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Art Lives Here

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The Paper Street Journal is an annual arts publication. For information about how to submit, please visit https://psjpublication.wordpress.com/submissions/. 
 
 Cover Art by Lukas Roczniak. Additional Photography by Stephen Brookbank, Dorothy Howard, Bill Meems, and Jesse Valvasori.
 
 Copyright © 2017 by The Paper Street Journal 
 All Rights Reserved
 Published in Canada ISSN: 2369-8225
 
 Please respect the rights of our contributors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Let’s connect. 
 psjpublication.wordpress.com
 paperstreetjournal@gmail.com

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SENIOR EDITORS William Jesse Dorey James Puntillo Eric Tarquinio

CHIEF EDITORS Nichole Fanara Julia Empey Jenna Shamoon Stephanie Ionni Greg Cain

EDITORS Allison LaSorda Katie Luke Kevin Malton Eric Rausch Jesse Wright Rachel Dengate Miguel Sa Žana Kozomora Stephanie Ionni Alexis Moline Alex DePaulo

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CONTENTS A Note From the Editors

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 Ryan Pratt: “Evergreen” (poetry) Mick Rose: Sketches (art) Luke Roczniak (photography) Hamilton Salsich: “Feeder With Birds” and “Being Soft and Strong” (poetry) Elisha Stam: “Or Swim” (short fiction) Stephen Brookbank: “The Making of a Place” (photography) Ella Gonzalez: Untitled (art) Michael Kras: “Teach Her My Name” (play) Bill Meems (photography) Carol Hamilton: “Deer Blinds and Tree Stands” (poetry) Dorothy Howard (photography) Camille Inston: “The Boy Who Bled” (play) Jesse Valvasori (photography) Ethan Paxton (music) Jordyn Stewart (art + audio)

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 Artist Biographies One More Thing…

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A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS “Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” —Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space Home is a place defined by our memories. The daily rhythms of life come to fill this unconscious space of memory, which in turn informs our own understanding of the physical space we inhabit. Memories of change, or, perhaps, memories of sameness, create our Home, for better or worse. But what happens when we inhabit an indefinable space? What if Home, like memory, metaphor, and dream, is immaterial? Are our memories still able to conjure the same feelings of Home-ness despite the intangibility of the space? Or, are we simply left to exist in a constant state of Home-sickness? We’ve never embraced the physicality of Home. Our name—a reference to Fight Club, sure, but more so a metaphor that plays on the artificiality of our existence—is a clear indication of our avoidance of Home. A paper street is a street that appears on a map, but doesn’t actually exist. We’re here, but we’re not here. We’re there, but we’re not there. We simply exist where we’re needed, when we’re needed. Yet, in our three years of existence, we’ve created memories stored in our collective consciousness. We’ve released three issues. We’ve published works from 53 different artists. We’ve held a capacity concert, and interviewed numerous heavyweights in the Canadian arts scene. The list goes on and on. Doesn’t all of this count for something? Is Home truly a physical space that we occupy? Borrowing from Bachelard here, can’t Home be more of a “lost poetry”, an unconscious, intangible place where memories, both collective and individual, are stored and transferred and recalled? That is why the focus of this issue is on the interconnectedness of poetry, memory (individual or collective), place/ space, and Home (with a capital “H”). Captured so vividly in the works of Ryan Pratt, Stephen Brookbank, Jordyn Stewart, and all of the other incredible artists featured in this issue, it’s about bringing it all back Home; when we do, we rediscover and reinvent our roots. Our new issue has been months in the making, as you well know. We’ve had some organizational shifts that affected the flow of our editing process. Our longtime graphic designer and friend, Jenna van Klaveren, has moved on to join new teams and explore new creative endeavours. Rachelle Waterman, who helped us establish many relationships in the Hamilton community, has also left to pursue new and great things. We are forever grateful for their tireless work, and would like to congratulate the two of them on their recent achievements, and sincerely wish only the best for the two of them as they move forward. We also had some new additions to the team. Allison LaSorda joined our team as a copyeditor. Žana Kozomora and Alexis Moline each joined as Visual Arts Editors, while Eric Rausch is our newest Short Fiction Editor. Greg Cain, our new Chief Editor of Music and contributing blogger, has also been a major addition to our team. We are tremendously thrilled to have such talented artists on board, and look forward to working with them more in the future. As for us? We’re back on track now, and we’ve got some poetry to create. We’re finally home.

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RYAN PRATT “Evergreen”

A Tom Thompson evergreen stands at the curve of your street. I didn’t notice for months. But it towers, lean on evenings I cross Marion, as though marking some bold, Northern trespass in the otherwise unsure suburbs of becoming a man.

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MICK ROSE

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LUKE ROCZNIAK

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HAMILTON SALSICH

“Feeder With Birds” Planes were rushing over, adults were disagreeing everywhere, interstates were screaming with cars, nations were speeding toward the edges of cliffs, while at peaceful 44 Riverbend Drive, dozens of birds were happy with what they had.

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“Being Soft and Strong� When sorrow comes, you could be soft but strong, sort of like the sparrows that feed at feeders hung beside windows, their small bodies poised in both strength and ease. You could sit beside a sorrow, and sit straight and resilient, saying to the sorrow that you are its student, and that you will carefully study its features and subtleties. Tell your sorrow you wish to gain nourishment from it, sitting bravely beside it and softly tasting the wisdom that waits inside this feeder that something has hung beside your life.

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ELISHA STAM

“Or Swim”

“I’m not staying here another night,” Mother said. We’d spent the weekend at the Red Cross emergency

shelter in the basement of city hall. “Pammy, what if someone takes something of ours?” she worried. I drove her as far down our driveway as I could without getting the car stuck in the mud on our dirt road. We walked in our black boots and shorts to our yard that looked more like a dump now, with stuff all over the place. This was no place for Mother; she was seventy years old. The first time I saw the house last week, after the flood, I stood in the garden I’d planted, and marvelled how entire things could be washed away as if they had never been. This year there would be no homegrown lettuce, tomatoes or beans. That made me sad in a simpler, more tangible way than looking at the house and thinking of losing everything we owned. “Mother, we can’t come back yet. We can’t camp in a swamp. Are you just going to pee right in the bush?” I asked. She narrowed her eyes at me. Our neighbour, Mrs. Barons saw us from her yard and called us over with a holler. “Set up camp here,” she said. The municipality had sent a port-a-potty right to their front yard. “Well, that’s just perfect,” Mother said firmly, as good as settled. We went back to the Red Cross and stood in line for camping gear: a propane cannister, sleeping cots and cans of green beans. After all that rain last week, the sun came out and brought a humidity that was unbearable. It was not easy for a big girl like me to take the heat. I spent a grueling, forty-five minutes trying to put up that tent.

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“Just like camping,” Mother said with a smile, watching from her new lawn chair. It was around noon and

our neighbour, Paul was just getting out of his tent. He worked late nights at a factory in Beverley. He zipped up his tent and took a whiz in the bush close by. He assessed my tent skills, took the poles from me and performed some sort of magic trick with his arms so the tent was up in less than five minutes. “Thanks,” I said and he sort of grunted a response which could have meant it was no problem or that it was a problem. It was hard to say.

Grandfather had left the house to us in his will. I didn’t care for the place, it was Mother who wanted me to go inside. “What about my pictures? The longer you deliberate on it, the more water-damaged they get.” She meant the ones in frames on her dresser, my baby picture; the one of her on Grandfather’s shoulders, her hands resting in his fluffy hair. The look of pure joy on little-Mother’s face. Our living room walls had horizontal lines marked on them, three feet up at least. The water in the basement was still chest-high. I walked inside and the floorboards groaned like I’d fall through. It was not something I could unhear. I didn’t want Mother to be sad but all I could do was stand in my rubber boots, immobilized at the bottom of the stairs. “The stairs were too sludgy and slippery, Mother,” I lied, afterwards. “Well, you’ll just have to try again,” she said, solemnly.

