Letter from the editors Firstly, thank you for picking up a copy of our year-end issue! We are humbled by the amount of amazing submissions we have received this time around and are subsequently thrilled to share them with you (elusive you). To our contributors—it has been a treat; to our contributors’ parents—thanks for buying those extra copies. The Continuist is Ryerson’s only student-run literary and arts collective and we are so grateful to be doing it. Thank you so much to our valiant team for their dedication to the project this year. We would like to give a special thanks to: the ACS interim program director, Patrizia Albanese and Nicole Florecki for their constant support; SIF and the Faculty of Arts for their generous contributions; Ryerson University, the Arts & Letters Club, Page One, and all of the amazing places and events that we have partnered with; as well as TPH and Copyrite for their print services. Want to keep up to date with our future publications? Stay in touch through our social media platforms, and give us a shout if you have any questions. wordpress: www.thecontinuist.wordpress.com issuu: www.issuu.com/thecontinuist facebook: www.facebook.com/TheContinuist twitter: www.twitter.com/thecontinuist instagram: www.instagram.com/thecontinuist email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you enjoy this collection and please continue to support local artists and forums. Love always, Daisy Barker & Kristina Pantalone, Co-editors at The Continuist Cover by: Max Challis
COMPARISON Oh, no, Weâ€™re not like Them!
Their floors are bare and polished from treading over the same spots some even look down and can see their reflection, but not us! We are adorned with wide carpets of green, prairie and brightly-colored tiles under which we sweep the dust that chokes those nearest to the bottom. I was asked, once, where I thought my hometown was and I had an answerâ€” but then another question: where do you feel safest? and I had to stop and think about who I would hurt - Terese Pierre
The Power Bill Everything is getting interesting again that’s where we start
right in the middle of thirty thousand or so wool strands, all soft and pilling and tangled like veins, all strangling each other but too fragile to disengage aha, that moment; the lightbulb sometimes it flickers and I think, “God, did anyone think to pay the electricity bill?”
ye of so little faith, certain we’re going to plunge back into the dark ages as soon as an idea doesn’t bare itself to me, like I expect the lights always come back on, especially when I don’t deserve it The power is there. - Benson McDaniel
gold - Anh Dao
Mother Nature’s Daughter Looking at the setting sky, I see the things I’ve missed; the shades of blue, the hints of yellow and red the way the colours blend together into a seamless canvas of light flitting through the air Brought into focus, its beauty is clear. The stunning complexity in it’s simplicity; that which was hanging above my head in clear view but which I chose to ignore. And you, like the sky; your beauty and your intricacies light bursting in and around your being, coursing through your veins, and out through your golden smile. All this time. To see you without seeing you. - David Warner
Untitled When things are good, I wake up and catch you in that stubborn yet calm pose no movement, just time stretching When things are good, I am a spectator of the quietest parts of life, capturing every private angle, whether weâ€™re pushed forward or holding onto lost time, things are good. - Cat Machado
Gloom A cat dozes on a couch in an apartment living room, the tips of its whiskers illuminated by the stripes of orange light that stream in from streetlamps. All is still except the rise and fall of its little body. A key sliding into a lock breaks the silence. The door flies
open with such force that the handle bangs against the wall. The cat flees, paws skidding on the floor. In through the door stomps a woman, hair auburn and face scarlet, with a purse slung over her shoulders. She slaps the wall where the light switch is, then hurls the purse across the room. It crashes onto the couch, taking the cat's place. For a moment she struggles with the zipper on the side of her boots before kicking them off. As she does this, a man inches into the apartment behind her, clutching his cell phone with both hands down in front of his crotch. Like a statue, he goes motionless as she rips off her
coat, pries her wrists free from the bunched fabric of the sleeves, and spikes it to the floor. The slam of the bedroom door makes him wince as she shuts herself inside. Pocketing the phone, he stoops to untie his shoes, each movement slower than the last. After carrying them to the closet door he slides it open but freezes when it creaks. The cat peers out from the bathroom, crouching with fur standing on end. Tip-toeing, the man steps around the room collecting the flung purse, boots, and coat. He sets them in the closet but does not close the door. Breathing a heavy sigh, he trudges to the kitchen, barely lifting his feet, and flips a coffee maker on. As it does its work he leans against a kitchen counter. It buzzes and hums. His hands rise to cover his face. When the coffee is made, he opens a cupboard and scans the interior. Stretching to the top shelf, he reaches a round red mug painted like a ladybug. This he fills with
coffee, and the mug is large enough to hold almost the whole pot. He slinks to the bedroom, mug clasped in both hands, but stands outside the door for a minute before budging the knob over, opening it, and peeking in. She sits in the centre of the bed, black makeup spilling down over her cheeks. Next to
