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The Columbia Review

Spring 2011

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Columbia Review

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the

Columbia Review

Editors-in-Chief

Business Manager Design Editors

Cover Art

Spring 2011

Editorial Board

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Diya Jost Jared Rosenfeld Ian Scheffler Ian Scheffler Biko Tushinde Allie Fisher Dr. Ernest Williamson III Jason Bell Chloe Haralambous Anna Kelner Tucker Kuman Peter Kwang Alexandra Lukens Maya-Catherine Popa Marshall Thomas Erica Weaver Drew Westcott


Table of Contents

Lori Powell 6 What is a Plum Marissa Brodney 7 Rural Spanish Butcher North of War Ephraim Scott Summers 8 Typical Maurice Emerson Decaul 9 Nasiriyah Jason Bell 10 On Visiting Oranienburg Hannah Gamble 11 Letter from There Tian Bu 12 A Poem About a Poem Abigail Struhl 13 fingernails, and other types of rake Andy Bowers 15 Four Self-Portraits Ron Bass 16 Marcel Duchamp Inaugurates the Arts and Crap Movement Marshall Thomas 18 Milwaukee Guess Marshall Thomas 19 salad people

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Constructing a Katzenklavier

Spring 2011

Mark Dee 20 Manufacturer's Manual for


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Editors’ Note Dear Reader, We present you with a unique collection of poetry and prose that spans form, subject and genre. In Manufacturer’s Manual for Constructing a Katzenklavier, Mark Dee explores human psychology through an absurd musical instrument. Marshall Thomas conjures a piece of Milwaukee from the fragments of an imagined road trip. Maurice Decaul describes the difficulties of life for a soldier in Nasiriyah, Iraq. Each writer offers a singular world-view, culled from singular inspirations.

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That diversity of style and matter would have been familiar to Paul Violi, a friend of the Review, Columbia Professor and poet, who recently passed away. With his wit, charm and fearless exploration of unusual forms, Paul touched the lives of many writers, some of whom are published in this magazine. He was an inspiration to poets and readers alike, and will be dearly missed on the Columbia campus.

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As summer approaches, we hope you find inspirations of your own, either in the pages of our magazine or in your own experience. Until next time, Diya, Jared and Ian


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Spring 2011


What is a Plum By Lori Powell

The swell of purple flesh is only the beginning. There is the way they lie together in this bowl, tilted each on its own axis, each with a spot of light, a small sun, on its tight surface.

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I know this: their stillness is an illusion. They are athletes of ripening. Every morning I eye them. For a time we ripen together, but it is my job to be slower

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and at the precise moment to break them. Then the confusion begins: are they gone or can they be sighted in new orbits, recurring like comets, lighting cheek, eye, idea.


Rural Spanish Butcher North of War By Marissa Brodney

Amber-angled pueblo Of heavy old stomachs, belted and globed: Cracked cider spouts on stone: When you Sr. Carnicero draw an unfiltered puff and tacones Clip your vamos A memory you seem ya. Years ago men in sharp pants, stiff ranks Left hair in the bulletholes of this puckered wall – Now pig smoke blisters to fill all small spaces. Yellow lace pickles in the neon bar. Gunmetal chandeliers blink, and sheep.

I think of the neck you hold in your satchel. How well you can tomatoes. How lovingly you reach for cheese.

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As you hover over surfaces leeching Grease, and salt, and brine:

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While boys in makeup spit - véte - puta – In pastel colors at defeated buildings, and you sip. Cloth-capped Carnicero,


Typical By Ephraim Scott Summers

To across the cheek, receive The backhand of the bottle, To divorce, To shine the dishes, To sex again, to replay The familiar name, To put things away, To take things out, To ooze the bird heart Into a skillet, Though unwise, to pump The yolk until it pops,

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To needle the eggshell With an abalone mallet,

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To repeat backwards Not do, not do.


Nasiriyah

To the Carabineri By Maurice Emerson Decaul

Spring 2011

We used to play volley ball in our Humvee parking lot, the same place where we killed ghosts that stalked us at night. We joked: The solution is not the rifle but a Play Boy. Come again in a few years, there’ll be a Disney Land here. It’s amazing how still night can be after evening prayer. One of the fathers of one of the boys we played kick ball with, would one day drive a truck into an Italian check point. I’ve forgotten everyone’s faces, can’t find any of my medals, everything else is buried in boxes.