Segor was a wee little town on the side of the moody Red Deer River. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that we suffered a flood of biblical proportions. It had rained so much that the river and the dams and the reservoirs filled up and there was just no place left for water to go. While getting drinking water in town, I heard a strange rumour that when the dam overflowed, it cut a river right through the cemetery. The water lifted up coffins and brought them to the outskirts of the county line and left

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them somewhere on the side of the road. I had this feeling, be it uncanny or crazy, that if there were coffins on the side of the road, Grandfather’s would be among them.

The next day, we spent the afternoon in Mrs. Barons’ trailer because she had an air conditioner running on a generator. Her trailer was nice and cold; I tried to relax in that Walmart-like air while Mother and Mrs. Barons listened to the radio. Mother was ready for an afternoon nap and she rested her head back against the rectangular RV cushions. I stepped back into the swelter, I needed to get down to the cemetery without her knowing. Outside, Paul was smoking at the picnic table under the ancient pear tree.

“Can I pour you a coffee?” he asked through his cigarette. I shook my head and he continued to read the

paper and drink his instant coffee. Paul had been living with his mother. Mrs. Barons said that Paul didn’t talk much anymore because his divorce was so bad. It didn’t matter, because I grew up next door and saw his life happening from the outside. I still blushed when he talked to me straight on, always have. He had eyes so green, so pretty, they had no business on a man. The air around him was so sweet and creamy.

“Did you hear about the coffins on the side of the road?” I asked and he nodded. “I’m going down there

now, to see,” I said. He exhaled as if he was hearing troublesome news. He had been athletic in school, confident and well-liked, so he wasn’t used to being lonely. “Thanks for helping out with my mother,” he said and we made eye contact, briefly. I waved my hands back and forth, awkwardly, as if I was trying to brush away his thanks like they were flies. “It’s nothing,” I sucked in my stomach and hopped into the Camry for the cemetery.

Once, in my twenties, the doctor put me on a diet and I lost fifty pounds. It wasn’t the first time I lost weight, but it was the first time I’d lost so much weight, I went from being invisible, to being looked at. It turns out people are nicer to skinny people. Everyone said how good I looked, but it was the worst I’d ever felt. When I was fat, emotions got crammed into my mouth and were crushed by my powerful teeth and filled up my stomach so I

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didn’t have to deal with them. It wasn’t exactly that simple, but when I was on a diet, the bad emotions had nowhere to go and stayed around me like a cloud. I gained the weight back, and it brought back some of that quiet. Being fat was a gentler way of living, one with empty carbs and elastic waistbands in unflattering pants. Being fat was a way to survive. As a girl, I spent a lot of time in my grandparent’s house because Mother worked nights at the hospital, I slept there on weeknights. It was a confusing place. I wasn’t allowed to touch the sour cream and onion chips, behind the baking bowls in the cupboard, because they weren’t for children. Other things were confusing too. Grandfather had his bedroom, Grandmother had hers. I had to sleep in Grandmother’s bed so she could watch me like a mother hen. She kept me underfoot. Grandmother would jump out of bed in the middle of the night when I got up to go pee. She walked me to the bathroom, even when I was a teenager. “So you won’t get scared,” she’d say, ridiculously. Her protection didn’t do much, or she didn’t anticipate how insistent Grandfather was. She couldn’t keep him from touching his granddaughter’s bum, or the other bits that even I wasn’t allowed to touch, except when I was washing or wiping. Grandfather’s touch was weight-y. I thought there was something wrong with my body because of what it made him do. Their house seemed soft and loving, but in actuality it was a place where I hid in closets or climbed trees to get away from the groping, or being forced to look for candy in his front pockets. It was the place where the sad, fat, me was born. I’ve been stuck living in the house for years now.

“Holy shit,” I whispered to myself because the spot where Grandfather had been buried was carved right up like a small ravine in the cemetery soil. I followed it along Augusta Road, past a few fields until I found a herd of rectangular boxes perched in the ditch on the side of the road. There aren’t too many so it takes but a minute to find Grandfather’s coffin sitting under a wrinkled crab-apple tree. I recognized its turquoise painted wood, a gold cross on the top, brass handles at the end. It sat under a wrinkled crab-apple tree. It was hard to see it out of

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place like that, under the sun with birds in the air and blue sky above. It had to be quarter-mile away from the cemetery. What forces of sorrow and unfairness would move the dead so they had to be dealt with again? I touched the cross, faded now to a bronzy-yellow and I wiped at my crying eyes. Around the back, a bit of the lid had broken off and I could make out things I didn’t want to see inside. I turned around and threw up my lunch. At his funeral everyone was crying. I heard someone say that they’d never been to a funeral with quite so much crying. The service was packed full of people from church, his friends from the legion, old students from when he’d been a teacher. Mother was beside herself, having lost her mother, and now her father in such a short time. I wore a shapeless, ill-fitting black dress that made me look like a child rather than the woman I was becoming. I didn’t cry and Mother said afterwards, that it was ok because people deal with these things in different ways. Some cry at funerals, and others suffer quietly on their own.

I stopped at the town pool on the way home. They were offering showers to people who needed them and I borrowed shampoo and soap and a towel. I washed the vomit from my hair and the sweat from my skin. From the donation table in the gymnasium, I found something that fit, a dress with a bit of cleavage, bright pink roses yelling on the fabric. It wasn’t exactly my style but it looked alright. I drove back to the tent and I was the kind of tired you get on the hottest of days. Everyone went to bed early, but I couldn’t sleep with Grandfather all out and exposed. I sat at the picnic table, covered in DEET, with a flashlight, and a ridiculously sultry novel from the donation bin.

“How was work?” I asked when Paul pulled in. He didn’t respond. From the cooler in his truck he pulled out four beers, offered one to me. I am not much

of a drinker, but I don’t say no. He opened the top for me and sat down.

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“Can’t sleep?” he asked but didn’t wait for an answer. “I’m tired. So tired I can’t even think,” he took off

the ball cap with his work logo on it and scratched his balding head. He burped a little, politely with his mouth closed.

I took a few sips of beer which tasted like dirt but couldn’t think of a thing to say. I felt the beer moving

around in my torso, swirling up a bit and got anxious thinking of Paul’s ex-wife, who talked so much that she hardly stopped to breathe. She was so skinny that Paul probably hadn’t seen a roll of fat, in all his married life.

“My grandfather’s coffin is lying on the side of Augusta Road.” I smiled like I was making a joke.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Pam.”

I shrug a little, as if it was nothing. “I didn’t really care for the man.”

“I’d always kind of got that impression,” he said. I cleared my throat and asked him what he meant. He lit

another cigarette. “Dunno. You just always seemed to sink a little when he was around.”

“Right,” I said, nervous because I wanted no one to know. If I could obliterate Grandfather’s memory so it

was like he never existed, I would. Paul’s leg bumped my knee under the table and at first I wondered if it was an accident, but then he didn’t move his knee. He kept it there, even moved a little closer so his leg was pressing into mine. I kept it there.

“Can I borrow your truck tomorrow morning?” I asked.

“Can you drive stick?”

I nodded and he pulled his keys out of his back pocket. They were still warm from his butt and shame on

me, but it turned me on. We sat in the dark drinking beer and we didn’t speak, ended up listening to the frogs and the bugs singing in all that water. Paul went into his tent but didn’t say goodnight. After a few minutes, I could hear him snoring. I didn’t imagine anything permanent will come out of what I was deciding to do. I unzipped Paul’s tent with a surprising boldness that was welling up in me. I crouched on the vinyl floor watching him sleep, as vulnerable as could be. It was hot and stuffy, but he had a small battery fan blowing at his face. His skin was a touch greenish from the tent.