her is a pile of men's clothes. The bedroom wardrobe doors are open, and the right side is empty. As he enters the room, she crosses her arms and looks away. Perching on the edge of the bed, he offers her the mug but she makes no reaction. He brings it back to his mouth and takes a slurp. Glowering, she reaches over and grabs it from him. A splash spills onto his hand. She drinks and watches him over the rim of the mug as he tugs a shirt from the heap. He drapes it over his chest, poses, and smirks as he balls up the shirt and tosses it over his shoulder. Her face stays hidden in the ladybug. The cat creeps into the room, leaps onto the bed, and climbs the tangled mound, the bell on its collar jingling. It lies down again, but its ears rove from front to back. She reaches one-handed for the cat, sipping coffee with the other, but the man snatches it first, cradles it like a baby, and waltzes around the room. She chokes on the coffee before a smile stretches across her face. He allows the cat to spring from his arms and onto the bed, where it regains the spot atop the clothing. The man scuttles over and hops onto the bed next to her. She puts the mug on a bedside table, sighs, and cocks her head to one side. He rights it in his hands, raises his brows, and grins. She nods, and he kisses her. They lie down in an embrace, feet propped on the pile. Her head rests on his chest as it expands and contracts. When he begins to snore she slithers away, retrieves a bag from the wardrobe, and fills it with what is left hanging inside. She begins to seal the zipper but stops. She sidles out of the bedroom door to the closet. Pulling on her
shoes, coat, and purse, she turns around to see the cat, eyes shining in the dark, tail waving. She glances into the bedroom. He has turned to his side, and faces away from her. The cat jogs closer and rubs its body against her leg, purring. She scoops it up with her free hand and the cat, limp, dangles over her arm. She pulls open the stillunlocked door, flicks off the light switch, then turns and stares into the gloom of her apartment. Orange lines irradiate the floor. The latch clicks into place as she walks away. - Liam McConnell
apologies - Markus/Star Harwood-Jones
COLD CALLS A seagull in a snowstorm, Mid-flight entertainment, Staccato screeching,
Home so soon, Regrets: the intermission. Cancel all coincidence, But this clandestine impudence,
to teach beyond divinity's persistent retribution. Six feet repeating, begets the opposition. Working toward an appetite, for so begins:
the season. - Laura Pallen
- Sina Zand
The Moon Pull the moon from my eyes and it spills on to the floor. Thereâ€™s a horde waiting to touch but nobody ever spoke up quite loud enough so the procession keeps on, circular march abating only with the intake of breath, warming the metal and the wood, unfreezing pink matter so long frozen and on the verge of an untimely shatter-ing. They walk as they do long and hard in tracks, their feet finding the ruts and sliding easily as blood through intravenous tubes, irrigating flesh and turning hospice into home. This is not a hospice, a dome that touches the sky filling empty flesh with light, but it is that, just not hospice in name. Great stains hang in the air, from mouth to mouth they travel, caught up in steady twirling hair that through insistence knots and ties the walking cir-
cle into a single strength until, bound by the strands that pull from their heads into the great night. There is no sun above the dome. Through never-cracked windows streams the silent kiss of moonlight, like vodka and honey spilling and swelling into the slowly thawing pink-matter-on-the-verge-of-â€œdoes-not-matterâ€?, realigning the sobriety within the heads, balancing the emptyness of basil coloured walls and cleaned once a day bathroom stalls with dreams of death. A bitter snap that crunches finger under motion, choked down like God leaving the circle tilted, leaning off of something more shriv-
elled and shattered than anything that stuck between the heads of the circling kids and women.
Actavis tattoo pharmaceutically requested adorns the forehead of an old woman, 7 feet tall with eyes of pure white, the milk long since chilled into di vine purity not to be escaped once it hath been overcome into. She walks in motion, hands like leaf-veins spilling into those in front of and behind her, moving like sheâ€™s stuck and not stuck, feeling so out of place and out of space and out of time calling for something that speak out of reason and out of rhyme, not from reason or from rhyme, but rather lacking both any and all qualities of the circle. Ground beef all over the ground, like hidden mystery unidentifiable by the circlers, long since abandoned by any astronaut, all alone swirling in the abyss. They wind long and heavy through the space, bending, leaning with expert grace by the grace of repetition that splits their wisdom and renders them unto decision-less beings that see only forward but in that see everything. Faculty rendered unnecessary, hair tied in the air holds them together as moondrip hangs in the air like bullets on the fourth of July, shooting ever higher until they land squarely into something different from their land. The arc of the circle. The width of a circle. Walk in silence walk in Judas pose, walk in silent beggar clothes, walk with head held in palms and feet turned to silent doors and split from your head the notions of the dead for those immortal ache so deeply to be a part of it, this cycle that they guide of life death
and bloodied fingertips the struggle and pain endurable only by those that are unwillingly subjected to the game that is rent from their souls fracturinggg that original nature, bronzing the gold, shifting and twisting the home into fragile, ancient poems that
speak to nobody that they know and only serve to guide them farther into the sea of ever-melting chrome. You can never go home because you never leave home. And thatâ€™s all she wrote.
