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The Alétheia Literary and Arts publication, housed out of the Center for Creative Work, seeks to provide a voice for all students at the University of Houston by offering: a monthly online publication where students and their work are featured and showcased, semesterly chapbook releases, and more. We hope to nurture a lively, interdisciplinary arts environment. For exclusive content, student and alumni spotlights, or to submit to monthly, online editions, visit our website: www.thealetheiajournal.com The deadline for the Fall 2012 chapbook is: April 31st, 2012

The Alétheia Spring 2012 Editors Kristen Flack Edward Garza Megan Harrington Reyes Ramirez

Faculty Advisor Dr. John Harvey For more information and online content, please visit: www.thealetheiajournal.com Special Thanks to: Emina Šadić Sevala Šadić-Benton with Lone Star Mailing & Printing Cover art: The Buried Orchestra by Joshua Davis


Contents

The Alétheia would like to acknowledge and thank:

1 Ars Poetica by Zachary Doss

COOG Radio is a non-profit radio station operated and staffed by students from the University of Houston. COOG Radio not only provides a creative outlet for fellow students to express themselves over the air but also introduces them to the world of broadcasting. It is a point of pride for COOG Radio to promote and support artists and groups from Houston so as to instill a sense of community within the university and city. www.coogradio.com

2 Findings by Justin Carter 3 Napkin Poem by Darlene Campos Anatomia Cerebri by Joshua Davis 4-5 As a gull, torn / between heaven and earth by Angela Ellis 6 Paul by Nick Chan 7 A Dream I Had by John ‘Voltaire’ Paredes 8-9 (Centerfold) Various Pieces by Lindsey Slavin 10 A Dream I Had by John ‘Voltaire’ Paredes, continued 12-13 Dr. Pepper by Camila Cossio Motion Study by Adrienne Elyse Meyers 14 2:00 a.m. or Post Apocalyptic by Tyler Deaton 15 Sculpting by Kurt Lovelace 16 At Marfreless’ Bar in Houston, Texas by Kurt Lovelace

FUHA is a weekly web show about Houston made entirely by four UH students who love this city. As part of the 1394 channel FUHA’s goal is to bring to you entertainment and arts all centered around Houston, Texas. We cover food, art, writers, musicians, plays, beer and general happinessmaking. www.facebook.com/thefuha Specializing in arts marketing, Peacock Precision is one of the youngest, swiftest, most flexible, fastest-growing brand-building teams in the world. We are dedicated to launching, reformatting and publicizing artistic brands on the open markets, including arts journals, musicians, writers, theater companies and artistic designers in fields such as food and fashion. Peacock provides verbal and visual work including copy-writing, logo design, brochure design, public relations and events planning. www.peacockprecision.com Writers’ ReVision is an organization that aims to provide Houston’s emerging writers with a forum to share their voice, a foundation to hone their craft, and a community to encourage their enthusiasm. www.writersrevision.org

AvantGarden draws patrons both from surrounding Montrose and Museum District neighborhoods and from afar with its plethora of nightly events. Though a well kept secret (Avantgarden doesn’t advertise) the New York Times named AvantGarden as one of the top must visit spots in Houston. www.avantgardenhouston.com A nonprofit organization founded in 1983, Inprint fulfills this mission through the nationally renowned Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, the Cool Brains! Reading Series for Young People, through literary and educational activities in the community that demonstrate the value and impact of creative writing, and through support for the UH Creative Writing Program. www.inprinthouston.org Begun by Donald Barthelme and Phillip Lopate, Gulf Coast is the nationally- distributed journal housed within the University of Houston’s English Department, home to one of the nation’s top ranked creative writing programs. www.gulfcoastmag.com


At Marfreless’ Bar in Houston, Texas

Ars Poetica

by Kurt Lovelace

In a dim lit mural behind the bar, two swans amble in front of a plantation: its white house lies against the river, lonely

In the reflection of the museum lights The suits of armor look like spacemen Haloed in colorless halogen And I am in London last year in May Lost and searching for a tube station While the bitter wind of the Highlands Cuts through my inadequate sweater When I am 14 and waiting at a bus stop On a morning in February and the mist Is dank and settles between My fleece pullover and my inadequate skin And the ocean crashes While I wait on a bus Walking barefoot on the shore And biting someone’s bottom lip On a sandbar at 3 o’clock in the morning And the ocean crashes Somewhere far away and I am six And Mom wakes me up in the dark to take Dad Away, and as he disappears into the hangar He looks like he belongs in a movie And I think what a splendid adventure When I turn 18 and move across the country And after that I never see my father wear a uniform But I remember him walking away And last night I was driving to my friend’s house And I saw a carnival in the mall’s parking lot, The rusted skeletons of the rides washed out By thousands of white lights, Brighter and nearer than stars.

for the cover of more trees that the artist left out, as the rushing river empties into the dark dandelion breeze of rewritten histories. And I had wanted to see a single woman out, tonight, sitting alone, like me at the bar, looking at their life, the plantation, the swans swallowing small sips of whatever they find in front of themselves, any parts of a life that might make sense, tell me I have done the right things.

