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The Bushwick Review V Spring/Summer 2015 Copyright © 2015 the authors Design by Tim Vienckowski

Dear Readers, creative work reveals a different W E L C O M E to The part of them. It’s a mysterious and Bushwick Review V. This life-affirming thing, a chance to see is the fifth issue of The Bushwick Review, a side of a person that you might not in everyday but the first where I interactions. suggested a theme to In the last year, I have put the back issues of the contributors. The The Bushwick Review online, as simple PDFs. The theme was “code,” a current issue usually remains only available in word they could interprint, but in keeping with the code theme, this pret any way they time it will be secretly available online as well. wanted or not at all. But you need to have the password, found on page It’s funny, when 26. Enter that password at thebushwickreview.com/V I have a theme on my for a PDF version, which allows you the option of mind, suddenly I see it reading this zine either online or IRL, and the everywhere—in other ability to enjoy its stark, 8-bit, ASCII-esque design by Tim Vienckpeople’s work, daily conversations, and trending stories on social owski on paper or media. It’s all damn code. Everything’s not what your favorite digital it seems, everything’s got a hidden message, and I screen. was curious to crack it all. I found myself with multiple browser tabs open, hoping to acquire at ♥☺☼⌂↕▲, least Wikipedia level-knowledge about bitcoins, Kristen Felicetti Cicada 3301, generative art, and concerns over global surveillance and internet freedom. thebushwickreview.com But besides all the computer and internet stuff, bushwickreview@gmail.com the glitch and cryptographic algorithms, there’s some real code in the way people talk to each Thank you to Joel other. I am interested in our attempts to commuAlter, Michele nicate, subtext, silence, struggles to articulate Rosenthal, and Jean thoughts, and efforts to translate inner experiStevens for their copy ences or thoughts into art. I like the way people’s editing assistance. 02


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Vincent Peppers On Marriag A F T E R O U R W E D D I N G Robin didn’t want to have sex with me. She looked up from her reclined spot on the couch, the spot I’m in now, with an expression that said we were more friends than newlyweds. I tried to be sexual, but came off as clumsy or creepy, and on occasion, both. I stopped her from walking into the bathroom one night and kind of pinned B Y her against the door frame, which I had seen in a movie. My fingers S H A N E snagged her hair and yanked her head J O N E S backward against the door frame. She yelped, slapped my chest, and asked what I was doing. “Being sexual?” I asked. Or the time I rolled over in bed and went to whisper in her ear, I’m going to fuck you good and hard (got 04

this advice from my co-worker, Trent “Legs” Geary), but something must have shifted in my body because I choked. I coughed hard into her ear after saying I’m going to fuck and spit up a chunky pool of cheese crackers, which luckily, I caught on my shoulder. She slept on the couch that night, which is even worse than me, the man, deciding to sleep on the couch. But here’s what truly hurt. It didn’t have to do with Robin. The truth I didn’t know how to touch

anything was that my wife. For months she talked about sleeping with her ex-boyfriend,


e a pharmacist named Phil who lived three blocks away. I never could argue with Robin. It’s only sex, she said. People were sexual creatures, and if our relationship was strong enough it could survive something merely physical. She said at least she was open about wanting to sleep with someone else. Wouldn’t things be worse for her to do it behind my back and never tell me? Nope. It’s hard to say why someone shouldn’t sleep with someone else, because people can do whatever they want. You

don’t own your husband or wife. You don’t own a body. You don’t own anything in this life. For men, it’s ego that gets in the way and the inability to communicate feelings. I kind of understood that. My responses would be things like But we’re married, and, If we love each other, we should sleep with each other, not other people, and, But you’re my wife? And if you think about it, think really hard, think so hard you kind of erase yourself, you realize those kind of sayings don’t mean a thing. I spoke in clichés and hated myself. I told her to do whatever she wanted because a person could. Some guys can handle cheating. Not me. After it happened we had a talk where I didn’t talk. What could I say? I was mad, and frustrated, and she wore a black knit top that covered her jeans to her knees. She said she wasn’t sorry while crying. I walked Bleecker Street and felt numb. I went to a restaurant and ordered a pastrami sandwich with double meat and a boiling cup of chicken noodle soup. You know what really gets you when you eat out alone? It happens before you even sit down. It happens when the waiter or hostess the relationship. How lifts their face to ask the man wasn’t imporyou “how many” and you tant and affairs were respond “just me.” accepted because the We attended therapy institution of marriage for a month. The wasn’t widely accepted. therapist would ask how Robin said Guess I I felt and I’d say Bad, should have lived in and she’d urge me to those times. I walked expand on the feeling, into the bathroom, dig the feeling up and fell to my knees, and tear it apart and talk. punched the carpet in I’d stare at the bowl front of the toilet. of M&M’s on the table Look at me getting until she moved on to all sappy talking about Robin. I’d count the something so boring and few blue ones. Maybe a average I can almost therapist thing-see taste oatmeal. Sometimes I have what color people took, thoughts of being an which was blue. What old man, and I’m alone, does that even mean? and what will Robin be Was I missing some doing then? Will she be secret code? happy? Yes, she will be A few weeks after very happy. But are we another man stuck his just going to become dick into my wife’s old faces, sitting in vagina, Robin and I different locations in watched a television the city, waiting to show about the Renaisdie? Yes, yes we are, sance. One segment and that’s okay, I discussed women as think.█ the dominant role in THE

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Dad’s Safe

family’s address. Not too creative, but hey. 1-2-5-6. It was the code to everything. He made it his code too. He liked the swoosh the numbers made when he unlocked his phone. He always smiled when it was 12:56 on his watch. Sometimes he made a wish. “Why won’t I open this?” He knew the code. He knew the stakes. Dad was a coin collector, baseball card collector. Stamps. Anything could be in there. Bonds, jewelry, cash. Anything. “Why won’t I?” What if it was empty? What if what was inside tarnished his view of his hero? What if these secrets inside were simply saved forever? If he opened the box, it was over. Nothing left. Opening it would be worse than closing the casket. No more questions. No more advice to seek or 1 - 2 - 5 - 6. It had to be. No question. It wasn’t secrets to confide. No written down anywhere. It wasn’t in the will. But more Dad mystery that he knew. 1-2-5-6. he admired. 1-2-5-6. He sat with the old lock box on his lap. It was He reluctantly mashed anxiously heavy. The only light remaining in his the first number. It was old basement was swinging from a chain above his hard to turn through the head. It still smelled the same. Strange. But made rust but once he got it sense. started, much easier. The rest of the house had been cleared and 1. The second was even everything else was harder to turn. As if thrown away or donated it knew it shouldn’t or fought over by the move. 1-2. “Should I?” cousins. The small safe B Y B R A N D O N The 5 gave way easwas the only thing left. F E R R A R O ily. It knew. 1-2-5. He didn’t shake it. He The 6 was eventually hated when people did convinced to move next to its friends that with presents. He sat. His leg all in a row. 1-2-5-6. A small click. started to fall asleep. He realized He unhinged the final clasp. The door the absurdity of the drama he created instinctively peeked open an inch. for himself. But he liked it. Reveled He slammed it back shut. 1-2-5-6. “I in the mystery. 1-2-5-6. can’t.” 1-2-5-6. “Can I?” 1-2-5-6.█ He liked those numbers. The THE