M O O N
Silent watcher of the night bless the heart and bless the life for my fist shall raise in sight to touch against the soft moonlight. - Brandon Lloyd
silver - Anh Dao
Outskirts Arch in the strip On the drive home Leaving the place Where I first saw someone Pass
When Iâ€™m Sick I Go Somewhere Else Park across funeral home Such calm reverence Bright pavilion Network of trails Untouched Sunset at the bus stop Clipped the armrest Scooter and youthful spite Altered view from memory Cliff
I was clay melting Bed ridden boy with the neo citron Liquid on cactus Anxious about missing a day of work And if it is taken with the sincerity I called it with First time dial Last time ever? Snot bubbles above the crane Hump day sleeper Quintessence of a true sick thing The history of disgust The ones cut down Anyways - Paul Harper
Ghosts - Rachel Tham
Nothing She dreams in hues of rouge and baby blue Maybe the skull is the wall that holds us in prison Bones are the bars of captivity bird beating against the glass There is no way that this is all that there is I know you have looked into the stars and felt the longing Reconcile what you have never had the pull it has on you I know you have been seduced by her the mistress of greatness, her whispers You’re not free if you can run or if you see the ocean Higher purpose. Maybe this isn’t all that there is Captivity is a mentality the body is a slave to the mind Mistress’ mist hung on him for days on end No siren song could seduce this spinning storm In his haze of despair Words of razors spilled from his mouth He flew headlong for the rocks shouting this isn’t all that there is She dreams of pink plastic joy Chasing what we once had with fleeting synthetic sensations Pursing what we once had with fading masks of pleasure There is nothing else worth finding, mundane existence Is all that there is. She dreams in black and white a prisoner to her mind. A world worth nothing. That all that there is.
poem + illustration - Daniel Maluka
Antoine the Swan* The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The band that made me worship music. Not just music but words. And if we’re being completely honest, it was the people singing the words that I worshipped the most. I worshipped the four guys that wore socks on their cocks, like I worshipped The Care Bears, as a kid, or more specifically, “Brave Heart Lion”. I remember it was the summer before Grade 11. We were going on a family trip to Germany. I was in one of those weird teenage phases where you hate everyone, and believe that the only people who understand you are the bands you listen to because their words are so “real” and “relatable”. I went on this trip believing that Anthony Kiedis (aka Antoine the Swan), was the only person who truly understood me. To compound my resentment, I lost my ipod on the plane on the way over which meant, for the remainder of the trip, anytime I wanted to listen to music, I had to carry around my laptop. And that’s exactly what I did. My twin sister and I share everything: clothes, music, friends. We did (and still do) most things together. So when my heart was entirely, lovingly consumed with the The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and more specifically Antony Kiedis, I had to get my sister on board. He was unusual and freakish. He posessed this electricity about him that’s eutrophic and explosive. He embodied this, “I don’t give a fuck” personality and even stranger attire that made him hard to resist. There was something unconditionally sexy about a man with bronzed, wheat-like hair, who wore bizarre, unconventional, zebra print hats and bandanas, black shorts, high socks, and colourful 80’s high top Nike sneakers. Kiedis often wore no shirt at all. And if he did, he would rip it off, within two minutes of their set. Sigh. Über appealing to their audience, The Chilli Peppers wanted to be naked. Kiedis, who was the lead singer, (or as he refers to himself, the ‘poet’ in the band), was no exception. My sister and I faced jet lag, we woke up early every morning. So I took this as the perfect opportunity to share with her what she’s been missing. I woke up, it was raining. Raindrops were falling down the sides of the windows. Fog was starting to form from
the clouds. Staring at me was a blue boat, with red trim, dry docked, rusting in someone’s backyard. I got up, threw my bathrobe on, and washed my face. I clicked the kettle, opened the window, and called for my sister to come into the kitchen. We had our own little “apartment” in the house we were staying at in Germany. It was just my sister and I. The rest of my family was downstairs sleeping. I poured two cups of tea and set them on the counter. I opened up my laptop, and as she sat down I told her, “Listen”. I played my favourite Chilli Peppers song “Soul To Squeeze”. The melody of the song reminds me of a lullaby my mother sang to me as a kid. Slow but strong. I knew she would love it, and I was right. From then on, every morning of our trip we would wake up, open the window, make a cup of tea, and listen. Now, we were both fans.
