The T ul ane Review fall 2018
Editor in Chief
Samantha L. Woods
Sue Choi Julia Daniel
Reagan McCann Garvin Ella Helmuth
Graham Andreae Harrison Donchez
Claire McGovern, Lauren Flowers, Lucy Sartor, Lydia Mattson, Patrick Miller, Regina Solar, Siona Kalil
Cover art by Valyntina Grenier. ISSN 2166-5001 ISSN 2166-501X The Tulane Reivew is an art journal published by the Tulane Literary Society twice yearly. Submissions are judged by review boards in an anonymous selection process and final choices are made by the editors. For submission information, consult the submission guideline on the last page of this issue or visit http://review.wp.tulane.edu. To view this issue on the web, please visit https://issuu.com/ tulanereview. Funding for the Tulane Review comes from the Undergraduate Student Government of Tulane University and the Tulane Literary Society. The works published in the Tulane Review represent the views of the individual artists and are not the expressed views of the Tulane Literary Society, Tulane University, or its Board of Administrators. Copyright ÂŠ 2018 by the Tulane Literary Society. The Tulane Literary Society reserves the right to reprint the journal in part or in its entirety for publicity on the web and in print. All other rights revert to the author or artist at the time of publication. The Tulane Review acquires first North American serial rights.
CONTENT Art 8 12 16 18 21 23 27 29 31 33 34 40 43 44 46 53 56 57 58 60 62 73 74 76
Plants III | Drake Truber Plant Life | Valyntina Grenier Tales of a City II 28 | Seigar Gouache | Lydia Mattson Perfect Alignment | Keith Moul The Tangerine Fire Escape | Rebecca Pyle Black Pearl, New Orleans | Tyler Robert Sheldon Not that Hungry | Ronald Walker A Willow | Lauren Flowers Balancing Act | Shelby Prindaville Ruined City | Scott Wheelock Montauk Blue Hotel | Daniel Wang Camelflage | Shelby Prindaville Lets Face It | Nuveen Barwari Art Field trip | Ronald Walker Watertrails | Scott Wheelock Don Valley | Leah Oates Couples | Lauren Flowers Balloon | Frank Dixon Graham Tales of a City II 23 | Seigar Wild Easily Shattered Rose | Jury S. Judge Dabble No. 3 | Anthony R. Westenkirchner Cascade 2 | Scott Wheelock Ananzi and the Hornets | John Humphries
Poetry 6 Westering | Beth Ruscio 7 Memory, Expatriated | Benjamin Stallings 10 The Disappeared | Kevin J. B. O’Connor 13 Picking Teeth | Katherine Westbrook 14 of our ode to mediocrity | Patrick A. Howell 17 Brooklyn | Kevin J. B. O’Connor 19 lady of the house | Edythe Rodriguez 20 Pantoum From The Ivy (for Kalief Browder) | Dagmawe Berhanu 28 heard what you got to say | Patrick A. Howell 30 One Face | Katharine Johnsen
32 41 42 45 54 59 61 75 77
wild men | Mikey Swanberg The 1% | Paula Persoleo For the whale who sings at 52 hertz | Sarah Jane Pazen Is There One Chance For This Leaden Verse | Valyntina Grenier Black Throated Green Warblers |Jonathan Andrew Perez, Esq. Passing Trains | B. B. Martin Revisions | Keagan Wheat There Are Boys Like Branches Burning | Lena Ziegler I Donâ€™t Look Jewish | Katie Krantz
Prose 9 22 24 35 47 63
Cluster-Hibernation | Amy Bohannan Apology to a Sea Bird | Maggie Goscinski Roaches | Max Segal Once Without a Time | Jill M. Talbot The Appointment | Nathan E. White In Irons | Sarah Bichsel
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Beth Ruscio Dear soul, smudged collar of propriety darkened silver inheritanceâ€” I walk over fresh graves to join the headstrong winds, pushing past remnants of other outposts. Call itprogress. Or one last claim hauled up blind from a rosewood chest. Dear departed east, stranglehold of bone-on-bone china socked-in frosted windows and stunted limbs on old growth trees, if death is a short cold then heaven, at my back, will be closer and once this westering sets up in me, like a conestoga I yearn so, surge by surge, for the wide satin vastness. Dear knee, bent on the trail of folly which will not end with meâ€”
Memory, Expatriated Benjamin Stallings
Iâ€™m twenty-two in Tennessee in my black car and I canâ€™t recall words or streets, just melodies of perennial Old Summer Palace tulips, the sweetness of forgetting my tour-guiding lines, bilingual eulogies for the parks I played in. To remember differently now, stir old tealeaves, I will bless myself with hand over hand patience, to climb the Wall, the unrestored section, to my old home, where there are no tourists and farmer-guards take ten-yuan bribes to pass.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Plants III | Drake Truber
Cluster-Hibernation Amy Bohannan
Ladybugs. Swarms of them. Covering every inch of branch I see. Looking to hibernate soundly. Hope. Layers of it. Buried deep in the symbolism that mother nature presents. An uncomfortable sensation. Watching them wriggle and pile and crawl. So incredibly small. So incredibly strong. I wanted to stand there for incredibly long. I almost didnâ€™t stop moving my feet to look and behold the sight in front of me. I almost passed by determinedly. I almost missed this opportunity. Luck. Piles of it squirming. Convincing myself that I am lucky. Lucky to breathe. Lucky to be healthy. Lucky to be hiking on a Tuesday in solitary peace. Taking a moment to pause. Taking in the sun shining brightly. Soaking up the end of a summer of bravery. Begin to move more slowly. Move more methodically. Move more and breathe. Ladybugs surrounded by each other. Confident company in a cluster. Embraced by the hope they provide one another. Working together. Nature and symbols. Falling in rhythm. Breathing and forgiving. Walking hand in hand. Hard work and a touch of luck. I look out and above. There is nothing that brought this sign to cross my path. Something I could have never planned. I only wished to witness such hope. I only prayed that today I could learn to cope. Stumbling blindly. Convincing myself to move my feet. I cross this path humbly. Thinking absentmindedly. Focusing on breathing. Allowing the forest to overtake me. Look up to see. Fate shining lightly in the smallest of beasts. A smile spreading. Legs resting. Breathing becoming more even. A stranger noticing. Closing my eyes to take this memory in. Inhaling deeply. Being open to new opportunity. Having faith in my bravery. Knowing that I must move on reluctantly. A passing sign in the back of my mind. A passing moment in this long road. A passing feeling of being lucky. If just momentarily. Before the sign I was looking for hibernates soundly.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
The Disappeared Kevin J. B. O’Connor
You dreamed him, this president in the pink house, but my dreams are of fish and silver-chaliced wine, dark red like the unknown blood of the vanishing masses, and temples built of crystal. You dreamed of gold-rimmed crystal to adorn the shelves of this abode. The president dreamed of appeasing the masses drifting down the avenidas like fish, out for revenge, for blood, drunk on casks of aged wine. The doctor who owns this kiosco sells wine, and locks his crystal in a wooden chest scarred with blood, dishes and spoons inherited from presidents— if he recommends anything, it’s fish for the laboring masses, and attendance at Sunday mass. He also sells for those cutting wine, seltzer and croissants; and if one fishes around long enough, a fake crystal ring tinted blue, and portraits of thepresident. Knives browned by blood barter for room in a drawer—blood of liver and morcilla, en masse a clambering of hunger, but the president does nothing but drink wine and trace the shadows along his crystal, an ocean of tiny black fish. Why no one hears the fish or ever tastes their blood 10
is hidden deep within the crystal: the flickering masses radiating when he lifts his hand. The wine thickens as itâ€™s slaked. The president reddens, blood pushed through his neck by wine, while the mass of his thought coheres, crystalflecked, and bones of fish vanish from his plate.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Plant Life | Valyntina Grenier
Katherine Westbrook You inhale and cough, I can taste it in my mouth. The small of my hips cracking like maple bats in spring, a boy’s knuckles tripping about my naked chest. You told me this once after I shrugged you offI had just moved here and you’d stopped me in the parking lotWhile you fingered a pack of cigarettes: There’s no wrong way to be with someone. Figure this, every way with you is a left turn down a dark alley and I am still the little girl that sleeps with the hall lights on. I was sixteen and couldn’t pass a biology exam without tugging at my baby hairs and scrunching my cheeks like the cradle of a fist. I was sixteen and you were nineteen almost twenty and I want you to know that I cried when it happened and I didn’t bleed but I wished I had because you had leather seats and I needed you remember my body like an open wound. I want you to know that I turn seventeen today and can still feel you scraping against my thighs like you were picking teeth. I went home that night and turned every light out, broadcast fingers to my jaw until I wasn’t feeling anymore. Making some things like others, I located every baby tooth I had left and pulled. 13
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
of our ode to mediocrity Patrick A. Howell
Lunging from superiority is something I aspire to Not kamikaze, just peacefully soaring somewhere from where I’ve been, falling. breaking my back. Coming back so low and humbly an ant, looking up at the sidewalk towering. But told you alreadyExcellence, brilliance, supremacyto climb the heights with integrity, blunting the crowns of enemies, silencing their noise with His songs. Breaking their noses, opening their cavity and replacing their heart whole bloodied and dripping with the peace clean, now, calmly... strong embedding their bodies within the dark earth, covering their memory with dirt. KING. Eminent, our majesty, to a future as with kingdoms Ghana, Mali and Songhai. Again with America - we were never not Great. We Africans Since ancient times and the Egyptians, to our Ethiopians and West African Kingdoms to the Modernity of our Kofi Anans, Mandalas, Obamas Our Graca Machels, Our Wanagari’s, Our Michelle’s,
I’ve had enough of our laying in our cocky mendacity of slumbering mediocrity.
QUEEN, cover the world over TWO TIMES with black coats of your melanin, meaning - young people energy old folks stories â€“ protect the energies, washing it down, all that remains the rivers, the woods, mountains of His truth, Her Grace, Her Beauty no more dreams- no more dreaming. Only Heaven. My God, Abba. El-Shaddai, Most High Adonai omniscient, omnipotent from the luke warm, from his unending light, sparkling and shimmering, loved by Him, Eternal, this is us who we are really. No- this is not a ditty. This is our reality.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Tales of a City II 28 | Seigar
Kevin J. B. Oâ€™Connor
I ate tacos on the street under spires, beside men in wool coats. Crows settled with sunlight on a marquee. That night a friend played guitar in our onebedroom off Metropolitan. I shouted at birds on a nearby building, telling them to wake up. Roland Barthes must have thought of someone like me, prone to visions and x-rays. The next day I walked an hour around a park near a synagogue and a brick school, wanting to fly. I bought a doughnut from a Polish woman in a green apron, ate it standing up. The coffee tasted like burnt almond, tobacco, or maybe geranium, as I read the Tuesday news. I wanted to knock on every car window, sing a melody a girl with dark hair and freckles might sing to pass time. The sun would dim. I imagined lovers returning to kitchens to taste pie. Anyway, this was my dream: magpies and cardinals, and James Joyce as a topic of conversation. The taco was filled with steak and cilantro. When I bought it, a fat man with a ponytail was arguing with a Jerusalem kabob cart. Fuck you, he kept saying: the first or last line of all identity crises. Waving, I shouted: Peace in our time!
