hilt noun \â€™hilt\ Definition of hilt : a handle especially of a sword or dagger â€” to THE HILT 1 : to the very limit : completely <the farm was mortgaged to the hilt> 2 : with nothing lacking <played the role to the hilt>
CONTENTS Letters from the “Editors”
The Pipe “Grandpa kept his tobacco in a Prince Albert tin, but tended towards the generic brand. The scent lingered long after he was gone.”
REGULARS GOODWORDS: So, I Took a Friend to the Airport the Other Day... “It is not fire and passion and spirit, the way his family is.”
Collections: Signed Jerseys “Did I say Canadian soccer fans were nice? Yeah, not when it comes to meeting Thierry Henry.”
SHORTS A Dead-Living Collection “Women come over and say that I should fear reading too much and living too little...”
Rise & Fall of a Collector “The little children are now mocking me, for they see me as an obsessed lunatic, unable to cope with reality.”
Collecting Generations “I understand the concept that we live on a precarious crust of floating semi-solid drifting slowly on melted magma.”
POEMS Red Satin Miniskirt Write Out
Tiny Box of Bones “Furthermore, what kind of axemurdering mom would keep the teeth of her victims?”
A Pardon for the New Direction I Want to be Remembered
Five Copies of the Same Thing “The times I threw the book I was done reading across the room, hoping it ended somewhere near the bookshelf.”
Non Stop Delicates
INFO & THANKS Next issue’s theme, where to find us and a big “thank you”.
FROM THE EDITORS I like to think that it’s more important to gain a connection with a person than things. But we all put importance upon objects. Just think about how badly you freak out when you can’t find your phone. It’s like missing a limb. Shouldn’t we feel that way about people not stuff? Collecting things always represents something for the collector. Maybe the act of collecting things comes off as dumb. Maybe there is no rhyme or reason. Maybe we all just want more stuff; newer stuff. So we buy and we buy and then call it a collection so we don’t look frivolous and wasteful. I like to think it’s a form of sentimentality though. That’s at least how I like to justify the collection of crap in my room. Otherwise I have multiple piggy banks, and mini elephant statues, and far too many boxes for one person. I mean I do but also....I don’t. So in my opinion we can say “Oh, this specific thing represents this time in my life. And that other thing represents this person in my life.” It helps you remember a certain person or time that’s important to you. But when you really think about it it’s just something we do as humans; something that can’t fully be explained. Yes there are levels to it. Some people may classify me as a hoarder. Some people may think they don’t collect anything. But if you really think about it if you have Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter, or anything else that I’m not cool enough to know about, you’ve got a collection. You are a collector. Lindsay Smith Editor
Caught â€˜em all. Joshua Duchesne Editor-In-Chief
GOODWORDS So, I took my friend to the airport today... He’s going to be gone for 10 months and watching him go was a strange experience. By rights I shouldn’t have even been there. I took the day off because it was raining and despite the fact that I could have worked inside and I could probably use the money, I just didn’t feel like working. I needed a quiet day inside. Instead, after putting my feet up with a book for about 20 minutes, my friend—who I live with—ducked his head in my door and asked if I was coming to the airport to see him off. I said I would, we’re close and it would have been weird of me not to.
We went outside to meet them because they couldn’t find parking and his dad had to wait by the car. He would say goodbye to his son outside. It was raining. They wanted to take pictures so I offered my services. I felt like an embedded journalist viewing someone else’s life; someone else’s family, like I’m one of them. It was my way of standing apart. But I shouldn’t have, because to them I am a member of the family, and in his family that means being close, sharing smiles and laughter and joy. It also means feeling loss when one of your number is removed from you, even for a brief time. To them, him leaving is like having a piece of their love placed out of reach. I don’t blame them for tears. It sounds terrible
IT WAS STILL WEIRD.
“I KNOW THAT WHEN I GO TO SLE E P I WILL WAKE UP IN A HOUSE WITHOUT MY F RIEND.”
The thing is I’ve sort of been adopted by his family. I rent a room in his dad’s house; have been for about a year now. With my friend leaving, it’s just me and his dad in the house, with various birds and animals to keep us company. There’s going to be a gap in our trio, and although it’s odd for me living with someone else’s father, it must be even stranger for my friend’s dad, having his son leave him for so long, with only a tenant for company. 10 months must be a long time for a parent not to see their child. I can’t even imagine.
but it has never been my way. From my family I feel a quiet pride and support. It is a solid thing under me, in me, and it braces me in ways I may never know. But it is patient and steady like the earth. It is not fire and passion and spirit, the way his family is. Not fickle, but flickering. Dysfunctionally reliable.