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The Five Principles of Reiki D R I F T I N G O N C E A G A I N on the subway. Endlessly on the subway: clanging, screeching, kids with the muffled kick-kick-bass from their headphones, lurching, random stopping, antiseptic smell, the smell of shit. And he wanted to write like no other. He wanted the pen to take control sentences. of his body and scribBut when he actuble out for days. He ally sat down to write, wanted to stay in his nothing came out. He room and never leave, was empty. Where was writing and writing that passion when he on an empty stomach, needed it, when he was gripped by an idea so ready for it? When it powerful he forgot the was out of his reach he world, creating his own could feel its void, paradise in words and but when he waited, empty, nothing came. Once again on the B Y L E E subway, he forgot what he was thinking and G I L L E N T I N E 12

looked around. He had always wanted to exchange more than a glance with a pretty girl, but everyone was too modest. No, he thought, it’s him who is too modest. And always just when he summoned confidence, he realized he was two stops past where he was supposed to get off and already late for a meeting or a phone call or a brunch. He was pulled through grid streets by relations he didn’t know but still linked him to the outside world. It was dawn. Or evening. He didn’t know. After following footsteps that had been laid out to him in a dream he couldn’t remember, he found himself outside a coffee shop. He looked down at his hands. In one was a computer and in the other were crumpled bills. He went inside and spent the remains of the hour drinking coffee and eating a bagel, staring blankly at a computer screen. Or maybe he did do something with that computer; he didn’t know. He couldn’t figure it out and then was back on the subway. There was a girl sitting next to him. He wanted to open his mouth and say something and become intimate friends with her, get to know her story, and make love and then fall in love. But suddenly the manuscript of his soul


from which he was about to read some seductive thing turned to a stack of black pages, toppled over, and crushed him. He couldn’t say anything and got off the train. Late again for something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t important, but he got a rush out of taking these meetings, seeing these people, saying this thing and that thing to him and her and gaining rewards. It was all meaningless, but that particular lifestyle found a way to grip him like an addiction, a dirty empty passion he couldn’t shake and part of him wanted to feed it, since the real passion-or what he thought was the real passionwas so out of reach.

but to get on. He wanted to cry. “That’s OK.” Rodger smiled and kissed him. His beard was scratchy. “We all lose ourselves sometimes.” They hugged and parted ways.

B U T I T W A S another day on the subway, lusting after people with his eyes. Not lusting for sex, you see, but lusting for nostalgia, fond I N T H E M O R N I N G , he realized he had memories, cuddling, and slept with another person named R: Rebecca, Rachel, text messages. Lusting Roxanne, and now Rodger. It was the curse of the for all the things that R, this month’s bestcome with sex. Lusting seller. for the meaning behind He never wanted to the physical. get dressed and found Maybe sex was just on the idea of lying his mind, he thought. around naked in another But that wasn’t it— person’s bed more appealing than starting even when it came to on his list of tasks. sex, he couldn’t go all But everyone else had the way. He could never to go to their 9 to 5s, embrace the situation, and so Rodger and him lose himself in the were now standing on moment. Instead, the the subway platform, mist of thoughts saying goodbye. returned and he was “What’s your name?” lost in his own head. Rodger asked. Someone once told him “My name? It’s… it’s… his mind was shortit’s…” He drew a blank. circuited. Maybe that’s “I can’t remember. I why the compartmentaldon’t know.” ization wasn’t working. At the root of it, he just wanted something, He was lying but someone to take him and give his existence meaning. this was a stupid Open and faithful and true to whatever or whomlie. He knew from the ever snatched him up. He felt he was the perfect clock that his day was postmodern catch. beginning, and he would That night, his sister was in town, and he almost have to compartmentalfucked her. But it wasn’t really his sister, she ize these feelings was just a friend who liked to call herself his to deal with another sister. One nonchalant lead to another, then they time. All his worldly were in their underwear, grinding. It was lustrelations, friends caution. Lust was an intoxication marked by a and acquaintances, and sudden intake of breath that left you wanting more meta-relations, to-do and feeling closer. Caution was a loud knock at the lists and e-mails, door, completely destroying the mood and turning seemed to be coming the lights on. down the subway track, Caution won and they didn’t fuck. He wanted to and when it stopped he wait and see if she kissed him in the morning, then would have no choice THE

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his fingers clenched up as he fell, they would fuck the next night. She like in movies before blood, but then didn’t want to fuck him at all. She maybe it gurgled out of his mouth a was his sister. little. She kissed him though, in the The other hipsters were being morning. hunted down in the avenues, getting “Do you know the five principles of shot and crashing into trashcans. Reiki?” she asked, her arms wrapped And the cowboys constantly took around his neck. He shook his head. cover, not out of fear of return fire “Be grateful, be kind, don’t be from the hipsters, but to pretend angry, be generous, and don’t worry.” they were in danger and take pictures He smiled, realizing he was in of themselves. love. It was kind of humorous, but he That afternoon, she left and the realized he was caught in the crossmist rolled back in and he spent his fire and he had one of those clichéd, day doing things he couldn’t account hallowed moments where time stops and for or explain to anyone else. you can It was the Wild Wild reflect. West at the DeKalb The guns stop. The intersection pointed at was spaced so when you him were stood on the corner, terrifyyou had maximum vising, and ibility of whatever he felt action might be taking at least place in the avenues. one bullet He waited there for the headed bus. straight A group of five or for him. six cowboys, with their At first, leather boots and ten he was gallon hats, emerged afraid from the bodega across for his the street, moving in a life, but loose formation. They then he drew their six shooters. realized he was going With him at the bus to die, right here and stop, hipsters waiting right now. He accepted for the bus drew their it and stopped worrying. For the first time, weapons and it was he felt fine. It was as if the sun had burned through the mist a standand everything was shimmering and beautiful. The moment of death off. An was finding God. Everything was going to be OK. old-timey For a moment, he wanted to rewrite it; this end was too draduel. Then matic. He had already learned his lesson and the cowboys didn’t the clock have to kill him off in the end. But on the other hand, he knew that every single struck noon. moment had been building this discovery to critical The fight didn’t last mass and if this was the way he was to experience long, just a couple of enlightenment and fill that void of misplaced pasbangs, maybe a dozen, sion, then so be it, Goddamn it. as the hipsters scatThe bullets tore his body, whispering the five tered. principles of Reiki. They gave him comfort. He fell The first hipster was to the ground and his blood ran to the gutter and shot in the back and cars rolled over his skin and bones until they were his body stiffened and pavement.█

He realized he was going to die,right here and right now. He accepted it and stopped worrying.

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Venite, Adoremus B E N G A L I A P P E A R E D, like he always did, in the same place. It’s never been absolutely clear where he came from, but what was always clear is that he came from wherever that was quite some time ago. His knobby, angular metal frame was covered by a taut, printed fabric; although Bengali’s underarms and the nape of his neck preserved a low-pile synthetic fuzziness, age had worn the majority of his pelt to a sheen. Bengali’s feet had tiny, serrated THE