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I had come to do something I’ve wanted to do since I was fifteen years old and caught him swimming in the river that ran behind Grandfather’s back acreage. I spied on him from the sidelines like a silly kid. He swam up for air and then went back under with such perfection, swimming like he was made for it. His innocent, naked skin was amber under the river water. At that age, his body was lean and slick and beautiful, everything I was not, his body just bursting with what the future might hold for him. I watched until he saw me, said hello unabashedly. He was shameless, a white butt under the water, didn’t care to even hide his genitals when he turned over. “Didn’t you bring a suit?” he asked. I said no. I didn’t even own a suit. “Well, I won’t mind if you swim without one,” he’d said, as bold as brass. I looked at him, at first full of the challenge, enticed even, only to turn and run away. That night, I wanted to have the guts for it, there in the tent on the ground because what good was a flood really, if you couldn’t figure out how to swim? I saw Paul’s open eyes in the dark and heard his breath catch. I’d left my boots off on the grass, but I peeled off my white socks and then the nylon dress from the donation bin. I wondered what he was thinking, but I couldn’t speak or I’d chicken out. He backed up onto his elbows, looked right at me because there was nowhere else to look. I felt like I took up the whole tent, but it was not true, I was not that big. Afterward, I thought about how it didn’t really go smoothly. It didn’t feel overly great, just ok. Dopey kisses from the beers, his belly, a little spare tire too. I’d been aroused, but I didn’t feel any different afterward. The important thing was that it did happen. It happened. “Stay in my tent,” he said. “I don’t want to be alone.” But I went back to my tent, careful not to wake up Mother, curled up as small as a child on her cot.

The next morning, I told Mother I was bringing something to the dump for Paul, but instead drove the pickup to Augusta Road. I backed the truck up as close as I could to the coffin. For years, I’ve done all the heavy lifting around the house; I’m a big girl and this would be no problem. I dragged that son of a bitch, using the pallbearer

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poll. I propped the foot of it up on the open tailgate. I shoved the coffin all the way into the bed of the truck. It was not as heavy as I expected. He’d been buried for fifteen years, but it felt like it was yesterday. I was a hearse along the empty highway, passing flood debris lying on the road, bricks and roof trusses and even a whole shed. I drove further than the dam and veered north, off the highway. There was nothing special about the place, but it was on the other side of the reservoir and there was to be more rain. With certainty, the dam would overflow again. I hoisted myself up into the truck bed and tipped the coffin off the truck. When it hit the ground, the lid broke off the coffin completely. It was possible to see something but not really look at it, and so I did that, saw what I was doing but did not really look. I shimmied out the rest of the body pieces. With my shovel, I covered the pile of bones with soil and clods of grass. That’s all he was now, just a pile of bones. The overflow from the dam would finish the job and really soon. The shovel hit the coffin starting at the places where it was already broken. I hit and hit and bits of wood jumped all around. I destroyed Grandfather’s coffin so that no one would ever recognize that it was a coffin at all. All around were birds and horseflies and sun and my tears that weren’t sad but angry tears.

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STEPHEN BROOKBANK

“The Making of a Place” “The Making of a Place” is a dusk to dawn exploration of the urban, suburban, industrial environments of Hamilton, Ontario. Between posed group and individual portraits and empty street scenes, I am creating a unified visual record, bearing witness to the majesty and stoicism of the citizens and the architectural footprint of the Hamilton area. My intention is that this city of 550,000 is representative of the post-industrial urban environment of North America. I attempt to illustrate the strength of a people in the midst of a challenging period in human history. The dignity of the scenes photographed in this work has gradually grown outward from inside these homes and workplaces, out of the necessities and character of the inhabitants. This work is a document of the stories of our present times, yet ever changing.

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ELLA GONZALES

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MICHAEL KRAS “Teach Her My Name” A Play by Michael Kras CHARACTERS Andrew Beth SETTING A bar. A visiting area. An apartment. SYNOPSIS Andrew and Beth just had a baby. Now Beth isn’t home. She won’t be home for a long time. They try to make it work. Try. HISTORY Teach Her My Name was originally workshopped as Away/To Love You at Humber College in Spring 2015 under the guidance of Aaron Willis. Sequences were performed in Calm, Cool & Collective’s Approaching Zero at the Theatre Passe Muraille Back Space, with contributions by Marienne Castro, Julianne Dransfield, and Matthew Power. The play in its current form premiered at the HamilTEN Festival in April 2016, featuring Julianne Dransfield and Matthew Power under the direction of Katelin Richards. NOTE Resist the urge to have a literal baby on stage. The stage directions are deliberately spare… create the world as you see it. Most importantly, do not let the character names make you think you must cast and portray them as a cisgender heterosexual white couple. Anything goes.

The outside of a bar. BETH storms in. ANDREW follows. Andrew: Beth hey hey hey this was a bad idea okay come back hey.

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Beth: You piece of shit you piece of, just like my dad just likeAndrew: Hey, relax, look at me look at me. Beth: I just had your baby, I just had a baby with you and you go and do this! Andrew: I wanted to have a nice night out it’s been a while and I wanted to, to, whoa whoa whoa traffic watch traffic! Beth: You don’t do that okay? You don’t do that! Andrew: What, smile at someone I smiled at someone. Beth: Exactly! I saw the way she looked at you I saw and you just strung it along you just kept it going like you didn’t think I’d see you. She put her hand on you! Andrew: I’m nice I was being nice! Beth: You’re not supposed to do that! Andrew: You’re not supposed to drink. Beth: Oh fuck you. You can drink and I can’t? Andrew: It screws with your meds you know it does. Beth: Stop talking! Stop talking! Andrew: You’re not listening! Hey… hey. Beth: You know what let me find her I wanna see her I wanna talk to herAndrew: What? No, no Beth you’re not going back in you’re, don’t make trouble, don’t, Beth!

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BETH runs back into the bar. ANDREW chases after. They land in a prison visiting area. This can exist any way you want. Time has passed. Andrew: I miss making you breakfast. Beth: Huh? Oh, I miss it too. Andrew: Fuck is this boring are we boring now? Beth: Probably. Andrew: We’re too young to be boring. Beth: Why the breakfast thing? Andrew: I don’t know it’s just, like I’ll make the same things for Maddie like I’ll make all your favourites but she just throws it on the floor. And she stares right at me when she does it like she’s got this whole like “what are you gonna do about it?” Beth: She’s gonna be just fine. Andrew: She’s just like you. Doesn’t take shit. She sleeping? Beth: Out. Andrew: Good. She’s been crazy all day. Beth: Magic touch. Andrew: She’ll only go to sleep now if I play your videos. Like I’ll leave one on and she’ll fall asleep to the sound of your voice. Beth: When I’m home, the first thing I want is your breakfast. Andrew: Sausage or bacon? Beth: Both. Duh.

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Andrew: Deal. What do you eat here? Beth: Satan’s vomit. Andrew: I’ve heard that’s full of nutrients. Vitamin C. Beth: Gross, stop stop stop. Andrew: You started it, Bethany Powers. Beth: You’re giving this one her vitamins every day, right? Andrew: Well, uh, not every day, but. Beth: Wait. AndrewAndrew: It’s okay, she gets that from her food, it’s okay. Beth: How often do you though? Andrew: I don’t really, okay? It’s not a goodBeth: I asked you, I specifically asked youAndrew: I don’t want to put that shit in her right now, they’re expensive, they don’t do anything, IBeth: She needs them! The doctor saidAndrew: I hate our doctor. He’s an idiot. Beth: He knows more than you do. Give them to her okay? Just do it. Andrew: She’s fine without them. Beth: I want you to promise you’ll give them to her. She’s my daughter too. Andrew: I never said, I… okay. Okay fine. If it’s important.

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Beth: It is. Thank you. (A beat) So, uh… how’s work? Andrew: All-consuming. I just worked for like 14 hours straight so sorry if I’m, yeah. Beth: 14? Andrew: Well I mean, I need the money so. Yeah, it’s this like, uh, massive assignment and we’re all on overtime for it, we have to have a draft of the manual done by Monday so we can send it to the company and they… okay this is boring it’s officially boring. Beth: No, no. Andrew: God. I’m not supposed to be this boring, I’m 25. I was a cherub-faced dreamer. So full of hope. Beth: Weirdo. Andrew: But that little princess right there is exciting enough for everyone I guess. Beth: And how’s our lady of the house treating you? Andrew: She’s pretty much asleep when I get home so I only really get to see her when I bring her here on weekends. And when she screams in the night. Beth: She loud? Andrew: Like you wanna fucking die. Beth: That’s my girl. Wow, she’s getting big. Andrew: Every day. Beth: Heavy. You’re so heavy! She’s gonna be so pretty I can’t wait. She is pretty. I can’t wait. Andrew: I can’t wait.