I waited at the airport with him while his mother and father and sister drove in to say goodbye. He talked to me about the family dynamic. He predicted they would be late and explained the reasons why. How his sister would be frazzled trying to get her dad to follow the GPS, how his dad would be going off-plan because he was always trying to find the quickest way, and how his mother would throw a wrench in the whole thing for no apparent reason at all. Not long after I got a call from them and through the bickering and strained tones it was made clear that they would in fact be late. My friend smiled, he had been right on all counts. His family is reliably dysfunctional. There’s something nice about that.
I know that when I go to sleep tonight I will wake up in a house without my friend. It will be just me and his dad and we will pretend for a little while that my friend—his son- is still here. And we will count the days until he is back. If nothing else we have that in common. Incidentally, Pearson Airport is beautiful in the rain.
ADAM SNOWBALL has spent the last few years working in different unrelated jobs, but always in the GTA. Country born-and-bred, he’s discovered he may be more of a city-boy than he had ever aimed to be, or maybe he’s just impressionable. He enjoys the outdoors and working with his hands, but he’s developed a growing appreciation for fashion, which he likes to dabble in by designing costumes for superheroes and various performers in stories that he hopes one day to illustrate in the form of best-selling graphic novels. He also is something of a Magoo, so he tends to end up with hilarious misunderstandings. See editors for more information, or anecdotal evidence.
A collection of sixteen Toronto neighbourhood sigils. View the whole collection here.
A Dead-Living Collection
collect books. They clutter and clutter the desk which I choose to sit on, sometimes. It looks like an office space. It is strategically messy. It is shorn of mess, the kind that makes one seem parasitic. Access, they provide me like some street car rider going no place but going a long distance. Timeless, yes, but I feel in a crowded room. A place that is mine and crowded and unshared. Selfish, these books and some pretend not to be. Human, in a sense, the way they slant and sit upright and seem. Seem with their cover-image eyes and life. Life hidden behind a cover. A cover, a veneer. A cover like every other cover hiding something beautiful and tragic and comedic and altogether sane and insane and worth knowing. Of course, they are all strategically placed. They ramble sometimes. They are their own stream of consciousness in lieu of their quietude. In lieu of many things, these books remain and inside they breathe and die and live and do many things. But they always are and they always are not. They are, yes, because there is paper and coarse feeling and printed text but they are real only if devoured and digested and solidified into an intestinal mind. I collect books. I feel that I must. Friends come over and say they wish they read more. Women come over and say that I should fear reading too much and living too little and I do, at times, but I remember to live because I am told so by friends and family and strangers. These timeless strangers coming to smack and punch and give a waking call and pronounce real fear and empathy and philosophy. The strangers of the books I collect. They are real for they are inside me and even when inside of someone else or at the bar or the park or the beach, they are most unreal. I collect them because I must. I will die knowing more and less and I envy those that do not collect books. But I must and I would choose this fire and radiance as I would choose one lover over another: for reasons unknown and blue comfort and normality and escape and the loss of self in a timeless circuit. I collect books. A trite collection but dead and alive and cyclical and not and fully human and gnawing, they gnaw, inside my dumb brain. Once or twice, the right man or woman walks in and the night turns easy and the world less serious and all romanticism and realism stops and I can relax and look at my shelf and hope to god that inside one of these damn books there might be one sentence for one particular mood. There always is and I forget them. Rereading any of these books seems a silly sort of hell. There is so much to read and too damn much to read and I will die having not read enough and having read too much and I will make sure that there will exist no divide between having lived and read and that they coexisted and one came to substantiate the other and some insignificant word like round can come before existence and then I will be able to say: â€œa round existence I have lived!â€? or perhaps something not quite so hair-splitting.
VICTOR GEORGE MATAK is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. Pursuing a History Specialist degree, he was born and raised in Vancouver. His first year was spent as an active member of the University of Toronto football team where, in the past two years, he has transitioned into theatre and literary works. He has had works published by the Artistic Muse, The Steel Chisel, The Dead Beats, Poetâ€™s Digest Magazine, UndergroundBooks and The Kitchen Poet.
The Boyâ€™s Own Wo r k sh o p ; or, The Young Car p e n te r s Jacob A bbott 1867
COLLECTING GENERATIONS I
stone from the Demilitarized Zone. I know little about the protocol of tourism on the held line, but I cannot imagine that rock collecting would be considered unremarkable. What began as a record of my life morphed slowly into a testament to others’ love for me and my idiosyncrasies.
mistrust people who do not have a collection. My father collects books. My grandmother collected fabric and pinecones. I like rocks. I know nothing about the science of rocks, or nothing beyond a basic level of school mandated earth science. I understand the concept that we live on a precarious crust of floating semi-solid drifting slowly on melted magma. I find rocks appealing because they are a piece of a place that can be pocketed. They are a concrete testament that can be carried away; a solid and seemingly permanent reminder that I was there, we were, life occurred, and the ocean rolled in across my toes.