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On Visiting Oranienburg By Jason Bell

Spring 2011

Yellow houses watching the wall, patient, like a pervert and his choice pornography—bondage and girls pissing, ball-gagged and helpless on operating tables. Red roses grow in their gardens, a woman and her dog watch through gaping windows the wall where the guards brought prisoners on parade. Sachsenhausen is a benign mole, but Oranienburg worries, sick that it might turn into melanoma. Biopsying reveals abnormal cells drifting from flower to flower, landing like bees to drink and collect memories bottled in specimen jars. In the shadow of darkness the dog whimpers and pisses itself, turning away from the flowers and their malcontent.

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Letter from There By Hannah Gamble

Spring 2011

Well, my feet had dirt on them pretty much all of the time. Because it was my birthday, I was given a pi単ata and I beat it very thoroughly. Sobbing all the while, I told my dearest friend she would never be happy. This is not my wish for you, I said, I am not trying to issue a curse. (But what should we do with the thoughts when we think them?) I found exercise to be very useful. I found books to be a knife and a comfort. But confronted on the road by many automobiles, I was indecent and abandoned my kindness. What can you spare? Asked a man dressed in Christmas, and I said Only the things I dislike, and handed him the hardest peach from my bag.

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A Poem About a Poem About a Poem By Tian Bu

M. wrote, “The fistful of silk as pulled violently from an ear of corn—that sort of singing.” It turns out that a common typo transformed his original word, singeing, with which he was trying to describe the burning sensation across his palms’ lifelines as he held L.’s sonnet. Instead, L. took it to mean what she had always thought of as “the sudden nausea of love.” After reading M.’s poem, she lost her voice.

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But I did some investigating and found out that L. hadn’t meant for M. to read her sonnet at all. She’d never once thought of him while penning it! But now L. can’t walk into a room without suddenly remembering M.’s old apartment, how when she last came to visit him the door tore right off the hinges, fluidly, as if he’d planned it all along.

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fingernails, and other types of rake By Abigail Struhl

I won’t give it up, coming to in a cluster of irises, glitter of one shining cornea pressed against another, coming to with a plank of wood between my teeth as if I were your pirate cleaving you through the sliding gate of my stomach. Fretwork of bile, maze of chopped lace, your grip on my imagination is a mezza luna blade. I’m hiding in the corners your slippery chrome can’t curve. And this I still have with me, something

bear up under your sickness like a blood-soaked diaphragm that flies up, glanced by breath, I will make like fingernails, and scrabble away from you.

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I won’t be another eyelash mite nestling in your fur, I will

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supple that can be borne in my mouth and not let out a word or pain, an aching molar that hates you.


Four Self-Portraits (After Paintings by Marc Chagall) After Matthea Harvey By Andy Bowers

Self-Portrait with Roses, 1929 I worked on my body all through the summer. Took June to paint the limbs in all their languor, July to perfect the green shadow beneath the chubby right arm. By August I reclined without luxury atop a giant vase of coral roses and some other plant with flowers made of foam. A blue landscape took shape below: a few tenements, a gorge, a dusky slope. I saw you approaching from the east, hunchbacked and bluer than the bottom of the gorge. I heard your footfall and hid my nakedness with a puzzling form— perhaps it was only a decorative fan. Perhaps it was a giant seashell.

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Double Portrait, Wedding Feast, Undated

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Alas, it was an arranged marriage. My bridegroom with the body of a man and the tawny head of an antelope. With my brush, I recalled the oil-stains and cigarette-burns on his tuxedo, the way he ground soot into the white of my boat-neck silk. You may notice how heavy the veil sits upon my head— that lace was like lead, sunk me slow into the ground. I scrawled the riotous fruit tree in a hurry, then daubed in the yellow of the sky. Finally, I was left only with the indeterminate musculature of the red angel who cast no shadow as he split through the morning above our heads.

