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TUFTS OBSERVER The Creative Issue.

This week, we’ve got something a little different for you. This is the Creative Issue—interpret as you will. And, you will.

A Grasshopper Called Dave by Grace Konstantine - 2 Photography by Mia Lambert - 4 Sister, Mother by Gloria Revanche - 7 Symptoms by Nasrin Lin - 8 What I’m Curious About is Abstraction by Emma Herdman - 9 Artwork by Yoon Sung - 10 Photo Inset: Zine - 13 Poems by Matthew Wilson - 17 It takes a village by Anonymous - 18 Subterfuge by Luca Rogoff - 21 Rescale by Alice Hickson - 22 Gemelos by Alexandra Benjamin - 24 Sadmess Is Not Romantic by Sonya Bhatia - 25 three haiku by Jeremiah Sears - 26 trippiblue by Anonymous - 28

Contributors Ryan Sheehan Emma Herdman Stuart Montgomery Claire Freeman Sienna Kwami Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez Yoon Sung Truett Killian Sean Lee Ailie Orzak



By Grace Konstantin We talked about the stock market and sex over dinner I sipped a lime green cocktail named a Grasshopper Called Dave and asked: She said:

When do you know it’s good?

When the value per share goes up and I said I’ve never had that

when it’s almost too much and your mouth gapes open

She said: Check your YUM stock and

everyone will agree it’s much better with someone you love

So I thought of him and how badly I wanted to touch him and the fact that YUM was up to $87.06 per share and I said I think I understand

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te nd e r

clu ms i ly

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Si ster, Mother

By Glor ia Re vanche

Scars snake the sinuous shape of my legs mes jambes qui sont un cadeau de ma tante Lourdes. T h e y a r e h e a v y, l o u r d e . my feet are calloused from years of walking through life t ê t e e n l ’a i r a s m o t h e r s a y s . My hands are small and practical tender and loving as they clumsily fit into the cornrows I s t i t c h i n t o m y s i s t e r ’s h a i r. Our hair is the story of our bodies surviving the lie of lye t h i c k , u n r u l y, a n d d e f y i n g t h e l a w s o f g r a v i t y it grows whether we want to or not. When I stretch the tight curls, they reach the length of her back her scarred skin is the proof of living becoming woman. Who will break her down? Who will tell her that the space of her thighs is too wide? And who will want to consume her almond eyes and her honey skin? Who will want her to heal their scars without tending to hers? I will tell her to proudly occupy space, to emphasize her wide.


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SYMPTOMs SYMPTOMs SYMPTOMs By Nasrin Lin This is the third time wait or fourth no fifth This is the fifth time I saw people drowning under a dotless sky the sea a vacuum cleaner towered over people dust gray moss of limbs harp strings taut catapulted off a high-rise to the gutter then implode like a watermelon two dozen rubber-banded tight like forehead wrinkles jigsaw pieces that do not fit One two three four five years since the day the time the place underneath five mossy layers of ill-tasted rugs wrinkled one tear wrinkled two tears wrinkled screams like claws on Monster drinks burnt neon ahh!’s and hiccups acidic pink pills in jam jars These nights I never seem to sleep never wake never sleep I never wake never sleep

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What I am curious about is By Emma Herdman

Like is it zooming in or out Like is it that game where you fold a paper Into sections and you pass it around in a circle And each person draws a different part attached but unconnected Or is it an immaterial object like Ephemera, as concept is it essentializing or watered down So is it how to fall in love or an archive Considering that these days digital archives could allow information to be infinite places at once If there were infinite named categories Ok so there’s a sculpture called torso of a young man Its from the twentieth century and it looks like A dick. Then if you zoom in it’s three conjoined pieces of wood Like two legs and a stomach. No genitalia In this famous blurry photo of a toilet seat That looks like it was taken from a monitor outside of a womb That some people think looks like a nipple some people see as A belly button and others say Just looks haunted


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Art often operates as a way for me to express myself when I cannot find the proper words. It gives me an outlet so that I can create something out of what would otherwise have no positive impact. I hope that the things that I create have an impact with the viewer, however small, and can communicate what I cannot otherwise convey.