There was and is no rhyme or reason to how I store these objects. I kept jars, boxes, and bags of rocks. I dumped out my sister’s toys to claim more space. I took over my underwear drawer for these more valued items. As an adult I continued to rest rocks on shelves, in drawers, beside dishes in kitchen cabinets. They are not to be studied, labeled, or dissected for their elemental components. The rocks, stones, pebbles, and pilfered pyramids are thrown into the chaos of my life and home, generally overlooked in their humdrum placement.
When the man who was to be my husband moved in he shifted things. I came home from work one day to find the couch across the room and every framed picture rehung. “Doesn’t it feel better?” he grinned, “bigger?” Our apartment was not large, so I nodded, my eyes scanning I am not sure when the fascination began. As a five the clutter, or rather the lack of clutter, taking account. year old, my father would pack my sister and I into “Where are the things?” I hesitantly asked. our beige hatchback that forever smelled faintly of my vomit, knowing that we would come rattling home with They were in the closet, not all, but most. The pretty the additional bulk. I preferred wet rocks at that age; rocks, fossils, the ones of aesthetic value were placed objects that shined and shimmered and lost their magic around; a gesture to their odd and unaccountable when held too long. I would scoop up pocketfuls to be existence in our home. They had been purged from the sorted through later in the car, choosing favorites as kitchen entirely. Being a professional cook my stones though that was possible, to be brought home to show were a clear item of clutter in his mind. my mother across the border in California. I would fill a sink for her and drop the rocks in one at a time I accepted this organized disorder as his right. He was describing in detail their individual worth. nesting and as I loved him I could think of no logical reason to object to his steading our home. Objects carry At nineteen, I flew home from studying in London, the meaning that we bestow upon them. How does one bemoaning the weight limits assigned by grasping transfer this meaning unaltered to another? Like other airlines. Do I give up this pebble from an alley near my flat aspects of my personality, my collection was something in Camden, this polished jewel from the Mediterranean? to be accepted, put aside, or lovingly mocked when I was freighted as though the loss of this unyielding need be. I failed to speak up for my rocks. They did not reminder would mean the loss of that part of myself. I seem like items that demanded claiming. was so porous and inconstant. My father’s book collection was a constant topic of Friends began to bring me rocks from their own travels. conversation and held a legitimacy that my rocks never “This,” Kate presented proudly, “is from Reykjavik.” attained. The books overwhelmed my childhood house, Rachel brought me a box of pebbles from Greece and consuming every room except the bathroom. Floor to a stone reportedly brazenly stolen from a pyramid in ceiling towers of books filled closets, garages, attics, Mexico. I chided her for that theft all the while lovingly balancing the stone on the palm of my hand. I have rocks from Israel and South Korea. Leah brought me a
and bedrooms. He would buy multiple copies of the same title, not knowing what he owned off hand. “You live in a library!” kids would gasp in awe, entering our home for the first time. They assumed I was smart. How could one not be, living amongst so much knowledge? The books are mostly opinion, I know now, but arguments of postmodern biases were beyond me at ten. My father would come home with bags of books even as the ones he owed claimed more of the house. One year’s silverfish infestation reached a crisis point beyond concern for my own hospitalization. The entire house was bug bombed. No books were lost, thanks be to God. I could rationalize the importance of this collection as a child. Books were a product of work, a passing on of communal knowledge and art, a voice from the past, and a caution for the future. Books meant something. But does the haphazard collection of books mean more than my own collection? My father would argue yes. He remembers purchasing each book, thumbing through the pages, discerning the worth of those bound papers over others. They represent a time in his life. They are a physical reminder of a moment to be picked up later, held, and carried away. My father’s collection held meaning for his children because he is our father. He dictated and passed down a value system that revolved around books and book collecting. He spoke up for their inherent value to the extent that we could not fathom questioning the inherent—ness of said value. He strode confidently through his horde. My rocks rest in boxes, bags, jars, and underwear drawers. JENNIFER CARTER A graduate of Smith College and Northeastern University, I am currently living in Portland, Oregon. I am a writing tutor, an insurance drone, and am currently working on a collection of short stories. When not torturing my cats with my latest draft, I am gluttonously enjoying the cuisine and coffee of the Pacific Northwest. Prior to settling in Portland, I lived in Belgrade, Serbia where I wrote and edited a women’s rights newsletter.