Wedding Feast #2, Undated Next I painted what I wanted my wedding to be: the sun like a red yolk, cypresses bursting through white rocks, and no such thing as gravity.


Self-Portrait as a Bridesmaid, Undated

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I told you my nightmare about a carnival in the sky. You laughed. But to show you what I meant, I painted myself all alone at someone else’s wedding dance where a strange red beast made the fiddle screech. I caught the bouquet—a bushel of blue and pink. To commemorate the moment, I dressed myself in the colors of the ocean. The peasants were all cavorting in a circle. The sky was breaking like a mirror.

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Spring 2011

Marcel Duchamp Inaugurates the Arts and Crap Movement

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his painting is in the form of a four-gated Tibetan mandala. In Tibetan Buddhism the viewer is expected to meditate upon the mandala in order to attain a special By Ron Bass level of consciousness. The title of the painting—Marcel Duchamp Inaugurating the Arts and Crap Movement—derives from the action depicted in the central panel. On the left, with his back facing the viewer, a man dressed in an expensively tailored blue suit is in the process of starting to move away from a urinal after presumably finishing up what he was doing there. On the outside of the top front portion of the porcelain rim of the urinal, directly facing the viewer, is an industrial logo in a slightly gothic typeface that reads: Readymade. We assume this man is Marcel Duchamp. What was he doing? Was he pissing into the urinal or was he just installing it? Given the title of the painting what constitutes 'inauguration?' Standing right next to him but facing the viewer is a dead pan Andy Warhol, who is holding a Polaroid camera in his right hand and his penis with his left hand. The penis is outside the fly of his dress whites and discharging a copious stream of urine onto the ground. The stream bounces off a small jagged incongruously placed boulder and flies upward in two subsidiary streams. One stream, while still arcing upward, diverges into three smaller streams and splashes into the eyes of three Pop Art collectors (Robert Scull, Henry Kravis, and Michael Ovitz) in the near right foreground. They are waving their arms around, as they appear to be shouting hosannas over their baptism with Andy’s holy water. Is the viewer being asked to draw comparisons between the Three Pop-Art Collectors and the Three Wise Men? The other stream, on its downward arc, collects in a water glass containing a crucifix held aloft by a kneeling Andres Serrano, who is dressed in swaddling clothes and positioned in the farther-right foreground. Is his appearance meant to represent a fetishistic recreation of the Baby Jesus? Before we move on to a discussion of the scenes painted in the four gates let us for a moment consider the setting. The viewer almost can’t help absorbing the light cascading from Andy’s golden


Spring 2011

stream, which appears to be a dramaturgical feint borrowed from Titian’s Christ Crowned With Thorns. Looking around the room and finding no alternative light source, one has to accept as fact that Andy’s stream lights the entire scene. The large square white floor tiles suggest a men’s locker room. The ritualized piss play evokes associations with gay S&M clubs. Keep in mind that at the outset of their careers the major Pop Art stars — Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg — were younger gay male artists whose rise to prominence rapidly eclipsed and stole the thunder from the older generation of macho, largely heterosexual Abstract Expressionist painters. The Three Pop Art Collectors are portrayed here as willing participants in this gay bacchanal. Now notice how Marcel Duchamp, situated in the top left portion of the painting, seems to inhabit an entirely different milieu, one that almost screams Neue Sachlichkeit (or New Objectivity)….”

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Milwaukee Guess By Marshall Thomas

Spring 2011

never been to Milwaukee · might ford focus it and make cautious rights · find a rotunda in a good day’s work · confuse beer and vinyl siding with symbol brain · return to hotel thoughts · detergent-dipped · this is the only perkins in the country that · rain is unlikely litter · no one sells dog food in places you’ve never been · winter coat beetles · aww service sector · white vans remind that bridge is often arc · the sky is funnel not dome in places you’ve never been · a man hoards all three imaginary houseplants · that was one shaky omelet order · fans left in windows since the summer · happy thanksgiving says the electricity · clammy drug sale and phone vibration · could really do some digestion in Milwaukee (opposite of mermaid) · significant minority dog population · happy in a mall in not-real Milwaukee · but suppose this city isn’t a pile of everywhere else