16

by Zachary Doss

for my parents

1


Findings

Sculpting

after Harpers by Justin Carter

by Kurt Lovelace

Caffeine is found to raise the speed of the human heart. Although known for many years, there has not, as of the date of publication, been a mandate to include warning labels. Warning labels, too, are found to cause a rise in heartbeat. Scientists are unsure which is the lesser of the two evils. Sometimes I think I know but I am unsure also. My heart beats quickly but I have not consumed a Dr. Pepper in almost three weeks. This is a lie. Metal cans may cause minor brain damage, as demonstrated by a study of laboratory mice. If PETA asks, these laboratory mice did not suffer any injuries. Animal rights groups may cause the speed of the heart to rise. Everything might. Watching horror films is found to slow down the speed of the heartbeat. That is a lie. Science is found to sometimes give us the wrong answer. This may also speed up the heart. I am sitting in a girl’s bedroom and she is wearing a stethoscope and she is listening to the iambic pentameter of my body. Everything is a lie. Scientists warn this may not be good for my health either, lying. The art of the lie. The art of the line. Scientists in Singapore say that the sparrows are dropping dead. Something has been eating the hearts of the dead sparrows. This is causing my heart to pound inside my body like the rhythmic pounding of fingers on a keyboard. Blue-breasted sparrows in Singapore are dead. We have established this. Strenuous sexual activity may be to blame, a lone scientist in Belive has said. The sun is growing dim at a rate that has increased steadily every year since my birth. This cannot be proven via the scientific method.The sun grew brighter the year I loved you. Scientists say they have isolated the protein that causes me to feel queasy and insecure whenever I am around you. Reading lists are contributing to the dumbing down of the American education system. I did not read any of the assigned books or, if I did, I have failed to remember. Being a product of the American education system is found to cause memory loss in ~78% of students. This might be true. I made it up but it might be true. American children are more likely to fall completely in love but also more likely to never find love. I am an American child. The system has failed me. The system has fixed me. Researchers in Patagonia say the penguin population is dwindling rapidly and love may be to blame. Myself in Texas says I am dwindling rapidly and love may be to blame.

2

The cost of involvement is you get involved and there she is and you’re her painting garden her kitchen things on her desk at the office and she’s looking how it’s all arranged your colors the smell of your herbs why your dishes aren’t put away are your pencils sharpened then she sees carrots need planting, the rhubarb must go, suddenly you need new dishes. Then you start drunk serious writing poems about the cost of involvement how her lips are not cherries but red angry commandments painted in a delightful rouge to elicit your obeisance so softly her requests patter and when her such and such of such words fall your obeisance yawns lifts up its arms at her smiling she sculpts you and one night reads your poems and thinks that they are very pretty. But you are drunk and serious you keep the gun in the drawer.

15


2:00 a.m. or Post Apocalyptic

The Napkin Poem

Man still chained to rise and fall with the sun; streetlamps burn orange for possums scurrying cross roads or the armadillo’s carcass. Man

I miss you like trees ache for their leaves in fall. Notre Dame rings for its hunchback. France fondly remembers Charles de Gaulle. At night, the roses yearn to see their beloved sun. Or how the night cries during a new moon, Before Al Capone discovered the Tommy gun. Just as the drought wants its rain, The pavement can recall when it wasn’t cracked, Before the beast Chernobyl terrorized Ukraine. As much as Jurgis of ‘The Jungle’ mourned for his wife, How Winston begged for Julia back in ‘1984’, Before Dorian Gray became a mess at life. I miss you more than trees, who want their leaves when winter is near, These trees are luckier than I am. I’m not sure if my leaf will be back next year.

by Tyler Deaton

sleeps and dreams broken images of days, like mowers churning weeds, as frogs and crickets onomatopoeia into midnight concertos. Man confined to traffic, has his cycle synced by red lights and murmuring horns; drive personified by a plethora of exhausted tanks—Man shuns bartender strolling out high moon, a straggling couple newly formed, broken or popped out of some Matrix. Bar Man lowers his tinted window to feel closer to anything while his vehicle rolls and hums unimpeded by the dreams of those not dreaming—