CAMERA COLLECTION shane fester
She has a red satin miniskirt tucked behind the turtleneck sweaters at the back of her closet. It’s a miniskirt the colour of candy and love the shade of fire and truth or dare a skirt of cinnamon and cherry and ginger. It was the skirt her grandmother had tugged on years ago trying to make it longer, the hemline just brushing the perfect curve where her thighs and her backside met. She wore it with a short sleeved black shirt and sky high black heels. She doesn’t have the shirt or the shoes anymore. They disappeared to that no-woman’s land where single earrings and single buttons and single socks go to dance. But she still has the skirt. A skirt so tiny it looks like Barbie clothes. When she holds it up to her hips now she marvels how at one time, this skirt fit her as perfectly as her own skin, while now it looks as though it wouldn’t even cover half of her, the circumference of its waist now barely bigger than the circumference of her thigh. She knows she’ll never wear that skirt again. Even if she could reduce herself down to its size she wouldn’t bother trying because it is a skirt that is meant for memory, not reality .
ALISON HAUCH is a secondary school dance teacher and mother of twin daughters. In her spare time she loves to read, think about what she would do in a zombie apocalypse, practice yoga and bake fattening food. She writes about the everyday experiences of being a woman and how these experiences have changed over time.
RED S AT I N MINISKIRT
Yet she keeps it, long after she has purged and thrown away countless other pieces of her past and present the parts that didn’t fit, or never looked right or were well intentioned but ill suited gifts. Why does she hold onto it when she can let the other parts go? She knows she is not alone. She knows there are other women like her. Women who hold onto that one magical piece Even though they never intend for it to hug them ever again. An old formal dress, a faded pair of tight jeans Possibly even a piece of ridiculous lingerie. Maybe it’s because every woman likes a reminder of how it felt to really own the spaces around her a time when she was the only person she needed to worry about and she could indulge in a little bit of frivolous dressing with impunity. So women often keep those bits of clothing around tucked away behind the sensible, full coverage underwear or underneath the poly-blend t-shirts whispering their stories of hi-jinks and debauchery to the other, more sedate clothes. And her skirt, seemingly forgotten, Slums it with the sweaters Except when the woman needs a lift and then she pulls it out and remembers what it was like to shine.
Write out People keep giving me blank books They look back at me accusingly neatly lined up on a shelf a display of my lack of diligence a veritable blockade that hinders all thought of writing At the stationerâ€™s I linger over the pens roller ball, gel, felt wishing for fountain distracted by the call of mechanical pencils the pungent smell of permanent ink imagining what I might write if the right one met the blank page of one of the heretofore empty books
more Andrea Schwenke on p.39
The P ilgrimâ€™s P r o g r e ss John Bunyan 1911
Inside a blue velvet snap-tight box in my night table favourite grey iron-on shirt emblazoned with the slogan drawer lie twenty yellow bits of bone, each sporting “first quality stuff” in sparkles. tiny shreds of bloodied flesh at one end. I’m not a masochistic dentist – just a mom. After coming up empty in the first three drawers, the only one left was the giant squeaky one at the bottom. I Most moms have a collection of baby teeth tucked away had never opened it before; it was missing a handle and somewhere, maybe not a complete set as some get hard to pull on but I was desperate to find my beloved swallowed, spit in the road, lost at school, or outright shirt. After a good bit of jostling and shimmying it was stolen by the Tooth Fairy aka a tooth-eating pillowcase. open. There might be some forgotten in the bags and pockets of sports coaches, deposits made by their charges in On the right side of the drawer lay a dishevelled pile of the middle of important competitions. My son’s hockey cards, forty or fifty in total: Mother’s Day cards, birthday coach had an unclaimed incisor in his coat pocket for cards, sorry-I-was-such-a-shit cards, sorry-for-youran entire season. loss cards and lovey-dovey, gaggy anniversary cards to Mom from Dad. There was a faded card I had drawn Old baby teeth are pretty wretched looking. I remember up in smudgy pencil with a stick figure person sporting the day I first set eyes on some. It was accidental and I pig tails (obviously me) and a stick figure cat with giant was nine years old. With five females in the same house, blue eyes (had no idea). As I filed that one back with a t-shirts were constantly being misfiled and it wasn’t loving pat, four unfamiliar coloured boxes to the left of unusual for one of us to be rooting through the others’ the card pile caught my eye. drawers, turning neat piles into messy, balled-up masses. This is how I came to be rummaging through I opened the pink one first. What a mistake! I gasped at my mother’s 1920’s Gibbard bureau, searching for my the gory, bony contents, suppressed a scream, chucked it back in the drawer and ran for my life.
What kind of sick and twisted toothy nightmare had I discovered? Furthermore, what kind of axe-murdering mom would keep the teeth of her victims? And so small! They must have all been children! Where were the bodies? I was pretty sure no neighbourhood kids had recently disappeared, but then I didn’t keep track. I ran to the window overlooking the farmer’s field behind our house and thought I spied some fresh dirt piles in the distance. After catching my breath and checking my pants I did what any normal nine-year-old would do— snooped some more.
belonged to some murdered children or something?”