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The following spread is a zine! Here are some instructions on how to fold it :) 1. Take out the center spread 2. Fold paper into eighths along the dotted lines 3. Fold in half hamburger style and cut along dotted red line 4. Fold paper along the length that has the slit, then push the ends towards each other 5. Fold the sides in to make a zine! (Hint: unfold and reverse for the other zine!) If you got lost, scan this QR code with your phone’s camera for video instructions


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baby boi

i will cradle myself hold me in a bountiful spring daily reminders create yearly ones of unsuited soil and the most suited of an iridescent tomorrow of scales fleeting in a river alongside rosebuds that i’m only a part of me. the biggest part is cradled inside the rest of me a comfortable place that i know i will grow into

By Matthew Wilson

how its made

the zeal of a lunatic percolates throughout the dungeons across the globe. historians assembling postcards into collages and assembling collages into bed time stories, product of the archives and a new addition to it. a rendezvous of the pasts present reverberating sound through castles and dungeons alike. a serpentine legend descended and discovered through clouds


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It Takes A Village Anonymous

My chosen family raised me on a skinny, splintery porch, at a table they borrowed from the proximate pizza joint patio. They cooked me on the strongest strains they could find, communal head rushes, and Sweetener. I was raised by her and her two half-full capsules— promises of orgasmania, fulfillment of orgasmania, the ignitory revelation that a Saturday on Molly is no less a stretch of my spiritual muscle than Shabbat at the Western Wall. Tongue kisses that I took like a sponge, the fizzing Coca-Cola headache conclusion— a family tradition! I raised her a different her, a different day, on psilocybin and Starbucks. I watched her maturation: hands running over 20 different types of water in Whole Foods, observation of the theatrics of al fresco waiters, salivation at the slopes in the ceiling of a restored train station. Conceded that we never really stop growing up: ever since, I cannot walk past a turreted building with a dry mouth. When my family was pregnant with me, they ate ample arts school boyfriends, chewed on Sgt. Pepper’s, sober. They would curve forward to whisper to the bulging belly, “Temporarily altering your brain chemistry is a privilege, not a right.”

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SUbterfuge Feature

By Luca Rogoff

Subterfuge I try explaining the word ‘sterile’ to garlic and onions frying on the stove. I try poaching my morning egg in it and again in red wine, holding it to fire until it cracks and lives again. Try washing away the unknown sick by scrubbing at metal and skin—­­ castor soap slipping down the sink like Sisyphus’s boulder— swallowing through the tightness in my jaw, around the block it lodges in my throat. holding thyme to my nose, standing in the kitchen mimicking calm, playing tag with myself, only safe with the radio on.


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rescale (v.)

alter the scale of (something), typically to make it smaller or simpler

I. it was summer and there was unrest, paint peeling off his father’s old truck, air so crisp it could snap right underneath you. we met between the steel strings and doleful notes of your piano, the liminal space between language and expression. since coming home things have felt uncertain, like the M train right before it rounds the bend between Flushing and Myrtle Avenue, the faded patch of dark between streetlights, an urban kind of anxiety I’m waiting on a platform and my body twists restlessly, making certain someone won’t push me from behind. II. I wish I could find a way to understand things the way they are meant to be understood out here. how your fingers strike a series of chords, each one out of sync with the last, hammering through my chest as they hit the keys. our sorrow swirls in an infinite circle, never beginning and never ending. it feeds on our insistence that we should learn from the past, satiating on the way we harmonize to love songs without quite meeting each other’s eyes staring at the ocean ahead, fearing the known-unknown, what has hurt before and therefore we assume will hurt again. your sleeping face is cosmic orange in the midsummer twilight, there’s an ache in my body telling me what I already know. i miss you. III.