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wheels that aided in his prowling-one of the two the balsa wood manger. As we were nativity set functions his wired, cylindrical remote control purists, not even the performed with the touch of a tiny red button. wise men were present His legs slid forward and backward with a mesmerfor the birth of Christ, izing regularity-front left and back right, then but Bengali was, every back left and front right, repeat indefinitely-and single year. It was was accompanied by a dull, whirring, unmistakably never a question of why mechanical noise. The one other button on the remote, he was there, because it an identical red circle, initiated Bengali’s growl, a didn’t matter. crackling, low-pitched clicking accentuated by someA D-cell-batterything like a 20° lift in his head position. He was controlled tiger cool in a subtle, simple presiding over the way-walking, growling, so-called-greatestwalking, growling, being story-ever-told played threadbare, flashing out in wooden figurines super-intense yellow is a beautiful exercise eyes, walking, growling. in sacrilege. Perhaps my That was his whole deal. years of skeptical and Bengali’s old-time amused academic study charm was unmistakable, of medieval Christian but what truly endeared art and iconography were him was his context. He subconsciously provoked was part of an elite by years of trying to group of toys-the hang the baby Jesus from others being a penguin Bengali’s hard plastic race track and an Atari fangs, or crashing him, 2600 with only three an excruciating inch games-that appeared out at a time, through the of nowhere at Thanksgivmanger scene, balancing ing and vanished, as carved sheep and camels mysteriously as they had on his jagged, meandercome, a few days after ing back. More likely, Christmas. Bengali, years of grappling with his simple input with Christian material and output, was easy culture was a response to forget amidst such to being brought up in flashy competitors as the a household laden with original Pac-Man and the divisive and aggressive nauseating squawking of religiosity, where raw electronic penguins, but and hurtful arguments he had one major advanabout the nature of God tage. While the Atari and man were regular was anchored to a UHF occurrences. port far from the center of the action, and the Bengali and his curious attendance in our penguin track typically makeshift Bethlehem, however, was unquestioned, ended up stashed on permanently hilarious, a way for us to navigate the the crowded top of the decidedly unsteady feeling of safety while wading upright piano or an end around in the most contentious area possible; as table, Bengali literally a family of now-adults, a simple invocation of his sat at God’s right hand. name is a trigger for a connection among a group of There was never a people no longer existing in the same framework, the nativity set without same world. Our private saturnalia, where, on of all Bengali, his permanently days his birthday, Jesus was not the Son of God, but wild eyes staring out simply another obstacle in the way of a slowly, painfrom behind the walls of fully slowly, prowling tiger.█

A D-cellbatterycontrolled tiger presiding over the so-calledgreateststory-evertold played out in wooden figurines is a beautiful exercise in sacrilege.

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partly sunny with a chance of existential horror

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hello abyss of pre-linguistic nonbeing my old friend you know those dreams where you’re in a room & your friends are boning even tho they would probably never bone irl & you react by laying facedown on the floor @LKShowbiz same I just remembered I thought ‘guess i’m moving into this sweater’ while passing out in it last night and [someone] just told me i was the most ridiculous person they had ever met it felt true in a metaphysical way i’ve been realizing that I just, like, only wanna be around people who make me feel like my narcissism’s being enabled, ya know? brb gonna try & make my insanity into something refracted enough that u wont run from it like its 12th century Europe & I’ve already killed off your whole family I move for a vote of no confidence in myself glorified nacho sushi cannoli snapple dinner sandwich hell yeah I’m hungover and I’m exhausted and I still miss you so fucking much call me when the apocalypse happens I’ll be here vaguely napping on things like o whahappened? my ideal hustler to poet to drunk ratio seems to be swinging wildly from the former to the latter & increasingly leaving the middle guy out█

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< < < << << <<< << << << << < < 3 3 33 33 3 333 << < 33 << < 3 3 < << 33 33 33 3 ? ? << < 3 33 3 3 ?? ? ??? < 3 3 3 3 ? 3 3 ?? ? 33 33 3 ? ? ?? 33 33 33 ?? ? ? ?? ? ?? ?

manageable, these cupid questions are formatted in such a way that the singleton is actually completing a pre-written sentence. Examples include… ‘On a typical Friday night I am_____’ ‘The six things I could never do without are _____’ And my personal favorite, ‘I spend a lot of time thinking about ______’. Now as much as we like to think of ourselves as honest beings, I’m willing to surmise you won’t find many finishing that last sentence with cold hard truth. No one found love by confessI S T H E R E a code to love? ing they spend a lot How about compatibility? of time thinking about More to the current point, can we JavaScript tit fucking, lighting our way to a good relationship–romantically or their co-worker’s car otherwise? on fire or trying to I recently helped create an OkCupid profile for decide if burning to my younger brother’s friend, Andrew. Assuming that death is better than everyone in New York City is familiar freezing to death because you assume with the concept of online dating, that if you’re burning it will be I will spare you the explanation. over faster but at what point do you For those not familiar with OKC’s black out and doesn’t it feel like specific dating interface, there are a it’s freezing outside already? SO in series of questions little cupid asks lieu of the truth, humor is always to better match the user with their a good tactic. And if you can weigh potential soulmate/new buddy/future on the side of honesty, more power fuck. Fairly general questions that to you. Keeping these ideas in mind, seem simple enough to answer when we answered ‘What I’m Doing With My viewed on paper (or, in this case, screen), yet Life’ with restrained confidence… prove quite difficult I do what I enjoy doing. Professionally I work when you are trying to in television. I use punctuation in my text mesrise up from the virtual sages. I enjoy red wine over white…but nothing over bed of cyber dillweeds, $12.99. into the exquisite I enjoy riding the subway when I can find a seat. rose you are. Perhaps Also watching the other train passengers on the in the hope of making train. the questionnaire more The code we are laying out here is not tough to crack: the author is funny, is not in the market for sobriety, and feels no shame in people watching. Also, important side note: He did not specify B Y J U L I A N A a particular train line-no need to encourage S T A N K I E W I C Z unwanted stalking. Imagine all these great THE

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33 33 33 3 3 3 / 3 33 // // 33 3 3 33 / / 3 3 3 3 // // 33 33 333 3 / / 3 3 3 // // < / / 33 3 333 << < 3 3 33 // / << < // / << < // // / / << < // // << < < / / << << <<< << << << // < < <

qualities while being able to hold down a steady matching similarities. job. Great! So if you’re thinking But before we jump the gun, let’s take a step that a good pairing back for a moment to assess: in the land of puzzled here is an Italian Jew, lovers, this cupid questionnaire is really just a you are probably a word jumble-everyone enjoys reading them because racist (and maybe list that in your profile). they are easy and slightly mindless but, let’s face But if you are someit, there are better conundrums out there. Human one who enjoys wine, beings are also inherently nosy, which is why these mainly for the sake of lame profile puzzlers are fun. appearing mature and/or Therefore the baited question to answer is, because you are a huge can this simple response catch a fish? If we break Godfather fan, this Andrew’s cupid sentence up into its components we might be a good person might start diving deeper… to connect with. Though I do what I enjoy doing.—Fair enough, says keep in mind that even you’re content with your life but you’re certainly though you might not be not a writer. buying dinner, you run Professionally I work in television.—The the risk of boxed wine subtleties in this sentence structure are, in my and dollar slices from opinion, fantastic. the local Ray’s. The word ‘professionWriting aside, what ally’ suggests there if you truly don’t have is more going on than time to read all of meets the screen. There these profiles but feel are hobbies outside of like a creep downloadthe profession to be ing Grindr? Since accounted for but no traditional online specifics. This might dating still seems a help keep the reader bit more acceptable, interested. remember that a lot can It’s also letting be learned by viewing potential lovers out a person’s headshot. there know—point If your cupid admirer is an intense ginger holding blank—that you work a hot dog, it’s safe to assume that they have a in television, which penchant for sunblock and they’re not vegetarian. can be creative to some If your internal HTML for love is a trip to the but, to a fine artist, beach followed by a kale salad, it might be best to could also mean that let this one go. you’re a sellout. It’s also a good idea to consider body type when I use punctuation viewing headshots online. They may have a cute face in my text messages.— but no woman wants to dwarf a bony boy body with Alright, showoff. How her own—no matter how fit she is, or how dominant do we know you’re not lying? All technolhis jawline. ogy is partnered with In conclusion, after laying out the facts and autocorrect. decoding all the bullshit, it seems that there can I enjoy red wine over be a code to finding friendship, or even love. But, white…but nothing over since I like to think of myself as an honest being, $12.99.—This is where does anyone really have the time? Isn’t that why we resorted to online dating in the first place? it gets interesting. We live in New York, after all. Assuming the popu(Please note that I changed the name of my lar, but often false, brother’s friend to Andrew to protect his privacy. notion that opposites His real name is Alex. He’s funny, sarcastic, and attract is out the works in TV. If you’re interested, shoot me a note. window, online dating Just don’t expect more than a slice of pizza.)█ is a space dedicated to 24