14

by Darlene Campos

3


As a gull, torn between heaven and earth by Angela Ellis

Today, they called and said that Mother, she is not doing well. She speaks less sense than nonsense now and today, they thought I ought to come and say hello. So I went to the sunken blue chair by her bed, but she was not lying like the near-dead on the television do; she stood staring out the window, as a child disinterested in the day’s lesson and as I spoke her name softly, so softly she spun from the windowsill and for a moment, her hair whirled like it used to: around, around like it used to whirl: around a round face that shadows began chiseling their dues from so many years ago… “Mother, how are you feeling today?” was all I could ever wonder aloud but it was always to a back that was again turning to stare out the window as a child in the across-street park climbed onto the merry-go-round and around he went. “Mother,” I said, “you know, I read an article today, over coffee this morning. It said they’re awarding the Nobel to three guys who proved the universe is expanding faster, always faster… We don’t know what to do.”

4

his house he told me his mom was making tacos. They were orange and hard shelled and had ground beef and stuff like that. They weren’t bad or anything, but that’s not a taco. Todd’s friend’s like Panera too. We all went once, near the end of senior year. I was depressed because I got waitlisted into Sarah Lawrence and out of nowhere Todd started courting me. I think it’s because we had a class one year, like Junior year, and I was talking about The Big Lebowski and no one knew what I was talking about and thenTodd walked over and started saying shit like “I don’t fucking roll on Shabbos man!” and “He peed on your fucking carpet!” And I went along with it because I love The Big Lebowski. So when he texted me to go to Panera I said yes even though I didn’t really know him, and I’ve never really been attracted to fat people. Todd and all his friends ordered Dr. Pepper. I’ve never met anyone as obsessed with soda as Todd. At first I thought it was kind of adorable but now it kills me. Like the way everything kills Holden, that’s how much it kills me. He’s always dehydrated and his lips are always chapped and he’s never hungry because he’s always full on fucking Dr. Pepper. But how could I resist? He taught me the meaning of a Tercel and he’d sophisticatedly spurt meaningless wonders out of his Texas teeth, “A donut without a hole is a Danish.” And I’d just stand there, staring at this fat gringo’s bright blue eyes, mesmerized. Mi chanchito pibil. The one thing I have in common with my fellow Latin American’s is how we don’t understand Dr. Pepper. I told Todd this once, how my friends from Bolivia and Argentina all agree that Dr. Pepper tastes like toothpaste. He was totally offended. He just didn’t

understand. This one time I texted him my favorite Manu Chau song, “Me gusta la moto, me gustas tu. Me gusta correr, me gustas tu. Me gusta la lluvia, me gustas tu.” And Todd, oh my Todd, my little bolillo, just had to say, “That’s some nice Portuguese you got there.” I couldn’t even see Panera Bread’s menu. I never wore my glasses because they left this dent on the tip of my nose that was really hard to cover with concealer. My sister hates her nose because she thinks it’s too fat and whenever she laughs her nostrils flare like crazy and she looks like some Komodo Dragon woman. I hate my nose too because it’s tiny and useless. I’ve always admired people that have prominent noses, like Roman noses, or big, sexy Israeli-desert dweller noses. His nose looks like mine. It’s small and round and not-threatening. Porcelain-doll-esque. He was wearing a top-hat that first night at Panera. Thankfully he took it off when we sat down because it looked really stupid. I’m not sure what my deal was. I mean he was wearing a fucking top-hat. And the guy was chubby, like truffle-shuffle chubby, and who falls asleep during the English-Literature AP Exam? Todd had a stupid porcelain-doll nose and stupid porcelain-doll skin that I knew needed sunscreen if it didn’t want to get all red the way porcelain skin does if it stays out all day hanging out at Free Press, and there I was— me, in love with fucking Aragorn when he’s slashing all the Mordor orcs with the Sword of Elendil —dying over this guy, this guy who never pronounces the “ing’s” of words—bondin’ bitin’ ballin’ breathin’ bein’— this guy, with fucking Dr. Pepper in his squishy stretchy belly, with Dr. Pepper in his cantaloupe heart.