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Salad People By Marshall Thomas

Green Goddess Salad Dressing well in the 60s “leader” was a good occupation · it involved speeches · a great pile of ankles freedom-flexing · a loose girl-body in the salad · leather connoted power · those college kids stuck to their ideals through thick · main man MLK vomits dressing at his own assembly · spirits low · tomatoes well-coated

Tomatoes it’s a bad neighborhood · broken bottles shark teeth · indeterminate bus routes shake some hands and talk your way into mac and cheese · men play softball · salad people eat their organs was that a junkie · was that an alley · was that a stroller full of guns that man is wearing a coat · “a path enclosed by arching trees led into the dark wood” · sure

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you always see them · throwing money from dark sofas · hitting hair dye · mansion hollows with juice smells · long hall walks confirm personal cash · no substitute · i heard he spent 30 million in florida bucks · what the fuck is “cristal” · when broke · to be rich is best · to ride in a car with ac and a fish tank dashboard

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Spinach


Manufacturer’s Manual for Constructing a Katzenklavier: By Mark Dee Materials needed: 6-16 Cats 6-16 Cages 6-16 Nails A Functioning Piano

Spring 2011

Instructions: 1) Place cats in cages. 2) Arrange cats in order, according to pitch (Note: Lowest left, highest right) 3) Fix each nail to hammer at end of each key 4) Fix the tail of each cat beneath each corresponding nail (Note: In the absence of sufficient nails, one may simply place each tail beneath its corresponding key; this construction will produce a muted or staccato sound; such a model is known as “Kircher-style” Katzenklavier) 5) Play normally, as one might a piano 6) Have Fun! And, as always, let the cats sing for you

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Manufacturer’s note on history, the first: There is no formal music composed for the Katzenklavier. There is, in fact, only one noted instance of its use for musical purposes. This instance is cited by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin in his 1877 work Musicana, extraits d’ouvrages rare ou bizarre. Weckerlin describes a scene occurring in Brussels 328 years prior: When the King of Spain Felipe II was in Brussels in 1549 visiting his father the Emperor Charles V, each saw the other rejoicing at the sight of a completely singular procession…The most curious was on a chariot that carried the most singular music that can be imagined. It held a bear that played the organ; instead of pipes, there were sixteen cat heads each with its body confined; the tails were sticking out and were held to be played as the strings on a piano, if a key was pressed on the keyboard, the corresponding tail


would be pulled hard, and it would produce each time a lamentable meow. Each cat was arranged properly to produce a chromatic succession of notes in the octave. This account of a Katzenklavier demonstrates the instrument’s improvisational nature; its music is, in many ways, a precursor to 20th century American jazz. Such explains the lack of codified music for your Katzenklavier. One must play one’s cats as they are; one must not presume the cat’s consistency. One must know one’s cats, and through one’s cats, understand one’s sound. Follow the cats; if the cats lead you astray, if the cats leave you lost, at least you have 6-16 companions, wherever you are.

**** Manufacturer’s note on knowing everything: Athanasius Kircher wrote an atlas of China, though he had never been. He drew dragons into the maps. Kircher wrote a ten-book treatise on music theory, though he never played music. He transcribed bird songs, he drafted schematics for instruments he never built. He translated works in languages he didn’t know, but he knew every word in translations he devised. So he was never wrong, as he saw it; he knew what he knew and he knew everything, to a point. He was a Sinologist, Egyptologist, geologist,

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**** Manufacturer’s note on history, the second: Two men are commonly associated with the invention of the Katzenklavier. Both were born after the event described by Weckerlin. The first was “the last renaissance man,” Athanasius Kircher (16021680); the next was “the first psychiatrist,” Johann Christian Reil (1759-1813). Instructions included in this kit are for a Reilstyle Katzenklavier (the nails).

Spring 2011

**** Manufacturer’s note on the Manufacturer, the first: In the interest of full disclosure, the Manufacturer has never constructed a Katzenklavier. He has, in fact, never tried. He is, in fact, naturally averse to cats (scaring childhood experience; allergies). So the Manufacturer has never caught cats, never caged them, never (strictly speaking) heard them sing. But that doesn’t mean that he—that I—don’t love the Katzenklavier’s song.