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Gouache | Lydia Mattson
lady of the house Edythe Rodriguez
have you seen the omen: tears wet a porcelain cheek? have you seen that glass cheek crack under a slight pressure? have you seen their men sate her / blanket her in my brotherâ€™s skin? have you seen their womanâ€™s cry burn cities to the ground?
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Pantoum From The Ivy (for Kalief Browder) Dagmawe Berhanu
I know what it’s like to hang Slow, still, like how they taught us I keep growing even when I am told to stop A boy drips like a chain on my window Slow, still, like how they taught us. Unlawful, in the eyes of a God A boy drips like a chain on my window Like a crucifix over Bronx Unlawful, in the eyes of a God Arms spread across the roof panel Like a crucifix over Bronx Surely, we find meaning in the smallest of things Arms spread across the roof panel Tell me where you from boy, think I’ve seen you before Surely, we find meaning in the smallest of things God calls me by my name here Tell me where you from boy, think I’ve seen you before I could make a home from nothing like I always have but I’m tired God calls me by my name here Why even fight it I could make a home from nothing like I always have but I’m tired The sun shines anywhere but the hood some days Why even fight it I want so much to be nothing without permission Slow, still, like how they taught us I keep growing even when I am told to stop A boy drips like a chain on my window
Perfect Alignment | Keith Moul 21
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Apology to a Sea Bird Maggie Goscinski
I had this idea that people could generally be helped a great deal by a well-written letter. You could write a letter that said, ‘I’m so sorry, I haven’t been myself ’ or ‘I’m so sorry, I totally forgot’ or: ‘Dear Tracy, I had no idea you were going to die, and if I had known, I would’ve made more of an effort to write down those lyrics you asked for in a timely manner. I’ve been caught up in the illusion that time is infinite and that the things I did didn’t matter, but I can see now that isn’t true at all. I’m also very sorry for sleeping with your husband at that party, because you’re dead now so you must know that too. We didn’t want to tell you because we were afraid to upset you. Sorry you had to find out after you were already dead and couldn’t yell at us or anything. Sincerely, Miranda. And then if I lit the letter on fire, it would go to heaven, like the balloons you set free at funerals, so they can fall back to earth and choke the sea birds with nasty hooked beaks.
The TangerineFire Escape, near Jane Street, West Village | Rebecca Pyle
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Smell the air in New Orleans, and you might sniff some combination of swamp, sweat, despair and corpse so vile that all you can do is laugh. On Tuesday night at 8:38 Marcus sinks a can opener into a can of Blue Runners and empties it in a crusty skillet on the stove. The stove (for some reason) stands solitary in his kitchen, with no counters beside or hood above it to frame the Pollackian grease splatter on the wall behind it, which sparkles in the light of the bare bulb in the ceiling hardly overhead. He turns on the flame and tosses the empty can in a bin as he shuffles to his futon near the front door and extracts a half-smoked spliff from a plastic ashtray on the armrest. He lights the roach and thinks of nothing and watches a thin haze mushroom to the edges of his stu- dio. The lonely stove hisses. Marcus stands up and fights a head rush as he goes back to the stove to find red bean jus simmering over onto the stove. He grabs a cleanenough spoon from the sink and a bottle of Crystal from an otherwise bare shelf in the fridge and eats hunched over the skillet, dashing the hot sauce right onto his spoon with each bite of beans. He never feels full but eventually de- cides he must be. He empties leftovers into the trash and swirls some gray water around the pan before wiping it dry and mostly clean and returning it to the stove where it will wait for Wednesday’s can of ravioli. On Wednesday night he barely flinches when a cockroach scuttles into a crack between two steps as he plods up to his door at 11:17. Inside, he wrestles off his undershirt which smells like sweat and grease and dish suds, and tosses it over the back of the futon. He cracks a can of ravioli and empties it into the waiting cast-iron. Flame. Roach. Nothing. Haze. Hiss. Eat out of the pot and drown each bite with Crystal. He scrapes the last bits of tomato sauce into the bin. He’s startled by a hollow clank as spoon hits can and he realizes he’d been holding the spoon too loose. He fishes in the dark and winces when the tip of his middle finger meets the toothy edge of a can. He pulls his hand out and admires his own blood trickling down his finger. On Thursday night at 1:27 AM Marcus shuffles down Dryades to his building down the street after a several doubles at The Bar. He lunges as he snags a flip-flop on jagged sidewalk and feels blood pool around his big toe and turn cool in the breeze when he stands back up. He hobbles upstairs and through his apartment, sweating in the darkness. Two cockroaches pitter under the stove when he flicks on the kitchen bulb. Dizzied by the sudden light, he braces himself against the sink and squints at his toe, then follows a trail of crimson 24
spots toward the door. Another roach slithers out to grab a crumb and Marcus screams “Fuck!” as he tries to stomp it out with his lacerated foot. He misses. After a cigarette in the dark outside on the stairs and a spliff on the futon, he closes his eyes and feels his brain spin. On Friday morning a mosquito flies into his ear and buzzes so shrilly his eyes water. He slaps himself awake, missing the targeted mosquito, who was undoubtedly much less hungover than he was. His brain spins again when he stands up to walk to the kitchen. The checkerboard floor comes into focus and he sees three cockroaches huddled around a spot of blood. The creatures continue their meeting undeterred by his presence, even as he raises his good foot to crush them. He stomps hard and right on top of the bugs, yet they remain unharmed, flat shiny bodies unscratched and extraterrestrial heads still in tact. “Fuck!” he says again when they scurry under the stove. On Friday afternoon he finally takes a shower, and a roach sprints between his legs down the drain when he turns the water on. On Friday night he watches one methodically pick its way across the mantle as he rolls a spliff in deep malaise. On Saturday night at 9:19 he feels one tickle the new scab on his toe as he opens a new can of ravioli over the stove. He tries to stomp but drops the can and steps down on the jagged metal, re-opening the previous night’s gash. He dams up the blood with paper towel and painter’s tape and decides it was time for The Bar, where the cockroaches at least have the decency to hide in the dark. On Saturday night by 11:49 he had drank seven Jamesons, four with soda, two with cubes and the current one neat. He asks the bartender to roll him a cigarette and she silently obliges. He leaves a crumpled five on the bar and walks outside with the cigarette, lighting it as he begins to limp home. Blood soaks through the improvised bandage each time his toe hits the ground. On Saturday night at 12:27, he makes it through the front door of his apartment. Buzzed and starved, his instincts lead him to the last can of ravioli on a wire baker’s shelf in the kitchen. He opens the can and digs in with a spoon, sparing himself the trouble of the stove. He gags when the first bite is crunchy. He spits out the bite and lurches again when he sees the crushed exoskeleton of an inch-and-a-half-long roach in the splatter of marinara and mushy pasta. He throws the can into the sink like it’s a lit coal and promptly vomits on the floor. His stomach turns again and he rushes to brace himself on the edge of the sink. A dozen roaches scale the sides of the basin like window cleaners on a skyscraper, feeling for microscopic bits of food with alien antennae. He pukes again. More roaches swarm out of the drain and his eyes water as the retching continues. He turns on the faucet and they scatter up the walls of the sink and invade the countertops. He hurls again, this time expelling critters in a river of bile. He reaches for a knife in a wood block by the sink and grips it in two fists, the point aimed at his belly. His sweat turns cold. His knuckles turn pale. His esophagus feels like its clamped in a curling iron. He sinks the knife into his stomach and muscles it through his belly button and crashes against the cabinet and sinks to the floor. 25
TulaneReview| Fall2018 His vision sparkles and fades and roaches pour out of the gash, crawling across every inch of his body as it seizes then turns limp. On Sunday morning at 6:12, the sun pours in through the windows and the roaches scatter like vampires, disappearing into crevices all over the house. On Sunday Marcus’ doorbell never rings. On Sunday Marcus’ phone never buzzes. On Sunday night at 8:32, Marcus’ cold heavy corpse is still on the kitchen floor. On Monday afternoon at 2:58 a postman hikes up the stairs to Marcus’ door. The postman squats to slide envelopes under the front door and sees a single roach slide through the crack. The postman raises a foot and stomps on the bug with a black New Balance and grunts with twisted satisfaction when he sees it crushed on the concrete. He pushes the mail under the door and stands up to continue his route. He sniffs the air, chuckles, and turns toward the stairs. Smell the air in New Orleans, and you might sniff some combination of swamp, sweat, despair and corpse so vile that all you can do is laugh.
Black Pearl, New Orleans | Tyler Robert Sheldon
3204 X 2437 px Digital Photograph 1/638 sec
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
heard what you got to say Patrick A. Howell
“spark’d” sounded like some thang william carlos william used to say all stank-ed about iceboxes, sweet plumsabout the love motions and them cold emotions, but really about hot suns super novas, cosmic collisions. just now, all the talk about trump but we’re loving our beautifuls -sisters, poets and musicians, and our unions, multiples of afro-futurisms now, no more divisions one man revolutions just like with Heron words from within unfurled into universal world opening every single mind to an era outside of time how Stevie can more wonder see than all of us, with open eyes, manifesting infinitely punctuating all knowing with more whys
Not That Hungry | Ronald Walker
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Katharine Johnsen After a photograph, July 1997
One face, my grandmother would say of her husband and daughter, would say, you too. You have that same Stearns face. Here, there is only one face: his, beaming under his wide-brimmed, straw hat as I, my back to the lens, reach for him. A corona of sunlight in myhair, white crests of foam at my ankles, legs kicking, carrying me closer. I must be meeting his gaze as the water laps up his torso, his face in shadow. His smile falls on me, both of us unaware of the frame thatcaptures this bliss: water glinting now as he opens his arms to catch me.