13


Dr. Pepper by Camila Cossio

Todd really likes Panera Bread. He likes it a lot. He likes stuff that looks healthy. I think I realized this the first time we went to Chuy’s. We hadn’t been together that long so we were still really cute—like taking pictures in parking lots cute and giggling when “Something” from The Beatles came on the radio cute. He’d randomly charm me, “I like what you did with your eyebrows,” and my little Mexican heart would flutter uncontrollably. I’d have to force myself to think of specifics to calm my corazón, mi corazón de melón de melón melón melón, to revert back to reason: my dumb D on an art history essay over Byzantine art and my dumb Maltese pissing on my beautiful Andean purse with purple and orange llamas floating around in the undulating corners. I was pretty excited about Chuy’s. I had never been and the decorations were really colorful and I love all that shit. Like if I see a book with a cover that’s all girly and swirly I’ll buy it without bothering with quality. Todd kept dipping his tortilla chips in this guacamole thing and it was really grossing me out because it was not guacamole. Whenever stuff like that happens I get really pretentious about being Mexican. I love how the Mexican’s

I know say “El D.F.” all casually and Mexicanly. I’ve tried but I always feel stupid and end up saying “El Districto Federal” and then I clarify that El Districto Federal is Mexico City. Last time I was in Mexico City I saw all my fat aunts make guacamole. They’re really annoying and have no idea what portions mean, but they make good guacamole— chopping up delicious onions and mixing them around with delicious lime and delicious Mexican avocados. I was always confused when I was little because my Mexican family calls avocados aguacate and my Bolivian side calls them palta. I didn’t understand how both of those words could mean the same thing. And then in the first grade I realized that nothing was ever going to make sense to me when my first grade teacher was teaching us about the Tooth Fairy. I was sitting there, staring at a picture of this little blonde pixie girl with wings—the Tooth Fairy—and I wanted to cry because I always thought El Ratón Perez, a scruffy mouse who seemed way nicer than the Tooth Fairy, put a dollar bill under my pillow whenever I lost my little teeth. ¡Ay Jalisco, no te rajes! I guess it makes sense that Todd doesn’t know the difference between good guacamole and not-real guacamole. The first time I ate dinner at

12

She cocked her head at the boy as though listening to his laugh through the glass. “Mother, do you remember the watch you bought me when I was 6?” Because science class said it was actually us who were circling around the sun and when I told her how sick it made me, she laughed and said that it’s not just that, but we were circling the sun and spinning around ourselves, always spinning slightly further from the center we thought we had had with each second and when I was 6, she put the watch on my wrist and said, Listen. (tick) This is the closest you will ever be (again)— “Mother, do you remember that?” and she laughed as the child on the merry-go-round stopped spinning, and she laughed and she turned and she whirled, always whirling and (tick) she spun further, too far and she screamed: tick! (tick) tock, clock, lock— and she clanged, and she crashed, and she slid to the floor to knees too skinny to kneel, bones sawing against flesh on the floor, and “Nurse!” I yelled, “Nurse!” while the clock on the wall echoed the tick in my wrist (tick)— and listen: today was the closest we will ever be (again).

5


Paul

by Nick Chan There is as native a Houstonian As has ever lived. He is the Adam of his fallen Eden. He is Paul, The “Payphone Priest” of Memorial Park. Paul lives in a thicket by the bayou, Hunting for squirrels or spare change or cigarettes. Paul once told me where we come from: “We are all potential energy. We are made of the stars. Someday I will catch a star And be on my way out of here.” Paul was once a barber in Kentucky. He came to Houston with some friends Who left him here, alone. That was sometime in the ‘80s. He thinks my name is Elliot. When he sleeps, he says, the heavens thickly Crowd his ceiling And listen to the music of his breathing. He snores the same blue notes of a sad sax And he shares a soul with Coltrane. The moon is his only mistress. She is harsh, but she is loyal. She whispers in pale tones the measures of his regret – The times he can never go back to without being crushed Underneath their heaviness.

Electric

by Zachary Doss Can you still kill yourself By sitting in a closed garage With a running car? The other day, someone told me “You can’t stick your head in an oven Anymore.” It’s electric. Modernity is forcing us to become Inventive, everything is Electric. My blow dryer has a special switch Or something, if it gets wet It turns off. Or so I’ve heard. What is it about Living in a world that refuses To kill you? Everything is electric, Everything has a kill switch, A not-kill switch, birds Can safely sit on power lines Because they aren’t grounded, Won’t pass a current. Or is it Because their bones are hollow?

In the afternoons, Paul watches the well-manicured yuppies Running through the park, his face blank, His mind pulls thoughts from the Aether. Between bites of a burger with a fried egg on top, With bits of yolk nested in his beard, He says he’s seen the cardboard box Where Freedom curls up to sleep at night.

