Hollywood movie stars have begun a slow migration toward Tube stardom, away from the silver screen, which was once the pinnacle of success. As writers we polish our skills. Learn grammar, punctuation and spelling, and hope there will be a place for us if we apply ourselves. We don't have to be famous to make a good living. As long as there is an economy, even if struggling, there will be a need for writers to tell the stories that need to be told… whether via the medium of television, Internet or print. What's your take on the future of publishing? Will books and magazines go away? Will television media remain strong or get pulled under by the advance of technology? My take is that good communication skills are essential in any age.
Ed Newman is a local Duluth writer and artist who has won awards and published his works via the internet and paper. “The media is undergoing changes for sure. If you’re on Twitter, and you wish to follow the shakedown of the publishing scene, be sure to follow @TheMediaIsDying (You can also follow me on Twitter as well: @ennyman3).”
“While I enjoy reading, books also satisfy a haptic sensation for me. I love to touch the pages and feel the texture of the cover. I definitely experience a nostalgic pull toward older books, with their yellowed color and their suggestion of a simpler time passed.”
Susanna Gaunt “A Young Prince’s Thoroughbred”
The Woman from Thrace The wallpaper of your life, friend, is to fade without recourse. We both know this in our guts. Your grandmother’s house, which she left you in her will, will creak with the wind out of Iowa. A child of moving on, you witness the demise of the design, the sewn imprint of a girl with an urn. She is tiny, laid into the fabric, but aware of her fate: to blur, the fibers made smooth by humidity and stiff by familiar winter — green to gray, green to gray. She is now at a station, waiting, loaded with longing for another
wall to grace. She hopes someone will again sew her into their walls. Beguiled, you do too.
The Trigger Memory, a fragile soft machine always pacing, five to ten to twenty seconds, years now. Diaphanous aperture, it seems to take in everything. And it doesn’t matter if the world wore caution like sleek, explicit police tape, because I am still a participant in gears. The sun will go down and then I will open this book of gunpowder.
Jeremiah Moriarty is the editorial intern at Graywolf Press for Fall/Winter 2014. He has attended the Iowa Young Writers Studio and currently attends Carlton. Additionally, he has written for various publications at the collegiate level, including a memoir piece for Carleton’s student-run magazine The Lens and two poems in the most recent edition of The Carleton Miscellany. This past May, he was awarded the Huntington Prize for Poetry, awarded to the best student-produced poetry manuscript at Carleton College.
Hanna Newman, 3 parts of "I am left surrounded in darkness, yet I refuse to be swallowed by it.”
ARPAnet “Are you male or female!?” the young ginger guy with Marine high-and-tight demanded in my face. He must have been imitating his drill instructor. My role was the stunned recruit. Quickly I calculated his meaning and possible responses. I was innocently on my way from the bar with drinks for my table of friends. I should have expected such a confrontation in a place called the Hawk and Dove. I was certainly the dove. I’d had my reservations about coming all the way down from American University to Capitol Hill, when we had a perfectly good tavern safe on campus. I did have long hair but didn’t think I had very feminine features. It was doubtful this was an honest mistake on the part of my military interrogator. Unless he had bad eyes or beer goggles. I knew he could totally kick my ass. That was a drawback of being a peacenik hippy. I was a fast runner though. And I could draw my friends into the fray. They’d back me up, no questions asked. But the three of us against a gang of Camp Lejeune goons didn’t look promising. “Male,” I finally answered, deciding to play it straight. I squeezed by him, and he checked out my ass as I passed. I heard his buddies howl while I escaped as quickly as possible. I wondered if I was really a pacifist, or just a wuss. Was I too naïve at eighteen, thinking humans could get along without cruelty and violence? I rejoined the conversation with my more enlightened pals. “Yeah, have you heard what DARPA’s been working on?” Brian enthused. Conflicted son of a former Nixon staffer, he was obsessed with permutations of power. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was his current pet subject. “What the hell is that?” asked a skeptical Jordan, Brian’s pal. Military minutia had brought Brian and I together and carried me into his eclectic circle of friends. I had a fondness for martial stuff as my dad had surrounded me with it, and talked up our war-fightin’ ancestors. My interest in it had started to feel a bit incongruous though since I’d grown into an idealistic liberal. Brian considered himself a “social liberal and fiscal conservative.” I didn’t like him at first, I worried he was trying to steal my girlfriend. “I met this really interesting guy in class” she told me. Why would I want to hear that? When I met him I was wearing the Panzer Blitz T-shirt I’d mail-ordered from my beloved Avalon Hill game company of Baltimore. “Panzer Blitz!” Brian exclaimed, tapping the tank on my chest, “I used to play that!” I thought he was being condescending and implying he had grown out of such things. I hadn’t played the game myself for a couple years, but I thought the shirt design was cool and maybe even a little edgy. After Brian triggered my freshman insecurity, I quickly retired it from my wardrobe. Brian was thrilled my dad worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency, enjoyed hearing the weird beeps on our home phone line, and wanted to determine whose dad had the highest security level clearance. Did my dad have authorization for nuclear secrets? His did. At my girlfriend’s urging we were soon all hanging out. His cynicism seemed both informed and entertaining. He had been studying flight at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, but changed his mind after seeing the Space Shuttle Challenger blow up live. “DoD has this network of computers that can all talk to each other, and you can do anything from anywhere - you know, didn’t you see War Games?” he continued.