A Willow | Lauren Flowers
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
go lamblike through the brambles make soft your hand scooping clams some men eat dogs some nothing but air after a storm when you finally come
outside the men camp under the shells of armadillos big as cars they scratch their sweet heartâ€™s names into the scutes though nothing is gold nothing is stayed it feels like the blue strike of memory stacking to waves but not every time and not always this far from the ocean slowly we learn a higher register for our one loud desire we say it into the nacre then toss it right on the fire
Balancing Act | Shelby Prindaville
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Ruined City | Scott Wheelock 32 x 32 Mixed Media
Once Without a Time Jill M. Talbot
Alice stared in the mirror, her feathers piercing out of her shoulderblades. She turned to the side to see the origin, she had the urge to pick them out but couldn’t reach; how they stuck out so unnaturally—begged to be picked. She didn’t know where they had come from or when they would leave. If you lived here, you’d be hungry, said a magnet on the refrigerator. Simon the therapist said the fridge was displaced. Alice kept the blinds closed, satin maroon, measured perfectly to cover all the way across but no further. Perfection was all in the pronunciation—each perfectly in their moral role. Children all dressed up in ovens, new blankets, welcome mats. Pretty, unpretty, plain, perfect. This was the home of Alice, Alice plain and brave. Alice engraved on a doorknob—Alice the x-acto blade on the snowglobe, carving out feathers into a world of fake snow, falling like sprinkles, like Frosted Flakes onto an ice rink. A home sweet home doormat lay at the entrance. A bouquet was attached to the bottom of the clock, sweeping the floor as the bottom of the clock swayed from side to side, announcing the moment of second to second—minute to minute—of all humans had achieved, no one had been able to stop time. Time was the person in the mirror who grew like a Chia Pet when all you had done was sleep. Time was the reminder that Prince Charming doesn’t come. Time was the feather underneath the refrigerator. Horoscopes were a way to convince herself that time would stop—did stop— could be tricked and manipulated. Horoscopes were written before not after. They at least pretended that time could be tricked. Fairy tales happened once upon a time, but also across time—fairy tales happened in all times. A fairy tale never happened last Tuesday, last year, July 15, 1992—that was not how fairy tales happened, they happened once upon a time. The wallpaper in the living room was a floral design that went out of style once upon a time. In fact, all wallpaper was now out of style. Anything kept in place by glue was bound to go. Anything floral. Anything once upon a time and not now. Why anyone would want to be in the now when, hell she didn’t pay attention to the news. Mice ate at the glue and the wallpaper began to come off, it was mostly purple flowers on an off-white background in diamond shapes, like one of those kaleidoscopes—home sweet home—a square just wouldn’t do, even if it was just a diamond sideways, it wouldn’t do. The feathers started to itch again. One fell onto the table, she picked it up and it 35
TulaneReview| Fall2018 felt like a sword. She imagined herself in the future, she imagined herself once upon a time, she imagined herself locked in a cupboard. Her lighter was a Zippo given to her by a stranger, engraved by his girlfriend. After she cheated he gave it to Alice, telling her it may come with bad luck. She imagined that she had been the girlfriend and the bad luck was a gift wrapped in red wrapping paper. This was not a fairy tale—there was dust, there was time, there was plainness. Time was a stepmother whom had better things to worry about than the attractiveness or happiness of Alice. This was not an anti-fairy tale either. Alice still wanted to be pretty. Alice still wanted time to stop, seven dwarves to show up, a bird to start singing, mice to start sewing—feathers alone were not enough. Feathers alone were just itchy and confusing and somewhat disturbing. They were not graceful, not a spell she could undo. Spells required a manipulation of time that she had not grasped, although she tried. This was what the bouquet on the clock was for—not just for sweeping but to slow down time—I don’t need to tell you that it faded—or do I? Alice picked at her skin until it was raw. She sang. She sang pitch perfect in a voice that wasn’t entirely hers, a voice that had chosen her. Perhaps the same way the feathers had. She had been chosen. But Alice was not pretty enough to be the star of a movie, maybe one of the indie low-budgets, but not Black Swan. Alice was just Alice. Though she was also becoming someone else, someone she had not chosen to be. Alice spoke to the mirror. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Alice asked. I try not to, the mirror said. Do you have feathers? Alice asked. Excuse me? the mirror said. Nevermind, Alice said. Alice ate tiny marshmallows, which melted in her mouth. Gelatin was the fairy tale—ground up horse hooves formulated into white clouds—the taste of fairy tales, sweet fluff that stuck in your teeth, things that looked perfect but weren’t. Perfection was a curse in fairy tales. A curse always overcome. As long as Alice didn’t leave her house, it could be a house upon a time—on a ledge, on a prairie—not on a street where the neighbor’s dog killed another dog, not on a street where a child had been hit by a car, not on a street with abandoned houses where NPR came to do stories on broken windows, not on a street where feral cats mated—a once upon a house. Kingdoms were always far away unless you lived in one, at which time it stopped being a kingdom. Unless you didn’t leave. Nausea hit Alice often. Perfection was best served cold. Perfection was served best 36
with a hit of revenge. Nausea was the sign of perfection missing its mark—vomit in the sink—purple from grape juice, purple from surrender, purple from perfection’s stepmother. Now she had to find a way to hide the feathers under her sweatshirt. She tried to bend them but they immediately snapped back. In the end she just threw a scarf over and pretended that the feathers were part of the outfit, though the feathers therefore all stuck out in one place and looked even odder. Somehow it made her seem even plainer. Maybe something Bjork or Lady Gaga would pull off. Alice exuded blandness in all directions. She picked up a heart-shaped sugar cookie and ate, leaving crumbs for the mice. The sunlight was an eraser; it took away the feathers, the plainness, the anxiety. The sunlight almost erased Alice entirely, or seemed to leave her in a chalk outline of a person. The prickling stopped. One time she found a feather and thought the sunlight had failed, but then she realized that it was just a feather from a bird. Alice, after all, was not a bird. Curtains blew in the wind, a cat appearing then disappearing from beneath them. The bouquet-clock swept mice droppings across the floor. Alice was asymmetrical, asexual and abstract. Sex didn’t exist in perfection. Once upon a time never reproduced. The heavy breathing of a person attempting to keep road rage at bay with meditation. Perfection could not be eaten or forgiven. The little house on the prairie barely existed without the wide-angle view of the empty space beyond the house. Otherwise it was just a little house.She was just in a little house, for it had been so long since she had left. She waited to have whatever angle view she imagined. Little house in the ghetto was not a fairy tale—it was a parody. Even Simon considered her a parody. She was a parody of course, with or without narration. Nausea started in her stomach then spread to the tops of her fingers. She felt light and heavy all at once. Lay down immediately and the world started to spin. Made everything fuzzy. Everything crackled as if the photoshopped version of a life started to play tricks, started to leak out truth. Alice thought of the red pill. Alice took pills of all shapes and colours. Alice felt like the cliché she was. Where did babies come from? Where was the rainbow and could birds really fly over it? The bouquet-clock swept from left to right to left—swept time away like returning an unwanted birthday gift, a feeling of relief and regret; sweeping away regrets seemed to only create more, sweeping away time seemed to create more time—a sense of a rat dragged through a department store. Alice had a snake once, was never quite fond of it, felt guilty keeping it trapped. In school they also had those praying mantises. And wouldn’t we all like to be seen that way—thin, praying, good. Back then wasn’t Alice good? Yes, not 37
TulaneReview| Fall2018 interesting enough to be otherwise. The odd lie, the odd extra five-cent candy, the odd pout—but otherwise? It was a funny thing, childhood, doomed to only be appreciated once it was gone and when it only felt like the beginning it was already ending. So people spent lifetimes trying to fix broken childhoods, rather an unproductive past time but as inevitable as time itself. It was best to just stay with the mice, stay with the feathers—stare in the mirror and count: one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three— Once upon a time, Alice could reach ten without blinking. Thrice upon a time, Alice thought she grew wings. Time swept them away, as it did most things. The wooden wall banged back against her head. Blood trickled down her forehead. Blood thicker than a milkshake. Blood perfect as a crying baby. Crackling on the wood, getting into the crevices. A bit of a feather stuck out like a thanksgiving centerpiece. Alice hadn’t said yes to marriage because she wanted to, rather because she didn’t want to say no. Children did the same thing, it was why they made such horrible witnesses to crime. Alice was merely a witness to her own life. Simon said people got stuck at the age at which they first experienced trauma. Perfect, Alice had replied. Alice put her hands above her eyes, preventing the light from getting in. There was no place that was just right. There was no place like home, no place, no place. She went into the closet, light slipping in through the cracks. Light would tear apart everything if you let it. She turned away from the light and began to count: one Serendipity, two Serendipity, three... She remembered that game they played as kids, Mother may I touch the ground? Mother may I spin around? She wanted to bang her head against the wall like a caged bird. Did she want it or was she already doing it—perhaps it was an automatic response and the act of doing it made her think that it was a want or an urge when really it was just a mechanical movement—a reflex. A reflex like growing feathers, or growing anything at all. Miscarriage was an odd word, like one just missed the mark on a darts board, like sleeping in, like forgetting to bring canvas bags to the grocery store. On the path to happiness she just make a wrong turn, that’s all. Miscarriage was like the t-shirt she never washed for it smelled like his anger. The unused wire hangers that always ruined clothes, resentments that needed dressing but couldn’t help poking a few holes through. She always meant to get rid of these useless things. Alice needed symbolism to be sure of her existence. As a consequence, she was no longer sure of anyone else’s. The bouquet-clock swept from left to right to left. Time would stop for no one. Bits of dust gathered just out of reach of the bouquet pendulum, bits of flowers fell to the ground as if they were announcing the arrival of a beauty queen. 38
Alice had arrived homeâ€”Alice was always just arriving; the clock, mice, pencils and refrigerator all sang as sweetly as ever. A baby cried next door. Simon says close your eyes.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Montauk Blue Hotel | Daniel Wang
Paula Persoleo Itâ€™s lunch time. Students are lined up by their wheelchairs and the consistency of their meals:soft, mushy, or feeding tubeliquid. Each has a para to administer exact quantities. This is the routine until twenty-one, when the state releases them to parents or assisted living. The children have no say. Instead, they blink or use switches, maybe; they smile and coo, maybe. Outside the classroom, head between my knees, I wonder at the human body continuing to grow though the brain does not, marvel at caretakers who donâ€™t rage like I would at a cruel god. Dear God.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
For the whale who sings at 52 hertz Sarah Jane Pazen
A child hushes herself as quiet as she can as the lone whaleâ€™s sound rises and falls through the hall at the Museum of Science and Industry. She reads the plaque on the wall: Speed up ten times in order to beaudible. I spent fifty-two minutes walking from school to my motherâ€™s home everyday, taking the longest way I could before she returned fromwork. I told her I took shortcuts to get backearly. Once, I lay down on my back and spreads myarms wide against the floor beneath me. The plaque said Blue Whales in the Pacific Ocean produce trills in the frequency range of 10 to 39 Hz. I tapped my nails against the hardwood and listened to the timid sound it left behind. When I stopped, the empty air was overtaken by the usual car horns, families talking, traffic outside. Normal sound consists of fourparts. I walked home trilling, three repetitions for each time I crossed the street. I remember passingclassmates near identical to me, walking in another direction. Somewhere off the Northwestern coast, pods travel together in a chorus. Parts of their chorus are recorded as they swim past, but sometimes the sound of one whale can be heard echoing off the floor.
