LITERARY AND FINE ARTS MAGAZINE VOLUME 96
The Quarry is an annual publication by the students of St. Olaf College. All correspondence should be addressed to:
Executive Editor, The Quarry St. Olaf College 1500 St. Olaf Avenue Northfield, MN 55057
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FROM THE EDITORS We are born into a world of purported order and meaning. But as we grow older we start to question the inherited boundaries we once revered. We can feel empty. We can feel alone. We may long for the structure we lost. We are forced to make meaning in the midst of chaos and absurdity, and from this place of freedom we create. In the 96th volume of The Quarry, you will find discomfort, nostalgia, mourning, humor. From this collection of individual works, the editors have attempted to curate a narrative that prompts reflection on these themes. It is our hope that within these pages you find something that compels you, excites you, or inspires you to create your own meaning. The Quarry Editors
EDITORS Anders R. Mattson Noah Forslund Thea Lund Isaiah Scharen Margaret Lindahl Anna Barnard
Executive Editor Literary Editor Art Editor Layout Editor Interdisciplinary Editor Web Editor
CONTENTS Tornado YOU ARE OK Lunch Poems Little’s Monologue “You’re a Girl, Right?” Nut, Goddess of the Sky Swim Center Centipede Structure, Plane, Chaos A Few Guesses A Chance Encounter With Your Unfamiliar Self A suddenly dull deer Sage and Fireweed Coast Redwood What is dust and why is it everywhere? Magic Song Some Hands Vater Unser To the Man ... on the roof of that work van Braman, OK Respite In moments of stillness I mouth your name Sapphic Lover Untitled All That Remains A Blanket on the River The Mourning My Grandma’s House in Indonesia Regarding My Love for Conformity Roots Untitled Untitled REDEMPTION: AN EPILOGUE
Rebecka Miller Kali Breska Sumner Pitt Claire Chenoweth Rebecka Miller Cristiana Hawthorne Anna Weimholt Padraic Mittag-McNaught Paulo Gladney Thomas Hardy Jessica Mitchell Claire Jussel Claire Jussel Isabel Galic Devin Cuneen Valerie Darger Emily Ziegler Stephen Oberhardt Steven Garcia Isabel Wolf Jessica Mitchell Kylee Novak Steven Garcia Jackie Dudley Johnny Goodson Jackie Dudley Laras Kettner Naomi Brandt Sophie Adams Henry Benjamin Michael Brandt Stephen Oberhardt
1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Rebecka Miller Our parents used to direct us Why do we ignore their direction now? huddle under the musty stairs but why should we tremble in the crawlspace now when the sirens rise and fall the wailing is the same now as then we make our own choice the grounding is contrary we decide to run outside bark and branches whip by in the periphery laugh spin fall on damp grass wind cools our summer sweat stare up at the sky and realize where we are we put ourselves in danger here a flailing cracking green-grey washing machine no longer radio crackling in the dry dark
YOU ARE OK Kali Breska
Lunch Poems Sumner Pitt
an excerpt from Caught in The Loop Claire Chenoweth My favorite book of all time right now is at the library. It’s a big one with hard covers all about creatures and spells and stories where humans dance in mushroom rings and wake up after 60 years with arthritis. I read it whenever we go to the library, and we go there a lot, especially when it’s cold and I kneel on the carpet turning the big pages until it’s time to go. There are stories about changelings- faerie babies left in place of stolen human ones. Human families raising a baby that isn’t theirs while a human baby grows up in the faerie court. There are stories of brewing changelings in pots of eggshells or heating them in the oven to bring back the human baby they were pretending to be. You could tell a changeling because it wouldn’t laugh or tell you its name or it cried all the time.
(scoots closer to KATHLEEN, looking up)
That’s what she feels like now. Part of me wonders if she’s always been like this and I was just too little to notice. One part of the book said that sometimes changelings were just very old faeries who had come to the human world to die. I can’t decide if she’s one of those, or if she was a baby changeling that nobody ever caught, and she just grew up in the human world. Sometimes I worry that she stepped into a mushroom ring when we weren’t here and when she came out she couldn’t drive well anymore and got lost a lot and told stories that go in big circles. But I like the changeling story more. It feels better to think of her that way. More fun. Like, I’m half faerie. Like she’s on her way back to something.