80-20. 70-30. 50-50.


Fireworks rumble in the background, the plea of a circus animal trembling between the whip and the ring. I’m trying to figure out what I mean to you, am I the key change in your favourite melody, the one you said reaffirmed your soul, lifting it into the air, or am I the steaks of blue and violet hues on the canvas, am I the words or the feeling, what would I have to be to shift the scales. You whisper I’m scared. me too. here is where we should meet, but my words never seem to make a difference. fear tips the scale every time,

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I remember, often, you unbuttoning, in infuriating slow motion; one


one and then sitting down at my desk to undo your shoelaces, your cufflinks, concentrating, but your mouth moving all the while. the sound is off in my flashback, so I just watch the motions and think about how if I could go back, I wouldn’t change it; wouldn’t stop you, like I once had, but I would say what I know now, which is only that the Spanish word for cufflinks is “gemelos”

it means twins, and you have two sets— one identical and one fraternal— and both are family heirlooms I’m told, which makes me think again and decide that as they clinked down on the glass counter, I might also have asked what exactly it is that family means to you.

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By Sonya Bhatia


Sadness is not romantic

i. Cocooned in the bed, smooth sheets and overbearing warmth. Reach under the pillow for the children’s book. Grave transgression leads to great regression. Flip the pages delicately, like one wrong touch and they will turn into dust. Look at each word and repeat it until it becomes foreign in your head. ii. Pulled over in the twilight on the side of the road. Let their words as an anchor sink deeper and deeper into the sea of your body, because they are “older” and “know better.” You drown, lungs filled and unable to speak. So you scream into the steering wheel of your car, shocked by the shrillness of your voice. iii. On the ground of Grandma’s closet, the white carpet fibers scratching on your skin. Clutching onto the ground so hard you can feel your unkept nails piercing into your palms. Stare at the wooden ceiling, brown wood, shaped in neat rectangles. Grandma’s vanilla and clove scent is gone from the room; instead all you can hear are your own shallow breaths. Shame drips from your tears. Cyclical, a dark hole that spirals you in deeper and deeper. Come for the preview, and leave before the show actually starts. That’s why you cry alone. iv. your numbness.

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three haiku Pink flowers, clay tiles found in mist near the white sea. rain, grapes, tomatoes

soggy leaves weighing down the thin branch: curled hairs on the table

let me tilt my head back and dream: (sliding like Pluto between spring and winter) picking pomegranates up off the road


Tufts Observer

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

By Jeremiah Sears


NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Tufts Observer


! around 4 am 02/05/18 first trip on acid :^) Communication Mastering Netflix Movies Stories The key board can open so many Education is the key So that finally we can know all of this stuff Why am i so good at this Like this is bad

Binary things change this Rituals are what you perform in order to feel like your in control Do you feel like youve been waiting for something But i m not ready Two Time Its changin It was the last one



And now its about her Her voice The music The sounds the sight Im talking cuz u dont knowwwww Its trying to make the thing look sadder that it actually was The whole time you were Who is erica is the fucking video Its what ii cant look at that shits scary Its bouncy Why are they famous Tho Is she exploring what she wants its d If i

If we just listened I opened a different file in a diff place Game s Constant I just need it to be binary so i can Its not even that Its basic human interaction saying hello Those things have gotten too much for us to handle The university and the universe makes it really hard for us to understand

I am on there just so that i can feel something real

just read mine and we appreciate the art then we can all see what she was trying to say Oh wait i dont know


Tufts Observer

NOVEMBER 26, 2018


I am on there just so that i can feel something real

I was saying that i feel like i dont know why i came

But this is the reason i came Peace and love

You can literally create a whole world in your hands

I was talking about the movie or the song Its

- smoothluxya


NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Tufts Observer


Vol CXXVII, Issue 5.

This magazine was produced on occupied Massachusett territory.

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Creative Issue Fall 2018  

Creative Issue Fall 2018