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Beth: You know what I’m gonna ask, right? Andrew: No, she hasn’t talked yet. Beth: Still? They’re supposed to start around, aroundAndrew: I guess. Beth: And sheAndrew: Not yet, no. Like she makes sounds butBeth: You don’t have to hide it from me. Andrew: I’m not, I’mBeth: No, I get it, you want to protect my feelings and like… look. I’m gonna miss some stuff, that’s it, that’s how it’s gonna go. A beat. Andrew: Ball. Beth: What? Andrew: Her first word. Beth: Ball? So she, she wanted to play andAndrew: And she said ball. Beth: Wow. She’s gonna be so smart, my daughter is gonna be so smart. Andrew: She’s got a wicked arm. Beth: And strong. Whole package. So I guess she’s walked a bit too? How many steps did she take when she, she-

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Andrew: She hasn’t yet. Beth: I know she has. How many? Look, it’s okay, I said that. ANDREW looks BETH in the eyes. Andrew: Okay. Six. Six steps. Beth: Yeah? Six. Yeah. Yeah. Andrew: You okay? Beth: Yeah, that’s just, that’s great, I, she’s, that’s great. Andrew: Come on, don’t. Don’t do this, you wanted to hear it so… Hey. Okay. I’m sorry. Beth: Don’t apologize to me. That’s fucked up, don’t do that. Andrew: This is hard all around okay, it’s hard andBeth: You don’t apologize to me. You didn’t do anything. You should be furious with me and you’re not and that’s that’s and you should be because otherwise you’re, you’re… Andrew: I’m? Beth: Full of shit you’re full of shit! Andrew: Great, this again. Look, I’m in no mood, I told you I worked for an eternity andBeth: You tell me you’re fine and you probably do that so I don’t go crazy with, so, so say it. Say your mad at me, say you hate me, whatever. Andrew: Okay. Here. Let me take her. Beth: What, why, no, you hold her all the time and I get this so let me, let me-

!56


PSJ | Iss. 4

Andrew: You’re getting worked up, I’ll take her. Beth: She’s fine. Andrew: Give her to me, when you get worked up youBeth: This is my daughter for fuck’s sake, I have fucking self control! Andrew: Listen! I didn’t have to do this today, okay? I didn’t have to come here. A silence. Beth: Wow. Andrew: I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry. I… I don’t know what I’m saying. Beth: See? She’s fine. She never cries when I hold her, never. Andrew: Yeah. It’s amazing. You’re the only one. Shift. We see BETH making a video for Madison. Beth: Hi Madison, how’s my girl? Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Maddie! Happy birthday to you! One year old, wow. I wish you could come see me today but Wednesdays are silly no-visit days so I’ll have to wait to see you Saturday. You can watch this video as many times as you’d like until then, no matter how much it drives Daddy crazy. Sorry not sorry Andrew. I’m thinking of you all day today. Okay, well, uh, I hope today is filled with everything you could ever want and I can’t wait to see you and give you the biggest hug. You’re a good girl and you deserve all the best. And keep being a good girl for me, okay? Be a good girl like Mommy. Happy birthday beautiful. Shift. Back to the prison visiting area. ANDREW sits opposite BETH. Maddie isn’t there. Beth: Where is she? Andrew: Hello to you too. I couldn’t bring her today, don’t worry. We can visit today.

!57


PSJ | Iss. 4

Beth: You, you couldn’t, what? Why, why? Andrew: She’s with Mom. Beth: Mine or yours? Andrew: Since when have I called your mom ‘Mom’? Beth: Why’s she there anyway, couldn’t you just, justAndrew: She’s not feeling well, your mother is away, and since I’m at work all day I can’t do a lot soBeth: She’s sick? Andrew: She’s not feeling well. Beth: How sick? How’s she doing, is she, has she gone to the hospital, are, is sheAndrew: This is why I didn’t want to tell you. Beth: My baby is sick. Andrew: She’s going to be fine, she’s just got a bit of a bug. Beth: No, you don’t get a bit of a bug. You either have a bug or you don’t. Next time bring her. Please, I don’t give a shit, just bring her. Andrew: One time doesn’t matter. Beth: It matters. You should have brought her, maybe I, maybe I could have made her feel better. Andrew: Right, I forgot you had magic powers. Beth: It’d make her happy.

!58


PSJ | Iss. 4

Andrew: She’s out cold most of the day, she probably wouldn’t even know she was here. Beth: It’d make me happy. Andrew: I… I know. Beth: And when I’m home I want it to be like I was never gone and I want it to feel normal and that’s what all of this is for and if you’re not going to bring her then what’s the point? A beat. Andrew: Hey, maybe next time we do this, maybe at least pretend like you care about seeing me too? That’d be nice. Beth: What? That’s not what I meant. Andrew: Well like whenever we’re here it’s always all about Maddie I don’t hear about you I don’t get to talk to you because it’s all about her. And today we get to talk. Just you and me. But hey if I shouldn’t bother anymore if there’s no pointBeth: Hey, don’t say that don’t say that. Hey. How are you? (Smiles) You’ve gained some weight, eh? Andrew: Wow, thanks. Beth: Just noticed. Andrew: I keep cooking enough food for both of us. Habit. Beth: You don’t have to eat it all. Andrew: Cool. Noted. Beth: I miss you, you know.

!59


PSJ | Iss. 4

Andrew: I’m here. Beth: When you’re not. Andrew: Yeah well it can’t work like that. Beth: Hey, it’s my fault right? You say it every time. Andrew: No I don’t. Beth: Without saying it. I can feel it radiating off you. It’s what you bring. Every time. Andrew: Why are we talking about this now? Can we have one, one happy visit? Beth: When else would we talk about it? Andrew: You were drinking, Beth. We both know what it does to your meds, youBeth: I stopped taking them, Andrew. Andrew: Even worse! Even, wait, what? What, you, you’re not… And how long was this going on? Beth: I didn’t feel right okay I felt numb numb all the time andAndrew: You’re supposed to take them! The doctor saidBeth: You hate our doctor. Andrew: You’re supposed to take them! So that’s why you went crazy, that’s why youBeth: Do not use that word. Andrew: Sorry, I’m sorry but come on Beth! Come on! That’s such a stupid, stupid thing.

!60


PSJ | Iss. 4

Beth: You don’t think I think about it all the time? My dad cheated on my mom okay you know this. I know what happens, I how this goes. I’m like why did she have to touch you if she didn’t touch you and if you didn’t smile at her you smiled at her and… What? Andrew: What? Should I say something? Beth: I don’t know. What are you thinking Andrew? What do you think about all the time? Andrew: Am I supposed to answer that? Beth: You think we had to grow up first. That we should have waited. Andrew: I mean, uh… I mean, yeah, we’re both young andBeth: Oh Jesus. Andrew: And we have time! We have time and we didn’t have to rush anything we didn’t have to and we did anyway andBeth: And we weren’t ready. Andrew: Come on Beth, really. Look at us. Look at this. Beth: Wow. There it is. Make me feel fucking terrible Andrew, it’s what you do best. Andrew: Watch it. This isn’t just you. Beth: I’m trapped! Andrew: So am I! Fuck I’m done with this okay I’m done, you wear me out I can’t talk to you today. Beth: Then go. I don’t care. ANDREW starts to leave, but stops.