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Crack The Code! A MATCHING GAME OF USEFUL CODES TO KNOW Match the symbols to their interpretations below. 1

2

7:^]

3

9B

EE

F

4

#6

s o r y p h o n ed ied o n l y h a v ete l eg r a p h

Ronald Reagan, a common emoticon, according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ List_of_common_emoticons A

B

A pleasing color akin to the blue of the sky

In the gymnastics Code of Points, the judging symbol for a complex vault comprising a roundoff onto the springboard, flic-flac with ½ turn onto the table and tucked salto forward with 1½ turn off C

D

“ Sorry phone died only have telegraph” ANSWERS: 1:D; 2:C; 3:A; 4:B

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Agency!

What does it matter? We’re not even real people anyway.

MEANWHILE ON PLANET EARTH...

Structure!

Agency or structure? What d’ya reckon?

Have you heard about these crazy genetic modelling systems that generate structures that grow and adapt to unique environments? It’s all in the CODE. Best of both worlds I say.

Entropy will get us all! It got me! I used to be with you guys.

Sounds GREAT, mind you I doubt this fancy system you talk about takes entropy into account. HA!

Ahhhhhh!!!!! (echo)

Guess that was Cindy. She’s a goner.


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Tarot Deck

B Y

These cards can be cut out and used for your own fortune telling.

Z E B A D I A H

K E N E A L L Y

The full deck will be published by Endless Editions and is available at endlesseditions.com as well as Desert Island in Williamsburg.


Food Art Bestowed. Rumors of the existence of an edible bounty beyond its diurnal O N E T E R R I B L Y L I S T L E S S D A Y offerings had spread in a city apartment a tuxedo cat sluggishly awoke like wildfire via the from its midday slumber. It thought to journey tiny but ubiquitous forth from its perch atop a sofa cushion to the arthropods that dwelled outer reaches of its compact universe for dinner. within the confines of Having so carelessly strewn itself across the plush the cat’s territory. décor hours earlier, the cat started, yet suffered Due to its insatiable several attempts to fully align its uncooperaappetite, this treative limbs, spindly white whiskers, and its most sure trove was what temperamental of members, its tail. After producthe cat desired, and ing copious (and one might say, obnoxious) yawns, it set its sights in it commenced to offer up its haughty demeanor and the general direction incorrigible prattle to every being within earshot. of this target. While Endowed through birthright with the formal attire the complacent kitty of a statesman, fittingly, the hirsute beast held surveyed the premises, ownership of its urban milieu and laid claim, quite literally at times, to it observed out of the corner of the golden yellow reservoirs it called virtually any open or its eyes, a lone, stationary entity of unknown even only partially origins. With a slight jump to the floor, the cat accessible expanse inched forward to investigate. within its domicile. Given its quest for consumption, the cat’s first The renowned region inclination was to sink its shrewd fangs into the the animal sought presobject. It quickly spat the thing out, declaring ently was christened it unpalatable, and sprang backward in a huff. for its much-celebrated Agitated, the feline flared its claws outward. It customs of subsistent hoisted one of its paws, armed and ready to strike. import: the Land Where 36


The creature soon received a shock, as a perfunctory greeting of “hello” was uttered by the foreign entity. With its bewilderment taking hold, the tuxedo cat concentrated its gaze. To its surprise, sitting immobile before the beast was a toy mouse made of tin; its complementary key lay nearby. In a moment of contemplation, the cat realized this plaything appeared to be the very toy with which it had idled away its days as a mere kitten. The jangly gadget had served as a training partner while the cat attempted to learn the art of pursuing real mice. In examining this toy copy of its sworn enemy, the feline became somewhat perplexed, for the memory of the toy mouse of its youth bore very little resemblance to that with which it began to converse. “Why, hello to you. I trust these past years have treated you kindly,” said the cat in a mildly patronizing tone. “Although, I must say I barely recognized you.” The toy mouse, who projected its thin falsetto best it could, replied, “No, in fact, the years have not been kind.” It proceeded to recount its sob story to the uninterested cat. As the apartment had changed layouts, the furniture and possessions being shifted around, the toy mouse had been forgotten behind some boxes filled with the excessive junk and worthless ephemera of the human resident. Deprived of any ability to transport itself, the dispirited, wheeled rodent had remained fixed in the locale, like a crumbling statue in a forgotten world waiting to be discovered. Lacking the luster the toy had once flaunted with such honor, it appeared now a cheap and tarnished tchotchke. Its verve for life waned concurrently with its sheen. In concluding its solemn tale, part as courtesy and part in hopes that the cat would tarry a bit, the toy

mouse added, “How have things fared for you, my feline friend?” The conceited critter, which could not be more grateful that the toy mouse’s sniveling had ceased, replied smugly, “Why, splendid! Here I stand clothed in only the choicest of garments, such as this chic bow tie and collar that accord quite exquisitely with the elegant coat of my heritage. To boot, I’ve a child owner who takes measures to groom and massage me on a near daily basis. Pity, the poor child might truly believe I hold affection for it. Must be that unruly tail of mine, often appearing to signal some sort of gratification on my behalf. I tell you, I simply can’t control the thing. “Alas, all of this aside, my one quibble lies in the sheer fact that I am not properly fed. Sure, I have a meager supply of bland kibble at my disposal. However, I have come to understand that tasty morsels of gourmet beef, delectable nibbles manufactured from the creatures of the sea, and lip-smacking treats that the humans so wickedly devour in my presence are all available within our realm. I intend to procure them. It’s like I always say, ‘He who eats first…’”

Overtaken by its own speech, the cat lost its train of thought and announced, “Sorry to say, my metallic mate, all of this talk of food has aroused my appetite. I must carry onward to uncover these provisions concealed in the food palace.” “Provisions, you say?” responded THE