Mom’s voice. Busted!
Closing the box felt like reading the final chapter in a cherished book: a great read, and I was sad it was all over.
In my defence, teeth long extracted from a child’s mouth don’t exactly look pretty and randomly scattered around in a box were plucked straight out of the creepiest Twilight Zone episode.
The other day I completed my son’s tooth collection with his very last baby molar, split in two, sporting the piece of raw carrot responsible for its demise. I picked Another box housed the same number of teeth as the up a few of the others while there: the first bottom one first, as did the third. The fourth box contained five less that had transformed a gummy grin, the incisor that teeth. Surely these were kept from the baby murder. took a good year longer than the other to fall out, and a front tooth chipped on the bottom left by a collision “Whatya doin’, Valerie?” with our concrete patio.
My face grew hot, “Um, I’m … um, um …..” I was a whip under pressure.
Later that day I phoned my Mom. Mom came over to the dresser and smiled, “Looking at my memory drawer, huh?”
“You once told me you kept our teeth because you might forget that we were once babies. Do you remember?”
No burning dagger eyes, no scrunching of eyebrows. Surely a guilty axe-murderer would show just a titch of either.
“Yes,” she answered.
“Um………” The words kept flowing.
“Thanks for not giving me grief over snooping through your drawers back then. It’s because of that day I remembered to save all of Dustin’s teeth.”
“It’s okay, y’know. I just never thought of showing you. Never thought you’d be interested.” The smile in her voice was evident. “I still take my collection out every once in a while. I put a pile in my Interested in becoming an accessory to murder?! No hand and roll them around. I find it comforting.” thanks. Taken out of context, and stated by Hannibal Lecter, this “The red box is yours. The pink one is Nat’s and the very sentence would creep the hell out of me but stated twins have the light and dark blue ones,” she explained. fondly by a lovely, petite, silver-haired eighty-year-old mother and grandmother it sounded just fine. Wait a minute! None of us are buried in the field! “I keep the teeth to remember the days when you were little. One day I might forget you were all babies,” she smiled.
VAL CURETON Learn more about this writer at www.valcureton.com
“Oh,” I replied. A real word, that’s a start. “I th-th-th …..,” Oh, crap. Mom burst out laughing, “You thought what? They
VINYL COLLECTION shane fester
Rudiments of Chemistr y; I l l u str ate d by experiments, and c o p p e r p l ate engravings of chemic al ap p ar atu s. Samuel P ark es 1826
If I like something, I tend to break it. I ruin it somehow and then I can’t stand to look at its defeated form. Who could have done this actually? My love is a bag of disgusting. My love is stubborn, inconsiderate, and ugly. It was all me.
pleased as punch to laze on a sofa, getting a real bang out of my parents’ buck. It’d be like the first time I read it. I know the ending.
It was wasteful and unnecessary, so it clearly made the buying experience much more satisfying. That little bit I had a problem with multiples. I seemed to conjure any of luxury, not needed and therefore wanted. I’d spend old excuse to throw my money away on a book that I my allowance on that and end up asking for more. Bad had bought but hadn’t taken care of. The times I threw investments and lies I’d tell to myself about reading the book I was done reading across the room, hoping it plans, optimal happiness levels all to hold a book in my ended somewhere near the bookshelf. I’ll pick that up hands. Recognizable but alien, familiar but untouched. later! If I found a book bug on it – if I had to tape up It drove my little book wormy mind mad bonkers. the cover – if I split something on it – I didn’t want it anymore. I couldn’t love it anymore, and every time I I will be happy and fulfilled and content. tried, all I could think about was that blemish, that mark When I buy it and own it I will be happy and fulfilled and that I created but was now the responsibility of the fond content. object. I will be happy and fulfilled and content when I buy it and own it. Buying new copies of the slightly used books that I When I buy it and own it I will be happy and fulfilled and owned was some sort of grief and guilt to deal with. I content. wanted new smell, untouched pages, and virgin binding. I will be happy and fulfilled and content when I buy it I didn’t want to pay $12.99 plus shipping. I didn’t want to and own it. go to the bookstore and buy it again. When I buy it and own it. Skip me ruining it, and start back at the idea of getting a new copy of the same thing that I already have. Past fifty pages into the pristine edition, I’d tuck it in its place on my desk, and forget. Now the original copy’s Nana. Nana. dug up, and I’m marveling at how beat up and fucked Iliad. Iliad. Iliad. up the thing is. Women in Love. Women in Love. Sons and Lovers. Sons and Lovers. Antony and Cleopatra. Antony and Cleopatra. IRENE LO recently graduated UBC with a B.A. in English Queen of the Damned. Queen of the Damned. Literature and Classical Studies. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. She currently lives in Vancouver. Burnaby, if you want to get technical. She contributes There isn’t much. The thought of replacing an old thing to HUSH Magazine as well as Quip Magazine where you with the same thing but new spurred me to replace can find her talking shop about Zola and Rice but the other duplicates are on account sex and music. She spends most of her time going to of me buying, at secondhand, books I later on found interviews and downing shots of out I had to get a certain version of for class. I didn’t that vodka that’s five cents cheaper than Smirnoff in mind the proliferation of Homer and Lawrence texts community gardens. Her to do list with different added-on bits. It did irk me but the cover involves getting off Pinterest and getting a cigarette designs called on and on. case. About this splintered and entirely forgettable assortment of multiples, I’d have vivid fantasies over. I would be
A Pardon for the New Direction The petals are strewn across the sidewalk and the grass; a scattered collection of torn files and documents belonging to the trees. They wish to be scooped up, sewn together, deciphered. Food stamps? Gardening tips? Whatever it is, I once saw what appeared to be a comma splice on a petal. I scoffed and kept walking, thinking â€œmaybe that tree had other things on its mind.â€?