Camelflage | Shelby Prindaville
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Lets Face It | Nuveen Barwari
24 x 48 inches Styrofoam, thermal insulation blanket sheets, fabric , ink
Is There One Chance For This Leaden Verse Valyntina Grenier
Among the shadows of these pillars I draw each capitolâ€™s ruined shape a plump heart donned w/ a crown the curve of your cheek the gesture in your eyes The sun hides our shadows I lift your forefingers to my forehead I kiss your wrist I gesture and follow under trees I pull out a needle and a spool of thread to sew the straps across your slippers while you sleep
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Art Field Trip | Ronald Walker
The Appointment Nathan E. White
Innovate, implement (some i word). Well, I’m not about to confess. Curiously, I can still move. Movement mine, more or less. Shuffle, shuffle, drag...I’m not about to, especially not to some underpaid attendant bracing me down this sterile hallway (compulsively reeking of Lysol) to one drearily lit cafeteria, to several fidgeting blatantly, relatively few, breathless and mildly dedicated, gathered round a cake (vanilla). Here we go ready set. Third door left, I follow. Did I hear correctly? They’re bound to ask, always do, quaint formality (residual thrustof liability). It’s the petty inflection, triumphant disdain, that sets me off. Mother died attempting to hold indefinitely a whole note underwater. (Technically: fermata.) Father of an overtly simplified heart. I’ve overlapped them minimum thirty, maximum forty years. It happens. I tend to forget (overestimating sometimes when I reflect) such routine accomplishment. Now that’s out. Every history starts the same, or ends the same, in unison or dissolution. Admittedly my synapses commit to something more than memory. As to Neb, which I’ve devoted at least a full hour to unraveling, I’d suggest my parents weren’t totally enamored of Ned, or hadn’t advanced that far in the alphabet. Though in fairness, few options exist for completing a name beginning with Ne, with the exception of number 10 on the periodical table emitting an abnormal aura, dutifully muting the night sky along hotels and storefronts, every twenty-five years (halfway between ridiculous and amusing, by Laver’s Law) resurrected and repackaged as youthful flair—mainly cheap bracelets, belts, or shoe laces. Or, simultaneously dyslexic, they read d as band mutually agreed on its sonorous possibilities. After all, I resembled any other baby, I’m sure. Perhaps mother and father stopped short on the very first consonant they hit upon, the first to offer slight relief, a hint of closure. I will deliberately introduce myself as Ben, palindromic past participle of Neb, typically in presence of withered old ladies who grinningly insist on verifying Did you play basketball? (in high school or college) just because my skeleton’s rigorously stretched to the uppermost percentile and I’m disturbingly thin (enviably, in some markets). I can’t shoot straight. Inch and a half, two inches to my right and I’d excel singularly. Regardless, I don’t want them prying. 47
TulaneReview| Fall2018 Under my tongue? How can I object? I get by with a nod, passive, noncommital. Naturally I’ve allowed myself a solid hour, probably two, maybe three, in deriving how my parents democratically alighted on Neb. Unqualified for chorus, recklessly mimicking Tanya’s line from One Flight Up,whistling emphatically, competitively, with puckered lips, the few times they’ve reached the same note synchronously occurred only in blissful dissonance. I could be off. I typically bet against Vegas. I’ve beenimpeached (rightly), convicted of transposing pertinent details, or directions, sometimes instructions, reversing the order of installment. Generally I take my chances with Neb. Complete both sides, inofficious waiver, sign and date, unerringly of course. Guarantor (if different). I can barely substantiate—* I’m not complaining. Disagreeable clipboard, as with all clipboards, wrong attitude for accurate penmanship, reinforced by a persistent association: amateur volunteers in nifty t-shirts and sandals vowing to secure signatures for whatever remote cause or juvenile pledge. I succeed at such delinquent rate, I write embarrassingly slow, with exceeding grip pressuring the letters, every letter counts, I resent the opportunity of misrepresenting myself. Last Name, First Name, MI, Address, Occupation, Status. What do I do with myself ? Tenth generation Priapus. Onan’s miscue (pardonable, inoffensive). Strike that—relax. I don’t want to extend all blame tomy parents, though I wonder. Had they caughtsome seasonal jingle, or misconstrued a clutch featured in a commercial? Could a stern acquaintance secretly revered be primarily culpable? Or did Neb complete the crossword de jour, despite how neither felt exceptionally bold filling in the lone vowel? I sense merited justification in diverting some potential from them. Frankly I have underrated any degree of cleverness exciting their vocal folds. Specious (I might have gone withspacious). I can say, with extraordinary aplomb, regarding an ample portion of my family tree, that Neb does no honor to a great-grandfather or estranged uncle, obliquely or otherwise. I have none to claim for this resilient fixation. Yes the dark is different when you close your eyes and different again when with eyes shut you squint and tighten and the pressure crowds in toward your sinuses. Why always so much more to ponderin the dark? Olaf, a favorite. The Golden Cell (Redon). Sweet Lorraineà la June Christy. Something about an only begotten son fostering deceit, tackling credibility. I have a regular nose, thank you, regular teeth, regular hands. My hair’s begun to depart, somewhat prematurely (by my reckoning), thinning, retreating to the north while continuing to sprout in less relevant regions—around my knuckles, for one. And a pair of matching bunions stubbornly signal how precious motility 48
is. Sometimes I cry indeterminately. This triggers some concern, I believe. When asked to descant, I can give no satisfactory source. At most I can relate an image, sequential. A sympathetic redhead in fifth grade Social Studies, Mrs Carney highlighting reproductions of famous paintings, a well-timed crocus heralding spring thaw. Singer Sargent, whose privilege was not to paint but to apprehend incomparable texture, pregnant and vital. Strikingly, somehow I’ve retained their essence all these years, fossilized in some fetal crouch, but it sounds implausible to others, inappropriate to counselors and various other experts. They expect significant trauma. It’s a song I’m thinking of, if they guess it I’ll give them a dollar. Why not confront them? If nothing else, I reference meropiaand/or Bulfinch’s, which effectively silences the most upright and adventurous. Couldn’t they have chosen Ryan instead? Diminutive of that cherished hunter drifting overhead in the night sky. I refuse to seek legal recourse, catering to onomastics. I’m not given enough, a miniature box or crisp Y|N to circle, an unfavorably short line on which to provide (provide!), I’m forced to settle for common denominator: heart disease (check), hypertension (check), diabetes (check). Depression (clinical, constant). Nostalgic (apparently). Reason for visit (purposely left blank). Corner, spotlight, I’ve let go any pretense, exhuming Hume. Allow me to initiate contact. Where to start? Why ask about my parents? They’re unavailable (unluckily) to defend or incriminate themselves. I’ve already told how they died. It’s probable, though I’m reliably not the most impervious witness—I’d like to improve on this somehow, but traffic’s light by the apartment and I’m perfectly biased against more recent models and designs—that they both unilaterally entertained some set of governing principles. How else to explain their glaring indifference? I’ve never quite portrayed them together, inseparable. Granted they did things together, usually with clearly divisible motives. Mother liked to sing. And when she couldn’t, either from acute laryngitis or from a scenario that prohibited lofty, elevated vocalization, at least on her part, a crowded elevator for example, she hummed one of numerous hymns that adhered to a simple ABAB or ABBA refrain. These she had no trouble recalling, though occasionally she mixed them up, for variety or perhaps from a minor confusion. For years father carried extra weight around his heart, while only he and one or two talented specialists could articulate this additional stress and burden. Why call it burden and not resistance? Nothing much commendable in private enterprise. Hum, hum, receive this Romeo... I can’t say what for. Short inhale, succinct pause, short inhale, succinct pause, exhale (offsetting the sum of both inhalations)...dot dot dash|dash dash dot...close enough. Irregular breathing, not so obvious as inverting a flag, stripes ruling the top, stars assigned to bottom corner. Distressing nonetheless. Why am I here? I’ve already reached a diagnosis, my teeth chatter (click) involuntarily, less from cold, 49
TulaneReview| Fall2018 onset of hypothermia, more from irrepressive nervousness, anxiety.Truthfully, I’m about to embark on a dicey career, in criticism, armchair prosecutor, though without the necessary prep. To wit, I’d rather discourse semi-professionally without the strain of excessive reading or reciting. My qualifications? Two eyes: hazel. A reluctance to stray far from my couch. How grimly disordermakesa cameo then shifts offstage. Decisively suffers a little stage fright, though the show’s rightfully his. Momentarily self-conscious, perhaps (what abundant wrigglingin this conditional adverb), which spoils the performance. Elsewhere I’ve obstructed entropy by shaving my head and eyebrows. What good is a book on the shelf ? Rome with doomand God with road merrily rimed once upon a time. I’ve prepared a statement, I’ve rehearsed. (Impressively snug...wirebound steno book, Gregg condensed). This time I’m offering a thorough exposé, depending on how much patience manifests itself. I’m tolerably satisfied answering briefly, directly. Of the last raconteurs facing supersedure. Sometimes I visit my parents’ grave, preferably on overcast days, polished sandstone indelibly soothing to touch. I marvel at the range of dates, with birth invariably situated leftmost, both uniform in size and stature, precisely level, cut to the same depth, whether by hand or machine, though I’ve never treated them as equals (who would?) and the set date, presented in whole years, stimulates somewhat gratifyinglabor. How old was the person born? Perishable. USE BY. I take 1947 from 1975 and the number conceived from this simple subtraction, ever familiar, adequate only in approximation. I respect not only the period of gestation, but tack on an extra few minutes considering the inconspicuous lifespan (utility) of sperm and egg. I can’t dismissthe effort involved. Must I prove my name again? Birth certificate? Official paperwork? Once narrowly associated with Jerome, genuinely forsaken, who proudly (mincingly) announced himself as Schwain meetings where those attending had agreed, none too thrilled, to abstain from drink for an hour in stale basements of Methodist churches. Admiringly kept a mustache when trendily unfashionable, which he trimmed and limited to forty-four hairs, varying (inadvertently) between toothbrush and lampshade, or lampshade and painter’s brush. Why forty-four? Likely to commemorate or simply because its squared off design appealed to some old-fashioned sense of decorum. But Schwa couldn’t manage straight lines, resulting in a crude show of parallelogram instead of rectangle. Not so much regularity (couldn’t accuse him of vanity) but some lenitive drive or irresistible compulsion. No friend of mine, I’m not that assertive, just someone known infrequently in passing, simpering tagalong. I steered him toward New York, centric nonchalance, ideal for personal branding. What groveling sincerity: Schwa (ejected spittle dotting his upper lip). I won’t 50
indulge any grammatical conundrum...moniker? appellation? chiefly co-optive yoked to a noun, trudging along with utmost cooperation and fidelity. Only one surrogate I’ve accepted—predictably. Don’t want me to undress? Good. I’ll take a tissue, latex gloves (medium). Call it wishful, call it demand...pray for that well-earned toy at Christmas, or inclement weather—sufficient snowfall and accommodating cold ground—to shorten or cancel tomorrow’s class (presentation delayed), or to hear the tentative promise (two-thirds pronoun) repeatedly echoed: daringly, decently. Et tu? But with impotent years, increasing clarity, I’m unavoidably fatalistic (meaning less pessimistic)... actually I’m willing to credit noble, prolific suffering of grandparents (first) and parents (second), to temper one ultimate request: Grant me lack of infirmity. At least keep logic employed. Maybe moderately resume my independent study of local rocks and minerals. Conclusion? Nah. Too late, my budding senate. Permission to play on my father’s land. Southside preserved the only unpaved road in the township. A fitful stream, idle tributary, paralleled the drive, though not by choice. An undignified bridge spanning the indolent creek quarter mile past the property line. Ugh, repellant hot flash (hurry up)...one August, out picking wild raspberries, tasked with gathering those evenly colored, for dessert later, standing where older kids partied on Fridays, gazing down at the thick blue-green water. Simmering nights: raw hoots and piercing squeals. How many times denied? With itching hands I reached between, thrifty, greeted the shadows pulsing on the ceiling of my room. Eventually the bridge came down, funds diverted, all traffic ceased, council members saw no reason to upgrade either side of Warner Road. My isolation: nearly complete. Wild raspberries, worthy of digression. Only some can be just ripe at the sametime, some spoiled and rotting, some freshly acquiescent. Test and testament. Entrusted, relied upon, unsupervised, hardly the same as going alone. Ceci n’est pas une plume. Off by a day evidently, birthdaytomorrowaccording to cheerful N.A. (still early), badge inconveniently reversed, whose parting words slightly revive me, the doctor will soon see me. I pick my physicians with one overarching (albeit generous) provision, based on the number of syllables contained in their alma mater, which I diligently ascertain prior to scheduling any consultation. I can’t believe they expect me not to tamper with the thermostat, donning the blood pressure cuff, certain I won’t pocket gauze and trophy tongue depressor, content with whatever symptoms I can modestly describe. I worry about chronology and causality. My biggest suspicion, where once I thrived: a profound diminishing of scotopia. I’m not asking for more light. Of all things (huh) an ant, which portendscompany. In a corner by the sink a cricket winds up, gainfully launching its standard hither 51
TulaneReview| Fall2018 come hither. This second circle, mine proper, I have renamed Discovery. Unlike Dante, I won’t list them all. One girl, though, with unaccountably beautifully delicate ears, bearing the splendid, whose parents might have been similarly emboldened: Cassiel. Or was it Zahra? Gravity? Lavender? I can’t add or subtract from infinity. I extolless and less. I look formidably odd when I pronounce oboe or obelisk, quibbling with the subjunctive...I’ve decided on a new goal, priority I’m on the verge of disclosing, a campaign to minimize any connotations, discourage fruitless, frivolous interpretation...guesswork, to mean one thing, radiant—’Morning—here we go, one and one only. *Not surprisingly, all timepieces stripped from the walls, no incentive but Golf Digest or Vogue, I’m slouching, economically—profitably(I know).