“You’re a Girl, right?” Rebecka Miller
why does that matter? we sit in the same pew her question brave and hesitant her uncertain face examines me: Fresh buzzed skull Tiny gold hoops Tall frame, t-shirt, tennis shoes Sunburn I believe curiosity is a right which children deserve more than anyone and I therefore have a duty to allow this curiosity to help it bloom I want this child to question everything But parents don’t send their children to Bible Camp to question everything so my simplified answer: “Yep, Girls can have short hair” is nothing too radical
Nut, Goddess of the Sky Cristiana Hawthorne
Structure, Plane, Chaos Padraic Mittag-McNaught
A Few Guesses Paulo Gladney
standing in the center of the streams of busy bodies bustling about in a typical mediocre autumn day, she witnesses a million invisible globs of color wriggling around in the grey air, anxiously awaiting to be captured, and just canâ€™t help herself
she just pictures the thing, puts pencil to paper, and simply spontaneously creates but that seems the least likely option.
sitting through another boring lecture, disregarding lofty religious texts and philosophical musings, she is interrupted by playful, strangely shaped figures making silly faces, noiseless nuisances, crying desperate pleas for artistic manifestation and is happy to oblige
she lives in a sad world filled to the brim with stress-Âaddicts and twisted love, and pain is an image etched on the corner of her brain that she fights every day to get out or
A Chance Encounter With Your Unfamiliar Self Thomas Hardy
A suddently dull deer Jessica Mitchell
I’ve been tracing his antlers with my thumbs, A soft caress for a body of worms; wouldn’t you appreciate? No one quite conceptualizes heartbreak or the feeling of being shot in the throat, which is why the toads continue to sing from my chest, midsummer heat and all. Sometimes the amphibious gagging, wretched heaving, won’t stop until I’ve pulled the hair from my mouth. Lengthy locks that have long since settled to the bottom of my esophagus, an uncomfortable reality. Yes, a suddenly dull deer I’ve been tracing with my thumbs. Wouldn’t you appreciate?
Sage and Fireweed Claire Jussel
The fire was not entirely Jonasâ€™ fault. It was, perhaps, partially the fault
of the power company whose routine safety checks had left the remote stretch of utility poles to be battered unchecked by the elements for years. Or perhaps it was the fault of the December wind that bit through the valley at particularly vicious speeds that day, or the dry grass, crowded against the base of the pole, waiting to burn fast and hot.
But regardless if the spark was to be blamed on the destitute transformer
box, or the rabid wind or matchstick grass, it was Jonas who stood in the bucket lift at the perimeter of the blaze, eyebrows singed, hands on his head as trafficcone flames lapped from bush to bush below, belching out coils of asphalt-black smoke. The fire sneered up at him and divided, an arm hurling back towards the dirt road.
This jolted Jonas from his stupor. He lowered the bucket crane as quickly
as it would go, its joints whining in protest at moving faster than two miles per hour. He practically fell out of the bucket as it reached the frozen sandy ground and sprinted around the truck. The tool belt on his hip jangled wildlyâ€”a clanking bell tolling a warning to the sparrows and mice.
Jonas flung the door open and scrambled for the dispatch radio
microphone. Having finally grabbed hold of it, he turned back around to survey the rampant flames.
The microphone fell from his hand, bungeed limply on its coiled cord.
The fire was gone. All that remained was its shadow, stretching black and
smoldering into the sage. Charred sagebrush stumps reached into the morning air like stunted winter trees, candle smoke whispers wafting away. It was as if someone had laid a charcoal black paint swatch between a palette of silver winter sage and dead grass gold.
Sage and Fireweed
Sitting on the windshield of the car like a parking ticket was a clump of
sage sprigs, bound in twine with a tag of yellow legal paper with curling script:
Take better care.
The next day, the burnt patch was waiting for Jonas when he arrived to
work. He parked the truck beside it for a moment, staring out into the scorched remains. He picked up the sage sprigs and put them in his back pocket and drove on to the next utility pole. He set about his work. Up in the bucket crane. Check and mend the wires. Down. Scooch the truck forward one hundred yards to the next pole. Up.