6

11


Paul

by Nick Chan There is as native a Houstonian As has ever lived. He is the Adam of his fallen Eden. He is Paul, The “Payphone Priest” of Memorial Park. Paul lives in a thicket by the bayou, Hunting for squirrels or spare change or cigarettes. Paul once told me where we come from: “We are all potential energy. We are made of the stars. Someday I will catch a star And be on my way out of here.” Paul was once a barber in Kentucky. He came to Houston with some friends Who left him here, alone. That was sometime in the ‘80s. He thinks my name is Elliot. When he sleeps, he says, the heavens thickly Crowd his ceiling And listen to the music of his breathing. He snores the same blue notes of a sad sax And he shares a soul with Coltrane. The moon is his only mistress. She is harsh, but she is loyal. She whispers in pale tones the measures of his regret – The times he can never go back to without being crushed Underneath their heaviness.

Electric

by Zachary Doss Can you still kill yourself By sitting in a closed garage With a running car? The other day, someone told me “You can’t stick your head in an oven Anymore.” It’s electric. Modernity is forcing us to become Inventive, everything is Electric. My blow dryer has a special switch Or something, if it gets wet It turns off. Or so I’ve heard. What is it about Living in a world that refuses To kill you? Everything is electric, Everything has a kill switch, A not-kill switch, birds Can safely sit on power lines Because they aren’t grounded, Won’t pass a current. Or is it Because their bones are hollow?

In the afternoons, Paul watches the well-manicured yuppies Running through the park, his face blank, His mind pulls thoughts from the Aether. Between bites of a burger with a fried egg on top, With bits of yolk nested in his beard, He says he’s seen the cardboard box Where Freedom curls up to sleep at night.

6

11


Dr. Pepper by Camila Cossio

Todd really likes Panera Bread. He likes it a lot. He likes stuff that looks healthy. I think I realized this the first time we went to Chuy’s. We hadn’t been together that long so we were still really cute—like taking pictures in parking lots cute and giggling when “Something” from The Beatles came on the radio cute. He’d randomly charm me, “I like what you did with your eyebrows,” and my little Mexican heart would flutter uncontrollably. I’d have to force myself to think of specifics to calm my corazón, mi corazón de melón de melón melón melón, to revert back to reason: my dumb D on an art history essay over Byzantine art and my dumb Maltese pissing on my beautiful Andean purse with purple and orange llamas floating around in the undulating corners. I was pretty excited about Chuy’s. I had never been and the decorations were really colorful and I love all that shit. Like if I see a book with a cover that’s all girly and swirly I’ll buy it without bothering with quality. Todd kept dipping his tortilla chips in this guacamole thing and it was really grossing me out because it was not guacamole. Whenever stuff like that happens I get really pretentious about being Mexican. I love how the Mexican’s

I know say “El D.F.” all casually and Mexicanly. I’ve tried but I always feel stupid and end up saying “El Districto Federal” and then I clarify that El Districto Federal is Mexico City. Last time I was in Mexico City I saw all my fat aunts make guacamole. They’re really annoying and have no idea what portions mean, but they make good guacamole— chopping up delicious onions and mixing them around with delicious lime and delicious Mexican avocados. I was always confused when I was little because my Mexican family calls avocados aguacate and my Bolivian side calls them palta. I didn’t understand how both of those words could mean the same thing. And then in the first grade I realized that nothing was ever going to make sense to me when my first grade teacher was teaching us about the Tooth Fairy. I was sitting there, staring at a picture of this little blonde pixie girl with wings—the Tooth Fairy—and I wanted to cry because I always thought El Ratón Perez, a scruffy mouse who seemed way nicer than the Tooth Fairy, put a dollar bill under my pillow whenever I lost my little teeth. ¡Ay Jalisco, no te rajes! I guess it makes sense that Todd doesn’t know the difference between good guacamole and not-real guacamole. The first time I ate dinner at

12

She cocked her head at the boy as though listening to his laugh through the glass. “Mother, do you remember the watch you bought me when I was 6?” Because science class said it was actually us who were circling around the sun and when I told her how sick it made me, she laughed and said that it’s not just that, but we were circling the sun and spinning around ourselves, always spinning slightly further from the center we thought we had had with each second and when I was 6, she put the watch on my wrist and said, Listen. (tick) This is the closest you will ever be (again)— “Mother, do you remember that?” and she laughed as the child on the merry-go-round stopped spinning, and she laughed and she turned and she whirled, always whirling and (tick) she spun further, too far and she screamed: tick! (tick) tock, clock, lock— and she clanged, and she crashed, and she slid to the floor to knees too skinny to kneel, bones sawing against flesh on the floor, and “Nurse!” I yelled, “Nurse!” while the clock on the wall echoed the tick in my wrist (tick)— and listen: today was the closest we will ever be (again).