Watertrails | Scott Wheelock
12 x 12 Mixed Media
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Black Throated Green Warblers Jonathan Andrew Perez, Esq.
“Beauty Belongs to All The People”— President Lyndon & Lady Bird Johnson Highway Beautification Act, 1965 i. Shady: (v.) logic for bias of older, established trees Trucks pass the first of the migrant species and gouged air, a city gullet shivers w/ the rest of them who do not flee. Maple, Ginko Biloba: leaves pick up the swell. A vigil, high rising clear whistle, the elongated crumpled path on Exit 9-a through Jones Beach Loopway. Quickening horse-hair a stroke to the blanket of legislation, the whiff of smog. Vagrants drop between goldenrod in temporary puddles form painters plein air. The black-throated green warbler4 is scratchy— shadowless, a landscape to parallel the painter’s ceiling sighs in continual breeze, from brook to housing project. ii. Vagrancy: (n.) socially acceptable forms of nomadism, ecological force Darting zees in private ziplines from Fire Island, reconcile with imagined absence, past joisted islands, down a corridor of memory, well past Rikers Island. Joints are joisted, prolific wings, moving against the world, stay with small rarities, linger, a shrub of diamond studs in a slowing gleam.
Dendroica virens: L. 5” ws: 7.75” Olive auriculars, bright green back, and yellow wash across vent distinctive. Song a series of short, level buzzes; two commonly heard patterns: a rather fast zee zee zee zee zo zeet and a more relaxed zooooo zee zo zo zeet; some Townsend’s songs similar.
iii. Gentrification: (n.) the new groups retain and obscure theaesthetic of historical leaves The dominion of shrubs pushed out the crown, immaculatepillow-clean, born in a chrysalis of leaves, without brethren to seek passion beneath a world of sky; in between highway, the beautification are shaded flowers naked, protected by the womb of a messenger of later generations of emerald flies. Having undaunted access won, baskets of leaves will catch theyounger ones, But I am not a leaf falling. I am not a seed. I have not made my way back into the tree. Iâ€™m from way out by shade. By the shimmy of injustice â€“ To survive jumping between shadows for eternity- made out the broken crown of leaves.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Transitory Space | Leah Oates
Don Valley, Toronto, Canada Color Photography
Couples | Lauren Flowers
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Balloon | Frank Dixon Graham
Passing Trains B. B. Martin
Bringing back a memory is like staring backward in a train As it rattles away from home in the last flicker of daylight, While everything new is fanned out forward in darkness Like constellated cobwebs waiting on blind decisions. I’ve found it better to slip under a memory and snatch it Before it slithers away on the gloss of time. It has to be sudden like ripping the soap out of a stain, Or dumping the clouds out of apearl, To see the lesser beauty. In the fourth grade, the girl in front of me Had pigtails like hawser ropes That could’ve hoisted me out of some unplumbed well, And I needed to handle them. So I thought of her only as the urge to sin: Her chubby braids pulsing against my open palms, And my heathen fingers dipping into the shadow of her, Like the hand creeping slowly right in a horror movie. I remember now that I should’ve done it. It would’ve been like careening into her reality with my imagination, Our minds suddenly wrecked into one memory, A collision not meant for us.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Tales of a City II 23 | Seigar
Keagan Wheat I want to be the blade striking hair from my legs and face, gliding with only laziness slowing it. To be heels clicking to draw care from eyes, a woman who doesn’t glare at restroom signs trying, deciding quickly the safest place, not pausing to drop her head to prepare. I want to be the person in a family that isn’t the one that they might see yearly. I want to miss the way my father looks at his friend calling me it as he’s corrected on my name. He’s merely looking for some other daughter.
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Wild Easily Shattered Rose | Jury S. Judge
Peter woke up and the tight feeling in his chest returned. It came like literal clockwork, piggybacking off his 6:30 alarm and twisting to life as soon as he opened his eyes. Sometimes, in those first moments of the morning, he would stretch and yawn and trick himself into thinking it was drifting away on its own, but the clearer his conscience became, the stronger the feeling clung to him, like some forgotten Fourth Law of Newton. His wife Erica was still asleep beside him and would be for another 20 minutes. He preferred to shower before work, and she preferred those extra minutes inside her subconscious. He would’ve felt the same if he had to go through the nightmare of teaching elementary school. Luckily first graders were too young and impatient to learn graphic design, so he didn’t have to deal with them –– just the old and impatient adults they grew up to be. He pulled himself up to the edge of the bed, every muscle aching. He sat there and counted to five before he dragged his body upward, made his feet move toward the bathroom. As he waited for the shower to warm, he ran his hands across his slightly wrinkled temples. At 48, his hair was now patched with silver, and his body felt smaller, more delicate than it used to. His face had always been petite, sharp slits of green eyes embedded in a miniature frame. He’d never had any fat or strong muscle to speak of, just straight skin and some bones to hold it steady. His hand grazed his stomach, and he wondered if he should be working out more, which sent the tightness in his chest stabbing left and right. By the time 7:30 rolled around, he and Erica were both in the kitchen eating breakfast. She sat across from him wearing jeans and a giant turtleneck sweater that billowed out and covered any clue of what her body type might be underneath. Her hair was thrown together into a half bun, half ponytail. “What’s the point of dressing up? Those kids would have a nice blouse covered in glue in seconds,” she’d often say, even on days when school wasn’t in session. Peter was staring at the wall, grinding his teeth on Fiber One cereal. He was so absorbed in thought he missed the question. “Peter, did you hear what I said?” Erica asked, her blue eyes slightly narrowed. “Sorry, no. I was thinking about work.” “I’ll be home late tonight,” she repeated. “When will you get back?” “I’m going to try to be out of there at 7. Assuming we get the final draft of the posters printed on time.” 63
TulaneReview| Fall2018 She nodded and got up to get herself more coffee. “I’ll be out at my book club, so you’re on your own for dinner.” “Alright, I guess I’ll see you when you get home then.” Silence consumed the room as they consumed their grainy, proactive breakfasts. Between bites Peter tried to remember the last time they’d made pancakes or muffins or anything designed to instill joy rather than lower cholesterol; nothing within the last two years came to mind. He glanced at his watch. 7:45 was as good a time to leave as any. He got up from the table and, after dumping the rest of the Fiber One in the sink, gave Erica a peck on the cheekgoodbye. In the car on the way to work, Peter experienced the subtle thrill that came when the feeling in his chest began to change. It was like having a knot slowly untie itself, each loop bearing pockets of hope that the riddle will soon be solved. It was an anxious but welcome sensation that rose on the highway as he plodded through traffic, in the parking lot as he clicked the lock shut on his hybrid, in the elevator as he rose from 1 to 2 to 3. When he sat down at his desk, the unbearable tightness had completely morphed into warmth that circled through him, waiting for the moment when everything would be thrown into chaos. A few moments after settling in, his coworker Melissa popped her head around the wall of his cubicle, which made his shoulders twitch in surprise. “I’m starting work on Seattle Medical Group web copy. Should be ready by 9,” she said, tugging on one of her dangling jade earrings. Peter took a breath to steady himself after her sudden appearance. “Yep, that’s fine by me. Just try to limit your use of the word “inspirational” this time. They want fresh material.” Melissa smiled and dipped out of sight, her blonde bob swinging at an angle. He inhaled again and pulled up his very long to-do list document. It was probably best to plunge himself into work rather than waiting for something tohappen. At 9:15, Melissa came back to deliver the promised copy. “Sorry it’s late. The printer jammed.” “S’alright. I’ve had plenty to work on while I’ve waited. One thing I forgot— “Melissa’s gaze broke away toward the hall, and she put up her hand. “Hold that thought just one second, Peter.” She stepped out of sight, but her words were as clear as if they’d been spoken right into in his ear. “Hey, Danielle, glad I caught you. Can you make sure to let Ross know we need the updates for the website language?” A second voice, higher pitched and fluttering chirped back: “Absolutely! I’ll go right now.” Melissa returned to his desk, spoke words about this layout and that one, but it was too late. The churning in his stomach began, and all feeling was thrown into chaos. Unfortunately an email marked HIGH IMPORTANCE arrived, and he had to keep his eyes on the screen, his fingers tapping on the keyboard. Deciding that caffeine was absolutely necessary given the circumstances, Peter ventured out into 64
the hallway to grab himself a cup of coffee from the break room. Engagement Advertising took care to provide the graphic design team with free coffee and donuts every morning, one of the perks of being indispensable in a digital world. At times, he looked around the building, with its beanbag chairs, pinball machines, and relaxation seminars and felt the constructed façade of a purpose push at him from every wall. Every item in the room wanted to convince him he was living the dream, but he wouldn’t have been surprised if he suddenly picked the beanbag chair up and discovered it was a two-dimensional cardboard prop. Still, he didn’t complain about the free coffee. Peter stepped into the break room and immediately had to tighten the grip on his coffee mug to keep it from falling. Danielle’s back was turned to him. She was gliding back and forth between the coffee pot and the cupboards, pulling cups from their hiding places, filling them with steaming java. She added a dash of cream to one cup, a packet of sugar to two, and the rest she left black. He noticed the way her wrist flexed as she reached for the pot, her fingers curling around the handle. Her hair trailed down her back to her small waist, and he watched the wisps of sandy blonde hair that fluttered when she moved and the ones that remained stuck to her chocolate brown suit jacket. He found it hard not to be in awe of the fluidity of her hips, the grace of her neck, the way that she affected space without even realizing it. She glanced over her shoulder and smiled so widely, he had to steady his coffee cup with two hands. “Hey there, Peter! How’re you this morning?” “I’m doing—well, I’m not too bad. And you?” “Super busy,” she said as she shook another bag of sweet and low into a full cup. “I’ve got to get all of the copy done for the Campbell account by three and make sure everyone at the next meeting has coffee.” “Being an intern must be rough,” he offered with sympathy. She shrugged. “I get to write copy and be with fun people all day. That’s not too terrible.” She pushed back her hair, and he caught sight of the small emerald stud in her left cartilage. Erica didn’t believe in piercings or tattoos, even before she’d become a role model for first graders—too trashy and not worth the risk of infection, she’d said. Danielle picked up the coffee tray. “I’d better get moving. Good luck with the posters today,” she said, offering another smile as she strode from the room. For a few moments, Peter stood motionless, watching her ghost glide back and forth from cabinet to cabinet, then hearing her voice as it wished him well on a project he hadn’t even mentioned. The tight feeling in his chest surfaced. Danielle Berman, intern, age 23, was, after all, its mother and cause. She’d started only two months ago. Fresh out of college, she’d moved from Wisconsin, “the land of flat vowels” as she’d jokingly dubbed it during the initial staff welcome meeting. That was the exact moment he noticed her. The other two interns spoke in near whispers, acting as though the people around them were slave masters and not merely more experienced adults. Danielle, though... She 65