TODOR OLUIC was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario and has been writing ever since he learned how. His writing is centered on the everyday life and seeks to show the trials, the successes, the joys, and the sorrows of the average citizen. His work has been accepted in publications such as Seven Archons, The Northern Cardinal Review and The Pluralist. He also makes and sells music. Currently he is attending university for English Literature and Creative Writing.
The pipe is a Yello-Bole Nova made of Brylon. A cheap little thing you can buy online for fifteen bucks. Nothing fancy. But then again my grandpa wasn’t the fancy type. He preferred sturdy products. Items with maximum functionality that stood the wreck and wear of age no matter the discomfort they caused. Originally these pipes were made of briar root, the spiny and woody stem of a shrub that blooms bonnet shaped flowers and smells of honey. In 1966, S.M. Frank & Co. decided to switch to Brylon, a cheap synthetic material. For the company it was a smart decision, financially. Many complained, citing the heaviness of the material and the heat of the bowl when smoked. I guess it didn’t matter much to my grandpa. So long as the pipe worked. A longtime smoker, my grandpa appeared to have a plethora of pipes. His chair side table in front of the long case clock was always adorned with at least three. Each with varying amounts of tobacco left in the bowl, unfinished, waiting to be smoked. Out back in the garage more gathered dust. There was never a shortage threat of smoking apparatuses in the house. The smell of burnt tobacco was a fixture at my grandparent’s house on North G. Street in Tulare, California. The sweet aroma, a mixture of cherry and vanilla, wafted from room to room. Grandpa kept his tobacco in a Prince Albert tin, but tended towards the generic brand. The scent lingered long after he was gone. I’m a nostalgic person. I enjoy watching the old VHS footage my parents taped of my sister and I growing up. In this one, I’m no more than two or three. I wish I could say this scene is a memory, but it’s not. The magnetic tape is the only reminder of a past that would otherwise be forgotten. I should probably convert it to a digital format some time. In the footage, I’m opening presents in our old kitchen in California—before the move to the East Coast. My hair is jet black and straight, as opposed to the light brown and curly it is now. A purple Band-Aid covers the corner of my right eye. The wound, still fresh, is from running head on into the side of a glass table. I still have the scar. Static lines jolt onscreen, the footage jump cuts, and I’m crying. My mother carries me. She tries to explain that the toy pipe is just as good as the real thing. I shake my head vehemently, releasing only guttural, pathetic sobs. Little me swipes away her attempts to shove the toy pipe in my mouth. I’m having none of it. After she releases me, I stand up on the chair and reach to the side, to something on the outskirts of the
frame. A voice from off screen says: ‘I guess he wants the real thing.’ It’s my grandpa’s voice. My Nona, which is the name my family referred to my grandma as, was sick. Her body was deteriorating. She couldn’t walk on her own. It seemed like a struggle just for her to move. She was fragile like tissue paper. A wrong move could tear her apart. On top of that, dementia was swiftly closing in, honing its crosshairs on her sanity; the mind and body collapsing in communion with one another. It was a wonder how my eighty-nine year old grandpa took care of her. Even in his old age he never wavered. He was a dutiful husband. I can see him, trucker hat and pipe clenched between his teeth, hunched over my Nona saying, ‘how ya doin’, momma?’ It shocked us all when he went first. Heart attack. My Nona followed eight months later from her various ailments. It was strange going back to their house where only ghosts remained. Their respective chairs eternally empty. When the house was being cleaned out, when my aunt and my father sifted through flannel shirts, penny collections, and old photographs, they allowed me to take a few items. I chose a few worn shirts, whose holes I wear with pride, and the pipe. I never got to smoke with my grandpa. When he was alive, it seemed inappropriate. I never even asked. It’s easy to have ‘bad habits,’ it’s hard to let loved ones indulge. That was my thinking. I wish I did ask. It would’ve been nice to sit on the beat up wooden swing bench they had out back. Sweating in the dry heat enjoying a smoke with him under the shade of the awning.