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contraption! Oh how the toy mouse glumly. much fun I’m having! Being of the mechanical persuasion, the murine Wheeee!” cried the gizmo had never tasted nor smelled the consequenenlivened creature. tial fare of its biologically sound counterparts. At that moment, the Stating this vocally to the cat, the toy mouse tuxedo cat could no added that its only notable sustenance and, to longer contain itself. be honest, pleasure had come from the winding It rushed after the toy of its gears and the in hot pursuit, batting subsequent thrill of a paw here, whipping its being set out for its tail there. As for the playful performance as toy mouse, once it had it traveled around the gathered its bearings apartment. (for it had felt like Hearing the confesages), it began to dission of the toy mouse play its kinetic craft. and realizing that It zipped across the this conversation was parquet floors creating unlikely to cease intricate shapes with anytime soon, the cat its trail. It zigzagged had an idea. In light like a mousy Ping-Pong of its discovery of the ball and even mantoy mouse and thinking aged to offer up some of itself as was its immaculate figure 8s. typical fashion, the The astonished kitty cat saw an opportunity began to bounce around to add some entertainthe room following the ment to its day. To toy mouse. For each new wind up the toy mouse, trick it witnessed, it it would not only set soared into the air, the sad plaything going its tail propped high and remove it from the track of its intended path. towards the heavens. Its “But, perhaps,” thought the puss, “I might have whiskers enjoyed each a go at chasing the thing around a bit, as in the gentle breeze as they old days.” floated down through the Snatching the key from its dormant post on the air for each momentary floor, the tuxedo cat inserted it into the toy landing. Yet unbeknownst accordingly. Bereft of the necessary opposable to the giddy beast, it thumbs to perform a proper winding, its plan was was jumping slightly thwarted. Yet, this occurred with such brevity, too close to an open for within moments it had schemed to turn the window, when…! key by clapping its paws together several times. The exercise was only T H E T U X E D O C A T awoke weary and fitting, as the cat’s puzzled, having suffered an unfortunate tumble. It excitement grew and its had no recollection of the world in which it lay. anticipation for the The air was cooler, the smells intolerable, and the toy’s launch escaground on which it had found itself seemed unfit lated. When the toy for such dainty paws. Shocked by this horrific turn mouse finally abandoned of events, the creature was further alarmed while its long-held posiscanning the unfamiliar form that comprised its tion, taking off like a own body and fur. Its coat, of which it had always rocket, the cat wanted been so proud, appeared shabby and soiled. The once to applaud. It reveled smooth and pristine fur now matted beyond repair. in the show that ensued Its elegant bow tie, assembled from the finest of and began to feel like textiles, had been tattered nearly to shreds, a wee kitten again. resembling nothing more than an ordinary rag. As “What an amusing 38


a further insult to the feline’s pitiful state, a toy mouse, which, as monstrous toy vehicle rushed by it, managing to a kitten, had been a splash the rain of some murky puddles toward it. true companion. How it The poor thing was soaked to the bone. longed to return. Having never ventured out of doors, this new Exhausted by its world humbled the tuxedo cat. Its pompous attitude journey from the day, faded; its incessant chatter had vanished almost and delirious from the completely. Its hunger, however, endured; yet, for pleasant visions of the first time in its life, it sought its sustenance its former life, the only out of necessity. sullen animal set its Several days passed, while the cat managed to chin down on the greasy dine on various scraps from the lifeless cylinders pizza box. it encountered on the street corners. Before long, Suddenly, a cheerful it materialized as a scrawny and raggedy pauper. tune emerged in the area. The cat could The puss ambled along not believe it, for it on an undetermined identified the sugary path; the rigid stone voice of its child torturous beneath its owner! The cat mustered fatigued limbs and weak all of its strength and paws. Coming to a grand whimpered to beckon the apartment complex, which child closer. jutted out of the earth At first, frightened to embrace the sky, the by the mangy beast, the cat stepped inside its child hissed at it and gates to seek shelter commanded, “Shoo, like for the evening. A pair of lion a good little kitty.” The cat’s persistence won in statues guarded the the end, for the child soon came to recognize its entryway to the buildmissing pet and proceeded to carry it homeward. ing. With looks of Once inside, freshly bathed and groomed, and with judgment visible on a full belly, the cat sought to rest its aching their stiff faces, they bones. appeared to mock their En route to its destination, the cat observed fallen brethren. the toy mouse. It was freshly polished, shiny as a “Oh, what my noble brand new coin, and spoke with joy: “Haven’t seen relations must think you for a while. Did you collect the provisions? of me now,” sighed the Did you find whatever it was you were looking for?” despondent kitty. A satisfied grin formed on the cat’s mouth. It Upon locating a dispressed on towards the sofa, located a plump pillow carded pizza box, which on which it stretched out fully. Before succumbwas relatively warm from ing to sleep, the blissful cat replied, “I have its prior contents, everything I need.”█ the cat slithered its way inside. It began to gnaw on the bits of coagulated cheese on the interior for nourishment as it drifted towards a moment of introspection. The cat reminisced about its lush apartment. It remembered the child who had shown great care all of those years. It recalled the THE

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Now That I Think About It, The Brief Appearance and Disappearance of Nicolas Cage Caused Us To Kiss (Or At Least There Was A Correlation)

D R I V I N G U P T H E C O A S T , I remembered my first date with Adam. I traced his route in reverse, as he drove from New York to Virginia to see me. My body was his body when he drove on these roads to meet me for the first time, beginning the summer. He crossed over into the South and I crossed over B Y into the North. We had never met before but had known of each other G A B B Y through mutual friends, through the internet. He got into Woodbridge B E S S 40

around midnight so our first date was at a Dennyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, the only place around here that was open that late. He was only stopping in Virginia to rest for the second leg of his trip down to North Carolina. I was late to meet him and when I approached the restaurant I could see his body through the glass doors, sitting tired in a booth. I adjusted my image of


wedge of lime into the can. He made him with his actual image, being able fun of me in a playful way while to catalog it for the first time. As filming the action and uploading it I imagined him doing the same, I ran to Twitter. In the video my laughter my fingers through my hair, hoping remains nervous but genuine. My hands that that was the gesture to perfect were sticky with lime residue and my image. We sat in the diner and I I searched across the table for a thought about the gradual expansion napkin. My nervous hands adjusted the of everything imperceptibly spillangle of the fork that went unused. ing over the infinite sides of more I touched at the rim of my beer can everything. My internal monologue ran again and again. “How old are you rapidly and neurotically: I imaganyway?” My hands kept doing these ined the universe was a cup that was impossible things. I pointed up, to sitting on a table that was a cup, bring his attention to the picture on like, metaphors are just cups stackthe ceiling. “I’m 30. You?” He looked ing into each other. My body was a up. The man in the picture looked, cup and his body was a cup, but who somehow, like a Mexican Nicolas Cage was drinking all of this water? I and I tried to convince him of this felt like the less conversationally but he didn’t agree. “20.” I brought dominant female version of Woody his attention back to the picture Allen, as my thoughts moved from the on the ceiling. “I gradual expansion of don’t think you actumy solitary life to ally know what Nicolas how everyone in movies Cage looks like. I dances in the kitchen, think the internet though the accordion is has completely warped very rarely utilized everyone’s perception in contemporary music. of him.” We both looked I mimicked the hands of someone who is not again, curiously staring up. He was right. The man myself, for comedic appeared distinctly himself. effect, and in the diner we sat, tellW E R A N B A C K across the highway to the ing each other as much Denny’s parking lot where we stood watching everyas we could about the one walk inside. It started to rain but we stayed whole of our lives. where we were, talking into each other. We watched We decided to leave as a woman drove her car onto the sidewalk, inches the diner to find some away from the building. She backed up and attempted place where we could to park in three different parking spots, each get drinks. On our equally adequate but, for some reason, not quite way out Adam stopped right. We watched her drive wildly off. Adam and me and pointed to the I stood near my car laughing at the absurdity of claw machine that was being at Denny’s at 2am. We watched an entire famin the entrance of the ily dressed in church clothes walk into the diner. diner. We moved closer We didn’t understand it to it and peered in, trying to decide which stuffed but we were a part of animal we should go for. They all looked misshapen the whole organism of and slightly off. I pointed to a square brown Denny’s. We were one of animal that was on top. “I’ll win that for you,” I these people. In this said as I was laughing at the misfit lot of toys. We feeling of belonging to spent five dollars in quarters, going back into the something that wholly Denny’s for change every time we ran out, before confused and amused us, we decided to spend our money on beers instead. we kissed against the We ran across the highway in the dark, toward a door of my car. I could Mexican restaurant that was glowing red from across feel him pushing me the street. In the Mexican restaurant we drank into it, compelled by Tecates and I tried with both hands to squeeze a everything strange.█ THE

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1

Here are 4 short stories made from CAPTCHAs.