Three poles in, he stopped for lunch. While eating a ham sandwich in the
bed of the truck, a massive bloodhound appeared, wagging its tail and sniffing for the ham, clumsily bumping into the trunk. Startled, Jonas tried to shoo it away, and the great rusty beast turned its wrinkled head to him, tongue falling out of its floppy lips. Under the baggy eyelids, Jonas saw milky white eyes.
There was a whistle,
â€œBart, come on.â€?
The bloodhound turned his head and trotted back down the dirt road
towards the voice. An old woman dressed all in denim and leather and red flannel came into view. Her skin was weathered and tanned; her silver hair was pulled back into a long braid. She stared down Jonas with eyes the color of sagebrush and nodded sternly at him.
He felt his shoulders tense and stomach knot.
As the days went on, Jonas progressed down the endless line of telephone
poles. A pair of irritated prairie falcons watched him intently, always one pole ahead of him as he moved down the road. The old sentinels grumbled and creaked in the cold. 14
Sage and Fireweed
His morning commutes became strange as he reached the coastline of the
sagebrush sea. Stop signs at isolated intersections seemed to appear and disappear on different days. Roads spat him out on unfamiliar routes, zigzagged in massive squares. One day, there was a stretch of fence posts topped with shoes. The next, where there had once been nothing but shrubs and grass, a whole squat tree stood, its branches laden with shoes and boots of all sizes and styles, strung together by their laces. Some mornings he saw boulders, left behind centuries ago by the glaciers that birthed them, stir from their slumber and roll after their icy mothers.
From his roost up in the bucket lift, he could see the whole valley
stretched out, grey and brooding in the winter light. Snow dusted hills swept up far to the north and south. A deep black canyon, hidden from the ground view undulating earth, cut down sharply to the silver winding river.
From up there, he could also see the place the woman must have lived,
a little house at a T intersection half a mile down the road from the site of the brush fire.
He saw her moving out in the sage in the mornings, when the sun burned
the white snow on the hills pink and caught the silver glint of the sagebrush leaves branching out above the dark and twisted trunks. She moved in winding arcs through the sage, stopping to observe, kneeling to bury, bending to gather. The bloodhound orbited her as she worked, occasionally letting out a low howl.
One Monday, he saw a maroon Subaru pull away from the little house
and drive two poles down from where he was working. It pulled over by a rocky outcropping, atop which sat a large red tailed hawk, one wing held out at an uncomfortable angle. The woman pulled a camp stove out of the trunk and a copper pot and began to heat some sort of mixture, stirring with slow metered swirls, adding freshly plucked sagebrush leaves. The hawk watched her patiently,
Sage and Fireweed and then leaned its head forward to greet the wooden spoon when she extended it out towards its beak. After three spoonfuls, it rustled its wing back into its side, nodded at her, then extended both wings wide and lifted off.
On Tuesday morning, Jonas worked at the T intersection near the old
woman’s house. He saw her hand a canvas tote bag to a sleek raven. Wednesday morning, the raven returned with the bag full of groceries. She thanked it, and presented two polished paperclips as payment.
That afternoon, even though the earth was still frozen, fuchsia fireweed
blooms unfurled out of the charred ground from Jonas’ fire. The old woman plucked the long stalks, rolling the leaves in her fingertips, tasting the petals.
Thursday, he made oatmeal cookies and cautiously placed them on the old
woman’s doorstep as a peace offering. The next morning he found another bundle of sage sprigs and yellow paper on the windshield of the truck.
Bring more of the oatmeal cookies if you can, Bart loved them.
Friday, he found a falcon chick on top of one of the poles, exposed and
shaking in the frigid wind, cotton ball feathers all disheveled. The little thing crawled into his outstretched glove with shocking willingness. He tucked it into his lapel pocket. When he got down from the bucket, he looked down to where the chick had been and discovered a small lizard in its place. He took it out and gingerly held it in his hands as he walked across the sage to the old woman’s house. By the time he knocked on her door, he found that the lizard had transformed into a small basalt rock, which he felt quite stupid presenting to her. But she took it gently out of his hands and brought it inside to a little pink Formica table. The woman jerked her head, motioning for Jonas to follow her in. She put her calloused hands over the craggy black rock and murmured gently, pulling her hands back to reveal a small grey rabbit, which shuddered and
Sage and Fireweed coughed out sparks. It trembled, breathing rapidly as she fed it a sagebrush sprig, stroking its head gently.