TulaneReview| Fall2018 spoke with a clear, rippling sound, a little high pitched, but crisp. She made every word count in a room full of future connections, and he couldn’t help but hear her. At lunch, Peter sat down with his coworkers. He secretly wished that Danielle would someday be invited to join the table, which acted about as cliquey as a group of high school girls, but she always walked past them and joined her fellow interns in the corner. He didn’t want to be the one to invite her either. Even if he did it with the calm voice of a mentor, he thought the chaos inside would show all over his face. He still allowed himself to glance from his peripherals, to see if she was smiling. “Hey, Peter, you up for drinks tonight?” Melissa said. “It all depends on how long these posters take.” Melissa shook her dressing soaked fork at him. “All work and no play,” she tsked. “I hear the interns went to Studio Bar last weekend,” their co-worker Jason spoke up. “Sounds like they know how to have fun.” Melissa tapped her fork on her chin. “Hm, should we invite them?” Peter’s stomach lurched, and he took a bite of potato chip, hoping the crunching would block the sound of his mind begging the others to consider. Jason gave a brief nod but then snorted. “That’ll be weird. They’re babies.” “Yeah, that’d be awkward if one of them ended up drunk. Then who would take care of them?” “Plus we’d take pictures that would last forever.” Everyone at the table laughed and started imagining who would be the worst drunk out of the interns. Peter took another bite of his sandwich. He looked to his left and saw that Danielle was laughing at something one of the other interns had said, but the sound was drowned out by those around him. Hours passed and Peter didn’t hear so much as a fluttering peep from the hallway. He readjusted the poster’s scale, fixed the purple tone in the background, got more fresh copy from Melissa, waited for the corporate logo to be approved. Bit by bit, he created a semblance of order that calmed and irritated him in equal measure. Cautious in his work, he ordered a smaller test copy to the printer. The normal, beep beeep vroooop of a successful job never came, however. Instead there was silence, and then: “Damn it all!” Peter poked his head around the cubicle wall and saw Danielle standing with hands on her hips over the printer like a cop stands over a newly discovered body. The printer’s light flashed orange. “Damn it,” she muttered again. She stared down at the printer, not making a move to get ride of the blinking light. Peter chuckled. He got up out of his seat and walked over to the printer. “Need some help?” he asked. 66
“This thing does not like me. Every time I try to print, something goes wrong.” “Maybe it knows you’re an intern.” She laughed. “I wouldn’t be surprised. Everyone else does, even people on the street. Sometimes I feel like they’re staring right through my suit jacket, and they know I’m on the bottom rung.” “You won’t be for long. You’re very--” Peter started to say something, but at the very last minute he couldn’t bring himself to say unique, special. “Bright.” Her round hazel eyes looked into his. “Thank you,” she said. She pushed her hair back, and he caught sight of the stud again. He cleared his throat and squatted down. “Now, let’s see what’s what with Lucky.” “Lucky?” “It’s a great nickname for something this reliable, isn’t it?” He heard her laugh tinkle above him as he pulled out the printer trays. His mind raced, trying to think of something else clever to say, something to pull that easy going sound from her again, but she spoke first. “How long have you worked here, Peter?” “Awhile.” “How long really?” “Next month will make it 10 years.”“Mmm, that is awhile.” She paused then said, “Do you still like it? Even after so many years? Sometimes, even though I’m young, I worry about being in a place too long. I worry about getting restless.” Peter knew the feeling, knew it exactly. He’d often considered quitting, but he’d been too afraid to jump into the sea of unemployment lines, all for the sake of something he wasn’t sure about. He snapped the newly loaded tray into place, and Lucky roared to life. “There are good days and bad ones,” he said. “The pay is a strong motivation to survive the latter.” Her long trapped documents emerged from the mouth of the printer. The screen began its countdown from 80 copies. “At least you’re easy going. Where did you work before?” “At another company like Engagement. That was for 9 years. Before that I was somewhere completely different.” “Where was that?” The printer continued to chug and churn, and the steady rhythm reminded Peter of lake water lapping against the shoreline. “It was a sailing club,” he said. “It was in this small town called Percy, in Michigan. I worked there after I got out of art school with a few of my friends. We’d make hand crafted posters to hang around, help people with repairing their boats. I even worked in the kitchen a few days a week.” Danielle tilted her head and eyed him carefully. “Do you still know how to sail?” 67
TulaneReview| Fall2018 Truthfully, he hadn’t done it in decades. The job was always calling to him and finding the time to venture beyond the beanbag chairs out into murky waters of the lake had become impossible throughout the years. The last time he’d been out on a boat had been with Erica. They were at her mother’s lake cabin for a weekend, the first family gathering since they’d been married five months before. While the older, cigar smoking crowd had rocked on the porch, their fingers sticky with barbeque and their mouths dry from the continual back and forth of politics, Peter and Erica escaped to the little sunfish tied to the dock. He knew he was supposed to remember the way her head felt laying across his lap as they sailed across the lake, the words she’d spoken about their life together, but now all he could feel in his mind was the breeze pushing them forward, chilled and freeing all the same. “It’s been so long,” Peter said, clearing his throat. “I’d probably capsize if I got in one now.” She shrugged. “Maybe. But it’s probably like riding a bike. I used to ice skate competitively when I was younger, and even now when I get out onto a rink my muscles just click into place. The job you had sounds cool, though. I wonder if I should go out and do something different like that, but then again I’m happy here.” “Do you think you’d stay? If they asked you?” Peter asked, slowly, letting each word contain as little hope as possible. “I’d have to see. A lot of it depends on...” She paused and his heart clenched, his mind automatically preparing for the words “boyfriend” or “fiancée” to follow. “Well, it depends on what the benefits are. GW wasn’t a cheap school, and I have loans to pay back.” The frown that had begun to form on her face was suddenly pierced by a smile. “But that’s jumping ahead, isn’t it? First I’ve got to prove myself worthy of being asked to stay at all.” The printer spat out its last paper. Peter reached out to grab it for her at the same moment she did, and her palm brushed the top of his hand. The electric current jolted him, and though he drew back his hand immediately, he felt time slam its brakes. Heat pulsed through the skin, every breath became filled with meaning, and the universe imploded at last. Through the implosion, Danielle didn’t blush or turn away from embarrassment, but there was something that startled Peter more than the contact with her hand. He swore he saw a light flash through her eyes, gone almost as soon as it had been detected, that in all its atomic composition held the understanding he’d been longing to see in her for months, in another person for decades. Was it real? Or was he a nearsighted boy again, sitting on the docks and squinting to recognize the blurry shapes of stars? “Thanks for the help,” she said, no evidence of change in her voice. “I’ll see you later.” He nodded, and the words see you later evaporated on his tongue while she 68
walked back toward her corner of the building. 5:00 pm rolled over the office like a haze. People around him rose up slowly as if in a trance, picking up their bags and scuffling past the glass walls. Peter watched them fade, heading back to whatever lives they lead from 5 to 9, but he didn’t get hopes up for himself. He knew he wouldn’t be leaving until at least 7, when the last of the edits were made to those damned posters. The light gradually faded from his office, and several times he had to drop saline into his eyes to keep them from burning to bits in front of the computer screen. The nitpicking he could usually stand, but now it angered him. Did they really need the logo to go 0.05 inches to the right? Did the color really need to be “more friendly to patron eyes?” What color is friendly? What did any of this prove about anything? Eyes burning and teeth clenching, he got up and headed to the restroom to splash cool water on his face. When he came out, he saw Danielle coming toward him in the hallway. She was wrapped in a white pea coat, a blue scarf snuggling her neck. She had headphones in her ears, but when she saw him, she reached up and took them out as she walked toward the elevator. “Have a good night, Peter. Hope they don’t keep you too late,” she said. “The same could be said for you,” he replied, his voice hoarse. “Late hours are all a part of the package deal in being considered worthy.” The elevator arrived, and she stepped into it. The door was wide open, and Peter had the urge to invite her out for a drink, as a mentor, as a friend, as anything, to just be patient for a few moments as he finished the job. But the glossy metal door started across its path, and he watched in silence as it cut her smile from view. For a moment, he hated himself for letting her go without a word. He gritted his teeth and wondered why he couldn’t be more honest, possess just a little more devil-may-care in his bloodstream, but as always the regret passed and was replaced by solid relief. He could never be outspoken. Not because he was married or because she was young, not because eyes from higher up might narrow if he approached her outside of office protocol. Those reasons floated past him like baubles in a tank, but he knew they couldn’t compare to the most important one. Every day he came into work hoping to catch a glimpse of her, just to hear a fragment of her mellifluous song, and every day he left the office satisfied, his vision of her untainted. If he were going to survive, he needed to wake up in the morning and know that he hadn’t ruined the dream by pursuing it. Without the tight feeling in his chest, he was adrift. The elevator door slid shut. Danielle stared through her reflection, greasy and warped in the metal. 25, 24, 23. Her shoulders ached from carrying boxes back and forth from the loading dock, but she kept her back straight. 23, 22, 21. The floors dropped away until at last there was nowhere left to fall. She stepped out into the lobby of Engagement Advertising, the rush of AC and the overwhelming smell of bleach cleaners taunting her to take off hersmile. 69
TulaneReview| Fall2018 No, not yet. Aw, come on. Just a little discomfort? A slight turn of the nose. No, you have to wait. Here comes David. She flashed a smile at the VP of Marketing. “Goodnight, Mister Viscolm.” He nodded curtly. “And to you, Maddie.” “Danielle, sir.” He nodded again, and she was unsure if hadn’t been paying attention or if the slight movement of his head was an indication he’d processed her name. With a half wave he left the lobby and stepped onto the curb, where a sleek town car was waiting. Danielle walked the opposite direction, away from the glamorous atrium and the city it serviced, down a ramp into the parking garage. Her 2004 Chevy sagged under the grim lights. Somehow the garage seemed to strip more color off, like skin out of the sun. She fumbled for the keys, her hands still cramped from typing and folding. All day, she worked at being the brightest version of herself. All day, she traveled the halls with the demeanor of a fairy queen, kind and gentle and expedient, never without the solution, never without a reassuring smile. In the car, she slumped. Her cheeks and her jaw relaxed. Here against the polyester padding, away from constant grading and evaluation, her grip on the wheel lessened, and she sang the lyrics to the song that had been stuck in her head since 9:55. She pulled the car out of the garage and settled into the commute home. She thought of calling Amelia, her roommate, to meet at a bar, but she’d probably be having a romantic night in with bar prep. It was for the best: she shouldn’t be spending money on the illusion of a good time anyway. Her loans were hungry and demanded feeding with increasing regularity. About 10 minutes into the drive, her phone buzzed. Amelia, to her shock, was the one requesting time out of the penalty box. “Hey girl! You want to head to Town Tavern? I need a break from studying.” It was a crummy bar, sticky surfaces and popping seams. Broken neon signs alternated posters of women in bikinis three sizes too small along the wall. The only options for beer were Heineken and Miller Lite, the owners actively rebelling against the craft industry for the entitled drinkers they’d molded. If she were going to spend money she didn’t have, it deserved to be at a place like this. She and Amelia sat at a rickety table past the bar, out of sight of the saltand-pepper-beards dozing off in their drinks. In baggy sweats and a wool cap, her study outfit of choice, Amelia looked more in place than Danielle. Her panty hose itched and there was no sitting comfortably in a pencil skirt. “If I had to complete another prompt I would have punched a hole in the wall,” Amelia said. “They should just have us do a real trial and see if we can get the client acquitted. If we win, we get to keep practicing law.” “I’d feel bad for the defendants who didn’t get the top of the class law stu70