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parasitologist. Doctor, author, absent-minded professor. A Jesuit, a monk, and bald. But most of all—most importantly— Athanasius Kircher invented things.

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**** Manufacturer’s note on Kircher’s Oedipus Aegyptiacus (trans: Oedipus of Egypt; or theater of hieroglyphs, it is a new and hitherto untouched interpretation of obelisks and hieroglyphs, which hitherto remained in Egypt, Rome, or in more outstanding European museums—explained to their physical, figurative, mystic, historical, cabalistical, hermetical, sophistical, theosophical, understanding; demonstrated from all oriental doctrine and wisdom), Vol. 1, 1652: Hieroglyphs are everything, he might say, hieroglyphs are ideas. Hieroglyphs are ideas, he might say, ideas are everything. Hieroglyphs are everything, that is, except words — except phonetics and accents and language. Because—he might tell you—because they can’t be both. So his translations weren’t translations at all: they were transformations. He didn’t just move words across languages; he changed meanings, made points of his own. He mocked the process of simple “translation,” and that is why all of his are considered incorrect. He knew that from the start, though, didn’t he? He knew exactly what he was doing, collapsing figure into figurative, transforming dd Wsr into “The treachery of Typhon ends at the throne of Isis, nature’s moisture is guarded by the vigilance of Anubis” without ever stopping at what it said (“Osiris says”). He must have thought he was translating the world, not what it said but what it meant. He must have thought the Egyptians had so few ideas, repeating birds and cats and jackals, sometimes changing the order but keeping the pictures the same. He said Adam and Eve spoke Ancient Egyptian. They might have, to a point. Then again they might have said nothing at all. Kircher was instrumental in building obelisks in European cities. Often he would carve his own hieroglyphs into the stone. To this day scholars cannot translate what his symbols mean. Perhaps because he wasn’t using words, perhaps because hieroglyphs are everything else. Everything physical, figurative, mystic, historical, cabalistical, hermetical, sophistical, theosophical—everything but understanding, that is. ****


Manufacturer’s note on psychiatry, the first: Johann Christian Reil coined the term 'psychiaitrie' (trans: 'psychiatry') in 1808, and for that distinction is considered the world’s first 'psychiater' (trans: 'psychiatrist'). Listed among his achievements is the discovery of the insular cortex (alternately, 'Island of Reil'; ‘Seat of Consciousness’), a portion of the brain involved in the processing of pain, awareness, emotional experience and auditory information— such as music—such as the music you are ready to create! Reil saw the Katzenklavier as a tool to seize the attention of patients psychologically removed from reality. Reil was a pioneer, but he did not always understand the transcendent power of a cat's song. In time, however, he learned.

**** Manufacturer’s note on curing the dreamer, Reil’s Von der Lebenskraft, 1795: Three causes of insanity: 1) malfunctioning representations of common sense (hypochondria); 2) malfunctioning representations of sensibility (hallucinations); 3) malfunctioning representations of imagination (a mix of both). The dreamer is the third, the worst. Projecting worlds too enchanting for others to see, insisting they are real and deciding

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**** Manufacturer’s note on maintenance: With regular maintenance and feedings, your cats can expect to live 12—14 years. However, due to the strain of regular play, most cats break sooner. In case of such an occurrence, we strongly recommend keeping a spare set of cats with your Katzenklavier. Remember, well maintained, happy cats do more than just live longer— well maintained, happy cats sound better, too!

Spring 2011

**** Manufacturer's note on psychiatry, the second: “Lebenskraft”: “life force”; Von der Lebenskraft: From the Life Force. In 1795, Reil said the self was the product of physical forces, the material of the mind. It's the relationship between chemicals, the interactions that produce the phenomena of life. It's a force of nature. It's gravity—things drawn together, moving blindly closer in the dark wrinkles of the brain, things destined to collide and form who-knows-what when they do. So gravity is thought. But gravity isn't poetry; at least gravity isn't a cat's song.


to stay awhile. When someone evacuates their eyes they retreat to the Islands of Reil. They are reduced to the synapses of the insular cortex. They do not exist in the nerves. They exist as the nerves, the chemical composition, the electric impulses that once made a body tick-tick-tick forward. Now retreated, out of existence. In 1795, you must end this exile by breaking the matter that is all there is, by driving in spikes and waiting for the scream.