As she calmed the creature, Jonas stood awkwardly in the little front room
of the house. The only light shone weakly through the south-facing window. In the corner was a bookshelf made of 2x4s holding up an ancient black stereo and a tower of cassette tapes and yellow-paged paperbacks. Next to the shelf leaned a loom with fireweed woven through it. Bundles of dried wildflowers and grasses hung from the kitchen cabinets. A large cast iron skillet and the copper saucepan sat simmering on the stove, smelling of bacon. Jam jars filled with animal teeth and navy bandanas filled with seeds lined the countertops. On the little Formica table, pushed aside to make room for the little rabbit were hawk feathers, fig newtons, and a stack of yellow legal pads, creased and stained and filled with diagrams and dark looping letters.
The little rabbit had finally stopped quaking. The woman picked it up and
walked back to the door. The creature morphed once more; she set down a small grey snake that wove away into the grasses. Jonas stared, slack-jawed, after it from the concrete front step. The woman gave a little wave and shut the door behind him.
Saturday afternoon, Jonas saw a dark column of smoke rising up from
across the valley. He drove out from the outskirts in the city, praying that the shifting roads would deliver him to the dirt road intersection quickly.
The smoke grew thicker, and he could see a field of fire in the distance,
beyond the T intersection.
When he arrived at the little house, it looked sad and downturned,
weatherworn as though it had not been lived in in years. Part of the roof sagged in. The windowpanes were opaque with dust and grime. When he turned back to the intersection, the parked maroon Subaru was there, and the witch stood 17
Sage and Fireweed beside it with Bart the blind bloodhound, watching the flames creep and surge low through the grasses, leaping and dancing skyward as it engulfed spheres of sagebrush.
“Can’t you stop this one too?”
She smirked and shook her head “This one wasn’t a mistake.”
“We should leave here before it reaches the road.”
The old woman pulled two fireweed shawls out of the canvas tote bag,
affixed one around her own shoulders, then Bart’s, who stopped whimpering. They stepped onto the hood of her car, then crawled up onto the roof.
She plunged her arm deep into the canvas bag and pulled out one more
fireweed shawl, and handed it down to Jonas.
“You may stay with us and watch if you’d like.”
The three sat on top of the Subaru, wrapped in fireweed, watching the sunset flames burn and meld into the sky.
Coast Redwood Claire Jussel 19
What is dust and why is it everywhere? Isabel Galic
We should build our cities out of dust. Collect it in tiny jars, minuscule melodies We could build years in a week. Is dust any different from bricks? Bricks are dense dust. It’s funny, they tell me Matter is not created or destroyed. Or is dust simply too delicate Perhaps too whimsical, unsustainable And everywhere Yes, it could vanish in one exhale. But, of course, our buildings are more meaningful than dust. Or maybe not more meaningful than dust. That’s okay too. Wouldn’t we like to know One way or the other.
Magic Song Devin Cuneen
Some Hands Valerie Darger 22
Vater Unser Emily Ziegler
To the Man whose job it just might be to simply stand on the roof of that work van Stephen Oberhardt
I’m glad I saw you when I did I was just biking home I had just bought Peanuts I also had vegan ham and vegan sausages I was on my way home and then I saw you up on the roof of that work van. I I I I I I
don’t want to talk about me though couldn’t tell what you were doing thought you looked content up there thought it looked fun hope it was fun for your sake or rather hope you were having fun.
I I I I I I
hope that you enjoy your job up there though wonder what it is you are supposed to be doing and wonder if there is someone else inside the van and notice there is no writing at all on the van so don’t know whose van it is but think it just might be your job to stand up there on the roof.
I hope it is your job to stand up there I hope you enjoy standing up there and for the matter I hope you are not afraid of heights I am afraid of heights I get a little dizzy when I am standing as high as you were but I don’t want to talk about me now. I I I I I I
hope you earn enough to get by would hate it if you didn’t have enough to buy my peanuts also buy plenty of vegan ham and sausages hope you earn enough to get by even though don’t know, your job might simply be to just stand there.