5


As a gull, torn between heaven and earth by Angela Ellis

Today, they called and said that Mother, she is not doing well. She speaks less sense than nonsense now and today, they thought I ought to come and say hello. So I went to the sunken blue chair by her bed, but she was not lying like the near-dead on the television do; she stood staring out the window, as a child disinterested in the day’s lesson and as I spoke her name softly, so softly she spun from the windowsill and for a moment, her hair whirled like it used to: around, around like it used to whirl: around a round face that shadows began chiseling their dues from so many years ago… “Mother, how are you feeling today?” was all I could ever wonder aloud but it was always to a back that was again turning to stare out the window as a child in the across-street park climbed onto the merry-go-round and around he went. “Mother,” I said, “you know, I read an article today, over coffee this morning. It said they’re awarding the Nobel to three guys who proved the universe is expanding faster, always faster… We don’t know what to do.”

4

his house he told me his mom was making tacos. They were orange and hard shelled and had ground beef and stuff like that. They weren’t bad or anything, but that’s not a taco. Todd’s friend’s like Panera too. We all went once, near the end of senior year. I was depressed because I got waitlisted into Sarah Lawrence and out of nowhere Todd started courting me. I think it’s because we had a class one year, like Junior year, and I was talking about The Big Lebowski and no one knew what I was talking about and thenTodd walked over and started saying shit like “I don’t fucking roll on Shabbos man!” and “He peed on your fucking carpet!” And I went along with it because I love The Big Lebowski. So when he texted me to go to Panera I said yes even though I didn’t really know him, and I’ve never really been attracted to fat people. Todd and all his friends ordered Dr. Pepper. I’ve never met anyone as obsessed with soda as Todd. At first I thought it was kind of adorable but now it kills me. Like the way everything kills Holden, that’s how much it kills me. He’s always dehydrated and his lips are always chapped and he’s never hungry because he’s always full on fucking Dr. Pepper. But how could I resist? He taught me the meaning of a Tercel and he’d sophisticatedly spurt meaningless wonders out of his Texas teeth, “A donut without a hole is a Danish.” And I’d just stand there, staring at this fat gringo’s bright blue eyes, mesmerized. Mi chanchito pibil. The one thing I have in common with my fellow Latin American’s is how we don’t understand Dr. Pepper. I told Todd this once, how my friends from Bolivia and Argentina all agree that Dr. Pepper tastes like toothpaste. He was totally offended. He just didn’t

understand. This one time I texted him my favorite Manu Chau song, “Me gusta la moto, me gustas tu. Me gusta correr, me gustas tu. Me gusta la lluvia, me gustas tu.” And Todd, oh my Todd, my little bolillo, just had to say, “That’s some nice Portuguese you got there.” I couldn’t even see Panera Bread’s menu. I never wore my glasses because they left this dent on the tip of my nose that was really hard to cover with concealer. My sister hates her nose because she thinks it’s too fat and whenever she laughs her nostrils flare like crazy and she looks like some Komodo Dragon woman. I hate my nose too because it’s tiny and useless. I’ve always admired people that have prominent noses, like Roman noses, or big, sexy Israeli-desert dweller noses. His nose looks like mine. It’s small and round and not-threatening. Porcelain-doll-esque. He was wearing a top-hat that first night at Panera. Thankfully he took it off when we sat down because it looked really stupid. I’m not sure what my deal was. I mean he was wearing a fucking top-hat. And the guy was chubby, like truffle-shuffle chubby, and who falls asleep during the English-Literature AP Exam? Todd had a stupid porcelain-doll nose and stupid porcelain-doll skin that I knew needed sunscreen if it didn’t want to get all red the way porcelain skin does if it stays out all day hanging out at Free Press, and there I was— me, in love with fucking Aragorn when he’s slashing all the Mordor orcs with the Sword of Elendil —dying over this guy, this guy who never pronounces the “ing’s” of words—bondin’ bitin’ ballin’ breathin’ bein’— this guy, with fucking Dr. Pepper in his squishy stretchy belly, with Dr. Pepper in his cantaloupe heart.