“So?” “So, in the future, once the private sector gets hold of this, you’ll be able to do everything from home – order your Armani, trade stocks, meet lovely ladies. It’s going to revolutionize everything. You should be a happy little environmentalist Robert – you won’t be able to get printed newspapers, magazines, or books anymore, it’ll all be on your computer. Think of all the precious trees that will be saved for you to hug! So, listen – are you listening, Robert, Jordan? If you’re smart little investors you will in get in on the ground floor and sink sick cash in the first company that commercializes this stuff. Of course, it takes money to make money, so that brings us back to my original premise that we’re all screwed.” “Uh, Brian, the stock market just collapsed, the Reagan bubble is bursting, and you’re talking about investing? Last month you were screaming about buying gold and digging a bunker!” Jordan retorted. “All cyclical Jordan, cyclical. You know that. You can’t kill the hydra-headed beast of Capitalism! Das Kapital!” “The government would never let this computer networking stuff slip from the military into the public’s hands – it’s too dangerous. I mean if Matthew Broderick can hack in and fuck shit up, imagine what the Soviets could do!” “The Soviets are the ones getting fucked, Jordan. Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. They can’t keep up with capitalist ingenuity. We are some sick, brilliant fuckers! The CIA arming those radical mujahedeen… genius! Oh by the way, my friends in LA say there’s a new Rambo movie in production, Stallone’s going to Afghanistan to shoot down Russian ‘copters on camel back. Raw. Anyway, I’d put money that the USSR gives up and joins the capitalist world by, oh… 1995 at the latest.” Brian left us shaking our heads as usual. At least his entertaining nonsense was a diversion from my earlier humiliation. On our way out I glanced at my tormentor, he seemed pretty sedated now though his pals were still guffawing around their table jammed with pitchers and pint glasses. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy? Maybe it was all just a misunderstanding, and he did truly want to defend America in all its diversity? I still wished him a horrid hangover the next day. I finally mentioned the run-in to Brian after we hopped into his RX-7 back to upper Northwest. “Robert! Why didn’t you say anything!? I love conflict, Robert! Thrive on it! I’m such a good sociopath that way.” He loved Brett Easton Ellis and Bright Lights, Big City a bit much. I told him I didn’t cherish confrontations, and the Marines had us outnumbered anyway. “Oh make no mistake Robert, I don’t enjoy getting my jaw wired shut. But if you would have just told me, I could have collected a posse of friends to even the odds! You know I run deep on the Hill.” I looked at an old issue of the free City Paper fading in his back seat. Would print ever really go away? I cynically realized that even if it did, that wouldn’t save any trees. Capitalism would find some other use for them anyway. Robert Dewitt Adams is a writer and multimedia artist out of Duluth, MN. He has an upcoming flash fiction piece in Aqueous Magazine 2015.
Sea Fog Strength begins to melt away at age three beneath white white skin. Your affections flame for red begonias a black kitten a pink dress. The world around you, Anna will always be gray, caramel, dusty yellow, pink, surprising flashes of red and blue. Forever fallen, bent into the shape of a comma, palms flat, crooked fingers curled and splayed, you cannot remember what came first, distance or your bone sickness. We see your back curved that way, carved that way, your thin pink dress cinched at your waist, your hand half reaching for home, off-center on the hill of east sweeping sunburned gold. Caught in middle movement, pulling forward or pushing up. We will never know, only hope to see you wave one last time through kitchen window panes. From the sea sand caramel hill, you need to reach the distant path. You will never stand up. You will always stand up. Salt-water wind lifts loose strands of hair. Swallows slip through barn windows, flashes of blue, a bucket, a bowl, your white lilies are a century old.
The kitten with large seeking yellow eyes sleeps in the sling of your hand against your breasts. You sit beneath waist length hair as knotted as your joints. A warm basin of water. A comb. Scissors. And he bows before you, framed by the open door. In the sunlight, you see pansies, poppies, and sweet peas. Your bare neck and a man's approval leave your white white bone carved cheeks warm and pink. Tina Higgins is a local Duluth poet and has an MFA from Hamlin University. She hosts open mic poetry and teaches writing in the northland. Melissa Weisser is also a local artist, she paints for music and for poems. Tina and Melissa created an art show last year featuring Tina’s poems and Melissa’s paintings. Sea Fog, and this painting were a part of that show at Beaner’s Coffee in Duluth.
“I was musing on the theme while cleaning our rabbit's cage. I thought maybe the soiled, repurposed newspapers could be a commentary on the decline of print media. Though newspapers have been used as 'fish wrappers' and such for centuries. I liked how the headline of affordable health care popped up in the middle amongst the bunny excrement, seems appropriate for all the crap Obamacare has been going through.” -Robert Dewitt Adams
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