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers were a rather late addition to my musical repertoire. My friends had already been listening to their music for years, but that never bothered me. I quickly became an encyclopaedia of all things Chilli Peppers and considered myself an ‘expert’ of the band’s work. I knew everything and anything, and what I didn’t know, I researched. I printed out song lyrics and memorized all the hits. Once I thought I had them down, I would throw on my “John Lennon” wannabe sunglasses, crank the tunes, and dance. My friend and I would send each other “SnapChats” back and forth playing their music and imitating their insane mannerisms on stage. (“SnapChat” is the social media app that allows for the senseless, reckless teen, to send a photo or video and have it disappear within 1-10 seconds of being opened.) And when people would say to me, “he’s like, 50 now”, (referring to Kiedis), I would respond, “So?”. In my mind he is just as sexy at 50 walking around in shorts and UGGS in the middle of summer, as I thought he was at 20 with his ragged hair, and calm, seducing baby face.
That summer was my second time reading Kiedis’s autobiography Scar Tissue. It was the jarring bolt that made me decide Anthony Kiedis was the man for me. His persona was mesmerizing. He was this completely deranged, unhinged mad man, mesmerized by the female body. Kiedis was constantly talking about the women he had fucked on
tour describing one woman’s tits as “enormous missiles that projected out from her elbows to the end of her hand” (Kiedis 158). I grew up sheltered in the privileged neighbourhood of Lawrence Park. School was only a five-minute walk, and my grandmother lived across the street. Perhaps that’s why I became so infatuated with the way this man acted, wrote and spoke. His experiences seemed so wild and unimaginable to me. His being on tour, doing drugs all day, everyday, fucking fans while they recite poetry to him. I was awestruck. Did I feel the same way all teenage girls felt at that age? Thirsty for male attention and fantasizing about ‘bad boys’. I wanted to rebel. I wanted to fuck that rock star. I wanted to do drugs. I wanted to be a groupie and go on tour. I wanted to move to L.A. I’m watching interviews of the band, and I’m thinking, “Shit. These guys are really weird”. My initial obsession was based purely off looks, and then sound. But shortly after, it came from their weirdness. Maybe I thought, “Hey if these sexy, rich, famous musicians can be so weird, and that’s makes them cool, then maybe I can be too.” The Red Hot Chilli Peppers made it not just “ok” to be weird, but cool. - Linden Horber-Safwat * the remainder of this red hot piece can be found on our blog
- Samantha Selman
Chili Peppers When my brother and I were young, we wanted to do things like grown ups did. We wanted to have chilli peppers with the meal, like grown ups did. But we didn’t want the spicy ones.
We’d pick one from the bowl and hand it to mom. She was supposed to bite the tip off and tell us if it was sweet or spicy. Funny thing is, the tips were always sweet. I don’t know if mom was mean, or just stupid. I don’t know if dad was busy, or just hated me. I don’t know lots of things. - Mahsa Rashidisisan
Rolling Eyes - Rachel Tham
Battle Cry The cicadas hum Their last song; they know it well Once I knew it too ****
Whatâ€™s Your Handle? Digital screen light Soft glowing validation A phone cracks when dropped
Mother, I Am Sad Too The moon cries all night Listen; hear her nostalgia I weep with her too - Lisa Tower
In 876 pieces. Have you ever seen someone shatter into 876 pieces? 876 fragments of bone of flesh of exhausted anxiety reaching a breaking point. 876 pieces: 200 bones and over 600 muscles in the human body, cracked onto cold cement and pooled into thin streams of polluted water that flow along the roads curb. That rush and veer into various darkened drains and nooks. That methodically draw the scraps that complete you farther from yourself. His wreckage transpired at 11 pm in November. One of those nights when the taunting black wind whistles at the window like a slim finger steadily prodding a bruise. The maroon walls of his spacious bedroom became increasingly claustrophobic as he hysterically repeated:
I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I watched paralyzed as hundreds of layers of life positioned themselves arrogantly on his weakened shoulders and pushed. His face buckled into a morphed mural of pain. His sturdy figure crumpled like a coat and would’ve continued to fall if not for the smooth oak floorboards beneath his feet.