G.D. WATRY is a recent graduate from Villanova University, where he studied English literature and media production. A resident of New Jersey, he recently returned to the U.S. from Rome, Italy where he studied and did journalism work. Currently he is on the job hunt but, like a shark, he is tenacious and has extrasensory perception that alerts him to any new job postings. Or so he tells his parents. In his free time, when he’s not looking for a job, he enjoys tapping away at the keyboard, drinking fine whiskey, and exploring the absurdities of life. His previous work has been featured in Shot Glass Journal, New York Dreaming, and The Blue Route.
ART COLLECTION shane fester
Learn more about this photographer at shanefester.com! 31
My sister, Pamo, collects signed jerseys; but not just any signatures and not just any jerseys. She’s a soccer fan— always has been, always will be. Among the many sports she played, she was also a goalkeeper throughout high school. And when it comes to teams, she’s an Arsenal fan for life. But most importantly, she is a fan of soccer superstar Thierry Henry. Most people idolize him for his legendary stint at Arsenal FC, even after he moved away from Arsenal—first to Barcelona and then the New York Red Bulls. But my sister’s love for him goes all the way back to the France ‘98 World Cup series, when a then relatively unknown young player, Thierry Henry, took France—and the world—by storm. Her team allegiance hadn’t quite solidified at the time; she also had her eyes on Manchester United FC, with its roster of impressive players (David Beckham, anyone?) and stellar rankings. But after France ‘98, she knew that her team would be whoever had the sense to sign on the talented young French player. And that happened to be Arsenal FC, to their very good fortune. Fast forward fourteen loyal years of fandom to June 2012. Thierry Henry was coming to Toronto to play against Toronto FC with his current team, the New York Red Bulls. It would be her first time seeing him play live in the stadium. For any soccer fans who are also fans of Thierry Henry (which is, to make an understatement, a lot of them) getting a chance to see Thierry play live is akin to having a visit from the Pope, as evidenced by the sea of Arsenal FC jerseys present at this game between Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls. So we got tickets and went to the game. She showed up wearing a Red Bulls jersey with HENRY emblazoned on the back and we took our seats right in the middle of a mass of Toronto FC fans. This is how you know Canadian soccer fans are nice people. I can think of nowhere else where an act that bold does not invite some kind of violently indignant response from the opposing
team’s supporters! After the game, to avoid the dispersing crowds, we hung back a little. Then on a whim, my sister decided to take the long way around BMO Field which is when we stumbled onto the crowd of Red Bulls supporters and Thierry Henry superfans. All waiting patiently at a fenced-off locker room exit for the away team to come out and sign their various items of team support: jerseys, hats, scarves, news articles, soccer magazines, autograph books... Naturally, we joined the crowd. Almost an hour later at about 10:15pm—dark and chilly despite being the end of June—the Red Bulls players finally began to trickle out to their waiting tour bus. Some stopped and signed autographs and took pictures with fans; others walked straight to the bus, oblivious to the attention. But when the crowd began to pulse with excitement, we knew that was the moment we were all waiting for. Thierry Henry stepped out onto the path leading to the team bus. Dressed simply in a grey Adidas t-shirt and track pants, he seemed withdrawn and quiet post-game, carrying a small travel bag under his arm, DJ-sized headphones dangling from his fingers, and his eyes glued to his smartphone as he walked. But he must have known he was the main attraction. He began to stop, roughly every two or three steps, to sign items thrust at him by eager, squealing fans. Did I say Canadian soccer fans were nice? Yeah, not when it comes to meeting Thierry Henry. Elbows being shoved, hands grasping their way to the front, all decorum lost as people reached out to touch and be touched by the legend. It took moving down the line about three times and putting aside her aversion to dense crowds for my sister to make her way to the front of the throng at the fence, just in time for Thierry Henry to get
to her. He took her offered Sharpie marker and signed a quick squiggle of a signature on the shoulder of the jersey she wore, that she had turned towards him, and within a matter of seconds he had moved on to the next person and then disappeared into the waiting tour bus. It all took less than a minute, after almost an hour of waiting, but it was enough to spark a new level of adulation for her all-time favourite player. As soon as we got home, she took off the jersey and hung it up, along with the Sharpie Henry had used to sign it, and the game ticket. The next time the Red Bulls came to Toronto, she knew where to wait after the game; and the time after that. Itâ€™s always touch-and-go when it comes to commanding the attention of a soccer player right after a game, when probably all they want to do is head to their hotel rooms and order room service. A friend of ours, waiting at the fence each time with us, still has yet to receive an autograph from Thierry Henry, despite the proud tattoo on his leg of the Arsenal FC crest. But somehow, each time, my sister has been able to grab his attention long enough as he walked by, to sign her jersey. Maybe he just likes her.