Spring 2011

**** Manufacturer’s note on Late Renaissance meteorology: When a windblown hat fell on Kircher’s head, he decided it was raining hats. For a moment, perhaps it was.

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**** Manufacturer’s note on Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis (trans: The Music of the Universe; or the great art of consonance and dissonance in 10 books, in which the universal doctrines of sound and music will be demonstrated and made apparent), Book 1, 1650: At the time of its nesting, the hen speaks in warbling Cs. The rest of the time: A-A-A-A-D. The cuckoo: E-C-E-C, ad infinitum. The nightingale knows every note. It has its favorites—yo-yoed E-D and C-B trills—but it knows them all. So does the sloth, which Kircher thought was an ape. It sings out the most alphabetic of diatonic scales, A minor: A-B-C-D-E-F-G. It is unclear where he encountered the sloth, living in Germany, moving to Rome. He knew its song, though, he wrote it down. Pulled it out of the air and trapped it in the neat cages of a fivelined staff. He studied how the sloth so perfectly intones the first elements of music, how sloths and goats and cats and nightingales so loosely guard their secrets. And he knew they had secrets. Buried deep and silent and waiting in the slow, instinctive twitches of the world. They all knew without knowing, maybe Kircher did too, waiting for that message, coded but somehow clear, to weave its way into distracted ears. Another cipher without a key. And Kircher there smiling, pen in hand, deciding to tell us what it is, deciding to keep what it means to himself, always smiling. ****


**** Manufacturer’s note on the sublime: “The objective world is only the original, if unconscious, poetry of the mind.”—F.W.J. Schelling (1775-1854), on Naturphilosophie **** Manufacturer’s note on curing the dreamer, Reil’s Rhapsodieen uberdie Anwendung der psychischen Curmethodeauf

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**** Manufacturer’s note on psychiatry, the third: Reil’s theory of the mind was incomplete. Not wrong, but not finished. Not until sometime between 1795 and 1803, when he met Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and his grinning posse of romantics at the university in Halle. For Schelling, there was no difference between the ideal and the real. Alone each was complete; taken together they formed complimentary parts of a different whole. So what you wish exists, somehow, perfect wisps of dream built into the flawed, tangible approximations known as real things. And those pictures in Reil’s mind—those whiskers, ears, eyes and tails—they must exist, too. To Schelling their immateriality was no constraint, no problem. Maybe that thought sent Reil flipping back into dictionaries, back into the L's to take another look at lebenskraft: def: life force; alt: the force of life; alt: vitality. And maybe that’s why Rhapsodieen uberdie Anwendung der psychischen Curmethodeauf Geisteszerriittung seems so much less concerned with forces and chemicals, so free from the weight of things. And maybe that’s when Reil found Kircher, in that place the old man had been waiting all along— still smiling after all those years, still listening to all those tacit purrs, still waiting for two more hands to join him in silent duet.

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Manufacturer’s note on the Manufacturer, the second: The manufacturer would like to make it known that he has never met either Athanasius Kircher or Johann Christian Reil. Moreover, the manufacturer would like to make it known that Athanasius Kircher and Johann Christian Reil have, strictly speaking, never met each other. And that none of us have, in all likelihood, physically constructed a Katzenklavier. If anyone has, how could you wink at the thought of it, how could you smile at the sound?


Geisteszerriittung (trans: Rhapsodies on the Use of Psychological Therapies for the Mentally Disturbed), 1803: The brain is a synthetic product of art and that is where the dreamer is sleeping. A broken whole resting, recovering. The dreamer whispers across the myelin and the nerves respond in kind. They cradle him, they breathe into his unhearing ears, they know what he's seeing and don't want to wake him. You cannot shake him awake; you must provide him with something better to see, to hear. In 1803, two hands fall hard onto white keys and music—the most singular music that can be imagined—is heard. The dreamer's eyes split wide, and a young man wakes up.