I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I delicately placed my fingertips on the edge of his clavicle and folded myself next to him: two fabrics, worn and tired. I rested my cheek to his chest and listened silently to his shallow, fluttering breathe. I listened silently as his words chipped at his seemingly solid stature and systemically shifted the man who I intimately lay on. I listened silently as his once strong heartbeat that valiantly pulsated under his skin became a fragile, overworked, tapping - vulnerable to the slightest incision. And it was in this moment that I, too, shattered into 876 pieces. 876 fragments of bone of flesh of powerless empathy strangling my stiff body.
In this moment I, too, was broken. It is now 6 am in July. One of those mornings when the cool, neat air tickles the hairs on your spine and hugs you with the potent scent of freshly cut grass. I have found 100 of my pieces so far.
One pink one resting amongst the dust bunnies under my bed. A pitiful cluster hiding under cartons of organic blueberries at the supermarket. The most unusual was a thin silver shard that I found deep in the pocket of my worn, oversized jean jacket. Bit by bit I am piecing myself together again, but I must admit, itâ€™s pretty shitty patchwork. Only 776 to go the soft voice echoes in my head. I hope heâ€™s finding his pieces, too. - Madelyn Grace
- Hailey Kobrin
Proposal Ancient brick retreats from spray paint and bills. Vines tug mortar, grasping light above the sagging roof, the chimney out of breath. A proposal darkly hangs on a boarded window. Drifted soil spills through doorways, termite dust pours down the walls. Makeshift beds and oily cobwebs rope the corners. Filthy clothing, neatly folded, shares fires with the floor. In dark back rooms a speaker sighs “never mourn over the less”, or was it “nevermore nevertheless”?
The Fury The fury in the flick of a match, of a raindrop on sand, of a shattered glass, is in everything irreparable. The one way path that closes off behind with every step. - Denver Jermyn
his blue eyes his blue eyes creases at the top corners, wash away disquieted thoughts like painkillers. a sea of cool waves written in lullabies, crescendos of shy tides rolling, cap white as they travel by. smirking lips cause lines and ridges, the crinkle of a blanket folding over. invoking strokes of tenderness and ardor. florid tones paint doughy skin, a wispy cloud in the sky, they mesmerize. his blue eyes cry tears of indifference, yet they wreak havoc and disorder. out on cool, tempestuous waters, a boat will capsize. thick skin masks an apathetic heart, growing colder. constant only in his unpredictability, dig into the Earth and the soil becomes desolate and dries. inspiring sonnets of disappointment and delusion, his blue eyes.
- Liana Mortin
- Hailey Kobrin
Listen to the Boy Who Holds a Machete Cucullus non facit monachum - William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”
I know everything is masked; well they know I'm no Friar Tuck
Bugs and grass that's just pure nonsense; she still knows I’m the one
Broken chips, Easter eggs Eagle eggs is what I mean My fate says: “Wear those stretchy pants.” And listen to the boy who holds his machete - Kylie Coleen Tan
Saint Namesake My name sounds more like an insult screamed out at Moby Dick in the unforgiving ocean than a desirable swirl of the tongue. Saying it, your mouth stays open long enough for you to have time to barf it out. Too many open mouth 'o' sounds, forcing you to ogle and goggle –oozing out of your lips with every endless syllable. It takes longer to jiggle out each time, four syllables of pure torture, overdramatized culture. Χαράλαμπο a holy old tapestry in a Greek Orthodox Church. Saint Χαράλαμπος (Haralambos), shoved on to such a blessed pedistal that one step off would plunge him down into a splattering mess of syllables –much like his name. It was my grandmother's name, down to the last excruciating 'o'. A stout, devoted brand of a woman who would be equipped with a shield of chocolates every time the doorbell rang (thoroughly in her stereotype). Greek right down to her bone marrow. My name would sing itself out of her open lips like a soothing drip of honey down my throbbing vengeful throat.
The malicious bubbles of open sounds in my mouth sound like rosy open blossoms with her voice. Those lovely sing-song vowels screech and pop the pink bubble as I hear them. I felt guilty for not dripping with the same delight. Her 'o's' are as hopeful as Rapunzel's golden hair, cascading down the open tower window in a harrowing escape from the wicked old witch who never thought the name could be pretty. When I hear my name it's paired with confusion. "Where are you from?" "I'm sorry did I say that right?" "Wow! That's an interesting name!" So profoundly interesting that it was my own mimicking Boogeyman –threatening to pull me under my desk and into a hellish pit during morning attendance. I remember hiding the slinky syllables –tossing my poor grandmother's religious legacy under the rug with my report card in the name of normalcy. I would fold it up in the same conditioned response as I would lean in to kiss both her wrinkled cheeks. No practice or effort needed. Without a second thought.