Braman, OK Steven Garcia
Isabel Wolf close your eyes, live wire let the radio press your shoulders back horn section sharp like a penny in the sweetness of the night, close your eyes and feel you are being carried forward the tiny fits and starts of the engine inertiaâ€™s nameless twin
In moments of stillness I mouth your name Jessica Mitchell
sometimes your blue-green-brown eyes unearth me, which is nothing bad don’t you worry. Because I’m with you the way honey sticks in my hair whenever you feed me the golden stuff from your thumbs / I crave you in the way I crave heat in winter, seat warmers, air hot-full-blast, until you’re flushed crimson not just in your cheeks but your temples, where I can plant one on ya, because this is what love is...isn’t it? sometimes I trip over thoughts because they rush over me without the capacity to slow, autobahn speeds, [mein Herz schlägt schnell für dich], because I believe we were meant to balance each other / I believe we are meant to love one another, because when you ask “wanna hear a joke”, I already know the punchline, because when I trace your collarbone you fall asleep, and because when we make eye contact, the world shrinks to our size.
All That Remains
Erasure of Buried Cities by Jannie Hall Jacqueline Dudley So a living city was buried in a few hours. Wooded hills and green fields lay covered under great ash heaps. Ever since that terrible eruption Vesuvius has been restless. Sometimes she has been quiet for a hundred years or more and men have almost forgotten that she ever thundered and spouted and buried sities. But all at once she would move again. She would shoot steam and ashes into the sky. At night fire would leap out of her top. A few times she sent out dust and lava and destroyed houses and fields. A man who lived five hundred years after Pompeii was destroyed described Vesuvius as she was in his time. He said: â€œThis mountain is steep and thick with woods below. Above, it is very craggy and wild. At the top is a deep cave. It seems to reach the bottom of the mountain. If you peep in you can see fire. But this ordinarily keeps in and does not trouble the people. But sometimes the mountain bellows like an ox. Soon after it casts out huge masses of cinders. If these catch a man, he hath no way to save his life. If they fall upon houses, the roofs are crushed by the weight. If the wind blow stiff, the ashes rise out of sight and are carried to far countries. But this bellowing comes only every hundred years or thereabout. And the air around the mountain is pure. None is more healthy. Physicians send thither sick men to get well.â€?
A Blanket on the River
The Mourning Jackie Dudley
My Grandmaâ€™s House in Indonesia Laras Kettner
Regarding My Love for Conformity Naomi Brandt
On the first day of kindergarten, Mrs. Mansfield asked us to share our favorite colors while sitting in a circle—criss-cross applesauce. My best friend Marron was my best friend because we went to preschool together, and we decided that we’d both say our favorite color was pink once it was our turn. My turn rolled around: “My name is Naomi, and my favorite color is pink.” Then: “My name is Marron, and I like all the colors of the rainbow.” Coward.
Henry Benjamin I would keep my silence Incomplete as it is, For even without words, All has been said That can be There is nothing in me That has not been read Or heard before, I hold no greater proof Than my presence Even at my quietest, With my body still, my lips Uncharged, If you come close enough You will hear what I am
REDEMPTION: AN EPILOGUE Stephen Oberhardt
To be performed in any way entirely according to the actor’s choice, not the director’s. This portion MUST accompany the piece but can come before or after, or even both if split up or repeated, again up entirely to the choice of the actor performing it. They may have it recorded or performed live, or again, both, but must be performed by the same actor as before. The text can be spoken in any order in any way in any language and is completely up for interpretation.