!61


PSJ | Iss. 4

Andrew: Maybe if we’d grown up a bit more and got our shit together first we would have been more ready. That’s what I mean. Maybe if you were actually taking care of yourself like you’re supposed to beBeth: Andrew. Andrew: I told you to keep seeing someone but you were like ‘oh no it’s fine I feel fine I let things get the better of me sometimes but it’s fine’ but then look! You’re off your meds, you were stable and you go off your meds. You break a glass on some random woman’s face and she gets stitches for god’s sake! And you leave me alone and leave me without your job to help out and leave me working all day every day and leave me to raise our fucking daughter all by myself! ANDREW throws his jacket on. Beth: That’s not fair! Hey! Don’t go! Andrew: I’m sorry okay I need time I need time to think. Give me that. Beth: Hey! Don’t you dare keep my daughter away from me anymore. Okay? Andrew! Tell me you’re coming back. Just say you’re gonna come back soon. Andrew! BETH stands. ANDREW stops. He turns to face her. Back in time. Back to home. ANDREW takes off his jacket. Andrew: I came home as fast as I could. Well? BETH smiles. Then nods. Andrew: No! No! Oh my god, oh my, wow holy, oh my god I’m! You’re sure. Beth: No. Just kidding. So sure. Andrew: I hate you! This is, wow, this is… I’m gonna be a Dad! I’m gonna be a, I’m gonna be a. They embrace.

!62


PSJ | Iss. 4

Beth: I love you. Andrew: I love you so much Bethany Powers. I love him, her, it, whatever it is. I’m gonna love them so much. Beth: This is us. Andrew: We’ll have to get out of this apartment, we’ll need a house a real house so she canBeth: She? Andrew: I mean, If it’s a she. Little Madison. Beth: Madison? Slow down! Andrew: And we have to make sure we can afford toBeth: We’ll make it work. Andrew: I wanna do a million things at once. Beth: Slow down, champ. We have time. Andrew: We have time. They hold each other. End.

!63


PSJ | Iss. 4

BILL MEEMS “$hãdõwy Figure” Night time image shot through the shopping cart enclosure at the Fortinos at Main St. and Dundurn. I was captivated by how the light from the businesses in the strip mall came through the hard plastic walls of the enclosure. This was made better when a shopper walked through on the opposite side of the enclosure, leaving this shadowy impression.

!64


PSJ | Iss. 4

“Ćròśśèd” One of the unique elements along the western edge of Waterford, Ont. is Black Bridge. This bridge is set along the Trans Canada Trail and, if caught in the late afternoon light of a fall day, shows off it’s rust quite nicely.

!65


PSJ | Iss. 4

“Drãwñ tõ Lïfë” Once again on my way to Hamilton via Jarvis, Ont. I was on pause due to road construction. I was on hold beside one of the landmarks of this tradition, which allowed me to capture it in the moment. The effects complement the wishful thinking for anyone stuck on a hot summer day, waiting for quick passage—that is, the ability to erase the source of the delay.

!66


PSJ | Iss. 4

CAROL HAMILTON “Deer Blinds and Tree Stands” “I’m a hunter waiting in his tree stand to nail his quarry” —William Least-Heat Moon The handsome house burned down. The brick chimney and the tall wooden deer blind behind it still stand and remain my landmark for backroad turns on my way to friends’ lakeside home. William was stalking

remnants of prairie village life, left-behind and haunting like these wooden towers that I watch for. Grown men with guns safely looking down for grazing deer do not speak to me of the prairie-gruff, hunter-hero idealized in my world. The people are gone now while the wooden watches stand. I call them useful.

!67


PSJ | Iss. 4

DOROTHY HOWARD

!68


PSJ | Iss. 4

CAMILE INSTON “The Boy Who Bled (or, “The Uncut Chronicles of the Savage Butcher Prince”)” Written by: Camille Intson

CHARACTERS

ATTICUS WHIT

A peculiarly stiff, socially inept scrawny adolescent boy: the story’s protagonist. Atticus must look younger, or perhaps just be smaller, than the other boys — the kind of kid that dreamt of playing Fiyero in Wicked but would have been cast as Boq. Smart. Fair.

TOM FELDMANN

A high school principal: authoritative, just. Most likely a father. He probably voted for Stephen Harper in the last Canadian election but won’t admit it.

JAMES HOFFMAN

A schoolboy and Atticus’s best friend: tall, commanding, harmlessly burly. He probably used to be a Brony. Not anymore.

NEIL STANLEY

Another peer: humorous, immature but witty. If asked, would prefer XVIDEOS to Pornhub.

AMELIA LOCKE

A bold, young girl and integral part of James’s social group: rebellious, cool, slick, in control.

NORA

Amelia’s best friend: intelligent, kind, compassionate, innocent. Cried for two full days when Cory Monteith died, probably.

JULIE

Tom Feldmann’s slightly flirtatious but highly trusted and respected secretary.

!69


PSJ | Iss. 4

Act One ATTICUS WHIT, a young boy of sixteen, sits — centre stage — his hands and face smothered in blood. TOM FELDMANN, Atticus’s high school principal, stands behind him. The set consists of a semi circle of chairs encircling ATTICUS and FELDMANN. As the other CHARACTERS enter the story, drawn out of ATTICUS’s memory, the set may be moved, be used creatively to sculpt various other locations (ex. the school hallway/the forest) — but must end in the same semi-circle in the play’s final moments. ATTICUS keeps his boyish backpack close. FELDMANN

Tell me, Mr. Whit — why do you think you’re here this morning?

ATTICUS

I don’t know.

FELDMANN

You don’t?

ATTICUS

No.

FELDMANN

You mean to tell me you haven’t any idea?

ATTICUS

Am I in trouble?

FELDMANN

No, I — not particularly, no.


ATTICUS

That’s good then.

FELDMANN

Right. Why don’t you tell me about this morning, about what happened before you came here to me?

ATTICUS

I don’t know — Miss Fischer said hi to me around eight forty-two. She asked if I was alright — looked kind of freaked out. Asked if I’d been up to anything. I said no. She sent me here. You were like, “Tell me, Mr. Whit — why do you think you’re here?” I was like, “I don’t —

!70


PSJ | Iss. 4

FELDMANN

Is everything okay with your friends, Mr. Whit?

ATTICUS

Atticus, please. I don’t like Mr. Whit. This old bag that used to hand out programmes at town Church on Sundays used to call me Mr. Whit. I hate it. I always thought he was trying to bone my mum — which is weird, ‘cause she’s my mum. I can’t see anyone ever wanting to bone her. Not that she isn’t beautiful. It’s just —

FELDMANN

Atticus. Why don’t you tell me about your hands?

ATTICUS

What?

FELDMANN

Your hands, can I see them?

ATTICUS

No.

FELDMANN

Your hands and your face.

ATTICUS

My face and my hands?

FELDMANN

They’re red. They’re covered in red.

ATTICUS

Oh. Yeah, I guess they are.

FELDMANN

Stained.

ATTICUS

Yes.

FELDMANN

Bloody?

ATTICUS

(with hesitance) Yes.

FELDMANN

What was it, a fight? Trouble with the kids from school? The Hoffman boy?

ATTICUS

No, James is my friend.

!71


PSJ | Iss. 4

FELDMANN

So you did this to yourself?


ATTICUS

Not really.

FELDMANN

Atticus Whit, do you take me for a mind-reader?

ATTICUS

No, sir.

FELDMANN

Well would you please, for God’s sake, tell me why on Earth you happened to show up to school this morning with blood all over yourself?

ATTICUS

It isn’t my blood.

FELDMANN

What?

ATTICUS

I mean, I didn’t get into a fight or nothing.

FELDMANN

Then how do you explain it all?

ATTICUS

I don’t think I can.

FELDMANN

Well you’re going to have to try. (silence) Come on! Out with it!

ATTICUS

So — this morning, on my way to school, I guess I took a different route than I usually do. I went down one of the side streets right at the corner of Walker and Blade, and there was this tabby sitting straight in the middle of the road.

FELDMANN

Tabby as in cat?

ATTICUS

Yeah, just sitting out on the pavement.

FELDMANN

So? Is there more to the story?

ATTICUS

Yes.

FELDMANN

Well, what?

!72


PSJ | Iss. 4

ATTICUS

Okay, so I was heading towards it and, the closer I got, the more it started staring me down.

FELDMANN

The cat was staring you down?