My name is a direct tie to her. We both kept it –who am I to cut that? But I liked to think that I hated it. No, I hated being the cause of perplexity. Slowing down my pronunciation –letting the slug pour out of me so I could explain. Then draw a diagram of my nickname, the one I was called by the members of the English speaking club. "You know we can change it if you want. You don't have to keep the name." My dad used to propose the change, elimination, shorten. He knew I hated the letters so fondly. But I don't think that I could ever sincerely hate every twisting headache of it – because I never hated her. - Harleigh Keriazes
A Rain Soaked Memory, Vaguely Recalled Beneath the branches the boulevardier weeps, trying to make up for the sky’s failings in his own charmingly futile way. He hopes for quiet streets forgotten in the rainfall, only traversed by the wind and the pitter patter of his boots. “There was silence once,” he thought. Maybe not in the truest sense with decibel gauges reading “zero,” but silent enough. Silent enough that one can be relieved from thinking. He needn’t the crowds to drown his endless thought experiments in a murky stew of white noise.
The near silent backstreets with interesting windows, warm furnishings, and obscure architecture coalesced with nature in a way we’d mock as mere superstition if it were relayed to us second-hand. That is all gone now. Only a crude simulacrum remains; a faded recollection of days past and tauntingly bad loops. A rain soaked memory, vaguely recalled. A streetcar limps over the bridge, like a whale drawing its terminal breath. This is the only distraction: a reminder of death.
- Zachary Pothier
“You should talk more” words come to me in waves caressing the cords of my larynx— gently lapping off my tongue. words come to me in waves foaming against my dammed mouth. words come to me in waves a dying tsunami recoiling as it meets my quivering voice. - Aiman Khan
Artifacts of photochemical processes and light on sheet film
- Richelle Forsey
The thing that sits suspended across my throat stretched out like skin like animal skin like dirty skin on a body and then over a drum thatâ€™s hovering above the dark, and holding me helpless
Choked me, sent me to find a ladder made in India owned by a family of ten I am halfway up the bones of four of them (which are amethysts, and tied together with arthritis) when I realize where I am falling out of an airplane towards Korea above a field on the family farm
I’m in the faded photo of my aunt on her banana-seat bike in the kitchen with my mom, a white phone chord wrapped around brown legs, a strand of someone’s red hair glistening in the sun In the attic, where I first landed, there is a locked trunk filled with the memory of spices, and a porcelain woman from England reading a holy book
Mom pulls me down, says I shouldn’t be up there says there is a pie in the fridge It’s May and the fruit is in season I eat the pie, which is more like a crumble, and fall apart like I am the brittle bark of an old tree On the floor now, rubbing my stiff joints, craning my long neck I press my full ear to the linoleum suspended above the basement I feel like that thing I ask it what to do - Emily Blatta
ring of fire -Tim Schijns
Elizabeth September was ambivalent, I was claustrophobic in a turtleneck. She said this parkway feels like closure, but I couldnâ€™t find any confessional on the tarmac. The weather kept preaching to an imaginary congregation and I tried to pray to October but Sunday evenings arenâ€™t for changes and I am not a good person.
Emily The softness of August faded and I was losing feeling in my fingers (Tenderness in 35mm). Anemic trying to fill your spine with marrow, just wanting you to have my back but walking apologies provide no absolution.
Epilogue I shiver in coherence with the colder cosmos, finally realizing why Pluto never really stood a chance. You are all warm honey on oat bread and soda pop and the light flickering inside that old Kodak projector. What I mean to say is I love you. So I will wrap myself inside these cosmos, I will shiver and flicker and drive myself home. I will roll my window down. I will listen to AM radio. -Jordan Donovan
Pistachio These markets grew fresher fruit than any had back home Tables lined to their edges with red bulbs and juice of mango The smell like ice cubes down your back A shock to the body. And the people, They know how lucky they are with faces kissed each morning by the sun I grew to know Italy by the markets. The olives reached into my hand from a wicker basket, I thought of Nonna The cans of peppers and bread by the water. This is where I realized I want to be like a pistachio, Preparing you for the next bite with its shell enforcing patience, Insides like rich cheese and cane sugar dust Spring colours Tulip and lime ink. In the market I learned to be like a pistachio. In the market I grew to know Italy. - Natalie Cito
Executive Dysfunction In a cave above the surf, a faceless spirit felt the sun caress her bare bones. Sensing her blindness, the sun sang a harmony of warm lilac and lavender waves tinged with rose and indigo that washed over the spirit's torn grey dress. An ombrĂŠ design of warm pink fading into midnight purple bled into the fabric as slowly as blood seeping through a shirt. Heat fused tears in the sleeves and bodice into one seamless silhouette.