13


2:00 a.m. or Post Apocalyptic

The Napkin Poem

Man still chained to rise and fall with the sun; streetlamps burn orange for possums scurrying cross roads or the armadillo’s carcass. Man

I miss you like trees ache for their leaves in fall. Notre Dame rings for its hunchback. France fondly remembers Charles de Gaulle. At night, the roses yearn to see their beloved sun. Or how the night cries during a new moon, Before Al Capone discovered the Tommy gun. Just as the drought wants its rain, The pavement can recall when it wasn’t cracked, Before the beast Chernobyl terrorized Ukraine. As much as Jurgis of ‘The Jungle’ mourned for his wife, How Winston begged for Julia back in ‘1984’, Before Dorian Gray became a mess at life. I miss you more than trees, who want their leaves when winter is near, These trees are luckier than I am. I’m not sure if my leaf will be back next year.

by Tyler Deaton

sleeps and dreams broken images of days, like mowers churning weeds, as frogs and crickets onomatopoeia into midnight concertos. Man confined to traffic, has his cycle synced by red lights and murmuring horns; drive personified by a plethora of exhausted tanks—Man shuns bartender strolling out high moon, a straggling couple newly formed, broken or popped out of some Matrix. Bar Man lowers his tinted window to feel closer to anything while his vehicle rolls and hums unimpeded by the dreams of those not dreaming—

14

by Darlene Campos

3


Findings

Sculpting

after Harpers by Justin Carter

by Kurt Lovelace

Caffeine is found to raise the speed of the human heart. Although known for many years, there has not, as of the date of publication, been a mandate to include warning labels. Warning labels, too, are found to cause a rise in heartbeat. Scientists are unsure which is the lesser of the two evils. Sometimes I think I know but I am unsure also. My heart beats quickly but I have not consumed a Dr. Pepper in almost three weeks. This is a lie. Metal cans may cause minor brain damage, as demonstrated by a study of laboratory mice. If PETA asks, these laboratory mice did not suffer any injuries. Animal rights groups may cause the speed of the heart to rise. Everything might. Watching horror films is found to slow down the speed of the heartbeat. That is a lie. Science is found to sometimes give us the wrong answer. This may also speed up the heart. I am sitting in a girl’s bedroom and she is wearing a stethoscope and she is listening to the iambic pentameter of my body. Everything is a lie. Scientists warn this may not be good for my health either, lying. The art of the lie. The art of the line. Scientists in Singapore say that the sparrows are dropping dead. Something has been eating the hearts of the dead sparrows. This is causing my heart to pound inside my body like the rhythmic pounding of fingers on a keyboard. Blue-breasted sparrows in Singapore are dead. We have established this. Strenuous sexual activity may be to blame, a lone scientist in Belive has said. The sun is growing dim at a rate that has increased steadily every year since my birth. This cannot be proven via the scientific method.The sun grew brighter the year I loved you. Scientists say they have isolated the protein that causes me to feel queasy and insecure whenever I am around you. Reading lists are contributing to the dumbing down of the American education system. I did not read any of the assigned books or, if I did, I have failed to remember. Being a product of the American education system is found to cause memory loss in ~78% of students. This might be true. I made it up but it might be true. American children are more likely to fall completely in love but also more likely to never find love. I am an American child. The system has failed me. The system has fixed me. Researchers in Patagonia say the penguin population is dwindling rapidly and love may be to blame. Myself in Texas says I am dwindling rapidly and love may be to blame.

2

The cost of involvement is you get involved and there she is and you’re her painting garden her kitchen things on her desk at the office and she’s looking how it’s all arranged your colors the smell of your herbs why your dishes aren’t put away are your pencils sharpened then she sees carrots need planting, the rhubarb must go, suddenly you need new dishes. Then you start drunk serious writing poems about the cost of involvement how her lips are not cherries but red angry commandments painted in a delightful rouge to elicit your obeisance so softly her requests patter and when her such and such of such words fall your obeisance yawns lifts up its arms at her smiling she sculpts you and one night reads your poems and thinks that they are very pretty. But you are drunk and serious you keep the gun in the drawer.

15


At Marfreless’ Bar in Houston, Texas

Ars Poetica

by Kurt Lovelace

In a dim lit mural behind the bar, two swans amble in front of a plantation: its white house lies against the river, lonely

In the reflection of the museum lights The suits of armor look like spacemen Haloed in colorless halogen And I am in London last year in May Lost and searching for a tube station While the bitter wind of the Highlands Cuts through my inadequate sweater When I am 14 and waiting at a bus stop On a morning in February and the mist Is dank and settles between My fleece pullover and my inadequate skin And the ocean crashes While I wait on a bus Walking barefoot on the shore And biting someone’s bottom lip On a sandbar at 3 o’clock in the morning And the ocean crashes Somewhere far away and I am six And Mom wakes me up in the dark to take Dad Away, and as he disappears into the hangar He looks like he belongs in a movie And I think what a splendid adventure When I turn 18 and move across the country And after that I never see my father wear a uniform But I remember him walking away And last night I was driving to my friend’s house And I saw a carnival in the mall’s parking lot, The rusted skeletons of the rides washed out By thousands of white lights, Brighter and nearer than stars.