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The Last Word

The general content of the letter is simply how great he is. He is so wonderful that Mary knows he is the love of her life. Everyone secretly wants to be someone’s #1 person and now, because of this letter, no matter what good or bad things happen to him in the future, he will always know he was once someone’s #1 person. The next letter is for her parents, which M A R Y I S G O I N G to kill herself, but is mostly several pages instead of writing one suicide letter, she is going of how she hopes they to write a bunch of them. They will be addressed don’t feel guilty and to individual people in her life, a personalized how it is definitely not goodbye where she resolves anything with anyone their fault and they she needs to. She will get The Last Word, not just are wonderful parents in the conversation, or in the argument, but in everything. and sorry She starts writing the first letter. sorry B Y K R I S T E N She doesn’t know how many letters she’s so F E L I C E T T I there are going to be, but she imagsorry, but ines it will take a while. This might there was be book-length. The first letter was to who everynothing else she could one’s first letter would be, if they were to take on do, she held out as a similar project: the person they are in love with long as she could. the most. Mary’s person is someone she is not curMary writes letters rently in a relationship with, someone who probably to her closest friends, does not love her back. which are really more Still, in this first love and sorry letters To listen to this story: personalized suicide praising all their letter, Mary tells him wonderful qualities and that she is in love apologizing for killing with him, that she has herself. She reassures always been in love them that there was with him. She tries not nothing they could have to make it too melodone and reflects upon dramatic, because the their best memories last thing she wants together with funny or him to feel is guilt, poignant prose. There so she tries to keep it are a lot of these positive, chipper even. letters; it’s a whole 44


section in itself. Of course there are some letters to exes. Mary expected these letters to be bitter, and sure, there are a few incidents that she can’t help but rehash, or a couple personality defects that need to be pointed out one last time, but for the most part, all Mary can think of when writing is the passage of time. How long ago she dated each ex, how long ago they broke up, at what point it was still painful to see them again, and when it finally wasn’t so much. Even the ones that are still painful, now that Mary will never see them again, suddenly the idea of seeing them again is no big deal. Then, even though she’s never written a fan letter before, Mary wants to throw a fan letter in her suicide letters collection. who was hot but also a She always enjoyed the great English teacher, work of her favorite and her eccentric colwriter and feels her lege professor who was favorite writer might definitely not hot, but as well get a chance super smart and inspito know it. And if her rational, and Mary favorite writer gets a had a weird crush on letter then what about him anyway. her favorite musician Mary can’t stop now, she’s writing letters to too, and her favorite woman in supermarket who cheered her up that day, artist, and her second random guy at party who got away, President Obama, favorite writer, and and her long-lost aunt who disappeared after she her favorite musician divorced Mary’s uncle. She wonders if she should when she was twelve, write to dead people too. Even though Mary is a who kept her from total atheist, it feels like the best last word she suiciding back then and can get with these people. She writes to her instead now. Then Mary Grandma, Grandpa, other Grandpa, Uncle, that guy realizes what an assfrom high school who died too young, and another hole she is for writing favorite musician who overdosed ten years ago. Then suicide fan letters Mary remembers more living people she forgot to to famous people that write to–another ex, a bunch of college roommates, might never get them more friends, more favorite artists, one of her and even if they do, cousins, that cute kid she babysat who is all might not care, when grown-up now… she hasn’t even writMary stops writing mid-sentence during a letter ten to real people who to people who drowned on the Titanic and thinks inspired her, like her about how she is really putting this suicide thing first grade teacher, off. Procrastination has always been a problem for and her hot sophomore her and right now even living seems more likely year English teacher, than finishing all these letters.█

She tries not to make it too melodramatic, because the last thing she wants him to feel is guilt, so she tries to keep it positive, chipper even.

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Long Distance Love Poem

B Y J U L I E T E S C O R I A

Three things drew me to you and none of them can I name right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Sometimes I sleep until the afternoon and still won’t get out of bed. My purpose would be to listen to you breathe, if you were here, except you’re not and so I have none, but that doesn’t mean I’m not conscious of your breaths.

2013 Poem from a 1992 Story

I read the Wikipedia article for nicotine last night. In small doses, it is a stimulant, at larger ones, a sedative. Which is similar to the effect your hand has when it’s on my thigh.

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Building Codes

B Y T H O M S M I T H

B U I L D I N G S in transformation have a visual code about the process of change. The architecture is on display, fully revealed or concealed, and indicates an improvement or a decline, difficult to know without context (these were taken in New Orleans over the past six years). Structures become ephemeral, changing installations with their own language-unusual, direct, honest-and often more mysterious, layered, and memorable than the final product. THE

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Normal Guy Excitement Runner! (ベッドマニュアル!)

from your inner ear. Press B to slap! Mosquito uses Proboscis Wield (–4 HEALTHS) with Advanced Sucking. Your energy bar drains. VIEW COUNTERATTACK MENU (Y/N)? Combat options: -Power Slap -Difficult Novel -Laser Orifice (1x)

S T A R T ! Protagonist wake! You find yourself in Normal Bed, enlivened by the tuneful blooptones of Clock Radio as a new day begins! TURN OFF ALARM (Y/N)? Rising, you silence Alarm (+1 SPEED BONUS) but catch your foot on Normal Duvet Cover and go sprawling to NW corner of room (–2 HEALTHS). Your chin throbs. Your energy bar drains. GO BACK TO SLEEP (Y/N)? You sleep in NW corner of room (+3 RESTFUL BONUS). Tiny Zzs emerge from your head as, outside, a bird emits small musical notes. They float near its beak before dissolving, like soda bubbles, into the summer air. Start! Protagonist wake! Your “shut-eye” is rudely interrupted as Experienced Mosquito attempts feed 56

You counter with Difficult Novel, grabbing a weighty postmodern tome from Normal Bookshelf. Although it has remained unread since its purchase two years ago, it makes a superior battle hammer! Experienced Mosquito recoils as you lay down 900 pages of “audaciously fragmentary” death. A Winner Is You! +10 EXP Dusting off your hands, you glance again at Clock Radio. Tiny exclamation points emerge from your head! It is nearly 8:45, leaving you a mere 15 minutes to get to Job Zone (distance 14.48 km). Proceeding dauntlessly, you enter SW Kitchen and pack one (1) Unagi Don lunch box. PACK ANOTHER LUNCH BOX (Y/N)? You pack one (1) Unagi Don lunch B Y M A C K box. PACK ANOTHER LUNCH BOX (Y/N)? G E L B E R