Sensing the sun, the cave walls sang their own song in response, cool grey tones with flecks of bamboo green and ocean blue that resounded through the seaside cliffs like the hum of a dreaming goddess. The song blew a breeze through the cave opening, skimming the spirit's skinless bones and reminding her: though she can sit at the front of the cave and feel the sun, she can never leave until the day her bones can move. - Geraldynn Lubrido
- Caitie McKinnon
DESIRE So we made memories Firm and etched into oak turrets I could see the flames from a mile away Even amongst the magic of grand gestures and crescendoing songs Like they were igniting the clouds Rolling in: I know now what I saw We sang on wooded walks Our voices echoing off of autumn thicket Seen the sun set a thousand times An orange sherbet sky Whether flicker or a descending sun all I saw was you I remember an inky black midnight And our feet keeping time to the melody of impending doom A waltz next to a bonfire clothed in the dark Stoking a fire that was always meant to spread Imagining a story of romantic arson and sneaking away unscathed I chose the warm glow of kindling Under my chest and in my belly Instead of reading the clouds Instead of tracing the lines of our palms Searching for a correlation
And I canâ€™t deny there is still a blaze running wild all over my body Bouncing and hopping and screaming forward Burning a pink rash over my skin Trying to get to the surface Begging for your hands to soothe I canâ€™t deny there is still an incessant buzz and crackle There is something coming alight under your touch An impulsive rush that makes me recite verses Words like a poem of prophecy: I know now what I saw
We are making movements Weaving and wandering through a murky darkness Towards an glowing light ahead We are making movements Bleeding into each other These words stand still and sturdy Like a dozen oaks lined up A memory of bone and flesh and rouge The night is fading The fire pursues - Rebekah Veerasammy
DON VALLEY PASTORAL The hiss of parkway traffic Scrapes the air / swarm of Invisible hornets & Haunted Gerrard Street complexes Giant coffins of bleached brick Miasma of carbon monoxide Don River a waste-brown ribbon Watch the drifting detritus: Coffee cups / pieces of cardboard Old pair of New Balance sneakers (Evidence of drowning?) Plastic shopping bags fold open & Float like dead water lilies On dead water At night water turns charcoal-black Leaden clouds crawl / stretch to the horizon Falling columns of lavender fog Violent fluorescence over East Chinatown White headlights / oscillate across the parkway Illuminating the polluted vein Conveyor belt of candy bar wrappers Cigarette cartons & Diet Coke cans Pushed through the poisoned contours of Toronto - Faron Wade-Lang
On Endings When the walls are closing in And youâ€™re sitting in an empty room Piecing together the last four years Where it fell apart Pictures clouded in nostalgia Scattered across the floor Amidst other objects As you pick up your things And turn around for the last time Knowing that it wonâ€™t be the same - Zuha Ziaee
Jean Jacket - Rebecca Lacroix
i am sick of using your body as a map and other useless metaphors i.
he says he’ll love you forever but he doesn’t mean it. don’t blame him he doesn’t know he doesn’t mean it ‘til he doesn’t need to mean it anymore
ii. walking home alone i mistake a streetlight for the moon please. no more memory if i asked you to fuck me would you do it nicely
iii. licking sugar off my hands stirred wet fingers in my coffee black no honey purple champagne. i think
iv. for the second night i think a streetlight is the moon
it is hard loving in a language you donâ€™t understand
v. in the shower i weigh bottles of my roommateâ€™s shampoo i wonder what it would
feel to be lighter
vi. i want to know what grandiosity feels like on the third night i mistake a streetlight for the moon. there is no fourth night - Hannah Polinski
- Daisy Barker
Every once in a while Every once in a while I canâ€™t help but wonder where and who you must be now
do you still dance at the end of the night when no one else is awake laughing as you stumble around tables and chairs
do you still paint of strange sad people or draw in bold black ink with clear intensity
did you ever leave in some brash fury escaping that house to lose yourself in gothic spires and cobblestone streets
do you still smoke taking heavy drags between smiles as you talk with strangers -friends for five minutes do you still drink in that dimly lit bar where they know you by name and refuse to play songs pre-1995
alone at night in my downtown apartment and no interest in my phone I canâ€™t help but wonder Every once in a while
- Kristofer Hykel
Pink Shirt -Rebecca Lacroix
Fuzzy Lips I am woman–wounded. I have a smiling wound. It’s a toothless–though, not fruitless– smile. It’s a small smile. It’s shy. Always hiding behind coral curtains, hiding horizons of peachy pink, fleshy, fuzzy lips. Bruised and bleeding wound. Not always, but often.