for the cover of more trees that the artist left out, as the rushing river empties into the dark dandelion breeze of rewritten histories. And I had wanted to see a single woman out, tonight, sitting alone, like me at the bar, looking at their life, the plantation, the swans swallowing small sips of whatever they find in front of themselves, any parts of a life that might make sense, tell me I have done the right things.

16

by Zachary Doss

for my parents

1


Contents

The Alétheia would like to acknowledge and thank:

1 Ars Poetica by Zachary Doss

COOG Radio is a non-profit radio station operated and staffed by students from the University of Houston. COOG Radio not only provides a creative outlet for fellow students to express themselves over the air but also introduces them to the world of broadcasting. It is a point of pride for COOG Radio to promote and support artists and groups from Houston so as to instill a sense of community within the university and city. www.coogradio.com

2 Findings by Justin Carter 3 Napkin Poem by Darlene Campos Anatomia Cerebri by Joshua Davis 4-5 As a gull, torn / between heaven and earth by Angela Ellis 6 Paul by Nick Chan 7 A Dream I Had by John ‘Voltaire’ Paredes 8-9 (Centerfold) Various Pieces by Lindsey Slavin 10 A Dream I Had by John ‘Voltaire’ Paredes, continued 12-13 Dr. Pepper by Camila Cossio Motion Study by Adrienne Elyse Meyers 14 2:00 a.m. or Post Apocalyptic by Tyler Deaton 15 Sculpting by Kurt Lovelace 16 At Marfreless’ Bar in Houston, Texas by Kurt Lovelace

FUHA is a weekly web show about Houston made entirely by four UH students who love this city. As part of the 1394 channel FUHA’s goal is to bring to you entertainment and arts all centered around Houston, Texas. We cover food, art, writers, musicians, plays, beer and general happinessmaking. www.facebook.com/thefuha Specializing in arts marketing, Peacock Precision is one of the youngest, swiftest, most flexible, fastest-growing brand-building teams in the world. We are dedicated to launching, reformatting and publicizing artistic brands on the open markets, including arts journals, musicians, writers, theater companies and artistic designers in fields such as food and fashion. Peacock provides verbal and visual work including copy-writing, logo design, brochure design, public relations and events planning. www.peacockprecision.com Writers’ ReVision is an organization that aims to provide Houston’s emerging writers with a forum to share their voice, a foundation to hone their craft, and a community to encourage their enthusiasm. www.writersrevision.org

AvantGarden draws patrons both from surrounding Montrose and Museum District neighborhoods and from afar with its plethora of nightly events. Though a well kept secret (Avantgarden doesn’t advertise) the New York Times named AvantGarden as one of the top must visit spots in Houston. www.avantgardenhouston.com A nonprofit organization founded in 1983, Inprint fulfills this mission through the nationally renowned Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, the Cool Brains! Reading Series for Young People, through literary and educational activities in the community that demonstrate the value and impact of creative writing, and through support for the UH Creative Writing Program. www.inprinthouston.org Begun by Donald Barthelme and Phillip Lopate, Gulf Coast is the nationally- distributed journal housed within the University of Houston’s English Department, home to one of the nation’s top ranked creative writing programs. www.gulfcoastmag.com


The Alétheia Literary and Arts publication, housed out of the Center for Creative Work, seeks to provide a voice for all students at the University of Houston by offering: a monthly online publication where students and their work are featured and showcased, semesterly chapbook releases, and more. We hope to nurture a lively, interdisciplinary arts environment. For exclusive content, student and alumni spotlights, or to submit to monthly, online editions, visit our website: www.thealetheiajournal.com The deadline for the Fall 2012 chapbook is: April 31st, 2012

The Alétheia Spring 2012 Editors Kristen Flack Edward Garza Megan Harrington Reyes Ramirez

Faculty Advisor Dr. John Harvey For more information and online content, please visit: www.thealetheiajournal.com Special Thanks to: Emina Šadić Sevala Šadić-Benton with Lone Star Mailing & Printing Cover art: The Buried Orchestra by Joshua Davis


The Aletheia Volume 2  

The Aletheia's 2nd chapbook.

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