economic growth! At the neighboring desk sits Laura Wickle, practically glowing as she empties Holepunch. TALK TO LAURA WICKLE (Y/N)? You are unable to talk to Laura Wickle. Instead you stare at Computer, performing “Manual Data Entry” (COLLECT +20 EXP TO UNLOCK DATA ENTRY MINIGAME). You wish you could tell her about Light inside of you, of the blooptones your heart sings for her alone, but can only steal glances at her long hair and Fine Pantsuit. She smiles when your eyes accidentally meet. “Eel for lunch again?” she says, causing your cheeks to redden and energy bar to throb spastically. You nod at Holepunch, unable to meet her You pack one (1) Unagi Don lunch box. PACK head-on. ANOTHER LUNCH BOX (Y/N)? “I love eel,” she You can only carry three (3) Unagi Don lunch says. “Also 鮟肝 [MONKboxes in your inventory at this time. Returning to FISH LIVER].” SE Bedroom, you apply Pants + Fine Shirt, nearly Your e-mail !!!s overlooking your fly as you brace yourself for the urgently. It’s your return of Experienced Mosquito. Objects in your boss, Darklurker. I need room now appear slightly menacing, perhaps harboryou in my office today ing more Non-Friendly Characters (NFCs) or simply at 15:00, he says. It the weight of departed concerns your quarterly years. You recall that review. Regards, Greg you’d only purchased Darklurker. Difficult Novel to More than anyimpress Laura Wickle, thing else, it’s the whom you once saw “regards” that scares reading it in the break you. The typical room, beautiful even Darklurker sign-off as she wiped mustard involves a best or all from the crotch of her best—“regards” strikes mouth. Your energy bar begins to drain. you as unnervingly You arrive twenty formal, suggesting the minutes late, and calm service of Legal although you duck Papers. And then the through the cubicles appearance of his full in hopes of avoiding name: Greg Darklurker, as simply, as solemnly stated last words as you’ll detection (+1 STEALTH ever hear. BONUS), no one is You dwell on this all through lunch, barely tastwaiting when you arrive ing Juice Drink (–1.25 RUPEES) you purchase from at SW Desk. Normal and Vending Machine. After all, what would you do if Experienced Employees you lost your job? No one else will hire you; you surround you in ordered possess no “marketable skills,” never rising above rows, tiny ellipses entry level, with only the barest modicum of EXP. emerging from their You will lose your car, your apartment; you will heads as they conduct have no choice but to move back to your hometown of phone calls and conKENNARD, INDIANA. You will never see Laura Wickle tribute to our nation’s THE

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again. CONTINUE DWELLING (Y/N)? When the time comes you knock quietly on NW Door, taking one final glance at Office that has demanded so many of your hours, noticing for the first time that Walls are the same color as cat vomit. “Come in,” says Voice behind Door, its terseness embellished by a vague European accent. “Darklurker”—you think that’s Czech or something. Inside it feels five degrees colder, bare except for Restful Landscape framed above Darklurker’s desk. He looks you over without speaking, trying to access the mite-sized part of his brain devoted to your job performance, until you feel obliged to smile and wave uncomfortably. “So,” says Darklurker, “I guess you already know why you’re here.” Dialogue options: -Not really, sir. - Skip the preamble, Darklurker, let’s settle this like WARRIORS!!!!!! - [SAY NOTHING, CONTINUE WAVING] You only watch as he removes File from stuffed Accordion Folder and casually leafs through it. “Listen, we both know your numbers have been down lately. No one’s saying you’re slacking off, just…what we’re talking about is a question of ability. And dedication. And talent. Nothing personal, of course.” He pauses, waiting for you to voice an objection. “You can stop waving now,” he adds. “I’m gonna give it to you straight: it doesn’t look good. We didn’t have the best quarter, and going forward we need to make some hard decisions about our team. We need to ask ourselves—really ask ourselves—what can I give back to the company?” 58

Inventory: - Unagi Don Lunch Box (2) -Lint Ball -Experienced Tissue

GIVE LINT BALL (Y/N)? “This lint ball is wonderfully soft,” says Darklurker, “but I was thinking of something else.” He looks at you now, not as an inferior, but as a colleague. He hands you Laura Wickle’s file. “This employee has been stealing inventory from the supply room. Pens, Post-Its. We have information regarding a holepunch. I understand you share a cube with this employee.” He goes on, about the necessity of trust, about the high cost of office supplies, but you find yourself tuning out Darklurker, instead staring at Restful Landscape as his voice becomes indistinct. It’s a view of a sunny beach offset by a flipped-over wooden rowboat, rendered in blue-green tones suggesting continuity between ocean and sky. Why, you find yourself wondering, did Darklurker select this particular image? Does Darklurker like Beach? Does he have blue-green memories of summers spent in swim socks, perhaps rowing the boat as Ma Darklurker watched from Shore, pouring lemonade? No, you think, Czech Republic is landlocked. The picture’s sole purpose is to put you at ease, to soften you up before Darklurker, like a tarantula in Dockers, goes in for the kill. “So,” he says, flashing a cufflink and impossibly white teeth. “Can you help a brother out?” GIVE UP LAURA WICKLE (Y/N)? “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you say, but Darklurker only nods. “Are you sure? Think, now. Your cooperation is essential.” GIVE UP LAURA WICKLE (Y/N)? There is a feeling in the room as if time has stopped, as if its forward progress depends on your


bright to look at; the answering the question. “I don’t know what you’re man’s shoes disappear talking about,” you say again, more assertively, first, then his legs, but Darklurker only nods. the beam climbing until “Are you sure? Think, now. Your cooperation is all that’s left is essential.” Sandwich Board, smokGIVE UP LAURA WICKLE (Y/N)? ing lightly on the You can’t find her at her desk. You want to warn pavement. I’m sorry, her, tell her to return Holepunch. You want to beg you think, touching forgiveness as you search the cafeteria, the lobby, the scorched spot with as you knock on the door of the women’s restroom, your shoe. I am so, so calling her name. You return to Vending Machine, sorry. hoping you’d missed her, but your princess is in another break room. A Winner Is You! You’re downstairs when she finally emerges from +20 EXP the elevator banks, hefting a small box containDATA ENTRY MINIGAME  ing Mug and Potted Cactus, overflowing with moist, UNLOCK!!!!!!!!! balled-up Kleenexes. Her face has the clotted look of Partially Melted Candle. As she approaches she You’ve barely opened loses her grip on Box and stumbles, nearly dropthe door to your apartping it; Mug (“WORLD’S BEST EMPLOYEE”) clatters to ment when you’re swarmed the floor but miraculously remains intact. You rush by friends of Experiover, but before you can reach for it her expresenced Mosquito, out to sion hardens, stopping you with all the force of a avenge their fallen well-timed Power Slap. brother. But instead of “クソ野郎 [ASSHOLE].” engaging with them you As you’re walkonly collapse against ing home you see that the couch, letting them same expression on pierce you again and every person you pass: again. Moaning softly, businessmen, homeless you try to picture your people, mothers pushown Restful Landscape, ing strollers, their one unsullied by bosses babies as they kick or NFCs or imaginary their feet. “Hey, bro!” Czech beaches, which Normal Man wearing you wish would be wiped Sandwich Board accosts off the map by imagiyou, talking excitedly nary typhoons. Your about Environmental energy bar hovers just Initiative, or Puppies above zero. for Fair Trade, you You sit up. Your don’t really hear, but apartment is silent except for dripping of Bathroom he follows even as you Faucet and chirping of Bird outside, perched on the increase your clip. same tree branch it had been perched on this morn“What’s the hurry, bro? ing. You watch it from across the room, the little You too busy to help musical notes seesawing above its head. CONTINUE the Tibetan street SITTING (Y/N)? weasel?” Closing your eyes, you picture yourself rising like those notes, the wind carrying you high above Combat options: Trees, City, Sky Zone (distance 49.89 km). Up and -Power Slap up and up. Carrying you someplace where you are not -Stroller Bash alone. CONTINUE SITTING (Y/N)? -Laser Orifice (1x) You sit in your apartment. You sit in your apartment. The light that bursts You sit in your apartment. from your mouth and CONTINUE SITTING (Y/N)?█ eyes is almost too

The light that bursts from your mouth and eyes is almost too bright to look at.

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D A V I D H A N N O N

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Who Dat JOEL ALTER is a gentleman and a scholar, currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Artistically speaking, he is most often found composing music and strumming his ukulele in the audiovisual project, Creature Mines. On occasion, he dabbles in writing for academia, small press journals, and endearing letters to his friends. “The Cat & the Toy Mouse” is his first published fable. For more info, please visit: joelalter.com or creaturemines.tumblr.com. BRIAN AMSTERDAM, born in NYC, is a poet and sound artist. He is currently based in Olympia, WA. GABBY BESS is a multimedia artist and writer. She is the author of the poetry and short story collection, Alone With Other People. She curates Illuminati Girl Gang, a publication that highlights female artists working within the context of internet culture. Currently, her work is focused on the labor of feminine performance in literature and art. She works as a freelance writer and lives in Brooklyn. OSCAR BRUNO D’ARTOIS is

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a famous & popular street urchin.

economy, and psychogeography.