ATTICUS

Yes! With its devilish green eyes, it was staring me down.

FELDMANN

So what happened next?

ATTICUS

I got scared.

FELDMANN

Scared?

ATTICUS

Yeah, scared! The cat, it was taunting me. Ridiculing me. I felt so exposed — naked — smack in the heart of the sidewalk —

FELDMANN

So what? What happened next?

ATTICUS

So I ran it over with my longboard.

FELDMANN

Your longboard?

ATTICUS

Yes. It made a noise. There was a lot of blood.

FELDMANN

As it would. Tell me, Atticus, did anyone put you up to that?

ATTICUS

No.

FELDMANN

So you got the whole idea yourself?


ATTICUS

Suddenly, yes.

FELDMANN

And you didn’t feel one twinge of remorse?

ATTICUS

No, I mean not until after I skinned it with nan’s old butcher-knife.


 FELDMANN

A butcher knife —

!73


PSJ | Iss. 4

ATTICUS

Yes, a butcher knife.


 FELDMANN

And where did you get the butcher knife?

ATTICUS

Stole it from Nan’s house before she died. Kept it in my backpack pocket. Want to see? (He reaches and pulls it out) Sometimes, I used to play out in the woods — pretend I was a prince.

FELDMANN

Oh, my — Atticus! Would you put that thing away?!

ATTICUS

A savage butcher prince. I could never find the right hat.

FELDMANN

And the blood, it didn’t frighten you?

ATTICUS

Well, no. Guess I was curious. It was, like, a game or something. Anyways, I guess I was kind of freaked out afterwards because — well, you can’t leave a carcass in the middle of the pavement — what if somebody finds it, right?! I mean, not like they’d put up much of a fuss about the body of the dead cat. One time, mum hit a squirrel coming off the 403 and nobody noticed.

FELDMANN

So what did you do afterwards? Did you… I don’t know, bury it?

ATTICUS

Sir, that’s sick.

FELDMANN

Atticus. Well, what are you doing loitering around town, running over other people’s cats?

ATTICUS

I didn’t want to. I mean, I did want to, that’s why I did it. But it’s not my fault.

FELDMANN

Then whose fault is it?

ATTICUS

Couldn’t really say.

FELDMANN

Are you mad?

ATTICUS

No.

FELDMANN

Look, just… tell me this. How — when did all this business start?

!74


PSJ | Iss. 4

ATTICUS

I don’t know if I’m comfortable talking/about —

FELDMANN

Then I’m sure you’ll be a lot more comfortable explaining this thing to your parents when I’m forced to give them a call, won’t you?

ATTICUS

Sir! —

FELDMANN

Tell me, Atticus. What’s this thing about? (a pause) I’m waiting.

ATTICUS

I guess… it all started last Monday. I was in the hallway. It rained, just after nine and stopped about ten past. I felt kind of heavy.

Transition. We have now entered ATTICUS’s memory. JAMES enters the middle of the circle of chairs — FELDMANN now stands on the outside. JAMES

Hey! Atty!

ATTICUS

James!

JAMES

Hey, man — you catch Game of Thrones last night?

ATTICUS

No, I —

JAMES

Dragons and tits, man — dragons and tits.

ATTICUS

(indifferently) Wow. NEIL bursts into the circle.

NEIL

I FUCKING SAW IT!

JAMES

Neil, will you shut the hell up? It’s too early for this shit.

NEIL

I SAW IT! I SAW THE NIPPLE!

JAMES:

(as if to a stadium) Here he comes folks, the man of the hour, ripping ‘round the bend like a fart at a funeral —

!75


PSJ | Iss. 4

NEIL

Training bras, boys — baffling contraptions.

FELDMANN

(back in present time) You can spare me the details here, Atticus.

ATTICUS

(back to Feldmann) Just wait.

NEIL

Eat it up, fellas — that’s what you get for taking a girl to prom.

JAMES

You fucking tycoon.

NEIL

And we’re kind of a thing now.

ATTICUS

No way! Since when?!

NEIL

Dunno, haven’t told her yet.

JAMES

Atty. Come over here. Hey, last Saturday, when all the boys were down by the pier — you bailed — where the hell were you?

ATTICUS

Alone.

JAMES

Alone? Doing what?

ATTICUS

I don’t know, just alone.

JAMES

Bull.

NEIL

(to James) Dude, that’s code.

JAMES

Code?

NEIL

You know — (fiercely mimes masturbation)

ATTICUS

No, that’s not it.

NEIL

Like hell it isn’t, we all do it.

!76


PSJ | Iss. 4

JAMES

Neil! Fuck!

ATTICUS

I wasn’t doing anything.

NEIL

It’s cool, man, keep it low key.

NORA

Hoffman!

JAMES

Nora!

NORA

James. Boys.

NEIL, ATTICUS

Nora.

NORA

Guess who got busted this morning?

JAMES

No way.

NEIL

Only a matter of time.

JAMES

Holy shit, where is she?!

NORA

Feldmann’s office.

JAMES

For what, cigs?

NORA

Don’t know, I just saw her in there bawling. If she gets caught again —

JAMES

No, Locke’s not a crier.

NORA

I didn’t think so either.

NEIL

Fuck.

ATTICUS

Did you listen at the door?


NORA

No, I couldn’t!

!77


PSJ | Iss. 4

JAMES

Look, guys — we’ve got to be there for her no matter what.

NORA

This is serious. She could be screwed this time.

ATTICUS

But if those are the rules —

JAMES

Shhhh! Here she comes! AMELIA emerges solemnly from behind FELDMANN, through the circle of chairs.

JAMES

Doesn’t look great.

NORA

Shut up!

NEIL

Wait for it. AMELIA approaches the group solemnly. A moment passes. SHE erupts in laughter. The BOYS react.

NORA

Oh my God.

AMELIA

Idiots.

JAMES

Wait — Amelia — what happened?!

AMELIA

Same old shit. Bart bet me a dollar I couldn’t replace all the 3D planets in 401 with blow-up condoms in between first and second period.

NEIL

What?! And?

AMELIA

Got caught screwing with Pluto. Fucking Pluto. It’s not even a real planet.

ATTICUS

Dwarf, actually.

JAMES

Amelia Locke, you brilliant bastard. You are the sun our gnarly band of misfits and outcasts revolves around. Someday, I’ll tell my grandkids stories about you.

!78


PSJ | Iss. 4

AMELIA

Don’t flatter me, Archimedes.

NEIL

So what, we on for this weekend?

NORA

Saturday. James, can you score us some booze?

JAMES

Am I a horny mother fucker?

NORA:

(hitting him) James!

NEIL

My parents are going up North for the weekend and Ryan’s out — we’ll do it at mine.

AMELIA

That’s perfect! You’ve got that ranch up on Bay, right?

JAMES

Ladies and gents, youngsters, manics — shit on the heel of the bourgeoisie — I think this is the perfect time time to test out our little game. Rev it up, boys. This Saturday. Get ready… to channel your inner… Extreme Blasphemous Ninja Stripper Manhunt. The OTHERS react. This is a big deal.

JAMES

Yeah, get fucking ready. I’ll score the flashlights, Nora — grab some face paint… Neil…

NEIL

Condoms? (NORA hits him)


 JAMES

Look, you’ve got that forest attached to the ranch. It’ll be perfect! This Saturday — listen up, gang — assemble at Neil’s at eight. We’ll start there. Okay, on three… break!

ALL

One, two, three, BREAK! A bell rings. The crowd disassembles — all except AMELIA and ATTICUS.

ATTICUS

You’re wrong, you know.

!79


PSJ | Iss. 4

AMELIA

Excuse me?


ATTICUS

You said Archimedes. The sun — revolving around the sun — that was actually Copernicus. Heliocentric theory. Well, I mean Galileo came up with the idea, but no one believed him. He was confined to house arrest — died of fever. Heart palpitations.

AMELIA

You’re a little fucked, you know that?

FELDMANN

(breaking the illusion) Atticus. Atticus!


ATTICUS

Yes, sir!