dents, though.” “Yeah, but that wouldn’t affect me.” “Spoken like a true lawyer,” Danielle laughed. Amelia smiled in spite of herself and swirled her beer. “Work any better today?” “It’s still a madhouse. They’re convinced that giving an intern the responsibilities of a paid position plus day-to-day coffee delivery is the best system available.” Amelia snorted. “Yeah and for them it is. No pay, no problem.” She gave Danielle a stern look. “You’re not being given more than you can handle, right?” “No, no. It’s a lot, but I know I can manage the work.” “And what about the people? I’ve heard some crazy stories from the corporate world. Interns getting mistreated, especially women.” Danielle shifted in the chair, the pencil skirt trapping either side of her legs. “There’s not been anything to sue over, if that’s what you’re wondering.” She paused and wiped a piece of foam from her glass. “Well that’s bare-minimum good. If they offered you a job, would you still take it?” “I think so. Maybe.” “Think so? At the beginning of this you were willing to die for a job there. And now you’re saying maybe?” Amelia was falling into her cross-examination rhythm. Danielle held up three fingers in a mock oath. “I swear by my previous statement that I would love to work there as a copywriter. I’m just exhausted by the daily grind.” Her mother’s voice resounded against the walls of her mind, scolding such a weak-willed excuse. If she, a working publisher, could manage an editorial office and three kids, one of whom was off the rails at any given moment, then why couldn’t her daughter handle a busy day the office? What was so different about this generation that made them all so soft? Danielle broke away from the monologue within. No, there had been nothing worth suing over, but she was still uneasy. “Random question. Have you ever known someone has been staring at you just by a feeling from the back of your head?” Amelia’s gaze narrowed. “Yeah, for sure. That’s our animal instinct telling us that fight or flight is imminent. Mine goes off every time I go to the Round Hill supermarket. Why?” She thought back to this afternoon and to those small moments walking through the halls, then that mid-morning coffee prep in the break room. Every movement she made felt tracked, by one person or another, which in some ways was to be expected for a young new staffer. But lately she wondered if there wasn’t someone watching her more particularly. He seemed kind and helpful, always willing to assist her like he had with the copier, but she couldn’t shake that feeling from the back of her neck, the sensation of a gaze with purpose. She 71
TulaneReview| Fall2018 couldn’t diagnose it there in the dim cavern of the dive, couldn’t predict what was going through his mind and pin him to a sin. What she did know was that when she left the garage each day, the knot in her stomach dissipated and a subtle thrill replaced it, carrying her through the night until her 6:30 alarm pulled her back on guard, armed against another day. Unease was hard to explain, even harder to prove. Danielle subtly motioned toward the bar. “It’s those guys,” she said. “I felt like one of them was staring at me.
Dabble No. 3â€? | Anthony R. Westenkirchner 21 x 15.75 inches Digital Photograph (manipulated)
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Cascade 2 | Scott Wheelock 12 x 12 Mixed Media
There are Boys Like Branches Burning Lena Ziegler
& there is scorched sunset & there are dried leaves like corpses brown and shriveled ugly/in the space between rebirth I notice you in the shape of mycalves curved woman enough for anyone but somehow there are whispers of careless things that drift the scent of bright burningholes/inside every heart a wilting woman waits to be made weapon & there are boys like branches crackle-burnt wood-splintered/inside every trachea a sea sheds songs for corrosion there is rust there is coral there is singed-orange that tastes of charred backbone/in anyroom Iâ€™d recognize your face as something unsavory & though your bones donâ€™t crumble magic the brittle breath of you could sink the ragingdesert
TulaneReview| Fall 2018
Ananzi and the Hornets | John Humphries 21 x 18 inches Watercolor, wood, thread
“I Don’t Look Jewish”
in which I make a case for my own death byantiSemite. Katie Krantz Shoot me first. If you want to kill us, Shoot me. The Midrash (explanation): My skin is like swedish snow, My hair the color of a German apple strudel. I look white-“Aryan” is what they call it. But my blood flows with Torah. You’ll kiss a girl who doesn’t look Jewish But tastes like apples and honey, Brisket and matzoh. I’ll cry the sound of the Shofar-A ram’s horn call that cries out A hundred names for God. I think I can walk safely With my star tucked into my shirt. But eleven dead reminds me That I hide in plain sight. Eleven dead rings in my head And whispers, “your family,” Because there aren’t many of us. I’ll start the mourner’s Kaddish With the sunrise. But will I still be there? I see how they look at my father-His hooked nose,
TulaneReview| Fall2018 His dark hair, His obvious Jewishness. I see how they look at us, But not me. I’ll see twenty alone. I can picture it now-When the next synagogue falls I’ll stand in front of a Church And call to God. It’s that damned Kaddish again. At first, I’ll look like a baptist Speaking in tongues. But my hair will curl in the heat, My voice will be relieved in Hebrew. My fingers will be dusted with flour From braiding challah. You once told me how you thought That tribalism could only hurt. You said traditions matter less With each passing year. Maybe that’s true-But the death of eleven close strangers Makes my heart cry otherwise. So to the man who wants to kill a Jew, Test your hatred out on me. When I’m in the sights Of a .5mm gun, I’ll look just like your daughter-Young, blonde, human-With a rabbit’s heart in my chest. If you want to kill a Jew-Take me first. Don’t let me hide in plain sight-I’ll go first. 7 8
Forget the Hasidics, the Orthodox. Leave their black coats alone. Take instead-Your sister’s best friend, Your son’s babysitter, Your very own half-blooded, All Jewish cousin. A reflection of you. Shoot me first. Look me in the eyes and prove It’s the Jew you hate, Not the unknown other. I’ll step forward. Start the Kaddish at sunrise.
CONTRIBUTORS Being a first-generation immigrant from Kurdistan N U v e e N BaRwaRI explores her national identity, islamophobia and the search for “home” through her art. Her work is an amalgamation of memories and traditions gathered together through mixed media practices in a way to both keep hold of heritage and bridge the gap between eastern and western culture. She portrays this narrative through mediums including painting, photography, screen printing, mixed media, and installation. D a g m a w e B eRhaNU is an Ethiopian-American poet from Columbus, Ohio who has been living in Philadelphia, PA since 2011. In January 2016, he joined Temple University’s Babel Poetry Collective. Comprised of poets, musicians, as well as singers, Babel aims to support and facilitate the progression of writing and performance art, hosting monthly writer and music workshops, as well as showcases several times a year. In 2018, he represented the city of Philadelphia at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago. Some of his work can be found on Youtube via Slamfind, as well as on Wus Good and Voicemail Poems. S a R a h B I C h S e l is a prose author and playwright originally from Columbus, Ohio. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan, she worked as a marketing manager for the award-winning Center Stage Theater in Baltimore. Her writing has been published in The Baltimore Sun and A Luxury Travel Blog. She currently resides in Boston. a m y BOhaNNaN is an emerging writer with a background in life experience. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and exploring a steady career path, she took an unexpected turn towards writing. What began as a means of self-reflection soon turned into a daily writing habit, with words flowing from consciousness to paper. She strives to develop her craft, share it with the literary community, and see where writing may lead her wandering mind. l a U R e N F l O w e R S is a freshman studying Political Economy and Arabic at Tulane University. In addition to her studies, she engages in activism and creativity of all forms. Her videography has been featured in America to Me, a Sundance Film Festival docu-series on the racial achievement gap, and she is the associate editor of The Tulane Hullabaloo’s Intersections section. m a g g I e g OSCINSkI is a New York native living and writing on the rocky coast of Maine. She currently serves as President of Cold Comfort Theater in Belfast and writes plays and short stories. She has written stories such as ‘Apology to a Sea Bird’, ‘Albert’s Dignity’, ‘Not Even the Moon’, and plays such as ‘A Collection of Things We Forgot to Say’, ‘Heart for Hire’ and ‘The Stranger’. She lives with her boyfriend, Matt and stepson Ian.
Frank Dixon G r a h a m is a photographer and writer who lives in Northern California. His work has been published in Evansville Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, This Land, Harvard University Scriptorium, Song of the San Joaquin, and many other journals. Graham is a professor of English and currently teaches at the University of California at Davis Center for International Education as well as Sacramento City College, Davis. His photographs have appeared in magazines and journals. Many of his images have been exhibited at galleries and coffee shops. His next exhibit will be at the Union Hall Gallery in Sacramento. Graham holds an MFA from Goddard College. V a l y n t i n a G r e n i e r a poet and visual artist living in Tucson AZ and Austin TX. She wouldn’t paint (or write) the way she does if she hadn’t studied poetry; undergraduate work introduced her to art as an agent of social change, but poetry really taught her to think (allegorically, symbolically, metaphorically). She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. Her work skirts the lines of representation and abstraction to create a vantage from which to view violence and prejudice. Her art is on the side of life that insists, “Don’t Shoot.” One could say, she wants to challenge perceptions, beginning with the idea of a fixed self, gender, body, or ontology, including the perception that delight and tenderness are not part of a discourse of political protest and protection. Patrick A. H o w e l l is an award-winning banker, business leader, entrepreneur and writer. His first work was published with the UC Berkeley African American Literary Review and Quarterly Black Book Review. At Cal Berkeley, he co-founded Diatribe - a People of Color News Collective. Mr. Howell, is a frequent contributing writer to the Huffington Post, Tishman Review’s Craft Talk series, Toronto’s Award Winning ‘Into the Void’ and is a Good Men Project Blue Box Columnist. He has been cited in national platforms as Opportunist Magazine, equities.com, NBC BLK and The Grio. Howell’s integrated book of poetry-design, “Yes, We Be’ was published by Jacar Press in February of 2018. This summer he graduated the Leopardi Writer’s Conference in Recanati Italy to complete work on ‘Quarter ‘til Judgement Day’, a coming of age experimental fiction work. J ohn H u m p h r i e s is originally from Texas, with a pause briefly on the Ozark Plateau and along Puget Sound. He has completed degrees in Architecture, and Fine Arts in Design following a brief foray as a saucier. He is a visual artist, gardener, and designer focusing on communicating stories and phenomena from nature and mythology. This creative work takes the form of watercolor drawings and ceramic. K a tha r ine J ohnsen has an MFA in Creative Writing as the Bernice Kert Fellow from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a BA from Emory University. She is the recipient of a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared recently in Best New Poets 2018, Kenyon Review, Five Points, NELLE, Southern Indiana Review, and elsewhere.