Spring 2011

**** Manufacturer’s note on the manufacturer, the last: How funny, then! Funny, and strange: that same thing that wakes a young man up can so quickly set him back to dreaming, sometimes.

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**** Manufacturer’s note on technique: The astute reader may have noticed that in Weckerlin’s citation above, the Katzenklavier was played by a bear. This is not meant to imply that the Katzenklavier is indeed an instrument designed for bears, but, it being the one historical citation, we cannot preclude this possibility. Oh well. One needn’t play one’s Katezenklavier to know how it sounds, so one needn’t play one’s Katzenklavier to hear its music. Whether or not you make it is, after all, up to you, so long as you know that it’s real, so long as you hear it—that famous cat solo, cascading out of midnight alleys, old boots of approbation flying by like roses and room keys. And you with them, following the cats out and up and higher still, to where the air is sweeter for your static passage, for your new and distinguished company. **** Manufacturer’s note on Romantic psychology: Two men sit in a room. The first asks the second, “What do you think about cats?” The second says, “Plenty.” The first man frowns for a while. Then agrees.


Ronald H. Bass (71 'CC) is the author of The Velveeta Underground, a collection of short stories and one-act plays published in 2006 as part of the EAA Signature Series. He is currently the lyricist and lead singer of Jersey Petroleum. Jason Bell is a Columbia College sophomore studying English and Political Science. In his spare time, Jason writes about food on his blog, The College Critic, plays Scrabble, and runs marathons. Andy Bowers is a Creative Writing major at Columbia College. Her preoccupations include art, nature, counterculture, and her native Arizona. Marissa Brodney, former Editor-in-Chief of The Columbia Review, moved to Boston after living in テ」ila, Spain. She dedicates the poem featured in this issue to the teachers, neighbors and friends who guided her through the stories and history of Castilla y Leテウn.

Maurice Emerson Decaul is a student at Columbia University's School of General Studies, studying creative writing. Maurice has contributed to the NY Times Home Fires Blog and has had work featured on Newsweek.com. Mark Dee is a senior studying English at Brown University. He lives in Providence, RI with three roommates and an allergy to cat dander. Hannah Gamble is the current Parks Fellow at Rice University where she teaches Creative Writing and serves as the faculty advisor to the Rice Review. Some recent poems and interviews appear or are forthcoming in the Indiana Review, Ecotone, Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, Mid-American Review, Washington Square, and Catch Up. Lori Powell lives in the Washington, DC area but is continually trying to escape to a more pastoral scene. She teaches English to

Spring 2011

Tian Bu (CC '13) is alive and well.

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Contributors


children and adults who speak other languages. Her poetry has appeared in various print and online journals, including Wilderness House Literary Review, Avocet, and Bethesda Magazine. A chapbook, Truth and Lies, was published in 2000 by Black Buzzard Press. Abigail Struhl is a freshman at Columbia College hoping to pursue an English major. She enjoys streetlamps, daffodils, and dusk. Ephraim Scott Sommers was born in Atascadero, California. A singer and guitar player, Sommers has produced three full-length albums of music and toured internationally both as a solo artist and with his band Siko (see-co). Most recently, his poetry has appeared in New Madrid, Versedaily, City Works, Afterimage, San Diego Poetry Annual, and Barnstorm. His work is forthcoming in Blue Earth Review. "Momma say, 'Tuck your chain, son, they'll take it'/(Marshall Thomas, CC '12) hit her with one of them stale faces"

Spring 2011

Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 300 national and international online and print journals. He is a Christian, a self-taught pianist, singer and painter. He holds the B.A. and the M.A. in English/Creative Writing/Literature from the University of Memphis and the PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Seton Hall University.

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28 Sponsored by the Arts Initiative of Columbia University. This funding is made possible through a generous gift from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation

If you want to get involved in the magazine or submit your work, please contact us at columbiareview@columbia.edu and visit our website at www.columbia.edu/cu/review

The Columbia Review, Spring 2011  

The Spring 2011 issue of The Columbia Review, the oldest college literary magazine in the nation. Volume 92, Issue 2.

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