GESILAYEFA AZORBO is a writer and photographer living in Toronto. She studied English and Journalism at the University of Toronto and is preparing to start an MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. She has written about film, music, books, television, and video game culture for such sites as blogTO.com, Cadencemag.com, MusicVice.com, and Mangacrowd.com. She currently contributes entertainment and lifestyle pieces to Sexandcola.com. She likes to collect unknown bandsâ€™ merchandise at music festivals. She also likes to collect old records with interesting cover art. She does not actually own a record player.
I Want To Be Remembered
Words are shipwrecks, floating relics of scattered flotsam. Over time they whittle down to skeletons And the throws of entropy let the words tumble down. Deep underneath the horizon they grow algae. Little fishes come to roost, waiting for future Explorers to exhume the treasures that we have lost.
Lavender and Old Lac e Myrtle Reed 1902
Non Stop Delicates (inspired by a shop sign in the VĂĄci utca district, Budapest)
Aisle upon aisle they lie shelved stacked displayed packaged Far into the night they lounge stating suggesting promising beckoning Row upon row they linger boxes bags tins delicates
Awaiting cash redemption quick consumption in repeating succession
ANDREA SCHWENKE works on academic writing in Wolfville, NS, and sometimes gets to write for fun. Sheâ€™s had a short story published in the 2012 volume of The Nashwaak Review and some found poetry and a short in the first issue of The Hilt.
The Dop Do c to r Richard De h an 1914
Gathering, creating, and keeping a collection can be a nice hobby but it can turn into an obsession so easily; one can lead a happy life until the interest takes total control over it. A childhood passion can turn badly so easily, and yet, at the same time, one can wonder if it is truly a fixation or a way for the mind to escape the crushing routineâ€Ś Rise and fall of a collector Waking up is not an easy task when I canâ€™t feel the presence of these items that garnish my life. It took me years to gather them, hunting them down in small, obscure shops, internet resellers, and yard sales. Sometimes, my travels were in vain; the advertising was nothing more than a lie, to attract me toward something that I did not desire. Other times, other people were faster than me, making me realize that I had to be faster in this quest of mine.
give up; it is consuming me, filling my dreams, fueling my nightmares. There is nothing else in my mind. My relatives are avoiding me. But itâ€™s a small cost to accomplish my destiny. I do not care about the money and the resources it is costing me. I have to complete it; to have that wonderful feeling of completion, to be able to brag to others that, contrary to them, I succeeded where they failed. That feeling, that euphoria, would be enough for me to forget everything, to make all my struggles fade into nothingness for a while. Until I would find something else to collect, another object that would strike my fancy in the same way the item before it did. But again, I felt uneasy doing so; the more I collected, the less happy I became. Sure, the hunt was thrilling; nothing could beat finding a new collectible, a new addition to my ever-growing collection. But it seemed so hollow; the more I gathered, the less each item seemed to matter to me, the less it seemed to make any sense at all.
It feels so empty; to stare at this collection of mine without having all the appropriate items to fulfill it, as I was alone with my possessions. It was my fortune, my if all my efforts were vain. Maybe I am losing my time, everything, but at the same time was it truly worth it? maybe it is pointless to do such a thing, but I cannot Sure, I attained everything, achieved fame among those
that dwelled in the darkness of their basement, but was while some people doodle in class, I was writing to pass it truly a goal that was worth my sacrifice? time. At first it was bad, but the more I worked on it and incorporated what I learned in college and university, it To the people surrounding me, I am now a shadow of became something I wasn’t afraid to show anymore. Of what I used to be; the people I used to talk to don’t course, there is always something to learn and master, recognize me anymore. The little children are now but now I see the step forward as challenges not as walls. mocking me, for they see me as an obsessed lunatic, unable to cope with reality. This strange progression was in parallel with my exploration of my other interests. Writing and reading But are they really able to understand the beauty of my were always my main interests, but with time, I learned collection? All my hard work and dedication is in these to enjoy other things, such as music, gathering of fans, little figurines; a part of me is now in them, a part of communities, traveling, and photography. them. They will survive me. They will… a legacy that will survive the passage of time. They will tell the tale of my struggles so, one day, someone else will take the helm of the grand quest that is collecting. But for now, all I can do is look at them, wondering how I can arrange them, wondering why I feel ever so empty… NICHOLAS DENIS I used to write poetry before college then I stopped; the appeal of the words was lost when I realized that I wasn’t able to deliver the message I was trying to deliver. I turned to short stories around my last years of college;
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