FELDMANN

While that’s a very nice bonding story, it still doesn’t enlighten me as to WHY YOUR ENTIRE BODY IS DRENCHED IN THE BLOOD OF A NEIGHBOURHOOD CAT.

ATTICUS

Technically, sir, it’s not my whole body — just my face and hands. See? There is a knocking at the door. JULIE enters.

JULIE

Tom — let me know when you want the Board papers, they’re faxed and ready to bind. Also, we’ve got James Hoffman and Neil Stanley in here for questioning.

ATTICUS

NO!

FELDMANN

Just a moment, Julie.

ATTICUS

You can’t bring them in! They don’t know anything! They’re in the clear, I swear!

JULIE

They’re waiting just outside.

ATTICUS

Alright, alright — I’ll tell you! Just let them go!

FELDMANN

(after a moment) All right. Send them back, Julie.

!80


PSJ | Iss. 4

JULIE

But —

FELDMANN

Just do it. JULIE leaves. FELDMANN and ATTICUS share a look.

FELDMANN

So?

ATTICUS

…So what?

FELDMANN

Julie!

ATTICUS

OKAY, okay. God. All right — so Saturday night came. We assembled at Neil’s at eight — just like James said. For the game. It was dark. The LIGHTS go out. JAMES, NEIL, NORA, and AMELIA rush onto the stage, frantically waving their flashlights around in the darkness — shouts — stomping — ATTICUS stands in the midst of it all. FELDMANN is dim in this light, but still watches attentively.

JAMES

Ladies and gents, chicks and chums, ballsacks and babes — I’m gonna blow this here whistle on 3: three… two… one… BLOW! Okay? And that starts the game, my friends. Extreme Blasphemous Ninja Stripper Manhunt is not for the weak. This round’s hunters — JAMES… that’s me… and — let’s see now — Amelia Locke, you up for the challenge?

AMELIA

Born ready.

JAMES

A-ha! That’s my girl. Remember: safe word… let’s make it something crazy. Something we’ll all know. Hey, wait — Nora — what’s that dumb ass pork shit character in that book we all gotta read?

NORA

You mean Piggy? That’s Lord of the Flies.


JAMES

PIGGY! Yes! Fire up my conch shell, amigos. Safe word: Piggy. You all know the rules. Hunters find hiders. Hiders hide. Flashlights only. We ready? (they are) Tonight, my friends, we live. Three… two… one…

!81


PSJ | Iss. 4

JAMES blows the whistle. THEY scatter. ATTICUS is left onstage, narrating to FELDMANN. ATTICUS

And so that was the first round — I hid behind the old shed, which was a stupidly obvious place looking back but no one ever found me because they all ran into Neil’s woods. It went like that for awhile. Then came the second round… I got caught easy that time, so I sat and watched the rest. James and Nora were hunting, but after awhile they couldn’t find the others so they just sat — alone. And I heard James say,

JAMES

(out of breath) Good night, isn’t it?

NORA

Yeah. It’s getting darker.

JAMES

Here, you want my sweater?

NORA

No.

JAMES

Got any idea where Neil and Amelia are?

NORA

No.

JAMES

…You wanna make out or something?

NORA

(hesitates) No.

JAMES

I’m circumcised.

NORA

James!

JAMES

Come on!

NORA

I’m going to find the others. (she leaves)

ATTICUS

(to FELDMANN) And, in that moment, I think I understood.

FELDMANN

What, Atticus? Understood what? James didn’t… force himself on/her…

!82


PSJ | Iss. 4

ATTICUS

No. I was afraid he would, but he didn’t.

FELDMANN

Then why did you kill/the…

ATTICUS

Oh, that’s not the whole story.

FELDMANN

(resigned to the antics) Okay. Go on.

ATTICUS

Then came the third round.

JAMES

This round’s hunters?! Neil and Nora! One… two… three…

ATTICUS

(now entering the scene as more than a narrator/spectator) And we were off! This time, I figured, I’d go into the woods. Something inside me wanted to — you know — more than before. I ran — I was running faster than I’d ever run before! It was nuts! It was wild— and thrilling! I felt like God! This is what God must feel like! And I find this tree — with a giant hole in the middle — and I crouch behind it to hide, when…

AMELIA

Ouch!

ATTICUS

Amelia!

AMELIA

Shhhhhhh!

ATTICUS

Is this your spot?

AMELIA

Shut up and get down! You’ll get us both hunted!

ATTICUS

Oh. Okay. (HE crouches beside her. Silence)

AMELIA

You been a hunter yet?

ATTICUS

No. I like doing this. I’d be too scared to be a hunter.

AMELIA

What, aren’t you scared now?

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ATTICUS

Yes.

AMELIA

Oh. (seconds pass) Doesn’t sound like they’re anywhere close. I think we can relax now. (they do)

ATTICUS

So… how are things— AMELIA leans over to kiss ATTICUS.

ATTICUS

Oh.

AMELIA

You okay?

ATTICUS

(crossing his legs) Yes. Oh. I am. Fine. Yes.

AMELIA

Good. SHE kisses him harder. THEY sink down to the dirt together.

FELDMANN

Atticus? AMELIA and ATTICUS continue with increasing passion.

FELDMANN

Atticus Whit? (no response) ATTICUS! ATTICUS breaks the moment with AMELIA.

ATTICUS

Piggy. AMELIA remains frozen. ATTICUS crawls back to current time with FELDMANN, escaping her touch.

ATTICUS

Piggy Piggy Piggy — Piggy — but — it was done. ATTICUS is back in present time with FELDMANN.

ATTICUS

She touched me.

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FELDMANN is visibly uncomfortable. ATTICUS

And I touched her back. Between the legs.

FELDMANN

Oh.

ATTICUS

And we touched each other.

FELDMANN

…And?


ATTICUS

That’s it. That’s all.

The faint sound of JAMES’S whistle. THE OTHERS scamper off the stage, including AMELIA, leaving FELDMANN and ATTICUS. ATTICUS

And I spent the rest of that night alone. 
 FELDMANN doesn’t know what to say.

FELDMANN

And the blood?

ATTICUS

Amelia’s.

FELDMANN

Amelia’s?!

ATTICUS

Cat. I walked Amelia home that night. Thought it was polite. Held her hand, even though my fingers smelled of her. Funny smell. When she left me outside, I saw the cat through the window pane. And it just stared at me. Crazy thing — wouldn’t break the stare, no matter what I did. Taunting me. …Then, this morning, I went to school. Passed her house. Saw the cat. Couldn’t — tried to — sorry. The cat. (HE looks to the blood on his face and clothes) I don’t get it. I don’t know. My heart kind of hurt. I didn’t get it. I’ve never thought of it — like that, before. Games, they are. Aren’t they?

FELDMANN

Games. In this beat, ATTICUS waits for FELDMANN to say something — anything.

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FELDMANN Well, then — sounds like you really are okay, boy. Thought you might have gotten really hurt. ATTICUS

Right.


FELDMANN

Just a little blood. You can wash it off. Get some Tide or something. It’ll come off your face easy. Go home — take a shower. Take a bath? Just a little blood, Atticus.

ATTICUS

Just a little.

FELDMANN

Well, then. You’re excused. ATTICUS leaves slowly. There is a knocking on FELDMANN’S door.


FELDMANN

Yes? JULIE pops her head in.

JULIE

Tom?

FELDMANN

Come in, Julie.

JULIE

Everything all right with the Whit boy? FELDMANN looks at her curiously, and then bursts out into hardy laughter. JULIE cannot help but follow along.

FELDMANN

Kids.

JULIE

What is it?


FELDMANN

Ah, nothing. That little Whit boy’s becoming a man! Hit him smack in the face, out of nowhere — I’m thinking — maybe he just needs a friend.

JULIE

Boys.

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FELDMANN

Men.

JULIE

Crazy kids.

FELDMANN

Right. Hey, when you get a second — I’m going to need those papers.

JULIE

Coming right up.