PERSON: Betrayal stings. Stings like a hornet hesitates no, worse, like a whole hornet nest, unrelentingly painful until their sick pleasure is met with your demise. But to be honest, hornets are not that different from bees. Sure they don’t pollinate any plants that are essential to sustaining a proper ecosystem, and they can sting 3 or 4 times, and sure they eat bees in addition to their standard diet of tree sap and other insects, but really that’s pretty much where the differences end. They work in the Queen, Worker, Drone caste system, they have the black and white striped bodies that stinging insects so oft develop, they build nests out of chewed up wood and saliva, producing a paper-like texture. Honestly it is hard to tell a hornet from a bee sometimes. Honestly more often than not! hesitates Just as it is hard to tell betrayal from a mistake made by a mortal man. The Rips Man... He... He didn’t raise the price to destroy our spirits but rather made an honest blunder, one that cost lives. But... But we... I... No-one can fault him for that... No matter... No matter how much we... I... everyone should want to... He... is a man and a Man hesitates a man is just a man. It would be nice to kill them all so that those remaining would have nothing in their way but... but that wouldn’t be right... would it? To kill hesitates all hesitates men? FINALEMENT
CONTRIBUTOR NOTES Sophie Adams Studio Art, Nursing Pittsburg, PA “I was born in Thailand, moved to India, Australia, Panama, then to Pittsburgh, and my mom is from Iceland so I visit regularly. I included all the flowers in my self portrait, not only because I love them, but because they represent my roots. Each flower is a state/national flower that I decided to incorporate from the places I consider home.” Henry Benjamin ‘19 Saint Paul, MN
Steven Garcia ‘20 Houston, TX Paulo Gladney ‘19 Music Education Fremont, CA “He enjoys palm trees, music, California poppies, oreos, and smash bros.” Johnny Goodson ‘20 Saint Paul, MN
Michael Brandt ‘22 Chicago, IL
Thomas Hardy ‘20 Studio Art, Environmental Studies Stevens Point, WI “Thomas takes inspiration from the work of visual artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Tim Bower, Pawel Kuczynski, and Joan Miró, and he hopes to work as an illustrator after graduating college.”
Kali Breska ‘19 Studio Art, Exercise Science Waconia, MN
Cristiana Hawthorne ‘20 French, Media Studies Edina, MN
Claire Chenoweth ‘20 Theater, Sociology and Anthropology Cedar Falls, IA “Trying and failing and trying to write everyday.”
Claire Jussel ‘19 History, English Boise Idaho
Naomi Brandt ‘20 Albuquerque, NM
Devin Cuneen ‘20 Oak Park, IL Valerie Darger ‘21 Studio Art Minneapolis, MN “Thrilled to have her work in The Quarry!” Jacqueline Dudley ‘20 Studio Art, Art History Saint Paul, MN Isabel Galic ‘19 Oak Park, IL
Laras Kettner ‘21 Nursing Falls Church, VA “She has lived the majority of her life overseas in Europe and Asia. When she lived in Latvia, she was introduced to the art of silk painting and fell in love with it. Being half Indonesian, Laras spent a lot of time in Indonesia growing up and is inspired by Javanese art and culture. In her free time, she loves playing the piano, visiting museums, and writing stories. She hopes to continue writing and painting in the future, and affect people’s lives positively as a nurse” Rebecka Miller ‘19 English, China Studies Eden Prairie, MN
Jessica Mitchell ‘19 Environmental Studies Issaquah, WA
Padraic Mittag-McNaught ‘20
Sumner Pitt ‘19 Boise, ID Anna Weimholt ‘22 Saint Paul, MN
Kylee Novak ‘20 Psychology, Studio Art, Women’s and Gender Studies Rochester, MN Stephen Oberhardt ‘19 Chicago, IL
Isabel Wolf ‘22 San Francisco, CA Emily Ziegler ‘22 Palatine, IL
REBECKA MILLER KALI BRESKA SUMNER PITT CLAIRE CHENOWETH CRISTIANA HAWTHORNE ANNA WEIMHOLT PADRAIC MITTAG-MCNAUGHT PAULO GLADNEY THOMAS HARDY JESSICA MITCHELL CLAIRE JUSSEL ISABEL GALIC DEVIN CUNEEN VALERIE DARGER EMILY ZIEGLER STEPHEN OBERHARDT STEVEN GARCIA KYLEE NOVAK ISABEL WOLF JOHNNY GOODSON JACKIE DUDLEY LARAS KETTNER NAOMI BRANDT SOPHIE ADAMS HENRY BENJAMIN MICHAEL BRANDT
COVER ART BY THOMAS HARDY