Jury S. J u d ge is an internationally published artist, photographer, writer, poet, and political cartoonist. Her Astronomy Comedy cartoons are also published in Lowell Observatory’s quarterly publication, The Lowell Observer. Her artwork has been published in literary magazines such as, Glass Mountain, Permafrost, and Split Rock Review. She has been interviewed on the television news program, NAZ Today for her work as a political cartoonist. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2014. K a tie K r a n t z is a young writer and student at the University of Virginia. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, and focuses on the intersection of her Southern and Jewish identities. B. B. Martin lives in Dallas with his two children, Rose and Isaiah. He holds a B.A. in English from Southern Methodist University. His poetry and fiction have previously appeared in the African American Review, the Coe Review, the Tipton Poetry Journal, and others. L y d i a Mattson is a current freshman at Tulane University studying visual communications. She is from New Haven County, Connecticut and has been interested in the arts for the majority of her life, as well as nature, animals, and music. Additionally, she is a Design Associate Editor for the Tulane Hullabaloo newspaper. She thanks the Tulane Review for selecting her work and congratulates them on their success. K e i t h M o u l is a poet of place, a photographer of the distinction light adds to place. Both his poems and photos are published widely. His photos are digital, striving for high contrast and saturation, which makes his vision colorful. K e v i n J.B. O’connor received his M.F.A. from Old Dominion University and has published poetry in numerous journals, including Slant, Anderbo, Bayou, Bluestem, Flare, Glassworks, Luna Luna, Midway, The Pinch, and others. He teaches English at Alfred State College in Alfred, NY. L e a h Oates has a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a Fulbright Fellow for study at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. Oates has an upcoming solo show at Susan Eley Fine Art, NYC from November-December 2016 and has had numerous solo shows at venues including The Central Park Arsenal Gallery, The Center for Book Arts, Artemisia Gallery, Sara Nightingale Gallery, The Brooklyn Public Library and Susan Eley Fine Art. Work by Oates was recently installed as part of the MTA Arts & Design Light Box series at 42nd Street at 6th Avenue in Bryant Park, NYC. S a r a h Jane P a zen is a writer from Chicago, IL. She enjoys visuals arts and translation, as well as writing poetry and nonfiction. She is currently a student at Kenyon College. P a u l a P er s o l eo is a 2011 graduate of Stony Brook’s MFA program in Southampton, NY. Her recent work has been accepted by Philadelphia Stories, Pano-
ply, SWWIM, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is an adjunct at the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware with her husband. Jonathan A ndrew P er ez , E s q . has published poetry in Prelude, The Write Launch, Meniscus Literary Journal, Rigorous Literary Journal, Metafore Magazine, The Florida Review’s Latino/Latinx publication, Panoply Magazine, Paradigm, Mud Season Review, Junto Magazine, Watermelanin (for writers of color), Cold Mountain Review’s Justice Issue, Yes Poetry, and in Silver Needle Press as poem of the week. He has poems forthcoming in Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, The Tiny Journal, Westchester Review, the Raw Art Review, Pamplemousse, and Swimming with Elephants. Jonathan was selected by The Virginia Quarterly Review 2018 for a workshop with Jericho Brown and Cave Canem, respectively. He has won the Bowdoin Poetry Prize and Nathalie Walker Llewellyn Prize in Poetry.He has a day job as an Assistant District Attorney as a prosecutor. S h e l b y P r i n d a v i l l e is the Art Program Director at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, KS. She received her MFA from Louisiana State University and her BA in fine art from the University of Pennsylvania. Shelby has been selected as a World Wildlife Fund featured tour artist and has a strong international and domestic exhibition and residency record. She has also helped create new art media in collaboration with LSU Chemistry Professor Dr. John Pojman. Rebecca P y l e lives between The Great Salt Lake and the beautiful old silver-mining mountain town where Sundance film festival takes place every winter. She writes (Cobalt Review, Lindenwood Review (forthcoming), Map Literary (forthcoming); she paints/photographs (Watershed Review (forthcoming), Hawai’i Review, Permafrost). The Underwater American Songbook, a new chapbook of poems by her (publisher: Underwater New York) has a chalk-and-cement-on-Masonite drawing by her, “Mermaids, Violins, Relics,” on its cover. See rebeccapyleartist.com. E d y t h e Rodriguez studies poetry and Africology at Temple University. She’s a Philly-based poet raised in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania; poeticizing whiteness, racism, and the Black experience. Afrikan; Boricua; Woman; and Queer-ish, poetry is the manifestation of identity. Her favorite poets are Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, and Tonya Foster. B e t h RUSCIO, daughter of actors, is part of a family of artists, actors, writers and vaudevillians. She’s a poet, an accomplished actress (Dreamland, 28 Days, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom), a mentor (Otis College of Art and Design), and a one-time playwright (1961 Eldorado). She was a Pushcart Prize nominee (Counting Off Whites on the Fingers of One Hand) and a finalist for The Wilder Prize (Speaking Parts) in 2017. She won Honorable Mention for The Two Sylvias Prize, and was a finalist for the 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize (Hollywood Forever Cemetery). Previous finalist for both the Tupelo Quarterly Prize and the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in California Journal of Poetics, Tupelo Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, The Malpais Review, In Posse Review, Spillway, speechless-the-magazine and is anthologized in Beyond The Lyric Moment; Conducting A Life : Maria Irene
Fornes; 1001 Nights; and Dark Ink: Poetry Inspired by Horror (Fall 2018). M a x S e g a l graduated from Tulane in 2016 and wishes his current home (Bozeman, MT) had better Vietnamese food. S eiga r is an English philologist, a highschool teacher, and a curious photographer. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, details and religious icons. He feels passion for pop culture that shows in his series. He considers himself a travel and street photographer. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, to capture moments but trying to give them a new frame and perspective. Travelling is his inspiration. His most important and known projects so far are his Plastic People (shop windows conceptual work) and Tales of a City (street photography in London, UK). T y l e r Robert S heldon ’s newest books are the poetry collection Driving Together (Meadowlark Books, 2018) and the chapbook Consolation Prize (Finishing Line Press, 2018). He received the 2016 Charles E. Walton Essay Award and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry, fiction, artwork, and reviews have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Pleiades, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Tittynope Zine, and other venues. He lives in Baton Rouge. Benjamin S t a l l i n g s is a student poet in Tennessee. He grew up predominantly in Beijing but also spent time in the South and the Dakotas. M i k e y S w anberg holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and is the author of the chapbook Zen and the art of Bicycle Delivery (Rabbit Catastrophe Press), his poems have appeared in the scores, hot metal bridge, tinderbox, and breakwater review. He is a recipient of the Jane Vance prize for poetry, and lives in Chicago. K e l l y M. Talbot has edited books and digital content for 20 years, previously as an in-house editor for John Wiley and Sons Publishing, Macmillan Publishing, and Pearson Education, and now as the head of Kelly Talbot Editing Services. His writing has appeared in dozens of magazines. Kelly also practices taijiquan, recently focusing on the White Crane Spreads His Wings movements. D r a ke Truber’s sketches are recognized for their emotional energy and narrative qualities. He has exhibited in group shows at The Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and the National Department of Education. His interest in interactive learning nurtured the creation of a Latin language learning video game, Vindac, which was in the Independent Games Festival. Truber is currently studying at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He also takes interests in history, metaphysics, public speaking and writing. Follow Truber’s work on Instagram @drake.truber.com Ronald W a l k e r was born and raised in Southern California till he moved to Missouri and Kansas for college. He received a MA degree in painting in 1984 and a MFA in painting and drawing in 1991. He has had 40 solo exhibits and
have been in more than 200 group shows at this time. He lives with his family and paint in the Sacramento area of California. His work addresses duel interest in both the origins of art as well as life in the suburbs, he terms the work “Suburban Primitive”. Born in Switzerland and raised in Florida, D a n i e l W a n g moved to New York City to study at NYU. In 2013 He received a BFA in Photography and has been working in the city ever since. Currently, Daniel is freelancing as an interior and still life photographer and volunteering for a great indie publisher, Endless Editions. His commercial work has been published in Homepolish, Lonny and Cottages & Gardens. This is Daniel’s first attempt to compile a personal set of work inspired by his love of travel, nature and the open road. K a t h e r i n e Westbrook is a literary artist, currently attending the Mississippi School of the Arts for her senior year. She will attend college at the University of Iowa, studying in English & Creative Writing and History. A ntho ny R. W es tenkir chner once killed a man in self-defense with an Oxford comma. His work has appeared in The Bear Review (forthcoming Spring 2019), The Manhattanville Review, The Reject Pile, and Apparatus Magazine. He will also be featured in a forthcoming multi-modal fiction anthology published by Twelve Winters Press. A graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Anthony enjoys alpine skiing and witty condescension. He currently lives with his wife and their three children in Kansas City, Missouri. K e a g a n W h e a t has been published by Z Publishing in Texas’s Best Emerging Poets, and worked on Volume 20 of Glass Mountain. He attended the Boldface Conference in 2018. At the University of Houston, he studies and writes poetry. Scott W h e e l o c k is a painter, writer, and teacher living in Philadelphia. He has taught at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Moore College of Art and Tyler School of Art and had many group and solo shows including Connors-Rosato Gallery, NY and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum. Scott Wheelock is currently working on a series of illustrated magazines about a cult located in the deep south in the1930’s called ”The Face of God Church.” You can find out more about Scott Wheelock and see his work at: scottwheelock.com A giant bending his ear, Nathan E. W h i t e Is the author of ApparentMagnitude (Aldrich Press). L e n a Z i e g l e r is an editor and co-founder of The Hunger. She holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University and is pursuing her PhD at Bowling Green State University. She was a finalist in the Autumn House Press 2018 Fiction contest and the 2018 Goldline Press Non-fiction contest. Her work has appeared in Dream Pop Press, Yes, Poetry, The Seventh Wave, Gambling the Aisle, Literary Orphans, The Flexible Persona, Anti-Heroin Chic, and others.
Submissions G u i d e l i n e The Tulane Reivew accepts poetry, prose and art submissions through Submittable. The Tulane Review Submittable website is https://tulanereview.submittable.com/ submit. Submissions sent via email or post will not be considered. Poetry and prose submissions should be included as text-format attachments (.doc or .txt). Please submit no more than five pieces of poetry, and limit prose to one piece no longer than 4,000 words. Also, please include a brief biography, an e-mail address and a return address in your cover letter. Art should be submitted in a high resolution format and named in the following way: Lastname_Firstname_Titleofwork.JPEG. Please include dimensions, media, a brief biography, an e-mail address and a return address with all submissions. Limit ten pieces of art/photography per person. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: The Tulane Literary Society normally acquires first North American serial rights, but will consider second serial publication.