JULIET ESCORIA’s story collection, Black Cloud, comes out in Spring 2015 from Civil Coping Mechanisms. julietescoria.com

Though not living in Bushwick currently, DAVID HANNON lived there approximately 2 years before moving to Boston to focus on his art practice. He currently works at the Aids Action Committee’s thrift store Boomerangs as a purveyor of fashion, where he can dress up as much as possible. David’s work combines collage and drawing to create fantastical interiors and exteriors.

LOIS FARNINGHAM currently lives and works in Brooklyn as a part time explorer and Art Director for landscape design firm Future Green Studio. With an interest in the dialectic of structure and agency, and participatory frameworks, she experiments through drawing, making, and situations. See more of her work here: loisfarningham.com; tenderproposition.tumblr .com KRISTEN FELICETTI is the captain of this ship you’re sailing right now, The Bushwick Review. Obviously, she lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the best and most beautiful New York neighborhood of them all. She is available for adventures. kris10felicetti.com BRANDON FERRARO is an actor and playwright based in New York. He wrote and starred in Walter Lawrence which won Best Play in the 2013 Harvest Festival at the Chain Theatre. MACK GELBER is a writer living in Brooklyn. A former Bushwick Review contributor, his fiction has also appeared in Joyland Magazine. LEE GILLENTINE recently moved to New Orleans after living in Bushwick for seven years. His hobbies include experimental animation, political

KATHARINE HENNER co-wrote and directed the cult series, Nights in UltraViolet (nightsinuv.com). Her newest film, No Man’s Land, is a western novella and can be downloaded through iTunes via the app No Man’s Land: Powered by Tumbleweed. Her plays have been staged in London and New York, but she is inordinately fascinated by California. SHANE JONES lives in Albany, New York. ZEBADIAH KENEALLY B. 1984 Connecticut, USA Zebadiah’s parents were deeply involved in Broadway theatre. They exposed him to literature, visual and performing arts throughout his childhood. Frequent family trips to New York City introduced him to graffiti, which captured his imagination. So inspired, Zebadiah began “writing” while attending a Jesuit preparatory school. After an incident with a rifle, Keneally shifted his practice to studio art,


studying printmaking at Syracuse University. He has shown in New York City, Saigon and Kuwait. Keneally lives in Brooklyn, where he continues to draw, paint, perform, print, sculpt and write, influenced by graffiti, literature, popular culture psychology, myth and the occult. BRETT MASTERSON is a designer who lives and works in Brooklyn. He spends his days being an architect and his nights teaching himself how to play the accordion. The word CODE appears in his architecture jargon, usually in the context of building standards for construction, for example, the rise/run of a stair, the swing of a door. The silkscreen LIVING SPACE is part of a series exploring the calculated levels of personal comfort in architecture, which is represented as an info-graphic, serving as a personal guide for optimal spatial configuration in a home. LYDIA NICHOLS is an illustrator/designer/tea drinker with a penchant for adventure and mailsending. Her home on the internet is lydianichols .com. PHIL PIERCE is a musician and songwriter who’s one half of the duo Buffalo Sex Change. Their debut album will be released in May 2015 on Dadstache Records. buffalosexchange .bandcamp.com MICHELE ROSENTHAL is a Brooklyn-based freelance illustrator and graphic

designer. Her first children’s book, The Trouble With Falling Asleep, is available on the iPad and does not involve any alien phone sex. michelerosenthal.com ALISON SHANIK lives a nice lucky life in Brooklyn. She pays the bills designing custom invitations and other paper lovelies at a luxury printing company in Manhattan. Her internet home is at alisonshanik.com where she is developing her own collection of design experiments. LK SHAW is the editor of Shabby Doll House. THOM SMITH is an aspiring architect and amateur photographer based in New Orleans. He arrived on the bayou to serve in Americorps with Rebuilding Together, renovated Katrina-damaged houses for low income homeowners, stayed, and now works at the design firm Concordia: concordia.com. He strongly encourages everyone (particularly the founder of The Bushwick Review) to visit his eccentric and sensual adopted home that was once confusingly marketed as The City That Care Forgot. For more images visit: flickr.com/photos/ tomtomklub SUE SPANG is a writing teacher and publication designer by day and an essayist, jazz bassist, and trained Renaissance book historian by night. She lives in Seattle. suespang.com

and currently lives in Brooklyn. As of late, she has been creating work from watercolor, charcoal, colored pencil and acrylics. Her portfolio can be viewed at julianastankiewicz.com ZACHERY ALLAN STARKEY is a Brooklyn-based Electronic Musician and Photographer. His Film Noir influenced Photography work has been shown in 8 solo shows and 76 groups shows, and has been exhibited in New York City, Chicago, Los Angles, Tokyo, and Berlin. Starkey writes, records, and produces his own deeply personal Post Punk/Electro records. He shows and performs in NYC regularly and lives in Bushwick. He is elated to have his work included in The Bushwick Review. ZacheryAllanStarkey .tumblr.com; ZASmusic .bandcamp.com JEN TONG was born and raised in San Francisco but calls Brooklyn her home now. She has been self-publishing silkscreen books and risograph zines for over 6 years and exhibits her prints and paintings in galleries nationwide. To boot, she is one half of local indie outfit, Creature Mines, for which her illustrations provide the visual backdrop to the band’s whimsical scores. To learn more about this fine lady, please visit: jentong.com or creaturemines.tumblr.com. TIM VIENCKOWSKI

( ゚ Д゚) (゜◇゜)

JULIANA STANKIEWICZ comes from northern New York THE

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in everyone’s inadequate attempts to articulate their thoughts. We’re all sort of quietly suffering as we go about our days, trying and failing to 64

thing. Speaking is a kind of misery. And I guess I comfort myself by finding the rhythms and accidental poetry

communicate to other people what we want and what we believe.” A N N I E B A K E R , playwright

“ The way human beings speak is so heartbreaking to me—we never sound the way we want to sound. We’re always stopping ourselves in mid–sentence because we’re so terrified of saying the wrong


•••• artoiS ng ♥ Jo am ☼ ga ⌂ oScar ☺ bria ----• F e a t u rieScori e l a l t e r arning n a m S t e rd Sten F b b y b e S S ☺ bra b r u n o d’ ro a n a i e F h ••••- J u l i e t lber ☼ ↕ l o i S entin a m ▲ k r hanno l i c e t t i rine h d o n F e rr l e e n ----• m ac k ge neS ▲ l e e g il eneall ⌂ d a V id maSter ↕ k a t ha a nich n n e r i z o o ••••- S h a n e J erce e b a d i a h k roSeny ☺ b r e tt iSon S o n ☼ l yd lk Sh l S S ⌂ l i a ----• p hi l p ith ☺ m i c h e le ☼ Julit h a l ↕ a iewicz h a n i k ▲ alla w n S ry ⌂ ••••- t h o m Sm ↕ Jen u e S p a ng im Vie a n a S t a nk e h z c a nc y t •S ton kowSk i tar ke g ▲

The Bushwick Review—Issue V  
The Bushwick Review—Issue V  

Issue #5 of The Bushwick Review, an art & literary publication created in Brooklyn, New York, published in May 2015.

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