Juices seeping, spilling. Like pomegranates–bruised, wounded. Crimson cascading– staining. I have a mark of endless shame and shedding–my contorted, crescent moon wound. Bound by my wound, my womanhood wound. - Kris Dionio
X̱wáýx̱way I. Stanley, you didn’t dress up for me today.
Unrobed, you pissed down the swollen stomach, over the bike lane, under my Docs. A steam boat chugs between your fingers like an egg, scrambling to the seawall for a breath of moss or pine or seaweed, anything but the acidic yellow slithering down your asphalt pant leg, glistening oily slit streaming gorgeous gold.
II. Japan was left shivering under the aquarium
the air bubbles bounced dead pan eyes reflected an anemone of teeth Japan gnawing until they could see the otters on the other side of a glass wall, camping in that pacified sea. & finally
you would erect the napalm palm of a poppy staked in the heart a vampire you wished to dangle from the cherry tree in your living room: chandelier and champagne in the lost cities they camped in when shit hit the sky.
III. Skalish, you didn’t bend your back like a bowling pin or vomit some dirty words into the bowels we called ours. Sitting still as a skyscraper you scraped my mouth with earthy eucharist. Father, forgive me of my sins— you are bare, you are Siwash, you fished & fed me until
my belly bloated with your body & blood, and before you turned to stone under medusa’s gaze you snatched my tongue and spoke through the conifer tree, mouth screaming at the bear in the stars: You would not be reserved, you would not park at Stanley’s altar, you wood—
IV. Seven sisters were emasculated of their trunks. Freud would claim this to be sororal penis envy, but letâ€™s be honest: nobody likes a dick. And so I bleed schizophrenic red as cedar androgynous reincarnation sleeping under their stumps a coffin at the crossroads near Lost Lagoon lusting for the bodies beyond your shorelines and beaches and for the space between your roots and the stratosphere and for the x amount of ways I dreamed of you as you should be dreamed of
- Cameron MacDonald
The Rust - Ben Chang
Drums In the night, I hear them. Beating out rhythms Branding messages, Onto the stretched skin. Primal songs recalled From an age, Ancient and unknown. From deliberate encoding To careless translating. Thoughtless acknowledgement And shameless appropriation Of a culture, That built the foundation On which your house stands. The roots are dry, Withered from over stimulation. The stones are jagged Chalky and brittle, From constantly weathering storms.
Yet, Pressure is applied to the root, Like stepping on shale, Expecting it to be granite. Marble. Diamond. Shale snaps like a desiccated twig, Swallowing the whole in an infinite cavern, The infernal heat ignites the dry brush, The torrential storm washes away all evidence, The cycle begins again. And still, The drums, I hear them, Beating out messages, In the night. - Roxanne Frazer
Fugue let’s sit on carpet in your basement.
explain the Pulse. the intonations catch in your throat turn static. teeth – pointless. he moves through heartbeats with his hands. face crimson you leave the room then pour shrapnel into my lap. worry. it won’t hurt me yet. now come back from a conversation with the mirror. smudge your eyes for me. a nylon run a rehearsal for fingertips. we stay restless. - Breanna Vicencio
- Nicole Schlosser
boy #16* i was just talking to the fill the space in between drags of the cigarette stale air and voices and eyes i wish we knew each other better so i could bite you and shit and tell you to give me hickeys like deep purple intimate roses i don’t usually talk this much aren’t you supposed to leave now and my momma never taught me how to play it cool and i know that i am not playing it cool it’s late and it’s cold - Philip Johnston * to be read aloud
- Max Challis
A Dog in the Wind A dog in the wind doesn't need a leash A dog in the wind behaves as it should Everything it does is your design You don't draw the path it follows, You don't need to For you are everything- the ground under its feet The fleas in its fur, the oxygen in its panic-stricken lungs This universe is yours
I killed the dog last night It asked me too I shot it, out in the wind But in the wound I still found you It owned nothing but itself, Had nothing but its on mortality Yet even then, Your reflection, not my own Was what peered back at me in the pool of blood - John Connolly
- Sydney McInnis
Les girl travels to Ed’s My roommate, let’s call her “Les,” French but also – less inclined to turn on lights without warrant less bothered by morning routine less motivated by the opinions of other people– recites lines of found verse stuck to our fridge, so aptly titled: POETRY OF WILD WOMEN I tell her we are out of milk, she scratches a toe with another toe, socked and white but grey now from the itch she says ok, buys a lamp instead. - Kristina Pantalone
Firstly, thank you for picking up a copy of our year-end issue! We are humbled by the amount of amazing submissions we have received this ti...
Published on Apr 13, 2017
Firstly, thank you for picking up a copy of our year-end issue! We are humbled by the amount of amazing submissions we have received this ti...