FELDMANN

Thanks, Julie. JULIE leaves. FELDMANN straightens out his suit and waits. An uncomfortable silence. JULIE enters again. This time, she is covered in blood. She holds a savage butcher knife. One fit for a prince.

FELDMANN

Julie?!

JULIE

— Sir! — …Atticus Whit has stabbed himself. End of Play.

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JESSE VALVASORI

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ETHAN PAXTON Beneath the Rubble (EP)

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JORDYN STEWART

“It’s 3:30 in the Afternoon” Series of 3 photographs 15 in x 23 in Digital C Prints 2014 “It’s 3:30 in the Afternoon” Audio Component 2 minutes 30 seconds Mp3 2014

LISTEN

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES Stephen Brookbank is a photographer who was born and raised in Nova Scotia but now lives and practices in Hamilton, Ontario. His photographic practice takes focus on contemporary social and economic uncertainty, adopting banal scenes of North America’s urban landscape as raw material for his visual record. His work has been exhibited widely, from Portland, Oregon to Toronto to New York City. His work is currently on display at the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Design Annex as part of the exhibition, “The Shifting City” until April 2017. Presently, he is working on a photographic series exploring the spaces and people inhabiting the myriad of cultural and ethnic communities comprising the rich tapestry that is Canada.

Ella Gonzalez is a painter currently residing in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western University. Her work aims to navigate the complex relationship between mental and physical spaces through personal narrative, memory, and colour.

Carol Hamilton is a poet, with recent and upcoming publications in Cold Mountain Review, Common Ground, Gingerbread House, Main Street Rag, Sacred Cow, U.S.1 Worksheet, Pontiac Review, Louisiana Literature, Abbey, 805, Poem, Third Wednesday, One Trick Pony, Plainsongs, and others. She has published 17 books, most recently SUCH DEATHS from the Visual Arts Cooperative Press in Chicago. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize.

Dorothy Howard is a native to Hamilton and a graduate of the Graphic Design program at Niagara College. She’s worked in print and design, and specializes in logos, corporate identity, and branding. Because photography and design have similar rules, Dorothy has been exploring more with photography around Hamilton. Photography has also allowed her to connect and shoot with likeminded people in the GTA. Her inspiration is drawn from the works of Sam Elkins, Connor Dwyer, and her Insta community. Recently, Dorothy has been expanding her freelance brand, The Beloved Design, after completing a contract with CityKidz.

Camille Intson is a student of English Literature and Performance Studies. Her work has appeared in Another London and Synaeresis (Harmonia Press), Five:2:One,

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The Paper Street Journal, Young Voices, and UWO’s Symposium and Iconoclast. She is a current Playwright-in-Residence at the Paprika Festival and was last year’s Hamilton Music Awards Rising Star recipient. Recent/upcoming theatre credits include: Playwright: The Stock (Winnipeg Fringe), Road (The Grand Theatre), Blood Lines (Paprika Festival), The Boy Who Bled, Anonymous (Theatre Western’s Purple Shorts); Director: Antigone (Anouilh/Galantière) (AHSC/The ARTS Project). www.camilleintson.com

Michael Kras is a Hamilton-based playwright, actor, and director. His play, #dirtygirl, was recently the winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Hamilton Fringe, and his newest play, The Team, being developed with Theatre Aquarius, won second place in the 2017 Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest. Development of Michael’s work has been supported by Roseneath Theatre, Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, and the Ontario Arts Council. Michael is a graduate of Humber Theatre School, artistic director of Broken Soil Theatre, and a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwrights Unit.

Bill Meems is a photographer and visual artist. It only took 37 years for Bill to realize that his visual senses needed photography in order to express how he sees the world around him. Working in the television industry for 17 years, including 7 in Hamilton, he’s spent much of his career thinking about what is within the frame. It’s this perspective and the inspiration of life in a rural setting that has also helped to shape how he defines creativity. His photography carries a variety of themes, leaning towards minimalism with a fearless use of colour and effects to capture the finished vision for each photograph.

Ethan Paxton is a songwriter and musician. “Beneath the Rubble” was written and recorded from December 2015 to February 2016. The songs were recorded and produced by Dan Edmonds (Harlan Pepper) at Pocket Shrine in Hamilton, Ontario. The record consists of Ethan Paxton on Guitar, Vocals; Dan Edmonds on Bass, Piano, Wurlitzer organ; Jason Bhattcharya on Drums; Ben Robinson on Pedal Steel; and Jimmy Hayes III on Guitar. The five song EP was released on Down by the Point Records. Since then, Ethan and his band, Delta Days, have finished recording their first record together.

Ryan Pratt lives in Hamilton, Ontario. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Quiddity, Contemporary Verse 2, and Great Lakes Review, among others. Rabbit months (shreeking violet press, 2016) is his debut chapbook.

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Lukas Roczniak is a photographer from Hamilton, Ontario. Wearing many hats, Lukas is a prosthetic technician during the day, hustles craft beet at Collective Arts in the evening, and messes around with cameras in what limited spare time he has. He is a self-taught photographer who shoots with a DSLR and 35mm film camera, both in the street and in the field. He also uploads his works to Instagram @haveanotherdrink.

Mick Rose is a young artist in Hamilton who mainly works in illustration, but also dabbles in painting and digital manipulation. Her work is rooted in the tattoo subculture —if they aren’t tattoo designs themselves—and usually have surreal elements.

Hamilton Salsich was a late-bloomer as a reader and writer, not really finding enjoyment in books or writing until his early 20’s. Around that time, he decided to become a teacher of writing and literature, a path he happily traveled for the next 35 years. He wrote hundreds, if not thousands, of poems during that time, but, because of the demands of the profession and as a husband and father, found no time to actively submit his writings for publication. Now, in retirement, that time has finally come.

Elisha Stam has had work published in Hamilton Arts & Letters, urbanicity, 1:1000, and Hammer in the News. She was awarded Hamilton Public Library’s SWP for emerging fiction. She lives in Hamilton with her family.

Jordyn Stewart is an emerging artist from the Niagara Region. Working predominately in video and performance, her practice is influenced by the body’s relationship with the spaces we inhabit. Stewart creates site-sensitive works, intersecting landscape interventions and playful narratives. Stewart received her BA, Specialist in Art and Art History at the University of Toronto, joint program with Sheridan College. In 2016, Stewart participated in the Emerging Artist Research Residency at the University of Windsor and the Hamilton Artists’ Inc. Cotton Factory Residency Program. She is currently co-curating Art Spin Hamilton and working at Oakville Galleries as a Freelance Graphic Designer and Animateur.

Jesse Valvasori is a photographer, artist, and musician from Hamilton, Ontario.

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ONE MORE THING... A great deal of thanks goes out to our partners, volunteers, editors, and staff for their hard work on this project. The gears continue to turn at the Journal, and as they do, it helps to have individuals and friends working with us to keep the machine well-oiled and tightened. In particular, we’d like to thank GritLIT Literary Festival, Collective Arts, and The Staircase Theatre for their warm generosity and unwavering support. We would also like to take a second, if only briefly, to officially welcome the Hamilton Review of Books to the local arts scene. This organization is second to none, and is truly setting the bar for literary reviews in Canada. Seriously, go check them out. We promise that you will not regret it. Looking forward, we have a lot planned for the Journal. We can’t get into it all, of course, but here’s a little sneak peek: As some of you know, we’ve begun to dabble in the live performance scene. Expect more of that. You can also expect more special releases, like the special short story release we did for Halloween. Big things are coming from us, so stay tuned to our channels for updates and news. And, of course, a fifth issue will be on its way, due to be released in late 2017. (Speaking of which, the submission window for Issue 5 is officially open!) Finally, we’d like to thank you, the reader. This Journal continues to be possible because of your kindness and admiration for the arts. Without you, we wouldn’t exist. So, thanks! Until next time… With regards, The Paper Street Journal

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WEBSITE: psjpublication.wordpress.com TWITTER: @PaperStJournal INSTAGRAM: @paperstreetjournal FACEBOOK: The Paper Street Journal EMAIL: paperstreetjournal@gmail.com

Issue 4 - Spring 2017  
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